Looking Forward Game of Thrones Season 5, Part 3: Dany Targaryen and Stormborn Arrogance

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen_ photo Helen Sloan_HBO

She is the First of her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.

She could also be a focal point of Season 5, which if done right, could be a highlight of the season. But regardless, by the time it’s all said and done and despite the mountains of titles, a man is beginning to believe most of us, in the end, will all just hate her…

 

OK… maybe not everybody.

Welcome one and all to another edition of off-season Looking Forward, where the men are men and the sheep are scared (of dragons).

The lady that many consider the face of Thrones can’t seem to get her shit together enough to head across the great salt sea for reasons that, thus far, have been arguably legitimate. But for the sake of patience of the show-viewers only, has the meandering of Dany in Essos reached a boiling point?

Let’s discuss as a man leads Unsullied, non-book readers as well as he can.

By the way, if you happen to be a newer reader of this fine establishment of internet bliss, then welcome to Watchers on the Wall.

Back at the old apartment, I authored a series of off-season “Looking Forwards” that theorize and speculate as to what chaos may be in store for the season to come. This astonishingly insightful analysis comes from the resident WotW non-book reader and is considered groundbreaking by readers and critics alike (don’t roll your eyes; Dany does that enough).

To honestly gauge the thoughts of the Unsullied (not the Dany Unsullied, but the Unsullied show-viewers who have never touched a GRRM book concerning ASOIAF), you have to consider the fact that Dany has now been planning and prepping for a trip across the narrow sea to take what is hers with Fire and Blood for damn near four years in TV time measurements.

And based on what we know, it doesn’t appear that the voyage will happen anytime during Season 5, for there is a dumpster fire in the former slave cities.

Dany could leave them burning, but unsurprisingly has opted to stay and pilot the fire truck. Shock.

To be fair, the reasoning does make some logical sense. After all, how plausible is it to be capable of ruling seven kingdoms when she can’t manage a few slave cities?

The question is legit. The problem is viewer perception. The quest for the West has been plotted now for some time and seems to be transpiring almost as quickly as winter seems to be coming in Westeros (which ain’t fast).

But just maybe, the length of time is not Dany’s worst problem here. Maybe it has been not so much the depth of the story, but the subsequent action or lack thereof across the pond that has many of us ready for her to make a move.

Then again, maybe it’s her attitude.

Depth of Action

“How long does it take to sack a city?”

About 5 minutes of TV time. And that isn’t long enough. When Yunkai was brought down and Daario v.1 brought word, the impression that many held before was that it was the first step in what was going to be some type of epic battle. This was not the case and before we knew it, Dany was crowd surfing to Meereen.

How long does it take to break the chains?

About 7 minutes of TV time. Well, maybe a little more. But still, the taking of Meereen seemed easy in comparison to much of the blood spilled in Westeros. The slaying of the overactive bladder champion of Meereen, the PETA cringing shot of the horse murder (both at the hands of Daario v.2), a “Slaves Anonymous” meeting in the basement, and the gang tackle of a master in the streets is really all it took.

Sure, there was more to it than time or the budget would allow. But perception is reality. And for show viewers, the last two triumphs seemed less than exerting.

Was this quick overtaking by design?

Maybe. Maybe not. But if you subscribe to the concept of “easy come, easy go”, then the rapid overthrow idea becomes a little easier to swallow considering the current state of affairs.

Here is what we know going into S5:

  • Astapor has been taken over by a butcher named Cleon (sp?) a.k.a “His Imperial Majesty.”
  • Yunkai has been taken over by the wise masters who have sworn to take revenge.
  • Daario v.2 has been sent to begin the cleanup process.
  • Jorah has been suspended indefinitely without pay from Team Targ and is no longer a member of the Jedi council.
  • A dragon has been misplaced.
  • Daario is a safe bet to bring you flowers on Valentine’s Day.

From what we know of the happenings in Westeros and the high number of players who will be changing locations, the entire “meandering Dany” in Essos excursion could possibly be a highlight of Season 5 if the action sequences are handled appropriately and we are presented with a little more depth.

And so far, it looks promising…

Harpy losing a tug-of-war; some kind of arena featuring the cast of Eyes Wide Shut; Jorah fighting for his life, etc.

harpy

What about her freaking attitude?

As most of you are well aware, I haven’t read the books. So I am unaware of how Dany’s demeanor is demonstrated in the written verse.

What I am aware of is this… if it is the goal of the writers and directors is to make many of us cringe at the arrogance through the use of dramatic pauses and ignoring of advice in various instances, then consider it goal achieved.

Furthermore, if Emilia’s acting is meant to reinforce the idea that she is becoming a ruler with heightened intolerance and the inability to understand that not everyone is guilty by association, then she is doing a fabulous job.

I am a huge fan of powerful, independent women. Hell, I married one. But arrogance by any member of the human race is not just an unattractive personality trait, but also a potential sign that there may be other deep-rooted issues within one’s self.

Does the apple fall far from the tree? (See Viserys, the Mad King, Aerion, and certainly more past Targs a man is unfamiliar with).

If it does fall far and keeps rolling, then maybe viewers are being somewhat mislead or are misinterpreting the messages in translation.

But if the apple doesn’t fall far, as many a wise men have said for ages, then the ruler we are slowly seeing Dany becoming and the character the show-viewing audience initially loved may be the character we are all rooting against by the time we reach the end-game.

Some of us already are (STANNIS!). In a direct correlation, most of us “show-viewers” hated him during S2. It’s a conversation for another post, but my how times have changed.

Will Dany learn from her mistakes?

This remains to be seen. But Jorah, her former most trusted advisor, was given a one-way ticket to the desert on a horse with no name. I can only offer poor speculation as to why in the hell he is in an arena playing el matador, but I won’t, as there is no evidence pertaining to the circumstances surrounding it (or at least none that I can recall).

Assumingly, Selmy is in line to step into the role. But Dany hasn’t always heeded the words of the wise Kingsguard (see the whole “justice with mercy, justice with justice” dialogue exchange).

Daario will presumably continue do what Daario’s do (get naked, steal ships, become a florist, etc.). And Grey Worm looks to continue on with some kind of doomed romantic venture with Missandei (seriously… where in Seven Hells is this going?).

Enter what looks to be a new recruit for the Jedi council in Hizdahr Zo Loraq. His name has been mentioned in the off-season and was featured in both speaking and non parts of S4, so it should be safe to assume he will be back.

While there is nothing that overly-excites a man about the character of Hizdahr, he could be a useful tool in understanding a little more about the culture and be able to offer advice on efficiently ruling the slave cities. Of course, that’s IF Dany will listen (that’s as big and bold as I could make the “IF”).

And then there is GoT’s newest odd couple, which may come to pass as the biggest game changer in Dany’s entire quest.

Game-of-Thrones-Season-5-Varys-and-Tyrion

Given the reputation and merit that surrounds the wisdom of Varys and his little birds, and the knowledgeable and strategy-minded Tyrion, Dany would be a complete idiot if she chose to not take them in and use them to her advantage. And she is not an idiot.

So she will, and that should scare the shit out of all of us that have not pledged allegiance to House Targ. It would also set up a number of compelling confrontations: Tyrion potentially having to encounter Stannis on the battlefield again, or against his wife, or his own family; Varys versus Red Velvet, or an encore of wit matching with Littlefinger, only with a hell of a lot more at stake.

The possibilities are damn near endless and more than this Unsullied village idiot has the time or resources to explore.

By the time Season 5 is done, Dany’s only weakness may be the one element that has struck fear in the hearts of many since her reign of terror began… the damn dragons. Not only is there the taming issue, but also the idea that I represented here.

Regardless, a stage is being set for a major change in the Game.

Besides, there is currently a job opening for the title of “asshole in a leading role” that has been left unfulfilled since Joffrey drank the kool-aid and Tywin crapped his last crap.

Why not Dany?

Of course, the most important aspect of her entire story is, who the hell is going to yell “Khaaaallleeessssiii”?

The associated drinking game will definitely take a hit. Better make it a double.

Once again, thank you all for joining us for another edition of “Unsullied’s Know Nothing.” Make sure to tell the Dany lovers I’ve most certainly ticked off today that I’m really a swell guy.

Until next time, follow and like WotW, and saddle up… it’s almost time. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz

“Unbowed. Unbent. Unsullied.”

Follow Oz of Thrones on twitter.

Dedication: This past Sunday, a fellow GoT fanatic and personal friend lost his life in a horrific car accident that has shocked many in my little corner of the world.  He was a devoted reader and supporter of WotW and joked (in all seriousness) that he would never surf over to the old “heap pile” that was our former web address.

Although he rarely commented, he was always interested in reading the feedback from the community and knew many of you by name. He would call Ozzette or myself, not only while the show was airing to ask questions (which drove me batshit crazy), but to comment to me about your comments.

He was an honorable man, heavily involved in the community, and a loving husband and father.  This post is dedicated to H.W.

And now his watch is ended…

REMINDER: Please be mindful of the Unsullied and refrain from any spoilery in the comments!!

Part 1: A Blind Attempt

Part 2: The Story That Shan’t Be Told

106 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Great article. However, now the masses come and debate something that hasn’t happened yet, and is fictional anyway, as if it mattered greatly. I find that depressing. No wonder the world’s gone crazy.

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    2. Nodor!!!!!

      Great post! I had never thought about how Dany can be perceived as arrogant that way (eye-rolling aside) so thanks for perspective on this. She is (to me at least) slightly less so in the books.

      I wonder who will be the new asshole in a leading role? I’m thinking Marg 😉

      Bronn will still be there with the zingers to make up for a bit we’ll be lacking without Tywin and The Hound around.

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    3. Interesting take.

      I guess it is good (I say gritting my teeth as a fully spoiled hardcore Dany-stan 5eva) that Dany is divisive within the unsullied community as well – all it means is D&D are doing their job!!!

      P.S. Stannis is awesomesauce too, it doesn’t have to be either or!

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    4. I’ve said it a million times but the most interesting thing about Dany is that she is a character laden with contradictions. Shes a liberator to some, and a conqueror with messiah delusions to others. She, unlike most rulers, actually rules from a place where she wants to help people, but she has a narrow minded view of good versus evil that sometimes affects her ability to make decisions.

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    5. Queenofthrones:
      I guess it is good (I say gritting my teeth as a fully spoiled hardcore Dany-stan 5eva) that Dany is divisive within the unsullied community as well – all it means is D&D are doing their job!!!

      Yes indeed!

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    6. And now his watch is ended.

      As always I love reading your thoughts Oz. Here’s hoping you get all the storylines in by the new season.

      PS I love me some Grey Mist action, whether it’s going somewhere or not. It’s sweet and humanising. Both performances are great too.

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    7. I cant help but agree about Dany, she’s getting more and more petulant and self entitled as the series goes on, it is my fondest wish that she dies horrendously without sitting on the Iron Throne for a second, within view of it preferably.

      And now his watch has ended.

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    8. The iron throne is mine by rights. Those who deny that are my foes.

      Stannis! STANNIS! STANNIS!!!

      Great article Oz, I’m very interested to see how Dany’s story plays out this season. And sorry for your loss 🙁

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    9. I’d like to see a Dany vs Stannis and Melisandre Convo

      Stannis: The Iron Throne is mine by right

      Dany: The Iron Throne is my birthright

      Mel: Stannis is the lord’s chosen, the champion of the light!

      Dany: I am the MOTHER OF DRAGONS

      Stannis: The Darkness shall prevail unless I triumph!

      Dany: I am a Khaleesi

      Mel: He is Azor Ahai reborn amidst salt and smoke.

      Dany: I am the breaker of chains!

      Jon Snow: My name is Jon Snow your grace…..

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    10. Oz, my condolences to you for your loss. I’m so sorry.

      Dany and Stannis are examples of how no good plan/ambition goes unpunished. Sometimes things just don’t work the way you intended. Unexpected events happen, you start changing because of your experiences, etc.

      Dany may eventually get to Westeros, but in a completely different manner than we thought. I’m looking forward to finding out her (and the dragons’) ultimate fate.

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    11. Another entertaining read! Perhaps your best post to date. Tend to agree with you about Dany’s arrogance. Her sense of entitlement has always annoyed me.

      This had me laughing out loud:

      But Jorah, her former most trusted advisor, was given a one-way ticket to the desert on a horse with no name. I can only offer poor speculation as to why in the hell he is in an arena playing el matador…

      Most importantly, condolences on the loss of your friend. And now his watch has ended.

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    12. mariamb:
      Another entertaining read! Perhaps your best post to date. Tend to agree with you about Dany’s arrogance. Her sense of entitlement has always annoyed me.

      Welcome to a story taking place in a feudal society. Of course Dany has the sense of entitlement – just like every other highborn character in the story. Duh. Why some fans single out her as if she’s an exception is something I find really puzzling.

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    13. Oz, condolences for the loss of your friend.

      As a Sullied, I can’t make any other comments about the article. I’ll just say there’s one part that made me grin and laugh, but I can’t tell you why until the season airs…

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    14. Annara Snow,

      Don’t quite understand your comment. I wasn’t “singling her out” for her sense of entitlement. There is plenty of that to go around. However, since the post was about Dany, I commented about her sense of entitlement.

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    15. Would it be pessimistic of me to hypothesize that show-version Dany’s legions of rabid supporters mostly exist due to the fact that she got naked right away?

      Don’t get me wrong, the writing and acting is great, and I get that we’re obligated to think dragons are awesome, and we’re supposed to be sympathetic about her past and blah blah blah… that’s all well and good. I’ll even go so far as to say that I think HBO drama queen Dany–a typical, hypocritical, old-money teenage girl who is right about everything and only wants advice from her elders after she’s ruined something–is actually a “better” (more interesting) character than book Dany… but she’s certainly not somebody I would cheer for.

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    16. I think this has been one of your most insightful posts Oz. I absolutely love Daenerys, but I’m always interested in hearing the defense of those fans who don’t think she is all that. You raised some valid points on how we, the television viewer, perceive her storyline as a bit stretched out when in the show’s universe it’s only been two or three years. As always, I look forward to your ‘looking forward’ posts; and my deep condolences for your loss.

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    17. Imo Dany hasn’t been self entitled since season 2… “i’ll take what is mine with fire and blood!!! give me ships!!!” and I think the whole point of season 2 was for her to get out of the Viserys self entitlement mind set and do it the hard way

      And I’m still rooting for her. Learning to rule an entire city 1) she doesn’t know much about 2) she conquered and 3) as a teenager who wasn’t brought up to rule, is obviously going to take time. But if it means she won’t destroy the seven kingdoms that’s good.

      It does confuse me that you dislike her for being entitled… and prefer Stannis. Stannis doesn’t get through a scene without talking about how the seven kingdoms are his by right.

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    18. Yes it is spelled “Cleon”

      And he was an actual butcher, you know, of animal meat. It’s not like “Ivan the Terrible” or “Ivan the Butcher” etc.

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    19. Mormont,

      Entitlement is rampant throughout, and not necessarily something I hold against any of the players. It’s more about her general disposition.

      One of the objectives in the post was to give a perspective on how some show-viewers may perceive her actions and discussing the true intent of the writers/directors.

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    20. Emilia Clarke sucks. Literally.

      Oh, ‘n btw. What’s difference between slavery and subjection? Subjects are formally free, slaves are not. Daenerys sets slaves free so that they can be ‘freely’ subjected to her then. Capitalism-like perversion.

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    21. Al Swearengen,

      Nobody cares about victarion or the iron islands besides a few weirdos. Greyjoys are just in the story to get smacked around all over the seven kingdoms.

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    22. Al Swearengen,

      except when they do this scene in the show it will be one of those hybrid show-only characters that they use to cover multiple storylines with one actor… hopefully a mash-up of Victarion and Penny.

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    23. Good insight. As a book reader I was worried D&D were way too on Danys side. Glad they made some of the unsullied see how arrogant she appears in the books. Most show watchers I know love her.

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    24. Ukonw0,

      Your opinion and doesn’t mean it’s true . Also it would be more of a polite thing to simply say i don’t like this actress but that would be too much to ask of some people of this fanbase .

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    25. Something to keep in mind for the people in the Danny is going to be the Mad Queen camp: The only “mad” Targaryen when dragons lived was Maegor the Cruel who was conceived by Visenya using dark magic. The Targaryen madness may have been an exaggerated dragon separation anxiety.

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    26. “But just maybe, the length of time is not Dany’s worst problem here. Maybe it has been not so much the depth of the story, but the subsequent action or lack thereof across the pond that has many of us ready for her to make a move.”

      Well you know it’s not only the show runners but also George R R Martin who can’t seem to get a handle on his prose character Daenerys Targaryen. Knowing you are not a reader your perception here from just the visual narrative is pretty good, tho arrogant is not a word that springs to my lips when describing the show’s Dany , but inconsistent does.
      It is still an odd thing that season 1 and novel 1 Dany emerges as a fascinating character and Emilia does a great job. Season 2 , being novel 2, D&D loose a grip on the character , as if they were flummoxed buy the book 2 story. They give Emilia some awful lines and for some odd reason seem indifferent to trying different takes , acting wise, with Emilia. Book 2’s Dany and Qarth story is somewhat ‘detached’ , the show sure didn’t capture it.
      Season 3’s Dany was easier to adapt. In fact the Dany story through E4 was pretty much the book , without the elaboration. E1-E3 set up perfectly the E4 “Dracarys” moment , very like the book, and then trumped George with the Valyrian language revel!
      An odd thing happened here, Emilia came across as a totally different actress when speaking High Valyrian! It happens every time she speaks Valyrian! The projection and the body language, as if she should be speaking Valyrian all the time!
      ( I still think directors don’t apply enough ‘character’ rehearsal with Emilia, she seems like an acting newcomer who needs instruction and does not get enough.)
      As narrative one should note than in SoS George does not elaborate the ‘sack’ of Astapor or the conquest of Yankai and Meereen. Yankai and Meereen are told as a recountings, after the fact . The show does set up Yankai but does not communicate that it’s storming was Dany’s plan. The same was true of Meereen, tho they skip the battle for subterfuge, and , I guess, imply it was Dany’s plan?
      Season 4 and now it seems season 5 will be condensed material from Dance, and boy! George prose wise scuffled with Dany’s struggle to learn Rule. We do get a BIG kicker in Meereen this season, we shall have to see what people think of it. The event surprised me in the book and as a reader I don’t know what the hell George is going to do with it.
      I would say you have picked up more George-vibes from the show’s Dany-wise than you know.

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    27. These articles are always great, this woman is pleased.
      Daenerys losing too much time and wasting all her potential is what makes my Unsullied friends mad at her!

      And my condolences on the loss of your friend, Oz.

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    28. Condolences on the loss of your friend. It’s a tragic reminder that real life turns on a dime.

      I find Dany’s storyline to be a snooze. Joffery and Tywin may have been assholes but they were compelling to watch.

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    29. King Stannis,

      I don’t care what people think about the Greyjoys, I still want to see Dany die a horrible death. I’d even settle for Stannis doing it.

      Emilia Clarke’s horrendous performance has only intensified my disdain for that character.

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    30. Hm, the author of this post doesn’t sound particularly unsullied to me, but rather a product of the online ASOIAF community, who often express similar sentiments; the books however give more reason to than the show. For example:

      – “meandering Dany”. Dany has only been “meandering” for about half a season in the show, not four. Prior to season 4 she had small dragons and no army. Then we she finally gets the ships she needs in Season 4, she has already become the Queen of Meereen.

      – love of Stannis. Stannis hadn’t really done much of value in the show yet until the final episode of Season 4. Even then it isn’t until the politicking at the wall that Stannis becomes a more likable character. I’m curious as to the author’s reasons for liking him.

      – Dany as evil. Uh, she just locked up her dragons because one of them killed a child. Dany has a strong conscience. The one action Dany takes that could be construed as “evil”, she starts to regret as soon as Hizdhar tells her his story. Other than that she has done nothing to indicate she might become unhinged like Viserys or paranoid like the Mad King.

      – Dany’s mistakes. The author doesn’t go into this enough for me to properly refute, but as far as show watchers are concerned Dany hasn’t made many mistakes at all. The escalation of the situations in Yunkai and Astapor have not come into play.

      – Dany not listening to advisers. When? When they protested her giving a dragon to Astapor? When they protested her walking into the pyre? Do tell. The only instance in the entire show where Dany’s not-listening-to-advisers could be construed as a negative is, again, the killing of the masters. Beyond that, she is the only monarch in the entire show who DOES regularly heed the advice of her advisers. Half of her storyline so far has just been her listening and being advised!

      – Dany as arrogant. When? Perhaps in season 2 when she had brand new dragons. And perhaps as a front when dealing with Astapori and Yunkish masters. But that’s pretty much it.

      Dany as entitled. Literally perhaps, but Dany does not really come across as entitled in the show. She takes what she wants with the resources she has.

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    31. Al Swearengen,

      Seconded!

      It’s a shame that Dany has gone (in both book and show) from one of the most interesting characters who you really root for to a self-entitled dullard who acts like a petulant child.
      My worry is that with a number of storylines being shelved, even more characters are going to be tied up to her as a consequence. I honestly don’t think she is a strong or interesting enough character anymore to warrant such a big responsibility. All she now appears to have going for her is she has dragons…which she has neglected to the point that they are now completely useless. Quite happy for anyone except her to get the Throne at this point!

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    32. Ukonw0: Daenerys sets slaves free so that they can be ‘freely’ subjected to her then.

      By that logic, unless you allow slaves to live in a lawless society in which they are subject to no rules, you are no better a person for freeing them than you are for allowing them to remain enslaved. This is definitely a situation where context is important. The concept of “democracy” or “anarchy” (in the classical sense, not the modern colloquial usage) is pretty much unknown in this world. Societies must take baby-steps.

      As for Daenys’ apparent arrogance, I would call attention to two points. One, if she doesn’t make “mistakes,” then were is there room for growth? It is akin to the oft-used line about how the only time a person can be brave is when he/she is afraid. The only time a person can learn and progress is from trial and error. It will be “arrogance” if Daeny does not learn.

      Second, what of “principle”? We have two protagonists exposed to the same slavery system. One does nothing about it. The other tries to do things, even if what he/she tries is flawed. Is the audience going to hold both in equal esteem? Is the audience going to praise the former for being “respectful” and “humble” while criticizing the latter for being “arrogant?” Except perhaps for American Confederacy apologists, they are not.

      Ultimately, this is a story. How Daeny evolves is critical to that story. In fact, the parallels between how Daeny, Jon, Tyrion, etc., evolve are the stories. Learning from mistakes is going to be part of that evolution and thus the heart of the actual stories.

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    33. TheTouchOfFrost: who you really root for to a self-entitled dullard who acts like a petulant child.

      That could be the worse description of Daeny I’ve ever read. Self-entitled people don’t go about trying to end slavery: self-entitled people would buy slaves. Self-entitled people are devoid of empathy: but Daeny is a highly empathetic person. Self-entitled people do not care about justice or hardship for others: only for themselves.

      So, in what possible universe does Daeny qualify as “self-entitled”?

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    34. Dany is quite polarizing for book readers too Oz. By the way I love your theory that Tyrion might be facing off against his wife Sansa! And Varys vs Littlefinger would also be epic!

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    35. wimsey,

      Thinking she belongs on the throne because of her birthright sounds pretty self-entitled to me. What does being self-entitled have to do with either a person’s position on slavery or their ability to empathise? (which her failure to win over the cultures she’s occupying suggests she isn’t that sharp on the empathy front!). Although we may agree that her intentions are noble, she forces them on other cultures. She reviles Robert Baratheon as a Usurper as she’s marching around conquering other kingdoms by force. The world of GoT is full of hypocrisy yet she seems to get a free pass on that front because she’s the heroine of the piece.

      Self-entitled = A feeling that one deserves more than one actually does.

      Think it’s quite reasonable to perceive Dany in this light.

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    36. Great post, as usual, Oz! Looking forward to more to get us through these last days.

      My condolences on the loss of your friend. And now his watch has ended. <3

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    37. Why does every damn thread about Dany turn to shit?
      So annoying. No one can have an objective discussion about her character.

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    38. wimsey,

      So you legitimately feel that someone who is born into a position is deserving of it? If that’s your view then you’re welcome to it but to try and claim someone is wrong to think that someone who believes that someone who thinks it is their duty to rule over other people because of who they are is self-entitled is arrogant.
      You’re arguing over something that is subjective. I and I’m sure many others don’t think she “deserves” the throne. Are you claiming that we are wrong because you seem to think she does? What about the Andals, The First Men or the Chldren of the Forest…maybe even the Others? They ruled before the Targaryens. Do they not take precedence? The dragons took this position by conquest, as did Robert, yet the Baratheons are not now responsible for the duty of ruling?
      Stupid going down this route as, again, it’s personal preference. Let’s not forget Dany possibly isn’t even the next in line to the Throne in the Targ line. Ultimately, no one deserves the throne until they have proven they can take it.
      I’m free to think Dany is self-entitled because she thinks she should be queen but isn’t. Jorah was wrong…she get’s more like Viserys than Rhaegar with every passing book/season.

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    39. Oz- I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Sympathies to you and all family and friends.

      Great insight and discussion about Dany – I have always viewed her as a teenage girl that was thrust into the middle of political maneuverings which were initially outside her control. Add onto that the birth of the dragons (powerful weapons) and you have a scared young person that is learning as they go. No wonder she comes off as cold or arrogant at times – look at her history. Also agree that she does not really want the crown but feels that she is duty bound to rule Westeros.

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    40. Dany is in many ways a lost young girl in search of a home. Her brother implanted the idea that Westeros is their glorious homeland and I think shes still reaching out for that fantasy. I think shes 100% following Viserys’s dream, not her own

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    41. Zeus,

      The Targaryens weren’t crazy while their dragons were living, with the exception of Maegor the Cruel, but he was conceived when Visenya was in her 40’s, under mysterious circumstances that may have involved blood magic as all of his own offspring came out twisted and deformed like Rhaego. Aemond One Eye was a terrible person but no different than the harsher lords of Westeros and he was the next worst Targaryen during the time of the Dragons. The insanity comes from not having a dragon to bond with, which Dany obviously does.

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    42. TheTouchOfFrost: So you legitimately feel that someone who is born into a position is deserving of it? If that’s your view then you’re welcome to it but to try and claim someone is wrong to think that someone who believes that someone who thinks it is their duty to rule over other people because of who they are is self-entitled is arrogant.

      Westeros isn’t a meritocracy, by this standard almost everyone in the damn series except is massively self-entitled. None of these assholes “deserve” their positions, there’s probably thousands that would do better than the best candidate for the Throne in this series, it’s a damn feudal society. Why is this criticism being mainly aimed at Dany?

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    43. And now his watch has ended.

      Sincere condolences for your loss, Oz.

      I always enjoy your articles. You have a terrific writing style including some wonderful turns of phrase and some great humor. I also appreciate the Unsullied view, as sometimes I, and I think others, can get so caught up in book vs show, even those of us who are huge fans of the show, it’s good to get such a straightforward take. Like others have already said, you have a lot of insight into Dany, and it is similar to the observations many book readers have made about her; your frustrations about her also echo many of the book readers frustrations about her character from the book. There’s definitely a sense of, “get on with it, already, please.”

      In the frustration of waiting for her to take the next step, I think much of what goes into who Dany is can get lost, for both book reader and show watchers. Yes, she’s a Targaryen, which carries with it a certain uncertainty what sort of ruler she will become (when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin [paraphrasing]). She is also a young girl, not as young as in the books, but still young, who grew up without parents. The only family she’s ever known was her psycho, abusive brother. She was not raised to rule, but instead to be a political pawn, as evidenced by her marriage to Drogo. That marriage did allow her, in a certain sense, to being to find her own power, but only within certain parameters. With the death of Viserys, and then Drogo, she’s suddenly the only one left. She’s doing her best to assert her authority, all while figuring it out as she goes along.

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    44. Nymeria Warrior Queen: She’s doing her best to assert her authority, all while figuring it out as she goes along.

      And that is a key point. You cannot write stories about internal conflicts for individuals if those individuals just get everything “right” in one go. The necessary compromises between principles and politics, priority and pragmatism, etc., are shaping Daeny, Jon, Tyrion, etc. We can bet our collective eye-teeth that GRRM and B&W have a big payoff in store where this is concerned.

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    45. OZ

      “a dragon has been misplaced.”

      LOL, oh dear OZ. So nice to read something hilarious but insightful from you. I couldn’t remember the name of this site, where you and the rest of the crew flew off to, but I certainly remembered you. Googled Oz of Thrones to find you.

      I am not so much interested in jumping into the “will Dany turn out to be a bitch on wings?” debate just yet, but I will certainly vouch for you being a good guy – except for that temporary insanity of yours over what’s-her name who got pushed through the moon-door.

      Just wanted to say I’m looking forward to the season starting and seeing what you and the rest of the crew make of it. Sorry we lost a fan.

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    46. I’ve certainly gotten an arrogant vibe from Dany, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily a character trait so much as a story trait. She’s portrayed as such a militant character due to her story of conquest, and victories naturally breed arrogance. I’d like to see some more sentimental moments, some emotion and that backstory that made her S1 material so compelling.

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    47. Let’s start a game to kill time, Rank your favorite to least favorite Game of Thrones trailer (the ones you actually remember)

      For me :
      Season 2: Trailer #2 (Seven Devils)
      Season 3: Trailer #2 (Tron Legacy: The Game Has Changed)
      Season 4: Weeks Ahead
      Season 3: Trailer #1 Extended
      Season 4: Trailer #1 (Feral Love)
      Season 1: Trailer #1 (The Game Begins)
      Season 2: Weeks Ahead
      Season 5: Trailer #1
      Season 4: Trailer #3 (Secrets)
      Season 4: Trailer #2 (Cities in Dust)
      Season 2: Teaser Trailer (Vengeance by Zack Hemsey)
      Season 3: The Beast
      Season 1 : Poison Trailer
      Season 2: Power and Grace
      Season 4: Trailer #4 (Devil Inside)

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    48. Crabber’s Son,

      Shouldn’t Jon’s line be….. “F**k off the lot o’ yers! This is my f**king wall and I’m having a long deserved p*ss!”
      Dany would have to have the final say….. “Daario? Oh, dear. He fell for me once too often. No marks. Poor splatter pattern….. As you were saying….? Dick…. er…. Jon.”

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    49. I agree with Wimsey completely. Some people here are looking at Dany’s character rather superficially, or holding her to unreasonable standards (e.g., she is no more “entitled” than any other monarch —or noble!— in the whole story!). As for those who see Dany as a self-righteous imperialist imposing her values on an alien culture, instead of the abolitionist she is, I recommend that you please take a look at this, or if you really have time, read this amazing essay. Believe me, it’s worth it! If you can’t find the time, just believe me when I say this: not everything is a freaking Iraq analogy.

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    50. Luka Nieto,

      I am in this camp also. I think people feel frustrated with D for legitimate reasons – she looked to have the most exciting yet straightforward path ahead of her, but she has taken left turn after left turn and has not been the heroine we were initially tempted with!
      This is just my interpretation of people’s general complaints about ‘self-entitlement’ and her being a ‘little girl’. These complaints aren’t supported when the character is placed in context. Read those articles Luka Nieto posted, excellent stuff.

      I thank GRRM. I find Dany to be an incredibly complex character who has perhaps her most interesting choices to make ahead. I don’t think she will end up being another Viserys, or the series’ villain, or the saviour or heroine for that matter.

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    51. Crabber’s Son,

      BRILLIANT ALL AROUND!

      Oz great perspective on Dany. There may be some action that knocks her down a few pegs. I think she is still learning and as young people sometimes lead with their egos (especially those who have ahem…dragons) the wisest will begin to learn that humility is just as important and find a balance. I’m hoping she finds that balance. She has come so far!

      and now his watch has ended. I am so sad to hear of your loss as well as the loss of an avid community member. May the Mother show him Love and Mercy and The Father judge him justly.

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    52. LordFleaBottom:

      Something to keep in mind for the people in the Danny is going to be the Mad Queen camp: The only “mad” Targaryen when dragons lived was Maegor the Cruel who was conceived by Visenya using dark magic. The Targaryen madness may have been an exaggerated dragon separation anxiety.

      Zeus:

      She’s a targaeryan. Most of them are inbred nut jobs. She is as well. I’m sure her upbringing didn’t help.

      Incest + dark magic = bad idea.

      In real life, look at the royal houses of Europe – pretty much everybody is related to one another at some point.

      Check out Charles II of Spain’s family tree. The entire thing is inward, with first cousins and uncle/nieces marrying. Yikes.

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    53. Alan:
      I’ve certainly gotten an arrogant vibe from Dany, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily a character trait so much as a story trait. She’s portrayed as such a militant character due to her story of conquest, and victories naturally breed arrogance. I’d like to see some more sentimental moments, some emotion and that backstory that made her S1 material so compelling.

      Just a little bit of self-doubt now and then would be good. For me show Danaerys is quite two-dimensional in her self-assurance. It’s as though she had a personality transplant at the end of season one and since then has barely wavered in her assurance. It makes her quite dull frankly. If she had some self-doubt along the way (which she does in the book by the way, even if it is in private), she would be a much more interesting character.

      Sincere condolences Oz.

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    54. Luka Nieto:
      However, without spoiling much, I can say Unsullied watchers shouldn’t expect this to go on forever.

      Besides committing a cardinal sin by using spoilers in an Oz post (Shame!), I disagree. The Unsullied should also experience the torture of waiting over a decade for Dany to make a move. Why should the Unsullied be treated differently? Heck, even the Sullied don’t know Dany’s travel plans after all these years (although we do speculate). 🙂

      My sincere condolences, Oz, for the loss of your friend.

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    55. I have been saying the same thing sense season half way through season 2. I was such a fan of her’s( I do think it has more to do with EC’s acting ) but, the same in the book. She is full of herself, & seems to forget that her family came over to westeros & Took thrones from other kings. You are a king as long as your butt is in the chair, once someone removes you from that chair. Then it is same thin applies to her family. I am all for freeing the slaves & all but, she doesn’t have a plan for the free people once they are free. It is like she says, Ok your are free, you are now on your own. She is a Targ, so therefore she know everything, Yeah right.

      In both book & Show I really can’t stand her any longer, and I hate that because of how much I was rooting for her at the start. She has believed her own hype.

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    56. Ross: Just a little bit of self-doubt now and then would be good. For me show Danaerys is quite two-dimensional in her self-assurance. It’s as though she had a personality transplant at the end of season one and since then has barely wavered in her assurance. It makes her quite dull frankly.If she had some self-doubt along the way (which she does in the book by the way, even if it is in private), she would be a much more interesting character.

      Sincere condolences Oz.

      Absolutely agree. And maybe some vulnerability, too. I tend to enjoy her character arc, particularly in the book, but here are many nuances to her character that aren’t being portrayed well in the show. And there’s a fair amount sort of overcompensation going on. I mean, we know she’s powerful and strong. She has dragons, a huge army, and she’s conquered Slaver’s Bay. There needs to be a softer balance to that strength, otherwise it comes off as arrogance.

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    57. I can’t get all of this “arrogance” and “self entitlement” aimed at the Dany character,I think if we went back through both the books and the shows, she would be the one who asked for and listened to advice most out of all of them. Just scruff up her hair a bit and never ever dress the bugger in blue again and all will be great!

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    58. cosca,

      Where have I condoned other characters self-entitlement? I’m talking about it in regards to Dany as that’s what the topic is!
      I’m curious as to why Dany who, as you’ve alluded to, acts like most of the other characters (certainly those with some power) in the series and yet for some reason she is not judged as harshly as the others. Is it because people are invested in her story so let it slide? Is it possibly because she is female? Although Cersei is reviled but she has extra dimensions which if we removed from the mix, would her self-entitlement be as tolerated as Dany’s is? Saying everyone is self-entitled doesn’t make the person we’re talking about any less self-entitled! For me, her self-entitlement would be more tolerable if she wasn’t so sanctimonious!

      paul,

      Again, you can listen to advice and be the nice as pie but you can still be self-entitled!
      People seem to be just assuming self-entitled is an insult (which to be fair it is often used as) and not thinking about what it means!

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    59. Just posted this in the top thread but sticking here for people still reading this one

      BALLOT TO WIN TICKETS TO GOT PREMIER AT TOWER OF LONDON NOW OPEN (sorry for shouting I’m excited)

      It’s here http://www.sky.com/tv/show/game-of-thrones/article/win-premiere-tickets

      You have to answer 1 question (name of Ned’s sword, multi-choice). Open to “UK, Isle of Man, Channel Island and Republic of Ireland residents, aged 18 years or over”. You don’t have to be a Sky subscriber and it closes at 10am Wednesday 11th March. 25 pairs up for grabs. Come on my fellow UK Watchers, one of us HAS to get some to report back to everyone else :O)

      P.S premier is evening of 18 March

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    60. Wimsey: Societies must take baby-steps.

      True. But feudalism in Westeros lasts for more than 4 thousand years (since c. 4000 years before the Targaryen Conquest). Obviously feudal Westeros has made no progress. So, it’s time for some changes. At least for some people’s uprising. All we see are wars among noble houses that give a shit about ‘small folk’. One of those noble shitters is Daenerys.

      I’m not saying/moralizing that she’s ‘bad’ (but I’m saying that Emilia is a bad/lame actress), nor that Targaryen house is ‘bad’. There’s no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ noble houses in Westeros. Regarding a struggle for power all houses are the same. And members of all of them are parasites who suppress or at least exploit ‘small folk’. Some of them fight against the Free Folk, descendants of the First Men too. The latter pose no existential threat to Westeros, but they do to feudalism of Westeros since ‘wildlings’ don’t kneel for anyone. So, Westeros ‘civilization’ is feudal for more than 4 thousand years, the TV-show should end with a bloody social revolution against ancien regime.

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    61. Uknow0: So, it’s time for some changes. At least for some people’s uprising. All we see are wars among noble houses that give a shit about ‘small folk’. One of those noble shitters is Daenerys.

      If this is true, then it is abundantly irrelevant. Indeed, of all the “noble shitters,” Daeny is the one of the only ones who displays any real empathy for commoners.

      It’s a non-issue in these stories.

      As for how the show should end, it should conclude the story. Social revolution is irrelevant to the story because none of the protagonists are concerned with it. None of them have fundamentally conflicting views on this issue: it is taken for granted that the gods put particular people in place to rule.

      TheTouchOfFrost: People seem to be just assuming self-entitled is an insult (which to be fair it is often used as) and not thinking about what it means!

      The problem is that you are using the term incorrectly OR badly misunderstanding the character. Self-entitled people are not empathetic. Daeny is empathetic. Ergo, Daeny is not self-entitled. Primogeniture is not self-entitlement: it is a now-outdated form of governance that was, for a very long time, considered the only proper form of governance in most human societies. Republicanism (in the classical sense, not the US sense of religious nationalism) is a very new idea: and one that was rejected as recently as 100 years ago as “immoral” by many people. (J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is in many ways an allegory about the immorality of republicanism.) If you were not born to it, then you had no right to it; conversely, if you were born to it, then you had no right to refuse it. Slytherins are obviously “evil” today: but 100+ years ago, it would have been the Ravenclaws who were obviously “evil.”

      Judge Daeny on that sort of world, not yours.

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    62. TheStannisInquisition,

      It almost certainly will come down to that at some point. In practical terms, it would be no contest: Stannis is a moral absolutist who is so ethically completely unfit to rule that people staging a revolution against Joffery skip him in favor of Renly!

      What will be interesting to see (and the TV show has set this up well) is how Stannis reacts to Daeny’s return. How Melisandre reacts also will be very interesting. I honestly do not know what to expect here!

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    63. Roxie: I am all for freeing the slaves & all but, she doesn’t have a plan for the free people once they are free.

      Ah, that is another common but fundamentally illogical criticism that helps prop up unjust institutions like slavery. Again, you do things one step at a time. FIRST, you end slavery. THEN you figure out what to do with them. Voltaire admonition about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good comes to mind here: you can never make things perfect, but you can make things better.

      As for Daeny “forgetting,” the plain fact is that her father was deposed by people who had sworn oaths to obey him, as was her brother and his family. Several generations of Targaryens had been accepted as rulers. Moreover, something that has come up a couple of times on the show is that Daeny thinks that her father’s supposed “insanity” is a like. So, she thinks that he was deposed under false pretenses.

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    64. Alan: Absolutely agree. And maybe some vulnerability, too. I tend to enjoy her character arc, particularly in the book, but here are many nuances to her character that aren’t being portrayed well in the show. And there’s a fair amount sort of overcompensation going on. I mean, we know she’s powerful and strong. She has dragons, a huge army, and she’s conquered Slaver’s Bay. There needs to be a softer balance to that strength, otherwise it comes off as arrogance.

      For the comparisons to her character in the books, remember -well, remember this thread isn’t the right place- but, remember the show is never going to be able to reveal her thoughts and emotions as well as the books. We haven’t REALLY seen her in a private setting in the show since I-can’t-even-remember-when, so there hasn’t been space for her to let her private thoughts and feelings show through.
      Toward the end of last season, I got the impression she did realize she’d screwed up, but was keeping the Imperious Ruler mask on for the sake of politics. Maybe there were scenes in the book that showed her doubt more explicitly that were left out of the show, I don’t know. But if that’s the case, again, it should be discussed in a different thread, not this one.

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    65. A theory: I think Dany will voluntarily give up her queenship and follow Quaithe and Melisandre into the Red rites. I also believe Dany will discover that Shireen Baratheon is the destined ruler but can only be set on the Iron Throne through Dany’s actions and not through those of Shireen’s father. In that sense, Melisandre was right, Stannis WAS the chosen one in the sense that his heir is going to rule. But Dany will come to a point where she is humbled by such trauma and such an outstanding turn of fortune that she realises how destructive she may have become – in that sense, I see her perceiving that her incredible power will benefit in a religious calling and not a worldly one. I see Dany as Shireen’s right hand, Shireen’s own Merlin. But she must have the experiences to cleanse her own corrupted soul. Then one day when Shireen is secure and mature and Westeros thrives, Dany will depart for Asshai, accompanied by Quaithe and Melisandre – the great work achieved.

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    66. Magiese: Toward the end of last season, I got the impression she did realize she’d screwed up, but was keeping the Imperious Ruler mask on for the sake of politics.

      I do not think that she realized that she “screwed up” so much as she realized that things are more complicated than she realized. That there were factions among the slavers, that not all slaves were treated terribly, etc., were not things that she had realized. However, that is the difference between intelligence and wisdom: Daeny thinks, but she is not omniscient. There is always a learning curve.

      The freed slave scene who wished to return to slavery was particularly telling. This was a new idea to Daeny: and, after all, given what she had seen of slavery, this was not the normal story. However, what Daeny did was very telling: she thought of a decent compromise. Now, Ser Barristan probably is correct: the Masters would find a way to subvert this initially to turn their new employees into little better than slaves. But the history of legislation has always been like that. Indeed, a little appreciated historical fact is that the famous Kennedy clan of American politics got into government because Joe Kennedy (father of JFK) was notoriously good at finding loopholes in laws. He broke the spirit of the law without breaking the letter of the law. FDR (who basically was in Daeny’s position) recognized that the best thing to do was bring Joe Kennedy on the team: and that resulted in laws for which it was much less easy to skirt! (That written, loopholes still were found: Joe Kennedy was good, but he was not perfect.)

      The important element of growth that we need to see from Daeny this season is whether she will latch on to any Joe Kennedy’s, or whether she will insist on trying to do it all herself.

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    67. Very nice post, Oz. Well done. And my condolences on your loss.

      From a more logistical point of view, as this is how I like to respond to these posts:

      –Who is her top advisor now? Barristan Selmy seems to be the most likely candidate. He says to Jorah (season 3) that he found for two kings, one insane, one a drunk. So we don’t know much, within the show, about the Mad King. He wanted to burn everyone before the Sack of King’s Landing, he murdered the Stark patriarch and his eldest son, and he was nuts. That’s it. We could get more insight there, one would hope.

      –What of the trailer making a significant point out of Varys and Tyrion discussing, well, “Who said anything about…him?” A potential ally for Dany, as you said – smart ones, too. Should they meet, it definitely livens up the storyline.

      –Jorah in a fighting pit is intriguing. We will have to see how the interactions change this year. Dany/Jorah was probably the oldest remaining partnership on the show (it begins around Episode 2 of Season 1 in earnest), even predating the Tyrion/Bronn relationship (1:6). So that’s a fair amount of interaction for Dany that gets replaced somehow. And Jorah won’t wander in the wilderness alone for too long, methinks.

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    68. Wimsey,

      I agree Stannis would be a somewhat poor king because of his absolute rigid moral code. However that’s what Ser Onion is there for. Also Daenerys also has a really rigid moral code that I think will be her downfall. To me they’re opposite sides of the same coin.

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    69. I do not think that she realized that she “screwed up” so much as she realized that things are more complicated than she realized. That there were factions among the slavers, that not all slaves were treated terribly, etc., were not things that she had realized. However, that is the difference between intelligence and wisdom: Daeny thinks, but she is not omniscient. There is always a learning curve.

      Oz, while I would have agreed with your assessment of Daernys if you were talking about the book character (who I really came to dislike), I think the above comment is much more apt with the tv character. Remember her age, and where she’s been – a slave herself. She has had no experience in this – few teens would. What I’d like is for her character at least listen and consider the advice given by her elders, who have seen the world and know what makes it work. She hasn’t done that lately, unfortunately.

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    70. wimsey,

      She may be empathic she may not. It doesn’t matter as she’s still self-entitled in that she thinks she deserves more than she actually does. Whether she “deserves” it or not is subjective but I and anyone else are perfectly within our rights to think that she doesn’t for whatever reason.
      Primogeniture or not. Her House have been ousted from ruling so it is no longer her/their duty. That she believes it is is yet another example of self-entitlement! So judging her by her world she’s a hypocrite as she doesn’t see anything wrong with her ancestors ruling via conquest and her current situation where she is doing the same, yet has issue with Robert’s Rebellion as he Usurped her father.

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    71. wimsey,

      The fundamental driving force of social development in the 7 kingdoms does not lie in the class antagonism (between masters and poor subjects), but exclusively in the struggle for power between lords. The active and dominant social players are members of nobility (fighting each other), ‘small’ commoners are just passive dummies, objects of subordination. The condition is similar in some cities on the continent of Essos.

      In principle, Georg Hegel was against slavery, but he was rejecting the idea that slaves should be freed ‘from above’, by ‘empathetic’ masters since given freedom is nothing else than another form of subordination. Besides, that kind of ‘freedom’ is undeserved one. It’s a matter of personal opinion whether Daenerys‘s ‘empathetic’ deeds are disservice or act of favor to ex-slaves. We cannot blame the character, but we can the script-writers. I’d prefer more active role of commoners in the story. We should see some kind of Spartacus scenario. Spartacus didn’t wait to be manumitted, he had gathered a slave-army and defied the ‘good, old’ Roman Republic.

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    72. The fundamental driving force of social development in the 7 kingdoms does not lie in the class antagonism (between masters and poor subjects), but exclusively in the struggle for power between lords. The active and dominant social players are members of nobility (fighting each other), ‘small’ commoners are just passive dummies, objects of subordination. The condition is similar in some cities on the continent of Essos.

      In principle, Georg Hegel was against slavery, but he was rejecting the idea that slaves should be freed ‘from above’, by ‘empathetic’ masters since given freedom is nothing else than another form of subordination. Besides, that kind of ‘freedom’ is undeserved one. It’s a matter of personal opinion whether Daenerys‘s ‘empathetic’ deeds are disservice or act of favor to ex-slaves. We cannot blame the character, but we can the script-writers. I’d prefer more active role of commoners in the story. We should see some kind of Spartacus scenario. Spartacus didn’t wait to be manumitted, he had gathered a slave-army and defied the ‘good, old’ Roman Republic.

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    73. I’m very disappointed with this article. I have the feeling all this Dany hatred comes mosttly from her being a woman. If this would have been a male character most of this haters would have liked him. As for arrogance Stannis is far more arrogant than Dany. And he is not really a likable character: He murdered his brother, he ridiculed his old maester and let Melisandre kill him. And this maester was the only one who cared for him as he was a child.

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    74. Starry,

      I’m not gonna cry “Misogyny!” at any Dany criticism, but I will at some of it, justifiably. The kind of criticism that revolves around her being “an entitled bitch” and things like that, while they don’t say anything about other characters who are way worse than her in that respect (say, Stannis), well… yeah, it’s probably at least partially because she’s a woman, whether they know it or not.

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    75. Starry,

      Not sure why she keeps getting compared to Stannis?! Criticising Dany doesn’t automitcally mean you can’t think Stannis is self-entitled and/or a nasty piece of work too! We could flip this and the argument could be made that Dany is still looked on favourably by the general audience because she is female. So, despite her engaging in similar behaviour to others in her position, her gender acts as a sort of shield from criticism. I don’t know whether people think; Yes, she’s doing similar unpleasant things as the male characters in power are doing but because she’s a female in a position of power, in a world where women generally have none, we’ll cut her some slack. Cersei , similarily, seems to get more sympathy than the likes of Joffrey, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, etc despite having done equally vile things. Although it’s hard to say with her as she’s a lot more of a fleshed out character and her gender doesn’t play as much of a role in her character as it does other characters.

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    76. And the reason people hate Melisandre is because she’s a woman. If she were a male character, people would call her a “badass”. Both Mel and Dany are demonized because they are women who have power.

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    77. Daenerys was the most essential and most difficult role to cast. I think we can all agree that while Emilia Clarke is serviceable, she is ultimately miscast. I think back to Anne Heche about 25 years ago on the soap opera, Another World, where she won an Emmy for playing identical twin sisters – one mercurial, the other reserved. Heche was masterful at making the characters totally distinctive and individual and if you seek out clips of her, you’ll be riveted by her skill at handling dual roles in her early 20s. The young Anne Heche would have been the perfect Daenerys had she come along 25 years later. She IS the character as I imagined it in the books.

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    78. Galli: I think we can all agree that while Emilia Clarke is serviceable, she is ultimately miscast.

      I disagree. I think she is iconic in the role, even if she isn’t the strongest actress in the show by any stretch.

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    79. Galli,

      I disagree as well.

      I think Clarke’s been great so far, particularly in seasons 1 and 3. She was way too whiny in season 2, though that’s more because of the script than anything to do with the actress, and in season 4 she went a bit too far in the “ice queen” direction for my liking. I hope we get more of those scenes in which she lets he guard down a bit. I’m hopeful, considering her storyline this season.

      It’s true that a greater actress could’ve elevated her shittier material —the middle bits of season 2 come to mind, and the later parts of season 4 after the conquest of Meereen, which felt like disconnected scenes with a connecting theme, but no actual plotline. However, the point remains that Dany’s worst moments in the show are because the script is lacking, not because of Clarke’s acting abilities. If you call that merely “serviceable”, I get that, but for me she’s had truly wonderful moments that transcend the page, particularly when the script was on point and gave Clarke the opportunity to do something great.

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    80. Galli,

      How are we getting this opinion that Dany is demonised when she’s one of the most popular characters in the show?! Melisandre isn’t particularly liked or disliked either.
      Not sure why people can’t dislike a character without being accused of being sexist!

      Emilia is fine in the role and I don’t think it’s fair to put all the blame on her acting skills for the character. To be honest, she’s mirroring the book version quite well only a bit more haughty (but also more mature) than came across to me when reading. This may be Emilia but the directors and script could also be limiting how much she can do with the character.

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    81. TheTouchOfFrost,

      You say that a lot, but I’m still confused about what you personally think.

      So, if you don’t mind, I’ll throw the question back to you: if you feel Dany is entitled and that is a problem for her character, do you feel Stannis is similarly entitled as well? If so, do you still like him? And if you do, why don’t you find his entitlement as problematic as Dany’s? And if you don’t find him as entitled, why is that? Basically, can you explain to me your feelings on this issue?

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    82. Luka Nieto,

      I find the problem with Dany being entitled is that she is presented as one of the “heroes” (or the closest the show gets to them!) so her entitlement and the hypocrisy of her attitude towards conquest and liberation goes against the character that she is being presented as. On her as a character generally, I’m not a massive fan but I don’t dislike her either. I found her initial story one of the most interesting but it’s started to flag for me. IMO I, I think it’s because she’s so far away from the other characters ( which I think GRRM realised so started shipping them out towards her) although if her story was interesting enough then it should be able to support itself. Again, it’s my preference but the Mereen stuff has been deathly dull. Slow-moving political manouvering, a massive influx of samey disposable characters most of which have hard to pronounce names that you feel less inclined to learn because you don’t assume they’ll be relevant. I dunno. Her whole story just seems to have as much direction as a drunk wandering around a sand pit. I think her development as a character has stalled and even regressed in some aspects ( The school girl crush on Daario is more annoying than endearing). But yeah on the entitlement subject , I think it hinders her character in that she is all ‘bark and no bite’ so to speak. She has had the means to invade Westeros for a while now but has been stuck in the quagmire of Slavers Bay. If she wants to be Queen of Westeros she has go to now show that she deserves it by taking it or at least trying to.
      On Stannis. Of course he’s self-entitled. Again, it’s detrimental to his character from a sympathetic viewpoint but you could argue that he could be more “deserving” than others as he technically is in direct line to the throne but more than that he’s actively pursuing it and has tried to take it. The means in which he did so weren’t particularly pleasant and empathy is no strong point of his (unlike Dany which may be why she is generally more likeable). But I think his self-entitlement is more understandable because he played the game so to speak. Looking at his backstory he held Storms End and was a key part of Robert’s Rebellion ( not to mention taking Dragonstone in the closing stages of the war and also , later, destroying the Greyjoy fleet in their rebellion) doing a lot of the donkey work to help the cause yet Robert didn’t reward him nor show any appreciation at all. Stannis “deserved” ,by the rules he and Westeros played by, more than he got but he still bit his tongue and remained loyal and dutiful. In the The War of the Five Kings he had the most legitimate claim to the Throne so I think the entitlement had some backing. The way he went about trying to take it wasn’t very pleasant but pragmatism isn’t often a nice thing. So , like Dany, I’m not a fan or a disliker of Stannis but I feel his entitlement is more bearable as he doesn’t contradict himself as much as her.
      Both have admirable qualities but self-entitlement is not one of them for either character but IMO I feel Stannis has better arguments to back his claims.

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    83. Great post Oz, as always! And now his watch is ended.

      I don’t mind Dany’s arrogance or entitlement. I can understand after all she has been raised by Viserys. And I think she will arrive in Westeros after the WW invasion not before.

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    84. Oh Great and Powerful One, how thrilling to track you down at last – and not a minute too soon! Please accept my condolences for the loss of your friend.
      I have found Dany’s arc fascinating, even when not so well written. In fact, it was accidentally seeing that closing shot of her with the newly hatched dragons on a TV somewhere that pulled me into the series in the first place. Watching her evolve from pawn to powerful, although at times frustrating, has been one of the most compelling elements of the story. As far as Emilia Clarke’s acting goes, I would say that it has been uneven, but getting better. In the scene where she banishes Ser Jorah, she was completely a teen-age girl who felt betrayed by someone who, she thought, loved her, and from whom she had expected loyalty. I was angry with her, and sympathetic all at once.

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    85. My condolences to you Oz.

      I love Dany, and I think I always will. Until she hurts Arya, Bran, Sansa, or Jon Snow. Then she is done. LOL

      I also don’t think her arrogance is that bad. She has conceded to her council in a number of occasions. She is, after all, the queen.
      Stannis and Robert did not always listen to their council.
      I didn’t mention any other king/ruler cause , well, Joffrey.. doesn’t count LOL.

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