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.
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.
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