Is Game of Thrones setting up Daenerys as ‘brittle’ and ‘unfit to rule’?


Kendall Jenner so happy with flowers

Spoilers for Game of Thrones.

After the first episode of Game of Thrones’ season 8 aired, John Bradley – who plays Samwell Tarly – gave an interview to Vanity Fair where he discussed one of his big scenes in the premiere episode. The scene was where Daenerys told Sam that she had executed his father and brother during a battle months before, in Season 7. She had given the Tarly men a choice and then, against Tyrion’s advice, she had the men burned by her dragons. John Bradley said that in Samwell’s mind, Dany was extremely cold and “psychopathic” in that scene. It was one of our bigger Game of Thrones discussions this month, and I tried to make the point that Dany – like Sansa – was being second-guessed and villainized and gaslighted because she’s a woman with power. It was all very “but her dragon emails!”

Now that we’re coming to the end of Game of Thrones, we have to decide for ourselves whether we would really want Dany on the Iron Throne, and whether she would actually make a good queen, or whether she should actually BE queen given that she now knows that Jon Snow has a better claim to it. Slate spelled out what Game of Thrones writers are trying to do this season:

Daenerys’ messianic potential seemed to be endorsed not just by internal signs—her fireproof body, her dragons—but by the extent to which the show aligned her with contemporary values. Daenerys famously came closest to voicing something viewers might recognize as proto-democracy (as Elizabeth Warren herself has pointed out). She freed slaves and promised to “break the wheel” of the status quo. Dany seemed like the closest thing Westeros had to a revolutionary leader worth following.

In its final season, though, the show’s allegiance has changed. It used to be that almost everyone except slave traffickers and corrupt kings kept talking about how extraordinary and correct and wise Daenerys was. These days, the plot is side-eyeing her choices, and characters are chafing under her command. Sansa doesn’t like Dany, for one thing. Then there’s Daenerys’ scene informing Samwell Tarly that she executed his father and brother. That incident, which has been effectively re-litigated, has been cited—by fans and commentators and Sam himself—as evidence of her cruelty and unfitness to rule….Even two of Dany’s most ride-or-die servants, Grey Worm and Missandei, are wearily contemplating a life in her service and making plans to leave as soon as decency permits.

Game of Thrones used to love its nobler contenders, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Daenerys—that sometime Chosen One—has been unchosen. It’s quite an interesting transition to watch the show attempt. It involves, among other things, some pretty extreme redefinitions. Daenerys’ ambition, which was once celebrated, functions now as brittle hubris. The awe she once inspired in people plainly isn’t working on the Northerners, the show’s current audience surrogate. She seems more jealous than benevolent, issuing veiled threats to Jon about Sansa not respecting her, and she seems to be vaguely aligned with male relatives (like her father the Mad King, or her brother Viserion, whom she cites approvingly) whose flaws she once frankly admitted. And her pretty understandable questioning of Jon’s claim to being Aegon Targaryen—that it comes, rather conveniently, from his brother and his best friend—is made to seem a little ungracious and desperate because we know that Jon’s intel is correct.

[From Slate]

Slate spells it out really well and I think they’re correct with how the writers have shifted Dany, and I would argue that she’s been a f–king mess since she came to Westeros last season. It’s like she arrived at Dragonstone and she began fighting all of the demons in her bloodline, and that’s when her obsession with bitches taking the knee really came to the forefront. It’s been pretty clear for several seasons that Dany doesn’t actually know how to be a ruler, she just knows how to be a conqueror or revolutionary or a warrior (as long as she has her dragons). It’s long been theorized that George RR Martin has planted the seeds for Dany to “go mad” like her father, and I guess this could be one endgame for the character. But I still say that Dany is second-guessed and nitpicked for being a woman with ambition.

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Photos courtesy of HBO/Game of Thrones.

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145 Responses to “Is Game of Thrones setting up Daenerys as ‘brittle’ and ‘unfit to rule’?”

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  1. Devon says:

    Maybe the “Mad Queen”?

    • Ctgirl says:

      Definitely. The closer she gets to her goal the more unstable she becomes.

    • Myrtle says:

      Power corrupts.

    • Incredulous says:

      Yeah that. My mother loathes Dany and hates the way she demands things because “Imma dragunkween” and all that entitlement implies.

    • Annaloo. says:

      This would be a TERRIBLE way for her character to go out. She was amazing and inspiring in the early seasons…how has she been reduced to crazy now? WOW

  2. Loopy says:

    Bend the knee…

    • Jennifer says:

      She’s so annoying.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I think she’s only good at being a saviour.
      She’s now arrived somewhere where arguably no-one needs to be saved. They are all saving each other.
      No one to set free from slavery, no-one allowed to live without fear of masters from one form or another.

      The gaining respect over time when people have competing interests and without threats of being burned alive by dragons isn’t something we have seen her do
      Arguably she never made or developed these skills growing up as she did and with her abundance of riches.
      She expects people to follow and side with her and she isn’t getting that. Perhaps it is normal to be brittle.

      • Justjj says:

        White Savior Totally Hair Barbie with Dragon accessories. I hope the throne isn’t hers. Emilia Clarke is stunning, but her acting is painful to watch. Dany’s character has been remarkably bland for how much screen time she’s had. The show is misogynistic. There is no way to deny that. She will not sit on the throne. Remember her vision in the house of the undying? The throne room was full of snow and she touched the throne but didn’t sit on it.

      • ChristineM says:

        I was thinking exactly this same thing @Ronaldinhio

    • Sara says:

      I don’t know why people like her so much. She’s too pure in her pursuit of ‘goodness’. She’s like America, invade places, mess up their government, demand they totally change and then split. She is 100% a conqueror but not a ruler. The only cool thing about her was she was chick with dragons who got to burn down the patriarchy, like, actually burn it. Other than that, not really so cool.

      Jon is also annoying.

      I hope Sansa ends up on the Throne.

  3. Marine says:

    Well it has been set up since Meereen the sons of the harpy.
    She has shown no interest in ruling there ,she likes to conqueror but after that she left slaver’s bay without looking back .
    She said it herself «  I am
    A queen not a politician ».
    Even Daario told her she was a conqueror.

    • Myrtle says:

      Is Daario still alive?

      • Seán says:

        Yes, Dany left him ruling Meereen at the end of S6 which seemed like a cheap way to wrap up that plotline.

        I feel the showrunners play on the “Is Dany mad” plot more than George R.R. Martin does. In the books, she’s portrayed as being more good-hearted and kind even though she does make mistakes (and we’re privy to her thought process too). I do think Dany will accidentally commit heinous acts with her dragons in future books, be briefly tempted to the dark side but will eventually go down a hero. I hope the show will pull of a similar feat in the show.

      • Myrtle says:

        Thanks Sean – that’s what I thought. Perhaps we will see him again…in King’s Landing? And what about Melisandre? She’s not dead yet, either…

  4. ReginaGeorge says:

    Dany has always been a bit problematic. It’s just that she was placed as a hero early on that people overlooked her colonizer ways. Now that she’s totally pulling a Gollum and acting like the throne is
    her “precious” are people seeing it more.
    But without Ser Barristan, Jorah and now Tyrion and Varys to reign her in, she’d be another petulant ruler. And I say this as someone whose rooted for Dany to grow and mature especially with the influences around her.
    She burned Mirri Mazz Durr because she didn’t cure Drogo after Dany pretty much commanded her to, but he and his people had just pillaged and burned down her village and she herself had been raped over and over. Like “colonizer is commanding me to do what?”
    She crucified all of the Masters without a trial and as Hizdar told her that although her father was part of that circle, he didn’t agree with a lot of their ways, and Hizdar felt that was unjust.
    Then she goes burning people alive, which is something that had Stannis army abandoning him for and Jon showing Mance the mercy of an arrow over, because burning people alive is just cruel.
    She can be ruthless and not so just as she’d like to think she at times. And it comes back to bite her in the ass.
    I’m still hoping she doesn’t go down the villain route

    • Megan says:

      I think this is a plot device. They set her up to be the villain and when she gloriously sacrifices herself for the greater good we’ll all realize we were wrong about Dany. Dany’s gone mad, the crypts are the safest place … the writing since they have moved beyond the books has been bad.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        I hope it ends that way for her or in a way at least that doesn’t have her descending into the pitts of Mad Queeness. I always felt that if Dany and Jon ever got together, they would temper each other with their opposite approaches. We saw some of that when she asked his advice before the Loot train episode and she listened. And he needs to become a bit more aggressive as well.

    • cas says:

      Spoiler Daenerys is the villain

      I’m calling it. The Starks will be wiped out at Winterfell. So will everyone else, except perhaps Jaime, who has to have it out with Cersei. Daenerys will kill Jon Snow before flying to Dragonstone to recoup. She will tell Yara that Jon died in battle. The Night King and Daenerys will fight it out in King’s Landing. Yara suspects that that is not the truth. She knows that she has to go to King’s Landing to save the people. Jaime will make his way to King’s Landing to see Cersei.

      At King’s Landing, Euron has taken the throne from Cersei. She is in prison? He is now Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Yara is then one move away from the throne. Yara is a good, proven leader who is ambitious, but also believes in the rule of law. She would not execute prisoners of war – even the blooming Nazis did not do that! She will defeat Euron. She will defeat Daenerys/the Night King – both are as bad as each other, so whichever is left standing has to go. Yara will be the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. She will name Jaime and Cersei’s child as her heir – thus uniting the two houses still at war.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        I dont think all Starks will be wiped out. I think Arya will survive. I think Sansa will as well.
        Someone caught a screenshot of the trailer that shows Dany and Jon in front of the fireplace at Dragonstone. So I think the survivors end up there.
        There was a drone pic of Kings Landing before the crew had to get that shit down, that shows Jon walking around solo through the exterior of the castle so I wonder, if that’s legit and not an intentional leak by producers to throw us off, he’s making it.
        I think both Jaime and Hound survive to fulfill their purposes. Killing Cersei for Jaime and Cleganebowl for Hound

      • Meganbot2000 says:

        Supposedly
        S
        P
        O
        I
        L
        R
        R

        Jaime and Brienne filmed a sex scene, so they survive the BoW.

  5. Loretta says:

    If she was a man, this story would be very different but of course for a woman to have ambition is bad.

    • broodytrudy says:

      Stannis the Mannis certainly comes to mind, doesn’t he?

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        When Stannis burned Shireen, half of his army abandoned him over it. Those who followed Renly did so because they felt Stannis was a fanatic who liked to burn people. When he tried to burn Mance, Jon sort of defied him by putting an arrow through his heart as a mercy because most people think burning folks alive is cruel and dishonorable. Pass the sentence and swing the sword and be done with it.

      • broodytrudy says:

        Stannis still has a HUGE online devotion though. That’s the point i was trying to make. We didn’t have this conversation around Stannis when he went bsc, and even now it’s barely stuck.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        I think most of the major characters have their supporters in the Fandom that can’t look at their favorite characters objectively. Dany has a huugggee following of defenders on the reddit threads and on other fan sites. They’re so hard core some have come to call them Danytards which is awful. Someone once accused me of being a “Danytard” because I wasn’t crapping all over her character and still believe in her.
        I’ve been following all of them long enough to know that some of the worst characters have become some of my favorite characters because their development has been so deep and rich and that’s part of the genius of this story. I think the only really pure and innocent characters in their convictions are Brienne, Pod, Missandei and maybe even Jon but everyone else can be so Grey at times. The strongest characters are the ones very morally grey. Like Theon, Jaime and the Hound.

      • North of Boston says:

        Stannis burning his innocent daughter…in the hopes it would grant him magic power to take the throne was pretty indefensible no matter how you look at it.

        Dany giving the Tarly’s the option of deferring to her rule, since she had just defeated them, or dying. They chose to not deferring to her rule…so….

        Sure, she had the option of taking them as prisoners of war, but she decided to set an example of them as one of her first conquests in Westeros. Not touchy/feely, sure, but also well in line with what other ‘rulers’ / conquerors in Westeros have done. And they were enemy combatants, not innocent children like Shireen was.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yep. I can think of plenty of fantasy series where male revolutionaries get to find love and rule from the throne by the end. Apparently, women don’t get the same privileges in storytelling.

    • ByTheSea says:

      I disagree. This series has been pretty even on the male/female thing. Sucky would be rulers (Stannis, Joffrey, Renly, etc.) get their due. She should get hers, even if she’s a woman.

    • Himmiefan says:

      Well, the burning people alive is a bad thing, after all. The closer Dany gets to the throne, the worse she gets. I think she got a dose of reality when Theon said that he wanted to fight for Winterfell. I think, or hope, she sees that people willingly follow Sansa because she puts their needs first snd doesn’t demand blind loyalty like Dany does.

      Oh well, both Jon snd Dany are toast. Tyrion for the Iron Throne!

    • Isabelle says:

      uh…the show is full of men now dead that were displayed as awful people because they were power hungry. Little Finger being only one example.

      • Erinn says:

        Plus, it’s a lot easier to find issues with someone who’s been a main character throughout the whole series as opposed to someone only mentioned post-mortem, or who only pops in and out occasionally, or who died early on.

    • Laur says:

      I really don’t think that’s the case, her dad has had more than his fair share of blame for his failings as have other Kings. I think it’s more complex than ‘oh she’s a female so of course they criticise her’. She’s struggling with her Targ background as well as finding her feet as a ruler now that she is starting to ‘get her way’.

    • msd says:

      With respect, I disagree. She has done plenty of things in the last few seasons that would see her cast as a villain if she was a man, too. I think the show has always been about absolute power corrupting absolutely, irrespective of gender. Now that doesn’t mean that some fans aren’t judging her more harshly for being a woman – what’s new in fandom – but that’s different from what the books and the show are trying to say. I believe that the challenge for Dany, if she wants to save herself, is to reject absolute power (the Iron Throne) before it corrupts absolutely (Mad Queen). Unlike some people I don’t think that’s her ultimate path. Cersei is essentially fulfilling the role of tyrant. We don’t need two. Ultimately I think we’re going to see the Iron Throne destroyed, literally and metaphorically, and a new system, a true ‘breaking of the wheel’ that ends feudalism. It won’t be democracy – that would be a ridiculous leap in one go – but rather separate kingdoms with a council of men and women rather than a monarch making decisions. If Dany doesn’t realise that she needs to let go of ‘I was born to rule the Iron Throne’ then she will die. If she does realise that then she’ll choose to sail away from Westeros after conquering, thus ‘breaking the wheel’ but just not in the way she envisioned. They will write about her as Daenerys the Conqueror or Daenerys the Savior but not Daenerys the Ruler.

  6. Mia4s says:

    There’s some side-eye worthy elements and there are some legitimate ones. She’s a great general and conqueror, and she’s a dreadful politician. The right outcome to who sits on the Iron Throne is likely no one. It’s time for the kingdoms to govern themselves.

    If there is to be someone on the throne? I will be stunned (and kind of disappointed) if it is Jon Snow or Daenerys. Too obvious. Surprise me.

    • Becks1 says:

      I kind of would like to see it be Jon Snow, only because his face would just be so shell shocked if that happened, lol. But in general, him or Dany – too tidy and obvious an ending.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Mia4S, I think you nailed it. She’s a great conqueror but a lousy ruler. I don’t necessarily think the writers are trying to “set her up” to fail or be insane or whatnot, it’s just that she has zero experience as a leader and every time she’s tried to compromise or play nice before it’s backfired. Her bloodline doesn’t help, of course, because there are some Targs who had issues – to put it mildly.

      (Also, I know not everyone has read the books but there’s several examples of Targaryens being a bit crazy or power mad or both…men and women. The Dance of Dragons came about because of family members fighting amongst themselves for the throne, after all. Being a bit unhinged is not exclusive to Dany, assuming she even is.)

      As for who’ll sit on the Iron Throne, I say Gendry!

  7. Becks1 says:

    I think its interesting that many see this is as a sudden change in Dany over the past season, because to me, this has been the progression of her character. She has grown and gotten stronger, yes, but also gotten harder. I think right now she is becoming more extreme because she is thisclose to her final goal, and she sees it slipping away from her fingers, so she is starting to become more bitter.

    I also think that she was greeted as such a hero by the freed slaves, that it kind of skewed her thoughts on how she would received in Westeros. I think she thought that the Westerosis would view her the same – as the person coming to free them from their “slavery” – and they don’t, and she doesn’t know where to go from there.

    Now that said – I think this is part of the problem with the pacing of the series. If you have always been a Dany fan, then seeing the sudden change the show is making with her character does seem pretty sexist and anti-strong-woman-leader (although Sansa has become more appealing IMO as she has become a stronger leader.) But I think if you are more like me, and have been more wary of Dany over the course of the series, this does not seem as sudden.

    • Marine says:

      I am like you since the end of season 1 I have felt she was problematic.
      I may have liken her to Joffrey with her entitlement and tantrum .

      And always remember she is against slavery when it suits she only released the unsullied because she couldn’t afford them.

      I m sorry I have strong opinions about her and her «  white saviour » image always. Rubbed the wrong way and her extra special ness.

      • Pamela says:

        Jajajaja, she’s against slavery when it suits? She was against slavery w the dothrakis too, but sure, let’s pile everything against her& make her seem like the bad guy. There wasn’t one scene in the whole series when she was pro slavery, her husband died bc she refused dothrakis taking slaves & raping them, it was not about not being able to afford them. Did she change her mind about being pro slavery from Essos to Westeros? She didn’t. THIS FANDOM IS SEXIST AF. Daenerys hasn’t made more mistakes than any other character in the show, in any case no one is fit to rule Westeros, but she’s the one being called out

      • Becks1 says:

        She’s the one being called out because THIS POST IS ABOUT HER. I don’t understand that criticism. If Kaiser started a post about why Jon Snow would be problematic as a ruler, we could discuss his issues too.

        The women right now are the ones being picked apart for being problematic as rulers because right now, it looks like the most likely contenders for the throne are Cersei or Dany (maybe Jon.) I don’t think it will be either one of them, I think someone else will end up with it, but its not sexist to be debating whether one of those final contenders would actually be a good leader, and frankly the constant criticism that such a debate IS sexist is tiresome.

      • Pamela says:

        And yet I don’t see articles calling out the men? Did you see any article calling out Tyrion? He’s the reason of Dany’s failures in Westeros, after all he’s the one who is supposed to know how to win against his own family. Did you saw any article calling him mad when he used wildfire to win against Stannis? Did you see any article calling Stannis mad when he burned people? Did we see any article questioning Jon unfit to rule despite the fact he only united people in the wall bc of the white walkers before that both wildlings & crows were against him. The only reason people believe Jon would be good to rule is bc he doesn’t want it. And yes I know this article is about Daenerys, funny we never question the men in similar articles & then we say, why is people so against Hillary? I don’t know, maybe bc we push that same narrative w other women or w similar female characters ourselves

      • Becks1 says:

        I think you are taking this a little bit too seriously. I’m having trouble reading through your Walls of Text.

        The GOT fandom, and this site in particular, has spent plenty of time criticizing the men (and as it happens, most of the really crazy men, like Stannis, Joffrey etc, have died.)

        Have a good day.

      • Ugh says:

        LOL oh Pamela you are so extra

      • Original T.C. says:

        “And yet I don’t see articles calling out the men? Did you see any article calling out Tyrion?”

        I think you have it backwards. These articles are in defense of Dany and calling out sexism. They are articles using GOT for social commentary about sexism. Google search the amount of writing in popular magazines or blogs defending Tyrion vs those in defense of Dany or Sansa.

        These writers choose *not* to write about poor treatment of the male characters (Ned, Robb. Jon) or the characters with ambition that came to a bad end (see all the kings once fighting for the throne and now dead. No ‘isms are placed on these males characters thus no social commentary in poppy lair mags.

        However, go to any GOT blogs and you will see equal opportunity trashing and praising of all characters. I feel like these sexism articles actually demean the female characters. They fail to take in the “grey” and complex nature of the female characters. They want them to just be good and have good outcomes. You can get that in a billion fiction books and romance novel. Dany is no different than her male relatives and her end has been foreshadowed since the house of the undying. If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention!!

      • Korra says:

        Pamela, there are a ton of thought pieces out there about the decline Tyrion as a character and how he want from being the smartest character on the show to the most foolish. And if you are willing to go back multiple years, you will see that Jon Snow has consistently been the brunt of negative thought pieces that basically decimate him as a character. So spare us with the “Dany is being picked on” nonsense.

      • Isabelle says:

        Pamela–are you watching the same show as the rest of us?
        Tyrion has a master plan–and it is this one thing, to keep Dany focused on the dead and keep her attention off of the Throne. All of his decisions are indicating it. He is so called failing on purpose. That is his big secret we will find out in the end.
        It is why Bran looked at him in the meeting room when Dany chastised him.

    • Lindy says:

      You’ve summed it up perfectly! I especially think the juxtaposition of Dany and Sansa in this last episode was thought provoking.

      Sansa has been through as much if not worse than Dany as far as rape and torment. She became hard and brittle for awhile. But we can see her as she’s had to step into her role as the Lady of Winterfell becoming more human, thinking about how to take care of those who depend on her, allowing herself to take comfort in her family again after so many years of not knowing their fates.

      And meanwhile, Dany seems to be increasingly less humane, less connected to her original reasons for wanting the freedom of others, less concerned with the daily grind of building a just realm.

      I liked what Slate had to say, and I do think we should be on the lookout for those sexist elements in the way Dany’s character gets written. It does feel a little heavy handed.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      I agree, the pacing is more the problem and they don’t have the time to lead up to it more. Also, once you crowd surf the people who have complete adoration for you, it’s kind of an expectation, right? While they’re using the north as a mirror, the north also isn’t the ideal society. But despite the pacing, I agree too that this has been foreshadowed for awhile. I remember Cersai and Tyrion talking about the Targaryen’s flipping a coin with each birth about whether this child would off or not, as they discussed her and Jamie having children together (which may explain Joffrey). Like @Lindy said and the piece (love feels like “but her dragon emails) doesn’t mean it’s not sexist, but there’s more nuance too.

  8. Div says:

    My problem has always been that neither Jon nor Dany seem equipped to rule (although Dany is better than Jon who got merked by his own men). Their claim comes from being of the bloodline of a dynasty that conquered through extreme violence three hundred years ago in a land that is thousands of years old.

    Furthermore, this is a land where parents sins are held against the children and Dany’s father and Jon’s father and mother basically started a war (Dany’s father by going all fire happy and being insane, Jon’s parents by running off, not telling anyone and abandoning his princely duties along with Rhaegar’s wife and heir, and not coming out from Dorne to try and stop the war while it waged on for a year). Realistically, it makes no sense for the Northerners to be like “oh great, you’re Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son” when they are already wary of Targs.

  9. Lightpurple says:

    While Jon was such a great ruler as Lord Commander that his subordinates murdered him.

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      Yeah but that was the “boy” Jon that Aemon told him to “kill”. Boy Jon was too merciful. Man Jon resurrected and executed the dissenters. And Jon makes his mistakes for the opposite reasons as Dany. Because he was too much like Ned in a world of Cersei’s and Littlefingers which is what Sansa is trying to teach him.
      Dany makes her mistakes because she’s too “join me or die” at times.

      • Pamela says:

        And him executing the dissenters wasn’t join me or die as well? He didn’t give them a choice either, he was Lord Commander. Was it a democratic decision to let the wildlings pass the wall? No, they just had to accept it. You can say, yes but that was the right choice, the white walkers were there. If there wasn’t any white walkers, would Jon try to unite wildlings w the rest of men? Or just accept the status quo? That they’re lesser men than they are. The circumstances raised Jon to be the hero, but he would have accepted the state of things, Daenerys didn’t. The only people who have really ruled in the story, have been Tyrion, Tywin, Cersei, Joffrey & Daenerys. Stannis was looking to rule but he didn’t, just like Renly & we never get to see the failures of their governments. Tywin in many ways was the better ruler of them all, and he ruled by being ruthless. His house was the most prosperous, he put his kids in good positions in the government, he was the real king while Joffrey was “ruling”. But he ruled a country that didn’t have major problems, Daenerys ruled in a different part of the world, where she was bringing extreme change which was destroying slavery, the problems of her government came from there, plus her dragons, so she locked them up. I mean I don’t understand what people want from her, maybe that she have killed herself when Drogo died, but they still need her bc of the White Walkers. So the best scenario so everyone is happy is Daenerys brings her dragons, she destroys the white walkers & she dies fighting them, then the Starks rule, isn’t it better when women become a medium for the success of others & then they just dissapear?

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Pamela,

        They were men of the Night’s Watch who swore oaths to uphold the laws of the Watch. They mutineered and executed their Lord Commander. That’s not “join me or die” that was literally against their laws.The punishment for that being death. And true to Ned’s words, he who passed the sentence should swing the sword. And that he did. No one did the executing for him.
        When the men at Crasters mutineered against Jeor, they were also executed by the NW that went back to avenge Lord Commander Mormont.

      • Pamela says:

        The Laws of the watch doesn’t mean do everything the Lord Commander says, wasn’t part of the watch history that crows & wildlings were always against the other? I’m not saying Jon did wrong in killing them, but I can understand why they betray them too. Those are the hard decisions w ruling. Jon learned to understand the wildlings bc he fell in love with one, bc he was forced to live w them, before that, he had a privileged life. Yes, he was a bastard & Cat and Sansa didn’t like him, but the rest of his siblings did & Ned treated him as one of his sons. He grew up w good role models & yet he considered the wildlings lesser than him. Daenerys grew up as the “beggar queen” along w Viserys, she didn’t have good role models, and she makes mistakes, but she has good intentions & a radical idea that is the main cause of her problems in Essos, which is she wants to destroy slavery. She never considered the dothrakis, the slaves or the unsullied lesser than her. She never forced them to follow her. She could have taken the slaves of Yunkai & Mereen to fight her war in Westeros, that’s what a conqueror does. Instead she liberated them, stayed to secure peace & then allowed them to choose their own rulers.

      • Original T.C. says:

        “Boy Jon was too merciful. Man Jon resurrected and executed the dissenters”

        They committed treason and broke the law, the penalty is death. Jon was doing his duty so no he did not change. And he kept the Nightswatch integrated with the Wildings. He bowed to Dany for the greater good. Still the same Boy Scout. Just like Ned killed the escaped Nights Watchman as part of the law. Ned did not change after being arrested, wouldn’t tell a lie or betray Cersei’s secrets and ended up with his head cut off. It’s strange how people fail to see the flaws clearly presented in the males yet go nuts over failures shown by women.

  10. Veronica S. says:

    They’re setting her up as a foil to Cersei. Cersei is somebody who allows power to stand before anything else in her life. Dany will be tempted to do the same but ultimately make the wiser choice to put family/friends before power when it comes down to it. It’s pretty obvious writing on the wall if you’re familiar with fantasy tropes.

    This being said, it’s writing that annoys the ever living f*ck out of me because it’s misogynistic AF. It’s beyond gross to me that Sansa is held up by some people as the idea of what a queen should be when the only reason she’s at all wise and thoughtful is because she’s been through hell. Yes…BECAUSE SHE WAS RAPED. Which is beyond f*cked as a plot device to “humble” a woman, but it’s also irritating because it ignores the fact that Dany is a victim of similar circumstances. Sansa grew up in privilege. It was her own selfish choices that led to her downfall. Jon failed up into a much better life than most bastards could have. Dany is the one who actually grew up impoverished, trapped, trafficked. She’s the one who had to walk through fire to grasp a handhold in power. And it’s beyond frustrating to see that thwarted by the show writers and male cast, twisting the story GRRM set out to tell with Dany, turning her into an object of derision when she finally moved into a position of power.

    • Kath says:

      It was definitely not Sansa’s choices that led to her downfall. That is a ridiculous statement. The only thing she did wrong was trust Cersei in season 1, however, bear in mind that she was 13 and had no reason to mistrust the queen. Afterwards she was just trying to survive.
      Daenerys no longer has any excuses for her behavior and she was always problematic. She had a position of power since season 1. Killing people by locking them in vaults, burning them… always the worst deaths. Targaryens being this way is part of the lore, man and women alike.
      However I don’t think they are setting her up to be crazy, but I do believe she will have to have a reality check. She knows nothing of the land she claims is her right to rule, and so far hasn’t show the slightest interest in its people and understanding their culture. That’s not a ruler, that’s a conqueror.
      Sansa is being admired because she suffered through hell (not just rape, that was just the latest hell), and she came out understanding her people and what they need, and working towards giving them that with diplomacy

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, the notion that Sansa made her own choices that led to her downfall is probably one of the most sexist statements on here, if we want to talk about criticism towards a woman as being sexist. Sansa made mistakes, but very early on she lost her agency, and has only recently gained it back (as opposed to Dany, who started out with zero agency, and gradually gained more and more over the course of the show.)

        Both women have experienced pretty brutal things so I’m not willing to say which one had it worse; both survived and have emerged as strong leaders, its just now a matter of what they do next.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Sansa lost her agency because she made foolish, selfish choices in the first season. Which is *fine* because she was thirteen, and that’s the kind of shit that spoiled thirteen year olds do. The tragedy is that she was playing a game well beyond her understanding and maturity, and she suffered horrific consequences that well exceeded any “punishment” she may have deserved for her missteps. (If she even deserved any.) That’s why it’s called Game of Thrones – the stakes are so high. People suffer unimaginably for it. Her fall from grace is vicious, but it’s the show writers that took it into completely f*cked up territory by substituting her for Ramsey’s wife in the books, which made her a rape victim on top of it. Don’t accuse me of sexism – the writers did that shit. They’re the ones who decided Sansa’s humbling required sexual assault. (Hell, the fact that she even needed “humbling” is ridiculously sexist. She was young! She had time to learn!)

        My issue is the show framing Dany as a conqueror and a colonialist, when she comes from a position of marginalization to power. The people she’s burning alive aren’t innocents. They’re slavers or outright opposition. (Tarly had betrayed Olenna previously, I’m not really interested in feeling bad for him for miscalculating what allies to make.) All of the male characters in the series have made equally brutal decisions on their way to power. I get annoyed that Dany is singled out by the writers and actors…why? Because she’s currently the one holding the most effective weapons? I’m fine with her having to develop into a better leader, since her story starts when she was FOURTEEN, but the way her actions are framed compared to other male characters who have done equally brutal things is baffling to me.

        My point is that it’s f*cking gross for the writers to write two sexually trafficked female characters into a storyline where they’re in moral opposition, with Sansa being held up as the wiser one. Sansa growing and learning is fine. She made mistakes. She learned from them. But positioning Dany as somebody who is headed for madness or villainy when earlier seasons framed her as revolutionary and well-intention is f*cked up. Not to mention redundant and shitty writing – you already have Cersei! The woman who’s lived in privilege her whole life, who pursues power over everything else.

    • Kath says:

      Ned would have never won. Sansa would lose her agency anyways. Or are you pinning Ned’s beheading entirely on her? Ignoring all of his mistakes?
      And I disagree that Sansa’s rape was the writers “humbling” her. That’s entirely your opinion, not a fact. I see it as part of her shitty journey. Similar things would have happened if she stayed in King’s landing. I don’t think the character needed to be humbled from the moment they took her father’s head in front of her. In fact, most people from that point on just felt sorry for her, apart from a few hardcore anti-sansa fans, in which we can definitely argue misogyny for their hatred of her.
      And Dany wasn’t always painted as a pristine character in the first seasons and that just suddenly started to change. She was always incredibly grey for me. And if you rewatch you can definitely find things that she did which are a bit too much early on (I wouldn’t say during the first season, but season 2 onwards it became a thing)
      And yes, male characters have done worst, but they were punished for it. Stannis did horrible things, and guess what, he died! Ramsay was punished, Tywin, Frey, Jamie (lost his hand)….
      Jon Snow may be stupid but he never did horrible things. He killed the man who killed him not because they wouldn’t “bend the knee”, but because they committed treason. They literally killed him. I can’t think of any other inexcusable things that Jon did.
      Tyrion killed people in Blackwater but it was in a battle scenario. Nobody is blaming Daenerys for the Lannister soldiers she barbecued.
      Even in Meeren she burned the masters alive during the hole Harpy thing without even knowing who was innocent or not. And she throughly didn’t care.
      Sansa and Dany are in opposition because they have different goals. Sansa is fighting for her people and their goals while Dany is just outright obsessed with the Iron throne. If she had, at any point, talked abou the people, the land, what they want… I would be more onboard of her ruling in the end. But Dany doesn’t care about anything but that bloody throne, and that is definitely not who I would want ruling anything

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Kath,

        Completely agree. Though I can understand why people have a dislike for Sansa. Most of it is due to her naiveté and being depicted a little bit on the “uppity” side. And being compared to Arya who was more like Lyanna Mormont.
        When I went back to re-watch I was reminded why I disliked Sansa early on, but she was orphaned and raised as a ward of the worst people in KL and I think it’s a testament to her character that she retained a lot of the qualities of her father, but developed and more pragmatic approach at dealing with conniving people.

      • Becks1 says:

        I haaaated Sansa for maybe….the first half of the series? It wasn’t really until she married Tyrion, and was at the wedding where her brother’s death was announced, that I started to like her. I mean I felt sorry for her, with the whole betrothed-to-Joffrey and -father-was-beheaded stuff, but I didn’t like her for a while after that. I think they have let her character grow in a good way.

      • entine says:

        rape humbled her? really?
        I thought all she suffered, her father executed in front of her, the killing of her family, losing everything and everyone close and dear to her, her humiliation by her former bethroted in front of everyone because she represented the last shred of the starks, thepeople who dared to defy the Lannisters er.. Baratheon’s power.
        Trusting that sneaky little finger was her salvation and her doom.
        Her character has suffered at least as any of the others, but her journey has taught her things that she was absolutely oblivious about before, while others have turned into dust or wights.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Agree Becks1!

      • Kath says:

        ReginaGeorge and Becks1

        I mean, it’s totally okay do not like a character. My main point was regarding Veronica S’s point of the writers “humbling her” through Ramsay, which I think is a horrible and misguided way of looking at it. When I’m almost sure, like you said, that most people actually felt sorry for her after season 1, even if they didn’t like her. I think most decent people would find it quite hard to cheer for a little orphan girl to suffer, regarless of past priviledge and their personal like/dislike of the character.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Kath – oh, I’m with you. I was just offering my random thoughts on Sansa, ha. I agree with everything you said. And yes – she was a sympathetic figure before the rapes. It was how she destroyed Ramsey and what happened after that made me think, you go Sansa!!!!

  11. Eleonor says:

    While she has all my sympathy for what she went through, I have always thought she is not a ruler: the only plan she has is to get the Iron Throne and then? Robert Baratheon wanted to get rid of the mad king, but a he wasn’t a ruler either, he was an awful king.
    In the only conversation she had with Sansa, Sansa asked about the fate of the North, she wanted an answer because she feel responsible, she is the daughter of Ned Stark, she was raised by the Stark, while Dany was raised by her delusional brother, who wanted the throne back, but no other plan was involved.

  12. broodytrudy says:

    Oh boy, our reigning Dany stan is gonna have your head, Kaiser.

    I really think this is an issue with poor writing, but also, duh? A very large amount of people who have been watching have been discussing this since like, season 2 or 3. I certainly don’t see the “sudden change” everyone has been talking about. It’s been building up for literally seasons now, she’s just not had interesting characters to contrast against.

    But poor writing as well, and as I’ve been moaning about for like 3 seasons. Dany is extremely complex (as is Sansa) and no one wants to put in the work to fully flesh them out in these last few seasons.

    • Becks1 says:

      there’s a new one. Eek. Who knew debating Dany would be even more controversial then a royal or Kardashian post?

      • broodytrudy says:

        This thread is bsc. It’s almost like you can…like multiple characters? You can realize that most characters, particularly in this show, have flaws that might be fatal? You can point out the flaws of a specific character without being sexist? You can just choose to dislike a character without any rational. It seems like those yelling the most about pitting women against each other are doing exactly that with Sansa and Dany. Yikes.

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      For real. It’s not that serious. The beauty of this entire series is that most of the characters are human and have flaws and someone that you may have hated and wanted to die S1 has become rehabilitated due to circumstances and growth. But none of them is above critisim or perfect. Male or female. We stared this journey with crappy all-male rulers who have received their comeuppance. Now the people in power are mostly female. Yara, Cersei, Dany, Sansa, Olenna before she died. Brienne and Arya are bad asses and unapologetic about blurring the lines about what role women are supposed to have. I think it’s pretty balanced.

  13. PlayItAgain says:

    Daario had it right a few seasons ago. She’s a conqueror. She’s obsessed with it and has been good at it as long as she could capitalize on an undeclared army in each city (the former slaves in Essos). She’d march up to a city, turn the slaves against their masters, and conquer from within.
    It doesn’t work that way in Westeros, and she hasn’t been doing very well. She lost her three allies. She tells people to submit or die, and consoles herself that she’s giving them a choice, but that’s a pretty crappy choice.
    She says she wants to break the wheel, but what does that really mean? She still sees herself on the throne, so how does that break the status quo?

    • DS9 says:

      I don’t see what wheel there is to break in Westeros unless she’s looking to set up a republic or communism.

      She freed slaves in other places but Joreh was exiled for engaging in slavery, wasn’t he? There are peasants, the poor, and other marginalized people but I don’t recall any slaves…

      Side note but I’m mostly just here to watch two people in particular have a come apart as they twist themselves backwards to glorify Dany and denegrate Sansa over the same exact thing.

      • broodytrudy says:

        DS9 you might enjoy r/selfawarewolves. It’s basically a million examples of those two (and waiting on a third, right?) posters.

  14. The other Kiki says:

    I’ve seen this coming for several seasons. It’s painfully obvious upon a rewatch. She’s entitled and not a good leader. It’s kind of pathetic now watching her whine to the Dothraki about how she’s a queen, no better than her brother. She acts like a brat when people tell her no. She disrespects traditions, like doesn’t even bother to understand them before rejecting them. She straight up hijacked the Unsullied army in a really brutal and underhanded way. Then she freed all the slaves… only to take them on as her own slaves? But of course it’s ok because she gave everyone a choice, except not really.

    • Marine says:

      Thank you !!
      I ve often being criticized for say what you’re saying .
      I am pretty sure if she had been a man and not a cute blonde people would have picked up on her early.

      • Pamela says:

        If she had been a man? You mean Jon whose own men killed him bc they didn’t agree w his choice, but fans villainized them bc he’s supposed to be the hero instead of understanding their choice, remember the whole FUCK OLLY thing?. I didn’t read any FUCK THE TARLYS, despite the fact Olly had better reasons for taking his choice than the Tarlys. Or Stannis who people defend over Daenerys? How about Tyrion, he made more mistakes than Daenerys & he also burned people alive, but he’s a fan favorite? Yes, Daenerys gets so much love, mainly from her own gender (rolls eyes)

      • Marine says:

        Look at it she lorded over people of colour ne er respected their traditions used them for her own gain.

        She wants to reinstate a family that has bed happily ousted no one wants the Targaryen back.
        She is always treats people like objects .

        I m sorry people like her cause she is pretty and was victim at the beginning.
        We are talking about someone who cheered when her husband talked about pillaging and raping.
        Daenerys always created the conflicts.
        Stannis was in war so was Jon …
        What did Meereen Qarth and Yunkai did to her ?
        She still got her own slaves after that …
        Many other female characters have been dragged for much less like Sansa ….
        So yes if she had been a man people would clocked earlier that she was the threat from the east …
        I personally want to iron throne gone that thing shouldn’t exist it s Aegon s the 1st invention and never stopped wars .

    • ByTheSea says:

      Just re-watched the whole thing and I can’t understand the comments about how if anyone complains about her problematic behavior, it’s because of sexism.

    • Pamela says:

      I don’t like her bc she’s pretty or bc she’s blonde, she wasn’t even my favorite, that was Brienne, but I’m tired of the double standards of the fandom. It is sexist bc her problematic behaviour is the only one being called out & maxified to make her seem like a villain. I mean, people saying she’s mad, power hungry? Really? i can give examples against that, marrying someone to bring peace instead of burning them all, giving Yara the independence of the Iron Islands, locking her own dragons to bring peace, etc. People only pick on Daenerys bc they prefer the Starks. She cheered when Drogo said he would kill other people? I didn’t see her cheering, I saw her being excited about him saying he would take the iron throne for her after she was almost killed. She didn’t even smile, she looked I don’t know surprised. And she was againt pillaging & raping, remember how Drogo died? Bc she tried to stop that & Drogo went against his generals for her. In fact the dothrakis have stopped pillaging under her. What did Mereen & Yunkai did was basically keeping slaves. Didn’t she gave them a choice? She didn’t want to rule over them, she met the slave masters before she attacked to ask them to change their ways, but instead they offered her money so she would leave. I mean that’s part of breaking the wheel, now Yunkai & Mereen are the closest thing we would see to a democracy in GOT bc Daenerys is not ruling in there anymore, they’re choosing their own leaders. All of the heroes in GOT except Daenerys have been ok w keeping the establishment, but she’s questioned bc she wants to change things. Some may say but she also wants the throne, true for now, but I don’t think there would be a throne at the end, and if there is it’s not going to be the same as when Aegon or the rest of monarchs ruled.

      • Léna says:

        Lol Pamela you are really going at it today.

      • DS9 says:

        Daenerys fostered something of a democracy in those places because she didn’t intend to rule them.

        She’s not instituting any form of democracy in Westeros, trust

  15. Joy says:

    I think her descent has been slow and subtle. It’s just now that we sort of see ourselves in the same spot as the northerners (watching it all unfold) that a lot of people are sort of just now agreeing that she’s going off the rails. Is it sexist to just now take notice? Maybe. But it cannot be denied that she is coming undone. I was never a huge fan and I feel like she’s been a big phony this whole time.

  16. Sayrah says:

    I think this blip has been a set up for a bit of a redemption arc for her by the end as well. My theory:

    I think she’s Azor Ahai and she will die in childbirth when she bears the prince who was promised to bring peace.

    • Lady D says:

      I have not read the books. Can you please tell me who or what this Azor Ahai is. I’ve seen the name several times, but I don’t know what it means.

      • Sof says:

        Azor Ahai was a hero who fought darkness according to R’llors followers. In order to do that he tempered his sword in the heart of the woman he loved, Nissa Nissa, creating Lightbringer,a flaming sword.
        The prophecy of the promised prince, which Melisandre brought to Westeros, could be applied to many characters:
        “There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him”

    • Bree says:

      I like your theory!!

      I think it’s a redemption arc as well. Since they’re making a prequel, I’m wondering if Nissa Nissa is about to pop up, or if Dany will take a sword to the heart by Jon, and that sword kills NK. Brings what will happen in the prequel full circle. So I’m just excited to see what happens

  17. AryasMum says:

    I can’t say I really agree with the Slate article. Grey Worm and Missandei are not doubting Dany, they are doubting the suspicious, xenophobic north. And by the way, all of Westeros is xenophobic – it’s how Jaime got Sam’s father to betray Olenna with stories of savages raping their women.

    Secondly, Viserion is not Dany’s brother, he’s her dead dragon. And she most certainly has not spoken approvingly of Viserys. Dany has not aligned with the Mad King, she’s aligning with the Targaryen dynasty.

    And yes, the way she told Sam could be described as cruel. I found it blunt, but she was not unfeeling about it. It was a cheap writer’s device to spur Sam to blurt the truth out at Jon.

    • Kristen says:

      I also think that scene where she thanks Sam saving Jorah and then finds out she had just murdered Sam’s family was to bring her back from the edge – She realized she’d made a mistake not listening to her advisors, her face showed remorse, so I think it was more about interrupting her desire to conquer all who don’t bend the knee and realize there is a more human element to all of these interconnected relationships-I see that as more of a scene of her realizing she’s not always right, that she could be more understanding. But again, we’ll see!

      • Humbugged says:

        Being scared of or objecting to colonizers is xenophobic ? Or is it just when the colonizees are white that disliking the colonizers is bad ?Wakanda protects it’s independence and culture it is all Wakanda Forever ,The North says the same and they are racist

        Let’s face it in this world the Andals,the Dornish and then the Valyrians invaded and then colonized Westeros . The North was forced to surrender or die by dragon.The 400 years later they have regained their independence and here comes another army form Essos backed by dragons and people are offended by them worrying how they will feed themselves for a winter that could last years once the army consumes all their supplies .Tens of thousands of people possibly starving to death will maybe make the survivors bend the knee though so there is that . Westorosi Hodomor is incoming

  18. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I’m glad someone is talking about this because frankly it’s pissing me off. Dany has been held up as a strong leader for pretty much the entire series. But now that the truth about Jon has been revealed she is being written as “cold” “or “mad”. Neither of which are true. I just find it all rather misogynistic. Jon may be the rightful heir but I have never thought of him as King material. He is a great leader in war. But he sucks in every other way if you look at his track record. He is like his father Ned. He has no sense of when to speak the truth and to whom. Think about how he told Dany about his parents right before the battle! He doesn’t understand that leaders have to play things close to the vest. Jon is one of my favorite characters. But this idea of suddenly setting him up as “good” and Dany “bad” doesn’t sit right with me. And Dany’s reaction to Jon telling her about his true parentage was in my opinion understandable. How wold anyone react to news like that? Was she supposed to hug him and say “welcome to the family nephew, sorry we banged?”

    • Linn says:

      I don’t even think Jon is that great of a leader in war. In the battle of the Bastards he charged right into battle in a dumb attempt to safe Rickon although Sansa explicitly warned him about a Situation like that.

      At Hardhome he completely forgot about the Weapons made of Dragonglass until it was way too late. He didn’t even take a dagger for himself and it nearly killed him as he didn’t knew Valyrian Steel could kill a Walker as well.

    • Isabelle says:

      Jon sucks being a leader in war. He is good in battle but a godawful leader in war. It has been obvious since S3 Dany is a product of her father. Can’t understand how viewers haven’t seen her greed and lust for the throne is her only goal and nothing else matters. NOTHING matters to her other than a throne. Convinced she would sacrifice her dragons for it. That isn’t a good leader its a conquering ass*at.

  19. Sof says:

    I think the problem people has with her is that they projected themselves on her and now she is making decisions they don’t agree with.
    Also, there’s a racist tint to it. She is in “civilization” now, attempting the same conquering techniques she used in the “wild”. People were ok with her destroying ruling families and traditions in those exotic countries but the moment she does it in the European version of GOT they freak out.

    • Marine says:

      Thank you

    • Veronica S. says:

      That’s a very insightful point. Dany’s vision of a united world under the Iron Throne was always going to involve conquest, the same as all of the other ambitious character in the series sought. Westeros is not particularly special beyond the fact that we’re more attached to the characters.

    • DS9 says:

      Nah, her behavior in those “swarthy” nations is exactly why I don’t like her.

  20. Pamela says:

    I’m tired of the mad queen argument or white savior trope. Mostly I’m tired of this fandom, women being treated like villains for making mistakes than every other men has made before. I’m wondering could you have made an article saying who is the better character to rule Westeros instead, but I guess is better to feed the masses right? Is the woman who worked her whole life for this job unfit to rule. Remember she’s a Targaryen so she has to be crazy, the other guy who can rule is also a Targaryen but he’s also a Stark so we’re good w him. Remember Targaryens bad & Starks good. Yes, she was raped & was against slavery, but let’s put a spin on this & call her a white savior to minimize her good points. Remember her dragons are instruments of mass destruction that she voluntarily put on chains so they wouldn’t harm people, but she’s a mad queen remember. She’s ambitious & mad for power and unwilling to compromise and yet she did in Essos, marrying a man she didn’t love to try to bring peace, and when she left, she didn’t stay as queen of Essos, she’s allowing people to choose their own leaders, that was the whole reason why Daario stayed behind. She left Yara be the queen of the Iron Islands if her people changed its ways. She could have gone w her dragon & burn it all, but she gave them independence. The real reason why Daenerys is hated w the fandom is not the Tarlys, is not the slavers who were killed, is bc they love the Starks more. Daenerys represents an obstacle for their favorite to claim the throne, a lot of people love Sansa now, they want the North to be independent so she would be queen or they want her in the iron throne. Nevermind Sansa has made many mistakes as well, but hers have never impacted as many people bc she has never been in the position of power of Daenerys. So spare me w your fake let’s worry about the people, this is not about this, this is about the old tale that only one women or one character in this case can thriumph, so we have to villainize the other one. At this point Daenerys has more haters than the real villains which are the Night King & Cersei. You want to know the reason of Daenerys failures in ruling? Listen to George R R Martin when he talked about how we never got to see the failures in ruling of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, he asked what was Aragorn’s tax policy, what did he do w the orcs & the little orcs? When you see it from the POV of the other side, then the hero looks like a villain, but were they villains or were just heroes we humanized again to show that ruling is difficult? And if anything this show doesn’t show that Daenerys is a villain but that we never give woman the benefit of the doubt

    • Ugh says:

      Repeat after me “it is just a tv show”

    • Gaby says:

      Geez, if you’re going to write a full text, learn about a little thing called a “paragraph”. I read nearly all comments but I just gave up reading yours.

      I know you are talking about Dany because you did the same text thing before replying to other comments, but you are calling sexism while doing the exact same thing. Just because she is a woman, she can’t be wrong or mad? Are you even watching the show? Cersei, Margery, Cat, Arya, Sansa, Lyanna Mormont, Ollena, the Sand Snakes, Yara, all the wilding women that we saw, so many powerful women and all flawed.

      Dany is not a good politician or ruler, she shouldn’t be queen. It’s very simple. She even fails to see the huge culture difference here. How will Westerosi, Unsullied, and Dothraki coexist? She never thought beyond conquering, because she is a conqueror and nothing else.

    • Erinn says:

      One of the issues I’m seeing with your argument is that you keep saying she left these places to rule themselves. But that’s not some form of altruism – the reason she’s leaving them is because she has her eyes on the throne. She’s not breaking down a corrupt group in order to create peace among it’s people because it’s just the right thing to do – she’s breaking down opposition and moving on because they’re just a blip on her radar when it comes to reaching her ultimate goal. If any of those places had been her end goal, you better believe she’d be doing more of the day to day ruling. She’s not freeing slaves just because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ – she wants an empire and that’s just a different form of oppression.

      She doesn’t try to understand the cultures of the people she’s ruling. Even early on, she’s trying to tame cultures/people who are seen as ‘savage’. While she’s been abused and understands how sexism effects herself and others – she seems oblivious to the struggles of people in what would be considered ‘lesser’ classes or races.

      On top of that – what did she do to help those places thrive? Did she free people and leave them to pick up the pieces in her wake? Or did she make sure they had what they needed to create this so called democracy and become better and stronger once she was gone?

      She does not plan to gain the throne and create a democracy. She wants to gain the throne because she wants to rule an empire. That is her entire goal. That does not mean she’d be a bad leader necessarily, but it does not make her some sort of altruistic wonderful human.

      She can be both a feminist character and a flawed character. And holding her up for her good qualities and discarding the legitimate criticism is not a wise thing to do. You can acknowledge that she’s privileged, that she’s made some brutal moves, that she’s ignorant to the struggles of people who are not white. Danny is neither a saint nor a villain – she’s a human who struggles to make the ‘right’ decision every time. She is not selfless, but who is? But ignoring the negative facets of her character and refusing to acknowledge her shortcomings does her a disservice. Acknowledging the strengths as well as the weaknesses of a character in a book, a real life politician, anyone really does not equal sexism. Holding them up as the gold standard while ignoring the negative does nothing to cause them to grow and become a better leader.

      • Becks1 says:

        i just want to point out @Erinn’s nice use of paragraphs, lol.

        And, I agree with her comments. If Dany was flawless and selfless, she would be much less interesting. I have said that I find her fairly one-dimensional, but I think that’s the writers fault, and she could have been much more interesting. But at least she’s one dimensional in a way that is interesting, if that makes sense. She does good things, but for the right reasons? Do the reasons matter?

        I think the ultimate question about Dany’s character is going to be what Sam asked Jon in the first episode – you gave up your crown for the good of your people, would she do the same. That is going to be what is asked of her (to give her crown/claim to the throne for the good of her people), and we will see what she does.

      • Erinn says:

        Lol, thanks Becks. I’m also more often than not posting on a pc rather than my phone – which does make it easier.

        And I think that’s kind of key to TV Daenerys, but also a question we have to constantly ask in real life: do the reasons/motives matter if what the leader is doing is beneficial for the greater good.

        And I find it interesting, honestly. A lot of the problems/situations in GoT you can take away and put a modern spin on it and there’s no absolute right or wrong conclusion. Life is, most of the time, different shades of gray rather than black or white.

        And that’s why life is never dull. If we had characters (or people irl) that only made the right decisions, and never faltered on their conquest for good they’d practically be robots. And I don’t want to watch a show where the heros are perfect – everyone has faults. Everyone has some kind of bias. Everyone has things that have happened in their life to form their opinions/reactions to events.

        Nobody wants to watch a tv show or read a book about a Mary-Sue type character who’s always the best, most attractive, smartest, most skilled etc.

    • Isabelle says:

      Yes Pamela because we all admired and looked up to wonderful fabulously portrayed men on the show like Joffrey, Ramsey, Little Finger, The Freys, Roose Bolton, Ollie, Alister Thorne, TYWIN freaking Lannister, Robert Bartheon, Meryn Trant….those men were portrayed and talked about so kindly by fans. GOT made them look like saints and not villains and we talked about them like the heros we believe them to be we loved them so very much…..lmao. Once again are you watching the same show as the rest of us?

      Ony ONE (Cersi) woman has been portrayed as a villain in the midst of probably 100s of men at this point on the show as a villain. We are discussing if it is a possibility Dany is a villain in the end but the show hasn’t portrayed her as one.

  21. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I apologize in advance, but I love how devoted some are to Daeny. Like it’s personal! Lololol. She’s Targaryen. John us half Targaryen. They’re going to have some cray. ‘A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing,’ Maester Aemon .

    The entire show is riddled with strong women with admirable, and not so admirable, qualities. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve been the driving force behind the plots! Awesome sauce.

    • broodytrudy says:

      I just ??? Like, it’s okay to have a woman character who is grey. It’s okay to have a woman be a villain. It’s okay to have a woman character who we aren’t sure about. By this time next year, no one is going to care. It’s an important conversation to have, but my god let’s keep in perspective that this is one fictional character and as a whole, she’s a big step for women in fantasy. It’s okay she’s not perfect, but she’s been extremely well received within the fandom and there’s certainly no reason to be so combative about it. If people feel so strongly about the way she’s being represented, maybe they should write their own fantasy novels. 🤷‍♀️

      • Becks1 says:

        People are SO combative about it. It’s okay for people to have different opinions about Dany. Some people here need to take a step back from the keyboard. And maybe Reddit. And maybe GOT altogether if it gets them this upset.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah you gotta hand it to Martin, he gave us some strong female characters whose strength only got stronger on screen (mostly down to some great casting choices).

      For me Dany has always been a bit 1 dimensional, she was bland in the books and she is a bit bland on the show (its not all down to Emilia, the character doesn’t really have much going for her, esp next to some of the other women characters).

      It will be interesting to see where her arc goes, it can go either way – redemption or she follows the path her father/brother went down. Either way I don’t see her on the Iron Throne, if it still exists at the end.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Broody, that’s an important distinction here, flaws. There’s not one pure character. Hell, by the time the red wedding occurred, I was actually ready for Kat to get something.

      And, as someone mentioned, what’s going to be the life in Westeros for the Dothraki and Unsullied? They’re fish out of water. Even Grey Worm and his lady love are planning an exit. And Tyrion has been dropping hints to Daeny since they met. Maybe your destiny is something else. Maybe good can be had in other ways. He’s been watching her very closely and what he sees isn’t always greatness. She instructed Lord Varys to let her know when she fails. I see a conversation on the horizon.

      • DS9 says:

        Man, I blamed every damned thing on Cat before I learned that Littlefinger was the true catalyst. I still blame her for quite a bit. Littlefinger set her up knowing full damned well she’d go ham and do dumb shit like snatch up Tyrion.

  22. Mina says:

    I hate this senseless theory. Daenery’s journey clearly is about a person who’s being taught one goal al her life (to take back the throne) and now realizing that there might be more important things than seizing said throne.

  23. Lucy says:

    The fact that she currently seems on the verge of completely losing her mind makes me think they’ll turn it in the other direction when we least expect it. She DID freak me out on her last scene, so right now everything seems extremely unstable (lol, no sh*t, Sherlock). Maybe in the end, like Joe Dempsie said, power should be foisted upon someone…?

  24. DS9 says:

    As for the main question, I don’t think she’s unfit for rule but I don’t think she’ll be a good one. For starters, she still believes the Targaryen hype and has not taken the time to learn about those she means to rule.

    If she did, she’d understand the North’s skepticism and would have approached them on somewhat equal footing and made an alliance with them.

    Jon’s true parentage aside, marrying the king of the north and declaring their named heir as heir to both the North and the rest of Westeros upon her death would have in effect given her control of the North but allowed them a measure of independence.

  25. Jess says:

    People misunderstand hee character very badly especially if you don’t read the books. The throne isn’t her goal. It’s to find an actual home and place of belonging. She said that she wants the castle with the lemon tree and red door. Essentially, when her and viserys were actually happy in essos.

    • broodytrudy says:

      In the books, maybe. But in the show? Definitely not. There’s no reason she couldn’t have stayed and ruled in Essos, and carved a home out for herself there, where she’d basically lived her whole life.

      How amazing would it have been if she would have stayed in Essos for longer? We could have seen her grow as a queen and really determine how she would be as a ruler. Good rulers are genuinely difficult to come by. I think with some experience, and the right people, she could be one.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think that is part of the issue. I think they have written the character a bit flatter (obsessed with the throne), and I think that Emilia Clarke isn’t the greatest actress, and the end result is a much more one-dimensional Dany than the books.

      • Jess says:

        @becks1 that’s exactly my problem with show dany. They completely made her one dimensional. If they wrote dany like they did Jon, showing his softer side like wanting to know his mother, showing how conflicted he is with his decisions, etc, we never see that with dany. One of my fave moments is when she actually talks to baristen about her brother.

      • msd says:

        Emilia Clarke is a delightful person and seems truly lovely but she’s limited as an actor. Inconsistent writing hasn’t helped either.

  26. Cherie says:

    Aren’t Tyrion and Sansa still married? Like the whole Ramsay Bolton thing wasn’t legal.
    I know it’s off topic but I kinda want to see them together having ginger babies in the North.

    • Becks1 says:

      I thought they annulled the marriage? I cant quite remember though, but wasn’t that part of why Tyrion wouldn’t sleep with her, so it could be annulled later?

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        They never consummated the marriage. I don’t know how that works though. Because they were married officially in the Sept by the royal Septon and no one was really there to see if they consummated or not. I guess maybe a Maester has the power to annul a marriage and Ramsey was free to take her as his wife. And once he took her virginity in that sadistic bedding/raping ceremony in front of Theon as a witness, it made her marriage to Ramsey official.

  27. DS9 says:

    Also, I don’t agree that the series is misogynist. The world is, the structures that govern all of these governments and peoples are but the series itself is not.

    The women in many cases have richer character arcs than the men. All have behaved differently yes but most have taken the structures in which they were born and have worked their way through and around them to wield power in different ways.

    Many of the men by contrast have acted and done things yes but less character development, less growth, less politics, less maneuvering.

    And many of them are dead.

  28. Dttimes2 says:

    Well this escalated quickly 😒

  29. Ash says:

    Main thing I have gotten from this thread is that Pamela is a little off her rocker and must not have a full time job.

  30. CK says:

    Eh, I wouldn’t say it’s deliberate. It’s just that as she gets closer to the throne, the reality of her rule in relation to other characters is starting to hit viewers. It’s easily to look like the breaker of chains when you are actually freeing slaves and torching slavers. Not so much when your torching prisoners. Now viewers have to contend with her potentially reestablishing the status quo of Targaryan Rule and what that means for the other characters.

    If anything, I think it would be unrealistic for anyone in Westeros to fall under her spell as easily as most characters in the show do.

  31. entine says:

    In the books apparently there was only a female mad targaryen, but it was more like depression, not murderous, but who knows what author and show runners will want to do with her.

  32. Nibbi says:

    “But her dragon emails!” = brilliant.
    Why i love this blog.

  33. Eve says:

    What I can take from this particular thread is the offensive way people are addressing certain posters, mostly Pamela.

    Name calling, meangirling and outright nasty and irresponsible comments questioning her sanity and personal life.

    And I can’t find the “report comment” feature anymore. Because I sure as hell would have reported a bunch of them by now.

    For that reason, I’m not going to click on ANY of the following GoT posts anymore.

    I come here for practicing my English and to have some fun. Escapism can indeed be smart but for a while it’s been just f*cking frustrating.

    • Becks1 says:

      Meh, some of the comments have been a little mean to her , but she came out swinging against anyone who said anything slightly against Dany. Repeatedly. Of course after several posts people called her out on it.

      • Nicole says:

        Becks1…came out swinging? Against a fictional character? People should be able to debate without being nasty to – and name calling – others. Shame.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yes, you are right, its a fictional character. I agree completely that people should be able to debate fictional characters without others being rude and dismissive and over the top in their posts. I just imagine we are talking about different posters. Shrug.

        And if you go back and look, most of the posts were interesting and respectful, until one poster started ranting in huge long posts. And yes, they were rants. Before that, the debate was interesting. This is just the comments section of a gossip blog, discussing a fictional show. It’s not that serious.

    • Nicole says:

      I agree Eve.

  34. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    The shift is justified in the show: her successes were as liberator (of the Unsullied, of Mereen, etc.). She was the instrument of the downtrodden and the people.

    But in Westeros there’s a different playbook. Winterfell liberated itself. It didn’t need her for that. In Essos, people followed her out of gratitude for what she had done. In Westeros, she expects to be followed out of entitlement. She’s not that different than what they’ve seen a thousand times. The Westeros version of Dany was Robb Stark, not Dany. Here she bears more resemblance to Stannis, who also seemed quite problematic.

  35. JByrdKU says:

    I can see this being the set-up too, but I do think she’s earned the right to rule. She’s taken a harder edge this season (all two episodes), but that could be the writer’s attempt to rush to a conclusion.

    I see the hints about her possibly going “mad”, and yeah, she could turn out that way and it would be a ‘logical’ conclusion. I just hope they don’t. She doesn’t have the be THE chosen one at the end, and I agree she’s been a conqueror, but she’s one of the few that’s at least made an attempt to do things differently. At least before she started burning people alive last year.

  36. Luna says:

    First time commenter here. Pardon me if I make some grievous comment error but I felt like I had to voice my thoughts, and I really am intrigued by the conversation this has incited. Be prepared, this is long.

    Here goes: my main issue with the sexism lies mainly with the characters reacting to Dany’s actions, not how the real world perceives them. I have learned long ago, and find that is likely what makes this show so universally appealing, is that every person has their own idea of what a good leader should be in this crazy dragoney world and a lot of that depends on ones own perceived flaws.

    Example- I used to get irritated that my husband hated Dany. He saw her temper as a negative, despite having a temper himself, yet admires Jon’s loyalty, both are qualities that my husband possesses. He hates his temper yet loves that he is loyal. His pick is understandable. I am a huge fan of both Sansa and Dany, and see a lot of myself in Sansa, sometimes to my chagrin, yet Dany has qualities I wish I had, and I find myself rooting for both of them. But enough about that, that is moreso to say that I get that everyone roots for their own team and I’m not here to judge them for that, or attack anyone who points out Dany’s flaws.

    What I am fed up with is the way the show is, I believe, turning Dany into a monster when she is not one. She constantly tries to learn and grow, has repeatedly done things that go against what she wants for the greater good (chain up her dragons, marry that douche), and most importantly values her advisors and asks their opinions. Maybe doesn’t listen to them all the time but nor should she, Tyrion has been an unreliable maniac these last seasons.

    The main thing being held against her is burning the Tyrells alive. Men on the show are clutching their pearls all over the place about this and here is the thing- dragonlady was right to scorch, and this is why:
    Right before the burn, she asks all prisoners to bend the knee (yes I agree she is a little uppity about bending the knee but I never said she was without flaws). She uses the dragon to emphasize her demand. That right there is stating, Bend the knee or you will be dragonfood. All these men should have understood what it meant to say no, but many likely didn’t think she would follow through because she is a delicate lady flower.

    Half do, half don’t. Bend the knee. That wasn’t really a great spot for a new paragraph but I see some of you are a little finicky about paragraphs. So anyways, then old Tyrell (it is late I don’t want to google) is like, never. Tyrion begs her for mercy, to send him to the wall, and this is the crucial part, she is willing to do that! She literally gives him the raised eye and that effing brat says no. Yes, I am biased, I despise old tyrell because he betrayed my precious Olenna, but back to the point- that traitorous a$$hat would rather burn than serve the realm.

    Now here is the thing- being in possession of female parts myself, there are times in your life when you will be surrounded by men who will expect you to be weak because of your gender. And you need to show your strength. So for Dany to back down here would be absolute madness. She needed to kill him and she needed to do it in a way that NO ONE else would follow in his footsteps.

    Now here comes stupid Dickon to bung it up.
    He says he has to die with dad and even old T is like, shut up shut up. At this point he is starting the beginning of a revolution. If Dany does not kill Dickon, and burns Old T, Dickon would surely lose his mind and start a revolt, which Dany would win, but not without loss of life. So she has to kill dumb Dickon. Which she does and everyone bends the knee and then she can move on with the rest of her to-do list which is FIGHTING THE UNDEAD.

    But now this will be held against her for all of time. Even the way she breaks the news to Sam is being held against her when really, she was caught aback, yet did not apologize for something she did not think was wrong (quality I admire). Many of the things being held against her are when she is caught aback by things and maybe give the girl a minute to sort her thoughts please.

    That said, I do not necessarily think she is the right leader. Both her and Jon lack foresight, something their advisors could help them out with if my beloved Tyrion would get his head together. Jon especially is unfit, running around Ned Starking it up all over the place telling Cersei he’s team Dany then spilling the beans about his parents to the woman he loves RIGHT before the undead attack. Come on man.

    Anyways sometimes I find myself team dead on this show because there really isn’t one good choice but I am so sick of all these men whining about Dany burning two men alive, especially Tyrion you hypocrite. (Tyrion is actually my favorite but I just cannot with his judgey looks when he burned thousands of men alive then whined when he wasn’t given enough credit for it.)

    Ok rant over now I hope I can sleep instead of arguing with strangers in my head. Apologies for long post.

    • Becks1 says:

      @Luna – those are good points, and many that we have discussed.

      I think many of us here agree that Dany’s actions can be good or bad, and I do think its the mark of a good show that people can be so divided over one character. What I (and others) take exception to is the insistence by many pro Dany people that if you DONT like Dany, its because you just don’t understand, or you are sexist, or something. I can understand, and not be sexist, and still not be a fan of her character.

  37. Lory says:

    I disagree that Dany is being unfairly criticized because she’s a woman. It would have been sexist if she had been fit to rule and still got critized but in her case it’s been clear for quite a while she’s a conquerer but not a ruler. She mirrors Robert Baratheon in that regard: he won the war and throne but didn’t know what to do with it. Plus she’s forgotten why she began her quest: freeing people from their shackles. She doesn’t know Westeros and just assumes the people need her but she doesn’t give them a choice anymore like she did with the Unsullied or Dothraki. Now it’s bend the knee or die.

    The only person who is fit to rule is Sansa. Jon/Aegon is a good person and a good soldier but he’s not ruthless enough or politically savvy enough to rule. Dany is too ruthless and doesn’t know how to truly govern people. Sansa has learned to be ruthless when she needs to be but is also sympathic to her people so they would want to follow her. She can clearly govern day-to-day and is smart enough to play the game of thrones.

  38. Lilly says:

    I think GoT has famously had very strong female roles, so I don’t get saying D was “gaslighted” and second guessed “because she’s a woman”. Nope. She incinerated a family for refusing to “bend the knee” to her. So how is questioning that act “gaslighting”? This is the new buzz phrase and it’s so overused, and often misused.