Dany - Villain? Savior? Something else?

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Raeslewolhn
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Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:09 pm

I've been hearing this take on Dany, that she's going to become villainous and a rep of fire evil. Personally, I disagree.

I feel like Dany already is a benevolent and beloved ruler. She has learned how to show strength and restraint. Usually she is 100% righteous, empathetic and just. She's not 100% merciful, but she chose the law over her own alignment when that freed man killed the SotH in S5. She's never going to be a mad queen. And only a few occasions has she forgotten empathy to Innocents. Even then after one line from Tyrion or Barristan she's changes her mind. She never went through with total destruction. It's always precise, at the masters. She even locked her dragons up bc they were out of control. Then she learned to control Drogon.
She was raised with her brother with a sense of entitlement but it's not lust for absolute power. She thinks it's her right to rule bc she was raised to. She finally feels empowered after a life of subjugation and being underestimated. She was a pregnant hormonal teenage when she wanted the Dothraki to take Westeros. Still, she always fought against abuse, even then. When she became khaleesi and queen, she demanded morality, and does so with her current allies as well. She sees horrors in the world and she's like "ya know what, I should fix this shit", and she wants the iron throne as an idea, she doesn't even want to rule, but to take back what she feels was the reason she had a subjugated life from the people who are immoral and bad rulers anyway.

I don't see this villain coming out much, maybe a little this season, but not for the ending, personally. I could be wrong of course.

What are the grounds for her villainy anyway? Ya know...

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QueenofThrones
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Devil's Advocate-ing here, but people I think would like her to be a villain because otherwise the plot seems too "easy". Like teaming up with Jon just seems to solve too many problems. Also people obviously don't like Jon sharing power (see: the reaction to Sansa).

There is to be fair, there is a disillusionment arc to Dany's story. I think some people see that going really far - like she starts off noble, then she gets disillusioned a bit, and then maybe if everyone in Westeros rejects her as queen despite good intentions (like due to Xenophobia or sexism or because of her father's actions rather than hers) she'll get even further disillusioned and eventually just say "screw it all, I'm going fire and blood on their asses". I think it's much more subtle than that - she has shown repeatedly her willingness to listen and negotiate and accept good faith offers for peace. And I don't think she's stopping anytime soon.

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Wimsey
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Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:05 pm

Daenerys is none of these: she's "just" a protagonist. I think that the problem comes from looking at the roles from typical fantasy stories (in which there is "good" and "evil," and thus "heroes" and "villains") and trying to put them onto characters written according to modern literary/cinematic conventions. Yes, there are dragons and magical spells, but these characters could be found in any decent novel today. And that's something that one simply cannot state about characters from most fantasy novels.

Like everyone else, Daenerys has her pluses and minuses. She is a genuinely empathetic character, which is a plus. She is blinded by the morality of her world, for good or for ill. Somewhat ironically, being blinded by morality leads to all of this (put on whiney voice) "Daeny's so self-entitledddddd" stuff: we live in a world in which it's ok to think that you are not born being "owed" anything, but Daenerys lives in a world in which you are born with title (figuratively and in her case literally) to something and it's not just your property, but your obligation.

The big issue for Daenerys this year is: choosing the enemy. We'll think that she's dumb for not taking the Walker threat more seriously and being selfish for thinking that the Lannisters are somehow an equal threat. I mean, didn't she watch Hardhome?!?!? Um, actually: no, no she did not. She and Jon will buttheads about how to prioritize, and Tyrion will get in some headbutts, too: and up north, we'll see the same thing. That's not people being "evil" or "good," but just politics: even if I agree that your concern is genuine and thus a priority, obviously it is not as important as my concern. After all, if you had seen what I had seen (which would have precluded you from seeing what you saw, but, hey! never mind that because nobody ever does mind that), then you would agree!

Now, let's all get to work on the talk that I have to give in three weeks. I mean, we all have to agree that this is our most important overall concern in life, right? :D
"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise, don't put it there."
A. P. Chehkov

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Raeslewolhn
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:00 am

Wimsey wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:05 pm
Daenerys is none of these: she's "just" a protagonist. I think that the problem comes from looking at the roles from typical fantasy stories (in which there is "good" and "evil," and thus "heroes" and "villains") and trying to put them onto characters written according to modern literary/cinematic conventions. Yes, there are dragons and magical spells, but these characters could be found in any decent novel today. And that's something that one simply cannot state about characters from most fantasy novels.

Like everyone else, Daenerys has her pluses and minuses. She is a genuinely empathetic character, which is a plus. She is blinded by the morality of her world, for good or for ill. Somewhat ironically, being blinded by morality leads to all of this (put on whiney voice) "Daeny's so self-entitledddddd" stuff: we live in a world in which it's ok to think that you are not born being "owed" anything, but Daenerys lives in a world in which you are born with title (figuratively and in her case literally) to something and it's not just your property, but your obligation.

The big issue for Daenerys this year is: choosing the enemy. We'll think that she's dumb for not taking the Walker threat more seriously and being selfish for thinking that the Lannisters are somehow an equal threat. I mean, didn't she watch Hardhome?!?!? Um, actually: no, no she did not. She and Jon will buttheads about how to prioritize, and Tyrion will get in some headbutts, too: and up north, we'll see the same thing. That's not people being "evil" or "good," but just politics: even if I agree that your concern is genuine and thus a priority, obviously it is not as important as my concern. After all, if you had seen what I had seen (which would have precluded you from seeing what you saw, but, hey! never mind that because nobody ever does mind that), then you would agree!

Now, let's all get to work on the talk that I have to give in three weeks. I mean, we all have to agree that this is our most important overall concern in life, right? :D
I completely agree. :D The complexity of people is what I value in GoT. The point is usually that you can't just box ppl into such categories, no one is all good or all malicious and like Stannis said, they don't wash each other away.

It deviates, but i fel like we still have the heroes, antiheroes, antiheroes turned heroes, villains, antivillains, antivillains turned antiheroes. I still feel we can apply the labels to this. The questioned really, is, do you think Dany will become a mad queen? Will she rain hellfire on Westeros at some point without discernment? Will she lose sight of the people? Was the co co with Varys in episode 2 a foreshadowing of his needing to go behind her back bc she stops being good for the realm? Or did it just reinforce her character as justified and a good leader?

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Chilli
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:09 am

I think it reinforced her character as justified and a good leader. But if you play the game of thrones you win or you die. It was Ned Starks mercy that killed Robert and started the war.
In our world it would be wrong to kill people for disobeying you, but in the world of Westeros that's how it works. Jon knows that too, that's why he killed Janos Slynt. And Ollie and Alliser Thorne for killing him. If you appear weak, people won't respect you.
Both Jon and Dany have a soft side too and care for the people, that's the difference with people like Tywin and Roose Bolton who only care for themself or their legacy.
The problem with Dany is her PR because of her father who was known as the mad king and everyone in Westeros always reminds her of that. That's why Olenna's advise was not good, it's going to work against her if she's too much a dragon.

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Not Littlefinger
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 am

I think there is one thing that we have to consider, and that is that we, as viewers, address characters in a completely relative and subjective manner. If we chose to "favor" a character in, say, Season 1 or 2, psychology and human nature says that we will continue to justify their actions so that they can remain a protagonist in our own minds. (As an aside, psychology has proven that humans are more likely to justify and even try to alter facts to fit what they have decided to believe rather that to readdress their core beliefs.) We all grew to love Dany throughout Seasons 1 and 2, as she overcame her disadvantaged circumstances and gained control over her life and destiny. Nothing wrong with that. But our determination to love her character has led us to justify some questionable actions, such as her conquest of slave cities. Seems noble, right? She looks so badass freeing slaves with her dragons breathing fire and all that. Yet, she has no experience ruling, no understanding of the deep cultures and social roots of said cities, and no real plan of what to do after conquering them. She has dragons (that she didn't have to earn) and an army (who's respect she gained by her inherent fireproof powers.) This has given her a sense of entitlement, perhaps, but worse, a Messiah Complex. She thinks she can simply direct her dragons toward a complex social system that she doesn't like, and, just like that, it will be how she wants it. Her reckless behavior led slave/master relations to end up worse than before. She didn't take time to understand that the duty that many of the slaves had gave them a deep sense of self-worth (the slave who taught his master's children, those who fought in the fighting pits.) She fed former masters (who had submitted to her rule) to her dragons when, at her own admission, she didn't know if they were innocent or guilty of conspiring against her. But we eat it all up, because "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragons to burn the man holding them captive" and then, "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragon to burn Kraznos." Or, as is the case with some, "Look! An attractive female protagonist!"

If you've put up with me this far, then let us also analyze one of the biggest ways that we judge characters: by their relation to or interaction with other characters. Our moral analysis of characters is heavily relative. For example: if you were to ask someone who had only seen the first episode of the series who the major antagonist of the story was, they would likely claim it to be Jamie Lannister. But, if you asked the same person the same question at the end of Season 1, they would probably think it to be Joffrey. Not that they had developed a fondness for Jamie, but Joffrey's actions throughout the first season were much worse than Jamie's. We all still thought of Jamie as a villain, yes, but not nearly as bad as Joffrey. Same concept: why were we upset at Jamie for putting a spear in Ned's leg? For all Jamie knew, Ned was holding his brother unjustly. We would have cheered if Ned had put a spear in Jamie's leg for the same reason. But, we have been trained to see the events of Ned's storyline in the first season through his perspective, not Jamie's. What makes Dany's storyline so unique is that it has been, for the most part, isolated from other events. We rarely have another protagonist to compare her against. While other protagonists join her storyline (Barriston, Tyrion,) they do so in order to serve her, not compare themselves to her. Those that oppose her have always been antagonists: warlock, slavers, and the sort. She never is placed against another character that we consider to be a protagonist. I have a feeling that we will see that happen in this current season.

I don't hate Dany. I don't think she's an antagonist. But, I also don't consider her to be a protagonist. I think that she, like most characters in the show, is a morally complex individual who thinks that their intentions are inherently the most noble and, while that might be the case, cause them to engage in morally ambiguous and misguided behavior. She isn't a bad person because she doesn't like slavery. But one of her negative traits is that she feels that she can solve any problem (or anything she thinks is a problem) because she thinks she has the means to do so.

As a side note to clear concerns I may have caused earlier: I don't have a problem with people admiring capable female protagonists at all. I just think people are quick to give her that name because she is attractive and can look badass. There are, in my opinion, many other women in the show who are more deserving of that title. Unfortunately, those who accuse others of valuing women based off their looks seem to be good at selecting the most attractive one to be their choice protagonist...

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Raeslewolhn
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:58 pm

Not Littlefinger wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 am
I think there is one thing that we have to consider, and that is that we, as viewers, address characters in a completely relative and subjective manner. If we chose to "favor" a character in, say, Season 1 or 2, psychology and human nature says that we will continue to justify their actions so that they can remain a protagonist in our own minds. (As an aside, psychology has proven that humans are more likely to justify and even try to alter facts to fit what they have decided to believe rather that to readdress their core beliefs.) We all grew to love Dany throughout Seasons 1 and 2, as she overcame her disadvantaged circumstances and gained control over her life and destiny. Nothing wrong with that. But our determination to love her character has led us to justify some questionable actions, such as her conquest of slave cities. Seems noble, right? She looks so badass freeing slaves with her dragons breathing fire and all that. Yet, she has no experience ruling, no understanding of the deep cultures and social roots of said cities, and no real plan of what to do after conquering them. She has dragons (that she didn't have to earn) and an army (who's respect she gained by her inherent fireproof powers.) This has given her a sense of entitlement, perhaps, but worse, a Messiah Complex. She thinks she can simply direct her dragons toward a complex social system that she doesn't like, and, just like that, it will be how she wants it. Her reckless behavior led slave/master relations to end up worse than before. She didn't take time to understand that the duty that many of the slaves had gave them a deep sense of self-worth (the slave who taught his master's children, those who fought in the fighting pits.) She fed former masters (who had submitted to her rule) to her dragons when, at her own admission, she didn't know if they were innocent or guilty of conspiring against her. But we eat it all up, because "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragons to burn the man holding them captive" and then, "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragon to burn Kraznos." Or, as is the case with some, "Look! An attractive female protagonist!"

If you've put up with me this far, then let us also analyze one of the biggest ways that we judge characters: by their relation to or interaction with other characters. Our moral analysis of characters is heavily relative. For example: if you were to ask someone who had only seen the first episode of the series who the major antagonist of the story was, they would likely claim it to be Jamie Lannister. But, if you asked the same person the same question at the end of Season 1, they would probably think it to be Joffrey. Not that they had developed a fondness for Jamie, but Joffrey's actions throughout the first season were much worse than Jamie's. We all still thought of Jamie as a villain, yes, but not nearly as bad as Joffrey. Same concept: why were we upset at Jamie for putting a spear in Ned's leg? For all Jamie knew, Ned was holding his brother unjustly. We would have cheered if Ned had put a spear in Jamie's leg for the same reason. But, we have been trained to see the events of Ned's storyline in the first season through his perspective, not Jamie's. What makes Dany's storyline so unique is that it has been, for the most part, isolated from other events. We rarely have another protagonist to compare her against. While other protagonists join her storyline (Barriston, Tyrion,) they do so in order to serve her, not compare themselves to her. Those that oppose her have always been antagonists: warlock, slavers, and the sort. She never is placed against another character that we consider to be a protagonist. I have a feeling that we will see that happen in this current season.

I don't hate Dany. I don't think she's an antagonist. But, I also don't consider her to be a protagonist. I think that she, like most characters in the show, is a morally complex individual who thinks that their intentions are inherently the most noble and, while that might be the case, cause them to engage in morally ambiguous and misguided behavior. She isn't a bad person because she doesn't like slavery. But one of her negative traits is that she feels that she can solve any problem (or anything she thinks is a problem) because she thinks she has the means to do so.

As a side note to clear concerns I may have caused earlier: I don't have a problem with people admiring capable female protagonists at all. I just think people are quick to give her that name because she is attractive and can look badass. There are, in my opinion, many other women in the show who are more deserving of that title. Unfortunately, those who accuse others of valuing women based off their looks seem to be good at selecting the most attractive one to be their choice protagonist...

Very well put. Personally, with my own notions of morality and judgment of characters, I get shifted in my opinions more easily than that, by their new actions, their character shifts (and the Documentary Extras, actually :) ). I tend to include my subjectivity and character subjectivity in my assesment. You seem to as well, clearly, and I think others are capable of that. That's why I asked this question! Not to get Dany love or hate, but honest assesment like these. Thank you :D.


I try to look at docu extras to see how the Ds and directors and actors feel about the characters to assess the message and their morality. Weiss LOVES Dany, but I only came to by S3. Still, I'm ready for her to do something unacceptable. I can see the potential in her character to do immoral things. I just think they'll keep the balance that she's mostly good. She has a "Ruthlessness you get, even with the good Targaryens" says Weiss in an ItE S5. So she's good, but will do something ruthless.

Benioff loves Arya, so do I she's my fav, but I see her assassin's villainy depiction clearly despite my bias. I'm down with it, bc of who she kills and my sympathy for her, but I know it's meant to show her as not full hero, as antihero or antivillain depending on the future plots. She's clearly depicted as damaged. My eyes are open lol

So I do feel GoT has its own underlying morality. If it was just relativism we wouldn't get as well-flushed-out complexity. We need a good and evil concept to be depicted to begin with in order to mix them together in each character. A lot of Noble actions in Westeros would be considered horrid here, but the don't villainize the character bc it's fantasy (Execution for disobeying orders comes to mind). I feel like no one expected Jaime pushing Bran would endear him to most viewers, that's total villainy.

When Jaime attacked Ned I thought Cat was the one to start the war by taking Tyrion. I also knew Ned wasn't cut out for KL. He's grayed by his first scene executing someone who told the truth(but he didn't know so Ned is forgiven). I didn't like Jaime but I recognized that and saw Cat as gullible with LF. I started to feel sympathy for Jaime early S2, and kept saying that if he hadn't pushed bran i would see him as an antivillain. We can't forget the horrible things someone does.

For both him and Theon, once they experienced dismemberment, it felt like punishment, and with how they changed after, I was ready to see them as antivillains and later antiheroes. Their redemption arcs were slow. I wish Theon were badass last week, but he's not a villain or grayed for running away.

With Dany, I tend to think these clear non-hero aspects of nativité as a ruler and Messiah complex don't ruin her as a hero. If she had gone through with turning cities to ash in S6 I would have changed my mind about her. She's not my fav woman in GoT but I think if I was the mother of dragons and raised and conditioned to think the last Targ should rule and I'm it I would have a Messiah complex too. She wasn't like that until real-super-powerful magic happened.

I actually didn't like her at first, I liked her empowerment S1, its fem message, but I didn't like her as a person UNTIL she freed the slaves of Astapor and asked the Unsullied to choose her. While some slaves were happy they were few and lucky. I think a little civil war is a necessary evil in order to free the slaves. I don't see it as worse. But she isn't a good ruler, I agree. (Yet). Hopefully she will learn from others.

EDIT: I didn't mean to reference the American Civil War which was way more complicated than Dany at Astapor.
Last edited by Raeslewolhn on Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Not Littlefinger
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:54 pm

Raeslewolhn wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:58 pm
Not Littlefinger wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 am
I think there is one thing that we have to consider, and that is that we, as viewers, address characters in a completely relative and subjective manner. If we chose to "favor" a character in, say, Season 1 or 2, psychology and human nature says that we will continue to justify their actions so that they can remain a protagonist in our own minds. (As an aside, psychology has proven that humans are more likely to justify and even try to alter facts to fit what they have decided to believe rather that to readdress their core beliefs.) We all grew to love Dany throughout Seasons 1 and 2, as she overcame her disadvantaged circumstances and gained control over her life and destiny. Nothing wrong with that. But our determination to love her character has led us to justify some questionable actions, such as her conquest of slave cities. Seems noble, right? She looks so badass freeing slaves with her dragons breathing fire and all that. Yet, she has no experience ruling, no understanding of the deep cultures and social roots of said cities, and no real plan of what to do after conquering them. She has dragons (that she didn't have to earn) and an army (who's respect she gained by her inherent fireproof powers.) This has given her a sense of entitlement, perhaps, but worse, a Messiah Complex. She thinks she can simply direct her dragons toward a complex social system that she doesn't like, and, just like that, it will be how she wants it. Her reckless behavior led slave/master relations to end up worse than before. She didn't take time to understand that the duty that many of the slaves had gave them a deep sense of self-worth (the slave who taught his master's children, those who fought in the fighting pits.) She fed former masters (who had submitted to her rule) to her dragons when, at her own admission, she didn't know if they were innocent or guilty of conspiring against her. But we eat it all up, because "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragons to burn the man holding them captive" and then, "Damn, she looked badass ordering her dragon to burn Kraznos." Or, as is the case with some, "Look! An attractive female protagonist!"

If you've put up with me this far, then let us also analyze one of the biggest ways that we judge characters: by their relation to or interaction with other characters. Our moral analysis of characters is heavily relative. For example: if you were to ask someone who had only seen the first episode of the series who the major antagonist of the story was, they would likely claim it to be Jamie Lannister. But, if you asked the same person the same question at the end of Season 1, they would probably think it to be Joffrey. Not that they had developed a fondness for Jamie, but Joffrey's actions throughout the first season were much worse than Jamie's. We all still thought of Jamie as a villain, yes, but not nearly as bad as Joffrey. Same concept: why were we upset at Jamie for putting a spear in Ned's leg? For all Jamie knew, Ned was holding his brother unjustly. We would have cheered if Ned had put a spear in Jamie's leg for the same reason. But, we have been trained to see the events of Ned's storyline in the first season through his perspective, not Jamie's. What makes Dany's storyline so unique is that it has been, for the most part, isolated from other events. We rarely have another protagonist to compare her against. While other protagonists join her storyline (Barriston, Tyrion,) they do so in order to serve her, not compare themselves to her. Those that oppose her have always been antagonists: warlock, slavers, and the sort. She never is placed against another character that we consider to be a protagonist. I have a feeling that we will see that happen in this current season.

I don't hate Dany. I don't think she's an antagonist. But, I also don't consider her to be a protagonist. I think that she, like most characters in the show, is a morally complex individual who thinks that their intentions are inherently the most noble and, while that might be the case, cause them to engage in morally ambiguous and misguided behavior. She isn't a bad person because she doesn't like slavery. But one of her negative traits is that she feels that she can solve any problem (or anything she thinks is a problem) because she thinks she has the means to do so.

As a side note to clear concerns I may have caused earlier: I don't have a problem with people admiring capable female protagonists at all. I just think people are quick to give her that name because she is attractive and can look badass. There are, in my opinion, many other women in the show who are more deserving of that title. Unfortunately, those who accuse others of valuing women based off their looks seem to be good at selecting the most attractive one to be their choice protagonist...

Very well put. Personally, with my own notions of morality and judgment of characters, I get shifted in my opinions more easily than that, by their new actions, their character shifts (and the Documentary Extras, actually :) ). I tend to include my subjectivity and character subjectivity in my assesment. You seem to as well, clearly, and I think others are capable of that. That's why I asked this question! Not to get Dany love or hate, but honest assesment like these. Thank you :D.
Everyone is biased, what sets us apart is the degree to which we are upfront and honest about it. I like the way you put it.
Raeslewolhn wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:58 pm
With Dany, I tend to think these clear non-hero aspects of nativité as a ruler and Messiah complex don't ruin her as a hero. If she had gone through with turning cities to ash in S6 I would have changed my mind about her. She's not my fav woman in GoT but I think if I was the mother of dragons and raised and conditioned to think the last Targ should rule and I'm it I would have a Messiah complex too. She wasn't like that until real-super-powerful magic happened.
That is a good point, that she feels she has some sort of obligation or "shoes to fill." From her point of view, she is obligated to reclaim her father's throne that was unjustly taken from him, and it's now an "ends justifies means" situation for her.
Raeslewolhn wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:58 pm
I actually didn't like her at first, I liked her empowerment S1, its fem message, but I didn't like her as a person UNTIL she freed the slaves of Astapor and asked the Unsullied to choose her. While some slaves were happy they were few and lucky. I think a little civil war is a necessary evil in order to free the slaves. I don't see it as worse. But she isn't a good ruler, I agree. (Yet). Hopefully she will learn from others.
Label me what you will, but I don't really understand the point of "fem message" or "female empowerment." Not that I don't appreciate well-designed female characters (which GoT is full of,) or think that they are less important than male ones. But what I see a lot of people call Dany's "empowerment" are things that are completely out of her control, such as being "unburnt" (an inherent trait of hers due to her bloodline) or her commanding dragons (given to her as a gift.) To me, it's counterproductive. They're saying that her only ability or source of power is through luck or things that men have given her. If you want me to respect a female character, have them make good decisions and display traits that I admire, same as any male character. I understand that, in the setting of this story, the social system puts women in a disadvantaged system. And, as part of the storyline, some women break that system. That's great! But, there really is no "empowerment" message: it's just a fictional storyline controlled by writers. If you want that, look at many admirable women throughout real history. But, to each their own I suppose. No disrespect if you enjoy that in a fictional story, I just find it cheesy.

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Wimsey
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:21 pm

Not Littlefinger wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 am
I don't hate Dany. I don't think she's an antagonist. But, I also don't consider her to be a protagonist. I think that she, like most characters in the show, is a morally complex individual who thinks that their intentions are inherently the most noble and, while that might be the case, cause them to engage in morally ambiguous and misguided behavior.
You misunderstand what a protagonist is. It is not a person you like or a good guy (gal) or something like that. A protagonist is a character who's dynamic development (that is, how much he/she changes after the storyteller initially fleshes out the character) shapes the story. It can be objectively defined: it is not down to our subjective whims. Indeed, most protagonists in modern literature are not very likable people: antiheroes are much more common than people with heroic tendencies or something like that when we look at modern protagonists.

One of GRRM's biggest influences is William Faulkner. Faulkner was one of the real innovators at generating protagonists who were not very likable people: and a big reason for that is people at odds with themselves often are unlikable, and Faulkner (like Martin) found internal conflict to be one of the greatest sources of story.

You mention Jaime as an antagonist, but Jaime, too, is a protagonist in this series. Cersei, who is pretty damned vile (although no more vile than the protagonists in a couple of Booker nominees in recent years!) is a protagonist, too. (Yes, she's also an antagonist for other protagonists, and even an anti-antagonist for Sansa, but having protagonist B be an antagonist for protagonist A is not uncommon in multiprotagonist stories.)
Last edited by Wimsey on Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise, don't put it there."
A. P. Chehkov

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Raeslewolhn
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Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:44 pm

Label me what you will, but I don't really understand the point of "fem message" or "female empowerment." Not that I don't appreciate well-designed female characters (which GoT is full of,) or think that they are less important than male ones. But what I see a lot of people call Dany's "empowerment" are things that are completely out of her control, such as being "unburnt" (an inherent trait of hers due to her bloodline) or her commanding dragons (given to her as a gift.) To me, it's counterproductive. They're saying that her only ability or source of power is through luck or things that men have given her. If you want me to respect a female character, have them make good decisions and display traits that I admire, same as any male character. I understand that, in the setting of this story, the social system puts women in a disadvantaged system. And, as part of the storyline, some women break that system. That's great! But, there really is no "empowerment" message: it's just a fictional storyline controlled by writers. If you want that, look at many admirable women throughout real history. But, to each their own I suppose. No disrespect if you enjoy that in a fictional story, I just find it cheesy.
Thanks :) Everyone is biased, of course, but we're capable of observing this in ourselves, esp with tv.

And I agree Dany feels and obligation a sense of legitimate destiny. It's as valid as any fantasy hero but not confirmed bc GRRM and the Ds like to keep religion and magic ambiguous to be more realistic. If it were a normal story ppl would be like "chosen one, done" (for her and Jon), and not assess them by normal psychological standards.

On gender... Generally speaking, I think the most successful work is balanced with regards to gender of its well developed and admirable characters. No one expects an open trans person in medieval times but ya know, within the world's reason.

That being said, Brienne, Arya and Ygritte are in the top 5 empowering women of GoT, for me personally. But Brienne is doing man things for that world, Arya is tough but morally ambiguous, Ygritte is dead and was a Wildling. Dany is did, she has fem beauty but is still a force to be reckoned with.

For me, and many, it was her transformation S1 that was the empowerment. What she symbolized as chattle, a wife but more like a slave to Drogo, EP 1 and how she became a queen through her sexual empoerment and then political empowerment. This was well before the dragons.

Even now, post dragons, it's still her character. There are many ways to handle what has happened and owning dragons. She chose conquering. And enforcing justice with precision, even when it was against her own wishes. She is young and still learning, but strong and in charge nonetheless.

If we met her now or in S3 for instance, she would be controversial still, but nonetheless empowering for young girls to watch, a hero. It's about how women are depicted generally on television. If everyone was Sansa or Cersei it wouldn't encourage young girls to take charge of their own lives.

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