House Lannister of Casterly Rock is one of the Great Houses of Seven Kingdoms, and the principal house of the westerlands. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson. Their official motto is “Hear Me Roar!” However, their unofficial motto, equally well known, is “A Lannister always pays his debts.” The Warden of the West is a Lannister by tradition.
Interesting take on the young more beautiful queen. Why do you think dany has the most literary weight?
Hi! So what I said was, “I don’t believe Arianne carries as much narrative weight as Daenerys”. That isn’t the same thing as what you’re asking. If you’re asking me which character I think is the lynchpin of the story, it’s Bran. Bran opened ASOIAF as the first non-prologue POV character, and I think he’ll close it at the end of ADOS. I do not think it is possible to win the War for the Dawn without Bran.
However, I think Dany is very close behind Bran in terms of narrative importance. (Personally, I would have Dany, Jon, and Tyrion all tie for second place if asked to rank them by narrative importance.) Relatively speaking, Dany’s been a POV in the story since the beginning. She’s connected to both political and magical plotlines and is almost certainly going to play a large role in the fight against the Others. She’s the subject of multiple prophecies. She’s spoken about from Dorne to the Wall, from Oldtown to Volantis, before she’s even set foot on Westerosi shores. She’s a messianic character in an epic fantasy story. If ASOIAF’s thesis is “Don’t treat people like things” (a theme GRRM explores repeatedly throughout his storytelling career), Dany is the embodiment of that thesis, “the breaker of chains”. She wants to protect people. She’s a liberator, a freedom fighter, someone with a selfless “inner beauty” that I think surpasses all of the other queen claimants. Dany fights to end slavery, in a story where Eldritch Slaver Sidhe are about to descend upon the world to enslave all of humanity. “Ours is a war for life itself, and should we fail the world dies with us.“
Dany is, frankly, a bigger character than Arianne. I think Arianne is like the Robb Stark of the South, in that she’s politically inexperienced and probably doomed. Arianne didn’t come onstage until AFFC. She’s not a messianic character, and I don’t believe she will have a large role to play in the War for the Dawn. GRRM is cutting back on his POV characters, and I think Arianne is one of the people who will die in TWOW. These aren’t criticisms of Arianne as a character, she’s a wonderful character, but I think she has a relatively smaller role in the story compared to Dany. Dany’s the type of character “whose coming [is] fortold” years before her birth; Arianne isn’t that type of character imo.
And more to the point, why I think Dany is the YMBQ… Even though Dany and Cersei have never met, the text is already having Dany and Cersei go head to head in a war of competing ideologies, competing value systems – what is a ruler’s true purpose? (Arianne doesn’t have these philosophical questions of government.) Here’s what Dany believes in:
“Why do the gods make kings and queens, if not to protect the ones who can’t protect themselves?”
Here’s what Cersei believes in:
She raised her voice. “Good people, your dead shall be avenged!” A few cheered, but only a few. “We ask no vengeance for our dead,” said the one-legged man, “only protection for the living. For the septs and holy places.”
The text is talking back to Cersei like, “No Cersei, you’re wrong, your eye-for-an-eye philosophy is wrong and will only lead to more and more wars in a vicious cycle of violence. We just want to be protected and live our lives” but Cersei doesn’t care. Tywin’s revenge-driven ideology of an eye for an eye, “A Lannister always pays his debts” is something dear to Cersei, something she has built her identity around for years (”I want him horned”). The text is going to strip this ideology from Cersei as part of the loss of everything she holds dear. (Maybe the people of KL or CR will rally to Dany? idk).
The YMBQ has to be someone who settles this queenship thing for once and all. If it were Arianne, Cersei would just be out for revenge again, plotting to bring about Arianne’s downfall. It has to be shoved in Cersei’s face that there’s no going back to King’s Landing; I don’t know anything short of either dragons or ice zombies that could do that.
“Confess. Confess. Confess. Confess it felt good beating me, starving me, frightening me, humiliating me. You didn’t do it because you cared about my atonement. You did it because it felt good. I understand. I do things because they feel good. I drink because it feels good. I killed my husband because it felt good to be rid of him. I fuck my brother because it feels good to feel him inside me; I lie about fucking my brother because it feels good to keep our sons safe from hateful hypocrites. I killed your high sparrow and all his little sparrows, all his septums and all his septors, all his filthy soldiers, because it felt good to watch them burn. It felt good to imagine their shock and their pain. No thought has ever given me greater joy. Even confessing feels good under the right circumstances.”