How do U feel about D@n3ryz as a character? What about j0n3ryz?
Oh good question anon.
This might get a little long.
When I first started watching Game of thrones (picked it up just before season 4 started), I loved Dany. I found her story interesting and her character interesting. Her struggles with her marriage to Drogo and Viscerys were appealing to me. As was her dragons and her determination to get back home and become queen. I thought it was cool to see a female character as a powerful leader and Dany’s idealism as character was a welcome departure from some of the other characters on the show.
Basically I used to love Dany…..but then I started to notice that nothing was changing about Dany. I like dynamic characters who evolve, characters who are allowed to have layers and flaws within the narrative….and Dany stopped doing that along the way. I felt like she was moved from one savior narrative to another. From one position of absolute worship to another. When she faced a hardship there was always an easy fix that usually entailed her amassing even more unearned worship and power than she had before. Dany stoped evolving as a character and became the epitome of a special snowflake. Every man who came in her presence loved her for some reason, every group of people ended up worshipping her greatness, every potential ally could never help seeing just how great she is. All of her extreme and selfish behaviors were applauded because it was Dany and Dany does whatever she wants because she’s the ultimate dragon flying fire immune badass and she’s the savior.
I was forced to watch her go on one slave mission after another, leaving nothing but chaos in her wake while still patting herself on the back for being a breaker of chains who brought “peace”. I was forced to watch her give the same awe inspiring speech about how she’s a amazing leader over and over and having the people fall in line with that idea despite never doing a single thing to prove it besides burning shit and riding dragons. None of this would have been a problem for me if the narrative would have addressed her worship for what it truly is….fear, but it doesn’t. Dany doesn’t truly inspire loyalty and belief based on her amazing capabilities as a leader and her honorable and trustworthy heart. She inspires fear and worship off the back of her privilege and her fear Inspiring power. This is barely truly dissected in the narrative with Dany tho. The men and women of the Dothraki just love Dany and think she’s a goddess, they don’t fear the shit it of her because she burned their holy land and all of their leaders to the ground. The Unsullied are just eternally grateful that Dany freed them from their slave masters so they happily act as slaves for her mission to win her throne back. According to the narrative people just can’t help but love and be loyal to the great Dany, even tho her antics over in Essos have been fear inspiring and chaotic. I mean we are still lead to believe that people just miraculously LOVE leaders that burn her opposition alive and let’s her dragons run loose. All of Dany’s short comings as a leader are rectified with advisors who get no credit for their work. All of her mistakes are erased with a display of her unmatched power. Everyone continues to march on to the beat of Dany’s drum just because and that’s that we shouldn’t question why. We are supposed to cheer her on because she’s our “heroine” even tho a lot of the times she feels like she has just as much of a propensity for selfish violence and destruction as the “villains.”
Take for example Ceresi….Ceresi is evil because she blew up a sept of people who humiliated her and came against her….but is what Ceresi did really that different from Dany setting fire to all the leaders of the Dothraki? They were people who mocked Dany, humiliated her and wants her to stand trial and be punished according to their customs and culture for her desertion just like the high sparrow and his followers were people who mocked Ceresi, humiliate her and wanted her to stand trial and be punished for her crimes against the faith according to their culture and customs. Ceresi seized control of westeros and its armies for herself and her selfishly driven desire to be queen and destroy her enemies….but is that different from Dany seizing control of all of the dothraki for her selfishly driven desire to come cross the narrow sea and destroy her enemies? Ceresi has been known to threaten people who will not be blindly loyal to her with death and hasn’t been afraid to take her power by force and shed blood. Dany has also been known to threaten people who will not give her blind loyalty with death by dragonfire, just as she has said that she will shed blood and rain fire down to get her throne. Dany and Ceresi share a lot of extreme behaviors but Dany is cheered on while Ceresi is admonished. Ceresi’s actions are always painted as firmly black, while Dany’s are given an easy out to keep her from looking like an truly mad queen.
After a while that sorta unearned elevation and lack of evolution, and an unwillingness to have her painted as anything other than special, good, and amazing becomes a turn off for me. I can see hints in the narrative that Dany isn’t as great and benevolent as she appears to be but the only way those hints will change my opinion is if it becomes more than hints, it needs to be a full on agenda for me to take Dany seriously as a character again. I don’t like special snowflakes, and Dany is everything wrong with a special snowflake. They always end up too grand for their own good and make the narrative suffer, they always end up with unmovable entitlement that overshadows all of their good characteristics. I can barely see Dany as the compassionate Queen who stoped the rape of women and was disgusted by slavery anymore because all I see now is a entitled woman who thinks the entire world owes it to her to worship at her feet and let her rule them.
I don’t think Dany is a bad character or person. I think she has some good qualities as a person and as a leader, but her ego, her narcissism, and her incompetence are hardly ever addressed in a truly negative light so she has never been forced to evolve beyond them. Even now, she’s in Westeros and we are supposed to believe that she is the greatest leader that the realm deserves and yet she doesn’t know anything about the people in westeros, expects blind loyalty, and It’s TYRION who is doing most of the thinking and planning for her. When you have a characters who thinks so highly of themselves, then you surround them with people who also blindly worship at their feet you get the Dany’s of the world, super special infallible characters that never evolve into anything beyond their own delusions. You get characters that embody everything wrong with privilege and power. There is nothing appealing to that type of character to me. It’s boring. It’s one dimensional, it’s unrealistic. That’s why I don’t see a lot that’s appealing to Dany at the moment.
Even though my dissatisfaction with Dany has been growing for seasons now I was still exited for her to cross the narrow sea and snatch Ceresi by her edges. But oddly enough crossing the sea has only shown me exactly why I started to become disillusioned with Dany in the first place. She’s strolled across the sea in all of her privileged and entitled glory thinking she was going to easily walk to the throne and yet now she’s looking like a selfish incompetent queen that is in over her head in a game with enemies and allies that she doesn’t understand. Ceresi is owning her at every turn and is so unapologetically evil in her victories that it almost makes you root for the crazy bitch. Meanwhile Dany is alienating people like Jon and the North and being stubborn even when presented with a threat to the people she so badly wants to rule because the extent of her diplomatic knowledge so far has been “submit to me I have dragons”. All she does is talk about how she’s entitled to power and worship and authority all while Tyrion has had to hold her hand at every turn so far. If she wasn’t coddled and propped for so long, if she had evolved beyond the girl who can survive fire and control dragons she would be more prepared for this game but she’s not, she’s not because Dany is a superficial leader just like she’s a superficial character, all shiny on the outside but terribly unevolved and ill equipped on the inside.
As far as her and Jon, many of the reasons I don’t care for Dany apply to why I don’t see any appeal in her and Jon. First, Jon is a borderline special snowflake his damn self if we’re being honest. The idea is this entire epic tale ends up being about these two super special destined for greatness people falling in love and saving the world and ruling the land in peace and harmony is so laughable and cliche I just can’t even take the thought seriously. Jon and Dany are predictable and and cliche.
The only thing Jon has going for him despite being a special snowflake is that Jon stays grounded as a character and because his personality and his narrative which is the exact opposite of Dany’s. Dany craves power and Jon usually wants no parts of it. Jon has been handed power on silver platters, but Jon has been given power because he has inspired faith and trust in the people around him based on his actions. Dany was born believing she was the most privileged of them all with her fancy last name that’s meant to rule westeros. Jon was born a bastard and believing himself to be the lowest of them all. Jon has fought and lost, Dany had fought and won at every turn. Jon sees no appeal in the life this game brings, Dany sees glory. I know some people like opposites attract but Dany and Jon are such polar opposites it would be impossible for them to ever work together, everything they are and believe fundamentally oppose each other. The only way they work is if one of them betrays their own character traits
Dany’s goals are also so singular and pose such huge threat to Jon and everything the claims to love and want. Dany wants to rule, she wants the 7 kingdoms. She believes she was born to rule, that it’s her birthright, she just told him that she’s been through a lot and that the only thing keeping her going had been her belief in herself and her destiny…..yet we know know that her entire existence is a lie. She’s not the true heir to the throne, Jon is. Once that is reveled how will it lead to anything else besides civil war with Jon? Dany didn’t come here and endure all her hardships to Marry the one true King and be his Queen, she came here to be THE Queen. That idea can’t co exist with Jon’s existence. Even if Jon doesn’t want the crown. How will she go on knowing it’s not really hers and never was? Is Jon’s magical love supposed to just erase everything about her?
And what about Jon, is he supposed to just forget about the north and his home and all the people who believed in him enough to make him King in the North despite being a bastard for Dany? The only way Jon can work with Dany is if he hands her the North and denies all that he is to give her absolute power, doing so would be a betrayal to North and to all of the things that Jon himself has said that he believes. If he doesn’t yield everything to Dany then how will a romance co exist with Jon being in power in westeros and even in the north? When Jon is standing in the way of what Dany wants? She’s already branded the north traitors in open rebellion because Jon refuses to kneel. Is Dany supposed to fall in love and just throw her want for power to the wind or is Jon supposed fall in love and throw the North under the bus?
Basically when I think about Jon and Dany what I get is two people who are incompatible on a character level and on a narrative level. Two people who are each other’s foils, not each other’s perfect partner. Two people who would make for a very boring and predictable story, and I don’t think anything about GRRMS ending will be boring and predictable.