viserys' dream

anonymous asked:

It irks me when people say that Dany is nothing without her dragons. GRRM described her as a warrior Queen some years ago. He compared her to Nymeria the warrior queen from Dorne. I can't find the source but I do remember reading it. I wonder how Martin feels when people try to deminish one of his favorite characters? He must take some offense or something.

Hey anon,

I’m sure GRRM is used to it by now, but I think he probably laughs to himself when people are so off about one of his characters. 

Regarding Dany, her dragons are in a way a symbolic representation of her own power. People who say she’s nothing without her dragons don’t understand the character and quite frankly have a really shitty memory. Her dragons did not make her strong enough to survive and get the respect of Drogo, or to cross the Red Waste, or to come up with the entire plan to sack Astapor without anyone’s help, or her plan to make Yunkai put down their swords with minimum bloodshed. He dragons are not what inspires her people or keeps them loyal to her, it’s her and fight to free the slaves and to treat them like people. 

It’s funny that you mentioned Nymeria because I was discussing with a friend the many similarities Dany shares with her. GRRM has compared Dany to Nymeria (who is Dany’s ancester from her great-great-grandfathers marriage to Mariah Martell) on a couple of occasions. Here is one

In particular, given that Nymeria was a warrior-queen, is there a certain amazon tradition?

“The Rhoynar did impact Dorne in a number of ways, some of which will be revealed in later books. Women definitely have more rights in Dorne, but I would not call it an “Amazon” tradition, necessarily. Nymeria had more in common with someone like Daenerys or Joan d'Arc than with Brienne or Xena the Warrior Princess.”

I found this fantastic comparison between Dany and Nymeria, I’ll quote my favorite parts but you can find the discussion here: (The bolded are quotes from the books.)

The refugee, the nomad, the woman wearing the literal skirt and metaphorical pants

“In the songs, Nymeria is said to have been a witch and a warrior; neither of these claims is true. Though she did not bear arms in battle, she led her soldiers on many battlefields, commanding them with cunning and skill.”

Dany is doing the exact same thing. She’s a warlord that’s not a warrior. And yes, you can be a warlord with absolutely no skill at arms, else Dany wouldn’t be called Aegon the Conqueror with teats.

Now let’s skim over Nymeria’s general history as it applies to Dany so far.

“Only Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar spoke against him. “This is a war we cannot hope to win,” she warned, but the other princes shouted her down and pledged their swords to Garin.”

In AGOT, Viserys is dreaming his fool dreams about re-taking Westeros with Dothraki. Dany knows better. She’s also somewhat skeptical of the Dothraki taking Westeros from the start, mostly thanks to Jorah Mormont educating her.

“The same fate awaited her own city, she saw.”

Nymeria runs for it after Valyria massacres the Rhoyanar men.After Drogo dies, Dany hatches her invaluable dragons. She’s also left with few Dothraki, and she has to flee from various Khals (on top of her constant running from Robert).

“Nymeria’s voyage was long and terrible.”

The difficulty of the Red Waste corresponds to this.Then, Nymeria had her Odyssey: Rhoyne -> Basilisk Isles -> jungles of Sothoryos -> Isle of Naath -> Summer Isles (Isle of Women).She couldn’t stay in any of these places, because~

“(…) arrived at Yeen to find that every man, woman, and child in that haunted, ruined city had vanished overnight.”

Haunted (to the eye) ruins, like the House of the Undying?

“The sullen wet heat oppressed their spirits, and swarms of stinging flies spread one disease after another (…)”


“On Naath, the Isle of Butterflies, the peaceful people gave them welcome, but the god that protects that strange land began to strike down the newcomers by the score with a nameless mortal illness”

Illness, like the Bloody Flux outbreak? Also, Missandei - one of Dany’s main helpers - is a friendly girl from Naath Dany finds somewhere at the halfway point of her journey.

“Basilisk Isles (…) only to fall afoul of the corsair kings (…) carrying off hundreds into slavery.”


“new towns on Basilisk Point were raided by slavers,”

Well, what do you know, Dany’s slave liberation campaign isn’t working out so well. In fact, seemingly half of the slaving Essos is sending armies against her in ADWD - Yunkai, Qarth, New Ghis, Tolos, Elyria, Volantis, the Harpies within Meereen itself.

“In the Summer Isles (…) its thin stony soil yielded little food, and many starved.”

As Dany approached Meereen, the slavers put the land around it to torch to starve her out. She still took the city, but many of her people are nonetheless starving.

“The battered, tattered remainder of the ten thousand ships sailed west with Princess Nymeria. This time she made for Westeros.”

Dany at the end of ADWD:

“Meereen was not her home, and never would be. It was a city of strange men with strange gods and stranger hair, of slavers wrapped in fringed tokars, where grace was earned through whoring, butchery was art, and dog was a delicacy. Meereen would always be the Harpy’s city, and Daenerys could not be a harpy.

Never, said the grass, in the gruff tones of Jorah Mormont. You were warned, Your Grace. Let this city be, I said. Your war is in Westeros, I told you.”

The once and future queen

Back to Nymeria and why I think Dany will do well in Westeros~

“Dry, desolate, and thinly peopled, Dorne at this time was a poor land where a score of quarrelsome lords and petty kings warred endlessly over every river, stream, well, and scrap of fertile land.”

Wet, desolate and overflowing with corpses, at the end of ADWD Westeros is a fucked-up continent where a score of quarrelsome lords and petty kings war endlessly over everything. Euron, Tommen, Aegon, Stannis, KINGINDANORF? are just the Kings we have. (Does the Night King count?)

“Most of these Dornish lords viewed the Rhoynar as unwelcome interlopers, invaders with queer foreign ways and strange gods, who should be driven back into the sea whence they’d come.”

Yeah, Dany will have barbarians, slaves (you think Westerosi can notice they have no collars?), the infamous Imp, dragons, a trail of burning enemies behind her. She won’t get warm reception from most.

And they lived happily ever after

Well, probably not. I don’t see how GRRM will keep Dany on Nymeria’s track without breaking his tone.

“Though she married twice more (first to the aged Lord Uller of Hellholt, and later to the dashing Ser Davos Dayne of Starfall, the Sword of the Morning), Nymeria herself remained the unquestioned ruler of Dorne for almost twenty-seven years, her husbands serving only as counselors and consorts.”

I suppose that in a certain way, Mors can also work as Drogo, old Lord Uller as lame King Hizdahr, and the Sword of the Morning as… Jon NOT DARKSTAR, because I refuse to contemplate the possibility of Darkstar (she already did Bad Boy Daario). The husbands as consorts works for Hizadhr, and whomever her prophesized 3rd husband is, Dany will be leading in her own right - Drogon, Dracarys! helps there.

“She survived a dozen attempts upon her life, put down two rebellions, and threw back two invasions by the Storm King Durran the Third and one by King Greydon of the Reach.”

Dany already survived at least 4-5 attempts on her life - AGOT wineseller, ACOK manticore and arguably Undying, ASOS Titan’s Bastard, ADWD Poizdar do Loqust. I also don’t see Stannis bending to Dany, same for Tyrells who’ll stay with Tommen Lannister. Other possibilities for revolting kingdoms are Dorne (the irony!) and Iron Islands.

That was pretty awesome, there are more quote at the link if you want to read all the parallels between these awesome women. 

I will add one thing regarding Nymeria’s 3 husbands vs. Dany’s 3 husbands.

Nymeria’s first husband (Mors Martell) came from a people who are famed for their horses (Dorne), Dany’s first husband came from a people famed for their horses (Dothraki). 

Nymeria’s second husband came from Hellholt (Lord Uller), which is symbolized by a sort of fiery yin-yang thing, it’s half this and half that, it’s divided basically. Dany’s second husband was symbolized by the Harpy, half woman, and half bird. 

Finally, Nymeria’s third and final husband was Ser Davos Dayne the Sword of the Morning, I do wonder if the Sword of the Morning will play a role in the books as it has been mentioned a lot. And whether Jon will use it or not. Jon does have a connection to an actual Sword of the Morning in Author Dayne. And of course, there is the whole War for Dawn thing going one. 

Sorry, I hijacked your asked but yeah, Dany doesn’t need to wield a sword to be kickass, just look at her very kickass ancestor Nymeris. 


The Son(g) of Ice and Fire

I saw someone commenting on a George RR Martin interview where he talks about why he named the series Ice and Fire. This person seemed to assume that George’s answer meant that Jon and Daenerys represent Ice and Fire together, respectively, which is something I have always very vocally disagreed with, and will continue to do until Martin himself tells me I’m wrong (that means Dan and David and their fanfic freakshow and magazine covers are irrelevant to me). 

Originally posted by to-eternal-darkness

I read/listened to this interview a long, long time ago, and it never gave me the impression that my idea of what the Song of Ice and Fire means, is wrong… 
Here’s why:


Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I love reading your ASOIAF thoughts and theories. If/since Dany is AA & Jon is TPTWP, what does that mean moving forward in the story?

Thanks Anon! The Prince that was Promised/Azor Ahai prophesy is directly related to the War for the Dawn, the central conflict of ASOIAF. We know that many people believe Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised are one and the same, and it could be argued that the Last Hero is a variation as well. Keeping this in mind, I think the prophesy is meant to tie together the three heads of the dragon, and the part they’ll play in the fight against the Others.

The thing to remember here is that prophesy doesn’t actually make you a hero.

Consider Daenerys: when she finally comes to Westeros, she’s coming for the throne. That’s her goal, the goal Viserys left her after he died, the last known tie she has to her heritage. Whether or not it’s what she truly wants is a topic for another time, because in her mind, her journey is supposed to end with her being a queen.

But, and I can’t stress this enough, the Iron Throne is meaningless.

“Gods save us, boy, you’re not blind and you’re not stupid. When dead men come hunting in the night, do you think it matters who sits the Iron Throne?”

“No.” Jon had not thought of it that way. (Jon IX, AGOT)

That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened. (Daenerys III, ASOS)

For Daenerys, her role in the prophesy as Azor Ahai means that she has to give up the dream Viserys planted in her head. People have told her all her life who she is: a princess, a queen, a conqueror. But Tyrion, someone who hasn’t even met her, said it best.

“(…) This Mother of Dragons, this Breaker of Chains, is above all a rescuer.” (Tyrion VI, ADWD)

Daenerys being Azor Ahai has to be a choice, and it’s no different with Jon. You’re not a hero because of your ancestry or because a prophesy says so, you have to actively make a choice. The fact that Jon, Dany, and Tyrion are all going to make that choice is what will make them a team.

anon-foreverandever  asked:

Whenever I read how Viserys had to sell his mother's crown... I can't but think on a little boy (ten years old or so) already hard to grasp reality in full sat on a rock (they're very poor and even homeless) beholding the crown in both his hands before coming to the decision of selling it. I can't be helped but to remember Arya remembering herself how Needle was all her past: The people of Winterfell, Mikken's forging, Bran's climbing, Sansa and Jeyne's running, etc etc.

Viserys is to a large degree a deconstruction of the image of the romantic exile prince. (My favorite example is how his clothes, appropriate for the King on the Iron Throne, prove utterly unsuitable for the Dothraki Sea.) Accordingly, yeah, there are a lot of sympathetic notes in his backstory. So many characters in ASOIAF go through a fall-into-knowledge wherein they learn that life is not automatically (gotta stress that word) a song, and GRRM explores a full range of reactions to that revelation. Viserys’ response is among the worst, and he repeatedly crosses the line from “best of a bad situation” to outright atrocious, but not for nothing does GRRM emphasize how delusional, desperate, and ultimately pathetic he is. In contrast to Arya and her siblings, who draw strength from the memory of home, Viserys’ dream of home brought out the absolute worst in him. 

zibilivedro  asked:

Hi, could you explain why you think Daenerys is not a feminist? (Im kind of used to everyone admiring her, so when you said "only people who hate feminism think daenerys is a feminist" I was really surprised? I mean, I understand that she has plenty of flaws, but I didn't think it was that bad?)

Thanks for the question! I’m afraid it took me more words than I initially expected to give an answer though, apologies in advance. 

It’s funny you’re asking because I amused myself with this specific article today, and I think it’s very good in explaining exactly what I mean, when I say only people who do not understand feminism, or hate feminism, think Daenerys is a feminist.

This article is a good example of the first, I think. The writer is saying Dany is one of the best feminists to have ever decorated our tv screen… okay? Aside from the fact that this insults soooo many amazing and inspiring women, it’s mostly just plain bullshit. It’s save to sat the person only saw the show, but even in that case (though I agree the tv version of Dany is white-washed brat), there is literally no sense in it.

They give her character traits to prove their point. Let’s have a look;

1. Strength. They point out that when you ‘lay a hand on Daenerys you will undoubtedly lose it’, they make it seem like Dany is strong because she doesn’t let men push her around. They say her strength commands respect.
Yes, yes, yes… heard this before. It makes me wonder, is it her own strength that commands respect?
It’s not. It’s her dragons. Daenerys owes everything she has, including her life, to her three dragons. If Viserys had ended up accidentally hatching dragons, people would be following him, and the dragons had ‘commanded respect’ for him. Add to that the simple and plain fact that Daenerys has male advisors only who all desperately try to clean up the mess she makes. Dany is still alive, not because she was smart, capable and clever but because of the men in her life.

2. Understanding. They say Daenerys finds her place in the Dothraki because she’s so ‘understanding’. …. *cries* That is why she refuses to join the Dosh Khaleen when Drogo dies and gets real pissed at his blood riders when they leave the moment her 'beloved’ husband dies, because she’s so respectful of Dothraki culture. Now, I won’t deny she adopted well to her surroundings in the first book, before Drogo dies, but ever since… there’s little adapting on Dany’s part. In fact, the moment she takes Mereen, she complains about them eating dogs, about their clothes, about their hobbies… she’s extremely un-adapting. This article also happens to claim that ’she ultimately believes that we are all equal’ and that’s even funnier. Daenerys adopted her brother’s ubermensch mentality that most Targaryens were blessed with… she does not consider anyone her equal, promise.

3. Tenacity. Here they say she’s so inspiring because she’s fearless. Remember when Ned said only men who fear can be brave? I would be fearless too, with three goddamn dragons. Smart people are afraid, you know. Daenerys is an idiot.

4. Inspiration. This one is the worst. “While any man can lead an army with fear and violence, she instead commands admiration, trust and loyalty.” *cries again*… yes, I’ll remind you of her dragons, again… she doesn’t inspire anyone but Jorah Mormont who wants to do her.   When Dany arrives in Westeros, do you think anyone will dare refuse her? They can’t. Look at her army! No one follows Daenerys because they believe in her (except Mormont, yes), they either owe her because she freed them and now they have nowhere else to go, or it’s because they want to revenge their enemies and plan to use her and at the end, again, it’s just all because of the dragons.

5. Self Belief. “As she says to her legions of loyal followers: “I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyeria. I am the dragon’s daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming.” How can we not love this woman?“
I don’t understand why people always love to repeat this specific line again and again and again. To remind you all… most people Daenerys says this to, have tragically died by now.
In any case… someone is promising others that she’ll make their enemies scream when she’ll kill them. Yay feminism? How can I possibly not love this woman indeed? *cries some more*

Let’s look at these reasons and conclude that… aside from them being bullshit, feminism also just happens to not be about self-believe, inspiration, tenacity, understanding and strength. Feminism is not about GIRLLLPOWERr!@(#!!.

Feminism is, literally, the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

When has Daenerys ever done anything ever to better the lives of women? When has she ever attempted to fight for equality? When has she ever openly spoken out about the rights of women

Never. Because all Daenerys cares about is her own ass on the Iron Throne. Remember when everyone was saying that Hilary Clinton becoming president wouldn’t do anything for feminism overall? Daenerys on the throne would simply not be a wow-feminism moment either. She is just another conqueror and yes, I do believe that had she been an ugly man, no one would have liked her all that much. Remember Stannis? Stannis believed the throne belonged to him too, Stannis burned people alive as well, Stannis considered himself a savior prince too… Proves my point, I hope. 

Daenerys may understand that men will underestimate her because she’s a woman (hence the ‘Woman? Is that meant to insult me?’ quote) and even uses this to her advantage, but that all becomes so much less impressive when you realize she herself underestimates women too. She mocks Cersei, for example, when she hears Joffrey died and king Tommen is now ruled by his queen-regent mother again. Now, Cersei is not the epitome of great leadership, but we’ve all seen what she’s capable of. And Cersei… doesn’t have/need dragons. Cersei suffers and Cersei fights, Cersei schemes and plots and plays the game. Cersei has some… impressive quotes that actually do indicate that she hates male privilege, unlike… Daenerys. 

Daenerys is on her way (in the show) right now, with a huge Dothraki army. What do the Dothraki do? They rape. Who are the greatest victims of rape? Women.

What kind of feminism icon brings a raping army with her to conquer land that doesn’t want to be conquered?

Just because Daenerys fights for what she wants and happens to have a pussy, doesn’t mean she’s the embodiment of feminism. It’s not cool feminism that Daenerys demands respect, because she simply has not done anything to demand respect. It’s not feminism that Daenerys goes after what she wants, cause what she wants is wrong.

Look at this conversation in the books between Dany and Xaro Xan Doxos, after she conquered Mereen:

Daenerys: Meereen is a free city of free men.

Xaro Xhoan Daxos: A poor city that once was rich. A hungry city that once was fat. A bloody city that once was peaceful.

-Daenerys III A Dance With Dragons

Later Xaro dear also says this:

Xaro Xhoan Daxos: You will not make Meereen rich and fat and peaceful. You will only bring it to destruction, as you did Astapor.

Daenerys III A Dance With Dragons

What I am trying to say is… Xaro Xhoan Daxos is right. Daenerys is not a badass power queen who fights to save the poor, who liberates slaves and goes after what’s ‘hers’. Dany allows the freed slaves to sell themselves back into slavery and keeps part of the money (according to the Human Rights charter and the European Court of Humans Rights, that simply makes her guilty of slavery, yes). She destroys complete civilizations. When prince Quintyn sails past Astapor he says he has never seen such a horrible place. And that’s Dany’s fault. Did she please the women of Mereen and Astapor with her behavior and actions? Do you think she helped their position in society? NO. In fact, when societies suffer, when it’s a time of war, when the men are off fighting, it’s the women who suffer the most. Everyone who has little knowledge of war and war crimes knows this.

She is going to possibly do the same to Westeros… and why? Because she wants to help people? Because she is going to make their lives better? Because she’ll do justice? Because she’s a feminist? Because she’ll liberate them from oppressors and evil?

The smallfolk of Westeros don’t care who sits the Iron Throne. They don’t make secret dragon banners, all they care about is summer and rain. And Daenerys knows this. 

Dany wants Westeros because she took on Viserys’ lifelong dream the moment she allowed her husband to throw molten gold over her brother’s head. She wants Westeros, because in her messed up mind, she was born to rule.
Daenerys doesn’t see power for the heavy duty it is, she finds herself entitled and supreme. Someone like that is not an example to me, and she’s definitely not a feminist.

So I’m listening to “Dragonstone” from the OST


“It was also said that [Illyrio]’d never had a friend he wouldn’t cheerfully sell for the right price. Dany listened to the talks in the streets, and she heard these things, but she knew better than to question her brother when he wove his webs of dream.”

“In the alleys and wine sinks of Pentos, they called her brother “the beggar king”.”

“Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms.”

“I don’t like the queen,” Arya said casually.”

I love that even at the beginning (these quotes all come from the very beginning of AGOT), Arya and Dany are so similar. They both know not to take at face value what is said to their faces, to listen what is whispered behind their backs (from people that most of the nobility thinks not worthy of attention btw), and thus are able to see right through the lies served to them (by Illyrio to Dany and Cersei to Arya). Throughout all the books they both show a startling acuteness of mind, a perceptiveness a lot of often older characters lack, and that from a very young age.

(In other words, my girls ain’t taking any of your bullshit.)

Quick look at Viserys & Daenerys

I don’t want to write a meta about it, I only write these when I have exams and absolutely no time whatsoever, but…

I thought it was so interesting that Viserys came up in Dany’s scenes in last night’s episode. I am so interested in Viserys because he gives us a peek at Rhaegar, Rhaella and Aerys as well as, if you look/read/listen closely, explains how and why Daenerys became what she is today. Daenerys is what she is for many reasons, but his abuse of her, the way he treated her, the way Daenerys treated him, gives us an idea of why Dany does what she does, and it, I believe, gives us clues about what she might do/become in the future

Daenerys mentioning Viserys, calling him a fool for believing the smallfolk were sewing dragonbanners and praying for his return, saying she’s not so stupid to believe that, reminding us once again that she’s very aware of what the smallfolk of Westeros truly want, well… what are we to make of that? 

Viserys was a fool yes, and he visibly inherited his father’s madness, his family’s madness, but I have often tried to advocate for a little more kindness towards his character. He was absolutely nuts and cruel (arguably a horrible brother, though, arguably he also wasn’t that horrible- meta about that for another day) and lived with his head in a cloud. He was delusional and called himself a ‘dragon’. 

But, and I think this is important to remember when one judges him and his behavior, his motives were crystal clear. He truly believed people were sewing dragon banners, he honestly thought Westeros was his birthright, and it slightly was in a way that, I’m sorry, it never was Dany’s. Viserys believed he was wanted.

Dany seems perfectly aware that she’s unwanted. She calls Viserys a fool for not being aware. She is openly mocking him and his believes (despite his dreams resembling her own so much, which one might call (or should) call both naive and hypocritical). 

Viserys spend his first years in Westeros, he had actual memories of the place, he was a prince, the heir to his father for a time. He grew up in the red Keep, he lost his mother, had to sell her crown, and dragged an (annoying) little sister around a continent not his own to protect the both of them, always living in fear, always longing for home. Viserys truly missed Westeros, he spoke of it all the time, it was his home in a way that it’ll never be Dany’s home. It is where he believed he belonged because he’d always belonged there, because he grew up being told that he was important, that he was special. As much as Viserys’ ideas were messed up and wrong, they somewhat (somewhat!) excuse his inexcusable behavior. 

What’s Dany’s excuse?

She knows she’s unwanted, she knows the people don’t pray for her health, her return, she knows the smallfolk only care about an endless summer, rain and healthy children. She’s not rescuing Westeros from cruel Cersei since she sailed across the Narrow Sea when cute lil Tommen still sat the Iron Throne and always planned on doing it no matter what ‘usurper’ called himself King. 
So, why exactly is she in Westeros with an army the seize of a small kingdom? How is she doing good being in Westeros? A raping, slaughtering, reaping, stealing, slaving army of Dothraki and ex-slave eunuchs with a training of hell. An army that will do more harm than good (kudos to the show for acknowledging this, I wasn’t too hopeful about it so yay).

If Dany knows that she’s not conquering Westeros for Westeros, then why is she doing it? Is she conquering… Westeros for Dany? For her own selfish needs and wants? For her own greed and power hunger? What exactly is left of her savior messiah campaign? Why is she in Dragonstone? Is it because she believes it is her destiny? Because she was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms

Daenerys may mock Viserys and believe herself so much more clever than he was, but, let’s be real now, she literally is Viserys, in the sense that they both call Westeros mine, they call themselves a dragon, they are self-entitled, arrogant, bratty and don’t shy away from violence. The both want the same thing and they may have different delusions behind their wants, but they still want it for the same reason, the reason of believing these Seven Kingdoms to be their personal property. They both want(ed) that power, the satisfaction of placing their ass on the Iron Throne. 

Daenerys adopted all of Viserys’ dreams (and a little more, looking back at the disaster that was Mereen), but she didn’t learn from his mistakes, instead she’s, if possible, even more arrogant than he ever was (just take a look at the way she invites the King in the North to come over and bend the knee to ‘his’ Queen). 

Daenerys is Viserys, but worse. And that’s actually very scary. 

(look at that I still wrote a meta)

for joannalannister


“You will regret this,” Mother promises Viserys on the day he agrees to wed Daenerys to one of the horselords. “To your dying day, my son, you will rue the day you did this.”

Daenerys has learned to trust her mother in such things - deny it though she may, it has always seemed to Dany that Rhaella Targaryen is gifted with the dragon dreams Viserys speaks of in hallowed whispers when he thinks their mother cannot hear.

Mother always hears. Dany does not mind that.

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Arya Stark and Daenerys Targaryen Parallels

I’ve noticed that very few people talk about the considerable parallels between Arya and Dany, so I created a quote list to illustrate a bunch of them. I left out some, there were too many, and some were just not well exhibited in quote format (such as similar feelings of betrayal by Harwin/Gendry and Jorah/Barristan.)

It’s amazing to note how similar Arya and Dany are in many ways. Both are fallen princesses (after Robb crowned himself and before Dany did) who’ve lived in poverty, homelessness and starvation as a member of the smallfolk. They both want to see dragons (before Dany’s hatches,) have a psychic link to a terrifying animal, and are foreshadowed as going to the Wall/helping battle the Others. They have similar mindsets for morality, the treatment of their enemies, and the protection of their people/pack. They are connected to Braavos as a home that isn’t a true one, are polyglots, and just parallel each other in many ways with their sense of justice, loyalty, protectiveness, and people in general.

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One of the fascinating aspects of Dany’s character in my opinion is her incredible inner turmoil over the legacy of her family (and her obvious pride and attachment to it) and her own nurturing and compassionate nature.

Dragons are the symbol of House Targaryen. Dany very heavily relates to the sigil, often drawing on dragons as a form of strength:

Yet when she slept that night, she dreamt the dragon dream again. Viserys was not in it this time. There was only her and the dragon. Its scales were black as night, wet and slick with blood. Her blood, Dany sensed. Its eyes were pools of molten magma, and when it opened its mouth, the flame came roaring out in a hot jet. She could hear it singing to her, She opened her arms to the fire, embraced it, let it swallow her whole, let it cleanse her and temper her and scour her clean. She could feel her flesh sear and blacken and slough away, could feel her blood boil and turn to steam, and yet there was no pain. She felt strong and new and fierce. Dany, AGoT

Dany looked at him helplessly. It was good that dragons did not cry.  Dany, ADWD

However, as powerful as dragons are, they are also more or less the universal symbol of destruction and death:

“Dragons are fire made flesh" Quaithe in Dany, ACoK

"Death comes out of a dragon’s mouth" Septon Barth in Tyrion, ADWD 

It is dragons.”

“Dragons?” said her mother. “Teora, don’t be mad.”

“I’m not. They’re coming.”

“How could you possibly know that?” her sister asked, with a note of scorn in her voice. “One of your little dreams?”

Teora gave a tiny nod, chin trembling. “They were dancing. In my dream. And everywhere the dragons danced the people died.” Arianne, TWoW

Dany is not ignorant of this. As much as she tries to harden herself and takes pride in her family/sigil, she frequently finds herself upset and doubtful over the chaotic and destructive nature of dragons:

She was the blood of the dragon. She could kill the Sons of the Harpy, and the sons of the sons, and the sons of the sons of the sons. But a dragon could not feed a hungry child nor help a dying woman’s pain. And who would ever dare to love a dragon? Dany, ADWD

Mother of dragons, Daenerys thought. Mother of monsters. What have I unleashed upon the world? A queen I am, but my throne is made of burned bones, and it rests on quicksand. Without dragons, how could she hope to hold Meereen, much less win back Westeros? I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am IDany, ADWD

“He would make a monster of me,” she whispered, “a butcher queen.” But then she thought of Drogon far away, and the dragons in the pit. There is blood on my hands too, and on my heart. We are not so different, Daario and I. We are both monsters. Dany, ADWD

Dany is a compassionate person. She wants to protect everyone as she herself was never truly protected growing up. She is not incapable of necessary evils or ruthlessness, but it’s not what she prefers by any means. She would have her people protected; Dany wants love over fear.

This inner struggle has been building for some time now. She locks away her dragons, her primary means of maintaining her rule, because she fears innocents will die as she can’t fully control them. She’s as proud of them as she is ashamed. But turning her back on her dragons is treated as a mistake in many ways, as if she were turning her back on her own heritage.

The dragon does not weep. She was bleeding, but it was only woman’s blood. The moon is still a crescent, though. How can that be? She tried to remember the last time she had bled. The last full moon? The one before? The one before that? No, it cannot have been so long as that. “I am the blood of the dragon,” she told the grass, aloud.

Once, the grass whispered back, until you chained your dragons in the dark.

“Drogon killed a little girl. Her name was … her name …” Dany could not recall the child’s name. That made her so sad that she would have cried if all her tears had not been burned away. “I will never have a little girl. I was the Mother of Dragons.”

Aye, the grass said, but you turned against your children. Dany, ADWD

She wants to save and "plant trees”, but her power and family legacy is derived from fire and force. This is compounded in her final chapter(s) in ADWD (as the quote above illustrates.)

To me, GRRM has clearly outlined a contradiction. It’s heavily established that betraying your family/family’s legacy is bad. Kinslaying is one of the worst crimes and duty to your house is very important. For Dany to reject or feel ashamed over her own sigil is not portrayed well. In fact, in some ways it reads like how the Stark kids have tragedy befall them when they ignore their direwolves and treat them just like pets (or worse dangerous beasts.)

However, at the same time, Dany is trying to do the right thing and prevent innocent blood from being spilled. Is it not preferable that Dany try to prevent creatures that are her “children” from causing chaos towards children and innocents?

I feel like this is an interesting crossroad in Dany’s character arc. To really have an impact and maintain power (especially in regards to the Others,) she needs the dragons. But the dragons are consistently portrayed as agents of chaos, destruction, and death. Dany is against this obviously. 

Part of this struggle makes me think of how the darkness of the ASoIaF world sometimes allows actions and thoughts that would be morally reprehensible in modern society to appear the better or even “good” option. What seems black and white in terms of morality is revealed to be not quite that simple in such a violent and death-ridden world.

I’m very interested to see where this leads for Dany. At the end of ADWD, she appears to have embraced her dragons and heritage once more, reaffirming her confidence and purpose, but dragons will never be portrayed as vehicles for non-violent and peaceful situations. I suspect that the dragons will die out by the end of the series. But I’m very intrigued at how Dany is going to handle these conflicting aspects of herself- the strength and pride of her sigil/family and the upset and aversion to the destruction they cause.