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Game of Thrones: Daenerys' Backlash

The massive outcry against GoT’s last season centered not only on a rushed job of tying up loose ends, but in particular of Daenerys Targaryen’s turn towards genocidal tyrant in the last season. Was this turn simply more male dominated writing casting female leadership as stereotypical depictions of a hysterical woman who could not handle the pressures of ruling when her BFF was executed, her dragon baby shot out of the sky, and her silver fox butchered (all before her eyes)? Or was this turn perfectly aligned with the nature of power that GoT had been warning from the beginning? Is there anything redeemable in Daenerys’ legacy after such a fall?

  • I think Dany's tyranny had been foreshadowed in her "blood as right to rule," plotline dating back to the start and really began to show in Season 5 when she showed a proclivity towards acts of extreme violence as a leader. While the ending was sloppy for a number of reasons, it would be perhaps harsh to assume that her plotline was playing into "hysterical woman ruler" tropes when a) her family history as a Targaryen made this a distinct possibility from the beginning (as they say, the gods flip a coin on those: given that John was the other one and he was not a genocidal despot, this was likewise foreshadower) and b) she wasn't shown to be "hysterical" so much as falling victim fo the "game of thrones," that the average citizen cares not about (as discussed very early on). The warning had absolutely been there. I think her legacy is mostly in her assistance with defeating the White Walkers and unifying various factions with John's assistance; but in the end, she became just as her father, The Mad King had been. – benjamindmuir 2 years ago
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  • This is a good and complicated topic. I don't want to be that person, but Dany's full name is spelled "Daenerys" for anyone looking to write on her. :) – Emily Deibler 2 years ago
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  • Emily- fixed that. Thank you! – williamnolen11 2 years ago
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  • I think this is a super interesting topic to explore, and something that we can now more rationally analyze since some time has passed since the finale and it's easier to do a retrospective. I think this one will really boil down to whether or not you think this has in fact been set up from the start. In the final episode Tyrion listed out all the reasons why we should have seen this coming; should we have, or was that a convenient excuse for the show runners to use to wrap up the show? I think it would also be worth trying to explore what fan response would have been if her character had been male. It's easy to try and claim that some of her behaviors were just hysterical, but a male character in the same position could get away with the same behavior and no one would have questioned it to the same degree I feel. – InvertedMobiusStrip 2 years ago
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  • This is a really awesome topic. I think everyone was too focused on the ending not being what they expected/wanted, that they had to make it a social issue. There’s tons of evidence foreshadowing Dany’s insanity. But you could also make an argument for the other side. Definitely explore this! – galogsdon 2 years ago
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