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Old 08-21-17, 10:20 AM   #1
jaystao
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The moralilty of Game of Thrones

You got any idea what I'm talking about it? Something on your mind in regards to the actions of these fantasy made up characters? Whats the moral conundrum being presented here? Is there one?

Here's my first attempt.

Daenerys Targaryen right. She's got these dragons. She raised them. And she says their her children right. Like actually her children. Then she goes and burns people alive with her dragons. She's been doing that all through like six seasons. Lately she's been doing it a lot. She got her dragon to burn alive two defenseless dudes, a father and son. How do I feel about a mother who gets her children to commit terrible atrocities sometimes in the name of what seems like vanity? I mean yes, dragons kill things, they burn things. Do they? I presume their nature is a bit cat like sometimes, they hunt and feed but sometimes they 'play'. Not evil exactly just animal like or at worst human like. But even if they were just like animals who sometimes hurt people, Dannys still uses them as instruments off fear, execution and mass murder. Ramsey did the same with his 'dogs'. He bred them as instruments of his wickedness. If you hated Ramsey's dogs then surely Danny must suffer the same sense of wrongness here. Is this what her dragons 'would' naturally be like if left to their own devices or is this something nurtured in them, or a bit if both. None the less Danny is using her 'children' as instruments of terror and pretty effectively too. Admittedly human parents bring up human children and turn them into warriors for betterment of the 'family'. But there is some form of conscious submission and agreement there. If the Dragons don't know their actions are evil or immoral, if they are just animal in their instinct to do their mother's bidding, then the moral burden lies fully on her. I don't know if this makes sense but it's a good starting point for a moral discussion on GOT.
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Old 08-21-17, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

On the other hand, how many lives has Dany enriched? How many chains has she broken? People who knew nothing but bondage and servitude, who may not understand what it means to be free, but are grateful anyway, and at least now have the chance to learn what freedom is. Not everyone is grateful, and Dany lost her child and husband because she stopped a gang rape and murder, then trusted the witch who'd been saved. The world and characters of GoT are as complex as our own, or it was until recently at least. We may still wind up with a better version in ASOIAF.

GRRM IS a moralist. But he's not another Aesop, his characters are complex and human.

Sandor might be the best example, with Tyrion a close second.

Just like real life, though, we have characters like Myrcella and Tommen. Both sweet lovable kids who tried to do the right things but were caught up in circumstances beyond their control and wound up dead at very tender ages.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

She felt real shame and sadness for the man who lost his child to wild Drogon. she even chained her other two up to protect people.

She held them back until she had lost her allies to Euron. At that point she knew what kind of war she was in. She used them for terror and to limit the number of lost lives in her own army. She actually didn't kill as many with her dragon as I would have at that point. Although, I will say that she could have lined up her army and showed her dragon and asked for a parley. She could have offered them to surrender before attacking. but heck, she'd lost a lot of allies and that would have given them time to try and prepare.

She burned the slave masters fleets attacking her but that was self defense.

I don't think many had issue when she let young drogon burn the master of the unsullied. He had it coming and she kept her promise.

Burning the Tarlys was one point where I thought she was too impulsive and possibly out of character. Her inflexibility to those unwilling to immediately bend the knee seems a bit out of character this season. And I agree with Tyrions assessment of how she should of handled it.

Anyway, dragons aren't evil as you say. They don't have the morals of humans. They normally kill to eat and are used as tools for Dany.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:08 PM   #4
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

I see the white walkers and their army as neither good nor evil. A man was sacrificed to become the night King (on the show). They were clearly created to kill the enemies of the children and eventually turned on the children. If anything it was the children who were immoral. They turned men into the white walkers and played with magic they couldn't control. But they did it to protect their species and may have thought it was a last resort.


They are intelligent but I'm not sure there is any sense of morality there. They are like swarms of locusts that destroy the crops. They just do what they were made to do.
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Old 08-22-17, 01:28 AM   #5
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

As for burning the Tarlys, keep in mind that she'd been force-fed propaganda about The Usurper Baratheon and his minions since infancy. Even Jorah kept that stuff up after Viserys was dead, when he could have tried to explain that Aerys was crazier than a shithouse rat and really truly did need to go, never mind trying to explain the complicated politics involved and the actualy parties responsible for particular atrocities, he just kept on letting her blame every semi-noble house that bent the knee to the Stag. But enough whinging about Jorah (for now).

Dany does let go of her emotions sometimes, and sometimes other people pay terrible prices for it. That doesn't make her evil, it makes her a powerful and believable human being.
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Old 08-22-17, 10:30 AM   #6
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

Very good points so far. If I'm to play the devils advocate there's certainly a to discuss here. I'm not sure I entirely agree with myself but here goes. I haven't read the books so I'm basing everything here on what I've seen on T.V.

Quote:
On the other hand, how many lives has Dany enriched? How many chains has she broken? People who knew nothing but bondage and servitude, who may not understand what it means to be free, but are grateful anyway, and at least now have the chance to learn what freedom is. Not everyone is grateful, and Dany lost her child and husband because she stopped a gang rape and murder, then trusted the witch who'd been saved. The world and characters of GoT are as complex as our own, or it was until recently at least. We may still wind up with a better version in ASOIAF.
Well the ends justifies the means is what your saying, but certainly Tyrion broaches a powerful point. She claims to be wanting to change the world but her actions must then pronounce that change, which is why he's so amendment that she put on her best behavior in Westeros. She has done great things (all of which initially started in her desire to regain her kingdom of Westeros, but she's evolved since then, made some conscious decisions to help people and choose a better path - crucifying the "masters' was a tad over indulgent but hey, tough times call for tough measures). She's shown great compassion balanced to her fury and vengeance. She's using her dragons as instruments of justice. Fine. However these were her children and the point is she is 'using' them for her own benefit or for the benefit of many, none the less she is still using them. What free will do these creatures have to say otherwise? Are they aware of this complex social arrangement their mother exists within, where it is alright to burn horribly a bunch of people for the benefit of others?

I guess I'm doing the male chauvinistic thing where I'm attacking her virtue as a mother, what mother would turn their children into 'monsters' for the benefit of admittedly many but also to serve her own purposes at times. Ends justifies the means though.

Tyrian's point is interesting. He killed quite a lot of people in the defense of Kingslanding, burning them in turn. He probably is quite guilty over his part in that. Maybe it's not as much as wanting to get Danny to see the moral side of things, as much as thinking she might actually enjoy burning people alive. And that is maybe an interesting avenue to take - does she take pleasure in seeing her monsters at work? I think secretly she does and that's a danger strictly in a narrative point which Tyrian is worried about. Because it would make her evil.

Quote:
GRRM IS a moralist. But he's not another Aesop, his characters are complex and human.

Sandor might be the best example, with Tyrion a close second.
mm

The moral face of Westeros. Pretty GRRM stuff if that is what we have to draw on. I like the story arc of both characters and I agree, I see them as almost giving a moralist realist view on the proceedings of GOT where bad things happen to good people, and bad people too.

Quote:
Just like real life, though, we have characters like Myrcella and Tommen. Both sweet lovable kids who tried to do the right things but were caught up in circumstances beyond their control and wound up dead at very tender ages.
Often it is the youth who die for causes and ideals. It is that a premise of such a dark age then, that good people tend to die good. In a dark age world this is almost a maxim, where we can't rely on social justice to prevail and in order to survive we must and indeed are required to do bad things or at least have a survivalist mentality. Is this the wheel that Danny wishes to break? I think the only real way to achieve this is through civic revolution where society itself is over thrown and people are given more freedoms. But the Sparrow tried that and look what happened. ANd once again none of that matters if you have no food to eat.
Quote:
She felt real shame and sadness for the man who lost his child to wild Drogon. she even chained her other two up to protect people.

She held them back until she had lost her allies to Euron. At that point she knew what kind of war she was in. She used them for terror and to limit the number of lost lives in her own army. She actually didn't kill as many with her dragon as I would have at that point. Although, I will say that she could have lined up her army and showed her dragon and asked for a parley. She could have offered them to surrender before attacking. but heck, she'd lost a lot of allies and that would have given them time to try and prepare.
ff

Quote:
Dany does let go of her emotions sometimes, and sometimes other people pay terrible prices for it. That doesn't make her evil, it makes her a powerful and believable human being.
mm

These are good valid points in her favor. I still think she presumes a lot of her Dragons, for someone who holds them so dear. So when placed in a corner with the gloves off, she proves to be just as ruthless and just as merciless as her enemies to some extent. Certainly there is a balance between good and evil within this woman, far more then Cercei ever showed. But should she listen to Tyrian or follow her Dragon burning father and son executing heart of hearts? I think the enjoyment part might play a role later or at least is hinting towards that. That would be the path to the dark side.

You also mentioned the White walkers. I got nothing there. Their pretty black and white really, and being undead just doesn't help any sense of moral inclination. The white walkers were turned initially to fight the enemies of the children of the forest, ie humans. So it was an initial injustice which created them. Evil begets evil. In that struggle enemies came together to fight a common foe but is that a moral decision or just a matter of survival. Maybe the enemy here was 'emotion' that is to say 'pride, vengeance, hatred, vanity, hate' all that stuff. Only by overcoming that can mankind learn to move on and work together.
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Old 08-22-17, 04:20 PM   #7
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

Littlefinger is a great example of a GRRM villain. I'd analogize him with Gregg Hartmann from Wild Cards. Both master manipulators obsessed with obtaining power for themselves, albeit in very different political climates. Baelish often uses his power to help deserving others, but never if it's a stupid play for himself - just like Hartmann.

Remember that Danaerys is barren now. The dragons are the only children she will ever bear.

I think the key in GRRM's worlds is self-sacrifice. Baelish would never do anything counter to his own self-interest for anyone else. He will have the end that such a selfish coward deserves. Danaerys sacrifices her children and her friends and her enemies to try to create a better world for all. If she wasn't tempted sorely by the dark side, her eventual victory over it would be hollow. But her sacrifices for others will redeem her.
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Old 08-23-17, 11:23 AM   #8
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

Quote:
I think the key in GRRM's worlds is self-sacrifice. Baelish would never do anything counter to his own self-interest for anyone else. He will have the end that such a selfish coward deserves. Danaerys sacrifices her children and her friends and her enemies to try to create a better world for all. If she wasn't tempted sorely by the dark side, her eventual victory over it would be hollow. But her sacrifices for others will redeem her.
She would sacrifice her children? Hmmm oh.... for a better world. I agree actually, but wouldn't it be typical GRRM to take a much darker path. She might no be Luke Skywalker but Dark Vader we're looking at here. But I prefer the better story, don't we all?

Baelish intrigues me, particularly in regards to his redemption. I know that is not a popular thought, but off all the people in GOT I think he has a part to play in the greater role of the 'end'. Think of Golem. But I do think there might be a little light in regards to this man of infinite cannivings.
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Old 08-23-17, 12:54 PM   #9
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The moralilty of Game of Thrones

I'll keep this simple.

Dany has been murdering her enemies... roasting, crucifying, locking them in vaults to slowly starve to death since the beginning.

Anyone who is now demanding she take Westeros with a big bag of love and flowers has been deceiving themselves for a very long time.

She had 3 leaders of the slavers in front of her and she about to Ship-be-que their fleet. All she had to do was say watch. Instead
she had Gray Worm murder them.

In Westeros she plans on leading "the people" and there's probably not a darn one of the people who give 3 piles of dung about roasting the Tarlys.

I get the whole avoidance of civilian casualties, but that is where the morality debate should end. Breaking the cycle should occur after she assumes power.


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Old 08-23-17, 08:25 PM   #10
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Re: The moralilty of Game of Thrones

Interesting. Can one construct a definition of morality within this story? People can murder other people without retribution except revenge. Laws seem to be a very loose definition depending on whom one is talking to. There's no agreed upon set of rules except might will make right. There's no morality apparently to the walkers, other than they will conquer all.
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