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When I was reading the books, I would always find myself skipping the Daenerys chapters because they would bore me to death. I was always on the edge of irksomeness while trying to understand this insipid character’s motives and intentions through her POVs. The fact that she is feted as the most genuine character in the series goes to show how narrow the general consensus is on morality. Because she is anything but moral, because despite having plot armor, Daenerys rarely ever surprises us.
Her journey is a poignant one indeed, but so is everyone else’s. To compartmentalize all her obvious flaws and her misguided ambition is tantamount to ignoring Cersei’s general psychopathy and elevating her superior guile. Here are some reasons why Daenerys’s Mary Sue character is anything but nuanced.
1. She fashions herself as a morally superior conqueror despite having no claim to the throne
It seems like everyone has forgotten about the demise of House Targaryen and how Robert Baratheon became the Usurper. In a nutshell, The Dragon Queen’s claim to the throne is pretty weak, no matter how dominant her family line had been in the past. Swayed by her brother Viserys’s exulting accounts of Westeros, she has fixated on the idea that Westeros is hers to rule, even though she has no prior recollection of what life in Westeros is like.
Basically, an overzealous opportunist with no political salvo in Westeros wants to establish herself as the ruler of all these people whose experiences are likely to be foreign to her. Bestowed with dragons and the ability to be fire resistant, the Dragon Queen has lured in faithful sympathizers and coaxed former slaves into joining her service. Feigning to embrace a system of equality, she still wants to rule over them!
At least Cersei is honest about her intentions and her contempt for her subjects.
2. Being a rape-victim isn’t a free pass to power
I mean, it’s really laudable that Daenerys overcame adversity with poise and stolidity but in the end, she was only able to do so through her conniving schemes. Daenerys used her charm and her sexuality to gain full control over Khal Drogo and got him to act as her proxy within the Khalasar. When Khal Drogo doused Viserys with boiling liquid gold, she was unmoved and undeterred. Ironically, the same madness that was manifested in Viserys’s power hungry fantasies, affects her to a certain degree. (Mad Queen confirmed?)
Although vengeance is something everyone aspires to in the series, watching your own brother get murdered in such an inhuman display shouldn’t be disregarded on the grounds that he was mean to her from time to time.
3. Ultimately, they only follow her because they fear her
Daenerys’s slew of conquests began in the East, where she took umbrage at the prevalence of slavery and decided to put an end to it. How she achieved it is quite unnerving to say the least. In attempting to free the slaves, she burned and destroyed cities, hanged slavers and nobles alike and seized power in a very Bolshevik way. The Breaker of Chains also decided to leave the cities she’d conquered on a whim, disrupting the chain of command which gave way to anarchy.
She’s certainly not a good ruler, she cannot maneuver her way to power like Cersei does and she lacks honor because she has aligned herself with the Dothraki, a swarm of rapists and plunderers. She wields power over her allies because they’ve seen her emerge unscathed from a flame. Without her gimmicks, she loses all the glory.
4. In the books, hearing about her father’s atrocities doesn’t really leave a mark on her
The most obvious reason why she comes across as a sociopathic prodigy is the way she reacts to her father’s purported pyromaniac tendencies. When Barristan Selmy broached the subject, she was aghast at the notion that her father had to be forcibly removed from power. In the later chapters, she exhibits such a disdain for the Usurper that it’s pretty evident she condones her insane father’s deeds.
In the series, we’re finally beginning to see her maniacal shenanigans unravel as the fight for the throne is becoming more contentious. Sentencing Randyll Tarly and his son Dickon to be burned alive by her dragon, is a continuation of the Targaryens’ inclination for abject cruelty. If this doesn’t dissuade the ‘YASS Queen’ crowd from clinging to the belief that she’s the rightful ruler Westerosis deserve, well that explains why people like Mao and Stalin always had a tight following.