Episode 186: Halloween Edition

Episode 186 for the week of October 26th, 2015. We are joined by Vassals of Kingsgrave podcasters and returning guest hosts Bina007 and FTWard. We cover chapters 23 (Arya IV) and 24 (Daenerys II) of A Storm of Swords.

Chapter 23 – Arya IV (artist: jesicka309)
A Storm of Swords Drawing Project, Podcast of Ice and Fire

Chapter 24 – Daenerys II (artist: zeyik)
A Storm of Swords Drawing Project, Podcast of Ice and Fire

12 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Drownedsnow

    Lady Smallwood knows him by his true name, “Tom of Seven Inches”.

  2. Ivana

    How is Dany “despicable” here?! Are you actually arguing that she helped or was a part of the slave trade… by smashing the slave trade, killing the slavers and freeing the slavers?! No, the Unsullied are not still slaves – because they have the freedom to choose their fate, which you know, is what not being a slave is about. Of course they still want to be fighters – because that’s what they know how to do. They choose to fight for Dany because of genuine respect, loyalty and gratitude. What is she supposed to do to satisfy you, force them to go somewhere and “open a shop” (?) in the name of giving them freedom?

    But oh, you mean it would have been more moral to leave as Barristan suggested? Because that would have helped the slaves somehow? If she had done that, the Unsullied would’ve actually have remained slaves, and other boys would’ve continued to be made into Unsullied, other babies would have continued to be murdered… Of course Dany acted like she was too good to buy slaves – because, as she showed in her next chapter, she IS better, and she’s also better than those who would in that situation wash their hands of it all, sigh “oh this is so terrible” and leave doing nothing, enjoying their false sense of moral superiority. In fact, those who have the power to help people and stop or prevent abuse, murder and other atrocities but choose to do nothing, are not much better than those who are actively involved and enabling these atrocities.

    And the “it’s their culture, it should come from within”, you know what that is? THAT is self-justification of people who choose to do nothing. It’s like those neighbours who don’t report domestic violence because “it’s their family matter, none of our business”. Maybe Dany should have written a protest letter to the slavers, hoping they would immediately decide to “change from within”? Why is it this “cultural differences” argument based on the premise that the only people who matter and who the culture in question belongs to are the oppressors, even if they constutute a minority in that society? Why should we care only about the slavers, but not about the slaves? The majority of slaves do not support slavery as it is, they simply don’t have any power to change things. If they rebel, they get horribly punished. And as a matter of fact, even if you assume that the slaves born in Astapor are all pro-slavery (which is not true), most of the slaves in Astapor were not born there, or at least their parents were not. They are from many places all over the world: the Summer Isles, Free Cities, maybe even Westeros,among others – places where slavery is explicitly forbidden. So, their culture is already against slavery. It doesn’t have to “change from within”. Missandei and her brothers didn’t become slaves because the culture of Naath said they should. And guess what! The text shows that the majority of slaves and former slaves in Essos disagree with you – instead of hating Dany for freeing slaves and trying to destroy the slave trade, they adore her for it!

    Furthermore, I don’t understand what point you were trying to make by pointing out that the Dothraki are among the main cogs in the slaving machine. Yes, and? It’s not like Dany had a choice whether to marry into the Dothraki. The Dothraki that recognize her as their ruler don’t practice slavery, nor are any of them slaves. She doesn’t have control over the other Dothraki, and khal Jhaqo is her enemy. Are you saying she should kill all of her Dothraki, send them away… probably not, so I’m not sure what your point was? Yes, she has embraced the Dothraki culture, and she has been trying to change aspects of it – “from within” as you would say. Now you’re saying that’s wrong, too?

    And please, Amin, could you explain to me why Dany should have accepted Quentyn and how exactly that was the only way to “honorably” go to Westeros? How is her going to Westeros without being married to Quentyn dishonorable? Do you mean because she will have to wage war? So would she if she were married to Quentyn. Duh. What else do you think Doran has been planning? So, why exactly did she need Quentyn to make her an honorable woman?

    You guys also managed to bring up two of my “favorite” old and common anti-Dany arguments. First the famous “Targaryen madness”, which oddly manifests itself in maybe 5% of Targs at most, from those we know of, and isn’t any different than the madness of a bunch of other people in the series. But maybe you’re right, and we should start looking for signs of madness in Stannis, Shireen, Doran, Arianne and, of course, Jon Snow? But how lucky that Cersei is not crazy at all, and neither were Joffrey or Lysa. None of them were of Targaryen descent, so…

    And my favorite argument of all: Dany is “entitled”. Because she thinks she should be the ruler of Westeros because her father was, and she is his only living descendant, as far as she knows. You know, the hereditary principle that their society is build on. Funny how just Dany is “entitled”, but not every noble in Westeros. Stannis is not entitled for thinking the crown belongs to him just because his brother was king. Tyrion is not entitled for thinking he should get Casterly Rock. Every noble in Westeros is not entitled when they inherit from their fathers. Ah, but no! Dany is entitled and utterly selfish, because she hasn’t sent envoys first to organize a vote and see if the smallfolk want her as queen. You know, like all kings and lords in Westeros do, organizing democratic elections where smallfolk decide who will their king or lord? Oh wait…

    Yes, please, let’s pretend that Dany is entirely selfish in wanting the crown that belonged to her family, but everyone else who is waging war for a crown is selfless, and are only doing it because they know the smallfolk want them to be their rulers. Let’s pretend that Robert was democratically elected, and that Robb Stark was selfless and went to war for the Northern peasants rather than for his father, and that Stannis is incredibly popular and only reluctantly proclaimed himself king because the smallfolk wanted him to. Let’s pretend he is not doing the exact same thing Dany is planning to, and that you’re bashing Dany for: waging war for the crown, because he thinks he has a right and duty to be the ruler of Westeros due to the hereditary principle – just like Dany. What is the difference? (But of course, he is a man while doing it…)

  3. Long post there, I do appreciate the time taken to send in feedback. I actually agree with a lot of what you have written. I also feel, like Joey said, there was some disagreement on these points in the episode rather than uniformity.

    In regards to your final point, I did agree that early Dany going back was acting entitled. Viserys was entitled and far worse too, as we mentioned. Most of the lords in Westeros are entitled too, at least the ones there have some local support. If nobody wanted Dany to go back, then it is something I will criticize. Things may have changed now though, with potential of growing local support, along with the coming war with the Others.

  4. FTWard

    Pretty certain that it was me and not Amin that said Quentyn was Dany’s last chance to honorably return to Westeros.

  5. Yeah it was you. Not sure what your reasoning was on the point, not going to put words in your mouth. I saw the Dorne option as an opportunity to choose successor(s) and exit Meereen without the appearance of a retreat, whether or not she took the marriage offer itself.

  6. Joey

    I really don’t think anybody on that panel was bringing any sort of anti feminism to there arguments. I got to assume that they would all agree that other nobles are pretty damn selfish too. But the fact of the matter is Dany wants to take the crown because she feel its her right. That is by deffinition selfish.
    Im also pretty sure no one on the panel said she wrong by freeing slaves. There was an argument against forcing your views and beliefs on other cultures but it was dropped pretty quick, oh and by the way is a real argument. Did Dany do the right thing. who knows, but she did do the ethical thing. I dont think those two are mutually exclusive.
    We do know a few things though. Dany basically annihilated a city, killing a lot of the “masters” and I have to assume that a lot other lower class citizens and slaves died as well during the uprising. She freed thousands of slaves and took them and left a council of three in charge. They are killed by Cleon the butcher who names himself king and turn highborn boys into unsullied slaves basically. Cleon is killed, Cleon II is killed, Cutthroat king and queen whore are killed. City is Blockaded and is dieing inside out from disease. Dany moves to Yunkai, This time only does battle with the sellswords and turning a lot of them to her side. She frees the Slaves o Yunkai and take them to Meereen. Sacks Meereen, Frees Slaves, kills some Masters then feels bad about, allows vounteer slavery, Starves everybody because she has no food to feed them. Brings back fighting pits, in my opinion more because she was tired of arguing not because she wants to appease the city. Flies away on dragon. leaves city in chaos.
    So for all the moral things she did she sure fucked a lot of shit up. Im not sure about everyone else but I kinda think she is going to betray her “children”, I think she will take the Dothraki to Meereen and finish whatever is left off with dragon Fire. then she will take whatever army she has left of Dothraki, unsullied, sellsword, and free fighters to Westeros. Theres not a lot of time left in the books so I can not see a peaceful ending to Meereen.
    Is the crown rightfully hers by succession. I dont believe so. If yoiu believe it goes to the next Targaryen I believe Jon come before her. Not because shes a Woman because I believe Rhaegar married lyanna. But I dont believe the crown is rightfully a Targaryens because they were conquered by Robert. If we are going by succesion I think it should be Stannis. But if you are someone that believes it should be Targaryen then why stop there. Shit they were only in power for 300 years. thats not that long. If thats the case then you should believe that the kingdoms should be split up. again like they used to be. (which im on board with kind of).
    Im not sure if there is going to be one king/queen on the throne at the end of all of this or if George will have Democracy prevail, or in the end none of that even matter because of the Others but i do know one thing. As of right now Dany is about the last person I would like to see on the throne. I dont think she has the right to is, i dont think she has earned, and i dont think she has shown any leadership quallity that shows she would be adequate at all to ruling the seven kingdoms.

  7. Ivana

    ” I got to assume that they would all agree that other nobles are pretty damn selfish too.”

    That would be a very unlikely assumption, since 95% of the main characters in ASOAIF are nobles, and all of them are “entitled” by the same token, but only Dany was being singled out.

  8. Joey

    Oh and I agree. Selmy is shit. Jorah for life

  9. Oxmix

    I don’t get how you can review that chapter and not mention that a witch recognizes Arya as Death incarnate. Seems like an important point.

  10. Maybe because that line is not in this particular Arya chapter? 🙂 Though it would have been nice to mention that coming up later in the book, yes, given the theme of the episode.

  11. Oxmix

    Well, yes, I suppose that could be a reason.

  12. RM83

    So, perhaps most importantly. What’s Bina’s football club then?

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