A Game of Thrones – Chapter Three: Daenerys

Reminders:

  1. Page numbers based off Kindle edition.
  2. No spoiling me; I will edit/delete any.
  3. I don’t avoid spoilers.
  4. My citation format is not necessarily accurate, but it works for me.

I appreciate that some people may be turned off by this constant ‘pre-blog’ notification. I choose to respect that some people may not have read these books before, like I hadn’t and so make the effort to not spoil them unless they go to the post page. I figure if you really want to be here, reading, you’ll ignore it.

…so apparently I’ve been spelling her name incorrectly. There’s an ‘e’ between ‘Da’ and ‘nerys’.

I am amused by Martin’s using her nickname Dany in text. It comes across as a refusal to type ‘Daenerys’ out anymore times than he absolutely has to. And for some reason, that makes me laugh like hell.

I will also confess that on the basis of seeing Emilia Clarke as Daenerys, she is my favourite character—yes, it’s kind of shallow, but that hair—so I’m kind of hoping Daenerys lives up to this in the series.

Daenerys is thirteen. Her benefactor, a Magister Illyrio, pampers her. Her brother insists that tonight, she looks like a princess. …Daenerys is getting raped tonight. And I don’t like how I come to that conclusion so easily, nor the accompanying sense of resignation.

Viserys is going to end up dead. Calling it now, after reading: He was a gaunt young man with nervous hands and a feverish look in his pale lilac eyes.1 If I’m wrong, don’t tell me. I never guess anything in books—if this is one of those rare exceptions, I wanna find out by reading!

…well. Maybe Daenerys won’t be raped, but Viserys has just admitted that she’s going to be used for sex by some guy. What a nice brother. Not. …HE DID NOT JUST MOLEST MY DAENERYS. *cuddles her and protects her* *thinks* *protects all the girls* *wishes this actually worked* *really hopes Viserys dies now*

Dothraki. What is that word? And what is all this talk about dragons from Viserys?

…what? The Lords Lannister and Stark took the lands of Daenerys’ family, the lands of the Targaryens?

I hope we learn more of the motivation of Ser Willem Darry, because as it stands, the survival of Viserys and Danerys seems a bit “the author wanted them to survive” more than it seems “they survived for an in-universe reason”.

And yay bunches of names that seem wholly irrelevant and unimportant!

They probably call Daenerys the beggar whore/slut/whatever demeaning name they have in use for women here. It seems to be that kind of world.

So Daenerys does not have to marry her brother… but I don’t think this Khal Drogo is any better for her. Also he cannot be as good as this slave seems to think he is.

Also… does Martin ignore the consequences of inbreeding? It seems reasonable that whatever seems to be wrong with Viserys is a result of centuries of brothers marrying sisters… well, I’ve done a search. I quote: But still, while we all carry the genes for such potentially deadly conditions, not all autosomal recessive disorders are so easily activated, with many requiring multiple generations of inbreeding before becoming a serious problem. There does tend to be a gradual decrease in reproductive fitness and general health—children of inbreeding tend to have more trouble having kids and are slightly sicklier, and that gets worse over time – but those don’t preclude such children from living rich, full lives.2

It seems to me that there should be more issues with Viserys and Daenerys than there would be appear to be judging by the text so far.

…she looks like a princess, but Daenerys does well to remember that even his slaves wear golden collars…

I… wonder. If everyone else has grown weary of the Targaryens, why has Magister Illyrio not? His comment of taking Viserys for a king strikes hollow in my mind, but I could be reading too much into it…

Ooh, now I understand that Dothraki seems to be a tribe/kingdom of people.

…and Viserys’ talk sounds as though he does not believe it; Illyrio’s agreement and support seems even more false. It’s as if he is priming Viserys for something relating to Viserys’ wish for vengeance, from which he will benefit.

*nestles nervously on the edge of the seat*

Daenerys Stormborn. I like that name.

Ser Jorah Mormont… if the Usurper wants you dead, Viserys, wouldn’t it be possible to have one of his knights claim to be fallen from grace to get in with you? I’m kind of stunned at the lack of caution here, because for someone who believes the Usurper has sent hired knives after you, he’s not crediting his foe with enough brains. Never underestimate your foe!

If Khal Drogo is Aegon come again, what does that make Viserys? He doesn’t seem to think much, does Viserys?

…Daenerys is young and sweet, a girl, really. The pictures of Emilia as Daenerys that I’ve seen suggest a cold, determined woman, utterly ruthless and willing to kill. What the hell happens to Daenerys?

I’ll be asking Anna to make me a proper banner for the site in the next week or so (i.e. when I have a spare fifty dollars; good banners cost money and she is worth it). She had suggested Jon Snow and his direwolf. I think… I would like Daenerys Stormborn, of the Targaryens instead.

1. Martin, George R.R. (2010-12-23). A Game of Thrones, page 25. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

2. Why inbreeding really isn’t as bad as you think it is. Alasdair Wilkins, io9.

Comments

11 Responses to “A Game of Thrones – Chapter Three: Daenerys”

  1. Anna says:

    Ahhh, the Dany-chapter!

    Dany is one of those characters…. I like her, but she has sequences in the books where I really, really don’t. Sometimes, that’s due to me disagreeing with decisions she makes as a character – and sometimes, it’s due to her being stuck in plot-sequences I don’t enjoy reading. It’s similar to other characters as well – Jon, for example: I started out liking him a lot, and then eventually realised that I liked reading his chapters, but didn’t particularly like HIM. It’s weird how that works out.

    Anyway, let’s talk Targaryens and unreliable narrators!

    GRRM’s characters are very much subjective narrators – they’re biased for and against things, and therefore view (and tell) their stories differently. The Lannister/Stark landgrab of Targaryen land is one of those things – in the eyes of the Targaryens, it was a heinous crime and rebellion. In the eyes of the Starks and Lannisters, it was justified. It’s interesting to see that conflict explained and developed from both sides of the fence.

    And Targaryens, man. What a bunch of people. Inbred purple-eyed dragon-fans!

    Yes, they are inbred. This is expanded upon as the books go on – there is a LOT of talk about former Targaryen kings and queens – but the bottom line is that the generations of incest HAVE had a negative impact on them as individuals. AFAIK some Targaryens married non-Targaryens, and so expanded the genepool a little (which could explain the normal individuals in the bloodline), but a lot of them ended up weird in many ways, probably due to marrying siblings and cousins…. Viserys is one of the less normal Targaryens, as it pretty obvious from the get-go – but more on the Targaryens and their family traits in later chapters.

    As for Darry… I don’t find his actions all that strange. He lives in a world where bloodline goes before all – which means that both Dany and Viserys (and/or the people who marry them) have the right to rule the Seven Kingdoms; they’re rightful heirs, regardless of their current circumstance. And Darry is/was a Targaryen loyalist – he’s just taking action to protect what he sees as the rightful rulers of Westeros. He’s also uncommonly kind as a person, but that’s besides the point.

    … I am furiously biting my tongue to keep from spoiling any and all things. For Dany’s plotline, there’s a whole lot of things to spoil.

    • Siri Paulson says:

      Whee, cross-posted with Anna!

      I agree with Anna about characters vs. plot-sequences, especially as pertaining to Daenerys. Bran is another one, except with the reverse of what Anna said about Jon — I like him as a character, but am not so excited about some of his chapters.

      One of the things that really fascinated me about the books was when I started to realize that we’re being led to root for people on both sides of the rebellion/usurpation. Do we cheer for the Starks, who helped overthrow the previous regime? Or do we cheer for the Targaryens, who are the “rightful” deposed rulers? (your definition of “rightful” may vary, as it does for the characters in the books!)

      Or…is it possible to cheer for both sides? (This question comes up a lot, and not only in the context of the rebellion.) For example, I tend to align myself with House Stark…but then I’m also a fangirl of Dany and some other anti-Starks you’ll meet later…I’m sure you can see the problem. XD

      Aside from that…I tend to have trouble with unreliable narrators, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when reading GRRM. Anything anyone says, whether in dialogue or as part of the POV narrative, is only one side of the story. If you can read between the lines, do.

      • Dianna says:

        Well. I love Daenerys, but if she’s wrong I’m going to say I think so.

        And it is a bit early to know what’s going on… I hear there was supposed to be a five year between two books, forget which, and what ended up happening was that in trying to write out a summary/explanation of those five years, Martin ended up with a book between those two books.

        So… there’s still more to learn of!

        Hopefully between the narrators, I can work out what the actual truth is. Can’t say as I think highly of murdering a baby who’s nursing, though.

        • Anna says:

          I am a Stark-girl at heart – not because they’re always right, but because they’re often the underdogs, and I tend to side with the underdogs. Also, they’re all cold and Northern and inevitable-doom-y, and I do so like my inevitable doom. Winter is coming, and all that.

          But as for specific minor houses, I cheer for Mormont and Manderly all the way – And Flint and Norrey and Wull, too, but they’re less minor houses and more important smallfolk. Northmen! <3

          And Di – as for what happened with the books. There *was* a five year gap between two books, but not in story time, but in *time it took to write them* – it took him five years between A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. The problem was that AFFC and ADWD were supposed to be one book, but GRRM couldn't get them to work as a whole, because the characters were so scattered across the world and so much stuff was happening at once, so instead he split them in two – with the consequence that parts of ADWD happens before and during AFFC, while the latter half of ADWD happens *after* AFFC. It's a bit confusing.

          There has been talk of a timeskip in the story, but I don't think he went with it in the end.

          And the "actual truth" – oh man. There are so many little bits to piece together, so many versions of events, and not all of it is stated outright. Some of it remains a mystery. Fan theories abound! You'll have a lot of fun!

          (… but no, murdering babies is not cool on any level)

  2. Siri Paulson says:

    You’ve reached Dany! *bounces*

    Dany’s life at this point…ick on all levels. Though don’t forget that as a young woman of this culture and class, she *expected* to have an arranged marriage, so she probably doesn’t think of it as rape in the same way we would. Another reminder of the differing cultural norms. (Ned’s and Catelyn’s marriage was arranged, too, and that seems to have worked out pretty well for them.)

    Re: inbreeding — there will be more about this later.

    Interesting observations about Illyrio and Ser Jorah. Viserys is really walking a tricky path here, trying to drum up friends and allies for his claim on the throne when he doesn’t have any resources. We’ll see how your observations play out.

    “What the hell happens to Daenerys?”

    Bwahahahaha.

    (Sorry to be so cryptic, but there’s not a lot I can say about your notes on this chapter without being spoilery…)

    • Dianna says:

      Well, the rape comment came from suspecting she was just going to be used. When the context of being a wife or slave came into play… different culture, so in THEORY the rape connotation is removed. However, she’s still only thirteen. But again, different culture.

      I’ve been on the end of the “BUT THAT’S WRONG AND AWFUL” diatribe, so from experience I understand the need to back off. I might react emotionally/morally to something, and that isn’t good in the sense of my morals of today do not mesh with the morals of Before. I’ll never learn or understand anything if I keep expecting things to be like today.

      It’s just…

      It’s a lot harder now, because I’ve ‘woken up’; there are a lot of problems regarding treatment of people, women, people of colour, disabled… and maybe as a society we are finally trying to progress to fixing some of this.

      So to see a society that is so fucked up as we would understand it… it seems to be such a setback for progress that people are marginalised and all that in our ficton. It doesn’t do any good to ignore that and pretend it didn’t happen, of course. That’s possibly even worse.

      …gah.

      • Anna says:

        Re: Dany specifically. As she is getting married, there will be a sex scene. Due to the circumstances (she is 13, Khal Drogo is a grown man, culture and language differences), that sex scene is kind of dubious, but is ultimately – at least in my eyes – not a rape scene. Consent is obtained by Khal Drogo from Dany.

        …. That same scene in the tv series? Is changed and made into something that is much more rape-y. Which is seriously one of my ongoing problems with the tv series as a whole.

        There’s a lot of sex in the books. Some of it’s consensual, some of it is rape – and there are definite threats of rape here and there; it’s used partly as a vehicle for plot/character development (the consensual sex scenes, that is), and partly to show off power differentials between characters/levels of society (the rape scenes). Opinions may differ on the usage of sex in the books, but it’s just sort of… there.

        But the tv series takes that and turns it up to eleven – to the point of *turning consensual sex scenes into rape scenes*. This is a clear and definite problem. While the book has some issues with its depictions of sex, it at least acknowledges women as sexual beings in their own right, and allows them agency in *choosing* to have sex a lot of the time.

        The tv-series seems to be split between rapes on the one hand, and incest or whoreswhoreswhores on the other hand. And that bothers me something fierce. ESPECIALLY in the way that “rape” is used as a shorthand for “evil”. If someone’s sitting around talking about how good it feels to stab people, we don’t ALSO need a scene in which he rapes someone – it’s already clearly established that he’s a rotten sort of person.

        So yes. I occasionally have issues with the way sex is treated in the books (I’ll save my gender-roles rant for another time), but the tv series makes me rageflail. Not just because of the depictions of sex, but it is definitely a large part of it.

        • Siri Paulson says:

          I haven’t been watching the TV series, but…yeahhh. Just last week or the week before, there was a big controversy about one scene that was already awkward and problematic in the book (the TV series is almost up to the end of book 3) but was made even more problematic (i.e., non-consensual) onscreen — like the Drogo/Dany scene Anna mentions. There’s also a lot more sex and nudity in general shown in the TV version than in the books — people certainly mention sex a lot in the books, but we don’t actually *see* all that much of it, IMHO.

          As for “rape” being used as a shorthand for “evil” — I had that problem with the books too. I think it’s partly because, as you’ve already noted, Di, the culture is already misogynistic, so if GRRM is going to portray a character who is *unusually* misogynistic…it gets pretty nasty. But it’s also a choice GRRM made, to show evilness through rape and/or misogyny. He’s clearly not condoning it in the text, but it can be unpleasant to read, and it sometimes feels like lazy writing.

          (I hope all this enthusiastic criticism doesn’t turn you off the books. If they were *just* problematic and icky, Anna and Kayl and I wouldn’t be so passionate about them! It’s sort of like the way my husband approaches movies. If it’s just a bad, dumb movie, he doesn’t have a lot to say about it, but if it’s a reasonably good movie with some problems, or even a movie with problems that could have been really good if they’d just changed X, Y, and Z…he can go on at great length!)

          • Anna says:

            Yes, there is a LOT more sex and nudity in the tv-series. In the books, GRRM might go “… and [character x] spent some time in a brothel”, if that’s what they do. In the tv-series? In the tv-series, there have been instances of characters having plot-exposition or conversations in brothels – with naked people having sex in the background as they do so – *just for the sake of reaching that week’s boob-quota*.

            And as for your paranthesis – yes! There can be no great disappointment where there is not great love! There are *definite* problems in the books, but there are also a lot of bits that I absolutely love. Characters, plot-twists, settings, etc.

          • Dianna says:

            …I think, at this point, I’m going to say “I’ve made five posts, I’m going to make a comment reply post for what’s commented so far”. Because these are fun discussions, but they ARE getting unwieldy.

            *really, really likes having people comment on her blog* *also likes producing stuff people want to read!*

  3. […] I mentioned a five year gap in a comment and Anna then clarified the ‘timeline issue’ regarding the timeline gap. Yes, Martin […]

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