Archive for May 13, 2019

Destroying King’s Landing using Drogon was the Most Rational Decision

May 13, 2019 9 comments

I wasn’t planning to write this post, but decided to do so after realizing that my central idea was pretty good and apparently uncommon. Most of you have heard about how Daenerys destroyed the entire city of King’s Landing with her Dragon in the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. While we could go into all the callbacks which foreshadowed this event, doing so would be a waste of time. Also, I am simply not that into D&D type fantasy stories. My knowledge about GOT comes mainly from watching short clips and summaries on YouTube and certain porn sites. Furthermore, it has always been my opinion that the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin is a sad attempt to copy the much better researched fictional universe of J. R. R. Tolkien, whose knowledge about the early medieval world was based in his lifelong scholarship.

Anyway.. without going further into why I believe Tolkien or Lovecraft to be far better writers than Martin, let us tackle the issue at hand- one which has taken up more space on the internet than whether Trump is stupid enough to start a war with Iran and Venezuela while involved in trade war with China and new cold-war with Russia. By now, most people on the internet seem to have made up their mind that Daenerys’s decision to nuke king’s Landing and kill tens or maybe hundreds of thousands using the Dragon and her armies was further evidence of her being a “mad queen” or something along those lines. I disagree! Given the fictional universe she inhabits, burning that city to the ground and killing most (if not all) of its inhabitants was probably one of the most pragmatic and rational decisions she ever made.

Here is why..

1] The GOT universe, unlike the LOTR universe, is not based on how real medieval European societies functioned, thought or saw the world around themselves. Scholars of actual medieval history have pointed out that RR Martin’s universe is too secular and what one might call “early modern” but without the technology associated with that period. Most people alive today cannot comprehend how important religious beliefs and faith were for people living during that era. Let me rephrase it, RR Martin’s version of the medieval world is highly secular, individualistic and.. for the lack of a better world.. neoliberal. Then again, RR Martin also thinks that a neoliberal such as Joe Biden would make a great president. RR Martin’s worship of secular neoliberalism plays a huge role in how his fictional universe “works” or doesn’t.

2] Now that we understand that the GOT universe is based in modern secular liberalism rather than traditional community-based ideologies, it is easy to see why there is basically no family loyalty or kinship in that series. This is also why everybody seems to be raping, torturing and killing anybody they can get their hands on- regardless of how such actions might affect their community reputation. So how does one behave in such an individualistic and modern society? For starters.. Daenerys would be incredibly stupid if she trusted any promises made by anybody in a position to potentially overthrow or murder her. To out it another way, if she wanted to rule Westeros from King’s landing, she pretty much has to exterminate every high-level official of the previous regime in that city and surrounding area. And this includes their family and children.

3] Her other competitors, the Stark family, is largely made up of ugly weirdos with serious blind-spots for treachery, a misplaced belief in their own moral superiority and exhibit a general lack of competence. Let us face it, even that crippled mystic guy hasn’t been able to do much other than make funny faces and mumble half-baked “prophecies”. Also, the general zeitgeist of that fictional universe is such that not getting rid of them after using them will almost certainly lead to some future betrayal or fatal misunderstanding. In fact, the death of all remaining members of that family in battle or soon afterwards would be the most desirable outcome. And ya.. I am talking about John Snow, Arya, Bran etc. Face it.. they are just future potential competitors and unlikely to change the system.

4] Most people in that city have known no ruling family other than the previous one. Under such conditions, retaining even the lower administration from the prior regime is risky- especially if you want to do some reforming. Although her ancestors built that city, Daenerys will always seen as a foreign ruler by the people of King’s Landing. But dead people cannot hate or plot against you. There is no real downside to wiping out every last inhabitant of the city, since they can be easily replaced by migration from neighbouring kingdoms. Furthermore, people from other kingdoms who will move in to rebuild the city and live there will have known no ruler of that city than Daenerys. This makes it far easier to start your new era on a positive note.

5] Nuking that city and reducing it to rubble allows Daenerys to rebuild the city from a clean slate. She can rebuild it to erase all signs of previous rulers and potential rivals. Most people who move in and rebuild the city will also be permanently indebted for providing them with a fresh start and will be far less likely to support rebellions than their predecessors. She can also pick and choose the ethnic balance of future city such that there will be enough minorities who dislike each other more than hate her. I know, this sounds cynical- but what were you expecting! She could also use the destruction of that city to extend the boundaries of its successor and modify it to increased trade and commerce, thus reducing the risk or rebellion even further.

6] In an individualistic, capitalist and neoliberal society (such as the one in RR Martin’s books), nobody will remember all those who were killed to create the new city- unless one can make a quick buck out of doing so. Don’t believe me.. look at how countries in North and South America treat their defeated and almost extinct indigenous people. Or take Australia, which used to classify its indigenous people as Fauna until the early 1970s. So ya.. nobody is going to miss all those dead people in King’s Landing. In fact, future generations of the new city might remember Daenerys as the founder of a glorious new empire or order and minimize all the morally dubious stuff she did to achieve that end. Don’t believe me? Read about the ‘Founding Fathers’ of USA.

In summary, nuking King’s landing using that dragon was probably the smartest and most rational thing Daenerys has ever done.

What do you think? Comments?