One for the Game of Thrones fans!
This is a fictional political profile of *deep breath*: Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.
Game of Thrones (GoT) constantly ‘throws the baby out with the bath-water’ with its characters. The TV series is particularly brutal; character development can be intensive and lives can be (proportionally) short.
Is there a link between how long someone is alive and how much ‘impact’ they have?
I.e. Lord Eddard Stark, Commander Mormont, Khal Drogo, Viserys Targaryen, Renly Baratheon, Robert Baratheon and Oberyn Martell.
Then there is Daenerys Targaryen…
Daeny is a character who has had a tumultuous longevity in GoT. She has gone from a meek damsel who was being palmed off by her brother in to an arranged marriage for political gain, to a glamorous tyrant and self-proclaimed Monarch.
She has had some intense experiences – arranged marriage, being widowed, losing her child, becoming the ‘Mother of Dragons’, consolidating an army and attempting to establish leadership over several ‘dominions’. She is the outside competitor for the Iron Throne, and one of the few genuine contenders left from Series One (Stannis Baratheon being the other).
She is the sole female Targaryen; this is important. Both dragons and Targaryens were thought to be extinct in Westeros, but they aren’t. That is how the character of Daeny has a unique impact – she is the last her ‘kind’. (Similar to the The Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’)
Analysing her political leadership style was fascinating. She’s a strong and complex character, but she will very soon encounter some serious issues.
** NB: I have not read the GoT books. **
Daeny’s ‘Political Profile’ :
- Believes in minimal ‘Government’ – she is surrounded by roughly half a dozen advisors and confidants, but she is the penultimate figure of authority and has no ‘deputies’.
- Believes in absolute power – she considers herself Queen of Qarth, Meereen, and Westeros; as ‘Queen’ she has absolute authority to act as she pleases, unrestrained by a higher power, supervision or review.
As seen by her sieges of the Free Cities of Yunkai and Astapor.
- Not a true Anarchist – evidently anti-feudal (anti-slavery), but she has moments where she fails to comprehend self-determination of citizens – the Masters of Meereen want her to authorise a ceremonial day of slave fighting (even though some do want to take part) she broadly refuses. In a self-determining society, hierarchical leaders do not exist.There is a difference between a true political Anarchist and the chaos she creates when she incinerates people, or forcibly frees them. This makes her more a revolutionary.
- She’s a tyrant with a birth right – Daeny is not a dictator, she is a tyrant. Dictators are elected like Hitler, Stalin, Robert Mugabe, the Kims in North Korea (NB: ‘elected’ [loosely used here(!)] means an election takes place).
Tyrants are not elected; and Daeny certainly wasn’t elected by the people of Qarth, Yunkai, Astapor or Meereen to wreak havoc in their cities and then appoint herself Queen because she is the daughter of a dead King in another land.
….or does this count as her ‘election’?
- She is pro-Monarchy – Monarchism is mid-left wing on the political spectrum. She is a fairly classic Monarch archetype, but with the exception that she does not endorse slavery. But does she endorse social equality? Maybe; she wants equality between the Masters and slaves. She still seems pretty happy to rule over Meereen etc. on the basis of her birth right (as an unelected, self-appointed leader). Daeny’s leadership style is one that supports the notion of absolute power.
- Ruling by force has consequences – Daeny has established her rule using the force of her personality, backed by her arsenal of dragons and ‘Unsullied’. Birth right alone is not substantial enough to claim entitlement to the Iron Throne; in a world where ‘You win or you die’, she would have been poisoned by Robert Baratheon, or died in Qarth’s ‘Garden of Bones’ in Seasons one and two.It is evident in the present season (five) that she cannot control her dragons, and she is struggling to suppress the Sons of the Harpy (internal revolt against her leadership). It is ironic that she has no qualms about bursting through city gates in the dead of night, but is nervous and self-assured about the use of the death penalty as a public form of justice.
- She has little concept of economics – To know more about how centre-left / left-leaning she really is, we’d have to observe her economic decisions. Would she be pro-welfare? Would she keep the wealth of her dominions in the hands of the few rich people? Would she tax people / how much? Would she set up a compensation scheme for slaves and Masters (incentives to free your slave for $$$$, or compensation for slaves etc). She appears to have little concept of economics – trade, money, capital spending, understanding how expensive war is, establishing economic partnerships with other regions etc.
- She has vision, but no plan – like Karl Marx, Daeny has a strong vision of how the ‘world’ should be: Her on the Iron throne, no slavery, all nations bowing to her on the basis of her birth right and her dragons. She has no precise plan of how to get to Westeros, and she doesn’t exactly have a list of diplomatic allies to assist her, or acknowledge her leadership.
What problems will she encounter?
- More internal uprisings, which could potentially see her flee Meereen.
- She will be expected to marry someone soon, but who? Will it be a marriage for love, or a political/diplomatic marriage?
- She cannot continue to use soldiers, dragons and public executions to control her dominions. She is running out of soldiers to send(!) and she will have to relent on her tyrannical leadership style.
- She has no diplomatic allies, and she critically needs them.
What are your thoughts? Have you read the books? Any spoilers to share?
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing!