Tywin threatened to murder Tyrion if he didn’t rape Tysha IIRC. That’s not just not his fault that’s… him being a rape survivor…?

Exactly. But I’ve seen multiple people count that as a mark against Tyrion’s character, let alone them refusing to acknowledging he was also a victim in that scenario. Or worse, arguing that he could have said no if he really wanted to, that Tywin wasn’t responsible for Tyrion’s physical arousal, etc, the usual blaming stuff.

On Dany and imperialism



Some definitions:

Imperialism: the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.

Colonialism the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.


Some friendly reminders:

(1) Slaver’s Bay is extremely resource poor. As Dany discovers in ADWD, their economy is based on slavery because they produce little else worth exporting (Meereen produces olives and that’s about it). Thus, the main way you might theoretically exploit them economically is by taking advantage of their slave industry, as the Valyrian Freehold did. Obviously, Dany’s not interested in that.

(2) Daenerys did not conquer Slaver’s Bay to exploit any of its resources. She didn’t even intend to rule it or to control it in any way (other than making sure slavery remains illegal). She had no ulterior motives for it (other than, in the case of Astapor, to gather an army). Her opposition to slavery is not a “pretext”; you’d have disregard the totality of her chapters and her character development to claim that it was. 

(3) Dany does not act on behalf of another “empire or nation.” She has a claim to the Iron Throne, but she not recognized as such by either the people of Westeros or the people of Essos. Dany is not a representative of Westeros (in that Westeros neither benefits from or can be held responsible for her actions). In fact, she does not legally represent any nation.

(4) Westeros is not more “civilized” than Essos, by almost any measure. When places like Qarth and Meereen brag about their history, culture, and wealth— they mean it. The Ghiscari empire fell almost 5000 years before AL. Westeros has never been an imperialist power. Groups from Essos have conquered Westeros four times— the First Men, the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the Targaryens. (x) Westeros has never conquered any part of Essos (as noted above, Daenerys conquering Slaver’s Bay does not mean that Westeros now has control over Slaver’s Bay because she has no control over Westeros). The Essosi view the Westerosi as savages (see Daenerys II, ASoS for examples).

(5) Daenerys is not ethnically other to the peoples of Essos. The Valyrians are Essosi. Her family has ruled Westeros for 300 years, but thanks to inbreeding, she’s mostly Valyrian and, more importantly, looks it.

(6) In the books, many of the slaves are not racially other to Daenerys. Essosi slavery is rather like Roman slavery— people are not enslaved on the basis of race and the Meereenese do not, as slaveholders in the US did, use race as a way to rationalize their actions. The Quartheen and Lysene are notably fair-skinned. Many of the people in the Free Cities are white, too. There are sometimes Westerosi slaves, too— Tyrion and Jorah later become slaves.

Note: Let me know if any of this wrong and I’ll correct it. This is meant to be purely factual information.


Basically, the ways in which Dany’s storyline evokes colonialism boils down to: (1) She is white. (2) She frees slaves. (3) All (in the show) or some (in the books) of these slaves are non-white. If this is supposed to be a portrayal/critique of imperialism, it’s an awfully bad one.

But it doesn’t matter, you might be saying. It still evokes racist undertones, and that perpetuates perceptions about White Man’s Burden and white saviors and all that.

I agree. It does, and that matters. It was really, really shitty of GRRM to a plotline in which a white young woman frees slaves on a continent that he has coded as ambiguously Eastern. It was really shitty of him to have the Dornish be the sexually liberated bunch and for the Dothraki to be the ones that are uniformly down for some raping and pillaging.

But if you want to understand the storyline, if you want to understand Dany’s character or Essosi politics or the series’ themes about politics, governance, and ethics or any other question within the text— this analysis of Dany as a white savior is not going to help you. These questions may seem insignificant in the face of racism, but hey, I’m here writing nearly 1000 words about a plotline in a fantasy book series/TV show, so “priorities” have left the station. I’ll assume that if you’re reading this, you too care about what this storyline means within the text. And if this interpretation is all you can see, you’re going to miss a whole lot.

Dany is not racist. She doesn’t have a white savior complex— she has a savior complex. Dany did not conquer Slaver’s Bay because she thought Westerosi culture was superior to Essos culture and the books do not take the position that Westeros is (morally, culturally, etc) superior to Essos.  The books do not take the position that it was morally wrong of Dany to intervene in Slaver’s Bay’s practices— or that the Meereenese have the right to enslave other peoples in the name of cultural relativism. She’s not a neocon a la George Bush (in fact, I argue she’s actually the opposite). 

A portrayal/criticism of imperialism/colonialism just not the point of the storyline. It is an unintended consequence of an arc conceived sometime in the 1990s by a cishet white man of my grandparents’ generations. (Call the press!)

(If you want to talk about what the arc might actually about, this is a good place to start, though not without its flaws.)

What’s more, in many cases these imperialism/colonialism interpretations give GRRM credit for presenting a critique of imperialism instead of criticizing him for the hugely racist subtext of the series. The portrayal of the Dothraki is problematic. The portrayal of the Dornish is problematic. The other-ization of Essosi peoples is problematic. GRRM is not a paragon of racial consciousness and he deserves to be criticized as such.

I like problematic things, and I’ll bet you you do, too. And it’s not Dany— it’s ASoIaF and George R. R. Martin.


PS: I will not respond to any post that calls me racist, or accuses me of being a self-hating or subpar POC.

 #also it’s worth noting than in the text #the valyrians are the ones to start the slave trade #and valyrian dany being the one to end the slave trade has a dramatic irony that’s essential#the tools of war as the tools of freedom #honestly this plotline would be immensely less problematic if it were set in the region where we actually encounter other people #but for what it’s worth #it’s not a white savior complex as much as it is an externalized savior complex #as well as an internalized righting-the-sins-of-the-father complex

asoiaf opinions that genuinely confuse me (re:books)

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dark-fire-light-rain replied to your post “-sees link about palindromic dates this year- -clicks link- …”

…yeah I’ve lived here my entire life and still not used to most standard measurements. so basically it’s hopeless :D metric system for the iwn!

That does not bode well for me then, but I shall press on somehow XD. 

"…Plausible deniability"

(Source: relentlessclimb)

-sees link about palindromic dates this year-

-clicks link-

-realises it’s in the mm/dd/yy format-

-mutters “Americans” under my breath and scowls-

(Source: michaelsocha)



why is James spelled with an s. why is it plural. more than 1 Jame. how many James.


yeah so i slept with this dude last night and idk we were chatting a bit  during the sexy time and for some reason his birthday came up and i was like “wait 25th of september? DUDE me TOO, wtf thats such a coincidence” and he was like “really? we have the same birthday? are u fuckin with me?” and i just looked down at his penis literally inside my vagina and was like “well technically yeah” and he was like haha nice one and high fived me

I just read through the entirety of your Bran Stark tag and I don't think I've ever been more scared for a character oh my god.


Yeah, it scares me too. :(

Though I should note that I do not think Bran will be a villain. Not the “big bad”, not “used by the true enemy”, or any theory of that type, and I reject them completely. But I do think his path on the way to the end may get very dark and dangerous. GRRM’s favorite theme is “the human heart in conflict with itself”, and especially for the Stark kids I think that’s expressed in temptations of the soul, so to speak, losing oneself to something or the other. Sansa, it’s everything that Littlefinger is, manipulations and lies and justifications of a twisted morality. Arya, it’s being a child soldier, the emptiness and dangers of her methods for coping with her trauma. And for Bran, it’s his power… losing himself to the trees or to the temptations of using another person to escape his broken body.

But in the end, I think that they will come out of this all right… for certain values of “all right”, that is… having learned and grown, broken and re-formed… but it’s not going to be safe, it’s not going to be easy, and it will probably be very painful for us to watch. :/