After watching the Episode 4 of Season 7, The Spoils of War, it only solidified what I had been starting to suspect… Daenerys would be a terrible ruler!
Now hear me out, I am fully aware that Daenerys is not inherently a bad person. And undoubtedly, she means well. Her problem is she sees the world in black and white and is a strong believer of violence as justice. This brings us to reason number one Dany would not make a good queen:
She ignores opinions other than her own: Unfortunately, Dany is taking a page from Olena’s book of ‘f*ck men women rule!’. Now don’t get me wrong, the feminist in me thinks Olena was a badass mother who could shut anyone down with a single word (quite frankly she was awesome!). However, the rational thinker within me thinks ignoring everyone’s opinions other than your own simply because of their sex is foolish. I mean Olena’s story of outliving all the men that have given her council is cool and everything but at the end of the day, look where Olena is now… dead. Dany appointed Tyrion as her hand for a reason. He’s smart and has experience in war and is an expert negotiator, something that she really isn’t that great at. I mean, her idea of negotiating with the Wise Masters of Yunkai involved her taking all their gold and threatening their lives with her –at that point- toddler dragons. And yet, at the slightest bit of failure in the recent war, she has cast aside his council in favour of her own plan (a disastrous move I will go into later). Looking back at the series so far Dany’s grand plans have yet to prove successful without consequence. The women she saves from being raped by the Dothraki back in Season 1 ends with Drogo dying at the hands of the witch Mirri Maz Duur. Her nailing of the Masters of Meereen to the sign posts back in Season 4 leads to the uprisings of the Sons of the Harpy. Undoubtedly, her heart is in the right place in both these occasions, the problem is she doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions (unlike Tyrion). Not everything is black and white.
To add to this, she is something of the opposite of Jon. They both want the best for their people no doubt, but Jon is the voice of compromise. A practice that saves him not only war, future enemies but also lives in the process. I mean at the Battle of the Bastards he appealed to Ramsey for one-on-one battle to save thousands dying. Likewise, he recognises that punishing the sons/daughters of those who have sinned is counterproductive- if Sansa had her way the Carstarks would soon be planning vengeance and Jon’s support for King in the North would have a shaky foundation. Meanwhile, Daenerys goes in all guns blazing, happily slaughtering armies by dragon fire, with no care of keeping casualties to a minimum. Surely, if she wanted to save as many lives as possible, then she should have flown straight to the Red Keep and fought Crsei and her guards on her own. Having a dragon is pretty much certain victory against an army so small. So far Jon’s actions have proved successful, and Dany would have done well to take his advice this episode… unfortunately for her she didn’t, something I think will soon come back to haunt her in coming episodes. Which brings us to reason number two:
She just ‘royally’ messed up: I mean just take a look at what she’s just done. On the surface, Dany has just turned the war for the Seven Kingdoms in her favour. But on closer inspection, her rash moves have pretty much just cost her the peaceful rule she desires. I am not saying she has lost the throne, far from it. If Aegon the Conqueror has proven anything, owning a dragon guarantees victory. But love and respect from your subjects, it does not guarantee.
Think about this, Dany and her dragon have just slaughtered thousands of men in the Lannister army –most of which are not Lannister men, but men from all over the seven kingdoms only there not through loyalty to Queen Cersei but of fear and the wage that will support their families- in unfair odds that the many will see as a massacre (I mean they’re hardly educa ted in the ways of war and the tactics used, if something doesn’t go their way then they won’t like it). It is these same peasants that Dany plans to rule over, and in her mind peacefully and fairly. But, having not only just slaughtered thousands of fathers, sons and brothers but primary wage earners (given the time period we are in), the families will be starving, turning to begging and prostitution to get by. I can safely say these subjects are going to have no loyalties, only hostility towards their new queen who brought their circumstances upon them. Not a particularly good place to start your new rule given the bulk of medieval armies were made up of peasants.
But perhaps the biggest consequence this means for Dany is that the only way she can rule Westeros now, is by being the very thing she is fighting against, a cruel ruler. Dany undoubtedly means good and has a good moral heart. She doesn’t want to be cruel like her father and is fighting Cersei not only for claim to the throne but because Cersei is not a benevolent ruler either. But in order to maintain control over a country that now has reason for vengeance against you, that could spark an uprising if the right leader came along, that fears you already given you have just proven the current queen correct in her prediction of you bringing foreign savages with you to ravage the land, the only answer is to make them fear you to keep order. But to maintain fear means being cruel to a certain extent (even Machiavelli can attest to that). Dany will not achieve the peaceful reign she wants, the damage has already been done, but by being cruel she is inevitably just replacing the monster she has usurped.
And now the third and final reason why Daenerys’ rule will be full of problems…
Winning at the ‘expense’ of others: What most people have overlooked about the recent battle between the Lannisters and Daenerys, is what the Lannisters were doing there in the first place. I mean it’s easy to forget the sub-text when there’s a massive awesome dragon all up in your business. But still, if we flash back to the previous episode, you know the one were Olena dies, the Lannisters had just defeated the Tyrells and were taking their gold back to King’s Landing for Cersei to pay off the Iron Bank. What we see is the Lannister army in the process of transporting that gold. And then we see Daenerys burn it all. Under normal circumstances, fire wouldn’t really damage the gold. But this is dragon fire, known to obliterate everything in its path! Honestly, I’m not a financial expert but I’m pretty sure that this move is going to seriously f*ck up the economy. Like seriously mess it up, the Tyrell’s were known to be the most wealthy family, therefore they physically owned most of the gold in Westeros so burning it all is not good… What is most interesting about this battle though is that this gold wasn’t burned by accident, Daenerys purposely goes out of her way to steer Drogon towards these loaded carts. In other words, this was not a mistake.
And here again is where Daenerys has not thought her actions through. With an ensuing financial crisis, Dany is not going to be a popular queen. With thousands of people dying not only from the harsh winter conditions, but starvation too, Dany is truly wining at the expense of others. As we have seen, starving peasants means no loyalties to the monarch but hostility instead, leading to many of the same problems addressed in reason two.
So yes, the way Dany is acting and her actions so far mean she would be a terrible ruler. She appointed Tryrion as a hand and yet is ignoring his expertise; this sounds a lot like a step towards absolutism. If our own history has shown, this is more often than not a terrible thing. Especially when said absolutist sees the world in black and white and uses violence is justice, whilst having no thought about the consequences of her actions. She cares more for winning and being in power than those who she will actually ruling over. Her whole life has been guided by being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. And now she is power crazy for that title. If being queen was enough then she would have stayed in Meereen where she was ruling successfully…instead she gave that all up without a second thought as to whether the Sons of the Harpy have resurfaced. Factor in that she has now assuredly caused a financial crisis, her subjects are hardly going to be fond of her, some foreign queen who has caused chaos since she has arrived. The only way to keep control would be to instil fear through cruel actions. Evidently making her no better than her father The Mad King, who she claims to hate. And honesty her actions and personality so far makes me believe she would actually be okay with that!