A Song of Dan and Josh: Daenerys IX (A Game of Thrones)
Welcome to A Song of Dan and Josh, the weekly show where myself and FanSided’s Josh Hill walk through each and every chapter of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, one at a time.
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This week: Daenerys IX from A Game of Thrones, where we reach her lowest point. This is a terrific chapter. Let’s get to it:
Here’s our discussion distilled down to bullet points, as it was meant to be:
- The chapter opens with a vivid dream sequence. Daenerys has visions of Rhaegar, of Viserys, of her unborn son, of giving birth to a dragon…does it work? What kind of language does Martin use in this section, and how does it say about Daenerys’ state of mind?
- There are a lot of dream sequences in A Song of Ice and Fire, but practically none on Game of Thrones. Why didn’t HBO include these sequences, and was it the right choice?
- Josh has never read the books before, so I make sure to point out the image of the Red Door and Daenerys’ oft-repeated phrase, “If I look back, I am lost.” We’re gotta prepare, because these motifs recur a lot.
- This is Daenerys’ rock bottom. Why does Martin always bring his characters to such low points?
- I’m fascinated by the question of culpability. Who’s responsible for the horrible situation Daenerys wakes up to? Mirri Maz Duur, who denied Daenerys the whole truth about her black magic? (Or did she?) Jorah Mormont, who carried Daenerys into Mirri’s tent during her spell? Khal Drogo, who attacked Mirri’s village? Or is it Daenerys herself, who naively assumed that Mirri owed her something for saving her life, even though Dany’s husband massacred everyone Mirri knew? As so often in these books, it’s wonderfully knotty. Let’s try and untie it!
- The chapter ends on the darkness of notes, as Daenerys smothers her husband to death. Love does not conquer all in this story.
That was an intense one. Next week, we lighten things up a bit with Tyrion IX. Join us on our Facebook page at 4:00 p.m. CST to watch it live!
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