Darth Yan wrote: ↑
Thing is Dany also had the chance to walk away and settle down.
So did Stannis. Nothing was stopping him bending the knee to Joffrey. Nothing was stopping him simply fucking off to Essos after he failed to take King's Landing like many a failed Westrosi revolutionary before him.
And while we might criticize Daenerys' choices, or Stannis's, there is a clear double standard in how her actions are treated, which I laid out very clearly, and which you have yet to acknowledge or address. Namely that she is portrayed as "mad", and predestined to insanity/evil (which GoT and much of its fandom treats as synonymous), while Stannis is not.
She could have stayed in Meereen, but instead she went back to Westeros leaving it in the hands of a mercenary who was also angry at her.
I'd say he'd stopped being merely a mercenary for a while, at that point.
Her ruling Mereen is also something she is frequently attacked for, of course.
She was pushing Drogo to help her reclaim her birthright and seemed thrilled when he suggested violence to reclaim it.
I don't recall her being particularly obsessed with the throne at the outset. Being Khaleesi likely gave her a taste for power, though, after having been denied it all her life. But while power can certainly corrupt, context is important here- are we talking before or after Robert's assassins took a shot at her and her unborn child? I honestly don't recall, but "the King of Westeros will constantly try to murder me and my child simply for existing" is a pretty compelling reason to go to war with Westeros. Daenerys didn't choose that war- she was literally born into it. That is her "birthright"- being at war with the Throne of Westeros.
Even if Dany had reasons she still had an absolute sureness in her righteousness that in real life leads to disastrous actions. She didn't see herself as the villain but anyone who doesn't engage in reflection is probably going to be a bad guy eventually.
"Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Which... yeah. I'd honestly have rather Danny died fighting in the Long Night, with her character and dignity intact. Hell, even getting anti-climactically shot down by Euron in episode four would have been a better ending.
The thing about Rhaegar is that he was married and had a family. And Elia by all accounts was a perfectly nice woman.
Still a marriage that was arranged for him, not one he chose. And even leaving that aside, whether it was "selfishness", as you say, depends on whether he was doing it because he wanted to have an affair, or because he really believed it was necessary due to prophecy. If the latter, then it wasn't so much selfishness as him trying to be a HARD MAN MAKING HARD CHOICES, and failing at it.
But I do obviously feel sorry for Elia and the children, even before their horrible gratuitous murders. They were victims who suffered through no fault of their own, due to being caught in the machinations of a hideous culture and conflicting supernatural powers.
Considering that part of Lyanna's dislike for Robert was his whoring that was hypocritical on her part, and in Rhaegar's case showed a selfishness that can't be understated. Brandon's death and the rebellion was needless, so in that regard Lyanna should have thought things through.
And the problem with this, as noted above, is that implying that Lyanna is at fault for the entire rebellion because she didn't "do her duty" and compliantly bed the man she was assigned to. Never mind that the rebellion was actually kick-started by Aerys
horrifically murdering a Lord Paramount and his heir, out of keeping with all Westrosi traditions and norms, and then demanding two other Lord Paramounts heads, not by the elopement itself. The situation should have been dealt with through diplomatic channels, or, worst come to worst, a trial by combat, if Aerys weren't a complete lunatic.
Making Lyanna in any way responsible for the rebellion is basically saying "Lyanna is guilty because she didn't dutifully spread for the man her father sold her to", and I really don't want a fight here, but I'll be damned if I can call that anything less than viciously misogynistic. I don't think that's your intent, but for God's sake, think through the implications here (as unpleasant as they are). Its like saying "Well, the slaves really should have thought about all the people who would die in the civil war before trying to escape." Because that's what a woman (or underage girl, as the case may be) is in a society with legally-sanctioned forced marriage- a sex slave. That it may be, for a noblewoman, a gilded cage changes that not a jot.
I'll reiterate what I said above: if a girl sleeping with the person she chooses will cause the realm to burn, then it deserves to burn.
Honestly, the lines from Abe Lincoln's Second Inaugural, with a few tweaks, will apply quite well:
"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war will speedily pass away. But if the Seven will that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bonds-woman's millennia of sexual servitude has been sunk, and until every drop of blood spilled in the child-bed has been repayed with another drawn by the sword, as was said six thousand years ago so still it must be said today: "The Judgements of the Seven are true and righteous altogether."
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.
I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.