Game of Throne's Daenerys is Machiavelli's Perfect Princ[ess] - PopMatters - Deepstash

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Game of Throne's Daenerys is Machiavelli's Perfect Princ[ess] - PopMatters

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Niccolò Machiavelli's Prince

Machiavelli ends his treatise The Prince invoking a "redeemer" who shall save enslaved Italy from the domination of foreign powers that have left her gravely wounded and "almost without life". If we consider The Prince through the optic of its concluding chapter, it becomes evide...

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Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen

Her character development throughout the seasons unfolds within a dynamic that probes fundamental questions of politics and leadership. 

Machiavelli examined the same questions in the 16th century in his treatise, The Prince.  Daenerys may be a version of the&nbs...

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First instruction to maintain power and preserve order: The prince does not have free range to conduct evil, but must strive for goodness as the primary measure of actions.

Daenerys gives conquered soldiers a choice: "Bend the knee and join me. Together, we will leave the world a...

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Second instruction to maintain power and preserve order: The prince must know how to enter into evil and to what extent evil actions are required given the circumstances at hand.

  • The even-tempered Tyrion ultimately concedes that Daenerys will at times "need to be ruthless if [sh...

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Third instruction to maintain power and preserve order: When can a ruler enter into evil -  "if necessary" and when all other options fail.

  • Pointing to his sister as a negative example, Tyrion suggests that an overreliance on fear presupposes an overuse of cruelty.  ...

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"Therefore, a wise prince must think of a way through which citizens will always, regardless of what the circumstances may be, need him and his power, and, as such, will always remain faithful to him." 

  • Daenerys inspired this spirit of fidelity among her subjects by her co...

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Beyond the practical insight they may afford us, The Prince and Game of Thrones also reciprocally inform the respective viewing and reading of one another. 

Just as The Prince elucidates the politics of Game of Thrones, so too does Game of Throne...

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