Game of Throne's Daenerys is Machiavelli's Perfect Princ[ess] - PopMatters
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 evident that the scope of Machiavelli's project regards "issues of redemption and foundation", the "love of country and of glory," more than it does the banality of evil.
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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 redeemer he talk about in his treaty.
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 better place than we found it. Or refuse and die."
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.
"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."
Just as The Prince elucidates the politics of Game of Thrones, so too does Game of Thrones provide a lens through which we can approach Machiavelli.
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Tywin excels in "Machiavellianism” - being duplicitous or deceitful in order to get ahead: “The end justifies the means”.
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Daenerys follows French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who described how the society he lived in stripped away freedom and humanity.
Daenerys is perceived as standing on the morally high ground. She’s freeing slaves. She’s the Breaker of Chains. She’s righteous and is seen as supporting the greater good, a cause above herself. She’s righteous and is seen as supporting the greater good, a cause above herself.
It’s no secret that George R.R. Martin has pulled heavily from history for inspiration - historical events and characters.
There’s also a less obvious source of inspiration which fuels the motives and behaviors of GRRM’s immense world of characters — historical philosophers and their teachings.
Hobbes, an English philosopher, believes mankind's nature to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short as described in his book, The Leviathan.
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The 'Show, don't tell' rule is especially pertinent when it comes to immoral acts.
Until a book becomes moving pictures, any moral issue with it doesn't seem to reach national press levels, because it shows these contentious issues to a wider audience. If you show the act, but don't tell anyone what to think about it, the fact that an author or film-maker hasn't clanged down a big sign saying 'And this is bad' is tantamount to advocation.
A Song of Ice and Fire might very well deliberately echo Leviathan. The notion that, without protection from the Iron Throne, the land falls into an every-man-for-himself struggle does echo the ideas laid down in Leviathan.
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