Daenerys the Mad Queen as a role model?

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Have you wondered how many parents over these past eight years have named their daughters Daenerys, or some variation on the name, in honor of the woman that was going to liberate all of Westeros? Granted I’m a cynical and bitter old man, but really, if you watch the trends over the years — a lot of years in my case — you get a sense of the national zeitgeist as it shifts and shimmers to the current events, real and fantasy.

In the late 90s we probably had a lot of people name their sons after Tiger Woods in some way. Ten years ago they may have named their sons Barry, or Barack directly. If I had been the proud new father of a daughter five years ago — yesterday even— I may have named her Michelle or Charlize or Viola.

Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs in the HBO series “The Wire”

On the other hand, I would never name my children after any of the characters in my favorite shows from the last 30 years because in all of my favorite TV series, none of the characters are redeemable role models … well maybe Bunk and Omar … you see my point? Well, Kima, she’s a good role model. Better to name a daughter Sonja, after the actor who played Kima. Or Wendell, after Wendell Pierce who breathed such life into the character of Bunk Moreland.

We could just go down the list of people we admire and pay tribute by naming our children after them. Or do what most people do and name them after dead relatives.

Michael K. Williams as Omar Little and Wendell Pierce as Bunk Moreland from the HBO series “The Wire”

The point is not about naming children — although looking back it sort of appears that way. I have none, will most likely never have any. For most of my sexed up years I used condoms to avoid such life-altering events. And STD’s. Listen to the Frank Zappa classic from Joe’s Garage, “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee.” You hang around with a bad crowd and the next thing you know you’re bending over to get four penicillin shots in your ass. That’s just what I heard … from a friend … an acquaintance really …

O Dear, it’s so easy to get lost on these tangents. Life is so connected. But at any rate, Daenerys Targaryen is not a good role model. Nor is Jon Snow for that matter. People had been warning him, the evidence was there for at least these past five episodes, Daenerys is her father’s daughter, in every, evil and irredeemable way. There he stood, along with Tyrion, as Lord Varys was executed for being right.

Falling in love with the wrong person … so many of us, probably most of us, can check that box on our list of accomplishments.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Did George R.R. Martin and the show runners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff take that into consideration while making the epic TV series, Game of Thrones?

The cynical, bitter old man in me thinks about our state of affairs in reality, and then the part of me that wants to be positive and progressive flips the coin and say, “Don’t worry, it will all work out.”

Off the Coast of McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The biggest indicators global warming is speeding up can be seen in Antarctica (Jeff Worman)

Lately I have been avoiding political commentary. What’s going on can get very depressing and now we are seeing little cracks in the socially progressive side with rivalries springing up. Pro Green New Deal, anti-New Green Deal. Pro impeachment, anti-impeachment. I know where I stand on both issues and judge the current flock of Democratic aspirants for the party’s nomination primarily on those issues.

Just to get a little political here: the two worst existential threats to the nation and the world are 1) Donald J. Trump as president and 2) global warming. Used to be global warming was tops on my list and before that the state of the Department of Veteran Affairs, but times have a way of changing priorities. And just an aside: for over 30 years I was convinced Ronald Reagan was the worst president of my lifetime and felt sure it couldn’t get any worse. Then 2016 happened …

What is Jon Snow’s priority now? He is, after all, the King in the North. He is also kin to the Mad Queen and the last remaining dragon. Oh yes, in episode 4 of this season, Drogon made it clear where he stands with Jon Snow, the true heir to the Iron Throne. My guess is Jon Snow is immune to fire, but he just doesn’t know it yet. We may find out in the next and final episode.

Kit Harrington as Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen

Daenerys gave up love in Mereen in her quest to gain the Iron Throne. What kind of person throws away love to pursue their ambitions? We actually know people like that and maybe to some extent we are people like that, at least some of us.

But getting back to the creators of the show, will the arc of the GoT Universe bend towards justice? The final episode will undoubtedly be bitter sweet at best or even downright depressing, yet it can be either of those and still bend towards justice. But even in a perfect world — and the characters of Westeros have been anything but perfect — life goes on. Then someone else will think they detect a weakness somewhere and decide to further their ambitions.

That’s how the Russians infiltrated and affected our 2016 elections: they exploited our weaknesses. The biggest being division. And so it is with Game of Thrones. Lord Varys made sure enough people knew Jon Snow/ Aegon Targaryen is the true heir to the Iron Throne. Tyrion and Sansa know, and Arya, the assassin. How many people did Sansa tell in the north? How many of Varys’ “Little Birds” took the secret messages he was writing out to people in King’s Landing? Varys played the long game and probably won.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark,
the Hero of Winterfell

On the other hand, the Unsullied, led by Grey Worm, will not abandon Daenerys just because someone else has a claim to the throne. Same with the Dothraki. They may want to return home to the Dothraki Sea (of tall grass) but they pledged their allegiance to Daenerys and they won’t give that up for anyone.

Regardless of who sits on the Iron Throne, Westeros will be as divided as it was before the fall of King’s Landing.

Photos courtesy of HBO
unless otherwise noted

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