|A Queen Riding to War, by ~ReneAigner via deviantART|
Whew, what a packed chapter! As Brendan says, it feels like a wrap-up chapter, so there's a lot for Martin to cover. The sacking of Mereen, the punishment that Daenerys doles out to everyone from her once-beloved knights to the citizens of the city to the Great Masters of the ruling class...and of course, her decision to stay and rule.
There are a lot of interesting questions brought up in this chapter, and some that weren't even covered in our recording. For example, the castration of rapists and taking the hands from thieves. We were a little distracted, understandably, by Daenerys' decision to crucify an exact matching number of Great Masters to the number of the children on their way to Mereen. She calls it "harsh justice", which brings to mind Stannis. Would he have agreed with her decision? For some reason I think not, and for the same reasons that Brendan gives; who knows who actually made the call to crucify those kids? Did Daenerys manage to get every person who had a part in making the decision, or did she accidentally include innocent people in her "justice"? Are people who participate in this sort of slave-driven economy ever "innocent"?
And then, Brendan brings up a good point about the economy; Daenerys has no plan beyond "free the slaves!" She doesn't understand the gravity of changing the way a city like that is run, as is evident on receipt of the news from Astapor, who are already training more unsullied. The news that there are people who actually want to be slaves again because of the measure of protection and even luxury that position affords comes as a shock. So how will the city manage to stay afloat without the slave trade? What will they use for trade now? What kind of leverage and goods can they possibly have?
Lots of questions, but virtually no answers. Which is okay! If Brendan is right about this being a wrap-up chapter, Martin is clearly saving the answers for the following books.
Thanks for tuning in, guys! Enjoy!