The prophecy has foretold: Daenerys will suffer three betrayals. One for blood, one for gold and one for love.
When Miri Maz Durr supposedly tried to revive Drogo, that was the blood betrayal. Jorah Mormont seems to be the betrayal for gold when he cut a deal with King Robert to have Daenerys killed in Season 1. So it remains to be seen who will be the third one to betray her, this time for love.
The headline of this post kind of gave it away – it will be Tyrion.
At first look, Daenerys and Tyrion met at the best moment possible for both of them, when they needed each other most. Daenerys has a need for Tyrion’s advice about Westerosi politics and politics in general, and Daenerys is the milk ticket that will allow Tyrion to take his talents to King’s Landing and do what he thinks he’s best at – being a good politician. Unlike the last time he was the Hand, now he has his queen’s ear and could steer her in a good direction, as far as possible from his nephew Joffrey and his sister Cersei.
But this partnership does not look long for this world.
The chasm between them has grown steadily and was never more apparent than in episode 5. In the previous episode Tyrion tried to dissuade his queen from using her dragon and Dothraki in open battle in Westeros, and then he was forced to watch in horror as she burned the entire Lannister army.
Awesome as that battle scene was – more a “carnage scene” than a “battle scene” – it’s no coincidence that it unfolded almost entirely from the point of view of characters that are not named Daenerys. Through Tyrion’s eyes, we saw that he was rooting for his brother more than for his queen, even though Jaime is working for his queen’s main enemy, Cersei.
And Tyrion’s walk on the battle field at the beginning of episode 5 spoke volumes: he looked forlorn passing through all those burned bodies.
For a breakdown of Daenerys’ leadership style from a Machiavellian perspective watch this Game of Thrones Academy’s video.
He was also clearly uneasy and frustrated with the way she dealt with the vanquished, offering them a choice between kneeling and death. When the two Tarlys chose to be killed rather than bend the knee for a foreign invader and her savage horde, he spoke against it and was overruled. She burned the father and son, a clear nod to her father’s actions, the Mad King, who burned the Stark father and son with Wildfire, an act that led the Starks and their allies to take up arms against the crown, and then topple House Targaryen.
A Tyrion betrayal has been foreshadowed by the way other characters pledge their loyalty to Daenerys. Varys told her that he CHOOSES to support him, and she only asked him to promise to tip her off if he wants to stab her in the back, and Missandei echoed the sentiment by saying that her armies CHOOSE to follow her because they believe in her.
Well, people can lose their belief in a politician and CHOOSE to support someone else.
So, Daenerys’s journey of becoming a dragon heads in a straight collision course with Tyrion’s journey to repair the realm and dispense of politics as usual in Westeros, or break the wheel, as his queen calls it.
Here lies the inherent difference between Daenerys and her Hand. She thinks she should rule because it’s her right, and therefore the end justifies the means. If she needs to unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen to get there, then so be it. Tyrion, on the other hand, thinks about the day after the war. He’s not a general but rather a politician, he understands the importance of making lasting alliances and how counter-productive it can be if you burn your bridges on the way to the throne. Basically, he yearns for the realm to finally get a worthy monarch who will “get it” the way he “gets it.”
It seems inevitable that he will soon realize that she is not a new kind of politician, but rather more of the same. And maybe he will betray her for his love for his brother Jaime, or for his love for the realm. He will probably look for a contender whose outlook on the ruling seems more in line with his. The obvious candidate is Sansa Stark, Lady of Winter and future Queen of the United Kingdom.
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