Actually, the point is to overcome the shadow and become the true positive expression of the archetype. The king must have enough self-confidence to both trust his own judgments (i.e. not give his power away) and to not need external shows of their power to boost their own confidence. The true king can confidently reside in a hovel and still be able to provide order and the opportunities for his people to grow.
And I went into this in a past episode thread, but it bears repeating; the two shadows don’t complement each other, they always make each other worse because they both suffer the same flaw (insecurity with their power in the case of the king) they just express that flaw differently.
In the case of an Impotent King and a Tyrant King, the Impotent King is insecure with their power and so gives it to the Tyrant, who just uses that power for even more grandiose displays to mask their insecurity.
That fact (and the show running on reverses) is why I could predict that the premiere would be the high point for Jon and Dany... because they are toxic for each other.
The key distinction, and why season five for me particularly, is that Sansa and Arya targeted people they specifically knew were guilty. Dany didn’t.
Ramsey’s death was actually the height of irony. Those were HIS own dogs that he’d chosen to starve for a week so they’d tear apart whoever he threw in there after the battle (I believe his plan was Jon, after he’d raped Sansa in front of him).
If he’d just treated his own dogs humanely and fed them, he’d have had nothing to fear from being locked in that pen with them. He was literally undone by his own cruelty.
Likewise, even as Arya killed all the adult male Freys who’d been involved in the Red Wedding, she was careful not to let any innocents drink the poison. Her desire was to punish those who were guilty and no one else.
But for Dany, the moment where I became utterly convinced by the narrative that Dany would ultimately be the villain though was when we she threw a man to her dragons to be burned and ripped apart AFTER admitting she didn’t know if he was guilty or innocent. All she cared about was her pain at Selmy’s death and scaring the others into line.
Before that it was the moment that Hizdhar informed Dany that his father, whom she’d crucified, had been opposed to the Masters’ crucifixion of the slaves for which she’d had 163 random Masters crucified as punishment. She didn’t care enough to find out who was innocent or guilty of the particular crime, she just wanted people to suffer for it and her self-righteousness to be assuaged.
That’s actually been the most defining trait of Dany’s violence... she cares more about shows of power when she feels she’s been wronged than with actually punishing the guilty... going all the way back to Mirri Maz Dur who was burned alive for killing the warlord who ordered her village burned, her people killed and her to be gang raped... because Dany cared more about the Warlord than the slave seeking justice.
Another key distinction is that in the case of Sansa, Arya and Tyrion... they were punishing someone who had done wrong to them first. Dany was the one who started the fight with all the Masters, starting with going back on her deal with the slavers who sold her the Unsullied and killing them all.
Yes, slavery is bad, but she went in with zero plan for the long term with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, then got pissed at people when it turned out to not be as easy as a Saturday Morning Cartoon to deal with... and didn’t particularly care whether the particular person she was punishing because she was pissed off was innocent or guilty.
I understand that people read things differently, but how much of that reading you made came down to how Dany felt about things vs. objective facts?
The Dothraki are objectively murderous raping pillagers, but because they were helping Dany they were “good guys” and the slave who killed Dany’s dreams of conquering Westeros with Khal Drogo’s horde was the “villain.”
Objectively, Dany bargained in bad faith with the Unsullied slave traders and betrayed them, but that’s okay because they were asshole victims and Dany got an army to replace the Dothraki with.
Objectively, Dany crucified 163 people selected at random from the Masters of Mereen without even bothering to determine who had actually decided to crucify the slaves along the roadside. But that’s okay because they were slavers and probably guilty of something (if the crime is being a slaver... execute them all. If the crime is crucifying slaves, execute the ones who actually ordered it... that’s what actually makes it tyrannical).
She fed a man of uncertain guilt to her dragons, but that’s okay because Selmy had been murdered by the Sons of the Harpy last episode and someone needed to be made an example of to keep the former Masters in line.
And in retrospect he was almost certainly innocent since the Sons of the Harpy were later learned to have been funded by forces outside Mereen... so the idea that Dany doesn’t kill innocents to keep her subjects in line has actually been disproven since season five when she did precisely that.
That’s the difference between Sansa, Arya and Tyrion punishing the guilty for their specific crimes and Dany punishing people based on what will best keep her subjects in line.
Daenerys has always been “More of the Same.” It’s now just too obvious for people to be able to make excuses for it anymore.
I’m actually kinda relieved it went that way. I was dreading years of debates over whether what Dany did was justifed or not if they’d gone with something more muddy... like the city didn’t surrender and she’d just gone nuclear on the Red Keep and the innocents within died from the collateral damage.
We’ve been spared that. There’s no room for doubt anymore that she’s a monster. Madness or deliberate choice is largely irrelevant... the monster needs to be stopped regardless.