to err is human, but be able to do it more than once.

In my favorite book and tv series, Game of Thrones, the show is marked by characters making frustratingly terrible decisions that show the truth of the saying – “to err is human.” However, the second half of the saying – “to forgive is divine” – is often never an option. Characters are handed such immense positions of power that they often can’t afford a mistake or feel the devastating outcomes of their terrible decisions, but the audience is left to believe that they would make marginally better decisions. As a fan of Game of Thrones, continuing the show itself may have been considered a bad decision. But looking into the later seasons, one of the most frustrating decisions a character makes is when Daenerys Targaryen takes all three of her dragons north of The Wall. Daenerys is the dragon queen, waking up three legendary beasts to complete her conquest to overtake the world that pushed her out of power. She’s only a child at the beginning of the show, so she’s a perfect example of watching a character grow and learn from her bad decisions. Frustratingly, she doesn’t learn particularly quickly. Near the end of the show, the mounting threat of undead ice people is approaching the world she is fighting to conquer and she decides to protect the world from the undead threat rather than her political opposition. Daenerys takes her three dragons north of The Wall where the undead threat resides, unable to break through The Wall but becoming increasingly more potentially able to do so. Her dragons are her most crucial aspect of her conquest, proving to be a part of her army that no other opponent has. However, after coming back from fighting as many undead as possible, the audience is left dumbfounded and frankly speechless as the worst outcomes come true. Important characters die, not all the undead are vanquished, and a dragon is lost. Daenerys took all of her power up north to be subject to incredible danger and lost one-third of her massive military advantage. Not only does she lose one-third of her power, but the undead people revive one of the dragons and take it as their own to break down The Wall. If Daenerys has never brought all three dragons, then she would have possibly been able to take out more undead without sacrificing one of her own. If one of her own wasn’t sacrificed, the undead would have never gained a dragon to break through the previously impenetrable wall. I personally was incredibly hurt by her decision as she flaunted her power to result in a loss. The idea of using all of your power to fight an enemy that could hurt you significantly back is one that the audience is meant to take away from the show and the decision. If you have an enemy, be it a person, situation, illness, or other type, attacking that issue with all of your energy without a plan to fall back on is a huge risk that is often not worth taking. I was mad about the choice but realized that it was necessary to understand that throwing yourself at a task when there are other tasks to be done will result in your undoing, and that archetype continued through Daenerys and other characters that made equally and more so horrible decisions.

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