Daenerys Targaryen: "Strike the chains off every slave you see."
By Dennis Loo (4/22/13)
In last night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen delivers to us a scene so great I've replayed it four times just to savor it.
I've not read most of the books that the TV series is based upon. I actually prefer the dramatization in this case to the writing - I know, it's weird - because I find the intricacies of the books a little much given the intricacies of other matters in my life. If you love intracacies, and most who read this genre of fiction do, author George R.R. Martin delivers in spades.
So I didn't know exactly what was coming in last night's installment. But I did know that when Daenerys offered her biggest dragon last week to the slave master (Kraznys) of the mercenaries - called the Unsullied - in return for all 8,000 of his trained enslaved troops, that she was sooner or later going to use the dragon against the woman-hating master and free the slaves. The woman has principles, after all.
When she turns over the dragon to the slave master and he gives her his symbolic whip of control over the Unsullied, and he shortly after this complains in Valyrian to his interpreter to "Tell the bitch that her dragon won't come to me," Daenerys doesn't wait for the translation and tells him in perfect Valyrian that "A dragon is not a slave." (She uses the Astapori word for "slave" so that he will know for certain what she means). Kraznys is shocked, realizing now that all of the casual insults he's thrown her way she understood, and says: "You understand Valyrian?!"
Daenerys then says in her most commanding voice: "I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House of Targaryen, of the Old Blood of Valyria. Valyrian in my mother tongue."
She then turns back to the Unsullied:
“Unsullied. Slay the masters. Slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off every slave you see."
The rest you have to see, but her command to her dragon is precious.
This scene is even better than William Wallace's speech before his people in the film Braveheart before they take on the English in a critical battle. Not better perhaps than the scene in the film Spartacus: "I'm Spartacus. No, I'm Spartacus..." as the Romans try unsuccessfully to find out who the slave revolt leader is.
But it's close.