In this episode of Learned Hands, Clint and Merry turn their attention to Dany's Court in Meereen and ask: Does Justice Daenerys Targaryen use Due Process? Does she dispense justice?
Our analysis includes:
Check out Adam Feldman's much acclaimed essays on Dany's arc in Meereen here at his blog the Meereenese Blot.
Intro music courtesy Sid Luscious & The Pants.
I think I
am married from up from under Winterfell
and I'm Clint from laws and ice Laws of ice and fire. Welcome to learn it hands Theophile Shal podcast of the Westerosi Bar Association.
Our goal with this podcast is to explore the legal, ethical and government structural dilemmas of a song of ice and fire and beyond inaccessible, interesting and fun way In doing so. Well, look at these questions the way lawyers, judges and maybe even Supreme Court's might look at them if they were deciding the cases. We are two attorneys in real life. I do intellectual property litigation in Texas
and I do government litigation in California. And according to a personality test I recently took on the Internet, I am a combination of teary in Lannister and Sam
Seaborn. I am April Ludgate and dinner A star Gary in.
Well, that is that is that is convenient, isn't
it? I mean, I will will take what is mine with fire and cynicism.
Hell yes. We like the law almost as much as we like a song of ice and fire. So, while spending long night here in quarantine, we decided to start a podcast we really hope you like it. And, as always, this is a spoiler podcast covering all publishing up unpublished works in the universe, all seasons of the show and probably other things you could have or should have read or seen by now.
Thank you to everyone for listening to our first episode. We want to give a few quick shoutouts to folks who gave us some really awesome feedback. The 1st 1 is for Izzy's From History of Westeros, who has already sent us questions about guests right and greeted Episode one with the absolutely most validating enthusiasm. So thank you. Is he used? You really made our podcast announcement day?
Absolutely. Yeah, that was great.
And a huge shadow to Chloe from girls gone cannon who brought up some really good points about Yes, her points about human rights and genocide, I thought were really good in particular. She she brought up how? Hey, one of the reasons John is right about his decisions till what the wildlings past the wall is because to not do it would have this horrible, terrible consequence. Um, and I think that's a really good observation about the limits of constitutional legal reasoning. To some extent it can obscure broader questions that ought to be relevant to the law on. So I'm really glad that Chloe brought up that point.
Yeah, that those air really important points to bring out. Obviously, we're looking at this from a legal perspective. But it turns out the legal perspective does not always overlap with what is the right thing to D'Oh, which is certainly something that neither marry nor I have ever encountered in our careers.
I think another good point about that is sometimes just the question you asked by assist the kind of results that you get. So if I'm asking, what does the night's watch both say as a Constitution? Well, that limits and biases the analysis towards a certain outcome versus if I'm asking, Well, what should the law tell us to do? That's just functionally a different question than what does this document mean? And so that's That's just something that's inherent in legal analysis is the kind of legal question that you pose in the first place affects the kind of answer that you get.
Absolutely. I also wanted to say thank you to Low who, um was very very nice Thio. Spend so much time, um, saying such nice things about our American legal podcast, even though low is not American or a lawyer. Uh, and so we really appreciate that support. Um, I also wanted to say thank you, too, sir. Joe Buckley of Isla Faces. Who said some very nice things about the podcast that we appreciate it very much. It was absolutely humbling coming from someone who has done such wonderful work in the song of Ice and Fire community. You know, his His book on Castle's is incredible. Isla faces is wonderful. Um and okay, I will do it. Shout out to Frank who listened to the entire podcast, which we expected, um, and also stand Stannis as we expected. Frank on Twitter brought up in and credit where credit is due. A very interesting point, arguing that Stannis is refusal to attack crack claw. I'll was evidence of Stannis believing in ah, quasi constitutional constraints on his own moment. Monarchical power. I wasn't entirely convinced that Stannis believed that he was constrained. And rather I thought he might be just making a savvy political decision. But it was a really nice and interesting discussion on Twitter.
Yeah, all of these people, Low and Joe and Frank were just so appreciative for all of the feedback. We also got some really good comments in the slack channel for not a cast about the relationship between magic and law, which is actually going to turn out to be, I think pretty relevant to this episode because Din Eris is constantly struggling with the ramifications of having dragons on her ability to have legal power. So again, just thank you so much to everybody who gave us this feedback. This is literally the reason that we wanted to do this. Podcast is too. Make other people think about things from a legal perspective and to kind of share our perspective on how that makes us think about a song of ice and fire with all of you guys. So please keep sending us your questions on Twitter or to learn it hands pod at gmail dot com, And you will, I promise, bright in our day during this long night.
Yes, and now, without further ado, welcome to the second episode of Learned Hands. The official podcast of the Westerosi Bar Association are second episode is titled Rabbit Queen Does the Mirrors Court of Dinara
star Gary in employee due process to dispense Justice. Yeah, thief.
That's right, Dinero star Gary and might be a little young. But, honey, she ain't naive.
She may be a young girl who is unschooled in the ways of war, but she's only saying that to make fun of you for being a moron really a very fitting introduction for this episode. Although I originally wanted to title the episode Rabbit Queen as an image to Tiger King. But you know, I think this works even better. Even better.
Any excuse to bring up D N R.
Absolutely so the first thing that a court does when they're looking at a problem is to state the problem in a clear, concise way so that everyone could make sure they're addressing the same issue. We call that Theo
Hear the questions presented. Our Does Danny's Mira Knees court give due process? Does it give justice? And how did the two of those things relate to each other?
We chose this topic for a number of reasons. First, because, as always, it's a hard question to answer. These podcasts would be even more boring if they weren't a little messy
and much like Eleanor Shells drop. We are messy benches who love drama.
Hell, yes. Uh, second, the concept We chose this this topic because the concept of due process is in itself, something that is near and dear to our hearts, as due process is and we'll talk about this much more later. Due process is a key civil right. What are key set of civil rights, Really, which should be protected in any just society in the United States, for example, is protected by both the fifth and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution. It's also protected by articles six through 11 of the U. N. Declaration of Rights. It is a big fucking deal.
Absolutely globally a big deal. And we chose this topic because last week we talked about Jon Snow Esquire. Unless it only seemed natural to follow ice with fire. So now we will talk about the honorable Justice Dinara star Gary in. And what better way to analyze Danny the justice than by looking at how she presides over court in Marine? I know reviews are mixed on the Big D's Arkan dance. But the more we've read it, the more we love how George R. R. Martin blends legal themes with human and magical ones. So understanding how Danny aims to and sometimes fall short of dispensing justice is a central part to tracking her character development at the same time as it illustrates key themes about power versus fear and tradition versus progress.
You want to make clear here that we deliberately decided to focus just on Danny's governance of Marine and how she deals with the trials that she holds the court that she holds there. We are specifically not focusing on generous, his conquest of Marine. We're gonna save the dark and complex questions about war crimes and specifically, Danny's crucifixion of the Masters in a storm of swords for another episode. So that is not part of the question presented here.
Legal rules for governing a city and legal rules for taking a city would be different. So there's a deliberate reason for us narrowing this discussion to try to make it more manageable,
absolutely factual background. This week, we're starting something that is standard in most legal briefs. A what's called a factual background section, the basic, which is a basic outline of the key details and evidence that a court will then use or apply to make its decision here. That means we're summarizing the key judicial events of Danny's Rain in Marine. The Times that she made decisions that are at least partly legal, as opposed to on Lee, political or military or thirsty looking, a Jew, Dario.
And when you read Danny one and two and dance, there are a whole lot of judicial decisions. By my count, she hears at least nine different disputes just in the 1st 2 chapters, because what we see is actually similar to Ned Stark. May he rest in power when he has his very brief reign, his hand and sits on the Iron Throne in a game of Thrones. Danny holds court by accepting requests or petitions from the citizens of Marine. This kind of open forum for resolving disputes is a proto judicial system, even though, as we'll see, Danny's court doesn't provide what Americans would recognize this trial.
Another important bit of context is that Danny's court sits in a time of near civil war or insurgency from sons of the harpy. So in addition to choices that Danny makes in open court, she is in the background, constantly struggling with her advisers about how to punish and capture a terrorist group that is killing her soldiers as well as her freed slaves. While these choices are being made during the extensible procedure of a quote unquote hearing, they are also being made in in time of absolute crisis. Thus, we have to take that into account when evaluating the decisions that are made.
It's also important that Marine doesn't have codified law. They don't have anything that's arguably even close to a Constitution. So Danny relies on tradition as a source of legal power, as we'll talk about later. The tow car and the way that it symbolizes power and tradition simultaneously really exemplifies this dilemma. So Danny also has her dragons as a symbol of might makes right and hard military power a nuclear option, so to speak. But it's important to recognize that neither tradition nor hard military power truly make for a system that embodies rule of law.
That's right, that's right, and and so it's important to note that these sorts of things they're not just happening in a crisis, but also in a in a quasi vacuum. There is one source of law here, and that's Dinara star Gary in and her giant fucking dragons who will eat and murder you if you step on what In addition to that, there don't appear to be, ah, lot of established rules for how cases are presented, prioritized or heard that there isn't, you know, sort of a code of civil procedure for Marine, however generous in her infinite wisdom, does create one out of thin air. Dan Danny insists that resin AC alternate hearing petitions between former masters and former slaves. As we'll talk about later, this is pretty close to a rule of what's called procedural due process.
So in Danning won, the chapter opens with her hearing a number of crimes about violence against people on property that occurred during the sack of Marine. For example, she hears about Ah woman who's brothel, was sacked at the beginning of the of the sack of Marine and has her jewelry stolen. So Danny operates in this chapter to adjudicate these kind of disputes that tend to be about violence against other people or property,
right, and similarly, and Danny to. She hears his door again about the fighting pits again. Then Also, she hears a dispute about freed men undercutting the wages of skilled guild laborers who previously were able to compete or didn't have to compete against those Friedman.
We also know that Danny holds court again and Danny three. But the only petition that we at least know that she hears is a military one. It's about whether to give aid to the sky, and this is an important point about the courts that Danny holds. They're not on Lee making judicial determinations of how to compensate people for crimes against them. They also tend to hear political problems, and eventually it appears damning is forced to suspend her court Once our city is under siege and people don't want to go to the court anymore, we also know she receives Quentin in her open court system. So it's Ah, it's interesting, I think, as an overall metaphor for the judicial process that Danny gives. That dance begins with her hearing a large number of these petitions and then as the military problems and dance and her frustration with them wears on, she gives less and less of them, and we hear less and less about these kind of judicial issues.
It's kind of like, you know, courts are hearing less and less or fewer and fewer cases thes days, rather standard of review. In this section, we will look at the key legal concepts we're gonna be using in this episode and talk a little bit about the legal concepts that we're gonna be applying to the question presented here. We're gonna be talking about two primary legal concepts number one to process and number two justice. So the first question is, Mary, what is due process?
Well, the fifth in the 14th Amendments of the U. S. Constitution declared that no person may be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. These amendments do double duty. They establish important rights to life, liberty and property, and they prevent the government from fucking with them without due process. But neither amendment standing alone defines what due process means or what life and property mean for that met life, liberty and property mean for that matter. Instead, courts and legal petition tradition are left toe sword out history and context to flesh out these important questions
in the United States. The courts have interpreted this question of what is due process. Thio take the form of two separate but related concepts. The first concept, which is going to be more relevant to our discussion today, is what's known as procedural due process. Procedural due process concerns the question of whether the court procedures that have been set up our fair, rational and applied equally. That's it. It's just about are the rules of the game set up in inner way that makes the game affair? That's it. Substantive due process. The other thing that the American courts have created concerns whether or not the law itself that is being applied is just
so procedural. Due process includes things like the right to notice of what crime you're accused of. If you're accused of a crime, the right to testify and present evidence on your own behalf, the right to have your case decided by an impartial judge or jury, while substantive due process would concerned whether there are limits on what kinds of things the government could bring you into court for in the first place. Like is it just to jail someone for stealing a loaf of bread or prevent someone from speaking out against the government.
Ah, really great example of a procedural due process, right? Is the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. It is Mary, and I love this right because it's really important for a number of different reasons, but also because it guarantees our jobs, at least when the courts are open. Most importantly, this right to counsel is procedural because it concerns making sure that the actual trial happens on a mostly even playing field.
Fair rules for presenting evidence and the right to trial by jury are important, in part because fair procedures helped to ensure courts get the information in front of them that they need to make fair and correct decisions. So we can see how the kinds of processes and rules we have regarding impartiality and evidence could very much effect. Whether or not courts are even in a position to make the right decision in the first place.
That's right. You're kidding. Conversely, an example of a substantive due process right in the United States is the right to privacy, so the right to privacy is not mentioned anywhere in the United States Constitution. But because courts have determined that it is that the right to privacy is fundamental to a free society, the state cannot unduly violate the right to privacy without violating an individual's quote unquote substantive due process. So if you if you remember what Mary talked about earlier this concept of liberty that is protected by the fifth and 14th Amendments, courts have said that the right to privacy is quote implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. In other words, this is a very lawyerly way of saying is. If you don't have the right to privacy, you don't have justice, you don't have fairness and you don't have due process within the system.
We're not by using the American Constitution as an example, making an argument at this point that the U. S. Constitution does the best job of protecting procedural due process
due process way. Just want to use it as an example of how these kind of rites function in relationship to each other. Andi also how the rights that a society chooses to define as important have a large impact on how that society can achieve justice which leads us to the second part of our inquiry.
That's right. That's so Mary. What is the legal definition of justice?
This is obviously a really big question that there's no easy answer to. No, I think one of the best ways of looking at it comes from political philosopher Michael Sandel, who puts it this way in his appropriately named 2013 book, Justice Toe. Ask whether a society is just is to ask how it distributes the things we prize. Income and wealth, duties and rights, Powers and opportunities, offices and honors. Ah, just society distributes these things. What Mary might call the good stuff in the right way. The hard questions begin when we asked what people are do and what so broadly speaking, Sandow says that there are three basic ways to approach how society should give out the good stuff. Maximizing welfare, protecting freedom and promoting virtue. Because legal systems air fundamentally about how society should be structured, how the good stuff should be given out. What we approach has. Ah, which approach we choose has a huge influence on the kinds of laws we believe are good. For example, we could imagine a display debate between political conservatives and political liberals in the United States. Really? Ha. About how health care should be distributed, what from a freedom, uh, protecting freedom, approach to justice. The most important thing is whether or not we have a choice to buy health care or not. But from a maximizing welfare approach, we might say the most important thing is that as many people have, access to health care is possible. So which approach to justice we choose to frame our answer to what justice is has a tremendous influence on whether or not we think a society is just
That's right. Um, S O. I mean, we can go back to antiquity. Two people have been debating as toe the definition of justice since you know, they stepped out of the caves or probably in the caves. Even so, I mean, there's Plato's definition of justice, which he announced in his republic, which is centered on the sort of her moan ius convergence of a person's abilities with society's needs. In general, I completely reject Plato's definition of most things because Plato fuckin sucks. I dare you to at me. Plato sucks on. And this definition is bad.
the far superior but still problematic Aristotle. I'm not going to fight with Clint about Plato, but Aristotle takes a virtue approach, and a virtue approach is actually still common in our work. Political discourse today. Ah, virtue approach to justice might say that talented people should always get what they deserve. Or people who work hard always get what they deserve. There's a concept of Yeah, I know that's hilarious, right, truth. But we can see how our idea of what was is just might be influenced by our idea of, well, our people who are virtuous and have moral virtue getting good things or people who suck and embody all of the seven deadly sins, uh, getting the good things, and that leads us into the idea of a divine or abrahamic theory of justice, which is that justice is the expression of God's will. Part of the reason I bring this up is that it's relevant in a song of ice and fire, because we have a lot of characters in the novels who think about the old gods as defining what justice means or appeal to the gods of Marine as the source of their paradigm. of justice.
That's right. I mean, the king, um, in King's landing is considered that way because their anointed by the faith of the seven, and that when they dispense justice, they are speaking not just for the crown, but for the seven as well. The faith as well. And that's that's very consistent with a sort of define theory of justice. But the the theory of justice that I'm gonna focus on for our discussion today is the sort of enlightenment or natural rights theory of justice, which states that justice is the protection of inherent and inalienable natural rents, among them life, liberty and property, which are not coincidentally at all the very things that cannot be taken from someone without due process under the American Fifth and 14th Amendments. It's almost like the natural rights theory of justice heavily influenced our Constitution. Spoiler alert. Yeah. So, uh, there's even so that that is like
you're spoiling Hamilton for me. They're talking about this right now.
Yeah. Also, he dies in the end. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Um, so that that is a really important theory of justice. There's also a theory of justice that is just purely procedural. nature, which is basically that justice is simply just about dispute resolution. As long as the process along the way was fair, the actual results doesn't matter. Justice was done, whether or not it achieved quote unquote truth or an equitable ruling. Lawyers love this theory of justice because it makes them feel like they are dispensing justice when they win or lose a case. But in truth, it's sort of like that those tart those gods did, you know, deciding whether or not a target Aryan is a good or bad one. It's just a flip of a coin. So I personally reject that sort of procedural dispute resolution theory of justice.
Nobody by call it a thin definition of justice.
something everyone can agree on, but because it's so thin, it simply doesn't include enough to be satisfying. Um, the definition I'm gonna be focused on is the distributive definition of justice, which is one that incorporates both ideas about maximizing freedom and ideas about Max if izing individual welfare, it's commonly associated with the 20th century moral philosopher John Rawls. This definition posits that unless civil liberties and economic interests are distributed fairly, any result that occurs within the system cannot be justice. One thing I love about John Rawls is that he uses this term the veil of ignorance. I'm just putting this out here because it sounds like a very fun fantasy term. Talk about it later.
one, too, to get excited, pondering if you don't already know what the veil of ignorance might mean,
was that in 50 shades free or 50 shades darker, I forget.
You know, I do not hate myself enough to have red eye home
movies. Air are so bad. I loved every second of it.
There's also deep critiques of all these versions of justice, as failing to address historical injustices and oppression is being biased towards Western points of view and prioritizing the individual over the welfare of the community. So by arguing for a natural rights or distributive definition of justice, neither one of us are necessarily endorsing either of those views. But I do think that in terms of looking at din Eris approach to solving justice problems, they're probably the most informative.
Yeah, these are the the definitions of justice, the competing natural rights and distributors, theories of justice that we think offer the best potential for a debate as to whether or not generous gets it right. So I think that brings us to the next section of our podcast argument. Does Danny's court employ due process? Yes or no?
Kind of. Danny's court is a kind of civil justice system that here is private disputes and disputes brought by the people of new Marine against the state, as well as disputes about matters of public policy, such as whether to reopen the fighting pits. It's a pretty decent civil justice system in the context of what we see in Westeros. Um, however, there appears to be no riel criminal due process at all. In other words, there's no protections for people that are accused of committing crimes against the state, and that's pretty important. So that's a big caveat.
That's a huge caviar, and I think that's right overall. But I think that the hearings in Danny's court still shares and features of what you and I would consider trials. So evidence is taken by an ostensibly neutral tribunal. In this, this case denarius herself, a person has an opportunity to plead their case. The people who are coming Thio seek. Generous is judgment, and a judgment is in fact rendered. It's not what you were. I would consider, you know, due process, but it's sort of it's sort of due process e. It's due process adjacent. It's
close skin there, you know there's some effort. I appreciate the effort she tried. An example of the trying I appreciate is that she gave a very complete hearing to his door about the fighting pits, and we're going to talk about this a lot more in our next section on substantive justice. But she knows his arguments so well that she can make them for himself, and she gives him multiple hearings and eventually again, we'll see. She allows him to present evidence he brings witnesses in front of her to plead their case. Um, and I think it's very important that the in terms of a due process analysis that there's actual evidence being heard and another good example of evidence being heard and due process being followed is when her court addresses the matter of compensating shepherds for the sheep that her dragons have killed. So here's the relevant passage, Danny notes. My dragons have developed a prestigious taste for mutton since we began to pay the shepherds for their kills. Have these claims been proven? But she ultimately decides that no man should ever fear to come to me. Some claims were full. She did not doubt, but more were genuine. Her dragons had grown to wards to be content with rats and cats and dogs.
The more they eat, the larger they grow, Sir Barrister had warned her, and the larger they grow, the more they'll eat. Draws up this bird's
eye, I commend you for for your embarrassing voice. Drogon, especially ranged far afield and could easily devour sheep a day, pay them for the value of their animals, she told Resnick. But henceforth, claimants must present themselves at the temples of the crisis and swear, Ah, holy oath before the gods of guests. So after she has decided that people should be paid for the value of their animals, a much bigger issue comes to her attention. The whole has a a the child that drogon eight thing comes to her attention. And so Danny one closes with her realization that one of the petitioner's offering bones is not offering the bones of a sheep. But of his human daughter, Danny, who was initially impatient with the men, is absolutely mortified. No, Danny shivered. No, no, those are the bones of a child. This is really sad. I don't have the emotional capacity to express how sad it is. But Danny is obviously completely mortified by the fact that this has happened.
That's right. But then she she remembers her sort of judicial role there, and she reckons, with how to deal with dragons actions in a very judicial kind of way. How to fairly compensate her father whether to believe the evidence he he presents about the manner of her death, You know yes or no. Like she she kind of ways that she also considers in a political way. This is the reason the stability of the regime. What can she do practically without undermining her rule? And so she says, quote her name had been has a uh, she was four years old then, she remembers. Unless he lied, he might have lied. No one had seen the dragon but him. His proof was burned bones, but burned bones prove nothing. He might have killed the little girl himself and burned her afterwards, he would not have been the first father to dispose of unwanted girl child. The Shave paid claimed the Sons of the Harpy might have done it and made it look like drug on that like dragons work to make the city hate me. Danny wanted to believe that, but if that was so, why it has a His father waited until the audience hall was almost empty to come forward. That's who. Really good question. By the way, if his purpose had been toe inflame, the Marigny is against her. He would have told his tale when the hall was full of years to hear the shave. P urged her to put the man to death, at least rip out his tongue. This man's lie could destroy us all magnificence. Instead, Danny chose to pay the blood price. No one could tell her the worth of a daughter, so she said it at 100 times the worth of a lamb.
I would give us a back to you if I could, she told her father. But some things are beyond the power of even a queen per bone shall be laid to rest in the temple of the graces and 100 candles shall burn day and night in her memory. Come back to me each year upon her name Day and your other Children shall not want. But this tale must never pass your lips again.
Eso here she's she's evaluating and, I think, a measured way. The evidentiary wait to give to the burned bones by also evaluating his motive to come forward and the context in which he presents the evidence. She's weighing these arguments quite judicially and in a measured way in the one of the most horrific of contexts that a judicial officer could be wing them, especially considering that one of her child Children is being accused of being the murderer.
I think a interesting parallel here is that her paying the blood price, which seems to be an established tradition or rule of law and marine, is akin to the takings clause of the United States Constitution. Basically, she's abiding by a rule that property cannot be taken without compensation. You can also find this concept in Magna Carta, which is a foundation for ah lot of the rule of law in England. It's a very important Anglo American legal concept, and it's used as a limit on eminent domain, which is the ability of the government to take the power of private citizens without compensating them. And I think it's a very interesting example of how substantive and procedural due process blend. It's a recognition of a right here, the right to property by paying a blood price. She's almost treating the child in the same way as she treats the sheep, the property of the other owners, because she she has really no other way to do it, right? So she's treating right toe life in a right to property in a determined way that recognizes the right and protects it within a legal system. Um, and we also at the same time see the political consequences off of dinners, actions which are presented by the shitty shitty asshole shave pate. Oh, just wants her to cut the tongue out of the guy whose daughter has been murdered. Way to go. You totally suck. And Danny recognizes that not only are his arguments wrong, but money, blood price as a legal formality is still not enough to remedy the injustice. Um, and so I think this passage is a great example of the interaction between the process for remedying a right that's been violated by someone. How to recognize and recognize when the government violates a right and at the same time, the limitations of the legal system to address a truly horrific injustice.
Absolutely. And though I do think it's notable, Thio the toe mention that she conditions the receipt of the blood price that she offers to pay on him shutting up forever about the fact that his daughter was murdered. And I think that that is something that can't be just waved away or overlooked. Yes, she does not take the same shave pates advice. She does not cut his tongue out, but in a way, she kind of does. She kind of says, Okay, I'm gonna pay you your property, But I'm gonna take away what we and most people consider a natural right, your right to free speech and at the same time, you know, potentially endangers other people. Um,
and I think that's a really good point. I also think that it's potentially a procedural due process violation in the United States. We value open courts, and this is a very important part of free government that a judicial decision that involves the government those decisions should be publicly available in order for the legal system to be consistent. And so the people know what their government is doing. But by, I guess, sort of contractually cutting out Jose his father's tongue. She is showing that she does not respect that sort of that open court aspect of the potential due process, right?
I think that's right. But Danny does implement other procedures that are procedural, due, process like or procedural due process that Jason, as I mentioned before, the most notable one of the things that I like, the one that I like the most is she implements procedures to ensure that the noble class and the freed men have an equal opportunity to be heard. So, she says, at the very beginning that her that alternating between hearing petitions from nobles and former slaves is the rule of her court going forward. Once you hear a petition from a no woman, you, the next petition must be from a slave, as you mentioned earlier. This is a purely procedural. It's not intended to provide any substantive wait regarding the eventual judgment, but it ensures access for everybody involved. And it also provides a sense of routine for the court proceedings. It's kind of like the procedure that marrying are both familiar with in trials where the plaintiff goes first and the defendant go second. Lawyers know that that's the case, that litigants know that that's the case when they turn the court, and so that provides a sense of routine and make sure that both sides are heard. Another procedure that Danny and acts that indicates some aspect of due process is the blanket pardon for all crimes during the taking of Marine and her application of it all people, noble and former slave alike. This is somewhat similar to the principle of equal protection, which is found in the 14th Amendment. This is a stretch I'm not gonna I'm not gonna lie, but it's somewhat similar, and it's It's a law that must be applied in all all situations toe all similarly situated people. So that's that's another feature of proceed quasi procedural due process. Um, and you know, to give an example of this here is a dance with dragons. Danny one.
Ah boy came younger than Danny, slight and scarred, dressed in afraid, great tocar trailing silver fringe. His voice broke when he told how two of his father's household slaves had risen up the night the gate broke. One had slain his father, the other his elder brother. Both had raped his mother before killing her as well. The boy had escaped with no more than the scar upon his face, but one of the murderers was still living at his father's house, and the other had joined the queen's soldiers as one of the mothers men. He wanted them both. Hank, I am queen Over a city built on dust and death. Danny had no choice but to deny him. She had declared a blanket pardon for all crimes committed during the sack. Nor would she punished slaves for rising up against their masters. When she told him, the boy rushed her, but his feet tangled in this tow car, and he went sprawling, headlong into the purple marble strong bullet. While Belle loss was on him at once, the huge brown you Nick yanked up him up one handed and shook him like a mastiff with a rat. Enough about lost standing, called release him to the boy, she said. Treasure that tow car for it saves your life. You are only a boy, so we will forget what happened here. You should do the same. But as he left, the boy looked back over his shoulder. And when she saw his eyes, Danny thought the heartbeat has another son.
Yes, that passage just breaks my heart. Every time I hear it, it's It's so rough because you sympathize with literally everyone in in that in that scene, basically, it's it's rough,
and I think it really emphasizes how the law being dispassionate, necessarily feels unjust. We have all of these people who have extremely strong emotions, and yet Danny's required to apply the due process of the blanket pardon. It's this bright line rule, which seems like it's intended to aid reaching the right result, but it has absolutely zero compassion. Um, but on the other hand, a biased system, in theory, would be unfair if it treats former slavers. Family is different from liberated slavers. And do we truly think that this boy has no right to justice against the people who raped and murdered his mother? Um, it's a really difficult question, and I think it it does pose some very interesting questions about, I think, in particular the idea of bright line rules, always leading toe just results. But again, Danny is also forced to accept the political consequences of her choice. You know, the heartbeat has another son, is how this passage end. She knows she's created another enemy by enforcing the blanket pardon by doing the right thing in terms of due process. By enforcing her blanket pardon pool, she has created another enemy of the state, and that's the cost. That's the cost of due process in this situation.
That's a really great point. And, you know, it's a really great way to demonstrate how legal procedures especially those that are based on a natural rights sort of philosophy, protection of life, liberty and property and or procedural due process can lead to political results that from 1000 foot view, seem obor int and it happens in our society. It happens in societies all over the world. Um, and it happened here. There's no good answer. But Danny applied the law, and that's the results on dhe. It feels icky, and that's just sort of how applying the law often goes. So we've talked. But we have, you know, talked a lot about how Danny's court does have some features of due process.
Let's talk about how it
really does it in a lot of different ways. Um, in the first and foremost primary way in which Danny's court does not feature to process is that Danny is simultaneously the judge, the jury and the executioner. She is the finder of fact and the person who decides the law. This not only violates Mon excuse principle of separation of powers, it also deprives people who risk the deprivation of those natural rights the life, liberty and property of the fundamental right to trial by jury in the U. S. And in most developed nations, people accused of crimes or risking deprivation of property like the the Weaver that that that we're gonna be talking about later, who comes to Danny and says, and being undercut by a bunch of other people who I talked to weave, how dare they that those people would have the right to trial by jury in the United States? The trial by jury is protected by the 5th 6th and seventh amendments as well as the body of the Constitution. It is arguably and I would argue this the most important procedural due process rule, as well as one of the most important civic duties. This is because when you serve on a jury, it is the only opportunity for a regular citizen to serve as a bulwark, a cz, a shield between their fellow citizens and the judgment of the state. You get to stand in between those two, and that is why everyone should go to fucking jury duty. Do it, you absolute selfish assholes. For the love of Christ. Every time one of my friends says to me, Hey, quit your lawyer. How do I get out of jury duty? I lose all fucking respect for them. Go to jury duty. It drives me insane, you know. You know, I know it's inconvenient. Oh, yeah, I've got stuff going on that day. You know what's inconvenient? Going to jail because of bunch of other people who should be on Juries were well qualified like you. The person listening to this decided Oh, no. You know, I've got tickets to go see Justin Bieber that day, blah, blah, fucking blah go to jury duty. It's really important. End of story, anyway. There's no
Clinton thistles. Funny, because it it hits on something that we talked about in the John episode and that I will always talk about which is that legal systems only work if the people are willing to participate in them in good faith and the right to trial by jury doesn't work. If most citizens are unwilling to participate in jury duty, Um, and it's It's an example of this contrast between, you know, civic duty and responsibility and individual rights. You don't get to have your individual rights if there is no corresponding civic duty and responsibility. And and we can make this argument in a lot of different ways as, ah, critique of how cultures relate toe legal systems. So later on, when we talk about some of the problems with the traditions that exist in Marine, we can critique some of the people in Marine for being selfish and stupid and bad. Um, and I think that that sometimes is a critique that, uh can be leveled against people in the modern world as well. So I don't know if it's possible it resonates with me a lot. I feel like there's a lot of people that want the benefits of living in a society but also don't want to take any of the responsibility for living in a society. And we can see that in the song of Ice and Fire. If we live
in a society people, it's a society. But go to jury duty anyway. There's no Juries in Danny's court, and that is officially bad.
Yeah, her not having Juries. It's really, really bad We talked before about how she covers up the fact that her dragon ate a human child. Huge big deal. Um, I think the other thing is in deigning to she appears to endorse a torture behind the scenes as a method of getting intelligence of the harpy totally sub optimal, very reminiscent of George W. Bush. So we we get a lot of due process in terms of what me be considered civil law petitions enforcing property rights, but no real examples of criminal law having due process. And so I think the best kind of passage for this is Dean. Iris is talking with the shaved pate, and ah, again he sucks she tells him to use sharp questioning, which is like aggressive negotiations and Star Wars. Um, she endorses the torture of people that are suspected of being parts of sons of the harpy. And what dinner's thinks to herself is mercy. They will have the Dragons mercy Scott's I have changed my mind, questioned the man sharply and in for me. This is the biggest example of dinner s failing to embrace due process. And it is not coincidentally aligned with her embracing the dragon part of her identity the idea that she must pursue the ends that she thinks are just without any regard for you know how that might affect people. Um, and it's ah, it's It's chilling because you see that at the same time Danny is sitting court to resolve these civil petitions. She's also, you know, embracing the torture of the sons of the harpy.
That's absolutely true, On the other hand, married. Be honest. Wouldn't it be nice if we could file a motion for the Dragons Mercy like motion to further plaintiff to receive the dragons? Mercy,
I mean, is the point of Mitch McConnell. I would like Mitch McConnell. Yes. I mean it's It's nice, right? And I think that the whole point is that it feels good. And it feels right for Danny, too. Not have to follow any of these procedures in the sense that she's pursuing vengeance and pursuing the ends that air. Just But there's this really sense in which, by doing that, she is also undercutting something. And I think this brings us to the next part of our discussion, which is that there's a real relationship between due process and substantive justice. On the one hand, if we could 100% of the time figure out who the sons of the harpy are, um and we know that they're all supporters of slavery and just root them out and punish them. That would be great. But unfortunately, that's not the real world in which she lives. She's embracing tactics where she doesn't necessarily know if someone is is really the enemy, and she's willing to torture them anyway. Um, and so ultimately it sets up. I think this this relationship between due process as a you know, a set of rights and due process is something that's correlated to achieving the right result. So my conclusion is that you know Danny gives a little due process as a tree, but it doesn't really bring justice because it's not consistently implemented. Um, and it's hard to really tie. Aspects of Danny's due process is leading to an actually just result. And we'll talk about this a lot more when we define what substantive justice is. Um, but I think that there's a lot of issues, Um, with whether or not the brand of due process Danny is following is actually leading to something good other than the entrenchment of her power and Marine.
Yeah, I think for my money, the closest that we come to drawing the line between due process and Justice and Danny's Court is the procedural due process rule of Argent alternating petitions from former Masters and former slaves. And that is because it insurers access to the system, even from people who may or may not be from a favorite class. Which ever class, that is, I could absolutely see a court, ah, Danny's court, where it's on Lee, former masters who heard because they are the wealthy. They're the powerful. They're the ones who drive the economy, et cetera, et cetera. or I could see you being dinner's being the breaker of chains. Her only hearing petitions from former slaves. Either way, that you set up something with that emphatically does not deliver justice because it on Lee gives access to the justice system to one class or another. Certainly we can talk all about access and how that plays into delivering justice. But her enacting that rule, even though it might not favor the class of people who she might want a favor is an example of you know, of drawing that line between due process and justice.
I also think that's one way in which Danny's due process is preferable to the justice of the due process in the American system. I think there's really no good argument that we have equal class access to courts in the United States. I literally can't frame one in good faith like we just we just don't have it. Lawyers. A really expensive, um and
especially married Mary is so expensive.
I mean it. Sure you you two would be you two would be expensive if you were in ah, in the kind of job where they charge by the hour.
I used to be expensive anyway.
Um, but But I think I think it's worth noting there's not always a lot of examples of things in a song of ice and fire comparing favorably to a modern system. Um, but this is This is one where I could actually make it a principled argument that Danny is letting people's cases get hurt and it adjudicated in a way that's a lot more fair than the American system. In order to even get a petition in the U. S. System, you, you either need to have a lawyer where you're gonna file a pro se petition, which is what happens when someone does something on their own. Um, and it's really, really difficult to get to get justice without a lawyer. Is a purse a point? If so, I think, um, I think it's it's just worth It's just worth noting.
I agree. I agree.
Oh, and I think the the other thing that's I have to stay that's very positive is Danny compares so favorably to Robert Baratheon, who never sat on the Iron Throne, only cared about drinking and sleeping with people and just pawned everything off on Nets star
who most among us a very home stuff.
Who's among us is not like Robert Breath. I don't know. I don't like Robert. Robert sucks, but but But I think it's some it's worth. It's worth noting that compared to other rulers, Danny is a lot more focused on her duty to do the right thing. So we you know, John is focused on the duty of doing the right thing. Stannis is focused on the duty of doing the right thing. Um, but it's it's it's brought up in her chapters, you know, Sir, Barrister in says, Hey, Danny, you don't have to hear all these petitions on your own. You don't have toe hurt your butt sitting on this, uh, uncomfortable thrown. Someone else could do it for you. But she takes the responsibility to hear all these petitioners on her own, which I think is ah ah, huge sort of process credit in her favor.
That's a really great point. I totally agree. Um, and you know, she does try. She she tries and that that is meaningful in a in a number of different ways, especially given the circumstance. But perhaps the answer to this question of whether or not to process, you know, has some connection to justice is simply that Danny's court actually fails to deliver due process or justice that that might be the answer. Or maybe it's because the type of justice that Danny wants to bring is impossible. Giving the circumstances. I think that both are reasonable conclusions to draw if you look at it from a an objective standpoint or is an objective standpoint, as you can. So I guess that that brings us to the next question. Does Danny's court bring justice? Yes or no? So that's that's what we're gonna be talking about in this section. And I am gonna be looking at this from a natural rights perspective, meaning I'm gonna evaluate Danny's actions from the perspective of whether or not she is unduly depriving any citizen of Marine off life, liberty or property. And if so, if she is unduly depriving any citizen of those things, she is not dispensing justice. This is not necessarily because I agree with this definition of justice, but just because I think it makes an interesting frame to evaluate justice dinners or judged Nerys or, um, Barrister, I don't know what they call judges in other places. Uh,
I like I like justice Danny.
one just sustaining
love it. Okay,
So I will be analyzing justice Tammy from a distributive justice perspective, Um, meaning that unless civil liberties and economic interests are distributed fairly, any result that occurs within the system cannot be just my overall observation about justice and eighties court. Is that like Dani's entirely rule and Marine? It's a crucible for what her values are and therefore gives us insight into what her vision of a just world is. One of the things we're gonna talk about a little bit later is that involvements essay in the Mariners blot about Dean Eris and one of the points that he makes is exactly that. That Marine is seen by a lot of people is boring, But it's extremely important character development for generous because we see her forced to way peace against her vision of justice. We see her force toe compromise on the things that she thinks are good on GC, her world view on what is right, confronted by a well organized, dramatically different world view.
I think that's right, and I think the best example of this or a really great example of this is her decision, um, over whether or not to open or reopen the fighting pits, which happens over several chapters in a dance with dragons. And so we'll start at the beginning. This is from this from dating anyone, right? This is Danny. One is all right. Okay. All right. So I am gonna be I don't know What what accent? Should I try his Don't
don't Don't just just go for it,
Any any actually, you choose will be. I just think it will be problematic.
It will. Absolutely. That it. All right. All right. Uh, you're just just listen,
just listen to the audio books, and I love Roy the trees. But, man, does he have some problematic act?
So weird. Now I'm hearing that in my head. Anyway, um, i'll go with a Southern accent. Your radiance will know the reason I am here. This is a bad Southern accent. Go ahead.
Um, why? It must be because you have no other purpose but to plague me. How many times have I refused you
five times? Your magnificence? I didn't tell Mary asking with with a side of
things is great.
All right. This is wonderful audio. We're keeping it.
Go six now. I will not have the fighting pits reopened,
Your Majesty. Well, if Your Majesty will hit my arguments,
I have five times. Have you brought new arguments?
Old arguments? His daughter admitted new words, Lovely words and courteous. More apt to move the Queen.
It is your cause I find wanting not your courtesies. I have heard your arguments so often I could plead your case myself. Shallow Danny, lean forward. The fighting pits have been part of Marine since the city was founded. The combatants are profoundly religious in nature. Ah, blood sacrifice to the gods of geese, The mortal art of geese is not mere butchery but a display of courage, skill and strength Most pleasing to your gods. Victorious fighters are pampered and acclaimed. The slain are honored and remembered By reopening the pits I would show the people of Marine that I respect their ways and customs. The pits are far famed across the world. They draw trade to Marine. They fill the cities coffers with coin from the ends of the Earth. All men share a taste for blood, a taste. The pits help slate and in the way they make marine more trunkful for criminals condemned to toe I upon the sands, the pits represented judgment by battle. Ah, last chance for man to prove his innocence. She leaned back again with the toss of her head there. How have I done?
You're radiant through the case. Much better than I could have hoped to do myself. I see that you are eloquent as well as beautiful. I am quite persuaded
she had to laugh. Ah, but I am not.
So she hears. So So then later in Danny, too. She hears from his dark again about the fighting pits and Danny and And he has a new, sexier haircut this time. Um and so he brought. He brings seven witnesses this time one for each of the seven gods of dinner. Sis Faith. Each witness is among the most famous of Marines fighting slaves, and Danny notes that they they owe her a blood debt because they helped lead the uprising, Um, and win the city for her, said one of them says Mother of Dragons says I am free. Why am I not free to fight. So each of the freed fighters wants to fight for glory and gold and not live in poverty anymore. Because his dart has promised them gold. That makes sense.
And so Danny thinks if this is truly what my people wish, do I have a right to deny it to them? It was their city before it was mine, and it was their own lives that they wish to squander. I will consider all you've said, she says. Thank you for your counsel. We will resume on the morrow. But ultimately Danny punts on this decision by deciding to marry his star later and dance. She refuses to open the fighting pits until his Dar is married to her, and she lets him make the decision. Until I keep, I keep thinking about like, what is the modern analog For this? It's like some kind of massive political compromise, like someone choosing like a vice president from another political party. She just absolutely does not want to be slaked with that decision. She doesn't want to have that sort of blood on her hands.
Yeah, I think that's right and it's so like from a natural rights perspective where Danny is weighing one way or the other whether toe he open these fighting pits, I think the answer is fairly clear. She should reopen them like justice would dictate that she to not do so would deprive the people who owned the fighting pits off their property. It would deprive the people who want to fight in the fighting pits of their liberty. Um, and you know, obviously reopening them would implicate the lives of those people. But the upshot is that those the sort of freedom the individual right to do these this sort of blood sport is baked into this idea of justice because it is a property right in this way. And so, um, the decision that she eventually makes is consistent with a due process idea O r. Excuse me, A natural rights idea of of justice.
And I think one thing I think is interesting is that there's some parallels to this in American history. There's, ah, period of time, um, where substantive due process, which originally used under the US Constitution to embrace freedom of contract and to strike down minimum wage laws and the idea waas, you have the right to sell your labor for whatever cost you want. Um, and because freedom of contract was viewed as the kind of like ultimate embodiment of liberty as freedom of choice during that period of constitutional law, you could not make a law that limited that that required a minimum wage. And you could actually make it a pretty good analogy from that really bad dumb time in American law to this argument that his Dar and Hiss partisans are making to denarius, you know, I should be free to fight even if I'm on Lee going to be paid If I win and I might die because I have the right to choose. I have the right to sell my labor as a fighter. However I want.
I think that's right. I think that that ah, discussion and that that idea this sort of locked memorization of of the fighting pits of Marine that's a legal term. Nine people will get that. That's fine. Um, it highlights a weakness of the natural rights bottle of justice in that it values the piece that can result from the availability of process over, providing an actual just result. So you have this social contract, and everybody agrees that the government is gonna protect life, liberty and property and that those things are gonna be protected unless there is due process of law. And we set up this system that protects those things and those things primarily if not on Lee. But does that produce an actual just result? Danny's court here was designed to protect some of those natural rights that life, liberty and property by giving the citizens of Marine some form of process to protect them. The young boy who talked about earlier who comes to Danny Toe seek vindication for the life of his mother, the the Weaver who wants protection against undue competition. His dar, who wants to open the fighting pits. All of these people are attempting to protect the value of their property. She gives them all the hearing. They all get a hearing. They'll get process. Some sheep protected their rights to property or their right to life. And some she denied as his right as a sovereign. So you can make the argument that under a natural rights perspective that justice was served here because no rights, no rights were taken without process of some sort, but and here is the big, but all the process still sucks. It deeply sucks because it is serving to uphold the underlying structural factors that affect the citizens of Marine. Those structural factors being inequality, poverty, racism, uh, war, pestilence, disease, strife. All of which make true peace and harmony impossible, no matter how much process you give in these courts.
And I think it's really notable that Danny continually chiefs against these arguments. And usually the reason that she bristles when these kind of freedom of contract tradition style arguments are made is we constantly hear Danny's refrain being something like the following. I have all of these dragons, but my dragons cannot feed my people. When Danny goes to see the refugees who are surrounding Marine, she walks among them, and she thinks, What kind of mother am I? If I cannot provide milk if I cannot feed my own Children? And I think that this provides ah, really good insight into Danny's idea of justice and I think her idea of justice is much more in line with a kind of raw lzzy and distributive model of justice, which is that a society is not just unless even the least people among it are protected and adequately cared for. So I, uh, tease the veil of ignorance a little bit earlier. But I want to talk about, um, one thing before we go to the veil of ignorance. And it's something that high school debaters would call the maxim in principle, which is the idea of maximizing the minimum standard of living in a society. Um, in one simplification of Rawls Theory of justice is that the best possible society would be one where the minimum standard of living is the best. Um, and the reason Rolls decides that this is the best kind of society is the veil of ignorance, and the veil of ignorance is Raul's idea is that the society that we would want to live in would be the one that if we knew absolutely nothing about what family we would be born into or what talents we would have. It's what Rawls calls the original position. So if we were this entity that had the ability to make rational choices but knew nothing about our talents or any of the material things that would would affect us once we're born what kind of society we would choose. And he says that from behind the veil of ignorance, we would choose a society that maximized the minimum standard of living for everyone. Because if we roll the dice, we don't know who we were gonna be. Um, and this makes a lot of sense from Danny's perspective. You know, Danny has been a slave. She has been bought and sold. So even while though, she's this tremendously powerful person in terms of the fact that she's the mother of dragons, she has a tremendous amount of empathy for people. And she's embraced this aspect of her personality and incorporated that into her version of justice, which in her view, means that she ought to protect everyone in society. So it makes sense that she would bristle against a natural rights idea of justice because it is inherently conflicting with the idea that she ought to protect everyone. Um, and we see this in the way that she adjudicates different kinds of disputes, you know, for, for example, when she is is dealing with the the issue of the craftsman and the freedom and selling their labor, Danny points out. The Friedman work cheaply because they were hungry. If I forbid them to carve stones or lay bricks, the Chandlers, the Weavers and the Goldsmiths would soon be at my gates asking that they be excluded from those trades as well. So she takes into account the fact that the rules that she makes are goingto have this, um, this impact on how the good stuff talking back to my earlier discussion is distributed within her society.
I think that's Ah, I think that's a great point. And it shows, um, how savvy generous is in making these sorts of decisions that are not necessarily strictly, uh, like adjudicative, right? Like some of them are about policy, like Is this good policy? Is this bad policy? But there, there a way for her to determine what what she values going back to what you were talking about before. What is the most important thing? Is it doing the the justice for this person, this one person in front of me who's asking for justice Risen, doing justice for as many people as she can, the best she can? And those air often two completely different questions. And I think that you know you're absolutely right that, um, people look at these chapters as sort of Oh, it's boring. It's just court, like, you know, as a lawyer, I sympathize with that video. That court is often boring, but her going through this and and going through the process of making these decisions is incredibly meaningful for her character development. To determine which of these is more important. Is it more important that I give this person the best result, this one person, or is it more important important that the most people get the best results? And I think that that's, um, it's a It's a question that in the abstract is impossible to answer, but that she does a really pretty good job of trying to answer it.
And I think it's hard to ignore. I think, the the structural political critique that in most of song of ice and fire, George R. R. Martin is making about feudalism. But here in Marine, we have a society that's not feudalistic, right. It's some deliberately more market based, and I think it's important that he is making an argument that both this more market based society and the feudalistic society, um allocate the good stuff in a way that is morally arbitrary, but by which that is to mean that. You know, in feudalism you have a caste system, right? So you could be this awesome person with a lot of talents, but never really succeed in society because you're a small folk. But even in this market based system where their slate, their slavery incorporated and obviously slavery creates this entirely morally abhorrent Kapsis caste system. But then, as we see when she is trying to resolve disputes within Marine, even eliminating de jure slavery, slavery as a matter of law, there is still a caste system and an economic system that allocates the good stuff in a way that's morally arbitrary. So I think I think it's it's really deliberate on Martin's part to make that point in Denarius Arc because she is going to go from Marine back to Westerns and, well, what do you think she's gonna think about whether or not Westeros is giving people justice? Um, even though they don't have again, there's no did your slavery. I find it hard to believe that generous would think that the people of West rose the rulers of Westerns are doing a good job feeding their people.
I think that's right. I mean, she's gonna get there, go like, Well, it's not great bump, Not great at all. It's really bad. Uh, yeah, that's true.
Um, and I think that this is just it's very that the idea of whether or not goods, air allocated and a moral way it's very important to understanding, I think the distributive justice model. The best example that I have right now is ah, imagine how the respiratory and 95 masks are being allocated. It's a market based system. It's based on freedom of contract. It's based on natural rights. If I have more money, I should be able to like up bid this mask, um, and pay whatever I want for it. But we see these these huge problems right now with that approach in terms of you know how it effects nurses and doctors and people that are of lower economic status. Um, the economic system, just by itself is is not working, and you see that in denarius arc as well again when she goes to the refugee camps when she contemplates whether or not all of her people are going to be fed. It's a It's a similar kind of critique about whether or not this idea of natural rights is truly sufficient to create a society where everyone is taken care of.
It's e. I think we've done a good job. I think so. Far of drawing the debate as to whether or not there is justice in Danny's court, whether or not there is due process, I think we're ready to move to the final portion of the podcast conclusion.
So I think the first thing that comes to mind, um, for me it's some of Adam Feldman's writings in Marinades Block about Danny. His conclusion, which I'm trying not to butcher and I broadly speaking, agree with is that the point of all Danny's action in Marine is that she actually temporarily succeeds in creating peace. But she doesn't like the kind of peace that creates the concession she has to make when she marries his daughter. When she allows the slave trade to operate outside of Marine when she has to reopen the fighting pits. Those all create this sense of injustice, and that's what drives her to embrace that the dragon side of her identity. Um, and I think this highlights this idea that peace is not justice. And I think as much as Adam's essays are excellent, that is this other kind of unanswered question, which is is Peace is the piece that Danny would have achieved in Marine really worth anything if it still perpetuates the slave trade if it still creates a system where people are not fit.
I think that's a great question from a natural rights perspective, and we've been talking about. I've been talking about this throughout the podcast. It does tends to place a value that is higher on peace than it is on justice than it is on making sure that people are fed them, making sure that people don't go wanting that, that there aren't people who are being taken advantage of because it's based on a system that is designed to prioritize the individual rights of the people participating in it, versus the collective rights of everybody who has to deal with the result of that society. So
and I think that there's a passage from Danny, one that makes this conflict really plane. It starts with Danny thinking about the slave Children that the glitch great masters had nailed up along the road to Gim Chi. And so Danny thinks someday she feared she had not gone far enough. The Marinus were a sly and stubborn people who resisted her at every turn. They had freed their slaves yes, only to hire them back. A servants wages so meager they could scarce, afford to eat. Those two old or young to be of use have been cast into the streets along with the infirm and the crippled. And still the great masters gather to top their lofty pyramids to claim about how the Dragon Queen had filled their noble city with hordes of unwashed beggars, thieves and whores. To rule Marine, I must win the Marron ease however much I may despise wth. Um,
no, I think that that that quote absolutely is basically taking what we have just been talking about and and laying it bare. It's it's basically saying, Yeah, okay, we have the system where the sleeves are freed. Ah, but they're still in basically wage slavery. We have the system where everybody gets toe, come and have access to the courts. But there's still great inequality here that affects whether or not effects the outcomes of people. Um, I think it's important to know that we're not necessarily talking about, ah, system where the distributive model of justice doesn't necessarily talk about a system where all of the outcomes air necessarily equal, but that there is a sort of baseline level of of life quality that, you know, isn't president in Marie for sure.
And I think it's It's particularly notable that even though this is how Danny thinks about how justice should operate, she doesn't seem to have any real plan to get there. Um, she she seems to be more frustrated with how things work. Then she is capable of developing a plan to make them work better other than using her dragons. And I think that that tension between the military might embodied by her dragons and the frustration of what she can get through diplomacy and the law is central. Tow her arc, and George very deliberately doesn't answer that question. He doesn't make Danny have some, like, you know, roles. The envision of good government. I mean, she she's not a she's not a policy wonk. Okay, um and instead she sort of caught between, um a rock and a hard place, so to speak. Like she's trying to deal with the traditions of the Marron ease while at the same time recognizing that the peace she has created is not really what her goal. Waas when she invaded Marine in the first place.
Yeah, Danny was trying to do the most good that she could for the most amount of people. She's trying t free the slaves of Marine, and she found her Selves. Her. She found herself ruling over the city. She will be a queen and she will rule. And she found herself stepping into this role. You you mentioned a quote earlier where she said that to rule Marine she must win the mirror knees, however much she may despise them. And I think that that brings us to how we got the title of this this episode, which is Rabbit Queen. Well, you know, as as, uh, my main man browed Ben Plum says to her T dinara star Gary and and Danny, one of unanswered dragons, he says, Quote Man wants to be the king of the rabbits. Best wear a pair of floppy years and the ad like So he's saying that you gotta walk the walk right
And I think that's a really good example of how sometimes due process and justice feel like a bit of performance. They feel like optics, particularly when we are faced with situations that are really very difficult. Danny keeps the court's open in part because she knows it's going to appease The Marigny is who are her enemies. But when she issues rulings that are in favor of the freed slaves, they they only make incremental progress and even having the court's open. For me, it feels a lot like Nancy Pelosi, like ripping the State of the Union speech in front of Donald Trump. People want to say like Yes, queen go Danny But it's not really doing much beyond symbolic value. And the reason is that problems and Marine or so deep that even Danny knows her decisions in the courts aren't enough to change the law on Marine in a real way. Um, and I think the the best metaphor that George gives us for this is the tocar um, Danny. When she is dawning the tow car in Danny one, we get this passage she thinks you wound to loose. It's like to fall off wound too tight. It would tangle, trip and bind. Even if worn properly. The tow car reminded it's where to hold it in place with the left hand walking in a tocar demanded small, mincing steps and exquisite balance less. One tread upon the heavy trailing fringes was not a garment meant for any man who had to work. The tow car was a master's garment sign of wealth and power. Danny had wanted to ban the tow car when she took Marine, but her advisers had convinced her otherwise. And just like the rabbit years, the tow car is a symbol of tradition and marine. But I think even deeper than the floppy ears. The intricacies of wearing the tow car are this metaphor for incremental progress. For her to maintain her power and balance the competing factions and Marine, she has to have one hand behind her back. She has to wear this extremely constricting garment. It's absolutely the opposite of unleashing Drogon in Vasari on on the city, which would give her absolute power. The tow car represents the constraints of tradition that marine places upon her, and on one hand, those constraints rain in her most violent impulses. They've ring inthe e the tar Gary in coin flip that says Din Eris, would bring fire and blood to the city. But on the other hand, they also restrain her ability to deliver justice because they forced her to accommodate the slavers. And I think that for me, the contrast between the tow car and the dragon is a really eloquent way that George is showing us that law and tradition in Marine are meant to be sort of juxtaposed with dinner is power and dinners, vision of power as a way to achieve justice.
I think that's I think that's absolutely right. I also think that the tow car is in this way a metaphor for this idea of procedural due process, right, So you're talking about constraining the power of the state in a meaningful way? Well, procedural due process does the same, but at the end, what you see is that those constraints tending to favor the wealthy in the in the society because the structural undergirds of that society also tend to favor the wealthy, just as procedural due process rights tend to favor the wealthy here in the United States because they could afford better lawyers like Mary and I or Mary, at least on, because they can take advantage of whatever procedure procedural due process rights are available to them. So the tow car represents this constraining of authority that still produces a result that tends to favor the elite.
Yes, so I tend to think that Danny doesn't do justice and Marine, and it's because she can't, because she, I think by necessity, has to prioritize piece. Um, and I think that's ultimately the fact that Danny cannot deliver her vision of justice and Marine is what leads her to embrace war and the dragon.
And I would concur with that opinion. I think that Danny Overall does not produce justice, though She tries really hard, Um, and not necessarily through the fault of her own, but that she's unable to lift herself from the structural constraints that are placed upon her from the situation. She is, you know, she she tries really hard. She in fact, adds constraints that are not strictly necessary. For example, she chains vegetarian and wriggle when she doesn't have to do that in order to deliver justice, however, huh? At the end of the day, the situation is just so untenable. The justice cannot be done. So it is my opinion that while she tries to give due process and justice that the court of Dinara star Gary in fails to live up to both.
So so it is
in the long tradition of our are two episode podcast. Um, we can talk about what episode that we're thinking about doing next. We have not come to a decision on this. We can say thank you to some people where we could just end it. I don't really care whatever again, nothing matters were in the apocalypse. Fuck it. Let's just do it.
In light of recent events, we have decided to dedicate this episode of our podcast to the Davos Fingers podcast and the 2020 a song of madness Champion din nearest star Gary in Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. May her reign be blessed with whatever the fuck it is. We need to turn around the year 2020 and friends make you all take lawsuits for Matt and scads of Davos fingers on how not to be an ex school on being