28

It made total sense to me that Cersei wouldn't attack Daenerys during their meeting in Game of Thrones season 7. But why would Daenerys not use the opportunity? After all, the only reason that kept her from attacking the city and taking it via brute force, was the people. But here she wouldn't have harmed a single person in King's Landing. Yet she held a meeting with her enemy, who wouldn't have lasted a second if the Mother of Dragons had decided to burn down their tent?

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    Aside from the from-universe answers below: If you agree to terms over a parley, and then break that agreement, you won't ever be trusted again to be true to your word. That, (not only) in a feudal society, basically rules out any chance to rule. (Sorry for the sorry play on words.) – DevSolar Nov 8 '17 at 12:10
  • It is, what honor demands of you. Even if Cersei is not honorable, you mustn't be, too. – EarlGrey Nov 8 '17 at 14:32
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    It's hard to say. This was a terribly written scene: rushed, and yet plodding, with very little character tension or interaction. It feels like far too much was heaped on a scene that really should have focused more on the momentous meeting of two huge characters. The dynamic between Daenerys and Cersei should have carried the whole scene; but instead it ended up being an uneven roll call of subplots and other characters to the point that it's hard to even remember what D or C did there. – orome Nov 8 '17 at 14:54
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    The title worked better before it became a "smooth ride". – Mark Rogers Nov 9 '17 at 16:45
  • Agreed, but i was asked to "unspoil" the title, so i did. – SquareCat Nov 10 '17 at 11:21
68

Daenerys is trying, really hard, to not be a bloody dictator and leave a trail of bodies behind her like her ancestors did. While she wants the throne back, she doesn't want to be seen as a traitor or back-stabber, but rather as the rightful heir and friend to the people. Killing the queen at a meeting to talk about an armistice does not lead to good faith in the people.

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    Ya, ...but Dany's the daughter of the Mad King and she has dragons! :p :p – Darth Locke Nov 7 '17 at 20:51
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    This makes the most sense to me. Even though i am still not sure how this is much different from her flying into the city and taking it by force, killing thousands in the process. She considered it. Yet she never considered attacking Cersei when it would have been the easiest shot she can get. – SquareCat Nov 8 '17 at 22:24
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    @SquareCat From other medieval-themed stories (in my case, mostly Arthurian Legend things) I gather that for SOME reason concerning honour and all that, "attacking the city" would have been perfectly allowed and ok, "kill royalty you agreed to meet" is, at best, frowned upon, and often considered "verboten!". – Layna Nov 9 '17 at 12:33
53

DForck42 is correct, but also Daenerys fears the dead army and probably hopes she can get more Westerosi support for fighting it if Cersei willingly helps, rather than is murdered. If she killed Cersei, there is no guarantee what would happen with her resources or what's left of her army or the other houses in Westeros.

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    This is the right answer as clearly outlined in the show by Jonny S – Slack-lothiad Nov 8 '17 at 6:53
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    They made this pretty clear in the show. I don't understand why this isn't the top/accepted answer. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Nov 8 '17 at 9:05
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    @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft Both answers are supported by the show. I agree this one is slightly better but I upvoted both. – Todd Wilcox Nov 8 '17 at 17:42
  • I believe Daenerys would receive the same amount of support as the new ruler, because anyone who serves her (willingly or not) would still have to face the Dead Army. – SquareCat Nov 8 '17 at 22:23
  • @SquareCat: that may be apparent to Danerys and John, but very few people in Westeros believe the dead army to be real. So there would not be a unified front against it if the houses of Westeros don't immediately support the ruler. The purpose of the meeting is to convince the current ruler (Cersei) to temporarily join them, which is a much more efficient way of quickly raising an army. – Jared Becksfort Nov 9 '17 at 15:12

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