You know, I was having a conversation with Kelly the other day about everything going on in Meereen with Daenerys gone, and I came to a realization about some things.
First, I realized that I am just not that invested in everything happening across the Narrow Sea in Essos. I know, Daenerys is there, and she’s a major character, and now Tyrion and Varys are there too, blah blah blah. But honestly, most of the stuff that happens in Essos is mostly stuff I put up with until the next time the North comes on. I like Braavos, because that is the city where the Faceless Men are, and because it is where Syrio Forel was from. I think I also admire them for being so anti-slavery. There is something inherently admirable about a city founded by escaped slaves rising to such a prominent place in the world, even to the point where they are literally bankers to everyone. If I was going to be in Essos, I would be in Braavos.
And upon reflection, I think I figured out why I don’t like the other cities as much, and why I really, really, really don’t like the Sons of the Harpy. The Sons of the Harpy are (mostly) former slave owners who are unhappy with this “foreign” occupying force, and with those who cooperate with them. They are unhappy about someone coming in and ending all of their long-lived but otherwise awful traditions, like slavery, the fighting pits, and eating puppies*. They prefer to come at night (at least in the books) and strike guerilla-warfare style, outnumbering their foes, all while wearing masks to disguise their identities.
In other words…
the Sons of the Harpy are the Ku Klux Klan of Essos.
YEAH. I SAID IT.
Seriously, the analogy works. Pointy white hoods are traded for gold Harpy masks, and the Confederate flag is traded for a big ugly golden statue with claws and boobs. The Grand Wizard is the Harpy. They hate the fact that their slaves are free, and they hate the Yankees/Unsullied who freed them. And speaking of the “foreign” troops that are occupying their city? They are ex-slaves themselves, just like many of the Union soldiers who occupied the South during the Civil War and afterward. It is why Grey Worm was able to relate to those slaves like Mossador in Meereen and convince them to rise up against their masters. But now the former masters want to return the slaves to slavery, as they have apparently already done in both Astapor and Yunkai.
AND… they killed Ser Barristan Selmy and wounded Grey Worm.
Man. No wonder I hate these guys. I hope the dragons eat more of them.
*I really can’t stand the fact that they eat puppies. WHERE IS THE PETA OF ESSOS, GEORGE?!?
5 thoughts on “I really hate the Sons of the Harpy – here’s why”
I also like that about Braavos – they are powerful and feared and a force to be reckoned with (though not prominently yet) and don’t need to exploit slave labour to do it. A beacon of civilisation and badassery!
Meanwhile, the Sons of the Harpy can eat a bag of dicks. I also look forward to more dragon barbecue!
And the people in Braavos also like seafood, which is something that I definitely approve of as a New Englander. Eating shellfish is much better than eating puppies.
🙂 I don’t think you’ll find too many people rooting for the Sons of the Harpy, although you might, I shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations.
Dany’s story isn’t super-compelling, I’ll agree, but I don’t mind it. I mean, Meereen serves a kind of annoying purpose: it’s just too early in the story to bring Dany to Westeros. So there’s this sense of wheel spinning (and promises of wheel breaking) with Dany hanging around there, being troubled by this insurgency.
There was some speculative noise that maybe the Harpies were being controlled by [various people, I’m not going to name names] that were trying to coax Dany into leaving Essos and follow her destiny to Westeros. If that had been the case, I would have been annoyed, because it’s super-more-realistic that elements in Slaver’s Bay (or their neighbors/trading partners) would try to disrupt Dany’s emancipation actions. So even if the Harpy plotline isn’t necessarily gripping, it makes more sense than Dorne, for example.
I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right – the Meereen/Essos storyline makes WAY more sense right now than the Dorne one does. Maybe that’s because they are still mostly following what happens in the books. Although if Dany were to suddenly decide that she was going to end the tradition of eating puppies, I would TOTALLY be down with that.
Yeah, I agree it’s still too early to get Dany and her crew to Westeros, but considering they now have no ships, and they are involved in what promises to be an endless quagmire in Slaver’s Bay, I honestly don’t see how that is going to happen anytime in the next couple of seasons. Are they planning on dragging this out to a Season Eight, Nine and Ten? This is now HBO’s flagship show, and dragging it out would give George some time to try to get somewhat caught up, so who knows, maybe. Considering that they are still doing some storylines that are technically in Books 4 (Jaime and the Riverlands) and 5 (the “Great Northern Conspiracy”), maybe that’s the direction they are going.
I will admit that I am very curious to see what’s going on in the Riverlands. I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens with the surviving Tullys. Especially the Blackfish.
I think the current plans are to end with a shorter season 7 and season 8, delivering a less complicated and streamlined story. I don’t think anyone, especially HBO, is expecting GRRM to get A Dream of Spring done in a timely manner.
I like to occasionally pretend that since George should know his ending, that he might be wrapping up The Winds of Winter and writing ADoS at the same time, but writing the last book in reverse. If we allow me this fantasy, book six comes out with some of its details known (more or less) by season six, season seven comes out, revealing half of book seven, but then book seven comes out to be consumed rabidly before season eight.
Of course, that’s not going to happen.