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Naturally, only Martin, Benioff and Weiss know the broad character arcs for ASOIAF. Why did GRRM choose to (spoilers ASOS)

keep Daenerys in Meereen by installing her rule there, rather than taking her ships and sailing to Westeros? The in-universe explanation seems sound enough, that Dany needs practice in learning to rule a city, but I'm not quite sure why GRRM wanted Dany to wait so long before even touching the shores of Westeros.

I'm looking for cogent, reasonable theories, or if you have quotes from GRRM that explain this, that would be even better.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Monty129, Moogle, phantom42, The Fallen, Ward Aug 14 '14 at 13:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@CyanAngel: not necessarily. Martin might have discussed the issue and shed some light on it. – Paul D. Waite Aug 14 '14 at 9:32
No, then it would be a definitive answer, @CyanAngel. – Leo King Aug 14 '14 at 10:18
Asking for theories from GRRM: OK; that's definitive. Asking for theories from anyone: too broad/primarily opinion based. – phantom42 Aug 14 '14 at 13:14
You guys are going crazy with close votes. This cannot be the purpose of having this close reason, to just close any question that might have something to do with opinions. Some questions about literature contain analysis, and you will just have to learn to live with that amount of uncertainty. If you get "bad" answers to a question like this, use the downvote, its what it is there for. – TLP Aug 14 '14 at 14:44
Some of the things involved in this answer is that GRRM initially planned for a 5 year gap, where events, humans and beasts alike could mature and develop, but he then decided to skip the gap, which gave him the problem which he named "The Mereneese Knot", and no doubt is one of the reasons the books have been so delayed. – TLP Aug 14 '14 at 14:48
up vote 19 down vote accepted

In fact, there is. George R.R. Martin has very specifically answered this question.

In this interview with Charlie Jane Anders, GRRM says:

I get complaints sometimes that nothing happens(in AFFC) — but they're defining "nothing," I think, differently than I am. I don't think it all has to battles and sword fights and assassinations. Character development and [people] changing is good, and there are some tough things in there that I think a lot of writers skip over. I'm glad I didn't skip over these things.

Coming the point of this question, he says:

And that has been interesting, you know. Jon Snow as Lord Commander. Dany as Queen, struggling with rule. So many books don't do that. There is a sense when you're writing something in high fantasy, you're in a dialogue with all the other high fantasy writers that have written. And there is always this presumption that if you are a good man, you will be a good king. [Like] Tolkien — in Return of the King, Aragorn comes back and becomes king, and then [we read that] "he ruled wisely for three hundred years." Okay, fine. It is easy to write that sentence, “He ruled wisely”.

What does that mean, he ruled wisely? What were his tax policies? What did he do when two lords were making war on each other? Or barbarians were coming in from the North? What was his immigration policy? What about equal rights for Orcs? I mean did he just pursue a genocidal policy, "Let’s kill all these fucking Orcs who are still left over"? Or did he try to redeem them? You never actually see the nitty-gritty of ruling.

I guess there is an element of fantasy readers that don't want to see that. I find that fascinating. Seeing someone like Dany actually trying to deal with the vestments of being a queen and getting factions and guilds and [managing the] economy. They burnt all the fields [in Meereen]. They've got nothing to import any more. They're not getting any money. I find this stuff interesting.

And in this Rolling Stones interview, he sums it up with:

In real life, real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with. Just being a good guy was not the answer. You had to make hard, hard decisions. Sometimes what seemed to be a good decision turned around and bit you in the ass; it was the law of unintended consequences. I've tried to get at some of these in my books. My people who are trying to rule don't have an easy time of it. Just having good intentions doesn't make you a wise king.

TL;DR; A good human being doesn't translate into a good king. Dany is good, just, ambitious, wants to end slavery & give freedom to the oppressed. She does that, but what happens after that? What happens to the oppressed and enslaved after they gain freedom? How does she rule a kingdom when she wins it?

If all GRRM wanted to write was an epic war novel, he would have written about the Mad King's reign, & how Ned & Robert thwarted his unjust rule.

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Great answer, good quotes too. – Leo King Aug 14 '14 at 10:55
Great answer. Many people have made comparisons to the leadership abilities of Cersei in aFfC and Dany and Jon in aDwD. Specifically, the lack thereof. – TenthJustice Aug 14 '14 at 12:48
Excellent conclusion – Kalissar Aug 14 '14 at 13:56

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