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Bullying A Dragon / Game of Thrones

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Quite a few characters provoke those stronger than them into violence, which tends not to end well:

  • Viserys Targaryen does this. If your sister — who is effectively the Barbarian Tribe's queen — is the only person who can ensure you will be tolerated, assaulting her is definitely a pretty dumb thing to do. The irony is that when he Turns Red, he describes it as "waking the dragon." He later tries to force his will on Khal Drogo himself, who is much nearly half a foot taller, stronger, and vastly more skilled at fighting than the amateur Viserys, by threatening the khal's wife and unborn child. It goes even worse than what you might expect. Even without his bloodriders, it's hard to imagine that Drogo wouldn't have been capable of easily snapping his brother-in-law in half like a twig. To be fair, Viserys didn't consider potential Loophole Abuse in the Dothraki's prohibition against "spilling blood" in their sacred city, and was drunk off his ass at the time.
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  • Mirri, in a (somewhat) literal example, does this in the final episode of the first season. When confronted by the angry Daenerys over the stillbirth of her son and the fact that Mirri's Blood Magic "healing ritual" left Khal Drogo an Empty Shell, Mirri could have at least tried to soothe Daenerys's rage by acting apologetic and reminding Daenerys that she was warned the ritual was dangerous, unpredictable, and not guaranteed to work. Instead, she gloats about how happy this outcome makes her, rubbing Daenerys's face in the fact that Mirri hated Khal Drogo for ordering the massacre of Mirri's village (and Mirri's own gang-rape), and that Daenerys's son might have been a prophesied chosen one for the Dothraki, but that made him a prophesied enemy of literally everyone who isn't a Dothraki. Now, these are all true facts, but they're hardly tactful, especially since Daenerys is Mirri's only protection against a band of grieving, enraged Dothraki eager to kill her for witchcraft. She gets burned alive for her trouble.
  • In the backstory, this happened to the Aerys II:
    • He executed Ned Stark's father and brother, members of a very powerful noble family, pissing off half his kingdom and leading to the rebellion that would kill him and end his family's dynasty.
    • He gets extra credit for insulting and demeaning Tywin Lannister, calling him a "servant" and saying that Tywin hadn't earned the honor of his daughter marrying the crown prince. Tywin Lannister, the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms, who has been known to wage wars of total extermination against his own vassals over smaller insults.
  • Catelyn does this by taking Tyrion Lannister hostage on her own authority, pissing off the most powerful family in the continent.
  • Brienne of Tarth admits that lots of men mock her and have even tried to force themselves on her for being a big, strong fighting woman. She's been "knocking them in the dust" for years.
  • Ser Meryn Trant insulting the newly knighted Ser Bronn. In this case, Trant is an armored knight who has never fought an actual fight except against unarmed soldiers or defenseless women, while Bronn has killed armored knights like him.
  • In "The North Remembers", Littlefinger smugly alludes to the Twincest "rumours" concerning Cersei to Cersei herself, claiming that knowledge is power. Cersei responds by telling her guards to cut his throat, seemingly on a whim, only rescinding the order just before they follow through.
  • Pyat Pree treats Daenerys and her literal dragons quite poorly in "Valar Morghulis", which is a very bad idea. Since he's unaware of the possible backfire, it can also be classified as Mugging the Monster.
  • Oberyn Martell's gruesome demise at the hands of Ser Gregor Clegane definitely also counts as this. After wounding Gregor Clegane, Oberyn taunts him while yelling at him to confess Elia Martell's murder, only for Oberyn to commit the terrible mistake of underestimating the Mountain, as he's still alive and fully conscious, and what follows is him knocking Oberyn to the ground, punching all of his teeth out of his mouth, and while admitting the murder, he slowly and brutally gouges Oberyn's eyes out, causing him to scream in extreme agony and eventually, the Mountain continues applying increasingly extreme pressure to Oberyn's head until it pops, crushing it into a bloody mess while Ellaria screams in absolute horror.
  • Craster is confident enough to insult, threaten, and chastise his guests despite being one man surrounded by dozens of dangerous ex-criminals. He gets away with it because the Night's Watch relies on his home as an outpost for rangings until he pushes them too far.
  • When the Hound shows no interest in joining with Polliver's merry little band of marauders, he gets mocked about his desertion during the Battle of the Blackwater. No points for guessing what happens soon afterwards, although to be fair one of Polliver's men does actually manage to get the Hound on the ground for a while until the Hound turns the tables with the help of Arya.
  • Rorge and Biter think they can take on the Hound (a notorious fighter) in a woefully inept sneak attack. People seem to have a habit of underestimating Sandor Clegane...
  • Razdahl mo Eraz tries another literal version when he insults and threatens Daenerys in the presence of her dragons and is quickly sent packing.
  • After Daenerys conquers Astapor and Yunkai and liberates their slaves, the Great Masters defiantly put up crucified slave children along the road to Meereen with their arms pointing the way. Daenerys makes them pay for it.
  • Olenna is quick to point out in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", that Cersei's antagonism toward Margaery and House Tyrell when they arrive at King's Landing is badly misjudged since the Lannisters are still quite dependent on them. In retrospect not as stupid as it seems; when the two houses do come to blows in season 7 Tyrell turns out to be a complete Paper Tiger and falls immediately.
  • When the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch Jon Snow tries to have Janos Slynt Reassigned to Antarctica, Slynt insults him and refuses to go, apparently forgetting that the Lord Commander has the power to execute deserters.
  • The Lord of Bones gets promptly beaten to death with his own club after deciding it was a good idea to taunt Tormund Giantsbane.
  • When a Night's Watch traitor goes against loyalists of Jon (one including a freaking GIANT), the Giant casually lifts him and smears him in the walls of Castle Black.
  • A nearly literal example involving Daenerys comes in "Book of the Stranger", in which the assembled Khals of the Dothraki threaten to gang-rape her. Her only response is to set the place on fire, which has only the mild effect on her of burning her clothes off, while they simply burn. The reason it's nearly literal is, of course, because her Targaryen ancestry is the reason she is immune to fire.
  • Another example involving Daenerys and her literal dragons comes in the episode "Battle of the Bastards", in which the Masters of Slaver's Bay very quickly find the tables turned with not just the aforementioned trio of dragons, but also an unforeseen horde of Dothraki.
  • When the Faith Militant challenges Cersei, a Militant outright runs to Cersei to arrest her once again. He probably missed the big hulking Mountain, who is now completely loyal to Cersei. The Mountain easily rips the Militant into two.
  • Ellaria Sand poisons the innocent Princess Myrcella Baratheon in retaliation for Oberyn's death. However, this gives Cersei a more justified reason to go after her. And indeed, Ellaria receives her punishment by the time she and Tyene (who provided the poison that killed Myrcella) are captured and delivered to King's Landing where Cersei poisons Tyene with the same poison and forces Ellaria to watch her die and rot while in chains.
  • After losing all her Season 6 allies to the Greyjoy-Lannister Alliance, Daenerys outright decides to annihilate King's Landing, Cersei in it. It took Jon Snow and Tyrion to convince her to a sensible alternative, which leads her to attack the Lannister army at the Blackwater Rush. It took 20 minutes for her and her Dothraki army to demonstrate why she was the topmost favorite for the Iron Throne, and why exactly countless others (Robert, Joffrey, and Tywin included) feared to meet them in the open, as the Dothraki and Drogon destroyed the army in record time. It was so bad that Jaime, one of the sackers of Highgarden and the top man in Cersei's military, immediately becomes convinced that the Lannisters surely are going to lose, and lose they will, badly.
  • This is pretty much what happens after Cersei pushes Dany too far in Season 8. After Euron shoots down Rhaegal and Cersei orders the Mountain to murder Missandei in full view of Daenerys and Grey Worm, Dany snaps spectacularly and her attack involves her going full Mad Queen on the city, incinerating the Iron Fleet, Lannister and Golden Company soldiers and innocent civilians alike in the streets with Drogon, while the Unsullied, Dothraki and Northern forces go on an unstoppable rampage of their own. Cersei can only watch in utter, helpless horror as she sees what "Waking the Dragon" truly means (and right before she and Jamie meet their own demise soon after).


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