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Imry Florent did nothing wrong on the Blackwater.


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#1 Nyrhex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:27 PM

I keep reading posts blaming Imry with a bunch of failures on the Blackwater. I don't get it. Why does Davos saying that he would do things differently mean that those things are right?

 

Consider that Davos is a captain of a war galley, but he was never in a naval battle on this scale, only the occasional small scale fights back in his smuggling days.

 
If we look at the decisions:
 
Imry:
 
1. Does'nt send scouts. Davos would have stopped, sent scouts, and wait for the information.
2. Ignores the chain. Davos would have stopped, and offered Stannis to land around to land north of KL.
3. Places the pirates as rear guard, and not at the front. Davos would have used them first, since they are good fighters.
 
Now, Davos' choices are all dead wrong, and would have ended with defeat all the same.
 
Consider the timeline: Davos needs to shield his eyes from the westering sun, meaning that it's late in the afternoon when King's landing is in sight of the fleet. Garlan leads the van into Stannis' host at dusk. That gives the entire battle that we see, from Davos' chapter and until Tyrion is attacked by Moore about 3-4 hours total. Sansa is in her room all night after leaving Cersei, and only hears that the fighting south of the river is done at dawn, a good 12 hours at least later.
 
Davos's decision to send scouts would mean that his ships are wasting time going to see... exactly what they were expecting to see. 50 enemy ships, only with 3 missing ships (King Robert's HammerBold Wind, and Seaswift, who are escorting Myrcella to Dorne), and an assortment of smaller ships filled with soldiers. The Wildfire is hidden in ships, and scouts don't get x-ray vision because they are scouts. The Wildfire is also not a known threat, since news of the dragons have not reached Westeros yet, and Jaime never bothed to tell anyone about the caches of Wildfire that are hidden in King's Landing. So there is no way to know that the Pyromancers can make so much.
 
Strike 1.
 
Davos' offer to go around and land troops north of King's Landing, assuming he sticks to his guns and Stannis agrees, means that the fleet would take as many troops as it can, to make the trip. Saan has cogs in his fleet as well as galleys. He only managed to cram 1,300 armed men and (assuming no great losses to Wildlings, I'd go with Massey's figure) 800 horses. Clearly, there is'nt room enough for the entire army. So the army would need to split up, and while half is going north, the other half is destroyed by the arriving Tyrells, and lack of evacuation option.
 
Strike 2.
 
Davos' wish to see the pirates at the front is simply flat out void of logic. The pirate ships are not all galleys, and the galleys are smaller than the Westerosi war galleys. The galleys would be smaller than the enemy's, and would likely lose in a fight that is focused around ramming the other ship. Not only that, but even the ships that survive first contact would be facing more enemies, since the Westerosi war galleys are larger and can hold more soldiers. As good at fighting as the pirates may be, attacking a larger group of soldiers is simply a bad idea.
 
Strike 3. 
 
So, none of what Davos offered is usefull. 
 
From Imry's POV:
 
If half the fleet gets cut off, so be it. They have enough at the front to destroy the enemy, and the galleys could ferry troops while the rest of the fleet goes the long way. 3 enemy ships are missing. If the return, Saan still has enough ships to defend the rest of the fleet. They have already wasted days because of the storm, this plan is simple and there are no legitimate reasons to stop and waste more time, or to place the smaller pirate ships at the front. 
 
Now, I get that choosing Imry was done for political reasons, but considering the knowns at the time, it realy seems like he did everything he should have done. He was placed in a position that should not have failed, and it didn't. Stannis' fleet was defeating the enemy, and then fire ships showed up and fucked shit up. For everyone. Lannister ships burned as well, and only 12 (including the 3 that went to Dorne) are left after the battle. That's 9 Lannister ships, and 30-40 of Stannis' ships upriver of the explosion. Imry was winning until the plot-device blew up in his face. Nothing that Davos would have done would change the defeat. At most, Stannis would still have a fleet, and a slightly larger army than the one he had earlier in the book. But he would not take King's Landing, and he would not have more options after the Tyrells show up. 
 
Should Stannis have picked a different commander? What would a veteran captain from Fair Isle would have done? Nothing more than Imry. There is no real reason to see Imry failing with 4-1 the ships. Why not give him that role, while giving the important roles to people Stannis can trust? An army 16,000 strong with all the nobility of the south, and a bastard (known as a seasoned killer) leads a battle group, while his brother the actual lord does not lead one? How does that make sense other than giving important roles to people who deserve it? 
 
TL:DR - Imry got a job he could'nt fuck up as reward for his house, and did good. Davos would have made pointless decisions that would change nothing substantial, and would take away from Stannis empty honors to give to his followers when he needed those.


#2 Stormland's Fury

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:35 PM

I'm still under the impression that Stannis didn't need to appoint Imry for political reasons, but gave him the position as a rewards and must have seen something in him.

 

Stannis is not a man who would jeopardize his military success just to please his in-laws. 



#3 Nyrhex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:39 PM

I'm still under the impression that Stannis didn't need to appoint Imry for political reasons, but gave him the position as a rewards and must have seen something in him.

 

Stannis is not a man who would jeopardize his military success just to please his in-laws. 

 

I did say that he did nothing wrong. He is not the head of house Florent, that would be Alester at that point. Imry was just the least useless Florent Stannis could find, and actually competent.


Edited by Nyrhex, 04 April 2014 - 07:40 PM.


#4 Stormland's Fury

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:40 PM

Yes I know what you said ;)

 

It was just a confirmation of sorts.



#5 Fat Trell

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:55 PM

Its important to remember Davos' ideas were all formulated while thinking this was going to be a more typical battle. No one expected the alchemists to be able to produce that much wildfire. No one knew about the Lannister-Tyrell alliance.



#6 LionoftheWest

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:57 PM

Good and interesting post Nyrhex. I haven't seen it this way around before but you make alot of sense.



#7 Burning down the House

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:02 PM

He got a huge portion of his force killed in a trap.  He must have done something wrong.



#8 Boarsbane

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:04 PM

No he still did plenty wrong. Not sending in scouts is never good idea unless your enemy has no clue you are coming and you can't risk it, clearly not the case for Blackwater. There is no need to send the entire fleet up the mouth of Blackwater, either. It isn't wide enough for all of his ships to fight abreast and having packed so tightly just to try and show off your strength is stupid. Just because he was probably screwed regardless in hindsight because of the Tyrell-Lannister alliance doesn't mean he did nothing wrong. He still went about it like an arrogant fool.

Edited by Boarsbane, 04 April 2014 - 08:04 PM.


#9 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:11 PM

Spot on.

 

The only mistake Ser Imry made was not taking the winch tower on the southern side. And that's on Stannis' head, since he was the guy with the army on this side.

No he still did plenty wrong. Not sending in scouts is never good idea unless your enemy has no clue you are coming and you can't risk it, clearly not the case for Blackwater. There is no need to send the entire fleet up the mouth of Blackwater, either. It isn't wide enough for all of his ships to fight abreast and having packed so tightly just to try and show off your strength is stupid. Just because he was probably screwed regardless in hindsight because of the Tyrell-Lannister alliance doesn't mean he did nothing wrong. He still went about it like an arrogant fool.

And pray tell, how would you do that with the Lannister fleet waiting for them in the Blackwater itself? No space to avoid them, not enough ships to fight through, that's throwing away lifes for nothing.



#10 Nyrhex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:12 PM

No he still did plenty wrong. Not sending in scouts is never good idea unless your enemy has no clue you are coming and you can't risk it, clearly not the case for Blackwater. There is no need to send the entire fleet up the mouth of Blackwater, either. It isn't wide enough for all of his ships to fight abreast and having packed so tightly just to try and show off your strength is stupid. Just because he was probably screwed regardless in hindsight because of the Tyrell-Lannister alliance doesn't mean he did nothing wrong. He still went about it like an arrogant fool.

 

He knows that there is no fleet nearby other than the one in KL. He knows that there is Wildfire, but does not know that dragons returned to the world, and with them the magic to creat the stuff is more potent. He does'nt know that Aerys planted caches of Wildfire in KL, or that the Pyromancers found some and used them. He can't know it. Not sending scouts when time is an issue, and when you have no legitimate reason to fear the enemy, is an acceptable decision. Wasting time and scouting when you are already days late, and there is no reasonable reason to fear the enemy, can cost you all the same.

 

Imry has twice the war ships. He has nearly the same amount of men on his fleet as all the defenders in KL combined. He has nothing realistic to fear, other than wasting time. 

 

The enemy knew that they were coming. Logic says that they sent for Tywin to return from Harenhall. Imry does not know that Tywin thought that now is the best time to march west. If Imry is already days late, does he realy want to buy Tywin more time with pointless waiting?



#11 Boarsbane

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:31 PM

He knows that there is no fleet nearby other than the one in KL. He knows that there is Wildfire, but does not know that dragons returned to the world, and with them the magic to creat the stuff is more potent. He does'nt know that Aerys planted caches of Wildfire in KL, or that the Pyromancers found some and used them. He can't know it. Not sending scouts when time is an issue, and when you have no legitimate reason to fear the enemy, is an acceptable decision. Wasting time and scouting when you are already days late, and there is no reasonable reason to fear the enemy, can cost you all the same.
 
Imry has twice the war ships. He has nearly the same amount of men on his fleet as all the defenders in KL combined. He has nothing realistic to fear, other than wasting time. 
 
The enemy knew that they were coming. Logic says that they sent for Tywin to return from Harenhall. Imry does not know that Tywin thought that now is the best time to march west. If Imry is already days late, does he realy want to buy Tywin more time with pointless waiting?


And Ser Stafford Lannister had no reason to fear Robb Stark at Oxcross, does that mean he isn't an idiot for not posting sentries? Caution in some cases is part of being a good commander. He knew about the possible wildfire, he heard talks about what would be the chain but they mistake its purpose, and if he had sent scouts he would of seen the two winch towers. Is he smart enough to put it all together? Probably not based on what we have seen of him, but one of the more experienced captains may have at least suspected something strange was going on there. Instead he sends the entire fleet upriver, and if he does think anything of the two winch towers it is too late to do anything about it.

Edited by Boarsbane, 04 April 2014 - 08:34 PM.


#12 Leonardo

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:40 PM

Good analysis

 

I never thought Imry was a terrible commander either, and like you said the battle was STILL won until the Tyrells/Lannisters showed up and Stannis' men flung down their swords when Renly came riding up.



#13 Nyrhex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:41 PM

And Ser Stafford Lannister had no reason to fear Robb Stark at Oxcross, does that mean he isn't an idiot for not posting sentries? Caution in some cases is part of being a good commander. He knew about the possible wildfire, he heard talks about what would be the chain but they mistake its purpose, and if he had sent scouts he would of seen the two winch towers. Is he smart enough to put it all together? Probably not based on what we have seen of him, but one of the more experienced captains may have at least suspected something strange was going on there. Instead he sends the entire fleet upriver, and if he does think anything of the two winch towers it is too late to do anything about it.

 

How do the two even compare? Stafford does'nt even have guards on the horses. Locals can come and steal a horse if they like.For Stafford that's negligence. Imry knows what he is facing, it's the part that he can't know that fucked him. There is no way that scouting would tell him that part either. There are no fleets nearby. He can see the enemy ships, and sees that they are just what he expected. He sees the chain and ignores it because by the time it's lifted the first half of the fleet at least would be after it, and it's enough to defeat the enemy. If he waits it's just more time for Tywin to show up. For Imry it's a calculated risk. Scouting has more realistic risk than not scouting.



#14 Ziggy Targdust

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:56 PM

He didnt win, someone has to be the scapegoat. Davos is too popular and no way a loss can be on the record of the great and powerful Stannis.

Edited by Ziggy Targdust, 04 April 2014 - 08:57 PM.


#15 Boarsbane

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

How do the two even compare? Stafford does'nt even have guards on the horses. Locals can come and steal a horse if they like.For Stafford that's negligence. Imry knows what he is facing, it's the part that he can't know that fucked him. There is no way that scouting would tell him that part either. There are no fleets nearby. He can see the enemy ships, and sees that they are just what he expected. He sees the chain and ignores it because by the time it's lifted the first half of the fleet at least would be after it, and it's enough to defeat the enemy. If he waits it's just more time for Tywin to show up. For Imry it's a calculated risk. Scouting has more realistic risk than not scouting.


Both underestimated their enemies and paid the price. Davos is the one who notices the chain and guesses might be used to cut them in half since it wasn't used to cut them off, and he also realize it would be pointless. Davos also notices the most powerful ship in the Lannister fleet is missing and remarks he senses a trap. Imry seems to just ignore the towers and sail right on through. If Davos had been in command, or even used as the scout, the entire battle could of turned out differently. The signs that something is wrong are there, Imry is just too arrogant to see them. Davos notes the two winch towers are recently added, and it stands out to him. Davos may not know exactly what the Lannisters have planned but he knows there is more going on than they can see.

Edited by Boarsbane, 04 April 2014 - 09:09 PM.


#16 Nyrhex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:11 PM

Both underestimated their enemies and paid the price. Davos is the one notices the chain and guesses might be used to cut them in half since it wasn't used to cut them off, and he also realize it would be pointless. Davos also notices the most powerful ship in the Lannister fleet is missing and remarks he senses a trap. Imry seems to just ignores the boom and sail right on through. If Davos had been in command, or even used as the scout, the entire battle could of turned out differently. The signs that something is wrong are there, Imry is just too arrogant to see them. Davos notes the two winch towers are recently added, and it stands out to him. Davos may not know exactly what the Lannisters have planned but he knows there is more going on than they can see.

 

If the chain cutting half the navy out but they can still win with half the fleet (the first half is all the war ships), then the chain is pointless. Had Davos stopped to scout, and went around, half of Stannis' army at least would still be destroyed with no evacuation, while the other half is fighting north of KL. By the time the fleet returns to find the Tyrells south of the river, Tywin runs twice as many men as Stannis has into Stannis' army north of KL. 

 

At best, Davos' actions would lead to Stannis finding out in time that the Tyrells are coming, and he could flee with all his fleet and nearly the same size of army he had earlier in the book. At worse, he is nearly or completely destroyed when the fleet is at the wrong place twice.

 

If there is no reason to suspect the Wildfire card, the chain simply looks like a desperate act. Cut off Stannis' fleet so the odds are better for the Lanisters. They can't know that the fleet would be destroyed because there is so much wildfire.


Edited by Nyrhex, 04 April 2014 - 09:15 PM.


#17 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:40 AM

 

How do the two even compare? Stafford does'nt even have guards on the horses. Locals can come and steal a horse if they like.For Stafford that's negligence. Imry knows what he is facing, it's the part that he can't know that fucked him. There is no way that scouting would tell him that part either. There are no fleets nearby. He can see the enemy ships, and sees that they are just what he expected. He sees the chain and ignores it because by the time it's lifted the first half of the fleet at least would be after it, and it's enough to defeat the enemy. If he waits it's just more time for Tywin to show up. For Imry it's a calculated risk. Scouting has more realistic risk than not scouting.

I still wait for somebody to explain how any ship should have scouted. Because in that situation, it's flat-out impossible.

 

At best, Davos' actions would lead to Stannis finding out in time that the Tyrells are coming, and he could flee with all his fleet and nearly the same size of army he had earlier in the book. At worse, he is nearly or completely destroyed when the fleet is at the wrong place twice.

How would that work at all? The Tyrells came from the landside, ships can't swim through earth.



#18 Nyrhex

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

How would that work at all? The Tyrells came from the landside, ships can't swim through earth.

 

Scenario 1: The fleet takes part of the army, and while still in view of the south bank, see the Tyrells smashing thier way through the half of the army that is still on land. Stannis cuts his losses, and flees.

Scenario 2: The fleet unloads half the army north of KL. Returns, sees the army south of the river is destroyed, and gets back in time before Tywin arrives (Tywin arrives long after Garlan shows up, and after Lancel has time to report that the gates are still under attack) to load the northern half of the army and retreat.

Scenario 3: The fleet unloads half the army north of KL. Returns, sees the army south of the river is destroyed, loads up survivers, returns north to find that the northern half suffered the same, and loads survivers from there as well. 

 

In all 3 scenarios the fleet is doing ok, since there is no reason for the Lannisters to risk thier fleet for a poitless sea battle. In all 3 scenarios the army cannot survive 100%, and the city is untaken.


Edited by Nyrhex, 05 April 2014 - 09:58 AM.


#19 Djinn

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:02 AM

He didn't win, someone has to be the scapegoat. Davos is too popular and no way a loss can be on the record of the great and powerful Stannis.

Exactly, nice/sympathetic characters are always right and unpleasant/unsympathetic characters are wrong and it's always their fault.



#20 GallowsKnight

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:04 AM

I posted the exact same thing about a month ago. Imry Florent like Waymer Royce gets a lot of unjustified criticism.

Often a simple plan is the best. Florent and Stannis' was smash the fleet. Ferry troops. Profit.