Aegon VI Blackfyre, on 07 February 2012 - 10:00 AM, said:
I think this is exactly what Illyrio and Varys were planning when they sent Viserys and Daenerys to the Dothraki. One interesting incident is the wineseller assassination attempt. We know a few things about it:
-If Dany drinks the wine she is as good as dead.
-Jorah somehow sniffs out the attempt.
-When Khal Drogo finds out his wife and unborn child were almost killed he is finally convinced that he needs to invade Westeros.
The fact that Jorah knows about (or figures out) the attempt implies that it comes from Varys and Illyrio. If they were Targ loyalists then it would be extremely risky to set up an assassination attempt and then arrange for Jorah to intervene. Too much could go wrong. Therefore, it is likely that they wanted the attempt to succeed. That would have meant that Dany was out of the way, but I also believe that it would have spurred Khal Drogo into action. The poison was so aggressive that he would have assumed it was poison and acted accordingly, likely invading Westeros, but without a Targaryen to put on the throne. He could not have claimed and kept kingship for himself, even if he wanted too.
This would off course require that Varys and Illyrio knew a lot about how much Khal Drogo had come to appreciate Dany, but we know that they had a spy in perfect position to tell them. Jorah would have been able to provide that information, but unfortunately it also meant that he knew too much about their plans, which became a problem when he fell in love with Dany.
Interestingly, he fell from grace when Varys and Illyrio sent another Westerosi knight to Dany who knew about Jorahs role as spy.
I'm not saying that the assassination scheme was their master plan from the start, but I definitely think it makes sense that they adapted their plans to include it.
You may be on to something here.
The storyline so far has provided many more examples of them being able to adapt their plans according to things happening - or not happening. In contrast to other schemers who never have been seen to come up with a plan B (C, D and so on) or adaptations to their original plans.
The plan for procuring a Dothraki Khalasar may have always been considered to be somewhat of a long shot, but I still believe it was a plan that they had very early on, as per the conversation Arya overheard (down in the room with the dragon skulls) rather early on in AGOT.
And I'm still not quite convinced either that they intendend for Dany to die at that point; as I mentioned before they would have had much more leverage on the Dothraki with at least one Targaryen still around.
On the other hand, there is definitely a strong suggestion it was them who attempted the assassination plots. And you may have a point that they may not have taken the risk that preventing the assassination attempt (by Jorah for instance) was thwarted and therefore that the assassination would succeed - against their intentions.
But then again I keep wondering: Why an assassination at that point in time? Why not much earlier on, if they wanted to have them killed?
As for an explanation for who was responsible for the attempts, if not Varys and Illyrio themselves - Robert Barattheon? Robert's assassins would obviously have been hired by Varys. If Varys did not want Dany dead, he probably would have hired some incompetent would-be assassins (not Faceless Men, naturally). Or stooges who didn't know that they were supposed to kill Dany, and could be trusted to make a mess of it. If I recall correctly from my memory, one of the assassins (the one with the manticore-box) was scared and surprised himself too. And obviously, Varys would have given a heads-up to Jorah beforehand as well. Jorah seemed to be on the know at least one and maybe even both times.
I keep thinking that all their plans with Dany and Viserys may have been long shots (the Dothraki, the dragon's eggs) anyway, but that they didn't have any real reason to kill them off themselves. Perhaps quite the opposite: they were sending both of them out merely to test them and to try and find some extra instruments of military power (for their main man, Aegon). They may have wanted to find out which one of the 2 remaining Targaryens would prove to be a worthy companion for Aegon. And since they would have known that Viserys would not amount to much in any scheme, they probably put their money on Dany early on. If she would be able to come out of it alive, and if she would even do so in some position of power, an alliance between Dany and Aegon would have been their next step.
This fits with both the timing of their conversation on the Dothraki invasion, their rather equivocal approach to Viserys' claim all the way through, and the subsequent adapations of their plans (in so far as we cook them up here on the board, it still all remains to be proven) when Dany showed herself to be a more apt player than they had calculated.
To me this looks like the background behind Illyrio's statement to Tyrion (that they expected Dany to die with the Dothraki). They had some expectations for her to die at some point, because the dangers were great and her resilience toward those dangers initially seemed very doubtful. But I still don't buy that they were planning for her to die. Too many unexplained cons for that, in my opinion.