GreenHand, on 23 February 2012 - 09:21 AM, said:
An interesting point... If you think that Varys keeping many raven-utilizing "little birds" in the Free Cities (from when he operated in Essos) doesn't explain how well well informed he is (I'm not entirely in this camp)... Then consider this: Maybe Varys being sold to a Sorcerer isn't the whole story. Maybe Varys actually apprenticed to the Sorcerer (even if as his slave as well) before the cutting that may or may not have happened. In this case, Varys maybe using an Obsidian/Dragonglass candle like Marwyn. Illyrio has the money and trading network to acquire one if Varys can use it.
The main problem I see is not who was sending the messages, but how fast they reach Illiryo and Varys; people in King´s Landing still don´t know that Daenerys has managed to hatch dragons despite all the sailors who learned about it in Qarth, and they don´t even know that she has conquered a city-state, but Illyrio (and probably Varys) knew almost intanstly; think about this:
People who have been dissecting the books and trying to build a timeline have estimated that Dany met Ser Barristan at most about six months and a few days after hatching the dragons (they have been taking into account her pregnancy, birthdays and other stuff); that may seem time enough, but she spent at least several weeks crossing the desert to Qarth, then the news had to reach Pentos, Illyrio had to contact Varys who enlisted Ser Barristan who sailed from Westeros to Pentos and from Pentos to Qarth; even accepting your theory that Illyrio and Varys can communicate magically (why did Illyrio visit King´s Landing, then?) it seem that ships can go from Qath to Westeros in little more than two months, and that´s assuming the messengers barely stop in any port and jumped from boat to boat until reaching their final destination... To put it into perspective:
-A medieval merchant galley could travel from England to Italy in little more than one month.
-Two months is the same time it took Columbus to sail from Spain to America -with a stop at the Canary Islands -with the help of "trade winds" that made his trip riculously fast and easy
-Two months is about half the time it usually took the portuguese to sail from Europe to Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa.
-Two months is about a third of the time it usually took the portuguese to travel from Europe to India, ).
So, if the trip is relatively short for medieval standards, how come nobody in Westeros knows more about Dany? Nobody has ever thought of going to the Red Fortress and telling Cersei "My Queen, the daughter of that guy Aerys your brother skewered is gathering an army to take vengeanze on your family"?.
Edited by Ser Lepus, 24 February 2012 - 07:25 PM.