Waters Gate

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  1. Various reasons of which some more determinal than others. But the main reason is because they are preppared to follow the "Cersei strategy" of dealing with rivals, with other words let youre rivals fight themselfs to death against the others first, and only start the reconquest when all others houses are on their knees and youre the one to come up top. More so than Cersei, they know what is going to happen if they do not act, they know the wall will be breached and the most of Westeros will be swamped. Indeed, they know so much that they could have done a lot more to preppare humanity for it, but why would they offer up some of their strenght to save their rivals? Ultimatly, they know the Hightower above all will stand. So they feel they are ultimatly safe for what regards this ordeal. When i presented the extended theory to the chat today, it swpawned a lot of discussion about the potential role of the Maesters. They are suspicious in this context and Lady Dustin's words at Winterfell about them reflect the suspicious elements. The have no family name so you never know what house they serve, otoh they have acces to very important information and often influence over the lords they are with. One of the maesters that was taken under a closer look in context of this theory was archmaester Pycelle's involvement in the end of the Targaryans. Apparently Pycelle had a big influence both in conveying the ice and fire legend to Rhaeghar and convincing the mad king to open the gates for Tywin Lannister. If Oldtown was out for the same chaos that littlefinger was (which even considered the consideration that LF might have been their agent) then the maesters seemed to have helped events along at time. Various posters also got to consider "which Maester is of who", with some being alligned to the Hightowers, and others being suspected of being Dornish Spy's. Again, i think if the maesters are involved, that it's jsut a small number of them that know the really importnatn stuff, of which likely some archmaesters that were originally hightowers. I shall soon make a more extensive post about Moat cailling, One thing i did was design a layout of the causeway and tower positions based on teh discription, and trying to come to the most logical and reasonable design for that, so to be able to determine how defensible it could be made from north to south and what tactics could be employed. Note, i do think that a big battle will be fought at moat Cailling, but it's also my theory that the others will succeed in pushign trough, so youre note isn't nessecarily incompatible with my theory.
  2. It's true that Moat Cailin's towers are positioned at the north side over the narrow causeway that the white walkers should be forced on, so thats a pitty. Otoh, the causeway remains a bottleneck, and the Cranogman are still a fresh force positioned to defend it. Some makeshift pallisade's and wooden towers could perhaps quickly be build at the south side of the causeway, against an enemy that has no siege weapons the strategic value might be just the same as stone towers.
  3. Thank you. I used the cosmic ray gun as a methapore, simply because i could not predict the nature of lightbringer as a way to physical victory. Ill go with suggestions.
  4. Short version added to make it more concise, the theory got really long and needed that short intro
  5. Part II predictions for the story to come related to this theory. 1 The others will get as far as Oldtown and Dorne south It would have been too anticlimatic if the walkers would never have gotten past the wall. From there on, where could they be stopped. Winterfell is a mighty fortress, but it is no bottleneck, armies can just walk around it. What Winterfell seems to have is that it might succeed at doing sustainable farming within its walls, providing for a relative small poppulation. 1.1 Epic battle at moat cailin. Chekov's gun, moat Cailin hasn't featured enough yet for the exposition it had in story and lore. And it's a logical bottleneck, when the others can't swim and quicksands migth be around then even for them the Neck could be a difficult place to get beyond 1.2 they push to Kings landing and beyond, famous forts come into play Based on Daenarys vision, and also considering exposition of fortresses, the others break trough the neck. They swamp very large area's of Westeros that are not preppared for this including Kings landing itself. At some places, major fortifications come into play. Storms End for example, guarded by it's magic walls. Perhaps the gates of the moon hold with the Royce's at command, if not the Eyrie remains a great castle in this occasion. As such, some of the most defendable and well provisioned places might hold out, castle's we all know, guarded by local champion houses, but the great countryside of Westeros gets flooded by whights, humongous army's of them constantly having been increased from raiding the graveyards and battlefields of corpses, too much to fight off but at strategic bottlenecks. 1.3 Darkness descends on the world Just as winter seems to really arrive, so will darkness come. All the legends about the "long night" ephasize that element, with the sun going hiding. This darkness will add to the dread of the others, as one will have to fight them in the night. And in this Darkness, the Hightower will stand out, a beacon for people to flee too, with Lightbringer itself sitting on it's perch. House hightower leads the way, and vast amounts of people start to flee towards oldtown. The darkness might not hit everywhere. No need to explain the physics involved, wether it's axial tilt or a magical solar eclipse, if the sun is going to hide for decade's, it's not going to do it everywhere, the world is round afterall. And then you have places like Sunspear and Starfall that might even suggest a path at the sky for a limited sun to pass allong, to still just hit those area's around Westeros, as if the sun would be at it highest at sunspear and falling around Starfall, whereas the summer islands remain within the summer all time, it creates some line around the south of Westeros where there is still some limited sunlight and potential for agriculture. Furthermore, Starfall can sit behind various mountainions bottlenecks, with high hermitage even more secluded in this case, though it might take some really herioc types to hold of others in these strategic spots. 2: House hightower knows The Hightowers, despite being a fairly powerfull house all compared in Westeros, remain rather absent from the game, as they are also known to do. Lord Leyton Hightower has himself and his daughter locked up in the tower to consult ancient scrolls as rumoured. In response to the threat of the Ironborn, it is said that Lord Hightower has send out sons to hire mercenary company's abroad. The Hightowers are strong, wealthy and resourcefull, sitting on a great defensive position and probably well stocked up for emmergency's. The Hightowers are playing a long game, because they know what is going to happen. They most of all have acces to the required knowledge, they are the most likely to know what really matters for the war to come, or even when a new long night might arrive. They have founded the citadel, as seen in my theories they have also provided the innitial knowledge from the vaults of the hightower, they have always kept family in that organisation to likely sit at key positions, and acces to key information is probably kept to a very limited few if just the Hightowers. Afterall the Hightowers are both the protectors and kinda founders of the institution, and i think that the scrolls the Hightowers are studying in their tower are some that the Maesters havn't even seen ever. Knowledge simply is power, but for the Hightowers it might even be a path for ambition as they could quite easily emerge as one of the strongest powers after the long night. The Lands around Oldtown might still seem some light. Eitherway due to the Hightower it becomes a human hub, quickly exploding in numbers of people who seek a way out of westeros, willing to pay fortune's to get out.Oldtown exploded to a massive sized city, having luckily quite good infrastructure to atleast take a lot in, a few milliosn perhaps if they choose to stack. Meanwhile it becoems a great location for traders who'd sell food to sail too, they can get a lot of money for selling some food and taking in some travellers. 2.1 Oldtown will be tested, it be epic Eventually, the White walkers will try to breach the place. As they should try. And the stakes for humanity will be very high, with a lot of soldiers at disposal for a fight. Also a good moment for Lightbringer to finally kick in, be it that it takes someone who is fire resistant to wield that sword, and he will also go up into that sword, devoured by it so to speak. Lightbringer is no ordinary thing, some bloody cosmic ray gun or something honestly i don't know, it shoots out huge rays of killtonic stuff and slays the Others completly, but whoever takes it up gets killed by it, or be that going up in it. And so, as the Hightowers know, will the long night end, 180 days i might fit. you take 30 days for the wall, forged in water. 50 days before team Lannister gets it, and a 100 days before Someone has to sacrifice himself at Oldtown, to become Azor Ahai. Or is it 180 months? Really, perhaps just the 180 days and nights that can be observed from the south, however long these nights and days might take. 2.2 The hightowers will come up at top in the new order And the maesters will bring in a new era of technological innovation ... perhaps. Eitherway, at this point the hightowers have always been in the superb strategic spot to exploit this situation. And for that reason, they have organised the citadel so much to be sceptical about things like the long night. For they look at themself as the winners in this.
  6. I don't know. I'd think that given the age of the house and the various names they use like "dawn" and "the sword of the morning" that they could have been prominent during the long night. I like to avoid making too much wild theory's that lack sufficient hints to it, but i can take a closr look and see if i can find something, i havn't been focussing much on them.
  7. Short version: Lightbringer is perched on the hightower, engulfed in its own flame, while the black stone beneath is a tomb to the first Azor Ahai, who died saving humanity on battle island. Oldtown will be the end battle, whoever is azor ahai will need to be fireproof to grasp ligthbringer and will die wielding it as going up into it. It will take the Others 30 days to break trough the wall in the books, then 50 days to defeat team lannister, and then a 100 days before Azor Ahai sacrifices himself to save humanity at Oldtown, though the days and nights will grow longer and darkness will fall completly over the world instead at the extreme south areas like starfall and sunpsear, these total 180 days will last for perhaps a genneration, they will be measured in Oldtown. After the final battle the Hightowers come out on top, having had acces to all the key information and knowing that the events would be at their advantage. The emerge and perhaps toghether with the maesters they introduce a new era in progress ... perhaps I bring to you a theory of mine that is essentially a throw together of various theory's i had before that came to fit toghether. To explain this theory in a consice way, i would like to explain it step for step trough the various theory's that led up to it. Theory 1: the hightower is no normal construction. It is a magical construction similar to the wall or Storms End. As a first argument to this, the tower is almost 800 feet tall and this should by all account be impossible to build by Westerosi, even Hightowers imho. There are other hints to it, like the mysterious base of the hightower, or the rumour Bran the builer had a hand in it. As such, it was my theory that this function is connected to the long night. What function? At the time i thought it was some sort of beacon in the darkness of the long night, or perhaps that it's light would keep the area around it warm and fertile for farming, or that it would hold of others. Theory 2: During the first long night, Oldtown served as a bastion to which people fled too with all their wealth and knowledge so that ultimatly Oldtown became a vault for artifacts and ancient scrolls. Various things seem to suggest this to me. Oldtown first of all is the oldest city and one of size, this makes me believe it was already important and sizable during the first long night, if perhaps even the spiritual capital of men in Westeros at the time. Furthermore, Oldtown and the hightower contain a vast repository of knowledge. It is rumoured that the hightower holds a lot of ancient scrolls and treasure, and said that the current lord of Oldtown has locked himself in the tower with his scorcerror sister to consult "ancient scrolls". It is my belief that Oldtown becoming the vault for knowledge during the long night allowed the Hightowers the base of knowledge to start the Citadel. Simply the fact that so much knowledge is concentrated at oldtown seems a good hint for this to me. Theory 3: during the long night, a important battle was fought at Oldtown versus the others, if perhaps not the battle that turned the tide for humans against the others The island upon which the hightower sits is called "battle isle". Noone knows what battle it refers to, it must have been a long time back yet it has been remembered that a battle was fought there. Furthermore, legend has it that there were once dragons present at Oldtown, again it's not known when or for what they were there. The combination of it being a long time back + the potential presence of dragons sees to hint to me to a battle with white walkers. It might perhaps be that at that time the Walkers were not preppared for dragons, and indeed on the surface dragons seem a perfect weapon against others. I also think that dragons were likely never native to Westeros, so it seems to me that if dragons and their riders were there for battle, then they were called there from Faraway Essos to fight something that was very important for humanity indeed. If this was an important battle against the others and perhaps a pivotal one then i'd consider that Azor Ahai might have been present there too. There is a passage in the "world of ice and fire" that goes like this: "Septon Barth's claim that Valyrians came to Westeros because their priests prophesied that the doom of man would come out the lands beyond the narrow sea can safely be dismissed as nonsense, as many of Barth's queerer beliefs and suppositions". It's to be noted thats it is the oppinion of the Maester supposedly writing it, whereas septon Barths writings are held in high regards as a source of info by the readerbase actually because often true. Theory 4: On the nature of certain black stone constructs This theory of mine holds that a good number of constructs build with black fused stone (not nessecarily all) are actually tombs to very important people. This theory of mine rose from contemplating the Nature of Asshai as being a "Necropolis", similar to the Valley of the Kings, dedicated to the Emperors of Yi Ti. A number of hints would seem to suggest that to me. Asshai is a practicly dead city, there don't seem to be original inhabitants and perhaps it was never meant for the living. It's size is pretty much monumental, and most constructs are made of this black stone. The city is infested with shadowbinders and my presumption is that they are some sort of "tomb raiders", with other words they raise the dead from their monuments, this to aquire ancient knowledge and also the treasure. One of the most poignant details that i feel support this idea is that Asshai exports "cursed gold", whereas i would think that cursed gold is typically the product of tomb raiding. As a Necropolis, Asshai would seem to function as a "gateway to the underworld", beyond Asshai lies truly scary things infested with demons and such like in the town called Stygai, so i don't consider it so much a stretch that to go beneath the shadow is going to an underworld inhabited by the death.To pull this further, it would suggest to me that the base of the hightower is a tomb to someone very important too. in regards to this theory, i also foudn this back on the asoiaf wiki about Stygai: " The name "Stygai" may be a nod to "Stygia" from the story “Shadows in the Moonlight” by Robert E. Howard. In an essay in his Dreamsongs anthology Martin cites reading Howard's story as a formative experience in his (Martin's) development as a reader of fantasy. Martin quotes to a passage referring to Stygia "with its shadow-guarded tombs." And now for the final theory: The hightower is actually a monument dedicated to the first Azor Ahai. The black fused stone base is a tomb for the corpse of Azor Ahai, and on top of the tower sits the sword lightbringer as being perched on a pedestal, though this sword is not easy to recognise because it is engulfed by it's own flame and it's this that makes the light of the hightower I Think the story goes like this. During the first long night the White walkers went very far, they overrun the north, got past the neck and from there on the country was wide open until they hit the mountains of dorne on one side and Oldtown on the other. And here at Oldtown a stand was made. Since the white walkers by now had become a huge threat to humanity, it spawned the help from people from Essos, among them a man called Azor Ahai who flew to Oldtown on the back of a dragon to help defend it. And here at Oldtown, Azor Ahai managed to deal a crushing blow to the White walkers that would turn the war, be it that he died heroicly in the process. Once the war was over, people decided to errect a monument to this great saviour on battle island which became the hightower. edit: part 2 added below Part II predictions for the story to come related to this theory. 1 The others will get as far as Oldtown and Dorne south It would have been too anticlimatic if the walkers would never have gotten past the wall. From there on, where could they be stopped. Winterfell is a mighty fortress, but it is no bottleneck, armies can just walk around it. What Winterfell seems to have is that it might succeed at doing sustainable farming within its walls, providing for a relative small poppulation. 1.1 Epic battle at moat cailin. Chekov's gun, moat Cailin hasn't featured enough yet for the exposition it had in story and lore. And it's a logical bottleneck, when the others can't swim and quicksands migth be around then even for them the Neck could be a difficult place to get beyond 1.2 they push to Kings landing and beyond, famous forts come into play Based on Daenarys vision, and also considering exposition of fortresses, the others break trough the neck. They swamp very large area's of Westeros that are not preppared for this including Kings landing itself. At some places, major fortifications come into play. Storms End for example, guarded by it's magic walls. Perhaps the gates of the moon hold with the Royce's at command, if not the Eyrie remains a great castle in this occasion. As such, some of the most defendable and well provisioned places might hold out, castle's we all know, guarded by local champion houses, but the great countryside of Westeros gets flooded by whights, humongous army's of them constantly having been increased from raiding the graveyards and battlefields of corpses, too much to fight off but at strategic bottlenecks. 1.3 Darkness descends on the world Just as winter seems to really arrive, so will darkness come. All the legends about the "long night" ephasize that element, with the sun going hiding. This darkness will add to the dread of the others, as one will have to fight them in the night. And in this Darkness, the Hightower will stand out, a beacon for people to flee too, with Lightbringer itself sitting on it's perch. House hightower leads the way, and vast amounts of people start to flee towards oldtown. The darkness might not hit everywhere. No need to explain the physics involved, wether it's axial tilt or a magical solar eclipse, if the sun is going to hide for decade's, it's not going to do it everywhere, the world is round afterall. And then you have places like Sunspear and Starfall that might even suggest a path at the sky for a limited sun to pass allong, to still just hit those area's around Westeros, as if the sun would be at it highest at sunspear and falling around Starfall, whereas the summer islands remain within the summer all time, it creates some line around the south of Westeros where there is still some limited sunlight and potential for agriculture. Furthermore, Starfall can sit behind various mountainions bottlenecks, with high hermitage even more secluded in this case, though it might take some really herioc types to hold of others in these strategic spots. 2: House hightower knows The Hightowers, despite being a fairly powerfull house all compared in Westeros, remain rather absent from the game, as they are also known to do. Lord Leyton Hightower has himself and his daughter locked up in the tower to consult ancient scrolls as rumoured. In response to the threat of the Ironborn, it is said that Lord Hightower has send out sons to hire mercenary company's abroad. The Hightowers are strong, wealthy and resourcefull, sitting on a great defensive position and probably well stocked up for emmergency's. The Hightowers are playing a long game, because they know what is going to happen. They most of all have acces to the required knowledge, they are the most likely to know what really matters for the war to come, or even when a new long night might arrive. They have founded the citadel, as seen in my theories they have also provided the innitial knowledge from the vaults of the hightower, they have always kept family in that organisation to likely sit at key positions, and acces to key information is probably kept to a very limited few if just the Hightowers. Afterall the Hightowers are both the protectors and kinda founders of the institution, and i think that the scrolls the Hightowers are studying in their tower are some that the Maesters havn't even seen ever. Knowledge simply is power, but for the Hightowers it might even be a path for ambition as they could quite easily emerge as one of the strongest powers after the long night. The Lands around Oldtown might still seem some light. Eitherway due to the Hightower it becomes a human hub, quickly exploding in numbers of people who seek a way out of westeros, willing to pay fortune's to get out.Oldtown exploded to a massive sized city, having luckily quite good infrastructure to atleast take a lot in, a few milliosn perhaps if they choose to stack. Meanwhile it becoems a great location for traders who'd sell food to sail too, they can get a lot of money for selling some food and taking in some travellers. 2.1 Oldtown will be tested, it be epic Eventually, the White walkers will try to breach the place. As they should try. And the stakes for humanity will be very high, with a lot of soldiers at disposal for a fight. Also a good moment for Lightbringer to finally kick in, be it that it takes someone who is fire resistant to wield that sword, and he will also go up into that sword, devoured by it so to speak. Lightbringer is no ordinary thing, some bloody cosmic ray gun or something honestly i don't know, it shoots out huge rays of killtonic stuff and slays the Others completly, but whoever takes it up gets killed by it, or be that going up in it. And so, as the Hightowers know, will the long night end, 180 days i might fit. you take 30 days for the wall, forged in water. 50 days before team Lannister gets it, and a 100 days before Someone has to sacrifice himself at Oldtown, to become Azor Ahai. Or is it 180 months? Really, perhaps just the 180 days and nights that can be observed from the south, however long these nights and days might take. 2.2 The hightowers will come up at top in the new order And the maesters will bring in a new era of technological innovation ... perhaps. Eitherway, at this point the hightowers have always been in the superb strategic spot to exploit this situation. And for that reason, they have organised the citadel so much to be sceptical about things like the long night. For they look at themself as the winners in this.
  8. I was recently checking trough some notes i once made for my ethic courses i college, i quite liked that course back then. As i had been recently in a discussion regarding Stannis, it was striking me how much the actions of Stannis are in line with philosophers that would have come at a far later age than medieval times. More crucially it regards the teachings of Emmanual Kant and Jeremy Bentham. From Kant (early 18th century) we know the "ethics of duty". Really in Kant's philosophy to be ethical a man needs to do his duty, and in that perspective it doesn't even matter if it ends bad. From Kant's perspective it is not the result that counts but the intention, if that intention was good the act was ethical. So if Stannis burned his daughter with the intention to save the whole of Westeros, then by Kant's perspective (no less the founder of modern ethics) he has actually done right, even done his duty, a value by which Stannis very much acts and emphasises to others. From Jeremy Benthan (late 18th century) we know how to quantify the result and judge from that perspective. From Benthams perspective, if it would require to kill a 100 people to save a 1000 then that would be ethical. Stannis conspiciously argues along those lines in the series. It's only when we arrive at John Stuart mills (early 19th century) that we can look at it from yet another perspective. From Mills perspective "ones happyness is limited there where the hapyness of another starts". Mills couldn't so easily accept that a 100 could so easily suffer for the hapyness of another 1000. His arguments would i guess be harder to understand for the average person though than the ones before it. What strikes me in this regard is how advanced Stannis his thinking is for the age he lives in as he makes the same considerations Kant and Bentham would have made in the 18th century. Kant and Bentham would basicly agree with him, but even from another perspective one would think that it would be hard for Stannis to do even better, likely Westeros simply doesn't have the brilliant philosopher that could bring Stannis his thinking even further. All in all, Stannis seems to put a lot of intellectual work in his choices, and he seems to be by far the greater intellectual among all the claimants to the throne, and all his errors seem absolutly forgivable even by ethical norms and the limitations of medieval knowledge. The issue then is the faith he puts in Mel. Even here he is actually given a lot of proof of what Mel is saying and what she can do, so from an ethical perspective it's quite understandable to take the duty given to him by her god. And then there is Mel, who suffers from the same blind faith, but is also devoting herself to a ethical cause and therefore can be forgiven by the same philosophical considerations. While Stannis is said to be a boring man, he can be humorous at times in quite a refined way. I guess what i'm thinking here is that George knows the ethical streams of Kant and Bentham aswell, and kinda set Stannis up as the sort of misunderstood intellectual with his head above the clouds, of which his refined humor and ethical considerations seem to be indications.
  9. Has anyone ever contemplated how Planetos would look like if it could continue to evolve with dragons around, like say well into the industrial revolution? Dragons have huge potential for industrialization, but how does that relate to evolution in the books? Perhaps it's arguable that the presence of dragons stunts technological evolution in Planetos for the reason that Dragons become to prominent in being managed, studied and employed by the elite. Too easy a tool in fact that humanity looses some of the "alternative ideas" Westeros appears for all intents and purposes technologically stagnant over a fairly long timespan. People in the books have artefacts they could not even reproduce. There appears to be few construction or dynamics in science and socially the continent is predominantly gripped by serfdom with some nobles playing some games above their heads. Essos and other continents might holds some innovations (for example the ocean going ships of the summer islands) but were not exactly in the age of exploration yet and noone seems to have heard of gunpowder so far. If ever there was an apparently more advanced civilization, then it obviously must be Valyria, they certainly left legends and artifacts. The thing about the Valyrian advancement in it's time though seems that it was all very "dragon centered". The Valyrians used their dragons to build their empire, and then build roads and constructions in their empire which were of a superior quality. It's perhaps not at all surprizing that dragons would be very usefull in construction though, perhaps just arguable that if you had dragons you simply would be capable to build better things easier. Perhaps they were just as important in forging valyrian steel? Perhaps it's even so that in most area's you would want to innovate in this "era", that youre sollution would become all to easily: dragons! Need to explore? Some Valyrian lady tried to explore Sothorys with a dragon. Need more firepower in warfare? Yeah, dragons! Need more production out of youre steel furnaces? Dragons! Need some source of power, mechanical or energy for steam power? Dragons! Want to invent something that allows humans to fly? No need, we have dragons. No need for the dragon elite to develop cannons, guns, ships that can explore oceans, or dream about the possibilety of flight. Looking at Valyrian society, it seems apparent that the maintance cost of dragons must have been a fair sum. Quite posibly taxes on the empire were used for a large part to just maintain more dragons. Quite possibly you had a society that was very much serfdom too with most of it's wealth directed to Valyria itself. With other words, it might be questioned to what extend the persuit of dragons creates a society where people will have plenty of time to innovate, quite possibly the only ones with time left to innovate are the dragonlords and the are more likely to delve into anything dragon related and the potential arcane associations with them, if only for the reason that for the dragonlords atleast the dragons solve much of the problems that they would require innovation for, it's just that the dragons can only serve an elite and it never becomes widespread enough.
  10. Yeah thats exactly the answer i was looking for, thx.
  11. I am delving into the crackpot here, i'm just wondering if it is "technicly possible". When was Sansa conceived? Afaik Jon Snow and Rob Stark were about the same age, so i Rob was conceived and born aroudn the time of Roberts rebellion. With Sansa following Rob as the next kid, i guess that there is the possibillety that the moment of conception must have been around the period of Robberts rebellion or then perhaps "Just when Ned had returned home". I wondered if there was a timeframe here upon which LF could have been at winterfell and have conceived Sansa while Ned was out to fight? Why i wonder this? Its hard to understand Littlefingers motivations and especially goals going forward. What exactly does LF want, what would he want with Sansa? One can consider love, but it doesn't make easy sense with LF. For Sansa to be his daughter, that might explain to some extend why he would be trying to further her interrests opposed to other Stark claimants to the North. Edit: wrong subforum though
  12. I had this theory a while back and i don't know how i came up with it, but the idea was that stone sphinxes were being used as incubators. Afaik the Targaryans had some special sphinxes themselfs.
  13. Well, the problem with making plans to attack youre enemy when he's relativly weakened (which i think was a wise and often succesfull move in that time) is that it boils down to an opportunity strike that is always going to be impossible to measure in advance. Typicly if you want to defeat a vastly stronger rival then waiting for the opportune moment while gathering strenght in the background is the way forward. The weight of the actual number of men you can get really depends on how much youre rival weakens himself, but as you wait all you can do is try to gather as many as possible and hope that the strength of youre rivals forces falls below that. Timing is rather important in such a strategy, it can be nervewrecking i gather, you have to wait till potential opposing forces have sufficiently weakened themselfs yet not so long that there is an eventual victor among them, and then find the truly optimal timing to step in. Still ... All Doran needs to do to persue this tactic is to hoard resources and train men while waiting. I get that under such circumstances one could perhaps pull up a great and still functional levy. In the meantime he needs to talk to various smaller and bigger Westerosi lords and perhaps use gold to sway them to his side, and look out for all pontential added strenght that could be gotten from elsewhere. For the fact that he chooses to "use a targaryan banner", something which logicly can give him supporters within Westeros and likely will him eitherway, he can only hope that whatever Targaryan claimant he gets behind at the opportune moment can also bring an army with him. As to Dany, yes she sure can bring out an army, a big one with dragons too, it must be said that Doran perhaps had not expected a Claimant of such strenght.
  14. The 40K might refer to what they might get with additional levy's, sellswords and perhaps loyalist volunteers, whereas i presume that the 15K are the more regular kind of infantry that the lords keep around. One wonder what kind of war chest Doran would have kept for his plan.
  15. If Doran wants to bring back the Targaryans after Robert's Rebellion, then logicly he has to ask himself with what army's? His own force is small relative to the rest of the kingdom, and whatever extra that could have been brought from across the narrow sea would have been insufficient to tilt that balance under normal circusmtances. So Doran either needs Westeros to be weakened by internal conflict or needs other allies within Westeros. For what regards weakening Westeros i guess people rellied on Varys though it was LF who really gave the strategic nudge. As to finding allies within Westeros, i guess Doran could have done better?