I think the reason (1) and (3) seem contradictory is a problem with the wording. What I'm trying to say in (1) is that Rhaego's death is not a certainty, and MMD would have been foolish to treat it as such. It would be like someone assuming that they don't need to worry about Daenerys (and Viserys) once Aerys died.
But whether Dany would give birth in the tent is a bit more of a gamble. I would argue that MMD was just taking each step as it comes, basically. For all she knew, Dany could have been killed by Drogo's bloodriders before actually giving birth. So it doesn't really make sense to assume she had any kind of "master plan" for killing Rhaego.
Once Dany left the tent and had her labour induced, there was absolutely no chance of Rhaego surviving.
Yeah, the description of her labour is clearly not normal:
She falls to her knees, but that cannot possibly account for how suddenly she goes into labour and the clear suffering she experiences.
It quite clearly contradicts YOUR point that the horse was the price. Mirri Maz Duur quite openly states that the horse was NOT the price and was never going to be the price - it was a lie Dany told herself. She argues that Dany knew what the price was. Dany then asks herself is she did know the price. The suggestion is that Dany let herself believe the horse was the only price because that's what she wanted to believe.
It proves my point because it proves that the horse was not the price of the blood magic - in which case the sacrifice had to be Rhaego. If Rhaego only died because he was brought into the tent, why were Daenerys and Jorah not killed too?
Exactly. She tells Dany that the horse was never the sacrifice ("that was a lie you told yourself"), quite clearly indicating that it was her intention to sacrifice Rhaego from the beginning. But only Dany could make the sacrifice - it only worked because she told Mirri Maz Duur "do it", regardless of the price.
Mirri Maz Duur would surely have suspected that the Dothraki would turn their backs on Dany once Drogo fell, no? The Dothraki are notoriously superstitious and fear sorcery ... which MMD would know, considering that she was literally living amongst the Dothraki and was treated badly for being a maegi.
But my overall point is that MMD was gambling. She used Rhaego as the sacrifice to keep Drogo alive, but that was dependent on Jorah bringing Dany into the tent - and it only worked because Dany was willing to make whatever sacrifice she had to.
Well I'm making the argument that MMD deliberately sacrificed Rhaego because I believe that's clearly what we're shown in the text. If Rhaego had not died, what would have been the result of her magic on Drogo? Clearly Rhaego was a key factor as a sacrifice - after all, MMD states that "only death can pay for life", and then states that the horse was not enough. When she argues that Dany knew the price all along, we can infer that Mirri herself obviously knew what the price was.
My take on it is that MMD genuinely tried to help Drogo but he didn't take her advice; when she saw that he was dying and Dany was willing to make any sacrifice(*), she saw an opportunity to prevent the birth of the prophesised Dothraki saviour - and she took that opportunity, knowing that her fate was tied to Drogo's anyway.
(*) I think the most telling part of the chapter - for me, anyway - is when Dany asks if her life is needed to save Drogo, and Mirri tells her that it isn't. Not only does this quite obviously suggest that Rhaego is the sacrifice, it also ties neatly into how sacrifice is explored throughout the series.
Just because it's logical to assume that Rhaego would die after Drogo - and I agree, it was a logical conclusion - does not mean that Mirri Maz Duur thought Rhaego's death was a certainty. After all, he was the prophesised leader of the Dothraki. In that case, why not make it certain that he died? (Ironic, considering that she actually just made sure Daenerys would be the stallion that mounts the world.)
The discussion between MMD and Daenerys makes it clear that MMD knew that Rhaego was the sacrifice for Drogo's life, and she believes that Dany knew it too.
The sacrifice to keep Drogo alive was not Drogo's horse; nor was the sacrifice Dany or Jorah (if that was the case, they would have perished too). The price was clear, and the price was Rhaego.
Had Jorah not brought her into the tent, would Rhaego have lived? Possibly. But MMD surely knew that Daenerys would be brought into the tent, given that the Dothraki are completely superstitious. All Jorah did was deliver the sacrifice. Had he not brought Daenerys into the tent, the spell would not have been completed because the necessary sacrifice would not have been present.
Just to explain that with another example - imagine if Melisandre had tried to wake the stone dragon in ASoS and her spell required Edric. She starts the spell and then Edric is saved by Davos during the ceremony. He would still have been the intended sacrifice, but Melisandre would be unable to complete her spell without him.
For what it's worth, I tend to think Mirri Maz Duur initially tried to help Drogo. But once she knew he was dying and the chance presented itself, she made the decision to prevent Rhaego's birth.
And that's the whole point of ASOIAF, isn't it? Characters make choices. MMD chose to sacrifice Rhaego, Dany chose to risk using blood magic, and Jorah chose to bring Dany into the tent. If none of the characters are responsible, it would not be interesting or compelling as drama.
Drogon's wingspan was 20 feet in Daznak's Pit, and he has grown even larger by the end of ADwD. By the time Daenerys reaches Westeros (which will take months), he will be larger still.
Will any of the dragons reach the size of Balerion the Black Dread? Of course not. But they will be large enough - and powerful enough - to cause some serious damage, otherwise why even introduce them into the series? Plus Dany will not just be invading with Drogon - she will have other forces, which Aegon lacked.
Presumably they will be smaller but will more or less do the same things they would have done had they been five years older. The same is true of the Stark children, I would imagine.
Oh I've had too many breaking points:
Finding out that Natalie Tena (Osha) suggested she wear a pubic wig for her nude scene, and D&D refused.
Cat's monologue about Jon Snow.
The whole episode "The Climb".
The Red Wedding.
Dany's conquest of Meereen.
And then the whole of season 5 basically, but the complete butchery of Dany's final chapter really finished me off.
As has already been pointed out, Arya even worries about revealing herself to Robb and Cat because of what she's done. She also doesn't think she would be able to convince the Blackfish that she was Arya Stark. So why would she tell Roose Bolton, who is allied with people she actually fears (Rorge, Biter, and the Bloody Mummers)?
And the comparison between Barristan/Duskendale and Ramsay's 20 Good Men is absolutely fucking ridiculous LOL. One of them is a piece of backstory and one is a significant plot development that has huge ramifications for all the characters involved.
If you read the passage where Arya meets Roose Bolton, it's clear why she doesn't reveal herself to him. She has no reason to trust him, for one, and he's working with the Brave Companions as well as Rorge and Biter.
I've just re-read ACoK and Arya never really has a chance to reveal herself to anyone. None of the Northerners she meets in Harrenhal would know her by sight (which would obviously be important given that Cersei is claiming to hold Arya Stark captive), and the few that would either die or leave before she can reveal herself to them.
Dany getting the dragon eggs is not illogical, LOL. They're just fossils when Illyrio gives them to her. The reason he's lavish is two-fold: he profited heavily from selling her to Drogo (literally stated in the text), and most importantly it's because he's a Magister of Pentos and thus has to dissuade Drogo from attacking the city.
If Drogo had been dissatisfied by any of the gifts, he may have decided to attack Pentos instead of returning straight to Vaes Dothrak.
Isn't it suggested that the cost of the Faceless Men is less about money and more about sacrifice?
It's like when Melisandre tells Davos that a man with 100 cows sacrificing 1 cow means nothing, whereas a man sacrificing the only cow he has means everything.
1) Do you know anything about warfare? At all? Because generally an army would be well-defended, with sentries, outriders, ditches, stakes, etc. etc. Even if we assume Stannis is too stupid to do any of this (which would be ridiculous in itself), he also had sellsword companies who would certainly defend themselves and their equipment.
2) In that case why is literally everyone else's horse gone? Was Melisandre the only one to keep her horse close?
3) If "he's there for a siege", how on earth has he already given up? And why is he trying to hold a siege anyway when he knows he has no siege weapons? LOL it's just stupid.
The problem is that they didn't just "do a little sabotage". They somehow managed to burn Stannis's camp.
That wouldn't surprise me at all. I know Michelle Fairley read the first book, because I remember her commenting on her disappointment that she didn't get to do Cat's journey up to the Eyrie. And then she ended up getting increasingly sidelined after season 1 and didn't end up returning as Lady Stoneheart. Something definitely went down there IMO.