Lord Varys

Winter warfare in TWoW (and later on)

112 posts in this topic

Interesting subject. The things I can thinkof is that there would be much shorter campaigns with smaller forces and shelter and logistics being of paramount importance. Something else to consider is that coastal regions would be the only ones to have access to food via fishing and may be fought over for that reason alone. There should also much greater reliance on guerilla tactics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can look at the latter part of stannis's march to winterfell to get an idea how the winter will be. It is still the very start of winter, but it's near winterfell, arguably the source of winter. I think by mid winter every place in the north will have similar conditions. Only true northerners and wildlings will be able to travel in the north. Most of the conquest of westeros will happen in the south. Most of danys troops will take ships north once she's queen to help fight the others, while dany and dragons will fly.

 

what information do we have about dragons flying in snow? is it possible that they are affected differently by normal snow (physical snow from past winters) than magical snow( snow brought on by the others and the snow of is long winter).

 

i never understand how people think Dany will be an antagonist. I think people conflate her with her dragons. The dragons are the antagonists, in a manner, along with the others. The dragons will need to die by the end of the series, same as the others. Obviously all just my opinion, but I don't see Dany breaking bad. She's a good guy that was given a golden gun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4.7.2016 at 0:44 PM, 1000th Lord Commander said:

An interesting idea.

The North is experienced in winter warfare, as we have seen from the actions of the Flints and Norreys and the like. they have snowshoes, smaller and more capable horses, and as we saw in the world of ice and fire, in the middle of winter second sons and old men volunteer for war, simply to spare thier kin one more mouth to feed. Jon says something similar, by asking for all such men to come to the Wall.

The Vale might be able to send out armed forces via other routes then the Bloody Gate. The sea route is dangerous, but possible.

That is unlikely because the snow is in the mountains not just the High Road. There are no tunnels through the mountains that we know of so everybody crossing them would have to take passes, and passes usually are up in the mountains.

Quote

The Reach, Stormlands and Dorne will escape the worst of winter, meaning we will likely see battles still happening in the south as well

In a normal winter this might be the case but not this time.

 

22 hours ago, Masha said:

In TWOW Arianne POVs describes Stormlands as a humid jungle, perhaps it will rapidly freeze, but I doubt that. I suspect it will probably take most of TWOW for the cold to start moving in on Reach, Stormlands and probably won't touch Dorne as of yet. KL will probably get cold and start snowing around the middle of the book.

It is already snowing in KL at the end of ADwD. And it is also pretty cold already. Remember the Epilogue?

From TWoIaF we learn how winter looked after the False Spring was over. The Blackwater was frozen solid and a lot of snow was lying around in KL.

Quote

I also think that by end of the series, not only the Wall will come down but seasons will get resolved to being normal (not lasting years). But if that not happens, the resolution of WW problem at the end of the book will have the book ending with Spring melt will probably start thus the The Dream of Spring name. 

Winter should get gradually worse throughout the remaining books. If ADoS is truly the last volume (which I don't think it will be) that this is more an allusion to the fact that things are very bad (people dream of spring because they desperately want spring to come and winter to go) not that the season is going to change.

The freak seasons most likely will be gone when the series is over, but I don't think this will happen in ADoS already.

36 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Interesting subject. The things I can thinkof is that there would be much shorter campaigns with smaller forces and shelter and logistics being of paramount importance. Something else to consider is that coastal regions would be the only ones to have access to food via fishing and may be fought over for that reason alone. There should also much greater reliance on guerilla tactics.

Guerilla warfare is also my best guess. We might see that beginning in TWoW in the Riverlands where winter will mark the end of conventional warfare but not the guerilla attacks of the Brotherhood and Catelyn eventually leading to a liberation of the Riverlands and the destruction of the remaining Lannister/Frey forces.

From a political standpoint that should play in the hands of people like Aegon, Euron, and Dany because they actually only have to attack and defeat their real enemies. They don't have the conquer the entire land because faraway or war-torn regions like the North or the Riverlands can either bend the knee via later or risk to be cut off the southern food supply. Vice versa, the weather and temperatures will make it insane for anybody to march to war over vast distances in such a matter. So even if, say, the North does not recognized King Aegon or King Euron they won't be able to do something about that until next spring. 

I actually think the fact that we got introduced to those stalwart Targaryen loyalists on Crackclaw Point might come in handy in winter. They could declare for either Aegon or Dany and stage a surprise attack on whoever holds KL at this point in the story. They are close enough to marshal a not so small army able to take a capital which cannot hope to get any help soon (or at all) from the West or the Reach.

20 minutes ago, Aegon VII said:

We can look at the latter part of stannis's march to winterfell to get an idea how the winter will be. It is still the very start of winter, but it's near winterfell, arguably the source of winter. I think by mid winter every place in the north will have similar conditions. Only true northerners and wildlings will be able to travel in the north. Most of the conquest of westeros will happen in the south. Most of danys troops will take ships north once she's queen to help fight the others, while dany and dragons will fly.

Actually, this no winter storm. It takes place in autumn still and the Northmen also refer to it as such - to the dismay of Stannis' knights. But we also do know that winter is very cruel in the North so real winter storms should be a weather even the Northmen don't feel comfortable with. Especially not in this winter.

I doubt Dany will be forced to do much conquering anyway. Just take KL and be done with it. Nobody is going to resist her if she cuts off the head of the snake.

20 minutes ago, Aegon VII said:

what information do we have about dragons flying in snow? is it possible that they are affected differently by normal snow (physical snow from past winters) than magical snow( snow brought on by the others and the snow of is long winter).

We know that rain is a problem for dragons. Both Meraxes and Balerion faced problems during the Last Storm and later during the Faith Militant Uprising. Snow should be equally - or perhaps even more - unpleasant for dragons.

On the other hand they might work against the Others. We know they don't like fire, and dragonfire is a very special magical fire.

20 minutes ago, Aegon VII said:

i never understand how people think Dany will be an antagonist. I think people conflate her with her dragons. The dragons are the antagonists, in a manner, along with the others. The dragons will need to die by the end of the series, same as the others. Obviously all just my opinion, but I don't see Dany breaking bad. She's a good guy that was given a golden gun.

I don't think the dragons are antagonists, either. Dany clearly isn't. You have to turn the story on its head to even imagine such a scenario. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Actually, this no winter storm. It takes place in autumn still and the Northmen also refer to it as such - to the dismay of Stannis' knights. But we also do know that winter is very cruel in the North so real winter storms should be a weather even the Northmen don't feel comfortable with. Especially not in this winter.

Ah, my mistake! But my point still stands. We've already started to see crippling snows at Winterfell. I'd say if it's like this everywhere in the southern parts of the North, that's pretty bad, especially when we see it carry on for years and years. And Winterfell itself being presumably the worst of all, I could see it being hundreds or so feet plus of snow for years.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I doubt Dany will be forced to do much conquering anyway. Just take KL and be done with it. Nobody is going to resist her if she cuts off the head of the snake.

I agree. Her whole story has been her conquering places with incredible ease. She'll get the IT pretty quickly and then start working with the north to fight the others.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

On the other hand they might work against the Others. We know they don't like fire, and dragonfire is a very special magical fire.

Good to learn about the effects of rain. Hopefully snow is different, especially the snow of the long winter and that the others bring. Might make fighting the others difficult if all they have to do is bring down some snow.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think the dragons are antagonists, either. Dany clearly isn't. You have to turn the story on its head to even imagine such a scenario. 

I view them and the Others as equal threats to mankind. So much of asoiaf is based on the balance between the two that I think we'll find that the Dragons and the Others are both the enemy ( of sorts, nothing is purely bad or good), and neither has a place in our world. Fire = good, Ice = bad just doesn't fit with the rest of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the seven kingdoms breaking down to constituents both functionally and politically. Even now half many are in rebellion or disorder and the throne is having trouble excerising effective authority as it is. I expect winter to make this situation entrenched. The dragons themselves do not look like the unstopable weapons they were during Aegon's conquest. They are much younger and smaller than Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes and we do not how effective they will be in conditions of extreme cold an potential hunger. If their is a fire side I expect it to be represented by the red priests who after all raise the dead as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know a bigger question will be just how will Winter effect each region. For example does winter in Westeros also mean winter in Essos. I'm also wondering if it snows in Dorne or does the temperature just drop slightly. At the moment there are just too many questions involving the unnatural nature of the seasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dragons are antagonists? What makes you say that?

Dragons lived in Westeros for 200 years, serving the Targaryens, and little was thought of it. They've done no evil except the evil their masters willed, they fought and killed each other at their behests as well.

 

The existence and proliferation of dragons only served to enhance the peace by which the citizens of Westeros enjoyed under a unified 7 Kingdoms.

 

Once the dragons were gone, the realm suffered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

Ah, my mistake! But my point still stands. We've already started to see crippling snows at Winterfell. I'd say if it's like this everywhere in the southern parts of the North, that's pretty bad, especially when we see it carry on for years and years. And Winterfell itself being presumably the worst of all, I could see it being hundreds or so feet plus of snow for years.

It actually seems that the weather was much worse at/near Winterfell than it was at the Wall. Jon and company don't face such much cold nor a snow storm when Jon is killed.

But it is, of course, confirmed that life at the Wall in winter effectively stops. There was snow forty feet high in the last not-so-bad/long winters during which Gared lost his ears. You cannot do all that much under such circumstances. And even with winter gear of the Northmen you just cannot travel many leagues with even a small army/troop under such conditions.

6 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

Good to learn about the effects of rain. Hopefully snow is different, especially the snow of the long winter and that the others bring. Might make fighting the others difficult if all they have to do is bring down some snow.

If the final battle takes place in a huge snow storm then the human allies should actually lose the whole thing. They will be strongly affected by it, being completely unable to fight the wights and Others who wouldn't care about the conditions at all. Thus I think there must be some sort of magic countering the control the Others have over the weather - either something Marwyn or the Red Priests come up with later on, or the presence of the dragons in itself will weaken the magic of the Others.

6 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

I view them and the Others as equal threats to mankind. So much of asoiaf is based on the balance between the two that I think we'll find that the Dragons and the Others are both the enemy ( of sorts, nothing is purely bad or good), and neither has a place in our world. Fire = good, Ice = bad just doesn't fit with the rest of the story.

That is just a not a good dichotomy because the dragons are no evil agents, neither they themselves nor even the Targaryens as their masters or the dragonlords before them. The Others seem to want to destroy either all life or at least all human life (and don't care what happens to other living things in the process). The dragons aren't in the same category at all.

Not to mention that fire and warmth are, more or less, possibly things in the story, connected to life. Whereas it is clear that death is cold.

6 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

I see the seven kingdoms breaking down to constituents both functionally and politically. Even now half many are in rebellion or disorder and the throne is having trouble excerising effective authority as it is. I expect winter to make this situation entrenched. The dragons themselves do not look like the unstopable weapons they were during Aegon's conquest. They are much younger and smaller than Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes and we do not how effective they will be in conditions of extreme cold an potential hunger. If their is a fire side I expect it to be represented by the red priests who after all raise the dead as well.

Fire magic and stuff should actually play a huge positive role during winter. If things get better and bearable then perhaps Mel and Thoros and Moqorro/Benerro will be able to keep the cold and the snow at bay, at least in the places around them. That could help people who are on the move.

5 hours ago, sifth said:

You know a bigger question will be just how will Winter effect each region. For example does winter in Westeros also mean winter in Essos. I'm also wondering if it snows in Dorne or does the temperature just drop slightly. At the moment there are just too many questions involving the unnatural nature of the seasons.

We know winter is affecting Essos as much as Westeros. The waters around Braavos are already freezing. They are a little better off because the northern coastline is of the latitude as as the Vale but winter there should be as bad as it is in the Vale and the northern Riverlands.

Volantis and the other southern cities are farther south than even Dorne, and seem to have a tropical climate. Usually there shouldn't be any winter there. But this time it might even snow there.

George's own description of winter has a lot of snow (obviously) in the North. Less snow in the Vale, the Riverlands, West, and KL, seldom snow in the Stormlands and Highgarden, and it supposedly 'almost never' snows in Oldtown and Dorne.

But this is not going to be an average winter, of course. The Stormlands and the Reach might not yet see much snow in TWoW but I think it will snow there as well as eventually even in Sunspear. This winter will make itself known across the Realm as the winter.

And once the Wall falls the weather should get much, much worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Fauntleroy said:

I doubt the Dothraki will do well in snow. 

That depends. Vaes Dothrak lies pretty far in the North of Essos, and the Dothraki Sea itself might be a region which knows snow in winter. We saw the grass dying in ADwD. I doubt that means the Dothraki Sea is free of snow in winter. If there is autumn then there is also winter. And when they know snow then they will also have clothes for winter and ways to deal with their horses in winter, etc.

Granted, they are most likely not prepared for winter weather of the sort the North faces in Westeros each season. But nothing whatsoever suggests that Dany will invade the North in the middle of winter. In fact, there is little reason to assume she will even see or treat the Northmen as enemies.

They will either be irrelevant to her plans (because she invades the South and is fully aware that she can wait to for next spring to subdue the North by force if they don't bend the knee) or potential allies against the Others, but not enemies (because they definitely lack the strength to threaten her in the South).

If it turned out that the Dothraki can cope with normal winter of the sort that may exist in the Dothraki Sea and the southern regions of Westeros then they might actually be pretty well prepared for some sort of winter warfare because I'm inclined to believe that the Dothraki are mad enough to war in every season.

But in Westeros war in winter is pretty much a no-go. Even that Brandon Ice Eyes example is not a war. It was sneak attack on a bunch of unprepared and unsuspecting foreigners.

Edited by Lord Varys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/6/2016 at 9:09 PM, Lord Varys said:

That depends. Vaes Dothrak lies pretty far in the North of Essos, and the Dothraki Sea itself might be a region which knows snow in winter.

I suggest you look up a little logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance.  Given that the North Edge of the Dothraki is on level with the southern Riverlands/Crownlands, it also is a complete joke of a comparison.  Logic also says that a culture entirely dependent on horses can't exist in a place susceptible to 20 foot snow drifts.  

As far as Dany headed North, I'm curious how anyone makes a guess at the future that doesn't involve Dany (or at least dragons) headed North.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JonSnow4President said:

I suggest you look up a little logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance.  Given that the North Edge of the Dothraki is on level with the southern Riverlands/Crownlands, it also is a complete joke of a comparison.  Logic also says that a culture entirely dependent on horses can't exist in a place susceptible to 20 foot snow drifts.  

As far as Dany headed North, I'm curious how anyone makes a guess at the future that doesn't involve Dany (or at least dragons) headed North.

I don't know. The Steppes of Asia aren't exactly known for their mild weather which the Dothraki sea represents in part at least. You would be right that they wouldn't fight in these conditions and they don't venture into Siberia which the North resembles.

Truth is most of Westeros is very wrong for the Dothraki one way or another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am expecting nothing short of a mini ice age for most of Westeros as the new Long Night spreads.  All the work building the fleets will be rendered fruitless as ships become ice-bound and the frozen water wastes facilitate the movement of the Others and their wighted creatures.

I'm also expecting legendary and real underground tunnels (under the Wall, Castle Black, Winterfell, Red Keep, Bran's cavern, etc.), will come to the fore and I expect some folk will take to those tunnels and travel by them and some of these will have military uses, too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JonSnow4President said:

I suggest you look up a little logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance.  Given that the North Edge of the Dothraki is on level with the southern Riverlands/Crownlands, it also is a complete joke of a comparison.  Logic also says that a culture entirely dependent on horses can't exist in a place susceptible to 20 foot snow drifts.

Well, perhaps the Dotraki migrate down to the southern reaches of their Sea? There is no argument from ignorance here. We do know that winter is a thing in Essos and we do know that the lagoon of Braavos is already freezing. We even know that autumn hit the entire Dothraki Sea in ADwD and the grasses where all dying. That is a fact.

What we do not know is how bad winter is in the Dothraki Sea. It might be somewhat milder than in the regions of Westeros on the same latitude but there is no reason to assume there is no snow in the Dothraki Sea.

6 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

I don't know. The Steppes of Asia aren't exactly known for their mild weather which the Dothraki sea represents in part at least. You would be right that they wouldn't fight in these conditions and they don't venture into Siberia which the North resembles.

The North isn't exactly Siberia. There are both leaf trees and conifers in the North and even beyond the Wall. Siberia so close to the arctic that you either have no trees at all or only conifers. We are very far away from this kind of thing in the North and the Haunted Forest. The true arctic North only seems to begin close to the Land of Always Winter in regions we have yet to visit in the books.

How the Dothraki get through their winters is not clear, I agree there. One assumes a lot of hunting and horse-eating is going on. Perhaps they even have place where they settle in winter. We have no idea about any of that.

In fact, we don't even know where the hell the Westerosi store all that food in those dreadful winters of theirs, especially in the North. We know the NW has large storerooms and makes use of the ice of the Wall to keep the food fresh but there are no large storerooms mentioned or shown in any castle or city we have visited up to this point. I mean, realistically granaries would have to be everywhere because every culture dealing with winters of unknown length would revolve around preparing for the worst. It would be the biggest and most important aspect of their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, perhaps the Dotraki migrate down to the southern reaches of their Sea? There is no argument from ignorance here. We do know that winter is a thing in Essos and we do know that the lagoon of Braavos is already freezing. We even know that autumn hit the entire Dothraki Sea in ADwD and the grasses where all dying. That is a fact.

What we do not know is how bad winter is in the Dothraki Sea. It might be somewhat milder than in the regions of Westeros on the same latitude but there is no reason to assume there is no snow in the Dothraki Sea.

The North isn't exactly Siberia. There are both leaf trees and conifers in the North and even beyond the Wall. Siberia so close to the arctic that you either have no trees at all or only conifers. We are very far away from this kind of thing in the North and the Haunted Forest. The true arctic North only seems to begin close to the Land of Always Winter in regions we have yet to visit in the books.

How the Dothraki get through their winters is not clear, I agree there. One assumes a lot of hunting and horse-eating is going on. Perhaps they even have place where they settle in winter. We have no idea about any of that.

In fact, we don't even know where the hell the Westerosi store all that food in those dreadful winters of theirs, especially in the North. We know the NW has large storerooms and makes use of the ice of the Wall to keep the food fresh but there are no large storerooms mentioned or shown in any castle or city we have visited up to this point. I mean, realistically granaries would have to be everywhere because every culture dealing with winters of unknown length would revolve around preparing for the worst. It would be the biggest and most important aspect of their lives.

I'm on Phone because cable is out, and a slow typer so I'll keep it short. Living in Tennessee and getting a little snow every now and then doesn't mean you're capable of dealing with Alaska

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, JonSnow4President said:

I'm on Phone because cable is out, and a slow typer so I'll keep it short. Living in Tennessee and getting a little snow every now and then doesn't mean you're capable of dealing with Alaska

True, but the point wasn't whether the Dothraki could cope with winter in the North or beyond the Wall, it was whether there is some form of winter in the Dothraki Sea. And there should be, about as bad as it usually gets in the Riverlands and in the Crownlands. At least in the northern reaches of the Dothraki Sea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎06‎/‎06‎/‎2016 at 5:51 PM, Lord Varys said:

Or do you rather think things will only get worse, and it will pretty much never seize to snow (as I do)?

I believe that snow falls in all Westeros during Winter but in Dorne.

Even in Kings Landing it started to be very cold (end of Book 5 (DwD). So yes it will make war more dificult, specially moving their food supplies.

I believe the Long Night shall return, where great part of Westeros, if not all shall stay in darkness being able to see only the moon, if at all. No sun to decrease the cold of Winter. It's going to be chãos with the Others (White Walkers) reaching other parts of Westyeros that are under the Neck for the first time in Thousand of years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The winter to come will not be a mild winter but a harsh one instead! It will allow the whitewalkers to invade Westeros. As you well know, none is getting ready for this. The farmers will no longer work their fields. No food supplies will be available as they were entirely destroyed during the war. A lot of people will die and the iron thrones might come to an end. 

Edited by Lorenzo98

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13 lipca 2016 at 11:09 AM, Lord Varys said:

The North isn't exactly Siberia. There are both leaf trees and conifers in the North and even beyond the Wall. Siberia so close to the arctic that you either have no trees at all or only conifers.

Actually that's not entirely true, Siberian forest are amazing. And south Siberia is basically the same geographical height as northern Japan - not very arctic.

 I always assumed that The North is comparable to Siberia (the bigger part), the north part of Siberia is basically beyond the wall, as close to the arctic (land of always winter).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, girlfrommonday said:

Actually that's not entirely true, Siberian forest are amazing. And south Siberia is basically the same geographical height as northern Japan - not very arctic.

 I always assumed that The North is comparable to Siberia (the bigger part), the north part of Siberia is basically beyond the wall, as close to the arctic (land of always winter).

I know that Siberia is pretty huge. But I meant the region one usually associates with the land (i.e. the lands near and around the arctic circle).

But the North and even the southern lands beyond the Wall are full of leaf trees, suggesting that the climate is actually still pretty mild, comparable to the British Isles, southern Scandinavia, or even northern Germany.

The true North (equivalent to northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, northern Canada/Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard, etc.) seems to begin only far beyond the Wall, in those regions where first only conifers and then no trees are found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now