Lord Vance II

Dany's Dangerous Trip

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Given how treacherous the open seas are, and in particular the southern end of the Narrow Sea (Hurricane Alley), how likely do you think it is that Dany takes significant losses on her way to Westeros, by weather or enemy?

I think GRRM has gone out of his way to emphesize the dangers of sailing, especially in the southern end of the Narrow Sea. They don't call them hurricanes, but obviously the area is hurricane prone. Warm water and air from the summer sea spins up storms that go up the sea into Shipbreaker Bay. Very early in the story we learned a narrow sea hurricane kill Steffon Baratheon and create Patchface. Later, when Victarion sails the Iron Fleet to Slaver's Bay, he loses nearly half his initial fleet between Volantis and the Isle of Ceders. The Ironborn are among the best sailors in the world and sail longships made for the high seas, and only 45 of 99 make it to the rally point. Some limped there later, but still, pretty heavy losses in transit. 

Dany will require an enormous fleet. I don't want to get bogged down in a numbers game, but I think it's safe to say she's going to need to move at the very least 50,000 men and probably thousands of ships. If a storm hits her fleet it could be devastating. If the Iron Fleet lost nearly half its strength, what does that mean for Dany's chances? 

She's also looking at a very long voyage if she leaves from Mereen. If it were up to me, she would march her army overland to the West, extorting cities along the way and training some of the former slaves into effective mop-up infantry, and take the shortest sea route possible from Volantis or Pentos or something. But I just have a hunch (mainly for time purposes) that she will want to leave from Mereen once she get's back. The longer her forces are at sea, the longer they are exposed. 

I also believe Dany's fleet in transit is the best oppertunity for whoever is in charge in Westeros to attack her. The problem, of course, is the dragons, who could torch a fleet long before it got close enough to strike. An attack would have to be when the dragons were least effective - in a storm. I believe if Euron is rejected by Dany/finds out Victarion has betrayed him, he will attack the fleet under the cover of a storm (that he summoned/ thinks he summoned?) He's definitely crazy enough to send his men sailing into a hurricane and the high winds, moisture and low visibility would be dangerous for the dragons. Worth noting that if it basically fall in southern westeros, that coincides with hurricane season in our world. 

Obviously for the sake of the story Dany has to make it with enough of her army to make moves, and of course the show is going to glaze over it. But how do you think Dany's voyage to Westeros will go, and will she she suffer a major setback, natural or at the hands of her enemies?

 

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Logistics suggests that she wont be able to take 50,000 all the way at sea, Vic states that no port wants 100 ship at port let alone 50,000 troops on top.

I would go for the land bridge being reformed due to lower water levels/ice age and am still a fan of her landing part of her force on the west coast

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7 hours ago, Lord Vance II said:

I also believe Dany's fleet in transit is the best oppertunity for whoever is in charge in Westeros to attack her. The problem, of course, is the dragons, who could torch a fleet long before it got close enough to strike. An attack would have to be when the dragons were least effective - in a storm. I believe if Euron is rejected by Dany/finds out Victarion has betrayed him, he will attack the fleet under the cover of a storm (that he summoned/ thinks he summoned?) He's definitely crazy enough to send his men sailing into a hurricane and the high winds, moisture and low visibility would be dangerous for the dragons. Worth noting that if it basically fall in southern westeros, that coincides with hurricane season in our world. 

I really like the idea of making Dany more vulnerable during storms. I'm almost sure it'll be a thing during sea or land battle.

I's also awesome to think about Euron conjuring a storm. I would be even greater if there's a Dragon x Kraken clash! 

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1 hour ago, Guilherme Rubira said:

I really like the idea of making Dany more vulnerable during storms. I'm almost sure it'll be a thing during sea or land battle.

I's also awesome to think about Euron conjuring a storm. I would be even greater if there's a Dragon x Kraken clash! 

Something big enough to lash up tentacles and pull a dragon down into the sea? Epic.

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The show doesn't follow logic and the lack of consistency is overlooked.  I would not even guess how they will handle that voyage.  The books OTOH is very much realistic and we will see the Targaryen force travel partly by land.  They have to help free Volantis along the way.  The Targaryen allies will sail from Mereen to Dragonstone while the infantry and the cavalry consisting of the horselords will travel by land and cross through the stepstones.

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The idea of Stormborns plans being wrecked by storms is oddly poetic and I hope it happens.

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Your idea of going by land until they reach the shortest route across the sea seems the smartest.  And the ships could just bring over loads of people in waves rather then all at once.My question is how would she get the dragons across the sea? They can't just hang out on the boat and I doubt they could cross the sea without landing.

I do think that going against her at sea would be a bad idea since every ship is made of wood and dragons breath can melt stone if I remember correctly. And sailing your fleet into a hurricane would destroy his as well.

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1 hour ago, Lord Wraith said:

The idea of Stormborns plans being wrecked by storms is oddly poetic and I hope it happens.

Also it is deus ex machina. I prefer more loss of troops in battles on Volantis, Pentos and the narrow sea.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, khal drogon said:

Also it is deus ex machina. I prefer more loss of troops in battles on Volantis, Pentos and the narrow sea.

A deux ex machina, like the birth of her dragons? Maybe a Draconis ex Machina? Not sure if there is a Latin word for dragon.

Also given the slave population of Volantis  I think she will probably end up ahead in troops, even if she loses some.

Edited by Lord Wraith

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1 minute ago, Lord Wraith said:

A deux ex machina, like the birth of her dragons? Maybe a Draconis ex Machina? Not sure if there is a Latin word for dragon.

Also given the slave population of Volantis  I think she will probably end up ahead in troops, even if she loses some..

How is the birth of dragons a deus ex machina? Care to explain? Where is the divine intervention that solves a problem with vague explanation part? Birth of dragons is a major part of the plot and dragons are very well explained which makes it obviously not deus ex machina.

Never knew Volantene population is full of notorious fighters?

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15 minutes ago, khal drogon said:

How is the birth of dragons a deus ex machina? Care to explain? Where is the divine intervention that solves a problem with vague explanation part? Birth of dragons is a major part of the plot and dragons are very well explained which makes it obviously not deus ex machina.

Never knew Volantene population is full of notorious fighters?

Huh because without dragon her story ends. Drogo dead, Rhaego dead, MMD dead and Dany spends the rest of her days in the Dosh Khaleen. Or she still walks into the fire and no Deus Ex Machina happens and she burns herself alive for no reason while Jorah cries. It is a major plot point and isn't explain well. We are still debating the nature of birthing/riding dragons. Targaryens aren't fireproof and notions of "only death can pay for live" isn't an answer.

Well you seem rather unfamiliar for Volantis, allow me to educate you. Slaves outnumber masters 5 to 1 in Volantis, but that is common knowledge. There armies are mostly comprised of slave soldiers noted by their Tiger Stripes. I seriously doubt that when Dany the "Breaker of Chains" arrives they are going to fight too hard against her, if they don't join her immediately.

Also the followers of Rh'llor are just itching to join her and they also contain fighters. That is why the leaders of Volantis are worried.

Quote

"Benerro can see the morrow in his flames," the widow said. "Triarch Malaquo tried to hire the Golden Company, did you know? He meant to clean out the red temple and put Benerro to the sword. He dare not use tiger cloaks. Half of them worship the Lord of Light as well. Oh, these are dire days in Old Volantis, even for wrinkled old widows. But not half so dire as in Meereen, I think. So tell me, ser … why do you seek the silver queen?"

Oh also have the tiger slaves soldiers are followers of Rh'llor. They think Dany is Azor Ahai and will probably join her and they greatly outnumber the freemen/masters in Volantis. 

Not to mention Volantis mighty fleet is currently seperated: Part of it has been helping the Golden Company land in Westeros, some are upriver worried about a possible Dothraki attack, and part are in Slavers Bay taking part in the Battle of Fire. Between religious unrest who thinks that you are the Savior and a divided fleet you couldn't ask for a better time to attack Volantis.

So I'd say its a fair assessment that things will go well for Dany in Volantis. She will probably lose some troops yes but I dare say she will gain a lot more and ships that she will need.

 

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38 minutes ago, Lord Wraith said:

Huh because without dragon her story ends. Drogo dead, Rhaego dead, MMD dead and Dany spends the rest of her days in the Dosh Khaleen. Or she still walks into the fire and no Deus Ex Machina happens and she burns herself alive for no reason while Jorah cries. It is a major plot point and isn't explain well. We are still debating the nature of birthing/riding dragons. Targaryens aren't fireproof and notions of "only death can pay for live" isn't an answer.

Well you seem rather unfamiliar for Volantis, allow me to educate you. Slaves outnumber masters 5 to 1 in Volantis, but that is common knowledge. There armies are mostly comprised of slave soldiers noted by their Tiger Stripes. I seriously doubt that when Dany the "Breaker of Chains" arrives they are going to fight too hard against her, if they don't join her immediately.

That's not the definition of a deus ex machina. Wikipedia says "the term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object." 

Unlike what you said Martin himself has said Dany herself had figured out she would indeed wake the dragons before walking into the pyre. There are a lot of foreshadowing for the event. A deus ex machina needs to be an unexpected event which is not in the case of the birth of the dragons. It is the author purposefully keeping the nature of the birth of the dragons vague because he will reveal it later especially when Rhaegar's motivations, the Summerhall tragedy and Citadel conspiracies depend on that information. A deus ex machina will never be explained properly and it has to be abrupt.

38 minutes ago, Lord Wraith said:

Also the followers of Rh'llor are just itching to join her and they also contain fighters. That is why the leaders of Volantis are worried.

Oh also have the tiger slaves soldiers are followers of Rh'llor. They think Dany is Azor Ahai and will probably join her and they greatly outnumber the freemen/masters in Volantis. 

Not to mention Volantis mighty fleet is currently seperated: Part of it has been helping the Golden Company land in Westeros, some are upriver worried about a possible Dothraki attack, and part are in Slavers Bay taking part in the Battle of Fire. Between religious unrest who thinks that you are the Savior and a divided fleet you couldn't ask for a better time to attack Volantis.

So I'd say its a fair assessment that things will go well for Dany in Volantis. She will probably lose some troops yes but I dare say she will gain a lot more and ships that she will need.

 

Slave soldiers joining her will not happen without battles. Let's say she would have already lost some of her elite Unsullied in the Battle of Meereen and few of her other forces because of the trip. I think Volantis will fall from the Inside which is massive slave revolts but this time those slave soldiers will not follow her instead stay there itself under the rule of the widow. For ships I don't think Volantene fleet will be enough. Maybe that's where Braavos will come to play. 

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2 hours ago, khal drogon said:

Also it is deus ex machina. I prefer more loss of troops in battles on Volantis, Pentos and the narrow sea.

The fact that many ships are routinely lost in transit across the Narrow Sea due to storms has been well-established, as pointed out by the OP, therefore it would not be a new or unexpected event.

 

1 hour ago, Lord Wraith said:

A deux ex machina, like the birth of her dragons? Maybe a Draconis ex Machina? Not sure if there is a Latin word for dragon.

Also, the Latin for "dragon" is "draco" so it would be draco ex machina.

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Posted (edited)

16 minutes ago, Red Man Racey said:

The fact that many ships are routinely lost in transit across the Narrow Sea due to storms has been well-established, as pointed out by the OP, therefore it would not be a new or unexpected event.

It has to be an unexpected event for Dany and co. for it to happen. But with that fact already established, Dany's naval advisers advising her to take her whole army in ships despite the risk of storms and it happens anyway to abruptly change the plot makes it that. If it is expected then Dany has to use both land and sea. I am not against some loss at sea but it has to be organic rather than poetic.

Edited by khal drogon

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Well we're told that autumn storms are the worst in-world, and that's proven true as OP laid out the ironborns difficulties. Dany is currently preoccupied though at the moment, and will still have things to settle in the east before she can make moves to westeros. 

I would assume we're looking at months passing before she's ready to set sail. Will it be winter by then? Are storms less common after autumn? How long does autumn even last? At a guess, I'd say they arrive with a higher percentage of ships than Victarion did. I also strongly assume her fleet comes from the ironborn, who certainly are the best sailors in westeros. I'm putting my money on 80%. No idea how many soldiers she brings with her or leaves in meereen though. 

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4 hours ago, khal drogon said:

snip

I'm going to have to agree with lord wraith here. The birthing of dragons was one of the biggest des ex machines in the entire series. Dany would be no where with out them dragons hatching and if you don't believe me she admits it herself at the end of dance while in the dothraki sea. Coincidentally two minutes before reading this thread, I commented in a thread about the upcoming battle of fire and cited that event as a deus ex machina. I was saying on that thread how Danys entire story has been a series of deus ex machinas.

 

her losing significant troops at sea would not be as much of a deus ex machina in my eyes. We've seen repeatedly the dangers of sea travel

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1 hour ago, Aegon VII said:

I'm going to have to agree with lord wraith here. The birthing of dragons was one of the biggest des ex machines in the entire series. Dany would be no where with out them dragons hatching and if you don't believe me she admits it herself at the end of dance while in the dothraki sea. Coincidentally two minutes before reading this thread, I commented in a thread about the upcoming battle of fire and cited that event as a deus ex machina. I was saying on that thread how Danys entire story has been a series of deus ex machinas.

 

her losing significant troops at sea would not be as much of a deus ex machina in my eyes. We've seen repeatedly the dangers of sea travel

The very definition of Deus Ex Machina disagrees with you. Not going to argue further if you disagree with that notion itself. Deus ex machina's are plot devices that exists that suddenly change the tide that looks like divine intervention. Dragons are huge part of the plot. They don't exist just to solve a plot problem. They move the plot themselves. That is not DEM. If you still can't agree then agree to disagree.

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Dragons are also part of the written and oral part of the history in the story. Also magic is real within some rules that are demonstrated with backstory, or are gradually being revealed as we go forward, such as the case with warging. Dragonlore is part of our understanding, as readers, and moviegoers,  of the body of dragon fiction! 

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"To go west, you must go east"

A landing on the west side of Westeros would be unexpected and takes her armies right to Casterly Rock, the heart of the enemy.  That would involve eastward by land across the easternmost parts of Essos followed by a long voyage by sea.  

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They won't sail in the same direction is my guess. Some part of her navy will go east and some will go west. Neither host will go near KL.

The story of the Blackwater won't be lost on Dany that's for sure. 

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