Tyrion1991

Why is Dany still in Essos?

43 posts in this topic

I get that GRRM wanted to resolve this crisis of faith and self doubt that Dany has at the end of Storm of Swords. It does make sense to have a novel start and end with this. But I can't understand why he decided to have ADWD end with her buried even deeper in Essos with the Dothraki and Mereen unsettled. Why not end it with some resolution to the Mereen thing and then her just marching over to Pentos? To me that makes a lot more sense. It means she could join the main plot in Westeros instead of counting sheep in the Dothraki Sea. This all suggests that he wants to spend another novel explaining the Dothraki joining her rather than getting her to Westeros.

The only reasons I can think are:

* He thinks this is cool and people would enjoy it more than Dany invading Westeros.

* The Dothraki are a plot device to cut the Mereenese Knot. You have this super fast army that could sack every city in Essos if they wanted to and if they stop slavery then her enemies economy collapses. 

* GRRM has spent a long time describing all of these Essosi people and like in the Wheel of Time he wants them to participate in the War for the Dawn. Otherwise, we'd all forget they ever existed.

* He wants more time for the Dragons to grow and is concerned about an unbelievable growth spurt.

* He wants Dany reuniting with her various councillors and allies to play out before Dany reaches Westeros as some of these relationships are either very important or complicated. Tyrion, Jorah, Victarion, Quentyn's people and that's forgetting Marwyn and Moqorro. So he wants to set up Team Dany before the invasion starts.

* He wants to give Aegon time to become King and establish a firm hold on the continent to oppose Dany.

 

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet, or is it because of some other reason?

Personally, I am sure Dany going Genghis Khan would be cool. But we already got to see her go all Spartacus. I don't see the need for her to become a messianic figure for yet another people to lead in her quest to reclaim the throne. I also really, really don't like the notion that the main thing I want to see Dany do, play the Game of Thrones in Westeros, is going to be crammed into the final book and possibly even be overshadowed by the Zombie Apocalypse. So all that means is that I won't get to see Dany do the thing I wanted to see her do from the start of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet

Of course. And I think you're not far off on the reasons he doesn't want her there, too. (Plus a few more—Dany has to go east to go west, etc.)

But there is more to it than that. Much of what he wants to do will probably be accomplished relatively early in TWoW. We know there are chapters from ADwD that got pushed back, and presumably there were plot beats that he hadn't yet developed into chapters that also got pushed back. So you still have to ask whether he could have done most of what h wants to do in ADwD.

And that's where you run into the practical issues. ADwD is already a monstrously oversized book—breaking 1000 pages despite small print and small margins—and that's after he'd already split the book in half. And it came out about 7 years after the single book was supposed to come out. And he needed an exciting cliffhanger for each storyline, and some exciting action to pick up on for most of them in the next book. And similarly, he needed thematic closure, and to set the stage for the themes of the next book. And so on.

So, it's quite possible the only way he could have ended ADwD with Dany on her way to Westeros would be to cut other storylines, while also having to convince his publishers to use even smaller text, and delay the book even longer so he could significantly rewrite the different ending into a fitting ending.

Or, of course, he could have split AFfC into three novels instead of two, and we'd now be waiting for the third part of it, instead of the sequel…

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8 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet, or is it because of some other reason?

Well, obviously. If GRRM really wanted her in Westeros by now, she would be there. 

Essos also has a major role to play in the fighting off of the WW. The original Long Night ended with help from people in Essos, hence the legend of Azor Ahai is everywhere in some form. In AWOIAF, GRRM also hints that dragonlords may have gone to Westeros to fight off WW. 

There's also the other cases of solving the mysteries of magic and whatnot, especially with Asshai and that Shadow place. 

13 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I also really, really don't like the notion that the main thing I want to see Dany do, play the Game of Thrones in Westeros, is going to be crammed into the final book and possibly even be overshadowed by the Zombie Apocalypse.

I think the game of thrones in Westeros is coming to an end. Westeros is on the brink of political shambles, and when the winter comes there would be widespread famine. There's a plague coming too I think. It's not going to be like in the first book by the time Dany arrives. There might not even be a court in King's Landing by then. We know Cersei is already effing up. Her kids are going to die, then she's going to die, and it would be open season on the throne. The Faith Militant would probably have the city. 

That's kind of the whole point of the story. The political intrigues that played out in King's Landing seemed like the main plot of the story in GoT, but it was always the side story, not the main one. We are approaching the main story now. 

And Dany playing political games in Westeros would be the most cliched thing ever. GRRM would never do it. 

Dany is of course going to arrive in Westeros eventually, we know that. But the manner of her arrival and timing may not be so obvious. 

Also, another thing is I think GRRM is lagging behind in her story. Some parts of her story was chopped out of DwD because the book became too long. Her POV was left out of AFFC altogether. That's the main reason it feels like her story should be more advanced by now. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Well, obviously. If GRRM really wanted her in Westeros by now, she would be there. 

Essos also has a major role to play in the fighting off of the WW. The original Long Night ended with help from people in Essos, hence the legend of Azor Ahai is everywhere in some form. In AWOIAF, GRRM also hints that dragonlords may have gone to Westeros to fight off WW. 

There's also the other cases of solving the mysteries of magic and whatnot, especially with Asshai and that Shadow place. 

I think the game of thrones in Westeros is coming to an end. Westeros is on the brink of political shambles, and when the winter comes there would be widespread famine. There's a plague coming too I think. It's not going to be like in the first book by the time Dany arrives. There might not even be a court in King's Landing by then. We know Cersei is already effing up. Her kids are going to die, then she's going to die, and it would be open season on the throne. The Faith Militant would probably have the city. 

That's kind of the whole point of the story. The political intrigues that played out in King's Landing seemed like the main plot of the story in GoT, but it was always the side story, not the main one. We are approaching the main story now. 

And Dany playing political games in Westeros would be the most cliched thing ever. GRRM would never do it. 

Dany is of course going to arrive in Westeros eventually, we know that. But the manner of her arrival and timing may not be so obvious. 

Also, another thing is I think GRRM is lagging behind in her story. Some parts of her story was chopped out of DwD because the book became too long. Her POV was left out of AFFC altogether. That's the main reason it feels like her story should be more advanced by now. 

 

 

A zombie apocalypse is the most clichéd thing ever.

The political intrigue are at the heart of the story. Them, the Houses and the story of most of our characters have revolved around them. It has very little to do with these super zombies that can't be beaten and which will stomp everything. 

I want to get to see Dany square off with the Lannisters. Confront Stannis. Treat with the Northern Lords. Face up to Aegon and Varys schemes. Obviously see some cool stuff with the dragons and how her relationship with any future dragon riders will play out. These things are way more interesting than "Dany burns zombies, but it doesn't matter because theres millions of them. Oh no, an Other throws javelin and kills dragon coz it has super magic". It will be an entirely one sided fight and either GRRM pulls out a dues ex machina or everyone dies. I have no interest in this aspect of the plot and do not care to see it since our heroes can't do anything to deal with the threat; so it isn't an engaging storyline. Its just an over powered faction that will win because it has command over the weather and can just mindlessly charge until it wins.  

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1 minute ago, Tyrion1991 said:

A zombie apocalypse is the most clichéd thing ever.

The political intrigue are at the heart of the story. Them, the Houses and the story of most of our characters have revolved around them. It has very little to do with these super zombies that can't be beaten and which will stomp everything. 

The wights can be easily beaten with fire. The White Walkers are not zombies, so the story is not headed towards some zombie apocalypse. We still don't know what WW are, presumably another race like CoTF, but presumably. The main plot of the story is to stop them before they destroy all hot blooded creatures. 

While some political intrigues can seem oh so cool, GRRM is showing that those things really don't matter. It is not the heart of the story. It goes to show that infighting is preventing the people from seeing the real threat. That and also forgetting the history of the Long Night. 

5 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I want to get to see Dany square off with the Lannisters. Confront Stannis. Treat with the Northern Lords. Face up to Aegon and Varys schemes. Obviously see some cool stuff with the dragons and how her relationship with any future dragon riders will play out.

By the time Dany arrives at Westeros, the Lannisters will be gone. Tyrion would team up with her. Stannis could die at Winterfell, if he already hasn't. The coming winter will take care of most of the Northern lords. 

Dany is facing off Aegon and Varys. It's in her "slayer of lies" prophesy. That we will see in TWoW. 

7 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

These things are way more interesting than "Dany burns zombies, but it doesn't matter because theres millions of them. Oh no, an Other throws javelin and kills dragon coz it has super magic". It will be an entirely one sided fight and either GRRM pulls out a dues ex machina or everyone dies.

You are mixing up the show with the novels. 

The WW threat is about more than just "one sided fight" considering people of the past had a darn hard time fighting them off, but they did. There's also a lot of magic involved, and the central ice and fire thing that's not explained yet, but only hinted at. Then there's also the thing with supposed gods like R'hllor. I personally find the magical mysteries far more interesting. 

11 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I have no interest in this aspect of the plot and do not care to see it since our heroes can't do anything to deal with the threat; so it isn't an engaging storyline. Its just an over powered faction that will win because it has command over the weather and can just mindlessly charge until it wins.

The WW fight is the main plot of the story. It was built up from the very first chapter. In TWoW, that's what we are going to see, at least in the second half of the novel. The novels are about how our un-heroes are going to fight off WW when they have exhausted themselves fighting each other.  It's possible (or very likely) that WW would overwhelm Westeros to the very south like they did once. Also, WW do not command the weather, where did you get that idea? 

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14 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

The wights can be easily beaten with fire. The White Walkers are not zombies, so the story is not headed towards some zombie apocalypse. We still don't know what WW are, presumably another race like CoTF, but presumably. The main plot of the story is to stop them before they destroy all hot blooded creatures. 

While some political intrigues can seem oh so cool, GRRM is showing that those things really don't matter. It is not the heart of the story. It goes to show that infighting is preventing the people from seeing the real threat. That and also forgetting the history of the Long Night. 

By the time Dany arrives at Westeros, the Lannisters will be gone. Tyrion would team up with her. Stannis could die at Winterfell, if he already hasn't. The coming winter will take care of most of the Northern lords. 

Dany is facing off Aegon and Varys. It's in her "slayer of lies" prophesy. That we will see in TWoW. 

You are mixing up the show with the novels. 

The WW threat is about more than just "one sided fight" considering people of the past had a darn hard time fighting them off, but they did. There's also a lot of magic involved, and the central ice and fire thing that's not explained yet, but only hinted at. Then there's also the thing with supposed gods like R'hllor. I personally find the magical mysteries far more interesting. 

The WW fight is the main plot of the story. It was built up from the very first chapter. In TWoW, that's what we are going to see, at least in the second half of the novel. The novels are about how our un-heroes are going to fight off WW when they have exhausted themselves fighting each other.  It's possible (or very likely) that WW would overwhelm Westeros to the very south like they did once. Also, WW do not command the weather, where did you get that idea? 

 

Wights are zombies. A story about wights destroying the world is a zombie apocalypse.

I think we should really know what our main antagonist is after five huge novels and over two decades of writing. More to the point, it doesn't matter, there are a handful of them; the bulk if the fighting involves zombies.

Yes Gondor shouldn't have abandoned the Black Gate and forgot the threat of Mordor. GRRM political stuff and how his characters deal with that is what makes the series for me and a lot of people. The thematic point you raise is made in a lot of fantasy stories and so it isn't as engaging or entertaining.

Dany isn't going to reach Westeros during TWOW if GRRM spends two chapters to explain

Spoiler

"Arriane travelled from Dorne to Storms End"

and she has actual stuff to do and important people to meet, unlike the above mentioned character. Plus Dany is travelling a significantly larger distance. Which is my point, stuff like Aegon will have to be crammed into the last book with the zombies. 

 

Its the medieval times and keeping fires lit in a Siberian winter is difficult. They don't have flamethrowers or napalm. They only have three dragons which can probably be killed with magic and can't be everywhere at once. Normally a sword can kill a zombie in most fantasy things. These are immune. The zombies have super strength. If GRRM is using realism then a few thousand brave men with pikes will not stop that. Most fantasy series that have the adversary have huge numbers offset that by giving the defender a big castle or better men. They aren't better and the castles won't matter since if you have seen World War Z then you will know that such defences are useless against zombies.

None of their mages have powers that are useful. Bran can see how badly screwed they are. All the Priests of Rhollor can achieve is to bring one guy back and fry an over sized pigeon. These are not Aes Sedai and the Dark One had a lot less Trollocs coming at them. 

So its a coincidence that they always come in winter and that it follows them around? Irrespective of their control, this winter makes travel, communication and forming battle lines impossible. It means they can't harvest food. It kills people who come back as zombies. It makes it hard to keep fires. It is their main advantage.

Usually the main plot gets described in more detail than a handful of excerpts and chapters. It would be like if Rand had nothing to do with the Dark One until the last book; literally in Danys case. 

 

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@Tyrion1991 ugh, you are confusing WW with wights. They are not the same thing. Anyone can kill wights with obsidian. 

7 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Dany isn't going to reach Westeros during TWOW if GRRM spends two chapters to explain

  Reveal hidden contents

"Arriane travelled from Dorne to Storms End"

and she has actual stuff to do and important people to meet, unlike the above mentioned character. Plus Dany is travelling a significantly larger distance. Which is my point, stuff like Aegon will have to be crammed into the last book with the zombies. 

Some people, including myself, have seen the same issue. GRRM has a lot of stuff to cram into two books. Some  people think that if the pacing was like in GoT, it might be possible. The long chapters where only a little happen was also an issue in DwD. I don't know, maybe GRRM might add another book in between TWoW and DoS. 

This thread discusses the same question:

 

11 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Its the medieval times and keeping fires lit in a Siberian winter is difficult. They don't have flamethrowers or napalm. They only have three dragons which can probably be killed with magic and can't be everywhere at once.

WW have a major vulnerability to fire so they probably can't kill the dragons as easily as you think. In the show, the zombie king throws a spear, but it may not be that easy in the novels. Dragons are magical creatures of fire. They are like the nukes of the world, and more importantly, nukes made just to kill ice magic creatures like WW. Also, three dragons are better than none, which is what the world had when we first read about WW. 

14 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Most fantasy series that have the adversary have huge numbers offset that by giving the defender a big castle or better men. They aren't better and the castles won't matter since if you have seen World War Z then you will know that such defences are useless against zombies.

World War Z didn't have a magic Wall made of ice and spells. 

14 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

All the Priests of Rhollor can achieve is to bring one guy back and fry an over sized pigeon.

That's Melisandre and Thoros. We know they are not the best practitioners. The real magicians are in Asshai. You are forgetting that magic disappeared with the dragons and are returning just now. What the fire magicians can do is quite powerful if the past is an indication. 

17 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

So its a coincidence that they always come in winter and that it follows them around?

WW don't come in winter. They appeared before during the Long Night, and are appearing again for the coming Long Night. They are not the ones controlling the weather. GRRM has said that the unusual seasons are due to magic. The cold probably draws them out. 

19 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Irrespective of their control, this winter makes travel, communication and forming battle lines impossible. It means they can't harvest food. It kills people who come back as zombies. It makes it hard to keep fires. It is their main advantage.

Yes, exactly. Humanity at this point might as well be gone. Westeros is not prepared for the long winter at all. Making things worse is war, which has ruined most of food reserves left. We will see widespread famine and illness in the coming books. Then we will see whether humanity can survive even if Azhor Ahai shows up with Lightbringer. 

22 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Usually the main plot gets described in more detail than a handful of excerpts and chapters. It would be like if Rand had nothing to do with the Dark One until the last book; literally in Danys case.

GRRM is not doing that unfortunately, which is what's making all the fans go crazy. It's probably what's taking so long with TWoW. He has to get his pacing back in order and get ready for the conclusion. 

 

 

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I think this entire issue really comes down to the Meereenese Knot.  It's really that GRRM is just stuck with multiple characters from Westeros emerging on Meereen and in order to make the timelines work is in a basic holding pattern with Dany until it all gets resolved.  I do think that with Dany arriving on Westeros that's a bit of an end-game move so there is stalling.  Once she does that with her dragons I expect the plot to speed up significantly.  

But yeah, I imagine your fear about Dany's short time playing the game of thrones will come true- I don't think there will be much time for that as I can't possibly see Dany getting to Westeros before the end of Winds of Winter and if GRRM holds to 7 books, she will arrive in Westeros at the beginning of the final book.

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Yeah, I kept hoping that Dany would play the game of thrones but her Mereen arc pretty much confirmed it's never gonna happen. Mereen shows Daenerys as a queen, so no need to rehash the story after this. I've come to believe she is the Night Queen in the making which has opened up her story for me. Her story arc is all about her growing her power to become the future threat on mankind and her coming to terms with her violent side. She's raising armies and making a name for herself as someone who is capable of great brutalities in order to protect her children/slaves. Mereen acts as a boot camp for Dany to accept that violence is needed to ensure the death of slavery. This all plays into her future role as the Night Queen who is whispered to return with her armies if one would hurt her children - the freed slaves and the newly established House Targaryen.

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The Meereenese Knot delayed things but Dany was going to go back and unite the Dothraki anyway. This was one of her visions in the House of the Undying.

Timing in a series like this is crucial. Having Dany show up in Westeros too early would ruin things. She'll be there exactly when she's supposed to be, and not a page sooner.

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For some reason the 5-year-gap has not yet been mentioned in this thread (or maybe I am blind).

I think all your guy's reasons are sound but that GRRM decided to scrap the 5-year-gap also plays a role. He could not fast-forward 5 years anymore and thus had to come up with stuff for Dany to do before he could send her to Westeros to be there exactly when she is supposed to be there as Lady Blizzardborn and Gandalf so aptly put it.

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11 minutes ago, Amris said:

For some reason the 5-year-gap has not yet been mentioned in this thread (or maybe I am blind).

Not directly, but the OP does talk about the need for the dragons to grow old enough to be useful for an invasion, Aegon to have time to solidify his reign, etc. So I think he was just assuming we all know about the time skip and its elimination. But of course I could be wrong.

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Yeah Iam aware of the Five Year Gap. Think I also read that Dany leaving the pit was meant to be her first chapter. Not sure if both are related. 

However, it's likely the gap would only have been used to Age up characters and dragons rather than major plot beats. So it doesn't really explain why Dany couldn't have made it back to Westeros during such a large novel. Especially since a lot of other POV indirectly shared her story. More chapters given to Essos SHOULD make it a lot easier to advance the plot; not harder.

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3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

However, it's likely the gap would only have been used to Age up characters and dragons rather than major plot beats.

No, a lot of what are now major plot beats are things that would have been completely glossed over with the gap, and other would have gone very differently.

In particular, we'd presumably just jump to Dany being an established ruler with five years of governing experience, now ready to head to Westeros. Without the gap, she gets only one year of experience, and it takes more than a whole novel to actually show it before he can even start getting her into position to head west.

 

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On 9/18/2017 at 9:59 PM, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet, or is it because of some other reason?

Dany isn't in Westeros because her story is not about conquering Westeros, it is about abolishing slavery on Essos.

She is never truly invested in taking Westeros back, not personally. Initially, this is Viserys's dream. Later on and briefly, Westeros becomes a goal for Drogo, but again, he isn't really doing it because Dany wants it, he is doing it because Robert pissed him off with the assassination attempt, and he's promising the Iron Throne to their unborn male child, not to Dany herself.

If Dany dreams of Westeros at all, it is because she's riding on the hot air of Viserys's stories. Every time she mentions it, it's not Westeros she really wants, it is a vague concept of home, of belonging - but the reader, having seen Westeros from other characters' PoVs, should know that conquering Westeros wouldn't fulfill that goal. The only way for her to find home and to belong is to forge her own place in the world, like she started doing by adapting to Dothraki customs, like she is doing by trying to leave her print on Slaver's Bay.

Aside from that, there is her relationship with slavery that just keeps expanding as the series advances. From Dany being "sold" herself, to Eroeh and Miri Maz Duur, to the Unsullied, to Mereen. She already firmly opposed slave trainers for 2 huge books (and at least a few more chapters to come) and she will derail the slave "makers" anyway if she assumes control over the Dothraki. The next logical step would be to take on the slave users, the Free Cities themselves, and put an end to the trade entirely.

Ending slavery would be a very cathartic moment for Dany, as opposed to reaching Westeros, which is something the readers have expectations for, not the character, mainly because George seeded the idea early on in GoT and we allowed ourselves to view it as a sort of barometer for the end of the series. I'm inclined to believe her journey to Westeros is just as subversive as the idea of Ned solving the political intrigues in KL, Robb winning the War of the Five Kings or Arya being reunited with her family at the Twins. We already spent five books trying to imagine how it will happen, what's the point of George showing us the same thing?

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On 9/18/2017 at 11:59 AM, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet, or is it because of some other reason?

GRRM  has explained about the challenges of the Meereenese knot and getting the timing right in Meereen before having Dany advance her forces on Westeros.  It's not so much that he doesn't want her in Westeros as it is that she can't leave Meereen yet. 

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A thing happens after the thing before. He quite obviously doesn't decide where the character must end up at the end of a book and adheres to that position before he writes it.

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On 9/18/2017 at 2:59 PM, Tyrion1991 said:

Dany is the most important character in the story and her arrival in Westeros will be the main event in this story.  Her arrival signals the ending to the story because she will claim the throne and rule over Westeros.  Her story is much bigger and much broader in scope than just the iron throne.  I believe she will fulfill the prophecy and become the leader of the Dothraki.  She will conquer most of mainland Essos and unite that continent into one nation before she gets to Westeros.  Along the way, she will permanently end the slave trade.  Dany will become the first Empress in recent history and she will rule over most of Essos and Westeros.

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On 9/18/2017 at 2:59 PM, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically do you think Dany isn't in Westeros because essentially the writer doesn't want her their yet, or is it because of some other reason?

Like many others, I think yes for some or all of the reasons posited. And White Ravens flips the reference nicely.

Not that I want to argue anything, but it is interesting that grrm spends a great deal of time on political machinations inspired by the WotR, 100 Years War, 30 Years War, England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland, the Roman Empire, Vikings, the Hussites, the Franks (?), definitely the Vandels (I include due to the "Andals"), Belasarius (probably not, but there's some cool history there - or the corresponding reconquista), and, of course, the Lower East Side - that just in Westeros... [forgiving all the historical references I've left out]

And yet the end-game is of the bad-ass WW armies vs the the fire power of the dragons. Which is a version of the cliche that grrm avoids, and he has consistently thumbed his nose at other fantasy cliches...

Back to OP, like others, I don't see Dany being involved in the game of thrones (no caps) since her story is of the endgame. And that grrm has some subtle way of pulling this off. To be strictly on topic, I am referring to the need of the dragons to grow up a bit (sweet little kittens that they are. Btw, is there a word for a dragon youngling?

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Because GRRM likes to think of himself as "gardener" (as opposed to "architect"). Who, sadly, has never heard of things like pruning. So every plant that's already in his "garden" (or a wild, untended jungle) will get to grow uninhibited to the end of its natural life cycle and then some, no matter how useless and tasteless the fruit.

Looks as if he took under considerations how would it look if he cut Slavers Bay storyline short (probably mildly unsatisfying and with appearance of poor construction), but failed to notice that prolonging the Meereneese agony had the very same effect, if not worse.

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