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Aryss

TWOIAF only serves to confirm the great flaw of the series

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It happened many times in historical and medieval warfare, like Albania against the Ottoman empire, managed to last 25 years despite having 1/20th of the army the Ottoman's had....even drove them from their lands due to those tactics that you claim never worked.

But hey, continue being a jerk and talking about how others don't know enough about history, if you want. It always makes great debates....sigh.

No, what you don't realize is that those wars weren't like modern guerilla conflicts. They weren't handfuls of terrorists living together with the civilian population like normal people and now and then killing some enemy soldiers with a car bomb or a sniper shot like you can do nowadays, before going back to their regular lives.

They held territory, villages, cities, castles and were also gathered in relatively large bands or even armies. What differed from conventional fighting was that they tried avoiding committing to big field battles. But they would still have been targets for flying, nigh invulnerable weapons of mass destruction like Aegon's dragons were. Because you can't hide cities, castles, armies, or entire regions of the country from the enemy.

For that matter, the difference in power would have been extreme if applied to a modern conflict to. What Aegon is described as doing to Dorne would be like if USA started nuking Mexico. Do you think they could still win as long as they had some guerilla warriors?

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What you don't realize is that those wars weren't fought like modern guerilla conflicts. They weren't handfuls of terrorists living together with the civilian population like normal people and now and then killing some enemy soldiers with a car bomb or a sniper shot like you can do nowadays.

They held territory, villages, cities and castles and were also gathered in relatively large bands or even armies. What differed from conventional wars was that they avoided committing to big field battles. But they would still have been targets for flying, nigh invulnerable weapons of mass destruction like Aegon's dragons were. Because you can't hide cities, castles, armies, or entire regions of the country from the enemy.

Only the soldiers left the towns, and Aegon did not want to wipe out the population, so killing innocents and burning crops wasn't what he did...Dorne probably knew that. And hiding in huge mountains and deserts is much easier than you make it seem.

So again, the dragons did not change anything since Aegon didn't want to completely destroy Dorne, only make the Lords bow down. And they obviously didn't care about the towns/castles.

Anyways, you are arguing about how realistic a war is, when that war includes dragons...And they aren't in a specific point in time, so claiming they can only use certain tactics, based on real world timelines, is useless.

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Only the soldiers left the towns, and Aegon did not want to wipe out the population, so killing innocents and burning crops wasn't what he did...Dorne probably knew that. And hiding in huge mountains and deserts is much easier than you make it seem.

So again, the dragons did not change anything since Aegon didn't want to completely destroy Dorne, only make the Lords bow down. And they obviously didn't care about the towns/castles.

Anyways, you are arguing about how realistic a war is, when that war includes dragons...And they aren't in a specific point in time, so claiming they can only use certain tactics, based on real world timelines, is useless.

That's not true. It says in TWOIAF that Dorne became a "blighted, burning ruin" during the war and that the toll in lives among the smallfolk was uncountable.

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OP, the book is not meant to be a comprehensive and unbiased history of Westeros. That would give away too many spoilers for the series. TWOIAF in-universe is a history put together specifically for House Baratheon of King's Landing. It's not going to get everything right, it will have things missing, and things changed so as not to upset King Robert.



As to what we haven't been told, it's not that we haven't been told, just that we haven't been told YET. The series isn't over. There's more to learn. I don't believe you can talk about the "great flaw" of an unfinished series, when the final two books may resolve the very issues you're talking about. At least let the author finish his work. Then, by all means, dissect the hell out of it.


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Dragons are a great advantage. They almost guarantee a win in a battle but they don't guarantee that you you will win a war by using them. There are more aspects than just the battles in a war, especially one you do for conquest.


On why Valyria didn't attempt to conquer Westeros (besides the fact that probably the assumed that it wasn't worth it) you can compare it with Persian Wars. In both cases you had a small land across the sea which was divided in a number of city states or small kingdoms (Greece) vs a vast multinational empire that pretty much dominates the region (Persian Empire). They Persian's clearly had the advantage. Greater army, more wealth and a unified government with a clear goal in mind. Persia might not have had dragon's but they military and commerce wise outnumbered their opponent 10:1 if not more. Despite that, they failed at each attempt they made to conquer Greece. (In fact they usually would conquer a big part of it before they were forces to retreat). Their failed attempts can be attributed to the better generals the Greeks had at that time. But there were two other very important parameters. Firstly,the Persian were fighting in a region that they did not know well.


The second and most important parameter is that the Persians couldn't maintain sustainable supply lines for their troops. Despite their defeats in some key battles (both in land and sea) the Persian always had the option to just keep throwing armies against the Greeks and swarm. However maintaining such big an army for a long time is impossible logistically. You have to feed them, find a place to settle, pay them salaries, convince to stay there and not return to their homelands etc.


Also, they had to consider they fact that in order to deploy troops in Greece they had to remove them other places they had conquered and therefore leave those regions vulnerable for revolutions, etc.


So the Persians had to retreat so that their military defeat would not turn into an even bigger economical or political clusterfuck.



Now just replace Persians with Valyrians and Greeks with Westerosi.


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Well I agree that dragons represent the single most powerful weapon of war in Westeros, the Field of Fire is the best example of how powerful a dragon (or three) can be in a pitched battle. Harrenhall also shows how vulnerable fortifications can be to Dragonfire. Indeed if we are to believe Maester Yandel a scorched earth policy was invoked by Aegon after the loss of Rhaenys and Meraxes. Aegon and Visenya "set ablaze every castle, keep and holdfast in Dorne at least once... save Sunspear and the shadow city".



If we consider the geography of Dorne for a moment I'll conservatively estimate it is at least 200000 square miles (200 miles wide 1000 miles long). It is sparsely populated, no major cities, in fact few towns. Most of the holdfasts and castles are spread along the periphery of Dorne with a handful in the interior.



There is no doubt that House Targaryen rules the skies unopposed, they can and do rain destruction upon castles. There are still great limitations on what 2-3 dragons can do over this expanse. Also bear in mind that Aegon and his sisters are not only setting out to conquer Westeros but rule it as well. Crisscrossing Dorne burning empty Holdfasts and Castles may not be the legacy he wishes to leave behind.



The Targ campaign fails in a way that is believable to me at least. Aegon and his sisters are unable to sway,capture, or kill enough of the Dorne nobility. Make any inroads rallying the smallfolk against the nobility. The Targ campaign was unable to change the ideology of the Dornish people, best summarized by the Martell words "Unbowed, Unbent Unbroken". To that end the Targaryen's were never able to establish an occupying force within Dorne, "boots on the ground" so to speak. The land itself was not conducive for a large standing army especially one seen as foreign occupiers.



Let's not forget that dragons are vulnerable and people even more so. Perhaps Aegon was reminded of that in his letter from Prince Nymor.


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Well I agree that dragons represent the single most powerful weapon of war in Westeros, the Field of Fire is the best example of how powerful a dragon (or three) can be in a pitched battle. Harrenhall also shows how vulnerable fortifications can be to Dragonfire. Indeed if we are to believe Maester Yandel a scorched earth policy was invoked by Aegon after the loss of Rhaenys and Meraxes. Aegon and Visenya "set ablaze every castle, keep and holdfast in Dorne at least once... save Sunspear and the shadow city".

If we consider the geography of Dorne for a moment I'll conservatively estimate it is at least 200000 square miles (200 miles wide 1000 miles long). It is sparsely populated, no major cities, in fact few towns. Most of the holdfasts and castles are spread along the periphery of Dorne with a handful in the interior.

There is no doubt that House Targaryen rules the skies unopposed, they can and do rain destruction upon castles. There are still great limitations on what 2-3 dragons can do over this expanse. Also bear in mind that Aegon and his sisters are not only setting out to conquer Westeros but rule it as well. Crisscrossing Dorne burning empty Holdfasts and Castles may not be the legacy he wishes to leave behind.

The Targ campaign fails in a way that is believable to me at least. Aegon and his sisters are unable to sway,capture, or kill enough of the Dorne nobility. Make any inroads rallying the smallfolk against the nobility. The Targ campaign was unable to change the ideology of the Dornish people, best summarized by the Martell words "Unbowed, Unbent Unbroken". To that end the Targaryen's were never able to establish an occupying force within Dorne, "boots on the ground" so to speak. The land itself was not conducive for a large standing army especially one seen as foreign occupiers.

Let's not forget that dragons are vulnerable and people even more so. Perhaps Aegon was reminded of that in his letter from Prince Nymor.

Let's look a that for a while. We see in TWOIAF that Aegon can fly to Dragonstone from King's Landing, stay there and brood for a while, and then fly back and return the next day. Meaning that he in around 24 hours (or maybe a few hours longer I guess) covered a distance that is about the same as flying across all of Dorne where it is at its widest. And that's including the break on Dragonstone...

Considering that destroying a village with a dragon as large as the one he had shouldn't take more than a few moments, and that he can cover the distance between them incredibly fast (medieval villages were usually no more than a few km from each other, so traveling between them on dragonback would also just take the blink of an eye) he could destroy a huge number of settlements each day, and still be able to return to safe havens in the Reach, Stormlands or occupied areas of Dorne.

Lets say 10 villages per dragon per day (which might be low balling it, but then again he'd need to take breaks and do other kingly stuff now and then). That's about 11 000 villages destroyed in a year. If we say that Dorne has 3 million inhabitants, which is an estimate that Ran made in some thread IIRC, and most of them live in villages with say an average population of 200 people. That means that Aegon with three dragons in one (1) year could destroy almost 75% of all Dornish settlements. Probably killing most of the inhabitants of them in the process. Since they'd die to exposure or starvation even if they didn't die to the dragons themselves.

This is not taking into account that he'd have a big army invading the place too.

Yeah. I call BS. "Dornish master race" should become a new thing, to go with the Northern one.

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I actually agree with the principle of the lack of balance brought about by the dragons.

That is why I believe the unnatural creation of dragons caused the Long Night and the unbalanced Seasons in some way, maybe as an attempt to rectify this affront to nature.

And I agree with this - it's not a flaw, it's a slight of hand.

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In GRRM's world their is no balance of power. At first the Dragonlords are far too powerful, to the extent they could have conquered all. Then the Targs alone are too powerful. When the targ family grows, and the realm is unified the natural occurrence would be an invasion of Essos. This never occurs, ever. This is extremely unlikely. First because for centuries the Targs have a god weapon and secondly martial societies such as Westeros would require an outlet, and further conquest would allow for Kings to gain glory, gain riches from conquest and make land grants to Lords to placate them. That this appears never to even have been considered (i think the only mention of additional conquests are of the stepstones), even when at times the Targs had 10 dragons making them ridiculously powerful compared to almost magic less rivals, is incredibly implausible.

There is a balance of power - Long Night, Doom of Valyria, maesters poisoning dragons, powerful skinchangers controlling dragons - we just haven't seen the balance of power in play yet and all the text is trying to conceal it.

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There's still just to much we don't know too say if ur right or not. It may very well turn out in the end that ur right but until we know the whole story i think it's unfair to state this as fact. If it does turn out I'll feel like i wasted a lot of my time but until then I'll trust grrm to supply the balance u say doesn't exist.

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To however said that the Roman Republic didn't conquer or subjecate most of the known world I think, Britian, Gaul, Most of northern Africa(including Egypt which was actually apart of the Emperors private estate, meaning the monies, foods and taxes hit the Emperors pocket not the Roman Treasury. or at least that was how it was in Augustus's day.) The Roman Republic didn't believe in diplomacy, when a neibohoring state got to big or they felt threatned their answer was to attack. Yet just like Valyaria one of their main status of wealth was through slaves. The best way to acquire said slaves? War! Look at some of the numbers Caesar brought back after his conquest in Africa and Gaul astronomincal. Yet to own slaves was better than having cash back in those days. While I agree about the scorched earth policy but didn't it say that in the north there were several times were they burned their own forests to disway would be conquers? Didn't some Lannister go to the Iron Island and burn their few forest all as an answer to their savagery? What I'm saying a scorched earth policy is not that out of character given the RL mirroring of our own world. If I'm mistaken but didn't Stalin burn Russia to devastate the Nazi forces?Allowed their forces to get to a certain point within Russia only to turn the country side before them and behind them into a burnt waste land. However the Lannister burned the isles and it stopped their conquesting and reaving for some hundreds of years. So even though they didn't want to rule the isles it helped the rest of Westeros have to time to build defenses against their attacks all but the north. However I get the feeling that's more of a plot point as I think the pact between Glover and Asha for Sea Point Dragon is going to be honored by Jon Snow to have her build up his fleet and defenses along the western coast. Yet I digress.

I don't think that dragons are this god like weapon if they were the Maesters would not have been able to figure out away to do way with. Nor would the Iron Bank and the Faceless men found away to get the people to kill them in the Dragonpit, the iron bank having every reason to try and do away with Rheanyra and her powerbase(i.e dragons) as Aegon II sent a portion of his funds to the Iron Bank. Jon Snow did mention that Prince and lords that defected on loans to the Iron Bank found themselves dead and other lords and Princes springing up in their places. So that's my crackpot theory for right now, along with the Iron Bank loaning Rheagar Targaryen money to pay for the Tourney. I mean Aerys did get out of pocket about some loan, and then went so far as to propose war. Something tells me the men of the iron bank of bravosi have a long memory and never forget a slight.

My point is that having dragons is no means a means of a certain win as they do have vunerablities like killing their rider, we don't know what that does to the dragon, but given that was the advice some gave would be dragon slayer, that kill the rider and the dragon would flee. We have seen various ways in which men or women think that dragons can be slayed. We just haven't seen if any of their ways can work. What really doesn't make sense to me is why Torreh Stark would march past the Moat. From their it didn't matter Aegon's numbers as the moat could withstand the attack. It's just a matter of taking down either the rider or dragons themselves. As Aegon and his sisters would be without any land support. They and the dragons would be on the wrong side of the moat, with Aegon's host having no way of supporting themselves in the Neck. With the men of the Neck attacking every step of the way. A possible hostile force mixed in with their loyal men. That's a logistical nightmare and their only way of supporting themselves on the march would be a long baggage supply linked up at the Twins. Let the men of the Neck bottle up the access point to the Neck, Aegon and his men starve. He lays to burning the Neck and it becomes but his army but his dragons funeral pyre. End game.

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Until the final battle for the dawn against the others the dragons will not all be on the same side. Dragons balance dragons. To say the series is flawed because dragons are unbalanced is akin to saying the series is flawed because steel is unbalanced.


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There's nothing odd about the failure to conquer Dorne. There are plenty of real-world examples of air supremacy not being enough, on its own, to hold down a territory.

The Dornish have a fanatical sense of patriotism, and have worked out an asymmetric form of warfare that suits them very well. They're somewhat similar to medieval Scots. Time and again English armies beat Scottish armies in pitched battles, and marched through the country, torching towns and castles. But, they could never hold on to the country, due to Scottish hit and run tactics.

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It takes more than three Dragons to hold a country. You saw what happened when Daeron conquered. One Lord Tyrell was killed, one King, one King was almost killed, One Kingsgaurd was imprisoned. For Aegon to Conquer Dorne he would have to stay in Dorne the entire time which would lead to his murder and the murder of his Dragon. You could employ scorched earth yes, but why would you give a place you're trying to conquer and rule over more reason to hate you, not to mention destroying Dorne was the exact opposite of what Aegon wanted to do.


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Lets be real Dorne got lucky they bent the knee to aegon and rebelled and when they came back they killed rhaenys. For two years dorne was on fire because of the dragon's wroth and the ruler had to send his own heir with a special letter to let aegon ease up. Trust me dorne would have fallen if aegon continued.


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There's a passage when Tyrion is traveling in Andalos and comments on the Valyrian roads. He also wonders why they never conquered Westeros, because they knew it was there. I felt like it was hinted at that maybe they knew better than to conquer Westeros because of something they knew about it - related to the Long Night perhaps?

I think wargs were the reason, or at least one of them.

Actually, in TWOIAF it becomes even more unrealistic in that the Dornish apparently launched several counterattacks into the Seven Kingdoms during that war. Sacking large areas of both the Reach and Stormlands. Why Aegon and his sisters didn't just fly there and burn away the Dornish armies once and for all is never answered.

I agree that the Dornish actually going outside Dorne is not believable.

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TWOIAF confirms a flaw, all right....It confirms that I was flawed to think GRRM was my partner in the microcosm of ASOIAF. Aparently, he lives in a macroshphere. It makes ASOIAF feel small in comparison to the world in his mind, and to that end I wonder if the 7 book series can ever incorporate all loose ends to my satisfaction.


But then, GRRM is certainly not.my.bitch.


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