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Stormourne

Daenerys Targeryan and the Ominious Raven - Distance Travelled.

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I have been reading about how people find it implausible that a raven could reach Dragonstone in under a day, and that Daenerys was able to reach the Wall in about a day or less. Now, I've done some studying on homing pigeons and have come across these facts:

The homing pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeon derived from the rock pigeon, selectively bred for its ability to find its way home over extremely long distances. The wild rock pigeon has an innate homing ability, meaning that it will generally return to its nest, (it is believed) using magnetoreception. This made it relatively easy to breed from the birds that repeatedly found their way home over long distances. Flights as long as 1,800 km (1,100 miles) have been recorded by birds in competitive pigeon racing. Their average flying speed over moderate 640 km (400 miles) distances is around 80 km/h (50 miles per hour) but speeds of up to 140 km/h (90 miles per hour) have been observed in top racers for short[clarification needed] distances.

Now, for some context, here is a passage in the books that talk about pigions and ravens:

“Doves and pigeons can also be trained to carry messages,” the maester [Aemon] went on, “though the raven is a stronger flyer, larger, bolder, far more clever, better able to defend itself against hawks ….”

Now this automatically shows that ravens in Westeros are stronger flyers than pigeons, which would mean that they can fly for longer distances at faster speeds for a extended period of time. Since homing pigeons can fly at around 80 km/h, we can estimate that ravens can fly at around 100-120 km/h depending on which way the wind is blowing - e.g. from behind the raven, which would help increase its speed, or from the front, which would hinder its speed. Now, since this a fantasy show, we can assume that these ravens don't need to take as many breaks as they would in real life. So it is estimated to take about 300 miles to reach the wall from Winterfell, this would mean the distance between Dragonstone and the Wall in a straight line is between 1000-1200 miles (I just looked at a map of Westeros and estimated the distance - feel free to post another number). If we takes the numbers above, that would mean that a strong raven could reach Dragonstone in around 10 to 12 hours.

And now the dragons. We assume that dragons are stronger flyers than ravens, which would mean they can travel for longer distances at faster speeds. But, for the purpose of the episode, let's claim they can fly at the same speed as the ravens. That would mean that it took Daenerys about 10-12 hours to reach the Wall, and maybe another hour or two to locate Jon Snow.

So I can safely assume that the journey from the Wall to Dragonstone and back can take about a day, give or take a few hours.

Do people disagree with this assessment? And FYI, we can also assume the chains were salvaged from Hardholm, which is where ships were known to take anchor, etc. So the chains are most likely from there - it makes sense. And the show does not need to force all these facts into our faces. :) I hope that has cleared some "plot-holes" up for you good folks.

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Not sure who to believe, the one who said ravens could fly 70 miles per day, or the one saying 70 miles per hour :)

The speed and time didn't really bother me that much, neither did Jon being submerged in icy water (for all we know he could have high cold tolerance after being ressurected).

Bitchy Arya annoys me 10 times more than anything else the last 3 episodes.

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16 minutes ago, falcotron said:

But what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I understood that reference.

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1 minute ago, spivo said:

Not sure who to believe, the one who said ravens could fly 70 miles per day, or the one saying 70 miles per hour :)

The speed and time didn't really bother me that much, neither did Jon being submerged in icy water (for all we know he could have high cold tolerance after being ressurected).

Bitchy Arya annoys me 10 times more than anything else the last 3 episodes.

Yeah, I don't understand why people are shocked that Jon survived being submerged in freezing waters. He was resurrected by a Fire-God, so I doubt he would die in freezing temperatures.

And don't diss Arya :D I love her character. She is just over-protective of Jon...

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Right just to give more credit to D&D that most people and I certainly dont give. I found this.

The timeline actually lines up quite nicely....how and why??

  • Gendrys run back, we can assume that the AoD were close to east watch, we can see the exact same place in Brans warg of the crows and they didnt travel that far past the wall. There was no night etc so we can safely say it was sub 6 hours to get back to East watch by the sea.
  • Ravens - using your figures of 50mph and a round about figure of 2000 miles apart making the journey around the 40 hour mark, allowing for rest etc makes it say a 2 day journey.
  • Daenerys flys her Dragons -  basically nothing to go on here but estimations so say the journey speed and time was the same as the raven, which i would think so probably abit more to say 60-70 but well underestimate as we do not officially know.

This means that all in all the journey would take not much over 4 days.

Well now what were the Army of the Dead waiting for, the ice to freeze over.

  • Based on studies it would take approximately 4 days to freeze back over (assuming around -20 is average temp)
  • This would allow for around for around 12 inches making it walkable for the Army of the Dead

So all in all, the time taken to get Daenerys to the wall is pretty much parallel with the freezing of the ice.

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2 minutes ago, Samwell_Tarly said:

Right just to give more credit to D&D that most people and I certainly dont give. I found this.

The timeline actually lines up quite nicely....how and why??

  • Gendrys run back, we can assume that the AoD were close to east watch, we can see the exact same place in Brans warg of the crows and they didnt travel that far past the wall. There was no night etc so we can safely say it was sub 6 hours to get back to East watch by the sea.
  • Ravens - using your figures of 50mph and a round about figure of 2000 miles apart making the journey around the 40 hour mark, allowing for rest etc makes it say a 2 day journey.
  • Daenerys flys her Dragons -  basically nothing to go on here but estimations so say the journey speed and time was the same as the raven, which i would think so probably abit more to say 60-70 but well underestimate as we do not officially know.

This means that all in all the journey would take not much over 4 days.

Well now what were the Army of the Dead waiting for, the ice to freeze over.

  • Based on studies it would take approximately 4 days to freeze back over (assuming around -20 is average temp)
  • This would allow for around for around 12 inches making it walkable for the Army of the Dead

So all in all, the time taken to get Daenerys to the wall is pretty much parallel with the freezing of the ice.

Anything between my estimation and yours works :) well. And thx for including the Gendry estimate. I totally forgot about him.

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17 minutes ago, spivo said:

Not sure who to believe, the one who said ravens could fly 70 miles per day, or the one saying 70 miles per hour :)

From a quick google, the record speed for a racing raven over a short distance is 58.7mph. (I can also see that was already quoted twice on this forum…)

So 70mph for an ordinary raven over long distances is a bit high, but it's in the right ballpark; 70 per day is way, way too low.

There are also posts on multiple Stack Exchange sites from people working this out back when the episode leaked (some of which link to older posts discussing whether the raven from the Noah's Ark story could have worked). They mostly seem to agree that getting there in one day is pushing it but might be doable, and if you give it two days, it's easily plausible.

One side point: Part of the limit on miles per day is how long the raven can stay aloft before needing rest. If there are stretches of the kingdom that are really pushing it for a one-day raven flight, you could solve that with a relay system—if you want to send a message from Winterfell to Sunspear, you actually send your raven to, say, Riverrun, and they send a fresh raven the rest of the way, so it still makes it in a day. But, if so, whoever's manning the Wall may not have wanted to rely on a relay system that goes through areas under Cersei's control. So, it might take two days in this particular case, even if it would normally only take one.

Anyway, I'm not too worried about whether it took one day for the raven and one for the dragon, or two for the raven and one for the dragon. Either way is easily long enough for Thoros to die, and not so long that it's impossible for the rest to have held on (even if we only saw them sleep once and didn't see them eat).

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1. Birds don't fly at night and winter has longer nights. No radar, no party. They should have bats delivering the message :D

2. There is a feature on the map of the North that can be used as a makeshift scale and that is the Wall. It’s a straight line, 300 hundred miles in longitude. Now, we can use that as a measurement.  And many have done that already (air distance) with results like 3000 miles from Dorne to the Wall. Seeing the map now while using these measurements, there is no way the distance between Eastwatch and Castle Black is only 1000 miles. It is more like 1500-1800 miles. For ravens to make that kind of trip in lets say 20 hours, they would need to reach a constant speed (no pause, just straight line flying) of 130 km/h. Like modern day cars on a highway and even there, the driver gets tired, needs a stretch, a sleep even.

3. I don't know if Eastwatch even have ravens; if that is so, they'd need to go to Castle Black first as well. Correct me if I'm wrong but don't they have problems with maesters at the Wall and manning the castles in general? Can't be sure, maybe they did send someone there last season. Anyways, it doesn't matter much, birds don't fly at night and Gendry pretty much collapsed during one. They could take the horse to Castle Black during that night.

4. I assumed the party was beyond the wall for days, not just a couple of hours. At the very beginning of an episode, we see a map and camera zooms in on a particular point beyond the wall, point which is somewhat distant to the wall, pass the forest going to rocky area just under Hardhome. I'm assuming this since following scene takes us to the party. That's quite a run in the snow for Gendry.

5. Targaryan ship also made it to the Wall in time. Maybe a day later than Danny but still. That's quite a distance for a ship to make in few days.

_____________________________________________

To sum up, I don't buy, realistically I believe it should take Danny (best case scenario and I'm being generous) a week to find them in there. This is medieval era we're talking here. Even in modern times you'd have troubles responding to a 'missing in action' distress call across the continent.

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10 minutes ago, Samwell_Tarly said:

ys run back, we can assume that the AoD were close to east watch, we can see the exact same place in Brans warg of the crows and they didnt travel that far past the wall. There was no night etc so we can safely say it was sub 6 hours to get back to East watch by the sea.

How close? No day/night has been shown fine but using your own numbers an hour north of the wall would be 50 miles for a raven. Can't be much further they need to run back.

How fast can a normal fit human run in the snow through forests and mountains? Walking 3 mph would be good going let's say he can do 6 mph.

Cut the distances in half as it is the show have they even set any lengths out?

Meh who knows.  It still leaves the issue of finding them in the middle of nowhere.

CGI good dialogue good E704 very good rest of it is getting dire.  Can't wait to see the forced meetings between various characters in the big KL gathering.  It will feel staged but humour should be good, how all but one of them gets out alive will be clever or require some more hard calculations of how it might be possible.

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12 minutes ago, elder brother jonothor dar said:

How close? No day/night has been shown fine but using your own numbers an hour north of the wall would be 50 miles for a raven. Can't be much further they need to run back.

How fast can a normal fit human run in the snow through forests and mountains? Walking 3 mph would be good going let's say he can do 6 mph.

Cut the distances in half as it is the show have they even set any lengths out?

Meh who knows.  It still leaves the issue of finding them in the middle of nowhere.

We will never truely know exact figures but I think its a good estimation. We saw what we needed to and Ive tried to justify their timescale. 

We dont need to delve into gendry and how he was able to run 2 marathons in one single attempt. He did it cos the show made him do it. We dont need to know how the chains were put round Viserions head, they were the show made it happen. 

Logistically there is problems but I over look the fact we do not actually know tie scales and can only guess.

12 minutes ago, elder brother jonothor dar said:

CGI good dialogue good E704 very good rest of it is getting dire.  Can't wait to see the forced meetings between various characters in the big KL gathering.  It will feel staged but humour should be good, how all but one of them gets out alive will be clever or require some more hard calculations of how it might be possible.

Im looking forward to the meeting at dragonpit. Its hinted that their will be a red wedding type event but Im pretty sure this will not happen.

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Actually according to the map on Wikipedia the distance between Dragonstone and Eastwatch is over 1,800 miles.

In order to fly the distance in one day a Raven/Dragon would have to maintain a constant speed of 75 miles per hour without resting or refueling, be able to fly at night and navigate the route with great precision.  

Are you flipping kidding me?

It would have been a little more believable if Bran had foreseen Jon & company's predicament, and somehow telepathically communicated with Daenerys directly.  At least than you could cut out the Raven's travel time.  Which has to be slower than the dragons.

 

 

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Ok here is some more information from Wikipedia:

"The greatest self-powered horizontal speed is achieved by Homing Racing Pigeons. They can fly 1100 km (700 miles) in a single day, and they have been recorded flying at 177 km/h (110 miles per hour) making them the fastest flying birds with the fastest speed ever recorded on a self-powered flight, and the fastest longest endurance flight."

Whoever posted that Ravens are faster than Pigeons...WRONG!

Using the furtherest distance flown (700 miles) in a day as recorded for the Homing Racing Pigeons, with a straight line distance of 1,800 miles, and assuming a single Pigeon or relay of Pigeons could do the course in one go--it would take about 2.6 days to fly between Eastwatch and Dragonstone.

Assuming the dragon's flying time is maybe 4 times faster, and thats still 3-4 days until they arrive.

It does not appear from the episode that much over a day elapsed from the time they are surrounded until rescue.

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On 21/08/2017 at 7:00 PM, falcotron said:

But what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

"What...is the airspeed velocity of an unladen raven plus the airspeed velocity of a fully-grown dragon added to the running speed of a Kings Landing blacksmith minus the freezing rate of water beyond the Wall?"

"I DON'T KNOW!"

Huge gust of hot air generated by thousands of nitpicking fans hurls GOT writer off the Wall to his death...

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On 21.8.2017 at 11:42 AM, Samwell_Tarly said:

Well now what were the Army of the Dead waiting for, the ice to freeze over.

  • Based on studies it would take approximately 4 days to freeze back over (assuming around -20 is average temp)
  • This would allow for around for around 12 inches making it walkable for the Army of the Dead

So all in all, the time taken to get Daenerys to the wall is pretty much parallel with the freezing of the ice.

Even if it takes more time in reality, I think the NK can freeze the ice much faster.

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So if four days passed, are Jorah's ears immune to frostbite now that he was cured of greyscale?

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