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the tower of albion

Winter & the Dothraki

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In Book 5(?) Stannis horses come unstuck in the harsh winter of the north. Even the north mens shaggy horses ultimately struggle as winters grip grows, so how well will the Dothrakis horses do in the north?  What use are they without their horses?

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The Dothraki are no use at all. They neither get paid not is there anything to plunder. The horses eat quite a lot and this winter is assumed to be long. A fighting horse army needs vision over the battlefield and speed.

Other than that they have bows plus these strange show arakhs which differs from the books. Possible a weapon change to infantry spear and shield would help.

It depends a lot on the snow and the weather. Winter is not all snowstorm and when the snow is older cavalry should be useful.

 

I do not even know why Dany brought them if she will not use them soon to conquer something where they can hold the winter. Maybe even Dragonstone is the best position to hold cavalry over winter as there is a vulcan + sea. So it should be a mild clime.  

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The Dothraki and their horses should already be starving by now. Where does the food and the fodder for 100.000 men and horses come from? They might have brought some supplies with them, but 100.000 men and horses need to eat a lot.

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We talking  books or show. 

 

Show:. Winter is mild. Understandable due to budget and all that. But yeah, winter is no problem for the horse lords apparently. It will be cool to see that taken I to account in the show, but I doubt it. 

 

Books. This will be an issue. In a winter where people kill their kids so they don't starve, I don't see horses being if much use. Even if the smaller horses can somehow manage the snow, food alone will kill thousands of them. Then take into count that these people are not climatised at all. 

Realistically they should be smashed hard. 

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In show, the "winter" is basically a Book!Northern summer snowstorm, if that.

 

In the books, the Dothraki are fundamentally useless in the North. Dothraki might still be functional in the South, but their value is much reduced. And even the South is getting hit with actual winter ... and winter is not a good time to be marching armies around fighting.

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If the NK's breeching the wall accelerates winter, the show will probably have the dothraki train to fight like infantry against the AoD. 

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10 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

If the NK's breeching the wall accelerates winter, the show will probably have the dothraki train to fight like infantry against the AoD. 

Which would be so stupid cause you cannot train 5 guys (let alone 50,000+) to fight differently in the matter of what? 4 weeks? less? Unless the dead decide to camp out and give them a 3-4 months, this will be stupid. But I totally see it happening in show lol.

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3 hours ago, MrJay said:

Which would be so stupid cause you cannot train 5 guys (let alone 50,000+) to fight differently in the matter of what? 4 weeks? less? Unless the dead decide to camp out and give them a 3-4 months, this will be stupid. But I totally see it happening in show lol.

Men of fighting age and considerable skill at arms can only help. Better than being short 50000 soldiers. And Dany did not anticipate fighting the AoD when she came to westeros.

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Common sense prevails here: when the Night King and his dead army are defeated the winter will cease being a generation long (because of the premise that the WW's bring the cold, the cold brings the WW's). With 6 episodes left, that seems to equate to a short winter season.

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5 hours ago, Weirwood Ghost said:

Common sense prevails here: when the Night King and his dead army are defeated the winter will cease being a generation long (because of the premise that the WW's bring the cold, the cold brings the WW's). With 6 episodes left, that seems to equate to a short winter season.

Last time the Night King and his dead army were defeated, they just fled into the far north to sleep for 8000 years. The generation-long winter ended, but Westeros has had its funky seasons. And the show (or books) could give us a cyclical ending, where they rebuild the Watch and Bran takes over as first of a new line of greenseers and everyone promises that this time they'll try to remember so they don't always get wiped out in another 8000 years.* 

It could be a more final victory this time, but I suspect only if they're going to wipe out all magic—dragons, greenseeing, wargs, etc.

---

* Except that in another 8000 years their AI-controlled particle beam defense system will just annihilate the dead before anyone gets to the transmat to take a look.

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Posted (edited)

1. Realistically, there are NO 100,000 Dothraki. Even if Danerys had a thousand ships when she departed Mereen. Start with one thousand ships. You have medieval cogs able to carry 100 men or thirty horses or about one hundred tons of cargo with a twenty man crew. You need a couple to carry Danerys, her court, her guards and supplies. You need around one hundred for the "Unsullied". If you don't pull in to land every night or even every couple days for food, water and fire wood, you need supply ships for the "Unsullied". A direct line from Mereen to Sunspear is a 30 day or so voyage. 30 days supplies for about 9,000 "Unsullied" (subtract attrition since Yunkai, which actually should probably be more) at five pounds a day is 675 short tons, so let's say seven ships and then another seven ships for water, so say 120 ships up to this point. That leaves 880 ships to carry the Dothraki, their horses and food, water and fodder. Balancing more or less men, horses and supplies, and remembering that nomadic warriors usually had at least two horses each, you get about 15,000 Dothraki. Now Danerys could send her fleet back for more on a 60 day cycle, but she sends part with the "Unsullied" to Lanisport and sends the rest back to Sunspear, but both parts are sequentially intercepted and destroyed by Euron (as I pointed out before, the show compressed about 18 days of action between the command conference at Dragostone and the destruction of Grey Worm's fleet at Lanisport.

2. Winters have evidently, based on the evidence from the books and TV show, already lasted up to a generation BEFORE the awakening of the Others. As have summers. Remember that Edard, Benjen, Cersei, Jaimie, Robert, Lyssa and Catelyn were all born in the last years of winter, which ended, according to the Wikis, in 282 AC. Thus summer has been in place since the days of Robert's Rebellion, some fifteen years previous to Season1. If the Maesters declared winter had come in season six, then summer has been at least twenty years long. And the Others did not awaken until Season One (as far as we know), which means if they accelerate the coming of winter, then previous summers could have been longer, and so should winters.

3. Cavalry in winter. Properly shoed horses can walk and even trot on hard ground and even ice with shoes using studs. They do have problems with extreme cold so would need blankets, but since most warhorses should have caparisons, which would act as blankets, only the Dothraki and riding and draft horses, along with mules and oxen would need protection. At a certain point, horses, mules and oxen cannot operate and armies would have to move on foot and without any logistics tail. A real problem is potable water for both men and animals, as frozen water and snow are inefficient, needing way too much in resources to produce drinking water. Horses and other animals also cannot drink very cold water without getting sick. Deep snow, say up to and above a man's hips can limit a horse's mobility and tire them quickly. There is a reason why pre-industrial age armies went into winter quarters and avoided winter campaigns.

Edited by Michael Snyder

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