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The Grey Wolf

Inconsistencies, plot holes, and missing details in TSOTD, TRP, and TPATQ

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Not exactly a major one, perhaps couldn't even count as one but here's an inconsistency; It is written that Royces have fought the Andal invaders for generations but it is only the grandson of the King that started fighting that loses the war, and at a very young age too.

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18 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Not exactly a major one, perhaps couldn't even count as one but here's an inconsistency; It is written that Royces have fought the Andal invaders for generations but it is only the grandson of the King that started fighting that loses the war, and at a very young age too.

Shouldn't this be in the errata thread for TWOIAF?

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40. 5-6 months pass between the Battle Above the Gods Eye and Rhaenyra's death. What the hell was going on during that time period? Surely, Rhaenyra wasn't stuck at Duskendale for almost half a year when Lady Meredyth didn't even want her to be there in the first place? And even if that was the case shouldn't there have been more engagements other than the Second Battle of Tumbleton?

@Ran

Is this something the full text explains or did GRRM simply not think through Daemon dying on the "22nd day of the fifth moon", Rhaenyra dying on the "22nd day of the tenth moon", and the Muddy Mess taking place in 131 AC?

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10 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

40. 5-6 months pass between the Battle Above the Gods Eye and Rhaenyra's death. What the hell was going on during that time period? Surely, Rhaenyra wasn't stuck at Duskendale for almost half a year when Lady Meredyth didn't even want her to be there in the first place? And even if that was the case shouldn't there have been more engagements other than the Second Battle of Tumbleton?

That makes indeed little sense.

But it could be rectified if one placed the riots and the Storming of the Dragonpit on the day the news about Daemon and Aemond's death had reached KL, not on the day the Battle Above the Gods Eye actually transpired.

We do know that the news about the Battle Above the Gods Eye did not exactly travel all that quickly. The peasants around Harrenhal saw some dragons fighting and falling in the lake, etc. but only one person - Alys Rivers - actually knew what had transpired there. And even she wouldn't have really known for a certainty that Aemond and Daemon were both dead - or be in the mood or have the means to inform important quickly afterwards (and neither could the peasants). What could be confirmed would have been that Caraxes was dead and that Vhagar (supposedly) sunk into the lake (confirmation that she was truly dead would have been only given when her carcass washed up at the lake shore, also confirming that Aemond was dead). The whole theory of the heroic last stunt of Prince Daemon would have been deduced from the final 'resting place' of Dark Sister and the fact that Aemond was still chained to Vhagar's carcass.

We know that the gang down in Tumbleton had no clue about the developments in KL (attempted arrest of Addam Velaryon; arrest of Corlys Velaryon; Storming of the Dragonpit) or the Riverlands (Nettles development; deaths of Daemon and Aemond) until quite some time after it transpired. That's what prevented them from pressing their advantage after First Tumbleton.

If we indeed had the fifth moon be the moon in which Rhaenyra was driven out of KL then it makes no sense that she only died five moons later. She cannot have traveled the Crownlands for that long.

Another similar mistake as this seems to be the account of Aegon II's stay on Dragonstone until Sunfyre died. TPatQ gives Rhaenyra's death as the 22nd day of the tenth moon, and Sunfyre's subsequent death at the ninth day of the twelfth moon. Aegon II wept for his dragon and only made plans to return to KL after his grief for his dragon had passed (which, considering their strong bond, might indicate at least another week, perhaps more).

This is completely at odds with the idea of the Moon of the Three Kings - Trystane Truefyre, Gaemon Palehair, and Aegon II. Trystane was declared king during the riots, even before Rhaenyra's flight. One would then have seven months between Trystane claiming to be king and Aegon II's restoration to the Iron Throne.

Borros Baratheon could have arrived in KL long before Aegon II himself left Dragonstone, of course, but one really wonders why the man would have done so while the world still believed Aegon to be dead. While Rhaenyra yet lived - those alleged five months between the riots and her death - Aegon II own survival on Dragonstone would have been a secret, too.

Not to mention the fact that we also know Aegon II only took the citadel of Dragonstone shortly before the letter announcing Rhaenyra's immediate return to Dragonstone arrived - which indicates he took the citadel only weeks (or perhaps only days) before her arrival from Duskendale.

That makes it rather unlikely that Borros Baratheon took KL in the name of Aegon II a mere month after Trystane Truefyre and Gaemon Palehair seized power there.

The fact that Perkin the Flea entered into Aegon's service (and Aegon II himself commanded the execution of Trystane) indicates that order was restored in KL with the king being present - or at least with it done on his command, with him claim the authority to deal with the traitors and rebels as he saw fit after he had taken possession of the Iron Throne again.

If Borros Baratheon had restored order in KL not knowing that any of Alicent's sons were still alive then he most likely would have put down all the traitors by his own authority. In fact, one would also assume that he would have claimed the throne in his own right under such circumstances, as a descendant of Orys Baratheon, and the grandson of Alyssa Velaryon and cousin of the Old King.

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Another major issue is the incompetence of the Greens, which stretches believability. To summarize:

1. The Greens consistently lose top-tier commanders in almost all their major engagements (Red Fork-Jason Lannister, First Tumbleton-Ormund Hightower, Butcher's Ball-Criston Cole, Kingsroad-Borros Baratheon) whereas the Blacks almost always lose only 8-bit characters such as Lords Darry and Mallister in the Muddy Mess.
On top of all that, Aegon II is incapacitated for most of the war after just one battle (Rook's Rest) and Aemond is an idiot.

2. We see the Blacks use ambush (Butcher's Ball), flanking (Fishfeed), scorched earth tactics (Riverlands), and shock tactics (Winter Wolves). The Greens, on the other hand, are never really shown to use any proper tactics.

3. The Green victories we have all come down to luck (Ulf and Hugh at First Tumbleton), literal deus ex machina (Daeron the Daring at the Honeywine), or them taking such hideous losses that the victory is Pyrrhic and the army in question out of the fighting for the rest of the war (Three Daughters at the Gullet, First Tumbleton). The Blacks, on the other hand, always win decisive victories (Fishfeed, Butcher's Ball, Second Tumbleton, Kingsroad).

4. The Greens lose even when they greatly outnumber their opponents (Kingsroad).

5. We never see the Greens put to use their greater wealth.

6. A lot of Green victories are implied in throw-away lines (Lord Lefford in TWOIAF, Ormund Hightower in TPATQ)

7. Because of all the above most of the Green commanders come off as toothless chumps. I could buy maybe one or two of them being this dumb but not all of them. The Kingmaker and Borros Baratheon are the worst examples of this IMO.

@Ran

This is a major issue with the writing of the Dance so please tell GRRM.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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@The Grey Wolf

Now are you just expressing your own preferences. You have no right to demand that the Blacks and Greens are treated equally since there is no indication that George ever intended to portray them this way.

And you are somewhat wrong in your assessment there, anyway.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

1. The Greens consistently lose top-tier commanders in almost all their major engagements (Red Fork-Jason Lannister, First Tumbleton-Ormund Hightower, Butcher's Ball-Criston Cole, Kingsroad-Borros Baratheon) whereas the Blacks almost always lose only 8-bit characters such as Lords Darry and Mallister in the Muddy Mess.
On top of all that, Aegon II is incapacitated for most of the war after just one battle (Rook's Rest) and Aemond is an idiot.

Rhaenyra herself is somewhat of an idiot, too, and Aegon II is rewarded for his, well, ability to survive pain and injury by being the pretender surviving the war until the very end.

Cole wins some crucial victories before he is killed. And the depiction of armies losing experienced/clear generals is also pretty realistic. People die in war, and if the wrong people die the effect on the war effort can be more devastating than losing a quarter or more of the fighting men.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

2. We see the Blacks use ambush (Butcher's Ball), flanking (Fishfeed), scorched earth tactics (Riverlands), and shock tactics (Winter Wolves). The Greens, on the other hand, are never really shown to use any proper tactics.

Lord Ormund Hightower used very sound tactics while he was essentially subduing pretty much the entire Reach in the name of Aegon II. He is the only commander who properly made use of the dragonrider at his disposal.

The Fishfeed was very costly and pretty pointless victory for the Blacks. The Winter Wolves volunteering to charge against the Westermen was, quite literally, suicide. It wasn't a sound but a stupid tactic. A good tactic would have been to deal with the Lannister army without losing as many men as they did.

And especially the Black Riverlords lost more than their share of commanders. In the end the command passed literally to children because most of the adults were dead.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

3. The Green victories we have all come down to luck (Ulf and Hugh at First Tumbleton), literal deus ex machina (Daeron the Daring at the Honeywine), or them taking such hideous losses that the victory is Pyrrhic and the army in question out of the fighting for the rest of the war (Three Daughters at the Gullet, First Tumbleton). The Blacks, on the other hand, always win decisive victories (Fishfeed, Butcher's Ball, Second Tumbleton, Kingsroad).

Second Tumbleton wasn't a decisive victory. It was half a victory, at best, resulting in the death of important dragons as well as the commander of the Black army, Addam Velaryon. The Butcher's Ball is what happens if you presume to hang out too long in enemy territory. It is foreshadowing what's going to happen to Lannister armies in the Riverlands during the main series, too. They will all be killed, one way or another.

The Kingsroad shows what happens if you are overconfident and a moron. Men who have learned to win battle and kill men the hard way - and that's what the Lads did - can exploit any weakness the enemy might show. And apparently Borros Baratheon showed more than one. A battle isn't the place for morons. And this guy sat out nearly the entire Dance, and nothing indicates he had ever been properly schooled in tactics or had any real experience in warfare. How should he, during the peaceful reign of Viserys I?

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

4. The Greens lose even when they greatly outnumber their opponents (Kingsroad).

We don't know that Borros' forces greatly outnumbered the Lads. Why do you think that?

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

5. We never see the Greens put to use their greater wealth.

There are hints that they did that. Otto is bribing a lot of people in the beginning, and one assumes that the Triarchy would have stayed at home if they hadn't sent enormous sums to Essos. The Gullet was a major victory for the Greens, actually. Otto Hightower dealt the Velaryons a huge blow there, without risking the lives of single subject of Aegon II.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

6. A lot of Green victories are implied in throw-away lines (Lord Lefford in TWOIAF, Ormund Hightower in TPATQ)

That is part of the way the story is told at this point. One assumes that 'The Death of the Dragons' covers the movements of the Lannister army in greater detail.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

7. Because of all the above most of the Green commanders come off as toothless chumps. I could buy maybe one or two of them being this dumb but not all of them. The Kingmaker and Borros Baratheon are the worst examples of this IMO.

Cole was pretty smart and effective. He took Meleys and Rhaenys out of the game. If he had been given the regency after the Aegon II got injured (thanks to his plan there) the war would have gone much differently. Without Vhagar's help and stuck in enemy territory his army was no match for the Black Riverlanders. Most likely in no small part because Daemon left competent men in charge back in the Riverlands.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

@Ran

This is a major issue with the writing of the Dance so please tell GRRM.

He could tell, but George isn't going to rewrite this stuff just because you don't like it.

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54 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Text

I disagree with your assessment but my time is limited so I'll keep things brief:

1. The only battle Ser Criston Cole wins is Rook's Rest unless you count Duskendale, etc.

2. Considering that Borros sat out the whole war he should outnumber the Lads.

3. I want to see those implied Green victories and for the second half of 130 AC to make sense because it seems to me that GRRM's writing style just doesn't work very well when it comes to "fake history".

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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5 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

I disagree with your assessment but my time is limited so I'll keep things brief:

1. The only battle Ser Criston Cole wins is Rook's Rest unless you count Duskendale, etc.

That is a rather significant victory. You have to keep in mind that Greens are facing a rebellion that is only slowly getting steam at the beginning of the Dance. They have not prepared for an all-out war nor were they intending to wage one. They hoped the whore would die in childbirth or that nobody would come to her defense.

5 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

2. Considering that Borros sat out the whole war it would make more sense if he outnumbered the Lads.

Technically, yes, but why should we assume the man marched the entire strength of the Stormlands to KL and the Kingsroad? That would be pretty dumb. And there is the weirdo Syrax-Byron Swann thing. Does this mean some lonely Stormlander hero tried to slay the evil dragon or was there some fighting involving Rhaenyra and Syrax in the Stormlands?

We also don't know whether there were only Riverlanders in the army of the Lads. It was led by them, but there could have been some of those 10,000 Vale men who supported Rhaenyra according to Ran.

But in general - you do know that numbers don't necessarily give you an advantage in a pitched battle, right?

5 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

3. What I want is to see those implied Green victories because TPATQ/TWOIAF goes out of its way to show us when and how the Blacks win.

It also gives us crucial victories of the Greens, most notably the Gullet, First (and Second) Tumbleton, and the Battle of Rook's Rest. And we can be pretty sure that we'll get more detailed accounts on the things we early read about in brief in TWoIaF. 'The Death of the Dragons' doesn't seem to be 'The Sons of the Dragon'.

And I'm sure someone will bring up the points we raised here during the editing process of 'Fire and Blood'. Ran is not going to ignore glaring inconsistencies and outright mistakes.

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1. I suppose.

2. To paraphrase that old Narnia movie: Numbers do not win a battle but I bet they help. Beyond that, even if Borros only took half his strength with him that should still be enough to outnmber the Lads. Plus, he would have needed quite a few men to take on Cregan, who was marching south by that point with his own army.

3. I wouldn't really consider First Tumbleton a victory for the Greens. Ulf and Hugh switch sides on their own, not to mention the Greens lose their top two commanders. Second Tumbleton, on the other hand, is an incomplete Black victory.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

2. To paraphrase that old Narnia movie: Numbers do not win a battle but I bet they help. Beyond that, even if Borros only took half his strength with him that should still be enough to outnmber the Lads. Plus, he would have needed quite a few men to take on Cregan, who was marching south by that point with his own army.

We don't know whether Borros thought he also had to fight Cregan. The Lads were threatening KL. If they had been crushed Cregan may have bent the knee - or they could have held the capital until the sellswords arrived they hoped would come.

Right now the Tyrell army in KL seems to outnumber the Golden Company three to four times (Mace could have 30,000-40,000 men with him). But that's no guarantee that he'll win a victory over the Golden Company, even if he sends all those men against them.

Numbers mean pretty much nothing if the enemy has the better strategy. The men fighting a battle don't really know that they outnumber them, nor do they clearly see what happens during a battle.

If Borros had 20,000 men on the Kingsroad and the Lads 10,000 it is not exactly surprising that he lost. Even if Borros hadn't made the glaring mistakes he apparently made a smaller force can still defeat a larger army if they play their cards right.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

3. I wouldn't really consider First Tumbleton a victory for the Greens. Ulf and Hugh switch sides on their own, not to mention the Greens lose their top two commanders. Second Tumbleton, on the other hand, is an incomplete Black victory.

We don't know why Ulf and Hugh switched sides, but one of the theories the historians give us indicate that they were bribed by Green agents. Nobody indicates that they changed sides all by themselves, and considering their prospects that's not very likely. If you killed my enemy without me asking you to do that I have little motivation to reward you, no?

The loss of Lord Ormund Hightower and his cousin was a significant loss, but these were, in the end, just two men. They were replaceable. The fact that the Greens failed to do so, failed to establish a new chain of command, reflects bad on them but this has nothing to do with the outcome of the battle. I mean, they had a royal prince in the midst and another Hightower cousin, not to mention various branches of most of the noble houses of the Reach. If the leopard had been able to change his spots they could also have been able to make common cause with the Two Betrayers. With their help, they could have won this war decisively. But, no, they had to start fighting each other.

Second Tumbleton was pretty much undecided. Addam Velaryon dealt the army a considerable blow but he did not crush them. They could have continued the war and marched to KL if they had wanted to. The men there decided to declare they were defeated, nobody forced them to do so.

This whole episode pretty much shows what war can also lead to. If there is no clear leadership and no clear objective people just do what they want. And very few people actually care who sat the throne - or did want to face dragons in battle. They just wanted spoils.

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know that the gang down in Tumbleton had no clue about the developments in KL (attempted arrest of Addam Velaryon; arrest of Corlys Velaryon; Storming of the Dragonpit) or the Riverlands (Nettles development; deaths of Daemon and Aemond) until quite some time after it transpired. That's what prevented them from pressing their advantage after First Tumbleton.

If we indeed had the fifth moon be the moon in which Rhaenyra was driven out of KL then it makes no sense that she only died five moons later. She cannot have traveled the Crownlands for that long.

Another similar mistake as this seems to be the account of Aegon II's stay on Dragonstone until Sunfyre died. TPatQ gives Rhaenyra's death as the 22nd day of the tenth moon, and Sunfyre's subsequent death at the ninth day of the twelfth moon. Aegon II wept for his dragon and only made plans to return to KL after his grief for his dragon had passed (which, considering their strong bond, might indicate at least another week, perhaps more).

This is completely at odds with the idea of the Moon of the Three Kings - Trystane Truefyre, Gaemon Palehair, and Aegon II. Trystane was declared king during the riots, even before Rhaenyra's flight. One would then have seven months between Trystane claiming to be king and Aegon II's restoration to the Iron Throne.

Borros Baratheon could have arrived in KL long before Aegon II himself left Dragonstone, of course, but one really wonders why the man would have done so while the world still believed Aegon to be dead. While Rhaenyra yet lived - those alleged five months between the riots and her death - Aegon II own survival on Dragonstone would have been a secret, too.

Not to mention the fact that we also know Aegon II only took the citadel of Dragonstone shortly before the letter announcing Rhaenyra's immediate return to Dragonstone arrived - which indicates he took the citadel only weeks (or perhaps only days) before her arrival from Duskendale.

That makes it rather unlikely that Borros Baratheon took KL in the name of Aegon II a mere month after Trystane Truefyre and Gaemon Palehair seized power there.

The fact that Perkin the Flea entered into Aegon's service (and Aegon II himself commanded the execution of Trystane) indicates that order was restored in KL with the king being present - or at least with it done on his command, with him claim the authority to deal with the traitors and rebels as he saw fit after he had taken possession of the Iron Throne again.

If Borros Baratheon had restored order in KL not knowing that any of Alicent's sons were still alive then he most likely would have put down all the traitors by his own authority. In fact, one would also assume that he would have claimed the throne in his own right under such circumstances, as a descendant of Orys Baratheon, and the grandson of Alyssa Velaryon and cousin of the Old King.

There were two clearly attested armies a week´s march from King´s Landing. The Riverlands army that had won Second Battle of Tumbleton and ruled the field for a day, and then retreated not daring to confront the defeated Green army recovering in their fortress, and the Green army that was left in the field but retreated finding the army melting away.

And then the implicit one.

We are expressly told that immediately after Rhaenyra´s death, the day of her arrival, Aegon II declared end to hiding and ordered letters sent around the kingdom.

If so, then 2 weeks reign of Trystane might marginally fit. Borros mobilizing his army and marching to near King´s Landing, like Kingswood, and leaving his options open which side to join (like Late Walder Frey at Trident, or Tywin whose plans were unknown before Sack). Then the description of Rhaenyra´s escape overland to Duskendale requires several days, but might be only a few. Thus a week from Rhaenyra´s escape to her arrival and death on Dragonstone, then the raven trip from Dragonstone to Borros´ camp in Kingswood, and a few days´ hurried march to seize the city. A total of 2 weeks, all in October, might marginally fit that timeline.

Leaving the traitors alive would then fit continuation of Borros´ fence-sitting policy - as long as they were alive, he could deliver them to Aegon II for judgment, or if Aegon II turned too problematic, might let the prisoners escape or indeed turn coat again.

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On 10/20/2017 at 8:10 AM, Tygett Lannister said:

They didn't have the dragon genes. While younger siblings did.

That's not an explanation in the slightest though. What defines this dragon gene and how is it inherited. 

And then if you just say "well everyone that has a dragon has a dragon gene", then saying that someone didnt have a dragon because they didn't have a 'dragon gene' is just circular logic. 

 

EDIT: I just watched PJ's video. Yup, he literally just assumes anyone that rode a dragon must have inherited a dragon riding gene because they rode a dragon. 

Circular logic at its finest. 

Edited by ASwordAhai

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4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

41. How did the rider bearing the order of execution for Rhaella in 48 AC make it from King's Landing to Oldtown in less than half a year?

I am very sure it does not take half a year to get from King's Landing to Oldtown.

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6 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

41. How did the rider bearing the order of execution for Rhaella in 48 AC make it from King's Landing to Oldtown in less than half a year?

I don't know that, but I pointed that whole thing out as mistake early on. A way to rectify it would to make it a letter by raven. Or, if one has to keep the messenger part, make it a messenger riding to Oldtown from some nearby castle after a dude there received a raven from the king.

7 hours ago, Jaak said:

We are expressly told that immediately after Rhaenyra´s death, the day of her arrival, Aegon II declared end to hiding and ordered letters sent around the kingdom.

That has nothing to do with the problem at hand. Five months supposedly passed between Rhaenyra's flight from KL and her death on Dragonstone. With Alicent's sons apparently dead, the Green cause was essentially dead, too, until Aegon II revealed that he was still alive. Which was only realized on Dragonstone shortly before Rhaenyra's arrival there and publicly revealed only after Rhaenyra's death, as you correctly point out.

Borros Baratheon and any other Green loyalists would have had no pretender in whose name he could fight in the meantime. And thus it is very unlikely that they did fight or do anything in the name of Aegon II.

In fact, one assumes the belief that Aegon II, Aemond, and Daeron were all dead was part of the reason why Unwin Peake couldn't get the army in Tumbleton moving after Second Tumbleton. Why should they fight for dead people?

7 hours ago, Jaak said:

If so, then 2 weeks reign of Trystane might marginally fit. Borros mobilizing his army and marching to near King´s Landing, like Kingswood, and leaving his options open which side to join (like Late Walder Frey at Trident, or Tywin whose plans were unknown before Sack). Then the description of Rhaenyra´s escape overland to Duskendale requires several days, but might be only a few. Thus a week from Rhaenyra´s escape to her arrival and death on Dragonstone, then the raven trip from Dragonstone to Borros´ camp in Kingswood, and a few days´ hurried march to seize the city. A total of 2 weeks, all in October, might marginally fit that timeline.

No, we have Rhaenyra being outside the capital for nearly exactly five months before she arrived on Dragonstone and was killed there if we go by the text @The Grey Wolf gave us above. 

7 hours ago, Jaak said:

Leaving the traitors alive would then fit continuation of Borros´ fence-sitting policy - as long as they were alive, he could deliver them to Aegon II for judgment, or if Aegon II turned too problematic, might let the prisoners escape or indeed turn coat again.

We are not here to invent scenarios how things might work (that's for other threads). We point out errors and inconsistencies here in an attempt to motivate the people in charge to make the text of 'Fire and Blood' better.

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10 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

I am very sure it does not take half a year to get from King's Landing to Oldtown.

Indeed. ~1200 miles. A leisurely 20 miles a day gets you 2 months.

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How far can a horse travel?

How far a horse can travel in a day depends on the horse’s condition, the availability of food and water, and the terrain the animal is asked to cover. At a combination of lope and walk, a young horse in optimal condition can travel fifty to sixty miles a day in good weather over level terrain, as long as he is allowed to drink and graze every couple of hours. The faster a horse moves, the more often he will need to rest, eat, and drink.

http://petticoatsandpistols.com/tag/how-far-a-horse-can-travel-in-a-day/

For those that like to figure distances. If George is keeping to rough reality like most else

36 minutes ago, Ran said:

Indeed. ~1200 miles. A leisurely 20 miles a day gets you 2 months.

So this can be done in about 24 days roughly by horse if needed

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