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rotting sea cow

Who will command Dany's fleet?

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I've been asking myself this question recently. Sometime after Dany deals with the Dothraki, she will assemble a very large fleet to carry her forces to Westeros. It is fair to say that the Dothraki will march through Essos whilst freedmen (incl. Unsullied) and the free companies will sail in the ships. How big that fleet will be? Well, there are already about 50 ironborn ships in Meeren and between 300-500 Volantene ships are about to arrive very soon. Together, with the ships they will capture plus other people who might join her cause, we can say that Daenerys will have a fleet between 400 and a 1000 ships. It is fair to say, however, that the ironborn ships are there to spearhead that fleet and thus the captain will need to be respected by the ironborn.

Who will command that fleet? I mean, who will direct the tactical movements of the fleet, from things like how much food and water they must load, to how they move, how they attack, how certain ships are used, etc, etc, etc. Whilst the strategy will be likely dictated by Tyrion and Daenerys, someone need to take charge. None of them is experienced in sea affairs for that task. And don't tell me that it will be somebody we never heard about, because that rarely happens in asoiaf, where long build-ups are the reason why this is such a good story (I leave that for another post). Some options.

- Victarion: An obvious candidate. He is a capable captain, respected by the ironborn and is already there. A counterargument is that in his current mood, Victarion doesn't seem eager to take order from anybody or make alliances where he doesn't get the lion share. His whole arc is written as a bad joke and I will be surprised if he survives his second chapter in TWOW. Most likely he will die screaming, like Quentyn. Now, it is well within the realm of possibilities that he will be revived by Moqorro and thus comes back changed and take that important role. I don't discard that option because there is a valyrian steel axe in Claw Isle and the only important character who wield an axe as primary weapon is Victarion.

- Asha and Theon. I like this option the most. They are both ironborn. Asha is respected by many ironborn and is capable in sea affairs. Theon is the rightful heir of late king Balon and was unable to press his claim at the kingmoot. They are both set up to be the political foes of Euron in the homefront and thus they will need powerful allies. Counterargument, they are both prisoners of Stannis and are far away of Meeren. In they unlikely case they escape in the Battle of Ice and team with Dagmer Cleftjaw, they will need to sail through waters controlled by Euron to reach the Dragon Queen. It is of course possible that Theon and the ironmen give crucial help to take Winterfell and get pardoned by Stannis. Still they will need to find a ship in e.g. White Harbor to reach Dany. Timeline might not be a huge issue because sorting out the Dothraki might require quite a bit of time.

- Aurane Waters. A Valeryion bastard. The house with the closest links to the Targaryens. He has ships, big ones and is positioned strategically in the Stepstones. These ships might be good for something. A Chekov's gun hanging on the Wall. Still, Aurane is not such a well developed character to play such an important role and may have difficulty to woe the ironborn in Dany's fleet. He might join nevertheless, but I don't think in such a prominent role (and I think he will join Aegon).

- Salladhor Saan: Nah' the guy is going for anyone who can offset his loses. He might join Dany if she pays him well enough and maybe for few other motives (he is the one who tells us the Azor Ahai legend)

- Davos: Capable sailor, he has more difficulties in leading. Also the man is loyal to Stannis and I think he is going to get stuck in the Northern plot for a while. His mission to retrieve Rickon is going to take longer than expected.

- Euron: No, he is one of the big Dany's foes. One of the lies she has to slay.

- Nobody. This is certainly an option. Each subfleet will respond to Daenerys alone. It is certainly the case with the ground forces, after the death of Barristan, Dany will not have a capable general able to direct movements of that very diverse force. Dothraki Khals will respond to Dany, Unsullied too, Free companies, etc. Again Tyrion and Daenerys are good strategists but not battle commanders. And I think this will be the main weakness in the huge force that Dany is assembling.

- Someone else I forgot?

 

 

 

Edited by rotting sea cow

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VICTARION
All day. He won't last long but he'll be both Daenerys' consort and the Master of Ships up until the first 100 or so pages of Dream.

Although I do think, Aurane Waters will be competing against Victarion both for Daenerys' attention and command of her soon-to-be-massive navy. He might even take over after Victarion dies. But Aurane hasn't struck me as particularly competent at naval command so he might end up accidentally screwing Daenerys over. And I also think Salladhor Saan is also going to join forces with Daenerys -- albeit temporarily.

All of the others are either too far away in the middle of their own storylines or they are diametrically opposed to what Daenerys will stand for.

EDIT: I wrote "first 100 or so chapters" instead of "the first 100 or so pages"

Edited by Jabar of House Titan
I wrote "first 100 or so chapters" instead of "the first 100 or so pages"

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Nobody. This is certainly an option. Each subfleet will respond to Daenerys alone. It is certainly the case with the ground forces, after the death of Barristan, Dany will not have a capable general able to direct movements of that very diverse force. Dothraki Khals will respond to Dany, Unsullied too, Free companies, etc. Again Tyrion and Daenerys are good strategists but not battle commanders. And I think this will be the main weakness in the huge force that Dany is assembling.

I think it will be this option. Danaerys is a Sea Dragon :D. And she instinctually knows the ways of war because she is smart.

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3 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

VICTARION
All day. He won't last long but he'll be both Daenerys' consort and the Master of Ships up until the first 100 or so chapters of Dream.

Although I do think, Aurane Waters will be competing against Victarion both for Daenerys' attention and command of her soon-to-be-massive navy. He might even take over after Victarion dies. But Aurane hasn't struck me as particularly competent at naval command so he might end up accidentally screwing Daenerys over. And I also think Salladhor Saan is also going to join forces with Daenerys -- albeit temporarily.

All of the others are either too far away in the middle of their own storylines or they are diametrically opposed to what Daenerys will stand for.

I agree either Victarion or Euron will and she’ll probably marry one of them.

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27 minutes ago, Starkz said:

I agree either Victarion or Euron will and she’ll probably marry one of them.

Dunno about marry

Between vic not being too bright,the fire priest at his side manipulating him and his desire to rule the ironborn and/or get revenge on euron i feel vic may end up as her admiral without any nuptials !!

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Any of the Ironborn could do the job.  It doesn't have to be someone with a lot of experience.  There are mercenary infantry and cavalry.  There is sure to be a mercenary navy who can be hired.  The mercenaries that now work for the masters can be bought and there are skilled sailors among them.  There is no shortage of available sailors.  It would not be out of character for Braavos to send a fleet to form an alliance.  

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18 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Poor Groleo, if he had lived he would have commanded all those ships. Dany owed him one for tearing his ships apart to builds rams for Meereen. 

No, Groleo is a captain of a trading ship, he knew nothing of war affairs.

13 hours ago, Night Train to Kathmandu said:

Any of the Ironborn could do the job.  It doesn't have to be someone with a lot of experience.  There are mercenary infantry and cavalry.  There is sure to be a mercenary navy who can be hired.  The mercenaries that now work for the masters can be bought and there are skilled sailors among them.  There is no shortage of available sailors.  It would not be out of character for Braavos to send a fleet to form an alliance.  

Dany will have a navy very soon. 50 ironborn ships + 300-500 Volantene ships, fully manned by slaves. The later are likely going to revolt upon arrival in Meeren. Other will join of course. The question is who will direct their movements at sea. But you touch a point.

Since the ironborn ships are going to remain in Meeren awaiting for Dany, someone will need to keep them there, and indeed, Victarion is the only one capable to do so. If Victarion dies, there is no point for the ironmen to remain in Meeren.

Also, I don't think Victarion will marry Dany.

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Victarion  - Likely, of course we don't know what Dany's reaction gonna be of him trying to steal her dragons.

Asha and Theon - Stannis prisoners, Dany already set sail to Westeros before any of the two stepped on another ship

Aurane Waters - nope, too busy being a pirate king

Sallandor Saan - I agree, nah.


Davos - nah as well, he's too loyal to Stan.

Euron - He's too far, Vic took whole book sailing from west to meereen, and I agree, one of her foes.

nobody - unlikely, Dany needs someone who know how to command fleets.


Tyrion  and Jorah- Is the most likely option I guess. 

 

 

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It is actually quite likely that such an admiral would actually be hitherto not yet introduced captain/admiral of the Volantene slave navy. They would make up the bulk of Dany's grand armada, which means that someone from their ranks is likely going to demand and going to get the supreme command.

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On 9/4/2018 at 11:08 AM, Sea Dragon said:

I think it will be this option. Danaerys is a Sea Dragon :D. And she instinctually knows the ways of war because she is smart.

 

10 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

No, Groleo is a captain of a trading ship, he knew nothing of war affairs.

Dany will have a navy very soon. 50 ironborn ships + 300-500 Volantene ships, fully manned by slaves. The later are likely going to revolt upon arrival in Meeren. Other will join of course. The question is who will direct their movements at sea. But you touch a point.

Since the ironborn ships are going to remain in Meeren awaiting for Dany, someone will need to keep them there, and indeed, Victarion is the only one capable to do so. If Victarion dies, there is no point for the ironmen to remain in Meeren.

Also, I don't think Victarion will marry Dany.

 

23 hours ago, Night Train to Kathmandu said:

Any of the Ironborn could do the job.  It doesn't have to be someone with a lot of experience.  There are mercenary infantry and cavalry.  There is sure to be a mercenary navy who can be hired.  The mercenaries that now work for the masters can be bought and there are skilled sailors among them.  There is no shortage of available sailors.  It would not be out of character for Braavos to send a fleet to form an alliance.  

There are a lot of sea captains to be found.  It's not hard to find them.   The mission is not that hard.  The ships may stay close to within sight of shore.  Excellent navigation skills are not a job requirement.  I agree that the management of a large Freedom Force will need to be delegated.  Command of the infantry side will fall on Greyworm.  The cavalry could be commanded by her bloodriders.  Barristan can map out the landing strategy.  

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- Victarion:  Vic is an obvious candidate.

- Asha and Theon:  At present they are prisoners of Stannis.

- Aurane Waters:  He has absconded with the the newly built ships commissioned by Cersei. Rumor has it he has turned pirate.

- Salladhor Saan:  No.

- Davos:  No. He is busy on chase of Rickon.

- Euron: No. He is busy harrying the coast of Westeros plus he is strung out on the blue lip juice.

- Nobody:  Somebody is gonna have to clean up the mess that martin wrote.

How Dany gets to Westeros has baffled me to the extent that if martin could leave Dany on Essos I would be okay with it.

As of the end of DwD Dany is mia. Barry is in charge. Vic has a charcoal arm and less than 50 ships.

The Vol's have delivered the GC haphazardly to Westeros. I don't know the numbers of the GC or the Vol ships, but the Vol ships need to make their way back across the seas.

The plan is to get Dothraki and horses, Unsullied, horse size dragons, and two sellsword companies & horses across the sea. Guess that means magic occurs.

 

 

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I think Asha will commandeer the small northern fleet, along with whatever ships are left at her disposal that haven't been burned by the northmen. 

Aurane might head over to Aegon. Some of the Golden Company landed in the Stepstones, that's not to mention all the information that comes through there. Him heading over to Aegon, given the history between the Velaryons and the Targaryens, it just seems like a natural fit.

Victarion is the logical choice for Dany's fleet, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least there are people in Meereen who are veterans of the Greyjoy Rebellion who will know that the iron fleet was smashed by Stannis. Ironborn follow him because of his strength in battle, not because he's an awesome commander. 

But then, the whole storyline in Essos seems to have been somewhat expanded with the Tattered Prince and Pentos and the widow at the waterfront telling Tyrion and Jorah that the slaves are waiting for Dany. By the time she finally heads to Westeros, she may have lost half her men, half her ships and whatever else. This story arc refuses to land.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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13 hours ago, E.S. Dinah said:

There are a lot of sea captains to be found.  It's not hard to find them.   The mission is not that hard.  The ships may stay close to within sight of shore.  Excellent navigation skills are not a job requirement.  I agree that the management of a large Freedom Force will need to be delegated.  Command of the infantry side will fall on Greyworm.  The cavalry could be commanded by her bloodriders.  Barristan can map out the landing strategy.  

Barristan will be likely death before he can get out of Meeren. That's why I think there won't be an unified command of the land forces and maybe neither of the sea forces. Each subunit responding to Daenerys and Daenerys alone. It might be a problem

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is actually quite likely that such an admiral would actually be hitherto not yet introduced captain/admiral of the Volantene slave navy. They would make up the bulk of Dany's grand armada, which means that someone from their ranks is likely going to demand and going to get the supreme command.

It is of course possible, given that a major restructuring of the story is probably happening, similar or larger than the killing of the five year gap (otherwise TWOW wouldn't take that long), so some plot twisters need to be introduced (like Darkstar taking some of the Ned Dayne arc). On the other hand we had enough PoVs and time in ADWD in Volantis to at least hear some names and these books are prone to more slow build-ups (but see above)

Also, whilst the crew of the Volantene ships are slaves, their captains are slavers, so those who are going to rebel for Dany (and follow and adore her) do not know enough of sea affairs. It is of course possible that some of the slavers turn to Dany, like many in Meeren. But I don't think that any will demand command.More difficult is the issue of the ironmen. If Victarion dies soon (and I think he will), why should they remain in Meeren.  Why the ironborn would follow a non-ironborn commander. And again, the ironborn fleet is there to spearhead the expedition and to build up the conflict between Euron and Dany.

13 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

- Victarion:  Vic is an obvious candidate.

- Asha and Theon:  At present they are prisoners of Stannis.

Yes, Victarion is there but given that Dany will need to spend some time among the Dothraki, there might be enough time to Theon and Asha to turn up.

 

13 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

- Aurane Waters:  He has absconded with the the newly built ships commissioned by Cersei. Rumor has it he has turned pirate.

- Salladhor Saan:  No.

They both should have entered in contact already and certainly will show up again in the story.

 

13 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

How Dany gets to Westeros has baffled me to the extent that if martin could leave Dany on Essos I would be okay with it.

Don't worry. She will to come to Westeros, to fry Aegon, create massive chaos in Westeros and ultimately save the World.

 

 

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7 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Yes, Victarion is there but given that Dany will need to spend some time among the Dothraki, there might be enough time to Theon and Asha to turn up.

If you don't mind to much I will flap my trap about Vic and Euron later.

I have enjoyed reading the thread. Kudos.

I have a difficult time imagining Theon & Asha becoming involved with Euron or Vic. Mainly because they are Stannis' prisoners/hostages in the north. I'm thinking Asha or Theon have to tell the story of what is happening in the north until Jon or Davos show up.

Asha & Theon have no access to ships whether they escape, or are let loose. One of the Mormont women did a raid near Deepwood and burned some of Asha's ships. Granted I do not remember how many ships Asha commanded. Stannis sent LC Snow word about the situation.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VII   And we had other help, unexpected but most welcome, from a daughter of Bear Island. Alysane Mormont, whose men name her the She-Bear, hid fighters inside a gaggle of fishing sloops and took the ironmen unawares where they lay off the strand. Greyjoy's longships are burned or taken, her crews slain or surrendered. The captains, knights, notable warriors, and others of high birth we shall ransom or make other use of, the rest I mean to hang …

Anyway, that is why I have a difficult time imagining Theon & Asha being involved in future Iron Born reaverings (questionable word).

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Vic seems intent on blowing that horn which is going to do something (unless Morroqo sabotages it). I'm not convinced the Ironborn will play a big part in shipping Daenerys to Westeros (which is still likely some time away). I think Daenerys will "liberate" Volantis to get enough ships.

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