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Legitimate_Bastard

Expansion Across the Narrow Sea

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Why didn't any of the Targ kings, especially the ones with dragons, ever try to invade Andalos or any other part of Essos?

Fear of the Dothraki? Or the Faceless Men? Those seem the most obvious, other than too many problems domestically to ever think about colonizing. Or some other glaringly obvious factor I am missing...?

You would at least think that there would be forts or trading outposts in the same fashion as the first colonies of the Medieval European states.

also, as kind of an add on,

If after the Long Night (if it happens) Westeros does not devolve into a repeat of the era of hundreds of petty kingdoms, and somehow there are large sovereign states remaining - is it likely that a foray into Essos would happen? Or would they be so consumed in fighting each other that looking across the Narrow Sea would be unlikely?

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I suspect that major reason is weakness of royal government. Or Targ governments seem to lack their own civil servants and rely heavily on feodal system. Essos does not have similar system but they seem to elect their leaders like Sealord or free cities are ruled by oligarchy like Pentos.

So typical Targ way to make an offer that could not be refused like Aegon I "conquered" the North does not work but Targ kings who would want to keep a not free city anymore as part of their empire would have to have a standing army and some kind of bureaucracy. Without those any strongman they would leave to rule as governor would very soon be replaced by rebellion or assassination.

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No reason for them to do this.  Westeros is big enough to occupy their attention.  The Targaryens were not greedy.   They were actually quite peaceful when you consider they had dragons.  They could have taken a free city or two if they had wanted to.  The Targaryens, most of them, were better people than those they ruled over. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2019 at 4:41 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Or some other glaringly obvious factor I am missing...?

Troops from Essos perform better than Westerosi; they even manage to overcome dragons in open battle, something no group in Westeros could achieve. Essos is just too tough nut to crack.

Just because Westeros looks like Europe doesn't mean Westeros has the same advantages over its neighbors.

 

Edited by Myrish Lace

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12 hours ago, Myrish Lace said:

Troops from Essos perform better than Westerosi; they even manage to overcome dragons in open battle, something no group in Westeros could achieve. Essos s just too tough nut to crack.

Just because Westeros looks like Europe doesn't mean Westeros has the same advantages over its neighbors.

 

Andalos just seems like a whole bunch of nothing - waiting to be taken. Just strikes me as odd that no interest whatsoever was ever had in even building a trade outpost or something. Perhaps the land is worthless, the Andals left there after all.

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1 hour ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Andalos just seems like a whole bunch of nothing - waiting to be taken.

WoIaF:

We speak of Nine Free Cities, though across the width of Essos one may find many other Valyrian towns, settlements, and outposts, some larger and more populous than Gulltown, White Harbor, or even Lannisport. The distinction that sets the Nine apart is not their size but their origins

So the map should not deceive you - the "empty" land around Free Cities is densely populated. Any attempt to take it would require fighting Free Cities and Westeros is just unprepared for that.

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58 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

WoIaF:

We speak of Nine Free Cities, though across the width of Essos one may find many other Valyrian towns, settlements, and outposts, some larger and more populous than Gulltown, White Harbor, or even Lannisport. The distinction that sets the Nine apart is not their size but their origins

So the map should not deceive you - the "empty" land around Free Cities is densely populated. Any attempt to take it would require fighting Free Cities and Westeros is just unprepared for that.

Wicked! Thanks.

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The remaining (non targaryen) dragonlords who survived the doom didn't last long in Essos. E.g. Aurion who marched from Qohor and the unnamed ones in Lys and Tyrosh. 

That wouldn't have gone unnoticed by the Targaryens, and probably influenced them to stay West...

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On 3/5/2019 at 8:45 PM, Myrish Lace said:

Troops from Essos perform better than Westerosi; they even manage to overcome dragons in open battle, something no group in Westeros could achieve. Essos is just too tough nut to crack.

Just because Westeros looks like Europe doesn't mean Westeros has the same advantages over its neighbors.

 

Where is the idea that Essosi armies perform better than Westorosi supported in the text? We have the Sealord in F&B saying that the troops he’d hire to oppose the knights of Westeros would be swept away by a charge. By far the most impressive sellsword company is the one built by and based around Westorosi military organization. 

2 minutes ago, Ser Uncle P said:

The remaining (non targaryen) dragonlords who survived the doom didn't last long in Essos. E.g. Aurion who marched from Qohor and the unnamed ones in Lys and Tyrosh. 

That wouldn't have gone unnoticed by the Targaryens, and probably influenced them to stay West...

Audion vanished while trying to reclaim Valyria from the doom. That doesn’t seem relevant here.

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2 hours ago, Fat Trell said:

 

Audion vanished while trying to reclaim Valyria from the doom. That doesn’t seem relevant here.

The dragonlords who died in Lys and Tyrosh in the aftermath of the Doom might have deterred the Targaryens.  

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Ruling an entire continent is enough problem. Remember Westeros is a feudal monarchy, and cannot summon enough resources to start a global conquest. 

Rogar Baratheon had some ambitions to expand to the other side of the Narrow Sea (by marrying Jaehaerys to an archont daughter), but he achieved nothing.

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And Stepstones were in Narrow Sea.

What´s odd is the uninvolvement of Velaryons. Laenor was a teenage dragonrider - time to prove the Great Council wrong. Rhaenys had wanted to ride a dragon at 18. Now was Corlys going to refuse him the way Aemon had? And Laena - yes, she was a girl. Staying well above bowshot as a human brain and pair of seeing eyes, and carrying messages were ravens won´t go (news of Rhea´s death needed to be carried from Stormlands to Bloodstone by ship - no rookery founded on Bloodstone!) would still have been useful, and completely safe. And Vhagar had the most powerful fire - its rider was safer than anyone else.

Why didn´t Daemon and the rest of Velaryons simply put the urban centre of Tyrosh to dragonfire?

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8 minutes ago, Jaak said:

And Stepstones were in Narrow Sea.

What´s odd is the uninvolvement of Velaryons. Laenor was a teenage dragonrider - time to prove the Great Council wrong. Rhaenys had wanted to ride a dragon at 18. Now was Corlys going to refuse him the way Aemon had? And Laena - yes, she was a girl. Staying well above bowshot as a human brain and pair of seeing eyes, and carrying messages were ravens won´t go (news of Rhea´s death needed to be carried from Stormlands to Bloodstone by ship - no rookery founded on Bloodstone!) would still have been useful, and completely safe. And Vhagar had the most powerful fire - its rider was safer than anyone else.

Why didn´t Daemon and the rest of Velaryons simply put the urban centre of Tyrosh to dragonfire?

I'm guessing they thought they could never hold the territory. Even if they took Tyrosh, wouldn't be long before Lys and Myr stuck their noses in.

Would have been a massacre for nothing.

Still I am surprised nobody ever even tried

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13 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Still I am surprised nobody ever even tried

 

Yeah, George missed an opportunity for a Spanish Armada/Mongol Invasion Divine Wind situation there. They didn't have to succeed, just mount an ill-fated campaign that gets quashed by the weather and it is then decided that the gods don't favor it (it took the Mongols twice before they learned their lesson).

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49 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I'm guessing they thought they could never hold the territory. Even if they took Tyrosh, wouldn't be long before Lys and Myr stuck their noses in.

Would have been a massacre for nothing.

Hold which territory?

Tyrosh is on a modest sized island. Yes, the people may scatter on the island as the urban centre burns - but Tyrosh is a city bigger than the island can feed. Tyrosh must be fed by food imported from mainland.

And boats burn.

Between the four dragons... trying to recapture or refound Tyrosh or evacuate the refugees starving on the island is going to bring down dragonfire on those who try.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Fat Trell said:

Where is the idea that Essosi armies perform better than Westorosi supported in the text?

Visenya couldn't protect Velaryon fleet. Aemon was brought down by some pirates. Daemon and Corlys failed to conquer Stepstones. Triarchy's fleet overcame Velaryon fleet supported by six dragons and its landing parties managed to sack High Tide despite heavy losses. Alyn failed to purge the Stepstones (although it can be attributed purely to Alyn's idiocy). Exiled, twice beaten Blackfyres are such a terror to Bloodraven he's ready to leave half the continent to the mercies of Ironborn rather than to slip his eye even for a second from a potential invading army from Essos. When Blackfyres finally manage to muster anything even remotely resembling a sizable army under Maelys, Egg completely loses his shit - and it's quite obvious why. Despite an enormous disparity between two powers - Targaryens with a continent of their own and Blackfyres with but one Free City - the War of Ninepenny Kings is a bloody, hard-fought affair with a bunch of prominent casualties for Westerosi.

Westerosi noblemen regularly hire soldiers in Essos. It's a thing. The last time anyone from Essos traveled to hire Westerosi soldiers was... three hundred years ago.

Time and again Essosi face extremely unfavorable odds and either win outright or inflict heavy losses upon Westerosi. If you divorce yourself from Westerosi-centric perspective of the text, it's not hard to see who's better.

21 hours ago, Fat Trell said:

By far the most impressive sellsword company is the one built by and based around Westorosi military organization.  

Said company was built after Bittersteel's stint with Second Sons. It is a fully professional force (something completely contrary to Westerosi system of levies). It is lead by people like Strickland, Edoryen, Balaq, Maar - people who who were born and raised in Essos. The latter three are not even progeny of exiles.

So the idea of GC as a company "built by and based around Westerosi military organisation" is at best a vast exaggeration. Golden Company was founded by Westerosi exiles who adapted to Essosi environment, adopting non-Westerosi MO, personnel and expertise.

Edited by Myrish Lace

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12 hours ago, the Last Teague said:

Ruling an entire continent is enough problem. Remember Westeros is a feudal monarchy, and cannot summon enough resources to start a global conquest. 

Rogar Baratheon had some ambitions to expand to the other side of the Narrow Sea (by marrying Jaehaerys to an archont daughter), but he achieved nothing.

This is right on the nose.  It's hard to carry out a prolonged war of conquest when you need those part-time soldiers to go back home and plant the crops that feed and support the army.  Westeros doesn't have a large, standing military like the modern powers today.  

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On 3/5/2019 at 10:41 AM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Why didn't any of the Targ kings, especially the ones with dragons, ever try to invade Andalos or any other part of Essos?

Fear of the Dothraki? Or the Faceless Men? Those seem the most obvious, other than too many problems domestically to ever think about colonizing. Or some other glaringly obvious factor I am missing...?

You would at least think that there would be forts or trading outposts in the same fashion as the first colonies of the Medieval European states.

also, as kind of an add on,

If after the Long Night (if it happens) Westeros does not devolve into a repeat of the era of hundreds of petty kingdoms, and somehow there are large sovereign states remaining - is it likely that a foray into Essos would happen? Or would they be so consumed in fighting each other that looking across the Narrow Sea would be unlikely?

Because they wanted to leave that part of the past behind.  The Targaryens could have done a lot of things to glorify and enrich themselves but they didn't.  They were not interested in building a new Valyrian empire.  They wanted to leave the practice of slavery behind as well as the practice of sorcery.  Sorcery and greed led to the destruction of Valyria.  The Targaryens were not hungry for power.  I guess they were content to remain in Westeros.  

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On 3/10/2019 at 1:43 PM, Quoth the raven, said:

Because they wanted to leave that part of the past behind.  The Targaryens could have done a lot of things to glorify and enrich themselves but they didn't.  They were not interested in building a new Valyrian empire.  They wanted to leave the practice of slavery behind as well as the practice of sorcery.  Sorcery and greed led to the destruction of Valyria.  The Targaryens were not hungry for power.  I guess they were content to remain in Westeros.  

Agree. During the height of the Targaryen dynasty in the time of the Old King, I'm sure if he wanted it, he could have conquered Pentos, Tyrosh, Lys or Myr. It's going to be expensive and I doubt if he can conquer more than two of the Free Cities, let alone more than one. The power base is too far, and by the time he consolidate his conquest, some other lord in Westeros will do trouble. 

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What the Targaryens should have done is, consolidate the Crownlands. And increase those lords directly sworn to them. After Aegon's conquest there are all the reason not to create a Lord Paramount but to just incorporate the whole Riverlands to the Crownlands, thereby consolidating the power of the monarchy by geographically bordering every other realm except Dorne. They should have also permanently occupy the Stepstones as I'm sure a stronghold in that Suez Canal like chokepoint will greatly fill the royal coffers. 

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