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ninewinter

Can Aegon I conquer Europe in the 15th century?

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Let's say Dragonstone is somewhere around north west of Brittany near the coast of Cornwall. Can Aegon I conquer Western Europe in the beginning of the 15th century? 

Where do you think he should start? England, France, Ireland, or Spain? 

How many areas can he conquer? 

Can Aegon I, with Visenya and Rhaenrya with a few hundred vassals conquer Western Europe or he's going to fail after a volley of English longbows? 

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I feel like three incestuous siblings with monstrous dragons popping up will probably unify Europe against them as servants of the devil armed with demons.  I don't think they'd swing it.

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Pretty much what @Ran said.

On the other hand, demons are hard to fight. Ask the Aztecs. 

Aegon would need first to find a place to build up a coalition safely and make alliances.

Spain in 15 century is not a bad bet, as long as it is before the reconquest and Aegon and his sisters help to through back the Catholics out of the peninsula and start to build up a rich kingdom. Then I'd pull a Harrenhal with Rome.

 

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Also, 15th century Europe has gunpowder and cannons. I really don't think it would work out.

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7 minutes ago, Ran said:

Also, 15th century Europe has gunpowder and cannons. I really don't think it would work out.

 

If Hannibal could tie Rome up for years with grit and a handful of elephants, I think that the Targaryens could make a go of it. While gunpowder and artillery would be a good defense, early 15th century cannons were cumbersome and not terribly mobile and infantry wandering about with lit matches were already a huge hazard in that era.  Add in flying flame throwers and I think that the use of gunpowder would not be a boon to the Europeans until they killed the dragons.

Two easy defenses against gunpowder usage: Attack when it's raining, attack at night. Even simply flying in and attacking the enemy from behind would work since they wouldn't have time to adjust their forces to respond quickly enough.

If the Targaryens knew what they were facing and planned for it, they'd have a shot at it.

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They might defeat the Europeans in battle, but they would win no followers. Dragons are literally the bane of the Christian Faith, and the Moors wouldn’t have been okay with those three incestuous albinos calling themselves rulers. One way, somehow, the Targaryens would be killed. They would command no loyalty and would have to watch their backs every minute that they aren’t sitting on a dragon.

Just because you can defeat a nation in battle doesn’t mean that they will join you. Look at Russia, Afghanistan, or even Dorne, to take it back to the books.

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18 minutes ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

If Hannibal could tie Rome up for years with grit and a handful of elephants,

I'm sorry but… no. Hannibal never ruled Rome and the elephants didn't make it. They died in the Alpes and the swamps…

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1 minute ago, Nowy Tends said:

I'm sorry but… no. Hannibal never ruled Rome and the elephants didn't make it. They died in the Alpes and the swamps…

 

I'm sorry but... I never stated Hannibal ruled Rome... and you need to read some history.

From Wikipedia:

Quote

According to Polybius, he arrived in Italy accompanied by 20,000-foot soldiers, 4,000 horsemen, and only a few elephants.

 

I do think that the Targaryens would have to acquire allies to ultimately triumph and rule and that their use of "demons" would be a problem, however, the unrest that became the Catholic Reformation was already fomenting at that time and had the Targaryens pushed their agenda with religious transformation as a main component (possibly switching to a monotheistic style ala Clovis), gaining allies would be easier.

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1 hour ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

and you need to read some history.

 

says the guy who compares Aegon I the Conqueror to Hannibal, who spent 10 years fighting Rome, never took it and finally returned to Carthago…

And again none of the elephants arrived to Rome, anyway they were too few to have any importance in battle. And the Romans had fought elephants before Hannibal's time.

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1 minute ago, Nowy Tends said:

says the guy who compares Aegon I the Conqueror to Hannibal, who spent 10 years fighting Rome, never took it and finally returned to Carthago…

And again none of the elephants arrived to Rome, anyway they were too few to have any importance in battle. And the Romans had fought elephants before Hannibal's time.

 

I didn't compare them. I used Hannibal's campaign and tactics as an example of how a large alien force can effectively fight in hostile territory. The Romans avoided him for the most part.

You are being too literal. I'm not referencing Rome the city. The handful of elephants left were effective in battle until they died. Had Hannibal made it with all of his resources intact, it would have been a different campaign. He could have been much more aggressive. He only went home because Rome attacked Carthage.

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In 15th century Europe he'd have met the real life templates for much of Martin's characters, e.g Wars of the Roses in England and the Medici or Borgias in the "free cities" in Italy 

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11 hours ago, ninewinter said:

Let's say Dragonstone is somewhere around north west of Brittany near the coast of Cornwall. Can Aegon I conquer Western Europe in the beginning of the 15th century? 

Where do you think he should start? England, France, Ireland, or Spain? 

How many areas can he conquer? 

Can Aegon I, with Visenya and Rhaenrya with a few hundred vassals conquer Western Europe or he's going to fail after a volley of English longbows? 

They would need more men.  If Aegon had his three dragons along with legions of the Unsullied, Sellswords, and hired armies, Dothraki cavalry, you bet he could have done it.  

I would start near Rome and burn the Vatican to the ground.  Strip the pope naked and parade his exposed corruption to the people and turn them all into atheists.  

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Also, 15th century Europe has gunpowder and cannons. I really don't think it would work out.

handguns of early XV century were not very effective, more or less comparable to crossbows I think. As for the cannons - one could hit a castle wall after some time of aiming, but a dragon?

The psychological aspect is very interesting. I really cannot imagine how XV century Europeans would behave seeing a dragon. Immediate surrender seems possible as much as fierce resistance.

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The early cannons we're anti-personnel, small, and mobile. A 5 pound ball of stone would ruin any dragon's day.

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Elephants were really only effective in battle the first time you used them. After that your enemies quickly figured out how to deal with them. Most war elephants were given transport and hauling duties over actual battle. I'd wager dragons in Europe would be similar, first battle they would devastate, after that a canon full of grapeshot would bring one down fairly easily I'd think. 

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I think to apply it fairly they'd already have one major naval force which also is richer than any of the enemies so Britain (=the Velaryons) would already be banner men to the cause.

Also Europe isn't and wasn't ever only 7 kingdoms, so there would be a lot more defended inner borders than Westeros has.

 

So it would (in my mind at least) be like if the Britons had decided to conquer the rest of Europe using their new aerial force and only could take a few patches of it at a time. Their success would also depend in part on their diplomacy and I doubt any of the super christian, absolution-bying rulers would even consider the Targs as anything other than sent by the devil to usher in the end times. Like, the Faith co-exists with worshippers of the Old Gods - but in 1500's Europe you be burned at the stake for rejecting christianity so belief-related issues would be much greater.

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Just now, Ran said:

The early cannons we're anti-personnel, small, and mobile. A 5 pound ball of stone would ruin any dragon's day.

Aegon and Visenya are smart enough to stay out of range.  Aegon did that in Harrenhall.  He flew high enough to stay beyond the range of the ironborn scorpions and rained fire down on the castle.  

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11 minutes ago, Ran said:

The early cannons we're anti-personnel, small, and mobile. A 5 pound ball of stone would ruin any dragon's day.

 

They also had a tendency to blow up in one's face...

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1 hour ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

Had Hannibal made it with all of his resources intact, it would have been a different campaign. He could have been much more aggressive. He only went home because Rome attacked Carthage.

True. And there's a "famous" quote from one of Hannibal's officers, who told him the equivalent of "you're a conqueror not a ruler". Rings a bell? 

I'll try to find that quote…

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Posted (edited)

It depends. Towards the end of the 15th century, cannons were pretty much used in most bigger campaigns and cannon technology made big leaps from the beginning to the end. Already during Hussite Wars and also in the latter stages of the Hundred Years War, in the first half of the 15th century, mobile (horse drawn) field artillery was used. Perhaps the very early 15th century was the very last time that Aegon could have conquered even a smaller piece of the European cake.

The use of dragons would mainly be that for reconnaisance, bombing (out of cannon reach) and rapid deploymend of troops (transport). 3 dragons would not be enough.

You should read the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik if you are intrested in those kind of scenarios;

Edited by Alarich II
Grammar

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