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Headless Wolf

Euron's victories (TWOW spoilers)

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So I've seen a lot of theories for how the coming wars will play out in TWOW, and I thought I'd make my own predictions for how things will turn out, mostly for the ironborn, who I see winning a lot of victories in order to establish Euron as one of the book's biggest antagonists. Here's how I see the war going:

1. Garlan retakes the Shields: We know that before Garlan could take Brightwater Keep from the Florents, the ironborn took the Shields, and Garlan instead began assembling men and ships to retake the islands, his ships being mostly trading vessels, fishing boats, and pleasure barges, with the Redwyne Fleet so far away. I anticipate Garlan sailing for the Shields, landing men on all four islands, and taking them back, with little ironborn resistance at sea, since Euron wants the new lords of the Shields to be defeated and die, thus ridding himself of rivals for the throne such as Maron Volmark, and weakening Victarion by getting his man Nute the Barber killed. Garlan will slay Ser Harras Harlaw in single combat and take his sword Nightfall, only to find the ironborn under the command of Hotho Harlaw, now Rodrik the Reader's undisputed heir (further weakening Asha's strongest ally as Hotho supported Euron), attacking his ragtag fleet, taking or sinking most of Garlan's ships and leaving him stranded on Greyshield, with his host split among the four Shields, and blockaded by Hotho Harlaw so no support or food can get to him. 

2. The Ironborn move on Oldtown: I anticipate most of the ironborn raiding up the Mander will be under the command of Lord Rodrik the Reader. A learned man, and a student of history, I believe the Reader will have his men carry their ships overland from the Mander to the Honeywine, like Harwin Hardhand did in the riverlands, and sweep down the Honeywine, taking Brightwater Keep. This will be an easily won battle since most of the Florent men are off with Stannis and Garlan had yet to claim the castle, making it almost certain the castle is lightly held. The ironborn will then put the castle to the torch, a nice middle finger to Garlan for killing Rodrik's heir Ser Harras, and then continuing down the Honeywine to Oldtown, forcing Leyton Hightower's sons to pull back to the city to defend it rather than sail down the Whispering Sound to attack Euron as he prepares to face the Redwyne Fleet. I believe Lord Harlaw will then send men amongst the people fleeing the ironborn to Oldtown, posing as refugees, like Leyton's ancestor Ormund Hightower did at Tumbleton, to start riots and weaken the defenders from the inside when Euron shows up to attack the city. 

3. The Battle in the Redwyne Straits: The Redwyne Fleet is just coming around Dorne to deal with Euron, whose ships are raiding the Arbor, and has been racked with storms coming around Dorne. Victarion's thought "What would the Crow's Eye do?" before commanding his men to "sail the straits" is, I believe, foreshadowing that Euron will battle Redwyne in the Redwyne straits, possibly defeating them by sailing half his ships around the Arbor and the rest down the straits, to trap Redwyne as Stannis trapped Victarion at Fair Isle. In the Forsaken, Euron's captains say he has sacrificed thousands of people to the sea, and the Drowned God has given them victories. It has also been noted previously that blood in the water brings krakens to the surface to attack ships, which will likely happen here, with Euron defeating and killing Paxter Redwyne, only to feign defeat and disguise himself as Redwyne (through a glamor or just by sailing captured Redwyne ships up the Whispering Sound, flying Redwyne and Tyrell banners). With the Hightowers believing that Euron was defeated, they will welcome Redwyne into Oldtown only to find the ironborn pouring off his ships to

4. Sack Oldtown: Rodrik's men having infiltrated the city will start riots in the streets and attempt to open the gates, while Euron's men disguised as Redwyne will join them in sacking the city. The Hightower will be too strong for them but I imagine Euron taunting Leyton Hightower with his son Baelor's smiling head. Euron's men will despoil and burn the Starry Sept, bringing the Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows from King's Landing for revenge, freeing up Cersei to murder the High Sparrow, and likely convince the Hightowers to join Aegon, seeing their kin murdered and their city sacked while Mace Tyrell sits in King's Landing doing nothing to protect them and his sons fail to do so in his stead. Euron will be on the verge of sacking the Citadel as well but Alleras (Sarella) the Sphinx will offer him the obsidian candles in exchange for him sparing the Citadel and those within (and Euron seems to be at least tolerant of maesters so it's possible he will spare the Citadel), and swear to serve him as foreshadowed in the Forsaken, likely planning to murder Euron at her earliest opportunity. We don't know what power the candles have, but since we know fire and obsidian have obvious magical significance, it is possible Euron will accept if he believes the candles can show him visions of the future, and he has an affinity for magic. Or he'll take the candles and sack the Citadel anyway, either is possible. 

Thoughts? 

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On 4/17/2019 at 1:34 PM, Headless Wolf said:

1. Garlan retakes the Shields: 

2. The Ironborn move on Oldtown: 

3. The Battle in the Redwyne Straits: 

4. Sack Oldtown:

I’ve finally read The Forsaken chapter, so I can comment on this.

1) Much of this is likely to happen, unless Garlan hears of the approaching battle in the Straits, so instead he sends ship to simply guard the mouth of the Mander, and he goes on land to Oldtown. A possible fight with Ser Harras would certainly be interesting. Unfortunately, how will we hear of all this? Not through first-hand accounts, so we’ll see how much detail we get.

2) Not sure about this. The Reader is a history buff, for sure, but as he tells Asha, he prefers his history written in ink, not blood. He's a cautious man, and pulling the Harwin maneuver is bold, but risky. If their enemy finds out, the ironborn would be screwed when crossing over land like this. Also, the Reader doesn’t like Euron much, so I don’t think he’ll exert himself any more than he needs to so he doesn’t piss off Euron. However, the refugee move is something he would do, I think. But maybe at Highgarden instead, pitting himself against another “nerd” Willas Tyrell.

3) I don’t think a battle like at Fair Isle can happen in the Redwyne Straits. The Straits look at least twice as wide as the Fair Isle straights. And the Arbor is a bigger island for Euron to circumnavigate. Also, in The Forsaken chapter, it’s mentioned that the Hightower ships are moving southwards to take Euron’s fleet from behind, though he’s aware of this. Euron’s ace in this battle will be the magic he has access to. Storms, krakens like you said, and other fortuitous events that will swing the scales in his favor. In terms of other tactics, I predict the Redwyne fleet will be over-stretched. Paxter will be desperate to get to the Arbor, and his swifter ships will be far ahead of the bigger, more ponderous ships. So Euron will allow the swifter ships to pass, while he strikes at the ships that are lagging, from hidden coves. Paxter’s flagship will likely be among the lagging ones, and as you said, Paxter will die.

4) A sack of Oldtown is likely to happen thanks to subterfuge tactics. I agree the Hightower will prove too strong for the ironborn, but I think Euron will simply sack the Citadel. Maybe Alleras and Sam flee with the glass candles. And I wonder if Marwyn managed to get away in time, or is he stuck there. If he’s still there, maybe he’ll do a spell to allow for Sam’s and Alleras’s escape.

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I think Aeron is going to be the POV for the naval battle against the Redwynes before "going to dine with the Drowned God" (i.e. die)

Samwell is going to be the POV for the fight between the Hightowers and the Ironborn and the sacking of Oldtown. I think Euron is going to torture Sam, take the books and artifacts he wants before destroying the Citadel.

Yes, the Citadel will suffer from a fate worse than the Library of Alexandria.

Hey, this is GRRM's high fantasy, pseudo-sci fi retelling of what would happen in medieval Europe didn't fall into the Dark Ages of superstition, war, famine and disease until a couple of decades after Rome fell

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The Ironborn, the Shields and the Reach are a side-show.  Did not Euron say as much?  The main characters have all moved on.  

Euron has sailed on, in the Silence, and has taken Aeron with him.  Marwyn has sailed off, on the Cinnamon Wind, and has probably taken his 2 buddies with him, along with Aemon's books of lore, Aemon's kingsblood corpse, Gilly's kingsblood baby (all for use in blood-magic rituals), and Sam's face.  All that remains in Oldtown is Sam's corpse, minus his face of course.

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1. is definitely happening

2. I don't think so

3. It will happen but tit will have more to d with magic as someone said above.

4. This is tricky. It could definitely happen.

Let's not forget that Dorne may have a part to play in all these as well.

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Perhaps George wants to recreate a similar situation to the Ironborn controlling the river lands during Aegons conquest. But with the Reach instead.

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