Jump to content
All Things Ice and Fire

An entire royal line wiped out in one battle?

Recommended Posts

On 6/19/2019 at 2:35 AM, Lord Varys said:

 

That is indeed show nonsense and a rather clichéd take on the thing in my opinion, playing up the role of House Tyrell to enormous proportions.

I agree. Eventhough we have to point out that these videos were the POVs of the characters themselves, so this video is how Margaery herself interprets the events of the Gardener fall and Margaery is portrayed as a witty player in the series (like Olenna) so she is kind of suspicious of her ancestor's role in the fall of House Gardener. These videos became a true fiasco in later seasons when D&D changed the lore to fit with the series. i still get angry with the Randyl Tarly POV when he says that The Tyrells turned Higjgarden into a pleasure palace, (lol the stereotypes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe he knew that if this was their last chance. That if they lose this battle they would lose it all. So why leave someone behind to inherit if there is in the worst case nothing left.

On 6/18/2019 at 9:14 PM, Jaak said:

What´s odd is that between four sons, Mern had precisely 2 grandsons old enough to ride as squires - but no babies too young for war.

What if something was left out or covered up? Like the murder of all the male babies or forcing other males into the faith? 

If you do it silently and get rid of all evidence and not gifting the bodies in front of everyone as present to the new ruler you could get away with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:35 PM, All Things Ice and Fire said:

After all, he did minimize the roles Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon played in Robert's Rebellion to placate the Lannisters.

?

How was Stannis' role downplayed and how did this placate the Lannisters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2019 at 4:18 PM, Myrish Lace said:

Trying to charge a flying dragon with cavalry (which can't fly) is ridiculously foolish. Mern (as well as many of his colleagues) was a silly man.

This isn't a great take.  The Westerosi had no idea what dragons were capable of; it had been centuries, if ever, since an adult dragon had participated in warfare in Westeros (in other words, where they'd have seen what dragons are capable of).  You are making this assumption that everyone should "know" it's foolish to charge a dragon.  Why?  The only time the dragons have been used in actual battle to this point, was during the Last Storm - when Meraxes not only couldn't fly, but wasn't able to use it's fiery breath to great effect either.  One of the reasons the Field of Fire is so fiery is because all the dry grass goes up in flame, too.  Easy to say "they should have thought of that," but real world history is full of equally "obvious" mistakes being made.  Without flight, and with only locally effective flame, the dragons aren't the "win button" that they become.  They're just one more asset.  Rhaenys almost loses at the Last Storm despite having a dragon, and the odds are stacked much more against the Targaryens at the Field of Fire from a pure numbers standpoint.

So on the one hand, Mern and Loren are products of their society - armored heavy cavalry is the ultimate weapon and whoever has more of it generally wins.  They aren't stupid as much as they aren't brilliant.  For them, the win condition is beating the enemy army comprehensively, and honestly, that isn't the dumbest tactic in the world.  Aegon and Rhaenys and Visenya have to come down to eat and sleep at some point.  Plenty of wars have been lost because one side doesn't understand the motivating factors of the other.

And as others have pointed out, for Westerosi men, who are martial aristocracy, being a winning commander or at least winning in battle are requisites for commanding the respect of vassals, not options.  Mern XI is exposing his heirs to battle because that will be beneficial for them in the future.  Moreover, it's easy to forget it, but medieval battles generally didn't result in huge losses among the nobility, who generally have the armor and mobility (being ahorse) to avoid dying outright.  And if they are captured, the assumption is they'll be ransomed.  So the Gardeners are going in here with the thought (not totally unreasonable under the circumstances) that they're going to win big time.  And even if they don't, the conventions of their society are such that even should a few of them die, the rest will be ransomed and it'll be business as usual.  It's not smart, but we're looking at it as omniscient readers.  None of the decisions they're making are stupid in a vacuum.  They just don't understand that Aegon and his sisters aren't playing by the same rules as Westeros has been for the last several thousand years.

Edited by cpg2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

deleted

double post

Edited by cpg2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/21/2019 at 10:30 AM, Karneol said:

What if something was left out or covered up? Like the murder of all the male babies or forcing other males into the faith? 

If you do it silently and get rid of all evidence and not gifting the bodies in front of everyone as present to the new ruler you could get away with it.

You cannot. If there had been three or four grandsons aged two, five, eight... their existence would have been public knowledge for years. There would have been questions. It would not have been only Tyrells queuing up to be guardians for the babes. King Ronnell at Eyrie was spared - killing a eight year old Gardener would have drawn ugly questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's better to just accept that in the series families are much smaller than they should be for the sake of the narrative and not having 50 or so cousins vying for every title. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2019 at 6:14 PM, cpg2016 said:

The Westerosi had no idea what dragons were capable of; it had been centuries, if ever, since an adult dragon had participated in warfare in Westeros

Eh, no. Field of Fire happened after conquest of Stormlands, Riverlands, Crownlands and abortive Vale invasion. The fact that dragons fly and burn men, forests and castles was blatantly obvious.

On 6/25/2019 at 6:14 PM, cpg2016 said:

You are making this assumption that everyone should "know" it's foolish to charge a dragon.  Why

The purpose of cavalry charge is to smash into the enemy with a bunch of horsemen.

Dragons fly.

Horses do not fly.

Ergo charging dragons with cavalry is physically impossible.

Mern and Loren were silly men.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Myrish Lace said:

Eh, no. Field of Fire happened after conquest of Stormlands, Riverlands, Crownlands and abortive Vale invasion. The fact that dragons fly and burn men, forests and castles was blatantly obvious.

The purpose of cavalry charge is to smash into the enemy with a bunch of horsemen.

Dragons fly.

Horses do not fly.

Ergo charging dragons with cavalry is physically impossible.

Mern and Loren were silly men.

It is quite clear that Loren and Mern did not expect the dragons to be as effective as they were while expecting that their overwhelming force breaking the Targaryen army which was mainly made up of defeated enemies that would defect and turn against them at the first opportunity would effectively end Aegon's war of conquest.

And they were not wrong there. If Aegon and his sisters hadn't been able to use their dragons as effectively as they did - because the weather was against them, because there were no dry wheat/grass around the armies the Targaryens could use very effectively - then Mern and Loren had ended the conquest.

We see both before and after the Field of Fire that dragons do not guarantee victory in the field, and dragons don't prevent your people from defecting to the other side in a civil war.

It is also rather silly to assume that kings like Mern and Loren should give a damn about how the Vale, the Stormlands, and the Ironborn failed to deal with the dragons. They were the most powerful of the Seven Kingdoms and, in their own minds, much more competent than the others. Not to mention that we can be pretty sure that they did not exactly get all that good information on what had transpired elsewhere. Mern and the Durrandons were neither friends nor allies, they were enemies. Harren had no friends, either, and the Vale was basically at the other end of the continent.

One imagines that the smarter men in the host of the Two Kings may have started to doubt their strategy once they actually saw the size of the enemy dragons ... but at that time it was too late.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Myrish Lace said:

Eh, no. Field of Fire happened after conquest of Stormlands, Riverlands, Crownlands and abortive Vale invasion. The fact that dragons fly and burn men, forests and castles was blatantly obvious.

There is a large difference between intellectually "knowing" something and really understanding it.  The Vale fell without fighting.  The Crownlands fell without the use of draconic force.  The Riverlands rose up in revolt, and Harrenhal was a stationary target; it's made explicit that Mern and Loren rode out specifically to avoid the fate of Harren the Black.  As I said, the Stormlands fell mostly due to traditional fighting; Meraxes was effective but not decisive.

It's also worth mentioning that we're omniscient readers.  We have information about how effective the dragons are.  There is no reason to believe that Mern or Loren Lannister had anything resembling accurate information about what the dragons were capable of.  All they'll hear are jumbled reports from men who fled the Last Storm, and even eyewitness reports about Harrenhal may not accurately convey the abilities of the dragons.

And moreover, we know that a solely-ground based force can defeat dragons - Dorne manages it for centuries. As I said, all the kings have to do is beat Aegon's ground army badly enough that his allies desert him, and he's kind of screwed.  The dragons have to land some time.

6 hours ago, Myrish Lace said:

The purpose of cavalry charge is to smash into the enemy with a bunch of horsemen.

Dragons fly.

Horses do not fly.

Ergo charging dragons with cavalry is physically impossible.

Right.... which explains why Meraxes was on the ground during the Last Storm?  The problem with being as big of an illiterate idiot as you are is that we occasionally have explicit, canon information regarding certain things, and your inability to read makes it difficult to argue those instances effectively.

We also know that Visenya was injured.  She was shot with an arrow.  In other words, a matter of inches would have removed a third of the dragons rom the field of battle.  I'm sure Rhaenys and Aegon had similarly close calls.  Aegon had a massive advantage in having the dragons, but they weren't an automatic win button, and it would not have taken much for the battle to go the other way.  It's made explicit that the wind conditions and dryness of the field were the actual determining factors in the victory being as lopsided as it was.  If the wind was blowing towards Aegon's forces, you have a different result.  If the grass is wetter, you have a different result.  All of this is to say, Mern and Loren chose a bad time and place to give battle, but this is understandable when you accept that no one had really seen a dragon in combat in memory.  There is just no institutional knowledge in place to create tactics to deal with it, just like the Romans were initially unable to effectively counter Pyrrhic elephant cavalry because they'd never seen it before - it was only after a few engagements that they began to develop a doctrine that could neutralize them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2019 at 10:39 PM, cpg2016 said:

There is just no institutional knowledge in place to create tactics to deal with it, just like the Romans were initially unable to effectively counter Pyrrhic elephant cavalry because they'd never seen it before - it was only after a few engagements that they began to develop a doctrine that could neutralize them.

That's very true. I am from Epirus, Greece. Pyrrhus impact, xD.

People say that The two Kings were foolish but the truth is that it was just old against the new, it was very difficult for them to predict all the parameters of the battle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

That's very true. I am from Epirus, Greece. Pyrrhus impact, xD.

People say that The two Kings were foolish but the truth is that it was just old against the new, it was very difficult for them to predict all the parameters of the battle.

Old civilization vs new one, imo. War technology sufficiently advanced would always create an insurmountable difference in opposing forces. Our Westerosi kings could have had even more men, more cavalry and it wouldn't truly make a difference. The terrain and climate made it possible for the dragons to be used to full extent. And that was that.

The Gardeners simply acted in accordance to the rules of their time. It just might be that our inclusive perspective has made us think they should've been more cautious. Imo, they simply didn't have enough of a notion of how far the Targaryens were willing to go in their Conquest. 

Despite the other events, we always come back to the Field of Fire, don't we? Harrenhal was a monstrous event and the ruins, even after rebuilding attempts, stood as a gruesome witness of such a brutal jump in how war was defined for Westerod.

But to me, the sheer scale of loss of life from the Gradeners' demise and the armies around them defined the collective memory of Aegon's Conquest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/18/2019 at 3:47 AM, The Hoare said:

From Mern's side? Surely, but no one can deny that dragons are a coward's weapon

That makes no sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/16/2019 at 6:35 PM, All Things Ice and Fire said:

For Mern IX Gardner to have had all his possible successors accompanying him at the Field of Fire is ridiculously foolish.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest

Shouldn't he have left at least one of them behind at Highgarden (a designated survivor so to speak)? They had to have known they wouldn't have much of a chance against dragons, seemingly having had no defense against them. In the days leading up to the Battle of Hastings, Gyrth had suggested to King Harold, that he be the one to engage William of Normandy in the field and that Harold, himself, face him in London. Harold ignored such advice, and he and two of his brothers died at Hastings. Harold had sons who had apparently survived him, and are only said to have disappeared from history in the 1070's.

One possibility is that they didn't all die at the Field of Fire, but Maester Yandel simply had to erase their names from history to appease House Tyrell. After all, he did minimize the roles Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon played in Robert's Rebellion to placate the Lannisters.

Having dragons did not mean that the Conquest was a cakewalk for Aegon to this point. The Targ fleet under command of Daemon Velaryon was destroyed by the Arryns despite the presence of Visenya riding Vhagar. True, the Arryn fleet was destroyed as well, but it was still a loss of the Targs because they couldn't take Gulltown or subdue the Vale.

Aegon also suffered losses in the Riverlands and the Stormlands before taking Harrenhall and Storm's End. So it's not like dragons make you invincible, as the Dornish were to prove later.

The difference in the Reach, of course, is that it is wide open countryside as opposed to dense forests and fast-moving rivers. So the Gardeners and the Lannisters marching along in standard battle formation puts them at a distinct disadvantage.

And I think the decision to bring all your sons to battle is rather common, as long as they are of fighting age. Think of the Karstarks, the Manderlys, the Swanns . . . To do otherwise would be to signal to your men, your allies and your liege lord if you are a vassal, that you think you will lose, which is bad for morale and for your chances of receiving the good spoils after the battle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Having dragons did not mean that the Conquest was a cakewalk for Aegon to this point. The Targ fleet under command of Daemon Velaryon was destroyed by the Arryns despite the presence of Visenya riding Vhagar. True, the Arryn fleet was destroyed as well, but it was still a loss of the Targs because they couldn't take Gulltown or subdue the Vale.

Aegon also suffered losses in the Riverlands and the Stormlands before taking Harrenhall and Storm's End. So it's not like dragons make you invincible, as the Dornish were to prove later.

The difference in the Reach, of course, is that it is wide open countryside as opposed to dense forests and fast-moving rivers. So the Gardeners and the Lannisters marching along in standard battle formation puts them at a distinct disadvantage.

And I think the decision to bring all your sons to battle is rather common, as long as they are of fighting age. Think of the Karstarks, the Manderlys, the Swanns . . . To do otherwise would be to signal to your men, your allies and your liege lord if you are a vassal, that you think you will lose, which is bad for morale and for your chances of receiving the good spoils after the battle.

I'd also add that not taking with sons who are of age and can fight is also a major slap the faces of said sons, and would likely undermine their future authority if one of them became the next king. In regards to males warriors are admired in Westeros, while bench-warmers and non-combatants don't seem to be, by the warrior aristocracy at large.

Edited by Lion of the West

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×