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What if Khal Drogo's Khalasar captured King's Landing and made Rhaego the King on the Iron Throne?


Jonsa
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On 5/26/2022 at 7:08 PM, Jonsa said:

In this alternative scenario, Khal Drogo never gets wounded by Ogo. He sacks Lhazar and then sells the slaves that he has harvested for warships to take his Khalasar across the Narrow Sea, as well as entire companies of Essosi sellswords to both sail/navigate the ships across the Narrow Sea and to further reinforce his invasion force of Westeros.

The Khalasar lands relatively safely/intact in the Narrow Sea coastlines (having picked up Ser Barristan Selmy/Arstan Whitebeard) during their voyage, and using Barristan's intimate knowledge of Crownlands geography, immediately storms to and captures King's Landing taking advantage of the Dothraki's unprecedented speed of advance compared with the native Westerosi armies, after getting one of the seven gates open either through force(using battering rams) or subterfuge (Barristan, Jorah and some of the mercenaries scaling the King's Landing walls and then getting one open, similarly to Theon's seizure of Winterfell). All of this happens right in the middle of A Clash of Kings.

After seizing the city, Drogo proceeds to loot, pillage and rape his way across the city. Tyrion, Cersei, Joffrey, Tommen and Lancel are all put to the sword by the horde without trial, as is every Lannister relative in the capital at this point. (Myrcella is travelling to Dorne at this point, so she's out of the way of Daenerys' revenge against the "Baratheons"). The Hound deserts the Kingsguard and flees the city during the fighting.

Presuming that Ilyn Payne is killed when the horde breaks into the Red Keep and Sansa survives her ordeal, what would have been her reaction to being liberated from the Lannisters by the Dothraki? After Drogo and Daenerys secure Rhaego as the King on the Iron Throne, I can certainly see Rhaego getting married to Sansa in order to further secure the Dothraki's tenuous foothold on Westeros. Keeping Sansa on as their ward/hostage, Ser Barristan Selmy is re-made Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and Hand of the King again, whilst Jorah is sent off to King Robb to negotiate a North-Riverlands-Dothraki alliance with Sansa's safety as the bargaining chip against both the Baratheons(Renly, Stannis) and the Lannisters.

Would Robb have allied with/bent the knee to Rhaego at this point for the sake of his sister's safety if not allowing Sansa to remain Queen Consort on the Iron Throne/Khaleesi?

First, this is not a battle to rob and loot.  This battle for the capital is to put Dany on the throne.  The Dothraki will not loot, rape, and pillage.  It's not an invasion.  It is a military force taking back what rightfully belongs to House Targaryen.  The Targs would be Dany and Rheago.  The throne and the royal capital is the center of power in Westeros.  Possession of the throne and the city by a Targaryen means Westeros has a ruler.  Targaryen, throne, and city gives Dany the authority to rule.  The lords, ladies, and peasants will accept this. 

Edited by Rosetta Stone
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21 hours ago, Rosetta Stone said:

First, this is not a battle to rob and loot.  This battle for the capital is to put Dany on the throne.  The Dothraki will not loot, rape, and pillage.  It's not an invasion.  It is a military force taking back what rightfully belongs to House Targaryen.  The Targs would be Dany and Rheago.  The throne and the royal capital is the center of power in Westeros.  Possession of the throne and the city by a Targaryen means Westeros has a ruler.  Targaryen, throne, and city gives Dany the authority to rule.  The lords, ladies, and peasants will accept this. 

I readlly don't get where you pulled this from. First, it is very definitely an invasion - or you are going to say that Roman invasions were not invasions merely because Romans believed they had the right to an universal rule? Second, do you really think that righteousness of the cause (which is not very righteous, Targaryens having been deposed and all) somehow, magically, prevents loot, rape and pillage? It happens in war, it happens even when an army is liberating their own country's territory, so even Westerosi troops will have looted, raped and pillaged. What can you expect from barbarians who despise people that live in stone houses and mostly do not ride horses?

Third, seem not to understand how a feudal society functions. Hell, even in a modern, centralized society (that Martin seems to have based a lot of Westeros on), capture of capital does not mean victory. Napoleon captured Moscow, Russians continued to resist. Wehrmacht entered Paris, French went "whelp, OK, let's make a new defensive line". Sure, it was a morale blow in all cases, but it was not decisive in and by itself. Premodern society? King Louis died, Ottomans captured Buda... and Hungarians went and chose a new king. Romans sacked Ctesiphon dozens of times, and Persians were just, "well, whatever". Even when the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople, capture of the city itself was not that much of a blow - rather, blow was that all the weaknesses of the already rotting empire were revealed, and rebels sprang up by the dozen.

Targaryens were deposed. Now, there are many who want them back - albeit nowhere as many as Targaryens themselves believe, I suspect. But one way or another, it will be a battle for hearts and minds, and a Dothraki horde will hardly endear Daenerys to the Westerosi.

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6 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Hell, even in a modern, centralized society (that Martin seems to have based a lot of Westeros on), capture of capital does not mean victory. Napoleon captured Moscow, Russians continued to resist. Wehrmacht entered Paris, French went "whelp, OK, let's make a new defensive line".

St. Petersburg was capital of Russia 1712-1918. So Napoleon never captured capital of Imperial Russia. Besides major reason why part of France that was not occupied by Nazis became rather hostile toward British and very friendly with Germans was that Great Britain sunk French fleet in Operation Catapult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-Kébir

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28 minutes ago, Loose Bolt said:

St. Petersburg was capital of Russia 1712-1918. So Napoleon never captured capital of Imperial Russia. Besides major reason why part of France that was not occupied by Nazis became rather hostile toward British and very friendly with Germans was that Great Britain sunk French fleet in Operation Catapult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-Kébir

@Aldarion Point still stands, the capital is not the kingdom, Louis VIII took London in 1216 but in the end he did not take England. During the 100 years War the english held Paris until 1436 but the Capetian still won out in the end. Even in universe Rhaenyra held Kingslanding in 130 AC but still many opposed her and she arguably lost the Dance. 

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Rhaego is an infant!  The way you outlined it will only work under a different time line. Dany’s restoration starts on Dragonstone. Rhaego’s way to the throne is the succession and not force of arms.  Conquering the city is the hard way. Taking Dragonstone and proclaiming herself the Queen is far less difficult. Let the ruling class come to Dragonstone and pledge their loyalty.  
 

Robb is not going to give anything for Sansa. He will instead ask for Northern independence. He will get it because moat Caitlin prevents the Dothraki and the sellswords from attacking the north.   He won’t get the Riverlands because the river men are loyal to the Targaryens.  

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19 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

St. Petersburg was capital of Russia 1712-1918. So Napoleon never captured capital of Imperial Russia. Besides major reason why part of France that was not occupied by Nazis became rather hostile toward British and very friendly with Germans was that Great Britain sunk French fleet in Operation Catapult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-Kébir

OK, my mistake with Russia (albeit Moscow was still important), but still, the point stands. Capturing capital is not enough to take control of the kingdom:

  • Romans sacked Ctesiphon multiple times, yet they never conquered Persia. Muslims captured Ctesiphon in 637., yet Persia would not fall until 654. And keep in mind that Persia was actually quite a feudal society by standards of the time.
  • Umayyads relatively easily conquered most of Hispania due to its disunity, but resistance continued in northern reaches despite the very quick capture of Toledo.
  • Crusaders captured Constantinople in 1204., yet the Empire survived (and while it did split apart, that was bound to happen, Crusaders or no Crusaders).
  • English held Paris through much of the Hundred Years War. French just went, "lolnope".
  • Ottomans captured Buda in 1541., but Hungary did not surrender and continued to resist (albeit as a part of the Habsburg Empire).
  • When Germans captured Paris in 1940., French just went and created a new defensive line. True, this failed as Germans smashed through it, but capture of Paris was clearly not enough to conquer France.
  • Soviets captured Berlin on 2nd May 1945., yet Germany surrendered on 8th May 1945., largely due to nobody but now-dead Hitler wanting to resist.

So there is no reason to believe that capture of King's Landing would be enough to make people accept Daenerys and her savage family.

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On 6/8/2022 at 3:58 AM, Rosetta Stone said:

First, this is not a battle to rob and loot.  This battle for the capital is to put Dany on the throne.  The Dothraki will not loot, rape, and pillage.  It's not an invasion.  It is a military force taking back what rightfully belongs to House Targaryen.  The Targs would be Dany and Rheago.  The throne and the royal capital is the center of power in Westeros.  Possession of the throne and the city by a Targaryen means Westeros has a ruler.  Targaryen, throne, and city gives Dany the authority to rule.  The lords, ladies, and peasants will accept this. 

The Starks are one of the few who will not accept until the Targaryens sweeten the deal.  They can give the Starks the north and allow Robb to be its king.  Is that really necessary though.  That is almost half the land of Westeros.  Why not just attack the Starks and finish them off.  Which the khalasar can do.  The Starks will have no walls to hide behind.  Rid the world of the Starks and put somebody in the North who can be loyal to the dragon.

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2 hours ago, Rondo said:

The Starks are one of the few who will not accept until the Targaryens sweeten the deal.  They can give the Starks the north and allow Robb to be its king.  Is that really necessary though.  That is almost half the land of Westeros.  Why not just attack the Starks and finish them off.  Which the khalasar can do.  The Starks will have no walls to hide behind.  Rid the world of the Starks and put somebody in the North who can be loyal to the dragon.

Um, you know all these castles? Also, this is pretty much what Lannisters did - doesn't seem to be really working out for them.

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9 hours ago, Rondo said:

The Starks are one of the few who will not accept until the Targaryens sweeten the deal.  They can give the Starks the north and allow Robb to be its king.  Is that really necessary though.  That is almost half the land of Westeros.  Why not just attack the Starks and finish them off.  Which the khalasar can do.  The Starks will have no walls to hide behind.  Rid the world of the Starks and put somebody in the North who can be loyal to the dragon.

The Khalasar would never be able to pass Moat Cailin if it was well manned,they migth not even make it that far. The Crannogmen and the Neck would make the journey to it hell on earth. Even if the khalasar arrived via sea they would arrive in Autumn, and come the winter they will fall like flies. Winterfell and its triple Walls would be a very tough nut to crack but with Winter here it would be almost impregnable.

And the Stark were loyal to the Dragons, they only stop being loyal when the King dishonnorably kill they're lord and executed is heir, and on top of that asked for the head of the second son, all that after the married prince had kidnaped the daugther of they're lord. Not exactly the Stark just wanting advancement, they pretty much given the choice to die or stop being loyal to the very people killing them. Not exactly disloyalty. And any way it is accepted as common wisdom that only the Starks can hold the North.

And I dont think that the Westerlands or the Iron island would just accept the Targaryen, that would be 3 out of 8 regions. The Vale is a coin toss but would most likely stay out of it. The Stormlands and the Riverlands would be split. The Reach is more complicated quite a few Targaryen loyalist but not has much as many believe, especially if they're main backer would be a horde of barbarian, so they migth be split too. That would mean that only Dorne would really support them, but the Stark's would certainly not be of the few.

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On 6/10/2022 at 3:55 AM, Aldarion said:

OK, my mistake with Russia (albeit Moscow was still important), but still, the point stands. Capturing capital is not enough to take control of the kingdom:

  • Romans sacked Ctesiphon multiple times, yet they never conquered Persia. Muslims captured Ctesiphon in 637., yet Persia would not fall until 654. And keep in mind that Persia was actually quite a feudal society by standards of the time.
  • Umayyads relatively easily conquered most of Hispania due to its disunity, but resistance continued in northern reaches despite the very quick capture of Toledo.
  • Crusaders captured Constantinople in 1204., yet the Empire survived (and while it did split apart, that was bound to happen, Crusaders or no Crusaders).
  • English held Paris through much of the Hundred Years War. French just went, "lolnope".
  • Ottomans captured Buda in 1541., but Hungary did not surrender and continued to resist (albeit as a part of the Habsburg Empire).
  • When Germans captured Paris in 1940., French just went and created a new defensive line. True, this failed as Germans smashed through it, but capture of Paris was clearly not enough to conquer France.
  • Soviets captured Berlin on 2nd May 1945., yet Germany surrendered on 8th May 1945., largely due to nobody but now-dead Hitler wanting to resist.

So there is no reason to believe that capture of King's Landing would be enough to make people accept Daenerys and her savage family.

I think it would be most accurate to say that it depends on the circumstances. Capitals being taken can absolutely mean taking effective control of the kingdom, but it can also not. There are plenty of examples both ways. Other factors like who is captured within the capital, what had been happening before the capture, etc. all come into play. 

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4 hours ago, James Arryn said:

I think it would be most accurate to say that it depends on the circumstances. Capitals being taken can absolutely mean taking effective control of the kingdom, but it can also not. There are plenty of examples both ways. Other factors like who is captured within the capital, what had been happening before the capture, etc. all come into play. 

Agreed. Usually, it comes down to:

1) whether there is a political authority remaining

2) whether there is military force remaining

Capital city tends to serve as a center of political power, which means that capturing a capital will often result in elimination of political authority, and thus conquest of the country.

Thing is, how true this is depends on the political system. In a centralized system such as Roman Empire, capturing the capital city was significant because it gave the pretender direct access to organs of power. And because limitations that premodern society had with regards to communication meant that you could not have e.g. Emperor in one city, treasury in another and military HQ in third city, this meant that once you captured the capital city, you had eliminated everything. As a result, if a pretender wanted to establish an uncontested rule, he had to capture the capital - there were cases when he'd simply establish a second capital city, but that was only usually done (and only successful) when pretender was aiming at seceding with a province or a group of provinces, rather than taking control of the entire country.

But political authority in feudalism is very decentralized. Feudalism is born from the lack of ability to establish full centralized control. Ignoring for now actual historical examples, we see time and again that Westerosi kings cannot simply replace rulers of fiefs as they want; basically, it takes treason for a lord or even a noble to be removed from his fief, because fiefs are personal possessions rather than being simply administrative areas as they were in Rome. If lords don't agree with who is ruling them, they can easily rebel. King holds the authority because other political authorities know him and trust him - it is fundamentally an interpersonal relationship. This means that political importance (political capital) of the capital city in feudalism is significantly lower than it is in a more centralized system. Possession of the capital city is a visible symbol of king's authority, a symbolic recognition of an already established fact, but nothing more.

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On 5/30/2022 at 5:29 AM, Aldarion said:

Not how it works. It is not enough for somebody to take the capital and say I AM THE KING. He has to actually convince the rest of the kingdoms that he is, in fact, a king, and a king they want to follow. And keep in mind, we're talking about a guy that is half-Dothraki and with a horde of Dothraki at his back.

I mean, by your "logic", rebellion against Aerys will have been completely impossible because he was the king, and held the Iron Throne at the time, and everything coming from the resistance was just griping and whining.

Which ended with a couple of very dead Targaryens and Robert on the Iron Throne.

That is how it works.  Robert did not become king until Aerys was murdered and King's Landing fell.  Followed by his coronation.  Tommen is removed, King's Landing is liberated from the Lannisters, and Daenerys is crowned.  That makes her ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.  The resistance become nothing more than rebels.  Daenerys will have the option to pass the crown to Rhaego if she wants to. 

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9 minutes ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

That is how it works.  Robert did not become king until Aerys was murdered and King's Landing fell.  Followed by his coronation.  Tommen is removed, King's Landing is liberated from the Lannisters, and Daenerys is crowned.  That makes her ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.  The resistance become nothing more than rebels.  Daenerys will have the option to pass the crown to Rhaego if she wants to. 

Robert was officially recognized as a king when that happened. But he became a king because lords chose to follow him and to make him a king. If Rhaego (we are discussing him, not Daenerys) is crowned, but nobody recognizes him as a king, he will be king of the King's Landing, not of Seven Kingdoms, no matter how he styles himself.

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To return to the original hypothetical, I am not really sure how Sansa is supposed to factor into this. If they are still in the frenzy of killing as they did to the Lannisters in this scenario, either they kill Sansa as a member of the court without bothering to check who she is or as the daughter of the Usurper's dog. Or stop themselves if there are people who understand the complexities of Robb's independence war and can make her into their own hostage for leverage.

I don't think Sansa could ever marry Rhaego without some very complex political circumstances. To begin with, she's ten years older than him - a future bride for Rhaego would likely be someone who isn't even born yet, a daughter of Willas/Garlan/Arianne perhaps. Even if a Stark marriage is required it would make most sense for Rhaego to marry Robb's daughter over Sansa.

I suppose the big question is what the Dothraki occupation would look like long-term, since we never really saw it take off. Would they just be a launchpad for a Targaryen restoration and agree to retreat, or would they wish to impose themselves and their ways on Westeros, such as a Dothraki-Westerosi mix of leaders such as the Ilkhanate, or even a Dothraki ruling elite like Yuan China? It's a different story than the one we have so I'm really not sure where to go with this idea.

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@Vaith

The person who authored this topic is transparent.  The person who started the thread made up his, or her, own story.  It's not the story as it is written by GRRM.  The giant plot hole in the topic is the effects of the long winter as well as the deterioration of the social order caused by the war of the five idiots (Robb Stark, Joffrey, Balon, Renly, and Stannis).  All those things brought suffering to the people.  They will naturally look for leadership if there are any of them left who have not been wighted by Jon's new friends, the White Walkers.  The Dothraki comes and throws the Baratheons out and offers Daenerys and Rhaego.  Here comes a powerful Targaryen who can offer strength and stability.  The people would gravitate to that person and accept their rule.

It was the author who brought Sansa into the topic as a potential marriage offer for Prince Rhaego.  Me, I think Sansa has the mind of a cestode, but she does have some social value because of her noble birth.  Despite the Starks losing it all.  A person born into nobility remains of noble blood regardless of whether they have land or not.  They don't have much to offer and their political status are very diminished but the social part of being a lady remains.  

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On 6/12/2022 at 10:28 PM, Rondo said:

@Vaith

The person who authored this topic is transparent.  The person who started the thread made up his, or her, own story.  It's not the story as it is written by GRRM.  The giant plot hole in the topic is the effects of the long winter as well as the deterioration of the social order caused by the war of the five idiots (Robb Stark, Joffrey, Balon, Renly, and Stannis).  All those things brought suffering to the people.  They will naturally look for leadership if there are any of them left who have not been wighted by Jon's new friends, the White Walkers.  The Dothraki comes and throws the Baratheons out and offers Daenerys and Rhaego.  Here comes a powerful Targaryen who can offer strength and stability.  The people would gravitate to that person and accept their rule.

It was the author who brought Sansa into the topic as a potential marriage offer for Prince Rhaego.  Me, I think Sansa has the mind of a cestode, but she does have some social value because of her noble birth.  Despite the Starks losing it all.  A person born into nobility remains of noble blood regardless of whether they have land or not.  They don't have much to offer and their political status are very diminished but the social part of being a lady remains.  

Not bad points.

Also, I think it's worth mentioning something else: fAegon.

Would Varys or Illyrio even allow this? What would the Golden Company do?

And frankly, I don't think that the Dothraki alone are enough to conquer half of Westeros much less the whole of it. Drogo only has like what? 40,000? That's not enough. Enough to take and hold King's Landing perhaps. But not really anywhere else.

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On 6/14/2022 at 12:24 PM, BlackLightning said:

Not bad points.

Also, I think it's worth mentioning something else: fAegon.

Would Varys or Illyrio even allow this? What would the Golden Company do?

And frankly, I don't think that the Dothraki alone are enough to conquer half of Westeros much less the whole of it. Drogo only has like what? 40,000? That's not enough. Enough to take and hold King's Landing perhaps. But not really anywhere else.

That's actually one of my big questions: just how many did Drogo promise? Viserys boasted he could take Westeros with 10,000 (and Jorah notes that he couldn't sweep a stable with 10,000 brooms), there's 40,000, and the report Robert received of 100,000 men. If Viserys intended to take Westeros, he'd need more than 40,000 given that Robert's most famous victory was beating a force of 40,000 with a somewhat smaller army (35,000).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/12/2022 at 1:12 PM, Aldarion said:

Robert was officially recognized as a king when that happened. But he became a king because lords chose to follow him and to make him a king. If Rhaego (we are discussing him, not Daenerys) is crowned, but nobody recognizes him as a king, he will be king of the King's Landing, not of Seven Kingdoms, no matter how he styles himself.

Robert was not king until Aerys died.  There is a formality to it.  Look at Robb's case.  The Stark followers could scream he's king all they want but Robb never became a king.  The North remained part of the kingdom, which already had a king.  Robb was a pretender.  If he had won his rebellion and won independence for the North, then yes, he can be properly crowned.  Then and only then will he become king.  That never happened, so Robb was never truly a king.  Robert defeated a prince on the battlefield, not the king himself. Even if many on that battlefield wanted him as king is of little to no difference. 

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