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What were really the chances of success for Viserys or Daenerys if the original plan with Khal Drogo had come to fruition ?


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What do you think would have truly happened if the original plan that Viserys Targaryen (in the scenario where he didn't die) or Daenerys (in the scenario where he died but Khal Drogo wasn't wounded) had of crossing the Narrow Sea with Khal Drogo and his entire khalasar had truly happened and that they tried to reconquer the Iron Throne with this dothraki army ?

What would have been Drogo and the Targaryen's genuine chances of success into taking the Iron Throne, or at least King's Landing and a portion of the Seven Kingdoms, against the great houses, either united or divided and at war with each other ?

What would have been their chances if they had landed in the Seven Kingdoms but without the War of the Five Kings happening ?What if they had arrived by the time of the War of the Five Kings, in the case it happened just like at the end of AGO and at the beggining and middle of ACOK ? Which place would it have been better for them to land and to start their invasion ?

What scenarios could you see happening ?

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I think invading with the Khalasar would have done more harm than good. It doesn't make the Targaryens look like unjustly deposed monarchs trying to reclaim their rightful throne, it makes them look like foreign tyrants there to slaughter and pillage. Nothing unites squabbling realms like a foreign invasion. I also don't know how successful they'd be as Dothraki seem to have issues overcoming heavy armour and aren't very good with siege warfare. They could pillage the surrounding countryside but that would only serve to turn the smallfolk against them. This is of course assuming they can land in Westeros in the first place. If this is a united kingdom scenario, then Stannis should be able to stop quite a lot of them crossing. The Redwyne fleet would probably help as well. Some houses may declare for them but I don't really believe they have as much support as Illyrio claims.

Also the timing of their invasion is an issue. If they land in autumn then storms could hinder their crossing. If they land in winter there will be a lack of food and fodder for the horses. I could see quite a lot of Dothraki starving in this scenario.

If they land at the start of the WotFK it depends where they land. If they go straight for King's Landing, assuming Stannis does nothing with the royal fleet and lets them land I think they might be able to take the city, after which it would be so savagely pillaged that they'd be even more hated by the residents than the Lannisters. The dragons won't be there so they don't have the added prestige and legitimacy they bring. I'm assuming they wouldn't land in the Stormlands because of the autumn storms. If they land in the vale I think the Dothraki would really struggle with the mountainous terrain. Cold would be an issue for them in the North. The Martells may be friendly but their deserts would not.

Taking away the open field removes a lot of the Dothraki's advantages and forces them to fight on unfamiliar terrain. So a good military commander like Randyl Tarly could try to lure them into forests, mountain passes etc. and whittle down their numbers. Also all someone needs to do is kill Drogo and the Khalasar will fracture into smaller bands that can be picked off one by one. The Dothraki may even fight each other when this happens.

Another issue with invading at the start of the WotFK is that there are already several popular claimants in the field with larger armies who have the benefit of not being affiliated with murderous barbarians. In addition Viserys doesn't exactly have a winning personality and people would be biased against Daenerys because she is female and the fact that there seems to be a precedent against women inheriting the throne.

I suspect this scenario may never have been intended to be winnable for them in the first place. The aim of Varys/Illyrio was probably for them to cause chaos and strife so that Aegon could swoop in looking so much better.

The Dothraki are really, really bad for the Targaryens' image. They are foreign (people in Westeros seem very suspicious of foreigners as seen from the Rogares and Serenei), they are rapists, they are slavers, they are murderers. If allowed on Westerosi soil they would commit atrocities at least comparable to Tywin in the Riverlands. The smallfolk would hate them. The Faith would hate them. The lords would hate them. I suspect the maesters wouldn't be favourably disposed to them either given the scale and severity of their atrocities in Essos, which they would know about. Now when Daenerys eventually arrives with them it could be different. But in this scenario Khal Drogo is still alive and he won't put an end to their murderous ways.

Overall I don't think they would be very successful at all against a united kingdom. If it was during the WotFK I think they could see a little more success but still wouldn't really be close to winning.

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Khal Drogo had at least, by Jorah's estimate, 40 thousand warriors.  Khal Drogo would need the cooperation of the other khalasars to make the conquest successful if they were to do this without help from the other side.  King Viserys III would have gotten a lot of support from the nobles of Westeros.  The Riverlands are loyal and the Tyrells would have sided with the Targaryen king.  I would have offered Balon Greyjoy the north in return for his cooperation.  Offer the Riverland to the Freys and promise to feed Hoster and his brood to the goats.  Viserys will have to marry Arriane to get Dorne's help but so be it.  All Viserys had to do was cross the sea with a believable force and that was easy enough with Khal Drogo's khalasar.  Even Robert, a warrior himself, was scared of the Dothraki coming across.  Hoster and the other nobles would be soiling their britches when the Dothraki khalasar starts riding towards their castles.  

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Peaches and Rondo have raised some good questions; I've been mulling over them myself.  First of all, how are 40,000 Dothraki warriors going to get to Westeros?  How many ships will be needed for them and their horses?  Which of the Free Cities will they pass through to get to the ships?  Etc.  And with Winter coming, all of that becomes even more difficult. Because of the irregular seasons, this is something that Illyrio wouldn't have known about in advance.  But he's smart and well educated; he must have considered the possibility.

And looking at the big picture, I have to wonder what the heck illyrio is up to.  At the start of the story, his plan was (allegedly) to marry Daenerys to Drogo, in order to acquire an army that would help Viserys regain the Iron Throne.  That plan changed, of course, after Viserys and Drogo both died.  But all that time, illyrio was also involved in the Young Griff conspiracy.  In fact, YG probably came first.  I don't think we know exactly when Daenerys and her brother came to live with Illyrio, but it seems likely that the YG plan had been under way for years by that time.

When we meet YG and his team in "Dance," they all seem to take it for granted that YG will marry Daenerys.  But that must have been a recent addition to the plan.  It wouldn't have made sense until after Drogo died; and of course, the hatching of the three dragons made her even more valuable.

So it does seem possible that the whole plan with Viserys and Daenerys was intended to fail.  The idea was to get Viserys out of the picture, clearing the way for YG, while also acquiring some goodwill with Drogo by giving him a pretty blonde wife.  Perhaps Illyrio was planning to enlist the Dothraki in a war against Braavos, to win independence for Pentos.  Logistically, that would be much easier than trying to take 40,000 Dothraki to Westeros and conquer an entire continent.

Or maybe Illyrio is just covering all the bases, acquiring as many Targaryens as he can, in hopes that one of them will live long enough for the plan to come to fruition. Who knows, maybe he's got a couple more Targaryens stashed away in other remote places, which we won't learn about until "Winds" or "Dream" are published.

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23 minutes ago, Aebram said:

Perhaps Illyrio was planning to enlist the Dothraki in a war against Braavos, to win independence for Pentos.  Logistically, that would be much easier than trying to take 40,000 Dothraki to Westeros and conquer an entire continent.

Maybe, though I think the terrain around Braavos is quite rocky so I don't know how long the Dothraki could last there. I've never thought about attacking Braavos by land before. Wiki says it is protected by mountainous islands and the city itself is covered with canals so it would be quite a challenge for the Dotharki. It seems they don't go north that much. The Iron Bank could probably pay them off.

Obviously Illyrio is dissatisfied with the anti-slavery policy the Braavosi have forced on Pentos and I suspect the other magisters feel the same. But I wonder if there is a lot of discontent slaves or indentured servants like there seems to be in the other free cities. Pentos is also suggested to have been around before the Valyrians and there are Andals there, as well as the mysterious Tattered Prince who wants the city for some reason. So I definitely think the city will come into play again at some point.

If his plan is set up for Viserys to fail, then it wouldn't matter if he couldn't ship all 40,00 Dothraki across. Just enough to cause chaos and have Aegon swoop in to defend the realm and look like a hero.

30 minutes ago, Aebram said:

Or maybe Illyrio is just covering all the bases, acquiring as many Targaryens as he can, in hopes that one of them will live long enough for the plan to come to fruition. Who knows, maybe he's got a couple more Targaryens stashed away in other remote places, which we won't learn about until "Winds" or "Dream" are published.

I agree he is smart enough to have a backup. However I'm not sure if it goes further than having Viserys/Daenerys and then Aegon. The more Targaryens that start mysteriously turning up, the more suspicious people will get. At any rate Aegon seems to be the one him and Varys have put the most effort into.

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10 hours ago, Rondo said:

Khal Drogo had at least, by Jorah's estimate, 40 thousand warriors.  Khal Drogo would need the cooperation of the other khalasars to make the conquest successful if they were to do this without help from the other side.  King Viserys III would have gotten a lot of support from the nobles of Westeros.  The Riverlands are loyal and the Tyrells would have sided with the Targaryen king.  I would have offered Balon Greyjoy the north in return for his cooperation.  Offer the Riverland to the Freys and promise to feed Hoster and his brood to the goats.  Viserys will have to marry Arriane to get Dorne's help but so be it.  All Viserys had to do was cross the sea with a believable force and that was easy enough with Khal Drogo's khalasar.  Even Robert, a warrior himself, was scared of the Dothraki coming across.  Hoster and the other nobles would be soiling their britches when the Dothraki khalasar starts riding towards their castles.  

Yeah that would absolutly not have happened. Firstly the khalasar would never unit unless they are forced to, and that would take quite a bit of time even for Drogo, and that is not certains he can do it, so only Drogo's khalasar would go to Westeros.

Secondly, Viserys has almost no support among the nobles, he is half mad at best and would realistically only be supported by Dorne due to the secret pact and maybe parts of the Riverlands (mainly Darry, Ryger and Maidenpool) and perhaps some of the Reach.

Thirdly, I dont think you understand how Balon thinks, he does nlt want the North or any other region for that matter, Balon wants the return of the Old Way wich can only happen thru independance and there for a impossible deal because Viserys would never be ok to abandon a part of "his" kingdom.

Walder Frey is by nature very prudent, he migth not join Viserys even if he is promised the Riverlands, because the power bloc that he would face is even stronger then it was during Roberts rebellion, meaning the risk of siding with Viserys is actually very high.

Sure Robert seemed to fear the dothraki but Eddard who is also a experienced commander does not fear them at all, and in the context of that conversation Robert is trying to justifie to is friend why he wants to kill Daenerys, so he migth be over stating how much he actually fears the Dothraki.

Most of the nobility think of Dothraki's as backward savages (cant really blame them) and do not fear them, Jorah dint until he actually lived among them for a time so we can exepect that most of the knigths will not fear them. And the Dothraki are really not good to take city's and castle by storm, so they will most likely be defeated by almost any castle with a actual defence force.

So in conclusion even with the entirety of Drogo's khalasar Viserys would never take the throne, he migth have some support but I believe that it was alot smaller then most people think, at best Viserys could add Dorne, half of the Reach, 1/4 of the Riverlands and most of the Crownlands but he would face the North, Vale, Westerlands, Stormlands and the rest of the Riverlands and Reach. Viserys would most likely not have any great commander (Drogo is a great warrior we dont know how good of a commander he actually was), he migth have lord Tarly and lord Rowan but I would not count them for sure but will face people like Tywin, Stannis, Robert and Eddard all experienced commander's. Viserys would be outnumbered with part of is army being seen has foreign barbarian's and no real commander. Had Viserys landed in Westeros house Targaryen would have been only good for history books.

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Hypothetical questions are common in fan forums.  I am not surprised to see this.  It is like wondering what would happen if the US revolution had failed or Japan won WW2.  It isn't the story written by George R. R.Martin though. The real story goes with Viserys died and Westeros passed to his heir, Dany.  That is the story we have and it is a good one.

Varys is not one to take dangerous chances.  He would make sure Robert, Renly, Ned, and Stannis are dead before Viserys and his Dothraki friends arrive.  The loyalties of the nobles and the people will have been bargained for even before Viserys sets foot on the sands of his family's capital.  The Dothraki's real purpose was to attack the resistance and kill them all.  The resistance will come from Robb, Hoster, and Lysa.  People we don't like. 

 

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6 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

Varys is not one to take dangerous chances.  He would make sure Robert, Renly, Ned, and Stannis are dead before Viserys and his Dothraki friends arrive

How would he do this? As soon as just one of these men drops dead everyone else would be on high alert. I really don't think he can get away with killing them all. Robert is surrounded by the Kingsguard. Stannis is in Dragonstone where Varys says he has no influence. If he kills Robert first Renly will go to Storm's End. Varys wanted to save Ned's life...His reach doesn't really extend past King's Landing.

7 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

The loyalties of the nobles and the people will have been bargained for even before Viserys sets foot on the sands of his family's capital.

That may work for some nobles but I don't think it would work for the 'people' as in the commoners. The Dothraki will be viewed as murderous barabrians as soon as they land and will proceed to justify this reputation.

7 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

The Dothraki's real purpose was to attack the resistance and kill them all.

I don't think it's as simple as that. Firstly, the resistance is in places not very suitable for the Dothraki with a lack of fodder, harsh conditions and disadvantageous terrain. Secondly, there are not enough Dothraki to kill all the resisting armies. Regardless of when they land they are facing at least 40,000 from the Westerlands, 25,000 from the North, 20,000-30,000 from the Stormlands, 10,000 from the Crownlands, for a total of at least  100,000 troops at a conservative estimate not including the Reach, Riverlands and Vale. If they attack during WotFK after Renly has made his claim, they would have to face 80,000 Reach troops as well. If they proceed to attack the Vale there is likely another 30,000 troops at least that they must face. Even if they attack these armies one by one and win, they would suffer casualties and so I don't think they could defeat them all. With Winter coming on the DOthraki will face servere attrtion which only adds to the losses they suffer in battle. Not to mention that in order to be successful they have to actually take castles, something the Dothraki don't seem good at doing. And again, if the Dothraki are allowed to slaughter everyone that resists, it will make the Targaryens look tyrannical and make it less likely that anyone else will bend the knee.

7 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

The resistance will come from Robb, Hoster, and Lysa.  People we don't like.

Speak for yourself because I like Robb. In fact I like him far more than Daenerys. To be honest I don't think the Dothraki could get close to Lysa at all. The Eyrie is too well defended and I believe they would struggle immensely with the terrain.

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20 hours ago, Aebram said:

And looking at the big picture, I have to wonder what the heck illyrio is up to.  At the start of the story, his plan was (allegedly) to marry Daenerys to Drogo, in order to acquire an army that would help Viserys regain the Iron Throne.  That plan changed, of course, after Viserys and Drogo both died.  But all that time, illyrio was also involved in the Young Griff conspiracy.  In fact, YG probably came first.  I don't think we know exactly when Daenerys and her brother came to live with Illyrio, but it seems likely that the YG plan had been under way for years by that time.

Might the whole business with the Dothraki and Drogo been a hoax? Rather Illyrio gave Dany and Viserys to Drogo for his own purposes expecting that neither would survive long with the Khalassar and they would be conveniently eliminated and he would profit by his deal with Drogo (whatever it was) and the way would be cleared for faegon to retake the kingdoms. With Young Griff's coming of age Viserys and Dany had served their purpose as decoys for the usuper's dogs and it was time they were moved aside.

 

The Dany/ Griff plan couldn't have come about before the dragon eggs hatched which was not expected and was likely written off as a possibility. Even afterwards its a bit strange that a would be king of Westeros would deign to marry some filthy barbarian's widow, but I guess the dragons trump all of that other stuff (he's a modern day Butterwell).

I wonder sometimes why Iilyrio didn't abandon the Griff plan altogether and have him and his people killed so as to simplify things once Dany emerged with dragons. To me this suggests that his old 'some are written in blood' line applies here and he has some sort of familial tie to YG (as many others have assumed).

 

I dunno, Illyrio and Varys' plan seems to have changed a lot since it was conceived both by the actors and the author, but I'm holding out for a better view of events leading up to the wedding so we can see what I and V were actually trying to achieve. From what we've seen from YG he's a little too haughty and a little too easy to manipulate to develop into the paragon that Varys describes to dying Kevan Lannister. Does that mean that the plan is a little of course or does that mean that Varys was just making noise for Kevan while he died?

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Varys and Ilyrio were playing a lot of angles and hoping one will succeed. King Viserys III was the best card because he was the real King of Westeros. It would not take much to win people over to support his right to rule. People will not doubt his identity.  He is considered the true King. Drogo’s Dothraki will mow down his enemies like blades of grass. His death by molten gold forced a different plan.  But perhaps even better.
 

Dany’s dragons changed the game and now they have a better candidate. Consolidating their assets with a marriage between Daenerys Targaryen and Aegon Blackfyre would have guaranteed them the throne. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Varys and Ilyrio were playing a lot of angles and hoping one will succeed. King Viserys III was the best card because he was the real King of Westeros. It would not take much to win people over to support his right to rule. People will not doubt his identity.  He is considered the true King. Drogo’s Dothraki will mow down his enemies like blades of grass. His death by molten gold forced a different plan.  But perhaps even better.
 

Dany’s dragons changed the game and now they have a better candidate. Consolidating their assets with a marriage between Daenerys Targaryen and Aegon Blackfyre would have guaranteed them the throne. 
 

 

That is of course if Aegon doesn't get greyscale.

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The goals were larger than the rulership of Westeros.  No Targaryen of the past received three dragons eggs.  Yet the Targaryen princess who was about to marry a Dothraki khal was given three on her wedding day.  Putting Viserys on the throne was only part of a grander objective.  Consolidating Essos and Westeros under Targaryen rule is a good plan when you expect something terrible like the White Walkers and the darkness are coming. 

The goal was to unfold over a long period of time.  Viserys will be installed on his father's throne.  The prophesied stallion will be born and lead the mighty united Dothraki.  That is Rhaego.  And the most important part, Dany hatches the three dragon eggs. 

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1 hour ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

The goal was to unfold over a long period of time. 

Whose goal?

Quote

Viserys will be installed on his father's throne.  The prophesied stallion will be born and lead the mighty united Dothraki.  That is Rhaego.  And the most important part, Dany hatches the three dragon eggs. 

Sorry, it seems unlikely to me that anyone planned all this.  The dragon eggs were given to Daenerys by Magister Illyrio. Did he really think she would be able to hatch them?

The "stallion who mounts the world" prophecy was given by the dosh khaleen, after Dany became pregnant. No one in Pentos was aware of that, or could have arranged for it to happen.

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16 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Drogo’s Dothraki will mow down his enemies like blades of grass.

Good luck pushing that Dothraki lawnmower up the mountains of the Vale. Or through the swamps of the Neck. Or the forests of the Stormlands. Or the hills and valleys of the Westerlands. Better make sure it's a cold resistant lawnmower too.

As far as I can tell Dothraki are only effective on a flat, open field.

And if those enemies are in their castles...?

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I think that the Targaryens would have had small chances of success if they invaded with the dothraki. 

The Targaryen would be seen as invaders and if they are invading with the dothraki, they will lose supporters and sympathy from Westerosi lords. And the dothraki practice of taking slaves and mass rapes, plus their different culture, would have drawn the Westerosi lords together and they would have banded against them. 

The dothraki might be good, but they have problems against well-equipped and trained formations such as the Unsullied and the Golden Company. And the men at arms in Westeros are equipped and trained in a similar manner to the Golden Company. 

Plus, the dothraki would have had problems in the forests of the Stormlands, the hills and valleys of the Westerlands, the mountains of the Vale and the swamps of the Neck and the cold of the North. 

I think that initially the Targaryens and the dothraki would have had success, but they would ultimately lose.

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On 8/22/2022 at 12:52 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

Varys and Ilyrio were playing a lot of angles and hoping one will succeed. King Viserys III was the best card because he was the real King of Westeros. It would not take much to win people over to support his right to rule. People will not doubt his identity.  He is considered the true King. Drogo’s Dothraki will mow down his enemies like blades of grass. His death by molten gold forced a different plan.  But perhaps even better.

 

 

How? The Dothraki wouldn't respect Viserys and they'd be the lynchpin of his invasion.

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23 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

How? The Dothraki wouldn't respect Viserys and they'd be the lynchpin of his invasion.

Yes, the Dothraki called Viserys the 'cart king' and mocked him repeatedly. It was the attempt on Danaerys' life that pushed Drogo into allowing a crossing of the narrow sea. Without a similar event they won't even get the Dothraki to begin crossing in the first place.

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