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How do Tyrion and Catelyn intersect at the Inn at the Crossings?


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So in AGOT, Tyrion somehow traverses 2000 miles from the Wall (with a brief stopover in Winterfell) to the Inn at the Crossings while Catelyn travels 400 miles from King's Landing to the Inn where she arrests him. Assuming the same modes of transportation, shouldn't Catelyn, moving with a smaller party, have overtaken Tyrion at some point before that, say Moat Cailin? And how would events have transpired if Tyrion had been intercepted at that point?

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

So in AGOT, Tyrion somehow traverses 2000 miles from the Wall (with a brief stopover in Winterfell) to the Inn at the Crossings while Catelyn travels 400 miles from King's Landing to the Inn where she arrests him. Assuming the same modes of transportation, shouldn't Catelyn, moving with a smaller party, have overtaken Tyrion at some point before that, say Moat Cailin? And how would events have transpired if Tyrion had been intercepted at that point?

I expect that Cat was traveling significantly slower than Tryion after he left the wall.  Timeline-wise, they do seem to have left their respective locations at about the same time, give or take.  The difference....Cat was trying to go incognito, and was probably not going super fast, being in a party of....two, and avoiding people.  Prolly quite a bit of back-roads, detours, avoiding people on the road.  Tyrion was roughing it the whole way and didn't spend any time at Winterfell.  He made an appearance, slept in Winter Town, and immediately left in the morning, so that was just a stop on his way.  He was traveling with Yoren as well....which means he was probably traveling military-style....which is going to be a whole lot faster than how any normal civilian would travel.  Longer hours, faster pace, less sleep.

Does it entirely work, timeline wise?  I think so.  We don't know enough about each respective parties' schedules to say for sure.  I wouldn't mark it as unusual though.  Having been military...I don't think it's at all unrealistic for Yoren and Tyrion to cover 4 times the distance over the same amount of time as Cat, particularly because Yoren was on a mission....he wanted to get to King's Landing around the time of the Tourney, when the population would be as large as possible, for recruitment.  Yoren/Tyrion were sleeping rough every night and Cat was likely stopping in the late afternoon every day to find some inn or a local who would give them a place to sleep.  That's probably....4 hours of travel per day lost, so maybe 50% per day....not to mention having to go in an indirect route to find a place to sleep...and very likely traveling at a slower pace.  I think it works out.  We really don't have enough detail to know for sure, of course.

Edited by Ring3r
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This is very clearly done for drama, but also for GRRM to introduce new regions and to make sure Tyrion gets to do things.

Had Tyrion and Catelyn met in Moat Caitlin (which are far more reasonable) there would have been no need for Catelyn to go to Lysa. Instead, Tyrion would have been held at Winterfell. Furthermore, it is possible that the news of Tyrion's arrest doesn't happen since Catelyn is on far safer grounds. Tyrion would basically be gone for the story until Theon attacks Winterfell and would have 0 chance to rule in King's Landing like he did in ACoK.

Catelyn will also have access to ravens so in addition to Ned having access to that knowledge and therefore being more able to defend himself against the Lannisters it also means that Catelyn is likely to find out the truth about the dagger. And then Ned will know that Littlefinger is lying to him - which means he won't trust him anymore. Indeed, if Catelyn trusts Tyrion he might send a raven to Tywin explaining the situation.

We are in other words dealing with a "what if" that charges large parts of the first book. Since GRRM didn't want that story he made sure they met where they met despite all logic. 

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18 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

So in AGOT, Tyrion somehow traverses 2000 miles from the Wall (with a brief stopover in Winterfell) to the Inn at the Crossings while Catelyn travels 400 miles from King's Landing to the Inn where she arrests him. Assuming the same modes of transportation, shouldn't Catelyn, moving with a smaller party, have overtaken Tyrion at some point before that, say Moat Cailin? And how would events have transpired if Tyrion had been intercepted at that point?

Taking this as gospel: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZsY3lcDDtTdBWp1Gx6mfkdtZT6-Gk0kdTGeSC_Dj7WM/edit#gid=8

Tyrion arrives at WF about 5 days before Cat leaves KL. It's 450 miles from KL to Lord Harroway's Town (aka Inn at the Crossroads aka IatC). She leaves on 8/27 and arrives 9/13 to capture Tyrion. That's about a rate of ~26 miles a day.

Assuming Tyrion leaves WF the next day, it means he travels 1560 miles in 22 days, roughly about 71 miles per day.

Unfortunately this is a case of GRRM's fabled "My suggestion would be to put away the ruler and the stopwatch, and just enjoy the story" as frustrating as that is.

 
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Posted (edited)

This is one of the occasion where the plot gets really contrived for the sake of drama and of the story, just like the Theon-Ramsay-Rodrik plot in the North during ACOK. 

Based on their previous locations in their respective chapters before that one it's just ridiculous that Catelyn and Tyrion met each other at this moment and that south in Westeros. The late Steve Attewell (RIP) estimated that around Moat Cailin would have been a more realistic location for them to meet and it would have changed the story radically. 

Edited by Terrorthatflapsinthenight9
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Posted (edited)

Truth be told, I always wondered why Catelyn didn't leave by ship. It seems safer, quicker and more discrete. I mean heck she took a ship to Kings Landing in the first place.

Edited by sifth
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5 hours ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

This is one of the occasion where the plot gets really contrived for the sake of drama and of the story, just like the Theon-Ramsay-Rodrik plot in the North during ACOK. 

Based on their previous locations in their respective chapters before that one it's just ridiculous that Catelyn and Tyrion met each other at this moment and that south in Westeros. The late Steve Attewell (RIP) estimated that around Moat Cailin would have been a more realistic location for them to meet and it would have changed the story radically. 

Attewell was who I had in mind when I posited this question.

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2 hours ago, sifth said:

Truth be told, I always wondered why Catelyn didn't leave by ship. It seems safer, quicker and more discrete. I mean heck she took a ship to Kings Landing in the first place.

That is easy enough to solve:

Yet back on the Bite it had seemed prudent to submit to a crewman's razor, after his whiskers had become hopelessly befouled for the third time while he leaned over the rail and retched into the swirling winds.

I don't recall if it's explicitly said in AGoT but Rodrik does not like being on boats.

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1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

That is easy enough to solve:

Yet back on the Bite it had seemed prudent to submit to a crewman's razor, after his whiskers had become hopelessly befouled for the third time while he leaned over the rail and retched into the swirling winds.

I don't recall if it's explicitly said in AGoT but Rodrik does not like being on boats.

Still with the gravity of the situation I don't think that even Rodrik would have objected to take the boat again if it could have taken Catelyn back North in a faster and surer way. He wouldn't have liked it at all but he would prioritized his duty and Catelyn's safe return.

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34 minutes ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Still with the gravity of the situation I don't think that even Rodrik would have objected to take the boat again if it could have taken Catelyn back North in a faster and surer way. He wouldn't have liked it at all but he would prioritized his duty and Catelyn's safe return.

One would assume so but she thinks about visiting her father and her sister on the ride through the Riverlands. Between Rodrik's illness, him almost dying in the storm, and her own weariness after traveling by boat, she might have welcomed the opportunity to meet with her family before going north to advise Robb. 

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If they don't run into one another at the crossroads inn, it's quite possible nothing would have happened.  They most likely would have crossed paths along the road.  Catelyn would recognize Tyrion, but would keep quiet and hope to not be recognized.  

Even if recognized, it's unlikely she could do anything.  She arrested him at the inn only because he recognized her, and announced her presence, and the inn was full of her father's vassals who she could count on for help.  Unless she's with a crowd when she meets him at Moat Cailin or elsewhere, she doesn't have the manpower to do anything about it even if she's recognized.  About all she could do would be to send Ned a message and hope he gets it.

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1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

One would assume so but she thinks about visiting her father and her sister on the ride through the Riverlands. Between Rodrik's illness, him almost dying in the storm, and her own weariness after traveling by boat, she might have welcomed the opportunity to meet with her family before going north to advise Robb. 

Didn’t Ned give Cat important instructions. You’d think taking care of those would be more important, than a trip home. 
 

The whole thing sort of reminds me of the tv show, when Jon recused the wildings in season 5. He leaves to save them by boat, but for some daft reason they all just walk back to the Wall, despite clearly having boats available to them.

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1 hour ago, sifth said:

Didn’t Ned give Cat important instructions. You’d think taking care of those would be more important, than a trip home. 
 

The whole thing sort of reminds me of the tv show, when Jon recused the wildings in season 5. He leaves to save them by boat, but for some daft reason they all just walk back to the Wall, despite clearly having boats available to them.

He gave her instructions to get vassals to man MC and fortify WH. I don't believe the time differential in sailing vs riding are going to matter much since "they would not dare attack the north without all the power of the realm behind them, and that they shall not have. ”

Well, in theory anyway!

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On 5/16/2024 at 3:06 AM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

This is one of the occasion where the plot gets really contrived for the sake of drama and of the story, just like the Theon-Ramsay-Rodrik plot in the North during ACOK. 

 

Like Euron? He was a walking diabolus ex machina in the last couple seasons to the point Daenerys forgot about him.

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On 5/16/2024 at 5:08 AM, sifth said:

Truth be told, I always wondered why Catelyn didn't leave by ship. It seems safer, quicker and more discrete. I mean heck she took a ship to Kings Landing in the first place.

I think it's because she thinks that the captain of the ship she used to get to King's Landing sold the information of her arrival.  She specifically thinks about that in one of her POV chapters.  She likely felt like she got burnt by that and avoiding using the same method a second time.

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On 5/16/2024 at 11:22 AM, sifth said:

Didn’t Ned give Cat important instructions. You’d think taking care of those would be more important, than a trip home. 
 

The whole thing sort of reminds me of the tv show, when Jon recused the wildings in season 5. He leaves to save them by boat, but for some daft reason they all just walk back to the Wall, despite clearly having boats available to them.

I always just assumed that they DID take their boats, but landed at Eastwatch, which is the closest Night's Watch fort which has a port, and then had to hoof-it from there.  Eastwatch is canonically directly South of Hardhome and would make for a short trip.  It's been a while since I watched that episode though.

Edited by Ring3r
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7 hours ago, Ring3r said:

I always just assumed that they DID take their boats, but landed at Eastwatch, which is the closest Night's Watch fort which has a port, and then had to hoof-it from there.  Eastwatch is canonically directly South of Hardhome and would make for a short trip.  It's been a while since I watched that episode though.

Is so, you'd think Jon and the wildings would walk back to Castle Black on the same side of The Wall and no the unsafe side.

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15 hours ago, sifth said:

Is so, you'd think Jon and the wildings would walk back to Castle Black on the same side of The Wall and no the unsafe side.

Ah, right you are, I'd forgotten that.  I suppose it can only be chalked up to the many errors made in terms of travel that the show committed in the later seasons.

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1 hour ago, Ring3r said:

Ah, right you are, I'd forgotten that.  I suppose it can only be chalked up to the many errors made in terms of travel that the show committed in the later seasons.

The whole scene seems to be constructed just to create artificial tension between Jon and Alliser Thorne. "Will Thorne open the gate for Jon and the wildings, or will he betray them", that's probably the logic the writers were going for, even though, in reality all of them should have traveled to Castle Black on the safe side of the wall, after arriving on boats. 

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