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Logistics of the wildfire plot


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After reading one of the Race for the Iron Throne blog posts:

So in Jaime V, we learn that King Aerys intended to have his pyromancers burn down King's Landing with wildfire, the combination of Greek fire and nitroglycerine. Now how did he plan on pulling this off? Jaime mentions there were only three who were trusted with the plan since the rest of the alchemists appear unaware. So how did three people surreptitiously transport large quantities of a notoriously unstable substance throughout a city of 500,000 people without suffering an explosive mishap and/or without more people who could have been involved, which stopped the plot in its tracks? The Gunpowder plot (which is referenced in the post) required 13 people including Guy Fawkes, and that was just to blow up one building.

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Ehhh...GRRM want Cersei to blow the wildfire up so it kind of "has to work".

But its not that unresonable, no? 3 people doesn't seem like a lot but I assume they in turn hired people that were unaware of the content, sealed it properly and paid a premium in order for no mishaps to happen. And this was before the comet/Daenerys Dragon's ie before the spells became more potent. And we know it becomes more unstable when it ages (clearly an attempt by GRRM to explain this away). So, assume new barrels were placed who are now old and supercharge due to the new potency of magic. 

Indeed, this might be how Cersei gets the intel. Someone shows up and tell her "Me and my dad used to work from Lord Hand Rossart and he ordered us to place some strange barrels at X, Y and Z. I didnt think more of it then, because it was just before the Sack, so we left King's Landing in a hurry, but it was mightiliy strange...Lord Rossart told us the be very careful with it and it felt like it contained some sort of liquid". 

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1 hour ago, Protagoras said:

Ehhh...GRRM want Cersei to blow the wildfire up so it kind of "has to work".

But its not that unresonable, no? 3 people doesn't seem like a lot but I assume they in turn hired people that were unaware of the content, sealed it properly and paid a premium in order for no mishaps to happen. And this was before the comet/Daenerys Dragon's ie before the spells became more potent. And we know it becomes more unstable when it ages (clearly an attempt by GRRM to explain this away). So, assume new barrels were placed who are now old and supercharge due to the new potency of magic. 

Indeed, this might be how Cersei gets the intel. Someone shows up and tell her "Me and my dad used to work from Lord Hand Rossart and he ordered us to place some strange barrels at X, Y and Z. I didnt think more of it then, because it was just before the Sack, so we left King's Landing in a hurry, but it was mightiliy strange...Lord Rossart told us the be very careful with it and it felt like it contained some sort of liquid". 

In that case, how come none of these patsies haven't tried to set the wildfire off before now?

Speaking of which, how has the wildfire not gone off at any other point, say a child knocking into it during a game of tag, or when Flea Bottom was set afire during the riots in the second book?

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

In that case, how come none of these patsies haven't tried to set the wildfire off before now?

Speaking of which, how has the wildfire not gone off at any other point, say a child knocking into it during a game of tag, or when Flea Bottom was set afire during the riots in the second book?

Because. A - not all of them are alive because of the Sack and B. They do not know what exactly they placed out. They were most likely hired help or retainers in the first place and fail to understand the significance about some barrels they placed 20 ish years ago especially since they were most likely busy fleeing the city. Lets say Rossard hired reliable company Lohner and Sons for the job. Maybe they were 5-10 people and maybe half died in the sack. Lets say Lohner senior left with his family but died 10 years ago and now Lohner junior returns to the city with that information, talks about on a pub and Qyburn snatches that intel up? Just an example. 

As for the accident parts, I assume the wildfire were to be hidden to not cause panic among the populace so Aerys could fry as many as possible. The barrels are likely sealed, well stored and only placed at say a handful of locations that are not easily accessable. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We only have Jaime for information. The brief vision of Aerys giving the order doesn’t reveal much. And Varys wouldn’t be much of a spy if he didn’t know. 
 

The weapon was meant to make up for the loss of the dragons. The king’s men were building up the arsenal. But interestingly, Aerys up until then had never considered to use it against the rebels who surely were asking for such a judgement from the king. 

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1 hour ago, The Commentator said:

We only have Jaime for information. The brief vision of Aerys giving the order doesn’t reveal much. And Varys wouldn’t be much of a spy if he didn’t know. 
 

The weapon was meant to make up for the loss of the dragons. The king’s men were building up the arsenal. But interestingly, Aerys up until then had never considered to use it against the rebels who surely were asking for such a judgement from the king. 

I don't know if Aerys even considered it, but even he would think twice about using it in the field in a pitched battle. Think about everything we know of it. It would be insanely hard to transport and use safely. You'd be as or more likely to burn up your army and camp as you would the enemy.

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The whole thing makes effectively no sense if you view it logistically. The men handling the jars would have to know what's inside simply to be cautious with the material as they have to be to ensure they don't burn the city accidentally.

We know how Tyrion has to train the men handling the wildfire in preparation for the Blackwater.

It is also quite silly to assume that Aerys II could put a lot of wildfire in buildings he doesn't own or control like the Great Sept. At least not without the people in charge of those places knowing or suspecting what's going on. Alchemists acolytes storing stuff in the cellars of the Great Sept would pique the interest of the good septons and septas.

It is different with empty houses or ruined buildings like the Dragonpit. But also in places like Flea Bottom it is insane to assume you could store stuff like that - it is full of criminals, beggars, homeless people. If they find odd stuff there they will investigate it.

All that makes it even harder to assume we could see a repetition of the wildfire plot. Some of Aerys' lost fruits might eventually ignite, but it is hard to imagine anyone could ignite them on purpose or could store more jars in a similar fashion and for the same purpose.

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