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to everyone saying Victarion is dumb....in his chapters in many places he seems to have been pretty smart in how he took his fleet or 99 ships across the Narrow Sea..on page 813 of ADWD it even says he is not coward, nor is he a fool when taking about how he is going to try to hurry and beat the Voltantenese ships he has seen making preparations to sail to Meeren....beat them to Dany and hurry and leave before they ALL get there.

It seems he is a pretty competent sailor and commander/strategist. His problem IMO is that he isn't dumb (just the opposite) , he is feels duty-bound to his brother and the Drowned God....by which is hands are tied in many ways as a result. ( Unless you want to argue that religion/religious people are dumb....but that is not something I am going to comment on, nor is this the place for it)

But in a world where some people follow rules (whatever they are) and other don't....

as to the comments about how he mistrusts laughter...because he thinks he might be the butt of some jape...I just think he has brother/family issues. I don't think he is dumb at all...he is just effed up in the head after a lifetime of eating shit as a dutiful younger brother.

Agreed. I think GRRM certainly does Victarion a disservice when he called him "dumb as a stump." His writing indicated in no way to me that this was the case. You don't put someone incompetent of a top tier fleet; its been noted by every Ironborn that only Victarion has what it takes to command it properly. His tactical skills can be easily shown is his voyage east and through the capture of enemy ships. Hell, his handling of religious issues is even genius. Setting a situation where the sacrifices both burn and drown? Look at the results, it certainly worked because it cannot be no coincidence that a wind instantly picked up, while also moving in the most favourable direction.

Personally, I hope Victarion survives the battle and becomes a dragon rider for either Rhaegal or Viserion (however briefly), but the long game doesn't look for him since the POV characters are due to be shortened down.

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Yeah, I do think that Vic is dumb, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good warrior (e.g. Tyrion describes the Mountain as a dumb animal but with great warrior instincts), sailor and commander. In real life you often meet people who are considered to be very smart, like for instance a brilliant mathimatician, who turn out to be absolutely brilliant in their fielth but when you ask who the President is or what the capital of Austria is they don't know what your talking about.

Vic is one of those guys imo.

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^ I think your right, your comparison to the mountain was perfect. During his fight with Oberyn Martel there was a moment when the sun came out and Tyrion notes how he moves to have the sun at his back before Oberyn did. Certainly a smart move in a fight, made by a dumb person.

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This line of discussion brings up an interesting issue. In medieval-equivalent worldof ASOIAF, clearly the skill sets valued in that world are very different than today's. The top-tier politicians - the noble houses and kings - at least are themselves or are surrounded by people with political smarts. Many examples in the books, but to name a few LF, Varys, Tywin, Tyrion, Doran.

Where things differ is the next tier - the lords and wannabe kings. Clearly, battle smarts and physical strength are valued much more than today. One can win knighthood, and eventually lordship, with primarily battle smarts, secondly physical strenght and fighting skill, although admittedly some political smarts are needed. I'd put Stannis, Selmy, Ned Stark, Oberyn Martell, Jaime (tho IMO he is transitioning into learning politics), Blackfish, Hoster Tully, to name a few.

The biggest difference is in the next tier - landed and hedge knights. If there's any upward mobility in Westeros society, it's through ability in battle for the most part (LF and Varys are the exceptions). Folks like the Cleganes, Kettleblacks, Bronn, etc. fit this category. My point here is that these guys are brilliant fighters, and as a result, have been able to rise to a very respectable strata in that society. In today's society, these guys would either be in the military, and perhaps doing well there, or professional ultimate fight champions, or maybe professional athletes at best.

The main path for the intellectually-minded to rise in Westeros society is to become a Maester, it seems. I think that's the point of Sam. In today's world, Sam would have probably been a nerd in school but successful after that (probably a founder of a startup or something like that).

Point being, in response to the comments about Vic and others, I think Vic is well battle-tested and clearly has maritime and battle smarts, but probably still dumb as a brick when it comes to politicking and intellectual matters.

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In one chapter there was mention of the Dothraki sea and Vic thought it was a sea, this reminds me of a certain show in which people were asked to point out on a map where they were staying at hollidays- in this case Spain- and then pointed out Greece or Turkey: DUMB AS A STUMP!

I mean, sure knowledge was harder to come by as compared with today, but a military commander having only the slightest clue to where he is taking his troops, c'mon!

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To be fair, he's leading his ships in a highly unusual environment. He shouldn't be expected to know every little detail of the land, especially the plains, since he is a sailor going to a port city afterall. He's going to Mereen to save his Queen and then straight back to Westeros. Why should he worry about what's on the map after Slaver's Bay?

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It's expected from a high noble, especially one who doesn't inherit the family's titles, to be a military leader above all.

And of course, the landed knights as well, since they make up a large part of the low level (company-ish) command in a feudal army, with higher levels being the responsibility of lords and picked professional household captains.

Edited by Ponys123

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To be fair, he's leading his ships in a highly unusual environment. He shouldn't be expected to know every little detail of the land, especially the plains, since he is a sailor going to a port city afterall. He's going to Mereen to save his Queen and then straight back to Westeros. Why should he worry about what's on the map after Slaver's Bay?

True, but the Dothraki sea is no detail, he must have had maps of sorts, and if those only included sea and coast, he could easily have asked the first time he caught a local. It isn't hard: "Could you perchance tell me anything about the location I am heading to? Do you have a decent map of that area?"

But no, when people tell what they see as the truth he kills them because he doesn't like that version of the truth...

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Yeah, I do think that Vic is dumb, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good warrior (e.g. Tyrion describes the Mountain as a dumb animal but with great warrior instincts), sailor and commander. In real life you often meet people who are considered to be very smart, like for instance a brilliant mathimatician, who turn out to be absolutely brilliant in their fielth but when you ask who the President is or what the capital of Austria is they don't know what your talking about.

Vic is one of those guys imo.

I think Vic is a competent but unimaginative soldier. Most of his greatest sucsesses were won by following Eurons plans, Lannisport and the sea battle at the Sheilds. So hes not even that great as a commander just passable.

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I think all this trouble in essos points to the fact the she isn't meant to rule there or any where. She's got the best weapon against the others. All she has done well is conquer. Leaving the iron throne In my opinion to someone more suitable like.........

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In one chapter there was mention of the Dothraki sea and Vic thought it was a sea, this reminds me of a certain show in which people were asked to point out on a map where they were staying at hollidays- in this case Spain- and then pointed out Greece or Turkey: DUMB AS A STUMP!

I mean, sure knowledge was harder to come by as compared with today, but a military commander having only the slightest clue to where he is taking his troops, c'mon!

its something called a sea (none of us would know it wasn't water had we not been told first what it really was).....having being ignorant of a people/place is far from being dumb. I'm just saying Victarion does not seem to be the eff-tard everyone is saying he is, not by a long shot. You don't get to be the leader of the Iron fleet by being a dolt....you especially don't survive long as such anyway.

Vic is an accomplished leader and is the admiral of a fleet... Having one on one combat skills is one thing, being able to fight, control a fleet (which is an army on water) is quite another. Tywin only gave the Mountain a handful of mean to ride the country side and do nothing but inflict violence...comparing the two seems just stupid IMO...does anyone think Tywin would trust the Mountain with ANY actual "Army" or a significant portion of one? come on

I agree, like many modern day athletes they can have exceptional skill at their chosen sport/warriors can have skill and experience fighting...but how many of them could actually be a decent coach/leader?

I just think comparing the Mountain and Victarion is folly...

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I think Vic is a competent but unimaginative soldier. Most of his greatest sucsesses were won by following Eurons plans, Lannisport and the sea battle at the Sheilds. So hes not even that great as a commander just passable.

I think his being "unimaginative" is more a result of being a dutiful younger brother and him "fearing" the drowned god. If he is free to truly be on his own, which I hope we will/are seeing in these chapter, I think he will prove to be much more than a thuggish unimaginative brute.

Being an admiral (a successful one) requires being a strategist and a tactician as well as a leader of men...on top of being a skilled and more than adequate warrior.

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I just think comparing the Mountain and Victarion is folly...

Don't underestimate Gregor, the way he is mentioned when Robb makes plans to recapture the North does not suggest he is incompetent, "that man is always ill news" he managed to defeat the withe harbor knights and other man-at-arms at the crossroads. To me this seems his men are more like a small army than only a band of rapists.

Back on topic: that he is ignorant of the surroundings of Meereen is not dumb. That he remains ignorant is dumb although it probably doesn't matter.

Edited by DExit

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Vic is an accomplished leader and is the admiral of a fleet... Having one on one combat skills is one thing, being able to fight, control a fleet (which is an army on water) is quite another.

Victarion was Lord Balon's brother. It's not like he became admiral independently of his lineage, and it's not like anyone who thought he was a superior leader could challenge his authority. That we know of, he has only fought two battles. Against Stannis he was completely smashed. And his two victories are sneak attacks against unprepared fleets in peace time. I still have to see any prove that he is anything more than a passable strategist.

But regardless of his military merits, he is dumb because he sticks to the Old Way, that is dead and will not rise again. Convicing a bunch of pirates to raid, steal and rape may be leadership, but it's dumb leadership. What Asha proposed in the Kingsmoot, that's what true leadership is.

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Victarion was Lord Balon's brother. It's not like he became admiral independently of his lineage, and it's not like anyone who thought he was a superior leader could challenge his authority. That we know of, he has only fought two battles. Against Stannis he was completely smashed. And his two victories are sneak attacks against unprepared fleets in peace time. I still have to see any prove that he is anything more than a passable strategist.

But regardless of his military merits, he is dumb because he sticks to the Old Way, that is dead and will not rise again. Convicing a bunch of pirates to raid, steal and rape may be leadership, but it's dumb leadership. What Asha proposed in the Kingsmoot, that's what true leadership is.

Yes Victarion is an evil bad ass, he got across the storm littered sea with most of his ships and the horn and he is coming in hard to the battle of Slaver's Bay, which he will most likely not survive due to all the 'death' foreshadowing from Dany. if I had to guess, he is going to get the 'grey death' and turn to stone eventually, because of the 'grey lips smiling' comment.

If he is 'dumb' about anything it is how he lets Euron play him like a fiddle.

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[GRRM pointed out that these were, of course, Victarion's men and made a comment about Tyrion currently being quite miserable.]

And yet, with his turn of the Second Sons (because he's awesome like that), Moqorro finally here and in the vicinity, a dragon breathing green fire, his plot armor is bigger than ever. We can safely bet too that he won't catch the bloody flux. Hell, a fake death scene would be cherry on the cake.

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Victarion was Lord Balon's brother. It's not like he became admiral independently of his lineage, and it's not like anyone who thought he was a superior leader could challenge his authority. That we know of, he has only fought two battles. Against Stannis he was completely smashed. And his two victories are sneak attacks against unprepared fleets in peace time. I still have to see any prove that he is anything more than a passable strategist.

But regardless of his military merits, he is dumb because he sticks to the Old Way, that is dead and will not rise again. Convicing a bunch of pirates to raid, steal and rape may be leadership, but it's dumb leadership. What Asha proposed in the Kingsmoot, that's what true leadership is.

That was my original point...his perception of being "dumb" is rooted in his being loyal and dutiful to his brother and following the "old way" which is his religion. I'm just saying that people see him as being dumb because he is a dutiful younger brother and follows the way of his religion.

By that rational, (which I was actually trying to avoid) is everyone that follows what they believe their religion or family tells them to do, dumb? Its a difficult argument to make.....I might think that people in a certain religion are "dumb" for doing certain things, but they do it because of what they believe in that religion.

Its not for me IMO to comment about a person's religion. There are many things that I do not agree with or understand with regards to what certain religious people do...but if looking at it from the outside I might (without understanding the religion) think people of whatever religion as being "dumb".

The same goes for being a dutiful younger brother and doing that your older brother or family tells you to do.

It just seems that Victarion being dumb in people's eyes is due to him following his religion and doing what his brother told him to do....you can't equate duty with being dumb. I think if he was his own man and free from following the "old ways" of his religion and free from the yoke of his brother and able to act 100% on his own...

Like I said, this is not the place for a debate on the merits of religion (any religion), but needless to say, there are things I do not agree with that people I know do believe because of their religion. From my perspective these things are just ludicrous....and make zero sense to me and when ignoring the fact that these people believe this stuff because of their religion, I could definitely understand wanting to think these people are just "dumb" because they believe this stuff.

Maybe I am not doing a very good job of explaining what I am trying to say...but I do not think its fair to judge Victarion as being dumb because he follows his religion (the only religion he knows) unless you are willing to say ALL religious people are dumb. (which is not something I can say personally)

...and yes, he was most likely given the job of admiral because he was a Greyjoy, but he has been able to keep it after all these years, so he must be doing something right. The Iron Born took on the entirety of Westeros...as it was stated by someone they did decent for being out numbered..They were all defeated. I don't think mentioning Stannis defeated Vic means anything when talking about Vic being dumb or not....he was told to go to war so being a dutiful younger brother, he did, regardless of the fact that he was outnumbered.

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That was my original point...his perception of being "dumb" is rooted in his being loyal and dutiful to his brother and following the "old way" which is his religion. I'm just saying that people see him as being dumb because he is a dutiful younger brother and follows the way of his religion.

By that rational, (which I was actually trying to avoid) is everyone that follows what they believe their religion or family tells them to do, dumb? Its a difficult argument to make.....I might think that people in a certain religion are "dumb" for doing certain things, but they do it because of what they believe in that religion.

Its not for me IMO to comment about a person's religion. There are many things that I do not agree with or understand with regards to what certain religious people do...but if looking at it from the outside I might (without understanding the religion) think people of whatever religion as being "dumb".

The same goes for being a dutiful younger brother and doing that your older brother or family tells you to do.

It just seems that Victarion being dumb in people's eyes is due to him following his religion and doing what his brother told him to do....you can't equate duty with being dumb. I think if he was his own man and free from following the "old ways" of his religion and free from the yoke of his brother and able to act 100% on his own...

Like I said, this is not the place for a debate on the merits of religion (any religion), but needless to say, there are things I do not agree with that people I know do believe because of their religion. From my perspective these things are just ludicrous....and make zero sense to me and when ignoring the fact that these people believe this stuff because of their religion, I could definitely understand wanting to think these people are just "dumb" because they believe this stuff.

Maybe I am not doing a very good job of explaining what I am trying to say...but I do not think its fair to judge Victarion as being dumb because he follows his religion (the only religion he knows) unless you are willing to say ALL religious people are dumb. (which is not something I can say personally)

...and yes, he was most likely given the job of admiral because he was a Greyjoy, but he has been able to keep it after all these years, so he must be doing something right. The Iron Born took on the entirety of Westeros...as it was stated by someone they did decent for being out numbered..They were all defeated. I don't think mentioning Stannis defeated Vic means anything when talking about Vic being dumb or not....he was told to go to war so being a dutiful younger brother, he did, regardless of the fact that he was outnumbered.

the only thing he does that I think is dumb, is how he thinks of Euron. In my mind he should either follow Euron's orders even though that has not gotten him anything good in the past, or he should revolt against Euron. But instead he does a little of both, much like Freddo Corleone who stays with Michael and his family but still does wrong by them and almost gets Michael and His wife shot to pieces in their lovely home in the Sierra nevada mountains. Victarion is sent to bring back a dragon queen for Euron, but instead he decides half way there to take the bride for himself because of the past between him, his dead wife and Euron..

TO me that shows that he is Lost and doesn't really know what his purpose is in slaver's bay. And if he is trying to win Dany over to his side, does he think she will come willingly after he blows his horn? maybe he thinks it will tame the dragons and she will go wherever her Dragons go. No matter what reason he thinks he is there for, he is stupid, because Dany is not the kind of woman some pirate just takes with him. She is not going to go willingly and she is definitely not going to take kindly to someone trying to steal her dragons.

Best case scenario he is able to sneak in and steal Dany somehow and blows the horn and is able to control the dragons......then what?? Does he plan to just take them back and hand them to Euron? Since he has done everything else Euron has requested why wouldnt he carry out the whole plan and take her and the dragons back to Euron?

But from his POV we learn that he wants it all for himself and that is what is dumb! He is becoming greedy and feeling like he has not been given his due, (another Parallel to Freddo) but history shows that it does not end well for a greedy little brother who is not only going against his family and his brother who is now the King of the Iron islands, but he is going against what he knows is right.

All in all his trip to capture dany is going to serve nothing except to make her even more wary of westeros and the ppl who live there and possibly to give someone in Slaver's Bay a lot of ships.

Edited by Suzanna Stormborn

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the only thing he does that I think is dumb, is how he thinks of Euron. In my mind he should either follow Euron's orders even though that has not gotten him anything good in the past, or he should revolt against Euron. But instead he does a little of both, much like Freddo Corleone who stays with Michael and his family but still does wrong by them and almost gets Michael and His wife shot to pieces in their lovely home in the Sierra nevada mountains. Victarion is sent to bring back a dragon queen for Euron, but instead he decides half way there to take the bride for himself because of the past between him, his dead wife and Euron..

TO me that shows that he is Lost and doesn't really know what his purpose is in slaver's bay. And if he is trying to win Dany over to his side, does he think she will come willingly after he blows his horn? maybe he thinks it will tame the dragons and she will go wherever her Dragons go. No matter what reason he thinks he is there for, he is stupid, because Dany is not the kind of woman some pirate just takes with him. She is not going to go willingly and she is definitely not going to take kindly to someone trying to steal her dragons.

Best case scenario he is able to sneak in and steal Dany somehow and blows the horn and is able to control the dragons......then what?? Does he plan to just take them back and hand them to Euron? Since he has done everything else Euron has requested why wouldnt he carry out the whole plan and take her and the dragons back to Euron?

But from his POV we learn that he wants it all for himself and that is what is dumb! He is becoming greedy and feeling like he has not been given his due, (another Parallel to Freddo) but history shows that it does not end well for a greedy little brother who is not only going against his family and his brother who is now the King of the Iron islands, but he is going against what he knows is right.

All in all his trip to capture dany is going to serve nothing except to make her even more wary of westeros and the ppl who live there and possibly to give someone in Slaver's Bay a lot of ships.

I think this is a good point...Vic doesn't seem to have a well-thought-out plan beyond "screw Euron over by getting Dany and the dragons for myself and then have a good gloat." Assuming his dragon horn works, does Vic know what to do with dragons once they (presumably) come flying at the tootle of his horn? Quentyn Martell thought it would be easy-peasy to get a dragon and impress Dany, and we all know how well that turned out.

And I wonder if he has any kind of plan as to how he is going to woo Dany other than the usual "You are my saltwife" Ironborn method? That won't work on someone of Dany's caliber. What could work is if Vic actually tried to woo Dany and played up the "bad boy with an axe and armor" angle. Dany loves bad boys. It is known. (Note: I say this as a Dany stan. :) ) Perhaps Vic might try dying his beard blue.

If Vic goes into Meereen with an Underpants Gnomes non-plan (Step one: Blow dragon horn. Step two: ??? Step three: Become Dragon King and profit!) either he's going to wind up as Drogon's calamari snack or Euron is going to swoop in and (most likely) kill him.

Vic's biggest blind spot is his hatred for Euron. Well-justified, perhaps (though, like Asha, I feel sorriest for the wife) but Vic is not going to plan or act sensibly where Euron is concerned. After all, Balon had to exile Euron to prevent Vic from killing him (and also because he and Aeron hated Euron too). Vic thinks he has a golden opportunity to get back at Euron, but I am pretty sure that Euron has planned for this contingency, because Euron knows full well how much Vic hates him and that Vic wants to get back at him at first opportunity.

Edited by KittensRuleBeetsDrool

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Victarion comes across as not being that bright in a couple of spots, but the part that really made me think he was dumb was when it talked about how laughter makes him uncomfortable because he always was afraid people were making fun of him but he didn't understand why or how. He's not a clever guy.

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