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Attention, heavy spoiler ahead (Season 7, episode 2).

At the end of the Season 7, Episode 2, Euron attacked and destroyed the Targaryen fleet. My question is how did he manage to get so close to the admiral ship, where two queens had their quarters, without a little bit of notice? From my understanding the admiral's ship was in the middle of their fleet. To ram them, Euron had to go through the whole Targaryen fleet and not trigger any alarms. How is that possible?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Edlothiad, amflare, KutuluMike, Aegon, Dave Johnson Jul 25 '17 at 14:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This question seems like it'd bring a primarily opinion based answer as we don't know very much about the formation of the fleet or their location. Any answer would be based purely on speculation – Edlothiad Jul 25 '17 at 13:41
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    "From my understanding the admiral's ship was in the middle of their fleet." If you don't mind my asking, where'd you get this understanding? – TenthJustice Jul 25 '17 at 13:44
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    When you look at the scene you can see ship all around them. It could be ennemy ship but i assumed it was friendly. But i get your point and we don't have enough information on the scene. – Tchaokko Jul 25 '17 at 13:47
  • I've Voted to Close this question as part of our Future Works Policy – Edlothiad Jul 25 '17 at 13:54
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    @PaulD.Waite Assuming you mean "rebel Iron Islands" fleet to mean "Yara and Theon's fleet", they *are the Targaryen fleet. Remember that Dany's boats were burned at the beginning of the previous season and I don't remember her building new boats (which is why Dany works with Yara in the first place) – Flater Jul 25 '17 at 14:35
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  • Euron's ships appear from the mist. It is obvious from Yara's reaction that their presence was unnoticed.
  • The initial attack occurs by catapult fire. The counter tactic to catapult fire is to spread yourselves out. If you stick together, the catapult only needs to aim at the center of your group and it is liable to hit someone. It is not a precision instrument, it's unlikely to hit its intended target. Therefore, if the ships spread out (which is the best tactic), this gives Euron the opening to sail in between the spread out fleet.

edit An even better point: Being bombarded by catapult fire would give Yara's ships a reason to want to sail into the mist. This may have been an intentional tactic by Euron.

There are also a few things to take into consideration. Though they are from the books, and the show could have diverged from the books in this regard, it has not yet been confirmed that the show has actively contradicted the books:

  • Euron plays with the supernatural, he is a very lovecraftian character. It is possible that he controlled the mist, therefore managing to sneak up on the fleet, who did not consider the mist to be anything more than a natural phenomenon.
  • Euron's flagship is called the Silence, as its crew are all mutes. Although I'm not sure how deep this goes in the books, it's possible that the Silence intentionally operates more quietly so as to not give away their position, thus making it capable of sneaking up on the enemy.

If Euron's sneak attack is very unusual, I expect the next episode to elaborate on this. Otherwise, it seems fair to assume that this is a normal (though very clever) tactic.

  • Sneaking up on Yara's fleet is the least of Euron's challenges. He first has to find her fleet in a vast ocean. Historically, ancient & medieval naval battles usually occurred around ports & near the coast, not out in the open ocean. Perhaps he used magic to do this? Maybe we'll learn more in the next episode. – RobertF Jul 25 '17 at 15:03
  • @RobertF Boats tend to stick to the coast, as it is easier to navigate by sight than by maps and stars (unless the coastline takes you considerably longer, e.g. when crossing large bays). If Euron knows that Yara is going from Dragonstone to Sunspear, all he needs to do is sail from Sunspear to Dragonstone. Looking at the map it seems highly likely that Yara will pass close to Evenfall Hall, Rain House, and the cape east of Sunspear. That's where I'd set up ambushes, those places seem unavoidable. – Flater Jul 25 '17 at 15:19
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    A good point. But how does Euron know Yara is sailing from Dragonstone to Sunspear? Or that Yara is even at Dragonstone in the first place? Then there are problems with finding the enemy fleet in the dark. – RobertF Jul 25 '17 at 16:00
  • @RobertF When the scene on the boats start (IIRC it starts with the Sand Snakes' banter), I seem to remember it starting with an overhead shot of the boats, all of which are lit by braziers. I can check this in a few hours but I'm pretty sure that was the case, thus rendering the boats visible. Also, the last we saw of Euron is that he promised a gift for Cersei, which is incredibly likely to be related to Dany (or Tyrion), hence why he is looking for them. He may have been unaware that Dany and Tyrion were elsewhere. I guess we'll find out. Regardless, Euron's intercept is at least plausible. – Flater Jul 25 '17 at 16:05

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