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In Season 7 episode 4

Daenerys is riding Drogon, and burn the Lannister supply line. As they are still lots of soldiers fighting, I suppose it was a strategic target

My question is : As they also need food and other stuff of the supply lines, why destroying them, instead of capturing them ? Even if there is a risk of failure, the benefits worth it.

They could redirect supply line to Casterly Rock to save the unsullied. And of course, Highgarden gold is a great bonus. Plus, creating famine is not the best way to win population support.

  • I do not know how much it might slow them down, but maybe the dothrakis can escort it. I do not know what is the plan of Daenerys, but she will need food. In fact, all the country need food : We need food for campaign, we need food for siege, and winter is coming. This ressources seems to precious to me to just burn everything – Kepotx Aug 7 '17 at 7:06
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    We will probably get an explanation next episode when Dany and her remaining counsel have a post battle debrief. – Skooba Aug 7 '17 at 13:15
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    I asked myself the same question while watching the episode. I thought it might be to cut off the possible retreat from the Lannister army. – jgadoury Aug 7 '17 at 15:10
  • Related: Did Dany mess up? – TARS says Reinstate Monica Aug 7 '17 at 21:06
  • @Skooba: Based on Tyrions initial protests, Danaerys' choice to attack with her dragons after Jon Snow called her "more of the same" if she did so, Tyrion's mood when he observed the battle, and the little teaser trailer where Varys and Tyrion speak about "making Danaerys listen"; it seems very likely that Danaerys is currently being portrayed as reckless. Burning the supply lines is a perfect example of this. – Flater Aug 8 '17 at 8:11
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Daenerys is getting increasingly disillusioned by the clever strategies. Her last piece of advice from Olenna Tyrell was:

"You're a dragon. Be the dragon."

Then, before the attack on the supply chain, Daenerys expresses her anger and frustration over Tyrion's failed "clever strategies." Tyrion tries to write this off as having merely "underestimated" their enemies, but Dany will have none of it. Jon Snow's advice to her is simply to not burn down cities, which might explain why her primary target in this attack was the supply chain itself and not the people involved with it (though plenty of them die as well). But if she gave any thought to the idea of commandeering the supplies instead of burning them, she likely dismissed it as just another "clever strategy."

In short: Daenerys is "becoming the dragon." And dragons don't take things, they destroy them.

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    OTOH, she used "clever strategies" when she captured the cities of Slaver's Bay. Sometimes used the very same strategy that Tyrion used later, such as when she sent the Unsullied into the sewer lines to get inside the city walls. – RichS Aug 7 '17 at 18:22
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    Actually, the normal characteristic of dragons is that they hoard things (stealing not destroying). This appears over and over in the lore. E.g. Tolkien's Smaug, the dragons in Le Guin's Earthsea or Sagara's Elantra. Indiscriminate, destructive rage is associated with werewolves, not dragons. Vampires are addicts to complete the troika. If dragons are purely destructive in Westeros, that is a Martin thing rather than a characteristic of dragons. The dragonish thing to do would be to take the supply chain whether she needed it or not. Dragons are greedy. Their favorite word is "Mine!" – Brythan Aug 9 '17 at 14:29
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    @Brythan In other works, you're right. We have no indication of that in this series though. I'm not aware of a single mention of a dragon's hoard in GoT/ASoIaF, but there are a lot of mentions of a dragon's destructive tendencies. I was keeping my answer in-universe. – PlutoThePlanet Aug 9 '17 at 16:17
  • "Be The Dragon" => Dany kills Cercei in a martial arts death match – m1gp0z Dec 3 '18 at 21:19
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How would she capture it, exactly? She's there with a bunch of Dothraki nomads and a dragon. Who would deal with the supply chain? A supply chain isn't a sentient being you can sort of point in the direction of Casterly Rock and let it get there, you need people driving it. Who would she spare? How would they get there? Who would protect them while they travel?

This was a raid. They wanted to damage the enemy as much as possible in as little time as possible. Capturing the supply train would have put Danny's army in as vulnerable a position as the Lannisters were, and would have tied down her army defending a supply train. Their aim was to deny the enemy their food, not to supply their own armies.

  • Pity the correct answer is at the very bottom. You can improve your answer by quoting Jaime saying "We are stretched a bit thin". This attack was just to a portion of the Lannister army. We do not know how many Dothrakis are transported but we can safely assume not many otherwise it won't be an ambush. Dragons are not impervious as well. We do not know if these forces will be enough against the bulk of the Lannister army. – C.Koca Aug 9 '17 at 13:46
  • And gold is a non-issue, as all of it were already transported. The scene where Bronn is paid is far from the ambush and Lord Tarly clearly states "All the gold is safely through the gates of the King's Landing." [possible sic] – C.Koca Aug 9 '17 at 13:50
  • The Dothraki nomads actually thrive on pillaging, it is known. – Möoz Aug 10 '17 at 2:17
  • @Möoz it is indeed known. But they don't know the land and they can't easily be spared to spend a few days traveling with a slow baggage train. Not to mention having to defend it. – terdon Aug 10 '17 at 7:51
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    Put another way... How much hoard could the Dothraki hoard if the Dothraki horde got bored? – Paul Aug 14 '17 at 10:41
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I think there are several aspects to consider :

  • First, Danny couldn't attack the Lannisters just with Drogon obviously. She had to be a support for her army, not the only target for the enemies.
  • So Danny's army had to arrive at the same time as her. She had to create a breach for Dothraki to penetrate the shield wall, which she did successfully.
  • But then, how could she help ? She would certainly not take the risk to burn her own troops. Instead, she could create a horrific atmosphere and cut the retreat to the Lannisters. The supplies were just perfect for that !
  • Also, if she took the supplies, she might have been slowed down. But she had so many horsemen available to take all the supplies on their horse that I doubt it.
  • Finally, this was a quick attack, but what's next ? The Dothraki might not go back to DragonStone or CasterlyRock after that, but rather head to another strategic place ? Maybe so much supplies would be cumbersome.
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Killing them was not her goal.

Daenarys didn't want to just blindly kill as many soldiers as possible. She burnt the supply wagons just to show the Lannister and Tarly armies what she could do. If her dragon can burn wagons, the dragon can just as easily burn men. She did burn some on the front line, just enough to let the Dothraki to break the line.

I know what Cersei has told you. That I have come to destroy your cites, burn down your homes, murder you, and orphan your children. I am not here to murder and all that I want to destroy is the wheel that has rolled over rich and poor to the benefit of no one but the Cersei Lannister's of the world. - Daenarys Targaryen in episode 5 of season 7

Converting former enemies into her soldiers was her goal.

The first thing she does after capturing them is give them a choice. She tells them that Cersei's words about her are just propaganda. After she capture them, she burnt only a few that refused to bend the knee. The rest she accepted into her own army.

She wanted them to live so she could give them a choice to join her. Either join her against Cersei, and also in the fight against the army of the dead.

I offer you a choice. Bend the knee and join me - together we will live the world a better place than we found it - or refuse and die. - Daenarys Targaryen in episode 5 of season 7

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Daenerys' biggest weakness is an inability to think through the consequences of her actions and adjust her strategy accordingly. She probably just attacked the wagon-train as an enemy target without giving it any thought. Tyrion would have immediately realized the wagons' likely contents but it's hard to advise someone flying on a dragon.

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    Daenerys' biggest weakness is an inability to think through the consequences of her actions and adjust her strategy accordingly......And your sources for this claim are? – Aegon Aug 7 '17 at 10:06
  • Yes, but they knew that there was lot of food in highgarden, and that the Lannister probably take it to Kings Landing. Tyrion should now that before. – Kepotx Aug 7 '17 at 10:34
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    @Aegon Astapor, Yunkai and Mereen for a start. – TheMathemagician Aug 7 '17 at 14:39
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    @TheMathemagician What was wrong with her actions there? She won her army at Astapor, Liberated slaves at Yunkai and gave a hand to a broken enemy showing she can be merciful, took Meereen and didn't leave until the final victory. She achieved all her strategic goals, end slavery in slavers bay, get an army, sail to Westeros. – Aegon Aug 7 '17 at 14:41
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    @Aegon it all came at a price and consequence to her inability to see through her actions besides the initial victory. Meereen was a total and complete mess almost far worse than before she showed up due to her strategic fuck up with the slavers. Due to that mess up, she ended up captured by other Dothraki. Her dragons have killed innocents too during the journey due to her carelessness and why they had to be locked up. So far, she pretty much has won strictly by brute force and little in terms of strategy. Just cause she won, doesn't mean it was good strategy. – ggiaquin16 Aug 7 '17 at 20:56
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I would assume that this is just some part of the supply chain.

As Jamie and Randyll talking they talked about some soldiers that are falling behind.

So I would say Danny attacked the strongest part of the wagon to claim the rest for herself.

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    This is an interesting though. However, how would we know how far the supply train goes back? – Edlothiad Aug 7 '17 at 16:20
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    I can't tell how far it would be. From what I have seen in this episode there must at least 50 times more wagons and men... Where some of them occasionally already are in kings landing... – 42tg Aug 7 '17 at 16:41
  • Naw they destroyed the rear/laggers. The rest of the army was farther ahead or as you said already crossed. – ggiaquin16 Aug 7 '17 at 21:56
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Well, first Danny wanted to kill as few people as possible. She asked the advice of Jon before flying down, remember? Also all she could command Of Drogon is for him to breath fire, "Dracarys". So, to conclude, Danny wanted to reduce damage as much as possible, and also lack of battle experience (this is her very first battle , if you don't count her destroying ships)

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    Well, first Danny wanted to kill as few people as possible. She asked the advice of Jon before flying down, remember? Her first instinct was to fly to the Red Keep and kill everyone. Jon advised against it, and she instead flew to the supply line and killed everyone. She does not seem to be aiming to kill as few people as possible, or to reduce damage. If she had, she would have used Drogon and the Dothraki to intimidate, not to decimate. – phantom42 Aug 7 '17 at 12:54
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    @phantom42 Jon advised against killing civilians. The Lannister army is a military target. – DariM Aug 8 '17 at 2:25

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