Game of Thrones: War Tactics ~ Cersei and Dany
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"I never thought dragons would exist again. No one did. The people who follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that's different from the shit one that they've known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities. You're not different. You're just more of the same..."
~Jon Snow to Dany
Last night's episode was insanely intense and emotional. Again, I must mention how much I love the moments between Jon and Dany. I feel bad for Tyrion in the moment of where Dany seems to become weary of his 'clever ideas' and confronted him about him not wanting his family hurt. Dany probably said that in a moment of anger and frustration which I hope Tyrion understands.
War tactics are very important in Game of Thrones as we have all seen. I personally feel that the war concepts and strategies in the books are similar to what I read in Art of War and other war contexts but historical Chinese generals. Not only are war tactics important, but as the way of ruling and playing your cards well in a court are equally important.
Cersei has always proved herself to be the smart one, the cunning, tactical, mastermind, and always maintains her composure. A woman that shows no fear or weakness. A natural born leader and manipulator. In my thoughts, Cersei's character is identical to the only female emperor in China during the Tang Dynasty. Cersei has proved herself again and again to outwit many powerful enemies and threats in the books and show. Although possibly inside- she's a raging storm of torrents after all she's been through.
This is where Dany differs from her. Dany shows her emotions, loses her composures as shown in episode 4. She immediately stated that she would take the dragons to Red Keep. She is young and although she has undergo horrendous experiences, had so much development and growth- she is still falls short of Cersei. Dany could one day surpass Cersei as a better ruler if she learns from her mistakes and listens to others more, like Jon and Tyrion. The three of them together would be able to bring down the Night King and Cersei.
Cersei's attacks for this season have been coming from the front. The battle of the Greyjoys on the sea, catching them by surprise and the takedown of the Tyrells. The Lannisters overpower the enemy with their massive army and just by striking fear in them by hearing the Lannister name or seeing their flag. They're cutting off Dany's right and left hands leaving her with no allies because Dany doesn't have that much resources so of course Cersei would cut off all her help first and that would leave Dany with no resources as well such as ships and armies.
I don't think Cersei and Jamie Lannister would have seen Dany fighting back with an ambush. Bear in mind that Cersei owes a lot of debts and every castle, city that is taken by the Lannister...they loot all the resources and gold from them. That gold is to repay the debts that they owe.
Dany probably came up with the ambush plan after Jon gave her his thoughts on what she should do after getting news of the fall of the House of Tyrell. He advises her to be a different ruler- build a different world from the world they all knew, to not use her dragons to do what the Lannister's have been doing. It is not implied or shown in the episode of how Dany reacts to Jon's words. I would assume she took his advice and thought if she wants to prove that she is different...she would ambush the Lannister army on its way back home and burn all the loot they collected. In other words, destroying Cersei's resources that she so desperately needs.
An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.
What a great tactic for Dany to learn that her usual: 'Aim for Red Keep.' She finally learns that she needs to cut off Cersei's hands and legs first even though she failed once already. It's ever too late for a comeback and a hard one. Burning the entire army alive, burning all the gold, and destroying the weapon that would kill dragons. Jamie Lannister was an idiot to think he could kill Dany when she had a dragon by her but it was a desperate move and he had also lost his sanity too seeing the destruction one girl, one dragon, and her army could cause. An entire burnout of the Lannister army. Well, done, Dany!
Dany has definitely grown in this episode mostly because of Jon's words to her. In my opinion, how you fight a war is very important. You can charge recklessly head on into a war, you can attack from behind, you can cut off the enemy's resources, you lure them into a condensed area and ambush them. There are many different tactics in war and I am excited to see more battles between Cersei and Dany. If Jon were to stay by Dany's side, he would be able to teach her much more about war and how to rule.
Last note! I am also excited that Dany realized what Jon said about the white walkers were the truth when she saw the cave drawings that Jon showed her. As stubborn as she is, not willing to help unless Jon bends the knee...I hope she puts down her pride and burdens and just agree to help him.