In Game of Thrones S8E4, Daenerys went to Dragonstone with her court and the Unsullied when...

Her fleet is attacked by Euron, Rhaegal killed, Missandei captured and (at least a part of) her fleet destroyed.

We see Tyrion and Varys have a discussion on Dragonstone. Some unspecified time later they turn up with Daenerys and some Unsullied at the gates of King's Landing. I am aware that Dragonstone is both, close to King's Landing and not for away from the continent. But...

Even if Daenerys has some ships left, it is clear that Euron's fleet is in control of the waters around Dragonstone and Drogon is of limited use in defending against them. It seems unlikely that Euron will allow even a part of Daenerys' army to leave the island. It seems also unlikely that Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm and about 100 Unsullied have been riding on Drogon one-by-one to the continent (without leaving an option to quickly retreat to Dragonstone).

Considering that the travel to King's Landing is shown off screen, there seems to be an obvious way how she could have made it there. What am I missing?

  • I can't find a suitable dupe right now, but this has long been a feature of both the series & the books. Time gets pushed & pulled; journeys, unless something significant happens on them, are simply skipped. She probably marched there, taking however many weeks it takes to move an army - but it's simply not important to the plot.
    – Tetsujin
    May 8, 2019 at 9:07
  • @Tetsujin: My point is that they have to first get off the island. How would they do that when they don't control the sea that surrounds it? This would need more than just boarding a bunch of ships and sailing to the continent. They have to get past Euron's fleet first.
    – Sefe
    May 8, 2019 at 9:11
  • @Sefe Considering there was a meeting presumably Euron let them through. May 8, 2019 at 9:31
  • Fans have come up with estimates of distances - Dragonstone to Sharp Point 100m, Sharp Point to King's Landing 320m. That's a lot of sea to be watching. Though, tbh, how the scripts have been running since we ran past the end of the books, I'd just say "plot got them there.' Distances & interactive map not quite up to date but fun.
    – Tetsujin
    May 8, 2019 at 9:46
  • She was on her way to get coffee.
    – AJFaraday
    May 8, 2019 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


It may have been intentional (not killing them all, allowing them to come to Kings Landing), as she wanted to send "her people" (the people living inside the Red Keep) a message and is ultimately working to set-up Dany.

As I attempted to answer on this question, Why didn't Cersei kill Dany, Tyrion, and the rest of the others?, there was a heavy implication in various dialogue exchanges throughout the episode concerning Dany and the burning down of King's Landing and one instance featuring Cersei, was about wanting Dany to come to her AND that she wants Dany to burn down Kings Landing, killing thousands of innocent lives to make Dany look like a villainous usurper.

Cersei specifically asks Qyburn if her "message" was well-received. The following is Cersei's exchange with Qyburn and Euron after Euron's attack, showing Cersei's intent.

8.04 Transcript: (Emphisis Mine)

Cersei: Our message was well received then?

Qyburn: Your people would have heard the usurper is coming. They are grateful for your protection within the walls of the red keep.

Cersei: You're certain about the dragon?

Euron: I saw it sink beneath the waves.

Cersei: That must have been glorious.

Euron: The glory is yours, my Queen.

Cersei: When the war is won the Lion shall rule the land, the Kraken, the sea, and one day our child shall rule them all.

Euron: She's coming for you.

Cersie: Of course she is. Keep the gates open. If she wants to take the castle she'll have to murder thousands of innocent people first.

  • This seems like a better explanation than the weakness of the Iron Fleet. The one issue that I have is that Dany doesn't know this and so she has to calculate with the fact that the Iron Fleet will not let her come to the mainland or that her people will not make it back to Dragonstone (she is safe since she can go back with Drogon). Would she take that kind of risk for such a meeting?
    – Sefe
    May 8, 2019 at 14:15
  • It was definitely a risk, but I don't doubt Dany's affection for Messandie either. All of the characters (except for Jon) are basically falling apart and are not making rational decisions IMO and I think this is intentionally thematic: ignorance out of greed and false piety. I hope the mythology elements make a comeback so at least this doesn't feel so entirely in vein. Although Dany doesn't know it, other conversation between her and Tyrion (and others) have made light of her avoiding it (don't be queen of the ashes, 'the goal is not to burn down King's Landing', etc) May 8, 2019 at 14:32
  • Many characters are not falling apart. Varys certainly isn‘t. Sansa made the politically smart move to tell Tyrion about Jon in spite of her promise. Aryia continues to do her thing. The wildlings wisely go back to where they belong. The only ones not thinking things through seem to be Dany and Jamie.
    – Sefe
    May 8, 2019 at 19:11
  • The Starks (symbol of justice) have dismantled. Sansa betrayed Jon's trust. Dany continues to betray Jon trust (by not offering anything), Arya has left never to return (and who knows how mad she really is). Bran's revelation (Jon) has only caused destruction of house Stark. Cersei/Euron not taking out Dany/Dany being crazy enough to face Cersei outside the gates are not perfectly rational or the smart move. Also what happens to T and V if Dany finds out they have moved against her? Bronn got under Jaime's skin and has left Brienne. There's not a lot of unity, just chaos and immorality May 8, 2019 at 19:51
  • Jon is Jon and all he cares about is honor, truth justice etc. In the world of GOT this would either make him either a pawn or on the losing end of the conflict. Sansa has learned when you have to make a move. That's what she did and Dany knew she would. Without people around him who play the game of thrones for him, Jon would be dead and buried at castle black. If Sansas move works out, Jon will be king and she will be queen of the North. How's that a bad thing for house Stark? If she wouldn't have told it, either Dany or Cersei would be on the throne, which are both poor options for her.
    – Sefe
    May 9, 2019 at 7:11

Notice that Euron's fleet was not that big, we see only about eleven ships, the impact of the attack is mostly due to the element of surprise. Daenerys' fleet seems much bigger, I don't have a direct aerial screenshot but it seems to be dozens and we only see a few ships destroyed. We don't see the aftermath but it's very likely Euron's fleet retreated immediately after they lost the element of surprise. Euron's fleet

So Daenerys likely still has a fleet left. As to how Euron didn't block that, well, remember he has only about 11 ships with him right now and that they are on dragonstone: Dragonstone

As you can see there is a lot of open sea a fleet can take take from Dragonstone to the mainland in order to disembark the troops, after which troops can march to King's Landing. Also from Dragonstone you have a clear view on the (directly) surrounding sea. So Euron cannot hide, loses the element of surprise and he has not enough ships to throw a full blockade. As there is no tactical advantage for Euron to stay there, he most likely sailed back to King's Landing.

  • 4
    In my opinion, the better question is why didn't Cersei take Dragonstone while Daenerys was away so she wouldn't have a good defensible base of operations that also has a lot of symbolic meaning, but well...
    – KillianDS
    May 8, 2019 at 9:53
  • Considering that she left the bulk of her army on Dragonstone it would be hard to take it. And you don't need many soldiers to thwart a landing operation.
    – Sefe
    May 8, 2019 at 10:35
  • Being the king of the Iron Island, I doubt his fleet is a mere 11 ships. This presumably was his task force. A blockade on Dragonstone would be a far better use of his forces than letting them lie anchored somewhere. Daenerys might have been able to make it through there, but probably not without a fight.
    – Sefe
    May 8, 2019 at 10:39
  • @Sefe actually it was said in one of the earlier seasons that yara took the iron fleet and Euron had to rebuild it. Also, that doesn't matter: 11 ships were enough for the ambush, more would likely only have made them more visible. Bringing in the rest of the fleet would only serve for frontal confrontation, which Euron has never done before and he may actually be terrible at it.
    – KillianDS
    May 8, 2019 at 12:04
  • "...he most likely sailed back to King's Landing." He definitely sailed back to King's Landing, since both he and Mellisandre were there on the wall with Cersei when Daenerys showed up. Whether or not he pulled all of his ships from Dragonstone or not is up for debate, but we know he would have at least one ship less there.
    – Geobits
    May 8, 2019 at 13:24

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