As seen in episode 5 of season 6, we can see

Theon and Yara Greyjoy escaping the Iron Islands before Euron Greyjoy gets crowned King and will most likely slaughter the competition.

A friend and I are arguing over a piece of detail regarding this event. On a shot, you can glimpse at

3 rowboat and a handful of men running towards them with our two protagonists.

The thing is that a few minutes later, we can admire this view:

some boats yo

There is no way this small amount of men managed to get them running alone, or maybe by towing them.

What I think is the beach shot was only an overview of the men going to the boats (most likely for budget reasons too), and that quite some Yara loyal men were already on the fleet ; but he believes that the image only shows something like 3 boats of Yara's army along with others that are parked here for some reason or not part of the escape, like fish boats maybe.

A bit after in the season, we learn that

The two Greyjoy offers Daenerys a fleet of 100 boats

confirming that the image seems to represent them, but it doesn't answer the question of how they managed to run them all.

So how did only a handful of sailors man 100 ships?


2 Answers 2


A reasonable explanations that I can see...

The men were already on the ships. Only captains voted in the Kingsmoot

The kingsmoot was a traditional ceremony held by inhabitants of the Iron Islands in which kings were chosen by longship captains

GRRM had this to say on the size of the Iron Fleet:

In brief, though... the Iron Islands can float a lot more than a hundred ships. Each of the major lords probably commands that any.

However, it is important to remember that the longships are smaller and simpler than the fleets that Joffrey and Stannis warred with on the Blackwater. The former are Viking longboats, more or less; for the latter, think Venetian/Byzantine dromonds of war.

  • That's what I think too, but then, how do you explain that Yara didn't get elected since she was backed by ~100 captains for the vote? Or there isn't one captain per ship?
    – Preview
    Jun 26, 2016 at 19:59
  • @Aperçu You just answered it. Jun 27, 2016 at 12:48
  • @RajaAnbazhagan making a guess is not equal to the truth you know ;)
    – Preview
    Jun 27, 2016 at 13:33
  • @Aperçu: if "a lot of lords have at least 100 ships" and there is one captain per ship, then 100 captains is only a tithe of the voters.
    – Yorik
    Jun 28, 2016 at 20:58

Since it is a no-op for me that 10-15 people can't take a hundred of boats in a regular way, here is my explanation, which is far more logical than people who actually.. you know.. live on a boat on a daily basis.


  • 1
    the weight of towing that many ships would be a great hindrance...
    – Skooba
    Jun 28, 2016 at 20:35
  • though I trust more the other answer, +1 for nice image! :-)
    – Tomas
    Jan 2, 2021 at 17:35

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