Recent events in Game of Thrones have made me question the size of the Narrow Sea. Are there any indications in the book about how much time it takes to get from one side to the other? Or are there any advances in naval technology that make the journey significantly faster now than in the beginning of the series? Crossing seemed to be a big thing back then, whereas now it seems you can make it there and back to Essos in two days or so... I am referring to the travels of Varys (Dorne-Meereen), Arya Stark (Braavos-The Twins) and Yara Greyjoy (Pyke-Pentos).

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    Duplicate. movies.stackexchange.com/questions/56070/…. See the bolded piece in the question and any of the answers
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 18:13
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    the suggested dupe asks how Varys was able to travel so quickly. All 3 answers responded with some form of "nonlinear storytelling". How is that not a dupe? Do you have an example that can't be explained with non linear storytelling? If so, editing it into your question could help you get better answers.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 18:29
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    Arya and Yara are also examples of non linear storytelling. The Essos storylines are for the most part separate from the Westeros storylines. Due to this its easy to skip forward months when necessary.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 18:34
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    Btw, I'm still waiting for an example that can't be answered by nonlinear storytelling.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 18:35
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    why not? The Iron islands are separate from the rest of Westeros, and so there really hasn't been anything else to give us a reference point for time. Give us an example for why non linear timing doesn't work in that situation rather than just saying that it doesn't work.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


All three examples you provide can be explained by asynchronous storytelling.

Asynchronous storytelling is a common tool in Game of Thrones and explains most of the timing discrepancies that we see throughout the show.

Varys: (Sourced from my answer to this question)

In the final scene of season 6, you are able to see a ship with the Dornish sigil sailing in the fleet. (Right side of the image) enter image description here

We can assume that Varys' meeting in Dorne (earlier that episode) occurred well before the final scene showing the fleet leave Meereen.


Arya really has not interacted with a main character from Westeros since she traveled to Braavos. As such, it's difficult to pin down exactly what events in Westeros correspond with her storyline.

Because of this, it is reasonable to use Occam's Razor to pick the simplest explanation. Which answer takes the fewest mental gymnastics?

  1. The narrow sea is magically shrinking
  2. A society that doesn't seem to ever advance has invented a new form of travel
  3. The show runners decided that it would be boring to show months of travel and so just didn't show it.

The answer is 3.


See the section on Arya, all of this also applies. The Greyjoy storyline has been split from the other storylines, and so it's difficult to determine how much time has passed.

In addition, there is a quote from the Producer answering this one:

(Interviewer) Another time-related question: It feels like we’re jumping between storylines that have very vastly different lengths of time passing between each scene?

(Bryan Cogman) The timelines between the various storylines don’t necessarily line up within a given episode. For instance, the “Northern Tour” Jon and Sansa embark on would probably take a couple weeks, but Arya’s storyline over the past few episodes only spans a few days. We realized a while ago that if we tied ourselves in knots trying to make all the “story days” line up between all the characters the momentum would suffer.

  • First of all, thanks for your well-documented answer. I just have doubts about Yara/Theon, because Theon is engaged in a different stoyline with Sansa/Ramsay, which is taking its time.
    – Crazy8
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 10:41
  • @Crazy8 from the time Theon leaves Sansa until the end of the season could be months. And it doesn't need to be the same amount of time for both. Once the show is over, I expect someone will put together a good time line showing what events are happening concurrently (there is one for the books), but right now it's tough to do because the storylines are so separated.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 10:47
  • Thank you very much. The answer is now clear and satisfying for me. As to why I still not accept the question to be a dupe: It is (partly) answered in the answer listed above. The QUESTION itself is entirely different, though. The question "What was the significance of Varys´ appereance in Dorne" appeared to me having no connection with the accelerated traveling time that I was wondering about. So how could I (or anyone else) know that the answer was to be found there? And I actually did check before for related questions. Saying this, because you could get more dupes to that question.
    – Crazy8
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:53
  • @Crazy8 I believed it to be a dupe when you read into what the OP on the other question actually asked. Between that and similar answers I saw it as a dupe. As for searching for the question, just because it's difficult to find a dupe question doesn't mean it's not a dupe. That's why dupe questions are left with a link to the original question. Someone finding your question would be able to follow the link to the original one. Your question definitely should be easier to find then the other one, so that's a positive reegardless.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:59
  • This may go into meta, but isn´t it the purpose of this page to get the answer to a question as quick as possible? As the answer to the main issue of the other question (the significance for Varys' trip to Dorne) was quite clear to me I would never have clicked that question to search for answers. So wouldn't it make sense to edit the other question then, if it's that unclear and also difficult to guess that you get an answer for an entirely different (and imho much less obvious) question there? Also my question referred to the fast crossing of the NS in general and not only to Varys' travel.
    – Crazy8
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 19:14

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