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During Game of Thrones S07E04 we saw a battle take place during the last 10 minutes of the show.

During this battle we see Dany flying around burning everything. I do understand it is not good TV to have her kill everyone in one pass (she could have flown over the line formed and burned them all at once) but that's beside the point. The bigger issue is, she complained they lost all their food in the attack the Lannisters did. Not only did she kill the army, she also made it a point to purposely fly over the caravans and burn them too instead of letting those be for spoils of war.

There was no point to purposely burning the food. The Lannisters were clearly outnumbered and were easily killed with nowhere to run. They had no way of sneaking out any of the food either. She could have left them alone to bring them back since the Dothraki were mounted. Attaching them to a few horses who lost their masters wouldn't be that big of a deal.

So why did she do it when it was something she even stated they needed?

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There was no point to purposely burning the food.

Although I don't agree that there was no purpose (scare tactics), I do agree that this is a mistake on Danaerys' part.

However, from the perspective of the show's narration, Danaerys is intentionally being shown as reckless, that is not just a plot hole or mistake by the writers.

  • Tyrion heavily protests directly attacking King's Landing.
  • Tyrion is clearly not a fan of the battle, that is easy to read from his behavior while he was observing the battle.
  • Jon Snow clearly states that using the dragons for attacking makes her no better than anyone else. ("more of the same")
  • The Unsullied are currently stuck in the Reach, and Danaerys herself complained about their lack of supplies and provisions.
  • Danaerys played along with Tyrion's clever tactics. However clever, Tyrion's tactics have all backfired so far.
  • Danaerys remembers Olenna Tyrell, who specifically advised against listening to men and their clever tactics. Olenna told her to "be the dragon".

And then we see Danaerys using her dragons to attack the Lannister forces and burn the supplies (that the Unsullied really could have used).

From the teaser trailer for the next episode:

Varys tells Tyrion that he needs to make Danaerys listen to reason.

and also:

Danaerys says something to the effect of "You will follow me, or you will die". Jon glances at her questioningly.


Conclusion

Danaerys tried playing a clever game, but her first few attempts backfired. Instead of trying a different tactic, she has let her anger get the better of her. She has stopped playing the clever game and is trying to figuratively throw the chess board instead of trying to win the game.

She seems to be taking Olenna's advice, now that Tyrion's clever plan has backfired.

Her behavior seems to be an intentional portrayal by the show's writers; and it seems that future episodes will address Danaerys' lack of patience and her need to go overboard with violence.

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    She did actually listen to Jon - after she said she'd attack King's Landing and asked for his opinion, he said she'd be "more of the same" if she sacked cities and killed civilians. So instead of attacking King's Landing, she attacked a military force, thus sacking no cities and killing only soldiers. She even listened to Tyrion, partly, by not attacking King's Landing, but a far less dangerous target - the stretched out tail of an army. – NyaNya Aug 8 '17 at 22:30
  • @NyaNya: It's a lesser evil, but an evil nonetheless. The families of the soldiers she burned will still see her as "more of the same". The High Sparrow travelled the land to help people, and those people willingly gave him power. That's how Jon came to be king too. What Danaerys is doing now is not that, it is fighting the contenders rather than gaining the people's support (which was Tyrion and Varys' intention). Regardless of our opinion, it has been made clear in the show that Dany's advisors still don't like this battle, and are still questioning her (cfr the teaser trailer). – Flater Aug 9 '17 at 6:44
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    @Flater: “It's a lesser evil, but an evil nonetheless.” I don‘t think it counts as “an evil”. This is war. The soldiers she burned had just slaughtered plenty of other soldiers (some of whom were their allies until House Tarly moved their loyalty to the Lannisters) in Highgarden. The families of those soldiers might well be pleased that Dany toasted the turncoats. – Paul D. Waite Aug 9 '17 at 14:03
  • @PaulD.Waite: It's not just a war, as far as most people are concerned, it's a rebellion (they do not see Danaerys as rightful ruler, as the Targaryens have been forcibly deposed). Tyrion and Varys were making sure that Danaerys retains the people's support, so as to not look like an aggressive usurper. And Danaerys' actions in the last episode have pretty much undone that plan (in that sense, it is an evil (= bad for Dany), though obviously still not as bad as burning King's Landing altogether). "Evil" is subjective, but "aggressive" can be objectively observed. – Flater Aug 9 '17 at 14:10
  • @Flater: “as far as most people are concerned, it's a rebellion (they do not see Danaerys as rightful ruler, as the Targaryens have been forcibly deposed)” — I don’t think we see much evidence about that either way in the show. Peasant folk don’t seem to care; high-born folk mostly seem to care about their own interests. – Paul D. Waite Aug 9 '17 at 14:19
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Chances are they wouldn't have had a chance to really get the supplies. This attack was only against the tail end of the Lannister army that was lagging behind. If they had stayed long enough to clear out paths for all of the food, the remaining Lannister army could have regrouped and attacked them, probably with little to no support or reinforcements.

So, instead, Dany destroyed the food that was heading to King's Landing in order to feed their army, not only sowing seeds that her dragons are in fact real, but also playing the long game.

  • While your answer does make the most sense so far from what I have read and from that SCIFI SE, your addition with the edit is a bit of a hard sell for me. Don't forget that Cersei is already in talks to get funding from the Iron Bank soon as the gold is paid back which we know made it to King's Landing. What ever funding they can receive can easily be made to regrow food since she stated she wanted money to replace and grow her army as well as a few other war related needs. Hitting a caravan of food may hurt them temporarily but not so much in the long run IMO. – ggiaquin16 Aug 7 '17 at 21:07
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    @ggiaquin if they start off low on supplies, it's going to be a lot harder for cersei to grow her army. not to mention that winter IS coming, and it's only going to get colder and harder to grow crops. – DForck42 Aug 7 '17 at 21:15
  • The only thing about the whole winter is coming is that we don't know how far south winter actually goes. So far, there has been no evidence to suggest that winter has any affect on the south. So is it a product of the neigh king? or does winter turn the whole continent cold? – ggiaquin16 Aug 7 '17 at 22:25
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    @AlexandruSeverin Jamie and Tarley were literally talking about being at the tail end and lagging behind a bit and needing to get across the river in case an ambush happens. – DForck42 Aug 8 '17 at 12:57
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    @ggiaquin: We don't often get snow here in Belgium (except for maybe a day or two, and not every year), yet crops still don't grow. Less sunlight, colder temperatures, ... It's not just related to snow. Will they have some food growing capabilities? Sure. But it's likely not going to be enough to amply feed everyone. Plus, with dwindling supplies, people hoard more and tensions rise. Mass starvation is nasty even before anyone is truly starving. – Flater Aug 9 '17 at 6:48
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Imo in this case it's about playing the long game vs the fast game, not strictly about good vs bad decisions. Supplies slow you down. A lot. I think you really underestimate how much slower a carriage is than a horse on its own.

You can already see that with the Lannister Army: If they simply had attacked Highgarden, took the money & left, the entire army would already have been back at King's Landing.

The biggest strength of the Dothraki are their horses, and the biggest strength of horses is speed. With the supplies, she would have given that up. At the same time, if I remember correctly, they stated that the Unsullied can hold Casterly Rock at most a year. If Daenarys doesn't plan for them to stay there anyway anymore, that means they're not in immediate risk for starvation. On the other hand, with an enemy fleet right in their backyard, They're at risk of getting encircled.

So overall, the differences from fast game vs long game:

  • Very agile with the Dothraki, which means she is unpredictable, one of the biggest advantages you can have in war

  • Fast relieve of Unsullied possible

  • living off the land is always possible as long as you don't stay anywhere too long(in history, it has often been the main way of supplying an army anyway, especially for the Mongols, which are closest to the Dothraki)

  • concentration on attacking enemy troops and intercepting supply trains instead of holding key locations and setting up supply trains yourself

  • She will not be forced to engage the main Lannister army directly unless she wants to

  • There is no trickery with which the Lannister could get back their supplies; they're gone

Daenerys can now do whatever she wants, she can burn the Reach, either kill the Reaches' troops or press them into her own army, relieve the Unsullied, attack ... everything and most importantly, she can do it FAST. Who knows, if the Greyjoys are stupid enough to land some troops at Lannisport or somewhere near, she might even be able to get there before they even hear about her.

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In the preview of episode 7:5 vareys speak to Tyrion "You need to find a way to make her Listen" Clearly things have gone out of hand.Danerys is Acting on her own.

Even she herself cant understand her decisions. Right before she burn the grain,(On drogon's Back )she look at the road and decide to burn the grain.maybe she thought she might not able to get that for her army,Maybe it just fury.

  • We don't know in what context Varys says that, though. It might be about something that only happend in the next episode and has nothing to do with this one. – NyaNya Aug 8 '17 at 22:32
  • @NyaNya Hmmm..Havent thought of that.."only happend in the next episode" – maxasela Aug 9 '17 at 0:38

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