Military Experts Criticizing Jon And Dany’s Game Of Thrones War Strategy


When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die… or you’re reincarnated as a rabid wight.

Such was the case during Sunday’s “The Long Night,” in which the Night King marched his troops toward Winterfell, where they effectively tore the Stark stronghold asunder. And while it was almost a foregone conclusion that our heroes would be fighting a losing battle from the get-go, their war strategy seemed… off.

Last week’s episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” featured a brief moment when the powers of Winterfell were huddled around a war table, discussing how best to defend against an unstoppable force. Leading the charge were Jon Snow Aegon and Daenerys Targaryen, though the lovestruck duo came under heavy criticism for their sloppy battle plan. Sure, the swirling fog came out of left-field, but over on Vox, two military strategists picked apart Jon and Dany’s war strategy.

Those experts are Ryan Grauer, an associate professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and Mick Cook, an Australian combat veteran who fought in Afghanistan.

Grauer: The Living, at a superficial level, did about as good as could be expected with commanders who haven’t spent a lot of time leading large forces in the field. It was surprising to me that there was very little effort made to figure out what was going on with the Army of the Dead.

As Grauer points out, the living always faced an uphill struggle, but the decision to release the Dothraki horde so soon left Winterfell at a huge disadvantage. It was undoubtedly a cool and chilling moment, as the undead picked off each Dothraki flame one by one. But if we were to analyze “The Long Night” from a military standpoint, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as Cook tells Vox:

Cook: The way you prepare for a siege is you don’t march your forces out into the middle of the open to fight a numerically superior enemy. You let the enemy invest in trying to beat your defenses, and the defenses were all back to front from my point of view. Having the cavalry out in the front, then their infantry, then their defenses behind their whole force, it seemed like they decided to plan backwards, and it didn’t really pay off for them.

The eight and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones marches on this Sunday, at which point the remnants of Winterfell turn their attention to the south, where Cersei and her army are plotting something ominous.

Source: Vox

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