When Daenerys Targaryen sailed to Westeros with the combined forces of the Iron fleet, the Tyrells, the Unsullied, the Dornish and her dragons, it looked like she'd have a landslide victory against the Lannisters. However, despite a massive army and an excellent Hand, things aren't looking up for the Mother of Dragons in Season 7.
Although Tyrion Lannister has been known to be a skilled tactician, he has failed Daenerys on two accounts: the destruction of the Iron Fleet and the loss of Highgarden. Daenerys was already on the brink of losing her patience after learning about Euron's massacre, so news of Olenna's death is certainly going to provoke her to take an aggressive step - thus recreating a historic moment from Aegon's Conquest.
Where Did 'The Queen's Justice' Leave Our Key Players?
Last week's episode of Game of Thrones was supposed to be a momentous occasion that brought fan-favorites Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen together for the first time. But this tête-à-tête was cut short by Varys, who bore news of the Iron Fleet's defeat. Although this almost pushed Daenerys to finish off Euron with the help of her dragons, she took Tyrion's advise to let the siege of Casterly Rock take its course. After all, she doesn't want to be "Queen of the Ashes".
However, Daenerys's onslaught witnessed yet another failure. The Lannisters gave up Casterly Rock, instead choosing to march their army over to an exposing Highgarden along with House Tarly.
While this is undeniably a victory for the Lannisters, it also sets up an interesting possibility for the show's next episode, 'The Spoils of War'. With Jaime in Highgarden, and Daenerys Targaryen getting closer to unleashing the full force of her dragons, we might be seeing a battle that parallels a legendary moment in Westerosi history known as the Field of Fire.
How Will Daenerys Mimic The Actions Of Aegon The Conqueror?
One of the most pivotal moments in Game of Thrones lore is the Targaryen Conquest, a historic period where Dany's ancestors took control of the Seven Kingdoms. This occurred after the destruction of the Valyrian Peninsula, which caused the Targaryens to flee to Dragonstone. After centuries of rebuilding their strength, Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, rode on their respective dragons (Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes) to unite and rule the Seven Kingdoms.
As Aegon's dragon-sized pride wasn't welcomed with open arms, he began to release the fiery breath of Balerion, causing most kings to bend the knee, thus saving their people. However, King Mern (who ruled over Highgarden) and King Loren Lannister decided to take their chances on the fields of the Reach, with an army of 60,000 men.
Although they outnumbered the Targaryen troops five to one, they were no match for the unified force of Aegon's dragons.
Centuries later, circumstances have yet again set up the possibility of a face-off between a Targaryen and a Lannister army on the vast fields of the Reach. As Daenerys has already shown her eagerness to use her dragons, she is more than likely to take her three 'children' over to Highgarden, taking matters into her own hands. In fact, this upcoming battle was teased in the second trailer for Game of Thrones Season 7, showing the Dothraki army riding into battle and Drogon swooping in from above.
From a strategic perspective, Daenerys's attack will not only weaken Cersei's manpower, but will also hinder the Lannister's last financial resource. As Cersei has already promised to pay her debts to the Iron Bank using the gold retrieved from Highgarden, the inability to deliver these riches would put her in an incredibly tough situation.
Although the teaser trailer for Episode 4 has shown Jaime enthusiastically opening up the coffers of Highgarden, it's uncertain whether 'The Spoils of War' will belong to the Lannisters or Daenerys Stormborn.
Aegon won most of his battles with the help of his dragons, and Daenerys will now look to do the same. Now that the Lannisters have taken Highgarden, she even has a chance to deliver some poetic justice where, in classic George R. R. Martin fashion, history repeats itself: Aegon had cemented his prowess with the battle at Reach, and Daenerys's very own Field of Fire will serve as a reminder that Aegon's dynasty has returned.
Do you think Daenerys will finally take her dragons to the vast fields of the Reach? Let me know in the comments.
(Source: Game of Thrones Wiki)