The Corner

Film & TV

Dany Should Fire Her Advisors

Conleth Hill (right), Nathalie Emmanuel (left), and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones (HBO)

I’ll save the detailed summary of last night’s Game of Thrones for somebody else. But there is one major spoiler ahead.

Lots of folks had real problems with the military tactics deployed in last week’s battle with the dead. I was okay with it, in part because I liked the epic, almost mystical, choreography of the battle. A little poetic license was ok.

But the loss of Rhaegal was a Bay of Pigs level failure on the part of Dany’s advisors and generals. She would be within her rights to sh*t-can all of them.

Tyrion, who’d been humiliated by not one, but two, catastrophic surprise naval attacks just last year — and was almost fired for it — took no care to anticipate anything like this?

There were no scouts up ahead who could have warned that Euron was hiding his ships behind a big rock? Who could imagine such clever tactics?

Varys, the former Master of Whispers, with a spy in every grotto, bedchamber, and hamlet, didn’t get an inkling something like this might happen? Presumably the mass manufacture and installation of so many “scorpions” — those giant crossbow things — was common enough knowledge. I mean how secret can you keep these weapons if they’re being wheeled through the streets down to the docks and installed on the battlements?

Also, did they really leave absolutely no one at Dragonstone who could send a raven or two when a whole enemy fleet shows up for an ambush? Come on people! This is a war!

Viserion’s death by ice spear was at least fairly unforeseeable. But they knew Cersei was working on a way to kill the dragons. They’d seen a scorpion before. Maybe adopt a general rule that the dragons should fly at higher altitudes until the landing strip is secured?

Anyway, maybe I’ll chime in on the rest of it later. But this was either the worst intelligence failure of the show or one of the worst writing failures.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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