Now that Ice and Fire have finally met and started to size each other up, I can´t help but to go back to Macchiavelli and see what lessons of state making could be applied at this point on Game of Thrones.
Las week I did not like the idea of sparing King´s Landing. I would go straight to the end game, even if it seemed cruel.
” Well-used cruelty (if one can speak well of evil) one may call those atrocities that are committed at a stroke in order to secure one´s power, and are then not repeated, rather every effort is made to ensure one´s subjects benefit in the long run. As abuse of cruelty one may call those policies that, even if in the beginning they involve little bloodshed, lead to more rather than less as time goes by”.
No hitting KL was an strategic mistake considering this, isn´t it?
The master concludes : “if you take control of a state, you should make a list of all the crimes you have to commit and do them all at once” ” Do all the harm you must do at one and the same time, that way the full extent of it will not be noticed, and it will give least offense. One should so good, on the other hand, little by little, so people can fully appreciate it.”
Now, you can see how Dany´s strategies on the past two episodes weakened her and led to more battles, probably more bloody. She let Cersei draw first blood, and get away with it, by not immediately regrouping, lacking intelligence, and she is trying to think as the ruler she still isn´t. She must be the conqueror.
Since she does not a base with the lords, she needs to find ways to penetrate among the people. Cersei, however had more time to ingratiate herself with other parts of the elite while the ladies were out after here. And we don´t know of any structure they´ve left behind, a chain of command.
“the worst a ruler who is opposed by the populace has to fear is that they will give him no support; but from the elite he has to fear not only lack of support, but worse, that they will attack him. For the elite have more foresight and more cunning; they act in time to protect themselves, and seek to ingratiate themselves with rivals for power”
Dany tried to find support in the people, but only found effective support on classes of people which could be considered elite somehow, such as the unsullied (elite warriors), mercenaries (elite warriors), dothraki (once she won the title of first Khaleesi of all dothraki) who are a hunter//warrior nation. Her power is not really based on the ordinary man. I suppose that this transition should occur with the changes in the old free cities of the now Bay of Dragons.
Whereas sun-tzu writer about a war that is planned and played in such way that you actually avoid the battles as much as you can, the problem of state crafting demands that war be fought, anticipated and played ruthlessly, identifying each of the groups of people involved, how they will play, etc.
But one advice she must take from Sun-tzu: think about they ways you can be defeated and take measures to prevent it, avoid surprises, in the show, Dany thinks her dragons are all powerful, had she learned to play cyvasse, she´d know that while they are the most powerful and versatile piece on the board, they still can be brought down.
Someone get Dany a more macchiavellian advisor and a sun-tzu like strategist! Of make Dany and Jon work together, cause their crews together could supply for each other´s shortcomings.