Daenerys vs. Cersei: who has the resources to win the final game of thrones?

Daenerys vs. Cersei: who has the resources to win the final game of thrones?

Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 3, “The Long Night.”

As we head into the second half of the final season of Game of Thrones, our heroes have braved one of two large wars that have been set up over the course of the series. With the great war against the undead over, there are more major survivors than expected, but the heroes’ numbers have been significantly reduced by the incredible onslaught of wights. Now, Daenerys will presumably march south on King’s Landing to claim the Iron Throne, but her forces (and her claim to the rulership of Westeros) have been severely weakened over the past few episodes.

In the epic fight against Cersei that’s still to come, who has numbers on their side?

Thankfully, some industrious Redditors have paid a lot of attention in the past seasons, and tracked what we know about Daenerys and Cersei’s army sizes. Prior to the Battle of Winterfell, Daenerys had approximately 10,000 Northerners, 10,000 Knights of the Vale, fewer than 8,000 Unsullied, and fewer than 100,000 Dothraki (a number Jorah quotes in season 6). We saw what was apparently all of the Dothraki extinguished by wights, and we know that the Unsullied and Jon’s forces also suffered heavy casualties. The battle episode, “The Long Night,” was shot in such a dark, confusing way that it’s hard to take a final count of the survivors, but we know at least these people survived: Jaime, Brienne, Daenerys and both her living dragons, Arya, Gendry, the Hound, Jon Snow and his direwolf Ghost, Podrick, Samwell Tarly, Tyrion, Tormund, Sansa, Grey Worm and what’s left of the Unsullied, Missandei, Varys, and presumably any Dothraki who managed to survive the first wave of wights. We barely saw any other Northerners left in the fight, but Daenerys can likely scrounge up a few thousand for her army.

The real key to the second battle will be the two dragons and the fighting prowess of Arya, Jon Snow, Brienne, and any of Dany’s remaining army from Essos. We also haven’t seen Bronn yet, although he was sent on an assassination mission to finish off Tyrion and Jaime. But if they survive him, they could also complicate Cersei’s plans, given how well they know her.

On Cersei’s side, she’s got 20,000 strong from the Golden Company (at a heavy cost to the Crown), a small Lannister army that’s probably less than 10,000 soldiers, and around 30,000 Ironborn from Euron. She also likely has more ships than Daenerys, given that Euron built 900 ships, as revealed early on in season 7. Before the Battle of Winterfell, Cersei’s army would have been overwhelmed by the massive number of Dothraki soldiers, but now she has the numbers advantage. It looks like her decision to be devious and selfish by not sending her army north to fend off the undead has worked out in her favor. That’s a little disappointing: Jon previously made out the White Walker threat to be the serious danger to Daenerys, but it now seems that she was correct when she said Cersei was the real enemy.

Besides numbers, Cersei could also have more wildfire, not counting the stores she used to blow up the Sept of Baelor in season 6. And then there are Qyburn’s experiments in necromancy, which brought back the Mountain from the dead. We’re also likely to get the long-awaited Cleganebowl, where the Clegane brothers face off. The Hound spent half the latest episode panting in panic after coming too close to fire, due to the trauma the Mountain inflicted on him as a child, but he apparently survived the battle. And the Mountain will definitely be by Cersei’s side as a powerful chess piece in her army.

Still, with the Army of the Dead wiped out, and most of the major heroes still alive, including two Targaryens to ride two large, ferocious dragons, Cersei doesn’t have an easy fight ahead of her. If the past season and a half have been any indication, it seems like the good guys are set to prevail on Game of Thrones, even if it comes at some cost.

[Originally published on theverge.com]

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  1. Colossus
    May 01, 11:42 Reply

    Imagine if she got her elephants, she’ll have been invinsible

      • Ken George
        May 02, 07:02 Reply

        At least she would have had a lot of roasted elephant meat to feed her army. Lol

  2. Higwe
    May 01, 12:05 Reply

    Bless your heart Pink P .?

    It’s ineluctable that Cersei will die at some point (I’m hoping it won’t be on episode 4 though ) all the odds disfavor her .

    But I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I love her .

    She lost a husband and three kids (she loved deeply ) dragged naked and humiliated across the city -still , she came back with a bomb (literally ) and took over the fucking iron throne.

    She may be an utterly despicable human and she’s clearly not the smartest player in the game but you can’t help but admire her pervicaciousness , complexities , will and strength .

    One of the most memorable characters on the show for sure .


    I’m hoping Lena Headey gets her long deserved EMMY .

    Dinklage is a good actor, but he doesn’t deserve it (two Emmy wins ) more than so many actors on the show.

    You can’t help but wonder if he’s getting extra points because of his “disability”.

    …..Like the token minority that wins the best supporting role at the Oscars’ ceremony .


    I’m hoping the “good ” guys will triumph -though I love the bad guys more (they’re way more relatable and realistic )

    But Game Of Thrones is no longer just a show -it’s the SHOW.

    A cultural phenomenon like it, deserves a near perfect ending .

    And of course, an euphoric audience …..?

    • Sim
      May 02, 00:26 Reply

      Darkness, I hope I remember to keep the lights on when we eventually get to meet.

    • Jay
      May 04, 11:21 Reply

      Ermmmm.. Higwe, I don’t really get your meaning of realistic.

      Is it cos they are the “bad guys” that they are realistic while the “good ones” are merely pretending. If so, then your ideology is so wrong.

      The “good ones” have their reality which is being good and the “bad ones” have theirs too.

      Lemme relate it to something. A lot of times I hear people say that people that are “churchy” and moral and the rest are very fake all cos they present themselves well, quiet, humble, probably soft spoken. They also add that they prefer the guys who go around smoking, sleeping around, doing all sorts (I’m not judging please) cos they are “real”.

      I think this is wrong. Both the “churchy” ones and the “bad” guys are real. They just have a different perspective of being real and they are living it and that’s what you see in their character. Would you then say that the “churchy” ones are fake?

      I may have misinterpreted what you said, but if I’m right and I didn’t misinterpret, then please I have to say that you should change such ideology as it isn’t true.

      Thanks ?✌️

  3. J
    May 01, 23:33 Reply

    Cersei is the antagonist here. I can’t believe she wants her lover brother assassinated. The woman is really selfish, but it’s game of thrones. She could win the battle for the iron throne. Game of thrones is one of the realest shows of all time, it’s so practical and unpredictable. That’s the best way to tell a story, everyone suffers at some point, everyone dies and etc

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