Administrative note: I’ve decided to expand this analysis out to 5 parts. Originally, there were significant spoilers from The Winds of Winter in this post, but I’ve opted to cut them to parts 4 and 5.
“I cannot fight two enemies, one within and one without. If I am to hold Meereen, I must have the city behind me. The whole city.” (ADWD, Daenerys V)
With Astapor fallen, Yunkai’s armies would turn their gaze north to Meereen. But Yunkai’s armies would not be all that would arrive outside of Meereen’s walls. New factors and faces would make their appearance in and around Meereen. Alliances would be tested, cloaks would be turned, peace would be attempted and then discarded and finally battle lines would be drawn.
In part 1, I introduced the various factions for the upcoming Battle of Fire and started to go into detail on the myriad social, political, economic and military factors in Meereen, the rise of the Ironborn, Yunkai’s resurgence and Astapor’s decline and fall. In part 2, I’ll continue analyzing and summarizing relevant sections from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I’ll go into some detail on the situation in Meereen, the Ironborn invasion of the Shield Islands and Daenerys’ attempts at establishing an internal peace in Meereen.
Originally, I had planned to have this be a 3-parter and then a 4-parter, but the writing for part 2 evolved into something far too long to contain in a single part. In lieu of that, I’ve opted to cut much of part 2 into part 3. The reason for doing so is that the complexity of Meereen’s political situation coupled with the other major characters and their plotlines on their way to Meereen pushed the writing to over 10K words. So, my hope is that this part helps narrow the focus a little.