It’s been a while since the last Game of Thrones episode. 595 days to be exact, but who’s counting? So we’ve had a little time to analyze some memorable moments, scenes, storylines, theories… And as a civil engineering company, we take the word “analyze” seriously. The good thing about being a multidisciplinary firm is that we can analyze a lot! So, in addition to our work throughout New England, here’s what we’ve been working on in our spare time:
The Isle of Pyke is home to a shoreline castle. How many fish and ale dinners (or servants?) have been lost over the side bringing supplies from one side to the other during a rough windswept storm? Would Balon have stood a better chance against Euron if they had some sturdier bridges? Our Structural Department believes the ONLY reason they’d use a suspension bridge is because they like dramatic blue moonlit backlighting. Also, the wall directly underneath the two pylons on the left that supports the suspension ropes are missing. (We looked!) This bridge is going down, and sooner rather than later. What they need is a stone masonry arch – Hogwarts had the right idea.
Though in Season 7 Tyrion states that there are approximately 1 million people residing in King’s Landing, both Season 3 and the books put this figure to be closer to 500,000. Also, the best guestimate for the size of King’s Landing is 1700 km2. Given these figures, our Wastewater Department estimates that this would require anywhere between 5,000 (26,400,000 LF) and 6,000 miles (31,680,000 LF) of sewers. Given the lack of electricity, the sewers would have to be placed such that most everything flows by gravity. This equates to approximately 100,000 manholes! We think the people of Flea Bottom would appreciate it!
Though the last couple of seasons made travel look ridiculously fast (remember when it used to take an entire season to get across Westeros?), we assume that a paved road between King’s Landing and Winterfell would help out A LOT! But, as it turns out, our Transportation Department would have to put in an order for approximately 7,290,000 tons of asphalt to create this road! That’s assuming a standard 24-foot-wide road (for two wagons to safely pass one another), 6 inches deep. Probably time to call the Iron Bank….
And if that road was built, maybe our Westerosian friends could set up a more modern mail service, because we’re deeply concerned about the ravens! Maybe these ravens are decedents of the dragons because the common raven (Corvus corax) is only capable of flying up to 150 – 200 km (90 – 125 miles) in a single day, and even that is more common for an unpaired juvenile than for a paired adult. Physically, ravens are not designed for sustained distance as they have a relatively small wing length to body ratio. Also, they are not capable of speed as they have a relatively small wing width to length ratio. A raven’s body type is best suited for agile flight over short distances. This relates to their territory and migratory behavior. And, once breeding pairs are established, ravens tend to maintain and defend a home range of about 6 – 23 square miles. So either the GOT ravens have some dragons blood mixed in, or the Red Woman has also been dabbling in ecology!
Speaking of ecology, was anyone else worried about the animals when Blackwater Bay went up in a neon green blast of Wildfire? We were! Water fowl, crustaceans, and other wildlife that break the surface of the water or travel atop the water likely would have perished while the wildfire was aflame. This could potentially have negative impacts on the local food chain, as well as fishing industries and short-term food supply for the region that the bay serves. Some good news – removal of wildfire from the water to prevent further pollution is unnecessary since wildfire is not a persistent contaminant; long-term effects to wildlife or to the water would likely be minimal given that once the wildfire is completely burned, the substance has spent itself and is no longer present.
That being said, wildfire may still be present in the pore spaces between the grains of sand on the banks of the bay. Complete removal of wildfire from the sand should be attempted to prevent any residual wildfire from re-entering the bay and re-igniting on the surface of the water in the event of a spark or an increase in temperature. To achieve this, the Blackwater would likely have to be closed to boat traffic for the duration of the removal process, which could take one of the following two forms:
- The sandy banks would have to be rinsed with copious amounts of water to force the residual wildfire to enter the bay. A flame would be introduced to the bay once more (from a great distance away; likely in the form of a flaming arrow), and the wildfire allowed to burn until spent. Care would need to be taken to ensure no pedestrians are allowed in the vicinity of the bay during the removal activities. To protect the wildlife, archers should be prepared to scare away any waterfowl or other wildlife that may appear to be entering the bay, and removal activities should occur as soon after the battle as possible without being performed during mating or hatching seasons.
- Contaminated sand could be removed off-site via clay pots and washed and set aflame in a more contained, isolated, and/or desolate area. Care would need to be taken to perform these activities during cooler temperatures (summer should be avoided – luckily winter is here!) and/or at night to avoid heat associated with sunlight.
Both methods of complete removal could involve significant risk to human health and/or the environment; therefore, in the absence of appropriate PPE, complete removal is not recommended unless the wildfire poses immediate danger to the life and health of the community living or working in the vicinity of the bay.
We’re obviously pretty happy that the show has returned. But we’re still eagerly awaiting the written ending. George R.R. Martin – if you need some help figuring things out for the final books, give us a call!