GoT season 8 Episode 4 Review
As with my previous review I will be focusing more on key aspects of the episode than with the story development. With that said In this review, I’m mainly going to talk about the new dragon killing Ballista that was featured in this episode and how they are physically impossible.
First, to build the number of ballista that they had shown and install them in the amounts that they did, is an undertaking that would have taken more than a year, not a few weeks and or months. Because, not only do they have to build the damn things but they also have to modify the structures they put them on to be able to not only hold them but withstand them, especially the ships.
Second point I wish to point out is their use, specifically their ease of use. The demonstration shown by Euron in episode 4, shown them to be able to reload fast and could swivel smoothly. I call BS, the sheer level of weight and power needed to shoot down a dragon at a long distance let along sink a ship would make not only the reload time significant, but the swivel design would not be an option because the swivel point weak area in the ballista’s structural integrity, not to mention that the thing has to weigh over a thousand pounds. A possible comparison that uses a realistic design would be WWII era AA flack cannons, where they use a crank and wheel system to move left, right and up, down.
The third point is their successful ambush and killing of Rhaegal is absurd. Daenerys would have to be blind not to see a fleet of ships from her vantage point in the sky. On top of that, being able accurately shoot down a flying target from hundreds of yards away with something as cumbersome as a ballista is something that would take an immense amount of skill, practice and familiarity with the target, of which they could not possibly have seeing as it’s a new weapons and there are only two known dragons in the world.
The fourth point is the bow string, anything short of steel cable (of which they do not have the technological capabilities to make) would not be able to withstand that much tension without snapping. Not to mention that the metal they are using to reinforce the limbs of the bow (so they don’t break under the tension) appears to be iron, which unlike steel does not bend, it breaks.
Lastly, assuming for a moment that all my previous points were possible, a ballista as powerful as the one depicted would not last for more than few shots, because the sheer recoil from the device would tear itself apart.