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Stannis, raging hypocrite?


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#1 Charles Phipps

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:01 PM

A lot of people think that Stannis is a "Just" man and a man who is "Lawful Neutral" as opposed to "Lawful Evil" and that he's fundamentally a guy just trying to follow his own personal code of ethics to the best.

I can't say I agree.

Littlefinger, not admittedly the best judge of character, highlights for me what a complete HYPOCRITE that Stannis is about just about everything. He persecutes just about everyone who offends his code of honor but Stannis doesn't HAVE any real honor if you take note of it.

Let's do a short little examination of his actions.

* Turned against the Targaryens. Again, this is treason from the part of Stannis and the fact that he continues to act that its NEVER justified just shows what a complete liar he is about everything.

* Stannis is a kinslayer. This is something that is considered the most monstrous crime in all of Westeros and he willingly goes about it with Renly.

* Stannis turns against the Seven. His religious conversion totally appalls me because he shows here that he's willing to go with any force that provides him the kingship. Any promises or prayers he's offered in the past are clearly worthless to him.

* The fact that Stannis takes all of Renly's traitorous bannermen underneath his wing with narly a word so long as they're helping him again shows that he only cares about being king.

* Stannis is an adulterer, it's implied, sleeping with Mel instead of his wife.

I mean, seriously, Stannis observes no code of honor but an INTERPRETATION of his own that benefits him the most.

Yes, he has a lot of self-righteousness but his principles are VERY flexible in my opinion.

Edited by Charles Phipps, 10 May 2011 - 07:03 PM.


#2 Wras

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:05 PM

"I am not without mercy," said the man who was notoriously without mercy.


I believe that's in Clash. Pretty much sums it up for me.

Edited by Wras, 10 May 2011 - 07:06 PM.


#3 Été

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:30 PM

Stannis is as intellectually gifted as his brothers and has no imagination to speak of, just a bitter sense of entitlement and self-righteousness. That leaves no room for doubt. He's on the right side all the time because if it was the wrong side, he wouldn't be choosing to support it.

He hesitated to turn against the Targs. He only reluctantly concluded that their actions negated their dynastic right to rule. It can't be treason if it's the right thing to do.

The burning the Seven costs him absolutely nothing because he had no loyalty to them in the first place. Stannis was never a religious man. He only tolerates the cult of R'hlorr because it's decided he is special, and it has unfathomable powers that give it some sort of legitimacy.

Stannis believed Renly's bannermen should have followed him from the start. He doesn't consider them treacherous - they've merely seen the error of their ways.

Of course Stannis lives by his own interpretation of honour. That's what real people do, too. But I agree with you about Renly's murder and his potential affair with Melisandre; I have no idea how he justifies them to himself. He may call his brother a traitor, but kinslaying is pretty poor form.

#4 Lord Varys

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

Well, then, lets defend this guy. Should work well, as most of these accusations are not really backed up by textual evidence anyway.

1. Stannis was likely commanded to go along with Robert's Rebellion by his brother and liege lord Robert Baratheon, so he had to make a decision. He had to choose. And he choose his brother, his blood, over his King. I'm not sure he would have done so if he had cherished or liked Aerys - it seems he was not that fond of his royal cousin since he confused Tywin with Aerys back during a visit to KL in his childhood - but staying loyal to Robert if you are his brother is actually an accomplishment in his own. Especially as he did not love him.
Stannis knew that this was treason from the Targaryen perspective, and he was willing to pay the price, if he or Robert got caught by the King. Stannis' includes people who failed to win a war in his list of 'people who were executed for treason' (Daemon Blackfyre and Rhaenyra Targaryen did not die a traitor's death, they were slain during a battle). Whoever goes along with his liege lord's treason has to be prepared to be executed for treason. Stannis was. Everyone else daring this, should be as well.

2. There is no conclusive textual evidence that Stannis Baratheon commanded or was involved in Renly's death on a conscious level. And even if such evidence existed, Renly was a traitor. He deserved to die, and the shields of kinship don't protect traitors. Or else, the deaths of Rhaenyra Targaryen, and all the Blackfyre pretenders should be abhorred as kinslaying as well. Maybe even Robb's execution of Rickard Karstark. Renly knew what he was doing when he decided that he was supposed to be King. He knew very well the risk of being an unsuccessful pretender. Or at least he should have known the risks.

3. Stannis never gave a shit about the Seven. Not since the Seven let his parents die before the shore of Storm's End. It's not a crime to turn against gods you never actually worshiped. Actually, I don't think it's a crime to turn against gods whom you have worshiped for some time, but that's another story.
As to allying himself with every force who makes him King: What should he do instead? Go like a beggar to KL, throw himself at Tywin's/Cersei's/Joffrey's feet and swore his eternal allegiance to them? He might have done so, before the whole letter story, so this was a real option for a time, but wouldn't that have been an outright betrayal to his brother Robert, his long-time colleague on the Small Council Jon Arryn, and even to the Man Who Was Not His Friend, Ned Stark? And would there not have been the chance that the Lannister regime would eventually assassinate him as well, despite all his assurances of loyalty? Because Cersei suspected that he knew/suspected something about the incest, and considered as a threat to her son's rule? Which would in the end even endanger his wife and daughter...

4. This actually shows that Stannis is capable of mercy, and is also able to compromise if he must. This would only be hypocritical if Stannis did say that a Lord/King is not allowed to make exceptions if reality dictates that he has to make exceptions. And I don't remember a line where this is stated. He is not fond of making compromises, but he understands the concept, and he does make them, if he has to.

5. There is no textual evidence of a consensual sexual relationship between Stannis and Melisandre. If there is such a relationship this would be adultery, but as we don't know if there is such an relationship we should wait until it's confirmed, and until Stannis is caught doing the deed, and hear what he has to say about his crime.

#5 Raiki

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

Well...technically Stannis didn't kill Renly. While kinslaying seems to be very frowned upon in Westeros, hiring a catspaw to do the kinslaying for you doesn't seem to carry any more stigma than hiring one to kill any other person.

Not trying to defend Stannis here, just wanted to point out the facts.

Also, religious conversion isn't amoral or unethical in any sense. Real people do it every day; Some of us even have the gall to have no religion.
Throw in the fact that Stannis was only marginally religious in the first place and it becomes the ethical equivalent of switching from white bread to wheat because you think wheat will give you ultimate arcane power. Equally stupid, but not unethical.

Edit: To not only be ninja'd, but ninja'd by Varys' excellent disection of every single point. I've been unmanned by a eunuch!

~R~

Edited by Raiki, 10 May 2011 - 08:08 PM.


#6 Kaitscralt

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:47 PM

Your points seem pretty loose to me, and Lord Varys mentioned why.

Compared to most other people in this colossal struggle, Stannis is a saint.

#7 Charles Phipps

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:54 PM

Also, religious conversion isn't amoral or unethical in any sense. Real people do it every day; Some of us even have the gall to have no religion.


In real life, I find feudalism and the divine right of kings offensive. Would you like me to presume you believe in that because you support Stannis?

I think not.

One would think the Seven are deeply entrenched in Six of the Seven Kingdoms and turning against them is viewed as dishonorable.

#8 Galen M

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:03 PM

In real life, I find feudalism and the divine right of kings offensive. Would you like me to presume you believe in that because you support Stannis?

I think not.

One would think the Seven are deeply entrenched in Six of the Seven Kingdoms and turning against them is viewed as dishonorable.


5, the Iron Islands pray to the Drowned God, The North to the old gods.

#9 Charles Phipps

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:04 PM

True, but Stannis prayed to the Seven and in Theon's case - turning against the Drowned God would have been viewed as an unforgivable offense.

Edit:

BTW, sorry if the feudalism thing came off as turt. Was trying to be witty not rude.

Edited by Charles Phipps, 10 May 2011 - 11:12 PM.


#10 Smashing Praise

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:11 PM

In real life, I find feudalism and the divine right of kings offensive. Would you like me to presume you believe in that because you support Stannis?

I think not.

One would think the Seven are deeply entrenched in Six of the Seven Kingdoms and turning against them is viewed as dishonorable.

Six? The North worship the Old Gods, the Ironborn the Drowned God. Seems more like five.

#11 Horza

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:12 PM

2. There is no conclusive textual evidence that Stannis Baratheon commanded or was involved in Renly's death on a conscious level.


What? He clearly dispatches Mel to kill Ser Courtnay Penrose, that would imply he knows what she's doing.

#12 Charles Phipps

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:17 PM

Six? The North worship the Old Gods, the Ironborn the Drowned God. Seems more like five.


My bad.

#13 iamthedave

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:26 AM

Even so; Stannis not a kinslayer. You have to do the deed with your own hands to be a kinslayer, the same way that Jaime is only a Kingslayer because he killed the king. If he had, say, broken Aerys' leg and just nodded at him suggestively when someone of the opposing side came into their presence, he wouldn't be a kingslayer (maybe a king hobbler?).

Is Stannis a hypocrite? Over time he may be becoming one, but so far his actions have been consistent. He says of Renly's lot that they're HIS bannermen, so when they go over to him they're just doing what they should.

However, there's no chance, NONE, that Stannis would reward them especially when the war was won. Those who were with him from the start might be rewarded, but most likely he wouldn't even reward them especially.

In his eyes you don't get a reward for doing what you should have been doing in the first place. You do however get punished for not doing it.

Stannis looks so weird because he's one of the only people who believes in justice. Far more than honour, Stannis believes in justice. The incident with Davos is so emblemic of him because of that. He rewards those who go beyond the call of duty, but he does not forget prior sins.

But he's NOT a 'raging' hypocrite. He said his betrayal of the Targs was his hardest decision, and I believe him. It's not a coincidence that when he's on the verge of 'going to the dark side', Davos reminds him of that and Stannis just stops dead.

#14 Nukelavee

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

I think it's pretty clear, too, that Stannis has serious issues about having to compromise with his values.

Sure, he's responsible for Renly's death, but he regrets it; more, he's angry that Renly would so blatantly break the "law" himself.

Stannis big "fault" is that he just can't comprehend cheating because it makes things easier.

With Edric Storm, I think the scene where he tells Davos "it wouldn't matter if he was the best boy ever born, this needs to be done for the kingdom" says a lot about Stannis. He doesn't seem to think he has a choice in becoming king.

#15 TrueMetis

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:40 AM

In real life, I find feudalism and the divine right of kings offensive. Would you like me to presume you believe in that because you support Stannis?


There is no divine right of kings in Westeros.

#16 Ser_not_appearing_yet

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

There is no divine right of kings in Westeros.

Indeed. At least there's no mention of it anywhere. Religion as a result plays a more minor role than it did in our world (during Feudalism).

I don't really see Stannis as a hypocrite tbh.

#17 Chalky

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:53 AM

There is no divine right of kings in Westeros.

Daenerys may disagree, but thats beside the point.

Looking at Ete's aspersions on Stannis's intellect, Stannis may not be very imaginative, but he's nobody's fool. He's also very savvy and cunning, which is why he's the only original king still alive.

To consider him stupid, you'd have to call everyone stupid who has any sort of integrity

Edited by Chalky, 11 May 2011 - 10:54 AM.


#18 Été

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:12 PM

Daenerys may disagree, but thats beside the point.

Looking at Ete's aspersions on Stannis's intellect, Stannis may not be very imaginative, but he's nobody's fool. He's also very savvy and cunning, which is why he's the only original king still alive.

To consider him stupid, you'd have to call everyone stupid who has any sort of integrity

I think he's a complete idiot when it comes to dealing with people. He seems pretty much incapable of empathy and self-doubt. He's lasted this long because he had neither the subtlety nor the stomach for intrigue, which brought down the others.

No one but Stannis would have been dumb enough to cut off Davos' fingers after the siege of Storm's End; no one but Davos would have become a devoted subject after that. It's still an unwise move.

#19 Gurkhal

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:17 PM

No one but Stannis would have been dumb enough to cut off Davos' fingers after the siege of Storm's End; no one but Davos would have become a devoted subject after that. It's still an unwise move.


Anyone being a better person than Bronn would've been a devoted follower of Stanis. Davos has everything he has to thank Stannis for. Being elevated from a smuggler to having a castle and land and the king's brother taking my son as his squire - I'd sacrifice my hand, hell take my arm, and I'd be happy!

#20 Nukelavee

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:34 PM

Ete, did you think that thru? He's an idiot because he can't understand people, but he's only around because he doesn't have what takes for intrigue?

He might not relate well to people, but that doesn't mean he doesn't understand them.

No. He's been too smart to get trapped like Ned by other's plots, he's been too smart to rely on those who are untrustworthy, he's been too smart to get trapped anywhere

He's seen what happens to the lazy, the hedonistic, the trusting, the overconfident, and learned.

His major defeat, at KL, came because Highgarden took the side of the Lannisters, and that was thanks to Loras' hatred, and LF plotting.