I can't believe that GRRM would:
1) drag along such an undynamic character as Stannis. He has been been one of the more boring characters throughout, and althought that's not a reason in and of itself to eliminate him...
2) allow an obvious false prophet to exist near the end of the series. Clearly he is not going to rule the realm, and the North properly belongs to one of the 4 stark kids who are still running around. He is not the object of the prophecy, and as many mythologies/fantasies go, false prophets tend to die (or recant).
3) Allow such a poor tactician to win out the north. Jon's plan is good, but the best laid plans of mice and men... No matter what, Stannis has to devise his own strategies and win over the lords, which is tough for such a uncharismatic guy. I could just see an umber killing him halfway through ADWD and be happy with it.
So the question becomes, to what end is GRRM driving Stannis and Mel's characters? Clearly we don't have evidence of Dany stopping off at the North and burning Stannis with a dragon, so what is GRRM's endgame with stannis?
Edited by Ser Edmure of Coldstones, 02 March 2006 - 05:03 PM.