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[TWOW Spoiler] Night's King - A Turn From Fire to Ice: The Story of Stannis Baratheon


349 replies to this topic

#1 Babeldygob

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

“There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man." - Varys



I'm just starting my Stannis reread, basically I'm reading every chapter that involves Stannis physically.

I want to present a theory that has probably been discussed a few times, but with the Theon chapter I want to go deeper into it.


Stannis started out his journey to the Iron Throne in Dragonstone, the former seat of House Targaryen, much on that island is about Fire and Dragons. He had Melisandre as a Thrall of Fire basically, not really buying into the whole Lord of Light thing, rather using it as a tool for his campaign. He recognizes that Melisandre has (fire)power and uses it for his own goals several times.

Later on, he goes North to help the Wall against the wildlings and establishes his seat in the Nightfort, which is the former seat of the Night's King, a lot of things here have to do with Ice and Coldness. Whereas Dragonstone was a beautiful island with a beautiful carved out castle, he now has a broken down castle, with nothing much going for it except its history.

Dragonstone(Fire) ---> The Nightfort(Ice)



Stannis has a pretty hard time on his campaign. The first thing he does is killing his brother, using Dark Forces powered by Fire. He recognizes the power of fire a lot and uses it to see his future through Melisandre.

After that he loses the battle of the Blackwater because of Wildfire and flees. He returns to Dragonstone and because of this defeat he almost turns to the bad side by planning to burn Edric Storm for power. Davos prevents him from doing that and informs Stannis of the real threat.

Here we see how Stannis, driven by hopelessness, does not refrain from doing bad things for the greater good. We see how for him the end justifies the means if other options run out.


He then goes North to fight the real problem, but Stannis is only convinced because he sees it as a tool to make the realm follow him in order to get the Iron Throne. Despite his victory, Jon Snow is unwilling to let him have the wildlings and become a Stark to help him.

Despite this effort Stannis makes to help the realm, the realm still doesn't recognize him as a true king. This is something he very much despises. He gets more and more driven by his hate for the realm and everyone in it who doesn't recognize him.


When Stannis departs from the Nightfort to get back Deepwood Motte, he basically starts his transition from Fire to Ice. He uses the forces of fire less and less now that Melisandre isn't with him and starts hating on the snows. He recognizes that the cold and the North are powerful things and he has a hard time overcoming them.

Again despite his effort freeing Deepwood Motte from Asha Greyjoy, no Northern Lords except for Alysane openly declare for him. They still don't want to bend the knee even though he's proven again and again that he can handle the realm and that he'd be a good King.



In the Theon chapter, we see Asha making the request of offering Theon to the Old Gods at the Hearttree. As we see in Bran's adventures, offering blood to the Hearttree seems to have been a big thing in the olden days. We also see that Stannis has a plan to use his environment(Ice) to somehow trap his enemies in the battle.

In this chapter we also see that even though Stannis is doing what's good for the North, he learns of an attempt of a Northern Lord trying to turn his cloak. Again he is rewarded with treason and hate for his efforts.


Power of R'hlorr(Fire) ---> Power of the Old Gods(Ice)




Now here's the theory I have:

Stannis will offer Theon to the Hearttree. Something will happen that convinces Stannis of the power of Ice and he will start using that rather than Fire to help him on his campaign. He wins the battle and solves the North's problem with the Boltons.

Now what happens next? If he establishes the North and brings back peace, what will they do? Will they follow him to the South to take back what is rightfully his, now that Winter has come? I think not, I think they will tell Stannis to wait until the Winter is out. They will let him have the Nightfort and let him be to do whatever he wants, because he saved the North basically. They will swear they're his, but they won't do anything for him. There is even a big chance Manderly will crown Rickon King in The North once he gets his hands on him. Another treason. Justin Massey's resolve seems weak and he might even betray Stannis. We saw with Dareon what Braavos might do to you. The gold of the Iron Bank will do Stannis no good if he can't find any sellsword company anymore.

Basically, Stannis is again fucked and has too few forces to do anything. He will sit at the Nightfort and think of ways to help him get The Iron Throne and punish those who defied him and keep defying him. He will try to help out against the Others if they finally show up and he will see their power(Ice).

Now something clicked when I read the chapter where Stannis meets his brother. Stannis' sense of justice dictates that anyone who doesn't bend the knee will be destroyed.

Stannis: "The Iron Throne is mine by rights. All those who deny that, are my foes."

Renly: "The whole of the realm denies it, brother. All men deny it with their death-rattle and unborn children deny it in their mothers wombs. They deny it in Dorne and they deny it on The Wall. No one wants you for their king.



And Stannis will do exactly that. He will bring justice down upon the realm. At some point he will be so bitter, he will break before he bends. Whether this means he should actually die or just be overturned by the events that come to pass, I don't know. After what happened at the Wall he might not have the patience for another choosing, if there even is one. I could see him making himself Lord Commander, as well as King. He might somehow make a pact with the Others, convinced of their power. It might be that all The Others need to start their rampage on humanity is a leader. He will LEAD them down upon the realm, destroying ANYONE who denies him, unwilling to bend the knee. He will be the Night's King come again and lead the attack from The Others upon a treasonous realm. He will bring JUSTICE to those who deserve it. He will use the power of ICE to destroy those who defied him. The treason has gone on for too long and it is time for true justice. He would have finally found the army he needs and has always wanted, devoted to him, without question, without doubt, carrying out his every order, unyielding like he himself is.


Things from the books that support this theory:

There's possible foreshadowing of this in the fact that Shireen has greyscale and the Wildlings are all like WTF THIS KID CARRIES A CURSE. It might be foreshadowing in how Stannis might father other children to an 'Ice woman' that will be 'terrible abominations' like Old Nan says it.


Referring to a dream that Dany had in Storm of Swords:

That night she dreamed that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper's rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.


This sequence is full of parallels between the war Robert fought and the war Dany is about to fight.

Rhaegar[Dany] on his horse[her dragon] fights Robert[Stannis] Baratheon and their army of rebels[Others] at the Trident.

Remember that the Usurper doesn't necessarilly indicate Robert. If Dany returns to Westeros, she will see Stannis and his army as The Usurper.


In the House of the undying Dany sees:

Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow.


This obviously refers to Stannis. I think it is interesting though that the only things that distinguish him are the Red Sword(made by Melisandre), the Blue Eyes(parallel with the Others) and no shadow(Light is needed for shadow). In the darkness, in the night, Night's King Stannis would have a red sword, blue eyes and no shadow.


Not completely in line with my theory but there are several parallels between Melisandre and the Ice Queen of the Night's King another member has already remarked upon;

Appearance:
Melisandre - "Her eyes were red, but her skin was smooth and white ... pale as cream."
Night's King Queen - "...skin as white as the Moon and eye like blue stars."

Skin temperature:
Melisandre - "Jon could feel her heat, even through his wool and boiled leather..."
Night's King Queen - "...her skin was cold as ice..."

Soul Draining Coitus:
Melisandre - "...the king's fires burn so low i dare not draw off any more to make another son."
Night's King Queen - "...when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul..."

Sacrificing:
Melisandre - "Give me the boy for R'hllor."
Night's King Queen - "...he had been sacrificing to the Others..."

The only difference I notice is the flip between Hot/Cold - Red/Blue - Fire/Ice. Both want to sacrifice people. Both drain the soul from people when they have sex. Stannis might reunite with Melisandre when he goes back to The Wall or he might not, but the parallels are striking and maybe Melisandre takes a turn to the Ice too, who knows? Maybe Melisandre and the Night's King Queen are ONE AND THE SAME. People have already remarked upon how she seems to be using a glamour for herself and how she doesn't need food nor sleep.


"I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning... burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash."

This is when Davos talks to Stannis about burning Edric Storm and what his kingship might cost him. It seems to me foreshadowing to a point where Stannis might actually get burned and may rise again as something darker, something broken. You could discuss that this is about Viserys, but the crown Viserys got, was much different from a crown of flames, which is very resemblant to Stannis' crown. It might foreshadow how Fire is going to consume Stannis. He would then rise again as Ice.


In Sam's chapter where Aemon dies on the ship, he has one of his last conversations with Sam about Azor Ahai/PtwP and he says:

"Stannis ... Stannis has some of the dragon blood in him, yes. His brothers did as well. Rhaelle, Egg's little girl, she was how they came by it ... their father's mother ... she used to call me Uncle Maester when she was a little girl. I remembered that, so I allowed myself to hope ... perhaps I wanted to ... we all deceive ourselves, when we want to believe. Melisandre most of all, I think. The sword is wrong, she has to know that ... light without heat ... an empty glamor ... the sword is wrong, and the false light can only lead us deeper into darkness, Sam. Daenerys is our hope."



We also learn from Bran's adventures that there's a gate through The Wall at the Nightfort.

Samwell: A hidden gate as old as the Wall itself, the Black Gate they call it. Only a man of the Night's Watch can open it, a Sworn Brother, who has said his words.

This makes it more difficult for my theory if Stannis plans to use it, but he could become Lord Commander instead of Jon. He has said before that he would appoint one if it took too long. Will he have patience for the voting? Especially now that Black Brothers have killed Jon he might think it's necessary that he takes over before they all become corrupt and treasonous. Maybe he will use the Night's Watch for his own purposes, this would align with the Night's King theory. By doing this, the Night's Watch falls or at least a key point to their existence. The fact they can't take part in squabbles between Houses. Stannis has already tried to convince Jon to fight for him. If he becomes LC, what would stop him from doing just that?

It would be quite ironical to see the Night's Watch align with the Others. The Wall would stand strong no more and Stannis could use the gate. This is all far out there, but knowing GRRM...




So, what do you think? There may be more hints to this than I spelled out here. I feel the Night's King HAS TO come again. There are so much dark stories about it and now that Stannis sits at the Nightfort I don't think anyone else is going to own that castle.

Edited by Babeldygob, 29 June 2012 - 09:42 AM.


#2 kwvapor

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

I don't see Stannis lossing himself like that. After victories, he might be depressed from the North not becoming his subjects right away but he still has other hopes.

1/Return of Rickon and Davos/Manderly promised to declare for Stannis
2/IBB gave him funds to use for his venture
3/He may figure out some way to use the Free Folk to augment his loss of troops

Your senario would work only if he had lost all hope and kind of go over the edge, I can see him like that because it's like after Blackwater, he was really depressed and nearly started down the wrong path by Mel's promise of Stone Dragons etc.

But, the truth is it'll only work if he sees no hope. If I was him and just returned to the wall victorious, I might be more worried about the status of the wall's defenses itself and if we still have a LC or not.

Edited by Censored Wolf, 10 May 2012 - 12:23 PM.


#3 Babeldygob

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Yea, it only works if he loses all hope, you're right. I think it will happen though. Lots of things can go wrong. What is he with gold if he doesn't have troops? We'll have to see if he can find sellswords across the Narrow Sea. I don't think he will have the Free Folk. I think they are destined to fight the White Walkers at The Wall.

About the Davos thing and Manderley. If it works out, Manderley will declare for Stannis along with maybe even the whole North. But I think that as Northerners they will say: Dude, winter is more important than your throne, let's wait until that is over. And I don't think Stannis will like that.

I really don't think any Northern lord will go to war in the winter if it's not against Winter.

Edited by Babeldygob, 10 May 2012 - 01:30 PM.


#4 alienarea

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:38 PM

I am expecting Stannis to buy the farm within the first third of TWoW. Even if he retakes Winterfell his troops can't match Aegon's. And why would the Others make a pact with him? They don't even know him. What could they gain from it? Unless Melisandre is in league with the Others I can't see this happening.

If anyone we have seen so far becomes a leader of the Others I assume it will be Jon.

#5 Babeldygob

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

I am expecting Stannis to buy the farm within the first third of TWoW. Even if he retakes Winterfell his troops can't match Aegon's. And why would the Others make a pact with him? They don't even know him. What could they gain from it? Unless Melisandre is in league with the Others I can't see this happening.

If anyone we have seen so far becomes a leader of the Others I assume it will be Jon.


If he is willing to lead them across the land. Maybe all they really need is a leader to start their rampage. A bit like the Darkspawn in Dragon Age: Origins.

Referring to a dream that Dany had in Storm of Swords:

That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper's rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.


This sequence is full of parallels between the war Robert fought and the war Dany is about to fight.

Rhaegar[Dany] on his horse[her dragon] fights Robert[Stannis] Baratheon an their army of rebels[Others] at the Trident.

Remember that the Usurper doesn't necessarilly indicate Robert. If Dany returns to Westeros, she will see Stannis and his army as The Usurper.

Edited by Babeldygob, 10 May 2012 - 04:48 PM.


#6 LuisDantas

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

The way I see it, Stannis was broken before meeting Renly already. His actions have been pretty desperate at least since that time. Were he a fully functional human being he would never have resorted to those shameful kinslaying tactics.

#7 Babeldygob

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:24 PM

I've noticed in a lot of threads you bear no love for Stannis /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' /> It's not exactly clear though if he actually planned for that to happen or if Melisandre acts on her own. It is definitely the first sign of his turn to the 'Dark Side' either way. I love his character because his story is intriguing and very compelling.

Edited by Babeldygob, 10 May 2012 - 11:25 PM.


#8 LuisDantas

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:43 AM

Indeed, Stannis is pretty much a straight villain as far as I am concerned. His main difference from Roose Bolton is that Bolton acted later and was exposed sooner.

I know that many people think Melisandre acted on her own, and I guess that may well be technically true. But that in no way absolves Stannis from the responsibility for Renly's death or the way it happened, unless we assume that he commited a basic, major strategic blunder in choosing to face Renly with nothing near enough troops to pose a real challenge to him - which is grasping at straws, since he is supposed to be a faily compentent general as opposed to a clueless, inexperienced novice.

#9 kwvapor

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:51 AM

Yeah we have no POV for Stannis. It'd be nice to be able to see what goes on in his head. I don't subscribe to Stannis is evil camp, my views are still up in the air on him, but that's not why I read..it's entertaining.

Edited by Censored Wolf, 11 May 2012 - 01:53 AM.


#10 Ramsay Gimp

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:11 AM

Indeed, Stannis is pretty much a straight villain as far as I am concerned. His main difference from Roose Bolton is that Bolton acted later and was exposed sooner.



Oh rubbish. Roose participates in rape, Stannis punishes it. The Boltons threaten the Night's Watch, Stannis defends it. Roose turned his cloak for personal gain, Stannis stayed loyal to a brother who treated him like shit.

I agree that Stannis may have some of the makings of a villain, but he isn't there yet. Assasinating a would-be usurper who has no legitimate grievance against you doesn't make you a villain in Westeros. Renly had no real justification for rebelling against Joffrey or Stannis. And he was getting ready to kill Stannis anyway in battle. So fuck him

Edited by Ramsay Gimp, 11 May 2012 - 02:20 AM.


#11 Winterfell is Burning

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

Oh rubbish. Roose participates in rape, Stannis punishes it. The Boltons threaten the Night's Watch, Stannis defends it. Roose turned his cloak for personal gain, Stannis stayed loyal to a brother who treated him like shit.

I agree that Stannis may have some of the makings of a villain, but he isn't there yet. Assasinating a would-be usurper who has no legitimate grievance against you doesn't make you a villain in Westeros. Renly had no real justification for rebelling against Joffrey or Stannis. And he was getting ready to kill Stannis anyway in battle. So fuck him


Oh, please, everyone knows Ramsay Snow, Gregor Clegane, and indeed, all the Ironborn (except for Rodrik the Reader) and Dothraki peoples, are secretely Stannis' agents to bring chaos, rape and death to the world.

Also, Renly would be the best king there ever was, and defeating Stannis, would not only not kill him, but give him flowers and peaches until he calmed down. And then he would ally with the best Hand there ever was and there ever will be, that Holy Man that is Tywin Lannister, who is completely not guilty in the Red Wedding and Elia's raoe and murder, and they would rule together peacefully until the end of time.

#12 akajea

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

That is one cool fucking theory and I hope it turns out to be true. The part about Dany's dream/vision is especially convincing. I don't see Stannis going any place happy, so if he doesn't kick the bucket this would be a good outcome.

The only thing that I wonder about in this theory is where Jon fits in.

Edited by akajea, 13 May 2012 - 01:24 AM.


#13 Harland Flint

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:28 AM

That's a great theory. The only flaw I see is in the Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south. There are machinations going on with Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover in The Neck, and if Robb's Will turns up to name un-Job his heir, The North might declare for un-Jon and give Stannis the cold shoulder (pun intended).
There are other ways Stannis could 'fall' and turn to The Others.

1. If Melisandre realises that Jon is AA and abandons Stannis, that could turn Stannis to The Others (and be totally ironic that Mel tried to champion AA but instead helped the Great Other)
2. If Stannis is decimated at the Battle of Ice and limps back to the Nightfort, he may turn to The Others
3. If Mel is killed (unlikely) in the aftermath of Jon's murder at Castle Black, Stannis could lose his way and turn to The Others
4. If Mel encourages Stannis to join The Others, which is unlikely. Given Mel's quip to Davos that light creates shadows, GRRM could bend over backwards to make it work, but I'm just brainstorming here.

#14 Arkash

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

The one thing that disturbs me there is the idea of making a deal with the Others... I dont think it is possible, they're too different... I know the Night King did it, but well, I dont really believe it...

#15 Babeldygob

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

That is one cool fucking theory and I hope it turns out to be true. The part about Dany's dream/vision is especially convincing. I don't see Stannis going any place happy, so if he doesn't kick the bucket this would be a good outcome.

The only thing that I wonder about in this theory is where Jon fits in.


Yea, I also have a hard time putting Jon in this theory, but who knows what'll happen to him?

That's a great theory. The only flaw I see is in the Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south. There are machinations going on with Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover in The Neck, and if Robb's Will turns up to name un-Job his heir, The North might declare for un-Jon and give Stannis the cold shoulder (pun intended).
There are other ways Stannis could 'fall' and turn to The Others.

1. If Melisandre realises that Jon is AA and abandons Stannis, that could turn Stannis to The Others (and be totally ironic that Mel tried to champion AA but instead helped the Great Other)
2. If Stannis is decimated at the Battle of Ice and limps back to the Nightfort, he may turn to The Others
3. If Mel is killed (unlikely) in the aftermath of Jon's murder at Castle Black, Stannis could lose his way and turn to The Others
4. If Mel encourages Stannis to join The Others, which is unlikely. Given Mel's quip to Davos that light creates shadows, GRRM could bend over backwards to make it work, but I'm just brainstorming here.


1. I have thought about that too and it seems a logical next step for Melisandre;
2. I don't think he'll lose the battle. It would be much worse if he wins, but the Northern lords don't want him;
3. Yes, this would work, but I don't think anyone is going to try to kill Melisandre anytime soon, also she really looks after herself and always looks for her fate first in the nightfire;
4. Given the parallel between Melisandre and the Ice Queen, she could maybe turn by some event, but I don't really see how.

The one thing that disturbs me there is the idea of making a deal with the Others... I dont think it is possible, they're too different... I know the Night King did it, but well, I dont really believe it...


Craster does it too, he obviously has some kind of deal, because he's not afraid of the Others. It's also interesting that we see that. Unless Craster is very important, it must've been important for GRRM to have him sacrifice to the Others to foreshadow on what is to come?

#16 Ramsay Gimp

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

Stannis leading the Others against Dany and her Dragons would be interesting. But where would Jon Snow fit in to that?

#17 Babeldygob

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:02 PM

Stannis leading the Others against Dany and her Dragons would be interesting. But where would Jon Snow fit in to that?


Jon Snow may be dead for a longer while than we'd want.

#18 MikeDC

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:11 AM

Cool and interesting theory, and I think you could be right. The one thing that holds me back is that I don't see Stannis as really, anything more than a soldier. I found the piece in SoS where Stannis is challenged by Davos for taking Robert's side in the rebellion and seeking the throne:

Though the truth is a bitter draught at times. Aerys~ If you only knew ... that was a hard choosing. My blood or my liege. My brother or my king." He grimaced. "Have you ever seen the Iron Throne? The barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel, the jagged ends of swords and knives all tangled up and melted? It is not a comfortable seat, ser.
Aerys cut himself so often men took to calling him King Scab, and Maegor the Cruel was murdered in that chair. By that chair, to hear some tell it. It is not a seat where a man can rest at ease. Ofttimes I wonder why my brothers wanted it so desperately."

"Why would you want it, then?" Davos asked him.

"It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert's heir. That is law. After me, it must pass to my daughter, unless Selyse should finally give me a son." He ran three fingers lightly down the table, over the layers of smooth hard varnish, dark with age. "I am king. Wants do not enter into it. I have a duty to my daughter. To the realm. Even to Robert. He loved me but little, I know, yet he was my brother. The Lannister woman gave him horns and made a motley fool of him. She may have murdered him as well, as she murdered Jon Arryn and Ned Stark. For such crimes there must be justice. Starting with Cersei and her abominations. But only starting. I mean to scour that court clean. As Robert should have done, after the Trident. Ser Barristan once told me that the rot in King Aerys's reign began with Varys. The eunuch should never have been pardoned. No more than the Kingslayer. At
the least, Robert should have stripped the white cloak from Jaime and sent him to the Wall, as Lord Stark urged. He listened to Jon Arryn instead. I was still at Storm's End, under siege and unconsulted."


Note:
1. He makes pretty clear he doesn't actually desire the throne. It strikes me that he'd be very content (inasmuch as he can be content about anything) to not be king.
2. He's willing to see a woman on the throne
3. He had a difficult time with following Robert over Aerys.
4. He seems to respect Ser Barristan and dislike Varys.

To me, all of these things point to Stannis likely not being a main antagonist. Instead, I think they show that he might be willing to support Dany and seek a pardon if she ever shows up. Stannis is all about the law as he sees it. And he recognizes that, though he was bound to support his brother, it was the dishonorable thing to do. A couple paragraphs down, he says as much:


The boy would write the Red Keep full of thanks, and Robert would laugh and ask Varys what he'd sent this year. Renly was no better. He left the boy's upbringing to castellans and maesters, and every one fell victim to his charm. Penrose chose to die rather than give him up." The king ground his teeth together. "It still angers me. How could he think I would hurt the boy? I chose Robert, did I not? When that hard day came. I chose blood over honor."


This could be taken a number of ways, but I see that Stannis is largely a man of honor, and his brothers are dead.

So I tend to think Stannis will never bend, but he might not see bending the knee to Dany as dishonor. If he has a legal means of turning over the responsibility of the Iron Throne to someone else.

#19 Babeldygob

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:36 AM

Cool and interesting theory, and I think you could be right. The one thing that holds me back is that I don't see Stannis as really, anything more than a soldier. I found the piece in SoS where Stannis is challenged by Davos for taking Robert's side in the rebellion and seeking the throne:

Note:
1. He makes pretty clear he doesn't actually desire the throne. It strikes me that he'd be very content (inasmuch as he can be content about anything) to not be king.
2. He's willing to see a woman on the throne
3. He had a difficult time with following Robert over Aerys.
4. He seems to respect Ser Barristan and dislike Varys.

To me, all of these things point to Stannis likely not being a main antagonist. Instead, I think they show that he might be willing to support Dany and seek a pardon if she ever shows up. Stannis is all about the law as he sees it. And he recognizes that, though he was bound to support his brother, it was the dishonorable thing to do. A couple paragraphs down, he says as much:


This could be taken a number of ways, but I see that Stannis is largely a man of honor, and his brothers are dead.

So I tend to think Stannis will never bend, but he might not see bending the knee to Dany as dishonor. If he has a legal means of turning over the responsibility of the Iron Throne to someone else.


I disagree. I don't think he will bend the knee. As you say, he chose blood over honor a long time ago, I don't think he'll revert his decision. By law, Daenerys is a would-be usurper. Also, since law dictates he is the rightful king, he will keep fighting for it. It not a question of wanting, it's a question of duty. That's how it always will be for him. I don't think he'll rather save his own skin than do his duty.

Edited by Babeldygob, 16 May 2012 - 10:38 AM.


#20 jlk7e

jlk7e

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:58 PM

I am expecting Stannis to buy the farm within the first third of TWoW. Even if he retakes Winterfell his troops can't match Aegon's.


Why can't his troops match Aegon's? Aegon is, at present, gravely outnumbered by the Tyrell forces alone, even if Dorne joins him. Stannis has just received infinite credit from the Iron Bank of Braavos - that ought to be able to hire him several sell sword companies of the size of the Golden Company, even if they're not as loyal or good. So Stannis would have the North with him, along with whatever is left of his original army, along with sell swords. Aegon has the Golden Company, and has several enemies to deal with who are much nearer at hand than Stannis.

Furthermore, Stannis ought to be basically impregnable in the north once he defeats Bolton. If he decides to invade the south, he'd be facing not Aegon, but the disordered and evaporating Frey and Lannister forces in the Riverlands. Stannis is also a seasoned and successful military commander. Connington is okay, I guess, but doesn't have the record Stannis does, and, is, at any rate, dying of a horrible degenerative disease. Aegon is completely untested, and Harry Strickland seems pretty useless. Nor does Dorne have any military commanders of note. If Stannis can get out of his current predicament, he ought to be in a pretty good position, barring Others and Dragons.

This changes somewhat if Aegon can get some of Tommen's current supporters to defect to him. Randyll Tarly would be a great boon to him, as would Paxter Redwyne's fleet (and both Tarly and Redwyne are old Targaryen loyalists, so I suppose that's possible). But he'd really need the Tyrells to take him up, which is hard to envision because they're so invested in Tommen with the Margaery marriage. Even so, it's hard to see Aegon consolidating control of the realm south of the Neck by the end of the sixth book.

That's not to say I think Stannis will win, or even that he'll survive TWOW, but I don't think that Aegon is going to be the one to take him out (and certainly not in the first third of TWOW). If I had to guess, I'd say that it'll be the Others who do him in.

I'd add that I find the OP just as dubious - how do you even make a deal with the Others?

Edited by jlk7e, 16 May 2012 - 11:59 PM.