The Drunkard

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  1. 1 - Stannis. He has more men, a defensive position and his men must win or die. The Freys have more cavalry but won't be able to use it, and retreat is an option for them. 2 - Let no one back in the castle. Even if Stannis was to win the battle with 0 casualties he would then need to storm a strong castle defended by an amount of men roughly equal to his own, most of whom will be better equipped and trained than his clansmen and smallfolk. I expect he'll need to bluff or deceive his way into the gates if he's to win, but if Roose just seals up the castle until the storm ends he can't do that. 3 - I would probably send the Freys out a day earlier than the Manderlys with orders to set up camp and ambush the Manderly force when they're far enough from the castle, and only then proceed against Stannis.
  2. There's no reason for Sansa (or Littlefinger, given he's in charge) to invade the north throughout winter. Not only is it a logistical nightmare, any potential invader has nothing to gain from getting entangled in the current northern conflict. Like Tywin planned, they'd be better off waiting until spring when Stannis, Roose and the ironborn would have smashed themselves to pieces or else had their armies starved away. If the Vale were to invade now they'd need to take on the victor at Winterfell and then keep themselves fed throughout the occupation, all of which resolves itself if they delay for a few years.
  3. I think they would. Mace made peace with the Martells despite their ancestral rivalry and Oberyn literally crippling his heir, so I think he'd work with Stannis, and for Stannis' part he never actually expresses any hate for the Tyrells beyond the general "knights of summer" critique that applies to every house in the Reach and Stormlands. With most of his chivalry already following Stannis I think Mace would follow the path of least resistance and submit.
  4. The last episodes haven't even been ripped yet which I've never heard of happening to a reasonably-popular tv show, which tells you how few people must have that special service where all 10 are available. I'd gladly pay the $30 or whatever it will end up being if I could download them all. Anyway, this has been my favourite show to watch in quite a while. I remember the rough story but not enough for each episode not to have some surprises in it. Hickey would've been a good Littlefinger, such a sketchy looking guy.
  5. I'd guess he has 500-800 southerners left. Whatever it is or however optimistic/pessimistic you want to be, it'd be fairly low. I don't think the friction will come to anything. The king and queen's men are committed to Stannis, and the northmen are committed to revenge against the Boltons. Besides, the whole situation reminds me of the situation leading up to the battle of Pharsalus between Caesar and Pompey. Like Caesar's men, those in Stannis' camp basically have no option but to fight or die. Even if the snows allowed it, they don't have the supplies to retreat. News that the Freys are finally riding out to fight should galvanise them. I think Hoster will attack. He was explicitly ordered by Roose to attack Stannis, and he'll also be enraged with Aenys having being killed. As far as he knows, Stannis is floundering in the snow with a starving army (as per the report sent to Roose by the Dreadfort maester). He doesn't know that Stannis is hoping for an attack (possibly no one but Stannis is aware of that).
  6. His comment about having 500 swords or better may not be specifically referring to his southerners. For the purposes of fighting for Stannis in the upcoming battle (which is Massey's reason for staying) there's no reason to distinguish between northern and southern soldiers. Stannis probably doesn't rate the clansmen or the peasants very highly, and if Massey is completely average, that 500 could be around half the remaining southerners and a hundred or two of the Winterfell soldiers being considered better than Massey.
  7. I can see that going either way. It makes perfect sense for them to want Jon dead, as with Stannis gone he's the last figurehead for their enemies to rally behind, and in earlier chapters Theon overhears soldiers talking about how Jon and Stannis have allied, so he'd be a known enemy as far as they're concerned. And having Ramsay write the letter partly removes Roose from responsibility, which is typical of him. On the other hand, Roose repeatedly provokes Ramsay to his face thinking that he has utter control over him, and I'd be surprised if Ramsay never snapped. Plus, in ADWD Theon sees them arguing with each other and the Frey wife looking afraid, so that relationship may already be nearing its tipping point. I can imagine Roose laying the blame on Ramsay for the escape of Theon and Jeyne, and saying something cutting enough to make Ramsay kill him (or start planning it).
  8. Hearts of Stone you could do whenever, it's like a (longer/better) Bloody Baron style questline that doesn't tie into the main quest. Blood and Wine is like a conclusion for Geralt, so do that last.
  9. If it's on the west coast then the Twins aren't as important as Robb could simply sail his army south to Seagard or some other port. If it's on the east coast then probably nothing changes, other than maybe he uses it to raid parts of the Crownlands that Stannis doesn't already have under blockade.
  10. Robb was gifted that victory, it wasn't for any action on his part that the victory was great. Any commander would see the value in using a secret path to bypass an unconquerable fortress and surprise an unsuspecting enemy, but not everyone has a magic pet who does all the work in finding one.
  11. He's not close to either of them. Robb essentially made two worthy moves, one of which was the forced march down to Riverrun while his enemies focused on Roose, and the other was capturing Jaime and most of his commanders before the battle outside Riverrun. After that his magic pet finds a secret path allowing him to navigate his army around a fortress he couldn't conquer, then he defeated an army so green it didn't even post scouts. Robb has a high reputation because people didn't expect him to get any significant wins against the Lannisters. If he had lived and fought as long as the other two did he may have achieved something on their level, but as far as his current displays go he isn't close.
  12. Stannis wasn't aware the NW was in danger as Alester Florent kept the letter from him, believing they were too busy in the south to bother with the north. When Davos reads the letter to Stannis, that's the first he hears of any danger at the Wall. He goes north because Davos convinces him that he is mistaken to take the throne before saving the kingdom, and that he should in fact do the reverse. The wildlings aren't an existential threat that the kingdom needs to be saved from, it's the Others. Given that he acknowledges it was wrong to focus on the throne over saving the realm, and given he clearly identifies the Others as the foe he needs to save the realm from, it's obvious he's prioritising the war against the Others over the war for the throne. You say he's obsessed with being king, but it was only by appealing to his sense of responsibility to keep the kingdom safe that Melisandre could convince him to burn Edric. If anything leads him down a tragic path, it would be that sense of responsibility.
  13. The sad tale of Jerusalem came to an end in my HRE CK2 game. After winning a crusade for the kingdom and granting it to my third son Ordgar, I went on to conquer the duchies of Tripoli and Sinai, whose land I gave to the Hospitaller and Templar respectively, and transferred them as vassals to Jerusalem directly. With a fairly strong Jerusalem kingdom established, and with the Muslim world fairly fragmented, I granted Ordgar independence to see how he would fare. But he died within a few years and his adult son Gospatric took the throne. He turned out to be a huge badass, ruling for 44 years and more than doubling the size of his kingdom by holy warring everyone he laid eyes on. He died of natural causes and left the kingdoms of Jerusalem & Baghdad (as well as the vassalage of several other duchies) to his absolutely useless son, who required a regent to rule for him. The regent did quite well, crushing two civil wars (one whose members demanded that my ruler become king) and winning several defensive holy wars. The incapable king later died and the throne passed to his brother, a completely average man. He also fended off several holy wars before the Shia Caliph in Africa declared a Jihad, marched over to Jerusalem and occupied most of it. The king soon died of stress, and his 3 year old son inherited the kingdom. Inevitably the boy and his regent lost the Jihad war, and the Caliph now owns Jerusalem. The Hospitallers gained independence after being kicked out of Tripoli, and in the meantime several other duchies have been lost. The boy king (of Jerusalem in name only) now rules a couple of duchies in the Baghdad kingdom and somehow has managed to hold onto the Templars in Sinai, but his remnant kingdom is done for.