Lord Davos Seaworth

Is The Battle of the Bastards really just Stannis' battle at Winterfell?

42 posts in this topic

I've been reflecting over the events of this season, and I think it's pretty clear that many of the plots have only slightly passed book 5, or haven't passed at all.  It really makes me wonder why they didn't just flesh out the events of book 4 and 5 more effectively and had them span two seasons... but anyway - the three major events that this season has built up to are:

1.) The Battle of the Bastards

2.) The Battle for Mereen

3.) Cersei's trial

Save the BotB, both the other events were two major cliffhangers of book 5 that GRRM said himself would be resolved quite early in tWoW. Then it hit me that the last episode this season is actually titled "The Winds of Winter." This got me wondering if the intent of a majority of this season was actually to wrap up the lose ends from last season and have the next two episodes be the real transition into the major story arc for tWoW.

Spoiler

I really wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing Varys return to King's Landing in the final scene with a crossbow in hand ;).

If this was this case, I find it very likely that this week's BotB is meant to take place for the battle that occurs between Stannis' army and Ramsay. Maybe it's wishful thinking to think that Stannis may still have a shot, but this would also mean Jon's plot will be drastically different in tWoW (which I think many expect already anyway).

What does everyone think?

Edited by Lord Davos Seaworth

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I know that it's the big question right now (if yes or no the writers killed Stannis only to give his story to Jon in S6), all I can say is that GRRM confirmed the death of Shireen in the upcoming book like in the show, my opinion is the details and the paths taken will be different but the resulting events will be the same, so what we are watching in the show will happen in the books (major events and not the details leading to those events)

Edited by Future Null Infinity

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Unless there is a big surprise in the battle of the Bastards the set ups are completely different.

Stannis is marching on Winterfell with better numbers and better equipped minus a Wun Wun

The Frey allies in the books are about to be annihilated in a trap set by Stannis.

Manderley is clearly going to switch sides to Stannis

The Umbers inside Winterfell are going to stab the Boltons in the back.

The Umbers outside Winterfell are operating a guerrilla war vs the Boltons and have already weaken the Frey forces marching on Stannis camp.

The Karstarks have been caught as traitors and are most likely going to be used to spread disinformation to the Boltons.

Now the end result will be the same a Bolton defeat but in the books it is set up as far more likely than it is in the show.

In the books the odds are definitely in Stannis favour whilst in the show the odds are against the Starks.

The only major surprise in the books will be whether the Northern Forces are playing Stannis with the intent of having his forces bleed the Boltons so that they can wipe out both of them with minimal Northern losses.

Edited by The Ice Wolf of Loki

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49 minutes ago, Future Null Infinity said:

I know that it's the big question right now (if yes or no the writers killed Stannis only to give his story to Jon in S6), all I can say is that GRRM confirmed the death of Shireen in the upcoming book like in the show, my opinion is the details and the paths taken will be different but the resulting events will be the same, so what we are watching in the show will happen in the books (major events and not the details leading to those events)

But even in that there can be huge differences. In this case, the final result is "the Starks take back Winterfell". Now, how that happens will be very different. So, yes, I think both Jon and LF are taking on some of Stannis' arc from TWoW. The other thing is, Martin did not confirm Shireen's death will be like we saw on GoT. And iirc, I don't think he has ever said anything on the issue. All we really have in terms of "official" confirmation is Mr Benioff saying "when Martin told us this" when discussing Shireen's death. Sure, most people expect that the bare bones of that specific arc to end similarly - Shireen burns - but we already know it cannot happen exactly like we saw on TV. 

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8 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

The other thing is, Martin did not confirm Shireen's death will be like we saw on GoT.

Yes, sorry, I've mixed things in my head

Edited by Future Null Infinity

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17 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

So, yes, I think both Jon and LF are taking on some of Stannis' arc from TWoW

And I think it's not, I think that Stannis will die in the books exactly like the show : fighting the boltons and Davos will continue his adventure with Jon, I have very controversial opinion about an aspect in GRRM's writing : he can't hide his favoritism to some of his main characters, he's a god of favoritism, I don't think he will let Stannis in his story steal the thunder of Jon

LF taking some of stannis' arc, for me, reading that is like saying that in next book LF and Sansa will spend the whole time in the Vale without doing anything

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9 hours ago, Lord Davos Seaworth said:

If this was this case, I find it very likely that this week's BotB is meant to take place for the battle that occurs between Stannis' army and Ramsay. Maybe it's wishful thinking to think that Stannis may still have a shot, but this would also mean Jon's plot will be drastically different in tWoW (which I think many expect already anyway).

What does everyone think?

I think the safest answer is "yes and no." I think it's safe to assume that while the show and the books will end in a similar place and have a similar ending (though I believe they've said not necessarily the same players), the show is moving to wrap the story up MUCH faster than the books. As you pointed out, not a ton of this season has been new material, and if we don't get fully into the territory of new material until this season finale that leaves 13-14 episodes of original material to get us from where Book 5 left off to the end of the series. While meanwhile we've still got two entire books (at least), which will no doubt be extremely long and involved. So maybe if Stannis wins the Battle of Winterfell in the books we can say Jon sort of took on that role (assuming he wins on Sunday, which feels like a safe assumption), but I kind of doubt anything that comes after that will be similar in either of their stories. And of course we don't know if Jon will be in the books anymore (we can guess), so we have no clue how the show storyline will end up matching up with the books in that regard.

So yeah. Maybe. 

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My starting point is this:

Stannis. Is. Not. Coming. Back. 

Which means that he is going to die in the books sooner or later too, because if Stannis had a significance in the end game, the show wouldn't have dared kill him off. Not to mention that he believes himself to be a savior and since Jon and/or Daenerys are the true saviors, Stannis needs to step aside for them. Given that we are talking about Stannis, the only way for that to happen is Stannis dying. 

Now he may or may not win his battle for the North against the Boltons before he eventually perishes. But since he has the upper hand in the books pre battle while Jon doesn't have the upper hand pre battle in the show, I don't really see why Jon would be fighting Stannis's original battle. 

But at the end of the day this all comes down to me hating Stannis's guts and being happy that he is gone and being even happier that he didn't have a particularly graceful leave. 

So maybe Stannis wins in the books and he's taking Jon's ultimate leader storyline in the books because Martin wants to torture us with another book of Stannis ordeal before he is finally removed. Who knows..? 

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maybe jon takes his wildling army to join stannis in the battle and during the battle stannis is killed, leaving jon in control of the northern army. Now everything is wrapped up.

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39 minutes ago, RhaeBee said:

Which means that he is going to die in the books sooner or later too, because if Stannis had a significance in the end game, the show wouldn't have dared kill him off. Not to mention that he believes himself to be a savior and since Jon and/or Daenerys are the true saviors, Stannis needs to step aside for them. Given that we are talking about Stannis, the only way for that to happen is Stannis dying. 

I think Jon has taken Stanis story arc in the show basically because  DandD know not only is Jon everyone's fav character but he gets back Winterfell eventually anyway. So to simplify it it works better doing It this way.

I have no doubt In the book Stanis will die during this battle against the Boltons that's why they killed him off end of S5 and it helped Jons and Sansas arc this season as well as made for an easier production.

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40 minutes ago, Bran Snow said:

maybe jon takes his wildling army to join stannis in the battle and during the battle stannis is killed, leaving jon in control of the northern army. Now everything is wrapped up.

Yep I totally agree!

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Aye, I think the most likely scenario is that Stannis dies during/after the battle.  This leads Jon to go to Winterfell (once he has been ressurected) to take charge there, having been freed of his NW vows.

(And Stannis's death probably leads to Selyse & Mel sacrificing Shireen - which may or may not be the cause of Jon's ressurection (I am hoping it's not) )
 

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11 hours ago, Lord Davos Seaworth said:

Maybe it's wishful thinking to think that Stannis may still have a shot, but this would also mean Jon's plot will be drastically different in tWoW (which I think many expect already anyway).

In the books Stannis might be killed in a battle against Jaime. Or even better: Littlefinger.

Ah the Littlefinger... man of humble origins who saves The Faith from the Flame. Crowned by the High Sparrow in the Light of the 7 to heal the corruption of the Crown...

Edited by TwiceBorn

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3 hours ago, The Ice Wolf of Loki said:

Unless there is a big surprise in the battle of the Bastards the set ups are completely different.

Stannis is marching on Winterfell with better numbers and better equipped minus a Wun Wun

The Frey allies in the books are about to be annihilated in a trap set by Stannis.

Manderley is clearly going to switch sides to Stannis

The Umbers inside Winterfell are going to stab the Boltons in the back.

The Umbers outside Winterfell are operating a guerrilla war vs the Boltons and have already weaken the Frey forces marching on Stannis camp.

The Karstarks have been caught as traitors and are most likely going to be used to spread disinformation to the Boltons.

Now the end result will be the same a Bolton defeat but in the books it is set up as far more likely than it is in the show.

In the books the odds are definitely in Stannis favour whilst in the show the odds are against the Starks.

The only major surprise in the books will be whether the Northern Forces are playing Stannis with the intent of having his forces bleed the Boltons so that they can wipe out both of them with minimal Northern losses.

I agree that the main question is the North's true intent.  They don't really owe much to Stannis and there is a cycle of Stannis seemingly gaining allegiance only to lose it to another, more beloved leader. 

I think in the books, Stannis sees himself putting in place a new Warden of the North loyal to his cause as the major end result, obviously.  This has the offshoot of helping to fight the others, but that's only a side benefit or part of his list of duties as king. 

The North wants a Stark in Winterfell and the Manderly's (and perhaps other houses) are looking to get Rickon back.  If the show has major events correct (in terms of Rickon's fate which is still not confirmed) regardless of details, perhaps that plan doesn't work as expected and the Stark they eventually get is Sansa or maybe Jon or it is in fact Rickon.  But in any case, I can see the fall of Stannis happening, however different in detail, as a result of Shireen's demise and made swifter by the northern lords who really could care less about him.

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2 hours ago, RhaeBee said:

My starting point is this:

Stannis. Is. Not. Coming. Back. 

Which means that he is going to die in the books sooner or later too, because if Stannis had a significance in the end game, the show wouldn't have dared kill him off. Not to mention that he believes himself to be a savior and since Jon and/or Daenerys are the true saviors, Stannis needs to step aside for them. Given that we are talking about Stannis, the only way for that to happen is Stannis dying. 

Now he may or may not win his battle for the North against the Boltons before he eventually perishes. But since he has the upper hand in the books pre battle while Jon doesn't have the upper hand pre battle in the show, I don't really see why Jon would be fighting Stannis's original battle. 

But at the end of the day this all comes down to me hating Stannis's guts and being happy that he is gone and being even happier that he didn't have a particularly graceful leave. 

So maybe Stannis wins in the books and he's taking Jon's ultimate leader storyline in the books because Martin wants to torture us with another book of Stannis ordeal before he is finally removed. Who knows..? 

I think book-Stannis is going to die one way or another. But GRRM himself told us that battle 'Stannis vs Boltons' is going to be a huge one, while show's version of Stannis vs Boltons was quite humble. So I wouldn't be surprised to see a different outcome in the books.

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If you are just talking about Ramsey's defeat by Jon instead of Stannis, most likely yes. 

The whole battle by Stannis will play out completely different, with many fans theorizing that Roose/Ramsey sends out a small force, a version of "20 good men", but instead of them doing the damage, Stannis forces kill them and then play-out pretend thing where they claim that Stannis was defeated and killed, meanwhile arriving undercover in WF and catching Boltons by Surprise.

But yeah, I am not holding out hope that Stannis and Shireen survive next book, they will just die differently

Edited by Masha

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4 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But even in that there can be huge differences. In this case, the final result is "the Starks take back Winterfell". Now, how that happens will be very different. So, yes, I think both Jon and LF are taking on some of Stannis' arc from TWoW. The other thing is, Martin did not confirm Shireen's death will be like we saw on GoT. And iirc, I don't think he has ever said anything on the issue. All we really have in terms of "official" confirmation is Mr Benioff saying "when Martin told us this" when discussing Shireen's death. Sure, most people expect that the bare bones of that specific arc to end similarly - Shireen burns - but we already know it cannot happen exactly like we saw on TV. 

He commented that he hadn't written that part yet.  That gives me the impression Shireen doesn't burn early in the book.

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I don't think this is replacing the Stannis battle. 

I actually expect that most of this is playing out very similarly to how it would play out in the books - Stannis attacks Winterfell, is unsuccessful, Jon dies, is revived, rallies the Wildlings, and wants to attack Winterfell after the Pink Letter. 

 

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Yes albiet poorly setup. For whatever Jon seems to be the only character allowed money and resources for a scale battle and they wanted it to happen because creatively it made sense to them 

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Yes and here's the mistake everyone keeps forgetting with Jon. In the show Jon is going because of a PL saying he has Rickon, while in the books it's over Arya but the problem is unlike the show it isn't really Arya and she is heading to Castle Black. Their is a good chance a new more heartless Jon after coming back meets Jenye and knows what really went down and feels she isn't worth fighting over. So without an actual Stark at stake what would motivate Jon?

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