Lord Kyan of House Bear

Davos' motivation?

24 posts in this topic

Im just wandering why people think Davos risked so much when he broke the redwyne lines to bring stannis and his men onions and salt beef.

Ok it's worked out pretty well afterwards, but surely had he been caught he would of been executed. And until the trident most people believed the rebels were still outsiders to win the war.

I find it all a bit weird

 

Edited by Lord Kyan of House Bear

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The closest thing we get to motivation from Davos is in the Histories & Lore segment on him from Season 2, where he says that he knew from experience what famine did to people and he couldn't stop thinking about those men, women and children locked in Storm's End, starving. I know that it's the show and hence may not be considered canon, and perhaps he also figured there was some profit in it, but I tend to believe that Davos is just that much of a stand-up dude that he wasn't going to at least get off his ass and try to save them.

Edited by Ser Frasier of House Crane

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2 hours ago, Lord Kyan of House Bear said:

Im just wandering why people think Davos risked so much when he broke the redwyne lines to bring stannis and his men onions and salt beef.

Ok it's worked out pretty well afterwards, but surely had he been caught he would of been executed. And until the trident most people believed the rebels were still outsiders to win the war.

I find it all a bit weird

Usual status quo, for a smuggler: you get caught, you're Screwed. Was true for Rhett Butler, was true for Han Solo, was true for Davos. No need to look for a motivation more sophisticated than "Ka-ching!".

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For me, Davos is one of those persons that lives on extremes. He can turn from a skilled delinquent to a faithful devotee. The mindset is there. Some bash Selysse for being a fanatic but Davos is of the same ilk. You need to be either a skilled transgressor or a blind devotee to follow Stannis and his troupe.

When Davos met Stannis he found a purpose and turned away from the smuggling business as fast a thief can turn into a religion from the heart. That happens; I've seen it in rehabilitation programs. Drug users turning into vigorexics, former alcoholics finding god and leading a completely sober and faithful life for decades. Etc.

As for the initial question: profit. I find highly unlikely that Davos smuggled stuff into a besieged castle for the good of the people there. If he ventured into Storm's End, it's because he knew he could pull it off. He was a skilled smuggler anyways. And furthermore, get some serious money for a trade he's excellent at. 

No secret Targaryens for today.

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There's a play called "Mother Courage and her Children" about a faring peddler during the thirty years war who regularly risks her life and those of her children to smuggle supplies into besieged cities in order to amass profit.

And it was the same with Davos. I assume the Davos of RR wasn't exactly the same guy as the one we met on page, he might have been a sneaky, cunning, greedy s.o.b. back then and underwent changes of character once Stannis rose him up to his current position. After all going from smallfolk to nobility is a rare, extreme situation and would have had profound impact on Davos (explaining his continued loyalty to Stannis despite all the things it costs him and his dislike of and religious conflicts with  Mel) 

It's like if Bill Gates went up to a bum and made him his personal assistant.

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Drug Dealers every day smuggle drugs across all different borders world wide. To get money for their families, themselves, for anything. People do it every day even in countries where the penalty is death

Davos saw a great situation where he figured could take the chance (relying on his level of skill) and get it done and reap the rewards the rest of his life, and he did

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I've been wondering this same thing lately. I'm not really buying he didn't because he knew there would be rewards. Because he didn't actually know that.  Sure there was a chance but by no means an automatic thing where it seemed worth the risk. This was not his usual smuggling where he would smuggle in contraband & knew if he succeeded he would reap a great financial reward. This wasn't the same thing for that to be the simple answer. Plus Davos doesn't seem to have enough ambition to do it thinking he would rise high for saving Stannis (even though that's what happened). I feel there's a third party missing link that sent Davos to Storms End. I just don't know who it could be & what they're motivation would be.

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12 hours ago, Maxxine said:

I've been wondering this same thing lately. I'm not really buying he didn't because he knew there would be rewards. Because he didn't actually know that.  Sure there was a chance but by no means an automatic thing where it seemed worth the risk. This was not his usual smuggling where he would smuggle in contraband & knew if he succeeded he would reap a great financial reward. This wasn't the same thing for that to be the simple answer. Plus Davos doesn't seem to have enough ambition to do it thinking he would rise high for saving Stannis (even though that's what happened). I feel there's a third party missing link that sent Davos to Storms End. I just don't know who it could be & what they're motivation would be.

Who is saying he knew "there'd be rewards"? I'm saying Davos did it for the profit of selling food to a besieged, starved caslte so that he and his family wouldn't starve.

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13 hours ago, Maxxine said:

I've been wondering this same thing lately. I'm not really buying he didn't because he knew there would be rewards. Because he didn't actually know that.  Sure there was a chance but by no means an automatic thing where it seemed worth the risk. This was not his usual smuggling where he would smuggle in contraband & knew if he succeeded he would reap a great financial reward.

Huh? Why, exactly? Storm's End was starving, ergo, they would pay a lot for food. Where's the mystery?

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Starving nobles can pay a lot for food, and one of them is potentially the king's brother.

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Davos didn’t smuggle the onions to Storm’s End for profit from the starving under siege men. He may have received payment for his smuggling, but it seems clear to me he was on a mission. Maxine has the right of it, “I feel that there is a third party missing link that sent Davos to Storm’s End.” Someone sent Davos to Storm’s End. Someone had to open the portcullis.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Davos II

And so it was that he found himself once more crossing Shipbreaker Bay in the dark of night, steering a tiny boat with a black sail. The sky was the same, and the sea. The same salt smell was in the air, and the water chuckling against the hull was just as he remembered it. A thousand flickering campfires burned around the castle, as the fires of the Tyrells and Redwynes had sixteen years before. But all the rest was different.

The last time it was life I brought to Storm's End, shaped to look like onions. This time it is death, in the shape of Melisandre of Asshai. Sixteen years ago, the sails had cracked and snapped with every shift of wind, until he'd pulled them down and gone on with muffled oars. Even so, his heart had been in his gullet. The men on the Redwyne galleys had grown lax after so long, however, and they had slipped through the cordon smooth as black satin. This time, the only ships in sight belonged to Stannis, and the only danger would come from watchers on the castle walls. Even so, Davos was taut as a bowstring.

They were coming close to shore once more, and voices carried across the water. He rowed, the faint sound of his oars lost in the rhythm of the waves. The seaward side of Storm's End perched upon a pale white cliff, the chalky stone sloping up steeply to half again the height of the massive curtain wall. A mouth yawned in the cliff, and it was that Davos steered for, as he had sixteen years before. The tunnel opened on a cavern under the castle, where the storm lords of old had built their landing.

The passage was navigable only during high tide, and was never less than treacherous, but his smuggler's skills had not deserted him. Davos threaded their way deftly between the jagged rocks until the cave mouth loomed up before them. He let the waves carry them inside. They crashed around him, slamming the boat this way and that and soaking them to the skin. A half-seen finger of rock came rushing up out of the gloom, snarling foam, and Davos barely kept them off it with an oar.

Then they were past, engulfed in darkness, and the waters smoothed. The little boat slowed and swirled. The sound of their breathing echoed until it seemed to surround them. Davos had not expected the blackness. The last time, torches had burned all along the tunnel, and the eyes of starving men had peered down through the murder holes in the ceiling. The portcullis was somewhere ahead, he knew. Davos used the oars to slow them, and they drifted against it almost gently.

"This is as far as we go, unless you have a man inside to lift the gate for us." His whispers scurried across the lapping water like a line of mice on soft pink feet. "Have we passed within the walls?"  "Yes. Beneath. But we can go no farther. The portcullis goes all the way to the bottom. And the bars are too closely spaced for even a child to squeeze through."

Off topic:  JonCon says me means to take Storm’s End by guile. Does JonCon have a man inside SE? I was wondering because as Davos told Mel:  "This is as far as we go, unless you have a man inside to lift the gate for us."

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25 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Davos didn’t smuggle the onions to Storm’s End for profit from the starving under siege men. He may have received payment for his smuggling, but it seems clear to me he was on a mission. Maxine has the right of it, “I feel that there is a third party missing link that sent Davos to Storm’s End.” Someone sent Davos to Storm’s End. Someone had to open the portcullis.

Mayhaps he was spotted from the battlements. Mayhaps, during the long months of the siege, the Redwyne men grew lax, but Stannis' men did not. This time, Stannis specifically ordered him not to take Black Betha, but a small boat.

And there's that interview:

Quote

 

During Robert's rebellion, what brought a simple smuggler like Davos to take sides in the war by helping Stannis and the starving garrison at Storm's End?

(George laughs) Because he had onions! And so he thought to himself: "Where can I sell these at the best price? If I take them to King's Landing they'll pay me the price of onions, but i I take them to people duing of hunger they'd certainly pay me better."

 

Which, again, makes perfect sense. Combined with the complete absence of the alleged principal from Davos' thoughts, it settles the issue for me.

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6 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Mayhaps he was spotted from the battlements. Mayhaps, during the long months of the siege, the Redwyne men grew lax, but Stannis' men did not. This time, Stannis specifically ordered him not to take Black Betha, but a small boat.

And there's that interview:

Which, again, makes perfect sense. Combined with the complete absence of the alleged principal from Davos' thoughts, it settles the issue for me.

Well hells bells man, if you had said that instead of this

5 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Huh? Why, exactly? Storm's End was starving, ergo, they would pay a lot for food. Where's the mystery?

it would have squashed all the speculation. I gotta ask though had Davos been slippin' in and out of Storm's End on a regular basis before Robert's Rebellion?

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23 hours ago, King Merrett I Frey said:

For me, Davos is one of those persons that lives on extremes. He can turn from a skilled delinquent to a faithful devotee. The mindset is there. Some bash Selysse for being a fanatic but Davos is of the same ilk. You need to be either a skilled transgressor or a blind devotee to follow Stannis and his troupe.

When Davos met Stannis he found a purpose and turned away from the smuggling business as fast a thief can turn into a religion from the heart. That happens; I've seen it in rehabilitation programs. Drug users turning into vigorexics, former alcoholics finding god and leading a completely sober and faithful life for decades. Etc.

As for the initial question: profit. I find highly unlikely that Davos smuggled stuff into a besieged castle for the good of the people there. If he ventured into Storm's End, it's because he knew he could pull it off. He was a skilled smuggler anyways. And furthermore, get some serious money for a trade he's excellent at. 

No secret Targaryens for today.

Selyse is a fanatic. Davos *might* be, but they are for completely dissimilar reasons. What do they get in the short term for their devotion?

Selyse - a 'king' defeated so decisively he retreats to the end of the map, becoming a Cuckquean, a murdered brother-in-law, burned family members?

Davos - knighthood, safety for his family, a keep, choice lands -- basically an actual life for family, especially his sons.

I don't think Davos near the same ilk as Selyse. Stannis has actually earned his faith through tangible benefits and perceived justice to Davos. He just followed the shining star. Better a galley captain in the royal navy with all the trappings of high society and a royal pardon than constantly risking your life for a smaller profit and the enmity of those in power you could have served.

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On 12/27/2016 at 3:02 PM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Mayhaps he was spotted from the battlements. Mayhaps, during the long months of the siege, the Redwyne men grew lax, but Stannis' men did not. This time, Stannis specifically ordered him not to take Black Betha, but a small boat.

And there's that interview:

Which, again, makes perfect sense. Combined with the complete absence of the alleged principal from Davos' thoughts, it settles the issue for me.

Beat me to it. Was about  to post the SSM. 

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Davos is one of the few character in the books I would classify as honest and selfless and with an intact moral compass. I have no problem to assume that he tried to smuggle food into the besieged Storm's End to prevent people from starving.

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Davos was a smuggler. Smugglers smuggle. They take stuff they're not supposed to to places that aren't supposed to have it. And then they get paid for it. Since the people in the place they aren't supposed to take it aren't supposed to have it, they're willing to pay a lot for it.

Davos may have an intact moral compass, but that doesn't mean that he always did (but I'll admit he probably did). Nor does it mean that he doesn't know a profitable business opportunity when he sees one. And what's wrong with killing two birds with one stone? You get your good deed in for the day by feeding starving people while filling your pocket with some coin so you don't become one of those starving people yourself.

 

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