Lord Varys

Plot developments / expectations for The Winds of Winter

63 posts in this topic

12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei could later return to KL at Euron's side. Then they could decide to burn KL to prevent Daenerys from taking the Iron Throne.

But we have no reason to actually believe Cersei burning down the Tower of the Hand is foreshadowing that she would try to pull an Aerys on KL later on. In fact, I never read that this way. I thought this kind of behavior was used as a plot device to help explain the estrangement between Cersei and Jaime. Jaime really is repulsed by this Aerys-like behavior despite it being still be pretty mild. Cersei doesn't burn people alive nor does she get aroused by watching people burn.

Cersei has no means to reclaim the Regency right now. She is the whore queen who has been chased naked through the streets. There are no Lannister soldiers in KL aside from a few Goldcloaks. Mace Tyrell has 30,000-40,000 men in the capital right now, and it is not likely that they go all away. Mace isn't likely to send all his men against Aegon. And one cannot really see how Cersei should even recruit one man to her cause now that she has been publicly disgraced. She still has Qyburn and Ser Robert, and she can kill a few people, but she can't regain power. To have power you have to inspire loyalty. Cersei can no longer do that. At least not in KL. Even the Lannister guardsmen are not likely to fight against the Tyrells who greatly outnumber them in her name. Assuming they even believe her that she did not kill Ser Kevan. The Lannister faction might blame Cersei for that as much as the Tyrell people will. Ser Kevan was the one who arranged her walk together with the High Septon.

It could mean that. But it could also mean only Cersei's children are dead. And that she has fled the city back to Casterly Rock. She could even take one or both of her children with her. They, too, could die later. All Aegon needs to crown himself is KL and the Iron Throne.

It would depend what roles many characters are supposed to play during the final battle. Aegon could certainly play a role there. The same goes for Varys, Littlefinger, Jaime, various Greyjoys, etc.

No foreshadowing? In her POV she felt aroused by the flames! She loved it. She felt cleansed. Jaime's POV is the start of him comparing Aerys and Cersei, her POV is all about her getting connected to flames of wildfire.

Cersei is not going to be suspected in killing Kevan, but she will start getting more paranoid about Tyrion and start blaming Tyrells.   

Also, her wildfire plot, its a sign of desperation and last ditch effort to ruin everything that she can't have. Its because she has no power she will resort to Wildfire. That which needs no much effort. Have Qyborn/Ser Robert "chat" with alchemists to find out locations of wildfire caches. Since Tyrion's POV made is clear that Alchemists pretty much left these in place after KL fall, all she has to do is to arrange them to light up on command, and its a little enough effort to pay/trick some peasants to do it without them knowing what they are setting off.

Remaining characters. Aegon usurped main character, Dany, plot. He can't live if she is to come to power. He is Dance II participant - him v Dany. As he falls, so does Varys.  

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Masha said:

No foreshadowing? In her POV she felt aroused by the flames! She loved it. She felt cleansed. Jaime's POV is the start of him comparing Aerys and Cersei, her POV is all about her getting connected to flames of wildfire.

That's only one chapter. She doesn't burn stuff after she has burned the Tower of the Hand. And you have to keep in mind that what made her feel great was burning the Tower of the Hand who symbolized Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, and her own father in her mind. She wanted them and their memory gone so that she and Tommen would now no longer be ruled by these men.

That's not necessarily foreshadowing that she is going to go down the same road as Aerys.

35 minutes ago, Masha said:

Cersei is not going to be suspected in killing Kevan, but she will start getting more paranoid about Tyrion and start blaming Tyrells.

And who do you think Mace and Tarly will believe killed Kevan and Pycelle? One assumes that they will think Cersei is behind that while Cersei is going to think that they and Tyrion were behind it.

If Mace is believing Cersei killed her own uncle and the Grand Maester he will keep an eye on her - assuming he doesn't openly accuse her of the murders and confines her to some cell. What's Cersei going to do then? Mace certainly has the power to do that.

35 minutes ago, Masha said:

  Also, her wildfire plot, its a sign of desperation and last ditch effort to ruin everything that she can't have. Its because she has no power she will resort to Wildfire. That which needs no much effort. Have Qyborn/Ser Robert "chat" with alchemists to find out locations of wildfire caches. Since Tyrion's POV made is clear that Alchemists pretty much left these in place after KL fall, all she has to do is to arrange them to light up on command, and its a little enough effort to pay/trick some peasants to do it without them knowing what they are setting off.

No, ACoK actually made it clear that there the alchemists have no idea where the hell the wildfire is. Jaime assured that when he killed Rossart and all his buddies. The wildfire that has been discovered beneath the Great Sept, the Dragonpit, and at other places was added to the jars that were destroyed in the inferno on the Blackwater. There might be some hidden wildfire somewhere in the city but Cersei and the alchemists have no idea that those stashes exist nor where the hell they are.

And if the alchemists knew about those they wouldn't assist Cersei in setting those afire. They would immediately inform Mace Tyrell about Ser Robert's visits.

Anybody trying to burn down KL with wildfire again would have to put new stashes of jars all around the city - and Cersei has neither the power nor the allies to pull off something of that sort. Nor would she have any interest of doing something like that because she doesn't think she can transform into a living dragon in a wildfire inferno.

Cersei isn't done yet. She can return to Casterly Rock and use all the wealth of the Westeros to destroy her enemies. She could also offer her hand in marriage to Euron to gain the support of the Ironborn. That way she certainly could continue her crusade against both Aegon and the Tyrells.

35 minutes ago, Masha said:

Remaining characters. Aegon usurped main character, Dany, plot. He can't live if she is to come to power. He is Dance II participant - him v Dany. As he falls, so does Varys.

He does? Just as the Tyrells died with Renly? The Ironborn with Theon and Balon? Or all the Northmen and Riverlords with Robb?

Varys can jump ship as easily as anybody else, and Aegon himself doesn't have to die, either. He could just publicly proclaim that he isn't Rhaegar's son and give up his claim after he has been defeated in the field. Not every war has to end with the utter destruction of the enemy.

One actually wonders what Aegon is going to do should he learn who his actual father was if he isn't Rhaegar's son.

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46 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

He does? Just as the Tyrells died with Renly? The Ironborn with Theon and Balon? Or all the Northmen and Riverlords with Robb?

Varys can jump ship as easily as anybody else, and Aegon himself doesn't have to die, either. He could just publicly proclaim that he isn't Rhaegar's son and give up his claim after he has been defeated in the field. Not every war has to end with the utter destruction of the enemy.

One actually wonders what Aegon is going to do should he learn who his actual father was if he isn't Rhaegar's son.

Littlefinger can jump ship, Varys can't. His whole goal, possibly before Aerys II death, was to bring in fAegon to the throne. He is too deeply involved in it. And Aegon will never denounce throne after having it. Have you ever seen anyone, other than a Stark, give up a throne and power? The trick will be, unless Varys+Illyrio go into big revelatory speech again, which I doubt, we will never know if Aegon is fake or real. Neither will Dany, so when she defeats him, he will die, and she will be left wondering if she killed an imposter, or just maybe her last blood relative.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think the chances for Stannis winning a big victory at the village are essentially a given considering that he has a lot of great advantages on his side now. 

....

But that's not going to deliver Winterfell to Stannis. They will have to get in there somehow. Roose could hold the castle against 2,000 men (or how many of Stannis' men are going to survive the fighting at the village) with just a few hundred very loyal and capable men. And he is not stupid enough to send out the men he can trust to die in the snow.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but indeed even an easy victory at the Crofter Village as often described, it will be still a Pyrrhic victory as long as they don't get into Winterfell. Bolton can hold a very long time inside. Longer than anyone outside.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I also find it not unlikely that Bran himself might intervene on Stannis' side

I give it quite granted, what exactly he's going to do, I have no clue. He wants Theon at the tree for a reason. Interestingly Asha understands this or was she warged?

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

One should assume that many men would then react more or less the same way a lot of Stannis' men reacted when they encountered Renly's ghost on the battlefield...

OT.  I never understood why "Renly's ghost" produced such overwhelming psychological effect while Stannis 'Lightbringer' was completely useless in that respect. I mean if you see a king wielding a sword that shines like the morning Sun, you go and kneel to him. Or it was that Stannis was too way behind so nobody noticed?

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei has no means to reclaim the Regency right now. She is the whore queen who has been chased naked through the streets. There are no Lannister soldiers in KL aside from a few Goldcloaks. Mace Tyrell has 30,000-40,000 men in the capital right now, and it is not likely that they go all away. Mace isn't likely to send all his men against Aegon. And one cannot really see how Cersei should even recruit one man to her cause now that she has been publicly disgraced. She still has Qyburn and Ser Robert, and she can kill a few people, but she can't regain power. To have power you have to inspire loyalty. Cersei can no longer do that. At least not in KL.

I disagree here. The Mercy chapter pretty much implies that Cersei is back in power. How came that to happen, it's hard to say. Also, Lord Varys wants Cersei back in power.

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1 hour ago, Masha said:

Littlefinger can jump ship, Varys can't. His whole goal, possibly before Aerys II death, was to bring in fAegon to the throne. He is too deeply involved in it. And Aegon will never denounce throne after having it. Have you ever seen anyone, other than a Stark, give up a throne and power? The trick will be, unless Varys+Illyrio go into big revelatory speech again, which I doubt, we will never know if Aegon is fake or real. Neither will Dany, so when she defeats him, he will die, and she will be left wondering if she killed an imposter, or just maybe her last blood relative.

He can. Varys' goal isn't Aegon on the Iron Throne, it is a good king on the Iron Throne who is supposed to bring peace and prosperity to the Realm. That's what Aegon is supposed to be according to Varys' speech. If Aegon fails to deliver becoming a tyrant or a failure Varys is not unlikely to be the first to cut his throat to work with Daenerys and Tyrion. And if they don't want to work with him ... well, if there is a character who should have an exit strategy it is Varys. It is unlikely that anybody is ever going to surprise him.

And Aegon is only going to go down if he is ultimately a failure. Not being able to prevent a Second Dance in itself is going to be a pretty big failure.

The whole theme of the truth heritage of the fakes was not openly discussed with Joffrey. He never got around to confront his mother or biological father over this whole thing. George may have decided to save that plot for Aegon and Illyrio. Not to mention the effect such a revelation could have on Jon Connington and Arianne. That's actually rather interesting story material.

28 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

I'm not disagreeing with you, but indeed even an easy victory at the Crofter Village as often described, it will be still a Pyrrhic victory as long as they don't get into Winterfell. Bolton can hold a very long time inside. Longer than anyone outside.

I'm in complete agreement with you there. The fact that Roose is most likely going to remain in control in Winterfell is one of the few reasons why the Boltons could actually end up on top in this conflict. If Roose can hold Winterfell with his own men (and Dustin/Ryswell troops) he has a pretty good chance of winning in the end. He can watch Stannis' men starve and freeze to death.

But then, if Stannis won at the village he would inevitable storm Winterfell. He could succeed there if he had thousands of men but he would most likely lose most of his men. That would then be a truly Pyrrhic victory. Could make for an interesting story, though. We have never gotten a battle where nearly all the soldiers died.

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I give it quite granted, what exactly he's going to do, I have no clue. He wants Theon at the tree for a reason. Interestingly Asha understands this or was she warged?

She understands this.

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OT.  I never understood why "Renly's ghost" produced such overwhelming psychological effect while Stannis 'Lightbringer' was completely useless in that respect. I mean if you see a king wielding a sword that shines like the morning Sun, you go and kneel to him. Or it was that Stannis was too way behind so nobody noticed?

Never thought about that. But back then the glamor wasn't as shiny as it is later at the Wall. Stannis show after the fake execution of Mance was pretty impressive. 

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I disagree here. The Mercy chapter pretty much implies that Cersei is back in power. How came that to happen, it's hard to say. Also, Lord Varys wants Cersei back in power.

That only works if you treat the chapters as a completed chapter. It isn't. It was originally conceived as Arya's first chapter after the five year gap. At that time Cersei would have been still very much in control as Queen Regent. The idea that the guys talk casually about her as the woman totally in power, never referring to her walk or Ser Kevan's death makes no sense.

This chapter has to be reworked. Kevan was Swyft's son-in-law. The man should be sad/devastated not more or less enjoying himself. And it is also out of the question that Cersei sent him to Braavos. That issue was settled by Kevan and Mace during the Epilogue, with Swyft most likely being commanded to go very shortly after the Epilogue by Mace, acting either as Hand or as Hand and Lord Regent.

Cersei wouldn't sent Swyft to Braavos. He is the only Lannister man left on the council. And she knows that she didn't kill Kevan and Pycelle, nor should she suspect Swyft to have been behind that. So why send him away?

My take on that is that George has either not yet reworked that chapter or uploaded an earlier version of the chapter which didn't contain any spoilers about the situation in KL as it will unfold itself after the Epilogue. It is quite clear that he doesn't want to touch upon those things in sample chapters, just as he doesn't give us a sample chapter at the Wall.

Oh, and Varys doesn't want Cersei back in power. He wants Cersei unleashed and the Lion and the Rose at each other's throats, and he is going to get that. But there is no way Varys can restore Cersei to the Regency unless he removes the brains of Mace, Tarly, and all their men in KL. They simply won't have that. And neither will the Faith suffer anything of that sort.

Edited by Lord Varys

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I'll be frank. This thread had me quite enthusiastic, given that I was expecting the release of Winds of Winter before the next season of the Show starts. In other words, in a few months from now. Now that it is unlikely to be this year, well, I just feel deflated, and not really in the mood for going around in circles for the next year or two.

So I'm going to sit and sulk for a while. Maybe I'll join this thread again a bit later. If it is still going.

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17 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I'll be frank. This thread had me quite enthusiastic, given that I was expecting the release of Winds of Winter before the next season of the Show starts. In other words, in a few months from now. Now that it is unlikely to be this year, well, I just feel deflated, and not really in the mood for going around in circles for the next year or two.

So I'm going to sit and sulk for a while. Maybe I'll join this thread again a bit later. If it is still going.

Wait, didn't we just get an update that suggested it probably would be out this year?

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31 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

He can. Varys' goal isn't Aegon on the Iron Throne, it is a good king on the Iron Throne who is supposed to bring peace and prosperity to the Realm. That's what Aegon is supposed to be according to Varys' speech. If Aegon fails to deliver becoming a tyrant or a failure Varys is not unlikely to be the first to cut his throat to work with Daenerys and Tyrion. And if they don't want to work with him ... well, if there is a character who should have an exit strategy it is Varys. It is unlikely that anybody is ever going to surprise him.

And Aegon is only going to go down if he is ultimately a failure. Not being able to prevent a Second Dance in itself is going to be a pretty big failure.

The whole theme of the truth heritage of the fakes was not openly discussed with Joffrey. He never got around to confront his mother or biological father over this whole thing. George may have decided to save that plot for Aegon and Illyrio. Not to mention the effect such a revelation could have on Jon Connington and Arianne. That's actually rather interesting story material.

 

Varys' goal is fAegon on the Throne and ONLY fAegon. Thats why the whole conspiracy is there. Just because notoriously lying and secretive Varys claims that he wants only a "good king", doesn't mean he actually means it because for him only fAegon ever was and will be "the good king". Varys will rise and fall with fAegon. Especially, since the plan to put the boy on the throne was there, way before KL fall. Only if Robert's Rebellion didn't succeed it would have been Aegon Brightflame or Aegon Bloodfyre

I think the trick is that we will never know for sure if Aegon was fake or not. And when he dies, it would be left unclear. Arianne will not care, she just wants to be a queen. JonCon, well I would love to have situation when he realizes that Aegon is not Rhaegar's son but Jon Snow is, but I doubt this will happen. 

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Fairly sure this book will never come out and thus I have zero expectations.  If it does, it'll fall well short of where it needs to be in terms of setting up the plot for one final volume.  Just the way it goes with unfinished fantasy series.

Edited by Frostking

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Never thought about that. But back then the glamor wasn't as shiny as it is later at the Wall. Stannis show after the fake execution of Mance was pretty impressive. 

Maybe a little inconsistency from GRRM's part. Not a big deal anyway, same with Jorah still acting creepy after Daenerys miracle. Please!

12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That only works if you treat the chapters as a completed chapter. It isn't. It was originally conceived as Arya's first chapter after the five year gap. At that time Cersei would have been still very much in control as Queen Regent. The idea that the guys talk casually about her as the woman totally in power, never referring to her walk or Ser Kevan's death makes no sense.

This chapter has to be reworked. Kevan was Swyft's son-in-law. The man should be sad/devastated not more or less enjoying himself. And it is also out of the question that Cersei sent him to Braavos. That issue was settled by Kevan and Mace during the Epilogue, with Swyft most likely being commanded to go very shortly after the Epilogue by Mace, acting either as Hand or as Hand and Lord Regent.

Cersei wouldn't sent Swyft to Braavos. He is the only Lannister man left on the council. And she knows that she didn't kill Kevan and Pycelle, nor should she suspect Swyft to have been behind that. So why send him away?

My take on that is that George has either not yet reworked that chapter or uploaded an earlier version of the chapter which didn't contain any spoilers about the situation in KL as it will unfold itself after the Epilogue. It is quite clear that he doesn't want to touch upon those things in sample chapters, just as he doesn't give us a sample chapter at the Wall.

Oh, and Varys doesn't want Cersei back in power. He wants Cersei unleashed and the Lion and the Rose at each other's throats, and he is going to get that. But there is no way Varys can restore Cersei to the Regency unless he removes the brains of Mace, Tarly, and all their men in KL. They simply won't have that. And neither will the Faith suffer anything of that sort.

I don't think the chapter would have been released if major changes are needed.  But we can disagree here.

Cersei is pretty good at obtaining tactical victories (see how she ends on top following Robbert and Tywin deaths, etc), but very bad at strategical thinking. If she moved fast after Kevan's death he could have managed to get into the Regency again. How, it would be interesting to see. We know little, but you are right, there is a massive Tyrell army at KL. A part of that army is descending upon Storm's End and probably another part is marching fast back to deal with the Ironborn, so things are pretty much settled in KL.

 

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13 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I'll be frank. This thread had me quite enthusiastic, given that I was expecting the release of Winds of Winter before the next season of the Show starts. In other words, in a few months from now. Now that it is unlikely to be this year, well, I just feel deflated, and not really in the mood for going around in circles for the next year or two.

I don't think it makes a difference to read TWoW before the next season. They are telling their own story, after all, and they are trying to wrap it up as quickly as they possibly can. The next season is most likely going to contain material that'S loosely inspired by stuff we are going to read in ADoS rather than TWoW.

12 hours ago, RumHam said:

Wait, didn't we just get an update that suggested it probably would be out this year?

Yeah, that's the news. But then, I'd have preferred it if he had actually given us some good information on the amount of pages he has finished. That would have been something. It wouldn't tell us when the book is coming out, but we could at least guess at the size of it, and so on.

12 hours ago, Masha said:

Varys' goal is fAegon on the Throne and ONLY fAegon.

It is? How do you know that? That's not a rhetoric question because we actually don't really know yet why Varys is invested in Aegon and why he would care that some boy becomes a good king.

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Thats why the whole conspiracy is there. Just because notoriously lying and secretive Varys claims that he wants only a "good king", doesn't mean he actually means it because for him only fAegon ever was and will be "the good king".

So you think Varys is not going to care about Aegon becoming another Aerys? Especially in light of the fact that Varys actually seems to be one of the few people who care about 'the good of the Realm'? That's an odd notion. He isn't the kind of character who is likely to ignore such a development. And both he and Illyrio are very pragmatic and willing to adopt their plan to changing realities. Losing Aegon certainly isn't going to be anything they are looking forward to, but if it happens they will deal with such a setback.

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Varys will rise and fall with fAegon. Especially, since the plan to put the boy on the throne was there, way before KL fall. Only if Robert's Rebellion didn't succeed it would have been Aegon Brightflame or Aegon Bloodfyre.

There is no evidence for any of that. The Aegon plan definitely was only created after the real Aegon died (if he died). The very fact that Aegon seems to be younger than Rhaegar's son in Tyrion's eyes suggests that he would have been conceived after the Sack.

If Varys and Illyrio were (partially) behind Robert's Rebellion whatever plan they had back then sucked. Because they didn't use the civil war to their advantage as they are trying to exploit the current unrest and chaos.

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I think the trick is that we will never know for sure if Aegon was fake or not. And when he dies, it would be left unclear. Arianne will not care, she just wants to be a queen. JonCon, well I would love to have situation when he realizes that Aegon is not Rhaegar's son but Jon Snow is, but I doubt this will happen. 

That wouldn't be good storytelling. If Daenerys and her allies reach to conclusion that Aegon isn't Rhaegar's son and publicly proclaim that this alone is going to provoke a reaction in Aegon's camp. Publicly they might denounce Dany's claims as filthy lies but if Dany gets a lot of good information on Varys/Illyrio's past from the Tattered Prince Aegon himself might wonder whether there is any truth to her claims. And Connington (if he is still alive at that point) certainly could easily enough decide to prefer Rhaegar's sister over his fake son...

In addition, we also have Illyrio (paternal) love for his 'lad'. The man has announced that he will join the gang in KL once they are there. If he does he might very well tell the truth to Aegon himself after his coronation to finally be able to become a father to the boy and share in his glory. There is a lot of potential for conflict there.

10 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

I don't think the chapter would have been released if major changes are needed.  But we can disagree here.

The chapter was released because the show aired a version of the Arya murder a few days later. I doubt we would have gotten that chapter if this hadn't been the case. That was George's way to stay partially ahead of the show.

10 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Cersei is pretty good at obtaining tactical victories (see how she ends on top following Robbert and Tywin deaths, etc), but very bad at strategical thinking. If she moved fast after Kevan's death he could have managed to get into the Regency again. How, it would be interesting to see. We know little, but you are right, there is a massive Tyrell army at KL. A part of that army is descending upon Storm's End and probably another part is marching fast back to deal with the Ironborn, so things are pretty much settled in KL.

Well, if you can lay out a realistic scenario how Cersei could regain the Regency you could convince me.

I've thought about that a lot since ADwD and I cannot come up with a realistic scenario.

I concede the chance that Cersei could use Ser Robert to actually kill a lot of her enemies - Mace, Tarly, Margaery, many of Mace's men - but she cannot use him, Qyburn, and a few Redcloaks alone to actually seize power and remain in power. She cannot even seize control of the castle.

Cersei was in a different position when Robert and and Tywin died. Joffrey was the Heir Apparent and the Lannisters the strongest faction at court. And when Tywin died Cersei was still nominally the Queen Regent, and also inheriting Casterly Rock and all its incomes upon her father's death.

Right now Cersei has been stripped of all direct power in the government. She is very much a prisoner in the castle, her every move overseen by septas in the service of the High Septon. Granted, technically Kevan's death should grant her somewhat more freedom yet Mace and Tarly will quickly fill the void left by the death of the Lord Regent. Cersei has no voice on the council, and even if Swyft was her man he cannot prevail against both Mace and Tarly. As Hand Mace is now effectively king. He speaks with Tommen's voice, and thus he will decide who the next Lord Regent is going to be (most likely he himself) if he even wants to appoint a new regent. He could just as well continue to rule in Tommen's name simply as his Hand although that wouldn't be the proper procedure.

How is Cersei even going to be the first person to learn of her uncle's death? She is not part of the government. Whatever servant finds the corpses/goes looking for the Lord Regent is going to inform the Hand and the Small Council first, not the disgraced Queen Dowager. And they will then quickly decide who is going to take over for Kevan without so much as consulting Cersei.

Not to mention that Kevan's loss will be another blow to Cersei. She will think that she and Tommen are next. Kevan wasn't her best friend in the end but he was still the guy who got her out of the Great Sept. With him gone she is in a much worse position. And she will very much understand that.

And in regards to the time line the Epilogue clearly takes place quite some time before the fall of Storm's End. That Tyrell army that is marching against Storm's End which is mentioned in Arianne 2 is quite a few chapters into TWoW.

Mace makes it crystal clear in the Epilogue that he won't lift a finger to stop Aegon as long as the Margaery situation isn't settled. Perhaps the fall of Storm's End will change his mind, but I'd not bet on that.

Are we really going to believe that a Tyrell army would fight against Aegon if Cersei had seized the Regency in KL, possibly over Mace's and Tarly's dead bodies? I don't think so.

Cersei could, perhaps, seize power in KL again if Mace and/or Tarly suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aegon, dying in the process. That could create such a large void that she might be able to seize power simply by default. But it would be not much power because the city would then, most likely, abandon Tommen for Aegon.

In any such scenario Cersei wouldn't by far command the same amount of respect and authority she seems to command in the Mercy chapter. Not to mention that this chapter would then have to take place rather late in TWoW, only after that crushing Tyrell defeat.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

So you think Varys is not going to care about Aegon becoming another Aerys? Especially in light of the fact that Varys actually seems to be one of the few people who care about 'the good of the Realm'? That's an odd notion. He isn't the kind of character who is likely to ignore such a development. And both he and Illyrio are very pragmatic and willing to adopt their plan to changing realities. Losing Aegon certainly isn't going to be anything they are looking forward to, but if it happens they will deal with such a setback.

There is no evidence for any of that. The Aegon plan definitely was only created after the real Aegon died (if he died). The very fact that Aegon seems to be younger than Rhaegar's son in Tyrion's eyes suggests that he would have been conceived after the Sack.

If Varys and Illyrio were (partially) behind Robert's Rebellion whatever plan they had back then sucked. Because they didn't use the civil war to their advantage as they are trying to exploit the current unrest and chaos.

That wouldn't be good storytelling. If Daenerys and her allies reach to conclusion that Aegon isn't Rhaegar's son and publicly proclaim that this alone is going to provoke a reaction in Aegon's camp. Publicly they might denounce Dany's claims as filthy lies but if Dany gets a lot of good information on Varys/Illyrio's past from the Tattered Prince Aegon himself might wonder whether there is any truth to her claims. And Connington (if he is still alive at that point) certainly could easily enough decide to prefer Rhaegar's sister over his fake son...

In addition, we also have Illyrio (paternal) love for his 'lad'. The man has announced that he will join the gang in KL once they are there. If he does he might very well tell the truth to Aegon himself after his coronation to finally be able to become a father to the boy and share in his glory. There is a lot of potential for conflict there.

I am adhering to the theory that Varys is of Targaryen offshot bloodline - aka either Brightflame or Bloodfyre stock. Thus the Golden Company loyalty. Furthermore, Illyrio's wife - Serra is Varys' sister. Thats why Illyrio and Varys care so much for the boy.

While Varys didn't lead into Aerys madness he sure encouraged it. There are also indications that he encouraged Aerys to disown Rhaegar (the competent son) and make Viserys (who was already showing signs of unstability) as Crown Prince. All this to make people see that Targaeryens were mad and bad and had nothing for the future. Then Bloodfyre/Brightflame people could sweep in and "save" Westeros from Targaeryens. Once Targaeryens fell, Varys/Illyrio quickly changed the story to "miraculously saved" Rhaegar's son - Aegon

Thats why I don't think Varys will consider anyone but Aegon = his nephew and blood, as "good king".  At least thats the fAegon/varys theory I follow and believe.

Also, Tyrion doesn't really have a good eye to judge young mans/boys age, in his first chapter in GOT, he famously thought that 14 year old Jon Snow is like 11 or 12.

Danaerys will believe and claim that Aegon is a fake, she can't do anything else at this time. Submit and give up her dragons? And be 2nd wife? Plus Tyrion will feed her that story, because he is already suspicious of Illyrio and Varys and needs to give Dany some good info to keep him at her side. Dany and her forces will come to Westeros claiming that. (Just like Stannis claimed that Cersei's kids are Lannister twinsest bastards, no proof, but rumors spread...)

As for my thoughts about JonCon realizing and reacting to Aegon's being fake and Jon being real deal, its just one of the scenario's I'd really like to see, but sincerely doubt it will happen, since by the time we (or anyone else outside of North) would know any confirmed truth about Jon Snow, JonCon will most likely to be dead.

 

 

Edited by Masha

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4 minutes ago, Masha said:

I am adhering to the theory that Varys is of Targaryen offshot bloodline - aka either Brightflame or Bloodfyre stock. Thus the Golden Company loyalty. Furthermore, Illyrio's wife - Serra is Varys' sister. Thats why Illyrio and Varys care so much for the boy.

That version of the theory is unnecessary complicated in light of the fact that we have literally four sons and an unknown number of Daemon Blackfyre's daughters unaccounted for, and no idea how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren the man actually had.

Varys and Illyrio could both be Blackfyre cousins, and Serra is most likely just some poor whore used by them to produce a Valyrian-looking boy if Aegon isn't Rhaegar's son.

If Serra and Varys were siblings House Blackfyre would not be extinct in the male line which it is according to both Illyrio and Yandel.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

While Varys didn't lead into Aerys madness he sure encouraged it. There are also indications that he encouraged Aerys to disown Rhaegar (the competent son) and make Viserys (who was already showing signs of unstability) as Crown Prince.

Actually, there is no such a hint. Other people at court suggested such things, not Varys. Selmy apparently believes that the rot in Aerys' reign began with Varys, but Selmy is not a good judge of character. Jaime also blames Varys for stuff but Jaime only knew a Aerys II who was completely mad.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

All this to make people see that Targaeryens were mad and bad and had nothing for the future. Then Bloodfyre/Brightflame people could sweep in and "save" Westeros from Targaeryens. Once Targaeryens fell, Varys/Illyrio quickly changed the story to "miraculously saved" Rhaegar's son - Aegon.

Where were Illyrio and the Golden Company during the Rebellion, then? Varys had his civil war in 282-283 AC, and if he was partially behind it one should assume that Illyrio and the Golden Company would have been ready at this point. Yet they weren't.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

Thats why I don't think Varys will consider anyone but Aegon = his nephew and blood, as "good king".  At least thats the fAegon/varys theory I follow and believe.

Varys isn't a character that gives any impression he is motivated by dynastic motives. Think about his riddle. If the Blackfyre thing was important for him he would never disguise a Blackfyre descendant as a Targaryen pretender.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

Also, Tyrion doesn't really have a good eye to judge young mans/boys age, in his first chapter in GOT, he famously thought that 14 year old Jon Snow is like 11 or 12.

Sure, but if he is right there it is a strong hint that Aegon was only conceived after the Sack. It would be a pretty big coincidence if Illyrio had just a son ready to use for that plan thanks to fortune killing off Aegon the way it did.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

Danaerys will believe and claim that Aegon is a fake, she can't do anything else at this time. Submit and give up her dragons? And be 2nd wife? Plus Tyrion will feed her that story, because he is already suspicious of Illyrio and Varys and needs to give Dany some good info to keep him at her side. Dany and her forces will come to Westeros claiming that. (Just like Stannis claimed that Cersei's kids are Lannister twinsest bastards, no proof, but rumors spread...)

Dany can just ignore Aegon's claim and state that proximity, and the decrees of her royal father (who named Viserys III not Prince Aegon his heir upon Rhaegar's death) and brother (Viserys III considered Daenerys his Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone upon his death) favor her claim. And that the dragons prove it. After all, the dragons should make a rather big impression.

4 minutes ago, Masha said:

As for my thoughts about JonCon realizing and reacting to Aegon's being fake and Jon being real deal, its just one of the scenario's I'd really like to see, but sincerely doubt it will happen, since by the time we (or anyone else outside of North) would know any confirmed truth about Jon Snow, JonCon will most likely to be dead.

Jon Connington is certainly not going to give a shit about Jon Snow. Lyanna Stark stole the heart of Rhaegar Targaryen, and I'm pretty sure he'd never forgive her or her son for that. 

I expect Connington to die rather soon, too, but not necessarily early on in TWoW.

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17 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That version of the theory is unnecessary complicated in light of the fact that we have literally four sons and an unknown number of Daemon Blackfyre's daughters unaccounted for, and no idea how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren the man actually had.

Varys and Illyrio could both be Blackfyre cousins, and Serra is most likely just some poor whore used by them to produce a Valyrian-looking boy if Aegon isn't Rhaegar's son.

If Serra and Varys were siblings House Blackfyre would not be extinct in the male line which it is according to both Illyrio and Yandel.

Actually, there is no such a hint. Other people at court suggested such things, not Varys. Selmy apparently believes that the rot in Aerys' reign began with Varys, but Selmy is not a good judge of character. Jaime also blames Varys for stuff but Jaime only knew a Aerys II who was completely mad.

Where were Illyrio and the Golden Company during the Rebellion, then? Varys had his civil war in 282-283 AC, and if he was partially behind it one should assume that Illyrio and the Golden Company would have been ready at this point. Yet they weren't.

Varys isn't a character that gives any impression he is motivated by dynastic motives. Think about his riddle. If the Blackfyre thing was important for him he would never disguise a Blackfyre descendant as a Targaryen pretender.

Sure, but if he is right there it is a strong hint that Aegon was only conceived after the Sack. It would be a pretty big coincidence if Illyrio had just a son ready to use for that plan thanks to fortune killing off Aegon the way it did.

Dany can just ignore Aegon's claim and state that proximity, and the decrees of her royal father (who named Viserys III not Prince Aegon his heir upon Rhaegar's death) and brother (Viserys III considered Daenerys his Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone upon his death) favor her claim. And that the dragons prove it. After all, the dragons should make a rather big impression.

Jon Connington is certainly not going to give a shit about Jon Snow. Lyanna Stark stole the heart of Rhaegar Targaryen, and I'm pretty sure he'd never forgive her or her son for that. 

I expect Connington to die rather soon, too, but not necessarily early on in TWoW.

First, how do you divide the quote into several parts? I can only do as one quote - one textbox

Secondly, simply put Varys and Illyrio weren't ready for Robert's Rebellion, they expected Aerys to plod along for quite some time and then Viserys. Rhaegar surprised everyone. 

True, it was stated that Bloodfyre was extinct in MALE line, so Bloodfyre connection could simply be Varys' mother. 

Varys adapts his plan. Plus Bloodfyres always claimed to be Rightful Targaryen heirs. So Bloodfyre vs Targaryen, True Targeryens vs usurpers.

Dany cannot ignore Aegon's claim and accept him as real deal. She will not start 2nd Dance because of it. She can only start it IF he is a fake and usurper (aka Elephants vs Dragons)

JonCon didn't really care for Elia either, he blamed her for being too weak. He only cared for Rhaegar . It would devastate him if he realizes that he wasted his life caring for fake boy who had no relation to Rhaegar, while real Rhaegar son was "mistreated" by Starks.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Masha

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5 hours ago, Masha said:

First, how do you divide the quote into several parts? I can only do as one quote - one textbox.

Try splitting up the quoted text into more paragraphs. That usually does the trick.

5 hours ago, Masha said:

Secondly, simply put Varys and Illyrio weren't ready for Robert's Rebellion, they expected Aerys to plod along for quite some time and then Viserys. Rhaegar surprised everyone. 

That is not a very likely scenario. Varys was very close to Aerys II when the war broke out, and he would have had a hand in that. You could say he tried to prevent it and fail or to actually help it along (say, by urging Aerys behind close doors to execute Rickard and Brandon and advising him to also demand the heads of Ned and Robert) but if he helped it along one should assume he would also have been ready. The fact that he wasn't makes it rather unlikely that he had a hand in the beginning of the Rebellion.

5 hours ago, Masha said:

True, it was stated that Bloodfyre was extinct in MALE line, so Bloodfyre connection could simply be Varys' mother. 

Blackfyre. Sure, that's a possibility. However, there is no reason to assume that Serra was a sister of Varys'. Then it would be an awful (and very unrealistic) coincidence that she was found in time and also had a son with Valyrian features by Illyrio at the right moment.

In fact, it is more likely that Serra was just one of a dozen or more Lysene whores with Valyrian features Illyrio impregnated when they made the Aegon plan. That would have greatly increased the chances that the man would have at least one male child with Valyrian features that more or less resembled Rhaegar's son. The chances that they just tried with one woman makes little sense.

5 hours ago, Masha said:

Varys adapts his plan. Plus Bloodfyres always claimed to be Rightful Targaryen heirs. So Bloodfyre vs Targaryen, True Targeryens vs usurpers.

Well, the Blackfyres never sat the Iron Throne. And the only impressive guy of the lot was Daemon I, a man who is dead for over century. The chances that Varys and Illyrio care all that much about legal claims and dynastic struggles makes little sense considering that they clearly have no intimate or emotional connection to their royal ancestors. They are basically about as royal as Rennifer Longwaters, who descends from Princess Elaena.

5 hours ago, Masha said:

Dany cannot ignore Aegon's claim and accept him as real deal. She will not start 2nd Dance because of it. She can only start it IF he is a fake and usurper (aka Elephants vs Dragons)

I don't know what you mean by the last thing there. But Dany has no reason to care about Aegon's claim even if he is the real deal. She is her brother's only sibling and his chosen heir, and Viserys III was the last crowned Targaryen King of Westeros, not Prince Rhaegar or his son Aegon.

5 hours ago, Masha said:

JonCon didn't really care for Elia either, he blamed her for being too weak. He only cared for Rhaegar . It would devastate him if he realizes that he wasted his life caring for fake boy who had no relation to Rhaegar, while real Rhaegar son was "mistreated" by Starks.

Rhaegar didn't love Elia. Jon didn't like her, either, but he most likely literally hated Lyanna because Rhaegar did not only love her but got himself killed because of her. She was the stupid girl who ruined everything.

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35 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Try splitting up the quoted text into more paragraphs. That usually does the trick.

 

It worked, thank you!

 

Quote

That is not a very likely scenario. Varys was very close to Aerys II when the war broke out, and he would have had a hand in that. You could say he tried to prevent it and fail or to actually help it along (say, by urging Aerys behind close doors to execute Rickard and Brandon and advising him to also demand the heads of Ned and Robert) but if he helped it along one should assume he would also have been ready. The fact that he wasn't makes it rather unlikely that he had a hand in the beginning of the Rebellion.

I don't say he had a hand in Rebellion, Rebellion ruined his plans. He expected to have bad Targeryen rule and popular discontent for at least another 5-10 years. Thats why I say Rhaegar surprised everyone with his crazy move - kidnapping of Lyanna. 

Once Rebellion started, Varys had to help keep Aerys/Targs on the throne. Thats why he actually had some bad advice after Rebellion started.

Before Rebellion there - he gave some bad advice and provided some provocative info to get Aerys more suspicious of his lords, his son and his hand. By making Aerys suspicisou of Southron Strategy of Rickard Stark, by finding out Rhaegar's plan to save the kingdom by forcing him to abdicate (thats why his unexpected appearance at Harrenhal, which was where Rhaegar planned to start making his moves), and his plans to change inheritance to move it from beloved prince, Rhaegar,  to unstable Viserys, and finalizing Aerys break with Tywin, by preventing him to joining in to Southron Strategy (when Tywin planned to wed his son to Tully's daughter)

Quote

Blackfyre. Sure, that's a possibility. However, there is no reason to assume that Serra was a sister of Varys'. Then it would be an awful (and very unrealistic) coincidence that she was found in time and also had a son with Valyrian features by Illyrio at the right moment.

In fact, it is more likely that Serra was just one of a dozen or more Lysene whores with Valyrian features Illyrio impregnated when they made the Aegon plan. That would have greatly increased the chances that the man would have at least one male child with Valyrian features that more or less resembled Rhaegar's son. The chances that they just tried with one woman makes little sense.

 

I think I remember Varys mentioning he had a sister, he never said he lost sight of her. And as for multiple Lysene whores, Illyrio loved Serra enough to break off his marriage to Pentos lord's daughter and loose a lot of money and respect and good will there. Thats a lot of sacrifice for a woman, whose child he could have just bought off from her whore house.

Quote

Well, the Blackfyres never sat the Iron Throne. And the only impressive guy of the lot was Daemon I, a man who is dead for over century. The chances that Varys and Illyrio care all that much about legal claims and dynastic struggles makes little sense considering that they clearly have no intimate or emotional connection to their royal ancestors. They are basically about as royal as Rennifer Longwaters, who descends from Princess Elaena.

Daemon's and Blackfyres whole claim is that Daeron is not the son of Aegon IV therefore him and ALL his descendants are illegitimate. As son of the King and previous King's daughter and sister, they claim is that Daemon and his line is only True Targ line.

So the plan, when Targaeryen would have sat on the throne (Aerys/Viserys) would be Aegon Blackfyre, only rightful heir to Aegon IV and True line of Targaeryen would ride in to save the kingdom from obvious mad and illegitimate bloodline.

When Robert assumed the throne, they changed it to Aegon son of Rhaegar story

Quote

I don't know what you mean by the last thing there. But Dany has no reason to care about Aegon's claim even if he is the real deal. She is her brother's only sibling and his chosen heir, and Viserys III was the last crowned Targaryen King of Westeros, not Prince Rhaegar or his son Aegon.

I mean, Aegon has his elephants for his army, she has real dragons, so elephants vs dragons

Quote

Rhaegar didn't love Elia. Jon didn't like her, either, but he most likely literally hated Lyanna because Rhaegar did not only love her but got himself killed because of her. She was the stupid girl who ruined everything.

Did Jon actually expressed hatred for Lyanna? I don't remember him resenting her at all. He only mentioned that Elia was too weak to bear Rhaegar any more children. He would more resent Elia for being weak and forcing Rhaegar to look to another woman.

Edited by Masha

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13 minutes ago, Masha said:

It worked, thank you!

 

I don't say he had a hand in Rebellion, Rebellion ruined his plans. He expected to have bad Targeryen rule and popular discontent for at least another 5-10 years. Thats why I say Rhaegar surprised everyone with his crazy move - kidnapping of Lyanna. 

Once Rebellion started, Varys had to help keep Aerys/Targs on the throne. Thats why he actually had some bad advice after Rebellion started.

I just don't buy that. I could buy Varys failing to predict the abduction and the subsequent Rebellion, but I would expect him to do anything in his power to prevent the Rebellion, and succeeding there if he really had Aerys' ear in pretty much all things.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

Before Rebellion there - he gave some bad advice and provided some provocative info to get Aerys more suspicious of his lords, his son and his hand. By making Aerys suspicisou of Southron Strategy of Rickard Stark, by finding out Rhaegar's plan to save the kingdom by forcing him to abdicate (thats why his unexpected appearance at Harrenhal, which was where Rhaegar planned to start making his moves), and his plans to change inheritance to move it from beloved prince, Rhaegar,  to unstable Viserys, and finalizing Aerys break with Tywin, by preventing him to joining in to Southron Strategy (when Tywin planned to wed his son to Tully's daughter)

It is possible that Varys had a lot of influence on Aerys but we also knew the man was mad and paranoid before he hired Varys. And we also don't know whether the idea of Rhaegar's Great Council at Harrenhal would have plunged the Realm into a civil war or not. I can see only half or even fewer of the lords supporting Rhaegar against Aerys. Turning against your father wouldn't be a very popular thing in patriarchal Westeros.

And we actually don't know whether it was Varys who made Aerys suspicious about Harrenhal.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

I think I remember Varys mentioning he had a sister, he never said he lost sight of her.

No, such a sister is never mentioned.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

And as for multiple Lysene whores, Illyrio loved Serra enough to break off his marriage to Pentos lord's daughter and loose a lot of money and respect and good will there. Thats a lot of sacrifice for a woman, whose child he could have just bought off from her whore house.

Well, if that woman gave birth to the son he needed for his plans he might have been forced to marry her to be able to make the boy his legitimate son and heir. We have no idea about inheritance laws in Pentos, and Illyrio is a very wealthy man but neither a king nor a lord. There might be legal procedures and laws in Pentos that make it difficult to bestow your wealth on some lowborn whore son.

And I'm pretty sure that Aegon is Illyrio's heir, supposed to get everything should the plan be canceled or Illyrio die a sudden death.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

Daemon's and Blackfyres whole claim is that Daeron is not the son of Aegon IV therefore him and ALL his descendants are illegitimate. As son of the King and previous King's daughter and sister, they claim is that Daemon and his line is only True Targ line.

Well, I'm pretty sure Varys, the man who tells us that 'power is a shadow on the wall which resides where people believe it resides' doesn't give a damn about that assertion. He has no reason to prove or disprove it and is not the kind of guy who believes some historical rumors just because they would profit him or some of his family members.

And you should keep in mind that Daeron II was a crowned and anointed king regardless who his father was. And Aegon IV never disinherited him.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

So the plan, when Targaeryen would have sat on the throne (Aerys/Viserys) would be Aegon Blackfyre, only rightful heir to Aegon IV and True line of Targaeryen would ride in to save the kingdom from obvious mad and illegitimate bloodline.

Well, then Varys really sucked during the Rebellion. And the idea that a Blackfyre pretender through the female line would have had any shot at the Iron Throne is pretty far-fetched. Why don't they go with Aegon Blackfyre right now if they would have done so against Aerys/Viserys? The Targaryens are gone, the Baratheons are essentially finished (Stannis) or fake Baratheons (Tommen/Myrcella). If a Blackfyre still had a shot he would be likely to succeed against those people than against a Targaryen.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

I mean, Aegon has his elephants for his army, she has real dragons, so elephants vs dragons.

Oh, I'd be surprised if the elephants lived so long.

13 minutes ago, Masha said:

Did Jon actually expressed hatred for Lyanna? I don't remember him resenting her at all. He only mentioned that Elia was too weak to bear Rhaegar any more children. He would more resent Elia for being weak and forcing Rhaegar to look to another woman.

No, that's my theory. Jon has yet to mention Lyanna. But the fact that he hasn't mentioned her at all as of yet strongly suggests he doesn't like her all that much. Elia gave Rhaegar two healthy children. That should have been enough, don't you think?

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I really don't get Varys and Illyrio.  They seem to be rich and powerful people who never stopped trying at even loftier goals. 

The timing is unclear when Aerys invited Varys to his court, but it must be several years before the tourney at Harrenhal as his little birds needed time to settle in. So they've been in this game for half of their lives, before real and fake Aegon were conceived, probably before Illyrio got fat and Varys bald. There are many surprises, settlebacks and change of plans, like Robert's ascension, Drogo's death, Dany took a turn to Slaver's bay etc. But Varys and Illyrio never stopped trying. There must be a good reason for them to be this persistent. Is it just because they have a few drops of Blackfyre blood?

 

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6 hours ago, Toastedzergling said:

I really don't get Varys and Illyrio.  They seem to be rich and powerful people who never stopped trying at even loftier goals. 

The timing is unclear when Aerys invited Varys to his court, but it must be several years before the tourney at Harrenhal as his little birds needed time to settle in. So they've been in this game for half of their lives, before real and fake Aegon were conceived, probably before Illyrio got fat and Varys bald. There are many surprises, settlebacks and change of plans, like Robert's ascension, Drogo's death, Dany took a turn to Slaver's bay etc. But Varys and Illyrio never stopped trying. There must be a good reason for them to be this persistent. Is it just because they have a few drops of Blackfyre blood?

 

Illyrio is certainly more easy to guess. He is very likely Aegon's father, whose mother was a Blackfyre (hence the 'debts of affection to repay' and the statements like 'Blackfyre extinct by the male line', 'contracts written in blood', etc). He may even be a Blackfyre descendant. Maybe not. His objective is to install Aegon Blackfyre in the Iron Throne.

Varys is more mysterious, I'd say. He is strongly cooperating with Illyrio which would argue of also being part of the Blackfyre conspiration. But at the same time he seems to be aiming for higher ideals in relation to the realm. Not simply a Blackfyre takeover.

Regarding the OP. It is also interesting that Illyrio is aware that winter is coming and there is no food for the realm. Of course he doesn't know how hard this winter will be, but he seems to have a plan regarding the lack of food.

 

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On 1/11/2017 at 3:11 PM, Lord Varys said:

2. Stannis is now able to use the Dreadfort maester

 

Dreadfort. I think we shouldn't forget Dreadfort.

Allegedly, it is protected by a small garrison. I guess it's not that small as A. Karstark claimed, but smallish nevertheless. But it seems to be the best provisioned castle in the North, bar White Harbor (which is now being overflowed by refugees).  These provisions may be important for skipping the winter.

What can happen there one can only guess.

1) After dispatching the Freys and Manderlys against Stannis, Roose may decide to leave WF to Ramsay and go back to Dreadfort with much of his forces. In that case, nobody except the Others or dragons will be able to take him out there. He may even leave if he learned that Stannis is 'dead'

2) If Roose or Ramsay flee after the battle, they will be weakened and unable to protect Dreadfort properly. The Northern coalition may decide to strike at them. There are a couple of options. White Harbor can send its ships and land at the coast, comfortably bringing its forces close to Dreadfort, provisions and even siege engines. Stannis or Jon, can make use of the giants and mammoths.

3) If both die, it will be of course easier to take the castle and its valuable provisions.

 

 

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