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James Steller

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About James Steller

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    Head of House Steller, serving King Stannis I Baratheon

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  1. If this theory depends on the notion that Stannis wrote the Pink Letter, then I don't believe it. Stannis wouldn't write the Pink Letter, so he has no reason to know about Melisandre's duplicitous scheme. And you're wrong about the level of influence that she has; her strength is gaining at the Wall but she's not his main advisor either. Davos was the one who reminded Stannis of his duties, and brought him north to the Wall. And now Jon Snow has given him a strategy to win the anti-Bolton Northmen to his side. Melisandre's inability to find Stannis is indicative of the fact that her power over him is waning. So I absolutely buy that she wouldn't expect Stannis to let her spare Mance in secret, not least because if the secret is revealed, who looks worse than Stannis in that situation? He would never risk being humiliated like that.
  2. You're welcome to make that post. Nothing's stopping you.
  3. Stannis and Renly were never close at all. Renly idolised Robert and Robert dislikes Stannis. People can debate this forever, but I put a lot of stock into Cersei's commentary about Robert slighting Stannis with Dragonstone instead of Storm's End. Why would she need to lie about that to Tyrion? Plus when you consider that Robert mocked Stannis on previous occasions, I don't imagine they were ever on good terms, and if Renly takes Robert's side, then that drives yet more wedges. Neither Stannis nor Renly would have anything to gain by sparing their "niece and nephews". The Lannisters will trumpet them as the rightful heirs, no matter which Baratheon brother emerges on top. Even if they don't want to kill children, they're never going to be allowed to stay in the Westerlands. But reading through your speculations on how things would have played out, I can't help but notice that if Stannis really wanted to be a thorn in his brother's side, he'd have called off the naval blockade while he sailed to the Riverlands and consolidated his reinforcements. This means that King's Landing isn't starving anymore, and they'd be able to last much longer against Renly's forces. Meanwhile, assuming Stannis does deal with Tywin first, he's doing it with his original 5,000 plus a slew of highly skilled leaders like Robb and Brynden Tully, with more than 30,000 northmen and riverlords, and that's before mentioning the rest of the North's armies which didn't go south with Robb). Tywin wouldn't even be able to launch raids from Harrenhal with that kind of opposition; he'd soon be at least partially besieged. Plus we can assume that Theon doesn't go to the Iron Islands in this scenario, so while the North might still get attacked, Winterfell never falls. What Renly does in that scenario is a mystery to me. He could keep swanning around and trying to starve King's Landing (which wouldn't work if Stannis called off his navy), so he'd have to rush King's Landing and besiege it. He's got a huge army, but the city would still be able to hold him off for a while if they still have the sea (and we know the Redwynes stayed home due to hostages so Renly wouldn't have a fleet of his own). Renly would probably be able to take the city eventually, not without casualties, but what he does with the prisoners (if there are any) is beyond me. Maybe we even get a scenario where Cersei activates the wildfyre as a last resort, killing who knows how many of Renly's army? That would certainly leave Stannis as the clear winner, assuming Cersei and Renly destroy each other and their associates together in one big blast. Tywin would be bereft of heirs, his last living son is a captive in Riverrun, and he'd be facing men from the North and Riverlands whose primary houses both lost a relative in King's Landing (Sansa, but they'd also think Arya was dead too). Maybe they even let Rickard Karstark execute Jaime before they storm Harrenhal and wipe out Tywin? Assuming all that happened, the main armies of the Reach, Westerlands, Crownlands, and Stormlands would be broken, leaving Stannis unopposed. Sure, he'd take severe casualties killing Tywin, but he'd manage it, just in time for Mance Rayder's wildling army to bear down on the Wall. Robb would go north, even if Stannis doesn't, and he'd be able to lead a Northern army which, while weakened from the War of the Five Kings, would also have thousands of reinforcements who didn't die during Theon Greyjoy's playing at conquest or Ramsay Snow's power grabs.
  4. Stannis made his mistakes, but it was common sense that he should be the next in line if Robert's offspring are illegitimate. Robb himself put that together when he was at the council. Based on how things work in Westeros, Renly was a usurper in all senses. And between Stannis and Renly, Stannis ended up actually working to show the kingdoms that he would serve the realm and defend it from the real enemy.
  5. No, Robb should have declared for Stannis, like he was clearly intending to do before Greatjon hijacked the council. If he had brought the North and the Riverlands to Stannis' aid, then that lessens Melisandre's grip on Stannis (after all, she predicted nobody would support him), and then instead of becoming her thrall, as well as draining himself with shadowbabies, maybe he actually becomes more like he is in ADWD? Plus it changes things considerably for everyone else. Renly would be warring on Robert's former allies with the help of Robert's former enemies, which would divide the Stormlanders' view of him. Tywin would also be in much bigger trouble since both Robert's brothers now command armies bigger than his own, and they both despise him. It would still be a bloody conflict, but there's a good chance that Stannis becomes king and relies on trustworthy advisors who can steer him in the right direction.
  6. Are you agreeing with me or arguing with me? Genuine question, I don't follow your meaning.
  7. Technically, you can also thank Robb for (A) thinking that Balon Greyjoy would ever be a faithful ally, and (B) sending Theon to him and thus eliminating all hostage incentives.
  8. I don't know why it took me so long to realise this, but isn't it strange how Stannis Baratheon is the only person to respond to the Night's Watch's plea for help in ASOS? And I'm including the fact that not a single Northern house even bothered to follow up on the threat, let alone send any help. It does make sense with some of the houses; House Glover's castle was being occupied, while House Umber and House Karstark are almost completely depleted of manpower due to Robb's defeat. House Manderly still has most of their army, but they're playing a long game to oust the Boltons, so I can work around that. But I don't know why any of them even showed concern that a wildling army was threatening to invade the North. Then there's the people like House Dustin, House Ryswell, and House Flint who all still had sufficient forces to at least help the Night's Watch out temporarily before resuming their siege of Moat Cailin. And even after their losses with Robb, there's over 3000 mountain clansmen who apparently did nothing to aid the Night's Watch, only to join a southron king's cause the second he asked nicely. I get that the story needed Stannis to be the only person who came to help, but that undermines a lot of what was established about the North and its close ties with the Night's Watch.
  9. This has nothing to do with the abomination, but part of me would have loved to read about the timeline where Dolorous Edd Tollett secures the position of Lord Commander. He and Stannis would have had the greatest interactions ever. On a more serious note, the character of Cotter Pyke is a really intriguing figure. It feels strange to say, but I don't really think of Ironborn on the Wall as a common thing. Plus, he's a bastard like Jon Snow and he's been in a position of power for who knows how many years. He'd definitely have valued Jon Snow as a young fighter and natural born leader; maybe Jon would have been able to be First Ranger? I would hesitate to name Cotter because he's not likely to be open-minded towards the wildlings as allies against the Others, but who knows. For all his threats and bluster, he still obeyed Jon's directions to save the wildlings at Hardhome, so maybe he would have seen the sense in it as LC too?
  10. I'm with Floki on this one, it's been five books and the subject of Ned's bones is still important enough to be discussed by characters in the story. Robb's crown is important enough that people have been stealing it from each other. The desecration of Robb's corpse went above and beyond the usual cruelty of the story. There is going to be some kind of resolution on that, and there's an ample amount of POV characters we can bring to the Twins for that purpose.
  11. To be fair, Jaime's not a particularly smart or observant guy. Up until he loses his hand, his head's pretty much stuck up his own ass. Now imagine him as a teenage boy being told what to do by his father. This is the same teenager who stabbed his king to death because he ordered Jaime to kill his dad (other reasons too, yes, but still).
  12. I hate both those people, so it doesn't matter too much, frankly.
  13. To be fair, it's not the only time that GRRM has recycled character traits and even appearances before. Lyonel Baratheon is basically just Robert without the orphan issues and dead love issues. Aegon III and Maekar both have a lot in common with Stannis. Aegon IV is a lot like Robert Baratheon, etc.
  14. The whole thing just smells of plot convenience without a satisfactory in-universe explanation.
  15. Personally, I hate Tywin the most out of that whole debacle. He's the one who set it up, he's the one casually playing around with people's lives to further his own personal agenda. Joffrey is a spoiled child, Tywin is a calculating adult with zero empathy for other people.
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