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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. Stannis hated Slynt, he made that very clear at the Wall when Slynt seemed to be the winning candidate among the Nights Watch. In fact, if Slynt was still in the city when Stannis took over, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Stannis sent him to the Wall in chains.
  2. The Dustins and Ryswells tried to storm Moat Cailin three times, but apparently the Ironborn were able to drive them off all three times even though half of them are sick or dying, they're outnumbered, and Moat Cailin is basically just three rotting towers.
  3. To be fair, Floki was the one who said Ned was worth twelve of Brandon. I don't think Ned was a saint, not at all, but I understand his stupidity more than I understand Brandon's stupidity. We know that Ned was an effective warden of the North. That's been proven through the way everyone in the North talks about him (except Barbrey Dustin, of course). I do think Floki was harsh with Brandon - for all I know, he might have been a decent lord - but I do agree that Ned was a better personality type than Brandon when it came to ruling. Ned is cold rather than hot, which as the series shows, results in him being less destructive than someone who lashes out impulsively. We see what hot-bloodedness leads to in the series. Viserys Targaryen, Aegon Targaryen II and IV, Rickard Karstark, Brandon Stark, they're all that type of hothead who acts quickly and irrationally based on anger. Ned acts irrationally based on fear, and caution. He does a really stupid thing because he's worried about someone innocent getting hurt. Plus, as I said, he never got over those dead Targaryen kids, clearly. Having known people who've struggled with trauma, I'm more inclined to be generous to them than someone like Brandon who, as far as I know, never experienced such trauma. I'll own it, though, Ned made a colossally stupid decision, which partly led to the War of the Five Kings being fought. But the reason why he made such a decision makes more sense to me than Brandon's. And I understand it's subjective. I'm not pretending like I'm unbiased. Subjectivity doesn't necessarily mean bad faith.
  4. Brandon and Ned both made really irrational decisions motivated by emotion. But for my part, there's a world of difference between a man feeling guilty over potentially causing innocent children's deaths and a man who, to paraphrase what Floki said, seems to have travelled all the way to King's Landing in such a rage that he didn't give his actions a second thought. Ned was agonising over the fact that Tommen and Myrcella didn't ask for the mess they were in, and he wanted to give them the mercy of a chance to escape being butchered like the Targaryen children. It's fear, guilty, and trauma on Ned's part. I think he was stupid, but I can understand where his stupidity came from. Brandon, meanwhile, was convinced that he could threaten his prince with death in full view of hundreds of witnesses, including said prince's father, who was last seen by Brandon himself as a completely insane degenerate who wanted an anonymous knight executed because he thought the knight was a danger to him. Brandon should have been able to have even a second's hesitation over what he was going to do, but he apparently didn't. I can't imagine a human being with rational thought spending weeks of travel to do something so completely dumb and not once consider the potential consequences.
  5. Probably distance. They live just northwest of Moat Cailin, how were they supposed to arrive before Ramsay does?
  6. It's in keeping with Brandon's behaviour. He's an impulsive guy, fuelled by his own desires and emotions. He deflowers the only daughter of Lord Ryswell. When Robb Stark did that to Jeyne Westerling, he felt compelled to marry her despite the huge cost to his own cause. It's debatable whether or not Brandon was tempted to do the same, but I doubt it, since he was going to marry Catelyn. I think he was stringing Barbrey along with claims of love. He was known to be a wild and hot blooded man. He was even angrier than Robert himself when Lyanna was crowned by Rhaegar at Harrenhal. He was clearly a capable warrior, but we get no evidence that he's a capable administrator or ruler. His noted example of leading was leading several young lordlings to their imprisonment and the subsequent deaths of them and their fathers, as well as his own father and himself. And it's not like nobody could have predicted such a disaster; the Mad King was known to be mad, everyone who saw him at Harrenhal could attest to that.
  7. Heh, well, the abomination is a bit different from the books, we can all agree. Davos and Stannis don't have the same dynamic as Stannis and Eddard would have had, though. Eddard and Stannis would both be second sons of paramount houses, while Davos is from Flea Bottom. Plus, Davos isn't as wholesome as the abomination made him out to be; he's not close with his youngest sons, whom he's quite happy to leave back at the Rainwood with his wife, whom he's cheated on more than once. He was also a smuggler from Flea Bottom for years, so he would have had to associate with some seedy people. In some ways, Stannis saved Davos just as much as Davos saved him. That dynamic could also still exist if Eddard was in the picture. It just means that Stannis is actually pleased to see Eddard when he shows up to relieve the siege.
  8. I agree. Brandon and Robert are the same kind of hot-heads who love to f***, fight, and feast. Maybe Eddard was drawn to Robert for that reason? And Stannis probably could have used Eddard in his life much more than Robert, frankly. Eddard's also about duty and honour, but he's not quite so bitter or lonely as Stannis is. If Stannis had had Eddard as his friend, he could have had a surrogate brother of his own to make up for his older brother being such a hedonistic and careless bully. Granted, Robert needed someone like Eddard in his life. He needed someone with a sensible head on his shoulders who could tell Robert the truth. But Robert had plenty of such men in his life. He had Jon Arryn, he had Stannis, and Eddard, but based on his behaviour in the books, he really didn't give any of their advice any time of day, no matter how much he loved them (in Jon and Ned's cases, I mean). So really, I don't think Robert would have been able to be anything other than what he became. He never had the self-control or capacity to change, he was always going to end up like he did. A bloated, weak-minded wastrel who let everything fall apart around him while he buried his head in a cloud of food, bad habits, and sex. Eddard might not have had a real plan for himself at the time, and given his position in the books, it makes sense to me that he'd remember that he was never meant to be Lord of Winterfell. But that doesn't mean he's secretly been wishing his life turned out differently all this time. He was in a moment of great stress, and he was despairing. By all accounts, he was a very successful Warden of the North, given how loyal the North is to his memory and his offspring. And as it's been discussed, he wouldn't have had a clear future as a second son. Maybe he'd have gone to the Wall with Benjen, maybe he would have gotten a job in Brandon or Robert's household, but I never pictured Eddard as the kind of guy who'd hit the road as a hedge knight, even if it was Robert by his side.
  9. I literally can't imagine a scenario where Bonifer Hasty was able to impregnate Dany's mom under the circumstances of Daenerys' conception and birth. There are so many factors which would render that scenario pretty much impossible.
  10. I know, I know, small bit of GRRM's worldbuilding, yadda yadda, but still, I'm curious about this. Mostly because Bonifer Hasty seems like a walking contradiction. He's apparently the head of House Hasty, which is listed as a noble house that's been around since at least the time period of Dunk & Egg, but he's only called "Ser" and is described as a landed knight. He's utterly devoted to the Seven, even creating a special order of a hundred pious knights, but they through their lot in with Stannis Baratheon, who's (A) an atheist, and (B) supported by a priestess of Rhlorr, who's converting as many of Stannis' followers as she can. And now, instead of racing off to join the newly formed Faith Militant, he's accepted the position of castellan at Harrenhal, which is owned by Lord Petyr Baelish, a man who famously made his fortune by catering to the vice and sin which Bonifer despises. What the hell is his deal? What does he want? What is he going to do?
  11. Frankly, I'm happy to blame Robert for all of it. Whether he personally spent the money or not, he was an incredibly irresponsible ruler. He turned a deaf ear to the only sensible men on his small council and allowed corruption to continue unabated. It's his butt which sits on the Iron Throne, so as Claude said, the buck stops with him.
  12. This is the biggest one for me. Watching those two try to out-intimidate each other, plus the fact that they can both be utterly disarming and scathing with their words, it would be an incredible face-off between those two men. But on that note, I would have liked to see Stannis interact with Ned or Robert. Ned is basically the brother that Robert chose to love over his own flesh and blood, and it's clear that Stannis still resents Ned for it. After all that Stannis has done for an older brother who didn't deserve his loyalty. Seeing him interact with Robert or Ned would force him into a vulnerable position, so he's going to be even more scathing than usual, or who knows?
  13. I agree about House Caron. I'm really hoping that Rolland Storm survives the series and becomes legitimised as the new Lord Caron. I also hope that we do get some follow-up on Parmen Crane. The Morrigans, ironically, seem to be one of the last stormlords loyal to Stannis despite everything. Now they've also lost their seat to the Golden Company, so they're in even more trouble. But man, what you said about Emmon Cuy sounds really suspect, not going to lie. You make it sound like he should be embarrassed about losing a fight to Loras just because he's gay.
  14. Presumably the fact that he'll swing the sword himself, punish Jorah Mormont for trading slaves when other men might pretend to ignore it? I'm sure Tywin's turned a blind eye to many bad things done by his bannermen. We can assume Ned also kept the Northmen in good order and conduct during the wars they fought, much like how Stannis has a reputation for gelding rapists (something that's considered strange and unique in Westeros).
  15. Why not? It's an army of well-armed veteran warriors on horseback, charging a large camp of unprepared peoples of all ages who aren't used to fighting alongside each other, and who are still using bronze when the other side is using steel. Panic, disunity, confusion, all of it played a factor, plus Stannis' ability to coordinate an attack which hits hard and fast, even though it's in unfamiliar terrain. Robb Stark did that four or five times during his campaigns, far as I can recall.
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