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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. It's really difficult for me to say which one it is. On the one hand, it's probably true that Stannis would have at least mentioned his resentment for marrying Selyse at some point if it hadn't been his choice. But on the other hand, I'm inclined to agree with Lord Lannister nonetheless. Partly because Stannis is, by GRRM's own admission, based on Tiberius, second emperor of Rome. Like Stannis, Tiberius was a highly efficient ruler and military figure who spent years sulking on an island, and he was also rumoured to have kept sinister company and participated in very dark actions. And they were both married to people whom they despised. Tiberius has a much more tragic story, though; he was already married to a woman he loved when Augustus, his stepfather, forced him to divorce and marry Augustus' daughter, Julia, instead. Tiberius was heartbroken and even followed his ex-wife around the marketplace one day out of sheer misery. Julia, meanwhile, thought Tiberius was beneath him and slept around with whoever she felt like. Even Augustus got embarrassed by the rumours so he had Julia divorced from Tiberius and exiled to another island. All this mistreatment by Augustus and Julia has been speculated as being reasons for Tiberius' later deteriorations, socially and possibly mentally. Now, that story definitely doesn't suit Stannis, since the only woman he seems to have had any attraction to was Melisandre, but I don't think he would have chosen to marry Selyse. When would he have ever met her? It's not like he was a fan of the Reach in the first place, and the marriage of Stannis with House Florent reeks of a political move on the Iron Throne's part to keep the Tyrells in check after they sided against the rebels. It's surely not a coincidence that Stannis married a woman who happened to be related to the ancient rivals of House Tyrell. Maybe Robert didn't think of it himself, fine, but maybe Jon Arryn gave Robert the idea? It's not like Stannis was going to disobey or anything. Maybe he didn't bother complaining about it because he must have reckoned that he would have been unhappy with any woman he was made to marry, and he just didn't consider that he might develop feelings for his wife. Self-loathing is definitely a part of Stannis' character; he's always measuring himself as inferior to his big brother, and Robert loved to bully him about that as well. Plus then you have Robert being a highly popular man, and so Stannis becomes disillusioned with what most people find attractive. Plus, nobody was exactly interested in him, either for platonic or romantic reasons. This turned into a bit of a stream-of-conscious rambling, but I can make it work that Stannis wouldn't openly complain about an arranged marriage. He doesn't seem to have had any use for female sexuality until he met Mel.
  2. I mean, it's not like Edric was sent to the BWB after they were formed. His lord was caught up in the war and went rogue to protect the smallfolk. What I find weirder is the lord of a Dornish house squiring for a marcher lord.
  3. Loreza is too young to matter. She'll survive the series in the background, unless something really major happens in Dorne and she's caught up in something by chance. Dorea and Obella are both probably in the same boat as their youngest sister, but they're more likely to get caught up in trouble than Loreza. Elia's with Arianne, so there's a good chance that she'll die tragically to give Arianne something to grieve over. Maybe she'll die in battle, maybe she'll be captured by Cersei or Euron, who knows. Either way, given her tragic name, I doubt she's going to make it out of this series alive. Sarella (assuming that she's Alleras, by the way) is going to be working with Sam Tarly, but given that she's been tasked by Marwyn to look after Sam, and Euron is about to descend on Oldtown, I don't have high hopes for her survival either. But that said, she's the sister who's probably the least interested in revenge for her father's death, and I can't imagine how Euron expects to triumph against both the Redwyne and Hightower forces at sea, so there might be a chance for her to survive. Tyene and Nymeria are in the most interesting positions, given that one will be sitting on the council and the other is going to try and get close to the High Sparrow. I don't expect the Sparrow will fall victim to her wiles, but they've built up Tyene's poison skills so much that she's going to be the cause of someone's death. Someone important. If I had to guess, it would be either Myrcella or the High Sparrow. I don't know what Nymeria's plan will be, but I can't imagine that she'll be welcome on the council, given that she's a Dornish bastard with no title and the daughter of the man who crippled Willas Tyrell. I don't imagine either of them will live past Winds of Winter. Obara is hunting Darkstar, who seems utterly irrelevant to the plot now, unless he makes himself useful by joining one of the main factions against Dorne. If that happens, then Obara's going to have to die, but I don't think that's going to happen. She and Areoh Hotah will be on hand to not only hunt Darkstar, but also kill Balon Swann after Darkstar is dealt with. Balon will probably take one of them down with him, and I think it'll be Hotah since he's gone on about wanting to fight a knight of the Kingsguard. Obara will live long enough to fight in whatever war happens in Dorne, and she might even survive if she's lucky.
  4. Good points. And I'd have loved for Stannis to actually be happy with some aspect of his life. Maybe he would have had several kids with Lynesse, and maybe they would have brought out the best in each other? It's hard to say for sure, but I do believe that Lynesse would have had a better chance of making Stannis happy than Selyse, and Stannis would have been in a better position for Lynesse's status than Jorah. Come to think of it, I wonder if Robert purposely chose an unattractive woman to marry Stannis so that Cersei's massive ego wouldn't ever feel threatened. Or maybe Cersei even suggested it to Robert.
  5. Lynesse and Stannis might be a decent couple, though that comes with a few "if"'s. Firstly, if Stannis leaves her on Dragonstone while he's in King's Landing, then she's going to be utterly miserable. Secondly, if they can't build any affection between them, then it's just throwing two very different people together in a marriage from which they can't escape. Speaking as someone who married and divorced someone very different from him, opposites might attract but it doesn't always end well. And Lynesse is very much Stannis' opposite. We don't know much about her, but we do know that she's soft, spoiled, and very materialistic. Stannis, meanwhile, is spartan in his dress and demeanour, hardened by grief and loss, and harsh with his judgment of those who fail to match his own moral code. Lynesse fell for Jorah because he was a knight in shining armour. Stannis is more accomplished than Jorah, but nobody's going to make a song about him, nor would he arguably want a song made about him.
  6. Or it could be that Stannis was genuinely attracted to Melisandre, and his dislike for women could be an exaggeration. Neither Asha nor Catelyn like Stannis, and they aren't interacting with him under pleasant circumstances. I have my doubts about that, of course, but I won't completely rule it out either.
  7. Pretty much any of the women already mentioned would have been better matches than Selyse Florent. She's the daughter of Lord Alester Florent's younger brother, so far down the line of inheritance that the Florents literally choose to support the Tyrells over her. I'm not going to make a big deal out of her physical appearance, because I'm much more repulsed by her bitter personality (though I don't know whether that is was how she always was, or if a loveless marriage has soured her). It's debatable whether Stannis personally chose Selyse to be his bride, but given how match making seems to work in Westeros, I'm inclined to believe that Robert and maybe even Jon Arryn were somehow involved. And assuming that the latter is the case, it really feels like they went out of their way to pick the single least appealing bride for Stannis that they could find. And then Robert also ruins his brother's marriage by defiling his wedding bed with Selyse's hot cousin. Robert never once stopped being the douchebag older brother; no wonder Stannis resented him.
  8. True, that's an exaggeration, but I imagine there are lots of cultures around the world who were introduced to the British very much like Ironborn were. They plundered, conquered, exploited, and their legacy is still felt to this day.
  9. I mean, it's not that dissimilar. I'm aware of the melting pot that is British identity. And the Ironborn were also a melting pot of sorts, a mix of First Men, Andal, and maybe something older, just like the people who lived there before the Celts even arrived to Great Britain and Ireland. And the British did much of their conquering after the invaders had taken root and blended with the other peoples. The Norman Plantagenet kings very nearly conquered France, for example. The Ironborn similarly had their most successful advances into the mainland under an Andal dynasty that was feared and hated by its own populace (much like how the Saxons resented their new Norman kings during the early years of that dynasty). And the British didn't worship pagan gods by the time they were conquering the world, sure, but they did split off from the Catholic Church, which didn't make them popular with the French, Spanish, Italians, etc. Even the Protestant Dutch didn't like the English, not for a while anyway. And need I bring up the fact that the British were strongest at sea? There's plenty of comparisons one could make.
  10. To be fair, you could say the same thing about the British Isles, given all the trouble they caused in world history.
  11. There's no way anyone could have prepared for that. Nobody knew about the caches of wild fire hidden across the city, or the fact that the Mad King would be mad enough to want to use them against everyone, including himself. And nobody could have foreseen that Jaime would actually kill his own king and sacrifice his honour and reputation to save all those people. And I never defend Tywin Lannister, either.
  12. That doesn't mean Stannis is a bad leader. Anyone can be betrayed, and anyone can make mistakes. Stannis chose to take Jon's advice, and it paid off. Any sensible military leader knows when to take advice from people who have knowledge that they don't. I highly doubt Tywin would have turned his nose up at free intel about how to win people to his cause.
  13. Fair point, but I would argue that the shadow baby is an indication of Melisandre's influence upon Stannis. We see that from Davos' perspective; the intention is that Stannis' conscience, and the figure who represents Stannis at his best, is appalled at what Stannis has become in his bid to finally get what he feels he deserves. Anyway, I'd say sending shadow babies to kill two men still pales in comparison to Tywin's long list of cruel actions: -Sending the Mountain to rape and kill Elia Martell because she managed to marry Rhaegar instead of Cersei (and he totally did that on purpose, you can't convince me otherwise) -Shaming his father's mistress for all Lannisport to see -Manipulating Jaime into lying to Tyrion about Tysha and then forcing Tyrion to watch a host of men rape Tysha and then rape her as well -Approving and partly orchestrating the Red Wedding and then protecting the perpetrators -Supporting Janos Slynt for the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch despite the fact that he went around killing babies -Continually making use of the Mountain and Amory Lorch and the Brave Companions, etc. And it's worth pointing out that Stannis disapproves of almost all those previous actions. Allow me to make a concession in turn. I probably am leaning too heavily on that quote from Varys. Not that I think Varys is lying about Stannis (he has no reason to lie about Stannis being just in that scene) but it's definitely a simplistic take on Stannis, just like Ned isn't really 100% honourable. If Stannis was truly just, then he'd be a very wooden character without the layers that make him so fascinating to me. He is certainly capable of hypocrisy, as you pointed out, but those moments you described are also Stannis at his worst. His thralldom to Melisandre's influence represents his low point, and once Davos re-enters his service and acts as a Hand should, Stannis listens and takes Davos' messages to heart, and he becomes a better version of himself. His character evolves during the story, and when he isn't wallowing, he doesn't blindly follow Mel's religion. He listens to people like Davos and Jon Snow, to his own benefit. Tywin, meanwhile, does not have such an evolution. He is firmly set in his ways, and he is also a hypocrite about what a cruel vindictive tyrant he really is. Hypocrisy is one of his main character traits; he is all about family while also alienating nearly all his family members against him, he's all about political marriages even though he only married once for love, he despises prostitutes while making use of a secret passageway just to go visit them, even when he was happily married. Stannis is a complex antihero, but Tywin is a complex villain.
  14. Stannis defeated the Ironborn at sea. He defeated the wildlings north of the Wall. In both cases, the terrain was unfamiliar to him to the point that it was his literal first time fighting there, and it was also his enemies' home turfs. If that's not fighting from a disadvantaged position, I don't know what is. And even if he did have the Nights Watch guiding him, he was still vastly outnumbered; Mance could have rallied his troops and defeated him like Tywin defeated the Reynes' surprise attack. And one can't dismiss the siege of Storm's End, either. It clearly defined him, it's the first thing people think of when they talk about him. He was barely old enough to drink (by my country's standards) and yet he held Storm's End for a year without falling victim to mutiny or despair. He held firm from without and from within, and he inspired the garrison to follow suit. Maintaining that kind of discipline isn't something to be sneezed at.
  15. That doesn't make sense. By that logic, Renly would be the biggest threat to Tywin, since by that point he's got control of the Reach and the Stormlands. But Tywin clearly specifies that he has always viewed Stannis as the most dangerous threat. It's not because Stannis has the most men, because he doesn't. He also isn't the only person to be wary of Stannis; Varys and Cersei and Tyrion all consider him a dangerous man, whether it's because he's a proven military leader, or it's because he's a 'truly just man'. It's not just because of his objectives.
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