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Do you think Stannis will achieve a Pyrrhic victory in the Battle of Ice?


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I would rather have Stannis killed by a stray manderly arrow or a jumped of a cliff, rather than being touched by dany or her crazy dragons.

Correction:All men and women must die.....

Most certainly. 100% of nonsmokers die too.

In any event, I would bet lunch and a 6-pack of your favorite beer on Dany outliving Stannis, regardless of what either of us may want.

I’m certainly for Stannis at the moment, although also mindful of the HOTU’s long game implications on all involved. “Slayer of lies” may end up meaning that Dany kills Stannis down the road, though not necessarily. It could simply means that she makes it clear to the denizens of Westeros that Stannis is not the rightful claimant to the throne (or AAR)… Something that Stannis should agree with, since he’s such a stickler for following the rules, and his brother notably usurped what was formerly a Targaryen-ruled kingdom.

I think it is important to note as well that – not only that Stan will break before he bends – but that he will break before he bends.

Nonetheless, I agree with the premise/question in your OP, that enough “bad” will somehow occur for Stannis’ victory to be considered pyrrhic.

Although, tactically, I believe I’m more curious to see how Tormund’s forces are employed, and when (or if) they will show up… The men Massey’s bringing (if he procures them) won’t arrive in time, and even Tormund’s timeline is questionable at this point. What happens to Stannis after WF is taken seems to be the real mystery…

How long will he stay there? How will he sustain his troops? Who will he leave in charge if he marches? Where will he march, and when?

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Most certainly. 100% of nonsmokers die too.

In any event, I would bet lunch and a 6-pack of your favorite beer on Dany outliving Stannis, regardless of what either of us may want.

I’m certainly for Stannis at the moment, although also mindful of the HOTU’s long game implications on all involved. “Slayer of lies” may end up meaning that Dany kills Stannis down the road, though not necessarily. It could simply means that she makes it clear to the denizens of Westeros that Stannis is not the rightful claimant to the throne (or AAR)… Something that Stannis should agree with, since he’s such a stickler for following the rules, and his brother notably usurped what was formerly a Targaryen-ruled kingdom.

I think it is important to note as well that – not only that Stan will break before he bends – but that he will break before he bends.

Stannis knows that he is not AAR. Hence you can't slay a lie which has never been told or accepted. You don't need to bet anything, i also know that Stannis will die in the upcoming book, but i want him to go out in a blaze of glory not be burned by those misused creatures and WMD's.

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i want him to go out in a blaze of glory not be burned by those misused creatures and WMD's.

That's what you want, and I totally respect that.

But do you believe it will happen, and that the blue-eyed king / slayer HOTU vision is about something else, or simply won't come to pass?

On the one hand, at least it can be taken as an indication that Stannis will live through the next couple of battles...

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Most certainly. 100% of nonsmokers die too.

In any event, I would bet lunch and a 6-pack of your favorite beer on Dany outliving Stannis, regardless of what either of us may want.

I’m certainly for Stannis at the moment, although also mindful of the HOTU’s long game implications on all involved. “Slayer of lies” may end up meaning that Dany kills Stannis down the road, though not necessarily. It could simply means that she makes it clear to the denizens of Westeros that Stannis is not the rightful claimant to the throne (or AAR)…

Right. "Slaying" a lie doesn't necessary mean slaying the liar, although I'm not sure how forcefully Stannis himself has been asserting that he is in fact AAR. Plus, being the rightful claimant to the throne and being AAR are two totally different things.

Something that Stannis should agree with, since he’s such a stickler for following the rules, and his brother notably usurped what was formerly a Targaryen-ruled kingdom.

Stannis stopped agreeing with this back during RR when he supported Robert's usurpation and later when he even attempted to finish of the Targs at Dragonstone.

I think it is important to note as well that – not only that Stan will break before he bends – but that he will break before he bends

I don't get why people keep treating Donal Noye's quote as some kind of gold standard for the Baratheon brothers. Noye hadn't seen any of these men in years, and the behavior of all three shows that his remarks are at least somewhat inaccurate. Robert was not "true steel." Noye hadn't seen Robert's going to seed as king, though even he compares Robert to a sword that rusts when its hung up after wartime. Similarly, though Noye says Stannis will "break before he bends" Stannis has bent multiple times during the series, changing his mind in response to advice from Mel, Davos, and Jon. Similarly, Renly was actually quite a shrewed politician, and was therefore worth more than Noye's dismissive comparison between him and copper.

How long will he stay there?

Presumably as long as he needs to be there to restore order. The Others are coming too, so he obviously wants to deal with them as well.

How will he sustain his troops?

With food from Winterfell, the Dreadfort, and the NW. Maybe's he'll use his IB line of credit to import some too.

Who will he leave in charge if he marches?

Maybe Rickon and some regent, maybe from the Manderlys or Umbers.

Where will he march, and when?

Assuming everything, including the Others are taken care of, Stannis' logical next step would be restoring the Tullys to power and finishing off the Freys in the Riverlands, although I'm not sure how long an admittedly difficult task like fighting off the Others would take.

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I might be off base here, but this is a point that I either need clarification on, or about... Dany is not the rightful heir, as most likely being the only certain legitimate Targ. All of the R + L= J theories aside, (f)Aegon, or Jon Crow are the offspring of the crown price, hence they would be the next in line, and the heir(s) apparent. Had the mad king died before/without everything, Rheagar would've assumed the throne and his heirs after him. Furthermore (might need some clarification from buffs here), but wasn't that the whole thing with Arienne trying to rise Myrcella to the throne above Tommen, female regency/claim only exists in Dorne.



Stannis will never abdicate under any scenario to any Targ, whether Dany/Jon/Aegon, he has the claim by laws of westeros and conquest, for as many "crackpot" theories are brought up around here, at what point does anyone honestly believe that he of all people, after everything he has been through and done would just simply acknowledge someone's claim who hasn't been in westeros for 16+ years? He has known about Dany the whole time even before her ascension as mother of dragons.


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After reading Theon's chapter in TWOW and the thread on his chapter, I do not believe that the battle will hold any devestating losses for Stannis, although naturally it cannot be entirely ruled out. The Manderlys will undoubtedly betray the Freys and join sides with Stannis, and I think that together they will be able to win the Battle of Ice with relative ease. I think the natural defenses Stannis speaks of is the lake by their encampment, that someone aptly said has been "turned into Swiss cheese" from fishing. I stumbled across this article about a battle between Russian forces and Teutonic crusaders, and considering GRRM's liking of history, I think something very similar will occur in the Stannis' battle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Ice

According to contemporary Russian chronicles, after hours of hand-to-hand fighting, Alexander ordered the left and right wings of his archers to enter the battle. The knights by that time were exhausted from the constant struggle on the slippery surface of the frozen lake. The Crusaders started to retreat in disarray deeper onto the ice, and the appearance of the fresh Russian cavalry made them run for their lives. When the knights attempted to rally at the far side of the lake, the thin ice began to give way under the weight of their heavy armour, and many knights drowned.

Stannis has obviously proven himself to be a masterful tactician, as testified in Theon's TWOW chapter: "I defeated your uncle Victarion and his Iron Fleet off Fair Isle, the first time your father crowned himself. I held Storm's End against the power of the Reach for a year, and took Dragonstone from the Targaryens. I smashed Mance Rayder at the Wall, though he had twenty times my numbers. Tell me, turncloak, what battles has the Bastard of Bolton ever won that I should fear him?"

This makes me think that Stannis would undoubtedly have considered using the natural climate and surroundings to his advantage. In addition, the leader of the Frey forces is Hosteen Frey, and we must not forget the ordeal with the pits outside of Winterfell:

The king gave the bird an irritated look. "That Braavosi banker claimed Ser Aenys Frey is dead. Did some boy do that?"
"Twenty green boys, with spades," Theon told him. "The snow fell heavily for days. So heavily that you could not see the castle walls ten yards away, no more than the men up on the battlements could see what was happening beyond those walls. So Crowfood set his boys to digging pits outside the castle gates, then blew his horn to lure Lord Bolton out. Instead he got the Freys. The snow had covered up the pits, so they rode right into them. Aenys broke his neck, I heard, but Ser Hosteen only lost a horse, more's the pity. He will be angry now."
Strangely, Stannis smiled. "Angry foes do not concern me. Anger makes men stupid, and Hosteen Frey was stupid to begin with, if half of what I have heard of him is true. Let him come."

Stannis is very right in saying that anger makes men stupid, and Hosteen is already considered to very dim and stupid, and is often compared to a bull. Because of this, I think Stannis will have no issue luring the Frey forces into his trap. Because of all of these factors, I believe the Frey forces will be slaughtered between Stannis, the lake trap, and the Manderly forces, providing a crushing defeat to the Boltons and the Freys.

I also think Theon also has a role to play with the whole ravens and Weirwood ordeal, but what that role is, is impossible to say.

This is only what I believe and I could be very wrong (you never really know with GRRM), and this is my first post on these forums so please go easy on me.

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Right. "Slaying" a lie doesn't necessary mean slaying the liar, although I'm not sure how forcefully Stannis himself has been asserting that he is in fact AAR. Plus, being the rightful claimant to the throne and being AAR are two totally different things.

Generally speaking, whether through destroying "Lightbringer," removing Stannis from power, killing him, or whatever it is... it seems that Dany may need to "overpower" or "overrule" some aspect of Stannis' character, or his political power, to fulfill the prophecy. If the HOTU vision is about Stannis (which it seems it is), there's so little text support to go on that the only "clear" speculative options seem to be "slaying" the man himself, or taking away his sword and/or kingship. But it's certainly not clear yet if any of those exact things will come to pass.

As to the sword itself, if Stannis doesn't think he's AAR, then he should put down the sword and go back to carrying a more sensible weapon, IMO.

Nonetheless, I'm not suggesting that Dany is necessarily the rightful (or best) claimant to the throne either, but she may view herself as such for the time being (and beyond), which means she'd be driven to "disagree" with Stannis calling himself a king.

In the end, though, Dany's arc may actually be better served by her ultimately returning to Braavos to search for the house with a red door than taking over the reigns of queenship, and I'm not pretending to know what GRRM has planned.

I'm just noting that there's a lie of some sorts that will be exposed and slain before all is said and done.

Stannis stopped agreeing with this back during RR when he supported Robert's usurpation and later when he even attempted to finish of the Targs at Dragonstone.

True enough. I was mainly pointing out that Stannis seems to be a stickler for the rules, but it's equally clear that he's following "his" rules, and not those of pure objectivity (as I see it). To that point, from Dany's point of view (and her set of "rules"), Stannis would be viewed as a usurper, for better or worse, for right or wrong. Yet, within in that, it seems the Undying may "agree" with Dany's views, or else there might not be any lies for her to slay involving Stannis.

However you slice it, it seems clear the two aren't exactly allies even without the prophecy...

I don't get why people keep treating Donal Noye's quote as some kind of gold standard for the Baratheon brothers. Noye hadn't seen any of these men in years, and the behavior of all three shows that his remarks are at least somewhat inaccurate. Robert was not "true steel." Noye hadn't seen Robert's going to seed as king, though even he compares Robert to a sword that rusts when its hung up after wartime. Similarly, though Noye says Stannis will "break before he bends" Stannis has bent multiple times during the series, changing his mind in response to advice from Mel, Davos, and Jon. Similarly, Renly was actually quite a shrewed politician, and was therefore worth more than Noye's dismissive comparison between him and copper.

I don't think of it as a gold standard. I think Noye put into words what many readers naturally observe about Stannis' character. It's challenging to see Stannis compromising on issues where he believes he is right, and that his "advisor" is wrong. In the case of Mel's, Davos' and Jon's advise, though, while they weren't his ideas at first, Stannis rationalized that the ideas they provided were the best ideas available by his "counsel" - in his opinion - and moved ahead with those courses of action as the shrewd politician that he is.

On the flipside, though, if the capture of WF somehow backfires and Stannis ends up under torcher by Ramsay, for example, I think that Stannis might very well break (die) before he bends (say, starts crying like a child), and that's all the stock I put in that line.

Therefore, tying the observation that Stannis is a stern, shrewd character to his potential upcoming interaction with Dany would more likely result in Stannis' death, I think, than his changing alliances to help Dany in any way whatsoever.

Assuming everything, including the Others are taken care of, Stannis' logical next step would be restoring the Tullys to power and finishing off the Freys in the Riverlands, although I'm not sure how long an admittedly difficult task like fighting off the Others would take.

It seems you might believe the Others will be defeated in book six, or otherwise well in advance of the end of the series? And that Stannis has a major role in this? I might be misreading you...

In any event, I think many things, including Stannis' potential occupation of WF, will all end up being "liner notes" to the overarching story, once all is said and done.

GRRM ultimately needs to tell a story to the casual reader, as well as the superfans. To that point, by introducing the Others in the prologue, there is no more "rewarding" villain in the books to slay than them, to the casual reader as well as to most superfans. Within that frame of thinking, beyond picking off the occasional ranger, it seems a show of force by the Others is necessarily on the horizon at some point to send a message to the denizens of Westeros. Perhaps the Wall even comes down, and perhaps the Others even march on WF...

If so, it seems that the Others wiping out Stannis at WF would be an excellent show of force that also eliminates a non-POV, both showing that the Others are indeed the "true evil" that many readers think they are, while also slimming down the number of characters that are "non essential" to the endgame.

After all, if Stannis was truly essential to the endgame, wouldn't he have been introduced sooner in the series, and might he also be a POV?

In any event, I think the "slayer of lies" vision seems to rule out Stannis being eliminated prior to interacting with Dany in at least some form.

And I'm sure he will do many things in the interim, but ultimately it seems a pyrrhic victory at WF would only be a step along the way to his eventual death, and possible charring and/or dismemberment.

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Generally speaking, whether through destroying "Lightbringer," removing Stannis from power, killing him, or whatever it is... it seems that Dany may need to "overpower" or "overrule" some aspect of Stannis' character, or his political power, to fulfill the prophecy. If the HOTU vision is about Stannis (which it seems it is), there's so little text support to go on that the only "clear" speculative options seem to be "slaying" the man himself, or taking away his sword and/or kingship. But it's certainly not clear yet if any of those exact things will come to pass.

The thing is that we see a bunch of other stuff around the same time that aren't necessarily lies. The stone beast awakening from a smoking tower, for instance didn't even happen. Many of the visions are just past events, like Aegon's birth and Rhaegar's death. Though we know that Dany's supposed to be the slayer of lies, I don't know if the visions Dany sees in the House of the Undying necessarily refer to any particular lies that she's supposed to slay.

As to the sword itself, if Stannis doesn't think he's AAR, then he should put down the sword and go back to carrying a more sensible weapon, IMO.

But...but it's so shiny! In all seriousness, the purpose of the sword is to convince other people that he's AAR. One of the reasons that his men are as loyal as they are is because they see him as AAR, with the sword being proof of that.

True enough. I was mainly pointing out that Stannis seems to be a stickler for the rules, but it's equally clear that he's following "his" rules, and not those of pure objectivity (as I see it). To that point, from Dany's point of view (and her set of "rules"), Stannis would be viewed as a usurper, for better or worse, for right or wrong. Yet, within in that, it seems the Undying may "agree" with Dany's views, or else there might not be any lies for her to slay involving Stannis.

However you slice it, it seems clear the two aren't exactly allies even without the prophecy...

I don't see how there are any objective rules with regards to man-made laws of succession. Objectively, everyone in charge of something by force either is a usurper or derives their power from one. Aegon the Conqueror, for instance, could easily be seen as usurping six kings.

It seems you might believe the Others will be defeated in book six, or otherwise well in advance of the end of the series? And that Stannis has a major role in this? I might be misreading you...

In the post I was responding to, you were asking about how long Stannis would stay in WF, when and where he would march next, etc. I assumed you were referring to Stannis' campaign for the throne, which he can't immediately continue unless he's willing to risk temporarily neglecting the Others. Hence, I was just saying that if Stannis did continue his campaign for the throne, it would have to be when the Others were defeated in some upcoming book, not necessarily the sixth.

If so, it seems that the Others wiping out Stannis at WF would be an excellent show of force that also eliminates a non-POV, both showing that the Others are indeed the "true evil" that many readers think they are, while also slimming down the number of characters that are "non essential" to the endgame.

Possibly, although surely if eliminating non-essential characters was what he wanted to do, GRRM would just stop writing about them?

After all, if Stannis was truly essential to the endgame, wouldn't he have been introduced sooner in the series, and might he also be a POV?

I think Ned and Catelyn would appreciate knowing that being introduced early in the series means that you're truly essential to the endgame.

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Styx ... Welcome !



And I'll go easy on you for sure , since I happen to agree with you , generally speaking.



I think Stannis will win his battle , but not take Winterfell. I believe WF will be taken by Northmen , and not in Stannis' name . Stannis will have to settle for guest status at WF.


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The thing is that we see a bunch of other stuff around the same time that aren't necessarily lies. The stone beast awakening from a smoking tower, for instance didn't even happen. Many of the visions are just past events, like Aegon's birth and Rhaegar's death. Though we know that Dany's supposed to be the slayer of lies, I don't know if the visions Dany sees in the House of the Undying necessarily refer to any particular lies that she's supposed to slay.

I don’t mean to derail this thread into being about the HOTU triplet visions, so perhaps we will meet on another thread to discuss the matter. But since we’re talking about it, I’ll spoiler tag this next bit to save space, because I believe that "slayer of lies" quite specifically refers to Stannis, or at least blue-eyed king with a magic sword.

I believe – because of the order the HOTU visions and phrases are presented in – that the three triplets of visions are all more or less directly tied to the three key phrases each set of visions is followed by. Within that, the visions that GRRM practically “gave” us seem to be fairly clearly represent people in Dany’s past, present and future, as I outlined in

this post (“daughter of death” being the “easiest” one to puzzle out, from which one can loosely apply similar “filters” to try to “solve for” the other visions).

I also contend that the HOTU visions are a central necessity to the overarching plot of the series, and to not connect even a single one of them to some pass, present or future event devalues the HOTU as a plot device, and would in turn mean that things like “the dragon has three heads” potentially don’t even come to fruition in the series, all while providing the reader with virtually no reliable way to conclude what ASOIAF’s overarching theme is.

Sure, some of the visions might not have come to pass yet, or – if they have – it has happened in a cryptic and unclear and unclear way.

But it’s clear to me that “slayer of lies” is tied to a “blue-eyed king,” and Stannis is the obvious contender at this point. Having said that, the door is wide open for some other blue-eyed king with a magic sword to pop into the equation… but I think that would have to happen pretty quickly…

In any event, if you buy that the “cloth dragon” is Aegon, as I do, and that someone how exposing that he’s a “fake” is the connection to “slayer of lies,” then it seems Stannis would be similarly connected with the “slayer of lies” triplet.

But...but it's so shiny! In all seriousness, the purpose of the sword is to convince other people that he's AAR. One of the reasons that his men are as loyal as they are is because they see him as AAR, with the sword being proof of that.

Perhaps, then, convincing “other people” that Stannis is not AAR, and/or that his sword isn’t really “Lightbringer” is the lie to be slain…

I don't see how there are any objective rules with regards to man-made laws of succession. Objectively, everyone in charge of something by force either is a usurper or derives their power from one. Aegon the Conqueror, for instance, could easily be seen as usurping six kings.

To poke fun at myself, I effectively said “objectively in my opinion,” which strikes me as an oxymoron anyway. Pure objectivity aside (and regardless of what either of us thinks it may be), it seems Stannis and Dany are both doing what they believe is “right” – Stannis by continuing to wield the Red Sword of Zeros while reclaiming Westeros one castle at a time, and Dany by (eventually) attempting to do the same with dragons.

In the post I was responding to, you were asking about how long Stannis would stay in WF, when and where he would march next, etc. I assumed you were referring to Stannis' campaign for the throne, which he can't immediately continue unless he's willing to risk temporarily neglecting the Others. Hence, I was just saying that if Stannis did continue his campaign for the throne, it would have to be when the Others were defeated in some upcoming book, not necessarily the sixth.

While Stannis may have plans to march after taking WF, I don’t believe we have too many clues of what GRRM plans for him immediately after that… The “roadmap” of foreshadowing seems to stop at seizing WF for the moment, outside of the fact that Stannis reportedly went to the Wall in the first place because of a letter Davos received from the NW.

Nonetheless, I think I’m most interested to see – not what “Stannis thinks he’s doing” next – but what GRRM has in store for him. I’d think most readers would contend that WF is a hugely important location to the overall books. IMO, the Wall, WF and KL seem to be the most key locations in the land, stemming all the way back to AGOT, and seem likely to be the “centers of conflict” for the majority of the “final battle(s).”

Within that point, Stannis leaving WF to go to a “less major” location like Riverrun might have a “deflating” or “stalling” feeling for many readers.

Further, because Asha’s and Theon’s POVs appear to be tied to one another (because Asha needs to return with the Iron Isles with Theon to “overrule” the recent kingsmoot), I’m not sure which POV would follow Stannis to the next location.

So I think it’s fair to ask: is there a next location for Stannis? Maybe not…

Possibly, although surely if eliminating non-essential characters was what he wanted to do, GRRM would just stop writing about them?

Of course not. My point is more about GRRM being up to 20 POVs, and trying to cram them all in one book for the first time in ASOIAF. It stands to reason that he will have to shorten chapter lengths, write certain characters into obscurity, and/or kill some of them along the way...

So maybe Stannis goes out in a blaze of glory. Yet, while this would make him "non-essential" to the endgame, his death, not unlike any other character that has died, would still be essential to the plot, and to the overall arc of the books.

I think Ned and Catelyn would appreciate knowing that being introduced early in the series means that you're truly essential to the endgame.

I appreciate the humor, even though that’s not what I was saying.

Obviously, by dying, Ned and Cat are not so much “essential to the endgame” as tragic deaths that happened along the way, now reconciled to moving the plot forward in a different direction than many readers originally envisioned. And I personally believe there will be at least one more of these deaths, such as one of the Stark girls.

Here goes another space-saving spoiler tag while I get tangential for a minute...

I also personally believe that “the dragon will three heads” will all be revealed to be POVs from the first book, and that not a ton will happen in the series after the defeat of the Others (outside of some primarily “epilogue style” resolution for the remaining characters, and the future of Westeros).

For example, if Jon and Dany are revealed to be two of the three heads (and the “lie” of Aegon is “slain” per the “cloth dragon” portion of the HOTU triplet prophecy), I think it would feel strange to me to have the third head be a non-POV, particularly one that was mostly offstage in the first book, or introduced even later in the series than Stannis. It would feel cheap, which is not something I'm alone in thinking...

Anyway, I'm not pretending to know what will happen. Just where I think things are going, mixed a little bit with where I would like things to go based on what we know today. Like most readers here, we're both just providing opinions based on multiple reads of the books, and it's perfectly fair if we read things differently.

All this goes to say that I do not believe Stannis is essential to the endgame … but the head-scratcher I contend with continues to be wondering about the nature of his and Dany’s upcoming “interaction,” should Stannis indeed be revealed to be the blue-eyed king with the magic sword.

And until another blue-eyed king pops up, it seems to me that Stannis must live long enough to interact with Dany on some level, such that the fulfillment of “slayer of lies” comes to pass.

In the meantime, will he win a pyrrhic victory at WF? Sure. I think the "Trojan Horse" angle is my favorite potential play at the moment, but it seems inevitable that we will see a lot of blood no matter how events unfold at WF.

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Styx ... Welcome !

And I'll go easy on you for sure , since I happen to agree with you , generally speaking.

I think Stannis will win his battle , but not take Winterfell. I believe WF will be taken by Northmen , and not in Stannis' name . Stannis will have to settle for guest status at WF.

Thank you!

I suppose whether or not he takes Winterfell would depend on his losses, whether or not he sacrifices Theon to the weirwood, and whether or not Rickon makes an appearance. I have no doubt that the Boltons and Freys will lose control of Winterfell though.

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If you're a believer that Stannis as AAR is one of the lies that Dany must slay...

...then it seems that he must live, he must remain in power, and he (and at least some others) must continue to believe he is AAR.

If that vision indeed refers to Stannis, and he dies at any phase prior to Dany's ability to intercede somehow, then it seems the HOTU loses credence as a foreshadowing tool in general, which would ruin one of the most important plot vehicles of the series, IMO.

Having said, I'm of the mind that if Stannis simply takes WF via the Trojan Horse theory, or by any other means that seem a little too convenient, that something will indeed go wrong.

It's one or the other, right, George? Either Stan has a bitch of a time taking WF, or something goes wrong immediately after...

Other elements in play include Tormund's company being on the way, Jon being OOC, and the Wall being thinly manned in general... So, depending on how long the reclamation of WF takes, the door is certainly open for the Wall to come down at the worst possible moment...

But GRRM also indicated he'd resolve the battle(s) of ice (and Meereen) relatively early in TWOW, so a likely timeline would not suggest that the Wall coming down so early in TWOW is the thing that will "go wrong" for Stannis after/while taking WF.

So, whether there's any real truth to Stannis being the Night's King Reborn, or some such, I think there is a fair likelihood of Stannis himself being the thing that "goes wrong," which also supports the commonly held belief that the lies Dany will slay are for the betterment of Westeros.

After all, the further Stannis falls from grace, slips into madness, and/or mistreats his men, the more we will rejoice when Dany does something about it.

Right now, though, I feel like we're all rooting for him. And rightly so. I mean, how can anyone hate Stannis while Ramsay still breathes?

But winter is coming, and all men must die...

Why is it that the Wall cannot fall early in TWOW? He never felt the 4th blade only the cold. To me that sounds like the Others maybe very close. With Jon OOC doesn't it feel like the opportune time for the Wall to fall.

As far as Dany and the House of the undying, those prophecies could mean any number of things. Personally I expect Stannis to be killed at the hands of the Others before Dany even arrives in Westeros. Rather than slipping into madness Stannis seems to be going to other way as he separates from Melisandre, which is why I believe he'll fight for his Kingdom against the others rather than lead a fools errand South.

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Why is it that the Wall cannot fall early in TWOW? He never felt the 4th blade only the cold. To me that sounds like the Others maybe very close. With Jon OOC doesn't it feel like the opportune time for the Wall to fall.

Nothing is stopping the Wall from falling “early” in TWOW. My suggestion was that the battles of ice and Meereen seem likely to happen first, based on a couple of vague quotes from GRRM, but that’s doesn’t mean the Wall can’t fall too.

In my case, though, I believe that the Wall falling and/or Dany arriving in Westeros are two of the most significant potential cliffhangers of the series.

In fact, if I were writing TWOW (not that anyone wants that), the last two chapters would be Dany and Jon, with Dany either finally on her way or just arriving to Westeros, and with Jon witnessing the Wall coming down and a flood of Others, wights, and ice spiders descending on the remnants of Castle Black and its remaining broken forces. I want snapshots of Armageddon, and I want it at the end of TWOW, and pretty much sprinkled throughout ADOS.

But maybe that’s just me, and nothing’s to stop the Wall from falling earlier than later, or not at all for that matter. It’s GRRM’s book to write, and ours to enjoy, throw across the room, or both.

Whatever he has planned, though, the end of TWOW is GRRM’s “final” opportunity to present the most “aggravating” cliffhangers of the series, because ADOS (if the series ends in seven books) is where he’ll put all of the remaining character arcs to rest.

And to get to whatever events he has in mind, GRRM needs to move all of the characters into the places he wants them before the series’ principal cliffhangers can occur. And right now there are several arcs that seem “unprepared” for these things to happen. Bran and Arya are still “in training,” for example, Jaime and Brienne are heading to meet UnCat, Sansa’s about to get married, Obara is chasing Darkstar, etc.

Meanwhile, I think events on the scale of the Wall falling or Dany arriving in Westeros pretty much affect all the characters on some level. If either of those things occurs, it seems the news would spread like wildfire, and have an impact on nearly every character arc which would serve to alter their current trajectory on some level.

Yet, in the preview chapters we have been provided so far…

…zero characters are reacting to the Wall falling, Dany’s arrival, Others attacking, or anything else on that scale. And with a hundred plus pages of TWOW chapters out there in some more, it seems we are already a good ~15% into the book without a peep of anything on that scale happening yet.

So I have my reasons for believing that the Wall will fall later than sooner, and that the end of TWOW is amongst the best places for that to happen, IMO.

As far as Dany and the House of the undying, those prophecies could mean any number of things. Personally I expect Stannis to be killed at the hands of the Others before Dany even arrives in Westeros. Rather than slipping into madness Stannis seems to be going to other way as he separates from Melisandre, which is why I believe he'll fight for his Kingdom against the others rather than lead a fools errand South.

The HOTU prophecies definitely can mean any number of things, but in the case of the “blue-eyed king,” it’s either Stannis or it’s not. And if the vision is of Stannis, it seems Dany must interact with him on some level to fulfill the “slayer of lies” portion of the HOTU visions, as she must also with the “cloth dragon” and the “stone beast.” Although, if another blue-eyed king with a magic sword crops up, then Stannis is free to live or die without ever meeting Dany.

FWIW, though, I happen to strongly agree with this particular assessment in the “slayer of lies” section of the HOTU triplet visions, as explained on the Citadel:

Stannis with "Lightbringer" is a false Azor Ahai. The stone beast breathing shadow fire is a false dragon. And the mummer's dragon... is a false Targaryen.

But we shall see what GRRM has in mind.

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The HOTU prophecies definitely can mean any number of things, but in the case of the “blue-eyed king,” it’s either Stannis or it’s not. And if the vision is of Stannis, it seems Dany must interact with him on some level to fulfill the “slayer of lies” portion of the HOTU visions, as she must also with the “cloth dragon” and the “stone beast.” Although, if another blue-eyed king with a magic sword crops up, then Stannis is free to live or die without ever meeting Dany.

But how can she slay a lie, which is not even accepted by Stannis? Stannis has never said that he completely believes himself as AAR. If he has then provide some quotes. There is then that Patchface prophecy with him either going to Hardhome or Kingslanding. I highly doubt that Stannis is one of the lies. But i could be wrong, who knows? :dunno:

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But how can she slay a lie, which is not even accepted by Stannis? Stannis has never said that he completely believes himself as AAR. If he has then provide some quotes. There is then that Patchface prophecy with him either going to Hardhome or Kingslanding. I highly doubt that Stannis is one of the lies. But i could be wrong, who knows? :dunno:

I'm not saying I know exactly what "slayer of lies" means, or how it will be "fulfilled," but all of the "known" characters in the "daughter of death," "slayer of lies" and "bride of fire" visions are people in Dany's past, present and future. In the case of Rhaego, and the "daughter of death" triplet, for example, it seems to be a vision of a future that will never be. Meanwhile, Viserys and Rhaegar are already dead, and the "key word" of that triplet appears to be "death."

That's a pretty loose "filter" because of the past/present/future nature of the visions, and the fact that interpreting Rhaego from the "tall lord with copper skin" vision requires some imagination, but again, they're all people from Dany's life, if you buy Rhaego.

The other triplets get stickier, but Stannis and "lies" seem to be fairly clearly connected by the phrasing of the passages... Although figuring this one out in advance might require some imagination as well... Perhaps Mel is the "lie," for example, being the one to "push" Stannis into carrying "Lightbringer" around. Alternatively, we might keep an eye out for another blue eyed king with a magic sword, if Stannis dies before Dany hits Westeros.

In any case, I think the HOTU triplet visions are very important to the story, and I think it would be wise to keep them in mind as the battle of ice and beyond unfolds.

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The other triplets get stickier, but Stannis and "lies" seem to be fairly clearly connected by the phrasing of the passages... Although figuring this one out in advance might require some imagination as well... Perhaps Mel is the "lie," for example, being the one to "push" Stannis into carrying "Lightbringer" around. Alternatively, we might keep an eye out for another blue eyed king with a magic sword, if Stannis dies before Dany hits Westeros.

Could it be the King of the Others? IIRC correctly that Others have blue eyes too, they can wield a magic sword too. Maybe Dany will slay the King of the others.

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Could it be the King of the Others? IIRC correctly that Others have blue eyes too, they can wield a magic sword too. Maybe Dany will slay the King of the others.

The sword in the HOTU vision is described as "red," where the Others' blades are most frequently described as "ice," or "crystal," or "blue," according to a combo of canon and semi-canon sources...

Also, the blue eyed king in the vision casts "no shadow," possibly implying a connection to (and/or making a play on) the Lord of Light...

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Very likely his victory will be Pyrrhic, in the strict sense that he would be so weak he could not hope to put up a decent fight against another substantial force afterwards. It's a reasonable assumption from his point of view that he will have much time to recruit more men at that point, as he can garrison the Neck and hold off a vastly superior Lannister army.



No one knows at this point that the Wall will fall and an endless horde of wights will descend upon the 7K. But then, Stannis and Bolton together couldn't hope to survive that horde. For TWOW, though, Stannis will probably end up looking to be in a safe position.


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I think he will achieve a large victory.

The Freys will enter the field, and be relieved to see men flying Karstark colors positions behind the Stag's men. They will charge and many will drown when the ice breaks. After that, the Frey men will be stuck in a bottleneck, assualting Stannis where he has a superior defensive concave (this negates any numbers advantage that the Frey's might have), at which point the the Frey's will notice that the Karstark men are not attacking the men of Stannis.

Then the Manderley men will show up and bugger the Frey's in the rear. This will have greater consequences, as the Nothern houses are by no means loyal to Bolton. The vistory itself would simply bloody House Bolton, the slaughter would be the reveal to the North that Rickon is still alive and that Roose tried to take the seat of the North by passing on one of Sansa's servants as Arya. Every house that aligns itself to the Bolton cause would fall out in very short order.

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