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Stannis' Army At The Wall

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When Stannis sails north to help the Night's Watch, he has about 1,300 men with him, chiefly Florents. With Alester Florent dead, what reason would the Florent men-at arms and knights have to remain loyal to Stannis and follow him to the wall?

Robb executes Rickard and the Karhold men were obviously upset about that. They even sided with the Dreadfort men at the Red Wedding. So what I want to know is why these men haven't deserted after the Blackwater and before the journey to the wall?

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Well, it's a mixture of family, religious and political reasons:

- First of all, Stannis may have burned Alester, but there are still Selyse and Axell, who (IICR) was one of the loudest supporters of burning his brother Alester. Selyse is the queen and the Florents are her family and Alester, who styles himself as "The Queen's Hand", might not be the Lord of Brightwater Keep -that's Alekyne Florent-, but they have of course much power over their men and the marriage-bond between Stannis and House Florent plays an important role there.

- The most (all?) Florent men are Queen's men, not only because of Melisandre, especially because of Selyse. I mean, it's always a bit debated if they are called Queen's men because of Queen Selyse or because of Stannis' "true Queen" Melisandre, I'd say, it's basically the same, since Sel was the first who followed Mel's religion and does everything Mel tells her. Many of Stannis' men want the queen's favour and as long as Mel (who, you could say, has the control over Selyse) doesn't abandon Stannis, it's useful for the knights to support her/them and follow R'hllor (and as I said before, neither Selyse nor Axell didn't really mind that their uncle/brother got burned, they were even some sort of enthusiastic about it; in marked contrast to the Karstark men when Robb beheaded Rickard!).

- I admit, that these arguments seem very...eh...florent-y to us, but the last one is even an, imo, understandable one for everyone: If they want to get Brightwater Keep back, they HAVE to hope on Stannis' victory. As many other lords whose seats were taken away from them after the Blackwater, they've lost it; Brightwater Keep and all of its lands and incomes are granted to Garlan Tyrell, thus establishing House Tyrell of Brightwater Keep; Alekyne flew to the Hightower. Okay, many lords got pardoned after the Blackwater, but since the Florents are to the Tyrells like Bolton to Stark or Frey to Tully, they hate each other and some of them first supported Renly and then all Stannis, I don't think they even considered bending the knee to Joff.

And if Stannis would win, they'd not only get Brightwater Keep back, also very likely Highgarden, since it's actually theirs by right (they always had a higher claim to it than the Tyrells because they have a superior line of descent. House Florent -> male line of House Gardener, House Tyrell -> female line) and become the new Great House of the Reach.

So, they had many reasons to behave differently than the Karstark men, mostly Selyse+Axell and the power of the bond of marriage, Brightwater Keep+Highgarden and of course religious ones, which all make them actually very extremely loyal (Remember e.g. that Florent-bastard who said "The Lord of Light protects King Stannis, now and always. All your swords and all your scheming shall not save you when his hour comes" and "Stannis is the true king! A monster sits the Iron Throne, an abomination born of incest!" and gave that speech of "Joffrey is the black worm eating the heart of the realm! Darkness was his father, and death his mother! Destroy him before he corrupts you all! Destroy them all, queen whore and king worm, vile dwarf and whispering spider, the false flowers. Save yourselves!" aso... Well, a fanatical and pathetic, but at least loyal bunch of people.)

I hope I could help :)

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