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ummester

Stannis' army at the wall?

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Did I miss something? Where in ASoS does it describes how Stannis came by the soldiers he took beyond the wall? And where does it describe how he got them there?


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"Power?" The king snorted. "I have thirteen hundred men on Dragonstone, another three hundred at Storm's End." His hand swept over the Painted Table. "The rest of Westeros is in the hands of my foes. I have no fleet but Salladhor Saan's. No coin to hire sellswords. No prospect of plunder or glory to lure freeriders to my cause."


- Davos V



He sailed what men remained with him up to the Wall, using Salla's fleet.


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Didn't Mance have 100,000 (men & giants)? How could 1300 (even knights) scatter 100,000, especially if some are giants on mammoths?



The Night's Watch had almost 1000 trained brothers and they couldn't make a dent in Mance's troops?



I doesn't seem right.


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George is infamous for being dodgy when it comes to numbers. I believe that GRRM was banking on superior training giving Stannis's troops the edge over the disorganized wildlings.


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Well, normally I wouldn't be so anal about the numbers - you know, this army is here and it suffered a loss but is now 80% strong or something, I'd just go with it, but...



The defeat and scattering of Stannis' host was a big plot point in ACoKs and ASoS.



The Night's Watch 1000 odd men not being able to hold out forever against Mance's 100,000 was also a big plot point towards the end of ASoS.



So, Stannis showing up to help save the day with 1300 just didn't feel right to me. It is possible I noticed this because I had seen the show first, in which Davos goes and begs the Iron Bank for some money to hire Stannis troops and pay Salador.




Oh, that's another thing in the book - Salador is a pirate, he's got a fleet of boats filled with pirates - not troop transporters. In ACoKs most of Stannis' troop carrying boats were destroyed along with Davos' sons at the Blackwater. So are we meant to go with Stannis just squeezed his remaining knights into the gun decks of pirate vessels to get to the wall, or something?



Sorry, just finding this area of the books hard not to be nit picky about - I was reading and reading hoping for an explanation that never came.


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Didn't Mance have 100,000 (men & giants)?



That number mainly comes from the show. Similar figures are given about Mance's total host in the books, but that's including the elderly, sick, children, injured, and other non-combatants. Stannis later in the series says that he defeated Mance "though he had twenty times" his numbers, so I'd say that's closer to how many wildlings could actually fight back.



How could 1300 (even knights) scatter 100,000, especially if some are giants on mammoths?



I can't be bothered finding the chapter, but Stannis seems to have gone about it quite tactically. First the Eastwatch rangers come out of the trees and lure away Harma's cavalry. Then a column of Stannis' heavy horse hits them unexpectedly, then another one hits the men Mance sent Tormund to form up, and another one goes for the assembling giants. Mance tries to lead a defense, but a wedge of knights forms up and captures him. Meanwhile trumpets are blaring and archers are firing flaming arrows into the camp tents. It seems everything Stannis did was designed to cause a panic in the wildlings and make sure they remained disorganized, which I imagine is why he was able to win.



Plus, the average grunt in his army is likely far better equipped and trained at warfare than most of Mance's actual warriors.



The Night's Watch 1000 odd men not being able to hold out forever against Mance's 100,000 was also a big plot point towards the end of ASoS.



The NW had less than a thousand men, total, at the start of the series. Mormont's ranging had about three hundred people in it, and even they were considering going for a hard and fast attack to scatter the wildling host. So, as much as it was a plot point that Jon and co. couldn't hold out forever, wildlings being undisciplined and commanders wanting to take advantage of that has been brought up as well.


So are we meant to go with Stannis just squeezed his remaining knights into the gun decks of pirate vessels to get to the wall, or something?


Probably. I never noticed that being unrealistic but I don't know much about boats. Salla had been capturing all the vessels that passed near Dragonstone for a few months, so I suppose that could have played a role.

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So Mance had about 26,000 fighters left (I guess Jon and co could have dwindled the number of fighters down from 30,000 or so with their defense of the wall) when Stannis arrived and Stannis took that 26,000 with mostly surprise tactics, scattering them and not killing them?



The book did clarify than Jon played a part in disrupting Mance's hierarchy from inside his tent.



I guess, if the ultimate goal was the capture of Mance and his family, not the destruction of the wildling army - then it does make it more plausible.


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Mance's group included old men, women and children.



Stannis hit them unexpectedly and hard, and managed to kill a few of Mance's leaders immediately, and scatter the rest. That surprise attack and the results of it lead to Mance's people to flee, mostly. A group of fighters remained, and those were overpowered.


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Much of Mance's army was already decimated by the time Stannis arrived.



You will remember that Lord Snow led quite an attack from atop of the Wall, using pitch, arrows, and boulders/rocks.


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I'm just going by the show. But if you pause when Stannis arrives.you can get an idea of how many men he had.


I came up with at least 3000 cavalry. Most of Manse's army was infantry.So not only were the wildlings caught


off guard they were hit by cavalry that will decimate a larger number of infantry.And even if you go with numbers


that were given from the book,what mattered was that Stannis attacked the place.He managed to capture Manse


making the wildling numbers unimportant.


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