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Thelastactionhero

Yet another balanced review of Stannis [Book and Show spoilers]

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I think they basically did what they did to mance so they could get another actor off the show and cut down costs. If it was going to play out anything like the real world, mance would have accepted stannis' terms and even smiled in private since he and his people basically got exactly what they set out for in spite of their disastrous defeat.



But the show needs to get rid of actors so they don't overburden their budget. That is the main reason for all deaths on the show that did not happen in the books.


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Is the idea that Stannis hired the Golden Company in the show actually a thing? I've seen a few people mention it but I'm not quite sure where they're getting it from besides a few name drops of the Golden Company on the show.



If Stannis had actually hired the GC on the show I'd think we'd have heard more about it or gotten more clear cut clues.


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Is the idea that Stannis hired the Golden Company in the show actually a thing? I've seen a few people mention it but I'm not quite sure where they're getting it from besides a few name drops of the Golden Company on the show.

If Stannis had actually hired the GC on the show I'd think we'd have heard more about it or gotten more clear cut clues.

They have mentioned the GC but we have no Aegon. The backstory of the GC is that they have Blackfyre origins, which are needed for his plot, whether he's real or not. So... I suppose they've stripped all of that from them and simply make them "the best company" because discipline and yadayada.

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They have mentioned the GC but we have no Aegon. The backstory of the GC is that they have Blackfyre origins, which are needed for his plot, whether he's real or not. So... I suppose they've stripped all of that from them and simply make them "the best company" because discipline and yadayada.

Yeah, I just don't see any distinctive traits of the Golden Company in the men that are with Stannis right now. No elephants, no jewelry, no distinctive clothing, no gold standards or skulls, etc. I think some people assumed that the sellswords that Stannis hired are the Golden Company because Davos mentioned them in that one scene, but I have a hard time believing they actually got them. Unless D&D removed any real trace of the Golden Company that's introduced in the books and just assinged the name to non-descript sellswords as a *wink wink* to book readers.

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Yeah, I just don't see any distinctive traits of the Golden Company in the men that are with Stannis right now. No elephants, no jewelry, no distinctive clothing, no gold standards or skulls, etc. I think some people assumed that the sellswords that Stannis hired are the Golden Company because Davos mentioned them in that one scene, but I have a hard time believing they actually got them. Unless D&D removed any real trace of the Golden Company that's introduced in the books and just assinged the name to non-descript sellswords as a *wink wink* to book readers.

Just like Edric in a jar :dunno:

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Why doesn't Mance's reasoning not make any sense? With Mance burning, Stannis knows he has no chance of making the Wildlings join him and that's what Mance wanted no? He wanted to get behind that wall and not have to fight anymore (atleast until winter comes).

Mance Rayder did a great sacrifice by accepting to get burned just so his people wouldn't have to fight for this southern king AND he kept their values aswell by not making them kneel to anyone. Now the wildlings are safe behind the wall and instead of fighting they get to stay safe and Jon will surely give them place to live in the unmanned castles like in the books.

As for Stannis, I'm annoyed that the cart speech is not there definitly. Maybe it will be said later I don't know.

The vast majority of the Wildlings are stuck north of the wall, and now they will stay there. The rest are now at the mercy of the NW, who hates them. It was a boneheaded decision, any way you look at it.

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The Golden Company aren't with Stannis. Davos said they had 10 or 20,000 men so you can rule them out. In the IB meeting they said they had 3,500? men on Dragonstone and someone calculated the riders up at 3000 in the Battle.



Its quite unclear just what the Iron bank gave Stannis. Was it a small loan to pay Sallador Saan to ferry his troops from Dragonstone to the Wall or are they actively funding him with money to buy a sellsword company this season.


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The Golden Company aren't with Stannis. Davos said they had 10 or 20,000 men so you can rule them out. In the IB meeting they said they had 3,500? men on Dragonstone and someone calculated the riders up at 3000 in the Battle.

Its quite unclear just what the Iron bank gave Stannis. Was it a small loan to pay Sallador Saan to ferry his troops from Dragonstone to the Wall or are they actively funding him with money to buy a sellsword company this season.

4,000 overall according to Stannis at the Iron Bank, ~3,400 counted at the Wall. All armored and mounted. Way more than Book Stannis had (he brought 1,500 men to the Wall, and only half were mounted). I don't know why they gave Stannis so many more men; the force he has now is way, way stronger than his combined Southron-North army on the book (he doesn't have as many men, but they're all mounted men-at-arms; no useless-ass clansmen). I mean they didn't boost Roose proportionally.

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I'm not a Stannis fan at all (book or show) and this episode did nothing to improve that. The only thing he has going in his favor - in my opinion - is his love for his daughter and his friendship with Davos. The show has done a poor explanation of why they're burning people (Mel's reasons).I think the show is a little bit shaky about discussing to any deep level the various religions.



I understood the reasoning and if you watch the video where Kit and Cirdan Hands talk about it, they spelled it out further. He couldn't kneel or his own people would never trust him and he'd end up dead anyway. I'm sure he'd rather have gone any other way than burning but if he had knelt, it would have made him one of the 'southerners' and not a Wildling in their eyes.


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At certain points we miss stuff that I liked about Stannis in the books, a la the cart speech, but I'm actually not totally unsatisfied by how he was portrayed in the episode. I think this will probably be his best season as far as how he's written. I wouldn't give up quite yet.


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4,000 overall according to Stannis at the Iron Bank, ~3,400 counted at the Wall. All armored and mounted. Way more than Book Stannis had (he brought 1,500 men to the Wall, and only half were mounted). I don't know why they gave Stannis so many more men; the force he has now is way, way stronger than his combined Southron-North army on the book (he doesn't have as many men, but they're all mounted men-at-arms; no useless-ass clansmen). I mean they didn't boost Roose proportionally.

I have a feeling Big Bucket Wull and some other clansmen will be far from useless in the Northern battles.

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I have a feeling Big Bucket Wull and some other clansmen will be far from useless in the Northern battles.

Like 95% of them are basically Wildlings. Untrained men in animal furs and maybe leather wielding sticks and stones. So yeah, pretty useless in an actual battle. Heck, I'm pretty sure an equal number of Wildlings could beat the clansmen; they've got wargs, mammoths, and giants, in addition to at least a few organized formations. They make up half of the men in Stannis's current army (not counting Karstarks; those are Bolton men). Another quarter is made up by actual North soldiers from houses Umber, Mormont, Glover, Hornwood, Cerwyn, and Tallhart. The last quarter is made up of his own Dragonstone/Brightwater men (with some Stormlanders thrown in for flavor).

Show Stannis doesn't have that problem. He currently has ~3,400 Stormlands and Crownlands men at the Wall, all mounted, and he hasn't recruited any North houses yet. I don't know why they gave him such a big boost right off the bat.

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I'm not a Stannis fan at all (book or show) and this episode did nothing to improve that. The only thing he has going in his favor - in my opinion - is his love for his daughter and his friendship with Davos. The show has done a poor explanation of why they're burning people (Mel's reasons).I think the show is a little bit shaky about discussing to any deep level the various religions.

I understood the reasoning and if you watch the video where Kit and Cirdan Hands talk about it, they spelled it out further. He couldn't kneel or his own people would never trust him and he'd end up dead anyway. I'm sure he'd rather have gone any other way than burning but if he had knelt, it would have made him one of the 'southerners' and not a Wildling in their eyes.

the problem with stannis i have is trouble placing him. what does he ultimately want. does he want iron throne because he thinks he is the rightful king. but if dany is there he is not the rightful king. most people can't see stannis has any honor especially with burning people. because burning people alive is very evil thing to do so that takes away a lot of credibility of his character and everyone sees Mel as being very evil and he listens to her so how can he be any good or have any honor. i think stannis just has to die for his redemption because he killed his brother and he is not coming back from that. davos is a popular character but a good king listens to his honorable counsellors not to the nutty fanatic religious woman.

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At certain points we miss stuff that I liked about Stannis in the books, a la the cart speech, but I'm actually not totally unsatisfied by how he was portrayed in the episode. I think this will probably be his best season as far as how he's written. I wouldn't give up quite yet.

he there to kick bolton ass. but if he interferes too much in wall matters people are going to hate him because jon is very popular. my friend was asking me what right did stannis had to burn mance wasn't he jon's prisoner. also the wildlings don't come under any king jurisdiction if anything only lord commander of the nights watch can decide what punishment to give the wildligs. stannis opening declaring he will start burning wildlings made him sound like pompus prick who kills people when he doesn't get what he wants. i hope we have a more clear confrontation between jon asking stannis to butt out the wall does not belong to stannis he has no in any matter. also stannis is such an ignorant fool, the north rooted in traditions of the old god, burning people alive is how you alienate a whole race and shouting my god is the one true god all of you must follow. he has no respect or tolerance for others wishes and forces his beliefs on others so how can he be a good king.

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I feel that Stannis' portrayal was fair here. This is essentially how it went down in the books - and in fact in the books Stannis doesn't even give Mance a chance to kneel IIRC. He was a deserter of the NW so that was that so far as Stannis was concerned. If they do his conquest of the Boltons right, then Stannis could get a lot of unsullied fans this season. The real problem is that there's just this overall feeling that the show wants you to think Stannis is evil, what with the villainous music that plays every time he's on screen.

EDIT: For example his arrival on the wall, rather than being scored to a heroic reprise of the Baratheon theme is scored with his standard Lord of Light theme. His arrival is not portrayed as a good thing.

Nah man, that theme isn't evil, its just Stannis. Its like *BOSH* "I am here, bitches!"

But in addition to giving Mance more credit, this interpretation also leads to an interesting parallel between Mance and Stannis. Both have, to a certain extent, inflexible adherence to various moral rules. For Stannis, these rules align with the laws and norms of Westeros, leading him to take a very authoritarian stance. And for Mance, he is committed to what might be called the Natural Law, at least as the Wildlings see it - one where freedom, rather than obedience, is to be absolutely respected. Their absolutism is what gives them strength and moral superiority in the eyes of their followers, but also what alienates them from their opponents who might otherwise have been their allies. It also bodes poorly for Stannis's overall chances of survival...

Agreed. And this is why, despite everything, these two men respect each other, book and show.

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the problem with stannis i have is trouble placing him. what does he ultimately want. does he want iron throne because he thinks he is the rightful king. but if dany is there he is not the rightful king. most people can't see stannis has any honor especially with burning people. because burning people alive is very evil thing to do so that takes away a lot of credibility of his character and everyone sees Mel as being very evil and he listens to her so how can he be any good or have any honor. i think stannis just has to die for his redemption because he killed his brother and he is not coming back from that. davos is a popular character but a good king listens to his honorable counsellors not to the nutty fanatic religious woman.

Everyone seeing Mel as being evil? Every single person? He keeps Mel around as much as possible (in the books as well - it was actually her choice to stay behind at the Wall. After the mess at Blackwater I'd think he'd have wanted to take her with him) so I guess that does make him evil.

I do actually agree that Stannis dying would be a redemption of sorts for him. In the books I feel like the shadowbabies drained him physically but also he doesn't seem to sleep anymore and lack of sleep is a kind of slow death. Or maybe that's just me subsisting on my five hours a night for the last ten years

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Am I the only one who thinks book!Mance would've bent the knee if given half a chance, only to start plotting revenge on Stannis the moment he stands up?

off topic/

I wanted to extend my thanks for the emoji copy/paste info you passed on to DancesWithCats...'twas kind of you to share. :)

on topic:

Nope. But I can't see Mance bending the knee. I liked the fact that all of Jon's 'father figures' had one major personality trait in common. They were all fixed in nature. Once they set themselves on a path, they followed it (driven by their own priniciples) to the end, no matter what happened to themselves on the way.

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