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A Bong of Ice and Fire

Why did Stannis leave King's Landing?

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I know book Stannis left King's Landing because he (along with Jon Arryn) found out that Robert's children were bastards of incest.  Presumably he then went back to Dragonstone to prepare for war.

But as far as I recall, show Stannis only found out the truth about Robert's children when Ned Stark sent him a letter.  Right?  If so, why did he leave his post on the Small Council to go back to Dragonstone?

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My memory is not very good, but I don't recall anyone mentioning in the show that Stannis had left King's Landing. I guess that, in the show continuity, Stannis was not part of the court and used to live in Dragonstone.

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