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three-eyed monkey

The Stannis Plan and why he wrote the Pink Letter.

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5 hours ago, Ran said:

No fan fiction, folks.

That's harsh.

Edit: I assume you are referring to the Ramsay wrote the letter supporters whose theories do not have a shred of text to support their illogical claims.

 

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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Yep, I really like this. Theon's comments to Stannis in twow lining up with the language in the pink letter is very provocative. Overall it makes sense that Stannis would change his tactics with Jon. Nice job. 

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2 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Yep, I really like this. Theon's comments to Stannis in twow lining up with the language in the pink letter is very provocative. Overall it makes sense that Stannis would change his tactics with Jon. Nice job. 

Thank you.

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23 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Overall it makes sense that Stannis would change his tactics with Jon.

This is a very important point that many readers miss. Stannis, as a character, has an arc. He is not a so-called iconic character that stays the same all through the story.

I believe it was Donal Noyne who described Stannis as Iron, will break before he bends, and Robert as true steel. But Donal Noyne remembers Stannis from Storms End. Stannis has changed. He tells Davos that he learned the lesson of Proudwing, that being if you keep trying and keep failing then its time to try something else.

We see this with his quest for the crown. He was trying to win the crown to save the kingdom but he failed at the Blackwater so he changed his approach and started trying to save the kingdom to win the crown.

We see it with Davos and Ramsay. He rewarded Davos for his heroics by knighting him but could not discard the law and took his fingers too. Later with Mance, he subverts the law and burns someone else instead, with the Lord of Bones playing the part of Davos' bag of bones.

Stannis tried several times to get Jon to set his vows aside and become his Lord of Winterfell. Why should we expect him to give up when surely it makes more sense for him to try another hawk?

Stannis may have began as iron but he has been through the wildfire forge of the Blackwater and emerged as tempered steel, while Robert in the end just went to rust.

 

Edited by three-eyed monkey
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Ramsey wrote the letter. I hate to admit it but he did. I wanted Stannis to be the author but the more i think on it the more it makes sense that Ramsey wrote it. He is basically telling John that he will not tell the North that Mance is still alive if he sends the people he has asked for to him. He wont tell the North about Mance and Jon wont tell that she is not Arya. Kinda making a deal. I do love your theory though. I do believe that Ramsey thinks that Stannis is dead. He def. is not though he still has some story left i think.

Edited by Impbread

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1 hour ago, Impbread said:

Ramsey wrote it. He is basically telling John that he will not tell the North that Mance is still alive if he sends the people he has asked for to him. He wont tell the North about Mance and Jon wont tell that she is not Arya. Kinda making a deal. I do love your theory though.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies.

It would be a strange deal for a number of reasons.

First, most of the north as well as Freys are assembled at Winterfell, where Mance is supposedly in a cage as proof of Jon's lies, so Ramsay has broken this unwritten deal before it is even made.

Second, no such deal is clear in the letter. What the letter does say clearly is give Ramsay what he wants then Ramsay will leave Jon alone but if he does not then Ramsay will come for him. It also tells Jon that if he wants Mance back he needs to come and get him, so no hint of an exchange, fArya for Ramsay or whatever. It's clearly an ultimatum, not a deal. You might argue that this deal is implied and Jon would know that, except Jon didn't know that. Ramsay would be the worse deal-maker ever as he would be failing at the first step, which is clearly communicating his offer to the other party.

 

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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16 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies.

It would be a strange deal for a number of reasons.

First, most of the north as well as Freys are assembled at Winterfell, where Mance is supposedly in a cage as proof of Jon's lies, so Ramsay has broken this unwritten deal before it is even made.

Second, no such deal is clear in the letter. What the letter does say clearly is give Ramsay what he wants then Ramsay will leave Jon alone but if he does not then Ramsay will come for him. It also tells Jon that if he wants Mance back he needs to come and get him, so no hint of an exchange, fArya for Ramsay or whatever. It's clearly an ultimatum, not a deal. You might argue that this deal is implied and Jon would know that, except Jon didn't know that. Ramsay would be the worse deal-maker ever as he would be failing at the first step, which is clearly communicating his offer to the other party.

 

Fair point. He may know that it is Mance and not told anyone yet, Stating that if he gets his bride and Reek back they he will not trouble him. Why else would Jon give them back if everyone else already knows that he already let Mance go after breaking his oath?   probably correct.

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18 hours ago, Impbread said:

I wanted Stannis to be the author but the more i think on it

Think of it this way. The argument for Stannis has two main pillars.

1/ Stannis has a clear goal with regards to Jon, and that goal is stated in the text in both ASoS and ADwD.

Stannis knows the northern lords have no love for him. If he wants to win the North, and the only win for him in this sense is a stable North that is bound to his cause from which he can push south, then he needs a loyal Lord of Winterfell in place. Restoring a son of Eddard Stark, whom he knows is competent and loyal, to the seat of Winterfell is the best political move he can make. Stannis believes this represents his best chance to rally the North to his banner and he hammers that point home several times. The point is also made or alluded to by other characters, such as Wyman Manderly and Lyanna Mormont. From Stannis' point of view, Jon's vows are the obstacle to achieving his goal, as Jon has refused Stannis several times citing his vows as the reason.

Pillar 1 is indisputable fact.

2/ The purpose of the letter is to provoke Jon into going to Winterfell, (regardless of whether that's alone or with whatever resources he can muster).

The letter provides Jon with reasons to go to Winterfell, be it to make Ramsay answer for his words and/or find Arya and/or to rescue Mance, while at the same time removing any obstacles to him taking that action, any hope that Stannis will win and render the letter redundant and/or any concern about acting against the Bolton's while Arya is their hostage. Therefore, I believe the letter was designed to provoke Jon into going to Winterfell, thus forswearing his vows in the process. And it would have worked except for the intervention of the conspirators at Castle Black, which is something the author of the letter could not, in my opinion, have foreseen.

Pillar 2 is more interpretative, granted, but the letter only gives Jon two logical options, comply or don't comply, As Jon's compliance is a highly unlikely outcome, then that leaves non-compliance, which means Jon either goes to Ramsay at Winterfell or waits for Ramsay to come to him at Castle Black. I think it stands to reason to assume that the author wrote the letter with one of these outcomes in mind. And as Jon was already at Castle Black then a letter with the purpose of getting Jon to remain at Castle Black seems rather unnecessary, which leads me to believe that the intention of the letter's author was to get Jon to go to Winterfell.

Conclusion, the purpose of the letter dovetails neatly with Stannis' stated goal and therefore Stannis had a very clear motive to write the letter.

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Think of it this way. The argument for Stannis has two main pillars.

1/ Stannis has a clear goal with regards to Jon, and that goal is stated in the text in both ASoS and ADwD.

Stannis knows the northern lords have no love for him. If he wants to win the North, and the only win for him in this sense is a stable North that is bound to his cause from which he can push south, then he needs a loyal Lord of Winterfell in place. Restoring a son of Eddard Stark, whom he knows is competent and loyal, to the seat of Winterfell is the best political move he can make. Stannis believes this represents his best chance to rally the North to his banner and he hammers that point home several times. The point is also made or alluded to by other characters, such as Wyman Manderly and Lyanna Mormont. From Stannis' point of view, Jon's vows are the obstacle to achieving his goal, as Jon has refused Stannis several times citing his vows as the reason.

Pillar 1 is indisputable fact.

2/ The purpose of the letter is to provoke Jon into going to Winterfell, (regardless of whether that's alone or with whatever resources he can muster).

The letter provides Jon with reasons to go to Winterfell, be it to make Ramsay answer for his words and/or find Arya and/or to rescue Mance, while at the same time removing any obstacles to him taking that action, any hope that Stannis will win and render the letter redundant and/or any concern about acting against the Bolton's while Arya is their hostage. Therefore, I believe the letter was designed to provoke Jon into going to Winterfell, thus forswearing his vows in the process. And it would have worked except for the intervention of the conspirators at Castle Black, which is something the author of the letter could not, in my opinion, have foreseen.

Pillar 2 is more interpretative, granted, but the letter only gives Jon two logical options, comply or don't comply, As Jon's compliance is a highly unlikely outcome, then that leaves non-compliance, which means Jon either goes to Ramsay at Winterfell or waits for Ramsay to come to him at Castle Black. I think it stands to reason to assume that the author wrote the letter with one of these outcomes in mind. And as Jon was already at Castle Black then a letter with the purpose of getting Jon to remain at Castle Black seems rather unnecessary, which leads me to believe that the intention of the letter's author was to get Jon to go to Winterfell.

Conclusion, the purpose of the letter dovetails neatly with Stannis' stated goal and therefore Stannis had a very clear motive to write the letter.

 

 

 

Well if Stannis did write the letter all he accomplished was getting Jon killed. He would have to know that was something that could happen if Jon left the watch and broke his vows. Do you think that he would risk that? Jon is on board with the FF entering the realm and he knows that Jon understands that the Others are the real enemy. Plus his family is in Jon's care. The next Lord commander may not be sympathetic to Stannis' cause. That is why I dont believe that he would roll the dice.He does not need Jon at Winterfell to win the North to his cause and  he states that. He can win them over by battle. Although he would love Jon to become lord of Winterfell he knows that its not his only option. I can not wait for the next book to finally get an answer to this. 

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9 minutes ago, Impbread said:

Well if Stannis did write the letter all he accomplished was getting Jon killed. He would have to know that was something that could happen if Jon left the watch and broke his vows.

Stannis would have expected there to be calls for Jon's head if he forswore his vows, as I explained in the Op he was counting on that as leverage in Jon accepting his offer, but I don't think he would have foreseen the letter triggering an assassination before Jon could leave Castle Black.

 

14 minutes ago, Impbread said:

Do you think that he would risk that?

Yes. Stannis is not adverse to risk, clearly.

 

15 minutes ago, Impbread said:

He does not need Jon at Winterfell to win the North to his cause and  he states that. He can win them over by battle.

Without a son of Winterfell to stand beside me, I can only hope to win the north by battle.

He did not say he doesn't need Jon to stand beside him because he can win the north by battle. He says without Jon beside him his only hope is to win the North by battle.

And Stannis is not referring to battle with the Boltons here, because that battle is inevitable and Jon standing beside him would not change that. He's talking about the northern lords. He needs to win them to his side because conquering the North in the traditional sense would be near impossible with the army he has.

Stannis has no choice but proceed without Jon for now, but having Jon by his side is clearly his preferred option. As I said, I believe the letter was sent from Winterfell after Stannis has taken the castle, with the purpose of Stannis next goal in mind, which is securing the northern lords to his cause. If the north back Stannis at this stage then he need only consolidate his position with a smart choice as Lord of Winterfell and he's free to turn his eyes south. If the north favor independence, which is the position they were in before Bolton rule, over what Stannis is offering, then Stannis is in a difficult situation.

Of course, news of Jon's death will change things, and for Stannis much may depend on Davos delivering an unexpected boost.

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On 12/5/2018 at 4:13 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

This is a very important point that many readers miss. Stannis, as a character, has an arc. He is not a so-called iconic character that stays the same all through the story.

I believe it was Donal Noyne who described Stannis as Iron, will break before he bends, and Robert as true steel. But Donal Noyne remembers Stannis from Storms End. Stannis has changed. He tells Davos that he learned the lesson of Proudwing, that being if you keep trying and keep failing then its time to try something else.

We see this with his quest for the crown. He was trying to win the crown to save the kingdom but he failed at the Blackwater so he changed his approach and started trying to save the kingdom to win the crown.

We see it with Davos and Ramsay. He rewarded Davos for his heroics by knighting him but could not discard the law and took his fingers too. Later with Mance, he subverts the law and burns someone else instead, with the Lord of Bones playing the part of Davos' bag of bones.

Stannis tried several times to get Jon to set his vows aside and become his Lord of Winterfell. Why should we expect him to give up when surely it makes more sense for him to try another hawk?

Stannis may have began as iron but he has been through the wildfire forge of the Blackwater and emerged as tempered steel, while Robert in the end just went to rust.

 

Oh, I absolutely agree. Looking ahead, this skirmish in the snow is my main focus. But I'm ashamed to say that I don't really have anything to add.

Stannis has the measure of Jon. And he know's Jon to be stubborn with honour just as his father was. Stannis tried to play on Jon's vanity by offering WF. There are few who'd reject the offer. Most would of eagerly accepted. But Jon refused to break his vows. Then, Val is paraded around. But Jon isn't ruled by his penis. So it doesn't tempt him. 

I think it makes excellent sense that Stannis, equally stubborn, knows Jon is the answer to the North's (and his) problem(s). And so he's using that same stubborn honour against Jon. He's not changing his target, only his approach. He's a tactician. The 'hawk' analogy is very prominent in Stannis' arc.

I keep thinking back to that scene where Stannis gives Jon a nod of approval for beheading Slynt. For the longest time, I thought of it as a small savoury detail to garnish the scene. But now, it seems as if Stannis finally saw a chink in the armour. Jon's sense of justice. Or maybe it was pride?
 That pink letter was full of cruelty and malice and taunts. I think it's very safe to say that anyone who knows Jon, would know that it would rile him to the point of chucking his vows away. It's just like all those years ago, in the training yard of CB. When the other recruits try to bully him, he lashes out. When Alliser taunted him about Ned, Jon attempted to attack him. 

It's not too difficult to manipulate Jon. You just need to know which buttons to press, it would seem. 

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9 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Oh, I absolutely agree. Looking ahead, this skirmish in the snow is my main focus. But I'm ashamed to say that I don't really have anything to add.

Stannis has the measure of Jon. And he know's Jon to be stubborn with honour just as his father was. Stannis tried to play on Jon's vanity by offering WF. There are few who'd reject the offer. Most would of eagerly accepted. But Jon refused to break his vows. Then, Val is paraded around. But Jon isn't ruled by his penis. So it doesn't tempt him. 

I think it makes excellent sense that Stannis, equally stubborn, knows Jon is the answer to the North's (and his) problem(s). And so he's using that same stubborn honour against Jon. He's not changing his target, only his approach. He's a tactician. The 'hawk' analogy is very prominent in Stannis' arc.

I keep thinking back to that scene where Stannis gives Jon a nod of approval for beheading Slynt. For the longest time, I thought of it as a small savoury detail to garnish the scene. But now, it seems as if Stannis finally saw a chink in the armour. Jon's sense of justice. Or maybe it was pride?
 That pink letter was full of cruelty and malice and taunts. I think it's very safe to say that anyone who knows Jon, would know that it would rile him to the point of chucking his vows away. It's just like all those years ago, in the training yard of CB. When the other recruits try to bully him, he lashes out. When Alliser taunted him about Ned, Jon attempted to attack him. 

It's not too difficult to manipulate Jon. You just need to know which buttons to press, it would seem. 

Very nice post. I totally agree.

And it should be remembered, Stannis would have known, before he even landed at Eastwatch, that he needed to defeat the Wildlings, and defeat the Boltons, and then replace them with a strong and loyal Lord of Winterfell. If he ever hopes to march south then this is a key position that must be held by a loyal and able person who can command the respect of the northern lords. Even Tywin knew that person had to be a Stark, although Tywin's only options were first Sansa and later fArya. How he would have loved a loyal and competent Stark male with whom he shared a common cause to secure the north for him.

Then he meets Jon and Jon just fits the bill so well. The episode with Slynt, as you say. His sage counsel about Mance. His strategic advice regarding Deepwood Motte as opposed to the Dreadfort. Jon putting the burning Rattleshirt out of his misery, even if the defiance made Stannis bristle, Jon's sense of humanity is obvious. His letter about the Karstark treachery. His sense of honor. His Stark lineage. I think Stannis even admires his stubborn nature. Jon is the perfect candidate.

The fact that Jon is helping Stannis so much, must suggest to Stannis that he almost has Jon, if it wasn't for those pesky vows.

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@three-eyed monkey forgive me if you already addressed this, the thread has moved too quickly to keep up. But I have a question regard Stannis provoking Jon into oathbreaking with the letter...did he not realise that Jon’s life is immediately at risk from his brothers if he deserts? Surely he didn’t expect the rest of the watch to just send Jon merrily on his way? Why would he be so certain a NW could get to Winterfell with his head attached?

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1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

@three-eyed monkey forgive me if you already addressed this, the thread has moved too quickly to keep up. But I have a question regard Stannis provoking Jon into oathbreaking with the letter...did he not realise that Jon’s life is immediately at risk from his brothers if he deserts? Surely he didn’t expect the rest of the watch to just send Jon merrily on his way? Why would he be so certain a NW could get to Winterfell with his head attached?

If it was indeed Stannis that sent the letter, then he would know that the wildlings outnumber the black brothers by quite alot. The Nights Watch wouldn't be able to stop him if he had the wildlings on his side. 

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3 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

@three-eyed monkey forgive me if you already addressed this, the thread has moved too quickly to keep up. But I have a question regard Stannis provoking Jon into oathbreaking with the letter...did he not realise that Jon’s life is immediately at risk from his brothers if he deserts? Surely he didn’t expect the rest of the watch to just send Jon merrily on his way? Why would he be so certain a NW could get to Winterfell with his head attached?

Stannis could not be certain the ploy would work. The only certainties in life are death and taxes, someone once said.

That said, I think Stannis would have expected there to be calls for Jon's head, as I said in the OP I think he was banking on that as leverage in getting Jon to accept his offer. I don't think he would have predicted an immediate assassination, which was due to a conspiracy against Jon that was brewing for some time unbeknownst to Stannis. I would imagine the vast majority of readers did not expect Jon to be assassinated as he left the shieldhall. The stabbing came as a surprise to most readers and I think it will come as a surprise to Stannis too when he hears it.

1 hour ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

If it was indeed Stannis that sent the letter, then he would know that the wildlings outnumber the black brothers by quite alot. The Nights Watch wouldn't be able to stop him if he had the wildlings on his side. 

Stannis did not know about Tormund's army, which had just arrived, but he did leave 300 fighting wildlings, the ones he was going to put in his van against the Dreadfort, with Jon in exchange for the mountain clans. I'm unsure what the strength the Night's Watch have at Castle Black at the time. I think someone said 400 men, but I'm not certain.

[Edit: less than 400 men it seems. He had ordered out two hundred men, more than half the garrison of Castle Black.]

I don't believe the sender of the letter, regardless of who it was, could have foreseen or even hoped for the assassination. Personally, I think that is far too weak for GRRM and it's much more likely that the letter ultimately had the opposite effect to the sender's intention.

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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7 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Stannis could not be certain the ploy would work. The only certainties in life are death and taxes, someone once said.

That said, I think Stannis would have expected there to be calls for Jon's head, as I said in the OP I think he was banking on that as leverage in getting Jon to accept his offer. I don't think he would have predicted an immediate assassination, which was due to a conspiracy against Jon that was brewing for some time unbeknownst to Stannis. I would imagine the vast majority of readers did not expect Jon to be assassinated as he left the shieldhall. The stabbing came as a surprise to most readers and I think it will come as a surprise to Stannis too when he hears it.

Stannis did not know about Tormund's army, which had just arrived, but he did leave 300 fighting wildlings, the ones he was going to put in his van against the Dreadfort, with Jon in exchange for the mountain clans. I'm unsure what the strength the Night's Watch have at Castle Black at the time. I think someone said 400 men, but I'm not certain.

[Edit: less than 400 men it seems. He had ordered out two hundred men, more than half the garrison of Castle Black.]

I don't believe the sender of the letter, regardless of who it was, could have foreseen or even hoped for the assassination. Personally, I think that is far too weak for GRRM and it's much more likely that the letter ultimately had the opposite effect to the sender's intention.

But it's not about knowing of an assassination plot. Stannis knows the law, deserters are to be killed. Why would he expect that the Watch would ignore this and let Jon just leave, then call for his head later? Imo that doesn't make a lot of sense. He would expect the NW to carry out their duty and execute deserters, conspiracy afoot or not.

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9 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

But it's not about knowing of an assassination plot. Stannis knows the law, deserters are to be killed. Why would he expect that the Watch would ignore this and let Jon just leave, then call for his head later? Imo that doesn't make a lot of sense. He would expect the NW to carry out their duty and execute deserters, conspiracy afoot or not.

Stannis would know that Jon was aware of the law, and it should be safe to expect Jon, if he did intend on leaving the wall and breaking his vows, to take the necessary precautions. People have deserted in the past. Of course Stannis was wrong, mainly because Jon shared his plans openly and the conspirators were able to react, but Stannis would not have foreseen that.

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On 12/8/2018 at 2:22 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Stannis would know that Jon was aware of the law, and it should be safe to expect Jon, if he did intend on leaving the wall and breaking his vows, to take the necessary precautions. People have deserted in the past. Of course Stannis was wrong, mainly because Jon shared his plans openly and the conspirators were able to react, but Stannis would not have foreseen that.

The Night's Watch is highly respected in the North, so it is quite possible that the Northern lords would not appreciate Jon abandoning his post to join Stannis, especially as that post is as the Lord Commander.  And what happens if the Night's watch sends a message demanding Jon's head for desertion?

Also, Stannis has said that he regards the Others as the real enemy.  He know that Jon takes that threat seriously, and that many others in the NW do not.  He would therefore know that removing Jon endangers that fight, which he regards as being even more important than the one he is currently fighting.

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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

The Night's Watch is highly respected in the North, so it is quite possible that the Northern lords would not appreciate Jon abandoning his post to join Stannis, especially as that post is as the Lord Commander. 

Except the northern lords want Jon to forswear his vows too as he is Robb's heir, according to all the clues, so I don't think abandoning his post on the Wall will be an issue. They might not appreciate Jon joining Stannis, for sure, not that Stannis is aware of their agenda regarding Jon.

 

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

Also, Stannis has said that he regards the Others as the real enemy.  He know that Jon takes that threat seriously, and that many others in the NW do not.  He would therefore know that removing Jon endangers that fight, which he regards as being even more important than the one he is currently fighting. 

Stannis priority right now is defeating the Boltons, taking Winterfell, and winning the north to his cause. This is very clear. Stannis does regard the Others as the true enemy but that did not stop him asking Jon to forswear his vows, swear his sword to Stannis, and rise as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell several times. If he therefore knows that removing Jon endangers that fight, as you claim, then why did he persist in courting Jon with a view to removing him from the wall. You might think Stannis wants Jon on the Wall, or Stannis doesn't need Jon to win the north, but Stannis has made it clear that he disagrees with you, so your argument ignores the text once again.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

And what happens if the Night's watch sends a message demanding Jon's head for desertion?

I address this in the op. If Jon goes to Winterfell and finds Stannis holding the castle and the man who supposedly sent the letter [Ramsay] is already dead, then any call from the Watch for Jon's head will only play into Stannis' hands. Because if Jon swears fealty to Stannis then his king can pardon him with the stroke of a pen, just as he can legitimize him or raise him to Lord of Winterfell and his Warden of the North. Jon's main objection to Stannis was his vows but those vows have already been broken, and the alternative to Stannis offer will be execution, which makes a pretty compelling case for accepting the offer.

This, essentially, is Stannis' plan in a nutshell.

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19 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Stannis priority right now is defeating the Boltons, taking Winterfell, and winning the north to his cause. This is very clear.

Jon isn't going to be of any help with the first two objectives.   He is too far away, and can (so far as Stannis knows) bring no reinforcements.  As for the third objective, if he beats the Boltons and takes Winterfell, the North is likely to fall into his lap in any case.  If he felt he needed a Stark on hand, having Arya as a figurehead would probably be about as useful as having Jon.  And he is going to have a hard time "keeping his promise" to Jon regarding Arya if Jon isn't even at the Wall when she arrives!

19 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Stannis does regard the Others as the true enemy but that did not stop him asking Jon to forswear his vows, swear his sword to Stannis, and rise as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell several times. If he therefore knows that removing Jon endangers that fight, as you claim, then why did he persist in courting Jon with a view to removing him from the wall.

Stannis's serious efforts at recruiting Jon all take place before his election as LC.   Afterwards, he grumbles about it ("Stannis with a grievance was like a mastiff with a bone.  He gnawed it to splinters.", thinks Jon), but makes no serious attempt to recruit Jon once he is LC.  He seems resigned to the fact that Jon is staying on the Wall.  He does say that he will have to win the North by battle if Jon doesn't join him, and guess what?  That is exactly what he is doing. 

As for winning the North, he has the Mormonts on his side, and most likely Glover, after his taking of Deepwood Motte.  Mors Umber is on his side, and it appears that Alys Karstark is, as well, given her assistance in exposing her uncle's treachery.  That's a good portion of the North.  If he can get the Manderlys on his side, he has essentially won.  Even if he can't, he is still in pretty good shape.

Edited by Nevets

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