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James Steller

Suppose Robert was the middle son and Stannis the elder

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Many Stannis fans, including myself, seem adamant that Stannis would be a good ruler for the Seven Kingdoms because of his zero tolerance for “the game” played by the nobility of Westeros. As a “truly just man”, Stannis would rise above it and go by the law and duty over favouritism. 

But even I have to ask: would he have made it that far if he’d been in Robert’s position?

Granted, Lyanna Stark might not have had as big of a problem with Stannis as she did with Robert, but assuming that the rebellion still happens, Stannis’ biggest flaw is his lack of charisma. He’s also not as bold and warlike as Robert, who would be left to hold Storm’s End while Stannis fights abroad. Robert might not have had Stannis’ Iron will, while Stannis might not have won the great victories that Robert won.

That said, Stannis is a highly effective military leader who wins over his soldiers’ loyalty in ADWD. Plus he would have had Eddard Stark as a friend, which would certainly have softened his edge a bit. Stannis would certainly have been a better husband to Cersei than Robert was, though he’d have sent Jaime to the Wall so that means a secondary war with the Lannisters, so that wouldn’t be a factor. My guess is that Stannis would marry Lynesse Hightower instead of Selyse Florent and thus bring the Reach back into the fold. Ser Gregor’s head is sent to Dorne, Tywin dies or submits to the alliance, and Robert becomes Lord of Storm’s End.

Is there anything in the above comment that doesn’t work? Or have I overlooked any issues?

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What you said about there being a second war with the Lannisters is certainly true. Tywin wouldn't stand for his son getting sent to the Wall. That means a war with the Westerlands and possibly the Reach since there'd be two Targaryens still out there. This means the rebels probably lose, even with four different regions of Westeros fighting the might of the Reach and Westerlands. One factor that might save the rebels from defeat would be getting Dorne to join the alliance on the basis of Tywin having murdered Elia and her kids. Another would be the scenario at King's Landing. Assuming that Tywin and his men have ransacked the place by the time the rebels arrive, and the royal family residing there has been butchered, there's a chance of besieging the lannisters within the burning city. As a result, Tywin and the leadership of the west is trapped inside a ruined city. Tyrion would be a squalling babe and a dwarf, so if his father and brother and uncles (presumably) are dead in the fighting, that means Mace Tyrell probably dips his banners without a fight still. Cersei becomes a hostage to ensure the Westerlands' compliance, Jon Arryn still becomes Hand of the King, Robert marries a Florent instead of Stannis, and the realm benefits overall. 

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The main problem I see with Stannis being the king is tyhat Tywin isn't going to act like he did when he was signalling his loyalty to Robert. It would be very strange for Tywin to not take the new king's personality into effect when he decided what he would do, or not do, to show his loyalty to King Stannis.

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Stannis' character is all about duty and feeling insulted when not duly rewarded, and getting fed up with his brother for being a fat, drunken sack of lazy shit in regards to the kingdom. Robert's character is about whoring around as hard as possible, king or not, and littering the kingdom with his bastards. The kind of behavior that becomes hard to tolerate if it isn't a king. Robert the Guest, basically. Robert would, of course, be exactly as stubborn as Stannis in holding Storm's End. Sheer bloodymindedness is a Baratheon trait

So Stannis changes a lot, Renly probably pals around with Loras, doing tourneys until they die together. Possibly joining the Watch together. And Robert runs off to Essos to be a sellsword as soon as a son is old enough.

So Stannis would still be a hardass. Jaime takes the Black, at minimum, and I don't see how Tywin could or would be able to do jack fucking shit about it, not while being outnumbered by the full force of the Riverlands, Northmen, Vale and Stormlands, and Cersei bitches and whines then does her duty a few times and then Stannis won't bother her anymore. Probably to the point of driving her mad and getting her to run to his bedroom just to make him want her. The only way I see Jaime not taking the Black is if the Wildfire issue is found out. Even then, I don't see Stannis keeping him. So no incest.

Balon loses his head.

Petyr Baelish will have a hard time indebting the kingdom with a thrifty monarch like Stannis on the throne. And the moment things look shifty, Petyr gets dismissed. Whorehouses all get shut down, and promptly relocate to another nearby town, prompting Stannis to say something about that, prompting the Small Council to ask if he wants the peasants to revolt with half the local nobility and knighthood.

When Jon Arryn kicks it because Lysa kills him, Stannis probably still visits the North, if for no other reason than Cersei desperately wanting to see her brother one more time. And frankly, I don't see Stannis as that much of a douchenozzle to refuse her.

Tywin Lannister dies of old age at some point, there is trouble at the Wall. Perhaps that gets resolved and the 2nd Long Night delayed. Dany....I don't know. I honestly don't know.

Stannis would offer parley to the Reach, but Tywin has no capability to start and wage a war over Jaime. He blasted over to King's Landing with a fast and mobile force and had invested in the city. He also can't secure the city gates and keep them closed, so when Stannis gets there, and secures the city and Maegor's Holdfast, there won't be much Tywin can do that wouldn't be an immediate death sentence.

 

 

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There would be no War of the Five Kings if Stannis is king. If Stannis wants to avoid war with Tywin and the West over Jaime however, he's going to have to marry Cersei. Yikes.

Stannis would give Storm's End to Robert and probably either give Dragonstone to someone very loyal and very competent....or he'd just leave Dragonstone alone with a castellan and claim it for herself.

But the Others and Daenerys are still going to be a problem. Dorne is also still going to have a problem.

Tywin would have been forced to remarry and have more children because of his hatred for Tyrion.

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Tywin should have done that anyways, its his biggest character flaw, even more so than his excessive brutality over Tyrion's fisrt wife. Its the most understandable one, but seriously man. Either that or naming Kevan and Kevan's descendants as his heirs.

I do wonder what Stannis would do with Dany, and Viserys really. Especially if she goes far enough in her character arc to raise dragons from the eggs. I have read credible theories that they were at the Sealord's palace before they went on the run throughout the Free Cities. Perhaps Stannis brings them back? Or has them hunted down and killed earlier? Viserys is the real issue, only the Dornish would get behind Dany.

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Here's what would've happened: ( You can believe me, I asked the three eyes raven.)

1. Stannis is fostered at Jon Arryn with Ned and they become friends. This does not softens Stanis because Ned never was the dominant part of the relationship with Robert and there's no reason to think he would be with Stannis.

2. Lyanna does not love Stannis, but she doesn't despise him like she did Robert. And thus, she never runs away with Prince Rhaegar.

3. When Aerys II kills lord Stark and his heir, Ned, Stannis and Jon Arryn rise in rebellion.

4. Stannis is a good fighter, but not a great one like Robert. As a result, he loses the battle to Rhaegar and dies at the Trident. Eddard and Jon Arryn Retreat.

5. At the same time, Robert loses his temper at the siege of Storm's End and rides with his few and weakened troops against Mace Tyrell. They fight bravely, but end up being defeated. Robert gets captured, but Mace, who never was a great warrior or battle commander dies at the hands of some brave knight on the service of the Baratheons.

6. When Storm's End is captured, Tywin Lannister, decides to fight on the side of the king and attacks the Riverlands, getting Stannis's army, now commanded by Eddard Stark. Eddard dies, along with Hoster Tully, but Jon Arryn manages to flee and lock himself on the Eyrie with his bride, Lysa Tully-Arryn.

7. The young Renly Baratheon, heir to Storm's End, is made hostage in King's Landing and Lord Gulian Swann(one of the few non-rebellious lords of the Stormlands) is made castellan. Renly would grow up to become a good politician at court and commanded to marry princess Daenerys Targaryen, a young shy girl deemed distant enough in the line of succession to secure the loyalty of the young Renly without awakening his ambitions.

8. Riverrun surrenders and the boy-lord Edmure is taken to King's Landing as a hostage (where he later dies, tortured by the mad king), while "late" Lord Walder Frey is rewarded for his loyalty to the realm with the title of lord Paramount of the Trident when he forsakens his vows to the Tullys in favor of those to the Crown. His firstborn son Stevron Frey marries the widow Catelyn Stark as a way to cement Frey rule over the Riverlands. (Years later he would face a rebellion from Robb Rivers, allegedly a Tully bastard from Caetelyn, hidden at birth).

9. The armies of the North, lead by the young lord Benjen Stark, fight on for a while and finally surrenders to Prince Rhaegar at the end of winter. As part of the peace dealings, the North will now pay heavier taxes and Lyanna Stark will go south as a hostage.

10. Imediatelly, Jon Arryn also bends the knee and the Vale has to pay tribute and provide hostages to many crownland houses.

11. The Ironborn never join the Robert, and Quellon only dies 15 years later, of old age.


11. On the next few years after the war now known to the maesters as Robert's Betrayal, Aerys II is considered unfit to rule by a Great Council and sent to the Night's Watch, but dies on the way to the Wall. Rhaegar Targaryen, first of his name, now even more prestigious than before the war, is crowned. Jon Connington is made Hand of the King.

12. Rhaegar marries his hostage Lyanna Stark, reviving the old Targaryen custom of polygamy, to the ire of the Faith. Unfortunatelly, the bride dies later, giving birth to Rhaegar's third son, Jon Targaryen (an homage to his hand and great friend). Her death would be considered punishment from the gods.

13. With the death of Lyanna, Tywin Lannister tries to offer his daughter, Cersei, to marry Rhaegar, but is refused again. To placate lord Tywin's wrath, his firstborn son, Jaime Lannister, is dispensed from the King's Guard, becoming henceforth known as "the Oathbreaker".  Cersei is later hastly married off to Benjen Stark. (Seven months after this wedding, she gives birth to young Joffrey Stark, later known as "the golden wolf", duo to his blond hair, quite uncommon in the north.)

The Great Lords, at the End of the 3rd Century Would, then, be:

King Rhaegar Targaryen I, and his firstborn heir Prince Aegon Targaryen

Tywin Lannister, and his firstborn heir, Jaime Lannister, the Oathbreaker
Benjen Stark, and his firstborn heir, Joffrey stark, the Golden Wolf
Renly Baratheon, and his firstborn heir Rhaegar Baratheon, named after the king
Doran Martell, and his firstborn heir Arianne Martell
Walder Frey, and his firstborn heir Stevron Frey
Ballon Greyjoy, and his firstborn heir Rodrick Greyjoy
Willas Tyrell, and his brother and heir, Garllan Tyrell

It would take another centuty before the clashing customs and the Targaryen lack of Dragons would again plunge the Kingdoms into war an all out war.

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Well if Stannis is getting himself killed, wouldn't it be even earlier? And if so, what exactly is there to stop the North and the Vale from simply declaring independence after they wage their war and start getting checked? And what is to stop them from plying an alliance with Tywin Lannister? 

Stannis dies early against Tarly, but the Starks are still coming and Jon Arryn is still pissed. The Riverlands are still amazingly vulnerable to the duel whammy of both. And the Stormlands would be unsure, probably going back to Storm's End and then sending a detachment to harass the Crownlands.

This could lead to Jon Arryn considering who any other wronged parties are, and the Northmen sending an offer of alliance to Tywin. Because even if Hoster Tully won't ally with the rebellion, the Riverlands can't hold against both the North and the Vale, not without reinforcements. Tywin could raise those reinforcements and send some to the Riverlands and lead another force to King's Landing, "answering" Aerys' call. Then sacking it and claiming Jaime.

Then the Riverlands has done to it what was done to the Northern forces in the WotFK, and has a massive chunk of its forces slaughtered by supposed allies. With that kind of victory, and an invasion force headed in from the Westerlands and another force headed south to fight or link up with any Stormlanders, either the Reach surrenders and tries to broker peace, or is forced to fight a multipronged invasion from half the kingdom.

This is could potentially just conflagrate into a massive civil war if the Northmen don't find Lyanna, although they should. Assuming peace is found within a year it was originally found, it would result in another Great Council. One that couldn't possibly result in Renly being crowned. Too young. If Stannis and Robert get killed, the Seven Kingdoms might simply decide to hell with the Iron Throne and go on from there

 

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On 5/18/2019 at 2:29 PM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

What you said about there being a second war with the Lannisters is certainly true. Tywin wouldn't stand for his son getting sent to the Wall. That means a war with the Westerlands and possibly the Reach since there'd be two Targaryens still out there. This means the rebels probably lose, even with four different regions of Westeros fighting the might of the Reach and Westerlands. One factor that might save the rebels from defeat would be getting Dorne to join the alliance on the basis of Tywin having murdered Elia and her kids. Another would be the scenario at King's Landing. Assuming that Tywin and his men have ransacked the place by the time the rebels arrive, and the royal family residing there has been butchered, there's a chance of besieging the lannisters within the burning city. As a result, Tywin and the leadership of the west is trapped inside a ruined city. Tyrion would be a squalling babe and a dwarf, so if his father and brother and uncles (presumably) are dead in the fighting, that means Mace Tyrell probably dips his banners without a fight still. Cersei becomes a hostage to ensure the Westerlands' compliance, Jon Arryn still becomes Hand of the King, Robert marries a Florent instead of Stannis, and the realm benefits overall. 

Yep...the rebs opposing the Lannisters would def drive Tywin to Viserys and Dani, with possible dornish and reach support, could get messy

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The Rebels likely lose the rebellion as Stannis isn't a charismatic enough individual for the rebels to unite around. 

 

Moreover, there is no guarantee that Ned bonds with Stannis even if they both still go to the Vale.  Stannis makes friends a lot harder than Robert and it is possible Ned (and Jon) just ended up finding Stannis to be obnoxious.  Similar to how Jon felt about Theon despite growing up with him.  

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Posted (edited)

For starters there would be no rebellion.

“Love is sweet, dear Ned, but it can not change a man’s nature.”

Stannis is not a womanizing, bastard making love machine that would drive Lyanna away from him, assuming they are betrothed, and they would be, because there are no other better candidates for her to satisfy Rickard’s southern ambitions that we know of and if Ned has bonded even with Bob, who is so different from him, bonding with Stan is almost certain.

Stannis gets Lyanna, Catelyn gets Brandon, Eddard gets Ashara. Robert may get a higher lord’s daughter from Reach, Vale, RL. Cersei may eventually get Rhaegar.

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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