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YOU are Stannis, Bad-ass King & Battle Commander ... what are your battle tactics for taking Winterfell?

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YOU are King Stannis Baratheon and Azor Ahai at Crofter's Village. How do you take Winterfell?

Forget the Pink Letter and its details ... they haven't happened yet (or may never even happen)

 

As Stannis, the Battle Commander, you KNOW:

A: You are outnumbered against your enemies
B: Facing a fortified Castle
C: Snow Storm
D: Lack of food and provisions
E: Retreat to Deepwood Motte is nearly impossible

F: Roose Bolton is a capable commander, lets assume he is hard to fool

G: You captured a Bolton spy in Tybald, with maps and ravens
H: You captured turncloaks in the Karstarks

I: You may have potential allies with the Umbers inside Winterfell
J: Hosteen Frey may be in a blind fury

K: You have Theon as a hostage and he has knowledge of the castle

L: Ice lakes can be used to your advantage outside of Winterfell
M: Drums/Warhorns/Chants can be heard without being seen in the blizzard

1. What do you do?

 

GRRM's Chekhov Guns ... things Stannis does not know yet

N: Manderlys are friendly forces, but are under Roose's suspicions
O: Freys & Manderlys left from two different gates

P: Mance is inside Winterfell
Q: Wildling spearwives are inside Winterfell

R: Ramsay's low IQ may play a part (seriously, what battles did he win that would make me fear him?)

2. How would they factor?

 

Let me know if I miss anything!

 

1. What is your battle tactic?

2. How would these play out in TWOW?

 

I know some people kind of forgot about all these little items ... but after listing them all, anyone still think Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter AND Stannis actually lost the Battle of Winterfell?

 

@three-eyed monkey I know you want Stannis to "play possum" with Items G & H. That's fine. I just don't think that is bad ass enough for Stannis.

My imagination of some of Stannis' forces chanting outside of one of the two Winterfell gates, hidden in the blizzard:
"WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!"
That should get some bloods boiling inside Winterfell, allies or foes.

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I get to play battle commander!

I would station the clansmen in the woods, up trees and in camouflage a la Deepwood Motte.Instruct them to allow riders through to hopefully ride out on the lake toward a beacon light lit on the weirwood island.They can take the rear of this column and any stragglers.Then wait for another attack.

If they don't ride out on the lake because the ice is broken,you can pin them against the shore maybe with the help of some Karstark forces. (They should be the best fed and strongest of men available to Stannis).

If these are Manderly men,instructions are give them a chance to yield.

But you have to be ready for a Bolton force led by Ramsay.Theon has given this intel already.

Again clansmen deep in the woods.Karstark men closer to shore and village.Queensman as back up in the village and around Stannis.

You capture Ramsay, ready to be sacrificed to Red Ruler by slow burn.

Then you send your raven to Winterfell informing Roose that Stannis has been defeated.

Well that's part 1.

Listen to me! I've triggered my inner Julius Caesar. Always knew it was there...

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6 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

 

@three-eyed monkey I know you want Stannis to "play possum" with Items G & H. That's fine. I just don't think that is bad ass enough for Stannis.

Let me preface this by saying I'm not versed in military tactics or anything of the sort. I'm looking at this from a story-telling point of view. Stannis was written into a difficult place, his position seems hopeless, but I believe he has some story to go yet and that he will turn it around in spectacular fashion. So I'm using what I consider foreshadowing and other such literary clues as well as some old-fashioned common sense.

The arrival of Tycho, Theon, and company was a game-changer for Stannis. It provided him with information from Theon, regarding Roose sending a portion of his strength against him. Stannis considered that a blunder on Roose's behalf, because an army that comes out of Winterfell must go back in, assuming they are victorious. The other thing of note that arrived with Tycho is the letter from Jon. It informed Stannis that Tybald was a spy and that the Karstarks were turncloaks, and Stannis quickly arrested Tybald as well as Lord Arnulf and his son Arthor.

The following is an extract from The Stannis Plan... It picks up after Stannis wins the Battle of Ice and is faced with taking Winterfell, which I believe is focus of this topic.

"Answer me. If we were to loose these birds, would they return to the Dreadfort?" The king leaned forward. "Or might they fly for Winterfell instead?"

Maester Tybald pissed his robes. Theon could not see the dark stain spreading from where he hung, but the smell of piss was sharp and strong.

As the Boltons have no way of knowing their schemes have been foiled, Stannis is free to turn Tybald's ravens and the Karstarks to his advantage. Tybald’s ravens are trained to fly to Winterfell, so Stannis will use one to send false news of a Bolton victory to Roose. Roose accepted Tybald's map as trustworthy, there is no reason for him to suspect another message from his spy.

"Ser Richard, whilst I am breaking fast with Lord Arnolf, you are to disarm his men and take them into custody. Most will be asleep. Do them no harm, unless they resist. It may be they did not know. Question some upon that point... but sweetly. If they had no knowledge of this treachery, they shall have the chance to prove their loyalty."

The Boltons think the Karstarks belong to them, so Stannis will use that against them. They will head the “victorious” column returning to Winterfell, led by Arnolf or Arthor Karstark, both of whom Stannis spared, while the other is held hostage as a deterrent against blowing the whistle.

"You will not take Winterfell!"

"Aye, we will," came a cackle from the high table, where Arnolf Karstark sat with his son Arthor and three grandsons. Lord Arnolf shoved himself up, a vulture rising from its prey. One spotted hand clutched at his son's shoulder for support. "We'll take it for the Ned and for his daughter. Aye, and for the Young Wolf too, him who was so cruelly slaughtered. Me and mine will show the way, if need be.”

Lord Arnolf’s words would certainly seem to foreshadow the Karstarks leading the way into Winterfell. Stannis’ men will follow behind with Frey banners. The guards at Winterfell did not see Crowfood’s boys digging pits outside the gate so they are unlikely to see much more than the head of the column. Roose will already have had a raven proclaiming victory, what reason would he have to keep the gates closed to the victorious army led by a Karstark who Roose thinks is an ally?

A traditional assault with rams and towers would be costly on a well-defended double-walled castle, with little or no chance of success given his numbers. And Stannis does not have the capacity to sustain a siege. If he wants to take Winterfell then he has no choice but devise some ploy that will get his freezing and starving army into the castle as quickly as possible.

The weakest part of a castle is it's gate. That's why so many assaults target the gate with rams, etc. Getting past the gates before the battle even starts would greatly enhance the chance of successfully assaulting any castle. I believe the battle for Winterfell will be fought inside the walls, not outside them.

This next bit is just a hunch or an opinion and not something I can defend easily so please don't ask me to. I would predict that we will not see the battle in real-time but in retrospect from Theon's point-of-view. We have a lot of battles going on in various locations and I think it could be one too many. I believe Theon II will be set in Winterfell, as he is the one who has an emotional connection to the place, after the castle has fallen to Stannis. It will follow the Battle of Ice from Asha's point of view, separated by at least one other chapter from the Battle of Fire or elsewhere.

Edited by three-eyed monkey
clarity

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8 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

YOU are King Stannis Baratheon and Azor Ahai at Crofter's Village. How do you take Winterfell?

Forget the Pink Letter and its details ... they haven't happened yet (or may never even happen)

 

As Stannis, the Battle Commander, you KNOW:

A: You are outnumbered against your enemies
B: Facing a fortified Castle
C: Snow Storm
D: Lack of food and provisions
E: Retreat to Deepwood Motte is nearly impossible

F: Roose Bolton is a capable commander, lets assume he is hard to fool

G: You captured a Bolton spy in Tybald, with maps and ravens
H: You captured turncloaks in the Karstarks

I: You may have potential allies with the Umbers inside Winterfell
J: Hosteen Frey may be in a blind fury

K: You have Theon as a hostage and he has knowledge of the castle

L: Ice lakes can be used to your advantage outside of Winterfell
M: Drums/Warhorns/Chants can be heard without being seen in the blizzard

1. What do you do?

 

GRRM's Chekhov Guns ... things Stannis does not know yet

N: Manderlys are friendly forces, but are under Roose's suspicions
O: Freys & Manderlys left from two different gates

P: Mance is inside Winterfell
Q: Wildling spearwives are inside Winterfell

R: Ramsay's low IQ may play a part (seriously, what battles did he win that would make me fear him?)

2. How would they factor?

 

Let me know if I miss anything!

 

1. What is your battle tactic?

2. How would these play out in TWOW?

 

I know some people kind of forgot about all these little items ... but after listing them all, anyone still think Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter AND Stannis actually lost the Battle of Winterfell?

 

@three-eyed monkey I know you want Stannis to "play possum" with Items G & H. That's fine. I just don't think that is bad ass enough for Stannis.

My imagination of some of Stannis' forces chanting outside of one of the two Winterfell gates, hidden in the blizzard:
"WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!"
That should get some bloods boiling inside Winterfell, allies or foes.

the secret entrance through the crypts that Lady Barbrey has unblocked without raising suspicion using this cock-and-bull story about hating the Starks and wanting to look for Ned's bones.

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I spend the long cold march rereading Cantuse' Nightlamp Theory and exectute pretty much as written.  I'm not inventing any wheels today.

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I place the Karstark men on the lake, and order them to bear the brunt of the fighting while the other men close in on the flanks when the fighting is begun. The Freys charge the northern line, not realizing that they're Karstarks. The ice breaks, taking the Freys and possibly the Manderly forces with them. I can't be blamed if I don't spare the Manderly men, they are fighting fro Bolton and they executed Davos Seaworth, my most trusted liege man. The Manderly situation might bite me in the butt, but unless they do something to avoid the slaughter, they're going to fall into the ice with the men. I find out exactly how Theon got in and out of Winterfell, then execute him by chopping his head off and then burning his body, as a compromise between the Northmen and my own southron soldiers. We take the Freys' supplies and feed ourselves befre marching on Winterfell and beginning a siege. 

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Simple, you submit to Jon as his Stark blood gives the armies he accompanied 100 percent immunity to all attrition. Rob didn’t suffer any attrition in the Riverlands.  despite having a massive army hundreds of miles from home for years. Oh, from poor country that should barely be able to feed itself but also has masses of plate armoured heavy cavalry. This is magic. Plus the Northmen are like gormless seals who’ll clap whenever an inbred Stark is propped up on a chair. 

Stannis is doomed because he is a corrupt Andal and their weak blood is inferior to the First Men. His soldiers are soft and no match for even the half Northern Boltons.

Sarcasm aside, I don’t think the tactics matter. It comes down to the books clear bias towards the Starks and the First Men. This isn’t Stannis’s story and so he has to fail to push the Starks to the forefront again. That way the pure blooded stoic Starks can succeed where the corrupt and brittle Baratheon failed. 

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17 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Simple, you submit to Jon as his Stark blood gives the armies he accompanied 100 percent immunity to all attrition. Rob didn’t suffer any attrition in the Riverlands.  despite having a massive army hundreds of miles from home for years. Oh, from poor country that should barely be able to feed itself but also has masses of plate armoured heavy cavalry. This is magic. Plus the Northmen are like gormless seals who’ll clap whenever an inbred Stark is propped up on a chair. 

Stannis is doomed because he is a corrupt Andal and their weak blood is inferior to the First Men. His soldiers are soft and no match for even the half Northern Boltons.

Sarcasm aside, I don’t think the tactics matter. It comes down to the books clear bias towards the Starks and the First Men. This isn’t Stannis’s story and so he has to fail to push the Starks to the forefront again. That way the pure blooded stoic Starks can succeed where the corrupt and brittle Baratheon failed. 

Honestly, if anything I find the Targaryens are the ones who are treated like gods in the books, by GRRM as well as the in-canon characters. Sure, we like the Starks and they’re important, but only because of their interactions with the Targaryens. Rhaegar and Lyanna, Aerys torturing Brandon and Rickard, Jon Snow, it’s all tied in with the fire. That’s why most of the Starks are dying off or gone in hiding.

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11 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Honestly, if anything I find the Targaryens are the ones who are treated like gods in the books, by GRRM as well as the in-canon characters. Sure, we like the Starks and they’re important, but only because of their interactions with the Targaryens. Rhaegar and Lyanna, Aerys torturing Brandon and Rickard, Jon Snow, it’s all tied in with the fire. That’s why most of the Starks are dying off or gone in hiding.

 

Thats simply knocking the heroes down before you build them back up again. The Starks and the whole ice personality has no real downsides as George depicts it. 

I think there’s a clear bias towards the Starks and the First Men. They’re the ones who peacefully come to terms with the Children, they rule the North peacefully without any major rebellion or suppression of the population. The Starks are depicted as idealised Germanic warrior Kings leading a morally pure society of warriors out of the Sagas. Which is why everybody likes them and they have no negatives, drawbacks or a dark history.

The fact they’re the victims and that George pushes the little guy narrative is bias in itself. Would a faction or people like that really exist outside of propaganda? No character ever sincerely criticises the Starks or Northern cause but Danys first book has an entire arc based around it with Mirri? 

Every character in the books hates the Targaryen. This is a belaboured point in the books. George clearly considers ruling the North very different to the Targaryens ruling Westeros. I don’t see the history book detailing all the Stark and Northern atrocities and grimdark committed during the years.

Id have preferred it if, say when Jamie tells Ned “glad to have some strong Northern leadership” that this was a legitimate point. Instead, this is depicted as lying and a baseless accusation. Which only reinforces how good the Starks are that nobody can actually fault them.

I don’t believe that you could rule a pre modern society the size of European Russsia for centuries (millennia?) without doing anything a modern audience would detest. So either George is overly romanticising the North or he is playing down these elements so that we like them.

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8 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 

Thats simply knocking the heroes down before you build them back up again. The Starks and the whole ice personality has no real downsides as George depicts it. 

I think there’s a clear bias towards the Starks and the First Men. They’re the ones who peacefully come to terms with the Children, they rule the North peacefully without any major rebellion or suppression of the population. The Starks are depicted as idealised Germanic warrior Kings leading a morally pure society of warriors out of the Sagas. Which is why everybody likes them and they have no negatives, drawbacks or a dark history.

The fact they’re the victims and that George pushes the little guy narrative is bias in itself. Would a faction or people like that really exist outside of propaganda? No character ever sincerely criticises the Starks or Northern cause but Danys first book has an entire arc based around it with Mirri? 

Every character in the books hates the Targaryen. This is a belaboured point in the books. George clearly considers ruling the North very different to the Targaryens ruling Westeros. I don’t see the history book detailing all the Stark and Northern atrocities and grimdark committed during the years.

Id have preferred it if, say when Jamie tells Ned “glad to have some strong Northern leadership” that this was a legitimate point. Instead, this is depicted as lying and a baseless accusation. Which only reinforces how good the Starks are that nobody can actually fault them.

I don’t believe that you could rule a pre modern society the size of European Russsia for centuries (millennia?) without doing anything a modern audience would detest. So either George is overly romanticising the North or he is playing down these elements so that we like them.

You should send Martin a text explaining how your version of events is so much better.

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It looks like most of you guys want the Freys to be killed off outside of Winterfell. That is fine, but just how do you take Winterfell afterwards?

If you want to play possum and lure Roose into a false sense of security, that may work ... but that is a rat move, and I just don't think George would create this for Stannis' character arc. The North and us readers would remember Stannis for this ratty move.

What I propose - Stannis is going to be a bad-ass and deceive Roose by INFLATING his numbers. With Tybald, you can employ two types of deceptions:

  • false sense of security (like Frey/Bolton being dishonorable at the Red Wedding)
  • pretend to be stronger than you appear (I would call this a honorable deception IMO)

I have about 4 or 5 ideas of how the Battle of Winterfell in TWOW may play out. Here is my favorite fan-fic:

Instead of killing the Freys, I want to humiliate them. 

With Roose knowing the location of Stannis' camp with Tybald's first map, the Freys are marching there. I will borrow a bit from the Nightlamp theory and use Lightbringer, alive with light in the blinding blizzard, as a beacon for the Freys to chase. It would be made to appear that Stannis is retreating. But this is to be a wild goose chase, led by Mors Umber. Using the beacon, the Freys are drawn further away from Winterfell, making their numbers useless. Once they are far enough, the false beacon Lightbringer disappears in the blizzard and the Fyres of the Twins are left stranded in the cold cold North, blinded in snow where the use of a map would betray them. They are forced to retreat back to Winterfell, empty-handed.

While the Freys are chasing the false Lightbringer in a northwest direction from Winterfell. Stannis marches east in a sweep around of Winterfell. Here he bumps into the Manderlys ... and hopefully a non-violent exchange happens. Wyman pleas to join Stannis, mentioning the real story of Davos and Rickon Stark. Stannis, still doubtful, ask the Manderlys to drop their weapons and march with them, as a safety precaution from backstabbing. Wyman agrees without incident.

Stannis at some point tells Tybald to send a deception message. Here Tybald tells Roose that 10,000 wildling reinforcement arrived and have defeated the Freys in battle. Most of the wildlings are skilled in climbing walls. Battling rams have been prepared. The wildlings and the main Stannis force will camp quietly on the west side of Winterfell ... awaiting a signal from the east side.

A diversion force led by Arnolf Karstark is to march on the Eastern gate with the goal of creating as much noises in the blizzard as possible. His goal is to make it look like the main assault will be the eastern gate. Two warhorn blasts from Arnolf will be the signal for the quiet assault on the west. The assault will be delayed for 10 minutes after the warhorns because this move expects Roose to move his troops to the Eastern gate, leaving the Western gate lightly guarded. Tybald tells Roose in this message not to fall for this trick.

Now what really happens during battle:
The Western gate is heavily guard with Roose in command. Roose expects this gate to be quiet, but wildlings and Stannis forces hiding in the woods and snow storm. He expects to hear a lot of noises and warhorn blasts in the East. He puts Ramsay in charge of the Eastern gate, and acknowledges that Arnold Karstark is leading the decoy, one of his own men.

But in reality, there is no one outside at the Western gate lol.

At the Eastern gate, under the blanket of the blizzard, Stannis' main force, turned Karstarks and friendly Manderlys arrive. Hidden away, they chant ...
"THE NORTH REMEMBERS, WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!" 
"THE NORTH REMEMBERS, WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!"
"THE NORTH REMEMBERS, WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!"

All of Winterfell hears this, and Stark friendly forces inside are beginning to change their heart against Roose.
Bolton forces become scared, including Roose ... but Roose won't fall for this Eastern ruse, and remains at the fortified Western gate, waiting for 10,000 wildling wall climbers. 

The chants continue in the East. The drums bang BOOM DOOM BOOM DOOM BOOM DOOM, and the warhorns blast twice AHOOOOOOOO-HOO AHOOOOOOOO-HOO signaling the wildling's goal of the western gate.

Roose Bolton holds steady.

Back in the East, Arnolf Karstark and Wyman Manderly casually approaches the outer gate. They see and speak to Ramsay, who acknowledges that this Eastern gate was a ruse, and the main attack will be in the West in 10 minutes. Ramsay, thinking Arnolf and Wyman are allies, opens the Eastern gate for them so they can help with the defense in the West.

NOPE!

After the outer Eastern gate opens, ALL of Stannis' forces charge at the opening.
The original plan was to have Roose overload his forces at the wrong Western gate and get the Eastern gate to open without incident. If there was a secondary closed inner gate in the East, Stannis would have to take it down fair and square. But now this is where all the other Chekhov guns play their part.

A Bolton messenger is sent from the Eastern gate to Roose to inform him of the current breach. Abel/Mance kills this sucker while he was halfway there. The spearwives attack Bolton forces inside the secondary closed Eastern gate, and opens the final gate (Top Secret Theory!) for Stannis. Lady Dustin and her men goes up to the Winterfell maesters and threatens them to not send raven-messages of this successful breach by Stannis.

Roose, still camping at the Western gate, is surprised attacked by the breached forces inside Winterfell.

"THE NORTH REMEMBERS, WINTER IS COMING, BUT OURS IS THE FURY, AND WE ARE ALREADY HERE!" is chanted.

While Stannis forces engage against the Boltons, Whoresbane Umber and his men starts attacking the Boltons too. Unfortunately, I think the assault will still have major deaths. Whoresbane will die fighting the Boltons.

Anyways Winterfell is successfully captured, Roose/Ramsay captured or dead.

And the North will remember Stannis for reclaiming Winterfell for the Starks ... and he did it not in a ratty way like Roose did. Stannis did not lead the Boltons into a false sense of security, and attacked. Stannis stroked fear in the heart of his enemies when he inflated his numbers, made powerful chants and noises at the Eastern gate ... and actually attacked the Eastern gate.

And now we get Hosteen Frey and his forces returning from their wild goose chase. Winterfell has been taken by the time they arrive. Here we get a funny exchange between Hosteen outside the gate and Wyman Manderly sitting fat on top of the gate. Hosteen Frey, with a decision to either surrender to Wyman, or have his Frey forces go back into the winter in this unfamiliar land ... decides to surrender.

Anyways, that is my fan-fic ... Stannis taking Winterfell in a bad-ass way, what a marvel! ... and all of the Chevhok guns addressed. I guess we'll have to wait for TWOW though.

Another version of this fan-fic is having Tybald telling Roose that the Freys were defeated, and the wildling took their clothing and supplies. These wildling forces will be dressed in Frey clothing in attempt to get inside Winterfell at the Western gate.

Of course there are no wildlings. But in this fan-fic .... Hosteen Frey casually returns back from his wild goose chase ... arrives at the Winterfell gate ... and then the Boltons are shooting arrows at the Freys thinking they are wildling invaders ... ahahahahaha.

But I prefer the first fan-fic better since we get an funny exchange in conversation between Wyman and Hosteen. The Freys are humiliated, and Wyman/Stannis will have a hostage in Hosteen.

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:18 AM, three-eyed monkey said:

Maester Tybald pissed his robes. Theon could not see the dark stain spreading from where he hung, but the smell of piss was sharp and strong.

OMG three-eyed monkey!!! OOPS YOU DID IT AGAIN!! I think you accidentally helped me in the Pink Letter theory and the theme of name confusion in Theon TWOW!!

From TWOW -

Spoiler

"He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek"

Stannis never asked who Reek was, and with this new information ... Stannis thinks "Reek" is Tybald when he smelled like piss after pissing his pants!

Mel will think "Reek" is Tybald's nickname too!

This makes a little bit more sense. Asking for "Reek" back in the Pink Letter is asking for Tybald back!

But Jon, since he never asked who "Reek" was in the Pink Letter, he assumed "Reek" was Arya's nickname.

From TWOW -

Spoiler

The whole theme of the Pink Letter involves with Reek/Theon saying "they know my name" he thought (last sentence of TWOW Theon)

 

Anyone a How I Met Your Mother fan?

"Who the hell is Barney???" Because with the name confusion theme, the girl here hooked up with "Ted Mobsy, Architect" and not "Barney" (It was Barney pretending to be Ted!)

Funny 2007 scene ... especially the one about the ghost materializing itself. Wait a minute .... could this idea be the HM in The Ghost of Winterfell ADWD? George, you didn't ....

 

And God dammit monkey, I love you. You are half the reason for my avatar from the first time!

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16 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 

Thats simply knocking the heroes down before you build them back up again. The Starks and the whole ice personality has no real downsides as George depicts it. 

I think there’s a clear bias towards the Starks and the First Men. They’re the ones who peacefully come to terms with the Children, they rule the North peacefully without any major rebellion or suppression of the population. The Starks are depicted as idealised Germanic warrior Kings leading a morally pure society of warriors out of the Sagas. Which is why everybody likes them and they have no negatives, drawbacks or a dark history.

The fact they’re the victims and that George pushes the little guy narrative is bias in itself. Would a faction or people like that really exist outside of propaganda? No character ever sincerely criticises the Starks or Northern cause but Danys first book has an entire arc based around it with Mirri? 

Every character in the books hates the Targaryen. This is a belaboured point in the books. George clearly considers ruling the North very different to the Targaryens ruling Westeros. I don’t see the history book detailing all the Stark and Northern atrocities and grimdark committed during the years.

Id have preferred it if, say when Jamie tells Ned “glad to have some strong Northern leadership” that this was a legitimate point. Instead, this is depicted as lying and a baseless accusation. Which only reinforces how good the Starks are that nobody can actually fault them.

I don’t believe that you could rule a pre modern society the size of European Russsia for centuries (millennia?) without doing anything a modern audience would detest. So either George is overly romanticising the North or he is playing down these elements so that we like them.

You didn’t pay attention, then. The Starks have a very ruthless history that isn’t dwelled upon, but the signs are clearly there. For one thing, there’s the various Bolton conflicts, including a siege of the Dreadfort which lasted two years. The Skagosi rebel every once in a while to great loss of life on the Starks’ part. There’s the constant issues with the Ironborn, the wildlings and the Nights Watch. The Starks also had to conquer the North piece by piece, which suggests a lot of battles which haven’t been elaborated because 8000 years of history is harder to make up than 300 years of Targaryen rule.

And the Starks being “good” is a simplicity. They certainly have a code of honour, and they tend to be honest and direct, but one of their most consistent traits is a wolfish savagery. There’s the obvious example of Theon Stark the Hungry Wolf, and there’s other examples of Starks performing blood sacrifices. It’s really just Eddard Stark who is entirely defined by his honour, and that’s due in large part to his being raised by Jon Arryn. We see that the Stark traits in his children emerge through their dire wolf connections, such as Robb, Arya, Brandon, even Rickon. It’s when they turn their backs on that wolf connection that they fail (Sansa’s entire story arc, Robb being “his father’s son” and marrying Jeyne Westerling to preserve her honour, Jon refusing to keep Ghost by his side). The Starks have a long and violent history, and they ruled harshly to survive all the hardships, and now that things are getting truly desperate, I foresee a return to that savagery. Jon has made allies out of thousands of wildlings, Bran is getting the heads up on the Starks’ past, Arya is becoming a ruthless assassin, and Rickon, who’s been becoming more and more wild as he loses more family members, is currently living on Skagos, literally the most feared place in Westeros. 

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Based on what we see in Cat's chapters the Starks appear to practice a tradition of free speech, without fear of repraisal. They appear to have freedom of assembly like a proto-parliament. They at least dont rule by fear alone, although it may be used in small measures. 

What I can say in Stannis' favor is that he appreciates counsel that isnt flattery, as we can see by him listening to Davos and Jon. I just dont think a king who sanctions burning people alive because they won't convert to his religion will ever win, in the North or the Reach or wherever he goes. 

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Just now, Rose of Red Lake said:

Based on what we see in Cat's chapters the Starks appear to practice a tradition of free speech, without fear of repraisal. They appear to have freedom of assembly like a proto-parliament. They at least dont rule by fear alone, although it may be used in small measures. 

What I can say in Stannis' favor is that he appreciates counsel that isnt flattery, as we can see by him listening to Davos and Jon. I just dont think a king who sanctions burning people alive because they won't convert to his religion will ever win, in the North or the Reach or wherever he goes. 

Stannis doesn't burn people for not worshipping Rhlorr. Most of his men from Dragonstone and the Stormlands are still worshipping the Seven, including Davos. Later, most of his followers in his Northern campaign are worshippers of the Old Gods. If anything, it's Melisandre who burns people alive for that kind of thing, and Stannis' crime was letting Melisandre do what she wanted. When Melisandre isn't around, Stannis isn't burning anyone for anything except cannibalism. Even when his Queen's Men are furiously demanding a burning, Stannis tells them to take a hike.
Don't confuse Stannis in the books for Stannis in the show.

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2 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

If anything, it's Melisandre who burns people alive for that kind of thing, and Stannis' crime was letting Melisandre do what she wanted. When Melisandre isn't around, Stannis isn't burning anyone for anything except cannibalism. 

I like Stannis but I can only excuse so much. Its so obvious he just isnt going to win. Burning traitors (including his own bro in law) in a religious ceremony along with the idols of the Seven? Terrible, terrible public relations for all of Westeros. And then wanting to sacrifice his own nephew?

And I know its mostly coming from Mel, that's why I said "sanctions." But its still on Stannis. He earned that reputation even if he's "misunderstood." He's in too deep with the fire magic. He's a goner.

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5 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I like Stannis but I can only excuse so much. Its so obvious he just isnt going to win. Burning traitors (including his own bro in law) in a religious ceremony along with the idols of the Seven? Terrible, terrible public relations for all of Westeros. And then wanting to sacrifice his own nephew?

And I know its mostly coming from Mel, that's why I said "sanctions." But its still on Stannis. He earned that reputation even if he's "misunderstood." He's in too deep with the fire magic. He's a goner.

Undoubtedly.It's just a question of where and when.

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2 hours ago, redriver said:

Burning traitors (including his own bro in law) in a religious ceremony along with the idols of the Seven?

In which book did that happen? 

ETA: wonky quote, the above is for @Rose of Red Lake

Edited by kissdbyfire

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2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

In which book did that happen? 

ETA: wonky quote, the above is for @Rose of Red Lake

Book 2 for burning idols and Book 5 when Davos recalls what happened to Alester Florent.

Edit: just checked, he is Selyse's uncle, but still kin and his former Hand.

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9 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Book 2 for burning idols and Book 5 when Davos recalls what happened to Alester Florent.

Edit: just checked, he is Selyse's uncle, but still kin and his former Hand.

Yeah, but read again what you wrote: 

“Burning traitors (including his own bro in law) in a religious ceremony along with the idols of the Seven?”

 

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