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Justin Massey - Loyal or Future Traitor?

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(TWOW SPOILERS INCLUDED)

Last we see of Justin Massey, he’s been ordered by Stannis to escort Tycho Nestoris and fArya back to the Wall, then go to Braavos and raise 20,000 sellswords whether Stannis lives or dies. He’s either going to lead an army to Stannis or to Shireen. 
That’s a lot of money and power to put in one knight’s hands. He’s also a landless knight, apparently, since House Massey’s been attainted, and we don’t even know Justin’s place in his family’s inheritance, so who knows how lowly he is by now. Plus it’s weird how hard he begs Stannis for the right to stay at his side when he spent the march to Winterfell moping about how they’re all gonna die. He’s not liked by the other knights, he’s got ridiculous ambitions for Asha and/or Winterfell, and now Stannis is giving him a blank cheque for nothing but words of promise. GRRM almost never allows things to play out according to characters’ spoken plans, so what’s going to happen with Justin? 

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One interesting and plausible theory I've read is that he won't go to the Wall, but will instead go straight to Braavos - with fArya - and while there they'll encounter the real Arya, who will finally be motivated to return to Westeros, once she learns that an imposter has taken her real identity. It would work thematically - Arya has spent two books trying to be "no one", and is then suddenly confronted with someone pretending to be her "old" self, and this shock makes her ditch the "no one" identity.

As to why Massey would go to Braavos before dropping off fArya at the Wall.... I have no idea. But the rest of the theory works.

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Just my own musing, but I think Justin Massey's far too ambitious not to betray Stannis.  Also, even if he does come through with the 20,000 sellswords, I doubt he'd be bringing them back to Stannis or Shireen.  I think he'd be delivering them to either Stannis (if he's alive) or Jon Snow (probably this).  Hey, just musing again, but it could be kinda fun if Massey goes to Braavos and betrays Stannis only to be taken out by Arya who then delivers 20,000 sellswords to Jon Snow and the NW:)

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Just now, WhatAnArtist! said:

One interesting and plausible theory I've read is that he won't go to the Wall, but will instead go straight to Braavos - with fArya - and while there they'll encounter the real Arya, who will finally be motivated to return to Westeros, once she learns that an imposter has taken her real identity. It would work thematically - Arya has spent two books trying to be "no one", and is then suddenly confronted with someone pretending to be her "old" self, and this shock makes her ditch the "no one" identity.

As to why Massey would go to Braavos before dropping off fArya at the Wall.... I have no idea. But the rest of the theory works.

If Massey did this, maybe Arya could free fArya and deliver "justice" to Massey.  Then she could fulfill Massey's mission and help Jon Snow and the NW in the fight against the true enemy?  Don't know, just spit-ballin':D

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by the time Justin arrives at the wall, Jon Snow's supposedly dead so thinking that wall isn't safe and it's always good to have the Stark heir nearby just in case maybe he'll take fArya with him to Bravos. as @WhatAnArtist! said it makes sense that the thing triggering no-one Arya to go back be fArya.

as for Justin's loyality , he'll probably go after sellswords but he might linger just enough to see how the Northern battles go. I doubt he really avenges Stannis in the name of Shireen but then again Stannis is no idiot so he must have enough faith in Justin's motivations . perhaps he thinks that Justin would see fighting for Shireen an opportunity to raise from a landless knight to the hand of the Queen. but all these won't really matter because it seems that both Stannis and Shireen die before Justin gets back to Westeros.

therefore, what we'll have would be a relatively massive army full of seasoned warriors under Justin Massy . so I don't think the question is whether Justin betray Stannis or not ( it would be stupid to introduce him and give him such a task just to see him running away to Summer Isles or something as logical as it would have been in real life) . he'll be a big asset to the next set of wars . the question I wonder about is who he'll choose as his king/queen after Baratheon's demise.

Edited by EggBlue

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Before I get into the topic, I want to point out that one thing I love about the Stannis plot in ADWD is how interesting and diverse his followers are. Richard Horpe is a terse killer, a Kingsguard wannabe, and seems to be Stannis' second-in-command despite the fact that he's only a knight (never mind the fact that there are lords like Harwood Fell). Godry Farring is a big arrogant braggart. Clayton Suggs is a misogynistic sadist. Justin Massey is a handsome ladies' man who isn't afraid to speak his mind. Diverse as they are, they're all bound to R'hlorr by faith and Stannis by loyalty. They've all been with Stannis through defeat, retreat, failure, long travel, and victory in the North. 

My point of bringing all that up is the fact that Justin Massey has had so many opportunities to desert Stannis, to fall upon the mercy of the Lannisters, to go east and make his fortune elsewhere. And all of that when Stannis was at his lowest. But he's stuck by Stannis despite all the odds. I'm also quite certain that Massey has been with Stannis from the start, given House Massey's position and their presumed loyalty to Dragonstone. He was the one who spoke truth to power by urging Stannis to retreat from the Battle of Blackwater. If he's gone through all that, why would he abandon or betray Stannis now that the Iron Bank is backing him?

Of course, while I don't think Massey would betray Stannis, I also don't think that everything will go according to plan. But there's lots of ways for that to go about without Massey proving disloyal. Maybe Massey gets killed at Castle Black while everything's hitting the fan? Maybe he gets killed in Essos? Maybe Stannis AND Shireen are dead by the time he gets back? Something will probably go wrong, but I don't think it'll be due to Massey's disloyalty. It feels out of character for him.

Edited by James Steller

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2 hours ago, WhatAnArtist! said:

One interesting and plausible theory I've read is that he won't go to the Wall, but will instead go straight to Braavos - with fArya - and while there they'll encounter the real Arya, who will finally be motivated to return to Westeros, once she learns that an imposter has taken her real identity. It would work thematically - Arya has spent two books trying to be "no one", and is then suddenly confronted with someone pretending to be her "old" self, and this shock makes her ditch the "no one" identity.

As to why Massey would go to Braavos before dropping off fArya at the Wall.... I have no idea. But the rest of the theory works.

Isn't his only realistic travel route through Eastwatch-by-the-Sea? Even if he could somehow bypass Winterfell and get to White Harbor, don't they think the Manderlys killed Davos? White Harbor wouldn't be safe for him even if he could get there.

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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

therefore, what we'll have would be a relatively massive army full of seasoned warriors under Justin Massy . so I don't think the question is whether Justin betray Stannis or not ( it would be stupid to introduce him and give him such a task just to see him running away to Summer Isles or something as logical as it would have been in real life) . he'll be a big asset to the next set of wars . the question I wonder about is who he'll choose as his king/queen after Baratheon's demise.

Also, Massey doesn't have the money yet. The Iron Bank has agreed to provide money to raise sellswords when Stannis' representative shows up in Braavos. The Iron Bank might not even pay Massey directly (i.e. he might not be able to just take the money and run). The Iron Bank might pay the sellswords directly to make sure the money is used for what they agreed to.

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16 minutes ago, Groo said:

Also, Massey doesn't have the money yet. The Iron Bank has agreed to provide money to raise sellswords when Stannis' representative shows up in Braavos. The Iron Bank might not even pay Massey directly (i.e. he might not be able to just take the money and run). The Iron Bank might pay the sellswords directly to make sure the money is used for what they agreed to.

Good point.  I theorize, IF Massey ever has the money to hire the 20,000 sellswords in his possession and he's in Braavos, he could very well try to betray Stannis.  Otherwise, as you say, that particular scenario couldn't happen.

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Massey will not betray Stannis, rather Stannis will betray his words to Massey when he sacrifices Shireen, and then dies.

Massey will arrive back with the sellsword archers as asked, but Stannis and Shireen will be dead and Jon will be coming into power, absorbing what is left of Stannis's forces and fighting his enemies.

Jon will want the archers.

Massey needs something to do with the Archers, needs to account for the Iron Bank's backing, wants to be a lord (or landed knight, just needs land) and wants Asha.

Asha wants Sea Dragon Point, she will also want to save what is left of the Ironborn, those that limp home after Euron fucks them and those most vulnerable that were always home.

The Iron Bank will want to back someone in Westeros who will pay back (some at least) what the crown owes them, or force the crown to do so. That's why they will have thrown in with Stannis.

In the end a deal will be struck.

Asha will come to lead the Ironborn, Jon may have to fight a battle to install her but they will have Theon who will assent to Asha being Lady of the Ironborn, so it may happen bloodlessly. The Ironborn will be joined to Jon's forces and Asha will sit his small council, protecting the Ironborn will become part his responsibility. Asha will agree to marry Justin Massey. Jon will grant Asha and Justin Massey Sea Dragon Point to do with what they will, including settling Ironborn there. The sellswords will fight for Jon. Jon and the Iron Bank will come to terms in which the bank will back Jon's war south and Jon will force the crown (when he defeats them) to make payment to the bank (or negotiate repayment terms).

Those sellswords, like everything else conveniently merging in the North, is the army with which Jon takes the South.

Edited by chrisdaw

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Justin Massey always gave me Davos kind of vibes, though maybe with some more ambition. Not the highest born, he seems a decent guy concerned with doing the right thing by people as much as he is with duty to Stannis. Maybe that's why Stannis chose to trust him with this enormous task.

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46 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Asha will come to lead the Ironborn, Jon may have to fight a battle to install her but they will have Theon who will assent to Asha being Lady of the Ironborn, so it may happen bloodlessly. The Ironborn will be joined to Jon's forces and Asha will sit his small council, protecting the Ironborn will become part his responsibility. Asha will agree to marry Justin Massey. Jon will grant Asha and Justin Massey Sea Dragon Point to do with what they will, including settling Ironborn there. 

That is going to be a marriage that would make the Others flinch. We know that Asha doesn't think much of Justin, and she will definitely refuse to become the sort of wife that Justin Massey would expect her to be. And that's before even mentioning Asha's lovers, none of whom will be happy about Asha marrying a R'hlorr worshipper from the green lands. And if Justin took a leaf out of Robert's book, he will not be happy about any of what I just said. Asha would probably end up getting Justin killed, or even do it herself. 

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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42 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Jon and the Iron Bank will come to terms in which the bank will back Jon's war south and Jon will force the crown (when he defeats them) to make payment to the bank (or negotiate repayment terms).

 

How do you propose to beat over 100000 men? Or dragons? Archers against dragons won't really work......plus, why does Jon care about the south anyway. His main concern is beyond the Wall. 

 

Anyway......my opinion is that if Justin hears that Stannis is dead, that gold is buying him a manse in one of the Free Cities. Or he tries to bribe Cersei or someone with the gold to let him have his lands back. 

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1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

That is going to be a marriage that would make the Others flinch. We know that Asha doesn't think much of Justin, and she will definitely refuse to become the sort of wife that Justin Massey would expect her to be. And that's before even mentioning Asha's lovers, none of whom will be happy about Asha marrying a R'hlorr worshipper from the green lands. And if Justin took a leaf out of Robert's book, he will not be happy about any of what I just said. Asha would probably end up getting Justin killed, or even do it herself. 

In pointing out that the marriage would be one of personal compromise for political means and a method for forming an unholy alliance between desperate peoples against their own prejudices you are actually making an argument for the likelihood of the marriage.

30 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

How do you propose to beat over 100000 men? Or dragons? Archers against dragons won't really work......plus, why does Jon care about the south anyway. His main concern is beyond the Wall. 

Jon is coming South. This shouldn't even be debatable any more as Jon marching South on the throne is ingrained into everything. The simple reason why is it will take the whole of Westeros to unite and defeat the Others and the South are going to continue to do what they've been doing this whole series, ignoring the North and threat of the Others to play the game of thrones. The Wall will fall, the South won't listen or come help, Jon will have to go to them as much to flee the Others coming behind him as to force the South into action against the realm enemy. And he will win. Kingsmen, Queensmen, the Wildlings, North, Ironbank's and Massey's Sellswords, what will be left of the Ironborn and Lord Too Fat's ships out of nowhere are all for him and his war.

Edited by chrisdaw

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25 minutes ago, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

A smart man would hide in Essos and live better than a king.

A smart man wouldn't have sided with the least popular contender for the throne, nor tried to save him and the cause when all was lost, and then follow said contender into exile on Dragonstone. Nor would that smart man have gone all the way north and devoted himself to a whole new cause which might result in him freezing to death at the Wall. 

So to paraphrase my favourite character from "Reservoir Dogs", you're telling me that after all that smart man chose to do, when it made so much more sense to abandon the cause right from the very start, he's just gonna decide, out of the effing blue, to rip Stannis off?

Edited by James Steller

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1 hour ago, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

He will hear that Stannis was killed and take the gold for himself.  A smart man would hide in Essos and live better than a king.

The whole Iron Bank storyline is basically riding with Massey at the moment, if he were to die or peace out a chunk of story would have seemingly been for nothing.

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1 hour ago, James Steller said:

A smart man wouldn't have sided with the least popular contender for the throne, nor tried to save him and the cause when all was lost, and then follow said contender into exile on Dragonstone. Nor would that smart man have gone all the way north and devoted himself to a whole new cause which might result in him freezing to death at the Wall. 

So to paraphrase my favourite character from "Reservoir Dogs", you're telling me that after all that smart man chose to do, when it made so much more sense to abandon the cause right from the very start, he's just gonna decide, out of the effing blue, to rip Stannis off?

Agreed. People have become so used to characters being betrayed in this series, that we naturally expect that to happen all the time. But there is a small number truly loyal people; Davos Seaworth, Brienne of Tarth, Brynden Tully. Let's hope that Justin Massey is one of them.

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