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The Wolves and Winter Cannot Kill the Red Stag


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Stannis has Braavosi backing because the Iron Bank Of Braavos is basically the government of Braavos.

Braavos is the most powerful of the Free Cities. It has a massive armada, thousands of sellswords and mercenaries, and money.  But the most important part about Braavos is that it has ships. Why ships will be so important in a winter-stricken Westeros is that most of the harvest in the North and Riverlands has gone to waste. Ironborn and western armies have destroyed much of the food in both the North and Riverlands. When winter comes, these regions will fall into famine, causing more deaths on top of the Other invasion and the hinted plague that will befall Westeros. The Braavosi fleet can prevent famine in the North and Riverlands by ferrying food from the Vale and other Free Cities to these regions. This will at least solve the famine problem and bring Stannis the backing of the common folk. Another reason for the Braavosi to support the Mannis is that he has one of the last standing claims to the throne and is known as an honorable man. He will be the most likely candidate to return them the gold that they are due. Cersei has lost all power and ruined the Lannister-Tyrell standing with the Iron Bank and Aegon is a feigned impostor(in the eyes of many) and the blood of Old Valyria and the descendant of the dragons. Daenerys actually has dragons so she will not receive any Braavosi support. The only candidate left is Stannis.

 

Stannis has a lot of things the Northern lords want.

The first thing is pretty obvious. Davos Seaworth, Stannis’s hand, is on a mission to retrieve Rickon Stark, the last remaining sibling of Robb Stark. If all goes well(it most likely won’t but Rickon will be in Davos’s custody.), Stannis has a valuable hostage he can use against the Northern lords. Davos is very loyal to Stannis and might even be forced to execute Rickon to ensure his King’s survival. So, if the Northern lords try to enact a Grand Northern Conspiracy, Stannis just needs to remind them that the fate of the last Stark is in his hands. Second, gJon will most likely support Stannis. I do not have any idea how Ghost-Jon will be able to communicate but I assume direwolves can speak(growl) the Old Tongue to giants, so maybe either Tormund or Leathers can communicate that to the Northerners? If gJon is in support of Stannis, the Northern lords will have no chance but to also bend the knee. Third, the North is in need of a decisive, strong and tactical leader who will not think in terms of power but rather survival. Stannis checks out all of those boxes. At this point, the only other options the Northern lords have are a traumatized and mutilated girl, a talking dog or a 6 year old who is pretty savage and wild. And none of them will lead because that would lead to too much infighting among themselves. They need a Stark/Baratheon to unite them. Stannis also fits that category. Also, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, he will have food and supplies for the North and Riverlands. The northern lords want to survive winter and Stannis has the money, ships and supplies for that. 

 

Stannis is the only king who knows of the Others and takes their existence as a threat.

This is kind of a weak point but when the Others invade, Stannis is going to be the most prepared so the areas under his rule will not be completely massacred by wights as opposed to the Reach, the Stormlands, the Westerlands, the Crownlands and Dorne. I believe the irony will be that the region closest to the Others will be barely affected, the North. This will be because of Stannis sending a lot of men to the Wall to defend it. There will be a battle of the Wall once it collapses but the living forces will repel the Others albeit at a heavy cost. 


 

For these reasons, neither Winter nor the Northern lords will kill Stannis because he is prepared, tactical and strong.

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So, your argument is that the northmen won't kill Stannis now because of a bunch of future stuff that hasn't happened yet. Davos doesn't have Rickon. Stannis is using the Iron Bank to raise sellswords not to buy food. Salladhor's fleet has left him and doesn't currently have ships. No one in the Vale is supporting Stannis. No dog has spoken yet. Naturally the North will assume that all these things will happen and so they better get behind Stannis.

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Roose is a Northman. They might resent what he did but many would choose him over Stannis. Roose is legit and he can promise a return to the old ways of the lord’s right to the first night. That’s enough to win him favors. Stannis has wildling allies. That will not be accepted in the north. Roose has rid the north of the Ironborn. All in all, Roose doesn’t look too bad to the northmen.  

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I suspect Ramsay's indiscrete tortures are going to be his downfall. The Hornwood scandal and his treatment of "Arya" alone are enough to foster resentment. To say nothing of Bolton betraying the Starks and inviting the Freys up north. Stannis could be seen as the "anything has to be better" alternative for the north. 

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48 minutes ago, Groo said:

So, your argument is that the northmen won't kill Stannis now because of a bunch of future stuff that hasn't happened yet. Davos doesn't have Rickon. Stannis is using the Iron Bank to raise sellswords not to buy food. Salladhor's fleet has left him and doesn't currently have ships. No one in the Vale is supporting Stannis. No dog has spoken yet. Naturally the North will assume that all these things will happen and so they better get behind Stannis.

No, not really. Stannis has a bigger army than the divided Boltons and Manderlys. If Winterfell interrupts into civil war, Stannis will be the victor. He currently has around 6,000 troops waiting outside of Winterfell. Assuming all of the Frey troops are dead because of Night Lamp which will most likely happen, and 300 Manderly cavalry most likely defecting over to Stannis at the beginning of the battle. 

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5,400 soldiers:

Main host: 5,000

~1,400 southron men-at-arms and knights

~3,600 northmen (soldiers and mountain clansmen)

Vanguard: 400

~400 Umber men (vanguard)

That is Stannis's current army. 

Quote

300 Manderly troops (100 knights, 200 mounted men-at-arms)

456 Karstark troops (400 spearmen, 40 archers, and 16 mounted lancers)

400 Umber troops (300 spearmen, 100 archers)

Houses Dustin, Tallhart, Cerwyn, Hornwood, and Locke with an unknown number of soldiers

Currently unknown allegiance. This is about around 1500 men at best. 

Quote
  • ~4,000 Northern troops (mainly Bolton men)
  • ~2,000 Frey troops(includes 500 knights)

Confirmed Bolton allegiance although a lot of Bolton men might reconsider their allegiance as soon as the fighting starts. 

All the Freys are dead for sure because between Stannis's plans, the frozen lake and the Manderly men, Freys have zero chance of survival.

That puts Stannis above all the factions competing for Winterfell, and this without the Karstark and Umber forces joining him even though this will most likely happen. So Stannis has the upper ground during negotiations and as far as Wyman Manderly and Robett Glover are concerned Davos is on his way to Winterfell with Rickon. They both know that Davos is utterly loyal to Stannis and might execute Rickon if he finds Stannis dead. So, they will feign support to Stannis until Rickon arrives and then probably betray Stannis. The only problem with that plan is that the the talking dog and about 4000 wildlings will arrive before Davos and Rickon. This will throw a wrench into Manderly's plans because Ghost-Jon will bend the knee to Stannis in exchange for Rickon and Arya being saved by his men. I don't think Manderly will kill Ghost-Jon because of his utter devotion to the Starks and the direwolf being the symbol for the Starks. So he will be forced to bend the knee to Stannis as will all the other lords.

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36 minutes ago, Brynden"Bloodraven" Rivers said:

No, not really. Stannis has a bigger army than the divided Boltons and Manderlys. If Winterfell interrupts into civil war, Stannis will be the victor. He currently has around 6,000 troops waiting outside of Winterfell. Assuming all of the Frey troops are dead because of Night Lamp which will most likely happen, and 300 Manderly cavalry most likely defecting over to Stannis at the beginning of the battle. 

That puts Stannis above all the factions competing for Winterfell, and this without the Karstark and Umber forces joining him even though this will most likely happen. So Stannis has the upper ground during negotiations and as far as Wyman Manderly and Robett Glover are concerned Davos is on his way to Winterfell with Rickon.

This is all fine but none of it was in your original post. Your original post was about talking dogs and non-existent shipments of food from the Vale. I'm good if your starting point is the relative strength of Stannis' forces and then outlining a bunch of things that could happen in the future that would further strengthen his position.

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1 hour ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Roose is a Northman. They might resent what he did but many would choose him over Stannis. Roose is legit and he can promise a return to the old ways of the lord’s right to the first night. That’s enough to win him favors. Stannis has wildling allies. That will not be accepted in the north. Roose has rid the north of the Ironborn. All in all, Roose doesn’t look too bad to the northmen.  

Stannis hasn't used his wildling allies in this war, but did stop an invasion by them. he has also already made common cause with the clans, northmen who accept him. he liberated Deepwood Mott from the iron men. he also does not intend to govern the north directly when he comes into power but install a new warden (presumably, given his offer to Jon), and earning that position is valuable, enough so that the boltons (who are notorious for skinning people and whose heir is notoriously cruel) themselves played traitor to get. deposing them sounds favorable to me. what can Stannis offer the northmen besides? honor, honor and vengeance, for their brothers, kin and kith murdered by Freys and boltons at the red wedding, and for the Starks, well loved and respected. cruelly betrayed in the eyed of the north, in violation of the oldest of the laws of men. I love Davos.

Not to say that the north wouldn't betray Stannis if they believed they could restore the kingdom in the north with Jon or rickon say. just that there is reasonable justification to take Stannis over boltons. and it's not like the first night rule is that carefully enforced if what Roose claims about it is true.

Edited by Targaryeninkingslanding
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40 minutes ago, Groo said:

This is all fine but none of it was in your original post. Your original post was about talking dogs and non-existent shipments of food from the Vale. I'm good if your starting point is the relative strength of Stannis' forces and then outlining a bunch of things that could happen in the future that would further strengthen his position.

Yes that’s my bad

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