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Will Brienne Kill Stannis? (Show Spoilers)


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So, @The Bard of Banefort asked a question in the GOT Rant thread about whether Brienne will kill Stannis or not like she did in the show.

Now, there's a lot that we can discuss about whether D&D followed GRRM's plan for the series more closely than what we would think or if they mostly made-up stuff along the way and only deferred to GRRM's plan for the most basic of things.

I do think that Brienne will come face-to-face with Stannis. I personally don't think Brienne will kill Stannis but that's because I have my own slightly tinfoil theory about the end of Stannis. But I do think that Brienne will try really hard and will be able to confront him at some point.

 

But here's my argument in favor of the possibility Brienne actually does get to kill Stannis.

 

The last time we saw Brienne, she showed up out of almost nowhere and got Jaime to just up and leave his army behind (he probably took Hoster Blackwood with him). The second-to-last time we saw Brienne, she was starting to swing on a noose after refusing to work for UnCat and kill Jaime.

Obviously, something happened. But I don't think it's going to be an open-shut case of Brienne said sword and now she's going to help UnCat, starting with the enslavement and/or execution of Jaime.

I think Brienne is going to play the game of thrones.

A lot of fans think Lady Stoneheart is mindless, but I've never thought that after reading A Feast for Crows. Everything was done so strategically. If she was a mindless zombie, she wouldn't be their leader for one. She seems to be able to think critically and communicate her thoughts: because she was able to see Oathkeeper and figure out what it was and what it meant. Secondly, the Brotherhood would be a lot more unorganized. Yet, they are arguably a better fighting force of insurgents than they were under Lord Beric's leadership. The Catelyn-led Brotherhood strikes more fear in the hearts of the Riverlands power establishment than the Beric-led Brotherhood does. Annnnnnnnnd they were able to kidnap key players in the second siege of Riverrun, get a man (Tom Sevenstreams) on the inside of Lannister-held Riverrun and retrieve valuable objects that should be long-lost to them (i.e. Robb's crown)

Brienne, for one, knows that fArya is fake. While UnCat and the Brotherhood knows that Arya is alive but I'm not so sure if they know that fArya isn't Arya. Brienne can literally manipulate them into believing that fArya is real and is at Winterfell as bride-by-knifepoint of the Boltons. Brienne, as it were, also knows for a fact that the Boltons betrayed the Starks and Roose Bolton was a partner of Tywin Lannister. I'm also not quite sure that the Brotherhood knows this to be 100% sure.

But this batch of intel in tandem with news of Stannis' attack on Winterfell at the head of a mixed army could force UnCat to refocus her plans to reestablish the Stark-Tully kingdom. And yes, I do think that UnCat is doing more than just trying to avenge the Red Wedding by killing all of the Freys. She's trying to put the kingdom back together with a Stark as its head. To do so, she has to set both the North and the Riverlands to rights.

She's only doing so much in the Riverlands now because there's so much to do in the Riverlands.

When the Brienne infodump unfurls, UnCat is going to have to accelerate her plans. With Stannis threatening an occupied Winterfell and Edmure being sent off to Casterly Rock, UnCat is going to have move fast and she's going to need all the help she can get.

Why?

Thanks to Tom Sevenstreams (aka one of the key spies of the Brotherhood), Edmure is in-the-know but he and his heir need to be set free. Once he is put away in Casterly Rock, getting him out is going to be impossible...without Jaime.

So, when Brienne takes Jaime back to UnCat, she can tell him that she lied about her knowledge of fArya and that his life-saving trump card will be the revelation that fArya is a fake, a Lannister prop for the Boltons. UnCat may keep him alive a little while longer just for his mere usefulness.

Everyone also forgets that Brienne has met the Mad Mouse who literally (and stupidly) told her that he was looking for Sansa for Varys. And it's not too far-fetched for them to eventually find out that Ser Shadrich is in the Vale with Littlefinger. Thoros' fires should be able to tell them that much.

This, in tandem with Brienne's swearing of her sword to UnCat, can convince the Brotherhood that Brienne is much more useful alive.

But the most important thing to my point is news of Stannis' attack on Winterfell.

 

So, if Catelyn and Brienne were able to come to some sort of understanding (according to GRRM and basic common sense, they already have), Brienne can just bring Jaime to Catelyn in exchange for leave to go north and get rid of Stannis.

Stannis is no friend of the Starks. I know he has a lot of fans but Stannis is not trying on their side. He's on his side. All Stannis is trying to do is help himself and he uses whatever he can (religion, magic, etc.) to help himself. Using loyal northmen who want to save Ned Stark's daughter is no different than using Melisandre's shadowbinding powers to kill Renly.

Because UnCatelyn is pro-Stark and (more than likely) pro-northern independence, she wants Arya to follow Robb as the Queen in the North. Yes, she wants to kill Lannisters and Freys and Boltons, Stannis is her biggest obstacle and threat. Even if she catches wind about Sansa in the Vale (doubtful; timelines don't align), Stannis is still the biggest, most immediate problem.

What do you think happens if he is allowed to take Winterfell and sweep south? The Riverlands are next and it'll be lights out for them all.

If UnCat wants to just kill as many Freys as she can before she dies for the second/final time, then she wouldn't care at all about Riverrun, Robb's crown, Brienne's vows or the orphanage. But she does.

UnCat is going to realize that the sooner that Stannis is permanently taken out of the picture, the better.

Brienne is her means to that end.

While UnCat keeps Jaime close so that she can purge the Riverlands of the Lannister-Tully regime and the Tullys back in charge much more expediently, she sends Brienne north to deal with the Stannis problem before it worsens.

 

Stannis can defeat the Boltons and still be put to death by Brienne. The timelines work. In fact, Brienne can also meet with Sansa along the way and get an expedited journey to the North via the Knights of the Vale.


What do y'all think?

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I think there must be a substantial storyline for Brienne regarding Stannis as if there were not this text would not be included.

Quote

Perhaps I did not want to be the only one who knew the dark truth of what had happened there, Catelyn thought. "Brienne, I have taken many wellborn ladies into my service over the years, but never one like you. I am no battle commander."

"No, but you have courage. Not battle courage perhaps but . . . I don't know . . . a kind of woman's courage. And I think, when the time comes, you will not try and hold me back. Promise me that. That you will not hold me back from Stannis."

Catelyn could still hear Stannis saying that Robb's turn too would come in time. It was like a cold breath on the back of her neck. "When the time comes, I will not hold you back."

The morality of it all is I think the point here, and I find it murky.

Killing Stannis in battle while he was a threat to Renly is all good and fine, Brienne swore an oath to protect Renly, killing Stannis now though, when Renly is long dead and forgotten is really just revenge. Revenge is the Stoneheart theme and by the time Stoneheart is put to rest the point will have been that revenge is bad.

If Stoneheart sends Brienne at Stannis then that's doubly making the point that this isn't the right thing to do.

I think Brienne will kill Stannis. She's not hooking up with Sansa on some knights of the Vale crusade, that's fangirl nonsense, but Brienne and Stannis was a thing and unless it was a mistaken abandoned thread it must be resolved. She kills him whilst unsure herself of the morality of doing so. Stannis will second life an ice dragon and become the big bad of the whole series, and so it'll be that Brienne's act of revenge will have helped to bring about a great evil. In an inverse of the AA story I think when Brienne kills Stannis with Oathkeeper (formerly Ice) that part of his soul will enter the sword and it will become ice like, frozen, perhaps crystalline like an Others sword. She may even leave it or lose it in the act and the sword will be Stannis's as an Other who rides the dragon, or form part of the dragon's body.

Edited by chrisdaw
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I don’t think Brienne would leave Jaime behind, especially if she thinks Stoneheart might kill him at any moment. But like chrisdaw said, unless it’s a plot thread that GRRM decided to abandon, there has to be some payoff for Brienne and Stannis, even if Brienne ultimately decides to let him go. But this opens up another can of worms: how are Stannis and Brienne going to end up in the same place when they’re currently so far geographically apart?

Then again, I just looked at one of those search engines, and the only time Brienne thought of Stannis in her POVs was when she met Gendry. So maybe George changed his mind?

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Brienne isn't going to kill Stannis. At this point, it's just a matter of revenge, and revenge does not work out well for characters in this series. Robert's revenge on Rhaegar gave him zero satisfaction, Oberyn's quest for revenge got him brutally killed, and Arya's becoming a monster in her pursuit of revenge. Brienne will probably never get the chance to kill Stannis; that's the sort of thing that GRRM wants to undermine with this series.

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I don't see Brienne handing Jaime over to LS to pursue Stannis. I have a feeling both Jaime and Brienne will escape alive from the encounter. They were fighting together in Jaime's dream, that could possibly be against the Brotherhood or eventually against the army of the dead. I would want for Brienne and Stannis to meet in the future, otherwise there was really no need for making Brienne want to avenge Renly's death. It would seem like GRRM just forgot about that connection. But I don't see her killing Stannis. Brienne in the books does not seem preoccupied with revenge. It could be similar to Jaime and Bran meeting again, where they decide to leave the past behind.

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On 3/28/2022 at 1:10 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

I don’t think Brienne would leave Jaime behind, especially if she thinks Stoneheart might kill him at any moment. But like chrisdaw said, unless it’s a plot thread that GRRM decided to abandon, there has to be some payoff for Brienne and Stannis, even if Brienne ultimately decides to let him go. But this opens up another can of worms: how are Stannis and Brienne going to end up in the same place when they’re currently so far geographically apart?

Then again, I just looked at one of those search engines, and the only time Brienne thought of Stannis in her POVs was when she met Gendry. So maybe George changed his mind?

For me it's the the changing of minds within the narrative itself that keeps me from thinking GRRM's abandonment of the thread would be a mistake. Brienne changes the course of her thoughts quite dramatically as she progresses. As she grows more fond of Jaime, her thoughts of Renly disappear. As she pursues her mission of rescue, her thoughts of Cat's children replace any thoughts about Stannis or revenge. 

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My prediction is that Bran will use some kind of magic to save Jaime from Stoneheart. He is very forgiving.

The inclusion of Jonquil Darke in FnB makes me think that Brienne will be looking after Sansa for a little while (just like how the inclusion of a new Daenerys probably foreshadows what will happen to our Daenerys). The parallels between her and Brienne are stark (no pun intended), and Sansa could evolve into an Alysanne-like figure. Since they cut Stoneheart on the show and merged Sansa with Jeyne Poole, the final product was Brienne ending up alongside Sansa, even if she didn’t do anything once she was there (seriously, why bring Brienne north and not have her fight in the Battle of the Bastards?) I have no idea how they’ll intersect in the books.

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On 3/28/2022 at 6:27 AM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Brienne isn't going to kill Stannis. At this point, it's just a matter of revenge, and revenge does not work out well for characters in this series. Robert's revenge on Rhaegar gave him zero satisfaction, Oberyn's quest for revenge got him brutally killed, and Arya's becoming a monster in her pursuit of revenge. Brienne will probably never get the chance to kill Stannis; that's the sort of thing that GRRM wants to undermine with this series.

Couldn't agree more.

Brienne needs to overcome any desire for vengeance and instead pursue justice if she is to have a positive arc, which I feel she will end with. The resolution of her arc lies with Jaime and Sansa and the keeping of oaths. I suspect her resolution will come in King's Landing.

Stannis will win the North and march for King's Landing too but he'll never get inside the walls. He is destined to encounter Dany, as signposted in the HotU. He'll die burning in dragonfire.

 

 

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On 3/28/2022 at 12:10 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

But this opens up another can of worms: how are Stannis and Brienne going to end up in the same place when they’re currently so far geographically apart?

The same way anyone gets anywhere in this series. On foot, horse or ship.

With Brienne, it'll likely happen on foot or by horse. Granted, this theory of mine hits a pretty significant snag once she gets to the Neck (if not the Twins), but it can still work pretty feasibly. Howland Reed, Maege Mormont and Robett Glover are all there.

On 3/27/2022 at 7:43 PM, chrisdaw said:

I think Brienne will kill Stannis. She's not hooking up with Sansa on some knights of the Vale crusade, that's fangirl nonsense, but Brienne and Stannis was a thing and unless it was a mistaken abandoned thread it must be resolved. She kills him whilst unsure herself of the morality of doing so. Stannis will second life an ice dragon and become the big bad of the whole series, and so it'll be that Brienne's act of revenge will have helped to bring about a great evil. In an inverse of the AA story I think when Brienne kills Stannis with Oathkeeper (formerly Ice) that part of his soul will enter the sword and it will become ice like, frozen, perhaps crystalline like an Others sword. She may even leave it or lose it in the act and the sword will be Stannis's as an Other who rides the dragon, or form part of the dragon's body.

It feels good to know that I'm not the only one who think Stannis will join the ranks of the Others in some way, shape or form.

People have forgotten that GRRM's original plans for Catelyn was for her to reunite with Arya -- and Bran apparently -- and head north only for her to be slain at the Wall by the Others. Either she would've either became a wight (not so likely) or an Other (infinitely more likely) ...and that would've been astonishingly brilliant if allowed.

But alas...

On 3/28/2022 at 12:27 AM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Brienne isn't going to kill Stannis. At this point, it's just a matter of revenge, and revenge does not work out well for characters in this series. Robert's revenge on Rhaegar gave him zero satisfaction, Oberyn's quest for revenge got him brutally killed, and Arya's becoming a monster in her pursuit of revenge. Brienne will probably never get the chance to kill Stannis; that's the sort of thing that GRRM wants to undermine with this series.

I don't think she will kill Stannis either.

But I do think that they will cross paths at the end of the next book or in the beginning of the one after that.

I personally think that if Brienne chooses to kill him, she will either be interrupted or be forced to postpone things. If she decides not to kill him, 

Brienne and Arya both remind me of Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. For difference reasons, sure, but I'm starting to view A Song of Ice and Fire as a nerdy fan's elaborate re-creative ode of Lord of the Rings and fairytales. I'm seeing a lot of commonalities.

This whole Brienne/Stannis talk reminds me of the big battle at the end of the series between Eowyn and the Witch King with the Witch King being an almost too obvious point-of-reference for Stannis...seeing that he is a witch king.

On 4/1/2022 at 11:30 AM, three-eyed monkey said:

I suspect her resolution will come in King's Landing.

Why King's Landing?

 

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13 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Why King's Landing?

Because I feel all the action is collapsing on King's Landing, so that's where Sansa will be. I know most readers think Sansa's going north by the end of Winds, but I think she's going south against her will.

For Brienne, I believe keeping her oath is more important than seeking revenge, if she is to have a positive arc. Certainly I could see a situation where she has to make a choice between going to kill Stannis or going to save Sansa. This choice will be more tangible if Stannis moves south, which I suspect he will, but ultimately Brienne will choose saving Sansa, proving that she is a true knight, as well as proving that a true knight has nothing to do with gender.

Brienne set out to earn a place in a kingsguard, so my guess is that she will end up as Lord Commander of Sansa's queensguard when all is said and done. Defending Sansa will happen in King's Landing, and that's the point where i feel her arc will be resolved. Rewards like being named to the queensguard might take place elsewhere, like Harrenhal if King's Landing is destroyed before the end.

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