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The Duel that Never Was


Canon Claude
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I still find it really hard to believe that Stannis didn’t just take Courtnay Penrose up on his offer to fight in single combat for Storm’s End.

We hear no word about Courtnay being on the level of someone like Brynden Tully or Barristan Selmy. He’s a middle-aged man who isn’t being protected by some god or whatever. I’m pretty sure that someone as young, fit, and well-trained as Bryce Caron could have defeated him. It also means that Melisandre doesn’t waste another shadowbaby on Penrose and Stannis’ life force isn’t drained away even further. 

And yes, I’m aware that Stannis suspected some kind of treachery on Penrose’s part, but on what grounds? Why was he so suspicious of a guy who obviously had no cards in his hand besides his own ability as a fighter?

Also, why does it have to be Stannis’ life force that makes shadowbabies? Surely Melisandre could have had sex with any random soldier under Stannis’ command? 

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19 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Also, why does it have to be Stannis’ life force that makes shadowbabies? Surely Melisandre could have had sex with any random soldier under Stannis’ command? 

I think this is a bit of a plot issue. Obviously Stannis can't have unlimited Shadow Assassins for plot reasons. I was fine with the idea that King's blood was required so only Stannis was eligible.

But then Melisandre offers to do it with Davos so ???

Unless Davos has King's Blood, that means that she could have used anyone in the army to do it.

24 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

I still find it really hard to believe that Stannis didn’t just take Courtnay Penrose up on his offer to fight in single combat for Storm’s End.

Ser Courtnay did insult him quite badly so maybe he wasn't willing to grant his request.

Even if the risk is low, any trial by combat has some element of risk for Stannis/whoever is fighting on his behalf. By contrast, none of his men are put at risk with the Shadow assassin option.

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

 

Even if the risk is low, any trial by combat has some element of risk for Stannis/whoever is fighting on his behalf. By contrast, none of his men are put at risk with the Shadow assassin option.

Given how much of Stannis’ life force was drained for the shadow babies, I’d say the risk would have been worth it. At least use one of those shadowbabies to kill someone important, as opposed to one old man who could have easily been cut down in single combat. Hell, maybe Stannis himself could have done it.

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1 minute ago, Canon Claude said:

Given how much of Stannis’ life force was drained for the shadow babies, I’d say the risk would have been worth it. At least use one of those shadowbabies to kill someone important, as opposed to one old man who could have easily been cut down in single combat. Hell, maybe Stannis himself could have done it.

By that point though he was already weakened by one shadow assassin so it might not have been a great idea for Stannis to fight himself. Also, I don't think Courtnay was that old.

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5 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I think this is a bit of a plot issue. Obviously Stannis can't have unlimited Shadow Assassins for plot reasons. I was fine with the idea that King's blood was required so only Stannis was eligible.

But then Melisandre offers to do it with Davos so ???

Unless Davos has King's Blood, that means that she could have used anyone in the army to do it.

Well apparently anyone who declares themselves king would qualify. Isn't that why Jon has Mance's son spirited away by Gilly?

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5 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I just have to agree.

Stannis should jump on that offer the minute it was made, left one of the best fighters on his ranks take the challenge and use it as proof that the gods favor him.

Seconded. 

GRRM shouldn't have had Courtnay offer single combat for the fate of Storm's End. Any sensible man should have jumped at that chance if he had men like Bryce Caron or Guyard Morrigen or even Rolland Storm to accept the challenge.

Edited by James Steller
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19 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

Also, why does it have to be Stannis’ life force that makes shadowbabies? Surely Melisandre could have had sex with any random soldier under Stannis’ command? 

It is her magic and you'd expect she has limitations as she has her other magics, but like how many people do you trust well enough with the knowledge that she can impregnated and birth a shadow wraith that the father can control in their sleep...

She offers/asks it of Davos but it's established that despite their differences she believes him entirely trustworthy when it comes to his devotion to Stannis's cause.

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2 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

It is her magic and you'd expect she has limitations as she has her other magics, but like how many people do you trust well enough with the knowledge that she can impregnated and birth a shadow wraith that the father can control in their sleep...

She offers/asks it of Davos but it's established that despite their differences she believes him entirely trustworthy when it comes to his devotion to Stannis's cause.

That’s assuming Mel informs the fellow what her intentions are. She could easily just seduce someone, then use their life force until they die. It’s unethical, but it keeps the secret.

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5 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

That’s assuming Mel informs the fellow what her intentions are. She could easily just seduce someone, then use their life force until they die. It’s unethical, but it keeps the secret.

It's not explicit in the text but I believe the father controls their shadow self.

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38 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Do they? Because as far as I can recall, Stannis wasn't fully aware of what happened the night Renly died.

He's not. It's like he does it in his sleep and can't tell what's real from dream and doesn't want to.

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