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Lokii

Stannis's Conversion

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On the main topic, I agree with others that Stannis's belief in the God of Light is simply a pragmatic one. He sees truths in and the fruition of Mel's power, and uses it to further his cause, that is to win the Iron Throne. He is not portrayed as a religious man by any means in the books, and the only reason he was ever paired up with Mel is because of Selyse. He just uses her demonstrated power to his advantage.

Regarding his claim to the Iron Throne that people are now discussing, I agree with Salt on almost every issue, but I'll add my own thoughts. Stannis is the rightful king, even over Daenerys or another Targaryen in my mind. The fact of the matter is the Targaryens were dethroned, and not without good reason either. They lost their rule the same way they came upon it, by conquer. Therefore, that makes the Baratheons and their line of succession the rightful royalty until they are defeated, which Stannis has not been as of yet.

On the subject of Renly, I don't understand any love for this character whatsoever. He betrayed Robert's line of succession, a major slight to Stannis, and took up his own claim for kingship. I think Renly knew or believed the rumor of Cersei's incest, yet instead of supporting his rightful king, Stannis, he siphons men away from his cause. Renly was no warrior, no leader, and no king. He was the opposite of Stannis in that the people had love for him, but he was not battle-tested or experienced in leading men. If Renly had followed Stannis, the Baratheons would have had the power in Westeros and could have restored their family to the crown. But Renly's selfishness destroyed this opportunity. Stannis killing Renly was not something to frown upon in the context of this book. Renly was a traitor to Stannis and the Baratheons.

Now, it can be argued whether or not Stannis will win the throne, deserves it, etc. But as I said earlier, the Baratheons won the crown, and until they are defeated, it's rightfully theirs. That makes Stannis the rightful heir to the crown plain and simple.

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Okay, let me explain this to you. Based on the information that WE know as readers/viewers, we can see that Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella, are all bastards. Stannis is the middle child of the Baratheons, the next in line for kingship.

Yes, he sure is. But only according to the letter of the law, which is actually one of the less decisive factors imaginable. And then only if and when he produces proof or a favorable arbitration on the matter.

He has neither, nor is he likely to obtain them in the future. So ultimately his claim relies on swords and ships as much as any other. Which is actually an improvement that makes him more honest and less self-important.

You state that rights don't make kings,

Oh no. What I say is that rights are not defined by laws. They are conquered.

and thats fine, but you must recognize that LEGALLY Stannis is next in line.

No, he isn't, except according to himself.

There was no arbitration favoring his claim, and there is no proof of its validity. Even from the perspective of readers, all we have is the preponderance of black hair among the Baratheons and Cersei's conviction that her sons are not Robert's. Neither fact is exactly undeniable proof, even together.

Therefore, he is the RIGHTFUL king, which doesn't neccasarily mean he will win the throne.

Sorry, that is not at all true.

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Once they realized all this, Robb decided to keep fighting by claiming his independence. But he would not have followed through until the end, had Stannis won. He just did not feel like kneeling before the guys who killed his father.

Maybe you are right. I like to think that Robb would not accept Stannis, however. He did proclaim his support for Stannis, true, but it was literally before he learned anything at all about how he was dealing with his claim.

Also, by this point I think everybody assumes that the Baratheon kid is basically a Lannister puppet. Understandably, Renly was not happy, so he acted in consequence. If they knew Stannis was the rightful heir, the Tyrells would probably not have joined Renly. Think about it, it´s like Viserys turning against Rhaegar. And the other factions are all taking advantage of this.

I think you underestimate the Tyrells' ambitions. And a young Rhaegar rebelling against an older Viserys would be a better comparison...

To conclude, i think that if Robert had discovered the plot, executed the Lannisters and then died, letting Stannis the throne, things would be different. Everybody would knew what they were doing, just like in the TR. If Renly or somebody showed up and defeated Stannis, he would be the rightful heir. But here, few are trying to defeat the Baratheon dinasty, they are just thinking that the Baratheons are already KO and falls to them to stop this Lannister guys. They are not actually rebelling against Stannis, ´cause they cannot know. So yeah, imo law still demands Stannis to be king.

Renly was rebelling against Stannis. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

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I would agree with you more LuisDantas, but some lords/soldiers put their faith in the laws that have already been made. As Varys says, power is only where men believe it is. Since Stannis was the younger brother of the past king, and he believes his kids are bastards, it gives him more right to the throne than say, Dolorous Edd (even though he'd make a better king then all those southern jackanapes).

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Mellisandre is evil. Stannis was so full of hatred and jealousy of his brother Renly, that she manipulated Stannis into selling his soul to the demon god, and he will have to pay for it with his life unfortunately.

The Old Gods are the true Gods.


That doesn't really correspond with the facts, as we know them.

I'd concede that Melisandre is indeed a dark influence; perhaps meant to represent both the darkness of fanaticism ("Men are either good or bad; like an onion is pure or rotten") and Stannis's own darker motives that he fails to recognize in himself (bitterness, ruthlessness, unacknowledged desires of the flesh and above all, burning ambition.) However, to write the thing off as "Melisandre is evil" and that she drove Stannis to fratricide while rubbing her hands together and cackling is inaccurate.

1. Meliasandre was the one (as Stannis himself professes) who urged Stannis to reconcile with Renly, offering him a pardon and Storm's End in return for Renly's surrender. This suggests that Melisandre wanted a peaceful solution, and Renly's death was not something she personally craved.

2. Melisandre has urged Stannis on to mercy at various times.

Melisandre is clearly dangerous and a bad influence to her utter fanaticism; her belief in every tenant in her religion and her profession that any means-- however horrific-- can be justified by the end result.

However, in a sense, Melisandre could be seen as the more "moral" of the two. Or, at least, the one possessing the more innate compassion, mercy, and, above all, integrity.

Though this thread is entitled "Stannis's conversion," I for one am not utterly convinced that Stannis has been wholly converted. Rather, it seems like both Melisandre and her god are a means to an end to him; albeit his faith in both has grown drastically over the course of his character arc. However, whether his increase in faith was due to genuine faith or psychological need on his part is up for debate. What is not, I think, is that Stannis, even now, fully subscribes to the idea of R’lloor as Melisandre does. I think he still has his doubts, but has found his “Red Hawk” and her god very useful indeed.

Let’s review, shall we?

Stannis first turns to Mel when he has been turned down and laughed at, humiliated and belittled, and is facing his own powerlessness. His whole life he has waited for his moment in the sun, and now it’s come, and numerous pretenders, including his own charming little brother, have stepped in and stolen it from him. He knows he is in the right, but is powerless.

Enter Melisandre. She tells him that he is the savior, and that she has seen him in the flames wielding lightbringer and defeating his foes. She tells Selyse something that Selyse then tells Stannis that leads Stannis to become convinced that he has a chance of defeating Renly without joining forces with Robb Stark or anyone else. So Stannis publically joins with Meilsandre, burns the gods of his people, and declares for her god publically.

When Davos asks Stannis about it, Stannis contends that actually, he does not believe in R’lloor or any other god but “the Red Woman has power.”

He has no qualms about changing the official religion of dragonstone and adopting a religion that he does not believe in if it can gain him the power that he belives Melisandre holds.

Then Melisandre births the shadow baby, and comes through for Stannis in a big way, cementing Stannis’s confidence in her and her power to help him. (Perhaps not coincidentally, this is presumably when their sexual relationship starts.) Melisandre (if not her god) is essiential to removing a few obstacles that stand between Stannis and what he wants, and his confidence and faith in her, if not her god, increases wildly.

But then Stannis is miserably defeated at Blackwater—a miserable and crushing defeat that kills most of his men and leads him to return, with his tail between his legs, to dragonstone. He seems to return a broken man—refusing to see anyone for weeks but Melisandre.

IMO, this is where something major changed with Stannis and his reliationship to Melisandre’s god. Before he was simply using her for her power, and allowing her to put her religion in place as an accomadation. However, now, in the midst of an apparently major crisis and having lost all faith in himself and his abilities, Melisandre seems to convince him of something—when he comes back to the real world and interacts with Davos, something has changed about him. He seems to, at least tentatively, accept both the reality of R’lloor and his own place as some sort of savior as he did not before. For instance:

““She talks of prophecies… a hero reborn in the sea, living dragons hatched from dead stone… she speaks of signs and swears they point to me. I never asked for this, no more than I asked to be king. Yet dare I disregard her?” He ground his teeth. “We do not choose our destinies. Yet we must… we must do our duty, no? Great or small, we must do our duty. Melisandre swears that she has seen me in her flames, facing the dark with Lightbringer raised on high. Lightbringer!” Stannis gave a derisive snort. “It glimmers prettily, I’ll grant you, but on the Blackwater this magic sword served me no better than any common steel.”

Stannis is, of course, still not convinced as of ADWD he is the savior and shows some signs of cynicism regarding R’lloor. (As well as demonstrating the pragmatic ability to compromise on matters of religion if it means getting himself more supporters.)

However, it seems to me that he lost something at blackwater—his confidence in himself, in his integrity, his abilities. He returned a broken man and needed something to go on; Melisandre gave him that with her religion and testimonies that all was not lost—that Stannis was not just destined to be a king, but the king. The great savior of Westeros destined to save the land. “She speaks of signs, and swears they point to me.” Later on in ASOS, Stannis begins attending the nightfires to worship R’lloor—something he would have scoffed at before.

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:bang:

Do you understand the laws of inheirtance? Explain to me who Robert's heir is. Not his children, there are none.

Well, since Robert got his throne by killing the true heir to the throne and offing all the incovienient kis who stood to inherit before him, perhaps Cersei just learned from a pro. Off the true heir, off the people with better claims than you, and sit back and enjoy that Iron Throne!

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I severely doubt this. No matter how evil you see her as being, you have to admit that she is very devoted to Rhollor. She belives that Stannis is Azor Ahai (even mentioned in

her pov

, so why would she ever want him out of the way?

She says she thnks Stannis is Azor Ahai, but who knows? That isnt what she sees in her flames...

I think that she is just manupulating Stannis for some unknown cause. She wanted Stannis to take her to the wall, and now that she is there, I dont know if she needs anything from Stannis other than his army. She knows that she is a woman, and that she can never convince men to fight for her cause, so she has to manipulate Stannis into commanding his army the way that she sees fit.

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<snip>

I can see why most people dont agree with me that Mel is using her powers for an evil purpose, and you guys may be right.

My own views come from the fact that I believe in the 'heresy', and that I think that the Others are not as clearly evil as we believe, and that the Others are going to side with the Starks and the Old Gods.

If Mel is going to try to cause harm to Bran or any of the other Starks, then I think she is 'evil', for lack of a better term.

I love her character though. She is one of the most interesting and mysterious people in the books.

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She says she thnks Stannis is Azor Ahai, but who knows? That isnt what she sees in her flames...

She thinks Stannis is azor ahai, that much is clear from her pov chapter. What she sees in the flames on that particular moment when all she sees is 'Snow' when trying to see azor ahai, and her confused/annoyed reaction to it is pretty clear.

I think that she is just manupulating Stannis for some unknown cause. She wanted Stannis to take her to the wall, and now that she is there, I dont know if she needs anything from Stannis other than his army. She knows that she is a woman, and that she can never convince men to fight for her cause, so she has to manipulate Stannis into commanding his army the way that she sees fit.

No.

I can see why most people dont agree with me that Mel is using her powers for an evil purpose, and you guys may be right.

My own views come from the fact that I believe in the 'heresy', and that I think that the Others are not as clearly evil as we believe, and that the Others are going to side with the Starks and the Old Gods.

Don't know about the Others allegiances or what they intend to do, but all their killing of wildlings, night watch and attempt to kill Bran and company doesn't seem all that good to me, as well as enslaving their victims to 'their will' after brutally killing them, not so good. At all.

If Mel is going to try to cause harm to Bran or any of the other Starks, then I think she is 'evil', for lack of a better term.

Why would Melisandre harm any Stark? Stannis needs them.

So you claim she's evil based on some hypothetical (and unlikely) future circumstance and start backward from there. Basically you "fear" her and therefore claim that she's evil.... (Mission accomplished Mr. Martin, you've put your audience right there with the characters)

I love her character though. She is one of the most interesting and mysterious people in the books.

Completely agree there with you.

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