Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

three-eyed monkey

Stannis knew about the Mance/Rattleshirt switch.

Recommended Posts

Adding to the examples in the OP, we have the exchange below between Jon and Rattleshirt/Mance:

“Stannis burned the wrong man.”

“No.” The wildling grinned at him through a mouth of brown and broken teeth. “He burned the man he had to burn, for all the world to see. We all do what we have to do, Snow. Even kings.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope this is not too repetitive , I was doing this last night offline , and I see a few others have since replied . :)

I hardly know where to begin.. but I think we have to remember that the situation is moving, changing all the time with circumstance and the decisions made by each of the characters involved . E.g. , When Jon is elected and refuses WF, it throws a major monkey wrench into Stannis' plans, etc.

Stannis - He decides on his own to spare Mance .

1. He seeks insight from Jon as to whether Mance or Rattleshirt have any honour or trustworthiness. This begins right after winning the battle at the wall. In doing so, he's also feeling out Jon, never having met him. He will have spoken to Aemon about Jon..We know he's talked to Slynt , and probably Thorne and others about Jon. Remember, Slynt ( aided by Thorne ) was in charge at CB when Stannis arrived. However, Stannis has reason to disbelieve the corrupt Slynt.. and reason to respect the opposing opinion of Aemon . As one who didn't seek power in his own life , Aemon can be seen as having no political axe to grind . Then , too , Stannis has his personal knowledge of Ned ( and Ned's princples ) to refer to in assessing Jon.

When he first questioned Jon ,Stannis had already spoken with Mance for hours , and would also have spoken to Rattleshirt ( Pyke's prisoner after leading the wildling attack at Eastwatch , and Slynt's star witness against Jon)..in part to get an understanding of Jon's story.. He was already making his own assessment of these men and their relative value , but was testing Jon to see how well Jon's views matched his own and certainly, whether Jon had any greater insight through personal experience. .. but partly , perhaps mainly , to judge whether Jon ,himself would be worth installing in WF. If Jon came across to Stannis as someone with no judgement, Stannis wouldn't want him, no matter what his bloodlines were...he woudn't want to have to babysit Jon, or be watching his own back. ... This is all important subtext in Stannis' early conversations with Jon... By the time he leaves the wall , Stannis ( though annoyed over Jon's refusal ofWF ) has reason to feel confident of Jon's integrity, commitment and his ability to make sound judgements. But at that early stage , he'd be gathering information , forming his own opinions on both matters before acting on them.

2. Stannis sees value in Mance as a source of information and wisdom on the wildlings and the Others . If Mance would publicly kneel and become subordinate to Stannis,effectively become Stannis' bannerman, that might persuade the wildlings ( or a good many of them ) to follow suit , given what they're escaping from and Mance's proven powers of persuasion...but there's the problem of the NW...

3. Stannis knows the watch has Mance marked for execution , and has had for a long time. After Jon is elected, he knows Jon would have to follow through with the sentence , in spite of Mance's value and any personal regard Jon might have for Mance.

4. Stannis has turned to Mel for solutions to knotty problems via magic , or accepted ones she suggested ,before ..Renly.. Courtney Penrose.. In both cases , he stressed to Davos that it saved time, conflict and men ( his resources ). The glamour of Mance achieves the same thing .. partly . He loses Mance as an intermediary to recruit wildlings to his cause, but preserves him as a source of valuable knowledge and experience of the Others. This will be needed at the wall first , so "Rattleshirt" is left there , given to Jon when Stannis leaves ..he's the one in command on that front. Yes, Mance is in disguise , but that can't be helped. Stannis has done his part - Jon will have to figure it out..or not. He tells Jon "Rattleshirt " is a gift to him , in spite of what he knows Jon thinks of Rattleshirt. What's wrong with this picture , Jon ? It's a vague hint , but a hint ..given at the same time that Mance is hinting pretty broadly.. If Jon can figure it out, and is willing to keep up the pretense, he'll have a valuable "resource ".

5. Deception is part and parcel of Stannis' modus operandi . Forget , "Stannis wouldn't lie .. Stannis is too rigid in his sense of justice to ever (fill in the blank ).." , those are deceptions... But Stannis has an excellent reputation as a tactician. A good tactician needs to know how to fool the opposition, how to keep his own intentions hidden ,so he won't be predictable , while predicting what his opposition will do... Lies will be promulgated, secrets kept from those who don't absolutely need to know, and sacrifices made to achieve the objective .. and the objective is winning the IT.

Mel - Lies , but judiciously.

1. Mel has identified Stannis as AA in her mind ,and all her lies are in aid of making it so. To her, it's true , so what does it matter if she helps it along ? ( there's no downside for him and perhaps greater recognition for her ). Even if she deceives him in the matter of the leeches, these people will die ( she's probably seen it ) and if it helps Stannis to trust her, then she can help him more..and all is well. I don't think she lied to Stannis about the shadow babies , just convinced him of the practicality of using them.. their success convinced him to trust her more..and so on.

2. Lying to Stannis about Mance is potentially lethal to Stannis' good opinion of her , and impractical as well. Stannis may use deception to gain his ends ,but he expects those close to him to be honest with him..If Stannis doesn't know , how can he make use of Mance's knowledge ?. It's pointless for her to lie to Stannis in this. .

3. She knows Jon is important ...to Stannis' cause , somehow .. not so much in his own right. So she has no hesitation in lying to him in the pursuit of her ends ( i.e. - using Jon to make shadow babies to use in Stannis' cause. ) She only wants to save Arya, so Jon will be grateful , trust her and come around to giving some of his life force ( his fires) to her baby-making agenda.. Now , she might conceal trying to seduce Jon from Stannis ( but maybe not ). It's obvious Stannis still shares her bed , although she won't risk using him for Papa material... Do the SBs require sex with a spell , but sex without a spell is just regular sex ..and therefore no risk ? Whether he has any emotions in the matter , we don't know.. but I don't think Stannis would think a King should have to share.. OTOH , he's practicality itself , so ,if it means gaining a powerful weapon..??? I'm not sure..

4. Mel is flattering Jon when she says he saved Mance's life and simultaneously not blowing Stannis' cover ( Stannis' mind was already made up , and he'd barely let Jon finish a sentence during Jon's later plea ) She says Mance is a gift to Jon from her and the Lord of Light ( wanting Jon to be grateful to both..).. but Mance, as Rattleshirt, was already given to Jon by Stannis.. The grey girl vision didn't come until after Stannis left the wall, she's just taking advantage of a chance to help her own plan ( see above )..which ultimately is for Stannis' benefit, and therefore surely what the LoL would want... But for PR purposes ,Stannis should not be seen to have been deceptive.

Mance - has his own as yet unknown agenda , but..

1. He may have refused to kneel publicly , but obviously must have made some agreement with Stannis. (Perhaps some sort of legitimacy and a life for him with his son later on ? ..unknown..)

2. He lost the battle. Dalla's dead. The future of his son has to be a prime motivator for him. Therefore, Mance needs to find a way to live.

3. He drops very broad hints to Jon at the meeting prior to Stannis' campaign and in their training round. He challenges Jon, not the other way around. Why would he do that ? He wants Jon to think about the inconsistencies between his appearance and his abilities. He gives a final clue in his "If I had a knife .." threat. At least Jon ( as Mance no doubt expected, ) does pick up on that one right away.. Mance does have a knife..but Jon doesn't grasp the full implication .

4. Mance also doesn't quite say Stannis doesn't know..

In giving Mance to Jon, Stannis has put the ball in Jon's court. Nobody would be surprised if Mel were to blame..what would you expect from the Red Witch? It would only enhance her powers in people's eyes.She is outside the laws governing the NW. Stannis gives Jon a chance to keep the secret and still make use of Mance . If it's accidentally revealed , Jon can deny knowledge , blame Mel and execute Mance. If Jon somehow winds up looking complicit , well , better Jon than Stannis , in Stannis' mind.

Stannis the tactician is not afraid of risk , but tries to ensure it's calculated risk , with as many contingencies addressed beforehand as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post, Bemused. I completely agree that Stannis is a master tactician. When I think of him I think of Sun Tzu's line, "All warfare is based on deception." As Mel once said of Stannis: "It is his silences you should fear, not his words."

In my opinion, Stannis' outward actions veil his inner workings. So if you are a reader who believes Stannis is unyielding with regard to the law, or that Stannis never lies, like so many characters have said of him, then perhaps he has fooled you too? But don't blame Stannis, blame GRRM. It was he who set you up from the outset. :idea:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the conversation Stannis has with Mance where Mance refuses to renounce his Kingship I believe Stannis fully intended to burn Mance. Mance basically confirms this when he says

I had my doubts as well, Snow, but why not let her try? It was that, or let Stannis roast me.

He's convinced otherwise by Mel, Jon's argument sets it right with the law and the glamour allows him to have the show he believes he needs. If not for both these two things he'd have burned Mance, for his adherence to law and/or for the sake of his show.

An interesting question is if Val knows. Val never cried when "Mance" was burned. She believes she knows Mel knows about the baby swap, although why she believes this is not entirely clear, suggesting some communication between the two. And when Jon mentions Stannis by name in requesting Val not berate Seylse Val turns from playful to uncharacteristically serious and agrees to Jon's request, they then carry on in silence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of us suspect that Val sees things, too, but perhaps in different ways than staring into fires. (Maybe she has visions or dreams.)

She does manage to be alone on the other side of the Wall for quite some time without being hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post, Bemused. I completely agree that Stannis is a master tactician. When I think of him I think of Sun Tzu's line, "All warfare is based on deception." As Mel once said of Stannis: "It is his silences you should fear, not his words."

In my opinion, Stannis' outward actions veil his inner workings. So if you are a reader who believes Stannis is unyielding with regard to the law, or that Stannis never lies, like so many characters have said of him, then perhaps he has fooled you too? But don't blame Stannis, blame GRRM. It was he who set you up from the outset. :idea:

I somewhat agree, but I think Stannis would prefer not to use ruse, lies and deception. I think he (literally) grinds his teeth over having to do this, but hell, that's war. It's the only way he can secure "his" kingdom. That's what his internal conflict is, IMO, and his greatest irony and psychological contradiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×