When we look at the Game of Thrones, we have those who follow and play an important role to those who lead. We’ve seen a few of these players highlighted so far. Jojen and Meera Reed, Melisandre, The Hound, etc. These players are essential to help their leaders succeed in making pivotal moves towards the Iron Throne. In Westeros, we know the War of the Five Kings featured Joffery Barranister, Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, Stannis Baratheon, and Renly Baratheon. All of whom are leaders in some way or the other. Out of these five kings only one has truly prevailed.
This Player of Thrones is not only a player, he is too a leader. Through his lifetime he has led his people through the darkest of times. He has survived his fair share of large battles and proven to be one tough cookie. He never seems to receive the glory he deserves, but no man in Westeros has been through and achieved as much as this man has on the battlefield. He is stubborn, loyal, honest, and brash. He can be your biggest ally, or the biggest thorn in your side. He is adamant to take what is his, with fire burning in his heart. His name is Lord Stannis of the House Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone, The King at The Wall, Azor Ahai Reborn, and the One True King of Westeros.
At the beginning of Season 2 we are found on the beach, with what seem to be a bunch of crazy pyromaniacs. Some crazy dude pulls a flaming sword from one of the burning idols, plants it the ground, and walks away. “Who is this guy?” “Why is he burning The Seven?” “Why didn’t he keep the burning sword?” These were all questions that were being asked of me. My only response to Unsullied, “Watch this man very carefully. He is going to be a big part of this show.” After Episode 10 of Season 4 “The Children”, those same people came back to me and told me how right I was about the stubborn and just Stannis Baratheon.
Stannis is first of his name under the House Baratheon name. He is son to Steffon and Cassana Baratheon, younger brother to the late King Robert and older son to the late Wanna-Be-King Renly. So from the beginning he had it rough, being the middle child and all (trust me I know). For Stannis it always seemed to be that he would work the hardest to achieve what he wanted. and always in some way shape or form fell short.
House Baratheon is one of Westeros’ Great Houses. The main sigil for the house, and seeing how it is the Royal House of Westeros , is a crowned black stag on a field of gold. Their motto, Ours is the Fury. During the War of the Five Kings, Stannis removes the sigil and takes upon his own Baratheon sigil a crowned stag sable enclosed within a burning heart gules with flames of orange.
Stannis and his brothers had a rough childhood. When he was thirteen King Aerys asked Steffon Baratheon, Stannis’ Dad, to go to the Free Cities to find a suitable wife for Prince Rheagar. The only thing that Steffon found was a fool. He wanted to bring the fool back because he believed it could teach the all too serious Stannis how to laugh. When Steffon and his Wife were returning to Storms End the ship was caught in a terrible storm in Shipwrecker’s Bay killing Stannis’ mom and dad. This devastated Stannis and from that day forward he swore off of The Seven and began his search for something new.
The pain Stannis felt for his parents only continued to grow his stubborn and unforgiving nature. This helped Stannis in his later years, specifically in the Siege of Storm’s End during Robert’s Rebellion. Robert had asked Stannnis to hold Storm’s End, their home, while he led a rebellion with Jon Arryn and Ned Stark against the Targaryens. The loyalist army of the Tyrells marched on Storm’s End and besieged it for the majority of the rebellion. Once Robert had taken control of King’s Landing, Ned Stark continued to march South and saved the almost starved city of Storm’s End. The city was saved by a smuggler by the name of Davos. He was no knight, only a lowly smuggler that happened to have a ship full of onions. This saved the city until Ned Stark could arrive.
Stannis had proven himself strong and able to care for the Baratheon home city. He knighted Davos and gave him the House name of Seaworth. He also took the fingers from the knuckle up on Davos right hand as his punishment for smuggling. This moment gave a lot of insight into how just of a man Stannis is to all.
Robert asked Stannis to build a fleet and sail to the island castle of Dragonstone, to take the city and block Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen’s escape from Westeros. Stannis did not arrive in time, and the two Targaryen children escaped. Stannis’ failure overshadowed the fact that he had successfully taken control of a strategic point of defense for Kings Landing.
Despite his ability to hold Storm’s End, Stannis was commanded to garrison and be Lord of Dragonstone. This infuriated Stannis. He wanted to be Lord of Storm’s End, their home, but was set to hold his fleet on the poorer island. This Island Castle was traditionally the seat to the heir of the Throne and with Stannis being the next in line he was commanded to stay at Dragonstone.
Stannis was also made Master of Ships. He once again proved his ability to defeat an enemy, this time during the Greyjoy Rebellion. He smashed and destroyed most of they Greyjoy fleet and took the Great Wyk in Robert’s name. Once again he proves his loyalty to his brother Robert, and the crown.
However Robert never gave him much credit. Robert credited the win at Storm’s End to Eddard Stark and gave no thanks to Stannis, He blamed Stannis for the escape of the Targaryen Children as opposed to praising his little brother for taking the Island Castle. This continued for the rest of Robert’s life. Stannis never complained, due to his loyal commitment to serve the King.
Stannis assisted Jon Arryn in ruling the kingdom, developing a close connection to the Hand of the King. Early on, Stannis believed that Cersei and Robert’s children were not Robert’s. He knew that no Baratheon has produced a child with blonde hair. He asked Jon Arryn to look into this theory with him. They visited Robert’s bastard children, and found they all had black hair. They studied The Lineages of the Great Houses and found that when a Baratheon weds they have black haired children, even when produced by the golden locks of Lannister hair.
Jon Arryn soon after “died”, but Stannis knew. He just had to find the right way to inform Robert. He was also concerned that Jon Arryn’s death would cause more bloodshed, and retreated back to Dragonstone. Here he gathered his forces and began to plot his next move. When Robert is “killed” in a boar accident, Jofferey Baratheon takes the Iron Throne. Because Stannis knows that Robert and Cersei’s children are not Robert’s, they can not take the Throne. Meaning, Stannis is the One True King of Westeros. He then joins the War of Five Kings.
Then we come to our Stannis, and where we were introduced to him in HBO’s show.
Here’s a quick rundown of Stannis’ happenings in the show Game of Thrones:
-Converts to R’hllor (represent!) and Melisandre
-Is told he is the Azor Ahai (See the Melisandre post)
-Decides that to treat with Renly, Renly must kneel to him.
-Renly declines gets poked from behind from a shadow assassin birthed by Melisandre
-Davos finds Melisandre’s tactics not cool and asks to lead the assault on Kings Landing
-Is defeated at King’s Landing in the Battle of Blackwater Bay by Tywin Lannister and Loras Tyrell (ironic)
-Falls back to Dragonstone and is DEVASTATED. Discovers there is no more power in his blood for Melisandre to use. However Robert does have a lot of bastards and decides to use leeches cast an ill omen on Robb Stark. Joffferey Baratheon, and also Balon Greyjoy.
-As Robb Stark and Jofferey fall Stannis is plotting his next move he needs an army and needs ships.
-After receiving a letter from the Night’s Watch he decides to focus on preserving the Wall and march on the impending wildling invasion as well as the evil that Winter brings with it. He is advised by Melisandre and Davos that this is where he needs to go.
-To fullfil his need for an army he sails to Braavos to treat with the Iron Bank. He is backed with money, hires ships and mercenaries and sales his big ass army above the wall.
-We see his two large columns of horses take on the unsuspecting Free Folk and capture Mance Rayder.
Stannis is a true leader. He is not a breaker of rules and he will do everything in his power to respect the laws of the land, and demand others do so as well. He is ambitious, stubborn, unforgiving, loyal, just, and one tough Motherf*(#er. I believe that he is in true contention for the Throne. He has the claim as he is the next in line due to Robert dying, and Tommen and Myrcella not being Baratheons. He leads and rules with a just and honorable hand. He isn’t an easy push over, but catch him interested and you could convince him to do just about anything. His weakness in my eyes, is that he has no son. His only heir is his daughter Shireen, but she is looked at as if she was cursed due to her affliction with Greyscale.
Another thing that I respect about Stannis is that he is the only one to respond to the Night’s Watch critical cry for help against a mounting Wildling and White Walker Army. He is truly acting as Protector of the Realm by taking the army he borrowed to the Wall, as opposed to Kings Landing. He is not shrouded by his ambitions, instead can see where in the realm he is needed the most, at this time. NO ONE ELSE WENT TO THE WALL. F&#* THEM ALL!
I’m interested to see how he can influence the wall, as well as move down to Kings Landing from the North. He has an army of Boltons to go through, as well as a few Greyjoys. If he can reunite the Northern Bannerman to destroy the Boltons and take back Moat Cailin, he will have reached his next checkpoint on his quest for the crown. Or will he stay at the wall and continue to do what he came to do, which is prevent the White Walkers from invading Westeros? Who knows?
Shall we put Stannis through my weekly ASSessment? I think we shall:
Title: The Lord of Dragonstone, The King at the Wall, Azor Ahai, The Mannis (hehe)
Current Role to the Throne: Rebellious “Uncle”
Lands: Dragonstone, controls The Wall
Wealth: Lots of money borrowed from the Iron Bank.
Army: Lots of borrowed horses, men, and ships to the Iron Bank
Likelihood to become the next King of Westeros: Strong. He has a long way to go but I feel confident in his ability to get shit done. This is now his time to shine. He no longer has his brothers to fight with. It’s just him, his army, and a whole lot of horses. (If you can’t tell I’m still in love with his arrival in “The Children”)
King Name: King of The Just, Destroyer of the Seven
Where do you think Stannis will go from here? Do you think he will stay at the wall and assist the Night’s Watch? Do you think he will sweep down from the Wall through the Boltons, Greyjoys, Freys, and Lannisters in Kings Landing to sit his unforgiving ass on that prickly throne? Let’s DISCUSS!
On a side note I’m obsessed with House Baratheon:
Also Check Out These Other Player of Thrones Posts:
Oberyn Martell, The Red Viper
Melisandre, The Red Priestess
Jojen and Meera Reed, The Crannogmen
Petyr Baelish, Littlefinger
Ser Davos Seaworth, The Onion Knight
Sandor and Gregor Clegane (The Hound and The Mountain)
Roose Bolton (Lord of the Dreadfort)
Mance Rayder (The King Beyond the Wall)
Lord Varys (The Master of Whisperers)
When commenting below, be just and fair. Cover you spoilers up with the black veil, for the comments are dark and full of spoilers.
Done in the light of the Lord…