Game of Thrones S04E02 | Stannis Baratheon
|Stannis isn't really my favorite character but when he talked about his daughter last night, I respected him and the kind of man he is. I think I would like him more if I got to read his thoughts more and see more scenes of him in the show.|
unfortunately he doesn’t have a pov chapter so you don’t know what’s going on inside his head. but he likes to rant, especially in the davos chapters, so that’s the most internal monologue that you’ll get from him.
i seriously wonder what a stannis pov chapter would be like tho because he angsts and grinds his teeth all the fucking time what is he thinking about
renly shade robert shade lannister shade tyrell shade he’d be so fucking shady in his internal monologues that he’d literally just be like ontd with the latest news on your fave fucking up and being problematic
"I never asked for this crown. Gold is cold and heavy on the head, but so long as I am the king, I have a duty"
A duty to whom King Stannis? We can safely assume that it isn’t a duty to the lords of Westeros. No definitely not them considering he wishes to “scour [the] court clean.” And let’s not forget how he remarks if only “the lords of Westerns had but a single neck.” No, it’s certainly not the highborn he feels he has a duty to, so I guess that leaves… the smallfolk?
Of course the smallfolk! Stannis was the only king to march upon the wildlings and protect the realm, advised to do this by his non-highborn advisers! Gallant Stannis smashed the wildling host beyond the Wall and, for the time being, saved the Seven Kingdoms.
So why not stay at the Wall? Surely the situation of the undermanned Night’s Watch and the threat of the Others is reason enough to stay. If Stannis’ so called “duty” is to the smallfolk then why not protect them from the greatest threat there is and leave the governance of the Kingdom to well- anyone?
During the outbreak of the War of Five Kings Renly would have won the election if that’s how things worked. The Smallfolk loved Renly. The Lord of Storm’s End would have made a great king according to a) himself, b) the storm lords, c) the smallfolk and d) the Tyrell’s. The Tyrell’s support is debatable, that was most likely just a grab for power on their part. Nonetheless they thought he’d make a great puppet, and puppets are often good at keeping stability. The only thing Stannis had a duty to in this case was his pride.
What about Post-Renly’s death, with Tywin as de facto ruler? The war was quelled, a hated family was in power, but still there weren’t cries of “Stannis for King!” in the streets. The smallfolk didn’t care at this point, they just wanted to stop being fucked around. They wanted stability and to enjoy the rest of summer. All Stannis could do is ruin that.
Even with Ramsay Bolton as Lord of Winterfell, Stannis’ goal wasn’t the well-being of the smallfolk under this deranged lord, it was finding a northern lord who would bend the knee.
Stannis’ assistance to the Night’s Watch is often cited as clear evidence of his duty to the smallfolk; his legitimate care for the realm and not for power. But if this this is truly the case, if duty is truly Stannis’ goal and not a crown, then he would have stayed at the wall and left the governance of the Kingdom to other competent people.
TL;DR Stannis wants a crown and cares naught for “duty” because he has forsaken the biggest duty there is even when there are plenty of other adequate people to govern the realm.
PS: Stannis wants to kill Tommen and Myrcella so he isn’t the moral authority everyone says he is.
But what you’re missing is that his adherence to duty is Stannis’ fatal flaw, in that he attempts to do every single thing in accordance with the greatest letter of the law in Westeros, save for ONE glaring exception (which I will touch on a bit later).
A duty to whom King Stannis?
Stannis himself outlines his viewpoint in one of Davos’ POV chapters.
It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert’s heir. That is law. After me, it must pass to my daughter, unless Selyse should finally give me a son. I am king. Wants do not enter into it. I have a duty to my daughter. To the realm. Even to Robert.
What he’s concerned about here is the letter of the law. Now, you might say that Stannis is an unreliable narrator in regards to his own desires, but consider that this aligns with what others have said of him (Varys’ comment about nothing being more terrifying than a truly “just” man being one of them).
This leads into another comment that stood out to me re: Renly.
The only thing Stannis had a duty to in this case was his pride.
Not at all. In case you don’t remember, in the same chapter as outlined above, Stannis provides more justification for his actions.
I am not… I am not a cruel man, Ser Davos. You know me, have known me long. This is not by decree. It has always been so, since Aegon’s day and before. …traitors have always paid with their lives… even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor’s death for trying to usurp her brother’s crown. It is law. Law, Davos, not cruelty.
Now, Stannis is somewhat mistaken as to WHO is the traitor here (but history is written by the winners, and he probably read some biased sources), but his actions match up to what he views as the law. Stannis holds the authority of kings, and the letter of the law in such a skewed regard, that he is willing to have his brother killed (though admittedly, this is somewhat ambiguous in the novels as to how much he knows) because by all laws, Renly was a traitor. Furthermore, he also knows the history of the Dance of the Dragons, where brother murdered his “traitor” sister, offering him historical precedent for the very same act.
But if this this is truly the case, if duty is truly Stannis’ goal and not a crown…
The problem with that is by the laws of succession, (and as is mentioned above) Stannis HAS to be king. People argue the whole thing about Robert rebelling, but bear in mind that was the only time in the series that Stannis very POINTEDLY went against the letter of the law (he complains about Jon not becoming Lord of Winterfell, but ultimately he respects that decision). And honestly, Robert treated him like crap after everything he did, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that pretty much cemented for him that “going against the ‘rightful’ way of things is a horrible idea”.
Stannis is constantly at odds with himself on trying to do the “right” and “lawful” thing, and often, it leads to tragedy. But sometimes, as when Davos reminded him of his duty to the realm, he does something great. He’s pretty much the definition of “lawful neutral” in his worldview. He does things not because he WANTS to do them or even that he might think that they’re the BEST things to do, but because they are the only courses of action that allow him to follow what he sees as his duty, based on the law and historical precedent. Imho, it’s a skewed worldview, but it’s what makes Stannis one of the most fascinating and tragic non-POV characters in ASOIAF.
TL;DR, imho Stannis has a lot of skewed priorities, but really, it’s his devotion to duty that causes a lot of problems (both with inner turmoil and politics as a whole).
This is Stannis Baratheon.He will fight to the bitter end , and then some.
BONUS SAD STORY
i’m still so angry that stannis almost starved to death holding storms end for robert (he was like seventeen for fucks sake) and robert just basically disregarded and made fun of him for the rest of his life what an asshole
7 days of GOT: one king → "there is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man.”