The Greyjoy Rebellion
Stannis Baratheon smashed Victarion Greyjoy’s fleet. This allowed Robert to reach the Iron Islands and Stannis will be forever known in the fanbase as Stannis The Mannis. They call him the man who never smiles. I bet he smiled then. Furthermore, he also took Great Wyk in the name of Robert while Ser Barristan Selmy led the assualt on Old Wyk.
“I defeated your uncle Victarion and his Iron Fleet off Fair Isle, the first time your father crowned himself. I held Storm’s End against the power of the Reach for a year, and took Dragonstone from the Targaryens. I smashed Mance Rayder at the Wall, though he had twenty times my numbers. Tell me, turncloak, what battles has the Bastard of Bolton ever won that I should fear him?”
Stannis Baratheon To Theon Greyjoy
Mace Tyrell laid siege to Storm’s End for almost a year. He laid siege from land and Paxter Redywyne by sea stopping any supplies from getting in. Stannis and the men he commanded had to resort to eating the horses when the food ran out, and then they were about to start on the rats and the dead men. If it were not for Davos being able to slip through enemy lines, they would have died of starvation. He brought onions and salt fish thus being named The Onion Knight. Stannis holding Storm’s End meant that the Tyrells could not help the Targaryens on The Trident. If the Tyrells had been able to help, the battle would have been very different and I believe that Rhaegar will still have died but they would have Viserys on the Iron Throne, mad king in the making.
The Battle Of Storm’s End
Stannis sends ravens to everyone that will listen about the current royal children being born of incest. He rides for Dragonstone and musters what forces he can. Renly flees Kings Landing to Highgarden and marries Margaery of House Tyrell to secure their support. He lays claim to the iron throne and Stannis sees this as an insult. He is the eldest so the throne is his by all laws of Westeros.
“The Iron Throne is mine by rights. All those who deny that are my foes.”
Stannis sails for Storm’s End, surrounding it with his small land host and cutting it off from the sea with his superior naval force. Renly cannot let an army take him from behind so he rides to Storm’s End with all his knights and lords, leaving his foot soldiers at Bitterbridge. He talks with his brother during which a peach is offered by Renly to Stannis. They threaten each other but concur that the battle will take place at first light the next day. A shadow being murders Renly in his tent before the battle can even take place. Ser Loras Tyrell kills Ser Emmon Cuy and Ser Robar Royce in anger for failing to protect their king. Brienne Of Tarth and Catelyn Stark flee the scene and are blamed for Renly’s demise.
Upon Renly’s death, the majority of his forces join Stannis. The Tyrells, Randyll Tarly, Mathis Rowan and Lady Arwyn Oakheart refuse. Renly’s castellan inside Storm’s End, continues to stand firm, refusing to bend the knee. During a meeting beneath the walls, Cortnay demands a single combat with a champion of Stannis’ choosing and is refused by Stannis. He wants Robert’s bastard, Edric Storm, but Cortnay refuses to hand him over.
In order to persuade Ser Cortnay, many ideas are pondered. They are as follows: outright attack the castle, leaving a force to mount a long-term siege, or threaten to murder Cortnay’s father, Lord Penrose. Stannis rebuffs all of these suggestions. Alternatively, he turns to the Onion Knight to smuggle Lady Melisandre beneath Storm’s End. Storm’s End was built by Bran The Builder (founder of House Stark). Its walls are protected against magic. In a cavern under the castle, Davos sees Melisandre give birth to a shadow being, implying that she also created Renly’s murderer. Soonafter, Cortnay falls from a wall. Lord Elwood Meadows surrenders the castle to Stannis as he was Cortnay’s number two. Stannis leaves Ser Gilbert Farring in his stead, with Elwood as his second with two hundred under his command.
Moral: Stannis doesn’t suffer fools. Even it is your own brother. He had to dispose of the garbage. If you’re own brother won’t follow you, why should your bannermen? He had to get rid of Renly to avoid war and save the lives. He may not have liked the the turncloaks but he needed them.
“These pardoned lords would do well to reflect on that. Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. But these lords who flocked to my brother’s banners knew him for a usurper. They turned their backs on their rightful king for no better reason than dreams of power and glory, and I have marked them for what they are. Pardoned them, yes. Forgiven. But not forgotten.”
Stannis Baratheon To Davos Seaworth
The Battle Of Blackwater Bay
Stannis sails a large host into the bay and within minutes half of his fleet gets destroyed by wildfire from a lone flaming arrow igniting the Blackwater. He’s lost half his fleet yet he sails onto the beach and tries to take the city. He would have succeeded if it were not for Lord Tywin and the Tyrells arriving just in time.
Beyond The Wall
Jon and Stannis are the only main characters that recognize the threat beyond the Wall. Winter Is Coming and the white walkers are not something to be mocked. They’re not just a children’s story or myth as the southern lords say sitting on their flowery seats in the south. They both recognize that everyone must work together to fight the White Walkers. Wildlings, Crows and the Westerosi houses alike must set aside their petty differences in order to survive and for the common good. It may not be what they want to do, but it is necessary. Stannis goes North instead of south. He goes beyond the Wall. That’s where the real fight is.
“Winter is coming. We know what is coming with it. We can learn to live with the wildlings or we can add them to the army of the dead. Whatever they are now they are better than that”
Jon Snow To The Watch
Stannis breaks Mance Rayder’s army though Mance had twenty times his numbers. Stannis knows that the North needs a Stark to survive. He knew it but it was confirmed from Lyanna Mormont’s reply to his letter. “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK“ He proposes that Jon break his vow and he will name him Jon Stark, Lord Of Winterfell and Warden Of The North. Jon was raised by Ned Stark. Did Stannis really expect Jon to break his vow? If Jon could see beyond his honor and duty to the Watch, he would see that he must do what needs to be done. Soonafter, I saw that Stannis’ pragmatic demeanour is echoed through Ser Davos when he has a conversation with Jon about what is good for the realm thus motivating Jon to go to Hardhome with Tortmund.
Stannis’ content of character is one of the only true personalities in the whole series. He’s not full of lies and deceit. He doesn’t have an ulterior motive or multiple agendas. Yes, he’s a cold a man and serious but he watched his parents ship sink in Shipbreaker Bay in the Stormlands.
“I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. In King’s Landing, the High Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men”
Stannis Baratheon To Davos Seaworth
Stannis isn’t hellbent on the iron throne. He was to being with, but then he saw what must be done. He wants to save the country to get the throne rather than get the throne to save the country. If he didn’t care about the country he would have regrouped at The Wall and then sailed back round to Kings Landing for a second bout with the Lannisters. Instead he went head first to Winterfell with not enough men in the midst of winter. I admit it was stupid, but it was admirable. “There is no creature half on earth so terrifying as a truly just man”. I agree in what he did though. If he had waited at the Wall, it would have been too late as winter can last years.
“Lord Seaworth is a man of humble birth, but he reminded me of my duty, when all I could think of was my rights. I had the cart before the horse, Davos said. I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.”
Stannis Baratheon To Jon Snow
Stannis is a proven battle commander and utterly without mercy. Barristan says to Dany “Sometimes it is better to answer injustice with mercy”. This is where Stannis and Dany are akin. They would both answer injustice with justice. He doesn’t suffer fools. He is honorable, dutiful and pragmatic. He is willing to disregard honor to do what needs to be done. That is where Ned Stark failed and why he lost his head. Furthermore, he’s a leader and doesn’t just give his men orders and watch them do all the hardwork. He is at the front leading his men.
In reply you may say Stannis had his daughter burnt to ashes. I would reply with some facts from the series. This is a medieval fantasy drama that has pulled elements from medieval history. Kinslaying being one of them. During The War Of The Roses, George Duke Of Clarance tried to usurp the throne from his brother Edward IV. He failed and he was drowned for it. He chose to be drowned in a barrel of wine because he thought it would be amusing. Tyrion commited patricide when he killed Tywin whilst he was on in the privy. Robb Stark killed his distant relation Rickard Karstark. Jaime killed his cousin, Alton Lannister (show) to try to escape the Stark camp. People claim that Dany didn’t kill her brother Viserys but letting Khal Drogo kill him as good as killing him yourself. Dany fans call her innocent but she is far from innocent. Watching your brother getting killed by your husband is just as bad and telling your dragons to burn people to ashes is equally as bad as well.
“Come the season, throners*, we shall see, come the season”
People kill each other all the time. Yes it was his daughter. I believe he did it to halt the winter in its tracks. It may also be in Melisandre’s sacrifice inventory to resurrect Jon. I have a theory for next season that Jon will be revived as Azor Ahai. He will lead the wildlings and recruit any northern lords that will come to his side. The wildlings will fight with him after his actions at Hardhome. It shows that he really does care. He is the last known Stark (in the male line). He is a bastard but he was Lord Commander Of The Nights Watch and has proven himself capable. He can lead, he can fight and I am sure the northerners will rally behind him to take Winterfell and mount Roose Bolton’s head on one spike with his bastard’s head on another. Jon Snow is one of the last just characters left.
Stannis sacrificed his only daughter for the realm. He wouldn’t have sacrificed her unless he had any other choice. The Red Priestess’ predictions have been just until now. The blood of kings has put Stannis’ rivals in the ground. Joffery Baratheon, Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Renly Baratheon are all dead. Who’s to say that Shireen’s sacrifice won’t have a hand in Tommen’s death as well? Yes he killed Shireen. Yes it was his daughter. It’s unforgiveable and he’ll have to live with that for the rest of his life. That’s a punishment worse than death.
PS: Stannis lives until I see a body.
* – It’s what I call fans of A Song Of Ice & Fire/Game Of Thrones