How I imagine Renly and Stannis fighting.
Favorite ASOIAF Characters (in no particular order) | Stannis BaratheonIt was justice. A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.
#y’all we need to talk about stannis’ idea of justice #and how it is not a dedication to any sort of higher external ideal#it is about how stannis can’t stand for liars and decievers #it is about how he needs everyone to be up front with him #he is up front with them and they should return it #you do x you get y reaction #that is how it will always be #there is no z #there is no third option #x gets y #no tricks #no plans #no plots #stannis wants people to be honest #to not dally around the truth #stannis isn’t about ideals #he has laid down the rules that everyone else has ignored #and he is the only one following them #and he is ignored for it he is forgotten and laughed at #stannis tries to fit westeros into a logical paradigm with which he can cope #you hold storm’s end you get storm’s end #fingers for smuggling and a knighthood for onions #solid iron truths #and finally these rules have UNQUESTIONABLY gotten him something #the iron throne is MINE #by rights #and no one can question that
“Maester Cressen told Stannis that we might be forced to eat our dead, and there was no gain in flinging away good meat.” Renly pushed back his hair. Brienne bound it with a velvet tie and pulled a padded cap down over his ears, to cushion the weight of his helm. “Thanks to the Onion Knight we were never reduced to dining on corpses, but it was a close thing. Too close for Ser Gawen, who died in his cell.”
copying tags from this post because AGH MY HEART
#and stannis would’ve only been 18!!!! #OH MY GOD ROBERT WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR BROTHERS TO STARVE AT STORM’S END FOR A YEAR OMG #AND STANNIS WOULD’VE ONLY BEEN 18 WHEN HE ~PUNISHED~ DAVOS BY CHOPPING OFF HIS FINGERS!! #that’s why he doesn’t have a ~sunny disposition~ #his first job as ~a proper lord~ was to keep people alive while the enemies are waiting for them to ~die~ #FOR A WHOLE YEAR OH MY GOD #and when his master-at-arms who.. you know.. probably taught him sword-fighting and was there when he grew up etc etc #when that master-at-arms wanted to parley with the tyrells and betray stannis #stannis wanted to throw him over the wall in condemnation~ #he was only stopped by maester cressen who said that ~it was a huge waste of meat~ #if it ever came to that #he stayed loyal to his brother’s orders (!!!) #then his brother doesn’t even love him (!!!!) #fucking feels for this stupid fucking family jesus #don’t mind me k #AND TO MAKE THINGS WORSE ROBERT GAVE STORM’S END TO RENLY (!!!!!) #FUCK DAT SHIT
- Unintentional Hilariousness. Perhaps more so than I’ve ever seen, in any other form of literature. (“Celtigar pronounced it admirable. If I showed him the contents of my privy he would declare that admirable as well.” / “Laws should be made out of Iron, not out of pudding.” / “Not for running tales. She’s wanted for her teats, not for her tongue. I’ll have more milk from her and fewer messages.” (Heh. This last one especially sounds pretty fucking hilarious out of context.) / “You haggle like a crone with a codfish, Lord Snow. Did Ned Stark father you on some fishwife?” / “Her own father got this child on her?’ Stannis sounded shocked. ‘We are well rid of her, then. I will not suffer such abominations here. This is not King’s Landing.” / “Are you trained crows, to croak at me in turns? Enough.”) And many, many only slightly lesser lines.
- Pathos. Nobody loves him. Nobody has ever really loved him. He knows it. He’s never really gotten over it, and never really will. It is especially painful to read what he later does in light of Cressen’s intro of him, and his lonely, isolated childhood.
- Interesting interactions with other characters. No matter who they are and what they want, Stannis has some issues that are going to come bubbling to the surface.
- Mystery. The fact is that, despite the huge role that he plays, we just don’t see in his mind. This is the case with a few other characters, but often said characters are either fairly straightforward or open books (Robert Baratheon); not enormously complex (Robb Stark); or explain (to an extent) why they do what they do through explanations to others/emotional outbursts (Doran Martell or Sandor Clegane). With Stannis, this isn’t really the case. Oh, he tells Davos why he’s doing what he’s doing all right, but due to his innate complexity and capacity for self-delusion, how far can we really trust him?
- Interesting History. Witnessing the death of his parents at age 13. Growing up in his brothers’ shadow. The role he played in the War of the Usurper. His continued relationship with Robert, easily the most fascinating and, imo, the only truly believable sibling relationship in these books. These are all fascinating in themselves, and, furthermore, one can see how they shaped Stannis. And, unlike with some other characters, there is little idealization or romanticization of his feelings for any of his family members. (I’m —and I know I may well be alone on this one— thinking of all of the Starks, here.)
- Authorial Distance. No favoritism or unequivocal hatred to mar GRRM’s view of this guy; Stannis is presented with sympathy and honesty, but without favoritism or indulgence. IMO, I wish GRRM could be capable of treating all of his characters with such justice and moral clarity and artistic distance.
- Complexity. Stannis is kind of a douche on a lot of issues. And yet, he is far, far more interesting than many better, nicer, more admirable characters. In my heart of heart I know that the Stark kids and (arguably) Dany are both better people than Stannis Baratheon. But I have simply never felt for those characters as I have for Stannis, simply because they do not feel as real.
For Stannis, I have felt everything from outrage to love to heartbreaking pity to occasional hatred to real sympathy. For my other favorites, it’s mostly just admiration, occasional sympathy for their pain and suffering, and empathy for their difficult situations and choices. However, none of them have ever hit me on a visceral level as Stannis does. No accounting for that, but there it is.