Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #20 Stannis Baratheon

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! And where better to start than...

I have to say that I LOVE the character of Stannis Baratheon and how he was portayed so well by Stephen Dillane. He is just as grim as he is in the books and I just loved the scenes with him and Ser Davos. Hate the things he did though!

Stannis is the middle Baratheon brother between Robert and Renly, based at the old Targaryen seat of Dragonstone. He was made Master of Ships for his naval exploits when Robert became King but held a grudge when Robert gave Storm's End to younger brother Renly when Stannis and his people had almost starved there during a siege in the rebellion, holding it against their enemies. It was Davos the smuggler who saved them by smuggling food to them until Ned Stark was able to break the siege. He has never felt valued by his brothers or had any kind of love for them, and he is not greatly liked across the Kingdom, which allows Renly to declare himself as the popular choice to suceed Robert. He shows one moment of care for his brother, saying he'll make Renly his heir in return for his backing but Renly's refusal is his death sentence. After his battle defeat he has one moment of regret over killing his brother for nothing.

There seems to be little love between him and his religiously fanatical wife Selyse and no living sons to show for it. He does however feel guilty for his sexual encounter with Melisandre which he confesses to his wife. When his daughter Shireen fell victim to the deadly dragonscale disease, Stannis searched every land and spent his money determined to find a way to save his little girl. That vision of him as a doting father is way different from what we see from Stannis in season five but we do see glimpses of love and pity when he does interact with Shireen earlier. He is a man with a definite moral code and sense of duty but becomes corrupted by the lure of the Iron Throne, becoming ruthless about doing anything to get it. The one person he seems to care about is Davos, the one person who stands up to him and questions what he does but it is a complex and ever changing relationship.

When Stannis receives the letter from Ned about Joffrey's true parantage, he is without doubt the next in line to be King but is unable to get the support he needs to launch an attack on King's Landing. He decides to murder his brother as a traitor using dark magic, taking over Renly's armies which lets him attack Joffrey. Interestingly, in the books, Stannis was the one who raised his suspicions with Jon Arryn about Joffrey's parentage and no letter from Ned about it was ever received, having been found on the dead body of one of Ned's men during the failed rebellion. When Jon is murdered, Stannis flees to Dragonstone and stays there until Robert's death is announced.  

The Battle of the Blackwater is the defining moment for Stannis when he launches his attack on King's Landing. He loses his loyal man Ser Davos when the ships are hit by wildfire. Had it not been for Tyrion's battle command, it is clear that Stannis would have been able to claim victory before Tywin and the Tyrells arrive to save the day. The Lannisters have their issues as leaders but a man like Stannis on the Iron Throne would have been brutal especially with the Lord of Light and death by burning all around him. It would have been like the Mad King all over again. I doubt that the Starks would have found an easier time with him in charge as he viewed Robb as a traitor. Sansa would still be a hostage though she may have been treated better and Robb would still refuse to trade Sansa for Jaime. It is interesting to imagine his reign. Financially, he couldn't do worse than Robert! It is also clear that he is a brave and skilled warrior, leading his troops through every stage of the battle instead of Joffrey hiding behind his men. However he is quick to blame Ser Davos for the battle loss.

He is not committed to the Lord of Light despite saying the words of worship when required. He is more interested in power and will ally himself to Melisandre to use her power to further his own aims. At every setback, he turns on his new God and on her, despite witnessing the power that is given in killing his enemies. Yet despite his lack of faith, he grasps every straw offered if it will win him his Iron Throne, leading him to commit many crimes against his family as we witness through the seasons.More about Stannis in future posts!


  1. Stannis is quite a complicated character. I really do like the humane side of him we see in Season 2 with the interaction with Shireen. However, you and I both know how that relationship ends! What a creep. Even though he was a liar and a cheat, I always found his scenes with Melisandre to be rather interesting and they were quite the power couple. I am so anxious for the new season to start.

    1. Stannis is a great complex character! I always enjoyed the scenes he was in throughout the tv series. I read about an alternative ending to his scene with Brienne where he cries for Renly and Shireen. I'd LOVE to see that!

  2. Well, that leaves me out. People will probably think I live in a cave when I say I have not read or seen anything about Game of Thrones. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Until October last year I knew nothing about Game of Thrones either! That's how long it took me to start watching! *grins*

  3. Ooh we're talking Stannis. I actually kinda like Stannis in the books, moreso than on the show where he's not as developed, although I do wince at some of the things he does (or has Melisandre do lol). I'm fascinated by his relationship w/ Jon because he and Ned I think had respect for each other if not love. Both were honorable and very rigid in their thinking compared to many of the people around Robert. And of course one can argue that he IS the rightful king, since he would come after Robert in the succession, although if you consider tha Targaryens have a better claim then yeah it's probably Dany. But the Baratheons overthrew the Targaryens, so... who?

    I think it would be fascinating to go back in time and see a Small Council meeting with Stannis and Jon Arryn there, before all this stuff happened. Imagine them at the same table wit Varys, Littlefinger, Cersei, etc. Sparks flying?

    I think he's one of the most complicated characters in the books. His interactions with Jon is A storm of Swords and beyond just shine.

    1. I firmly believe that Stannis was a good man deep down, which we see flashes off through season two, yet a man with a rigid moral code who felts let down by anyone who doesn't live up to those standards-like Renly and Robert. If he hadn't got into the dark magic stuff with Melisandre, who knows where he would be. I like that he is complex and a bit dark yet you do understand why he is doing the bad things, being the rightful King. I liked seeing him with Jon in those Castle Black scenes. Stannis seemed to like Jon, which in itself was unusual. I look forward to all that to come in the books! After reading A Clash of Kings, I was fascinated by the story of Stannis being the one who first realised that the kids weren't Robert's. I really enjoyed that! You're right, those small council meetings would have been so interesting!