Stannis and davos relationship problems

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stannis and davos relationship problems

It's Davos and Shireen, it's adorable, one of the few truly healthy ones we get from GoT. Everything[EVERYTHING] My favorite relationship on the show (self. gameofthrones) Makes me wonder what Stannis would have been like without her. Problem was my professor never showed up to class lol. After Stannis's defeat and death at Winterfell, Davos remains at Stannis's decisions, because he values Davos's honest advice above that of noble-born .. or social shortcomings, as evidenced by his relationship with Shireen and Jon. As we've talked about before – aside from the numbers problem, much of . To begin with, only Davos has the kind of relationship with Stannis.

Davos is present for the unsuccessful parlay between Ser Cortnay PenroseKing Stannis Baratheonand his new followers. Stannis summons Davos for an in-depth discussion on questions of loyalty, justice, and military strategy, and then sends him off with Melisandre for a secret mission that is not supernatural or creepy in any way. This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes.

So before you go any further, you might want to get yourself something to eat and drink, find a comfy chair, and settle in. This is going to be a marathon essay. As Davos puts it: Other groups are a bit harder to pin down. For example, both branches of House Fossoway — which one would think would be natural rivals — choose their King over their liege lord a choice that will cost them dearly at the Blackwater for reasons that are never made quite clear.

stannis and davos relationship problems

To me, this explains why men like Justin Massey and Gilbert Farring would not only fight for Stannis at Blackwater, but continue to follow him to the very ends of the known world. Contrary to what people think, loyalties really do matter in the Game of Thrones as I argue in Hymn for Spring. As do these other turncloaks I see before me.

He is not far wrong, Davos thought. And where is Mathis Rowan? Why are they not here in your company, they who loved Renly best? Where is Brienne of Tarth, I ask you?

Estermont thinks the flaming heart ill-chosen…Ser Guyard says a woman should not be my standard-bearer. Others whisper that she has no place in my war councils. The Question of Loyalty Which brings up one of the great themes of this chapter, and a natural topic for a book that focuses on a civil war, namely loyalty.

Davos had come too far with Stannis to play coy now. This morning they are yours. Whose will they be on the morrow?


A sudden gust, rough and full of scorn. Like Penrose, Davos is a loyal vassal, and indeed a man who will maintain his loyalty perhaps past the point of reason.

Silvered steel and gold inlay brightened their armor, and their warhelms were crested in a riot of silken plumes… After the brightness of the morning, the interior of the pavilion seemed cool and dim. Stannis seated himself on a plain wooden camp stool and waved Davos to another. If only to irk Celtigar and Florent. At the same time, GRRM is also doing a bit of foreshadowing, showing why it is that Davos will indeed rise not only to lordship but also the position of Hand of the King due to his honest service, whereas his lordly rivals will lose all because of their ambition and self-interest which lead them to betray Stannis or at least his better interests.

While in many areas, Davos tempers his idealism with the hardworn pragmatism as a Flea Bottom urchin turned smuggler, when it comes to Stannis, Davos like Penrose may well push his loyalty beyond the bounds of reason.

Stannis and Davos, Stannis and Justice The topic of loyalty inexorably brings us to the topic of justice — for after all, if lords are disloyal and their disloyalty leads to war, what should a king do about it.

Again, Davos is a kind of personification of the idea of justice, as his fingerbones attest to: Where I came from. They remind me of your justice, my liege. Each should have its own reward. You were a hero and a smuggler.

My lords bannermen are inconstant even in their treasons. I need them, but you should know how it sickens me to pardon such as these when I have punished better men for lesser crimes. You have every right to reproach me, Ser Davos….

Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. 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. I will have justice for him. Aye, and for Ned Stark and Jon Arryn as well.

stannis and davos

First, as BryndenBFish argues in Hymn for SpringStannis shows a surprising degree of flexibility for someone with a reputation for inflexibility. Here, he accepts the support of men he believes deserve to be punished for their crimes, so that he will later be in a position to do so. However, this flexibility extends further, to a rather sophisticated understanding of the motivations of others.

Second, one of the things that does set Stannis apart from other kings is that he is someone with a program he wants to put in place after victory, who sees the monarchy as a means not merely an end. And this contradiction between an active agenda and narrow grudge-holding is what makes Stannis at this precise moment not the right man for the job — he lacks a sense that the needs of the realm might take precedence over his own desire for vengeance.

This is why, dramatically, Stannis needs to lose the Battle of Blackwater, so that he must go through a period of reflection and growth that gets him to see that the duties of the king are more important than his rights. Which brings us to the question of murder — and whether Stannis is one of the condemned guilty.

Did Stannis Murder Renly? He looks half a corpse too, years older than when I left Dragonstone. Devan said the king scarcely slept of late. Only the Lady Melisandre can soothe him to sleep. To pray with him? Or does she have another way to soothe him to sleep? Stannis tells us this directly: For a long time the king did not speak. A green tent, candles, a woman screaming. Your Devan will tell you.

He tried to wake me. Dawn was nigh and my lords were waiting, fretting. I should have been ahorse, armored. I knew Renly would attack at break of day. Devan says I thrashed and cried out, but what does it matter? It was a dream. I was in my tent when Renly died, and when I woke my hands were clean.

Why go into the dream? When viewed in context, I think we should take him at his word — that Stannis subconsciously experienced the assassination of Renly but did not order it. Melisandre has seen it in the flames of the future…Her flames do not lie. On Dragonstone she saw it, and told Selyse. On the one hand, Stannis seems to be arguing for some version of predestination — what Melisandre sees in the flames will come to pass.

On the other, Stannis seems to be saying that there are multiple and conflicting futures, which reintroduces the question of free will: Had I met my brother there, it might have been me who died in place of him.

The men of your garrison will be free to enter my service or to return unmolested to their homes. You may keep your weapons and as much property as a man can carry. I will require your horses and pack animals, however. Especially by medieval standards, Stannis is giving Penrose a good deal — a general pardon, the right to choose whether to go home or to fight with Stannis, he right to keep their weapons and property.

The sticking point seems to be Edric Storm, but this is where audience knowledge vs. He throws my pardon in my face. My lords bannermen are inconstant even in their treasons.

Stannis Baratheon/Davos Seaworth - Works | Archive of Our Own

I need them, but you should know how it sickens me to pardon such as these when I have punished better men for lesser crimes. You have every right to reproach me, Ser Davos. Davos Seaworth and Melisandre of Asshai, who both frequently present opposing advice for Stannis, and who both are heeded and discarded in turns. Much later, in A Dance with Dragons, Lord Commander Jon Snow joins the mix, serving a vital role in counseling Stannis away from foolhardy military and diplomatic actions.

The presence of all these advisors begs the question: An iron-willed man would simply act as he saw fit. But throughout Ice and Fire, Stannis continually relies on Melisandre and Davos to aid him in his decision-making. But more than simply being a spiritual leader, Melisandre also counseled him on ethical and political matters, one of the most prominent being the case of Renly Baratheon.

Renly, on the other hand, raised himself to the purple. To Stannis, this was both treason and a personal slight upon his rights. To Stannis, of course, a vow was resolute — yet he had abandoned it. Someone had to have convinced him to bend from his vow for good reason. In A Storm of Swords, Stannis was in a weak political position.

stannis and davos relationship problems

More than that, Stannis was deprived of good counsel. Davos was missing in action after the Battle of the Blackwater and presumed dead. When Davos returned to Dragonstone, he sought to right the ship. You say we ought show the realm we are not done. Make war, aye… but on what enemy? You will find no Lannisters on Claw Isle. A winner of many conflicts, Stannis was never more himself than when commanding men in battle — and, more than simply winning tactically, he was perhaps the best military strategist in Westeros.

It was counsel that Arnolf Karstark, the castellan of Karhold, had given him. But Stannis was at least open-minded enough to seek out the advice of Lord Commander Snow — and Jon had a different take on the plan. Jon glanced down at the map.

Deepwood is a motte-and-bailey castle in the midst of thick forest, easy to creep up on unawares. A wooden castle, defended by an earthen dike and a palisade of logs. The going will be slower through the mountains, admittedly, but up there your host can move unseen, to emerge almost at the gates of Deepwood.

Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. 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.

In this, we see both good and bad intent, as well as both good and bad outcomes. Moreover, we see Stannis approaching something resembling utilitarianism in matters of both justice and morality.

But when his brother, Robert, rose in rebellion against the crown, Stannis was faced with a difficult moral choice. If you only knew… that was a hard choosing. My blood or my liege. My brother or my king. If he chose his brother over the king, he would violate his oath of loyalty to the crown.

It was the true definition of a dilemma, but, in the end, of course, Stannis chose his brother over his king. I think the answer comes down to justice versus injustice. Aerys II Targaryen was wildly unjust and lawless. He raped his wife numerous times, murdered Rickard and Brandon Stark, and revealed himself to be a man unwilling to adhere to any law — in short, he showed himself unfit for the office.

For a man like Stannis, the injustice and lawlessness that Aerys displayed likely was the turning point for why he chose Robert. If this theory does turn out to be the case, it shows Stannis as exhibiting early hallmarks of being an enlightenment thinker, placing the king under law. When the stormlander and some Reacher lords swore fealty to Stannis, he was well within both his rights and his view of treason to execute them.

Instead, he pardoned them.

stannis and davos relationship problems

However, he goes a step further in saying that he forgave their treachery, which goes beyond the political and military reality and lands squarely on a flexible sense of ethics. But Stannis did something that required him to forgo rigidity: But the fact remained to Stannis: This was something that Stannis came to recognize over the course of the books.

The biggest stumbling block to winning more swords was the issue of religion. Were they treated unequally? Davos Seaworth was elevated to Handship, despite his renewed adherence to the Faith of the Seven. In this, we find a strongly tolerant vision of faiths. Stannis was convinced that the Lord of Light was the one true God, but he was unwilling to force his belief on others. He promoted adherents of any religion who proved themselves useful, such as Davos, and demoted those who proved useless, such as Alester Florent.

stannis and davos relationship problems

And this religious toleration as a means of policy also extended to the old gods of the north. Stannis could have attempted to force a new religion on the northmen, but he resisted that impulse in two key ways. First, he decided to leave Melisandre at Castle Black instead of taking her on campaign with him in the north.

Still, his political astuteness in dealing delicately with the faiths of his would-be subjects is yet another example of his adaptability and inventiveness — the exact opposite qualities of mindless rigidity. It is time we made alliance against our common foe. And to be fair to this viewpoint, he does himself no favors through his brusque speech and demeanor. However, when examined closely, he shows a less-than-iron-willed approach to diplomacy.

In A Clash of Kings and early in A Storm of Swords, his approach to diplomacy is one where he demands fealty in exchange for pardons. When Renly died, Stannis sent envoys to the Tyrells demanding their fealty in exchange for clemency for their treason. Following the death of Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy, Stannis grudgingly decided to offer pardons to the Iron Islands and the north in exchange for their loyalty.

The lions will devour them unless… Saan, I will require your fastest ships to carry envoys to the Iron islands and White Harbor. I shall offer pardons.

However, by the end of that novel, we start to see his thinking evolving considerably though not fully. Jon Snow was the confirmed bastard son of Eddard Stark, and, as a bastard, he could not inherit Winterfell without a royal legitimization.

But Stannis desired a unifying source for his attempts to marshal the north, and Jon became the manifestation of that desire. As it turns out, this would not be the last time that he showed a diplomatic flexibility. When Stannis first attempts to recruit the northern lords in his cause by sending out murders of ravens, he was almost uniformly rejected; the Karstarks duplicitously declared for Stannis, but a number of houses, such as the Mormonts, declared they would never swear fealty to anyone whose name was not Stark, and scores more never even responded.

Homage might have been owed to Stannis by these houses and their lords, but his old approach of demanding their loyalty did not amend itself to receiving the pledges of fealty he desperately needed to win in the north. Fortunately for Stannis, however, he still had Jon Snow. Lord Snow counseled Stannis to refrain from demanding fealty and instead offered a different idea for securing their loyalty: Your Grace will need to go to them yourself.

The clans have not seen a king since Torrhen Stark bent his knee. Your coming does them honor. He is no king of mine. Instead of begging or demanding, asking for help made it more possible for Stannis to win allies.

And win them he did, as we find northern clansmen attacking the ironborn at Deepwood Motte at his side. An important distinction to make here is that most of the northern houses and clans are fighting with Stannis not on behalf of his claim to the Iron Throne, but, rather, to rescue Arya Stark. The king has to be aware of this, and it has to grate on his pride considerably, but he nonetheless allows these men into his ranks and considers them some of his best soldiers in the north, giving them prestigious positions within his army.