Anonymous asked: Fuck, your in depth character analysis on ASOIAF makes me appreciate the series even more. I love the way you delve into the details to reveal more about them, especially with Theon because he's such a misunderstood character at face value, so I have to ask: Why do you want Stannis to take the Iron Throne?
Thanks so much, anon! This is an extremely intelligent fandom when at its best and I’ve seen some of the best meta in my life while striking gold in various characters tags, so I appreciate being considered on a similar tier. ASOIAF really invigorates my imagination in a huge way so it’s pretty difficult to get past the initial thrill and fangirling and actually formulate these feelings into concise, well organized thoughts. Convincing others that your perceptions hold more weight in canon rather than just whimsy plays a huge part in adding to the competitive, good spirited joy I see in a lot of these essays.
When weighing the options in The War Of Five Kings (and the burgeoning Queen) you have, as follows: Joffrey Baratheon Lannister (The Realm, the most well equipped army, the innate contender the small folk represent whether begrudgingly or not, highest in wealth thanks to his maternal side of the family), Renly Baratheon (High Garden - second wealthiest, as George R. R. Martin states that the Tyrell’s new money aspirations fall only second to the Lannisters), Balon Greyjoy (The Iron Islands, proficient in naval strategies), Robb Stark (the entire North and primary Riverlands backing him), and Stannis, who has Storm’s End, one of the more meager numbers in fighting bodies, and a naval that could rival Greyjoy’s. You also have Dany, who is gathering independent forces in the Free Cities, far off from the warring of Westeros.
- Joffrey Baratheon - a man child who has no technical right to the throne, he isn’t the proper heir to Robert’s claim. While he has a powerful presence and rules in the great tradition in keeping your servants in a constant reign of terror, he has little comprehension of battle strategies, peace negotiations, intuitive prowess, and makes detrimental decisions in his own personal body guard services (such as casting out Selmy Barristan from the Kingsgaurd and naming Jaime, who has little interesting in leadership, to the head of it instead). He’s all of 13 in A Game of Thrones, not very fit to be a king in the slightest.
- Renly Baratheon - The good natured youngest son of the brothers Baratheon. He captures the imagination and hearts of the people by conjuring up imagery of Robert Baratheon at his most stunning and vital, but adds a softer touch to that beauty with his legitimate concern for the well fare as an individual rather than collective state property. He rules with spectacle and genteel grace, though both of his brothers have far more realism when it comes to the gritty necessities of warfare. It’s easy to see that Renly’s perfect idealism could begin to rot once actually on the iron throne and having to deal with the day to day bureaucratic essentials of running a kingdom and needing to please all the wrong people for the sake of social politics. While it’s easy for Renly to get caught up in the glamor of rising past his older brother’s legacies, his nature seems as if it would be better preserved and flourish being Hand of the King or Master of Coin.
- Balon Greyjoy - A very complex house that values Medieval tradition more than anything else. It’s exemplified in their house motto; we do not sow […], we take what is ours. Not terribly diplomatic. What I find interesting about the Greyjoys is the nature of their isolationism - being so far off from the tradition of the mainlands, the Iron Islands live by archaic methods and have no realistic grasp of actually conquering Westeros. If anything, Balon seems more concerned with everyone just letting him be King, rather than Lord, of his land. Every rebellion of his in the “modern era” have been easily squashed with the more advanced naval strategies of the Baratheons and Starks. George R. R. Martin seems to foreshadow with every passage that the Greyjoys are essentially on the verge of extinction as every methodology of the Iron Islands has no practical place outside of their own realm. By refusing to adapt, they’re stamping themselves out in the same vein as Darwinism would predict. It’s also well illustrated with what happened to Balon’s male heirs.
- Robb Stark - 14 years old by the time his father is executed, he takes on the weight of the North’s expectations for justice on his shoulders and moves forward with his deep grief and burning desire to prove himself a man in his own right. Has a very innate understanding of battle strategies, and in the same vein as Renly, is very concerned with the individual rather than the bulk of them as separate territories to be conquered and ruled. He has little grasp of what he would actually do short of murdering every last Lannister. He admits in more than one way that he has no desire to be King, and is too naive to understand the political implications of not abiding by social contracts to other houses. As Petyr Baelish and Varys is always saying, following what your heart feels is right rather than what your mind knows you should do is always going to be your downfall when playing the game of thrones.
- Stannis Baratheon - As he never has any hesitation in reminding us, the throne is technically his by Right. It is royal law that the succeeding ruler of the king should be the next in line, and as Robert has no true heirs, the middle child of the Baratheons would be next. What separates the very similar Robert and Renly from Stannis is that he, like most middle children, probably received very little special treatment from his parents and peers while as a child. The eldest child is always treated with a certain kind of dignity and expectation, the youngest always babied and humored above all others, and the middle one.. is just expected to follow suit, typically. Rarely is it ever mentioned in the text that Stannis is a handome man - to contrast, Sansa notes that Renly one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen, and even Ned was nearly haunted by the fact that Renly made him feel as if he were 15 years younger and standing in the presence of old Robert. All of these things collectively add to the tone of seriousness that Stannis embodies - he is not a frivolous man. He doesn’t rely on his stature or looks to get him anywhere, he simply works above and beyond what’s required of him, follows the rules perfectly, and cannot for the life of him understand why anyone could think they were above such a thing. If anything, anyone that breaks the law should be rightfully punished, and those that display heroic marks of valor in the name of justice should be rewarded. He’s quite black and white in this way, but Hell, doesn’t that make him a far better contendor than the other 4? Stannis has vast experience in warfare with holding down Storm’s End with fellow bro Davos Seaworth during Robert’s Rebellion, and spending enough time in the Capitol during Robert’s reign, knows the political game better than anyone. He’s crafty, knows what’s just, and I always find myself rooting for him and his cause whenever one of his pivotal arcs come up. You know he’s always going to do what you can’t help but agree with. I really appreciate his strength in that face of all of his grief - his mother, father, brothers, best friend all dead, he still treks on not letting Cersei rule the kingdom as he knows she does. He’s just a really powerful character and is everything Ned could have been if he wasn’t such a traumatized isolationist that was too inclined to see the good in every one. I LOVE HIM HE DESERVES THE IRON THRONE HE WORKS SO HARD FOR IT GOD RULES OF SUCCESSION TBH