How is Stannis Baratheon defeated by Lannisters

"Stannis" redirects here. See also Stannis Seaworth

Stannis Baratheon is the head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone and the Lord of Dragonstone. He is the secondborn son of Steffon Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, and Lady Cassana Estermont.[14] He has an older brother, King Robert I Baratheon, and a younger brother, Lord Renly Baratheon. Stannis serves on Robert's small council as the master of ships. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones Stannis is played by Stephen Dillane.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Stannis Baratheon

Like his brothers, Robert and Renly, Stannis is a large man - tall, broad-shouldered, and sinewy.[15]Jon Snow notes that Stannis towers over him.[16] Stannis has dark blue eyes and a heavy brow. His head has only a fringe of black hair "like the shadow of a crown", and he has a close-cropped beard across his large jaw.[15] His face has a tightness to it like cured leather, and he has hollow cheeks, and thin, pale lips.[15] He grinds his teeth regularly.[15][6][17]

Stannis is a serious, stubborn, rarely-forgiving, hard man with a strong sense of duty and justice.[18][19][20][21][8][6][4] He is proud and protective of his honor.[22][6][23][24] Stannis is an accomplished commander, sailor, and warrior[19] with no thirst for battle, instead commanding from the rear.[25] He has never had the affection of nobles or smallfolk.[15][6][26][27] In his adult life, Stannis is increasingly embittered by the lack of affection he receives from Robert, even though he serves the king as well as he can.[15][28]

Stannis is not a man for easy courtesies,[29] and has always been uncomfortable around women, even his own wife, Lady Selyse of House Florent. During the years he served on the small council in King's Landing, he left his wife on Dragonstone. He wrote to her, but only occasionally. His visits were even fewer, and he did his duty in the marriage bed only once or twice a year, and took no joy in it.[15] Though he once hoped for sons, he has only had a daughter, Shireen.[15]

Influenced by Melisandre, Stannis adopts a new sigil which depicts the Baratheon stag enclosed within a red heart surrounded by orange flame.[29] Unlike many of his noble peers, Stannis dresses plainly.[29] He sometimes wears a grey wool tunic, a dark red mantle, and a plain black leather belt from which hang his sword and dagger.[8] On campaign he wears a studded leather jerkin over quilted doublet, worn boots, breeches of brown roughspun, and a belt studded with garnets and yellow topaz.[29] Other armor includes wool and boiled leather[21] or grey plate inlaid with a flaming heart.[30] Stannis's squires are Devan Seaworth and Bryen Farring,[6] and Ser Andrew Estermont served as his squire years ago.[2]

History

Early life

Born in 264 AC,[12] Stannis was the second son of Lady Cassana Estermont and Steffon Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and head of House Baratheon. He had an older brother, Robert, and a younger brother, Renly.[14][31]

When Stannis was no more than four years old, his father took him and his brother Robert to court. There, Stannis believed he saw King Aerys II Targaryen on the Iron Throne, holding court. Stannis was impressed, and he and Robert agreed that the king had been as noble as the dragons were fearsome. It was years later that Steffon told him that it had been the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister, whom they had seen, as King Aerys had cut himself on the throne earlier that day and Tywin had taken over for him.[2]

As a lad, Stannis found an injured goshawk, and nursed it back to health. He named the bird Proudwing, but his brother Robert called it Weakwing, as it would never fly higher than the treetops, and never soared. (Robert himself owned a gyrfalcon named Thunderclap, who never missed a strike). Eventually, Stannis's great-uncle, Harbert, convinced him to abandon the bird, stating that Stannis was making a fool of himself with it.[6]

Growing up, Stannis always stood in the shadow of his older brother. Whatever Stannis did, Robert had done first and better.[15] These feelings remained until adulthood.[32]Cressen, the maester at Storm's End, came to care deeply for Stannis, moreso than for his brothers, as he felt Stannis was the one who needed him the most, as the most unloved of the three.[15] Even in his youth, Stannis had been an introverted child, who was mature beyond his years, solemn and joyless.[13]

In 278 AC, Stannis's parents were sent on a mission by King Aerys II to Volantis to find a bride for Rhaegar Targaryen, Stannis's cousin and the crown prince, but they were unsuccessful.[33] Maester Cressen remembers how Lord Steffon had written to him a fortnight before his return, stating that he had found a splendid fool in Volantis who would delight Robert and who might even teach Stannis how to laugh, in time.[15] Stannis and Robert were both present at Storm's End when Steffon and Cassana were expected to return from their voyage, looking on from the parapets of the castle. When the Windproud came in sight of Storm's End, the two brothers witnessed how the ship was smashed against the rocks in Shipbreaker Bay and swallowed by the sea, with Steffon and Cassana drowning.[15] According to Stannis, he lost his faith in the Seven that day.[6]

Robert's Rebellion

When King Aerys II Targaryen demanded the heads of Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark after the executions of Rickard and Brandon Stark, Lord Jon Arryn instead raised his banners in revolt, and both Eddard and Robert returned home to call their own banners. The resulting decision that Stannis faced—whether to be loyal to his older brother and liege, Robert, or to his king, Aerys—was a difficult one.[8] Stannis was at Storm's End when Robert returned from the battles at Summerhall with his prisoners, whom he kept at Storm's End, and eventually befriended. Stannis warned his brother that the men he had befriended were men who had wanted to deliver him to Aerys to be burned; while Stannis would have thrown them in a dungeon, Robert made them his allies.[27]

Stannis remained behind at Storm's End when Robert marched again. After Robert was defeated at Ashford, forces from the Reach besieged the Baratheon castle. Stannis successfully held against the siege of Storm's End by Lords Mace Tyrell and Paxter Redwyne,[18] which lasted a major part of the war. His garrison held under desperate conditions, only avoiding starvation by the timely intervention of a notorious smuggler, Davos. His cargo of onions and salt fish allowed them to hold the fortress. After the siege was lifted by Lord Eddard Stark, Stannis knighted Davos and, taking him into his service, allowed the new landed knight to choose the name Seaworth for his new house.[15] True to Stannis's sense of justice, he also punished Davos for his crimes as a smuggler by removing the first joint from each finger of Davos's left hand, as payment for his past crimes. Davos accepted the punishment on the condition that Stannis carry out the sentence himself, which Stannis did, using a cleaver for a cleaner cut.[15]

Lord of Dragonstone

Following the Sack of King's Landing and the surrender of the Tyrells at Storm's End, the new king, Robert I Baratheon, charged his brother Stannis with building a new royal fleet to seize the island of Dragonstone, the last stronghold in the possession of House Targaryen. A fierce storm destroyed the Targaryen fleet which had been protecting the island, while Dowager Queen Rhaella Targaryen died in labor at the castle of Dragonstone. Targaryen loyalists smuggled the two Targaryen children, Viserys and Daenerys, from the island before Stannis's assault on Dragonstone. Robert blamed Stannis for letting the Targaryen heirs escape, although the two children had been spirited to safety by Targaryen loyalists shortly before Stannis had set sail.[15][34][17]

Stannis was displeased to discover that King Robert had named him Lord of Dragonstone, instead of the wealthier Storm's End, which was given to their younger brother Renly, who was only a young child at the time. Stannis resented this and believed it to be an intentional slight,[15] which Queen Cersei Lannister agrees with.[17] According to George R. R. Martin, however, Robert had not necessarily meant it as such.[35] The castle had traditionally been the seat of the heir to the Iron Throne, the Prince of Dragonstone, during most of the Targaryen dynasty, so the then-childless Robert was granting it to his heir at that time, Stannis.[35] Now the Lord of Dragonstone, Stannis became the head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone.

Stannis was appointed to Robert's small council as the master of ships.[18][15] A few years later, he wed Lady Selyse of House Florent. During the wedding, King Robert deflowered Delena Florent, a cousin of Selyse, on the wedding bed. This coupling led to the birth of Edric Storm, the only officially acknowledged bastard of the king. Stannis insisted that the boy was a slight upon the honor of his wife's house and promptly shipped him off to his brother Renly at Storm's End.[36]

In 289 AC, during Greyjoy's Rebellion, Stannis commanded the royal fleet and trapped and destroyed much of the Iron Fleet in a sea battle off Fair Isle. Afterwards, he subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name.[37] He also once led a fleet to Sisterton to suppress smuggling from the Three Sisters.[38] Ser Axell Florent served as Stannis's castellan of Dragonstone for ten years, while Stannis was away at King's Landing.[6]

Despite his loyalty and service to his brother Robert, Stannis always felt underappreciated by Robert. Instead of thanking Stannis for holding Storm's End against the Tyrells during the rebellion, Robert thanked Lord Eddard Stark for lifting the siege. Instead of thanking Stannis for capturing Dragonstone for him, Robert blamed Stannis for the escape of the Targaryen children, even though they left Dragonstone before Stannis had set sail.[15] Stannis helped Lord Jon Arryn, Robert's Hand of the King, in ruling the kingdom but received little or no acknowledgment or thanks from his elder brother, who spent his time hunting, drinking, and whoring.[15] Stannis felt that Storm's End, the ancestral seat of House Baratheon, was his by rights after Robert took the throne, and told Robert so on multiple occasions. In due time, Storm's End was given to Renly instead.[17]

King Robert once rejected Stannis's proposal to outlaw brothels.[18] Stannis has outlawed prostitution on his island of Dragonstone.[6]

Eventually, Stannis began to suspect that the children of Queen Cersei Lannister—Prince Joffrey, Princess Myrcella, and Prince Tommen Baratheon—were not actually Robert's. Varys, the master of whisperers, suggests the idea had been mentioned to Stannis by an unnamed individual.[23] Convinced that Robert would not believe him, Stannis confided his suspicions to Lord Jon Arryn.[29] Together, they investigated the matter, visiting several of Robert's baseborn children in the capital.[39][22] Jon had begun to gather proof when he suddenly died,[29] and Stannis believed Cersei had Jon killed.[29][8] Stannis expected to be named the Hand of the King,[15][29] but Robert instead left for the north to offer the position to his old friend, Eddard Stark.[40] A resentful Stannis left for Dragonstone[41][42][18] with much of the royal fleet.[43] As his maester, Cressen, was old and ailing, Stannis sent to the Citadel for a new maester, and Pylos arrived mere days before Stannis closed Dragonstone off.[15]

During their investigations, Jon Arryn had agreed with Stannis that his young son, Robert Arryn, would be fostered with Stannis on Dragonstone.[18][44][45][17][3] However, this did not come to pass, as Jon's wife Lysa fled back to the Vale with her son after Jon's death.[46]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

After the death of Jon Arryn, Stannis flees to Dragonstone to gather his strength, including most of the royal fleet,[43] and plan his next move,[42] believing Cersei poisoned Jon.[15] Lord Eddard Stark wonders why Stannis left, believing it was due to the discovery of whatever secret Jon was allegedly murdered for, although not realizing that Stannis was also slighted by King Robert I Baratheon's selection of Eddard as his new Hand of the King. Ned, via Grand Maester Pycelle, sends a raven with a polite letter requesting Lord Stannis to return to his seat on the small council.[47] During Eddard's investigation of Jon's death, he discovers that Stannis and Jon had spent a great deal of time together. When he is told Stannis and Jon visited a brothel, when Stannis is normally so righteous to the point of prudish, he gets closer to the truth.[18]

Robert dies after a boar hunt in the kingswood and is succeeded by his son, Joffrey I Baratheon.[48] Eddard has been selected by Robert to rule as regent, though he plans to bring Stannis to the Iron Throne. However, he is outmaneuvered by Robert's widow, Queen Cersei Lannister, and betrayed by Lord Petyr Baelish.[48] Lord Stark had tasked Tomard with personally delivering a letter to Stannis when the Wind Witch sails north,[20] but Tom is slain beforehand by gold cloaks and the galley remains in the capital.[49] The boy king Joffrey subsequently has Eddard executed.[50]

Lord Varys reports to the small council that Stannis is said to be building ships, hiring sellswords, and bringing a shadowbinder from Asshai to Dragonstone.[51]

A Clash of Kings

Stannis declares himself king on Dragonstone. He sends Ser Davos Seaworth to gather support for him among the stormlords, but none are willing to join him. His maester, Cressen, suggests to Stannis that he makes an alliance against the Lannisters with Robb Stark, who has been declared King in the North, but Stannis objects to ruling only half a kingdom. Cressen then proposes that Stannis sends Shireen, his only child and heir, to the Eyrie, to make an alliance with Lady Lysa Arryn, but Stannis's wife, Selyse Florent, objects, stating that Stannis should not have to beg for help, and Stannis sides with her.[15]

Selyse has converted to the faith of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, giving the priestess Melisandre a base of power on Dragonstone. Selyse tells Stannis that the red comet is a sign that Stannis's time has come, and that he must sail from Dragonstone now to conquer.[15] Selyse claims that Renly's men will join Stannis once Renly dies, and that Melisandre has seen Renly dead in her flames. Cressen is horrified by the thought of fratricide and objects, but Stannis dismisses him.[15] Though Stannis is not a follower of R'hllor,[15] he denounces the Faith of the Seven for the Lord of Light, burning the carvings of the seven gods from the Faith as a sacrifice. During this sacrifice, Melisandre proclaims that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, and has him pull a sword out of the burning carvings: Lightbringer. With Davos Seaworth's help, Stannis has recruited Salladhor Saan for his cause. In private, Sallador tells Davos that the sword is not the real Lightbringer.[6] Stannis writes a letter announcing his claim to the throne and the bastardy of Joffrey, Myrecella and Tommen, which he plans to send to the lords of the Seven Kingdoms by raven, and to the ports of Westeros and the Free Cities by ship.[6] Davos tells Stannis that he has no proof of the incest, but Stannis claims that at Storm's End there is proof, though he does not have access. Davos further informs Stannis that it would be unwise to declare for the Lord of Light, if he wishes to win over the followers of the Faith of the Seven, but Stannis rejects the notion, as he believes Melisandre has power.[6]

While his brother Renly is slowly marching from Highgarden to King's Landing by the Roseroad,[6][52] Stannis sails for Storm's End and besieges the castle.[26] Renly rushes to Storm's End with ten thousand[53] of his host to meet Stannis, claiming that he has another hundred thousand on their way.[29] Stannis and Renly parley, and Renly offers Stannis a chance to swear him his fealty, which Stannis angrily rejects. He calls Renly a traitor, as well as threatens Robb Stark to Lady Catelyn Stark. When it becomes clear that Renly, who does not care about Stannis's letter and is confident in his own strength, will not swear to Stannis, Stannis leaves, promising a battle at dawn.[29] Catelyn informs Renly about the murder attempt on her son Bran's life, which she blames on the Lannisters. She now believes that Bran saw Cersei and Jaime having sex, and asks leave to go to Stannis to tell him of her suspicions, suggesting that Stannis, Renly and Robb all cast aside their crowns to call a Great Council. Renly refuses, and is about to continue preparing for battle when a shadow kills him. Stannis's shadow, according to Catelyn Stark.[53] Most of the forces Renly had brought with him to Storm's End join Stannis.[27]

Following Renly's death, Stannis is troubled by terrible nightmares, and only Melisandre, who now shares his pavillon, can soothe him to sleep.[21] He confides in Davos that he sometimes dreams of Renly's death, but that he is innocent, as he had been in his bed when Renly was slain, and that his squire, Devan Seaworth, had been unable to wake him.[21] Stannis has surrounded Storm's End by land and sea, and promises that the garrison might go free unharmed is the castle is yielded up to him in a fortnight.[54] Ser Cortnay Penrose continues to refuse, however, even during the last parley a fortnight later, as yielding require giving Stannis Robert's bastard son, Edric Storm. Cortnay challenges Stannis to single combat to decide the matter, but Stannis refuses. Unwilling to leave Storm's End untaken out of fear that it will be viewed as a defeat, and determined to get a hold of Robert's bastard to proof the incest, Stannis orders Davos to land a small boat beneath the castle, unseen in the black of the night, without anyone else knowing about it, taking Melisandre with him.[21] Davos brings Melisandre beneath the castle, where she gives birth to a Stannis's shadow which enters the castle.[21] That same night, Cortnay falls off a tower of the castle to his death, and the castle yields to Stannis,[55] who subsequently burns the godswood of Storm's End.[56] It is said that Cortnay threw himself off the tower, and his guards could not find anyone else in the room, nor had they seen anyone else enter. However, Lord Varys believes Cortnay to have been killed with magic.[55]

With Storm's End fallen, Stannis is free to march for King's Landing, which has been preparing for his arrival.[56]Tyrion Lannister has the High Septon spread the news that Stannis means to burn to Great Sept of Baelor, to prevent people in the city from joining Stannis.[56] Tyrion Lannister has ordered his men from the Vale mountain clans to light fires to burn the grass, while killing his scouts and raiding his baggage train. In response, Stannis's vanguard sets the kingswood afire, to smoke the clansmen out.[57]

Stannis attacks King's Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater. Most of Stannis's ships enter the harbor, but the Lannisters light wildfire, and when a chain prevents the ships from sailing out of the harbor again, most of them are destroyed. Stannis's forces are close to victory, when Lord Tywin Lannister and the forces of House Tyrell arrive, led by the "ghost" of Renly Baratheon, who is later revealed to have been Garlan Tyrell, dressed in Renly's armor.[58] Ser Richard Horpe and Ser Justin Massey convince Stannis to retreat.[59]

A Storm of Swords

Defeated during the Battle of the Blackwater, Stannis returns to Dragonstone on the ships of the LyseniSalladhor Saan[60] with the few men that remain to him, most of them the queen's men.[61] He names Lord Alester Florent as his Hand of the King, but refuses to see anyone but Melisandre, brooding in the Stone Drum instead. He does not eat, and tales are told claiming that Stannis and Melisandre go down into the Dragonmont to watch the fires inside.[61] After Davos Seaworth is arrested for his plan to kill Melisandre[61] Melisandre visits him, and informs him that she dare not make another shadow son with Stannis as his "fires burn so low" that doing to might kill him.[62] Stannis's Hand, Alester, loses faith in Stannis's chances for success, and prepares to offer peace to House Lannister, to be sealed with the promise that Stannis gives up his claim to the Iron Throne and retracts all he said regarding the bastardy of Cersei Lannister's children in exchange for being accepted back into the King's peace and being allowed to rule as Lord of Dragonstone and Lord of Storm's End. Alester wishes to seal the bargain by offering Shireen in marriage to Tommen Baratheon. However, before he can send his letter to King's Landing, he is arrested for treason.[62]

Stannis has Davos brought before him. While escorting Davos to Stannis in the Chamber of the Painted Table, Ser Axell Florent tries to make Davos tell Stannis that Axell should be named the King's Hand. Stannis informs Davos that Axell wishes to resume the war, and has Axell put his plans to sack Claw Isle to Davos. Stannis wishes to know Davos's opinion on the plans, and sends Axell away when the conversation turns badly, while asking for Melisandre. Davos shares his suspicions about Melisandre with Stannis, but Stannis states he does not believe Renly's death was Melisandre's doing. He shares Davos's opinion on Axell's plans, however, and raises Davos up to be the Lord of the Rainwood, Admiral of the Narrow Sea, and his Hand of the King. Stannis reveals that he has seen a high hill in a forest, where men in black had made a ring of torches, and where shapes were moving through the snow. Though Melisandre has been trying to convince him to sacrifice Edric Storm, Robert's acknowledged bastard, Stannis refuses, ordering her to use leeches instead. Stannis throws the three leeches into the fire one by one, stating the names of the other three kings (Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark).[8]

Both Balon and Robb die not long after, leading to a discussion among Stannis's counselors whether Edric should be sacrificed to wake a dragon from stone, as Melisandre claims will happen. Davos attempts to convince Stannis not to sacrifice Edric once they are alone, but Stannis admits that, should Joffrey die as well, he is willing to consider doing it.[2] Upon hearing the news of Joffrey's death, Stannis is willing to sacrifice Edric, though he still does not like the idea.[63] However, several of the men still loyal to him have forsaken R'hllor and returned to the Faith again,[2] and Davos has found several of them willing to help him smuggle the boy to safety under the care of Ser Andrew Estermont.[63] Stannis is furious, but Davos urges Stannis to sail for the Wall, claiming that "a king protects his people, or he is no king at all", and presents his king with MaesterAemon's letter asking for aid.[63]

Melisandre sacrifices a man to R'hllor to gain favorable winds and sails north. He leaves Selyse and Shireen at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea while marching west with all his forces.[64] They arrive in time to defeat Mance Rayder's wildling army during the battle beneath the Wall.[65] Stannis occupies the King's Tower at Castle Black.[64] Though he plans to burn Mance Rayder, he is willing to allow the other free folk through the Wall if they swear to R'hllor, settling them in the Gift. He has Jon Snow brought to him, and offers to legitimize him and name him Lord of Winterfell in exchange for Jon's help in winning the north to his side. He allows Jon time to think about the offfer.[16] As Stannis needs to negotiate with the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, he is displeased that after ten days of voting, the black brothers still have not yet chosen a new commander, and calls several of the higher ranking men to him to inform them that he will choose a Lord Commander for them, if they do not come to a decision that same day.[7] Stannis informs maester Aemon and Samwell Tarly that he has sent word to his castellan to begin mining dragonglass at Dragonstone to fight the Others, and confirms that he is aware of Aemon's ancestry. Aemon requests to see Lightbringer, and Stannis grants the request.[7] Thanks to Samwell's involvement,[7] Jon Snow is elected as Lord Commander,[66] preventing him from accepting Stannis's offer.

A Feast for Crows

Stannis, the self-styled King of Westeros,[67] remains at the King's Tower of Castle Black. He plans to use Val, whom his men call the "wildling princess", to seal the peace between the northmen and the free folk.[68] Lord Commander Jon Snow has given Stannis food, shelter, the Nightfort, and leave to settle some free folk in the Gift. Stannis has sent out ravens to the northern lords, demanding their fealty, but thus far only House Karstark has replied, swearing Stannis their allegiance.[68]

Before blaming Tyrion Lannister for Tywin Lannister's death, Cersei Lannister suspects Stannis's involvement.[69] She is giddy as a maiden when she learns that Stannis has left Dragonstone, and believes that Stannis has finally admitted defeat and gone into exile. When news reaches King's Landing that he is now in the north, Cersei is furious.[70] She sends two thousand Lannister soldiers to Dragonstone to defeat the small garrison Stannis had left behind and take the castle.[70] Meanwhile, Lord Roose Bolton, now Warden of the North, and two thousand soldiers from House Frey are to deal with Stannis and his few thousand soldiers.[70]

Cersei wishes to deal with the Greyjoys only after Stannis has been defeated.[71] News reaches King's Landing that the Golden Company has broken its contract with Myr, and it is being said that they have been hired by Stannis instead.[71] The small council receives reports that Stannis's Hand of the King, Lord Davos Seaworth, has traveled to White Harbor and that he had been arrested by Lord Wyman Manderly. Cersei orders him to execute Davos.[71]

In Braavos, Maester Aemon becomes convinced that Melisandre has misread the signs that had convinced her that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn.[72]

A Dance with Dragons

Stannis keeps his wildling prisoners beyond the Wall. He rides down the kingsroad almost as far as Queenscrown, prowles through the empty hovels of Mole's Town, inspects the ruins at Queensgate and Oakenshield, and walks atop the Wall each night with Melisandre, while selecting prisoners for questioning during the day.[11]House Mormont has refused to join Stannis, whereas House Manderly's reply to Stannis's letter only made excuses. Jon Snow refuses to give Stannis ownership of the sixteen castles at the Wall that are unoccupied by the black brothers, and asks Stannis for men instead to serve under the command of his own commanders.[11]

Stannis sends Davos Seaworth to White Harbor to treat with Lord Wyman Manderly on his behalf,[73][74] as well sends Richard Horpe and Justin Massey as envoys south.[73] Stannis approves of the execution of Janos Slynt,[73] and has Mance Rayder burned in sacrifice to R'hllor as punishment for having deserted the Watch.[30] In reality, however, Stannis has unknowingly burned Rattleshirt, who had secretly been glamoured by Melisandre to look like Mance.[24] He offers the remaining free folk the choice between bending the knee or returning beyond the Wall to die. Most of the free folk bend the knee and are allowed south of the Wall.[30]

Stannis wins the support of half of the forces of House Umber, commanded by Mors Umber. The remainder of the Umber forces have marched for House Bolton, under the command of Hother Umber, as the Greatjon remains a captive of the Lannisters.[75] Stannis plans to march with the wildlings on the Dreadfort, as Ramsay Bolton has marched south to Moat Cailin. Jon Snow tells him his plan will never succeed. The Dreadfort will learn of his approach long before he can ever reach the castle, and Moat Cailin will fall quickly, which means that Ramsay and Roose Bolton are free to march against Stannis with their entire force. Additionally, marching with the wildlings will only serve to turn the northmen against Stannis. Instead, Jon proposes that Stannis visit the mountain clans, including the Flints, Wulls, Norreys and Liddles. Instead of the Dreadfort, Jon suggests marching against Deepwood Motte to fight the ironborn. In exchange, the wildlings remain at the Wall.[75]

At White Harbor, Lord Wyman Manderly arrests Stannis's envoy and Hand, Davos Seaworth, and fakes his execution. In secret, he promises to swear loyalty to Stannis if Davos can bring him Rickon Stark.[76]

Stannis follows the advice of Jon Snow and marches west to the northern mountains, although one of his squires, Davos's son Devan, remains at Castle Black with Melisandre.[24] The king wins over several of the mountain clans, gathering an additional three thousand men for his army. Stannis then takes Deepwood Motte from the ironborn,[37] returning the castle to House Glover.[76] The Mormonts, as well as smallfolk fleeing from the ironborn and survivors from the battle outside of Winterfell, once sworn to House Hornwood, House Cerwyn, and House Tallhart, join Stannis.[10]Asha Greyjoy and several ironborn are taken captive at Deepwood Motte.[37] Stannis and his army march on Winterfell, taking Asha with them, but they are slowed by heavy snows, and Stannis is forced to encamp at a small crofters' village three days west of Winterfell.[77][78][32]Arnolf Karstark and Mors Umber have begun to march as well, and plan to join Stannis near Winterfell.[10][77] Arnolf eventually finds Stannis at the crofters' village.[79] Many of Stannis's men succumb to the blizzard, including his remaining squire, Bryen Farring.[79]

At the Wall, Tycho Nestoris