In this episode, Aziz is joined by guest Jeff Hartline (Wars and Politics of A Song of Ice and Fire) for this three part series on The Battle of Ice.
Though there are a variety of ways the Battle of Ice could play out, there are only two possible basic results, a Bolton/Frey victory, or a Stannis victory. Given that, we only have two paths to chart out. We’ll be following them both as far as we can reasonably (or unreasonably!) go. Of particular importance will be the effect of the battle on the Northern political outlook, the series itself, and what it will mean for a host of different characters. We also discuss how a possible battle at Winterfell itself might play out.
I think a lot people suspect Stannis won’t last the series. Losing to the Freys in the midst of a snowstorm isn’t exactly a popular guess for how he’ll go out. The feedback we’ve gotten on parts 1 and 2 of the series definitely back this up. Most of us expect Stannis to win the Battle of Ice, and for his end to come in some other way, or not at all. Only a few predict Stannis to sit the Iron Throne by series’ end, but it remains possible.
Other possibilities range from villainy to heroism, casting him as Night’s King come again, or ponder the notion of Lord Commander Stannis Baratheon, leading a reformed and regrouped Night’s Watch at conclusion of ASoIaF, manning the Wall in force. That is, if there’s even a Wall to man, but that’s another topic, not directly related to Stannis winning the Battle of Ice.
So this episode will have a Stannis-wins bias in terms of how we spend our time. We expect Stannis to win so we prepared with that in mind…
The king stood outside his tent, staring into the nightfire. What does he see there? Victory? Doom? The face of his red and hungry god? His eyes were sunk in deep pits, his close-cropped beard no more than a shadow across his hollow cheeks and bony jawbone. Yet there was power in his stare, an iron ferocity that told Asha this man would never, ever turn back from his course. Lord Manderly had brought musicians from White Harbor, but none were singers, so when Abel turned up at the gates with a lute and six women, he had been made welcome.
“I am sorry that our good friend Stannis has not seen fit to join us yet, as I know Ramsay had hoped to present his head to Lady Arya as a wedding gift. We shall give him a splendid welcome when he arrives, a welcome worthy of true northmen. Until that day, let us eat and drink and make merry … for winter is almost upon us, my friends, and many of us here shall not live to see the spring.”
“White Harbor might prove troublesome should Lord Wyman survive this coming battle … but I am quite sure that he will not. No more than Stannis. Roose will remove both of them, as he removed the Young Wolf.”
“Lord Manderly had brought musicians from White Harbor, but none were singers, so when Abel turned up at the gates with a lute and six women, he had been made welcome.”