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What Will "The Winds of Winter" Bring For Ser Davos Seaworth?
Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead
The Winds of Winter is the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This article will take a look back at the previous five installments as well as the next chapter in the series. The reader has been warned that spoilers lie ahead.
Stannis' Loyal Fingerless Onion Knight
Morally good characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire series do not have a very long shelf life as has been shown throughout the series. Gray characters survive while black and white characters suffer miserable fates. This leads us to Ser Davos, perhaps the most esteemable person left in the series. Does this spell out his impending doom or will George R. R. Martin skew his framework and a good guy finally win?
Ser Davos wasn't always a Ser, quite the contrary. His early life saw him as a smuggler in the capital, King's Landing, to make his living. Born very low in society in a place called Flea Bottom in the city, Ser Davos got his smuggling education from Tyroshi pirates who were later executed. During his education he obtained his own fleet, a reputation for being one of the best and a wife who gave him seven sons.
The turning point in Davos' crime filled career came during Robert's Rebellion that saw him put on the Iron Throne. Robert's brother, Stannis, was suffering a year long siege at Storm's End that had the nobility eating rats to survive. Davos smuggled in food around the siege which included onions in his haul. This allowed Stannis to hold out until the siege was broken by Eddard Stark and for his services Stannis knighted the smuggler, which the nobles saw as a slight and began calling Davos the Onion Knight. Stannis, a man of principle, raised Davos to a knight's status for his help but also made the man put his own hand on a chopping block and took all of his fingers for his smuggling days. The Onion Knight now wear his chopped off finger bones in a pouch around his neck to remind him of Stannis' beliefs. He likes to grasp the bones and remind himself of how far he has come.
In the books, as Robert is killed, Stannis makes a claim as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Stannis has let a priestess, Melisandre, into his household who is preaching a foreign religion and twisting Stannis' thoughts. She asks him to reject his own gods in lieu of hers and even goes as far as killing one of his advisers to prove the strength of her fire magic, all of which terrifies Ser Davos. Having always been one os Stannis' must trusted advisers, he sees the rightful King being pulled closer and closer to the Red Priestess.
Stannis sends Davos off to lands all around the realm to proclaim himself as the rightful king as there are multiple men making claims and asking the lords of each land to declare for King Stannis. The current king is Joffrey Baratheon who is thought to be King Robert's but is actually the Queen's bastard with her own twin brother, Jaime Lannister, which Davos also informs the lords.
Davos returns to the service of Stannis back at Storm's End to find that one of the false kings, Stannis' own brother Renly, has been killed mysteriously after meeting with Stannis and Melisandre. He is asked to smuggle Melisandre to his old spot under Storm's End for a task. He takes her there and sees her magically pregnant body, presumably directly after having sex with Stannis. He watches as she births a baby made of smoke and shadows which transforms into an assassin. They return to the city to see that it's leader has also been mysteriously killed.
He being a deeply devout man is outraged by what he is seeing and confronts King Stannis about the situation. Davos feels that she is misleading him from his true goal and asks for her to be sent back to Dragonstone so that when he takes the Iron Throne it is Stannis' victory and not hers. Reluctantly the king agrees and the red woman is sent back to the island.
The all out naval assault is led by Davos for Stannis and they head the offensive on King's Landing. He is wary about how the fleet is set up to attack and as they enter the bay a giant chain is lifted, trapping his ships inside. The Lannisters launch wildfire on their ships and Ser Davos sees his entire fleet destroyed as well as his four eldest sons killed in the fires. Davos is also thrown overboard and ends up washing up on an island, despondent to the world after his sons deaths.
The island affords him no comfort and he hallucinates, hearing his own gods tell him the reason they lost is Melisandre sacrificed them for her own needs. One of the ships from his fleet luckily finds him stranded and he asks to be taken back to a defeated Stannis at Dragonstone. At this point he has resolved to himself that he needs to kill the Red Woman.
As he arrives he is arrested by Melisandre's men because she has foreseen his murder plot in her visions. He is thrown in jail for a time only to be released by Stannis and given the title Hand of the King for his honest council. He is made aware of Melisandre's plans to sacrifice Stannis' brother Robert's bastard to her fires because he has king's blood flowing through his veins. Once again, he vehemently objects and hatches his own plan to spirit the young boy away to Melisandre's chagrin.
Stannis asks him his advice and after reading letters from The Wall and their peril against the Wildlings, Davos tells Stannis he needs to sail North to help the northerners and reclaim an army to which Stannis agrees. Melisandre is brought along for the ride this time out and they arrive just as the dangerous Wildlings are attacking The Wall and a member of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow, is trying to hold them off. Their arrival signals a turn in the battle and the Wildlings are expelled with their help.
Once they have secured victory, Stannis needs to start negotiating political alliances with the northern lords and sends Davos to the main port at White Harbor to meet with Lord Wyman Manderly. The Queen, Cersei Lannister, has heard of these envoys and demanded Lord Wyman behead Davos which she receives a report saying has been done. In actuality, Lord Wyman has invited Davos in and had him hidden within his own castle.
Lord Manderly informs Davos that he will swear allegiance to Stannis and implore the other Northern lords if Davos brings the rightful heir to the North back to them. Rickon Stark, still a child, is a member of the Stark household who have always ruled over the North. Most believe him dead but Lord Wyman has on good authority that he is still alive and hiding out on an island called Skagos that is known for its cannibal population.
The North needs a man to smuggle the northern heir off the island and return him to his rightful place to which Davos agrees.
What Will The Winds Bring?
Ser Davos, the honest Onion Knight, seems set on a path toward Rickon Stark and helping the North. I believe he will set off on this journey and find Rickon with his Wildling protector Osha on the dangerous Skagos. There, his ship will be put out of working use and Rickon's brother, Bran Stark, will contact them through his mysterious tree talking powers. He will inform them that he has contacted Danaerys Targaryen and she will arrive to help take them away and save the North from the White Walkers. Stannis will die nobly and he will give Davos permission to be an aide to Jon Snow and Danaerys who will appoint him as Master of Ships and continue Davos' rise from criminal smuggler.
At least one good guy needs a good ending in this series and I for one am hoping that Ser Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight, is the man to fulfill this prophecy.