The Case For Davos Seaworth

(Welcome to Debate of Thrones, where a panel of Citadel-trained experts explain why someone deserves, or doesn’t deserve, to sit on the Iron Throne. In this edition: only Ser Davos Seaworth can tear down a broken system and remake it for a new generation.)

It’s been seven years since King Robert died and Westeros has had as many self-proclaimed kings and queens since.

Ask anyone in The Reach, near Oldtown, or anywhere in Dorne if they know what the platform of any of the King or Queen-to-be is, what they plan to do with their enemies’ subjects or even how they plan to feed the common people come winter and I’m not sure if they can answer. The noblemen would have you believe that you can only have someone of noble blood rule Westeros. But what if there was a better path? What if we didn’t have to listen to those fancy lads in their fancy castles anymore and that bloodlines and ancestors don’t have to mean shit? The man to lead us to that beautiful summer day is none other than Ser Davos Seaworth.

A Man of Humble Beginnings

Do you really think changing from a Lannister ruler to a return to Targaryen rule or even a Stark will affect how you live? Do you think Daenerys, who grew up across the Narrow Sea with foreign cultures and traditions, understands what the common people of Westeros want? Jon Snow, or Aegon Targaryen or whatever his name is, can claim he grew up a bastard. The truth is he still grew up inside a castle, with servants taking care of him and Ned Stark himself as a surrogate father. Even when he joined the Night’s Watch, he was quickly promoted to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont’s personal steward.

Davos Seaworth was born in Flea Bottom, not the son of some fancy lord or a dynasty of kings, but the son of a poor crabber in the poorest slum in King’s Landing. Does Daenerys Targaryen know how the people of Flea Bottom live? Davos certainly does, as he lived most of his life working with smugglers and pirates, experiencing the worst that Westeros has to offer for more than 20 years. He knows the ins and outs of the poor areas of the land, even if he has a title.

Unlike Cersei Lannister’s privilege from birth, Davos Seaworth worked to rise above his station. After he managed to sneak through the blockade during the Siege of Storm’s End and saved the starving Stannis Baratheon and his men, Davos was rewarded with a title.

Davos then served as Hand of the King to both Stannis Baratheon and Jon Snow. He is a lowborn who was elevated to nobility not because of ancestry or blood, but because of his service to the realm, Davos has also fought in battle, with his counsel aiding in the victories at Castle Black, and twice at Winterfell. He is the oldest of the contestants to the throne, meaning he knows more about the horrors of tyranny than the children king and queen-pretenders.

The Targaryen girl is said to have led slave revolts in Essos, and we have seen the power a military order led not by noblemen, but regular people, in the Faith Militant. Right now, Westeros has a choice to make. We can choice one of the many pretenders to the throne and pray to the Gods old and new that they are different than the many tyrants that came before, or we can forget about the Iron Throne and go a different route, one led by a man who truly understands what the common folk of Westeros go through and who truly cares about us. Dragons will feed on you, but you can feed on onions.

Davos Game of Thrones

He Can Play the Game of Thrones

For most noblemen, Ser Davos Seaworth may be an outsider that was born in Flea Bottom, but he still knows the inner workings of political maneuvers and how to rule. He has surrounded himself with some of the most brilliant minds in Westeros, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Stannis Baratheon, Sansa Stark, and Tyrion Lannister. Davos knows how noblemen think and act, as he’s been around them at their best and worst, but his upbringing helps him navigate through both worlds. Just look at his house sigil, a black ship with an onion on the sails, referring to the name highborn use to insult Davos because of his smuggling background.

Davos does not shy away from letting everyone know where he comes from and how he got here, specially if it helps persuade people, something he excels at. When Gendry was imprisoned by Stannis and Melisandre, Davos bonded with him by talking about Flea Bottom. When it came to talk to the Iron Bank to lend money to Stannis, it was not Lord Baratheon, but Davos who convinced them by pointing that no other ruler would be able to pay the debt. When Jon and Sansa were looking for allies against the Boltons, it was Davos who convinced Lyanna Mormont to fight, because he was the only one who could see how a fight between noblemen affects the common folk.

As many know, most houses in Westeros were started by cutthroats that killed enough people they were awarded with titles. Only unlike most of those houses, Davos keeps his past with him at all times and doesn’t let people forget where he came from. Jon and Dany may tell people that they were earned their stations and came from nothing, but Davos can actually show it while still maneuver the political game with the best of them. Besides, who better to handle the Iron Bank after the war is over than a man who spent his early years trading and smuggling to make a living?

He Doesn’t Take Any Bullshit

Davos knows exactly when to play the humble card and show respect to the noblemen so they will listen to him, but he also knows when he needs to speak up and challenge authority. Stannis was known as one of the most stoic men in Westeros, but even he recognized Davos’ worth as a counselor even when Davos spoke his mind, for better or worse. Davos wasn’t afraid to tell Stannis what he thought, and not just what Stannis wanted to hear. He constantly criticized the Red Woman, but instead of just complaining, Davos offered solutions and alternatives to Stannis, like ask the Iron Bank for help instead of sacrificing the Baratheon bastard, Gendry.

However, Davos has never been too proud not to compromise when a common good could be achieved. Rumors say that when Jon Snow was stabbed by his fellow Night’s Watchmen (some even say he died, though that may be just northern hearsay), Davos saw that the Red Woman could help, and set aside his personal opinion of her and asked for aid. Whispers say that Davos also the first to recognize the importance of the threat beyond the Wall and advised Stannis to send help to the Night’s Watch. He also thought that hiring the Golden Company was a legitimate way to win the war, a tactic Cersei later utilized. When he went to the North, Davos convinced Jon and the other noblemen that Daenerys’ dragons could prove useful against the dead, and most recently, I’m hearing that Davos came up with a plan to end a war between the Targaryen girl and the Starks by marring Jon and Daenerys. How truthful those whispers are, I cannot say. But the former Lord of Whispers, Varys, used to say that once enough people know about a rumor, it becomes information.

Do you want another noble who sucks up to the highborn? Or someone who isn’t afraid to call their bullshit and offers practical solutions?

The True Heir to Ned Stark

Remember Ned Stark? No one complained about him. His subjects called him a good, pure, honest man in a sea of snakes. His only fault was that he was too honest and noble, which ultimately cost him his life. Davos is everything Ned Stark was, without his naïveté.

When Davos smuggled onions into Storm’s End and saved Stannis, the latter paid him with a title, but also a punishment for illegal smuggling. For his crimes, Stannis cut four of Davos’ fingers. Did Davos resent the Baratheon lord for this or try to kill him? No. He submitted to the punishment for the sake of sheer justice, because he had avoided punishment for too long.

Sure, you could say Jon, Daenerys and even Tyrion have done good things for their subjects in Westeros and abroad, but they have all failed their subjects too. Jon saved the Night’s Watch from the wildlings, but then he welcomed them to their ranks and messed up life for his brothers, decreasing food rations and starting chaos. When the Targaryen girl conquered Meereen and freed the slaves, she quickly lost control of the city, reintroducing slavery in the form of yearly contracts and even locking up her dragons in the catacombs. Tyrion was way better than Cersei (though that is a very low bar), but was still bound to her ruling and he engaged in a war that killed thousands.

Davos is also loyal, and willing to lay down his life for the good of the realm, and specially, children. Knowing he was committing treason, Davos still freed Gendry from Storm’s End, and willingly faced the consequences. Davos is also against killing innocent people for a so-called “greater good”, mainly opposing the Red Woman and her black magic.

More importantly, Davos doesn’t believe in punishing common people for what their lords do, as he proved before the Battle of the Bastards, showing understanding of the Northern houses who supported the Boltons.

He Values Education

Because he is lowborn, Davos didn’t grow up with the same privileges the other throne contestants have. But that doesn’t mean Davos isn’t willing to learn. Where Cersei not only doesn’t believe in the Gods, old or new, she even burned down the Great Sept of Baelor as a political move! Meanwhile, Davos has explicitly said he doesn’t know if he believes, but is open to the idea, as seen in him believing the power of the Red God R’hllor. He also isn’t against foreigners, unlike the untrusting Northerners or the hateful Lannisters, as he was seen genuinely interested in talking to Daenerys Targaryen’s counsellor Missandei about her homeland and culture.

More importantly, he isn’t afraid to acknowledge he doesn’t know everything. We know he learned how to read and write just a couple of years ago from Stannis Baratheon’s daughter, Shireen, and you know that impacted him in a way that will see him fighting to establish schools in Westeros.

We are all sick and tired of Cersei Lannister. Sansa Stark is not leaving Winterfell. The Targaryen girl is depending on ancient history to back her claim to the throne, and Jon Snow’s claim is based on mere rumors. Do we not remember how the “facts” regarding Joffrey’s origin amounted to a whole lot of nothing?

What Westeros needs isn’t another heir to a noble house using blood and history as their claim, but someone who has shown they care for the people of Westeros. Not a member of a great dynasty, but a humble man, who isn’t just wise, but who can act wisely. There is only one good man left in the fight for the throne, and he is the only one who can move us past endless fighting for power, that man is the Onion Knight, Ser Davos Seaworth.

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