Daenerys Targaryen should win the IRON THRONE
Pro picks Daenerys Targaryen to win Iron Throne
Con picks other contenders including but not limited to potential rivals:
Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish
Or select your own viable candidate from tv show
[don’t use Iron Bank or WhiteWalkers because their full-potential is unknown outside of the books and television show, however you are open to discuss them]
BOP IS SPLIT: 50/50
Stannis is a good choice. Without a doubt, Stannis has the most military experience and is probably the only claimant to be on the front lines leading troops rather than from the rear (i.e. Battle of the Blackwater ground invasion). Since this debate is Daenerys versus Stannis, I will focus primarily on Daenerys in this round but will compare Daenerys’ advantages compared to Stannis. I will address Stannis in more detail in the 3rd round based on the arguments put forward by Con.
[Thesis, on how power functions in GAME OF THRONES universe]:
If Game of Thrones is anything, it is a struggle for power. The primary currency in this world is force and military might. Superior force, winning wars, making your enemies fear your presence and power is how the Iron Throne is won.
[If you accept this, then]:
Daenerys is the safest bet to take the throne, and unquestionably, a more secure investment than Stannis whose entire army is stationed at the Wall alongside the Night’s Watch, just as winter begins in the background.
[Part I: Central Arguments]
Reasons for Daenerys
(1) Drogon, Rhaegal, Viserion—WHY DRAGONS MATTER
"Dragons are fire made flesh. And fire is power." R13;Quaithe
Stannis may be a tested battle commander with experience but…no one army has seen dragons for a century and a half. Whatever methods, strategies, or military solutions devised to combat full-grown dragons will come from trial and a lot of error.
Reality of Dragons:
Dragons can demolish entire cities, quash entire armies, and historically (see citation) enabled the House Targaryen to keep control over the Seven Kingdoms with three dragons, the same number as Daenerys has now.
(1a) Dragon argument continued: quick history to demonstrate their power:
“Five thousand years ago, men of the Valyrian…dominat[ed] almost half of the Known World. Four hundred years before the War of the Five Kings, the entire Valyrian Empire and almost all of its dragons were destroyed in a single day, during a cataclysmic volcanic eruption known as the Doom of Valyria. One Valyrian noble family, the Targaryens, survived the Doom on the distant island outpost of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea - along with the last surviving Valyrian dragons.”
In the Game of Thrones universe it would be an historically anomaly if Daenerys did not use the dragons to gain power and the Iron Throne.
(1c) Dragon Argument continued: [Analogy of dragons to military technology in real world: Dragons are the Nuclear Weapons of Westeros]
Dragons are the nuclear weapons of Westeros. If properly procured and controlled it makes one side virtually untouchable until other powers figure out countermeasures. Like nuclear weapons, their very existence poses a threat both power in possession of them as well as for others powers competing for supremacy. However, even a momentary advantage is enough to vanquish opponents and consolidate power.
(2) SIZE ISSUES: Daenerys has a bigger!
(2a): Raw Numbers
Daenerys army is according to estimates at 10,000. Stannis has roughly 5,000 according to Dance with Dragons. Size has to be considered in considering who is the more likely to take the Iron Throne. However, I’m sure my opponent will say it is only one factor to consider, and I agree on this point.
(2b) Skill of Forces Unsullied
"The Unsullied are not men. Death means nothing to them." R13;Missandei to Daenerys
The unsullied are born to fight, are raised to fight, “death means nothing.” Here is a brief overview of their training:
[“They begin their training at five years old, when their genitals are fully removed. They are also given a puppy to look after, and at the end of the first year they must strangle the puppy to death. If they refuse, they are culled from the trainees and killed. They train from dawn to dusk until they have mastered the shortsword, shield, and three lengths of spear. Only one in three survives the training regime. Upon being given the spiked cap which is the symbol of their rank, they must go to the slave market, kill an infant slave before its mother and pay the slave owner for his loss.”]
 Martin, George R.R., The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) (New York: Random House Publishing Group.) (Kindle Location 677). Kindle Edition. Also available on the site hyperlinked below
 http://gameofthrones.wikia.com... also in The World of Ice & Fire
 http://gameofthrones.wikia.com... [the figures are provided on the right-hand side]
 George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (New York: Random House 2011), on page 517 of 2011 Kindle Edition which is also chapter 36 at the very end. The relevant quote comes from correspondence Jon receives about Stannis’ progressive in the North. Here is the relevant quote regarding hard number: “We are five thousand strong as I write, our numbers swelling every day.”
Considering that the resolution states that Daenerys Targaryen
should win the Iron Throne, this debate is about what should be the case, not necessarily what will be the case.
In other words, this debate is not about who will be most likely to win the Iron Throne, but instead who is:
A) The most rightful choice and most deserving of sovereignty
B) The better person to rule
I argue that King Stannis Baratheon is the most suitable ruler of Westeros because he is superior in both A and B, but mainly B.
In terms of inheritance, it is clear that Stannis is the rightful king. The previous King was Robert Baratheon, and he left no legitimate sons at the time of his death (1). If there are no legitimate sons, then the line goes to brothers. Robert has two brothers; Stannis and Renly (2). Stannis is the elder brother so is closer in line to the Throne.
As of Robert's death, Stannis is the next in line to the Throne, and hence he should rule Westeros by all the laws of Gods and Men.
In contrast, Daenerys is an extremely remote relation to Robert. Their families were only joined long ago when Aegon the Conqueror's bastard brother Orys was legitimised and became the founder of House Baratheon (3). Hence Daenerys is not in place to inherit the Iron Throne because she is not immediately related to Robert.
Quality of ruler
There are two aspects to this factor:
D) Ability to rule
Stannis has a superior character to Daenerys for multiple reasons:
1. Stannis strives for the Throne not for his own sake, but for the realm's and for his family's. In contrast, Daenerys only seems to want the Throne for her own ends and for personal power.
'I am king. Wants do not enter into it. I have a duty to my daughter. To the realm.' (4)
2. Stannis appreciates the threat beyond the wall. All the other claimants are more obsessed with becoming King/Queen than actually protecting the realm. He recognises that the threat of a Wildling Invasion and, even worse, an incursion of White Walkers in the next Winter.
3. Stannis has an inspiring sense of justice. He has never punished anyone out of anger or spite, unlike Daenerys, but out of duty and justice. This inspires fierce loyalty and respect from the likes of Davos Seaworth and Eddard Stark respectively. Daenerys is very inconsistent with her sense of justice, mostly because she makes most of her judicial decisions in a state of anger and pride.
Stannis also has a better ability to rule than Daenerys has, for the following reasons:
1. Stannis is prudent and wise. After the Battle of the Blackwater his army was virtually destroyed, yet he built himself up, saved the Wall and is now at the head of a 5000 strong army marching to reclaim Winterfell from House Bolton. True, Daenerys got herself a 10000 strong army but, as Daario put it:
"Anyone with a chest full of gold can buy Unsullied." (5)
The gold being neatly provided free of charge by Illyrio Mopatis (6), not achieved by any achievement of Daenerys.
2. Daenerys struggles to rule Meereen, so she can hardly be expected to rule Westeros (a much larger and more diverse kingdom).
3. Stannis is one of the best military commanders in the realm, and hence he is much respected. He once held Storm's End through a year-long siege surviving on nothing but rats and (eventually) onions (7). He would have also taken Kings Landing if it wasn't for Tywin Lannister's army arriving just in time (8).
4. Stannis is feared. Not in a resented way but in a respectful way. He is feared because he is so just, and so he would be able to command a kingdom effectively and quell any lords who may be thinking of rebellion. This is a crucial attribute to an effective ruler.
In Varys's words:
'There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man' (9)
5. Stannis is honourable, which entails that he earns people's trust. This is doubtless an invaluable trait when dealing with everyday ruling and administering the small council. It also means that he can get people to do things for him merely on his reputation, for example he was able to enlist the fleet of Sallador Sahn on the basis that:
"No man in the Seven Kingdoms is more honorable than Stannis Baratheon. He will keep his word" (10)
His reputation also enabled him to secure a crucial loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos (11).
6. Stannis is determined. In the words of Tywin Lannister:
"This is Stannis Baratheon. The man will fight to the bitter end and then some" (12)
I will go on to refute my opponent's round 1 in the following round.
(1) A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39
(4) A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36
(5) Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 1
(6) A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63
(7) A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36
(8) A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62
(9) A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58,
(10) A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10,
(11) Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 6
(12) A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72
From last round, here is a breakdown of my opponent’s arguments major points:
1. Stannis appreciates the threat beyond the wall.
2. Stannis has an inspiring sense of justice
3. Stannis inheritance
4. Stannis is best military commander
Response to Con #1: Stannis and the wall threat
Ask yourself when winter comes, is it more likely Stannis the experienced military commander will kill the undead army of white walkers with a ground using dragon glass, which doesn't work on wights but only the White Walkers as Sam discovered. Or Daenerys, who has three dragons that fly and breathe fire--the only known vulnerability of both White Walkers and Wights.
Response to Con #2: Stannis has an inspiring sense of justice:
This argument only makes sense if you’ve never read the books or watch the television series because anyone who has will remember: Stannis used Melisandre to conjure black magic and kill his own brother, Renly. Before he died Renly said of Stannis, "No-one wants you for their king. You never wanted any friends, brother, but a man without friends is a man without power!" R13;Renly Baratheon to Stannis Baratheon
Response to Con #3: Stannis inheritance
Daenerys has the most legitimate claim to the throne. While her father (mad king) was not a good, nor justice, and as the name suggests mad but after his death the throne would have gone to his son, Daenerys brother, but instead Robert who took the throne by a rebellion and through various alliances with the Lannister family and other. In reality, Daenerys has the only legitimate claim in all of the kingdoms because she is a Targaryen.
Response to Con #4: Stannis best military commander
Stannis as great military leader: yet Con only mentions examples where Stannis failed (Battle of Blackwater, where he lost not only the naval battle (Tyrion wildfire) but the ground battle too (Tywin) surprise attack, which according to Con he would have won "if not wasn't for Tywin Lannister's army arriving just in time." That's like saying the Confederacy would have beat the north if only Lee (likely more skilled and experienced) hadn't lost to Grant (a better strategic thinker with more forces)
Finally about the wording of the debate:
How do you win the Iron Throne? Winning the war
Should win [based on every definition of the word win includes a competition or conflict]
Pro never uses the word rule. Furthermore, anyone familiar with Game of Thrones will realize a king or queen doesn’t rule the Iron Throne; they rule the Seven Kingdoms; they rule Westeros.
I can see you’re trying to pull a semantic trick on a noob (read: me) but here it doesn’t work on either a figurative or literal sense to construe Should Win with Iron Throne to mean Should be rule over the Seven Kingdoms.
I will let voters decide what is the more reasonable. But they should consider that I am using my language in precisely the same way George R.R. Martin does in Dance of Dragons:
Salla’s only hope was to remain loyal to Stannis Baratheon until he won the Iron Throne. Elsewise he would never see a groat of his money. He had to be patient.”
As doomed as we’ll be if the Iron Throne marks us down as traitors. We must be certain that we do not choose the losing side.”
Clearly to win something there must be a competition. In the books and on television, everyone is trying to win the Iron Throne, by winning the wars.
 See Quotes section: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com...
 Martin, George R.R. (2011-07-12). A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) (p. 137). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
 Martin, George R.R. (2011-07-12). A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) (p. 155). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Rebuttals of Pro's arguments
Pro makes the following main arguments:
Whilst it is true that dragons are a fearsome military asset, they can only be used effectively if they can be sufficiently controlled. But with Daenerys, it seems that she cannot actually control her dragons (1). Hence, even if dragons are powerful enough to assist in the taking of the Iron Throne, they cannot be controlled by Daenerys.
Whilst it is true that Daenerys has more men than Stannis, and probably more capable men in the form of the Unsullied, this would only enable Daenerys to seize the Iron Throne, but they are a non-renewable resource so whether she would be able to hold it for a sustained period of time is doubtable. Daenerys will not train more Unsullied because she is morally opposed to the training program. The implications of this is that Daenerys can only rely on her unsullied for 20 more years at the most, at which point they will be too old to live up to their military might.
I maintain that this debate is about who should win the Iron Throne, not who is most likely to. Taking this into account, the factors pertaining to the debate resolution are mainly to do with the quality of the ruler and ability to rule.
True, the resolution says 'win', but if we are talking about who should win, we are talking about what is the best result and what ought to happen. Otherwise the debate would be worded: 'Daenerys Targaryen will win the Iron Throne'.
Defence of Arguments
Stannis & the Wall
My point wasn't that Stannis is best placed to defend against the threat beyond the Wall - it was saying that Stannis has the right priorities. He rightly prioritises the defence of the realm above his personal quest for Kingship. This is an admirable trait that infers he would be a good ruler.
The argument concerning dragons assumes that said dragons can be controlled, yet all the evidence suggests otherwise.
Stannis & justice
I know that Stannis is probably responsible for Renly's death, but this does not refute the point that Stannis is just.
Renly was committing treason by claiming the Throne to be his, and refusing to obey his rightful King (Stannis). The punishment for treason is death (2), and so death is what he got. This is an example of Stannis being just - he shows that even family members are not exempt from the law.
Pro's argument is self-refuting. She states that Daenerys has the rightful claim because Robert took the Throne not by rightful inheritance, but by force. But this would also discredit the Targaryen claim, since Aegon the Conqueror took control of the Seven Kingdoms by force as well. We could go further back, and discredit the Andal claim to the throne since they invaded and took power from the First Men. The eventual result would be that only the First Men and their descendants are entitled to the Throne, in which case Brandon Stark is the rightful King (since the Starks are the only major family that is descended from the First Men (3)).
So, unless Bran is actually the rightful heir to the Throne, we cannot go back to previous dynasties to determine the rightful heir, we can only do so by looking within the current dynasty, which is the Baratheon one. Hence Stannis is the rightful King.
Stannis and military success
True, Stannis did lose at the Blackwater, but the odds were very much stacked against him (with the largest castle in the Seven Kingdoms on one side, and near the entire military might of both House Tyrell and Lannister on the other). Not even Randyll Tarly, arguably the most able commander in Westeros, could have won in those circumstances.
(1) A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36
(2) A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36
(3) A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1
(4) A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7