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View Full Version : Stanley's Rise to Power [SPECULATION]



Electric_Monkey
2007-03-18, 03:47 PM
Strip 34 has revealed a fair bit about Stanley - namely that he was a common soldier who rose to power by "kinda" regicide, and there's been speculation in a number of threads about how this came about, and how it might reflect on Stanley's leadership ability and his status as the bad guy. From the discussion I've seen, I'm grouping the possibilities into categories as follows

Rebellion - no hammer:
Stanley leads or joins a rebellion, which defeats the king's forces, and is able to establish himself as ruler. This occurs before he finds the Arkenhammer, or Stanley's possession of the Arkenhammer plays no role in the rebellion.

Rebellion - hammer:
As above, only Stanley finds the Arkenhammer before the rebellion, and the arkenhammer plays a key role in allowing him to defeat the king's forces or rally people to his cause.

Personal Combat:
As suggested by slayerx in the discussion thread to explain the "kinda" regicide. In Gobwin knob, besting the king in a duel could be a constitutionally valid way of gaining the throne. Stanley challenges the king to a duel for the kingdom and wins.

Intrigue:
Stanley usurps the king without open rebellion. Potentially using treachery and assassinations, Stanley arranges for the king to be eliminated, and the nobles to install him as Lord.

Other:
Any rise to power I haven't thought of. Please explain your thoughts in a post.

I'm curious to know what people think is most likely, based on what we know so far. Of course "Most likely based on what we know so far" includes reasoning along the lines of "Choice X doesn't strike me as interesting enough. I doubt Rob would use it - I suspect choice Y.

Om
2007-03-18, 04:50 PM
My money's on intrigue. Though I doubt that much of the pre-Stanley nobility either supported him or are currently alive.

Querzis
2007-03-18, 04:55 PM
I would say he found the hammer, declared himself holy and killed the king. Like Om said, I doubt there is any noble in gobwin knob still alive. I bet they were Wanda first troop.

dakiwiboid
2007-03-18, 05:01 PM
Based on Vinnie's "kinda" remark, I would go with the Personal Combat option, even if it is hard to envision Stanley being a fearsome enough warrior to best anyone in single combat. Maybe he's really good with some sort of weapon we haven't seen him with, or maybe it was a magical duel.

KillerCardinal
2007-03-18, 05:08 PM
I'm gonna go with intrigue myself. I don't think he had the hammer before he became the leader, and I can't see him being able to incite a rebellion without something like the hammer. Of course, that assumes a reasonably competent king, as I can see him inciting rebellion if all it needed was a spark. But causing it, nuh-uh.

Also, I can't really see a hammerless stanley as that big of a threat in personal combat. But I could be wrong.

Anyway, those are my reasons for choosing intrigue. I seemed to be the least unlikely option that I can concieve of how he killed the previous king.

meep
2007-03-18, 05:32 PM
I go with intrigue as well. Stanley doesn't seem very competent when it comes to outright war, but he's not a total idiot. He seems the type who knows how to manipulate people. And I wouldn't be surprised if the hammer played some part in the intrigue.

tomaO2
2007-03-19, 02:51 AM
Something implicit in getting a rebellion going is that you are claiming that you will be better when your the new ruler then whoever is currently in charge.

An example is Cuba's Castro. He was much worse then the previous leader but when he started he proclaimed he was acting in the people's interest.

Stanly doesn't have the capability to manage even this level of deceit. He may be better then the last king, he may think he deserves it more but he's far to nakedly ambitious to ever say that this takeover is anything but about getting what HE deserves. He's a complete narcissist.

All he's got going for him is that he knows what he wants. He's blunt and direct. He's not going around trying to talk people into following him into a better life.

The fact that everyone has "stats" is a clue. A common infantry unit would never be able to be good enough to defeat a special unit like a king without an edge. He got the hammer and used the power to kill the king himself and then ascend to the throne. The "kind of" statment from Vinnie implies it was through a duel with the king and not by using one of the dwagons in his stead. This hardly matters though because the ArkenHAmmer can shoot lighting which would be more then enough to croak any unit Stanly wants.

Still, a duel is the only way you can have a semihonest transfer of power in a regicide situation. This is the simplest and most logical answer based on what information we currently have.

Maurog
2007-03-19, 03:41 AM
Could be a battle of wits involving iocaine powder...

Om
2007-03-19, 06:09 AM
An example is Cuba's Castro. He was much worse then the previous leader but when he started he proclaimed he was acting in the people's interest.Someone really needs to read up on Batista :smallconfused:

Erk
2007-03-19, 06:31 AM
no real life politics please :p (just trying to nip it in the bud)

oogabooga
2007-03-19, 03:22 PM
My theory on the reason it was only "kinda" regicide - through some sort of accident, probably while Stanley was playing with his newly-found Arkenhammer, the king was killed, and Stanley either claimed responsibility or took the opportunity of a power vacuum to seize control.

I imagine the accident could have been something like when he discovered that once in a while the Arkenhammer turns nuts into pigeons - say he was doing something fairly ordinary with it, and suddenly there was a huge explosion...

Gitman00
2007-03-19, 04:24 PM
I had to go with personal combat. Stanley's personality would seem to lend itself to the intrigue option, but, as others have mentioned, the "kinda" comment by Vinnie seems to suggest that Stanley's rise wasn't necessarily as immoral as Ansom would have us believe.

Now that I think about it... perhaps the Croatans (Wanda's lost tribe) were the previous ruling tribe and Wanda is somehow compelled to serve Stanley as the new overlord. The fact that she goes out of her way to have the Summon Awesome Warlord spell researched and sell Stanley on it suggests she isn't entirely unwilling, however.

Given Stanley's lack of personal charisma, it doesn't seem likely that he could lead a rebellion without the Arkenhammer.

Leading a rebellion with the hammer... this is the second most likely IMHO. I would have voted for this one, if not for Wanda's comments here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html)... crap. I totally misremembered that comic, and upon reviewing it, I heartily endorse this option. Too bad I can't change my vote.

Since you began questing for the other* Arkentools, we have not won a battle.
*Emphasis mine.
My memory left out "other". This is by far the most plausible option, but I voted for personal combat thinking he didn't have the Arkenhammer when he seized power.

Electric_Monkey
2007-03-19, 04:43 PM
Since I posted this, I've been thinking some more about Vinnie's "kinda" comment. I've seen two suggestions on how Stanley could have committed "kinda" regicide - accident or personal combat. Another possibility that occurred to me is that Stanley usurped power, and the king killed himself rather than live under Stanley's rule. Stanley didn't technically kill the king, but came close enough for Ansom. Hmmm...that sounds a bit weak when I type it out like that.

Imgran
2007-03-19, 05:46 PM
Someone else killed the king

Stanley killed THAT PERSON.

Stanley is considered a hero.

There is a succession dispute.

Civil war erupts

Stanley leads a faction and controls the violence, killing or neutralizing the would-be heirs in the process..

Stanley is again considered a hero.

Now there's no heirs.

Who better to rule than the guy who's looked like he has the Kingdom's best interests at heart all this time?

The Arkenhammer is one of the crown treasures and access thereunto is one of the reasons the heirs were willing to fight over the throne

Stanley takes the Arkenhammer and cements his power in the kingdom.

His lack of rank irritates the nobles.

Mostly to keep the nobles too busy to oppose him, Stanley engages in a series of border wars and quests, depleting the ranks of his nobility and leadership (I suppose personal courage is an admirable attribute in Gobwin Knob but it does create a lot of churn in the officer corps).

His wars and attacks enrage his neighbors. Ansom of Jetstone forges an alliance to bring him down.

And here we are.

As an aside, did you MEAN to have Stanley and Ansom look so much like George W. Bush and Howard Dean, respectively?

SteveMB
2007-03-19, 06:10 PM
Someone else killed the king

Stanley killed THAT PERSON.

Stanley is considered a hero.

There is a succession dispute.

Civil war erupts

Stanley leads a faction and controls the violence, killing or neutralizing the would-be heirs in the process.
The question is how he became a faction leader, given his rather poor people skills (based on both his listing in the cast summary and his behavior to date).

One possibility: when Vinnie describes him as "common infantry", he may have meant "common" as an indicator of his social class (what he believes, IMO correctly, to be at the root of Ansom's gut-level objection to Stanley) rather than his status within the infantry. If so, he could have been an officer, even a fairly high-level one, with an established command (he might still have problems holding their loyalty in a civil-war situation, but he'd at least have a head start). Perhaps he has more in common with Napoleon than short stature and high ambitions....

Demented
2007-03-19, 07:12 PM
I'd go for an accident, perhaps with the arkenhammer, perhaps just with Stanley being irritated, or perhaps manipulating the king into getting himself killed.

I've just got this image in my mind of Stanley thinking that his being declared new ruler was just inevitable happenstance, on the basis that he's simply "destined for greatness". It fits, given his self-important attitude, that it would happen without a rebellion or anything but a rote application of law.

Jormund
2007-03-19, 07:21 PM
Why "kinda" regicide? i somehow can't imagine stanley gaining any allies, he dominates by force.

Anyway, my money's on Intrigue, that Stanley had the previous king assasinated, or even did it himself.

Imgran
2007-03-19, 09:09 PM
The question is how he became a faction leader, given his rather poor people skills (based on both his listing in the cast summary and his behavior to date).

One possibility: when Vinnie describes him as "common infantry", he may have meant "common" as an indicator of his social class (what he believes, IMO correctly, to be at the root of Ansom's gut-level objection to Stanley) rather than his status within the infantry. If so, he could have been an officer, even a fairly high-level one, with an established command (he might still have problems holding their loyalty in a civil-war situation, but he'd at least have a head start). Perhaps he has more in common with Napoleon that short stature and high ambitions....

He's that way now.

Was he always?

Power corrupts, and he's been in power awhile. He was most assuredly a very different person when he was infantry.

Hitler was a corporal in WWI

Ezlo
2007-03-19, 09:20 PM
I'm personally going with Maurog here. Either that or he got in a duel against the last king while wielding the hammer.