Stanley has been "growing" for a while now. At least, we have seen the signs all over the place in book two (which so far is about 2 turns in length). From trying to remember names to being cautious of Wanda's desire to decrypt Jack, Stanley is definitely more capable than he was, or at least more capable than we ever saw.
"Is this a real holy war? Or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other? Too fine a distinction?"