He was more than willing to burn two innocent children to death.
Except he wasn't particularly willing. In the series of chapters in ASoS involving Melisandre trying to persuade Stannis to burn Edric Storm - Stannis is replying again and again with comments like 'Is this the only way?'. Yes he considers it, but you also have look at it in the context that Stannis after Blackwater is looking deep into the jaws of defeat in this point of the story and he knows enough about war to know unless he finds a way to go and get himself back in the 'Game', his daughter will die, Davos Seaworth the closest thing he has to a friend will die, his loyal followers who still remain at his side will die and he will die with his entire cause, At this point at Stannis' darkest hour Melisandre steps in and offers him temptation.
Murder a child and everything will sort itself out, It is literally the old 'kill one innocent to save thousands'.
The only reason he doesn't turn it down is at this point the only other way is certain defeat, but he resists and resists as Melisandre puts up the pressure. - but then Davos steps in, saves the child and Stannis' soul. Then he offers another solution... and despite trying not to show it Stannis is visibly relieved.
To say Melisandre owns Stannis by this point in the story is arguably laughable, especially when we've have her POV which clearly though she has some influence but is far from controlling him. She offers him the odd advise that he follows but he ignores or argues against her far more - like on the Blackwater and the above example with Edric. Indeed after the comment Stannis makes to Davos in ASoS that he still extremely skeptical about the existence of Rh'llor but evidently Melisandre has power could be used (and has been made on these boards) that Stannis is manipulating Melisandre as much as she is manipulating him if not more so.
As for considering burning 'the Monster' the evidence we were shown in ADwD seems to suggest this scenario was largely found only in Jon Snow's head!
To date the only people Stannis has had executed (despite how horrible those executions are) are those he knows within within reasonable doubt
(in the vast majority of cases he caught the offenders red-handed) who have committed crimes considered capital ones under the traditions of Westerosi law - namely treason, murder and cannibalism.
Compare that to Daenerys in Mereen.
To quote just a couple of her attempts at 'justice'.
There are 163 'slavers' she has crucified for the 163 crucified slave children. Please note she doesn't check these people are slavers she just asks the slavers of Mereen to provide 163 people to crucify - I wouldn't be at all surprised if the vast majority of the 163 were slaves dressed up in Tokars.
Then there's the wineseller in Mereen who the Shavepate tells her is possibly in league with the Harpy. He has the man tortured on her orders -gets nothing and then he tells her the wineseller has a daughter and suggests he tortures the daughter. Dany hesitates then tells the Shavepate to torture the daughter in front of the father,
Edited by Knight of the Teabags, 08 May 2012 - 02:50 PM.