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[Book Spoilers] EP509 Discussion

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How so?....Isn't this the same Stannis that murdered his own brother, that burned his brother in law, that tried to kill his nephew Edric Storn?....Remember that this very character betray his other brother, Usurper King Robert, when he flew to Dragonstone and didn't tell him about the relationship between Cersei and Jaime and their bastards kids. Is not like Stannis is above to murder children because that was his mission when he was sent to Dragonstone to kill Prince Viserys and baby Princess Daenerys. Stannis has always been evil in the books and in the shows.

Stannis didn't murder his own brother. From the books, it can be argued that Stannis didn't realize he killed Renly and that it was Melisandre who killed Renly behind Stannis' back. See this post: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/94724-stanniss-decision-to-have-renly-killed-long-post/?p=4824562

Plus even if he had done so, it was in self-defence. Renly would've killed Stannis (he told his men not to damage Stannis' body too much) the very next day.

I don't believe there's such a thing as "evil" in the books (well, apart from Ramsay perhaps) and Stannis is definitely not evil. He's morally grey, like pretty much every character. It took him an entire book to make up his mind about Edric Storm and even then we don't know his final decision (Davos interrupts him before that). Is Stannis capable of sacrificing one person, even a child, for the realm? Yes. Is he capable of sacrificing his daughter and only heir to get better weather after G.I. Ramsay burned down his tents and horses? That seems very illogical and unlikely.

I expect that in the books Shireen will either be sacrificed by Melisandre or Stannis will do it because he has no other choice and Shireen will die anyway (so they're in a truly desperate situation). You could argue that the situatoin was desparate in the shows but the build-up/tension was terrible.

Edited by Survivor92

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Yeah, Stannis isn't evil in himself. He believes it is his duty to save the realm, and he is utterly focused on that single endeavor, no matter the cost. Does anyone think Westeros stands a chance if the Boltons are still ruling the North? No, they must be displaced, or the continent is doomed. Thus, the decisions he makes aren't just for his own sake but for everyone's sake.

The key phrase, though, is "no matter the cost." I might be paraphrasing, but Ned Stark once told Jon Snow that Stannis was "just, but cold." Davos is a living example of this treatment: He was knighted for saving Stannis under siege during Robert's Rebellion but lost three fingers for his previous career smuggling. In Stannis's mind, justice still needed to be served for past crimes, with no pardon given even under the extraordinary circumstances. Stannis is a righteous man, but one who is rigid in his views on justice and duty. Any veering away from the narrow path he has set for himself would not simply be adapting to specific circumstances while maintaining an overall moral framework (like for your average righteous person). It would in fact be a gross violation of his integrity. The character arc of Stannis is meant to show what happens to a righteous man who is rigid in his thinking, with the contamination of religious fanaticism added in. Like I said, he is not an evil man, but his strict sense of duty can lead him to some evil acts in the name of the greater good, the ends justifying the means. The intention is for readers/viewers to sympathize with his sense of justice and (specific to the storyline) his appreciation for the only war that really matters, while also being disturbed by some of the choices he makes to fulfill these ends. It's consistent with Martin's message of good people being capable of horrific things. There are people like this in the real world, though most don't wield the kind of power that Stannis does in ASOIAF/GoT.

I don't think the show did enough to really establish the dire straits his army was in or his own moral quandary. They were on the verge of total defeat without even going into battle against the Boltons. The situation was desperate, and Stannis was running out of options. They showed his conflict between his love for his daughter and his devotion to his duty to save the realm, but it needed a lot more development. I don't think they really gave it enough screen time for the decision be fully believable (just as I didn't find Selyse's last-moment change of heart to be that believable). His decision to burn Shireen for the greater good fits in the long-term arc of his character, but he didn't quite feel "there" yet at this point in that arc.

I agree! D&D said at the end of the episode that Stannis, once he puts his mind to something, there's no changing it. He's very rigid, and that is both his strength, and his weakness. It was incredibly shocking and horrifyingly tragic, but it was also very Stannis. He is completely devoted to becoming the "rightful king" and saving the realm that he is being influenced by Melisandre into thinking that something this crazy is necessary!

My question is, did she need to actually burn, to die? They have used "king's blood" before, and it was effective enough to kill three kings! Why couldn't they use some of her blood, or heck, some of Stannis' blood?!

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I think it will be Stannis's wife and the red woman that do it. Stannis himself will not know about it till later.

How can he overlook it his camp? Everyone is in on it but not Stannis? Yeah, right. His soldiers taking command from his wife or the red woman to grab Stannis' daughter and burn her on the stake? This is not going to happen. No chance at all.

He agreed to it, he rung with his decision. He saw this as the last option. Sacrifice his daughter or all they all die at the camp. Melisandre and his wife will play an important part until Stannis makes his decision. That is what was not shown on the show. It will not be light decision for him, But he has to do it for the greater good, so he keeps telling him. But he had to do it, it was the only option. And as will be thawing the next day and he can march on he see's that he made the right decision. He sacrificed his daughter for the great good. He is the rightful king. Yes, it will leave a mark on him.

Also remember that GRRM said about 1/4 of the WoW is written. The Stannis stuff happens early in the book and parts were already written for the last one but not included.

D&D for sure have the draft of that and didn't deviate much from it, except cutting it together for screentime and speed things up, so we can get going, like they did with the two books all season, to bring characters in position for the 3rd arc of this epic story. Finally.

So face it, it will happen with Stannis agreeing to it, not easily of course. But what has to be done, has to be done.

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George has missed that memo for awhile.

In any case, it's precisely that righteous belief in himself that has compelled him to make all sorts of morally horrifying choices. He has to make these sacrifices to fulfill his destiny as the true king and savior of Westeros. That's what he has always believed and when you couple it with a profound utilitarian approach to life saving and the pervasive influence of a religious zealot that serves as one his primary advisors....you get shit like this.

Like it or not, this is coming.

Yup. I would quibble over the timing of this particular atrocity in the pursuit of his overall goal, as he didn't quite feel broken down enough to go to those extremes (that is, the show didn't adequately convey that). Still, this is who Stannis is. He's the guy who sailed north with his army to save the Night's Watch after being reminded by Davos that his duty as king took priority over his actual recognition as king. He's also the guy who is willing to sacrifice anything for the good of the realm. That includes himself, I believe, but it can also include anyone around him. Remember, this is the guy who quite likely would have sacrificed Edric Storm, a likeable, kind boy and his own blood, if it wasn't for the intervention of Davos.

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I agree! D&D said at the end of the episode that Stannis, once he puts his mind to something, there's no changing it. He's very rigid, and that is both his strength, and his weakness. It was incredibly shocking and horrifyingly tragic, but it was also very Stannis. He is completely devoted to becoming the "rightful king" and saving the realm that he is being influenced by Melisandre into thinking that something this crazy is necessary!

My question is, did she need to actually burn, to die? They have used "king's blood" before, and it was effective enough to kill three kings! Why couldn't they use some of her blood, or heck, some of Stannis' blood?!

It might depend on how heavy duty the magic you are trying to do is. Lets say the Other Army is marching on you. You might need a full on sacrifice to deal with that.

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In case it got missed in the Stannis hate:

Oooh Hizzy is up to something!

Dany:"where have you been"

Hizzy:"just making sure everything is in order"

Best red herring ever, though.

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or Stannis will do it because he has no other choice and Shireen will die anyway (so they're in a truly desperate situation). You could argue that the situatoin was desparate in the shows but the build-up/tension was terrible.

I think the situation was really desperate, but like you said, the build-up/tension was terrible. They had spent some time working at it, at least. Stannis said last episode that they have to fight now or they will lose, and this episode, Ramsay Snow's plan (???) went off perfectly, turning an already dire situation even worse. They really needed a few more minutes to convey truly how bad it was, but on the practical level, they just might not have had that in this hour.

Edited by Adeimantus

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I expect that in the books Shireen will either be sacrificed by Melisandre or Stannis will do it because he has no other choice and Shireen will die anyway (so they're in a truly desperate situation). You could argue that the situatoin was desparate in the shows but the build-up/tension was terrible.

Yes I agree here, the build up the sacrifice was a bit week for that scene...

But it worked very well for setting up the Dany scene. Viewers who have not read the books were thinking, that they kill of Dany now and it is one of these episodes where everyone dies. And even some book readers thought they are now deviating and maybe even killing Drogon off or waiting for next season to have the dragon riding scene.

So it worked very very well from an TV writing perspective to not have a lengthy buildup. It was very very good craftsmanship here by the writers for what they intended.

So Jon's - probably temporary - demise next week will have even more impact as the average watcher and non book reader will be caught off guard again, thinking the writer won't fool them again. And boom Jon lies in the snow. Roll credits.

But only so many episodes. So instead of wasting valueable screentime seeing Stannis being influenced, we got a nice big battle at Hardhome last week and a finally a nice Dany scene this week. So it's all compromise. If they had the funding for like 16 episodes per season we might have gotten more into certain things. But we don't.

But all is better then drawing out AFFC and ADWD over two seasons. These books don't have enough substance to carry each a season on its own without going into a ton of subplots not really suitable for the general viewer as they don't advance the arc of the main characters. And we already have a ton of characters to deal with for a TV show.

The same way ppl. complained about the naked scene gay scene in the early episodes. How can they do this, served no purpose and so on. Well it paid of nicely in at the small inquisition when Lora's boyfriend gave his "testimony". Then, you knew they they included this scene. They have no time to put a lot of fillers.

Watch next week: when more bitching happens because we see more things happening in TWOW...

Edited by Scythe42

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Best red herring ever, though.

Oh God, that was great. I immediately noticed that in the moment but had forgotten it later after all the stabbitystab lol.

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I love how people are whinging about character assassination & how book Stannis wouldn't do something like this. Let's look at his history:



Stannis is the guy who murdered his own brother (using magic) in order to kill his nephew in order to take the IT. Stannis is also the guy who would have sacrificed his nephew (Edric Storm) if Davos hadn't stepped in. Yes, he may well sacrifice everything for the Realm - possibly himself included - but everything also includes everyone around him.

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Yeah, Stannis isn't evil in himself. He believes it is his duty to save the realm, and he is utterly focused on that single endeavor, no matter the cost. Does anyone think Westeros stands a chance if the Boltons are still ruling the North? No, they must be displaced, or the continent is doomed. Thus, the decisions he makes aren't just for his own sake but for everyone's sake.

The key phrase, though, is "no matter the cost." I might be paraphrasing, but Ned Stark once told Jon Snow that Stannis was "just, but cold." Davos is a living example of this treatment: He was knighted for saving Stannis under siege during Robert's Rebellion but lost three fingers for his previous career smuggling. In Stannis's mind, justice still needed to be served for past crimes, with no pardon given even under the extraordinary circumstances. Stannis is a righteous man, but one who is rigid in his views on justice and duty. Any veering away from the narrow path he has set for himself would not simply be adapting to specific circumstances while maintaining an overall moral framework (like for your average righteous person). It would in fact be a gross violation of his integrity. The character arc of Stannis is meant to show what happens to a righteous man who is rigid in his thinking, with the contamination of religious fanaticism added in. Like I said, he is not an evil man, but his strict sense of duty can lead him to some evil acts in the name of the greater good, the ends justifying the means. The intention is for readers/viewers to sympathize with his sense of justice and (specific to the storyline) his appreciation for the only war that really matters, while also being disturbed by some of the choices he makes to fulfill these ends. It's consistent with Martin's message of good people being capable of horrific things. There are people like this in the real world, though most don't wield the kind of power that Stannis does in ASOIAF/GoT.

I don't think the show did enough to really establish the dire straits his army was in or his own moral quandary. They were on the verge of total defeat without even going into battle against the Boltons. The situation was desperate, and Stannis was running out of options. They showed his conflict between his love for his daughter and his devotion to his duty to save the realm, but it needed a lot more development. I don't think they really gave it enough screen time for the decision be fully believable (just as I didn't find Selyse's last-moment change of heart to be that believable). His decision to burn Shireen for the greater good fits in the long-term arc of his character, but he didn't quite feel "there" yet at this point in that arc.

:agree: Fully agree.

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I was so convinced he was up to no good.

As was I. I was all like "Oh, of course you did, you treacherous piece of shit!"

Then I had to eat my boots...

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I found Shireen dying to be extremely sad, almost show red wedding levels. She was extremely likeable, by far the most likeable character in the show. And most likeable characters are already dead, so its knife in the wound. And unlike the red wedding in the show, not something I already experienced from the books.


Edited by Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren

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Am I the only one who was bothered by the weak CGI in the end? Don't see any comments about this.



Shireen :*( ... RIP ... the best child actor of the show IMO... that was Cruel D&D... the first scene of whole GoT while which I just begged PLEASE NO... even Red Wedding was like "well.. kinda expected"... but this... SHIREEEEEN!!!! NOO! NOIOOOOOOO!!!!


Edited by siimkkoger

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Am I the only one who was bothered by the weak CGI in the end? Don't see any comments about this.

Shireen :*( ... RIP ... the best child actor of the show IMO... that was Cruel D&D... the first scene of whole GoT while which I just begged PLEASE NO... even Red Wedding was like "well.. kinda expected"... but this... SHIREEEEEN!!!! NOO! NOIOOOOOOO!!!!

looked too green screeny to me. If you are just talking about dany on Drogon.

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