One of the most shocking moments from the penultimate episode of "Game of Thrones" season 5 was Stannis' decision to burn his daughter, Shireen.
The ninth episode of "Game of Thrones" is guaranteed to give fans heartache, as in earlier seasons it always featured death and destruction. While in the first season it was Ned Stark's death that shocked fans, the penultimate episode of the following seasons saw the Battle of Blackwater, the Red Wedding, and the Battle at Castle Black.
And on Sunday, Shireen bid adieu. The character is still alive in George RR Martin's books, and therefore fans weren't expecting her to die, especially after "Game of Thrones" showed Stannis to be a caring father. However, he had to make the tough decision to give up his daughter as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light.
Speaking about the scene, "Game of Thrones" showrunner Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly saying, "Horrible things happening to people in this show, and this is one that we thought was entirely [narratively] justified. It was set-up by the predicament that Stannis was in. It will be awful to see, but it's supposed to be awful."
Weiss also added that the religious fanaticism in Stannis' group is one factor that forced a father to sacrifice his daughter.
"People who watch Game of Thrones don't see the same world as Stannis and Melisandre," Weiss said. "To those characters, magic is real and it works. That's something fun about this genre because when magic is real and you can see it with your own eyes in the show, it gives you a window into the heads of people who believe irrational things on faith."
Check out a few fan reactions to Shireen's death.
— Mary S. Shepherd (@MarySShepherd) June 8, 2015
shireen was stannis' humanity in the show. she made him kind-hearted, loving. you grow attached to her because she is an INNOCENT. — thomas muller (@LBennets) June 8, 2015
so it was grrm idea for shireen's burning but like… stannis wouldn't let this happen in the books
— THE NIGHT'S QUEEN (@bryndenriver) June 8, 2015