The extent to which Stannis Baratheon turned unhealthy in Recreation of Thrones would possibly’ve come as a shock to some, however his fall helped arrange Daenerys’ story in later seasons. Recreation of Thrones options only a few outright heroes however, for a sequence that actively encourages the viewers to root for an incestuous relationship, Stannis Baratheron is not all that unhealthy when first launched in season 2’s premiere. Admittedly, he murders his brother, however Stannis reveals extra affection towards his greyscale-inflicted daughter than most, and he holds the respect of precise good guys like Ned Stark and Davos Seaworth. All through Recreation of Thrones, it is closely urged that a lot of the misdeeds Stannis commits are because of the sinister affect of others; Melisandre particularly.
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By season 5, nonetheless, Stannis Baratheon’s morality has actually turned. In one among Recreation of Thrones‘ most harrowing scenes, Stannis has his daughter burned alive on the recommendation of his purple witch girlfriend, hoping to realize a bonus in battle. Up so far, Stannis had been taking more and more darkish measures to make sure his bottom finally met the chilly metallic of the Iron Throne – the would-be king tried to sacrifice Gendry, and started burning his personal males in an effort to curry favor with the Lord of Mild. Nonetheless, giving over his personal daughter’s life was fairly a drastic flip for Stannis, because the pair had shared their most tender second solely episodes prior. As a result of sheer weight of Shireen’s demise, the act instantly establishes Stannis as one among Recreation of Thrones most reprehensible characters for the brief time he stays alive afterwards.
Stannis’ villainous flip would possibly’ve been a reasonably steep slope, however the drastic change of character was a obligatory one for Recreation of Thrones‘ future seasons. Firstly, Stannis was the rightful inheritor to the Iron Throne from the second Robert Baratheon took his final breath. As a result of Mad King’s actions whereas Home Targaryen nonetheless held energy, Robert Baratheon’s takeover was a official one, even when his true motivations had been extra private than noble. With Robert having no organic sons of his personal, the throne ought to’ve handed to Stannis, however the line of succession falling to a mostly-OK character creates an issue for Recreation of Thrones.
The entire level of Recreation of Thrones, particularly in later seasons, is the viewers cheering on Daenerys because the heroic liberator coming to free her folks from a lifetime of poverty and oppression. Whereas this works reverse the dastardly Lannisters, it does not have fairly the identical impact with Stannis. Evaluating the royal careers of Daenerys and Stannis, it is exhausting to argue that one is a greater ruler than the opposite, and with Stannis having the rightful declare, Dany’s standing because the lead protagonist is undermined. By Recreation of Thrones‘ fifth season, the sequence was focusing increasingly on Daenerys fulfilling her future, however Stannis obstructs this by not being as horrific as Joffrey, Cersei or Littlefinger. This meant that, earlier than he died, Stannis had to do one thing that may make the viewers unquestionably flip in opposition to him. Shireen’s homicide did simply that.
The second cause for Stannis’ rapidly reworking from a little bit of a scamp to Westeros’ most needed man was to foreshadow the trail Daenerys was already taking. One of many main themes of Recreation of Thrones (and Dany’s arc particularly) is how the lure of energy and a worry of dropping it may well drive a well-intentioned ruler to more and more excessive measures. Definitely, that is how Daenerys’ story performs out. The Mom of Dragons commits ever extra violent acts earlier than burning a complete metropolis only for kicks, all whereas telling folks how a lot better she was than Cersei. The story of Stannis is a condensed model of this similar story, with Shireen’s demise being his model of roasting King’s Touchdown. It is also no coincidence that each Stannis and Daenerys rapidly die after making their respective unredeemable errors, proving the outdated saying about profitable or dying within the Recreation of Thrones.
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