Game of Thrones fans are used to seeing the characters of the HBO show come and go in a series filled with deaths almost on an episode by episode basis.
Fans who were holding out hope that Stannis Baratheon (played by Stephen Dillane) had survived the attack from Brienne in the season finale had their hopes dashed this week as an excerpt from an upcoming book revealed Baratheon was murdered.
Watchers on the Wall‘s editor made the reveal in the Baratheon section of Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros Seasons 1-5, according to Vanity Fair‘s recent article on the book due out in December. The paragraph about Stannis ends with this matter-of-fact presentation of his fate.
“Stannis was killed outside of Winterfell by Brienne of Tarth, who wished to avenge Renly’s death.”
Game of Thrones fans had been hopeful about the character’s fate because of the way the last scene was filmed. As Brienne (played by Gwendoline Christie) prepares to swing her sword to behead Stannis, the camera abruptly cuts away, leaving room for the sword to have missed its target.
The debate continued as Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin remained unclear whether Stannis had survived the attack in a blog post, Entertainment Weekly reported in August. Just weeks prior to Game of Thrones setting a record for most Emmy wins in a single season, Martin declared Baratheon’s fate, if it were up to him.
“In my books? Alive, beyond a doubt,” Martin wrote, much to the delight of fans.
However, the HBO show has diverted several times in the past from the books. As such, the director of the final episode, David Nutter, later confirmed that Game of Thrones would indeed do just that with Stannis, who was left for dead by the show’s director. “From the beginning, and [through] the script process, that was the intent — he’s dead,” Nutter said.
The reason Nutter didn’t show the final death blow was not to leave ambiguity over his fate as he did, the Emmy winning director conceded to Vanity Fair. Instead, Nutter decided to spare fans seeing a character’s gory demise.
“It would have been gratuitous. You really got a sense that Stannis had nothing else to live for. Brienne’s lifelong mission had come to an end. It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die.”
As if that wasn’t proof enough, the show got into the act to further end the debate about Baratheon’s death. In artwork commissioned for the show, Game of Thrones sought to show the end of the family bloodline in their “Beautiful Death” piece.
With this character’s fate sealed, fans can now turn their attention to rumors about Jon Snow’s return to the show this season. Esquire has put together a list of five reasons Jon Snow (played by Kit Harrington) could return next season, while Moviefone reports this Game of Thrones cast member is confirming that the character is dead.
Fans are hungry for whatever information they can uncover about the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. A rumored leaked script popped up in September, but fans were skeptical the writing was indeed part of the upcoming season.
Game of Thrones fans will be able to relive the first five seasons of the show through the upcoming book to be released by the show. The book, titled, Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros Seasons 1-5, is “a detailed guide to the major Houses that inhabit the world of Game of Thrones, filled with information on each House’s sigil, history, home, family tree, character profiles, weapons, costumes, and more,” from a Game of Thrones wikia explained.
What do you want to see occur in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones? Leave your thoughts and hopes in the comment section below.
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