Shireen Baratheon Death: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Kills Character Still Alive In Books – Under Strict Orders From George R. R. Martin [SPOILERS+VIDEO]
Jun 08, 2015 12:07 PM EDT | By Victoria Guerra
The millions of fans who have read the series of books that "Game of Thrones" is based on, "A Song of Ice and Fire" by American author George R. R. Martin, have seen a wide variety of changes from the original story this season - and that includes Shireen Baratheon's death last Sunday.
Five seasons in, fans are hardly surprised when "Game of Thrones" kill off a beloved character, often in the most gruesome of ways - however, Shireen Baratheon's death came as a shock even for fans of the books, as the character's still alive there.
According to Vanity Fair, Shireen Baratheon's death isn't only different from the books, it's basically a huge departure from the original material, as it completely changes the character of Stannis, making him all but unlikable: after all, he just sacrificed his own child (played by Kerry Ingram) in his quest for power.
Over the course of the season, Shireen Baratheon's death had already been teased as a means for Stannis to achieve further power, and the character had been fighting with his conscience for most of the season over this - ultimately beaten by his desire to reach the Iron Throne.
Hypable reports that, while Shireen Baratheon's death may differ from the books, it came from its very author: in HBO's featurette "Inside the Episode" after "The Dance of Dragons," showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss strongly suggested that it was Martin who came up with the idea of Shireen's death - which could mean she'll die in future books as well.
Over the course of the show's five seasons, "Game of Thrones" has come under fire over its excessive violence, particularly against women - earlier in this same season, beloved character Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) was a victim of rape, something that doesn't happen in the books.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the HBO showrunners are taking Shireen Baratheon's death to point out hypocrisy in some of their viewers, as there have been many people burned in the show the same way Shireen was, but nobody ever complained about them.