Stannis Baratheon’s fate is resolved/HBO
Ever since Kit Harington’s Jon Snow met a shocking and miserable end in the finale of last season’s Game Of Thrones, fans have been speculating that the moralistic Night’s Watchman makes some kind of miraculous return from the dead next series.
And even more optimistic viewers have been hoping that self-declared King Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) wasn’t really killed in the snowy woods of the north by a vengeful Brienne Of Tarth.
Judging by Stannis’s final scenes, their confidence isn’t altogether unfounded. Sitting dazed and defeated against a tree, Stannis told Brienne to “do your duty.” Viewers then saw her swing her sword before the scene was cut to Ramsay Snow polishing off a few of Stannis’s soldiers nearby.
With no shot of the dead Stannis or Brienne’s bloody sword, plus Thrones author George R.R. Martin announcing Stannis was still alive in his book version, some viewers remained unconvinced by the oldest Baratheon brother’s demise.
Brienne’s sword met with Stannis Baratheon’s head off camera/HBO
However a new book – Game of Thrones: The Noble House of Westeros Seasons 1-5 – has now dashed any remaining hopes of a Stannis resurrection.
The book, released on December 8, confirms Stannis’s death in a single concluding paragraph which says: “Stannis was killed outside of Winterfell by Brienne of Tarth, who wished to avenge Renly’s death.”
And the final nail in his coffin comes with Brienne’s paragraph which reads: “Brienne killed Stannis.”
The news should be no surprise to Thrones fans keeping an eagle eye on the show’s Twitter account.
Back in June, Game Of Thrones posted the latest piece of artwork commissioned as “the official episode-by-episode guide to the most iconic deaths in the realm.” The picture by Robert Ball was described as a “tableau focused on the end of the legitimate Baratheon blood line.”
And then there was the director of season five’s final episode, David Nutter, who explained the reasoning behind not showing the finer details of Stannis’s gory end.
“It would have been gratuitous,” he said. “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.”
However, interestingly there was no tableau commissioned to mark the death of Jon Snow, which has given fresh hope to those hoping for the character’s return in the sixth season, which is slated to air next spring.
But the new book might have a different view, saying about Snow: “For that he was murdered at Castle Black by his own men, including Alliser Thorne and Olly.”