Coming into season five of Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin said himself that there would be major character deaths on the show that had not (or will not) happen in the books.

Last night in "The Dance with Dragons" viewers were treated to a major one. Spoilers below for the latest episode and possibly The Winds of Winter. Read on at your own risk!

Stannis Baratheon and his army are marching south to lay siege to Winterfell and the Boltons hiding inside. The harsh, northern winter, however, has other plans. Soon Stannis' troops are bogged down in snow, running low on supplies and freezing to death. To make matters worse, a small Bolton raiding party destroys even more food stores as well as killing a number of the army's horses.

It looks like retreat or marching forward to death are the only two options for Stannis at this point, but Stannis refuses to surrender. So Melisandre suggests a third option: sacrificing Stannis' only daughter, Shireen, by burning her at the stake. Because "king's blood" runs through her veins, her sacrifice to the red god may grant Stannis and his army some kind of miracle.

At first, Stannis won't hear of it. He loves his daughter, as we've seen in multiple scenes earlier this season. But it turns out Stannis loves the Iron Throne more. He agrees to burn Shireen at the stake, and watches as she burns alive screaming for her father and mother to help her.

For the show version of Stannis, this doesn't feel too out of place, even if Stannis argued with Melisandre over the matter a few episodes earlier. But some fans feel Stannis' choice is out of character, especially since this has yet to happen in the books. In fact, in Martin's novels Shireen and her mother aren't with Stannis as he marches on Winterfell, instead staying behind at Castle Black. Melisandre, too, is left behind, and Davos is on a different mission entirely.

Despite all this, HBO showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss say the idea of Stannis sacrificing Shireen came straight from Martin himself.

"When George first told us about this, it was one of those moments I remember looking at Dan, and I was just like 'Gah, that's so horrible and so good in the story sense because it all comes together,' " Benioff says in the behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Dance With Dragons." From the very first time we saw Stannis and Melisandre they were sacrificing people and burning them alive on the beaches of Dragonstone. It's really all come to this, there's been so much talk about the power of king's blood and it all leads ultimately, fatally, to Shireen's sacrifice."

This may mean that Shireen won't survive Martin's next book, The Winds of Winter, though events will have to transpire differently from the show. As Shireen and Melisandre are all at Castle Black, it's possible Melisandre and Shireen's mother might agree to sacrifice Shireen without Stannis knowing. If so, this would make the book and show versions of Stannis two very different characters, something we continue to see more and more of as the HBO show continues to depart from the book series. After watching "The Dance with Dragons," it seems much easier to root for book Stannis

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