Did 'Game of Thrones' Go Too Far With Latest Death?

Game of Thrones 509 Stannis - H 2015
Helen Sloan/ HBO

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Dance of Dragons."]

Game of Thrones is taking heat for perhaps its most disturbing death scene yet.

Stannis (Stephen Dillane) ordered his young daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) burned at the stake, and did not show mercy she screamed for her father to help. The scene was made all the more painful because the last few seasons have established Shireen as one of the only characters whose innocence hadn't been taken away by the grim world in which they live.

She suffered from greyscale, had distant parents and was confined to a tower. But unlike the Stark children or King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), her family had not been killed off. She was relatively happy, and still engaged in a childlike love for storybooks. She even developed an adorable relationship with fan favorite Davos (Liam Cunningham), teaching him to read.

But that all went away Sunday, and many viewers reacted negatively on social media, with BuzzFeed reporter Ellie Hall tweeting "'LOL women.' — Game of Thrones creators, probably."

See more 'Game of Thrones'' Most Gruesome Deaths                           

The series already stirred fan ire and accusations of misogyny this season with a controversial scene in which Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) raped Sansa (Sophie Turner) on their wedding night. That scene that did not occur in George R.R. Martin's books, which added to the controversy. Though Shireen's death scene has not occurred in the books, showrunner David Benioff said in a behind-the-scenes segment following the episode that it was Martin's idea, which suggests it will occur in a future novel.

In addition to Shireen's death, Sunday's episode also featured a disturbing scene in which villainous night Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie) ordered the proprietor of a brothel to provide him with a girl who looked to be no older than 12 — and then stated he would require a "fresh girl" of her age for the next night.

While many criticized the episode, others praised it for its big Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) moment, which finally saw her ride a dragon.

Read what people shared on Twitter below, and take The Hollywood Reporter's pull at the bottom of the post. For more from the episode, check out a full rundown of the action here.

Weigh in for yourself:

Did 'Game of Thrones' Go Too Far With Its Latest Death

Yes, that it was unnecessarily cruel
No, it works for the story and is par for the course in this world

Poll Maker


Game of Thrones' season five finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. Stay tuned to the Live Feed for more leading up the episode.