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[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.
#GameofThrones gave us some horrible illustrations of the costs of fanaticism: http://t.co/VgcyDRyyjW pic.twitter.com/r2mRFAhw1r
— Alyssa Rosenberg (@AlyssaRosenberg) June 8, 2015
I am too damn old to watch anybody catch on fire on the TV. #GoT
— Kay Cannon (@KayKayCannon) June 8, 2015
Excuse me, WHAT?! Screw it all, I’m rooting for the White Walkers. #GameofThrones #GoT
— Amy Marie (@Amy_Marie97) June 8, 2015
Gotta find that receipt so I can return my “Stannis, Number One Dad in Westeros” mug. #GameofThrones #GoT
— Rob Forman (@robsforman) June 8, 2015
#GameofThrones – Dance with Dragons (S5, E9) – An episode so intense and so disturbing that a decapitation was comic relief. #GoT
— Laurie Mann (@lauriedtmann) June 8, 2015
Game of Thrones: the show that made dragons, rape and child prostitution fashionable. Yippee. You go, @HBO. #GoT
— Chris Connelly (@nirvana454) June 8, 2015
This show has worse parenting than a TLC reality show. #GameofThrones #GOT
— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) June 8, 2015
Without book precedence, I can’t tell if this week’s Game of Thrones was more shitty decisions by the writers, but for me it was dumb.
— Alexa Ray Corriea (@AlexaRayC) June 8, 2015
My reactions to this week’s #GameofThrones , in order of appearance. pic.twitter.com/IQmxuPsIVv
— Liz O’GingerMcIrish (@lizzyf620) June 8, 2015
It’s season five of Game of Thrones and I don’t have any feelings left to feel. I’m finally dead inside. :’)
— Megan Farokhmanesh (@Megan_Nicolett) June 8, 2015
“LOL women.” — Game of Thrones creators, probably.
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) June 8, 2015
game of thrones seems to be trying to lose its audience
— David Sims (@davidlsims) June 8, 2015
I’m so mad at this last Game of Thrones episode
— Bright Dike (@bbright19) June 8, 2015
I’m guessing everyone’s pretty mad about that Game of Thrones episode, right?
— Dave Schilling (@dave_schilling) June 8, 2015
Just finished the new episode of @GameOfThrones backstage in SF; not sure I can play tonight’s set anymore.. #7panicattacks
— Joshua Montgomery (@thejoshset) June 8, 2015
Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones was the first one I’ve ever cried at.
— Amanda Hocking (@amanda_hocking) June 8, 2015
I guess they mistakenly aired the special Father’s Day episode of Game of Thrones a week early
— Jacob Harris (@harrisj) June 8, 2015
I cried and I have no nails left to chew. Thanks, @GameOfThrones. #GameofThrones #motherofdragons #TheDanceofDragons
— Matt Stucker (@MattStuckerTV) June 8, 2015
@lizzywoodworth @GameOfThrones that episode broke me #wtf #why
— Andrea Cremer (@andreacremer) June 8, 2015
If you’re really mad at Game of Thrones, remember you could have seen this on the Tonys. pic.twitter.com/sgUPKkUVet
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 8, 2015
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) June 8, 2015
#GAMEOFTHRONES was so fucking on point tonight though
— Chris Webby (@ChrisWebby) June 8, 2015
Nothing else that happened on this season of Game of Thrones is even close to as bad as tonight’s episode. You’re nuts if you disagree.
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) June 8, 2015
I feel like I’m being emotionally abused by a tv show. #GameofThrones
— An Phung (@AnHaiPhung) June 8, 2015
Upsetting, epic, depressing, awesome: the usual #GameofThrones mix of emotions. My recap: http://t.co/2KzdbtjNzN pic.twitter.com/HJHg7JPy0T
— Erin Whitney (@CinemaBite) June 8, 2015
Weigh in for yourself:
Game of Thrones‘ season five finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. Stay tuned to the Live Feed for more leading up the episode.
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