Occasionally, you will come across characters that are annoying in more than one medium. Or worse, a pair of characters that make your skin crawl when they are on screen together. This week’s installment is a combination. To me, this duo is probably one of the most chill-inducing in the Game of Thrones series. I honestly can’t think of one character without thinking about the other. I disliked reading about them and really hate watching their scenes play out in live action.
Who Are They?
Stannis Baratheon is one the contenders to the Iron Throne of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire. He does have a legitimate claim since he is Robert Baratheon’s brother. He makes a good attempt at taking back the throne but it ends in fire. Melisandre is a priestess of the Lord of Light. She is known as the “Red Woman” throughout the series. She whispers dark dreams of glory into Stannis Baratheon’s ear. They are played by Stephen Dillane and Carice van Houten on the show.
Why So Cringeworthy?
Let’s start with Melisandre. She creates more chills than Stannis. I suppose they are trying to create a mysterious foreign priestess vibe with her. She dresses all in red and worships a god in fire. She is a new game piece in the war for Westeros. In reality, she is just scary. She also has really gross shadow babies in front of poor Davos, scarring him for life. Seriously, the scene was bad enough in the book. It was worse on television. I don’t like Melisandre or her Lord of Light. They both think it’s okay to go around burning people. She claims every action she takes is for her god. If she goes to the bathroom, it’s for her god. If she makes a man cheat on his wife, it’s for her god. The woman has no sense of responsibility. She doesn’t care if thousands burn because of her actions. I think Melisandre might actually be more cold-blooded than Cersei Lannister. I know it is the voice the actress uses on the show for Melisandre, but it reminds me of dark things slithering in the night and just adds to the cringeworthy list.
Now onto Stannis Baratheon. What a dupe. His brother Renly, though a party boy, has more integrity than Stannis is supposed to have. I thought someone as rigid was Stannis was said to be would not be manipulated by a foreign priestess, yet he becomes her dog. He listens to every word she says and ignores the advice of those he has known longer. Listening to Melisandre leads to his brother’s death, a failed invasion campaign, and the lost lives of thousands of men. Stannis wasn’t liked in Westeros before all this. I am just sure his popularity rating went up after Blackwater. I never understood why he still continued to listen to her. Is he that stupid? I can’t stand a character who doesn’t seem to realize after a long period of time he is being manipulated. I don’t know if Martin truly intended to create a character as unlikable a Stannis but it is likely. Stannis and Melisandre are truly a cringeworthy pair.