GOT Characters’ Off-screen Deaths: A Sign of Disrespect or Honorable exit?

We can’t help but wonder why the GOT show-makers are suddenly allergic to “Red”. A show that has redefined gore and violence on small screen is suddenly wary of showing the blood-thirsty audience deaths of major characters on camera. There seems to be a trend of killing off people off-screen, from Stannis Baratheon in season 5 to Waif and Blackfish in season 6. Is it a serious disrespect to characters or the intention is to give them an honorable exit?

Stannis Baratheon is the epitome of a person who spectacularly fell from grace. He burnt his own daughter alive, his wife hung herself, half his soldiers deserted him and took away his horses.  He was consumed by his lust for power and in the process lost everything. Finally, in the Battle of Winterfell, Brienne of Tarth executed a death sentence on him to avenge Renly Baratheon killed by a shadow monster created by Melisandre through red magic on behalf of Stannis. But the audience wasn’t shown his death, some even continued to believe that he is alive. The fans were told that it was done to give him an honorable exit. Was Lord Eddard Stark not honorable?

In the recent episode, Blackfish decided to stand by his honor, protecting his ancestral home, died off-screen fighting Lannisters’ men. He was introduced to the audience in the previous episode only. The actor Clive Russell told Vulture magazine in an interview – He recognizes in Brienne a bit of himself, his younger self. There’s a touch of subtext in their farewell where he more or less says, ‘You’re better off without me. You can do it.’

“He has the chance to run with her, and he chooses not to. The assumption is that I’m trying to stop the soldiers coming through the corridor, stop them discovering her making her escape in the little boat. My concern is to get Brienne out. By the time I do, the soldiers are upon me. But I’m also refusing to run. It’s very much him dying honorably, fighting an enemy, which is what part of him felt he should have done at the Red Wedding.”

In another instance, the show-makers had no problem showing a faceless assassin (Waif) stabbing Arya multiple times, but we didn’t see how Arya killed her in the dark. Finally, she is No One, she is Arya Stark of Winterfell.

 

 

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