Opinion: Stannis Baratheon is NOT a Good Dad
Last night, on HBO’s Game of Thrones, a child died. It gets worse: a child died because she was sacrificed. Nope, not done! She was sacrificed by her father. Hold on, almost there. She was sacrificed by her father to further his own ambition of power.
When I saw the scene, my stomach dropped — with opportunity. Sure, most people saw the morally murky fantasy man kill his daughter to reawaken the blood god’s favor as simply another antiheroic moment on a television program, full of compromised characters who do evil things to strengthen their claim to rule a kingdom of swamp people who will soon be overrun by ice people. (The dead ice people, I mean, not the living ice people.) But not me! Like the mighty and true King Stannis Baratheon (of television), I knew that ultimate power comes only to those willing to make the bravest performance as a father and moral being — the kind of strong dad who will stand up proudly on the internet and say No. This imaginary character who killed his imaginary daughter on the sword show is not a good dad.
Now here’s why Stannis isn’t a good dad:
- He killed his daughter by burning her to death.
- His daughter didn’t deserve it, because she was a nice girl who liked books.
- Killing your daughter in ANY way is usually bad — and in this case, it was.
- He probably won’t even get to be king before the dead ice people come. (But that is no excuse.)
Here is why I’m a good dad:
- When I kill my daughter, I will only do it metaphorically, not actually, by embarrassing her on the internet by showing how great of a dad I am by tweeting how I will never kill her.
- I have never killed my daughter in real life or on television.
- When I watched the sword show and something gross or bad happens, I immediately 1) turn it off (after it’s over) and 2) tweet my distaste as a public, moral warning.
There are a few things that I will not put up with on my television: fictional children being burnt to death by parents seduced by a powerful and evidently real magical deity, and commercials. (Thank you, HBO!) Oh, and bad acting! NO thanks.
Here are a few things I will put up with: blonde-haired, black-eyebrowed not-elf queens who ride dragons that occasionally roast and eat wild, brown babies; murder OF ANY DWARF OVER 18; war, if it is shown from above; nudity ;); incest between pretty people; cutting the faces off the euthanized poor.
I hope you will join me and these other brave dads who are not afraid to take a stand against fake children being burnt with real, simulated fire, and to proudly say it’s time we got back to a more positive, morally grounded Game of Thrones where beloved characters can throw pre-teens out of tower windows — as long as the pre-teens aren’t their own daughters and there is no fire at the bottom of the tower for the pre-teens to fall into.
P.S. If you can manage to not watch the show…but watch it “because it’s on,” that would be optimal.