Few events in the show have had as dramatic a response from the fandom toward a single character as Stannis’ decision to sacrifice Shireen in Season 5, Episode 9 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Memes of “Stannis the Mannis” and “Best Father in Westeros” gave way to rage towards Stannis, and rage towards the showrunners for committing character assassination. However, as someone who’s in the middle of a project of analyzing A Clash of Kings, a lot of these arguments relating to Shireen ring falsely to me and ignore much of GRRM’s work.
To me, the bigger scandal is to take this potentially epic tragedy and waste it completely, as was done in Season 5, Episode 10. If it’s any consolation, I’m convinced that GRRM’s plan is quite different from what we saw – but to see the outlines of the destiny that lies in wait for Stannis Baratheon, you need to go back to the text (as Benioff and Weiss should have done).