While fans of HBO's "Game of Thrones," have spent the last few months swearing to the old gods and the new that Kit Harington's Jon Snow is still alive, the same can't be said for Stannis Baratheon.
The season five finale saw Brienne exact revenge on Stannis for his murder of brother Renly Baratheon, but we didn't actually see Stannis die. In classic TV fashion, if you didn't see it then it may not have happened. Except, it did happen and Stannis really is dead.
We'd understand if you were still a bit skeptical. After all, rumors have hinted at long-thought dead characters making appearances in season six of "Game of Thrones." Plus, "A Song of Ice and Fire" author George R.R. Martin has stated that Stannis is still alive in his novels.
But Watchers on the Wall's editor-in-chief highlighted the Baratheon section of "Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros Seasons 1-5" which states quite concretely, "Stannis was killed outside of Winterfell by Brienne of Tarth, who wished to avenge Renly's death."
Brienne's paragraph even ends with, "Brienne killed Stannis." Sounds pretty permanent and official to me.
HBO has tried to clear up the confusion since the season five finale aired. Episode director David Nutter explained that the only reason they cut away from Stannis' death scene is that "it would have been gratuitous. You really got a sense that Stannis had nothing else to live for. Brienne's lifelong mission had come to an end. It's a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die."
Okay, so Stannis is dead, like, for real. But what about Jon Snow?
"For that he was murdered at Castle Black by his own men, including Alliser Thorne and Olly," the book reads. "Murdered" makes sense because you don't just survive repeated stab wounds. But given that Melisandre conveniently showed up at Castle Black just a few hours before the Night's Watch mutiny, we're betting Jon doesn't stay dead for too long.
"Game of Thrones" will return for a sixth season in 2016.