How one of the most unlikeable Game of Thrones characters won over the Web.“After five books, thousands of pages, three seasons to date, and plenty of downtime to theorize (no matter how much of the Game of Thrones and/or A Song of Ice and Fire universe you’ve actually consumed), almost all fans will agree on just a few things. More characters you love and hate will die, the dragons will look awesome doing just about anything on TV, and Hodor at some point will most certainly say “Hodor.” Everything else, from Jon Snow’s parentage to who will eventually claim the Iron Throne is constantly up for debate.
But one of the many things to polarize Game of Thrones fans is Stannis Baratheon, the dark horse of House Baratheon. You either love him or you hate him. He’s the Westerosi One True God to his fans. You can see him emerging out as the victor despite your actual allegiance to the other possible kings (or queen), or you want him to burn up in one of Melisandre’s sacrificial ceremonies or by any of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons.
That line is often (but not always) drawn based on how you answer the following question: Have you read the books?
Much of what “Stannis the Mannis,” as many on the Internet affectionately call him, does and why people are so drawn to him is yet to come in the TV shows, but there’s already plenty to admire him for up to this point in the show (approximately two-thirds of the way through A Storm of Swords). If the producers follow the book closely enough, Stannis will have a pretty great season—and he already has a fanbase online ready to pledge their allegiance.
Even if you still can’t make yourself like him or picture him actually emerging as the winner at the end of the day, you might just respect him.