Curtain Call: Kerry Ingram

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“For the night is dark, and full of terrors.”

And yet the cold light of day brought the greatest terror yet. It may be bordering on heresy to say that this was the absolute most horrifying moment on Game of Thrones–a show whose bread and butter is upping the “horrific” ante each and every week–but I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced the collective howl of crushing loss from the fandom after sweet Shireen burned.


thrones2-blog480And people will want to stroll back through time and reminisce on better times, but for me what truly solidified Kerry as an A-caliber actress was how she played those final moments. The glum look on Shireen’s face as she was being marched out to witness a burning she did not yet know would feature her. The barely discerned slowing of her pace when she realized something was truly different. The almost-blink (not quite!) when that disbelief washed over her… her sheer terror, and oh, man, those screams.

0I can’t imagine she was anything other than completely hoarse after that day of filming. Maybe left with no voice at all. And it’s hard to say, “Hey, Kerry, it was worth it!” since we’re essentially thanking her for her pain. But man…

She sold it, she sold it, she sold it. And we all bawled like babies. But don’t take my word for it; director David Nutter went out of his way to praise her in this interview in Vulture, calling Kerry “…a wonderfully talented and seasoned actress who understood very clearly how she would react as a young woman in Shireen’s place.”

kerry-ingramSo I want to not only take this opportunity to thank Kerry, but to welcome her into the next stage of her acting career. Because gone is the talented ingénue that charmed people as Matilda, or even the guileless young girl she played in Game of Thrones.

Hell’s bells, this teen is nigh a woman grown now. And with the depth of talent she possesses… the sky’s the limit. She is currently slated to appear in the new BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall (alongside also-GoT-dead alum Thomas Brodie-Sangster).

Kerry also happens to be ab-fabulous besties with Aimee Richardson (aka Bestcella); the English and Irish girls hang out on occasion, and I have it in pret-ty good confidence that Kerry is an absolutely fabulous person (with perhaps a more-than slightly wicked sense of humor)!

Shireen Baratheon may be gone… but Kerry Ingram is wonderfully alive, vibrant, and quite ready for her next big step.

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Give ‘er your love, peeps! And bow down to your rightful princess!

Kerry-Ingram (1)

137 responses

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    1. Amazing actress, amazing character (one of my favorite secondary characters). Though the narrative did earn that moment and the acting and filming were excellent, I’m still still sad to see the actress go, and horrified to see how the character went.

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    2. Still reeling occasionally. Kerry’s acting was always the best out of the child actors, by far, but she pretty much rivals some of the best and most experienced older actors in the show IMO. Screams aside, when she’s walking through the mass towards the pyre is absolutely devastating and she sold it with facial expressions only.

      Gonna miss Shireen and Kerry! Damn it, another great female character/actress gone, two in a row now.

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    3. If only that last pic could have been!

      Kerry really sold her scenes. I don’t think I’ve ever bawled that hard over a death in any series. Hell, I’m still getting teary eyed thinking about it!

      I miss Shireen so much but I’m looking forward to any and all future roles for Kerry. She’s going to soar, no doubts about it.

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    4. Wonderful performance. She made an instant impression in her first scene, singing a lonely song to herself in her tower. I was kinda floored to find out she’s 16. Honestly thought she was 12 or 13, which is why I kept referring to her as “that adorable moppet faced kid on GoT”. If you’re on Instagram, check out her feed. She used to post some cool set pics with Liam. She has one today where they’re holding a “grammar for dummies” book.

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    5. I can’t think of any other actor or actress on the show who was so instantly captivating and endearing. She had a huge screen presence and lit up every scene she was in. Her death scene was the most devastating moment since the Red Wedding, thanks in no small part to her talent. She will be very much missed.

      …but really, I’m still stuck on BAWWWWW SHIREEN YOU WERE A PRECIOUS LITERACY-PROMOTING BABY ANGEL TOO PURE FOR THIS WORLD BAWWWWWW

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    6. Really great actress. Her facial expression when she realizes what is about to happen still kills me. And damn those screams and cries! And so many other moments.

      Good luck to her and all her future endeavors. She will be missed.

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    7. Don’t. I’m still in denial.

      The dawning realisation was the worst bit for me. The sweet innocence giving way to utter terror. Truly horrifying television. And she absolutely sold it perfectly. Brilliant young actress, hope she goes onto to some fantastic things!

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    8. I loved that they made Shireen a bigger part of the show than originally intended and who could fail to be entranced with the character when she taught Davos to read and Kerry sang Patchfaces song?

      I’m prepared to live with the ending the writers gave Shireen, for now anyway, but it was truly the most heartwrenching moment of this or any previous series and it seemed impossible that there wouldn’t be a last second reprieve…I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a young actor give such a convincing performance of pain and terror as Kerry gave, and those screams…

      In a fatherly way, Kerry just seems to be an adorable young woman with lively sense of humour and a great talent and I hope she goes on to have great success in acting, but I think it’ll be hard to top those final few moments of “Dance of Dragons”.

      Davos Seaworth: “I disobeyed my King, your father, and now I’m paying the price.”
      Shireen Baratheon: “I don’t care, you’re my friend.”

      I know, I know…oh, oh, oh

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    9. I will never forget this actress.

      As a father myself, I am curious how her real parents looked at ‘that’ scene. For the random viewer it was horrible, but her real parents must have had nightmares I presume…

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    10. This made me all teary again.

      I re-watched the ep the other night, and I think the second time was even more difficult. The first time there was hope that someone, something, would stop what was happening from happening. But knowing for sure it was going to… it was purely heartbreaking.

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    11. Great job, Kerry! You did all of us proud.

      I’m glad they bolstered Shireen in the show from her depiction on the page. I hope she gives R’hllor a wedgie for me.

      Only the good die young.

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    12. Her acting was outstanding. It wasn’t just her screams that made it so real, but her reaction and how she was calling out to Stannis and Selyse. She had great scenes with Davos and those scenes I’ll surely miss.

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    13. All her scenes were astonishing! She wasn’t there just acting. She was occupying the space and the words of her character, she was their princess and made us breathe in an environment that was gloomy, devastated and deprived of real life. She created within GOT a cultured, humane and humanistic universe in its own right, a universe glowing in the warmness of the new that brutally was pushed to the scorching fire of calculated necessities. But her screams will resonate well in the seasons to come as a reminder of the true nature of humanity. She was the renaissance in a world of darkness. Thank you Kerry Ingram and looking forward to seeing your talent in your next projects!

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    14. Shireen Baratheon now has a special place in everyone’s hearts and minds …

      Her performance accomplished something that everyone thought was impossible – replacing the Red Wedding as the most horrifying thing to happen in Game of Thrones.

      I was shocked and horrified, and heard her screams well into the night …

      Congratulations Kerry Ingram – I, for one, will be following your career from now on … you will soar to incredible heights!! BRAVO, STANDING O!!!!

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    15. I think Shireen’s death will haunt me the most, out of this entire story.

      Kerry was wonderful as Shireen. Thoughtful, well-spoken, logical, objective, decent. She was my pick for the Iron Throne. Shireen Baratheon, First of Her Name, the Queen-That-Should-Have-Been.

      Thank you to Kerry for that great performance. She has a bright career ahead of her.

      There’s a nine-part fanfic series out there called “In This Light” where Shireen ends up being Drogon’s dragonrider after Daenerys dies fighting the Others, and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms with Davos as her Hand. Even better, Stannis sacrifices himself for the good of the realm. I think it’s time for me to read that again.

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    16. Kerry was the best young actress on this show. She was absolutely terrific as Shireen and she will be missed. Hope to see her move on to bigger things and wider recognition. Thanks for sharing your talent, Kerry!

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    17. She is currently slated to appear in the new BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall (alongside also-GoT-dead alum Thomas Brodie-Sangster).

      omg she played Alice! I thought I recognized her!

      What everyone else has said. I so enjoyed her, and cant wait what she does next!

      As a father myself, I am curious how her real parents looked at ‘that’ scene. For the random viewer it was horrible, but her real parents must have had nightmares I presume

      I wondered that myself. If I was them I’d probably just prefer not watch it. but thats just me.

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    18. Loved her. Hopefully she gets to have a commentary track for the DVD/Blu-ray for that episode; would like to see her insight on reading the script/filming that scene.

      Also, seems like she’s also good friends with the kid that plays Olly.

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    19. I still can’t believe it happened. (I muted her screams.)

      A few words for my sweet Shireen: Karma is a bitch and its coming for Daddy, Mommy and Red Velvet. Do not fear – Lady and Grey Wind will look out for you now.

      Kerry is a talented, versatile young actress. She has a marvelous career ahead of her. I will never forget her brilliant performance.

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    20. Tyroshi Barber:
      I will never forget this actress.

      As a father myself, I am curious how her real parents looked at ‘that’ scene. For the random viewer it was horrible, but her real parents must have had nightmares I presume…

      I held my own daughter very close and told her that I would never put her on a sacrificial pyre.

      Kerry was pretty flat-out astounding, most especially in her final scenes. Shireen had a very bittersweet life… but I think she saw some joy beyond much of it. Wonderfully telegraphed by Ingram and the fact that many viewers find her end more distressing than the Red Wedding speaks volumes about her talent and screen presence.

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    21. I only found out the other day but she has a YouTube channel (for her singing I believe) though there is not much on it so maybe it is fairly new. I know GoT is fictional (albeit based on some historical facts but changed around) but I’m sure my eyes were definitely moist after the scene in question. I know I’ve said this on another thread but I would love for WOTW to do an interview with her. Ravyn, I don’t think she turned 16 very long ago. I agree with those who say she (Kerry) very likely has a bright future in the acting profession (unless she turns her back on it like Jack Gleeson).

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    22. Flora Linden:
      I think Shireen’s death will haunt me the most, out of this entire story.

      Kerry was wonderful as Shireen. Thoughtful, well-spoken, logical, objective, decent. She was my pick for the Iron Throne. Shireen Baratheon, First of Her Name, the Queen-That-Should-Have-Been.

      She was my pick too. 🙁

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    23. I just saw this on wiki:

      Ingram has a form of osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Having regularly fractured her bones, she requires periodic infusions to reinforce them.

      I know wikipedia is not always accurate – does anyone know more about this? If true, this amazes me, and speaks to her motivation to go beyond this what I know can be a devastating illness

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    24. Four days later, that scene is still messing with my head. These feelings are completely on par with how I felt after reading the Red Wedding more than a decade ago, and it has everything to do with Ingram’s performance. You could hear every bit of the betrayal Shireen felt as she cried for Stannis and Selyse to save her.

      Amazing young actor. If she doesn’t have a bright career ahead of her, there truly is no justice in the world.

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    25. [sniff] Still getting over this. Right up until her last scream, I was waiting for Davos to save her. Kerry did a great job, and I’ll be watching for her on my local movie screens.

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    26. I wouldn’t say it’s heresy to call it one of the most horrific scenes on GoT yet. It affected me more than any other scene to date…it’s just so sad.

      Good luck to Kerry in her future endeavors, she played the part of Shireen brilliantly and she will be greatly missed.

      Now it’s time for Davos to get the hell out of there…

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    27. Spidey-Dan,

      I felt the same way … this was the most powerful, visceral experience I’ve had with ASOIF since reading the Red Wedding years ago, and Kerry’s performance was spectacular.

      If I ever have the pleasure of meeting her in person, my first instinct would be to just give her a big hug!!

      Again, BRAVO, Miss Ingram, Bravo!!

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    28. If you had speculated to me after I finished reading ADWD that Shireen would burn I’d be like, “Pfft. Probably.”

      Kerry made me care about a character I don’t in the books. Because D&D made her. Because this was her fate.

      I hate you guys. Stop making me feel things.

      Seriously, all GRRM has to do is describe the screaming the way he gonna do and it’s gonna be horrific enough without her having to be like, Kerry Ingram levels of adorable and best ever.

      Ugh! Damn you visual mediums!

      …I have to fast forward through the screams. The Red Wedding is hard to sit through, but I can do it. This, I can’t.

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    29. Kerry did a fantastic, job. Sweet, smart, curious, innocent. Haunting at the end. This was absolutely the hardest scene for me yet. I am still in shock and disbelief, holding on to some irrational hope that grayscale will prevent her from dying in that fire. Ugh. I have never felt this sad for a fictional character.

      It makes me sick to say that Kerry Ingram has a “bright future” ahead, but I think she does. What a charming girl, older than her years. Good luck, little lady.

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    30. I will carry that scene with me for the rest of my life. Hands down the most devestating scene in Game of Thrones to date. My heart still hurts.

      What a wonderful actress.

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    31. Kerry is a wonderful young actress, who really built up her character far beyond what was in the script with her charm, empathy, intelligent curiosity and childlike wisdom. She is a natural. I hope she goes very far and I look forward to watching her perform for years to come.

      The Dragonstone team has been a chore for me since the beginning of Season 2 – except for Davos and Shireen. Anytime those two were onscreen, I felt a bit of hope for Planetos, which was exactly the opposite of the way I feel anytime her daddy, his red priestess or her mommy was onscreen. Over the seasons, though I had a bad feeling about her end, I also had a bit of hope that she would be one of the bright faces in the new world when Spring finally came to Planetos and it was the series finale. Now she is gone. It’s still hard to fully accept. I hope she is discussing books with her great-great…. uncles (?), Aemon, Aegon somewhere. And they are all young.
      I cannot wait till her murderers get their just desserts. And I want Davos to completely renounce the Baratheons who are left.

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    32. She’s adorable in those pics, and she shined in her role on GoT. Now as for everyone’s reaction I look at it like this, it’s like going to the sauna and getting surprised when u sweat

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    33. ash: I just saw this on wiki:

      Ingram has a form of osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Having regularly fractured her bones, she requires periodic infusions to reinforce them.

      I know wikipedia is not always accurate – does anyone know more about this? If true, this amazes me, and speaks to her motivation to go beyond this what I know can be a devastating illness

      I had heard this before, which is strangely why during that scene I was more worried for the actress herself when those soldiers grabbed her arms and manhandled her to the pyre!

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    34. Swift001:
      She’s adorable in those pics, and she shined in her role on GoT.Now as for everyone’s reaction I look at it like this, it’s like going to the sauna and getting surprised when u sweat

      She is adorable! I thought she was around 8-10 years old, I was surprise to see wikipedia say she is a teenager.

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    35. Kerry – The fandom fell in love with your Shireen and that is because of you! I will be watching your career because you are an awesome actress.

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    36. Such a talented young lady an how lucky have we been to have her as Shireen. She really left her mark on me, her scene was probably the most harrowing of season 5 (so far anyway) and much of it was because of her.
      I will miss you Kerry!

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    37. She is/was in my top five favourite actresses in the show just behind Maisie Williams, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley and Diana Rigg

      Its amazing how this show managed to find young ‘child’ actors such as Maisie and Kerry and they both turn out to be better actresses than most ‘adult’ actors

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    38. Walter Harrow: Its amazing how this show managed to find young ‘child’ actors such as Maisie and Kerry and they both turn out to be better actresses than most ‘adult’ actors

      Sophie is also doing a pretty good job, and let’s not forget Jack Gleeson, though I guess he was not really a “child” even at the beginning.

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    39. Very talented young actress. She was perfect in the role. Its just a shame she wont be in the show any more! RIP Shireen

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    40. I don’t know that i can watch this episode again anytime soon, just for that part of it. That scene broke my heart.. I agree with the poster farther up, I hated the scenes with team Dragonstone, except for Davos and Shireen. May karma bite Stannis,Selyse and the Red Woman right in the ass where they deserve it… Kerry was amazing! (PS~ I haven’t watched Wolf Hall yet, which character does she play in it?).

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    41. Brought warmth and light to an otherwise dark and gloomy storyline and that finale scene is one of the most honest and devestating examples of complete desperation of despair, that I never thought I’d see from a child actor. I like al the children in the show. Sophie Turner is a wonder and Masie Williams can never be underestimated, jack gleeson too. But Ingram was so alone with her character, had so few actors to play off of, but she took a minor character from the books and made the whole fucking fandom fall in love with her. Which again helped to make that sequence (however horrifying it might be) one of the series strongest. Only because of all the warmth she brought to that role, was it so heartbreaking. And also because of her performance did Dillane shine so hauntingly. I am in awe!

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    42. The kid’s got a bright future. Seems very down-to-earth and friendly from interviews and public appearances too.

      Don’t want to derail the topic, but whilst we’re talking about Curtain Calls then it would be amiss to not mention the passing of the legendary Sir Christopher Lee.This guy led an extraordinary life and his films were a constant and welcome presence throughout my life (still remember in my early teens staying up late to watch late-night Hammer Horror films in my bedroom!). Really wish he would do a Dracula and come back again!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-33098353

      Ron Moody (Fagan) has died too! This is turning into a terrible year for losing talent 🙁

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    43. I wonder if when the Long Night will come the same people that hate on Melisandre for 4 years now will just start rooting for her.

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    44. Shireeeeeeeeeen *squees at a pitch that shatters glass and is barely audible to humans* Anyone who has read my increasingly deranged posts knows that she brought out in me a protective mothering instinct I didn’t know I possessed. Her face when Stannis did his “You are Princess Shireen and…blah blah misdirection I’m convincing you it’s the only thing I would never do to make it all the more shocking, in 5 weeks’ time you will be baying for my blood…and you are my daughter” speech made me want to reach into the tv to hug her. As a character she was a ray of sunshine in a very dark world and I wanted her to make it to the end unscathed more than everyone else combined.

      Davos – I know you will do the right thing, not necessarily by more violence, perhaps by protecting and supporting others who would make as much difference to GoT world as she had the potential to.
      Mum and Dad – Only time will tell but I think that’s the one event that irretrievably causes your eventual destruction.
      And Mel – you better stop wearing purple lady, that’s my colour and you don’t deserve it. Stick to red. I don’t know what happens to you but I’m sure the VIP area of hell has you on it’s guest list (no re-entry by the way, once in you don’t get to leave).

      It’s a testament to a great team; Kerry it goes without saying made me believe Shireen was a real person I cared deeply about, but also Stannis convinced me he wouldn’t do it and Selyse that she happily would. The acting, writing, production; everything was perfect. We’ve seen a lot of terrible things on the show and occasionally I have shut my eyes, but only for a few seconds. I wouldn’t watch that final scene if you paid me, not a single second of it. I’d need therapy for years to come 🙁 I’m sure Kerry has a very bright future ahead of her and wish her well in everything she does 😀 And if she gets bored of acting I’ll happily adopt her! 😉

      Sorry it’s so long, I just had to say it all!

      EDIT: Arya Havin’ a Larf? Oi you, stop that now! *Tuts* Iron Maiden fans, you just can’t take them anywhere 😉

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    45. Nothing much in this series has bothered me, until this past episode. And then it happened twice that what I was seeing really really bothered me.

      This series will depict cruelty to animals. Chopping down the horse to get to the rider. The image of a running burning horse in this one was far worse to me. And the camera focused on it twice.

      The other one was of course Shireen. She was a beautiful child in the truest sense of the word. And a great little actress to boot because she played the hell out of that role.

      Its a few days before ep10 the grand finale and I’m holding out some hope that these producers/writers have faked us out. Which they’re not above doing. Let Shireen rise from the ashes and that I think will be a great moment in a series where the really great moments are few and far between.

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    46. Shireen captured our hearts. And Stannis burned them.

      Kerry Ingram is a phenomenal young talent. She captivated viewers, from her first charming appearance reading books in a dismal stone chamber–to her final one, screaming in a field of snow, in what has to be the show’s most horrifying moment. She brought out the best in Liam Cunningham and Stephen Dillane in every scene she shared with them.

      Her future is bright and full of wonders.

      * * * *

      I hope we get a Curtain Call for Joel Fry (Hizdahr zo Loraq) too!

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    47. Ser Gerold Dayne,

      I’m just waiting for this (inevitable?) scene between her and Arya, as promised in S3 when Melisandre looked into her eyes and said, “There’s darkness in you. We’ll meet again.”

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    48. A great young actress. It was difficult not to like and care about Shireen and her portrayal of the character is largely why. Shame on Stannis and Mel for what they’ve done!

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    49. Ser Gerold Dayne:
      I wonder if when the Long Night will come the same people that hate on Melisandre for 4 years now will just start rooting for her.

      She’d have a looooooong way to go to redemption.

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    50. Shireen is a very common Persian name, and it literally means “sweet”. That’s how she always came across in her scenes. One of the only characters in the entire series that could be described that way. She will definitely be missed!

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    51. Simeon: Sophie is also doing a pretty good job, and let’s not forget Jack Gleeson, though I guess he was not really a “child” even at the beginning.

      Sophie is great but has had a weak season this year in my opinion (im waiting for people to attack me for saying that). She is still in my top ten actresses in the show but the poor writing and storyline has overexposed her and the character this season. Her performance has been disappointed after her strongest performance in season 4 which is why she just misses out on my top 5 (not that anyone really cares)

      Saying that though, the only ‘main’ actors who have really impressed me this season have been Alfie Allen, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams and Kit Harrington (ive never been a fan of his acting but he has had a great season). I think most of the other actors have been let down by poor writing , but again that’s just my opinion

      There has only ever been one or maybe two actors in the entire series who I think have been ‘bad’ so a poor performance from Sophie, Peter Dinklage etc is still a strong performance

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    52. Beacon:
      Walter Harrow,

      Carice and Stephen deserve kudos too. Carice has the most difficult role on the show to play and pulls it off flawlessly IMO.

      I have never really seen them as ‘main’ characters/actors though. Stephen Dillane, Michael McElatton, Carice Van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Owen Teale, Iwan Rheon etc have all been brilliant this season but ive alwas thought of them as ‘supporting characters’.

      The names I mentioned were just those who play ‘major’ roles (Tyrion, Cersei, Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Theon and Jaime are the only characters I really call ‘main/major’ characters and only half of them have had a great year in my opinion)

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    53. All the recappers who used to joke that there’s only two songs in Westeros clearly forgot that it’s always summer…under the sea…I know I know…oh oh, ohhhhhhhh

      Kerry managed to make a massively great first impression in Kissed by Fire, without even needing an Oberyn-esque flashy entrance, and she never disappointed.

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    54. I sent a tweet to Kerry about three weeks ago (before I knew of her GOT fate) to compliment her on her wonderful acting. She took the time to reply. Wishing her well on Wolf Hall and in all of her future endeavors.

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    55. One of the characters that were truly good in Westeros. She would have been the right Queen. Oh Tyrion, why didn’t you meet her?

      Well done, Kerry Ingram. You were great from your very first episode (and that song…).

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    56. What a spectacular young actress! She did a terrific job, a performance with all the nuance and conviction one might expect from an actor twice her age. Well done.

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    57. Along with the amazing presense of Ms. Ingram, I will miss what could have been with Shireen.

      Shireen, Davos, Tyrion, Jon and Sam are the characters who could help elevate Westeros from its status quo and rigid class system, but Shireen especially as a high born. I really thougth she would have her own destiny, not just be a plot device for Stannis’s destiny.

      Best of luck Kerry!

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    58. BostonDave:
      Nothing much in this series has bothered me, until this past episode. And then it happened twice that what I was seeing really really bothered me.

      This series will depict cruelty to animals. Chopping down the horse to get to the rider. The image of a running burning horse in this one was far worse to me. And the camera focused on it twice.

      The other one was of course Shireen. She was a beautiful child in the truest sense of the word. And a great little actress to boot because she played the hell out of that role.

      Its a few days before ep10 the grand finale and I’m holding out some hope that these producers/writers have faked us out. Which they’re not above doing. Let Shireen rise from the ashes and that I think will be a great moment in a series where the really great moments are few and far between.

      Me too! I am as delusional as stannis!

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    59. Kerry, I wish you the best ever in your career !

      She was perfect in every of her scenes !!!

      I hope we’ll get a Curtain Call for Joel Fry as well, he deserves it !

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    60. debbie:

      I really thought she would have her own destiny, not just be a plot device for Stannis’s destiny.

      I did too. I thought the Baratheon storyline would turn out to be about Shireen and Stannis was the plot device for her destiny. What a sad loss.

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    61. (This will be a long one. Fair warning).

      Sweetness. Innocence. Much-needed warmth. As Shireen Baratheon, Kerry Ingram brought all of these things to Game of Thrones in abundance. In the wake of her character’s horrific death, the show has once again come under fire for the exceptionally bleak story and world it has been charged with revealing. That charge isn’t new and personally, I don’t find it particularly insightful or interesting. But I would be lying if I didn’t say it hit a little closer to home this week, because of precisely what and who we lost last Sunday. Out of all the beloved characters this story has killed off in the service of its as-of-yet unknown endgame, it has never taken one less deserving of such a fate in quite so cruel a fashion. This one hurts. Badly.

      I admit I never gave much thought to Shireen when I read A Song of Ice and Fire. She was a worthy addition to the world, but very much a background figure. But on Game of Thrones, the young Princess quickly become one of my favorite characters, and retained that status throughout her entire run on the show. I give abundant credit to David Benioff, Dan Weiss, Bryan Cogman, and the other writers for writing such great material for her. No actor can convincingly bring their character to life without finding something in the script to inspire them, and D&D did an excellent job of creating a more fully-realized version of Shireen for Ingram to play.

      Nevertheless, it was Ingram’s performance that sealed my investment in the character. She gave Shireen her charm, her heart, her spark of intelligence, and her wondrous sense of vitality. It was a completely natural and affecting performance, and it felt both genuine and effortless – a standard of which many veteran actors fall short. Every scene she appeared in was an absolute pleasure, and she enriched the show by eliciting the very best performance from every actor she ever shared the screen with. Her friendship with Davos proved to be especially delightful. Liam Cunningham recently said in an interview with Vulture that his favorite scenes to film on the show were the ones he filmed with Ingram. One only needs to look at the work they did together (and then to their respective Twitter pages) to see why. Even at such a young age, Ingram is a professional through and through.

      It’s been widely reported that around the time Season 2 was drawn up, the writers didn’t know if they would have the time to include Shireen. They deliberately left the question of Stannis’s children ambiguous, with Melisandre clearly stating that Stannis had no sons, but saying nothing about his daughter. This actually paid off on-screen in very effective fashion a year later when Stannis goes to see his wife and the audience learns for the first time he has a daughter who has been hidden away from the world.

      The very first time we saw Shireen Baratheon in Season 3, she was singing “It’s Always Summer Under the Sea” (Kerry Ingram would also record a full version of the song for the soundtrack, which played over the episode’s closing credits). I remember hating that particular refrain in the novels, primarily because it was attributable to Patchface – Shireen’s constant companion in the books and a character I find absolutely insufferable. But when I heard Ingram sing those lyrics, what had seemed trite on the page became haunting. It sounded beautiful, of course, but more importantly, it felt like an essential part of the character, revealing just how lonely and imaginative she was. That’s when I first thought, “Damn, this girl is good.”

      It has also been reported that Ingram was originally cast only for Season 3, and didn’t know if she would return. Of course, it was after writing Season 3 that Benioff and Weiss had their much-publicized summit with Martin to discuss the future of every character and plotline in the series. It has never been confirmed what exactly was disclosed at that summit or any of the others, but after the events of last weekend’s episode, we may safely presume that one of the many things that Benioff and Weiss learned from Martin was the fate of one Princess Shireen Baratheon, and the cruel necessity of her demise.

      Shireen’s death may have been a shock to audiences, but I disagree with charges that it was too sudden or unearned. The show set this up very carefully. As I’ve been re-watching many of Shireen’s earlier scenes this week, I’ve been seeing allusions to her ultimate fate crop up in places that I had previously overlooked – perhaps willingly. Her persistent fascination with dragons. Her conversation with Melisandre about sacrifice in “The Lion and the Rose” – an episode written by GRRM himself. The way she closed her eyes and remained silent as the flames claimed Mance Raydar in “The Wars to Come”, while her mother sat beside her, enraptured, and her father watched with cold commitment. Hell, her character first appeared in an episode titled “Kissed by Fire” – a coincidence, perhaps, but one that seems cruelly ironic now. In truth, fire was never far from Shireen. If only we had known then just how close it would come.

      Would it have been kinder, for both Shireen and the audience, if Martin had not disclosed that piece of information, because he hadn’t thought of it yet or wasn’t sure if he wanted to set that part of the story in stone? Perhaps. But even now, after the absolutely horrific way she met her end, I am glad that we got three seasons of Shireen and Kerry Ingram on the show, not just one. I wanted to see Shireen make it to the end of this story, and to live a life that was safe and relatively happy. That hope is now extinguished, and it will take a while for me to fully make peace with that fact.

      Fortunately, Kerry Ingram will be just fine! At the risk of repeating myself, I will say it again – she is so exceptionally talented. If she wants to continue acting, she will certainly have no shortage of opportunities to do so, because her work on Game of Thrones has drawn widespread acclaim – every shred of which is deserved. If there is any benefit to Shireen’s death, it is that the audience has a perfect opportunity to pause in recognition of what an amazing young performer Miss Ingram is, and to celebrate just how much she has contributed to Game of Thrones. We should all take full advantage of the moment before moving forward.

      After Episode 9 aired, I said that Shireen’s death was most painful scene I have ever witnessed in a work of dramatic fiction – be it in Game of Thrones or any other show. Several days later, I stand by that. We all know the world of Game of Thrones is a brutal one, and at times even the characters themselves need to seek refuge. Shireen sought hers in books, histories and fantasies of a time long gone. It sounds reductive to say that she was too good for the world in which she lived, but in the end, she was indeed too gentle. When her father asked her whose side she would have chosen in an ancient conflict, she rejected the idea entirely, stating that such decisions led to nothing but death and despair. It was a wonderful notion, but one very much grounded in a child’s hopeful vision of the world. The people who participated in The Dance of Dragons had to choose, and they did. Stannis had to choose, and he did (whether or not he chose correctly is another issue entirely).

      David Benioff and Dan Weiss faced their choice as well. They had the choice to allow Shireen Baratheon to live (and die) on Game of Thrones as she has (and will) in A Song of Ice and Fire, or to leave her on the page along with hundreds of other characters we will never see. In the painful aftermath of Shireen’s death, it’s easy to wish they had chosen differently. But if they had, we never would have seen Kerry Ingram take this role and make it her own. We never would have seen her emerge as an up-and-coming star, one that added some much-appreciated light to this incredibly dark story … if only for a time. And when the choice is framed in that manner, then – for me at least – it becomes no choice at all.

      I wish Kerry Ingram nothing but the best as she moves forward in her life and her career. She will be missed.

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    62. Kerry Ingram is a real talent, there’s no doubt (you obviously don’t get nominated for an Olivier Award by age 13 without it), and she was a great addition to the show.

      In some ways, Shireen is an easy character to play, since she was clearly written to be an audience favourite (for reasons that are especially obvious now), being an adorable plucky child with a love of reading who was affiliated with the right characters in terms of sympathy — but at the same time, this is a character type that could easily have been (and often has been) horribly annoying if the actor doesn’t get it right. Ingram played it perfectly.

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    63. I like the last post of GRRM on its “Not a Blog” :

      “Meanwhile, other wars are breaking out on other fronts, centered around the last few episodes of GAME OF THRONES. It is not my intention to get involved in those, nor to allow them to take over my blog and website, so please stop emailing me about them, or posting off-topic comments here on my Not A Blog. Wage those battles on Westeros, or Tower of the Hand, or Boiled Leather, or Winter Is Coming, or Watchers on the Walls. Anyplace that isn’t here, actually.

      Yes, I know that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me “the third most powerful writer in Hollywood” last December. You would be surprised at how little that means. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, or make them stop saying or doing it, be it on the fannish or professional fronts. What I can control is what happens in my books, so I am going to return to that chapter I’ve been writing on THE WINDS OF WINTER now, thank you very much.”

      Stannis won’t burn Shireen in the books.

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    64. Kerry Ingram’s Shireen falls into one of those “loved her from the start” characters. And I loved and appreciated her rapport with Liam Cunningham/Davos, and the way the two, by the time of Mhysa, were more or less “hangout buddies,” with him lolling about her room reading letters and such. It’s one of the best, and most underrated, relationships on the show.

      Her character stands as the ultimate, of course, in women/girls who are shut away and brought out when they needed to be used for their worth/name/bodies, and it’s ironic that the one who pushes for that use is another woman, who was once a slave, and her father, the only guardian she seemed to have who really supported her. What’s one life against Seven Kingdoms? Davos said it was everything – and that managed to save Gendry’s life – but it didn’t help Shireen in the end, as Davos couldn’t go so far as to intervene to take Stannis’s daughter away from him. It just wouldn’t have been possible to do without losing his own head, and that wouldn’t have helped him, either. And in the end she’s a sacrifice upon the altar of the ambition of Stannis Baratheon. Maybe he will unite and defend the seven kingdoms against the darkness and the Long Night to come, or maybe Melisandre has it all wrong, which makes his sacrifice ever stupider and short-sighted, and his entire quest, for that matter. We forget that Stannis isn’t just a grammatical stickler or a rigid military commander, but a fanatic that doesn’t inspire nor rally others to his cause, but who rules through fear and adherence to a certain type of order only. Sure, he may sit the Iron Throne eventually, but at what cause, and truly, for how long? A few months? Days?

      Shireen’s death affects me greatly, and almost to the point of despair that GoT would turn into a Walking Dead-type torture where nobody comes out on top that anyone would want, ever. And maybe that will still be the case (let’s hope not), or maybe this is the ultimate in low points that many have to deal with.

      Kerry Ingram was awesome in this role – one of my favorite supporting characters. She really handled things well, and I was glad every time we got to see her. I’ll miss her.

      And fuck Stannis.

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    65. Dame of Mercia:
      I only found out the other day but she has a YouTube channel (for her singing I believe) though there is not much on it so maybe it is fairly new.I knowGoT is fictional (albeit based on some historical facts but changed around) but I’m sure my eyes were definitely moist after the scene in question.I know I’ve said this on another thread but I would love for WOTW to do an interview with her.Ravyn, I don’t think she turned 16 very long ago.I agree with those who say she (Kerry) very likely has a bright future in the acting profession (unless she turns her back on it like Jack Gleeson).

      In may yeah!
      Here is Aimee’s birthday gift:

      https://twitter.com/Aimee_P_R/status/603961494288629761

      🙂

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    66. She was incredible from the start. The fact that she could hold her own with actors like Cunningham and Dillane is a testement to her acting chops. Will definitely miss her…

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    67. Ravyn:
      Slightly off topic, but as long as we’re talking about Shireen, The Atlantic has a really good article about that scene and its relation to history and Thrones’s larger themes. Worth a read: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/06/game-of-thrones-shireen-human-sacrifice-history/395573/

      Kornhaber gets it wrong in the end.

      “you can also see Stannis’s choice to kill his daughter and save his army as someone offering a starkly utilitarian answer to the classic Trolley Problem; he can justify his actions in the same way Tywin Lannister did after the Red Wedding. ”

      The first part of this statement is correct. Stannis’s deicsion was the Trolley Problem writ extreme…and yes, he made the right choice. He honestly and reasonably believes that he is the second coming of Azor Ahai, and that his failure would mean a zombie apocalypse. He did not sacrifice Shireen for a chair, he sacrificed her because his failure could mean the end of the world.

      Tywin’s decision was not the same. While he did “save” some lives in the short term by ending a bloody war by committing a handful of murders, he also destroyed a series of valuable norms such as guest right. The lack of trust and negotiation that this will spawn will lead to more battles in the long run, and thus even more death. His decision was entirely self-centered, unlike Stannis’s.

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    68. In a show full of amazing actors, I think that Kerry was among the best at embodying her character. Yes, Game of Thrones is full of shocking moments, but this was absolutely the most harrowing for me, and a lot of that came down to Kerry’s performance. She and Shireen will be missed on Game of Thrones, but the sky’s the limit in terms of her future career.

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    69. Really never thought we’d be saying goodbye to the little princess.

      The flaming heart sigil with stag surrounded by fire just makes me want to puke now. You’re forever cursed, Stannis Baratheon.

      Kerry will conquer the next realm and the next and the next… can’t wait to see!

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    70. She was fantastic. Awesome that’s she’s going to be in Wolf Hall, which is one of the best historical novels I’ve ever read. Great career ahead of her if she wants it.

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    71. Kerry Ingram is 16? Holy shit! Even though she’s older than I thought, I still think she’s skilled beyond her years. She more than held her own with the experienced adult actors that made up the rest of Team Dragonstone.

      Some of my favorite scenes were when she was teaching Davos to read. I love them in the books too, but even more in the show as Ingram’s performance made a fairly minor character shine.

      I’m even tearing up a little writing this. That has never happened while typing a curtain call post before.

      Hopefully she’ll get lots of parts in the future. I’d love to see her take on a polar opposite role and do a horror movie villain at some point.

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    72. Wow. Apparently people can’t resist being assholes and posting episode spoilers in even curtain call threads? Ugh.

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    73. Kerry Ingram was amaz-balls as Shireen! I still have yet to watch her death though. I hid my face in my hands but the screams made me cry as I ran from the room! Bravo young lady!

      May you have a long and fulfilling career!

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    74. Fiskadoro,

      wesome that’s she’s going to be in Wolf Hall, which is one of the best historical novels I’ve ever read

      Past tense actually – this played in the states in April, on Masterpiece Theatre. It was good; I suspect it will be repeated some time

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    75. Kerry Ingram took a character I never really liked in the books, and made me like her a lot.

      Her death (punctuated by those heartbreaking cries for her mother, and her last painful wail) was one of the most upsetting moments I’ve ever experienced on GOT. Well done, Kerry.

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    76. Kerry’s acting was phenomenal – there should be an emmy for best underage actor or so. While Stannis’ decision would always have been very shocking to the viewers she brought a lot of character to Shireen, which made this all the more impactful.

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    77. Can’t wait to see what Davos does when he learns about this. Re-watching the episode, I’m convinced that he had no idea that Stannis would do this. He was concerned about her being so near the battle, but burning her was not an inkling in his mind. He never would have left her alone if he thought this was possible. The last scene between Shireen and Davos was even more special now that we know what happens.

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    78. Kerry was amazing in this roll, and best wishes for what I am sure is a very bright future.

      I still cannot discuss Shireen; entirely too soon for me.

      Our Onion Knight had better kick someone’s ass…………………

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    79. I cant get over that face… 🙁 Every time I see it I immediately have to go watch some video in which Kerry is smiling.

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    80. Thank you, Axe, for such a thoughtful, flawless Curtain Call. Yours is the best I have read. You caught the soul of her performance as she coaxed to the surface every nuance of innocent, darling Shireen. She made us feel the betrayal by everyone around her as she felt it, and it was gut wrenching.

      You will be missed on Game of Thrones, sweet Kerry, but we all look forward to following your brilliant career.

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    81. Anyone else read what looked like GRRM saying Shireen doesnt get burned in the book? Anyone else see a perfect opportunity here for the show to let her carry on?

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    82. Man people take their TV seriously. Serious business, here. A fictional character died a fictional death.

      I wish people could muster such outrage or discussion or whatever comes out of their mouths over true horror, true crimes, things truly worthy of outrage.

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    83. What an amazing performance. Seriously, I agree. The most painful scene to watch in the series for me. Ned was shocking. The Red Wedding was depressing. But this was another level. The character is immensely bright and that subtle facial expression of understanding and terror all at once of realizing that she had just been betrayed by someone she deeply loves just breaks your heart. Great actress!

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    84. Gator,

      Agreed. He was skeptical about them.leaving the Wall in the first place, his request was in that vein. He absolutely would have grabbed her and left if he had an inkling…he basically was willing to die for Gendry, certainly would have for his surrogate daughter.

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    85. Kappa: Man people take their TV seriously. Serious business, here. A fictional character died a fictional death.
      I wish people could muster such outrage or discussion or whatever comes out of their mouths over true horror, true crimes, things truly worthy of outrage.

      The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

      And there’s nothing wrong or invalid about an emotional response to art.

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    86. Beautifully written, Axey. This one hurt, primarily due to Kerry’s wonderful, moving performance. The image of her clutching her little stag will be hard to shake off.

      The best of luck to Kerry in the future! She’s a treasure!

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    87. Fantastic young actor but I didn’t know she was in Wolf Hall , there were several GoT regulars in that including Mark Gatiss , Jonathan Pryce, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Harry Lloyd and I’m sure that there were others that I missed , well worth watching for anybody who hasn’t seen it.

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    88. Ravyn: Tywin did it for purely selfish reasons and he never pretended otherwise.

      Only in a Darwinian sense. Tywin was all about the Lannisters. He was unselfish in the sense that he wanted to do everything he could to make sure that some great great grandson who never heard of Tywin Lannister would be able to put his foot on the throats of the rest of Westeros.

      However, this seems to be a common moral among the Westerosian nobility: you do everything for your family, and the worst act you can commit it to undermine your family. That’s an issue this year: the HS can call Margaery’s lying about Loras a sin, but every noble in Westeros would have considered it a far greater transgression to tell the truth.

      Whatever else you can say about Stannis, he evidently really is willing to sacrifice even the only things (?thing) about which he cares in order to win this War against the Great Other.

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    89. Ser Matt the Sullen: Huge potential spoiler images from Ep10 were released recently…

      Get on it WOTW!

      On it in the sense that we’ll ban anyone who posts them? Yeah we’re already aware. Leaked and stolen material isn’t welcome here. C’mon, people, the episode airs in a few days.
      The main problem is people don’t label this shit properly and people always get spoiled who don’t want to be.

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    90. For once, I will be brief, as there are no words to express my gratitude for the perfection that was Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon.

      My thanks also to the eloquence of the commenters above, whose sentiments I share, and whose words at this point I could only echo.

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    91. BRAVO
      Oh how utterly sad to snuff a small bright flame of guiless innocence on a tortuous pyre surrounding her…more than ever my heart wishes Shireen could have given more opportunities for the citizens of Westeros to learn from her kind and heart warming generosity instead of being used as a tool to win (maybe) only a single battle for her father where, in vain, is impossibly difficult to root for.

      You shall not be forgotten sweet girl. My heart is glad you will be free to light the way in your career and shine! Your future is bright and i wish for all the world the best of luck to you!

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    92. No curtain call for Hizdar?

      Edit: didn’t see it was answered.

      Good luck to Kerry Ingram and her very bright future.

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    93. Blimey.

      I have to admit…its the first time I haven’t had the courage to watch another scene of Kerry’s!

      Very hard to watch.

      #realdadisnicerthanstannis

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    94. We thought she would make it to the end. Such a sweet, smart girl who loved reading and teaching others to read. Good luck to the actress too ~ she’s adorable.

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    95. Del Ingram,

      Thanks for popping by! BTW we were talking elsewhere, wondering if you and her mom were watching it. I couldn’t imagine doing that if it were me! You have a lovely talented daughter. Best of luck to her!

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    96. Thanks for a lovely tribute to an unforgettable character. Kerry was so good in this part that I never for a minute felt that this was an actress acting. She was always so real, which is probably one of the reasons this was the worst death yet to be seen on the show.

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    97. Amazing performance especially from one so young! She really nailed every scene she was in, most of all her last one!

      And guys she is SO nice on Twitter- she will reply and favorite things from fans, a very nice young lady! 🙂 You can tell she has a great career ahead!

      We will miss you, Kerry! 🙁

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    98. Hi All

      Kerry and I have been meaning to come on here and say a huge thank you for all the lovely comments about her performance. We loved your post and all the messages that followed. We watched the episode at home with family and friends who had no idea what was coming , that was fun 🙂

      She has been busy with her GCSE’s and is now having a week off in Malta but I am sure she will want to thank you herself when she gets back 🙂 x

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    99. Sally Ingram,

      Thank you very much! I’m sure everyone here will agree with me on this: Say hello to Kerry and wish her all the best on behalf of our great little community at Watchersonthewall.com.

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