In season 2 (episode 5) of Game of Thrones we see that Red Priestess Melisandre gives birth to the Shadow child of Stannis Baratheon to assassinate Renly Baratheon. But why didn't they try to have another Shadow child? Or why didn't they use the only one to assassinate Cersei Lannister?

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    I am unsure if "why didn't they" is the correct way to word this question. I think a better way would be "we've seen what Melisandre can do with her powers, yet she doesn't use them to do X. Is there something that's preventing her from doing X? has anyone from the show said anything about this?"
    – DForck42
    Nov 3, 2017 at 20:08
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    There are limitations to the power (for instance, the Onion Knight had to get into the physical proximity of Renly, as I recall.) In the books, it is noted that the magic is highly draining to Stannis (i.e. the energy for the shadow needs to come from somewhere.)
    – DukeZhou
    Nov 3, 2017 at 20:22
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    She doesn't have enough kings to drain... She missed out on 'Robert's bastard' [different character book & TV] & also later failed to realise that Maester Aemon [Targaryen] would have been a good candidate.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 3, 2017 at 21:11
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    Because "the fires" of a person who powers such baby start to run low. Stannis gave power to two shadow babies, one for Renly, one for Ser Courtney Penrose (Books). After that, Mel feared that if she tried to make another baby, that would kill the King
    – Aegon
    Nov 6, 2017 at 6:30
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    @DukeZhou Not physical proximity of Renly. Renly was out in open field. It was Ser Courtney Penrose's assassination for which Seaworth had to escort Mel beneath the walls. She said that there was ancient magic in walls of Storm's End and her shadows couldn't go past them unless a human took them. So she gave birth beneath the walls in a water tunnel. As they were already past the walls, Her shadow went forth to kill Penrose. Idk if show included all that
    – Aegon
    Nov 6, 2017 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


In this scene from the episode Walk of Punishment Melisandre explains that Stannis is too weak to "father" another shadow. She suggests using king's blood as an offering to the Lord of Light instead:

Stannis: Make me another son.

Melisandre: I cannot.

Stannis: Why?

Melisandre: You don't have the strength. It would kill you.

Stannis: I'm not so easily killed. Men have been trying for years. I want you.

Melisandre: Your fires burn low, my king. There is another way. A better way.

Stannis: You told me your magic requires a king's blood.

Melisandre: Yes.

Stannis: I'm the one true king.

Melisandre: You are. But there are others with your blood in their veins. You will sit on the Iron Throne, but first there must be sacrifices. The Lord of Light demands it.

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