Forget every episode you've seen of Game of Thrones. Forget everything you know from George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire. Because the truth is: Stannis Baratheon, the King in the Narrow Sea, is a praying mantis. Or at least, that's the theory that's circling Reddit. It was birthed from the "Stannis is the Mannis" meme, in which the dour-faced contender in the game of thrones is portrayed as a total badass. But Redditors took the meme a step further and created the subReddit "Stannis the Mantis," in which the dour-faced contender in the game of thrones is portrayed as a total insect with grasping, spiked forelegs.
Obviously, this theory is very serious and very real. Stannis won't sleep with his wife for fear that she will bite his head off when mating; his daughter Shireen's facial deformation is a result of having both human and mantis DNA; he's a successful warrior and hunter, just like a mantis; and he doesn't do well in snow due to the fact that he's an insect. Need more proof? Here's some evidence discovered by Redditors:
Why Stannis Can See Things in the Fire
Melisandre told him he would be able to see things in the fire. Stannis later told Davos that what he saw was a great battle in the snow, that it was as real as the iron bars. Whenever I look into the fire I just see fire, I'm now wondering if this is because I don't have the heightened vision of a mantis?
Why Stannis Doesn't Dress for Cold Weather
When Stannis rode in and surrounded the wildlings, it became obvious the writers aren't even trying to hide it anymore. The speed at which he ambushed his prey was remarkably similar to the attack of a mantis. Furthermore, you'll notice Stannis was not properly dressed for cold weather. You know what else isn't properly suited for cold weather? Mantises.
Why Stannis Has Never Been Injured
There is not one mention in any of the books or episodes of Stannis getting cut, bruised, or injured in any way. Stannis' exoskeleton is providing him protection against harm.
Why Stannis Worships the Lord of Light
Stannis worships the Lord of Light. Mantises often stand in a prayer-like posture, so they are likely religious. They are also attracted to artificial lights at night.
Coincidence? I think not.
Why Stannis Didn't Answer Ned's Summon
In A Game Of Thrones, Stannis is conveniently missing. Even when Ned, as Hand of the King, asks for his presence at the Hand's tourney and on the small council, Stannis never shows up. Why would he ignore his duty?
Stannis was clearly molting. No one sees him for quite a bit of time, not until A Clash Of Kings, which would give him plenty of time to shed his exoskeleton and grow a new one.
Images: HBO; Tumblr/littlesati