In the middle of the war, we see Melisandre seducing Stannis into having sex with her, then she gives birth to a "shadow demon" or popularly known as "Demon from the Semen". Then she sends this demon to kill Renly.

After Stannis gets defeated in the Battle of the Blackwater and goes back to Dragonstone, he asks Melisandre to produce another "Demon from the Semen" but she says he's too weak. She has found other ways of killing off enemies and searches for Gendry as he has the blood of the King. She brings him to Dragonstone, seduces him, ties him to the bed and puts leeches on his body to extract his blood. She then puts those leeches in fire saying names of people she wants killed and those people then die.

My question is, since Gendry is King's blood and he was clearly seduced by her, why didn't she have sex with him and produce another "Demon from the Semen"? After all, he is strong enough and has King's blood in him.
Also, what are the restriction, if any, in producing this Demon?

  • 4
    In the books, Gendry was a boy (Edric Storm), so she could not very well have sex with him.
    – TLP
    Aug 17, 2013 at 10:58
  • 3
    The Shadow demon only wants to kill Renly because Stannis does. In fact doesn't Stannis actually experience the killing in a distant way? Aug 19, 2013 at 16:43
  • 1
    @TLP In the books, Dany was 13 when she married Khal Drogo and consummated that marriage. You really think age is a problem in Westeros? ;)
    – Lou
    May 4, 2014 at 18:25
  • “he is strong enough” — is he? Is half-royal blood enough to make a shadow demon? Jul 10, 2014 at 12:33

2 Answers 2


Related question with some answers

The exact details of magic and sacrifices are unknown, but we can speculate a little based on what we know:

When something is sacrificed in the ASOIAF world, the benefit gained from the sacrifice is normally "equal" to what was sacrificed. Kings are worth a lot, and by extension those that have king's blood are too, but not as much as a king.

The shadow baby Mel made with Stannis was used to kill a king. That requires a pretty big sacrifice. She can't exactly sacrifice Stannis or his only daughter, and Gendry is not yet available. So she decided on something else. Whatever it was Mel did with Stannis, it was somehow a sacrifice of some of Stannis' "essence". Not enough to kill him, but enough that a second time would (I think it happened twice in the book, and the third time would kill him).

In Gendry's case, since he is not a king and not worth as much, creating a shadow baby would probably kill him. Or perhaps it wouldn't even work. Leeching him is a smaller sacrifice, but it keeps him alive. Check out my answer in the link I gave for my opinons on what exactly the leech sacrifice achieved.

  • Interesting to note that Mirri mauz daur (sorry for spelling) used blood magic to "save" Khal Drogo, the blood cost was one horse and one unborn king.
    – dsas
    Aug 17, 2013 at 19:23
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    @dsas i think the horse was more to trick Dany into going ahead with the blood magic Aug 19, 2013 at 3:52

It seemed to me that she had other plans for him — in a subsequent episode, she intended to burn him as a sacrifice, in order to aid Stanis in claiming the Iron Throne.

We haven’t learned how burning Gendry would have assisted this, but presumably it would have accomplished more than the shadow demon thingy did (i.e. kill one King).

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