Stockton purposely leaves this question unanswered at the end of the story as the young courtier receives the signal from the princess and walks towards the two doors that determine his fate. The answer is completely subjective and relies upon how the reader perceives the princess. The princess shares similar character traits with her father and is described as being semi-barbaric and hot-blooded. Despite being in love with the handsome courtier, she is also full of jealousy and despair when she discovers that he is attracted to his potential suitor. The reader's perception of human nature also plays a significant role in the conclusion of the story. If the reader feels that humans are inherently savage and hostile, they would more than likely believe that the princess condemned the courtier to death. However, if one believes that humans are intrinsically kind, compassionate beings, they would probably assume that the princess allowed the courtier to marry the attractive maiden. Personally, I believe the princess instructed the courtier to pick the door with the tiger behind it because of her jealous, vengeful nature.