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Iccha mrityu sounds like a very heavy vardaan but Shantanu was able to give it despite being a mere mortal King. He was neither a sage with high ascetic merit nor a Deva or part of trinity. Various other people had to do heavy penace to get such boons but Shantanu gave it just like that too Bhishma. Even Jaydath was not given such a boon by Lord Shiva.

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According to Srimad Devi Bhagwatam.:

29. Vyāsa said :-- The part incarnations of Suras and Asuras on this earth, and their names I am now saying to you in brief; hear.:

35. Śantanu was the part incarnate of the Ocean; his wife, of the river Ganges in human form.

(Srimad Devi Bhagwatam 4:22:29&35).

Again,

At that time Bhagavān Hari told them one by one :--

45-67. ... O Gange! You will also have to take incarnation in Bhārata as a river, purifying all the worlds, to destroy the sins of the inhabitants of Bhārata. Bhagiratha will take you there after much entreating and worshipping you; and you will be famous by the name Bhagirathī, the most sanctifying river in the world. There, the Ocean born of my parts, and the King Śāntanu also born of my parts will be your husbands. . . (Srimad Devi Bhagwatam 9:6:45-67).

But, as we saw in earlier verse Sāntuna = Ocean (Samudra).

As, for Bhishma he got his boon because of his love, devotion and sacrifice towards his father, while jayadrat didn't got it because his penance was solely based on his hatred towards Pandavas to take revenge from them for his insult done by them. So, Karma matters. And parents have the power to protect their child. Plus, Bhagawan Shiva knows the outcome and so he gave boon to Amba for Bhisma's death and as told by Lord Krishna in (b.g. 11.34) to Arjuna that jayadrath, bhishma drona, karna, etc. are already dead.

Last, but not the least.:

“sá mahimā́ sádrur bhūtvā́ntaṃ pr̥thivyā́ agachat samudrò ‘bhavat |” (Atharva Veda XV:7:1)

He [Vratya (Bhagawan Shiva)], having become moving majesty, went to the ends of the earth. He became the Ocean”.

I hope this clarifies all your queries.

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