I know I’ve been a slacker with my GoT blog and have missed a few episodes… my only excuse is that well I have no excuse, but here I am all ready to rant and rave about the latest installment.
I have given myself a few days to process the events of The Red Wedding, in hopes that my desire to hunt down George R.R. Martin and slice his throat would subside. Alas, I still feel the exact same way I did on Sunday evening. It’s odd because I’m not sure why I’ve had such a strong reaction to all of this; while Robb is one of my favorite characters, he ranks somewhere behind Jon Snow, Arya, and Khalessi. I despise Catelyn and find Talisa useless and so even my shock and disdain at their deaths has thrown me off. While I must admit it was wonderfully written… here you think all has been forgiven and then you’re sitting there watching as Catelyn is beginning to put it together thinking, “what the hell is going on?! Is something about to happen?!”… even as it all starts happening, I still don’t believe Robb’s going to die. He gets hit with the arrows and you think, ok he can survive that and he seemingly does… until… Roose Bolton guts him. WHAT THE ****!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Props must be given where deserved and as a frequent story-line guesser who is right 9 out of 10 times, I never saw that coming. We can call it good writing… we can call it bait and switch… or we can just say the George R.R. Martin is an ass. While I have no idea where we go from here and what the chain reaction is of this event, which I am sure there will be some sort of reaction, I still do not see the underlying need to murder Robb. Cripple him? Destroy his army? Murder his wife and mother? Ok, I can get with all of that. After all, he is a great threat to the Lannister’s considering he’s won every single battle… but did he have to die? Like I said, I haven’t read that far yet, so I don’t know what’s to come and whether or not he “has” to die in order for other things to happen… I guess I just thought he was more important.
Let’s look at Ned Stark for whom various bloggers have drawn parallels to his and Robb’s death. Firstly, calling Ned’s death a shock is a bit silly. I saw Ned’s death coming a mile away… he was too trusting, too willing to believe that ANYONE in King’s Landing was actually going to help him, too gullible to believe that Cersei would somehow be concerned with his threat, too noble and honorable to survive in King’s Landing. Some have said that when Ned tells Jon Snow they will discuss his mother whence they cross paths again, that means they will meet again… have none of you ever seen a movie, tv show, or read a book? That was the kiss of death, I threw my hands in the air and said, “well one of them is gonna get it!”. Furthermore, you didn’t actually except King Douche Bag to just send Ned off to the wall, did you? You did? Really? Ok. I will assume then that I am smarter than all of you as I never believed Ned was making it out of King’s Landing alive.
Upon discussion of these events with a friend, we came to the conclusion that the inconsistent storytelling methods of George R.R. Martin are to blame for the outrage. It’s not that he just killed off a loved character… it’s that he managed to place a significance to this character that leaves you thinking, well why did you waste my time on this person if they meant nothing? Allow me a moment to explain why I feel this is true… In A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the series which coincides with the first season of the show, there is an emphasis placed on Ned Stark and his children which leads the reader to believe, not necessarily that they are the main characters, but that they are important. Particularly since there is a big hullabaloo about finding the Direwolf (the sigil of House Stark) that has been stabbed in the neck by the antler of the Stag (the sigil of House Baratheon) that it just killed.. she’s giving birth to the exact number of puppies as there are Stark children, there’s even a misfit for bastard son Jon Snow. These Direwolves play a part in the lives of each of their owners and within the story. Myself, I took this all to mean that these children represent something… they are special. Robert bringing Ned to King’s Landing results in both of their deaths, but their children live and so I thought that’s what the Stag and the Direwolf’s death represented… and the children lived. I thought the Stark children finding those wolf babies meant something… guess what? It doesn’t. As far as I can see, it means nothing, these children aren’t special… there’s nothing more special about them than anyone else. Ok. Cool. Thanks for that George.
Also, with Robb’s death comes the realization that really… ANYONE can die. There is a vulnerability to every character now that wasn’t there before. Except of course any of the Lannister’s. In watching Robb’s death, you realize that you could very well watch Arya, Snow, Margaery, Daneyrs, Tyrion, Theon, Brienne, etc die at any moment. And while Martin prides himself on writing a “realistic” tale where sometimes the hero dies, all I see is a story about the villain always winning. And I’ve got to tell you… if all this story is going to be is the Lannister’s ALWAYS winning… people are going to check out. Maybe not on the books, but definitely on the show. No one wants to see the bad guy win all the time. Furthermore, Martin has promised that the end of the story as a whole is going to be bittersweet, aka no happy ending. Well… really now?
I’m not sure how this show plays out on tv… will the audience grow tired of watching all of their hero’s kick the bucket? A tv audience is a very tricky thing… they want drama and intrigue, but want fast paced storytelling. They want something to help them leave their reality and live in someone else’s world… but if that someone else’s world is depressing as hell, they’re turning the channel. There is something to be said about watching other people suffer, it makes you feel like, “well my life isn’t that bad” but when it goes to an extreme where you find yourself actually emotionally scarred by a television show, you may just stop watching it.
I’m done now. I’m still mad. I still love Robb. I still think he was the most viable choice for the throne. The North Remembers… I hope someone comes to avenge his death. I hope Dany and her Dragon’s kill everyone! Rant. Done.