Another week, another boring set of events in what has so far been a disappointingly dull series for the once great Game of Thrones. You’d get more excitement and suspense from watching the six o’clock news. Oh well, move along folks, there’s nothing to see here…
You’re still interested in reading more? Really? Well, if you’re sure….
I probably should just show you the standard ‘Spoilers’ sign, just to be by the book. Not that anything much happens in this episode, but you never know – some people get annoyed with even the tiniest amount of information being spoiled for them. The sign is nice though, all garish reds and flashing lights and ‘SPOILERS AHEAD!’ being played over the rear-mounted speaker. Just listen:
*SPOILERS AHEAD* *SPOILERS AHEAD*
Before we get started, let me first apologise for missing the reviews of the last two episodes. I could cite a number of reasons or excuses here, but I won’t. They just never got written. Having been reliably informed by those close to me that due to this transgression I am now a Butt, I feel I have learnt my lesson from this, and I promise to never let it happen again as long as you all stop glaring at me like that.
Deal? Excellent, moving on…
Some things happened in this episode, in case you didn’t notice. I’m not going to talk about them all, just one. The one. You know what I’m talking about. OK, I’ll tell you, but this is your last warning if you don’t already know!
So, Sam Tarly and Caster’s daughter are still walking in the woods and –
OK, I’m joking. Serious face now. The Red Wedding features one of the most visceral bloodbaths I think I’ve ever seen on a prime-time TV show. By the end of the scene, we are left without two main protagonists (Robb and Catelyn Stark), one secondary character (Robb’s queen), one unborn child, one direwolf, one third of the power struggle for Westeros (Dany doesn’t count yet), and without any doubt that George R. Martin doesn’t care for our opinions on what happens.
As is pointed out here, this has been a season of near misses and narrow escapes. Sure, Jaime lost a hand, but he didn’t get mauled by a bear. Maybe we got so used to the idea that our favourite protagonists could survive anything that this was just incomprehensible. After all, the Stark’s were the good guys, right?
I’ll be honest, having read the books I knew this was coming – the shock factor wasn’t as spectacular as it was for some others (especially these guys). I wasn’t expecting it to be so brutal though! Either I lack imagination, or the books lacked the necessary description, but I always pictured the Red Wedding as a more surgical affair – a few crossbow bolts, a knife in the back, job done. I wasn’t expecting this carnage. I was definitely not expecting the belly stabbing, that was nightmare-fuel. And how the episode ended was brilliantly done, if gruesome. A final cut, and fade to silent credits. Cue angry fan letters to HBO.
I can understand the reactions (or at least, the ones that weren’t screaming death threats to George), though personally I enjoy writing like this. The good guys are human, just like you and I, just like the bad guys. I think that the immortal hero who wins every fight, or shrugs off every wound, is hard to relate to. Unfortunately, that kind of set up does not lend itself well to ‘happy endings’.
My main concern is this now – I was honestly expecting that scene to be the end of the series. It would definitely have worked too – huge climax, tragic occurrences, reshuffling the status quo, see you next year guys! But it wasn’t. So now I’m wondering what they’ve got in store for us next week, and it’ll have to be bloody fantastic stuff to top this.
Here’s hoping, anyways!