Tuesday, June 04, 2013


#GameOfThrones shocks the world, something I didn't think TV could do anymore

[SPOILERS AHEAD] Something happened on Sunday. Game of Thrones shocked its viewers by killing off two characters.  For the next 12 to 24 hours, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr went insane.  This attention spilled over into some mainstream media and non-genre related blogs.  This event was special and maybe even unique.

It shocked everyone but it also wasn't a shock to those who read the books.  Many of those in the know recorded the reactions of those who weren't in the know.  YouTube is awash with reaction videos.  I don't think there was ever a such non-surprise surprise. Even a quick read on wikipedia would have spoiled the events.  There was a collective agreement between all the book readers not to spoil it which is kind of remarkable.

The two of those characters killed were main characters from the beginning.  If it wasn't part of the source material, there was no way a show could have done this.  The last time I was really surprised by deaths in a show was when Anna Lucia and Libby were shot in the hatch on the 2nd season of LOST.  But they were never main characters.  Catelyn Stark was the strong matriarch of the show and mother to five beloved characters.  Robb Stark was the heir of Winterfell and the fan favorite.  A killing like this is just unbelievable.

I watched the first season without knowing anything about the show and when Sean Bean's character Ned Stark was beheaded I was shocked.  He was the main character, wasn't he?  I expected him in all the seasons.  But no, he died in the first season just as the first book.  I later heard that this wasn't even the biggest shock.  There were many people who threw their books across the room after some event.  Well this was that event and it was brutal.  They even killed the pregnant wife by stabbing her repeatedly in the fetus.  This wasn't in the book.  I love that shortly before being killed they had agreed to name the baby Ned after his father.  "Ned" Stark got to die twice.  Yet most people seem most upset that they killed his dog too.  It wasn't a dog it was a dire wolf and it was magically connected to Robb so leaving it alive wasn't really a good idea.

While I was shocked, I'm not really that upset. The power struggle between the Starks, Baratheons and Lannisters will eventually have to end when Daenerys Targaryen returns with her armies and dragons to retake her father's kingdom.  She is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.  Robb Stark would have been in her way and I wouldn't have wanted to see her kill him.  Having the treacherous Lannisters be guilty of the the Red Wedding massacre will make it all the better when their home get torched by dragon's breath.  The final books aren't written yet so who knows if this will happen.  But I can hope.

I feel really fortunate that I wasn't spoiled ahead of time.  Not only that I feel fortunate that I didn't even know to expect something.  I was going along all "tra-la-la everyone's happy and isn't this wedding nice and Arya's about to be reunited with her mother and brother and won't that be nice and maybe they'll sing the Ewok celebration song and OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING!"  Those events are very rare and should be appreciated.

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