I’ll admit it.
I haven’t caught up with the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. I’ve been meaning to, honest, but like a promise I made to myself years ago to read the dictionary front to back, I just never got around to actually doing it.
And boy oh boy am I glad I haven’t.
Last night’s episode of A Game of Thrones—“The Rains of Castamere”—which I’m sure fans of the series have dissected 100 times over in less than 24 hours, left me absolutely speechless.
If you haven’t seen it yet, beware some spoilerage ahead.
I truly admire Mr. Martin for his cojones. It isn’t often that you come across an author who is willing to kill off key and/or beloved characters.
It smacks of a certain kind of realism, the idea that at any time, in any place, a person can die. You can’t predict it except through hindsight (which makes prophets of us all), and when that loss of life hits, you can only wonder, in a stupor, how it ever got to this.
It was a massacre: Robb, his wife Talisa, and his mom Catelyn–all killed. Talisa’s death was especially gruesome since it touched on a seemingly taboo topic in television—the death of an innocent.
Sure, you can debate whether or not a child was actually in her stomach or just a fetus, but she had a baby bump, and that was the exact target that the assassin chose when killing Talisa. He could have slit her throat, stabbed her in the heart, carved out a kidney, anywhere else, but he chose her womb.
The show’s dealt with the deaths of innocents before, like when the newborns north of the wall were given over to the white walkers, but there’s something so brutal, so guttural, about shredding a potential life while it’s still inside of its mother.
And then Catelyn’s blood-curdling scream at the end, right before her throat is sliced open.
I always have this expectation when I watch or read fiction: evil may triumph now, but eventually, good will overcome.
Well, I’m still waiting for that to happen on A Game of Thrones. Joffrey’s still alive, Littlefinger too, and the person who many of us thought was going to finally take out the Lannisters is now dead.
Our only hope, it seems, is the Khaleesi, her dragons, and her army. But given how good people have died so far, I wonder if she’ll be slaughtered and evil men will continue to rule.
Or maybe Arya and the Hound will team up like Django and Dr. King Schultz and hunt down the bastards who killer her family? J
What did you think of last night’s episode?