This blog covers episode 9 from Game of Thrones that aired on June 2nd. If you haven’t seen it and intend to, read no further. Seriously, it was a powerful episode and you want to watch it fresh.
I mean it.
There will also be swearing. But you probably already knew that.
Okay, only one final buffer. After this monkey photo I am totally going to start…
When Fan Entitlement Becomes Obsession
Good. Now that we are through that mess, let’s talk Red Wedding. More specifically, I want to discuss some of the reactions I have seen in Twitter and on some of the online news outlets. Seriously? Again?
Let me lay it out for you. If you are claiming you are done with the show and you are never coming back, consider the death of Eddard Stark. Did you say something similar back then? If so, how are you back here two years later up in arms about the Red Wedding?
As is my way, I will put this into terms relating to the Late Late Show. You were moved so strongly by an albeit violent tableau placed before you. Strong enough to bring you to tears or violent reaction. Watching this horror to happen to people who aren’t real. Or, as stated earlier, in Craig Ferguson speak… “Not a real fucking person!” Seriously, this was Geroge RR Martin’s version of going, “Not a real skeleton… not a real fucking horse!” at the camera.
That aside, let’s consider this more academically. Not a real king. Not a real queen. Not really pregnant. And yet the reaction was just as strong. Hell, stronger than some of the horrible shit we see happen every damn day. Through power of his words alone, he has conjured such strong emotion out of you. I would count myself a lucky man to be put upon by such “horrible” writers for the rest of my days.
More than just the “I’m out” people, there’s those that take it too far. Well and beyond the behavior that spurned the infamous “George RR Martin is not your bitch” blog entry. This dives straight into the hellish behavior that fanatical readers were raining down on Charlaine Harris. People posting threats of violence and personal slights against the author for writing such a horrible thing. Keep in mind that the scene was based off a piece of history. Inspiration aside, never is it warranted to threaten someone with violence or to demean them over your displeasure of their film, show or book.
To the whole lot of you I reiterate what I posted to Twitter. Nut up or shut up. Maybe both. I had to watch it a second time with my wife when she got home Monday night. I even made sure to tell her to let her team at work know she hadn’t seen it yet. They bent my personal set of rules and told her the last 5 minutes were insane. For anyone out there who may be in a similar position with me… that is still a spoiler in my book. Just saying. 😉
Let’s hit this by the numbers as a scene or part of a story. First off being that (as stated in an interview) Martin knew after killing Ned that Robb had to die or it would be predictable storytelling. The son rises to manhood to seek revenge slaying those that wronged his family and all that. I buy into this.
Secondly, I see this as a similar setup to introducing Michael Raymond-James in season two of Walking Dead. He played Rene during season one of True Blood. People saw someone from a similar genre, a name (though not an A List actor). Assumptions were that he was a new cast regular. BAM! Shot in the head. The ploy from Walking Dead allowed them to establish that nobody is safe without killing off a series regular. Killing the Starks so brutally and abruptly sends the message that none who play the Game of Thrones are safe. None.
And from a theatrical standpoint, one of the most powerful choices I felt of the episode was ending with Cat falling in silence and rolling the credits… without a single sound. Silence makes people uncomfortable. It extended the discomfort past the wedding and into the living room. Sure I may be reading more into it, but a song – any song – as the credits rolled would have detracted from the raw power of that scene.
Yes, Martin “dropped the mic” in the biggest way possible. It makes us look back 0n the execution of Eddard Stark and call ourselves out for being wimps for whining about that one. And it established that he is telling a story. Not rehashing a formula for Hollywood. He is bucking against the formula.
Not wanting to be all doom and gloom, I leave you with what I felt was hands down the best reaction to the episode I saw these past few days…
Link to Vine (since wordpress is not playing nice) https://vine.co/v/b3XZMHmxzxh