The episode that Game of Thrones TV adapters D.B. Weiss and David Benioff said they set out to get to aired last night. Without revealing anything specific to those that haven’t read the books or seen last night’s episode, ‘the Red Wedding’ is revealed, and for those that didn’t know what was coming, it was a huge shocker. I knew what would happen, and my jaw was still on the floor. This is the full circle that just about closes out what starts in the first episode. The next episode resolves some of the other families’ stories as well, but coming full term with the Stark family is what these first 3 seasons hold at their emotional core. The first three seasons also set up the return of Daenerys Targaryen to King’s Landing, which will launch the next bouts of war from here out.
Fans of the books are shaking their heads and even complaining everything happened too fast to have a real impact, and while that’s true, most fans of the show don’t know a lot of the characters that are dying, nor do they understand their importance beyond the scene. However, it’s still a visually shocking scene, and it is designed to shock you, even if you feel the set up permeating beneath the city.
This episode is about the fact that there is no room for good men in the Seven Kingdoms, something we learned at the end of season one, as the only truly decent character dies because of the cruelty of others. Here, that is reinforced, as only the schemers and evil-doers come out on top because they are willing to play underhandedly. Game of Thrones was never promised to be a happy series, and I think that’s still the biggest surprise for most people, even after the finale of season 1. George R.R. Martin‘s books aren’t set out to be happy stories, that’s part of their unconventional nature, they’re just the stories of these tragic lives and what motivates them. Good or evil, most of them die the same, in agony, for one reason or another.
I’ll be doing a further retrospective in about a week when the Season 3 finale airs and at least one more shocker is revealed, but this one was a satisfying episode and makes me wonder at which point the show makers will have to take a long The Sopranos style hiatus because they are waiting on Martin to finish the next book. Sure, there are a few scenes where the budget restraints show, and the fact that a lot of things get left by the side of the highway due to time constraints is unavoidable, but for the most part, it is shaping up to be one of the best shows of all time, if not the most ambitious. I can’t wait for next week.