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Game of Thrones and the Red Wedding

posted by Nell Minow

Spoiler Alert!  Spoiler Alert!

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you already know the bad news.  Those who know the books knew it was coming.  In theory, fans understand that one of the elements that makes George R. R. Martin stories so unusual is that he kills off major, beloved characters.  And thus we had what Entertainment Weekly described as “one of the most shocking, brutal and disturbing sequences ever put on television.”  The slaughter of two major characters as well as many others lit up Twitter and Facebook with outrage and grief.

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EW also has an exclusive interview with Martin.  Here is an excerpt:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How early in the process of writing the book series did you know you were gonna kill off Robb and Catelyn?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: I knew it almost from the beginning. Not the first day, but very soon. I’ve said in many interviews that I like my fiction to be unpredictable. I like there to be considerable suspense. I killed Ned in the first book and it shocked a lot of people. I killed Ned because everybody thinks he’s the hero and that, sure, he’s going to get into trouble, but then he’ll somehow get out of it. The next predictable thing is to think his eldest son is going to rise up and avenge his father. And everybody is going to expect that. So immediately [killing Robb] became the next thing I had to do.

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Since Song of Ice and Fire so often subverts reader expectations and avoids traditional fantasy storytelling structures, should fans have any real hope that this tale will have a happy ending? As The Boy recently said on Thrones, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
I’ve stated numerous times that I anticipate a bittersweet ending.

And New York Magazine has an interview with Michelle Fairley, who played Catelyn Stark, the bride who sacrificed herself in a failed attempt to save the man she loved.  An excerpt:

You’ve inhabited her for so long. Is it hard to let Catelyn go?

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[Takes a deep breath] I’ve had three amazing years working on this incredible series, and I’ve completely fallen in love with the character. She is infuriatingsometimes [laughs] because she is so honorable. And she does constantly do the right thing. But she’s a driven woman. She’s strong. And that’s what I love about her, is that she’s grown since the death of her husband. She continues to grow. But it’s a growth that she has to do unwillingly because of the circumstances. It’s not about improving herself in an enlightened way. It’s about achieving her goal, which is to get through the suffering and get her children back together. All she wants is to get in, shut the gates of Winterfell, and keep them in there. And that’s not going to happen. And it is very hard, because the people I’ve worked with have become such good friends, the crew and everybody. So it is sad to say good-bye.

What do you think?  What will happen next?

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