So I had this Facebook conversation with a friend of mine about the last episode of “Game of Thrones.”
ME: So you didn’t read the book?
HER: No! And now I don’t want to read the damn book! *Pouty Face*
Well, I have read the entire series so far. I knew what was coming. What follows is a discussion for fans of the books on what the series producers will do next. So this is MAJOR MAJOR SPOILAGE approaching.
Be warned! If you don’t want to know what happens next (at least in the books) bail out now!
First here’s the trailer for the next episode. Looks awesome!
OK, I’ll warn you again:
SPOILERS AHEAD! DON’T LOOK!
First I have to give the producers props for dropping the axe, er, sword on good old Ned. I’m sure they had plenty of discussions about whether they couldn’t cheat. “True Blood” did it with Lafayette Reynolds. In the novel series, Lafayette was killed off early in book two; on the TV series he’s stuck around considerably longer.
But no, Ned dies much like in the book, beheaded on Joffrey’s whim. What I didn’t expect was the level of fan fury this raised. I haven’t seen the fans go this crazy since Joss Whedon killed off Tara (and then Wesley and then Wash.)
I’m also thinking about those airhead critics, those ones who posted those reviews of the first episode and called it childish fantasy; those so called journalists who obviously never read the book or watched the episode in question. I wonder what they’re saying now.
Actually George R.R. Martin’s practices fan torture at levels that would make even the Whedon cringe. All of us who’ve read the books know that the bad news is just getting started. Let’s look at what’s in store for the next few seasons.
“CLASH OF KINGS”: Theon Greyjoy gets his heel turn when he and the Ironmen successfully invade the North and take Winterfell. All throughout the book I remember thinking Theon’s arrogant father Balon was going to get a swift comeuppance. I think I’m as upset by the fact that Robb never gets a chance to trounce Balon on the battle field as much as anything else that happens in the series.
Arya’s journey in this book is stunning. It’s like a medieval version of “Apocalypse Now” or the “Deer Hunter.” I hope the producers can pull that off. Tyrion Lannister has his finest hours in this book. He takes over for Ned as the hero. But like Ned all his good intentions come to naught at the end. He isn’t killed but he’s pushed aside, which for him is far, far worse.
“STORM OF SWORDS”: Whoa boy! What can you say about this one? For me this was easily the most traumatic of the books. Way more shocking than Ned’s death in “Game of Thrones,” which I kind of saw coming since I knew a little bit about “War of the Roses,” which served as Martin’s main inspiration. But here there was no warning for the Red Wedding.
ANOTHER WARNING: BIG SPOILER ALERT!
And to really be fair I’m going to give you plenty of time to click off this page before I start with the nitty gritty. Sort of like creating a buffer zone.
Let’s talk a moment about … the NBA Finals.
My favorite tweet of the night: Dude, Lebron James just gave Skip Bayless the code for infinite ammo!
Actually Bayless this morning looked almost bored with it all. Years past he jumped all over King or as he calls him Prince James every time he came up short in the playoffs. Now he just seems to be over it. Same old same old.
And as for the post game comments, LeBron you get a title before you go around telling other people to get a life.
OK, that should be enough.
Here we go…
The “good guy” Starks are pretty much completely wiped out. There seems to be really no hope at all at the end of this one. Things are so bleak that we have to look to Lannisters for rays of sunshine. Jaime amazingly is transformed into a tragic hero. And Tyrion manages to do more damage to the Lannisters than the Starks could ever hope for by killing his own father.
And this is also the book where thing really start to happen at The Wall. As much trauma as Martin puts fans through in this one, at least Jon Snow rises to incredible heights. The battles described here would give Pete Jackson fits.
“FEAST FOR CROWS”: Going to be interesting how they do this one since the events in this book take place at the same time as the events in the yet-to-be released “Dance With Dragons.” A lot of people didn’t like this book but I was fascinated. Jaime really embraces his heroic nature. Cersei runs wild and effectively sets up her own downfall.
So “Song of Fire and Ice” fans, what do you think is next? How much flack will HBO get when the Red Wedding airs? And here’s the big question: Does Martin have a point for all this misery?
I think he does, and it’s truly twisted. What he’s doing is taking the villains of the first book and slowly morphing them into heroes. At the end of four books the Lannisters seem almost purged of their evil members. Tywin and Joffrey are dead along with both Cleganes. Cersei is locked up. The level headed and fair minded Kevan Lannister is now in charge. The sweetly cherubic Tommen is on the throne. And Jaime is acting more and more like Ned Stark the man he tried to kill back in “Game of Thrones.” Incredibly I’m now starting to like the Lannisters. Which means they are going to be mercilessly crushed and their dreams shattered.
Maybe I’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome, but I can’t wait!