Ah character deaths. Generally speaking, if you are honest with yourself, you can see a character death coming. Maybe the character hasn’t gotten the usual amount of air time. Maybe their storyline seems pretty much completed. I have found that many people I speak with are a little shocked at the character deaths that happen on Game of Thrones. To date, there was only one character death that has shocked me. Robb’s death, while tragic, I saw coming leagues off. Joffrey’s death you knew had to be happening. No one could control him and he had no code whatsoever. The only death that has baffled me was Ned Stark’s and because of that death, while now three seasons ago, I feel is worthy of a letter to the writer. So without further ado:
Dear Mr. Martin;
About the time that HBO was working with you over “cinematically” creating the first season of your Song of Ice and Fire, my boss told me about the Game of Thrones book series. Since the HBO series was already in the process of being filmed, the paperback I purchased had Sean Bean on the throne. I waited to wait to watch the first season until after I had read the book, but I knew that much. Aside from Ned Stark being on the cover, the story seemed to revolve around him. He had several chapters from his P.O.V., also, it seemed that everyone was concerned about what Ned thought. What Ned’s reactions to things were. What Ned would do. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that Ned was the main character of the first book. Because of this, I was completely shocked when you killed him off. Why would you waste character development just to kill him off? Why would you leave so many questions about Ned and his bastard unanswered?
Unless there was something we were supposed to question. Something about Ned we needed to know because it would be important later…
I didn’t allow myself to invest in the character of Robb Stark because I figured that he would be killed off. He was not a central character. The only one of Ned’s son’s that seemed important was Bran, the warg that was the personification of the North itself. Joffrey was a git, and I figured that he would have to get his due since he held NO relationships important and spat on everyone.
Did you notice how I didn’t mention the importance of Ned’s bastard son, Jon Snow? That isn’t because Jon isn’t important, but because I subscribe to the internet theory that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard.
I guess what I have to ask, Mr. Martin, is why would you spend so much time going on about Ned’s honor unless it was important? Why would you take such special care to show us that the only time Ned would put his honor aside was to save his family, as he does in the end when Joffrey beheads him? I have a very difficult time believing that Ned would betray his new wife and father a child, even being at war. While I am no stranger to guilt and I understand the idea of letting one’s misdeeds be known because of a sense that one needs to be punished, the idea that he wouldn’t speak to who the mother was, or about her at all, and got rid of people who questioned who she was, are not the actions of someone who is trying to assuage his own guilty heart. They are the actions of one protecting a secret…
A secret we know exists because we know Lyanna made Ned promise something when he found her up in the mountains of Dorn. And if Ned had fathered a bastard, wouldn’t the woman’s kin at least know that she was pregnant? They would unless she was being hidden in the mountains somewhere…
Lyanna was covered in blood, but we did not hear of any kind of altercation…We are made to believe that Lyanna made Ned swear to bring her back to Winterfell? Really? She had to beg her brother to bring her home? That…just doesn’t make sense. And why did Ned bring her home without even allowing Robert to see her…unless there was a reason why he didn’t want Robert to see her—like that Robert would notice she was pregnant. That’s right. I subscribe to the theory that Jon Snow is Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son, and the true heir to the Iron Throne. To me, this seems like the only plausible reason why Ned’s story would be so important. Why you would kill him off after spending so much time carefully constructing his character. We are supposed to question the story of Ned bringing home a bastard son . We are supposed to wonder how this even makes sense…
I have to believe that there is rhyme and reason to your world—after all, it is a song. So while I am still a bit upset with you over Ned’s death, thank you for getting rid of Joffrey. Thank you.
Your humble reader/viewer,
I brought up Ned partly because I am rereading the first book and very reminded of Lord Eddard Stark. But also because Bran saw him this week in one of his visions. Bran saw a lot of images, some we know are the past, some, who knows. Bran doesn’t know the full effect or impact of these visions yet. He is just learning. Rest assured, however, more are coming and we will hear more about this. We do know that his warg talents are continuing. He has to be careful though. Bran is in a dangerous place right now. He has this ability to slip into the skin of his direwolf, but he enjoys the freedom too much. He forgets that when he is inside the Summer when Summer eats, it does not mean his body has gotten the nourishment.
Another question mark for me in last week’s episode was Theon. I am half way through season 3 on my rewatch, so not quite done, I know that horrors happened to Theon because I have read the books. I did get the distinct feeling that I had missed something though in this episode. I think I will have to check into that a little more. Suffice it to say that Theon is in a bad place and I’m not sure that I feel badly for him. He is a man trapped between two worlds. He was raised a ward at Winterfell, but he was still captive. His need to prove himself to his father has not worked very well for him. The Greyjoys have no honor, and he has betrayed the Starks. His betrayal could only go so far, however. This meant that he has lost a place in either camp.
The main thrust of the episode last week was about Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell. Margaery is becoming quite a little black widow spider. Every man she marries dies horribly! First Renly, now Joffrey. The wedding banquet was really quite the scene to see Joffrey in his prime. Joff is a terrible human being. He has no respect for wisdom or intelligence. He is cruel and goes crazy about the sword he is given (The other sword forged from Ice). He insults his uncle Tyrion profoundly in front of the whole kingdom. I hate being glad at a character death, but I hadn’t been that happy about a character being taken out since Viserys was given his crown…
The evil Joffrey may be gone, but we know the aftermath is going to be crazy. Right off the bat Cersei had Tyrion arrested for Joffrey’s murder. It is very obvious that Tyrion has been set up. Also in this episode we saw how very interesting Cersei and Jamie’s relationship is. Cersei seems a little jealous over the attention Jamie gets from Brienne, even though she seems to not even want him anymore now that he has lost a hand. and Jamie seems a little jealous over the attention Cersei is supposed to be getting from Loras. The question is what that banter really was—was Jamie warning Loras about his sister, or aggravated about Cersei getting attention from another?
All the awards to go Margaery for trying to assist in the awkward “my husband is a deranged psycho” moments—“Oh, look! The pie!”
The other character who seems to be getting scarier and scarier is Stanis, and we are really forced to question whether he is drinking too much of Melisandre’s Kool Aide, and is becoming that much of a fanatic or if he is just that ambitious. The entire Baratheon camp seems to be all coco for cocoa puffs over this Lord of Light stuff. Now Stanis had started sacrificing those that oppose him. Another example of someone who has to go because he is unfit to rule the Iron Throne.
Let me know what you thought of the episode! Screencaps from http://grandecaps.tumblr.com