I check my blog stats from time to time just to see who's coming in from where. And after Sunday night's penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, I'm getting a bit of traffic on a post I did during the second season under the title of Game of Thrones WTF?
In my ponderation on the entire Song of Fire and Ice series, I mentioned that the third book, which this season of the television series is generally following, almost put me off finishing the five book series. What happened last night in the next to last episode this season is part of the reason.
The Red Wedding, as it is referred to in the novels was one of the most sucker punching moments I've had reading any novel or series of novels. I've mentioned in my posts about this series and books that I'm amazed at Martin's perverse penchant for killing off sympathetic characters or simply torturing them in one losing cause after another. I suppose I could offer the glimmer of hope that just because someone appears to have been killed, doesn't necessarily mean they won't pop up again because, you know . . . Beric Dondarrion.
But still, I simply don't get what's being done here from a creative standpoint. Unless you're assuming your readers are a bunch of sadistic f*cks who love seeing noble people fail time and again, perhaps you should give them a little something to keep their hopes alive.
Just sayin' . . .
And while I'm at it, let me gripe about the butchering of the storylines in the transfer from the page to the screen. I've complained about Dany's travails across the shimmering sea, from her time in Qarth to the appearance of Barristan Selmy in this season.
In the books, Selmy appears as Arstan Whitebeard, a squire to a freed slave fighter named Strong Belwas, who is one of my favorite characters in the books. Selmy remains hidden through the sack of Yunkai and only becomes known after the conquest of Meereen. He does this because he wants to watch Dany closely and determine if she is sane or not as the Targaryens, due to their rampant inbreeding, have madness running through them. It's a wonderful bit when Selmy finally reveals himself and he also reveals who the traitor is that has sold Dany out so many times. How they're going to do that now is beyond me. Why f*ck that up if it's not necessary?
There's still a great deal of narrative in the third novel that can not possibly be covered in one last episode. So I'm wondering if we're going to get cheated with some sort of depressing cliffhanger or will Martin and HBO balance the scales out to keep people anxious for the next season to arrive? There's another death coming to someone most deserving, so the possibility for some karmic pleasure may yet be had for us viewers.
How 'bout it George?