It’s been a strange day on the internet, as the UK Game of Thrones watching community coped in various ways with spoilers leaking out of America. Some embraced them to avoid trauma, others ran screaming through Twitter, ducking and diving as if under heavy machine gunfire.
But regardless: it’s aired on Sky Atlantic now, the illegal downloading community has gotten home from work and watched it with dinner, and I think I’m good to talk about it. This is the ninth episode of the season, where the big events in this show generally happen, and indeed they do. Spoilers follow.
I’m Glad I Slashed The Wedding, It’s Better Than Regretting…
Tyrion’s somewhat awkward nuptials last week don’t seem so bad now, do they?
Robb Stark, honourably stupid to a fault, attended a wedding thrown by a creepy man he slighted, and then acted surprised when that guy slaughtered the King O’The North himself, along with his soldiers, wolf, wife and mum. Whoops. Joking aside, this was a harrowing sequence for sheer gore and visceral unpleasantness. It served the twin purposes of reminding us that life in Game of Thrones is nasty, brutal and short, and trimming away some characters who had perhaps run their course.
Yes, Robb and Catelyn were noble and seeing them die was brutal, but I can’t say I’m weeping at the prospect of no more scenes with them either. And in the meantime, Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley played their exit for every inch of horror they could. Excellent season finale work, team – you cleared the decks and made me feel miserably beaten down for half an hour.
The Roose Bolton character may not have been set up enough for his part here to have real impact for people who haven’t read the books or paid very close attention to the show (Psst – he’s the bald one who said that thing about Lannisters sending regards, then killed Robb), but it was only a small aside, and I think we got the main point: everyone’s fucking dead.
Jon Snow Also Knows Nothing About Espionage
Even better, quite a lot happened as well as the wedding massacre – Daenerys sacked a city, and her new insufferable man-toy failed to die in the process! Dammit! Quite enjoyed those scenes simply for the sense of action, and swashbuckling glee.
Even more unusually, the disparate Stark kids nearly met each other. Arya almost got to Robb, and Bran saw Jon through a wolf. That alone was cool, although Bran and Jon’s storylines were both pretty good by themselves too – can’t say I’m sorry the Mackenzie Crook character is dead. Jon, though, has to be the worst double agent in the world – he wanders around behind the wildlings, convincing almost no-one, then snaps at the first sight of violence. Good work, kid.
In short, another traumatic ninth week in Game of Thrones – a big massacre and smaller acts of violence elsewhere. Next week, I imagine, everyone will stand around going “Holy crap, did you see the last episode?” – it’ll probably be a lot like Twitter. Or maybe they’ll change their pattern and have another huge development in episode ten to really mess us up, let’s wait and see.