Red Wedding – How Dare Thou!
Holy shit! That was not cool. And not that they killed off Rob and Catelyn Stark, two fairly substantial characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones. And not the gore; all those non-fatal arrows – Lord Walder Frey’s men shoot like they took target practice with the Imperial Storm Troopers. Was the triple throat slit uncool? No. It was the wait. Two seasons of nothing before something actually happened. Someone needs to do a Game of Thrones word to deed ratio. And frankly the wedding scene wasn’t all that much of a surprise, they already killed Boromir in the first season, so I know something is coming – other than winter… zzz. When’s that happening? That scene was more like a prank than an episode of good television. They hid that reveal behind a heaping mound of words and asses and slow growing dragons until I was lulled into a catatonic haze of set decoration. Then they jumped me.
I’d rather spend my precious TV time watching The Good Wife, or The Wire, or Deadwood. Those shows apply the simple, engaging model; weekly stories build to larger seasonal stories. This week a tough case for Alicia Florrick, she needs Kalinda’s help but they’re not speaking, Al Swearengen hatches a plot with E.B. to end run Hearst, but it doesn’t pan out. The next thing you know they’ve found the bodies in the vacants and Stringer Bell is dead. Every episode from last two seasons of GOT ended with the drama and tension of a shrug. I watched with the detached obligation of Sunday mass.
It’s not just me, here’s evidence; watch the reaction shots. Note everyone slumped in their chairs, possibly dead, their minds all shut down from the sheer barrage of words (except the mugging GOT readers); “you will marry her (insert Peanuts teacher sound).” “No Calisi, it is not wise … bla bla bla bla.” Then George RR Martin jumps out from behind the couch and scares us; “ahhhhhh! Jerry Garcia lives!!”
All of the build up and hype is a bit of Joffrey Baratheon new clothes with the GOT readers stoking the flames; “just wait, you’ll see.” Just wait has become just endure, just hold out on long enough, like having to go to the bathroom on slow subway ride. I realize GOT is not TV and that it’s HBO, but I don’t think it’s even that; it’s more of a droning on of the biblical begets. Nine episodes void of any self-contained narrative arc whose sole trajectory was a “boo!” moment – cut to silent credits. Booo! That was not cool.