Game of Thrones By the Book: We've Got the Red Wedding Blues!
Hello, friends and bannermen. On Sunday, we finally attended the dreaded Red Wedding that we RSVP'd for when Game of Thrones first debuted. Was it all that we dreamed it would be? How did the episode match up with the books? How did it differ?
This weekly chat series is for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which HBO's fantasy drama is based. It's meant to be a safe haven to discuss spoilers and changes from the novels and how they have played out or will play out in the TV series. Hanh Nguyen and Sadie Gennis are longtime fantasy fans of varying levels of geekiness who will sound off on all things Westerosi (and beyond!).
[Warning: If you're a Game of Thrones fan who has stumbled upon this chat and haven't read the books yet, begone! Instead, check out our postmortem of Sunday's episode "The Rains of Castamere" for a spoiler-free discussion.]
Postmortem: Game of Thrones cast spills about the shocking Red Wedding
Hanh: I've got the Red Wedding blues!
Sadie: I watched the episode with a friend who hasn't read the books and it was so painful, knowing what was to come, to listen to her happily chat about Robb and Cat. I will say, it wasn't nearly as "red" as I expected.
Hanh: I wanted to watch with someone who hadn't read the books, just so I could hear their reactions. Instead, I was yelling and sobbing at the screen every few minutes. No, it wasn't overly bloody, but OMG did they have to stab Talisa so many times in the stomach?!? It was like he was trying to vent his frozen meal before microwaving!
Sadie: That was the only time I screamed out loud. I'm happy in a weird way they did that since it was completely unexpected and so painful to watch.
Hanh: Right, a little extra surprise carnage for the book readers, who assumed she would live.
Sadie: Hopefully, whenever George R.R. Martin releases the sixth book we don't discover Jeyne/Talisa has some larger, important role in the series.
Hanh: That's an interesting point. I always wondered if his future writing would be affected by the series, but I think since he's a consultant, he's probably clued the producers in on who actually has a significant future in the books. My guess is that Jeyne Westerling, since we barely see her later, won't ever do much of significance. But anyway, back to the wedding. Wow, how crass was Walder Frey? He was fantastic.
A message to Game of Thrones haters
Sadie: Ugh, he made my skin crawl every second he was on screen. It was perfect. Especially, that look he gave Robb when Roslin was revealed!
Hanh: Right? He and Edmure will probably get along. That dimwit.
Sadie: My friend and I started cackling and she was like, "Best moment! Nothing is going to top that this episode!" And I thought to myself "well, yes and no..." I did find Robb and Cat's death a little anticlimactic, though. I wanted more chaos! More slaughter!
Hanh: Right? I think it's still my most shocking moment reading the books, but I think TV fans will love Joffrey's wedding even more in a different way. Well, Robb's death was anticlimactic for sure. Roose's drive-by stabbing of him totally was too casual but also obstructed my view. Not that I want Robb Stark's stomach-stabbing and entrails in my dreams tonight. But I actually was kind of horrified with Cat's death since the emotional implications, the screaming, etc. were all there.
Sadie: Robb didn't even put up a fight! It was like without Talisa in the world, he didn't even care to live, which is romantic and all, but not what The King in the North would do.
Hanh: It's funny, Richard Madden did mention that it is kind of a "giving up" point.
Sadie: My favorite part of Cat's death in the books was the way you really saw how far gone she was after Robb's death. The way she described the blood ... it still makes me shudder to think about.
Hanh: Right. I think that HBO or the producers felt that the horror of the deaths was enough without the visual, but maybe in print you need to describe more. But, as we know, Cat's insanity will show up later. When I did Michelle Fairley's interview, I wrote, "Fairley marked the end of her time playing Catelyn" to avoid spoilers that she's coming back. I mean, Lady Stoneheart is totally different from Cat!