‘Game of Thrones’ duo on adapting George R.R. Martin, series’ future

June 03, 2013 | 12:33 a.m.

Michelle Fairley plays Catelyn Stark, born Catelyn Tully. Her father is Lord of Riverrun, her husband Ned Stark was Lord of Winterfell, and her son Robb is King in the North. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

In the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones," Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen, an exiled princess and last remaining heir in a long line of kings and queens of Westeros. Dany is the widow of horselord Khal Drogo and is often called "the mother of dragons," for her three flying beasts. (HBO; Victoria Will / Associated Press).

Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister, often called "the imp." The youngest and perhaps most cunning of Lord Tywin Lannister's brood, Tyrion is younger brother to Queen Cersei and kingsguard knight Jaime. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Lena Headey plays Cersei Lannister, queen regent and the widow of King Robert Baratheon, who won the Iron Throne by conquest. Cersei's twin brother Jaime is the true father of her children -- a secret she has kept through murder and treachery. (HBO; Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Jaime Lannister, Lord Tywin's eldest son and twin to Queen Cersei. Jaime is a knight in the kingsguard, but is often called "kingslayer" for murdering the mad king Aerys Targaryen. Jaime was taken hostage by Robb Stark's Northmen, but Catelyn Stark freed him to ransom her daughters. (HBO; Kevin Winter / AFP / Getty Images)

Gwendoline Christie plays Brienne of Tarth, whose sword skills and unusual strength and size set her apart from other young maids. Brienne swore an oath to Lady Catelyn Stark to deliver hostage Jaime Lannister to King's Landing in exchange for the safe return of Catelyn's daughters, Sansa and Arya. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Kit Harington plays Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Jon is a brother of the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from the dangers that lie beyond the Wall. (HBO; Tim Whitby / Getty Images)

Rose Leslie plays Ygritte, a wildling woman from beyond the Wall who sets her eye on Jon Snow after he fails to kill her in an attack on a camp of wildling scouts. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Ciaran Hinds plays Mance Rayder, the "king beyond the Wall." Rayder was once a brother of the Night's Watch, but he broke his oath and deserted. Now, he leads an army of wildlings and giants. (HBO; Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Richard Madden plays Robb Stark, the eldest trueborn son of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell. After the death of his father, Robb was crowned King in the North. The "Young Wolf" and his bannermen are warring against the Lannisters. (HBO; Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

Oona Chaplin plays Talisa Maegyr, a healer from Volantis and Robb Stark's wife. In marrying Talisa, Robb broke his agreement with Lord Walder Frey to marry one of his daughters in exchange for his support in the war. (HBO; Jason Merritt / AFP/ Getty Images)

Sophie Turner plays Sansa Stark, the eldest of Ned and Catelyn Stark's daughters and a hostage at King's Landing. Sansa was betrothed to Prince Joffrey, but was put aside after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. (HBO; Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Maisie Williams plays Arya Stark, Sansa's sword-wielding little sister. Arya escaped King's Landing after her father was killed, disguising herself as a boy. She's been on the run ever since. (HBO; Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Isaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark, who lost the ability to walk after Jaime Lannister pushed him from a tower in Winterfell. Bran, whose family presumes he is dead, is making his way North after Theon Greyjoy sacked Winterfell. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Carice van Houten plays Melisandre, the "red priestess." Melisandre's god is R'hllor, the Lord of Light, and she believes Stannis Baratheon is the subject of an ancient prophecy as well as King Robert Baratheon's true heir. (HBO; Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Natalie Dormer plays Margaery Tyrell, a young lady from Highgarden betrothed to marry King Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei's eldest son, after the Tyrells came to the Lannisters' aid in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Margaery is the widow of the self-styled King Renley Baratheon (King Robert's youngest brother). (HBO; Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Aidan Gillen plays Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, a childhood friend of Catelyn Tully and her sister. As the Master of Coin at King's Landing, scheming Littlefinger is on the king's small council. (HBO; Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Alfie Allen plays Theon Greyjoy, the son of Lord Balon Greyjoy, who rules the Iron Islands. Theon grew up among Ned Stark's children as his ward, taken hostage after Balon's Rebellion was quelled. Though he was well treated by the Starks, he longed to rule the Iron Islands as his father's heir, and he ultimately betrayed Robb and sacked Winterfell to prove his mettle. (HBO; Jason Merritt / AFP/ Getty Images)

Sean Bean plays Eddard "Ned" Stark, the honest and honorable Lord of Winterfell. Ned left his Northern home for King's Landing after Robert Baratheon recruited him to be the Hand of the King. But after Robert died, Ned met an unfortunate end under the young King Joffrey. (HBO; Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Jason Momoa plays Khal Drogo, a Dothraki warlord and husband to Daenerys Targaryen. They grew to love each other, and Dany became pregnant with Drogo's son, prophesied to be a great leader. But Drogo and the unborn child died, and it was on Drogo's funeral pyre that Dany's dragons were hatched. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Even before the third season of “Game of Thrones” debuted in March, D.B. Weiss, one of the showrunners of HBO’s lavish fantasy series, intimated that major characters would die.

“I think we’re heading into the negative population growth phase of the show,” he said in an interview with Hero Complex.

Sunday’s episode, written by Weiss and his creative partner David Benioff, delivered on that promise in a massive way — and anyone who missed the season’s penultimate installment, “The Rains of Castamere,” might want to stop reading right now. Major spoilers are ahead.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) ended last season by breaking his engagement to Lord Walder Frey's daughter and marrying Lady Talisa (Oona Chaplin) instead. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) ended last season by breaking his engagement to Lord Walder Frey’s daughter and marrying Lady Talisa (Oona Chaplin) instead. The decision led to tragedy. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

One of the most memorable events from all of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, the Red Wedding, unfolded on screen Sunday, claiming the lives of Robb Stark (Richard Madden), his pregnant wife Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), victims of a sinister ambush.

The Red Wedding was one of the moments that had Benioff excited for “Game of Thrones’” third season even before he and Weiss had pitched the project to HBO — “the traumatic and memorable events,” he said, could surely win over an audience forever. (It’s true that watching the scene play out was just as shocking as seeing Sean Bean’s Ned Stark beheaded in the show’s first season, even for fans who might already have known that tragedy was at hand.)

Speaking so far in advance of the unveiling of “The Rains of Castamere,” the showrunners kept mum about the details of staging the scene or the emotional nature of saying goodbye to a specific set of characters. They were more forthcoming about the challenges inherent in adapting Martin’s immensely rich and detailed saga, with its underpinnings of tragedy, destiny and romance.

Weiss and Benioff said they attempt to be quite faithful to Martin’s source material, bringing the author into their storytelling process — as is customary, Martin wrote one episode this season, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” But reproducing the novels exactly on screen cannot be their sole guiding principle, even when it comes to the narrative’s most indelible sequences.

Some deviations are just creatively necessary, they said.

“If there’s ever a fork in the road, and we have to choose between absolute fealty to the novels or what we think is best for the series, we’re always going to take the second turn and stick with the series,” Benioff said. “A lot of the challenge of the adaptation has been about making sure that you keep alive all these great characters who people have gotten to know so far while still introducing a certain amount of new blood to keep things moving along.”

“One of the beautiful things about the depth of George’s world, he’s laid out this map that’s so fully realized,” Weiss added.

"Game of Thrones" showrunners (left) David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.  (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times)

“Game of Thrones” showrunners (left) David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times)

And how far do they intend to follow the road map? With Season 3 nearly at a close, and Season 4 set to be drawn mostly from the same novel in the series — the third book, “A Storm of Swords” — how long can “Game of Thrones” continue on HBO? (And will Martin’s sixth “Ice and Fire” book, ‘The Winds of Winter,” be released before the show exhausts the portions of the story laid out in the existing novels?)

“The point going into it was that we wanted to start at the beginning and work our way through to the end, work our way through to the point beyond which there was no reason to keep telling the story because it was over,” Weiss said. “How long exactly that’s going to take and what form it’s going to take is obviously something that needs to be determined as we go.”

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“The main thing is not wanting to outstay our welcome,” Benioff added. “There is a tendency, I think, to, if something goes well, you want to stick with it and just keep it going forever and ever. As much fun as we’re having with this — I certainly haven’t had more fun on anything — as Dan just said, part of the reason we love this story so much is because it’s a single story. This very much has a beginning and an end and we’re nearly halfway there.”

Feel free to leave your thoughts on Sunday’s episode in the comments below.

–Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


84 Responses to ‘Game of Thrones’ duo on adapting George R.R. Martin, series’ future

  1. cafesmitty says:

    I didn't read the books so that scene played extremely raw with me. It was so shocking and unbelievable that I had rewound my DVR and watch it again because I just couldn't comprehend it. Now I am truly inspired to read the books.

    • Matt The Guest says:

      If you really intend on reading the books, I suggest you pick the first one. You'll find that many characters, stories, places, etcetera, are much different in the books.

  2. Rachel says:

    This episode was so well done. I loved when Arya told Sandor that someday she'd put a sword in his eye and through the back of his skull. I think she gained his respect with that one. The Red Wedding (though I knew it was coming) was so tough to watch. I'm 7 months pregnant so the image of Talisa being stabbed in her belly is going to be hard to erase. The silent credits at the end…chilling and perfect!

  3. elaine says:

    Drogo, was soooo freaking hooooooooooooooooot! Wait he is alive in real life lol Jason momoa is sooo freaking hot XD

  4. MichaelB says:

    Wow …. have not read the books and was totally shocked to see Robb, Catelyn & Tarisa murdered at the wedding….. Walder Frey was such an ass, heres hoping he gets his

    • ryan says:

      lord bolton is way worse cuz the boltons have been stark banner men for hundreds of years where as the freys are tech only bannerman to the tullys. i cant wait til they kill roose bolton

  5. the real story says:

    Why do they keep hyping up this snuff porn so much.
    It gets boring fast.

  6. joakie says:

    Great show. Read the books so I knew what was coming but still the Red Wedding Scene was very enthralling.

  7. Kate says:

    It was a stunning episode! I have had some jaw dropping moments and that one left me starring at a black and white credit roll and wondering what the hell just happened! Now can we have an ending like that for Geoffry?

  8. renee says:

    Last nights episode was stunning….the best of the best ever, can't wait til next season.

  9. Ja'akov says:

    Their decision to kill Robb's wife was a mistake, as part of the consolation for readers after the tragedy of the "Red Weddding" rested on the fact that Robb's heir might still survive. (If I recall correctly, his wife was safely tucked away with Robb's allies during the attack.) Once again, the writers have made an unnecessary change with a potentially lasting impact on the storyline as a whole.

    • Guest says:

      Actually it turns out to be worse….

      In the books it turns out later that she (or maybe just her family) was in with the Lannisters.

      • Heath says:

        Jeyne Westerlings family is in league with the lannisters not Jeyne… Her mother is giving her herbal tea to help her get preggers… Plenty of references to moon tea to stop becoming pregnant or to get for of unwanted babies indicates that… And then they are all pardoned by Geoff.. I only noticed after several readings of the books

    • Swiss says:

      I have to disagree with you there. I thought adding her and her death to the Red Wedding made it much better (worse). Her murder was the most disturbing of the three characters killed off.

      Also, the theory that Robb's heir might survive was fueled by GRRM in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (the episode he wrote) where he confirmed that Talisa (Jeyne) was indeed pregnant. Of course, in true GRRM fashion, he set watchers up for a crushing disappointment when D&D soon enough named and killed off the child, putting that theory to bed indefinitely.

    • nadge says:

      This doesn't matter as in the books Jeyne Westerling (robs wife in the book) wasn't actually pregnant with robs heir so it doesn't really make much difference!

    • Nikki says:

      EXACTLY! That turned me off so bad I'm almost done with the TV series

    • Guest says:

      Well, just to remind you the adapters know the way this series will end. George has told them and shown him all the outlines.

      So, with the decision to get rid of the unborn child and potential heir, I would say that casts great doubt that Jeyne plays any role of significance in the books moving forward.

  10. hop says:

    I was shocked to see he Starks' demise; even though they had plans to do the same thing to their host. When I saw they had his wolf locked up, that's when I got the feeling that they were being set up. However saddened I was to see them come to their brutal ending, I have to give it to the writers; it was masterfully done.

  11. Mike says:

    Game of Thrones author sucks. I quit reading the series after it took him 5 years to write the next book in the series. If HBO wants to do a GREAT series I suggest "THE WHEEL OF TIME" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

    • Shaun says:

      As a fellow WOT fan, I love your enthusiasm…but the wait for the last two books in the series after Jordan passed is not much better. Also, I don't think it is exciting or racy enough for HBO, and therefore would never be popular among all walks of life like GOT is. But for us fantasy geeks, it could find a great home on a network like sci-fi…or maybe as a series of movies?

    • Rand says:

      The WOT was incredibly slow and took forever to get anywhere, the series started off great but then got really slow and nothing had ever happened. It just became a cash grab for Jordan.

      • CDriver says:

        Agree entirely. I gave up on the second book after it took the characters 5 pages to go out of a door. Big yawn.

  12. Wynstone says:

    I wouldn't mind so much characters I like being killed off if some of the characters I despise would be killed off too. All the major bad guys from Season 1 are still alive!

  13. Basil says:

    The series is no longer interesting to me. Apparantly glorifying evil is the center of the story. Killing off all those who are suppose to be fighting for good is not keeping the story interesting. I watch three episodes of the third season and they were all very booring with enough talk to put you to sleep. The new characters are not very appealing so how are they going to hold anyone. I certainly do not look forward to a fourth season.

  14. Patrick Dennis says:

    Last night was truly a SHOCK to the viewer and GOT fan. This last episode dramatically reflects why this series will go down as one of the best ever produced by HBO.

  15. Chrissy says:

    Even though I had read the books, and I KNEW it was coming………. I still cried like a baby when I watched it.

  16. Mike P says:

    Love this show but I'm just very concerned that the books are not yet finished and the show is catching up to the books (albeit gradually). Eventually they will get to a point where either a) the show writers have to write an ending the book author hasn't even conceived of yet; b) the show will have to end prematurely without a true ending or; c) we wind up waiting 24 months or more for a new season to begin which of course leads to d) HBO gives up on renewing additional seasons of it as it loses momentum. All of these things concern me. I've liked too many shows where the ending doesn't justify the hours you put into it and one where the show is catching up to the books that aren't finished yet is doubly concerning.

    • Siege says:

      I'd read an interview with GRRM in which he states that should he die before the series is finished the direction and ending of the show is already determined. So with that I think we can assume that the series will play out in any event.

    • Jakmanuk says:

      The showrunners know the ending to Game of Thrones, George RR Martin told them incase he dies or the show catches up, so whatever ending the TV show does is the same as the books

  17. Monica says:

    Can't the Starks catch a break though. I was shocked!

  18. mike says:

    I was watching the show this past Sunday and was totally shocked when the Starks were killed off never saw that one coming really took me by surprise. And I think it had to be done because Robb Stark would never have lasted with the Dragon Queen on her way can’t wait to see that play out.

  19. Robert Reyes says:

    Last night show was excellent true fans of the series will want more to whats to come. hip hip hooray

  20. Ralph T says:

    Wow, is all I can say about last night .. Got me watching now.

  21. Mike says:

    The one thing they need to consider is the fact that they are going to be caught up with the books well before George R. R. Martin finishes the series. He is alwasy so busy going to parties and events now that he rarely spends any time writing. It took him more than 5 years to finish his last book and that was BEFORE this HBO series. And I hate to say it but he is not a young man either so chances are he may never finish the series before he dies because he spends very little time working on it anymore.

  22. Kace says:

    I thought the Wedding was done very well. Very sad very shocking even with myself knowing it was coming. One small critic that i would note is how Catelyn wasnt as insane in the last bits as she was in the book which akes me worry for the characters future. Really hoping for a tease at Lady Stoneheart at the end of next episode or I'll be left fearing if that storyine is one of those creatively necessary deviations for the next year

  23. clm says:

    i hated this episode…hate, hate, hate

  24. Robert says:

    to those that may want to tune out you will missing what will happen to the bad guys we have loved to hate and to those that will still like. Tyrion, Jon Snow, Arya, Daenerys etc..

  25. Jeffery says:

    Being a fan of the book and the TV show have been both rewarding and not. I was extremely surprised that they killed Rob's wife seeing as she didn't even attend the wedding in the books, as Rob was keeping her safe. Things like that are why I have problems with the show (although it's still a GREAT show). GoT does do a good job of following the books, but it's like they disrespect the books by not following the small details just so they can "Hollywood-ise" the TV show.

  26. Karry Clapper says:

    Okay I am really upset that Rob Stark and Catherine were killed, at first I was upset about Ned Stark dying but was really looking forward to Rob getting revenge for his father's death. Really kind of makes me not want to watch the series anymore, because I feel like it will be two or three years before I see the Stark family get their revenge. I really liked them and it sucks that the show killed them off. I am watching next week hoping that Catherine was just having a premonition or a dream, or maybe the boy sees it in a dream through the wolf and crow. I did not know till today that these were based on a book and might spend sometime reading it this summer to know what is happening and to find out if the remaining Stark children ever get their revenge if not I really think I am done watching it.

    • Skip says:

      It's not a dream. I'd suggest you stop watching the series, and instead wait for the next "Fast & Furious" movie; that might be more to your liking.

  27. Mary says:

    I was totally unprepared for this episode. Killing off so many characters in a series is unheard of. The heroes never die.

  28. Sellsword says:

    The producers and directors have a done an outstanding job of balancing the process of creating a televised series from the novels. Not to mention the superb cast. The characters are fascinating and I think the depicted story has stayed quite close to the novels, so far.
    However, I'm not really certain how they will handle Season 4 if it is based on SOS (book 3) as we are almost out of content. Wouldn't they draw at least a significant portion of GOT Season #4 from "Feast For Crows"?
    Either way, I can't wait for more.

  29. Robin says:

    I have read all the books. Following as well as can be expected. I knew about the Red Wedding, but was surprised to see Rob's wife among the deceased.

  30. Anton Dupree says:

    I like the unexpected which this series brings. You tend to get enveloped in the protocol of likeable or main characters lasting through the series, but not Game of Thrones. I was like is this dude really going to forgive them for breaking a promise to marry his daughter which would make her a Queen. Well I guess I got my answer which was actually rhetorical.

  31. Mary says:

    I had an OMG moment last night, i normally watch the show a second time @11pm but last night i just couldn't.I began the night with such hope. I so wanted Arya to see her mother again. She smile for the first time in a long time last week when the Hound told her he was taking her to the wedding and she would see her family. And John Snow being so close to his brothers and yet riding off without ever seeing them !The Starks that are left are so young,looks like old man Lannister will get his way! I can't wait till next Sunday, but then March is a long way off and winter is coming…….

  32. mary says:

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! is all I can muster

  33. Ron says:

    I loved the books but have to admit the series is more breath taking!! The screen writers have changed just enough to make it flow better. Even though I knew what was going to happen last night I was mezmerized by the scene. Hope the screen writers take a heavier hand from now on because I feel that after the third book it was like the author was just putting words on a page in order to pump out another book. (sorry)

  34. linda says:

    omg!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe they killed off all those main characters. I love Robb Stark and his Mother, and omg his wife who was pregnant. wtf. I'm hoping when it comes back on next week it's just someone's dream. It better be, because I'm going to be so mad

  35. Fred says:

    WTF! I'm all for suspense and manipulating the audience into feeling all sorts of emotions, but WTF!!!! Please don't make me invest all my time in a show, stick with it in the hopes that there will be some clever turn of events that brings retribution, satisfaction and clarity. Don't tell me that it's going to be another Sopranos type of fiasco, which made me HATE David David chase and hope that he walks in the path of my speeding car, and vowing never to trust anything he does again. I think the audience needs satisfaction especially in the face of a story line that feels like sadistic betrayal.

    • Dude says:

      That's the whole point to the book series. Sometimes you want justice so bad, but you won't get it. That's what makes it realistic and not contrived.

  36. Barney says:

    So far there are hardly any variations in the storytelling between the book & the miniseries. This has to be one of most epic saga's since Star Wars. The twists and turns are so dramatic and the HBO series is as true to the books as one could hope for. I can't wait until the season four. If you really want to experience this saga, read the books prior to watching the TV series. Bravo Mr. Martin, & bravo HBO. Despite my utter contempt for shows like "Bill Maher" (that seems to cater to the views of the White House, disregarding common decency); HBO has helped Martin bring a masterpiece to life in Game Of Thrones.

  37. Ruthanne says:

    I have to admit that I haven't read the books. On one hand I wish I had but on the other I'm glad I haven't because this episode completely took me by surprise which doesn't happen too much any more in most movies and series. When the Starks were murdered I covered my mouth in surprise. It was amazingly great to have a show surprise me. Keep up the good work. What will happen to Aria, Sansa, and the boys now, and there is still one more episode this season. Can't wait for next season.

  38. fdgdafga says:

    aefrkgjandflkgdfadfregeth

  39. Mike says:

    Lost me on the series because I was a stark family fan.

  40. Rick says:

    LOVE the book. Only like the show though. They are changing to much stuff. The "red wedding" this week made me angry. Half of what you saw on TV wasn't even in the book. Gets real annoying at times.

  41. phyllis says:

    I had read the book, but I was still not ready to see the Starks killed at the wedding.

  42. George Woollums says:

    It is a fantastic series, and should be good for a couple more seasons. However, as stated above, it has to come to a conclusion at some point or the other because the audience NEEDS a sense of closure, not a never ending soap opera. A prime example of this would be the hit series LOST which came out a few years back. The series stayed on so long that the plot lines became watered down and the audience was left in the dark for so long that interest had started waning long before the contrived ending was shown. Game of Thrones came in with a bang and should go out with a bang while interest is still at a peak (but not just drop out of sight like Camelot did).

  43. David says:

    It's been really hard for me this season to keep quiet about the Red Wedding. My wife has really gotten into the series but has never read the books. They've done an awesome job of adapting the book and keeping the spirit of the book alive. Keep it up!

  44. debby says:

    The pre finale show was a shocker. My favorites are still there. As for overstaying your welcome……not possible. Cant bet enough!

  45. Tracey says:

    I was floored!!! I usually expect to see some of or one of the main characters killed off, but I was shocked to see the Eldest Stark, his mother and his queen killed. Especially when the youngest sister Arya get so close to being finally reunited with them, only to be horrified yet again like the first season when her father Ned Stark died. WOW!!!!

  46. guest says:

    hope it goes on and on One of the only things worth watching these days thanks for a great show

  47. mark says:

    Every good book and show

  48. MIles says:

    When Catelyn Stark pulled back that guy's sleeve to reveal chain mail underneath, I knew something was going to happen but had no idea the level of death that was about to occur. I had to rewind my DVR and play it 3 times before it all sank in. I am still in shock 12 hours later.

  49. David says:

    This one of the best done Fantasy series I have ever watched and knowing anyone could die makes it very exciting to watch.

  50. Teresa says:

    I felt so bad for Katelyn. She tried so desparately to save Rob. It was incredibly heartwrenching to see her son killed before her eyes. It was so dramatic. The way Talisa was killed was horrible. When those doors closed I realized something horrible was going to happen. For once thank god for the hound. If he hadn't stopped Arya she would have been killed as well. That's the second Stark daughter he saved. I was also suprised Jon Snow left Yigrette behind. Now that Branden is using his power he should be ok not sure about the little brother or Sansa. Can't wait for next week.

  51. Rocker says:

    how could you do that to the Starks, havent they suffered enough?

  52. Cheryl says:

    Continue to stay true to the book, and they will have No Problems maintaining the fan base! Having read the entire series to date, I wouldn't worry about this ride Ever Getting Stale- Loved Sunday's episode, REALLY looking forward to next week's finale…and can't WAIT to see how they interpret next season and the next book! Keep it up!

    Oh, yeah…George? gotta step it up, dude – they're almost catching up to ya! Looking forward to that new book!

    • Nancy says:

      I haven't read the books and yet neither my husband nor I were in the least surprised that the Starks were killed. Anyone paying attention would have known that this was inevitable. Also, it is very true to how life would have been in any medieval or even Renaissance war. Apparently, people don't read history.

  53. Judy Eagar says:

    Ending this story is sad to here. The story and the actors are fantastic. I have really looked forward to every episode. Why not run longer aleast till the writers get tired of writing. What about a spinn off ? Is that possible?

    • guest says:

      ……………..

      You are aware that this is based on a book series right?

      This is only the halfway point of the 3rd book. They still have the rest of this book, a Feast For Crows, and Dance with Dragons. Then there are at least two more books that haven't been written yet.

  54. Chris says:

    To quote:

    "This very much has a beginning and an end and we’re nearly halfway there.”

    Strange observation from the series' creator. As someone who had read the books, this is exactly opposite the impression that I get. The storyline through book 5 seems to continue to unfurl in random, un-related tangents, with no apparent end in sight. At this point, keeping up with the story is a bit of a chore, and I almost don't care anymore about any of the characters. Benioff's comment makes it seem as if he has advance knowledge of the future plot (from working closely with GRR Martin?), or he's going to wrap things up differently than in the novels. To that I say "amen"–an ending in sight would make the series a bit more compelling.

    • Dude says:

      Martin himself made a note in book 5 that books 4 and 5 were written as one book, but where divided up, not in chronological order, but geographically (for the most part). I didn't think it was a "chore", but reading book 5 was a good refresher on what happened in book 4. But with the increasing amount of POV characters, it seems to be pushing the plot forward slowly from different POVs as opposed to the first three books (though many of those POV characters are dead).

  55. Che' Smith says:

    Robb Stark was the star I could connect with on a personal level. He was strength, compassion and fallible. I will miss him as I continue to watch the story.

    Che'

  56. jackie austin says:

    Let's hope we get to see Bran's great grandson take the throne.

  57. Dan Newit says:

    Robb’s wife being murdered- and horrifically- is like meant to give book readers a visceral shock and surprise that makes watching The Red Wedding a more novel experience than they already dreaded.

    I was ready for the trauma of a darker episode than “Baelor”- and was still surprised that it was worse than I’d braced for.

    i concur with those speculating that Lady S will drop in in the finale– it will have more impact then than in another year. I also assume she’ll be dealing with a recognizable Frey- not a no name- because heaven knows, we don’t need any new freys added to the cast at this point! We need about 50 of them disposed of with extreme prejudice!!!

  58. wilcherglobal says:

    As someone who lives in the real Game of Thrones, Washington DC, I was shocked to see this last episode but I was not entirely surprised, in retrospect. Robb made a series of mistakes in judgment in the war he waged with the Lannisters. After his mom thoughtlessly released Jaime, even if it were to get her daughters back, Robb made a fatal mistake by marrying for love when he had pledged to marry Walder Frey's daughter. He underestimated Frey's cruelty and apolitical tendencies, which made Frey capable of murder and of having loyalty to no one. Robb also made the mistake of beheading his loyal banner man, even though the latter killed the Lannister children. Robb needed this man's men, as Robb later learned, and could have imprisoned him until the war was over. Bottom line, Robb was a romantic, too naïve to rule in this dangerous game where, as he learned from his father's example, if you make mistakes, you die.

    • tim chaney says:

      as in the real world, GoT is a place where honorable men fall prey to poor judgement and noble causes. too many freys and boltons, not enough starks…

      • Nancy says:

        I agree with your assessment. Even though I never read the books this type of thing routinely went on in the dark ages and medieval Europe when life was cheap. All due respect to Mr. Martin, but there really is nothing new under the sun. I'm sure at some point the bad guys will get theirs. They always do.

  59. Iam Noone says:

    The HBO version is very good and holds close to the books. Only a few changes and I like that. Many are left slack jawed after the red wedding, but as you continue to watch each season the 'bad guys' will get their due. No wrong goes unpunished. I think many see this story as just a bloodbath and glorifying murder, but the song of ice and fire is a love story and here's a little hint…it all centers on Jon Snow.

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