Even Entertainment Weekly issued this warning on their recap post:
Warning: The following story discusses a major plot point from tonight’s Game of Thrones…
It’s a big deal. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, you should do that and come back. This story will still be here, I promise. Sure, the spoiler was in the novel and has been on the Internet forever, but if you’re only watching the TV show, you probably won’t see this coming, and we don’t want to ruin it for you.
Anyway, moving on. Don't say I didn't warn you....
I cannot believe they killed Ned Stark. Seriously.
Sometimes I feel like the guy who watched the final season of Lost after having not watched any of it before, because everyone else seems to know these things are coming. They were in the books, which, I hear, the series is following pretty much exactly. But still. I did NOT see this coming.
I pulled this quote from Sean Bean's (Ned Stark) interview with TV Guide and think they totally sum up my feelings...
'"Nobody can believe it, even the characters who are corrupt," Bean continues. "The Queen and Littlefinger and Varys are looking around in astonishment because they can't believe that this guy, this young king has done this. He's gone against everyone. It's a big step to actually take, to chop off Ned Stark's head."'The hero is always saved, right? Arya (sp?) would have done something to distract them from killing him. Cersei or someone would tell Goffrey he's dumb and can't kill Ned. The younger Stark kid would show up at just the right time. And where are those god damn dog/wolves when you need 'em? All of those things were supposed to happen and didn't. WTF.
My thing is.... why watch now? Ned was the only character (or 'team') I was really pulling for. I'm not saying I wanted him to be king, necessarily, but I wanted his side to win. I wanted him to get the Lannister's out, get Robert's real son on the throne, protect him, live happily ever after with Arya and Catelynn up in Winterfell..... But who am I to root for now?
Here's a snippet of some fan reaction:
“Most of you who think this was some sort of brilliant move or something don’t understand the difference between a book audience and a TV audience,” argued EW reader Tamcamry. “TV audiences need to invest in characters. Most of the other characters I don’t care much about. While the show will probably still appeal to the ‘wow’ crowd, it’s mass appeal just got beheaded.”It all reminds me of the producers of Lost pitching for Jack to die in the beginning of the series (he was supposed to be snatched up by the monster in the plane, instead of the piliot). The network said no way. You can't let people fall in love with a character and then take them away.
I did love his death scene though. The show has been littered with violence from the beginning (in fact, we're first really introduced to Ned stark with a beheading of his own.), but this scene actually wasn't violent. Sean Bean had this to say, and I completely agree with him (again. We're totally on the same wave length today!):
"It's a big moment, not so much about blood and horror, but more about human emotions and sadness and the tragedy and shock of it."Next week is the season finale and I seriously don't know how I'm supposed to live with out this show for a year or whatever until it comes back. Good thing summer TV is starting up... Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, Hot in Cleveland, here I come.
Yes, Hot in Cleveland.