Game of Thrones: It has to be this way

Warning: if you have not yet watched the “Rains of Castermere” episode of Game of Thrones, then you’re woefully behind the times or not going to care about the so-called spoilers.

It’ll be like that time in my English class last week when I said something about Gatsby’s death, and a student was like “Hey! I wanted to see that movie!” and I was all, “Um. We read the book, honey.” Well, some of us did.

The reason we love the Starks is because they’re the good guys and in some ways the underdogs. The Lannisters have more money than all seven old gods put together and therefore represent the Power Elite in the GoT Universe. Not that the Starks are hurting either. Winterfell is their empire and it’s not too shabby. Eddard (Ned) Stark was a man who did the right thing, no matter the consequences. When Robert called him to be Hand of the King, he didn’t want the job. He didn’t need the money. He was a loyal subject, and when the king calls you to serve him, you go.

Long story short (VERY long story), it got Ned killed. Fast forward one tedious, pointless second season and a third season whose only pleasure was Granny Tyrell, and we arrive at “The Red Wedding.” When I read Storm of Swords, this plot twist devastated me. I was angry and depressed for a long time. I wrote something on Facebook along the lines of “George R.R. Martin is a murderer who has destroyed everything I love!” Now, I’m watching the viewership of HBO’s Game of Thrones catch up and the result is similar.

Here is why King Robb Stark had to die. He broke his oath. In the world that George R.R. Martin created, oaths mean everything. A king who cannot keep his word is not fit to rule. Why did we love Robb? Mostly because he was Ned and Catelyn’s son and partly because the actor who played him is dead sexy. He was the good guy. He had honor. We were behind him in this war because we want vengeance for Joffrey’s murder of Ned. Robb killed Karstark for his treason and sealed his own fate. Through a series of poor leadership decisions, he showed himself unfit to lead. Remember, when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Bitch.

Catelyn promised Walder Frey that his daughter or granddaughter would marry Robb and be queen (also that Arya would marry a son). She made a political alliance in exchange for soldiers and a strategic crossing that won The North a crucial victory in the war. After something like that, you don’t get to say, “Oh… hey, yeah, about that… Um… There was this other girl, and she’s really neat too, so… yeah. We cool?”

Martin is a storyteller who puts his writing above everything. The downright horrible season two of HBO’s Game of Thrones is none of his doing. His books are brilliantly written. I don’t always like the decisions he makes, but it all makes sense within the tirelessly researched universe he creates. There is justice, and it’s never pretty. When a character fucks up, whether that be a character you love or one you hate, justice may not be swift, but it is always sure.

We could not continue to love Robb and support The North in this war if we allowed him to get away with being an oathbreaker. Not even for love. It is because we cannot stomach it that we are so disgusted with Walder Frey. He participated in the custom of bread and salt. He offered the Starks and their party his hospitality and then slaughtered them. This is even worse than what Robb did, and he will pay for it.

We think that we love the Starks and hate the Lannisters, but Robb acted the fool. It’s easier to forgive in the novel because the king is only a teenager. Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister is one of my favorite characters who shows he has goodness in him frequently, but especially when he refuses to bed Sansa Stark on their wedding night. And who would’ve guessed we’d ever feel empathy for Jaime?

People have declared they’re done with Game of Thrones. Some have even threatened to cancel HBO subscriptions. Give them a few more days. They’ll recover from their anger and outrage in time to tune in for Sunday’s season finale. Martin has so much more to delight and horrify you with.

And winter is coming.


About Mrs Odie

Friendly Pedant; Humble Genius
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12 Responses to Game of Thrones: It has to be this way

  1. Michael says:

    Two questions: when you said “dead sexy” did you mean “sexy dead”? And when you said “Hand of the King” did you mean “King of the Hand”? Because that makes a lot more sense.

  2. Meme says:

    Well, they’re “brilliantly written” if you only count the first three. Feast For Crows was merely “passably written” and Dance With Dragons was “execrably written”.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      I must admit, I only loved the first three and had a very hard time with 4 and 5.

      • Mindy says:

        Yes, me too.
        Except I’m now rereading AFFC(4), and it’s not so bad.
        Yeah, not much happens, but it’s full of background info I didn’t pick up on the first time around. Plus, I love a drunken delusional Cersei!
        Now ADWD(5)…sigh. I wanted to love it so badly. But those endless Dany chapters made me stabby. Get a move on, girl! You’re taking up precious book space. Ack.

        • Mrs Odie 2 says:

          I agree. In Game of Thrones, Dany’s story was one of my favorites and I skimmed Jon Snow. Then, I fell in love with Jon and I am bored with Dany. She doesn’t know how to lead. She needs the archetypal hero’s descent into “hell” and resurrection. I think Martin is taking it that way. Also, have you read that some people suspect Jon Snow is not really the bastard son of Ned but the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryan? Not sure how that could have happened, though.

          • Mindy says:

            Oh absolutely, the R+L= J theory is rampant online. And it’s a pretty clever thing actually. The clues are especially evident in the first book (Promise me, Ned!) once you’re aware of it.
            * SPOILERS*

            Jon would still be illegitimate wouldn’t he? I mean, he’d be Dany’s nephew with Targaryen blood. So that’s cool. But he would have no claim to the throne really.
            Thinking maybe it’s part of that “The dragon has 3 heads” prophesy?

            • Mrs Odie 2 says:


              But in SoS, Robb makes Jon legitimate by royal decree so that he will inherit Winterfell if all the Starks die and not Tyrion Lannister. The plot thickens. Martin is such a great writer.

              Oh, and show gossip, apparently the hook-ups between extras or other minor players are rampant on the set.

              • Mindy says:

                Ohhhh, good point. I forgot about that…

                Would not doubt the hook-ups at all! All that time together in remote locations. Wouldn’t you love to be behind the scenes with that cast? 🙂

                • Mrs Odie 2 says:

                  I would love to be an embedded blogger. You know how there are embedded journalists with military groups? That would be me. The official Game of Thrones behind the scenes blogger. I would be brilliant.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      I’m rereading SoS now. Can’t help myself.

  3. Amie D says:

    LOVE Tyrion Lannister….I also kind of think Sansa is a bit of a whiner…I mean hello yes Joffery is a total monster but you’re much better off then some of the women out there. Her sister doesn’t get to eat regular meals and dress in fancy clothes. Give your head a shake little girl.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      Except in the books, Tyrion is hideously ugly. After the battle, he doesn’t just have a character-adding scar, his nose is missing. He has two different colored eyes. He’s described as a monster. Yes, he’s still the same charming Tyrion we’ve come to know and love in the series, but for a young girl, and maybe for most women, the ugliness would be hard to overcome. Not to mention, his family is the sworn enemy of HER family, and Joffrey will still be able to rape her at will because he’s the king. Sansa is supposed to be a whiner. Her character has a lot in store for her, though. Just wait.

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