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Saturday
Mar142015

Six Ways 'Game of Thrones' Left Us Speechless  

 

Even King Joffrey is choked up over all those dear souls lost over four seasons. (Photo Credit: HBO)

BY CHRIS HEALY (REVIEWniverse Guest Contributor)

On April 12, Game of Thrones is set to debut its fifth season, which subsequently is the best present ever. That’s right, I shamelessly plugged my own birthday.  As anticipation ensues, we can only wonder who’s going to get the axe this year, and maybe we’ll get some actual redemption for others. I’m looking at you, Theon.

Whether it be a sprawling action scene or brutal depiction of a character's demise, Game of Thrones has proven itself to leave a lasting impression on the public’s psyche. The show has never shied away from leaving us speechless, whether it be killing a beloved character or allowing a despicable villain to endure.  George RR Martin may be the king of screenwriting serial killers, and he seems to relish in our pain and suffering.

Here’s a list of the top six ways Game Of Thrones left us contemplating the meaning of life:

6.  Khal Drogo Gives Viserys His Well-Deserved Crown

Watch out who you cross, Viserys. Just sayin'. (Photo Credit: HBO)

You might think when partying with a band of Dothraki, that you’d be in for a good time.  Alcohol, sex, more sex, and wedding brawls are all commonplace for these people. If that’s your cup of tea, that is.  However it would be in bad taste to not warn you of crossing any one of these blood-thirsty conquerors, even if they have in a roundabout way given you some vague promise of a crown. Apparently Viserys didn’t get the memo, and was swiftly dispatched as a result. After angrily disrupting Khal Drogo’s wedding party, Viserys sealed his own fate.  Word of advice, don’t anger your local Dothraki warlord, unless you want a smelted version of a luminous crown on your head instead of a girl in your lap.
 

5.  Jaime Lannister Pushes Bran Stark Out of the Tower in Winterfell.

No, don't worry. They don't harm kids on TV. (Photo Credit: HBO)

It's earned its spot on the list, because it was the first episode of the show to air, foreshadowing that there will be no punches withheld in the land of Westeros. Young Bran is caught watching Jaime and his sister Cersei having sex, all while nimbly traversing his way to the top of the tower, against his mother’s wishes.  What happens next seems to get diffused in other shows, but not Game of Thrones, and certainly not HBO.  Jaime launches the boy out of the window, in an attempt to keep his relationship with his sister a secret.  Don’t worry Bran, you’ve got big things coming to you.
 

4.  Ned Stark’s beheading

No, don't worry. They don't kill the lead, most beloved character in the first season. (Photo Credit: HBO)

Oh, he’s our main hero right?  We’ll follow him all the way to the end, right?  There’s no way they can kill him when he has so many wrongs to right. You wouldn’t be out of line to think any one of these things. 
Honest, brave, loyal, and honorable, Ned Stark was our beacon of hope in this dark, gritty world. But then you double-take, realizing that it's Sean Bean portraying this man.  Oh wait, doesn’t he die in EVERY single movie he’s in? I’ve got a strange feeling that his character’s death is written somewhere in his contract when he signs on for these roles. While many consider this moment the most shocking, it isn’t uncommon anymore for shows to kill off a main character (watch out, Z Nation's Sgt. Charles Garnett!!) at the end of the first season, to give it real weight, and consequence. Plus, how can you be so reverent and not die, this is the Game of Thrones!

3. King Joffrey’s Mandate, Kill All of Robert's Bastards!

Boo! Hiss! Wish you were gone, King Joffrey! (Photo Credit: HBO)

What a horrifying montage of death.  From teenage boys, to toddlers, yes, even a baby, Joffrey will stop at nothing to prevent his would-be father Robert Baratheon’s promiscuous activities from one day usurping his right to the crown. In one of the more painful moments in the show (and that’s saying a lot) the Kings Guard is seen slaughtering children of all ages, and by all fashions.  The moments seemed particularly catered to a certain cause of death. Oh, is that a lake? Perfect place to drown someone don’t you think? I think we can agree the baby being stabbed in the whorehouse was probably the worst.

2. The Purple Wedding

Oops, wrong wedding! But we take back our boos and hisses. We miss you, Joffs. (Photo Credit: WeddingDecorations.com)

Why isn’t this moment No. 1 you might ask? Well, as shocking as it was, many people saw this coming even if you hadn’t read the books, whether it be from unavoidable spoilers on Facebook to your own intuition. From a despicable attempt to humiliate his brother Tyrion with a show of dwarves playing different contenders to his divine right, to straight-up pouring wine all over him. The scene was laced with doom from the start, certainly foreshadowing some sort of terrible event. As Joffrey took one last gulp of wine from his chalice, he blissfully thought he was fine, and then he wasn’t. Turning purple at the gills, bleeding from his eyes, our wishes had finally come true. While his death was certainly comforting, it’s worth noting that the most sadistic acts seem to be reserved for our beloved heroes. Which brings me to number one.

1.  The Red Wedding

No, they'd never...and look how happy everyone is at the start. (Photo Credit: HBO)

Here’s our new hero! We’re going to follow him to the end of time. He’s going to right all of the wrongs, and take the Iron Throne…wait, when have we made that mistake before? How’s your head hanging, Ned? Must be breezy atop King’s Landing this time of year, especially when winter is coming.
Whether you were aware of the impending doom for our hero Robb Stark or not, this moment will go down in TV infamy. All seems well for our protagonist and his supporters, as they celebrate the union of House Frey and House Stark. Only problem is, this wasn’t quite the union that Walder Frey had in mind. Feeling betrayed by Robb, who married love over political power. Robb had been promised to one of Frey’s daughters, but made the decision we all might make, and that every hero in every film has ever made. Love conquers all right? Since Game of Thrones straddles the line between reality and fantasy, but mostly reality, this was certainly Robb’s downfall. Love doesn’t conquer all, armies do, and this is a lesson he learned the hard way, watching his family and followers brutally murdered. The show added an extra punch, especially for the book readers, in that Robb’s wife Talisa Stark was also present. She and Robb’s unborn son were the first to die in the betrayal, cementing a horrifying visual in our heads, making us want to crawl into a ball and contemplate the meaning of nihilism.

Take a look at the Season 5 trailer.

For more stuff like this, and other pop-culture thoughts, follow REVIEWniverse on Twitter.

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