Do you hear that great whooshing sound? That is the sound of a massive spoiler being released into the atmosphere. We've kept it caged for so long, and it's finally out there. Fly free, spoiler!
SO, OKAY, FOR REAL, IT IS TIME TO TALK ABOUT LAST NIGHT'S GAME OF THRONES AND SO HERE COME SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS SPOILERS THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO UN-SEE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Last night's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Rains of Castamere," finally brought us to the scene fans of George R.R. Martin's books have been awaiting since the show premiered in 2011. I want to do our usual "what did you think?" discussion, but before that, it felt worth observing that this marks the end of what must be one of the single greatest spoiler discrepancies in pop culture history.
I'm pretty proud of the Internet at large for keeping that spoiler under its hat these past couple of years. Good job, Internet! From the very first episode of the show, I can imagine that every single person who had read the books had the same thought: "Oh, man, I can't wait until they drop the Red Wedding on everyone." And yet we kept it in check and didn't tell our friends who hadn't seen the show.
I'm trying to think of another time when a spoiler that big has been known by some but unknown by others. Like if, before Star Wars Episode IV came out, a subset of the audience already knew that Vader was Luke's father. And then, years later, Empire finally came out…
All season, there's been this steadily building pressure, like a slowly shaken bottle of champagne. Last night, the cork popped off, and instead of champagne, out sprayed gouts of Stark blood.
Predictably, Internet reaction has been as award-winning as it was in season one when Ned was killed. io9 has done a fine job cataloguing amazing tweets from the unspoiled, and the @RedWeddingTears twitter feed is well worth a read.
And yeah, it remains amazing to me that this event was something known by half the audience. As this now-famous gif so aptly puts it…
I gotta say, it's nice to have that spoiler out in the universe. Granted, we'll have to be careful for a while, since DVR and DVD-watchers won't want to know what happens, but it's nice to hope that we, as a culture, are ready to move on.
As for the episode itself, I thought it was well-done. They handled the big scene perfectly, and even though I knew what was coming, I couldn't help but flinch when those doors closed and the band struck up "The Rains of Castamere." The almost lazy way that Frey's men butchered the Starks was chilling, and I can see why everyone on Twitter reacted the way they did. For me, it wasn't so much that I was particularly attached to Cat or Robb or Talisa, but to see it carried out with such brutal efficiency was just... yeesh.
I liked the rest of the episode as well, and it was particularly cool to get to see Grey Worm flipping his spear like the badass he is. I've always been curious how the Unsullied fight, and what makes them so fearsome, and so I enjoyed seeing him alongside Jorah and Daario, tearing into dozens of Yunkish guards.
So, a tricky episode to get right, but get it right they did. I'll be looking forward to the finale, particularly since a bunch of us Kotaku staff will probably watch it holed up in Stephen's hotel room in LA on the night before E3. As always, for a more in-depth recap, check out Charlie Jane's write-up over at io9.
What did the rest of you think? If you went in unspoiled, what was your reaction to the climactic scene? Did anyone out there watch it in mixed spoiled/unspoiled company? Talk games, thrones, and weddings, here or over at TAY.