A Storm of
It's the one we've all been waiting for
14th June 2013
As with the previous two instalments into my Game of Thrones season reviews, this is riddled with spoilers from the get-go and I'm not going to skimp on the brutality. If this is not to your taste, you may as well go home.
So. It's finally happened. The Red Wedding. The biggest, most shocking event to date in the ASOIAF universe, killing off multiple main characters and, as with Eddard Stark's execution in Season 1/A Game Of Thrones, it's a gamechanger that completely changes the course of where the storyline appeared to be heading.
I've known about the RW for two years now and have been waiting for it to be given the screen treatment, as have thousands of others for much longer than I, because it's one of the biggest curveballs in recent literary history. It comes from seemingly nowhere, and even when you know it's coming, it still takes you utterly by surprise. It's brutal, uncompromising and GRRM's description is so vivid I think everybody had a very specific image in mind for the scene as a whole.
Living up to that would take something truly special, and boy did they hit it - with the sole exception of missing Catelyn's haunting internal monologue ('No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair') they couldn't have done anything better. The addition of Talisa's pregnancy and sudden brutal abortion just made it even more painful, compared to the book where Jeyne Westerling (Robb's wife) is left behind.
Anyway, there was more to the third series than just the Red Wedding. The most interesting part to me was the addition of Theon's storyline. In the book universe, Theon disappears for two whole books and then suddenly makes a reappearance as a crippled, cockless man under Ramsay Snow's control. This season has shown us the missing chapters in unrelenting brutality. If Peter Dinklage was the true star of Season 1, and Alfie Allen of Season 2, Season 3 firmly belongs to Iwan Rheon, who plays the bastard of Bolton to perfection.
We also saw a turning point in Jaime Lannister's character - he's no longer the arrogant, selfish oathbreaker that we're used to seeing - the loss of his hand has changed him; scarred him both literally and metaphorically. Jaime shows that he's actually a good guy. Maybe he always was. He still fucked his sister, though, so... yeah.
And who can forget what's happening across the narrow sea? Daenerys Targaryen has been fucking up the free cities with her god damned dragons. Dunno what it is, but there's something pretty sexy about a woman who destroys entire communities in dragonfire.
Although the finale was a little anticlimactic - the main highlight being Arya flipping out and stabbing a guy repeatedly - it will be interesting to see where the series goes from here. Although there is a considerable amount of the third book to get through, it probably won't take the whole of the next season. What excites me most as a book reader is that the TV series is going to become considerably less predictable, as the 4th and 5th books - A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, respectively - run chronologically parallel to eachother, and are split between characters. This is simply not practical for a television format, so it's likely the two storylines will be intertwined on screen. Not only will this make for a new experience, I'm sure they'll add in more, as they have done the past two series.