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Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” (S02E09) 4.5 Stars

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was without a doubt the most shocking episode since Eddard Stark was beheaded last season.  George R.R. Martin’s writing style is very different than most authors; he does not conform to the usual approach about following one hero or heroine, their obstacles with evil, and eventual triumph with an expected happy ending.  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin said, “That was the hardest scene I’ve ever had to write. It’s two-thirds of the way through the book, but I skipped over it when I came to it. So the entire book was done and there was still that one chapter left. Then I wrote it. It was like murdering two of your children. I try to make the readers feel they’ve lived the events of the book. Just as you grieve if a friend is killed, you should grieve if a fictional character is killed. You should care. If somebody dies and you just go get more popcorn, it’s a superficial experience isn’t it?”  Before I watched this episode on HBO Go, about two hours after it aired live on the East Coast, I received multiple messages saying that I was going to hate the ending and be absolutely livid, so if you are reading this before seeing the episode, I have not really spoiled much for you, as I was aware of a character’s death prior to viewing.  STOP HERE if you have not seen the entire episode yet, and watch the damn episode already!

The Hound and Arya close in on the Twins.

The Hound and Arya close in on the Twins.

Continued: SPOILERS

Robb and Catelyn Stark were two very main characters in the TV series and portrayed brilliantly by Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley, respectfully.  Watching them, and others including Robb’s wife Talisa, die a brutal death was a heart wrenching experience.  The special effects used for the slitting of throats were as realistic as can be along with the sword fighting and blood (as they always are).

One thing I realized after watching the full episode was the foreshadowing used earlier on.  This is when The Hound calls Arya out for being more and more afraid the closer they got to the Twins (House Frey).  She had a feeling in her gut that something bad was going to happen before she arrived, and she was correct.  It is extremely rare that we see this obvious foreshadowing in the same episode of the foreshadowed event which could be attributed to the fact that this is a TV series BASED on the novels, and the order of events shown on screen are not always in the same order of events read on the page.

IGN gave this episode 10/10 and The A.V. Club gave it an A.  I give it 4.5 stars because I want to be wow’ed more than this in the season finale “Mhysa” next Sunday at 9pm EST.

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