As a longtime reader of George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire
books, an adaptation of which is currently being broadcast as Game Of Thrones
, last Monday was one of the most satisfying moments I've ever encountered since I started using social media.
At first I was highly skeptical about the whole adaptation of this series, until I actually started watching it. And while the television series is no match for the complexity and depth in the books, it does get the mood and about 95% of its casting right. A far better accomplishment than the recent Tolkien adaptations, I dare to argue.
But the very reason that I started watching it at all, was that I heard rumors that the ruthless plot of the first book had survived the adaptation process intact, leaving television audiences stunned at the end of season one. And I thought: damn, would they actually dare do that in season three too?
Well, as everyone probably knows by now, they dared. The series' creators went there and they made it as gut-wrenching as possible. Astonishingly, with the plot available on Wikipedia for years already, NOBODY spoiled it for the masses! The readers kept their traps shut at large, so as not to spoil the fun of having the viewers royally shocked.
Of course I didn't know exactly when it would happen: I have read the books, not the upcoming scripts. But when Twitter and Facebook started derailing a few nights ago, there could be no doubt about it: the Red Wedding had been broadcast. I haven't watched it yet myself, but just following the social media was entertaining beyond belief.
The outrage! The grief! The utter misery!
It isn't just "schadenfreude" why I love what happened, I am actually not that evil. When I read the books, I was as shocked by that particular plot twist as the viewers are now, and just as hurt.
But I love that this moment apparently translated so well to television! That it worked. That nobody tried to lessen its impact. That it managed to trump the shocks of seasons one and two.
The Red Wedding was a great success. And, as great successes do, it now becomes a hype, a legend. Multitudes of people are calling this a momentous ehm... moment in television history. Some say this was the most shocking fictional event on television ever.
Maybe, maybe not. I am old enough to remember Captain Kirk kissing a "black woman!!", and that the Star Trek
episode in which that happened was banned in several states (and even some countries) because of it. I remember an earthquake in Shogun
, and ninjas killing someone I was very fond of. I remember Holocaust
, and Roots
, being the talk of the day. And I remember JR being shot by someone in Dallas
So here is my question: was the Red Wedding the most shocking fictional moment ever on television? And if not, what was? HAVE YOUR SAY!!
[Editor's note: Ard may have read the books BUT I HAVE NOT and all comments posted are automatically emailed to me. Please be kind and try to avoid spoilers.
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