SPOILER ALERT: Do not read UNTIL you watch Season 3, Episode 9 of “Game of Thrones.”
Who doesn’t love a TV wedding?
Billed as a big event, they can draw viewers and create water cooler moments as they have a real emotional effect. While they are common on the comedy front — this year saw both Liz Lemon(“30 Rock”) and Leslie Knope (“Parks and Recreation”) get hitched — such ceremonies happen less often on the drama side, especially in today’s gritty, anti-hero driven TV landscape.
But, on Sunday, one of the prime examples of that genre — “Game of Thrones” — delivered the most emotional, most memorable wedding in TV history which culminated in the brutal slayings of Robb (Richard Madden), Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and hundreds of Stark bannermen. Such was its impact that I sat still and speechless as the end credits scrolled to complete silence.
Reaction to the episode, “The Rains of Castamere,” went viral, generating tons of comments on Facebook and Twitter. Beyond this immediate effect, it changed the trajectory of the series in a way not seen since the death of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) in season one.
Killing off that key character told viewers anything could happen on this show, no one was safe. That Sunday’s Red Wedding massacure was still able to shock us shows the immense weight of the moment.
The beheading of Stark was a game changer; it spurred Robb to become King of the North and take on the Lannisters. The red wedding is a game ender; it creates a leadership vacuum for the North and ends the storyline that was the foundation on which the show was built.
Will this controversial episode propel “Game of Thrones” to victory at the Emmys?
It was incredibly violent and that could leave a bad taste in the mouths of some of the more conservative academy members. However, it also created a buzz unlike any other drama series; will voters even remember now that some guy died on “Downton Abbey”? And it showcased the innovative and shocking nature of the series.
On June 10, we’ll learn if the producers believe in the episode enough to submit it for writing and directing consideration for Emmy nominations, which will be announced on July 18. Fairley may well reap a supporting actress bid for the searing scene in which her character pleads for her son’s life. But will the show contend for Best Drama Series? And if it does get nominated, will it win on Sept. 22?
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