Game of Thrones and the Penultimate Episode Gut Punch

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*** A friendly warning – this piece does contain spoilers; so if you’ve not seen Episode 9 of Season 3, you have been warned! ***

Anyone who has read the books knew what was coming.

Anyone with any semblance of sense and understanding of HBO’s award winning show is all about knew something was coming.

The Song of Ice and Fire saga does not do small, it does not do meek nor does it do subtle.

The penultimate episode of the third series took visceral story telling to a new level.

‘The Red Wedding’ is one of George R R Martin’s most infamous scenes. One of literatures true jaw dropping moments. In the 13 years since A Storm of Swords was first published, it has lost non of its power.

The small screen adaptation proved to be no less emotional for the shows thousands of fans.

This is not the first time the shows bosses have gone ‘big’ in the penultimate episode. In season 1 we saw Ned Stark, played by arguably the shows most well known face Sean Bean, lose his head. Season 2 saw the explosive Battle of the Blackwater. But few seemed prepared for what season 3 offered.

From the moment the first blade entered Robb Stark’s pregnant wife, Game of Thrones took an altogether darker twist for many. Forget Theon’s torment, forget Jamie Lannister’s woes; the North just got wiped out in one vicious and decisive blow.

I cannot think of another time I have watched an episode of any show with such of dark sense anticipation. Nor a show which has triggered such a powerful reaction along my Twitter timeline.

I’m used to seeing popular shows talked about on my social network of choice – this was a whole different ball game.

Some of the tweets were genuinely hilarious, others were hilarious for the wrong reasons (quitting the show? Really?), but one thing was clear – the episode struck one of the greatest home runs in television history. To promote that kind of reaction among viewers is incredibly tough. It even triggered a cringe worthy outburst from the Daily Fail!

Where does the show go from here? Well, I’ve read the books so, with a nod to the tweaks to make the show more TV friendly, I kinda know where things are headed. But one thing is for sure, the bench mark for ‘slap in the chops’ television just went up several notches.

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