The Year Observed
Game of Thrones
Even as we’re living in an extended Golden Age of television, 2013 marked a banner year. Comedies were funnier, dramas were better written and acted, and production values soared, as competition for viewership forced networks (and new players like Netflix) to up the content ante. So how did programs stand out from the crowded field this year? By having explosive, balls-to-the-wall, Keyser Soze-level plot twists, of course. Here (spoiler alert!) are the episodes that sent us—and so many others—scurrying to Twitter, armed with an opinion and our favorite shows’ hashtags.
These questions regard last night’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please answer the prompts with specific examples from LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE, though supplementary material will be accepted as a secondary source. Please write legibly. No. 2 pencils only. You have an hour to finish this test. See below for questions and sample responses.
1. So after the dust settles, the blood congeals and everyone has done screaming “Holy shit” and swearing they’re breaking up with the show, we’ll all have to admit that not only was the Red Wedding an outcome fully in line with the themes and tone of the show (nowhere is safe, words/promises are just illusions, love does not last) but that it was also very clearly telegraphed by the scenes leading up to it. If you had not read the books, what would have tipped you off the most that something truly devastating was about to happen, and why? Suggestions: Walder’s obvious contempt for Talisa; his line “the wine will flow red”; Roose Bolton’s sobriety (and everything else about Roose Bolton); the fact that everyone seemed to be happy, for once; the title of the episode.
Can we actually just press pause to take a breather here? I know there was no episode last week (although, to paraphrase a friend, there was a nice fan fiction episode in which Jaime Lannister ends up in servitude to Michael Douglas playing my bubby), but last night packed enough developmental and emotional wallop to outdo even the first-season climax of Ned Stark losing his head. So please … just a moment of respect.