As the author of the popular Song Of Ice And Fire series of fantasy novels, it has been a pleasure and a joy to watch Game Of Thrones, HBO’s riveting television adaptation of my work. Every week, the show delights viewers, myself included, with a series of stirring performances, deftly maneuvered feats of visual storytelling, and eye-popping special effects. It truly is a joy to watch my novels—my life’s work—come to life on the screen, rendered with tact, faithfulness, and considerable filmmaking skill.
That being said, HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I totally forgot that whole thing about the Red Wedding! Christ almighty, talk about a punch in the goddamned gut. I must have been sitting there for 20 minutes afterwards just completely numb with disbelief, like, “What the hell did I just watch?”
I mean, is it that brutal in my book? I honestly don’t remember.
The whole time it was happening, I was literally just staring at my television in shock thinking, “Son of a bitch, I forgot about that! Three of the story’s main characters are murdered in the most savage and horrific fashion imaginable!” My wife and I were sitting on the couch and we both just turned and looked at each other, like, “Whoa. That was intense.” I mean, I vaguely remember writing something like that, but that was years ago, you know? You forget these things.
And you don’t see it coming, either; that’s the thing. The previous episode capped off with the marriage of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, which seemed like it might be the real big event in a season that has largely been concerned with puzzle pieces falling into place. So with only two episodes left before the season’s conclusion, I was just looking forward to some more juicy exposition, no more, no less. But no! Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark, his wife Talisa and their unborn child—hell, even Robb’s wolf, Grey Wind—all slaughtered on the same night by the traitorous Walder Frey and his league of Lannister sympathizers! And at the end of a wedding no less! A goddamned wedding!
And here I was sitting on my couch like a child thinking about how sweet it was that Talisa wanted to name the baby after Ned Stark, and how emotional it would be in two minutes when Robb finally met up with Arya, who was right outside the whole time. I was looking forward to that scene for three whole episodes! I was 100 percent sure I had written it, too. I mean, who doesn’t want Arya to reunite with her family?
Then out of nowhere, boom! Catelyn Stark’s neck is sliced open with her firstborn son dead at her feet. And I suddenly remembered, “Oh, yeah! I did that.”
I think it was in Book Four. Or Book Three? One of those.
The worst part, though, was the moment right when I started to realize what I had written. It was after Lothar Frey went to the back of the room and closed those big doors and Catelyn Stark looked over at Roose Bolton and saw that he’s wearing chainmail under his nice clothes. That was the moment I thought, “Fuck, that’s right. I think I might kill off Robb Stark here.” And then I did! And boy, was it a hard to thing to watch, especially when I had also completely blanked on the fact his mom dies right after.
This fucking show, you know? One minute Robb Stark is solidifying his military power on his way to King’s Landing and the next he’s bleeding out on the floor. Just goes to show you can’t get too attached to any of my characters.
Hell, I’m still getting over the death of Ned Stark in Season One.
And even though it’s my responsibility as an author to protect the integrity of my novels at all costs, I have to admit that I personally wouldn’t have noticed if they’d completely changed the story at that point and the episode had ended happily. Hell, those books were written a long time ago; you can’t expect me to remember every last detail. Sure, I’m an executive producer on the show and they send me all the scripts on these things, but I never read them. Those things are full of spoilers.
At any rate, holy shit! I almost don’t want to see what I do next week. All I know is Tyrion better not get killed, because if he dies I’m done with this show, man. Done.