Game of Thrones Star, Showrunners Talk [REDACTED]’s Shocking Death, TV Violence, And the Eventual End of the Show
Winter Is Coming
Yesterday Maisie Williams took to Vine to react to the brutal ending 0f last Sunday’s Game of Thrones, and now Richard Madden (Robb Stark) has chimed in as well. Plus showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff talk TV violence and how the show is “nearly halfway” over (noooooo).
Unmarked spoilers are behind the cut, so don’t click if you don’t know what went down.
First up let’s hear from Madden, who enjoys the pain the Red Wedding caused you, the sadist:
“I think Robb Stark dying in that way is one of the best things that HBO and Game of Thrones does so beautiful and that’s just rip [sic] these characters’ hearts out in front of you. Maybe it would have been better for Robb to die gloriously on the battlefield… This is so sudden and violent and horrible. The way I and the writers have tried to build him up, there’s no other way we could have killed him. Because he is great on the battlefield, and despite his poor choices he is a great leader… he’s been outsmarted, and it comes from his good heart and his trust in other people.”
Snarkiness aside, his point about the suddenness of Robb’s death is a good one. In the books, if not so much in the show (check out the bottom of my episode recap for my thoughts on show Robb vs book Robb), Ned and Robb are both honorable, trusting fantasy hero types who die as a result of betrayal by the people who actually do well in the Game of Thrones-verse, aka sneaky, manipulative jerks.
Weiss had some things to say on the subject of violence in a THR roundtable, and while he didn’t specifically mention the gory blood splatter of the Red Wedding, it’s certainly relevant. Said Weiss:
“I think that violence in the real world is… awful to witness, and difficult to witness, and it’s the sanitized versions of violence on television that in a way are worse… in network television people will die in droves all the time, die in a way that is clean and easy to watch and it makes it fun.”
Well congrats on your success at not making the violence in Game of Thrones “fun,” unless the violence in question is people slapping Joffrey, because that never gets old.
And finally, Game of Thrones producer Frank Doelger has already stepped forward to say that the show will likely only last for seven seasons, and I kind of pushed that into the back of my head because I don’t like that bit of news, darnit. But now Benioff has said something similar, namely that the show is “nearly halfway” over:
“The main thing is not wanting to outstay our welcome. There is a tendency, I think, to, if something goes well, you want to stick with it and just keep it going forever and ever. As much fun as we’re having with this—I certainly haven’t had more fun on anything—… part of the reason we love this story so much is because it’s a single story. This very much has a beginning and an end and we’re nearly halfway there.”
Well, fine. That’s actually quite (dare I say it) honorable. I love the show, and I’d hate to see it turn into a mere shadow of its former self by going on too long (*coughSupernaturalcough*). But way to harsh my buzz, Benioff.