You’ve got to be a real high-level son of a bitch to write a scene like the Red Wedding into Game of Thrones, which—SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS BUT LIKE THE SHOW AND HAVE SOMEHOW NOT SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THE LATEST EPISODE, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU—is the part when Robb and Catelyn Stark, along with most of the Stark army, are mercilessly betrayed and massacred at the wedding meant to join their family to the Freys, who—(cutting self off lest I end up explaining most of Game of Thrones, which I will). It’s surprising as hell for the TV viewers who hadn’t read the books, and still surprising for those who had on account of its brutal violence.
But author George R.R. Martin knows exactly how painful that scene is, and when he went on Conan, he was shown clips from a much circulated video that shows fans reacting to the bloodshed in real time. There is a lot of shocked screaming, confusion and gasping, but it’s music to George’s ears; his reaction is to laugh, because lololol @ anyone who was expecting anything good or happy to happen on that show. It’s book three of a seven book series; of course the action is still rising, and of course shit has to get a lot worse before it’s going to get any nice. But there’s something endearing in Martin’s mirth, total awareness of how hard it must’ve been for fans to watch, and brash confidence at his bold creative decision. Writers are the best/worst.