June 1, 2012

2 Reasons why Blackwater was predictable Game of Thrones

And you all should have been able to see it coming...

(Holy spoilerful, but if you haven't seen Blackwater yet, why are you reading blogs about Game of Thrones and not watching Blackwater? Go! Now!)

I know what they say: Hindsight is 20/20. But there are two really good reasons why we all should have been able to foresee that Stannis wouldn't be sitting in the Iron Throne by next week. It's kind of unfair to put these literary tricks to use and sometimes it does spoil the ending, but lemme tell you, I wish I had posted them last week, because they were both dead on.

1. Too early to go home.

Samwise Gamgee is a very naive literary critic. According to him, heroes in stories don't give up on the first hurdle because they're heroes: "Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something." But most of us literary critics are a lot more cynical than that, and we realize that the biggest reason to not turn back is because then there is no story. And that's exactly what would have happened to the heroes of Game of Thrones if Stannis Baratheon had won the Iron Throne in Blackwater, season 2 episode 9, the penultimate of the season.

The Stark army is heading south to King's Landing to kill Lannisters, not Baratheons, and they're doing it somewhat haltingly because a certain traitorous swinebag has taken Winterfell temporarily. Very temporarily. While Catelyn Stark may not love Stannis Baratheon after he seems to have killed his own brother, Renly Baratheon, Robb Stark, the King of the North himself, even said that Stannis would be the rightful king after Robert Baratheon stupidly (okay, sadly) died. His war isn't with Stannis, so if the Lannisters were defeated, he would have no reason not to march home and take back his Winterfell from the traitorous swine.

And then the series would get boring because the only threat to the Iron Throne would be Daenerys Targaryen, and she just doesn't seem to be getting her damn dragons back any damn time soon. (Channeling some of the frustration I've been seeing over the nets for a second.)

2. Helms Deep

Man, everything is relating to The Lord of the Ring lately. Anyways, there's a rule to all stories I found recently and I can't remember if it had a name so I'll just use the battle it most reminded me of. Here's the rule: if it looks like they're going to win, they will lose. If it looks like they're going to lose, Gandalf will show up with Eomer and some thousand Rohirrim and win. This doesn't just apply to battles of course. Check out the season 4 finale of Dexter if you don't believe me. My boyfriend completely knew that the demise of (not going to spoiler) was coming. Just got a bad feeling from this principle, because things were looking too good for ol' Dex.

Season 2 episode 8 was really, really doomsday for the Lannisters, as was the Blackwater preview that was floating around the web, and the promo that included Cersei saying "Stannis may take the thone but he will not take us alive." Shiver. She really had me going there. Until I remembered this rule.

Had the Lannisters been suffering from extreme hubris in the episodes prior, believing that there was no way Stannis or Robb Stark could take King's Landing, we would see a fall. But as I mentioned previously, Tyrion and Tywin Lannister were quivering in their boots. Okay, Joffrey may have shown some hubris with his "I'll give Stannis a red smile" attitude, but nobody takes Joffrey very seriously. Most of the signs pointed to the Lannisters being the underdog, which means they are going to win.

So come on, people. Why didn't you see this coming?

The season finale of Game of Thrones airs Sunday June 3rd at 9pm on HBO. Watch it to see what has become of our favourite little man?

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