Monday, 29 May 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #18 Season One Deaths

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

This week I'm looking at the deaths of season one and there were plenty! These deaths below were the most significant in the series.

The first major death takes place off screen with the murder of Jon Arryn, Hand of the King and father figure to King Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. He was one of the leaders of Robert's Rebellion and married Lysa Tully, sister of Catelyn Stark, living at Court with her and their sickly son Robin. His death prompts Robert to ask Ned to replace him and Ned is reluctant to leave Winterfell and go to the politics and intrigue of King's Landing. His mind is changed when a letter arrives for Catelyn from Lysa claiming that her husband was murdered by the Lannisters and that they are plotting against the King. It leaves Ned no choice but to go to the capital and investigate Jon's murder, while watching for plots against the King. 

Through the series, it seems as if the Lannisters are the killers of Jon but we discover in a later series that Lysa plotted with her lover Petyr Baelish to kill Jon and send the letter to Catelyn to start trouble between the Starks and the Lannisters, which Littlefinger wanted for a power grab of his own, and no doubt to get revenge on Ned for marrying Catelyn. It was Littlefinger's meddling which causes the war and then leads to the death of Catelyn at the Red Wedding.

Ned discovers the same information that Jon uncovered-the children of Cersei were fathered by her brother Jaime, not her husband Robert, meaning the true heir to the Iron Throne is Stannis Baratheon, not Prince Joffrey. Ned warns Cersei to take her children and flee as he is obliged to tell Robert the truth. In the aftermath of Robert's sudden death, Ned then informs Stannis of the truth and tries to stop Joffrey taking the throne, leading to his arrest and execution, and the start of the War of Five Kings. The irony here was that Ned was trying to protect his King and keep peace in the realm yet his actions began a bloody conflict that was to kill many people including his wife and two of his children. So far...I always felt that Ned's death was inevitable as the series progressed as he was too honest and merciful for his own good while his enemies were much more ruthless. 

The most heartbreaking death for me in season one had to be poor Lady, Sansa's wolf. Killed to appease Cersei's twisted notion of justice, Ned insisted on doing it himself so that Lady's fur did not fall into Cersei's hands and she was buried back at Winterfell. I never forgave Robert for just sitting back and letting Cersei demand her death, nor did I forgive Ned for being spineless enough to do it. He should have resigned and indicated that he was taking everyone including the wolves home to Winterfell and Robert would eventually have backed down. I sobbed for poor Lady when she was killed.

Robert Baratheon turned from the warrior hero into a drunken lech who neglected his family and was more interested in dropping bastards around the kingdom. His death was no great surprise nor was the manner of it. It seemed rather fitting that the King got drunk and was gored by a wild boar during a hunt. Robert may have saved the kingdom from the Mad King but he was certainly not a good King, plunging the realm into massive debt, neglecting his duties as husband and father and not caring much about running things. His sudden death led to Ned's murder and a new war for the Iron Throne.

This was the character death that I wasn't expecting. I imagined that Drogo was going to lead the dothraki into Westeros with Dany. I did not think he was going to die in season one! When he got injured slightly in the fight with Mago, I was shouting at the TV when Dany allowed the witch to treat him. Why Dany??? I knew at that point that no good would come of it and Drogo becomes seriously ill with her meddling. Dany was so naive in agreeing a blood price to save him without asking more questions about who would die in his place or what condition Drogo would be in. It was incredibly sad to watch the scene where Dany puts him out of his misery. I've chatted about this death in a previous post and as Barb pointed out, Drogo really needed to die so that Dany could become a leader in her own right and I agree with that.

If Drogo's death was unexpected, then the death of Viserys was the most satisfying! He was a violent bully to Dany and I enjoyed the way she gradually found the confidence to stand up to him. The whole death scene was brilliant, seeing him get the crown he so much deserved! I thought the actor did a great job of playing him as the petulant child and violent bully, and I was cheering Drogo on when he poured the molten metal over his head!

Syrio Forel was Arya's dancing master who was teaching her how to fight and, more so in the book, giving her life lessons which help her during her escape from King's Landing. He stops her from going with the Lannister guards, saving her from Sansa's fate and is last seen fighting the guards to buy her time to flee. Part of me still thinks he might be alive in a King's Landing dungeon as we don't see his death but maybe that is wishful thinking. There is a fan conspiracy theory about this figure behind The Waif...looks like him huh? Are Syrio Forel and Jaquen H'ghar the same person? Check this out!


So what did you think of the deaths in season one/book one? Which did you expect and which shocked you? What death affected you the most and which did you enjoy?


  1. The saddest deaths for me were definitely Lady and Drogo. I agree with all your thoughts on Lady's death (no big surprise I'm sure). I never forgave Ned for that either. I also really hated Sansa back then so I was angry with her too. I really wish Drogo would have been around longer. I loved the effect Dany had on him and I think they would have grown into an awesome power couple. However, I guess Martin had different plans.

    1. Sansa needed a good slap in that first series. I felt that poor Lady was punishment for her behaviour! Ned was a bit spineless over that whole thing and I just wanted him to insist on justice, maybe sending Arya and both wolves back to Winterfell. Just do something Ned!!! Drogo and Dany were so great as a couple...I was so choked up when Dany had to kill him.

  2. The death of Lady was awful, both in the books and on the show. And Syrio Forel was one who I was hoping would somehow have survived and would come back- but over the years I've kinda given up on it. And it's funny just how much trouble Littlefinger has caused with that one letter. And sad that Lysa could be manipulated into harming her sister like thats...

    Robert is a fascinating character to me, and while many think he was a bad king (and it's hard to argue he wasn't, I know) I do think he wasn't as bad as some say. He put people in posts that were good fits (Stannis as naval commander, defeating the ironborn), Jon Arryn as Hand (integrity), even Littlefinger as master of coin (the guy DOES have a talent for finding gold) but yeah he was a lech and a drunk. I'm not defending his worst impulses but he did keep stability for a number of years, until all this broke loose. :)

    Drogo I was never really a fan of. I used to think Jaqen and Syrio might be the same, but I don't think so anymore. Bummered... Jaqen I think is the guy in Oldtown who is out to steal something from the maesters, although I don't think the HBO has touched on that...

    1. I'm so looking forward to Littlefinger getting what comes to him...hopefully in this series! Death by Jon Snow! Or maybe set Ghost on him...Seeing what happened to Lysa was oddly satisfying after all the trouble she caused!

      Yeah I'm always tough on Robert because of what he did to Lady and Ned but I agree that his choices for the Small Council were good, picking men to run the Kingdom for him. I don't think he was really a bad man but I like to pick on him!

      I wonder why Jaquen was at King's Landing to get given to the Night's Watch. Could he have changed identity in the cells from Syrio to Jaquen and then talked to Arya to get her to free him...I WANT that to be true!!!