This past Sunday, people who had not read the Game of Thrones books were shocked when Eddard Stark was offed.
And are going on to say that when making the series, HBO should have considered that the audience would root for a particular character, and therefore keep Ned alive. Despite what happens in the book—the first book in a series that has its fifth book coming out this July. Right.
To which we say: Idiots.
Because even if you haven’t read the books, wasn’t it practically telegraphed that Ned was in some serious trouble? (My spouse, who has not read the books, asked around episode three if Ned was gonna make it).
Consistently throughout the first series, Ned has made some seriously bad decisions. Twitter even developed a #stupidnedstark meme pointing out his general stupidity; trusting Littlefinger, giving Cersei ample warning of his intention to expose her, and believing Robert is more than a drunken lech, and those are just the top three (for a continuing list of Ned’s Poor Decision list, visit Blame It On The Voices).
And can you imagine how outraged people who’d read the books would have been if Ned had survived? It’s bad enough that some shows (we’re looking at you, True Blood) totally deviate from their written words, but for something as iconic, thoughtful, painstakingly developed, and intricate as Game of Thrones to do so?
Then heads really would roll.