Jun 16 2011 8:22am

Stupid Ned Stark, Stupider Game of Thrones Viewers

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.

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Robin Bradford
1. RobinBradford
Bummed that I missed that Ned Stark hashtag. LOL. But, yeah, the fact that Ned dies is part of what makes the book so compelling. Have people never been shocked by books/movies/tv shows before? Isn't that what makes them good? But, I guess when I think about it, most tv shows have twelve thousand commercials that tell you ONE OF THESE PEOPLE WILL DIE before they actually kill someone off. I'm glad that people were as shocked 15 years later (15 YEARS LATER!!!!) as I was when I read the book in 1996. I'm actually amazed it didn't leak. Good job, readers, for not spoiling.
Darlene Marshall
2. Darlene Marshall
I've been enjoying the HBO series because I've read the books. I want to see how well they maintain the suspense by not foreshadowing who's going to die. And let me just add for those who've just tuned in via the series, if I were you, I wouldn't get too attached to any of them.

The series has also whetted my appetite for A Dance With Dragons this summer.
Darlene Marshall
3. Amanda Bonilla
Agreed! Ned was a total idiot. I haven't read the books yet, but from the first episode, I told the hubs, Ned's ridiculous sense of honor is going to get him killed. I would have been dissapointed if series writers would have kept Ned alive. Keep with the original story! The writer wrote it that way for a REASON.
Megan Frampton
4. MFrampton
So @RobinBradford just let me know about this incredible clip:
Hitler finds out about Ned Stark.
Amazing. I am still snorting.
Darlene Marshall
5. mochabean
@Darlene --how right you are!

And of course I agree with Megan on the idiocy of people objecting to drama in their drama. Sure, I know we sometimes want Romeo and Juliet to get a HEA, but the story is more satisfying as written. Plus, kids can't exercise their agency until the parent dies. Hero/ine's journey 101. So go Arya!

Finally: They cast SEAN BEAN, people. The guy has "character marked for tragic death" tattooed on his forehead, particulaly for a fantasy audience.
Pamela Webb-Elliott
6. Spaz
HAHAHA, I love this. I didn't read the books, but wasn't surprised when I begged my friend to tell me who dies this season (hangs head in shame) and his name was given to me. My husband was devastated just cuz he'd come to relate to him, I WISH I'd known about that darn hashtag. And as one who's not read the books I am THRILLED TO DEATH they've stuck to the books!!!!!!!!!
Darlene Marshall
7. Jodie A. Wilson
I have the books but after Ned's untimely death, I'm afraid of who they will off next ... so I'm biting my nails, trying not to read on!
Darlene Marshall
8. Darlene Marshall
@MFrampton--Thank you so much! I thought that particular Internet meme was past its freshness date, but I laughed so much I scared the dachshund.

Love it.
April George
9. AAGeorge
I'm just glad I finished book 1 BEFORE that episode aired or I would have stopped reading. I say to those who were shocked and angry: fie on you! Why would you expect HBO to change such an important detail of the books?

BUT, I must agree with mochabean: "They cast SEAN BEAN, people. The guy has "character marked for tragic death" tattooed on his forehead, particulaly for a fantasy audience." I love that man, but jeez, he has a way of dying. I think the only movie I've seen him NOT die in was Troy.
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