Not since the Red Wedding has the fan reaction to a Game of Thrones death unleashed such a torrent of emotion, humor, commentary, and news articles. (Some great reactions from the Tweetosphere.) That split second when Oberyn smiled at his paramour Ellaria – instead of focusing on his own safety and killing the Mountain – changed everything. Why are we sad that Oberyn is gone, or, for that matter, shocked that he expired fighting a goliath of a man like the Mountain? After all, after barely a season, we hardly knew Oberyn.
If this is as close as Game of Thrones – which so aggressively deconstructs the medieval fairy tale – is going to get to the handsome prince, we want it. On the surface Oberyn is anti-chivalry: the un-Disney prince. Oberyn is bisexual (openly on the show), fathers children out of wedlock, has a “bastard” as his lover, spends his free time at brothels, and enjoys his orgies.
Yet Oberyn is authentic and romantic. He is fearless, honest, unpredictable, only ever does what he wants as David Benioff notes in this Inside Series. Most important: love guides Oberyn. He is one of the few characters to not only find romantic love but risk his life to avenge those he loved.
Here are a few of the more interesting stories from this week’s torrent of GoT news:
The Princess Bride Inspired Oberyn
According to this TV guide interview with Pascal Pedro, the 1987 movie The Princess Bride — and the character Inigo Montoya — inspired George RR Martin to create Oberyn’s thirst for vengeance. In the relatively gentle The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya is a Spanish fencer driven to avenge is his father’s death. This clever meme, tweeted by Ariana Ozil Beckham , sums it up nicely:
Staging Oberyn and the Mountain’s Fight Scene
Pedro Pascal dazzled us with his swirling spear and acrobatic flips during. The martial arts style is known as Wushu. You can learn more about it in this video with the Game of Thrones set designers and crew:
Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but it is physically impossible for a human to crush another human’s skull with their bare hands. At least, that’s according to according to a biomedical engineer and bicycle-helmet expert in this Washington Post article. Not that we care…
GRRM Comments on Sansa: Not Our Little Princess Anymore
In this week’s Inside Episode, GRRM commented on the changes in Sansa, which come just after I finally started to develop more sympathy for Sansa. I’ve taken a fair bit of heat for my Does Sansa Suck? article. But, Sophie Turner’s superbly evocative and resonant enactment of Sansa’s catch phrase –“I’m a stupid little girl with stupid dreams who never learns…” — really got to me. That feeling is something all of us can relate to at some point — well at least I can.
Steve Attewell, of Race for the Iron Throne, has described Sansa as embodying George RR Martin’s deconstruction of the Disney Princess. That’s a great point, and I’ve come to believe that Sansa represents a semi-realistic historic arc of how many noble women during the Wars of the Roses might have become arch manipulators and power players – in their struggle to survive.
In this week’s video, GRRM comments about how Sansa is moving away from being “not a piece” or a pawn “but a player”:
“She can’t fight with swords, axes. She can’t raise armies. But, she has her wits – same as Littlefinger has.” – GRRM
Jorah’s Departure: More Time Alone with Dany
Iain Glenn gives an interview here about Daenerys banishing him from Meereen. Glenn notes that he believes Jorah thought that if he could speak to Daenerys alone he could have reminded her of all of his loyal actions and good counsel, and she might have forgiven his early betrayal.
Game of Thrones One of Top Shows on TV – not just premium cable
Game of Thrones has moved from being one of the top shows on premium cable (HBO) to one of the most watched shows on US television when you combine its first-run, HBO Go, and second view numbers. According to Hollywood Reporter, it now has a viewership of 18 millions gross viewers, which rivals (free) network TV and shows like The Walking Dead. Game of Thrones’ ratings have even whacked the Sopranos as this Entertainment Weekly article so aptly put it.
This is old news, but if you’re having trouble finding Game of Thrones on torrent, it is because around early May, Time Warner began to crack down on Game of Thrones piracy. Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world.
This stance on piracy is a bit of an about-face. Previously, Time Warner, HBO’s parent company, didn’t care that much that people were pirating it because they felt it helped the show go viral. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes explains in this Business Insider article:
“Basically, we’ve been dealing with this issue for years with HBO, literally 20, 30 years, where people have always been running wires down on the back of apartment buildings and sharing with their neighbors,” he said. “Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising… If you go around the world, I think you’re right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that’s better than an Emmy.”
Eight Books for Eight Kingdoms?
The other day, George RR Martin’s editor, Anne Groell, hinted that it may take eight books to wrap up the A Song of Ice and Fire series – something many of us have betting on for a long time. Depending on how you look at it, this is good news or bad news. For fans who worry George RR Martin may die before finishing the series, this is not good news. For fans like me, who will be sad when the series is over, in some ways, this is great news. More A Song of Ice and Fire books! However, it also means that we will have to wait even longer to find out what ultimately happens.
According to Anne Groell, GRRM is secretive even with her about how much work he has completed and when The Winds of Winter will be finished.
Olga from Nerdalicious has more about the Anne Groell’s comments here.