For the last five years readers of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire book series, like me, have operated with a selective silence around Game of Thrones viewers. Season after season we have so badly wanted to reveal what was coming–especially when it seemed that Joffrey had all but won–but at the same time we knew better than to rob TV viewers of the deep emotional thrills regarding Ned’s fate, the Red Wedding, or any of the other plot twists awaiting TV viewers.
Now, with Game of Thrones having caught up with the Ice and Fire books, readers and viewers are united in their knowledge of the series. Unfortunately, the nature of this common ground is bleak and TV viewers are left wondering, just as book readers were after the 2011 publication of A Dance With Dragons, if there’s anything more to this series than repetitive brutality.
Spoilers ahead for all published books and Game of Thrones Season 5.