There's some real outrage going on toward HBO's Game of Thrones due to Sunday night's episode. "Baelor," after all, did see the death of Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), the early protagonist of the series. While fans who read the book (and some who didn't) loved the twist, many watchers are calling foul regarding Stark's death. If you're one of those fans, I'm here to reassure you: don't quit the show.
What you just saw last night is a turning point for the rest of the show. You can't hit a turning point without making it something drastic; with LOST, it was the flashforward at the end of season three. With Mad Men, it was the sudden disbanding of Sterling-Cooper-Draper and the formation of Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce at the end of season three. And while Game of Thrones' game-changer happens somewhat early, it will set into motion events that will resound for the rest of the series. Ned's death is the beginning of a war. Sure, Robb Stark was involved in a little fighting with Tywin Lannister before, but we're about to see a full-out war that will last for several seasons. And you bet, none of it would have happened if it wasn't for Ned's death.
And character development! Think of Arya, who was forced to witness her father's death as part of the crowd at the execution (though thankfully, Night's Watchman Yoren spared her the bloody view). This death is the turning point for her, too. It's the loss of her innocence, and too soon. Let me put it this way: Sansa might have thought Arya was wild, but even stabbing the stableboy isn't even close to the dark, violent road that Arya's going to take. She's absolutely got the best storyline in book two, and none of it would have happened without Ned Stark's death. Read More...