The Red Wedding
By David Snyder
I’ve only just seen the “Red Wedding” episode of the world’s most infamous television show, “Game of Thrones.” I’ve never been in a darker, more sultry place than the one I inhabited during those 50 odd minutes. When one watches such a show, one must learn to cope quickly with the cruel and graphic deaths of their beloved characters. I thought the death of Ned Stark would’ve prepared me for life’s splitter, knuckleball, and heater, but I was too damn naive. Nothing, not past experiences and tribulations, can truly prepare one for the events of the Red Wedding.
It appears we’re having our own little Red Wedding at the moment in this country of ours. It seems like we’re all being stabbed in the back, heart, and privates by those whom we trusted and didn’t. Our most beloved figures and institutions are being dragged through the mud, their supposedly limp bodies trailing blood behind them. Our iconic characters are before us with arrows through their chests and grief in their eyes. Only, today, we lack the dragons and magic to quickly thrust ourselves back in the driver’s seat. Instead, it’ll have to be our collective trial and error.
The 20th century in the U.S. really was the preparation for today. The Great Wars of the ’10s and ’40s were our time of the Mad King and his warring. The cold-blooded murder of Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X should’ve prepared us for anything else come what may. However, like I found myself watching the end of the third season, each ensuing injustice and heartbreak weren’t dulled by the memories of previous instances. I spent the rest of the evening with my head buried in the couch cushions as the episode rolled on, it ceasing to stop to suit my mood and whims.
Too many have their faces smushed into the cushions this time around, and it’s no small wonder they do. It’s only natural to protect one’s self under fire, imagined or otherwise. However, the words of the great philosopher Tyrion Lannister provide some insight on the matter. “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.” Let’s not toss the crown on the dog’s head, no matter how many times he promises us that he’ll save us from ever again facing those past despairs. Instead, let’s toss out the crowns altogether, and opt for a jaunty bowler hat, sat at a liberal angle.