**SPOILERS AHEAD** **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED UP TO SEASON 4 (UNELSS YOU WANT TO)**
Yet ANOTHER Game of Thrones post everyone ! And, as always, there WILL be spoilers ahead but, to be honest, if you haven’t yet caught up to Season 4 I can only look at you in despair….the mind reels, it really does.
Anyway, whether you are a dedicated fan (the type who greets people with a friendly Valar Morghulis), or an eager newbie (the type who cannot BELIEVE they killed Ned Stark…like ohmygosh he’s the main character ?! WTF.), there is little doubting the sheer number of character deaths we see each season. The whole series is practically one big massacre. Proving his point with Ned Starks untimely beheading with his own sword, George R. R. Martin really does not care which of his characters he condemns to a grisly death. The tagline is supposedly ‘You Win or You Die’ but, honestly, the real message seems to be ‘You Win or George R. R. Martin kills you.’ We have seen wannabe Kings stabbed through the heart, actual Kings poisoned at their own wedding, colourful whores crucified on bedposts, and vengeful Prince’s literally crushed into bloody pieces. Yes, Martin is a monster……WHY ROBB STARK WHY ?! HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE CASTERLY ROCK AND AVENGE HIS FATHER’S SPIRIT !!!
Ahem…..so…..yes, back to the point of this post. HBO have teamed up with artist Robert M. Ball whose artistic project entitled ‘A Beautiful Death’ gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘graphic’. Ball has taken the demise of each character, transforming their gruesome, soul-crushing deaths into literal works of art, inspiring beauty and imagination into a world full of pain, suffering, and endless homicide.
So far, he has produced 38 pieces (Yes, that many characters have died already!), and you can find them all here http://beautifuldeath.com Today, I would simply like to share with you a handful of my favourite ones 🙂
The nation gasped when Joffrey demanded for Ser Ilyn to ‘Bring me his head’ – referring to the head of the ever-honourable Ned Stark. Throughout Season 1, we were led to believe that Ned Stark was the central character, the one that nothing could ever possibly happen to. Yes, despite a few scrapes and near-calls, Ned would always be safe. WRONG. Season 1, Episode 9 saw Ser Illyn, the King’s Justice, chop off dear old Ned’s head with his own Valyrian steel sword, Ice. I suppose the fact that he was played by Sean Bean was a dead give away….the guy has died onscreen in about 99.9% of his works. Anyway, I love that Ball has depicted Ned’s beheading as a symbol of peace – I like to think that the doves (I assume they’re doves and not filthy crows or pigeons) flying out of his severed neck represent not only his state of rest in heaven, but also symbolise that his love and honour are not gone, but flying about Westeros watching over his family 🙂 As IF GOT would ever be that kind in reality !!
Ah, Khal Drogo, Dany’s ‘Sun and Stars’. I’m probably going to anger a lot of Dany & Drogo shippers right now, but I never bought into their relationship. I mean, the guy was a total brute ! Before he met Dany, he seemed to have no problem raiding villages, killing innocents, and raping women. Even in his mighty, ‘I’M GOING TO TAKE OVER WESTEROS’ speech, he mentions how he will ‘rape their women and take their children as slaves’ whilst Dany lovingly looks on ! What a proud wife she must have been. I mean, I love Dany, but how can she strut about as a feminist, a fair leader, and a ‘breaker of chains’ when she was quite prepared to let her husband shackle up innocent children and potentially rape their mothers JUST to claim her mad, serial-killing father’s throne back ?! BITCH. Regardless, I still enjoy Drogo’s ‘beautiful death’ poster – I like the pretty horse in the starry night sky. This is all.
I LOVED Ros the whore ! I don’t know whether it was the actress’s beautiful face or her silky-smooth voice, but I thought she had enormous onscreen presence. She was a rather admirable character – she went from the peasant wench of Winterfell to Littlefinger’s PA in King’s Landing all within the space of about a year. What a woman ! Unfortunately, Ros’s attempt to play the game of thrones ended in disaster as she lost to a more cunning participant – Littlefinger himself. Yes, that sneaky Master of Coin with the suspicious goatee gave his red-headed jewel to King Joffrey who was clearly very eager to try out his new crossbow. True to her nature, Ros did eventually end up in Joffrey’s bed, only she was rather impaled on it by 3 or 4 crossbow bolts. Ros, we salute you.
It’s been over a year and I still can’t think of the Red Wedding without feeling an enormous twang of pain – Roose Bolton may aswell of stuck the knife in my own heart after he was done with Robb. Those pesky Lannisters ! As Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ picture shows, the violin chords of ‘The Rains of Castamere’, a song about how the Lannisters crushed the once wealthy and powerful House Castamere, led to Walder Frey’s halls running red with the blood of 2 remaining Starks, a recently married Stark, and a potential baby Stark. Not to mention the loyal dire wolf, Grey Wind. Why the wolf, Martin, why the damn wolf ? That’s all I want to know.
Petyr Baelish, nickamed Littefinger, is probably one of my most favourite characters to watch. He’s such a sinister looking man ! I would even prefer to take on Tywin Lannister than try and outsmart Littlefinger. Out of everyone on the show, from psychos like Ramsay Snow (Bolton now) to cold-blooded killers like The Hound, Littlefinger is quite possibly the most ambitious, most intelligent, most cunning and calculating man in Westeros. The only person who could challenge him, I believe, is Roose Bolton. Anyway, Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ representation of Lysa Arryn’s fateful fall from her own Moon Door perfectly captures Littlefinger’s position in the show as the ultimate puppet master who is pulling all the strings, making the entire country dance for his amusement all the while believing they are the masters. I also like the way Lysa is represented here; for the crazy, troubled, psychotic woman that she was, Ball has turned her into what looks like a wounded bird – a creature to be pitied. Of course, as Littlefinger’s sigil is the Mockingbird, Lysa here becomes the fallen mockingbird, murdered by her own husband. I really cannot wait to see what Littlefinger will do next !
Prince Oberyn. What can I say ? What a brilliant character, beautifully portrayed by Pedro Pascal ! Having read the books, House Martell is one of my favourite Houses, so it was great to finally see a member of House Martell being introduced to us in Season 4. Then…..HE GETS KILLED ! Okay, so I knew it was coming….but I hoped beyond all hope that the shows writers would change this tiny detail ! But they didn’t. Nope. Oberyn had his teeth punched from his mouth, his eyes gouged out, and his skull crushed into one big bloody mess. Nicknamed the ‘Red Viper’, Balls ‘beautiful death’ pictures captures Oberyn’s descent into death – a once great warrior, the Viper ends up rotting underground like so many others who have attempted to take on the Lannisters. What makes it even worse is that Oberyn ironically sealed his own death, as Ball represents with Oberyn’s spear impaled on the Viper – The Mountain may have been the one to do the deed, but Oberyn’s arrogance and overwhelming need to hear The Mountain confess to murdering Elia Martell resulted in his untimely, very very gruesome, death. WHY COULDN’T HE JUST LET IT GO ?! THE MOUNTAIN WAS ALMOST DEAD !!! R.I.P Prince Oberyn Martell.
So hope you enjoyed 🙂 Check out Ball’s other ‘beautiful death’ pictures – they really are wonderful ! And keep watching Game of Thrones. It’s only gonna get better 😀