Westeros is a fantasy continent: Lords and ladies, warriors and wastrels, bastards and banter. But don’t let the finery fool you: Westeros is a graveyard. In the very first scene of the pilot of the HBO fantasy drama, a Night’s Watch northward patrol meets the living dead — and dies. A lone survivor flees south — and gets killed by Ned Stark, our apparent hero. On the way home from the execution, Ned and his children find a dead stag and a dead direwolf. The direwolf’s pups cuddle against their mother’s corpse, victims of a battle fought by things that are no linger living, remnants of a fight nobody won.
Remember the first sighting of King’s Landing in the pilot? It’s a funeral. There lies Jon Arryn, eyes wide shut. Remember Jon Arryn? His death is the inciting incident for everything that has happened. (It took four seasons to find out who killed him. His wife confessed — and then died.) Or maybe J...
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