Last night's Game of Thrones finally brought the gruesome crescendo that fans of the books had been dreading: the Red Wedding. And as in George R.R. Martin's telling, Catelyn and Robb Stark—two of the show's most sympathetic characters—were ruthlessly slaughtered by Walder Frey after a hauntingly hospitable dinner.
But there's a major difference between the Red Wedding of the novels and last night's episode: the additional killing of Talisa, Rob Stark's wife, and her unborn child after a soldier repeatedly stabs her in the stomach. Judging from this morning's reviews, the baby's death was the pinnacle of the violence—"far too brutal," according to one writer, "took the massacre's cruelty to an even greater height," according to another.
Frankly, I don't understand why. The creature inside Talisa was a fetus, not a full-fledged human being. The Supreme Court, which has already omnisciently dictated when life begins, protects the right of that fetus to be killed at any time for the most fleeting of reasons. Thrones viewers wouldn't be horrified watching an animal or tree die, so why a fetus? To be sure, Talisa, who was also murdered, wasn't exercising her choice. But at the end of the day, this is just a local crime story, of little interest to those who live outside the fictional world of Westeros.
Now maybe Game of Thrones can get back to addressing the issues that really matter, like income inequality.
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