BY ALEC ANSUSINHA
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about a past episode of Game of Thrones on HBO.
Tuesday evening, SAIS students gathered in the auditorium of the Nitze building to watch Season 3, Episode 9 of Game of Thrones. The night started off as well as one could expect. In the show, the Starks, an elite family from the North led by their matriarch, looked to prevent an erratic, sadistic man-child from seizing control of the countryside and the seven kingdoms of Westeros.
The Starks hoped to rectify a previous tactical mistake of betraying their word to the lords of the strategically important Riverlands. The Riverlands, centrally located within the country, have historically been the bellwether for deciding who has retained power in elections; I mean wars. But what seemed to be an historic union and victory for the northerners, ended up sending many SAIS students home in tears.
Referring to the massacre of the Starks at a family wedding, one student had this to say, “I don’t think I understood what I was watching as it happened. The red just started popping up on the screen, and didn’t really stop.”
“I was really just surprised that so many of the people from the Mid-Westeros turned their backs on the North. Sure, there were deep-seeded signs of discontent all along, but we truly believed they would agree the Lady and her family to be better for the kingdom overall.”
Catelyn Stark and her overtures to the central regions turned out to be insufficient to overcome widespread mistrust and her reputation as a liar. Another student said, despite the flagging reputation of the Starks, “I was with her all the way. Catelyn was my favorite character, and I really think if the people in the Riverlands had seen what we all saw, they would have agreed she could have brought goodness to the country.”
When polled about the moment they knew the Starks had been defeated, the most common answers were: “the moment Robb’s wife and unborn baby were stabbed to death,” “[I] hoped they had a chance … when Catelyn slit Frey’s wife’s throat,” and “as soon as we lost North Carolina, that was it.”
Many of the distraught students did not show up to class on Wednesday.