Because everyone is waiting on pins and needles for my opinion.
Really, I think HBO just does not understand the Robb and Cat storyline. They’re playing Robb As Hero completely straight. I think part of that is a by-product of aging up the character. It’s kind of hard to sell Richard Madden as a Boy King. So in the books when Robb pulls the Grey Wind stunt with Cleos Frey, it’s immature posturing. But in the show when he does it with Jaime, I think we’re supposed to read it as him being bad ass which completely misses the point of his character (the point being a deconstruction of the idea of a boy king).
But the way Cat was handled was even worse. There were four big mistakes with the way Cat was written in tonight’s episode.
1. In the books, it is CATELYN who suggests to Robb that they go to Renly and get the Baratheon brothers to work together to take down the Lannisters. I love that it is Catelyn who has the political mind to see this solution. The fact that in the show they gave that idea to Robb does away with the idea we see in the books that while Robb is a capable general on the battlefield, he needs help ruling. It also de-emphasizes Catelyn’s perceptiveness and cleverness.
2. I didn’t really like the fact that the only reason Cat gave for not sending Theon to Balon to treat was because Balon was untrustworthy. I mean, that is true, but in the books she relents and says that if Robb has to treat with Balon send someone else other than Theon. I think that in order for later events to be most impactful, it’s important that she tell Robb specifically NOT to send Theon. Her opposition to sending Theon also shows her wisdom. Theon is a HOSTAGE. He is their leverage over Balon. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR LEVERAGE, ROBB? Robb was letting his emotions and his affection for Theon make his decisions for him.
3. I was annoyed that Cat didn’t get her line about girls not being worth it. Catelyn knows how the world works and she knows that in Robb’s eyes his sisters aren’t worth giving up his prize hostage of Jaime Lannister. I mean, I believe Robb loves his sisters, but he also doesn’t want to risk angering his bannermen and they would be mad if he traded Jaime for Arya and Sansa. But with the line about girls not being worth it, it becomes explicit that Cat understands how the politics of it all is very gendered and how girls aren’t worth much in this game of thrones.
4. And finally and most aggravatingly, I raged at her line about it being time for her to go home. WAS THIS EPISODE WRITTEN BY DUDEBROS FROM WESTEROS.ORG? I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. I mean in the book she does want to see Bran and Rickon, but she knows that her duty right now is with Robb. So her wish to see Bran and Rickon in the books is more of a “I wish we were all safe in Winterfell” or a “I wish I could be in multiple places at once” type thing. In the book she makes a conscious choice to be with Robb because she knows that he needs her more at that moment in time. But Robb is a typical teenager about it being all “MOOOOOM. STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DOOOOO” and he tries to send her away to various places. And I feel like by changing things to have Catelyn want to leave Robb and be with Bran and Rickon, it’s like the showrunners are validating all the dudebros on westeros.org who complain about what a terrible mother she is for abandoning Bran and Rickon. I am actually really angry that Catelyn said “it’s time for me to go home”. It’s just like the show is pandering to all of the Cat Haters who criticize her for not being with Bran and Rickon and UGH. NOPE. STOP IT.
Now does this ruin the show for me? Nope. I enjoyed plenty of other aspects of tonight’s episode. But, it does bother me that the showrunners don’t understand my favorite character at all.
This, this and this says what I feel, except better. I like that GRRM didn’t go the typical route with focusing on Robb, but instead the focus was on wonderboi’s widowed mother. They are neutering Cat in the show.