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Lament for Lady

Spain
... well, sort of.

It has come to my attention that a number of television viewers (mostly those who had not read my books and did not know what was coming)were shocked and upset by what befell Sansa's direwolf Lady at the end of the second episode of HBO's GAME OF THRONES.

Good. I mean, that was kind of the point.

But some people were reportedly so shocked and upset that they wrote angry blogs about it, and even declared that they would not continue watching the show.

Not so good. Obviously, I'm sorry to hear that.

I don't know if any of those people are reading my Not A Blog. But in case they are, perhaps it will make you feel a little better to know that Zunni, the Northern Inuit who played Lady, is alive and well, and has been adopted by Sophie Turner, the lovely young actress who plays Sansa in the show. We didn't really kill her.

(Rhodri Hosking, the young actor who played the butcher's boy Mycah, was not actually killed either, though oddly, no one seems quite so upset about him).

Real wolves and wolf-hybrids are being killed every day in the real world, however. If you love wolves, and were upset at Lady's death, why not try to help some real wolves?

There's some great folks right in Candy Kitchen, New Mexico who do just that (yes, New Mexico has a Candy Kitchen. We also have a Pietown and a Truth Or Consequences. Three reasons I love this state).

They're called the Wild Spirit Wolf Sancturary, and they rescue wolves and wolf-hybrids. You can learn all about them from their website, here:

http://www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org/

Years ago, for Christmas, the fans of the Brotherhood Without Banners sponsored a wolf in Parris's name, and made her a "wolf mother."

So shed no tears for Lady... but if you have a spare buck or two, send it to Wild Spirit in her name, and you might help save a real wolf or three.

Comments

( 151 comments )
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oncloud999
May. 16th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
Oh dear. If they're upset about Lady, I wonder what will happen when they find out about... everything else.
moonshineray
May. 16th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
I was thinking the exact same thing.
(no subject) - scion8 - May. 16th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rogueapprentice - May. 16th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollydot - May. 17th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caersidi - May. 18th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC) - Expand
doubleplus
May. 16th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
In all honestly, if you're driven to swear off the show because of that scene, it probably just as well. No spoilers, but this world ain't My Little Pony.
errantly
May. 16th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
Seriously. We DID all see the way The Mountain's horse was treated last night, didn't we?
(no subject) - perpetual - May. 16th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
corvuskeeper
May. 16th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
An outstanding idea!
My wife and I recently sponsored a young husky who happened to be born with underdeveloped eyes and completely deaf.
I will give these folks a visit as well!
Thank you, sir.

Sadly, I will miss your Indianapolis visit. I am glad we caught you last time on your AFFC tour. We fly out that evening to France for a much-delayed honeymoon in the South and Paris. I already warned my wife I could be found sitting in a cafe pouring over Dance. "F$*k the Louvre" I believe was how I summed it up. ;) We will see how that pans out.
gislebertus
May. 16th, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
I've always wondered what it is that makes an audience not react to violence visited upon innocent people, but they come undone when it occurs to an animal. A sad commentary at times, i think.

While what happened to Lady was ugly, it was a singular act of capriciousness. Mycah's death is one that highlights the systemic injustice of the entire society, and I remember while reading the book having the conflicting feelings of "that's really awful" and "that's really honest."

Thanks for that.
flamingophoenix
May. 17th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
I don't think it's a sad commentary; it's just that some people are wired differently. Cruelty to an animal (or, for that matter, to a child) is far worse than cruelty to an adult, because adults at least have a modicum of choice about their environment and actions; children have far less choice in the matter, and animals almost none at all. So while one may accept that animals are lesser beings than humans, this lesser-ness in a way makes cruelty against them *worse,* because they are so fundamentally incapable of protecting themselves.
Worse? - humansfirst - May. 17th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Worse? - flamingophoenix - May. 17th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Worse? - fsxv13 - May. 18th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Worse? - flamingophoenix - May. 18th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt - May. 18th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flamingophoenix - May. 18th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
spicytoys
May. 16th, 2011 06:58 am (UTC)
I was so upset when she died! I read every night before bed, and I was planning on going to sleep after that chapter, but I didn't want to go to bed on such a sad note, so I stayed up to read another chapter. DARN YOU!!!!
verbicide
May. 16th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
I felt a bit guilty, because while I was sad for Mycah, I bawled for Lady and spent the next hour clutching my cat.

However, it didn't make me upset with you or the show so much as it made me seethe with hatred for Cersei Lannister.
Doran Langston
May. 16th, 2011 07:12 am (UTC)
I've already seen a fair number of people reacting similarly to tonight's episode, as well. That is, they're so upset over what happened to the horse that they're vowing not to continue watching the show. While I don't intend to belittle anyone else's opinions or anything like that... As you pointed out, it's curious no one seems to be getting upset to that extent, and quitting the show, over any of the actual people who've been getting killed. I find it pretty interesting!
mj_automatic
May. 16th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for making this post and bringing wildspirit sanctuary to the attention of your readers.

To many healthy, happy, long-lived wolves!

Cheers!
caersidi
May. 16th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
Well said, George.

I've been a supporter for many years of wolf causes in the UK and elsewhere, setting up wolf_clan in 2002 and would urge anyone who loves wolves to become aware of the conservation issues.

I too was upset at Lady's death when I read it in the book and also did cry at Mychah's death. Seems irrational to stop watching a show that is being gaithful to its source material.

Glad to hear the cainine actor has been adopted.
smartalick
May. 17th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
I love your neologism...
...and am absolutely confident that is what it is (and not merely a boring typo).
It's clear that there should be a word that would start out similar to "faithful" in such contexts, but that would carry something further, in denotation and/or connotation, as well.
But I'm having trouble determining just what the additional meaning(s) might be, that such a term would need to represent.
And I wonder whether the antonym should be "ungaithful," "ingaithful," "gaithless," or what.
Suggestions?
Re: I love your neologism... - caersidi - May. 18th, 2011 07:13 am (UTC) - Expand
biliki
May. 16th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
Well said. It bothers me very much when people act like this.
geminai5
May. 16th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
Well said, esp. the part about being upset over Lady but not Mycah. Have long been a supporter of saving the (real) wolves we have in THIS world, as well as the (real) people. Thanks for the link to a good cause.
Dhiraj Pal
May. 16th, 2011 07:59 am (UTC)
It's just like that film "What Just Happened", where Robert De Niro plays a film director, directing a film starring Sean Penn. At the end of the film, Sean Penn is killed along with his dog. The audience are outraged over the death for the dog, but don't even really seem to notice that Sean is killed.

I never quite believed the premise, that an audience would care more about a dog than a human. But I guess it really is a quirk in American culture.
bigus
May. 16th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
Some people are morons...:-)
rumata
May. 16th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Too many... :-(
thedisgrace
May. 16th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
I have a great love for animals.

But if these people made it to that point in the show and were unbothered by the things that happened, but refuse to continue watching it because a fictional animal was fictionally killed in a fictional setting, then that is terrifying to me. =(

If you are so sensitive that you can't bear to see an animal pretend-killed in a movie or show, but feel nothing for the pretend-people, then what does that say about you?

People never cease to amaze me. Getting upset at a television show for depicting a fictional situation is such a lazy way to express your love for animals. If you care that much get off your lazy butts and get upset about some real animals being harmed.

Yikes. Anyway, I applaud you for handling that with more tact than I probably would have in your position. But let's be honest here, it is a tiny vocal minority of people.
trutwijd
May. 16th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Well said...
i_hunter
May. 16th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
Those are not very smart people and I'm sure they are negligeble minority of the show viewers, and they are definetly unlikely to read this not_a_blog, only hardcore readers here, and those are already aware of the master's style.

Keep everyone alive, do not shock anyone and you would just get another sticky chocholate-fantasy.
lomnen
May. 16th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
Well said, George...

RIP Mycah, we loved you too... but you were just a boy...

Why don't we help some kids too?
kilroy0097
May. 16th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
Really? Really??
Did watchers of the show actually think they really killed the dog that portrayed Lady? Really? I'm confused. I can't believe people would be that out of touch with reality and how shows and movies are made. As for the story, isn't driving the emotions of the reader one of the points of good storytelling? I'm very glad you have given direction for methods in which to help out the real wolves. Such a majestic species. For what it's worth the show is amazing and even the deviation from the books is pretty well done. Loving every minute of it!
megabitch
May. 16th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Really? Really??
When I was a kid, tv programs routinely had a disclaimer at the end to the effect that "no animals were harmed during the making of this program" because they _would_ get letters and phone calls complaining about animal cruelty (the tv station, the producers, the _actors_ - I've heard of actors being abused by members of the public who blamed them for the death of a fictional animal in their show/film). I don't recall ever seeing a similar disclaimer about humans.

People are stupid.
Re: Really? Really?? - thedisgrace - May. 16th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Really? Really?? - newfern - May. 16th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Really? Really?? - astro_tiger - May. 17th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Really? Really?? - tanatie - May. 16th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
ponderable
May. 16th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC)
Laments
As far as I see the world (and the one you created) there are bad guys and they will do horrible things. Otherwise they wouldn't be so bad...

And I don't believe that any grown up today is under the impression that actual animals are killed in movie-making. But anyway it's good of you to point out the efforts in preserving the wolfs.

(I think they will come back since there are still other direwolfs around)
Andre Santiago Jr.
May. 16th, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
Ridiculous!
I'm shocked that people would be so upset over it regardless of reading the books or not. It's fictional! It's not like she was being hurt for real! Oh well...Also, I loved your little quip about Mycah, lol. It had me in stitches.
joshua_the_bear
May. 16th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
Assuming the worst?
We didn't really kill her.

(Rhodri Hosking, the young actor who played the butcher's boy Mycah, was not actually killed either, though oddly, no one seems quite so upset about him).


I am actually quite suprised that when people are murdered on the set, everyone knows it's a fake, but apperently, when animals are murdered on the set, somehow there are people who do assume that, for the sake of realism, animals were actually killed. Its a bit weird, that...
shark_girl
May. 16th, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
Having read the books, I knew what was coming, and didnt watch the remainder of the show after Ned said he'd do it. I can stand human deaths in movies and books far more easily than I can animal deaths. If the scene with Joffrey and the cat makes it to the series, I wont be able to watch that either :)
misteristj
May. 16th, 2011 10:26 am (UTC)
That's one of the things I like best about your work, George. That no one is safe. I gave up reading fantasy books 20 years ago because from the first few pages of every fantasy book I read I knew the hero would overcome the enemy. These books seemed to insult my view on the way life is. Life is not fair. The goodies are often really the baddies. There is no black and white, only shades of grey. In 2005, I was recommended to read your series and I'm glad I did. In A Song of Ice & Fire, not only am I not sure if the hero will win, I'm not even sure who the hero is. The death of Lady shocked me. But my respect grew for the truth that your books tell. I know you'll keep telling that truth, George. I hope more people come to respect it. :)
lefox
May. 16th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
This comment expresses everything I would have said.
alex_s9
May. 16th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
I haven't laughed so much in ages. Thank you.
listicath
May. 16th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
People are strange
They can get past the defenestration of a child in the first episode, but not a direwolf being killed in the second?

Maybe it's a good job that they've stopped watching though, given what else you do to some of your characters. :)
parrismcb
May. 17th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
Re: People are strange
+5 on the proper use of the word 'defenestration' in your comment.
Re: People are strange - listicath - May. 18th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
robertthetoth
May. 16th, 2011 11:02 am (UTC)
Funny you should mention...
The Knight of Flowers and Renly? Come on... That ruined the whole show for me. Ah well, that's entertainment, I suppose.
Jon Miltimore
May. 16th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Funny you should mention...
It was a bit much. Going down is one thing, but when they edited in the sucking sounds...
Re: Funny you should mention... - daemonnoire - May. 16th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - kilroy0097 - May. 17th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - daemonnoire - May. 17th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - syco_sally - May. 16th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - flamingophoenix - May. 17th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - flamingophoenix - May. 17th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - robertthetoth - May. 18th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - flamingophoenix - May. 18th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Funny you should mention... - Gregor Manby - May. 17th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - vanishdtwilight - May. 17th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - astro_tiger - May. 17th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Funny you should mention... - Yukio Mishima - May. 18th, 2011 08:53 am (UTC) - Expand
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