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Posted Tue, June 14, 2011 11:56am EST

Bonnie Says: How Dare ‘Game Of Thrones’ Kill OFF Ned Stark, The Heart & Soul Of The Series!

Yes, I know, I know, it’s a famous book. So how can you possibly stray from the story. BUT, the series now needs to work superhumanly hard to fill this void at its core.

Ned Stark, the patriarch of the noble Stark family at the very center of HBO’s hit, Game of Thrones, was shockingly beheaded in the last moments of Sunday’s episode 9.

Sorry to be writing today, but kids kept me away from the TV on Sunday night and I understand that other fans like myself are still reeling from this unexpected and tragic turn of events.

Tragic certainly for the Stark family, now headed by eldest son Robb who is leading an army south to rescue his father from the power-hungry Lannisters.

Tragic for daughters Sansa and Arya, who witness the unexpected beheading of their beloved father AND tragic for us viewers who have come to love and respect Ned, the beacon of righteousness in the show, who’s been played to perfection by Sean Bean.

My question and I’m sure it’s the same for most other viewers who’ve been following the series religiously is — who will now fill in the heart and soul role in the show. So far, there are no candidates.

Robb is definitely rising to the occasion as he leads his army with his mother, Catelyn. But he’s too young and undeveloped as a character for us to care. Bastard son Jon Snow, feels weightier, but I can’t see the Stark family accepting him as their center.

So who will lead the emotional charge? Will Catelyn Stark reveal more about herself? Will she find a new love or renew a mysterious love from her past that we can all bond with?

So far, aside from the Starks, there aren’t a lot of sympathetic characters in the series. We still care about Daenerys Targaryen especially since she’s fallen so deeply in love with her arranged marriage husband, Khal Drogo, who could be now lying on his death bed.

But the complicated dynamics of the brave Starks — everyone of them is a fascinating character — and the intrigue as Ned and Catelyn dueled with the scheming Lannisters, will be hugely missed!

HBO and the Game of Thrones have played a dangerous card here. But you can bet I’ll still be tuning in for the finale next Sunday.

What about you, HollywoodLifers?

— Bonnie Fuller

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