Spoilers and judgment about obscene breastfeeding below.
Oh Lysa. We didn't know you very well, really. You were only in our lives sporadically. How to make sense of your shocking death?
We know that as a child you were blessed with all the earthly pleasures one could need: a good family, money, beautiful riverlands in which you could frolic. We know too that your childhood was marred by that Marcia Brady of a sister. It's not right to speak ill of the dead, but Catelyn was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength, as Bette might say.
We wish we'd known you better, that the show's writers would've made a little more clear that your life was a string of moments where you felt unloved and unwanted. We wish they'd explained a little bit better where your problems came from: that you and Petyr conceived a child as teenagers and that your father forced you to abort the child, that your hand was promised to both Lannister brothers at different points, and that your husband Jon was not only a good deal older than you, but also entirely uninterested in you as a human. We wish it had explored the insane isolation you subjected yourself and your son to up in that bonkers Castle on a Cloud. We wish we'd seen the whole long road you took to crazytown. The journey rather than the destination, if you will.
But it didn't, and instead, the first time we met you, you pulled out your boob and started breastfeeding your six-year-old son. This might have been one of those anecdotes that would have eventually been funny and we could have laughed about it over a glass of wine. Now, sadly, we'll never know.
It was only in these last few weeks that we all collectively moved beyond the breastfeeding incident and got to know the real Lysa Tully/Arryn. The Lysa who imports sweet treats for her orphaned niece and welcomes that niece into her home. The Lysa who generously arranges a marriage for her niece to her own beloved son. The Lysa who is a more than generous lover, cough cough. The Lysa whose face is capable of turning the entire Pantone range of reds and purples, whose mouth distorts into a Joker grin, whose ability to grip hair was matched only by her ability to grip wrists. The Lysa whose jealous wrath was truly a beautiful thing to behold. The Lysa who would do anything—and we're talking ANYTHING, like, even murder—for those sheloved.
You had just finished taking pleasure in describing the pulpy, dismembered pile of human debris that is the result of a Moon Door death when you plummeted the 600 feet to your own. It's an exquisite irony, really, that your son's favorite toy became his mother's grave.
They say when God closes a door, he opens a window. And in this case, when God lets someone be thrown out a door, he opens a window for a power vacuum in the Vale, and the potential for a Baelysh/Stark wedding and/or rape, and Littlefinger's takeover of the entire North, which means potentially a showdown between the recently departed's husband and that other nutjob Ramsay Snow, meaning one bastard will be fighting to keep the North while a member of a minor house who wormed his way up through national politics will be potentially the most powerful man in the continent. Or something like that.
Oh Lysa. You were kind of a raging psychopath, but we'll truly miss you. Your death is making us ponder the Big Questions in life: If all the slimy wackos are dying, who will be left for us to hate?
Hillary Kelly is the digital media editor at The New Republic.