Don't watch this video if you aren't current with HBO's Game of Thrones.
But, if you've already read the books, or you're a rabid fan (like me) and love how the (new world narrative) Game is played... watch and enjoy this slightly profane video of one fan's angry reaction.
Have you experienced a similar sense of betrayal when a beloved fictional character dies? Think about the assumptions behind the (predictable?) conventions of most TV storytelling - where "good" characters are rewarded and liars and cheats are brought down. Why is storytelling that suggests a disordered universe so daring? Are there storytelling rules that cannot be violated?
UPDATE: File this June 14th, 2011 news report about actor Sean Bean under "life imitates art."
ANOTHER UPDATE: HBO programming president, Susan Naegle, stands behind the unconventional storytelling and Ned Stark's demise: "Once you started to believe all the tropes of heroes, you pull the rug out from under them. It’s the opposite of feeling manipulated." Although there has been an outcry from some fans about Episode 9, ratings for Game of Thrones have been rising during its first season, with a second 10-episode season on order for next year.