Update: Want to see my 7 Most Shocking and Emotional Moments from “Morning Star”? Check it out!
It’s another Red Rising Trilogy post! Can you tell that this series has impacted me lately?
What I want to explore today are the moments that made the second book, Golden Son, such an engrossing read. I cried (inside), I laughed (out loud), and I went “Oh, @#$%” many times.
Oh, by the way, it should go without saying that there be SPOILERS AHEAD.
SPOILY SPOILING SPOILERS
Oh, and warning for language too. I get pretty into it.
Are they gone?
The ones who haven’t read or finished the second book yet?
Okay. Moving on.
There’s quite a few shocking and emotional moments in Golden Son, and that’s a gross understatement in itself. Some people would say the best moments were Fitchner’s reveal as leader of the Sons of Ares, Roque’s betrayal, or the death of many major secondary characters as the most shocking moments, but I’m listing my top seven moments that really struck a chord with me or pumped me up, be they quiet or loud moments.
To make sure that these truly are the moments that stayed with me the most, I didn’t crack open the book just yet or read any summaries of the book while making this list, and instead listed all these moments from memory. I figured if I remember them, then clearly they were scenes worth mentioning.
These are in no order of importance; simply the order that I remembered them in. Cue epic music.
The Banquet Challenge
I thoroughly enjoyed Darrow’s little “fuck you” speech to Cassius and the rest of the Bellonas at the gala. The moment that sticks out most in my mind is when he’s trying to think of ways to get back at them and just thinks “fuck it” and makes one of the grandest challenges by jumping on the banquet table and challenging Cassius to a duel. For me it wasn’t so much the fight (although that was gnarly too – his frickin’ arm!), but the moment when Darrow pretty much pissed on the whole Bellona family in public was worth the applause he never got.
Storming the Ship
I realized that Darrow has a lot of “fuck it” moments in this book, like way more than the first. That suits me just fine. This type of character trait is what tugs at my heartstrings; I have a clear tender spot for characters who just couldn’t give a shit when the world has turned against them: “That’s right, baby, you go fuck ’em over! Who needs them!” You get the idea. And this is probably why I loved it when he space-jumped straight into the bridge of the soon-to-be Pax and took the place over with a few choice words to incite a mini rebellion. In addition, this is also when we meet Ragnar for the first time, and that was pretty badass too.
Tactus and His Violin
Dear God. There was probably nothing more heartbreaking than that scene where Tactus just couldn’t bring himself to kill Lorn’s grandchildren. He weeps in Darrow’s arms, and he hooked my big dumb heart and reeled it flopping into a boat of despair. His death at Lorn’s hand was astonishingly quick (which I had a problem with, since it was such an great moment that ended too soon), but Pierce Brown twisted the damn knife when we found out later that Tactus had not sold the Stradivarius violin that Darrow had gotten for him. Tactus had been practicing in secret and wanted to surprise Darrow, and I was as floored as our hero. Time to get a bucket and scoop out these man-tears.
Sevro’s Red Revelations
In the world of amazing bromances – such as Sherlock and Watson, Batman and Robin – there’s Darrow and Sevro . Bros for life, I called it. And their friendship came full circle in an unexpected moment when Sevro reveals that he knows Darrow is a Red; but he doesn’t give a shit and pats Darrow on the head, when our hero is beside himself with brotherly love and embraces Sevro. Along with this newfound revelation, Fitchner later reveals that Sevro is half-Red as well! I was not expecting that at all, although I was curious what Fitchner’s connection was to the Red’s cause. Turns out it was love, and it was fate that the two bros should meet, and I cannot believe how much I have grown to love these two. I can just picture them walking away from an explosion, like a too-cool buddy-cop pair going, “Whatcha gonna do, brotha?”
Begging for Mustang’s Understanding
This scene is also very powerful, where Darrow throws aside his identity and tells Mustang that he’s a Red, hoping that she’ll understand. Instead, she turns a weapon on him (gun? I can’t remember), and Darrow and Ragnar stand/kneel before her, begging her to “live for more.” I could just feel the vibrations of the internal conflict warring inside her, and I was rocked that Darrow placed so much faith in her. I did worry that she was going to pull a Benedict and try to kill him anyway, but was glad she didn’t.
Garden Moment with Roque
Roque’s infamous betrayal was also one that I think none of us saw coming. However, there were moments throughout the book where Roque was becoming distant from Darrow and the rest. There was this brilliant theory I read on Tumblr that Roque was lost because he didn’t understand what Darrow meant to the Golds. He couldn’t understand that Darrow had to make these dumb and tough decisions, and that he wasn’t meant to interfere. But in the end, the most poignant moment between these two (and there were many) was when they were walking in a garden, or something, prior to the ending scene, and Darrow realizes that their friendship is dangling by a thread. But before they can reconcile, he’s called away for the festivities and Roque delivers this quip: “Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair,” and ends with something like, “We’ll talk again soon.” Little did we know then that he was on a downward spiral, and he my have known already that he was going to betray Darrow. It’s practically biblical. My poor, little Judas-poet, too headstrong for this world.
Victra Dies for Darrow
This is a smaller moment, but still impacted me in how ludicrous it seemed. I will admit that I get hugely offended when a creator introduces a new character, who stays there in almost every scene and plays a pivotal role, and then is killed off within the same book (*coughAvengersAoUcough*). That’s the story of Victra and I was pissed off when she dies on the last few pages, clutching to Darrow’s leg and swearing that she didn’t know about the betrayal. I had grown to love her and her sassy, man-catching ways, even if she couldn’t manage to snag Darrow. But that last moment as she’s dying, when she’s almost begging him for forgiveness because she didn’t know…that almost killed me.
Well, there you have it. Seven major moments in Golden Son that blew my fucking mind or made me cry tears of a stage-5 fictional character clinger. Do you agree with my choices? Were there other scenes or characters in the book that made you feel things or who need some love? Let me know in the comments below.
Side Note: Did you see T. Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video? I can name a few characters where that fucking song would be their anthem.