My Mother (65) has been hooked on the show since watching the first two episodes with me (she has also followed X Files,original Trek and the new film,Fringe,Lost and DrWho since forever) and she is also a fan of this particular actor.
She rang me as soon as the show ended and was quite,quite upset.
She kept asking me to stop messing and tell her that the character wasn`t dead.
I think this all proves how masterfully done the story (books and show) is,this event creates the world from now on and the fact that it provokes such reactions tells us a lot about ourselves and society.
A calm,brave,noble fatherfigure seems to be something we crave and when lost.....well, as the next season will show everything goes completely to shit.
Calm,brave,noble people rarely become leaders and when they do it never lasts.
But still we hope.