I agree the clues were there that something wasn't right but I just could never have expected what was to come. Largely because, from a storytelling perspective, it was kind of an insane choice. Don't get me wrong, I love that Martin did it, but I feel he nearly killed the whole series by doing it. All the momentum was lost. It was utterly devastating and probably as close to simulating the actual experience of sudden tragedy as any work of fiction could get. The kind of experience where you're just left sort of numbed, wondering what the fuck you're supposed to do now. Martin crafted his tale so that I thought I knew the vague shape of the story I was being told. The Red Wedding suddenly made it clear I had no idea where this was going at all, and I even had to wonder if it was going anywhere. It was just such a bold choice for an author to make. Then, in hindsight, I came to realize he probably had that planned from the start and that whole war never was the story at all. A brilliant choice but still such a risky one for an author to make.
Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks