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"Game Of Thrones" - "The Rains of Castamere": There Is Nothing Fair In This World, There Is Nothing Safe In This World

By TK | TV Reviews | June 3, 2013 | Comments ()


The-Rains-of-Castamere-3x09-game-of-thrones-34609466-2832-42561.jpg

Honor and vengeance and victory and tragedy. That's the simplest way to sum up "The Rains Of Castamere," the spectacular and horrific ninth episode of this season of "Game Of Thrones." So many threads, once loose and frayed, at last are brought together, and the characters do not escape unscathed. And while there are battles won and celebrations throughout, not all are victories worth celebrating. We've known -- we've always known -- that this world is a dark and treacherous one. Now, those depths are revealed in whole new fashion.

Yet there was also faith and victory. In Yunkai, Daenerys takes one of her biggest gambles, despite the instinctive mistrust of Jorah, her most trusted adviser, when she places the hope of her army in the hands of Daario Naharis. Daario's flippant disregard for Jorah's suspicion was sly and clever, but what was even more interesting was how quickly Grey Worm stepped into his role as leader, and how quickly he trusted Daario as well. All of this led to one of the more spectacular battles in the entire show, one that was swift, graceful, and almost too short. It was a beautifully choreographed scene, showcasing three distinctly different styles and their corresponding weapons, a sharp and fascinating contrast to the lumbering, bone rattling violence of the knights of Westeros. And in the end, Yunkai is taken, Daenerys continues her relentless campaign against the slaver cities, and the bond between Daenerys and Daario, one that was formed so quickly, becomes even more wickedly charged.

In Westeros, however, one of the many things that made this episode both remarkable and devastating was how close some of our splintered families came to reuniting with each other. Of all the harsh cruelties that this show has inflicted upon its characters (and forced its viewers to endure), bringing them so close to each other only to once more tear them asunder is one of the worst. For Bran and Rickon, the revelation that they were so close to Jon was totally unexpected. Their story has been the quietest of them all, and suddenly everything has changed. Bran is so much more than we realized, not just a boy with strange dreams, but rather someone -- maybe even something -- unlike anyone else in the world. It was when that truth was brought to light that Isaac Hempstead-Wright once again proved that he has taken great strides as a young actor. The entire sequence -- the possession of Hodor, his moment of self-doubt and horror, and then the final parting with Rickon -- demonstrated an impressive range and made the scene so affecting and, in many ways, heartbreaking. They come so close to their half-brother, and not only are they not united, but they are splintered even further. That said, additional kudos are due to Art Parkinson's portrayal of Rickon Stark (remember him?), who suddenly becomes a central character and nails the sad, frustrated younger brother in tearful fashion.

Part of what made those moments with Bran and Rickon so mesmerizing was the juxtaposition of Jon and the Wildlings. Just as Bran and Rickon were huddled with their allies, Jon was beginning the inevitable split from his. The absence of mercy as they plan to murder an innocent man is only another broken link in an already troubling chain of events, and it is here where we realize that no matter what -- no matter what freedoms are promised, no matter what friendship is offered, and no matter what love is given -- Jon Snow's loyalty never truly wavered. He may have had a moment of doubt, but at the same time, the lines between Jon and the Wildlings were ever becoming clearer. And in the end, it's the life of a simple horse trader that drives the final wedge into this unsteady and uncertain union. It was there, in the pouring rain amid the ruined towers, that a brutal battle ensued wherein everyone learned more about themselves. Jon has always been a Brother of the Night's Watch, but perhaps he held out hope for Ygritte. And even though she may have killed an innocent man to save his honor, it was that act that was ultimately their undoing.

But what truly drove us towards the merciless, devastating finale was fear. Fear and rage and vengeance. We thought we knew vengeance. "Show them how it feels to lose what they love," Catelyn said to Robb. Join with the Freys and show the Lannisters the true meaning of loss.

She had no idea how much deeper the depths of her family's loss could go.

It began with Arya and The Hound, which has the potential to be as entertaining a match up as Arya had with Tywin Lannister. Her furious confrontation with Sandor Clegane was as riveting as was her curious notion of mercy (knocking a man unconscious in order to save his life is so perfectly Arya). But what broke many hearts -- particularly those of readers -- was the look of hope and fear on her face as they approached The Twins. That was what led to that exchange, for no one knows fear quite like the Hound, and Arya knows exactly how to strip bare that wound. Amazingly, one can only think that despite all the suffering he's both caused and endured, the unblinking, dead stare and unwavering threat of a young girl may well be what he should be most afraid of.

At last, we find ourselves at The Twins, home of the despicable and slighted Freys. There is almost no way to describe this scene other than to say that it was brilliant and devastating and tragic. It was one of the most perfectly executed scenes I've seen, and that's in large part due to the buildup. To be sure, we've been building up to this point for weeks now, and even had a minor red herring in the form of poor Lady -- no, Queen Talisa. And in that dank, grim, cave of a castle, you knew something was going wrong, just as everything seemed to be going right. The bitter and unpleasant Walder Frey (so spectacularly portrayed by David Bradley) as he subtly castigated Robb and company, his nastily flippant listing of his own kin, and his disgusting treatment of Talisa -- all of this was yet another misdirect. Perhaps, we thought, he just had to get his final barbs in before the two houses join. Yet at the unveiling of his surprisingly lovely daughter Rosalyn and his hateful and knowing nod at Robb -- that was when a true sense of dread set in, even for one who knew what was to come. In the thick of it, the disturbing and haughtily smarmy creepiness of Roose Bolton as he simply waits and watches like a snake. And when after all the joyous festivities are done, and Robb and Talisa have their tender moment about the child as a hopeful Catelyn looks on...

... the Red Wedding begins in earnest. And it was everything that the books promised. A betrayal would have been one thing. A betrayal would have been stunning, but not unprecedented. Yet this, this savagery, this butchery, was on an immeasurable scale. An entire army slaughtered in moments, a pregnant queen stabbed to death, a king brought to his knees and then so nonchalantly murdered by a man once thought an ally. All of this, because of a single slight over a spurned daughter. It was cruel and brutal and awful and most of all, it was amazing. It was one of the most stomach-churning, heart-rending scenes you may well ever see on television, and all the more so because everything that built up to it was crafted as meticulously and as lushly and vividly as the moment itself. And that final minute -- as a desolate, broken, desperate Catelyn still tried to save her family only to see her son, her child, her king killed in front of her -- that final moment was equally perfect. Praises are due to Michelle Fairley for the thankless task of portraying Catelyn Stark, who was often a source of frustration for so many viewers. In the end, as she howled in fury and despair, as she butchered an innocent young woman because she simply had nothing left inside of her, as her own throat was slit and as that arterial spray was the last thing we saw or heard, she showed us how truly great that character was.

Like the death of Ned Stark, I knew. I knew it was coming, and I knew it was coming tonight. And like the death of Ned Stark, I still wasn't ready. "The Rains Of Castamere" likely shocked many a viewer. Everyone knew something was coming. Everyone was probably even expecting a major character to die. But no one could have expected such wholesale slaughter. Such is the world of "Game of Thrones," my friends, You thought you knew. But now, as the Starks are broken and butchered and scattered to the winds, you realize -- more than ever before -- that you were wrong.



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  • DTargaryan

    How do the GOT book readers know what the song "Rains of Castamere" sounds like enough to feel a sense of foreboding when the wedding band plays it? Wasn't it really the first time you heard it with your ears? (not your imagination-- you were reading!)

  • Christopher A

    I'm pretty sure it has been played before. This is a universe with exactly two songs in it, so they get a lot of mileage :)

  • The red wedding was pulled off perfectly. It's a bit different from the books, but the tv version is just as devastating. The RW is so unexpected that it feels like a betrayal in itself to viewer expectations for the Stark family. It's a great twist that makes perfect sense, especially as the story progresses. Arya comes so close to reuniting with Robb and Catelyn.

    I wrote an article talking about this episode and the theme of betrayal that runs through it. If you are interested it is linked below.

    http://www.all-that-is-gold-do...

  • BlackRabbit

    Dacy Mormont was never cast, was she? For some reason her death in the book at the RW really stuck with me.

  • aggy_0

    My only real regret is that they didn't follow through with the minor detail of the music being so bad at the wedding. I would love to have heard people watching the episode saying, "What's with the lousy music?" only to realize a few minutes later with dawning dread that ... those aren't musicians. Recreating that same dread we see when Catelyn hears the Lannister song begin. But they went a slightly different route, and I wish they hadn't. The scene isn't perfect. It's good enough.

  • I think they were just praying people would recognize it was "The Rains of Castamere."

  • TK

    PEOPLE: For those who are wondering, I deleted an entire thread full of spoilers. I realize this ep is a big deal, but let's not forget the rules, OK? No book spoilers, period. -TK

  • Laura

    I knew this was coming and I was still aghast. Now I can concentrate on non book reader hubby's reaction when we watch it again as he has still not see the episode. Will do my best to capture it on film.

    I think the stone silence at the end of the episode was perfect. Seeing all of this played out on the screen really turns the screws, particularly Arya's face as she realizes what's happening. That shadow of a hope/smile and then tragedy. She is so perfect.

    So happy that Jon is finally free of the Wildlings. I always really liked his character EXCEPT when he is with Ygritte. She just sucks the man right out of him (yeah, yeah, no pun intended).

    Am interested to see how Dany and Jorah's relationship changes now that Daario is around... I know what's in the books, but am excited to see how they show it on the screen.

    FABULOUS episode!!!!

    And now..... ON TO DINKLAGE!

  • L.O.V.E.

    Had to go back and watch it again tonight. Lord Frey looked like fucking Emperor Palpatine during the Red Wedding.

  • I was shaking in my chair. It was so beautifully staged and done, and even the deviations from the book--like Talisa being there, which led to that sweet moment before the slaughter begins-- were masterfully done. I can't love this show enough.

    And that look Ygritte gave Jon as he ran? Damn, that's haunting. It's the most I've liked Rose Leslie since she's been on the show.

  • Tony

    I only streamed the 1st three eps of this season before my latest free movie / tv show site was shut down, so I'll end up catching the rest of the episodes just like the earlier ones, when I find a new site (no download, I only stream) and catch them months later.

    And hell yeah, I'm gonna read everyone of these recaps in the meantime - if so-called 'spoilers' are enough to keep anybody from actually watching in the near (or far) future, they couldn't have properly appreciated the show anyhow.

    I'd rather drool over TK's awesome writing in describing these episodes than deprive myself of any information whatsoever.

    Keep up the great work.

  • I watched it again this morning. That last scene is just so TENSE from start to finish. I'm torn - everyone keeps telling me there's more craziness to come in the book, so I want to finish it (I'm about a third of the way through ASOS), but I do so love being surprised and that scene last night blew my mind - I don't know if I want to ruin any future surprises for myself!

  • foolsage

    There are some hilarious tweets about this episode:

    http://io9.com/the-100-best-tw...

  • The one where the guy asks, "what's next joffrey wins the war god damn," is my favorite.

  • Maguita NYC

    Those are amazing, and should be added to separate post. Especially the one laughing about suicidal friends with no Health Insurance.

  • SpongebobSquarepeg

    These recaps are almost as good as the show itself.

  • Angie Ramos

    You know you've just watched GREAT television when you feel both physically and mentally tired after an episode

  • DominaNefret

    I can't be the only non-spoiled non-book reader who has been expecting this to happen all season, right? Anyone?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I haven't read the books. I've been expecting Talisa to die, and thought Robb would too. The death of Catelyn gets me the most - I really liked both the character and the actress. And the fact that Arya won't get to see her mother again is terrible.

    I wonder if Brienne or Arya will feel more of a compulsion to kill Walder.

  • Varys: I've always hated the bells. They ring for horror. A dead king, a city under siege...
    Tyrion: A wedding.
    Varys: Exactly.

    Season 1
    Season 2
    Season 3

    Beware the bells.

  • foolsage

    Hear the loud alarum bells--
    Brazen bells!
    What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
    In the startled ear of night
    How they scream out their affright!

    - E.A. Poe

  • Maguita NYC

    "Beware the bells" Should be GoT's new motto.

  • JJ

    From GoRRaM (his new nickname in my mind) himself about why he wrote the Red Wedding:

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/06...

    He knew what he doing with Robb and Catelyn. If you want to know why he writes what he does:
    "And you read that certain kind of fiction where the guy will always get
    the girl and the good guys win and it reaffirms to you that life is
    fair. We all want that at times. There’s a certain vicarious release to
    that. So I’m not dismissive of people who want that. But that’s not the
    kind of fiction I write, in most cases. It’s certainly not what Ice and
    Fire is. It tries to be more realistic about what life is. It has joy,
    but it also had pain and fear. I think the best fiction captures life in
    all its light and darkness."

  • Qualtinger

    Here´s a reactions compilation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

    My cousin is having a GOT-watching with friends, all non-readers, every wednesday. So far I have never attended but I´ll probably go this week :)

  • manting

    Two worlds collided - Venture brothers and game of thrones - Hilarious

    http://video.adultswim.com/the...

  • Man, I cannot wait to see Richard Madden in the dark and gritty reboot of Cinderella.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    The reactions from the unread are what's keeping me going through a shitty Monday morning. Delicious, delicious pain and outrage.

  • John W

    I envy the unsullied who watched this episode. Those folks who haven't read the books yet.

  • So, having read only half of the first book before life intervened, after this episode, I turned to my husband, who has read them all, and asked: Is there an actual plot to this series, or is it just a whole bunch of people having miserable, horrible experiences? Because I have read lots of epic fantasy, and there is usually something that the reader knows is the Most Important Thing, and all the sub-plots will, at some point, lead to the Thing and be resolved. Character death is fine, even brutal stuff like this, but I would like to know if there is an over-arching, multi-book, purposeful and identifiable story arc, or if this is just a literary version of a snuff film. Because I don't actually give a fuck who sits on that throne. They are all horrible people. Every last one of them. Except maybe Rickon, but give him time, and he, too, can become depressing and/or reprehensible.

  • competitivenonfiction

    Why do you think Bran's horrible? I'm curious more than anything. I think they're all flawed, but I'm not sure I'd agree that they're all horrible people.

  • Oh, I don't. But I also don't think he's destined for that throne - at least not any time in the near future. He appears to have a bigger destiny. Well, I hope he does, anyway. The folks not fighting over the ugly chair are far more interesting to me and have moments of real grace. I was probably a little flip about it in that last sentence. I'll blame the shock.

  • competitivenonfiction

    I agree with that. I'm more interested in how (um, if) everyone I like is going to survive all this than in who will take the throne. Though if it's not Dany, I'll be super pissed. I'm also pretty sure you need dragons to survive on that throne.

  • foolsage

    Winter is coming.

    Remember how the very first episode started, with the White Walkers.

    'Nuff said.

  • I sort of figured they would eventually play a role, but the fact that no one outside the Black Watch* is paying any sort of attention, much less preparing for a winter everyone knows is coming, makes me like the contenders for the throne even less. And the show has barely touched on the White Walkers, except for character-building moments, so the fact that there's this ginormous wall that was obviously built to keep those suckers out and is now horribly understaffed does not seem to be on anyone's mind except for the Watch. If that's the main plot, than three seasons in, there's not much evidence of it.

    *Okay, Tyrion does mention how it might be important to start planning, but no one listens.

  • foolsage

    Yeah, that's part of the problem. Nobody except the wildlings and the Night's Watch are aware that the white walkers even exist still, much less that they might very well threaten all life in Westeros. Most people consider the Night's Watch more or less a joke, and they are horribly understaffed for their job, as you noted.

    On one level, this is a political story about the various wars and plots to take the Iron Throne. On another level, it's the story of some of the great houses and what happens to them and their members. On yet another level, it's (apparently, though we have not yet seen or read the end of the series so this is speculative) about the return of the white walkers and the rebirth of the formerly-extinct race of dragons.

    The name of the series as a whole is "A Song of Ice and Fire". There are clues there to the Big Picture, I warrant. ;)

  • John G.

    Ay, because a girl like Reba’s got just what I need
    With big, broad shoulders and a red ass weave ([Kenan:] And a penis)

  • manting

    the important thing is the "war for the dawn." It is the war against the others (white walkers, snow zombies or whatever) and the battle will be for the fate of humanity in westeros. All this other stuff is window dressing

  • Well, perhaps there should be some emphasis put on the big picture? Because they've done nothing more than hint at it, and I can now find no reason whatsoever to invest in what happens to any character I might like, because their lives seem pointless and the killing random. If the plot is the people of Westeros vs. the undead folks, they've done a fine job of hiding that.

  • Maybe that this is a hard world is the point. My wife and I saw 'Now You See Me' yesterday and our biggest gripe was that the protagonists were so omnipotent/omniscient that their triumphs seemed hollow. Of course they were going to outsmart everyone; they were unbeatable.

    Westeros is hard and we lose people we've come to love but that sweetens the triumphs. Would Daenerys's emergence from Khal Drogo's funeral pyre have been as triumphant if she hadn't suffered through her brother's sleazy machinations?

    The Starks have been brutalized but every classic story heaps tragedy on the protagonists before they rise: Indy in the snake pit, Luke losing his hand. The Red Wedding may be the Stark's nadir. Whatever victories lay ahead will be more poignant because they friggin' earned it.

  • Tinkerville

    The killings are brutal and unexpected, but certainly not random. There was a lot that lead up to what happened last night and Robb's own mistakes sealed his fate, as awful as it was. All of the actions of the characters have far reaching consequences that don't necessarily hit them until further down the road, but there's nothing spontaneous about what goes on in this world.

    As far as not showing enough of the coming fight against the White Walkers, personally I'm glad they aren't hitting us over the head with that impending threat. The people vying for the Iron Throne are so wrapped up in their own quests for power that it makes complete sense that they wouldn't be able to sense the true threat coming from the North, and that all ties in to how meaningless power and titles really are in the long run despite how much they crave them.

  • Totally agree. By not highlighting the Walkers and the threat from north of the Wall, they're focusing on what the characters are - which is the machinations of their everyday lives and personal power struggles as it relates to the Iron Throne.

    And now I have to stop because anything else veers too far into spoilers for this thread.

  • foolsage

    It's often difficult to discuss these topics without veering into spoilers, granted. However, it's safe to say that, in the books, there also isn't much "screen time" or emphasis placed on the white walkers. The TV show reflects the books' priorities fairly well, in terms of what stories we witness.

  • stryker1121

    I've seen lots of complaints about the deaths being for shock value, exploitation, or that GRRM didn't know what he was doing w/ Robb and Cat and so killed them off. That's crazy-talk, as the seeds of Robb's demise were planted lon ago.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Winter is coming, Reba.

    Winter IS coming.

  • JJ

    Most of the realm isn't even aware of the White Walkers, but there is no real central plot aside from the constant machinations and struggle for power. The killings aren't random, just more unexpected given that most other shows and movies are based around a seemingly unkillable hero/protagonist or group.

    Certainly not everyone has to or may like it in a TV show, but in this world, attaining power is never a clean or virtuous venture. Personally I don't feel the need to like characters on a show for it to be compelling or entertaining.

  • foolsage

    I think the "real central plot" will be fairly obvious to all in hindsight. Avid readers already have (IMO) solid theories about how the rest of the story progresses, and why. Check the forums at Westeros.org for instance; for obvious reasons I won't share the theories here.

  • PaddyDog

    As a non-book reader I realize I am missing some of the nuance that the book-readers impart to Jon and Ygritte. Nonetheless I have to mention that I never understood their "bond". She was a verbally abusive nag and he was an insipid semi-prisoner waiting for his chance. Is there any actual affection between them in the books?

  • manting

    yes - in the books its important that he initially captures and then spares her. Widling men "steal" women to prove their strength and worth - Jon "steals" Ygritte. He falls in love with her and she was his first.

  • foolsage

    He also impresses the hell out of her by a) catching her (not once but twice) and b) killing the Halfhand (who was basically the scariest of the Crows, from the POV of the wildlings). Plus, he's pretty. Plus, he's kind. Plus, he knows how to perform oral sex, which Ygritte had never heard of. :D

  • PaddyDog

    Thank you. I felt there had to be something missing. The actors have done a terrible job of conveying any love between them (in my opinion.

  • Monica

    And they're even dating in real life. The love between them, on screen, just never worked for me. i never got what he saw in her because she seemed awful - and I LIKE Rose Leslie!

  • foolsage

    What did Jon see in Ygritte? Well, to start, she's a fierce warrior, not entirely unlike Jon's favorite sibling Arya. Ygritte is lovely and doubtless considerably more forward than any woman he's ever known; it can be flustering for an inexperienced guy to have a knowledgable women seduce him. She's smitten with him, which helps provide something for him to emotionally hold onto during the whole trial with the wildlings. She also helps cover for him and instructs him. It's pretty doubtful he'd have survived a single day among the wildlings without her. Then, too, she was his first sexual experience... and she, a very experienced woman, was pleased with him as a lover, so the experience was overall very positive for him.

    That's not to say that Jon loved her, necessarily, but sure, he did have strong feelings for her.

  • PaddyDog

    Agreed: I like Rose Leslie, but the on-screen relationship didn't gel. I had visions of him 30 years from now staring at the TV, saying "yes dear" in a monotonous voice while she harpies on about how the neighbors have nicer lawn furniture than they have.

  • Samantha Baker

    I haven't read the books (yet - only discovered GoT about 3 months ago and quickly caught up thanks to HBO GO), so I had NO idea this was going to happen. I could do nothing but stare, open mouthed, at the screen. When he stabbed the unborn fetus...I just couldn't believe it. It was incredible, heartbreaking. I'm still in shock. And considering watching again.

  • Shonda

    I have managed to avoid all spoilers, ALL since I started watching this show and all I can say is, "HOLY SHIT, GAME OF THRONES! WHAT THE FUCK?!" *deep breath* "Damn, that was harsh."

  • Labyrinthian

    This episode was really hard to watch. As a book reader, I already knew what was coming, but still... Even though the Red Wedding was the main point of the episode, the other scenes were also great. Dany's continued kicking ass and taking names is still awesome, even if I'm not totally convinced about Daario. I just get this "just-got-out-of-a-LOTR-set" from his looks - but the daggers were a nice nod. Though at least there's chemistry between the actors.

    Bran and Rickon's goodbye almost broke my heart. It was such a poignant scene; not only the brothers farewell, but also the devotion Osha shows. Although I do believe that Rickon talked more in that scene than in seasons 1 and 2 combined.

    I'll admit. I squealed like a fangirl at a Joffrey Bieber's concert at the Jon scene. It's just amazing when your favorite scenes on the books come to life on tv. I was just dying to see Jon's amazing escape to the Night's Watch while wounded and riding bareback. And they even threw the eagle attack in!

    But then the time came. Before the episode even started I was already feeling nervous. When the actual wedding started I was nearly whimpering. I do believe my mother was minutes away from hitting me so I'd shut up. By the time the doors closed I was squeezing my dog to death (though my baby bared it bravely!). Suffice to say that when it was all over all you could hear was my sniffling. I don't remember the last time I cried watching a series. See what you do to me, GOT?

    Truly awed by Michelle Fairley. From the beginning I liked her interpretation of Catelyn; I felt she was much more sympathetic than her book counterpart, whom I had never been a fan of. But she gave a show. Her expression when "The Rains Of Castamere" started playing, you could just see the realization dawning. And her anguished scream over Robb's death *shivers*.

    Wow. My first comment on this website and it looks more like a dissertation. Sorry about that, guys. Try not to be too hard on the newbie...

  • foolsage

    Having a lot to say isn't a bad thing. ;)

  • foolsage

    Also... ERGH, I so want to mention a spoiler. But I sha'n't. Sigh.

  • Labyrinthian

    Ok, now I'm curious... I already read all the books, so I'm assuming (and hopefully not making an ass out of myself) that you won't mention the spoiler for the non-readers. I was highly tempted to say something about Catelyn, but... we do what it must...

  • foolsage

    Sometimes, mentioning the topic is itself a spoiler, but I think you might know what I was thinking about, anyhow.

  • Labyrinthian

    Let me guess; something about Beric and Thoros? Wait... does that count as a spoiler? Damn, I'm bad at this -_-'.

  • foolsage

    The night is dark and full of terrors. :) Yeah, we're on the same page. Best not to say more in the non-spoiler thread here.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    What about homeboy who went to take a leak? and the groom? okay.. never mind. It is like the opposite of the Monty Python song.

  • foolsage

    I'll avoid spoilers, naturally, but will try to answer anyhow.

    Brynden "Blackfish" Tully is a hard-as-nails seasoned warrior. He went to take a piss and was absent for the fight.

    Edmure was taken away to bed his new wife.

    This show hasn't generally killed important characters offscreen. Aaaand that's about all I can say.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    The Blackfish probably survived the whole thing. He's a wily one. In the books, he stays at Riverrun (like Robb's wife).

    What groom?

  • wizzy1

    the groom is Edmure Tully

  • JJ

    The groom as in Edmure Tully. At this point, I'd think that both are still alive as we haven't seen any evidence otherwise. I imagine that the season finale would likely show for sure if they aren't dead.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I thought when he said he needed to give his daughter a wedding gift, he meant that he would be elevating Edmure's status by killing Robb Stark.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I think that's a good bet.

  • manting

    Edmure is a valuable hostage. Im sure he is not dead - they wouldnt kill him, or the blackfish, off camera

  • ljridley

    Edmure. What happened to Edmure and his poor not-yet-bleeding wife??????

  • Jennifer Schmennifer

    He is wily, but when reading the books, I felt like, if he had been at the Red Wedding, he would have fought for his family. So if show Blackfish just slinks away or fights his way out and runs, he's a different man from what I expected. I wonder if they have different things planned for him.

  • I kind of wondered about that myself. The Blackfish hardly seemed the type to just observe his sister's family and retainers being slaughtered and think "well I suppose it's off to Riverrun" and saunter into the darkness.

  • foolsage

    The Freys made a LOT of noise to help cover up what was happening, plus the Blackfish was fairly drunk and was outside urinating at the time, so we have reason to believe he really didn't know what was happening, at the start at least.

    It's entirely possible that we'll see a bit more of the fallout from those events and/or the end of the slaughter in the next episode. No, that's not a spoiler; it's obvious that some questions remain unanswered, such as what happened to the Blackfish. The books answer most of these questions, and the TV show might as well.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I wouldn't be surprised if he turns up at the Aerie.

  • wwtfn09

    I have only read the first book so far, but I learned of Red Wedding events months ago on the internet. Knowing of Catelyn's and Robb's demise beforehand still did not prepare me for last night's episode. I found some of scenes leading up to the slaughter - such as Robb's discussion with Catelyn re Casterly Rock and that with his wife re his child's name - to be even more cruel than the slaughter itself b/c it raised false hopes that the characters "could" survive. But, you knew that they wouldn't. It just felt like prolonged cruelty.

    And, I give Jon Snow big props for having left both Ygritte and that band of rag-tag Wildings behind. Martin didn't fall on his sword and just let the character become p*ssy-whipped, as so often happens in story lines that pander to their audiences. Now, I don't know what is to come, if Jon circles back to retrieve her or not, but I really like that Martin doesn't follow predictable storytelling in that way, so I forgive him his cruelty.

  • Because it's worth seeing - here's my wife watching the Red Wedding take place, right at the moment Talisa is killed. She stayed like it for the rest of the episode, except for the questions... "What? Who? Why? But..."

  • stryker1121

    Ha! There's some pretty good reaction vids on YouTube as well. Show them to your wife so she may realize her shock was shared w/ many others.

  • Sabura

    That was virtually exactly my expression too, face cupped with both hands beginning from the same moment until the end. I wonder about the instinctual reasons for that reaction ... to me it feels like a combination of scream and nausea suppression, and some other unknown/s mixed in too.

    I actually thought Talisa was going to be killed earlier, after Frey's first encounter with her and asking her to come closer, but since we got over that hump, I had a false sense of security going forward. Amazing buildup to the culmination. And I couldn't have more appreciated the lack of music during the end credits.

  • TheEmpress

    While the entire scene was horrible, the part I had to turn away for was the killing of Grey Wind.

  • the other courtney

    Brilliant review.
    I was waiting for the shout heard 'round the world all day yesterday. Knew what was coming and deliberately didn't watch (TiVo will house that episode until I can calmly digest it. It's just so... heavy). Facebook practically imploded at around 10:01 pm last night.

  • Holy mother of dragons! I'm not a book reader and I've been doing my best to avoid spoilers, however the way everyone was going on about it, I KNEW someone was going to die this episode. But I did not expect....that. I was on tenterhooks the whole way through the episode - would it me Jon or Ygritte or Jorah or Grey Worm or, god help me, Arya. When Robb and Talisa started getting all lovey dovey, I knew for sure she was going to bite it. But Robb's death totally blindsided me. Right until the end I thought maybe he was going to make it.

    And THEN, the credits were completely silent and I was just sitting there with my jaw on the floor.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    Well the Red Lady did do that icky thing with the slug to kill the king, so I would argue there is only so surprised you can be. Priestess's magic be powerful.

  • foolsage

    "The pretender, Balon Greyjoy. The pretender, Robb Stark. The pretender, Joffrey Baratheon."

  • Jennifer Schmennifer

    Maybe Robb got the penis slug.

  • I actually only remembered that after the end of the episode. I really didn't think they'd go through with it. I mean, I know the death of Ned Stark was a shock but we'd only known him for one season and his death set up the events of the rest of the series.

    This death really rocked me. I thought the show was going in a certain direction and now I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going to happen or who will survive. Having said that, I'm glad I wasn't spoiled for this episode because holy crap that was a visceral experience.

  • e jerry powell

    So what's left in this world?

    START AGAIN.

  • Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.

    NOPE.

  • competitivenonfiction

    Wanna talk about it?

  • foolsage

    So... you're ok with the episode then? :)

  • mswas

    Arya's face as her happiness to see men of Winterfell changed to horror - just great

  • I'll never be OK about the dire wolf getting it. Or any dire wolf. Dammit.

    Gah, I was tensed up the whole episode. I literally threw the book at this point when I was reading it. Just. F*ucking. Awful. Even knowing what was coming, I thought they played both the dread and the Stark/Frey dance so that one could still be left guessing if Robb was going to get out of this jam, so he could somehow be killed at Casterly Rock. Until Bolton! Of course, foresight does not prepare one for watching so low a plot unfold. I did miss the GreatJon in this scene; why cast the part and not have it here?

    The Freys all go to that special hell.

    Also, to play that squib on Harry Potter and then Walder Frey, one must be desperate for work.

  • foolsage

    Desperate? He was awesome in both roles. It doesn't require desperation to play a character that's unliked.

  • I kid! I bet he takes his grandkids for ice cream on weekends.

  • Strand

    That was fucking heartbreaking. As hard to watch as it was to read, maybe even more so because in the books we can only absorb what information is being directly seen by Catelyn. On the show, seeing it all go down... Jesus H Christ.

    I knew it was coming but knowing didn't make it any more bearable. When I discovered these books a decade ago, I read them in earnest but at this section, I remember putting it down for a week and distracting myself with real life because it was so unpleasant.

  • hippyherb

    Friends have asked me why I don't watch/read Game of Thrones. Reading through these comments, I know i made the right decision. Why, why do you put yourselves through the misery of all the sadness? I am not being facetious, I really want to know. Maybe you will answer that it is the great acting, or writing. But that makes the heartbreak even worse. I hate it when a good movie ends in sadness, but fans of Game of Thrones subject themselves to it all the time. I just don't get it.

  • foolsage

    Meaning no offense, but you're essentially asking, "Why would anyone enjoy tragedy as an art form? Why would anyone ever want to watch or read e.g. Hamlet or Macbeth or Othello or King Lear or Romeo and Juliet?"

    It's not about the gore; it's about the emotional journey of the characters.

  • manting

    life is pain. Anyone telling you different is selling something - the princes bride

  • Because feeling the full range of emotions - from horror to joy to heartbreak - makes me feel like I'm really alive. I truly don't believe that one is able to fully appreciate the highs of life without experiencing the lows. And as a lot of us live cushy, privileged Western lives, we need to experience the horrors of the world vicariously through TV, books and films.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    Pathos. Amazing characters, interesting world, magical animals, this is what draws a person in. But sometime a person needs a bit of pathos. It can be really cathartic. It helps let loose all the feelings one can't express about one's own life. And the fact that it is incredibly well done makes the pathos that much better. Or at least that is what it does for me.

    Plus, and this might make me a sick and twisted person, but I really like telly with a lot of beautiful, blood spattered death scenes. All the man candy nearly turned me off of Spartacus Blood and Sand, but the beautiful death scenes kept me coming back. But I figure this blood lust marks me human. And at least I am watching fake deaths, which is arguable better than the blood lust show by Roman citizens.

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