Game of Thrones — "The Rains of Castamere" Review

Daniel Kendi ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Video Game Editor
“The wine will flow red, and the music will play loud, and we’ll put this mess behind us.” Last night Game of Thrones delivered the most shocking moment since Ned Stark’s death back in season one. The “Red Wedding,” a scene that book readers have long been waiting for finally arrived. Despite their prior knowledge, even “A Song of Ice and Fire” readers weren’t prepared to see the massacre occur on screen.
“The Rains of Castamere” began with a scene between Robb and Catelyn Stark discussing battle plans. At the end of this scene viewers gained hope that Robb would take Casterly Rock and show the Lannister’s “how it feels to lose what they love.” Unfortunately the show was about to crush this hope. King Robb and the bannermen of the North arrived at the Twins for the wedding of Edmure Tully and one of Walder Frey’s daughters. After apologizing to Lord Frey for breaking his promise to marry a Frey daughter, Robb was warmly welcomed and the wedding commenced.
Throughout the wedding things seemed to be going well for the Starks and their allies. Edmure Tully, who was nervous about how his new wife would look, finally met Roslin Frey and was pleasantly surprised by her beauty. Catelyn Stark and Brynden Tully seemed happy for the first time in a while as they enjoyed the wedding’s festivities. Robb himself celebrated his alliance with the Freys while talking to his wife about their unborn child, who she wanted to name after his father. Despite all of this celebration and enjoyment things were off. There were signs of trouble that appeared throughout this wedding. When Walder Frey called for the “bedding ceremony” and therefore removed Edmure and Roslin from the room, things truly started to turn for the worse. Catelyn was the first to notice these signs as Lothar Frey closed the doors around them and the band started to play “The Rains of Castemere.” This song, which has been played before with lyrics in the series and again during recent credits sequences represents the Lannister’s victory over a small house that tried to overthrow them. Cersei told the story of this song to Margaery Tyrell in the prior episode.
As the song started to play, Catelyn knew things were going to end badly. She lifted up part of Roose Bolton’s sleeve to see that he was wearing chain mail and slapped him while yelling to warn Robb. Before Robb could react though, Walder Frey says a toast to him as Lothar Frey stabs Talisa in the chest multiple times, killing both her and her unborn child. Arrows then rain down from crossbows and hit both Robb and his mother as Frey soldiers stab the other Northern men in the room. A wounded Catelyn takes Walder Frey’s wife captive and begs him to let Robb go. Lord Frey exclaims that he will get another, as Roose Bolton kills Robb and says “The Lannisters send their regards,” indicating that the Lannisters organized this whole massacre. Finally Catelyn slits Walder’s wife’s throat before having her own throat slit by a Frey soldier. The episode ends with Catelyn’s death and a very fitting sequence of silent credits. The “Red Wedding” indeed.
Despite the wedding being the meat and arguably best part of the episode, there was still plenty more going on in the world of Westeros and Essos this week. Arya and the Hound continued to travel towards the Twins, and she grew more nervous as she got closer. When she finally arrived, she escaped the Hound only to see Frey men murdering Northerners and killing Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind. The Hound soon finds her again and knocks her out so they can escape. Arya was so close to her family yet she could do nothing to save them. In many ways she represented the viewer watching Game of Thrones last night.
Over at Yunkai, Dany and her army took over the city as Daario, Jorah, and Grey Worm easily fought off the waves of slave soldiers. These scenes showed off the strength of Daenerys’ army and how truly powerful she is becoming, while also hinting at a possible romance between her and Daario Naharis.
Lastly we have Bran Stark and Jon Snow who, like Arya and Robb, were so close to reuniting with each other. Jon and the wildlings were right outside the tower that Bran and his travelers were hiding in, chasing a horse breeder. When Orell and Tormund command Jon to kill the defenseless man, Jon refuses and therefore blows his cover as an undercover Night’s Watch. Ygritte kills the man and a battle ensues between the four. Meanwhile, Hodor starts screaming in the tower after hearing thunder and almost gives away Bran and his group’s position. Bran stop’s Hodor by using his warg powers to make him pass out. He then takes control of his direwolf Summer who is hiding near Jon. This is a big moment for Bran as he starts to learn how to control his warg abilities. He then uses Summer to attack the wildling men and allow Jon to escape. Jon kills Orell and escapes on a horse, leaving Ygritte and Tormund behind. Bran decides to continue his journey to find the three-eyed raven, but has Osha take his brother Rickon to the Umber family for his safety.
This episode was intense, violent, and a brilliant adaptation of one of George R. R. Martin’s best chapters in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. The “Red Wedding” has arrived and the show will never be the same after it. This is a huge turning point for the Starks and even the Lannisters in their war for the Iron Throne. The “Red Wedding” scene itself was masterfully executed between Ramin Djawadi’s chilling adaptation of “The Rains of Castamere” to Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden’s amazing performances before their untimely deaths. David Bradley also did an amazing job as Lord Walder Frey, putting him up there with Joffrey as one of the least likeable characters on the show. So, if you have friends who read the A Song of Ice and Fire books you’ve finally reached the point that they’ve been waiting for. The big scene itself stayed mostly true to the book and had the same powerful effect. Despite this though, I would highly recommend reading the Catelyn chapter in A Storm of Swords that this scene is based on. It is truly a remarkable chapter that is even more powerful when reading Catelyn’s thoughts in her last moments.
“And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?” The “Red Wedding” has finally come and it was truly a memorable and heartbreaking experience. Next week Game of Thrones has its season three finale and hopefully things will get a little better for the Stark family. Besides, there are more weddings to come.

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