Well that was BRUTAL.
Even though I knew The Red Wedding was coming, this episode was still enormously difficult to sit through. It’s the rare show that throws so many game-changers on a regular basis, but just like GOT killed off its lead character all the way back in its first season, the massacre of not one but three pivotal characters was just gutwrenching.
Everything about that final scene was just plain horrifying. First Catelyn notices the doors being closed in the middle of the feast, and then just as she figures out that Bolton has betrayed them, the slaughter begins. Talisa’s is the most traumatizing, with her getting stabbed MULTIPLE times in her (pregnant) belly. It’s the most unsettling kind of violence, and yet so effective and savage. Then both Jon and Catelyn are shot, but of course that’s far from the end. Robb heartbreakingly crawls to Talisa who is still alive and stroking her dead child, while Cat cleverly grabs Frey’s wife. And then of course the ultimate harshness: Bolton finishes off Robb right before his mother’s very eyes. It’s here that Catelyn’s screams of agony began to terrify me, punctuated by her slicing Frey’s wife only to get her throat slashed herself as blood spurts out. The screen cuts to black, and thus ends one of the most unforgettable and uncompromising sequences television has ever seen. It’s simply unreal.
Although his storyline is much more low-key in retrospect, Bran’s warging abilities ascend to greater heights in this episode as he mind-controls Hodor. It’s an intriguing development, coupled with his decision to separate from his brother Rickon and pursue his calling. The goodbye between the two young Starks is definitely an agonizing moment, and that’s an achievement seeing as how Rickon has received practically zero development thus far.
And then there’s Arya. She finally gets so close to getting reunited with her dear family, but is knocked out by The Hound before she can stumble upon their massacred bodies. It truly amazes me how the narrative has kept the Stark family apart for so long (since season one). Even Bran and Rickon almost run into Jon before he escapes the Wildlings. It’s all so infuriating yet impeccably plotted.
Bits & Beheadings
– Hilarious scene with Frey trying to name all his daughters and granddaughters. Also, it’s just so very disturbing.
– I hate the way Frey insults and demeans Talisa in front of everyone. Nevertheless, he’s a fantastic villain to be sure.
– Loved Arya knocking out the poor man whom she saves from The Hound.
– Fascinating scene with Arya telling The Hound that she knows he’s afraid of fire since she knows his story. Then she says she will kill him one day. Foreshadowing perhaps?
– Loved Bran warging into the direwolf and saving Jon. Also Jon kills irritating Orell (not before he wargs into an eagle) and escapes while leaving Ygritte behind. I don’t really buy his ditching her. Explain yourself Jon!
– Although I don’t like the fact that Dany is pretty passive here, she finally gains control of Yunkai by the end of the hour as Daario, Grey Worm and Jorah infiltrate the city and defeat waves of enemies.
– The face Frey makes at Robb after his STUNNING daughter is revealed to marry Edmure – priceless.
– Blackfish getting eyed by older ladies – epic.
– When Osha tells Meera and her brother to keep Bran safe because he “means the world” to her, I got all teary eyed and I ain’t ashamed to admit it.
– I love the fact that Catelyn reveals that Ned forbid the bedding ceremony on her wedding. A true gentleman in every way.
– Touching moment before all hell breaks loose: Talisa telling Rob that she wants their son to be called Ned.
– The music that the band starts to play is “The Rains of Castemer” – the Lannister victory song that Cersei told Margaery about last week.
– The fact that Arya sees Grey Wind the direwolf get shot to death is just merciless.
– Frey’s response to Cat threatening to murder his wife is cold and yet expected: “I’ll find another.” Wow.
– Before killing Robb, Bolton creepily exclaims “The Lannisters send their regards”. Interesting enough a few episodes back, Jaime asked Bolton to give Robb Stark his regards.
Kings & Quips
Frey: (to Robb) You could have had either. Could have had both for all I care.
Frey: (to Talisa) I can always see what’s going on beneath a dress. Been at this a long time. I bet when you take that dress off, everything stays right where it is. Doesn’t drop an inch. Your king says he betrayed me for love. I say he betrayed me for firm tits and a tight fit.
The Hound: (to Arya) You’re very kind. Someday it’ll get you killed.
Tense and extremely difficult to watch, The Rains of Castamere is an excellent albeit tremendously barbaric gamechanger.