(Spoiler Alert: I will be recapping this episode so don't read on if you haven't seen it yet.)
In my opinion, The Rains of Castamere is quite possibly the best episode ever in HBO's GOT universe and that's saying a lot. I haven't felt as emotional about anything on GOT since Ned Stark's shocking execution. There's a lot of blood, betrayal, sword play, fighting, exceptional warging, heartbreak, more betrayal and more bloodshed.
Where to begin? There are four major story lines that converge and become really two, while two smaller ones crop up. I'll focus more on the two main ones. Let me explain:
Another week and another wedding. This is a really big one because it'll serve two functions for Robb Stark:
- After Edmure Tully marries one of Walder Frey's daughters, it'll mend the ill will and bad blood the old man has over having Robb break a sacred vow to him so he could marry Talisa. (She is now pregnant with Robb's child.)
- Robb will then use Frey's massive army to attack Casterly Rock, stealing the Lannister's home and all their wealth (Yeah, it's gold!) which will send shock waves throughout the kingdom.
As Robb's party approaches Walder in his castle to grovel for his forgiveness, he asks for Talisa to step up so he can see her better.
Your King says he betrayed me for love. I say he betrayed me for firm tits and a tight fit and I respect that. When I was your age I would've broke fifty oaths to get into that without a second thought.
And with that final insult, Frey laughs and says let the party begin.
Bran and his party has land called The Gift as they journey to Jon Snow at Castle Black. There's a storm coming so Jojeen convinces them to camp there and they retreat in a tower made of bricks.
Not far away, Jon Snow, Tormund and the Wildings come upon an old man who is tending eight horses all alone. They advance on him for the horses with the intention of killing him. As they quickly approach, Snow makes some sounds that warn the old man, who then jumps on a horse and flees. They give chase and catch up with him right in front of the brick tower that Bran and his cohorts are hiding in. As they circle the old man, thunder cracks in the sky and Hodor starts freaking out in the tower. Outside, Orell hears shouting and turns around. As Bran tries to sooth him, Hodor begins screaming his name louder from fear when suddenly Bran's eyes roll back in his head, he passes out and Hodor immediately goes limp and falls asleep. Jojeen, Osha, Rickon and Meera are stunned. Wargs can control animals, but never human beings. WTF?
Orell then demands that Snow kill the old timer to prove his loyalty to them. Finally Jon Snow reveals that he's always been a crow and turns his sword toward Tormund and his men. Ygritte begins freaking out. Shabbydog and Summer come back from hunting and check out the fighting in front of them.
Jojeen sees the Crow defending himself and the man and tells Bran that he should command the wolves to attack the Wildlings. Bran never did it consciously before but forces himself and instantly enters the minds of the wolves and turns them on Tormund's men. Their help frees Snow, who kills Orell while telling him he was right about him all the time. Ygritte is completely unhinged as she looks on Jon Snow leaving her behind; galloping away towards Castle Black.
Later, Bran, in another sad moment, tells Osha to forget about him and take Rickon to Lord Umber castle while he and the others go beyond the wall to find the three-eyed-crow that has been haunting his dreams which he hopes has answers for him.
The Hound steals a cart from an old man who's bringing pigs to the Frey's wedding and he uses it for cover as he heads for the Twins with Arya..
Meanwhile the Frey wedding has finally begun and much to Edmure's surprise he finds Rosalind Frey is young and beautiful. He couldn't marry her any faster. As the festivities are in full bloom, the traditional Westeros call for the Bedding Ceremony fills the hall. They whisk away the newlyweds while Robb's wife watches on in surprise at this weird ritual. They embrace thinking about their child, but Lady Catelyn gets an uneasy feeling as she sees some men acting oddly in the hall. Walder Frey then stops the music and talks to Robb Stark, raising his mug.I feel I've been remiss in my duties. I've given you meat and wine and music, but I haven't shown you the hospitality. My King is married and I owe my new queen a wedding gift.
Lady Catelyn sees that Roose Bolton has armor-thermals under his wedding clothes and screams for Robb , but it's too late. A Frey runs up and in probably the single most brutal moment on the show, repeatedly stabs Talisa Stark in the belly until she falls to the floor covered in blood, her unborn baby gone, her life not far behind. The rest of Frey men slaughter Robb and his party, mowing everyone down in a cold blooded ambush with swords and arrows. Catelyn grabs Walder's wife and holds a knife to her throat begging him to spare her son or she'll kill her. Frey coldly tells her that he'll just get a new wife and then his men finish off Robb and cut her throat.
Arya and Sandor approach the wedding disguised in the cart so he can get into the wedding, but some armed men tell them to get lost, the party is over. Clegane knows what has happened inside and tells her we have to leave, but she sneaks in to see more men being murdered as they eat outside the castle. She then stumbles on Robb's Direwolf, Grey Wind being slaughtered in a cage by more soldiers. Clegane then knocks her unconscious to stop her from getting killed and carries her off.
Across the Narrow Seas, Daario shares his plan to overthrow the Yankai with Dany, Jorah, and Grey Worm. They can sneak a few men into the city through a secret back entrance that isn't heavily guarded, kill a few and then open up the front gates so that her army can enter the fortress and sack the city. Daario is right about the entrance but after they get in they are attacked dozena guards which seem to overwhelm them. After a long time Danaerys is getting worried until Jorah and Grey Worm come in bleeding and tell her that the Yunkai slave soldiers threw down their arms and the city is hers!
Samwell Tarley heads to Nightfort castle which has been empty for centuries to hide out with Gilly and her baby.
I started out watching GOT during season one by chance and after the season ended I couldn't wait a year to find out what happened after Dany gave birth to her dragons so I bought all the books. HBO's version is somewhat different than the books even after devoting almost ten hours to each one,(many readers point out the differences in the comment section) but the main plot points are pretty much the same. After the Red Wedding took place I was completely pissed off at George RR Martin for killing off the best characters in his books.
Check out this Youtube compilation of Red Wedding Reactions and if they aligned up with your own reaction. I thought it couldn't get any worse than Ned's death, but after the shock set in of his loss, but like many BBC productions, I understood that no one is ever safe and that holds especially true for GOTs.
RR Martin has the ability to turn his readers into Stark family members and so we all feel the deep, dark despair that Lady Catelyn epitomizes after tragedy strikes her family again and again. How much tragedy can this family and we as the readers take?
Sarah Hughes of The Guardian asks: Can the world of Game of Thrones ever be the same again? I'll say no, but that doesn't mean it slows down either.
Arya unleashes a verbal assault on the Hound that leaves him speechless. "Someday I'm going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your head." It actually stuns him in his tracks because he knows she means it. Her hatred is not diminishing at all. And what will happen to her now that almost all hope is lost for her?
A few more questions and observations:
* Poor Ygritte, newly scorned, will she try to kill Jon Snow?
* Clearly Bran is a super-warg of some kind. How does it relate to their plight and what will he find out when he meets the three-eyed-crow?
* How long will Jorah put up with cutie pie Daario?
* Was Robb Stark's death the result of Melisandre's curse of the burning leeches from last episode or because of Robb's youth and inexperience?
He told his mother that he should have listened to her and was wrong to send Theon to the Iron Islands to negotiate for him and because of that blunder his brothers were killed and Winterfell is burning. And by executing Rickard Karstark for killing the young Lannisters against his orders, he lost most of his army which precipitated his plot to mend fences with the Frey's to take Casterly Rock which cost him his life.
* Was Blackfish Tully killed also or did a pee save him?
* What's left of the Starks now?
* Bran is crippled, but has a super warg power.
* Arya is still a child and being held by the Hound, who actually is becoming more human every day he's around the Stark women.
* Rickon finally is old enough to have a good scene with Bran, but that's all.
* Sansa is married to Tyrion Lannister.
* Jon Snow is running back to Castle Black to warn the Knight's Watch that they are going to be attacked by Mance Rayder's Wildings army.
* Are there any trustworthy men left in the Seven Kingdoms?
* R.I.P. Lady Catelyn, Robb and Talisa Stark.
(Thanks to all the readers for fact checking every aspect of my reviews, the books and HBO.)