The Rains of Castamere
There is a reason I’ve been so tardy in getting this recap up. Because I don’t want to write it. “The Rains of Castamere” was a devastating hour of television. I know a lot of you feel the same way. And this is from someone who has read the first three novels in the series. Even though I knew what was coming, it still punched me real hard in the gut.
For those of you naysayers out there that say “They’re just fictional characters/it’s just a tv show” get the fuck out right now. Wow, I am defensive today! Must be the coffee.
Let’s start with the less traumatic storylines, shall we?
Daenerys—Outside Yunkai, Dany and her entourage, now including sexy-ugly double agent Daario, debate strategy. The city is fortified to withstand a frontal assault, so Daario suggests using the back door (must...resist...anal sex joke...). It’s not as well guarded (depends on the back door heyoooo), and since they think Daario is still on their side, getting in should be easy (depends on the...well you get it).
Barriston and Jorah don’t trust him, and Dany’s common sense is skewed since Daario makes her weak in the vagina—er knees. So she asks Grey Worm (commander of the Unsullied army), and he says he trusts him.
So he, Jorah and Dario set off for Yunkai’s poorly guarded back door (tee hee, I’m sorry, trying to find the joy in this episode where I can). Daario takes out the few guards at the door, and Grey Worm and Jorah follow. What ensues is a pretty fantastic fight. Very well choreographed. They battle wave after wave of soldiers.
The trio return to Dany bloody and beaten, but still very much alive. The city is hers.
Yunkai was a total power bottom, turns out.
Sam & Gilly—There’s a short scene with Sam and Gilly, still traveling behind the Wall. Sam says they’re west of Castle Black, and close to the abandoned Nightfort, which was the original castle back in the day. He tells her about a secret gate hidden within the Fort that will allow them to travel underneath the Wall.
Gilly looks at him in astonishment, surprised someone could get all that knowledge from reading books. “You’re a wizard,” she says. Sam gives her a look that says “oh you’re cute, but goddamn you’re not that bright are you?” Well, if you were one of Craster’s daughter-wives, Sam, you’d think you were a wizard, too.
Bran & Jon Snow—“What’s this?” You’re probably thinking. “Bran and Jon Snow reunited?” Sorry to disappoint, but you’ll see why soon enough.
Bran and his troop continue to Castle Black. They stop at the Gift, an old watchtower deserted because of too many Wildling raids. (I believe, more specifically the tower is called the Queenscrown, in the book anyway.) Jojen warns that a storm is coming, so they decide to wait it out in the tower.
Elsewhere on the same side of the Wall, Jon and his Wildling companions come upon a house with stables. It’s the Night’s Watch’s horse breeder, Jon informs them. Giantsbane and Orell decide the best route is to kill the man. Jon warns that killing him will only bring the Crows off the Wall to hunt them down. Giantsbane explains that’s exactly why they should kill him, less men to fight at Castle Black itself.
With Jon outvoted, the Wildlings race across the open field. Jon twangs his sword against a rock as he runs, which in turns startles the horses. Which in turn makes the horseman check on them. When he sees the Wildlings coming for him, he hops on a horse and flees.
Thunder rumbles outside of the tower where Bran, Jojen, and the rest ride out the storm. Scared of the thunder, Hodor paces in the tiny space. Bran argues with Osha again about crossing over the Wall. She says she won’t go with him, but that was never Bran’s intent.
Meera cautions them to quiet down, she spots a rider galloping quick to their location. And he isn’t alone. The Wildlings overtake the old horseman, a pull him off his horse, just as a huge clap of thunder rolls across the land, scaring the shit out of Hodor.
Afraid they’ll be heard, Bran pleads with Hodor to be quiet. And he eventually does, when Bran uses his warg abilities to put Hodor to sleep. Everyone—including Jojen—are stunned.
Outside, Orell swears he can hear voices coming from the tower. Giantsbane shrugs, jibing him that it’s probably ghosts. Besides, they have more pressing issues to attend to, like the execution of this old man. They get the bright idea to have Jon kill him, I guess as some test of loyalty. Ygritte tries to reason with them, but Jon puts his sword to the old man’s neck.
Jon hesitates; he can’t go through with it. Ygritte fells the old man with an arrow, and the shit hits the fan.
At the same time, Jojen urges Bran to use his warg abilities on Summer, his direwolf, to see what’s happening outside. Bran sees Jon outnumbered—as Giantsbane has Ygritte pinned to the ground—and Summer and Shaggydog (Rickon’s wolf) help a brother out by tearing out some throats. Jon kills Orell, but not before the warg shunts his mind into his eagle, which quickly descends and tears up Jon’s pretty, pretty face.
He gets the bird off of him, and hops on a horse and narrowly escapes. And Ygritte is pissed off.
That night, after the Wildlings have continued on, Jojen tells Bran he’s never seen someone use their warg abilities on a human. As far as he knew it couldn’t be done. Which is why they have to seek out this “three-eyed raven” from Bran’s dream.
Osha again protests, but Bran is steadfast. She and Rickon are not coming with them. He tells her to take Rickon and make for the Last Hearth, where Stark bannermen still reside (for those wondering, it’s sort of southwest of the Wall, with Karhold—where Theon is allegedly held—being further west). Bran saying goodbye was heartbreaking. For not getting a lot of scenes this season, Art Parkinson really gives it his all, and only serves to get my tear ducts ready for what’s to come.
The Red Wedding—Okay, here we go. Let’s start with Arya and the Hound, who totally forgot to RSVP by the way. He attacks a pig merchant along the way to the Twins (the Frey’s castles) and steals his wagon full o’ tasty piggies. His plan is to masquerade as the pig merchant to get into the castle, then ransom Arya off to her mother and brother.
They arrive just outside the Twins , and the Hound goads Arya into making break for it. She’s so close to her family again, the fear of not making it must be dreadful.
Arya turns to him, and says she knows his fear, and it certainly isn’t pig feet. He’s scared of fire. That and when she gets the chance she’s gonna put a sword “through one eye out the back of your skull.” And this is why I am Team Arya all the way.
Meanwhile, after Robb and Catelyn talk strategy of taking Casterly Rock, they arrive at the Twins to stand before Walder Frey. You remember him from the first season; the smarmy, vile, atrocious man with lots of homely daughters. The same daughters he makes a show of as the Starks and Freys eat salt and bread (so now neither side can harm one another, because of tradition, sort of like a peace treaty).
See, Walder is still ticked Robb stood up one of his many daughters for the lovely Talisa. Robb offers his sincerest apologies; he fell in love. And Walder seems to accept it, only he wants a better look at his comely bride.
He leers at her, staring her up and down, taking note of how well her dress clings to her nubile form. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I think Walder is even worse in the books.
They have the wedding, and Edmure is beyond relived that his wife is super-hot. At the reception, Catelyn chats with Lord Bolton, who also married a Frey girl. Seems Walder offered any of his daughters and their weight in gold as a dowry. So Bolton has a fat young bride. Oh you! Cat also notices Bolton isn’t drinking. Guess that isn’t too strange...
Across the hall, Robb and Talisa start being all cute, but cut it short because any PDA could be seen as an insult. Best not to anger the creepy old man, who’s looking right at you.
Walder announces it’s time for the bedding ceremony! Hooray! The crowd of people get excited, the band playing a jaunty tune, and usher Edmure and his bride to their beds to “christen” the wedding. Cat recalls her own bedding ceremony, or lack thereof, to Bolton, who smiles.
Talisa asks Robb about this rather odd tradition; all he can do is shrug. She tells him she thinks they should name their child Eddard if it’s a boy. Awwww, that’s fucking adorable, right?
The hall doors close, which confuses Catelyn. The band changes their tune, to the “Rains of Castamere.”
Outside, the Hound’s pig merchant ruse fails, seems they got there too late. But Arya’s already in the courtyard, hoping to get in. But even she notices something off about this night...
Well, here we are guys, here’s the Red Wedding. I don’t know how detailed I want to get, lest I have some GOTPTSD.
Cat discovers Bolton has chainmail underneath his clothes. One of Frey’s son’s stabs Talisa to death. Robb is shot with arrows. Cat hides underneath a table, a their bannermen are killed in the hall and outside.
Arya witnesses the slaughter in the courtyard—as well as the execution of Robb’s direwolf—before the Hound knocks her out and escapes the Twins with her.
In the hall Robb is miraculously alive. Cat grabs a knife and puts it to Walder’s young wife’s throat, pleading with him to let Robb live; they will forget this betrayal. Just let her son go.
Bolton stabs Robb in the heart with a blade. Cat, grief-stricken, kills Walders wife.
Walder’s son comes up behind Catelyn and slits her throat.
End of episode.
So, I know a lot of you are angry, and sad, and are probably ready to give up on the show. And I get that. But I’m telling you, we still have one more episode this season, as well as the latter half of the 3rd book in season four. The things Game of Thrones has in store for you are really great. I wish I could go into them further, but spoilers and all.
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