This episode might as well be called The Rains Down Therese’s Face. If you have any friends who watch Game of Thrones, you probably have some semblance of knowledge that something big happened last night on the show. For those who don’t want to know or haven’t seen the episode, turn away now.
So, I knew what was coming. And I’m not saying it in a way that some people say that they knew it was coming. I actually knew. I knew that at this point in the story, I would want desperately to just turn away and say, “Nope. I’m fine where I am.” But of course, I continued to watch, and soon the rain was falling down my face. The episode was, in many ways, written in a different rhythm. Daenerys, who had for so long been a source of excitement for me, was pushed back in favor of the Starks. In terms of episodes, this was a return to the Starks. Separated for so long, it featured all but Sansa, in a crossroads moment.
In the North, Sam and Gilly make their way towards the wall and into my heart. It’s nice to see that in such a depressing episode, these two are still quite adorable and of course, Sam is finally a hero also a wizard. They are travelling to an abandoned Night’s Watch tower in order to seek shelter and safety.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, Bran and company move to hide in an abandoned tower to seek shelter from a storm coming. While hiding there, they come across a group of wildlings. I loved this part in the story. One of my greatest laments is that Jon and Robb never got to see each other again, because I know that the two were great brothers and friends. This chance encounter in which Bran sees Jon through the eyes of Summer is just a little snippet that makes me so happy.
The Wildlings are making their way towards Castle Black, and decide to steal horses from a breeder who is protected by the Watch. They also decide to kill him, but after Ygritte lets him go, they chase after him meeting up at the tower where Bran is hiding. They want Jon to kill the breeder, proving he is not a crow any longer, but he can not and instead Ygritte kills the man for him. The entire time I was more concerned about Bran seeing Jon rather than anything else in the story. However, when Jon got on that horse and rode off without Ygritte, I had no choice but to shake my head. I understand where he’s coming from. He’s a Westerosi, he’s got a promise to keep to his people. But the betrayed look on Ygritte’s face was enough to make me shake my head in agony. Just one among the multiple things that made me sad this episode.
One of the best things, was Bran’s link into his Warg abilities. It was through that that he saved his brother’s life, and saved his company’s lives. I’m really impressed with the way they have built Bran’s character, and I’m also glad that Rickon finally got some lines in this show. He seriously said more in that one minute conversation than season one and two combined. I love Bran taking up the mantle of the protective older brother. It’s been obvious that someone needs to take responsibility, and he has slowly made himself into someone that Rickon can respect. He does what is best for his family.
In Yunkai, feelings are also overflowing. Daenerys intends to sack the city of Yunkai, but chooses subterfuge. She takes Daario’s word and sends in Daario, Jorah, and Grey Worm to take the city by sneak attack. Jorah is rightfully suspicious of Daario, and reluctantly agrees to his plans though keeping him at an arms distance. When they ambush Yunkai, they are met with waves of soldiers, but the three of them manage to fight them off and take the city for their queen.
I have to say, the award for most precious sad face goes to Iain Glen when they return to the tent. Daenerys, rightly nervous and concerned, is all too happy to see her men return back. But when only spotting Jorah and Grey Worm, she worriedly asks for Daario. Cue Jorah’s reaction face:
It’s also the point when, if you ever had any doubt, you can see how much Jorah actually loves Daenerys. He’s willing to go into battle against unknown odds for her, he’s willing to ruthlessly slay men for her, he’s ready to stand by her side no matter what. But her first words to him are where Daario is. It’s an understandable unrequited love. Also, I mean, I don’t blame her. Daario is very attractive.
And finally, we’ve reached the Twins. It’s been something we’ve been building up to since Season 2’s finale. The wedding between a Frey and a Stark. Except, when Robb broke his oath to Walder Frey, Lord Frey got a marriage between his daughter and Edmure Tully. For all the heartbreak that this episode was (and this episode was a BUCKET full of heartbreak) one of the most hilarious moments of this episode was Edmure’s happiness that his wife wasn’t some gremlin. At least he’s happy.
Well, the wedding is lovely. The people are happy, Walder seems appeased, though he’s none too happy with Talisa. He cites only lust to be the reason why Robb broke his oath, and is just grumpy Filch as usual. He does choose his words well, celebrating the marriage by saying “The wine will flow red, and the music will play loud.” To which, I turned to my friend and we both shook our heads, knowing what was coming. Once the married couple is taken away from the bedding ceremony, everything basically turns to shit. I wish there was a more delicate way of saying this, but there really isn’t.
After Edmure and Rosalin leave the feast, Catelyn notices that the doors are being shut. One of the most subtle moments was when the Rains of Castamere started to play from the band. For viewers who aren’t that invested in the show, it’s just a song. But for intense fans (like yours truly) and for the people of Westeros, it is a familiar story. We heard it from Cersei in the last episode. It’s a story about the Lannister family triumphing over a rebellion. It all fits together into a perfect puzzle. As the song begins to play, Walder addresses Robb.
I will say that I commend the writers for giving Robb the screen time this season. They certainly didn’t need to, but we got it and I loved it. Not because Richard Madden is an example of human perfection, but rather because choosing to focus on Robb’s story is why this episode was so heart breaking. It’s all building up to this moment, and every thing he did in the Red Wedding broke my heart. I know that a lot of people were turned off by the stabbing of Talisa and the killing of Grey Wind, but it’s Game of Thrones.
And I don’t say that in an easy way, where I use that as a band-aid for violent behavior. It’s Game of Thrones. It’s a violent political time, and things like honor and oaths are to be kept. It’s why Jaime is forever dubbed as an oathbreaker and a kingslayer and it’s why he hates it. The Red Wedding was the revenge of Walder Frey. He was promised glory for his house, and cheated, only to have Robb come begging for more.
The most painful moment for me was Michelle Fairley. Her reaction to Robb’s death was almost exactly the same as mine, and the raw emotion was enough to bring me to tears. I have never been a fan of Cat, but this moment had me sobbing into my hand. It made perfect sense to me why she would kill Lady Frey. At that point, with nothing to lose, with the horror of her son dying in front of her, it would only be human for her to kill Lady Frey. Adding on top of that Grey Wind’s execution, which was the most faithful and accurate moment to the books in my mind. They are executing the wolf as well as the myth of Robb Stark. They are stripping him of everything he is. They take his heir from him, his queen, and his wolf.
Just as the slaughter beings, Arya and the Hound have made their way to the Twins, intending to return Arya to her family so that he can get gold for this. However, coming upon the frenzy, Arya escapes the Hound only to witness Grey Wind’s death and is captured again by the Hound. For all of his crudeness and violence, I can’t help but respect the Hound. I mean no matter what, he’s shown himself to be honorable more than Arya gives him credit.
Of course, I have to talk about Robb’s death. It was something I’ve been waiting for and anticipating, just like Ned’s death. But somehow, they managed to one-up it and break me. Richard Madden’s final scenes in the series should make him proud. Personally, I think it was made great by Michelle’s performance. The dynamic between this mother and son can not be easily formed, but they made a great job of it. In the end, we’ve all just got to remember, valar morghulis and valar dohaeris. All men must die, and all men must serve. Farewell, Robb Stark of Winterfell, Catelyn Stark of Winterfell, Talisa of Volantis, and Grey Wind.
I guess, I’ll see you all next week for the finale. If I can get up from off of the ground crying.