If you aren’t caught up on HBO’s Game of Thrones, do not read any further. If you’re not past book two of George R.R. Martin’s source material, A Song of Fire and Ice series, do not read any further. Final warning: do not read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled on the current state of events in Westeros.
If you did watch Sunday night’s Game of Thrones, however, continue after the jump!
It finally happened. The Red Wedding. An event fans of the book series have been dreading since A Storm of Swords was published in 2000. Although I haven’t read the novels, I knew this was coming. Between being active online, and having a brother who has read and reread the series, it was kind of impossible for me to avoid spoilers.
In a way, it was fortuitous because it gave me time to mentally prepare. I can’t imagine the utter devastation I’d be feeling if half the remaining Starks were suddenly wiped out, while attending a family function. I’m already pretty bummed, and I knew it was coming!
The Starks were a nice, noble family, who by the end of the third season has all but been destroyed. In Season 1, Jaime Lannister threw little Bran Stark from a window, after the boy spotted the knight having incestuous relations with his sister, the queen of the realm. However, Bran was only paralyzed and didn’t die. This set off a chain of events that would lead to the Starks’ ruin.
When patriarch Ned Stark later discovered the queen’s children were really her brother’s bastards, new King Joffrey had him executed to keep his place on the throne. Young Sansa Stark became the Lannister’s hostage, while her little sister, Arya, secretly escaped. Eldest son Robb (Richard Madden) was declared “King of the North,” and gathered a large army. He began fighting his way to the capital to avenge his father and rescue his sisters.
Robb promised to marry a daughter of Lord Walder Frey, since it was essential Robb and his army utilizes the man’s bridge to cross. However, Robb fell in love and married a battlefield nurse, Talisa. To make amends with Frey, Robb took his Uncle Edmure to the Frey’s to marry the daughter instead.
Robb, his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), and a pregnant Talisa “kiss” Frey’s ring, and the man seemed to accept their apology. After the ceremony, Edmure and his bride retire for the evening, while the guests continue to celebrate. Soon, it’s just Robb, his family, and some of his men left in the hall.
“The Rains of Castamere” began to play. Odd, since it is the song of House Lannister, known enemy of the Starks. Catelyn sensed a change in the mood, and tried to warn Robb, but the signal had been sent.
Suddenly, Talisa was stabbed half a dozen times in the belly, and arrows rained down upon the Starks! Catelyn watched her son go down, and grabbed a knife and took Frey’s youngest wife at knifepoint. As an injured Robb cradled his wife’s corpse, Catelyn begged for the life of her eldest son.
However, Frey wouldn’t be swayed. Catelyn, whose husband had been killed, daughter was a prisoner, and three youngest children were presumed dead, then saw one of Robb’s generals, who’d secretly joined the Lannister’s side, stab Robb in the heart. He fell. Catelyn wailed, and sliced the throat of Lady Frey. Then, someone sliced Catelyn’s throat, killing her.
In a few moments, the Starks were obliterated. It was gruesome. Even Robb’s pet direwolf didn’t make it out alive.
Fans, both spoiled and unspoiled alike, were understandably gutted by the episode’s events. Thanks to many sneaky fans, several reactions were caught on video in real-time. Watch the video below to see a compilation of reactions shots to the Red Wedding.
How heartbroken are you to see Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley depart? Personally, I always found Catelyn insufferable, but I loved Robb! He was heroic and handsome. Not to mention those curls were gorgeous. He would have made a great king. Alas, Robb didn’t know how to play the game, and now he’ll never take the throne.
Photo Credit: HBO