If you have been sobbing uncontrollably and questioning everything you have ever known about life in this cruel world, you probably watched the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones”. It’s hard to believe that any episode could be more heart wrenching than watching Ned Stark’s execution, but that was just child’s play compared to the Red Wedding.
Remind me to never cross a Frey, especially one who has previously played the caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch in the Harry Potter series. While we had expected that Walder Frey would not be forgiving of Robb Stark for going back on his word to marry one of the Frey girls, we had in no way anticipated the events that unfolded in last night’s episode, “The Rains of Castamere”. Before we dive into the horrifying Red Wedding scene, let’s recap on what happened leading up to night none of us will forget.
Although you would never know from the tweets and statuses on social media, more than just the Red Wedding took place in Westeros last night. For the first time in what seems like seasons, the storylines of the Stark family were beginning to overlap. Bran and Rickon, escape a growing storm by taking shelter in a tower on the land just south of the wall, Gift. There they encounter Jon Snow. While the characters had no direct contact, the fact that they were even in the same vicinity is something to be celebrated. Jon Snow and the wildlings raid a horse farm that ends with a chase to the same tower the younger Stark boys are hiding in. Despite the heavy downpour and crashing thunder, Hodor’s frightened screams can still be heard outside the tower. With the panic of being caught rushing through the group in the tower, Bran’s eyes unexpectedly roll to the back of his head and he enters the brain of the alarmed giant, causing him to relax. Meanwhile, outside, the wildlings captured the owner of the horse farm and ordered Jon Snow to kill him. After it becomes clear that Jon cannot kill the old man, Ygritte steps forward to shoot him. This act sets a fight into motion that ends with the death of several wildlings and Jon Snow fleeing the scene by horse, without Ygritte.
Not too far away over in the northern part of the Riverlands, Arya Stark awaits her reunion with her brother, Robb, and mother, Catelyn. Despite being closer to returning to her family than ever, the Hound points out her increasing fear. It’s always more devastating to lose something that was so close you could almost grasp it. While Arya and the Hound wait to ride into the Twins disguised as hog farmers, the wedding of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey begins. In attendance is none other than the deal breaker himself, Robb Stark, accompanied by his mother and wife, Talisa. After the ceremony, where we discover that somehow, Edmure was blessed with marrying the only good-looking Frey, the celebrations commence. This is where the real magic of the episode happens. The scene was so well orchestrated that I was wiggling in my seat from start to finish. From the passing glances to the foreshadowing melody, everything was eerily perfect. Just when you think that Catelyn may be able to save the day as she screams to Robb, you realize it’s all over. The Frey men attack the pregnant Talisa first, stabbing her repeatedly in the stomach. Soon enough the entire room is covered in blood from the slaughtered Stark men. Despite both of their injuries, Robb and Catelyn are still alive. As Robb crawls to his dead wife and unborn child, Catelyn begs Walder Frey to spare her son’s life. At this point Catelyn believes all of her other children to be dead, in addition to her husband. In a last attempt effort to save Robb, Catelyn grabs Walder Frey’s young wife and threatens to slit her throat if Robb is not freed. Apparently it is clear to everyone but Catelyn that Walder Frey could not care less about his wife because he immediately has Robb killed. In her grief, Catelyn does cut the throat of the poor girl, only to suffer the same fate from one of Frey’s men.
If you are a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series then you have been anticipating this event for quite some time, but if you are like me, and have not read the series, you were most likely blindsided by the Red Wedding. After watching the final scene I thought to myself, “How could I be so stupid to think Walter Frey might forgive and forget?” It feels like we all should have seen this coming but really, how could we? That is the magic of “Game of Thrones” as well as the A Song of Ice and Fire series. We all love the show because we feel so passionately about the fate of each character. It is a bold move to kill off as many regulars as the series has but that’s why the series is so refreshing; we never know what to expect next.
With all that action that took place last night, what could possibly happen in the finale next week?