Game of Thrones book fans have been waiting three years to share the Red Wedding shocker with the unspoiled audience members, and “The Rains of Castamere” didn’t disappoint.
Readers of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R.R. Martin knew that the events that took place in tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones were as shocking and upsetting as Ned Stark’s death in the first novel.
Just as Robb Stark was beginning to plan an attack on the Lannisters which actually seemed like it might work – and just as it looked like Arya would finally be reunited with her family – it all fell to pieces (quite literally. Wait, too soon?).
Robb thought that marrying his uncle Edmure off to a Frey daughter would settle his score with Walder Frey, but sadly Walder had other plans. At the infamous Red Wedding, Frey arranged for Robb and his men to be assassinated – and not only that, but poor Catelyn had to suffer the loss of her son, only to be murdered herself.
In the novel A Storm of Swords, this moment is particularly harrowing because we experience it through Catelyn’s perspective. We went into her mind as she lost it, going mad as her entire world crumbled around her.
Read the heartbreaking, terrifying moment from the novel, and compare it to what we ended up seeing on screen:
It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb… Robb… please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting…
The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed.
“Mad,” someone said, “she’s lost her wits,” and someone else said, “Make an end,” and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.
Do you think HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series did this moment justice?
While TV show fans are most likely very upset by the loss of not just Robb, but Catelyn too, we have to assume you’re all just a little bit relieved that you finally know what all that “Red Wedding” business was about.
Hopefully you also now understand why this particular secret was very hard for ASOIAF readers to keep!
But whether you’d read the books before seeing the episode, or managed to remain unsullied about the major character deaths, we’re sure you have a lot of feelings!
Were you shocked? Upset? Angry? Or perhaps underwhelmed, after all the buildup to this episode?
And now that Cat and Robb are gone, where will the story go from here? At the beginning of the story, the Starks were without question the central family in the story, but now? We had two almost-reunions this week, but both were ripped away from us.
Bran and Rickon almost met Jon, but that was not to be. Now, Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor are going beyond the Wall, while Rickon and Osha move south. Meanwhile, Sansa is still trapped at King’s Landing. Jon is running from the Wildlings. And who knows what’ll happen to poor Arya?
We have a feeling that next season’s promotional strategy is going to be very interesting. Will they begin to feature the Lannisters as the leading family? Or perhaps another family is going to be making a play for the Iron Throne?
Watch the promo for the Game of Thrones season 3 finale “Mhysa” (which very appropriately means “mother”) below:
Game of Thrones season 3, episode 10 “Mhysa” airs next Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.