Welcome to the world of Game of Thrones ladies and gentlemen. A reminder from season one, that no one is safe from the claws of death, no matter how loved or righteous they are.
As always… a warning. SPOILERS! And big ones at that. That being said, it saddens me to recap this episode, despite expecting it (having read the books).
Getting the little scenes out of the way, Sam and Gilly continue south, and we are told of a passage underneath the Wall that has turned into lost knowledge (but for the few like Sam who actually delve in books).
Arya closes in on the Frey’s Wedding, and we have a scene where she convinces Clegane to spare the life of a Farmer. The conversation showing that not only does her hatred for Clegane eliminate any fear of him (promising him they she will one day kill him with a dagger in the eye), but the fact that Clegane actually listened to her and let the farmer live. I realize the Hound is the “bad guy”, but like most characters in the story, not all is black and white, and Clegane does has a sense of… something redeeming and forgiving in him.
Jon Snow and the Wildling fall upon another farmer, and is told to prove his loyalty by killing the man off. And this is where all hell breaks loose. Jon was, and has always been a man of the Nights Watch, and will always carry the honor his father (Ned) had raised him to have. He refuses to kill the man and begins fighting the entire group of wildings. Right before killing the Warg, he transfers his mind into his pet Hawk and attacks Jon – shredding his face. Fortunately, two direwolves (Summer and Shaggydog) come to his rescue. Ygritte, overcome with love for him, at first fights on his side which helps him escape; this end with her seeing him flee, and finally his betrayel, both to the wildlings and more importantly to her, sinks in.
The direwolves happened to be there, because coincidentally, Bran, Rikkon and the group where hiding in a farmhouse right beside the road this all took place. This scene was actually pretty intense, and I personally thought it was even better watching it play out visually then when I read it in the books. You see, the entire incident takes place duringa storm, which has Hodor freaking out. To keep the Wildlings from hearing his yells, in a moment of panic, Bran becomes the Warg he is and actually transfers himself into Hodor, to quiet him down. The shock makes Hodor faint/pass out; and after some convincing from the Reeds, jumps into his wolf Summer, and the below action commences. When all calms down, his new path becomes clear. Despite having just seen Jon (through his direwolf’s eyes), he must travel north to find the “3-eyed crow”. This, not only because of Bran’s visions, but because his Warg abilities are… well… unheard of. No person has ever been able to transfer into another “human” being. And so, he sends his little brother off with Osha, as it would not be safe for him to travel beyond the well. To see Rikkon try to stay was all but heartbreaking – but of course, the heartbreaking scenes where yet to come.
Daenarys consults with her soldiers and send her new found commander, Jorah along with Grey Worm and Daario Naharis to sneak in a side door, and open the main gates to the city. After sneaking in, the 3 get noticed and a fight insues… and what a battle. I never minded the choreography up until now, but they clearly kicked it up a notch with this fight. Each with their own weapon, the dodged and attacked and parried and killed. Finally, we cut to the end where they have accomplished their goal, the Unsullied gained access, and the city was sacked. Raario finally walks in (Dani’s concern to his lateness a little hurtful to Jorah) and presents his queen with what seems to be the Royal cloak of Yunkai; what possibly represents the same significance as a crown in Westoros.
With all that said and done, we finally get to the festivities… the Wedding. Robb starts off by asking for the forgiveness of Walder Frey. Once all the formalities where out of the way, they began the wedding. And even Lord Edmure’s wife to be, Roslin, turns out to be beautiful (shocking for a Frey). It all seemed that everything was finally looking up for the King, and that he would finally get his army, and get the upper hand against the Lannister’s.
Unfortunately, it was indeed too good to be true. Things always had a nervous feel to it, when you consider that Roose Balton was attending this wedding, as a follower of King Robb’s – only he is obviously returning Jaime to his family at Kings Landing – so you know something is off. And when they bride and groom get carried off for the bedding (as was tradition), and the band start playing the haunting tune of Rains of Castamere, you can start to feel the tension. First to notice it is Cat, who also notice the door being closed behind them (for no apparent reason). A couple whispers here and there, and things start getting more tense. Something is definitely wrong. Finally, Catelyn notices how Roose is wearing armor under his clothing, and realizes exactly what is happening. She slap’s him.
And then… well, I can’t describe the shock and horror of it. The Frey’s (and what possibly was Roose Balton’s men) kill them all. Starting with Robb’s wife and unborn child – that’s right… only moments earlier she reveals that she is pregnant and that she wants to name the child Edmure (after Robb’s father obviously). The multiple stabbing straight to her belly is brutal. Robb gets shot with crossbow bolts, and then stabbed. His last words… “Mother”. And as Cat stands their, in disbelief and full of grief, her own through is slit; she bleeds out and her life is lost as well.
They even killed his direwolf, which was caged outside. What a mess. This changes everything, as now, there is no more north against the Lannisters. Arya, having just made it there, is lost in the chaos, and Clegane actually saves her by knocking her out and escaping.
I also believe this was all more intense then even the book. You see, Robb doesn’t have his own chapters in the book… as big as his role is (and as shocking as this even was), he was more of a side character. The show had taken him and not only made us love him, but also made us love his wife. Her revelation of her pregnancy was touching – and knowing was was about to happen just made it worse to me. Ugh… and I have some bad news folks… next season has a number of pretty big shocks of it own (and having recently finished book 5, let me tell you… you will be miserable).
This has been said before and it’s said again… no one is safe. This is what makes this show so much more intense then any other television show that has ever been out. You see, in every show, no matter how deep the trouble the main hero/character/protagonist is, you know he’s gonna somehow make it out… cause he/she is, well, the protagonist. But this rule doesn’t apply to Game of Thrones. If someone is in danger… well, they’re in danger. So if something goes wrong with one of your favorite characters… well you better start praying cause… there are no rules here. But at the same time, this is what makes the show more dramatic and “real”. Life doesn’t always go the way we hope, and the best thing we can actually do is our best, and keep hoping.
With all that happened in this episode, I’m not sure what’s left in store for the finale; take a look at the trailer below and tune in next Sunday for the finale of season 3 of Game of Thrones.