The penultimate episode of the third season of “Game of Thrones” came as a shock to many but not to fans who have read the books. The “Red Wedding” was one of the biggest events to happen in the first three books by George R.R. Martin and following the grisly scene on HBO, fans haven't stopped talking about several major deaths.
The “Red Wedding,” begins with Robb Stark seeking Lord Walder Frey’s forgiveness for breaking an oath to marry one of his daughters. Stark hoped to gain Frey’s army to take Casterly Rock, the Lannister’s home, and offered Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s brother, as a compromise.
While Frey seemed accommodating, although a bit crass in regards to his review of Stark’s wife, Talisa Maegyr, things would soon turn out horribly for the Stark family. Following the wedding ceremony and the subsequent bedding ritual, where husband and wife are whisked away to consummate their vows, the wedding band soon strikes up “The Rains of Castamere,” an ominous sign of things to come.
“The Rains of Castamere,” is the Lannister’s song and an ode to what happens to anyone that happens to cross the family. The House of Reyne of Castamere was wiped out by Tywin Lannister following a failed rebellion. With the song playing, Cat becomes suspicious and discovers Lord Roose Bolton, an ally of the Stark’s, is wearing armor. Cat is too late to save anyone, and, along with Stark, Talisa and the Stark army are slaughtered by Frey’s men.
The Stark army was set up by Frey and the Lannisters and is decimated at The Twins. Lord Bolton announces the treachery, delivering the killing blow to Robb Stark. In the most startling moment, one of Frey’s men viciously stabs Talisa’s stomach. Moments before her death, she and Robb were contemplating what to name their unborn child, if it was a boy she wanted to name the child after his slain father, Eddard.
The Red Wedding is one of the biggest moments to happen on “Game of Thrones,” following the massive Blackwater battle in season two and the shocking death of Eddard Stark in season one. It completely alters the Westeros landscape, the only members of the Stark family left are Arya, currently in the hands of the Hound, Rickon, fleeing to House Umber, Bran, heading past The Wall with the Reeds, and Sansa, stuck in King’s Landing and married to Tyrion Lannister.
It took 13 years, but fans, who read “A Storm of Swords” when it was first published in 2000 or consumed all five novels shortly after the first season of “GoT” ended in 2011, can finally discuss the Red Wedding and the shocking implications of the deaths of Cat, Robb and the Stark army.
On social media, the Red Wedding has been clogging up Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines, with more than 12,000 mentions since “The Rains of Castamere” first aired on HBO on Sunday. The deaths of Robb and Cat weren't meant to merely shock readers or fans; it was Martin’s plan from the beginning.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibbard, Martin said the Red Wedding was meant to keep the books unpredictable and to upend some classic tropes found in the fantasy genre, such as the avenging son. Martin discusses the historical Red Wedding, Scotland’s The Black Dinner, where the King of Scotland invited a rival he was fighting with, the Black Douglas clan. Much in the same manner as the Red Wedding, instead of the proposed peace, there was death as the King’s men killed the Black Douglas clan.
There's only one more episode left in the third season of “Game of Thrones,” “Mhysa.” Like in the previous seasons, expect plenty of characters to discuss the fallout of the Red Wedding and the story to advance slightly to give a glimpse of what to expect in the fourth season. The third season of “GoT” covers the majority of “A Storm of Swords” and there may be one or two shocking moments that will have fans talking at the end of season four.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.