GoT’s ‘The Rains of Castamere’ Shocks TV Fans, Not Book Readers
Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones has literally blown up the Internet with its shocking ending, which has in turn melted the minds of fans that have only ever watched the HBO series. The moment I saw the title of ‘The Rains of Castamere’, I knew exactly what was in store for the 9th episode in the third season of Game of Thrones – The Red Wedding (don’t google that term unless you are a spoiler hunter).
SPOILERS WARNING! PLEASE DO NOT READ PAST THIS LINE IF YOU’RE TRYING TO AVOID GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS.
When I first read the events of the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords I couldn’t sleep for hours. The fact that Martin killed off a majority of the remaining Starks in one chapter left me shocked to the core. I couldn’t even believe that he would viciously murder the one King that I believed to be the ultimate hero of the books. There’s no way he’d kill Robb is what I thought throughout the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, but as many of you who haven’t read the books found out last night, no character is a sacred cow to Martin, and ultimately we truly have no idea where he’s taking his extensive tale.
After finishing the third book a few weeks before the start of HBO’s third season of Game of Thrones I couldn’t help but wonder how the showrunners would execute (literally) this somber section of the story. Based on last night’s episode, and the fan reaction afterwards, I’d say they did a fine job bringing the Red Wedding to life.
A few noticeable items weren’t in the book, such as Robb’s wife being there and killed (she never went to the Twins and she never was pregnant), and Ser Brynden Tully was never in attendance either, but overall the show nailed the horrific scene.
I appreciated how they made the minstrels stand out as being odd, which was indeed a major thread in the book. With each passing song the wedding guests would wonder to themselves why these musicians sounded so bad, but as we find out they’re actually assassins that the Frey’s brought in to punish Robb and his bannermen for his slight to their family’s honor, so that’s why they sounded like a bunch of America’s Got Talent rejects. The scene with the salt and bread is key too, because in those times that signified that guests were under the protection of the house, and it’s considered an ill omen to kill protected guests. Well, that’s unless you’re not a Frey.
Overall, the Red Wedding scene in live action form didn’t shock me because I knew it was coming, but I was glad to see the reaction on my wife’s face, as well as the myriad social network posts that people put up after the show aired. Obviously, my knowledge of the event ruined any surprise that the show offered to non-book readers, but HBO’s team of writers and directors did a fine job bringing this tragedy to life. Even with the knowledge of the events that were to happen in ‘The Rains of Castamere’ I still got a little anxious while watching, so don’t take this rant as a knock on the show by any means. It did this scene justice, I just spoiled it for myself by reading the books.
Although, I’m still glad I decided to read the books, because they truly do outclass the show in every way possible. I’ll never know if I would’ve experienced the same outrage that other fans of the show exhibited last night, but I did feel their pain while reading it and understand the outrage. This rabid response just goes to show you how amazing Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire truly is, and how fiction can infect people’s minds as if the stories were real. I once thought that Robb would be a major player in how the series ended, but like most of you, I thought wrong. Again, this is just another indicator of how deep and twisting the overall narrative of this franchise is.
All I can say to those of you who feel betrayed by the Stark murders is that they’re not the only family to lose some of their ranks before A Storm of Swords ends, so don’t give up hope yet. There’s still some killing left to be done.
‘The Rains of Castamere’ fan reactions:
io9 has collected a bunch of fan tweets from after the show last night. Some of them are great and show you just how deep this episode wounded fans. I don’t blame them. Like I said this event made me feel the same way when I read it, but seeing it definitely didn’t hurt as bad since I knew it was coming.
This sums up how I felt about the episode (Via imgur):
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