Episode: “The Rains of Castamere” (Season 3, Episode 9)
Original Air Date: June 2, 2013
Director: David Nutter
Plot (via HBO)
House Frey joins forces with House Tully. Jon faces his most difficult test yet.
Best Moment: The Red Wedding
Game of Thrones is probably the greatest show of all-time, and the Red Wedding might be the best moment of the entire series—and the best television or movie scene of all-time. Simultaneously, the massacre of the Starks might also be the worst moment if you cheer for the Starks and are invested in the characters, but the episode is extremely heartbreaking and emotional, which is what makes it so superb.
As the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say, the clues are all there that something like this might happen; but the episode still does an excellent job of getting the viewer’s guard down: Edmure Tully was pleasantly surprised when he met the girl he is to marry, Talisa told Robb they should name their baby “Eddard” if it’s a boy, and everyone was having a great time at the wedding. Then when “The Rains of Castamere” starts playing and you see the look Catelyn Stark gives Roose Bolton, it creates a feeling of uneasiness before the massacre. The shock, horror, and heartbreak felt when watching the episode is displayed in the faces of Robb and Catelyn Stark, as Robb has to deal with watching his wife get brutally stabbed in the stomach and killed, then Catelyn has to deal with seeing her first-born son get stabbed in the heart by Lord Bolton, quickly ending any slight chance the King in the North might have to get out of there alive. Also, outside the castle, Grey Wind was helplessly killed and Arya, who witnessed the killing of the Stark direwolf, was so close to reuniting with her mother and brother.
The outstanding acting by Michelle Fairley—especially at the end when yelling at Walder Frey—and Richard Madden is a powerful and heart-rendering end to their time on the show. And as Benioff says on the “Inside The Episode”, at the conclusion of the episode, with Catelyn standing there in grief and shock, you just want to see the screen cut to black and end—but instead, she gets her throat cut to cap off a heart-wrenching event that turns the entire series upside down.
“The Lannisters send their regards.” – Roose Bolton to Robb Stark
This was a very emotional day on the set, with two of the actors that have been on the show from the start—Richard Madden (Robb Stark) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)—having their time come to an end. Madden says he was crying (while still covered in fake blood from the Red Wedding scene) during his plane ride home, and Fairley cried with Madden the first time she watched it while they were doing commentary on the episode.
MVP: Robb Stark
Yes, the end of the episode is as tragic as it gets for the King in the North, but in the beginning of “The Rains of Castamere”, Robb finally makes peace with his mother while asking for advice about potentially taking Casterly Rock. They had both made mistakes and were at least back on good terms just in time, before their unfortunate deaths. During the Red Wedding, Robb took a ton of arrows and remained standing like a true king; and though all hope was lost, he was able to get out a goodbye when he knowingly and mournfully said, “Mother…” for the last time.
#ForTheThrone Moment: The Red Wedding
Robb Stark had never lost a battle, and he remained a major thorn in the side of King Joffrey and the Lannisters even if he wasn’t particularly close to sacking King’s Landing. With a son or daughter on the way, things were starting to turn back in favor of the Young Wolf—but unfortunately, led by Tywin Lannister cutting deals with supposed northern allies that got something out of turning on their king, a few houses conspired against him and had him killed. Joffrey’s position on the Iron Throne, and Tywin’s hold as the true power behind the throne, became much stronger when the King in the North was eliminated while a guest at what should have been a harmless wedding under someone’s roof.
Inside The Episode