SPOILERS, SPOILERS AND MORE SPOILERS BELOW. JUST STOP NOW IF YOU AREN’T CAUGHT UP.
After a brief hiatus and break from weekly recaps of Game of Thrones, I’m back for a more informal look at the big picture and important aspects from last week’s epic showdown at the “Red Wedding”. Needless to say, but “The Rains of Castamere” was brutal. Let’s break down the most important moments from the episode.
1. The North Remembers.
Oh man, that was tough. Book readers have been waiting a very long time for this. (I’m reading the books, but staying plenty far behind the show’s timeline in order to maintain the suspense in each episode.) The entire wedding sequence was expertly acted and directed. From the sly glance that Walder Frey gives Robb when his daughter’s face is unveiled for the first time, to the promised frivolity of the celebration, the heart-wrenching resolution was not expected. It was certainly alluded too, but when those doors closed following the bedding ritual, you knew something horrible was at hand.
As “The Rains of Castamere” began to play, Cat’s face said it all. The roots of the song were lost on me until reading fellow viewer’s comments on Reddit the following day. If you too missed the significance, I’ll recap it quickly here.
“The Rains of Castamere”, alternatively called “The Lannister Song”, tells the story of Tywin’s destruction of House Reyne. Catelyn is the only one who recognizes the song and knows the meaning when it begins to play as the doors closed. She quickly realizes it was a trap and rightly so, fears the worst. With the head of Robb’s army, including Robb, Talisa and Cat all murdered, the remaining members of the army are additionally slaughtered. It’s implied that virtually no remains of the army are left.
The fates of Blackfish and Edmure are left ambiguous, but one would assume they’re not good. With Robb and Cat gone, the remaining Stark’s (this includes Jon), are now that much more important. The world thinks that Bran, Rickon and Arya are dead and that Sansa is the last. But, we know that’s wrong, which leads us to…
2. Bran is an extremely powerful, but unique warg.
We’ve seen glimpses of Bran’s power as a warg before, but in this episode, the possible true extent of his power was revealed. Jojen reveals that Bran’s power to enter the minds of humans is a trait only he possesses and is something that makes him incredibly powerful. When Bran finally realizes the potential to enter an animals mind on a whim, he has begun to realize his true power. Not only that, but seeing that Jon is alive, south of the wall, and on the run, gives them hope. This scene become all the more important now that he’s the heir to Winterfell. His role and importance to this story has just drastically increased.
3. Jon is on his own.
With a little help from Bran and the direwolves, Jon lives to fight another day. But the cost at which this came was extreme. Jon has lost Ygritte in more than one way. He’s physically lost her, but he’s also lost her trust. When he left, you could see the pain in her eyes. Where Jon is headed is unknown (but likely to Castle Black to warn them), but he’s injured and angry. His cover has been blown and he’s also lost someone we believe he truly cared for.
4. Daenerys has a powerful army, powerful generals, but she’s broken the heart of Jorah.
Here’s a photo floating around online that perfectly encapsulates Jorah’s sadness after his victory. The moment that Daeneyrs casually ignores the news that Jorah and Greyworm have sacked the city, and asks where Daario was. The man who has continually sought to be the jewel in the eye of his Queen, has been dealt another blow. Will it lead to something of consequence for him? For Dany? Regardless, it’s proof that his heroic feats leave little impression upon Daenerys.