Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” Season 3 Episode 9 Review: The Horrifying Red Wedding

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It was a big week for the Starks in this pivotal episode.

Robb prepares to repay his debts to the Freys by allowing his cousin to Edmure to marry one of them to form a new allegiance in the war. Things seemed to be going to well for everyone with way too much forgiveness being thrown around and Arya finally close to reuniting with her family.

But no, once again, Game of Thrones has ripped my heart out. There are no rules in this series. First, Robb’s pregnant wife was brutally stabbed in the chest. Crossbows caused a rain like no other. Not even Ned Stark’s death matches up to this. Robb takes a knife to the gut, as his mother screams. Then just silence. As Catelyn stands there staring at her son’s body, another man comes and slits her throat.

At least Arya didn’t have to sit there and see it. The Hound pulled her out of the mess at the last minute. She can add a few names to that list of hers.

It almost doesn’t even make sense to write about any of the other things that happened this week, no matter how pivotal and exciting.

Until the end, I found Jon Snow and Bran almost crossing paths to be the most compelling stuff of the season. Bran’s search has led to this, and his journey realizing his powers has been an exciting one. This beautifully came to a head with Jon Snow undercover among the wildlings. He tries to save an old man, but when they catch him, the freaky other warg tells Jon to kill the old man. He can’t and a fight breaks out. I beamed as Ygritte stood beside him, but they were still outmatched. At least until Bran took control of the wolves, allowing Jon to escape.

But sadly this did not lead to their meeting. Instead, Bran still plans to go over the wall, separating from his little brother and Osha, who will accompany him to his family (except they are now all dead…). But it was still a sad goodbye, and I wouldn’t mind adding Rickon and Osha to the list of people we follow.

Meanwhile, Daenerys plans to take over Yunkai. Which succeeds after a few well constructed action sequences, something this season has seen very few of. I wonder when the Mother of Dragons may realize she has too much power in her grasp.

The only other character we saw this week was Samwell getting closer to the wall. It didn’t seem necessary, but at least they’re getting somewhere.

Still though, these events, especially the last two hardly hit the note that the massacre at the wedding saw. But few on this show really do. At least we saw Robb and Catelyn on good terms at the very beginning, with their last moments including so beautiful happiness and pride. These guys will seriously be missed. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

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