Title: Game of Thrones S3.E09 “The Rains of Castamere”
Released: 2013
Series:  Game of Thrones

Sam and Gilly’s Infinite Playlist

Sam tells Gilly how there’s this secret entrance through The Wall that he knows about on account of the fact that he reads, see?  Gilly is duly impressed by this, and suggests that Sam must be a wizard.  In his head, Sam starts quoting Babycakes here:  “LOVE is a spell.”  Gilly gazes upon The Wall and mentions how she’s always heard that no Wildling is ever supposed to be able to look upon it and live.  “And here we are.  Alive.”  She says.  Famous last words, Gilly.  Famous last words.

South of The Wall

Jon Snow and The Raiders (There should totally be a band with that name, btw.  Their hit single could be “Wildling Nation.”) come upon a horse breeder.  The Raiders plan to kill the old man and take the horses, but Jon Snow, with his damned good intentions and Starklike honor makes a case for leaving him alive.  Yeah, The Raiders pretty much roll their eyes at that, so as they’re rushing the place, Jon Snow strikes a rock with his sword, warning the old man, who jumps on a horse and gets away.

Bran’s Walkabout

Bran and company hole up in an abandoned tower to wait out a thunderstorm.  Just then, the old horse breeder rides by with Jon Snow and The Raiders hot on his tail.  The Raiders KILL THE HORSE out from under him, and Orell insists that Jon Snow kill the old man, to prove he’s one of them.  Meanwhile, in the tower, Hodor doesn’t like thunderstorms, and starts Hodoring around, making a thunderstorm of noise of his own.  Everyone’s trying to get Hodor to stop Hodoring, but Bran’s eyes just roll up into his head, and he does the mental equivalent of the Vulcan death grip or something, because Hodor collapses, asleep.  The others are duly impressed.  Turns out, Bran actually IS a wizard.  

Outside, Jon Snow can’t kill the old man, so Ygritte does it for him, but it’s too late.  He’s proven he’s not one of them.  He throws Ygrette out of the way and starts fighting with The Wildlings, while inside, Jojen suggests Bran use his newly-found wizard power to enter the minds of the direwolves and join the fight.  Bran is all, “I can’t do it on purpo-” and does it. On purpose.  With the aid of the direwolves, most of The Raiders are quickly dispatched.  Jon Snow kills Orell, but not before telling him, “You were right the whole time!” which is incredibly badass.  What’s NOT badass is that Jon Snow doesn’t seem to pause and think, “Hey, those direwolves sure do look familiar, could it be possible that I’m within 20 feet of my brothers?”  No, he hops on a horse and rides away, LEAVING YGRITTE (and his brothers) behind.  Ygritte looks PISSED.  Oh, Jon Snow.  Cunnalingus isn’t going to save you this time.

Bran convinces Osha to take Rickon to some of the Stark bannermen.  Rickon cries a bunch.

House Targaeryen

Daario (who I’ve decided looks like the love child of Fabio and Nicholas Hoult — a union I never would have predicted could produce such a perfect outcome) tells Dany that he and her two best fighters — Jorah and Grey Worm — can totally sack the city by way of a back gate.  Jorah The Easily Threatened doesn’t trust him, but Grey Worm does.  Later that night, Daario tells Jorah that he’s the greatest whistler in the land, and I mean, is there anything he CAN’T do?  Really?  Turns out he’s right about the back gate.  Jorah and Grey Worm arrive to find all of the guards already dispatched, and Daario lounging around like it ain’t no thing.  But then MORE guards arrive, and we get to see some pretty awesome sword play from Jorah, amazing scimitar work from Daario, and fancy spearing from Grey Worm.  Those guards are dispatched in moments.  But wait!  Then even MORE guards arrive and surround them!

Back at camp, Dany is wondering just how long it takes to sack a city, anyway, when Jorah and Grey Worm show up, all covered in blood, but triumphant.  Dany asks where Daario is, and Jorah’s face falls.  Could it be that something happened to Daario?  Oh no!  Just then Daario swoops in and tells her that the city is hers.  Poor Jorah.  How many cities does a man have to sack to get some appreciation around here?

Arya and The Hound

Our newest unlikely duo come upon an old man with a broken cart.  The Hound helps him fix it, then knocks the guy out.  Just as he goes to kill him, Arya begs him not to.  Oh, those wonderful, honorable Starks.  When are they going to learn?  The Hound says as much to Arya, accusing her of being too kind, and telling her that it’ll get her killed one day.  At this point, the old man starts coming to, and Arya whacks him on the head, knocking him back out.  Maybe there’s hope for one Stark, at least.  Later, with The Twins in sight, The Hound suggests that since Arya is closer to being reunited with her family than she’s been since Ned was killed, she’s nervous that she won’t make it.  That’s because Arya has obviously been watching the show, The Hound.

House Stark

And here’s where things get horribly, terribly, tremendously bad.  Here’s where they get devastating and savage.  It also happens to be one of the most intensly well done scenes in the history of television.  

All Our Robb needs to be able to take Casterly Rock is more men in the form of an army from Walder Frey.  But the Starks aren’t just noble and shit, they’re humble, too.  So Our Robb calls Catelyn into his tent to ask for her advice.  She approves the plan and tells him it’s time to show the Lannisters what it feels like to lose something they love.  Oh dear.  Once inside the Frey’s place, Our Robb asks Walder for forgiveness for going back on his deal to marry one of the Frey girls.  Frey makes him apologize to his homely daughters, and then demands to see Talisa.  David Bradley plays Frey with pervy aplomb, though I can’t help but feel that he himself looks a bit naked without Mrs. Norris in his arms.

Later, Frey escorts a heavily-veiled daughter down the aisle toward a very nervous-looking Edmure.  But then he lifts the veil, and surprise!  He had a gorgeous daughter all along!  Edmure is totally stoked, and Frey gives a hysterical look-that-says-a-thousand-words to Our Robb.  The wedding is joyous and the feast commences.  Everyone is happy, especially Edmure.  Frey decides it’s time for The Bedding, which is where folks take the bride and groom out and pretty much watch them get it on, to, um, seal the deal, I guess.  Our Robb asks Talisa if she thinks their baby is going to be a girl or a boy.  Of course, this is Westeros, so she has no idea.  I mean, in Westeros, expecting mothers probably just say they hope their babies have all their fingers and toes and don’t come out a smoke monster.  But she tells him that if it’s a boy, she wants to name him Ned.  Our Robb (and all of us) get choked up by this.  Even Catelyn smiles! 

But THEN one of the Freys locks the doors.  And that’s when the niggling nervousness in my stomach becomes a stone.  Frey tells Our Robb that he never gave him his wedding present, and Catelyn looks over to Roose Bolton, lifting up his sleeve to reveal chain mail underneath.  She stands up and slaps him, calling out a single “Robb!”  As the band plays on, a guy walks up behind Talisa and stabs her in the stomach over and over, while Robb watches, frozen in horror.  It is one of the most brutal and heart-wrenching scenes I’ve ever witnessed.  Then Frey’s men shoot arrows into him, Catelyn, and all of their men — save, we presume, Catelyn’s uncle, who left moments earlier for a piss.  

Outside, The Hound and Arya approach in the cart, only to be turned away.  The feast is over, the guard tells them.  The Hound turns around to find that Arya has jumped wagon and snuck in on her own.  She watches as all of Robb’s men get killed, and notices his direwolf, Grey Wind trying to escape his stall.  Just when you think all is not lost, that perhaps Arya will free Grey Wind and at least the two of them will escape together, Frey’s men surround the stall and fire arrows into it.  Arya watches Grey Wind die from her hiding spot, and I haven’t been this choked up since Lee Scoresby and Hester.  The Hound sneaks up and knocks Arya out, saving her life.

Our Robb holds Talisa as the life drains out of her.  She is all he can see.  But Catelyn, ignoring the arrow in her back, grabs one of Frey’s young wives and holds a knife to her throat.  She tells Frey to let her son go, and urges Robb to walk away, but as he stands, he just looks at her and says, “Mother…” 

Roose Bolton walks up to him and stabs him in the heart, saying “The Lannisters send their regards.”  As Our Robb collapses to the ground, Catelyn screams and slices the throat of Frey’s young wife, before one of the Freys slits her own.

That’s it.  I’m gutted.  I mean, I always predicted Our Robb would be the next to go, because he was so good, and if he won, there would be no conflict, so of course from a plot perspective, it made sense.  But I WASN’T READY!!!  And I NEVER thought they’d kill Catelyn, too.  Even while the scene was unfolding, I thought she’d find some way out.  In one fell swoop, that’s 3 1/2 Starks.  Dead.  And I find myself affected.  Even more than I thought I would be.  In fact, I’m too upset to add any quotes for our slam book, or translate a scene into “If Game of Thrones Was a YA Novel” because HOW CAN WE GO ON?!!!!

I don’t know what the show has in store for us in the final episode of the season next week, but all I can say is they had BETTER do something SERIOUSLY badass, to make it up to us.  Like, killing Joffrey or something.

Come on, let’s grieve.


Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.