Game of Thrones Recap: Wedded Diss [Updated]

Game of Thrones Season 3 RecapNed Stark’s beheading in Game of Thrones first season was brutal. This week’s episode makes that murder look like a gentle mercy killing.

If you’re among what some fans of the series refer to as the “unsullied” – aka those who haven’t read George R. R. Martin’s book series and are therefore unspoiled about what’s likely to happen in the TV series – the hour probably put you into a catatonic state. I am decidedly sullied… and it was still a really sad, grossly violent, hard-to-watch episode.

Let’s all get through this together, shall we? Here’s what happened in “The Rains of Castamere.”

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HOUSE TARGARYEN | We’ll start far away from The Twins – how about outside of Yunkai, where Daario Naharis is advising Daenerys on the best way to take the city? His plan of attack boils down to, “I’ll knock on the back door, kill the guards and slip around to the front door, where I’ll let your army in.” Daario, you stole that scheme from any high-schooler trying to sneak his or her friends into a movie through the theater’s exit door. Is it any wonder that Jorah and Barristan are wary of the pretty interloper? But Grey Worm trusts him, so Dany tells them they’re to go that very evening. Though it looks dodgy for a minute or two – at one point, Khaleesi’s three look like they’re about to be made into Yunkai chowder, and I fear for Jorah because he’s strong but old and you just know he’s got a trick knee or bad back or something – but the former knight returns to report that the slave soldiers “threw down their spears and surrendered.” Daenerys only fully exhales when Lotsa Locks Ken Doll is back safe, too, kneeling at her feet and saying, “The city is yours, my queen.”

THE (CURRENT AND FORMER) MEN OF THE WALL | Sam leads Gilly through the woods, telling her about the black gate: a secret passage through The Wall that’s buried deep in one of the castles along the gigantic block of ice. She’s dumbfounded that he knows all of that just from reading, a skill she clearly doesn’t have. “You’re like a wizard,” she sighs. The geeky glow of pride on his face at her inadvertent compliment is fleeting, but THINGS GET BAD LATER and I need to hang on every moment of happiness that I can, OK?

Elsewhere, Jon’s having a hard time convincing Ygritte and the gang of wildlings not to murder a horse trader whose farm they’ve stumbled across. Of course, they don’t listen to him; they storm the house and then pursue the trader when he takes off on horseback. (Side note: Now that they’re south of The Wall, aren’t the free folk sweaty in all of their fur trappings? The weather looks positively springlike, guys. Lose a raccoon tail or two.)

When they corner the man, Tormund and Orell think it’s a good idea for Jon to kill him. Though Jon stands in the pouring rain and holds his sword to the trader’s throat, he can’t bring himself to do the deed… so Ygritte does it for him with an arrow. Tormund and Orell immediately go attack both Snow and his “crow wife.” Jon knocks the redhead out of the way and winds up killing Orell, who wargs into his eagle and screams down from the sky, claws ripping at Snow’s pretty face. And for that, I will cut you, bird. Through a sequence of events we’ll get into in a minute, Summer the direwolf jumps into the action and saves Jon, who hops on a horse and takes off. It’s probably best he’s outta there; Ygritte looks ready to divest him of his most important parts.

HOUSE STARK: TALK-TO-THE-ANIMALS EDITION | Unbeknownst to Jon, Bran, Osha, Rickon, Hodor, Meera and Jojen have taken refuge from the storm in a nearby tower. A panicked Hodor is scared of the thunder and makes a ruckus; as the group tries to quiet him, Bran’s eyes roll back, turn white and he falls slack. At the same time, Hodor instantly calms and falls gently to his knees. Yep, Bran was somehow able to enter the simple giant’s mind and chill him out. Jojen urges Bran to mind-meld with Summer in order to see what’s going on outside. Though the Stark boy claims he can’t, the greenseer politely disagrees. “You’re a warg, Bran,” he says. “It’s in your blood.” So it’s actually Bran – in Summer’s body – who saves his half-brother.

When Bran comes back to himself, he relates what he saw and then instructs Osha to take Rickon and Shaggy Dog to a nearby safe site. His little brother cries and protests, but Bran is resolute. “Robb’s at war, and I’m going beyond the wall,” he says. Osha knows it’s for the best. As Rickon says goodbye to his brother for probably the last time (good God, how much heartache can this family endure? Don’t answer that), Osha asks Meera and Jojen to “Keep this one safe. He means the world to me.”

HOUSE STARK: NICE-DAY-FOR-A-RED-WEDDING EDITION | Just before they arrive at the Freys’, Robb consults his mother about his plan to take Casterly Rock. After all, he didn’t heed her advice against sending Theon to deal with his father, and now the north is crawling with Ironborn and Winterfell is in ruins. She is clearly touched that he wants her input, which she gives gladly: “Show them how it feels to lose what they love.”

The Starks’ arrival at The Twins is marked with a ceremonial sharing of salt and bread and Robb’s formal apology to Frey’s long line of daughters and granddaughters, a plain-looking lot trotted out like the Von Trapp children in a women’s prison production of Sound of Music. Even Frey can’t remember all of their names; maybe that spot in his brain is taken up by the letchy comments he aims Talisa’s way. He deems her “prettier than this lot, that’s for sure” (and he’s not wrong), then announces, “When I was your age, I’d have broken 50 oaths to get into that without a second thought.” Charming. He also notes that he “can always tell what’s going on beneath a dress,” which will prove horribly important later. He ends their meeting by telling everyone to prepare for Edmure’s marriage to one of his other daughters. “The wine will flow red, the music will play loud and we’ll put this mess behind us,” he says.

While Robb’s men drink and carouse in camp outside the castle, Edmure is pleased to see that his bride Roslin does not take after her sisters in the looks department. She’s very young, yes, but quite pretty. (Side note: I love the moment that the Blackfish looks over and is taken aback by Frey’s other daughters, who’ve been drinking him in like Dornish wine throughout the ceremony. Heh.) Edmure and the girl are wed, and the reception begins. Roose Bolton is there, sweet-talking Lady Catelyn. Talisa and Robb happily talk about their baby, and when she suggests naming it Eddard if it’s a boy, both the King in the North and I get a little verklempt. “Don’t you want to teach little Ned Stark how to ride horses?” she coos, and they kiss.

Hold onto the memory of that happy moment, everyone, because it’s the last one we’ll have for a while. After Edmure and Roslin are carried off in the bedding ceremony, Catelyn seems to know that something’s amiss. One of the Frey sons closes the door to the reception chamber, and Frey halts the music. “Your grace, I feel I’ve been remiss in my duties,” the old man says. “I haven’t shown you the hospitality you deserve. My king was married, and I owe my new queen a wedding gift.” As that’s going on, Catelyn looks down and realizes that Bolton is wearing chain mail under his wedding finery. She slaps him and tries to warn Robb, but it’s far too late. One of the Frey sons pulls a dagger from his sleeve and – in a move that was not in the book and therefore horrified me just as much as it did you – stabs Talisa in the belly multiple times. Chaos breaks out as Frey’s archers hit Robb and then various Frey folk attack the Stark contingent present in the room. Even Catelyn takes an arrow in the back.

Before long, nearly everyone related to the Stark cause is dead. Robb drags himself over to his lifeless wife and holds her while Catelyn grabs Frey’s young wife and holds a knife to her throat, screaming that she’ll kill the girl if Robb isn’t allowed to go free. Frey shrugs. “I’ll find another,” he tosses out nonchalantly. Just then, Bolton swoops in and drives a dagger into Robb’s midsection. “The Lannisters send their regards,” he intones as Ned’s oldest son falls down, dead. Lady Catelyn screams and slits Frey’s wife’s throat, then just stands there with her mouth agape. And then, just when you’re absolutely sure it can’t get any worse than what you’ve already seen… a man steps into the frame and does the same to Catelyn.

But wait! It gets even more heartbreaking! Arya and the Hound arrive at The Twins just in time to see Robb’s wolf Grey Wind get arrowed into the afterlife and to see Frey’s men finishing off the Stark loyalists in the camp. The dashed hope, which becomes utter horror, on Arya’s face might be the worst thing in the entire episode. Knowing that stuff is about to go down, the Hound knocks her out and carries her away.

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Vickie T. says:

    I haven’t read the books and have been watching each and every episode with much anticipation. I must say at times I’m not sure what’s going on – you really have to pay attention. I was very sadden by the red wedding. you grow to love the characters and just hate when someone dies. Tyrion and the dragon queen are my favorite characters.

    • BrianR says:

      I was’t sure either until I read the books. There is a lot of subtext there and if you watch the show and miss one piece of dialog you could be confused for a year.

  2. maru says:

    Every Stark has to sufer!??? why whyyyyy?? even Tony Stark has had so much to go with!! i was crying the entire scene and even 2 hours after!! :(

  3. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    Truly faithful to the book in horror, as Red Weddings go.

  4. Kat says:

    I feel traumatized! I scared my poor dog who was sleeping next to me on the couch when I started yelling at the tv screen. I’ve been putting off reading the books because I love being surprised by what happens on the show and holy cow was I surprised tonight! Can’t wait to see what the finale next week holds.

  5. Chovy says:

    I guess that all this tragic deaths now open up the introduction of the (rest of the) Greyjoys and the Martells too….

  6. JORDAN T. says:

    Heartbreaking now but next season we get a death we have been waiting for since the beginning.

  7. Kerry Meyers says:

    Apparently there “should” be a comment section for those who’ve read the book and those that haven’t. For those of us who haven’t, and are just trying to enjoy the show, you are all throwing out spoilers as if the series has run its course.

    • cookie says:

      Kerry most websites do separate readers/non-readers. Most non readers come off as childish,intellectually inferior. Most refers really want them to enjoy the series as they see it. Its just their
      Comments that floor the readers. They try to come off as authority to original works and that’s where the separation develops. Readers need to let the non readers have their say even when readers know differently. I’ve read some remarks that have nothing to do with the content. I personally I like reading there reactions. Blogs should be fun and informative.

  8. Kevan says:

    Talisa being stabbed in the belly made me go cold inside. To my core. I was almost sick when it happened. That was skirting the line with “over the top.”

  9. Sarah K says:

    Michelle Fairley for performer of the week… i’m calling it. she was AMAZING tonight. she broke my heart.

  10. Bobbie says:

    I read the books, so it wasn’t a surprise. I wasn’t unhappy about it, in any way. For this not to happen would have been a great disappointment.
    When I saw the first episode of The Game of Thrones, before I read the books, I was upset that Ned Stark unjustly beheaded a soldier from The Wall as a deserter. I knew that the writers would make me love his character, but still it was fitting that he should die the same way. We begin with a beheading and end with one. The executioner became the executed. That Ned’s motives may have been more honorable is no matter. He still killed an innocent man.
    What can be said for Rob Stark who spit on the Freys, so to speak? This is the game of thrones.

  11. Bryan says:

    AWESOME. As a book reader, watching that play out on-screen was an amazing experience and I’m glad they did it so well(though I’m just a teeny bit disappointed they cut the Catelyn clawing her face and laughing maniacally part in the book), I felt Robb’s wife’s multiple stabbing was a bit too much though, once or twice was enough, come on!

    Though, I have to say like when I read this in the books, I still felt NOTHING, I really don’t know why, but I don’t feel bad for Robb- his stupidity and naïvete basically brought this upon himself and Catelyn- well I just never liked her. The only people I really felt bad for was Arya and Greywind tbh. So I can say the only feelings I had after this episode were shock(at how gruesome it was) and respect for a well written and well acted episode(Michelle Fairley). BEST of the season by far.
    Not looking forward to seeing Lady Stoneheart though :(

    • cookie says:

      Bryan I was like u, when I read about the RW. I thought that Robb got what he deserved. He lost his edge when Catelyn released Jamie Lannister. She should have been punished then,he lost the loyality of his men. Also when he killed one of his top advisors against reason. I can’t remember his name,and Robb last half of his army because of it. It just sets up his turning to the Freys. He should have stayed the course to avenge his fathers death.

      • No Slave says:

        Sure I suppose. But in the book, Robb is actually younger than he looks on TV. He’s just a young kid who was suddenly crowned King by a bunch of old men. To think he actually won that many battles as inexperienced as he is is already saying something about him. That being said, all his other actions did lead to this kind of ending for him. In the game of thrones, you win or you die.

  12. christina delaney says:

    I am still not over Neds death. No matter how many times I watch the episode, I still have a stupid little hope that Joffrey will spare him. Stupid huh? This one will really do my head in :(

  13. Jack says:

    Hey book readers, go to to bitch. This is TVline and we don’t give a crap about the book, only the interpretaion that we pay HBO to make.

  14. Ella says:

    I’m probably the world’s biggest animal lover so I had to fast forward the scene where Grey Wind dies. In the book, he manages to take out a few soldiers before he is killed. To have him tethered like a sitting duck and unable to fight back as he was shot was heartbreaking but somewhat merciful, I suppose. At least it was quick and we didn’t properly have to see it. Unlike a pregnant Talisa being stabbed several times in the stomach…I just…I can’t. I knew it was coming and yet I am devastated. I didn’t care too much for Catelyn but I am going to miss Robb horribly :(

  15. reen says:

    Kimberly Roots, I love your recaps– they are always entertaining and informative at the same time. “Lotsa Locks Ken Doll” LOL! Reading it helped put a smile on my face, because I’m still reeling from that horrific ending. I haven’t read the books yet–I purchased them to read this summer–but now, I just don’t know. I sat there, stunned, as the credits silently rolled. Is there anything good that happens in this series? I really like the Daenerys character, but I’m afraid she’s going to be brutally killed, too, since everyone seems to die or get maimed or tortured (not that I’m a fan of Theon-yuck-but those torture scenes, WTH?). It’s hard to watch something, get totally vested, and then get totally slammed. Wow. Just….wow.

  16. Maureen says:

    Best episode yet. For those complaining about spoilers, stay off the Internet, stop following on twitter, etc. pretty simple to control. For those who choose to read the reviews, I find them interesting along with the constructive, informed comments they generate. Am going to rewatch the episode now.

  17. Ashley says:

    I can’t believe there’s really some chasm between those who’ve read the books and those who haven’t. We’re obviously all fans of the show, why does anything else matter? Personally, I’ve purposely not read the books until after its season has aired because I don’t want to be spoiled for the show. And it’s for moments like last night that I’m glad I haven’t. I’m still stewing in shock and heartbreak lol.

    If you’re that compelled to discuss a book on a TV forum, at least give us the courtesy of a Spoiler tag (as some of you have already done, thank you). We do not come to discuss a current episode just to find out what you know about the next one.

    • Matthew says:

      That strategy won’t work for you anymore. Books 3, 4 and 5 are being split among Seasons 3, 4, 5, 6 and maybe even part of 7. Heck, all the Theon stuff this season? That’s from Book 5. The books muck with time more than the show has the option of doing while still being coherent.

      • Ashley says:

        Oh yikes, thanks for letting me know.

        Even so, I’m not reading the books ahead of time for a reason. Not because I “can’t be bothered to,” as some seem to think.

    • BrianR says:

      Its about halfway through book 3 so far. Still lots more Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Jaime and Brienne to go. Lots of story left for season 4.

  18. Chance says:

    Valar Morghulis indeend

  19. NCSouthernBelle says:

    In the opening scene, when Robb and Catelyn are looking over the map, there’s a figure of what looks like Theon Greyjoy on that X-shaped torture thing; is Robb is behind Theon’s torture? I’d hoped to see one more conversation between the two of them.

    • Lexdy says:

      The figure you see is a flayed man, nailed to an X, sigil of House Bolton (Roose Bolton, the head of the House and one of Robb’s Bannermen was the one who killed him).

  20. NCSouthernBelle says:

    Also, does Jon recognize Summer the direwolf and piece together that Bran’s around somewhere? I thought that’s why he ran off, to lead the wildlings away from his brother. I really hated seeing Jon leaving Ygritte behind!

    • Mike R. says:

      In the books he does, but I don’t think there was a good enough way to mention it amongst all the fighting.

  21. t86 says:

    Epic episode! i knew what expected, but i’m still shocked.

  22. vdofan says:

    So what is Edmure’s fate? Was he killed as well, off screen?

    • Jules says:

      I was wondering the same thing.. did something happen to him as well, or did they let him live? Also maybe it’s just cause I had my eyes only half open when watching it, but I didn’t see Blackfish Tully in the hall when all the killing started, was he killed, or did he survive?

  23. Tom says:

    I am angered by the episode. It took major characters, who we have grown to know and love as the story’s protagonists, and then kill them in what seemed a minor subplot. I think the writers are sadists and I just don’t care to ride along anymore.

    I hope Mr. Martin never finishes the rest of the books.

    • Mark says:

      LOL. How is this a minor subplot? I guess you weren’t paying attention.

    • JT says:

      Minor subplot? Are you serious?

    • cute as a button says:

      minor subplot? … someone hasn’t been paying attention…

    • No Slave says:

      Lol, it’s not a minor subplot. As soon as Robb took the title of King of the North, he became a player in the game of thrones. Seems like he forgot that somewhere along the line, married Talisa/Jeyne and offended Walder Frey (who Robb repeatedly knew he needed on his side to win the war). As soon as he had done that, he should have known better to go back. His throne was already lost.

  24. JT says:

    I think if they included everything from the book pertaining to the events of the Red wedding, the uproar would be worst. Seriously to the people who went on twitter to complain about what happen should get a grip. Talking about how u are going to cancel your HBO subscription (I mean really) you should just stop, stop it right now. The “good guy” characters die sometimes, get over it. Look at Ned Stark, this is probably the sixth or seventh time I made this statement today, a lot of us thought hey, this guy is going to last the whole series but we all know what happened to him.

    No one is safe in Game of Thrones people, if you didn’t know before this episode you know now.

    • tripoli says:

      I haven’t yet read the books but the one thing anyone who has read them has said to me is that no one is safe. That should have been clear the second Ned Stark’s fate was sealed. I kinda love that they really don’t shy away from offing major characters. Obviously the source material helps dictate that, but it’s still pretty awesome to see things go down in such an awesome, no holds barred, style.

  25. JT says:

    I think the ones who blasted twitter last night are Robb Stark fans. I mean when Ned died, yeah it was an uproar but nothing as far as cancelling your HBO subscriptions. That to me is ridiculous. It’s tv people, s*** happens.

  26. Jj says:

    This was an epic episode. But the books are always better than the tv show or movie for me. That said, this was a very good book to tv adaptation, and I can’t wait for what comes next!!

  27. rachelle says:

    I haven’t read the books and was HORRIFIED. I screamed my butt off and cried so hard when Talisa, Robb, and Catelyn died. I knew not to get attached to characters on this show, but I couldn’t help myself and now I am heartbroken and scarred.

  28. Ally Kitane says:

    I’m simply sad about what I just watched. :(

  29. Pokie says:

    WOW. Shocking to the core. These poor Starks.When will their tragedies end. They seem to me to be the only non-disfunctional family in the seven kingdoms. As soon as I heard the music the band was playing I knew it was a trap. This story spares no character, beloved or not, which is why I love it so much. It’s not like most shows or movies where main characters are always getting out of situations that are quite dangerous.
    I tried reading the books, but I couldn’t keep up with the show.
    I watched an interview some time ago in which one of the actors said that even main characters might not be spared and its all part of the telling of the story. But on saying this I found the ending to episode 9 sent me into shock. But it was amazing. The hardest part was seeing poor Arya’s face. I hope she lives to take her revenge!

    So tell me readers, you’re talking about Joffrey’s wedding: does he get his just deserves? I wanna see some suffering on their side.

  30. J. May says:

    Poor Arya, always just in time to see members of her family brutally killed :( I hope Martin eventually writes a book where she gets revenge on anybody that she possible can.

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  32. No Slave says:

    Okay, so being a book reader, I really hate it when people intentionally spoil the story for others who haven’t read the book. I know when I first picked up the book, season 1 had just ended. I was utterly shocked with Ned’s death because I hadn’t expected it. So when I started reading the book, I was a little hesitant. I didn’t want to know ahead of the show, come on, I liked being caught off guard and not knowing where they were taking the story. But the book was just amazing and I couldn’t put it down and finished it all before I knew it. So I completely respect those who don’t want to read the book before the show ends. It’s really a matter of preference. So to those intentional spoilers: I hate you.

    That being said, this episode was amazing. I was pleasantly surprised that they did a good job on the Red Wedding. Most shows butcher major events so I was dreading it. When I read the title of the show (Rains of Castamere), I was really hoping that they wouldn’t do the Red Wedding yet. Ah well…

    I absolutely love the interaction between Arya and the Hound. Their dialogue is simply amazing to watch. Arya is a fierce little thing, she’s almost scarier than the Hound. It’s endearing in a way.

    When Daario was introduced last episode, I was a little disappointed with his casting. He wasn’t what I imagined when I was reading the book, but I must say that he did not disappoint at all in this episode. I take back all my ill-will against him and give him my meaningless stamp of approval.

    Ygritte’s expression when Jon Snow rode away was priceless. She’s a great character.

    As for the Red Wedding in general, I kept expecting Rosalyn to CRY. In the book, she was weeping and weeping when they started the bedding. Catelyn thought it was because she was just a new bride. And I thought it was so as well. Then all the killing happens and I’m like “ohhhhh, damn you Rosalyn! That’s why you were crying!”

    And Talisa and all that talk about potential baby Ned… Gosh, and THEN being stabbed in the stomach. I was shocked! Because in the book Jeyne survives and I thought they would let Talisa live. Even as she was being stabbed, I was naively thinking “she’ll live, she’s fine”. What’s stunning is how she manages to stand up, walk several steps before collapsing in the middle of the aisle.

    Got to say, when I was reading the Red Wedding in the book, I was totally shocked throughout it all. But when I watched the show, I actually teared up for Robb. Poor Robb. Poor poor Robb. Especially when he went to hold his wife. ): Just… poor sad Robb…

    And then Roose Bolton’s final blow. I am still disappointed with his casting.

    Which brings me to Catelyn’s role. Must say I was slightly disappointed with her. Could be that I was expecting more after reading her POV in the book. In the show, her grief just didn’t cut it for me. Her look of fear and suspicion leading up to the final moment was great but everything else afterwards was …bleh. Is it just me or does everyone think she did an amazing job? But the final frame of the man coming up to slit her throat was gruesome but cleverly done.

    And oh jeez, Grey Wind and Arya. My heart actually stopped for a second when Arya crawled towards the stables. I thought she was going to free the wolf and there at least a happy ending could exist. But noooo… those men appeared on screen. Even then I thought they would just walk on past. But they shot the wolf, we heard cries of pain, and I thought that was it. Then they SHOWED us Grey Wind dying from the small space just underneath the stables! To top it off, Arya’s expression! I have to say, after all of that, instead of sitting down and just crying, she finds the will to hide and not make a sound. That’s really something. Makes me compare her to Sansa and see the huge difference between the two siblings.

    Okay, so in the book, Arya wants to charge into the hall and rescue her family. The Hound cautions her not to, she ignores him, and makes a run for the drawbridge that leads to the wedding hall. The Hound goes after her with an axe, rides her down, and smacks her unconscious with the flat of his axe. Was strangely looking forward to that scene, but I guess you can only fit so much in an episode. Oh well.

  33. blake says:

    Looking for ahead to reading extra from you in a while!? Im usually to blogging and i really respect your content.

  34. HenorStag says:

    I love the Game of Thrones! I seen online where a couple had a Game of Thrones themed wedding! How creative.. It seems like a good idea for a hen party too!

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