Frey and Bolton Pieces

The Red Wedding: GRRM, Richard Madden, and Fan Reactions

The halls of Game of Thrones fandom still resound with screams of anguished non-bookies, their torture made much worse by the satisfaction of the bookies who even dared to film their reactions to last Sunday’s Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 9: The Rains of Castamere. If the title wasn’t subtle enough, the Red Wedding enacted on TV was certainly sufficiently overt. The Stark uprising is decidedly crushed, owing to the strategic maneuverings of Tywin Lannister, the betrayal of Roose Bolton, and the sheer despicable execution of Walder Frey’s vengeance for a King’s broken oath. Lady Melisandre’s Lord of Light seems to deliver 100%. Now he just needs to kill Joffrey Baratheon Lannister and Balon Greyjoy to complete the burden of proof Ser Davos placed on his King’s Red Woman.

It looked like a nice enough party… at first.

While the Red Wedding was surely the main event of the episode, some tidbits helped sweeten the deal: namely the skirmish that ultimately won Dany a new city led by her three top fighters (I’d rather call Ser Barristan one of her top fighters too, but then again, he’s Queensguard), and Jon Snow’s escape from his wildling group care of a little help from a warging Bran. Indeed, this episode saw the Starks as close as they’d probably get to reuniting, only to witness their ultimate separation. Bran, Rickon, and Jon were a stone’s throw apart, but in the end, Jon left and Rickon even had to go separate ways from Bran. Arya was a castle gate away from Robb and her mother, but only yet another uncharacteristic timely save via standard brutality from the Hound spared her from sharing their untimely demise.

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin shared his thoughts, his plans, and his inspiration for the Red Wedding, stating that from the start, when he first resolved to create an entirely unpredictable story, he knew that he’d not only have Ned Stark beheaded, but he also needed to destroy all hope for a quick and satisfying vengeance care of his eldest son and new (now late) King in the North. He took inspiration, he says, from real life medieval massacres from Scotland, one of which was where a monarch, after giving his protection for his guests, brutally murdered them – a completely irredeemable act that supposedly brings down a curse on his house. Fans of the Starks rejoice, then, if this proves to be the fate for Walder Frey. Read the full interview here: ‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin: Why he wrote The Red Wedding — EXCLUSIVE

Meanwhile, Richard Madden, the actor who played the now deceased King in the North himself, admitted how personal it felt and how devastating in real life the fictitious death proved to be: “I left [the] set and got straight to the airport and got on the plane because I didn’t want to be there anymore. It was very difficult… I cried the whole way. I was the crazy boy on the plane crying,” Madden says, explaining how entangled he had been portraying Robb Stark and how filming the now infamous scene was hard on everybody on set. One can only imagine: he spent three years in Robb Stark’s skin, as much a warg as Bran almost, only to have it end in such a gruesome and truly affecting manner. His tears, many fans would agree, were justified. You can see his full interview here: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Robb Stark Speaks: Richard Madden Addresses Shocking Developments 

red wedding

And this scene says it all: “What a traumatic shocker!”

Many fans of the series and the characters who died were also in tears. Understandably so. Many of their friends who have read the books and wanted to see their reactions caught it on video and spread it on Youtube. Understandably so. The result of these Red Wedding reactions are the stuff of memes. Understandably so. [by ]

In my mind now, only one pertinent question demands an answer: how in seven hells can HBO pull off a season-ender that beats the Red Wedding?