Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 9 – “The Rains of Castamere” Recap
The Twins (The Red Wedding)
Having agreed to marry Edmure Tully to Walder Frey’s daughter in order to acquire his troops for an assault on the Lannister city of Casterly Rock, Robb Stark asks his mother’s opinion on whether to go through with the plan. Acknowledging the risks, Catelyn voices her approval. Upon arriving at the Twins and securing guest right by consuming bread and salt, the King in the North makes an apology to Lord Walder. The prickly old lord suggests that he apologize to the daughters that he spurned instead, all of whom are considerably ugly. Frey then demands that Queen Talisa step forward, whereupon he insults her with crude comments and insists that it was her pretty face, not love, that compelled Robb to forsake his promise to wed one of his daughters. Robb nearly protests, only to be restrained by his mother.
Seemingly appeased, Walder accepts his king’s apology. As his veiled bride approaches, Edmure cringes, clearly apprehensive about her looks. However, ina shock to all assembled, she turns out to be comely. Following the ceremony, the Starks and their bannermen, including Roose Bolton, feast in a hall while the soldiers gather in tents outside. Eventually, Walder Frey calls for the bedding ceremony – which entails the bride and groom being stripped and carried off by members of the opposite sex to consummate their marriage – to begin. Shortly thereafter, the band breaks out into a rendition of “The Rains of Castamere,” a song inspired by Tywin Lannister’s extermination of an upstart house. Suspicious, Catelyn lifts Roose Bolton’s sleeve to discover that he is wearing armor beneath his clothes.
A Frey descends upon the pregnant Queen Talisa and stabs her repeatedly in the stomach. Meanwhile, the musicians draw crossbows, bringing down Robb and Catelyn. All the while, the Freys brutally execute all loyal Stark bannermen within the hall and in the tents outside. Having inspected his queen’s corpse, Robb manages to rise. Catelyn grabs a knife from the floor and holds it at the throat of Walder Frey’s child wife, first offering a trade and then threatening to kill her unless Robb is allowed to leave. Walder Frey doesn’t care, stating that he’ll just find a new one. Roose Bolton approaches the King in the North and tells him that the Lannisters send their regards before delivering the killing blow. True to her word, Catelyn slashes the girl’s throat.
Arya and Sandor Clegane (aka the Hound)
En route to the Twins, Arya and the Hound come upon a cloaked man whose cart is bearing pigs for the upcoming wedding of Edmure Tully, Lord of the Riverlands, to one of Walder Frey’s daughters. His wheel is stuck in the mud and Clegane offers to help before knocking him unconscious. The Hound moves to kill the man, but Arya persuades him not to. A short distance away from their destination, Arya and the Hound reveal knowledge of each other’s fears. The conversation ends with Arya vowing to stab Clegane through the eye.
The two companions arrive at the gates of the Twins, with the Hound wearing a cloak as a disguise. With the wedding massacre already underway, the guards tell them to turn back. However, Arya manages to sneak past. She witnesses a northman who is guarding Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind, murdered by some Freys. Men with crossbows approach the beast’s cage and shoot the wolf with arrows, killing it. Arya continues on, only to be knocked out and carried off by the Hound.
Jon Snow and his wildling companions come upon an old man who is in possession of several horses that they decide to steal. The old man flees on one of the horses, but he is brought down next to a tower, where Bran and Rickon Stark, Osha, Hodor and the Reed siblings Jojen and Meera happen to be taking refuge from a storm. Orell hears voices coming from the tower and investigates. When it starts to thunder, Hodor panics, nearly giving away their position.
By instinct, Bran uses his warging ability to send Hodor into a trance, something Jojen claims is impossible. Outside, Orell suggests testing Jon Snow’s allegiance to their cause by having him execute the defenseless man. Jon proves unable to do so, prompting Ygritte to do the job for him. A fight breaks out between Jon and the Wildlings. Outnumbered, Jon is nearly beaten, only to be saved by Bran, who wargs into direwolf Summer’s body and allows his brother to keep fighting. Jon kills Orell, only to have the warg attack him in the body of his eagle. After having his face torn open, Jon manages to escape on the old man’s horse, leaving his lover Ygritte behind.
Bran decides it is too dangerous to bring Rickon beyond the Wall, sending him off to seek refuge with stark the Umbers, stark bannermen. Osha accompanies the youngest Stark sibling, leaving Bran to continue on with Hodor, the Reeds and Summer.
At the orders of Daenarys Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, Unsullied leader Grey Worm, and sellsword Daario Naharis sneak into Yunkai to open the gates. They dispatch a number of guards, only to be surrounded by even more. Familiar with the Mother of Dragons’ past exploits, the city’s slave soldiers refuse to fight, effectively giving up the city. Jorah, Grey Worm, and Daario return to inform the queen of their victory. Daario and Daenarys exchange a flirtatious glance.