Warning: All spoilers on this page are unmarked. By rights you deserve no warning, as you're only here and sound of mind if you've already watched the episode. If this does not apply to you, turn back now, because you don't want to know what will happen before seeing it.Otherwise, continue.But don't say we didn't warn you...
We start the episode in Robb Stark's Camp,
with a close up of the Stark war map and the pieces at play, all of the Young Wolf's remaining banners have gathered at the red fork for Edmure Tully's wedding. Particular emphasis rests on the miniature flayed man of house Bolton... Robb discusses his upcoming attack on Casterly Rock with his mother and Catelyn inquires why he is deferring to her. He reminds her that when she tried to dissuade him from sending Theon to parley with his father, Balon Greyjoy, he didn't listen and the fallout cost him dearly with the Ironborn ravaging the Northern freeholds, sacking Winterfell and murdering his younger brothers. He freely asks for her advice. At first glance Catelyn can see that they are on the losing side and that so much depends on "if Walder Frey cooperates"
in lending them his military forces. The risks have never been higher... But she tells Robb to "show them (the Lannisters) how it feels to lose what they love."
The Stark army, with Grey Wind ahead, arrives in force at The Twins
, where Robb immediately meets with the Late Lord Walder Frey in order to make a formal apology to him. Walder initiates the sacred laws of hospitality by offering his guests bread and salt - symbolically and literally putting himself and those he houses under the inviolable
law of guest right. Frey tells the King in the North that he's
not the one that Robb needs to direct his apologies to, bringing out his array of daughters and granddaughters to face the King. They... avert Hollywood Homely
; the prospective groom has a look of absolute mortification on his face. Robb promptly apologizes to them all for breaking his vow and leaving them to rot with their unsavory old man. After presenting Talisa and making a bunch of lewd note
comments about her (much to Robb's displeasure, who has to be restrained from hitting Frey by Cat), Lord Walder pulls his crotchety old ass up from his throne - pitches Stark's men in tents outside the castle and formally initiates the wedding. "The wine will flow red and the music will play loud!"
Finally, a respite for our beleaguered freedom fighters.
Now we go to outside Yunkai
where Daenerys is holding a war council. She asks her newest man-servant, Daario, about the location of one of Yunkai's smaller back gates on the map, and he points it out, then walks behind her, and steers her hand to the exact spot with a bit of intimate contact
; to long-suffering Jorah's chagrin
. He says that it is poorly defended and since the guards know him he will be able to get Jorah and Grey Worm in through there, after which they will make their way through the back-streets, open the main city gates and let the Unsullied pour in. Mormont is understandably suspicious of the double dealing pretty-boy, but Daario refutes him, saying that "In my experience, only dishonest people think this way."
Before Jorah can ask Daario if he wandered on-set from another fictional universe entirely
, Dany asks Grey Worm what he thinks of their newest addition to the team. The Captain of her army remains quiet for a moment, then replies that he trusts Daario. Thus, Dany puts the plan into motion. Barristan says that he should go too, being the best swordsman of the four but Jorah tells him that he is the Queen's Guard, and that he must stay by her side "no matter our pride."
Selmy is grudgingly forced to agree.
Within The Haunted Forest
, Sam is leading Gilly to one of the abandoned castles along the Wall, specifically, the Night Fort. Spouting exposition as he goes. When Gilly asks him how he can possibly know all this he replies that he read it in a very old book
. Gilly marvels at this, and says that Sam is just like a wizard. Sam grins into his chest, he has
always wanted to be one.
In The Riverlands
, Arya and The Hound come upon a farmer and his broken cart. The Hound dismounts Stranger
, tells Arya to wait, helps the man fix his cart, and cleans his clock with a chain-mailed fist. He then moves to kill him, but Arya tries to convinces him otherwise, much to his annoyance. He lectures her on the folly of kindness in a Crap Sack World
until the unlucky pork trader stirs, so Arya grabs a slab of wood and knocks him cold again, leaving the Hound flabbergasted.
Somewhere in The North
, Bran and his party arrive at the same windmill that Ygritte had mistaken for a castle two episodes before. They have a small group discourse, Jojen remarks that a storm is coming. Cue thunder, and all of them agree to stay at the windmill until it passes.
Nearby, Jon and the wildlings arrive near a small farm owned by an old man who breeds horses for the Watch. The wildlings are in favor of killing the septuagenarian but Jon objects, saying that he's no threat. They disagree and run towards the farm hoping to draw the Watch from Castle Black and take the eight good mounts for themselves. Jon strikes a rock with Longclaw as he is running, alerting the horses, who in turn forewarn the old man with their panicked nickers and neighs. He gets on a horse and rides off, Ygritte tries to shoot him with her bow but Jon distracts his lover with a shout, sending her shot into a tree-trunk instead. The wildlings set off in pursuit.
Back in The Riverlands
, Arya and the Hound finally have the Frey's castle crossing in sight, and she is staring at it periodically, seemingly in disbelief. Within a mile of her family for the first time since all the horror began. He taunts her about this, saying that she is afraid of being so close, fearing that it can be taken away from her at any moment. Angered, she in turn, tells him that she knows about his
fear of fire and how
he got it. Cruelly, he tells her to try and run off to her mother and brother then, as it's the closest she's been to her kin since "Ilyn Payne snipped your Daddy's neck."
Upon his utterance, she promises the Hound that one day
... She will drive a sword through his eye and out the back of his skull. Sandor doesn't know whether to be amused or intimidated.
In The North
, at the windmill, Bran and company have settled in for the night as a storm rages outside. They suddenly hear something from the parapet, which turns out to be the old man on his horse. He is cornered by the wildlings and captured. Hodor grows increasingly agitated by the thunder, and starts drawing attention. The party desperately try to calm him down, to no effect. Bran's eyes suddenly go white, and Hodor settles down, much to everybody's relief and amazement.
Outside, the wildlings bring the old man to Tormund and the rest who have just arrived. They tell Jon to execute him, to prove beyond a doubt that he is one of them. Jon draws his sword, but hesitates during the swing, causing Ygritte to shoot the horse rearer herself. Orell uses this to rile up the wildlings who surround Jon and Ygritte. Before she can shoot them, Jon knocks her down with a shoulder barge, and starts fighting them himself. Tormund restrains Ygritte to stop her from getting killed at Jon's side. In the mill, Jojen convinces Bran to possess his direwolf to help Jon. Bran assumes control of Summer, and proceeds to down two wildlings with Shaggydog's help. Jon slays two more of his enemies in quick succession then clashes blades with Orell. After a quick exchange of strikes he slips past the warg's guard and manages to drive Valyrian steel through his heart, but Orell in turn throws the last vestiges of his consciousness into his eagle, which attacks Jon in manic fury, clawing deep gashes into his face with its talons. He drives it off, then jumps on one of the horses and gallops down the highway, leaving Ygritte and Tormund behind. The rage boiling over the red-head's roots tells us that Jon will be in big trouble if his fiery spear-wife catches up with him!
Back at Yunkai
, Daario gets Jorah and Grey Worm inside the city with a bit of espionage tactics and slays the imminent men on watch.
Daario: That one was quick. (cleans arakh of fresh blood)
Jorah: There may be others...
Daario: I doubt it, the Yunkish prefer to let their slaves do the fighting for them -
Cue the three being set upon and attacked by a dozen sentries. They engage and slay them all, but are almost immediately surrounded by an even larger contingent. Jorah looks rightly concerned, Grey Worm intense and focused. Daario, being the man that he is
At the wedding,
Edmure meets his wife, Roslin Frey, who much to his relief and everybody else's surprise, turns out to be quite beautiful. Robb glances over at Walder Frey, who gives a grin as if to say "My genetic stock surprises even me sometimes!
" The vows are exchanged and the two are declared husband and wife.
In the windmill, Bran talks with the others about seeing Jon fight the wildlings. Osha says that Jon will be back at Castle Black then, but Bran shoots her down as Castle Black may already be under attack. He then tells Osha that he is not asking her to come with him beyond the Wall, as he needs her to take Rickon and Shaggydog to the Umbers, who are loyal to the Starks. Rickon objects, but is eventually convinced by Bran and Osha to agree. The brothers part ways.
, Dany is getting nervous waiting for news about the attack. Jorah and Grey Worm show up, breathless and blood-soaked but alive. Mormont (a foolish grin hitched on his face)
informs her that the operation went off without a hitch, when the sack commenced all of the remaining slaves threw down their swords; putting her fears to rest. Almost.
She asks after Daario, who is not present. Jorah's face falls
. The man of the hour then strides in wearing even more
blood than his fellow battle brothers. He kneels before his Queen and lays Yunkai's Harpy banner at her feet; claiming that the city is hers.
Finally, at the wedding at The Twins
, there is cheer and merriment going around. The bride and groom seem quite besotted with each other - much to Cat's and her uncle Brynden's amusement. Robb and his wife flirt playfully. Lord Frey calls for the bedding ceremony, and the bride and the groom are carried out of the hall to consummate their marriage. The Blackfish excuses himself from the celebrations to relieve himself outside. Robb and Talisa talk about strange foreign customs and her growing pregnancy while Catelyn converses with Roose Bolton about her own marriage night where Ned
specifically forbade the bedding to preserve his new wife's modesty. The Lord of the Dreadfort smiles reminiscently at the story.
The doors to the hall are suddenly closed, and the band begins to play "The Rains Of Castamere"; Catelyn notices this (her reaction
neatly mirroring the audiences) and realizes something is very wrong...
In the courtyard, Robb's Direwolf, Grey Wind, has been locked up in a stable and is growing agitated, whining and howling. Sandor arrives with Arya, offering pork from the cart for the wedding feast, but is denied entrance. Arya spies guards running up to the castle. When the Hound turns around, Arya is gone.
In the hall, everybody takes their seats and Lord Frey gets up and begins to congratulate the newly-wed Stark couple while saying that he still has a gift to give his new Queen. Catelyn looks to her side towards Roose Bolton, who is uncharacteristically cheerful. She lifts up his sleeve, revealing chain-mail underneath. Realizing what's about to unfold, she slaps him, then calls out to Robb. But it is too late. The musicians on the stage balcony are revealed to be crossbowmen who swap their instruments of joy for weapons of misery. Lothar Frey, who was joking with Talisa just a moment ago, produces a curved dagger from up his sleeve and viciously stabs her repeatedly in the stomach. Shocked and horrified - Robb cannot even react before he is feathered by multiple bolts through the back, chest and legs; knocking him to the floor. The Frey bannermen and disguised sellswords take out hidden shivs and begin butchering all of the drunken Northmen while the musicians cut down any who try to flee from their vantage point on the gallery; Catelyn takes one bolt too, wounding her in the shoulder.
The Red Wedding has begun. As the slaughter continues, the perpetrator
of this unforgivable sin sits at the high table and drinks greedily from his silver goblet; reveling in the gory spectacle.
Outside, the same is happening to the Stark bannermen. Arya arrives in the courtyard to witness all of it, and then sees the still-caged Grey Wind get shot full of quarrels. She wanders around in shock, then sees the main door and goes for it in a daze, but is stopped by The Hound, who says it's too late. She breaks his grip and goes for the door again, but he raps her on the head and carries her away.
Within the banquet hall, Robb desperately propels himself on all fours to Talisa, but finds her already cold upon laying his hand on her macerated womb. Frey calls an interval to the massacre so that he may jeer at his bloody and broken King. Catelyn, who has hidden under the tables, eyes Frey's wife who has also taken shelter. She takes her hostage with a steak knife at her gullet and demands the Lord of the Crossing let her son live, swearing that the Starks will forget this atrocity if he does; all the while imploring Robb to "get up and walk out!"
Frey sneers at her pleading, using the slight of Robb's broken vow to justify his heinous crime and proceeds to gloatingly ask her why he would let the primary victim
of his orchestrated betrayal escape his clutches. Catelyn tells him that he will
let her son go - otherwise she swears on the honour of her Houses she will cut Lady Frey's throat from ear to ear. Walder seemingly considers this - then, with a devilish smirk, he simply jibes that he'll "find another."
The broken Young Wolf finds his feet and locks eyes with Catelyn, having accepted his fate, to follow after the death of his father, his wife, and his unborn child.
Bolton suddenly grabs his King roughly, gives him "the Lannister's regards"
and drives a blade through Robb's heart. He falls beside his wife's still form. Upon seeing her first-born son murdered before her eyes, the weeping and hysterical Catelyn gives voice to a long mournful cry of despair, slits Joyeuse's throat - then goes completely silent and empty as a corpse. She doesn't even notice or resist when Black Walder Frey comes up behind her, cutting her carotid and jugular arteries in one swipe. Crimson gushes. She sighs in relief and drops to the floor.
The credits roll to the sound of silence...YMMV Items
"The Lannisters send their regards."