EPISODE REVIEW: Game Of Thrones – The Rains of Castamere
Show: Game of Thrones
Episode: 9/10 – The Rains of Castamere
Staring: Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Nicolaj Coster Waldau, Richard Madden
Wow, what an episode!!! But it is episode 9, historically the most important episode in each season; Ned’s execution in season 1, the Battle of Blackwater Bay in season 2, and now the Red Wedding.
I don’t want to compare the series too much to the book, because it isn’t the book; things have been added and left out, but I remember reading these parts in the book and I have to say the show did it justice especially the wedding feast, but I’ll come to that later.
First, Brandon. Poor lad hasn’t had much going on this season, just travelling to the wall in increasingly miserable weather, but we see him now come into his own by taking his Warg abilities to the next level; calming a scared and frustrated Hodor and possessing his Dire wolf to save his half brother Jon from the band of Wildlings. I think Bran’s storyline will develop into something a lot more substantial next season, much like his sister Arya’s will.
Speaking of, Arya’s character is fast growing braver and stronger; the way she stands up to the Hound was fantastic. She shows no fear and holds nothing back, she’s not ‘Arry, the orphan boy or the shy little cup bearer of Tywin Lannister, She’s Arya Stark. Her strength comes from her ability to overcome what faces her; this week watching her brothers men and Grey Wind get slaughtered, knowing too that her Mother and Brother would also face the same fate. She wants to help them, to save them and maybe prove herself… until the Hound stops her. Although he’s keeping her for a ransom, he protects her knowing that Robb and Cat will be dead and her value has gone.
Futher North, Jon finally breaks company with the Wildlings, and Ygritte in the process, despite the fact she fought for him, and would have followed him. He has to get back to the wall to warn the Nightswatch about Mance Rayders plans to attack.
I felt Daenerys’ part was small and played down. Three guys sacked a city and that was it essentially. Though having said that the fighting choreography was second to none. The mostly silent character Grey Worm was pulling shapes that would make Ray Park’s (Darth Maul) weep.
The Twins, the home of the Fray brood, and venue of this weeks wedding, was added to the opening credits map and is where we meet old Walder Fray again. 2 years since our last meeting with this lecherous old creep and his manners have not improved.
After sharing bread and salt (a Homeric sign of hospitality and protection to guests), Walder Fray eyes up Lady Talisa Maegyr describing to the hall of guests why Robb spurned one of his daughters for her. A disgusting and perverted character, who holds very little value anyone’s life, even his own kin. He forgets his granddaughters name, he shows no emotion for his wife when Cat slits her throat; he is void of any empathy, he is Yorkshire born David Bradley who really brings this perverted, soulless creature to life.
The Red Wedding in the book is told from Cat’s heart breaking perspective, and the wedding feast holds no less emotion. Cat notices the main doors being locked, Roose Boltons armour, then the trouble begins. Opening with one of the Frey whelps gouging at Talisa’s belly, slaying the unborn Stark Heir. This shocked me, as in the book the character of Robb’s wife flees with his uncle, Blackfish Tully so the folks who have read the books wouldn’t have expected this. The symbolism and brutality of this scene was so poignant and was a strong opening to the slaughter.
Robb is shot with multiple crossbow bolts and holds Lady Talisa as she fades away. Cat watches this and holds Walder Frays young wife with a knife to her throat, pleading for their lives and swearing oaths that the Stark’s will take no revenge. To this he reminds her she broke her oath before and he has no care for them now, and as for his wife… well he will find another. Walder Fray is very cool and matter of fact about everything, but at the same time suppresses a smile at watching the “superior” Starks and Tullys slain at his hand.
The last two or three minutes tie up the Red Wedding; Roose Bolton finishes Robb with the regards of the Lannisters, Cat finishes Freys wife, before having her own throat slit.
The lack of music over the closing credits echo the mood, but there is still one more episode and one more wedding. The next episode we’ll see what happens with the Lannisters, the Tyrells and the remaining Stark… oh and we’ll be invited to another wedding.
Catch The Game of Thrones Season Finalie Episode 10 “Mhysa” Monday 10th June on Sky Atlantic 9pm