03 June 2013

Its a nice day for red wedding day.....

Here we are folks. Episode 9. Always a climax, always an epic moment. In season 1, poor dead Ned lost his head beneath blessed Baelor's sept, after sacrificing his honor for his daughters. Season 2 gave us the epic battle of Blackwater Rush, and a healthy fear of wildfire. "Those are brave men at our gates, LETS GO KILL THEM!" Now, we have season 3.The title of this episode, The Reynes of Castamere. I know whats happening, and I know that most readers of this blog do as well, but for the love of god, if you don't stop reading now, or I'll tell you how successful the Young Wolf's conquest of Lannisport is. Oh lords I wish that were true. Lets begin, shall we. I hope you've all got your tissues, or handkerchiefs ready. You'll need them.

Previously, on Game of Thrones:
Osha doesn't trust Jojen, but Bran's starting to. Osha fears returning north of the wall. Jon fears for Ygrittes life, and she begins to suspect his loyalties. Robb explains his strategy to Talisa, and bargains his uncle for a marriage to a Frey. Dany takes a bath, and Daario creeps on her, swearing his army. The Hound takes Arya to the Twins for the wedding, hoping to see the little girl traded for gold. The weather is slogging the wedding procession down, and Cat reminds us all how prickly Lord Walder can be. And lastly, Sam the Slayer discovers what happens when you add 1 part Dragonglass to 1 part other, proving him craven no more. Or a little less anyhow.

I just caught the Inn at the Crossroads in the credits. I'm not sure if thats been there or not, but its a cool touch. And, we have a new castle tonight, the Twins, seat of House Frey of the Crossing. The Freys are a young house, compared to the 7 great houses and many others, and Lord Walder has always been prickly about this. He's prone to slight quickly, and does not suffer insults. Though sworn to Riverrun and the Tullys, when Lord Hoster called his banners to support Robert's rebellion, Lord Walder only stirred himself to arrive at the Battle of the Trident, and even then only as the battle ended. The Late Lord Frey would hence be his nickname. And as we all know, when Robb Stark wanted to bring his northern army to lift the siege of Riverrun, not only had Walder Frey not yet stirred his armies to aid Riverrun, he delayed the Stark's crossing, only agreeing to add his strength to the Young Wolf's when he had been promised two marriage contracts, both Robb and Arya. One last note on the title sequence. I wonder how long they continue to keep Winterfell in the mix. No other castle has remained in the sequence after it became of less import. And there is noone in Winterfell now, only smoking ruins and a proud, lonely weirwood.

I hope you all memorized the lyrics to the Reynes of Castamere. At least the melody. There will be a test later.

We open with Robb explaining his battle plans to Catelyn Stark. He feels that when he's ignored her advice, he's been very wrong. See also Greyjoy, Theon. So now, he wants his mother's council. Enjoy it while you....well, nevermind. I wonder where I can get my hands on a sweet set of War markers like Robbs. Those things are epic. And Catelyn wants blood. Oh look, Greywind. Its almost like they forgot about him. And here we see him leading the armies to the Twins, but of course, no savaging of Freys. I guess they didn't  want to give up any more hints. This is a very literal application of the "bread and salt" part of Guest Right. This is going to be a very important factor in the reactions of many this evening, I'll explain more later. Lord Frey rightly insists that the King in the North apologize to his many daughters and granddaughters, of whom he was to have had his pick. Edmure looking very nervous at this parade of less than attractive women, wondering which is his. Blackfish giving him a good look there. An excellent apology, nearly word for word from the book. And Argus Filch, errr..I mean, Walder Frey seems pleased. And now he's going to totally creep out on Queen Talisa. This is the big departure from the books. Robb leaves Queen Jeyne behind at Riverrun under the protection of Brynden Tully. He knows that even if Jeyne could have suffered Walder's insults, he would likely have killed the old man for them, and well, that wouldn't have helped his apology any. Walder totally is eye-fucking Talisa here, and whoa..."I can always see whats going on under a dress". Thats either high level creep, or the old fuck somehow knows Talisa is preggers. Robb is holding that sword very tightly. "I say he betrayed me for firm tits and a tight fit. And I can respect that." Almost enough to make you like Lord Walder. Whoa..Walder stood up. Thats not right. In the books the old bastard is so taken by gout he can't rise from a chair.

And we take a break from the Twins to cross the Narrow Sea to Slaver's Bay. The Unsullied guard the camps as Daario explains his plan to Dany. Jorah clearly doesn't like this guy, especially with his smooth touching of the Khaleesi's hand. I understand they didnt want the crazy hair for Daario, but they could have at least given him his forked beard. Grey Worm gets his first chance to speak on the council. Barristan Wan-Selmy wants to go along, but the Bear won't hear it. They continue their dick measuring contest from two episodes ago.

North of the Wall, Sam continues to bore the shit out of Gilly talking history. Whoa...whoa...whoa....Sam knows about the Black Gate? What the absolute fuck? Are we not going to get to see Coldhands? I've been waiting all season for that reveal! I swear to R'hllor, that is one exclusion that cannot stand. The Black Gate is a magical gate that only opens for a Brother of the Night's Watch, one who has said the words. Cold Hands takes Sam and Gilly there in the books, and they meet another interesting group of travelers. No Gilly, he's nothing like a wizard. He's just a giant fucking nerd. Which is not a bad thing.

Meanwhile, Arya and the Hound stop to obtain the cart they'll need to sneak into the Wedding. This poor bastards got the Westerosi equivalent of a flat tire. Holy hells Sandor is strong. And theres the KO. Haha. I love these two. And there's Arya with the follow up KO. Who's too kind now burned face?

And now we check in with Bran, Rickon, Hodor, Osha, Jojen and Meera. And now we're going to disparage Wildings right in front of Osha. Hehe. Drinking out of your skull. Might we have a Skagos reference. Wait, hold on. Is that busted up, landlocked tower supposed to be Queenscrown? Seriously? Man, I was really looking forward to that insane visual.

And as we cut to the Wildlings, looks like I'll be right. Tormund and Orell rally their troops to take on......one single old man. Such brave heroes these wildlings are. And I just HAR'd out loud at Tormunds face when Jon suggested not killing the horse merchant. Silly crow. This is a good time to mention how curious I am about the continuation of Tormund's story. He's got to be north of the wall again, but I dont know how they get him there. Why on earth they replaced him with the Magnar of Thenn for this sequence, I'll never now. But I digress. Oddly enough the Wildlings seem to be dressed just as warmly here on the Gift as they were north of the wall. I know its not warm, but they've got to be sweating their asses off in those furs. Jon pulls off a nice distraction to warn the horses, then get Ygritte to miss her shot. How his life would be simpler if he hadn't.

Back to the Riverlands, Arya is within sight of the Twins. So close, after all this time. She hasn't seen a member of her family since her father was beheaded. I'm really looking forward to more time for these two together. The Hound munching down on some pigs feet here. Playing with his food before he eats it. Ballsy, Arya. Throwing the Hounds past right back in his face. Well, at least the right side of his face anyway, if you catch my drift. Thats one hell of a death threat little girl. Shame how thats going to work out.

Yup. Earlier fears confirmed, this is in fact, Queenscrown. Ok, I'm going to go off on a little rant here. In the books, Queenscrown is a tower in the New Gift, named so because Queen Alysayne, wife of Jahaerys the Concilliator, considered one of the greatest Targ kings, stayed in the tower one night. It is a tall, strong tower, in the MIDDLE OF A LAKE. This tv equivalent is, of course, landlocked. Why is this important you ask? Well, moments from now, Bran, Jojen, and company are going to have people outside their tower. Its pouring out. Why wouldn't they go shelter in this stone tower? Simply put, in the books, its because they can't get there. The Tower has a path to it, but the path is of submerged stone, and has many turns and twists, so only those going carefully and who know the secret can make it out to the center of the lake. Which keeps them safe from these aforementioned people. Alright. I'm done for the moment. Just a quick thought folks. From here on out, we're probably looking at nothing but non-stop action and excitement. This is the time to take a break if you need one.

And we continue planning the Stark/Reed vacation to the wall. Its a stormy night, and Hodor clearly doesn't enjoy the thunder. I love Meera's optimism. And here we have the horse merchant, surrounded by Tormund's men. What's that, the Direwolves are outside. Convenient. Orell thinks he hears something in the tower, and OH YES! Bran with the Hodor Warg. Thats supposed to be nearly impossible, as well as kind of a mind rape, to take another man's consciousness over. The theme of the night is Stark near misses. See, heres the issue with the tower being landlocked. Orell thinks he heard shouting. Tormund says its thunder. Heres an idea, its ten feet away, go frikkin look inside. Besides, you're wildlings, and theres probably treasure. There is no reason not to. Except that the plot demands they don't. So therefore, they should have kept the tower far away, in the lake where it belongs. Tormund carries one hell of a sword. Kind of half machete half scimitar. And ooh, look, direwolves. Orell wants Jon to do the murdering to prove his worth. Which falls under the command that he was given by Quorin. Jojen knows that Bran just warged Hodor, now he'll finally voluntarily slip into Summer. Jon hesitates to kill the man, but doesn't say anything. Why not just a simple, "where's the honor in killing an old man?" Ygritte gets tired of waiting, and arrow to the heart. Tormund calls for the kill, and Jon reacts instantly, shoving her to the ground and turning his steel on Orell. Intersting that Ygritte was going to fire on another for Jon. The things we do for love. Jojen nearly has Bran convinced. Tormund seems intent on keeping Ygritte out of this fight, instead of himself in it, which is very very odd. There goes Bran, and Jon's got allies! Summer and Shaggy join the fray, Orell looks away for an instant, and YES! Jon slides Valyrian Steel into the scum's belly. I love that line. "You were right the whole time." And oh shit, Orell wargs out at the last second, which supports the Varamyr/Jon death wargs, and oh man. Jon gets mauled by the bird, which was supposed to happen north of the wall, but oh well. Wait, what the fuck? Why isn't shooting? SHOOT HIM! Wow. Missed moment there. in the books, as Jon runs, he gets shot in the leg. He later pulls out the arrow and realizes that its Ygrittes fletching pattern. She shot him. But oh the feels on her face there. And the emotional mess that this episode will become is on its way.

Taking a break from Wildlings and Wargs, we're back to Yunkai. That is the worst defended gate in the world. Even if Daario wasn't allowed in, he could have just killed the one solitary guard and walked in. Well ok, another one inside, but still. Famous last words Daario. And now we get to see Grey Worm fight! And Daario, but forget that guy. I want to see the master of the Unsullied kick some ass, and I am not disappointed. Wow. Thats alot of guards. And of course, we cut away.

Back to the Twins! We've got some reveling and wrestling outside, as the troops get a well deserved rest from war. Inside, we see the wedding. Lord Bolton has rejoined Robb, and oh my, is that a Manderly? Ser Wendel I presume, as Ser Willis is held captive elsewhere. Lord Walder escorts his daughter Roslin in, and well, my oh my. Edmure got lucky. She's a beauty. Walder gives Robb a great, 'you could have had that' look. The Blackfish gets some admiring looks from the other young lady Freys, but he's not enjoying the view. Thats definitely the emblem of the Lords of White Harbor on that fat, mustachio'd man's chest. Good to finally see at least one of the other Northern lords, though its far too little too late. We tv viewers have been robbed of the excellent additions of such characters as the Greatjon, the Smalljon, Darcy and Maege Mormont (yes, that Mormont),  Ser Willis and Ser Wendel, Jason Mallister, and so forth. It will make tonight's wedding a little less personal than it could be.

Back at 'Queenscrown' the Wildlings have moved on, apparently without bothering to search the giant fucking stone tower ten feet away from them. Bran is reflecting on his newly discovered (And far too late, if you ask me) Warging abilities. And here it comes. This moment is long overdue. The books had the brothers Stark split at Winterfell, so that no one foe could take out both of them. Rickon has had more dialogue this episode than he did in three books. Gut wrenching moment for the little boy. They're going to Last Hearth you say? Home of the Umbers. Interesting. Greatjon and his heir are at the Wedding, so its now held by his Uncles (Brothers?) Moars Crowfoot and Whoresbane. Poor Rickon. I feel for the little guy. Interesting to see how much of those two we'll see going forward. In the books, we have not seen them at all. But GRRM has said how impressed he was with Natalie Tena's Osha, so perhaps we'll get some adventures.

Dany grows impatient, and just as Ser Barristan tires of her questions, Jorah and Grey Worm return. The slaves of Yunkai have surrendered. And of course, Jorah is beat up, and all Dany wants is her frikkin pretty boy. I think i just saw Jorah's heart break in his eyes. Poor bear. Daario brings her the Harpy Flag, and two thirds of Slavers bay now belongs to the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea.

And now its wedding time. We're going to be spending the rest of the episode at the Twins, if I'm not mistaken. A nice shot of the wedding band, which rumor has it includes at least one member of Coldplay, for some reason I'll never know. They're quite good, which they're not supposed to be. I do enjoy this rendition of the Bear and the Maiden Fair. Everyone's happy, even Lame Lothar. Even Roose looks like he might smile. Roose is a cold and calculating businessman. And Blackfish is apparently playing the role of the Greatjon. Don't insult him she says. Like its not a little late for that? And now its time for the BEDDING! We didn't get to see this for Tyrion and Sansa, so now the audience gets their first taste of this baudy ritual. The men drag the lady off, tearing at her clothes, and the ladies lead the man off doing the same. Edmure is quite proud of his "floppy fish" shall we say. Roose again gets great lines in. Almost making himself likeable before the end. I'm not sure if that line about Ned is in the books, but I love it. Talisa reminds us she's pregnant, and oh boy, does that hit you right in the feels. "Don't you want to teach little Ned stark how to ride horses."
Say, why are you closing that door. If you don't recognize this song, its the oft mentioned 'Reynes of Castamere'. Seems an odd choice for now. But its a signal. Quick cut to Grey Wind, locked in a Kennel and obviously unhappy about it. Oh man. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle this. You all know whats happening next, or are in for one hell of a shock. Either way, for once, I just want to watch this. I'll rejoin you all in about ten minutes. May the Old Gods forever bless the King in the North.......

 Well....holy fucking shit. Thats about all that can be said right. I'm sorry I ever doubted Talisa's role in all this. I'm very glad, in the end, that they did not end things for Arya the same way the book did. I don't think I could have handled that. Hits you right in the feels. So close. oh so close. And then GRRM strikes again. I loved Catelyn at the end. I've never liked that character, until right then. Excellent choice of the 8th Lady Frey as her target instead of Jinglebell, or whatever the fuck Aegon Frey is called. Roose's smug face when Catelyn found him out was unreal. His stabbing of Robb could have been a little better. I really wanted the pink cloak to appear, just once, and I also pictured it as a sword from behind. I understand the reasons for the change from "Jaime Lannister" to "The Lannisters" also, since show viewers might otherwise have thought Jaime complicit in this disgusting farce, which we know he would not be, even before he began his turn to honor.

So remember earlier I mentioned Guest Right? Thats the key to this. Lord Walder gave them bread and salt, literally in this case, therefore declaring them guests and under his protection. So long as this was the case, neither he nor they could do harm against the other side. It is a sacred and ancient custom, that GRRM actually pulled from real world historical truth. The Scots were a big proponent of Guest Right, though not the only ones. So by breaking this rule, the Freys have now become tainted in the eyes of Gods and Men. No man is as accursed as he who breaks guest right, save Kinslayers. The Freys were always the low-budget, white trash house of the Seven Kingdoms now, but they're upjumping via alliances. This, however will not help how they are viewed. And Lord Walder, the North Remembers.

A few last thoughts, before I close out. Where is the Blackfish? He left before the hall was sealed. In the books, as I mentioned earlier, he is not at the Wedding, so he should have survived to hold Riverrun against the Lannister/Frey siege later on. Also, I'd like to say Thank you to Richard Madden, who's portrayal of Robb Stark is now at an end. Madden truly made us care for and root for the Young Wolf, who won every battle but lost the war. And even though we're hardly done with him, Kudos also to Michael McElhatton, who's portrayal of the Lord of the Dreadfort this evening was excellent. I look forward to seeing him and his bastard sharing screen time in the future, though not as much as I do to Stannis the Mannis and Lord Snow laying the fucking smackdown on House Bolton so hard they go the way of the Tarbecks and the Reynes. 

Until next week, remember, Winter is Coming.  

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