GAME OF THRONES: The Rains of Castamere Review -

Game Of Thrones Review

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  • Episode: The Rains of Castamere (Season 3, Episode 9)
  • Starring: Peter Dinklage, David Bradley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Tom Brooke, Richard Dormer
  • Written By: George R.R. Martin (series of novels: "A Song of Ice and Fire"), David Benioff (creator)
  • Directed By: David Nutter
  • Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
  • Network: HBO
  • Series:

GAME OF THRONES: The Rains of Castamere Review

You do not miss what you have until it is gone

By Jarrett Kruse     June 04, 2013

The old saying that you do not miss what you have until it is gone was never truer than having an extra week of waiting for Game of Thrones’ new episode. I will take part in the old adage in saying that it was most certainly worth the wait. While I found the first half to be filled with a great deal of exposition the second half seriously knocked me on my ass. I made the mistake of forgetting just how Game of Thrones can sucker punch when you put your guard down for just a minute. While die-hard members of those that have read the tomes are at an advantage in cases like this episode, I was floored at what transpired by the time the credits started to roll. I was simply that surprised at what I had just watch transpire. It is a rarity for me to put my hand over mouth in an “Oh my God” moment but this episode, the lead in to what is sure to be one of hell of a finale left me speechless.

But before we get to the Red Wedding there are some interesting tidbits that prep us for the second half. Arya and The Hound are still together and although little Arya does not seem to be as scared of Sandor much anymore; they still have a strange paternal and familial relationship. All the Hound wants is to get Arya off his horse and collect a ransom for the young Stark. However they just cannot seem to get where they need to go and the hiccups continue to elude Arya from reuniting with her family. When she finally does get her wish to see her mother and brother, it ends in a bloody mess (see the Red Wedding below). Arya’s resolve has been a sign of her strength and is truly inspiring as she has had a serious rough go of it since Season 1. 

Jon Snow and the Wildlings come across the tower where Bran and his crew are holed up during a thunderstorm. Hearing noise from the tower, suspicion unveils itself until Bran is able to use his warg powers to calm Hodor down into a slumber.  When a horse farmer is to be killed, Jon Snow is again chosen to prove his worth by cutting off the elderly man’s head. It seems that these tests to prove his worth will never end. After a moment of pause to chop off the old horse farmers head, Jon’s internal struggle forbids him from killing an innocent man. Then Ygritte simply puts an arrow through the old man’s heart. In the tower Bran is able to control the wolves outside to kill some of the Wildlings as Jon gets away on horseback leaving Ygritte behind. Man did she look pissed. Fortunately Bran and his gang are safe for now in the tower and some will be leaving under the cloak of night. Soon after Bran states that he must find the three-eyed raven; it is his destiny. It is a sad moment as Bran decides that they must split up and go their separate ways. The Stark family just cannot seem to catch a break.

Eastbound, Daenerys waits as Jorah Mormont, Grey Worm and Daario  intend to sack the city of Yunkai. There is a terrific fight scene as the three men each with their own fighting style take out the Yunkaites with relative ease. I would have liked to have seen more of the attack on Yunkai and some more action as they took the city. Still, the three warriors show up at the Dragon Queen’s tent with good news—Yunkai is there’s and the city is now under her rule. Again I was keen on seeing an epic battle but we were not left with much except for three warriors bloodied from a grand fight. It was too much tied up in a bow and way too fast. It seemed like there were just a handful of guards of the great city.

I had this strange feeling as I watched the wedding that something seemed to be off with Walder Frey. He seemed to be in a more joyous mood than last we saw him. (After all this is the guy that played Filch in the Harry Potter movies.) Robb Stark crossed Walder Frey when he decided to elope with Talisa, a wife of his own choice. The deal was originally supposed to have Robb marry one of Frey’s many daughters or granddaughter’s each of which fell down the ugly tree hitting every branch on the way down. In exchange for this agreement, Robb would have access to Frey’s vast army. To make up for his misgivings to the powerful Frey and his army, King of the North Robb Stark has come to pay penance for his mistake of marrying Talisa and offering Edmure Tully to marry Roslin Frey. The celebration is grand and Roslin is the one daughter of Frey’s that is quite the dish. Still, something seemed fishy even for someone like me that have not read the books. 

Then it happened. The wedding was just window dressing for a bloodbath. Robb and his men underestimated just how pissed Frey was at his betrayal. Blood was literally everywhere as Walder Frey and his men took their vengeance. Talisa’s pregnant belly stabbed unmercifully over and over again. Robb riddled with arrows before the final slice. Catelyn with Frey’s wife in her clutches slitting her throat after Walder says he would find another wife. Finally the matriarch of the Stark clan is dead and the credits roll. It was like watching the Corleone’s take care of business at the end of The Godfather.

I was more than taken aback by this turn of events and it was violence that was used to advance the story. On awful shows like “The Following,” violence is used for shock value while not doing anything to move the story forward. Overall I thought that first half of this episode was above average but nothing too spectacular. (I thought Dany’s sacking of the city happened just a bit too quick) And with just one episode left, I worry about how much will get solved in the final episode. Still that “OMG” moment when the tables were turned packed a punch even on my third viewing of the episode. Finale’s are tricky but hopefully GOT’s third season will end with a powerful look into the future.

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MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 6/4/2013 2:00:46 AM

 Violence on the The Following is done for shock value and not to move the story forward? What does that mean? It's about a cult of serial killers. Are they not supposed to kill people? Mindless or not?

Anyway. Caught the Red Wedding part on Youtube and it was great. Kind of disappointed Cat didn't scratch her face but that's nitpicking. I just hope they follow through on the rest.

SarcasticCaveman 6/4/2013 2:14:30 AM

 I honestly thought they would save The Red Wedding for the season finale and piss off EVERYBODY who doesn't read the books.  It would have been an awful WTF to think about until next March or April.  I guess the producers of the show may not be as evil as George R. R. Martin.

SarcasticCaveman 6/4/2013 2:16:06 AM

 Fun Fact I learned tonight - Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, is the little brother, "Alfie", of Lily Allen, made famous as a pothead by her song of his name.  Never knew that.

gopherblaster 6/4/2013 4:56:50 AM

 You didnt mention who else helped setup the red wedding, Roose Bolton. Kind of a big deal. 

Iridan 6/4/2013 5:18:51 AM

Loved the episode, but I am getting a little tired of Bran. His story line is pretty boring for me. I hope it pays off soon. Too much of him in the episode.

And yeah, the sacking of the city was pretty anti-climactic.

wish 6/4/2013 5:27:39 AM

Haha yeah SC that's a funny little fact hey?  I actually found that out back in 2007 when the song came out cuz I got a little curious about Lily Allen and did some reading on her and her famous family.  Their father is Keith Allen, a well known actor/singer/entertainer in the UK and their mother is a film producer.

This episode was awesome, I've read the books and I was eager to see how they do the whole finale of this season.  So far so good, but there is still a lot left to cover and it's gonna be fucking crazy!!!   The red wedding had all the impact of the pages and it was pulled off with brilliant suspense and terrifyingly gory efficiency.  Man what a story!!!! 

They aren't done yet.......... 

karas1 6/4/2013 5:32:03 AM

Frey's daughters and  granddaughters were supposed to be ugly but the actresses chosen to play the parts seemed reasonably attractive to me.  Probably not supermodel material but hardly hide-them-under-a basket ugly.

blankczech 6/4/2013 5:35:09 AM

 Don't read the books so I was a little surprised at the events in this episode (for a while now people have been dropping the words "Red Wedding" in the i've been kind of waiting for a wedding where blood would be spilt).  

Can't say I was a big fan of Rob Stark and his mom.  GRRM never told us anything about Rob that would make us think he would be a better king than any of the other candidates, so for me he was just another wealthy and powerful guy who wanted more wealth and more power... oh well.  Still, I don't think anyone enjoys watching people get slaughtered (unless there's something wrong with them).  Seeing a pregnant mom and the child she was carrying in her belly...stabbed to death was particularly heinous (shades of Sharon Tate).  

I know some people like this show because nobody is all good or all bad ...we don't get black and white...but several shades of grey.  For me, the only problem with that is, the show is so grey, that I find i don't much care about any of the characters, except Daenerys (because she frees slaves).


ElBaz13 6/4/2013 5:41:49 AM

This was the episode I was looking forward to ever since I read the books. Some changes from the book. As we all know by now. Talisa was created for the show. In the books, the girl Robb falls for is Jeyne. She never gets pregnant and is not present at the Red Wedding in the books (she plays a small part too in book 4, so I have no clue how they will work around that.) The death of Talisa and her unborn child was to add more shock value (maybe for the book readers who thought they knew everything that would happen?)

Also found it choppy/odd how Lord Brynden (Blackfish) just disappeared so quickly. If I recall, he wasn't even at the Red Wedding.  I believe he's at the camp outside. Probably will get to see him react in the next episode. Also of note. In the book.  Roose stabs Robb and says "Jaime Lannister sends his regards" as opposed to "The Lannisters send their regards". I'm thinking they changed this because as viewers, we've seen Jaime transform from douchebag to honorable guy this season. Saying Jaime's name would have all reminded us how douchbag he is. But at the same time, in the book, someone heard Roose say Jaime's name and that has a chain of events.

People tend to forget Roose. He was a bit player in season 1, to Robb's right hand man in season 2. Will now be a major player in this game along with his bastard son. Having read the books, whenever I saw Roose in season 1, I hated him so much. LOL!

Roose, Walder and Tywin planned the Red Wedding together. Why do you think Roose let Jaime go from Harrenhal so easily and how he treated him with respect? LOL!

On that note, several weeks ago on Mania, there was news that Richard Madden (Robb) was cast as Prince Charming for the Cinderella live action movie. You have no idea how I was holding back comments like "well, he's going to need some work after this season".



HudsonTaco 6/4/2013 5:43:16 AM

 If ever an episode needed an A-plus, not only the best of the season this may have been the best of the show. I was speechless and had trouble sleeping after this. I have had a tough time deciding between GoT and The Walking Dead as which I enjoy more but GoT cemented their place on Sunday. So sad that after next Sunday, we will have to wait a whole year for more. There is no way the finalie will surpass this, is there?

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