'Game of Thrones' Recap: There Will Be Blood at the Wedding

Oona Chaplin, Richard Madden, and Michelle Fairley in the "Game of Thrones" episode, "The Rains of Castamere." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

The episode "The Rains of Castamere" in a nutshell:

What happened:

  • Robb and Catelyn are betrayed at the Twins

  • Daenerys conquers Yunkai

  • Jon shows his true loyalty and turns on the wildlings

Body count: 3 VIPs, many others

Nudity count: 0

Dragon sightings: 0

New people and places: Roslin Frey

Best line: "Someday, I'm going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull." — Arya to The Hound

What's the deal with … Lord Bolton and how the Lannisters got to him?


The Red Wedding of "Game of Thrones" was as gruesome, horrifying, shocking, and heartbreaking as hinted at by readers of the books. "Just you wait," they told us as this season progressed. "No spoilers!" we cried. In some ways, though, we wish we'd been prepared for the carnage to come. Maybe it would've hurt less.

Robb is dead. Catelyn is dead. Talisa is dead. Many of his men are dead. The Stark campaign to unseat Joffrey and the Lannisters is dead. All this because Lord Walder Frey feels egregiously insulted that Robb broke his vow to marry one of Frey's daughters.

That all this takes place at a wedding — just after Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey's own vows — makes it all the more ironic. 'Til death do us part, indeed.

[Related: 'Game of Thrones' Red Wedding Reaction: Twitter Explodes, the Actors Sound Off]

The Twins: Robb, Catelyn, Talisa, the army of the North

Robb's army finally arrives at the Twins for his uncle Edmure's wedding to Roslin, one of Frey's daughters. Frey is irascible and ornery as ever — parading his troop of homely daughters to show Robb what he "missed" by marrying Talisa. Robb apologizes profusely, both to Frey and the women, and Frey seems to accept begrudgingly.

When the ceremony takes place, Edmure is delighted to find that his bride, Roslin, is actually pretty! They say "I do," and all seems well. Or so we think.

The wedding feast starts out cheerfully. Everyone inside the great hall (and outside in Robb's camp) are drinking, eating, and making merry. Edmure and his new wife are carried away to the bedding ceremony, which horrifies Talisa but amuses Robb. "It's tradition," he says with a shrug. They snuggle and get cute about their baby; she says that if it's a boy, they should name him Eddard.

Then trouble starts brewing. A soldier ominously closes the hall doors. The musicians start playing the depressing Lannister song, "The Rains of Castamere" — which sets off Catelyn's Spidey senses. Something isn't quite right here. She realizes it's all a big trap. Suddenly, the musicians pull out crossbows and start shooting at Robb, his men, and Catelyn. A soldier grabs Talisa and repeatedly stabs her in the belly.

Robb, a few arrows sticking out of his body, rolls over to see Talisa bloody and dead. Tenderly, he cradles her head. An infuriated Catelyn crawls out from under a table and holds a knife to the throat of Frey's wife. Catelyn makes a plea that would break anyone's heart (except Frey's), to spare her son. Frey doesn't give a s--- and Bolton rushes over and finishes off Robb with a final stab. "The Lannisters send their regards," he snarls.

[Related: 5 Things to Know About 'Game of Thrones' Star Oona Chaplin]

Dazed and disbelieving, Catelyn slits the wife's throat. Then a soldier slits hers.

Ours might've been cut, too; we could hardly breathe. Ned Stark's beheading was shocking. This will take us days (maybe months) to process.

The Twins: Arya and the Hound

Before the wedding, Arya and the Hound draw near to the Twins. Finally, she'll see her family again! Oh, so, so wrong.

Just before they get to the Crossing, they run into a farmer with a broken cart. The Hound is about to kill him when Arya pleads for his life. "You're very kind. Someday it will get you killed," he says.

They steal the farmer's cart to get them into the Twins, but when they arrive, something is not quite right. This is when the Red Wedding is just beginning. Arya sneaks into the castle and sees soldiers kill some of Robb's men and then his direwolf. Eyes wide, face white, Arya tries to take a horse, but the Hound knocks her out and rushes her away.

So close and yet so far, far away. Poor Arya — if she was murderous before, what will she be like now?

Near the Wall, southern side: Jon, Ygritte, and the wildlings; Bran, Rickon, the Reeds

All the storylines are starting to sync up!

The wildlings, led by Tormund, are scouting a farm, which is inhabited by an old man and his horses. Jon counsels them not to kill the guy, but the wildlings are bloodthirsty. He manages to warn the old man, who gets away.

Nearby, Bran and his group have taken shelter in an abandoned windmill as a storm rages outside. Suddenly, they hear a commotion below — it's the wildlings! They've tracked down the old man. Hodor starts freaking out because of the storm and, below, Orell thinks he hears a voice. To shut him up, Bran goes all warg on Hodor! His eyes go white, and the big guy slumps down into a coma. Even Jojen looks shocked.

[Related: 5 Ways to Be an Even Bigger 'Game of Thrones' Nerd]

Below, Orell challenges Jon to kill the old man, but when he hesitates, Ygritte shoots him. The wildlings realize Jon isn't really on their side and attack him and Ygritte.

Above in the tower, Jojen urges Bran to do his warg thing again and get into the minds of the direwolves. He does, and the wolves attack the wildlings. Jon uses the distraction to stab Orell, but Orell goes warg into a nearby hawk, which claws at Jon's face.

Jon manages to get onto a horse and gallop away. A stunned Ygritte watches as he leaves without a backward glance. I am yours, you are mine — not anymore (sob).

Meanwhile, in the tower, Jojen notes that nobody can enter the mind of a human like Bran did with Hodor. That just pushes Bran even more toward the other side of the Wall. But he wants Osha to take Rickon somewhere safer — if something happens to his brothers, Rickon will be the heir to Winterfell. A tearful Rickon and Bran say goodbye.

And with that, all of the Stark children are alone, scattered to the wind. Their father is dead. Their mother is dead. The oldest sibling is dead. The second is married to a Lannister. The half-brother is racing back to a bleak situation, with his commander dead. Another is a captive of the Hound. One is going beyond the Wall toward something mysterious. And the youngest is journeying to parts unknown.

Remember them all from the first episode? It breaks our hearts.

North of the Wall: Sam and Gilly

They're getting close! Sam notes there is a way to get through the Wall; he's read about it in a book. A wide-eyed Gilly is amazed — Sam is a wizard!

Yunkai: Daenerys and her army

The would-be queen plots how to conquer Yunkai with Jorah, Barristan, Grey Worm, and the very handsome Daario Naharis. He promises he can get them past the walls, and she hopes the slave soldiers will turn on their masters and flock to her banner.

[Related: Watch Jimmy Fallon's 'Game of Desks': Who Shall Rule Rockefell?]

Jorah is skeptical, of course; he doesn't like anyone else having influence over Daenerys. But he and Grey Worm follow Daario into the city, where they're attacked by what seems to be an overwhelming number of soldiers.

Back at camp, Daenerys is worried. It's been too long, she tells Barristan. Suddenly, Jorah and Grey Worm stumble into her tent. She was right — the slave soldiers threw down their spears. But where is Daario? Oooh, is Dany worried about him?

She needn't be. He comes in a moment later and unfurls the city's banner. Yunkai is hers.

Check out reactions to the episode from Twitter, and then sound off in the comments below!

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

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Jayme Perry, Kelly Woo, and Chrissy Le Nguyen contributed to the creation of this infographic.