Posted by: pop-break | June 3, 2013

Watching the Throne: ‘The Rains of Castamere’

luke kalamar has his mind blown …

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Plot: Big plans are finally set into motion. Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his bannermen arrive in The Twins for his Uncle Edmure’s wedding (Tobias Menzies). Robb is afraid that Walder Frey (David Bradley) will hold ill-will to Robb breaking their agreement, and he hopes the new wedding will satiate tensions. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) plans her attack of Yunkai with her new ally Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein). The plan is to send Daario, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) into Yunkai and attack from within. Closer to The Wall, Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) love for Ygritte and loyalty to The Wildlings reaches its breaking point while Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) comes to a big decision about his future travels.

Holy. Shit. That was … wow. Are there even words? I mean, there has to be words because I’m reviewing it but what can we possibly say to explain tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones? Shocking? Outrageous? Jaw-dropping to the point where I need a clamp to keep my jaw from hitting the floor? Yeah, that third one sounds about right. There have been some pretty insane episodes during the past couple seasons of Game of Thrones, but this episode is easily at the top of that list. If you missed it, then good luck trying to avoid spoilers!

In fact, you absolutely shouldn’t continue reading this because yes I have SPOILERS. Big spoilers that will ruin your day! But if you did see it, then please continue to see my review of one of the most epic episodes of Game of Thrones this season, if not, ever.

There were a lot of pretty huge moments in “The Rains of Castamere,” but the one that will forever be etched into our minds is the deaths of Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark (Michele Fairley), and Talisa Maegyr-Stark (Oona Chaplin). This goes beyond the death of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) on so many levels. With Ned, we didn’t have a happy, joyous event completely take down our guard. Things were already really bleak by the time Ned got his head cut off. However, with “The Rains of Castamere,” everything leading up to the Red Wedding was nothing but positive. It really seemed like Walder and Robb had come to a solid agreement and that everything was actually going to turn out okay. It actually made me forget that this is Game of Thrones and NOTHING ever works out. Leave it to the clear concern that started to wash over Catelyn’s face to hit home that something is definitely wrong with the wedding. But not even that could have prepared me for the episode’s final moments, and the ending hit me like a massive sack of bricks. It just got worse too when Arya (Maisie Williams) was so close to finally seeing her mother and brother again, and then they get taken away forever. Let the tears flow everyone!

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Acting has always been a strong spot for this show, but tonight was easily one of the best. Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley especially stood out by expertly portraying their characters final moments. On one side, you have Fairley showing Catelyn’s anguish and desperation by pleading for her son’s life and holding Walder’s wife at knifepoint. On the other, you see Robb in stunned silence at the death of his beloved Talisa and their unborn child, and you can just see the pain he felt without any words. That entire scene was gripping to the point where I even refused to blink, and the Fairley/Madden combo brought us through in spades. Even Catelyn’s final act in silence when she watches Robb die and realizes that everything is over was one of the most powerful moments to date. Letting the credits roll in silence immediately after blood rushed from Catelyn’s throat was simply incredible.

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Outside of the Red Wedding, the events surrounding Bran, Jon, and Dany were all exciting to watch. In regards to what’s happening closer to The Wall, I was glad to see that Jon hasn’t forgotten what it means to me a man of the North. Helping the old man escape was exactly what you’d expect from a character like Jon Snow, and I’m glad a trip past The Wall hasn’t changed him that much. It was also amazing to watch Bran fully embrace his powers as a Warg and save Jon from his now former Wildling friends. Bran might not be able to walk but being able to control wolves and apparently other people is awesome. My heart also broke when Bran told Rickon (Art Parkinson) that they had to split up too. Sure Rickon hasn’t had many scenes at all throughout this show, but its obvious how close he is to Bran and that he’s the most vulnerable of the Starks. It was simply tragic to watch him unwillingly leave his own brother for his safety. Clearly where Bran is going is no place for a child.

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Dany attacking Yunkai was really awesome too. It’s amazing how far her character has gotten in such a short amount of time. Before this season started, all Dany had was her khalasar, her dragons, and Ser Jorah Mormont. Now she has Ser Barristan Selmy, Daario, and an entire freaking army at her disposal. She has now overtaken two dominant cities as well, which is pretty incredible. We also got a great look into how Jorah, Grey Worm, and Daario fight. We’ve only seen Jorah in battle a handful of times so far, and Grey Worm and Daario are brand new additions to the group. Watching these three men lead the charge and take down a city is simply amazing. Whenever Dany actually does get to Westeros, she will truly be a forced to be reckoned with.

The Red Wedding is widely regarded as THE scene to look out for when you read A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s probably the only way George R. R. Martin could ever top the infamous and unpredictable death of Ned Stark. I haven’t read book three yet, but I can’t imagine tonight’s episode being anything but the perfect representation. The main wedding story was also supported by also exciting side stories that really never slowed the episode down. “The Rains of Castamere” is easily Season 3’s stand out episode.

Rating: 10/10

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