Well, that happened. In the game of thrones, the North has been eliminated. The Lannisters are racking up victories all over the place, aren’t they? At the end of the day, honour counts for very little while ruthlessness—and a healthy willingness to stab someone in the back—go a long way, a little something I learned years ago from Survivor. So how is this going to play out? Do the Lannisters have it in the bag? Or will a new threat successfully rise up to challenge them?
I’d like to dedicate this inspiring piece of music to my fallen ginger king. Oh Robb, you were too beautiful (and dumb) to live.
We meet again, Jon Snow
Bran’s Little Rascals group have arrived at the windmill that Ygritte thought was a palace, Bran rolling up in that pimpin’ wheelchair of his. He tells everyone that the place has been abandoned because Wildlings like to invade and wreak havoc. Osha’s face is like “That’s racist.”
The Wildlings, meanwhile, plan to invade and wreak havoc on an old man. They’re all suspicious of him, like “why does he have eight whole horses???” Jon explains to them the concept of farming. How does he put up with this all day? It must be exhausting leading a bunch of murderous George of the Jungles around. They attack, but the old man escapes on horseback.
That night, it’s thundering and Hodor is having a freak out. The Wildlings have chased the old man to the windmill. Hodor’s freak out gets louder and louder, while everyone else yells at him to shut up (“Hush Hodor! No more Hodor-ing!”). Ragetti Orell somehow manages to hear the shouting over the heavy downpour and thunder, so he knows someone’s in the tower. Bran finally quiets Hodor by warging out and entering his mind.
Outside, Jon’s Wildling initiation has finally rolled around in the form of killing this old man. He’s like “seriously guys? Can’t I just go streaking or something?” Of course, our noble-hearted young bastard can’t do it, so he stabs Orell instead. In the ensuing fight, Bran attacks the Wildlings via the direwolves, Orell attacks Jon via an eagle, and the whole thing is like something out of a Nic Cage movie. It’s hilarious. In the midst of all this absurdity, Jon just straight up steals a horse and bolts out of there, leaving his lady Ygritte behind. Poor girl! Although knowing her, she’s probably not heartbroken so much as she is filled with murderous rage.
Inside the tower, after things quiet down outside, Jojen tells Bran that no one anywhere can warg like he can. Bran tells Rickon that he saw Jon Snow with the Wildlings, but conveniently only saw the part where he ditched them. He then tells Osha to take Rickon and head to Lord Umber’s, as he doesn’t want them coming north of the Wall with him. Rickon is just the cutest little monkey in the Seven Kingdoms: “I’m your brother! I have to protect you.” But Bran insists, and Osha takes off with Rickon right then and there, middle of the night and all.
Right Said Daario
Daenerys and her fellas are trying to work out how they’re going to break into Yunkai. Elven prince Fabio Daario knows a secret back entrance, but will only be able to fit two other men with him. They’ll sneak in, open the front gates, and let Daenerys’s army in. Jorah rolls his eyes. But Grey Worm thinks it’s a good idea, and that’s good enough for Daenerys.
That night, Daario, Jorah and Grey Worm approach the gates. Daario says his whistle will be the signal: “I’m a great whistler. Greatest in the land.” Jorah looks at Grey Worm like “can you believe this guy.” Once inside the gates, Daario sits around all cocky, posing and whatnot until they’re attacked by a large group of Yunkish men, twice. Good plan, Daario!
Jorah and Grey Worm return to Daenerys later, having gotten a surrender from the Yunkish slave soldiers. Of course Daario has to make a grand entrance, swooshing in with a flag and claiming, “The city is yours, my queen.” Daenerys is pleased.
Sam and Gilly
Sam and Gilly walk calmly through the snowy woods, no zombies in sight. Sam, of course, is extensively detailing the layouts of various castles guarding the wall. At this point I think he’s just talking to keep himself warm. It’s working for Gilly, though. She’s like “hold up, you can read? You must be a wizard!” Sam’s face is like “damn right I am.” And lo and behold, they’ve made it to the Wall! Gilly: “And here we are, alive!” Girl, you were just attacked by the undead, like, yesterday. Stop tempting fate.
Arya smack talk
Arya and The Hound argue about whether or not to kill an innocent old man they’ve met on the road, who The Hound has knocked out. Arya mocks him for killing geriatrics, and gloats that she knows a real killer. “Is that him?” The Hound asks, and a delusional part of me really hopes that Jaqen H’ghar is going to be standing behind them, just chilling. The Hound agrees not to kill the man, and when he wakes up Arya whacks him across the face with a log. Once the Twins are in sight, Arya’s had enough of her companion and says, “One day I’m going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.” Girl doesn’t play around.
The Red Wedding
On his giant strategy map, Robb’s got little lion and wolf figurines placed in a standoff. He’s also got a little figurine of a man hanging upside down on a cross. Theon? Is that you? Catelyn asks, “Are you sure about this?” Robb: “No.” Well, that’s all we need to know. The two of them decide it’s worth the risk to gather Walder Frey’s men and take Casterly Rock, despite the chance that the Lannisters’ men might ride up from King’s Landing and overtake them. Sound decision-making skills still in place, I see.
At the Twins, Team Stark passes around a plate of crackers and dip while Walder Frey greets them. He trots out his numerous daughters and granddaughters so that Robb can see the hot pieces he’s passed up. And what do you know, not a looker among them. Robb resumes his grand speechifying about breaking vows, etc. Walder gives him a slow clap. After perving on Talisa for a while, he announces that it’s party time: “The wine will flow red, the music will play loud, and we’ll put this mess behind us.”
At the very sombre wedding ceremony, Edmure gets ready to meet his bride, still as pouty as ever. He lights up when he sees his bride’s face, however. She’s pretty! She’s like thirteen, but still. Pretty. So that whole presentation earlier was just an elaborate prank by Walder, I guess.
At the party later, Team Stark seems quite relaxed. Enjoying themselves, even. So you know something’s got to hit the fan soon. The bride and groom are carried off for the “bedding ceremony” (Talisa finds this as weird as we do). Robb and Talisa talk about their baby, in case you forgot about that. Catelyn is the only one who notices when the band starts playing the Lannister theme song, and knows nothing good can come of this. Arya and The Hound arrive outside, and she notices that something isn’t right. Inside, Walder Frey presents a wedding gift to Talisa: several stab wounds to the belly! It’s horrifying. The Freys open fire on the Starks.
Arya, hiding by the stables, sees Grey Wind (Robb’s direwolf) shot by arrows. NOT. COOL. GUYS. The Hound knocks her out and carries her to what I hope is safety.
Back inside, Robb holds his dead wife. Catelyn, begging for Robb’s life, holds a knife to Walder’s wife’s throat. Walder: “I’ll find another.” Charming. Lord Bolton walks up to Robb. “The Lannisters send their regards,” he says before he stabs him. And with that, the King in the North falls to the ground. Catelyn slits the girl’s throat and goes completely catatonic, until a man walks up to her and slits her throat too. And thus ends the infamous Red Wedding. Good luck going about your day after that.