Monday, June 3, 2013

Episode 29 Discussion: "The Rains Of Castamere"

Hoo boy!

This one was a doozy. It's the episode I've been dreading ever since day one of this show's airing. It's the point when, in the books, I almost gave up reading the whole damn series. And even more than a decade later, I still get uneasy thinking about what happened. To be honest, it's probably also why I haven't re-read these books in all this time. Some things are just too traumatic to live through again, even if it is all just fiction. And fantasy fiction at that!

But before we get to all of that, some quick thoughts on what transpired before the Lannisters--as they are wont to do--paid their debts back to Robb Stark and Company:

I absolutely loved Bran "warg"-ing into Hodor to shut the big oaf up, and then into his direwolf, Summer, to come to the rescue of Jon Snow. Fantastic! And it's about damn time they made it clear to those non-book readers just what the hell is up with Bran and his wolf dreams. Yes, like Orell the Wildling, Bran can also project his mind into animals. But unlike Orell or any other warg beyond the Wall, Bran can also project into a human being's mind as well. Uh, I don't recall this being an impossibility for other wargs in the books. As I recall, it is difficult to do, but not impossible. It's just something that most wargs know not to do, because the practice has some potentially horrendous risks.

Rickon Stark's parting was well overdue, and yet wonderfully acted. That scene almost made me cry. I don't know about Osha taking him to Last Hearth---home of Jon Umber, aka "The Greatjon". That particular detail was different in the book. But I think the end results will be the same. Rickon doesn't get a whole lot of mention in the book series, which is a shame.

The excursion into Yunkai by perhaps the most kick-ass variation of the Three Stooges ever was a big highlight of this episode. Not only was the action edge-of-your-seat worthy, but the choreography was superb! I loved watching Daario and Ser Jorah lay waste to wave after wave of guards coming at them, but the best was Grey Worm. Oh man, this guy was AMAZING! He truly made the Unsullied proud on that night. You know, for a group of ball-less wonders, they actually do live up to their fearsome reputations, eh?

I'm really enjoying how well the Arya and Hound scenes are being portrayed. Very, very close to the books for now. And while Sandor Clegane does have a point about the young lass needing to grow a pair if she is to survive in this harsh world, Arya was quick to demonstrate why she's not the shrinking violet her sister was. Knocking out that poor pork peddler a second time seriously impressed the Hound. And when the right time came, he conked her on the head in kind so as to perhaps save her from the fate her oldest brother was having dished out to him at the Twins.

Speaking of which ...

"The Lannisters send their regards."

*sigh* It is with such heavy heart that I had to sit through this scene. The entire episode my stomach was turning into knots, knowing what was to come. I kept checking the clock to see how much of the episode was still left, because I just knew they were going to save it for the very end before the credits roll. But when the melody to that now infamous Lannister song, "The Rains of Castamere," finally started to play in the banquet hall, I was a nervous mess! Which is strange since I knew damn well what was about to transpire. And yet ...

Anyway, I won't rehash the whole ordeal. If you saw it, you know what happened. And you also know how depressing it was. Oh, and Lord Roose Bolton is an asshole! As is Lord Frey, but that comes as no surprise.

However, since I'm not a mind reader, I would like to read your thoughts in the comments below. After all, this is why the post is called a "discussion."

So, go on. Discuss! How did this episode hit ya? Square in the nuts, or be ye cold and merciless like the Unsullied? The comments section is also the place to ask all your questions, and I will do my best to answer them. This is a very pivotal moment in the entire series, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of my readers have a lot to get off their chests.

Have at it, then!

P.S. -- Here's a consolation video the folks over at The Second City put together for those book readers and show watchers alike who may have just come to the disturbing realization that George R. R. Martin is one sick and cruel bastard!

They're equal parts wrong and right. But I won't tell you which is which. I can be cruel too, see? Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Don't worry, there really are no spoilers if you've watched the show up to last night's episode.)


  1. Well even though I knew it was coming I still found it shocking to watch. Especially Robs pregnant wife getting it in the stomach. Didn't she NOT go to the wedding in the books? I felt sick. Thought Catelyn Starks reaction was a little underdone, considering what she did in the books also. All in all, a very dramatic scene and well played.

    When I read this part in the books I was seriously like.. What the Hell? G.R.R.Martin has no qualms about getting rid of major characters...which reminds me... at least we have two to look forward to (without giving too much away to the non-readers).
    Oh yeah and Grey Worm is so totally cool.
    Not happy with the look of Daario. Didn't he have all multicoloured hair? Too prettyboy on the show.

  2. Sprite -- Yes, she gets left behind in the book and is never at The Twins. Presumably she is still alive as of now, but we've not heard word of her ever since. So who knows? I think this was GRRM's way of definitively settling the score and admitting that she has no role in the future of this ongoing story. As for Cat: I thought her reaction was a little too much in the books. In this episode, for a second there I thought she might do it after she wailed in anguish and then just stood there in silence. I was expecting it ... but then it never came. I have a theory, but I don't want to spoil anything right now. It all depends on what happens on the season finale next Sunday.

    And, yes, uh ... Daario was decidedly toned down for the show. They felt his description in the books was way too flamboyant and distracting, not to mention unrealistic to depict. Kinda like Wolverine in the movies vs. the comic books. Hard to translate a bright yellow spandex suit onto the live-action big screen. :) Same must go for Daario's ridiculously colorful hair. LOL!

  3. Oh yeah, the "Red Wedding". Knowing what was coming I was kind of amused reading reactions on fb but I still dreaded seeing it. People thought they were mad when Ned got killed. I thought it was well done. Though I must say the attack on Rob's pregnant bride was particularly brutal. It fits with the scene but damn that was a bit much.

    Grey Worm getting busy with that spear was pure awsomeness!!!!!!

    All the other story lines are coming along fine. That look on Ygritte's face as Jon bolts was priceless. Bran coming into his gifts is great.

    Can't wait to see how the close the season.

  4. Okay, I had NO FREAKIN' IDEA this scene was coming and my reaction was just pure shock! From the wife being stabbed to Rob's stunned acceptance of his own death, to Cat's reaction. I've read that people were warned when the music started playing, but I got an inkling to something bad (I was thinking the in the final ep) when the intended name of Robb's future son was revealed. But that wasn't a warning at all.

    The two most heartbreaking moments for me were Cat's begging Robb to get up and leave and Arya's reaction to seeing what happened to the direwolf.

    I found it really interesting that Ygritte actually fought to protect Jon before he took off. For a long time, I thought she was conning him with all that "us vs them" talk, but it looks like she was serious about that.

    I have issues with Daario (someone that cocky should have something to PROVE that cockiness besides looks), but when Ser Jorah and Daario worked together to dispatch some baddies was pretty cool to see. But I have to jump on the Grey Worm bandwagon here.

    The man is BAD ASS!! Not only did he kick ass, but he did it with style and power. He put the other "Stooges" to shame in my opinion.

    I wasn't too surprised with Bran's warging into Hodor. I'd been expecting something like that for awhile now. I mean how often can you talk about someone's untapped powers without that person doing something weird?

    All in all, an awesome (if shocking and disturbing) episode. Can't wait for the season finale!

  5. I was a bit depressed after that episode... If I had been the Mom, I would have jumped up from under the table and got the father not the wife... how stupid was that

  6. That's right, she was too heavily pregnant to travel or something like that.. I think I remember them mention her once...

    As for Daario..*sigh* I was ever so much looking forward to that colourful!

  7. I don't watch the show(as you know)but even "I" knew all about that episode! My friends are still talking about it!!! lol

  8. Thanks for all the wonderful comments, guys! Wow. So it seems this episode was the center of a great many water cooler comments at the office this week. I'm actually surprised by how far this show has been able to penetrate popular culture. Yes!!! :)


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