Yesterday afternoon, I was at uni working on a huge group assignment. At around 5pm, my newsfeed was exploding with such statuses as “OMG GAME OF THRONES ~~~*!” Usually there’s always at least one dickhead who posts a status like that every Monday – no matter if the episode was shocking or not – just to remind us that they do in fact watch the show, but something in the internet air told me that this week was different. There were exclamations of genuine despair, shock and horror (plus a few close calls with spoiler alerts). Fast-forward to 5 hours later and it’s the climax of Episode 9 – my jaw is gaping, eyes glassy, and my mouth barely musters the emotional energy to whisper a distraught and disbelieving “…what the fuck?!”
The whole episode is centered around the seemingly innocuous event of Edmure Tully’s wedding to Lord Walder Frey’s anonymous daughter – you may remember Edmure as Robb’s relation that had no choice to step up to the plate when Robb married his true love instead of Frey’s daughter like he had promised. But we’ll get back to this plot point later and deal with the other stuff first, for drama’s sake.
Jon Snow is on the road with the Wildlings, and the dudes are understandably still quite untrusting of his beautiful face. To prove his loyalty, they steal a bunch of horses from the Watch’s horseman and then demand that Jon kill him. A wild chase ensues and they end up in a big face-off in some random abandoned town. Unknown to the crew, Bran and his merry band of misfits are hiding in a tower that oversees this entire event. Bran’s finally learned to control his psychic mind-powers and possesses a bunch of animals to save Jon’s life after he proves he cannot kill the man. Jon flees the scene, leaving a jilted Ygritte behind. That whole act was very a very unexpected and surprisingly dog move from the usually loyal Jon Snow.
Our fave Khaleesi is using her new main man Daario (AKA Bondi Thorin Oakenshield) to head a raid of Yunkai with her other boys Grey Worm and Jorah. It’s actually quite an excellent fight scene rivalling almost any team-fights, but for some reason right now all I can think of is Jackie Chan and Chris Rock in any and all of the Rush Hour movies. Khaleesi is basically frothing at the mouth for Daario, but I’m not convinced; I’m not quite sure what it is about his perfect face that makes me want to punch it.
Also, on the side, is an increasingly angsty Arya Stark, who is getting closer and closer to home.
But back to the wedding. I’ve never read any of the books, and so was completely unaware of what was forthcoming since the beginning of the entire series. The whole event was making me cringe because it was all too perfect – and as every Thronie knows, nothing goes well in this show, ever. As soon as Talisa said “Wouldn’t you like to teach little Ned Stark to ride a horse?” as she gently rubbed her growing baby-bump and shared a loving and adoring gaze with Robb, I turned to my boyfriend and said “well, she’s totally going to die tonight”. And unfortunately, I was right.
After Edmure and his new babin’ wifey take to the bedroom in a bizarre team-tradition, the doors are locked and the tune of “The Rains of Castamere” begin. Catelyn’s expression when this begins says it all – it is at once filled with terror, sorrow and incomprehension. It’s a snowball of events from there, climaxing with all of the Stark’s guards being slaughtered, Talisa being stabbed in the womb, Robb being stabbed, and, after watching what she thinks is her last living child’s last breath, Catelyn stark slits Lord Frey’s wife’s throat before having her own slit.
It’s a bloodbath of misery that means more than just the dwindling Stark population – it signifies a loss of hope for the North: for the “good guys”. We need Arya to step up and get this shit back on track. As far as Starks go, she seems to be our last real hope.