Game of Thrones
S03 E09 “The Rains of Castamere”
Since the moment Episode eight of Game of Thrones ended, I sat here wondering how to write a review/recap of this episode without giving anything away because, to be perfectly honest with you, I cannot spoil this. Granted most of you have probably already read spoilers, but I don’t feel I should spoil the last two episodes. Why would I want to spoil two episodes for you that I feel you should watch? But aside from that, this episode was so heavy that it pained me to have to write about it. It left an impression on me that I cannot forget, and I don’t think anyone else will forget either.
Everything that we have seen and heard from this Season of Game of Thrones were leading to these last two episodes.
Jon Snow is in the North with the Wildings getting closer to Castle Black, Bran is coming to grips with his increasing powers as a warg, Daenerys’ army and alliances are growing more & more (as well as her dragons), Arya is so close to finally reuniting with her family that she can taste it and Robb Stark & everyone on the side of the King of North are at The Twins for a wedding.
This episode was one of the episodes that I continuously mentioned in my reviews/recaps, in which the characters were being placed like a game of chess! Most of the characters involved in this had to be introduced to us early in the season, as well as featured more than usual and moved around so they could all wind up in this place, during this time and we would know their motives (whether or not you question their motives is another story entirely); the dialogue heavy episodes that so many would say were “boring” gave many moments of foreshadowing to this particular episode which is why I always said to pay close attention. Everything happens and everything is said for a reason, and sitting around waiting for the dragons to pop on your television screen is a surefire way for you to miss all the hints! Hints that could have potentially prepared you for this episode and for the season finale next week.
All the lessons we’ve learned in the season led to this episode: the meaning of Valar Morghulis (Ep three), patience (Ep four), vulnerability (Ep five), climbing (metaphorically & literally in Ep six), sacrifice & loyalty (Ep seven). While this episode showed us about bonds, both being created and destroyed, all of those little lessons reached their peak here. All those little lessons were shown in this episode by many of the characters.
But of all the aforementioned lessons learned, whether they were obvious or in the underlining of the episode, there were just two pinnacle things that should have been heeded by us as viewers.
The first being in Episode 6, in the wise words of Orell the Wilding Warg: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” Truer words have never been spoken.
The second and most important of all was in Episode eight, when we learned about the origin of the song ‘The Rains of Castamere’ from Cersei, which is the title for this Episode.
Many people didn’t care to listen to the story Cersei was telling Maergery, but you should have. The Rains of Castamere was about “House Reyne of Castamere and how Cersei’s father, Tywin, destroyed the Reynes root and stem when they rebelled against House Lannister.” The Castameres are no more, they were completely and utterly gotten rid of from existence, no other lineage to come forth; their name is dead.
If you paid attention to that, then you’d know what this episode meant the moment you read the title of the episode either in the review or on the TV guide, you’d recognize that the woeful song that began to play in this episode was ‘The Rains of Castamere’. In knowing the meaning, you would’ve know what it meant as a whole at the particular moment.
This episode really delivered to say the very least. After the episode aired, one thing that I have heard from others that have read the book was: though I knew what was going to happen, I was still stunned. The people behind the show knew you would but left speechless because the end credits were filled with silence as well. No outro music, just silence to let you sit in awe as everything you just witnessed sinks in, if it ever truly does sink in. THAT is what I feel makes for good television (or even a movie) when it can meet or even exceed what your imagination created while reading the original source material.
Those that haven’t read the books were stunned silent as well, and a plethora of opinions are coming forth from it, both negative and somewhat positive. As much as it pains me to write it this way, this episode was nothing short of what Game of Thrones, the book and series, is. Viewers often forget this is a war, while the show isn’t always showcasing battles, at the end of the day everyone is in this to win this, everyone is after their place in the Iron Throne. This is war and in war those fighting do what they have to do to win. Remember what Cersei said to Nerd Stark in Season one: “In the Game of Thrones you win, or you die”.
To the viewers of Game of Thrones that didn’t like this episode because of the events that took place, and had negative things to say about it or vow to never watch it again, do not give up on this show! Just like there was more to the story after Ned Stark was beheaded in the second to last episode of Season One, there is more to come, much more and you will not be disappointed.
But there is one phrase that continuously was uttered from Season One until now and will more than likely continue to be said throughout the seasons coming, only in Season three did we learn what it meant, and it is the one phrase than fitfully describe this episode… well, Game of Thrones as a whole: Valar Morghulis