In her recap of this week’s unforgettable episode of Game of Thrones, Nina Shen Rastogi wondered what purpose was served by all the violence; does it show “unsentimental truths about the harsh world” or “is it flirting with bloodlust from behind its beguiling, prestige-cable lashes?” Readers had many more reactions to “The Rains of Castamere.” Here’s what you thought of the Red Wedding.
You tried to figure out the Boltons …
* “Non-reader here, OMFG WTF IS WRONG WITH EVERY SINGLE BOLTON??!?!?!?” — Commenter ConnPossible
* “The fact that their banner has a flayed man is quite telling of their moral fiber.” — Commenter JRod5417
* “Robb Stark had to die. He was a horrible leader. The fact that he did not marry the Frey girl in the first place, the hoarding of Lannister soldiers when they had no room, not sensing that going to the Twins was a bad idea, not realizing he was being set up to die. Just bad decision. Tyrion is now the king of the North, things are so good on this show.” — Commenter raheast
* “I don’t know if it’s a net positive for Westeros. The Boltons are sociopaths.” — Commenter TheCheese
… and were pleased to see Jon ride off without Ygritte.
* “I was glad to see Jon ride off without Ygritte. I like a Strong Female Character as much as the next girl, but she’s getting annoying being Miss Hard Ass 24/7. Here’s hoping there’s no sweet reunion between them in the future, but I have a feeling it’s still coming.” — Commenter Jennlynwrites
* I’m hoping Ygritte is gone for good. Couldn’t stand one more second of that pinched face. — Commenter sadieb
You noted foreshadowing …
* “I’m not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but I will just add to the many comments that have already been posted that Robb is dead because Melisandre willed it. Last episode she takes three slugs, sticks them to Gendry’s body, and has Stannis burn them. Before he throws them into the fire, he says the name of the remaining “kings”; “The usurper Rob Stark, the usurper Balon Greyjoy, and the usurper Joffrey Baratheon.” This is the spell that kills Robb Stark.” — Commenter ouchifell
* “Leave the dagger, take lemon cakes.” — Commenter Alex479
… added your thoughts on violence …
* “The recap raises and interesting point about the violence in Game of Thrones and I agree that you have to take it scene by scene. Sometimes the violence feels gratuitous, other times it is exactly what is necessary. In the “Red Wedding” scene, I didn’t look away once. The violence in that scene reminded me of the violence in the first two “Godfather” films. The extremity, the graphicness of the violence was part of the story, it enhanced it. No one would be talking about it the way they are without it being staged the way they did.” — Commenter chconnol
… and discussed the discrepancy between shock and dread.
* “Interesting day-after effect: a lot of the people who read the books (and therefore know what was going to happen) are acting like they WROTE the books. Pump your brakes, superfans: you warned us that it was about to get crazy, we clearly agree that it did, how much more validation do you need?” — Commenter SideshowRhett
* “I think what’s really going on is the sense of emotional release from readers now that they no longer have to keep this big secret from non-reader friends. At least that’s how I feel.” — Commenter Classicist
You applauded Michelle Fairley’s performance…
* “While Robb is…….was my favorite character, it was Catelyn that made this scene a masterpiece. The pleading she did for Walder Frey to spare her child, her first born, As far as she knows her only living child’s life, was brilliant. While she knows that it is pointless, she does it anyway because she is a mother and cannot bare the thought of losing the only person she has left. Between the boyish “Mother …” Richard Madden did while staring into his mothers eyes and the scream she gave after seeing him die was INCREDIBLE.” — Commenter paynterboyy335
* “Michelle Fairley deserves an Emmy nom. I’ve never really cared for Catelyn in comparison to the other characters, but her pleading to Walder Frey, the looks she was giving Robb, and her final scream at the end were incredible. Amazing performance.” — Commenter maddiel
… but didn’t necessarily mourn Catelyn’s death.
* “I couldn’t stand Catelyn in the books and Michelle Fairley has wonderfully brought all the things I found loathsome about her to life (that’s actually a compliment). So no, I’m not sad to see Catelyn go, but what a way to go!” — Commenter iminyjo
You hated on the Freys …
* “I’m lurking and waiting for the commenter with the username “Team_Frey” to come and defend himself.” — Commenter hoipolloi
* “You mess with the bull you get the horns. No one give them any credit but the Freys are playing the Game of Thrones too. Won’t it be nice to see one of MANY Walders on the Iron Throne. They have just gained BIG bonus points with the Lannisters. Seriously though Robb signed his own death warrant when he married Jeyne/Talisa. If he hadn’t made that decision he would have had the Frey bannermen and potentially won the war and the throne. Although the Starks are the presumable protagonist of this story they really are dumb as a group and should have stayed up north.” — Commenter TeamFrey
* “Freys are the ultimate hillbillies of Westeros, or even “Squidbillies” judging by their hats, their chins and other facial features. There should’ve been banjo playing over yesterday’s closing credits.” — Commenter Alex479
* “Yes, but that is just an act to hide how slick they are. The Frey’s played a bait-and-switch game that precisely paralleled — and then violently exceeded — the bait-and-switch game Robb Stark played on them when he tried to switch grooms. The Starks were caught off guard because they, too, thought the Freys were just hicks and underestimated their cleverness. They never would have underestimated some of their other adversaries. The Stark’s elitism ruined them and their line.” — Commenter PhDiva
… and though you let George R.R. Martin fool you once again …
* “The killing of Ned’s son reminded me of the old adage, ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ Over the last season and half, since the death of Ned Stark, the show has slowly gotten me to lower my guard despite the cryptic warnings of my friends that read the books. So much so that when Rob Stark’s apology was accepted last night, I actually said out loud, ‘that was awfully easy.’ And for fifteen minutes, I actually thought the twist was that something would workout for someone … just once. But then again, I am a damn fool right alongside with Edmure Tully.” — Commenter Dr_Negativo
* “If Talisa and Robb were having a boy, Ned Stark has now been killed twice.” — Commenter SlyMysteron
… in the end, you learned your lesson.
* “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” — Commenter classicist
* “And THAT is why you always wear chain mail Spanx to a wedding. (drops mic, walks off stage left)” — Commenter seeunderlove