A scene from “The Winds of Winter.”
Man, everything’s getting a sequel these days. First Now You See Me, then Finding Nemo, and now the terrible massacre in Game of Thrones’ third season that killed off most of the Stark family and their army. Yes, that’s right: A scene in the trailer for the season-six finale has some fans convinced we’re about to get a second version of the Red Wedding.
They’re not getting the idea out of nowhere. The possibility of a Red Wedding sequel is a popular theory among Song of Ice and Fire fandom, thanks to a bunch of characters and circumstances that haven’t been included in the show. Even if you’re not a book reader, you’ve likely heard of Lady Stoneheart, the zombified version of Catelyn Stark who leads the Brotherhood Without Banners on a brutal campaign of vengeance throughout the later books of the series. So far, Stoneheart and the Brotherhood have confined themselves to killing anyone even slightly involved in the Red Wedding (and threatening the life of one major character), but there are hints they’ve got something bigger in the works.
Take A Feast for Crows. When he’s not getting yelled at by the Blackfish, Jaime spends some time in that book hanging out with his cousin, Daven Lannister. To seal an alliance with the Freys, who instigated the Red Wedding massacre, Daven’s been engaged to a Frey girl, and he promises Jaime he’ll go through with it no matter how much his new bride’s face may resemble a weasel: “I’ll wed and bed my stoat, never fear. I know what happened to Robb Stark.”
Also lurking in the Lannister camp during the siege of Riverrun is a singer named Tom O’ Sevens, who gets in good with the Lannister army by helping them intimidate Edmure Tully — Catelyn’s brother — into surrendering the castle. What readers know — but the Freys and Lannisters don’t — is that Tom is actually a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Put all these facts together, and you get the foundations for the Second Red Wedding theory: Daven and his Frey bride will get married at Riverrun, while Tom O’ Sevens acts as the inside man for Lady Stoneheart and the Brotherhood, who are going to crash the wedding and kill everyone inside. Some people go even further and say that Jaime, who in the books is about to enter Stoneheart’s orbit, will be forced to watch as his friends and family are murdered — just as Catelyn was at the original Red Wedding.
It’s a good theory, with a solid amount of textual support. But since neither Stoneheart nor Daven nor Tom O’Sevens have made it into the show, why do people think we’re going to get it in the TV show?
Watch the preview above, which gives us a reprise of the famous “Lannisters send their regards” line from the Red Wedding — and at the same castle, to boot. Clearly, some sort of parallelism is intended. But with no Stoneheart, how’s it going to go down? Joanna Robinson at Vanity Fair points us to an old Maisie Williams interview where the actress hints she might wear someone else’s face this season. Who’s got a kill list with Walder Frey’s name on it? And who just left Braavos, swearing that she was Arya Stark for good? Exactly. But don’t cheer too hard: As we saw with Sansa, revenge on Game of Thrones is never the fist-raising moment we might hope it to be. If Arya shows up at the Twins, don’t worry about the Freys, worry about Arya.