If you wanted (more) blood on "Game of Thrones," you got it on Sunday -- a nice day for a red wedding.
Warning: Spoiler alert!
Sunday's season 3 episode, dubbed "The Rains of Castamere" officially but also known as "The Red Wedding," was so shocking that it brought tears to the eyes of fans and to the cast and crew. The HBO fantasy show is based on the books by George R. R. Martin, so readers were prepared for what was coming, but seeing it on screen was a different story. #GoT was trending on Twitter throughout the entire night.
A secret alliance with the Lannisters, a broken marriage pact and perhaps just good old-fashioned bloodlust prompts the ever-creepy Lord Walder Frey to host a bloodbath of a wedding that claims the lives of two veteran characters -- Catelyn Stark, the matriarch of what appears to be a cursed family and the widow of season 1's main casualty, Lord Ned Stark, and son Robb Stark, King of the North.
Robb had broken a political deal between his family and Frey's to marry one of the lord's daughters -- known throughout the realm for being unattractive -- and married a commoner instead, a medic named Talisa. The Starks offered Robb's uncle Edmure as a consolation prize and Frey accepted and a wedding was arranged.
Robb apologized to Frey's daughters and bit his tongue while the lord insulted his queen. Edmure got a pleasant surprise when his bride-to-be turned out to be beautiful. Robb's queen informs her husband that she's pregnant and that if it's a boy, she plans to name the baby after his late father. From death springs life, except when ... literature fans, say it with me: Talisa, you in danger, girl.
The poor mom-to-be, the Starks and their men are murdered, one by one, by Frey's men, including his grandson-in-law, Roose Bolton, who informs Robb just before killing him that "The Lannisters send their regards," referring to the family's main and powerful rivals. The Lannisters' teenage King Joffrey had once had Ned murdered and daughter and former fiancee Sansa remains his hostage.
Just before she dies (in a scene that brings to mind "Macbeth"), Catelyn threatens to kill one of Frey's child wives. He is unmoved.
Remaining Starks: Arya (on the run after watching the fall of her family's former home as well as her father's execution, tragically and ironically witnessed the aftermath of the "Red Wedding," fate remains unclear), brothers Bran and Rickon (on the run). Also Ned's bastard son Jon Snow (who finally showed his true allegiance to his family).
Response to "The Red Wedding" by "Catelyn Stark," aka Michelle Fairley
"I don't think I could watch it," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I really don't think I could. I want to, but I don't think I can. I might watch it one day."
Response by "Robb Stark," aka Richard Madden
"It was horrible," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It was a very difficult day for everyone ? Yeah. It wasn't just my last scene in the show, it was also my last day on the set. It was, Michelle and I, our last scene on 'Game of Thrones.'"
"Yeah, after we wrapped, it had been an exhausting five-day shoot," he added. "We were mentally exhausted. I cried my eyes out, completely ? as did a lot of the crew and other actors. It was very emotional. The wrap party was that night, but I had to start filming another job the next day. So I washed my blood off and got on a plane."
Response to "The Red Wedding" book scene, by author George R.R. Martin
"That was the hardest scene I've ever had to write," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It was like murdering two of your children."
Response by "Game of Thrones" showrunner David Benioff
"That last shot of Catelyn standing there ... you're kind of hoping for a 'cut to black' -- you just want it to be over," Benioff, said in an interview posted on HBO.com. (Watch it below.)
"Because you're watching this woman that you care about so much and in her absolute, the most horrible possible place -- a mother having seen her own son killed before her eyes and having really nothing left to live for at that moment, believing all her other sons are dead and presumably her daughters are dad or at least in the grips of the Lannisters and it's just all, it's all over," he said.