“Game of Thrones”: A Frey’d Knot


So is it just me, or are straight weddings, like, REALLY hard to sit through?

This week’s Game of Thrones started with Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) giving her son Robbbb (Richard Madden) advice about his military tactics. This is just the first of many subtle ironies that will come into play this episode – so many, in fact, that it essentially becomes the bloodiest episode of Arrested Development ever even BEFORE someone remarks, “I’ve made a terrible mistake.”

Oh – in that same scene over the Risk board, Cate advises Robb to teach the Lannisters a lesson by “showing them what it feels like to lose what they love.” It’s a lesson that she’ll force Robb to learn, and she’ll learn herself all over again. The moral of this story? Violence is never the answer on The Ricki Lake Show.

Robb and co. do eventually make it to The Twins, and Walder Frey (the magnificently skeevy David Bradley) welcomes them and gives them pretzel bites. Um, thanks – how very… Yankee Stadium. Frey then parades out all of his daughters and granddaughters, each lovelier than the last. It kind of reminds me of that movie Dogfight, where the guys bet on who can have sex with the ugliest girl – aka, “that movie where Lili Taylor’s agent stopped returning her calls.”

Frey says that he’s not upset that Robb snubbed everyone he’s ever been related to for TalisaMilano (Oona Chaplin), because he himself would betray his own mother for “firm tits and a tight fit.” Punch it in, Ram!! Seriously, Robb lets this douche talk about his wife like this in front of his men, mother, and 150 bored-looking inbreds?  Anyway, Frey wants to party, regardless – he says “let the red wine flow,” which again with the irony forecast.


Down outside Yunkai, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is trying to plan her attack with her fellas. Seriously, it’s gone from a one-woman show to a total sausage party in here, hasn’t it? Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) totally isn’t liking that Daario Lopez (Ed Skrein) is moving in on his Khaleesi, and Daario couldn’t care less. Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) is neutral on the subject, so the plan is made for J-Dog, G-Dubs, and D-bag to sneak in the back gate. Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinny) wants to join but Jorah tells him to be a good servant and obey his queen’s wishes, which is totally the Westeros version of grade-grubbing, as far as I can tell.

Up north of the wall, Gilly (Hannah Murray) is still dumb. We’re talking, like, Girls-Next-Door-dumb. That is all.


Meanwhile, The Hound (Rory McCann) and Arya (Maisie Williams) are still playing Curly Sue, and when they come across a pig farmer in trouble, Hound helps him and then knocks him out (hello, Mr. Mixed Messages!) – but Arya won’t let him kill him. Hound says, “You’re very kind – some day it will get you killed.” Right – that, along with… well, pretty much anything else.

A bit northward, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Osha (Natalia Tena), Hodor (Kristian Nairn)Rickon – who has decided to show up to work after being absent in a small group for about 8 weeks – and Jojen and his tomboy sis come across an abandoned somethingorother mmmmmnightswatch suppliethingie.

Very nearby (as we will confirm in a few minutes), Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and the other wildlings come across a somethingorother mmmmmnightswatch horsethingie. Jon wants to take the horses and let the old horse farmer go, but Ginger McBeardy (Kristofer Hivju) just wants to kill the dude, because THAT’S WHY THEY CALL THEM WILDLINGS. They charge the guy but Jon bangs a rock with his sword to spook the horses and give the guy a heads-up. And when Ygritte goes to shoot the guy with an arrow, Jon sneaks up behind her and yells, “NOONAN!” (Note to self: never play H-O-R-S-E with Jon Snow. Or… well, horse.)

Back at Curly Sue, The Hound ridicules Arya for being afraid that she’ll miss her family when they’re like twenty feet away, and she tells him he’s afraid of fire like Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein, so nobody will be puttin’ on HIS Ritz anytime soon, OKAY? That shuts him up long enough for her to tell him that “Someday I will put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull,” which is yep, pretty much the way I talked to my babysitters, too. Carry on!

Up in some tower, Bran – who I would think wouldn’t be terribly fond of towers, by this point – wonders how they’ll get over the wall, especially since Hodor hasn’t been doing his squats at the gym and totally can’t carry him over it. Meanwhile, it’s storming and Hodor apparently doesn’t like it – he stumbles around shouting “HODOR!” every time there’s thunder, proving once and for all that he is the “Steve Holt!” of this operation.

Outside, the wildlings corner the horse farmer, and the kids worry that they will hear Hodor’s cries. OMG, is this totally going to turn into the last episode of M*A*S*H when Hawkeye makes that lady kill her chicken? Well – it would, if only Bran weren’t psychic and able to hop into Hodor’s head and shut him up easy-peasy. Whew. Downside: no chicken pot pie tonight!


Outside, the wildlings want Jon to kill the horse farmer to prove his loyalty. Meanwhile, the Stark direwolves have arrived because someone shook a bag of Beggin’ Strips. Jon hesitates, so Ygritte – ever the backseat driver – shoots the farmer with an arrow to be done with it. Ginger McBeardy orders, “KILL HIM” – meaning Jon – and tackles Ygritte, knowing that her sensitive ladyparts will not be able to resist the pacifying power of Jon’s puppydog eyes.

Speaking of puppydogs, the wolves attack. Jon stabs the warg, Orell, but he jumps into an eagle at the last minute and attacks the crap out of Jon’s neck before he can swat him away. WTF? So can this dude just jump from animal to animal now until he runs out? Somebody warn Benji!

Daario leads Jorah and GW to the back gate and tells them to wait for his whistle. He whistles and they follow, and he has killed a guard. Good for him – but then like 20 more show up, and suddenly we’re watching a scene from Spartacus only without any promise of full-frontal male nudity or gay gladiator sex. Well, whatever. They win.. but then like 100 guys show up… but still no promise of blah blah, you get where I’m going with this. MOVING ON.

Back at the wedding at The Twins, two men wrestle shirtless outside before a cheering crowd of drunks. Or as we like to call it, “Sunday at the Eagle.” The Frey Mystery Bride is walked up the aisle, covered in a shroud – which gem will it be? They unveil her, and she’s totally hot. *sshole Frey winks at Robb, all “see what I did there?” Robb couldn’t care less, although he probably should. Anyway, it looks like Robb’s uncle Edmure (Tobias Menzies) lost the Dogfight – but isn’t that the same as winning?


Apparently Bran is suuuuuuuper-special because he can jump into the leading minds of his day, like Hodor. (Regular wargs can only jump into animals – although I’m pretty sure my cat is smarter than Hodor, though far less loyal.) Also, Bran saw Jon Snow downstairs when he was in the wolves, and he escaped the wildlings, so no bigs! He wants Osha to take Rickon to safety, and he and Rickon have this big tearful separation moment even though Rickon has seriously been totally MIA for the entire season. Not feeling it, sorry.

Dany is impatient – but then Jorah and GW return and tell her that things went exactly according to plan – the city has fallen. She’s all, “Oh! That’s… that’s just – hey, didn’t you have Fabio with you when you left?” And sure enough, Daario prances in and plops the flag of Yunkai at her feet. What a tool.

At the Frey wedding, everyone drinks – except Lord Roose “Michael” Bolton (Michael McElhatton), because he’s on duty as a professional dick. As Robb and TalisaMilano discuss his uncle’s new bride, he jokes, “Perhaps I’ve made a terrible mistake” – spoken like a true Bluth! I mean, Stark!

Turns out Papa Frey is reeeeeeally into the whole “consummate this marriage” thing and he leads a charge out of the room so that everyone can watch this old dude bang his daughter. Even TalisaMilano points out, “That is a very strange custom,” but things are only going to get stranger, girl. She then reveals that she’s pregnant, and if it’s a boy she wants to name it Eddard. Just then, someone pulls the doors shut, and they start playing something broody and melancholy – “Eleanor Rigby”? – on the violin. Catelyn looks extremely concerned. She was more of a Stones fan?

Outside, the wolves go nuts. Arya and The Hound are stopped at the gate, despite boasting plenty of pigs’ feet for everyone. Arya bolts.

Inside, Cate notices that Bolton is wearing armor under his dress. Ohhhhhhsnap. And before you can yell, “SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS!” soldiers stab the f*ck out of TalisaMilano’s belly, shoot Robb and Cate with arrows, and cut the throats of all the Stark men present.

I guess this is one wedding where guests should take “groom’s side or bride’s side?” VERY seriously.

Outside, Arya sees the Frey soldiers kill Stark men at their dinner table. She hears Robb’s direwolf freaking out, but before she can release it men shoot it to sh*t with arrows and it dies. Seriously?! They’re killing PUPPIES now?!

Robb crawls to a dying/dead TalisaMilano and Cate yanks Frey’s wife from under the table, threatening to cut her throat if they don’t at least let Robb go. Frey sniffs, “I’ll get a new one.” Bolton walks up to Robb and says, “The Lannisters send their regards,” and stabs him. He dies. Well, at least it wasn’t an Edible Arrangement.

Cate kills Frey’s wife, and they cut Cate’s throat.


Ladies and gentlemen, I think Wedding Wars: Westeros Edition has a new front runner.

Notably Dead: Catelyn, Robb, TalisaMilano, the wildling warg, a horse farmer, Frey’s wife, hundreds of Yunkai soldiers and slaves, hundreds of Stark soldiers and assorted bannermen, a horse, a direwolf, and a very tasty pig.

Notably Absent: Everyone else (including all of King’s Landing, Jaime, Brienne, the rest of the Night’s Watch, the Brotherhood, Stannis and co.)

Whew. Now, I’m the kind that cries at weddings even when there isn’t a massacre (and definitely when there’s a cash bar). But this probably goes down as the worst wedding ever – but like a good wedding planner, Frey didn’t let the happy couple know that anything was amiss. That’s the mark of a true pro. So is the joke here that Robb’s uncle bitched and moaned the whole time about having to marry this lady and now he’s the only one allowed to survive? With a smoking hot wife, to boot? Some guys get all the luck.

Anyway, it’s truly sad to see the Stark family continue along their path to extinction, but let’s face it: Catelyn has had nothing to do all season except stand in a corner looking vaguely constipated, and beheading that Karstark dude was just one of Robb’s many mistakes as King. With only four Starks and a bastard left, will they ever recover? And what will become of It Couple Snowy Ygritte? And will Hodor wake up speaking with the voice of the talking Gremlin? And can we chalk Robb’s death up to Gendry’s nutleech, or did he bring this upon himself without the help of magic?

All this and more will be revealed on the finale next week. Or not.

I’d give it nine out of ten shampoos.

What’d you kids think? Was that the “red wedding” everyone’s been buzzing about, or is there more to come? Did the Game of Thrones accountant have the best day ever pinkslipping all those actors? And how are they possibly going to top all this in the finale?

Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.