Red Wedding

In one of the most shocking episodes of the show to date, the lead-up to the Game of Thrones finale had fans all a-twitter. Thousands took to social media to talk about the stunning revelations of the second-to-last episode of season three, appropriately dubbed “Red Wedding.” If you don’t mind some serious spoilers, check out what went down for the Starks and what it means for the future of the wildly popular show.

The Starks gathered to celebrate the wedding of their dear Edmure Tully to the Frey girl that Robb was originally set to wed before falling for Talisa. Robb and Catelyn have finally kissed and made up over their combined hatred for the Lannisters, so the event promises to be a happy one. As the wedding ceremony ends, the doors to the hall close and the massacre begins, orchestrated by the father of the bride himself. Ambushed by the Lannisters, the Starks are nearly wiped out by the fray. Talisa, pregnant, is stabbed repeatedly in the belly, and Robb, his mother, and most of his army are killed.

Those who have read the books knew this was coming, but those who hadn’t were stunned by the apparent wiping out of the entire House of Stark. It’s shocking to see the demise of an entire family, especially so late in the season. One of the survivors, Anya Stark, may be the only hope left for the entire family.

When asked about the bloodbath that occurs in this episode right before the Game of Thrones finale, producer David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly that the episode is meant to carry the tone and themes of the books. “One of the things I love about the books is that, in books and movies when a major character dies, we’re used to a bittersweet final moment. The death speech. You don’t get that here at all. There’s no redemptive moment. There’s just horror and slaughter. You want revenge so quickly for it and you’re not getting it, so you’re deprived of even that satisfaction. It’s just like a kidney punch. That’s the feeling we got in the books and that’s what we’re trying to emulate here on screen.”

Writer George Martin has been criticized for his bloody and violent scenes, but he claims to have been inspired by the Black Dinner of 1440, a coup where the 6th Earl of Douglas was led to his death under the guise of a diplomatic dinner with opponents.

With the Game of Thrones finale on tap, only die-hard fans and readers know what’s coming for the remaining Starks. As it stands, the Lannisters are now poised to gain ground, even as Daenerys Targaryen preps her dragons and Stannis Baratheon continues to vie for the throne. After Sunday nights shocking finale, Game of Throne fans are in for a long, long winter.

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