The week is almost at an end and that means we’re one day closer to Game of Thrones season eight. We’re going through each and every season of the franchise so you don’t have to.
Catch up here:
- Betrayals, beheadins and dragons – season one recap
- The night is dark, Jon Snow knows nothing – season two recap
Season three of Game of Thrones will probably go down in the history books as one of the most emotional seasons in the franchise.
Of course, Ned Stark’s beheading also makes it to that list, as well as that episode of Shireen in season five and Hodor in season six.
But in season three there’s this little thing called the Red Wedding. Take and deep breath, maybe get a up of tea – or something stronger, we won’t judge – and scroll down when you’re ready.
By now, we’ve met most of the main players in the game. Everyone is pretty much set on the paths they need to be on. There’s a nifty little TL;DR video at the bottom.
Tension in King’s Landing
You can almost cut the tension between Queen Cersei and Margaery Tyrell with a knife. We also get to meet the Tyrell matriach, Margaery’s grandmother Olenna.
Look, as sweet as Sansa is, she’s no match for Joffrey. Too sweet, innocent and naive to make it out of that marriage alive. Margaery on the other hand, she knows exactly what Joffrey is and how to manipulate him.
Watch: Joffrey and Margaery agree to marry
And Cersei doesn’t like that one bit. There’s also love in the air at King’s Landing. Now that Sansa is free of Joffrey, she falls for Margaery’s brother, Loras Tyrell. Sansa isn’t really Loras’ type but I digress.
Of course Sansa is not destined for happiness. Instead, Tywin decides that she has to marry Tyrion, lest the Lannisters lose their only meal ticket to the North. Which is exactly what would happen if Sansa marries Loras.
Cersei is still gloating about Tyrion’s fate of marrying Sansa when Tywin informs her she shall be wed to Loras instead. Cersei doesn’t like being bossed around, but Tywin is Twyin and that is the end of the conversation.
She vows to stop the marriage in other ways, however.
In the midlands
The Bear and the Maiden Fair
Since Catelyn Stark freed Jaime, he’s been travelling back to King’s Landing, as Brienne’s captive. Things go south when they’re captured by a band of thieves and Jaime ends up losing his hand.
Literally. Chopped off at the wrist. Needless to say, that affects him in all sorts of strange ways. Remember, he’s supposedly the best fighter in the Seven Kingdoms. Now he can’t even hold a sword.
Watch: Jaime loses his hand
They eventually make it back to Harrenhall where Roose Bolton frees Jaime from Brienne’s captivity and sends him back to King’s Landing. Bolton is scared of Tywin, you see.
Brienne stays behind, but Jaime cannot get it over his heart, knowing exactly what will happen to her. He turns around to save her, only to find her in a fighting ring with a bear.
There’s a popular song in the seven kingdoms, The Bear and The Maiden Fair, and all the men were singing that at the top of their lungs while Brienne was staying to stay out of the bear’s clutches.
Of course Jaime saves her, and off they go to King’s Landing.
Watch: Brienne fights a bear
After Theon burned Winterfell to a crisp, he is captured someone by who tortures him in the most unspeakable ways. It takes a few episodes before we learn that his tormentor is Roose Bolton’s bastard son, Ramsay Snow.
If you were wondering why he has the same surname as Jon Snow – bastard children are all given the same surname, depending on their region.
Bastard children – or natural born children – in the north are given the surname Snow. For interest’s sake, here’s the list:
|Region in Westeros||Surname||Example|
|Iron Islands||Pyke||Cotter Pyke|
|The Reach||Flowers||Robert Flowers|
|Vale of Arryn||Stone||Mya Stone|
As for Ramsay: Long story short, he chops of Theon’s manhood and makes him believe he is not worthy of the Greyjoy name.
Ramsay sends his private bits in a fancy box to the Iron Islands and demand their allegiance or he’ll send more of Theon back home in bits and pieces.
Watch: Reek and the sausage
While Theon’s father doesn’t really care about what happens to him, his badass sister gathers all her soldiers and sets out to rescue Theon.
The Brotherhood without Banners
You may remember Beric Dondarrion from season one. We meet up with him and learn that the poor bastard has already died several times. Yes, he serves the Lord of Light, R’hollor.
Beric travells with a Red Priest, Thoros of Myr, who resurrect him every time he falls in battle. Nifty party trick, hey? Arya, Hot Pie and Gendry are still travelling with the raga-band group of warriors.
Now you’ll recall from season one that Joffrey killed all King Robert’s bastard sons so no one can claim the throne except him. However, they forgot about Gendry, who is Robert Baratheon’s only remaining son.
Watch: Gendry learns who he really is
That brings us to Stannis and the Red Priestess Melisandre.
The power of King’s Blood
Over at Dragonstone, we catch up with Davos who survived the Battle of Blackwater Bay. His sons didn’t. We also meet Stannis’ daughter, Princess Shireen. The only person in the world who was cured of Greyscale. She still has the scar across her face.
Melisandre convinces Stannis that there’s power in King’s blood, and she needs the red stuff in Gendry’s veins to defeat the other kings and place Stannis on the iron throne.
They end up buying Gendry from the Brotherhood of Banners. But instead of killing Gendry, the Red Woman just collects his blood by putting a few leaches on him and tossing it into the flames.
Watch: Gendry’s blood sacrifice
Stannis wanted three kings dead – Rob Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister. Now whether you believe in the Red Woman’s magic or not, it’s interesting to note that those three end up dead sooner rather than later.
Balon dies in seaosn six when his brother pushes him off a bridge, Joffrey meets his end in season four, and Robb… Well, keep reading.
The Rains of Castamere
We don’t want to go through this again, but alas. Let’s do it and get it over with. Earlier in the season Robb agrees to marry one of Lord Frey’s daughters. Frey is Lord of the Twins, and the marriage offer was a strategic move as Robb needed the passage past Frey’s castle.
But good ol’ Robb falls in love with a foreigner, Talisa Maegyr from Volantis. They marry in secret, she gets pregnant, they’re all very happy. Yes, they wronged Walder Frey by not going through with the arranged marriage but they hope he’ll forgive them.
Instead, the Starks agree that Catelyn’s younger brother Edmure will marry one of Frey’s daughters. They all go on a jolly good ride to his castle to make amends. He says he forgives him.
Everyone is eating and singing and being merry. Good times. Then Catelyn notices that Frey’s men closed the doors of the wedding hall. The musicians starts playing a Lannister song, The Rains of Castamere.
Quick background info, the Castameres was a proud house who rebelled against the Lannisters and Tywin wiped them from existence. He marched against Lord Reyne and executed the members of the House before burning their keep to the ground.
Watch: The Rains of Castamere (Lannister Anthem)
Back to the wedding: Catelyn noticed that Roose Bolton, a supposed ally to the Starks, is wearing chain maille under his fancy wedding clothes. And that’s when all hell breaks lose.
The Freys attack and in one fell swoop wipes out the Starks. Talisa is stabbed in her pregnant belly and Robb takes a crossbow to the chest. Catelyn Stark grabs one of Frey’s wives and said she’ll slit her throat if Frey doesn’t let Robb go.
Watch: Reactions to the Red Wedding
Frey doesn’t care about his wife, Roose stabs Robb in the heart with the words, “the Lannisters send their regards.” Catelyn lets out the most heartrending scream you’ll ever hear out of the mother’s mouth and kills Frey’s wife right before one of Frey’s men slits her throat.
Arya, who was on her way to the Frey’s with the Hound, arrives just in time to see how the Frey’s slaughter the Stark soldiers and kill Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind. She watches helplessly as they parade Robbs decapitated head with the wolf’s head stitched to his body.
Watch: The Red Wedding
Beyond the Wall
Jon Snow knows things
After the mutiny at Craster’s Keep, Jon completely abandons the Night’s Watch and joins the wildlings. He falls in love with Ygritte and they spend some sweet time in a cave, with Jon proving that he does know some stuff. We won’t elaborate.
They climb the wall and attack settlements north of it, but Jon’s conscience won’t let him be. He flees the wildings, but not before Ygritte puts three arrows in him, giving new meaning to the phrase “love hurts.”
Watch: Ygritte shoots Jon Snow
He arrives at Castle Black on the brink of death sans his direwolf Ghost, who’s still locked up at Craster’s Keep.
The Three-Eyed Raven
Bran is determined to head North of the Wall and find the three-eyed Raven he sees in his visions. He meets up with Jojen and Meera Reed, noble borns. Jojen has greensight – he can see the future – and vows to help Bran get to the Three-Eyed-Raven.
On their way North Bran also realises he can warg into his direwolf, Summer. He also wargs into Hodor and his paths crosses with Sam Tarly and Gilly, on their way from Caster’s Keep to Castle Black.
Watch: Bran wargs into Hodor
It’s interesting to note that while they spend the night holed up in a fort, Bran tells Sam the story of the Rat Cook. Remember this for season six when Arya finally gets her revenge.
“The Rat Cook” was just a cook in the Knight’s Watch. He was angry at the king for something, I don’t remember. When the king was visiting the night folk, the cook killed the king’s son and cooked him into a big pie with onions, carrots, mushrooms and bacon. That night, he served the pie to the king. He liked the taste of his son so much, he asked for a second slice. The gods turned the cook into a giant white rat who could only eat his own young. He’s been roaming the night forever since, devouring his own babies. No matter what he does, he’s always hungry.”
Sam the Slayer
Oh and a big moment for Sam! He kills a White Walker! Before meeting Bran, Sam and Gilly were stuck on the wrong side of a wall when a White Walker heard her baby’s cries.
Sam killed it with a dragonglass blade he picked up while scouting in the North. Throughout season one and two, Sam was mocked endlessly for his weight and pretty much everything else.
It’s heartwarming that, up until this point in the story, no single person alive can claim that they’ve killed a White Walker. Only Sam.
Watch: Sam kills a White Walker
Across the Narrow Sea
Dany is on a quest to eradicate slavery from Essos. After leaving Qarth, she heads out to Astapor where she intends to buy an army of Unsullied warriors from slave master Kraznys mo Nakloz.
But she doesn’t have enough money and Kraznys agrees to give her 8 000 soldiers in exchange for one dragon. Which she agrees to. Of course, Dany is not going to just part with one of her dragons.
She hands the dragon over to Kraznys, orders the Unsullied to kill all the slave masters, says the magic Dracarys and burns Kraznys to a crisp. But wait, there’s more.
Watch: Daenerys conquers Astapor (epic scene)
She then sets all 8 000 Unsullied free but asks them very nicely to fight for her as free men. And they agree. During her time in Astapor, she’s also joined by Sir Barristan Selmy, the bravest night in Westeros.
In season one, he was part of Joffrey’s King’s Guard but leave when Joff’s cruel ways, and his own conscience, begins to bother him. So now Dany has Sir Barristan, 8 000 Unsullied warriors and three dragons.
She charts a path for Yunkai to free more slaves and also adds the Second Sons, a group of Sellswords to her impressive collection of warriors. Also hello Daario Naharis, sellsword and Dany’s future love interest.
Watch: Man of Recaps – Season 3