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"The Lannisters send their regards."
Roose Bolton to Robb Stark, as he drives a dagger through his heart.[src]

The Red Wedding[1] was a massacre that took place during the War of the Five Kings, arranged by Lord Walder Frey as revenge against Robb Stark, ruling King in the North, for breaking the marriage pact between House Stark and House Frey.



After the execution of Rickard Karstark, half of Robb's army at Riverrun abandons him.[2] In order to replace his losses, Robb tries to regain the support of Walder Frey, who withdrew his support for the North's cause when Robb reneged on his promise to marry one of Walder's daughters. As compensation for violating the agreement, Lord Frey demands that Edmure Tully wed one of his daughters. Edmure selflessly agrees to the terms, and the wedding is held at the Twins. A number of lords from the North and the Riverlands attend the wedding with their bannermen.

"My honored guests, be welcome within my walls and at my table. I extend to you my hospitality and protection in the light of the Seven."
―Lord Walder to King Robb and his entourage[src]

Robb is lulled into a false sense of security by Lord Frey, who vows to assure his guests' safety in accordance with the guest right. While Robb and his mother are aware of their host's nature, neither imagined that even such a despicable man as he would sink so low as to break such a sacred pact.

The betrayal was scheduled to occur after the formal ceremony and the bedding, with Edmure and his bride safely away in another part of the castle consummating their marriage.

The door of the great hall was closed by Black Walder. Meanwhile, Roose Bolton and his men were to position themselves around the hall, secretly armed and armored. Very carefully, they all sat behind Stark bannermen and refrained from consuming any alcohol, so as to keep their inhibitions intact. The signal for massacre to begin was an instrumental version of "The Rains of Castamere."

The massacre[]

"Your Grace, I feel I've been remiss in my duties. I've given you meat and wine and music, but I haven’t shown you the hospitality you deserve. My King has married and I owe my new Queen a wedding gift."
―Lord Walder signals for the massacre to begin.[src]
Talisa Stabbed

Talisa is stabbed by Lame Lothar.

Walder Frey eventually holds a hand up to cue the musicians to cease playing, addressing Robb and claiming that he has been negligent in his duties as a host by failing to present his king with a proper wedding gift. At this moment, Roose Bolton gives Catelyn a knowing look and glances towards his left arm. Her eyes follow his gaze and she sees a bit of chain mail peeking out from his sleeve. She then lifts up his sleeve which reveals the chain mail he is wearing underneath. Roose smiles ominously and Catelyn realizes that they have been led into a trap: she slaps Roose across the face and then shouts to warn Robb, but it is too late.

At Walder Frey's signal, Lothar Frey approaches Talisa Stark from behind and begins to repeatedly stab her in the abdomen with a dagger, killing her unborn child instantly and causing her to quickly succumb to her wounds. The musicians hired for the wedding reveal themselves to be assassins, brandishing crossbows and firing at Robb and the Northern guests gathered in the main hall. After the first volley, the Northern guests are attacked in the main hall by armed Frey and Bolton men, while the crossbowmen continue to pick off survivors.

Roose kills Robb S3 Ep9

Roose Bolton murders Robb Stark.

Outside the keep, Frey and Bolton men turn on the other Northern soldiers in the camps, who had been heavily drinking during the celebrations, taking them completely by surprise. Four Frey crossbowmen approach Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf, who has been forbidden from entering the castle to prevent him from defending Robb during the massacre, and fatally shoot him with crossbows as he is trapped inside a pen. Arya, who has snuck into the courtyard in the hopes of reuniting with her mother, witnesses the direwolf's killing while hiding behind some nearby barrels.

Robb, wounded with several crossbow bolts, crawls towards Talisa and embraces her, devastated over the loss of his beloved wife and unborn child. Lord Walder, seeing that Robb has survived the initial onslaught, raises a hand to halt the carnage and watches Robb's suffering with cruel amusement. Catelyn, who had taken refuge under her table, notices that Walder Frey's eighth wife, Joyeuse Frey, is hiding beneath Walder's table and rushes forward, dragging her out and putting a table knife to her throat. She beseeches Walder to end the slaughter and allow Robb to leave. She offers herself as a hostage in exchange for Robb's life, desperately screaming at Robb to walk out while he can but he is too shocked over Talisa's death and instead poignantly looks at her corpse.

Catelyn dies

Catelyn is killed by "Black" Walder Rivers.

When Robb fails to respond, she turns back to Walder and promises that they will not retaliate if he is allowed to live, swearing an oath. Walder fires back that she already swore an oath to him that Robb would marry his daughter. In a last plea of desperation, she swears on her honor as a Tully and a Stark that if Robb is not allowed to leave the chamber, she will slit his wife's throat. Walder weighs the options in his head before glibly responding "I'll find another."

Robb then somehow finds the strength to drag himself back onto his feet, and weakly calls out "Mother!" to her in a daze. As Catelyn looks into Robb's eyes, Roose Bolton steps in front of Robb and tells him "the Lannisters send their regards", stabbing him through the heart. Robb is killed instantly and shares a final, lifeless look to his mother before he dies next to his wife.

True to her word, Catelyn slits Joyeuse's throat and lets out a wail of grief, believing all of her sons to be dead. Walder shows little concern over his wife's death or the ongoing massacre, nonchalantly sipping his wine. Catelyn then becomes catatonic, silently staring at Robb's corpse in shock and utter despair, not reacting as her own throat is slit nearly to the bone from behind by Black Walder.[3]

Robb Wind MHYSA new lightened

"King in the North! King in the North! Here comes the King in the North!"

Afterward, as the massacre of the Stark army encamped outside the Twins raged on, observed by Lord Bolton from the battlements, the Freys horrifically desecrate Robb's corpse by decapitating it and skewering the head of his dead direwolf in its place. They then parade it around the keep atop a horse, a final insult to the King in the North.[4] Several Stark and Tully soldiers attempt to fight back, but they are too drunk. Even the defenseless soldiers are given no mercy, most of them are not even granted a quick death; some are burnt alive in their tents, one is carried away with his legs torn off, and several are hanged from trees.

Catelyn's corpse is also desecrated (although we do not see this happen in the TV version): in cruel mockery of traditional House Tully funeral customs, which involve cremating a body on a burning boat set adrift in the Trident River, the Freys unceremoniously fling Lady Catelyn's corpse naked from the battlements of the Twins, throwing it into the river to rot as if it were merely trash.[5] Amidst the chaos, Arya escapes on horseback with the Hound.


"The Red Wedding, they're calling it. Walder Frey committed sacrilege that day. He shared bread and salt with the Starks. He offered them guest right... The gods will have their vengeance. Frey will burn in the seventh hell for what he did."
―A Riverlands farmer loyal to the Tullys.[src]

The events of the Red Wedding effectively end the conflict between House Stark and House Lannister in a decisive victory for the Lannisters and King Joffrey Baratheon. Not only was Robb himself killed in the betrayal, but the entire Northern army that Robb led to southern Westeros was also destroyed; save only for those forces of House Karstark, which had earlier abandoned Robb to return home after he executed Rickard Karstark, and the forces of House Bolton and their bannermen which turned on the other Northern Houses. For his part in the betrayal, Lord Frey was granted the castle of Riverrun and promised Lannister protection from any northern retaliation. Lord Walder had his men capture Edmure out of his marriage bed alive, as Riverrun had not yet fallen to Lannister forces and Lord Edmure was a valuable hostage to hopefully negotiate its surrender in the near future. Roose Bolton, for his part in the Red Wedding, is awarded the title of Warden of the North, drastically elevating his House's stature.[4] The Boltons are also granted the lands of Winterfell itself.[6]

The War of the Five Kings continues, however, as Balon Greyjoy still fights for the Iron Islands' independence and to hold on to his conquest in the North, while Stannis continues to dispute Joffrey's right to the Iron Throne.

Brynden Tully had been present for the wedding but incidentally, he had left the keep to relieve himself on a tree outside before the massacre in the main hall began. He then managed to fight his way out of the assault on the camps and slip away from the Twins during the confusion of the night-time ambush. Roose Bolton ruefully notes to Lord Walder the next day that he had escaped. Lord Walder is dismissive and says he won't get far, but Bolton is clearly concerned that the Blackfish will manage to reach the safety of Riverrun before he can be found.[4] Although the Blackfish is able to take back Riverrun, House Frey, with the aid of House Lannister, takes Riverrun back in the second siege of Riverrun. The Blackfish is killed during the siege.[7]

Greatjon Umber, one of the most powerful and loyal bannermen of House Stark, is not present at the Twins for the wedding, which made him one of the few bannermen of House Stark that wasn't killed during the massacre.[8][9] However, Greatjon later died of unknown causes. His son, Smalljon, defects to the Boltons.

After her training with the Faceless Men, Arya goes to the Twins and assassinates Walder Frey and his sons Black Walder and Lothar, for their roles in the Red Wedding and the deaths of her mother, brother, and pregnant sister-in-law.[10] She also murders most of the Frey men.[11]

The massacre, which violated the ancient law of guest right, earned the perpetrators the unending loathing of many in the Seven Kingdoms, particularly in the North. A farmer in the Riverlands, upon learning of the events, states that Lord Walder Frey would be punished by the gods both old and new for it.[12] These words proved true with the deaths of all the perpetrators, all of whose deaths were quite karmic: Tywin was shot dead with a crossbow by his own son Tyrion, which mirrored Grey Wind and the Northern bannermen; Roose was stabbed through the heart in the exact same manner as he did to Robb; and Walder's throat was slit in the same fashion as Catelyn. Ironically, the conspirators' victory became their own downfall. Whatever pacts Tywin had with the North fell apart after his death; Houses Bolton and Frey ultimately meet their ends after the Battle of the Bastards and the Assassinations at the Twins.

Lord Randyll Tarly later expresses his disgust with the dishonor of the Red Wedding, when contemplating whether to bend the knee to House Lannister.[13] Eventually, though, he joins the Lannisters.


Architects and perpetrators[]

Tyrion: "Walder Frey is many things, but a brave man? No. He never would've risked such an action if he didn't have certain assurances."
Tywin: "Which he got from me."
— Tyrion and Tywin Lannister[src]
  • Lord Tywin Lannister, who arranged the massacre with Walder Frey and Roose Bolton and offered them protection and titles.
  • Lord Walder Frey, oversaw the massacre.
  • Lord Roose Bolton, personally killed Robb Stark with a dagger thrust to the heart.
  • "Lame" Lothar Frey, stabbed Queen Talisa Stark to death. Previously acted as envoy to lure the Tullys and Starks to the Twins.
  • "Black" Walder Rivers, slit the throat of Catelyn Stark. Previously acted as envoy to lure the Tullys and Starks to the Twins.
  • Malcolm, helped to sew the head of Robb Stark's direwolf, Grey Wind, onto Robb's body.
  • Talbot, helped to sew the head of Robb Stark's direwolf, Grey Wind, onto Robb's body.
  • Unnamed Frey soldier, helped to sew the head of Robb Stark's direwolf, Grey Wind, onto Robb's body.

Perpetrator casualties[]

Known victims[]

"The Northerners will never forget."
Tyrion Lannister expresses his fear of retribution for the Red Wedding.[src]

Known captives[]

Known escapees[]

Behind the scenes[]

Michelle Fairley had not read the A Song of Ice and Fire novels before working on the show, but was told almost immediately after filming of the first season began by other actors who had that her character would die in the Red Wedding.[14] Author George R.R. Martin revealed that he was hoping to play one of the casualties at the Twins, but his schedule prevented him. He also felt that his presence would distract viewers from such a powerful scene.[15]

In the books[]

The Red Wedding plays out somewhat differently in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. To begin with, most of Robb's leading bannermen, prominent members of other major Houses from the North, are killed in the betrayal. Many of these were secondary or tertiary recurring characters such as Dacey Mormont, Lucas Blackwood, and Wendel Manderly, who had become regular fixtures in chapters focusing on the Stark storyline, but could not realistically have all been fit into the limited running time of the TV series. Almost every major noble House in the North loses at least one immediate family member in the massacre. Thus, the impact of the massacre is even deeper in the book narrative, since many established characters besides Robb and Catelyn are also killed.

The event is narrated via the POV of Catelyn (in real time) and Merrett Frey, Lord Frey's ninth son (in a flashback).

Theon Greyjoy unwittingly serves as a catalyst of the Red Wedding: while lying injured at the Crag, Robb is devastated to hear from Ser Rodrik Cassel about the alleged murder of his brothers; Jeyne Westerling (Talisa's analogous character in the novels) "comforts" him at bed; the next morning, Robb feels honor-bound to marry her, thus breaching the pact with the Freys. Later it is revealed the Westerlings (except Jeyne's brother Raynald) have collaborated with the Lannisters.

As author George R.R. Martin has repeatedly said, he refused to plot out the books down to the slightest detail before he began, and if writers can be categorized into "architects" who plan out everything in advance, or "gardeners" who assemble a general plan for where things are planted but then lets them grow on their own, Martin definitely considers himself a gardener. Even so, he did establish a general outline which planned out the largest plot points and most important character deaths before the first novel was even published. Like the execution of Ned Stark at the end of the first novel, Martin always planned that Robb Stark and his entire army would be killed at the Red Wedding, as it was one of the most pivotal events in the entire storyline, concluding the Stark-Lannister war while setting new plotlines into motion.

Greatjon Umber was present at the Red Wedding in the books, but Clive Mantle, who played him in Season 1, was unable to reappear for Season 2 or Season 3. Greatjon does not die at the Red Wedding, but is taken prisoner. Several Freys enter into drinking contests with Greatjon to try to incapacitate him when the fighting started, but he drinks them all under the table, and is still able to put up a significant fight. It takes eight men to subdue Greatjon, and even so he manages to kill one assailant, seriously wound two more, and bite half the ear off another. However, Greatjon's son Smalljon Umber is decapitated by Bolton men.

The Greatjon is the only head of a noble House from the North present in the Twins at the time, which is why the Lannisters wanted him taken alive as a valuable political hostage. The heads of three other major Houses are not present for the wedding: Maege Mormont, Galbart Glover, and Jason Mallister. Robb had sent the three to treat with the crannogmen of House Reed to coordinate their plan to retake Moat Cailin from the ironborn and carry a letter naming Robb's heir - as Jeyne Westerling is not known to be pregnant at the time. Lord Jason left the party to reinforce his home castle at Seagard. Lord Jason's son and heir Patrek Mallister is present at the Red Wedding. The whereabouts of Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover, like Howland Reed, remain unknown.

Nearly all of the Stark bannermen at the wedding were slain. The books mention only four who were taken alive, three from the Riverlands and one from the North: Edmure Tully, Marq Piper, Patrek Mallister, and Greatjon Umber. It is unknown if any of the other guests were taken alive too.

Another feature that was removed was that the Freys set up three tents for the Northmen. When the signal is given the tents collapse and are set alight.

Brynden Tully is not present for the wedding in the books, since Robb had him stay behind at Riverrun to command their rearguard and hold the line of the Red Fork, creating for him the title "Warden of the Southern Marches." Brynden is shown leaving the main hall to relieve himself before the fighting starts in the show; however, in the following episode Roose Bolton confirms that he has escaped, apparently heading back to Riverrun (to bring him back in sync with his book location). It is probable that the TV producers didn't want the audience to suspect that the Freys would betray Robb, which would be unlikely if the entire Stark-Tully family was present. In the books, Robb leaves Brynden and his queen at Riverrun because he is worried that the Freys will exact vengeance for breaking his betrothal, but if this had happened in the TV series it may have made their intentions too obvious. Even so, when Robb actually arrived at the Twins, his fears disappeared when Walder Frey formally extended guest right to him, as no lord ever breaks such a sacred tradition, thus the Freys' betrayal was still a surprise.

Talisa is the first to die in the episode, but her book counterpart Jeyne Westerling is also not present at the Red Wedding, having been left behind at the safety of Riverrun with Brynden. Further, Jeyne is not pregnant in the novels; her mother Sybell Spicer makes sure of that (presumably by giving her daughter Moon tea). According to Richard Madden (Robb Stark), the reason that the TV series has Jeyne/Talisa die at the Red Wedding is because they didn't want the audience to harbor any romantic illusions about her escaping to give birth to Robb's child, who would one day dramatically return to avenge his death. This is one of the fantasy stereotypes that George R.R. Martin himself set out to deconstruct with the series, i.e. the assumption that Robb would live to dramatically avenge his father Ned's death. The TV series wanted to make it clear with the Red Wedding that Robb isn't going to live to avenge his father, nor is Robb's child going to live to avenge him. As Madden said, "I think it was important for her to die because it's a full stop to that train, the story of that army. I think if there was anything left... I think it's more tragic that there's nothing left over from it. There's no possibility that Talisa's in hiding, and she's going to have a baby, and one day that baby will take over as King in the North. I think there's something tragic about it all being cut short instantly."[16]

Catelyn does not slit the throat of Walder Frey's young wife Joyeuse Erenford in the books. Instead, she takes Walder Frey's lackwit middle-aged grandson Aegon "Jinglebell" Frey hostage. Aegon is the court fool at the Twins, derisively made to wear a jester's hat filled with bells, hence his nickname. The other Freys cruelly enjoy watching the fool caper and prance about. In their confrontation, Catelyn says she'll trade a son for a son, but Walder points out that Jinglebell is only a grandson and has never been of much use. While this does keep the already large number of characters down, it omits the revelation of Walder's hypocrisy: for all of his protestations that he values family above all else, in truth he would casually sacrifice a grandson without regret.

The manner of Catelyn's death is also slightly different: in the books, Catelyn is so consumed by grief at the sight of Robb's death that she claws at her face, raking her fingernails across her cheeks until she has carved out long strips of flesh and is bleeding profusely. She becomes so hysterical out of a mixture of shock and grief that she goes half-mad and starts laughing uncontrollably, as the blood from her devastated face "tickles", mingling with her tears, until ultimately the horrified Freys (who had planned to take her hostage) put her out of her misery by slitting her throat. The TV series's version just has Catelyn stare vacantly in utter, silent despair, not even reacting as Black Walder slits her throat. Another change is that in the books Catelyn is killed by Raymund Frey, a relatively minor character who is the eleventh son of Lord Walder Frey, his sixth son by his third wife. Her body is dumped into the Green Fork; several days afterwards she is found by the Brotherhood Without Banners and resurrected, becoming the monstrous Lady Stoneheart (also omitted from the show).

The Frey musicians do not stop playing "The Rains of Castamere" during the massacre. It was the signal used to Frey and Bolton men throughout the Twins and in the camps outside to begin the attack, thus the slaughter in the main hall began soon after they started playing. Catelyn and many other Northerners instantly realize something is wrong when they start playing "the Lannister song", as opposed to in the TV series where Catelyn sits worried and confused when the Frey musicians start playing it. The musicians continue to play the song loudly as fighting breaks out in the main hall, in order to signal men further away in the camps. Additionally, in the show Talisa comments on how talented the musicians are: in the books they are noticeably terrible, probably because the musicians are actually crossbowmen in disguise.

The books later clarify that the main architects of the massacre were Tywin Lannister, Roose Bolton, and Walder Frey. The plan loosely came about after the Battle of the Blackwater, when it became obvious that the Lannisters were winning the war. Tywin never met Roose and Walder in person, but conducted the negotiations through secret letters sent by messenger raven: quite probably, the letters he was nonchalantly writing earlier in Season 3 of the TV series were implied to be these very messages. In terms of the TV series, this means that Roose was secretly plotting to kill Robb during all of his earlier scenes in Season 3, even those between Roose and Robb himself: he was simply feigning loyalty the entire time. There was also a fourth major architect of the massacre, Lord Walder's son Lame Lothar Frey. Lame Lothar is the steward of the Twins and in charge of managing the castle. While Walder himself made the general decision to betray the Starks, Lame Lothar planned out the practical details of the betrayal, assigning specific tasks to each group of Frey soldiers. The TV series doesn't directly explain this, though it does have Lame Lothar personally kill Robb's wife Talisa.

Just as the music starts playing, Catelyn grabs Edwyn Frey (one of Lord Walder's great-grandsons) by the arm and notices he is wearing chainmail underneath his outer clothing. She realizes this means the Freys are about to attack them, and she slaps him. This was changed to Roose Bolton in the TV version.

Grey Wind is let loose during the massacre by Ser Raynald Westerling, Jeyne Westerling's older brother, who did not take part in the scheme. According to Merrett Frey, the direwolf kills four wolfhounds and rips the kennelmaster's arm off before being brought down by crossbow fire; Raynald's brave attempt to save Grey Wind presumably costs his life, as he is shot by two arrows, jumps into the river, and his body is never found. In the TV version, Grey Wind is mercilessly shot while inside his pen and incapable of fighting back at all, unable to do anything but growl.

Another minor change is that while Arya did arrive at the Twins as the Red Wedding was taking place, the betrayal began slightly before she arrived and fighting was already breaking out in the camps. Arya thus never got close enough to personally witness the death of Grey Wind or her brother's mutilated corpse. In both versions, however, Arya still wants to rush into the castle to try to save her family, but the Hound knocks her unconscious to prevent her from trying - saving her life in the process, as he realized any attempt to intervene at this point was suicidal. In the books, he rides her down on horseback and hits her in the back of the head with the blunt end of a longaxe. The chapter ends with Arya being hit with the axe, and Arya's survival is not revealed to the reader until much later in the book.

Another change is that Roose Bolton says "The Lannisters send their regards" in the TV version, but in the books he says "Jaime Lannister sends his regards", referring to Jaime's parting words to Roose at Harrenhal. This change was possibly because the TV producers did not want to give the false impression that Jaime was somehow involved with the Red Wedding, which he was not.

The perpetrator casualties were relatively minor: Jinglebell was killed by Catelyn; one assailant was killed by the Greatjon; the Hound killed three; according to Merrett Frey, fifty Freys were killed at the camps.

As a side-effect of the Red Wedding, although no other house has repeated the breaking of the right, it has left a more lasting stain on the ancient guest right, with safety and security in a strange castle no longer being considered guaranteed.

By the point the books reached, only one of the three masterminds of the Red Wedding - Tywin - has been killed.

The Freys' version[]

When Davos arrives at the court of lord Wyman Manderly, one of the attending Freys, Ser Jared, tells the Freys' version of the Red Wedding: "The Red Wedding was the Young Wolf's work. He changed into a beast before our eyes and tore out the throat of my cousin Jinglebell, a harmless simpleton. He would have slain my lord father too, if Wendel had not put himself in the way." Davos is shocked at the enormity of the lie, which Lord Manderly seems to believe. Jared continues to lie, claiming brazenly that Robb murdered Wendel "And many more. Mine own son Tytos was amongst them, and my daughter's husband.[b] When Stark changed into a wolf, his northmen did the same. The mark of the beast was on them all. Wargs birth other wargs with a bite, it is well-known. It was all my brothers and I could do to put them down before they slew us all."

Later, in private, Lord Manderly assures Davos he does not believe the Freys' lies: "They do not expect the north to believe their lies, not truly, but they think we must pretend to believe or die."

Retaliatory acts[]

So far in the novels, there have been sporadic retaliatory acts against those who are responsible for the Red Wedding, mostly Freys, but these are rather minor in comparison to the extent of the massacre.

The people who have been killed as a payback for the Red Wedding are:

  • Petyr "Pimple" and Merrett Frey have been hanged by the Brotherhood Without Banners, although they did not actually take part in the massacre; they were assigned to get Greatjon Umber too drunk to fight, but that was enough for the Brotherhood to condemn them.[17]
  • Ryman Frey, who killed Dacey Mormont at the wedding, and his fifteen escorts were hanged, presumably by the Brotherhood while returning to the Twins after being dismissed from the siege of Riverrun by Jaime.[18]
  • Jared, Rhaegar, and Symond Frey, who attended Lord Mandely's court, have mysteriously disappeared on their way from the White Harbor to Winterfell, to participate in Ramsay's wedding. It is unknown whether they actually took part in the massacre, but they expressed very bluntly their approval of it.
    • It is speculated by fans (and supported, though not confirmed, by Arya's deed in "The Winds of Winter") that Lord Manderly had them killed and baked them into the three pies he brought to Ramsay's wedding, to avenge his son's death.
  • "Little" Walder Frey, Merrett's nine-year-old son, has been murdered at Winterfell. The identity and motive of his murderer(s) are unknown.
    • If Lord Manderly was responsible, then the motive was a payback for the Red Wedding; if the murderers were Mance Rayder and the spearwives (who presumably killed six other people in Winterfell), the murder had nothing to do with the Red Wedding, but was done in order to incite a brawl between the occupants of Winterfell, thus provide a distraction for rescuing "Arya Stark."
  • In addition to the aforementioned people, recently the Brotherhood - led by the monstrous Lady Stoneheart (the reanimated Catelyn) - has been capturing people who have absolutely nothing to do with the Red Wedding, and never harmed any Starks or Tullys; their only "crime" is that they have some connection, even very remote, to the Lannisters, Boltons or Freys. That does not really matter to the vengeful Brotherhood, which has fallen low since the Red Wedding and Beric's death, and most of its current members have no sense of justice. Lately they have captured Brienne and Pod, and threatened to kill them (Brienne - for carrying a Lannister sword, Pod - for serving Tyrion in the past), unless Brienne agrees to kill Jaime. Reluctantly, in order to save Pod, Brienne complies;[19] by the point the novel reached, she is currently leading Jaime to what it seems a death trap.[20]
  • The Sparrows openly start preaching across Westeros that anyone who had a hand in the Red Wedding are eternally damned in the eyes of the gods for such a monstrous violation of sacred hospitality. The sense of public anger at the massacre becomes so strong that Qyburn advises the Small Council it may be a good idea that someone in House Frey be made a scapegoat for the Red Wedding to appease the North, Riverlands and the Sparrows in the capital (and also divert attention from House Lannister's involvement in planning the slaughter). Grand Maester Pycelle protests that Lord Walder will never sacrifice his own, but Cersei agrees with Qyburn's idea, musing that whoever succeeds the elderly, soon likely to die Walder might welcome the opportunity to eliminate rival claimants to lordship of the Twins by pointing the finger of blame at them.

Prophecies and foreshadowings[]

There are many hints of the Red Wedding in the novels, for instance:

  • When the Northern host arrives at the Twins on its way to fight the Lannsiters who besiege Riverrun, Galbart Glover and Roose warn Robb that Lord Frey cannot be trusted, and if Robb enters alone - Lord Frey can sell him to the Lannisters, throw him in a dungeon, or slit his throat.[21]
  • One of the visions Daenerys sees in the House of the Undying is about a feast of slaughtered corpses holding cups, spoons, and food, with a dead man with a wolf's head sitting on a throne wearing an iron crown.[22]
  • Patches, the fool at Stannis's court, sings "Fool's blood. King's blood, blood on the maiden's thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye, aye, aye."[23]
  • The old woods witch, known as the Ghost of High Hill, speaks about a dream she had: "I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief. I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells."[24]
  • On the way to the Twins, the Hound impatiently tells Arya "Keep your mouth shut and do as I tell you, and maybe we'll even be in time for your uncle's bloody wedding."[25]
  • When the Starks arrive at the Twins, Grey Wind behaves aggressively toward the four Freys who welcome them. This is the most conspicuous warning sign that a foul play is afoot, but the Starks are unaware of its meaning.[26]


Martin has revealed that the inspiration for the Red Wedding came from two events from Scottish history, the Black Dinner of 1440[27][28] and the Massacre of Glencoe of 1692.[29]


  1. Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 3: "Breaker of Chains" (2014).
  2. "Kissed by Fire"
  3. "The Rains of Castamere"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Mhysa"
  5. "Two Swords"
  6. "The Children"
  7. "No One"
  8. [1]
  9. [2]
  10. "The Winds of Winter"
  11. "Dragonstone"
  12. "Breaker of Chains"
  13. "Stormborn"
  14. Game of Thrones with George R.R. Martin and Michelle Fairley. Wheeler Centre, 2015-01-26.
  15. [3]
  16. "'Game of Thrones' Q&A: Richard Madden on Robb Stark's Endgame, June 2nd, 2013.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Epilogue (2000).
  18. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII (2005).
  19. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 42, Brienne VIII (2005).
  20. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I (2011).
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX (1996).
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV (1998).
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II (2000).
  24. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII (2000).
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 47, Arya IX (2000).
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI (2000).
  27. So Spake Martin, June 20, 2001
  28. So Spake Martin, October 05, 2001
  29. [4]


  1. In "Winter Is Coming," which takes place in 298 AC, Sansa Stark tells Cersei Lannister that she is 13 years old and Bran Stark tells Jaime Lannister that he is 10 years old. Arya Stark was born between Sansa and Bran, making her either 11 or 12 in Season 1. The rest of the Stark children have been aged up by 2 years from their book ages, so it can be assumed that she is 11 in Season 1. Arya is 18 in Season 8 according to HBO, which means at least 7 years occur in the span of the series; therefore, each season of Game of Thrones must roughly correspond to a year in-universe, placing the events of Season 3 in 300 AC.
  2. Jared Frey's son Tytos and his son-in-law Garse Goodbrook were actually killed by the Hound.

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