Game of Thrones returned on Sunday after a weeklong hiatus with the Red Wedding in “The Rains of Castamere” – which had all the gore one might have expected and more.

Since Robb (Richard Madden) had wedded Talisa (Oona Chaplin), abandoning his vow to marry one of Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) girls if he let him and his army cross his bridge, Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) was elected to take his place. The wedding gathering seemed to be filled with merriment, with Walder Frey sympathizing with Robb for finding Talisa irresistible. He even agrees to send his troops to Casterly Rock, where Robb and Catelyn have united in their resolve to ransack and avenge their late patriarch’s demise. At the wedding, Robb and Talisa are more in love than ever, as Talisa declares that if she bears a son that they will name him Neddard. An overhearing Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) betrays a smile and her late approval of the young woman.

After slow-clapping Robb’s sincere apology for breaking his word, Frey orders a bedding ceremony, and Edmure and Frey’s daughter are carried out of the hall. And then the doors are shut. Catelyn, who’s sitting next to Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton), folds up his shirtsleeve and sees chainmail. She calls to Rob, but it’s too late. Arrows rain down upon the King of the North and the remaining party guests. Talisa is stabbed repeatedly in her pregnant belly before she collapses to the ground. As a wounded Robb ambles towards his dying wife, Catelyn drags Frey’s wife to her feet and hovers a knife before her throat. She vows to kill his wife if he doesn’t let Robb go. “I’ll find another,” he retorts. Mother and son Stark, standing erect with pride, look knowingly into each other’s eyes. In quick succession, Robb gets his throat slit, Catelyn slits Frey’s wife’s throat just before a stream of crimson emerges from her own.

Arya (Maisie Williams) didn’t make it in time after all. Travelling with The Hound (Rory McCann) to the wedding so that he may exchange her for gold, she beseeches him to spare an old man’s life. He taunts her, and calls her out on being fearful of not reuniting with her family in time. She returns his jeers by revealing that she knows of his crippling fear of fire. When The Hound goes onto mention her father’s death, she seethes, “Someday, I’m going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.” When they approach the Frey’s castle, Arya sneaks away only to witness Frey’s men slaughtering what’s left of her brother’s army, including his Direwolf. The Hound finds her and alerts her that they’ve come too late, and before she can protest, he knocks her out and hauls her off.

Meanwhile, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) continues to travel along with the Wildlings and Ygritte (Rose Leslie). After they take over the Night’s Watch stables, they chase after the man who runs it. The Wildlings urge Jon to cut off the old man’s head to prove his newfound loyalty, but Jon seems unable to find it in himself to do it. Ygritte takes up her bow and arrow and kills the elderly man herself, which starts a battle between the two star-crossed lovers and the Wildlings. Bran, who’s recently realized he can control both animals and humans at will and is up above in a watchtower, sets two Direwolves into action, aiding Jon Snow in his escape. After he mounts a horse, he rides off leaving Ygritte alone with Tormund (Kristofer Hivju).

In Yunkai, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) puts her trust in Daario Naharis, who has pledged his allegiance and offered a plan to sack the city. Just Daario, Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and the leader of the Unsullied were to go through the back door of the city and fight until the slave warriors turned against the city. To Ser Jorah’s surprise, the plan was neither a trap nor unsuccessful. The bloodied warriors return with the news that Daenerys has successfully won Yunkai.

The closing minutes of the episode were the tragic deaths of Robb, Catelyn and Talisa, which proved that no character is safe on Game of Thrones. As the closing credits rolled, it was just silence – letting the scene that unfolded stay a little longer in viewer’s minds. With one more episode left this season, is it safe to assume there will be no more bloodshed? Probably not.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.

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