The Red Wedding is the name given to the massacre of King Robb Stark, his men, and his mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, at the hands of House Frey and House Bolton. The event occurred at the Twins during Lord Edmure Tully, the Lord of Riverrun, and Roslin Frey’s wedding. It created a massive rift in Westerosi’s history as Lord Walder Frey and Lord Roose Bolton violated the sacred laws of hospitality.
History before The Red Wedding
When Lord Eddard Stark got arrested and killed, Robb Stark, his son, got crowned King in the North; this led other people, Lord Renly Baratheon, Lord Stannis Baratheon, and Lord Balon Greyjoy, to declare their stake to the Iron Throne and independence. The War of the Five Kings began, and House Lannister faced the armies of House Stark on many fronts. To secure a better position in the North, Catelyn Stark agreed for her son to get married to one of Walder Frey’s daughters.
Robb gets injured during the Storming of the Crag, and Lady Jeyne Westerling treats his wounds. After waking up and learning of Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal, the capture of Winterfell, and the death of his brothers Bran Stark and Rickon Stark, Robb gets sad, and when Jeyne comforts him, they have sex. To avoid soiling her honor, he marries her, and when the news gets to the Freys, they and Lord Roose Bolton become outraged. Lord Frey then begins secretly plotting with Lord Tywin Lannister.
At Riverrun, Catelyn frees a captured Jaime Lannister and tasks Brienne of Tarth with taking him to King’s Landing in exchange for Arya Stark and her sister Sansa Stark. Before reaching the south, Brienne and Jaime get captured by Vargo Hoat, who orders his men to chop off Jaime’s sword hand. When Vargo takes the captured escapees to Harrenhal, Roose frees and sends Jaime to his father. When Robb returns to Riverrun and hears what his mother did, He gets angry. However, he chooses to kill Lord Rickard Karstark, one of the bannermen of House Stark, for killing some of the hostages; this leads to House Karstark abandoning Robb.
To seal another deal with the Freys, Edmure Tully gets betrothed to Roslin Frey, Walder Frey’s daughter. Before leaving, Robb leaves Riverrun at the hands of his uncle, Ser Brynden Tully. After reaching the Twins for Edmure’s wedding, Robb apologizes to Walder Freyand Catelyn secures the Guest’s Rights by asking for salt and bread. Robb’s Men cross the Green Fork to the eastern end of the Twins while Roose arrives with men from the Dreadfort. Lord Walder refuses to let Grey Wind, Robb’s Direwolf, enter, considering the beast dangerous. Meanwhile, Sandor Clegane, the Hound, travels to the Twins to ransom Arya to Robb.
After getting married to Roslin, Lord Walder hosts a wedding feast. Many songs, including “The King Took off His Crown,” “Alysanne,” “Flowers of Spring,” “Iron Lances,” and “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” get sung. When Edmure and Roslin depart as the bedding custom stipulates, the band in the wedding hall begins playing the Rains of Castamere. Immediately, Robb’s men get murdered by the musicians with crossbows before they can react.
Many of Robb’s trusted allies, including Ser Wendel Manderly, Dacey Mormont, and Smalljon Umber, get killed. Catelyn grabs one of Walder’s grandsons and promises to kill him if her son gets murdered. However, Roose thrusts his sword into the King, telling him Jaime sends his regards; this makes Catelyn hack at the throat of the boy she held hostage.
On realizing she has gone mad, Ser Raymund Frey slits her throat. Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind, gets killed, and in mockery, his head gets sewn on his master’s body. When Arya arrives at the scene, she gets attacked by three men, but Sandor protects her from them and knocks her unconscious.
After the young wolf gets killed, Roose becomes the Warden of the North. Salladhor Saan tells Stannis what happened and states the smallfolk called the event the Red Wedding. House Frey and Bolton lose all honor they once had. Edmure Tully, Robb’s uncle, becomes a prisoner of the Iron Throne at King Tommen I Baratheon’s orders. Ser Brynden shuts down Riverrun and it gets besieged. Jaime then uses Edmure to make Brynden Blackfish give up the castle. The Brotherhood without Banners and Ser Wyman Manderly retaliate against the Freys by killing many of their men.
Relevance in Adaptation
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Red Wedding was an episode portraying a significant event that reshaped the politics of the Seven Kingdoms. It starred actors Richard Madden, Michelle Fairley, and Oona Chaplin as Robb, Catelyn, and Talisa. After Robb executes Lord Rickard Stark and marries Talisa, the Freys and Boltons get angry and plot with the Lannisters to kill him.
When Edmure marries one of Walder’s daughters, Lord Frey hosts a wedding feast with Talisa and Catelyn in attendance. At the wedding ceremony feast, Walder Frey signals to Lother Frey, who stabs Talisa many times. The musicians reveal their identities as assassins. They shoot Robb and his men with their crossbows. The Frey and Boltons then turn on Robb’s men, killing them. Wounded and bleeding, Robb crawls to his wife and embraces her while his mother watches. He gets killed, and after Catelyn kills one of Walder’s wives, her throat gets slit.
The Red Wedding: A History to Remember
The Red Wedding was a shocking event in Westeros’s history. It marked a point where the sacred laws of hospitality got broken. With the law violated, the sparrows of the Faith got furious, and the little respect House Bolton and Frey had disappeared. Because of their actions, the Boltons and Freys became the scum of the Earth, the dishonorable houses that tarnished their image.
What happens after the Red Wedding?
After Robb’s death at the Red Wedding, the Northern resistance falls, and the Iron Throne rewards House Bolton and Frey by making them rulers of the North. The Boltons become Wardens of the North, and the Freys become the leaders of the Riverlands. However, they lost all respect as they violated the laws of hospitality.
What happens to Catelyn after the Red Wedding?
Catelyn’s body got tossed into a river after her death. However, Nymeria, Arya’s direwolf, finds her body and drags it to the shore. The Brotherhood without Banners discovers her body, and Lord Beric Dondarrion gives her the kiss of life. Catelyn then becomes Lady Stoneheart and begins killing members of House Frey.
What happened at the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords?
The Starks got betrayed at the Red Wedding. When Robb married Jeyne Westerling, the Freys got furious and kept a grudge. To restore their alliance, Edmure Tully got married to Roslin Frey. However, Lord Walder Frey and Roose Bolton massacred Robb’s men on the wedding night.
Were the Freys wrong for the Red Wedding?
Yes. The Freys could have killed Robb and his men without issues. However, they violated a crucial law that had kept peace in Westeros, the law of hospitality; this rule got created to ensure there was a truce between grieving sides when they visited each other. Breaking it was dishonorable.