How does anyone react to and episode like "The Rains of Castamere"? Walder Frey may be one of the most cruel and calculating characters of the series. But he's right up there with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton, who oddly enough were BOTH in on the plan. Walder Frey's "acceptance" of Robb's apology was enough to make your skin crawl. Especially when he addressed Talysa. But he knew that he could get away with it, since Robb had come to essentially beg forgiveness.
I think some of the most underrated scenes of the episode were between Arya and the Hound. Arya seems so determined to get to her family, but Clegane serves to ground her in the reality of the situation. And when they got to the Twins? It was remarkable to see the Hound quickly decide to get Arya out of there. And it absolutely sheds some light on the Hound as a more complicated and honorable character than we might have originally thought.
The scenes with Jon Snow and the wildlings were pretty interesting, too. He and Bran came so close one another, but circumstances prevented it from happening. That was one scene that was actually pretty true to the book. Although Jon being clawed by the warged eagle was actually from book 2.
As for Dany taking Yunkai? That almost seemed like an afterthought in this episode. There were definitely some differences with the book, but more may come to light on that front in the season 3 finale.
But the Red Wedding? OMG. How brutal and calculated.
The bedding ceremony seemed semi-true to the book. Although I seem to recall Edmure knowing that he was being taken captive. And I also can't recall whether or not the Blackfish had been there, although the show-runners gave him an out from the feast hall. I know that the Blackfish is supposed to show up again in the next book.
But between "The Rains of Castamere" being played, and Catelyn's discovery that Roose Bolton was wearing chainmail, it became apparent that things were going to turn especially ugly. The crossbows from the gallery made it clear that this was an assassination. And when Talysa was stabbed? That was horrifying. But one thing took me out of that, and that was the actor who stabbed Talysa. He had been in a movie called "Pirate Radio", and his character was dumb and affable. The total opposite of the two-faced Frey who killed the Queen in the North after chatting her up earlier at the feast.
The Freys who were killing the Northmen seemed to be doing the killing the way I had picture it in the book. But I wasn't expecting Grey Wind to be put down the way it happened in the show. But Robb's death at the hands of Roose Bolton was cold. Catelyn's mad grief? It was even worse.
So how will this season end? That actually has me scratching my head a little bit. I know that we saw the return of Jaime to King's Landing in the coming attractions. And Bran's journey gets him closer to the Wall. But I think that there are some other plot points that are going to be explored in a big way to close out this season.