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[book spoilers] PhD research thread: Mental images of THAT upcoming scene

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene? What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

Initially, I was shocked. There was an oddness to the wedding that made me suspicious but I didn't expect Robb and Cat to die. When it becomes apparent that this is going to be a massacre, I had to take breaks in between paragraphs, put the book down for a minute so I could pace and wrap my head around what Martin was doing. It was the most intense experience I've ever had reading. My most vivid mental image is simply Roose Bolton standing over Robb, putting his sword through Robb's heart and telling him "Jaime Lannister sends his regards." Yeah, that's what plenty of people will say, but it stuck with me, especially because it's through poor Catelyn's eyes that we are viewing the scene. Also, lots of people took a break and I understand, but I was kinda the opposite seeing that Arya was next. I had to immediately know what would happen to her as she approached the Twins.

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?

Cat's POV was particularly effective. Arya's chapter was terrific as well. I'm not sure anyone else could have had made the scene any better. Cat and Arya are the only POV characters that were there and that Martin had established so it would have taken me a little aback to have Robb's first POV as his death scene. And a Frey or Bolton POV...nah.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

It's gonna be difficult to match the book, but I think they may be able to pull it off. They have to make the wedding seem odd at first and get the audience a little suspicious. Get a nice eerie atmosphere going. Make the band play loud and terrible to make everything uncomfortable. Once Roose Bolton initially leaves the table, then you bring on the horror, specifically focusing on Cat and how she's perceiving everything.

The only problem I have with the show's handling of this storyline (and maybe this is just me knowing Robb's doom) is that if I were a show viewer only, I would know Robb is in serious trouble. With the pregnancy, and the recent scene of him and Talisa talking about how happy they were going to be...It's all just cues for the discerning viewer that tragedy is about to strike. It's similar to the handling of Jon/Ygritte (though one could say that that tragic end was just as apparent in the book as in the show).

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

If this is pulled off right, and I am optimistic that they will pull it off, then it will be the scene of the series. It's intense, emotional, shocking. Hell, if depicted right, it could even be horrifyingly beautiful. I'm also sadistically excited to see the fallout in terms of fan reactions. I'm ready for it and they're probably not lol. So yeah, this should be fun.

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The bad musicians was always very, very vivid in my head, I had this idea of a horrible sounding discordant noise...something is just NOT. RIGHT. I shouldn't shake that feeling throughout the whole of the scene BEFORE we get to the massacre.

In the show I'd like them to really emphasise this horrible atmosphere and to begin this with Grey Wind's reaction, Catelyn looking very alarmed and worried, Robb looking anxious and then all pausing for a bit, only to reluctantly continue as by Guest Rights they should not have been able to hurt them.

The last line ''Ned loves my hair'' and Catelyn clawing her face with blood all over her after seeing Roose Bolton stab (to her) her last Son really is horrible and resonated with me.

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My reaction was sheer horror, I had to throw the book to the side as well. Never because I was going to ''stop reading'' all together, I knew I'd continue, but because I needed some time to handle exactly what happened. I then picked up the book and rushed through all the chapter titles to see if there were any more Cat chapters and then I had a big old cry.

As everyone has already said, Robb with Grey Wind's head is going to be a horrible, horrible but POWERFUL image.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene?

I'm deeply invested in Catelyn as a character and already felt her grief and pain over losing four of her five children. When I read the description of Robb's death, I was so devastated, both for her and for the loss of the Stark hopes, that I put the book down. I then had the joy of picking it up again to read the next paragraph and find that Catelyn, my absolute favourite character, was also killed. The following Arya chapter, however, made very little impact on me because it seemed obvious from the way her 'death' was described that she was in fact unharmed.

What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

Whenever I think of the Red Wedding, I see Catelyn standing in front of Walder Frey who is seated on a throne (I know I've added this detail - it must be a chair in the books!) holding Jinglebell hostage and desperately trying to seek a solution before Robb is killed. I see this as the 'still' moment in the scene before Robb is murdered and Catelyn loses her mind, so it's always the scene I see when I'm trying to visualise it. The very end of the scene is unclear to me because Catelyn is obviously unable to observe accurately.



How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?



I don't think it would have been half the scene it is if described from any other point of view other than Cat's (I don't really see the Arya chapters as part of the 'Red Wedding', per se, so I'll leave that out). For me, Cat's tragic horror and grief at losing all five of her children is what makes it the scene it is. I have often wondered how those who 'hate' Cat can experience the same emotional impact reading the scene.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?



I'm pretty worried. For me, Catelyn has to be the central character of the scene, but given adaptation trends so far, this seems extremely unlikely, especially as Talisa will be present. Her attempted bargain with Walder Frey is the heart of the scene for me, but I'm not even sure that will happen. I imagine there will be much more focus on Robb and Talisa and less on Catelyn. I also think it will be much gorier on screen, which seems a strange thing to say because it's pretty gory in the books, but I think the TV series will really play up the gore. In the books, despite the violence, the focus isn't really on graphic descriptions of Robb being stabbed through the heart or Catelyn's throat being cut, but more the emotional impact of these events, and I'm worried that the scene will be too gory, distracting from the emotion.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

I don't really do gore, so I may not watch a lot of it! However, I'm still looking forward to finding out how they do adapt it and the reactions of non book readers.

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As i wrote in another thread, the RW surprised me a lot because my imagination was already at Moat Cailin with Robb taking North back, flaying Theon etc. It's a nice thing about GRRM that most of the shock scenes catch characters in the middle of some other plans which makes it more realistic and catches the reader even more unprepared. That being said, i never like Robb/Catelyn that much, after the initial surprise i got over it easily. Some people on the boards were devastated from what i've read :D

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The most stand-out moments for me were when someone (forgot who) puts his sword through Robb's heart "and twisted," and the point when Cat actually cut Jinglebell's throat. Those were both "points of no return" that I REALLY didn't think were going to happen until they actually happened. Even as I kept reading, part of my brain was looking for a work-around possibility that maybe they hadn't happened after all. I don't remember being angry about it, just sad and really floored.

It kind of has this crazy "bottomless pit" effect because the minute they arrive and Grey Wind lunges at one of the Freys you know something is up, and as Cat observes little things that are off you become pretty damn sure somthing is going to go down. But GRRM does a really good job of dropping red herrings that it's going to be some kind of gauntlet-throwing, semi-spontaneous smackdown between Robb and Lord Frey. I was thinking there would be some small-scale violence followed by Robb loosing the Freys yet again and having to start from scratch.

But then at the banquet you realize there is a plot afoot. Soldiers come in, the band attacks, but Robb's men aren't too drunk and seem to be holding their own. I wasn't sure how they'd fight their way out, but I was pretty sure they would. Dacey goes down. Sad, I liked her. Robb gets hit with a crossbow bolt or three--no big, he's taken arrows before, this can still turn around. When Cat grabbed Jinglbell and started negotiating I thought it would work, or at least that the Frey's would take Robb and Cat prisoner instead of killing them. THEN ROBB DIES. What? Wait....what? No way, really??? (Re-read two or three times to make sure) Huh, yeah, he's really dead. Sad--poor Cat, loosing another kid.

Well, that's that. Surely now the party is over, everyone else will be rounded up and dumped in the dungeon. Because clearly that's the centerpiece of a scene like this. And Cat would never really---WOAH, what? Cat just actually killed a mentally challenged guy? What??? Well, now they'll grab her and dungeon her for sure...wait, where did the birds come from? OH, not really bird claws...yikes...how much further downhill can this even go?

I think I cried a little at the "not my hair, Ned loves my hair," bit. But I don't think I really believed Cat was dead until Arya did, via the Nymeria dream.

I definitely thought Grey Wind got out until I heard about his head and Robb...well, actually I didn't believe that either until I heard it from a few sources, and then got Bran confirmation that Grey Wind was out of the picture.

How would it have been different from another perspective? Well, I am a big Cat fan. I don't love everything she does, but I do love her character, so I think having her perspective made it the worst possible thing. I really only cared about Robb because Cat did, and I REALLY thought Cat and Arya were going to reunite. Cat's perspective was heartbreaking in a way that I don't think another perspective would have been. Any of Robb's bannermen would have been interesting, but having a sudden new POV character would have tipped us off that he/she was going to die, and a lot of them died before Robb. Everyone else at the wedding knew what was going to happen, so it would have been a big spoiler. Although, I think having Roslin Frey's perspective in addition to Cat's would have been interesting, especially if her narration didn't spoil the event because it was all so terrible she couldn't bring herself to think about it. Her going upstairs, hearing the music, making love to Edmure while trying not to think about downstairs, then coming back down to the carnage, thinking how much she was coerced and how terrible she feels about all of it, especially now that she thinks Edmure is a pretty good guy....that would have been intense.

As for how much I'm looking forward to it and how I think it'll be adapted on screen...well, I was looking forward to Theon's on-screen arc a lot, but D&D have taught me to be careful what I wish for. Things that are gritty and graphic but within the realm of enjoyability on the page can be really horrible and off-putting on the screen. Thinking about the RW, I find myself thinking "oh god I hope they don't show that part" a lot more than I find myself thinking how dramatic and tragic it will be. I guess basically what I'm hoping for is that it comes across as a tragedy rather than a horror show. And I REALLY hope the head switching isn't shown.

EDIT: When Arya was hit in the head my first thought was "NO WAY YOU HAVE GO TO BE KIDDING ME. If Arya is dead I AM OUT." So I skipped ahead for more Arya chapters, realized she wasn't, and kept going.

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My initial reaction was dread and hopelessness. I felt as though I was grieving for Catelyn the most, because she had to watch her son be murdered, she watched everyone die, and it only added to the amount of desperation she was already feeling. When Catelyn went crazy, it was the most profound moment. Psychotically holding a knife to Jinglebell's throat -- then slicing it -- was the most tragic image for me.

On screen, I feel like Catelyn will be the last one standing amid the bloodbath. The music will stop, and we'll only hear the wailing of Catelyn Stark. I am both dreading and looking forward to her final monologue. I also have a feeling that Catelyn will spot Arya before she is killed, very similarly to the way Ned saw Arya before he was beheaded. If I remember correctly, Ned Stark never spotted Arya, but it worked well on screen. I hope Catelyn sees Arya one last time.

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When I was first reading the Catelyn chapters it was about 1 a.m. and I was trying to get through the rest of the book my morning (I read very fast) Because of this I didn't see anything coming, at all. I remember thinking that the final Catelyn chapter was just really boring and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I was a big Robb fan, and although I expected him to die, I expected a more heroic death. When it finally started happening I was more shocked than anything else, and read through that whole chapter without really even realizing what was happening. Eventually after I finished I just put the book down and spent about fifteen minutes just sitting there thinking over what had happened.

After I had finally absorbed it the only image I could conjure up was that of Robb dying on the floor with 3 cross bow bolts in him, as Roose approached. I always saw this through Catelyn's eyes, and although I'm not actually really sure where in the room it was, but I imagined him alone in the very center of the room, with crossbowmen on a large terrace like thing to his left.

After that I read the Arya chapter. At first I didn't notice it was the hound that had rode her down, I thought it was just some random Frey. Arya being my favorite character, I flipped through all the pages until I found the next Arya chapter, just to see if she was alive.

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Oh gods, oh gods.

For one, I am not usual an emotional reader. I have read tons of fiction including the fantasy genre, so I am not easily impressed to begin with. I read Lord of The Rings without ever shedding a tear. I never cried during a Disney movie when I was older than 10 years. However, that one... I am crying right now as I type this. The pure imagination of the whole thing is horrifying and the knowledge that there is nothing I can do to prevent it from happening hurts me.

When I first read the scene I was in the middle of the forest with my dogs, walking and listening to the audiobooks on headphones. When I read the first sign that "something was wrong" I stopped walking and as the events progressed I had to sit down. When Robb was killed I yelled at the top of my lungs and sat down crying. By far the worst scene was yet to come, Cat's death struck me hardest and after her death I sat there in the forest, crying for at least... I don't know but surely half an hour. I could barely walk home and did not touch the book/audiobook (I had both) again until two days later. Then I read about Arya ("axe hit her in the back of her head"), firmly assumed she was dead and had a similar reaction and went to read spoilers to find out if she lives.

Phew. So that's that.

It was the single most intense reaction I have ever had in my whole life from any kind of fiction, be it movie or literature. I am 37 years old.

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya

Depends very much on their role I guess. But I sure know I wouldn't ever want to read it from the perspective of one of the traitors.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

It will get gradually worse, from the second the watcher knows something is wrong until the bloody massacring of Cat, Robb, Grey Wind, The greatjon and all of their followers. There will be a lot of blood. And Michelle Fairley is going to be awesome. And I am going to cry for two days in a row and going to lock myself in my bedroom.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

I am scared to death. I don't want to watch it at all. I am considering skipping it, but I feel I "have to". I am definitely not happy about it and not even curious. I just want to get it "behind me". I have some faint hope that they are going to make it less dramatic than in the books, quicker... less gruesome... less horrifying. But I fear the opposite. They even made me feel for Theon and I used to dislike him a lot.

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on the point of "looking forward" to the scene.

I think, for me, its more a thought that some points from the books just Have to be there in the TV show (except, of course, that already some havent!!)

RW definitely has to be there, and it needs to be pretty much as per the books.

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I think this episode should end with thw showing of the RD outcomes. After Arya's "death" (which I think should be kept in secret, reaviling the Arya is alive only in the next season. so the impact of this episode on the watchers would be priceless by all means), they should give us a vast view on the sluaghter in the camps, afterwards the wedding-hall with al the corpses with Robb sitting on a throne high above with Grey-Wind's head (and the crown, I never understood why they never gave Robb a crown in the serie), and after that they should end it with Cat's naked body thrown to the river.

All the while The Rains Of Castamere played in the background.

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RW was the point where I threw the book at the wall. It was heartwrenching to read. I haven't watched this season as closely as the first two, because I'm just waiting for the RW to get over with.

At the same time I'm really curious to see how they will pull it iff on screen. Willthey actualy show us Robb with the head of Greywind??? It's such an iconographic image for us readers, and terrible as it is,I Think it would be wrong to leave it out. Not sure I can watch it though..

After writing this,I read the rest of the thread. It's really nice to know,that I'm not alone in having such a strong reaction to this scene. Thanks for sharing!

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For some reason, I always pictured the RW being held outdoors because of Arya's perspective when she and the Hound show up. I think that will have more impact on people then Cat and Robb and co. She spent all this time and effort to get back to her family after her father's beheaded only to get there after everything has happened. As interested as I am seeing how Cat pulls it off, Arya should have an even more tragic feeling.

This is how i see it played out cinematically:

Cat will be uneasy the whole time with the Freys. Blackfish will reinforce those feelings but some reason, he won't be at the RW. We all know what Rains of Castamere sounds like at this point. That will be the backing music while this whole farce takes off. Cat tries to leave but is held up, she notices the chainmail and then bam. She turns around and the Freys have Talisa at knife point, Robb is held down as they take her away. Robb screams, screaming for Grey Wind as well. The Freys drag in Grey Winds corspe filled with arrows. Cat sees this and grabs one of Walder's wives at knife point. Cat begs for mercy, Walder mocks Cat and his own wife. Then cut to a closeup to a pair of boots walking in the place with a soft spoken, "The Lannisters send their regard." Then we see Roose do his thing to Robb. Cat out of anger slits the throat of the wife and then one of Walders sons does Cat while she sobs over Robb.

I doubt we will see Robb's corpse afterwards. I like the idea that news about the RW spreads and people will have different recounts of the actual events. Some will say Robb turned into his wolf and tried to murder everyone, others will correct them saying they merely sewed the boy's wolf's head to his body.

Not sure about Talisa and the Blackfish. I can easily see the Blackfish go down in a blaze of glory as well. Taking out a bunch of Freys along the way. Talisa is the wild card for book readers. Something to keep us on our toes because we all know how the RW plays out. Talisa is the person we don't know what will happen to and to keep us watching and talking. I would personally like to see her go the way of Cat but I think Talisa is a wuss. Roose could end up telling her to attend to all the corpses afterwards, that would be so cruel.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene? What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

mainly: "wait, what? "

i kind of had fallen into a trance-like condition, reading over all the descriptions of food, food and more food when suddenly i chimed back in consciously and realized people were being killed. so i skimmed back a few paragraphs to find out what exactly was happening. most vivid image is probably cat having her throat cut.

also, rob with the wolf's had sewn on, but that was mentioned in a later chapter, if i remember correctly.

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?

whose exactly? roose's point of view (aor anyone's who was in on it) probably would have taken a lot of the surprise out of it, relying on anticipation for building suspense. the classic hitchcock way, so to say.

anyone at the wedding not knowing would have kept the twist element, but taken out the very personal emotional component regarding robb.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

tough to say.

there will be anticipation of something going to happen among tv viewers, if only because it's the 9th episode. generally i expect it to look almost as described in catelyn's chapter. people eat and eat and eat and talk drunken crap, band plays badly, everyone has a laugh and bam, crossbow arrows fly, roose kills robb, lannisters send their regards, cat kills someone, then has her throat cut.

dont know whether they will show robb with the wolf head.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

well, it's the climax of the season, so i am looking forward to it. i do expect it to be rather true to the book, but seeing the tv version of course givres the opportunity to compare my own mental images with those produced for tv. looking forward to that.

also, the reaction of all the people i know who havent read the books. schadenfreude, basically.

and i really hope they show robb with the wolf head.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene?

I had a similar physical reaction to most: I threw the book across the room in disgust and utter disbelief. This was followed by a bit of pacing around to collect my thoughts. But within minutes, I retrieved it and re-read the chapter to make sure that what just happened did, in fact, actually happen.

What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

The image of Cat realizing that Edwyn was rockin' the chain mail underneath his garb always stuck out. And the gory imagery of her scraping the flesh off of her face (which, admittedly, I didn't grasp upon first read) would have to be a close 2nd.

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?

It was perfectly chaotic and disturbing, as was intended. I wouldn't change a thing, and don't see how you could with those in attendance of the RW.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

D&D have alluded to this scene being the impetus for their quest to adapt ASOIAF to television. They've clearly taken every precaution, and chopped out many scenes and lines from the show, in preparation of it. I trust that they'll make it one of the more memorable scenes in the history of television -- if not the most memorable. But at the very least it'll be gruesome and potentially polarizing.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

Say what you will about Robb and Cat, but they're good people. And in a world devoid of such, it's going to be gut-wrenching to see them suffer such a cruel fate at the hands of such a slimy, perverted creep.

So, if anything, I'm looking forward to the reaction of my Unsullied friends; not so much for my own viewing pleasure. Although, I am somewhat curious to see how the scene stacks up against what I'd pictured in my mind's eye.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene?

I was expecting something bad to happen but was shocked at the brutality of it. I had heard a mention of the term 'Red Wedding' prior to reading ASOS but assumed it would happen at the end of the book. Was sad for Catelyn but particularly sad for Robb. The loss of the Northern resistance was also upsetting but at the same time I was incredibly impressed by the writing of the chapters in the book. In the next chapter, i knew immediately that Arya was not dead.

What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

The most powerful image for me is Catelyn's throat being cut - and the desolation she has thinking that everyone in her family is dead. Heartbreaking. Next most powerful is the man in armour stabbing Robb and saying 'Jaime Lannister sends his regards'. I had been suspecting a Bolton betrayal but whilst reading the chapter for the first time I didn't make the connection that the man in pink was Bolton.

Prior to the wedding, Ghost getting angry was extremely vivid, as was Ghost sowed onto Robb post-Red wedding.



How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?



Would have been a lot worse. The scene through Cat's eyes was devastating as you realise she has lost her whole family. Arya's was also a powerful chapter.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?



Not sure but imagine it will be similar to the books. Worried they will place emphasis on Talisa rather than Catelyn. Don't like Talisa in the show and so any time spent with her is time wasted in my book.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

Looking forward to it a lot. It's a very powerful and sad scene whilst also being the logical culmination of a series of mistakes made by Robb, Catelyn and the North. Watching it unfold will really make me empathise with the characters. Also, I look forward to seeing non-reader reactions to see if they are like how I felt when I read the books.

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I’d like us to use this thread to discuss our mental images of the Red Wedding before it is screened. I’d be especially interested if you could tell me about:

What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene? What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

1. I was confused about what was going on. Finished the chapter, blinked, and then read it again from the beginning to see if I'd got it right. That's when the "HOLY SHIT" part kicked in.

Two things stuck out to me among many others: first, the description of the food, which sounded truly nauseating. Second, Cat at the end, raking her nails down her face.

2. I think this scene would be doubly terrifying coming from Walder Frey's perspective. I'd love to see his sly, salacious anticipation come to fruition.

3. I don't know. They'll probably start off with a strange sense of disquiet but with no real hint of the enormity that's about to unfold, then a brief moment of respite with the raucous cheer of the bedding ... and finally, that one song will play, and bam, bloodbath.

4. I can barely wait to see it. First, my boyfriend has no idea what's going to happen so I'm looking forward to his reaction. Second, this is pretty much the most dramatic scene in the entire series and I need to see what the show makes of it. Third, I'm wondering how they are going to resolve the Talisa situation, since she represents a significant deviation from the books.

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I read it shocked, but when I got to "No, not my hair, Ned loves my hair" I lost it. She had been through so much, Bran becomng crippled, losing her husband, believing she lost her two youngest sons, having her two daughters held captive, and now to witness her oldest son murdered in front of her face. Absolutely devastating. It seemed like she had a psychological dissociation caused by the shock/stress of the situation.

The other lasting image I had was the Smalljon fighting with quarrels stuck in him and killing at least one Frey with his bear hands trying to get to Robb's side. The cutting out of the Umbers is a huge loss on the show.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene? What are the most vivid mental images you have of it?

I was surprised at the scope of the brutality. They didn't just go after Robb and Cat and a few of the other key players, they tried to slaughter everyone in both castles and outside. It was an absolute bloodbath. Plus they violated an ancient custom, the consequences of which is recited in a horror story everyone knows (Rat Cook). That made it even more squicky.

Vivid images: the ominous feeling leading up to it - Grey Wind being nervous, the creepy pounding of the drums, Cat noticing certain people slipping out, the chain mail beneath the tunic. As it happened, Cat saying the blood tickled and then being worried about her hair. The odd things that enter one's mind as they die.

How do you think it would have been described from a different point of view than Cat’s or Arya’s?

Probably frantic glee by most of the Freys, proud to have taken revenge. A cold, matter-of-fact recital by Bolton. Neither one would have had the emotional impact or the level of interest that Cat and Arya's POVs had. The right people were picked to narrate.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?

and

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why?

I'm really looking forward to this because it was such an important scene in the books.

I hope it's every bit the bloodbath it was in the books, I'm concerned it will be watered down and rendered too "small." This was a massive violation of an ancient taboo and I hope that comes across in the TV story.

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Set report confirmed the head thing :(

Really? Where did you read that? That'd be a nice little touch if they kept it in, it's not essential but it would be great to see on screen.

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