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Inevittable

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

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its a very interesting and intense emotional journey one sets out to when reading this particular chapter. I my self have a very strong imagination (at night I have highly intricate and vivid dreams) so reading books from such fantastic writers such as GRRM is always an amazing experience, as one barely needs to have a great imagination to see this world jump out from the pages and spring to life.

I think the hardest part of this sequence is the perspective we receive it from. Cat, a strong woman, a fiercely loving mother and wife, who has witnessed and experienced hardships many people in the real world could barely fathom. Cat has experienced more trauma, fear, guilt and anguish then many characters we encounter also. she has witnessed her whole family crumble, break and die before her very eyes. but she must move on with every obstacle thrown her way she becomes heavily emotionally wounded, but we see her push through time and time again, no mother ever want to out live her children, but at this point she believes she has lost at least three of them, and her beloved husband, murdered in a situation she was unable to prevent or save. but she continues on, the pain an ever present companion inside her that she can never let out, so many times she wants to break down but does not.

with this Wedding we see her pushed over the edge, she is taken way past her boiling point and driven into a state of madness from the scene around her, she becomes desperate, so desperate she (uncharacteristically) takes the life of an innocent and physically turns her rage and pain on herself savagely clawing at her own face, laughing and crying with mass emotional/physical pain and hysteria. its through the eyes of this fractured, overwhelmed and utterly grief stricken being that we are being presented these events. we are inside her when all this happens and so we feel it too, during this moment we ARE Cat we feel her pain and we too desperately want to fix this situation which has gone far out of our control and to big to recoil from.

then of course there is the aftermath, the darkly twisted manor in which they treat the bodies of the slain. Robbs head being sawn off and discarded, then replaced with the head of his murdered Direwolf, with his crown placed on his head for all those who care to see, in a cruel jape against him.

I find the most haunting part is my vision of what Dany saw in the House of the Undying. the haunting image of the king with the wolfs head, to me the sight was a horrifying one, a nightmare of sorts, very dark and scary. then to have the knowledge that this, thing, was created from the body of a loved character and an equally (in my mind) loved pet, in a sick mockery. THAT is the most emotional part in my opinion.

I also just want to say GRRM is a genius, every move he makes through the series is golden, yes this was a terrible traumatic chapter, but that has a kind of beauty in itself... a tragic beauty

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also just want to add, that after reading the initial scene, it was a great move for GRRM to have us then relive it again from outside in Aryas POV because at this point we know exactly what is happening in there with every line of the song drawing out he know more and more death and carnage is taking place, it gives the reader more intense feelings towards Aryas attempt to get in there and help save her family, because even though she doesn't know exactly what is going on, we do.

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What were your initial reactions when you first read the scene? WHAT THE HELL!

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

Jaime Lannister sends his regards.

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 the same impact, You have Arya running around in the chaos outside so close to her family and then inside you have Cat seeing who she thinks is only remaining son dying right in front of her.

How do you imagine the scene will play out on screen?hopefully like it does in the books, but i believe it might have to be changed a bit since it won't be from Cat's pov, plus you people there who weren't there in the book.

How much (if at all) are you looking forward to the scene? Can you say why? been looking forward to it since the show started. Why? because even though a few of the characters i really liked were killed it's a fantastic scene, like when ned died.

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I really don't expect the show to be able to duplicate that moment, Robb was a much more awesome character in the books than the show, and I like book Catelyn a lot more too, and all the Northern bannermen that I like such as Dacey and Smalljon aren't even in the show. I think the show will do a decent job with what they have, but they will not come close to the emotional impact of reading the RW.

It's too bad the show didn't get the chance to develop any bannermen as sympathetic characters. The only guys in Robb's camp that we even knew were Greatjohn (off the show), Theon (traitor), Rodrik (dead), Karstark (dead), and Roose (traitor).

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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 didn't have the urge to throw the book or stop reading that many others seemed to have. I started reading the series after watching S1. I loved the show anyway, but when they killed off Ned I became that much more interested. By comparison to GoT, CoK was kind of a letdown in that the only major character GRRM killed off was Renly. but SoS took it to another level, especially with the Red Wedding.

Most vivid image: Catelyn going bonkers at the end.

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

Definitely less emotional. It's important that we were inside Cat's mind for that scene, so we understand what drives her as Stoneheart.

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

Generally, it'll be chaotic, with a lot of quick cuts up until Catelyn grabs a hold of Jinglebell. I envision the very last thing we see is Catelyn getting her throat cut from behind, then falling forward. Then we see a pool of blood forming around her, and fade to black.

OR the episode ends with the camera panning over the floor, showing Grey Wind's headless corpse, Robb's head, and then panning up to show the "Wolf King".

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

Looking forward to it very much so I can see my brother's reaction. I am kinda proud of myself for remaining tight-lipped about it. At one point a couple of weeks ago he asked, "Does Robb get more interesting?" and I answered, "Yeah, he does some pretty cool stuff later in the series." Just a straight-up LIE to kill any suspicions.

It's going to be an epic scene and I expect that D&D will do a good job with it considering how they've stated multiple times how they've been itching to get to this point in the story.

This is going to be on the same level as the scene from "Transformers: The Movie" when all of the Autobots get wasted. Anyone else who was 10 years old when that movie came out will know what I'm talking about.

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It should be noted that whenever the show has had to dramatize the big, emotional death scenes (Ned and Rodrik come to mind), they've absolutely nailed it so it should be a fairly positive sign that they'll get this scene right.

Will it have all the smaller details that book fans are craving for (known bannermen sacrifices, Jinglebell, Greatjon getting hammered)? No. But the odds are that they'll do a great job with the sequence and it will be powerful.

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I read it shocked, but when I got to "No, not my hair, Ned loves my hair" I lost it.

I don't remember being shocked, I was completely caught up in the moment.

I imagine it would be similar once it happens 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 had been spoiled most of it, so I knew what was coming...All around I dread it. The actual scene itself, Catelyn's chapter, was so tense. I felt so nervous reading it the first time. Actual tears blurred my vision when Catelyn thought Oh Ned, make it stop, our sweet babes, it hurts so much...Rereading it was even worse. Tears were falling down my face that time. :( Once I finished the chapter the first time I continued to the next, but I felt...cold.

My most vivid mental image of it is Catelyn grabbing her hair and screaming, or the image of the knife next to her throat...Ugh, awful. Or the fact that her knife came to clash with Jinglebell's bone...Uuuugh....And of course, Grey Robb and naked Cat, that was truly despicable and insulting. You're no better than anyone if you mock your enemies once you killed them...in fact it made the Freys more cowardly.

It's just that, such a massacre after a relatively calm event such as a wedding...It's so strange and the image of piled bloodied corpses all inside the castle walls...

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

If it was from Robb (i'll always miss a Robb POV in the books) it could have been the same as with Arya and Cat. But probably it would have been more confusion and mixed with the pain of the arrow in his body. Cat works because she sees all the massacre and is killed after all of it finished. A mother watching his son die in front of her, her first born and (she thinks) her last living, is completely nuts.

Arya is just frustating because after a book and a half of her trying to get near her family, she's about to have it and BAM! All gone. Brr. It's even sadder considering previously she was afraid that her mother wouldn't take her in because of the things she had done in ACOK.

A Frey or Roose would have given it away. And the Bannermen and all would be too minor for describing such a scene.

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

I hope they make THE scene of the season. Like how Dany and the dragons is THE scene for season 1 (and GOT overall), I want the RW to have the same impact. Lots of crazyness, lots of fighting...

The first time we see Robb and Cat at the Twins everything is fairly normal. Lots of booze, music, Edmure dancing happily with Roslin...Then the people leave the hall, the music dies down, Cat's alarm go up...AND BAM! Crossbolts, Rains of Castamere, axes to the stomach...Robb injured, Cat losing her mind, Talisa taken captive...

All these scenes mixed up with what's going outside with Arya and the Hound. Sandor's fighting off Freys as everything burns outside and tries to keep Arya out of danger but she's trying to run to the castle...After a shadow runs at her with an axe...

Cut to last scene in the Hall...Cat menaces to kill (not sure if Jinglebell or another Frey maybe), Roose and his regards for Robb, Cat sawing somebody's neck, crying and pulling her hair as she cradles Robb's corpse, her words about "Our sweet babes, Ned" and "Not my hair, Ned loves my hair!" as a Frey grabs her hair...Knife to the throat...Cut to black, the only sound is of a throat being slit...

...Then the credits roll, with the usual mournful theme of the Starks as the soundtrack.

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

I wanna see how they will adapt it, how much importance they'll give it and how close it is to the books in terms of distress. I don't want to see it though because I'll be fucking depressed throughout the scene. I DON'T want it to happen only for that. :( Can't say I care for the Unsullied though.

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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 had been spoiled, but it was still shocking--the sweaty-palms, dry-mouth, heart-racing sort of shocking. The one intrusive thought (considering that this is ASoIaF, after all) that I couldn't shake was, "Oh God, I just hope they don't rape Cat". The RW was already too much, but that would have made it unbearable.

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

It would have been interesting to see this scene through Roslin Frey's eyes. She was in on it, but was obviously not happy about the situation (she wept the entire time). On a related note, I wonder what this scene would have been like from Edmure's POV. With that having been said, Cat's POV was the perfect one to choose for this scene. Her internal narrative ("All our sweet babes", "Not my hair...Ned loved my hair") made this scene truly heart-wrenching.

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

I don't have much to add to what others have said; I only hope that they end the episode with this scene. It would be absurd to cut to a different storyline after the drama and shock of the RW.

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

I'm looking forward to seeing the horrified reactions of the unsullied friends with whom I watch, but other than that, the scene is gruesome enough in my imagination without seeing it played out in HBO-style gore. I am curious about how they'll handle it, though.

EDIT: Forgot to mention--great topic! Best of luck.

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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 couldn't believe it...I knew it seemed inevitable but I didn't think George would have Robb and Cat suffer such a fate after everything that happened to the Starks. I stopped reading for a couple of days because I was pretty upset about it. The image that stuck with me most was Robb being stabbed by Roose with a look of shock and confusion on his face. Images of Cat's torn face dripping with blood as she laughs maniacally stuck with me too.

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

I'm not sure...It would be much less tragic since we get that huge sense of family from those 2 PoVs - Cat trying to preserve her family and Arya trying to find them.

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

It's going to be brutal and sad. Seeing it happen visually will be powerful in its own way but its lasting effect will be different. After digesting the scene from the books it's lasting effect is the effect on the North as a whole. On TV I think its lasting effect for me will always be those choice visuals.

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

I can't wait for it, because it's a terrific and tragic scene that ultimately is great storytelling even if it makes you sad.

I think the fact that this scene in particular is what drew the show runners into making this a TV Show speaks volumes about it.

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

I had heard of a Red Wedding but I was convinced it was gonna be Joffrey's wedding. So when shit started to hit the fan at the Frey wedding, I was ridiculously confused and didn't know what was going on for a minute. I had to re-read the chapter (a few days later when I had time to cool off) to fully grasp it. I actually had to go to a work meeting and I was like "Oh, I'll just read this Catelyn chapter really quick before I go." So I was super shaken up at the meeting and just wanted to go home and get in bed.

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

Catelyn clawing at her own face, for sure. I picture it as Michelle Fairley in my mind and I see it so clearly and it's very disturbing and haunting. Also Robb with the arrows sticking out of him, climbing out from under the table, just before being killed by Roose. Those have stuck in my mind so much more than the wolf's head.

And this isn't so much an image, but the dialogue of "Don't cut my hair, Ned loves my hair." and Cat remembering all her children... That crushes me.

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

That's a very interesting question, and one I have never ever thought about. I don't think it could be told from any other perspective.

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

It will still pack quite the punch, to be sure. But without all of the Northern bannermen as causalities the slaughter will have a lot less impact. It was a literal bloodbath in the books and I don't think the show can capture it as well. And without Catelyn's narration... I dunno. It will still be horrible, but no medium but the novel could ever portray it just as it should have been done.

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

I definitely want to see D&D's take on it. For all they're claiming that it was the scene that prompted them to do the show, the set up hasn't been that great. Still, I remain optimistic because they wouldn't let themselves fuck up this scene. If Talisa is killed in front of Robb, that will make up for the lack of bannermen being slaughtered.

I want to see it done for my curiosity's sake, and so it will be over and I won't be waiting for it. I've been so anxious the past few weeks as it draws closer. I want to see it and have it be done with, and have all of my nonreader friends caught up to it.

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I've been looking forward to this episode and especially to the reaction to it ...after reading the first page of this thread all the emotions and feelings flooded back from when I read the chapter. It actually makes me feel a little sick and in my stomach and my heart is racing. I forgot all the grizzly details.

Time healed the wounds but they are being reopened

I think what stuck with me most was cat stratching her own face and killing jingle bells. That bit about her hair I'd forgotten about. It's kind of heart breaking.

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Apparently I have to wait an extra week!!

This will be hard

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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all the responses so far. There's a really great range of opinions here. I have a few more questions to throw into the mix, but am still interested to hear from anyone who hasn't answered the OP.

There are a few images that keep recurring: first is the image of Cat's descent into madness and the final stroke that slit her throat, second is the treatment of the bodies after the massacre. Why do you think these scenes in particular stand out?

The music has been mentioned a lot as well. I think that's really interesting because it's not something visual, which is what a lot of people pick up on when reading. It should be great to see/hear how the music is done on the show.

Also, which of you read this scene after you'd started watching the show, and which of you read it before watching the show?

(very much like the atmosphere in Cowslip's Warren in Watership Down, where the residents all know a terrible secret but are keeping it from the newcomers)

This is going to be on the same level as the scene from "Transformers: The Movie" when all of the Autobots get wasted. Anyone else who was 10 years old when that movie came out will know what I'm talking about.

I think it's interesting to compare this to the imagery of other things we've seen. Does anyone else have any other examples?

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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?

The most vivid mental image for me was Roose Bolton betraying Robb and sticking his sword through his belly and saying, "Jaime Lannister sends his regards." This single moment was the most powerful for me because at this point in the story I was really starting to like Jaime a lot, and I also really liked Robb, of course. So, that line especially messed with me. I knew that had to be one of the worst things for Robb to hear as he is dying.

Another really strong thing about the scene in my mind is that it is the culmination of several betrayals against Robb Stark. First we have the betrayal of Theon Greyjoy (I hope the skin scene makes an appearance), we have the betrayal of Catelyn (which the "Jaime Lannister sends his regards," makes even more powerful), we have the betrayal of the Karstarks, which forced Robb to consider this wedding in the first place, then of course the betrayal of Frey (it'll be interesting to see what happens in the show, since Robb's wife is apparently going to be with him at the wedding), and finally the betrayal of Bolton, arguably the worst because Roose becomes a kingslayer, and taking into account the rough history between the Boltons and the Starks. Not to mention, Edmure's folly/slight betrayal of not following Robb's orders and costing him Tywin Lannister.

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

I think we may have gotten more details if it was described from a different POV. The writing makes me think that Cat is beginning to lose her mind pretty much after she sees the chain mail under one of the Frey men. She doesn't even name Roose Bolton as the one who kills Robb, she only notices "a man dressed in pink," because she's starting to lose her mind already, even before Robb dies, perhaps she sees it coming, and it's just too much for her to bare.

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

I imagine it will be done beautifully, because this scene in particular was a major reason for D & D wanting to adapt this story into an HBO show. I can't wait for it to air.

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

I am highly anticipating this scene. For several reasons, the biggest being I'm tired of trying to hide this major spoiler from my unsullied friends. I want to be able to talk about it, and all the ramifications of it, with those people that haven't read the books. Most of my unsullied friends still hate Joffrey more than anyone, and I really think that this scene is going to greatly stir the pot. Another big reason is what I said in the previous answer, that D & D's main reason for adapting this series is so that they could do this scene. They have said several times that if they were able to make it to season 3 with the show, they will have completed the main thing they wanted to do. I'm very excited to see the fruits of their labor.

But also, this scene is a changing point in the series. Things start to get really dark after this, and really still have not begun to brighten up again. I think this scene will have a very polarizing effect on show viewers. I strongly believe that after the next episode, there will be two types of Game of Thrones fans, those that will never stop watching/reading/getting lost in the Song of Ice and Fire Universe, and those that will stop watching and never return. And, hopefully, it will be mostly the first group of people.

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My main mental image is Catelyn getting grabbed by someone, who then begins sawing at her hair with a knife while she is crying thinking about how Ned loved her hair.

So yeah pretty depressing really

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Most vivid images:

Cat Clawing at her face as she loses her mind

Cat thinking about how Ned loved her and that she hoped they didn't cut it.

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I read the chapter before the show was on. When I read it I was shocked and horrified. It had the same sort of impact as when Ned was killed at the end of the first book but even more intense. As others have described, there was foreshadowing, and so reading the chapter I was worried, but because it was from Cat's point of view and she believes she has taken steps to protect them (making sure they ate something to invoke guestright) I started to think it might be all right. Maybe an ugly scene of shouting or something. Then she felt the chainmail and OH NO!!! It was so horrifying and more: it seemed to me that it showed the way that their society had completely broken down.

Afterwards I (like many) had to put the book down for a while to catch my breath. I felt again as I had after the first book, that this was not going to be a comfortable series. I had just started to feel that the stories were feeling a little familiar and them the Red Wedding happened and so anything could happen. All bets are off.

I think that telling it from Cat's and Arya's point of view made it much more harrowing. As I have said, since you're in Cat's head you share her expectations of people's behavior and her knowledge and love for those being slaughtered. You are with her as her whole universe is destroyed before her eyes. I don't think any other p[oint of view would have that impact.

I wonder how (or if) the show will be able to capture that impact. The view of the all seeing camera is not as personal. I also think that a downside of having Theon's torture take place on screen during this season may rob the RW of some of its shock and horror. We have been seeing pointless sadistic cruelty all season. I think the worst that could happen is for it to just be a set piece without the emotional impact. In the books the violence and cruelty are horrifying, upsetting and repulsive. I hope the show doesn't glamorize it (not that I think they want to, but that it might happen inadvertantly because of the emotional distance allowed by the camera)

I can't say that I'm looking forward to it but perhaps that I'm looking forward to it being over. All season I have felt like I am watching the condemmed and I haven't been able to say anything. My husband is Unsullied. It will be a relief to be able to be more open about things.

I hope this helps in your project.

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I've read each book as the paperback was first published, and re-read the preceding books each time, so I've got a bit of a "layered" memory of this particular part. You cant help remembering from previous reads whats happening elsewhere, so I spend some thoughts on Arya, so close, but also so close to being caught up in it.

I cant think of anything else that I've read that shocked me so much, Dorothy Dunnett's chess game was tense and eerie and tragic, but I guess I was ready for thing to go badly there.

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