From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
The Red Wedding is a massacre that takes place at the Twins in 299AL during the War of the Five Kings, in which the King in the North, Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn Stark, and most of his 3,500 bannermen are slaughtered. The event is orchestrated by Lord Walder Frey as revenge for Robb Stark's breaking of a marriage pact he made with House Frey. However, Lord Walder would never have gone along with the massacre which violated all the sacred laws of hospitality without the promise of protection from Tywin Lannister.
During the War of the Five Kings, the Freys initially rises in rebellion against the Iron Throne for the King in the North, securing an invaluable strategic position for the northmen. The rebellion is contingent on Robb Stark's betrothal to one of Lord Walder Frey's daughters. However, Robb Stark breaks his promise when he marries Jeyne Westerling, a slight that Walder is unlikely to overlook.
After learning of the broken pact, Walder secretly begins conversing with Tywin Lannister for terms to bring House Frey back as a supporter of the Iron Throne. Tywin also communicates with Roose Bolton and Sybell and Rolph Spicer and develops a devious ploy in which Walder lures Robb to the Twins, under the pretense of an invite to another marriage pact, to allegedly forgive Robb's broken vow.
The marriage, between Edmure Tully and Walder's daughter Roslin Frey, is an invitation which Robb cannot decline after already giving slight to his allies once. After Robb's arrival he apologizes for his slight and Catelyn Tully asks for bread and salt to secure guest right.
There is a feast and songs are sung including "Iron Lances" and "The Queen Took Off Her Sandal, the King Took Off His Crown". The main food is pink lamb.
By using sellswords and knights at the feast disguised as musicians, and getting Robb's men too drunk to fight, Lord Walder Frey is able to coordinate a massacre with little loss to his own men. The two twin castles and the outlying camps are signaled when the band begins playing the "The Rains of Castamere" after the start of the bedding between Edmure and Roslin. Few of the northmen have a chance to react, and most are butchered on the spot.
The Frey and Bolton men turn on the Stark soldiers. Specially-rigged feast tents collapse and are set aflame during the slaughter. In the main hall, many of Robb's personal guard are killed by Freys, including Smalljon Umber, Dacey Mormont, Ser Wendel Manderly, and his mother Catelyn. Roose Bolton personally kills Robb, who was previously shot by arrows, with a thrust to the heart.
Though no definitive count is known, most of the northmen are killed while House Frey loses only approximately fifty men in the camps, as well as Ser Garse Goodbrook and Ser Tytos Frey, both of whom are killed by Sandor Clegane. After the battle, the Freys cut off Robb's head along with that of Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf. In a mockery of Robb's relationship with his direwolf, the Freys sew Grey Wind's head onto Robb's decapitated body. Lady Catelyn Tully has her throat slit and is later thrown naked into the river in a mockery of House Tully funeral customs.
The Red Wedding brings an end to the northern rebellion, with Roose Bolton being made the Warden of the North for his aid in it, and several great benefits befell House Frey, including the lordship of Riverrun. However, it also destroys what honor is left in the house, as they violated one of the oldest and most sacred traditions of old, the guest right. This leads to antipathy and disgust towards the house by most Westerosi, including their own allies. Additionally, though no other house has dreamed to repeat the breaking of the right, it has left a more lasting stain on the ancient guest right, with safety and security in a strange castle no longer being considered guaranteed.
The Iron Throne also gains a number of valuable prisoners which help resolve hostilities around Westeros. With Edmure Tully captive, Jaime Lannister is able to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the Siege of Riverrun. Black Walder Frey threatens to hang Patrek Mallister outside his father's castle which results in Seagard's surrender. The Greatjon and Marq Piper are held as hostages to ensure their houses' loyalty; Hother Umber allies with the newly appointed Warden of the North, Roose Bolton, and Lord Clement Piper is forced to help at the Siege of Riverrun.
Since the Red Wedding, several of Lord Walder Frey's kin have been killed by the Brotherhood Without Banners or northmen such as Wyman Manderly or the "Ghost of Winterfell" in retaliation. Perhaps ironically, more Freys have died due to the repercussions of the Red Wedding than during the War of the Five Kings.
Jared Frey tells Lord Wyman Manderly that, contrary to the true story, the Red Wedding was actually Robb Stark’s work. According to the Frey fictionalization, Robb changed into a wolf-man beast before the eyes of the Freys and tore out the throat of Jinglebell, a harmless simpleton. Furthermore, he allegedly would have slain Lord Walder Frey if Ser Wendel Manderly had not put himself in the way. According to this version of the event, the other northmen also turned into wolves to join Robb's attack.
- Lord Tywin Lannister
- Lord Walder Frey
- Lord Roose Bolton
- Lothar Frey, organizes the massacre with Lord Bolton and assigns a task for each Frey.
- Ser Rolph Spicer and his sister Lady Sybell Spicer plot with Lord Tywin but do not realise Sybell's son, Raynald Westerling, would be in danger.
In the Main Hall
- Merrett Frey and Petyr Frey are tasked with getting the Greatjon Umber too drunk to fight back; they fail and pass out.
- Ser Danwell Frey, plays a drinking game with Marq Piper.
- Ser Ryman Frey slays Dacey Mormont.
- Black Walder Frey slays a Vance.
- Ser Hosteen Frey slays Lucas Blackwood.
- Ser Leslyn Haigh tries to subdue the drunk Greatjon Umber and loses an ear in the process.
- Ser Whalen Frey also drinks with the Greatjon but is sent to the yard to deal with Grey Wind.
- Lord Roose Bolton personally kills the injured Robb Stark with a sword thrust to the heart.
- Ser Raymund Frey slits Catelyn Tully's throat.
In the Camps
- Ser Walder Rivers leads the attack against the northern host's camp.
- Ser Garse Goodbrook participates in the attack against the northern host's camp.
- Ser Tytos Frey participates in the attack against the northern host's camp.
- Jinglebell, throat cut by Lady Catelyn.
- Ser Benfrey Frey, dies of a wound received during the massacre.
- Ser Tytos Frey, slain by Sandor Clegane.
- Ser Garse Goodbrook, slain by Sandor Clegane.
- King Robb Stark, hit by arrows and stabbed through the heart by Roose Bolton.
- Lady Catelyn Tully, throat slit by Raymund Frey.
- Ser Wendel Manderly, takes a crossbow bolt to the mouth.
- Smalljon Umber, decapitated by Bolton men.
- Dacey Mormont, axed in the stomach by Ryman Frey.
- Donnel Locke, felled by crossbow bolts.
- Owen Norrey, felled by crossbow bolts.
- Robin Flint, surrounded by Freys and stabbed to death.
- Lucas Blackwood, killed by Hosteen Frey.
- Unknown Vance, killed by Black Walder Frey.
- Ser Raynald Westerling, wounded by a crossbow bolt before jumping into the river in his attempt to free Grey Wind.
- Grey Wind, hit by several crossbow bolts.
- Lord Edmure Tully, taken to Riverrun, now hostage at Casterly Rock.
- Lord Greatjon Umber
- Patrek Mallister, now hostage at Seagard with his father.
- Ser Marq Piper
- Perwyn, Olyvar and Alesander Frey are all noted as absent. It is believed they are too sympathetic to Robb Stark and his comrades to be involved.
- Lord Jason Mallister, Galbart Glover and Lady Maege Mormont are sent to Greywater Watch with a force to find Lord Howland Reed. They also carry a letter from King Robb naming his successor. Lord Jason later returns to Seagard.
- Ser Brynden Tully stays behind in command at Riverrun to defend the Riverlands as Warden of the Southern Marches.
George R.R. Martin has revealed that the inspiration for the Red Wedding came from the Black Dinner. The Black Dinner took place in 1440 when William Douglas, the 6th Earl of Douglas, was invited to a dinner with the ten year old King James II of Scotland. After the dinner the Clan Douglas chiefs were taken outside, given a mock trial and beheaded.
|“||In the midst of slaughter, the Lord of the Crossing sat on his carved oaken throne, watching greedily.||”|
|“||And Robb. Robb had been more a brother to Theon than any son born of Balon Greyjoy’s loins. Murdered at the Red Wedding, butchered by the Freys. I should have been with him. Where was I? I should have died with him. ||”|
References and Notes
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