The Rains of Castamere

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The Rains of Castamere is a song which immortalizes the destruction of House Reyne by Tywin Lannister.



House Reyne was obliterated after they rebelled against their liege lord, Tytos Lannister, who was perceived as weak by his own vassals. To restore Lannister dominance, Tytos' son, Tywin, marched against the upstart Lord of Castamere, the Red Lion. By the end of the rebellion, Castamere had been put to the torch and all members of House Reyne executed. The title is thus a play on words, as the "rains" fall over the empty halls of the "Reynes" who have been killed to the last man, and "not a soul to hear".[1]

The lyrics heavily reference the fact that the sigil of House Reyne was also a lion, but a red one instead of the golden lion used as the sigil of House Lannister. The rebellion of the Reynes against the Lannisters was thus seen as a civil war of lions.

Appearance at the Red Wedding

The song is featured most prominently during the events of the infamous Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords. The song is the signal for the forces of House Frey and House Bolton to turn on the Starks and Tullys and slaughter them. Catelyn Stark is the only one present who recognizes the tune, but by the time she realizes what is happening, it is already far too late; as the song starts, so does the bloodbath that ends the life of King Robb Stark and the rebellion.[2]


And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that's all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o'er his hall,
with no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall,
and not a soul to hear.[3]

Major performances

Game of Thrones

The first occurrence of "The Rains of Castamere" in the HBO television series is in episode one of season two, "The North Remembers", when Tyrion Lannister whistles the refrain as he enters the small council for the first time. In the episode 9 scene in which Bronn drinks and sings with his men outside the Red Keep, the song is featured in a more complete form. The song is performed in the closing credits of episode nine, "Blackwater", by the indie rock band The National, sung by their vocalist Matt Berninger.[4] On the published tracklist of the soundtrack, the title is spelled "The Rains of Castomere" rather than "Castamere" as in the novels.[5] The music was written by Ramin Djawadi and and lyrics by George R.R. Martin.

During episode two of season three, "Dark Wings, Dark Words", Thoros of Myr sings "The Rains of Castamere" when the Brotherhood Without Banners finds Arya Stark. Cersei Lannister relays the history of the song to Margaery Tyrell in episode eight, "Second Sons". In episode nine, "The Rains of Castamere", the famous song is performed by the musicians at the Twins to begin the Red Wedding.


I do so hope he plays The Rains of Castamere, it's been an hour, I've forgotten how it goes.[6]

Olenna Redwyne, at Joffrey and Margaery's wedding

He sang a few love songs and retired. "What a disappointment," Lady Olenna complained loudly. "I was hoping for "The Rains of Castamere. [7]

Olenna Redwyne, at Tommen and Margaery's wedding

References and Notes

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