Game of Thrones Season 3! Holy crap! It delivered pretty much everything we could've wanted in a third season, even for a series that already set the bar super-high then shockingly decapitated that bar while its lovable bar-child watched from afar and seventeen other super-naked bars were nailing each other from behind while on fire.
Angsty, Teenage Dragons! Plotlines actually converging! And the most brutal twist in television history, topping the already-insane Season 1 twist (the much talked-about death of that 'dancing master' sword instructor) and pruning the Stark Family Tree down to one of those goofy little novelty Christmas trees that New Yorkers put in our apartments in December to make them .01% less depressing:
Here's a highly official Recap of Game of Thrones Season 3 comprised of stupid Photoshops and words, and divided by plotline, starting with the most-talked-about twist on television since that time we found out Franklin was actually Bash.
We join Season 3 with Robb Stark's southern campaign still going moderately well, thanks largely to his ability to have his 3 Wolf Chess Pieces go around the 2 Lion ones on his Ultra-Complex Strategy Table, but some dissent begins to creep into the northern ranks when his Uncle, Lord Hoster Tully, defies his orders and attacks a Lannister-controlled mill, undermining his plan to capture "The Mountain" and instead grabbing two random Lannister cousins as prisoners: Importanto Lannister and DefinitelyGonnaLiveAwhileSoLearnHisName Lannister.
Robb then gets double-undermined when Rickard Karstark, still seeking vengeance for his dead son, ends up slaughtering the innocent, imprisoned Lannister children, marking one of the Top 98 Million most despicable acts in this show's three seasons.
Catelyn begs Robb to show Lord Karstark mercy so as not to alienate his bannermen, but Robb remains coldly devoted to his principles, just like his father, a man for whom everything worked out totally awesomely:
When the Karstarks predictably desert his cause, Robb is forced to seek reinforcements from the only potentially North-sympathetic lord with a significant army, the one and only recently-backstabbed Walder Frey, grandfather of Glenn, and the least shady-looking character on television:
Frey tells Robb that he'll overlook the Starks' marriage-slight if one of his lords marries a Frey daughter in his stead, and if Robb comes to The Crossing to issue a formal apology and makes sure to stand nice and upright and not to wear thick armor while making that apology (Robb's like, "That request got real specific by the end, but sure!")
Robb presents himself to Walder Frey at The Crossing, and Frey ridicules his lovey-dovey explanation. Following the Comedy Central Roast of Robb Stark's vow-keeping-ability, Frey demands that the wedding and reception proceed, and everyone gets super drunk and super happy, just as anyone would at a nice, normal, non-murdering wedding reception.
Then, shortly after Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey leave for the Bedding Ceremony, the band begins playing a particular song that raises Lady Catelyn's suspicions:
It's actually "The Rains of Castamere", the official jingle of House Lannister, and it precedes a brain-searing sequence where Frey's soldiers massacre the entire Stark camp, including Robb's pregnant wife, Lady Catelyn, Robb himself, and even the poor direwolf. And, for extra viewer-knife-twisting, the show allllmost makes you think Robb and Catelyn are gonna crawl away alive, but they super-definitively do not:
And so, the entire Stark Army comes to a crushing end at the hands of a wronged side-character from Season 1. Many people were (understandably) furious and/or horrified about this scene, though to be fair, Robb did make two massive errors to put himself in that position: first, he broke his sworn oath to the most unambiguously creepy guy on the show (now that the warlock Pyat Pree is dead), and secondly, he needlessly executed Rickard Karstark and lost half his army.
Oh well! RIP, Young Wolf, and also Everyone.
NEXT UP: Daenerys Finds Out "Slaver's Bay" Isn't Just A Clever Name