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The Reynes of Castamere: The History Behind the Dreaded 'Game Of Thrones' Song

Many fans are unaware of the song's history, and the deeper, darker meaning behind its lyrics.

Marriage and "Rains of Castamere" is a deadly combination, apparently. What many fans don't know is that the song has a history, and the lyrics especially have a deeper meaning. Whenever the song has been played, Game of Thrones fans have been terrorized as the song brings with it an ominous feeling and the promise of death. We all remember The Red Wedding, don't we?

We didn't know why the episode was named "The Rains of Castamere," but as Lothar got up and stabbed pregnant Talisa numerous times in the womb, the realization hit us hard and we could only clutch our heads in shock. It was called The Red Wedding and since then the song has struck fear into our hearts whenever it has been played. Let's see what nerve-racking history is hidden behind the song.

The Red Wedding. 'Game of Thrones'. [Credits: HBO]

The "Rains of Castamere" was sung as a reminder of the destruction of House Reyne by Tywin Lannister, son of Tytos. House Reyne of the Westerlands, was formerly sworn to House Lannister of Casterly Rock and had their seat in Castamere. The house is now extinct which means that no living members of the house exists.

House Reyne was one of the wealthiest families of Westeros for some time, second only to the Lannisters. However, their pride and lust prevented them from being content with it. The last Lord Reyne built a grand castle which was even bigger than Casterly Rock and gave his wife diamonds bigger than the ones Joanna (Tywin's wife) had ever worn.

Tywin Lannister. 'Game of Thrones'. [Credits: HBO]

Eventually, House Reyne felt that their liege-lord Tytos Lannister had grown weak. They felt that House Lannister's rule over the Westerlands has grown fragile under the influence of Tytos. Hence, House Reyne along with House Tarbeck of Tarbeck Hall openly challenged House Lannister. The very first line of the song suggests the beginning of the rebellion,

And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?

Tywin, unlike his father marched his forces against them and totally destroyed both houses. He put the castles of Castamere on fire and executed all surviving members of the house - man, woman, child alike. He then subsequently hanged the corpses of the executed Reynes from the gates of Casterly Rock on public display. The song, therefore, has always been a soft warning to people that whoever challenges House Lannister shall meet the same fate as House Reyne.

A band singing the Rains of Castamere in the Purple Wedding. 'Game of Thrones'. [Credits: HBO]

Thus goes the song,

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.

Here, the proud lord is the last lord of House Reyne who challenged House Lannister. House Reyne's sigil was quite similar to that of House Lannister's, the only exception being that the lion in House Reyne's sigil was red as opposed to the golden one in House Lannister's. That's indicated in the line In a coat of gold or a coat of red. The rest of the words would make sense now that we know about the Reyne Rebellion. This song has always been followed by dreadful incidents on Game of Thrones and the lyrics itself suggest of one.

Sigil of House Reyne. 'Game of Thrones'. [Credits: HBO]

The Rains of Castamere has always been used effectively by the Lannisters to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. Cersei recounted this story to Margaery in order to intimidate her. Lord Frey played this song before murdering half of the Starks at the Red Wedding. The Red Wedding and the Purple Wedding need no separate mentions. Even Lady Olenna quoted a line from the song before drinking the poison. Let's hope we don't have to hear this tune in the final season of Game of Thrones.

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The Reynes of Castamere: The History Behind the Dreaded 'Game Of Thrones' Song
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