The Red Wedding

TV show Game of Thrones (2011)
One of the most memorable episodes of the series, The Rains of Castamere revolves around the Red Wedding, when Robb Stark (Richard Madden) is betrayed by his men during his wedding at the Twins, the castle of Walder Frey (David Bradley). A terrible scene shot in the Moneyglass Estate.

“I’ve given you meat and wine and music, but, I haven’t shown you the hospitality you deserve. My king has married and I owe my new queen a wedding gift.”

Walder Frey (David Bradley)

Winterfell Castle, a clever mix of different places

If Doune Castle in Scotland and Castel Ward in Northern Ireland were first used to shape Winterfell Castle, the showrunners of Game of Thrones quickly decided to build another version of the Stark estate on the Moneyglass Estate, in the heart of County Antrim, not far from Belfast. It is in episode 3 of season 2 that these new settings appear for the first time. When it came time to film The Red Wedding, one of the most terrifying episodes in the novels, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, probably to keep costs down, used the courtyard of Winterfell, which they cleverly disguised as the outer courtyard of the Twins, the castle of Walder Frey (David Bradley), a former vassal of the Starks who had been led to betray them.

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The Red Wedding, a striking scene from the series

It is to David Nutter, an experienced director, notably in post on The Sopranos, that the showrunners have entrusted the direction of the Rains of Castamere, episode 9 of season 3. The latter recalled his experience for the site Shots: “It was an extremely specific and detail-oriented approach, as you might imagine, that saw us shoot for five full days in that big room. It was supremely important to me, though, that, despite the scale of what we were doing and all the various elements that were involved, we focus, primarily, on the emotional countenance of the characters. In other words, the faces. I mean, if we didn’t get that and the accompanying emotions that were swirling around there we didn’t have anything. Very bittersweet and emotional. But also totally professional. These are some of the best actors in the world. They loved their characters it’s not as if they’re the last roles they’ll ever play. Far from it! I was confident that we’d shot the sequence with the utmost level of effectiveness, but it wasn’t until I heard that music – which was played on set, and which was then laid in, with such an eerie tone, in post-production – that I realised the power of the growing dread of the sequence.” Despite all their professionalism, some actors have been permanently marked by the Red Wedding. Michelle Fairley, for example, remained a recluse for a week after the shoot.


David Bradley said he had to recite the speech from the episode The Rains of Castamere 70 times.

Red Wedding
Red wedding. All rights reserved: HBO.
Les Noces pourpres
The Red Wedding. All rights reserved: HBO.

Moneyglass Estate

A hamlet located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, Moneyglass has less than 150 permanent residents.

It is around a beautiful church with the typical architecture of the region that the small village of Moneyglass revolves. However, the town is better known for the land on which the production of Game of Thrones took place for many months to film some of the most important scenes. Quirky fact: the Earl of Antrim also includes a large part of the capital Belfast. Liam Neeson was born there on June 7, 1952.

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By Gilles Rolland

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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