In the season 3 episode titled "Rains of Castamere", the band at the wedding starts to play a song that worries one of the guests. I later found out that the song was "The Rains of Castamere" - the Lannisters' "song".

Without having read the books, how would I have known that the song being played was of any significance at the wedding?

Further, how would those who HAVE read the books know what the songs sound like - especially since even if they knew the lyrics to the song, it was only orchestrated at the wedding without any words being sang.

This question can be applied to all of the songs including but not limited to the Starks, Greyjoys, etc..

  • I hope none of what I wrote was a spoiler - feel free to add a spoiler tag to any of the text if anyone deems anything a spoiler in that question. Thanks!
    – Mkalafut
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    Didn't they foreshadow Rains of Castamere? I have not studied the TV-series that close, but I remember hearing it played many times. I seem to recall having heard it before I saw the show in the videos posted by the genius violin player.. around 7 minutes in youtube.com/watch?v=QLAkh0o6KKE ... But of course, knowing what would happen, I did not need to recognize it, I just knew from the context.
    – TLP
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:23
  • Cersei explains to Margaery in Season Two: Episode Eight "Second Sons" what the song is. then in the next episode, the song is played (during the Red Wedding)...
    – Möoz
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


Note that it must have been a pretty famous song. People knew it. It worried them because it was a Lannister 'song' and it was being sung at a Tully - Frey wedding.

I don't really think you could have known that this song was of significance at the wedding if you hadn't read the books. That must have been the point of the guest being worried. It was the way of the director to show you that the song was 'weird' to play at this specific wedding.

I don't think even those who had read the book could understand the song, since it had no lyrics. It must have been hard to show to the viewers what has easily been described in the book.

The only way (I can think of) to describe something like that in TV is to have someone say it. OR if you have a way to read the protagonist's thoughts (like you can do in a book).

  • +1 great answer, thanks - that's exactly what I was wondering.
    – Mkalafut
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:19
  • So basically, the only way to know that it was important, would be by the reactions and thoughts that are indeed explained in the books?
    – Mkalafut
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:25
  • Yes, pretty much. What I found in the book was just that the musicians started playing a song (without the words). Catelyn realised immediately that it was 'Rains of Castamere'. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:25
  • That's pretty much it Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:27
  • 3
    also, note that (as I recall) Catelyn was the only Stark to actually recognized the song when it started, so as a viewer you would have been in the same position as any other guest: your only indication that something was up would be noticing Catelyn's reaction.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 21:37

The song was also sung / played in the Episode "Blackwater" from Season 2, once by Lannister soldiers before the battle (around the 10 minute mark) and once over the credits at the end. Both times it includes parts of the song text.

It is also heard in some former episode, where Tyrion whistles it.

So viewers of that episodes might remember / recognize the song when the musicians start playing it at the wedding.

Sources / more info: [1] [2]

  • 3
    +1 this. There was plenty of foreshadowing for the Rains of Castamere. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:02

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