The Most Disturbing ‘Game of Thrones’ Dinner Isn’t the Red Wedding

The Big Picture

  • The Red Wedding and the Purple Wedding are two of the most memorable scenes in Game of Thrones, featuring a bloody betrayal and the deaths of several key characters.
  • In Season 6, Arya Stark avenges the Red Wedding by infiltrating the Twins and killing Walder Frey, serving him a meat pie made from his own sons. The scene is both nauseating and satisfying.
  • Despite initially appearing to be downplayed, the Feast at the Twins is an important moment for Arya’s character, showcasing her skills as a Faceless Man and her ability to get revenge on her list of names.

Although Game of Thrones has plenty of wholesome scenes of family dinners and even enemies bonding over food, with the holiday season in full swing and food on the mind, plus the recent announcement that Game of Thrones is getting an official cookbook, it’s a great time to revisit some of the iconic scenes of the series. Game of Thrones is notable for feasts ending in bloody deaths and betrayals. The first account of this is also likely its most famous: The Red Wedding. The wedding of Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) to one of Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) daughters turns bloody in one of the most memorable moments of the show. During the Red Wedding, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) is betrayed by his scheming allies, the Freys, Lannisters, and Boltons, resulting in his own death as well as the deaths of his mother Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), his wife (Oona Chaplin), and his unborn child. Not long after, in Season 4, Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) is poisoned at his own wedding feast (dubbed The Purple Wedding), dying grotesquely in his mother’s arms. However, the most gruesome feast in Game of Thrones, which also happens to be the dinner with the most interesting foreshadowing, happens later in Season 6, and deserves much more credit for its clever foreshadowing and important character work.


Game Of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control over the lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for a millennia.

Release Date
April 17, 2011

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie, Rory McCann, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Conleth Hill, John Bradley



Arya Stark Avenges the Red WeddingArya Stark (Maisie Williams) killing Walder Frey (David Bradley) in HBO's 'Game of Thrones'

In Season 6, Episode 10, “The Winds of Winter,” following the Feast at the Twins, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) finally gets the opportunity to mark a name off her infamous list. In the most interesting instance of Arya using her training as a Faceless Man, she infiltrates the Twins, where Lannister and Frey soldiers are celebrating their victory at Riverrun. Sometime after the celebration, Walder Frey dines alone in his hall, complaining to an unfamiliar serving girl about the absence of his sons, at which point Arya Stark reveals she’s killed Frey’s sons and cooked them into the meat pie he’s eating. Arya subsequently reveals her identity as a Stark and kills Walder the same way her mother, Catelyn Stark, was murdered, by slicing his neck. Although much of what makes this dinner truly grotesque happens off-screen — indicating even a series as graphic as Game of Thrones has limits — Arya’s revenge is sweet and the main course is nauseating. However, in many ways, the scene disappointed viewers hungry for the same high-octane violence, drama, and betrayal as the gruesome dinner parties.

Bran Stark Foreshadowed the Feast At the TwinsIsaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark looking up at something in HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'

In Season 3, Episode 10 “Mhysa,” Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead) recounted the tale of a Night’s Watch cook at the Nightfort who killed and cooked a king’s son into a pie that he served the unknowing king. Bran explains that the king enjoyed the pie so much that he asks for a second helping. The gods curse the cook, turning him into a “Rat Cook” who lives in the Nightfort, killing and eating his own children to survive. Bran stresses that the punishment doled out by the gods wasn’t merely for murder or even for the crime of serving the king’s son in a pie, but rather for the Night’s Watch cook killing a guest beneath his roof. This foreshadowing, which happens three seasons before the Feast at the Twins, occurs just one episode after the Red Wedding, though at this point, Bran was still unaware of the tragedy that befell his family and hasn’t fully realized all of his all-knowing powers as the Three-Eyed Raven. It’s refreshing, amid Game of Thrones‘ many prophesies and curses, to find an instance of foreshadowing without magical influence.

‘Game of Thrones’ Downplayed the Impact of Arya’s Revenge and the Feast at the Twins

Compared to the massacre at the Red Wedding and Joffrey Baratheon’s dramatic death, it initially appears that the Feast at the Twins falls a little flat. However, Arya’s revenge against Walder Frey is successful and the implications of the meat pie are more disturbing than most things that happen at the other doomed diners. Even compared to the greater number of violent deaths shown on screen, none of the other feasts in Game of Thrones are as disturbing as Walder Frey accidentally eating his own sons. Walder Frey’s death is also the only scene where Arya gets fitting revenge against someone on her list of names by using her abilities from her training as a Faceless Man.

It initially appeared that the showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss might have aimed to intentionally downplay the Feast at the Twins so it wouldn’t completely outshine all of Arya’s more important kills to come in later seasons. However, considering that some of Arya’s actions in the final seasons confused many viewers, particularly her defeat of the Night King, and Arya was disappointingly denied her shot at killing Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), the Feast at the Twins becomes more important to her character. Walder Frey might think he’s an important player, but shortly before the Frey patriarch’s death, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) puts Frey in his place, since without the Lannisters, the Freys are failing to hold the Riverlands, so it makes sense that the show might devote less time to Walder Frey’s death.

Game of Thrones is available to stream on Max in the U.S.

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