[Still book 1, season 3]
“‘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, mylord, as long and sharp as yours.’
So he spoke, and so he spoke, that Lord of Castamere.
But now the rains weep o’er his halls, with no one there to hear.
Yes, now the rains weep o’er his halls, and not a soul to hear.”
This song is breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly gruesome at the same time. It is known to be the song of the House of Lannister, being played whenever it seems necessary that adversaries will have to learn, that a Lannister always pays his debts.
The story behind it: During Tytos Lannister’s time being the Warden of the West there were several Houses rebelling against him. One of them being House Reyne. The head of it was the Red Lion, named after his heraldic animal. He had a red lion as his sigil, opposing the golden lion of the Lannisters. Tytos wasn’t known to be good at fighting or fighting down the rebellious houses. But his son Tywin was.
One day he took his men and payed the Reynes (and their allies Tarbeck) a visit, which ended in a bloody massacre and the extinction of both families.
The song is a warning. A warning to everyone, who thinks he / she could threaten or attack the Lannisters. A warning, that doesn’t stay unheard once it is played.
A bard singing this song at the doorsteps of another House could cause families to drop all thought on a rebellion or even disagreement. It says: “Don’t mess with us!”
One of the most impressive uses being the Red Wedding in episode 9 of season 3. Only that this time it wasn’t just a bard singing or a music group playing – the murder followed right away. The only person being aware of the warning before it was too late, was Catelyn Stark. The look on her face, the sudden change of her posture, the certainty that she would not be able to save anyone. That moment was more powerful than the actual happenings afterwards.
But the song is not only a warning for others, but also a motivation for all Lannisters. As seen in season 2 episode 9 right before the battle of Blackwater Bay. In this case it says: “Don’t mess with us, we’ll destroy you!”
While listening excessively to that song over the last couple of days and weeks another picture has come up in my mind. A picture or rather a story I’ll probably use for creating a fanfic in the near future.
Just imagine the following: not all of House Reyne were murdered back then. A child survived, the rightful heir of the Red Lion. (May it be a girl or a boy)
He / she lives his / her life in disguise. Her only goal in life: to find those, who destroyed her house, driven by her need for vengeance. Always with that song on her lips. Singing, humming, whistling. Only the last line is different: ‘Now the Reynes weep o’er his halls, with only one to hear. And now the Reynes weep our his halls, with just my soul to hear.’
I’ll keep you updated on that idea. 🙂
Photo credits: Fan Poster by HBO, found on winteriscoming.net