Red Wedding director remembers everyone crying on set while filming iconic Game of Thrones scene

"The Rains of Castamere" director David Nutter just received a richly deserved lifetime achievement award for his decades of directing great television.

"The Red Wedding" #ForTheThrone Clip | Game of Thrones | Season 3
"The Red Wedding" #ForTheThrone Clip | Game of Thrones | Season 3 / GameofThrones

The Red Wedding is a nigh-legendary event in the history of television. In the ninth episode of the third season of Game of Thrones, "The Rains of Castamere," lead characters Catelyn and Robb Stark attend a wedding at the Twins, a castle lorded over by the vindictive Walder Frey. The wedding is strategically important to Robb's military effort, so it needs to go well. And for a while, it does...

...then, in one of the most shocking turns of events the show ever produced, Walder Frey turns the tables on his guests, killing everyone in revenge for Robb having spurned the hand of his daughter in marriage a season ago. Robb and Catelyn, who I remind you were main characters, both die, along with Robb's wife Talisa and his unborn baby. The sequence marked the moment where Game of Thrones went from being a popular TV series to a phenomenon.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, episode director David Nutter looked back on the experience. "It was the first time I got to see, as a television director, how people reacted to my work," he said, referring to the many reaction videos that made their way onto the internet after the episode aired.

"This was the last episode some of those actors were going to be in the series," Nutter continued. "There was that moment where Oona Chaplin’s character [Talisa Stark] gets stabbed and Robb [Richard Madden] crawls over to her and he’s crying and dying. He needed a bit more motivation so I started explaining to him how much he loved her and saying all these things. He got so into it, everyone started crying. The hair and makeup ladies behind me were crying. Making that show was just as powerful as the scene because we all cared about it so much, and that’s why the audience grabbed onto it."

Just reading him talking about it is putting me back in the mind of watching it for the first time. If everyone on set was crying, what chance did the audience have?

Nutter directed many episodes of Game of Thrones, including barn-burners like "The Dance of Dragons," the one where Daenerys rides Drogon for the first time. However emotional the Red Wedding was, Nutter names that as the most difficult Game of Thrones episode he directed. "The Pit of Daznak [sequence from Thrones season 5]. You have this huge arena full of people. There are gladiator fights. Then there’s a riot. And then a dragon comes in. That was the most difficult," he said.

Nutter has directed many episodes of TV beyond Game of Thrones, including episodes of The X-Files, The Sopranos, Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, Tarzan, Roswell and much more. He's gained a reputation as the "pilot whisperer" thanks to how many series premieres he's directed. He received a richly deserved lifetime achievement award at the latest Directors Guild of America Awards.

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