Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Rains of Castamere: What's So Funny, Rifftrax?

Mark Twain once said that "humor is tragedy plus time."
Could that also apply to one of the bloodiest and most pivotal episodes in the history of Game of Thrones?

Rifftrax took a brave move by riffing the famous "Rains of Castamere" episode from season three. This was where much of the Stark family was killed in an ambush after a wedding feast hosted by Walder Frey. Apparently since Robb Stark decided not to marry one of Frey's daughters after he promised he would, Frey decided to wipe out a family he doesn't like after he promised he wouldn't. Hey, fair's fair in his mind.

Who would smile or joke during a massacre like that, except the Lannisters?
Really, the only reason to smile at the end of this is the knowledge that one of the few living Starks will make sure he won't get away with it.

Aside from that, the crew of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett do a very good job mocking the subplots of the episode as well as the Red Wedding.
They especially wonder if Mike even watches the show. He insists he can hold his own, but meekly asks if Robb Stark is actually Percy Jackson. He also mistakes Samwell as Mike Meyers in a fat suit.
This is silly, of course. Mike Meyers in a fat suit is the host of The Gong Show.

The episode also looks at Arya hoping to reach the Twins and get to the event, Bran, the future Three-Eyed Crow, hanging out with some kids and Hodor, Daenerys figuring out how to take over Yunkai, and Jon Snow trying to prove himself to his fellow Wildings while spying for the Night's Watch.

Once the Rifftrax gang get to the Red Wedding, the riffs are rather grim, but doing this is still a brave move. If there's a riff that will make fans wince, it's the very last one where Bill sings a song..and it's the worst choice available.

If nothing else, it's a sign that the Rifftrax gang will have quite the time mocking "The Five Doctors" later this month, and not just because of what the Cybermen look like.

OK, riff time...

The Hound comments at Arya's refusal to kill an old man just to take his horse and cart
"You're kind. Someday that will get you killed."
Just like Mother Teresa

Bran wargs into a wolf's body
Little Orphan Annie powers, activate

Walder escorts Roslin Frey to her groom, Edmure (who's glad she's cute)
She's a living anime character

Ser Jonah exaggerates how "easy" it was to take the city
"They threw down their swords and surrendered."
And the nation of France was born

Now the Red Wedding, where Catelyn is hit by an arrow...
That's how my mother felt when I told her I was going into theater

...and Roose Bolton stabs Robb Stark
"The Lannisters send their regards."
I was hoping for an Edible Arrangement

There's also riffs on Bruno Mars, Blue Apron, American Apparel, Les Miserables, NASCAR and Bjork. Sadly, no traditional Golden Corral riff...although it would have fit perfectly in the deadly meal.

I watched this episode twice, once on the app and once with the mp3 online. As usual, the riffs don't start on the app until the dialogue does. That's why you miss a very funny argument in the opening credits over whether the gang is watching TV or HBO. That's also odd since HBO hasn't used that slogan since 2009.

Rifftrax's riff on "Rains of Castamere" is available on the Rifftrax website.