The Rains of Castamere is the name of a dark and ominous song which celebrates Lord Tywin’s slaughterous defeat of House Reyne of Castamere. Lord Tywin’s father, Tytos Lannister, was a very weak man that brought shame upon House Lannister, losing the respect and loyalty of several other houses of the Westernlands. Sensing weakness, House Reyne rebelled against the Lannisters, their overlord house to whom they had sworn fealty. Though just an adolescent, Tywin Lannister took control of the Lannister armies and crushed the rebellion. He then executed every man, woman and child of House Castamere, ending their bloodline forever — today they no longer exist. It was this event that put Lord Tywin on the map as a powerful military commander and ruthless leader. As such, he was later summoned to King’s Landing by the Mad King to serve as Hand to the King. The Rains of Castamere not only remembers Tywin Lannister’s eradication of House Reyne, but also serves as a reminder of what will come to anybody that dares cross Lord Tywin or House Lannister.
The Rains of Castamere was first heard at the Red Wedding. As the music changed from jovial wedding music, to the dark sounds of the Rains of Castamere, Catelyn Tully began to realize that something bad was about to happen.
The song appeared again in the season premiere of season 4, as Prince Oberyn hears a Lannister singing the song in the room next door, before putting his dagger through the Lannister’s wrist.
The song appeared for a third time at the Purple Redding, as a trio sang the song before King Joffrey, who threw coins at them before telling them to stop. That trio was the real life group Sigur Ros, whose version of the song appeared in the credits at the end of the episode (also below).
TITLE & LYRICS
The title of the song is a play on words, as the lyrics sing of the “rains” that fall over the hall of the “Reynes,” with “no one there to hear”, since they are all dead. The lyrics are sang from the perspective of Lord Reyne, asking Lord Tytos Lannister “And who are you, that I must bow so low?” House Reyne’s sigil was a red lion, while House Lannister’s is a golden lion, as Lord Reyne continues, “Only a cat of a different coat, that’s all the truth I know.” Full lyrics below, as well as the aforementioned version by Sigur Ros.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, my lord, as long and sharp as yours. And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere, But now the rains weep o’er his hall, with no one there to hear. Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall, and not a soul to hear.