Merrett Frey ventures into the woods to meet a band of kidnappers. He intends to trade gold for his relative Petyr Frey, but when he meets them, he finds that the kidnappers have already hanged Petyr. They take his gold and horse and then interrogate him. Merrett pleads innocence, until a woman appears, whom Merrett recognizes as Catelyn Stark. She cannot speak, but she nods, confirming that Merrett was among the Frey assassins at the Red Wedding. They hang him from a tree.
The Epilogue concludes the book with an act of revenge, and in doing so it sets the stage for the next novel in the Ice and Fire saga. It’s unclear how Catelyn is alive, though it’s evident that her resurrection is magical or supernatural. We can also assume that Thoros is responsible, as he was the one who brought Beric Dondarrion back to life. What’s certain is that she wants revenge against the Freys for their betrayal of her and her family at the Red Wedding, and the Brotherhood Without Banners is helping her to get it. Their method isn’t exactly an honorable one. They promised Merrett neither he nor Petyr would be harmed if Merrett brought the gold they demanded on time. But Petyr is already dead before Merrett even arrives, and the men of the Brotherhood who meet with Petyr rather casually admit to having lied in order to lure him there. The tactic makes it clear that Catelyn and the Brotherhood are not out to punish the Freys for tarnishing the honor of the Starks, but strictly for revenge. As the novel reaches its end, it seems likely Catelyn’s quest for vengeance will continue in the next book, and that it will play a significant role in events to come.
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