And now I’ve struck a king. Did my hand fall from my wrist? – Tyrion
“Old Gods” opens with the aftermath of Theon’s assault of Winterfell. In an exceptionally bastard-y fashion he demands that a bedridden Bran yield and anyone can plainly see the pleading in Theon’s eyes as he tries to come across as Lord Hardass, but it finally works and Bran gives it up under the assurance that no further casualties will be inflicted. It’s hard to tell what his endgame is in all this: there’s no guarantee that his father Balon will recognize the feat of taking a thinly guarded city from a child as any grand gesture. I don’t think Theon actually hates the Starks as his father does, but if it’s a ruse that requires bluffing to the point of executing Ser Rodrik, Rodrik’s final words ‘Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost,’ then Theon’s officially in it deep. When I saw Rodrik’s means of execution was to be decapitation by Theon’s yet-to-pay-the-iron-price blade, my fears were realized when it was not a swift single swing that Ned Stark delivered to a deserter in the premier episode. Rather it turned out to be an ugly, thrice-hacking ordeal that had to be finished with the stomp of a boot. What an unpleasant way to go. It was moving to hear Rodrik assure young Bran that he was off to see Ned again though.
Mother Stark (under the watchful eye of Brienne the Beauty) and Robb are reunited at the Westerlands as Robb makes further advances towards Talisa. She however elects to leave her personal family details a secret for now as she continues amputations and other medical care at the camp. Upon hearing of Theon’s betrayal, Robb openly ponders the situation before allowing Lord Bolton’s own son to personally oversee the reclamation of Winterfell. It is an interesting direction to go from this point to see whether Robb can actually go through with killing Theon, who was essentially raised as his own brother. Gut-wrenching stuff.
The Ranger party that Jon Snow has been traveling with slaughters all but one of the Wildlings found at a remote post. Because the lone Wilding Ygritte is a female, Jon cannot bring himself to kill her. Maybe it’s how his momma raised him or maybe because of his initial love-hate attraction, but either way he botches the execution twice, electing to keep her prisoner as he finds a way to rejoin his Ranger party. Even with the sexual tension she is exuding, it’s hard to say whether she would return the favor of sparing him should they encounter a Wildling party before Qhorin Halfhand finds them. She did continually suggest that they build a fire to keep warm, with the obvious implication that the smoke would draw the Wildlings to them.
Oh Joffrey, it wouldn’t be GoT without you increasing your own level of hatred fodder. After getting a face full of manure from a peasant in the crowd, Joffrey foolishly orders his men to kill the entire crowd. This leads the riot to take a rather deadly turn and Sansa gets separated in the mix. The near rape of Sansa that followed at the hands of disgruntled peasants was suspenseful and in a show where nothing is off limits, it was entirely plausible to think she could have easily been raped and killed before being rescued by The Hound. For a guy who seemingly cares only for himself, Joffrey had no problem allowing an “anything goes” policy for his future queen. If she had died, what could/would Joffrey have possibly done to save face? Especially at the urging of Cersei. Tyrion pleaded with Joffrey to send guards after Sansa, though his intentions may not have reeked of nobility, as Tyrion is always thinking several steps ahead, reinforcing that he indeed knows how this game is played.
I have to say that Arya being stuck at Harrenhal just got 100% cooler since Jaqen H’ghar has been her genie in a bottle, granting her three deaths of her choosing. I don’t mind Jaqen’s unique manner of speech; had the delivery been less than perfect or a less capable actor been cast, I would write that kind of quirkiness off as hipster-esque pretentiousness. But thankfully neither one of those descriptors even begin to rear their ugly heads and I’m very curious to see who Arya’s third choice will be after she ends up wasting one on Ser Amory Lorch who catches her with one of Tywin’s private documents. Seeing Lorch drop dead with a dart to the jugular was amazing as the viewer must depend on their imaginations regarding how this killing blow was delivered considering the rather immediate nature of Arya’s request.
Meanwhile at the far off Qarth, Daenerys situation goes from bad to worse. First the Spice King rejects her pleas for ships, belittling her with her own flawed logic over her legitimacy of throne reclamation. Seeing the strewn bodies of her guards and servants who were slaughtered in an unbelievably brutal fashion was harrowing as well as the final crux was the sight of the empty dragon cages. Presumably the hooded figure seen carrying them toward the tower was a member of the House of the Undying that were seen last week. If that is the case, I’m curious to see the means which they used to kill so many of the battle-hardened guards of Daenerys; I mean they looked feeble, they must derive their power from some supernatural origin.
Final Grade: A
TRR TV Revue by Jacob Aquino