[Twitch is reviewing Game Of Thrones on an episode by episode basis
throughout the current season. Please note that these are being written
from someone who has very deliberately NOT read the books so as to come
to the story fresh and will not be reading the books until after the
series concludes. Should you wish to compare and contrast the books to
the show please be courteous to those who have not read them yet by
limiting discussions to the timeline currently played out on screen as
well. This particular installment delayed somewhat by the ongoing move of ScreenAnarchy HQ, but boxes be damned!]
It took sixteen episodes but someone finally did the sensible thing on Game Of Thrones and threw a big pile of shit into Joffrey's face. And, yes, that was rather satisfying, but more on that in a moment.
After a pair of fast paced, big picture episodes in a row the David Nutter directed The Old Gods And The New steps back a bit for something a little bit more character based. It's time for everyone to get in touch with their emotions with - of course - a bit of full frontal nudity and a beheading thrown in.
We start with the (relatively secondary) storylines before moving on to the big stuff.
On the battlefield Robb puts the moves on the lovely nurse, Talisa, he encountered a couple episodes back. It's going rather well, really, with the young King Of The North putting the moves on to great effect until mother shows up to spoil the mood with a reminder that he is already engaged to someone else. Whoops. Oh, yes, and then word comes that Theon has taken Winterfell and executed Rodrik, which spoils the mood even further.
What's that? Yes, Theon's attack on the coastal town was nothing but a ruse with his main force moving directly on Winterfell itself and if there was any doubt remaining that Bran is a seer then that doubt is entirely gone now. There's also absolutely no doubt that when next Theon and Robb meet, Theon - who comes across like a whiny adolescent next to the far more driven and charismatic Stark - will end up dead. Osha - the wildling captive - gets naked (like anyone wanted to see that) to distract Theon (who is always thinking with his penis) and manages to escape with Bran - carried by his half giant servant - and Rickon, meaning that the younger two Starks are now on the run in the Northlands accompanied only by a wildling and a half giant. And, yes, this does count as a relatively minor event in this particular episode.
The other minor - relatively speaking - plot touched on this time out revolves around Arya, still serving as Tywin Lannister's cup bearer in Harrenhall. Lord Baelish turns up, continuing to play all sides while looking for the best angle to serve his own interests, and certainly recognizes the younger of the Stark girls but keeps the information to himself. As for Arya, she spots a letter regarding her brother Robb and sneaks it out of Lannister's war room, only to be spotted by one of Lannister's key supporters forcing her to call in the second of the three deaths owed her by her strange talking ally.
Daenerys sulks and someone steals her dragons. Maybe next week she'll stamp her feet! It is to dream.
Now on to the big stuff ...
Jon Snow finally gets his first assignment as a ranger and promptly fucks it up. Snow is part of a small band tasked with eliminating the wildling sentries guarding the pass to the stronghold where their forces are massing. They do that bit well enough until Snow realizes that the last wildling standing is a woman. And doesn't kill her. But she's got an axe! Still doesn't kill her. She's told us all she knows. Still doesn't kill her. We don't have anyone to guard her. Still doesn't kill her. We can't set her free. Still doesn't kill her. Other guy goes to kill her. No, no, says Jon, I'll kill her and catch up later. Still doesn't kill her. She runs away. He catches her. Still doesn't kill her. Ties her up instead and now is hopelessly lost in the wild with an enemy woman who he cuddles up to for warmth as she grinds her ass into his groin. The woman - Ygritte - proves herself quite sensible when she points out that Snow is brave but stupid. They spend a lot of time on this bit for a piece where very little actually happens but, hey! It's finally a good amount of time spent north of the Wall and it's pretty obvious that Ygritte is going to become a major character. She's less likely to get naked than Osha, however, because they're in a place that is much, much colder.
And now to the shit slinging. It occurs as the royal family is returning from sending Joffrey's younger sister out of the city to be married and prompts a full on tantrum from the young king - foot stamping included. And if you thought the mood towards the king was sour before the tantrum - i.e. sour enough for a peasant to throw shit into his face - it gets downright surly after he orders his guards to kill everyone present. A full on melee breaks out and - the guards being horribly outnumbered - they do the sensible thing by putting Joffrey into a headlock and simply dragging him to the nearest secure building while he continues to scream at the top of his lungs.
As they hit shelter Tyrion seems to be the only one who realizes that Sansa has been separated from the group - pure politics on his part, or something else - and when Joffrey proves more interested in continuing his foot stamping tantrum than sending someone after the only leverage the Lannisters have to get Jaime back, Tyrion simply slaps him about the head and shoulders. Shaming the boy-king in front of his guards and mother? Probably not the most politically astute thing Tyrion has ever done but, damn, it was satisfying. Luckily for Sansa, the Dog - Joffrey's personal guard who should have remained by him no matter what - has an interest in her that is clearly personal and he turns up to save her from a certain rape and death. And possibly further rape. It got really ugly.
So, here's where things stand: Robb has made his first major mistake - trusting Theon - and it has come back to bite him. Bran is on the run and seemingly coming into some sort of magical powers. Arya is teetering on the edge of exposure. Nobody wants to help Daenerys but they are more than willing to steal her dragons. Joffrey remains a twat but is now a twat who has been publicly shamed both by the public and by his uncle, which likely makes him even more dangerous. And Snow has a cuddle-buddy.
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