Robb StarkOn this week's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Old Gods and the New," we'll see what happens as a result of a lot of the buildup from last week. As we're more than halfway through the season, a lot of these storylines should at least attempt to resolve themselves, or come together in some way.
We left Arya with an unexpected power, Daenerys trying to plan how to launch an attack, the people becoming restless under King Joffrey's rule, Tyrion scheming behind his back, Robb Stark winning battles, and Robb's younger brother Bran having a scary dream about the fate of Winterfell -- we'll see if what he saw becomes a reality as Theon Greyjoy attemps to prove himself.
Needless to say, there's a lot going on! And of course this episode was jam-packed, so there won't be much time for book/show comparisons (though I will admit, many of the storylines are moving away from the book, which is starting to get annoying). Spoilers ahead!
Winterfell: Theon Greyjoy annouces to Bran that he's taken Wintefell. He convinces Bran to yield in order to save his people. "Did you hate us the whole time?" poor Bran asks, as Theon grew up with the Starks.
Ser Rodrik Cassel, the master-at-arms at Winterfell, has always been a loyal servant to the Starks and openly defies Theon. Theon hesitantly sentences him to death while the two Stark kids cry and beg for his life. Theon couldn't even slice Cassel's head off in one swing and eventually had to kick it off. What a pathetic dude.
He also seems to gain an ally and lover in Osha, the wilding who believes in the powers of Bran's dreams. Turns out she has another plan, and along with Hodor, helps Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and their direwolves to escape Winterfell. Guess there's nothing like a good lay to ensure Greyjoy would be sound asleep as they fled.
Robb Stark: He and his mom Catelyn finally reunite. She also watches him flirt with Lady Talisa, and I'm completely uninterested in them together. They get news about Winterfell being taken and of Rodrik's death.
Beyond the Wall: Jon Snow and his party of scouts are on the hunt for wildings. They get into a skirmish with some of them, and Jon attacks a woman wilding, Ygritte, but can't kill her.
Snow loses the scouting party after they leave him to execute her (not sure why they left him??), which yet again he can't do, but at least he gets to spoon with Ygriette to keep warm. Poor guy also has to repeatedly ask her to stop grinding against him. Ah, Night's Watch People Problems ...
Harrenhal: Arya's face when Petyr Baelish is announced is priceless -- she knows that he would know who she is. But he doesn't seem to get a good look at her. Tywin Lannister asks Arya about how she can read, and then he asks what killed her father (who she says taught her ... I love how Eddard Stark's presence is still felt in this series). "Loyalty," she responds. Smart answer, Arya, which Tywin also observes. There's something really amazing about their scenes together!
She steals correspondence with her bro's name on it, but gets caught with the letter. She then names the guy who caught her, Amory Lorch, as the second man to be killed to Jaqen H'ghar. He collapses at Tywin's doorstep.
King's Landing: Cersei's daughter Myrcella is shipped off to Braavos in a political move, and just in time. As the royal family walks through the people, a riot erupts while Joffrey gets some crap thrown at him and then orders the knights to kill everyone. Sansa is saved at the last minute from being raped by an unlikely hero, Sandor Clegane, or The Hound, in a gruesome fashion. Is he perhaps the most badass killer in Game of Thrones?
Unfortunately, none of the rebels manage to take Joffrey, but Tyrion gets a good smack and lecture in at least. ("We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings. But I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot king.")
Qarth: Daenerys has turned down the proposal of Xaro Xhoan Daxos. She requests ships from the Spice King to retake the Iron Throne. She gets denied, even after an impassioned speech. Afterward, the place she is staying is ransacked, and an unknown attacker steals her dragons! Seems nothing can go right for poor Daenerys. Maybe marrying the richest man in Qarth wouldn't be so bad?
Think Baelish recognized Arya? How satisfied were you when Joffrey got smacked by Tyrion?
Image via HBO