Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 6: The Old Gods and the New

I will begin by again linking to HBO’s most excellent guide to the 10,000 characters on this show, to help people keep up with who is who.

We begin with Bran’s dream about the Sea coming to Winterfel coming true. Theon Greyjoy lead his forces to attack one of the Stark’s bannermen and while their forces were away, they then invaded Winterfel. Theon then spends a lot of time almost begging everyone to acknowledge him as the Lord of Winterfel – it’s a well presented scene as, even with his forces all around and the keep controlled by his men, he is still blustering for control. Osha offers obedience to Theon to fight for him (and, unnecessarily, makes it clear this is Bran’s dream coming true). He throws that he was a hostage in their faces – especially the extremely defiant Ser Roderick, but they know they raised him and treated him better than a hostage needed to be and no-one respects his defence. As the defiance escalates, Theon is forced to execute Ser Roderick – again it’s really well acted with Theon driven to do things he doesn’t like and knows are wrong to try and prove himself to his men – and Roderick dies with incredible dignity.

I have to praise again the acting in this entire scene, from Theon’s conflict to Roderick’s dignity to the people’s grief – it’s very well done.

Osha continues to try and ingratiate herself with Theon. Which involves her getting naked, of course, and exchanging sex for her freedom. While Theon is asleep she sneaks out, seduces and kills another guard (shame she didn’t kill Theon) and flees the castle with Bran. Hordor, Rickon and their dire wolves.

Arya is still in Lord Tywin’s camp and we get to see Tywin’s harsh but extremely intelligent and perfectionist leadership style. It’s hard not to respect him even as he is one of the villains. Then Lord Baelish arrives – Baelish who knows what Arya looks like. Baelish and Tywin discuss the death of Renly, the undeclared nature of the Tyrells (the house with the third largest army in the Seven Kingdoms, Loras and Maegery’s house). Baelish proposes recruiting the Tyrells to the Lannisters for the sake of revenge against Stannis. All the while Arya tries to hide who she is from Baelish.

Later Arya and Tywin have some conversational back and forth which, again, is really well done. He questions her reading and family. We also learn that Jaime appears to have been dyslexic. She also manages to steal a note from the table – though I think it may have been planted by Tywin. She is caught with the note and has to run to Jaqen to name another man to die – and he does, just as the man opens the door to see Lord Tywin.

In Kings Landing Myrcella is being sent to Dorne according to Tyrion’s plans – and Cersei is not happy and makes that viciously clear. Joffrey is, of course, as vile as ever, expressing disgust for his little brother crying at his sister’s leaving. Sansa tries to interject some humanity but, of course, Joffrey doesn’t have any. And he has to go back to the palace surrounded by hostile – and hungry – commoners. Tyrion sees the riot before it happens – but it flares when someone throws a cow pat at Joffrey and he demands the crowd be executed. Oh why can’t someone kill him already.

Joffrey rants and screams – but Tyrion is equally hacked off with him and sets him down with some excellent lines and points out that they only threw a cow pie at him – and that because they’re starving because of his war. I don’t approve of slapping children but it’s hard not to approve of slapping Joffrey. In fact I’m going to rewind and rewatch it. It’s almost therapeutic. And again. Tyrion is also the only one who worries about Sansa who has been separated from them during the riot – though at least part of that concern is that they’ll never get Jaime back without Sansa.

Sansa has been captured and dragged down by a gang of men intent on raping her – until she is saved by Sandor Clegane, the Hound who left Joffrey’s side to find her during the riot. Two people who care about Sansa at least. While Sansa wasn’t stripped nude, another woman has her breasts randomly bared during the riot.

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