Game of Thrones S02E06 Recap & Review: Spoiler Alert
Game of Thrones S02E06: 'The Old Gods and the New'
Welcome back, Dire Wolf fans! Here's the recap for Game of Thrones S02E06, "The Old Gods and the New". As you probably guessed, there are about a thousand spoilers ahead. Peter Dinklage with top billing in the opening sequence, because Impin' ain't easy. What, exactly, does Melisandre have to do to get an ass-print on the Westeros map?! Don't the producers realize that she takes this sort of thing as a challenge? Anyway, let's get into it.
That's Prince Theon to You
Monk Terence Stamp Maester Luwin is cornered by swordsmen as he's affixing a note to a Raven. Had Winterfell used Thunderbird instead, then this would have gone more smoothly. Theon Greyjoy and the crew of the Sea Bitch have invaded Winterfell, a pretty impressive feat for one shipload of dudes, even if Winterfell's toughest are off with Team Stark down south. Theon confronts a bedridden Bran Stark, who is completely unimpressed. Bran isn't afraid of Theon at all. Theon needs to take badass lessons from Bran.
Only by appealing to Bran's sense of decency, to spare Winterfell's civilians, can Theon even get the crippled child to yield. Bran asks, "Did you hate us the whole time?" Good question- Theon has no answer for that.
Let's just say that Theon Greyjoy's occupation of Winterfell will probably look a lot like the USA's occupation of Baghdad. Indeed, Theon charges Luwin with sending two ravens: one to Balon Greyjoy, and one to Theon's sister Yara. Note that there's no cc or bcc fields for raven messages, so Luwin can pretty much send whatever he wants.
Meanwhile, Osha the Wildling sees an opportunity to step up in the world, and asks to serve Theon as a warrior. Theon is either too proud or too thick to realize that, by spurning Osha, he just makes another enemy where he could have found an easy ally: Osha has no reason to love the Starks.
Rodrik, brought back as prisoner, spits in Theon's face. Theon's first mate convinces the new lord of Winterfell to make Rodrik pay... the iron price. Rodrik himself has to goad Theon into doing the deed himself, as Ned Stark (RIP) would have done. Theon makes a dog's breakfast of it, taking several hacks and a kick to get through Rodrik's neck. Time to this episode's first fatality: roughly 11 minutes 30 seconds, depending on when during the hack-a-thon Rodrik actually died.
Jon Snow and the Rhetoric of the Night's Watch
Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow, Qhorin Halfhand, and Jon's badass Dire Wolf are on their seek-and-destroy mission. Their discipline is amazing, since they're surrounded by some amazing ski-touring lines. Actually, Qhorin is the first person in the series so far to tell Jon something useful: that the Night's Watch is fighting not just the Wildlings but the North itself (an impossible task, obvs), and that he should value his own life. Old Halfhand is kidding... but he's not. D'you oonderstand meh?
Meanwhile, Ghost the Dire Wolf is wandering off on his own.. but do Dire Wolves really wander? Jon wonders.
Arya Stark: Wine Ninja
At Harrenhal, Tywin Lannister is surrounded by dumbasses. He may be one himself, seeing as how he still keeps Arya Stark close by. There's somebody at the door! It's Petyr Baelish! Holy shit, what now? Arya and I had the same expressions on our faces. Not a happy expression. Now, Arya can't let Petyr see her face, or she's basically fucked. She can't trust Petyr as far as she can throw him. Arya is serving wine from the shadows like a pro: she can take over the Splinter Cell series when Sam Fisher retires.
Petyr Baelish is lobbying for Margaery Tyrell now, though it's hard to stay focused on him, since watching Arya stay in Stealth Mode is way more entertaining. That's saying something, since Petyr is seriously laying down his thang. Oh, wait, shit, Petyr is onto Arya. Now he's running two games at once, that multitasking motherfucker.
Jon Snow: Failure to Execute
Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand are in ninja mode, creeeeeeeping up on the Wildling lookouts. This is totally a Splinter Cell episode. The Night's Watch rangers totally smoke the lookouts, but Jon Snow ends up cornering... a female Wildling. Dammit, hot redheads are Jon's only weakness. Her name, if you must know, is Ygritte.
Ygritte wants the rangers to burn her friends' bodies, either to warn the other Wildlings... or to prevent them from coming back as fuckin' zombies. They Qhorin decides that Ygritte's gotta die, and Jon volunteers. Do you believe he'll really kill her? I don't, but Qhorin does, so he leaves Jon to it.
Jon Snow, being too postmodern to execute a woman, hesitates, and so Ygritte legs it. jon chases her halfway across the damn' North before catching and once more failing to kill her.
#OKL: Occupy Kings Landing
Cersei Lannister is trying to lay a guilt trip on Tyrion Lannister for sending her daughter Myrcella away. I know, right? Like Cersei isn't responsible for this shit to begin with. Cersei then turns it into a threat. Tyrion looks bored, and then annoyed. He walks away in silence.
Joffrey Baratheon, whom we haven't seen in weeks, pipes up, telling his little half-brother not to cry like a bitch. Well, I concede that Joffrey is the expert on being a bitch. Sansa Stark calls Joffrey on it, saying, "I saw you cry". Which she did; let the record show that Joffrey cried like a little biiiiiitch after getting served by Arya.
Sansa has to backpedal from her dis, but it's a start. It's a start. Joffrey struts off like a douchebag, pissing off The Hound as he goes. Now Joffrey is among his subjects, not one of whom respects him. They're basically haranguing him in the street. Tyrion gets the royal entourage to get Joffrey out of the public eye ASAFP, before any grassy-knoll shit breaks out.
Too late: someone throws shit at Joffrey; it wasn't me, I have an alibi, I was typing up this recap. A full-on riot breaks out as Joffrey throws a tantrum. People are literally getting torn limb from limb. Sansa is left on her own, chased by some pissed-off members of Occupy Kings Landing.
Tyrion, acting on our behalf, literally slaps some sense into Joffrey. Meanwhile, The Hound goes off on his own to rescue Sansa, who is about to be brutally gang-raped. Because his driver's licence says "Hound, The", he does it in the most violent way possible. If you don't like seeing dudes get disemboweled, then this is not the scene for you. The Hound calls Sansa Stark "little bird". Awww. Somebody has a crush.
Does Jack Gleeson get attacked in the street in real life since Game of Thrones hit HBO? In this case, perhaps assault is the sincerest form of flattery, but I do not endorse it.
I Really Want to Smack the Spice King. Does That Make Me a Bad Person?
Daenerys Targaryen is waiting for a meeting with the Spice King, the second richest man in Qarth (other than Xaro Xhoan Daxos, natch). It's that blowhard who wants to check out her... dragons.
The Spice King, a condescending little prick, I must add, points out that Daenerys has "a talent for drama". Daenerys emerged alive from a bonfire with a bunch of dragons, homie: it doesn't get much more dramatic than that.
Daenerys wants some of the Spice King's ships, but he doesn't want to play ball. To be fair, the Spice King has a point: Daenerys' plan isn't very solid: she has no army or reliable friends in Westeros. Daenerys also has no real understanding of what's going on in Westeros. (What she has, though, are dragons and a tribe of desert nomad warriors who would die for her; has the Spice King considered that before talking to her like she was a toddler?)
Arya's Hit List Part 2: The Revenge
Tywin is confiding in Arya that Jaime is dyslexic: he reversed letters in his head. He also reversed the roles of "girlfriend" and "sister", but that's unrelated. As it were. Arya gets Tywin monologuing, and steals a note left on the table pertaining to her brother Robb's troop movements.
Arya totally blows it when challenged by Amory Lorch, a Lannister soldier, and she runs for it. Crap. At least she knows that Robb Stark's army is headed for Silverhill, wherever the hell that is. Amory is on the way to warn Tywin that Arya was up to no good. Double crap.
Time to call in a favor with... Jaqen H'gar, the Hitman of Harrenhal!
Jaqen manages to find and kill Amory just in the nick of time. Obviously Tywin knows that something is horribly wrong, but, if Arya's lucky, he doesn't suspect that it's directly to do with her.
Arya has one contract-kill left. She better use it wisely.
Robb Stark sets his eye on Talisa Maegyr, that woman who was tending the wounded after the full-on Dire Wolf assault a few episodes back. He's cock-blocked by his mom, Catelyn. He's like, "Uh, Mom, this is Talisa". It's awkward. Talisa leaves, and Robb checks out her bum as she goes. Catelyn catches Robb staring at Talisa's ass. Heh.
Tyra-Mail! We all know the news from Winterfell...
Jon and Ygritte: Spooning on the Ice
Jon Snow has Ygritte leashed like a snarky Gollum. Frodo never spooned with Gollum on a frozen rock, though. Those of you weighing Game of Thrones against Lord of the Rings, just keep that in mind. Ygritte scoots closer to Jon, with the promise of HBO sex and/or betrayal and/or murder.
This just in: Rose Leslie, who plays Ygritte (who I'm convinced will eventually hook up with Jon Snow, I mean come on) also appears in Downton Abbey. I don't follow Downton Abbey, alas. This surprises many people.
Robb Stark: Delegating Revenge
Robb Stark is like, "Are you fucking shitting me?!" Catelyn is like, "I told you so", and, to be fair, she did. Tell him so. Robb wants to re-route the Team Stark Whoop-Ass Train back up North, but an advisor (is this a guy from House Bolton?) tells him to stay the course, and let his allies from the Dreadfort handle it.
Theon Greyjoy has only the crew of the Sea Bitch to hold Winterfell, right? Can Yara's 500 men beat reinforcements from the Dreadfort (sounds like a pretty badass place, even in the North) to the city gates? Indeed, did Monk Terence Stamp even send those ravens? Robb wants Theon alive... so's he can kill him.
Theon is so predictable: he brought Osha back to his quarters. What can she offer 'im? Well, HBO sex, for starters.
A Lesson from Biggie Smalls
Shae, Tyrion Lannister's hootchie, is tending to Sansa Stark's injuries and explaining why the folks in #OKL are so pissed off. Shae also implores Sansa to trust nobody. This is Rule #3 in Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments, so take heed.
Fly by Night
Post-HBO sex, Osha silently creeps out of Theon's chambers, killing one of his men under the guise of seduction. I defy you to watch About a Boy in the same way again. Osha is leading the Starks and their Dire Wolves out of Winterfell.
Remember the thing about Theon, and his being an idiot for blowing off Osha? Payback's a Wildling.
The Great Dragon Heist
Daenerys Targaryen isn't getting anywhere in Qarth because she has no battle plan and she won't put out. It's about to get much, much worse... someone killed her entourage and stole her dragons.
Can't have Team Dragon Mama without the dragons.
Game of Thrones S02E06 Review
Another cracking episode, with plenty of action, by which I mean "sex, violence, and wolves, along with A-story movement". One thing I noticed: Ygritte's and Osha's tactics were virtually identical: use sex to escape. Only Osha was successful, at least so far. Westeros is an unreconstructed "man's world", but women are not without their weapons. Meanwhile, the only option offered to Daenerys Targaryen that didn't involve lying back and thinking of Westeros comes from Jorah Mormont, the dude who actually gives a fuck about her.
Brienne and Arya are around to remind us that, should sexuality fail, there's the old standby of stabbing the shit out of people.
I give this episode four deadly seductions out of a possible five. No Dire Wolf kills, even though there were plenty of in-story opportunities.
A surprise MVP award goes to Tywin Lannister. Come on, we finally see him as a human being, and we're still not sure if he's onto Arya's true identity yet. Runner up: Ygritte. I could have easily watched another scene of her winding Jon up. Comedy gold.
I'm presuming that the Spice King took Daenerys' dragons, but it could also have been Skeleton David Blaine from the House of the Undying (you don't just introduce a place called "the House of the Undying" without later visiting it, right?). Either way, the Spice King will surely get the heat for the dragon heist first.
I'm also presuming that she'll make some sort of deal with Xaro to stage a dragon rescue.
The clusterfuck that is the war for Westeros is about to get more complicated, with the Dreadfort moving against Winterfell, and Osha and Bran running around in the woods. What about the three-eyed raven?
I can't help but think that Petyr Baelish left that note for Arya, though maybe I just missed something during the earlier war-council scene. Splinter Cell Arya Stark was just too entertaining.
I hope the writers of The Walking Dead are watching Game of Thrones: this is how you move a story ahead in one-hour increments.