'Game of Thrones' recap: 'The Old Gods and the New'

Somebody stole Dany's dragons

May 06, 2012|By Luke Broadwater | The Baltimore Sun

Three important things happened on Sunday's episode of"Game of Thrones."

1) Somebody stole Daenerys Targaryen's dragons. 

2) The traitor Theon Greyjoy sacked Wintefell.

3) And The Hound's badass quotient went up by about eighty.  

First things first:

If Daenerys Targaryen's three baby dragons are the metaphorical equivalent of the atomic bomb, we've got some rogue nukes out there in the east.

Dany spent the episode, entitled "The Old Gods and the New," trying to buy ships and an army for her triumphant return to the Seven Kingdoms, only to return home to Xaro Xhoan Daxos' palace to find her prized possessions stolen and many of her men slain.

It appeared that one of those nasty, corrupt warlocks was carrying the toddler dragons off as the episode ended. Dark magic and dragon fire could be a pretty destructive combination, one thinks.

"Where are my dragons?" a distraught Dany shouted. (Poor Dany. Can't she marry Jon Snow already and take over the world as its true king and queen?)

While Dany was suffering in the east, the west, as usual, was full of traitors.

The episode opened with the turncloak Theon Greyjoy seizing a lightly guarded Winterfell with a skeleton crew. "You don't give commands any more, little lord," Theon told Brandon Stark, whom he once might have considered his brother. 

Theon sentenced Ser Rodrik Cassel to death, but did a crappy job trying to cut his head off. It took Theon about four awkward hacks to sever the old man's neck from his body, proving once and for all that he was never a real Stark.

We hadn't had a good beheading in a while on "Game of Thrones," and, after that showing, we still haven't.

As surprising as it sounds, Theon is actually somewhat more likeable on the show than he is in the books. In the novels, chapters are told entirely from Theon's perspective and a reader gets to see what a self-important, entitled, ambitious poseur he truly is. Actor Alfie Allen portrays Theon as almost having a conscience, which makes him slightly more sympathetic than Theon on paper.

Arya Stark, meanwhile, continued to impress Lord Tywin Lannister in her duties as his cupbearer at Harrenhal. Through not in the books, this Arya-Tywin interaction has had some of the show's best character development to date. Tywin revealed that Jaime Lannister has dyslexia and he used to tutor his son four hours a day. (Tywin is also more likable on the show than in the books.) He praised Arya's smarts ("Maybe you should devise our next battle plan") and when Tywin asked the Stark girl what killed her father, she said, "Loyalty." How true. Sad, but how true.

When he wasn't looking, Arya stole a note from Tywin that contained her brother Robb Stark's name, and is forced to use a second of the three deaths Jaqen H'ghar promised her covering up the theft.

Her half-brother (if anyone truly believes Ned Stark would father a bastard son, which your humble author does not) Jon Snow meanwhile refused to kill a wildling woman he captured named Ygritte, and she quickly develops something of a crush on him. You can see a line being drawn between Snow and Greyjoy, who were both somewhat of outsiders at Winterfell. Snow can't bring himself to execute a woman, while Greyjoy is pathetically chopping the head off an old man.

Meanwhile, at King's Landing, Tyrion and Cersei Lannister were continuing their feud. When Myrcella is sent off to Dorne, Cersei tells her younger brother: "I want you to know what it's like to love someone, to truly love someone, before I take her from you."

It seems the common folk in King's Landing don't like the Lannisters any more than they like themselves. As the royal family was walking through the city, a riot broke out when someone threw a handful of crap and hit King Joffrey in the face.

"I want these people executed," Joffrey screamed, exacerbating the situation.

"They want the same for you," he hound told him, in between straight-up eviscerating men in the crowd.

Fed up with Joffrey's petulant idiocy, Tyrion slapped the crap out of him.

"We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings. I dont know whether we've ever been cursed with a vicious, idiot king," he said.

A band of depraved perverts then tried to gang-rape Sansa Stark, but The Hound intervened at the last moment, slicing them them apart. I've never liked a Lannister henchman more than at that moment. If there's a badder dude on the show, he has yet to reveal himself.

But while The Hound was busy saving Sansa Stark, the wilding Osha ended the episode doing the same for the two youngest Starks. Osha seduced Theon, killed one of his men and escaped with Bran and Rickon (and, of course, Hodor) from Winterfell. They ran off into the woods near the castle.

Theon may now call himself a prince, but he's proving pretty inept at commanding a city. I wouldn't mind watching a run-in between him and The Hound.



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