While it was a bit less exciting than last week, the newest episode of Game of Thrones still found the series accelerating the plot. Winterfell is under the rule of the ever sleazy Theon, while Sansa got caught in the middle of a riot in King's Landing. Jon Snow got lucky and Robb made some moves on that nurse. And over in Qarth, things are getting weird for Daeny.
Paul Brian McCoy's Brew of Choice for the Evening:
That's a very Lannister Lion on the packaging of Samuel Adams Imperial White, and this is a beer that always pays its debts. It's a hazy amber witbier that clocks in with a 10.30% ABV, with a complex mixture of tastes that echo the variety of Lannisters to choose from. It has a bigger body and mouth feel than a traditional witbier, and opens up to flavors of dry fruits, exotic spices, and floral blossoms. It's pretty, clever, dangerous, and mature – the only thing thankfully missing is the vicious idiocy of Joffrey.
Game of Thrones Episode 2.06- "The Old Gods and the New"
Nick Hanover: I hope we get a hologram Rodrik.
Dylan Garsee: I want hologram Renly…for myself.
Nick: I believe it was Johnny Thunders who said "You can't put your arms around a hologram." Or something like that.
Dylan: I thought it was Ron Paul, but I could be wrong.
Nick: I feel it's relevant to tell an anecdote here, since our riffing on the death of a beloved character occurred in real life too. As we were watching this episode of Game of Thrones, my roommate– who is A Dylan, but not THE Dylan– wandered in just as Rodrik lost his head. Now, my roommate doesn't watch Game of Thrones, but he was pretty baffled by our mostly calloused reaction to the scene. He couldn't believe that Game of Thrones is so fucked up now that a brutal hatchet job execution is pretty much merely shrug worthy.
Dylan: Those who know me personally (and who follow me on twitter @garseed) know that last week I got to a part in the third book that caused a mental breakdown, and at one point I was calling people I know that have read the book just so I could growl at them. So now I think I'm accustomed to most of the GoT deaths, even though tonight was especially gruesome because, like most things he does, Theon managed to fuck up the beheading of Ser Rodrik, ending it with a brutal and bloody dropkick.
And not one eyelash was bat.
Nick: As unfortunate as it was to see Rodrik go, he may as well have begged to get killed. It was obvious that someone in Winterfell was going to fuck up and force Theon to get really nasty, and Rodrik's ill advised public bout of rebellion served that purpose. I believe it's going to be an inciting incident for Bran's development as a character too, and maybe we'll even see what kind of abilities he's subconsciously hiding come to fruition as a result.
Dylan: Bran is holding in a lot of feelings; he's watched everyone around him get killed and he hasn't released any anger. That's going to get the the best of him soon.
But now we must say goodbye to the dopest sideburns this side of the Wall.
Nick: The Theon storyline makes it even clearer how hurried this season is. After the previous episode's shocking opening, it may have been somewhat tame, but there's no doubting that shit is getting terrifyingly real in Westeros. Bran, Rickon and Hodor may be on the run thanks to Osha's feminine wiles, but Sansa found herself on the wrong side of a riot over in King's Landing.
Dylan: This season has been great for fulfilling my biological need for watching Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister get fucked with, and shit to the face made my heart a-flutter.
That riot scene was insane, with how nearly Mortal Kombat-y it became thanks to the arm ripping and gut spilling. But since the Hound was doing all of the dirty work, it never felt over the top.
Nick: It was like we had accidentally changed the channel to the Walking Dead. I'm a little scared of where the Sansa/Hound stuff is going, but with this episode I was cautiously optimistic. I like the Hound as a character and I really, truly hope that Martin doesn't have dark(er) things in store for him and Sansa. That said, I am almost certain Joffrey is going to take his frustrations out on her in some way.
Dylan: The post-riot scene between Tyrion and Joffrey final seemed like all the slapping is starting to go through him, even if rather slowly.
Nick: Maybe he went on tumblr and saw what everyone else thinks of the slapping.
Dylan: "xXbelieber4evahXx doesn't like me?! I'll have her head!"-Joffrey, who totally said that.
Nick: Soon Joffrey will be the Darth Vader of Westeros, with a special mask he wears to prohibit slapping.
Dylan: He'll be like the psychic lady in Quarth. The one wearing chains all over her face, like a La
dy Gaga burka.
Nick: Tyrion needs to get Joffrey under control soon or he'll have to do some major damage control, otherwise he may find himself stuck in the middle of an all-out civil war within King's Landing itself. I have to wonder how long it will be before he reaches out to Tywin for troops or support.
Dylan: Tywin is going to fuck some shit up, because that's how Tywin rolls.
Nick: I wonder if Tywin would side with Tyrion in regards to Cersi and Joffrey's behavior. Tywin is the type who isn't adverse to exiling his kin if they fuck up, as we've already seen over in his storyline, which continued to be an area of the show I'm on the fence about. I love seeing Tywin in action, and he continues to get better and better. But I'm a little tired of things like Petyr randomly showing up and making Arya clumsy and nervous like we're suddenly on a sitcom.
Dylan: That scene was both over the top and for some reason still incredibly tense. Just knowing that if Littlefinger saw just a hair more of Arya, everything would have been drastically fucked, was just terrifying.
Nick: I think he recognized her. He gave her a look at one point that I felt indicated he knew what was up and was trying to figure out how to work it to his advantage…because he's Littlefinger and that's what he does.
Dylan: Littlefinger's moustache is so big because it's full of secrets.
Nick: Like herpes.
Dylan: "Varys, I got the results of the test back. I definitely have HPV."
It was a little disappointing to see Arya have to waste one of her three deaths after she was caught stealing a note from Tywin, but I assume that means the last one will be the biggie. Is she going to use it on Joffrey himself?
Dylan: She needs to save it, because I love Jaquen.
Nick: And on the note of characters you love, Ygritte finally showed up and managed to make a Jon Snow subplot interesting, no small feat, that.
Dylan: I was waiting for Ygritte to say "You know nothing, Jon Snow", but I was rather disappointed. I can wait though, because that moment when she says that line will make me explode with some Mary Katherine Gallagher-esque school girl excitement.
Nick: Outside serving as an obvious romantic interest, Ygritte could be the one to finally get Jon Snow to view the world in less straightforward terms. She's already showing him her kind aren't exactly monsters or beasts and I'm sure there's plenty she could teach him about surviving beyond the wall if he'd stop being such a dick.
Dylan: I just kept waiting for the inevitable sex scene between Jon and Ygritte to go ahead and happen in the snow, but was rather disappointed, I guess because HBO had already fulfilled its boob quota for the week during the riot.
I'm looking forward to how the Jon/Ygritte plot is going to play out, because it took a season and a half for Jon to get interesting.
Nick: Jon still isn't interesting. But his girlfriend is.
Dylan: Liking Jon Snow isn't normal. But on Ygritte it is.
Nick: The storyline also served as a way to fill in some more information about the white walkers. It's too early to really tell yet, but Ygritte's fear of what would happen if her body wasn't burned after or if she wasn't at least decapitated appeared to be a sure sign that the area they're in is white walker territory. I'm still not too clear on whether one becomes a white walker due to location, or if it comes from exposure via a bite or something else. But Ygritte's comments made me think it might be the former, and that by merely winding up in the wrong place you could be "infected."
Dylan: I know this is nitpicking, but how would they have started a fire? I don't think there is anything flammable anywhere near anything in that area.
Or are Westero fires different?
Nick: Yeah, I wondered about that too. Human bodies are not very easy to burn, what with the whole being 75% water thing, so you'd need a really big, really strong fire and I don't think snow would cut it as fuel.
Dylan: Damn it, snow, why aren't you burning?!
Nick: It could be that Ygritte was providing misdirection and the fire talk was meant as a way to get them scared.
Dylan: Well, she is a Wilding.
And a ginger.
Especially a ginger.
Nick: I am going to avoid making any fire joke right now.
Dylan: Fire crotch.
Nick: Speaking of fire crotches, what the fuck happened to Rose? Are we meant to assume that she's still stuck in Joffrey's boudoir of terror?
Dylan: There are so many gingers on this show that are put into sexual misadventures that I just
begin to lose count after a while
Nick: I actually really like Rose. Littlefinger's creepy obsession with her notwithstanding, she's a fun character, and I hope Joffrey's imitation of Patrick Bateman wasn't the end of her.
Dylan: I'd actually like to see more of Joffery behaving badly. He's one of the few pure unadulterated evil characters on TV, and everything he does just adds fuel to the fire that is my hatred to him. It appeals to my love of Martyrs, À l'intérieur, and Salo, which The Human Centipede can never satisfy.
Nick: The only minor character we got much of an update on this week was Robb's personal Florence Nightengale, who is kind of like Shae, but boring and not a prostitute.
Those two things might go together.
Dylan: That's how to describe every unlikable character on this show.
Sam Tarely: boring and not a prostitute.
Theon Greyjoy: Boring and not a prostitute.
Rickon Stark: Boring and not a prostitue.
Nick: Well, Theon's kind of an emotional prostitute. He'll do anything for anyone as long as they just pay attention to him.
Dylan: Everywhere he goes, people don't appreciate/ignore/hate him, and everything he does to try to win people over just digs his grave deeper.
Nick: I can't wait to see Robb deal with Theon, both because I hate Theon and want to see him get his just desserts, and because I think it will give Robb an opportunity to emote and he's been sorely lacking that. He didn't even really get to react to his father's death or mourn, and I imagine that a lot of the unresolved feelings surrounding that will rear their ugly heads then.
Dylan: None of the Starks have had time to comprehend everything, and I can't wait to see that blow up.
Nick: Except Cat, who's arguably done too much emoting. Which is why it was also nice to see her reunited with Robb, as her behavior around him is more relaxed and less stressed.
Dylan: The two of them make me smile so much, like when I see Tyrion and Bronn.
Robb isn't replacing Ned, because that would be creepy. But Catelyn needs a male figure in her life, and I don't think Brienne counts.
Nick: Not yet.
Dylan: I love Brienne so much, she's my favorite giantess.
Nick: Cat's not the only one dealing with the fact that she no longer has a man in her life. Over in Qarth, Daeny had to deal with that asshole the Spice King, who is the most condescending fuck who ever was, and continued to be haunted by the memory of her brother, father and her husband, Khal Drogo. In the case of the former two, she's finding that she's now in the position of being nearly as demanding as her brother and nearly as vulnerable, with the distinct advantage of having a good balance of her father's craziness and the bold assertiveness of her ancestors.
Dylan: I think the Spice King does have a point being an asshat, to some degree,;Daeny and her people live in Qarth for free, and she just sort of demands ships and resources with a promise that she'll pay them back when she does the impossible and conquers Westeros. She's gone through so much be she has to realize that there's more to getting what you want than just yelling I AM DANERYS STORMBORN OF HOUSE TARGARYEN, AND I WILL TAKE WHAT IS MINE WITH FIRE AND BLOOD.
What's sad is that I didn't have to Google that line, because she says it so much that I pretty much have in memorized.
Nick: Oh, of course he has a point, but the way he delivers said point is infuriating. That guy talks like he's the best thing in the world since Tommy Wiseau reinvented football. And Daeny's brash certainty– while also understandable– isn't winning her any friends, as we witnessed in the final scene of the episode, where her guards lay dead and her dragons are stolen.
Dylan: He was as condescending as Tommy Wiseau is fed up with this wuhrl, but I'd be too if a homeless vagabond asked me for 100 ships so her dragons can take over the world.
Nick: Oddly enough, I have yet to be asked that while riding Austin's wonderful transit system.
Dylan: I have been given a Splenda packet as a ticket to a homeless man's art show though.
Nick: Was it at the House of the Undying?
Dylan: I hope it was.
Which brings me to the weekly segment I like to call "Dylan Bitching about the Little Shit the Producers Changed."
So this week, we end the episode on a cliffhanger: a lot of Dothraki people have been killed and the dragons have been stolen. By whom, you ask? Considering Xaro Xohan Daxos was too busy trying to get into Daeny's maxi dress and the Spice King probably had a wig fitting, one can only assume the captor would be none other than Dean Pelton's cousin with a bad case of progeria, Pyat Pree.
While this makes for great television– and I'm not going to lie, I'm really excited about what's going to happen next– NOTHING REMOTELY SIMILAR HAPPENS LIKE THIS IN THE BOOK.
How Daeny gets to the House of the Undying, which is where the dragons are presumably being kept, is mostly along the lines of "this place looks wacky, I'm gonna go inside." While I don't have a problem with them adding plots to the story to make things more interesting– because Daeny's chapters in Clash of Kings are a bore, to say the least– I do have a problem with there being so many good (and important!) plots that were removed, yet something totally fabricated can be added.
Nick: I can't wait until whatever traumatic spoiler you got to happens and you have the opportunity to rant about it.
Dylan: I swear to god, if that scene isn't exactly like it was in the book, I will punch the nearest co-managing editor square in the throat.
Nick: The truth is I keep Danny around specifically for situations like that.
Dylan: Is that who's been watching me sleep?
Nick: I can neither confirm nor deny that.
Dylan: While I search for door locks on Amazon, what are we rating this episode?
Nick: I'd say . It had some great moments, but was nowhere near as good as the highs this show is often capable of.
Dylan: I give it a as well, if solely based on the fact that Ygritte is now a character.
Dylan Garsee is a freelance writer/bingo enthusiast currently living in Austin, TX. He is studying sociology, and when he's not winning trivia nights at pork-themed restaurants, writing a collection of essays on the gay perspective in geek culture. An avid record collector, Dylan can mostly be seen at Waterloo Records, holding that one God Speed You! Black Emperor record he can't afford and crying. You can follow him on twitter @garseed.
When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set and functioning as the Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic for Spectrum Culture and has contributed to No Tofu Magazine, Performer Magazine, Port City Lights and various other international publications. By which he means Canadian rags you have no reason to know anything about. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon and you can follow him on twitter @Nick_Hanover