Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 16: The Old Gods and the New
I read some pretty nasty spoilers by accident while checking names for yesterday’s post. I hope you’re happy, George R. R.! Now I want to read your books so I can just read ALL the spoilers at once.
Episode 16, “The Old Gods and the New,” opens up in Winterfell. Maester Luwin is scrambling to send a crow out with a message as chaos ensues outside. Winterfell is under siege! If we were unclear on this, Theon storms into a sleeping Bran’s room and informs him, “I took it! I took Winterfell.” Everything about Theon screams “trying too hard.” How weird it must be for Bran, for his older foster brother to be trying to take away his castle?
Bran pledges allegiance to Theon to spare the lives of the people of Winterfell. Ser Rodrick, having been captured after killing two of Theon’s men, defies him publicly. Dagmer advises Theon to execute him, to gain the respect (fear?) of the Winterfellians. He does so, in a horribly sloppy way. It takes him three strikes of a sword and then a leg kick to get Rodrick’s head to pop off. Theon, can’t you do anything right?
Papa Lannister fires one of his council for accidentally sending a letter detailing military strategies to Stark loyalists. Oops! He notes that Arya is literate – unusual for a common-born young girl. Lord Petyr Baelish’s arrival is announced. Arya tries to stay cool, fearing she will be recognized. He seems to recognize her, but doesn’t let on to Tywin. Remember, he’s been tasked with finding Arya by Cersei. She listens to Petyr inform Tywin of the “dark forces” behind Renley’s death, and suggests that the Lannisters team up with the Tyrells for the interim, and once the Baratheon and Stark armies are defeated, they can be punished for rebelling against Joffrey. What is the plan here, to marry Margaery to Joffrey? Egads.
North of the Wall, Qhorin, Jon Everloving Snow and a bunch of rangers we don’t care about are trudging towards the wildling lookouts’ encampment. They attack and kill everyone except a young woman named Ygritte, played by Rose Leslie, who is the second actor from Downtown Abbey to appear on this show (that I know of), the first being Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont. She played the house maid who gets a fancy secretary job in the first season. The rangers leave Jon to behead Ygritte. “Strike hard and true, Jon Snow, or I’ll come back and haunt you.” That cracked me up. Jon can’t go through with it, deliberately striking in front of her head. She runs, he captures her.
A sobbing princess Myrcella gets shipped off to Dorne. “One day I pray you love someone,” says a seething Cersei to Tyrion. “I pray you love her so much, when you close your eyes you see her face. I want that for you. I want you to know what it’s like, to truly love someone, before I take her from you.” Here’s hoping she doesn’t find out about his girlfriend!
While returning to the castle, citizens of King’s Landing jeer and taunt Joffrey. Tyrion senses an uprising and sends little prince Tommen back to the keep. A mud pie is flinged at Joffrey, who demands that everyone (?) present be executed. The Hound drags a hapless Joffrey along, as we see/hear the priest who had just been blessing Myrcella torn limb from limb, which marks the first time I have ever seen that, I think? But then again, I don’t watch Walking Dead.
Sansa is separated from her handmaidens and chased into an alley by some terrifying dudes in a scene that gave me flashbacks to the quasi-rape tableau in the Disney World Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride. Does that stil exist? Seeing the priest torn apart, Tyrion’s first priority becomes finding Sansa, but none of the king’s guard will look for her, especially since Joffrey doesn’t give two shakes. “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!” screams Tyrion before he slaps Joffrey. A little callback to the season one! “If [Sansa] dies, your uncle Jaime dies,” he reminds Joffrey. “And you owe him quite a bit you know!” Yes, like half your DNA and probably your dyslexia. In what has to be one of the most horrible and drawn-out rape scenes I have ever seen on screen, Sansa is juuuust about to be gang-raped when the Hound walks in and kills everyone. “Alright now, little bird,” he tells her. “You’re all right.” How nice of you to save her, Hound, after all those public floggings you’ve administered! He’s got a soft spot for the vulnerable teenage girls he’s beaten the shit out of. “Well done,” says Tyrion, thanking him. “I didn’t do it for you.” For who then?
Dany asks The Spice King to make a monetary investment in her conquest for the Iron Throne, sans marriage contract. He refuses. “Forgive me little princess, but I cannot make an investment based on wishes and dreams!” Pardon, but isn’t that the entire basis of the venture capital industry? Dany is like, hi, remember that time I gave birth to dragons?
While tidying up, Arya finds a piece of parchment with military strategy concerning her brother scrawled on it. Papa Lannister tells a sad story about Jaime being dyslexic and how he used to hate him for making him study. We are pretty sure Jaime still hates his dad.
Arya tells Tywin her father was a stone mason. “What killed him?” he asks. “Loyalty,” she replies. She leaves to fetch wood for the fire, and send the sensitive parchment by raven to someone who can help and is confronted by Amory Lorch. Arya escapes him and rushes to Jaqen, demanding he kill him before he outs Arya to Tywin.
Robb Stark macks HARD on Talisa. Catelyn shows up, and is like, son, you are betrothed. Do not fuck this up. Methinks Talisa is a spy. They get word about the siege on Winterfell: that Rodrick is dead, but there’s no word about the Stark boys. One of Robb’s advisors convinces Robb to not return to Winterfell, but let his bastard son take the castle back, and bring Theon alive to Robb to answer for his crimes.
Robb and Ygritte have to camp for the night. Rob refuses to light a fire for warmth, instead choosing to snuggle. Tale as old as time! Jon Snow, Big Spoon. Ygritte does a hilarious little shimmy and Jon is like CUT IT OUT. Aw, those too. Get a room! But seriously, get a room or some kind of shelter, because you’re going to die in this cold.
Osha is still trying to convince Theon to let her “serve” him. He bites. We get another dress-dropping scene. Theon is really into chicks who do not brush their hair. “What do you want, other than your miserable life?” he asks her. Theon really knows how to talk to a lady.
Shae tends to Sansa’s wounds. Sansa, who has kept up a good act as a devoted fiancee to Joffrey up until now, confides in Shae that she wishes him dead. Shae urges her to trust no one. Like her, for example.
Osha’s on the move. She attempts to seduce one of Theon’s men, then cuts his throat. She flees Winterfell with Bran, Ricken, their diewolfs and Hodor in tow.
Back in Qarth, Dany discovers that virtually all of her people are dead, slayed in her guest quarters. Also, her dragons are missing. Cut to: a shrouded figure carrying the caged dragons up steps to a tower. She should have used the safe they recommend to all guests. Qarth Marriott is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings including baby dragons / meal tickets.