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Game of Thrones: The Old Gods And The New Review

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  • TV Series: Game of Thrones
  • Episode: The Old Gods And The New
  • Starring: Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey and Kit Harington, Richard Madden
  • Written By: David Benioff (creator), D.B. Weiss (creator)
  • Directed By: David Nutter
  • Network: HBO
  • Series:

Game of Thrones: The Old Gods And The New Review

Episode 6

By Jarrett Kruse     May 06, 2012
Source: Mania.com

SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*SPOILER ALERT*

 As the second half of the season gets underway, we are treated to another stellar episode of GOT. Starting off with a bang, Theon (Alfie Allen) and his hopeless bravado takes Winterfell on a whim by thinking that he is owed the kingdom he grew up in. Clearly he has drank the Greyjoy Kool-Aid but man is he not up to the task of having any kind of title. Upon his arrival, the coward Theon goes as far as stirring awake the disabled Lord Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) just to shoot the breeze of how he is going to take over! I thought this scene was remarkably understated proving that Bran has more gravitas in his two small arms than Theon does in his whole miserable existence.


New character alert in the North as Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and the Rangers come across a pack of wildings including a woman. The fem of the group, Ygritte played by Rose Leslie is caught and kept in Jon’s charge while the other Rangers group elsewhere. It is obvious that there is a budding romance between the two despite Jon’s allegiance to the code of the Watch. Also officially receiving a love interest this week that was teased in an earlier episode is King of the North Robb Stark (Richard Madden).  Unfortunately this scene was less featured than Jon’s romance but at least it gives us some nice foreshadowing. 

Upon receiving a raven, Robb is furious at Theon for having the gall to take his home and plans to ride back to Winterfell until his advisors convince him otherwise. This scene really showed the mettle and steady head of the Stark’s and how they are able to clear their initial knee-jerk reactions to let cooler heads prevail on the battlefield. Meanwhile in King’s Landing, the Lannister’s ship off one of their own for the best of the family during this period of unrest. On their way back to the castle, young King Joffrey’s inexperience and naïveté are on center display as a full out riot ensues from hungry peasants. I think it is easy to say I was not the only one who took joy in seeing Joff get hit in the face with a cow-pie. Adding insult to injury, the Notorious IMP (Peter Dinklage as Hand of the King Lord Tyrion) bitch slaps Joffrey after the melee basically just to prove that he can. Once again it has been proven that Joffrey is the worst kind of King; one that thinks he is deserving of such a gaudy title without ever having done anything to earn it.  

Khaleesi Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is still in the city of Qarth trying to raise a fleet to regain her position to overtake the throne. She gives a fevered speech arguing that she is the only rightful heir to the throne and that her dreams are proven to be dreams that come true (see the three dragons she “mothered”). After being turned down for a fleet, Daxos (Nonso Anozie) does his best to console her before finding that Khaleesi’s followers have been massacred and her dragon’s are missing. But who took them? I have my theories but do not want to speak yet.

Little Arya (Maisie Williams) continues to hold her own while at the center of the Lannister stronghold. Almost losing her secret identity to Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) is just one of the bullets that she has to dodge in this episode. What I like best about Arya is that she continues to play the game fearlessly while gaining information and avoiding the same landmines that have outwitted those well beyond her years. This time she is able to cash in her second favor from “the List” after she intercepts some seriously juicy intel from Pop Lannister. 

Finally, back at Winterfell we are treated to the lovely Osha (Nataia Tena) full on naked in a successful attempt to seduce Theon!  (Take that Harry Potter series--Tonks has officially gone full frontal!) But, it was all a ruse to outthink Theon (not much of a task there) and bust Bran and Rikon (Art Parkinson) out of the North. A terrific ending by all counts.

What I liked best about this episode was that although there were admittedly some small moments of slowness—basically Jon’s wintery encounter with his new wildling lovely, the pacing got me hooked. It was a solid effort on all accounts and it left me hoping that maybe this week would be a back-to-back episode. No such luck but I cannot wait for next week. 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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isgrimner 5/7/2012 7:42:18 AM

A pretty good episode, and I expect the rest of the season to all be well reviewed as I am pretty sure we will have a lot going on each episode.  This was probably one of my favorites so far. 

The book series got a shout out on 30 Rock when they showed Grizz reading a boook and all of a sudden exclaim "Ned Stark's dead", though I'm paraphrasing there.    It just cemented that the show is popular enough to become a part of pop culture used in other shows.

 

Now its time for some book SPOILERS which will include spoilers for the entire series.

So there was a lot of divergence going on in this episode.  Starting at Winterfell, we still have no Reeds or Walders.  The Walders are probably not important but I would have thought the Reeds to be very important for the role they play in getting Bran to Bloodraven.   I also think they missed a major moment in showing us that Bran & Rickon escaping with Osha.  I remember reading the book and not being sure if Theon and Reek actually killed them or not.  I had to cheat and look for more Bran chapters at that point.

Ygritte is much better looking than described in the books, that was another point that seems like they are going away from the books if I recall correctly.   I think they should have played this one closer to the books and involved Rattleshirt and Jon having to kill Quorin.  They also didn't have Jon kill Ygritte's husband, in fact he didn't kill anybody in the melee. 

Dany's dragon's getting taken kind of makes me expect they won't have Dany doing her "spirit walk"  which kind of sucks cause I wanted to see the visions she saw in the rooms, especially of Reagar. 

Having Littlefinger go to Harrenhal was totally unexpected too.  I was pretty sure they wouldn't have him notice Arya, but  who knows what they'll change.  I'm thinking they may not have Harenhal changing hands as much as it did in the books. 

ddiaz28 5/7/2012 11:51:34 AM

Great episode and definitely lots of changes from the books but I think they all worked to make things more intense.  I was a little bummed right off the bat that we didn't actuallly get to see Theon and Co. climbing the walls of Winterfell and seizing control of it.  I was looking forward to that.  We only got the aftermath.  But that was done perfectly and really showed Theon still struggling with his mixed emotions and loyalty.  It was great to hear that Reek will eventually make an appearance since his father told Rob he would send his son to take back Winterfell.  And Theon killing Rodrick definitely gives us a reason to want bad things to happen to him in the future. 

It was great to see The Hound finally get some screen time with Sansa.  Arya's scenes with Tywin were great and it was fun seeing her have to "waste" a name with Jaqen.  I also loved Ygritte.  The actress really played her perfectly.  I can't wait to see more or her and Jon.

Book spoilers ahead although I am extremely vague about them

isgrimmer, I think the stuff with Quorin will still happen, just not in the same order as the books.  I think Jon will eventually find his men again.  The events with him help cement his place with you know who so I think that is too important for the writers to leave out.

I also konw for sure we'll see the "spirit walk" since the dragons were obivously taken to The House of the Undying.  This actually works better because now Danarys has more reason to do what she will eventually do there.

I'm not sure why the Reeds weren't introduced but the most definitely will have to come into play.  They'll probably meet them in the forest at some point.  And you are right about them missing a chance to make us think the boys were dead.  They should have had Bolton tell Rob and Catelyn they were dead and show the heads Theon had.  Then reveal their escape at the end.  Would have added a bit of tension.

jdiggitty 5/7/2012 3:55:49 PM

 Spoiler, spoilers, entire series. 

 

I have a suspicion the Reeds are getting replaced with Osha and Rickon. 

zalder 5/7/2012 7:15:57 PM

I hope not jdiggitty that is almost as bad as what they are doing with Arya...I mean really in this situation she would be recognized and taken back to the capital and she would use a name on pop lanister.  Stll the first major mistake they have made to my mind so I'll let it slide I suppose.

jdiggitty 5/7/2012 7:41:08 PM

 Now that I think about it more, the need the Reeds. 

 

BIG SPOILER!!!

 

So that Howland Reed can confirm R L=J in the next book.

(That's Rhaegar plus Lyanna equals Jon Snow for those who haven't read the books)

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 5/7/2012 9:58:59 PM

It'd be awesome if when people printer SPOILERS they'd say up to when.

ripum853 5/8/2012 7:09:56 AM

Kinda spoiler, kinda spoiler.

 

 

I'm loving the changes to Arya's storyling myself; as it's creating a lot of great scenes with Her and Tywin.  Her arc is my favorite of the second book too, so I'm a little surprised that I'm taking her changes so well.  I would say that the changes in Jon Snow's storyline has me worried the most, and yes, the lack of Reeds or "Reek" for Bran/Theon's arcs; but I understand a lot of the changes, and even like most of them.  Dany's arc needed more excitement as well, so this kidnapping of the dragons doesn't bother me neither.

 

 

ddiaz28 5/8/2012 9:17:07 AM

ripum, it's true that Reek should have shown up already but we know Bolton told Rob that he's sending his son to take back Winterfell.  So we'll definitely be seeing him.

jdiggity, I definitely don't think those characters will be replaced by Osha and Rickon.  They are too important to Bran's story for more reasons than just the possibility you mentioned.

MrJawbreaking ... I think you can just assume that everything after the spoiler warning in a post may contain spoilers.  Personally, if I write anything unspoilerish after the spoiler section, I write end of spoilers before it.

isgrimner 5/8/2012 11:17:34 AM

kind of spoilerish, but nothing really specific

I think the missing siblings we're talking about could show up next season.  Maybe they just don't want to cast actors yet for small roles.   They can cast them for later and then just move some of their early dialogue to when they are more central to the story.  I think that could be one reason we aren't seeing a lot of characters we're expcting to see right now.  

You could even look how they handled Quarth so far and the one lady/priestess whose name I am blanking on right now, Pyatt Pree, maybe?  They put her in that wierd mask so that they don't have to cast a specific actess yet. 

ddiaz28 5/9/2012 7:49:27 AM

The lady you are thinking of is named is Quaithe isgrimmer.  Pyatt Pree is the bald warlock from Quarth.  And you are probably right about why they haven't cast certain roles.  Same goes for Ramsay Snow (Reek).  But who knows, there are still a few episodes left.  It's crazy that there are only 4 more.  This season seems to by flying by. 

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