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game of thrones recapping: the old gods and the new

Previously on Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal

Theon continues his season-long quest to distinguish himself from the other brooding, dark-haired  young men of Westeros. Along with his small band of loyal(ish) ironborn, he attacks and captures Winterfell. Ser Rodrik Cassel gets his head unprofessionally chopped off in the process, but Osha, the mysterious wildling slave, seems eager to switch allegiances as she literally jumps into bed with the enemy. It’s all just part of the plan though—she and Hodor (“Hodor, Hodor, Hodor!”) sneak Bran and Rickon away from Winterfell before any more of Theon’s arrogant stupidity can harm the Stark boys.

Up north, Quorin and Jon attempt to wipe out a wildling scouting party. Every wildling is killed except for the pretty red-headed girl Jon attacks. As a child, Jon presumably was taught that it’s not nice to hit or behead girls, but this is beyond the Wall, and Quorin insists that a female wildling is just as worthy of death as a male one—about as close to a feminist argument as you can expect in Westeros. Quorin leaves Jon to kill Ygritte (pronounced kind of like egret), which turns out to be an awful idea. Ygritte escapes and leads Jon on a merry chase before eventually getting caught. Now Jon is stuck with a headstrong (and surprisingly flirtatious) wildling captive, far away from Quorin and the rest of his Night’s Watch brothers.

The Stark girls each have close encounters with danger in this episode. During a brutal King’s Landing riot, Sansa gets pulled away and nearly raped before a heroic Sandor Clegane rescues her (by bashing heads and pulling out guts). Over at Harrenhal, Petyr Littlefinger makes a surprise visit, but if he recognizes Arya, he doesn’t say anything. Arya attempts to steal battle plans from Tywin Lannister, but she is discovered by Amory Lorch, a Lannister soldier. Desperate, Arya tells Jaqen she wants to use her second death on Lorch, and a poison dart finds the soldier mere seconds before Arya’s duplicity is revealed.

In Qarth, Dany prepares to return to Westeros. She demands that the richest men and women of the city give her ships and soldiers because it is her birthright – an argument that turns out to be rather unconvincing. Dany is upset and threatens to eventually take what is hers with fire and blood, but no one in Qarth really seems to take her seriously. Someone must really despise her though because Dany returns home to find her guards murdered and the three dragons taken. Uh oh! Someone just made Dany angry, and they’re about to realize that you really, really won’t like the mother of dragons when she’s angry.


  • Theon’s botched attempt to gracefully detach Ser Rodrik’s head from his body made me appreciate and miss our dearly departed Ned Stark even more. Now there was a guy who knew how to behead someone. (See Season 1, Episode 1.)
  • I’m excited we finally get to meet Ygritte! Jon’s storyline has been dragging a bit this season, and the girl kissed by fire (wildling slang for red-haired) should be just the catalyst to heat up the north. Rose Leslie, last seen carrying dishes as a maid over at Downton Abbey, makes quite an appealing Ygritte, and she almost makes me forget how much I miss listening to Sam ramble on about girls, books, and food.
  • Good for you, people of King’s Landing! Usually just an unhappy cast of extras to pepper the background, the peasants finally make their frustrations apparent. Sure, there’s lots of violence, but it’s about time Joffrey sees what his people really think of him.
  • Is it just me or is Dany getting a bit annoying? I know there’s a growing number of people who are not fans of the khaleesi, but I never thought I would include myself among them. Merchant, the fat man unwilling to reveal his name, brought up several good points—Dany has no experience, no money, no proven support in Westeros, and only a tentative claim to the Iron Throne at best. Maybe she should just settle down for awhile and wait for her dragons to actually become intimidating. Dany, mother of dragons the size of kitchen rats, is not really getting anything done. 
Missing in action: Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Margaery, Loras, Yara

Body count: Too many to count (this will, in all likelihood, be the norm for the rest of the season) – large numbers of men killed at Winterfell, King’s Landing, and Qarth. Notable deaths include Ser Rodrick Cassel and Irri, Dany’s faithful Dothraki handmaiden.



Tyrion: “You blind, bloody fool! We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know that we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!”

Theon: “It grieves me that we meet as foes.
Rodrik: “It grieves me you’ve less honor than a back alley whore.”

Dany: “Do you understand? I am no ordinary woman. My dreams come true.”

Merchant: “She has a talent for drama, this one.”

Cersei: “One day I pray you love someone. I pray you love her so much when you close your eyes you can see her face. I want that for you. I want you to know what it’s like to love someone, to truly love someone, before I take her from you.”

Ygritte: “You’re brave—stupid, but brave.“


Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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