It seems one’s always in danger in the land of Westeros. Trusting the wrong people will surely get you killed, if not horribly tortured first. Innocents pay for the sins of kings and noblemen with their lives as the members of the Night Watch stand out as the ones who suffer the most and receive very little in return.
Even though it takes a while for the new episode of Game of Thrones to take off — Samwell’s scene with Gilly by the fireplace nearly put me to sleep — it eventually takes us on a roller coaster ride. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This episode primary focus was on Jon Snow and Ygritte. What’s the deal with Snow, anyway? He’s digging a hole so deep he’ll soon find himself in Essos alongside Danaerys. How does he expect to come out of his current predicament? As he falls in love with Ygritte, it is harder for him to carry out his mission, which is to turn on the Wildlings as soon as he finds the perfect chance. When will that happen? How is he supposed to attack Castle Black and kill his brothers? Or is he supposed to betray his woman? This is why his story is one of the most engaging at this stage. Snow’s dilemma will likely cause blood to be spilled, and much, much heartache.
Let us move on to the North: Bran is still hanging out with the Reeds, Wildling Osha, his brother Rickon and a couple of nasty direwolves. Oh, and Hodor. I’ve heard people complain about this storyline several times, citing Bran’s continuous dream sequences as dull and repetitive. Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? Every time Bran falls into a deep slumber, more about the true nature of his powers is revealed, but he always needs to climb that damn tree. The sight (as Jojen calls it) is brought to him by the three-eyed raven, and we’re all wondering what will happen when he finally catches it. Alas, there was no dreaming for the Stark boy in this week’s episode. Nevertheless, the Reeds were featured more prominently than in previous episodes, with Meera getting into a heated argument with Osha about rabbit-skinning skills — a bit I personally found hilarious and adequately paced — while Jojen’s warg powers started to turn on him, thus causing him to convulse violently. The scene did not have any effect on the ongoing plot whatsoever, though it does come to show that Jojen hasn’t mastered his powers either (despite managing to catch a glimpse of Jon Snow at the Wall), he’s merely one or two steps ahead of Bran.
Some place in the North, the cleaning boy continues to torture Theon. Now, this kid is your every-day, textbook psychopath — this guy is taken straight out of Eli Roth’s Hostel. He thoroughly savors every wound he inflicts on Theon (though the foul traitor does deserve it). Where is Theon’s sister, anyway? Where’s his dad? Why is nobody looking for him? I can’t say I cared much for the scene featuring these two characters, which just revolves around the cleaning boy mocking and severely hurting the young Greyjoy. I do enjoy Iwan Rheon’s performance as the little psycho though, for it is one of the finest we’ve seen this season.
In Riverrun, tensions are running high after the execution of Lord Karstark. Robb has been my favorite character since the show started — I’m not denying it. However, last episode he did what any Stark would do — follow a ridiculous code of honor to the point of seeming mentally challenged. I’m not necessarily excusing Karstark’s actions, but Robb’s attitude towards this bitter situation is undoubtedly inspired by his late father.
In this week’s episode, Robb and his posse — which includes his mother (Cat Stark) and great uncle (Blackfish) — are picking up the pieces from the absolutely dreadful mistake the King in the North made last week. With the Karstark army long gone, the oldest of the Stark siblings comes up with the fantastic idea of arranging a wedding between Walder Frey’s daughter (whom he was supposed to marry before he met Talisa) and Catelyn Stark’s brother Edmure Tully in order to secure an alliance with the Freys. That’s a perfect idea, Robb. Good job. I can’t wait for it to blow up in your face. I’m going to level with you guys — I like what they’re doing with Robb. So far, he’d been portrayed as an honorable young man with a rare talent for strategy and warfare, but the writers had paid little attention to his defects. At least now we know he’s not as smart as he thinks he is (a common malady in Westeros).
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