Week 6’s edition of Game of Thrones, ‘The Old Gods and the New’, was packed full of action and double crosses and has us all salivating for Sunday already. The show started with the sounds of swords and men yelling as Maester Luwin runs into his lair at Winterfell. He hastily scribbled a note on a parchment for a raven before armed men busted in the room.

We learn in the next scene that these are none other than Theon Greyjoy’s men. It turns out Theon has become a turncoat and taken Winterfell while all the Starks were gone. He busts into Bran’s room to tell him that he has taken his castle and demands that Bran swear fealty to him. Out in the yard the people of Winterfell are less than impressed with Theon, who seemed to be going through some kind of steroid rage. 

Things didn’t seem to go as wonderfully as he hoped when his men brought in the bloodied Ser Rodrick who said many nasty things to Theon. Theon, who is insisting on everyone calling him ‘Prince’ now, gets angry and orders his men to take Rodrick to the dungeons. His men tell him that he should kill Rodrick to show the rest of Winterfell what happens when you disrespect him. He struggles with this, showing that he is clearly out of his element, but eventually decides to do it.

It turns out he can’t even chop off a guy’s head properly as it takes him several hacks and finally a disgusting kick before we see Rodrick’s head rolling through the Winterfell mud.

Further North beyond the wall, Jon is sludging through the ice and snow with the Halfhand who is lecturing him about the dangers of the North and the Wildlings. They come upon a group of wildling scouts and attack them. They kill two of them and Jon is about to kill the third when he realizes that it’s a woman. Halfhand urges him to kill her but Jon thinks they can get information out of her. Halfhand asks her how many Wildlings have gathered to which she informs him ‘hundreds of thousands’. We also learn that her name is Ygritte, whom fans of the book have been waiting to be introduced to. She has red hair and is pretty cocky for someone with a sword at her neck.

Halfhand orders Jon to kill her and he leaves with the rest of the rangers. Ygritte starts to bait Jon, urging him to do it clean and to burn her body afterwards. Jon says he’s not going to build a fire and raises his sword to kill her only bringing it down on the rock in front of her. He couldn’t do it. Ygritte takes that opportunity to knock him over and make a run for it. Jon gives chase and eventually runs her down. He ties her up and realizes that they will have to wait the night before he tries to regroup with the Halfhand.

Ygritte convinces him that unless they lay together they will freeze to death. Jon reluctantly lies down with her. Ygritte then tries to snuggle closer to him, which makes him uncomfortable and amuses her. Could there be a budding romance here?

Speaking of romances, Jon’s brother Robb runs into his nurse from a few weeks ago at his camp. Her name is Talisa and he still does not know where she is from or if she is high born. He makes flirty faces at her and is about to ask her out when his mother, Lady Stark, returns from her mission. Robb seems a bit embarrassed and Lady Stark reminds him that he has vowed to wed one of Lord Frey’s daughters.

Nothing like getting your style cramped by your mom.

Later, Robb learns that Theon has taken Winterfell and is furious. At first he wants to march there and retake the castle, claiming that he can’t be King if he can’t even hold onto his own castle. Lord Bolton convinces him to stay and that he will have his son head to Winterfell and bring Robb Grejoy’s head. Robb says that he wants Theon alive so that he can watch him die – something we all want to see.

In King’s Landing the Lannisters watch as Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, is rowed out to a ship, on her way to Dorne where she is to wait out the coming war. Cersei is furious and tells Tyrion, whose plan this was, that she hopes he finds true love someday so that she can take it from him. Tyrion gives her a look, doesn’t say anything and then turns to leave.

As King Joffrey and his procession make their way through the streets of King’s Landing some of the common folk start heckling the young King and someone throws a cow pie that hits him square in the face. All hell then breaks loose as the young king starts shrieking to execute everyone and a riot breaks out. The King’s Guard starting slashing their way through the crowd, but not before the High Septon is grabbed by the crowd and his arm gets torn off, much to the delight of the rioters.

The King, his guards and Tyrion make it back to the castle and Tyrion demands that he send guards back to the streets after Sansa Stark, who was still out there. Joffrey is upset and tells him to ‘let them have her’. Tyrion admonished him then, calling him an idiot and reminding him that the people in the streets are starving to which Joffrey reminds him that he’s talking to a King. Tyrion then slaps his young nephew and says “And now I struck a king! Did my hand fall from my wrist?”

You have to wonder how much better things would be if Tyrion were the King.

Back in the streets Sansa escapes down an alley and is pursued by three pervy looking men, who eventually catch her and are about to have their way with her before the Hound shows up. He brutally kills them before throwing Sansa over his shoulder and taking her back to the castle.

It was a surprisingly noble move on the Hound’s part – does he actually have a heart?

Meanwhile in Harrenhall, Arya continues to serve Tywin Lannister as he berates his cousins and nephews while trying to win the war. As Arya is clearing the table Littlefinger comes to pay Tywin a visit. This scares Arya as she is afraid that Littlefinger will recognize her and expose who she is to Tywin. She manages to shield her face while pouring wine for the two of them. At the very end Littlefinger gets a good look at her and seems interested before being distracted by Tywin.

Later, after Littlefinger leaves, Arya discovers a note on the table detailing plans to send a thousand men after her brother. She distracts Tywin by getting into a discussion about reading and their fathers. Tywin asked her what killed her father. She answers ‘loyalty’ before snagging the note and leaving.

Out in the yard she is caught by one of Tywin’s men, Amory Lorch, who takes the note from her and is going to take it to Tywin. Arya panics and goes to find Jaqen and cashes in her second dead body from him. He accepts and she tells him it has to happen now. Lorch knocks on Tywin’s door and then falls through it dead with a dart sticking out of his neck.

Having a personal hit man seems to come in handy in Westeros.

Back in Winterfell, Osha enters Theon’s chambers with seduction on her mind. She offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom. He takes her up on the offer, but later, after the ‘business time’ she sneaks out. As she lurks through Winterfell one of Theon’s guards stops her and asks her what she’s doing. She slits his throat and then calls for Hordor who appears with Bran and Rickon and they leave Winterfell.

The episode ends in Qarth as Daeny is still looking for her warships. She gets turned down by the Spice King for being a bad investment. You really can’t blame him, after all she offered to pay him back after she conquered the seven kingdoms. It does sound like a pipe dream. As she returns to her compound she discovers all of her guards killed and her dragons gone.

At the closing of the episode an unknown figure carries a large box with the dragons up some steps towards a tower. This doesn’t look good at all.

In Memorium

Westeros was pretty bloody this week. It started with losing poor Ser Rodrick at Winterfell. He went nobly telling Bran that he was off to see Ned.

There were also many nameless common folk killed in the streets of King’s Landing, as well as the high septon (whom we are assuming did not survive having his arm torn off) and the three would be rapists.

In Qarth, what looked like most of Daeny’s guards were off to meet their makers as well, killed by some unknown assailant.

In the North, Jon Snow and the Halfhand ended the camping for a couple of faceless wildlings. It is assumed that they had it coming.

Culture Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 206: The Old Gods and the New