Game of Thrones ‘The Old Gods and the New’ – Review

Alfie Allen as 'Theon Greyjoy' Game of Thrones - HBO

Theon. The traitor.

Game of Thrones – The Old Gods and the New ep. 16 – Never trust a Greyjoy. Damn it Theon. Just when I thought I can look past your weaseling, whoring and womanizing ways, you have gone and done something so reprehensible that your adorably brilliant smile cannot undo the treacherous disappointment you have caused. In an effort to impress his father, King Balon Greyjoy he decided to “take” the Stark castle as his own–totally abandoning the thought that King Robb will make him wish he was never born–and murdering Ser Rodrik (Ron Donachie) against better judgement and suggestion from Mæster Luwin (Donald Sumpter) to not behead Rodrik. Bastard. Theon couldn’t even do that right.

To further prove his idiocy, Osha (Natalia Tena) played on his arrogance and seduces him in order to allow Bran and his accompaniment escape.

Poor Theon, torn between House Greyjoy and House Stark; and if you factor in his own desires to be his own life’s navigator it is of no surprise that his behavior is to be expected. So I will go forward from this point and say that I pity Theon. We all know that this will not be the last great mistake that he will make.

In the den of Lions.

Arya is still in the den of Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) and easily avoiding detection and when Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) arrive to discuss the matters of Renly Baratheon‘s death and House Tyrell’s allegiance, she narrowly escapes his sharp eye (note that this meeting does not happen in the book) and this maybe to tie Baelish’s steady  involvement in many of the affairs in the book series.

During Tywin’s previous discussions about the war and Robb Stark, a note lie on the table that catches her eye and she takes it, but she didn’t get far. One of the Lannister drones finds her and the letter–but he cannot read it. She escapes but just before her thievery is discovered, it is fortunate that our little Arya has a companion, Jagen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), to come to her rescue.

Little Bird’s rescue.

As the mob rises against immature King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Sansa is placed in harm’s way. Luckily, Sandor Clegane, “the Hound” (Rory McCann) rescued her from being raped; he storms in and disembowels one and aptly shank a few others. The Hound cares about Sansa’s safety. In his duty, he tries to warn her that where she is–King’s Landing–isn’t safe. He isn’t just the physical force that keeps her safe–but a reality checker. He keeps her grounded, and serves as a reminder to keep Sansa from thinking that her fairy-tale world– is flawed and dangerous.

Joffrey’s terribly spoiled behavior nearly caused the death of not only himself, but the lives of his equally spoiled and deceitful mother and that of my beloved Tyrion, who had to yet again bitch slap Joffrey into realizing that it is his doing that the people are restless. Too bad he didn’t get in another back hand slap at Joffrey–the Gods know that he needed another.

A matter of expectations.

It did not take long for Robb to learn what the traitor Theon has done. As he was just inviting Talisa (Oona Chaplin) for dinner, his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) arrives at camp just in time to remind Robb that he is already promised to another. Robb agreed earlier to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters in order to cross the Trident with his army. Unfortunately, it is a debt that must be paid.

What Theon has done cut deep when he took Winterfell. Robb, who is so much like his father, wants to look Theon in the eye and allow him the opportunity to “explain” why he had done what he has done, then take his head for himself. Just as his father, Ned Stark, would have done.

Wilding Y’gritte.

Poor Jon. His oath to defend The Wall also has a clause: he cannot take a woman into his bed. While patrolling the cold and harsh lands North of the Wall, they encounter a small camp and kill the few that are there. When tasked to kill Y’gritte (Rose Leslie). he stayed his hand and after a quick chase,  he captures her again. Now beyond this episode, he will become involved with her according to the books. However, not on this night–even though she did try to “stir” his interests.

The Mother of Dragons…no more?

All she wanted is a few hundred ships to take back the Iron Throne and what does she get in return? Her dragons taken from her. Dænerys (Emilia Clarke) is still in Qarth and is unsuccessful in her attempt to gain ships to travel to Westeros. Now, this is a twist on the part of HBO because this incident–her missing dragons–does not happen in the books!

Maybe this is an attempt to evolve her character into something more than a glorified guest of Qarth. Stealing her dragons not only angers the character, but may have fans of the book series paying closer attention to how this story will play out. It is nerving to see this change, however, I think I understand that this may be necessary to throw us off the trail pattern the book series has taken the show. If any of the dragons were to die, I would hate to think what will say and if interest will remain in the television series.

As the series progress at a momentous pace, I cannot help but to think that each episode is lacking some intensity. While every episode has been fantastic, but personally, I do not like feeling “rushed” through the story. I guess it is what it is with series adaptations of such an in-depth and beloved book series. Ovations to the show’s production, as they are doing an amazing job at “summarizing” the books and bringing to life many of the beloved and most hated characters of Game of Thrones. Their only flaw I say again, is the absolutely too short 10-episode season.

It’s just doesn’t make it right somehow.

On the horizon…

Source: HBO

The Old Gods and the New
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

Review Summary:

In Game of Thrones 'The Old Gods and the New' Theon breaks my heart, Arya kills again, and Jon hooks up, sorta.

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