If last week’s “Game of Thrones” episode felt like black-and-white television, “The Old Gods and the New” thrust us back into violent, glorious Technicolor.
Heads were lost! Arms were ripped from bodies! Bowels were removed forcefully!
And when chaos wasn’t erupting on Westeros, we found out where the loyalties of some of our characters presently lie.
“What killed him?” Lord Tywin asked his cup bearer of her late father, who it bears repeating he does not know is poor Ned Stark.
“Loyalty,” the wise-beyond-her-years Arya Stark replied.
Yes, Ned lost his head in season one for being loyal to the Baratheons and the truth. A trait that he was unable to embed in Theon.
Theon, Theon, Theon.
Where to begin with the Stark ward’s takeover of Winterfell?
How about with the disastrous hack job he did on poor Ser Rodrik, who lost his head in a terribly gruesome way but not before imparting the fitting last words, “God help you, Theon Greyjoy. You are truly lost.”
Indeed, even though Theon’s ocean has swallowed his former home, as Bran’s dream predicted, he is rudderless. He has cast off the people who cared for him in place of blood relatives who think he’s worthless.
“Did you hate us the whole time?” Bran asked his former quasi-brother. That remains to be seen, little lord.
You know who doesn’t hate Bran? Osha, another Stark captive, who remained loyal to the group. After sleeping with Theon and filling this week’s “Game of Thrones” bare-breast quota, the wildling killed a guard with impressive ease and helped Bran, the little-Stark-who-isn’t-Bran and Hodor escape.
Robb is angry about Theon’s treachery. Basically every good vibe he caught from flirting with the mysterious Lady Talisa is gone. But instead of TCOB(that’s taking care of bloodshed, natch) himself, he sent someone else to claim Winterfell and gather Theon.
While Theon’s change in loyalty is highly questionable, the revolt by the people of King’s Landing made perfect sense. After having feces thrown at his terrible head, Joffrey ordered the murder of whoever lobbed said item at him. This caused the hungry people to rise up and cause chaos, which included tearing off the limb of a Lannister employee.
Sansa was caught in the middle of the action, cornered and almost raped, which rivaled the infant murder for most gut-wrenching moment of season two.
Tyrion seemed worried about Sansa’s well-being, which at first I thought was sweet but then realized was simply a strategic move. Joffrey, however, is not even a little bit concerned with saving Sansa. Happily, the Hound, the man the terrible king calls “dog,” went on his own to disembowel one potential rapist and murder the others.
“I didn’t do it for you,” he told Tyrion of saving Sansa, the “little bird.” Is the Hound loyal to the Lannisters? Perhaps. But he does have a mind — and a moral compass — of his own.
And what of our wise Arya’s loyalty? She’s now in a situation not-exactly-but-sort-of like Theon’s. It’s clear she enjoyed being complimented by Tywin, who we found out taught a dyslexic Jaime to read, but she’s still collecting intel on his plans against Robb. And as a result of her spying, she had to use her second free death card on some nobody Lannister soldier. Save one for Joffrey, Arya!
Tyrion ... slapped Joffrey! And called him a vicious, idiot! Hooray!
Jon Snow ... tried and failed at cutting off the head of cute lady wildling Ygritte, played by “Downton Abbey” alum Rose Leslie. (That brings our “Downton”/“GOT” crossover actor count to two.)
Daenerys ... wants the seven kingdoms and she wants them now! After being called a “little princess” several times by the Spice King of Qarth, who refuses to give her ships, khaleesi returns to her quarters to find the place ransacked. Bodies everywhere. Her dragons — gone.