The best episode this season so far, even without my man Stannis, heh (come back soon!) But the violence is off-the-chart this episode. And not just violence, violence witnessed by children, and violence done to children. I googled Sophie Turner, and is a little bit relieved that she’s older than the 13-year-old Sansa (she’s 16). On the other hand, this is her first acting role.
There’s a bit of Theon-Robb parallel with having to prove themselves to the men they’re trying to lead. Robb faced the same problem last season, when his authority and decisions were sometimes challenged, by the other lords, even by his mother (that scene when he wanted to let the Lannister’s spy go free). Robb’s way of dealing with it was to stand his ground and basically glower at the people challenging his authority, daring them to go further, and most of the time, it worked. Theon is obviously more weak-willed, more unsure of himself, more defensive, which leads him to make one mistake after another. But I’m sure it’s easier to be surer of yourself and more confident of your ability, when you’ve been raised as the son and rightful heir of Lord Stark, the Warden of the North, instead of his ward/hostage. And whatever reservations people might have about Robb, they are about his ability to lead, because of his age and inexperience. No one is questioning his position, first as the heir, and then as Lord of Winterfell after his father’s death. With Theon, it’s both, ability and position being challenged, questioned, prodded. Who is he, in the grand scheme of things? His father’s heir? That’s not guaranteed at this point, his sister has a stronger claim.
But of course a weak tyrant is usually more dangerous (and hateful) than a strong one. A Tywin Lannister, for example, would never have been manipulated by his subordinate to kill someone he doesn’t want to kill, or to do anything he doesn’t really want to do. Alfie Allen is excellent in the role; he manages to make me simultaneously wish for Theon’s death by a thousand unsuccessful decapitations, and to almost cry for him. Like poor Ser Rodrik said, he is truly lost now, there is no going back from this. I like that Theon’s poor attitude towards women ends up causing him a major setback. Father dearest is not going to be happy about Bran and Rickon escaping.
Can we have a spin-off? The “Arya and Tywin” show. Poor Tywin, everyone is his life is such a disappointment to him! From his children, to his relatives, to the people fighting for him. Only Arya can come close to satisfying his high standards, hehe. Littlefinger knows, or at least suspects, about Arya, I think, but is keeping it a secret for his own purpose.
Where the heck is Bronn? There’s a riot in the city, and the Commander of the City Watch is nowhere to be seen? Hmmm, I get the sense that they are setting up something between The Hound and Sansa (the ‘I didn’t do it for you!’ he said to Tyrion). God, please, no, that would be 10x creepier than Jorah Mormont and Daenerys. Believe me, it has nothing to do with looks, the age difference is just.too.much.
Oh Robb!! You’ve already made the mistake of not listening to your mother about the Greyjoys, please listen to her now about matters of the heart. Just because you’re a man, doesn’t mean you don’t have to honor the promised arranged marriage. I’m calling it now – Talissa really is a Lannister spy. I have another beef with Robb, he left Winterfell so poorly protected Theon could take it with a skeleton force (yes, Ser Rodrik took most of them to defend that other place, but he only took 200 men, which means there weren’t a lot to begin with). Your brothers (and current heirs, since you don’t have a son yet) are there! He might be great in battles, surpassing even Tywin Lannister, but he’s pretty crap when it comes to strategy and planning. My brother, who’s read the books, thinks it’s a mistake making him older in the show (he’s 14 in the novels) – Robb’s mistakes and missteps make sense if you think of him as a boy, but as the grown-up man we see on screen, it’s really infuriating. Granted, I don’t think we’ve ever been told Robb’s age in the show, but Richard Madden sure as heck is NOT playing a 14-year-old boy.
Jon Snow meets cute a wilding woman, something something or other. Aghh, I can’t really be bothered with this storyline. The only interesting thing about this is the wildling woman is played by Gwen the Downton Abbey housemaid who left to become a secretary. And Daenerys lost her baby dragons! I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened earlier.