Game Of Thrones Recap: How Not To Train Your Dragons

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It’s Game Of Thrones Episode 16, entitled “The Old Gods And The New,” which refers to both the symbolic ‘changing of the guard’ at Winterfell and King’s Landing, as well as the literal disparity between the Wildlings’ “Old Gods” (The Gods of Murder and Rape) and the modern society’s “New Gods” (The Gods of More Humane Murder and Slightly Lighter Rape).

The episode opens with Winterfell instantly being conquered by Theon, thus confirming Bran’s prophetic dream:

Theon instructs Bran to yield the town to him and Bran does, prompting the wildling Osha to tell Bran “Don’t you see? It’s your dream – the sea has come to Winterfell.” Bran’s like, “Thanks, Sparknotes, but we all figured that out a week ago.”

With this dream now come true, Bran worries, “Uhoh, I hope I don’t have to take the SATs naked at this place that’s kind of like my high school gym but also part of it’s like my friend Jeff’s house, and Jeff was there but it wasn’t really Jeff, you know? But I knew him in the dream. So weird!”

Theon continues to play the part of a proud conquering Greyjoy, and tells the townspeople to kneel to him, though not for the reason Theon is usually telling people to kneel to him:

Theon’s soldiers bring in the captured Ser Rodrik Cassel, brother of Ser Sam Cassell, who they snagged on his way back from Torrhen’s Square. Cassel questions Theon’s honor and loyalty to the Starks then spits in his face, and Theon sentences him to the dungeon, but Finchy tells Theon he can’t let the insult stand, so Theon’s like, “Fiiiine, I’ll f*ck all his relatives.”

Theon reconsiders the punishment and brutally decapitates Cassel with his own sword in front of the horrified townspeople, then turns to Bran and says “So as I was saying, I promise I won’t hurt anyone once I’ve brutally decapitated a dude who helped raise me. You didn’t let me finish my sentence earlier.”

Later in the night, Osha visits Theon in his chambers, gets naked, has sex with him, then escapes in the middle of the night and seduces a guard then slits his throat so they can sneak Bran out under cover of night. Standard Game Of Thrones goalline audible.

Speaking of failing Winterfellians (Winterfellas?), Jon Snow and his band of rangers successfully get the drop on a wildling lookout crew and slaughter all the wildlings except one – Jon removes the last wildling’s helmet and guguguguwhaaaaaaaaa????

It’s a lady! Jon hesitates for a moment, saying they should question her before killing her, though he mayyyy have something else on his mind:

After some barely-informative interrogation, Jon tells his companions he’ll finish her off, and the other rangers are like “Ok cool, we’re gonna go way the hell over here and just meet us when you’re done, which should be in like 5 seconds so see you in 5 seconds!” Jon raises his sword, brings it down hard, and we realize he’s intentionally not killed her, and the wildling quickly gets up and begins to sprint away. Jon pursues, but by the time he catches her, they’re too far from the other rangers to risk calling out for them or signalling with a fire, and it’s almost nightfall, so Jon has no choice but to cuddle up next to her in the completely standard position of all rangers who’ve sworn a vow of celibacy:

Over at King’s Landing, Cersei and her children bid farewell to Princess Myrcella Baratheon as she’s (literally) shipped off to Dorne, the kingdom ruled by Corbin Bernsen’s Major League character. Cersei ominously tells Tyrion, “I hope you fall in love someday, so I can have her taken from you.” That probably bodes well for Tyrion’s secret prostitute-maid – if there’s any universal theme on Game Of Thrones, it’s the characters’ total willingness to compassionately forgive and forget past wrongings.

On the way back to the castle, Joffrey passes through a gaggle of angry townsfolk (I would make an #OccupyKingsLanding joke here, but it’s just not topical anymore, unlike that Major League joke), and a riot breaks out, started by someone throwing a huge clump of poo at Joffrey (yay!!!!) and resulting in four creepy-ass dudes dragging off Sansa and trying to rape her (very not yay!)

Sansa is rescued at the last second by The Hound, but still, god damn – does ANYONE on tv have it worse than Sansa Stark right now? Not only is she completely under Joffrey’s control, but also, EVEN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE AGAINST JOFFREY ARE TRYING TO RAPE HER. I’ll be the first to say it: Game Of Thrones can be pretty brutal sometimes! DONE. SAID IT. FIRST.

Elsewhere, Robb Stark learns of Theon’s conquest of Winterfell, but his advisors warn him not to abandon their campaign against the Lannisters, and to retake Winterfell with other allied troops from the North. Robb agrees, but requests that Theon be brought to him alive so he can look him square in the awkward erection he gets when frightened.

Arya Stark continues her employment as Tywin Lannister’s extremely trusted cup-bearer, but her cover is endangered with the arrival of Littlefinger, making the latest stop on his “Lying To Everyone” World Tour (he’s playing the Second Lying Stage at Bonnaroo next week. Actually First Stage! He lied.) Littlefinger appears to catch glimpses of Arya, but it’s not quite clear whether he actually doesn’t recognize her or if he does and is choosing to keep the information to himself because it’ll probably help him be shadier down the line:

Later on, Arya and Tywin share an intimate conversation about literacy, and Tywin asks Arya who her father was:

Arya tells Tywin her father was a “stone mason,” and when he asks what killed him, she simply replies, “Loyalty. To his super-fat stone mason king. Who was killed and replaced by this blond, bitchy stone mason kid who made him confess to stone-treachery then chopped off his head with a stone.” While Tywin’s back is turned, Arya notices a letter detailing Lannister plans against Robb Stark, and she pockets the note, but as she’s leaving, Amory Lorch catches her with the note, and she takes off running through Harrenhall as Amory pursues her.

She comes across Jaqen and frantically tells him that she needs him to kill Amory immediately before he can reach Tywin, and Jaqen’s like “Very well,” and Arya’s like “You have to do it right this second though, without delay!” and Jaqen’s like “Very well, milady, though the nature and timing of death is quite the complicated issue, with many moral avenues each running parallel to one another in an intricate web of…” (ten minutes later, he manages to kill Amory with a dart just as he’s bursting into Tywin’s chamber).

At Qarth, Daenerys is having trouble finding a sponsor for her “Take Back The Seven Kingdoms” 10k Charity Run (it’s a tax writeoff, you selfish merchant f*cks!), and finally meets with Rush Dalton Thompson, the “Spice King” and second richest man in Qarth:

She explains that an investment of ships and resources will be repaid “like a zillionfold” when she’s taken back the iron throne, but the Spice King isn’t so willing to halt his business endeavors to indulge her rite for vengeance, even after she whips out her “FIRE and BLOOD” catchphrase. But the Spice King IS willing to sell her all the cinnamon and turmeric she wants, should she decide to throw it at Joffrey’s armies:

Defeated, Daenerys walks with Xaro and tells him the she also struck out with the Bronze King and the Lending Ships To People King (“I need my ships in case someone with four dragons shows up and wants them”), and in what starts as a touching scene, Xaro begins to wax philosophic about how he came from nothing and before he was the richest man in town, he had to do some pretty morally questionable things:

Just as you’re about to say “Good pep talk, Xaro! So let’s hear your Plan B!”, he opens the door to his palace where Daenerys is staying to reveal all of her men slaughtered, Irri strangled to death (dammit! I thought Season 3 was gonna be her getting together with mutton chops Winterfell dude), and the dragons missing:

The episode concludes with Daenerys shouting “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!!?” as a cloaked figure (scary warlock man? Jorah escaping with them to safety?) carries them to the mysterious House of the Undying. Truly, there is no more fitting, symbolic end to a Game Of Thrones episode than someone yelling “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS???” and it being a LEGITIMATE CLIFFHANGER – I really do want to find out where her dragons are! Most other shows could have three main characters die in the last minute and I’d be like “that was weird, whatever,” then in this show, someone’s screaming about lost dragons and I’m like “OH MAN BETTER FIND THOSE F***IN DRAGONS! AHHHHH WE HAVE TO WAIT A FULL WEEEEEK DAAAMMMMIIITTTTTTTT”

My point is, this is a very good show.

Game Of Thrones Episode 6 Thoughts? Dragon-thief predictions? Rest of season predictions (no spoilers, BOOKWORMS!) Eulogies for Irri and Rodrik, the show’s two most important characters? Favorite / least favorite parts? Stuff we missed? Leave ‘em all in the Comments!