For the second week in a row, Game Of Thrones has thrown its audience off-guard with shocking developments coming right at the start of episodes. Last week saw Renly Baratheon slain by a shadow, and this week saw Theon Greyjoy return to Winterfell a conquering villain.
The nature is what is truly evil is something intriguing to follow in Game Of Thrones, with Joffrey clearly an unredeemable scumbag (to quote Tyrion ‘We’ve had violent kings, we’ve had idiot kings, but we’ve never had a violent idiot king’) who gets a deserved pie in the face from his people this week. The people were revolting, but nowhere near as revolting as their king, you could say.
But Theon is the flipside of the evil coin. He’s not really evil, he’s just weak and easily-led, especially when it comes to seeking approval from his real family. So he’s making his ‘adopted’ family pay, whether he likes it or not, and his horrifically-clumsy execution of Ser Roderick was one of the show’s most jaw-dropping moments to date. Two slashes and a stamp is no way to go…
Unfortunately for Theon, his clubfooted approach to everything (getting easily seduced by Osha being a good example) is likely to result in his demise unless he redeems himself soon, with word of his treachery reaching Robb Stark. It wasn’t a great week for that family, with Sensa almost getting raped by the angry mob (with no help from her idiot husband of course) and Arya’s cover in the Lannister camp almost being blown twice (once by Littlefinger, who is still trying to play everyone off against each other).
It was an even worse week though for Daenerys, who is finding that Qarth is as deadly as as the middle of the desert, even if it is more comfortable. After getting patronised and rejected by the fat merchant when she asks for ships, she finds that someone has slaughtered her Dothraki horde and stolen her dragons. Her character arc is interesting, because she started off petulant and powerless, before maturing and gaining dragons. At the moment, she’s back to being petulant and powerless, so what next?
And finally, we’ve got Jon Snow, whose inability to decapitate someone (through morals rather than incompetence – unlike his kind-of-adopted-kind-of-brother) leads to him being cut adrift from his colleagues North Of The Wall and spending the night getting rubbed against by a Wildling. It was a bit cold for her to be as brazen as Osha with Theon, but the comparisons were obvious, along with the similar perils. But then again, everyone seems to be in mortal peril at the moment. Another great episode