Ror Recaps: GAME OF THRONES S206 "The Old Gods And The New"

This is a pretty significant episode of HBO's fantasy drama series, as it marks some big changes from the books, while at the same time cementing its position as the best show on tv..

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 5/7/2012
I haven't been doing write ups for every episode of Game Of Thrones this season, but decided to make an exception for "The Old Gods And The New". Game Of Thrones is never bad - although some episodes are definitely not as good as others - but this sixth episode in the second season takes things to a new level in my opinion.

The show is certainly speeding things up in relation to the source novels, and making quite a few changes (some small, some more significant) while it goes. We see the treacherous Theon Greyjoy take command of Winterfell, and lob off a defiant Ser Roderick's head while he's at it. This incredibly brutal scene (it takes the weak, cowardly Theon a few hacks to get the job done) marks the character's descent from pathetic wretch to out and out evil bastard. Rodericks's last words sum it up - ""Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost.". It's disturbing stuff, the cries from Bran and Rickon for Theon to show mercy going straight to the heart. Later on when the crafty Osha uses her Wildling ways (and female powers of persuasion) to get herself, Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and the Direwolves away from Winterfell, fans of the books will note that the Greenseer Jojen Reed and his sister Meera are nowhere to be seen. A big departure, since these characters play a large part in Bran's story. Will we see them at a later stage? Who knows - I have a feeling Osha's role might be beefed up to substitute for them.



Back at King's Landing Joffrey's cruelty and madness finally incite a riot among the people. Unfortunately they don't get their hands on the little prick, but they do manage to corner Sansa. The poor girl is beaten and almost raped before being rescued by The Hound - on fine disemboweling form. Any Sansa haters still think she's getting what she deserves? This scene also marks another mighty slap to Joffrey's face from his Uncle Tyrion..literally. It's great to see, but how long will the psychotic King put up with it?

North of The Wall, Jon Snow and the other Rangers are making their way to the Wildling lookout's camp. Quorin Halfhand seems to see something in the young man but he also scolds him for being so willing to throw his life away for the Nights Watch, even If he has to - "I don't want you to be glad about it, I want you to fight and curse until your hearts done pumping". They take the Wildlings by surprise, killing all except a red haired woman named Ygritte. Yes, she's a love interest for our favorite bastard. But with Jon separated from his companions and at the mercy of the elements, can he trust her not to "bury an axe in his face"?

At Harrenhal, Arya and Tywin Lannister are developing some mutual respect. The stern Tywin seems more willing to speak to her openly than he does his own men. But Arya seizes and opportunity to steal a note relating to her brother Robb's movements from the table. As she runs outside Armory Lorch confronts her, and she is forced to find Jaquen and waste one of her kills on the vicious Lannister Bannerman. At least he fully deserved it. Two down, one to go Arya. Make it a good one eh?



Meanwhile, Robb runs into that pretty girl he met while she was hacking a man's foot off and the two share a "moment". It's short lived, as a returning Catlyn reminds him that he is spoken for, and the debt to Lord Frey must be honored. They are interrupted by Roose Bolton, who informs Robb of Theon's betrayal. Robb vows to return to Winterfell for Theon's head but Bolton suggest sending his bastard son instead. Fans of the book will know this marks the first mention of "Reek", the bastard of Bolton - quite possibly the most vile, evil character in the entire saga. And that's saying something.

Finally we see what's been going on in Quarth with Dany and co. The Khaleesi asks that fat, pompous merchant who was reluctant to allow her to enter the city for ships, so that she might return to The Seven Kingdoms and claim the Iron Throne. He refuses, and angers Dany in the process. In her impatience the once humble and gentle Dany is beginning to show something akin to petulance here, and it seems Jorah might have been right in treating her like a child still. She returns to her quarters to find most of her Dothraki dead, along with her handmaiden Irri (another character who still lives in the books). But worst of all, to Dany at least, her three dragons have been stolen by persons unknown. This is another big departure from the novel. I'm not sure what will be accomplished by this change, but we must assume this somehow leads her to the Houses Of The Undying and from there things get back on course.

Despite some big alterations, for me the show remains a very faithful adaptation. The fact that it's not following the books to the letter means that those who have read them can still be surprised, even shocked. This episode also stands out as not only the best of the season so far, but one of the best full stop. Everything from the acting, cinematography, pacing, editing..you name it, has never been better. Lets hope the quality continues as we move into the seventh episode, and draw closer and closer to the one fans have been waiting a long time, "Blackwater".









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23 Comments
MatchesMalone1989 - 5/7/2012, 8:04 AM
Coward! Those who pass the sentence should swing the sword!!!!
Xeriath - 5/7/2012, 8:04 AM
IMO This was one of the best episodes of this season. Absolutely loved it, so much going on I was fully engaged the whole time.
TucsonRican - 5/7/2012, 8:15 AM
I have to admit, the lack of the Reed's in the story seems kinda strange.

Wonder how they will continue Bran's story without them since they are pretty important in his journey away from Winterfell
preacher - 5/7/2012, 8:20 AM
The wife and I watched this last night and were on the edge of our seats the entire time! Theon's beheading of Roderik was indeed very brutal and I was actually surprised that this was not implied. In fact, alot of the violence in this particular episode was not as implied as previous episodes.

We are reading the first novel, together, at the same time, as we watch the series and we're both extremely happy that they are not word for word or action for action. This way, things we've seen in the series are more expanded upon in the novel so revelations abound as we wade through.

Loving this series! Curious about this "Blackwater" you mentioned. Is there anything anyone can tell me about that WITHOUT giving too many spoilers?
preacher - 5/7/2012, 8:22 AM
By the way, Ygritte is smoking hot! The scene where she and Jon are huddling together for warmth, lets just say Jon has a hell of a lot more will power than I'd have! And Osha, wilst NOT smoking hot, has a wild sexiness to her that only increased after she disrobed! Happily surprised with THAT revelation! lol
HavocPrime - 5/7/2012, 8:29 AM
Hoping the reeds are introduced as they are pretty important, when Bran said he had a dream of the sea coming to Winterfell was when I figured they would probs be left out :(
NiteSoul69 - 5/7/2012, 8:31 AM
Great write-up. I havent read the books but I have heard they are great from everyone that has. The tv series is simply spectacular, hands down the episodes are masterfully made, truely quality film making imo. I am glad this is made by HBO which has the money to pay for good cgi and actors, i just wish they could make it two hours long lol, the hour long episodes go by so fast, prob the fastest hour on tv:)
KillerOfSaints - 5/7/2012, 8:36 AM
My girl read all of them and she's pissed at the differences, but still loves the show. Last night was the best ever and I hope they talk about how Varys gets chopped!
NiteSoul69 - 5/7/2012, 8:38 AM
@Preacher, while i agree both ladies u mentioned are attractive, Margaery Tyrell played by Natalie Dormer is most attractive out of all of the ladies on the series imo
TucsonRican - 5/7/2012, 8:53 AM
@KillerOfSaints

While I agree with you, that part of the story is a great read, especially if you have the actor in mind when re-reading it, Conleth Hill has been surprisingly absent this season. Wonder why? Varys is present throughout the Tyrion's story...
Kaedus - 5/7/2012, 9:07 AM
The Reeds will most likely turn up in Season 3. Osha will be the one teaching Bran about his dreams until then.

Howland Reed has to turn up eventually...he's now the only living person in Westeros who knows what happened at Lyana's death. Jon Snow the son of Rhaegar? :P
Gmoney84 - 5/7/2012, 9:38 AM
@Kaedus...There are a lot of people who subscribe to that theory…myself included. I look forward to the introduction of the Reed's and the Tully’s hopefully in season 3. Did they cast Ramsey Bolton? I hadn’t heard anything about it.

Ror, you are right about him being the vilest character in the books. Honestly, he makes Joffrey look like an angel.
Gmoney84 - 5/7/2012, 9:38 AM
Can't wait to see Theon get his.
iamsohi - 5/7/2012, 10:52 AM
just noticed that Natalie Dormer is the girl that kisses Cap and pisses Peggy off in The First Avenger when i was prepping for the midnight screening thursday,SHE IS SMOKING HOT!
aurorsand147 - 5/7/2012, 12:12 PM
someone on tumblr asked George RR Martin about the reeds on his book signing and he said they weren't cast yet. hopefully they'll be in season. the creators did say that some characters were moved to season 3 b/c it'll be overwhelming for non-book readers to be introduced to so many characters this season. also i dont think we will actually be meeting "Reek" he will probably just be Ramsay. i didnt like the death of Irri. it was unnecessary imo. Dorreah was suppposed to be killed not Irri.
nowtheresaBATman - 5/7/2012, 12:54 PM
@Ror great recap! I hope you do more because yours was a far more enjoyable read than I've read elsewhere. Thx





KingEmperor - 5/7/2012, 12:58 PM
Nymphadora Tonks got naked. And we witnessed the best dry humping ever shown on TV.
nowtheresaBATman - 5/7/2012, 1:04 PM
@Azazel1 sorry dude, but Breaking Bad has been deThroned as the best show on TV.
marvel72 - 5/7/2012, 1:14 PM
haven't read the books so i don't know of the changes,but saying that i'm loving what i see.

definetly 100% the best show on tv.
thedangle1 - 5/7/2012, 1:41 PM
I was reading last night about this season with certain characters not being in the show who are in the book like Meera and Jojen Reed because they made some serious changes. Like the execution of Ser Roderick (pictured uptop). That was exactly how it was in the book BUT it wasn't him getting killed like that. It was Mikkon the blacksmith or swordsmith executed exactly like that. The writers of the show said because of SO MANY characters in the book they had to eliminate them from this season, but they will be in the third season. My guess is you'll see (don't want to give anything away for those who didn't read the books yet and are just watching the show first) you'll see the Reeds and Tullys in the third season. And I also read the third season MAY be split into two season because of the enormous size of the book. The show is still very faithful to the books except for these changes (as mentioned in the article) and still my favorite show on TV.
thedangle1 - 5/7/2012, 1:48 PM
@preacher..."Blackwater" is a huge battle involving a lot of ships on the waters of King's Landing involving Tyrion, the Hound, Davos, and many others. That's about all I can say without giving away too much. It's pretty epic in the book so I can't wait to see how it plays out onscreen. Hope that helps.
preacher - 5/7/2012, 7:03 PM
thanks "thedangle1" (great name by the way!lol)! and yes, that does help!
thedangle1 - 5/7/2012, 9:14 PM
@preacher...you're welcome! And thanks about my name lol.

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