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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Theon Greyjoy has long been one of Game of Throne’s most conflicted characters. He was born in the Iron Isles, the last son of the once prestigious Greyjoy family, but was taken away by the Starks and raised in Winterfell as a kind of penance for a failed rebellion. Early in season one, Jaime Lannister claims that seeing Greyjoy in Winterfell was like “seeing a shark on land.” Theon has never truly belonged in either world, whether he’s pontificating on whether or not Winter is Coming, or if He Does Not Sow. So now Theon becomes something else entirely on Game of Thrones: biggest dimwit. Theon Greyjoy took Winterfell with relatively little effort, the result of a diverted Stark family and a most traitorous surprise. Even though he promised not to hurt anyone, it seems as if all he’s doing is killing, maiming, and generally being foolishly violent. When Bran and Rickon escape the castle, Theon goes on a warpath, punishing and beating severely several farmers and small town dwellers. His actions at the end of the episode, although a most likely diversion, cement Theon as the most despicable person in Westeros not named Joffrey.
Back at Camp Stark, Robb heads off with Nurse Foreign Accent to get medical supplies for the injured and prisoners of war alike. Surely Robb’s romance with the nurse is not well thought out (he’s promised to another), and his men begin to show signs of disinterest and outward hostility. When Jaime Lannister attempts escape, killing a Stark bannerman in the process, the man’s father swears vengeance and nearly takes out Jaime. If not for the intervention of Catelyn Stark and Brienne, Jaime would have been beheaded (and perhaps that would have been a good thing). The problem is that Jaime’s far too valuable to just behead, so Lady Stark demands he be left alone for now, only to answer for his crimes at another time. Jaime hasn’t been much of a factor this season, but he is dynamite tonight. I’ve read elsewhere that Jamie is considered by critics to be under-developed as a character. I disagree with this sentiment. Jaime’s internal conflict with honor, duty, family, all the things that make up a knight, etc have been pretty clearly developed since the first episode.
Beyond the wall Jon Snow still banters back and forth with his wildling prisoner Ygritte. Her double entendre and sexual innuendo aren’t particularly endearing to me. By the end of the episode, Jon is taken captive by a group of wildlings in what was surely not his finest moment. This plot threatens to become awful boring awful quick. Perhaps once we finally meet Mance Rayder, leader of the wildlings, things will become much more interesting. But there are only three episodes left this season… In Harrenhal, we are treated to some more dialogue between Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark. Tywin is a great tactical leader and a brilliant man altogether, and he has been able to piece together through intuition and observation that Arya is obviously not who she claims to be. The intriguing exchanges between these two characters remain a highlight of the show.
In Qarth, all is not as it seems (as per usual). After a dragon-napping last week, this week we are treated to scenes of an angry and vengeful Daenerys (is there any other kind?). Daenerys wants her dragons back, and now, but seems short-sighted and petulant about how to do so. After alternating between welcoming Jorah back and scolding him for getting too close, Daenerys heads to Xaro’s chambers to meet with the council of thirteen. In a not so shocking (and actually somewhat stupid reveal), Xaro and the weird shape-shifty guy (name unknown to me thus far) stage a coup, assassinating the rest of the thirteen and claiming Qarth as their own kingdom. The problem I have with this is that there was like four or five episodes of build-up in this plot, and it seems to have completely shifted once again. It’s getting harder and harder to care about Daenerys and her plight. As long as Ser Jorah is around, I’ll still actively watch, however. I just hope this is going somewhere.