Game of Thrones Round Table: "The Old Gods and the New"

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It featured a near-rape. A beheading. And the theft to end all thefts.

Without a doubt, the most recent Game of Thrones episode provided more surprises and action than any other season two installment to date. So let's get right to our weekly Round Table discussion, shall we?

Below, staff writers Matt Richenthal, Eric Hochberger, Dan Forcella, Carla Day and Carissa Pavlica gather around to relive "The Olds Gods and the New."


What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Carla: The conversation between Tywin and Arya was one of my favorites. His interactions with her are such the opposite of how he interacted with his sons. Lord Tywin has a softer side. Plus, Arya is much more than just a "sharp little thing," she's shown herself to be quite brilliant.

Dan: Speaking of guys with a softer side. My favorite scene had to be The Hound saving Sansa.  He was so quietly heroic in that moment that it has to be mentioned.

Eric: I'm pretty sure there's only one choice here and Dan nailed it. The Hound rocks.

Matt: The sacking of Winterfell overall was so well done for its shock, its gore and its ramifications. But I'll get specific for you: when Theon first entered Bran's bedroom and the young Lord barely reacted, clearly not taking this pathetic, wannabe tough guy seriously.

Carissa: Ygritte snuggling against Jon Snow in the snow. Poor, inexperienced Jon. Ygritte did know to get him in a tizzy!

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More dramatic scene: The uprising in King's Landing or Theon's takeover of Winterfell?
Matt: I squirmed as Theon kept chopping away at Rorik, but for a scene as a whole? The uprising. It was captured perfectly in all its chaos, from Tyrion recognizing what was about to go down... to it going down and then some! Poor Sana, awesome Hound, forceful Tyrion, jarred Joffrey. So great all around.

Dan: I will go with Winterfell, mainly because of what is going on with Theon. He's torn, and he's not ready to do what he's doing, so every move he makes is with trepidation. He was so jittery while taking over his former home that every single shake by Alfie Allen had me on the edge of my seat.

Eric: Wow. Both were damn gory and intense. But I have to give it up to Sansa's near raping and the Hound's rescue. Entrails will always get me more than a sloppy beheading.

Carla: Wow. Both had their moments. I'll have to go with the riots in King's Landing. Sansa's attack was the right up there with Joffrey's sadistic actions in the bedroom - in "Garden of Bones" - as the worst moments to sit through on the show. The people are so dissatisfied with King Joffrey that they tore a person apart by hand; that doesn't bode well for him.

Carissa: Theon's takeover of Winterfell, if only because Bran has nobody there to help him and Theon is such a jerk. He's also not the best swordsman, as it took him several hacks to loosen a man's head from his shoulders.

Dumber decision: Jon Snow not killing Ygritte or Daenerys not keeping better care of her dragons?
Matt: Daenerys takes worse care of those dragons than Patrica Krentcil takes of her five-year old. Walk around holding their cage at all time, especially in a foreign land, it isn't that difficult.

Dan: Oh, anything less than the vault at the Bellagio for those dragons is dumb. Prized possessions should be stolen with some little raid. Come on, Dany!

Carissa: Dany had an entire stable of people killed, I can hardly blame her for believing her dragons were safe. And Jon has never known a woman, you can't fault him for finding one he might want to keep. Neither were dumb decisions.

Carla: I'm not sure I'd call either dumb, but the more unfortunate of the two is Dany losing her dragons. The only hope she had of regaining the throne was with the power of her dragons.

Eric: As the entire Round Table before me has pointed out, there's not much more care you can leave your dragons in than your entire slaughtered khalasar.  Now letting a red head go? Pretty sure Cartman can preach the dangers of gingers better than me.

Who should Arya have killed with her final wish?
Matt: The executive at The CW who decided to bring back 90210 for another season.

Dan: There will definitely be somebody she needs to kill desperately in the near future. Save it up. Don't waste it like Aladdin.

Eric: Joffrey. Girl already wasted her first. Might as well get the guy that ordered your father dead - who just happens to be my least favorite character - killed.

Carla: Baelish. He knows her secret and has played every side. Unless he decides it is in his interest to help her. One way to get on Cat's good side would be to return Arya to her. If not Littlefinger, she should hold on to it for now. She probably has a bigger threat coming.

Carissa: Tywin. Good relationship or not, he's still the most powerful man standing between her family and peace in the kingdom.

Will Joffrey conclude this season atop the Iron Throne?
Matt: No. That riot was the beginning of his downfall. I see Stannis taking his rightful place before the finale credit roll.

Dan: There isn't much time left for someone else to take a seat, but with the way everyone is acting in King's Landing, I can see it being empty more than Joffrey still sitting there.

Eric: Unfortunately, my vote is going for yes. I mean, if he's willing to have people killed for flinging poo, imagine what he'll do to keep his seat. Hint: kill lots of people.

Carla: No. I predict he will die (please oh please) before the season ends.

Carissa: Maybe in pieces. You know, like someone drops him onto it and he's impaled? That would be cool.


Hope Arya tells the guy to kill Joffrey


1. Every scene with Tywin and Arya. The actors are phenomenal and it paints Tywin in very interesting shades of grey. I also find it explores well the conundrum of having enemies close, seeing them as real people. I think she was actually quite proud when Tywin jested that she should plan their next battle.
2.The Uprising at King's Landing, the mounting tension was very well staged. I really liked Bran disbelieving attitude towards Theon (even when he yielded he seemed to want to roll his eyes), but I don't find Theon as entertaining a villain as Joffrey is.
3.Both were equally dumb (and lazily written in Jon's case) but Dany is sounding more and more like Viserys, entitled without much wits.
4.To help her brother's war effort, she should kill Tywin (Joffrey and Cersei will eventually self-destruct), but I like the character too much. Let her kill Littlefinger to preserve her cover.
5.If I lived in Westeros, I would pray to all the gods that not, but the young actor is so good and making the king petulant and insufferable that I think he's a marvelous entertaining villain for the show.


Bran was so brave and his comments to Theon made me so sad. 'I won't. I won't yield Winterfell' and 'Did you hate us the whole time?' He grew up with Theon and he's really too young to completely understand this betrayal. And him and Rickard having to watch that beheading amidst their screams - horrible! I am ready for Theon to get his. I don't care if he's trying to win daddy's affection - he's a lowlife scum for what he did. Jon Snow didn't kill her because - like his father - he is both honorable and compassionate. Ned warned Cersei about telling Robert that the kids weren't her because of that compassion and it got him killed. But at least he died an honorable man. I hope Jon doesn't suffer the same fate but manages to hold on to his honor.


Tywin's treatment of Arya gives me hope that between the Tywin and Tyrion that Sansa and Arya won't end up dead too. The Hound saving Sansa makes me wonder about him. He killed the butcher's son which made me think he was horrible and evil. But then he fought off The Mountain when he attacked Loras Tyrell. He's loyal to Joffrey yet he has a softspot for Sansa. Once again, I have hope that he is actually has a heart that will win out in the end.


I can't believe that no one has mentiond the awesome scene where Tyrion ripped Joffrey a new one about his behavior causing the uprising in the first place then SMACKING the little jerk. Best line 'I just hit a king, did my hand fall off?' I cheered so much for him for that and his actions to protect the children first and then Sansa. Tyrion is becoming the best character in his family, Kings Landing and possibly the whole show. He's the only one who seems to think ahead about where the family and kingdom is going. And I LOVE the way he's so protective of Sansa. He claims its because she's the way to get Jamie back but I cannot help but believe its more than that. Its honorable and he seems to admire the Starks since Season 1 despite being taken hostage. He knows they are an honorable family and that killing Ned Stark was the stupidiest thing to do for everyone involved. Hell even his evil sister was against that. Tywin's treatment of Arya gives me hope that between the Tywin and Tyrion that Sansa and Arya won't end up dead too. The Hound saving Sansa makes me wonder about him. He killed the butcher's son which made me think he was horrible and evil. But then he fought off The Mountain when he attacked Loras Tyrell. He's loyal to Joffrey yet he has a softspot for Sansa. Once again, I have hope that he is actually has a heart that will win out in the end.


1. Tywin/Arya but Bran's bedroom a close second
2. Uprising
3. Dany's
4. Question should be reworded.
5. I hope not but he probably will.


Is the novel approach going up this week... I really enjoy readingboth reviews and I'm dying to read Carissa's thoughts on the episode


It's not like Danny can walk around w her fragons 24/7/ She had a crap load of ppl watching them!
I like the drama Jeffory adds! :) He's funny in that horrible way.
Also Jon & Danny %100


--- Or Danny. If I have one complaint about the books it's that I find Danny's story-line boring most of the time. With the dragons being stolen (something that doesn't happen in the books) it actually creates some tension in her story. Plus it actually makes more sense that happens in the books. I never bought the idea that with a rag-tag group of starving servants someone in Qarth wouldn't have just taken the dragons, namely Daxos once she refused his proposal. --- In a lot of ways I think the show is doing a better job of telling the story than the books did and I hope fans of the books will relax and realize that most likely the changes will lead back around to where the books are (at least for the major characters).


--- Or what about Arya's arc this season. In the book it is a winding way to Harrenhall and then the castle itself passes through more than a couple hands. I found it fairly confusing in the book to keep track of who was who (this is where Roose Bolton is originally introduced). In the show, in part in an effort to find something for Twyin Lannister to do, they've crafted this awesome pairing of Twyin and Arya. It humanizes him and clarifies her arc.

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