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