Game of Thrones: The Old Gods and The New   First Watch 
May 1, 2015 2:59 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Theon's plan comes to fruition. Arya has a surprise visitor. Joffrey meets his subjects. Qhorin gives Jon a chance to prove himself.

Tyrion: "We've had vicious kings, and we've had idiot kings, but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!

Longer Summary (contains spoilers)
- In Winterfell: Facing little resistance, Theon has taken Winterfell and declared himself prince and Lord. He convinces Bran to yield after promising not to harm the castle's inhabitants. But when Ser Rodrik is captured and brought to Theon, the knight contemptuously spits in his face. Dagmer Cleftjaw insists that Theon must kill him or lose face in front of his ironborn raiders. Theon beheads Ser Rodrik but is unable to execute him with one blow and has to repeatedly hack at his neck to decapitate him, horrifying the people of Winterfell. Later that night, Osha seduces Theon, but then sneaks out of his room while he is asleep, freeing Bran, Rickon, Hodor and their direwolves and smuggling them out of the castle.
- In The Westerlands: Robb chats up Talisa. Catelyn arrives at the camp and firmly reminds him that he promised to marry one of Walder Frey's daughters. News arrives of Theon's betrayal and the execution of Ser Rodrik. Lord Roose Bolton advises Robb not to march back to the North to retake Winterfell, as he will lose what he has gained against the Lannisters. Bolton proposes sending his bastard son Ramsay to recapture Winterfell in Robb's stead. Robb reluctantly agrees, but demands that Theon be captured alive so that Robb may execute him personally.
- In King's Landing: Myrcella is sent to Dorne by ship by Tyrion as part of her arranged marriage with the Martell family. Cersei is heartbroken and warns Tyrion that she will not forgive him for sending away her only daughter. On the ride home from seeing her off, the streets are filled with starving refugees from the War of the Five Kings, as Cersei ignored both Tyrion and Janos Slynt's earlier warnings that something had to be done to care for the starving peasants or there would be mounting discontent with her son's rule. King Joffrey is struck in the face with manure hurled from a crowd, and he orders his guards to kill everyone. A riot ensues and the royal family is forced to flee for safety. Tyrion confronts and slaps Joffrey, then tries to take control of the situation, but the Kingsguard refuse to obey him. The High Septon is literally torn apart by the mob. Trapped outside, Sansa is nearly raped by several men before being rescued by Sandor.
- Across the Narrow Sea, in Qarth: Dany meets with the Spice King to ask for ships to take her and her Khalasar to Westeros, but is rebuffed. Upon returning to Xaro's mansion, Daenerys discover her Qarth guards and many of her own khalasar are dead, including her handmaiden, Irri. Her dragons have been stolen!
- Beyond the Wall: Qhorin Halfhand's expedition reaches and captures a wildling watchpost. Jon Snow captures the only wildling survivor: a female prisoner named Ygritte, who boasts of a growing wildling army. Qhorin orders Jon to execute her, but he hesitates and she escapes. He recaptures her, but now finds himself separated from Qhorin's party. With night approaching, they sleep in the open. Jon refuses to make a fire. He and Ygritte huddle next to each other to share body warmth.
- In The Riverlands: Harrenhall: Tywin grows increasingly exasperated at the incompetence of his illiterate knights and men-at-arms, who have let sensitive military information slip into the hands of Stark loyalists by confusing addresses. Tywin observes that his cupbearer (a still-undiscovered Arya) can read better than many of his knights, something he finds unusual because Arya has told him her father was a stonemason. Littlefinger arrives to speak with Tywin. Arya tries to hide her face from him. Baelish discusses with Tywin the possibility of forming an alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, whose forces have not yet joined with Stannis. Later, one of Tywin's knights, Ser Amory Lorch catches her with parchment stolen from Tywin's table detailing war orders concerning her brother Robb. She escapes him, then finds Jaqen H'ghar and begs him to kill Ser Amory without delay to repay the second of the three "lives" he owes her. As Ser Amory enters Tywin's chambers to expose Arya, he drops dead, with a poisoned dart lodged in his neck.

Cersei: [to Tyrion, as Myrcella is sent away in a boat] "One day I pray you love someone. I pray you love her so much, when you close your eyes, you see her face. I want that for you. I want you to know what it's like to love someone, truly love someone, before I take her from you."

Introduced in this episode
* Ygritte, a Wildling woman (member of the Free Folk)
* Farlen, Winterfell kennelmaster

Ygritte: [to Jon] "You're brave. Stupid, but brave."

Notes from here and here.
* This episode received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series. It won for Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).
* The title refers to the Old Gods worshipped primarily in the North and the Seven-Faced God of the Faith of the Seven, also referred to as the New God or Gods.
* The scenes beyond the Wall were filmed on-location in Iceland. The frozen landscape and glaciers in the background are real, not CGI or a matte painting.
posted by zarq (4 comments total)
This is a First Watch with Books thread.

Please do not reveal spoilers for subsequent episodes from any source.

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 3:00 AM on May 1, 2015

I so did not need to really think about how awful it would be to watch a botched beheading-by-sword. A well-executed one (so to speak) would be gruesome enough, but man. My toes are curling just writing about it. I thought they did a good job with the scene; it definitely stayed with me for quite a while.
posted by janell at 4:16 PM on May 3, 2015

Later that night, Osha seduces Theon, but then sneaks out of his room while he is asleep, freeing Bran, Rickon, Hodor and their direwolves and smuggling them out of the castle.

Funny thing about Osha's nudity: Natalia Tena believes that Osha would have had 'a muff coming down the thighs'

She's right, of course. Having a Wildling woman trim her pubs was silly, but the showrunners have their priorities, I guess.
posted by homunculus at 7:30 PM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have thoughts. I was surprised that the Halfhand sortie did not attempt to wear white while crossing snowy terrain, something the Finns figured out during the Winter War. I think Arya's three wishes are going to be used up very fast at this rate. Theon is such a weak character. Cersai's big speech to Tyrion about love needed a quick rejoinder from him re Jaime having beat her to it. And lastly, Qarth is pretty much paradise on earth from what I've seen and anyone without megalomaniac dreams should stick around; love the art direction.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:35 AM on September 22, 2018

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