Don't read on unless you've seen Season 2, Episode 6 of "Game of Thrones," entitled "The Old Gods and the New."
The "old gods" of this terrific episode's title probably refers to the deities worshipped by Ned Stark and his family; but to the children in his household, Ned himself was a god. He wasn't just their father (or father figure), he was the lord of all he surveyed and the leader of a whole host of lesser lords and smallfolk. To those who grew up at Winterfell, he was all-powerful; a strong, stubborn, honorable man who tried to wield his power compassionately.
But the young men and women of the Stark household learned the hard way that whatever useful or positive qualities he possessed -- and let's face it, political acumen wasn't one of them -- didn't save him in the end. Now, they're all enduring brutal post-Ned educations, learning heart-wrenching lessons about what they can and can't do.
Absent ongoing adult guidance, in many cases, they're learning what compromises they can make and which ones they can't, who they can trust and how much they need to fend for themselves, outside the protective realm of Winterfell. In "The Old Gods," these children -- none of whom are children any more, aside from poor little Rickon -- are trying to figure out why everything has fallen apart and how to survive in a brutal, confusing world. Read More...