Game of Thrones Recap: Let He Who Dealt It

At this point in Game of Thrones, the values espoused by dear old dead Ned Stark, our season-one hero, have been pretty thoroughly dismantled. Honor, faithfulness, straight-dealing — they’re for dopes. When a (weirdly) avuncular Tywin asks the disguised Arya what killed her father, the girl doesn’t beat around the bush: "Loyalty," she says.

Still, if there’s one Ned lesson that’s retained its currency, it’s the one he outlined in the showsveryfirstepisode: "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." Personal responsibility is still prized in Westeros, and taking matters into your own hands is the mark of a real grown-up.

The first scene of "The Old Gods and the New" explicitly echoes that series opener, as Theon, having newly taken Winterfell with his Ironmen, is goaded into sentencing an insubordinate Rodrik Cassel to death. Rodrik — Theon’s childhood fighting master — reminds the boy that he must be the one to execute him, but he botches it in a spectacular fashion, eventually having to finish the job by kicking the old man’s head off. Read More...


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