"Game of Thrones," Season 2, Episode 6

Season 2, Episode 6


I’m not sure if this qualifies as an observation or a criticism, but as “Game of Thrones’” second season goes along, I’m finding that the episodes blur together. The show’s premise, with a diverse group of primary characters spread across a couple of continents, requires that each installment be kind of samey, cutting back and forth between our favorite heroes and villains. It’s hard to imagine “Game of Thrones” having a “change of pace” episode like, say “The Sopranos” could, or devote an hour to the perspective of a single character or place (although I might be wrong about that). As a massive fantasy epic, the chapters are too interlocked to allow much straying from the template.

Fortunately, virtually every “Game of Thrones” episode features some events that make it stand out, and “The Olds Gods and the New” has several, beginning with the taking of Winterfell. Last week only hinted at Theon’s plan, but this episode begins with the scheme virtually complete: A desperate Maester Luwin sends off a messenger raven amid the sounds of battle. Theon barges into Bran’s bedroom and announces that he’s taken the castle, and by the way, “It’s Prince Theon now,” he insists, in as douchey a way as possible. Robb’s war and the Greyjoys’ recent attacks left Winterfell virtually unguarded, allowing Theon’s Iron Islanders to take the castle with ease.