As predicted, Theon’s reign at Winterfell isn’t going too well. The death of one of his men and the subsequent disappearance of the young Stark boys makes him look incredibly incompetent (as if he didn’t already, after botching Roderik’s execution). Theon knows that in order to keep his unruly men on his side, and at the same time keep Winterfell’s population cowering in fear, he’ll have to do something drastic to the Stark children once he finds them, but during the search, he seems to forget this and instead revels in the thrill of the chase; during the hunt, he tells Maester Lewin that it’s all a game. But at the end of the episode, as Theon looks at the charred, mutilated little bodies that he claims are Bran and Rickon, you can see a look of disgust and horror cross his face. All the small mistakes, missteps, and overreactions, all done in an attempt to gain some sort of familial love from a distant father, have made him into nothing more than a butcher and a monster. Now he’s left with a conquered group of people who hate him, a band of thuggish soldiers who have watched him screw up on multiple occasions, and the knowledge that some of Robb’s army is likely marching towards him to answer his treason. I was never a huge fan of Theon’s story in the books, but I really like the way the series has depicted his slow descent into depravity. I’ll be looking forward to watching his fall, which I’m sure is coming along very soon.
* I can’t get enough of the Arya and Tywin scenes, interactions that were never in the book, but in the series give us such insight into both characters. I love Arya’s sharp wit, and how she turns Tywin’s probing questions back around at him. In the scene this week, I love how the camera zoomed in on Tywin’s neck during one of his monologues, letting us know that Arya was thinking about driving her knife into him. Great stuff.
* Tyrion and Cersei’s scene was great as well; two siblings who mutually loathe each other, yet somehow awkwardly trying to provide each other with some small measure of comfort as the agent of their doom (i.e. Stannis’s fleet) looms only a few days away.
* I also really loved Jaime’s talk with his lesser cousin, and how he used his cousin’s memory of his one day of glory to lure him into complacency before killing him in an attempt to escape. Equally as good was Jaime’s talk with Cat, where he listed off all the contradictory vows of honor one is expected to keep, and how even the seemingly “honorable” Ned failed at least once. Everyone in Westeros hates Jaime for killing the old king, but the old king was burning innocent people alive. He never gets credit for stopping the tyrant because most folks in Westeros want to live in an uncomplicated world of black and white; Jaime’s one of the few characters who knows that world doesn’t exist.