"Game" On :: The Old Gods and the New
Winterfell has been sacked by Theon Greyjoy, which is a little like the United States being sacked by Uzbekistan.... or the White House being sacked by Mitt Romney. It just not something that sounds reasonable. But our lackluster Theon unzipped his plan, drew up his ladder, and sent his damp minions into the breach. This revolting metaphor has been brought to you by Wendy’s.
It’s a shame, really, that Theon is such a flaccid guy. Because, to be honest, Winterfell could use a little facelift. Were I in charge, for example, I’d have the grounds swept, the rushes changed, bright banners hung to keep out the cold, and every outhouse fixture would be swapped out for something out of the Moen catalog. I mean, who’s doing the decorating around here? Why is everthing so dank? Why isn’t there a Medieval Trading Spaces in Westeros? The Winterfell people can go renovate Pike while Theon and his cronies slap a coat of paint on the hideous Stark castle. HBO, take note.
Alas, Winterfell is destined to stay as decrepit and crusty as the privates of the serving wench who apparently doesn’t find it uncomfortable to walk around naked underneath what looks to be a burlap overcoat. Seriously. That’s gotta hurt the nipples.
Theon does come into his own, however, when he hacks off the head of Ser Roderick; it only takes three hacks with his sword and a final frustrated kick to get the bastard’s vertex to roll free. Maybe there’s a whetstone in Winterfell?
Meanwhile, Jon Snow is trudging through the snow with a scouting party and Arya is watching Tywin root at his war table as he grouses about the winning ways of Rob Stark. It’s just another lazy afternoon here for the Westerosi.
Until, that is, Jon and his merry band happen upon some witless Wildlings sacked out for a quiet dinner on a craggy mountain (it’s where the glitterati beyond the wall go to see and be seen.) All goes well - killing, maiming, general mayhem with oversized swords - until Jon realizes that yet another actor from "Downton Abbey" has made her way into the wilds of "Game of Thrones." His commander suggests Jon remove her head, and she offers her neck for some good ol’ fashioned lopping, but Jon knows very well that the maid service at Downton is without peer, so he spares her life. (Wouldn’t you? She must know the answer to one of life’s greatest riddles: how in the world do all those little bells in the servant’s hall really work? Don’t the strings fray?)
Simultaneously, things aren’t going well for the Lannisters in King’s Landing. On their way back to the castle from a short picnic on the piers (not really) they’re attacked by the rabble. Now look: I’m not a Lannister fan, but really. The rabble play an important role at the bottom of the food chain; when they rise up like this, it not only puts lives at risk, it renders the whole social order imbalanced. Everything goes to hell and the basic certainties of life upon which we all rely evaporate into a cloud of ambiguity. Such as would happen if Oprah ended up working for Gayle. Or if the millions in the pews at Sunday church figured out that organized religion is really the lowest common denominator of mind control. Or if the White House was sacked by Mitt Romney.