There’s very little question in my mind that with last week the stride has well and truly been hit: Nothing but greatness in store for the rest of the season, and if this most recent episode is anything to go by.
Theon’s gradual descent into merciless, angry asshole has been pitch-perfect in its portrayal; we understand how he got there while lacking pretty much any true sympathy for his actions. The young, charred corpses he produces at the end were wretch-inducing.
Beyond the Wall, Ygritte’s first delivery of “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” easily one of the greatest catch phrases from the books (and there are a lot) couldn’t have been more satisfying. Wonderful casting choice, there. I’ve never been that engrossed by Jon’s storyline in any medium, but this is where it starts to really go somewhere. Next couple seasons are going to have some very interesting happenings up North, and it’s this first encounter with the wildlings that sets off everything. Nice to see it’s going well so far.
I was already hugely fond of the Arya/Tywin scenes, and here they got even better, somehow. Why oh why won’t he just adopt her? It’d be so very perfect. These two are pretty much my highlight of the season.
Sansa gets her period without setting anything on fire (that happened in the book, right? I’m pretty sure she set a few things on fire) and the scene that followed with Cersei was pretty grand. Then Cersei and Tyrion? Damn that was powerful stuff. Lena Headey is every bit as suited to her role as Peter Dinklage, and watching the two of them just gets better. In the books I dread Cersei’s appearances; she’s a great character but so very loathsome. Here she’s amazing just to sit back and watch.
The Qartheen coup was a fantastic, thoroughly eerie moment. Pyat Pree is such a delightful freak, and though I’m still not sure how the whole stolen dragons thing will pan out, I’m very willing to go with it for now. House of the Undying next week? Let’s hope so.
And finally we get a healthy dose of the Kingslayer. I wasn’t sure how the show would handle having a main character from the first season in captivity for so long, but it hasn’t been a problem at all. He’s talked about frequently, while kept mostly out of sight until getting a great spotlight here. His chat with Alton was more than well done, and though I could tell where it was going it’s just great to see Jaime be a total bastard. Great things to come for him in the near future, no doubt.