Quick Take: Game of Thrones, "The Night Lands"
"You should taste her fish pie." Tyrion
Review: Game of Thrones, The Night Lands
(S0202) There are more than a few themes that weave their way throughout Game of Thrones. One particularly disturbing theme is the incestuous relationships of many of the characters. Aside from the questionable lineage of young Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), in this episode there's the curious family of sister/wives and their husband/father.
It's particularly fascinating because along with the natural uncomfortable reaction to incest, the show delivers a bigger message that permeates the series. People in this world can do whatever they want. The idea of a society that makes rules to live by is non-existent in most of this world and even in the “civilized” areas, those in power write the rules to match their daily whims. It's a testament to the writer on the series that in a world where beheadings and zombies are around every corner, the audience can still be made to feel “icky.”
It occurs again when Theon (Alfie Allen) returns home. Feeling drunk with power he can't help groping the young woman who gives him a ride to the castle. This only serves to compound his emasculation by his father when the woman turns out to be his little sister. Furthermore, that sister has been chosen by their father to lead their army against the Lannisters. Maybe if Theon wasn't so embarrassingly handsy, he could have made a stronger argument in favor of himself.
Another theme that I enjoy seeing again and again is betrayal. Only an idiot would miss the fact that betrayal is what drives many of the characters on GoT. Half of them are looking to betray someone while the other half want revenge for being betrayed. Yet in a world where men will turn on their closest allies for things like power and money, it's the betrayal between the men and women that resonate the loudest. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) has a fairly legitimate claim to the throne and as the dead king's brother, he comes off as a pretty sympathetic character. However, watching him choose to betray his wife and his vows in order to satisfy Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), one can't help but think he lacks the strength and morality that it takes to fill his brother's shoes.
In conclusion, I suppose it was only a matter of time before young Jon Snow got himself into trouble on this trip.