"Game of Thrones: The Old Gods and the New (#2.6)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Game of Thrones" The Old Gods and the New (2012)

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36 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Best episode yet, but a lot of changes too

Author: LgmK from Greece
7 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Right, so this was (together with 'Garden of Bones'), in my opinion, the best episode of the second season. On the other hand, though, this was the one with the most changes, and really a LOT. It was the first time they came up with many new things and changed the story of a book in quite a few places. The outcome will be the same, but the journey towards it has been altered. Now, I expected this, since the producers probably want to leave their own mark as well, and not only copy the books. And I thought the changes were for the better. I have read the books, and don't mind them as long as they improve the story. The execution of Rodrik showed the pressure Theon has when he took Winterfell and how he took drastic decisions (more coming) which doomed him, and made him lose his last shred of honor. The fact that Dany's dragons were stolen will ,probably, lead to her going to the House of the Undying to get them back. Now, Dany's storyline in the 2nd book kind of bored me. This was a welcome change which definitely adds more tension and interest to her storyline. All in all, a great episode, with a few welcome changes which, I repeat, won't change the outcome but, in this case and from my point of view, make the story a bit faster paced, more emotional and better.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Great acting for an even better episode.

Author: Alex Buchmann from United States
7 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Perhaps some of the best acting from Peter Dinklage (Tyrian) yet. Your hatred for Joffery will reach maximum capacity in this gem, as his cruelty takes hold and completely loses his sight on humanity as terror takes over his persona. People are upset, and they want his "Royal Highness" to know about it. Tyrian stands strong as he decides to show true leadership, and courage, way above average for the actual "King."

Theon Greyjoy hits rock bottom, and he knows it despite his denial and supposed leadership. We lose a dear friend in Winterfell, A rather graphic but touching scene, "I will be joining your father soon.." Greyjoy has some waking up to do, and Robb Stark plans on giving him the rude awakening he deserves. Theon is just a confused, worthless wench, who clearly has daddy issues, and will never meet his fathers expectations no matter what "accomplishments" he makes.

Dany comes across new obstacles, and demands things that seem impossible to certain rulers, even though she failingly persuades them that her dreams do in fact come true. She is met with disappointment when she returns to her quarters, slaughtered men in her midst, important things riding on the backs of others.

All in all, great suspenseful episode making me yearn for more, and read the book much faster. Great job!

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23 April 2014

The greedy Theon Greyjoy takes over Winterfell, forces Bran to surrender to spare his people and beheads Rodrik Cassel to be respected by his men. However Maester Luwin succeeds in sending a message to Robb using a raven. Robb Stark wants to return to the North to fight against Theon, but is convinced by Lord Roose to move forward since he will send his bastard son Ramsay with his soldiers to capture Theon for him. Twyn receives Littlefinger at the Harrenhal Castle and Arya tries to hide her face from Littlefinger. She steals a letter that is left on the table but Armory takes the letter from him and heads to Twyn. Arya finds Jaqen and tells that Armory is the second one that must immediately die. In King's Landing, Joffrey, Cersei, Tyrion, Sansa are at the docks watching Myrcella departing for Dome. When the group is returning to the castle through the streets of King's Landing, they are attacked by starving people. The Hound saves Sansa that was going to be raped. Beyond the Wall, the party fights against the Wildings and only a woman named Ygritte survives. Jon Snow is assigned to kill her but Jon hesitated and holds her as prisoner. In Qarth, Daenery's guards are murdered and the three dragons are stolen while she is negotiating ships with the Spice King.

"The Old Gods and the New" shows how cruel and ambitious Theon is, executing Rodrick. Arya is smart, but is risking too much since Twyn is not a fool. Unfortunately the peasants did not kill Joffrey and the court. The bastard Jon Snow is one of the few men with honor in this show. Maybe he will regret to have spared the life of the red-haired Ygritte. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "The Old Gods and the New"

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Acting Makes Great TV

Author: slightlymad22 from United Kingdom
11 November 2014

With half the season over, trouble seems to be brewing everywhere and for everyone.

Plot In a Paragraph: Theon completes his master stroke. The Lannisters send Myrcella from harm's way just in the nick of time when a riot breaks out in Kings Landing. Arya keeps running in To trouble and she comes face to face with a surprise visitor; Danaerys vows to take what is hers, whilst Jon Snow is given a chance to prove himself. Roose Bolton brings Robb disturbing news.

I didn't think any character in "Game Of Thrones" would make me hate them as much as I do Joffery. Step forward Theon, you made the list. What a despicable swine.

The high points of the episode feature two of my favourite characters and actors in the show. Tyrion Lannister finally unleashes his rage and anger at his nephew's monstrous cruelty and stupidity. The scene between Dinklage and Jack Gleeson is perfect. Not just because it sees Joffrey slapped. The interplay between the two is superb.

And secondly once again Maisie Williams and Charles Dance are excellent in their scenes. I thin it's excellent seeing such a young actress showing so much confidence in performing with a veteran actor.

One of the awesome things of Game Of Thrones that I've not yet mentioned is the opening. Whilst showing the map of Westeros, it shows us where we will visit in the episode. Much of Jon Snow's story beyond the Wall is also excellent, this episode introduces us to Ygritte, played by Rose Leslie, and she's excellent in the role.

On the downside I'm still not convinced by the scenes with Robb and Talisa. It's not the fault of the actors, both Madden and the gorgeous Chaplin do fine, but the script seems as if it were written with two young 16 year olds.

The best line of the show as usual still belongs to Tyrion "We've had idiot kings, and we've had vicious kings, but I don't know if we've ever been blessed with a vicious idiot before!"

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Frightening moments appear in the best episode yet

Author: kkoller0693 from United States
8 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There was no Stannis this episode, yet the episode was still a masterpiece. Even though they excluded somethings from the book, I really loved this episode. It was frightening, suspenseful, funny and dramatic. "The Old Gods and the New" is an achievement.

Right from the start, Theon captures Winterfell and orders Bran to yield the castle to him. Now if you remember from last episode, Bran's dream showed the ocean claiming Winterfell. As Theon does a dangerous decapitating a loyal soldier, the rain begins to fall harder and harder symbolizing the ocean Bran was referring to. By the end of the episode, Bran and his son sneak out of Winterfell undetected.

North of the Wall, Jon Snow continues his journey with the intent to kill as many wildlings as possible. During his mission, he and his group ambush a wildling campsite and Jon captures Ygritte, a female red head. Ygritte is an important character to this series for Jon Snow so be ready to see a lot of her. And after a failed attempt at executing her, Jon and Ygritte have a rundown. Even though Jon captures her again, he is unable to find his group before nightfall.

In Kings Landing, Cersei and Tyrion watch as they force the princess to leave the capital before the war hits. After a little threat from Cersei, King Joffery and the royal family are attacked by the people. Even though Tyrion tries to tell Joffery that this attack is all his fault, Joffery walks away and even lets Sansa to be attacked by three men. The Hound does save her just before she is raped but it will scar her for life that Joffery did not do anything for her.

In Harrenhal, Arya continues to be a cup bearer for Tywin. It seemed everything was fine until Littlefinger came in and began to talk to Tywin about Renly's wife and her family. It was intense since Littlefinger knows Arya when she was in King's Landing. It was great to see Arya try to hide her face as she refilled their wine cups and Littlefinger trying to see her face. Later in the episode, Arya steals a message about Robb heading south before Tywin can see the message. Though a red cloak caught her outside his chambers, she goes to Jacquen and tells him to kill the guard immediately. It was a funny scene of dialogue and close calls but the episode did it perfectly.

In Qarth, Daenerys tries to find any way to get ships to cross the sea towards Westeros. Unfortunately for her, she has no allies in Westeros and no one gives her the ships when she promises fortunes. At the end of the episode, her dragons are taken from her bedroom.

This was a fast paced episode. I was glad when I hit the half way mark because I wanted to see more of the story unfold. Yes, Stannis was left out this week but it didn't matter. His time will come in the later episodes. Still, it was a fantastic episode. Bravo.


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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Unnecessary small flaws can't prevent it from being this season's best episode yet

Author: axel-koch from Austria
21 August 2013

It's clearly best to watch "The Old Gods and the New" without knowing what to expect from it, so I won't get any specific with the plot and I'll limit myself to saying: it's awesome. The first Game of Thrones episode to be directed by Emmy winner David Nutter (who later went on to direct the undisputable #1 of all GoT episodes – "The Rains of Castamere") is an important turning point in season two, as everything points in the direction of war due to the events in this episode.

In the Winterfell story part, things start to go down right from the beginning. And that is actually my problem with it: that it happens right at the beginning. I'm convinced that I'm not alone with the opinion that the breathtaking intensity overshadowed the whole subsequent scene – which is a well-written argument between Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand that should definitely not be overlooked. I'm being extra harsh on this subject and say that this is really bad editing because the Winterfell scene would've worked palpably better if used as the finale of an episode (either this one or the one before it). And while not as huge, the same applies for the King's Landing riots, however in this case, the next scene features Emilia Clarke even more feisty than usual and will gain your attention right away – even if you can still hear your heart beating as a response to what just happened. But I guess I really can't judge too hard considering the vast amount of things happening, with a lot of them differentiating from the source novel quite a lot. And in this case, I have to say that I enjoyed the version of Benioff and Weiss more than George R. R. Martin's.

Besides those two scenes, which genuinely affected me, I had two other favorite moments in "The Old Gods and the New": the great suspense that comes up when Lord Baelish visits Tywin Lannister at Harrenhal who, as we know, is not aware of having the youngest Stark daughter as his cupbearer, and what happens beyond the Wall after the aforementioned Jon Snow scene. Introducing Rose Leslie as a new guest cast member, we meet the wildling Ygritte who is able to lift up the show's sex appeal (yeah, that fairly diminished with Brienne of Tarth) even though she has like half a dozen layers of clothes on. The first scene with here features one of this episode's logical goofs, but I connived at that as well since what follows is an icy pursuit that is one of the simplest but also most entertaining action sequences in season two thus far. But topping anything else is the bedtime scene with Jon and Ygritte and what I reckon to be the show's loveliest love story initiates. Not on the same level, but still surprisingly adorable to watch was Robb Stark continuing his flirtation with field nurse Talisa (sex appeal still rising). In the meantime, Jaqen H'ghar climbs higher and higher on the ladder of Game of Thrones' most awesome characters and the climactic situation at Qarth reaches a new apex with a shocking crime.

You see? The plot is really fascinating in this one and the small flaws can't ultimately mar the entertainment I had while watching "The Old Gods and the New". Outstanding performances by Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), and newbie Rose Leslie additionally help it to become this season's best episode yet.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Plot Developments

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
1 May 2015

I can't add much to what has been said, other than to point out that my criticism of the last episode for gratuitous sex and violence (more of the sadistic variety) was quelled a bit. This episode, while not for shrinking violets, gave cause for the acts of its characters, so even if violence was employed, there was a logic to it. This could be one of the best of the episodes because we get inside the psyches of the ambitious and and the survivors. There is more humanity to the people. I've missed some of that. Joffrey and his mother really believe that somehow they have been wronged as Tyrion sees the big picture. Is Danaerys supposed to be a sympathetic character? Her continual demands to take her rightful place get kind of tiresome. I recognize that she is a supernatural being and has those dragons and everything, but when I saw the carnage of her people, it was the way the game seems to be played. Theon is also interesting. He is about as despicable as one can be and seems to be a hollow threat. Like Joffrey, he is impulsive and paranoid. When he is pushed by others he acts for them, not for himself.

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GOT Binge...

Author: jcbsn from Utah
24 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Arya is flirting with death. Nice to see some Jon Snow action, until he can't bring himself to kill the red headed stepchild. Hopefully she is worth something.

Tyrion is moving quickly toward straight-boss status. Inbred rat king is still terrible and a royal d bag. Nice to see the people finally revolt against him. And nice to see Tyrion finally put the inbred in his place. He needs the hound on his side.

Dragons really need to grow up and help Daenerys wreck some shiz. Fat spice man is going to have a long thing coming once it happens. And back to Arya flirting with death with the Lannister dad. Hopefully she rats out the inbred pile of crap that killed Ned. Instead she just gets the man who catches her trying to help Rob killed. And looks like Rob is getting a love interest before he marries those lookers he was sworn to.

Jon Snow is getting a love interest as well...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The fall of Winterfell

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
10 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Things in the North take a dramatic twist when the Stark's home of Winterfell is taken by Theon Greyjoy and his Iron Islanders. Theon forces young Bran Stark to yield the town in order to protect his people; the people of Winterfell are not keen to support the treacherous Theon though; especially when he beheads Ser Rodrik Cassel. The only person who seems willing to switch sides is the Wildling Osha… and trusting her could be a mistake. Back in King's Landing the people let King Joffrey know what they think of him and Sansa is almost killed in the ensuing riot. North of the wall the Night's Watch run into a group of Wildlings and Jon takes one, a woman named Ygritte, prisoner… he is told he will have to kill her but is unable to do so and she escapes; by the time he catches up with her he has lost contact with his comrades. Across the Narrow Sea Daenerys continues to try to acquire ships but nobody wants to help… and then something terrible happens; what is the 'Mother of Dragons' if she no longer has her dragons?

This was another really good episode where loyalties are questioned and many characters are endangered. While the odious Joffrey remains the least likable character in the series Theon is showing that he can be almost as despicable as he seizes Winterfell and kills Rodrik Cassel… Alfie Allen does a fine job in the role. We also get to see that Wildling women are as tough as most men as both Osha and new character Ygritte show just what they can do; actresses Natalia Tena and Rose Leslie made is believe just how tough these characters were in their different ways. While I'm sure that few people would consider 'Game of Thrones' to be a feminist series it does have a lot of great actresses playing strong roles; others include young Maisie Williams who, as Arya Stark, easily holds her own in her scenes with veteran actor Charles Dance and Emilia Clarke who manages to capture both the toughness and the more vulnerable side of Daenerys. Overall this episode nicely advanced the plot and left me keen to see what happens next.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Old Gods and the New overcomes it's small flaws

Author: gavin-thelordofthefu-48-460297 from United States
16 April 2016

The Old Gods and the New is another good episode for this season, but it's not without some small flaws that I might have to over a bit. Some of the editing particularly in the beginning is a bit terrible and the pacing did drag a bit long. However, this episode overcomes those flaws by maintaining the show's greatest strengths.

The performances are still great, the story is still good, the script (despite the terrible editing) is still well-acted, the scenery is still gorgeous, the relationships continue to shine, and the music score is still beautiful this time around. So, overall not a great episode, but despite it's small flaws, it's still very good.

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