The Game becomes one of choosing between effective foreshadowing.
Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the seventh episode, "You Win or You Die," yet, it's best that you turn back now.
There were plenty of sordidness to enjoy in this week's Game of Thrones (animal-gutting, twincest rationale, lesbian sex instruction, the smell of death), but the story was mostly about what didn't happen or has yet to.
The biggest news: King Robert (Mark Addy) is dead, which will clearly provide the catalyst the story needs to stop telling and start doing. Already that's in place, as we watched a deadly battle for the throne in the final scene: Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) thinks he's entitled to the throne, but newly appointed protector of the realm Ned Stark (Sean Bean) knows better —because, whoops, Joffrey's dad wasn't the king at all but his mother's twin brother! The episode ended with Littlefinger's (Aidan Gillen) knife to Ned's throat ("I did warn you not to trust me!") as guards on various sides plunged spears into each other. But the preview for next week's show informs us not to count Ned out ... yet.
An attempt on Daenerys' (Emilia Clarke) life by some poisoned marketplace wine sent by the king has set Khal Drogo's (Jason Momoa) revenge wheels in motion for what is more than likely the war we saw coming as far back as the show's premiere. Far more exciting, though, is the promise of the White Walkers: Now fully enlisted as a Night Guard member, Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) dog brought him back a hand moments after he crossed north of the wall, which suggested unrest is afoot ... and a hand.
This week's chilling moment is related to that last point. The vagabond who's imprisoned after attempting to kidnap Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) revealed what sounds like intimate knowledge of the White Walkers' ways. As she told Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): "They wasn't gone, old man; they was sleeping. And they ain't sleeping no more."
How scary for them; how fortunate for us!