On Sunday's Game of Thrones, poor Theon Greyjoy found himself not only humbled, but also humiliated in a really icky way.
The prodigal son returned to the Iron Islands but found that even though the Greyjoys' sigil is a kraken, he was not greeted with open arms, tentacled or otherwise. In fact, Theon's every misstep cost him some influence in the War of Five Kings. Who else faltered? Who prevailed? Who should just give up and join Ser Dontos as a jester? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "The Night Lands":
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): The Imp knows he needs to do some damage control after all of King Robert's bastards were killed by the City Watch, so he ships Janos Slynt off to The Wall and installs his own mercenary pal Bronn (Jerome Flynn) as the Gold Cloaks' new commander. Seeing as how Lord Janos was also one of Cersei's allies who was instrumental in betraying Ned Stark (Sean Bean), it's a bold move for The Imp.
Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane): Sparing the life of former smuggler Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) was the wisest thing Stannis has ever done. Davos looks up an old contact from his disreputable days and engages the services of pirate Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati) to help with the upcoming naval attack on King's Landing.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten): Her promise to give the already married Stannis a son works better than Viagra. The usually stony-faced king is so overcome with passion, he takes her to town on his war map.
Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson): Well, well, well. Turns out that it's not Cersei but her Children of the Corn offspring who's responsible for the Baratheon Bastard Bloodbath. First Ned, now babies? The Queen Regent has really lost control of her eldest. Who will he target next?
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): Slow clap for how thoroughly and royally Theon messes up. The boy needs to keep it in his pants because one day, he's going to proposition the wrong girl. Oh wait, that happens when he feels up his sister Yara on the ride over to Pyke. Yeah, he doesn't recognize her, but we don't care. The twincestuous Cersei and Jaime and daddy-husband Craster offer enough incest heebie-jeebies, thank you very much. Also, don't be a whore and wear fancy jewelry that you paid for with the gold price. We're with Balon on this one: If you're iron-born, pay the iron price. And finally, most importantly, don't bring a treaty from the people who defeated your dad in battle. That's such a landlubber thing to do.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington): He may be skillful with a sword, but our favorite bastard needs to learn stealth and alertness. As he's spying on what's happening with Craster's newborn son in the woods, Jon is taken unawares and whacked upside his curly head.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): The khaleesi just can't catch a break! One of the other khals takes issue with her and delivers the head of ponytailed Rakharo (Elyes Gabel) in his own saddlebags to her.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): Yikes! Gendry (Joe Dempsie) knows that she's actually a girl. If anyone else can discern her true gender as easily, that could be very dangerous if they suspect she's the missing Stark daughter.
Power Outage, aka The Fallen
Episode 2: Rakharo
Episode 1: Daenerys' horse, Maester Cressen, King Robert's bastards
Bonus Episode Highlights
Spot the Whore! Whore Count: 4. Shae once again makes an appearance as does Littlefinger's weepy Chief of Whore Staff, who got a lesson in "mitigating losses." We also see two others in action at the bordello.
To Janos Slynt: "I'm not questioning your honor Lord Janos. I'm denying its existence."
To Varys the eunuch about Shae: "You should taste her fish pie."
In response to Cersei's statement that "It has all fallen on me," Tyrion replies, "As has Jaime repeatedly, according to Stannis Baratheon."
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
How did this second episode stack up to the premiere? What was your favorite highlight? Can Theon conceivably mess up any more than he has?