“Second Sons” is an episode that works better as a part of a greater whole. I’ve long believed that the ideal way to watch Game of Thrones is in one marathon session, which takes away the fun of bitching about how BORING Theon is, but it makes everything seem more cohesive. “Second,” for instance, is yet another set piece mover, one that’s necessary for the final two episodes of the season, but for right now, feels slightly lackluster.
Outside of (you knew this was coming) watching Peter Dinklage get his Drunklage on, a scene that belongs in the Smithsonian and deserves EVERY Emmy. It’s not often that Game stays on a story for as long as it did his nuptials with Sansa, but when it does, it tends to make everything else going on around it feel less by comparison (hence the brilliance of never cutting away during the Blackwater Battle). There are check-ins on Arya and the Hound, Melisandre with Davos and Gendry, and Daenerys, but nothing can quite match up to Red Wine Wedding. Even Sam the Slayer’s origin story, which should have come weeks ago, was misplaced and as hurried as Sam running away from his cabin in the woods with Gilly and Not-Craster, leaving the Dragonglass behind.