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“Game of Thrones” Recap: “If we die we’ll die, but first we’ll live”

If you have ever wondered what could possibly upstage a gladiatorial stand-off with a huge, angry bear, the gladiator in question armed only with a wooden sword, the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones” has an answer: sexposition hastily followed by a penectomy.

What has been happening to Theon Greyjoy this season is off book. In the novels, Theon is brutally tortured, but not on the page. The details of his ordeal are coming entirely from David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and their writers— and they are ghastly. In this episode—  titled “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” which you’ll recall is the folk song the Hold Steady sang over the end credits of this season’s third episode — a brutalized Theon is untied, given water, and then groped and mounted by two beautiful young and eventually naked women until, even in his half-living state, he becomes aroused. The whole encounter is so surreal and perverse it seems like a dream, but it’s not. As Theon starts to writhe, his sociopathic torturer re-emerges, remarks on Theon’s known cocksmanship, and then, as the camera cuts away, presumably cuts off his penis.

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