Calling the latest episode of HBO's Game of Thrones "one of the best yet" is a cliche. This isn't a bad thing—it's a glowing testament to the creative chops of all involved with television's glorious adaptation of novelist George R.R. Martin's elaborate, multi-book fantasy world. On a weekly basis, the GoT team find showy ways to one-up themselves, and last night's hour, "And Now His Watch Is Ended," was the strongest and most eventful in an already dynamite third season that, only four eps into its 10-hour run, isn't fucking around.

Here at Watching the Throne, the mission is to evaluate the key characters gunning for a seat on the Iron Throne, and award them with crowns if they help their power-seeking causes, or leave their scalps naked if they mess up in any notable ways. Before we get to the assessments, though, let's first acknowledge those who made major advancements in "And Now His Watch Is Ended" that, while not technically applicable to any of Watching the Throne's participants just yet, set important narrative pieces in motions and helped bolster the episode's excellence.

First, you've got to feel bad for Theon Greyjoy—fine, you don't. It's his own fault that he became a royal, self-centered pain in the ass last season. But, still, that tragic look of betrayal and horror on his face as he realizes that the guy who saved him (during last week's "Walk of Punishment") wasn't bringing back home, but, rather, directly back into the dungeon from which he'd just escaped is tough to ignore. The same goes for the episode's midway massacre, which, if not a certain dragon-woman's own moment of wonderful carnage, would stand as last night's biggest highpoint. The victims: hard-headed old man Craster and the Night's Watch's Lord Commander Mormont, both of whom get stabbed to death in a violent uprising.

What about fan favorites Tyrion, Daenerys, and Joffrey (just kidding—we can't stand that smug little prick either)? Let's discuss.

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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)