Episode 7 of Game of Thrones — HBO’s highly anticipated and even better executed epic masterpiece — “You Win or You Die” does it again. It’s a masterwork once again for this Sunday night juggernaut. With ratings landing between 2-3 million pay-cable viewers each week, it is only a matter of time before people start jumping on board the Thrones train or get left behind completely. Though, let’s be honest, it’s never too late. This show has yet to miss.

This week we were introduced to the mysterious and arguably the craftiest of the Lannisters, Lord Tywin Lannister (the terrific, Charles Dance)— father of Tyrion the dwarf and the incestuous twins, Cersei and Jaime. While he sat there cleaning his stag, I couldn’t help but wonder if this man, this masterful, infinitely wealthy king of the Lannister clan had ever done that to a human.

Each week Thrones presents me with something new and excellent. One week it’s Little Finger and his cunning, the next it’s Sam and his fat, blubbering his way through his training at The Wall and winning my vote along the way. This week it was Tywin Lannister and the conversation he had with Jaime. Brilliant and perfectly timed, we were given a glimpse into what made Jaime…Jaimie.

Tywin gave us the insight we needed to proceed, cautiously, if only to stick around and see what happens next. But, you’re saying, ‘it was the first scene of the episode!?’ Doesn’t matter – it was the best scene of the episode and none of us could look away, admit it. Here’s the highlight:

Tywin“You spend too much time worrying about what other people think of you.”

Jaime: “I could care less what anyone thinks of me.”

Tywin: “That’s what you want people to think of you.”

(it was between that and the final monologue from Tywin, but that one – you should watch)

Thrones took us deep into the mythos making up the episode’s title — “You Win or You Die.” How far does that reach? And to whom does it reach most clearly? Ned Stark remains atop the throne of nobility (no true throne, yet) and continues to get totally and completely disregarded for his attempt at honor. We even found out that he gave up the throne and kept Jaime from taking it! And his reward … treason. Bollocks!  But we were warned, you gotta win, right? The White Walkers are coming back — “they’re not sleeping anymore” – we have severed hands showing up in the woods near The Wall, Snow and Sam are finally sworn in, Robert’s dead and his letter isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, and the Lannisters are marching. Oh, and the Targaryans are marching, too. Ha! What a finish (part 1?) it will be.

If there is one thing wrong with tonight’s episode, it’s the sexual content. It is nearly as if HBO had to fill a quota of sex for the month of June before they fell behind schedule and went into July. Well, they filled their quota for June and might have a surplus moving into the rest of 2011. It’s pretty tough to recommend Thrones with scene like the one in tonight’s episode between Petyr Baelish and his … ladies, even if I do really like Aiden Gillen. Was there even a real point? Was that the best setting you could think of? The word “gratuitous” comes to mind.

Regardless, the storytelling in Thrones is consistently marvelous and immeasurable in quality thanks largely to George R. R. Martin’s epic prose and dually to HBO’s creative team. Good things will be continued to be discuss online, in print, and throughout all lines of communication until Thrones slips up. And with three episodes left, it doesn’t seem to be anywhere close.

On YouTube, there’s a small behind-the-scenes feature that gives a look at Thrones through the eyes of its author, George R. R. Martin. As Martin discusses his epic novels, he lends one line that perfectly captures the last two months. After he walked on the HBO set for the first time, Martin remembers, “It was as if I was walking into a dream.”

We’re right there with you, George.