Recap round-up: Episode 7

Here are your episode 7 recaps and reviews, rounded-up for your reading pleasure.

Book Readers
James Hibberd – EW
James Poniewozik – TIME
Mo Ryan – AOL TV
Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club
Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings
Elio & Linda –

New Viewers
Alan Sepinwall – HitFix
David Sims – A.V. Club
Scott Meslow – The Atlantic
Jennifer Braun – The NJ Star-Ledger
Larry Williams – OtakuASSEMBLE
Margaret Lyons & Adam Paswick – Vulture (newbie and reader)

And, of course, we also have this week’s Inside the Episode where writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and director Dan Minahan break down episode seven.


  • Hopefully we get some casting clues from grrm by 13. June when he leaves for Europe. but its nice to read that some roles are already cast just waiting for a HBO green light.

  • i some fans are overreacting to Mo Ryan’s review, after all it’s her job to critique the show and she makes some valid points. The show is not perfect (and that has nothing to do with nitpicking), there were some pacing problems in the first few episodes and some of the nudity feels like it’s there to meet some quota.

  • So, to summarize:

    – most thought the episode was great
    – many thought the sexposition was silly/gratuitous
    – nobody noticed Ghost barking

    That seems about right to me…

  • As if I wasn’t already convinced of Charles Dance’s awesomeness, now I find out that was a real stag, and not a prop.

  • James Hibberd — funny and insightful as always.

    … while Ros works the other girl like she’s vigorously unclogging a storm drain. …


    Watching Larry Williams’ reviews is like watching a three-year-old successfully juggle knives. You’re expecting disaster, yet you can’t look away:
    I’m all oh boy. No … no … okay … okay … yes … yes! YES!

    … I believe episode 7 was called, er, Live or Die.

    No, Larry, come on. You watched it on HBO Go. If you just mouse-over it’s down on the bottom left.

    … wherever the Tullys are. I forget the name of their place …

    Good! It’s Riverrun, Larry, Riverrun!

    …Tywin. Goddamit, man, you are a f—in’ asshole … I hope you get your shit rocked one day.

    YES! I had to pause at that point while I rolled all over my couch laughing. I now have a renewed craving and another reason to see Tywin’s final scene on TV. I imagine Larry going all Will Smith: “WHO’S THE MAN?! WHO’S THE MAN?!” Gods, I hope we get at least 3 seasons.

  • Stefan Langmann,

    hehe good points :D

    as for ned, a non-reader friends only reaction to the episode:
    “ned stark is a stupid name for a knight anyways”.
    explanation: in german, stark = strong; ned or net = nicht = not. so ned stark in german would mean “not strong”.

  • Mike Chair,

    I -really- hope that Larry agrees to watch Season 2! I’m worried that he won’t with what happens!

    I am hoping King in the North and the Dragons make up for Drogo and Ned dying and the Lannisters ‘winning.’ I couldn’t help but feel so sad about all the heartbreak he’s in for!

  • Stefan Langmann,

    “Wife responsible for kidnapping member of Lannister family, but is hundreds of miles away? Accept full responsibility in front of armed and most dangerous member of Lannister family!”

  • I’m still laughing over the description of Cersei as a honey badger.

    “Honey badger don’t give a shit; honey badger is hungry!”

  • Becky Wilson,

    Love and hate are a strong motivators. He’s going to love the Starks and hate the Lannisters even more than he does now. There’s no question. Larry’s going the distance.

  • Good call by Hibberd:

    If Ned Stark ever invites to you to play in his weekly poker game, say “Yes.” (“You should raise because I have a weak hand,” Ned would say — and mean it).

  • Jimbeezee,

    Sorry about that Becky Wilson, it seems you DID put spoiler tag on your post. When I read the post earlier it was on my iPhone, and for some reason the black bars did not show.

  • Hibberd always nails it every week for me. The funniest while giving some common sense insights. It DID feel like watching the last 15min of Survivor when they are all scrambling to make hasty alliances before the tribal vote. Ned would be like one of those “good guys” who keeps their word in that show. The worst part is he basically approached the woman he was trying to vote off and told her his alliance is gunning for her next. The madness of mercy is why he wouldn’t last a week in Survivor.

  • I laughed when Larry called Ghost “the ghost, Snow!” I guess he was so wound up about the entire ep he got a bit mixed up with his wording :L And James Hibbert, I loved his description of Roz. I couldn’t have put it better myself!


    Mo’s come to Jesus moment has come three episodes earlier than I predicted. Suddenly the show is terrific. Too bad she didn’t experience her epiphany in time to help the Metacritics rating when it could have done some good.

    And she’s still defending nudity on Spartacus.

  • DH87: And she’s still defending nudity on Spartacus.

    Which absolutely confuses the hell out of me. When I see people writing about how tastefully and artistically the nudity and sex scenes are done on Spartacus, and how HBO should take notes…
    I mean, seriously, we are talking about the same Starz show, right? As in the show that goes out of its way to offer a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode that “no, really, all this stuff is totally historically accurate! Romans had orgies every five minutes!”

  • JonSnow’sBastard,

    It’s those nude “crowd in the arena” scenes that the historians document as being typical of Roman times, along with the “gladiator bath” scenes, the “gladiators getting the whores as rewards” scenes, the “gladiator as man-whore to the lady of the house” scenes, and of course the historically important “dominus gets the slave girl from the southside” scenes.

  • The thing that differs from Spartacus is that it knew from the get go that it would look fake. The Arena CG shots, even the background CG shots, everything looks like it was from a stage. It kind of bothered me at the start to have this “fake” setting but then it was offset by the fact there was a boob or humping every 10min WHILE having a shocking plot twist EVERY episode. It was crude, cheesy at times but very very effective storytelling. In that regard Spartacus entertained and gained the appeal of all casual fanboys who liked to see violence / sex go to unprecedented level WHILE having some sort of story to back it up.

    With GoT, HBO seems to have been obsessed on “keeping it real”. This is HBO, from their epic sets in band of brothers, pacific , boardwalk empire etc.. i mean none of their shows LOOK fake. Look how much time was invested to shoot in 2 locations for a freaking TV show. Ireland/Malta all of that personel, co-ordination and the overhead…. they focused too much on the look of the show (which still wasn’t enough for the most hardcore fans) at the expense of the epic element of the story.

    This is precisely why George was fed up as a TV writer, they kept asking him to cut and cut and cut some more due to the constraints of tv budgets. Had they gone the rout of making it look less authentic and focused more on the actual story. This storyline would have blown away the cheap theatrics of Spartacus by a mile. Bring in less than photo realistic wolves for some epic Direwolf action (which was not present), the hand’s tourney could have been done all CG crowd with some close up shots (like Spartacus did).

    Would it have looked fake? Sure. Would I have been bothered that it wasn’t a place that looks authentic enough that it could have existed 500 years ago? NOT at all. Think about it, direwolves? 3 eyed crows? Dragons? Seasons lasting decades? This isn’t real world… so what would have been the harm of making it a CG adaptation in 1 location. I bet the costs would have been similar if not lower than maintaining 2 sets.

    I read an article from James Cameron that it took them 3 years (in their 4 year process) to have their studio operate “efficiently”. Up until that point he’s made so many mistakes, encounter unforeseeable production problems etc.. It took them 3 years to finally gel their production. Despite all the time it took to produce these 10 episodes, I think this season was a learning curve on what works and what doesn’t. This isn’t to say the show is a failure by any means. Just that it simply could have gone much better in many aspects.

    I doubt that they’ll opt with the CG looks of sets, but at the least let us hope they do change things up to add CG wolves in for season 2+

  • Shandy:
    I have two review recs: – A video review by a long-time fan and a GOT newbie. They’re always entertaining, I usually go straight to them after Larry Williams.

    Hmm, I checked out these guy’s video – the “expert” can’t help but practically give spoilers. He doesn’t give blatant spoilers, but he fills in information that can only be found from the books at the point, and whenever the “newbie” has a theory he either is like “Mmmm… I don’t think so” which basically means “no you’re wrong.” He’s not very good (I would say that he’s terrible actually) about censoring what he knows to keep spoilers out.

    So if you’ve read the books, you might enjoy these videos. But if you haven’t, be warned.

  • Nate,

    I agree that the “expert” reviewer is awful.
    It’s interesting to consider what actually counts as spoiler. For example, when I got my fiancee to start reading the series, when she was halfway through the 1st book I asked who her favorite character was (it was Arya). I then told her my favorite character, and she was like “what, how can you like that character, he is a total douchebag.” I told her that she would see once she got further along in the series, and that the character will become much better developed and humanized.
    Well, after she had finished book 4 I asked her what her opinion of the character now was. Her reaction was basically “meh.” According to her, I had basically spoiled her by giving away that the character would become much more humanized down the line. When the character started to get much more prominent in book 3 she didn’t react to his journey of redemption with the same surprise and fascination as I did; she had already expected something like that to happen. I basically robbed her of the fun of discovering things on her own.

  • I think Tulse summed it up pretty darn well.

    My review/recap is up at The Two Cents here.

    Having read the books, it’s going to be really hard to watch the next few episodes. The foreshadowing already has me cringing so much!

  • I think there are different kinds of spoilers. Some enhances the back story to fully flesh out the situation while others reveal plot development. I like those two guys giving reviews. At times the “expert” tends to give away some plot development but he’s been fairly tame on the issue. It’s a free flowing discussion between the newbie/expert and since it’s not scripted there are some question that will get answered by not answering. Thing is, he does that on any type of question related to plot devices, so the meaning can go both ways which has been consistent. Meaning it’s not perfect but I don’t believe he’s giving away everything. The great thing about that review is that the expert is able to correct slight plot/detail mistakes from the newbie.

    People mix up facts/names/families all the time, just look at Larry’s reviews. When quickly corrected along with a bit of background story that is harmless you get a better “understanding” of the show overall without ruining that element of freshness from a newcomer. In fact I would argue he gains a better understanding of the relationship without having to see HBO explain the same thing by having 2 women play with their asses. There are other reviewers who use the expert/newbie format. Either the expert is really not an expert (prob cause they haven’t re-read in a while), or the expert dominates the discussion which makes a rather banal experience. So yeah to each their own but those two guys aren’t as bad as some of you make it out to be.

  • Drfunk,

    What you’ve touched on as a cost-saving measure for Spartacus is one of the main problems I have with it. I’m bothered by the fact that it looks as cheap and cheesy as it does. The blood quite literally looks like exploding jars of grape jelly for no good reason at all. Spartacus has it’s moments. As a show it delivers solid bloody vengeance on the antagonists with great regularity, which is satisfying to watch. It has some pretty spicy sex scenes as well, and that’s all good. However, it’s the kind of show that I’ll always consider a guilty pleasure as opposed to actually bragging to people about it. The cheap CG and ridiculous blood effects are just that: cheap and ridiculous. So, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying that I find Spartacus very entertaining, but I don’t think it’s a particularly good TV drama at all.

  • JonSnow’sBastard

    I’m not saying Spartacus is a superior show. What interest me is the story which is why I’m a big fan of the books. You have to consider however that this is precisely the issue GRRM was having trouble with as a TV writer. Settling in for “obvious” CG sets / wolves wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Even Spartacus with their sketchy storyline managed to gain viewers to follow the show despite their “cheap CG” shots. Think about it, if you’re relinquishing the photo realistic at 1080 p resolution effects. What you have is the strength of the story to drive it. The source material blows anything out of the water in fantasy at this time. Between the choice of looking real and having unlimited leeway on what we can show. Direwolves fights, epic crowds, tower of joy etc… my choice would have been the story + CG effects.

    Let’s be serious, we’re going to see the others (white walkers) eventually, not to mention dragons, red priestess shadow, limited magic.. Do you want to see the epic confrontation between the 5 king war, wildling vs night watch fights , all down scaled like the bran hostage scene, the 4 man boar hunt or the 100 people hand’s tourney? It doesn’t need 100M special f/x, just to get the point across on the epic scope of the story.

  • Mike Chair,

    I also like listening to Larry. His enthusiasm puts a smile on my face, it’s also funny to see a non-reader ‘living’ the show as he does. Given he pretty much strangled his webcam after LF’s betrayal, who knows he might throw his computer accross the room in the coming seasons ;-)