Episode 11 – The North Remembers – Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Season two is here! Those who were here last year may remember that we have two recaps: this one, for those who have read A Clash of Kings and then one from We Do Not Sow, by a non-book reader and for non-book readers. If you fall into the latter category, head on over to the new viewer thread. But if you’ve read the books the show is based on, click on through for our season two premiere recap!

The episode opens in King’s Landing, the Hound fighting some dude, a scene that appeared in a bunch of the trailers. Oh look, he knocked him over the ledge. What a shock! Seriously though, that was a nice action set piece to open the season with. Immediately we are thrust back into this world. And immediately we are reminded that Joffrey is a dick. Poor Sansa.

And here we get our first good look at a new character that didn’t show up in any of the previews, Ser Dontos Hollard. He looks like a good Dontos, but I imagined him even more bumbling and pathetic. And is the drowning him with wine in the book? I don’t recall. I intentionally did not re-read ACoK, so I wouldn’t be comparing the books and the show all season long. Pretty horrific stuff, either way. Sansa with some quick thinking saves his life and that part I do remember from the book.

Tyrion! And Peter Dinklage just picks up right where he left off last season, completely nailing it. I love how Joffrey is intimated by his uncle, clear from the way he says, “I’ve been here, ruling the kingdoms.” No one else can elicit that sort of defensiveness from Joffrey. Next, Tyrion owns Cersei in front of the whole Small Council. Pretty fabulous acting from both Dinklage and Lena Headey here, as we get to see some of Cersei’s firey side. The two of them should have some great scenes together this season.

To Winterfell now, where Bran learns how boring being the Lord of a castle really is. I love that he is picking at the table, something he did in the season one scene where he gets lessons from Maester Luwin. It is a minor detail, but it is really nice to see that consistency across seasons. Next, we get a wolf dream! Glad they have included them this season. And our first glimpse at the new direwolves. Badass! So much better looking than the dogs from season one. And the comet serves as our transition from Winterfell to…

…The Red Waste, with a panoramic establishing shot, something we didn’t get enough of last season, in my opinion. We see Daenerys attempting to feed Drogon. The CGI looks amazing, better than some big-budget movies. The Silver dies and Dany sends out her bloodriders. We get a sentimental goodbye scene between Rakharo and Dany, which makes me think Rakharo won’t be making it back to the khalasar. And again the red comet serves as a transition, from the Red Waste to…

…The Lands beyond the Wall. Another epic establishing shot and then we are down on the ground with Jon, Sam and Grenn, arriving at Craster’s Keep. “I was born in a place like this, later I fell on hard times.” Dolorous Edd! Sam notices all the girls and Jon wonders where all the boys are. We go inside the keep and meet Craster. He’s not as wild and crazy looking as I expected, but he is a nasty and ornery old git. To be fair though, Jon does speak out of turn here. We meet Gilly for the first time. Hannah Murray makes a good Gilly. Mormont rightfully scolds Jon. Can I just take a moment and say how perfect James Cosmo is as the Old Bear? I was reminded of that while watching this episode. Certainly one of the best castings of the show.

And now to Dragonstone. The cinematography is, again, beautiful. They’ve really upped their game in that department this season. In one of the first major changes from the book, Maester Cressen is present at the burning of the Seven. Melisandre taunts him and we see already how Carice van Houten is going to play the Red Woman. It’s a role that could easily veer into camp and Van Houten does a good job of staying away from that. Inside the castle now, as Stannis and his men draw up Stannis’ declaration. Stannis dictating what to include and exclude from the letter is the perfect introduction to his character. Now we get Cressen attempting to poison Melisandre and failing miserably. I like how she waited until Cressen was already dying before drinking. Really drives home the confidence she has in her supernatural abilities.

Next we head to Robb Stark’s camp, where Robb confronts his prized prisoner, Jaime Lannister. I like Jaime’s line about dragging him with them everywhere as well as Robb’s response. A way to explain the change from the book, where Jaime spent his time in the Riverrun dungeons. Wow, Grey Wind is huge! I’m really liking the decision to film real wolves against a green screen and then compositing them into the shot. Hopefully all the shots turn out this good.

Back to King’s Landing, for a short and intimate scene between Tyrion and Shae. Seems they have cut having Shae stay outside of the Red Keep, where Tyrion has to sneak off to be with her? Now to a scene between Littlefinger and Cersei, which obviously wasn’t from the book. I’ve seen some early reviews complain about this scene, but I didn’t mind it. It establishes what looks to be an important theme this season: the exploration of power.

Back to Robb’s camp, where he is dictating peace terms to Alton Lannister. The character Alton is taking the place of Cleos Frey, presumably so they wouldn’t have to waste some valuable screen time on explaining why a Frey is a prisoner of Robb’s. And here is my favorite exchange in this episode: “King Joffrey is a Baratheon, Your Grace.” “Oh, is he?” I love that we are getting to see the Young Wolf’s campaign in the show. It was always something I wanted to read about in the book. Before we leave Robb’s camp, we see him dispatch Theon to the Iron Islands and Catelyn to Renly.

From one bossy son to another, although Joffrey is a LOT more of a dick about it. In a change from the book, it looks like Joffrey is the one who orders Robert’s bastards killed. Not sure how I feel about that. It seems they are attempting to soften Cersei a bit, while making Joffrey into even more of a monster. Jack Gleeson is really great at being a monster though, isn’t he? Lena does well with this scene also, the look on her face after slapping Joff is perfect. I’ve been very impressed with Lena this episode.

To the brothel now, where we see Ros has been promoted to manager. She has learned well from Littlefinger too, as she gives the exact same instruction he gave her back in season one. The Gold Cloaks arrive and Slynt is the one to do the dirty deed. We then get a montage of Gold Cloaks being violent. Finally, it ends on them torturing Tobho Mott to find out where Gendry went. Cut to Gendry and Arya, riding through the Dark Hedges, on their way north. End credits.

So what did everyone think? I thought it was a great first episode, that establishes many of the main players in this season. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


572 Comments

  1. AshStorm
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Woohoo!

  2. Rukie44
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Grey Wind was AMAZING! Can’t wait to see more direwolf action!

  3. House Snow
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Pretty awesome. Cersei-LF scene didn’t bother me much, although I wish they would make LF a little more sublte at times.

  4. AshStorm
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Rukie44,

    YES!!!! They did a fantastic job with the dire wolf!

  5. tek
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    @ all the Reed fans:

    I would say that since all the bran scenes we have seen so far all happened in this episode, I would think the possibility of the Reeds being in the show still exists.

    Also, direwolves looked perfectly fine to me!

  6. scott glennon
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Grey Wind was good! He turned out way better than I thought he would. I was a little shocked by the “slaughter of the innocents” but it sets up the hunt for Gendry and by proxy, Arya. Wow. Great opening!

  7. J
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    After all the hand-wringing, I actually thought the Littlefinger-Cersei scene was totally fine.

  8. AshStorm
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Most poignant moment of the episode…

    Robb and Catelyn in the tent discussing the “family”.

    Sooo heartbreaking

  9. Andy
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    the ONE thing I would have changed….

    First scene should have been with stannis on dragonstone, before the title credits. would have been a prefect intro to a new character (just as in the book).

  10. BGAP
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Felt like that lasted only 15 minutes. Yet it was 15 minutes of the equivalent of rich, chocolate cake. Sweet.

  11. Jack
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely incredible…now we have another countdown to start…7 days…

  12. Hollyoak Can't Wait
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    A lot to take in. I’m sure with a second viewing I’ll be able to not hyperventilate and actually watch it. I didn’t watch the little promo that showed what was coming this season.

  13. Arthur
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    OMG…..

    Everything was just amazing!

    Greywind scene was amazing. A little dose of CGI like that per episode would be epic!

    Everything else was amazing, even the Ros scene felt right and not awkward. She is a little pimptress!

    I am so happy!

    Cersie’s scene when she was showing Littlefinger what power really was, was epic too.

    But that Robb/Greywind scene wins the cake!

  14. Aziraphale
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh man…BRUTAL.

    I like how this episode is basically setting up for the season to come, introducing the new characters and so forth and inserting little bits of narrative to continue storylines.

    Grey Wind. Man, that is one direwolf you do NOT want to fuck with!

  15. Coltaine777
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I said on previous thread ,,it is criminal this ep was sooooo short and rushed….very disappointed with ep 201 …

  16. Mike Chair
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Random thoughts:

    Great recap/intro.

    Craster is just creepy enough.

    Liam Cunningham as Davos reminds me of Robert Mitchum (1917-1997).

    How did Ros become the whore Boss?

    I would have liked more Arya, but that’s the same with the books so, whatever.

    I wold have liked more Dany, but that’s the same with the books so, whatever.

    Natalie Dormer is so hot they couldn’t put her in the first episode because we wouldn’t have been able to handle it, so, thanks to D&D and HBO for that.

  17. Apotheosis
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Has the actor who plays Gendry been changed?

  18. jeremias
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    the king in the north, the king in the north

    the king in the north, the king in the north

  19. Plain_A
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I really like the Cersei-Littlefinger scene, but the Cersei-Joffrey scene kinda bother me (I don’t think Cersei would be intimidated by Joffrey, i don’t know).

  20. Mark
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I personally found this premiere BORING. Sorry, hate to say it …

    HUGE fan of the books … but serious let down.

  21. Knurk
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: even the Ros scene felt right and not awkward

    ha, we have our first convert!

  22. Mark
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Coltaine777,

    I agree. I actually found it quite boring. My wife was the one that turned me onto the books years ago and she was on her phone through a good chunk of it. Was a bit of a snoozer …. so disappointed.

  23. stokerd
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Was that the same person playing Gendry? Looked different…Can’t wait to see more of Arya’s story and Theon going home!!

  24. Haymaker
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The inclusion the wolf dream was awesome! The murder of the bastards was intense with a brilliant transition at the end.

  25. Mike Chair
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    … Oh, and Peter Dinklage is still brilliant.

    In fact, objectively speaking, he sort of carried the first episode.

  26. Josh
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was great.

    Big applause to the Ladies of the Court of Kings Landing. Sophia Turner was amazing in her one scene. Seriously, if she doesn’t cause people to love Sansa, nothing will!

    And Lena Heady was perfection, in all her scenes. The chemistry she had with Peter Dinklage was off the charts. They had a wonderful back and forth and she did so excellent face acting. I think the scene with Joffery made sense. I don’t think she was intimated by him but more unable to predict how he’d react. I think it’s slowly dawning her at this point that her special little son is a vile, little monster.

    Peter Dinklage was amazing in all his scenes..duh.

    Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley provide the emotion of the episode. That scene was perfection. Just awesome in every sense of the word. From the acting to the writing.

    So yeah, best cast on TV by a mile. I loved this episode!

    Man that end was BRUTAL!

  27. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    As with the majority, I thought it was awesome.

    And I find it hilarious that the people who are unhappy with it can’t decide if it was too slow or too rushed!

  28. Kalasin
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I liked what I saw, but wanted MORE of everything. I hope having so many storylines doesn’t wind up being too big of a problem, because it was just so frustrating to only basically get one or two scenes in each story this week. I want more than 30 seconds with people (Jon and Dany barely even registered), and we didn’t even cover Arya, and pretty soon we’re going to have Renly and Theon scenes to cover too.

    But all in all, loved it.

  29. garik16
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Odd change from the books:

    They largely reduced the agency of both major females in the series. Cat is the one who suggests meeting with Renly in ACoK. She wants to get her daughters back, but she’s still keeping sight of her duty to Robb and thinking about how she can help him. Here this is all Robb’s thought and Cat acts like a scared mother.

    I mean I get that they’re trying to emphasize Robb’s character, which is non-existent in the books, but still……odd.

    Then there’s Cersei. In the books, Cersei is the Queen Regent and Joffrey is not of age. SHE rules. Joffrey CANNOT overrule her (well in theory he might attempt it and he DOES makes decisions that she wouldn’t agree with but she isn’t able to countermand the orders fast enough). Joffrey is still out of control in the books….but he does cowtow to his Mother who does hold the power over him. (In addition, she would never harm Joffrey in the books…she’s blinded by her love).

    The only purpose of this is to try and humanize Cersei more and to make Joffrey look like more of a monster. This is building on last year’s attempts to do the same thing I guess. But it’s rather lousy….Joffrey is already a monster, and well….Cersei doesn’t need humanizing! In fact they’ve got their Lannisters backwards – JAIME is the one who gets humanized whereas Cersei is driven MAD. Moreover, it removes her agency…for little reason.

  30. Kate Bussell
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I think I just exhaled for the first time since 9 p.m.

    The bastard raid was so heartbreaking and intense, and I agree, worked as a phenomenal segue into the next episode where hopefully we’ll see more of Arya and Gendry!
    Looking forward to more wolf dreams, Tyrion, Mellisandre, and Dragons!
    The CGI work of both Grey Wind and Drogon was amazing. Even my husband, who gets annoyed by CGI (usually when its done poorly), asked if Grey Wind was a real wolf.

    I’m so happy and cannot wait to see more!!

  31. Mark
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    It was both …. rushed and slow. If that makes sense …

  32. Clob
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Interested with the couple of boring comments. I don’t see how it could be considered boring by any means – especially compared to so much other trash on tv. I can only assume that these comments are from people that need physical action nonstop and aren’t entertained by great dialect and story. The books go hundreds of pages without major climactic events, we can’t expect the series to just be action, action, action.

    I thought the ‘visuals’ were fantastic and they did a pretty good job of reconnecting us with each storyline. I missed more Arya, but I’m sure that will be coming next week.

  33. Arthur
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah…

    Bran’s scene, how he dreamed through Summer’s eyes. And we see Summer look into the reflection of the pool Then Bran has them take him to the same pool in the Godswood and he looks into the pool to see his reflection… Epic!

  34. Chrissy
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    They should have opened like the books prologue and let the viewers speculate about the new characters until the next episode. I love how they added Joffery changing the throne room and him confronting his mother with gossip.

  35. KG
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff – my non-book-reading brother declared Grey Wind “badass I want one.”

    We both got an evil chuckle out of Littlefinger learning there are still steps above him in the pyramid of power.

    All in all, a very satisfying start :)

  36. Michael Harper
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Any screenshots yet from the episode?

  37. Dogmayor
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Apotheosis,

    Nah, just grew his hair out a little.

  38. Ren Snow
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Nice detail: Aggo and Lothor Brune!

  39. David the Grey
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    My favorite scene, oddly enough, was of Bran, Osha and Hodor in the godswood, with Osha taking Bran out of the harness so he could crawl to the edge of the pool and peer into it – expecting to see Summer looking back. I LOVE the wolf dreams.

    My next favorite was when Cersei slapped Joffrey – and the realization in her face that she has just lost all power over her son. Oh shit!

    I enjoyed the Robb & Jamie scene, and was very happy with how Grey Wind’s fx turned out. Actually they did a great job with all of the fx!

    Shae & Tyrion’s linkes about scents in the city were quite funny.

    I wasn’t overly impressed with Melisandre YET, I guess I would like a little bit of mystery to her mien, she seems much plainer than I had imagined. She was probably the biggest disappointment, but she looked to have captured it in the previews of episodes to come, so I hope I am just being premature.

    The other disappointment was my fault. The interiors of Craster’s Keep and Winterfell were very dark, and our TV faces the window where the sun was setting – we had a slight glare and I couldn’t see much! This disappointment will be easily resolved by a repeat viewing once the sun has gone down! (Thank you HBO for the multiple showings!)

    Not as excited as I was with the start of Season 1, but still very much enjoying the show.

  40. Dasein
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair, I think Ros is pregnant. Agree re Ms. Dormer!

  41. Liz
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Great start to the season! Tyrion is amazing as usual, Craster’s Keep is just how I pictured and I loved the introduction to Bran/Summer’s dreams. The only part I was a touch disappointed with was Melisandre, nothing against the beautiful actress but I pictured her much more sensual and other worldly. Also – why is Ros suddenly the Heidi Fleiss of King’s Landing? A bit bizarre but no matter, I am just so thrilled the show is back!

  42. JamesL
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of the more casual viewers might not be very impressed with this episode. I don’t think this show will turn into the massive ratings grabber this season that a lot of us were hoping for. I think the story might be a little too complex and sprawling for casual viewers to keep up with it. They probably don’t know what characters are talking about most of the time.

  43. Khal Zhen
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Grey Wind was pretty well done, but there was still a bit of CGI incongruence. Well done, just didn’t seem completely alive. Then again, I don’t recall ever seeing a real direwolf either…

    Solid and great episode, on par with the best of season 1. I hope this is the new bar set for the rest of the season.

  44. Alison
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I love that the last shot of the episode was of Arya, my favourite character throughout the books. And some of the changes from Clash didn’t bother me simply because I read the book when it came out, er, 1998 or so I guess? and haven’t read it since, so frankly I don’t remember details. The show captures the overall sense and intent, which is really what makes the HBO series so excellent – if they can’t film the books word-for-word (and of course they can’t), they get what’s important right. Bravo to them all!

  45. tek
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    is it just me, or does the actress who plays Ros look a little more round this year?

  46. persephone88
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, D and D, for the awesome wolves. We needed to see those direwolves grown up, and that scene with Jaime was fabulous!!! SO pleased! Had to start with that before starting my thoughts on the episode.

    Loved seeing the gorgeous landscapes tied together by the comet.

    Did not expect it to start with Joff’s nameday. Once more, the joust et al. is reduced to single combat on a wall. Other than the Hound looking all bad while taking out his opponent, it was rather small and disappointing – even moreso than the smallness described in the books. Ser Dontos was not so pathetic and foolish as in the books, but it was good to see Myrcella and Tommen once more, and Tyrion’s arrival perked things up.

    I will probably go out of order here, trying to remember each scene. Dany’s scene was brief but pointed. Was that Rahkaro? I thought he was leaving the cast? Ser Jorah, always wonderful. But no Irri? Dragon was okay – wish we’d at least seen a glimpse of the other two in the cages.

    Night’s watch. I liked seeing some of the same extras from last year. :) Dolorous Edd is a nice addition too. Would have liked a bit more Sam. Craster not as old nor as nasty in appearance as I pictured, and the women reminded me of all the Frey wives in their colorlessness, though I think we got a peek at Gilly. Loved The Old Bear’s interaction with Jon, and Craster’s nastiness to Jon – well done.

    Liked Cersei turning the tables on Littlefinger, and boy, has Joff grown! I liked him turning the tables on Cersei, but she seemed just a wee bit too unsteadied by her failures so early in the game.

    Dragonstone – I missed the opening as it was in the novel, missed Cressen being a weakly and sad but loving Maester – but Cressen as written was at least quite honorable and we got the showdown with him and Melisandre.

    Okay, I have to say, I am not smitten with Mel. Her look is different from the book age-wise, but that’s fine, she’s a better match for Stannis. It’s something about her voice – not as smooth and seductively confident as I expected. She was okay – just did not blow me away. I like Davos, though he’s tougher than I thought. Liked seeing Mathos doing the dictation for Stannis (I assume that was Mathos) and the shot of all of them around the Painted Table was super. For me, the jury is still out on Stephen Dillane as Stannis. He’s got the rigidity, but not the toughness I expected – brittle but I’m not seeing the strength. From the preview snippet at the end, I’m liking Gethin Anthony’s Renly a lot better! Wish we had seen more dragons and more actual castle at Dragonstone. They did such a beautiful job of the ride up to the Eyrie last season, I was hoping we’d see the outside more of Dragonstone as well. Looking forward to seeing more of Davos and that Stannis / Renly meet up, for sure.

    LOVED the scene of Robb and Jaime, well played gentlemen, and again, thank you, D and D for beefing up the Jaime scenes this season, given how little he’s in the second book. Greywind, awesome! Also liked Robb’s scene giving terms to Alton Lannister (though I thought Alton resembled Gendry just a bit – hope that will not be confusing for new viewers).

    Enjoyed the Bran scenes, and I must say that Maester Luwin is a gem. He gives gravitas and perspective to every scene he’s in. Also liked seeing the start of Bran’s warging. Osha, whom I had mixed feelings about last season, is growing on me a lot, and I am liking Natalie Teena more. :)

    So Ros is now parroting Littlefinger almost to the letter and seems to have gotten a speedy bump up to head mistress of the brothel, trying out the new recruits. Sorry, I’m just not impressed. I hope she has better scenes coming up, because they could have simply sent in the gold cloaks to route out Meghan and her babe without all the prelude with Ros and the newbie. I suspect she’ll be reporting back next time, and perhaps she’ll have more to do?

    Overall, the hour SPED by, it really felt like it was about 15 minutes long, it was SO action packed – so D and D must be doing something right. :) I was glad to get a peek at Arya and Gendry at the very end and look forward to seeing more of them on the road. Overall, a satisfying premiere episode…but it really does make me wish they had 12 or 15 episodes this season instead of just 10. So much to tell, and I do not envy D and D for all they have to fit into the time given, but they did an admirable job of it to start. Can’t wait for next week!

  47. Dreamlife
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I love, love, loved it!

    -I love how the comet was used to transition from Bran, to Dany, to Jon Snow. Very well done.

    -I smiled when Sansa cleverly saved Dontos from being drowned to death (and murdered the following day) through her quick thinking. Without spending too much time with her we quickly understand her state of mind now that she’s gone from wife-to-be to prisoner of Joffrey.

    -I was very happy with the “new” scenes: Cersei & Littlefinger (I was really hoping she’d slash his throat, lol), Cersei & Joffrey (including the infamous slap!) and Joffrey’s reaction, Tyrion putting Cersei in her place, the killing of the bastards actually playing out on screen, Robb with Jaime (sooo awesome)

    -Tyrion had some very strong material. He almost seems to have taken Sean Bean’s place as lead actor.

    -The scenes with Dany were brief but powerful. I was relieved to see Rakharo again. Poor Silver. However, I’m glad we’re moving right along with her sending the bloodriders to search for civilization.

    -I actually didn’t mind the way Ros was used. Funny how she is teaching the whores what Littlefinger taught her.

    -Craster. What a sicko. I love how Jon wonders, “what happens to his boys?” Indeed.

    -Everything on Dragonstone was exactly how I imagined it when reading. Fantastic job.

    -Great way to end the episode with Gendry helping Arya into the cart right after the previous scene where the Goldcloaks are searching all over for him.

    Only complaint: I wish this was a two-hour premier! It ended too soon.

  48. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Great start. Hitting all the right beats.

    some thoughts:

    I loved how they flew up to the comet and came down to another scene in another place, nice touch.

    I didn’t think it possible to make Joffrey even more vile, but they managed to do it.

    Croatia looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better. Everything looks better. The CGI was pretty seamless. Grey Wind was amazing.

    Wolf dreams! I liked the reflection in the pool, another great touch.

    Craster’s looked great, Craster himself I thought looked a bit cleaner and less creepy that I pictured him, but I’ll get over it, haha.

    Emilia really has command of the Dothraki language. It was very convincing as an actual language!

    The second half of the show it really ramped up. The Baby Barra scene was horrifying. The last scene with Arya was so ominous and chilling.

    Joffery dresses better than his mother! But Cersei is looking better this year too.

    Davos/Melisandre/Stannis-perfect!

    now I can’t wait until next week. Can’t wait to meet Brienne! Can’t wait for more Arya!

  49. Empedocles
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    The best thing: Richard Madden as Robb Stark and Lena Headey as Cersei. I feel like Richard Madden was the most underrated actor in the show last year and here he is again nailing it with every single delivery. Lena Headey seems to have learnt from Sean Bean last year, she conveys so much without even talking that I cannot wait for the show to exploit her more “explosive” side. The CGI on the dragons and the direwolves was amazing and, in general everything looked astonishing.

    Liam Cunningham is perfect as Davos and Dillane sells the character with just one line “a lie, take it out”. Awesome. I was not impressed with Melisandre but I wasn’t dissapointed either.

    I did not know about the Cersei-LF controversy and I’m glad I didn’t because it was my favorite scene in the whole episode (together with the one featuring Robb and Grey Wind vs Jaime). I understand how some people must think that LF is being too obvious, but I’ve always thought while reading the books that the only reason why everyone put up with him was because he was useful, not because they trusted him, so I think it didn’t deviate that much from character.

    Emilia Clarke and Ian Glen were perfect as usual and the rest of the actors too. Craster is not what I expected in terms of looks (I always pictured him older) but the actor delivered a totally convincing performance.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the Melisandre/Maester Cressen scene. It was not clear how the poisoning worked. My wife (who has not read the books) actually did not understand the scene and when she asked me, I realized that I didn’t get it either.

    Overall, a great episode. The interlinking of all the storylines by means of the red comet was great, the acting superb as usual, and the CGI was incredible.

    PS: The Ros having more screen time than Daenerys comment was plain stupid, her role in the episode made perfect sense. Why? Because you understand with absolutely no dialogue and one single shot that she’s a prostitute and she’s in LF’s brothel doing LF’s work. Introducing Chataya would have taken considerably screen time, which they don’t really have. I’m really impressed in how they manage to convey meaning with just the set-up of a scene, really good writing.

  50. garik16
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    As confirmed by Myles McNutt, one thing they REMOVED from screeners was a little blurb at the bottom (as seen in Ep 1 last season) detailing where certain scenes took place – like Dragonstone.

    You might notice some attention drawn toward those in reviews, which makes it really odd that they were removed.

  51. Coltaine777
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    JamesL: I think a lot of the more casual viewers might not be very impressed with this episode. I don’t think this show will turn into the massive ratings grabber this season that a lot of us were hoping for. I think the story might be a little too complex and sprawling for casual viewers to keep up with it. They probably don’t know what characters are talking about most of the time.

    AHHH this is what I think too..most of us here have read the books and I can imagine most non book readers heads are spinning right now and there fustrated and confused…more time shoulda been taken to establish who is who right off the bat..too much too fast..still believe 53min was way too short for the premiere…but I love the show but feel sorry for the non book readers trying to get there head around this ep..I guess I am in the minority …53min my God give us more !!!

  52. Megan Tesch
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I LOVED it!!! You can tell the production value was upped!! If I could just get my hotel confirmation for comic-con it’ll be a good night!!!

  53. Mike Miller
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    The best line…Oh is he?

  54. the blind girl
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    where is ghost?

  55. Elena Amici
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    So.. GOT is finally back. I didn’t read the post because I haven’t watched the episode yet. I’m downloading it right now and I’ll watch it first time in the morning.. in like 3 hours, I think. (Yes, I know, I’m a bad person. But there’s no HBO to pay this year, and I’m so not waiting 6 months for a badly-dubbed version on Sky)
    I’m really looking forward to reading the recap (the post and the comments are torturing me!) and I can’t wait for the twitter thing. Please, please tell me you’re doing it this year.
    See yall in the morning!

  56. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    And How did I forget to give some love to Peter D/Tyrion! Brilliant!

    The scene with Littlefinger and Cersei was also brilliant!

  57. Janine JK.S ϟ
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Rukie44,

    i want one direwolf =x

  58. darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed it!
    I think the production value is up all around, but it suffered from the same disjointedness that last year’s first few episodes did due to the introduction of so many new characters and places.

    That said, AWESOME!
    Grey Wind was incredible. Cersei was actually Cersei-like for the first time in the series to me! I have never been a fan, but she was spot on in this episode.

    I really think they underplayed Dragonstone though. I felt more time should have been used to show Creesen, his fears, and why it mattered that he died. It would have helped to establish both Stannis and Melisandre in addition.

    Ros certainly has worked her way up in the world!
    Being a Madam becomes her and I found I enjoyed her scene. Okay, the teaching the whores how to whore bit was bad last year and is almost as bad this year…. However I liked Ros in the role of Chataya or similar madam.

    Overall a very nice start to Season 2 indeed!

    Inside the Episode:
    http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/index.html#/game-of-thrones/episodes/2/11-the-north-remembers/video/inside-the-episode.html/eNrjcmbOYM5nLtQsy0xJzXfMS8ypLMlMds7PK0mtKFHPz0mBCQUkpqf6JeamcjIyskknlpbkF+QkVtqWFJWmsjGyMQIAWCcXOA==

    Region Free link:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-episode-201-north.html

  59. Meg
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    General consensus among my friends was one of BOREDOM (big yawns and talking in quite a few places) and CONFUSION. The story went from Joffrey mentioning the incest rumors to a super intense baby killing sequence without any connection between the two. In addition it wasn’t clear how they found the bastards (including Gendry). How did they know where to look? The Cressen poisoning was clumsy as well…was it even clear that he took an anecdote?

    We were all riveted during the Night’s Watch scene though. And we laughed at Craster when he used “daughters” and “wives” interchangeably.

    Positives: I thought the ladies were on fire here, reciting courtesies that the men wanted to hear, but clearly they’re thinking DIE FUCKER DIE in their heads. And Cersei was just badass. Her scene with Littlefinger was great.

  60. John-Michael
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Grey Wind – Awesome
    Melisandre – Awesome
    Stannis – Awesome

    I could go on and on, stellar start to our second season :)

  61. Jason
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    To those saying that people who have only seen season one will be confused and will not be able to follow what is happening: the EXACT same thing was said last season, and look how that turned out. Give them some credit. Almost all of the characters from this episode were already introduced last year, as were many of the plot lines.

    @Meg, no connection between the scene with Joffrey and Cersei and the scene with the killing of the bastards? Joffrey specifically asked Cersei if his father had more children under other women. The people I was watching with seemed to put those two things together very quickly.

  62. OGTargaryen
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    where r downloading from?

  63. Chris
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    For anyone thinking this was boring or slow, EVERY great show that I love starts off like that I feel like. (as do the asoiaf books) Hell, The Walking Dead took about 7 episodes this last season to really get going and people stuck with it. There’s just a lot of seeds to plant that take time to bear fruit, but prove to be worth it when it all comes together. People who like dense serial shows understand this and even appreciate it, so I am glad that D&D aren’t dumbing things down for the sake of a quick impact.

    That said, I thought this was a great premier and felt much more right than last seasons premier. The level of confidence from the last half of s1 is there and everything just seems… better.

  64. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a continuity issue though regarding the view from Tobho Mott’s forge…I guess he moved shop to place with a view? LOL

  65. Cory Wilson
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Great ep! Grey wind , sent shivers down my spine!

  66. Rick
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I think Cersei ordered the deaths of the bastards. She reaffirmed Slynt’s loyalty during the Small Council scene and killing the bastards was the only way that she could vent/”lash out” after Joffrey’s taunt. It was also another way for her to show Littlefinger who is “the boss’ by invading his own brothel. Also, as seen from the books and the series, she’s very impulsive. I am curious who the guy in the brothel was that ID’ed the bastard though.

    Curiously, I think the part that bothered me the most was Silver dying. I think the horse is still alive in the books. Also, I think an opportunity was missed where they could’ve had Daenerys order the Silver butchered and fed to her people. I think that would’ve had a great impact.

    Also, the mini-recap of season one I thought was very well done.

  67. Ser_g
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    So that’s what Esme Bianco looks like with her clothes on…

  68. Andy Gavin
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Such good stuff. It is with great relish and anticipation that I sat down to devour the first episode of Season 2 of Game of Thrones — and it didn’t disappoint. Like many of the earlier episodes in season 1 this is an establishing episode where we rotate through the players and put into place who is where on the board. But it does suffer a bit from Martin’s widely expanded scope in A Clash of Kings. There are so many characters in so many different places that we see each major thread exactly once (pretty much). My full review of the episode can be found here.

  69. Robett
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have time for an elaborate “review” so I’ll just say this:
    Game of Thrones S2 Premiere?? Awesome, simply AWESOME!!!! Perfect sets, perfect cast, perfect CGI!!! It is awesome, I want more!!! :P

  70. Direhound
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Boring? Go watch Mad Men. I was blown away by the premiere. The show is a powerhouse on all fronts. Better CGI. Better Transitions. Better music. Better intro.

    I can’t complain about anything. My only suggestion/comment would be that they could have spent a little more time on Stannis/Melissandre. The people at my premiere party who hadnt read the books were totally confused by them. I’m not sure that longer screen time would have helped but it couldn’t have hurt.

    I really enjoyed the Dontos scene. I know it’s slightly different from the books as far as atmosphere and it’s a little rushed but I loved its compression and tension. Tyrion’s entrance was quite nice too.

    A lot of moments to choose from but Grey Wind was definitely the highlight. Some tiny nuggets like you mentioned about Bran scratching at the table will be a bonus to watching a sophomore season. For instance the young scrubbing boy who is still scrubbing when LF and Cersei’s scene, the camera finds him looking on–like a little bird. Someone’s little bird–watching. Anyway I loved the episode. So short. I’m still lobbying for 12 eps a season with a bigger budget. I don’t care what people say. This shit is a thousand times better than Boardwalk Empire.

  71. Renaud
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    stokerd,

    Yes it was, the hair was different but it’s still the guy who played Chris in Skins. Which makes the count to two actors from Skins ;-)

  72. Rick
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    @Meg and Jason

    I’m not sure Joffrey would care enough to send the city watch to kill bastards. He’d just look down on them and there was even that scene in season 1 where Cersei said Joffrey could “go sleep with painted whores”. If he was actually behind it, I imagine he would’ve brought them all to his redecorated throne room and killed them there.

  73. J
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Rick,

    I tend to agree, plus Joffrey didn’t seem to be sure if Robert had bastards or not at all (unless he was lying) and obviously doesn’t know whether to believe the Jaime rumors or not. Maybe the upcoming episodes make it more clear one way or the other, but I think Cersei still did it in part to try to hide the truth from Joffrey (for however short a time she can manage that).

  74. Lossoth
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Did it seem like Dontos was wearing an american flag on his chest? Great scene but it was a little distracting.

  75. Langkard
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    No complaints here. I loved all of it.

    I think they handled the introduction of Dontos pretty well, while avoiding the costs of having it be in a full-blown tourney. The San/San crowd must be quivering with delight at the Hound sticking up for Sansa in that scene.

    Dillane’s Stannis hit all the right notes of almost pompous dedication to justice and the letter of the law. Although it is true that non-readers of the books are not going to know Cressen as well as the readers, I still think they managed to detail things well enough. Melisandre’s gem glowed, I’m happy.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the wolf dream. I had really been expecting that to be toned down without the Reeds about. Hopefully Osha can fulfill that storyline.

    Ah, Tyrion. Peter Dinklage is just so wonderful. The twinkle in his eyes when he chides Cersei for now being “the disappointing child” was one of the finest moments in the show so far.

    Grey Wind looked fantastic, far better than I imagined.

    Cersei schooling Baelish was excellent. Knowledge is Power. Ah, no sorry, Power is Power.

    Not enough Dany this episode; but I can wait.

    I think they’re setting Theon up nicely. There is so much in that storyline that appears in the books only as narrative and Theon’s thoughts. It can’t be easy translating that to dialogue.

    Arya and Gendry. That final scene on the Kingsroad was set up perfectly in several earlier scenes, not just the raid by Janos Slynt on the whore house. Cersei insisting that Baelish locate Arya. Cersei telling Joffrey that men must be sent out to find Arya. Someone, we really don’t know who for sure, ordering Slynt to locate and kill all of Robert’s bastards. The armorsmith giving up Gendry as being on the Kingsroad. Then the shot of Gendry and his helm and, uh oh, Arya too. And we know armed men are coming to look for Gendry, and they’re supposed to be looking for Arya as well. Readers know but non-readers were set up nicely there. Great way to end the first episode of the new season!

  76. KrisD
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Great episode and opener to the new season. How awesome was the Westeros-shaped table in Stannis’ council chamber? I was glad they stayed true to that detail from the book, have wanted to see that since reading it.

  77. Rick
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    J,

    I don’t think she was hiding the truth, really. I think she was upset and ashamed that Robert slept around, that Tyrion chastized her, and after Joffrey “dismissed”her, she was stressed out and angry and wanted to lash out against “someone”/”anyone”.

  78. andrea
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Liam Cunningham as Davos reminds me of Robert Mitchum

    Exactly! I was thinking he reminded me of an actor but didn´t realize wich one.

  79. JWestfall
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Sweet episode, I want more though. Loved the scene with Bran mimicking the wolf dream with the reflection pool – clever. And who couldn’t help but want to cheer for Robb in his scenes?

    Also, was anyone else afraid Ros was going take her Littlefinger impression a little too seriously during her scene and say “Now play with his ass”? Nah, just kidding, that is my first (and last) Ros joke here, I promise ;)

  80. molten
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Apotheosis,

    No he just looks a little bigger I think.

  81. darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
  82. Lossoth
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    My favorite moment was the look Varys makes when he’s handed the scroll. Conleth barely got any lines this episode, but he killed it.

  83. If It Please
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    i thought Jaime flinching was out of character. anyone agree?

    also as people have mentioned, Littlefinger bringing that up to Cersei was out of character as well.

  84. Paco
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    The transitions are being done so well! That was one of my few complains from Season 1… I always felt their cuts from scene to scene was sometimes very jerky but it was so well done in this episode! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNFFFFFFF MAH BB THEON! THROBB GAVE ME SO MUCH LIFE!!!!!!!!!! YEEEEEEESSSSSS! ONLY CALL HIM YOUR GRACE DURING YOUR NIGHTLY ROLE PLAY! SO MUCH TENSION!

  85. Rick
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Btw, notice that Peter Dinklage was listed first in the credits? Considering how much Tyrion does this season4 I wonder if Dinklage would be the first person to win an Emmy for Lead Actor and Supporting Actor while playing the same part.

  86. H, aka Vee
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    So incredibly pleased with Stephen Dillane as Stannis. True, we were on Dragonstone briefly, but from that awkward moment where he suddenly remembered his wife on the beach to the entire letter-writing sequence? I’m still smiling. Seeing Stannis unfold onscreen is going to be a treat and a half.

    I guess I’ve always had a far more…subtle? version of Melisandre in my head, so I thought she was just that right mix of confident and dangerous without overselling it. As we all know, there will be plenty of time later to fully reveal the extent of M’s powers and mission. I guess I don’t feel the need for her to be too showy right out of the gate, knowing what’s coming and imagining the online reaction to it, heh. Seeing that ruby pulse was pretty bad ass.

    Davos comes across with more swagger (can’t think of a better word…) onscreen than I had in my head while reading – and that is definitely not a complaint.

    As for the poisoning scene, the non-readers I was with seemed to grasp that just fine but were a little confused on the whole Lord of Light/fire/”Does this have something to do with dragons?” thing, but positive they’ll spell the faith out more clearly in subsequent episodes.

  87. The DarkStar
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Ummm…..this episode was fantastic.
    Sorry people who were bored that it didn’t have the child getting thrown off the tower to end it in the last minute….

    It was a general consensus at my party that the littlefinger scene that linda and others had huge problems with was great, and I agree.

    One of the things that I really love about the books, is the more you read them, the more you understand. Martin writes between the lines, and I feel that they are continuing that in the show. Rewatches pay-off.

  88. Grant Gould
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts —

    I love how they tied all the character storylines together via the comet. The episode flew by, as they always do. Felt like twenty minutes. I *was* going to complain about the lack of direwolves, but then we got that great Grey Wind scene. (Still would be nice to see Ghost more often.) But Grey Wind rocked. Drogon looked great too. Kudos to the CGI team.

    I loved the Cersei/Littlefinger scene. I’m guessing that was new for the show – ? I didn’t remember it from the books, but I dug it a lot.

    I think my only minor complaint over all is the introduction of Stannis and Melisandre. I’ve read the books, so obviously I knew what was going on, but my wife (who hasn’t read the books) seemed kind of lost and bored by that stuff. I think maybe that was a rough spot for new fans. BUT, anyway, just a mild critique. I guess when I really think about it, the Stannis/Melisandre stuff was a bit confusing & boring even in the books at first. :/

    Gonna go watch the episode a 2nd time now, because I’m a dork like that. :)
    Oh, and BTW – Craster’s house looked EXACTLY the way I imagined it in the books. Eerily so. I turned to my wife and said, “This is EXACTLY how I pictured this scene in the book.” Crazy.

  89. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    It was alright.

    Really, really disappointed about the handling of Maester Cressen’s prologue chapter.

    A lot of the scenes felt really rushed, wish they’d used up a few more of available minutes for the episode.

    Ser Dontos looks like he’s wearing an American Flag.

    Richard Madden, Liam Cunningham and Lena Heady were very good this episode.

    However …

    garik16,

    Strongly agree here.

    Interesting choice of ‘cliffhanger’ too I guess.

  90. BaronessBx
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Waited all year for this. So not disappointed!!! Grey Wind and Summer so far beautiful and I have to include Drogon. Can’t wait to see what they and the rest will look like as they age. So much to add but will keep it short, 1 down 9 to go … already disappointed

  91. Flayed Man
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed it, look forward to the next nine.

    BUT…what happens when were sitting down to season 5 come 2015, and book 6 is still no where in sight?

  92. Rage
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    there was far too much jammed into one episode in my opinion, i remember watching scene’s and thinking “holy shit were already this far into the book?!” that thought crossed my mind on like 15 different occasions, the whole 10 episode seasons thing has to be my largest complaint about game of thrones, i definitely think it deserves at the very least 12.

    nonetheless it was still a very good episode and i cannot wait for more!

    Flayed Man:
    I enjoyed it, look forward to the next nine.

    BUT…what happens when were sitting down to season 5 come 2015, and book 6 is still no where in sight?

    A storm of swords is going to have 2 seasons for its self (if i remember correctly) and i am sure if need be they could extend book 4 and 5 into two seasons each.

  93. Michelle
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Loved it. My only complaint was that it was too short. I looked at the clock when it was over and was shocked an hour had gone by.

    My favorite bits were Dragonstone and all the Robb scenes. Especially the one with Robb, Jaime and Grey Wind. :)

  94. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was great myself! Loved seeing my favorite characters again. Dinklage is absolutely killing again, and Bronn’s only line was hilarious. Lena is back with a revenge. She was fantastic in all her scenes, especially the one with Littlefinger (a great, powerful scene, I might add). So was Gleeson!

    The Winterfell scenes were great as well. I loved Bran looking at the lake. The dream sequence worked. I was a bit worried about the Dragonstone segment, but everything clicked for me: Mel, Stannis, Davos, Cressen and Mattos were all great additions. And Cressen’s death was almost horror-movie like.

    Craster was fun. Grenn was dreamy (forgive my small obsession). And Dany’s scene with Rakharo was sweet. Though that means he’s going to die an horrible death next week, doesn’t it? Damn, I really like him.

    Wish there was a bit more Michelle Fairley. Her scene with Robb was great. And so was his little moment with Theon.

    The ending was chilling. And it set up Arya and Gendry perfectly. Ros was so much fun!

    That said, I’m not sure it packed enough punch (excluding the brilliant ending) to amaze new viewers. I’m completely immersed in the story, so I loved every minute of it. I’m just worried it wasn’t “explosive” enough as a first episode of a new season.

    Meg,

    Don’t bastards have specific surnames? All they had to do was ask around.

  95. AnthonyP
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I did not like was Melisandre, she does not seem seductive enough.. I find it hard to think that she would get people to follow her, she seemed a little flat to me. Not a fan of this casting IMO but let’s see how she does the rest of the season

  96. The DarkStar
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Jack Gleeson is AMAZING as Joffrey. He is as good at Joffrey as Dinklage is as Tyrion.

  97. berndlmeister
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    garik16,
    I believe that Catelyn’s actions were more believable in this way. I always found her reasoning/decisions not to go home to Bran and Rickon in the books a bit unsatisfying.

  98. Michelle
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    If It Please,

    I can kind of see your point about Jaime. However, that’s a freaking direwolf. Jaime’s not afraid of dying by human hands. He knows no one can really touch him in a fight. But a huge direwolf, while he’s tied up? If he wasn’t a least a tiny bit scared, then I’d question his sanity. ;)

  99. Daenerys Stormborn
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Loved it & relished it. I will be going for a second round. Its was done to perfection!

  100. andrea
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Short and rushed, yes but not boring for me. I have to watch it again. It was a nice start.I didn´t think my head was going to explode with excitement in the first episode. They had too much to introduce.
    The burning of the Seven was weird I don´t think non-readers could understand what´s happening there. I really want to know what non-readers think
    I like Melissandre´s and Stannis introduction. Stannis makes me laugh. The stone dragon on the wall, behind Stannis is great.
    The emptiness in Dillane´s eyes … what an amazing actor.
    I loved Jack Gleeson’s performance but I hope D&D do not overdo his character. It is quite horrible already.
    Did Bran talk with Osha about his dreams in the books? I don´t remember.
    Don´t like Dany´s scene with Rakharo: something is missing there. Rakharo seems kind of… lost? Actors directing maybe.
    Love James Cosmo and creepy Craster, yes.
    While Slynt kills the baby I found myself thinking: we’ll cut your head creep, it is a matter of patience.
    Are we sure that was Joffrey who ordered the murder of the bastards here?.
    Don´t think Cersei is being softened… She only seems concerned about recovering Jaime.
    I like the scene between Cersei and Littlefinger but it’s a bit silly for his character to make such a threat (like Varys with Tyrion). They aren´t silly.
    Bran’s dream was good, simple. Again, I would like to know what non-readers think about this.
    I liked very much Sophie’s restrained and sober performance.
    I hadn´t paid attention to Madden, but he was very well indeed.
    I think I know why Ross is crying in the second episode. I wonder what Littlefinger says to comfort her. Knurk: will you tell me?
    Btw is Ross/Esme pregnant?

    I always laugh when someone makes the actors speak in Spanish for HBO´s latin promos … awkward.

    Oh my, sorry, I didn´t realize I wrote so much. Boring.

  101. Remy
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Love it
    Favorite scenes 1 Tyrion whistling going into small council

    2. Bran’s warging scene and him looking into the pool.

    3. Grey wind and Robb Stark

    4. The final of Arya and Gendry

    5. Luwin talking to Bran

  102. Thiago Slash
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrQsRSNqGLQ

    don’t know if anyone posted this already, but it’s a trailer of sorts, with great new footage!

    the episode was too short. my ass barely ached at all. hahaha

  103. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    That was fantastic!

    Lena was fantastic, great chemistry with Peter and Jack Gleeson. The Littlefinger/Cersei scene was great too and not at all like Westeros made it out to be. Too little Arya, but that’s the book and they segued into her very well. The jumping around may put the non-reader off balance, but I thought everything flowed very well. It basically sets up all of the arcs of the season. And I thought it did well.

    Stannis was fantastic, as was Mel and Davos. Van Houten creeped the hell out of me, such power and mystery. New audiences are going to love her.

    There’s a certain confidence to the film making now, it was like a feature film. Gorgeous CGI and imagery.

    That’s all I have to say for now, other than the killing of the bastards was a great scene.

    Very happy with what I saw.

  104. Rick
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Actually, on second thought (and second viewing), there is a chance Baelish had the bastards killed. He’s the one who pays Janos, and he knows where they all are (remember, he was helping Ned locate them). It also creates strife and causes the kingdom to question why they were killed. Besides, he already has an exit plan via Lysa.

  105. Justin Ashlock
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Okay. Overall, I loved it, but one little thing REALLY bothers me. Cressen Drank the poison first. What possible reason could there be for D&D to make that change? If she drinks the poison first then doesn’t die and he has to drink the poison anyway, That makes sense. If he drinks the poison and dies and then she drinks anyway. That doesn’t make sense. This scene was just horrible. I don’t think I would have had a clue what was happening if I hadn’t read the books a hundred times.

    Plus, in the books, she drinks all of the wine except for a sip, and then offers to spill that so that he can have a way out. That is a way more awesome way of showing her power and wouldn’t have cost them a dime more. I seriously don’t get it.

    This is the kind of little detail that just ruins it for me. The way HBO did it just doesn’t make sense.

  106. George Delker
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I personally loved the scene with peter and cersei i think it helps me make sense of things peter does in later books. those who have read a storm of swords know what i am talking about.

  107. space pope
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    this was the first time i ever felt bad for ser dontos

  108. Mike
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Dug this episode! It was funny to see Cersei slapped by Joffrey they deserve each other. And for those who wish to voice their hatred for that turd let the expletives rip here: http://www.suckitjoffrey.com/

  109. Bean
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Certainly not their best work. I’m sure the rest of the season will be great, but they really just focused on re-introducing characters here. The worst line of the night was north of the wall…

    “who am i?”

    “and who are you?”

    Or whatever it was. That about the clunkiest exposition imaginable. Anyway, it was heavy handed but Tyrion was great. Too few of the scenes really flowed, though. And ser Dontos played a horrible drunk. Almost no personality there whatsoever.

  110. Jose
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I thought this episode was far better than anything from season 1.

    Jack Gleeson is really bringing something to the table, his character is even better than in the books (much like Harry Lloyd did with Viserys).

    Lena Headey is no longer just a wooden dour queen, she’s downright scary.

    The only flaw was the opening scene, the whole Ser Dontos bit didn’t work well.

  111. tysnow
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Awesome premiere, too short though, D&D really need to give these episodes a full 60 minute treatment. Just feel we are getting a little short changed after watching all this perfection of badass tv on HBO tonight,

    Grey Wind, kudos to FX department, that was a chilling intro to the mature Direwolfs.

    Tyrion shows why he is halfman, Peter shows why he is the best actor on television this season. Love the intimidation he gives Joff, and the intro to tthe council. Headey looks absolutely gorgeous this season, what happened to her to give us the Cersei we love to hate from the books. I don’t know about you, but the LF scene showed how unstable she is becoming, no smart ruler/regent would ever pull that stunt on a member of the council, especially with Vary’s little bird nearby.

    The intro to Stannis/Davos and Mel was almost to perfect, made me want the show to stay with them. All of them nailed their parts, no misgivings, and loved the look on Carice as she watched Cressen dying, then drank with no fear and the look in his eyes when he knew he lost and her contemptable attitude toward him and his Gods, methinks her Ms. Red is going to be far more entertaining than the books version. Dillane’s Stannis is as close to a character from the books as I have seen, can’t wait for more.

    The ending was epic with the slaughter of the bastards, better than most scenes we find in movies and the transition to Gendry and Arya was nicely done, especially as their group journeyed down the Hedges, most directors probably wished they had that kind of shot in their shows.
    I foresee a bevy of shows/movies adding that locale to their stories.

    Concerning Dubrovnik, I didn’t even notice the difference from Malta, which means the crew did their part exceptionally well, and the epic shots of KL, Red Waste and Dragonstone were blockbuster quality, even more so with the Direwolves and Drogon.

    Finally, the AMC trolls need to stop berating GoT, most HBO lovers like AMC shows too, so to me this trolling is ungrateful attitude.

  112. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Justin Ashlock,

    Why would she drink the wine offered by Cressen after the show he made at the beach? It was known to everybody at the room that he hated her, the only way he could get her to drink was to drink before. He sacrificed himself to take her down. It made complete sense to me.

  113. findsuzie
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Agree.

  114. Jac Bergenson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Few thoughts about today’s episode…

    First, they really cast the perfect Robb. Rich Madden seriously plays the part absolutely perfectly.

    Second, I’m starting to hate show Cersei as much as I hate book Cersei.

    Third, Holy Fuark, Lord of Bones in full Lord of Bones armor in next week’s preview.

  115. the blind girl
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    now episode is out we can agree with elo and linda about master cressen’s storyline,,,…otherwise great great GREAT!!!!

  116. stickmangrit
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    to chime in with everyone else, the episode was awesome.

    also, preview at the end:

    DAVOS AND MELLISANDRE UNDER STORM’S END
    RATTLESHIRT
    OTHER AWESOME THINGS I CAN’T REMEMBER
    HOLY S$%^ THIS SEASON WILL BE AWESOME!!!

  117. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    the blind girl,

    LOL You can agree. I won’t. Cressen’s played his part in the story. What more did you expect from him?

  118. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Justin Ashlock,

    As it was happening, I was sitting there thinking, “Cressen, why are you drinking first?” But even though it was different from the books, I think it still had the same effect of showing that Melisandre has crazy poison resisting powers. He drinks, blood starts spurting out and, having seen that, Melisandre still goes ahead and takes a drink… and nothing happens to her. That ended up working just fine for me (though in general, I think Cressen could have been handled a little better. Maybe just a few lines to give some sense of who he was and what his connection to Stannis was.)

  119. purrmonsta
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    If It Please,

    I agree that the Jaime that is described in the book, one who doesn’t fear death, would probably not flinch so obviously when Grey Wind bared his teeth at him. It might have been more interesting if Jaime growled back or just kept his usual poker-face.

  120. Mimsy
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I thought the episode was great and FULL of information. There is so much going on with the series even the books that it’s always helpful to watch or re-read. Mr. Mimsy hasn’t read the books and his only questions were Where’s Jaime again? (in the beginning), Dude’s gonna sacrifice himself to kill the red woman? and Who’s gonna wipe that smirk off of Joffrey’s face? Oh and he wants a pet dragon. :/

    Loved all of the Robb scenes and Crasters Keep was awesome! Direwolves and Dragons were AWESOME! The warging was INCREDIBLE! Grey Wind’s stealthy ninja moves were cool.

  121. purrmonsta
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Agreed! Without that quick scene of Cersei & LF, what he does later wouldn’t make as much sense to people who hadn’t read the books.
    George Delker,

  122. Jared Preston
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    I completely agree. Jeffery was still a little boy when it came to listening to his mother. That scene and the casting of Mellisandre are the only real complaints I have.
    Plain_A,

  123. purrmonsta
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Loved it so much I watched it twice in a row! The murdering of the bastards was only hinted at (or touched upon briefly) in the books, but makes sense in the context of who the characters are and what they are trying to do. Very “Godfather” there Ms. Cersei! Eliminate all possible opposition. Loved the wolf-dreams and how that was presented, I knew that it was a dream right away and I hope it makes sense to those who have not read the books. Summer looking into the pool was precious, I almost felt like I was having the wolf dream myself. I just finished re-reading all 5 books today and can’t wait for the next one to come out!

  124. BGAP
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Poisongate? It was confusing, but only because I was thinking of the book scene. To a new viewer, it may not be. Cressen puts something in the drink. He drinks and begins to bleed from the mouth. Mel takes the cup and drinks without bleeding. He dies. She doesn’t. Character established.

  125. Zack
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I thought it was absolutely wonderful. Mel was spot on, and that was a worry I’d had. Davos is great, Craster was really memorable, Grey Wind looks a proper direwolf. Etc. I’m stoked for next week, because basically I just wanted more. I didn’t feel like anything needed changing. It was rushed, but I knew it would be, given a mere 10 hours. They did as well with it as I could have hoped. Going to watch it again in the morning.

    Hopefully next week I have something to criticize. lol

  126. Ren Snow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Rage:
    there was far too much jammed into one episode in my opinion, i remember watching scene’s and thinking “holy shit were already this far into the book?!” that thought crossed my mind on like 15 different occasions, the whole 10 episode seasonsthing has to be my largest complaint about game of thrones, i definitely think it deserves at the very least 12.

    nonetheless it was still a very good episode and i cannot wait for more!

    A storm of swords is going to have 2 seasons for its self (if i remember correctly) and i am sure if need be they could extend book 4 and 5 into two seasons each.

    Actually, books 4 and 5 are going to be adapted into a single season…

  127. Nova1021
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I hate to say it, but I was underwhelmed. After wracking my brain to figure out why this episode left me feeling “meh”, I think it is because it lacked much of a story arc within the episode. They were too busy checking in with all the characters, and so most characters only got a scene or two and not much could happen to get viewers invested. I’m hoping that the groundwork that this episode laid will pay off next week.

    Some nitpicks:
    Grey Wind looked fake
    Craster was way too well-groomed
    HBO sure loves its gratuitous nudity!

    Best parts:
    Jack Gleeson is still an awesome Joffrey
    Tyrion’s “cheekbones” joke
    The scene with Robb and Catelyn was very good, even with the changes from the book

  128. Luana
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Well, that was highly entertaining. My favourite scene was Cersei owning Littlefinger. Lena Headey is amazing!

    Glad to see that Will the deserter’s horse from Season 1 Episode 1 made it safely back to the Wall and is now being ridden by Jon Snow. At least until Jon Snow dismounts; after that he is suddenly holding the reins of a different horse. Continuity errors aside, the episode was beautifully shot. Editing and cinematography looks to have been improved over last season.

  129. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Jason:
    To those saying that people who have only seen season one will be confused and will not be able to follow what is happening: the EXACT same thing was said last season, and look how that turned out.Give them some credit.Almost all of the characters from this episode were already introduced last year, as were many of the plot lines.

    @Meg, no connection between the scene with Joffrey and Cersei and the scene with the killing of the bastards?Joffrey specifically asked Cersei if his father had more children under other women.The people I was watching with seemed to put those two things together very quickly.

    As one of those non-readers, I thank you for your vote of confidence in my intellect. :D

    Admittedly, by lurking this site from time to time I do know more than most of my fellow non-readers. But for further evidence I will cite my girlfriend. Again, an admittance — she was a bit put-off by the rapidity of Melisandre’s introduction, left a bit confused on that front. But otherwise she followed along right fast and loved the hour.

  130. Yoshi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Coltaine777,

    You must be impossible to please.

  131. Yoshi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    Are your friends Ginia Bellfante and Neil Genzlinger? They must be since they are so easily confused.

  132. KG
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Re: Flinching

    It’s a primal instinct to protect your eyes.

  133. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    okokokok…..

    LOVED:
    1. SANSA BEING TOTALLY AMAZING IN HER SCENE
    2. Every scene with Tyrion in it (Peter has really come into his own, amazing).
    3. Every scene with Cersei in it (including the great behind-the-scenes with LF and Joffery, which are actually valid interpretation sof what happens given we don’t really know what happens – this would provide another reason why LF is so anxious to get out of KL… he knows he can’t control Cersei).
    4. A LIE TAKE IT OUT
    5. Robb and Cat’s scene! Adorable! Needs more Catelyn TBH.
    6. Dany + DROGON = cute. Also Jorah is awesome, as always. <3
    7. Davos seems awesome, and Melisandre too. Stannis seems both akward and badass which is just about what he should seem.
    8. JAIME YOU PROPOSITIONED ROBB?!?!? "Looking for company…? I haven't seen you with any girls…" LOLOlolol…
    9. Seeing the Bastard slaughter, we really see the benefit of TV over print here – the horror is so much greater.

    Disliked:
    1. Richard Madden's acting continues to bother me – whenever he tries to be stern or whatever he does this stupid thing with his nose crinkling up that looks really affected and just bad. Stop doing that Richard!!
    2. Dragonstone stuff was so rushed it seemed like it was on fast-forward, seriously everyone even seemed to be talking too fast (!?). Dany’s stuff also seemed rushed. In general some scenes seemed to be cut too fast, weird editing something.
    3. Ros the whore boss? wut?? She just got to King’s Landing a few weeks ago, why is she in charge of his brothel…? And that scene was badly written with her using the exact stupid B.S. LF fed to her. Ugh. Gross. I don’t need to be reminded of that horrible scene from S1 plz. HOWEVER I like how it set up a great ending scene.
    4. That bit with Rakharo really makes it look like he’s left the show, since Dany never talks to him like that. I’ll take bets on dies versus never returns…?
    5. Direwolf looked fake… I don’t care, but it might turn off fantasy-lite viewers.

  134. SHiRO
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Great start of season 2. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it even more upon multiple viewings, cause there were some things that bothered me and perhaps need time to get used to/see the point of.

    -They should have opened with the ACOK prologue.
    -Dragonstone in the intro!
    -Great choice to have the Joff nameday tournament be a melee on the KL walls. Great scenery. Dontos didn’t seem drunk though, was not impressed by his acting. Our main players acted out the scene very well.
    -After that another great scene when Tyrion crashes the small council. What’s with the white raven though? Three books early? And who’s the extra guy present?
    -Liked the Winterfell scenes. Glad they included the wolfdream like they did.
    -Dany scene was awesome! I got a feeling that Emilia Clarke is really going to surprise us this season.
    -Craster’s Keep could have done with a little more introduction, though Dolorous Edd is hilarious. I’m missing a reference to all the abandoned villages here. It feels like the NW just rode an hour from the Wall. Also, everyone is just going about their business, I’d expected them to hide at least and the NW to be a little more guarded.
    -Burning of the Seven was not as awesome as I imagened it, the scene at the Painted Table was, again, great.
    -Robb’s camp; amazing! As is the scene that follows. Best scene of the episode imo. Grey Wind looks great.
    -I HATED Shae last season, but this scene was pretty decent. Bur what’s she doing in the TotH ? Oh and the overview of KL is spectacular!
    – Liked the Cersei/Littlefinger scene. I’d rather they deviate from the book in this way (making a point) than poorly executed scenes that were so much better in the books (earlier mentioned Dontos). It’s a shame the one Lannister guard turns around before Cersei commands it though.
    -I’m OK with “Alton Lannister” and the Robb’s terms scene was decent enough, but it was so much more awesome in the book. Maybe spend a little more time and include the return of Ice? Hmmm I guess it was OK.
    -Show Catelyn is very different from book Catelyn. Don’t really like them both (Michelle Fairley does a great job though and I think she plays the role how it is written). I feel like the writers are tweeking her too much and it’s not really clear what have been and what will be the consequences of her actions.
    -Cersei/Joffrey in the Throne Room. EVERYTHING in this scene bothered me. Joff redecorating without Cersei’s (or Littlefinger’s) knowledge, Cersei involving Joffrey in “we need Arya” and other strategic planmaking, Joffrey questioning the rumours, Cersei hitting him, Joffrey threatening her. All out of place. Lena and Jake are doing a great job in their roles , but the scene was just stupid.
    – Haha Ros…She never bothered me much last season (well maybe one scene did), but this was great. She sure knows how to climb the ladder. Who knows, maybe she ends up on the Iron Throne at series end.
    -Killing of the bastards was nicely done and brutal. Still, should have been Cersei who ordered it.

  135. gswelcome
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    i liked it overall but did feel that the Creesen bits were rushed. I was left not really caring what happened to him, if i hadn’t read the books i wouldn’t even have known what he was doing with the wine. what we get with only 10 episodes i suppose…

    Also disliked the heavyhanded LF-Ceresi scene. LF is supposed to be a master at intrigue, throwing what he knows in people’s faces is not smart at all, making him look stupid and its a shame to do that to his character.

    Those two scenes aside I have to say I’m pleased by what I see :)

  136. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    H, aka Vee: So incredibly pleased with Stephen Dillane as Stannis. True, we were on Dragonstone briefly, but from that awkward moment where he suddenly remembered his wife on the beach to the entire letter-writing sequence? I’m still smiling. Seeing Stannis unfold onscreen is going to be a treat and a half.

    Hahaha I know that was great. Dillane’s Stannis is super akward, love it! I hope we get some cute/akward scenes with Davos and Stannis too.

  137. JWestfall
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Re the bastard-killing and who ordered it: it seems to me that while it was strongly implied that it was Joffrey behind it (due to the order of scenes), the show also carefully makes sure not to explicitly name him as the giver of that order. When Ros asks who, the answer given is “someone who doesn’t care about Littlefinger” or something to that affect. It seems they are purposely being vague about this point for some reason. Perhaps we are being set up for a “surprise” reveal later on?

  138. Jason
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Flayed Man,

    You will be sitting down for season 6 at least. D&D already mentioned breaking the next book into two seasons.

  139. Ser Iello Snow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Arya’s “MIA” status was mentioned frequently. It kind of seemed like an afterthought in Clash of Kings. If it’s true that they’re moving the Stark boys’ presumed deaths to the end of the season, and they’re moving Jamie’s release forward, I wonder if they’re planning to use THIS as a catalyst for Jamie’s release. Baelish might tell Catelyn that Arya’s presumed dead when he meets her at Renly’s camp.

  140. Carol
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Did anyone else wonder if the person who was scrubbing the courtyard twice (once after the Hound’s victim was dragged off, once after the Cersei/Littlefinger showdown) is going to become ‘Arya’ since Jeyne Poole isn’t around? I haven’t watched again to see if that person was male or female (or even the same person in both scenes, although my initial impression is yes), but assuming female, she seemed young, darker-haired, and scrawny enough. The camera seemed to linger a bit too long for that person to not become important later.

    Or maybe I’m just too sick to think clearly at the moment.

  141. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Gleeson as Joffrey is not getting the respect he deserves. It’s hard to like a guy who is such a little shit, but he certainly plays it well.

    Speaking of playing it well, I thought Lena as Cersei was much better in this episode than at any other time in Season 1. She’s found this role and I thought she was excellent in every scene she was in — and it was a lot of them, too.

    In terms of the differences between the show and the book, viewers must appreciate that the changes to Robb’s age and Joff’s means both are expected to reach for and do more, especially so in Robb’s case. Robb is no boy king. While Joff is not yet the King outright (she IS the Queen _REGENT_, damnit), he’s certainly older than 14 and acting it, too.

    I thought they chose to play up Mel as a villain more than GRRM did in the book. I don’t know if that was necessary or not. Oh and psst: It’s not her “magic” that saves her from the poison, nor her magic that protects her from the cold. And she’s well over 100 years old because SHE’s A FRIKKIN’ ZOMBIE. Didn’t you guys catch that from ADwD?

    I did marvel at how short it all seemed — the time flew by.

  142. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Rather slow, flat and boring. Great disappointment. Some of it was just bad acting and mundane actors, don’t know if it was also too much hype to live up to, or watching too many clips. I didn’t find the early episodes last year slow – they were riveting. They really miss Bean or an actor with his skill/charisma. Ady too was fabulous, new ones this year – not so much. Characterizations seem off too, and the Roz repeat is just lazy. Violence seems low key and off screen baby stabbing is really boring. No time to build any sympathy or interest or even do it so it seems like it really happened. The scenes just seemed to lie there they had no excitement or snap, crackle or pop.

    The beach scene is a perfect example of the convergence of bad actors, bad acting, bad writing, staging. Melisandre, Cressen, Stanis seem to lack a pulse. I don’t care anything about them, not even any interest. The confrontation was dumb, because it was false. There was nothing he could do, and he did nothing – the writers set that scene up and sent him out unarmed. Boring, flat. then leaving the sword on the beach ? Davos with his deep voice was mildly interesting, but the rest were dull, not even all that red could make Melisandre interesting. Then they made the painted table boring with its dull color. The Stanis lines about Jaime were tedious and overkill. Stanis may be an anal accountant type, but he needs to be interesting enough to carry the show as well.

    The scene with Bran and the holdfast guy was boring and bot needed. It didn’t advance the story and we already know all we need to about Bran being petulant and bored. Even his trip with Osha and Hodor was lame.

    The scene up north was flat too. The set looked great, but something wasn’t right. Craster was too clean, and groomed. The women were anonymous and that strange interaction with Jon. Then later Mormont tackling Jon and bellowing like a moron ? Very out of character.

    The opening name day scene was very poorly done. If you watch Dontos he goes himself to the spot the guards are supposed to drag him too, he gets down on his knees himself and puts his hands behind his back himself and then after being force-fed wine and vomiting he springs to his feet like nothing happened. The energizer-bunny torture victim, does it all himself.

    Then cersie is much too meek and accepting of Joff’s behavior. No way she wouldn’t let him know she was calling the shots, just like she does with LF.

    The brothel scene was lazy (repeat of LF) and smarmy. Taking the worst scene from last season smacks of spitting in someone’s eye. The massacre of the innocents was hamhanded. You don’t know them so who cares. Even the baby was ho-hum.

    Ending was poor the nightwatch people tramping neatly down the lane looking like vineyard workers checking in or out.

    There were some good things:

    Liked the panoramic shots, KL looks much better. Liked the wolves and dragons (though they need to work on clarke’s sight lines). Loved that we got Bran warging.

    Thought Dinklage was fabulous ( but he is not someone to invest any emotion in). I like Shae but the scene was a waste, just can’t care about Tyrion. He’s funny and cool but not worth any emotion, too snarky, so it’s a waste of time trying to get me to believe his love affair with Shae. Liked Robb and Jaime, and Robb’s other scenes. Except he seems stupid to swallow Theon’s plan with no doubt about the Greyjoys. Cat was fine but she and Robb seemed distant even before they argued about the girls. Dany was fine but other than the dragons it was a waste. Liked the comet was good.

    I really wanted to like it, but it was not very interesting, I didn’t have much emotion or excitement. I missed Araya.

  143. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    H, aka Vee: that awkward moment where he suddenly remembered his wife on the beach to the entire letter-writing sequence? I’m still smiling. Seeing Stannis unfold onscreen is going to be a treat and a half.

    This. Dillane is incredible and Stannis is fun.

  144. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Carol,

    I think it was a telling point in reference to Baelish. He may be Master of Coin but he’s just as expendable and about as equal in Cersei/Joffrey’s eyes as the smallfolk.

  145. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    FicusFan: The Stanis lines about Jaime were tedious and overkill.

    To this: You mean the lines that were verbatim from the books?

    To your entire post: Not sure if trolling

  146. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Yoshi,

    Not everyone was impressed. Sorry to gate-crash the party!

  147. Magnus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Ren Snow,

    Actually, we don’t know. There have been no official comment on this.

  148. Daniel Lin
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    I loved the dire wolves! Bran’s dream gave me shivers as he is a fav of mine, although I dread the notion the reeds would be replaced by Osha. Stannis was perfect, although Maester Cressen’s demise kinda upset me, I recall she even asked him to spill the wine. Everything else was great, overall an awesome beginning!

  149. LordStarkington
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    I thought lifting Stannis’ lines from the book for the letter was a great move, it really makes clear the kind of (often contradictory) man he is.

    I have a couple of minor quibbles with the episode – I didn’t particularly like the LF/Cersei scene and I wish the Maester Cressen scene had been done a little better but I really enjoyed it overall and I am excited to see where the season goes from here.

  150. Jorge
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed the episode a lot overall, but I agree that some parts felt rushed, namely Cressen and the ACOK prologue. Wasn’t a big fan of the Cersei Littlefinger power scene, but it really wasn’t that bad. Considering all the new characters and stuff that needed to be established and season one events that needed rehashing, I felt they did a great job. Robb was fantastic in the episode, loved his scenes and conversation with Jaime, and also his talk with Theon.

    I thought the Jon Snow bit was good too; seemed early to get to Craster, but they did cover at least one Jon chapter at the end of last season. Could have used more Arya, but again they covered her first chapter in ACOK last season. Jack Gleeson continues to impress as Joffrey, and although she’s different than book Cersei, I felt Lena Headey did a good job.

  151. justin
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    some scenes seemed a little rushed. otherwise solid episode. i wished they had the prologue that was in a clash of kings, which wouldve gave us more time with new characters on dragonstone.

  152. stevelabny
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    That was awesome.

    And as annoying as Ros and the sexposition were last year. ..

    The way she quoted the beginning and end of last season’s most infamous scene was nothing short of hysterical. And a nice big “screw you guys we’re doing this whether you want it or not, we’re the writers” that I fully appreciated.

    I was one of the many who was worried about HBO sexing up the showing before it aired, and they went on to do exactly what I expected, and then most people (some of which were the same ones who told me to growup and stop worrying) completely went off the deepend. Its eye-rolly but its not show-ruiny and seeing as Ros is most assuredly going to be the Chataya/Alayaya replacement, I’m ok with this.

    I like the changes in the Joff-Cersei relationship. All the kids aged 2 years but Sansa and Joff in particular jumped the 2 years where most make their biggest leaps in awareness of the world around them and I do think it would change certain things.

    The Littlefinger-Cersei scene is one of those things that you guys heard about, blew out of proportion, and now can’t rationalize. Much like the Varys-Littlefinger scenes last year that were awesome, but some people think “out of character” this scene was also awesome.
    What do you guys imagine Littlefinger does when he’s “off-camera” in the books??? Spend days in silence speaking to noone? Him admitting he’s heard the rumors and taunting Cersei as an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO HER TAUNTING HIM? Sure. Why not?

    What you guys have to remember is that if Littlefinger and Varys “play stupid” all the time, nobody will ever assume they know anything, and they won’t have a job. If they make a big deal about slightly less common things, halfwits like Cersei can still carry on thinking they’re more intelligent. If Littlefinger and Varys occasionally “make mistakes” or “act too full of themselves” they will have the other players in court think that L&V aren’t masterminds… the EXACT SAME MISTAKE YOU GUYS ARE MAKING.

    sheesh.

  153. Greatjon
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Carol,

    The camera was lingering on her because she is one of Varys’ little birds. The lingering moment was just to suggest that she was listening to the confrontation and will report it to Varys.

  154. Carol
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I think that’s also a relevant point, but I don’t think it negates the other possibility. It’s the fact that the camera seemed to linger a bit in the other scene as well that made me wonder.

  155. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I agree that it might have seemed rushed at first as there is so much to take in. Then I watched it again….and it was even better. Even for it’s limited running time they packed so much together yet the acting from everyone was pure win.

    The score was fantastic. Loved Djwadi’s Dragonstone music and the Miklos Rosza style rendition of Robert’s march from season 1 in the last few minutes.

    Fabulous television. Frakk that…fabulous cinema!

    Also Lena Headey delivered the greatest FU to all her nay-sayers. She was fantastic.

  156. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    I re-watched and now I think I don´t like Littlefinger-Cersei scene. I mean, I loved to see him panic but the character is losing subtlety in the show. I don´t know, it reminds me of the dialogue between him and Varys in season one (which I hated it).

    hahaha I´m sorry Knurk you tried to comfort me and I´m ungrateful.

  157. Cari D. Burstein
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Some personal thoughts on this episode:

    – The poison scene felt off to me somehow. I do think it actually made a bit more sense that he took it first, but I’m not sure it would really have been clear to new viewers what was going on. The whole intro of Stannis and the red god stuff is a bit confusing- you’re introduced to several new chars at once and a lot of new information, but I’m not sure they could have improved on it much- as I recall when I read the book years ago for the first time I had trouble following it at first too

    – I did like them tying most of the stories from the first scene together with the red comet at the start. Going straight into new character introductions might have lost some of the non-book readers- they needed to start with familiar information

    – I think the wolf dream scene might have had a bit more impact if at some point we actually saw Bran’s wolf in the episode with him. I don’t recall if we’ve even seen his wolf since the first few episodes

    – I really liked Sansa’s performance in this episode- she’s doing a great job so far. Obviously Tyrion and Joffrey are excellent but their roles are so in your face that it’s hard to miss. Sansa’s job is a bit more subtle

    – I liked the excuse Robb gave as to why he’s dragging Jamie along with him (both as a book reader and for how it fit the story)

    – I agree that Jamie showing fear is a bit out of character for him, although I suppose the argument can be made that he felt nobody was looking at him at the time (since Robb had left) so he didn’t have to put up a brave front. Clearly he feels fear, but he’s usually fairly good at covering it

    – The bastard killing scene definitely had more impact on tv than in the books. Who knew Robert was quite that fertile?

  158. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: Gleeson as Joffrey is not getting the respect he deserves. It’s hard to like a guy who is such a little shit, but he certainly plays it well.

    Lol it’s starting to get tiresome how often everyone keeps saying this. I have literally never heard anyone say anything but good things about Gleeson as Joffery. He’s great. We all know it. You are not defending him against anyone.

  159. The DarkStar
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    If you took everything you didn’t like, and put a completely positive spin on it, you would get how I felt.

    For example:

    FicusFan: The beach scene is a perfect example of the convergence of bad actors, bad acting, bad writing, staging. Melisandre, Cressen, Stanis seem to lack a pulse. I don’t care anything about them, not even any interest. The confrontation was dumb, because it was false. There was nothing he could do, and he did nothing – the writers set that scene up and sent him out unarmed. Boring, flat. then leaving the sword on the beach ? Davos with his deep voice was mildly interesting, but the rest were dull, not even all that red could make Melisandre interesting.

    Cressen may have “lacked a pulse” but he was also a glorified unamed extra that bit the dust to illustrate Melisandre’s power. He was dead a few minutes after we met him. Sorry They didn’t spend an entire episode building him up just to trash him at the end for a “quick payoff” (linda quote). Stannis leaving the sword on the beach was awesome. He doesn’t love the red god, he’s just along for the ride….grudgingly. As book readers we know this, as viewers this was illustrating he isn’t all wrapped up in Melisandre’s deal…..yet. And about trying to make Melisandre interesting….I think they did a great job of not making her TOO INTERESTING. I was worried about the muted down version of her for the show, but she fit right in with the “this could almost be historical fiction” awesomeness that the books convey. Nothing would have been worse that what happened with Camelot and Morgan. Melisandre is going to be killing people with shadows soon enough, no need to make her seem superhuman in the first episode.

  160. Brad
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Production values are better than season 1; the show looks amazing. But it is still plagued with the same weakness as season 1: pacing. The powers that be have limited this series from greatness from day 1 by shoehorning these novels into 10 episodes each. A slightly larger investment to a 12 episode season would have worked wonders with pacing and clear narrative. GOT is enjoyable, but not great storytelling.

  161. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    There is nothing sacred about the books. Written words on a page may be fine, but they don’t always work in a visual medium. This was were it didn’t. He may be a bean counter, but watching him count the beans is boring- especially by such a non-entity as the actor who played Stanis.

    userj: To this: You mean the lines that were verbatim from the books?

    To your entire post: Not sure if trolling

  162. Greatjon
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    You should probably consider that this show might not be for you if you had that many issues with this episode.

  163. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I really thought the letter scene was a perfect way to introduce Stannis’s personality and I loved how Dillane played it.

  164. The DarkStar
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Cari D. Burstein: I liked the excuse Robb gave as to why he’s dragging Jamie along with him (both as a book reader and for how it fit the story)

    Thought that was brilliant as well.

  165. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    That’s possible if this season they are unable to produce a quality product. If they don’t do better it is unlikely to be for anyone cause HBO won’t pay millions for mediocrity.

    Greatjon:
    FicusFan,

    You should probably consider that this show might not be for you if you had that many issues with this episode.

  166. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    FicusFan: such a non-entity as the actor who played Stanis.

    auch!

  167. luca
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    my favorite character is Robb…too bad. has anyone noticed the opening credits, robb’s (richard madden) was lumped together with maisie, sophie and bran.

  168. Eric Niewohner
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Even after feeling this way on every episode of the first season I was once again shocked when the credits started to roll, lol. It felt like 15 minutes it was so good. I convinced my girlfriend to watch the first season with me this week before tonight and she ended up loving them and she really enjoyed tonight’s episdoe as well although the Stannis scenes confused her. Probably because any mention of religion in the first season was done in passing so now all of sudden you have the seven and another god and without benefit of reading the books it would be hard to follow.

    Overall the acting continues to be impressive, the story was tight, compelling, and the editing top notch. The direwolves looked fantastic, just great and I think the new CGI team they hired was a wise move since all the CGI was really well done.

    I have no problems with any of the changes and thought they were all well done. D & D have a very good sense of what to cut and what to change.

    Waiting a week is going to be hard, lol, but oh so worth the wait.

  169. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    J: I really thought the letter scene was a perfect way to introduce Stannis’s personality and I loved how Dillane played it.

    Exactly. My only quibble about it was that it seemed like everyone was delivering their lines too fast (whether they were directed to do so or not I don’t know). It was hard to actually keep up with what they were saying, especially because we were supposed to be paying attention to Cressen and the poison at the same time.

    Also I think many viewers/readers miss the humor in this scene (and with Stannis in general). Speaking of, the Dolorous Edd joke was almost inaudible – I’m sure that dry humor went over some viewers heads too.

  170. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    FicusFan:
    That’s possible if this season they are unable to produce a quality product.If they don’t do better it is unlikely to be for anyone cause HBO won’t pay millions for mediocrity.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but saying “HBO won’t pay millions for mediocrity” sort of invalidates all your arguments. I mean, you’ve seen the money this show has been bringing in, right? You are also aware that it was nominated for an Emmy? And has tons of critical praise heaped upon it?

    Again, you are certainly allowed to not like it, and certainly allowed to talk about your criticisms here. I thought your post was very well-written, even though I didn’t agree with most of it. But the show is not about to be cancelled just because you thought it fell flat.

  171. Anvil
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    HBO has uploaded a new trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrQsRSNqGLQ

  172. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    By the way, why would anyone complain about Stannis leaving the sword on the beach?

    Stannis peeled off the glove and let it fall to the ground. The gods in the pyre were scarcely recognizable anymore. The head fell off the Smith with a puff of ash and embers. Melisandre sang in the tongue of Asshai, her voice rising and falling like the tides of the sea. Stannis untied his singed leather cape and listened in silence. Thrust in the ground, Lightbringer still glowed ruddy hot, but the flames that clung to the sword were dwindling and dying.
    By the time the song was done, only charwood remained of the gods, and the king’s patience had run its course. He took the queen by the elbow and escorted her back into Dragonstone, leaving Lightbringer where it stood. (ACOK Davos I)

  173. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    For someone who claims to be polite and tolerant sometimes you are a bit rude, you know?

  174. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Justin Ashlock:
    Okay.Overall, I loved it, but one little thing REALLY bothers me.Cressen Drank the poison first.What possible reason could there be for D&D to make that change?If she drinks the poison first then doesn’t die and he has to drink the poison anyway, That makes sense. If he drinks the poison and dies and then she drinks anyway.That doesn’t make sense.This scene was just horrible.I don’t think I would have had a clue what was happening if I hadn’t read the books a hundred times.

    Plus, in the books, she drinks all of the wine except for a sip, and then offers to spill that so that he can have a way out.That is a way more awesome way of showing her power and wouldn’t have cost them a dime more.I seriously don’t get it.

    This is the kind of little detail that just ruins it for me.The way HBO did it just doesn’t make sense.

    I think the way the show did it makes more sense. Her drinking while he stands there dying shows not only that she knew it was poisoned, but that she knows she has the power to beat it. It really helps set Melisandre’s power and confidence level. And on Cressen’s side, him drinking first helps him in trying to trick her “Look I’m drinking it and it’s fine! You can drink too!”
    NOW, my thoughts on the episode:
    I LOVED it! The Robb, Grey Wind and Jaime scene was absolutely my favorite, with Craster’s Keep a close second. I am really glad they showed one of Bran’s wolf dreams, and seeing the reflection of the wolf….. just made me smile like the giddy little fanboy that I am. As someone else mentioned, I thought Alton Lannister looked a bit like Gendry too; not a complaint or anything, just an observation. I feel like D&D know very well that we all are dying to see Ghost and they’re intentionally holding him away from us! I’ll echo another commenter’s thought, and say that Dillane’s delivery of “Lie. Take it out.” NAILED Stannis. I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of him this season! I think the bastards being slain is equivalent to last season’s premier-ending moments of Bran being thrown out the tower, in a “HOLY-SHIT-DID-THEY-JUST-DO-THAT!?” way. Overall a great season premier that does exactly what it’s supposed to do: Lay the framework for the season to come and introduce some of the prime new players.

  175. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t care about Cressan per se, no need to build him up. But when he is one of many boring characters, it’s a problem. If Stanis and Mel were ok, it wouldn’t be a problem. But they are not. Not one of them do I care if I see again, not one do I care enough about what they are doing do I say, what happens next.

    As a book reader I don’t know any such thing about Stanis. What I know is he is a knight, a warrior, a king and he leaves his sword on the beach and goes off unarmed ???

    Mel doesn’t have to be over the top, but she should have a pulse.

    The DarkStar:
    FicusFan,

    If you took everything you didn’t like, and put a completely positive spin on it, you would get how I felt.

    For example:

    Cressen may have “lacked a pulse” but he was also a glorified unamed extra that bit the dust to illustrate Melisandre’s power. He was dead a few minutes after we met him. Sorry They didn’t spend an entire episode building him up just to trash him at the end for a “quick payoff” (linda quote). Stannis leaving the sword on the beach was awesome. He doesn’t love the red god, he’s just along for the ride….grudgingly. As book readers we know this, as viewers this was illustrating he isn’t all wrapped up in Melisandre’s deal…..yet. And about trying to make Melisandre interesting….I think they did a great job of not making her TOO INTERESTING. I was worried about the muted down version of her for the show, but she fit right in with the “this could almost be historical fiction” awesomeness that the books convey. Nothing would have been worse that what happened with Camelot and Morgan. Melisandre is going to be killing people with shadows soon enough, no need to make her seem superhuman in the first episode.

  176. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    FicusFan:
    As a book reader I don’t know any such thing about Stanis.What I know is he is a knight, a warrior, a king and he leaves his sword on the beach and goes off unarmed ???

    Should Stannis be worried someone’s going to attack him on his way back up to his castle?

  177. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Eric Niewohner: the Stannis scenes confused her. Probably because any mention of religion in the first season was done in passing so now all of sudden you have the seven and another god and without benefit of reading the books it would be hard to follow.

    that’s exactly what I thought would happen to non-readers.

  178. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    Huh? What did I say?

  179. LordDavos12
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    I just want to say that Dillane killed it. He pulls off that disgruntled face so well. I knew I would like him from the trailers but I’m 100% sold on him. Also, I think it’s a fair bet to say Davos will be a fan favorite by the end of the season. I give it at most 36 hours before they announce a renewal for season three.

  180. ben
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    anyone know where i can watch this episode online?

    im not from the usa

  181. Tre Svatek
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    What was wrong with what he said? Seemed totally polite to me.

    As for FicusFan, I agree with whomever said this show probably isn’t for you. Sounds like the vast majority loved everything you hated. I am not telling you not to voice your opinion, but with so much vitrol for what you have seen on screen, I cannot understand why you would waste your time to continue to watch it, and then tell us how much you dislike it.

    As for the season opener, I thought it was amazing. I for one like the slow build on Melisandre. She is mysterious, so there is no reason to go and explain her all within the first hour.

    Also I don’t think Drogon’s CG’s are getting enough credit. Grey Wind did look really good, but Drogon looked SUPERB. Yes we saw him last season, but I really think that this time around they have improved his look, and I think they really did a great job with him. His wings alone took my breath away.

  182. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    No it won’t be because of one person’s opinion. I know they spent a lot of money and it won awards.

    What I am saying is that if it isn’t any better than tonight I think the hype will fizzle and the audience, awards and profits will diminish, which will lead to it’s demise.

    It just seems to suddenly be written/directed/acted by people who are cluless compared to last year.

    Most here are happy with it, but is that how the casual viewer feels ?

    Winter Is Coming,

    Winter Is Coming: You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but saying “HBO won’t pay millions for mediocrity” sort of invalidates all your arguments. I mean, you’ve seen the money this show has been bringing in, right? You are also aware that it was nominated for an Emmy? And has tons of critical praise heaped upon it?

    Again, you are certainly allowed to not like it, and certainly allowed to talk about your criticisms here. I thought your post was very well-written, even though I didn’t agree with most of it. But the show is not about to canceled just because you thought it fell flat.

  183. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I can see your point that Stannis was wooden at the burning of the Seven.

    However, that does follow the books and make sense since he is not one for those types of situations. His unease was in fact quality acting for that scene. Moreover… Stephen Dillane is anything but a non-entity actor… He was nomianted for an Emmy, and won a BAFTA and an AFI award for different projects (and been nominated for a number of other projects)

    I think the scenes in The Chamber of the Painted Table showed his talent. He was spot on as Stannis during the dictation! Not only was almost the entire scene from the books, but he nailed the delivery and tone in my eyes.

    We all have differnet opinions when it comes to what or who is enjoyable, but Dillane is unmistakingly talented. Period.

    Bean was ernest and pulled at your heart strings because that was Ned’s character. Stannis is not that and to expect other new roles to be like that is folley. When it comes to Ned Stark… to paraphrase Jaime Lannister [about himself], “There are no men like Eddard Stark, only Eddard Stark.”

  184. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    I get it now…I apologize to everyone on this board that I may offended with my Lena Headey comment. I have fought tooth and nail for her the past year now and reading the article in the New York Daily News the other day about how no one came to get her autograph on Comic-Con made me feel sorry for her. I acknowledge she was not appreciated by many of you last season and I respect that. But let’s just say others have been far less generous in their criticism of her performance than the most of you on this board.

    Sometimes we get too excited and say stupid things. It wasn’t my intention to put anyone down.

    Peace.

  185. Direhound
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    I’m so baffled by so many people obsessing over the lack of attention to the Cressen storyline. After reading all five books or even the first three, do any of you think “I really miss Cressen.”? Or think his arc in the story has some overt purpose? No. We might recollect back and say, his prologue was really cool, his death captivating and a great setup. I think in the show it will and should be similar. Do you really care if that relationship gets born out? Don’t you think we will see other developments of showing Melissandre’s hold on Stannis, Stannis being caught between a loyal man and the red priestess. Cressen really stood in the books for me as another version of Davos. His death in purpose is to display Melissandre’s powers. I don’t think we’ve lost anything by rushing his story along. I can see wanting to elaborate more on Stannis/Davos/Mellisandre triangle, but give it a rest on the Maester. His raven has flown.

  186. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Carol:
    Did anyone else wonder if the person who was scrubbing the courtyard twice (once after the Hound’s victim was dragged off, once after the Cersei/Littlefinger showdown) is going to become ‘Arya’ since Jeyne Poole isn’t around? I haven’t watched again to see if that person was male or female (or even the same person in both scenes, although my initial impression is yes), but assuming female, she seemed young, darker-haired, and scrawny enough. The camera seemed to linger a bit too long for that person to not become important later.

    Or maybe I’m just too sick to think clearly at the moment.

    I’m pretty sure it ended up being one of Robert’s bastards that the Gold Cloaks killed. I’ll have to re-watch it soon to double-check.

  187. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    You mean like Ned ? No in this world I am sure he is safe. But even if he is not going to be attacked, it’s careless and perhaps not realistic for a seasoned warrior. It looks bad, and everything went so fast that there is no way he had time to become impatient.

    J: Should Stannis be worried someone’s going to attack him on his way back up to his castle?

  188. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    SHiRO:

    -After that another great scene when Tyrion crashes the small council. What’s with the white raven though? Three books early? And who’s the extra guy present?
    -Craster’s Keep could have done with a little more introduction, though Dolorous Edd is hilarious. I’m missing a reference to all the abandoned villages here. It feels like the NW just rode an hour from the Wall. Also, everyone is just going about their business, I’d expected them to hide at least and the NW to be a little more guarded.

    -The white raven signals both the end of summer AND the beginning of winter, so it’s not early.
    -The Old Bear mentions that they passed something like six abandoned villages on their way to the keep.

  189. Direhound
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe,

    I believe the camera lingers on this little bird is because it belongs to Varys and sees Little Finger in a compromising position with the queen. Good fodder for another non-book scene in upcoming episodes. Tit for Tat.

  190. stevelabny
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Ok so lets REALLY nitpick.

    In the opening sequence, why does Jon have the wolf icon, Jeor have the bear icon, and Sam have the huntsman icon??? They give up their houses when they join the Nights Watch.

    And what was with Bronn having his own sigil already? SPOILER!

    And what the heck was Shae’s symbol supposed to be?

  191. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    Your wasting your time with Ficusfan, one can read his words and his indignation, they are unbending as Stannis himself. For me at least there is no openness in his dialogue, no way that he would listen to what you have to say. He is either incredibly disappointed or a troll. Personally I think the latter as anyone who posts here with the casual frequency here may be overly critical to an extent but in his discourse you would find and opening in terms of hopes and even a hint of patience for the future despite how disappointed they must be. But there is nothing. Otherwise why post at all? He aims for provocation. For what ends I don’t know.

  192. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I really think this is a weird criticism, given that it is essentially what happens in the books. It’s sped up a bit, yes, because it doesn’t have the long chanting scene, but it still makes the point that Stannis (at this point, in particular) has about as much use for all this as is absolutely necessary, and no more than that.

  193. Lord Bennett
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Loved the episode, just wish there was more they have a lot to cover so pacing may become a issue.

    Going to assume it’s going to be another 10 episode season? If so curious why they dont just have a longer season….even 15 episodes per season would give them much more room to cover things.

  194. Spryte
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I know a lot of people are blinded by their fandom, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was incredibly underwhelmed by this episode. It was too much crammed into one episode.

    I think the reason we first fell in love with the HBO series was because we were slowly and skillfully introduced to characters that we could care for. Now we have the same characters PLUS more that are being introduced. The introductions weren’t done as gracefully.. we can’t connect with these new characters.

    I don’t know.. Maybe if we had a scene with Davos smuggling onions, getting his fingers chopped off by Stannis , or even him with his sons, I could fall in love with his character more. There’s no depth, no excitement to these characters. On top of that, there’s no one else for us to connect with. It’s all forced down our throats.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I remain optimistic for future episodes. I want to see the series prove me wrong! COME ON D&D!

  195. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Direhound,

    I think Cressen was indeed a minor character in the greater picture, but I think his story could have been used to better illustrate a few key points about the goings on at Dragonstone.

    His long service and loyalty to Stannis only to have Stannis push him aside shows how much he has fallen under Mel’s spell.

    Also, a little more detail about why he hates Melisandre and her religion could have helped people better understand Rhollor.

    I don’t think they short changed some important role I guess…. I just think they missed a good chance to help people understand 2 of the very important subplots and subtext of Season 2…. Melisandre and her religion, and Stannis and his throwing aside the Seven. Of course more information on those subplots will come out later, but I think it would have helped the non-readers in particular if they had a bit more context and information in the episode.

    Oh well, onward to Arya and Gendry on the King’s Road!

  196. Direhound
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Anyone notice beside Director Alan Taylor’s credit was a Hammer sigil which could be related to him directing Thor 2?

  197. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    hahaha sorry, it wasn´t this time… (I had to reread) I thought the word “nay-sayers” implied certain contempt but I guess is not an insult.
    Anyway it shows that you always make the effort to understand other tastes but still you are often name-calling people (I don´t know how to say this) when they don´t like things you do like: haters, trolls, etc. That´s all.

  198. Direhound
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Lord Bennett,

    I’ve been questioning Wicnet and Westeros.org about this and it seems that a longer season with the same budget wouldn’t produce the same high quality episodes (i.e. stretching the story and budget thin). I wonder if it really would affect things all that much. I think when ratings come in along with the DVD sales, hopefully they’ll reconsider the budget. Things only get more complicated and larger from here.

    @Darquemode all good points but alas it is a tv show with a limited amount of time. I’d always argue for more Brienne and Jaqen if we’re begging characters and places have more screen time. I wonder what it would be like if Brienne had a direwolf? Unstoppable?

  199. Laura Hinson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Dasein,

    I agree about Ros looking pregnant! She has gained weight.

  200. the goat
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Holy R’hllor, that shit was outstanding!!

    Stannis & Davos & Melly Sanders!
    “You smell of fear. Fear, and piss, and old bones. You want to stop me? . . . Stop me.”
    I want to marry you and have your shadowbabies, Carice!

    Drogon & Grey Wind & Bran warging, oh my!
    Craster & Gilly & Edd!
    “You’re prettier than half my daughters.” Har!
    Also, thank you D&D for Craster referring to the Old Bear as “Lord Crow.”

    Anyone know why Jhogo got name changed to Kovarro? Just curious.
    And although I’m pretty sure Kovarro will be the one to find Quarth, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rakharo shows up again at the end of the season with Arstan Whitebeard & Strong Belwas.

  201. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    Maybe they figured Jhogo would sound too similar to Drogo?

  202. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: I get it now

    As I said you always made the effort (and I can not say the same for other people) but sometimes you just couldn´t resist. I get it, I´m just saying, it´s all fine.

  203. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Winter, I uploaded the video content from HBO GO interactive features for the episode to YT here: http://youtu.be/gzHLdQC1WJo

    I ignored the photos and bio blasts since most can be found elsewhere. The interactive map in the 2.0 Viewer’s Guide covered the map aspects I guess. There really was not too much more content in the HBO GO interactive viewing that I recall.

  204. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure what some of you think is so confusing for people who haven’t read the books. My girlfriend hasn’t read them and at no point was she confused. The only question she asked, during Mel’s first scene, was if she was a new character just to confirm she wasn’t forgetting her from season 1. My girlfriend will normally ask me a million questions during a show or movie if she gets lost but she hasn’t had any problems picking up what’s going on in this show. I don’t think the non readers are the dim witted people that some of you seem to think they are.

  205. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    Having been bullied in my youth…I am very good at spotting Trolls. It’s like a sixth sense. I could be wrong about some of them I admit that. I am not perfect, and we all are guilty of hypocrisy in the end. :-)

  206. marberi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    FicusFan:
    Most here are happy with it, but is that how the casual viewer feels ?

    The casual viewer doesn’t matter because the casual viewer’s not going to be into GOT anyways. There’s a reason why they’re called “casual” as opposed to “regular” viewers.

    Perhaps you meant to say the non-readers who have become fans of the TV show? In that case, I understand how their opinion would be important to keep the show going (personally, I’ve read all the books, I know who’s who by heart, so I couldn’t care less about non-readers becoming confused. If I’m watching it with one of them, I’ll make sure to explain who’s who and what’s going on).

    On that note, since you clearly disliked the first ep. so much, why would you care about how others feel? This site is but a microcosm of the outside world: most of the *regular* viewers of the show (both, readers and non-readers) loved it and those are the people who will keep it going. Just as you didn’t like it (and let me add my voice to those who’ve recommended that you move on and stop complaining), there will be others who do like it, thus effectively cancelling out the disgruntled parties who may turn away from the show, such as yourself.

  207. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    Stannis & Davos & Melly Sanders!
    “You smell of fear. Fear, and piss, and old bones. You want to stop me? . . . Stop me.”
    I want to marry you and have your shadowbabies, Carice!

    ^This! My favourite part of the episode. I thought Carice absolutely killed Melisandre.

    Anybody read Hibberd’s recap at EW? Hunger Games mention! Surprise! Hibberd
    didn’t even discuss the LF/Cersei scene! EW is obsessed with HG, comparing the Mockingbird pin to the Mockingjay pin? Seriously? Well they are obsessed with GoT as well so it’s fair trade off.

  208. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: I acknowledge she was not appreciated by many of you last season

    I didn´t like her performance in season 1, it´s true but I like her as an actress. For me the problem is not her acting (well, maybe the eyebrow) but the idea that D&D have about the character.
    And time to go now. GOT brought me back my insomnia.

  209. FicusFan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    No sorry I didn’t get anything out of it. If I had to try to explain it, I would say he was trying to catch a bus that he was afraid he was going to miss (the rushing off).

    I am not a book purist, so just because it’s in the books doesn’t mean it should be in the show. If it works fine, but not everything does. Not sure exactly why it doesn’t for me: too quick, too vague, poor casting ?

    J:
    FicusFan,

    I really think this is a weird criticism, given that it is essentially what happens in the books. It’s sped up a bit, yes, because it doesn’t have the long chanting scene, but it still makes the point that Stannis (at this point, in particular) has about as much use for all this as is absolutely necessary, and no more than that.

  210. FacelessMan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    I thought it was pretty great overall. It could’ve definitely used more time — it was very fast paced (not much time spent on each character) but I thought they handled it incredibly well (the transitions were spot on).

    I’m okay with the changes they’ve made with certain characters. Cersei, for instance, was a bit different in the first season as well, so I don’t mind them continuing on that path.

    My only major complaint was the serious lack of Arya. I hope they’re able to do her storyline justice this season.

  211. J
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I guess it’s just a case of different strokes for different folks – and I do think the fact that the scene was quite short could have had an effect as well.

  212. Dee
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    The Scenes in Robb’s camp made this episode for me. His scene with Jamie and Greywind was wonderful. Beautifully nuanced and understated, even with the powerful and spectacular appearance of Grey Wind, the power of the scene stayed with the characters interactions with the direwolf, allowing the CGI to add to the scene rather than steal it. It was a scene that could have easily come off as gimmicky, but instead it was the highlight of the hour for me.

    Peter Dincklage as Tyrion was stellar, his scene with Cersie was beautifully done, and his interaction with Sansa actually broke my heart. The sympathy with which he looked at Sansa made me feel it with him. I let a tear drop when she delivered her loyalty speech.
    His scene with Shae, on the other hand, fell flat.

    The North wins for spectacular scenery, and I loved Craster. In the book the character never felt real to me, but on screne, he was large as life, and full as real, and utterly engrossing. I’m going to enjoy watching Craster.

    Stephen Dilane, sitting at his painted table editing the letter was pitch perfect as Stannis, though the Gods burning scene and Mellisander left me cold, and rather uninterested. I’m afraid, Mel might prove a disappointment to me, but I’ll wait for the next couple of episodes before I pass final judgement.

    Joeffery and Cersie get an honorable mention for screen presence. And Jon Snow was pretty to look at, but that’s as a far as it goes this ep.

    All in all a good start to the season, I won’t say great because unless they’re already familiar with the series or the books, I’m not sure this ep will allow new viewers to pick up from this point without feeling confused and overwhelmed by the info dump.

  213. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Hey guys. Via HBO Go Netherlands they already made episode 02 of season 2 available!
    Is that also available on HBO USA.? Since I am at work I can’t check HBO On Demand.

    Just watched the Stanis-Melisandre sex-scene, no worries, you only see Melisandre naked! BTW, Do people also eat from that table?, not very hygienic of Stanis and Melisandre.

  214. Eleanor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Loved the echo to the infamous sexposition – it made it have a tinge more worth!

    Loved Melisandre!

    LOVED MY BELOVED SANSA – the added line about “It was well-struck, Your Grace” at the start, grimly repeating Joffrey’s words, underlines the fact that she’s 100% acting a role.

    Didn’t like Joffrey being the one to order the deaths. It made it seem like he’s taking the incest rumours seriously. That would not at all fit him.

  215. Matt Chung
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Rero,

    WHOA HEY watch the bloody spoilers, man. Some of us haven’t had that made available yet.

  216. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Matt Chung,

    sorry, didn’t think of that. Can’t edit it any more, so maybe someone else can. thanks and sorry again.
    Great scene btw, not in the book if I remember well.

  217. Lyonel the Red
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    We need more Stannis – Davos – Melisandre. Other than that this episode was pure perfection.

    The bastard raid was heartbreaking, the look on the man’s face…

  218. Dee
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I agree with the Mel and Stannis beach scene, as I mentioned in my post above it did leave me cold.
    I also agree with you that the Ros instructing the whore scene being lazy in a regurgitative manner (we swallowed in S1 and now here we are tasting it again). The baby killing scene was weak but not because of lack of gore, I think it was more due to lack luster editing stripping that moment of power.

    I disagree on Craster, though. I think the character came off a lot more vibrant on screen than it ever did on the page.
    But the Mormont/Jon (who are you?) scene was another moment that rang a bit false for me. There didn’t seem, for me at least, to be enough cause for that kind of reaction from Mormont. A stern word, absent the manhandling, would have rung truer in my opinion.

  219. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Rero: Just watched the Stanis-Melisandre sex-scene, no worries, you only see Melisandre naked!

    Whaaaaat? That’s very, very lame. Stephen Dillane is sexy. Also, I hate the typical hollywood B.S. where women are naked approx 1094293874x as often as men, it’s sexist TBH.

  220. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Eleanor: Didn’t like Joffrey being the one to order the deaths.

    was he though? I thought it was made explicitly vague.
    1. Joffery and Cersei chat about Robert’s bastards, Joffery makes it clear he understands that Robert’s bastards could be a threat given the rumors about Joff’s illegitimacy.

    2. Next scene, someone has ordered the deaths of the bastards. IMO it could as easily be Cersei as Joffery.

  221. Langkard
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    After the burning of the Seven on Dragonstone, Stannis motions to a female standing at the front of the crowd and leads her away as they all leave. It went by too fast for me to see if it was Selyse or Shireen. Anyone screen cap it or get a better look? It wasn’t Mel.

    Just as an aside, I’m still pulling for Martin Clunes as Alester Florent. No other actor around has those amazing Florent ears.

  222. Langkard
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    userj: was he though?I thought it was made explicitly vague.
    1. Joffery and Cersei chat about Robert’s bastards, Joffery makes it clear he understands that Robert’s bastards could be a threat given the rumors about Joff’s illegitimacy.

    2. Next scene, someone has ordered the deaths of the bastards.IMO it could as easily be Cersei as Joffery.

    It might be Littlefinger too, since he obviously knows all the ones visited by Jon Arryn. We don’t know with any certainty who ordered the deaths. It’ll be interesting to find out!

  223. Middlefinger
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    I know I have been bitching and complaining about s1 but this episode was just excellent. Writing, directing, production value all up from last year.

    Sense of scale was much better. Croatia was awsome. Gleeson was awsome. And best of all no akward sceenes like we had quite a few of in s1.

  224. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Meh, it really is kinda sexist. Oh well, show’s too damn close to perfection for me to allow myself to get all hung-up over these things.

  225. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Just looking at all the comments on this board it never fails to amaze me about how different and complex human beings really are. The multitude of opinions and how they conflict. What one finds excellent and another finds weak. Certain nuances are noticed by some or none at all. It’s quite a feeling of relief because in the end no one is right and no one is wrong.

    Quite remarkable.

    And with that I am gone to bed.

  226. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    userj,

    aha, so you enjoyed Spartacus!

  227. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Just looking at all the comments on this board it never fails to amaze me about how different and complex human beings really are. The multitude of opinions and how they conflict. What one finds excellent and another finds weak. Certain nuances are noticed by some or none at all. It’s quite a feeling of relief because in the end no one is right and no one is wrong.

    Quite remarkable.

    And with that I am gone to bed.

    Deep, man. :D

  228. Lex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Wow…………….

    I’m somewhat speechless……………..

    THAT WAS INSANE!

    Better than I was expecting, by quite a long ways. I think I had a smile across my face the entire time. I was pretty much blown away!

    I need more time to process this, but here are some first impressions off the top of my head:

    -Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey were AMAZING, both together and individually. Is it just me, or has their acting improved? They seemed a lot more comfortable in their characters! Can’t wait to see more of them!!!

    -The production values are amazing, looks even better than Season 1. Loved the wide shots of the Red Waste, and Beyond the Wall.

    -Dragons and direwolves look amazing, way better than I had hoped for.

    -LOVED the scene with Bran holding court, and the peasant complaining about the state of his walls! That was hilarious. I think that actor had more lines than Bran, and several other main characters! XD

    -Wow, they made Joffrey even MORE despicable than before! Jack Gleeson is amazing.

    -I had no problems with Carice/Melisandre, or the Cressen scene… But we need more Stannis and Davos!

    -All the new/added scenes were excellent.

    I think I actually have zero complaints.

  229. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Meg: The story went from Joffrey mentioning the incest rumors to a super intense baby killing sequence without any connection between the two. In addition it wasn’t clear how they found the bastards (including Gendry). How did they know where to look?

    I haven’t read any of the books but Joffrey’s behavior didn’t confuse me at all. The boy-king clearly wouldn’t put it past his ambitious mother to boldface lie to him about his biological father. He knows full well any perceived bastard child of Cersei’s would have no lawful claim to the throne at all, so he decides impulsively to have all of Robert’s bastards hunted down and unceremoniously executed in full public view.

    As for Gendry: Vaerys and Littlefinger both had spies that tracked Ned Stark’s research on Robert’s bastards in season 1. Cersei and Pycelle were also in the know, so it’s hardly a surprise that the King’s Guard made a beeline for the armorer Gendry had previously apprenticed with – at Robert’s behest – and, extracted under torture the direction in which he had fled.

    Joffrey’s apparent rationale: since he is officially a Baratheon yet kills Baratheon bastards, he cannot himself be a bastard. His court is evidently supposed to draw the conclusion that Stannis is both a liar and a traitor. Moreover, Joffrey’s swift and drastic exercise of raw power makes his threat to Cersei’s life all the more credible, should she fail to accept her new place in the pecking order.

    Real-world historical analogue: Ottoman caliphs were infamous for executing their own brothers immediately after ascending to the throne, precisely to head off challenges and intrigues related to the dynastic legitimacy of their rule. I expect GRRM was aware of this when he wrote ACOK.

    The Cressen poisoning was clumsy as well…was it even clear that he took an anecdote?

    Do you mean antidote? ;^) And no, what Cressen actually did was poison his own drink. On the beach, Melisandre had de facto replaced him as chief cleric to Stannis by burning the seven gods of the Andals in effigy. She knew Cressen would either have to meekly watch the foreign priestess goad Stannis into a war he lacks a navy for or else, to make his last stand by attempting to assassinate her. Unsurprisingly, she intuited that as a loyal advisor to Stannis, he would choose the latter option. All that remained for her was to discover his means.

    Davos noticed when Cressen put that little white pill in his goblet and briefly turns his head toward the maester. If Melisandre didn’t, the theatrical manner in which Cressen offers her his goblet and sips from it – ostensibly to reassure her the wine was pure – alerted her that he might be lying. No matter, the glowing (= magical) ruby in her choker would protect her from any poison.

    In the event, it acted fast on Cressen, giving her a chance to then drink from the goblet. To anyone observing her or reconstructing the chain of events later on, this surely enhanced the carefully stage-managed sense of destiny that is the source of her hold over Stannis and his court.

  230. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    It was perfect.

    Did any of you think that the lord that spoke with Bran in Winterfell sounded and even looked a bit like Jeoffrey Rush?

  231. Hexonx
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    userj,

    I agree, and Janos Slynt who luckily will get whats coming to him in ADWD just says “orders.” Who’s orders; “Someone who doesn’t care what Littlefinger thinks.”

  232. Dee
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    i09’s recap is up. They raise nice points illuminating the truth and power theme of this episode – and I suspect the entire season.

    I also completely agree with them in that:

    The facedown between Jaime and Robb is just one of the many examples of this show improving on the books.

    Like I said in my first post above, that scene is an episode highlight for me.

  233. the goat
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    J:
    the goat,

    Maybe they figured Jhogo would sound too similar to Drogo?

    Sad, but almost certainly true. And not nearly as bad as Yara.

    “You can smell the cum from the balcony.” = Emmy #2 for Peter.

  234. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    So, is ep. 202 available on HBO Go USA as it is on HBO Go netherlands? Or did HBO Netherlands make a mistake?

  235. Alex Antonijevic
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    I loved it. My favourite by far was Tyrion and Cersei interacting, and I know we’ll get to see a lot more of that.

  236. Hilda
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    I will research when I get home in the morning. Watching in iPhone sucks and hbo go was freezing. I loved what I saw!
    Super impressed with Richard Madden! I loved his scenes with Jaime and Cat! In fact I couldn’t help but get emotional with that scene!
    But on the flip side, I found that scene with Robb and Jaime pretty damn hot! Yes, I am a hot blooded woman!
    Craster’s keep-creepy! I think The lord Commander was establishing with Jon that he needs to shut up and listen! There is a way to do things even if you don’t like too. Appeasing! Playing the good guest. I thought it was pretty obvious.
    Lena looks amazing! Loved the little finger scene!
    Sansa was great!
    Esme Bianco must be preggers
    Joffrey, what a prick!
    Arya and Gendry!!! Want more!

  237. Angelos Loukatos
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Amazing premiere…Once again the writers did a great job.Also, the increased budget was obvious, Drogon and Greywind looked very realistic! GRR Martin must be proud :)

  238. Chris
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I don’t remember this from the books but I really liked Stannis’ line about Ned Stark mistakenly staying (relatively) quiet about Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella’s lineage and Stannis saying “Not me. I’m going to tell EVERYBODY.” Yes, in ACOK he sent notes about it to all of Westeros, but also drawing the contrast between Ned’s discretion and Stannis’ desire to spread the word seemed like a good point to put on it.

  239. tysnow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Two impressions….
    First up Craster, he adhered close to my mental image, in the books, he is not like Frey or Balon, but a large (muscular) man nearing 60, as big as the bear, very rough though and crude. I agree that Mormonts rage was displaced, the time could have been better spent elsewhere.
    Second, from the response for Janos “Someone who doesn’t care about LF” or to that effect, is obvioulsy directed at the LF/Cersei scene and indicates she ordered the massacre. I believe this might be clarified in the future, perhaps during a conversation with Tyrion, who is undoubtably pissed off, not just because of the possible ramifications to the tranquility of KL.

  240. G_Lee
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    The episode was great but it felt somewhat different than last season and takes a little time to get used to. Maybe it’s just this episode introducing all the new characters. I hoped it doesn’t stay as rushed as this one. It was still great!
    I love Stannis on the show almost more than in the books. His face is just so grim all the time.

  241. Virtus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    I haven’t seen the episode, so could someone tell me, how much did Melisandre tell of the background of Lightbringer?

  242. freyar_88
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    I thought the whole episode was outstanding. Really, really worth the wait.
    As for the complaint about Joffrey mentioning the bastards, I don’t think he gave orders for them to be killed, I think he was just…reminding Cersei that they would be a problem. I’m still pretty sure the orders came from her, but I don’t think it makes much difference: the audience just sees nasty Lannister-bought men killing babies.
    The CGI blew my mind. Cheesy special effects could have ruined everything, but Drogon was perfect and Grey Wind? Damn! I want more Ghost, though.
    Oh, Tyrion. Dinklage just owns that role. He literally could not be more perfect for Tyrion. And I’m really impressed with Lena Headey as well: we’ll finally be seeing the wildfire-fiesty Cersei. I’m not too annoyed we didn’t see too much firey Cersei in S1 because you don’t see that much of her in book 1, but I’m really looking forward to seeing more of that side of her because it’s just so entertaining.
    Davos/Melisandre/Stannis/Cressen worked very, very well. Dilane may not be bald enough (:P, i don’t care about that) but he is GOOD. And Carice van Houten was the perfect blend of mysterious – creepy – sexy – bewitching. The poisoned wine sequence worked very well. Davos. I love Davos.
    The Robb/Jaime scene was so, so good! Really captured their characters. And they’ve definitely got NCW looking like captive Jaime should. I really like that we’ll be seeing Robb’s campaign on the show: while it was better left out of the books, I think in this medium it’s better to follow what’s going on.
    I LOVED the extra scene with LF and Cersei. They are so perfect in their roles and it really demonstrated how their characters view power. Thought it was great.
    Kit Harrington is amazing. One of the most well-cast actors of the show. Not just saying that because he’s gorgeous, which he is, but he’s just Jon, y’know? And the Old Bear is so, so great.
    Wanted more Arya & Gendry, but I liked how the episode ended A LOT: the audience is really worried for our favourite tomboy and guy-from-Skins now. Arya has the best story arc in the whole of the second book and I. CAN’T. WAIT.
    MORE.
    I’m going to have to watch it again.

  243. negar
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I think this episode was above okay , but not great.probably because they wanted to show all the characters in 1 episode since it’s been almost a year since last time we saw them.so nothing actually happened , they just wanted to show us where everybody is.but It’ll get better from the 4th episode.I can feel it!

  244. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Grey Wind Awesome.
    Tyrion Awesome.
    Robb Awesome.
    Essos… Introductory.
    LF/Cersei Awesome.

    Bring on ep. 2!

  245. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    Almost none.
    Her speech was just a handful of lines and it was less about Lightbringer and more about the man who would weild it.

  246. James
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Very disappointing episode. My main points of complaint were:

    1. Joffrey dominating Cersei, thereby changing both characters.

    2. Everything about Dragonstone. Davos was too confident, Stannis was anonymous, and Cressen was confusing.

    3. The brothel scene. With only 10 episodes, why waste time with Ros?

    4. Littlefinger openly threatening Cersei.

    5. The reduction of Catelyn to an order taker. Her role as a mentor and family matriarch has seemingly been lost.

    Elements of the episode that I enjoyed:

    1. Bran, Hodor, and Osha by the heart tree. Very well done, the special effect of Bran in the basket is excellent.

    2. Grey Wind and Drogon both looked great.

  247. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    tysnow: Second, from the response for Janos “Someone who doesn’t care about LF” or to that effect, is obvioulsy directed at the LF/Cersei scene and indicates she ordered the massacre.

    freyar_88: As for the complaint about Joffrey mentioning the bastards, I don’t think he gave orders for them to be killed, I think he was just…reminding Cersei that they would be a problem. I’m still pretty sure the orders came from her, but I don’t think it makes much difference: the audience just sees nasty Lannister-bought men killing babies.

    Personally, after the earful and thinly veiled threat Cersei gets from Joffrey, I very much doubt she would dare come up with the idea herself, let alone go through with it behind his back. True, Cersei has no scruples about ordering Arya found and Sansa kept in a gilded cage, nor does she care about the plight of refugee peasants headed for King’s Landing. However, for her (and most everyone else), murdering children and infants is a very different matter.

    No, IMHO these atrocities have Joffrey’s adolescent fingerprints all over them and, here is why. It is, however, quite possible that he would order Cersei to relay his orders to Janus to humiliate her and prevent Tyrian from interfering into the bargain. It’s also possible that Janus’ line simply means the order came from someone above LF’s station.

  248. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Episode S02E02 is also avaialable on HBO GO in Poland!

  249. Adam Whitehead
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    Rakharo (Elyes Gabel) replaces both Jhogo and Rakharo from the books. The name ‘Rakharo’ was chosen because the producers indeed thought that Jhogo was too similar to Drogo.

    However (supposition from trailers):

    I have a strong suspicion that he is going to be killed off, since the actor got a job working on the movie WORLD WAR Z with Brad Pitt which filmed last year at the same time as much of S2. Kovarro then presumably takes over the Rakharo/Jhogo roles. This would explain why we see Irri crying in the trailers for one of the next episodes, as she and Rakharo had a definite chemistry on the show.

  250. Sword of the morning
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I wont get a chance to watch the show for a long time, but after reading your review I’m even more optimistic. When I read “one of the first major changes from the book” my heart jumped a little, but then you mentioned that basically they just postponed cressen’s death a bit… it honestly makes a bit of sense to me. I can’t see them bringing us to dragonstone unless they’re going to introduce stannis. Still, I’m glad they didn’t cut it out all together. I can’t wait to see what the wolves look like. Anyone know where I can go to adopt a direwolf? lol :)

  251. Pumapaul
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Apotheosis,

    Gendry still has the same actor. I had to look twice too because of makeup, but it’s definitely him.

  252. Frank P
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I think I have to stop reading the comments after seeing the episodes, because I thought it was fantastic TV! I have distanced myself from the books and accepted that this is an adaptation, but it seems that some people just wont let go. Maybe people on this and other sites are just to clever for me, but at the same time, if you are going through life and look for faults in everything you experience, how can you enjoy it? You all know the Grim Reaper waits at the end don`t you? Enjoy this show and life people!

  253. Juanra Castiñeiras de Saa
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I mostly agree with persephone88. It reminded me of the last episode of first season: a little bit of a rush, trying to include too much things so it becomes a little bit shallow. For example, I think that first episode of last season was more catchy. But I’m confident about the next one, what we’ve seen is just a glimpse of that await us.

  254. Conor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Dan:
    Episode S02E02 is also avaialable on HBO GO in Poland!

    Capture it! :)

    I loved episode 1. Pretty much everything about it actually.
    The way it looks, the way it flows and the way it’s acted is all just perfection.

    I’m ok with book changes and they seem to be working very well so far. Pre-air complaints had me worried I must admit but after viewing I don’t know what people were complaining about…Ros was good, CGI was fantastic and Littlefinger/Cersei was just fine. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  255. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Apotheosis:
    Has the actor who plays Gendry been changed?

    Nah, its the same guy from last season

  256. ieiazel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Frank P:
    I think I have to stop reading the comments after seeing the episodes, because I thought it was fantastic TV! I have distanced myself from the books and accepted that this is an adaptation, but it seems that some people just wont let go. Maybe people on this and other sites are just to clever for me, but at the same time, if you are going through life and look for faults in everything you experience, how can you enjoy it? You all know the Grim Reaper waits at the end don`t you? Enjoy this show and life people!

    You can find faults in something and still enjoy it, don’t you think? And many people do not like this episode not because it’s not faithful to the books, but because it had problems with pacing or with acting.

    Telling people not to criticise the show because we’re all going to die in the end doesn’t make much sense.

  257. Trappingsofpower
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I wish they had started like the book, and made the Melisandre/Crassen scene the prologue like last season. Then rolled opening credits.

    However, awesome first show. Peter Dinklage is putting on another master class performance. Love Sansa. Love Robb Stark. Love Dany and Mormont. The Craster scene was great. The ending was really well done.

    And yes, I’m still wondering why Ros is in the show at all.

  258. Winterdark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Just watched it and yes a good hour of television however…

    A short scene by scene review:

    Opening credits:
    Peter Dinklage gets first creidit as he should and John Bradley and Conleth Hill are also included in the main credits. Hopefully Gwendoline Christie will be added as well when she makes her appearence. Shame though they didn’t end with one big name at the end such as Dinklage’s in season 1. I thought Stephen Dillane was perfect for that place in season 2. Also miniature Dragonstone looks very good.

    Tyrion:
    The opening scene is very cool and felt very much true to the book though I missed Sansa’s line “not wolves…lions”
    The scene at the small council was also really good and I loved the music. Hope Ramin Djawadi never leaves.

    Bran:
    For this episode they used the first Bran chapter which imo is completely redundant and which I would’ve cut out entirely. It was boring in the book and it’s still boring.

    Dany:
    They replaced Doreah with a horse?!!! Bad move imo. Also her storyline s moving way to fast! I would’ve left Dany for ep2 or 3 and definetely wouldn’t have already semt out her bloodriders. I think were gonna see a lot of uneccesary filler in later Dany episodes. Still what we did got this episode was very good and the bit between Dany and Rakharro was really nice to watch.

    Jon:
    What happened to Whitetree? That was an important scene and very creepy. Also Jon’s story is moving to fast as well. If they’re alread at Craster’s Keep than what are they gonna do the next 2 episodes? But again the scene was very good. It had all the right ingredients and made for good television.

    Cressen/Davos:
    Rather than using the prologue they shoehorned it into the first Davos chapter. It doesn’t work imo and feels forced. Still the burning of the seven was really great and really worked well on screen. Carice van Houten makes a good Melisandre and I love Liam Cunningham as Davos
    The scene at the painted table was once again just completely right.It had all the ingredients and it flourished. Very well done. I initially had my doubts about Dillane as Stannis but I can now see they were unfounded. The chamber of the painted table looks really good and very much as I imagined it. Though I wonder where it’s situated bacause when you look at the model in the intro you see it doesn’t have the drumtower atop where it is situated in the books.

    Jaime:
    A pretty useless scene that imo didn’t seem to go anywhere and felt like it was just there so they could have Jaime in the first episode

    Tyrion:
    This was a nice simple scene. I don’t think it was in the book but it works out very well and is nice to watch

    Littlefinger:
    Another useless scene only put in so they could have LF in the premiere episode.

    Robb:
    This was a great scene! It had everything, tension, epic feel, it was amazing to watch and it really moved along very well. I like Theon much better this season.

    Catelyn:
    Another good scene. It plays out very differently from the book but the end result’s the same and that’s what counts for me. Plus it worked very well on screen. Fairley and Madden have such great chemistry.

    Cersei:
    This is only mentioned in the books but it’s very nice to see it go down though I did feel it took a bit too long.

    Ros:
    Skipped the first half of the scene cause it was too irritating. The rest of the scene with the city watch was very well done and really thrilling even though I knew how it was gonna end.

    The city watch:
    This looked really good and was very impressive that was untill the final scene which set things up for the cliffhanger. Only it’s such a lousy cliffhanger imo. I mean why would anyone who hasn’t read the books care for Gendry? We’ve only seen him once in season 1 where he said like two words. Bad way to end.

    So all in all it was an episode with really high highs and really low lows. Still I think there were far more highs than lows so I’m cautiously optimistic for the rest the season.

  259. Zach
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Just want to throw in my support for the awesome Cersei/Littlefinger scene. School him, girl!

  260. jenish p kachhadia
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    awesome….mind blowing episode….though didn’t like cersie / joffrey scene…..
    Greywind 11/10
    drogon 11/10

    EDIT: when will be the nielsen ratings out?

  261. Coltaine777
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Yoshi: Coltaine777, You must be impossible to please.

    lol no not really…I was disappointed after every ep last yr too ..then I calm down and breath and watch again and end up loving it..I get so hyped up to watch it I think I just need a few viewings to appreciate it..my disappointment stems from the ep being way too short and as a result way too rushed…It was well done ep, I just wanted more !!

  262. Mike Chair
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Hibberd’s recap is up:

    Daenerys wanders the desert searching for food, shelter, or at least some effective sunscreen.

    Larry is up:

    Who better to start of with than the fucktards whose in charge in Kings Landing right now? and that is the good old Lannisters

  263. Frank P
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    ieiazel: You can find faults in something and still enjoy it, don’t you think? And many people do not like this episode not because it’s not faithful to the books, but because it had problems with pacing or with acting.

    Telling people not to criticise the show because we’re all going to die in the end doesn’t make much sense.

    My point was that for me reading some of these comments makes me wonder if I`m totally of the mark since I`ve enjoyed it, and it feels like some people just want to see the bad and not the good. The same people I imagine, are like that in life as well. Maybe I`m overprotective over a TV-show that I really love :)

  264. Mark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    FicusFan,

    I had the same reaction as you —- very flat and ‘meh.’ Def. the worst show to date by far … let’s hope it just gets better from here !!

  265. Thorlas
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Un año de espera que valió la pena…………

  266. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I dunno, I was really disappointed. It seemed like it was one short vignette after another, without any of the scenes really getting enough time or meat to them. It was boring. Nothing really happened. I hadn’t heard about a cliffhanger ending or anything, but I was thinking there might be SOME kind of nice surprise at the end of the first episode. Instead, it was ‘blah’. It reminded me of those ‘bunnies tell a movie in 60 seconds’ thing. Rushed, hurried, touching on a main point, and moving on. I’m finding myself really and truly annoyed by the 10 episode format. I feel more strongly than ever that if they are going to cram it all into 10 hours, they should have started ‘splitting’ the books from the beginning.

    What was better:
    *The actors were better – people are getting more into their roles, everyone is smoother.
    * The ‘clunkiness’ from last year seems to be gone. Everything seems to fit together better, scenery, clothes, people, dialogue, shooting.
    *Direwolves – Grey Wind looked awesome

    What was worse:
    *The too-fast pace.
    *The way things seemed like little snippets of a scene, and not an actual scene
    *Maester Cressen’s death – My non-book reading friend at work thought Melisandre had caused Maester Cressen to have a heart attack when they went to have that toast. She had no idea poison was involved. It wasn’t well explained.

    I even kept myself from watching previews, so I wouldn’t have ‘pre-seen’ too much info, and I was successful in that, but I still felt like it wasn’t enough. I’m hoping it will get better as the season goes on, and they have more time to devote to a story without switching. Bleh…

  267. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Merry Thrones-mas!
    Thank you, HBO onDemand!

    Anatomy of a Scene: The Small Council.
    http://youtu.be/m7MvgHoj9Lw

    Anatomy of a Scene: The Burning of the Seven.
    http://youtu.be/82QRKWCI0CY

  268. Kid
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    That was pure Awesomeness! Grear acting, sets, lighting, and certainly dialogues. And cirtainly the source.

    Just nothing more to say. 8)

  269. OKENO
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Frank P,

    I’m with you; I might try to stay away from these episode recap comments.

    Before someone loses their mind, I’m not one of these “just take what you can get” people, and I’ll criticize film just as quickly and easily as the next person.

    Having said that, a lot of the people here are, for lack of a better term, “buzz kills”. The level of nit-picky-ness is simultaneously sad and annoying.

    The show is NEVER going to be the books. Not this show. Not when they remake it 50 years from now. Not in another reality where the show has an unlimited budget. Never. TV and books are two different things. Get over it.

    Personally, I thought it was a really strong episode. Felt a lot tighter than the beginning of last season.

  270. userj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Zach: Also her storyline s moving way to fast! I would’ve left Dany for ep2 or 3 and definetely wouldn’t have already semt out her bloodriders. I think were gonna see a lot of uneccesary filler in later Dany episodes.

    You know she sends her bloodriders out halfway through her first chapter right? And that the Red Waste is only a single chapter (she’s in Qarth by her second?) In what way is that going “too fast”?

    They are already dragging it out a lot by having her in the red waste for at least 3 episodes, based on the episode summaries…, especially since there’s no indication there will be any oasis.

  271. Chris77
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    First off: Great episode!
    Loved every second of it.
    Second: “The Smiling Knight” is back disguised as a Ficus LOL

    I am preety sure that Cercei ordered the killing of the bastards, so that Joffrey might not find out that they are all darkhaired. I think this was preety obvious, because first we see at the Council meeting that Janos is loyal to the queen, then we have Cersei threaten Littlefinger and Slynt tells Ros that he is under the order of someone who does not care about Littlefinger: I can’t think of a more obvious way…

    Greywind was great, considering this is a TV show (he was way more realistic than some feature film wolves).

    I liked that Rakkharo is in S2, even if I am afraid he won’t be for long (he might be the one that Irri is crying for in the trailers)

    Spryte: I don’t know.. Maybe if we had a scene with Davos smuggling onions, getting his fingers chopped off by Stannis , or even him with his sons, I could fall in love with his character more. There’s no depth, no excitement to these characters. On top of that, there’s no one else for us to connect with. It’s all forced down our throats.

    Well to get Expostion like that you would need a scene where Davos is spilling his onions with Ros;)

    Minor gripes:
    When Bran wakes from the wolfdream, they used footage from S01 E02, you can easily tell because the S02 Bran has grown so much and his features have grown with him.

    Rhakkharo has developed a preety long braid in a short time.

  272. James
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I have yet to watch the episode – being English and it will not start til tonight. The episode does seem to have delivered a fairly mixed response, and I’m trying to be not too disheartened by it. However, I’m wondering – given its been nearly a year since the last episode and I’ve been continually hyped up by glorious trailers, excellent reviews and the recurrent truth that this is GAME OF THRONES – my favourite book – in a televised format – I’m wondering if disappointment is the inevitable result? Hype tends to be a single-edged sword, and maybe disappointment will ground your expectations and help you enjoy the later episodes? That being said, I’m so grateful that it’s on TV at all that I don’t think I will be disappointed. It could have been a two hour movie about Daenerys, it could have been a watered-down vestige reminiscent of Xena – instead its been crafted into a TV series by two level-headed fanboys who stay true to the tone of the book – if not, at least consistently, the source material. It is also in collusion with the master himself and with all the backing of HBO – the only company that would ever have sufficed. I’m not only grateful, but pretty damn lucky too.

  273. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Carol: she is one of Varys’ little birds. The lingering moment was just to suggest that she was listening to the confrontation and will report it to Varys.

    I think she was an Arya look-a-like, and this is a setup for future events.

  274. Ante
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    This was actually quite boring. I cant believe that some people think non-readers will have hard time, i think this was boring to them too. It was like a little loops of toughts presented 30 times from different angles. And the only thing that actualy pushed the story, Craster, was quite crappy. CGI and production at least were great, but the whole episode feels kinda empty to me.

  275. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Here’s another thing that bothers me – The (Book) Lannister family runs on its childrens’ fear of Lord Tywin, and their desire to win his favor. Tyrion, Jaime and Cersei all want the love and approval of their father.

    Cersei wants his love and approval, so she tolerates Tyrion as the Hand. In the books, Joffrey listened to his mother out of love, and also from knowing that everyone fears and wants the approval of Grandpa. Joffrey has no love or respect for his Uncle Tyrion. With Joffrey now no longer respecting or fearing his mother, or wanting to please her, what is going to make him keep Tyrion as the hand? I think this is a mistake to make Joffrey the crazy little mad King, with no fear or love for anyone anymore. It softens the story.

    The actor looks older, so maybe they are trying to make him act older, but to be honest, to see him act more immaturely, like a small child wanting his mother’s love and approval, would work better. And would give more glue to the current storyline.

  276. Winterdark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    userj,

    It’s going to fast in the sense that hey should ‘ve had Dany for the first time in ep3 since her chapter only appears twohundred pages into the book and than split that chapters and have her bloodriders ride out in ep4. Than you have just the right amount of time for Qarth.

  277. DM
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Yeah I definitely thought the same thing…

    Apotheosis,

  278. Virtus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    With Joffrey now no longer respecting or fearing his mother, or wanting to please her, what is going to make him keep Tyrion as the hand?

    Remember that Joffrey is still underaged and officially Cersei is his regent until he becomes of age. So although Joffrey is king, he does not have all the power yet.

  279. Virtus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Winterdark:
    userj,

    It’s going to fast in the sense that hey should ‘ve had Dany for the first time in ep3

    That would have been a huge turnoff for non-book-readers, considering the way season 1 ended. They definitely wanted to know, what happens to her next.

  280. Empedocles
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    OKENO,

    Well said. These guys are delivering $6 million dollar episodes that look like the first half of a $ 60 million dollar movie and people are still complaining, that the namesake tourney was too small that LF deviated a little bit from character, that Craster was “too clean”, ridiculous, really. We shouldn’t be angry then if the word “fanboy” is used with negative connotations.

  281. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Virtus: Remember that Joffrey is still underaged and officially Cersei is his regent until he becomes of age. So although Joffrey is king, he does not have all the power yet.

    It doesn’t seem that way, in the show though. I wonder if they will re-establish that point to the viewers. After watching that scene, it seems Joffrey IS in charge, and Cersei is now scared of him.

  282. Justin Ashlock
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe: I think the way the show did it makes more sense. Her drinking while he stands there dying shows not only that she knew it was poisoned, but that she knows she has the power to beat it. It really helps set Melisandre’s power and confidence level. And on Cressen’s side, him drinking first helps him in trying to trick her “Look I’m drinking it and it’s fine! You can drink too!”

    He started bleeding within, like, two seconds. He would have known how fast the poison would have worked and would have known that if she hesitated in drinking it after him the jig would be up. There’s no way that a smart man would think it’s better to drink first. In his mind the entire ruse should have rested on her believing that he had thought better of his previous objections, or perhaps been ordered to cut her some slack.

    The way the show did it it made it look like she was showing off. Hey, Look what I can do! Glowing fire Ruby! The way the book did it she was just letting an old man play out his scheme while watching it backfire, faintly amused. Way cooler.

    Sure she was confident and powerful, and both ways show that, but the way the show did it was NOT better. I felt the entire introduction of the Dragonstone characters was clumsey and handled in a way that a non-reader would have trouble understanding.

    In fact, I’m going to go read the non-reader comments.

    The rest of the Episode was great, by the way.

  283. Random fan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I give the episode a B-. Somewhat good, but too many faults. As many above have stated but I will summarize:
    -Joffrey pushing around Cersei was a big change to the characters that rings false.
    -Cressen drinking the poison first and starting to die before Mel even took a sip was weakly done
    – Ros’ scene, as usual, was a waste of time. Didn’t need her or the sex scene that introduced her.
    – Not enough explanation of the Dragonstone situation or Craster for new viewers, IMO. They could’ve cut Roz or Silver dying(???) and added more explanation for the previously mentioned 2 stories.
    – Dontos scene was lame. He was barely drunk at all, and the way the scene was handled, for me, had very little punch.
    -Burning of the 7 was not very strong, mainly cause I thought Mel’s lines fell pretty flat. Needed more gravitas from her.
    -Littlefinger calling out Cersei? Ridiculous. I found that to be poor writing.

    That being said, I think Robb stole the show. Every scene he was in was great. He had presence on the screen, and his interaction with Jaime and the CG Direwolves were great. I liked Osha and the comet scene, and Bran’s scene with the dream of Summer too. Basically everything Stark related came off extremely well. Tyrion was also great but that’s nothing new. The rest, not so much. Just my humble opinion, and same as many have already said, but hopefully they don’t make these types of mistakes in future episodes. Fingers crossed.

  284. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I think i will nickname this episode “The North Meanders”

  285. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Did you already watch the scene with Stanis and Melisandre at the end of the episode? ‘Interesting’ scene, isn’t it? :)

  286. Conor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Rero:
    Dan,

    Did you already watch the scene with Stanis and Melisandre at the end of the episode? ‘Interesting’ scene, isn’t it? :)

    Stop taunting!! Find a way to post it!

  287. The Winter Rose
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    So happy! Everything looks fantastic. The CG is wonderful, the set design, costumes, acting, cinematagraphy all of it – just amazing! So happy with it all.

  288. Meg
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    puplejilly – I agree, it felt like I was watching a clip show. It needed a theme. The comet could have been one, but not everyone commented on it or offered an explanation for why it was there.

  289. Virtus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Regarding the bastard slaying, one can’t say simply was it done at the behest of Cersei or Joffrey. The reviewer of Time certainly interpreted it as Cersei’s work: http://entertainment.time.com/2012/04/02/game-of-thrones-watch-dark-and-full-of-terrors/

  290. Astaroth
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    OH-MY-GOD! Better than I could have ever dreamed. This season’s CGI seem outstanding, great direwolves, great dragons and finally we get some BIG cities (king’s landing panoramic was breathtaking. Hope they keep the quality through all the season, if they do this will be so much better than the first one that I can only think of the wonders we might see in season 3.

  291. Lyonel the Red
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Now after the 5th watching of the episode for me ( Oh R’hllor I went really nerd over this ) I have to say that I can only give a 8.0. And to make this decision -We do not sow’s- review helped a lot, to see it as a non-book reader.

    -As some ppl said above, for those who are non-book readers the explaination and background on #TeamStannis is really really weak. I would have needed much more time and talk. Also burning the Seven might not be as clear and dramatic for many ppl as it should be. Cressen dying before Mel even took a sip, hmm. Well they might wanted to show that she knew it wont hurt her, but the just spoiled the excitement.
    -Dontos wasn’t drunk at all. God he is an alcoholic, his speech was too clear for a drunk man.
    -We didn’t need the first part of the Ros scane, when she instructs the squeling whore.
    -Bran was boring for me, as he was always. But that feeling might come from the books.

    As for the Pros:

    – The Tyrion scanes, all of them, exspecially with Cersei. When he learns about the fact that they lost Arya. That was brilliant.
    -Robb. ’nuff said.
    -My favourite characters in the books are Stannis+Davos+Mel. The casting for the is brilliant. I keep watching the Dragonstone scanes over and over again.

    To sum it up: MORE #TeamStannis

  292. Mark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the episode overall. It wasn’t the most exciting episode, but that is the nature of a first episode. The real meat of the season and the cool scenes are going to be coming later.

    I thought the added scenes between Jaime and Robb and LF/Cersei were excellent. Really well done.

    I like the changes so far to Cersei and Joffery…it makes it more interesting and demonstrates how the show is an interpretation of the books, not the actual books themselves. Joffery is obviously supposed to be more like 16/17 in the book, so it wouldn’t make as much sense to be so dominated like he was as a 13-year old in the novels.

    Night’s Watch stuff and Dany stuff was really neat. Nothing too exciting but it is setting up for the rest of the season.

    I really like the show Robb. He definitely seems like a strong leader and the red wedding in season 3 is going to be absolutely heartbreaking for show viewers only. Especially if his relationship is done well the rest of this season.

    I do think Cressen could have been done slightly better. I’m definitely not a “fanboy,”, but I think it could have been worthwhile to have an extra scene of Cressen with Davos in his study or something. It could have given more background into the context of the seven, Cressen’s motives, and how odd it is for Stannis to be listening to the Red Woman. I don’t think it was super clear or well executed. That is my only complaint.

    I feel like people complaining about a 30-second scene with Ros to set up the bastard’s death are really stretching. That scene wasn’t excessive at all imo.

  293. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Meg,
    Yes EXACTLY! It felt like a clip show. That’s the perfect way to put it.. Like I was watching important ‘clips’ from other episodes, all strung together..

  294. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hilarious how the negative people say it’s either too fast paced, or to slow.

  295. Mark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    OKENO,

    No, it isn’t the books — but what I saw last night did not make engaging television, either. We can all complain about the changes made to the source material, but in the end … the show was lackluster, regardless of changes and whatnot.

    The thing I’m most annoyed with is that I felt like the show was just spinning it’s own tires of an hour. Re-introducing characters and situations that didn’t need it. At least that is how it felt for me … I felt like the show didn’t actually move anywhere at all.

    Stannis and Mel were dull as hell … Liam (Davos) had a spark in his eye, but what did he get — 2 lines of dialogue?

  296. Robbet
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Fantastic, fantastic episode.

    I really loved the beggining, the entrance on the world. We are reminded that this is no easy world, there is blood shed. And Dontos looks pretty good to me. Fine acting, especially from the part of Jack Glesson and Sophie Turner.

    Peter Dinklage just rules, I loved how he intimidated Joffrey and how he messed up with Cersei’s mind. Lena Headey also does her part in an amazing amazing way.

    Then we have Bran! Isaac is doing a wonderful job, I really like the fact that he is so bored that he is picking the table. And Donald, as Maester Luwin, is also a very good choice. The wolf dream looks awesome, and Summer just as I imagined him!!!!!

    Then the Red Comet, it doesn’t really convice me that it is a comet, but it may be because of the low definition of my tv… The fact that they used the comet to connect the various places in Westeros and Essos is really good.

    Drogon!!! He looks wonderful and I really like the sounds he makes!! Silver dies… Why??????!! And I love the end of the scene, where Dany seems lost but a bit confident, watching the three riders leave.

    Jon Snow, the bastard! I am liking more and more Kit Harrington, I believe he is getting more and more confident in his role. Craster seems pretty bad ass, and Dolorous Edd looks like Dolorous Edd. I believe I can’t judge the actress playing Gilly, there hasn’t been enough time on screen for her. James Cosmo as Lord Commander is perfect, simply perfect.

    Dragonstone looks fantastic, they are doing great stuff with the sets. Davos, Stannis, Melisandre, they all seem very good. I haven’t imagined Melisandre like that, but Carice Van Houten is a very good actress, I like her interpretation. One thing I didn’t like about this scene was the fact that Lightbringer seemed like a regular sword, just on fire. And then Stannis leaves it behind for Davos to pick it…

    The scenes where Robb is in are perfect! I really like his conversations with Jaime and with Catelyn. He seems like a true leader when presenting the terms of peace. And Grey Wind looks also just like I imagined him. The CGI is really good.

    Tyrion and Shae, a bit of a comic relief. Cersei and Littlefinger, a good scene. I like it. It makes a good point, “Power is power” and that is a center theme on this season.

    Joffrey and Cersei… I love the scene, I love the fact that Cersei slapped him. But I understand that this makes Cersei seem more human (her facial expression when Joffre threatens her is perfect, Lena did it so well) and Joffrey more of a monster. Yet, I still like the scene, it kinds of makes you wonder if you feel pity or anger at Cersei. Jack Glesson, I must say again, is the perfect Joffrey!

    Ros?! A headmaster of a brothel?! I don’t see the need of the “scene” before the killing of Barra, when she is “tutoring” a new girl. The killing of the bastards is so emotional and action filled. So well done! And I am sorry for not having more Arya on the episode, but I will wait for more next week.

    This is a wonderful episode, HBO is doing its job perfectly. The sets are amazing, as are the acting and the CGI. Thank you for giving us this wonderful hours of Game of Thrones.

  297. Erik
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    purplejilly

      

    purplejilly: *Maester Cressen’s death – My non-book reading friend at work thought Melisandre had caused Maester Cressen to have a heart attack when they went to have that toast. She had no idea poison was involved. It wasn’t well explained.

    It was clear if you were paying attention, they showed him put something in this drink and Davos try and dissuade him from doing it.

  298. Lina
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Yay!! :)

    OVERALL: I am very pleased with this first episode. It was fast-paced. It did seem like a collection of vignettes. But it was an effective way to link this season to last year and to establish the major plotlines for the nine episodes ahead of us.

    CGI: Drogon looked amazing. I love how after Dany put him in his cage he curled up in the corner for a nap. Grey Wind also looked great. I love how that scene was filmed with Jaime looking out the side of his cage and up. It gave a sense of how massive the direwolf would be before we even saw him.

    PRODUCTION: Costumes, sets, and everything looks incredible! The quality of the production looks like it’s only gotten better. I loved the sweeping establishing shots too – of beyond the Wall, and of Dubrovnik as King’s Landing. The cinematography was gorgeous; Marco Pontecorvo really did some beautiful work. And did they get Cersei a new wig? It looks better – more golden!

    KING’S LANDING: Dinklage really stole this one, as usual, but I was also really impressed with Lena Headey. She just seems much more like the Cersei I imagined than she did last season. She’s getting a lot more aggressive and angry. I liked the added scene with Littlefinger, because I think Cersei’s reaction perfectly demonstrated her arrogance.

    I also liked the added scene between her and Joffrey because I thought it really captured his petulance and impudence. Although Joff asks his mother about the bastards in that scene, I’m not sure if they’re trying to suggest he’s the one who had them all killed. It could have been a reminder to Cersei as well, and as Joffrey on the throne is the source of her power, and we just saw how much she loves her power, she’d want any other claims eliminated as well. In the long-run, it doesn’t make a HUGE difference who orders the killing, but I really don’t want them to soften Cersei too much. I want her to be the terrible, calculating woman in the book. I may hate her when I’m reading, but I also appreciate that we don’t often get female characters like her in literature. But anyway, back on track, the montage of the bastards was a really good way to end the episode. It showed just how paranoid the Lannisters are and how dire times are – babies are being pulled from their mothers and murdered. I don’t know the actresses name that plays Meaghan but I thought she did a really good job in her short scene. And now HBO can add “killing babies” to its resume of other things not generally done on TV.

    WINTERFELL: Oh poor Bran. I wouldn’t want to sit there and listen to people complain either, but Maester Luwin reminds him its his duties. I think this was a really practical way to show Bran as the new Lord of Winterfell. I also really enjoyed his “King Robb” comment, because I love sassy Bran. Interesting way to show the warging. Not sure new viewers really got it, but it seems they’re going to explain that in upcoming episodes. I liked the mirror of Bran crawling up to the pond to look at his reflection. It was pretty sad to watch him crawl, because it really reinforces the fact that he’s crippled.

    THE WALL: Oh man was Craster creepy. I really love James Cosmo as Lord Commander Mormont, and I quite liked the scene with him and Jon outside Craster’s Keep. Jon was getting scolded, but Mormont’s tone showed that it was from a sense of disappointment and a desire for Jon to grow as a leader. I love their relationship. And I like how Jon is being shown to be kind of indignant and overly proud sometimes. He and Dany are the closest things the series has to the true hero archetypes, and I’m glad HBO isn’t playing that up too much.

    THE RED WASTE: I actually got really sad when the Silver died. It’s like the last thing Dany had to connect her to Drogo just fell apart. She’s at rock bottom now, and it’s palpable. There were two really touching moments in this scene for me. The first was when Dany tells Jorah he’s been her strength. The second was the farewell to Rakharo. When he responded to her in the Common Tongue, that just seemed so special. It showed a sense of respect for Dany and where she came from, a demonstration that Rakharo has completely adopted her as his khal(eesi). I’m worried for him after such a sentimental scene, and I really hope he comes back okay. :(

    ROBB’S CAMP: I love love love Richard Madden as Robb. He’s really grown into the role. I’m glad that although Robb is tough, there are also glimpses of how frustrated and stressed he is. I loved the bit with Jaime and the “I trust them with my life, just not yours” line, which I thought really showed how valuable the Kingslayer is and how smart Robb is. But the best line in Robb’s section, and perhaps in the whole episode, was when Alton Lannister says Joffrey is a Baratheon, and Robb just smugly says, “Oh, is he?” Therein lies the whole reason for the War of Five Kings! Great work from Michelle Fairley, though I can’t wait to see her get more screentime when she parleys with Renly.

    DRAGONSTONE: I adored the scene in which Stannis is drafting the letter. The changes he makes just color his character so well: I didn’t love Robert, don’t lie; call the Kingslayer what he is; the man is a knight, add his title. So perfect. Dillane is awesome! Melisandre was also portrayed really well. I like Carice Van Houten’s accent, because it’s not over-the-top “exotic” and cheesy, but it’s just different enough to remind us this woman is a foreigner. Davos seems a bit dry for now, but that’s how he started out for me in the books as well. Plus, we didn’t really get to see anything of his personality other than his loyalty.

    UPCOMING: Can’t wait for them to jump into Arya’s plotline (and show Jaqen!) and Renly’s camp (and show Brienne!). I’m also on the lookout for Roose Bolton, Yara Greyjoy and Qhorin Halfhand! My favorite scene from that little teaser HBO aired after the episode was the one of Melisandre and Davos in the boat. No questions asked. That promises to be just as creepy and disturbing as in the novel!

  299. Carol
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I’m glad I’m not alone!

  300. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    I find it a bit funny too…
    I mean we had a sword duel death, fatal poisoning, drwoning, bludgeoining and infanticide… how slow could the episode have been?

    To me this episode was an improvement over the premiere last season. Every large cast ensemble that has new locations or characters tends to feel a bit choppy. There is just a lot to introduce to the season and it usually does not make for a linear thematic episode when there are half a dozen or so locations (some of which are completely new to viewers) and new characters that need to be set up due to their impotance to the season.

    I think the transitions between scenes were incredible in this episode – epecially the 3 comet segues. Much better than the first few episodes last year frankly. The production value was better, as was the quality of acting to me. Part of that stems from last season’s actors having “lived” in their roles and gotten to know the characters better of course. Even Ros’s sexposition scene made sense and was good! XD

    I think a few things could have been better or different, but maybe that is a matter of personal taste more than anything… Bran holding court seemed unneded to me and I think the Dragonstone scene could have shed more light on the dynamics in play with those new cast members. Those are small picked nits though and I still think it was an improvement on last years premiere…..

  301. Erik
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Virtus: I really like the show Robb. He definitely seems like a strong leader and the red wedding in season 3 is going to be absolutely heartbreaking for show viewers only. Especially if his relationship is done well the rest of this season.

    I don’t think this is true on the show anymore. They aged everyone up about three years from the books and joffrey just had (possibly his 16th) birthday.

  302. Doughnut Hole
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed the episode here. 8/10. A much more confident-seeming production than the early Season 1 episodes, higher production values, better acting (in general). I get why some think it meandered; if you got into GoT S1 around episode 7, this would seem talkie and slow. But Books 1-3 are like a master class in Machiavellian power dynamics, and it will take new viewers awhile to get used to that (I wasn’t prepared when I started reading…)

    A few notes.

    Count me among those who hate that Littlefinger tweaks everyone so overtly, something that reaches its peak (so far) in the Cersai ‘power-knowledge’ scene. I get that the producers/writers are trying to make the power theme clear to new viewers, but you can’t do that at the cost of making smart characters act so idiotic. A false note for me.

    Also count me among those who find Melisandre dubious. The actress COULD work, but she seems a weak link so far. Admittedly, it seems brutally hard to play that kind of mysterious/powerful/witchy part in a realistic way- just ask Cate Blanchett…

    I’m out on a limb here, but I…sort of…identified a bit with Joffrey here. If there’s one thing that GRRM asks of us, it’s to look at these situations from a variety of perspectives. Let’s look at this from Joffrey’s POV. From birth he’s supposed to be the king; he never thinks he is anything other than his father’s son. While his Dad never takes him very seriously (and vice versa), in his death scene King B puts the weight of the kingdom on Joff. And yet, Joffrey is beset by people who think they can order him around (at best), or think he’s an illegitimate joke (at worst). His Dad kept the peace and no one questioned his legitimacy despite his drunken behavior, but Joffrey is questioned by Ned from the moment he sits on the throne. Ser Dontos comes to his name day all drunk and disheveled…another person who doesn’t take him seriously. His own mother tries to order him around, and in fact slaps him in front of dozens of people; his hated uncle returns to add to the uncertainty…and now (for the first time) he’s hearing rumors that he’s a bastard.

    I’m not going to say “team Joffrey”…but I feel like the Ep 1 explained some of his behavior to me. How is he supposed to rule when even his own Council thinks he’s a joke?

    Hopefully, this clarification of Joffrey’s behavior doesn’t wreck Cersai’s arc, which IMO is one of the more interesting character arcs in the series so far.

  303. Juan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Credits: As awesome as always.
    Joffrey’s Nameday Tourney: Not entirely happy with it. Ser Dontos was a bit dissapointing, he didn’t look or act drunk in my opinion. The scene improves a whole lot when Tyrion arrives.
    Small Council: Masterful acting by Lena and Peter. Very good scene. Great dialogue that serves to recap what’s been going on at the capital the last few weeks.
    Bran’s Scenes: The first one (holding audience with some minor lords) offers quite the contrast with Joffrey’s way of ruling and the Starks (or anyone else, for that matter). I was happy to see the wolf dreams have been included, but I have to say, the wolf reflected on the water was dissapointing. (Grey Wind looks much better, much more realistic).
    Dany: First things first, Emilia looks weird when she’s trying to ffed the dragon. It’s obvious her gaze isn’t looking a the dragon. Perks of adding CGI dragons instead of using live ones LOL. Other than that the scene is quite good. I did expect more emotion when her horse dies though.
    Jon: Nothing wrong with the scene other than Mormont’s scolding. Looked a bit out of place to me. It would have also been helpful if there had been a previous scene exploring an abandoned village to set the tone.
    The Burning of the Seven: A bit dissapointing in my opinion. I can’t put my finger on it but it seemed a bit off. Great Stannis and Davos though. I’m reserving judgement on Melisandre for the time being.
    Stannis’ Council: Awesome looking table and very good scene.
    Robb vs Jamie: Best scene in my opinion. The huge CGI camp gave the show a sense of epic and greatness that was sometimes missed in the last season. The exchange between Robb and Jamie is awesome and I am pleasantly surprised with Grey Wind. I was always kind of pessimistic concerning the direwolves.
    Tyrion/Shae scene: Not much to say really. Well executed and reminding of us how dangerous the court is.
    Littlefinger/Cersei: I really don’t understand why people are bothered about it. It was a good scene, like the ones of Varys and Littlefinger in Season 1.
    Robb’s Council: Missed Grey Wind intimidating the Lannister prisoner but otherwise a great scene. Missed the Greatjon too. While speaking to Theon it is said that the ships are too invade King’s Landing, instead of Casterly Rock and Lannisport. I guess it shouldn’t make much of a difference.
    Robb/Catelyn: Very well acted on both parts. Good script too.
    Joffrey/Cersei: Insane how good Jack Gleeson is. Besides he gets slapped, again.:)
    Brothel: Serves to remind us Ros is still here… And as a gateway to an outstanding ending.
    Finale: Love the way the scene plays, with beautiful music at the background.

    My grade: 7-8/10

  304. Wolf of Dorne
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Slow? Boring? Rushed? C’mon, when the creen faded to black I shouted: “WHAT?! No, NOT YET! Already an hour???” I wanted MORE!

    10/10 everything, I can’t wait for the next episode :)

  305. John W
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Loved the ep. I was especially looking forward to this season because I loved CoK, particularly the chapters where Tyrion and Cersei go head to head. I love Dinklage and I’m in love with Lena. I think Gleeson will be in contention for an Emmy by the time the season is over.

  306. Knurk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    andrea: I think I know why Ross is crying in the second episode. I wonder what Littlefinger says to comfort her. Knurk: will you tell me?

    lol, (episode 2 spoiler) comforting is a strange way to define it :p.

  307. dizzy_34
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Ah the nits are out picking for sure. I thought it was a great episode. It compressed a lot of the first part of the book to get things moving which is a good thing in my opinion.

  308. Andrija
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    All in all I can say without any hesitation that this looks like a good quality Hollywood production, the quality of the CGI was really good in season 1 but now they upped it even further. Grey Wind was awesome (and believable), Drogon was done nicely and the sweeping shots of the scenery were that little something extra that means a lot. I am very happy with the new actors, Melissandre looked and acted awesome, Davos also, I will reserve my judgement about Stannis for a couple more eps, Craster was a bit meh but all the other things were superb. I give this episode a 9.9/10 :)

  309. OKENO
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    I don’t know what you, or anyone else was expecting out of a first episode. Pretty much every great TV show I can think of has had (or always has) a slow episode or two to start the season. You’re not going to get balls-to-the-wall action or epic tension out of the gate.

    As for re-establishing characters/locations… again, to be expected, and honestly, probably needed. Not everyone is like us. Not everyone has read the books or watched the TV multiple times (or as I have, finished watching season 1 again just hours before the premiere). Your average audience needs to be reintroduced. Not because they’re stupid… but because this story can be and IS confusing to people not so familiar to the story. If anyone thinks the show can survive without catering to the non-hardcore fans, they’re sadly mistaken.

    PS I agree with what someone else said above. Complaining about the Ros scene? Really? I don’t really care for the Ros character either, but her lines/ people screwing took up about 30 seconds of the show. I mean, OMG, imagine how much better the episode would have been had they used that 30 seconds on something else!!

  310. Kerdain
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read the books yet, but became a huge fan after first season, and this episode was absolutely spectacular! Well worth the wait. I say what I said 12 years ago before the first LOTR movie came out – watch out, for this is history in the making. I was right then and I repeat it now, this show is an instant classic. My only complaint is I wish every single scene was twice as long, that’s how good it was.

    I admit as a non-reader I was slightly confused by the poisoning scene, but I did guess she was somehow resistant to the poison..

    Robb was spectacular as was Grey Wind – so rewarding to see the King Slayer (or Pusher, as I like to call him, for he pushes boys out of windows and the queen from behind lol) shake in fear before the beast.

    Stanis’ “It’s a lie, take it out” was awesome, he will be fun to watch through the season, I can tell.

    The Queen makes lots of mistakes in this episode, counted at least 3, first when Tyrion gives her the “disappointing child” comment, then when she demonstrates her ‘power’ to Littlefinger – bad move, now he’s her enemy and he can buy the guards.. and finally slapping Joffrey and loosing any power she may have still had over him.

    And Tyrion – he’s just brilliant, and I agree he’s like the new lead, replacing Sean Bean. Well on his way to a second Emmy? He deserves it.

    I’ll stop now, since there is way too much to say about the episode – in short – perfection!

    Oh one last thing, please someone kindly push Joffrey from the tower? Thanks lol. Amazingly played, and soooo annoying ;)

  311. Jaakko Pirinen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    In Southern Finland you could not miss the beginning of the second season, even if it’s not showing on local TV yet: it’s April and nevertheless it’s snowing like no tomorrow. The winter is coming.

  312. Empedocles
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Forgot to mention, the music in the credits was mind-blowing. A great improvement on the King’s theme from last year.

  313. Kaeth
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Here’s my theory on rhakaro I wonder if there having him replace the guy from the 5th book that shows up to dany? I remember that guy was killed off in the first season by drogo but he’s in the book still. what if they just have it as rhakaro disapears and then a few seasons from now he shows up as the guy with the kalasar?

  314. Tropxe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed it, but I do think it was flawed due to not having a plot of its own. It was simply hitting the notes to bring back characters and introduce new ones. It was almost like a very extended trailer made up of original footage. I also think there’s a bit of a problem with conflicting characters overwriting each others traits in order to make a point in a concise way. To explain by way of example, in order to show how power-hungry and overly proud Cersei is, they write a scene that has Littlefinger being blunt and easily ruffled. To show how terrifying Grey Wind is, they have Jaime being scared. In each case, I feel it was kind of inevitable given the time constraints. They *could* have shown someone else being scared of GW, but instead they combined that into a “Robb is badass” and “Remember Jaime is still imprisoned” exposition.

    You could tell that they were also aware of the rush of info and combined, composite scenes could be confusing, like a diffusion of sights, sounds and info that’d just confound viewers, so they did the smart scene-swapping moments, such as the comet (similar to how they first cut to Dany in season 1). There are more specific complaints, like Melisandre seeming more like a hot mom rather than a generally sexual and fatally seductive woman – but I guess she kind of *is* a hot mom, if you know what I mean. If eerie shadow assassins can be called children. Davos looks more like Stannis than Stannis. In fact, Liam Cunningham should have played Stannis, and the guy who actually does play Stannis should play Stannis when he’s looking all drained and ill due to Melisandre.

    All in all, absolutely fantastic but there’s a kind of whistle-stop tour feel to it, and some askew casting choices.

  315. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Going to bat for a character that probably won’t get it otherwise.

    Really really disappointed with the direction they are taking Catelyn Stark in. First I have always felt that the idea that Cat belongs only with her youngest children and not with Robb is deeply rooted in sexism, in the idea that mothers belong with young children and that’s it. It can be seen in things like how female teachers are more prominent in lower grades and male teachers at upper education levels. I’m extremely disappointed that Benioff and Weiss have given up this ground. In the books, Cat showed a lot of conviction insisting that Robb needed her, even though men complained that a woman had no place on the battlefield, even though her own son tried to send her home. It was part of her tragedy that she was labeled as useless to anyone but little babies, even though in the end all of her advice would have led to better outcomes. For example if Cat was not there to advise Robb nobody would’ve told him not to send Theon — and look how that turns out.

    In light of changes like this, hearing Benioff and Weiss talk about how much they love the female characters and hearing actors talk about how it’s a feminist story is a lot harder to take sincerely. Recently Benioff talked about the battle between the two mothers of kings and how he finds that interesting, but it comes off like empty talk if they are not even giving Cat her proper place in the advisory board. She wasn’t even in the scene where Robb delivers his terms.

    Second, even if they want to show her going home, did they have to give Robb the idea to meet with Renly? In the book, it was Cat who saw that it would be a wise move to do so. I don’t mind them beefing up Robb’s presence, but it should not come at the expense of Catelyn’s stature and contributions. They can easily show that Robb is the military prodigy while Cat is the politically experienced one, and that way both could be admirable to viewers. But why give Robb Cat’s idea? She has more to contribute than making sure Bran and Rickon eat their vegetables.

    No matter what else, Martin chose to tell the story through Cat, not Robb. I don’t mind them beefing up Robb, but they shouldn’t downsize Cat. I’m extremely disappointed, and I find my ability to believe their commitment to female characters or feminism or whatever else they would like to claim in the interviews diminishing. It’s easy to say things in interviews, but if it doesn’t show up in the product, that’s just … disappointing. Very disappointed the way this particular character is being handled.

  316. Kaeth
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Miss,

    I think were seeing a change in cats story just because she’s going to break down sooner in the show than in the books and let you know who go. So were seeing her kind of wobble emotionally already.

  317. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Kaeth,

    Are you sure that’s necessary though? I mean, when the you know what thing happens that prompts the letting you know who go thing, isn’t it perfectly understandable that that would make her snap a bit? Not sure it needs a gradual descent, anybody could understand a mother responding to a fate like that with extreme responses.

    I read a lot around the fandom that people think they are easing her transition to her ASOS state more obviously, but if you think about it, Catelyn takes the same # of books to get there as Tyrion does to get to the point where he does the things he does that make him … you know, the stuff in ASOS. So if it’s the same timeline why are they letting Tyrion have his day in the sun, but feel necessary to tweak Cat?

    That’s why I’m not sure timeline things explain much.

  318. BM
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Kaeth,

    But the problem with that is that Catelyn DOESN’T wobble emotionally in the book. That’s the point. The book is full of her internal monologue about being strong for her family, and outwardly she projects that strength. She refuses to become the stereotype of the “hysteric woman.” I get that the show is trying to develop Robb’s character, but surely there’s a way to do that without infringing upon Catelyn’s integrity.

  319. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Kaeth,

    obviously that’s what’s happening, but how is that good or even acceptable?
    That character is making all the OPPOSITE decisions she made in the book, while Robb is made to be very heroic and mature, which is just…
    Robb is a great kind, and very wise for his age, but Cat is there to make the balance of maturity.
    If Robb is validating her stay there, and pointing to her how she could be useful…. then it just kills the whole principle of Cat being the one who’s aware of how her advice is important, and it diminishes the fact that, even though SHE was aware of that, NOBODY ELSE WAS. ESPECIALLY not Robb.
    Cat in the books has a fantastic and lucid view on the politics of war; on the show she is a fierce mother, and HER SON is the one who shows to her how she can be useful. do you see the diference?

    I honestly don’t know how to put it better than Miss.
    We know WHY they’re changing her.
    We don’t think it’s a good excuse! She’s becoming another character entirely.

  320. xerces
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Second episode is available only on Polish HBO GO!?
    What’s going on?
    Short clip but we see Jaqen !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mjt9qD9fYM

  321. Virtus
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    BM,

    Well she does act from emotional motivations when she decides to let Jaime go after hearing of Bran’s and Rickon’s fate.

  322. Rhaelia
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Why do you think it’s Joffrey who ordered the killing of Robert’s bastard? For me it seemed, that Cersei got pissed off by Joffrey mentioning the rumors, and she did order it like in the books. I think the writers just wanted to show the non-readers the motivation for Cersei’s act. Or maybe it’s irrelevant who ordered it, in the end both of them are cruel douchbags.
    But I really hope they won’t soften Cersei. I want to hate her.

    The ep was great btw. Not much happened, but it was an introduction ep so it’s understandable.
    I was scared at the end that they’ll show the killing of the baby. That scene reminded me to the shocking Bran scene at the end of 1×01.
    I loved the Theon/Robb scene the most. They gave Theon’s character a good base in season one. In this ep it’s kind of made me sad how naive he is concerning his father. (Like he was comparing him to Ned Stark. It shows perfectly that he doesn’t really know his father.)

  323. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    berndlmeister,

    I don’t see how .
    She sees her kid, 16 years old, adviced by a lot of courageous, but rather simple-minded man such as Greatjon, waging a war against foes much more experienced than him, and worst of all, at the expense of two of her daughters.
    She knows her presence there as an advisor is needed: she’s the one who’s behind the alliance with the Freys and she’s the one who points out the necessity of talking to Renly; all of her advices on courses of action turn out to be correct, although they are more often than not ignored.
    She KNOWS Robb needs someone like her at his side, sadly he’s the one who doesn’t, and we know where that leads.

  324. headtrip_honey
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Kaeth,

    Changing a character fundamentally for the sake of plot pacing doesn’t give me a lot of faith in the writers.

  325. rorschach-
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So now we get to criticism again. Oh how I have longed you my dear.

    First things first. I liked it, but not as much as I would have wanted to like it. I have to go with Meg and purplejilly about how there was no connection between scenes and the episode didn’t really tell me anything. Or the only thing it told me was, this guy from last season is here so that you remember him, this one is here, this one is new, this one is old and is here now and so on. It felt like clips of introduction. Only thing connecting them was the comet which doesn’t even seem to actually matter or have any reason later in the series. And even the comet got bit tedious after seeing the panorama to it X times. Worst was probably after Cressen scene when they were inside so the panorama showed ceiling. Well, gotta admit it also showed Mels amulet pulsing fire.

    Clippy-structure was highlighted also by not so capturing ending. Killing babies sounds like something that would capture the watcher but when it’s made like “Look at the baby, look at the baby how we rip it from it’s mother, now look at the blade, look at the blade how awkward Slynt even holds it in the air, now the screaming woman and were done here folks.” Somebody killing some babies, somewhere, because somebody ordered wasn’t really that capturing cliffhanger.” Actually the cliffhanger for me was “Show Jaqen, show Jaqen.” Damn.

    Littlefinger scene was not bad, I’m not a book purist, but I didn’t see much meaning to it. Littlefinger was maybe bit too bold for his character but it’s understandable because it gives reasons to what happens later in show. And if LF would be too cryptic with his “I know” -hints, non-readers would probably have no idea what he is doing. Headly, who was absolutely brilliant in this episode wasn’t at her top notch with the “I chanced my mind.” line.

    Bran gave us some nice wolfdreams but otherwise I felt as bored as he did in his scene. Felt really like the clipshow mentioned earlier. Just to remind who he was. Also tried to explain about the comet but didn’t really do much.

    Davos sold himself to me with the first look of Stannis and line “Not now.” Stannis and Mel not so much but they weren’t bad either. I laughed aloud when Stannis starts to walk away from the beach, then remember his wife but actually doesn’t even care and walks away alone after holding his hand in air. Another new actor of Dontos didn’t seem to make any kind of impression. I hope his drunkardness comes more into play later.

    TL;DR Season 1 actors have really raised the stakes and upped the game, new ones are trying to fit in, some succeeding, some not. While the composition of the episode has taken a setback. Hopefully only because of the first episode and “setting up the stage”. Readers have fun seeing what old friends are doing but for non-readers it lacked the frame.

    EDIT: Almost forgot. Dolorous Ed had line but it was almost unaudible. D&D, you have my wrath!

  326. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I know! so the curiosity.

  327. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    The thing I don’t get is that you don’t need to tear down Cat to build up Robb. In the books, Robb was kind of a military prodigy. Why not just show that? And then let Cat be the politically savvier one? That way both of them could look good.

    I’m glad that Robb says Cat’s his most trusted advisor but that makes it really weird that she’s not even there when he’s delivering his terms. It makes it weird that they take out part of her actual advice. You build up her status as an advisor by actually showing her giving advice, not lessening it.

  328. twincast
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    garik16:
    Odd change from the books:

    They largely reduced the agency of both major females in the series.Cat is the one who suggests meeting with Renly in ACoK.She wants to get her daughters back, but she’s still keeping sight of her duty to Robb and thinking about how she can help him.Here this is all Robb’s thought and Cat acts like a scared mother.

    I mean I get that they’re trying to emphasize Robb’s character, which is non-existent in the books, but still……odd.

    Then there’s Cersei.In the books, Cersei is the Queen Regent and Joffrey is not of age.SHE rules.Joffrey CANNOT overrule her (well in theory he might attempt it and he DOES makes decisions that she wouldn’t agree with but she isn’t able to countermand the orders fast enough).Joffrey is still out of control in the books….but he does cowtow to his Mother who does hold the power over him.(In addition, she would never harm Joffrey in the books…she’s blinded by her love).

    The only purpose of this is to try and humanize Cersei more and to make Joffrey look like more of a monster.This is building on last year’s attempts to do the same thing I guess.But it’s rather lousy….Joffrey is already a monster, and well….Cersei doesn’t need humanizing!In fact they’ve got their Lannisters backwards – JAIME is the one who gets humanized whereas Cersei is driven MAD.Moreover, it removes her agency…for little reason.

    Yep, the Robb/Cat change is pretty odd and the Cersei/Joff one(s) extremely so — it bothers me to no end for the very same reasons you’ve stated.

    Also, the Petyr/Cersei scene is absolutely OOC for LF and holds no candle to the awesome Petyr/Varys additions of last season. A total waste of screentime, but (arguably unlike last season’s loathsome infamous overlong superfluous “play with her ass” scene) nothing to scream bloody murder over.

    Not at all a fan of the evident loss of the Reeds, but otherwise the Winterfell scenes were great.

    And for what it’s worth I like the explanation for Robb dragging Jaime along.

    But how did Roz end up the bordello queen so quickly?! I know it’s for the sake of keeping the character count low, but it really makes little sense for LF to have done so.

    And I must say if I didn’t knew otherwise I would confuse Alton with Gendry. They look practically identical IMHO.

  329. Lina
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Kaeth:
    Here’s my theory on rhakaro I wonder if there having him replace the guy from the 5th book that shows up to dany? I remember that guy was killed off in the first season by drogo but he’s in the book still. what if they just have it as rhakaro disapears and then a few seasons from now he shows up as the guy with the kalasar?

    I don’t think this would ever happen, for a few reasons. First off, while Rakharo is a bloodrider and skilled warrior, he is no khal. There’s no way he’d ever be able to take control of a khalasar on his own. Second, it would be completely inconsistent with Rakharo’s appreciation of Dany. Jhaqo and the others who left the khalasar left because they saw no value in Daenerys. Rakharo stayed and declared himself her bloodrider after the birth of the dragons. To have him leave and come back as a rival would be completely illogical, especially after that scene last night.

    Khal Jhaqo leaves after Drogo dies because he sees no value in Daenerys. Rakharo has been her supporter throughout it all and declared himself her bloodrider after Dany raised the dragons. It would be completely inconsistent to have him wander off,

  330. Alex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I think you always have to connect with the audience through the opening scene of a season, and that’s harder to achieve with unrecognizable characters. They’re being considerate with the non-readers.

    Andy,

  331. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    jubs,

    The relationships between characters and their mothers (Robb and Joffrey being the main ones) are obviously different because they are older in the show and thus won’t behave quite as immaturely. Sticking exactly with the book and ignoring the change in age would be bad writing.

    As for why they’ve changed any character, how about actually wait and see where the show takes it? It should be easy for anyone to come up with possible reasons but none of us actually know and impatience doesn’t serve anyone well.

  332. Valyrian
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Oh seriously, all the people complaining endlessly that the non-viewers will have a hard time following should just go create a foundation to help them. For God’s sake, people who haven’t read the books are not stupid, I know several people who haven’t read and follow the show all the same. When I first read clash, I felt the same thing, it took me some time to get my head around all the new stuff, but it won’t make anyone’s brain vaporize from the effort.

  333. Carrie Best
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Grey Wind looked gorgeous! Yay! They did such a nice job with the cgi. :D

  334. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Valyrian, it’s funny that just a few days ago many people were making fun of the NYT reviewer because he said he had a hard time following the story, and now many people are worrying that the story is hard to follow! If the reviewer is reading the comments here, I’m guessing he is having a moment of “I told you so.”

  335. Sanette
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Tropxe,

    Brilliant analysis. Perfectly sums up my feelings from the episode. It was good but there’s also so many things that felt forced or just not right. I’m okay with some changes but don’t change the motivations and the characters themselves, which I felt they somehow did in this episode. I really hope they will slow things down.

  336. Tom Hilton
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Great episode all around. Looking at the changes, I heartily agree with almost all of them (from the perspective of making it work better on the screen).

    In particular, I think it was smart to show the slaughter of the innocents because it helps set up the later scene between Tyrion and Slynt (one of my favorites in the book), and makes it much more dramatic (because we’ve actually seen the atrocities Tyrion describes). Also, I’m not sure Slynt had made much of an impression on viewers (as opposed to readers) before last night. Now, when Tyrion deals with him, we’ll know who (and what) he is.

  337. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Miss: And then let Cat be the politically savvier one?

    But Cat isn´t politically savvier (I mean Tyrion´s capture wasn´t a good political move). To me Cat is not a well developed character in the books (and I think it´s the rule for all female characters except Arya, imo) so it doesn´t bother me if they change her. I understand what you mean though.

  338. Macha
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought the episode worked very well. The ‘previously on’ segment alone sent shivers down my spine. Yes, it felt a bit rushed in places, but I cannot see any other way they could have done it.
    The only thing I dislike is Shae’s portrayal. I know Sibel Kekilli from some previous roles, I just can’t get used to her in this role.
    Otherwise, everyone seemed spot on. I was constantly in awe of how good the acting was. The added scenes were extremely well done, but the highlights were, in my opinion, the scenes from Robb’s camp and Dragonstone. Stannis remembering his wife at the last moment was simply…golden.

  339. Maxwell James
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I loved it.

    I’ve seen the complaints about it seeming rushed/boring here and obviously YMMV, but given that

    a) 10 episodes seems to be a hard constraint on what they can produce in a year
    b) There is a lot of set-up necessary to get the ball rolling
    c) For the entire season to have a compelling story (which IMO is more important than individual episodes being tightly constructed), they have to get to certain events that take place towards the end of the book.

    Given all that, I think they did a fantastic job reintroducing all the main players in a sequence of mostly very entertaining scenes. And my impression from reading non-reader recaps is that it mostly worked.

    Did I like everything in the episode? No. But what I liked was >> than what I didn’t like. And that was _not_ true at the beginning of last season.

    EDIT: I do suspect we may have turned a corner where book readers will like the show less than non-readers. As someone who can let the show & the books be different things in my head, I’m fine with that.

  340. Ninepenny
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was an awesome episode, but it wasn’t perfect. I don’t mind them deviating from the book where it makes for better character arcs, streamlines the story, adds to the richness of the world or makes it easier for new viewers to follow the story. However, the way they handled the poising made made it quite confusing. Indeed, the poisoning scene specifically (and the religious/Melisandre aspect more generally) was the only part of the episode where my father (who has not read the books, but followed the first season without too much trouble) professed to having difficulty in following what was happening. Poisongate indeed!

  341. ieiazel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    About Cat and her supposedly diminished role: I don’t remember very well but, didn’t Robb send Cat to Renly’s camp on purpose because he didn’t want to have her around all the time?

    Anyway, even if they did change that, I don’t feel they have changed her character completely. She is only on screen for 2 minutes, and her most important character trait (that family is always first) is shown very clearly when she says she wants to trade Jaime for Arya and Sansa.

  342. zep243
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Overall it was a pretty good episode, especially after multiple viewings. It was a little slow with a lot of build up, but so was the book at this point. The dialogue could have been stronger in places, but it still worked well assuming later episodes deliver the goods. And judging by how great the last five minutes were, they will!

    The effects team gets 4 1/2 stars. It would be five, except for a technical error. The night view of the comet over Dragonstone was against a very thick cloud cover. Comets are in space, so if it’s cloudy…you can’t see it! If it was not a comet, and instead some unexplained phenomena inside the planet’s atmosphere (under the clouds) then Dany could not see it half a world away in the Red Waste, unless it is moving very fast. Are they trying to say that it’s so bright that you can see it through the clouds? Then it would need to be brighter than the sun, because clouds sure do a good job blocking our view of the sun. HBO, I am available as a science/realism advisor. Email me. :) Actually it’s not that big of a deal, and I didn’t even notice it on first viewing. I’m just going to try to tell myself that it’s a magic comet. “It’s going to be alright. It was a magic comet.”

  343. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    We are on the second season though, and this change on Catelyn is something that started on episode 1 of season 1.
    what you say makes sense for Robb, but not for Cat. Robb might be more mature since he IS older in the show, you are right, but it wasn’t the relationship that changed, but the character of Catelyn.
    Take Tywin, which seems to be a character you like I suppose, and his relationship with his children. Would it do have him scared of pushing the war out of fear for Jaime’s well-being to show how Jaime’s favoured? Would it do have the Red Wedding be the idea of Tyrion or Cersei to make them shine, or have him feel guilty for Gregor’s actions, or some other absurd to help the plotline while sacrificing him as a character?

    Do you see? Some changes might be made for the sake of storytelling but what are doing to Cat in changing the character’s essence. Pointing out that she makes exactly the OPPOSITE decisions that she does in the book. In the show she

    – Asks Ned to stay instead of telling him to go to KL
    – Wants to go home instead of taking the initiative to stay and help Robb
    – Doesn’t want to go deal with Renly and Stannis

    Do you see? She is not a general like Tywin, but these actions are ESSENTIAL to her character. She is not a woman who wants to sit down and be a mom away from war. I wrote this is another message, but : she sees her kid going to war against renowed generals, and she sees his only counselors are man with little to no political thinking.
    Again repeating myself from a previous message: She KNOWS her advice is essential to Robb, he is the one who doesn’t know it himself. If you take away her initiative and her idea of duty, which makes her say “My duty is to help my son and daugthers in a way no-one around him is capable to right now”, then she is another character. She is just another generic mother in a fantasy series worried for her children, not the Cat that urged her husband to go to king’s landing and captured the queen’s imp brother on an inn based solely on her authority among strange man…

    Robb can be more mature but that doesn’t mean Cat needs to be less politically aware or daring… just like Tyrion doesn’t need to be less smart to make Cersei shine, or the old Bear less honorable to be foil for Jon. Do you see that it doesn’t make sense?

  344. Drew
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I honestly dont get why everyone is saying it wasnt Cersei who commanded the gold cloaks to kill off Robert’s bastards. If anything Joff just gave her a reason to kill them off and heres why…

    Cersei’s biggest motivation is the acquisition of power. Power is to Cersei, what honor is to Ned Stark. Interestingly the underlying theme to episode one of season two, was power… was it not?

    She wants her boy on the Throne, regardless of whether she can control him or not, she wants for Joff, what she could never have… the crown of the king and to sit The Iron Throne

    If anything Benioff and Weiss were bloody clever, and I give them props. For anyone that has read Clash of Kings, the obvious and outright acknowledged person behind the killings of the late King Robert’s bastards… is indeed non-other than Cersei and I dont believe that has changed..

    But seeing as Cersei didnt become a P.O.V character until Feast of Crows. The motivation of Cersei’s actions here are some what left to the imagination, and interestingly Joff’s reaction to the rumours are played down in Clash of Kings.

    Heres where Benioff and Weiss were ‘bloody clever’ they gave Cersei two reasons for the killings:

    A. King Stannis, the only person Eddard ever told, is spreading rumours throughout the land

    …and

    B. Joff has not escaped its reach, and is clearly not been naive to thinking that Robert didnt father any bastards. All he does is mock his mother… that is all

    Plain and simple, and as we may yet see…

    Cersei ordered the gold cloaks to rid the seven kingdoms of Robert’s bastards for they are the only fabric of truth remaining of Ned’s and subsequently Stannis’s claims.

    After all she is a women just trying the protection her children… in this case from the truth

  345. Qazokju
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    For me the show was a 50/50….

    The first 20 minutes were terrific. For a moment I thought this could be a great show. But as soon as I got happy the show started getting boring.

    The best (most surprising) parts for me were:

    1. The scene with Shae. Absolutely perfect acting and directing. I was not impressed with Shae last year.

    2. Tyron’s accent has improved. If it keeps up I will never make a Tyrion accent joke again.

    Worst: Too many storylines in one ep.

  346. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Wow. I just could not disagree more. I think there are plenty of well developed female characters in the series and if you don’t see that then, well, I guess that’s your loss.

    Catelyn IS politically savy. In the books she is the one who suggest that Robb go treat with Renly because she is the one that has the insight to see that political situation. I think it’s also important in the books that Cat says that Robb should specifically not send THEON. She’s not pleased with the overall idea of allying with Balon, but she is especially against sending Theon to treat with Balon because…. well, it’s a dumb idea. Robb was letting his emotions and his affection for Theon make the decision for him. In the books, Cat points out that Theon is their HOSTAGE. He is their leverage over Balon. Why would you think it is a good idea to give up that leverage by sending Theon back to his father? It’s just stupid.

    As far as capturing Tyrion goes, no, that was not her her finest moment. But she was caught in between a rock and a hard to place and she was forced to make a decision. She did the best she could with the information that she had. Littlefinger was like a brother to her and she trusted his information. Once Tyrion saw her, she was trapped and she decided to take him captive in order to bring him to trial and also as insurance against her husband’s life because once word got out that she was traveling out of Winterfell, suspicions would be raised and Ned would come under more scrutiny. She did realize that Tywin would not be pleased, but she thought he would come after her specifically (thus the misdirect of making everyone believe she was headed to Winterfell while going to the Eyrie instead) because that is the logical thing. Tywin attacking the Riverlands was a MASSIVE overreaction and there was no way she could have predicted that kind of response.

  347. Tom Hazel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m disappointed at some people on here, so what if it wasn’t EXACTLY like the book, its called an Adaption for a reason…

    Personally, LOVED IT! The last scene with all the bastard killing was brutal but so damned effective, next episode can’t come fast enough!!

    Winter, any news on the ratings yet? Or whether we’re lucky enough to have Season 3 green-lit yet?

  348. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    xercesSecond episode is available only on Polish HBO GO!?
    What’s going on?

    Yep it’s true, 2×02 has been aired on HBO early this morning, and here in Poland we’re gonna be able to watch EVERY episode one week prior to US premiere! :))

  349. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Cat isn’t politically savvier?
    Except ALL of her advices and predictions are right in the end:

    – don’t send theon to the iron isles!
    – marry a frey girl!
    – edmure you’d better follow robb’s orders!
    – renly and stannis this fight is pointless!
    – never let grey wind leave your side robb! trust him!

    all ignored, might i add.

    About tyrion, he was the one who acted like a dumbass when he recognized her and outed her in that inn when she was obviously incognito. He forced her to take an action, and if she had hesitated even for a minute, what would he have done? escorted her back to KL? taken her hostage? We know Tyrion is (was) a nice chap but hey, to her, this is the man who tried to murder her son twice and also had a hand in murdering her sister’s husband.
    It was a tense situation and based on what she had, Cat’s reaction was magnificent. If you want to blame it on someone, blame it on LF who manipulated Cat more than once into fearing the Lannisters, or Tyrion, who consiously put her on such a situation…. probably thinking she was hopeless without her guards.
    The imp had guards, money and was the queen’s brother, but cat had the charisma and authority to rally all the men in that inn in her favour.

    On a side note: That’s also interesting to note in the riddle that Varys poses to the imp later: what is power? who does the sellsword obeys? This scene proves how power is a complicated thing. And how it can come from the least expected places…

  350. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    And it’s not only “Tyrion’s” knife! Remember her sister sent her a letter saying she had taken refugee at the eyrie because the Lannisters had assassinated her husband.

  351. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    ieiazel,

    It was Catelyn’s idea to meet with Renly. She didn’t know that she’d be going, that was Robb’s choice, but she was the one who saw that drawing Tywin away from Harrenhal (via a threat in the east) would be really useful, and it’s she who suggests an alliance to the Baratheon brothers. Her ideas. Not Robb’s.

    I don’t see how reducing a character to one trait (family first) passes as good writing. Why embrace simplification, why not push for complexity?

    Reducing Cat to “family first” is not at all creative or savvy, it’s actually the most typical and boring way to handle her character. Simplification over complexity isn’t really at all what I look for in television. I come to ASOIAF for interesting, mature and well-rounded characters. Clearly some of us do find Cat more complex in the books, and I wish HBO would actually write her for her fans instead of people who hate her anyway.

  352. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I did enjoy a lot of the episode, but mostly, I’m just disappointed that the writers seem to completely fail to understand Catelyn who is my favorite character. The changes that they made to her character are just baffling to me.

    Firstly, as I mentioned in my response to andrea, I was disappointed that they took away Cat’s wisdom and insight by a) not having her be the one to come up with the idea to treat with Renly and b) not having her point out the stupidity of specifically sending THEON to treat wit Balon.

    I was also a bit bothered that Cat didn’t get her “girls aren’t worth it” line because to me, that line shows how Cat understands the misogyny inherent in the game of thrones. Girls aren’t worth much politically, but they are worth it to HER. She specifically tells Robb in the books that to her it’d be worth it for him to bend the knee if it meant her daughters would be safe.

    But all of that I could have overlooked and still enjoyed the scene, if it weren’t for the “it’s time for me to go home line”. That line was just so WRONG, and it felt like the show was pandering to the Cat Haters who claim that Cat is a terrible mother for abandoning Bran and Rickon. Just… NO. NO. While in the books Catelyn does express a desire to be with her younger sons, it’s in a “I wish we could all be safe in Winterfell” or a “I wish I could be in multiple places at once” kind of way. She makes a conscious decision to stay with Robb because HE IS A TEENAGER WHO IS TRYING TO START A REBELLION AND HAS BEEN MADE KING BY HIS BANNERMEN. Robb needs her more than her two sons who are miles and miles away from the fighting with familiar and trusted men like Ser Rodrick and Maester Luwin in a fortified castle.

  353. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    Cat makes political mistakes, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t characterized as politically savvier in the books than Robb. She absolutely is. The show has gone to some lengths to make Robb clever and politically savvy, and that inevitably downsizes Cat’s contributions. This was not necessary to build up Robb for viewers. In the books his prodigal talents lie on the field, that could easily be brought out on television. If the expense of an older Robb is a diminished Cat, then the cost is too expensive. Like it or not, Cat is the POV in the source material. Cat is the one Martin chose to write about. Not Robb. There is also the fact that we already have a boy hero in Jon. No matter which way you cut it, they have gone to lengths to make Cat a much less complex and more diminished character in the show.

    We can still like the show/episode overall and admit that they don’t click with all the characters.

  354. headtrip_honey
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Tom Hazel,

    Here’s the thing – I expect storylines in an adaptation to be shortened, simplified, etc. Secondary characters may get cut out. I may not like it, but you deal.

    But I DON’T expect major POV characters to get COMPLETELY changed. That’s not adapting for the sake of translating a novel to the screen. That’s changing a character for no good reason at all.

  355. tysnow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh my, here are the book purists from Westeros venting their frustration, go back to your fan club please. We here at WiC, are watching an adaption, I don’t really care to much on faithfullness, as long as it doesn’t get TBish.
    I understood the whole point of the episode, editing, story arcs, changes, etc. sure there were a few spots, for one it was ONLY 53 DAMN MINUTES LONG, what a waste of 6 minutes. D&D could ahve given a a few mintues more on Dragostobe and fleshed out the trio more, removed the angry bear scene and replaced with something more meaty, show more blood and gore in the massacre, what gives HBO. They should have showed from behind Janos, the blood squirting out from the killing blow, and the bastard against the wall, the director should have shown three guards stabbing him repeatedly. I would have shown the the guard holding the baby throw it against a wall, tribute to Gregor. D&D definitely missed some opportunities for graphic brutal blood and ramping up the violence.
    As for the Bran, Hodor, Osha, Comet scene, D&D added that just for the book fans, it wasn’t necessary to move along the story, and now its the book purists that are angry.
    Also I don’t recognize most of the names blasting the episode, to me just trolls, not true lovers of the show.

  356. tysnow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    You must also remember to those that think it was a little slow, the reviews mention that it is episode 2 then 3 and 4 where each becomes better than the previous, is why GoT is getting high marks. I have read that 3 and 4 blow 1 and 2 away, unlike last season when 1 and 2 were better than 3 and 4.

  357. headtrip_honey
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Because an excess of blood and gore is definitely more important than characterization.

    I love the books. But I’m not a book purist. I do, however, expect characters who were complex and nuanced to not be reduced to a trait that was minor in their characterization to begin with.

  358. Qazokju
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    tysnow:
    Oh my….
    Also I don’t recognize most of the names blasting the episode, to me just trolls, not true lovers of the show.

    If Tysnow doesn’t know you, keep your opinion to yourself. Unless you love everything about the show. Then you can copy and paste other comments. ;)

  359. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    headtrip_honey,

    If this is a critic to all people talking about Cat’s character in the show, it’s just stupid. She will have minutes anyway, we just ask they’re put to good use.
    And as far as useless scenes go, the one with Robb and Jaime measuring dicks was very silly…

    I really liked the episode overall, I’m just really expressing my dissatisfaction with Cat’s character. It’s almost criminal how they’re robbing (oh snap) her of her major contributions.

  360. Robbb
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    After watching it for a second time I ended up really liking this episode.

    Some thoughts-
    Beginning was a little disappointing. If you are going to start the show with King’s Landing and not the Dragonstone prologue, you’ve got to kick it up a notch. Knowing D and D’s style, I was expecting Dantos to have his junk hanging out, like in the books. I thought that scene was weak. Also I was expecting Tyrion’s arrival in King Landing to be a lot more pronounced – music swells, Bron, the hill tribemans, all marching into the city like bad asses – but nada. Tyrion just sort of walks up to Joffrey sort of ho hum. Also I love Jack’s portrayal of Joffrey in the show, but during this open segment his acting seemed forced.

    After this initial let down, I thought it really picked up. The Robb scenes were top notch. My favorite line – Robb to Theon – “You dont have call me grace when no ones around”, Theon “I’ve gotten used to it”, Robb “I’m glad someone has”…subtle line, but conveys so much about their relationship and Robb maturation into his current role. Also the scenes with his mom were wonderful; thought the CGI direwolf looked pretty damn good. Best shot of the show is when Jaime tries to look behind him to sees whats lurking in the darkness. Just great stuff.

    Other highlights-
    Ros’s line – D and D’s big FU to the critics – classic
    Dany and Rokaro – nice scene
    Joffrey and Cersei scene – loved it – Jack was awesome!

    No so great-
    Dragonstone rushed (but whatever, we’ve got to get these guys to the mainland)
    Crasters Keep forced (but whatever, we’ve got get these guys to the Frost Fangs)

    Good start for what looks like a great Season!

  361. K
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve watched the episode three times and, overall, I think they did a solid job. Yes, the first episode is a little clunky and filled with exposition, etc., but, if you think about season 1 the exact same thing could be said. It was amazing to me how many of the scenes in the season 1 recap shown right before last night’s episode were from the pilot – why? Because that was the episode that set up all the major story lines – the same thing with last night’s show – even without screen time for Renly and only a few seconds of Arya, their story lines were majorly felt throughout the dialogue and actions of other characters. So, the first episode of the season has the unenviable job of setting up everything that will come after and that makes its pace and flow a bit awkward at times but. to me, that is completely understandable and forgivable.

    I agree that the poisoning scene was a bit lackluster and could be confusing to those not as familiar with the books but it wasn’t that major a problem for me to change my view of the episode as a whole.

    One question, does anyone else have any issue with the fact that the baby in the brothel, Bara, looked pretty much exactly the same as when Sean Bean went to see her in season 1? I know this sounds really nit-picky but it makes the overall time line of the show super duper compressed – as if the whole time he was imprisoned, his execution, the things that happened directly afterwards took just a few days or a week or two. I know things happen quickly in the TV version of GoT (Ros’ world record holding turnip cart, anyone?) but this seems really fast moving, like faster than a raven could fly to even give you the news….

  362. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I think what really disturbs me re. Cat is this idea that a mother is more likable when she doesn’t insist she is useful to an older child and sticks to just younger children “where she belongs”. I find it really disconcerting how the message behind the changes seems to be that Cat is more likable when she doesn’t insist she has anything to contribute to the war or the political stage and stops “nagging” Robb. I’d love to hear Benioff and Weiss explain how this is a feminist approach to this facet of the show: erasing Robb’s callow qualities, erasing some of Cat’s advice to him, erasing Cat’s *gasp* galling conviction that she has something to offer the war effort. You can’t spin this in a positive way unless you admit you are appeasing people who have a problem with mothers trying to be more than just mothers or trying to expand the definition of a “good mother”.

  363. twincast
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    I don’t post/read comments often enough to know your style by heart, but solely judging by this one:

    Takes one to know one, I suppose.

  364. Ser Herpington
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    If they kept the Stannis scene as a prologue.. would’ve been much more exciting..

    & ROS was absolutely brilliant! of course I didn’t like it when she repeated Littlefinger’s lines, but that part where she says that her “Establishment” is owned by LF and implied that he is the one paying the goldcloaks.. just brilliant BRILLIANT!

    But overall I agree with most of what is being said here; it is overall a rather poor episode

  365. alex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Loved a lot of things about this episode (finally seeing Dragonstone! DAVOS!) I especially loved the set design for everything at Dragonstone, really excited to see Pyke whenever it shows up. But yeah some of the changes making me wonder, especially with Cat as a few people have mentioned above.

    I don’t understand the merit in robbing (haha) her of the position she held in the books? I think it comes down to that fact that by aging up Robb, his arrogance comes off as experience because he’s not the same 15 y/o kid in the book. It seems like all the power of her storyline is being displaced to Robb’s which is very wrongheaded in my opinion, we don’t get his POV or Joffrey’s for a reason. It’s incredibly frustrating to me, I loved Cat so much in the books and Michelle Fairley is doing fantastic but they are just not giving her the right material. Cat is as fierce and strong as the North now, she knows what to do.

  366. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    tysnow: D&D definitely missed some opportunities for graphic brutal blood and ramping up the violence.

    I was gonna add my thoughts about this episode until I read your comment, and then decided to not waste any more time here. I can see reason in most people’s opinions, some are even really interesting, but then there are those that just make me wish I could delete them from my memory, like yours. I really can’t understand that more blood and violence is what you’d want after watching the ‘bastard killing’ scene. Besides making clear to me that you don’t understand the essence of ASOIAF (which is about interpersonal relations and political intrigue, not action or gore), yours and some other’s comments also make me lose a bit more faith in humanity. ‘Nuff said, I’m sure you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about.

  367. PhantomSoul
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Karen: Robb needs her more than her two sons who are miles and miles away from the fighting with familiar and trusted men like Ser Rodrick and Maester Luwin in a fortified castle.

    Her younger sons don’t need her alright, they have reliable men watching over them and are safe in Winterfell…oh wait…

  368. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Yeah it’s too bad nobody was there to tell Robb not to send Theon to his father.

    Oh wait …

    (Seriously, Cat would be useless against an army of ironmen. She is not even a warrior, and one person could not do much anyway. Robb took all the men from Winterfell, that was what left Winterfell vulnerable, not Catelyn’s absence. Catelyn can accomplish MUCH more by influencing Robb’s choices than guarding a castle. She’s not even a soldier, much less an entire army. And it’s not her fault that Robb didn’t listen, it’s Robb’s.)

  369. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I think Michelle Fairley is doing so much with so little. Cat is still great, but she’s much less savvy in the political way. She knows that Theon is a dick you can’t trust, but there’s no indication she understands the folly in Robb essentially freeing Theon from his hostage situation. And book-Cat knows that. I would agree that D&D don’t really seem to grasp Catelyn’s character.

  370. headtrip_honey
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Because Cat’s presence would have somehow single-handedly thwarted what went down in Winterfell…

  371. Lex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I feel bad for you guys who didn’t like it. The criticisms I’m seeing are so incredibly minor and trivial to me. Expectations are just unrealistically high. Hopefully you guys can learn how to enjoy the show for what it is, because I absolutely loved it.

    I guess the Dragonstone scene could have lasted longer, and Dontos could have acted more drunk, but everything else was fantastic. All this talk of it feeling like a “clip show” is just bizarre, IMO.

  372. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Yes, and if Robb had listened to Catelyn and not sent Theon to Balon, Winterfell would not have been sacked. Also, even if she had gone back to Winterfell, what would her physical presence have changed? Robb would still have sent Theon to Balon and Theon would still have sacked Winterfell. I’m not sure what you think Catelyn could have done to fight Theon?

  373. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    I understand your frustration, but I think it comes down to how do you show Cat’s internal struggle to be with all her children without the device of an internal monologue. I thought it was alright to have her expressing her wish to see Bran and Rickon, then realizing Robb needs her more. My complaint is that it seemed like Robb was commanding her to visit Renly instead of asking her to. It is the “command” aspect that I feel weakens her character.

    But there is plenty of time for Cat to show her strength. I’m going to give it a wait and see for now to see if it improves.

  374. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    as a matter of fact, they do.
    BUT! let’s make an exercise here.

    situation 1- Cat goes back home to Winterfell for Rickon and Brann.
    She dies along the rest of winterfell. BECAUSE what is this delusion that her being there would somehow prevent Theon from taking winterfell at all!?!? Is she really a fantastic swordswoman who could kill all the ironborn?! No, please, do explain to me how her being there would change anything. Rodrik would still have gone after Bolton’s bastard. Theon would still have invaded. So what?

    You know WHAT would prevent that?
    situation 2- Robb listens to Cat and DOESN’T send Theon to Pyke

    Whatever Cat could have done to prevent anything bad from happening to her kids, she did. Not her fault if nobody listens to her.

  375. alex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Robb’s poor decision making (since he is….FIFTEEN) is in more need of Cat’s help than Bran and Rickon who she cannot protect against an invading lord’s host if it came to that. Cat being at Winterfell would have in no way stopped Theon’s forces. She had a better chance of stopping them by telling Robb NOT to let Theon go back to Pyke, but of course he didn’t listen because he’s fifteen and who listens to their mom at that age! My problem isn’t really with Robb, it’s with the episode somehow putting her ideas (meeting with Renly and Stannis) in his head, and them him explaining them to her. I don’t get it.

  376. Drfunk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why some of you are so critical of the premiere. This episode is more of a long prologue for the rest of the season, a rather clever if not crude at times way of giving “previously on GoT” in 53min. Just like HBO’s marketing of pledge your allegiance, everyone is rooting for different characters. Focusing on a few while cutting off entire storylines for the sake of a more elegant in depth approach would have been disastrous for the premiere (remember feast for crows?). Now that they got the exposition out of the way without having to show us a nipple every 10min it sets up the storyline to a great season.

    My guess is that subsequent episodes will now focus more on specific arcs (perhaps 2~3 at a time) and will feel more episodic instead of a huge trailer-esque format. So stop crying so hard and please refrain your judgement until the second episode at the very least.

    Now as for the episode itself:

    1. Robb is killing it, the actor is showing off some great range and unlike Renly in season 1, actually acts and looks like a real king.

    2. Greywind was ok. The size was jarring probably for a lot of new viewers (and some found it annoyingly distracting), but I’m glad that D&D finally decided to show how the wolves are just as special as the dragons in the series.

    3. Jaime still has that swag, that little exchange with Robb was awesome.

    4. Disappointed with the LF vs Cercei scene. Only because i found book LF to be more subtle in his affairs. Direct confrontation is just not his thing (even if provoked by Cercei). That said it did show Cercei has a pair when pushed too far (which leads to).

    5. Our favorite lion king vs Cercei. I didn’t mind him standing up to her after he realized the scrubs in the room saw him get bitc*slapped. It’s one thing however to growl in front of people, quite another to do so in private. My guess is he’s all bark no bite due to his cowardice and push came to shove Cercei will do more than slapping to keep him in check. Power obviously derides from the Lannisters, so it’s not like they’ll listen to the petulant brat over his mom anyways.

    6. I am also bummed out on the poison sequence with Melisandre. Seriously, where would be the harm in letting her drink first then letting her offer the drink back? That scene would truly show her “power” while also giving due to Cressen having a set of balls to prove to Stannis he’s willing to die for him. Maybe 3~4 more lines at most… not sure why D&D decided to reverse and cheapen his sacrifice and make her drink as an afterthought.

    7. If Ros is taking over Alayaya then I don’t see the harm in showing her run things. As for the Whore Idol of Westeros scene, did you all seriously think we’d finish the show without at least seeing some hump action? In fact, that sexposition seems more natural than LF’s Swearagen esque monologue.

    8. Friend was confused about the wolf dream sequence, this area of the show needs to be developed more as Bran is obv still an important character.

  377. g.o.d
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    so, has it already been renewed for the third season or do we have wait a day ? :-)

  378. alex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    I’m also going to wait and see, but it’s just annoying to me, because if Robb is suddenly this military genius, why even have Cat? He needs her counsel (and that of the Blackfish but sans the Riverrun plot, we just have Cat) because no one else will give him realistic advice. There are parellels all over the place with Davos and Stannis and Cersei and Joff especially! The advice unheeded leads to a downfall and when you have Cat’s advice coming from Robb, what does that really mean?

  379. Drfunk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    g.o.d:
    so, has it already been renewed for the third season or do we have wait a day ? :-)

    I think the announcement will come after the Nielsen Ratings. That said I’ve got doubts that S3/S4 will be shot back to back. It would make sense from an adaptation point (from book 3) as well as economically. The real enemy however is time itself. I distinctly recall Benioff shooting down the back to back rumor because he simply said they do NOT have the time to write 2 seasons in 2 months (as Charles Dance speculated a June shoot). So who knows how that will go, personally I think D&D should just hire more writers and start moving more towards a producer role instead of being involved so much into the day to day.

  380. JamesL
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I do worry about some issues this season and how it will go over with casual viewers. Next week there are going to be introducing the Iron Islands and all those new characters and then Renly and the Tyrells are going to be getting a lot of screen time and I’m just not sure the audience is going to really care about these new people despite the positive reviews this season. Another is the sexuality. The premiere episode was fine,this show should have sexuality and I would prefer them handle the sex like that, not too long or over the top pornographic but as you can tell from last season’s Littlefinger brothel scene sometimes David and Dan don’t know when it is too much and off putting for the audience. Supposedly there is a lot in the next few episodes including 3 sex scenes in the next episode. One in particular that I read that about is an added a scene with Joffrey sexually abuses 2 prostitutes. This story is dark enough already with all the child deaths and a teen girl being beaten and abused, why add a scene like that? The audience already hates him and he has plenty of bad stuff to do this season. I worry that with all these new characters getting so much scene time fan favorites like Dany getting push aside mixed with all this darkness and bleakness and constant random porn scenes with whores and characters the audience doesn’t care about general audiences might not be as captivated this season as much as last despite the positive reviews from critics

  381. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Well, I’m not sure it is so difficult to slip in a mention of Bran and Rickon when Cat and Robb were communing about not being together as a family? They could also show her with a letter and Robb asking her what it is and she can explain that she wants to let B&R know that she misses them and is thinking of them, etc. I mean, those are things you can do with time. Or you can show Bran reading said letter from his mother, or mentioning that he got it, instead of yet another shot of his head on a pillow ;)

    Benioff and Weiss will show Catelyn’s strength, undoubtedly, but one think I think pop culture feminism needs to realize is that “strong” is actually a really vague and insufficient word to “cure” all that goes on with the media’s portrayal of female characters. It isn’t only that Catelyn is strong; she can fend off an assassin with her bare hands, I’m sure she’ll stick up for Brienne later on, etc. But one critical element of her character is that she is a feminine woman standing up to very masculine men. Pop culture accepts women who are “like men”, tomboys, warrior chicks, ruthless CEO’s, so on. But traditional femininity trumping traditional masculinity is something pop culture is far less willing to show. It’s easy for them to let Cat be strong alongside Brienne or against a villainous assassin or by tossing things at slimy Petyr Baelish. But for her to trump alpha male good guy Robb, that is another issue. That’s a far stronger test of B&W’s commitment to female characters, or feminism, or whatever it is they’re trying to claim in their interviews these days.

  382. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    I tend to think if Cat went back to Winterfell it would have made a difference. I would like to think she would have seen how vulnerable they were and would have been better prepared. She would have known where to turn to for more men, just as Jon tells Stannis in DwD. The way she doesn’t trust Balon, I think the western shore would have been notified to stay alert and not taken by surprise the way it was.

    But that is a different story, so I’m glad she didn’t go back.

  383. Lina
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I think D&D have tried to make Catelyn a woman who is focused more solely on protecting her family than someone involved in the political affairs of Westeros. In the first episode even, you have her saying she doesn’t want Ned to go, contrary to the Cat of the books, who encourages Ned to go South after getting the letter from Lysa. And now you have her wanting to go home and Robb telling her she can’t because she has to go treat with Renly. It seems like they’re trying to show her as a woman who just wants to be with her children but who keeps getting wrapped up in the politics of the situation. Whereas in the book, I think she much more actively involves herself in a lot of what’s going on.

    I’m not sure if they’re trying to set her up as a foil to Cersei (who also wants to protect her children but who very much wants to be involved in everything), or if they’re perhaps just trying to make her storyline all the more tragic in the end by showing her as sort of swept away by the political tides to an untimely end. I think such changes definitely reduce her agency and could potentially make her seem like a weaker woman if she weren’t so expertly portrayed by Michelle Fairley, who really injects a ton of strength and resolve into the character. But, on the other hand, I think the changes made to Cat in the TV show have made some readers like her more. I know some people who didn’t like Cat in the novels because she seems to not really know what she wants and to change her mind often. I think she comes across as more steadfast in the TV series.

    I was personally ambivalent to Catelyn in the books, but on screen she’s one of my favorite characters, and I credit 100% of my appreciation to Michelle Fairley.

  384. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Lina,

    All I see there is that B&W are taking away what is interesting about her to play her safe and benign. Personally I loved that she was absolutely not a reluctant hero type. Ned is a reluctant hero. Jon is a reluctant hero. Cat is not. That made her interesting, instead of “safe” or typical.

    Is playing it safe really an admirable thing in a show? What point is there in getting people to like Catelyn when it’s not really Catelyn any more? You know, you’ve got a show like Mad Men creating characters like Betty Draper and Joan Holloway, if you want to be on the cutting edge it takes more than playing it safe.

    I do not like at all this idea that a mother is more likable if she cares nothing about politics or has no ambitions outside her home. I’m surprised it isn’t obvious how problematic that attitude is, especially in this day and age.

  385. PhantomSoul
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    A mother protects her children no matter how useless her attempts might be, she still tries. I’m not saying that she could physically stop Theon and the Ironmen from seizing the castle, and I agree that it was Robb taking all the men that weakened Winterfell but things might have turned out slightly differently if Cat was there when you-know-what happened. People say she’s politically savvy, it could have come in handy. It is a possibility even if a slight one…Well, even if all else failed, she would at least have been there for her youngest kids when they were in mortal danger. It’s not that I think she made a grave mistake not going back to Winterfell and that her presence there would have definitely prevented everything that’s happened, it’s just that I don’t agree when people repeatedly say Robb needed her more than the rest of the Stark children.

  386. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    That is a very flattering view of the situation, but I’m not sure I agree, most of all because those shores have been like that for what? 5 years or so? And the whole problem wasn’t as much Balon’s invasion, but the fact that ser Rodrik had winterfell’s force on the west before that. Theon was brilliant in profiting of a surprise action, and he took Winterfell even before news of Balon’s invasion had arrived there and given then time to summon Rodrik back.

    The way I see it, after Theon was sent to the iron isles, the only way Winterfell’s tragedy would not have happened would be if Ramsay Snow wasn’t a monster hahaha… because I’m sure Catelyn would have handled the situation with Ramsay in the same way. Moreover, maybe she wouldn’t even be informed that Theon had been sent to the Iron Isles, since I don’t think robb would be flying his military strategies over the country and there would be no need to inform Cat.

    So as a Cat fan I’m happy you think her more aware than Ned as a ruler of the north, to realize the danger on the seas, but overall I don’t think it would have made a difference… sadly :(

  387. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    “A mother protects her children no matter how useless her attempts might be, she still tries.”

    Cat agrees with this. So you just justified yourself why Cat stayed at Robb’s side, didn’t you?
    Because there she could protect all her children.

    If you really don’t understand why people say Robb needed her more than anyone else, reread her chapters, and the comments here, because it is not a mystery, on the contrary, it is pretty obvious and it’s a point that has been made many times, IN the books, and on character discussions.

    Really, if I tell you why, I will just be repeating myself and other people who commented here, so just scroll up a bit and read.

  388. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Catelyn was trying to protect all her children, including Sansa and Arya (they exist too), by being in a position of influence over the decision-maker of the household (Robb). If she had been at Winterfell, things might have been different. But if Robb had listened to her, and not sent Theon, things surely would have been different.

    By being with Robb Cat was in a position to help all four of her other children. She was lobbying to get Sansa and Arya back, she was there to try to stop the release of Theon that eventually enabled the sack of Winterfell, plus she got Robb across the river, and in the books it was her idea to pursue an alliance with Renly. She was totally an asset on the battlefield, and Martin makes it pretty clear that the men who don’t think so are pretty damn sexist, no matter how likable they are in other ways.

  389. Giantsbaby
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Just noticed Craster= Hermann Göring lol.

  390. Sapphireth
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Bit late, but – I absolutely loved it. The locations this year are stunning and without all the first season “set up” the whole thing feels so much smoother. The dragons are exquisite. Shae & Tyrion feel very natural together.

    Feel like I’m already mourning Rakharo… doesn’t look like he’s going to make it into episode two. And baby Barra…! *sob*

    I was most anticipating Arya & the ragtags, so can’t wait til next episode.

    I’m sooooo happy to have my show back.

  391. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    alex,

    I see your point. But we have her telling Robb not to trust the Greyjoys. If treating with Renly actually ended up helping the Starks, I would agree with you. But it doesn’t so who cares. Robb is a smart guy. It was his plan to split the army. Cat just supplied who would be better at leading the smaller Army. Which turns out to be a problem later on. It was Robb’s decision to let the scout go with a false head count to deceive Tywin. You’re making it sound like Robb is winning because the Blackfish and Cat are providing the strategy, and that is not the case. The fact that they aged the children up, I don’t have a problem with him being a little more savvy. If as in the books he was a 15 year old kid, then it would be a little weird.

  392. The Rabbit
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Hell yeah!

    Overall big step forward for the whole production – larger scale, no wasted scene – even though it seemed a bit rushed.
    Dinklage, Gleesson and Glenn rock.
    Cersei is definetely more Cerseih than in first season – but I still do not get why Joff ordered the bastards purge not her.
    But not big deal.
    LF and Cersei scene: well, in the context of Stannis letter and the fact that whole Realm allready knows for the “little secret” it is not such a tragic thing as it seemed to me earlier.
    Newcomers – great.
    I even liked Madame Ros :D

    Now waiting for the next Monday will be unbearable!

  393. Merry
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m really upset at how they’re changing Robb and Catelyn’s characters. They’ve taken all Catelyn’s unique political expertise and non-stereotypical mothering and just…ruined it. They’ve made her stereotypical, and given Robb all her good ideas from the book. This makes no sense at all, and comes across as really sexist too.

  394. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    but that’s the point: to show that it takes more than being a military genius to be a good king!
    YES, robb won all his battles
    YES, robb lost his war

    and one of the points is that he lost the war because even though he was a GREAT general, brilliant enough to outsmart Tywin on the battlefield, but NOT GOOD at politics, and that was were Tywin completely dominated him. All his political decisions turn bad. Not because he’s not good, not because he’s stupid, no, no way, not at all, but because he was not mature enough. I love the character of Robb, so much! Almost as much as I like Cat. But being a fan doesn’t mean not seeing the flaws, in neither of them. They both have flaws, so why not picture them?

    And then again, it comes back to the point that it’s not about Robb, but about Cat! It was never about Robb, this discussion. Robb is being pictured in a very favorable way. Nobody denies that.
    But what about Cat?
    We are not inventing or interpreting: it’s written in the books. So why can’t she have these ideas in the series, too?

    also it’s funny that you say that Robb was winning, because that’s very misleading. What was he winning? His biggest victory was taking the kingslayer, but in the end that didn’t intimidade Tywin.
    So I think there is something very obvious to see here, that is, it takes more than being a warrior to be a king (as renly and ned agree on earlier in the series), and the whole point of Cat being a POV and being there by Robb is to make that clear. Don’t take Robb’s credit for being a military genius, but why taking Cat’s for being a lot more aware than anyone else in his army when it comes to politics?

  395. Hawk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    I don’t get the Cat is great at politics part…in the books, Catelyn’s actions, and the advice she gives Robb that Robb actually heeds, typically end in bad news for the Starks…case in point her impulsive seizure of Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads, which sets the entire war in motion…that ended well for House Stark didn’t it? In the books it is Catelyn who tells Ned to go to King’s Landing…another win for the Starks there…who did Robb originally want to lead his foot east of the Trident, and who did Cat counsel him to give the command to instead? Oops…Catelyn is an utter failure at politicking in the novels…by stripping that aspect of her character she is much more sympathetic and likeable in the TV show…she is one of the most hated characters in the story for most fans of the novel b/c most of what she tries to do is fail…

  396. jubs
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    actually me and other people answered that before in the comments, so if you control+f “tyrion” or “political savvy” you will find your answer (and I won’t spam any more than I’m already doing hahahaha oops)

    EDIT- ops that was wrong, just control+f my name of “miss”

  397. Angelos Loukatos
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Many people complain about the premiere but they forget that this is an adaptation of 10 episodes, and it’s not their adaptation. The writers can’t add avery single line of the book and the actors are there for their talents, they can’t look exactly as you imagined them. Also, for a 53 minute episode, its pace wasn’t just good, it was excellent. My only complaint from season 2 so far is that they probably have removed the Reeds from the story.

  398. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    Remember your spoiler tags.

    It’s not that I think she is better then Ned, I think she is better at strategy then Ser Rodrick and Maester Luwin. I think Cat would have taken a broader view of the situation. It’s been a while. But I think Rodrick already returned after fighting Ramsey. Leaving Reek as a prisoner inside Winterfell. It was the rush out because of the Cleft Jaw attacking that left Winterfell open. I don’t think Cat would have made the same mistake. Maybe she would. But honestly Martin could make anything he needed up to make the situation turn out to support the story he wanted to tell. So it’s an interesting exercise, but that’s about it.

  399. Lina
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    I didn’t mean to suggest I think she’s better or worse in the TV show due to the changes in agency. I only wanted to provide my reading of what the producers may be trying to do with the character. I was trying to play devil’s advocate; if you read my post again, you’ll see I said the changes in the show both reduce her agency and possibly make her more steadfast in her psychology.

    That said, I don’t think they’re playing her “safe” or “benign.” Just a little different. First of all, it’s not like they’ve completely removed her from having any type of authority or understanding. She knows the Lannisters are a threat (that’s why she rode to King’s Landing!) She captured Tyrion on her own in a brilliant way in a brilliantly executed scene. She is going to treat with Renly, because, in Robb’s own words, who can he trust more? I just think that some very subtle changes show that she does all of this for the dream of rebuilding her family, and not for any desire to gain power. Further, I don’t think anyone will think D&D are writing her as “safe/benign” when she releases the Kingslayer.

    I think ASOIAF’s biggest selling point is the diversity of its characters – people from different backgrounds with different, and moreover, realistic motives. And if there’s a woman who is desperately trying to put her family back together in really terrible times, I don’t think that’s an unrealistic character to have in the lineup.

  400. ieiazel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Miss,
    for me, caring about her family to the point of saying “to hell with this, let’s get your sisters back and fuck the war” is Cat’s most prominent feature. I didn’t remember if it was her idea to talk to Renly or not: making it Robb’s idea is unnecessary, I agree. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, when it’s the Aragorn in the films, instead of Gandalf, who decided to go to Moria. In a way, it diminished Gandalf’s character to improve Aragorn’s, but it didn’t not stop me from enjoying the film. It’s the same here.

  401. alex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Changing the ages makes sense for a lot of the characters but for Robb I feel like it fundamentally throws of his narrative and Cat’s. His crown doesn’t fit him! It’s like cutting his last scene with Bran, I don’t feel like his fear is coming through at all I don’t mean to say he is totally clueless of course, he does have strategical talent. He has the makings of a king but for me the point was always that he was still just a kid. A savvier Robb may have been better in the book, but that fact that he doesn’t have a *total* grasp on the situation (and none of the five kings do!) was such an important part of his character. I know it’s early, but changing that just worries me

  402. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    Spoiler Tags please on anything not already covered in the Show up to episode 11.

    In the conversation with Jaime it was stated they have have 3 victories so far. Making Robb a stronger strategist simplifies the story. There will be plenty of opportunities for Cat to showcase her political skills in the next episode. I see it as a compliment by Robb that he knows her worth and skills and that she is the best person to send. Actually the more I think about it. I kind of like it better.

  403. Skywarpgold
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    So, I was watching the episode on HBO Go with the enhanced features turned on, when a Meryn Trant pop-up appeared, with the following description:

    “Ser Meryn: The Kingsguard member who killed Syrio Forel and struck Sansa at Joffrey’s bidding”

    Here’s a screen-cap.

    So is that final confirmation that Syrio is actually dead and Jaqen H’ghar is a completely different person?!

  404. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Showing will always be stronger than telling. Showing Cat actually advising will always be stronger than Robb telling us she’s a good advisor.

    Too much simplification can ruin the whole point.

  405. Hawk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Isn’t this thread for people who have read the books? If so why the need for spoiler tags period? That’s what the thread for “new viewers” is for, is it not? Seriously, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and you haven’t read the books by now, that’s a fail on your part. You’re going to get spoiled, especially if you like to frequent message boards where people talk about the books. The series is too popular now and you’re playing with fire if you think you can get on open chat forums and not be spoiled. What’s the point of having a thread for book readers if we can’t talk openly about what we’ve read?

  406. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    Arresting Tyrion is not political advice she gave Robb, telling Robb who to send to battle is not political advice it’s military advice, and when it comes to it she didn’t tell Robb to send Roose. She told him not to send the Greatjon. Roose was Robb’s idea — does this actually recommend Robb over Cat?

    Lina,

    Say a character has traits A B C and D. They change it to a B c and D, that still is a change, if you see my meaning. I don’t understand, to be honest, how this is a subtle change. I can’t convince you to care, but I loved the character, and I care. They won’t remove everything obviously. But what is the point here, not to shoot for 90% when you get 50% because at least it’s not 10%?

    ieiazel,

    Cat has a lot of values. She is more ambitious than Ned, in the books, but clearly not as much as Cersei. There is plenty of space between the extremes, and I honestly — sorry, honestly I’m sorry if this is snobby — but I honestly do not understand why people seem to settle for binary character conceptuals?

    Catelyn did want to protect her family, but she did it by being an ACTIVE member of her political unit, not just wanting to go home. I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand how the difference isn’t really obvious? She had a contribution to make and she was self-confident in that even when the rest of the world told her she was wrong. That was the story!

    They do not have to separate Cat from politics to make her a good mother. Nobody talks about how Ned’s status as a good father is compromised by him being involved in the political plot. Nobody talks about how people will forget Cersei is a mother if she tries to butt into politics.

    I really don’t think this was necessary. And I don’t think it was fair to the character. And I don’t think, at this point, it is trivial.

  407. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    We did see her advising Robb not to trust the Greyjoys. We saw her working out the treaty with the Freys. We will see her talking with Renly. How many examples do we need? I still wish it had been a request instead of a command, but I kind of like the fact Robb sees she is the best choice instead of her trying to convince people she can help. It makes sense Robb would turn to her after her success in dealing with the Freys.

  408. Lala
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Lena has been amazing this episode, her wig is also much better!

    Emilia has also been outstanding, she certainly upped her game.

    Jack Gleeson – brilliant, as always.

    Love Peter Dinklage, obviously, although his accent is a bit funny.

    Also loved seeing Gilly aka Cassie :)

  409. mike
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    garik16,

    thank you so much I was about to write all this and then found you.

    You hit the Cersi issue right on the head. SHE RULES not Joffery…

  410. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    In the book, it was Catelyn who saw that Renly needed to be courted and that Tywin needed to be drawn east. In the book, it was Robb who chose her to go. So in the book, Robb still is the one who trusts her with the job. HBO didn’t change the fact that Robb sent Cat, what they changed is the fact that Cat was the one who thought to meet with Renly in the first place, not Robb.

    How many examples do we need? I don’t really understand the point of the question. How many examples do we really need of Robb’s political savvy, since they gave it to Robb instead of Cat? How many examples of Robb’s growing manly prowess do we really need? “Need” is about priorities; with Robb his screentime and prowess will be “necessary” and with Cat her screentime and prowess will be “nice if they can manage it”. That is the point. How many scenes do you actually need of Robb being badass and saying manly northern things? Did we need the scene with Jaime and the direwolf? What does “need” mean beyond “this is the character I like and want to see more of”?

    Look, they have a pattern of taking political and tactical elements out of Cat’s charcter:

    – no longer wants to go south to investigate things, or have Sansa be queen
    – no longer comments on Robb’s tactical move re. Whispering Wood/Green Fork (in the book he sought out her approval)
    – no longer thinks up the Renly situation
    – no longer even wants to hang around to give Robb advice

    This is a definite change, this is a definite response to the attitude in fandom that Cat needs to want to stay in Winterfell with her babies in order to be a likable mother figure.

    What frustrates me is this idea that it’s okay to just get as much of Cat as you need to barely get by. Meanwhile expanding Robb is only “necessary” even though it clearly even wasn’t in the source material. How is giving Cat’s line to Robb necessary, when it comes down to it?

  411. Hawk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    arresting Tyrion is a dumb move that Catelyn’s pulls off all on her own that has dire political ramifications for her family…she tells Robb to send a bannerman w/ certain qualities to head his army east of the Trident and when Robb offers his choice she does not disagree with him…if she is so politically savvy one would think she would be aware of how important loyalty is to a king and which of the Stark bannermen would and would not possess that quality…

    I will say this about novel Catelyn, advice she gives to Robb that is heeded, turns out to be poor advice, and advice she gives to Robb that he does not heed turns out to be advice he should have listened to, and that certainly bears light on Robb’s character more so than Cat’s…that said, Cat is certainly no political whizz in the books and is completely out of her element in that regard…

    also, in the books Robb’s “military genius” stems from the Blackfish, not Catelyn…

  412. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    In the first season the changes are obvious. The tempo is so high in the beginning that they most likely didn’t want her flip-flopping on whether Ned should go to King’s Landing or not. With all that was going on it probably felt better to have the characters be a bit more stable so the new viewer can feel that he’s gotten to know them a bit.

    As for the relationships, with one character suddenly requiring a new role that’s more mature and, in Robb’s case, that makes him take Eddard’s place, it’s not surprising that another character also gets changed to give a dynamic to the relationship. I can also imagine that it can, in part, be due to that Catelyn outwards seems very stable in the book, while they probably want to show more emotion on the outside for the show.

    Those are a few examples of why things are as they are so it’s not very hard to come up with them. Whether or not any given individual likes it or not is another matter but tastes will always differ. Most characters are different in the show so it’s not the best idea to watch it expecting a copy of the book but to view it as a new way to tell the story.

  413. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    Really. Is the spoiler button really that hard to use? I think someone who has at least read through Book 2 should be able to read these comments without getting spoiled on the whole series. If you don’t want to use them, don’t listen to me when I request you do. It was just a friendly reminder.

  414. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    If Roose Bolton is so obviously traitorous why did Ned do nothing about him for fifteen years?

    Cat’s not a Littlefinger or Varys, but Martin clearly gives her a political facet. She does not have to be brilliant to be smart. There is a lot of space between infallibly brilliant and incredibly stupid.

    I am not going to argue about Cat here with you, these arguments end up enormous and ugly. But I think good arguments have already been laid out that the show has taken elements out of her that she had in the books. For better or worse, for popular or unpopular, Catelyn Stark should not be a woman who wants nothing but to go home. That is not who she is. Hate her for it if you want, but should you do so I’m sure there are other characters you’re here for anyway.

    And if you do revisit the above comments you’ll not that nobody said that Cat was the military genius in the group. So.

  415. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian:
    Oh seriously, all the people complaining endlessly that the non-viewers will have a hard time following should just go create a foundation to help them. For God’s sake, people who haven’t read the books are not stupid, I know several people who haven’t read and follow the show all the same. When I first read clash, I felt the same thing, it took me some time to get my head around all the new stuff, but it won’t make anyone’s brain vaporize from the effort.

    Looooool loved the foundation part, and I subscribe all the rest :-D
    Anyway, I loved the episode, it’s a solid second season first episode imo.

    I’m only gonna say the thinks I liked that many people didn’t like, and they things I didn’t like as much as the rest, to keep things interesting:
    – I really liked Mel. And I thought I wouldn’t, so a nice surprise there.
    – I did like Jaime finching at Grey Wind…how could you not!
    – I also found Dontos scene quite good. Not drunk enough?? I’m not sure people who say that know many alcoholics ;)

    And thinks I didnt like that most of the people did like:
    – Davos…not that I hate him, we just didn’t see enough for him. Not sure why people is so enthralled with him just yet.
    – Bran’s warging didn’t really excite me as the rest of the show.
    – Dolorous Edd. Seemed a bit out of place.

    All-in-all very minor gripes ;)

  416. Ashaïese
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Usually I really support the dislikers (on the condition they explain the reasons why they dislike) because the show is not perfect, and I think everyone here agrees on that…
    But this time, I think some guys here have been building such high standards in their minds that no single film-maker, actors and huge budget in the world could ever achieve what there expectations.
    I also have complains about this episode (joffrey intimidating his mother, stannis not well-enough introduced…) but they are so minor compared to thoses from the first season.
    Once again, everyone has his opinions and I think it is great they express them here, but really guys, from all points of view (except maybe in terms of action scenes), this episode is the best so far, and if it is supposed to be an introductory episode for season 2, then I can’t wait for the ones to come…

  417. McKee
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I’m very excited to share my impressions from episode one, but I have to confess that I didn’t have the time/stamina to read the whole thread up until this point. I skipped around. But honestly, how can I expect anyone to read/care about my comments if I haven’t done the same for them?

    So while I’d like to applaud WIC for making the best damn GOT website that there is and ever will be, I’d also like to ask you fine webmasters to brainstorm a way for us to share our thoughts, feelings, reactions and impressions without feeling as though they have been immediately buried. Isn’t there some other way we could do this, besides a thread the length of Jormungandr?

    Now I’ve been slavishly refreshing WIC every day for years now, but since last season ended I just haven’t had a lot to say. Finally, after 9 months of excruciating anticipation, I feel like I finally have something to sink my teeth into.

    I am an avid Song of Ice and Fire reader since the 90’s. My wife has read Game of Thrones, but that’s it. So for her the new season is all fresh material. I’ve been very careful not to spoil it for her in any way.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch the episode more that once, so what follows are the elements that left the strongest impressions:

    CREDITS:
    Huge fan of the clockwork credits. Watching them unfold is an incredibly novel experience. It all blows by so fast. As soon as it registered that I was looking at Dragonstone, it was gone, and we were sweeping away to the Winterfell.

    Tyrion crashing the Small Council:
    “I fought with the hill tribes…” this, with a jaunty toss of the head and a swirl of wine. Priceless.

    Bran’s wolf dream was utterly enchanting. I was completely drawn in; masterful use of limited resources for dramatic effect.

    Cressen to Davos: You know the truth
    Davos: What truth?
    Crestfallen, Cressen shuffles off stage.
    This exchange reminded me that as a Maester, Cressen may or may not set much store in the Seven. I mean, he’s not a septon, after all. He has a clear interest in persuading Stannis to remain truthful to the Seven, but isn’t he a man of science? Does he know or care to know religious truth? This simple exchange sent me down some very interesting paths.

    Finally, I totally dug the Robb/Jaime/Greywind scene. The soft moonlight gathered shadows under Robb’s brow, giving him a death’s head mask. When he grinned, it was shiver-worthy. And that was BEFORE the direwolf stalked in to menace the most confident man in Westeros. Exponential Badassery is indeed afoot.

  418. fuelpagan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    It’s obviously an aspect to the character you care about. And I do agree with you about some of the changes. I too do not agree with how they changed Cat’s reaction to Ned becoming hand and Sansa being Queen.

    If treating with Renly ended up being this brilliant move in helping the Starks, then giving credit to Robb would show how awesome he is. But it’s a move that goes nowhere. Who cares who gets credit for it. The warning she gave about the Greyjoys actually matters.

  419. HouseLark
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    This episode will be better when the box set is released so you can then watch Ep 2 right after. I suppose they could have cut it so that they only checked in with 3-4 locations and spent more time with them but then we would have gotten two episodes like that. I imagine things will kick into life next week.

  420. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I keep seeing Robb’s scene with Jaime as proof of his badassery, but … I truly don’t get it. How does threatening an unarmed man in chains and an iron collar, who can barely move, and sending in your direwolf for an extra dose of scare tactics amount to being a badass? If Jaime were standing there with a sword in his hand, then, yes, Robb is a badass. As it is, to me, it was an uncomfortable juxtaposition to Joffrey, who also threatens men who can’t fight back in this episode. That is to say: Robb is very justifiably furious with Jaime and Jaime richly deserves any threats, intimidation, insults and muddy sleeping quarters – or even a sword through the neck – that he’s getting while in captivity, but … it doesn’t look “kingly” of Robb to me to come taunt his prisoner. The direwolf, on the other hand, was certainly very impressive!

    What the scene showed to me is that Robb is very cautious around Jaime and that he views Jaime as his prize captive. Which, in turn, makes it clear that it’s not only Robb’s bannermen who would balk at trading Jaime for Sansa (and Arya, as Robb believes her to be captive too) but also Robb himself – he is very quick to dismiss his mother’s suggestion that they do so. I missed from the exchange between Catelyn and Robb in the book that Catelyn nails the situation: “Girls are not important enough, are they?”

  421. sj
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    House Snow,

    Perhaps they’re still taking the precaution of spelling things out for the some of the more casual viewers who and what he is. Oh, and speaking of being subtle, did anyone catch the little kid listening to the conversation in the background? I’m really hoping they keep this trend up, just helping establish just how knowledgeable the Spider is.

  422. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Well by that logic the advice about Theon doesn’t matter either because it doesn’t go anywhere either. In the books she was unsuccessful convincing Robb about Theon and unsuccessful convincing Renly and Stannis about an alliance, but the point is that they were her ideas and that people were wrong not to listen. In the case of Theon, Winterfell burns and in the case of Renly, they totally blow the chance to surround the Lannisters in tandem.

    And given that there have been things that went wrong with HBO’s adaptation in the past, isn’t it better to compensate for that as much as possible from now on? Especially when it’s in the source material?

    Gonfaloniere,

    The line about the girls’ importance spoke volumes about the reality of the situation. I’m disappointed they cut it.

  423. Tbloom
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I remember being annoyed with the opening part of book 2. Who are these people and why should I care??? Obviously, later on, Stannis and his group all became major players in the overall storyline, with Davos becoming one of my favorites!

    As I read through the comments, several things came to my mind:

    1. The books have a lot more time and space to develop the characters. I think that some of the character changes we saw are based on things that we learn later on in the books. It seems that some of things we learn about the characters in later books is being exposed a little earlier to help with the character development.

    2. I’m guessing the kid washing the floor is one of many of Vary’s spiders.

    3. I think Joff had the bastard’s killed. Later on we seem to find out that he was up to more things then he’d been given credit for.

    Over all I enjoyed it. I had stayed away from the news reports of the actors playing particular characters because I didn’t want the images I’d created in my own head being taken over by the ones on the tv show. I thought Craster would be more dirty somehow, that M was black and that Davos was more wirey. Go figure!

  424. Noldorimbor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Too many comments so don’t mid me if it’s been pointed out 1000 times already but I loved them showing the little boy listening sneaky, Cersei and Petyr’s conversation. Clearly a nod to Varys’ little birds and the reveal in ADWD.

  425. Dannyboy
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    garik16,

    Completely agree with Garrik16. It felt odd to have two of the main characters completely changed and not sure to what end.

    In the books, the only way Tyrion can get Joffrey to do certain things (eg stop beating Sansa) is to threaten to tell his mother. Now I guess the imp can walk in and say ‘stop’ and Joffrey will obey? Seems off, so I hope they can make it work. Tyrion was walking on thin ice there in the book.

    As for Rob and Catelyn, this seemed odd that a boy would all of a sudden know all about the political structure of Westeros and people he hasn’t met? The scene with his direwolf was badass though!!

    I feel like the books made a bit more sense. I am not sure if the goal was to reduce agency, but it certainly changed the characters and made things a bit off, which I would imagine wasn’t the goals of the writers. So I hope there is a reason, because the more I think about garick16’s argument, the more it seems to make sense. Bad move, HBO.

  426. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a fantastic first episode of a season. Sure, plot- and action-wise it’s not up there with the end of season one, but the quality is still up there.

    It was very well-balanced. Something from all the angles left from the last episode and a great introduction to the Dragonstone gang. Stannis’ rigidness was perfect and I’m already loving Liam as Davos. Carice is a bit harder to say something about, but for me that’s mainly because I have a harder time grasping Melisandre as well.

    But I’m most excited by how fantastic Grey Wind looked. I’m very much looking forward to more Dire Wolves this season.

    PS. Did anyone else notice how the Hound switched hands at the end of the fight? Suddenly the mace was in his left hand and the shield in his right :)

  427. Eleanor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    “It’s time for me to go back to Winterfell” was definitely ill-chosen. It’s as if they sat down at one point and decided to simplify Cat’s character by cutting out the savvy adviser side in favour of the ‘all about the children’ side.

    However, she did conduct the Frey negotiation in the TV show and did it very well, so at least there’s that.

    Regarding book reality of the ‘all about the children’ motivation, it’s important to remember that the only time she abandoned all savvy was right after hearing 40% of her children had been slaugtered. In general when at Robb’s side her instincts were always bang-on.

  428. Lannister_accountant
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Overall I was impressed by both the quality and storyline. There is a lot to take in here, but D&D pull it off. The cast is near flawless, in terms of acting. Like many of you I don’t know why they keep writing Littlefinger so bold, as to telegraph his moves (Are we to believe Littlefinger would confront Cersei with her guards present within earshot of the Spider’s spies?). Other than that, there’s not much–other than Ros–about which to complain. This episode did what it was supposed to do: It set the stage for a protracted clash of kings.

  429. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I don’t think Catelyn’s view on keeping Theon close to keep Balon Greyjoy in line turned out to be that savy. I mean it sure seems like Balon by that point was going to attack regardless. I understand her thinking and I’m not saying she was wrong to feel like Theon made a good hostage, but from the books it seems to show that Balon wouldn’t have changed a thing if Theon was still stuck with Robb.

    Just so it’s clear, I’m not saying Robb was right or Catlyn was wrong. I’m saying it turned out to be a moot point with how things played out. Of course I last read book 2 over a year ago so I could be remembering Balon’s thought process incorrectly and maybe Theon being freed did impact his decision to attack. If so, feel free to correct me.

    If I’m correct in my thoughts above then I think this way plays out much better for Cat as she focuses on not trusting Balon instead of worrying about Theon as a hostage which didn’t really matter as we later find out.

  430. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    luca,

    Yes, whereas Kit’s is up on its own. Can’t remember where Alfie Allen’s was. I do think of Richard and Kit on a par, but I suppose Jon has more of a story-line.

  431. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Gonfaloniere,

    Yeah, in the book when Robb pulls the Grey Wind stunt with Cleos Frey, Catelyn tells him it was stupid. It’s a bunch of immature posturing on Robb’s part and it bugged me that in the show, it’s played as Robb being a badass.

  432. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    I can understand not liking some of the changes to Cat but making comments saying there is already a Betty Draper is just bizarre. Oh the poor women in the show they are just so cookie cutter. Dany, Cersei, Cat, Ros, Yara, Brienne, Melisandre, Sansa, Arya, Osha, Ygritte, and Gilly all= Betty Draper. No diversity there. Give me a break with the whole fiminism is not being represented. Again, complain all you want about not liking changes to Cat’s character but get real if you think D&D are just trying to turn the women into Betty Drapers.

  433. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I reread that chapter last week, and my impression was that Balon only started to gather his forces when he heard Theon was returning. If Robb had continued to hold Theon as hostage, then it seems plausible that Balon would have remained in check because Balon would know that Robb could have Theon killed if Balon attacked the North.

  434. Jenny
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I think they changed Cat because otherwise it would just be so complicated to display and to understand.
    There are some traits in book Cat that might just confuse the watcher.
    You know, first she sits by her broken boys bed for months then all of a sudden she just travels back and forth through Westeros like gap year backpackers.
    We cannot see her thoughts, so it is just simpler to have it that way.

  435. Ryan E
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Loved it. What a great episode. They nailed it.

    Can’t believe anyone wouldn’t love that one. Great start to the season.

  436. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    You misunderstand my comment. I am saying that a show like Mad Men takes chances on female characters, Betty Draper is not designed to be liked, she is not designed to be popular, she is designed to be complicated, complex, multi-faceted, interesting, compelling and real. If you want Game of Thrones to compete with the top caliber of all shows, and not just top of the fantasy genre, you have to be willing to meet the top standards. Otherwise you need to be content with being the best fantasy show rather than the best show.

    I don’t think ASOIAF’s women are at all cookie cutter. Diversity is one of Martin’s strengths. But B&W don’t do themselves any favors by, incidentally, making a character a more cookie-cutter mom figure.

    Jenny,

    I don’t know, I think that severely underestimates people’s intelligence. She was in shock, then she snapped out of it and got to work. Her stint at Bran’s bedside and her backpacking around Westeros are, at that, actually still in the show. So they can’t have thought that that was too hard to understand.

    People can understand Cat’s story if it’s actually just presented. They’ve added complexities and depth to Cersei that weren’t there at this particular point in the story in the book series, so it seems odd to me that they’d be concerned with Cat being too complicated to understand.

  437. Daniel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Watched it twice..
    Decent episode, I think they did a lot better at introducing the new characters than they did in the first season.
    Greywind was awesome, if you didn’t focus tooo much on it, then the cgi becomes too evident
    Craster and the nights watch scene was great. Joffrey and Tyrions scenes for great (Joffrey confronting his mom about incest haha. Jack gleeson is the 2nd best actor IMO) Robb’s scene with Jaime was meh, Dany’s as well. The painted table looked awesome but I didn’t get the cressen vs. Melisandre changes, and it was too rushed besides. Littlefinger vs. Cersei was a good scene but Littlefinger was once again out of character. Nonreaders probably consider him as not particularly smart due to these scenes, when it is the exact opposite. The sex before the bastard scene was totally unnecessary but I guess its needed for ratings :/

    I have a mixed opinion on Joffrey ordering the bastards. I guess Joffrey is older (what is he? 16?) so it follows that he has more sense than the 13 year old boy in the books, and therefore kills all the bastards. But this means that they are humanizing Cersei even more (>.<!!) and that Joffrey believes that he is Jaime's son, which doesn't fit with his character.

    Overall good episode, but it is a step down from the second half of season 1..

  438. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Valyrian, it’s funny that just a few days ago many people were making fun of the NYT reviewer because he said he had a hard time following the story, and now many people are worrying that the story is hard to follow! If the reviewer is reading the comments here, I’m guessing he is having a moment of “I told you so.”

    Funny thing is that in the vast majority of newbie reviews and comments I’ve seen they aren’t having much problem following it at all, maybe some details are wrong, but they see the complexity as something positive, like it gives you back whatever you’re willing to put into it. The people I see complaining the most about it potentially being hard to follow are generally the ones most familiar with the story. Sure there are plenty of people too stupid to follow it, or who just don’t prefer shows that require that kind of effort, but I find they’re striking a pretty good balance between complexity and accessibility. My wife who hadn’t seen one episode watched most of it last night and had no problems following it at all, with just a few questions here and there.

  439. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: I loved it.EDIT: I do suspect we may have turned a corner where book readers will like the show less than non-readers. As someone who can let the show & the books be different things in my head, I’m fine with that.

    I think you’re exactly right, and I thought that might be the case beforehand after hearing how many changes there would be this season. After this episode, which I thought was incredibly smooth for what was pretty much a re-introduction of themes, I absolutely think this will happen as, expectations of book readers aside, it’s a pretty darn good tv show.

  440. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    Not sure I agree with why you feel how you do, but I understand not liking how your favorite character has changed!

    Catelyn did tell Robb to not trust the Greyjoys – multiple times. I counted 5 comments referring to his untrustworthiness.

    While Cat may not have used that “Girls aren’t worth it” line specifically, she made multiple comments that related to that issue. Saying “I’ve mothered more than just rebels . A fact you seem to have forgotten”. Then telling robb its not ok to not trade the Kingslayer for the girls saying “You want to leave Sansa in the Queen’s hands?” and “What are we fighting for if not for them?”

    Robb also tells her how important she is to him saying he cannot trust anyone else to treat with Renly. That is priority one and he needs her to go do it.

    To me you are looking at the specific lines or events you missed from the book and ignoring that while those specific lines may not be in the series.. lines that express very similar tone are in the series.

    They still have made Catelyn the voice of wisdom in my mind, experience and political savvy as well. I guess we just see things different and take it differently… I hope does more you like than dislike in the next episodes!

  441. Rero
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    xerces,

    Not true, also available on the Dutch HBO Go! (hurray!)

  442. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    darquemode,

    I think that there are just shades of meaning and depth lost when they alter little things about Cat. Like, yes, she still says the girls are her priority, but by removing the line about girls not being important enough, it lost the specific commentary about the misogyny inherent in this game of thrones. Girls don’t count. And I think that having Cat say that in the books was really important because it shows how insightful she is and how she sees the patriarchy in her society which is something I think is significant because she’s NOT one of those characters who bucks traditional gender roles. One of the things I love about her is that in spite of the fact that she isn’t a warrior princess, she has no illusions about how her society is unfair to women.

    And yes, I appreciated that Cat warned Robb about Balon’s untrustworthiness because that is definitely crucial, I do think a bit is lost by not having her specifically tell him not to send Theon. I think the fact that Catelyn understands that Theon is their hostage and leverage over Balon is really important. And also, it just makes the fact that Theon betrays them and “kills” Bran and Rickon and sacks Winterfell THAT much more dramatic, you know? Like if only Robb had listened to his mother about Theon, things would have been different.

    I did appreciate that the show had Robb vocalize how much he trusts Cat, but I was still unhappy that they had Robb come up with the plan to treat with Renly. In the books, it’s important that while Robb is great on the battlefield, he doesn’t grasp politics and diplomacy. Cat, on the other hand, DOES. So it is CAT who sees that going to Renly is a good plan of action.

    I just don’t see why those little changes were necessary. I really don’t think they were, but I think the writers made the changes because they didn’t see them as significant since they don’t really understand Cat much as a character to begin with.

  443. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    I just went and reread Theons first few chapters and see it opposite as you. After reading those again I feel more comfortable with what I had previously wrote. To each his own though.

  444. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    I really think they are caving to the attitude that Cat not wanting to be with Bran and Rickon means she’s a bad mother who’s abandoned her children. Personally I find that idea really disappointing.

    I think they didn’t want to make Robb look bad by confronting him with the fact that he would’ve traded Jaime for Ned, but not two girls who are not important enough. They instead had him say “It’s more complicated” which makes him look more wise about the big picture and makes Catelyn look concerned only with motherly things (the babies). They didn’t want to imply that Robb shared the societal devaluing of the girls, I suppose because it makes him less easy to like and more complicated.

    Similarly exaggerating the domestic vs political balance in Cat probably to them makes her more likable; it just has implications that clash with their supposed intentions to be a pro-female or feminist show (a theme they really hit hard on in the media last week or so).

    The shades of meaning do change a lot. Shades and nuances are what separate good TV from excellent TV.

  445. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bunch of immature posturing on Robb’s part and it bugged me that in the show, it’s played as Robb being a badass.

    I’m not sure if it was portrayed as Robb being a badass or that’s just how some viewers saw it. To me, the scene conveyed not that Robb was a badass, but that he was very nervous about the Kingslayer (hence, carrying him around in a cage with him instead of leaving him at a bannerman’s castle.) I thought there were very clear parallels in the episode between Robb-Catelyn and Joffrey-Cersei – both Robb and Joffrey kind of put their mothers in their place, although Robb is, obviously, not a sociopath like Joffrey, and I though we were also seeing that, while Robb would never force a man to drink himself to death, he wasn’t above a bit of on-the-side bullying of a hated enemy. (Again, I stress that I have no problem with Robb hating Jaime or with Jaime getting a dose of his own medicine from others – just that I certainly didn’t see this as kingly behavior on Robb’s part.)

    I guess the dynamic between Catelyn and Robb changes irrevocably when Robb is no longer an over-achieving teenager but a grown-up in his 20s. (I think he’s supposed to be 18 or something, but Richard Madden really looks his actual age. I don’t for a moment believe he’s a teenager!)

  446. Obosi
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Andy:
    the ONE thing I would have changed….

    First scene should have been with stannis on dragonstone, before the title credits. would have been a prefect intro to a new character (just as in the book).

    THIS

    Totally agree!

    Parts of episode 1 were a bit of a letdown. Most probably because the books are still so fresh in my mind.

    Looking forward to the next episode though :)

  447. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    Girls don’t count. And I think that having Cat say that in the books was really important because it shows how insightful she is and how she sees the patriarchy in her society which is something I think is significant because she’s NOT one of those characters who bucks traditional gender roles.

    I just think they are saving the tv audience some future confusion. If Cat had been saying the girls can’t be traded for Jamie then it would be a little difficult to explain the change of heart she has when she releases Jamie for that very purpose. Without the inner dialogue you have from the books Cat’s character is very difficult to understand. Even having the inner dialogue it is tough for me to reconcile some of the things she does. Releasing Jamie is going to really make Cat look bad to the tv audience. So I think they are smart in showing her as someone who cares utmost about getting her kids back than anything else. I definitely don’t think they are worried about viewers thinking she is a bad mother if they don’t make these changes. I think they are more worried about how to make sense of her future decisions to an audience that doesn’t have the advantage the books give you. Also they have plenty of girl characters established and coming up that don’t stick to a certain gender specific role.

  448. darquemode
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    I do agree about not bringing up the Theon element. I missed that too, but assumed they did not want to foreshadow too much.

    With the girls though…. I literally said aloud “Girls don’t count” as I watched that scene in Robb’s tent unfold. I felt it even if it was not said. As a reader of the books I may have read between the lines more than non-readers would… but I felt it personally.

    I guess for me the who thought of treating with Renly first is splitting hairs. If Robb thinks he is not politcal savvy enough (and knows it) so he wants to send Catelyn because she is…. or Catelyn suggests it because she is politically aware…. it has the same effect to me. Robb is not as savvy as Cat and knows it. I do agree that D&D seem to be making Robb more aware of his weakness than in the books, but it just does not change things for me much at all.

    Maybe it’s just that I never felt passionately for Catelyn as a character in the books, but I think the changes have been subtle and have been lost on most people who have not read the books.

  449. tysnow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I will say it again, I hate purists wanting the show to adhere closely to the books or they go critically ballistic, this site is for those who just want an adaption, period, taking the show for just a tv series. Not comparing it to the books (which are better), but as a totally seperate entity. If you want to be critical about this change or that change, go the fuck to Westeros or stay here and pretend ASoIaF does not exist in this dojo.I hear one more it was better in the book, or they should have stayed truer, because it worked better, I swear, I will send Drogon to your house and burn it down, and eat your family, after getting them nice and crispy (with BBQ sauce), preferably Selmon Bros.

  450. Karen
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Also they have plenty of girl characters established and coming up that don’t stick to a certain gender specific role.

    Well, yes. I agree! There are a lot of female characters in this series who don’t stick to the established gender roles. But Cat is one of the few female characters in this series who actually DOES. She clearly likes being a wife and mother and finds fulfillment in that. And that’s great! I love that about her. Not every woman is inclined to break with the gender roles that society puts on them. There is nothing less worthy about being a wife and mother or traditionally feminine and I love that Cat is like that. But I ALSO love that in spite of the fact that she fits into those roles with grace, she STILL is able to see the way that her society is unfair towards women. I think I’m doing a terrible job of explaining myself, but I guess I just like the fact that even though in her own life she is happy in the role society assigns to her and embraces traditionally femininity and being a wife and mother, she is able to see that her society is unfair in its treatment of women.

  451. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I can’t help but still think that really underestimates the audience. If they can understand her being emotional and all about family now why would it be even harder after she thinks Bran and Rickon are dead?

    And see, they can show that she cares about getting Arya and Sansa back without making her want to go home. That’s just how it is in the books! She wants to trade Jaime for the girls, but she also wants to aid Robb. Bran and Rickon just aren’t kids she needs to get back because they’re back home with trusted guardians.

    If they time it right, Cat freeing Jaime and Robb marrying Jeyne are going to look equally bad at the same time, and you know, that’s the drama. For better or worse, these people do things for love. And if people can forgive her more for it because she’s characterized as a mother who just has feelings rather than a woman who tried to contribute … that’s actually just the opposite of Martin’s intent with the character.

    There is a point in A Storm of Swords where men try to defend her by saying she’s just a mother and she can’t help her womanly feelings. Catelyn refuses to hide behind this excuse. So you see, there is stuff going on here that B&W are jeopardizing.

  452. Giselle Glasgow
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Season premiere!!! Still beaming with excitement!!! My favorite scene was actually the Cersei- Joffery scene… proving that she now realizes the monster she created… Jack Gleeson is so wonderfully atrocious!!! love it!!!

    If I am to pick at anything it would probably be Melisandre… don’t get me wrong Carice is a wonderful actress, but i guess in my imagination when reading the books, I pictured her to have a ‘non-westros’ accent (whatever that is) and a bit more ominous… like Osha is… you know…

    Well whatever Still really excited!!! only the first episode anyway…

  453. taekwonjohn
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sold on Milesandre yet. I don’t think this actress is on par with the rest of the cast in her abilities. Seemed very stage-ish to me. This is film, not stage. Act more natural! I really hope she improves or she’s going to ruin one of the best characters of the books. Other than that, the premiere was great! Didn’t mind any of the story changes thus far. Good choices for the show, I think. I’ll still be pissed if they omit the Reeds, though.

  454. WildSeed
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Plain_A,

    I see your point. A different perspective would say the opposite seemed truer. These
    two scenes bugged me the most. I attempted to reason with what the show wanted
    to accomplish ( depict Joffrey as an egotistical little shit in full defiance and in
    short measure AND Cersei, the grossly manipulative queen). Whatever was
    attempted with Cersei’s show off moment appeared to be balanced with she and
    Tyrion’s ” look who is the disappointment to daddy ‘Tywin moment. We all know
    that Joff is not long in this world or possibly the season, but Cersei really is the
    teacher and Joffrey the pupil. There are no redeeming qualities about her. Does
    she love her children or love the fact that they belong to Jaime .Their link to
    her former husband paves the way for her own fantasies ( clearly illustrated in
    her abuse of power with Littlefinger the Gold Cloaks). Some may argue that power
    corrupts but Cersei unbalanced in any case. Littlefinger himself is no honor
    bound guy, he knows the game and manipulates his own pawns.
    On a different note, what did you think of Joffrey’s response to Tyrion’s arrival
    ” why are you here?” To me that was amusing, he even showed his true age (:

  455. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the actors for the show have a secret hidden website, where they can talk about the comments we fans make about them out on the fan sites.. If there was such a place, I would love to sneak into it!

  456. Mike Chair
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Okay, that’s hilarious. They’d probably say stuff like, “Hey, no one’s said ‘always support the bottom’ in a while” or “I found WiC.net more exciting last season before they killed off The Smiling Knight.”

  457. PatD
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    So glad to have the show back, and while I enjoyed most of it, it wasn’t the first episode of a second season directed by Alan Taylor that I expected. I attribute that mostly to two reasons: 1). the first episode of any new season, which is all about the back stories, set-up, and introductions is very hard to pull off as a 100% win. 2). having unreal expectations on my part. I also think some of the criticism I’ve seen here (some, not all), is a reflection of unfulfilled instant gratification. Expecting fully developed characters to blossom spontaneously in one episode is just setting oneself up for disappointment. This is a series that is, for all intents and purposes, a visual novel with a story arc that builds progressively.

    That said, I do think they tried to pack too much into the first show. It made it almost impossible to get emotionally invested in anyone or anything, so I get that criticism. Some other things that could have gone better:

    – I think the dragons and direwolves are looking better and better all the time, but they do need to work on Dany’s eyeline. And while I loved the red comet as a connecting theme, I thought that could have been more visually dazzling (I know, I know… budget restrictions).

    – The only real problem I had with the Mel/Stannis/Cressen scene was the lack of reaction to the attempted poisoning. Cressen hemorrhages and falls on the floor and except for Mel’s remark everyone was a little too passive, IMO.

    – Dontos looked and acted like a stoned fratboy rather than a knight gone to seed. No biggie, though.

    – Have to agree that I expected a more “Deliverence” creepiness surrounding and emanating from the Craster scene, but The Black haven’t left there, yet, so we’ll see next week.

    – I thought the entire episode was a visual smorgasbord.

    – Totally understood Jaime’s flinch. Not to get too nerdy on y’all, but there’s actually a medical term for that: it’s called a positive threat reflex. When someone doesn’t flinch in reaction to a physical startle to the face, there’s something very neurologically wrong.

    – I don’t think the writers are drawing Joffrey, Robb, or Cat out of character for the television show. All three are acting completely in line to their TV arcs. Robb and Joff are both older and Cat just wants to spend more time with the family she has remaining. This woman has suffered some terrible losses. I bet if she could choose between being a top adviser to her son, or having spent more time with her daughters before they were separated, she’d have chosen the latter. The TV show has always maintained Cat and Cersei as fiercely maternally motivated. It’s entirely possible to be maternal and individually complex. The two don’t negate each other.

    – I think Cersei ordered the executions. The rumors are running rampant (even her own son is questioning her on them). As Jaime has told her repeatedly: they have nothing to worry about as long as no one can prove their incest. All the living bastards are walking, talking, breathing proof. Also, I think if Joff had mandated the murders, he’d have ordered the mothers killed, too. Likewise, I don’t think LF would have sent the “storm troopers” into his own establishment.

    – The Cersei/LF scene is also not a divergence of character for the show. Watching the Ned beheading scene, there is only one politico on the dais who does not act appalled by Joff’s decision: LF. I think there’s been a slow-burn of a power struggle between Cersei and LF for a while. They were eventually going to push each other’s buttons in some way/some how.

    The Tyrion scanes, all of them, exspecially with Cersei. When he learns about the fact that they lost Arya. That was brilliant.

    His reaction to learning of Arya’s disappearance was golden. Such a good actor.

    All in all, a pretty darn good start to the second part of this epic journey, but just like reading a book, it’s going to take time to evolve. I think we all need to adjust our viewing expectations to this relatively new format and become a little more patient.

  458. afartherroom
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    How I know I’ve lurked here too long:

    During the Robb/GreyWind/Jaime scene, I found myself thinking, “Gosh, I really hope Arthur likes the way this scene turned out.”

    It made me happy to see that it met with his approval. :^D

    andrea: The burning of the Seven was weird I don´t think non-readers could understand what´s happening there. I really want to know what non-readers think

    Andrea, the non-readers I watched with understood the burning of the Seven perfectly well, and even commented on the irony of the Seven being the “Old Gods” to the maester, but the “New Gods” to the Starks. They even got that the “Lord of Light” was probably a foreign god, just from CVH’s accent. (They asked me if her religion was from “that other continent.”) They’ve had no problems understanding the many different religious traditions of this world and seem quite interested in that aspect of the story.

    What they did find confusing, however, was the suicidal assassination attempt, which left them all a bit flummoxed. The reactions I got were along the lines of:

    “Wouldn’t you pick a slower-acting poison, if you were going to drink first? He started showing the symptoms before she had even sipped! Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? I mean, if she didn’t have real powers, she wouldn’t have taken the drink at all once she saw his nose bleeding, right?”

    And I can’t say that I disagreed with them. I thought that scene was a bit incoherent myself, and I’ve read the books!

    Other than that scene, my non-reader friends didn’t find anything confusing, and they all really liked the episode and are eager to find out what’s going to happen next. They’re particularly worried about Arya and Gendry, which of course — given the last shot of the episode — is just as it should be.

  459. WildSeed
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I agree with your point. I am quite satisfied with MF performance as Catelyn Stark
    but she differs from book Catelyn. I miss her wisdom and insight gained from
    listening to Ned and various lords of importance. There was a single line used
    in GoT about ” Walder Frey never fails to exact his toll” which meant volumes
    but easily underscored as so many others had more to say or bluff about. Book
    Catelyn counseled Robb but she was much more blunt, her words and tenacity
    enough to give pause and listen ( all of the men in fact ), she was much more
    than mommy knows best. I believe that much of this dissynchrony relates to
    less development in her accounts with Edmure, Hoster and Bryndan . The
    timeline was altered a bit too , there is no mention of her sick father that also
    impacts her. So much happened before insisting that Robb send ser Cleos Frey
    as envoy to KL with demands. I think even a reference to these events from Robb
    or ser Roddrik would have sufficed. There is much to come of course but for now
    the clarity of that scene or scenes with GoT Catelyn appear incomplete. Well, she’s
    off to Dragonstone, maybe it’s there that us eager ( anxious book readers ) fans
    learn more of Benioff & Weiss’s craft. Really, was that really 60 minutes last night?
    I’m still hungry for more. Fans are greedy folk (:

  460. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Empedocles,

    I agree the music reminded me of the works of Miklos Rosza, the fellow who scored the big Bible epics ala Ben Hur. Perfect music for a Biblical scene. I also loved the Dragonstone music which must be Melisandre’s theme. Powerful stuff. I wonder if it will tie in to AA and the House of the Undying? That would be awesome. The cinematography and direction that Alan Taylor put in this episode and in that montage in particular was exceptional. I wish he could direct every episode. That shot of Janos Slynt taking his helm off and ascending the hill to Moht’s forge was also fantastic. I watch a lot of television cable dramas and I never seen anything matching the scale and grandeur that I saw last night. I have rewatched that episode three times now and I can’t get over how wonderful it was.

    I have to be honest, I find all the criticism of this episode mind-boggling. I personally feel a two hour premiere would have appeased many as opposed to given people as much as it could in 50 minutes. Do I have my reservations and nitpicks for the show in comparison to the novels? Seven Hells yeah, but those feelings are dwarfed by the craftsmanship, writing and talent in that episode.

    For me last night Game of Thrones finally became a quality television series in it’s own right as a opposed to just an adaptation of my favourite book series. It oozed confidence.

    But to each their own.

  461. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair:
    purplejilly,

    Okay, that’s hilarious.They’d probably say stuff like, “Hey, no one’s said ‘always support the bottom’ in a while” or “I found WiC.net more exciting last season before they killed off The Smiling Knight.”

    And some of them are wondering why FaB hasn’t interviewed THEM, and gotten THEIR input on Indigo?
    and some are probably saying;

    I’mAFancyWhoreNow: What is wrong with that purplejilly, she won’t even give me a chance! Didn’t she see I’ve got clothes on this year? And I talked them out of the stupid repeat ass-play comment, which they tried to make me do!

    I’mTheFunnyWhore: Don’t let her upset you, she’s just jealous, because she’s not writing your scenes.

    I’mAFancyWhoreNow: Yeah, and I’d like to see HER try to come over here and do what I do! She hasn’t got the body or the face! I’d like to see her try and support THAT bottom!

    I’mTheFunnyWhore: *sips wine* heard dat, girlfriend! *they exchange high fives*

  462. WildSeed
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I kept looking for Roose Bolton last night but only saw and heard The GreatJon.
    Last Season as well, has this character been replaced or deleted? I read earlier posts
    that Theon Greyjoy’s sister Asha is being replaced, will Theon do without a female
    sibling? That will make him the only rightful heir to the Seastone throne. Well, Im
    still eager to view the entertaining developments. Thank you Weiss and Benioff
    for keeping Dolorious Edd !

  463. purplejilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    ALso I wonder about this, if all the town is a twitter with rumors that Joff and Myrcella and Tommen are incest babies, and then suddenly the town is swarmed by Gold Cloaks that are stabbing, drowning, and killing anyone who they think might be a bastard Baratheon, (and ooow, rough day to be a dark haired, blue eyed kid whose mom just lived close to places Robert used to frequent), isn’t this going to upset the township? And upset the mothers and families of these children who were suspected bastards? And doesn’t this ham-fisted attack make Joff and the rest look very nervous and very guilty? If I was a villager, this would cement the opinion in my head that Joff is indeed NOT the rightful King.

  464. PatD
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    BTW, I think it’s great that this episode has generated 400+ comments.

    Excellent point, Jilly.

  465. Atlas
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    taekwonjohn,

    Hi, first post. Melisandre, as I recall from CoK, felt very foreign and alien against the Westeros characters. I could neither relate nor predict what she would do, she just had a weird feel. Of course, maybe that was just Cressen and Davos’ POVs.

    Besides, if I remember correctly from DwD, everything she does is an act. Anyway, we’ve had two scenes with her so far, and both of them were in front of a group so I imagine she’s wearing her stage-face at the moment. The first was at the bonfire during one of her religious ceremonies, and the other was the poisoning, and both required a certain level of acting for the crowd. If anything, I say Van Houten hit the strangeness of the character. We should be seeing a lot more of the Dragonstone gang, so we’ll probably see some one-on-one scenes with her. However, during the series I liked the enigma around the character, so I hope they keep that.

  466. Atlas
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    taekwonjohn,

    Hi, first post. Melisandre, as I recall from CoK, felt very foreign and alien against the Westeros characters. I could neither relate nor predict what she would do, she just had a weird feel. Of course, maybe that was just Cressen and Davos’ POVs.

    Besides, if I remember correctly from DwD, everything she does is an act. Anyway, we’ve had two scenes with her so far, and both of them were in front of a group so I imagine she’s wearing her stage-face at the moment. The first was at the bonfire during one of her religious ceremonies, and the other was the poisoning, and both required a certain level of acting for the crowd. If anything, I say Van Houten hit the strangeness of the character. We should be seeing a lot more of the Dragonstone gang, so we’ll probably see some one-on-one scenes with her. However, during the series I liked the enigma around the character, so I hope they keep that.

  467. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    afartherroom: “Wouldn’t you pick a slower-acting poison, if you were going to drink first?

    hahahaha is really a good question! Yes, that scene is also rushed for me and someone said above that people´s reaction to Cressen´s death was rather slow and I agree with that too.
    I’m glad they understood so well the burning of the Seven scene and glad that my doubts were unfounded but I also heard some don´t, look at the non-readers thread (is a pity that so few have told what they thought about the first episode…so far).
    and what did they (your friends) say about Bran´s warg-dream?

  468. HowlandKnows
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Hello fellow SOIAF lovers!!!, who is the Lord who comes before Bran after Lord Tallhart?

  469. WildSeed
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,
    The new theme music was powerful and timed well to allow the viewer a
    new revised perspective of the kingdom. I prefer S1 and the magnificence
    it provokes though. Season 3 will likely vary as well to include more of
    Westeros. As for finicky viewers, we are a mix of Hardcore Book Fans
    from long ago to Newbies hooked on GoT. Sometimes there’s a collision
    or ideas and sacred text, even GRRM has reacted to it ( he understands tho)
    we are passionate and connected to these characters and concepts. Anything
    taken out of context easily collides with a screen version, we’ll settle down some
    as S1 evolves and appreciate the work that these guys have done. If you can believe
    it, there were theme parties, folks at home blogging and possibly a tweet or two
    sent to GRRM himself. All approving or disapproving of some premise. One book
    fan chastised him ( recent media interview) that he’s taking too much time in
    putting out the sequels to ASOIAF !#! Fandom is one thing , obsession is a bit
    like drinking from the same cup the maester Cressen drank from. Give us time (:

  470. Knurk
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow, a big chore to plough through all the comments but I have done it! I just rewatched the episode, and I lowered my 9.8 grade to a 9.6. Go watch the Elena Satine-pilot of Magic City before you watch this, you’ll appreciate Game of Thrones even more!

    My favourite comments are the continuity errors:

    – the Hound switching shield and weapon between takes by Johan Sporre,
    – awesome seeing the Jon and Wil horse swap Luana!
    – the Red Comet being visible through the clouds (can’t find the comment back, sorry!)

    I also noticed at the Small Council scene the distance between Varys and Tyrion was constantly switching so Tyrion could hand Varys the papers.

    Also to all the people worrying non-readers find it confusing: I’ve already heard from 4 different non-readers that everything was good to follow, and if some things were confusing (new god?!) they expect it to be explained later on.

  471. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Loved it. Nothing much bad to say other than the end felt a little rushed and that the actor they choose for Dontos isn’t right.

  472. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: I lowered my 9.8 grade to a 9.6.

    that´s terrible. You know… I have, so far, no major problems but I think is all due to Stannis. I reeeeeeally enjoyed Dillane´s performance. I think it´s going to be fun.
    I have to say this: I think the worst problems were actors directing in some scenes (not performances) and editing.

  473. Eric Niewohner
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Ah what would the comment section be without the complainers and/or nitpickers, lol. Nice to see 89% thought it was awesome in the poll which makes the complainers less relevant although they seem to be the ones to post the most trying to convince everyone else that they are right. But Mr. and Mrs. complainer look at the poll #’s and realize your complaints are usless and irrelevant.

    It was the first episode of season 2 so they had to intrroduce the entire world again and in an hour that required tight editing. If they would have focused too much on one storyline you would have all been complaining about that. Also note that all of the actual reviewers really liked or love the episode.

    If you want to complain then complain but one post is sufficient to express your distaste especially on site where 98% of the people in the poll liked it and 89% loved it. Wake up and smell the coffee nit pickers this is an adaptation and therefore things are going to be changed, moved and so forth. The fact that we are lucky enough to have this marvelous series adapted to the visual medium is amazing and besides that they are doing a great job at it.

    Overall I rate the seires as a 95 and this episode was certainly at least a 90 and just like last year the first few episodes will set the stage for the show to come to an amazing conclusion in the last four episodes. The production values are better this year, the CGI is better this year and the actors are still fantastic and the story is really strong. Let’s enjoy it, have fun, sit back and be enthralled all over again by this awesome series.

  474. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    andrea: hahahaha isreally a good question! Yes, that scene is also rushed for me and someone said above that people´s reaction to Cressen´s death was rather slow and I agree with that too.

    What I didn’t like about that scene was (go no further if you haven’t read Storm of Swords) in the book we get an explicit description of the poison in its solid form, and later the gems on Sansa’s hairnet are described the same, so if you’re paying close attention (I didn’t get it until a reread) you know that that’s where the poison that killed Joffrey came from, and I think having the visual of both would have been very cool. I also think the “choker” would’ve been more dramatic than this “instant bleeder”, and I hope they don’t change that for Joffrey. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they make an even more gruesome death for Joffrey….

  475. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I’m glad to find someone enjoyed it as much as me. All the negativity about it is making me question my own taste! Okay, not really but it’s slightly alarming. It might just be the build up prior to the episode, the set anticipations being dashed. I recommend most people to do a re-watch if they can, so they can appreciate this episode separate from what they wanted it to be like. As the season rumbles on (I believe it will only get better) and we are able to watch them all in succession I think many will change their tune. I hope so anyway. The fact that it is not slavishly devoted to the source material which they tried to do in season 1 intermixed with their own approach which fell flat in my opinion, has made a better television series.

    That aside, I think this is definitely the season where there will be a schism on this site. I fear we will lose many people :(

  476. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    that “instant bleeder” is what makes me laugh. And really, he fell to the floor like a sack of potatoes. Little drama, it is true. I insist: problems with directing and editing for me.
    But Stannis make my day and we must remember is just the first episode. Not easy.

  477. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Robbet:

    Dragonstone looks fantastic, they are doing great stuff with the sets. Davos, Stannis, Melisandre, they all seem very good. I haven’t imagined Melisandre like that, but Carice Van Houten is a very good actress, I like her interpretation. One thing I didn’t like about this scene was the fact that Lightbringer seemed like a regular sword, just on fire. And then Stannis leaves it behind for Davos to pick it…

    Ahhhh but you see, it IS just a regular sword that’s just on fire…

  478. Baron Von Gilly
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    slightly OT but i thought this tweet from Australias foreign minister was a cracker ;)

    https://twitter.com/#!/BobCarrFM/status/186735305351639040

  479. Flayed Man
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Just Watched Episode Two…it WAS AWESOME!!!

  480. andrea
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Game of thrones must be like chocolate for politicians I guess

  481. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    I kept looking for Roose Bolton last night but only saw and heard The GreatJon.
    Last Season as well, has this character been replaced or deleted? I read earlier posts
    that Theon Greyjoy’s sister Asha is being replaced, will Theon do without a female
    sibling? That will make him the only rightful heir to the Seastone throne. Well, Im
    still eager to view the entertaining developments. Thank you Weiss and Benioff
    for keeping Dolorious Edd !

    I don’t think Greatjon was in this episode, and I don’t think he’ll be in this season :( Roose Bolton has not been replaced, we’ll likely see him next episode, and Asha wasn’t replaced, just renamed to Yara.

  482. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Karen,

    Who thinks that Cat is naive and doesn’t understand that women aren’t treated fairly in her world? It think it is obvious she is intelligent and understands this issue. The scene doesn’t diminish her or make look stupid or weak. This little tweak doesn’t change any of the plot and doesn’t require them to spend valuable time explaining her rationale for later decisions. This, to me, is the definition of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  483. Lex
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I loved the episode, and I find myself remembering how these threads sometimes ruined some of my enjoyment last year. I think, as this season progresses, I’m going to avoid the majority of these threads if I can. I have my own nitpicks and minor complaints, but those are VASTLY outnumbered by the positives (much like how I feel about the LOTR films, and I’m a huge Tolkien fan who has read the books 8 times).

    Overall, I think this website serves best as a place to follow the progress between Seasons. Interviews, rumors, etc. As a place to discuss the actual episodes, not so much.

  484. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I agree. I think I will post my critique on each episode after it airs and leave it at that with a few responses here and there. The negativity is a real downer.

  485. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Guys , I have seen episode 2 . HOLY FUCKING SHIT is all I can say .

  486. Miss
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Catelyn does not actually get to make this point in the book ever again. This chapter was her only chapter with Robb until the third book. If it is not on screen, it does not count. I don’t understand why it’s such a terrible crime to complain about how the show handled this. Ther is more to a story than plot. People care about characters, they care about depth and nuance and complexity of characters.

    Honestly this is the only fandom I’ve ever been in that seems to think that caring about the realization of a main character (not even a Ros or an Edmure or a Reed, but a main POV character!) is trivial.

    The scene does not make her look weak or stupid, but she is having the total opposite attitude about going home vs staying with Robb. That was absolutely a non-trivial part of her story, she had to withstand a constant barage of being told she did not belong there. That is not an insignificant part of her story and if you think it is, you don’t understand her character. There is more to her than “I want to go home with my babies.” So yes it diminishes her by taking facets of her away. Seeing that Renly ought to be courted for a few reasons was her idea, not Robb’s, and going home was not something she needed to do. Robb did not want to keep her around. That is the total and complete opposite of what happened.

    In the book, we have a story about a woman who insists her importance lies outside of the home, and men who insists it belongs nowhere else. In the show we have a woman who wants only to go home, and seems to regard any task outside the home as a reluctant chore. That is a very non-trivial change in character, especially if you understand th gender context (go back and read about how the men in Robb’s camp resent a woman on the battlefield, and then tell me if Martin isn’t sending a message there, and then tell me if changing Cat’s attitude about that doesn’t totally change that). Characters matter. Not just the plot. Are you here for the plot or for the characters? To me the plot is a vehicle for the characters and not the other way around.

    Jesus, is not like Cat is a minor detail in the story. She is a major character, actually more major than Robb. Cat is an individual. Making up for not showing one strength with another is a silly approach it seems to me. It’s not about some quotient, it’s about understanding why things are done the way they’re done. It’s silly, as if they could’ve just skipped Ned objecting to Dany’s assassination because they’d make up for it in some other way. Nobody would be so eager to apologize for that.

    And if Cat doesn’t matter to you, that’s fine. But she matters to some of us.

  487. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    And I am truly baffled that people think the audience won’t be understand Cat’s later decision in the season if she doesn’t want to go home now. Come on, guys, it’s not that hard to understand. If she wants to stay by Robb’s side now, and then once you know what happens, she does you know what, do you seriously think that audiences will be confused?

    It’s not at all confusing, it just isn’t.

    Do we have to show that Tyrion is murderous now so that people can understand him killing Tywin and Shae later? The journey is the whole point. I’m sorry I find this argument about being unable to understand her rationale really weak. When that thing happens and she gets the news, it’ll be perfectly obvious why she does what she does. Especially because we even see her in the show telling Robb to trade Jaime! She does not need to want to go home to let the viewers know that she wants to get the girls back right now!

    This argument seems really weak, I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

  488. Drfunk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Miss,

    I understand where you’re coming from. There are other “interpretations” that I disagree as well (either by the actors or the writers). That said for your specific example, I think it’s got more to do with the fact that they wanted to highlight the conflict between Robb and Cat. She’s about getting her family back while he’s now more concerned about the welfare of his northern kingdom. The only explanation i can think of is to “dumb” down the show by removing the complexity/subtlety of Cat.

    In the books, she’s able to switch off such feelings because of her upbringing as a Tully. It would be much harder to convey her character (while managing 928349289 other storylines). The simple theme of a mother wanting her kids back however will be much easier to empathize. It kind of sucks really because despite all of her flaws Cat is a great character who is now reduced to a typical mom.

    This is the same reason why I’m still a bit sore at how clumsy LF looks in the series. Confessing his inner thoughts to random skanks, taunting the queen openly… these are not the moves of a master player. Non readers just have no idea how devious LF could be because of the poor interpretation of the show. In contrast Varys seems to be well in control as he should be.

  489. Karen
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    It doesn’t make her weak or naive, no. But it also is a change that is entirely unnecessary and simplifies her as a character. It’s the kind of thing that someone who doesn’t care much about the character in the book wouldn’t notice, but as someone who loves Catelyn, these changes DO mean a lot to me. There was no reason to make those changes other than to portray Robb as a more competent ruler and politician and to “fix” Catelyn from the books since a fair amount of people seem to think she is a bad mother for abandoning Bran and Rickon.

  490. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    Don’t you think the conflict was clear enough in the book? Cat wanted Jaime to be traded, Robb didn’t. That is an extremely simple concept to grasp. Cat does not need to go home to make it more clear. Again, I’m truly at a loss to understand how Cat HAS to want to go home otherwise people won’t understand that Cat wants to trade Jaime and Robb doesn’t.

    Cat wants her kids back in the books too. But you have to understand, those kids she wants back are Arya and Sansa. Going home to Bran and Rickon has NOTHING to do with getting Arya and Sansa back. Staying by Robb’s side to influence him, THAT has bearing on getting Arya and Sansa back. I truly cannot see the logic in this argument, it’s contradictory. Cat cannot help get her daughters back by going home to Winterfell. She would not want to go home and just let other people take care of the situation. That is not who she is. She is utterly familial in the books too, but she is active about her duty to her family, not passive.

    You guys, I understand that people want to love the show. You know what? I really liked the episode overall, it’s sooo much better than the season one premiere. But that doesn’t mean you can’t criticize what isn’t so great too. This argument that they need to emphasize the contrast between Cat and Robb, and that Cat always puts family first, you know, these things are done perfectly well in the book. Nobody comes away from the book confused that Cat wanted to trade Jaime and Robb didn’t. And Cat wanting to go home has no logical bearing on the understanding of that. If she goes home she gives up any chance to change Robb’s mind!

    Going back to Bran and Rickon has nothing at all to do with wanting Sansa and Arya back! This argument does not make sense to me.

    And if they are putting more layers into Cersei, how can we say it’s necessary to take layers out of Cat to translate her onto TV? If HBO’s take on Cersei is viable, why not the real Catelyn? If Tyrion, why not Catelyn? I really just cannot take this “too hard to understand” argument seriously. We’ve been through the 80’s and 90’s, we’ve seen working mothers on television before. We’ve seen mothers who have had to choose to not always be with their children, who have felt guilt about it, before. This is 2012, you cannot expect to be a brilliant show with such a low bar of intelligence and relevance.

    We’ve had Murphy Brown for pete’s sake, 20 years ago. People can understand a mother juggling various needs, especially when even those needs are all about one child or the other. It’s really not difficult to understand, guys, I swear. All they have to do is show that she is being as boxed out of the sphere of influence as Cersei is. They are doing that with Cersei! Why can’t they do that with Cat?

    At some point playing to the lowest denominator is not a necessary evil, it’s just low standards.

  491. Dan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Karen,
    It’s the kind of thing that someone who doesn’t care much about the character in the book wouldn’t notice, but as someone who loves Catelyn, these changes DO mean a lot to me.

    That is just not true. I love Catelyn’s character in the book and I noticed these changes but it hasn’t upset me in the least. I think of tv Catelyn as slightly different than book Catelyn but the important thrusts are there for me. I just think you guys are over analyzing these couple differences. The books might be better to stick with when people think the story is significantly harmed with these kind of changes. I don’t know how you will handle some of the significant diversions that will have to take place down the line if this gets you worked up. Anyways we are just talking past each other so I’m done. I loved the show. I also just watched episode 2, loved every second of it, and can’t wait for more.

  492. andrea
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I hate writing long post for many reasons (language is one of them, of course) and this I think it will bring me headaches but:
    I said earlier that to me there is no well-developed female characters in the books and that I don´t mind D&D changes but that doesn´t mean those changes were good and I too think they use “strong” very lightly sometimes. Having said that I think, as Miss said earlier, the word “strong” is used in a strange way these days, by GRRM or D&D, Miss, Kate, myself, etc. Everyone is right, no one is. I don´t know. And I don´t say I know what that word means. But I will say what I don´t understand. I don´t understand why some people say that a woman is weak or “just a mom” because she wants to protect little children. And if she wants to go home it doesn´t mean she´ll lock herself up to embroider (I think). To be competent in matters of war (I mean, WAR) does not make a strong woman either.
    I make no differences between the strength of a man or a woman. There are many weak characters in this story, men and women, whatever they do.
    I believe a strong and intelligent woman would have choose better than Catelyn.
    Go back to Winterfell wouldn´t mean leave Robb alone but leave a fucking war. I don´t understand. She prefers to be helpful in a war. She´s more skillful than men in it? I couldn´t care less. It´s a WAR. Wars are bad. That´s not strong nor clever..
    It is never clear to me if she wants to get her daughters back or to avenge the death of her husband. If it’s love or class pride (I don´t know which is the exact word here). I don´t understand you say that she should stay in Robb´s camp playing Napoleon because she has the ability to do so. For me she is simply incapable of making a decision because of pride. When she does make a choice is for selfish reasons again.
    A strong, powerful and intelligent woman (and compassionate as well imo) would not let innocent people die in a war provoked by class pride, ambition, revenge or malice. She should leave that place and use her abilities to try to save lives (not only her children) and stop cooperating in a WAR. A WAR.
    A woman talking loudly about the stupidity and cruelty of war, that’s a strong woman to me I guess. We know that no one would listen, but at least she shouldn´t endorse it.
    Finally I have to be honest and say that a character (man or woman) who is unable to love and protect an innocent child (Jon) and blame him for his parent´s mistakes/lies and openly despises that child throughout his life, surely it will earn my contempt and distrust. She´s incredibly selfish for that and ultimately quite stupid but never strong.
    Still think this CAtelyn thing is too much, but ok. I couldn´t resist.

  493. Lex
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Wow… just, wow.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the Catelyn thing doesn’t bother me AT ALL! I barely even noticed the change. She misses Bran and Rickon and said she wants to go home… big deal! I can’t even believe anyone cares about this. XD

  494. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why you would have a problem with Catelyn then. She is the one in Robb’s camp pushing for peace. Cat IS Martin’s main mouthpiece for the stupidity and cruelty of war. I’m sorry, I find this comment super odd. Catelyn doesn’t want to play Napoleon, she doesn’t want an empire. She wants to guide her son and keep her family safe, and she believes she can be the best mother she can be by being at his side instead of going home. She is not WEAK for going home, but she is changed, and the idea that a change needs to happen to make a character more palatable for TV is problematic. That’s a different idea than calling her weak. Nobody called her weak, if you’d read the actual comments.

    Catelyn is one of the few POV’s who speaks on behalf of peace! Criticize Robb for not ending the war, or Stannis, or Renly. Cat is the one who wanted peace at the end of book one.

    And you know something? Benioff and Weiss cut that out too.

  495. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Wow, people have different opinions than you. I don’t understand this urgent need to decry anyone who has a criticism with the show. My goodness it’s sycophantic.

    People have different opinions. That is actually OKAY. You seem almost offended that some people have problems with it. Why?

    If it’s not a convo that interests you … move on, you know?

  496. Lex
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Miss:
    Lex,

    Wow, people have different opinions than you.I don’t understand this urgent need to decry anyone who has a criticism with the show.My goodness it’s sycophantic.

    People have different opinions.That is actually OKAY.You seem almost offended that some people have problems with it.Why?

    If it’s not a convo that interests you … move on, you know?

    It’s fine to have opinions. I’m not offended in the least. I’m just honestly shocked that this matters to anyone. The change seems incredibly minor to me. Like last season, when Catelyn didn’t want Ned to leave Winterfell (as opposed to the books when she pushed him to leave). IMO, that was a bigger change but caused less outcry. I’m honestly just baffled…

    But no worries, I’ll leave you to your agonizing.

  497. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    You know, I don’t share any interest in the blood and gore. But why bother being surprised that it matters to other people. It’s common sense that people all have different priorities.

    But if you’re really curious, it matters to us because they are reducing Cat to a stereotypical, pop-culture-approved benign mother role. I don’t see what is hard to understand about why this bothers people. Some people care about how pop culture handles women. They have taken some of the political edge out of Cat for no reason. No it doesn’t greatly affect the plot, so what? Catelyn is a priority in herself, regardless of the plot. Just as much as Jaime or Tyrion or anyone else. She is being reduced in complexity of motives and being made to be more “acceptable” to a concept of motherhood that has a very problematic history. This can’t be that hard to grasp.

    Last season was early. Now is not early, and now it is last season PLUS this season. More room to interpret patterns. Now it’s last season’s changes plus this season’s changes. Nothing weird about it, more time to notice patterns, less time to give benefit of doubts.

    But thanks, I’ll enjoy my agony.

  498. Blackfish
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    ok so I have watched Episode 11 for three times now and I feel it just gets better and better with each viewing. As a fan of TV series season one to reading the 5 novels after and now watching season 2, I just dont understand all the complaints from the book purist and the TV only viewers. I mean I can enjoy both the novels and the TV series as stand-alone or both together. Each offers certain elements the other can not but it doesn’t take anything away from the others. Just enjoy it without having to compare or nitpick about such little things.

    I have a major request for D&D, PLEASE to continue the trend of having Joffery getting slapped in every season premiere episode (great chance to add new scenes not in the books)

    Episode 1: Tyrion bitch slaps Joffery
    Episode 11: Cersei slaps Joffery
    Episode 21: Sansa bitch slaps Joffery
    Episode 31: ghost of Ned and ghost of Robert tag team bitch slaps ghost of Joffery

    Can’t wait to see rest of this season and watching Tyion get his swagger on.
    “Imping ain’t easy”

  499. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Does it really matter to you how we handle bigger changes in the show?

    Look, some people are going to be positive and some negative, but everyone has a right to voice their say. I’m sure those like Karen and myself will deal with changes whichever way suits us best, and same to you.

  500. Dan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Ha

    Miss,

    Yeah, it doesn’t sound like the show is for you.

  501. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Pardon me? Why not? Because I don’t love everything?

    Is that really any of your business anyway? I mean, I haven’t said a thing personally uncivil towards you and have kept my comments to the content of the show.

    This show isn’t for me because I care how they depict a major character? This show isn’t for me because I can actually criticize and yet enjoy something at the same time?

  502. Dan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Miss,

    Why do you keep repeating that you are allowed to have your opinion as if we are asking you not to give it? Give your opinion all day as can any of us. Just because some of us disagree with you doesn’t mean we are trying to silence you.

    Ok, you love the show. Why are you so angry? It doesn’t matter to me if you disagree with me.

  503. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    When you tell someone that their opinions are insignificant, that you can’t believe anyone cares about this, you don’t think that’s belittling?

    Opinions about the show are different from opinions about others’ opinions about the show. If you say “I can’t believe anyone cares about this”, you can’t see the implication there that basically someone is saying this isn’t worth talking about? Honestly?

  504. Albert Renteria
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who didn’t really like the Dire Wolf?

    It looks better than last season, I’m glad it got bigger… but I wish they’d CG some viciousness on to the face somehow. It didn’t look threatening at all, but more like a dog staring while growling sounds played.

    It’s easy to forget how huge the direwolves role was when watching the tv show

  505. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Look, I’m going to state the argument one more time and try to explain it thoroughly.

    One change is that Catelyn now wants to go home instead of stay with Robb. It does not make Catelyn weak to want to go home. It does suggest that Benioff and Weiss are caving to the criticism from fandom that Catelyn is a bad mother for not going home. Those are two distinct issues, can you see?

    Catelyn doesn’t need to want to go home to show that she puts her children first. She stayed with Robb because of her children too, just not the youngest ones. She stayed with Robb for Robb, Sansa and Arya, the three children most in harm’s way. It’s simply not true that if Cat doesn’t express the idea that she wants to go home, that people will think she is not acting as a mother. She IS acting as a mother, it’s just that she is doing this by advising her son and advocating for the release of her daughters.

    Another change is that they gave Cat’s idea that Renly ought to be met with to Robb. And when Robb argues for not releasing Jaime, his argument is no longer “Jaime would’ve been worth Ned, but not two girls”, rather “It’s complicated”. It is clear the impression we are to take from this episode is that Robb knows about worldly matters while Cat is focused on hearth and home. This compounds, rather than mitigates, the impression they made in the premiere of season one that Cat doesn’t have any interest in politics or doings outside Winterfell, she just wants to curl up and nest. A more domestic Cat does not mean that she is a less strong woman, but it is not Cat, and what is problematic is the need for a change. The idea behind this is a mother will be more likable if she never wants to leave the house. I feel the problematic nature of this re. gender and concepts of motherhood are easy to understand?

    It is true that they showed her advising against sending Theon too. That doesn’t change the fact that they’ve stolen some of Cat’s thunder and given it to Robb. They also did that last season when they gave Cat’s cautionary words about not celebrating too early to Robb. On top of this, in the King in the North scene they cut out her plea for peace entirely. And as for advice, last season the cut the part where Robb seeks out Catelyn’s approval for his Green Fork/Whispering Wood tactic.

    So, you all can’t see a pattern of silencing Cat’s contributions to the story? If you don’t care, by all means, feel free. I’m not here to make anyone care and I’m happy to live and let live. But I do care, and I honestly find these “I can’t believe you even care!” comments a little snide. Yeah, well, some people care about Cat! And they care how she’s adapted, I mean, what’s wrong with caring?

  506. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    I’m not angry, I’m surprised. I just don’t understand what comes across to me as a need to micromanage negative opinions. Understand that I don’t think debating is micromanaging, but again there’s a difference between opinions about the show and opinions about others’ opinions.

    I don’t love the show, though I do like it, and I think that I can watch it and still criticize it at the same time. The idea that it’s not for me … is that really anybody’s business? What is the point of such a comment if not to imply that having complaints is at some level a disqualification for being part of the fan community? I watch plenty of shows that I criticize. I watch this show because I love the books and want to see how the series is adapted. I liked about 75% of this episode, I think that’s pretty good? But I don’t see why I have to get used to all changes and have no issues with them in order to keep watching the show.

  507. Silverjaime
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Coming in a day late of course as it’s UK here, but just a few comments: haven’t trawled through ALL the above, but enough of them to see there were some negative comments. I liked the episode and the production values are again, sky high, but I have a few doubts. I don’t think Cersei was at any time cowed by Joffrey – she may have been aghast at times by his arrogance, but she was never cowed. Are they trying to soften her character? And I have to agree with the Cat criticism – the whole way through the book she was not quite believable to me in places because she didn’t mention going home to her small sons, and yet here we have her professing to do just that. She even went off to her father instead. The LF-Cersei scene I thought was good, but I’m having trouble with LF’s accent though that’s just a personal quibble.
    However – Stannis is the biggest disappointment – I really just did NOT like him at all. His acting was like an afterthought – he was boring as hell, and I don’t remember the character being quite so stiff and unemotional, but maybe he was……
    The robb and Cat scenes were brilliant – Robb and anyone scenes were brilliant – he’s so intense – quote of the episode ” …is he really?” – and Theon’s attitude is sickening when we readers know what happens later.
    But the stand-out scenes were any that Tyrion was in – loved the scene with Cersei. Both actors were excellent in that scene – beautifully timed.
    A lot to pack into one episode – and I haven’t even mentioned how HOT Jaime is even when he’s tied up and dirty and scared!!
    A good start, but overall it wasn’t mind-blowing – but a first episode rarely is.

  508. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    purplejilly: And some of them are wondering why FaB hasn’t interviewed THEM, and gotten THEIR input on Indigo?
    and some are probably saying;

    I’mAFancyWhoreNow: What is wrong with that purplejilly, she won’t even give me a chance!Didn’t she see I’ve got clothes on this year?And I talked them out of the stupid repeat ass-play comment, which they tried to make me do!

    I’mTheFunnyWhore:Don’t let her upset you, she’s just jealous, because she’s not writing your scenes.

    I’mAFancyWhoreNow: Yeah, and I’d like to see HER try to come over here and do what I do!She hasn’t got the body or the face! I’d like to see her try and support THAT bottom!

    I’mTheFunnyWhore:*sips wine* heard dat, girlfriend! *they exchange high fives*

    LOL guys, you’re hilarious :)

  509. Linda
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I’m not going to read all 510 comments to find out if someone mentioned this, so I’ll ask it here: I haven’t seen the episode yet (have it DVR’d) but I have read the books. A friend who has not read the books but did watch the episode said how much she loves “the dragon.” “The” dragon? As in one dragon??? There are 3 dragons. Are they only going to give Dany one dragon for the show? That’s BS.

  510. Magnus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Linda,

    No… They only showed one dragon in this scene. The others were in cages.

  511. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    So, I watched episode 12 ,and (no spoilers, just my general opinion of the ep, but I’ll spoiler tag for the sake of those not interested in an opinion about an ep that hasn’t yet aired) found it decidedly better than the premiere. Although it lacks standout scenes that ep 11 enjoyed, it does move the story along, introduce new characters more effectively and crystalizes certain aspects left ambiguous in the 1st ep.

    It’s not a perfect episode – there were some major drawbacks which I won’t go into – by any means but it does flow better and for my money delivers a far more entertaining 51 minutes.
    I do however now firmly believe that for those of us who read the books to enjoy this season, we must try as best we can to divorce the show from the nuance of the books while watching. I am perfectly happy doing that myself.

  512. the waif
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    George R.R. Martin is on the time 100 2012 poll list vote for him here….

    1)list of candidates….
    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2107952,00.html

    2)vote for our dear martin, here……..
    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109625,00.html

  513. afartherroom
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    andrea: what did they (your friends) say about Bran´s warg-dream?

    Hmmm. I don’t remember any particularly strong reactions to that sequence at all, actually. Then, they’ve all been pretty much expecting Bran to become a shaman ever since the first appearance of the three-eyed crow, so I don’t think it came as too much of a surprise to them for Bran to be “wolf-walking” in his dreams.

  514. Macha
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Blackfish:

    Episode 1: Tyrion bitch slaps Joffery
    Episode 11: Cersei slaps Joffery
    Episode 21: Sansa bitch slaps Joffery
    Episode 31: ghost of Ned and ghost of Robert tag team bitch slaps ghost of Joffery

    Step aside R’hllor, I’m calling this a new religion!

  515. Steve Westenra
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the episode as a whole, but like most I thought the Dragonstone opening scene should have been handled differently (as well as the poisoning). The burning of the seven was fine to me, but it would have struck more of a cord had it opened the episode. I think the name-day tourney would have made just as much impact following the Dragonstone bit. So, for me, that was more to do with cutting the episode that inherent problems.
    I did also feel like Cressen needed more of an introduction. His thoughts and actions are really why we start to feel for Stannis at all (and to some degree Renly!). No, they couldn’t have included as much of his inner monologue as is in the book, but it would have been nice to have a bit more of him and Davos chatting and for them to have shown Cressen’s softer side. I feel like in the show he just comes off as a cantankerous stick-in-the-mud.

    The other problem I had was the very, very end. It wasn’t necessarily a poor way to finish the episode, but the switch from scene to scene felt clumsy somehow, and anticlimactic. I think the way it was organized could have been handled better.

    Otherwise, I thought it was great. The acting was top-notch and I adored Stannis’s letter scene. XD I think Lena was the breakout star for me this episode though, although Sophie Turner and Jack Gleeson also did a great job. The Robb scenes were well-acted, but I’m just not that interested in the young man-bravado storyline so much, and I disliked how they weakened Catelyn’s character.
    Some of the other added/changed bits left me more conflicted. I loved the Cersei/Joff scenes, while still worrying how that will affect both character arcs.

  516. purplejilly
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Miss: And if Cat doesn’t matter to you, that’s fine. But she matters to some of us.
    Miss

    I understand and agree with you 100% on this. Also, it seems that most of your disagreers are male, and I’m not syaing this excuses them, but I think they just can’t understand. It’s not the same for them, they haven’t lived through sexism like we do. I get why it’s a big deal.

  517. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: Lex,

    I agree with you guys completely. Overall I really enjoyed the episode, but some things I read here just put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. For me the best period on wicnet is the time of the casting announcements and when details on the filming surface. I shied away from watching most of the trailers and making-of features this year to not be so spoiled as last year, and now I also will stay more distant from the comments on episode recaps. Still highly anticipating a twitter recap though!!

  518. Lina
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Well, Catelyn Tully caused a bigger stir here than she did between Petyr Baelish and Brandon Stark!

    I rewatched the episode again yesterday and loved it just as much. I really paid attention to the cinematography and music this time, and both are just so amazing. Two quick things I want to point out. The cinematography in the scene with Mormont and Jon outside Craster’s keep is brilliant: it zooms in until it’s right up in their faces, and then their profiles are silhouetted. But you can still see so much expression in the movement of the Old Bear’s mustache! And the music in the bastard-killing montage is so perfect: it’s the King Robert theme from Episode 1!

  519. purplejilly
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Tar Kidho: Still highly anticipating a twitter recap though!!

    Yeah, I am looking for FaB’s retweet post! I didn’t get on twitter at all, because I wanted to focus on the episode.

    But on the comment negativity part, I think some of the reason for the huge avalanche of complaints comes from things we saw last year, complained about, and then we were hoping inside that in S. 2 they would be fixed. And some of them were! Direwolves are no longer dogs. More battle scenes will be coming. The sexposition so far was tolerable. A clothed Ros instructing two newbies was a reasonably timed scene, and NOT awkwardly prolonged like the infamous
    LF scene of last year, AND the couple consisted of a male and a female, so I count that as a double improvement. (evening the male nudity score).

    But I think those of us who didn’t like the softening of Catelyn last year were disappointed with the start of this year. We were hoping for a new start, a change back towards ‘Canon’ Cat, in S.2, and when it became obvious that’s not going to happen, it’s upsetting to us.

    The same thing with the softening of Cersei, that started with the whole ‘black haired beauty’ story, and continues with the growing power and indifference of Joffrey, which makes Cersei seem more like an innocent mother caught in the current of her son’s crazy, rather than the evil creator of the flood that will be hitting Westeros in the future. I think as the season wears on we’ll feel better, I think it was just a disappointment for those of us hoping for a different S. 2 start.

  520. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Miss,

    I’m not going to get into this discussion because I hate discussions related to feminism, PC and other similar moral issues, since I find extremely unfair to throw this upon the shoulders of a fantasy book, let alone an adaptation of a fantasy book.

    I’m just going to say that the only reason why Catelyn goes to Renly and then stays at Riverrun is because Robb was not a point of view character (neither was Brienne at that particular time) and George needed someone there to tell the story.

    I’ve always thought that Catelyn role after Ned’s death was one of total confusion and, basically, one wrong decision after another. She actually began the whole thing by capturing Tyrion.

    Later, she went on ahead and realease the Kingslayer, and that behaviour falls within the stereoptype you’re claiming she shouldn’t be portrayed as.

  521. userj
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    okok so I’ll just say this. I totally understand the arguments about the changes to Cat’s character, but I’ll have to be honest and say I didn’t notice the change until they were pointed out to me. If this kind of thing were done to my favorite character (Dany) I’m sure I’d be raging, but only because I know her story’s details so much better.

    However, what did bother me about Robb/Cat at the time were two things, and they aren’t the ones that have been stated.

    1. Cat is the better character, and 2. Michelle is the better actor. Every single one of Robb’s scenes except the one with Cat totally fell flat for me (even Nikolaj couldn’t rescue his scene, though flirting with Robb was a lovely touch :D). Robb is a boooooring character played by a mediocre actor. The only two actors in the show that ever bother me and take me out of the moment are Richard Madden (despite his beautiful face) and Genthin Anthony. Michelle Fairley is just so fsking brilliant that I can’t stand the idea that Richard Madden gets more screentime than her. And Robb is honestly just kind of a cardboard character. Nothing they’ve done so far has led me to think they are using the additional screentime to make him a more layered character – if anything he’s more “Mr. Hero-boy” than ever… Whereas Catelyn! Ah, what a complex and interesting character – even with the dubious simplifications. MORE CAT LESS ROBB!

    Anyway I’m not actually too mad. Like I said it was mostly Richard’s acting that pulled me out of the scenes, and I really was completely engrossed in 99% of the episode (more of the scenes were improved from the book than the other way around).

  522. Siham
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I liked the Littlefinger/Cersei scene because it make my chuckling thinking about Joffrey’s wedding.

    Plain_A,

  523. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Empedocles,

    A lot of the characters serve as windows on others. Bran does, Sansa does, Arya does, Davos does. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have concrete characterizations and that the things they do while they serve those window functions aren’t core parts of their character.

    Regarding Cat’s release of Jaime, the point is not that female characters should not be emotional at all. Human beings are emotional, to rob female characters of the “right” to be just as irrational as men (see: Robb marrying Jeyne against all political sense) is just more sexism. What I want for Catelyn is the full range of her humanness. Catelyn is a person who has for the vast majority of her life subsumed her emotions for the needs of the patriarchy (duty). When she finally can’t do that any more, her emotions come out in big ways, like pressured water behind a dam. She’s a mother first, but many mothers are. Cersei is many things, but in the end her children come first. Same as my mother actually. That doesn’t mean they don’t have other parts of their personality. Catelyn strives to be useful and has the self-confidence to think that she is. She’s a person of much conviction, and it’s part of her story as a woman in this extremely sexist world that she has to fight for her place, even though in the end she knows she has no concrete power apart from men’s good will.

    Now, that’s all in the novels, so I’m not asking B&W to add anything that isn’t there in order to compensate for all the wrongs of the genre. Martin himself has the intelligence and the compassion to write women of all kinds and how they survive the patriarchy. And they are multifaceted.

    I feel it odd to argue this when nobody will say that the emotional animosity between Tyrion and Tywin needs to be played up now in order for them to be consistent with Tyrion killing Tywin later on. Moreover, Tyrion’s emotional act of patricide does not negate the fact that he is also intelligent and cunning. People can handle the variety, and moreover embrace it with Tyrion and find him a rewardingly complex character for it.

  524. Mista_C
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Episode lenth was the only problem for me. According to HBO GO, this episode is 52:42 long. The opening title sequence is 1:54 and the closing credits are 1:23, therfore, the actual lenght of content that we get is only 49:25. Really?!?! Just an extra 6-7 minutes of content could make a HUGE difference… that’s like two good scenes.

  525. Dark Knight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry to say that I did not like this opening episode very much. I usually not a critic and I am a hardcore fan of both the books and this great TV adaptation.
    But I actually found this episode somewhat boring, but also that it was rushing through all the characters much too fast. As many here say, the really should have used more time in this season premiere.
    I have read the books three times and watched Season 1 two times, and even I found this a little hard to keep track of. Maybe that’s mostly because my three non-viewer-premiere-friends REALLY couldn’t keep track of things, and I got somewhat irritated on their behalf.
    Well, I do not judge, and I see HUGE quality in this season, both in actors and in the visual. I have no doubt at all that Game of Thrones will skyrocket as the next episodes come.
    And I love the CGI dragons and Grey Wind!!!

  526. Matt
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Excellent, excellent episode, despite the feeling that it was basically setting up all the characters

    Pros

    -Dinklage- with Bean gone, he has top billing. Excellent. I like his Tyrion better than the book Tyrion
    -Joffrey – a spiteful monster- Gleeson is doing an excellent job making me hate Joffrey
    -Great scenery, new intro, beautiful set pieces- they are doing it right
    -Good decisions on changing some scenes around to control costs (which is extremely important in keeping a show going)- for example, changing the jousting scene to a simple combat scene saved a ton of cash that they could put into somewhere else- I have no problem with some changes and the limited CGI, especially knowing how big some of the upcoming episodes get in scope
    -Stannis – I kept myself in the dark about new cast members (except for Brienne)- the actor playing Stannis is fabulous so far- he has to be completely, utterly unlikeable, while still conveying a sense of absolute honor- nailed it- I love how he forgets his wife on the beach
    -Rob and his mother – powerful scene, though in the books, she suggests going to Renly, which I thought made more sense
    -Thank god we’ll get more Jamie in the second season than we got in the second book.
    -Wolves ! Yeah! However, my impression was dire wolves were significantly bigger than regular wolfs.
    -Littlefinger-Cersai added scene – fine with me – I thought the purpose of the scene was to show that Cersei doesn’t understand what’s going on around her- she could have Littlefinger killed right there but doesn’t, showing she doesn’t suspect him of being behind the various plots.

    Negatives (not many)
    -Melisandre – I expected alot more beautiful/sensual. I’m glad the actress is not going with a thick foreign accent though.
    -Cersei and Joffrey at the end and the slap – I always got the impression that Cersei was the one person to whom Joffrey deferred and was scared of (besides Tyrion). The implication that he would have his own mother killed is a bit out there. I’d like to see Cersei re-establish her dominance over Joff.
    -Craster- looked way too put together and neat and I expected his home to be more of a hovel then it looked. The actor playing Craster nailed the man’s attitude so I’m only nit picking.

    Overall, went by wayyyy too fast but I enjoyed it. Bring on Brienne (I can’t wait to see if they do anything to her to make her uglier- the actress playing her, while extremely tall, is beautiful).

  527. Aranel
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed it apart from one thing

    What was the point in killing off Dany’s Silver?
    That bit was so random… Doreah dies in the red waste. Silver is still with Dany where I am in books (Dance)
    I mean it just sounds like I am being picky….but I don’t see the need for that at all :/
    I always saw Silver to be symbolic in Dany’s growth.

  528. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    -It’s obvious that Cercei ordered the killing of the bastards. Joffrey pretty much told her to do it.

    -The kids that are scrubbing the floor in a couple of scenes are Varys “little birds”. I think that it’s awesome that D&D are giving us these glimpses. I will look for them throughout the season. Maybe take a drink everytime I spot one! LOL!

  529. fuelpagan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    I for one am glad you do care. I’m just saying that you need to pick your battles and I think it is too soon for this one. Just because a line or a motivation was changed, doesn’t mean those qualities will not be demonstrated in other ways in later episodes. Season 2 is in the can. If by the time the breaking point event occurs and Cat has not displayed examples of pushing for peace and being the voice of reason, then yes I’ll agree they have weakened the character.

    For me the fact that Ned’s letter actually makes it to Stannis and that is Stannis’ sole proof he is the rightful king, really undermines the sense of Justice in that character. In the book Stannis had no idea Ned actually was planning on backing Stannis’ claim to the throne. With that change I think a letter from Stannis to Robb asking him to give up his claim to the north and support Stannis as the rightful king as the letter proves Ned supported Stannis, would be in line with the character. Instead we get “Screw Robb”, when Stannis knows Robb knew nothing about Ned backing Stannis. I get why it was done this way. Viewers will never notice, but I do. I hope they modify some of Stannis’ lines to reflect the change. Because TV Stannis owes Ned a great deal with proof that Stannis is the next in line as well as Ned was planning to support Stannis as the rightful heir. Book Stannis didn’t owe Ned anything, had no idea Ned knew the truth or even that he was planning to back Stannis.

  530. Superdeluxe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Damn. I am now officially concerned about The Reeds being cut all together based on Osha talking to Bran about the Wolfdreams.

    Damn you D&D! Oh well I’ll get over it.

  531. Obsidian
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Watched . Re-watched. Absolutely love some things..others ..not so much. I really approve of the new direwolves. Of course it remains to be seen how good they look when moving quickly, as others have said. But I’m not too worried …there’s a ton of footage of wolves available to draw on , so I’m quite optimistic. I think the strangeness of just seeing Grey Wind’s size relative to Robb automatically stresses the supernatural quotient in their relationship.

    Bran’s dream scene was really good , as were last year’s . Really liked his scene with Luwin.

    Thought Mel and Cressen drinking the poison in reverse order from the book was not nearly as effective. Loved Stannis’ editing the letter. Missed Cressen musing on Stannis’ having grown up feeling hard done by..

    Putting things together from this ep and the clip from the Tyrion /Cersei scene in one of the trailers .. I won’t mind if they leave it ambiguous as to whether she or Joff ordered the bastard purge .. but I hope they don’t lay it firmly at Joff’s door. I already don’t like him having any suspicion as to his parentage ..I like him better oblivious.

    I’m not completely happy with the softening of Cersei , anyway, though I love the job Heady does in her scenes . I don’t think it’s too soon to have her be underhanded and ruthless. And it doesn’t help to have that brought out in the LF / Cersei scene, because of the consequent dumbing down of LF ( Again!)

    Ros the Lt. Madam …That scene just popped me out of the show..especially with her repeating LF’s lines…too precious, self-referential , indulgent..just broke the spell, not to mention being entirely unnecessary.

  532. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    You need to remember though that this is compounding the changes from the first season. As someone pointed out, people were hoping for a change from what they did to Cat in the first season, but they didn’t change.

    You say wait now because season two is in the can. That’s what people told me in season one. I stayed quiet, I shut up. Now look what happened in season two. Now is the time. It’s not their first strike-out, it’s merely their first strike-out of season two.

  533. if it please
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Dark Knight,

    you found it hard to keep track of? and you read the books 3 times??

    that’s kind of hard to believe.

  534. fuelpagan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    If you felt that strongly about it you should have spoken up loudly when the season was over. As I demonstrated, Cat is not the only one getting shorted by changes.

  535. Lex
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly: I understand and agree with you 100% on this.Also, it seems that most of your disagreers are male, and I’m not syaing this excuses them, but I think they just can’t understand.It’s not the same for them, they haven’t lived through sexism like we do.I get why it’s a big deal.

    You’re just playing the racism and sexism cards left and right lately. Yeah, I disagree with Miss because she’s a woman… (rolls eyes).

  536. spacepope
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi:
    Justin Ashlock,

    Why would she drink the wine offered by Cressen after the show he made at the beach? It was known to everybody at the room that he hated her, the only way he could get her to drink was to drink before. He sacrificed himself to take her down. It made complete sense to me.

    its not explained in the show but in the books melisandre can see into her own future, so she always knows when assassination attempst are coming. she already knew what was going to happen, she foresaw the assassination attempt in her prophecies, so she knew that cressen would die and she would live. thats why she drank from it.

  537. Miss
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    How do you know I didn’t?

    I did, in fact.

    You’re right, Cat’s not the only who is different. I think anyone is free to stick up for Cersei, Petyr or whoever else too. In fact I’d support them.

  538. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Accusing someone of “playing race cards” and “gender cards” doesn’t usually help one’s debate position. Just saying.

    And I’ve seen Miss talking about Catelyn’s character for like a year now. :)

  539. Lex
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Accusing someone of “playing race cards” and “gender cards” doesn’t usually help one’s debate position. Just saying.

    True… but it’s really growing tiresome how quick some people on here are to accuse others of racism and/or sexism.

    E.g.

    -You don’t like the casting of Jeyne Westerling? RACIST!
    -D&D replaced Chataya with Ros? RACIST!
    -You don’t care about the changes to Catelyn’s character? SEXIST!

  540. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    They’re valid criticisms. You may be tired of hearing about it, but they’re not absurd claims. There have been a lot of issues to do with Game of Thrones, especially this season, with the casting of people of color, and the removal of some PoC characters. As long as people are discussing the topic respectfully with one another, I don’t see anything wrong with dealing with the racial aspect in a discussion. If you don’t enjoy the conversation, then my best recommendation is to step away from it.

  541. Lex
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Lex,

    If you don’t enjoy the conversation, then my best recommendation is to step away from it.

    I don’t enjoy being falsely accused of racism and sexism, that’s all. There’s a big difference between engaging in conversation, and engaging in extremely insulting accusations.

    Anyways, I think I will be stepping away from more and more conversations, which is too bad (IMO) considering I’ve been posting here for over 3 years.

  542. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I find it’s much easier to retain your sanity when you learn to skim certain conversations, especially those driven by people with their own pet issues. Don’t let this drive you away.

  543. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Lex,

    They’re valid criticisms. You may be tired of hearing about it, but they’re not absurd claims. There have been a lot of issues to do with Game of Thrones, especially this season, with the casting of people of color, and the removal of some PoC characters. As long as people are discussing the topic respectfully with one another, I don’t see anything wrong with dealing with the racial aspect in a discussion.

    Purplejily outright accused Dan and David of racism and sexism because they decided to cut Chataya (can’t remember in what thread). How is that respectful?

  544. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Hi-Fi,

    Well, I don’t her see lacing her statement with profanity or anything outrageous. She’s making a criticism that MANY other people have actually made. Furthermore, she didn’t say it to Dan and Dave’s faces, she said it in a conversation here with her fellow fans. So yeah, I think she’s doing just fine.

  545. Lex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Hi-Fi,

    She’s making a criticism that MANY other people have actually made.

    “MANY” people have accused David and Dan of being racist and sexist? LOL, okay whatever you say…

  546. Sekandar Martell
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    A note on the cliffhanger: I’ve seen people say it doesn’t work because people don’t care about Gendry. Of course people don’t care about Gendry, the reason it’s a cliffhanger of sorts is because viewers know Arya has barely escaped Kings Landing and is travelling with someone who will now have half the Guard after him.

    It just sets up where her arc is going this season, and quite nicely too.

    I enjoyed everything really, really enjoyed Bran’s scenes which reinforces my hope that we get at least one Reed in the show next series or whatever to further boost them. The direwolves look a lot better than I imagined. Alfie Allen was great as Theon, big season for him. I think the change to Catelyn is largely to do with some larger change involving her reason for setting Jaime free, given the boys won’t be ‘dying’ this series (seemingly).

    Slynt is more repulsive than ever, roll on ADwD.

    Stannis and Davos were perfect, can’t wait to see more of them.

    Wasn’t expecting Dontos somehow, was good to see it included. Same with Dolorous Ed.

    Nitpick would be with the Cersei/Joffrey scene. Something about that felt off to me, and the transition could have been a little better I think. The LF/Cersei scene felt odd at first, but upon reflection I think it works fine.

    I do fear just how complicated some aspects of the show will get for casual viewers, but all we can do is give them and the showrunners the benefit of the doubt really. I’ll glad take a few scenes here and there that feel a bit odd due to exposition if it keeps more people watching and experiencing the larger glory of ASoIaF, perhaps to it’s conclusion even.

  547. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    It pains me to say it but I agree!

    Sorry but accusing someone of racism and sexism and I am talking about actual acts performed by said perpetrators instead of a combination of a lot of factors beyond our full understanding (studio demands, who is best for the part, budget) is a tall order. People are allowed to express what they feel but sometimes we cross the line now and then. We are only human after all. That said I have always enjoyed Purplejilly’s comments. I found her posts friendly with palpable emotion as if she was a voice in the room, which is why I am very disappointed with her accusation. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to watch a television series created by individuals who are racist/sexist. It’s kind of an ironic statement I suppose given the state of our entertainment industry in general but directed specifically at two hard working people who are married with children? I grant that what has been conveyed could be considered racist and sexist to some(which is what I hope she meant deep down) but to say that two individuals should be inherently brandished with these traits is not criticism, it’s slander.

    I don’t know why I am defending two complete strangers, perhaps I just think the label she gave D & D is unfair. And personally I think she and this site is above that.

  548. Lex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Sekandar Martell: Slynt is more repulsive than ever

    Slynt is one of my most hated characters in the books! I like the actor they’ve chosen, but I do wish he was a little more “jowly” and referred to himself in the third person. :)

    REALLY looking forward to some interaction between him and Tyrion. I hope they’ve kept that.

  549. quixote
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Maybe people should watch at least one other example of an actor before claiming they can’t act. If that’s too much work try “I disagree with the interpretation of the character.” I had a lot of problems with Cersei in the first season, none at all so far in the second. Obviously Lena Headey’s ability was not the problem.

  550. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Hi-Fi,

    Well, I don’t her see lacing her statement with profanity or anything outrageous. She’s making a criticism that MANY other people have actually made. Furthermore, she didn’t say it to Dan and Dave’s faces, she said it in a conversation here with her fellow fans. So yeah, I think she’s doing just fine.

    LOL. So saying that the show’s creators are racist and sexist without any real or sensible proof is “just fine”. And Lex is recommended to leave the conversation because he disagrees. Good to know.

  551. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    quixote,

    I see your line of reasoning, and in most cases it is true. The loyal interpretation of a favourite character is crucial to many. If Meryl Streep played Melisandre had she got the character wrong as to what a certain individual expected of the character even she would be chastised. When it comes to actors and actresses the casual observer gives no quarter. To them actors aren’t people per se they are merely the vessels inhabiting the character, the actor’s worth is only proven if they are convincing and entertain the viewer. Even if an outsider looking in is charmed or moved by the performance about a million other factors compositing the viewer’s mind will allow them to see the complete opposite.

    Another thing to consider is the recognition of art and particularly talent is the most subjective thing in the world. Certain actors merely get under people’s skin because of facial tics, certain mannerisms, their off screen behaviour, their political views, their religious views, their aesthetics the characters they have previously played, or in comparison to other performers that said individual already admires etc. I know they make a lot of money but I do not envy actors. One must have a titanium backbone or some sublime disconnection with reality in order to put up with what people say of them.

    I think Carice Van Houten is a good actress having seen her in Black Book, Black Butterflies and Black Death (LOL that doesn’t bode well for my argument but she stole the show in Black Death) and I love her interpretation of Melisandre. Other views I have read have been contrary to my opinion. And that’s cool.

    The trick lies in being civil when expressing our opinions.

  552. Lex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I have no problems with Carice as Melisandre so far, even if she looks a little different than I imagined from the book. I didn’t even have a problem with the Cressen poison scene, I thought it was well done and close enough to the book that it didn’t make any real difference. On a purely aesthetic level, though, I find her accent a bit annoying when on the word “dark” when she says “the night is dark and full of terrors”. :)

  553. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    See that’s why were so complex wonderful creatures because I got goosebumps when she said that line! For me her accent gives an exoticism to her character, she is from Asshai after all.

    I honestly hate that criticism of being annoyed by someone’s way of speaking. I remember in a grade 10 science class we had to give presentations and were graded by the class. I managed to get a peek of one of the comments about me and someone said the exact same thing. I guess a Newfoundland accent intermixed with a growing Ontario accent was not a harmony to this girl’s ears. Seriously though who put that on a submitted evaluation? But I digress. I am hypocrite, as I can’t stand Jerry Lewis’ way of speaking or Ray Romano’s for that matter. :-)

  554. Lex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Lex,

    See that’s why were so complex wonderful creatures because I got goosebumps when she said that line! For me her accent gives an exoticism to her character, she is from Asshai after all.

    Oh, I agree with you. I personally don’t ENJOY the sound, but it does add to the strangeness and slight alien quality of her character… so it’s a good thing! :)

    Also, did anyone else notice/laugh at how Stannis repeated the line incorrectly? She says “The night is dark and full of terrors,” and then he repeats it, but he sounds somewhat annoyed and he says “terror” instead of “terrors”. If that was intentional, I loved it. Also loved him almost forgetting his wife Selyse on the beach, which I didn’t notice until the re-watch. Dillane is awesome.

  555. Adrian
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that i am a little dissapointed about the first episode. First of all it didn’t follow the same structure like the first episode from season 1, to start with the prologue. I realy didn’t knew who was maester cressen until i saw him with the wine goblet. I didn’t like Tyrion appearance in the city, it was like in the books when he entered with his savages and he saved sansa from humiliations. I would have like to see Riverrun where the action happened instead of Robb’s war camp. The actor that is playing Stannis is not like i have imagined when i read the book, not to say that it didn’t look like it, but it have weak and girlish voice, and i don’t see the fretting end emotions that Stannis had. I give it a 4/5

  556. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Lex: On a purely aesthetic level, though, I find her accent a bit annoying when on the word “dark” when she says “the night is dark and full of terrors”. :)

    For me personally this is a bit of a problem because I clearly hear a Dutch accent (Dutch people have a very recognizable way of pronouncing “r’s” in English), which catapults me right out of Westeros… But her acting so far was good in my opinion, so I hope to get used to it.

  557. PatD
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen Carice in several other flicks, even before I knew she was going to be Melisandre (she was also in a pretty good film by Julian Fellowes that was a sort of precursor to Downton Abbey, and she was a very good evil stepmother in that). So, for me, her acting chops are not an issue. She physically epitomizes Mel and the accent doesn’t faze me (seriously, how do any of us know what kind of accent Mel would have?). I think what might be disconcerting for some fans is that her voice is not low and sultry. It sounds like a very superficial thing, but I think it’s an important facet of Mel’s character. Not deal breaker, though. A good actress will probably make us forget that difference.

    In the show we have a woman who wants only to go home, and seems to regard any task outside the home as a reluctant chore.

    See, it’s not that I dismiss this Cat-as-weakling argument, I just don’t see this on my screen, at all. I see a woman who recently suffered sooo many family tragedies: her young son is made a cripple for life, her husband has been beheaded, her children’s lifelong nanny (and other dear household members) have been brutally murdered, both her daughters are in dire danger, her sister’s gone batshit crazy, and her father’s dying. She may be enmeshed in crucial battle strategies, but she’s also in the midst of deep, deep grief and worry about her remaining family members. I’d have to wonder what kind of mother wouldn’t make a family reunion her top priority at this point. Nothing on my screen reeks of weakness about Cat. 99.9% of other women would have been sniveling wrecks by now. The scene where she interrupts her own personal grief in the woods to comfort Robb all but negates the criticism of her being weak, for me. The way she says to Robb, “First we get your sisters back. Then we will KILL THEM All,” left no doubt about her strength and motives.

  558. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    (didn’t see your reply till now)

    Just to be clear, I was speaking mostly about a comment like this one, which I found very off-putting. On the Catelyn and Cersei front I can understand some of the criticism, and (as a male, behold!) even agree with it when it comes to Catelyn’s character changes. In the beginning I also didn’t like the changes to Cersei, but on retrospect I think changing here has actually made her a more interesting character (thinking back of the scene between Cersei and Robert, which was one of the strongest of season 1!). And something tells me that this softening of Cersei will only make the shock bigger for the new viewers when we are finally shown here true colours.

  559. PatD
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    The TV show has Cat fight off an assassin by barehandedly gripping Valyrian steel! Any stronger and more courageous they’d have to make her a cartoonish, superhero.

  560. Jeda
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Same here. Tyrion owning Janos was one of the most vivid memory I had of the beginning of book2. If it happens at all, I really expect it to be in ep2 and given what they’ve done with Janos so far, I’m keeping my hopes up. I don’t see them doing without, this scene embodies Tyrion getting into the Hand’s shoes (…that sounds weird), we’ve just seen the killing of the bastards and we’ve already seen enough of Janos for new viewers to remember him in another season

  561. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    PatD: 99.9% of other women would have been sniveling wrecks by now

    …and 99.9% of men as well! But of course we’re watching tv and we are used to seeing super-human humans on tv…

    PatD: The scene where she interrupts her own personal grief in the woods to comfort Robb all but negates the criticism of her being weak, for me. The way she says to Robb, “First we get your sisters back. Then we will KILL THEM All,” left no doubt about her strength and motives.

    that’s very true, good call.

  562. Jeda
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Well, looking at Episode 12’s preview, it looks like we have our answer (min 0:23), unless of course we only learn about it and they don’t show the scene, which would be disappointing…

  563. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Hi-Fiq,
    Um, no. Not because he disagrees, but because he wasn’t enjoying the conversation. That is exactly what I said. Nothing else.

  564. Virtus
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Also, did anyone else notice/laugh at how Stannis repeated the line incorrectly? She says “The night is dark and full of terrors,” and then he repeats it, but he sounds somewhat annoyed and he says “terror” instead of “terrors”. If that was intentional, I loved it.

    I’m sure it was intentional. Stannis is a religious skeptic, who goes along with Melisandre only because he believes a status as a religion’s messiah furthers his chances in the game and strengthens the loyalty of his subjects, many of whom have converted to R’hllorism.

  565. if it please
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Jeda,

    I’ve seen episode 2, and yes the scene is there and it’s pretty damn great.

  566. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Late to the parley, but I thought that was a very good opening episode. I don’t think I get the criticism I’ve seen from some viewers that nothing happened, although I suppose what did happen was mostly setup for things that are going to pay off in the next couple of episodes, so to a non-book reader it might have been a bit confusing, I guess. But there were so many great scenes and good work from the actors that I think that’s probably just a quibble. The whole end sequence was brutal and heartbreaking – cannot wait for…well, a certain scene I really hope is included in the next episode.

    My favourite bits – Tyrion strutting round like the lord-high-pimp-daddy-in-chief of all Westeros, pwning first Joffrey, then the small council, then Cersei personally (whistling the theme tune as he sauntered into the council chamber!). Dinklage and Headey played that scene so well, I thought. I’ll join in the chorus of praise for Jack Gleeson too – he hit his stride somewhere in the last half of season one and just continues to grow and grow into the part.

    Best performance of the night, thought, Dillane as Stannis, especially the letter-writing scene. Just inhabiting the character – I hope that puts the doubters to rest. I can’t really comment intelligently on Melisandre, because I came to the realisation just as poor old Cressen was leaving this mortal coil that I’m quite possibly in love with Carice van Houten. And her wig too. ;D

  567. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    Again different perspectives as I found CVH’s voice very low and sultry.

    I think she’s perfect but to each their own.

  568. Winkman
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Just rewatching the episode…did anyone else spot King Robert’s Warhammer from Valyrian Steel as they announce Sir Dontos!?

  569. Lex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Winkman:
    Just rewatching the episode…did anyone else spot King Robert’s Warhammer from Valyrian Steel as they announce Sir Dontos!?

    I thought it looked the same, but wasn’t totally sure.

    I also liked hearing the name of Lothor Brune (who was carrying that hammer) because it reminds me of the books. I always like hearing various names from the books. For example, I think this was also the first time we actually heard the name Flea Bottom? Awesome.

  570. berndlmeister
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    jubs,

    Maybe I’m just biased against Cat. It isn’t as if Cat has experience at being a strategist or diplomat … in the books, Robb has the Black Fish, so why leave the young ones in Winterfell without their Mom? I just never got it.

    Here, on HBO, she’s on her way home, bumps into her son, offers diplomacy with a house under the Tullys. You would think at that point that she’d head for Winterfell to help the youngest ones manage the entire northern region. Never know what may happen up there ;)

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