Recap

Recap round-up: “The North Remembers”

Here are the notable recaps and reviews of episode 11, the season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones:

Book Readers
James Hibberd – EW
Jace Lacob – Televisionary
James Poniewozik – Time
Mo Ryan – The Huffington Post
Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club
Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone
Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings
Elio Garcia Jr. – Westeros.org

New Viewers
Larry Williams – OtakuASSEMBLE
Alan Sepinwall – Hitfix
David Sims – A.V. Club
Christina Dowling – E! Online
John Kubicek – Buddy TV
Jenifer Braun – The NJ Star-Ledger
Scott Meslow – The Atlantic
Andy Greenwald – Grantland

HBO also provides regular recap and “Inside the Episode” videos every week:

Youtube link for the HBO Recap of “The North Remembers”

Youtube link for Inside the Episode: The North Remembers

52 Comments

  • Great episode. Watching Larry’s review, my only concern is that more people might be confused as to what exactly went down on Dragonstone.

  • Arthur,

    The regular cable ratings for Sunday come out on Tuesday but i expect a press release sometime later today from HBO.

  • Great job to Larry. Glad to see he understands why his reviews are popular and he is trying to avoid too much information to avoid spoilers. It’s sad that he was spoiled on one future event and I hope within another few episodes he quits mentioning it and goes back to just enjoying the show.

    I’m most interested to see how his views on Sansa change. His take on her is about the same at this point in the story as mine was when reading the books. I just could care less and it was a grind to read her chapters. But by the end of book 2 Sansa went from a character I loathed into one I was at least interested in again. Now she is one of my favorites. If Larry starts to find her interesting enough to at least talk about by the end of the season, that will be a big win IMO.

  • Larry is back, though I’m surprised he’s very dissapointed in the direwolf-change.

    Love his Northern Hill-Billy description of Craster.

  • Here is an interesting article about how ratings work for subscription channels (like HBO) vs regular cable channels.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/03/game_of_thrones_how_hbo_and_showtime_make_money_despite_low_ratings_.html

    So basically as long as GoTs gets a decent amount of viewers watching it and it continues to be a topic of interest from the general public, HBO will keep renewing it for more seasons.

    That being said, I am pretty confident we will see GoTs for many years to come…

  • She was one of my favorites as well,

    up until several days ago, Star-Ledger still had not known who was going to do the recaps. Glad Jenifer is back.

    Eleanor:
    I have missed the reviewers! Especially Jenifer Braun. She’s my favourite.

  • Loved the new episode.

    I think they really stepped up their game in terms of production quality, writing, everything really. Maybe its the “Christmas Morning” effect, but I think this might have been the best episode they’ve put together.

  • Don’t like what they did with the Petyr/Cersei scene. The littlefinger from the books would’ve never been that stupid and say those things. A+ to the rest of the episode though.

  • Loved the part with Cersei and LF. That was a perfect demonstration of how bullshit the line “knowledge is power” is… until someone with real power comes along and separates your knowledgeable little brain from your body.

  • Blatz:
    Don’t like what they did with the Petyr/Cersei scene. The littlefinger from the books would’ve never been that stupid and say those things.

    I thought it was perfect, actually. As smart as Littlefinger is, how could he ever predict all the batshit crazy stuff that Cersei might do?

  • I am constantly amazed at the number of posters who reference the book in comment areas that specifically say “don’t reference the book”.

  • I don’t think James Hibberd at EW understands that dire wolves aren’t the same thing as regular wolves. He thinks that the enlarged wolf just looks out of place.

    The non-reader reviews were great! Sepinwall being disappointed Hodor didn’t have any lines made my day. “Hodor!”

    It looks like many reviewers are starting to give serious notice to the outstanding job Jack Gleeson is doing as the utterly despicable Joffrey. He may be in the running for a Best Supporting this year, if he keeps getting this much notice. Good for him! I’m still cheering for Maisie though.

  • Langkard,

    I KNOW! It churns my butter to hear that the direwolf is too big. He HAS to be huge in order to leap over horse, sword and armor and take out entire troops. I don’t want reality in my fantasy. I wonder if the dragons are going to breathe too much fire?!

    Wait till the dragons grow up.. I expect those to be crazy big.. as they should be.

  • Mimsy,

    I could be wrong but I remember hearing how they were saying the Direwolves are going to be growing bigger throughout this season…

  • Blatz: Don’t like what they did with the Petyr/Cersei scene. The littlefinger from the books would’ve never been that stupid and say those things. A+ to the rest of the episode though.

    It’s been pretty clear since last year that this isn’t exactly the Littlefinger from the books.

    I saw his little taunt/threat as being similar to some of the verbal games he played with Varys, where they’d throw this stuff out there just to make it clear to each other that they knew things and were not to be messed with. But Cersei wasn’t biting, which may come back to bite her in the ass.

  • Arthur,

    The critics are gonna love that. =) Would it be too weird if the direwolves were horse sized and thicker.. well.. fluffier? In my head that’s cool, but I wonder how it will translate on screen. Well, whatever happens, I’m loving these CGI’d wolves and I think they look fantastic!

  • Varamyr Fourskins: Loved the part with Cersei and LF. That was a perfect demonstration of how bullshit the line “knowledge is power” is… until someone with real power comes along and separates your knowledgeable little brain from your body.

    Is it bullshit though? I think he now realizes Cersei’s lack of subtlety and won’t try that again, but it’s who comes out ahead in the long run that matters, as long as you can keep your head in the meantime.

  • Mimsy,

    I think they said “pony sized”. Again, with all the interviews and things I’ve been reading over the months maybe that’s just my wishful thinking but I swear I read something about the Direwolves growing through this season until they reach “pony size” stature…

  • Larry, I know you occasionally read this site, so I’m going to give you some free advice from an art framer:

    Haul yer ass down to Michaels or Jo-Ann or some other decent frame shop and get that poster properly taken care of. The plexiglas in that cheapie frame is flat against the poster; it will stick to the paint pen autographs (if it hasn’t already) and totally ruin things.

    And for God’s sake, when you get it properly framed, don’t let them dry-mount it.

    You’re welcome!

  • Mimsy:
    Langkard,

    It churns my butter to hear that the direwolf is too big.He HAS to be huge to […]. I don’t want reality in my fantasy.

    Ironically, paleontology actually backs you up. The now-extinct real direwolves were in fact some 25% more massive than their still-extant grey wolf cousins.

    By comparison, direwolves’ teeth, jaws and associated muscles were much stronger. Their thick bony skulls offered protection against kicks from large prey animals and featured a pronounced crest to anchor those muscles. That left less room for the brain, though, so perhaps direwolves hunted in smaller and less co-ordinated packs than their more gracile cousins. That was an evolutionary advantage when there was plenty of relatively slow but massive prey around, e.g. mammooths. They presumably targeted the lower rear limbs and then brought their prey to its knees as it succumbed to the pain and slowly bled out. As the glaciers receded right across the North American continent, the climate favored smaller, fleet-footed prey and predators employing slightly different hunting strategies.

    Bottom line: yes, the pleistocene direwolves were indeed very large, ferocious beasts. Had there been any domesticated ones in medieval Europe, they would probably have been very effective against heavily armored war horses. No high jumps, though. Any knight who fell off his horse was anyhow an easy mark for the poor bloody infantry.

    Perhaps GRRM didn’t know or care about any of this science, the first book of the series was written back in the 90s after all. All we can say for sure is that D&D did not try to recreate actual direwolves in the CGI animations. Also, using live dogs in in season 1 and then changing their cranial features in season 2 would have been tricky to pull off. From a TV production perspective, it makes sense that they would choose to invest in believable fur, motion and compositing for scaled-up grey wolves instead.

    H8ters are simply going to have to suspend their disbelief. It’s a fantasy show.

  • Varamyr Fourskins:
    Loved the part with Cersei and LF. That was a perfect demonstration of how bullshit the line “knowledge is power” is… until someone with real power comes along and separates your knowledgeable little brain from your body.

    Actually knowledge *is* power, but it only trumps *power* power if you’re gifted enough in subtly scheming for the long run without anyone taking note … something book!LF is (at least for now), but I suppose HBO thinks it has to spoonfeed its viewers his plans and plottings by increasingly having him gloat all the time. Disappointing.

    And concerning Larry’s vid: I hardly followed any recaps but WiC.net’s last season, so I essentially ignored his being a fandom phenomenon for all but the hilarious live reaction to Ned’s beheading. I agree he’s fun to listen to, but his (doubly ignorant) dissing of the dire wolves and not getting Melisandre’s god at all had me facepalm for minutes on end — in fact in both cases it had developed into repeatedly headdesking by the end.

    Hibberd’s were more enjoyable last season as well, but I don’t want to pass final judgment on anyone after a single episode.

  • James Hibberd’s reviews always make me chuckle. He’s a funny guy and I love how long his reviews are (5 pages).

    I was happiest with Alan Sepinwall’s review, because it is the one I agree most with. The others tend to nitpick or worry too much about what could go wrong as the season progresses. Come on, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

    Larry’s videos are always fun to watch. He doesn’t always have the facts right, which is fine, because without books or some point of reference, it’s hard to get all the characters right on first viewing. I laughed at his reaction to Renly’s men (where the f*** did they come from?!) lol. He’s definitely right to be cautious about Theon and the Greyjoys. It sucks that he was spoiled on book 3, but hopefully no more spoilers and seeing it play out (the way and the reason) makes up for the spoiler itself.

  • First post here, so it’s nice to join the discussions. My question is who was the other lord Bran had go before him early on in the episode? I know the first Lord was Lord Tallhart, but the other one. I think Maester Luwin mentioned his name, but I can’t find who it’s supposed to be anywhere.

  • Petter Kristian Vikestad:
    Alan Sepinwall is the only one worth reading in my book.

    I like Scott Meslow at the Atlantic as well.

    I appreciate Larry Williams’s enthusiasm, but he does seem to have a hard time following the story, doesn’t he? I’d hate to hear him trying to make sense of something like The Wire.

  • HowlandKnows:
    First post here, so it’s nice to join the discussions.My question is who was the other lord Bran had go before him early on in the episode?I know the first Lord was Lord Tallhart, but the other one.I think Maester Luwin mentioned his name, but I can’t find who it’s supposed to be anywhere.

    I wondered that as well. I’ve watched it twice now and it still goes by too fast for me to figure out what name Maester Luwin is saying when he introduces the next lord after Talhart. I’m pretty sure it isn’t Bolton, Glover or Umber. Possibly Lord Cerwyn?

  • Myles McNutt is a great read if you want more analysis and less of the scene-by-scene recapping.