Episode 12 – The Night Lands – Early Reactions
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Balon and Theon in "The Night Lands"

The HBO subsidiaries in certain European countries (The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, etc.) have released the second episode of season two a week early on HBO GO. According to reports, they will release every episode this season a week early on HBO GO. I don’t know if that is true or not, I’m hoping it is not. But they’ve definitely released episode 12 early this week, so I am providing a place here for people to talk about it. Please keep all talk of episode 12 confined to this thread until the episode airs on HBO. Thank you!

UPDATE: The reports are untrue. Out of deference to HBO, I’m closing down discussion of this episode until it airs officially. Thanks!


179 Comments

  1. dunne10
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    why are you hoping it is n0t? (first?)

  2. Dan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Well, it is true in my country – HBO GO Poland confirmed that they will be releasing each episode one week early up to the end of the season. Kinda cool, actually. :)

  3. Michael Harper
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Last night I was really excited about this leaking – but that was only because I’d recently seen the Season 2 première and was full of ‘Game of Thrones’ goodness. Now, I would rather wait for each Sunday night to watch it!

  4. LL
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Already seen it ! Very cool (new characters) but if you don’t want spoilers, I’m gonna keep it for myself :) Anyway, I’ll be in front of my TV for the official release !

  5. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    dunne10,

    Piracy will lead to ratings drop. If the episode is available in certain countries, it is available on various pirate sites the same day or the day after.

    IIRC, last season episode 7 was released a week early and there wasn’t a big ratings drop (2.44 mil. for ep. 6 vs 2.4 mil. for ep. 7, according to Wikipedia).

  6. Leucippe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve watched the episode.

    Just off the top of my head the following things.
    We get to see Tyrion vs Janos play out. Loved every second of it. We get another scene between Ross and Littlefinger which I’m not too happy about. Why is she still in this show? We also find out that Joffrey gave the order to kill Robert’s bastard children and not Cersei.

  7. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    watched it: predicting Yara-Gate

  8. Gerda Grace
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Why do they have to do that? It’s like a special screening for certain locations. Anyhoo, the buzz for the early episodes that will be shown will NOT be contained, I guess. I mean, it’s Game of Thrones!

  9. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “Very cool (new characters) but if you don’t want spoilers, I’m gonna keep it for myself :) ”

    Feel free to post spoilers here – this thread is exactly for us who have seen it on HBO Go to discuss it without spoiling it to others.

  10. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Will this have an effect on North american and Western European ratings?(with people downloading the ripped version a week beforehand and skipping the actual showing)

  11. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Releasing it one week early means it is going to get leaked online before HBO has a chance to air which could result in a lot of Thrones fans canceling their HBO subscriptions and just pirating the show. Plus I now have to worry about policing this board very carefully to avoid having people who don’t live in the above countries and/or don’t wish to pirate from being spoiled.

    And, on a more personal level, I would rather not know all the details of an episode before it airs, but as moderator I won’t really have the choice of avoiding this thread and this discussion. So I am going to be 100% spoiled on every episode this season. :(

  12. greymouser
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Well, it’s not cool in the sense that it will probably encourage torrenting in audiences outside of those European countries, resulting in lower ratings when the show actually airs on television, making it less likely for an increased budget for Season 3 (or even the EXISTENCE of a Season 3). It might seem like a good idea for snagging a few extra HBO GO subscribers in Europe, but it won’t help the shows chances in America (where it really needs it).

  13. Gerda Grace
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    TastesLikeTheSea,

    Indeed, it might have.

  14. Daniel Griffin
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I think that this is a poor idea because I believe that this could actually hurt viewing numbers more than help. Only those countries can watch them early (if they have HBO GO), but those episodes will then get uploaded as torrents and many people who are eager for the next episode may download them to view. Having seen them early, a large number of those viewers may not turn in for that episode’s premier and since they did not actually see them on HBO GO those views will not count. If they are going to do it, it should be across the board and only for the first four or five episodes. Just my opinion.

  15. Eleanor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’m glad there isn’t long to go in Arya’s storyline before she stops posing as a boy. While it wasn’t unbelievable that she would fool people – after all, we see what we expect – the shape of breasts was quite visible under the heavy clothing.

  16. purplejilly
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: And, on a more personal level, I would rather not know all the details of an episode before it airs, but as moderator I won’t really have the choice of avoiding this thread and this discussion. So I am going to be 100% spoiled on every episode this season. :(

    Okay, well this might be too much, but maybe you should add a new moderator, someone from those areas, to police the early threads, so you don’t have to be spoiled!

  17. Joffrey
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Overall I think that it was a great episode some of the dialogue was straight from the book. I don’t understand why HBO will intentionally leak the show?

  18. Leucippe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Leucippe:
    I’ve watched the episode.

    Just off the top of my head the following things.
    We get to see Tyrion vs Janos play out. Loved every second of it. We get another scene between Ross and Littlefinger which I’m not too happy about. Why is she still in this show? We also find out that Joffrey gave the order to kill Robert’s bastard children and not Cersei.

    And I forgot, but a friend just reminded me about STANNIS in this episode:

    He no longer has a daughter. Mel says his wife has only given him still borns and death. I wonder how that’s going to play out in the later books.

  19. the waif
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    some1 plz upload it….;)

  20. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I think HBO knows what they’re doing. Maybe even more piracy might actually help spread the buzz about the show and boost the ratings instead of diminishing them?

  21. purplejilly
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Eleanor,
    They might have to start binding her, like they did to Judy Garland for the wizard of oz – which actually they could incorporate into the storyline, and show Arya binding herself, to try and minimize her curves.

    And on another note, everything I’ve seen so far about Ep. 12 is positive, meaning it will wash away the negativity I feel towards Ep. 11 and it’s ‘clip show’ feeling.. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  22. Albarion
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Very cool episode indeed!

    - Pyke looks AWESOME! + Balon Greyjoy is very much like I’ve imagined him, all the iron islands-parts in this episode were really cool imo
    - Tyrion vs. Janos Slynt -> just as I’ve imagined that scene when reading the book
    - actually it is confirmed now that they have cut out Shireen … when Melisandre says to Stannis that his wife only had still born kids, a bit sad but that is one change which wont have big impact I guess
    - another new “brothel-ros-scene” .. showing some more of Littlefinger’s motivation, but for me personally that was not needed and the time could have been spent better elsewhere
    - the scene with Gendry and Arya also worked very well for me, another scene that seemed to have been copy-pasted from my brain when I was reading it in the book
    - the ending of the episode .. WTF :) that was quite a change to the book; I guess that many die hard-fans will go on the barricades because of that, for the TV series at least it was an awesome change, I wonder how it will work out in the next episodes

    overall I am VERY pleased with season 2 so far, can’t wait for the next episode! :)

  23. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    purplejilly, yeah, I may end up doing that. It’s not going to be a problem for the next few weeks, since I have the screeners, but after that I may need to add someone.

    Just a reminder, you don’t need to use spoiler tags to discuss the episode here.

  24. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    It’s been a while since I read the book, but I don’t recall Bronn being made a commander of the City Watch, so here’s another change.

  25. Daniel Griffin
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Leucippe,

    Ros is still in the show for one reason that I believe, they want people to see her and get used to her so it is even more effective when they beat the stuffing out of her thinking that she is Tyrion’s ‘whore’ from the camp.

  26. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: yeah, I may end up doing that. It’s not going to be a problem for the next few weeks, since I have the screeners, but after that I may need to add someone.

    I happen to be from Poland and can help if needed.

  27. Grimnir
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    So much cutting – it is sad but inevitable.
    Shireen and if you look at the viewer’s guide it seems that Willas (who mayhaps may never appear himself in the books) and Garlan are also goners.

    So Shagga and the Gratjon weren’t cast this season? Miss their oneliners already…

  28. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Oh cool. I posted my general reaction on another thread under a spoiler tag, I’ll just copy/paste it here.

    I found ep 12 to be 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 by any means – there were some major drawbacks which I won’t go into unless the convo calls for it – 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.

  29. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I’m weirdly disappointed to hear this. I had planned to hold out until Sunday for Episode 2, but hearing so many people talking about what happened in the episode made it impossible to wait and I ended up watching it yesterday. I kind of figured it would be a one-off thing, but if it’s every week…

    As for the episode, I thought it was pretty great – better than the premiere. I really loved the scenes on Pyke, in particular, and though I’m not sure how I feel about the Stannis/Mel sex scene and the decision to make Shireen not exist, the general portrayal of Stannis in that scene was really perfect to me – sort of awkward with a lot of anger bubbling just below the surface. The Arya and Gendry interactions also really worked for me. Though I’m sad they killed Rakharo (I assume, because my file didn’t have subtitles for the Dothraki and they didn’t actually show his face. But Irri seemed pretty upset and I could have sworn I picked out his name from the dialogue.) Better paced than the first one, I thought, with what felt like better scenes, though it is definitely still clear just how much ground they have to cover in each episode. Seeing as some major characters – Joffrey, Sansa, Robb, Catelyn – weren’t in it at all, which is a good thing to me, because I was starting to worry they’d try to jam everyone into each episode.

  30. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Great. Now I can finally talk about all the things I wanted to write in the review and couldn’t because of spoilers :)

    I love series – Davos much much more then the book – Davos. He really comes across as a self-made man who is proud of what he has achieved but he never forgot where he came from and he doesn’t want to place any merit in what he achieved in life in some supernatural force. He isn’t stupid – he’ll say the right words in “religious” situations but he lives by his own code.
    And what about Saladhor Saan? How awesome was he in that brief scene? I loved him and I can’t wait to see more of him and Jaquen Hagar. They both had only one short scene but they left a great impression on me.
    Unfortunatly, I can’t say the same for Asha. I’ll reserve the judgement about the actress until I see more of her but I loved that scene very much in the books and here it just fell flat. No axe-husband and dagger-baby either, only Theon realizing he went for second base with his own sister…

    The last scene with Craster’s sons was amazing to watch in cinema – when Jon is running through the woods and you hear the crackling noises from the prologue around – really sent the chills up my spine. It is a change from the books but viewers needed a reminder about the White Walkers, especially to help work out the motivation of Wildling Army we hard about in first episode. I really wonder how they’ll resolve the cliffhanger – that was the Kraster who knocked Jon out, right?

    Also, Tyrion is stealing every scene he is in and I just love how the Pyke looks like.

  31. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Grimnir: So Shagga and the Gratjon weren’t cast this season? Miss their oneliners already…

    As much as I liked Shagga as a character in the books, he isn’t really needed much in the series beyond season 1. In most cases he can easily be replaced by Bronn.

  32. Gerda Grace
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Albarion:
    Very cool episode indeed!

    - Pyke looks AWESOME! + Balon Greyjoy is very much how I’ve imagined him, all the iron islands-parts in this episode were really cool imo
    - Tyrion vs. Janos Slynt -> just as I’ve imagined that scene when reading the book
    - actually it is confirmed now that they have cut out Shireen … when Melisandre says to Stannis that his wife only had stillborn kids, a bit sad but that is one change which wont havebig impact I guess
    - another new “brothel-ros-scene” .. showing some more of Littlefinger’s motivation, but for me personally that was not needed and the time could have been spent better elsewhere
    - the scene with Gendry and Arya also worked very well for me, another scene that seemed to have been copy-pasted from my brain when I was reading it in the book
    - the ending of the episode .. WTF :) that was quite a change to the book; I guess that many die hard-fans will go on the barricades because of that, for the TV series at least it was an awesome change, I wonder how it will work out in the next episodes

    overall I am VERY pleased with season 2 so far, can’t wait for the next episode! :)

    Same observations here. That ‘S’ part I didn’t expect it. I thought I’d seen her in episode 1 beside Stannis.

    That ending is whoah, wait a minute, this is too much….or is it?

  33. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    J: Though I’m sad they killed Rakharo (I assume, because my file didn’t have subtitles for the Dothraki and they didn’t actually show his face. But Irri seemed pretty upset and I could have sworn I picked out his name from the dialogue.)

    Yeah, it was Rakharo’s head in the bag. The Dothraki dialogue basically consisted of Irri being upset that they didn’t burn his body and that his soul would not be able to travel to the night lands with his ancestors and Dany saying they will give him the proper Dothraki funeral.

  34. Katie
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Aren’t the different HBO subsidiaries communicating with each other? How does it benefit the network as a whole to release whole episodes early over an entire season, in only one region of the world (and not the one in which the company is based?)

    I’ll be honest, I was thinking of downloading it. That was before I realized that this is going to be a season long thing that they’re doing. If the show’s budget is based on how many subscriptions it draws to the network, and anyone can get access to the season without ordering HBO, what happens to the future of the series? : I don’t like this at all.

  35. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I haven’t seen the episode, but I fear spoilers not.

    As to Shireen-gate, from what I saw on Tumblr (a gif capture of the Stannis-Mel discussion in question) she seems to say specifically that Stannis’ wife hadn’t given him any sons, then went on to say that she had given him only stillborns, only death. Perhaps she was talking only about stillborn sons?

  36. Matthijs Idema
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    It is true in The Netherlands to, HBO NL confirmed this to me

  37. Eleanor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Dee: 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.

    Yep. More than one person at westeros have complained that Dany’s horse didn’t die at the beginning of CoK, one person using the phrase “can’t stomach it”. I feel a bit sad for them that the identity of the horse she rides can make them dislike an episode.

  38. Daniel Fox
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It was leaked across newsgroups last night. The quality is a bit shoddy, but definitely watchable.

    You can tell D&D has mastered the craft of jumping between characters. It’s very, very well put together.

  39. Gerda Grace
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Yeah, it was Rakharo’s head in the bag. The Dothraki dialogue basically consisted of Irri being upset that they didn’t burn his body and that his soul would not be able to travel to the night lands with his ancestors and Dany saying they will give him the proper Dothraki funeral.

    Oh, was that it? And why does it have to be Rakharo?

  40. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    I suppose that’s possible, but between them removing her from the Family Tree and that dialogue, I don’t think it’s likely. I think one of them would have mentioned Shireen if she still existed.

  41. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    So, here’s my question: Does Shireen and as far as I can tell Patchface being cut from the show mean that they play no major role in the next 2 books?

    I’m hoping that’s exactly what it means.

  42. Graham
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Seen the first 4 now, and they just keep getting progressively better. Keep in mind this is also based on the fact I found the first one pretty awesome.

    Agree that the Ros scene’s just seem overdone, just unnecessary and doesn’t seem to forward any real plot lines as opposed to hers.

  43. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Gerda Grace,

    The actor went to do World War Z. I don’t know how big his role is in this film or whom he will be playing (because it looks like this movie will have 2 things in common with the book – a premise of zombie apocalypse and the title), but I guess it was big enough to make him unavailable for the GoT S2 shoot …
    Anyway, all of Dany bloodriders are interchangeable anyway.

  44. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I thought it was a mistake by a HBO subsidiary when I heard it on twitter but if it was planned I think it could have a significance in USA due to piracy.

    And of course, Croatia is the only country in HBO Adria coverage region that doesn’t have HBO Go for some reason…

  45. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    I was thinking about the same thing and I came to the conclusion – maybe, maybe not. I’m going to guess no on Patchface, outside of continuing to make creepy predictions, but if Shireen’s greyscale is going to end up being important, I guess they could introduce another character with it at some point in the later seasons.

  46. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Eleanor: Yep. More than one person at westeros have complained that Dany’s horse didn’t die at the beginning of CoK, one person using the phrase “can’t stomach it”. I feel a bit sad for them that the identity of the horse she rides can make them dislike an episode.

    Really? Well, if a dead horse caused them pain, they’re going to need pain killers to get through ep2. lol

    ETA:

    Graham:

    Agree that the Ros scene’s just seem overdone, just unnecessary and doesn’t seem to forward any real plot lines as opposed to hers.

    The worst thing about the Ros scene was her terrible acting. She is so unconvincing. You can see her straining and contorting to portray emotion on her face. It just didn’t work for me at all. I just didn’t buy her pain at all.

  47. LL
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Paweł Ausir Dembowski,

    It’s for the moderator who doesn’t want to be spoiled, apparently, what I totally understand ;) I can wait until next sunday to talk about it. (Well, I’ve just seen all yours posts… Too late !)

  48. RamsaySnow
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Great episode. In my subjective opinion it may be the best yet. There’s is really so much to be impressed.

    Tyrion-Cersei exchange about their mother was a real memorable moment, there’s Tyrion-Slynt, Arya’s arc was fantastic, I liked very much the change they brought regarding Arya (Yoren’s exchange which the Gold Cloak, discussion of battle definition) and Theon’s story was really wow, the scene with Balon (and then Yara) was awesome. I didn’t like the change at the end to Jon Snow story, but I’m prepared to see how they think to wrap it up at the end, at first glance (without knowing how that cliffhanger ends) is hard to see why was this change to the book needed or better – it adds consequences I’m not sure how they’ll handle later on.

    I’m not sure if they really cut out Shireen, Melisandre specifically talks about Stannis’ wife giving him no sons, not no children. Shireen may still be there somewhere in the cellar with that freak Patchface.

    I never liked Ros scenes, but people complaining about her are really overboard. This particular Ros scene was very good, a good addition, it showed us LF wicked personality behind his nice and friendly smile. I enjoyed it. I bet if it would be played by some xy whore and not Ros, people would like this addition and not complain about it. I’m not saying we need more Ros scenes, but that’s the scene that really makes sense, and improves the (TV) story.

  49. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think moderators read the text under the spoiler tags too anyway.

  50. Magnus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I liked Yara a lot. Hopefully she will get to talk about the axe husband in a later episode. She will be in more than one episode, right?

  51. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    LL, I appreciate your discretion, but I’ve seen the episode already, so you can’t spoil me on this one. :)

  52. Syndrome
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Nice episode but I prefer a bit more action.

    There was only one scene with Daenerys :(

    I am looking forward to see that city which gates we all have seen season 2 trailer,

  53. William 1000
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The premium networks are in the business of selling subscriptions. Their goal is to satisfy subscribers and to entice nonsubscribers to sign up. They keep their customers happy by allowing them to watch original TV series, exclusive movies, and sports programming whenever they want to—it doesn’t make a lick of difference to HBO if subscribers watch Game of Thrones the first time it airs or six days later. That’s why they repeat their flagship Sunday night shows so frequently and make them available to subscribers on-demand, online, or through services like HBO Go

    On the networks and basic cable, shows are a delivery vehicle for advertising—and if a program doesn’t attract a big enough audience for those ads, the consequences are clear: It’s pulled from the schedule, and a new show is dropped into the time slot

    The ratings that premium channels pay most attention to are the weekly figures that include replays as well as DVR and on-demand viewing. Although the first Sunday night screenings pulled in an average of just 2.5 million viewers during the first season, Game of Thrones’ average gross audience was 9.3 million viewers per episode. For the premium networks, what matters is that viewers are passionate enough to keep their subscriptions active.

  54. Paul
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    If the head honchos at HBO don’t realize that this is going to lead to massive torrenting, and a HUGE drop in ratings, they should all be fired.

  55. Steve
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Under the sea, Patchface will be back with an seaweed crown, I know, I know, oh oh oh.

  56. Josh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    Releasing it one week early means it is going to get leaked online before HBO has a chance to air which could result in a lot of Thrones fans canceling their HBO subscriptions and just pirating the show. Plus I now have to worry about policing this board very carefully to avoid having people who don’t live in the above countries and/or don’t wish to pirate from being spoiled.

    And, on a more personal level, I would rather not know all the details of an episode before it airs, but as moderator I won’t really have the choice of avoiding this thread and this discussion. So I am going to be 100% spoiled on every episode this season. :(

    Good points…I wonder if HBO will begin to notice that once all the episodes start getting leaked a week early. I just don’t think it makes good business sense.

  57. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    J,

    Perhaps, but why? It would be easier to throw in a line referencing her now as a basis for seeing her in the future. We don’t even have to see her this season, they just have to let us know that he has a daughter.

    It’s not 100% certain, but by Mel’s dialogue, I’m 90% sure that Shireen’s been cut. And to come up with an entirely new character to take up her role in the future just seems like too much trouble.

  58. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Paul: If the head honchos at HBO don’t realize that this is going to lead to massive torrenting, and a HUGE drop in ratings, they should all be fired.

    Massive torrenting? Of course. But I wouldn’t be so certain that it will necessarily lead to a huge drop in ratings. After all, lots of people buy DVDs of their favorite shows as well, even though they’re all torrentable.

    In case of Battlestar Galactica, it being shown first in the UK and only then in the US, and the widespread piracy that resulted, actually helped boost the ratings thanks to word of mouth:

    http://www.mindjack.com/feature/piracy051305.html

  59. FamilyDutyHonor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Leucippe,

    Agreed. I have prevented myself from jumping on the “down with Ros” faction within us all, but at this point, it is somewhat ridiculous that she is getting so much screen time in this show. There are so many other characters who could have more time without her. It really is starting to not make any sense.

  60. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Oh, and Dolorous Edd also cracked me up.

  61. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    argh. why aren’t my comments posting? am i banned or something?

    ah. well this one posted so i will just edit it … the ratings are out:

    3.86M

    top viewed show from Sunday cable only but not as high as many were hoping.

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/04/03/sunday-cable-ratingsgame-of-thrones-returns-higher-khloe-lamar-the-killing-mad-menarmy-wives-more/127202/

  62. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Paul: If the head honchos at HBO don’t realize that this is going to lead to massive torrenting, and a HUGE drop in ratings, they should all be fired.

    Massive torrenting? Yes. But not necessarily a huge drop in ratings. You should read about how Battlestar Galactica being shown in the UK first and the piracy that ensued actually helped boost the ratings for the show in the US when it aired some time later, thanks to the word of mouth advertising it got. And lots of people not only watch shows on TV but also buy DVDs even long after the shows are available on torrent sites. I wouldn’t really worry that much about it.

  63. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Consider this: HBO is relatively new to Europe.
    Now calculate how many inhabitants Holland and Poland and what was that? Slovenia have?
    I believe a total of about 55 Million people.
    But how many of those have HBO?
    And how many of those have HBO GO?
    In Europe, PayTV is not as successful as in the US.
    I’m sure only die hards will actually pirate the show and watch it in lower quality.
    Most people are not even aware of such ongoings and will just stick to watching Game of Thrones as it comes.
    And as far as I can see it, the die fans who might download torrents, will still buy the BluRay.

  64. Arthur
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Why would HBO release episodes early like that? Wont that hurt the ratings if people find a way to pirate them or watch them early on their PC and not tune in on HBO at 9pm Sunday nights?

    Makes no sense, unless HBO doesn’t care because they already know they got a winner and they just care about promoting HBO Go…

  65. Hello and Goodbye
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Dee:
    J,

    Perhaps, but why? It would be easier to throw in a line referencing her now as a basis for seeing her in the future. We don’t even have to see her this season, they just have to let us know that he has a daughter.

    It’s not 100% certain, but by Mel’s dialogue, I’m 90% sure that Shireen’s been cut. And to come up with an entirelynew character to take up her role in the future just seems like too much trouble.

    There was also a reference to Selyse being “sickly and weak”, that would leave them a way to merge her role and Shireens. If greyscale and Patchface will have a relevance later on they could introduce them then with Selyse suffering from greyscale and Patchface as her main companion in the world since Stannis is off to conquer his throne.

  66. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    FamilyDutyHonor,

    I guess the producers intend to condense every named whore role with lines into Ros. Doesn’t bother me., didn’t bother me last season either.
    At least Esme Bianco gets to act with her clothes on this time :)

  67. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?, sorry about that. Our spam filter didn’t like the TVbytheNumbers link for some reason. You aren’t banned!

  68. Katie
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Paweł Ausir Dembowski,

    Ratings, maybe not. But it’s a huge risk to take, in terms of losing subscriptions. A lot of people will be thrilled to death that they don’t have to pay for HBO to get the show. Not only will they be able to watch it, but they’ll be able to watch it a week earlier than the paid subscribers. It’s a pretty sweet deal, unfortunately. :\

    This series is so expensive, that it needs to be an enormous draw to the network in order to make it worthwhile. Are they still going to be throwing money at it, if people are able to get the show elsewhere?

  69. JonHo
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Yara is amazing!

    Fabulous the way she humiliated Theon, hope to see much more of her.

  70. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Arthur: Makes no sense, unless HBO doesn’t care because they already know they got a winner and they just care about promoting HBO Go…

    As a cable network, they are not as concerned with ratings as other networks, as they do not depend on advertisers. And globally, they could have gone to the conclusion that sacrificing some of the ratings for more HBO Go subscriptions in Europe is a good deal.

  71. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I have to add that Balon Greyjoy does NOT disappoint. Patrick Malahide is as close to perfection in that role as can possibly be hoped for. Pyke looks breathtaking, and Yara has plenty of the swagger and authority requisite for the character.
    I for one think the Greyjoy arc has the makings of being the highlight of this season.

  72. Robbet
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Another amazing episode! But I have a question: Shireen does not exist in the tv series? It seems that she is completely off the series, because Mel tells that Selyse did not give birth to any living son….
    I loved the acting from the new actors, Balon and Asha (she will always be Asha to me! :P) and Salladhor Saan.
    Rakharo, why??! I loved the paintings on the horse.
    Ghost looked pretty real to me, CGI seems to be good.
    I liked the fact that Cersei seems to be loosing control and panic a bit, showing another side of her. Tyrion is perfectly played by Peter Dinklage, I really enjoy the fact that he is able to make jokes even when the times are serious. Janos Slynt and Bronn are also portrayed by fine actors.
    More of Arya! Finally. Maisie continues to be the perfect Arya, no doubt. She is amazing. The actor playing Jaqen also seems a good one, yet there wasn’t much time on camera.
    For last, Ros. I believe they are trying to give her a more “human” side, and they are kind of acomplishing their objective. I sort of felt pitty for her…
    .

    Nice episode, really well done.

  73. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    What is the gain for HBO by having people subscribe for HBO Go?
    Not a cynical question, just a technical/economical one.
    Is it just an extra service for customer happiness? For client-binding?

  74. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Well, Mel says she didn’t give him SONS.

    Robbet: : Shireen does not exist in the tv series? It seems that she is completely off the series, because Mel tells that Selyse did not give birth to any living son….
    I loved the acting from the new actors, Balon and Asha (she will always be Asha to me! :P) and Salladhor Saan.
    Rakharo, why??! I loved the paintings on the horse.
    Ghost looked pretty real to me, CGI seems to be good.
    I liked the fact that Cersei seems to be loosing control and panic a bit, showing another side of her. Tyrion is perfectly played by Peter Dinklage, I really enjoy the fact that he is able to make jokes even when the times are serious. Janos Slynt and Bronn are also portrayed by fine actors.
    More of Arya! Finally. Maisie continues to be the perfect Arya, no doubt. She is amazing. The actor playing Jaqen also seems a good one, yet there wasn’t much time on camera.
    For last, Ros. I believe they are trying to give her a more “human” side, and they are kind of acomplishing their objective. I sort of felt pitty for her….

  75. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Katie: Ratings, maybe not. But it’s a huge risk to take, in terms of losing subscriptions. A lot of people will be thrilled to death that they don’t have to pay for HBO to get the show. Not only will they be able to watch it, but they’ll be able to watch it a week earlier than the paid subscribers. It’s a pretty sweet deal, unfortunately. :\

    This series is so expensive, that it needs to be an enormous draw to the network in order to make it worthwhile. Are they still going to be throwing money at it, if people are able to get the show elsewhere?

    I think it’s clear by now that Game of Thrones is not under threat of cancellation. The ratings and number of subscribers are going to be high regardless of piracy. This is likely an experiment on HBO’s part, to see whether this will help them sell more subscriptions in Europe. But I think it’s being done largely because the show is successful enough that ratings in the US being high are already a safe bet, regardless of piracy. If this doesn’t work out, they won’t repeat this, but I think the show is pretty safe either way.

  76. greymouser
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The more I think about the whole issue of having episodes a week early in only certain parts of the world, the more concerned I get. I’m almost wondering if HBO wants an excuse to get rid of Game of Thrones, perhaps fearing the escalating costs of production and other complications in potential future seasons. This action will almost certainly cost them viewers and subscriptions in the U.S., which should be their primary target audience and market. The ratings will decline like crazy, and the show will soon be gone…and maybe that’s what HBO wants. I honestly can’t think of any rational reason for them to do this, so the whole crazy conspiracy theory is the only thing that makes sense to me right now. Sad…I really liked this show…

  77. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Consider all the piracy the LOSE in Europe now by new HBO subscribers THERE. :D

  78. Hilda
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I will admit I don’t know how this downloading of pirated stuff works other than it is bad quality stuff. Yes,I know before I get berated you can find the good quality stuff,but you have to want to look for the goods and I honestly don’t.

    I have been spoiled by good quality HD and will give up something else gladly in place of it. So my HBO subscription is going no where!
    That being said…I can’t understand those people who want to download the crappy quality a week early instead of just waiting for the actual episode to air and give the show all the needed numbers it can get.
    Anything we do good for this show only is rewarding us and the show,production ect!

    HBO GO I realize is providing this choice…but let me just say I tried to watch the premiere episode at work the other night and it sucked so much ass! Unless you have a IPAD or a computer with amazing streaming or 4G connection it is worthless!
    I came home and watched it on my dvr and then again later when it aired on HBO again last night.
    Just my 2 cents.

  79. JonHo
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Robbet:
    Another amazing episode! But I have a question: Shireen does not exist in the tv series? It seems that she is completely off the series, because Mel tells that Selyse did not give birth to any living son….
    I loved the acting from the new actors, Balon and Asha (she will always be Asha to me! :P) and Salladhor Saan.
    Rakharo, why??! I loved the paintings on the horse.
    Ghost looked pretty real to me, CGI seems to be good.
    I liked the fact that Cersei seems to be loosing control and panic a bit, showing another side of her. Tyrion is perfectly played by Peter Dinklage, I really enjoy the fact that he is able to make jokes even when the times are serious. Janos Slynt and Bronn are also portrayed by fine actors.
    More of Arya! Finally. Maisie continues to be the perfect Arya, no doubt. She is amazing. The actor playing Jaqen also seems a good one, yet there wasn’t much time on camera.
    For last, Ros. I believe they are trying to give her a more “human” side, and they are kind of acomplishing their objective. I sort of felt pitty for her…
    .

    Nice episode, really well done.

    Yeah I guess Shireen is out of the picture, since Mel said that Selyse has only birthed stillborn children.

    Stupid decision tbh.

  80. Pablo Jainaga
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Katie,

    Well, releasing the episodes one week in advance is irrelevant to the fact of people subscribing or not. Same argument fits for USA, as you can torrent any episode the day after it airs. I don’t see your point.

  81. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Exactly. I don’t see people canceling an HBO subscription which grants them amazing TV experience year round, every day, only because they might watch one single show a week earlier for exactly 3 months.
    And in bad quality, and committing fraud.
    They’d have to start torrenting true blood and what not, watch sport events on streams and so forth.

    <

  82. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    greymouser: The more I think about the whole issue of having episodes a week early in only certain parts of the world, the more concerned I get. I’m almost wondering if HBO wants an excuse to get rid of Game of Thrones, perhaps fearing the escalating costs of production and other complications in potential future seasons. This action will almost certainly cost them viewers and subscriptions in the U.S., which should be their primary target audience and market. The ratings will decline like crazy, and the show will soon be gone…and maybe that’s what HBO wants. I honestly can’t think of any rational reason for them to do this, so the whole crazy conspiracy theory is the only thing that makes sense to me right now. Sad…I really liked this show…

    I wouldn’t say the US should be their primary target audience and market. Sure, it is important, but the show is also very popular in Europe. And I think you are mistaken – to the contrary, I think HBO is experimenting with this exactly because Game of Thrones is a rather safe bet and is not under threat of cancellation.

  83. Robbet
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    JonHo,

    Yes, I thought Shireen could have an important part in the story, she would be getting more atention. Now I am questioning my theory… But I do have to understand they don’t have time to put everyone there… Although they did add more time to Matthos Seaworth. Whatever, it is what it is.

  84. afartherroom
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you for providing this thread for us, WiC! I’m sorry that its existence means that you have to be spoiled when you would rather not be, though. That’s pretty rotten for you. Perhaps if this becomes a regular occurrence, you might find someone who doesn’t mind as much to take over moderation duties on such threads?

    I was going to hold off on this episode until next week, but pain issues were keeping me awake and I really needed something to distract myself until my ‘milk of the poppy’ kicked in, so I gave in and watched it. I thought it was an excellent episode, stronger than #11 IMO. The transitions seemed smoother and more self-assured to me, and there were more light and/or humorous moments to balance out the bleakness — something that I thought the first episode of the season could have used a bit more of, to be honest. The entire episode felt less rushed and frenetic, scenes and characters alike given more time to breathe.

    As for the Ros scene, I personally really appreciated that sequence, in part because one of the things that’s always bothered me about the books is the preponderance of “happy hooker” characters that Martin writes. That’s always seemed like a weird blind spot of his to me, especially given that his work is otherwise usually pretty honest about the grim realities of life for the less privileged members of society. To some extent, I felt as if this scene helped to rectify that oversight, and I thought that it played a pretty neat narrative trick, casting many of the earlier scenes of the series in a new (and harshly cynical) light. It was almost like a wake-up call to the viewer, blackly humorous and sharply pointed, in very much the same vein as the “not what you were expecting?” line from the tournament scene last year.

    Loved the cliffhanger ending, too. It’s fun, as a book-reader, to get to experience some suspense! I’m looking forward to seeing where they’re going with that.

  85. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Robbet: Yes, I thought Shireen could have an important part in the story, she would be getting more atention. Now I am questioning my theory… But I do have to understand they don’t have time to put everyone there… Although they did add more time to Matthos Seaworth. Whatever, it is what it is.

    To kill him off.

  86. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I’d say that the statement by Melisandre was ambiguous enough (might only refer to sons) that while I doubt we’ll see Shireen in this season, she might still be introduced later on.

  87. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Robbet: Although they did add more time to Matthos Seaworth. Whatever, it is what it is.

    I think Mathos Seaworth was expanded so that Davos has someone he can speak his mind to. In the book, we learn a lot about Davos only from his thoughts, without an easy way to show it on screen.

  88. Gerda Grace
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky,

    Thanks for that info. We kind of have this connection with Rakharo from s01 that’s why it bugs me. But the face wasn’t shown, right? He may still be alive :-) nah, who am I kidding?

  89. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Honestly people I don’t think torrenting will affect the subscriptions. One can usually torrent any HBO show in true HD no more than 4 hours after the first airing.

    If Itunes proves anything is that most people prefer to obtain their entertainment legally, if they can. The only people who will torrent early are die hards – or people without legal access to the show at all – who will not be satisfied by a quality compromised webrip of their favourite show, and will most likely want to watch it again once it airs.

    If anything, releasing a week early is a good marketing tool for the fledgeling HBOGO EU.

  90. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    And hardcore fans of the show, if tempted to download, are likely to watch the episode again on TV anyway.

  91. Robbet
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    Poor guy, he won’t be expecting it…

    Paweł Ausir Dembowski,

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. It must be compicated for them, to find ways to surpass the problem the POVs make…

  92. paylor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Ivan Popić: gs.
    And what about Saladhor Saan? How awesome was he in that brief scene? .

      

    Oh, you mean the scene where he wants to rape Cersei? Gross. I don’t care how evil she is, a character won’t win brownie points with me by expressing a desire to rape Cersei. That goes for Tyrion in Dance of Dragons.

    I loved the Tyrion/Jantos scene. I was waiting for Tyrion to tell Jantos to give his regards to Ned Stark’s son, but I guess that would have been too much.

    As far as having it online first, I think that may make a difference. I know that my sister just recently got HBO again because she wanted to watch the new season of GoT. If she knew that she could get it online before it aired, I think she might cancel.

  93. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Hmmm…

    Since you have to buy an HBO TV subscription to get access to the HBOgo online service, I’m guessing this business decision was made on the premise that there are potential new customers out there that simply prefer to watch GoT online.

    Why that should be true only of Europeans is a mystery, might be a bone of contention among HBO execs on both sides of the pond. Perhaps it has something to do with the number and/or size of TVs in the average Dutch/Polish/etc. household vs. the US.

  94. Virtus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    The (apparent) cutting of Shireen kind of reminds me of the change they made regarding Cersei’s “first son”, i.e. in the show they said that she gave birth to a black haired boy, who then died, while in the book it is made clear that she aborted any fetus fathered by Robert. Doesn’t really even make sense to make these changes.

    And after reading ADWD, I’d be surprised, if Shireen wouldn’t have some role to play in the future, judging by the way Val reacts to her. It’s true that GRRM is a consultant in the show, but D&D have changed stuff that affect the later events before as well: killing Marillion (who has a role in ASOS) and Mago (who will have a role in TWOW) for example.

  95. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    Will he???
    How do you know?
    Please spoil me!

  96. Dr.Gordon
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    its indeed already on pirate websites, but hey, if someone cant get HBO in his country and they want to watch it without having to wait 2 years for the dvd then they pirate. same here, but i buy them on dvd or bluray afterwards. if HBO would be so kind to offer their services in my country i would immediately subscribe.

  97. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Gerda Grace,

    His death kinda destroys my dream of Rakharo-Irri sitcom spin-off :)

  98. Virtus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    If you mean Mago, GRRM has hinted at that in some interview. It’s related to the khalasar Dany encounters at her last chapter in ADWD.

  99. Drew
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    they didnt…Kill marillion, they cut out his tongue… which was kind of neccasary seeing as little finger will later blame him for lysa’s death and he wont have a tongue to deny it (a criticism of Martin’s work… why the hell didnt he deny it?) and as for mago, he is but a name… plus… magos role in GOTs was cut. He didnt rape the poor girl then cut her throat as soon as Drogo died… thus giving no reason for Dany to inact vengence on him. Mago isnt the leader of Drogos khalsar anyway. Jhogo is.

    I find it rather odd if the have cut Shireen, she really could have just been a background character with no speaking role atall. But I too do angree that… Shireen and her grey scale have a role to play later on in the story, but maybe she doesnt. After all Martin has pretty much told B&W what he has in store for the characters in the next two pending bookse

    Oh and the Robert/Cersei’s first born narrative… I cant be sure, but I think that features in Cat’s chapter after Bran’s fall.

  100. Genevosey
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Just don’t post these threads man. I am with you who wants to be spoiled.

  101. Eugene Toussaint
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    i agree, this wasn’t exactly the brightest idea HBO had.

  102. Virtus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky,

    Well we still have hopes for a Ros spin-off…

  103. Virtus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Drew,

    Well OK, they didn’t kill Marillion, but cutting his tongue off is pretty much the same for the character, seeing he’s a bard, and the only reason Lysa liked to keep him close was his singing.

  104. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    the Mago actor was the hottest of them all. :p

  105. Drew
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    I think Lysa’s fondness for his singing, is exactly why she welcomes him back with open arms. And beside he may not have his tongue, but he has his hands ;)

  106. Kroket
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    It’s so sad. HBO finally came to the Netherlands but it’s only on Ziggo (provider) for the time being. Where i live we can’t get Ziggo (unfortunately cause my provider quite frankly just sucks) so i can’t get HBO anyway. I dislike the early release too. I mean i can’t stop myself from downloading them anyway and we will all be watching in lesser quality as a result. I will rewatch a week later with better quality though!
    Such a pity we can’t just view HBO everywhere in the Netherlands. Want it on my TV esp after the Blurays…

  107. Charles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I pirated the ep. I could have waited, but no fuck you HBO I’m not waiting. You deciede to release eps early i’m going to try to get my hands on it.

    Anyway, ep was really good. Much better than ep 2. I assume we don’t need to spoiler tag anything here, since if you haven’t seen it, why would you be here?

    What I liked

    -Arya’s ruse of being a girl being almost up. You can definitely tell she’s got breast. Puberty hit Maisie like freighter truck comming at you at 50mph.

    -Love the Actor who play Gendry, and his chemistry with Maisie.

    -Still love the actor who plays Yoren, will be sad to see him go.

    -Tyrion steals every scene. His dismissal of Janos Slynt was great, and taken straight from the book. No Jacelyn Bywater though, it appears Bronn is the new Commander of the city watch. I’m fine with that, and they even kept the “Would you kill a babe without question” line.

    -Tyrion also had a fantastic scene with Cersei later on in the ep. A non book scene, where it was confirmed that in the show it’s joffrey who orders the bastards killed. Didn’t like the change, but the rest of the scene was great. Then look on Pete’s face at the end, great acting from all parties. Lena is doing a much better job this season as Cersei.

    -I liked Ros’s scene this ep. Don’t really care for Ros the traveling whore, but if they’re going to at least make her more than just a whore who is there for sexposition, i’m fine with more Esme Bianco. It was a really good scene too. Aiden Gillen is doing great.

    -The Greyjoy scenes where as closed to perfect as it gets. Sexposition wasn’t over the top, it was like the book. Asha and Balon were just perfect. Pyke looks great. Definitely the highlight of the episode. Really really good.

    -Dani had another brief scene, where the horse Rhakaro had returns…with Rhakaro’s head. I was a bit lost last ep since i thought the actor who played Rhakaro wasn’t on the show this season. But i loved the fact that instead of him leaving without mention, they incorporated his death into the main storyline and it worked great. Really emotional scene there, and good work by the actress who playes Irri/Jiqui–Amrita I think that’s her name.

    -Loved the Davos and Sallahdor scene. The actor who plays Sallhador is hilarious. “I’m not going to rape her I’m going to fuck here”. Another really great scene.

    -My least favorite part of the episode, again, where the Stannis and Mel scene. Akward sex scene, and I’m not sure i like the direction of either character. Stannis in the show looks like he has less willpower and control than book Stannis, like he’s easily manipulated. The lust he showed after Mel told him she’d give him son is something you’d never see from Book Stannis.

    On that topic, apparently shireen doesn’t exist in the show. I understand not showing her, but eliminating her altogheter might cause another mago situation, and one probably harder to deal with.

    -The Jon scenes were good for the most part. Ghost look way better than Grey Wind, and i just love love John Bradley as Sam “They’re not Goats!”. The ep ending was the reported scene of Craster sacrifcing his baby. You don’t actually get to see an Other, but you see someone weird looking walking away with the baby. The funny thing is, the actually ending is craster finding jon and knocking him unconcious.

    Anyway, great, great ep for the most part. Loved pretty much all of it.

  108. DavosFTW!
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    It’s not piracy, its smuggling and Davos approves. HBO can’t get this show to me fast enough, I have to watch it delayed because my broadcaster is stingy. So HBO allows the show to be smuggled out. It gives me what I need in the hull of a black sailed pirate ship.

    And so I reward HBO for giving me this wonderful show by not paying my stingy local channel, by being an active promoter of this wonderful program, by taking part in its online community and by buying the amazing bluray when its released.

    Smuggling ftw

  109. Luca Corradini
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Whoa, episode 12 is definitely a *vast* improvement over the season premiere (which is fairly good, anyway); top notch stuff, Pyke is amazing, as well as its main players, namely Balon and Yara (excellent introduction for both).

  110. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Grimnir,

    Yeah I just checked their imdb pages and both actors seemed like they were busy last year. Mark Lewis Jones in particular. Not surprised because he is pretty awesome. His voice acting in The Witcher 2 was fantastic.

    Definitely a better episode than the first one. I am more looking forward to the next two though, since David and Dan didn’t write them (yay ;) )

  111. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I want to hold Irri and comfort her, poor girl! Great scenes all around.

    Charles,

    you still have to spoiler future events of course (regarding Yoren’s future etc.)

  112. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Am also predicting cum-gate and not from Shae’s love of it’s smell…

  113. iftikar
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    People can download the pirated versions even when the show actually airs on HBO.The ones who watch the pirated versions will just do so a week earlier now.It might lead to a ratings drop but i don`t see people cancelling subscriptions because of it.Those who want to watch the show without paying for it (or dont have HBO in their country)will do so regardless of whether HBO Go telecasts it early or not.

  114. Magnus
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    paylor,

    He didn’t. He wanted to persuade her to sleep with him.

  115. A Ripper Of A Wank
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    What a badass episode. Wait what am I saying? I meant what a badass TV show.

  116. Inverted Moot
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Theon and Stannis are so badass.

  117. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It was a FANTASTIC episode, betten thar the season premiere. The pacing was better and the characters had time to breath. Davos could finally shine. What a great actor Liam Cunningham is!

    All the new characters worked. Balon was amazing and severe, Salladhor was fun and Yara was PERFECT. I want more of those three, especially Yara! I really loved the Pyke and Dragonstone scenes. Gilly was pretty good as well.

    The Gendry/Arya relationship is already adorable. I’m going to have fun with those two. Meanwhile, I was very sad about Rakharo. Loved him in the show. Poor Irri.

    And the final scene with Jon was very powerful.

    Oh, and how creepy was Melisandre telling Matthos (end of the season spoilers to follow) how he’s going to die?

  118. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    paylor: Oh, you mean the scene where he wants to rape Cersei?Gross. I don’t care how evil she is, a character won’t win brownie points with me by expressing a desire to rape Cersei. That goes for Tyrion in Dance of Dragons.

    I loved the Tyrion/Jantos scene. I was waiting for Tyrion to tell Jantos to give his regards to Ned Stark’s son, but I guess that would have been too much.

    As far as having it online first, I think that may make a difference. I know that my sister just recently got HBO again because she wanted to watch the new season of GoT. If she knew that she could get it online before it aired, I think she might cancel.

    Yes, the only scene he was in. His swagger, way of talking and yes – even joking about raping the queen was great and in character of the pirate lord. I’m looking forward to see more of him.

    I forgot to mention Ghost, he was also very well done. Terrified look on Hanna Murray’s face certainly helped.

  119. AngeloB
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I didn’t finish reading CoK yet, but I think the sex scene between Stannis and Melisandre might confuse people about a certain scene that will happen with Mel and Davos, if you know what I mean.

  120. Adolf Hitler
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    AngeloB: I didn’t finish reading CoK yet, but I think the sex scene between Stannis and Melisandre might confuse people about a certain scene that will happen with Mel and Davos, if you know what I mean.

    spoilers man

  121. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Has anyone mentioned the change of promoting Bronn to head of the City Watch instead of Jacelyn Bywater? I thought that was a brilliant bit of condensing by David & Dan.

  122. AngeloB
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Adolf Hitler: spoilers man

    Sorry, should have hidden the names, but I don’t know how.

  123. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Same, I wasn’t expecting it, but as soon as Tyrion said it, I said, “That makes a ton of sense.” And I’m excited to see Bronn in that role.

  124. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Has anyone mentioned the change of promoting Bronn to head of the City Watch instead of Jacelyn Bywater? I thought that was a brilliant bit of condensing by David & Dan.

    I did. :)

  125. Charles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    i did, and i agree with you. Didn’t see it comming, but it works.

  126. Ren Snow
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Drew,

    Shireen is mentioned in the Season 1 tree… She’s been left out this season, just like Willas and Garlan Tyrell…

    And if you look at the Frey tree you’ll see no mention of any of his sons. It doesn’t mean they will be cut entirely

  127. userj
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Ugh I just came on here to protest.

    HBO DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE UNLEASHED?!?! I don’t want to have to stay off the internets (tumblr, twitter, etc) just to avoid being spoiled for the very show I went onto social media to discuss!

    Also I would imagine this will hurt ratings somewhat… :(

    I hope they can either A) get their subsidiaries to cease and desist or B) just make it available a week early on HBO go to everyone…

  128. Darren Mason
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    This is a bad idea it, it just encourages people who can’t get it on HBO GO in other countries to pirate it.

  129. Jenny
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    It is all being pirated anyway. They know it, we know it, they care only about number of subscribers and they won’t grow smaller.
    Last year, there were quite a few features on HBO Go that were not available to HBO viewers in other countries.
    I don’t see HBO bankrupting.

  130. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    userj: HBO DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE UNLEASHED?!?! I don’t want to have to stay off the internets (tumblr, twitter, etc) just to avoid being spoiled for the very show I went onto social media to discuss!

    You can be spoiled anyway by book readers.

  131. Rero
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Releasing it one week earlier has an upside and a downside for me:
    Upside: one week earlier!
    Downside: Not optimal picture quality. I tried to wait one week so I could see it HD via On Demand, but I could’t wait, so I watched it SD with black barriers via apple airplay synchone via HBO Go on my ipad.

  132. Trevor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Hmhm, not really convinced by Yara myself, Alfie Allen is good in this episode though. They also recaste Rorge and Biter. I kinda liked the black Rorge without the nose. shame they replaced him.

  133. sbj2k1
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what the big deal is, those who torrent without an HBO subscription, would torrent 1hr after episode airs anyway, so 1 week early or 1hr late, doesn’t matter to them.

    Those who torrent WITH an HBO subscription better watch it when it airs as well, so that the ratings don’t suffer. You owe it to yourselves if you wanna see the rest of the books produced.

  134. Josh Parker
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I only have one question. Is Gethin Anthony a regular now, and if so, where is he listed?

  135. Trevor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Carice van houten gave a very solid performance to be honest, alot better then the premiere.

  136. Rero
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I am dissapointed about the LF scene with Ross. I sort of sympathised for LF in season 1. But after that indirect threat to Ross, the synpathy has gone.

  137. tysnow
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Poor, poor Westorseans, they forget this is a seperate adaption, a la PJ, I can see them now, screaming to tar and feather D&D,

  138. Rero
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I hope that after seeing epiode 12 all the Christina Hendricks fans will now stop saying that she should have been chosen for the part of Melisandre. Since she would never do that nude-scene that Carice did, they must realise that.

  139. Steve
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    You think Shireen not being in the viewers guide tree is weird? Go to the Greyjoy family tree and tell me who they omitted.

  140. Rinso
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I liked this episode a lot.

    My personal favorite is the scene between Stannis and Melisandre at the end, very eerie and symbolic (they fuck over Westeros itself and the pawns get swept away without them noticing or caring). I actually wasn’t thrilled with Mel in the first episode, but I’m starting to warm up to her.

    Davos and Saan are pretty cool. Davos’ son (whose name I refuse to search up) is… an interesting foil for his dad. Should be a good drama when he dies at the Blackwater.

    I’m still not sure why Ros is even in the show. At first, I thought it was because of sexposition and the need to show boobies on a regular basis, but now she wears clothes and behaves like an actual character… Why? Why am I getting a totally new character in a series that already has dozens of established in the source material characters, not all of whom have been done justice to (yes, Sandor, Renly, Littlefinger – I’m looking at you). I don’t have anything against Esme Bianco who, at the very least, is a beautiful woman that I enjoy seeing naked, but I just don’t need or want her in the show because she just eats valuable screen time.

    I like the Greyjoys, but I’m not sold on Asha (I refuse to call her Yara, that’s retarded). Anyway, the Greyjoys I’m actually interested in haven’t shown up yet, so I’ll wait for that. Pyke looks awesome, btw. I wasn’t hoping for such good visuals, to be honest.

    Speaking of visuals, wow, is Ghost awesome or what. He’s the size of a small horse! And the CGI was very convincing.

    Now, for the biggest change – Craster. Now, I have no problem with them showing how he sacrifices his baby sons – it’s pretty much what’s in the book, just a difference in medium (“show, don’t tell” – filmmaking 101). Though Jon of all people finding out and getting knocked out by Craster… That’s a different beast alltogether. I’ll hold my judgement until the next episode to see what’s the aftermath, but I fear that with that change of material they have created a situation that will have to be resolved with more changes – and the domino effects rears its ugly head.

  141. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Josh Parker,

    He doesn’t appear in the episode, so he’s not listed anywhere.

  142. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The scenes with Lommey, Hot Pie, Gendry and Arya are just the best. I could watch hours and hours of this show if they only focused on them. Great chemistry there. I also really like Yara, comes of as such a fierce person. And very glad Bronn got promoted, hope het gets more lines!

    I also hope HBO stops this HBO-Go Europe thing, utterly insane. I think HBO-Go really sucks because I want to watch the damn thing in Full HD on a big screen, not on a fucking PC or iPad. And the discussions being divided and people need to stay away from Tumblr and Twitter really sucks: for instance this episode ends with a cliffhanger that is not in the books, I’d be fucking pissed if I was spoiled by that.

  143. Doran's Gouty Toe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Strange, but I get the feeling that what Tyrion did to Lord Slynt in the show was actually rather unfair. We know from the books that Slynt is a slimy worm, but it isn’t made as clear in the TV Series.

    As far as Slynt is concerned, the Queen Regent asked him to back the rightful heir Joffrey, while Ned Stark tried to usurp the throne. Both parties offered him bribes, he took the most generous one AND the one that seemed legit. He did everything the Queen asked of him however disgusting the order — and frankly he didn’t seem to enjoy the task at the end of the first episode.

    He gets hypocritically invited to dinner and has to answer Tyrion’s questions with caution, he doesn’t know him and he knows this family can be cruel and capricious. Finally Tyrion accuses him of what — of accepting a bribe from the rightful Queen? The same Tyrion that pays Bronn for his loyalty, and that offered him to double any bribe he might be offered? I don’t see Bronn heading to the wall, he’s being offered Slynt’s JOB!

    When you really think about it, Tyrion is just as harsh and arbitrary as Cersei in that scene. It’s not Slynt’s fault if Cersei is cruel and reckless. Again, we know from the books that Slynt’s character is deeply flawed, but in the show he appeared almost as a tragic figure to me, siding with the crueler side, and getting ordered to butcher babies and to kick starving peasants out of the city, then getting sent to the wall for it!

    Poor (tv) Janos Slynt.

  144. Sapphireth
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    This episode was fantastic, even better than the last one. I laughed all the way through – Edd, Sam, Tyrion, Hot Pie, Saan – all fantastic, and some great dialogue too. Favourite scenes by far were Arya & co.

    All that said, I really hope HBO will curb this habit over here in Europe. Don’t think it’s in the shows best interests to have the episode leaking all over the net before its release date.

  145. The Onion Knight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I for one have been a huge fan of the book series for quite some time now. A Clash of Kings and A Feast for Crows are my favourite, although I have to admit that A Storm of Swords & A Dance with Dragons are definitely the meat of ASOIAF. I for one loved season 1 just as much as I did book 1 and this season has not disappointed thus far. I rate episodes based on two things. How faithful is it to Game of Thrones (TV) and A Song of ICE AND FIRE (BOOKS). Taking that into consideration the whole thing seems to be working completely fine and we still have plot twist such as the death of Rakharo and Mago. I feel like I am a Hedge Knight when it comes to fan because I have no real home. It seems like the internet is full of sites like this of people who love ASOIAF but completely nit pick Game of Thrones. I love them both equally. I feel like something like John Carter or Lord of The Rings is more the speed of a lot of people out there than this gem we have on HBO. Everyone worries about the slightest things. If you really could not tell that Littlefinger was out for the throne in the first book alone than you are a naive “Reader”. That being said, I don’t believe people watching The Night Lands is going to lower ratings or cause a cancellation. It seems like most of you nitpicking are the same people who said the haunted forest would not make it into season 2 :)

  146. PhilV
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    i enjoyed the nice little touch they added to Pyke in the intro when they had the bridges connecting the towers bouncing as the towers were rising up

  147. chezmark14
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Rinso,

    Craster knocking out Jon is a change, but I doubt it will cause a huge domino effect. In the books the Vetren NW men already know about it don’t they? Even so though, Jon tells Mormont, he tells Jon that Craster is a friend of the Watch yadi yada, his house, his rules. End scene with Jon looking glum and Craster looking angry.

    Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with downloading the ep. Spartacus airs in the US on Fridays and here in Canada on Sundays – I always dl it, then record it and watch it again.

    Same with GoT, the hardcore will still watch it on TV to see it in HD (or just better quality). I watch with buddies, so even if I dl and watch early, still going to get drunk on Sunday and watch again lol

    I do agree though that this will cause problems all kindz for people who don’t want to be spoiled…if HBO decides to stop the HBO GO early release I won’t be sad, but in the meantime I will take advantage.

  148. Sanette
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I was disappointed by the first episode but my God, this episode is beyond perfect, loved every second of it. I don’t even mind some of the changes they made. The scene with Gilly, Jon and Sam is even better than in the book. Kit is so great in that scene. Pyke is just as I imagined it. Carice and Dillane are amazing, their acting is more and more convincing. I can’t wait to see more of Jaqen. And the ending gave me shivers. Brilliant. I’m a happy fan again:)

  149. Macha
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everyone saying this isn’t really that big of a deal. Are we really pretending that you can’t pirate any show a couple of hours after it airs? Come on, people. The show is in no danger of getting the axe because of it.

    That being said, as I pay for the service anyway, I went ahead and watched it and let me just say this, it was a big improvement on the first, and I actually thought that one was great too. I’ll definitely watch it again when it airs on TV.
    A few highlights:
    - Grenn, Dolorous Edd and Sam make a fabulous trio in terms of humour and Ghost looked amazing.
    - Salladhor Saan was beyound cool, as were the Greyjoys. Gemma Whelan plays Yara with a beautiful mix of classiness and ruggedness, and Patrick Malahide was – there’s no other way to put this – phenomenal.
    - touching on the subject of Ros’ scene…well, it felt a bit flat, I must admit. Something felt a bit out of place, and it wasn’t her acting. Maybe I just didn’t feel the need for another ‘Littlefinger’s motivations’ scene this early on, I can’t really put my finger on it, will have to re-watch.
    - Mel&Stannis’ infamous sex scene was very well handled. It does leave you with a feeling of uneasiness, but that’s precisely the point of it. In my opinion, the awkwardness people describe comes not because it seems forced, but because it seems natural. Stephen Dillane plays Stannis to perfection, his tenseness transcends the screen. As for people thinking book-Stannis would never show the tinniest bit of lust….huh? I’m amazed at some reader’s certainty about how characters react in situations which are otherwise not described in the book, especially when it comes to basic (physiological) human reactions. Have you even seen Carice Van Houten? Now if that’s not a woman to lust after, I don’t know who is.

  150. lonas
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    So ,meaning that we can expect ep 13 next week already? Im from Portugal and thank you anyone whos uploading them eps.
    Gemma is fantastic as Yara, just love her smile to pieces.

    Like everyone im curious to see where they leading Ros , but I should then look at it from a non reader perspective.

    aaahahhhh already looking forward to Brienne ass kicking on Rorge

  151. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    After thinking about it for a while I think HBO could be having an experiment. Game of Thrones is their powerhouse show which they expect will pull in big ratings. It is also their biggest selling show outside of the USA. I read an article that estimated 30% of HBO’s revenues come from international market and I can tell you judging from my local HBO – there is a lot of room for growth and the premium cable competition is practically non-existent. HBO Adria has even shown Showtime’s The Borgias last autumn.
    On the other hand, this could be an experiment to see how much will piracy affect ratings and subscription numbers in the USA. My opinion is that there will always be people who are pirating stuff and would never pay the creators in the first place. Also, piracy is virtually impossible to stop and it is much better idea to divert funds meant to fight piracy into creating a legal “competitive” product. For example, I think Netflix did more to prevent piracy in USA then any kind of region-locking and DRM restrictions.

  152. Kroket
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Just watched it. Quality was pretty ok actually it only looks a bit weird when it’s dark otherwise it’s great. (Not gonna use Spoiler Tags since this is ep 2 topic)

    Awesome episode! Really loved it, better than ep 1.

    Yoren was badass with that goldcloak!! Jaqen looks nice!
    Loved the interaction between Arya and Gendry!!

    Kingslanding scenes with Tyrion were great! Especially the one with Janos! I love to see that man get what he deserves.
    Didn’t mind the brothel scenes at all it shows just how twister our friend Littlefinger is.

    Pyke looked fantastic and Balon WOW! He is great! Loved those scenes. Will take a bit of getting used to Yara/Asha but i believe she will grow on me.

    Red Waste stuff. Too bad about Rakharo but it was to be expected. Good way to get an actor to leave and keep Roxanne around i suppose.

    Sallador Saan is FUNNY! He was funnier than Dolorous Edd (who i have some minor troubles with understanding him with his accent)! Introducing Matthos is not without reason i reckon with Blackwater. Stannis and Mel were great too this episode.

    The North finally. They tried hard to make Hannah Murray look ‘ugly/plain’ with the foreteeth but they failed miserably! I can see why Sam wants to take her along! Sam was funny as expected. Nice end also for non-book readers i think seeing the blue eyes and then Craster…

  153. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Josh Parker,

    Considering he’s apparently only showing up in Episode 3 and then likely dying within a few episodes of that, I don’t think he’s a regular.

  154. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I just realized I forgot to mention Dolorous Edd – he has so seamlessly adapted into Black Brothers crew from first season that I forgot this is the first time we are seeing him on the show.

    Also, there were some really great one-liners in the show:

    You have perfected the art of tearing up paper.

    I have read about it. Some.

    I wish I was raised on a farm.

  155. Winterdark
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the episode. Much better than the season premiere. Though I still think some storylines are moving too slow while others are moving too fast I did really enjoy this episode after the disapointing season premiere.

    A scene by scene review:

    Opening credits: Pyke mock up looks fantastic best miniature I’ve seen so far. I hope they build these things in real life one day and perhaps make copies for sale. I’d immediately buy the Pyke miniature.
    Arya: Very well adapted scene. A lot like the chapter it was based on but not eniterely the same though the changes were logical and as a reasult it worked a lot better on screen. Kudos to D&D
    Tyrion: The scene with Vary is an added scene but feels like it’s right from the book. The whole mood is great and Dinklage and Hill have very good chemistry which is important for the rest of the season to work.
    The scene at the small council is different from what it was like in the book but it works very well this way and the dialogue between Tyrion and Cersei is very good.
    Samwell: This is another added scene but it makes perfect sense why they put it there and it really helps the story along. I think the only reason why it wasn’t in the book is because Sam wasn’t a POV character back then.
    Samwell/Jon: I think this was taken right out of the book and if not it sure felt like it. It was a brilliant scene where everything made sense.
    Dany: This seems like the begining of an extra storyline which I don’t think is really necesary and truthfully I don’t really like they wrote out Rakharro. They’d better stick to the pages and wrote Doreah instead.
    Theon: When I saw Pyke for the first time it just blew my mind! It’s so incredibly beautiful my jaw really dropped. The scene after that I thought was completely unnecesary. It was a stupid scne in the book and it’s still stupid. If I had to adapt the series I’d be the first scene I’d cut but then D&D are obviously determent to put as much nudity in the show as they can so I kinda expected it to be there.
    LF/Ros: Skipped it after a minute or so. Too annoying
    Tyrion: This was another fine piece of adaptation. D&D cut out all the clutter out of that chapter and made a few minutes of brilliant television. The whole scene really worked on screen and I think the changes made here are logical and make for better TV.
    Arya: For me one Arya scene this episode would’ve been enough. I don’t really like that she told Gendry rather than that he figured it out himself as he does in the book. The added conversation with Gendry, Hot Pie and Lommy was kinda funny though.
    Theon: The scene where he arrives in Lordsport is very different from the book and I don’t think they went with it the right way though the final minutes with Asha I mean…Yara were good. I like Gemma Whelan. She’s nothing like I imagined Asha I mean…Yara to look like but she really does it very well and really manages to convey what I like so much about Asha I mean…Yara.
    The scene with Theon and Asha I mean…Yara on horseback was great! The scenery is so beautiful and precisely like I imagined the Iron Islands to look like and the music is fantastic. Djawadi really upped his game this season. The dialogue’s wonderful too and really funny if you’ve read the book. Plus we get treated to another mind boggling image of Pyke.
    The scene with Balon was the best! Patrick Malahide is perfect as Balon and though it’s diferent from the book the scene works out so perfectly and it’s so well written. I really can’t admire D&D enough for this peace of masterful writing.
    Davos: Who is this Saladhor Saan? And since when does Davos have a son? It seems like a lot of unnecesary additions to me.
    Tyrion: Another added scene but this one’s really good. I think the conversation that ensued really gave some more depth to the characters and was very much in the spirit of GRRM.
    Davos/Stannis: Stephen Dillane is still great as Stannis and the painted table still looks amazing but otherwise everything is wrong with this scene. It’s a completely unnecesary deviation that is completely out of character. Book Stannis would never’ve done that. It really felt like they wanted to squeeze in more nudity anfd as then things got really of the rails. I hope they don’t drag this out to much cause it makes me really angry and I feel it is an insult to GRRM brilliant work.
    Jon: Where are they going with the Craster arc? I feel Jon’s story’s really getting off the rails now and we’re only at ep2. Hopefully they manage to tie this up in a way for the story to continue as it did in the book rather than creating a whole new story that can never live up to GRRM great epic.

    So all in all much, much better than the premiere though there are still elements I don’t like. But it was a very enjoyable hour of television and I’ll probably watch it again some time tonight.

  156. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Kroket:
    The North finally. They tried hard to make Hannah Murray look ‘ugly/plain’ with the foreteeth but they failed miserably! I can see why Sam wants to take her along! Sam was funny as expected. Nice end also for non-book readers i think seeing the blue eyes and then Craster…

    They didn’t do anything to her teeth, she looks like that in Skins as well (minus the clothes made out of fur).

  157. J
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark: Who is this Saladhor Saan? And since when does Davos have a son? It seems like a lot of unnecesary additions to me.

    Salladhor Saan is a character from the books, though when they begin, he’s already working for Stannis. He has a similar conversation with Davos in the books, in a tavern. Davos has seven sons in the books – Matthos appears to be a combination of his older sons Dale and Allard, who captain ships for Stannis, and his younger son Devan who is a Rh’llor believer and Stannis’s squire. I don’t know if they’ve made it so Davos only has one son, or if this is just the only one with a major role, but there you go.

  158. paylor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Magnus,

    So, why is he asking permission from anyone other than Cersei to “have” her? I guess you could argue that others will just want her dead, but I think that’s a stretch.

    I guess I’m just a stick in the mud, but rape “jokes” are not funny. Ever.

  159. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark,

    lol, Davos no son and you don’t know who Saan is, AND you think book-Stannis never fucked Mel?

  160. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark,

    Re: Davos.

    Salla is in the books, and is a pretty major character. Not an addition.

    Similarly, Davos has a bunch of sons in the book. Matthos is upgraded a bit in terms of lines, but he is in the same role as in the books. Not seeing the “additions” you are talking about – other than actually showing the recruitment of Salla.

  161. userj
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Paweł Ausir Dembowski: You can be spoiled anyway by book readers.

    I’m a book reader.
    It’s irrelevant, because the joy of the show is seeing the show and not knowing how they will interpret the books.
    I don’t want to know what happens in each episode until I have an opportunity to watch the episode.

  162. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark, Davos doesn’t have a son in books. He has sons – plural (5 or even 6, I’m not sure). Saladhor Saan is a character in books – he leases his ships to Stannis and later nags him for payment all the time.

    As for Stannis and Melisandre – how did you think those shadow babies are born? Also, in Dance with Dragons Melisandre is thinking about how her bed is empty now that Stannis has ridden south. They do have sex in books as well, it just happened off-screen.

  163. Winterdark
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    J,

    Knurk,

    OhDanyBoy,

    Just picked up ACoC and your right I’m so stupid! Davos indeed visits him in a tavern in the first episode. The reason why I forgot is because I made my own outline for how I would adapt the book into ten episodes a while back (which unfortunately I never posted here) and took out the scene at the tavern because I thought it didn’t add much and then completely forgot about it.

    As for Stannis, as far as I know in ACoC he really didn’t have sex with Melisandre. In fact he clearly states to Davos he doesn’t like the woman and only wants her for her powers.

  164. Winterdark
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Ivan Popić,

    As I’ve said I was wrong about Saan. As for Stannis and Mel. You’re probably right about them in ADwD I’d have to reread it but that makes sense. But as I said in ACoC he doesn’t like Melisandre so it didn’t seem logical to me. As for the shadow babies I always imagined them to be a force of magic unbound to earthly rules such as procreation

  165. Josh Parker
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark,

    Haven’t watched it yet but I wanted to point a couple of things out.

    Davos DOES have a son in the books. In fact, he has several. It looks like on the show they’re rolling them all into one, which is fine. No issues here whatsoever.

    The books HEAVILY implied that Stannis and Melisandre were boinking. Book 5 comes close to outright stating it. It’s implied this is how she impregnates herself with the Shadow Creatures. Just like the show outright showing that Renly and Loras are lovers, this is one of those scenes we weren’t privy to because neither was a POV character, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. What did YOU think she was doing when she shared his tent at night without his wife being there?

  166. NotoriousPYG
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  167. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I thought Theon’s sex scene was great, even necessary. The actress playing the Captain’s Daughter was good and I loved how he buit himself up to her only to be completely humiliated by Balon and Yara a few moments later.

    I seriously love Theon’s storyarc.

  168. Bemma
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I was pretty upset about the Stannis/Mel sex scene. It just seems so out of character for him (and out of the blue). I mean, the central aspect of Stannis’ character is his unbreakable backbone in the face of honor and duty. I feel like they stuck the scene in there purely for sexposition.

    And speaking of sexposition, the peephole scene in littlefinger’s brothel was just difficult to watch. I hated every minute of it. Too much unnecessary (and unwanted) sexposition this episode.

  169. Ivan Popić
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Winterdark, I can’t recall the exact quote but Melisandre mentions how shadow babies have drained the king too much…

  170. Josh Parker
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Bemma,

    Again, it happened in the book. Wanna complain, complain about that.

  171. Eleanor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Ivan Popić: They didn’t do anything to her teeth, she looks like that in Skins as well (minus the clothes made out of fur).

    Hee. I remember reading “The Babysitters Club” books when I was 9 or so, and thinking, “Americans must have really bad teeth! I don’t understand!” I knew it couldn’t be a race thing because I knew Americans were a melting pot. A character made it clear that the default was: Reach Puberty, Get Braces and I was very confused because in Ireland only people with deformed teeth got braces.

    Later in life I discovered that Americans get braces because each tooth must be straight and equally aligned with its neighbour.

    The original commenter is correct who said that non-braced teeth don’t make a gal ugly!

  172. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Bemma:
    I was pretty upset about the Stannis/Mel sex scene.It just seems so out of character for him (and out of the blue).I mean, the central aspect of Stannis’ character is his unbreakable backbone in the face of honor and duty.I feel like they stuck the scene in there purely for sexposition.

    And speaking of sexposition, the peephole scene in littlefinger’s brothel was just difficult to watch.I hated every minute of it.Too much unnecessary (and unwanted) sexposition this episode.

    If you don’t like it so much why don’t you just stop watching instead of bitching like someone owes you something .

  173. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Looks like D&D will show all the stuff that was heavily implied in the books – Renly is gay, Craster sacrifices his sons to the Others, Mel and Stannis do the deed to produce a shadow baby. That makes me hopeful that when we get to the Coldhands, we will immediately find out that he is who everyone thinks he is.

  174. Webster
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I just watched the pirated episode #12, but I’m in Portugal, where Game of Thrones Season 2 airs 3 weeks later on a cable channel that few people have. The WebRip 720p quality was almost as good as the HDTVrip one so the “quality argument” is invalid. WIC is right and I’m afraid you’ll be seeing a big impact on US ratings this next sunday. It is what it is, and it’s a bad move from HBO if this continues throughout the whole season.
    Now, the episode itself: Loved it, except one thing. Like the first ep, I found the Ross/brothel scene completely unnecessary, especially when it is painful to watch her acting. You already have 2 sex scenes in this ep, c’mon HBO. You know you are going too far when you start transitioning scenes with sex… very smooth indeed lol. The rest is perfect: acting, beautiful locations(Pyke), CGI(Ghost is amazing) and suspense at the end… can’t complain :)

  175. Doran's Gouty Toe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Loved the visual reference that opened the episode: the camera panning around the back of Arya’s head while she was nervously listening to the sounds around her, mirroring the first scene we’ve seen her in in the series’ premiere.

  176. andrea
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Last year we watched the episodes 15 days later (maybe more) and that caused many people watch the show online first. I guess they learned so this year each episode is released simultaneously with the U.S. which is cool but yes episode 12 is online right now.. and I watched it because I don´t think it will happen again (it´s some kind of experiment to me). I am a subscriber for many years now (and we don´t have HBO Go in South America) but I will watch it again on Sunday on my tv. I´m pretty sure almost every suscriber here will do the same. It’s not something I worry about.

    So, “…and what do you feel about that?” I think I´m happy. O_O? Thank you Balon (and I love your fireplace).

    I laugh at myself because I wonder if ”happy” is a proper word for someone who watch this series. Well, in my defense I´ll say this is not a bloody episode (except for Rakharo´s head) but boy! there´s cretins all around: Theon with that poor Captain´s daughter, Craster again, Slynt, Bronn, the Lord Commander and… Stannis sex… awkward.
    Is Littlefinger a peep? Is he Peepingfinger or Peeperfinger? “That was poorly handled” What a jerk. It makes you feel sorry for Ross.
    “I´m not questioning your honor Lord Slynt, I´m denying its existance”. Good journey to the wall creep! (I shouted).
    I think I´ll enjoy Varys and Tyrion relationship.
    I don´t like Greyjoys but I enjoyed them. Pyke miniature in the intro looks good. And I like GW very much. If not for Asha, I think this is not a good episode for the future of feminism.
    Oh, Ghost looks lovely (I´m using strange words today).
    I’ll have to watch again because… I have nothing to complain ???

    Stop, I have one: “I keep on paddling”. Augh. At least is Conleth Hill who has to say that line.

  177. The Greatjon
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I was gonna try and wait, but after reading everyone talk about it, I just can’t help myself. Problem is, I’m lost when it comes to torrenting and stuff like that, I never download movies, can someone please point me in the direction of a legit site where I can watch this Episode? Its driving me crazy because for some reason I can’t find it.

  178. andrea
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: The scenes with Lommey, Hot Pie, Gendry and Arya are just the best.

    Lovely and funny!


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