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

Episode twelve, “The Night Lands”, is (officially) in the books. What did you think? My thoughts and reactions are after the break. Read them and then share yours in the comments!

Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Clash of Kings. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the ACoK yet, our new viewer recap will be up soon.

I’m gonna try something different. Instead of doing a play-by-play of what happened in this episode (I mean, you all just watched it, some of you for the second or third time), I’m going to list the stuff I liked and/or disliked about this episode.

Things I Liked

Everything Greyjoy – House Greyjoy, alongside to Stark, is my favorite house in the series, so I was anxious to see how they were portrayed on screen. I’m thrilled to see that they nailed the Ironborn. Everything from Balon’s surly and contemptuous demeanor, to the dark and dank stronghold of Pyke, to Yara’s playful but tough attitude, the Greyjoys are spot on.
GoT Laughs – The humor in this episode was great. Between Hot Pie and Lommy, Gendry and Arya, Yara and Theon, Tyrion and Bronn, there were lots of chuckles and a few laugh-out-loud moments in this episode. This is something that was lacking at times last season and is a welcome respite from a lot of the bleakness of this world.
Bronn gets promoted – When I was scripting season two, I struggled a lot with the absence of Jacelyn Bywater. I knew that him not being cast meant that David & Dan would be making a change from the books with regards to who would be commanding the Gold Cloaks this season. I took it to mean that Janos would stay on as commander, and either get sent to the Wall later than he does in the books, or even end up getting killed in the Battle of the Blackwater. So it was quite a happy surprise to see that Slynt did in fact get his dismissal and verbal smackdown at the hands of Tyrion, and it was a brilliant move by David & Dan to put Bronn in charge of the Gold Cloaks.
“…and I keep on paddling.” – How great was this scene? Conleth Hill is *sing-song voice* killing it.

Things I Didn’t Like

Littlefinger’s Peep Show – Look, Littlefinger is a creep, but he’s not that kind of creep. And then I was worried that they were going to make him fall in love with Ros for a second there. Thankfully, turns out he’s actually an evil bastard after all. Whew!
Sexy Stannis – I know that it was heavily implied in the books that Stannis and Mel got it on, but I always had the impression that for Stannis it was less about passion and lust and more about doing what he thought needed to be done to achieve his goal. Like, I always pictured him just layimg there until it’s over. It was weird seeing him get all horny.

So what did everyone else think? What did you like or dislike about this episode? And let me know what you think of doing the weekly recaps this way. Better than the summary of events method or worse? Lastly, be sure to scroll down to the poll section and rate this episode!


490 Comments

  1. Plain_A
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I just want Ros to die!!I mean, the show already have a million characters, why waste
    screentime with a pointless one.

  2. J
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    You forgot Dolorous Edd talking about farts in the GoT Laughs section!

  3. Jose
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    when do they post the preview for the next episode online?

  4. Darkenmal
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    The Stannis scene was fine, and if you have read the books, it was easy to see how badly Stannis wanted to have a son.

    Not mention Mel is hot. >_>

    Made perfect sense to me.

  5. Aziraphale
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    My favorite moment? Dolorous Edd talking about the fart before his mother’s death. Oh my God, that had me rolling!

    *pbbbbbttttppppppptttthhhhhhhhh!*

  6. Steelyuhas
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Dreadful brothel scene. Other than that I loved the episode. I’ve never really liked the Greyjoys in the books, but that said they nailed them on the show. Balon is perfect.

  7. Mike Chair
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Winter: It was weird seeing him [Stannis] get all horny.

    Yeah, I agree. On the other hand, did you see her? I’m ready to give myself completely to the Lord of Light.

  8. Kalan
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Even in the show, I thought it was pretty clear Stannis wasn’t really into it. Even if the whole “son” line seemed really out of the blue, I thought it emphasized pretty heavily that he wasn’t really doing it out of lust but for another reason.

  9. Jack
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode except for the littlefinger peep show RIGHT after Theon’s scene with the captain’s daughter…I mean come on guys…space it out a little!

    EDIT : YOREN FTW!

  10. Lisa
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Caught just the end of it…need to watch on West Coast time… but from what I saw of the ending it seems as they’ve taken quite a liberty with the storyline this year. Not too happy.

    Didn’t Gilly have her baby while everyone was going on a killing spree and when both Craster and Mormont were killed? What’s up with Jon seeing the baby being given to the Others and then having Craster cold cock him?!

  11. Steelyuhas
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Jose:
    when do they post the preview for the next episode online?

    Already up. Go to ‘episodes’ on the Game of Thrones page.

    They included the “Knights of Summer” dialogue! Love that line.

    Lisa:
    Caught just the end of it…need to watch on West Coast time…but from what I saw of the ending it seems as they’ve taken quite a liberty with the storyline this year.Not too happy.

    Didn’t Gilly have her baby while everyone was going on a killing spree and when both Craster and Mormont were killed?What’s up with Jon seeing the baby being given to the Others and then having Craster cold cock him?!

    Pretty sure that’s not her baby.

  12. NewJeffCT
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Agree on Stannis – I always pictured him as doing “it” out of duty. Plus, in the books – he does not seem to have any deep love for the Red God, despite flying His banner.

    However, he’s also not the type that was stray from his wife for any normal sort of reason, either. He is Mr Rigidly Honorable, after all.

    So, I could see it either way, but I agree that I pictured it more out of duty than lust.

  13. strongboar
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Wtf. Why does no one care about Rakharo. Srsly. But knowing GRRM it can’t be who we think it is.

  14. Rero
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:08 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.

    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!

  15. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Yara Greyjoy #1 fan reporting here. Eff the haters. Gemma nailed her.

    (Balon was perfect as well, but I’m sure the awesome Patrick Malahide already has a clan of fans)

  16. Tom
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought the captain’s daughter was kinda cute.

    Theon’s face after finding out Asha/Yara was the same woman he was fondling a few hours previously was priceless. GIF worthy. :P

  17. Matt S
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Jeez bunch of prudes watch Game Of Thrones apparently.

  18. LanisterPaysHisDebts
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone find it hard to understand some of the words the actors are saying? The English accent escapes me sometimes. I need to rewatch

  19. Kalasin
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Lisa:
    Caught just the end of it…need to watch on West Coast time…but from what I saw of the ending it seems as they’ve taken quite a liberty with the storyline this year.Not too happy.

    Didn’t Gilly have her baby while everyone was going on a killing spree and when both Craster and Mormont were killed?What’s up with Jon seeing the baby being given to the Others and then having Craster cold cock him?!

    That was a different baby – not Gillys. I’m nearly positive something similar happens in the book, but I don’t think Craster sees him. Not sure though. But it was definitely not Gilly’s baby.
    Lisa,

  20. Barellus
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    As somebody who hasn’t seen it and probably won’t see it until the DVD is out, I’d rather have the old way of recaping, because thus you get a better impression of what actually happend in the episode.

  21. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    strongboar:
    Wtf. Why does no one care about Rakharo. Srsly. But knowing GRRM it can’t be who we think it is.

    I LOVED show Rakharo and I was really sad to see him go. Shame Elyes Gabel’s schedule didn’t allow him to return full time for this season.

  22. seras
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    stannis and mel creeped me out. i was also disappointed in asha/yara. she didn’t give the impression of kick ass girlyness you get in the books.

  23. LanisterPaysHisDebts
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Loved the conversation between Cersei and Tyrion! Disliked Jon getting hit by Craster. Where was ghost to save Jon!!!

  24. Jose
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Steelyuhas: Already up. Go to ‘episodes’ on the Game of Thrones page.

    I’m not seeing it, got a link?

    edit: nm found it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gWrA5UCkF8&feature=player_embedded

  25. Jeff
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I think Littlefinger spies on his customers for information, not to get off. At least that’s how I took the scene.

  26. John W
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I saw Littlefinger’s peep show as laying the groundwork for a future blackmailing effort.

  27. Maxwell James
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Agreed that the Stannis-Mel sex scene was (predictably) unpleasant. Both have nailed their characters, IMO, but there’s no chemistry there. Not that there is in the books either – I think there’s a good reason George chose to be coy about the actual details in their relationship.

    Also -1 to offing Shireen. I did like the foreshadowing (cough) in it, though.

    And everything else was killer. Gemma Whelan and Patrick Malahide were spot on, both of their scenes were fantastic. And while I was a bit alarmed at first by the Gendry-Arya scene (doesn’t he figure it out much later in the book?), it was so well done that I didn’t really care. Every scene Dinklage is in continues to be great. And while I figured Rakharo was going to be the early fatality, I was impressed by how much emotion they drew out of it – using the braid was a good call.

    I’ll also say of the cliffhanger at the end – while GRRM may not have written it, it was definitely in his spirit.

    EDIT: And people should lay off of Ros, who’s been absolutely fine in both her scenes this season. The one in tonight’s episode was impressively chilling. Given that the first season dealt heavily in happy-hooker cliches, I’m glad that they’re showing the darker side of it.

  28. JamesL
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I loved this episode but the sex scenes can still be pretty bad. I think it bothers because me because I know how much it bothers other people and I want the show to be as successful as it deserves to be. I think the big issue is that they seem to add lewdness to the show and not sex appeal. The closest thing to an erotic and sensual type scene was the Dany and Drogo one in season 1 but they were very tame with that one. A lot of sex/nudity in season 1 wasn’t very good and felt forced but at least it wasn’t very pornographic until that awful Littlefinger brothel scene. If they want to throw in some sex appeal than just show some nudity and don’t fill an episode with gratuitous porn scenes because the scenes are not very sexy. The nonreaders already seem to be meh with this season with all the new characters getting so much screen time and I think random porn scene with characters they don’t care about can push them even more away.

  29. gswelcome
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    other than the fact that Ros is wasting screentime that could be used for other characters, great episode, Tyrion getting rid of Slynt was my favorite scene. Theon meeting Yara came in close second

  30. purplejilly
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I really liked this episode sooo much better. It flowed better, didn’t have that ‘clip show’ feel. It feels like we spent enough time with each group of people, though I still feel a little Arya-deprived. I think they made a better use of the ‘show, don’t tell’ type of writing. For instance, when Gilly wants them to take her with them, she doesn’t just exposition why, and at the end of the ep, we get to see, along with Jon Snow, why she wants to flee with her possible boy. The ‘show instead of tell’ method is so much more satisfying, in my opinion. And I can hardly believe I’m admitting this, but when LF gave Ros that not so subtle threat to shut up and be happy, my grinchy heart grew two sizes, and I actually liked Ros and that scene.

    I thought I was going to be annoyed by the Stannis/Mel sex scene, but now I think it’s setting up the ‘shadow baby’, right? She needed Stannis’ energy and man seed to create it, I am thinking..

    The acting from everyone was solid, it seems like people are really blooming into their characters and into the story. Can’t believe I am saying this, but at this time I have no complaints! After a rewatch I may find a minor gate or two, or a nitpick, but right now, it’s just so much better than Ep. 11 for me, that I am all smiles.

  31. Khal Zhen
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Peter Dinklage is even better this season- making quite the case for best actor.

    As for changes from the book, I really wish folks would focus on what *works* on screen- rather than what is different. Nothing seemed out of place as established in the show.

    Yara/Theon went well, I think many people exaggerate the exchange from the books because it is from Theon’s POV and inner monologue.

  32. The Sun's Son
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    My initial impressions after watching the episode last week:

    1. That was not Asha Greyjoy. There is no way that the strong, sexy female character from the books was what I saw on the screen. Poor casting from HBO is my current position on her but hopefully she can bring me around. But Balon, Theon, and Pyke were all very well done/executed.
    2. Absolutely loving the Tyrion/Cersei “battles” early on this season. The chemistry between the two of them is exactly what it needs to be for other scenes down the road.
    3. Jaqen H’ghar! Can’t wait for them to get to Harrenhal.
    4. Stannis fucking Melisandre and Jon seeing Craster give his son to the Others were good moves by HBO I guess but still strange to see.
    5. So glad HBO kept and is showcasing Dolorous Edd’s personality from the books. He is one of my favorite characters.

    Going to watch it again tonight so I’m sure more things will jump out at me.

  33. Langkard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    It seemed to be implied that there is no Shireen either, from the way Melisandre stated that Lady Selyse only had stillborn children. Maybe she only meant stillborn sons; but it seems like we won’t be seeing a Shireen, which means no introduction to greyscale, either.

    Rakharo is dead. That came as a surprise. I guess the rumors were true after all and we were just fooled by last week’s appearance. Ah, well.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Bronn as commander of the city watch. It was either brilliant or expedient, perhaps both. Was that a bit of foreshadowing when Tyrion asked Bronn if he would question being ordered to kill a baby? Interesting answer and an even more interesting reaction in Tyrion’s eyes. Peter Dinklage is just amazing.

    The ending of this episode really took me by surprise. Seems the little changes are not quite so little. Next week should be interesting!

    I agree wholeheartedly with Winter Is Coming about the Varys and Tyrion scene. Two wonderful characters played by two wonderful actors.

    Apparently Ros has transitioned from chief sexpositor to tool to show how evil Littlefinger really is. I’m on the fence about this one as well. I’d hate to see Littlefinger turned into a one-dimensional cardboard evil guy. He’s so much more in the books. Although, Aiden Gillen definitely plays evil bastard to perfection.

    Another week of fingernails bitten to the quick waiting for the next episode. There wasn’t enough Jaqen H’ghar to make me happy this week. More Jaqen = better.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the non-reader reactions to this week. Should be fun.

  34. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    First off, I am not just a fanboy of all things GoTs. If there is something I don’t like I am sure to complain about it. But Episode 2 was just amazing. Now a lot of the “purists” will point out a lot of things things didn’t happen in the book. This is a TV adaptation and they need to create dialog between characters to communicate to the viewer what books usually have as characters inner thoughts. So that being said. This episode was awesome!

    Everything went smoothly and there was so much back-story being told. Many of us (readers) already assumed Craster had some deal with The Others, to give them his male babies. He is like a breeding kennel to supply The Others with fresh male babies. It was awesome they let that come to light in the end. We all saw one of The Others come and take that boy baby.

    Yara Vs Greyjoy wasn’t as good as the books but they got the jest of it. They couldn’t take 15mins of TV time to do it or have Theon show her his erection lol.

    Arya and Gentry on screen chemistry seems really good.

    Mel is starting to turn out okay. I think she will be fine.

    And that Littlefinger vs Ros scene was classic. Made you think he was going to care about her, then wham, guess what b!tch, if you don’t make me money I will sell you to a corpse f*cker. (Or something just as bad). Really put her in her place.

    I can’t complain about anything in this episode. Was done beautifully. Last episode the only thing I really didn’t like was the poisoning scene. This episode, I honestly loved everything!!!

    They got the ball rolling fast now… Can’t wait for next week!

  35. anuhealani
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem whatever with watching sex scenes, but the showrunners’ persistence in only showing female nudity is getting really tiring, not to mention insulting.

  36. Lord Bennett
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Great episode…even with some of the changes. The change with Jon catching Caster giving the boy to the others doesnt bother me as its a more interesting way to reveal than in the books.
    Might be wrong as its been awhile but in the books Mormont just tells all the watchmen about what he does with the boy….so this is a situation where the change just makes for better TV with a cliffhanger.

  37. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    The Ros scene was fine. The way it was filmed from behind made Littlefinger even creepier.

    I don’t know why people are so bothered by the sex scenes in this episode (though Stannis/Mel one was kinda lol to watch).

    The Theon one was completely organic and in-character, even necessary to show him building himself up to the girl only to be completely humiliated but his sister and father later on.

    And c’mon, the brothel sex moments were like 5 seconds.

  38. Bella
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I think the scene of stanis and melisandre will make sense more ahead. When Melisandre give birth to a shadow. Because in my understand the essense of the shadow come from Stannis.

  39. Socks hehe
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Something about the dialog in season 2 isn’t sitting well with me. It seems on a much lower level than on season 1, especially with Cersei’s lines. And I think they made a mistake when they casted Davos, the actor playing him should be playing Stannis instead.

  40. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    The Sun’s Son,

    That was not Asha Greyjoy. There is no way that the strong, sexy female character from the books was what I saw on the screen. Poor casting from HBO is my current position on her but hopefully she can bring me around.

    Give Yara a chance. She was all dirty and wearing unflattering clothes. I liked her. She looked pretty tough to me. Before you drop your final verdict on if you like her or not, give her a few more scenes. So far my only disappointment is Mel, but she is starting to grow on me. Hopefully Yara will do the same in your case, so you can enjoy her scenes. =)

  41. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    anuhealani:
    I have no problem whatever with watching sex scenes, but the showrunners’ persistence in only showing female nudity is getting really tiring, not to mention insulting.

    Now with THAT I agree. ; )

  42. Lord P
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Wtf, I never say anything but I can’t help myself right now. Did the writers of this episode even read the books? The sex scenes are gratuitous and don’t give the same feel they did in the book. Stannis banging Mel on the table? Really? Davos’ son, an idiot? Why? I hated the episode. The only scenes even remotely similar to the book’s story line were the Gendry/Arya scenes. And Yara? Why Yara? Just call her Asha!!!!

  43. Zigzag7
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, Stannis certainly screwed over Westeros. :S

  44. Langkard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering now if the scene with Littlefinger wiping off the mouth of the whore before giving her to the unsatisfied client and then the whore kissing the client is the fabled scene which HBO questioned as maybe going too far.

  45. Kate Bussell
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    As a huge fan of the books and having re-read Clash of Kings prior to season 2, I can spot where D&D have made changes and tweaks….but I’m not bothered by it.I think what they’ve done in most instances is brilliant. They’ve got roughly 9.5 hours to tell a story that required 708 pages to read, and then make it work on screen. I like where they’re going with Melissandre and Stannis, and think it’ll make Melissandre’s “baby” more accessible to viewers who haven’t read the books. Rhakaro, RIP. You’ll be missed!

  46. gswelcome
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Bella,

    oh i’m sure, they needed to be more explicit instead of just hinting at it for the show I understand that. My only complaint is that I think Stannis was liking it too much lol

  47. darquemode
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I liked tonight’s episode quite a bit!

    They really gave us insight into the rest of the season. We got to see many of the lines being drawn, plans forming and future pitfalls too for that matter!

    I liked Bronn’s promotion. I understood Littlefinger and Ros’s scene and felt it was executed much better than many of last year’s sexpo scenes. Theon’s though…. I’m not sure how much of that scene was needed other than letting us know he expected to be welcomed home with a parade! XD

    Loved Ghost! Good dirwolf…. stay… good boy! Now run off! XD

    The Iron Islands and Dragonstone scenes were awesome. Stannis, Davos, Balon and YAsha will be fun to watch this year…. Still not feeling Melisandre much, but she has had very limited scenes so far so I will withold final judgement.

    Dinklage continues to steal the show. Any scene he is in is a highlight. I will cut my hair off if he does not get nominated for many awards again this year!

  48. purrmonsta
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    strongboar,

    I actually cried with that Rakharo thing, that also did not happen in the books but I guess they need to establish that the Dothraki khalisars are still a threat to Dany and hers and this act did that rather succinctly.

  49. Langkard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    The interview with Carice van Houten in which she says that the character Melisandre is really sexy hot and so she, Carice, is a bit of a change makes me laugh now. Where in the world did Carice get the idea that she isn’t hot?

  50. Ismael Isak
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I really freaked out when that Stannis/Mel scene came. The worst part is that they made Selyse seem sympathetic when she is a cold, evil btich who probably pushed Stannis into sleeping with Mel in the first place. Also when Melisandre said “she gave you nothing” I thought hell no bitch, Stannis has a heir and her name is Shireen Baratheon. I really they don’t cut or Edric storm out

  51. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Kate Bussell,

    As a huge fan of the books and having re-read Clash of Kings prior to season 2, I can spot where D&D have made changes and tweaks….but I’m not bothered by it.I think what they’ve done in most instances is brilliant. They’ve got roughly 9.5 hours to tell a story that required 708 pages to read, and then make it work on screen.

    I totally agree. Like Tyrion making Bronn commander of the gold cloaks, never happened in the books, but makes perfect sense for the TV series and actually works perfectly… That is just one example. D&D have done many other changes like this that are very important and work very well for the TV series adaptation…

  52. KG
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    (flexes her “I was totally right” muscles)

  53. Ed
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it’s just not for you. Why don’t you go read the books, and let those of us that understand that this is an adaption of the books enjoy it in peace.

    Lord P:
    Wtf, I never say anything but I can’t help myself right now. Did the writers of this episode even read the books?The sex scenes are gratuitous and don’t give the same feel they did in the book.Stannis banging Mel on the table?Really?Davos’ son, an idiot?Why?I hated the episode. The only scenes even remotely similar to the book’s story line were the Gendry/Arya scenes. And Yara?Why Yara? Just call her Asha!!!!

  54. darquemode
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Theon Greyjoy Character Profile video here:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-season-2-theon-greyjoy.html

    I will post a 1080p version in the morning on YT when it is released onDemand.

  55. justin
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I wish HBO could just imply things like they r in the books. Renly and Loras relationship. Mel and Stannis relationship. at least they havent made sandor say i love u to sansa yet. other then that this episode was a lot better then the first and i so cant wait for harrenhal.

  56. SerCountryFriedSteak
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Started strong with Arya but it didn’t build to anything.

    Glad they didn’t really show White Walkers but it was a non-ending.

    These place setting episodes are tough to stomach

  57. BaronessBx
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit any episode where I get a chance to see the direwolves or dragons is alright by me. Loved Ghost!!! Period!!!

  58. Ed
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahaha!! That’s a funny line about Sandor! However, the answer to your concern is that most of the audience won’t pick up on it unless HBO hits em over the head with it. Subtle doesn’t work on TV as well as the books.

    justin:
    I wish HBO could just imply things like they r in the books. Renly and Loras relationship. Mel and Stannis relationship. at least they havent made sandor say i love u to sansa yet.

  59. Langkard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Langkard,

    (flexes her “I was totally right” muscles)

    Ok, but if you turn on the giant neon sign which reads, “I told you so!” we’re going to have an intervention.

  60. Drfunk
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Things I liked:

    1. Varys: he keeps on pimpin those awesome one liners.
    2. Tyrion: more zingers!
    3. Yoren: for being the tough sob who just don’t give a @#$#@.
    4. Balon:That was awesome, just the right amount of creepy/vengeful old man.

    Thinks I didn’t like:

    1.Yara: Maybe the name change is justified because the actress playing her is definitely not how I pictured Asha to be. I’m not complaining about the appearance but just her whole body language. Asha is suppose to be a “in your face” supremely confident/cocky pirate. She’s Jaime with tits and more attitude. I guess her portrayal didn’t convey that sense of assertiveness (especially during her Balon scene). Hopefully I’m proven wrong in the future episodes.

    2. Ros: Seriously, I’m not saying she’s a terrible actress (and she’s not) but why is she there? For Alayaya? There’s so much stuff they need to cram in 10 episodes, and a lot of the cool book moments were butchered for the sake of space. I just don’t see why she needs to fill in those scenes.

  61. Andy Gavin
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    After suffering through the week, Sunday night, Game of Thrones, night arrives. After last week’s tease, I was dying. And the pace of things start to heat up as we see pieces put in place last week begin to move. My full review can be found here.

  62. Dave Brownell
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The whole episode is great. I did not like that ending, with Craster crackin Jon in the head… It was a little like wtf for a reader since that never happened in the book…
    D&D did say they were expanding Dany and Jons stories a bit, but that seemed a bit of a drastic change, depending on how the next episode goes.

    NP: March With Your Battleforce – Cataract

  63. Dragonshit Crazy
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Great Arya & Gendry scenes…..Looks like someone put a knife to Jorah’s throat…. I like Tyrion is putting people in their places….Next Sunday can’t come soon enough!!! Maybe the dragons will finally get something to eat???

  64. Ashley Manwoody
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    apparently HBO thinks cum dribble makes for good television. Nice to see them keeping it classy.

  65. Koss
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Socks hehe:
    I think they made a mistake when they casted Davos, the actor playing him should be playing Stannis instead.

    Totally agree as do all of those who have read the books that watch it with me each week.

    In general it feels a little rushed to me but then again it is REALLY hard to capture the omniscience that GRRM offers through his italics in the books when there’s just dialogue and acting going on.

    I can’t believe no one is giving mention to the INCREDIBLE use of the dire wolves this year and there is a sense that they may be doing more and more as they get more confident in the techniques used for these effects… That’s a VERY good thing.

    Meanwhile I am not going to pretend some sort of false puritanism… I love all the sex. Plus HBO is making sure that this is THEIR love child and TNT will never be showing it years later. Hahahah.

  66. persephone88
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to skip around!

    Liked the Arya scenes. I was a Gendry doubter last season, but some characters I am starting to accept as different from the books, and I’m liking Gendry more. I thought his interplay with Arya was good, though the “You’re a girl” seemed a little abrupt. I was surprised that Yoren threatened the gold cloak. I was waiting for him to say “The Watch takes no part…” And though he lacks the accent, I thus far like Jaqen! “A man cannot choose his companions….” Rorge and Biter not quite scary enough yet…we’ll see if they develop. Looking forward to seeing a lot more from this bunch. Though Hot Pie is older here, I am liking his bluffed up bravado that is being continually called on and deflated by Arry and Gendry. :)

    LOVED Varys. I was not totally sold on him last season but he nailed that big fish / little fish scene. Deftly done in the scene with Tyrion. :)

    Liked Tyrion with Janos Slynt, though I was quite surprised to see Bronn as Captain of the Watch. Liked that they kept Bronn’s mercenary side in “How much?” comment.

    Thought the Tyrion / Cersei scene was spot on particularly when they talked about their mother’s death – really sets the scene for their animosity towards each other.

    Love Sam. Kudos to John Bradley – his Sam is so very affable, so likable and naive and good hearted – how can you not love him? Really liked his and Jon’s scene with Gilly. Did not expect Craster to whack Jon on the head though. And nice to see Ghost.

    Liked the Pike scenes. Though Yara is quite different than Asha, who was a lot flirtier and dangerously pretty in the books, I think Gemma did a different take on her that was fine. She LOOKS tough, and weathered, and not like some romanced up version of a girlie swashbuckler – she looks a lot harder and I think that fits, given her family. I did miss the line from the book about her husband and suckling babe, though! And I am loving Patrick Malahide’s Balon soooo much more than book Balon. That man brings a lot to the part! That whole scene was just beautifully filmed, the sitting room, the beach and landscape scenes of Pike. I never enjoyed the Greyjoy chapters in the book but am liking them a lot more here.

    Felt like the episode tried to pack soooo much in, and while it was deftly done, I sort of miss the more leisurely pace of the some of the scenes last season. I so wish they could slow it down and take their time and have room for a bit more dialogue, like in the Yara / Theon exchange, etc.

    I did not hate Ros this episode, though I think they are making Littlefinger far too much of a mustache twirling villain. I thought Aiden Gillen’s delivery was fine, and his speech was fine, but he’s lost some of his mystery and his toying – he’s such a straight out business man. Didn’t buy Ros’s crying, but the look she gave at the end when she realized that she was stuck after Littlefinger departed was fine.

    The scenes I least enjoyed, I hate to say, where the Stannis ones. What is with making Mathos a LoL devotee while Davos is the hard old skeptic? “Stannis is my god”? I don’t know, I am just not buying this Davos, not feeling as affectionate towards him as with book Davos. There was a certain humility to book Davos, that backed his unswerving dedication to Stannis, and series Davos does not seem particularly humble nor low born to me. Is it the British accent that makes him sound more to the manor born?

    And while I get why the had Melisandre appeal to his desire for a son, I am sad that they cut Shireen and Patchface, who were so creepy and made Stannis life seem all the sadder, and I thought Stannis transition from “I’m married, I took a vow” to “okay, give me a son and let’s get on with it” in about ten seconds flat was just not believable. He is not a vow breaker at heart, and I just thought that scene was incredibly rushed.

    So – good episode, I think it flowed better than last week’s, but things seem to be going at a breakneck pace – so much to cram in! I do wish HBO would crack the vault for an additional episode or two just to be able to spend more time with each scene. Missed seeing Robb, Sansa, the Hound, etc. but they simply could not have gotten in more than they did. I didn’t even get a glimpse of Pod in the two seconds he was in a shot! The Dany scene also seemed brief and rushed – we’re starving, oh, Rhakaro got killed, here’s his head. I’m wondering if new viewers even remember who he was from last season?

    Look forward to next week, looks like more Pike, a bit more Arya, etc. They are flying through the book! Most looking forward to the arrival at Harrenhal, personally…

  67. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    2. Ros: Seriously, I’m not saying she’s a terrible actress (and she’s not) but why is she there? For Alayaya? There’s so much stuff they need to cram in 10 episodes, and a lot of the cool book moments were butchered for the sake of space. I just don’t see why she needs to fill in those scenes.

    I agree… I have a sense that they are humanizing Ros and making the TV viewers feel sorry for her… So they can have Cersei kill her, (instead of whipping Alayaya), so it will have a greater emotional impact on the viewer. The average viewer doesn’t hare Ros like we do (book reader). That’s just my belief. I am hoping I am right. =)

  68. Koss
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Ashley Manwoody:
    apparently HBO thinks cum dribble makes for good television. Nice to see them keeping it classy.

    These guys did have a child sucking on a fake tit last season after all. This story involves incest, whores, killing, betrayal, infanticide, and all the other stuff that goes on in Washington DC on a regular basis. I think it’s funny that we can all be fine with alluding to a brothel blowjob but if it’s in it face (or hers, maybe) its gone too far.

  69. andrea
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    About Peeperfinger and his “That was poorly handled” (that is, kill a baby without any elegance): that line completely describes him. I think that we don´t need more monologues about his wickedness in later episodes.
    “And what do you feel about that?” is probably the best question so far on the show.
    Stannis horny? I think Melisandre said the magic word (“son”). I like that scene but sexy Stannis is really awkward *shudder*.
    Oh I love Conleth Hill, he is a genius, but don´t like “I keep on paddling”… is kind of crass for him?
    Wic: I think your opinions are much better than recaps.

  70. Joop Stroop
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode and generally don’t mind changes in the story for the sake of a more flowing tv adaptation, but can anyone explain to me why Rakharo had to die? This, to me, seems the first change for the sake of change decisions and I can’t quite understand it…

  71. BoardCanada
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Loved the added Littlefinger scene, it showed how ruthless he can be. Was his speech about a man that buys and transforms/does horrible things maybe a reference to Qyburn from later on in the series

    Joop Stroop,

  72. Wdb617
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Admitted lurker here. I’m watching the show with my nonreader wife. I’ve got to agree with her and the others here who have voiced disappointment with the sex scenes. I anticipated the Theon scene. The brothel scene was a little over the top. Seriously, wiping the whores mouth before handing her over again. Not necessary. We know from S1 that littlefinger is an evil little shit. That screen time could have been better used. Oh well. Arya/Gendry = great. Balon = great. I’m liking Davos. Tyrion/Cersei = great. Jaquen is the Boba Fett of GoT! Love seeing this character come to life. Would rather the Stannis/Mel relations been more “implied” but their chemistry is growing on me.

  73. Langkard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    andrea: “And what do you feel about that?” is probably the best question so far on the show.

    I wasn’t sure I’d like the actor cast as Balon Greyjoy, but the delivery of that line convinced me he can do the part. It seems like many of the secondary characters have perfect one-liners which almost seem to define them. Like Bronn’s, “you wouldn’t know him” line last season. Great writing.

  74. Sword-O-Da-Mornin'
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    not quite sure i like how much screen time Petyr is getting. Book wise he’s much more mysterious… Idk but still each episode of this show is like a dream come true… Still so happy HBO picked this up

  75. J
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    persephone88:
    The scenes I least enjoyed, I hate to say, where the Stannis ones. What is with making Mathos a LoL devotee while Davos is the hard old skeptic? “Stannis is my god”? I don’t know, I am just not buying this Davos, not feeling as affectionate towards him as with book Davos. There was a certain humility to book Davos, that backed his unswerving dedication to Stannis, and series Davos does not seem particularly humble nor low born to me. Is it the British accent that makes him sound more to the manor born?

    FWIW – the “King Stannis is my God” line is from the book, though Davos says it to Salladhor Saan, not his son.

  76. Robert
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    2 episodes in, and I give it a big MEH. I understand the series is an adaptation of the book, but they could follow the book more. I’m not understanding why they are changing character names, & scenes, or completely leaving important scenes or other characters out. I feel like there rushing everything because they only have 10 episodes. If that’s so, make more episodes to get everythingin. Guess thats why everyone always says the books are better than movies/tv shows.

  77. Neu
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that the song Tyrion is whistling as he enters his chambers is The Rains of Castamere.

  78. Mattia Zarulli
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Plain_A,

    I agree with you brother!

  79. Franny_Bee
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone fill me in on what LF said to Ros? I had to step out of the room and I missed it. It seems there are a lot of ppl who were disappointed by the scene.

  80. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Joop Stroop:
    I liked the episode and generally don’t mind changes in the story for the sake of a more flowing tv adaptation, but can anyone explain to me why Rakharo had to die? This, to me, seems the first change for the sake of change decisions and I can’t quite understand it…

    The actor took another role, it’s probably not something they would’ve done otherwise.

  81. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    George describes the characters in his books without having to actually live with those consequences in every scene. That’s because we, as readers, do not actually see them and their description, once given, is generally ignored thereafter. So Tyrion is introduced with hair so blonde it is almost white (you were paying attention to that little gem plus his mutant eyes AND the dwarfism, right?)– but people totally forget this critical detail. It’s mentioned only once in the entire book series.

    Same thing with Asha. She can be presented initially by GRRM as more of a stereotypical fantasy babe in a chainmail bikini and we get over it, fast. We put it aside because we don’t actually have to look at her, ever.

    However, that is not the case when she is on the screen. Especially where D&D and Gemma Jackson have taken so many pains to get the entire world feeling and looking “right”, to cast a typical TV babe as Asha would have looked gratuitous, out of place and just plain wrong. It would have come off as being FALSE to the setting and to the HBO series.

    D&D are better judges of this than GRRM, because unlike George, they have to live with those consequences in every scene.

    I think the casting with Yara was correct. Gemma Whelan as costumed looks the part of a woman raised a tomboy, her acting was solid and the part is cast in a way which pays better homage to the realism of the setting that George gives Westeros as a whole.

    I loved Patrick Malahide as Balon though he seemed just a touch more virile then I was expecting. Still — no complaints at all with the Greyjoys.

  82. Drewr15
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Ghost looked awesome! Excellent episode. Added scenes mostly work for me. Only meh one was the brothel scene but it wasn’t bad.

  83. Paco
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Pyke looked amazing! for real, it was like straight out of a Song of Ice and Fire art book. most favorite castle BY FAR. even better than the twins, imo.

    Asha/Yara… eh. still not sold on her. theres a sexy toughness to Asha in the books that her actor didnt convey in the few scenes that she had. Im trying to reserve my judgement until we see more of her, though. keyword being TRYING.

    The whole Stannis sex scene didnt sit well with me either since I always thought of him as asexual, in a way. I think most readers knew or had an idea of where the shadow babies came from so it wasnt a huge surprise to see them have sex… it was just the way it happened that i found to be ooc for Stannis’s usual steely persona.

    And Winter, Greyjoys and Starks are my faves too! flawless taste! XD

  84. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Franny_Bee:
    Can anyone fill me in on what LF said to Ros? I had to step out of the room and I missed it. It seems there are a lot of ppl who were disappointed by the scene.

    You should watch it again because it was pretty well done, but the gist was “I had another sad whore once, so I gave her to some psycho to have his way with her, so take the night off to mourn, and after that, you’d better not be sad anymore.”

  85. NousWanderer
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    anuhealani:
    I have no problem whatever with watching sex scenes, but the showrunners’ persistence in only showing female nudity is getting really tiring, not to mention insulting.

    The whore in the brothel was fucking a — WAIT FOR IT — nude male.

    When Theon was fucking the captain’s daughter he was — WAIT FOR IT — nude.

    I really don’t understand this point of view. It’s as if people are looking for some genital-to-genital equivalence when, let’s be fair, we’ve mostly seen a bit of female bush with respect to the full frontal quota. I really don’t get it.

  86. rarara
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I love that they show things rather than just subtly implying them. It means I get to see something new, that the books didn’t offer. It means that the TV series is more of a companion to the books, rather than just the same thing in a different medium.

  87. Petyr
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Lommy was already talking about yielding, what a candy ass.

  88. don draper
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode. A couple changes from the book, but I am interested in seeing where they go. I thought the Ros scene was well handled, it is probably setting up future development with Ros/Littlefinger. It is an adaption of the book, not a scene by scene illustration. People need to remember that. “Watchmen” was brilliant as a graphic novel and the movie followed it almost scene by scene in a lot of ways. The movie was terrible.

    The only change I am disappointed in is Davos. Davos is a humble, lowborn man in the books and he is very faithful to the seven. I don’t like this interpretation of him, although the actor is doing a great job portraying this version. I prefer the book version still, but I am willing to see where this goes.

  89. Deborah
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Am I wrong or didn’t Brienne think that the shadow that kills Renly looked like Stannis. I thought that was made clear in the books. Maybe I just think that because I figured it out. I am on the side of all the people who feel the female characters have lost their edge. They tend to be reactive rather than proactive. Bugs me but I will deal with it.

  90. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I hated the cliffhanger in the end, it is retarded.

  91. Lof
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Ros: Is she being groomed for the role Jeyne Poole/Arya Stark? What LF said to her in tonight’s episode felt like foreshadowing of being given to Ramsay Bolton. Plus Theon/”Reek” would certainly recognize her.

  92. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    After watching episode 2 a second time. I finally understand what was happening at the start of that Littlefinger scene.

    A guy was having sex, a peepingtom was watching him, being turned on by it while receiving oral. Littlefinger was watching the peepingtom being a peepingtom…

    That is a very clever analogy of what Littlefinger is. He is always one level above, watching, plotting…

  93. don draper
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    One thing I forgot to mention…the series is absolutely nailing the interacts between Tyrion and Cersei. They are absolutely the best and most chilling part of the season so far. That final interaction, bringing up Tyrion’s “first joke.” Excellent!!!

  94. Louisa
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like TVStannis. In that last scene, they made him look extremely vulnerable against Mel. It’s like they’re doing a rehash of the Renly/Loras armpit scene. When GRRM handled the relationships in the books, it was subtle and it was utter brilliance; when it’s being shoved down your face by HBO, it’s cringeworthy and cheesy.

    Subtlety HBO, subtlety! Your audience are not dumbos.

  95. Mel
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    darquemode:

    Dinklage continues to steal the show. Any scene he is in is a highlight. I will cut my hair off if he does not get nominated for many awards again this year!

    I agree 100%! I’ve been a Dinklage fan after watching him in previous work and I absolutely love him. I’m so glad he is finally getting the recognition he deserves! And if he doesn’t get nominated, I think I’ll cut my hair too! Maybe not all of it, but some of it! hahaha

  96. sedeyus
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: Drfunk, I agree… I have a sense that they are humanizing Ros and making the TV viewers feel sorry for her… So they can have Cersei kill her, (instead of whipping Alayaya), so it will have a greater emotional impact on the viewer. The average viewer doesn’t hare Ros like we do (book reader). That’s just my belief. I am hoping I am right. =)

    Oh, I hope you’re right, that’s about the only thing that can make Ros scenes worth it at this point. Ros scenes are still doing the same things they did last season, driving home unnecessary points (What?! Littlefinger’s a slimy bastard?!), sneaking in juvenile sex scenes (except Esme Bianco isn’t getting nude), and getting Esme Bianco some work. It’s crazy at this point with the exception of maybe Cersei and Gilly, Ros has had more or the same amount of scenes as any other female character.

  97. Louisa
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi: Elyes Gabel

    WTFFFFF I thought he was Jhogo! Damn Dany’s bloodriders are so confusing.

    No more Elyes Gabel? Oh no.

    LanisterPaysHisDebts:
    Does anyone find it hard to understand some of the words the actors are saying? The English accent escapes me sometimes. I need to rewatch

    I have problems with the Littlefinger-Ros scene, even then I blame it to Littlefinger’s whispering. Speak louder, boy!

    Also Dolorous Edd’s. I can’t understand what he’s saying, which makes it more painful as I know he says some pretty hilarious stuff.

  98. Drfunk
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    I’ll have to agree. Though it may come as crude to some viewers. As for the whole book was far more subtle etc… It’s sad to say this but mature shows are far more graphic than they used to be. 10 years ago they may have filmed it as a fade to the side/background and “imply” sex etc.. but nowadays with Spartacus, The Borgias, True Blood it’s “expected” to show in your face nudity.

  99. Ms. Stormborn
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    My favorites were:

    1. GHOST! I shrieked when he appeared.
    2. Salladhor Saan- made me laugh
    3.Dolorous Edd- ditto
    4.Jaqen H’ghar/Arya/Gendry
    5. Yoren- he’s a bad ass in black

  100. Ashley Manwoody
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Koss: These guys did have a child sucking on a fake tit last season after all. This story involves incest, whores, killing, betrayal, infanticide, and all the other stuff that goes on in Washington DC on a regular basis.I think it’s funny that we can all be fine with alluding to a brothel blowjob but if it’s in it face (or hers, maybe) its gone too far.

    Didn’t realise wiping cum was a character building plot point. My bad.

  101. andrea
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    yes, that line is simple and says plenty. Like Davos line: “Tell him that” (to Stannis that he is just a man).
    Those simple lines (said by those great actors), helps the characters to become more transparent and interesting.
    I don´t like Greyjoys but I like Balon and Asha very much (and that fireplace!)

  102. Lord P
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    Brilliant response. I hadn’t noticed this was an adaptation. I thought it was a word-for-word recital of the books. You obviously missed my point. It’s not that the adaptation per se is problematic. Its the unnecessary and superfluous liberty with which the adapters are making changes that is troubling. Adapt the story, no need to invent a new one in its place. GRRM gives you plenty to work with.

  103. LordStarkington
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Not sold on Asha/Yara yet but we’ll see how it goes; Balon was absolutely great though, and I generally HATE the Greyjoys from the books. No Aeron helps too, I admit.

    Varys continues to be great, I liked them substituting Bronn for Jacelyn Bywater (although I did like his character in the books), and the Arya/Gendry scenes were well done.

    Overall, the plot didn’t move a lot forward but I feel like the Dragonstone and Pyke storylines are well set up (the Greyjoy situation well summed up given only a few minutes) and I’m hoping that gives later episodes more time for juicier bits.

    Oh, and Salladhor Saan was fun.

  104. Michelle
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Other than the weird Littlefinger/Ros scene, I loved it. I just wish they’d ditch Ros altogether; not really seeing what she brings to the story. Anyway, everything else was great. Wasn’t particularly attached to Rakharo, so his death didn’t bother me. Frankly, I only care about the Essos stuff to see Jorah, who is one of my favorite characters.

    Didn’t mind the non-mention of Shireen either. I mean, unless she’s going to be the last Baratheon standing at the end of all this, is she really that necessary? Besides, I’m sure even Stannis would rather have sons, than a greyscale infected daughter. And Mel did promise him sons. ;)

    Kinda curious how (or even if) they’re going to explain away Ghost not coming to Jon’s aid when Craster clocked him. I mean, they went to all that trouble to show him, didn’t they? Unless Ghost was freaked out by the Others being nearby?

  105. DH87
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    I don’t think Ros’s enthusiastic fan base extends beyond D&D. When she dies (I’m counting the days), I hope it doesn’t take up much screen time. It can’t happen too soon.

  106. Tim
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    don draper,
    The movie has problems but wasn’t that terrible. If anything it’s Zack Snyder constant use of slow-motion, choice of music and some had issue with the no use of the squid, which graphic novel used.

    Lof,
    How on earth can that happen? With Maisie being a half-pint and Ros being much older than her, it’s so obviously Ros is grown woman and won’t be mistaken for a girl. Also, seen a picture with her, Sophie and Maisie, she’s even taller than Sophie

    Before the Littlefinger/Ros scene, yeah, there’s a reason why prostitutes usually have a no kissing rule. Eeewww…

  107. lonas
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    My only comment goes for the gentle tissue white spot clean-up by Litle finger. and the kiss that followed….WHICH ALSO GOT LAUGHS!

    And for the rest, rather than say i like or i dislike..I just say that we ALL LOVE IT AND WE WILL LOVE IT EVEN MORE TWARDS THE END..
    And when we are waiting all together for the next season…noone will talk about this minor critics to changes or characters.
    We will just want them to get back soon.
    And by the way..if theres anyone here from Portugal …REJOICE cous our dear George is coming over this month!!! hurrrraaayyy

    http://bang.saidadeemergencia.com/index.php?topic=2554.0

    Any questions you want me to ask him while is signing some of my books?

  108. andrea
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Sword-O-Da-Mornin’: Book wise he’s much more mysterious

    I think we can forget about that, Littlefinger and Varys are much more bold in TV. They both make threats to powerful people and say things we don´t expect them to say. They´re different. I guess we´ll see why.

  109. Brad
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Have to voice my unhappiness with the amount and style of the sex scenes too. The books were clearly R-rated, but it was all in service to the story and setting. There is something “tacked on” feeling about a lot of it in the show.

    Also, Dinklage remains an arch, self-important ham — and a handsome short man — in contrast to the crafty, scrappy, self-hating dwarf Tyrion was in the books. That’s not a compliment.

  110. Drfunk
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I found this thumblr recap hilariously funny guys:

    http://ology.com/post/68210/-game-of-thrones-recap-the-night-lands-

    It’s like reading Hibbert with pictures xD

  111. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Some Episode 2 Easter Eggs:

    1) Did anyone else notice that the sound you hear at the beginning of the episode is not the sound of the nearby stream, but that of Arya’s piss? When she hears a noise she clenches her urethral sphincter in fear and you can hear the sound suddenly stop.. [took me a 2nd watching to notice that...]

    2) The horse that returned with a head in the Dany scene had orange stripes on it. The horse that Rakharo left on in ep1 did not have orange stripes on it. Of the 3 blood riders in ep 1, only 2 had pony tails =>=>That was the head of one of the other pony-tailed blood riders, but NOT Rakharo…

    Lastly, I’d like to mention that if the Starks had Theon for a longer time than Balon, and “its been nine years” since Balon saw his son, then Theon in the show can be no more than 17 years old…

  112. alex
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Ashley Manwoody: Didn’t realise wiping cum was a character building plot point. My bad.

    I genuinely wonder whether European audiences would react the way some posters are here…

  113. Koss
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Ashley Manwoody: Didn’t realise wiping cum was a character building plot point. My bad.

    I’ll forgive you.

    Seriously though, this is an absolutely horrendous act, we pretty much all would agree about this… But to Littlefinger it’s just business as usual, literally. He’s got an upset customer who is berating him and when he sees something that seems shocking to us he immediately reacts to get the upper hand of the situation and handle the problem. Even though it’s sickening to you and me, it’s just another conniving act that Littlefinger doesn’t have to think twice about. Like a car dealer using the cuff of a shirt to buff out a smudge on a Benz, he wipes his merchandise to make the sell and please the customer. To him people are just tools for him to prosper and he doesn’t care about anything else, as his dealings with Ros hit home.

  114. brian
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    brad…..
    your trying too hard
    the sex scenes make people talk…which is exactly what they want
    just enjoy the show, compared to other on screen adapts, not much to complain about dont bring it down for the rest of us
    Brad,

  115. Mimsy
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I totally forgot about the Capt’s ugly daughter. I was thinking, wow what an odd duck Theon’s screwing. When he told her to smile with her mouth shut, I lol’d.

    Arya and Gendry were everything I pictured in my head as I read the books. Loved it and I’m liking that Gendry knew her gender. Jaqen is so unique I wonder how the audience will take to him. I enjoyed his soft spoken voice and smiles.

    Rorge and Biter freaked me out. I wasn’t expecting that! I think they are gonna do a good job creeping me out.

    I thought Stannis did a great job, but if he’s a by the book kind of guy why would he accept a bastard as his heir?

  116. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I think the last scene when Mel whispers into Davos son’s ear about “A death by fire is the purest death”, is foreshadowing that he will die in the blackwater battle on a burning ship. Setting up more drama between Davos and Mel for future seasons.

    The whole Mel with Stannis sex scene is to setup the birthing scene. So it all is coming together.

  117. Flow101
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad I haven’t read the books, that’s the main reason I can completely enjoy the series. And I can honestly say this series is GREAT!
    I’ve loved the first two episodes so far and from what I’ve hear around here, there much more to come :P
    Maybe I’ll start reading the books after the season ends, I don’t think I’ll be able to wait another year for the 3rd season.

  118. HumMis1349
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    LanisterPaysHisDebts:
    Does anyone find it hard to understand some of the words the actors are saying? The English accent escapes me sometimes. I need to rewatch

    What is “the” English accent? The Queen’s English? Or do you mean Northern English accents, which are abundant in this series?

  119. Arthur
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    HERP-DERP,

    Did anyone else notice that the sound you hear at the beginning of the episode is not the sound of the nearby stream, but that of Arya’s piss? When she hears a noise she clenches her urethral sphincter in fear and you can hear the sound suddenly stop..

    Wow, your attention to detail is very impressive. I would have never caught that. When I watch it again, I will be listening lol…

  120. darquemode
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I was not a fan of Ros last year… not at all.
    Honestly though, this year I have enjoyed every scene she has had and moreover I understand why they were there. I liked the Ros/ Littlefinger scene much more than the Theon/ Captain’s daughter scene.

    Littlefinger was not peeping on the peeping Tom so much as spying on his patrons. He may have little birds to gather information, but the man is not above doing some spying of his own.

    To me it makes perfect sense to combine Chataya, Alayayainto this new character Ros. The actress is quite good in the role and it’s cost effective to have one actress do those 2 roles (or more roles if you count nameless whores in the book).

    I do not get the Ros hate this year at all. People need to accept the sexposition since D&D will not be stopping it anytime soon. It is HBO afterall.

  121. andrea
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    priceless Theon with Napoleon´s hat!

  122. John Juliano
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    I like the episode, only real problem for me was Yara’s dialogue was a little sparse. Balon Greyjoy was a god. Also, as far as adaptation of the books goes, I have come to see these as two seperate entities,each with different high points. I love both, I like the show better, and I am well beyond caring whether or not they stay close to eachother. They are close enough, and as long as the plot thread stays at least mostly the same, I am ok.

  123. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    Littlefinger was not peeping on the peeping Tom so much as spying on his patrons. He may have little birds to gather information, but the man is not above doing some spying of his own.

    What would Littlefinger care of some commoner’s fetish of peeping on someone having sex? That scene was there to let you know Littlefingers is above the fray. He is the watcher of watchers, he is on a different much higher level. It was put there to let the viewer know Littlefinger sees all… Not that he was spying on his clients having sex.

  124. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I uploaded the HBO GO episode extras here:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-episode-202-night-lands_4112.html

    This week there are 7… The 8th video was the scene from last year with Jon and Tyrion on the road discussing Grumpkins and Snarks so I did not post it.

  125. stevelabny
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve defended almost every change on the show. I think it is over-sexed up, but most of the dialogue in the sexposition scenes has given the scenes value and made them somewhat bearable.

    Tonight’s episode was the first time I’ve gone totally eye-rolly.

    I’ve like all the added Littlefinger scenes with Varys and last week’s with Cersei because I felt they do a good job of showing us how the major non-POV players view each other and show us exactly how Littlefinger makes himself comes across as a non-threat.

    This week’s brothel scene did nothing for Littlefinger at all. And you can’t even look at it as him being unnecessarily cruel and evil because Ros is so far beneath him it doesn’t matter. The sight gag with the john kissing the whore’s mouth and tasting the prior john is just soooo American Pie level of sophomoric humor.

    And unlike the Loras-Renly scene which decided that the Tyrells planted the seed of ruling in Renly’s mind (a change I really like) the Stannis-Mel scene seemed completely forced. We barely know Stannis at this point and now we get confirmation he’s breaking his vows even while he’s telling us how honorable he is. This makes him look like more of a self-righteous asshat than he actually is.

    And then the Asha-Theon scene which is one of the best in CoK got watered down by making it all Theon groping and removing Ashas’s encouragement and groping. Its one of the reasons I think most of you aren’t thinking she’s Asha enough.

    And no Wex. Especially since Wex gives Theon someone to talk at all times, and someone to supply info to Manderly way down the road.

    Meanwhile, they “introduce” Pod without showing his face, Why?

    And then the last scene was just a huge wtf. Was that supposed to a cliffhanger? It wasn’t anywhere close to on par with the last 11 episode endings. Balon saying “who said anything about the Lannisters” would have been a better ending.

    So yeah, the show is still funnier than every sitcom on television, and still has more awesome scenes and quotes than any other show, but I think this was the weakest of the 12 episodes so far.

  126. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    stevelabny: I’ve defended almost every change on the show. I think it is over-sexed up, but most of the dialogue in the sexposition scenes has given the scenes value and made them somewhat bearable. Tonight’s episode was the first time I’ve gone totally eye-rolly. I’ve like all the added Littlefinger scenes with Varys and last week’s with Cersei because I felt they do a good job of showing us how the major non-POV players view each other and show us exactly how Littlefinger makes himself comes across as a non-threat. This week’s brothel scene did nothing for Littlefinger at all. And you can’t even look at it as him being unnecessarily cruel and evil because Ros is so far beneath him it doesn’t matter. The sight gag with the john kissing the whore’s mouth and tasting the prior john is just soooo American Pie level of sophomoric humor..

    I completely agree, stevelabny, there’s just something incredibly juvenile about the way D&D approach sex on this show.

  127. JamesL
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    I wonder how the ratings are going to be. I think episode 2 leaking might have an effect on the ratings this week but I’m somewhat worried about what they’ll be the next few weeks considering the mixed reaction this season has got from nonreaders and even some book readers. It seems like the buzz and excitement for the show has died down a lot since the premiere and I just hope they don’t go under 3m.

  128. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    The clientele at his upper class brothel is not simple commoners. What commoner can afford to pay twice as much?

    Littlefinger knows all because he gets information from his network of spies that includes his whores… but why exactly would he not keep track of the goings on in his own brothel? Knowing who likes what can be useful not only to help in customer satisfaction, but also can be used later against any patron he can use to help secure what he wants.

    Many people need to be coerced into talking and having something over their heads certainly does not hurt. Not all of his spies and informants are willing I would wager…..

  129. Ashley Manwoody
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Koss: I’ll forgive you.

    Seriously though, this is an absolutely horrendous act, we pretty much all would agree about this… But to Littlefinger it’s just business as usual, literally. He’s got an upset customer who is berating him and when he sees something that seems shocking to us he immediately reacts to get the upper hand of the situation and handle the problem. Even though it’s sickening to you and me, it’s just another conniving act that Littlefinger doesn’t have to think twice about. Like a car dealer using the cuff of a shirt to buff out a smudge on a Benz, he wipes his merchandise to make the sell and please the customer. To him people are just tools for him to prosper and he doesn’t care about anything else, as his dealings with Ros hit home.

    He’s supposed to own a pile of Brothels, not run them and they’re certainly not his only source of income yet HBO is playing it up because it gives them a chance to add in gratuitous sex. that little bit was added in purely for fratboy humor aka the lowest common denominator. forgive me if i don’t enjoy being talked down to nor do i have the patience for cheep tactics to draw attention/controversy by being “edgy”. Boardwalk Empire didn’t have to pander for it’s audience but apparently we need crass jokes at the expense of LF’s character to hold us.
    and no, I’m not American.

  130. Inka
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Wic, I like this way of doing the weekly recaps better than just a summary.
    I thought that this episode was great! Theon’s story was probably my favorite. The guy playing his dad is absolutely amazing.
    One thing that I still don’t like is Stannis. I’m not sure if they are changing him from the books or the actor who plays him just has a different idea of how to portray him, but it still feels a little off. But ya, I have no idea how an actor would even begin to portray someone who is uncharismatic, yet strong, stubborn, and with a middle-child complex.

  131. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    1) Overall, I really like this episode:

    - Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie? Oh yes!
    - Salladhor Saan? Black actor + pirate swagger + accent = awesome.
    - Melisandre? Let the robes/pieces fall where they may!
    - Theon failing to recognize his own sister on Pyke? Pwnd!
    - Balon reminding his son that the iron price is the only that counts? Nicely done!
    - Sam, Gilly, Ghost and crunchy footfalls? Duty or honor, which do you choose?
    - Varys not liking “fish pie”? A bit obvious, but still funny.
    - Tyrion’s scenes? He’s getting rather good at this Hand of the King gig, isn’t he?

    <petpeeve>

    2) Ros is no longer the annoyingly happy hooker. She didn’t get to say much this time, but her grief over Barra’s murder was believable enough. Suppressing her tears in light of LF’s threat to sell her to some depraved pervert also helped to finally humanize her a little bit.

    It’s a start, but the writers will still need to let her show some initiative in future episodes or else write her out of the show. Relative to GRRM’s original protagonists, the development of the Ros character continues to proceed very slowly per unit of screen time alloted to scenes she is in.

    </petpeeve>

    3) More worryingly, there were (at least) three distinct logic flaws in this episode:

    a) LF’s overly long soliloquy centered on how he had once sold a prostitute he bought at great expense from a pleasurehouse in Lys partly because her chronic crying annoyed him but mostly to cover his financial losses. In the TV series at least, we are supposed to believe that Ros rode into KL on a turnip cart and (presumably) just applied for the job. If so, LF didn’t need to invest a lot of gold in her. If she were to keep crying, he could cut his losses by firing her. After all, his other girls appear to be working harder than ever, sans waterworks.

    Btw: Something about Mary, your 15 minutes is up.

    b) Tyrion’s suggests to Slynt that Robert Baratheon’s bastards would have a stronger claim to the throne than Jeffrey if Stannis’ assertion of twincest were to be believed at court. Given that Tyrion is an unusually learned man from a leading House, it is very odd indeed that he should not know the most basic rule of salic promogeniture: a bastard has no claim to the throne at all unless he/she is legitimized by either a royal decree or the marriage of his/her biological parents.

    The reason Jeffrey had Robert’s black-haired children murdered appears to have been a different one: by purging the Baratheon dynasty of what are supposedly his own illegitimate half-siblings, he’s trying to convince the court and aristocracy that he really is Robert’s legitimate firstborn and hence, the rightful king. Perception is reality and all that.

    c) Apropos progeniture: from what I understand, Stannis has a daughter in the books. If so, he would know that she is second in line of succession after him. A legitimate son would push her to third place, but still ahead of Renly. Ergo, Stannis doesn’t actually need the son Melisandre promises him to secure his blood line. If he has other reasons for wanting a son, they were not discussed.

    My best guess is that D&D just wanted to eliminate Shireen from the story to ensure Stannis had a dynastic reason to cheat on his sick wife and make whoopie with the red temptress. He’s a stickler for the law, so it would be out of character for him to simply succumb to his carnal urges. Note that Stannis could easily legitimize any son resulting from the tryst after his coronation or else, by marrying Melisandre after his wife dies (which she would surely see to).

  132. Jarin Udom
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    So, did anyone else notice…

    DUCKFACE MAN

    THE EXTRA WHO DOES NOTHING BUT DUCKFACE THROUGH HIS ENTIRE SCENE

  133. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    Good points. While everything you said makes sense.

    I still believe that scene sequence (of the peepholes) was also used as a kind of metaphor of Littlefinger “watching the watchers”, so to speak. I liked the scene. I also liked the dialogue between him and Ros. It just reminded the viewer that Littlefinger isn’t a soft character to be f*cked with. He is cold and calculating and after personal gain. A dangerous man.

  134. RandomCommenter
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Drfunk:
    2. Ros: Seriously, I’m not saying she’s a terrible actress (and she’s not) but why is she there? For Alayaya? There’s so much stuff they need to cram in 10 episodes, and a lot of the cool book moments were butchered for the sake of space. I just don’t see why she needs to fill in those scenes.

    This, but I don’t necessarily think Ros is the root of the problem. D&D seem to have this really bizarre fascination with Littlefinger, and for the most part Ros only exists as yet another outlet for Littlefinger to chew scenery with (when he’s not doing so with Varys or Cersi). It’s not that I don’t like Littlefinger, he’s one of my favorite characters from the book, but it’s not like he’s so complex that they need to jam him into every episode just so the so-called drooling, idiotic TV Viewing Audience can hope to comprehend all the layers of his craftiness and cunning. I think most people have gotten the point by now.

    I just watched his scene in the repeat and timed it at 4:30 minutes. And what did we knowledge did we gain in the time? Littlefinger spies on customers for future blackmail and tells a ho to quit cryin’ and get back out on the block. 4:30 minutes! Aren’t those aspects of his character pretty much self-explanitory? Could that time really have not been used to start building up Sandor’s character or something? Anything?

    As for the rest, yeah I wasn’t too happy with sexy Stannis either, just because it’s so out of character. Same with “Yara” letting Theon grope her and not moving his hand away like in the book. Not every character in the books dig incest, D&D.

    One other character I think they treat rather oddly is Sam. It’s like they decided cowardice was too boring a character flaw, so they made him desperate and creepy instead. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Sam is some kind of in-joke between D&D, in that they mistakenly think of him as an avatar of their fan-base.

    I liked everything else, though!

  135. H, aka Vee
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I didn’t care for the Melisandre/Stannis scene at all, but I get why it was there. I just hope that’s the end of it, otherwise my face might cringe itself off. But then I’m not sure it was intended to be “sexy.” (On the part of Stannis, anyway.) I think right now what we see in the show is a bit one-sided (ie. in the books, it’s pretty obvious they’re both utilizing the other to further their own agendas), but the show has time to get there.

    Absolutely loved the scene between Sam, Jon, and Gilly – from Jon’s eyes sliding back and forth between Sam and Gilly and the “Hello, Gilly. What are you doing?” (that would be my “GoT laugh”) to Jon looking suitably abashed (but still firm) when Sam says he can’t steal Gilly because she’s a person and not a goat. (All the hearts, Sam.) Perfection. OH, and GHOST. Holy hell. If I hadn’t already known it was CGI, I’m not sure I would have believed it wasn’t a wolf. Really, really well done.

    Seeing the utter confidence of Varys with Tyrion was chill-inducing. Watching these two dance is going to be fun times. As for the Littlefinger scene… Eh? I thought Gillen sold the shit out of his speech, but I just don’t think it was necessary? Seemed a bit like overkill to me. And I’m struggling with the Cersei and the killing of Robert’s bastards. Maybe it’s a feint on her part or they really did saddle that on Joffrey. I hope for the former, but it’s a slim hope. I want to think Cersei started playing Tyrion the moment he arrived in King’s Landing., though.

    I own up to not being much of a Greyjoy fan in the books (except Asha), but seeing Pyke onscreen was effing AWESOME. And Patrick Malahide was perfection as Balon. He pretty much stepped off the page/out of my head and on to the screen fully formed. (Also, it is my goal to have a kraken fireplace before I die. Just so I can stand in front of it and glower like a boss.) Asha/Yara… Is she exactly what I pictured? No. (And, hey, not everyone is.) But she’s got a subtle swagger to her that works. I look forward to seeing more of her, for sure.

    And everything is Jaqen, Yoren, Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie and Lommy, and nothing hurts.

    I’m honestly confused why the final scene is getting so much flak. Yes, it’s a new scene, but I’m not sure the future ramifications are as dire or storyline-altering as some seem to think? IMO, it seems to set up even more tension beyond the wall. I guess I see it more as a supplement than a substitution for anything important? Maybe it boils down to confusion about thinking the baby was Gilly’s? Or maybe I’m wrong and something crazy will happen next episode. Who knows?

  136. Inka
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    Thanks for the link! This was pretty funny

  137. Sword-O-Da-Mornin'
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    any chance Jaqen and Melisandre will hook up? A man hopes…

  138. Laura
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    I like how you did the recap with the “like” and “dislike” scene. I did not like the Littlefinger /Ros scene. It just seems useless to have him all invested in Ros when we know where he ends up and who with. Just get rid of her already! I actually loved the Stannis and Mel scene because I thought that was what was lacking in the book…I needed to believe there was some other reason why Stannis kept this crazy fanatic around and I had convinced myself it was because of sex and now I feel justified in thinking that way,lol.

  139. Nimble Dick
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    i have a feeling that D&D love us enough that they will kill of Ros by the end of the season

  140. NickS
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    a just good episode tonight

    pros:
    - all things Tyrion, as always
    - Arya/Gendry scenes (Lommy Greenhands actually has green hands!)
    - the Iron Islands look exactly as they should & the scenes between all the Greyjoys were great
    - Varys (Conleth Hill) is fantastic… might be my #3 fave in the show behind DInklage & Maisie
    - not needlessly showing Catelyn & Robb
    - GHOST

    cons:
    - they killed Rakharo! i’m glad there was still something to surprise me about the episode after watching the pirated version
    - the Littlefinger/Ros scene was just unnecessary. we don’t need to know Littlefinger is ruthless, we already know that after seeing him turn on Ned in Season 1 & the way he spoke to Cersei in the S2 premiere. this scene was 4 minutes that could have been used elsewhere… like with more Dany scenes perhaps

    mixed:
    - the Stannis/Mel scene was definitely interesting. while never explicitly shown in the books, their relationship was implied. personaly would’ve wished that they kept it more discreet but at the same time i understand why they did so b/c i’m sure they are worried about confusing some viewers without showing the root cause of the Stannis’ shadow baby being birthed by Mel.

  141. The DarkStar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Isn’t Joffrey ordering the killing of the bastards a change from the book? If it is I think it is brilliant, because it sets up the big Joffrey reveal in ASOS, that didn’t make any sense, much better.
    If it isn’t NM
    .

    I didn’t think the littlefinger scene was so bad. We got a taste of how Cercie handles her power (very overtly), how Tyrion handles his power (very strategically) and now kinda how LF handles his. First off, the scene starts with the 1 dude fuckin the chick, but thats not the whole of whats going on. There is another dude gettin blown watchin those two, and he thinks he knows whats goin on. But then there is LF who over sees it all without them knowing…Well played. And when it comes to getting people to do what he wants, he displays his power discreetly but enough to get the message across.

    Yara/Balon = Pwn
    Salador San was great.
    Gendry in that scene was fantastic.

    also like the foreshadowing of what Mel was saying to Mathos.

  142. HOOOOOOOOODOR
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Thought it was great, but a little concerned with the whole no shireen thing. Could potentially be spoiling things considered to be a possibility for the sixth book.

  143. Zack
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I would have liked to have Asha be a bit repulsed with her amusement, as in the book. Should have slapped his hands away occasionally or something. Still, that scene was solid nonetheless and I love the actress already. Also, Iron Islands related, Balon was freaking perfect. What a scene :)

    Everything in the Arya story was also perfect. I hope we get to see more Gendry in the books too…

    Weak points were the brothel moments, of course, though they weren’t outright disasters. I don’t hate Ros. I just hope they don’t feel like wasting 5 minutes there every episode, especially when they haven’t hit 56+ minute episodes, but are instead at 51. WTF.

    And I’m just going to have to resign myself to this interpretation of Cersei. Meh.

    But…to get back to a positive, I thought the scenes with Jon/Sam/Gilly were all great, and…EDD!!!!!!!! YES!!!

    So overall, I’m quite happy.

  144. tysnow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Carice is the prefect Mel, she nailed that seduction of Stannis. Those wondering how Stanis could faulter, let me say one word, Melisandre. Even Ned would have jumped her on the table, what Mel wants, Mel gets.
    Yara needs to grow on me, but Balon is spot on, hope D&D stretch his part out for an extra season or two. I like how the tables were turned on Theon, he screws over the Captains daughter, and Balon’s daughter screws over Theon.
    Cersei, Tyrion and Vary’s rule, period.
    The Arya/Gendry scenes rocked, loved Yoren, but JH didn’t have enough screen time.
    Loved the Jon, Sam, Gilly scene, and wowsa, Ghost is awesome, buttt… when will we see some Direwolve action. Hopefully a scene will be added having Ghost threaten Crastor, we should, since Ghost would not take kindly to anyone who hit his master.

  145. David the Grey
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I really liked just about everything – with the one true exception being the Ros/brothel scene. With screen time being so limited, I just can’t how these scenes are justified. I don’t hate the scenes, would just rather they spend the time with something more important to the story.

    It is hard to pick a favorite scene, they were all so very good – but I guess the one that had me smiling the most was the Arya scenes with Gendry, Yoren & the rest. I really like the chemistry between Arya & Gendry. I reckon my next most favorite scenes would be the Theon scenes – I loved the reveal of Yara being his sister, and also the look on his face as Balon implied he’d be going after something other than the Lannisters.

    I do have one other complaint – is it me, or do Dolorous Ed’s lines sort of get blocked out by sound effects? This happened last week too – I heard the first part of his line, but the second part was so quiet that I missed it.

    Oh – and I totally bought Melisandre tonight. She had the mysterious air about her that I felt was very much missing last week. And I loved Gilly – she did something with her bottom lip that made me totally care about her. And wasn’t Jon Snow so noble, running out into the woods to try and save the crying babe? Loved it.

  146. Meg
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    HERP-DERP: When she hears a noise she clenches her urethral sphincter in fear

    Hilariously worded…lol

  147. The DarkStar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    RandomCommenter: One other character I think they treat rather oddly is Sam. It’s like they decided cowardice was too boring a character flaw, so they made him desperate and creepy instead. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Sam is some kind of in-joke between D&D, in that they mistakenly think of him as an avatar of their fan-base.

    I love what they are doing with Sam. I didn’t get a creepy vibe at all.
    In the beginning of the scene they establish that all the members of the nights watch miss women, and even though Sam is friends with these guys, they still kinda look down on him (Get more potatoes and more turnips, and Sam clearly stomps away in a resigned/upset/accepting way). Now cowardly Sam “rescues” the women from a Direwolf and she calls him brave, and sweetly he wants to help her so he brings her to his buddy Jon for help.
    I don’t know why thats creepy or weird at all, makes perfect sense to me and I thought it played well onscreen

  148. Drfunk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    RandomCommenter,

    D&D decided to diverge from the source regarding some characters. Robb for instance was never a PoV and had little to do with the 2nd book. Though he wasn’t a “main” character, D&D decided to change it up and make him into one. He’s already gotten his “own” scenes where he interacts with others (from his bannerman, to his mother, to Jaime..). I just find it sad that they chose to do the same for Littlefinger.

    Seriously, every time Varys steps on the screen he steals it. He doesn’t need to move his weight to convey (even to non readers) that he knows how everything is played out. There’s a reason why Martin said Varys and LF will NEVER be PoV character in his novels. It’s because they just know far too much about the game and their interactions with others would spoil future events.

    So why not build minor scenes where he interacts with major players? The scene with Cercei (though not on the books), his interactions/clashes with Tyrion etc.. those would be enough. Yet, D&D is taking away the mystery of LF, by painting him into a very unlikable vulnerable schemer.

    1. Adding Ros to give LF scenes perspective.
    2. Voicing his inner thoughts to random whores.
    3. Predictable one liners that are 1 class below Varys / Tyrion

    In the novels, no one is suppose to know wtf LF is doing, thinking and why he’s acting this way. In some instances, he doesn’t look like such a bad guy either. The show however has him “explain” himself and his motives to do the things that he does in the crudest way possible .

    I just find it sad that non readers will look at LF into the typical villain instead of being a player on par with Varys.

  149. Violentos
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite scenes of this episode is when Gendry is messing around with Arya and she gives him a shove. “Well that wasn’t very lady like!” followed by a harder shove to the ground. Good chemistry between the two in this scene I thought!

  150. Jorge
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Good episode overall, though I do have some nitpicks.

    What I liked:

    –Arya and Tyrion scenes. Maisie and Dinklage really nailed their scenes, and I loved the introduction of Jaqen H’ghar as well.

    –Pyke. Looked great, and the guy playing Balon really knocked it out of the park. Theon was good here too.

    –Varys. Conleth Hill is doing fantastic.

    –Bronn. I’m thrilled they kept probably his best line in the entire series.

    Gripes/nitpicks

    –I’ll second Tyrion not seeming to know how succession works. Those bastards have absolutely no claim to the throne, and it’s unlikely any lord or enemy of the Lannisters would try to proclaim one as king.

    –Ros scene. The scene actually wasn’t bad, and I thought the actress and Aidan Gillen did a good job with it. It just wasn’t really necessary and I’m not sure of the point of it. I guess it served as a harsh look into the life of prostitutes in Westeros and reminded the audeince of the bastard killing last episode, but it really felt like it was thrown in there just to give Littlefinger a scene. I could have also done without the cum wiping.

    –Theon Captain daughter scene. Yes, it was in the books, but this really could have been cut. Theon already had practically the same scene with Ros last year.

    –The ending. I really hated the ending of this episode. Jon seeing Craster deliver hte baby to the Walkers isn’t necessarily a bad idea, though it is kind of heavy handed. Still, probably a good idea to keep the threat of the WHite Walkers present in a visual manner. But really, ending the episode on such a manufactured cliffhanger of Craster attacking Jon? Pretty lame in my opinion. Yeah, it was kinda creepy, but it felt like an ending taken right out of True Blood. This show doesn’t need cliffhangers to end each episode. If you look at the three best HBO dramas–Deadwood, Sopranos, and The Wire–they actually rarely end episodes with cliffhangers. I’m not saying Thrones shouldn’t end with cliffhangers, but this one in particular felt like it was created solely to end the episode with a “I better tune in next week to see if Jon is ok” when everyone knows he will be.

    Still, the stuff I liked outweighs my gripes by a lot, and overall a very solid episode.

  151. tysnow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    One thing about the sex in this show, is some of it might turn off viewers because it is almost juvenile (turn off to some), whereas the sex in TB is raw hard core eroticsm (which turns on the females and males). D&D need to amp up that kind of sex and slowly remove the 13 year old crap. Hopefully the happy trio, Robb and Jeyne and Jon/Kiss by fire will live up to the hype.

  152. The Instrumentalist
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I really liked Yara. She was rough-looking, but still really hot, and the look she gave Theon when she walked into his and Balon’s convo… I was sold. I also really liked the Littlefinger scene. I think it was more to demonstrate his strength, after he was humiliated by Cercei last episode. Almost like, “I always look after myself first and I don’t put up with any bullshit.”

    The only thing I’m worried about is the deletion of one of my favourite scenes, the conversation when Tyrion comes out confronts Cercei about Jaime and gets slapped. I’m worried they covered that tonight.

  153. Jambo
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Loved the episode :)

    Did anyone notice how green they made Lommy’s hands? Pretty awesome they kept that little detail in there.

  154. Drfunk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    tysnow:
    One thing about the sex in this show, is some of it might turn off viewers because it is almost juvenile (turn off to some), whereas the sex in TB is raw hard core eroticsm (which turns on the females and males). D&D need to amp up that kind of sex and slowly remove the 13 year old crap. Hopefully the happy trio, Robb and Jeyne and Jon/Kiss by fire will live up to the hype.

    I understand what you’re saying but GoT is already constrained by time. Shows like TB, Spartacus (that are really light on content compared to the GoT series) can afford to give extended 5+min of softcore porn foreplay and all. Those shows are sexier since those scenes feel more natural as they are being built up. GoT could really do without the sex and still be great but for w/e reason they decided to cram 20 sec scenes whenever they can. Since the scenes are so brief, they tend to go for the shock value (which is pretty sad).

  155. taekwonjohn
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I’m still not bothered by any of the story changes. Not even Stannis’s wife and daughter being left out. As for the Stannis/Mel thing, Here’s my theory… The sons she gives Stan are the shadow baby assassins that kill Renly and Cortnay Penrose at Storm’s End. The books never explained how she did this and I’m guessing it has something to do with getting it on with Stan The Man.

  156. RandomCommenter
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    The DarkStar: I love what they are doing with Sam. I didn’t get a creepy vibe at all.
    In the beginning of the scene they establish that all the members of the nights watch miss women, and even though Sam is friends with these guys, they still kinda look down on him (Get more potatoes and more turnips, and Sam clearly stomps away in a resigned/upset/accepting way). Now cowardly Sam “rescues” the women from a Direwolf and she calls him brave, and sweetly he wants to help her so he brings her to his buddy Jon for help.
    I don’t know why thats creepy or weird at all, makes perfect sense to me and I thought it played well onscreen

    No, I don’t mean his interaction with Crastor’s daughter/wife, I just mean in general. Like at the beginning of the episode when he’s hearing the story of the milkmaid. It’s been that way since the first season, every time someone bring up women within his earshot, he goes into creeper mode.

  157. Prime
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I liked the episode. Sure, there were some changes from the book, but as a book reader, I fully expect that and it really doesn’t bother me. I prefer to enjoy the TV series on its own terms, not constantly comparing every little detail to the books.

  158. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    I liked the symbolism of Stannis fucking Mel over a map of Westeros.

    And I found it interesting that they cut to Craster’s son right after Stannis and Mel went at it. That seemed like a bit of foreshadowing there…

  159. Yoosteen Bose
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Great episode. I can live with the changes. And I still like Ros. People who complain just cuz “she wasn’t in the books” need to relax. This isn’t the book. This is the “adaptation”.

    Loved Yara. She looks so right, if you ask me. A little tomboyish, and not “I’m a pretty chick with dirt smudged on my face cuz thats how actors make it seem real….with dirt on the face” type of actor. I believe she’s Asha.

    Craster- ok. Not sure why they cracked Jon on the head, but I’m sure just to add more tension in the Craster camp. Jon wasn’t really breaking any specific rules, but Craster can have more ammo for grievances now.

  160. Meg
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    God, I love Yoren.
    That’s all I have to say about this fantastic episode.

  161. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Bella, taekwonjohn -

    Some of us haven’t read the books, so please use spoiler tags when discussing future events.

  162. Canary
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    RandomCommenter,

    How in the world are you getting “desperate and creepy” from Sam’s characterization? If anything, he’s quite naive and full of idealized good intentions. I mean, come on, how many other characters in this show would say, “I can’t steal her. She’s not a goat. She’s a person!”

  163. FacelessMan
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Finally some Arya! Loved her scene with Jaqen then Gendry. Very well done. Ghost looked fantastic — are they actually making him silent now. The Theon/Iron Islands part were also great. The biggest suprise for me was the guy playing Sallador Sann — great casting there and some funny lines.

    The only thing I didn’t like is Ros. I’m hoping the only reason they’ve been giving her so much screen time is that they’re building up to some big and brutal death scene for her.

    Things are definitely heating up, though. And now comes another weeks wait…

  164. Eleanor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Tiny role, but I liked the captain’s daughter. I’d wondered if they were going to keep that scene. An early sign that Theon’s just plain nasty. She played rather slow and helpless and hopeful all at the same time.

    And the ‘try smiling with your mouth closed’ line was a great one.

  165. Dee
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Stannis/Mel sex scene was awkward, painfully so in fact. I could almost hear the director yelling instructions.

    Something about the dialogue delivery and scene transition in the North just felt weak (especially the Gilly, Sam, Jon scene). I can’t put my finger on it, but it just felt meh.

    The actress playing Roz is not a very good actress.

    I liked Yara, thought she looked authentic for the role of a woman who spent most of her life commanding a ship of pirates in a culture that equates femininity with weakness and servitude.

    Balon was superbbbbbbbbbbb!

    Kings Landing scenes were great, especially Tyrion and Cersie’s interaction.

    The sex scenes: I don’t mind sex on screen when it serves a purpose, Theon and the captain’s daughter for example was a good one. in fact, I rather like it when sex is used to deliver strong emotion be it lust or revulsion, love or fear, and so one. The brothel scenes however, whether this seasons or last, have felt like nothing more than pandering to the coveted 18-25 male demographic, and that not only cheapens the show but denotes a certain lack of confidence by the producers in their storytelling skills. The fact that they feel the need to deliver a titillating image to hook the eyeballs and create talking points is … well, pathetic really.

    As a whole, this episode was decidedly better than the premiere. It flowed cohesively and delivered 50 minutes of entertainment. I give it a 6.5/10.

  166. LordDavos12
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Yoren was great. Seeing Jaqen, even if for a minute, was great. Dinklage is great, period. The scenes north of the Wall were fine, and it’s awesome seeing more Dolorous Edd. I don’t have any problems with the Stannis/Mel scene, because it will hopefully help explain the shadow baby to nonreaders later in the season.

    I don’t understand why there seem to be people complaining about the Theon sexpo scene on the boat. Also, concerning Pyke, I agree with others who mentioned “Yara” should have remained Asha, but that’s not really that big of an issue to worry about, so I can’t complain.

    A great episode in terms of set up for the future, however, I can see some fans missing an appearance of Robb, especially after he had such a strong showing last week.

  167. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Yoosteen Bose: Great episode. I can live with the changes. And I still like Ros. People who complain just cuz “she wasn’t in the books” need to relax. This isn’t the book. This is the “adaptation”. P>

    But the issue with her isn’t that she’s not in the books. The issue with her is that she’s not in the books and most of her material is terrible. Because she’s not in the books means she’s unlikely to have any real bearing on the plot unless they force it on us. Which means her terrible scenes are pretty pointless altogether. And because the writers have admitted they wrote more scenes for the actress because they liked her, that means the writers are effectively serving the actress over the plot and the rest of the cast.
    I have no problems with Esme Bianco’s acting, but I also don’t think she’s such a charismatic force of nature that she needs or deserves to be in every episode. More scenes than Catelyn and Sansa at this point.

  168. Nicole
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Who directed this episode? Give him cake! This is the first episode I want to watch again, immediately! Loved it and loved some of the changes. And the dialogue was much better than the last episode, which I thought had a lot of unnecessary, dumbed down dialogue. But this was really great, I felt like I was watching GOT for real!

  169. spacechampion
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    When people say Ghost was CGI, are they distinguishing the difference between an all-digital computer generated animal (which Ghost isn’t) and a REAL white wolf shot against a greenscreen and enlarged digitally? Because Ghost is the latter.

    And Ghost wasn’t completely silent either. I heard a bit of a sound from him. He wasn’t growling because he wasn’t threatening Gilly, even though she thought he was. He was more saying hello can i have that nice tasty rabbit?

  170. dobesol
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    A friend had watched this episode prior to the US HBO airing and told me she was a little disappointed. So going in, I was kind of looking for things to be off…
    But what I got I instead were some of my favorite scenes in a wonderful production…

    First- I already love Maisie and her scenes with new Gendry are perfect. Hot Pie, Lommy…perfect. While Jacqen is different than I played him, the essence is still spot on…the way he lowers his eyes in apology…I hope this subtleness continues.

    Yoren prolly has a wallet that’s says B.A.M.F. on it. “I could shave a spider’s ass, if I wanted to.” He has a tough job, and he’s seen so much…he’s a baddass.

    Unrelated- duckface goldcloak…I choked. Hilarious.

    Littlefinger talking to Ros reminded me of Littlefinger talking to Sansa during the joust. Not sure if that was intended, or of that’s the only way Aiden knows how to deliver. I’ve had enough of his “stories”. This week with Ros, last week with the queen, last season with prostitutes and Sansa. Littlefinger is much more interesting when he’s playing a part and hiding his true motives. It was one of the things I liked best about him in the books.

    Theon and Co. Yes! Yes! Yes! One of my favorite characters and I don’t think it could have been any better. Ok, I missed her suckling babe and lord husband. When Yara goes to stand with Balon, nothing could have cemented the “you’re not part of our club” sentiment better. They even -look- alike. Theon, standing there with his fancy clothes and mouth agape, completely left out of the plans (as he rightfully should)…spot on.

    I could be more interested in Stannis. He’s boring, and I didn’t care for him in the books…but he’s well…Stannis. Mel is pretty good. She looks great.

    Onion Knight…good. Mathos…good. Sallador- great! Super fit for the part. I loved that scene. His intimidation of Mathos continues at the end of the scene…that’s the swaggering, ridiculous pirate I know and love.

    Jon and Sam…great. Dolorous Edd needs to be louder, I agree. But he’s good. Girly…good.

    So I am with the people that think Ros and Littlefinger time was time that could have been spent on something from the books. It’s not that interesting. I would have rather had 4 minutes of Tywin, if we’re gonna show things from other PoV. I miss Riverrun. I miss the Blackfish. I hope the Reeds show up.

    Things I’m looking forward to…Brienne. More Greyjoys. More wolves and dragons. More Arya. MOAR GAME OF THRONES. That is all.

  171. Greatjon
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Watching the show with a group of non-book readers and then coming home and seeing the reactions here is hilarious. It’s like night and day. Ros goes from being just another face in the crowd, neither particularly loved or hated, and then morphs into public enemy #1 with people actually counting down the days until she dies (if she ever dies)! Meanwhile, Littlefinger goes from being the slimy, evil bastard who betrayed Ned Stark (!) into “Oh no, they’re ruining him, they’ve got his character all wrong!”

    I understand people have a hard time disconnecting the book from the TV show, and in some cases I do too, but the wildly different reactions to certain things are just so strange. I sometimes envy my friends, not only because they don’t know what’s coming, but because what’s coming can’t be ruined for them by their preconceived notions of what’s right and wrong.

  172. H, aka Vee
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    spacechampion:
    When people say Ghost was CGI, are they distinguishing the difference between an all-digital computer generated animal (which Ghost isn’t) and a REAL white wolf shot against a greenscreen and enlarged digitally?Because Ghost is the latter.

    Sorry, I think I was unclear in my comment – to me, it looked like the wolf was actually standing there. It was seamless on my screen. (Not that the wolf was entirely CGI.)

  173. oic
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I thought the pacing of this episode was poor. The scenes are short and it cuts off too abruptly to another scene

  174. Dee
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Here’s Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan’s review of the Nightlands:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/game-of-thrones-night-lands_b_1411501.html

    I agree with her that so far show Davos is a lot more interesting, and vibrant than book Davos.

  175. jfhammer
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    you know, i understand that alot of you guys take issue with the amount of sex in the show…and i have to admit seeing “leftover juice” on the whore’s face was unnecessary. however, i feel the same about alot of GRRM’s sex scene descriptions. i recall in the second book how tyrion “went down on shae until she was sopping wet and dripping off his beard, and then he entered and instantly came in her.” the show is playing on the same territory as the books, which i don’t really see yall making the connection.

  176. KG
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Jeez, ok (unplugs neon sign) Party-poopers.

  177. fafhrd
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    This episode was a mess.

  178. LordDavos12
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Dee:
    Here’s Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan’s review of the Nightlands:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/game-of-thrones-night-lands_b_1411501.html

    I agree with her that so far show Davos is a lot more interesting, and vibrant than book Davos.

    I love show Davos, but I think the only reason I do is the fact that I KNOW how big of a badass he is in the books. If I went into watching this show blind, I would simply think that this dude really follows his king. Knowing exactly why and how Davos is such a supporter of Stannis is a huge part of his appeal to me.

  179. Trollsbane
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Bella,taekwonjohn -

    Some of us haven’t read the books, so please use spoiler tags when discussing future events.

    Actually, no spoiler tags were needed, as these things happen in this book.

    “Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Clash of Kings. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the ACoK yet, our new viewer recap will be up soon.”

    Good episode overall, but seemed rushed for each PoV.
    Goodbye Rakharo. Your later exploits now belong to a nameless dothhraki at half the price. =/
    At least Doreah is still alive. I guess they traded places cause she’s hot and willing to show skin for sexposition. =p

  180. OnionKnight
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Jeff:
    I think Littlefinger spies on his customers for information, not to get off. At least that’s how I took the scene.

    fapping* not tapping.

    Nailed it. Littlefinger deals in secrets (“knowledge is power”) not tapping it to prostitutes he already “owns”.

    P.s. poor episode to introduce my dad to the series. 3 sex scenes in 55 minutes? Really?

  181. MRR
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    From my experience, as a guy, you can’t really just lay there until it’s over – at least not if you’re doing it in a way that might possibly produce babies (which, in both the books and the show, seems to be the main idea).

  182. hvacigar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Two travesties now in the show….way too much Ros and now, the horrible casting job that is Asha (Yara) Greyjoy. Not even close on this one…and you cannot take this much license with such a key character.

  183. Andrew
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this episode. I wont go so far as to say that I was in love with the Littlefinger/Ros scene, but I also wasn’t particularly mad about it’s inclusion. I’m also not that angry over Mathos being a really devout follower of R’hllor; The show seems to have taken all 4 or 5 of Davos’ sons and put them into the one character, and his younger lad was indeed a devout follower in the books, so they just took that aspect and applied it to Mathos (Because, let’s be honest. Along with all the major characters being introduced into season 2, did you really expect them to try and introduce us to all the children of House Seaworth?)

    I didn’t get to really hear all the dialouge, but I have it on the PVR and i’ll deffinitely be watching it again a few times before next sunday! Also, the sex doesn’t bother me at all, because i’m not twelve and don’t get uncomfortable at the sight of naked people.

  184. MRR
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    To everyone complaining about Asha/Yana Greyjoy: From what I recall of CoK it takes a little while for her strength to really show. In the beginning she’s just playing coy with Theon, which is exactly what happens in this episode. How exactly should the show display how strong she is, when she’s still just having fun by deceiving Theon?

  185. Meg
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    tysnow: One thing about the sex in this show, is some of it might turn off viewers because it is almost juvenile (turn off to some), whereas the sex in TB is raw hard core eroticsm (which turns on the females and males). D&D need to amp up that kind of sex and slowly remove the 13 year old crap. Hopefully the happy trio, Robb and Jeyne and Jon/Kiss by fire will live up to the hype.

    That one scene was pretty juvenile. However, I think most of the sex is supposed to gross us out. Westeros treats women like incubators for penises and babies; I think the disgust we feel is an accurate response to such a shitty culture. I think criticisms of sex in the show could consider the role of subversiveness. Are D&D replicating sexism in Westeros by making it permissible for audience members to “participate in” the same culture of objectification? Or, is there a subversive critique that portrays men in Westeros as clearly lacking respect/concern for women’s needs and desires? I just dont think the show can capture TB’s level of subversive hotsex without some kind of forbidden lust/3-way/hate fucking going on. Maybe Renly/Loras/Margaery will achieve that…but we know its short lived and the tension isn’t prolonged across 5+ seasons. But many readers have found ways to imagine hotter sex in fanfic, and most of it is completely against cannon.

  186. OK so far
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin,

    This is the “for people who read book 2″ post. OP already gave warning for spoilers.

    I agree with most people here about the Ros scene – felt like filler. Did NOT like watching Stannis get seduced. Speaking of Stannis, I’m finding him a little underwhelming. I know he’s supposed to be the least charismatic among his brothers, but I was expecting someone with a more severe and intimidating presence. Right now, he seems more like a strict librarian than the fearsome man who had Davos’ fingers chopped off for smuggling.

  187. Trollsbane
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the unending, week-to-week complaint about the sex. I mean, you all saw the last season and knew what to expect. Not to mention you’ve probably read the books. GRRM didn’t exactly shy away from being graphic. Here’s one example:
    (Spoilers)
    http://books.google.com/books?id=mA8A4BYWB1IC&pg=PT3156&lpg=PT3156&dq=game+of+thrones+her+moist+steamy+sex&source=bl&ots=SRb149lkdv&sig=8fRkALFRvDO_p6umjYuiDDMj1h0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=I32CT4epO6KiiQLB-fGvAw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAw

  188. Leland's Axe
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I think the sexposition is much stronger this season. Instead of monologues delivered mid-coitus, the information is conveyed in part by the sexual act itself. We see Theon’s pretensions and cruelty, Stannis’ lust for legitimacy and recognition, and Melisandre’s fanatical devotion laid bare (har har). I think Theon’s scene was particularly vital to help new viewers understand his impending betrayal of the Starks.

    In fact, the sex in the show is much stronger and more essential than nearly all of the sex in the books. There’s been nothing – not even the infamous brothel scene from Season 1 – which approached the sheer WTFery of “the Myrish swamp”.

  189. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Yoosteen Bose:

    Craster- ok.Not sure why they cracked Jon on the head, but I’m sure just to add more tension in the Craster camp.Jon wasn’t really breaking any specific rules, but Craster can have more ammo for grievances now.

    My guess is that Mormont and the other experienced members of the Night Watch have long since figured out that Craster is marrying his daughters in part to ensure a steady stream of boys, which he then sacrifices in some way. Perhaps they figure he’s doing it to appease an evil god he believes in or something. However, Mormont has a pressing military need for a large way station beyond the wall plus intel on Mance Rayder, so he’s turning a blind eye to Craster’s distasteful inbreeding and the details of his sacrifices.

    What Jon discovers in the final scene is that Craster is handing his sons over to a tall male figure whose footfalls crunch in the snow – quite unlike anyone elses. IIRC, there was also a scream of some sort. Since Jon was there when Ned Stark beheaded the deserter in ep 1 and burned his hand to kill a wight at Castle Black, he probably figures out right away that this particular figure isn’t exactly human.

    That means Craster isn’t just praying to some evil god, he’s actively aiding and abetting the enemies of the Night Watch to save his own skin. Mormont couldn’t afford to let that slide, so he’s presumably unaware of it. It’s not clear how exactly Craster knew he was being followed, perhaps he caught a glimpse of Jon hiding behind that tree as he passed him or, he heard the sword being unsheated or, he simply noticed tracks that weren’t his own. In any event, he doubled back and pummeled Jon to keep Mormont from finding out.

    Now, D&D have killed off major characters before but only because GRRM did. Somehow I doubt we’ve seen the last of Jon, the timing doesn’t feel right. I just hope they don’t resolve this situation by giving him amnesia.

  190. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    series Davos does not seem particularly humble nor low born to me. Is it the British accent that makes him sound more to the manor born?

    He certainly doesn’t sound “to the manor born” – he sounds Northern Irish (I believe Liam Cunningham is from Belfast?) and it makes perfect sense to me that his accent would sound different than the cut-glass (or attempted cut-glass, in Tyrion’s case!) of the highborn Lords and Ladies. If you listen to, say, Cersei, and then listen to Davos, it’s clear they’re definitely not the same social setting. (I guess Cersei’s a bad example, since neither of her brothers has the same accent either :P)

  191. Meg
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    I imagine that the brothel scenes will pay off later. I think the theme of the Tyrion/Shae relationship is “when a prostitute authentic? When is she faking it, and when is she sincere?” Littlefinger’s scenes illustrate how everything in a brothel is an illusion. He only wants “happy whores” (which Ros is not). This might tie in with Shae, who Tyrion sees as an exclusive concubine for his own pleasure, but who could as well have been a free agent coerced? bought? by another john (Tywin). Shae is maintaining the illusion and just doing her job; Tyrion interprets it as lying and feels betrayed. He kills her when the illusion is broken.

  192. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    I seriously do not get the Ros hate for this episode whatsoever.

    The brothel scene was mostly about Littlefinger. He spies, and then deals with the unsatisfied customer before walking to the rom Ros is in (about 2 seconds is Ros crying the rest of the 90 seconds or so is all Littlefinger). Ros then tells Littlefinger that seeing Barra, the Baratheon bastard baby brutally butched bothered her (under a minute). Then Littlefinger goes off on his story for about two minutes.

    The only issue I have (and quite a few others it seems) is that it was too much Littlefinger and his story or Littlefinger with the john. It could have been a random “employee” of Littlefinger’s or Chataya or Alayaya and the scene still would have been too long . Ros had little to do with the length of it.

    I understood the first part of the scene with LF spying (to a degree), I appreciated the second part with Ros crying. but I’m not sure LF’s story gave us much and could have been cut down by near a minute. If I blame any character for that (and boy does that look ridiculous as I type it), I would blame Littlefinger.

    If that 4.5 minute scene was edited to 2 minutes I would not have had any issue with it I don’t think. I did not realize how long it was until reading a few comments on here.

  193. Ashaïese
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I think the Stannis/Melisandre fuck scene was necessary, and though I was kind of shocked at first, I now think that it was a good move to introduce the shadowbaby in episode 4.
    And I don’t know why people think that Stannis was enjoying it. He seemed kind of bewitched or at least in an abnormal state, which emphasizes the fact that Mel is having a huge influence over him. Of course, they should be careful not making him her puppet since it is not the case in the books…

    Otherwise :
    - Balon Greyjoy is really awesome
    - Tyrion => more screentime please ! (By the way, hope they show a little more of Sansa in next episode, maybe THE terrible scene)
    - Littlefinger…I’m getting resigned that he will never meet my expectations in the show (sorry D&D but you are not doing a good job with this AMAZING character in the books, IMO…)
    - Jaquen => more screen time
    - Bronn change as new captain of the gold cloaks was really good because we just needed to see how Tyrion is getting more and more power in King’s Landing and Bronn, however unfaithful he may be, is still his man

    Next episode :
    => renly, margaery, brienne
    =>joffrey/sansa throne scene (if played well, gonna rock the audience to the bones)
    => probably Robb !
    => I hope some Tywin
    => Arya/Yoren attacked by Ser Armory Bastard !!!

  194. Andrew
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Now, D&D have killed off major characters before but only because GRRM did. Somehow I doubt we’ve seen the last of Jon, the timing doesn’t feel right. I just hope they don’t resolve this situation by giving him amnesia.

    In one of the trailers, Mormont and Jon are talking, and Mormont says something to the effect of “Whatever you saw, you’ll be seeing it again” or something. And there’s been plenty of footage with him, and the halfhand, and Ygritte has been cast, so I seriously doubt he’s dead, and obviously not suffering from amnesia, either. It’ll just serve as a point of tension between Craster and The Watch, which will play out later.

  195. Vallos
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    I don’t understand the unending, week-to-week complaint about the sex. I mean, you all saw the last season and knew what to expect. Not to mention you’ve probably read the books. GRRM didn’t exactly shy away from being graphic.

    I think its more about the frustration of time constraints & which scenes get included while others get cut.

    I don’t mind HBO straying from the books at all… or even the silly sex scenes. But the second episode felt rushed at times, and for what? So we could get another throw-away scene with Little-Finger and Ros?
    Personally, I feel the 5 minutes in the brothel would have been better spent elsewhere. Perhaps further delving into our forgotten Hound character? (Sandor, I weep for you!) Perhaps giving more air-time to Stannis & Mel? (their sex scene felt awkward, rushed or something i can’t put my finger on..)

  196. loco73
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Holly shit, here we go again, I was sure people are going to start bitching and moaning about the sex again…fucking hell…this constant complaining is getting as old as all the goddamn arguments for and against!

    This freaking argument has been done ad nauseaum last season…enough already! This was a terrific episode in what has been and continues to be an amazing show! To me the scenes make sense as they are part and parcel of the overall tapestry of the show. I don’t feel they are rushed or gratuitous or anything of the sort!

    Now can we give it a rest…

  197. Lex
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Holy crap…

    I absolutely loved this episode. So did the friends I watched it with.

    Personal highlights for me were:
    -The Tyrion/Janos scene
    -Yoren vs. the Goldcloaks
    -The Balon Greyjoy scene

    Special mention to the invented scene between Littlfinger and Ros. Seeing Littlefinger shift from consoling to threatening was incredibly disturbing.

    I was especially impressed with Balon and Yara (I wasn’t convinced by the photos I’d seen of Gemma Whalen as Yara, but she owned the role 100%. LOVED her).

    Although I’m curious to hear from my non-reader friends; I’m thinking they might be a little confused/lost (especially by the Davos/Sallador and Balon/Yara scenes).

    Fantastic episode all around.

  198. More Rice Cooks
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    I get the impression the writers are attempting to justify hiring Gillen by writing these scenes for Littlefinger, most of which just don’t work.

  199. Zach
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Great episode. Everyone bothering to complain about changes instead of gushing over the fantastic Arya and Greyjoy bits should be ashamed of themselves as GOT fans and as human beings.

    Also, using Mathos as the R’hllor convert to contrast against Davos’s doubts, and having Melisandre tell him that dying by fire is the purest death? That was all great writing. Very strong.

    But I guess WiC.net users would rather complain that Jon’s not supposed to see the White Walker (which by the way makes for a much STRONGER story and improves on the book).

    (I do wish the had spent the time to introduce Stannis better last episode, though. New viewers need to connect to him before they’ll invest in the arc of his seduction-by-fire.)

  200. Lex
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Haven’t really scanned the comments yet, but please don’t tell me people are complaining about Asha/Yara… I thought Gemma Whalen was one of the best things about this episode! I thought she absolutely nailed it.

  201. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    loco73:
    Holly shit, here we go again, I was sure people are going to start bitching and moaning about the sex again…fucking hell…this constant complaining is getting as old as all the goddamn arguments for and against!

    This freaking argument has been done ad nauseaum last season…enough already! This was a terrific episode in what has been and continues to be an amazing show!To me the scenes make sense as they are part and parcel of the overall tapestry of the show.I don’t feel they are rushed or gratuitous or anything of the sort!

    Now can we give it a rest…

    Yes, because somehow you’re the deciding voice for GoT fans. The whole point of discussing television is to talk about the things you like and DISLIKE about a show. Ros scenes and sexposition scenes as a whole remain a major flaw to this series. It won’t go away until those scenes go away and they’re not. In fact, it seems like they’re growing every episode and taking valuable time away from more entertaining characters and scenes. If you like them, that’s great. But stop trying to shame the rest of us into shutting up.

  202. my watch begins
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Just an observation, there will inevitably be two groups of ASOIAF fans. Thos who call it “A Song of Ice and Fire” and those who call it “Game of Thrones”. And just like when “The Lord of The Rings” was turned into a film trilogy, there will be people saying they were fans before the show. As I said just an intresting observation.

  203. Ned
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    One of my only real problems with this was that Rakharo was killed. The character didn’t have much in the books, but in season one, the conversation between him and jorah was one of my favorite moments with the Dothraki. It made him more than a name. But once Dany and he had that moment, I knew he was down for the count. Other than that, I loved the episode. Melissandre and Stannis works

  204. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    I just love how people complain about the captain daughter sex scene even if it was in the book and even there was terrible as well . Oh wait, I have to praise GRRM at everything he does in the books even though all the sex scenes that he writes are as disgusting,vile and horrible as they are in the show .

  205. my watch begins
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    o and guys, Ros is replacing Chataya in case you haven’t notice. And I think Ros is hot!

  206. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    sedeyus: Yes, because somehow you’re the deciding voice for GoT fans. The whole point of discussing television is to talk about the things you like and DISLIKE about a show. Ros scenes and sexposition scenes as a whole remain a major flaw to this series. It won’t go away until those scenes go away and they’re not. In fact, it seems like they’re growing every episode and taking valuable time away from more entertaining characters and scenes. If you like them, that’s great. But stop trying to shame the rest of us into shutting up.

    Nobody says we like them . But the books have their fair share of them and nobody complains there .

  207. Coltaine777
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    This was a good ep imo…I love the casting of Yara and think so far the actress is doing a fine job so far..loved the look of Ghost too…Did not like the Little finger scene, in particular that weak crying scene with Ros and I’m praying they kill her soon…

  208. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Many are surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly since it seems no one is safe in the fandom).

    Personally I thought Gemma Whelan was all wrong for the role of Asha/ Yara, but after seeing her I thought she was great. She was confident, toyeed with Theon almost sadisticly and she won me over in limited time. Other than appearance she fit how I imagined Asha at this part in the book.

  209. Cerb
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    After the first viewing of the episode I felt like it was one of the best so far. I was surprised to learn that the non-reader friends I was watching with were underwhelmed. But first my impressions:

    I think I saw the episode so positive because I finally got to see more from Arya and Jaqen…my favorite characters. Yoren is great too. I loved the Greyjoy scenes and especially Yara. The book Asha always seemed so exaggerated, liked the TV version much better. During the endless LF monologue I went to get a beer. Loved Davos and the pirate. Stannis…was Stannis. No opinion.

    My non-reader friends didn’t like the sex scenes in this episode (and that’s the first time!).
    When I went to get a beer during the LF monologue I heard a friend scream at the screen “yes, you are not a nice guy, we get it…geez always those long monologues…”. I thought she was kind of right, I like the LF character and I like the actor, but a couple of minutes less whore-talk wouldn’t hurt. Fill the time with LF-Varys conversation instead.
    All of my friends agree that they don’t like the Stannis storyline. I quote: “boring” “disappointing, I thought he would be more of a warrior type”, “just not interesting”. I explained the Stannis character only works together with the priestess, and that he isn`t supposed to be an exciting character but has very rigid morals. They said “he banged the priestess although he is married. And don’t tell me about the son issue, he threw her on the table without thinking twice”. Now, I didn’t want to spoil them on the plot reasons of having sex with Mel, but I understand it can seem confusing.

    This was the first time, there was less energy in the room after the episode than before the episode.

  210. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Btw, did anyone notice that Ghost was after the skinned Easter bunny Ginny was holding? Why would the hungry direwolf pass up that tasty morsel for anyone but Jon?

    Andrew: In one of the trailers, Mormont and Jon are talking, and Mormont says something to the effect of “Whatever you saw, you’ll be seeing it again” or something.

    Ah, the “In the Weeks Ahead” trailer. In that, Mormont says “wildlings serve crueler gods than you or I”.

  211. loco73
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    I am definitely NOT the deciding voice of GoT, or for matter anything else related to ASOIF, and neither are you. I am not trying to shame anybody into anything, you can do as you like, you can agree, disagree or even kill-off Ros’s charater with your bare hands, for all I care.

    Just like people can discuss what they like and don’t like about the show, I can also point out (albeit a bit too exasperated perhaps) that I think this topic about the sex scenes is getting old. It is clear that some people don’t mind them, some like them and some object to them for whatever reason. That clearly won’t change. You’re free to believe and do as you will, as will I, because in the scheme of things, who really gives a shit?

    Opinions are like assholes after all, we’ve all got one…asshole and opinion that is…

  212. Lex
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    I did have some problems with Season 1… I’m not completely uncritical… but so far, NONE of the changes in Season 2 have bothered me in the slightest.

    -Not bothered by the changes with Catelyn
    -Not bothered by either of the invented Littlefinger scenes
    -Not bothered by the changes to Cersei/Joffrey
    -Not bothered by the death of Rakharro (although it was really sad)
    -Loved Yara (although I do wish they’d called her Asha)
    -Not sure where they’re going with Craster yet, so can’t really pass judgment on that.

    What’s more, both the acting and the writing seem to have improved. I couldn’t be happier so far, with Season 2. I’ve been loving every scene. :D

  213. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    loco73: sedeyus, I am definitely NOT the deciding voice of GoT, or for matter anything else related to ASOIF, and neither are you. I am not trying to shame anybody into anything, you can do as you like, you can agree, disagree or even kill-off Ros’s charater with your bare hands, for all I care.Just like people can discuss what they like and don’t like about the show, I can also point out (albeit a bit too exasperated perhaps) that I think this topic about the sex scenes is getting old. It is clear that some people don’t mind them, some like them and some object to them for whatever reason. That clearly won’t change. You’re free to believe and do as you will, as will I, because in the scheme of things, who really gives a shit?Opinions are like assholes after all, we’ve all got one…asshole and opinion that is…

    Apologies if I came off too harshly. But the fact that these fights keep happening with greater frequency and volume says that this isn’t a small problem when it comes to enjoyment of the show. People would have shut up by now if that was true.

  214. Vallos
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    This was the first time, there was less energy in the room after the episode than before the episode.

    I kinda got the same reaction as well, from the non-readers watching the show with me.

    Its not that this was a terrible episode by any means! It had great moments and great scenes… but I’m sorta hoping whoever directed this episode won’t be directing any more this season. :P

  215. loco73
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    No problem.

  216. Ash
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    LanisterPaysHisDebts,

    How can English accents ‘escape you’ do u know how insulting you sound? As apposed to the over the top ridiculous american accents? Hey y’all. Do you know how annoying hearing that all the time is? If you don’t get accents, don’t watch it, we watch aomori of the drivel Americans make!

  217. lefaisan
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    Vallos,

    You know writing and directing are two different things, right ? Alan Taylor directed this episode, and he is one of the best.

  218. Conor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Ash:
    LanisterPaysHisDebts,

    How can English accents ‘escape you’ do u know how insulting you sound? As apposed to the over the top ridiculous american accents? Hey y’all. Do you know how annoying hearing that all the time is? If you don’t get accents, don’t watch it, we watch aomori of the drivel Americans make!

    lol wow, over reaction much?

  219. Dee
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu:
    I just love how people complain about the captain daughter sex scene even if it was in the book and eventhere was terrible as well . Oh wait, I have to praise GRRM at everything he does in the books even though all the sex scenes that he writes are as disgusting,vile and horrible as they are in the show .

    It seems to be a general consensus among ASOIAF fandom, as far as I have seen anyway and I’ve been a part of it for a while, is that GRRM writes some of the worst sex scenes around, totally unrealistic and rather ridiculous. They have been the subject of many eye rolls, and the butt of many jokes over the years. it’s glossed over a little because the complaints about sex scenes in the books, though not insignificant, seem paltry in the context of the general quality and complexity of series as a whole.

    The reason no one complains about the book sex scenes here, or at least the reason I don’t, is because it would be off-topic. This is a blog dedicated to a discussion of the HBO show, and not the content, sexual or not, of the books. For that discussion, I go to Westeros, or TOH.

    ETA:

    Another difference between book vs show sex scenes is that in the book they don’t distract from the narrative, while in the show, they do imo.

  220. Spryte
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this episode much more than the last one. Started off strong with Arya, Gendry, and.. Jaqen! I loved his accent and his charm won me over already. Definitely want more of him. Greywind looks incredible. I also really enjoyed Salladhor Saan. He is pretty much everything I imagined the character to be.

    I’ll have to lend my voice to the disappointment over the brothel scene. The episode overall was difficult to watch with my mom (granted, I know this isn’t a family show). She isn’t a book reader though so at the end when Stannis/Melisandre got it on, she was exasperated and asked if the show had turned into a porno.

    Anyway, I did find the Littlefinger/Ros scene a bit curious because there have been a few people speculating that Ros (or the actress, or both) looks to be pregnant. I’m in no way saying she looks fat, but so far she does seem to be dressed more matronly and (surprisingly) hasn’t appeared naked unlike most of last season. If she is pregnant, her reaction to the slaughter of the baby would make even more sense.
    Could also be an interesting angle should anything happen to her character later on.

    I loved the Greyjoy family reunion. Balon is fantastic, so is Yara. She did a great job of exuding confidence and making Theon feel like a fool. You can tell how “out of touch” he is with his family so to speak, especially when Balon and Yara deliver the “what is dead may never die” line together and Theon uncomfortably repeats it after them.

  221. Maddog
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    LanisterPaysHisDebts,

    English is the name of the language therefore you can’t have an English accent, you mean English regional accent. It seems that HBO has decided, for whatever reason, to have a primarily non American cast, better actors?

  222. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    strongboar,
    purrmonsta,

    Joop Stroop,
    Maxwell James,

    I said this before, but people seem to have missed it. THE HEAD IN THE BAG CANNOT HAVE BEEN RAKHARO’S!

    The horse that returned with a head in the Dany scene had orange stripes on it. The horse that Rakharo left on in ep1 did not have orange stripes on it. Of the 3 blood riders in ep 1, only 2 had pony tails =>=>That was the head of one of the other pony-tailed blood riders, but NOT Rakharo…

  223. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I uploaded the Theon profile video and the new onDameand featurette “Religions of Westeros” to YT in 1080p here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwTprFiDVuk&feature=youtu.be
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZDPL50jmI&feature=youtu.be

  224. Rosie
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Yarra was completely fantastic, and had the attitude nailed on better than I had pictured in the books. She’s one of my favourite characters so I’m pleased to see her brought to the screen so masterfully!

    Gendry looking sexy. Littlefinger continues to phone it in this season.

    HERP-DERP,

    I think the implication is that the Khal who took his head painted the horse up as a message.

  225. Oi!
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Ash,

    Wow a person doesn’t understand British accents and you go on a insulting bitch fest over American accents.

    Loved the episode, the Gendry-Arya jib-jab, Stannis all business even takes on Mel in his clothes, Davos religion thoughts, Tyrions cutting down the high flying Slynt, D Edds serious talk…

    As to the minor changes from the book i really dont mind or care even, but i dont hold the books on a pedestal of greatness as some do. The only reason i’am disappointed about Rakharos death is because Gabel was actually a very good actor with good chemistry with Jorah and Irri. So character easily replaceable by Kovarro, actor not so much.

  226. Leo
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Just a question for those who’ve seen Episode 3: are Joffrey and Sansa in it???

  227. Cookie
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    HERP-DERP:
    strongboar,
    purrmonsta,

    Joop Stroop,
    Maxwell James,

    I said this before, but people seem to have missed it. THE HEAD IN THE BAG CANNOT HAVE BEEN RAKHARO’S!

    None of the three horses in the first Episode had orange stripes on them. Why would Danys Bloodriders paint orange stripes on their horses anyway? I took the stripes as part of the “message”, same as the severed head.

  228. The Rabbit
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    In a great Cerseish manner and due to the Easter Monday day off I persueded Mr. Rabbit to commit a theft.
    So, I watched the episode a day earlier than usual. And not only once, but twice!

    I liked it very much. Much better than the first one.
    The pace was better, the writing was better, and everything looked more cohesive than in the premiere.

    Arya s scenes were delight. Not to mention Jaquen -mmmmmmmmm ;)
    Sam s and Ghost s little dialogue made me laugh.
    Dinklage usually superb.
    Ironborn – spot on. Pyke – absolutely perfect.

    Shame that Eyles Gabel had a schedule problem. I liked him very much in S1 and I think he deserves a curtain call post over here.

    Stannis and Mel s action on the table is a bit weird I agree – but I just liked how all theses figurines keep falling on the ground.

    The only little letdown is another LF monologue about whores and money…but let s I am getting used to it.

  229. Macha
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Jarin Udom:
    So, did anyone else notice…

    DUCKFACE MAN

    THE EXTRA WHO DOES NOTHING BUT DUCKFACE THROUGH HIS ENTIRE SCENE

    Haa, I thought the same! Good catch!

    alex: I genuinely wonder whether European audiences would react the way some posters are here…

    You know, although I usually try and keep myself from generalizing, there are times when I can’t help but notice this too, that people here really tend to be more at ease with seeing graphic sex being depicted on-screen. Now, I have all sorts of friends, students, mothers, some could even be described as pretty conservative otherwise, and NONE of them had any problems with any sex scene during the first season, or the second – so far. Yes, some scenes are tougher to watch, as they should be. What do you think happens in brothels anyway? I’m pretty sure people didn’t skip these scenes while reading the books.
    I’ve already shared my thoughts about this episode when it first aired on HBO GO, the only thing I’m gonna repeat here is that while I thought the Ros-LF scene felt a bit flat (can’t put my finger on it, I love Aidan Gillen but personally think he had better moments), I thought Stannis&Mel’s scene showed some brilliant acting, and was absolutely necessary for non-readers. All in all, the new cast for this season is phenomenal, as I was expecting.
    As for myself, I’ll be staying away from the episode recap threads from now on. Some people here are just impossible to please and I’m enjoying this season too much. Cheers and happy viewing everyone!

  230. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Cookie,

    You actually do not see the sides of the horses of the other 2 blood riders..

  231. ryra
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Omg, so many comments! Sorry, probably I’m gonna say something that was already pointed out by some of you but… anyway, I loved the episode, it’s even better then the first IMHO.
    I really enjoied every Tyrion/Bronn, Arya/Gendry (that scenes were perfect, those young actors are so good^^) and Jon/Sam/Gilly

    At first I thought the whole Littlefinger/Ros thing was unnecessary but then I realized that Littlefinger actually has a few scenes in book 2 and he barely interacts with the rest of the characters. So if they wanted to justify the presence of the actor who plays him, they simply had to invent some scenes and dialogues for him . That’s why they also need to have Ros, I believe.

    And yes, Stannis/Melisandre was kind of weird, they should have kept their interaction to be a bit less “explicit”. Also, did anyone mention how wrong was the look of Salladhor Saan? I mean, he’s supposed to be an old man, with white hair and a beard.. I’m not saying that the actor wasn’t good enough, I quite liked him but it’s quite hard to me matching him with the image I have of Salladhor

    Pike was awesome, though I din’t like very much Yara, same problem than with Salladhor.

  232. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Also.. was anyone else here amazed at the ability of characters in the show to perform their sexual and excretory functions through their clothing?

    1) Stannis was moaning and fucking a naked Melissandre WITH HIS PANTS ON!

    2) Arya was supposedly peeing at the start of the episode BUT HER PANTS WERE ALL THE WAY UP!

  233. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Cookie,

    I took it th same way…
    Khal Drogo wore blue paint during the wedding feast so maybe blue was his significant color and this orange is a different Khal’s color. Makes perfect sense to send the horse back with a “signed note”.

  234. HouseLark
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the fuss over the sex scenes, none of them were especially graphic. Theon’s scene actually seemed toned down compared to the book. Maybe I missed something with the brothel but all I saw was the back of a woman simulating oral sex. Is that really more shocking than some of the violence that we’ve seen in this show?

    Staying in the brothel: I don’t think Littlefinger is a peeping tom. Think about how he plays the game and what he provides in Kings Landing. He needs knowledge. Lots of nobles and important players in court will frequent his brothel. He’s not peeping; he’s gathering information for use at a later date.

    Overall, the episode was brilliant. A big step up from last week. A big shout out to Lena Headey. I didn’t think she was especially good last season but she’s conveying the sense that she’s losing control of the situation brilliantly this season. Her scenes with Joffrey and Tyrion have been really strong; Cersei looks nervous around them, certainly not the confident queen-regent that she is among the Small Council.

  235. negar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    the scene with Jon and Sam and Gilly was serious and funny at the same time.
    Jon only looking to Gilly for a second , Hello Gilly , and turning to Sam , what are you doing?! ha ha ha!
    yeah , big Jon fan :D

  236. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    -I liked Asha/Yara. I think the actress was spot on. I have never “liked” the Greyjoys, but the sets and actors were amazing, so it was very well done.
    -Arya and Gendry had some great interactions, and I really don’t mind that her revelation has been moved forward. Their friendship will be more interesting to watch this way. LOMMY WANTS TO YIELD! Hot Pie is brilliant. And Jaqen was perfect.
    -Huh, no Robb/Cat? I suppose the timing didn’t work
    -OhmyR’hllor, Peter Dinklage just gets better and better. “I’m not questioning your honour, I’m denying its existence.” So. Great.
    -Liam Cunningham is definitely doing Davos justice. I like him a lot, and it was good to see Salador Saan. I think there are some Stan Fans who think his sex scene was all wrong, and I don’t quite see where they’re coming from, but hey, I’m not a die hard Stannis loyalist. I think that scene went pretty much as it would have if it were in the books. You might not want your noble, just, honourable king cheating on his wife with a creepy/sexy priestess, but he did, so…
    -The Jon scenes were the highlight of the episode. Some NW banter about milkmaids, we finally see Ghost in the fist time in ages, and I love Sam! But the last scene was amazing. I don’t care that it wasn’t in the books, I wish it had been, it was a great scene! Typical Jon running into the woods like a hero, creepy Craster, and now we know for sure what he does with the boys. It was a superb addition because the audience sees the Others, who we haven’t seen in a while, are still very much around and scary.
    Jon’s gonna be in trouble….

  237. Icebird
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I really loved the ending on this one. Craster’s sacrifice to The Others was certainly clear in the book but for Jon or anyone to see it made it that much more chilling. If we don’t get to see the White Walkers assualt on the First of the First Men this season it may be the only time we see one of The Others this year.

    I’m not completely sold on Yara just yet. She doesn’t seem as confident or strong as in the books… but maybe that’s because they had to cut so much of her introduction. Judgement withheld for the moment.

    The Stannis/Mel thing is interesting. Certainly implied in the books but much clearer here. (Like Renly & Loras) I think we may have learned something about the importance of Shireen in the books if she’s written out in the show. I can’t say I have a big problem with it but it did seem that Stannis gave in way too quickly.

  238. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    the main problem with the stannis/mel scene is that D&D need a reason on why rgose two would be doing it.
    how does Mel get Stannis into it? She cant tell him about shadowbabies so the promise of a son may work.
    I also got a more angry feeling from Stannis not lust…

  239. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Some thoughts.

    The highlights of the episode for me were the Theon scenes and the Arya scenes.

    I have no problem calling Theons sister Yara because she’s definately not Asha. More like Asha’s sister from a parallel dimension which I guess is a nice way to describe the show compared to the books. I also really missed the Seastone chair. If they went to all that trouble to make the Weirwood throne in the Eyrie then they could have also made an awesome looking Seastone Chair. Perhaps there is still time to add it if it’s in a different room perhaps. But nontheless I really enjoyed seeing the Iron Islands and Balon was awesome.

    I liked the interaction between Sam and Gilly as well and can’t wait for future seasons. Arya and Gendry also had great scenes together and it’s good to see Hot Pie much better this season than in episode 10 least season.

    Littlefinger/Ros seemed pointless.

    It’s good that they showed the White Walkers again eventhough some people didn’t understand that it was a White Walker. Perhaps they should have shot a quick closeup of it’s face showing the blue eyes more clearly than the quick glance we had in the episode.

  240. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Oh and here is my attempt at winning a No-Prize.

    Why was Jon Snow sharpening Longclaw? Nothing holds an edge like Valyrian steel and Jon hasn’t been in battle or anything with Longclaw so if it was already dull from fighting then I’d hate to see how fast a regular sword gets dull in that world.

    My No-Prize explanation is that Jon prefers a much sharper blade than Lord Commander Mormont so he is simply sharpening it to his own liking rather than it having gotten dull from use.

  241. Aoife
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    HERP-DERP,

    While I woulda *loved* the head to NOT be Rakharo’s, I just rewatched the scene and Dany clearly says his name to Irri. :-(

    Dany says: “And I promise you, Rakharo will ride with his ancestors tonight.” :-((((((((

    (On a brighter note, I hope World War Z turns out well for Elyes!!)

  242. Beneh
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Andy Gavin,

    omg, hes starting again

  243. Mirri Maz
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    i thought the Mel/Stannis sex scene was well sexy and that’s coming from someone who has no interest in straight sex.

    Also i thought the bit where Mel tells Mathos about dying by fire was a nice bit of foreshadowing for the later episodes. i only wish they explained the fact that Stannis actually cut Davos’s fingers before knighting him but i guess they’re glossing over that.

  244. Oi!
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    LOL where did you get a “horny Stannis from” he only gives in into Mels advances when she promises him a son. It’s all business for Stan no pleasure.

  245. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Ingemar Svensson,

    I noticed that too…..
    I think it may also have been to draw the parallel between Jon and Ned who they showed sharpening Ice in the Weirwood in Season 1. His way of relaxing or creating a little normalcy in this screwed up place that is beyond the wall at Craster’s Keep.

  246. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Winter: My advice is to combine the two :) Likes and dislikes with some analysis is essential, an absolute added value, but you can mention a bit of everything that was going on. Not necessarily in chronological order.

  247. afartherroom
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    RandomCommenter: It’s been that way since the first season, every time someone bring up women within his earshot, he goes into creeper mode.

    Yeah, not sure I get this. Sam’s a young, straight male with a strong sex drive who was forced under pain of death to take a vow of celibacy before he’d even lost his virginity. His strong interest in girls, and his regret for missing out on the sexual experiences that he now thinks he’ll never get to have, has been an emphasized aspect of his character since his introduction in this show. It’s obviously something that really bothers him. That’s totally understandable — lots of people aren’t suited for a life of celibacy — and it’s also really sad. I fail to see how it in any way makes him a “creeper.”

    If anything, I’d say that his recognition that Gilly is a person, rather than a form of ambulatory chattel, makes him far less of a “creeper” than the vast, vast majority of men in his society.

    I’m surprised at how many people thought the Ros/Littlefinger scene was pointless. My reaction to it was actually deep relief: “Oh, thank GOD they’ve finally got around to throwing some cold water on all of that happy hooker bullshit.” Why should a story that is valued for its subversion of all manner of rosy fairy-tales we like to tell ourselves about Days Of Old When Knights Were etc. not take the same approach when it comes to prostitution? How is it any more “wasteful” to take some time to launch an assault on the myth of the empowered whore than it is to take the time to subvert the myth of the noble knight? It’s just as preposterous a myth, and every bit as rooted in the willful erasure of the experiences of the underprivileged.

  248. Vini
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    they killing rakharo got me mad.

  249. Astalnar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or did they cut out Shireen. Melissandre mentiions only stillborns, like as Stannis does not have any living heirs at all.
    And another misstep that Stannis could never fall for is the promis of giving him sons. He is fighting against bastard that is currently on the throne. He considers himself honorable and just to the end. He would not just go and fuck Melissandre because she promised him sons. He would realize those sons would still be bastards and not rightful contenders for throne.

  250. Mike Chair
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Lex: -Loved Yara (although I do wish they’d called her Asha)

    I know the recaps are coming but I adored this Hibberd line:

    And yes, Yara’s name was changed from “Asha” in the books, presumably so viewers don’t confuse her with Ayra and Osha … though when you think about it, the name Yara is maybe 5 percent less potentially confusing than Asha. If the writers really wanted to help us out, they would have just called her Stephanie or something

    I’m amazed how this guy can be so right and so funny at the same time. James Hibberd is to recaps what GRRM is to fantasy.

  251. Dragonshit Crazy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I’ve not read the books, so it was an interesting (and refreshing) surprise to see A diversity in shades of people in Westeros….

  252. Flouride
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    What I liked:

    - Balon Greyjoy. Great casting
    - Pyke in general looked good
    - Yoren, gotta love the man
    - Lommy yielding
    - Tyrion vs. Slynt scene
    - Conleth Hill is still awesome as Varys
    - Liam Cunningham

    Things I disliked:

    - Yara, the name not the actress. Also her scene with Theon should have been longer, now it wasn’t nearly as funny as in the books
    - Mel & Stannis sexscene felt rushed. And it really could have used another minute or two, to explain Selyse and Shireen.
    - Littlefinger’s monologue. Just too long, and I’m quite sure everyone gets it by now. He is not a nice person.
    - Cum wiping before kissing. Really? What was the point in that…
    - Littlefinger in general seems to be too obvious about what he is doing, what he knows etc. instead of being in dark (for most of the players) like in the books.
    - While I loved the idea of Jon seeing Craster give away one of his sons, the cliffhanger itself felt forced.
    - Poor Rakharo :(

  253. ieiazel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    How is show Davos more interesting than book Davos? Because he talks more quickly and doesn’t stop fidgeting? Sorry, but Davos is one of my favourite characters in the book and the show is doing him a disservice.

    Anyway, I thought this episode’s pacing was wrong, and, worst of all, it was extremely boring, with a few exceptions (the scene with Sam and Gilly, Yoren, Dany). Stannis and Mel are, to me, underwhelming. There is no chemistry whatsoever between them.
    Also, what’s wrong with Maisie? She can’t act.
    Please, more Sansa and less Ros.

    I’m amazed how this guy can be so right and so funny at the same time. James Hibberd is to recaps what GRRM is to fantasy.

    Then we’ll start reading increasingly poor recaps with every passing season :P

  254. Tinuviel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I dont mind what they have done with littlefinger, he is a villainous knave so threatening people and peeping are the kinds of things villainous knaves do! But I am not so sure about Melisandre and Stannis. I am not sure if the characters have been introduced well enough when compared to the book, I am certain we have yet to hear Melisandre’s name and we have never seen Stannis’ family. The depiction of the sexual relationship between the two was inevitably doing to be explored but maybe it was too early? She cant be pregnant before they go to the wall. Does the recent innovative developments in the TV series indicate where George is going to go with the song of ice and fire series I wonder? And what the hell was going on at the end, Craster in league with the white walkers?! I really do think that the TV series is going to go their own way with the story, after series 3 which is going to be probably based on storm of swords, i feel they wont even follow the jist of the storyline and there will be probably bigger deviations. Im not saying its a bad thing, I am looking forward to it and I could be wrong. But I am wondering how this will effect George’s writing. Maybe the books and the series will be concluded differently.

  255. Oi!
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Astalnar,

    Really? The guy that rebelled against his king (and now calls Renly, Robb… thief’s), the guy that is so law abiding that he hires pirates to help him out. Stan is just a hypocrite and when it comes to things he wants he forgets his so called honor (and two things he wants most are power and a heir) and he’s willing to do anything to get them.

  256. Wastrel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Thought it was better than the first episode overall.

    Didn’t like:
    - Mel-Stannis. I don’t like the idea of them having sex, I don’t like Stannis being so manipulated/horny for it… but I could have lived with it. the killer is the “I won’t have sex with you, beautiful naked woman… no, not even to be ruler of all the world, so go away I’m not interested… what? A SON? GET ON THAT TABLE!” cringe-inducing U-turn. Sure, men like to have heirs, but it’s not normally THAT psychotically obsessive with no foreshadowing.
    - Showing the Others again. Why does the show have to be more boring and less suspenseful at every opportunity? It’s GOOD not to know what’s going on at Craster’s. Oh dear, something creepy and frightening and weird is… oh no, it’s just the tall growly guy with blue eyes again. It doesn’t help that the Others look like drunken tramps. Have they never heard of the “don’t show the monster until you have to” line?
    - Trying to set themselves up to make Ros the lead role next season. I don’t know why they don’t just drop Dany and Jon entirely, they’re never going to get involved in the main Ros-plot. If they want to make a show about Ros, why don’t they just do that? It’s not like they don’t have plenty of other plots and characters to be putting on screen. The idea that they’ve cut Ramsay Bolton, one of the best characters in the books and critical to the plot, in order to give more screentime to an actress purely because they like seeing her breasts makes me genuinely angry.

  257. Chris
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Hey D&D.
    Some of us love Dolorous Edd and his lines so far have been great but could you please crank up his volume!? He’s wry and dry and just about right but so soft-spoken his bits get lost!

  258. Virtus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Tinuviel: The depiction of the sexual relationship between the two was inevitably doing to be explored but maybe it was too early? She cant be pregnant before they go to the wall.

    It’s not a natural pregnancy. It’s a shadow pregnancy.

  259. JamesL
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    ieiazel,
    “Also, what’s wrong with Maisie? She can’t act.”
    Really?? No, Maisie is fantastic as Arya. There is nothing wrong with her but maybe there is something wrong with you considering you are one of the only people I’ve ever seen criticize her performance. Her scenes were the best part of the episode.

  260. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Haven’t seen the episode yet, but reading some of the comments from those who have, the thing about Selyse and Shireen raises an interesting thought:

    Assuming D&D really do have this inside track to GRRM and he is okaying major changes to the story and characters to avoid completely f***ing up the overarching plot arc, then those of us book-readers who enjoy theorising about where the story is going could use these sorts of things as clues. For instance, there are various theories that Shireen and/or her fool Patchface could have a big part to play in the eventual denouement of ASOIAF. I would suggest, however, that if D&D are leaving them out of the series completely (assuming the series is aiming eventually to finish up at the same general place as the novels, renewals allowing), and GRRM is okay with that, then that indicated that those fan theories are wrong. And there are various other examples in the series already.

    Well, it was an interesting thought to me, anyway… ;)

  261. Harry The Heir
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    So why did they kill of Rakharo? He is my favorite bloodrider and also the most recognisable? What impact does this have on the storyline? They should have killed off some other noob!! FU HBO :( :( :(

  262. Harry The Heir
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Tinuviel,

    Craster was in league with the White Walkers in the books.

  263. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    ieiazel:
    Also, what’s wrong with Maisie? She can’t act.

    Seven hells, you’re a moron if you think Maisie can’t act. One of the best child actresses I’ve seen in a while and she is definitely doing Arya justice.

  264. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Harry The Heir:
    So why did they kill of Rakharo? He is my favorite bloodrider and also the most recognisable? What impact does this have on the storyline? They should have killed off some other noob!! FU HBO :( :( :(

      

    I think the actor wanted/had to leave, I don’t think D&D were just cutting characters heads off for the sake of it. That said, it does remind the audience that Dany is surrounded by enemies and that she’s in a very vulnerable, dangerous position, not just going for a nice stroll in the sunshine. But yeah, I liked him too. Poor Irri.

  265. Jake
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Wastrel: The idea that they’ve cut Ramsay Bolton, one of the best characters in the books and critical to the plot, in order to give more screentime to an actress purely because they like seeing her breasts makes me genuinely angry.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  266. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    taekwonjohn:
    I’m still not bothered by any of the story changes. Not even Stannis’s wife and daughter being left out.As for the Stannis/Mel thing, Here’s my theory… The sons she gives Stan are the shadow baby assassins that kill Renly and Cortnay Penrose at Storm’s End. The books never explained how she did this and I’m guessing it has something to do with getting it on with Stan The Man.

    Agreed

  267. Knurk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Neu: I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that the song Tyrion is whistling as he enters his chambers is The Rains of Castamere.

    listen closely, it’s very similar to the Harry Potter theme.

  268. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    HERP-DERP:
    strongboar,
    purrmonsta,

    Joop Stroop,
    Maxwell James,

    I said this before, but people seem to have missed it. THE HEAD IN THE BAG CANNOT HAVE BEEN RAKHARO’S!

    yes that wasnt his horse but whom ever killed him could of sent the head back on one of there horses with thier war paint…Dany clearly says his name there

  269. Gwalchmai
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I’m a little embarrassed for recommending this show to some of the people I have because of the brothel scenes. Yeah, cum dribbling kisses make great family gathering and water cooler conversations.

    I am enjoying the series, but now I feel I have to justify why I like it.

  270. Rob
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    When did this show turn into soft porn? Im all for random nude shots but this feels forced.

    This was one of the worst episodes of GoT.

    Was that Yara? No offense to the actress but she looks nothing like the description not to mention she didn’t really exude the confidence we’ve come to expect from the book version. What a total waste of an episode.

  271. LV
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    Dee: It seems to be a general consensus among ASOIAF fandom, as far as I have seen anyway and I’ve been a part of it for a while, is that GRRM writes some of the worst sex scenes around, totally unrealistic and rather ridiculous. They have been the subject of many eye rolls, and the butt of many jokes over the years. it’s glossed overa little because the complaints about sex scenes in the books, though not insignificant, seem paltry in the context of thegeneral quality and complexity of series as a whole.

    There is no such “consensus” among long-time ASOIAF readers.

    With less than a handfull of exceptions (Cersei & Jaime, Jon & Ygritte, Samwell & Gilly), Martin’s “sex scenes” are meant to showcase chauvinism, brutality, prostitution, political calculation and coercion or underlying motives/attitudes. Most of them should disturb the reader. As such, they are written in a deliberately off-putting, unerotic way that doesn’t titillate anyone in their right mind (Daenerys & Drogo [though this one is complicated], all scenes featuring prostitution, Theon & the captain’s daughter, Arianne & Oakheart, Cersei & Merryweather aso). Martin does a good job with this, made evident by the many readers who are irritated by those scenes and in some juvenile cases – rather ridiculously – complain about their lack of eroticism. On the other hand, Martin’s actual “love scenes” (with the exception of the infamous fat pink mast, perhaps ;) ) are written decently enough to not attract much critical attention.

    However, this poses the show’s problem concerning eroticism: Many of the novels’ central sex scenes are not meant to be erotic at all. And while D&D did a good job handling Daenerys’ wedding (depicting it as rape without any relativism), they changed some of the other ‘problematic’ scenes. For example, Theon could have abused the captain’s daughter the same way as he did in A Clash of Kings, but obviously the producers wanted something more ‘harmless’ – even though there is precendent on HBO: A very disturbing oral sex scene in Deadwood, featuring Al Swearengen and a prostitute.

    By putting in the guilty pleasure sex scenes, D&D had to change originally irritating scenes from the novels as well as invent altogether new ones, or (as with Renly & Loras or Melisandre & Stannis) depict openly what is only implied in the books.
    In some cases, this isn’t working very well, I fear…

  272. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    darquemode:
    DH87,

    I was not a fan of Ros last year… not at all.
    Honestly though, this year I have enjoyed every scene she has had and moreover I understand why they were there. I liked the Ros/ Littlefinger scene much more than the Theon/ Captain’s daughter scene.

    Littlefinger was not peeping on the peeping Tom so much as spying on his patrons. He may have little birds to gather information, but the man is not above doing some spying of his own.

    To me it makes perfect sense to combine Chataya, Alayayainto this new character Ros. The actress is quite good in the role and it’s cost effective to have one actress do those 2 roles (or more roles if you count nameless whores in the book).

    I do not get the Ros hate this year at all. People need to accept the sexposition since D&D will not be stopping it anytime soon. It is HBO afterall.

    the problem is her character is not worth the constant air time..there are so many characters to develop and so little air time to do it..they need to stop wasting it on her garbage and useless story line

  273. Jess
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Hated the brothel scene. Especially since ep 1 also had a rather gratuitous (and LOUD) brothel sex scene. We get it, sex happen there. >_>

    I’m also a big fan of the Greyjoys, and really enjoyed our first encounter with them. My only beef, what happened to Asha’s “husband and babe?” That would’ve been awesome!

    My favorite scenes in this episode were Tyrion and Slyant (love love LOVED that scene in the book so I was really looking forward to it! Good to see D&D pretty much filming that verbatim) and Gendry and Arya (so cute! I thought were would make the cutest couple! I literally sequeled out loud! XP).

  274. Virtus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Harry The Heir: did they kill of Rakharo? He is my favorite bloodrider and also the most recognisable? What impact does this have on the storyline? They should have killed off some other noob!! FU HBO :( :( :(

    Because the actor went to work on a movie that required his attention. Blame him, not HBO.

  275. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Rob:
    When did this show turn into soft porn? Im all for random nude shots but this feels forced.

    This was one of the worst episodes of GoT.

    Was that Yara? No offense to the actress but she looks nothing like the description not to mention she didn’t really exude the confidence we’ve come to expect from the book version. What a total waste of an episode.

    they are trying to stay true to the books..if u had read them then u would know that the sex described in the books is way more graphic then is being portrayed with HBO

  276. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Gwalchmai:
    I’m a little embarrassed for recommending this show to some of the people I have because of the brothel scenes. Yeah, cum dribbling kisses make great family gathering and water cooler conversations.

    I am enjoying the series, but now I feel I have to justify why I like it.

    at what point did u think this was a family show? was it the beheading in the first couple scenes of the series or was it the constant sex scenes of the opening episode in the series..hahaha

  277. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Reading the other recaps, I think I missed that brothel mouth-wiping scene, because when the Theon sex scene started, I just fast forwarded until it changed, and by the time I hit play again and it was back to regular speed, it was Ros crying on a bed and LF started talking to her. I’m glad I missed it, though, because those sex scenes don’t add anything for me, and in fact just annoy me, so I’m always going to FF through them, unless by magic one day there is an actual romantic, well-done, essential to the plotline scene, and not just a boobs-quota scene.. A girl can hope…

    I’ve been thinking aboout the Craster bonking Jon on the head with a sword scene – and in the books, wasn’t it the order they go to Crasters, then they go off wanderings some more, then they come back by Craster’s, and that’s when they take Gilly. Does anyone think they will condense the wandering, and just have the fight and take Gilly now? And Kill Commander Mormont now? Doesn’t that mean they’d have to skip that whole Fist of the First Men fight scene?

    Also for those having trouble with the dialogue due to accents and whispering, do what I do – turn on the captions! My MIL is deaf, so we are used to watchign everything with captions on – but it’s particularly helpful in accent heavy shows like this!

  278. Virtus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    In the previews / making-offs we have seen Commander Mormont at the Fist with Qhorin etc.

  279. Jake
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Lof: Is she being groomed for the role Jeyne Poole/Arya Stark? What LF said to her in tonight’s episode felt like foreshadowing of being given to Ramsay Bolton. Plus Theon/”Reek” would certainly recognize her.

    Only problem is she’s way too old to pass for Arya. Jeyne Pool was Sansa’s age. Ros is at least 10 years older, no?

  280. Gwalchmai
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    HugeFloppyGut,

    My father is 70 and has read the books. “Hey Dad, watch this. There’s cum, I think you’ll like it!”

    Same thing goes for my 20 year old daughter and female boss. “Hey, you guys think bukkake is cool, watch this show!”

    Family doesn’t necessarily mean juvenile.

  281. Jake
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Deborah: Am I wrong or didn’t Brienne think that the shadow that kills Renly looked like Stannis.

    It was Davos that thought so when he smuggled Mel under Storms End

  282. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Gwalchmai,

    then don’t watch the show then bro..i think re-runs of Full House are on the family channel for you to watch

  283. anuhealani
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    NousWanderer,

    You have to be joking. As if some gross john, Hodor, or the wine seller (the latter two not even in a sexual context) in any way compare to a beautiful, shapely woman naked and on full display for the male gaze. Props to Alfie Allen because his occasional skin and Drogo ass are the only elements to date that might titillate a straight female audience (and only if you paper-bag Alfie).

    It’s simply patently untrue to suggest anything but a huge imbalance here. And yes, I do expect some genital-to-equivalency here. Because you don’t have to show an erection to show a penis in a sexual context. Because so far I count about three sets of labia and thirty breasts for every example of attractive(?) male nudity, and that’s just dumb when clearly HBO is not afraid to use sex on television. I’m a woman and watch this show too. Throw me a freaking, somewhat literal bone here, D&D.

  284. Giselle Glasgow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Reading a bit of the comments and i guess i wasn’t the only one with a few qualms. I agree with the first comment, ros is really irrelevant, littlefinger can be portrayed as an A-hole without all that… stuff…

    I appreciated that instead of Gilly telling Jon about what craster does with baby boys he actually sees it happen…. and even though the Stannis ‘sexy time’ was a little off, in the books i always gathered that he was attracted to her and they did do it a couple times.

    Favorite quote of the night ” you should taste her fish pie” – Tyrion

  285. Virtus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    So, what about the title of the episode, “The Night Lands”? Is it fitting for the episode? To what does it refer?

  286. David the Grey
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Cerb: This was the first time, there was less energy in the room after the episode than before the episode.

    My wife and I felt that way after last week’s episode – so much so that my wife did not watch the show last night! Noooo!!! She is not a fantasy fan, and has not read the books, but she did manage to watch all of last season with me. But last week’s episode was too boring for her, and so she finally dropped out. Darn, because I thought last night’s was much more interesting (and gave longer scenes with which to get acquainted with the characters). And she loves baby stuff, so she surely would’ve fallen for Gilly’s plight!!!

    Ah well. It had to happen at somepoint, but I was hoping she might last until book three’s shocking events.

  287. Jess
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Robert: 2 episodes in, and I give it a big MEH. I understand the series is an adaptation of the book, but they could follow the book more. I’m not understanding why they are changing character names, & scenes, or completely leaving important scenes or other characters out. I feel like there rushing everything because they only have 10 episodes. If that’s so, make more episodes to get everythingin. Guess thats why everyone always says the books are better than movies/tv shows.

    I agree with this to a degree. I think they had to change a lot of things because of 1. time issues, 2. it’s difficult to show thoughts, and 3. too many characters would confuse the viewers.

    But I do think there are very small things the show could have done to give it a bit more complexity. One example that jumps right into my head was in last episode, when Robb was giving his terms to the Lannister cousin to take back to king’s landing. The guy was all like “yes, your grace” “whatever you say, your grace” and my eye was just twitching with annoyance. So I’m totally fine with D&D replacing the Frey boys with this new Lannister kid (which i’m assuming means Tywin’s other siblings are probably never gonna be shown), but would it have been too much to have him say “your lord” in defiance for a second before cowering to “your grace” while Catelyn looks on with seriousness? I don’t know, I’m assuming he’ll be accompanying Jaime later on so it’s not like we’ll never see him again. Wouldn’t it be good to have some more personality than just a spineless extra? And that extra back and forth would take like 5 extra seconds max.

  288. anuhealani
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    NousWanderer,

    Sorry for the extra post and the typos in the first (I was writing it on my phone). I just wanted to add that I don’t understand what’s not to understand about my argument. It is a persistent complaint of mine (and pretty much all of the female fans of the show I know personally, but they can speak for themselves if they choose to) that there is little to nothing in this show that I find sexually titillating. Isn’t that all you need to know? Arguing that there are elements I should find enjoyable in that way doesn’t make it so.

  289. Nick Larter
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    There’s a lot of recaps out there. On top of the ones listed in this post I just wanted to plug the one I always head for first: lurching between wild inaccuracy, the odd doubtless accidental and always unexpected lightning bolt of deep insight and an at times touching naivity. It’s hugely politically incorrect, off the wall and very very funny – thank you Jordan Yerman!

    http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/game-thrones-s02e02-recap-review-spoilers-2912172.html

  290. Butterbumps
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m trying not to let it bother me, but Ros is ruining this show for me (no offence to the actress, as it’s not her fault) but I don’t understand why the show needed another made-up character, maybe there is some purpose to her storyline that will become clear, I hope so cos at the moment I just resent it everytime she appears on screen.

    On a positive note, I loved Vary’s and Tyrion again, they continue to be outstanding, and Ghost…just wow..more please!

  291. Onion
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    ” Ashley Manwoody: Didn’t realise wiping cum was a character building plot point. My bad.

    I’ll forgive you.

    Seriously though, this is an absolutely horrendous act, we pretty much all would agree about this”

    I thought that part of that scene was absolutely hilarious. If she had a runny nose, she would be full :)

  292. dizzy_34
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised a lot of you all can’t see where they are going with Ros. She’s going to be the Alayaya character. Now she has motivation to help Tyrion. We know Tyrion says the “Joy will turn to ashes speech” from the previews, that’s about Alayaya. Good episode, not my favorite thing to deviate and show Jon seeing Craster take the baby off to the Others but I was over that a while ago.

  293. Vanderhook
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    My thoughts:

    - Lots of changes from the books! Most are minor, some not as much. Nothing egregious though. Compared to last season, it seems like theres more changes. Not sure how I feel about some of the changes. Some make a lot of sense (Bronn as commander of the Gold Cloaks) others could cause issues (Shireen? Has she been cut?). I’m not a purist by any means though, so the changes don’t bother me too much as I’ve really enjoyed the first two episodes.

    - Good to see Arya get some screen time since she wasn’t in the last episode. Maisie is awesome as Arya its just that.. well.. she doesn’t look like a little boy. I suppose this is kind of an unavoidable problem as Maisie has certainly hit puberty since last season.. but it’s just so obvious that shes a girl. Yoren was awesome. The Jaquen tease was great too. Interesting how they had Gendry figure out Arya’s identity this early. Isn’t that supposed to happen well after the Amory Lorch confrontation?

    - The Greyjoys were awesome. Theon was my favorite character during Clash of Kings. I know he’s a total dick and does some reprehensible things, but I always found his chapters to be some of the most compelling stuff I’ve ever read. I’m glad his character and his arc are getting the justice they deserve. Balon was AMAZING — spot on! Asha/Yara was good too. I hope we get to see the axe/husband/dagger/child scene later. Would really suck if that bit got cut because it’s probably the most memorable Asha moment in the series if you ask me. Was Aeron cast? To be honest I wouldn’t mind if he was cut from this season. I always hated Aeron Greyjoy and found him to be a snoozefest of a character.

    - People need to relax about Ros. Honestly, she only ever has one scene each episode, if that. I don’t even hate her scenes at all — most of them are good. Ros is a necessary character, as she is a vehicle to bring in more world-building and character development that is hard to translate from the book to the screen. I found this weeks scene with her and Littlefinger great. A good insight into how twisted Littlefinger is.

    - Rakharo’s death was a good way to deal with the actor departing. Much better than just omitting him altogether and assuming the audience is dumb enough not to notice. It also gives Dany some more screentime. Dany didn’t get a whole lot of time in CoK so I don’t mind some extra stuff in her storyline. The bloodriders are all pretty interchangable anyways so it’s not like this will have any major impact on the story.

    - Dinklage continues to master the role of Tyrion. The scenes between Tyrion and Cersei are amazing. I smell another Emmy for Dinklage, this time for LEAD actor :). I really liked the Bronn change. A bit dissappointed that theres no Shagga or Timmet, but theres only so much screentime.

  294. Valyrian
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe someone said above that inthe books the sex scenes all serve a purpose to the story. I’m sorry, but I don’t see how knowing how many strokes Drogo needs (AGOT, womb of the world chapter) serves a purpose to the story. That said, I seriously don’t understand why people worry so much that they’re changing LF. Did he sound just evil, and a twisted creep? Yes, he did. But (THERE WILL BE SPOILERS, I’m warning, spoilers from this point on, spooooooooooooooooilers)

    what about that Scene in AFFC when he tells Sansa he’ll marry her to Harry Hardying and asks “now isn’t that worth a kiss?”, I mean HOW CREEPY IS THAT? Just because the show is not showing how creepy he is in the same situation as the books do, that does’nt mean he’s not THAT creepy, because we all know he is. And his evil threats to Ros are perfectly consistent with the guy who tells Lysa “only Cat” in that awfully cold and ruthless way just before he throws her from the own moon door.

  295. ieiazel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I had some quibbles with her in season 1, and I swear I read a recap somewhere saying pretty much the same. Isaac and Sophie are much better actors than Maisie, who I find can only stare wide-eyed at the other characters. You only have to see the image at the beginning of this post: it summarises the whole range of her expressions in this episode. However, I think this is mainly because she doesn’t have enough acting experience. With time she will become a much better actress.
    Her scene worked well mainly because Yoren was in it, and because the guy who plays Gendry is actually quite good.

    And thank you, freyar_88 for calling me a moron just for giving an opinion. Much appreciated.

  296. Jonas Jakobsen
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    So I see Dennis Stokes has been credited in two episodes so far, but who is he playing? IMDb list him as Willem Lannister, but I’m fairly sure he isn’t in the show?

    Does someone know?

  297. James
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    These recaps have just turned into 200+ comment b*tching sessions. I think we all get it – a large portion of the community does not like the prostitution scenes. The fact of the matter is David and Dan are heavily involved in almost every aspect of the show, and as they know significantly more about the industry than the vast majority of us do, a little trust would go a long way. They’re putting the scenes in for a reason, and given the enormous success of the show thus far, I don’t think the scenes are having a negative effect on the shows popularity. Game of Thrones is not meant to be a family show, just as the source material is very dark and meant for a mature audience.

    They put in graphic sex scenes to appeal to a certain audience, they have political intrigue to appeal to a different demographic, they have the poignant family scenes for others still – not all the scenes are intended to appeal to any one person. If they didn’t do this, the show would not be as successful as it is. I’m more than happy for them to be appealing to randy 17 year old’s as well as the more conservative mature audiences. While they may not be able to personally afford a HBO subscription – having been one not too long ago, I know how persistent they can be in getting their parents to pay for it.

    And in response to that one users comment on Maisie William’s acting ability, she’s not even 15. She’s one of the most amazing child actors I’ve seen period. Are we even watching the same show?

  298. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    After reading these comments and seeing what I missed, I’m even more convinced now that the sex stuff is unnecessary, because each time it came on, I just fast forwarded through it, and the episode came out great for me! Woohooo! I am now going to always just fast-forward any sex scenes, because I don’t think they are going to hide some mission-essential nugget of information, it’s just fulfilling HBO’s implied quota. (“I mean, come on!” says pushy HBO exec “If you didn’t want to show some tits and sex each week, why’d you even bother to come to HBO with this project?”) And it’s not adding anything to the story.. My opinion. I know other people enjoy them, and good for you, keep enjoying, and I will fast forward, and we’ll both be happy!

    Winter, I also like just seeing your opinions instead of a straight-up recap. Recaps are everywhere, and what I’d rather hear from you is your actual likes and dislikes for the episode – good job!

  299. Lannister_accountant
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I was very pleased with this episode and rate an 8/10. I thought the acting was spot on, particularly in the dynamic between Gendry and Arya, whose relationship in ACOK reminds the reader that the characters here are still really kids. They nailled it.

    Although Yara (aka Asha) is not how I imagined (having seen her in my mind’s eye as more a swashbuckler with a bit more zeal behind her dialogue), I cannot fault the actor and applaud the deft subtlety in which she is introduced (which is right off the page).

    This of course, leaves my only gripe as what I have simply deemed “superfluous sex”. Superfluous sex or unnecessary sex is not to be confused with sexposition. While Theon’s sexposition scene at least had the purpose of explaining how the Ironborn do business, I did not feel there was a purpose to the following brothel scene, in which I already knew a) Littlefinger is ruthless and will speak obliquely about being ruthless if he is not obeyed a la his “stories” b) Ros’s character is being built to be sympathetic, but I can’t get past her merely being a catalyst of the “whore who screws everyone in Kings Landing”. All of this however, is entirely minor and I’ve never considered the superfluous sex in the series as some kind of deal breaker.

    This said, whoever defended GRRM’s use of sex and sexuality in his writing had it right. Martin knows exactly what he’s doing when he demonstrates just how Hobbesian the world of Westeros can be in how people use sex to their advantage to exploit others. In the HBO series however, this doesn’t always work for me.

  300. Lina
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this episode immensely. There were a few parts I did not like, but overall it was very good. It was well-paced and laced with a lot of emotional scenes.

    IRON ISLANDS
    It looked SO perfect. Pyke was even awesome on the map opening! Gemma Whalen might not be the exact Asha we know, but I think she completely nails the essence of the character: she’s tough, unapologetic, and a little arrogant. Patrick Malahide is awesome. All of his lines were so perfectly delivered that each one sounded like the focal point for some grand movie trailer.

    ARYA
    Yoren is badass, and shows how hardened the Watch is. Jaqen H’ghar! This is the character I’ve been most excited to see this season, and so far so good. I do wish Rorge and Biter looked a little bit scarier. But I adored the interaction with Arya, with her striking their cage. A good way to set up why Jaqen takes notice of her. The scene where Arya reveals herself to Gendry was really heart-warming for me. I really like Gendry a lot, both on page/screen, and I think Joe Dempsie is doing a great job with him. Also, Hot Pie got owned! This was a clever way to show how uneducated the smallfolk are, especially when juxtaposed against a highborn girl or even an artisan’s apprentice.

    KING’S LANDING
    Peter Dinklage continues to steal every scene he is in. I actually felt tense during the scene with Varys, proud during the one with Slynt, and sad during the one with Cersei. While the other actors are all amazing (I’m a huge fan of Conleth Hill), I feel most of my emotional reactions were evoked by Dinklage’s performance. I think Bronn as LC is a smart change. It saves time/money by not having to cast Bywater, and it puts the Gold Cloaks in Tyrion’s pocket. I’m glad they kept the “I’d ask how much?” line.

    I don’t like that they changed the killing of the bastards to be at Joffrey’s command, for a few reasons. First, I always saw Joffrey as really careless and nonchalant. He wouldn’t even think to kill the bastards because he would see the Throne as definitively his, without question. Cersei has a better sense of the “big picture” than Joff does, so she sees that the bastards could potentially threaten her power. However, she’s not tactful enough to recognize the consequences such a plan would have. Also, I don’t want Cersei softened. I want her as cruel as she is in the books, because I think she’s a type of female character we don’t often see.

    I didn’t like the Littlefinger scene, for no reason other than wasted time. These few minutes could have been spent on something far more interesting. I think we all get it by now: Littlefinger is ruthless. I almost feel like his character is being cheapened slightly, because I fear new viewers know him primarily as “creepy brothel owner” instead of the Bobby Fisher of Westerosi politics.

    RED WASTE
    I was truly sad to see Rakharo go. This scene was sad already, but got really emotional when Irri broke down. I loved the discussion about his soul being killed. It shows the cultural differences of Westeros and Essos and also showed how much Dany cares about these people. Does this now mean Doreah gets to live?

    THE NIGHT’S WATCH
    Sam is quite adorable. I enjoy him 10x more in the show than in the books. The bit with Ghost was hilarious. Speaking of Ghost, I think the CGI looked pretty good. Not fantastic, but still high quality. And that was a brilliant change with showing Craster putting the baby out for the White Walker. It made that revelation so much more intense because you actually SEE it. And I continue, as from the very first time I ever picked up A Game of Thrones, to be a huge Jon Snow fangirl. Kit acts him so well. I love the bit at the end, because the look on his face suggests he doesn’t want to go charging into the woods but just has to because that’s who he is.

    DRAGONSTONE
    I didn’t like the addition of the Mel/Stannis sex scene, but I liked the execution. I don’t think Stannis seemed erotically aroused at all. If anything, he was aroused by power. I think he seemed incredibly awkward and wooden. I did not like that they cut out Shireen and made Selyse “sickly, locked up in a tower.” I think this is just to make room for Stannis to mess around with Melisandre without having to reconcile that type of behavior with his honor as a husband/father. I always thought that Stannis is pretty unsympathetic, except in that he has this kind of tragic family life.

    Saan is the exact opposite of what I imagined (a really flamboyant older guy), but I like him nonetheless. Seems to have the pirate spirit. I like TV Davos more than book Davos. I don’t think it really matters all that much if he’s a follower of the Seven or not a religious guy; in the end, all his loyalties are to Stannis anyway, so what difference does it make? I think they’re painting him as not liking Mel due to her unexplainable influence over the king and not so much her religion.

  301. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Oh, and I know why Rakharo died – Silly Dothraki! You are supposed to BRAID your hair to show your strength –he just left it in a girly ponytail, and so they killed him. Had he just let Dany braid it up before he rode off looking for something helpful, he would still be here today.

    Also I am guessing Gendry’s Baratheon spidey-sense told him Arya was a girl. Being Robert Baratheon’s son, he’s probably got one of those built in creepy apps that notify you of any girl within grabbing distance 

  302. Doughnut Hole
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    How many scenes has Renly had so far? Robb? Bran?

    And how many scenes has Ros had? “Night Lands” scorecard: King of the North 0, prostitute-not-in-the-books 1.

    While parts of “The Night Lands” were quite good, I’m overall disappointed. More Littlefinger acting like a moron…Varys revealing himself as a power player as opposed to an information gatherer…more and more Ros…the changes to Cersai and Joffrey…etc.

    The thing that got me into Ice and Fire in the first place is the incredibly nuanced Machiavellian power dynamics occurring among/between incredibly detailed characters. I’m really not getting a sense of that so far, unless you consider bald-faced threats (Littlefinger/Cersai, Varys/Tyrion, Littlefinger/Ros(????)) to be nuanced explorations of power.

  303. Kalice
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    What I liked:
    1. Gentry and Arya – they stayed close enough to the book that I got the same feelings watching it as I did reading it. Arya’s chapters from this book were among my very favorites so watching them come to life was satisfying.
    2. Tyrion – Loved the Janos interaction. I could listen to Tyrion Lannister talk all day.
    3. Theon and Balon Greyjoy – I hated reading this chapter in the book. I could barely remember who Theon was at this point and I just did not care about the Iron Islands. That said…Balon was so good! I believed him, I got it at last. Liking him was my favorite surprise.

    What I did not like:

    1. The Brothel – I feels so forced and unnatural to the rest of the story. I feel removed from the story, the magic spell is broken. I feels like the thought process is…How do we get more boobs in? We need more boobs!! We all know who Littlefinger is at this point. So the Ross dialog was a waste of time. They could have cut that entire scene and used that time to show ANYTHING else and it would have been better.
    2. Stannis caved to easy. I wanted to see him struggle with it a little bit. I thought the whole I can give you a son angle was strange. I thought Stannis hooked up with Melisandre because she could help give him the throne not to have babies. I know its an adaptation and there will be differences but I like I said this one felt strange.

  304. ieiazel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    James: And in response to that one users comment on Maisie William’s acting ability, she’s not even 15. She’s one of the most amazing child actors I’ve seen period. Are we even watching the same show?

    She’s 15, so? Isaac is younger and he’s great, and Sophie is also 15 or 16.
    Maybe I shouldn’t have said that she’s a bad actress: she’s quite good for someone so young and unexperienced, but she’s not completely natural, in my opinion, and still has to learn a lot . She has been better in other episodes, like Baelor last season.

  305. Nymeria
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read the other reactions yet, but I hope I’m not the only one to say:

    WHY THE **** ARE THEY LOSING TIME WITH ROS???
    Her only useful appearance was her first one with Tyrion in S1. No offence to Esme, but she’s not that good an actress that she deserves such gymnastics to include her in every freakin’ episode no matter how useless her appearances are. Not only is it stupid that when there’s a whore in the story, it is always the same one, I was disgusted by the scene where Littlefinger was teaching her how to do her job in S1 but last night’s scene was the worst ever. It told us nothing except, maybe, that it shows Baelish only likes his gold, and it was a long, boring and poor way to show it. It was the worst sexposition yet and I don’t like how creepier and creepier they’re making Baelish look with all these brothel scenes. But most and foremost, it was such a waste of precious screen time. If they want to show Littlefinger, why not show him with Cersei or Varys or Tyrion?

    There wasn’t enough action in this episode. I understand this will happen sometimes because they need to show the progress of so many characters, but sometimes it is better to omit one for one episode and concentrate on another to complete a story arc and make the episode more compelling overall.

    But why lose time with Ros? Of all the things they could show from the book, why create such a useless character and give her so much screen time?

    I also felt Tyrion sending Janos Slint to the wall, which is such a clever move and an awesome moment in the books, was barely noticeable in yesterday’s episode. They should have spent more time building around it, to better show how Tyrion is taking over King’s Landing and outclevering his sister, including how he is sending a lot of men on that boat to the Night’s Watch in order to both clear the way and contribute to the Night’s Watch, thus fulfilling his promise to Mormont.

    Arya’s revelation to Gendry came a lot earlier than in the books. I’m fine with it, except I really hope it doesn’t mean they’re going to cut big important chunks of her storyline.

    Theon’s arrival to the Iron Islands was OK, though it was a bit funnier in the books, and I’m not really charmed by Yara yet. She shows nothing of Asha’s determination, but I’ll form my opinion more definitely when we see more of her.

    Dany’s story arc was OK too, and I think it gives us an sense of how long they are stuck in the Red Waste, but I feel they could have omitted to show her in this episode.

    Now Jon’s story arc, however, doesn’t make sense in a time elapsing way. Next episode will be the third they spend at Craster’s, when it should have been all included in one or two episode to show they stop there, but are soon on their way again. Also, I didn’t like the last scene with the baby offering because it wasn’t clear enough. If it wasn’t for the sounds, you’d think it was a human who took the baby. Heck, my husband was so confused he thought it was Craster who came back and fetched it. But I expect they’ll all explain it next episode. But the fact that it needs further explanation kind of means it was clumsy, no?

    Overall, I still loved it, but it was probably the worst episode so far in both seasons. It all comes down to the choices they make in the adaptation, and I just think they made bad decisions this time around.
    But Seven Gods would I be glad if they just got rid of Ros or put her back in the background, where she belongs!

  306. Matt Chung
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The Sun’s Son:
    1. That was not Asha Greyjoy. There is no way that the strong, sexy female character from the books was what I saw on the screen. Poor casting from HBO is my current position on her but hopefully she can bring me around. But Balon, Theon, and Pyke were all very well done/executed.

    I don’t understand all the hate for Gemma. All her acting was in her standing – she was bloody standing like a man, like a woman hardened by battle. It would be ridiculous if she was incredible beautiful on top of that. She needs to be gritty and tough, and she definitely plays the part.

    For that matter, I hate that everyone hates Ros. Her character is what I find to be a humourous addition to the show and last night’s episode proved to me that she can do intense as well, and not just flop her tits around. It was a great scene that really gave us some insight into Baelish – he’s a man whose sole goal seems to be personal gain, regardless of who he has to use to get it.

    Jake: Only problem is she’s way too old to pass for Arya.Jeyne Pool was Sansa’s age.Ros is at least 10 years older, no?

    I have a good feeling that fake-Sansa will replace fake-Arya and Ros will be fake-Sansa. Though to be honest it might not make any sense… still, one can at least try to guess what’s going to happen

  307. Jonas Jakobsen
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Are book readers really that oblivious? Isn’t it rather obvious where they’re going with Ros?

  308. Coltaine777
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Jonas Jakobsen: Are book readers really that oblivious? Isn’t it rather obvious where they’re going with Ros?

    Hopefully to the chopping block … :)

  309. Jason S
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I over all liked the episode. I loved the Tyrion vs Slynt, and Gendry Aria scenes the most. Not to sure on the casting on Yara, im picturing more of a kick ass swashbuckler chick in my head, but HBO done awesome in casting so far, so Im going to give her some more screen time before I make my final decision.
    I didnt like the fact that they took out Jaclyn Bywater for the new commander of the Goldcloaks, I mean Bron is supposed to be Tyrions shadow operative.
    Another thing Im not sure what they were doing at the end of the episode, and im not talking about Craster giving up the baby to the others, I mean that was always hinted at. I just didn’t like that Craster catches him at the end and knocks him out. Im wondering were D&D are going with that.

  310. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I just shrug at a lot of this. Gemma Whelan was very strong and sexy, and she is attractive. Yeah she’s not a supermodel type, but guess what, Yara/Asha isn’t supposed to be. She’s not described as some superhot beauty in the books- if you came to that conclusion, you pretty much imposed your own idea on the character. Sexy does not instantly mean classic beauty.

  311. PatD
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Seven Hells, I was riding such a high after this episode, and then I came here and read all the comments!

    Nah. Y’all can pick and pick until your heart’s content, but this reader (and rereader) of the books is absolutely ecstatic with this series. I don’t always agree with the changes, but I rarely see them as really bad, wholly divergent from the sense of the story or its characters, and usually understand the logistics behind them. I consider myself a fairly intelligent and perceptive reader/viewer, so I’d not have any problems with criticism if I actually felt certain elements were ruining the experience for me. I wasn’t as thrilled as I hoped to be with the first episode, but I completely understood its place in the story arc… as a table-setter for season two.

    But this episode???

    OMFG, it was like I died and went to Westeros heaven. Such a feast for the eyes (Gemma Jackson you are a goddess)! When Theon first gets his glimpse of The Pyke from the ship, I thought it was breathtaking. When he first walks into Balon’s man cave, for a split second there, it actually looked 3D on my big screen TV. The acting in that scene was terrific. Malahide is BETTER than the book’s Balon, and Alfie is one heckuva’ fine, young actor. His facial expressions and reactions to the way he’s being owned and displaced all at the same time were really, really good. Yara looks nothing like I imagined, but she feels like her. Too soon for me judge,though.

    Lena Headey is really bringing it this year. I was one of her big detractors last year, and that came from a real fan of the actress’ work way before she won the part. I thought she just didn’t get Cersei last year. Whether it was the writing, direction, or her refusing to read the source material, she just came off as an indie actress acting down in some fantasy part she happened upon. There’s no way for me to know that, I’m just referring to the impression she gave. Rather than being the instrumental conniver in this plot, she always seemed so removed from it… and not in an ice-queen Cersei sort of way. This year, she’s brittle, vulnerable, completely Royal in her entitlement, lonely, and a million other things that should be the Cersei I know and hate. But most importantly, she’s totally invested and involved and reacting to the other actors she’s in scenes with. Either she’s read the books, or she’s just grown into the role, but she’s blowing me away. I couldn’t be happier.

    The attention to detail boggles my mind. Right down to the way they give Saan a sash-sword-sheath which conveys a wonderful swashbuckling element. Gah, I am humbled by the artistic direction in this series. I don’t even feel worthy of assessing it.

    I don’t get all the disassociation people felt from the Stannis/Mel table scene. Stannis’ entire existence in the TCoK is a lesson in compromise -for-power. He’s already thrown his principles to the wind by taking part in the scam on the beach. And that was not just some horndog fulfillment. He’s falling under the spell that is Mel. She allows him his illusions of grandeur, but he’s just her tool. That’s what was on my screen.

    And the Littlefinger scene, contrary to what I’ve read here, was not a waste (Ros’ crying was not very good acting, but she saved it with her acting at the end of the scene). In this story, power goes to those who manipulate and and connive and are ruthless. This scene puts it in the viewer’s head that Cersei is only fooling herself with that “Power is Power” ruse. Also, if Ros is playing an amalgamation of Alayaya/Chataya in the show, then they have to provide a reason for her going over to Tyrion from LF. It may have been a bit heavy-handed (this is a visual medium, for Pete’s sake), but Ros learned once and for all what a twisted, evil, dangerous mofo is LF, and now we can totally understand her going against him helping Tyrion. The wiping of the whore’s face bit is *supposed* to be repulsive. Again. It’s totally consistent with the show’s LF. I thought this was the first scene that Gillen really shows his acting chops. His metamorphosis from a comforting, understanding human being to a lethal, cold-hearted sadist all within a few minutes was really well played. It could have been written more subtly (all he needed to do at the end was twirl a mustache), but it was superbly acted. And there was a reason for it.

    I loved the Craster’s Keeps scenes. I’m a total fangirl for Jon Snow, but even if I wasn’t, I’d be praising Kit’s acting skills. He is soooo good in reacting to his surroundings and other’s dialog. He did so much in that scene with Milly and Sam. Very, very impressive. And I don’t know what y’all are complaining about with the last scene. I thought the lighting, pacing, and resulting suspense was a total home run. I jumped when Craster hit Jon, and I hardly ever do that when watching movies.

    But my favorite part of the episode was the Joren (OMG he’s so bloody good in this), Araya, Gendry/Jaqen scenes. Every single actor in this storyline is utter perfection. The chemistry between Arya and Gendry is golden, and Jaqen is all soft-spoken, smooth-ninja-mystery as I imagined. I like that Gendry seems a lot smarter and tougher in the show than he was in the books, and it, thus, makes sense that he’d be on to Arya this soon.

    All in all, I f’kn’ loved this episode, and I feel sorry for those who can’t temper their criticisms with a better balance of analysis and enjoyment. It’s so much more than I ever had a right to expect from a TV show. Even an HBO one. I can’t even imagine what D&D must think when they read some of this pettiness (not all, but a lot of it). I know they’re pro’s, but on some level, it’s gotta’ be disheartening and hurtful. Hopefully, they understand this is just a form of some fan’s investment in the show.

  312. dizzy_34
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    People, Ros is taking the Alayaya role. You can bet on it.

  313. PatD
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Gah. Sorry for the length of my posts, but I read the entire thread before I type, and there was a lot to post about!

  314. jkb
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Oi!
    It’s all business for Stan no pleasure.

    how did he get a hard-on then? ;)

    anyway i’d give this episode 8/10. fucking on the map table gave me slight WTF and the cliffhanger seemed a bit forced (where the fuck was ghost anyway?) but other then that, a strong episode. can’t wait for more.

  315. Knurk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    purplejilly: Also I am guessing Gendry’s Baratheon spidey-sense told him Arya was a girl. Being Robert Baratheon’s son, he’s probably got one of those built in creepy apps that notify you of any girl within grabbing distance

    lol, I’m glad they made Gendry notice this earlier in the tv-show than in the books. It’s quite obvious they can’t hide Maisie’s boobs and no matter what they do with her hair/face, she’ll never look like a boy.

  316. Mnoah
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Liked the episode, just a liitle dissapointed they left out one of my favorite quotes from the second book. When Balon say’s “you reward yourself handsomly for a notion and a few lines of scribble” in respone to theon saying he will be warden of the west and the lord of Casterly Rock after they win the war. That line always cracked me up

  317. giantsbaby
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Theon’s facial expressions made me LOL.

  318. Krakow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Se
    LV,

    Rare and interesting obversations. Ty

  319. Hilda
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Arya and Gendry….favorite scenes!

  320. Entropy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    PatD:
    Gah. Sorry for the length of my posts, but I read the entire thread before I type, and there was a lot to post about!

    Perfect, thank you. I feel the same way, extremely grateful that HBO is doing such a magnificent job.

  321. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Yeah I loved this episode too. I laughed a lot, and the characterizations all worked for me. Even Littlefinger. I know a lot of people aren’t happy about him, but we have to see LF actually speak, and show what a creep he is. He is a manipulative scumbag, so it’s not like him fucking with Ros’s head was that out of character. And sex scenes just don’t bother me at all. They could be having lunch at a table or having sex, whatever, it’s no difference to me where they chat. Theon’s ‘sexposition’ is fairly close to the book.

    Dolorous Edd, Sam and Gilly’s moment, Salladhor, and oh my Jaqen H’ghar. I was in heaven during Arya’s scenes. Yoren is a badass, and Biter and Rorge are perfect. I don’t mind that Rorge has a nose at all.

  322. Josh
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Astalnar:
    Is it just me or did they cut out Shireen. Melissandre mentiions only stillborns, like as Stannis does not have any living heirs at all.
    And another misstep that Stannis could never fall for is the promis of giving him sons. He is fighting against bastard that is currently on the throne. He considers himself honorable and just to the end. He would not just go and fuck Melissandre because she promised him sons. He would realize those sons would still be bastards and not rightful contenders for throne.

    But we know he did screw her in the books. So I don’t get complaints. We never found why he does it, but I find sons more believable then for a God he never seems to believe in.

  323. PatD
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    In the book, Jon repeatedly sets Ghost free North of the Wall to hunt for himself. It’s entirely possible Ghost was busy looking for dinner!

  324. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,
    This.. I agree. I thought she made a perfect Yara.

  325. Jake
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    But why do they even need Alayaya now? Shae is staying in the Red Keep already. Tyrion has no need to use Alayaya as a screen for his secret interludes. He certainly wouldn’t need to sneak around to see the pyromancers.

  326. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    PatD:

    I feel exactly the same way, ser.

  327. Vanderhook
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    PatD: Gah. Sorry for the length of my posts, but I read the entire thread before I type, and there was a lot to post about!

    No apology needed! I agree 100% with everything you said. Honestly that was probably one of the most enjoyable comments I’ve read on this site. We need more fans like you!

  328. Lina
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    I just shrug at a lot of this. Gemma Whelan was very strong and sexy, and she is attractive. Yeah she’s not a supermodel type, but guess what, Yara/Asha isn’t supposed to be. She’s not described as some superhot beauty in the books- if you came to that conclusion, you pretty much imposed your own idea on the character. Sexy does not instantly mean classic beauty.

    I too don’t understand why people are complaining about Yara not being beautiful enough to compare to Asha. I never imagined Asha as stereotypically beautiful. I always saw her as kind of hard and sharp-looking and thought her attractiveness was derived from her confidence. I thought Gemma nailed the Asha I imagined when reading.

  329. Lana
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Simultaneously stagnant and rushed, this was my criticism of episode 1, which (sadly) is true for episode 2 as well. There were some golden moments (Arya and Gendry, the fantastically intriguing Jaqen H’ghar, Tyrion and all with whom he comes into contact, Sam and Edd), but it was ponderous work sifting through the mud of so much underwhelming writing, direction, editing and acting (sorry, Gemma fans, but she is very poorly cast. She may be a decent Yara Greyjoy, but she is no ASHA Greyjoy. My pick for the role, btw, would have been Charlotte Riley – right in every way. Same goes for Gilly – dreadfully cast). They are having a hard time reconciling such a large, and ever-expanding, number of characters and storylines with so short a run-time and the show is suffering for it. It makes one wonder and worry about subsequent seasons. I pray to the gods, old and new, that things pick up in following episodes and that they regain the compelling cadence of much of season 1.

  330. Lindor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Jeff,

    I agree. I think he was peeping for information/to make sure his business was going well, as opposed to doing it for any sexual reasons. Just keeping an eye on things.

  331. NousWanderer
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    anuhealani,

    I can’t recall seeing actual labia in the show, so as far as I’m concerned, there’s been plenty of pubic equivalence given that men have external genitalia. I’m sorry that shirtless men aren’t considered nude and women are, but there’s only so naked a male can actually get before he begins cheese grating his epidermis off in an attempt at pleasing the people keeping score. This is a matter of what one culture considers acceptable and what it doesn’t, and funnily enough, the fact that we don’t consider shirtless men to be nude on a par with shirtless women is probably more indicative of a cultural imbalance than any attempts at catering to the ‘male gaze’ in GoT are – a show which is by most accounts pretty female-positive (even if the world it depicts is not).

    My girlfriend has no problem with the show’s nudity, so anecdote for anecdote I’m not sure we get anywhere. Hopefully you’ll get your fill of sexier penis in the near future, based on what they’ve decided to shoot and what they haven’t.

    I’m also not really willing to take the environment here as a baseline, because I think the complaints about nudity have taken on an almost memetic strength, especially when die-hard book purists begin complaining about nude scenes that are actually more toned down from their book counterparts (Theon on the boat, for instance). For what it’s worth, my girlfriend is European and many people there are fans of the show, and she hasn’t heard one person complain about the sex or nudity. Their biggest concern right now is Carice Van Houten’s accent.

    I feel as if every single episode primarily engenders a discussion about sex, nudity and sexuality in a Game of Thrones – here, at least. For anyone bothering to use this place as a barometer of public opinion, please know that there are plenty of us who are completely fine with the show’s approach.

    I’d also like to take a moment to talk about the Stannis + Mel scene: I thought it was solid. Stannis has no visible display of power to match those of his rivals, and the readers pretty much understand that his trump card is Mel. Mel is offering Stannis a seductive path to domination. Without Shireen et al. I feel there’s a dynastic justification for the sex, but there’s also nothing wrong with showing (without shame) what’s only implied in the books, since film is a visual medium and it’s much more difficult to adequately convey information to an audience without 1.) saying it or 2.) showing it, and 2.) showing it is always more powerful. When they’re screwing on the map of Westeros and the other pieces are falling to the floor, the metaphor should be obvious.

    I also have to agree with the people who interpreted Littlefinger’s spy-game not as a source of his own sexual amusement, but as 1.) a way to stay one-up on his wealthy clientele, 2.) a visual metaphor to describe his position as ‘one step ahead’ of everyone else, 3.) a way to show him keeping an eye on his investments (paid off in the conversation with Ros), 4.) yet another indicator that with Littlefinger, knowledge is power.

  332. jaek
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    First off, I am not just a fanboy of all things GoTs.If there is something I don’t like I am sure to complain about it.But Episode 2 was just amazing.Now a lot of the “purists” will point out a lot of things things didn’t happen in the book.This is a TV adaptation and they need to create dialog between characters to communicate to the viewer what books usually have as characters inner thoughts. //snip//
    I can’t complain about anything in this episode.Was done beautifully.Last episode the only thing I really didn’t like was the poisoning scene.This episode, I honestly loved everything!!!

    I’m with you on all aspects, save one—while I think the book-readers kinda figured something shady was going on with Walkers & male babies, I was not pleased by Jon getting jumped right there at the end. I don’t see Craster having the edge on Snow.

    I was OK with the poisoning scene.

    I was 100% down for the Greyjoy stuff, even with the Asha/Yara edits. Alfie Allen is straight delivering in his role. I hope that they do Victarion justice when he shows up.

    Melisandre is dangerously close to being campy, IMO. Let’s hope it never goes overboard.

  333. Lindor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Littlefinger is one of my favourite characters, so I didn’t mind the brothel scene – but I do understand why people wouldn’t like it.

    I’m not sure where the Ros storyline is going. Could be possible they’re just setting her up to kill her off, but that seems rather pointless. Maybe it’s just one more POV into the bedrooms of characters? Ros could always be the go-to whore that people confide in. Maybe Littlefinger grooms her into one of his most useful little birds. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    As for the rest of the episode, it was brilliant. There were indeed a lot of laughs. I particularly liked the line:

    Stannis: In my experience, pirates prefer fighting unarmed men.
    Davos: Does seem the wiser choice.

    I don’t know why I laughed the most at that one, but I did. I just appreciate Davos being sassy towards a very serious Stannis.

  334. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    OnionKnight:

    P.s. poor episode to introduce my dad to the series. 3 sex scenes in 55 minutes? Really?

    Thank R’hllor your dad doesn’t share your view on sex or you wouldn’t be here :P

  335. jaek
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Dragonshit Crazy:
    Great Arya & Gendry scenes…..Looks like someone put a knife to Jorah’s throat….

    He got that injury fighting whats-his-name in Season 1, when dude tried to stop the ritual in the tent.

  336. Maxwell James
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Lina,

    It’s because they expect Asha to look like this. And that for some, any woman who weighs more than 90 pounds apparently qualifies as “doughy.”

  337. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    ieiazel:
    And thank you, freyar_88 for calling me a moron just for giving an opinion. Much appreciated.

    Sorry, but my opinion is that insulting an incredibly talented child actress is moronic. I’ll keep my opinion to myself if you do the same, yeah?

  338. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Aye that isn’t her baby but it’s one of his boys? doesn’t he hand his baby boys to the white walkers in exchange for peace? as in they don’t attack him? I seem to remember something like that! although Craster never spots him!

    Hi-Fi,

  339. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    anuhealani:
    I have no problem whatever with watching sex scenes, but the showrunners’ persistence in only showing female nudity is getting really tiring, not to mention insulting.

    What is not only insulting but patheticaly risible is your thinking that there has to be some kind of nudity parity here (or in any other art form for that matter). So what, from now on, a given artistical creation is only acceptable if it has same number of vags and cocks??

    “I’m sorry Mr Picasso, your work is just unacceptable because you portray more woman naked than men”…errrr WTF??

    This is not some goverment regulated agency that has to comply with some parity (or minority) rule. (Loved the latest The Good Wife episode btw, “Are you the woman? I’m the black”). This is the creation of some very talented writers. Let them do what they do best (create) without some stupid costraining rules…jesus.

  340. Mormegil
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Much better episode than the Premiere, have to agree with most people that Gemma W did a good job as Asha/Yara.

    dizzy_34: People, Ros is taking the Alayaya role. You can bet on it.

    What role? The fact that Tyrion already has Shae inside the Red Keep and not out in the City means he does not need an alibi from Alayaya.

    So unless Tyrion regularly meets up with Ros for some other reason or Cersei thinks beating up a Whore Tyrion once had sex with in Winterfell will hurt him then I don’t see how Ros = Alayaya.

  341. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    darquemode,

    The reasons for the Ros hate have been touched upon by many posters:

    1. She is sucking up screen time at a rate that makes her a LEAD, ALBEIT ENTIRELY NEWLY-CREATED, CHARACTER on this show.

    2. She is unappealing, unsympathetic and unnecessary, so if she does die, she will not be missed one iota either in terms of plot development or character development—thereby confirming that the screen time devoted to her has been utterly wasted.

    3. The actress’s performance and line delivery make clear that it was her experience as a fetishist and sex-oriented performer and her “enthusiasm” (per D&D) rather than any roles in the legitimate theatre that earned her the part. (Let’s hope it was no more than that.)

    This kind of stunt casting can work once in a while (even a trained animal act can be amusing to some viewers) but to expect a performer of limited background to carry what has turned out to be a major plotline year after year is a mistake. Bianco brings willingness to perform in sexual scenes to this show. We get that. Use her advisedly, kill her character off, and let legitimate actors do the heavy lifting they’ve been trained to do.

  342. spacepope
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    i liked that we got to see craster sacrificing his son, something we didnt get to see in the books but would have been cool if we did. i didnt like killing rakharo… i mean come on

  343. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Another Home Run!

    The Arya storyline is being handled quite well. Arya and Gendry have great chemistry and Joe Dempsie is going to be a star methinks, he just has this aura about him. Jaquen was perfect as was Rorge and Biter even avec nose. Same sentiments go to Hot Pie and Lommy. And Yoren but then….:-(

    The King’s Landing scenes continue to shine. Tyrion and Slynt was well done and a good tactic to make Bronn head of the city watch, it’ s such a great earned moment for the character and it gives him significance more than being a sellsword for the audience. It also makes his coming Serhood more believable given his rising in the ranks. And the Tyrion and Cersei stuff is sublime. Lena Headey is amazing. I expect she may be up against Gretchen Mol at the Emmys next year. The hatred and personal pain in which she delivered that final barb at Tyrion was riveting. I like Lena’s Cersei more than book Cersei especially since she is taking Book Cersei and giving her layers. I have read message boards from new viewers on various sites and many are saying that despite their hatred to the family, the Lannisters are quickly becoming the most fascinating aspect of the series. Kudos to D & D for pulling them off and making them forget about their hero Lord Stark.

    The Iron Islands: Were just about what I imagined, although I was expecting more of a Newfoundland bleak in my mind with lots of fog. Oh well. It looked spectacular. Loved Yara/Asha far more believable than Keira Knightley with a battle axe. And in a completely shallow assessment I found her quite sexy, she just has this confidence to her especially when she strides right into the room to reveal herself. Alfie Allen’s Theon is great and Malahide’s Balon Greyjoy…what more is there to be said. Awesome.

    Dolorous Edd definitely needs to have his sound tweaked just a little bit so that he registers more, I have a feeling some people could easily miss his lines and that would be a shame. Love his portrayal. Gilly is adorable, Sam is naive and lovable which is perfect and Jon’s reluctance was played well. And Ghost!! Yeah! I wonder how they will resolve the Craster debacle in the next episode? I understand why they decided to show what was alluded to in the books. They want to remind the newbies of the threat of the White Walkers and highlight their importance. In King’s Landing, men kill bastard children because they are either following orders and receiving payment but in the North people sacrifice their sons to spare themselves from the Others. It definitely beeps up their menace and grounds the point to the Unsullied that this is the war that matters not the grab for the Iron Throne.

    The one Danaerys scene was unfortunate but she apparently will have many scenes to come in the next few episodes. And besides, you can’t deny the effective, haunting power of Amrita Acharia’s wailing. That could have come across as a over the top moment but it was delivered to me with a chill down my spine. I love HBO’s Irri. I am guessing Doreah has replaced Jhiqui? That’s perfectly fine.

    Ah yes, the controversial Littlefinger brothel scene. Let’s just say GoT has one-upped Deadwood on dirty whorehouse scenes. Personally I think a discrete wipe of the face, very quickly or from another angle say a closeup of Aiden Gillen’s face as he performs the act. Way to go HBO you’ve shown semen now! I am not certain I love the less subtle Littlefinger from the books but I do agree that in the books he is a very quiet character. I get the sense from D & D that they love the whole notion of his character and they want him to be fun from the get go, I am wondering where they plan to take him. I am assuming saving Joffrey/Cersei’s ass with his treaty with Highgarden? I think that the prudes inside of all us were in full gear last night and not many people picked up on the idea that he wasn’t being a pervert per se he was watching the perverts, his customers, the lords and knights who look down upon him and gathering information. Information =knowledge and to Littlefinger knowledge is power. As for the Ros heart to heart talk, it was right out of the Cy Tolliver playbook. I don’t think Ros has long for this world personally, she is going to be taking Alayaya’s place only she will fare far worse. Bet on it.

    Dragonstone. Sallador Saan was note perfect. And Cunningham IS Davos. At first I felt maybe he was a bit too noble based on my impression from episode 1 but now I see that it’s an affectation he puts on. He is Han Solo made a knight. Marsati’s Saan was hilarious, I can’t recall from the books if his line about Cersei was faithful but it was still awesome and I bet the newbies loved him for that. Enjoying young Mathos as well, and got a shudder when Melisandre whispered in his ear. Brilliant foreshadowing by D & D and setting up future conflict between him and the Sorceress. It will add more weight to the Blackwater Battle that’s for sure. Regarding Melisandre rubbing her ass all over Westeros or at least Dorne anyway ;-) it’s an obvious pay off for what it is to come. And of course it wasn’t sexy, it was supposed to be awkward and they conveyed that well.

    And as cliffhangers go…that will do just fine.

    Next week Renly, Margaery and the Maid of Tarth! Hopefully Oxcross as well!

    If I was a Purist I would give up on this series right away. It wouldn’t be worth the frustration. But I am not and I hope they either bite the bullet or not let us hear about every 2 seconds. Too much negativity on these boards during the actual seasons. So much so that I can’t tell if they hate the episode because it’s not loyal to the books or if it was a good or bad episode in it’s own right. To that regard I also think that people should accept that there is no way to juggle all the scenes without it being disjointed, but the consensus seems to be that they are pulling it off, hoping for a big payoff in the end which of course those of us reading the books know very well that is the case. Television series like this can’t be watch episodically, or manufactured that way they are meant to be a continuing serial and in light of the blu-ray/DVD television box set market more and more shows have been made this way. This is why we are in the golden age of television drama, where the stories being told on the idiot box are far more compelling and layered than what is brought to us in the cinemas. I know I will enjoy the entirety of Game of Thrones season 2 more than I will The Avengers or the Dark Knight Rises.

    Just to make myself clear I am not discounting anyone’s opinion in my defence of this episode, just expressing how I felt about it.

    Peace.

  344. Mimsy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Chris,

    I KNOW! My washing machine changed setting and I missed half of Dolorous Edd’s commentary! ..and my washer isn’t that loud! Can we get a petition going to mic Edd better?? He’s such a funny character. I don’t want him to compete with the creaking of my house. C’mon, D&D!

  345. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel:

    The idea that they’ve cut Ramsay Bolton, one of the best characters in the books and critical to the plot, in order to give more screentime to an actress purely because they like seeing her breasts makes me genuinely angry.

    Yeah because clearly is what happened here…

    Guess you missed that day at school, let me refresh your memory:

    “Correlation does not imply causation” (Correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other).

    The opposite belief, correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship. The fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for “with this, therefore because of this”) and false cause. It is a common fallacy in which it is assumed that because two things or events occur together, one must be the cause of the other.”

  346. Vanderhook
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m somewhat surprised by the polarizing reaction to Gemma W.’s performance, though I do understand where some people are coming from.

    Personally, I found Yara to be a lot different than I imagined Asha to be (I’m just going to refer to the book/TV versions as their respective names). However, it has nothing to do with her looks. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember Asha being described as particularly beautiful or sexy. My concern was more with her body language and overall demeanor. I always imagined Asha as having a lot of “swagger”, i.e., boisterous, silver-tongued, bold and arrogant. Yara came off as more reserved with a quieter and more subtle form of arrogance and teasing.

    However, I didn’t hate it. I don’t mind when the show has a different interpretation of a character. Certain characters, like Jorah for example, are much more interesting in the show. Right now, I’m on the fence with Yara. I just didn’t have enough time with her on the screen to give a proper critique. I’d like to see how she acts around her men.

  347. Ron
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Now that’s just rude. The actress does a great job and I find her interaction with Littlefinger as the best way to flesh out his character. In the books so much of his temperament and attitude must be inferred over the length of the series. While that might be fine for the books, the tv show needs to showcase his point view and Roz is how they do it. I hope they keep her in and I was very happy that she’s popped up in the first two episodes so far.
    Plain_A,

  348. spacepope
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    i forgot to add one of the best small bits was lommy saying they should yield when the gold cloaks return. he didnt go on and on like he did in the books but it was a funny reference

  349. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and let’s not forget the actors on this show who have no-nudity contracts (like NCW, and no doubt others who, unlike NCW, haven’t yet divulged it). Now that Emilia Clarke’s more established, I doubt we’ll see much of her again. The required nudity therefore has to be shared by sex workers, salt wives, and other second-assistant spear carriers (pun intended).

    Other than this consistent complaint, the comments are still overwhelmingly positive and the show is second only to Homeland in the product delivered every week. There are bound to be a few missteps, and I agree that arguing over every change from the books is probably not going to serve us all well in the long run. However, I still have hopes that D&D will see that virtually every criticism stems from their deviations from the books in characterization, dialogue, pacing, and plot line and not from their execution of GRRM’s material.

  350. Mimsy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    If anything, I think this episode really upped my curiousity on HOW Craster even manged to broker a deal with the White Walkers. These things don’t speak.. right? I imagine them more zombie like, but I wonder if they have a more meaningful purpose.

  351. Nymeria
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear future Arya,

    please add the name of Ros to your nightly prayers.

  352. ieiazel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    freyar_88,

    I only said that in my opinion she is not a good actress yet, how’s that an insult to her? I will not refrain from saying what I think of the series just because you decided calling me names.

  353. Kalice
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Nymeria:
    Dear future Arya,

    please add the name of Ros to your nightly prayers.

    I needed to say that this post gave me the best laugh I have had all day!

  354. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    The White Walkers are zombies. Then there are “The Others”, two totally different things. The White Walkers are the dead coming back to life as zombies. The Others are wraith-like creatures. Martin hasn’t really explained them in the book. So just bare that in mind.

    White Walkers = zombies risen form the dead.
    The Others = some magical wraith like creature not yet explained.

    In the first scene of season one we see one of The Others. He was tall with glowing eyes and cut off the head of one of the nights watch and threw it at the feet of the nights watchman who Ned later beheaded. All the the rest we have seen since then have been White Walkers. Up until the thing taking Craster’s baby. That looked like our second glimpse of one of “The Others”.

    The Others are a completely different creature then “White Walkers”. I think the living babies they capture or take from Craster somehow are raised and changed to become “The Others”…

  355. tysnow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I was over on other sites, especially reviewer ones and the comments are blasting away at the unnecessary sex, some even mentioned that if the sex doesn’t become more restrained or at least important to the scope of the story they will stop watching. I am one to agree that D&D need to concentrate the sex on a more productive note, such as future Robb/Jeyne etc. and not pointless brothel scenes. I was soooo embarrassed for the Captain’s daughter (did we the audience have to see the most God awful breasts ever shown on tv).
    I could have lived w/o the cume and then her and the complainer kissing right afterwards.

    A far more serious problm might be occuring and that is lack of screen time on the important elements of the story. I for one will not abide only having Jon or Dany or Arya, etc. seen in maybe four or five episodes of the season. Either D&D need to streamline the story and cut/combine major plots especially when we have Dorne, Oldtown, Dreadfort enter the picture, or (my hope) is the HBO lets D&D go to 15 episode seasons, with the popularity of the show increasing, critical, media and viewers (still waiting on whole week numbers), I believe HBO really needs to seriously consider this option.
    I would rather have 15 well produced episodes that give us a good detailed story where the audience’s favorites are given plenty of scenes concerning their respective stories, than 10 well produced episodes where the story moves along to fast, the characters stories are too compressed and we see little of them throughout the season.
    It appears other reviewers for the major media outlets are beginning to say the same thing, which is give us more GoT so we can see these subplots in their fullest glory, rather than the Readers Digest condensed versions. So have at it HBO, either give D&D 90-100 million for 15 episode seasons, or let them seperate the books in half.

  356. mike
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    does anyone have mixed feeling like me about how they are treating Joffery and Cersi.

    I mean in the books Cersi ruled, not Joffery. In the show Joffery seems to be giving out all the orders.

    yet in the book cersi gave th order to kill the bastards….

    I dont want them to change what Cersi is in the book. She is the cause of a lot of pain. i dont want them to make anyone feel sorry for her, like she is so burdened by the rule of the realm. dont humanize Cersi because she is a monsterat heart

  357. jkb
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    did joffery actually give the order in the show? he sorta mocked cersei about the bastards and pissed her off but it didn’t seem like he actually gave a rats ass. gonna pay attention when i re-watch but my impression was it was cersei who ordered the killings.

  358. Mimsy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Say WHAT?! lol

    I was lumping them all into one category and rationalizing that some were smarter than others. Thanks for the 411, Arthur.

  359. mike
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    jkb: did joffery actually give the order in the show? he sorta mocked cersei about the bastards and pissed her off but it didn’t seem like he actually gave a rats ass. gonna pay attention when i re-watch but my impression was it was cersei who ordered the killings.

    yes it was said the episode 12, when Tyrion and Cersi were talking. She was upset that Joffery had ordered it and not told her.

  360. FacelessMan
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    The Others are a completely different creature then “White Walkers”. I think the living babies they capture or take from Craster somehow are raised and changed to become “The Others”…

    No. The White Walkers are just another name they use for the Others, since they’re white as milk. The wights are zombies that the Others raise from the dead and use for their own ends.

    In the show they don’t use the term Others because they found it would be too confusing.

  361. jkb
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    actually white walkers = the others. they’re the same thing they just being called differently in the show (for whatever reason)

  362. cigi
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    ieiazel,

    Hey, who invited the troll?

  363. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: Mimsy, The White Walkers are zombies. Then there are “The Others”, two totally different things. The White Walkers are the dead coming back to life as zombies. The Others are wraith-like creatures. Martin hasn’t really explained them in the book. So just bare that in mind.White Walkers = zombies risen form the dead.The Others = some magical wraith like creature not yet explained.In the first scene of season one we see one of The Others. He was tall with glowing eyes and cut off the head of one of the nights watch and threw it at the feet of the nights watchman who Ned later beheaded. All the the rest we have seen since then have been White Walkers. Up until the thing taking Craster’s baby. That looked like our second glimpse of one of “The Others”.The Others are a completely different creature then “White Walkers”. I think the living babies they capture or take from Craster somehow are raised and changed to become “The Others”…

    They changed the name from “The Others” to “The White Walkers.” The White Walkers are The Others. D&D mentioned it in commentary, they changed the name because people were saying, “The other what?” Although honestly, I think it had more to do with Lost already using The Others.

  364. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    jkb,

    Actually no. They are completely different. In the books it is clear they are two totally different things. I don’t know what the TV series is going to do but judging by then showing The Others only once, it appears they are also making them two different things.

    You can argue with me but it is clear they are two different things in the books.

  365. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how some people missed this. I guess a lot of you have. But White Walkers and The Others are without question totally different creatures. The Others, for instance, use weapons that are so sharp and cold it shatters normal steel. The Others also ride undead animals. White Walkers are mindless zombies that walk around searching for the living, they don’t use weapons or ride any animals.

    There are many more examples I can give you if you’d like.

  366. The Pink Dragon
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the “this episode was a mess” camp, which is especially sad after coming off of a fairly strong premiere.

    Lot of seeds planted, but no sprouts growing, if you get my picture.

    Also, I didn’t think an HBO sex scene would ever make me blush.

    Also also, I need to look back to pinpoint the exact moment they decided to turn Cersei into a 14-year-old-girl.

  367. Hawk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Jonas Jakobsen,

    Jonas Jakobsen,

    it never fails to surprise me how lost in oblivion the book readers can be…

  368. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: jkb, Actually no. They are completely different. In the books it is clear they are two totally different things. I don’t know what the TV series is going to do but judging by then showing The Others only once, it appears they are also making them two different things.You can argue with me but it is clear they are two different things in the books.

    In the books, there’s wights and the Others. In GoT, there’s wights and the White Walkers. D&D are on record talking about switching the name from The Others to The White Walkers. There’s a reason we haven’t heard the name, “The Others” in the tv series.

  369. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    Okay… Didn’t know that. So the TV adaptation would be…

    White Walkers = The mindless undead zombie corpses.

    Wights = The Wraith-like (Craster baby) creatures that wear armor and wield swords?

    They still would be two totally different creatures, D&D just changed the names.

  370. Lof
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    @WiC/mods, there are at least two replies in this thread by “Jake” that contain pretty big spoilers, where he quotes other posts but the quotes do not retain their spoiler tags from the original post.

    Edit: Not throwing this guy under the bus…I doubt it was done on purpose, just wanted to point it out so it can be fixed.

  371. jkb
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    White Walkers = The mindless undead zombie corpses.
    Wights = The Wraith-like (Craster baby) creatures that wear armor and wield swords?

    the other way round i think ;p

  372. Clabog
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Actually, the White Walkers and The Others ARE the same. The mindless, undead zombies are called Wights.

    In the books they refer to the White Walkers as the Others more frequently, but they’re still used interchangeably. I hope non-readers can distinguish between the two types of creatures. Although I’m sure as the show goes on they will.

  373. sedeyus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Hawk: Jonas Jakobsen, Jonas Jakobsen, it never fails to surprise me how lost in oblivion the book readers can be…

    Of course, we know what they’re planning. Ros taking over Alayaya and Chataya’s parts was mentioned way back when it became clear that Ros was going to be a recurring character. It’s not brain surgery. But still consider that altogether Alayaya had maybe two scenes in book two, while Ros has had two scenes in two episodes. Alayaya and Chataya aren’t big enough characters to justify giving Ros this much material.

  374. Mormegil
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: sedeyus, Okay… Didn’t know that. So the TV adaptation would be…White Walkers = The mindless undead zombie corpses.Wights = The Wraith-like (Craster baby) creatures that wear armor and wield swords?They still would be two totally different creatures, D&D just changed the names.

    No

    In the Books The Others (also called the White Walkers by some characters, mainly Wildlings) are the Non Human ice sword carrying beings.

    The Wights are dead humans the Others have reanimated.

    In the show The Others are just known as the White Walkers and the term Wight has not been used.

  375. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    jkb,

    Well this got confusion…

    All I wanted to point out was there are two types of supernatural evils…

    There are the zombies and, for lack of a better term, wraiths…

    The wraiths are most likely the human babies raised and changed over time, by taking male human infants (like Craster’s male babies).

    You guys remenber book 1, chapter 1 when those 3 rangers went out and that young cocky lord ranger got in a sword fight with a wraith while 2 more wraiths stood back and watched… Those are badass wraiths. The zombie creatures are just weak,mindless walking dead…

    That’s the only thing I wanted to express…

  376. Meg
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    On Ros: will book readers will really cheer…over the death of a whore? How did it come to this?

    Let’s just stick with the call to “give her less screen time”

  377. the_less_deceived
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    don’t think that was Gilly’s kid… just another child from Craster’s brood

  378. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Compared to the great first episode I didn’t find this to be as good. Many scenes lacked force and drive, and it felt more like separate scenes than parts of a cohesive unity. (I liked what the red comet did in the first episode.)

    Even so, there were scenes and settings that were perfect, primarily Arya+Gendry+Jaqen and Theon+Yara+Balon. Balon was bone-chillingly perfect.

    I have nothing against Ros, but I simply didn’t find her scene with Littlefinger to be good enough. We already know that the murder was horrific (we experienced the feelings ourselves) and we already know that Littlefinger is filled with implied threats.

  379. AJC
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Major lurker here, but this was too good to keep to myself. Read if you fancy a laugh:

    http://christwire.org/2012/01/12-reasons-to-boycott-game-of-thrones-in-2012-2/

  380. Lex
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Asha was never supposed to be super hot in the books. Where the hell do people get these ideas? I pictured book Asha to be skinnier, with a narrower face and shorter hair, but no big deal…

    Anyways, call me crazy, but I thought Gemma as Yara was HOT. Maybe it was the swagger, or the look in her eyes.. but damn, it worked for me. :)

  381. Pepi
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    From this episode on, I’m a R’hllorite.
    Also; HOT PIE!! Honestly, I think his acting was awesome. Much better then, say, Gendry’s. Almost makes me wish that Hot Pie was Robert’s bastard, not Gendry.

  382. Lex
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I think we’re among the lucky ones who have read the books, can see the changes and make certain criticisms, but are still able to look at the big picture and enjoy the hell out of the show.

    I still think we’re lucky that HBO is even adapting this at all. Sometimes I still can’t quite believe that I’m actually WATCHING Game of Thrones on TV. I’m not saying we need to be super grateful and forgive all deviations and changes from the book, but man… some people (i.e. purists and nitpickers) really just have no sense of perspective. They ignore 90% of the awesome stuff, and focus on the minor negatives. It was the same with the LOTR movies. I think it’s really just sad.

  383. Virtus
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus: They changed the name from “The Others” to “The White Walkers.” The White Walkers are The Others. D&D mentioned it in commentary, they changed the name because people were saying, “The other what?” Although honestly, I think it had more to do with Lost already using The Others.

    The name “White Walkers” appears in the books as well, although not as frequently as “Others”. That’s what the Wildings call them.

  384. Knurk
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: I don’t know how some people missed this.

    lol.

  385. Leuf
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    PatD:
    In the book, Jon repeatedly sets Ghost free North of the Wall to hunt for himself. It’s entirely possible Ghost was busy looking for dinner!

    But they’re psychic direwolves that go nuts before the Stark kids get into danger. Ghost would have mysteriously refused to go hunting, which Jon would have thought was weird and then he would have completely ignored it, because that’s what Starks do when the universe tries to help them. Then Craster would have knocked him out, and 5 seconds later Craster would not have the front half of his throat anymore.

    Ghost is just off sulking because he didn’t get the bunny.

  386. Lina
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Virtus: The name “White Walkers” appears in the books as well, although not as frequently as “Others”. That’s what the Wildings call them.

    Hah, I was just about to post this, but you beat me to the punchline.
    Knurk,

    I lol’d at your lol. :D

  387. dizzy_34
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Jake,

    Mormegil,

    The way I see it is this. You watch the previews and you put two and two together. What do we know? The catacombs are still in play, we see Tyrion in them in one of the previews. There’s a quick flash of Joff roughing up Ros in one of the previews. I’m also guessing that Tyrion will need to move Shea because of the exchange with Varys. Ros now has motivation to try and screw with Littlefinger. Tyrion administers the “joy to ashes” speech to Cersei (in the book about Alayaya). Cersei punishing the wrong whore is a pretty essential plot point to set up the events in book 3.

  388. Astalnar
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Oi!:
    Astalnar,

    Really? The guy that rebelled against his king (and now calls Renly, Robb… thief’s), the guy that is so law abiding that he hires pirates to help him out. Stan is just a hypocrite and when it comes to things he wants he forgets his so called honor (and two things he wants most are power and a heir) and he’s willing to do anything to get them.

    In reality and in technicality, Stannis is the rightful heir. Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are all three bastards. What is even more they are bastards born from incest. Since Robert did not leave any rightful heir next in line for crown is Stannis. So his claim is the only rightful one.
    Against what king exaclty did Stannis rebel? Aerys II? If you read the books than you know how Stannis felt about this, but things could not be helped. Aerys wanted to kill Robert without any reason. So when Robert and Eddard rebeld, he joined his brother. But do not doubt that was a hard decision for him.
    You should notice that besides beeing a pirate Saan is also merchant, banker, smuggler and as he calls himself; Prince of the Narrow Sea. He is much, much more than just a common pirate. He hired the best pirate east o Westeros.
    Stannis is pretty ironclad when it comes to his honor, truth and loyalty. He is far from hypocrite. He does not change stance no matter what. When he does it is most likely result of heavy persuasion and pleads from Davos or some other character who wishes him well and is not afraid to tell him the truth. Stannis is in no way easily persuaded into anything.
    Yes, Stannis probably wishes for son. To have a healthy male heir who can take the crown after him. But he wants this heir to be legitimate and not bastardborn. Bastards don’t help him in any way. They cannot inherit anything and they are sign of disgrace.
    Yes, he wants power. But not because of power itself. But because he believes crown belongs to him by right. If Renly happened to be older than Stannis, he would be the first to back him up in his claim. But this way all other contenders are rivals and unrightful ones. He does not care that Rob wants dominion over cold wastes, dark forests and swamps. he does not care that Balon wants to rule over Iron Islands. he does not care for Renly and his South. He wants his whole realm as Robert left it behind.
    Sure, we do not really find out how Melissandre persuaded him into intercourse. But it is heavily hinted that Stannis did not feel anything emotional about it. For him, it was a thing he had to do in order to get the job done. It was not about passion, power or anything else. Just business.

  389. KhaleesiStrength
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    The accents were a little thick, definitely have to watch again with caption lol

  390. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I think I disagree on all of your points honestly.
    1. Ros was a newly created role last year… This season she is taking the plac of Chataya and Alayaya by all appearances. SAves casting money and time to have Ros take those roles.

    2. This year I have found her sympatheic honestly. Her scenes this year have not been mindless sexposition like last year. Although, I will grant that Chatya and Alayaya are minor enough they could be cut if D&D choose to ignore certain plotlines from the books. That said, with Shae living in the pillow house, it makes sense to have a madam and Ros makes sense over some new actress.

    3. I can’t quite agree again. She is no seasoned actress with awards under her belt (or garter?), but she has earned her part. She got the role and won over the showrunners. That is her job. Many TV series have featured extras turn into larger roles because of the same thing. That is earning the role by definition. She earned it. Period.

    I would much rather have Ros take the place of the very minor other characters like Chataya and Alayaya. This year Esme has done quality work in her 2 scenes. Last year she was more of a sexposition tool, no doubt. However this year she is a fully formed character that deserves the very little time she has had on screen.

    The fault in that borthel scene was the Littlefinger monologue and not Ros’s. It was a minute or two too long as was the into to the scene with angry johnny… (Now I will have that Poe song in mind all day)

    The sexposition last year was for the most part needed. Even if much of it was cringe worthy. HBO needs the shock and nudity to feel like they have earned their premium cable monnicker and the background and exposition is needed to get in elements from the books that did not or cannot make it into scenes.

  391. Peeter Talvistu
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    My favorite episode of the whole series so far – nice pacing, long scenes, great acting, etc, etc. Pretty much my only gripe (I kinda, sorta even understand the reasoning behind the Littlefinger scene) is that they managed to use the same exact CG shot of Pyke five seconds apart. Come on! Yes the effects are expensive but having the same distinct movements on two bridges happening once again is not a sign of quality. (Unless this was set in the matrix and somebody was hacking it)

  392. Pepi
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Astalnar,

    When talking about Stannis, however, it has to be taken into account, that we see him through Davos’ eyes pretty much all the time. And Davos somewhat idolizes him. Maybe not idolizes, but he is under the impression, that Stannis is all about honour. If you ask me, what happened with Mel in this episode, is not completely out of the question. It was kinda funny … or sad … depands on the way you’re looking at it, that Stannis ruined the marked battle positions on the Painted table, that Davos and Matthos so carefully prepared earlyer. Oh well … once your duty commands you to betray your wife, you might aswell enjoy it. :P

  393. Robbet
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful episode, fantastic. Some bit too much sexposition for my taste, but I guess I can’t like everything of it.
    First of all, Conleth Hill. By the Sevens, he deserves to be praised, he does such a perfect job. I have alwasys liked Varys in the books, I find him very interesting and that ignites my curiosity, but Conleth Hill makes more out of the character. He is the perfect choice, he really explores his role.
    I will asume that Shireen is off the series, although there is always a possibility that she might appear. It makes me kind of sad, the fact that she and Patch Face may not appear, but I understand they don’t have time or money to put every character in the screen and have time to explore it.
    I liked the “Littlefinger and Ros” scene. I care a bit more about Ros, cause it showed she has feelings. The surprise in the middle of the conversation was fantastic, I really liked that the Littlefinger showed that he didn’t really care about Ros’ feelings, he just wants her to do her job.
    The Greyjoy family! Finally we get to see them! And they are perfect! Asha (I’ll never say Yara!!!) does not quite look like I have imagined her, but I like the way the actress plays her, so I’ll give her a chance. And the actor performing the role of Balon is really really good. Really good. The trio Balon, Yara and Theon is amazing.
    I really loved the detail that the horse where Rakharo’s head was on, was painted! Really amazing detail.
    Bronn getting a promotion! What a fine surprise! I really liked the dialogue that Tyrion had with Janos Slynt, because every scene that Peter Dinklage is in is perfect, but I had a big smile on my face when I heard that Bronn was getting that promotion, it was well played by the D&D!!
    Mel and Stannis, I had hopes that they wouldn’t make it explicit or if they did that Stannis wouldn’t seem so… “passionate”. The sentence that Mel told Matthos gave me the creeps!!
    I like the actor that plays Salladhor, he is a very good one.
    Ghost looks awesome!!! I really like the CGI wolf, it is amazing!!!
    The ending of the episode did not have a big reaction on me, although it is an added scene, but let’s see what is coming in the next episode.

    One last thing, why the title “Night Lands”???? The dothraki didn’t even have a big role in this episode…

  394. darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Robbet: One last thing, why the title “Night Lands”???? The dothraki didn’t even have a big role in this episode…

    I wondered the same thing. I thought “The Iron Price” would have been a better title for the episode. I guess it really does not matter what the episodes are called though as long as I like them! XD

  395. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I’ve thought about it a bit, and now I do have a complaint! Stannis Honor-Gate..
    Stannis is being portrayed as Mr. Straight and Narrow, uphold the law, do everything right, honor, etc, don’t even say ‘beloved’ brother in a letter, because he never loved him, and names Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen ‘bastards’and trots this raven out to every corner of Westeros, and probably sent a few to Hogwarts just to be safe.

    So then Mr. Honor just suddenly decides to bone it out with Miss Red Lady because she says she can give him a son? When did he suddenly care about that? Stannis wants to be his own King, right now, he doesn’t seem concerned about passing titles and lands on to his child. I’ve never heard him once say anything about the desire for a child, or the desire for a son – and IF Mel gives him a son anyway, won’t it be a BASTARD? Not a trueborn son, not an heir. A bastard that he conceived while still married to his sick wife – Stannis doesn’t seem like he wants to be the Newt Gingrich of Westeros, SO it makes no sense that Mel whips off her robe, tells him she will give him a (bastard) son, and then Stannis, the guy whose entire character is supposedly based in honor, doing what’s right and following the letter of the law, instantly drops trou (well, kind of, that’s another issue) goes ahead and bonks her all over the table, making it rain chess pieces.. I think it would have been much better had they shown her putting some sort of spell on him, bewitching him in some way. Otherwise it is not making sense to me.

  396. Praise R'hllor
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Excellent episode, far better than the first in my opinion! I did enjoy the first but I just felt that it seemed a bit rushed – I think this episode definitely benefitted from dropping some of the story arcs (bran, sansa, robb, cat). I expect each episode from now to carry on dropping 2 or 3 of the different arcs so we can get a similar pacing to this episode, which is great news in my opinion.

    Not sure about he last scene – not that I disliked it, just interested to see what’s going to happen next!

    LOVED the iron islanders and the Tyrion and Arya scenes especially, particularly all the straight-from-the-book dialogue that we got – always a treat!

    Bronn as Lord Commander of the City Watch – great choice but does this mean he may perish on the Blackwater as Jacelyn did?! Wouldn’t surprise me as this would add a relatively significant character death to a series that is relatively lacking in them, plus unless GRRM has a big role for him in the final 2 books he really isn’t needed for future seasons… would be a shame though!

  397. webgecko
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Favorites:
    - Cersei/Tyrion – fantastic acting together
    - Arya/Gendry scenes (but odd she revealed her identity unprompted – her safety depends on her secret)
    - Ghost really well done
    - Theon/Balon scene – more great acting and dialog, though I wonder how they’re going to get thru Theon’s full development in such a short season; seems to be taking a different tack
    - Theon boat scene – writers nailed it

    Not so great for me:
    - Rushing everything. Needs more stuff from the book, less brothel. Can’t they give us a full 60 min/week?
    - Lack of certain dialog on Theon/Yara ride, and Yara letting her own brother fondle her nether region (and looking like she enjoyed it)
    - If Stannis isn’t a God of Light believer, why does he keep Melisandre around? And breaking his marital vow was very un-Stannis-like
    - Tyrion’s main problem with Slynt is lack of competence, which didn’t come across
    - Gratuitous wailing at Rakharo’s death

  398. LordStarkington
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Stannis isn’t about honor, he’s about duty; he sleeps with Mel because he believes it will win the war and it’s his duty to take the throne.

  399. Undomiel
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    ieiazel:
    freyar_88,

    I only said that in my opinion she is not a good actress yet, how’s that an insult to her?I will not refrain from saying what I think of the series just because you decided calling me names.

    How…how is that NOT an insult to her?

  400. purplejilly
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: Stannis isn’t about honor, he’s about duty; he sleeps with Mel because he believes it will win the war and it’s his duty to take the throne.

    Do you think he thinks Mel won’t stay with him if he doesn’t have sex with her?

  401. freyar_88
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    ieiazel:

    I only said that in my opinion she is not a good actress yet, how’s that an insult to her?I will not refrain from saying what I think of the series just because you decided calling me names.

    “Also, what’s wrong with Maisie? She can’t act.”
    “she is not a good actress”
    Those sound like insults to me.

  402. LordStarkington
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly: Do you think he thinks Mel won’t stay with him if he doesn’t have sex with her?

    It’s impossible to say, given that in the books we have no direct look at their relationship and we just got started with them in the series. TV Stannis seems to believe he has to have sex with her in order to claim the throne; he knows he doesn’t have the strength to do so on his own and is convinced that Melisandre is his only (or best, it’s unclear) option). In the books he’s a little less sold on Melisandre’s powers until later (and even then isn’t really totally convinced), but bending his morals for the “greater good” – as he sees it – seems very much in-character.

    Is it hypocritical? I’m not sure if that’s the word I’d use, but it’s obviously very convenient and in line with how I read his character in the books (book spoilers, obviously);

    In the books he uses “duty” to excuse any of a number of terrible acts, like murdering Renly and Courtney Penrose, planning to sacrifice Edric Storm, etc. The overarching “good” end he seeks is his place on Iron Throne, and he seems quite willing to do bad things to get there, if needed.

  403. Fran
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    This episode was horrible all the way. From beginning to end. The sex scenes (the 4 of them) were put there for the sake of showing sex, they didn’t add anything to the plot.
    Also in the show littlefinger is just a pimp, he even looks dumb here, in the book he was so much more…

    Whilst I loved the first episode I hated this one, I even felt embarrased with some parts of the episode.
    I’d give a 9/10 to the first episode and a 6/10 for this one.

    The only I liked was CGI Ghost (though they showed very little).

    BTW sorry for my english, it’s not my native language.

  404. Dave
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately I am not feeling it at all this season. Both of the first episodes have left me…empty. I think part of it is the sheer amount of detail in book II that simply can’t be captured in a 12 episode season. And for whatever reason I really have a problem with changing the story and putting Bronn at the head of the Gold Cloaks. Still important that Slynt gets moved to the wall, but I thought that the manner in which Tyrion was able to identify a suitable replacement for Slynt in the book was all important.

  405. JS
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I normally a lurker and don’t usually comment, but after reading 400+ comments, I have a theory about the end scene that I don’t think anyone has brought up.

    Craster giving his sons to the others/white walkers isn’t established until later, but Jon getting KOed defiantly changes things. My theory: This scene is meant to introduce the audience to Jon’s skinchanging, and it is Ghost that Craster hits. I’ll bet the first scene in ep 3 is Jon leading some skeptical nightwatchmen out to where he saw the white walker, but finding an injured Ghost instead. Jon’s accusations are dismissed as being “just a dream”, but perhaps Mormont and/or Sam believes him.

  406. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    JS,

    Creative thinking but we already saw what that looks like when Bran had his Godswood experience. Also, you ever try sneaking up on a wolf in crunchy snow?

    I bet maybe Ghost ends up saving Jon though..

  407. anuhealani
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    NousWanderer,

    I’m confused by the way your reply to me became a justification of sex as a way to develop characters and themes in the show; as I said upthread, I don’t have any problem watching sex scenes or using them as a storytelling tool. Or perhaps that part of your reply wasn’t directed at me?

    My sole objection to the nudity in the show is that there are numerous shots in each episode designed to appeal to straight male viewers, while no such content exists for all the female viewers who comprise a sizable segment of the audience. Dany’s woman-on-top scene with Drogo (in which she is fully clothed) is one of literally two examples of the latter that exists in twelve episodes of Game of Thrones–the other being the shirtless shaving scene in the very first episode. Every single other instance of male nudity (shirtlessness or more) is played either for comedic value or designed to be embarrassing, repulsive or otherwise shameful/pathetic. I reject the idea that this is done to visually cement women’s place in Martin’s world unless the showrunners are also going for a lack of general realism. How many men remain fully clothed during sex?

    It could be a coincidence, of course. If any attractive male cast members ever take off their clothes, or a Renly/Loras sex scene is actually shown (not heard, not alluded to–shown) at some point (another element that appeals to lots of straight women), I’ll be happy to revise my opinion. But over 30 years of experience as a viewer of television produced, written, and directed by men tells me otherwise, and that’s what so insulting and tiresome about the whole business.

  408. lonas
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gWrA5UCkF8

    Prooooooomo for “What Is Dead May Never Die” yyyaaaaaaaa
    Rejoice

  409. Dreamlife
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    JS,

    Cool theory that I definitely did not think of. If it’s true, I just hope Ghost isn’t injured too badly.

    So my take on the episode:

    Not as good as the premier, which I would have given 10/10. I would give episode 2: 8/10.

    What I didn’t like:
    I thought the episode was kind of boring. Lots of explanations about things readers already know. However, I know why this type of thing is needed. So many new characters and locations, the new readers need some backstory.

    The sexposition is still irritating, but I thought it was handled well with Theon and the captain’s daughter and Theon groping Yara (though, not to get too perverted, but I think it looked like Theon was just rubbing her abdomen, not her…).

    The brothel scenes were gross. Seeing Littlefinger wipe the, um, stuff off that girl’s mouth and then have her tongue kiss the customer was pretty gross. Littlefinger is like a completely different character than the books. He is too outwardly evil and not even in an interesting way. Joffrey is at least excitable. Littlefinger is just a dick to everyone. I did find it interesting that he seemed to be describing a character similar to a certain maester who lost his chain…

    Stannis’s Selyse being locked up in a tower and sickly?! Stannis having no children?! So I guess Selyse is being handled differently and Shireen doesn’t exist. Damn. Also, the Stannis + Melisandre sex scene seemed to take place for the wrong reason.

    I could see Stannis falling for Melisandre because she is using magic on him or over time he is becoming addicted to her. But to get horny simply because she hints that she can give him a son? As others may have pointed out, the son would be a bastard since Stannis is not married to Melisandre, therefore would not be an heir to the throne.

    Shocked and sad to see Rakharo get killed. Damn. At least we still have Irri…

    Enough complaining. Here’s what I liked:
    The scenes with Arya and Gendry (and Jaqen!!!) were my favorites.

    I also absolutely loved seeing big Ghost.

    Yara! Nothing like I imagined she would look like, but totally badass. I loved seeing Balon put his arm around her, accepting her as a more worthy heir than Theon, because she has proven herself.

    Gilly and Sam. Aww!

    Matthos (?) offering to teach Davos to read^^

    Dolorous Edd’s fart story. XD.

    The cliffhanger ending with Jon was curious.

  410. TC
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    My least favorite episode so far.

    It started well with Arya, though I thought she was more provoking than defensive with her stick on Rorge. The books have Biter lurch thru the bars and try to grab her which prompts her to hit him with her stick. In the show it comes more like a kid poking at a barking dog in a cage. Not a big deal, but not as good a scene as it could have been. I liked Yoren’s interaction with the Gold Cloaks, though originally the came with they Queen’s orders. The second Arya scene didn’t sit as well with me how ever. Gendry doesn’t figure out she is a girl nor does she share her true identity until after Yoren’s death, and doing it before hand felt a bit forced. The acting was good, but it would have been more natural if it played out in the original time line instead of so soon. Even one more episode delay would have been worth while.

    Tyrion, Shae and Varys scene is very good overall. I am still puzzled at Tyrion keeping Shae in the Tower of the Hand though. A big part of his problems at court are keeping Shae secret, NOT being willing to take her inside the castle and having to sneak out to see her. It also pretty much eliminates the idea that maybe Ros will be Alaya or Chataya as there is no need for the character if Shae isn’t being kept in hiding in the first place. Maybe she will in the future, but it’s hard to believe that all the spies in King’s Landing wouldn’t know about Shae by then. But beyond that point, the scene was well acted and I enjoyed it. Great considering I disliked season 1 Shae.

    The council meeting where Cersei tears up Rob’s offer went fine. Nothing particularly bad or good. Tyrion and Janos Slynt’s scene played out well, and I didn’t mind Bronn being named captain of the city watch. I hate Joffrey ordering the killing of Robert’s bastards instead of Cersei. And Tyrion implying that she was worried the bastards might have a claim as the reason she wanted them killed was also silly. Two Hands had already figured out Cersei and Jamie’s secret based in large part from seeing these bastards, and the danger was even higher after Stannis sent the letters making the story public rumor. Joffrey would have been much more likely to kill anyone who spread the “lies” than to kill Robert’s bastards, as he believed himself to be Robert’s son.

    Craster’s keep, Dolorous Edd’s fart joke fell flat for me. Otherwise the rest was well done for the first part. I liked Ghost, and Sam and Gilly. They didn’t need Jon to follow Craster to show what happened to the babies as they are not constrained by point of view characters, and if Craster cared enough to attack Jon, it seems unlikely he would have left him alive. All of the veteran rangers already knew what Craster did with his sons anyway.

    Off to Dany, we get the death of Rakharo. Unfortunate, but understandable since the actor got a movie offer. That being said it wasn’t the only option, as they did recast Ser Gregor. The change didn’t bother me, but I didn’t feel any emotional impact from the death either.

    Theon’s sea voyage played out very close to the books, and was one of the more natural feeling “sexpostion” scenes with the Captain’s daughter. Yara didn’t match my image at all, but could be forgiven with more screen time. In the books she plays along with his flirtations, but tells him she is married and keeps his hands from wandering too much. In the show Theon sticks his hand down the front of her pants without her protesting at all. Balon did well in his scenes, and we shall see where things go from here.

    Surprisingly I had almost no problem with Littlefinger’s brothel scene. It was a bit long, and the voyeur part easily could have been cut for more important scenes that were cut short. In the end that has always been my biggest problem with most of Ros’ scenes, that so many lines and scenes have to be cut due to time constraints, but they make so much time for her scenes. But this scene was easily the best of her scenes for me, and also the one that most fit something I can imagine the book Littlefinger saying. So despite my general distain for Ros, this scene worked for me on it’s own even if I question if there wasn’t more interesting and important content to cover.

    Likewise with Stannis and Melisandre, it didn’t bother me even if I can’t say I thought it was a great scene by any stretch. Davos and Salladhor Saan played out pretty well, though Davos did worship the Seven even if he wasn’t a particularly religious man, and my impression was that prior to recently his son would have worshiped them too. So back when Davos was a smuggler and Matthos was young praying for his father’s return it seems unlikely he would have been a follower of the Lord of Light at that time for that to be a good reason for why Davos should follow him. A minor point though and overall I liked the scene.
    The most disappointing thing is that most of my complaints are not things that would require a bigger budget or significantly more time, but just writing issues that seem to be things that just as easily could have been written more true to the books.

  411. DavosDrivesTheBoat
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else notice that Cersei holds her hands similarly to the Chamberlain in The Dark Crystal?

  412. Susan
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Lisa,

    We don’t know for sure that was Gilly’s baby. I remember in the books something about a baby boy being left for The Others. Remember, Craster has MANY wives/daughters…….. Gilly’s baby is not born until later……

  413. Guy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    The Sun’s Son,

    Agreed! To me, that wasn’t Asha at all. I thought she was supposed to have dark hair/eyes? I always pictured her as being very sexy, in a dominatrix-y kind of way. The actress they chose may be good at acting, but I don’t find her the least bit attractive. Call me shallow, but I’m not too pleased with that bit of casting.

    That being said, the rest of the show was great!

  414. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    The scene with Stannis and Melisandre annoyed me, yes I always felt they interacted in books but I never envisioned Stannis giving in so easily and passionately.

  415. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    JS:
    I normally a lurker and don’t usually comment, but after reading 400+ comments, I have a theory about the end scene that I don’t think anyone has brought up.

    Craster giving his sons to the others/white walkers isn’t established until later, but Jon getting KOed defiantly changes things. My theory: This scene is meant to introduce the audience to Jon’s skinchanging, and it is Ghost that Craster hits. I’ll bet the first scene in ep 3 is Jon leading some skeptical nightwatchmen out to where he saw the white walker, but finding an injured Ghost instead. Jon’s accusations are dismissed as being “just a dream”, but perhaps Mormont and/or Sam believes him.

    In the preview for ep 3 Craster is holding Long Claw.

  416. Lex
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    The Kingslayer,

    Wow, thanks for the spoiler. Some of us don’t watch those previews.

  417. James
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    anuhealani,

    The show is written predominantly by men not because of any ‘male domination’ of the industry, but because David and Dan are the individuals who worked for years to make the show a reality. I think it’s perfectly acceptable for them to want to write the majority of each season as this is a project they’ve devoted a significant portion of their lives to. Out of respect for the author, who also happens to be male, he was also given the opportunity to write an episode each season.

    That simply doesn’t leave much room for a large female writing staff, however they did bring on Jane Espenson for an episode last season, and Vanessa Taylor for two this season. I repeat that this is not some chauvinistic attempt to belittle or make light of the abilities of female writers, it’s just that the creators of the show want to take the lead role.

    Not being a writer myself, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I believe writers tend to stick to what they know. They write from a male perspective because short of hormone replacement therapy or a sex change this is the only perspective that they will ever experience themselves. This is likely one of the reasons why many of the episodes have more sexual content geared towards men – and this is unlikely to change.

    And I also don’t see what the big deal about this is either. There is plenty of TV and film out there that shows off the male body. I’ll admit to sitting through several of the Twilight films with my young cousin, and I can’t seem to recall a scene where the Native American kid was actually wearing a shirt. Crazy, Stupid Love, Friends with Benefits and True Blood are all modern examples that contain male nudity. Are we soon going to have laws where shows have to satisfy a quota of at least 40% male and 40% female nudity?

  418. Elvoid Walker IV
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    LanisterPaysHisDebts,

    He was hunting. That and Ghost doesn’t accompany him everywhere just almost everywhere.

  419. Icebird
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:
    Winter: My advice is to combine the two :) Likes and dislikes with some analysis is essential, an absolute added value, but you can mention a bit of everything that was going on. Not necessarily in chronological order.

    Agreed – Though I like the commentary Winter. It’s actually what I’ve been looking for everytime I’ve read these recaps.

  420. Lex
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Just noticed something:

    Sahara Knite is supposedly playing “Armeca”, but Littlefinger called her “Aremca”, lol! I guess it was a mistake by Aiden Gillen, but it kind of makes sense considering he didn’t know who Mhegan was, later in the same scene.

  421. ieiazel
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Undomiel,
    freyar_88,

    You mistake insult with criticism. To say that she is not a good actress yet is not an insult to her, is a comment on her acting abilities said without malice and with no intention of insulting her. Maybe it didn’t show like that in my first comment, but that was what I intended to say anyway.

  422. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    I noticed that as well. It could be that the original cast lists for the first season had a typo.

  423. Stephen
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Ehm, Naggas Kin….Stanis’ daughter is not in line to inherit any throne, cos women don’t inherit in Westeros (except in Dorne). Therefore he needs the son to secure his own dynasty.

    Oh and who says Mel hasn’t bewitched him – just cos we haven’t SEEN her cast the spell doesnt mean it isn’t going to be revealed in hindsight.

  424. garyd
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    LanisterPaysHisDebts,

    I think that some Americans are having problems with some of the English accents because the accents are not the’ Queens English ‘ that Brits usually use in Hollywood films. ( Colin Firth, Hugh Grant etc.) The English accents been used in GOT are northern English accents. As i come from Yorkshire ( northern England) i can say that the accents are spot on, but i can see how some non Brits could find them hard to understand.

  425. Dee
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    AJC:
    Major lurker here, but this was too good to keep to myself. Read if you fancy a laugh:

    http://christwire.org/2012/01/12-reasons-to-boycott-game-of-thrones-in-2012-2/

    ROFL.
    Christwire does great satire, and this piece is nothing short of brilliant.
    Thanks for the link.

  426. Hollyoak
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    James:
    anuhealani,

    The show is written predominantly by men not because of any ‘male domination’ of the industry, but because David and Dan are the individuals who worked for years to make the show a reality. I think it’s perfectly acceptable for them to want to write the majority of each season as this is a project they’ve devoted a significant portion of their lives to. Out of respect for the author, who also happens to be male, he was also given the opportunity to write an episode each season.

    That simply doesn’t leave much room for a large female writing staff, however they did bring on Jane Espenson for an episode last season, and Vanessa Taylor for two this season. I repeat that this is not some chauvinistic attempt to belittle or make light of the abilities of female writers, it’s just that the creators of the show want to take the lead role.

    Not being a writer myself, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I believe writers tend to stick to what they know. They write from a male perspective because short of hormone replacement therapy or a sex change this is the only perspective that they will ever experience themselves. This is likely one of the reasons why many of the episodes have more sexual content geared towards men – and this is unlikely to change.

    And I also don’t see what the big deal about this is either. There is plenty of TV and film out there that shows off the male body. I’ll admit to sitting through several of the Twilight films with my young cousin, and I can’t seem to recall a scene where the Native American kid was actually wearing a shirt. Crazy, Stupid Love, Friends with Benefits and True Blood are all modern examples that contain male nudity. Are we soon going to have laws where shows have to satisfy a quota of at least 40% male and 40% female nudity?

    Very well said.

  427. userj
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Dragonstone stuff was the highlight for me this week. Davos was great (also Stanvos action with “he cuts off your fingers and you fall in love with him” and “stannis is my god” niiice). Salla was fun, unlike in the books where every time he appears i get ready to be bored for five pages until davos gets back to stannis. And the Mel stanni s scene was to me perfect. I think stannis giving in had nothing to do with her last argument about a son – that was just there to make the later connection to the shadow baby. No, he did it for two reasons. One, she says that this is the path to victory so duty compels him. Second, she’s fucking hot.

    Also loved the Arya gendry and theon scenes, and Sam and gilly yaaaay.

    Needs more Dany. All her content so far has been writing off a character. There is much more in the books from they could have used. Also I really don’t understands that l.f. Scene. If they need more screen time for lf, have him creep on Sansa, at least that’s plot relevant.

  428. anuhealani
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    James,

    It’s a total cop-out to say that because the writers don’t want what women want, they’re perfectly within their rights to ignore it. Or I should say, they are perfectly within their rights, but it’s a lazy excuse and if they use it, I get to criticize it.

    No, I don’t want laws dictating quotas for show content. What I want is for male writers and producers to feel a personal responsibility to be equitable when easy opportunities present themselves. Because a good chunk of their audience is female and bored to death of seeing the same straight-male fantasies enacted over and over again in television, hundreds of times, if not thousands. Your examples of products that feature male nudity only compound the problem. I enjoy high-quality television and high-quality films. I want to watch Game of Thrones, not another shitty romantic comedy from the mill of Yet More Content Men Think Women Want. Sure, male nudity exists in TV and movies, but I shouldn’t have to do hours of research or dumb down my standards to find it. Women comprise the majority of moviegoers. Filmmakers should make an effort to understand what women want to see in movies (or maybe more to the point, what makes their eyes glaze over) because women watch movies. You really don’t see the problem with the existing system? Because as someone who watches a lot of movies, it’s beaten into my skull at every possible opportunity.

    I’m not saying D&D have to do things differently, I’m saying I wish they would, rather than falling into the same trite patterns as every other TV writer. I never expected it would be different with this show, but I hoped it could happen. It’s always going to be disappointing when otherwise great-quality television can’t hit some simple and opportune feminist bullet points.

  429. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    userj: And the Mel stanni s scene was to me perfect.

    You do realize he was having sex with mel with his pants still on rite? I cannot see how you find that perfect, its a huge flaw in my opinion…

  430. anuhealani
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    A man threatened by the very suggestion that a woman be offered sexual content on television she actually enjoys…how surprising. My comments didn’t include any references to laws or “some government agency” to take care of the raging sexism in the industry (pervasive though it certainly is). Enjoy your woman-hating though.

  431. userj
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    HERP-DERP: You do realize he was having sex with mel with his pants still on rite? I cannot see how you find that perfect, its a huge flaw in my opinion…

    lol good point, and I wouldn’t have objected to some nudity parity there. I assumed from a technical perspective that some rapid unlacing could have occurred while we weren’t watching.

    I was mostly referring by “perfect” to the set up rather than the “resolution” ;)

  432. purplejilly
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    anuhealani,
    This, this this.. well said.. I am so tired too. In movies or otherwise. It’s either crappy romantic froth (in the movies) or people wiping fluids off their face in GoT. I’ve had enough of being annoyed.
    I am now just going to fast forward every sex or nudity scene in GoT, until I hear otherwise from a thread here that says one is worth watching. I’m not a prude, and not offended by nudity or sex, but what offends me is how it’s done in this show, and why it’s done in this show, and the way it’s done in this show. I know plenty of people have no problem with it, but it’s not for me. And all you pro D&D sex people, don’t waste your breath suggesting that I should go watch something else just because one part of the show offends me. We’re allowed to have our opinions. We’re allowed to complain.

  433. you-know-nothing
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Good episode i thought, better than the first one.

    Thing i loved
    Tyrion- Maybe Lord Varys would like to try your Fish Pie
    Shae- I don’t think Lord Varys likes Fish Pie
    Varys- How did you know dear?
    Shae- Just a guess!
    Classic line!
    Things i liked, Pyke looked awesome, Balon was intense, Arya and Gendry are so adorable together, Tyrion giving Janos more than he could eat and Theons face when Yara/Asha reveals herself.

    Things i didn’t like, cum on the whores face, Littlefinger and Ros, Stannis and Mel getting freaking on Westeros.

    One other thing i have to say, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are seriously fantastic actors and they are out doing everyone so far this season!! :-D xx

  434. James
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    anuhealani,

    I don’t see how it’s a ‘lazy excuse’ to write from your respective gender and sexual orientation. As I said from what I understand about writing, the authors perspective on various topics is often reflected in their writing. The two primary authors are heterosexual males, and thus likely prefer to see a naked women on screen rather than a naked man. Your ardent arguments against what they’ve done actually help demonstrate this fact. Your perspective is (at least from what I gather) that of a straight female – your perspective influences what you want to see on TV, just as theirs influences their writing.

    I mean if you pick up any piece of literature and read it, you can usually tell whether it is a man or woman writing very quickly. A good example of this is the author Robin Hobb, when I picked Assassin’s apprentice, for some reason I thought the author was a guy. I guess a fantasy setting brings up thoughts of Robin Hood or something – stupid I know. However shortly after beginning the novel I realised my error. A fantastic book, but the fact remains that men and women do write very differently based on their respective experiences. And I don’t see any problem with this.

    And I actually thought Crazy, Stupid, Love was quite a good film and worked as an example. But if the general consensus among women is that it’s a ‘shitty romantic comedy’ I apologize. How about Brokeback Mountain as an example, which by the way was written by three people, two of which were female furthering my point that what appears on screen is influenced by the perspective of the author.

  435. Jen@House Stark
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Direwolves!!! Loved Ghost this week, loved Grey Wind last week, well done. Jaqen is going to be so great, can’t wait for more of him. Salladhor made me lol! He and the queen picture in my mind, “laughing”.

    Am not sold in Asha though. I’m sure she’s a fine actress but sexy she is not. Speaking of sexy, wow, Theon – he gets my vote for best baufin’ award. Not my fav character, but man he gives it his all, no pun intended!

  436. James
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Based on a post in another article on the site, I wanted to clarify than I’m not promoting sexism. I’m just sick to death of the rampant levels of political correctness found in society today. The show has been criticized with such ridiculous claims as that of being ‘too white’. Now I hear people up in arms because there are more breasts in the series than penises. The show is almost entirely written by four heterosexual males and is closely adapted from a series written by a man – what did you expect?

    I apologise if I came off as prejudiced in any way towards women – I have nothing but respect for them both as people and as writers.

  437. Tomer
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one that was deeply sadend by the fact that Rorge HAD a nose?

    The episode went too far from the books in my opinion and I was very disaspointed.
    And what the hell was the deal with Rakharo?
    Yara was also disapointing, when I saw the picture of the actress she looked too soft, but now she looks way too ugly and butchy then I imagined.

    And the thing with Kraster was so useless.. I dont wanna know how that storyline will go down. Same goes for Ros and the Brothel House storyline. completley useless imo :/

    Atleast we got to see more of the Dire Wolves.

  438. purplejilly
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    James,
    See, this is why we NEED quotas, dictating the proper onscreen percentages, to help overcome the inherent gender bias of the male-centric writing! I suggest a 2 to 1 ratio – for every set of boobs on screen each week, we need to see 1 wang. It’s only fair.

  439. Lex
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    No. Boobs and wangs are not equivalent.

  440. Maxwell James
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    A prediction: instead of female nudity, body image or racism, next week’s freak out will be all about the hot gay make-out session between Renly and Loras. Half will complain that it happened at all, and the other half will complain that they mostly kept their clothes on.

    It is known.

  441. Lex
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly:
    We’re allowed to complain.

    Of course you’re allowed to complain. And you clearly love to do it.

    I find it hilarious that you started reviewing this episode by saying “Wow, for the first time I have no complaints!”, but after a couple days you’re ranting about the sex scenes again. You say you’re not a prude and not offended by sex or nudity… but all I see is the rants against sex scenes, the not-so-subtle accusations that D&D are sexist, and the complaints about Simone Boyce’s wardrobe.

    (Shrug). I’m just glad none of that stuff bothers me.

  442. Shinyteapot
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was better than the first episode, Greyjoys were great. Bit disappointed Yara didn’t introduce herself as Esgred at first, but it’s no big deal. Pyke looked brilliant.

    Loved all Arya’s scenes and Yoren makes far more impact on screen than in the books.

    Rakharro’s death was sad but I was expecting it. Thought Irri’s reaction was very real. Maybe at his funeral pyre the dragons will be inspired to attempt breathing fire?

    Sam and Gilly is already very sweet, and I love that she called him brave. He’s never thought of himself that way, but she clearly meant it. Interesting that we actually saw a baby boy taken away, I think it’s a good change as it helps to keep that threat in mind. Ghost looked brilliant.

    Tyrion was great as ever- and so were Varys and Cersei. Different from book Cersei, but you could see the pressure and the tendancy to lose it starting to come through. I like Bronn commanding the watch, it’s an easy way to keep him in a more central role in the story.

    Show Littlefinger seems to be even more of an arsehole than book Littlefinger. I didn’t get the impression he was perving on the various brothel goings on- more like checking his employees are doing their jobs properly. Though it seems the boundary between employee and slave is somewhat blurry, which is horrible. I am glad that the bad side of prostitution is starting to be shown simply for the sake of (a bit more) realism, nasty though it is. While Ros did well in that scene, I’m surprised we didn’t see Barra’s mother- seeing a baby killed is bad, it must be so much worse if it’s your child. I got the impression she wasn’t killed along with her daughter?

    Thought Saan was great, another character I didn’t take much notice of in the books who comes across well on screen. It’s a shame we didn’t actually see Stannis take Davos’ fingers though. As for the sex scene, I’m not surprised it’s included but I expected Stannis to need more persuading. Perhaps Melisandre should have mentioned that Selyse believed in her before most others? And that table looks very uncomfortable!

    Also in that scene- while it’s not made clear (no sons could mean one daughter), it seems to be implied that Shireen doesn’t exist in the show. If this is true, it’s the first change I really object to- because it’s a spoiler for the books. Shireen isn’t a prominent character in her own right, but if she doesn’t exist in the show it means she’s not important in the books- so there’s no chance of Stannis making alliances through her marriage, or his dying and her inheriting (he may die, but she won’t become Queen), and the greyscale subplot is probably unimportant, with implications for some of the ‘stone dragon’ theories. All those things still possible as of the end of ADWD are ruled out if Shireen isn’t important enough to need to exist in the show. If she was needed, they could have mentioned her and said she stays with her mother out of sight or something to avoid needing to cast her just yet.

  443. Aoife
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I think just having some shirts OFF on the men would be a start.

    Apparently a lot of men in Westeros like to be fully clothed when they have sex. Who knew? :-P (it looks a bit ridiculous when the women are totally naked, while the men…not so much)

  444. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I laughed my butt off when the hooker kissed that guy after Littlefinger wiped the cum off her mouth! HILARIOUS!

    Also,
    Gemma nailed it with Asha/Yara! All the acting was suberb! Carice IS Mel to me now!

    Loved Gendry much better this season, he gets to actaully talk and that smile…SIGH!

  445. afartherroom
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: Half will complain that it happened at all, and the other half will complain that they mostly kept their clothes on.

    Well, c’mon now. Those are two very nice-looking men. I can’t say I’d complain if we finally got a bit of androphilic “gaze” from the camera on that count. If titillation is indeed supposed to be part of the aesthetic pleasure of this show, is it so much to ask that all of us get a chance to take part? (And besides, damn it, they’re RUNNING OUT OF TIME to cater to us on that particular front!)

  446. Mad Professah
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Aoife,

    Agreed I think the double standard for male nudity and female nudity is getting to be a bit jarring. It’s not just the women who are interested in the male nudity, but also gay fans of the show and books like yours truly. I presume the producers may be writing from the perspective of male heteronormativity but they should realize not all their fans may be viewing their work from that perspective. Hello?

    Then again, this is the show that had the temerity to show Hodor’s huge schlong as well as Theon’s prick in Season 1. So, i do give them some props for that. So, far not even a random shirtless dude in Season 2.

    It is more than a bit ridiculous that Stannis was supposed to be boffing Melissandre on the map of Westeros while fully clothed? Is that because the actor didn’t want to show his bare butt? It just DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

    I can’t wait to see what they do with the Unsullied :) and the bare-breasted style of the city in Essos which escapes me right now… (Mereen?)

  447. Maxwell James
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    afartherroom,

    Oh, I’m just predicting, not opining. Personally, I’ll be delighted if they go all-out with that scene – especially when I get to observe the next-day nerdrage. But I suspect it will be fairly tame.

  448. Shock Me
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    The night lands refers to the Dothraki afterlife that they can only reach through burning the corpse.

  449. GrzebykK
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts about this episode:
    - Award for best dialogue goes to Arya and Gendry.
    - Patrick Malahide is able to conquering Westeros with his voice only. Great role.
    - Ghost against Gilly was absolutely CGI masterpiece.
    - I admire the captain’s daughter. It must be hard to play all scene naked and talking like she did.
    - I am not sure, but wasn’t it the first episode of GoT ever with nobody being killed?
    - I don’t have enough tears to cry for poor Rakharo.
    - I can understand the necessity of showing how cruel Littlefinger is, but brothel scene was too long for me.
    - Stannis was too horny for Stannis. Even against naked Red Priestess. This should be as cold Coldhands hands.

  450. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    anuhealani: No, I don’t want laws dictating quotas for show content. What I want is for male writers and producers to feel a personal responsibility to be equitable when easy opportunities present themselves. Because a good chunk of their audience is female and bored to death of seeing the same straight-male fantasies enacted over and over again in television, hundreds of times, if not thousands.

    So you think the sex scenes thus far have been out of “straight male fantasies”? Because most of them have been anything but sexy, and they aren’t intended to be (especially Theon, for a self-professed love man he sure looks incompetent with a woman).

    And with the prevalence of free (actual) porn on the internet, why would anyone tune into a show like this just to see a few boobs?

  451. World Dancer
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    From the books, I always got the impression Melissandre was working Stannis over, and hadn’t managed to seduce him yet. A new god was one thing, but doing something unjust like cheating on his wife is entirely another. I would have expected Stannis to put Selyse aside in some way, shape, or form before attempting to have another child. Particularly a bastard child who would never be able to claim the throne anyway. He’s Mr. Law Abiding, after all.

  452. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    freyar_88,

    I think in a coming episode that Tyrion will send Shae to the Brothel to hide. He doesn’t trust Verys now that he knows Shae is there and Ros now HATES Littlefinger so she will help Tyrion out by hiding Shae….that is how it will roll out folks. ROZ=Alyaya

  453. Grace
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    strongboar,

    I am so with you on this one!!! I was so shocked they killed him off. I was hoping they would develop the irri/rakharo romance…

  454. Assunta
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Yoren = honey badger

  455. Song
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    For me a detail that really stood out was the absolutely magnificant shot of the Pyke harbour. Great location scouting.

    Also I want to say that the Balon Greyjoy actor was fantastic. His honor-and-pride, paranoia, and condescending attitude, all natural and credible. The strongest of the new cast.

  456. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    So sad all some people seem to talk about is sex, Ros, the lack of dicks, or all of the above…when there are soooooo many interesting topics to discuss :S

    I for one I’m loving all the changes, if only for the fact that I cherish the chance of getting surprised while watching the show…I saw the show with a non-book readers and had to explain to him why I was either jumping from my seat or WTF’ing out loud during the Bronn, Mel+Stannis and Jon’s final scenes while for him weren’t as exciting.

    Thanks to D&D I’m enjoying more the show and having more fun than the non-readers so far this seasons

  457. Luana
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Joshua Taylor,

    I’m not saying we need to be super grateful and forgive all deviations and changes from the book, but man… some people (i.e. purists and nitpickers) really just have no sense of perspective. They ignore 90% of the awesome stuff, and focus on the minor negatives. It was the same with the LOTR movies. I think it’s really just sad.

    I dunno, the nitpicking is half the fun for me! “Yay everything is great” makes for boring reading.

    Dissecting the bits of the show that annoy me and discussing them with other fans is an integral part of my enjoyment of the whole spectacle. Doesn’t mean I’ve lost persepective, or enjoy the show any less than you do.

  458. Lex
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Luana: I dunno, the nitpicking is half the fun for me! “Yay everything is great” makes for boring reading.

    Dissecting the bits of the show that annoy me and discussing them with other fans is an integral part of my enjoyment of the whole spectacle. Doesn’t mean I’ve lost persepective, or enjoy the show any less than you do.

    Fair enough, glad you get some enjoyment out of that. For me, it has the complete opposite effect. I love discussing what worked well in the episode, but focusing obsessively on what was wrong with it is just a huge, huge downer.

  459. Lex
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    So, since the praise for Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy is nearly unanimous, the real question is whether Balon will get any more scenes? Unless I’m mistaken, that was Balon’s ONLY scene in the books…

  460. afartherroom
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James:

    Yeah, I got you. And for what it’s worth, I think your prediction is spot-on. Although I will miss the nerd-rage…

  461. World Dancer
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Lex:
    So, since the praise for Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy is nearly unanimous, the real question is whether Balon will get any more scenes? Unless I’m mistaken, that was Balon’s ONLY scene in the books…

    I’m going with yes.

    We need to see him have a private moment with Asha, likely discussing her mother (don’t know if we’ll ever see Lady Greyjoy, but the two of them talking about her could reflect back on their own relationship).

    We also need to see his death scene.

  462. Knurk
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Lex:
    So, since the praise for Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy is nearly unanimous, the real question is whether Balon will get any more scenes? Unless I’m mistaken, that was Balon’s ONLY scene in the books…

    we glimpsed him in some scenes in previews that we haven’t seen in the show yet.

  463. tysnow
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Grace,

    No, because HBO has to build the Dany/Irri bff romance.

  464. purplejilly
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Lex: I find it hilarious that you started reviewing this episode by saying “Wow, for the first time I have no complaints!”, but after a couple days you’re ranting about the sex scenes again. You say you’re not a prude and not offended by sex or nudity… but all I see is the rants against sex scenes, the not-so-subtle accusations that D&D are sexist, and the complaints about Simone Boyce’s wardrobe.
    (Shrug). I’m just glad none of that stuff bothers me.

    I only made comments about Simone’s first shirt, I didn’t ‘complain’, I just questioned who the intended audience was, given the shirt. And then she wore an Indigo shirt and I have never said a word since then :)

  465. The Winter Rose
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Pros:
    - Scenes with Arya & Gendry were spot on. Probably the highlight of the episode.
    - Jon Snow, Gilly and Sam – awesome. Loving Gilly so much. Very well cast.
    -Tyrion – I mean really, how can we go wrong? Peter Dinklage nails it time and again.

    Cons:
    - Roz: Seven Hell’s, can HBO PLEASE just get rid of her? Why is she here? She is a useless and annoying character. She takes up to much screen time and does NOTHING to further the plot. This character needs to go.
    - Yara/Asha: Very poorly cast. This chick is NOT Asha at all. Disappointed. Still not crazy about Theon either. Ah well the Greyjoys never were my favorites anyway.
    - Mel & Stannis: WTF? I hated this. Stannis is supposed to be all about honor and then, bam. It seemed completely out of character for Stannis and really annoyed me.
    - Littlefinger: I am not crazy about what they are doing with LF here. They make him far too creepy in a smarmy, icky way. In the books he is so darn subtle that you really don’t realize what a complete evil f@*&% he is until it’s too late. But they are making it too obvious in the show.

    All in all, I really wasn’t a huge fan of this episode at all. I hope next one will be better.

  466. Lossoth
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    It seems like they’re setting up Ros (and maybe Meghan or Armeca) as the Vorenus/Pullo side of the epic story. In Rome, we got the perspective of the movers and shakers, plus the little guys, who, unbeleivably, had a major influence on the big dealings. The Ice and Fire books are all about movers and shakers, and most of the little guys are cameo parts, with no constant storyline (except Bronn, maybe)
    Argue about that all you want, but what I’m trying to say is don’t be surprised if Ros affects the major storyline in some way far down the line.

  467. Lex
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Well at least we can agree on indigo… :)

    (sorry FaB)

  468. Adrià
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Mad Professah,

    I am a “male heterosexual” and that scenes doesn’t even make me think something horny… they are not scenes to be liked “sexually” but illustrations in a book to tell you the tale. If this was real good porn, they will add male nudes, because even at the male heterosexuals like to see to beauty (or ugly if you are more littlefinger stylish) bodies in action. This doesn’t have “relation” with the sexuality of the guionist or even the audience, this have relation to a constraining morality of our society, and it’s really sad from all pov’s and orientations.

    By the way, the chapter was amazing, but i think that showing Stannis in that scene so early can make the non-readers think of he as a “fragil” character, wich i think he is not… i don’t want to question the guionists, but i think that this is the picture the non-readers are creating of Stannis, wich should be “Strong as iron”, and can be replaced by “fool cheater”, that, without knowledge of his past, his pain and his resentment, can be very missjudged.

    Also, ghost is splendid, i want to see he and Grey-wind in battles.

  469. Adrià
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    (i wanted to edit but time has passed…)

    I think that all we are losing focus with all the sex theme, and i have found some clarity… the westeros society (like ours in middle ages) are oppenly misogistic, and that means a lot of things, but one avobe the others: womans pleasure it’s not important nor their sexual “respect”, etc.

    What i want to say? that all the theme about sexuality we are argumenting it’s about “our times” but the series don’t ever want to relate to our times, it’s a film/book/etc about times past, and in that society rapes are common and not specially punned for example. So, i think that they are doing well, no especially male nudes because they are in other cultures (in contraposition of dothraki for example wich actually are semi nude all day, BECAUSE they are other cultural focus).

    (beg perdon for my english, i’m from barcelona and it’s not my language.)

  470. loco73
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    One of the things which I trully enjoy about “Game Of Thrones”, is the complexity of the show, something which lends itsel for multiple viewings of each episode. Case in point this episode. They just look better and better, upon a second, third, fourth (and so forth) viewing, each time reavealing more tid bits I might have missed the first time around, letting me fully appreciate and enjoy the characters, the acting and the stunning production values.

    As I said, this episode, looks even better now after multiple viewings, contrary to some commnets here, to me, it did not seem rushed, or too short or anything of the sort. This kind of re-cap and criticism of each episode has its place alas, I guess, but I prefer to reserve any more serious comments once I have had the opportunity to look upon the season in its entirety, and while the show is clearly not just the sum of its parts, this is after all only one episode and this only part of the puzzle.

    I am even more ok with the brothel/sex scenes/sexposition everybody seems to have complained about over and over again (a bit frazzled perhaps in my earlier comments), and still stand firmly by the belief that they do NOT detract from the show in any way. I also DON’T find the storyline with Stannis boring at all. He is suppossed to be dour, passionless and dreary, and to his great credit Stephen Dillane proves to be as good as I expected, no easy task for an usually pretty expressive actor, to play such a low-key and non-boisterous character, unlike say the contrast to his brother Robert as portrayed soo gleefully by the oh-so talented Mark Addy in Season One.

    I like Ros, i.e. Esme Bianco, and am glad that she is on the show, the same with Sahara Knite. Its sad to see the comments of some individuals here, in regards to Esme’s presence on the show, but what can you do…dimwits exist…what a shock…

    I did not see nearly as much reaction to the scenes when babies are murdered in the first episode, as I have seen in this one in regards to the sex scenes, sexposition etc. I continue to be miffed by the fact that violence does not elicit as much response as does sex and nudity, but I guess that says more about us and our society at large than anything else…

    To adress the fact that some said that Ros takes valuable screen time and detracts from other characters appearing in the episode, I would venture to say that that is a highly subjective statement. By the same measure I could say the same about characters I might not like, that they also take too much screen time…so in this to each his own!

    I’m just glad that Sunday is almost upon us, and I’ll get the chance to enjoy yet another episode of “Game Of Thrones”.

  471. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    This will probably be unpopular but here goes…

    It was not D & D’s intention for the brothel scenes to be sensual or erotic. Game of Thrones/ASOIAF stands from the rest of the pack for being explicit. I am not talking explicit in its common parlance that is to be sexually charged or voyeuristic, I speak of being gritty, visceral, truth in that in the end we are all animals despite our aspirations.
    If we think about the series and its themes one such factor is the dark side of human nature; ergo our dreams, our ambitions and what we do to achieve them. It is also a story about power and the abuse of power. It stands to reason that so far in the first two episodes we are getting hints of the effect of power and the war itself on the Smallfolk of Westeros. We have already seen the Smallfolk threatened by the Goldcloaks as young men, boys, girls, infants were slaughtered wholesale at the end of the last episode. As Ser Jorah says “the Smallfolk do not care what games the high lords play”. Well they do now.
    One of the ways that Martin and Benioff deal out this gritty world to us page after page or 10 weeks of a year is to show us the abuse of that power in it all is ‘glory’ and this through the means of violent, sexual and scatological imagery. Goodness and honour, qualities we as a proud species would like to aspire to are mere pipe dreams for idealists. When true power or survival is at stake all that makes us human in the moral sense goes out the window like that of Bran Stark.
    Consider the second episode. It opens with a girl urinating, (Bodily fluid # 1) an unvarnished truth pointing out Arya’s desperate position. Shortly after Dolorous Edd reminds us that “if the Gods wanted us to have dignity they wouldn’t have us fart when we died”, (Bodily fluid # 2) interestingly enough the indignity of something as reverent as a person’s death is interrupted by Sam and Grenn’s girl talk. “We were having a serious conversation here.” Edd says sardonically.
    Next we have Dany and her Khalassar greeted by Rakkharo’s horse and head. We see the head, dripping its precious fluid, the only moisture in the desert being the young Bloodrider’s blood (Bodily fluid # 3). We see Theon with the Captain’s daughter. Now withholding judgement let’s just say that this woman does not hold a standard of beauty that is popular to most male audiences. Not to say she is unattractive but to say that D & D cast this girl in this scene so that it would come across as being the complete antithesis of erotic. Not just because of the actress but because of Theon himself, this lordling, the heir to the Iron Islands of which this girl is starstruck by. She wants to be his Saltwife and because of her being enamoured with him we pity her even more. Sure we get a bit of schadenfreude when the Iron Island’s reception of its only heir is “Meh”, but his being a non entity compounds the tragedy of the girl giving herself up for this man.
    This leads to the Brothel scene wherein we see an employee riding a patron through the lens of a peephole where we see the voyeur receiving fellatio from a prostitute. As we soon learn this voyeur is also being watched by the proprietor of the brothel himself, our man Littlefinger. Despite the obvious interpretation of this scene, that Littlefinger is not a pervert but a man using one of the only means to gather information on the power players in King’s Landing, what follows could have come from the pages of ASOIAF: human sexuality reduced to bureaucratic banality.
    So far we have heard pissing and taken in a discussion on flatulence, both natural bodily functions that in our safe, protected society we keep as private and discrete as possible. We have see the consequences of power through the death of Rakkaro. He was killed for supporting a Khalassar led by a woman. His head was stuffed in a sack, his blood speckling the desert floor. Irri screams because by taking his head they have robbed him of his soul. In essence they have dehumanized Rakkaro, just as fate has dehumanised Arya, forcing her to empty her water whenever she can, the fear of being discovered as a woman hanging over her head. The power relationships of Westeros has dehumanized the Captain’s daughter, it even led Theon to grope his own sister unbeknownst to him. And as the episode deals in themes of patriarchy and legacy, we must inevitably go the sexual act itself and the fluid when properly spilled creates life, creates heirs to kingdoms and bastards to shame them. When Littlefinger wipes the semen (Bodily fluid # 4) from Armeca’s lips we have no doubt that even the sexual act, one that is idealistically identified with romance and love and babies, has been reduced to gross insignificance. Littlefinger threatens Ros because he himself has been threatened, his words force her to deny her own humanity, her emotions, her sadness over the death of Maeghen’s child so that business may prosper and Littlefinger can get what he wants.
    We have Davos, Matthos and Salladhor Saan. Saan wants to fuck the Queen, his metaphor for power and glory. Matthos wants to teach his father to read, he wants his father to give himself to a higher power. Matthos tells his father that he prayed every day for his father to come home. Unlike the many lords of Westeros we see in Matthos and Davos the very human, sentimental relationships we see in the Stark family and to a lesser extent the conflicted dynamic of the Lannisters.Next we have Melisandre, who wants to give Stannis a son, and we see that this a but a means for Stannis to ensure his legacy while at the same time Melisandre is obviously getting what she wants as well….and Balon Greyjoy has chosen his daughter over his only heir. Not truly because he loves his daughter unconditionally but because his daughter has done everything that he wished for his own heir. He rejects Theon because he does not mirror his idea. A reversion of power relationships yes, but strongly tied to emotion. A contrast from other events in the episode.
    Even the scene with Cersei and Tyrion near the end speaks to sexuality, as the crux of the conflict between Tyrion and his sister lies within his own arrival into this world. A later scene in the season will deal with childbirth is well, as the traditional uses of sexuality, of the tropes of patriarchal power are flipped on its very head.
    It is telling that episode ends with Jon Snow following Craster into the forest. We bear witness to the wildling abandoning his male heir to the White Walkers. We surmise that his very survival is linked to his legacy: to provide sons for the White Walker’s to protect himself and his Holdfast.

    Piss, shit, blood and cum. Sex, Birth, Death. To hold sway over all of these things is the essence of power. To have dignity and to not have it. To rob humanity from others, to having your own being denied. All thematically integral to one episode. It may be offensive to see on television, but in this person’s perspective, it could have come right from the pages of Martin himself. By looking deeper into the visual text as opposed to waiting idly by for the next scene in the book to be realized perfectly on screen, consider perhaps D & D may have thematic, intellectual motives in mind rather than merely titillating ones.

  472. Lex
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Well said!

  473. Arthur
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Nice! Very well said. I never thought of it that way. I know GRRM’s novels are very raw and do not shy away from the normal everyday human necessities that we all have to satisfy but rarely speak to each other about. I guess that is part of the reason I enjoy reading his work so much. I am not a purist and nothing can offend me. I just don’t like the idea of Ros being strung alone season after season. To me, Ros is like a cancer and I want to do everything in my power, which is to complain on here, until she is removed.

    To be honest the Ros/brothel scenes this season haven’t really bothered me, other then seeing Ros. I just want this series to succeed and I know lots of people do not like the Ros/brothel scenes. I hope D&D bring a little balance to the brothel scenes by giving us some nice erotic Robb/Jeyne and Jon/Ygritte sex scenes. If Ros is on tomorrow, that means she went 3 for 3. While major book characters get pushed to the back. To me that is really bad.

    Thanks for that post, it does give me a new angle to consider. Ros/brothel scenes will never be a make or break deal for me, I just feel it may turn off many potential viewers from continuing to watch GoTs and therefore affect the show negatively. So I am trying to voice my strong opinion against all things Ros. And this is the perfect forum to do so.

  474. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    That’s a very interesting perspective Joshua, and you probably hit the nail right on the head that D&D (&Martin) deliberately translated the books to the screen as gritty as this. That said, I still hope to see some true romantic sex scenes as well.

    Even in a rough society like that in Westeros/Essos, there WILL be genuine relationships between people (e.g. Ned-Catelyn), not everything has to be inspired by a longing for power all of the time (e.g. most others). In the first season, we saw some of that between Drogo and Dany in their later scenes. However, by far most sex scenes had nothing to do with mutual feelings but only served to visualize, as you adequately described it, the gritty, visceral truth that in the end we are all animals despite our aspirations. (That statement in itself is actually something I don’t agree with; call me naïve…)

    Martin’s story hinges for a large part on people that hunger for power, but the richness of the story also lies in characters that defy such a view on life. So what I hope to see in future episodes and seasons is this more balanced view on things reflected in the sex scenes. And with upcoming romances between for instance Robb and Jeyne and Jon and Ygritte, there is a good chance that this balance will be improved. Just like the ‘kind characters’ are necessarry counterweights to the power-lusting characters, such more ‘gentle’ romantic scenes would overall enrich the story in that they will only make the later events occurring to those characters much more dramatic.

    I hope that D&D portray ‘tender sex’ well in the future, because one instance where they could have done better in the first season IMO is the Jaime/Cersei scene in the tower. Instead of the porn-style humping, this scene would have had more impact had they shown Jaime and Cersei having tender sex (twin-love instead of one-twin-banging-the-other) and it would have contrasted nicely against the ‘Bran push’.

    As it stands now, with virtually all sex scenes merely serving to reveal the bad side of human nature, I feel almost embarrassed to recommend this series to most people as it can easily be seen as ‘perverted’. In contrast, even though GoT reflects ASOIAF very well, I have never restrained from recommending the book series since they are much more nuanced with much more ‘space’ between the explicit content.

  475. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: unpopular

    I don´t see why. Havin said that… I almost agree with you here because there is a big difference between sex scenes in a book and in a movie or tv and I don´t think that D&D porpuse is only to respect Martin´s literature because in fact they don´t with other things (which is fine by me, I don´t care for changes if it is for the best).
    Anyway I must say that the brothel scene is indifferent to me (or I feel indifferent about it?). It´s a brothel, I don´t understand what people expect of these scenes. Not exactly a happy work. Those scenes are what they should be I guess. I prefer this to Ross “the happy whore” but…

    Tar Kidho: they could have done better in the first season IMO is the Jaime/Cersei scene in the tower.

    this is true too.

    And why I do not completely agree with you Joshua: Because the vast majority of humans are not in the business of power and war. It´s a lie to say that we are all the same. I mean we all have dark sides and all but we don´t seek power in all our relationships, and we aren´t all proud, vain, ambitious, etc
    I guess I don´t see the depth you see in this series, for now I feel that stays halfway (?). Deep issues are elsewhere imo. Power is easily understandable in itself and perhaps also its consequences (except that you read Foucault, of course). To me depth goes through more real and decisive (every day) moments and how those moments can change a person. I’m more interested in this story when peeks on people who rebel against their situations without egotism. You don´t survive alone (like Cersei believes), you need others (this is not naïve, this just common sense). I really like those “presumed losers”, those who can see beyond themselves and there isn´t many here (right? Maybe I don´t see it, I don´t know). I guess this is the reason because I like wildlings. Martin´s literature becomes more complex there because these characters have more freedom, is more chaotic sure but more human too. I´m not saying it’s all perfect with wildlings because that´s no interesting, but is closer to reality. I don´t know in what kind of societies do you live in (I presume is not so different than mine) but I can see that people who live, let´s say “a common life”, are not pulling their hair out between them and sometimes, without even realizing it, they come together against a common enemy. Sometimes that’s all it takes: a common enemy (winter, hunger, natural disasters, etc).
    Another different example is Brienne and perhaps one of the most transparent to me: at some point she had a spark of rebellion and became a warrior defying her time and family, however, she never fails to be blindly obedient. It’s another way to continue to obey the laws of “fathers” and society so depth is lost here imo (we´ll see what happens in the future). But I know, this is another kind of problem that concerns mainly how Martin writes about women.

    Tar Kidho: I hope that D&D portray ‘tender sex’ well in the future

    I don´t think that gentler sex scenes can balance the overall dark themes (some sane love would be nice though). If anything can balance it will be other characters imo. May be the Night´s Watch and the wildlings (ADWD) or Dany with the slaves (here is a super interesting issue about power and humanity but I´m not sure if it was developed with all the richness it has. It´s ok though, it´s not a philosophy book or Dostoievski.

    Tar Kidho: but the richness of the story also lies in characters that defy such a view on life.

    if my English has ruined everything THIS was more o less what I wanted to say.

  476. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Therein really lies the difference then, some people see depth some people don’t. Our two perspectives kind of cross each other out. Neither is right, neither is wrong. :-)

  477. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    The site wouldn’t let me expand on my previous comment so….

    Therein really lies the difference then, some people see depth some people don’t. You seem to be under the perspective that if its not Dostoevsky or Kafka, or Joyce then there’s no deeper meaning. I respectively disagree on this kind of literary elitism. Not to say your an elitist but I think it’s similar to the attitude that most people have with fantasy and science fiction. I have read all the classics and the labelled not so-classics and I simply unconvinced that ASOIAF and stories like it are merely superficial. Having watched a lot of HBO which feature very layered, almost literary narratives (ie: Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire) I find Game of Thrones is aiming for that same high mark. I even feel that the series may even transcend the novels in terms of scholarly merit?

    Do you personally see literary aspects in film and television? I do, I went to university for years to receive a Bachelor of Arts in that discipline so you can see that I take it seriously. I wouldn’t be involved with ASOIAF if I didn’t see anything worthwhile in it.

  478. Macha
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Just wanted to point out something you might be over-looking in your description of Brienne’s actions. You said she never fails to be blindly obedient, disregarding the fact that she chose to be a knight, thus choosing whom to pledge her allegiance to. Of course she cannot control the world around her and finds herself in almost impossible situations at times, but that is because she respects vows she herself took. I wouldn’t call that blind obedience.

    Sorry for the off-topic.

  479. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho,

    I completely agree with the brighter side of things aspect you have conveyed. I truly see Martin and his adaptors laying the groundwork for future insurrection in their portrayal of this miasma of greed, power and human suffering. I was more or less discussing what I thought was thematic for the episode itself. I wanted to convey that the complete lack of sensuality in the brothel scenes is deliberate. I also wish to defend that such scenes and the Ros storyline’s are not entirely gratuitous either. I think we should wait for the season to play out to see where the Ros storyline is going to go. I have my intuition where it may be going, but it’s hard to say at this point.

    To put it simply Benioff and co are building to these themes of breaking free from the shackles of repressive society both men and women, but first they have to deal with those very same shackles. The brothels, the murdering of the bastards, the overall plight of the Smallfolk caught in the crossfire between power politics and the horror of war are all shown to us in my opinion so that the liberation from these atrocities can be realized and earned within the narrative.

  480. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: f I didn’t see anything worthwhile in it.

    I´m sure of that. I´m sorry if I sounded elitist, because elitism is awful. I don´t want to believe that quote a “X” writer, no matter who he/she is, is elitism. Dostoievski wrote wonderfully about power. That´s all. If I remember correctly I said to you (a while ago) that I didn´t like El desprecio (Godard), and when you´re sorrounded by elitist like I did at that time, that´s a crime but I really don´t care about that. You´re asking me if I am a snob? I like Dostoievski more than G. Martin when talking about power. I think I have the right to talk about things without being labeled for it, right? Did I say something that bothers you? Did I say you´re shallow? Hey! I almost agree with you. I have no prejudice about fantasy or science fiction only with bad writing (and please, I´m not saying ASOIAF is bad writing). I don´t understand. I will not comment further on what you write if it bothers you. You have a thing with labels, I should known better.

  481. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    you´re right of course. I probably have overlooked other things too. Obedience makes me furious, it must be that ;)

  482. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    On the contrary I am not offended at all, I was merely defending the text, not my self. Sometimes I can be a little to wordy and things get lost in translation. I appreciate your comments 100%! Sorry If I gave you the wrong impression!

  483. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    Sorry, I couldn´t edit:
    Now that I remember: she frequently changes her loyalty, no? (Renly, Catlyn, Jaime probably in the future?). I think she wants to obey ;)

  484. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I understand that you are defending the text but I wasn´t attacking. It´s all good. If I believed that ASOIAF is bad literature or the show pure crap, I wouldn´t be here. I always say that all my “reservations” regarding this story may change in the future. I´m aware that this is an unfinished story.

  485. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Again, sorry to give you the impression that I was offended! Opine away!

  486. Macha
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    I guess we’re seeing things differently again. :) Which is in no way a bad thing, au contraire. And as I really love Brienne’s character and Martin’s way of writing her – inlcuding her chapters in AFFC! – I’ll add a few more things.
    Again, sorry for going slighlty off-topic.

    Brienne’s vows to Renly, Catelyn and Jaimie do not contradict each other, not at first anyway. She swears to protect Renly, and we know what happens, he bites the dust. When she enters Catelyn’s service, she is free to do so, and her vow concerns Jaime’s safe delivery to King’s Landing. Catelyn dies (or so Brienne thinks) so she finds herself free to enter someone else’s service again, in this case Jaime’s, and we know where that leads. She doesn’t obey everything, she carries out different missions which have been entrusted to her and which she accepts, knowing full well the implications of such an act. She is, ultimately, the sole master of her life, which is – granted – a life of service, because that is what knighthood involves (it also involves rewarding/ payment, so its’ different from servitude, just to be clear). Obedience, in Brienne’s case, would have meant staying home and do her father’s bidding, or conforming to any other set of rules chosen for her. So, you see, you can’t praise Martin for Brienne’s decision of disregarding gender rules and then blame him for being consistent with that decision.
    To conclude, I understand and actually agree with you on some of the points you made earlier in your reply to Joshua and Tar Kidho, I only wanted to draw your attention on the fact that you could look at Brienne’s actions from a different angle, and thus enjoy her character more. :)
    Cheers!

    EDIT: Ugh, I had a paragraph that got lost somewhere along the way, in broad lines I was arguing that she doesn’t change her loyalties, she just adds new ones on top of the old ones, which makes for a great inner conflict – quite similar to Jaime’s. God, I love these two, can season 3 come faster please?

  487. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    I was just teasing you what “she wants to obey”. I understand what you´re saying and love that you made me think on this other side of her character. Anyway, I would like her to be able to disobeying others, knowing that already did that with her father (that spark I said in my comment). But I get it, it´s her job. I´ll keep in mind that. Very interesting how a job can determine your temperament. Or is it the other way around? Thanks.

  488. sarah
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    anuhealani, Just a reminder, we did see Theon’s wang in season one…. ;)

  489. loco73
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Thank you for your excellent posting…and for your coherent and artful argument!

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