Episode 13 – What Is Dead May Never Die – Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Episode thirteen, entitled “What Is Dead May Never Die”, has just aired. My quick recap and reactions to lucky number 13 can be found after the break.

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, feel free to discuss this episode in our new viewer recap thread.


Summary

Let’s do a quick recap of what happened this episode. We spent a good bit of time in King’s Landing, where Tyrion made three different offers in the hopes of uncovering Cersei’s informer. It worked and Pycelle was thrown into the Black Cells. He also set up Shae as Sansa’s handmaiden, dispatched Littlefinger to treat with Catelyn, and had a drink with Varys. As Tyrion would say, “I’ve been a very busy man.”

In other parts of the Red Keep, Sansa has to endure the continued company of Cersei. But at least Myrcella and Tommen are there to be sweet and decidely un-Lannister-like. Afterwards, Shae introduces herself to Sansa as her new handmaiden, despite not really knowing what a handmaiden is supposed to do.

Beyond the Wall, Craster kicked out the Night’s Watch and Mormont revealed to Jon Snow that he knows what Craster does with his sons. Before leaving, Sam gave Gilly a token and promised that he would return.

At Winterfell, Bran continues to have his wolf dreams. When he explains him to Luwin, the maester explains to him that magic no longer exists in the world.

On the Iron Islands, Balon revealed his plans to Theon, he plans to take the North by capturing and holding the Neck and eventually conquering or accepting the surrender of the remaining holdfasts and castles. Theon contemplates warning Robb of this surprise attack, but decides to turn his back on his adopted family and align with his true family.

We finally got to see Renly and his camp of 100,000 strong. Brienne was revealed and then appointed to Renly’s Kingsguard. Later that night, Renly tried to consummate his marriage with Margaery, but failed. Margaery understands the importance of an heir and offers a threesome with her brother to help Renly get the job done.

Lastly, Arya has a heart-to-heart with Yoren before Amory Lorch and his band attacks. Arya saves Jaqen, while Yoren gets killed and the rest of the group gets captured. Lommy is killed and Arya tells the Lannister soldiers that he was Gendry.

What I Liked

One. Two. Three. – In the book this scene works well with Tyrion’s internal monologue counting off each of his offers but that obviously wasn’t going to work on screen. What Cogman and director Alik Sakharov have done here, having Tyrion’s three offers all come in one scene with seamless cuts, is perfect. A great example of taking a memorable sequence from the books and adapting it to screen while using the strengths of the visual medium to make it different, but just as good.
Brienne the Beauty – Without a doubt the moment everyone was most excited to see was the debut of Brienne of Tarth. And, wow, she did not disappoint. Not only does Gwendoline Christie nail her demeanor, but she is huge. I knew she was going to be tall, but she towers over the rest of the cast. She is a perfect Brienne.
Badass Yoren – I loved Francis Magee’s Yoren. I’m so glad they gave him a moment with Arya at the end there (although I still can’t decide whether him being the genesis of her eventual “death prayer” is cool or kinda cheesy). And his death was totally badass. A worthy death for a great character. “I always hated crossbows!
Theon the Ironborn – Theon’s arc in this episode was fantastic. Alfie Allen is doing a bang-up job showing the internal conflict of Theon’s character. I actually felt sorry for him this episode. And that baptism scene was all kinds of awesome. “What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” Greyjoys FTW.

What I Didn’t Like

I R Serious Yara – Not sure what happened to Yara’s playfulness this week. She was very sullen. Gemma Whelan nailed Yara’s sassy attitude last week, but in her scenes this week she just seemed angry. Hopefully some of that Asha– er.. Yara playfulness returns in the weeks to come.
What’s up with Shae? – Why was the scene with Shae becoming Sansa’s handmaiden so long? What was that supposed to show us? That Sansa can still be catty? Or was it to reinforce how whiny and annoying the TV version of Shae is? I think out of all the TV show versions of characters, Shae has suffered the most. In the books she didn’t come off nearly this unlikable. I don’t really get why Tyrion is risking everything by having her around. In the book, Shae came off as sweet and totally in love with Tyrion, so it made sense for Tyrion to want her around. But on the show, you don’t see that sweetness nor does she have any chemistry with Tyrion. At this point, I’m ready to say that the Shae character has been botched. A shame, really, as I thought Sibel Kekilli was solid casting.

That’s about it for me. Overall, I thought this was a very good episode. Some action, some drama, some humor, some potential incest. Basically, it was Game of Thrones! What did everyone else think? And don’t forget to rate the episode in our poll in the footer!


451 Comments

  1. unrobb
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Nice episode.

    First?

  2. Jack
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Great episode! YOREN :(

  3. HMZ
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    First? Great episode!

  4. Clob
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    That was a great episode! Even if they abbreviated the battle at Harrentown and eliminated some Arya awesomeness.

    Tyrion’s strategy to root out at least one not trustworthy was well done. I loved the scene as it switched whom he was speaking to along with his supposed plan. Well struck!

  5. F*ck Yeah Yoren
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    That episode was phenomenal. The best of the season so far, and one of the best of the series. The ending sequence gave me chills, and I approve of the changes they made. And the “One. Two. Three.” was pulled off brilliantly.

    Bravo, Cogman. Your episode last season was admittedly my least favorite, but holy shit, you blew my mind here.

  6. David
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Why wasn’t Theon drowned?

  7. Aziraphale
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Ah, a most excellent episode. LOVED Tyrion doing his business with the men of the council, some excellent editing going on there. He’s such a BAMF.

    Had a shit-eating grin when I knew Brienne was about to show up. Damn but is she TALL! Wow.

  8. Dee
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope they still bring Raff and the Tickler and OF COURSE the Mountain into Arya’s storyline, it would be a shame if they cut them out. ESPECIALLY the Mountain!

  9. Aziraphale
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    David,

    Yeah, but I suspect the showrunners left it out for the sake of safety and keeping things simple.

  10. Mrs Wun
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    As if I didn’t have enough reasons to love and miss Yoren, D & D gave us a little more. Thank you. LOVED BRIENNE! Loved Tyrion. Wished I got to hear “Shagga wants this woman.” But good episode. Hungry for more.

  11. Queensmoot
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I was okay with several changes, I loved the way the three marriage contracts were handled, and Yoren.

    But LF sent to convince Cat to free Jaime?? why??

  12. franny_bee
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree with you there. Shae is really whiny for a whore, has no chemistry with Tyrion, and why on earth is Tyrion working so hard to please someone so abrasive that HE IS ALSO PAYING? Her scene with Sansa was hard to watch. Shea’s utterly bitchy, selfish and a total miss.

    Yoren is awesome. Chuck Norris wishes he was Yoren.

  13. David
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    They did a good job of drowing that little Baratheon bastard last episode. Safety? Come on.

  14. Ms.Stormborn
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Awesome episode! I loved The final scene with Yoren and Arya. Even though the previous 2 episodes were great, I feel like with this episode, the show got it’s groove
    back.

  15. Clob
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I think the Sansa scene from the start of the meal up through her looking in the mirror is my favorite that Sophie has done so far.

  16. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Where to start?

    FaBio definitely called it on this episode. Very nicely written.

    Brienne. Yay. Just yay. Gwen Christie nailed it. Awesome.

    Tyrion is playing everyone like an orchestra, but especially Littlefinger. He seems to know exactly what buttons to push on poor Petyr.

    Sophie Turner can say entire paragraphs with just her eyes. She’s really making the best of a part which is difficult. Shae and Sansa was an interesting combination. I like them together in that scene, in spite of not really liking Shae’s changes.

    I was prepared not to like Margaery’s changes. However, I think making her more scheming and more worldly is a good change. Natalie Dormer makes that looks good. Hopefully we won’t be hearing more stupid breast complaints from the silicon implant lovers again.

    Alfie Allen! Wow. He didn’t get much chance to shine last season. He’s getting a huge opportunity to shine this one! Well done. And Yara (or Asha or Stephanie or
    Bob or something) is growing on me too. Balon is pitch perfect.

    Arya and Yoren. Nice! Way to set up a certain bedtime tradition. Maisie is perfect, as always. Arya saving Gendry’s ass and Lommy with the helm was an interesting way to cut out pages of book narrative. It works! Bryan Cogman did a great job there.

    Yoren. I will miss him. “I never liked crossbows. Take too long to reload!” is going to be the new meme.

    Lommy took an arrow to the knee and then a Needle to the throat. Bye, Lommy. Was that the Tickler?

    Great episode.

  17. Brandon Stark
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Loved the ending to the episode. Lommy….nooo!

    Sophie Turner was fantastic tonight. That scene with Shae might have been y favorite of the night. She conveyed so much pain in that tirade about how Shae knows nothing of being a handmaiden. On the outside, she’s being a snobby “lady,” while she’s tortured on the inside. Great!

    Lena Headey’s acting last season was marginal, but she’s really starting to come into her own as Cersei.

    What can be said about Natalie Dormer? Not the best actress in the world, but damn, she might be one of the sexiest.

  18. CT Wahoo
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Commenting on a pleasant departure with the books, I thought the scene between Margaery and Renly was very interesting. It’s not just that she knows her husband is intimate with her brother, it’s also that she comes off as knowing it gives her power. I thought that exchange was one of the highlights of a very strong episode.

    Plus, Natalie Dormer is simply gorgeous. What a great addition to the cast.

  19. The Greatjon
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Man these episodes just fly by, I’ve never watched an hour show that felt so quick before lol.

    Either way, it was absolutely brilliant, loved everything about it.

  20. Michael J. Barone
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Relentlessly good. IMO.

    The Tyrion/Small Councilmen montage is exhibit A for why Game of Thrones should be adapted. Pure genius and YES, a drastic improvement over the prose.

    So yes, they’re changing things from page to screen. The Gold Cloaks vs Arya sequence from the books was hacked to pieces it seems, accelerated to the point of capture. But you know what, it worked fantastically. Yoren makes us love him all the more, kicks some serious ass, and then dies a heroes death. And yet Arya still gets the climactic actions. Sooo well done.

    And oh yeah, Brienne is awesome. A helluva introduction.

  21. Carne
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Favorite episode of season 2 so far.

  22. Kornelia
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    When theon was burning that letter to robb, i just wanted to cry. That one moment changed your whole life, theon! i felt so sorry for him. Especially if u know what happens to him in the later books, ugh. He’s like the awkward kid in high school that can’t fit in with either group.

    Brienne looked amaaaazing. Her acting was amazing too. I can’t wait for her scenes with Jamie!

    Bran and his wolf dreams!!! YES! i want more!

  23. Mike Chair
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    That was great. A couple of fist pumps. A couple of laughs. That last scene was riveting.

    I agree with Winter on the Shae/Sansa scene, except I’d say, “What’s up with Sansa.” This is my only complaint. I kept waiting for something that didn’t come. I was waiting for Shae to “get it” — to figure out what’s up with Sansa. Maybe that’s coming.

    As for Winter’s comment on Yoren, to wit:

    Winter: although I still can’t decide whether him being the genesis of her eventual “death prayer” is cool or kinda cheesy

    If she went right to sleep after and started her prayer then, it would have been kind of cheesy. If she does it in the next episode it’ll be really awesome. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait for it.

  24. OldRod
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Dee:
    I hope they still bring Raff and the Tickler and OF COURSE the Mountain into Arya’s storyline, it would be a shame if they cut them out. ESPECIALLY the Mountain!

    From the previews, I’m guessing we’ll see at least the Tickler next week.

    Awesome episode, except for the Shae/Sansa scene… that felt a little forced. But the rest of the episode made up for it :)

  25. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow, the scene with Balon B!#$#-slapping Theon was awesome. I’m amazed at the quality of the acting in this episode, from everybody really. I’d have to agree about Shae though, why are they making her so antaganistic? You’d think they would make her more likable so, ahem, future events might be a little more shocking.

    I was really impressed with Donald Sumpter this episode, could not picture anyone else being Maester Luwin now. And I really enjoyed Arya and Yorens heart to heart, and also his last stand, way to go out with a bang dude!

    I don’t think I was ever really sold with Alfie Allen, but needless to say, I am now.

    Brienne is precisely how I pictured her, looks, demeanor, everything. Gwen has nailed it so far, can’t wait for some Braime!

    Edit: oh yes and of course Tyrion, Peter needs another Emmy!

  26. Darren Mason
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I liked everything in this show! Except for everything involving Shae, she’s terrible. They have written her into to this completely unlikable and self entitled bitch.

  27. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    David,

    Theon wasn’t drowned in the book either.

    Fantastic episode. Even by the standard that GoT has set. Just wow. Theon and 123 especially. Loved the letter burning. And seems like a smart way to compress the Arya storyline.

  28. garik16
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Why did they change Pycelle’s part with Tyrion from a sealed letter (so Varys couldn’t overhear) to Tyrion saying it out loud? Are TV Audiences supposed to be that dumb?

  29. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Almost forgot to mention…

    I really wanted to see Pycelle spraying all over the room, as in the books. Still, that scene came off very well. The adding of the second coin for the whore. Oh, yes, Tyrion is and will remain my all-time favorite character in any book and now TV show. Peter Dinklage is god.

  30. Andrew
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely loved the scene with Yoren, no matter how sad it made me. I really loved the fact that he became the inspiration for Arya’s prayers, as well. In the books, it was just kinda something she ended up doing, but now it really cements in a way how much she looked up to and admired Yoren for doing his best to save her. The bit with Lommy and the helm also saved a lot of time on the Arya storyline, so I think it was a very wise move on D&Ds part.

    I also thought the way they shot Tyrions marriage plan scene was great as well. When Pycelle switched to Vary’s, the guy I was watching it with actually jumped. The scene with Cersei and Tyrion was also great, and is doing a lot to make people not just completely hate Cersei and everything she does. It was deffinitely hard to sympathize with her at that point in the books, because she wasn’t a POV character.

    Overall, loved the episode! My favourite of the three this season so far.

  31. CT Wahoo
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    My other favorite exchange was between Theon and Balon. Dalahide came across very convincing that Theon’s comment about giving him away really stung him. I think they’re doing a great job giving depth to the Greyjoys so far.

  32. Brandon Stark
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    garik16,

    Um, because TV audiences want dialogue, not to read letters on screen. That’s a pretty trivial change to complain about.

  33. Giselle Glasgow
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    This was my absolute favorite episode so far!!! and i actually enjoyed the Sansa-shae scene. I actually was curious of how they would’ve related from reading the book. Loved loved Brienne, of any thing and anyone I’ve seen so far in the show she surpassed all my expectations…
    the Tyrells were refreshing as well, Margery is going to be one of those characters like Robb where we get to go inside their heads, an experience we didn’t get in the books.

    Btw How good was the Theon Bitch slap!!! cant be Game of thrones without a bitch slap…lol….

  34. Andrew
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    garik16,

    And how would you go about telling the TV audience what’s in a sealed letter? Have Tyrion say it outloud to himself? That comes off really cheesy and forced. Show him writing the letter? Hard to read that fast, and caligraphy is harder to read still. It would have either looked out of place, or the shot would have to be so long to ensure everyone could read through it that it would have broken the pacing completely.

  35. Mike Chair
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason: I liked everything in this show! Except for everything involving Shae, she’s terrible. They have written her into to this completely unlikable and self entitled bitch.

    I’m trying to be optimistic about Shae. They’ve put her in an interesting position of possibly being integral in the development of Sansa’s character and story line. This was only the third episode. I’m reserving judgment.

  36. Deborah
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I persoanly hate the casting of Margery but I can’t help but look forward to the Margery/Cercei scenes. That should be fun. Breanne was dead-on and the Tyrion scams he scamers was fun too. Man, can’t handle the Margery casting. Not buying Asha/Yara either.

  37. Jon Connington
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    so i watched 12 an 13 back to back for the first time. WTF is yara? why did they change her name??? They hold fast fight with amory was a lot less dramatic then the book made it out to be. I thought jaqen had a hood on in the cage? maybe it was just my head but i thought he did.

    rest was either great or stunning. or i just dont remember and therefore not worth complaining about.

  38. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t think I was ever really sold with Alfie Allen, but needless to say, I am now.”

    I never bought into the Theon hate as a book fan; he was always the one who was misunderstood, who never really had a choice, I thought.

    I’m liking Alfie Allen’s Theon even more.

    The episode just BLAZED through chapters tonight — might have moved too fast in King’s Landing. We’ll see.

  39. Darren Mason
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:

    Lommy took an arrow to the knee and then a Needle to the throat.Bye, Lommy.Was that the Tickler?

    He used to be an adventurer like you, but then he took an arrow to the knee…

    :D

  40. Kornelia
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    When Cersei was saying all that stuff to Sansa at dinner, oh maaaan, did that make me hate her. But thats how we are supposed to feel so it fit.
    Also, i loved Tommen! I can’t wait for the scene where he starts stamping and signing letters!

  41. Clob
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    and now we’ve seen Graywind, Ghost and Summer. I really wanna see Shaggydog though. That big, black sob just has to look awesome.

  42. Mike Chair
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Deborah: I persoanly hate the casting of Margery

    Oh, sorry, but you left me no choice:

    Natalie Dormer is so hot she cries lava.

  43. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    did anyone else think that making Shae sansa’s hand-maiden was a way of consolidating their storylines and thus telling both of them at once, therefore saving precious time in their scant 10 episodes? I thought it was a brilliant move

  44. corbob10
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Perfect adaptation of what was hinted at that happened to Yoren in the book. Great job D&D and Cogman.

  45. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    natalie dormer’s tits are gods gift to man kind

  46. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    corbob10:
    Perfect adaptation of what was hinted at that happened to Yoren in the book.Great job D&D and Cogman.

    agree.. the yoren parts were definitely my favorite in the episode, really satisfying to people who are yoren “fans”

    also… poor lommy!

  47. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair: I’m trying to be optimistic about Shae.They’ve put her in an interestingposition of possibly being integral in the development of Sansa’s character and story line.This was only the third episode.I’m reserving judgment.

    Agreed. I think that was a nice bit of re-jigging for Shae and Sansa. And it certainly DID show that Shae is no hand-maiden. It also reinforced in us the class-system and the spoiled little princess that Sansa is.

    The Sansa hate is only going to grow at this rate though. Oh well. She may get her moment, but it will be many years off (if ever).

  48. Nate
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Sophie Turner and Alfie Allen both had their strongest performances of the series so far, IMO. Sophie without even hardly saying a word… incredible. (I’m speaking primarily of the scene up to the point where Shae enters.)

    Introduction of both Brienne and Margary was also a treat, looking for more great scenes from both of them.

    Dinklage, as always, was also solid gold.

    Not quite sold on Yara yet, though Balon is spot on.

    Yoren easily has the line of the night with the bit about crossbows. What an exit! Bravo.

  49. Brandon Stark
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: Agreed. I think that was a nice bit of re-jigging for Shae and Sansa. And it certainly DID show that Shae is no hand-maiden. It also reinforced in us the class-system and the spoiled little princess that Sansa is.

    The Sansa hate is only going to grow at this rate though. Oh well. She may get her moment, but it will be many years off (if ever).

    See, I think Sansa–even when being snotty to Shae–was completely sympathetic. Sophie Turner did a great job of conveying the fact she was taking out her pain over her situation on Shae. And at the end with her hair? She was still just a little girl crushed under the weight of everything. Spot on.

  50. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    also the scene with arya and yoren talking, with arya talking about coping with what she’s seen was just brilliant. i was literally thinking to myself, “I can’t believe maisie williams had no acting experience before game of thrones”. just so fucking impressive

  51. Deborah
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Oh, sorry, but you left me no choice:

    Natalie Dormer is so hot she cries lava.

    LOL it is ok. Still not happy with the casting. I can’t help but see her as she was on the Tudors. Yes I realise that the issue here is mine and I need to get over it. Sets up a different kind of character though. I wonder if they will still bring in the old lady (the queen of thorns? I forget what she was called). Margaery may not need the backing of her family if she is a badass all on her own. I think Shae is pretty much as I remember in the books. I remember thinking Tyrion should just dump her but he sees his wife in her so he can’t bring himself to do it. Thats just IMO though.

  52. Mrs Wun
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Dee,

    I heard they did cast the Tickler and recast the Mountain. Did you see the teaser for next week? Looks like for the show it was the Tickler who killed Lommy and we’ll have to watch him in action next week. Creeeeeeepy.

  53. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who noticed that Aimee Richardson and Callum Wharry are actually getting more lines now, and that they are both doing fine in their parts as Myrcella and Tommen? I remember all the worry during and after the first season that they couldn’t act or might need to be recast later. They seem just fine to me!

  54. Chrissy
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Great season so far! I find comments on this site and the fan group page on FB to have to most insightful. It is very irritating to have readers of the series whine about every detail.

  55. Maxwell James
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ll just say that I’m very happy they kept Luwin’s story about the meaning of a certain link in his chain. A wonderfully acted and scripted scene, in an episode that was just full of them.

  56. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason: He used to be an adventurer like you, but then he took an arrow to the knee…

    :D

    Yeah, I messed up my line there. I meant to follow my statement about Yoren’s crossbow line becoming the new meme and then transition into a joke about Lommy taking an arrow to the knee, but I left out, “Lommy was going to be a member of the Night’s Watch” before the bit about him taking an arrow to the knee.

  57. JonHo
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Sophie Turner is flawless

  58. Carne
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Noticed this as well. They’ve mostly been featured extras.

  59. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    Am I the only one who noticed that Aimee Richardson and Callum Wharry are actually getting more lines now, and that they are both doing fine in their parts as Myrcella and Tommen?I remember all the worry during and after the first season that they couldn’t act or might need to be recast later.They seem just fine to me!

    no i noticed that too. when cersei asked tommen if he liked the thought of robb being killed, and he said “No… I dont think I do.” i just kind of smiled, he’s not as overtly sweet and gentle like he is in the book, it’s almost comical how passive he is, but i think they are toning it down in the show and making tommen just Joff’s younger brother who is the complete and utter opposite of joffrey

  60. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    So was that the Tickler who killed Lommy? I keep staring at the cast pic of Antony Morris and imagining him with really short hair and it seems to be a match. So we met the Tickler tonight without a proper introduction by name?

  61. spacepope
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Langkard: Yeah, I messed up my line there. I meant to follow my statement about Yoren’s crossbow line becoming the new meme and then transition into a joke about Lommy taking an arrow to the knee, but I left out, “Lommy was going to be a member of the Night’s Watch” before the bit about him taking an arrow to the knee.

    i predict arrow to the knee jokes with Lommy are going to be the rage of twitter for the next 24 hours

  62. Puri
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    OMG WHAT AN EPISODE! From our intro to Brienne to Sansa’s heartache as a hostage to Tyrion’s machinations, and my favorite….Yoren’s Bruce Lee moment, surrounded by enemies, slashing his way through. Man, I’m going to miss Yoren. Loved how Arya saved Gendry too…smart way to do that! Now Gendry owes her big time, and was that Polliver that grabbed Needle?

  63. Carne
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Wun,

    Tickler has been cast, yes, but I don’ think that was him.

    Tickler: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110906133440/gameofthrones/images/1/15/Anthony_Morris.jpg

  64. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    So was that the Tickler who killed Lommy?I keep staring at the cast pic of Antony Morris and imagining him with really short hair and it seems to be a match.So we met the Tickler tonight without a proper introduction by name?

    It was Polliver.

  65. Derpstradamus
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not even going to pretend like naked Natalie Dormer wasn’t the highlight of the episode for me.

  66. Rukie44
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else noticed how tall Sophie Turner is/has become when she was standing next to Shae? Either Shae is somewhat small (for Tyrion’s convinience) or Sansa’s had a growth spurt.

    The scene where Theon made his decision had some interesting composition. I commend whoever’s idea it was to light him and only him, leaving the rest of the screen totally black. It helped to put the focus on Theon, and his decisive moment.

  67. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Edit: Nevermind! They did cast Polliver. Thanks, WiC! I just hadn’t seen his picture.

  68. Puri
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    spacepope:
    Clob,

    natalie dormer’s tits are gods gift to man kind

    My husband said “ALL TITS are God’s gift to mankind. Don’t limit yourself”

  69. Chris
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I think Yoren as the source of Arya’s nightly prayers was an acceptable deviation. Keep in mind that without something like that, the whole thing is totally internal. It would be a little strange to have the recitation list suddenly pop up out of nowhere night after night, and who could they have her explain it to? Better this than to have the whole idea dropped. It’s too central to her character for that.
    I was delighted to see the scene with Maester Luwin showing off his Valyrian steel link. That was straight from the books and something I could easily see being dropped. It added priceless depth and context when it comes to “magic.”
    And Pycelle, you dear old sleazeball you! One of my favorite scenes from the book, although I would have loved to see him get a more complete axe shave. And Tyrion gives the hooker a little extra something… fantastic.
    Brienne! Oh the angst! Any regular reader of George RR Martin’s writings should recognize her as totally his creation. Tyrion, Dirk t’Larien, The Turtle, powerful characters and tragic, full of strength and hopeless longing. She nailed it.
    Glad to see Margary is such a canny little vixen. She is such a distant, mostly offstage, character in the books that she could just as easily have been a naive vapid ingenue shuffled around by her family and unaware of her brother’s… umm… specialness. Obviously she’s well versed in the game of thrones herself. And in a show with lots of pretty men, she finally doubled the still-scant number of attractive women.

  70. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh, nice screen cap of Theon’s note to Robb on the Tumblr, WiC! Thanks for that.

  71. Dennis
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Awesome awesome episode. The first 2 episodes of this season were good but not great. This is one of the best episodes thus far and can easily stand p to some of the S1 episodes. Great writing, editing…epic dialogues , drama and introducing new and very convincing characters. Loved it. I was a bit giddy watching most of this episode.!
    Joren..you will be missed. Sansa looked stunning and Sophie indeed does a great job showing the deep emotions she s battling with…same goes for Theon. Tyrion truly is a badass mofo..liked the one on one scene w Varys after Pycelles imprisonment. Brienne..nuff said by the others. I do think the first scene w John and Mormont is overlooked..i believe it was short but incredibly powerful. Even though this episode was awesome..I am hoping it won’t be the brightest star this season.

    And the wait for next week starts all over again…

  72. Bean
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    first great episode of the season.

  73. Steve
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Theon had the best acting of the entire series so far in this episode. His facial expressions after being “drowned” by Aeron said so much.

    I hated all of the Greyjoy storylines in the books except for Theon’s, but they are probably the best storylines in the tv show so far.

  74. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Excellent episode. Easily the best so far. My favorite moment had to be Theon’s coronation. The music during that sequence was excellent.

  75. LordStarkington
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely fantastic episode. I wish Yoren’s death/that battle had gotten a bit more screentime since he’ s a favorite of mine.

    My only real regret is how fast these episodes seem to go by. I needs me some more Game of Thrones.

  76. Clob
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    8 more minutes until my second watch of the episode! :) In the week between episodes for the series I probably average about six or seven watches; three or four times for HBO channel airs, two or three times On Demand and at least one HBO GO. This one will be above average I think.

  77. HumMis1349
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:

    Lommy took an arrow to the knee and then a Needle to the throat.Bye, Lommy.Was that the Tickler?

    I think it’s either Raff or Polliver. In the books, it was Raff that killed Lommy and Polliver that stole Needle. I predicted that they would combine them for the series , and appearance-wise, I’d say this composite character is most like Polliver. EDIT: Nevermind, I guess I was right.

    Also, I agree about Shae being too bitchy. I sure hope she comes around or else her betrayal of Tyrion will be of little shock to viewers.

  78. Trappingsofpower
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    The acting in that episode was ridiculous. These people have taken it to another level.

  79. Puri
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Trappingsofpower:
    The acting in that episode was ridiculous. These people have taken it to another level.

    Agreed! Every scene was a masterpiece of writing, acting, filming, and every other aspect. I agree with somebody else that I wish the fight scene with Yoren had gone a little longer, but it made the point and was pretty awesome. I’ve got to go watch it again now!

  80. T
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Loras looks SO much better this season

  81. Mark
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    “Do you want my brother to come in and help? He could get you started, I know he wouldn’t mind…Or I could turn over and you could pretend I’m him.”

    Dear lord I couldn’t stop laughing…….nearly as good as Jaime’s line in SOS: “I’ll stick this sword in places even Renly couldn’t find”

  82. garik16
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Guys, Tyrion says out loud what’s in the sealed letter in the Cersei scene in the book (well Cersei says Myrcella to Dorne, but it’s obvious thats whats in the letter). You wouldn’t have had difficulty putting it in there.

  83. Dennis
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Without giving too much away but can someone tell me if Arya and Brienne will cross paths? They seem like they would be an interesting pair with some room for common ground.

    And I agree..acting was excellent in this episode. The one I’m still not sold on is Carice as Mel so assuming she s in the next episode she all step up her game. With the amount of talent on this show every actor has to bring their A game every time they re on!

  84. Zack
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Okay, this was hands down my favorite episode of the series to date. Not a thing happened here that I didn’t find completely brilliant. Except, I guess, Cersei’s weird acting at the “NO!” moment with Tyrion.

    But god, I was always convinced Margaery would be well played by Natalie Dormer, and she kind of blew me away. I might be in love. Heh. Directly asking if Renly needs to see Loras, that whole speech of hers, just…I can’t wait for more scenes with her.

    I also thought Yoren and Arya had maybe the best scene of the episode. His monologue was fascinating, and I loved his exit, heartbreaking as it was. What a badass final scene. I am going to miss Yoren. Sincerest of thanks to his actor, who didn’t have enough scenes over the series, as far as I am concerned.

    Watching Tyrion’s machinations unfold was more entertaining than I could have hoped.

    And Gemma Whelan, I am finding nearly as alluring as Margaery, which is weird, since Asha wasn’t supposed to be that kind of girl. lol. The Iron Islands scenes were so GOOD. I loved the layout there, the way each scene went into the next. Theon burning that letter was a nice touch.

    Jon/Craster/Mormont, in new scenes that I had been apprehensive about at the close of the previous episode, worked pretty well. I could buy that Mormont would appeal to Jon to see the “big picture,” in excusing Craster’s vileness. I’m also loving the Sam and Gilly moments.

    I don’t know. There is a lot of wonderful material to talk about this week. Others will have their favorite bits too. I will probably watch it another time or two tonight. Well done guys.

  85. Mark
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    “I close my eyes and I can still see her tits bouncing….”

  86. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh that happy family dinner at Cersei´s castle … that poor little dove indeed.
    “ I don’t really get why Tyrion is risking everything by having her around “. Neither do I Wic… except, Tyrion´s guilt and all that? for Tysha I mean. And please someone just remove that rag she use as a dress. It’s hideous. I don´t know if it´s what D&D did with her character or if it´s just the actress. I don´t like her.
    I´m amazed by certain expressions in Peter Dinklage eyes. Like when he says to the woman: “for your trouble” and then he looks again at old Pycelle and gives her another coin.
    Never get tired of saying: Conleth Hill is such a genius.
    Yoren and Arya dialogue was great (the birth of Arya´s list I guess). Slow, good pace. I like that they take time with secondary characters like Yoren before killing them O.o. It sounds sadistic, I know but is good. The battle with the Lannister soldiers seemed a bit messed up (except Yoren´s death) but I hardly remember how it was in the books.
    Virtually motionless Summer looks great.
    You tell them Bran! I hate when old people don´t believe in children. He wargs old man! Listen to him!
    I really liked Catlyn´s final look when Brienne says “I’m no lady”. M.F. is a great actress, you could read in her face that she remembered Arya in that moment.
    Brienne I don´t like that much (give me time Masha) but she is all I expected to be. The same goes with Margaery. She´s a well-trained queen. Another obedient woman :(
    Theon was too noisy? I don´t know. I really like Malahide.

  87. OldGods
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    I loved the gay scene and the talk that followed! Yoren’ death was so glorious! I’m glad they chose to give him such a good death. And the baptism was fantastic too!

    They’re doing a great job with the TV series and I like that that they are adding and changing things (even if I don’t always agree with what they change or add) because I don’t need the same exact story twice. It’s nice not being sure who’s going to live or die even though I read the books.

    I loved this episode and I love this season.

    Also, Yara looked like a mix of worry and anger that Theon will take her place as heir and favorite child after being gone so long. Same character, different personality. Though, I prefer Asha from the books’ personality.

  88. KG
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Heh all my brother kept saying while Brienne was onscreen was, “Jesus Christ, look at her.”

  89. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    My only real complaint about this season is that I feel like Cersei is becoming more immature than Sansa — every time I see old Cerse on the show, it’s like Lena’s playing a perpetually-PMSing fourteen-year-old trapped in a grown woman’s body. Or maybe she is and I’m just too dumb to see the genius of it.

    I don’t see it bothering anyone else, so the second is probably the case.

    Anyway, yeah. Can’t think of anything else I’m hating. Pacing’s still a bit weird to me but nothing annoying — more concerned about the mainstreamers getting bored with the lack of Dany etc. which doesn’t seem to be happening.

  90. Ed
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahaa!! Gwen was awesome as Brien. DAMN we are SO lucky!!

    KG:
    Heh all my brother kept saying while Brienne was onscreen was, “Jesus Christ, look at her.”

  91. Zack
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark: See, I think Sansa–even when being snotty to Shae–was completely sympathetic. Sophie Turner did a great job of conveying the fact she was taking out her pain over her situation on Shae. And at the end with her hair? She was still just a little girl crushed under the weight of everything. Spot on.

    God, yes. This. For once Sansa’s snottiness evoked nothing but sympathy from me. Well done Sophie, for both scenes.

  92. Andy Gavin
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Best episode of the season yet. Hard choices for all the characters. While the plot is great, it’s the strength of the human dynamics that really make this show so fun. My full episode review here.

  93. DH87
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Cogman, if you or your many paid minions are still perusing the site, may I congratulate you on a very well-crafted episode that moved from strength to strength. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we saw the fewest POV characters in quite a number of episodes, and the whole benefited significantly from this focus. Bravo.

    Ms. Dormer plays a sly, worldly, scheming minx who bears little resemblance to any royally bred girl of 16, 18, or 20. There’s a lot to be said for that. She looks like she stepped directly from the “Tudors” set into the Stormlands, but that’s fine with me.

    Maisie is a revelation. She is a natural actress—every line sounds believable, fresh, and age-appropriate for someone forced to be wise beyond her years. Brianne? Home run of this season, up until now—she reminds me of a brawny Tilda Swinton.

    Terrific just about all the way around.

  94. KingInTheNorth
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Still one more hour to go before the episode airs…I cant fuckin wait. The Arya/Yoren part sounds badass and I can’t wait to see more of Theon’s scenes. Things are really heatin up.

    And a Natalie Dormer sex scene? The hotness will make my tv explode.

    Mike Chair: Oh, sorry, but you left me no choice:

    Natalie Dormer is so hot she cries lava.

    My friend told me that he thought Natalie Dormer was ugly. I told him that Renly must be more his taste, if u get my meaning

  95. Ed
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Rukie44:
    Did anyone else noticed how tall Sophie Turner is/has become when she was standing next to Shae? Either Shae is somewhat small (for Tyrion’s convinience) or Sansa’s had a growth spurt.

    The scene where Theon made his decision had some interesting composition. I commend whoever’s idea it was to light him and only him, leaving the rest of the screen totally black. It helped to put the focus on Theon, and his decisive moment.

    AMEN!!! That was awesome cinematography! Those scenes w Theon and Balon were freakin’ amazing. Both simply knocked it straight out of the park! I said it before and I’ll say it again: DAMN we are so lucky!

  96. Langkard
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    KingInTheNorth:

    My friend told me that he thought Natalie Dormer was ugly. I told him that Renly must be more his taste, if u get my meaning

    We can make that a standard response to the “Natalie Dormer” isn’t hot posts. Just ask them if they’d prefer to have Loras get them started?

  97. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    where´s Rickon?

  98. Pixie Me
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was the best episode yet. Gwendolyn was fabulous- she was how I pictured Brienne (maybe a touch prettier, not important to me). The way she towered over Cat…

    The scene with Renly/Loras/Margaery was also brilliant. I love seeing Margaery as a legimate player in the game.

    Theon’s scene broke my heart, just a little.

    Sansa was brilliant, and I don’t think she was being bratty- she was being the bird she’s supposed to be. She is not a guest, she’s a prisoner, and suddenly she gets this “handmaiden” who doesn’t even know what a handmaiden does. Maybe because I absolutely dislike show!Shae.

    Arya’s scenes were great too. A part of me is glad they are glancing over parts of voyage to Harrenhal- the little girl that didn’t speak, the 3 year old boy Gregor kills, etc etc.

    And nothing needs to be said about Tyrion- he was brilliant as usual.

  99. Michelle Peeples
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    The Greyjoy scenes were excellent; Tyrion stood out as always; Shae annoyed me more than usual (I enjoy book Shae and liked the character last season but found her very tiresome this episode); Brienne took my breath away just amazing; enjoyed both Tyrells and loved Margaery’s “suggestions to Renly.” I also thought Caitlin stood out and held her own; and Yoren, oh my, so great and his talk with Arya and his subsequent death was great. I’m looking forward to more Jaqen screen time.

    The awkwardness in some of the scenes in this episode were largely (at least to me) due to the fact that a lot of what is internal dialogue or external observations in the book had to be made verbal in an effort to connect the various threads. And for me, a day without Davos is a day without sunshine for me.

    Minor quibbles aside, it was an enjoyable episode.

  100. David the Grey
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow, loved the episode!
    While I felt all of it was excellent, the three things that struck me as particularly awesome were:
    — Theon finally standing up to his father for giving him away to the Starks – the pain in his voice nearly brought me to tears.
    — Yoren’s exit – I have been loving Yoren’s character. Kudos to the actor who has made him reallly stand out (in a strong cast) for me.
    — Brienne of Tarth! Cannot wait to see more of her journey. She was perfect!

    I liked it all – from Maester Luwin & Bran (and another wolf dream, and isn’t Summer beautiful?!?) to Cersei’s anger and anguish as Tyrion’s plans for Myrcella (serves you right, Cersei!!!) to Sam’s token to Gilly.

    I do not like TV-Yara as much as I liked book-Asha. I think the actress has got “ironborn” down to a T and I believe her as a Greyjoy, but I think in the book she was just a bit more likeable. So I’m not saying I didn’t like the performance or how they are writing her, just that the character is not very likeable (yet).

    As always can’t wait for a second viewing to see what else I may have missed. I am again so thankful for everyone involved in this TV show for bringing the books to life in such a high-quality and realistic way.

  101. Aoife
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Dennis:
    Without giving too much away but can someone tell me if Arya and Brienne will cross paths? They seem like they would be an interesting pair with some room for common ground.

    Nope, Arya and Brienne haven’t met in the books so far, but there are some interesting parallels between them even though they don’t meet. You could get all meta-y about it, even.

  102. TC
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Lommy = Gendry lie since obviously all of Robert’s bastards had dark hair and Lommy was blond. I agree that the Shae scene with Sansa was bad, and that Shae is way too whiny and bitchy. Shae did have some moments like that when Tyrion offered to take her into the castle working in the kitchen, but those moments were the exception in the books, and have been the majority of her screen time in the show. I had a double dislike for the Sansa/Shae scene because they made Sansa come across as a bitch too, when they really need to keep her more sympathetic since we don’t get her internal thoughts. A long scene that didn’t really give any useful information to the story considering how much is cut from other places.

    I also agree that Yara has not lived up to expectations so far, but it is early. The death of Yoren was heroic, but a bit suicidal considering it didn’t even buy any of them even temporary freedom, and Yoren was fighting 1 vs all without the benefit of fortifications. Too bad they didn’t have the budget and screen time to show all of them fighting defending the walls as in the book.

    The rest of the changes didn’t bother me, though we shall see in future episodes how Littlefinger convincing Catlyn to release Jamie works. I suppose spies could have informed Tyrion that Catelyn was visiting Renly, but even then the information would not arrive in King’s Landing instantly. Even if Littlefinger left the day he was asked by Tyrion, how long would the trip take and is it realistic to believe Catelyn would be around by the time he arrived? How it is handled in future episodes will have a big effect on what I think of this change in this episode once the season is over.

  103. JWestfall
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this episode is so full of win! A couple things really stood out:

    Varys, as always, is pure joy to listen to. The actor has found the perfect balance between creepy and likeable-ness, and his sing-song delivery of the riddle and power speech is just pure sugar.

    Arya & Yorens talk was amazing for a couple reasons. First, I still find myself astounded at Maise’s acting, emotional stuff there. Also, I couldn’t stop grinning when I realized Yoren was planting the mantra seed. I liked that change, it will give non-bookers something to connect with later.

    Theon had three great scenes here. That shot of him burning the letter had proper impact, and his face during the baptism was likewise powerful. Alfie really impressed me this episode, can’t wait to see more of him.

    All in all, a really well written and directed episode IMO.

  104. andrea
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Pixie Me: She is not a guest, she’s a prisoner, and suddenly she gets this “handmaiden” who doesn’t even know what a handmaiden does.

    I didn´t like that scene at all but had not thought about this. It´s a good way to see it.

  105. Zack
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    Am I the only one who noticed that Aimee Richardson and Callum Wharry are actually getting more lines now, and that they are both doing fine in their parts as Myrcella and Tommen?I remember all the worry during and after the first season that they couldn’t act or might need to be recast later.They seem just fine to me!

    Absolutely, except I was never one who worried about them at all. I love to see these kids featured, to just illustrate that goodness or badness is often just innate to a person, despite the environment in which they are raised. The roles so far are not so important to the story, but it is key to remind the viewer of that contrast between the king and his siblings. Tommen and Myrcella are both being done complete justice here.

    Though…it is going to be slightly unsettling if a certain marriage happens as it does in the books, with the actors being cast as they were. The age difference is gonna make that super weird. Not that I am complaining about the actress they cast. No sir.

  106. Josh
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Another terrific episode. As always love any time Tyrion and Cersei are in a scene together. It’s never anything less then magic.

    Sophie was terrific. I don’t see how anyone could hate her more after that scene unless they’re 1) Just taking things at face value 2) Already an avid Sansa hater. It’s so obvious why she’s a brat too Shae. If you couldn’t tell just how fragile and alone she was, thanks to Sophie’s magnificent work, then you have no hope of ever liking Sansa haha. First Shae was hardly endearing(is she ever :-p), second Sansa is mistreated constantly. She’s alone and scared. Lashing out at Shae is the only bit of power and control she has anymore.

    As loved the Theon scene and the addition where he called his father out on giving him away. That, like the Cersei/Robert scene, was a great addition that felt so natural and really added depth to all characters involved.

  107. Mimsy
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Theon and Balon.. damn! Big ‘ol OOOHHHH on the bitch slap. Ouch! Theon burning the letter.. JERK! *waves fist at screen* These bloody pirates can’t rule the land! UGH!

    Yara.. damn I love her voice and skeery delivery. I feel like she can totally kick my ass. ha ha!

    BRIENNE.. perfect casting. She’s beautiful! (Even in the books, she was always precious for me.) Brienne’s scenes with Jaime are going to rock my world. I loved how she towered over everyone. Holy cow, when she picked up Loras like a ragdoll.. wow!

    Shae was always a bratty pain in the butt in the books.. even when she was playing up Tyrion. I can’t stand her! I’m glad Sansa gave her a catty beatdown.

    ARYA.. way to protect your man… errr.. Gendry. ;) I loved Yoren’s prayer story and what it will mean to Arya and the tv watcher. Niiice! Loved all of the Arya stuff.

    Oh, Lommy! *tears* Poor little guy.

    GREAT EPISODE!

  108. DH87
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    andrea: I didn´t like that scene at all but had not thought about this.It´s a good way to see it.

    Sansa has to prevaricate, to accept, to be passive to the point of exhibiting “learned helplessness”—it’s not surprising that she lashes out at the only person beneath her in this household from hell over the miniscule tasks she’s allowed to direct.

  109. Skid Marx
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I wish these episodes were each two hours long. They are flying through this. “Those men out there want to f@#*k your corpses! ” Instant classic!

  110. Robert Burns
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    How does everyone feel about Arya going straight to Harrenhal? I hope they don’t cut all the traveling scenes because I think they really give this sense that Arya’s leave in the wind so to speak and she’s trying to get back with her mother but gets waylaid every time. However I kinda like the way they did it,of course Lommy just became another dead body sort of inconsequential to the plot, but I understand why they did it.

    I kinda wish there were more than ten episodes because there is so much going on the books and they barely spend any time on anything. I kinda wish they would split the book into two seasons,but I know they won’t do that,at least it’s better than having three movies and they barely touch on anything.

    Good episode,wish there was more.

  111. Michelle
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Loved it. The only thing that marred it for me was Shae. I just hate her. So much. I really can’t understand why Tyrion keeps her around.

    Alfie Allen is making me feel so much more sympathy for Theon at this point in his story then I did in ACoK. Knowing what happens to him is probably a factor too, though. That scene with him and Balon about giving him away was fantastic.

    Loved the more worldly Margaery too. She’s one of my favorite characters in the book. I always thought her innocent act was just that, an act. I mean with a grandmother like the Queen of Thorns you’d have to have some knowledge of how to play the game, right? I hope they don’t cut out the old bat. I love her.

    And of course, my favorite part was the introduction of Brienne. Gwen was PERFECT. That’s exactly how I pictured Brienne in my head. I’m glad they included that exchange between Renly and Loras about Brienne too. It’s something that Loras says to Jaime in ASoS, nice to see the idea introduced here.

    Overall, fantastic episode! Is it next Sunday yet?

  112. Aoife
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: Agreed. I think that was a nice bit of re-jigging for Shae and Sansa. And it certainly DID show that Shae is no hand-maiden. It also reinforced in us the class-system and the spoiled little princess that Sansa is.

    The Sansa hate is only going to grow at this rate though. Oh well. She may get her moment, but it will be many years off (if ever).

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? That dinner scene made me totally feel for Sansa. The fact that Sophie’s expression conveyed a quiet horror at the prospect of marrying Joff just ramped it up for me.

    And I didn’t totally see the Sansa/Shae scene as “OMG, she’s sooooo spoiled!” but a young girl/woman that is getting ready to crack from being thrown in a pressure-cooker with little support.

    I can’t remember Sophie’s exact quote (or what interview she said it in), but someone HATING Sansa after everything she’s been through (and will be going through) is sorta unfeeling towards imaginary characters, at least. LOL

  113. Mimsy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I knew Ms. Margaery would bring it! She played her part in bringing the EEEWWW to GOT. Job well done?? *shivers* The faces Renly was pulling when Margaery was trying to get some sexy time were AW-kward. lol

  114. Khal Zhen
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Excellent episode. They condensed some things, added a few others, but it is clear that the narrative is flowing well.

    Shae/Sansa was the only uncertainty, but I’m banking on that scene setting up an important link in the story. Every scene from the book can not be on screen, especially when others must be added. I’m guessing having Shae in the Red Keep will give us some important insights or plot points.

    Lastly, anyone notice spears have only been used to ambush or back stab? Bring on the Dornish so we can see how it is done right!

  115. Skid Marx
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Yeah exactly. Each chapter lingered lovingly from each character’s perspective, and we got a chance to become acclamated with each world. I understand the need for exposition, etc…, but this show is leaving out a HUGE amount of the best material. Of course, if I had it my way,, they would just treat GRRM’s chapters as they find them…. Each is very cinematically written…. Just stop oversimplifying everything!

  116. Becky Wilson
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be a devil’s advocate.

    The Sansa/Shae scene, I actually got a lot out of. Sansa lashed out at someone safe, and is so very lonely. Shae isn’t happy to be a servant. I’m -wondering- if they’ll go sympathetic Shae or utterly maniuplative Shae. I’m going to be really intrigued with that dynamic.

    Sophie Turner is making me love Sansa. Grrr! I hate Sansa! But man… such strength she doesn’t even know she has.

  117. DD
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I think we’ll see Roose Bolton in the next episode!!!

  118. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t know who’s decision it was, but WHY on earth was Yoren fighting alone and then AFTER he was dead, everyone else ran out and committed suicide?

    That just doesn’t make any sense at all.

  119. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Khal Zhen: Shae/Sansa was the only uncertainty, but I’m banking on that scene setting up an important link in the story. Every scene from the book can not be on screen, especially when others must be added. I’m guessing having Shae in the Red Keep will give us some important insights or plot points.

    In this show, whore = bore.

  120. Mitch
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Brienne looked like she could EAT Catelyn at the end of that scene.

  121. Mimsy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Robert Burns: How does everyone feel about Arya going straight to Harrenhal? I hope they don’t cut all the traveling scenes because I think they really give this sense that Arya’s leave in the wind so to speak and she’s trying to get back with her mother but gets waylaid every time.

    I don’t mind it at all. A lot of her story (and Jaqen’s bit) takes place in Harrenhal, so I’m looking forward to more screen time there.

  122. Michelle
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Robert Burns,

    Arya going straight to Harranhal doesn’t bother me. Cuts have to be made somewhere and I personally find Arya’s endless travels kinda boring. Unpopular opinion, I know. Let’s get to the Ghost, I say. Besides, they have to get her and Gendry out of there before another dynamic duo show up!

  123. Puri
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Skid Marx:
    Yeah exactly.Each chapter lingered lovingly from each character’s perspective, and we got a chance to become acclamated with each world.I understand the need for exposition, etc…, but this show is leaving out a HUGE amount of the best material.Of course, if I had it my way,, they would just treat GRRM’s chapters as they find them…. Each is very cinematically written….Just stop oversimplifyingeverything!

    I totally agree that it’s disappointing that so many details and characters and scenes are omitted to make a 10-episode arch out of a HUGE book…but, if they just played it out exactly like in the book, it would be 100 episodes long for each season! That will never happen in an evening show, only daytime soap operas have that luxury and I think HBO is doing an excellent job of condensing the story to the most important characters and the most pertinent story lines to the whole kingdom of stories. Having just finished my 2nd reading of all the books, I appreciate the devotion everybody has to the books. But, I truly appreciate the way HBO is handling this truly epic series.

  124. purplejilly
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I finally realized who Balon Greyjoy was reminding me of. Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Next week he and Yara will teach Theon the Time Warp, the Ironborn Way.

  125. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Aoife,

    I felt and saw the spoiled princess again, sorry. I’m glad you loved it though… .Different strokes as they say… I know she lashed out at Shae due to pressure of feeling helpless… That same tone was used when she was fighting with Arya last year.. it all felt familiar to me and not nuanced or different.

    To me the dinner scene was hardly different than her other scene this year. She plays them flat to show she is basically a helpless captive and while that is okay…. it’s hardly brilliance to me. I know what she is going through from the books, but I do ot see or feel it expressed by Turner.

    I hope the strength starts to show through, but I have not seen it yet. Sansa is one of the most unsympathetic characters in the series in my opinion. I did not feel that way reading the books despite reading more indepth accounts of her betrayals and tantrums.

  126. scott glennon
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    “….and the children of the forest forgotten.” What? Excuse me, Maester Luwin? Is that a reference?
    Sam n Gilly. Not sure what to say there without being spoilery.
    Gwen as Brienne truly did not disappoint.
    Whew! Can’t wait till next week!

  127. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    I don’t know who’s decision it was, but WHY on earth was Yoren fighting alone and then AFTER he was dead, everyone else ran out and committed suicide?

    That just doesn’t make any sense at all.

    At first, they were scared to fight (and weren’t even sure if there would be a fight) but then Yoren’s death angered them and gave them the courage to attack. Most of them didn’t end up dying, just got subdued then captured.

    Sure, the scene played out differently than it did in the book, but it still made sense to me.

  128. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Margaery surprised me. I didn’t think I’d like her but she was awesome. The Greyjoys were amazing as usual and Maisie killed it. All the whores on this show are awful, Ros and Shae GTFO please.

  129. Morrigan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Great episode! Another Shae detractor here, I didn’t like that scene with Sansa and it lasted too long. But other than that it was pretty much perfect.

    I hope to see a Curtain Call post about the BAMF that is YOREN on WiC some time soon, though! Guy had balls of steel, and fights to protect the innocent downtrodden. He’s the real “true knight” of Westeros! *spits* Goodbye Yoren, you will be missed.

  130. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    I think they’re making Shae into more of a bitch for the show so people don’t completely hate Tyrion when he eventually strangles her to death in cold blood.

  131. taekwonjohn
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    David,

    I was wondering the same thing. The Ironborn are supposed to be bad-asses who drown themselves in baptism literally. Dumping a cup of saltwater over his head made them seem more like…Catholics.

  132. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    To quote Shang Tsung: FLAWLESS VICTORY!

  133. Mimsy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Shae’s scene. Was anyone else bothered by her sandals smacking against her feet and by those dang jingly jangly bracelets? I dunno, but her walk and posture didn’t impress me for a whore who thinks she’s all that. I kept thinking, if Cersei had set eyes on Shae, she would have tossed her out the nearest window.

  134. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Woot!

    + Jon finding out Mormont already knew (but does he really?)
    + Gillysam’s thimble (sappy but a useful reminder they’re all still children)
    + Theon’s daddy/identity issues
    + Tyrion’s playing the small council and his sister
    + Vaerys paddling along
    + Brienne + her armor!
    + Margaery’s beauty + grace + dynastic ambition + pragmatism
    + Bran confronted by both his wolf’s eyes and Luwin’s orthodoxy
    + Tyrion/Shae dynamic
    + Sansa quickly grasping that someone powerful is trying to protect Shae
    + Arya’s bravery and quick thinking to save both Jaqen and Gendry

    A truly excellent episode! Best so far this season IMHO, no gratuitous filler.

    My only – very minor – nitpick is the orchestral music that accompanied Theon’s baptism (for lack of a better word). The Ironborn don’t embellish anything. Silence would have spoken volumes.

  135. Solar
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Amazing episode. Easily my favorite of the season. Theon’s baptism was probably my favorite part.

    Also, Lommy used to be a dyer’s apprentice. Then he took an arrow to the knee.

  136. taekwonjohn
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I think you nailed it. Yara, Shae…bad. Brienne, Yoren…perfect! Especially Brienne. Where did they find this actress? There isn’t a better suited actress for the roll in the world! Generally, I think most of the casting is pretty damned good. I don’t like Littlefinger so much but I think it’s just because I can’t look at that guy without seeing Mayor Carcetti.

  137. space pope
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Woot!

    + Jon finding out Mormont already knew (but does he really?)
    + Gillysam’s thimble (sappy but a useful reminder they’re all still children)
    + Theon’s daddy/identity issues
    + Tyrion’s playing the small council and his sister
    + Vaerys paddling along
    + Brienne + her armor!
    + Margaery’s beauty + grace + dynastic ambition + pragmatism
    + Bran confronted by both his wolf’s eyes and Luwin’s orthodoxy
    + Tyrion/Shae dynamic
    + Sansa quickly grasping that someone powerful is trying to protect Shae
    + Arya’s bravery and quick thinking to save both Jaqen and Gendry

    A truly excellent episode! Best so far this season IMHO, no gratuitous filler.

    My only – very minor – nitpick is the orchestral music that accompanied Theon’s baptism (for lack of a better word). The Ironborn don’t embellish anything. Silence would have spoken volumes.

    I have to disagree about the baptism type scene. I absolutely loved it, I thought the end of it when it’s just a shot of Theon’s face and his expression was visually one of the best shots I think this show has ever produced.

    It was my favorite scene next to the scene where Yoren and Arya are talking about coping with the things they’ve seen. Maisie Williams continues to just blow my fucking mind with how talented she is.

  138. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    I would have seen the Sansa/ Shae scene that way if Sansa had not consistantly treated every underling badly in the TV series. In the books she was less bratty and more self-centered to me. Because of Sansa lashing out at whoever is near her every time she is angry (unlike the books), this scene felt no different to me and I did not feel sympathetic I guess.

  139. Jack
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Pretty sure that Sansa and Shae scene was supposed to show us that Sansa is desperate to fight back and have some sort of control over her life, and so she takes all the anger out on her new handmaiden, who can’t fight back. And the fact that it’s Shae makes for very obvious tension further down the line.

    It’s really not the complicated. Sorry that seemed to fly over your head because Sansa was being much more than “catty” in that scene.

  140. Jack
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    Agreed. It’s shocking to see how many people don’t seem to get that and are viewing the scene straight-on instead of seeing the subtlety in its message.

  141. andrea
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    DH87,
    Precisely, she is abused so I was surprised that she did the same with someone else. But I never thought about the possibility of her distrust of the handmaid who doesn´t knows the job.

  142. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: At first, they were scared to fight (and weren’t even sure if there would be a fight) but then Yoren’s death angered them and gave them the courage to attack. Most of them didn’t end up dying, just got subdued then captured.

    Sure, the scene played out differently than it did in the book, but it still made sense to me.

    I think that’s a bit silly to be honest. I can see that they probably wanted to give Yoren a bit of a good send-off. However I don’t think a bunch of scared boys would charge headlong into a column of armored soldiers to die if they had the choice.

    Then we see Gendry going in and killing a couple of men, and sure they’re supposed to just let him live.

    That doesn’t make any real sense, it’s just an excuse for drama.

    I also thought them changing the reason why Amory Lorch and co show up was a bit silly as it runs into a few small logical issues. No doubt they would have been informed that Gendry is an armorer’s apprentice. I doubt that Arya saying that Lommy Greenhands (obviously a dyer’s boy with green hands) is Gendry just because of the Bulls Head helmet lying near him would be convincing for a second. Not only that but when they show up at Harrenhal, while Arya probably becomes Lord Tywin’s cupbearer, Gendry will probably become a blacksmith due to the fact that he’s an armorer’s apprentice, which I wouldn’t be surprised if he mentions that in the show.

    So they’ve just accidentally invented two perfect reasons for killing him!

    Sure you can go with, armorer’s apprentices/blacksmiths are too valuable to kill, like the reason he wasn’t killed in the books. But it’s still very sloppy writing.

    That’s some pretty poor adapting if you ask me.

  143. Spryte
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Did anyone else kind of go “AWW YOU BULLY” when Cersei shoved Tyrion? He toppled over and my heart broke. Guess it’s something about a larger person pushing around someone smaller than them that is a bit upsetting.

  144. hashbandit420
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Great fuckin’ episode. Like how they made Yoren go out like a fuckin’ beast. Only major disappointment is having to wait a week to see what happens next.

  145. slave2thewage
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I loved Yara. There, I said it. Gemma Whelan’s gotten the bitchy, trolly attitude down to a tee.

  146. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    I think that is spot on.
    Plus, the time factor is at play too. Shae did have these moments of wanting out of her room and whining, but we saw much more of her being tender and playful to Tyrion so it was easy to understand why Tyrion loved her and risked his life to keep her around. With so little time in the series we have lost much of the more gentle and playful side of their relationship.

    I think we are suppsoed to “see” the time Tyrion spends with her that does not make it to the series and be willing to accept that if he keeps her around there is a reason for it. Other than him liking whores of course. XD

  147. Ed
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    “Make do!”

    LOL!!

  148. KG
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Spryte,

    No, I thought it was pretty cool, honestly. POW! But then, I AM a hockey fan.

  149. Coltaine777
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Overall a very good ep imo…loving the Greyjoys …to bad the fight at the end was so short but it was still very good..

  150. andrea
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Morrigan: *spits* Goodbye Yoren

    *spits* and says goodbye to Yoren too.

  151. Puri
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    andrea: *spits*and says goodbye to Yoren too.

    Francis Magee, who played Yoren, we shall miss ye.

  152. Coltaine777
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: I think that’s a bit silly to be honest. I can see that they probably wanted to give Yoren a bit of a good send-off. However I don’t think a bunch of scared boys would charge headlong into a column of armored soldiers to die if they had the choice. Then we see Gendry going in and killing a couple of men, and sure they’re supposed to just let him live. That doesn’t make any real sense, it’s just an excuse for drama.I also thought them changing the reason why Amory Lorch and co show up was a bit silly as it runs into a few small logical issues. No doubt they would have been informed that Gendry is an armorer’s apprentice. I doubt that Arya saying that Lommy Greenhands (obviously a dyer’s boy with green hands) is Gendry just because of the Bulls Head helmet lying near him would be convincing for a second. Not only that but when they show up at Harrenhal, while Arya probably becomes Lord Tywin’s cupbearer, Gendry will probably become a blacksmith due to the fact that he’s an armorer’s apprentice, which I wouldn’t be surprised if he mentions that in the show. So they’ve just accidentally invented two perfect reasons for killing him!Sure you can go with, armorer’s apprentices/blacksmiths are too valuable to kill, like the reason he wasn’t killed in the books. But it’s still very sloppy writing.That’s some pretty poor adapting if you ask me.

    You make some good points…

  153. HumMis1349
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: I think that’s a bit silly to be honest. I can see that they probably wanted to give Yoren a bit of a good send-off. However I don’t think a bunch of scared boys would charge headlong into a column of armored soldiers to die if they had the choice.

    Then we see Gendry going in and killing a couple of men, and sure they’re supposed to just let him live.

    That doesn’t make any real sense, it’s just an excuse for drama.

    I also thought them changing the reason why Amory Lorch and co show up was a bit silly as it runs into a few small logical issues. No doubt they would have been informed that Gendry is an armorer’s apprentice. I doubt that Arya saying that Lommy Greenhands (obviously a dyer’s boy with green hands) is Gendry just because of the Bulls Head helmet lying near him would be convincing for a second. Not only that but when they show up at Harrenhal, while Arya probably becomes Lord Tywin’s cupbearer, Gendry will probably become a blacksmith due to the fact that he’s an armorer’s apprentice, which I wouldn’t be surprised if he mentions that in the show.

    So they’ve just accidentally invented two perfect reasons for killing him!

    Sure you can go with, armorer’s apprentices/blacksmiths are too valuable to kill, like the reason he wasn’t killed in the books. But it’s still very sloppy writing.

    That’s some pretty poor adapting if you ask me.

    Well, it does make sense when you take into the account that Amory Lorch is an idiot.

  154. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve got to agree with pretty much everyone… Francis McGee was perfect. He really brought Yoren to life. And that’s the mark of a brilliant actor, when you can turn what basically amounts to a peripheral character into such a memorable standout.

  155. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    WOW! without a dobut the best episode of the season, even with no 3-way (lying bastards over on AICN) but Marg is willing, so we may get one yet.
    First, I love the maturing of Jon, with the realization that real life out in the world is much different than words his father told him. I really like that the Bear was more upset that Jon lost his sword (caught unawares) than his following Crastor. Sam parting with Gilly was touching.
    Second, Tyrion rules (a twin for the mantle), his scenes were pure magic, his playing the three and his response to all of them afterwards. Cersei was awesome in both her scenes at the table and with Tyrion, I actually felt for her, when she realized there was nothing that she could do to stop it. Lena has been the surprise for me this season, she has bought her A game (keep this up and she should dust the mantle too).
    OMG, Gwen is so choice, she captured the Maid of Tarth beautifully, and did you see how freakin tall she is. Disappointed with no 3-way, but Ms. Hotness herself and that sensual bod, no complaints (perhaps they filmed it, but the digibits burned during the conversion process). I really liked Dormer’s scenes, it rekindles my memory oon why she is such a Thespian.
    I actually felt for Theon, with his family forcing him to choose, but he had nowhere to go.
    Ned probably would have kicked him out for betraying his kin (dishonored) after thanking him for saving the north. Did you noticed, Balon plans on taking the whole North, even Winterfell (change from books where Balon only eyed the coastline).
    The last scene was epic, they did a great job condensing Arya’s chapters into three scenes over two episodes. Yoren was so badass, taking six Lannisters with him. Gendry is no slouch either, he took down at least two or three.
    Alas poor Lomy we knew him so well, man was that cruel or what, I giggled at the perfection of the throat thrust, and the look in the poor lads eyes. “Can you fucking believe he asked a Lannister officer to carry him”, I mean what an insult. Again though, I was hoping perhaps Yoren would be spared awhile, he was so perfect in that role. Don’t worry Arya, you will get a new guarddog soon. who is more awesome than Yoren.

    Only the 3rd perfect 10/10 for the series atm, but there are a few 9′s and 9.5′s

    Concerning the next episode sneak peak….they are speeding up Dany’s story as apparently as they reach Qarth, which bodes well for eight being the House (didn’t someone say both 8 and 9 were awesome with two epic events). We get to see (squeal) a dark cave, rowboat, and IT next episode.

  156. Aoife
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    I think you and I are probably gonna disagree on a lot of things when it comes to this series, so there’s probably no point in endless debates about it…I doubt either one of us will change the other’s mind. But I don’t really know how else that dinner scene could’ve been played. If she had said that Robb was going to come and kill them all (ala “perhaps he will bring me your head” from S1) or had been overly cheerful, that would’ve seemed weird/off to me. If that scene had not come before the scene with Shae, then yeah, it would’ve been easier to take Sansa’s reaction to Shae as “spoiled princess,” but it didn’t, so I….don’t? XD (I am way, way overdue for some sleep, so hopefully this paragraph makes some sort of sense.)

    And perhaps I don’t quite hold the teen actors to the same exacting level as the adult actors in this show as some other people might. In some ways, they [Isaac, Maisie, Sophie] have the harder roles, so when they try to bring some nuance in their acting, I totally give them credit for it.

  157. oh-bb
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I feel as though the Sansa-Shae scene did have some importance. I think Sansa is thrilled to have someone to kick around a little in the way she is kicked around, but she could have had Shae leave, and she didn’t. That’s telling. Sansa is utterly alone. Even subpar company is better than no company. I actually liked what they did there, though I agree that the way Tyrion is keeping Shae around seems to make little sense to me.

  158. Bean
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    One weak point, though… saving Jaquen Haghar was both contrived and lacked the emotional impact of the book. Which is a shame, and makes it a bit harder to use him in the plot later.
    Actually, the whole arya fight scene was a bit rushed and poorly staged. But they covered so much ground it’s hard to complain. Probably did about a good a job as you could expect. And Yoren and the dialogue were both cool, so it was fine.

  159. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    Actually Jordan that is not silly, if you see someone you have begun to respect and like or even love somewhat, someone who has been quiding you, giving you advice and protecting you and you see them fall brutally, emotion and hate swells up, along with revenge, and sometiems you do stupid things. Remember most of the recruits were grown men and pretty tough, only a handful were young.

    So you see, your nitpicking is flawed in certain ways.

  160. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    darquemode: With so little time in the series we have lost much of the more gentle and playful side of their relationship.

    I did like Shae popping food into her mouth as she cleared Sansa’s table: definitely not maid’s behavior, and, yes, I think Sansa is understandably suspicious that this new “maid/spy” has shown up unannounced and unvouched for……

  161. Caro H
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    i loved this episode. brienne and tyrion were fantastic!! Sansa is my favorite character, but really, Sophie Turner is such a talented actress!! her eyes and face expressions and the way she speaks when she wants to cry show her talent. i wanted to cry when she was at dinner (tommen is adorable, and this is the first time in this season that i hated cersei) and i liked the scene with shae. though for a moment i was afraid sansa would cry in shae’s arms! but of course a lady wouldn’t do that so :) i wish they had left her scene with Sandor in the serpentine steps though, instead of her and shae, but to my mind neither Sophie nor rory can do wrong with their preformances.

  162. OldGran
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Brienne!! Lived up to all my expectations, just great. This entire episode was so good, I’m going to have to watch it again. All of Theon’s scenes were excellent and the location is perfect. I could almost feel the wind at the baptism scene.

    Shae in the books was not too thrilled at having to “work” as a maid either. But book Shae is more winsome than TV Shae. don’t know if they can soften her up this season or not. I’m thinking NOT.

    Loved the 1 2 3 Tyrion played out. Perfect.

    Jon Snow learning about the big picture and Sam and Gilly. So much goodness in this ep.

    Renly Loras and Margary. Oh, My.

    I need to watch again.

  163. oh-bb
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I also want to say that I loved Margaery. It was always hinted in the books that she was much more savvy than we could have guessed, with her not being a POV character, and I thought the way they handled all that was great. She knows, she’s willing to work around it, and she’s court-savvy. She is one hell of a little queen to have at your side.

    And Yoren! I love that he gave Arya the prayers… and maybe some of her incentive for future deeds, as well. Or perhaps opened a door a little further. As for Ser Amory Lorch… what a little bitch! I’M PRAYING FOR HIS DEATH NOW MYSELF.

  164. FacelessMan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Absolutely brilliant! Best episode yet, by far, and one of my favorite of the series. The direwolves continue to blow my mind with how good they look – I love that Summer is golden – and I’m glad they included that bit with Luwin.

    And finally we got to see Tyrion in his element. Tyrion’s little ruse is one of my favorite Tyrion scenes in the book and they nailed it.

    Then there’s the last part with Yoren and Arya. Amazing. Clever how they introduced the prayer and I liked the story as well. Yoren will be missed. Francis Magee was awesome as Yoren and Maisie Williams was brilliant in that scene (as always). So good. Can’t wait for next week.

  165. berndlmeister
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Shae was always seen from the POV of Tyrion. Its entirely possible that he saw more in her than what actually existed. I recall wishing many times that he would just dump her ass.

    While reading the books, I hated Sansa with a passion. HBO has been able to properly convey her situation to me more completely, causing sympathy. She does not know Shae. Shae could be one of Cersei’s spies for all she knows. She’s not about to just open up to anyone. In an environment where she is completely trapped and must talk the talk and walk the walk, it seems more real that she loses her shit when the opportunity arises, where it will have the least impact on her, by taking her frustration out on her servant that doesn’t know how to be a servant. All the more reason to be suspect of Shae as well, but I’m not certain if that’s where HBO is leading us or not.

  166. Robert
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    So. Since Ros wasn’t in this episode, is everyone going to gnash their teeth about Shae’s scenes?

  167. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Yea, and Aimee is getting smoking hot too (in a couple of years), I do believe she will work out fine when it is her turn to shine in three years time.

  168. cranscape
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    oh-bb,

    That’s what I took out of it. Sansa was wanting to have a good cry all alone and then this new person shows up. And for a while she unloaded on her. This new person who wasn’t doing anything right. A new person who wasn’t fitting into the hierarchy that Sansa was also chafing under. She was the only person Sansa could do that to and not get in trouble for it…but when she had a chance to send her away it looked like she was latching onto her like a lifeboat. (sorry, Titanic coverage is seeping in…cough) Neither are from Kings Landing. Could be interesting to see two outsiders dealing with their ill-fitting roles in the castle.

  169. Virtus
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Someone in AV Club wrote a funny comment on Pycelle and Margaery: we lose one beard, but gain another…

  170. The DarkStar
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    YAY NO SEX!!!!
    YAY NO ROS!!!!
    (coincidence this was the best episode?)

    +Headey continues to do a 180 from last seasons performance.
    +I fuckin loved what they did with Yoren and the prayer. That story was AMAZING (The axe was so far in his skull they had to bury him with it). Great piece of writing

    5/5

    —Unfortunately Jon Snow’s storyline is just not interesting. Not a single scene from the first 3 have been even close to an episode highlight thus far.
    —Shae is getting worse.

  171. scott glennon
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Agreed about Yoren. I am putting that on a T-shirt

  172. Tre Svatek
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    I couldn’t agree more! I thought they did amazing! I am really liking them both.

    So that was Polliver who Killed Lommy? Did we know of his casting? I didn’t see him on the cast page!

  173. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I forgot, I forgot the other two Starks, (just so much info to digest)
    I love the Bran/Summer/Luwin scene, it bringing to light the truth of what bran is now, and waking up to see into Summer’s eyes, priceless.
    Damn, Sophie, you have grown sooo much in one year. You look more twenty then fifteen and even more gorgeous than before. The books were right when they said you would be one of the most beautiful women in Westeros. The pain in your eyes and face and the lost look at the dinner table, magnificent. The beatdown on Shae, priceless, but I fear that is building to something you might not like.
    Where, oh wear, can Rickon be, why did he leave us so all alone, we thought we would glimpse all the Starks tonight, but D%D left us satisfied save only for one.

  174. Greatjon
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Tre Svatek,

    I think someone said it was Polliver.

  175. Anonymous Web User
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink
  176. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Did you notice, how they brought Yoren over to the officer, so he could kill Yoren with a clean thrust. That is an extremely honored death for him by the other soldiers, even though it is brutal. there is no pain in that type of death. They were displaying their respect for him, same as Bronn did for Ser Vardis.

  177. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    HBO does need to create a Yoren t-shirt for fans, that last scene was so epic and emotional.
    Also give him a Christmas bonus.

  178. Dee
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I can’t judge this episode obejectively because I have to many “feelings” as a book reader about how far they went to make Theon’s character sympathetic, and to mitigate his future actions. His rant to his father was fine, perhaps even necessary, but everything else, Balon planning to take Winterfell, the letter theon writes to Robb then burns, I just couldn’t stomach.

    I’m also concerned about what they’re going to do to Cat, adn how they’ll play the her motivation for releasing Jamie now that Tyrion’s enlisted Little Finger to help scheme her into it.

    I never thought of myself as much of a book purist as I’m not much fussed about the show changing events, but when they begin to simplify characters and and whitewash some of the gery out of them for the audience, I’m troubled. They did it with Cersie, and to a certain extent to Catelyn, and tonight they did it to Theon, it is really starting to bothers me.

    I didn’t like the ep very much, in fact, I don’t much like the series this season. On the plus side, they are making the Greyjoys as a whole a lot more interesting than they ever were in the books.

    The final Arya scenes were good, though I find it hard to believe that Yoren could wield that sword so well, lift it overhead no less, with an arrow embedded so deep in his shoulder, but that’s just me being pedantic.

  179. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Interesting how many commenters are ragging on Sansa and Shae.

    Sansa is a highborn lady in captivity who is suddenly confronted with a new handmaiden – a (typically slightly younger) woman who is supposed to be her closest and most loyal confidant, one who in a feudal system would definitely be a noblewoman herself. We don’t know what happened to Sansa’s previous handmaiden but yes, she would have had one.

    Etiquette and security considerations alone would normally dictate that a replacement handmaiden be introduced by someone Sansa already knows and has to respect (e.g. Cersei or a senior member of her staff). Instead, Shae just shows up and introduces herself without reference to any noble house. Adding insult to injury, not to mention potential danger, Sansa quickly discovers Shae has no qualifications and defiantly lies about it to boot while stuffing her face. When Shae asks if she should leave, Sansa nevertheless decides against it.

    Why? My reading of the tea leaves is that Sansa puts two and two together. Someone is trying to protect Shae and, it’s not Cersei. Better to play along until she can figure out what’s going on. It’s actually uncanny how well Sophie Turner gets that point across.

    As for Shae, she’s got Tyrion wrapped around her little finger and, fancies herself his girlfriend and quite the social climber. Of course she bristles at how he keeps her confined “for her own protection” and at his suggestion that she work as a kitchen maid. And of course, she also bristles at Sansa, a much younger – if taller – girl with highborn airs who really is a prisoner. Still, she knows she cannot afford to storm out of the room.

  180. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Aoife,

    I am not going to go on about Sansa… Frankly I did not hate the scene or even dislike it overly much. Even though I understood the situational drama, I just did not read it as brilliant acting I guess.

    I also don’t dislike Shae overly much… I am most likely in the minority on that…

    I have been accused before of holding young actors or dancers or whathaveyou to too high a standard so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case here too. I just don’t seem to have an adjustable slide measuring system for age or inexperience etc… Guilty. It’s a fault. XD

    Enjoy your sleep.

  181. Rinso
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Awesome episode. I loved the way they showed Tyrion’s plotting. Theon being sort of “born again” to the Ironmen was also very cool.

    But… they cut off the Mountain :( I was looking forward to Arya being captured by him and watching all the atrocities up close – it’s a defining moment for her character. And half her list is made of Clegane and his men.

  182. Matt Chung
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Was anyone else reminded of the added Catelyn and Sansa scene in the pilot where Sansa wonders if Joffrey will like her when they saw Shae and Sansa? Made me really sad in light of events to come :(

  183. Puri
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Rinso:
    Awesome episode. I loved the way they showed Tyrion’s plotting. Theon being sort of “born again” to the Ironmen was also very cool.

    But… they cut off the Mountain :( I was looking forward to Arya being captured by him and watching all the atrocities up close – it’s a defining moment for her character. And half her list is made of Clegane and his men.

    I think they may be saving some discoveries regarding Arya’s captors for next time? Why spill it all at once? It will be interesting to see how the rest of her journey is conveyed, I can’t wait!

  184. luca
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    can we start a poll for favorite minor character? mine is Yoren followed by Jory

  185. Puri
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    On second viewing, it occurred to me that the scene where you see Hodor and Master Luwin leading into Bran waking up was meant to be Bran seeing the world through Summer’s eyes again, and then waking up with Summer sitting on him and looking into his eyes just as Bran realizes that he’s actually occupying Summer as a warg. Did I get that right? I think this is where Bran knows for sure that he’s not imagining or only dreaming, as the sensations are so real to him and Summer is trying to tell him that, yes, we’re one being in 2 bodies. Wonder if Summer sees what Bran sees too (that’s a hypothetical, since we don’t speak wolf-ese it would be hard to go there)? OK, time for bed.

  186. nightwolf
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Brienne was great

    Really not keen on the casting choice for Marg. Sorry, just being hot is not enough.

  187. EX
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Matt Chung,

    Yes, I was reminded of that also. Really subtle and well-done. That scene really does have a lot of layers to it, eh? The first time I watched it, it was a bit awkward and just painful (Sophie is perfect at being on the verge of tears, ugh she’s heartbreaking) and I wasn’t entirely sure what they were going for overall, but the more I think about it, the more I like it really. And I’ll be interested to see how it’ll affect the Sansa, Tyrion and Shae relationships (I still remember that flash of Shae, like, throttling (someone who looks like) Sansa in the promos so……….)

  188. Hailey
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    I never liked Shae in the books, to me all she wanted was things from Tyrion, and I think the reason she wanted him around so much is to make him more attached to her. I mean when she actually has to work she hates it. The difference is, I think it was a little more suttle in the books. I mean you slowly saw that relationship, and there was plenty of time before she became Sansa’s maid to see how she was with Tyrion.

  189. Connor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    The preview for the next episode very quickly showed the Tickler

  190. LordDavos12
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Just in a total nerdgasm this week. Loved the episode. Brienne couldn’t be any more perfect…Gwen is EXACTLY how I pictured Brienne to be. I’m happy about the way the Night’s Watch bit was shot, and Yoren proved everyone the badass that he is. I missed seeing Robb, but I can’t really complain about that. Anyone else catch that in the scenes for next week, they show Renly eating a peach? Nice to finally see some Myrcella and Tommen; especially to hear Tommen say he wouldn’t like it if Robb were killed by Joff.

    On a side note, I just watched the IGN review video and found out I won the prize pack for the first episode…I kinda pissed my pants a little when they announced it. Woohoo, five house tshirts!

  191. Dark Brother
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    You guys complaining that the show is moving too slow ? You have to give the story time to build to its climax … Just like reading a book ; you don’t go to the end first …

  192. The DarkStar
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Gethin Anthony as Renly was amazing.

  193. Drfunk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Yet another hilarious review. If you want Hibbert’s style of review then check this guy out. I like comedic or insightful reviews, such a shame the bulk of it is all play by play recaps.

    http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/game-thrones-s02e03-recap-review-spoilers-2916280.html

  194. Rillion
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry but why aren’t people complaining about Ros? I was beginning to thing that was required around here.

  195. Drfunk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Rillion,

    Cause she wasn’t in this week!

  196. Matt C. Der
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Almost the best episode of the season!

    Except….

    Where was Ros?????

    =P

  197. LordDavos12
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Rillion:
    I’m sorry but why aren’t people complaining about Ros? I was beginning to thing that was required around here.

    If she makes an appearance next week, it will be contractually obligated :)

  198. Drfunk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Hodor not saying Hodor = epic fail (which was remedied this week).

    Hot pie not yelling Hot pie = epic fail (which they better fix next week)

  199. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    I quite liked the way the Night’s Watch scene was shot too. Most of the “recruits” were unseasoned fighters and it just made sense to me. I would have liked the way it played out in the books, but I never expect scenes to play out just like they do in the books honestly.

    Sadly I doubt House Seaworth is one of the 5 shirts you won! XD
    Congrats anyway!

  200. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Not sure whats up with the Natalie Dormer hate. I love her eye movements and expression, she is perfect for the conniver that Margaery is. I see nothing wrong with the casting or acting in that respect.

  201. LordDavos12
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    darquemode:
    LordDavos12,

    I quite liked the way the Night’s Watch scene was shot too. Most of the “recruits” were unseasoned fighters and it just made sense to me. They killed the older recruits and captured the younger in case they had the bastard they were looking for. I would have liked the way it played out in the books, but I never expect scenes to play out just like they do in the books honestly.

    Sadly I doubt House Seaworth is one of the 5 shirts you won! XD
    Congrats anyway!

    Unfortunately my friend, you are correct :( Greyjoy, Stark, Stannis, Lannister, and a hand of the king shirt

  202. Damián Erro
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Deborah,

    Im with you in the Margaery and Asha/Yara casting.

    Margaery suggesting a threesome? come on D&D enough of this… its epicness we want! no more incest.

    Shae its so different from book Shae, not likeable at all, but Tyrion, that little fellow its always here to save the day :D that Picelle/Varys /Petyr was one of the best of this season so far, i remember reading those chapters in the book and thinking how smart he is.

    Brienne nailed it, shes just perfect for the role, i did notice they changed the name of Renly’s Rainbow guard to Kingsguard, maybe it was a little bit too much.

    SpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertagSpoilertag

    Overall a much better episode than the previous two, better paced and with more developed scenes, didnt felt rushed like 201 or 202, way to go Game of thrones! cant wait for the “shadow baby”!

  203. Zelniq
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    With Shae, I think the producers are already looking ahead to when (ASoS spoilers) Tyrion kills Shae. Tyrion’s the show’s most beloved character already and making Shae unlikable will make it a lot easier for them to do that scene later and not upset the viewers.

  204. Violentos
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    My thoughts towards Shae being portrayed as this unlovable bitch of a character, is probably the intention of the writers so that when Tyrion ends up killing her, the viewers don’t think “Wow. I thought that Tyrion was a good person, how could he murder this girl who up until now seemed so sweet!?”. It worked in the books for various reasons, but for a show this short, they want people to simple think “Thank goodness Tyrion finally realized who this bitch is and killed her! Woohoo!”.

  205. Violentos
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Zelniq,

    You posted the exact same thought as I did at almost the exact same time!

  206. Mattl86
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    1. God, I knew Dany had a slow season but three episodes in and we’ve basically seen nothing. Could be paced a bit better in that regard.

    2. Totally disagree about Shae. Tyrion’s POV made her seem nicer than she was because he loved (liked?) her in the books, but I always read her as a selfish bitch to be honest. Her ASoS story arc did not suprise me in the slightest. The TV Shae is working for me.

    3. Varys steals every scene he is in, even with Tyrion, and that’s saying something.

    4. Natalie Dormer is still ridiculously hot.

    5. TV Theon > books Theon. The character has become way more conflicted and understandable. Just adding that letter burning scene in does wonders for his story.

    6. Is it just me or do the endings leave a little to be desired? Last season, every ending was so tense and made me desperate for the next episode. These endings are nice, but there’s something a little flat about them. The only episode I felt this way about last season was ep 8.

  207. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    Interesting!
    I would have assumed House Targaryen would be in the mix.

  208. Blackfish
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I agree where is Ros? They totally could have used her in the Pycelle scene instead of random whore, thats 2 whole minutes more of Ros! Or they should have used Ros as Sansa’s handmaiden instead of Shae so more hatred and complaints can be directed at Ros ;)

    D&D’s episode checklist:
    Nudity: check
    Jon Snow being emo: check
    someone for fans to complain about: Shae-check
    Incest: hinted with Loras/Margaery threesome- check
    kill a baby/child: Lommy – check
    sexposition: miss- Ros was busy
    awesome one-liners: too many to list- check check check

    So it was a great episode with so many great scenes and acting but what stood out the most for me was the Theon burning the letter. The director having no lighting except the candle and letter really hits home with what is being conveyed on many layers. Followed by Theon’s baptism which was shot expertly and seeing all the actors facial expression and that awesome score (Greyjoys theme) made those 2 scenes perfection.

    R.I.P Yoren
    “I could shave a spider’s arse if I wanted to”

  209. feyrband
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    i agree with everything beyond the first bit there, kind of reminded me of Fellowship of the Ring, though not done quite as well. Yoren was awesome though, sigh.

  210. Alan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Simply fantastic. I personally think every scene was great except a couple.

    I agree with almost all the plaudits above, but I’ve got to say, I think my favorite scenes were Theon explicitly turning on Robb (just gorgeous and a wonderful way of showing a decision) and Margaery — and not just because Natalie Dormer is hot — but her sudden offer to bring her brother in was awesome. I love the reveal of Margaery as social climber — and the way she did it was great.

    (And no, I don’t think Margaery meant incest. She clearly was going to let Loras get Renly started; Margaery and Loras would not interact. Nor was Theon and Asha intentional, and Theon is honestly disgusted by it. Neither is Lysa Arryn breastfeeding her son incest — it’s creepy and weird but there’s nothing sexual in it).

    Another scene people haven’t praised but I loved — Renly staying Kingly in his interaction with Cat — w/ everyone else being ridiculous, Renly and Cat stayed above it. Just very nice and set up next episode to be a bit more devastating. The non-book reader watching with me commented that she liked Renly. That’s the kiss of death.

  211. LordDavos12
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    darquemode: so that when Tyrion ends up killing her, the viewers don’t think “Wow. I thought that Tyrion was a good person, how could he murder this girl who up until now seemed so sweet!?”. It worked in the books for various reasons, but for a show this short, they want people to simple think “Thank goodness Tyrion finally realized who this bitch is and killed her! Woohoo!”.

    Quote

    I agree! I was hoping for that or a Renly shirt..but I can’t complain :)

  212. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    tysnow:
    Where, oh wear, can Rickon be, why did he leave us so all alone, we thought we would glimpse all the Starks tonight, but D%D left us satisfied save only for one.

    We didn’t see Robb either, so two Starks short.
    OH MY HELL what an incredible episode! I have absolutely loved Yoren so it was really heartbreaking witnessing his death. Easily one of the top episodes of the entire series! I am LOVING Tyrion laying the smack down in King’s Landing! I can’t wait for some of his upcoming scenes (including his repulsive nephew). Sooooooo excited for next week!

  213. the goat
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    A Beauty! A Beauty!

    Gwen was beyond perfect. Natalie was awesome as well, and damn, Sophie, Maisie & Alfie killed it this ep.

    Only thing I was sad we didn’t get: Hot Pie yelling “Hot Pie!” & Lommy yelling “I yield!”

  214. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Anatomy of a Scene: Theon’s Baptism
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSvdOdNBWRw&feature=youtu.be

    The other new onDemand offering was a “Story so Far” recap of this season’s first 3 episodes.

  215. All_Men_Must_Post
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Generally agreed with WiC review. From my blog:

    Some episodes are the meat and some are the potatoes. Tonight’s was very starchy. What Is Dead May Never Die had its moments, but much of it felt like the high-carb filler before episode four’s rich offerings. At three stars, here is what I liked and didn’t like.

    What I liked:
    I don’t like his beard. Dinklage owns every scene he’s in, which is a testimony to the actor but also to the sharp writing (in screenplay and book). The cleverly cut deception laid out for Grand Maester Pycelle, Petyr Baelish, and Varys was well adapted on screen. I especially enjoyed each target’s reaction to the deception. Littlefinger is uncharacteristically unsettled (which means he can get shaken) versus Varys’ matter-of-fact response. Of course, Pycelle gets thrown into the black cells sans-beard. You know, he does look younger without it.
    Brienne the Beauty. The actress who portrays Brienne, Gwendoline Christie, towers over everyone. And this isn’t the cast of Entourage here; everyone else is either of average to above average height. Gwendoline captured the stoic loyalty of the outcast tomgirl and the little scene with Cat is well-played.
    Girls. I watched the premiere episode of the new HBO show, Girls, which is supposed to be a “Sex in the City meets Freaks and Geeks” female empowerment show. It’s okay. But the really empowered women are on Game of Thrones. In this episode, aside from Tyrion, the most interesting characters were the women. From Margaery Tyrell calling out Renly, the aformentioned Brienne, and to the Stark daughters holding their own, tonight’s episode trumped hipster Brooklyn girls in feminism.

    What I didn’t like:
    Speaking of (working) girls. I don’t understand the showrunners’ fascination with the whores on the show. From season one’s Ros to Shae’s expanded role in this episode, does it feel like a 13 year old is adding notes to the episodes?
    Misleading map intros. One of my favorite parts of the show is the awesome opening theme with the map. Tonight, we saw Dragonstone and the Dothraki Sea but didn’t see any Stannis or Daenerys. I’m not a huge Stannis fan but they should at least pan to Daenerys to remind the casual viewer, hey we have some effing dragons on the show. Supposedly we get to see her next week but that jump feels sudden.

    I’d be remiss to not mention the good turn by Alfie Allen and his turn as Theon. Let’s hope we see more of him (note: I mean an expanded role, not more Alfie nudity) in the coming episodes.

  216. From Chaos
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Definitely in my top 2 or 3 episodes of the whole series, the acting, the music, and the visuals were all perfect. I could not believe it when the credits started to roll.

  217. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Awesome episode… probably the best so far this season.

    Highlights:
    -Some AMAZING editing in the Tyrion/Varys/Littlefinger/Pycelle scene about Myrcella.
    -Yoren’s death. and backstory (loved how he gave Arya the idea for her hit list, can’t remember if that was in the books).
    -Brienne was awesome! So bad ass.
    -Theon/Balon scenes were awesome, once again. Loved when Theon burned the letter to Robb (again, can’t recall if that was in the book).
    -Theon’s “baptism”. Well acted, awesome banners, awesome dialogue (“what is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger!”)
    -Margaery is hot, and seemingly a very kind/patient/understanding lover! XD

    The Sansa/Shae scene was kind of weird… but very well acted by Sophie Turner. Gotta say, I’m finding Shae to be one of the most annoying and most unlikable characters so far (wayyy worse than Ros). Is that their intention, or do they think we like her?

    And gotta give a shout out to Bryan Cogman, for the writing!

  218. Zach
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    No, the recruits hiding until Yoren was killed was really silly and nonsensical. You can try and make it make sense, but since we never saw the recruits bond to Yoren (except Arya), it was really dumb that they just watched him die and then chose to expose themselves. Didn’t work on an emotional level, and the battle was a big letdown from the one in the book because of it.

    Would have been so simple, and a million times better, to let them rush out to save him – but still, he falls in the heat of battle. Heartbreaking.

    Still, Yoren was great. Can’t complain too much.

  219. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Also… Alfie Allen is killing it this season! I’m really impressed.

    By the way, am I the only one who gets a little thrill whenever they mention place names from the book? (e.g. Deepwood Motte, The Neck, Fleabottom, etc.). Makes it feel so authentic.

  220. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    I think it could have worked better if the recruits did not run out, but only fought once the Lannister men moved in on them. That said, I liked seeing Gendry run out. He is his father’s son afterall and Robert was surely battle-hungry.

    Once he ran out the others got caught up in Gendry’s bravery/ stupidity and it was like lemmings following one another off a cliff.

  221. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    So the letter to Robb was a new scene? Wow… kudos to Bryan Cogman. An subtle touch that added so much to Theon’s character. Improvement over the books.

  222. the goat
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Lol, the Throbb shippers are fast! So awesome:
    http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2jvdvhVFN1qaimago1_500.jpg

  223. Mirri Maz
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    i really liked the scenes with Shae, she’s not very established in the books and i like that they added the playfulness. Her scene with Sansa was supposed to show that Sansa is close to having a nervous breakdown.

  224. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe,

    Yea but Robb was mentioned, so that counts as one.

  225. freyar_88
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Wow. Such a fantastic episode. Absolutely loved it. Start to finish, it was just so solid and I don’t think there was ANYTHING I disliked.
    Firstly, yay, no naked Ros! No overly long brothel scenes!
    I thought we were going to get more Jon in this episode but I suppose his arc will get more screentime as we near the end of the season. I loved the cliffhanger last week and it was wrapped up very nicely, with a touch of shame in the Old Bear’s eyes as he admitted he knew about Craster’s attrocities. When he said “the NW needs men like Craster”, you could almost see Jon thinking not in my NW! Loved the Sam/Gilly sweetness.
    Bran’s scene explored some of the elements I feared would be left out of the show. Whilst it’s not one of my favourite sub plots, I’m so glad they’re keeping the dark, mystical tone of Bran’s story. Looks like someone’s a greenseer, basically. I’d also like to add Maester Luwin is perfect. And the transitions from boy to wolf, and the dreams themselves, are amazing. And Hodor said “Hodor!” Loved it.
    BRIENNE! Oh my goodness. I never doubted Christie but she definitely exceeded my expectations. Anyone else catch the “I’m no Lady”? Remind you of someone? The Renly/Loras scene was so well done (I loved the mention of prayer :P). It showed the audience that rather than just being fuck buddies, they have a relationship. The scene really showed us a side of Renly that fleshed him out a lot, no sexposition necessary.
    Ah, Tyrion. Personally, I don’t really care they’ve made Shae a bit abbrasive: she did have an impudent side to her in the books as I recall, though it was much subtler. I’m really starting to think she’s a sand snake (a theory I’ve seen quite a few people adopting over on westeros, because it looks as if they have something bigger planned for Shae) though I’m not sure how that’ll work. We’ll see! I tend not to mind changes made to minor characters/minor changes made to main characters, because so far, all of my favourites (Jon, Ned, Tyrion, Arya, Jaime, Davos) have been portrayed superbly. If I was a die hard Shae fan (which I doubt anyone is) I might care she comes across difficult. But meh. It’s better than toning her down and just having some bland whore with NO personality hanging around with Tyrion.
    Tyrion’s 1-2-3 was so unbelievably well done that my jaw dropped. My god. Dinklage is just…words cannot describe. He IS Game of Thrones. I thought the torch might pass to him after Sean Bean left (although I know there aren’t really main characters in this), but holy crap, his portrayal of Tyrion is one of the best television performances I’ve ever seen. As in, he’s going down in history. Emmy number two is on its way…
    And I am so impressed with Sophie Turner. Whilst waiting for S2 I was wondering how they were going to show Sansa’s misery and still keep her ‘pretty bird’ words, and I decided I wanted a crying scene. And holy shit, that mirror bit was beautiful.
    Cersei was so fantastic at dinner – Headey has really, really upped her game this season. And Tommen and Myrcella are so cute!
    The Greyjoys. Firstly, as I’ve said before, I’m not a huge Asha fan so I don’t really care about the minor changes made to her (which are, lets face it, pretty damn minor. Yeah, she doesn’t look like a warrior pirate princess. Get over it.) I think ‘Yara’ comes across pretty accurately, although she could do with a few more sassy lines. And Balon! Wow! He’s friggin’ awesome. I liked the letter burning a lot – it was a very nice touch. Very impressed with Alfie Allen.
    And Arya. Or should I say Arry? I don’t know how many times I’ve used the word LOVED in my summary, but I LOVED HER DIALOGUE WITH YOREN. That was such a great little thing the throw into the mix. To say Maisie Williams is doing Arya justice is the understatement of the century. She is just so perfect. Yoren got a nice Boromir style death – “I always hated crossbows” – and poor Lommy. “Carry him, he says.” Very brief shot of Jaqen but I just know Tom Wlaschiha is going to bring it in the next few episodes.
    5/5. Perfect.

  226. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    The problem with Shae is that the actress isn’t very good and she’s written as a complete bitch. It’s not clear indeed why Tyrion puts up with her or why her part wasn’t given to Ros, for example, or why she’s a part of the main cast. I didn’t like her in the books, so that maybe one of the reasons I don’t like her on the show either.
    However, her scene with Sansa was slightly comical in the beginning and gave Sophie Turner an opportunity to shine in the later part.

    The rest of the episode was superb, it’s really hard to pick a favorite scene. Bryan Cogman should definitely write more episodes.

  227. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    They probably weren’t expecting him to get cut down like that, so were probably in a bit of shock. They also aren’t trained fighters but mostly younger men who’s first instinct wouldn’t be to charge into a group of armored guardsmen.

    I do agree that most of the fights lack any resonance or impact thus far, this one included.

  228. PhantomSoul
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    wow this episode was pure awesomeness from start to finish, the best so far this season. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t like. Stand out scenes for me were the Brienne/Loras fight, the direwolf dream, Tyrion’s 1/2/3, Yoren going badass, everytime Theon was on. All of them were perfectly done. And Ros was nowhere in sight, which made me extra happy. Also I have no problem with how Shae is being portrayed, I actually like her tv version better than the book’s one.

  229. The Red Avenger
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Just to put your mind at rest about the two Baratheon children. Aimmee Richardson is on Twitter and is very gracious to fans. I’m lucky enough to be followed by her. I asked her what she thought of her character and she said that the producers were telling her that she will get her big scenes if the series goes on that long (which I think is a given now) so they are perfectly happy with her and not looking to recast. Also Art Parkinson’s who plays Rickon is another actor very gracious to the fans and he is very proud of his work. So I think it’s safe to say that these actors will play their characters until the books dictate otherwise (not a spoiler, I’m still reading book one of aSoS) – I suspect Callum Whirry is also nailed on to continue. So apart from The Mountain I don’t think recastings are the order of the day.

  230. Icebird
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    This is the best episode of the season so far. Loved pretty much everything about it.

    Arya/Yoren was great. The fight wasn’t as great as I had hoped but still good. TV Yoren is much cooler than book Yoren I must say. My only real problem with the fight is that Yoren pretty much set them up for the fight but didn’t try to claim neutrality by rights of the Night’s Watch. I think that would have highlighted the cruelty of the Lannisters if they had.

    Brienne is perfectly cast. I might have cried a little bit when she was introduced it was so well done.

    I enjoyed everything with Renly tonight… and I’m looking forward to what’s next. I hope his meeting with Stannis is as good as I imagine it. I like Natalie Dormer as Margeary. She’s drop dead gorgeous and her acting is solid. Too bad we couldn’t get her about 5-10 years younger. I think it could end up being somewhat (book 4-5 spoiler)more awkward than in the books when she ends up with Tommen.

    As much as I dislike Theon in book 2 I’m really having a hard time hating him now. Pretty much everything with Theon was great and I appreciate the changes they made – for his conversation with his father and his misgivings about betraying Robb. Perhaps I’ll hate Theon when he takes Winterfell. But if D&D keep writing him so well I don’t know how likely that is.

    Loved the sequence with Tyrion and Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger. I don’t believe they could have written it for the screen any better than they did.

    And Shae… In ep. 2 I really saw her appeal in her playfullness and smiles with Varys. That might be the only time I had any appreciation for her in either season 1 or 2. I think part of the problem is the writing… They could have written some scenes in this season that make it clear why Tyrion loves her so much. I love Shae in the books but sadly she’s a disappointment in the tv series. Hopefully there will be some later redeeming moments or her (book 3 spoiler) death might not have the emotional impact that it has in the books. Though that impact is mainly driven by my care for Tyrion Though what can we expect from an actress who apparently made pornos before her acting career.

    5/5 for the episode! Can’t wait for more!

  231. Aivan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Bran’s Summer dream was awesome. Favourite moment here.

  232. Pyranoia
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Great Episode as always, Such an amazing series. I would love to find out more about what’s going on with the NightWatch and all the creatures there.

  233. Icebird
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Oh, BTW… I think we should all enjoy a peach with next week’s episode. :D

  234. Ser Pounce
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I thought the Sansa/ Shae scene was great. Sansa was venting all the emotions she couldn’t get out in her previous scene, taking it out on the one character she had power over. Shae was someone stuck in a position she doesn’t have much experience with and dealing with an irrational teenager. Sansa’s negative energy kind of deflated as the scene went on, basically running into the fundamental humanity of Shae, who she didn’t know anything about but was starting to get to know. I thought it was a terrific scene.

  235. Tomer Segal
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Brienne was way too overconfident. and I thought that the “baptizing” in the Iron Islands needs to be drowning instead of pouring water?
    The littlefinger – kat and Sanssa – Shai plotlines, also Margarey – Renly plotlines look intersting.
    The ending fighting scene was a bit allaround in my taste, but it wasnt too bad. Was that Emory Lorch or Gregore Clegane at the end?
    Great episode. I was disapointed of the last one, but episode 3 was great! Shaga and Pycell, and Varys’s riddle! amazing.
    Theon was also so well written. His dialog with his father was so sad but so in-place.
    oh, and Hotpie didn’t yell “hotpie!”. :(

  236. DjWeideman
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    So many great moments tonight. Yoren goes out better than Chuck Norris. Tyrian’s masterful work setting the Small Council against one another. Sansa is growing up like no young woman should have to.

    And, Gwendoline Christie, my God, she’s magnificent as Brienne. It sucks we’ll have to wait a whole season for her to meet with Jamie, unless D&D have other plans. Until then, at least we can enjoy what’s coming up next week.

  237. Tomer Segal
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Didn’t anyone think that Gwendoline was a bit too confident? I always imagined her insecure. but she seemed confident and with a strong presence. she looks amazing, though, and ridicously big.

  238. Ashaïese
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I was watching Bloomberg TV (UK) this morning and hear is what the news-woman said at 11 am :
    “If you are looking for intense drama, power struggle and big cliffhangers, you don’t have to watch Game of Thrones, you can find all that in the financial markets”…
    I thought that the fact Game of Thrones is even quoted in totally unrelated areas (like stock exchanges movements) is a sign that this show has already become a “classic”, don’t you think ?

  239. Louisa
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Oh this has got to be the BEST episode by far.

    I think Sophie’s acting went up a notch this season.

  240. Magnus
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Tomer Segal,

    You don’t have to be confident to act like that. Often people who are insecure will put on a stony mask to hide it. I thought she was very tense and was very quick to point out how loyal she was. That doesn’t make her seem confident. Which is good. However it is believable that she is confident in her physical presence. That is after all her strength.

  241. Dogmayor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Tomer Segal,

    I agree, she did seem too confident and self assured. Brienne is much more vulnerable in the books. Not sure if I like it, but I guess we’ll see.

  242. purplejilly
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Best Episode so far. I think Bryan Cogman has a more natural flow for dialogue and pacing then some of the other writers do. When Theon burned that letter, I was ready to cry. I love that Theon pointed out the elephant in the room, that he was given away as a child; and now he’s being punished for having survived and trying to come back and re-integrate?

    Brienne was awesome. I love her trailing Renly about, and wanting to come back to guard him and he told her “No, go off and pray.”

    I think the Sansa/Shae scene was good. As several others have pointed out, it was Sansa finally showing some frustration, and power over someone SHE could boss around. And I think Shae is supposed to be moody and difficult, thus setting her up as an annoyance.

    The only thing I am wondering about now is Dany fans, and will they be frustrated? She had such a strong ending last year, and so non-book readers could expect her to really be getting into the action this year, and instead she’s just hanging around the red waste. There’s nothing to be said or done about it, I guess, because they are held to that 10 episode format. I wish they had started splitting books sooner.

  243. Crispin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks series-Shae sucks. Sibel Kekilli is not a good match there, even her accent seems wrong for the character to me, as a German accent is hardly what I would consider “exotic”. Admittedly, I haven’t seen anything else with her so I won’t comment on her acting, though her IMDB filmography is… revealing. Definitely no chemistry with Tyrion and not an inkling of a hint why Tyrion would actually want her around. On the plus side, though, I loved how Sansa could actually be a little bossy and almost bad-ass to her.

    Speaking of Tyrion, he was beyond awesome in this episode. Leaving the second coin for Pycelle’s companion was just priceless.

  244. OKENO
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Seems the negativity here as finally been turned down a number of notches; seeing a lot of love for this episode; which is good, cause it was a great episode!

    Just got to agree with what most people have already said:

    - Alfie Allen was incredible. The look on his face after the baptism was heart breaking. Theon’s change of heart in the books came off as a little abrupt to me, but even with just a few scenes, Alfie has made a beautiful transition.

    - Yoren’s last stand was not only bad ass, but in my opinion, the best sword fight thus far the series. Brilliantly managed to wrap a shit load of Arya story into just a couple scenes. Also loving the fact that Yoren is the genesis of Arya’s “prayer”.

    - Sansa/Shae scene fell flat for me too. But it was really the only weak spot of an otherwise great episode.

    Can’t wait til next week!

  245. darquemode
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Tomer Segal,

    I think some certainly did see her that way. I saw her as speaking VERY deliberately and took that as a sign of unease… especially when speaking to Renly.

    When she spoke to Catelyn in front of Renly she was more authoritative, but I saw that as her trying to make sure Renly got proper respect. Catelyn deliberately slighted him by saying my lord as compared to my grace. It showed Catelyn did not consider Renly a king. The man she basically idolizes and loves was slighted in front of her so she reacted instinctually.

    She did seem more forward and possibly confident with Catelyn after Renly left them I guess. I always took Brienne as awkward around ladies and men in social situations more than at times when she doing her duty. I think (and hope) she will be more awkward out of her armor and when she is not “working”.

  246. Crispin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Tomer Segal:
    The ending fighting scene was a bit allaround in my taste, but it wasnt too bad. Was that Emory Lorch or Gregore Clegane at the end?

    I wondered the same thing, but the big man on the horse mumbled his introduction as Ser Amory Lorch. Had to go back and rewatch to catch that though. With the scene being so dark I found it very hard to follow the action-y cutting. Might just be my screen, but that scene was not fun at all, but just a chore to try and follow.

    As to the baptising… yeah, very disappointing that it was not an actual drowning, although I don’t remember how it was in the books. From what I remember from book 4, it seems rather common for Iron nobles to be just baptised instead of drowned, but then again, Balon is hardly the “progressive” type.

  247. purplejilly
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    Unlikely they bury the axe with the body. Because really how hard would of it been to pull out? Also metal in ancient times was very very valuable. That is the reason after huge battles between fifty thousand Romans and equal number of enemies they never find armor or swords after the battles. The victors usually collected all the metal items from the battlefield. And even if they didnt the locals who lived in the neighbor hood would take it themselves.

    So I personally thought the line was meant for flourish. And didnt like it that much.

  248. Lana
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Carne,

    You said it.

  249. Mike Chair
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    taekwonjohn: I was wondering the same thing. The Ironborn are supposed to be bad-asses who drown themselves in baptism literally. Dumping a cup of saltwater over his head made them seem more like…Catholics.

    Ha! That was good. A Red Priestess, a Septa and a Damphair what into a bar …

  250. Hollyoak
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Strange. I’ll have to watch this again–of course!–because it felt like the weakest episode so far. Strange how everyone’s opinions differ. My favorite episode so far is the second one. I think it was called the Night Lands.

    I loved, loved, loved the Brienne moments, Margery/Renly/Loras. Jon/Mormont/Sam/Gilly.

    For some reason, all the scheming of Tyrion and the conversation with Varys just felt off to me. We fans know all the names and subplots, and I wonder if non-book readers were scratching their heads. I’ll have to read their reactions here.

    I don’t know. The ending felt anti-climactic to me also.

    Then again, maybe all this will change with my second viewing!

  251. Julyan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    David:
    Why wasn’t Theon drowned?

    Only the priests of the Drowned God are drowned for real. Everyone else just gets some seawater on their heads.

  252. purplejilly
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    On Theon getting salt water poured over his head instead of actually drowned and brought back – I’m wondering if the lawyers were worried about one of those “Don’t try this at home, kids!” moments if they showed people being ritualistically drowned, then brought back with CPR – esp. since CPR is by a far cry not always effective.

  253. LV
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Icebird:
    Though what can we expect from an actress who apparently made pornos before her acting career.

    Are you touched?
    Sibel Kekilli is one of the greatest European actors of her generation. She is not to blame for the fact that Shae was rewritten by the producers.
    Watch a few films before you make your opinion of her public. It won’t be such nonsense then.

  254. Fran
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Great episode. Great writing and directing, much better in my opinion than episode 2 (which I thought was horrible and gave it a 6/10).

    D&D should be more the producers than directors/writers.
    I loved Brienne and Lommy’s death (very well executed scene).

    Score: 9/10

  255. krh240
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I think they have made Shae so unlikeable so that the audience is really angry when she eventually betrays Tyrion. I think it adds more to his character. Having her be sweet would make that turn of events more shocking, but I think this makes it more impactful overall.

    Yara, on the other hand, I don’t get. Asha struck me as fun and very intelligent. Yara just strikes me as weird. She’s got crazy-eyes. It will be interesting to see how this translates in later seasons, when the character has a bigger role.

  256. Jaime Lannister
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Anyone got a link to episode 4′s teaser thing?

  257. Crispin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    LV: Are you touched?
    Sibel Kekilli is one of the greatest European actors of her generation. She is not to blame for the fact that Shae was rewritten by the producers.
    Watch a few films before you make your opinion of her public. It won’t be such nonsense then.

    Doesn’t change the fact that at least 12 of the titles on her IMDB filmography are very apparently pornos, many of them quite obviously so even without knowing German.
    And she was horrible as Shae this Episode.

  258. Lana
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    Agreed. I like him much better this season, both acting and looks-wise. True, TV Renly is a far cry (in every respect, apart from the obvious) from Book Renly, but Gethin’s portrayal of him feels somehow realer and more rounded. I shall be sad when he is no more.

  259. Laura
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    For me, it was the best so far of season 2. I squealed with delight at the revealing of Brienne (omg. Perfect casting!), felt torn along with Theon and adored what the writers did with Tyrion’s scene. Finally getting a bit more in depth with Bran’s wolf dreams was great. As she did in The Tudor’s, Natalie Dormer steals every scene she’s in. Can’t wait for next week!

  260. Unsullied
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    **Best of the Season**

    Holy crap Theon and the Greyjoy scenes were epic good. I really felt his inner battles more by watching this episode then by reading the books. And I like how Theon (verbally) fought back after ‘ol daddy laid the smack down.

    Sansa really showed her own inner battles well this episode as well. Just great acting here.

    I too missed the “yellow spray” reaction shown in the book……

    And finally, and probably most importantly, I really, really liked Cat this episode. Honestly she got on my last nerve in the books and the TV version has not helped. But the scene where she lays an epic verbal assault on little Loras *without even turning around to address him face to face* was just out of this world good. She’s like you little whiny bi#$h let momma put you in your place! Yeah!

  261. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: I think that’s a bit silly to be honest. I can see that they probably wanted to give Yoren a bit of a good send-off. However I don’t think a bunch of scared boys would charge headlong into a column of armored soldiers to die if they had the choice.

    Then we see Gendry going in and killing a couple of men, and sure they’re supposed to just let him live.

    That doesn’t make any real sense, it’s just an excuse for drama.

    It makes perfect sense. And it is similar to what happened in the book, where no one fights until they get attacked. In this case, they were waiting to see if Yoren would get them out of it, then when he got attacked and killed, the recruits were angry and emotional and upset, so they responded by fighting back.

    And they didn’t kill Gendry right away because they didn’t know which one was the bastard. Once they had subdued everyone and learned that they had already killed “Gendry” what would be the impetus for them to then decide to just kill the rest of their prisoners?

    The rest of your post relies on the assumption that Amory Lorch was told that Gendry was an armorer’s apprentice, and since we were never told that in the series, I don’t think the issues that you raise are valid.

  262. purplejilly
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Also what does everyone think about Jon finding out that Mormont KNEW what Craster does with the boys? I just couldn’t stand it, and was yelling at the screen, telling him; “Jon Snow, you can NOT let this go! Where is the Stark in you? This is NOT honor!”
    I want to see a big payoff with Jon on this or I will feel betrayed by the character.

    (I know what happens in the books, of course – just hoping the HBO version will do it justice)

  263. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Crispin,

    Her ability as an actress has nothing to do with her history in adult film. You may not like her acting-style but please don’t denigrate her simply for that reason. One has nothing to do with the other.

    I think Kekili is playing what is written in the script. I don’t blame her for Shae’s changes. It doesn’t bother me much anyway, because Shae in the books was sort of whateverish.

  264. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    purplejilly, it happens this way in the books, y’know. I look at it as a learning experience for Jon. He is learning that to survive in this world, you sometimes have to rely on unsavory characters and ignore their malicious deeds.

    ETA: Another non-change from the books that people seem to be misremembering, the Ironborn’s baptism. In the books, the majority of Ironborn have become less devout followers of the Drowned God and one way that was showing us was they were not literally drowning themselves as a form of baptism and it had devolved to just pouring salt water over their heads. As an extremely devout follower of the Drowned God, the Damphair finds this appalling and is bringing back the old method of baptism but only a tiny number of Ironborn are doing it this way.

  265. Crispin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I didn’t say she was a bad actress, in fact I specifically said that due to my not having seen anything else with her in it, I couldn’t comment on her acting, I’m just saying that she is a very bad match for Shae in my opinion. The writing is to blame as well, yes, but i my eyes the casting was off on this one.

  266. Crispin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I had completely the opposite reaction. I was thinking more along the lines of “d’uh, are you really surprised, Jon? Did you actually think you were the first person who wondered where all Craster’s sons have gone?”. But it’s okay, he is still young and he’ll learn fast.

  267. rorschach-
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    So, some criticism. Even though giving it is pretty hard, best episode of season 2 yet. Not perfect though.

    Brienne was maybe tad too self confident. When alone with Cat she was brilliant, but in front of her beloved King and loads of peeple watching, her talking was too strong. Little hesitation would have made my day. I especially liked the awkward way of walking she did, not sure if intentional of if she just isn’t comfortable in her armor yet but made Brienne look like too big for her size.

    I understand what they are doing with Shae-Sansa but maybe the scene was bit too drawn out. I would have probably got the mood even without “brushmyhair-empythepot-cleanthetable-yousuck-nobrushmyhairagain”. Gives Sansa someone to bounce her thoughts to audience. First I thought it would be Dontos but Shae makes actually bit more sense.

    I think the swordplay isn’t up to par. It’s not bad but even in darkness you can see that it suffers from 1 vs. 6 so lets attack one at a time until we kill him. And I would have thrown something towards TV if Lorch would have said something about clean death after stabbing Yoren into neck.

    Just wondering how they are going to deal with Gendry when he leaves. They are making him pretty big name as Aryas friend and one of protagonists and then they are just going to drop him to somewhere and be “lol cya hes gonna be balcksmith here with these ppl”. Not much drama there.

  268. Blaat
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Liked:
    - The Old Bear his death is going to be devastating to watch next season telling Jon to never lose his sword again.
    - Sam promising Gilly to come back
    - Maester Luwin, the actor is simply the personification of wisdom Maybe I will actually care when he dies. In the books he was never this interesting
    - Renly, Cat, Loras, Brienne, Margaery (damn Christie is tall)
    - Sansa’s mirror moment and Tommen’s comment about Rob
    - Varys as the riddler

    Only thing I didn’t like is Balon announcing he will attack Winterfell, instead of just pillaging the stony shore and attacking several minor holdfasts. Good bitchslap though. Overall it was an awesome episode and can’t wait for next weeks finale!

  269. LV
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Crispin: Doesn’t change the fact that at least 12 of the titles on her IMDB filmography are very apparently pornos, many of them quite obviously so even without knowing German.
    And she was horrible as Shae this Episode.

    O yeah…
    But, you know, the original poster pointed out that Kekilli starred in several German adult productions (which, by the way, is no secret but a well-known fact) just in order to denigrate her work as an actor in general.
    Furthermore, the “argument” (which is, of course, invalid) is a misogynist one because it reduces a woman to a (very small) part of her work that is not socially acceptable (at least in several western countries).

  270. Vanderhook
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Awesome episode! Here’s some quick thoughts

    - LOVED the Theon/Balon scene. I understand a lot of people don’t like Theon, but I always had a lot of sympathy for him. I think this scene really explains the sympathy for him. The dialogue was never said in the books, but its certainly something that was always on my mind. Whenever I was reading Theon/Balon scenes I would always get so angry and feel so bad for Theon. His own father gives him away because of his stupid rebellion.. and yet he blames Theon! Definitely one of the more emotionally compelling moments in the series for me.

    - The Renly/Margaery scene was awesome. In the books, we don’t get to really get into Margaery’s character until book 3. I thought Dormer stayed very true to her character. Margaery and the Tyrells are as ambitious as they come. They’re essentially Lannisters with brown hair.

    - The compression of the Arya storyline was really well done. It cut out a lot of the fat while still hitting all the major plot points. I just hope that Arya’s encounter with the Mountain is not cut out, and that we still get the barn scene.

    - I agree with the hate towards Shae. I never liked her in the books either. Her TV version is definitely different though. In the books she came off as ditzy, while in the show she comes off as smarter but bitchier. I don’t care for either version. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if her character was completely replaced by Ros, as I prefer her (although that’d make no sense at this point in the story).

    - No Stannis, Joffrey or Dany, also no Robb for 2 episodes now… Also the Nights Watch has been at Craster’s for three episodes now. I find it interesting how certain characters like Arya are getting their storyline compressed while characters like Jon are having their storylines dragged out.

  271. Maxwell James
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    I agree that, in an ideal world, I would have preferred more fidelity to the book in that scene. The battle between the NW recruits and the Lannister troops is thrilling there; here it is more of a rout, and somewhat confusing besides. But the logistical challenges of filming it that way would have been considerable, and given scarce resources I think they were right to keep the scene simple and cheap.

    For starters, it was pretty clear that the interior of the holdfast was a Paint Hall set, whereas the exterior was CGI (or possibly some fragile Irish ruin). So to show the Lannister troops actually laying siege to the place would be extremely time- and cost- intensive. You couldn’t show them scaling the walls and trying to climb through the windows without using a lot of green-screens, for instance.

    So instead it became a scene about Yoren trying to give his recruits a chance to escape, and them (and really Gendry) being shocked enough by his death to try and fight back, however ineffectively. That doesn’t seem psychologically untrue to me; people do lots of unpredictable things in the heat of battle.

    As for sparing Gendry, it wasn’t clear to me that he killed anyone; it’s also possible that they saw he was well-built and figured he might be a useful prisoner (which is basically what they decide in the book). Nonetheless I agree that this probably required the most suspension of disbelief in the scene.

  272. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I want to preface this criticism about last night’s episode by saying that i am by no means a book purist. I totally understand and accept the need to make changes, some small, some bigger, in order to adapt the books to the tv show.

    But I do have a problem when those changes create a situation in the TV show that now defies internal show logic. Such a change occurred in this episode.

    In the books, if I recall correctly, Arya/Gendry/et al escape the initial slaughter of Yoren and the other Night’s Watch recruits and wander around for a bit and then are captured and taken to Harrenhal.

    I can totally understand wanting to condense this and just have them captured off the bat and skip over all that. sure maybe some cute stuff between the kids is missed but i understand the need to.

    However the show did not set this change properly and now have a giant plot hole that you can drive a truck thru. Namely that everybody in that group of Night’s Watch recruits knows Gendry’s name and there is nothing to stop them from telling Lorch and his minions who Gendry really is to curry favour.

    1. Without the show explicitly saying that Gendry was hiding his name from everybody in the NW recruits group it is safe to assume that that group knows. Firstly Arya knows his name …. which can only mean without explicit indication otherwise that others would know it too. It is a small group and they’ve been on the road together for weeks. The other kids would know (they may even explicitly know and have said his name in the show i don’t recall) and if the group dynamic works as one thinks it would than the adults would know too since they are probably at the “top of the food chain” and order the kids around to do chores and the like.

    2. Even if somehow, miraculously, despite no evidence to support it, nobody in the NW recruit camp knew Gendry’s name (except Arya) everybody in that group HAS seen him carrying the bull helmet around like Linus’ blanket. So even if they don’t know his name (which is highly unlikely) everybody knows he is the kid with the bull helmet.

    3. so now the show has set up that the group of NW recruits know Gendry probably by name and at least by the bull helmet … and the gold cloaks and Lorch have been specific who they are looking for … a boy named Gendry with a bull helmet. we also know that Arya and Gendry have been captured by those who want to find Gendry with other NW recruits who know who he is and know that Lorch/King want him badly and the NW recruits aren’t exactly super honourable men who wouldn’t sell Gendry our to save their own hides.

    So this change, while necessary has been totally bungled in an unbelievable way so now we have to believe the absurd: that despite being actively sought by name and bull helmet, with a group of unsavoury criminals (NW recruits) who know who he is, know he is wanted by important powerful people and know that turning him in would give them at least reprieve from the Wall and maybe more in way of reward, that Arya’s little ploy (with a blonde headed boy who looks nothing like strong enough to be a armourers apprentice which those looking for him also know that he is black haired and large/strong enough to be an apprentice blacksmith) is going to keep Gendry from being indentified as a Robert bastard by Lorch’s men?

    Hello giant ass plot hole totally inconsistent with the show’s internal logic.

    If you are going to make a change you had best make sure you set it up properly so it doesn’t create an obviously absurd situation within just the context of the show alone and not even considering relation to the book.

    I have to seriously downgrade the episode for such a glaring flaw i’m afraid. the rest of the good parts are sort of soured by the giant dumb istake part.

  273. DC
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Two of my favorite scenes from this one were #1 When Catelyn looks up at Brienne after Brienne says she’s not a lady and gives a soft smile that hits the mark so perfectly as to what she’s thinking, which is that Brienne is practically Arya all grown up. #2 Yoren’s last stand. They didn’t go into as much detail on the show as they did in the book here with the trap door and Gendry, Arya, and Lommy getting caught while scouting, but still a great scene. Interesting how they finished off Yoren just like when the English tried to finish off William Wallace in Braveheart with the sword through the spine.

  274. Drew
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    This episode lived up to the hype and was the superior of the three thus far..

    (Hey lets do things in threes, after all this episode has, oh and its the third episode)

    What I Loved

    1. Yoren’s Last Stand: Bloody epic way to kill off such a great character
    2. Tyrion: He has exeeded my already high expectations
    3. Theon’s Letter: I disliked Theon in Clash, but this scene broke my heart
    4. The Discarded Son: Theon standing up to his father was all kinds of win
    5. The Beauty of Tarth: Brienne FTW
    6. Dream of Summer: Bran, Summer and Luwin was GREAT

    What I Liked
    1. The Triangle of Highgarden: The Loras, Renly, and Margaery dynamic was great IMO
    2. Amory Lorch and Polliver: I like to hate.. and they came off as bloody horrible praying for a bear now
    3. Little Dove: Loved Sansa this episode (hated hers and Shae’s scene toegther though, unfortunately)
    4. Three Great Men: Varys is god
    5. Death Prayer: Was a good way to adapt it to tv, givening it a tv friendly origin

    What I Wanted
    1. More Yara, didnt get enough of her this episode :(
    2. JOFF, where is that horrible blond haired bastard
    3. Shagga Son of Dolph

  275. Edric Dayne
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie is awesome. Another break-out star for the show. Peter Dinklage is amazing and perfect, but we already knew that. Shae, wtf? I thought maybe she would get fixed this season.

  276. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    i also think the TV Theon would have been better served if his Drowned God ceremony was the actual drowning/kiss of life revival. It would have made a much more powerful image and impact and shown just desperate Theon is to be Ironborn and just how far he will go to win the approval of his birth family …. it would have been a nice bit of foreshadowing.

  277. Drew
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    I see your point, but wheres your faith in humanity? yes, I suppose they could get a reprieve, oh wait its Amory bloody Lorch…

    Id like to think, that after traveling together for a month or so (which the show doesnt properly convey) that maybe just maybe, theyd be clever enough, and nice enough, to keep their mouths shut… after all, yes they could point out Gendry, but that doesnt garrentee one of Tywins infamous banner men wont butcher them anyway, or worse hand them over to The Tickler

    I get your point, but in tv… backround characters and extras… are simply all just there for show, theyre incapable of being characterised… unless the show and the story requires them to be

  278. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Drew,

    i just think the show has set itself up in a knot. all of the NW recruits know who Gendry is by name and bull helm. all of the NW recruits know that the king via his henchmen are looking for him desperately (if not why) and almost all of the NW recruits are former criminals and prisoners who don’t want to get stuck on the Wall and are the type of men who would sell their mothers for even the hope of reward.

    and this is on top of the fact that which ever kid died is the exact opposite of the description of Gendy that all of the king’s men looking for him are all aware of.

    it is a one two punch of plot hole-iness.

    and it could have been avoided with some clever planning in the previous episodes.

    just a bit disappointing is all …. still a good episode in many other respects.

  279. Jen@House Stark
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Yara = Yuck! I sincerely hope she gets the book role of her because so far she just does not hit it for me at all. Brienne was breath-taking! Very impressed with her. I enjoy Natalie very much as well, I think she is very well cast. I agree that Sansa speaks volumes without saying a word, she’s brilliant. I have always really liked Alfie in Theon’s role, I personally think it’s one of the the hardest roles to play, except maybe Tyrion’s.

  280. userj
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Josh: It’s so obvious why she’s a brat too Shae. If you couldn’t tell just how fragile and alone she was, thanks to Sophie’s magnificent work, then you have no hope of ever liking Sansa haha.

    Sansa’s one of my favorite characters from the books, and the fact remains that Book!Sansa would never have snapped at Shae like this. She’s too petrified of losing control and always stays behind her mask.

    So I’d say either if you’re a big fan of Book Sansa OR you hate her, this scene could fall flat for you.

  281. Carne
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    But they’re never told he’s an armorers apprentice, so I don’t see the problem.

  282. Paco
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I take back everything that I was complaining about before in regards to the missing Hot Pie battle cry. I was being prematurely upset about something that, in the context of the scene, would have never worked. I wish we couldve had the scene played out just like it did in the books bc it was so good but I liked the way it went down on the episode.

    Im also happy that Aryas “prayer” is being kept since i was pretty sure it was gonna be cut just like all of the water dancer sayings (calm as still water, swift as a deer…).

  283. jkb
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?:
    and this is on top of the fact that which ever kid died is the exact opposite of the description of Gendy that all of the king’s men looking for him are all aware of.

    it is a one two punch of plot hole-iness.

    ye that was a bit of a stretch tbh, didn’t like it

    as for the rest – so good. everything i wanted to say has been said already so i’m just gonna say: loved it.

  284. Mormegil
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    userj: Sansa’s one of my favorite characters from the books, and the fact remains that Book!Sansa would never have snapped at Shae like this. She’s too petrified of losing control and always stays behind her mask.

    Doesn’t Book Sansa throw trays of food at her handmaidens at one point (admititly earlier in her captivity), hardly staying behind the mask.

    Best episode of the Season so far.

    Another death no one mentioned is Old Nan. Bran talks of her in the past tense so it seems the character has been killed off rather than recast.

    Liked how they did SummerCam, I did wonder for a second why the serving woman was acting scared of Hodor before realising Summer was right behind him.

  285. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Carne,

    yes they are … they get the information by torturing the armour who he works for. they might even say it when the confront yoren the first time i don’t recall exactly but either way they know exactly who Gendry is and what he looks like since the got the information straight from his master by torture.

    i can see why others might gloss over it but it is a big plot hole that could have easily been avoided by 20 seconds of dialogue/scene showing that Gendry was keeping his name secret (only telling Arya after she tells who she is to him) and by showing him keeping the helmet under wraps/in a pack and only looking at it in private when he is alone (like a prized private treasure that is his last link to his old known life).

  286. Joe
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Odds that Jamie will repeat the “crossbow” line this/next season?

  287. The Winter Rose
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I totally agree about Yara and Shae.
    Personally, I wasn’t impressed with Yara last week either. She’s just not Asha to me. Not impressed. Ah well.
    And Shae? OMG, seriously. Wasn’t pleased with her last season either. The character comes off as annoying and having an oddly entitled attitude. And yes, there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry with her and Tyrion. I don’t get why he keeps her around.

    The good
    - Tyrion is just awesome. As always.
    - The Gendry and Arya scenes were great again.
    - Happy they showed Sansa. She’s doing a great job of her hiding her pain in favor of saying the right thing so she doesn’t get killed. I loved the scene with her and the Lannisters around the table.
    - I was so skeptical of Gwen Christie when she was cast because she looked so pretty and slender from her picture. But damn, she pulls it off flawlessly. They uglied her up and she’s so imposing looking. Well done. She nailed her!

    Other stuff
    - Not sure how I feel about the changes with Margery. I think I need some time to adjust to her.

  288. Carne
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    The Gold Cloaks in episode 2 were looking for a person with a bull’s helmet. When they didn’t get past Yoren they must have gone back to Gregor Clegane and told him about it, thus sending out Amory Lorch to look for Gendry.

    Though I do see what you’re getting at. Most of the NW recruits are criminals, and they’ll most likely just think about themselves. We know there’s going to be torturing in the next episode so sure someone must yell out who he is in hope of being rewarded.

  289. serum
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Shae is starting to annoy me, the only scene I didnt like last night was the Sansa/Shae scene, other than that the episode was a 10 out of 10!

  290. sjwenings
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Great job, Bryan Cogman!

    …and everyone else. The writing, directing, acting and so on and so forth was more or less perfect the whole way through! Probably the best episode of the show so far!

    Tyrions 1, 2, 3. Sophie conveying Sansa’s anguish in the scene with Shae. (I guess Shae HAD to be annoying once again in order for us to see just how Sansa is coping with all of this.) Theons frustrated and bitter speech to his father. Yoren inspiring Arya with his prayer. (gave me chills). Yorens last stand (Best fight scene so far! At least the coolest.) Cersei showing some real emotion. Sams promise to Gilly. Brienne. (nuff said) Renly and Loras with a (unlike their first one) sexy sexscene (well, almost-sex). And I’m sure theres something I forgot.

    10/10.

  291. Vellyr
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Amory Lorch never really stood out to me in the books, he was just sort of this character that was like Gregor but not as big and with less characterization. He comes off as a seriously sinister dude here though. I like that casting.

  292. Adam Roberts
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Great episode, Brienne was great.
    No weasel, for weasel soup?

  293. JA
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Kekilli is lucky she grew up in Germany because an American actress would never have made such an easy transition to legit work after being a pornstar. She was pretty good at it (three-input lest there be doubt). It can be hard to separate the writing from the acting so I’ll hold off on judging Shae though.

  294. userj
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    That was prior to the big turning point – seeing her father’s head and considering suicide/homicide.

    By book 2 it’s all mask of courtesy. Which they show very well in all her other scenes.

  295. Steve
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    I agree with the other Steve on this (Maybe we should start going by ‘The Greatsteve’ and ‘The Smallsteve’) I never much cared for the book Greyjoys but am really digging this storyline. Malahide has been perfect and thensome. I think Gemma Whelan’s depiction of Yara isn’t getting enough credit either. Sure, a lot of people got this fantasiesque picture of her as this spunky, sexy pirate girl but I feel the character in the show seems more realistic. The ironborn seem to be portrayed as cold, saltstained, discheveled looking people and with a stoneblooded father like Balon I think some of that would rub off on his groomed successor.
    Also, Natalie Dormer certainly didn’t hurt this episode.

  296. Yellow Dog
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    krh240,

    I was thinking the opposite – that making Shae so UNsympathetic now will make her betrayal at Tyrion’s trial much less shocking, and thus Tyrion murdering her much less sympathetic. In the books, I disliked Shae because she seemed to be using Tyrion, but accepted her for the sake of Tyrion’s obvious love. That’s why Shae’s testimony was more shocking to me even than Ned’s beheading, and her death at Tyrion’s hands even more rewarding than Joffrey’s death.

  297. Kroket
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Awesome episode! 9/10! Definitely the best of the season and it’s up there for the entire series.

    Arya / yoren was cute / cruel / bad ass. Yoren will be missed. I didn’t care for Yoren that much in the books but he was great on the show.

    Sophie is such a great actress. Her eyes… wow she can say a thousand words with them. Was interesting to see her ‘brat’ attitude return a bit but i am sure she is just distressed… Don’t like Shae either. I already said in s1 she was the only miscast and it holds true. I thought she was quite ok in ep1 but she wasn’t too good now… Mweh wish they had cast someone else and let her be the innocent cute girl. Somehow i always think Bennioff and Weiss want only strong women on the show. There is nothing wrong with a cute innocent girl… well ok we got Gilly for that but you know what i mean.

    Margaery is definitely changed too. More of a schemer. I like the changes. When Natalie was cast i was like ‘huh seriously she is like 28?’ but knowing her from the Tudors she is an awesome actress and she pulls off early twenties really well… Finally wow her breasts are just perfect! That had to be added.

    really looking forward to the next episode. No Dany and Joffrey today they’ll be back with a vengeance next week… same for Stannis obviously.

  298. kasugi
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    How much sex and nudity was in this episode?

    My mother is staying with me for a visit, and I am not sure I should watch it together with her. :)

  299. Idaan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Steve:
    Steve,
    I think Gemma Whelan’s depiction of Yara isn’t getting enough credit either. Sure, a lot of people got this fantasiesque picture of her as this spunky, sexy pirate girl but I feel the character in the show seems more realistic. The ironborn seem to be portrayed as cold, saltstained, discheveled looking people and with a stoneblooded father like Balon I think some of that would rub off on his groomed successor.

    Steve,

    I dunno, I’m kinda torn about that character as portrayed by Gemma. I always saw her as a tomboy with short hair and playful attitude. Gemma doesn’t really show neither of that, and I’m pretty sure it’s the team’s fault as opposed to her. The profile photos that pop up on Google for Whelan seem much more like Asha/Yara I imagined, yet for some reason they insisted on giving her this stupid haircut with braids and central parting that makes her look really bad. Then there’s the fact that she’s sulking all the time, walking in soiled clothes around damp, dark interiors – nothing like Asha I remember dancing the finger dance, teasing Tristifer Botley and Qarl the Maid, or running away after being married to some old dude.

  300. Carne
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    kasugi,

    Two men making out, nude woman kissing man, nude woman in bed with man.

    No sex but some nudity.

  301. Tomer Segal
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Crispin: I wondered the same thing, but the big man on the horse mumbled his introduction as Ser Amory Lorch. Had to go back and rewatch to catch that though. With the scene being so dark I found it very hard to follow the action-y cutting. Might just be my screen, but that scene was not fun at all, but just a chore to try and follow.

    As to the baptising… yeah, very disappointing that it was not an actual drowning, although I don’t remember how it was in the books. From what I remember from book 4, it seems rather common for Iron nobles to be just baptised instead of drowned, but then again, Balon is hardly the “progressive” type.

    I did see that he said he was Amory Lorch, but in the end you could barley see him. and I remember seing the recast photo of Gregor Clegane, and he looked very similiar to the person we saw. So sad Conan Stevens is no longer playing Gregor- you wouldnt be able to mistake him!

    And I just read in AFfC that the prophet says that while drowning is the prpoer way to “baptize”, most people nowdays simply pour water on themselves. It’s still weird to me cause I’d expect the “royal” family of the Iron Islands to be hard followers.

    It’s so nice to discuss the episode with fellow bookreaders and fans. Should have read the recaps and opinions before!

  302. TC
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?:
    Carne,

    yes they are … they get the information by torturing the armour who he works for.they might even say it when the confront yoren the first time i don’t recall exactly but either way they know exactly who Gendry is and what he looks like since the got the information straight from his master by torture.

    i can see why others might gloss over it but it is a big plot hole that could have easily been avoided by 20 seconds of dialogue/scene showing that Gendry was keeping his name secret (only telling Arya after she tells who she is to him) and by showing him keeping the helmet under wraps/in a pack and only looking at it in private when he is alone (like a prized private treasure that is his last link to his old known life).

    The bigger problem with the lie in my mind is that Lommy is blond and all of Robert’s bastards have dark hair. So unless we are meant to believe they went searching specifically for Gendry by name, but weren’t even given the most general description of him that applied to every other bastard that was killed, then there is no way Arya’s lie would have fooled them even for a second.

  303. Steve
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Idaan,

    Good points. I think she’s just darker in the series. Her smirk and demeanor is there in the scenes with Theon but they just seem a bit more sinister than book-Asha. We’ll have to see how the character develops and see if she gains a little more swagger after taking Deepwood Motte.

  304. Team Sansa
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Obsessed with this show, but have one un-mentioned props to give and one negative:

    First, the props: I’ve been watching with a few non-readers and have been hoping beyond hope that they pick up on some of the smaller details. And they’re totally getting it! They are asking the right questions: “Where is Dorne? Do we know anyone from there yet? Wait… I think they have good wine.” In both of the last episodes, my two friends have been shouting at the TV whenever Sam starts talking to Gilly because they’ve picked right up on Craster’s threats to anyone who would get close to one of his “wives.” They fear for the life of poor Sam! The writers, directors, and show-runners have set a beautiful table.

    Now, the negative, and I think Yellow Dog mentioned this slightly upthread. But I fear they’ve made a really bad choice with Shae… I remember reading the books and actually believing that Shae was falling in love with Tyrion. And it was clear that Tyrion was believing it, too. When the you-know-what hits the fan, for it to work with understanding Tyrion’s actions, you have to believe that he is suffering brutal betrayal. That is where the sympathy comes in.

    Beyond that, though, brilliant episode…

  305. Clob
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Team Sansa,

    There’s a long ways to go until we get to that point for them to work it. The bigger problem is that is seems like a lot of people aren’t thrilled with the casting. In that case it may be difficult to create compassion by any means. ;)

  306. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    LV: Furthermore, the “argument” (which is, of course, invalid) is a misogynist one because it reduces a woman to a (very small) part of her work that is not socially acceptable (at least in several western countries).

    Disapproval/dismissiveness of pornography is not de facto misogynistic, and neither is criticism of a sex performer’s poor performance, any more than accusing the Kardashian women of being talentless actors based upon their work as dress shop saleswomen would be. Performing sex acts (which doesn’t qualify as acting just because it’s filmed) seems no more an indicator of talent than would be waiting tables, but you wouldn’t call disparaging a former server as a poor actor misogynistic, would you?

  307. msl45
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Great episode. Best of the season so far in my opinion. Methinks David and Dan might have a little too much on their plates what with mapping out the entire season, writing 70 percent of the episodes, and overseeing production of the whole show. It gives them less time to focus on story and certain characters suffer (e.g. Littlefinger). I actually most look forward to the episodes not written by them. Hats off to Cogman.

    As for Shae, I never really liked her in the books either. At least in the show we see some of the fiestiness that George hinted at in the books. You can almost say that Tyrion sees something of himself in her. He subverts what most people think a dwarf should be and she’s kind of doing the same thing in her role as a whore (i.e. she’s not taking anyone’s shit). For me it makes their scenes a little more bearable.

  308. Flouride
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Liked:

    -Yoren. He deserves a Curtain Call posting.
    -Brienne
    -Dinklage is just awesome, he steals all the scenes
    -We did get Raff/Polliver after all!
    -Balon&Theon scenes were great, loved the letter burning.

    Disliked:

    -Shae comes out as unlikeable char. I liked her in the books.
    -Asha doesn’t seem like the same Asha that was in the books, so far she’s been quite unlikeable, I still think they should have kept some of the humour she brings is. Now she’s just stern looking face.
    -Yoren not claiming Night Watch’s neutrality
    -Kids not running away, instead they attack…
    -While Natalie Dormer is great actress, there’s just something that kinda annoys me and for me, she’s just wrong as Marg. Tudors probably ruined her for me.

  309. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I should have added to the above post that I am assuming that the line-speaking that takes place in some pornographic films is not “acting” in the context of discussing GOT.

  310. The Rabbit
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh, well.
    That was a ride.
    Dinklage shines through this season and is so magical in every scene he is.
    Loved very much a little details: – Littlefinger s facial expression while he turns back on Tyrion and evidently plotting something in his mind.
    It was almost: “you just gave me a brilliant idea, dwarf!”
    Cat s knights of summer.
    Bronn s and Tyrion quick excange on Pycelle (he s got company)
    Arya saving Gendry.
    And fantastic Sophie Turner in the both scenes.
    I could countinue, risking to sound like parrot…Theon, Yoren, Margery (yes I way a bit afraid about that one – but I liked the approach.

    And yes, Shae irritates me as well. It is not Sibel Kekili s fault, IMO, it is the way the character is written, from the very start, she appeared in season 1.

    All in all – great job Bryan Cogman!

  311. Grimnir
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    “I always hated crossbows. Take too long to reload – then I took an arrow in the …shoulder. But I got them basterds dearly!” R.I.P. Yoren

    I missed the sourleaf though and his line: “That’s no law, just a sword. Happens I got one, too.”

    I think the Shae-bashing is overrated. Keep in mind that she is only playing a handmaiden (she is uncomfortable with the situation – so it hasn’t to be convincing.) as Sansa is only playing at being ‘normal’.

  312. alex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Yoren was GREAT ! And I have to say I love the fact that is the starting point for Arya’s “you gonna die” prayer. It was GORGEOUS!
    I loved the Theon bits also, I really did!

    I was expecting the scene when Tyrion confronts Pycelle to be a bit more visceral, but it was good!

    What I hate(d):
    1 Natalie Dormer as Margaery. It just doesn’t work for me, but then again I didn’t like her in the Tudors either…
    2 The final fight… Yoren goes down heroically, but smth just seemed out of sync there, i dunno what
    3 Y U NO GIVE US DAENERYS?
    4 Sansa being bitchy with Shae… why? Where are they going with that? … cuz it seems like it has the potential to go badly wrong.

  313. Ed
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Pretty sure Theon was never drowned in the books. I think that’s just a priest thing on the Iron Islands.

    purplejilly:
    On Theon getting salt water poured over his head instead of actually drowned and brought back – I’m wondering if the lawyers were worried about one of those “Don’t try this at home, kids!” moments if they showed people being ritualistically drowned, then brought back with CPR – esp. since CPR is by a far cry not always effective.

  314. Maxwell James
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Disapproval/dismissiveness of pornography is not de facto misogynistic, and neither is criticism of a sex performer’s poor performance, any more than accusing the Kardashian women of being talentless actors based upon their work as dress shop saleswomen would be.

    No. But to harp on an actor’s early work in pornos, while ignoring the fact that they’ve won a slew of awards for acting is at the very best cherry-picking your evidence.

    I’m not saying anyone here needs to be blown away by Kekilli’s performance in GoT. I think she’s just been OK in it, though she has a rather thankless role so far (Shae is IMO one of Martin’s weakest characters – if anything she’s marginally more interesting in the show). But claiming she has no talent because she was in some pornos, without taking the rest of her career into account, is an extremely shallow argument.

  315. if it please
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    how does Littlefinger know Catelyn is at Renly’s camp? Is it ever explicitly stated?

  316. mike
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Where is Roose Bolton?

    I know he is this season but has a bigger role in the thrid book but he one my favorite char. in book. and hopefully down the road we meet REEK.

    cant wait!

    lol

  317. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit: And yes, Shae irritates me as well. It is not Sibel Kekili s fault, IMO, it is the way the character is written, from the very start, she appeared in season 1.

    But Kekili’s line delivery/accent is as unfortunate as Bianco’s, both in enunciation and intonation— “The stchupid foreeen geerl”—particularly in the company of the well-trained folks she’s working with. Peter O’Toole said in his interview with TCM that the greatest weakness in modern actors is lack of attention to the voice, and these two castings show how true that is. We’ve hypothesized many times on why these two individuals were cast, and those who think it had nothing to do with acting skill dislike them and those who don’t, don’t.

  318. K
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Dee:
    I can’t judge this episode obejectively because I have to many “feelings” as a book reader about how far they went to make Theon’s character sympathetic, and to mitigate his future actions. His rant to his father was fine, perhaps even necessary, but everything else, Balon planning to take Winterfell, the letter theon writes to Robb then burns, I just couldn’t stomach.

    I’m also concerned about what they’re going to do to Cat, adn how they’ll play the her motivation for releasing Jamie now that Tyrion’s enlisted Little Finger to help scheme her into it.

    I never thought of myself as much of a book purist as I’m not much fussed about the show changing events, but when they begin to simplify characters and and whitewash some of the gery out of them for the audience, I’m troubled. They did it with Cersie, and to a certain extent to Catelyn,and tonight they did it to Theon, it is really starting to bothers me.

    I didn’t like the ep very much, in fact, I don’t much like the series this season. On the plus side, they are making the Greyjoys as a whole a lot more interesting than they ever were in the books.

    The final Arya scenes were good, though I find it hard to believe that Yoren could wield that sword so well, lift it overhead no less, with an arrow embedded so deep in his shoulder, but that’s just me being pedantic.

    Wow! Finally! I thought everyone on this thread had been drinking mead- flavored Kool-Aid in copious amounts! Thank you!

    I am also not a book purist by I feel that this season has not been the same level of writing (by that I mean ADAPTING) as last season – way too much lowest common denominator stuff happening in the writers’ meetings. Last season the audience was treated as intelligent, thoughtful beings for the most part (and I had not read the books yet when the first season started) but this season they seem to think that the only way they can hold onto ratings is to hang on to as many frat boys as possible. I know they only have ten episodes and a lot of material to cover but this season is playing as Cliff’s Notes published in Playboy and I know they have the talent involved on all levels of production to do better. Do I still think it is better than almost anything else on TV? You bet I do, but last season I didn’t have to justify my opinion to the newly initiated viewers I know nearly as much as I have been the past three weeks. I have my fingers crossed each week hoping I will feel differently by 10 pm Sunday night.

  319. DH87
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: But to harp on an actor’s early work in pornos, while ignoring the fact that they’ve won a slew of awards for acting is at the very best cherry-picking your evidence.

    I was typing while your post was being loaded. I was not aware of these awards. I take your point.

  320. if it please
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Dee,

    I thought Theon’s portrayal was great. We never really get his thoughts in this between time during the books. I think it’s in his character completely, especially after reading aDwD. I forget the exact line but he says something like “I always wanted to be a Stark”. Why couldn’t you stomach him burning the letter?

    As for Cat’s motivations, you still don’t know how the events will play out so you can’t pass judgement on her character yet, which I know you mentioned. Just saying, as book readers we put the show in an unfair position, analyzing every little scene and sizing it up with the books as soon as every episode is released. Just wait for the whole season before we start to nitpick, especially with the events leading up to Jaime’s release.

  321. Maxwell James
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    If you want to make a fair assessment of Kekilli’s acting abilities, I recommend the film Head-On. It’s incredibly sad, but quite well done.

  322. Leuf
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    So I guess I’m the only one who thought Yoren was too much of a badass in this episode? I think it just cheapens it for other characters like Syrio, Selmy, and Jaime when every named character can mow through the red shirts just as easily as they can. May as well have had Septa Mordane cut down a few Lannisters last season while they were at it.

    While I totally understand that Arya’s story needed to be condensed, we didn’t see them passing refugees heading south to KL at all and it hasn’t really been brought up from the King’s Landing side either. I don’t really have a sense from the show that people cramming into KL is starting to become an issue. I felt with the changes made to Arya’s story that the NW recruits journey was happening in a vacuum, not that Yoren had to leave the Kingsroad to protect Gendry and ended up in the thick of the war. I don’t really understand why they had to change it so Amory Lorch was sent after Gendry instead of they just ran into them.

    LF being sent to talk to Cat about getting Jaime released… my first reaction is UGH NO, but I think I see where they are going with this. I think LF is going to tell Cat something like we both know we aren’t to come to terms that both Robb and Cersei will accept, but if you break Jaime out I’ll break Sansa out in turn. In shuffling things around it’s possible the sack of Winterfell happens after they need Jaime to be freed, so they need some other motivation for Cat to do it than thinking Bran and Rickon are dead.

    I did really enjoy the episode though, I don’t really have anything to add about things I liked beyond what’s been said.

  323. Khamsin
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree on the Shae botching. I HATE HATE HATE the character in the show. She totally sucks in every scene.

  324. Leuf
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    People complaining about Balon’s plans supposedly being different from the books, the line about Winterfell holding out for maybe a year is straight out of the book. Apparently only once Theon takes it does he change his mind on that, or GRRM goofed.

  325. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I guess that one was still too subtil?

    not really trolling, BUT complain about playing it simply for the mainstreamer and still fail to read between lines see what the actors bodies, voices and eyes say.

    ;-)

  326. scott glennon
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    ANOTHER new meme. “SummerCam” Love it! Love it!!!

  327. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Great episode. It hit the right spot in so many ways and the casting of Brienne is probably the top one. The acting was very well done overall and I liked the way they cut together Tyrion’s little scheme.

    It seems the worst part of the show is part of the fanbase.

  328. zmajevic76
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Yara/Asha – Worst casting decision of the whole series, period! She didn’t had to be a sexy pirate as some people are implying here, but she’s nowhere near to the character described in the book. And this is the fault of the team not only the actress…Can anyone really connect the books Asha (especially from Feast and Dance) with this…disappointed

  329. Procol
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Natalie Dormer does great. What beauty and what scheming (the good kind) as she turns on her sexiness. As she tries to seduce him. As she tries to get a child from her husband despite his gay inclinations

  330. Mattl86
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I do have one complaint about the episode. Everything feels so tiny. This was even more or a problem last season with things like the tourney, but Renly’s camp of a 100,000 was pathetic. First, a medieval army of 100,000 was incredibly rare, it’s just a huge, crazy number. But everything is bigger than reality with Martin, so I can accept that. But then to see such small sets really detracts from the entire Renly plot. He’s the lovable king with a giant host that is so confident he doesn’t really even have to take war seriously.

    Even just an overhead CGI shot of thousands of tents would have conveyed some sense of grandeur.

    The same issue is also ruining the Night’s watch scenes. It’s like they all live in Craster’s loft or something. There is supposed to be 300 crows up there. :(

    Money isn’t the issue either. All you need is one 3D artist to do a zoomed out CGI shot here and there. Hell, I could do it with 3DS Max, :P Considering the great job the fx team has done with the wolves and dragons a few army or camp shots would be a tiny increase in budget.

    If they don’t get blackwater right the season is a failure.

  331. wyvernwood
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    @MattI86

    more CGI = more money. Money was capped, so the only way those extra tents could have been added was by taking some £ away elsewhere, In terms of priorities, for me a few hundred more tents would have done nothing to progress the story.

    E3 was a very strong episode. As ever, the strongest elements for me were those not in the book, the emergence of Margaery as a player and of course Yoren and Arya. Other book scenes that were translated really well included the 1,2,3 and the Pycelle enforced barbery work.

    However, as most elements are strong – with almost perfect casting – the weaker elements really stand out. Shae is not just Tyrion’s weakness, she is the show’s weakness. Alfie Allen also doesn’t work as well as other actors, but maybe that will improve and it is just my prejudice on clicking with his character in the books.

    Also – James Cosmo – the most perfect casting in the whole show as Mormont ? – for me, a definite.

  332. Rygar
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Is it me or is Natalie Dormer talking out of the side of her mouth? It’s driving me crazy.

  333. Knurk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, did not like this episode at all. Though of course there were some highlights, YOREN! And Alfie Allen is superb.

    Agree with Winter that Yara totally lost her game this episode and that Shae is a terrible written character. Almost all the scenes fell flat for me, maybe it’s because this was the first new episode in 3 weeks for me and I was expecting 100% awesomeness. But Renly&Co were just very boring. Even my inner bookpurist got hold of me and was screaming why the fuck they cut out the flawless awesome journey Arry, Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy and Weasel undertook in the books. That was probably the ONLY journey in aSoIaF that was worth reading about. /bookpurist

    This was just not very compelling tv, let’s hope next week gets better. Shadowbabies!

  334. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    “We are ironborn. We’re not subjects. We’re not slaves. We do not plough the fields or toil in the mine. We take what is ours.”

    Great episode but I just don’t like the actress they’ve choosen for Asha, she’s not that attractive or even that good, definitely not what I pictured when reading the books. It’s a pity because Asha is one of the best characters in the series.

  335. wyvernwood
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    Even my inner bookpurist got hold of me and was screaming why the fuck they cut out the flawless awesome journey Arry, Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy and Weasel undertook in the books. That was probably the ONLY journey in aSoIaF that was worth reading about. /bookpurist

    I think mainly because it wouldn’t necessarily have made for good TV. With limited time, something has to give, and I found some of those elements in the book dragged somewhat. I can see that the journey helped develop Arya as a character, and gave some insight into the suffering of the proletariat, but some condensing can be accommodated I think. And when they include new scenes such as that with Arya and Yoren – I’ll forgive them rather a lot.

  336. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    It seems the worst part of the show is part of the fanbase.

    Always is, fans are the hardest to please and they love to hate changes.

  337. Knurk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    wyvernwood,

    you are right and I know things have to give (and yes, Yoren’s speech was awesome yet as Winter I’m in dubio if this Willem-prayer was brilliant or cheesy). I was just surprised that my inner bookpurist got the best of me. Probably a weak episode topped off by my favourite part in the book being cut was just too much.

  338. The Dakrk Viper
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Im officially in love with natalie dormer…thats all ive got to say

  339. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    For someone reason I can’t stop thinking about that moment when Natalie’s watching the duel and gets all excited, when she clenches her fists and has that crazy look in her eye, it turns me on.

  340. K
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    tysnow:
    Tywin’s Bastard,

    Always is, fans are the hardest to please and they love to hate changes.

    So, let me get this straight “fans” are the worst part of the “fan base”? Should every episode only be watched and commented on by people who do not consider themselves fans? Or is it that every episode should just be commented on by fans who share your opinions?

    I can’t speak for any other fans but I know that I do not love to hate anything regarding the books or TV series – they are among my favorites of all time. I don’t hate changes, I just hate badly conceived and poorly written changes, so sorry if that offends you.

  341. Knurk
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets:
    My favorite moment had to be Theon’s coronation. The music during that sequence was excellent.

    agreed, this scene(‘s music) automatically will make me purchase the new soundtrack.

  342. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Theon and Balon’s interactions have been fantastic, I loved the reaction on Balon’s face when Theon said ” you gave me away.”

    I just wish I could say the same about Yara but I can’t, I am started to get really irritated with Gemma’s slouching and whole demeanor. She won’t be able to pull off the stuff from AFFC and ADWD

  343. Ser Pippo La Breche
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Too true Brandon Stark,
    Natalie Dormer has got it.

  344. LV
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I was typing while your post was being loaded. I was not aware of these awards. I take your point.

    What a surprise!

    Good god…

    (And, obviously, what Maxwell James said.)

  345. Guy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    The Kingslayer,

    Agree 100%, Asha went from being a cocky, mouthy, playful dark beauty to a sullen (and, I’m sorry to say, very unattractive) blonde. Don’t know what they were thinking there, but I gotta say, if all Iron Islands women look like that I can’t blame the men for wanting to rape and pillage.

    Shae also disappointing, but what can you do. Other than both of these relatively minor gripes, the show is great! Can’t wait for next week.

  346. tysnow
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I believe Yara’s anger in this episode is toward Theon, as his verbal smack down on Balon really hit home to dad, and Yara knew it had. She really loves him and so this has accusational wounding is hitting a sore spot with her. So she is playing the role appropriately for the emotions being felt by her character.

  347. borki balboa
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    awesome episode. loved varys’ riddle. it is actually quite the spoiler if you can identify who the small man he was talking about really is.

  348. daev3
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    MEATY. So glad we are past season one.

  349. lonas
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Guy,

    Theon answers back to Balon after the stroke. Balon leaves. It wouldnt fit with Yara being a smartass. So Gemma nailed it once again. A lot of good drama happened tonight bringing us to that climatic unforgetable scene with Theon being “drowned”.

  350. Alan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    To all those that think this season’s writing has been catering to “frat boys” or that its been a poor adaptation, I would just say: you’re not watching closely enough. There’s been a tremendous amount of awesome here — just look at Theon’s decision to betray the Starks and all the subtext in the script and shooting — especially the interaction with Balon which was fantastic. It isn’t dumbing down anything and if you can’t see past a couple of sex scenes or minor changes to the script, I don’t know what to say.

    The only thing that annoys me personally is intelligent-Shae. I can get past this — I think this was a near-flawless episode. But I preferred dumb Shae who basically lulled Tyrion into love with constant flattery and sex.

    Tyrion is a smart man, but he’s also a man who is accepted by no one. He pays for his sex and even his family, sans Jaime, rejects him. I loved that storyline that even though he knew rationally that Shae did not love him, he fell for it regardless, emotionally, because he needed that acceptance.

    By making Shae smarter and thus more likely for Tyrion to fall for her in a mature, adult, way, it actually ruins what I love — Tyrion’s love for Shae was not real in any sense. What’s done is done, but I will Tyrion having an achilles heel that seemed so real but so rarely in stories. Lots of people are done in by the people they love, but I see a lot more real men done in by good sex with women they tell themselves they love.

    Anyway, I do think they need to actually have more sex scenes here. Shae as social-climber is just annoying — why doesn’t Tyrion just toss her out? We need to be reminded of why he’s keeping her. Neither Shae/Tyrion scene in this season has made me remember why he likes her.

  351. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow, gotta speak up and defend Gemma Whalen as Yara.

    I think she’s been excellent so far.

  352. Alan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Wow, gotta speak up and defend Gemma Whalen as Yara.

    I think she’s been excellent so far.

    I don’t think she’s been anything special, but a) she’s not a real character yet — there’s a lot of judgement on like four minutes of screentime and b) a large portion of the hate is based on looks.

    I don’t remember Asha being that hot in pure looks — but let’s face it, it’s fantasy. So every woman has to be really hot.

  353. Rabbitstew
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    David,

    I might be wrong or dreaming and I didn’t notice anyone else mention it, but I don’t think that members of the important families of the Iron Islands actually are drowned….. something in the back of my head seems to remember that piece of info, but also maybe that’s just my brain explaining it….
    I do hear voices sometimes…. hehe

    Such a good episode!!!

    Do you think that HBO will create a T-shirt with Arya’s prayer???
    that would be totally cool, actually I think I would buy any piece of merch that says Valar Morghulis on it, for sure

  354. Megan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see the problem with show!Shae. I absolutely loathe Shae in the books, so her being a whiny, self-centered, greedy bitch is playing it just right.

    Sansa just keeps crushing my heart.

    And Brienne. I squee-ed when they showed her and Catelyn beside each other. Holy crap that woman is tall!

  355. Guy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    lonas,

    Ok, you’re right. If I’m being 100% honest, my problem with Asha is all about her looks. I imagined her as a dark beauty, but I think she’s by far the ugliest of the women on the show so far; even Brienne’s face is prettier than hers. Yuck.

    Call me shallow, call me a mysoginist, bring on the flames, yeee-haw! But hey, at least I’m being honest :)

  356. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Again, about Yara. Yeah, she looks a little rough… but I think she’s actually kind of cute. She has nice eyes. IMO, people are being way too harsh towards her, simply because she doesn’t match what the imagined.

    Anyway, some good lines that stood out on a re-watch:

    “There’s men out there that want to fuck your corpses!”

    and the mention of The Sea Bitch! :D

  357. Alan
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Rabbitstew:
    David,

    I might be wrong or dreaming and I didn’t notice anyone else mention it, but I don’t think that members of the important families of the Iron Islands actually are drowned….. something in the back of my head seems to remember that piece of info, but also maybe that’s just my brain explaining it….
    I do hear voices sometimes…. hehe

    Such a good episode!!!

    Do you think that HBO will create a T-shirt with Arya’s prayer???
    that would be totally cool, actually I think I would buy any piece of merch that says Valar Morghulis on it, for sure

    You’re not dreaming. Theon and the rest of the royal family sans Aeron are not drowned.

    It actually makes a lot of sense — IIRC, Aeron has a claim to fame of never having lost a man to the ceremony, which means most priests don’t get everyone back from drowning.

    There’s no way a royal family allows that kind of risk.

  358. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
  359. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Yeah that music is fantastic. I also like the Dragonstone/Melisandre music and of course the malevolent epic rendition of the King’s Arrival from season 1 played in the closing scenes and credits of ‘The North Remembers’. I also noticed a Margaery/Tyrell theme being introduced as well, a great string piece.

    Djwadi has upped his game. Leitmotif all the way!

  360. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Just watched eps 1 to 3 of this season in a row. I can see everything flowing very well now. The first three episodes have been fantastic. Hopefully the pace continues because this will be an awesome ride once the box set comes out and we don’t have to languish in the aftermath (good or bad) of every episode. My opinion anyway.

    Shae’s annoying though. Can’t win them all!

  361. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Yeah cause honestly if I were in Vegas and bet the House that you enjoyed that episode to the odds that you didn’t….let’s just say I would be participating in a very realistic homage to the scene with Joe Pesci in the Cornfield at the end of Casino. ;-)

    I am kind of surprised the sheer awesomeness of this episode didn’t effect you. I personally think they are on a roll. Everyone at work (non-book readers mostly) were talking about the episode this morning.

    Ah well, different strokes, different folks/Purist inside winning some victories!

  362. PatD
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t think there was anything in this episode that I didn’t flat out love or, at the very least, find interesting.

    First off, I have to commend the director’s use of close-ups in this episode. They were superbly chosen and framed. From the opening scene between Jon and Mormont to Bran’s awakening face-to-face with Summer and his reactions to Luwin’s magic talk (what a face on that kid, eh?), to the framed shot of Cat with Loras over her shoulder at the tournament, to the first close up of Brienne sans helmet, to the positioning of Margaery talking into Renly’s ear with his face turned away in shame and embarrassment (I thought Dormer was smart and tactful and totally believable), to the perfect shots of Sansa at the dinner table, and, finally, those absolutely engrossing close-ups between Yoren and Arya (on your rewatches, check out the way the camera lingers on her for most of his dialogue, and how perfect her reactions are). So well done. I also thought the lighting was stellar in this episode.

    Alfie Allen killed it again this week. Man, they really have a breakout star in that guy (along with Kit). I’m also finding the scenes with Renly totally captivating. He’s another young actor who’s completely owned his role on this show.

    I’m still on the fence about Yara. Way too soon for me to have any kind of an opinion on her.

    I’m not feeling the Shae hate. First off, she’s a really minor player in all of this, and, secondly, I think that scene between Sansa and Shae was actually an important one. No longer the simpering, cowering wannabe, now Sansa is suspect of everyone in this viper’s nest, right down to a new, awkward handmaiden who is obviously no one’s handmaiden (I think it’s too much of a stretch to assume she thinks Shae is under someone’s protection, though). There’s other things going on in that scene more telling than the interaction between those two characters. The long look in the mirror, the simple hairstyle, and the plain garb. Sansa is physically throwing off all those King’s Landings affects and slowly returning to her Northern ways.

    Was I the only one who picked up on Tyrion copping the pooper-making concoction from Pycelle before he set him up? Book readers know what he has in store for that elixir, don’t we?

    I think there were some brilliant choices made in this episode re: condensing the story, and I’m not going to make any judgement about the final Lommy-plot-hole thing, because we’re not even sure that the Gold Cloaks fell for it, yet. I’m going to wait and see how that pans out next week.

    All in all, a very entertaining and clever episode.

    RIP, Yoren. I’m really going to miss you.

  363. Lex
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    PatD,

    Yes! I just re-watched it, and I noticed all those things. Amazing close-ups, FANTASTIC acting (I specifically noticed Arya’s reactions during Yoren’s monologue… she’s such a natural). I also noticed good acting from Gendry in the final scene (he honestly looks scared). And yes, Alfie Allen was awesome (he was okay last season, kind of awkward, but now he’s really coming into his own).

    Also, is it just me or has Dinklage’s accent improved?

    I just can’t get over the high quality of the acting.

  364. Michael
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I won’t get into any spoilers but so far I am largely disappointed with massive changes and omissions from the book. In the first season they did a much better job changing or trimming things as necessary to cram such a large story into only what totaled 550 minutes of television give or take.

    Way too many characters have either been cut or changed and for some characters, like the example of Shea given above, the TV version is just completely wrong. Much like the writer of this article I sort of hate the Shea that is being portrayed on TV. It’s just not believable that Tyrion would risk so much to keep her around when she is just whiny and nasty all the time.

    Yes Shea kept asking Tyrion to bring her to court in the book but she at least had the decency to play her part and keep him happy. You get none of that from the TV version and all she does is treat him like horse dung.

    I know full well that there has to be cuts and changes but they are not being handled correctly this time around. The best comparison I can give is the bastardization of the Harry Potter movie adaptations. So much from those great books was butchered for absolutely no good reason and Rowling let it happen because she was blinded by her huge paychecks.

    There were even things in those movies that made no sense strictly from the stand point of the movie. I’m not just talking about comparing the movies to the books but even just trying to look at the movies as a stand alone product so much did not make any sense and GoT is already going down that path in it’s second season.

    The issue with Shea is just one example, again it’s not believable that ANYONE would want to keep her around. Making Bron captain of the city watch is another example. Number one I can’t see his character as ever wanting a job like that and number two no one complained about his appointment. Sure they commented on Tyrion’s treatment of Janos Slynt but no one said a word about a low born sell-sword being given such a high position Maybe later after he is knighted for his actions in the battle on the Black Water it may have made more sense

    Showing Stanis breaking his marriage vows and having sex with the red priestess is another example. Yes that truth is exposed in the book but in a much more subtly way and not by showing Stanis banging her on the table and enjoying it. That’s something Robert may have done with some serving wench but not Stanis. The way they portray Stanis in the books always made me imagine that he did the dirty deed reluctantly because he knew it was necessary to win the war. Make him treat it like a duty he had to perform and not something he takes pleasure in.

    I could go on and on but it’s hard to do so with out filing it with book spoilers and it would take days to cover it all. They need to start doing a much better job of keeping to the books and when a change is necessary they need to do it properly.

  365. Albert
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    I was not happy with this episode.

    It was poor acting by both Alfie and Gemma in the “you forsaken me as a child scene”.

    The Margery – Renly – Loras thing was just soooo way out of character so i just wanted to cry.
    Natalie is good looking, but about twice the age of Margery.
    This is just silly.

    Why a phoney baptism, when a drowning cermony had been so easy to do???

    D&D could have done so much better…

  366. Lex
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Albert:

    This is just silly.

    The only silly thing is your critique. Poor acting, eh? You’ll find nearly unanimous disagreement with you there.

  367. Ax0r
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Having read all of the comments, there a common thought that I’d like to try to address.

    Shae
    Lots of people seem to dislike Shae, even if they liked the scene with Sansa. Others have already defended the scene, so I won’t mention it, but shae’s character, I feel can be defended.
    In the books, Shae is seen almost entirely from Tyrion’s POV, until she shows up as Sansas maid in book 3. Even then, she is background dressing, with very little characterisation. In Tyrion’s chapters, she comes across as entirely ditzy, with not much but air between her ears. Reading the subtext, you could think that maybe she’s a little savvy to Tyrion’s psyche, and knows playing ditzy and loving might get her more gold, but that’s about the limit. As a character, she’s totally one dimensional, and the interesting part is how Tyrion thinks of her, and uses her to escape the pressure of court.
    That would not make for good television.
    Following spoilers of Shae’s entire plot arc, and it’s relation to tv Shae
    In the books, Shae’s betrayal of Tyrion comes way out of left field. There’s very little to suggest she’s contemplating anything of the sort, because she’s so shallowly drawn. As such, while you feel it sucks because it’s bad for Tyrion, it doesn’t make you feel much for Shae at all.
    As it currently stands, if tv Shae were to betray Tyrion now, you’d still not feel much of anything – she’s different (bitchy instead of ditzy), but still shallow. Remember though that she doesn’t betray Tyrion until right near the end of book 3. That means SEASON 4!
    I foresee tv Shae having a more varied character arc on the show. In fact, were I writing her, I’d have her open up to Tyrion over the course of the next two seasons – either by actually falling in love with him for some reason, or by becoming strategically useful to Tyrion, perhaps as eyes-and-ears in the circles of the women at court.
    She does something useful for Tyrion, and the audience thinks “she’s pretty cool, not such a bitch after all”, and are won to her side. That makes her interesting, and gives her betrayal much more drama and impact.

    Basically, there’s lots of potential scope for enhancing tv Shae as she is currently, giving her more to do and a better dramatic arc, while still hitting all the major points in her arc from the books.
    I did have more to say, but typing on an iPad on the train gets annoying. Maybe in a later post.

  368. HouseLark
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I always find it a bit odd that its the female actors that come in for the most opprobrium in these comment threads after each episode.

    Anyway, the episode itself was good but it does feel like they have stored up problems for further down the line. There’s been zero development of Arya and Jaqen so I didn’t quite buy her helping him. I also didn’t sense that the black cell captives were in real danger, in the book that scene is almost claustrophobic and you get the impression that Jaqen, Rorge and Biter would have burned to death without Arya’s help. As someone else said, passing off Lommy as Gendry has problems as well. They could just skip over Gendry’s background as a blacksmith later on but if Amory Lorch knew he could recognise Gendry by his distinctive helmet, surely he was also told that Gendry had jet black hair as well which is his defining physical characteristic as one of Robert’s children.

    The recruits diving into battle against armoured soldiers was also unconvincing. These aren’t members of the Night’s Watch yet, they haven’t been trained. Most of them are criminals or children; they would either be scared or looking out for themselves, especially after the man who was essentially their captor (Yoren) was killed.

    This is the first time that I have felt that the compromises that have to be made for adaptation have effected the quality of the story.

    It wasn’t all bad though. It was good to see Jon Snow getting a kicking off Craster. It was a good reminder that Jon isn’t a superman, he’s still a boy who hasn’t seen a proper fight yet. Lena Heady is getting better and better, she nailed the scene with Tyrion concerning Myrcella’s proposed marriage. Renly’s camp was captured very well and I thought that the scene with Catelyn played out brilliantly.

    A final niggly point: do the actors seem to be over-enunciating this series? It might just feel this way because I’m a Brit but many of the lines are so delivered precisely I can hear the commas and full stops. It just doesn’t sound natural. Maybe they are trying to convey “proper” speech among the high borns but there are better ways of achieving that. Natalie Dormer and Lena Heady deliver their lines naturally but retain that regal air. Again, maybe it’s just me, but it’s really starting to grate.

  369. GrzebykK
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Best in S2 so far.
    Yoren had one of the best fighting choreographies in show. And I liked idea that he was the one who inspired Arya’s prayers.
    Tyrion’s scene with Small Council was great.
    Brienne made right impression beating Loras.
    Asha / Yara was too manly. I think, it’s because of hair.
    Theon wasn’t bad. His change was maybe too quiet altough, knowing that it was the biggest turnover in the series. We have some light side in the ASoIaF, we have some dark side, we have plenty of something between. But he is the one who goes Anakin Skywalker.
    Margaery knows how to play the game of politics. But in my opinion she’s too old and too cynic. There’s no innocence at all.
    I liked the scene with Bran inside Summer, I needed to see it twice however to notice how nicely it is done.

  370. HouseLark
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    I agree about Gemma Whelan, I don’t get what people are complaining about. She’s clearly beautiful but she can’t be portrayed that way in the show. If she was scrubbed up and preened like Cersei you just wouldn’t be convinced by Yara as a vicious warrior in command of a very male-dominated armada. It should also be borne in mind that Yara is a proper hand-to-warrior, she kills men with melee weapons which makes her almost distinctive among female warriors (Brienne is another obvious example) in most popular culture – usually women are given bows and arrows to compensate for the “physical strength disadvantage” they are supposed to have when fighting with men.

  371. HouseLark
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Bah, I forgot another problem that I had when watching. I read ACOK a while back but I don’t remember Balon ever planning to take Winterfell. In fact, I think he intended to just let it be as it is too heavily fortified. There was no mention of taking it “in a year” . I think that by putting Winterfell in Balon’s plans the impact of Theon deciding to take it on his own initiative will be undercut a little. This will have an effect on how we view his betrayal in later series as it may seem as if he was following his father’s ultimate aim rather than his own.

  372. Albert
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Lex: The only silly thing is your critique. Poor acting, eh? You’ll find nearly unanimous disagreement with you there.

    The fact that others disgree with me does not change the way I feel about it.

    And while we’re on the subject Theon Greyjoy.
    Does anyone know why D&D decided to make him Mr Nice Guy in the adaptation?
    We may disagree on this as well, but as I recall he was a prick in the books.

  373. H, aka Vee
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    space pope: I have to disagree about the baptism type scene. I absolutely loved it, I thought the end of it when it’s just a shot of Theon’s face and his expression was visually one of the best shots I think this show has ever produced.

    100% agreed. That entire sequence was rather astonishing. The somber but rich colors of Pyke, the expression on Theon’s face as he stands and looks to his father and sister and how freaking blue his eyes are – he almost looks like an entirely different person. Alfie Allen impressed the hell out of me this episode. I’ve never disliked him, but his role has been so limited and I feel like this moment blew everything wide open on what he may be capable of. I honestly never expected to be this excited over this segment of the Theon arc but Allen (and the writers) added such nuance in this ep.

    And even though we’ve seen that shot of Theon burning the letter to Robb a million times now in the promos, it still holds so much power.

  374. Jeda
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    HouseLark,

    It’s very possible they didn’t say anything about the black hair, the less people know the better, otherwise they’d probably have to be killed too. Besides in the TV version the order might even come from Jeoff who just heard about incests but I doubt he even knows the the details, Nedd’s letter didn’t reveal anything about what ‘the seed is strong’ means and how he found out the truth if I remember well.

    That being said, I agree with many things you said. And it’s not only the shortcuts around the Yoren episode that slightly disapoints me (I say slightly because it’s still a very good adaptation all in all). I’ve got the feeling that the trip to Harrenhal will be very short as well, I hope I’m wrong. To me, the Gregor Clegane tortures and all the horror of wars that Arya see on her way are some of the most memorable moments of book 2. So far we haven’t really seen the devastation of the war on the people themselves. Oh well, we’ll see what the next episode has in store. After all, Gregor is supposed to appear at some point in Season 2.

  375. Cerb
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t really like the Shae character, but then..didn’t like her in the books either. I’m not so sure she is so different from the books. She likes wealth, prestige and a life without work. She only seems more likable in the books because we see her through Tyrion’ s eyes, and he is in love with her at that point.
    Concerning the actress, Sibel Kekilli is indeed a fantastic actress, but as Shae she comes across a little….”wooden”. Mabye that’s how it is supposed to be, or maybe it just appears like that to me because it is the first time I watch her in English.

    I did like every single scene in this episode. And I thought the Shae/Sansa was well done, even though I don’t like both characters all that much.

    Yoren was the best!

  376. ianr
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    I think this was by far the best episode so far this season and it is up there with the best of S1. Some of the scenes in the first 2 episodes fell a bit flat, in this one they nailed pretty much all of them

    + Theon’s choice
    +Everything in Renly’s camp – Brienne vs Loras, Catelyn and Renly’s banter, they used a lot of the strong dialogue and lines from the books – this whole section was awesome!
    + Tyrion’s ploy – the scene was flawless, and to me also an improvement on the prose

    I think some of the changes from the novel that you start to see/can start to predict are actually very clever ways of condensing the plot. This is TV people, Arya aimlessly wandering around the Godseye would not make dramatic television. There have to be cuts somewhere and this is definitely one of the right places.

    I also think that sending Littlefinger to negotiate with Cat for Jaime’s release is genius, I think this is foreshadowing that her reason for releasing him will be that Petyr has persuaded here he can get her daughters back, I think her fathers death will be written out given they have cut all the Tully/Riverrun stuff so they need a different reason that her being deranged by her grief

    I am starting to trust that even though we will see more meaningful plot changes from the books this season, it will probably be for the better in terms of the visual medium.

  377. Angelo Braz
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    This was the first episode that disapointed me. There were good points, but there were some really disapointing scenes.

    I understand some compromises must be done when making a TV show, and so far I did accept the changes. But this time, episode 13 was a real let down. Didn’t like Arya scenes at all, too many changes, some understandable, others more like “WTF?!” or “DUH!”. Shae is another disapointing change (although I didn’t read the third book yet, so maybe I might be enlightned after that), the proposed gay threesome is another one. I don’t even remember Margery having a line in the book, but I guess Natalie Dormer wouldn’t acept a minor role with no dialogues. Sam and the girl, Lord Mormont… The changes and additions and omission suddenly started to pile up to the point that GoT is startng to be an ugly mutation of the original story.

    My wife didn’t read the book and I can’t stop thinking how much she’s missing. I’ve decided to keep silent no not spoil it to her. Maybe my error was reading the books before watching the series. I can’t separate both, I will always compare.

  378. ianr
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    One comment to all the ‘I don’t like this change from the book’ people. The structure of the books is to tell the story from several points of view characters – it means we can get inside those characters heads but its quite restrictive as well – because if a POV character doesn’t see something or isn’t present, we don’t get to see what is happening- there are lots of times in the books where I would have loved to have seen something play out in detail but the structure didn’t allow it. Also the storytelling is coloured by the POV character’s perception of people or events.

    So for example we don’t see Stannis until book 2 even though he is mentioned a lot. And we don’t see the Renly/Loras relationship explicit because there isn’t a POV character there to see it.

    For the same reason we see almost nothing of Robb in book 2 and we don’t see Margaery in any depth at all.

    The great thing about the TV adaptation is they are not restricted by the POV structure so they can flesh out some things that are implied but not explicit in the books – to have that restriction removed and then stick slavishly to what we see in POVs in the books would be a huge wasted opportunity – so I’m really happy they are making the most of that opportunity.

    The Renly/Margaery scene is a great example – one of the unexplained/illogical things in the books was how Margaery could be married to Renly for several weeks and that marraige not consummated – now we see exactly why! It shows Margaery was never as innocent as perceived by the POV characters in the books – and why would she be having been trained in the game by an expert (her grandmother)?

  379. Luana
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie was perfect as Brienne. And kudos to the person who designed her armour.

    Also, Lena Headey needs an Emmy. That scene at the table with Sansa. Wow.

    I like where they seem to be going with Margaery Tyrell. Now that she’s in her late twenties instead of a 16-year-old, the show can save time and money by eliminating the Queen of Thorns entirely and attributing her actions to Margaery. I actually like the idea of changing Margaery from being a partner in the Queen of Thorn’s schemes to originating them.

    At first I was bothered by Asha (Yara) being so very serious in this episode, but then I realized that all of her scenes were with Balon, and it makes sense that she wouldn’t be flippant or sassy in his presence. It also underscores the fact that she’s really her father’s daughter; the way she was echoing Balon’s expressions in their scenes and the uncanny facial similarity of the two actors made it even more striking.

  380. Matthew Snow
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I loved this show Everything is going great…But this episode is the first time i’ve thought NO no they cant cut that . Arya is hands down my favorite and they cut out a major character development for her she kills people at the battle of Harrentown (i think its upwards of 4 people) While screaming for Witerfell. I don’t expect HBO to do thing exactly like the book but they could have had her kill someone, its a big deal cause she doesn’t really kill often. I also think they could have changed that dialog with Yoren around a bit too so it doesn’t seem like she steals the idea for the death prayer, which might not seem like a big deal But arya could have just said at the end of Yorens story that she says the names before she goes to sleep. i realize its hard to write dialog for all the thing that are thought in the book but this in my opinion was not something that should be changed. it looks like there cutting the whole mountain town slaughter which is totally fine by me. but you shouldn’t be messing with Arya development shes got alot of growing up to do… and winter is coming :) end of rant

  381. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    my non bookreading friends thought it was one of the best episodes so far.
    So I guess they do something right.

    as to the TV-Version vs. Book-Version

    remember they cant put all YOUR fav scenes in it.
    I never bought Shaes & Mags innnocent acts. So that is fine by me.
    Also people seem to read something different into characters and D&D talk to Georg, so that characters will stay true to what they do.
    As for Yara, as Luana said. in front of her father she has to be serious and we havnt seen all that much of her.
    For some storylines it is too soon to say if the changes are for the better or not.

  382. Team Sansa
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    HouseLark: The recruits diving into battle against armoured soldiers was also unconvincing. These aren’t members of the Night’s Watch yet, they haven’t been trained. Most of them are criminals or children; they would either be scared or looking out for themselves, especially after the man who was essentially their captor (Yoren) was killed.

    I guess I disagree with this. For the criminals, heading to the wall is the alternative to being thrown back in prison or losing a hand or a head — the Night’s Watch is the only thing that can protect them and “clean” them for their crimes. Being back with the Gold Cloaks and taken to Harenhall puts them in much more jeopardy for their lives. If I were in that position, I imagine I’d fight…

  383. Peter Fields
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I think that the mention of taking Winterfell in a year is not very good, Theon deciding it would be a lot better. And also, the “death” of both Starks by Theon’s hand will be even more shocking than Neds (if they do like the books)…

  384. B Cogman
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hi all -

    Glad (some of you) enjoyed the episode. :) Appreciate all the reactions.

    For all you Hot Pie fans out there (I’m one of them), check out the new interview with Elio at westeros.org.

    Oh, and Balon’s line about Winterfell — that’s a direct quote from the book. And the manner of Theon’s “baptism” is directly from the book — it was just more of a ceremony in our version. Theon is never drowned in the book.

    Thanks for watching! Best,

    B

  385. Jesse Montijo
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink
  386. Jesse Montijo
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    hahaha

  387. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Anyone else notice how tall Sophie is getting ? soon she’ll be eye to eye with Jack.

  388. Knurk
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The Kingslayer,

    from what I remember she already was this tall last year. Maybe she has grown a little bit, but she’s always been big for her age I thought.

  389. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Knurk,

    She looks to me like she’s grown a couple inches, Shae looked tiny next to her.

  390. PatD
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Brian. I was just about to post that Balon does not say he’s going to take Winterfell in this episode. If you listen again, he says that Winterfell could probably sustain a year’s seige. His immediate plans are to sack Motte and the fishing coasts and then work his way inland and North.

    I thought the show’s Arya saving Jaqen made perfect sense. The cart was on fire, Yoren (the only experienced warrior) had been killed, and we hear Jaqen say to Arya, “A man can fight.” Either she lets them burn to death, or sets them free to help fight the Gold Cloaks. She made a logical decision based on the moment in the show, just as she did in the book.

    But… they cut off the Mountain :( I was looking forward to Arya being captured by him and watching all the atrocities up close – it’s a defining moment for her character. And half her list is made of Clegane and his men.

    I’m okay with almost all of the changes. Actually, I’m better than okay with them. I think they were judiciously made and very clever in maintaining the best of the story lines and characters. Frankly, I think this TV adaptation has been brilliant, so far. I don’t think it could have been done better, considering the time constraints. However, I do have to agree with the above quote. That experience is a big transition for Arya. Not only does it motivate the beginning of her “prayer,” but Arya learns she is no water dancer, this is no game, once and for all, because of the above experiences. Hopefully, something of those scenes will occur next week.

  391. goober
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    enjoyed the episode.little things are nagging me but until i see the end game of certain changes to the book,i wont complain.
    can anyone tell me if Theon was drowned before he was warded to the Starks?
    thank you mr cogman.should have read all the posts first.my bad.

  392. Vanderhook
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Forgive me if this has already been said (dont have time to read through 400 comments) but I think I might have picked up on a plot hole:

    If Tyrion is sending Littlefinger to go to Renly’s camp to treat with Catelyn.. How does he even know Catelyn is there?

  393. PatD
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    can anyone tell me if Theon was drowned before he was warded to the Starks?

    Yes, he was.

  394. PatD
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    How does he even know Catelyn is there?

    Spies.

    Ravens.

  395. andrea
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Alan: why he’s keeping her.

    I think he sees Tysha in almost all women (outcasts women). That explains to me why, despite being a smart man, he´s still keeping her around. Something to do with guilt I think.

  396. Leuf
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Direct quote from the book re Balon and Winterfell

    Lord Balon rode over him. “The lords are gone south with the pup. Those that remained behind are the cravens, old men, and green boys. They will yield or fall, one by one. Winterfell may defy us for a year, but what of it? The rest shall be ours, forest and field and hall, and we shall make the folk our thralls and salt wives.”

    Really people, before you bitch about how something is changed from the books make sure what you’re bitching about isn’t a direct quote from the books. Theon just can never do anything right in his family’s eyes.

  397. bhd
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    I think how it was handled is credible. It’s fair to consider that, after travelling together, no one would want to sell out Gendry to a bunch of strangers who just killed many of the recruits and Nightwatch brothers in cold blood. After Arya lies, it’s even fairer to consider that no one would want to sell out Gendry AND Arya, especially considering that since Arya’s explaination satifies the Lannisters, there’s no need to sell out anyone.

    In the future, even if someone had seconds thoughts and decided to tell the truth, how would they justify lying in the first place? Would they seriously think they’d get a reward? Better to just stay low, not attract attention and shut up.

    Also, many of the recruits are orphans and lowly thieve. For them staying low, not attracting attention and shutting up is basic survival. And among outcasts and petty criminals, being the rat is pretty much frowned upon.

  398. userj
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Albert: The fact that others disgree with me does not change the way I feel about it.

    And while we’re on the subject Theon Greyjoy.
    Does anyone know why D&D decided to make him Mr Nice Guy in the adaptation?
    We may disagree on this as well, but as I recall he was a prick in the books.

    Lol wut? Theon has been a complete misogynist jerk wad in every one of his scenes prior to this episode and you call him Mr. Nice Guy?

    I think they vocalized some of Theons family angst for the obvious reason that we can’t hear his thoughts on tv.

  399. userj
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Alan:
    The only thing that annoys me personally is intelligent-Shae.I can get past this — I think this was a near-flawless episode.But I preferred dumb Shae who basically lulled Tyrion into love with constant flattery and sex.

    I thought it’s pretty clear in the books that shae isn’t dumb at all – just really good at her job. Being what men want her to be. Which rather unflatteringly in Tyron’s case apparently means a pouty ditz who calls him stupid pet names. They have made shae not smarter, IMO, but actually stupider.

    Anyway, I do think they need to actually have more sex scenes here.Shae as social-climber is just annoying — why doesn’t Tyrion just toss her out?We need to be reminded of why he’s keeping her.Neither Shae/Tyrion scene in this season has made me remember why he likes her.

    I agree with this.

  400. Michael Sutherland
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I thought the episode was really enjoyable. Since re-reading the book recently I can’t help but sit and wonder why certain small details are left out, but then time is a huge factor and I think that the changes within the show make it more exciting as you’re never quite sure how certain big events are going to be presented. Does anyone else agree?

  401. Team Sansa
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Any chance that the impetus for Catelyn releasing Jaime is because Littlefinger might let her know that they’ve “lost” Arya? Serves the same purpose as later on with the younger boys. And Littlefinger has knowledge of that. In her hopes to get the last one out of Kings Landing, she might do the trade.

  402. Conquistador
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Shae and Yara are both horribly miscast. Other than that, everyone is exceptional. I pictured Yara to be sly, but gorgeous, with some charisma. Unfortunately, the actress is bland and boring. Shae looks like she’s over-acting. The eyes, etc. are just not natural enough. For example, incredible acting thus far goes to Yoren, Cersei, and of course Tyrion.

  403. Lex
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman:
    Theon is never drowned in the book.

    Thank you! Frankly, it’s embarrassing how many people misremembered that scene. XD

  404. userj
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Team Sansa: Any chance that the impetus for Catelyn releasing Jaime is because Littlefinger might let her know that they’ve “lost” Arya? Serves the same purpose as later on with the younger boys. And Littlefinger has knowledge of that. In her hopes to get the last one out of Kings Landing, she might do the trade.

    If this is what they are doing, count me severely disappointed in the direction they are taking Catelyn. Instead of being an agent, and taking her own shrewd decisions based on her own analysis of the situation, her plans are once again fed to her by men. This is sexist bullshit if you ask me. It was bad enough Robb came up with the plan to treat with Renly, but Littlefinger convincing her to free Jaime instaed of her coming up with it on her own? WHAT THE HELL DAVE AND DAN.

    …I would be able to accept LF and Cat meeting, and discussing a Jaime / Sansa deal, but she should tell him to fuck off. She already knows that Arya is missing anyway so that doesn’t serve the same purpose at all. Cat should only release Jaime when she believes that ALL hope is lost – a final, desperate move when she knows Robb can’t be swayed. With Bran and Rickon safe in Winterfell it makes no sense.

  405. PatD
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    He’s not drowned in ACoK, after he comes back to Pyke, but he was drowned as a babe, according to Martin.

  406. Alatariel
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    borki balboa:
    awesome episode. loved varys’ riddle. it is actually quite the spoiler if you can identify who the small man he was talking about really is.

    Wasn’t he talking about Tyrion? o_O

    Who is the small man then? A “little bird” ?

  407. Mista C
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,
    Wow! Great point!?!?

  408. Jonathan
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    David,

    was he drowned in the books? I can’t remember, I only remember someone being drowned but in my memory it wasn’t theon but some other Ironborn one-chapter-only POV Character ^^

  409. Conor
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Yara is so awesome. I love her dead pan deliveries and expressions.
    “Be Careful of their nets” lol

  410. DH87
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: If you want to make a fair assessment of Kekilli’s acting abilities, I recommend the film Head-On. It’s incredibly sad, but quite well done.

    Thanks for the snark-free recommendation—I appreciate it.

  411. HouseLark
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Team Sansa: I guess I disagree with this.For the criminals, heading to the wall is the alternative to being thrown back in prison or losing a hand or a head — the Night’s Watch is the only thing that can protect them and “clean” them for their crimes.Being back with the Gold Cloaks and taken to Harenhall puts them in much more jeopardy for their lives.If I were in that position, I imagine I’d fight…

    Given that few of the recruits had decent steel or armour and it was dark, I think I would run if I was one them.

    Someone else mentioned the missing scene when Arya kills a few people. I have to agree, this is a massive scene to skip over, it’s the first time Arya kills grown men which will be very important to her character development in the future. Maybe they’ll add this somewhere else because Arya needs to get her taste for blood from somewhere. I would hate to look back on this series and not have that scene while we do have another non-book scene of Littlefinger talking to a prostitute.

  412. Michael
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Ax0r:
    Having read all of the comments, there a common thought that I’d like to try to address.

    Shae
    Lots of people seem to dislike Shae, even if they liked the scene with Sansa. Others have already defended the scene, so I won’t mention it, but shae’s character, I feel can be defended.
    In the books, Shae is seen almost entirely from Tyrion’s POV, until she shows up as Sansas maid in book 3. Even then, she is background dressing, with very little characterisation. In Tyrion’s chapters, she comes across as entirely ditzy, with not much but air between her ears.

    What are you talking about? Shae was never Sansa’s hand maiden in the books. Hell I don’t think they ever interacted at all. Tyrion made Shae Loly’s hand maiden but Loly’s is not even on the show.

    Making he Sansa’s hand maiden is an obvious substitute for that but they have handled it poorly like everything else involving Shae.

  413. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Peter Dinklage, Conleth Hill and Francis Magee, those three actors really made this episode shine, but best of all I found Alfie Allen’s performance. All during season 1 I found his character mildly annoying, but now I am almost ready to join the crew of the Sea Bitch and team up with House Greyjoy. This is a wonderful revelation for me. In the books Theon was my favorite in ADwD, but before that I loathed him. Alfie Allen’s Theon is quite a different creature, but I don’t mind changes as long as the result is Quality, as is evident in this case.

    The low points were the scenes with Shae. She is entirely unconvincing as a character. And her scene with poor Sansa just dragged on and on. I’m not sure what the writers have in mind for Shae but I hope they will surprise me in a positive way. As an aside I must say I am impressed by Sophie Turner’s performance and I hope she soon gets some good scenes to shine in. It’s not her fault that the scenes she was in this episode were “meh” at best.

    I’m not entirely sold on the whole Storm Lands sequence, the exception being Brienne of Tarth. It was an absolute joy to see Gwendoline Christie in that role and I am so looking forward to her story arc.

  414. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Michael: What are you talking about? Shae was never Sansa’s hand maiden in the books. Hell I don’t think they ever interacted at all. Tyrion made Shae Loly’s hand maiden but Loly’s is not even on the show.Making he Sansa’s hand maiden is an obvious substitute for that but they have handled it poorly like everything else involving Shae.

    Pretty sure she was, and Sansa even comments in her internal monologue about the pretty but sort of petulant new handmaiden she has.

  415. Maxwell James
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    That interview with Brian at westeros is really great. I’m just going to go ahead and quote what he says about the final scene in its entirety:

    The other hugely challenging sequence was the final one… In my first draft, it was closer to book—the holdfast attacked, Yoren killed, Arya and the gang escape. But then due to scheduling, budget, etc… it fell to me to combine what I had with the NEXT sequence (Lommy getting killed, etc). Plus it was up to me to thread the Gendry/Gold Cloaks thing into it, which isn’t in the book.

    A lot of things to juggle.

    PLUS we had a specific location we had to use—that didn’t have walls to scale! PLUS we only had a few nights to shoot it—and kids can only work a certain number of hours! So it was a real collaboration between me and Alik and the guys to get that final sequence where we could tell the story we had to tell and get it shot in time— I think we pulled it off, but it was rough. that scene/sequence went through a ton of versions.

    Highly recommended!

  416. B Cogman
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Michael,

    Have another looksie at A STORM OF SWORDS…

    B

  417. Knurk
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman:
    Michael,

    Have another looksie at A STORM OF SWORDS…

    B

    lol, you must find it either hilarious or extremely irritating that people are blaming you for changes that are actually literally in the book.

  418. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The level of incorrect nitpicking has been sort of comical. Cogman isn’t the keeper of the lore for nothing.

  419. Ax0r
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman:
    Michael,

    Have another looksie at A STORM OF SWORDS…

    B

    I’m constantly amazed at how much people misremember. I last read aGoT just before S1 last year, and followed on to re read the series including Dragons. I don’t claim to remember everything, but I don’t talk about the stuff I’m unsure of.
    So many people up in arms about direct translations. They don’t want the books that they read, they want the books they think they read.

    Grats on the episode, Mr Cogman. Obviously we haven’t seen the rest of the series yet, but so far you get my vote for a Emmy nom.

  420. The Rabbit
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I was just waiting for time to come with people complaining about the things from the books.
    Extremly crazy :)

  421. DavosDrivesTheBoat
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    LV: so

    You have a point…I mean, George Lucas made of the greatest American actresses’ of her generation, Natalie Portman, stink up the joint. Could very well be the writing; although when she screamed about Tywin not being able to hear her, I got the douche chills.

  422. J
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    My new favorite thing is people complaining about “additions” or “changes” that are actually from the book.

  423. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Whine, bitch, whine, whine, bitch, moan, whinge, moan…

    I love reading some of the comments on this site XD

    Although I agree with the posters above that castigating Mr Cogman for stuff that was actually in the books represents a new comedy high…

    Ax0r: So many people up in arms about direct translations. They don’t want the books that they read, they want the books they think they read.

    So true. :)

  424. ph2586
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Irrelevant but word just came in that season finale is named (as everybody thought) Valar Morghulis
    :)

  425. daev3
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I just want Mormont’s crow. I’ll live without the neck kids. I guess..you know..

  426. tysnow
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have my copy of ACoK handy, but I believe people are remembering how Asha castigated Theon for Winterfell saying it was to far inland and they were suppose to just take the coast and leave the inland areas alone (which is counter to Balon, who wanted all of the North and figured WF would fall more easily after the rest fell), I believe Asha was just jealous of what Theon accomplished and figured a logical reason to turn the awesome tactical victory against him. If Asha had stayed with Theon and her men, they could have held WF till reinforcements arrived. She just didn’t want him to get any glory, for her end game was Queen. So people are remebering her reaction and confusing it with Balon, who did want WF.

  427. Adam Austin
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    R2D2 & C3PO weren’t GAY!!! It wasn’t mentioned in the books and now they’re Steel-Humping all over the Movie!!! And they’ve gone and cut out all the adventures Luke and the Ewoks had before they got captured by the stormtroopers. And Princess Leia??? what the Hell is that all about??? she used to be this shy, virginal maiden and now she’s this conniving, sexual manipulator which we didn’t know until book 4. HellBO get your facts rite and stick to The Force!!! Darth Vader looks Cool though but i thought he’d be Uglier.

    For the Whiners!

  428. Knurk
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I find it intriguing noone is complaining about the gruesome death of Lommy by the way. There is outrage over boobies, jizzface, wolfdeaths and horsedecapitations but one of the most horrific killings in the show barely goes unmentioned. We literally see a close-up of a kid getting sword through his throat and see him choke in his own blood. The only person being upset with this is Jennifer Braun I believe. Are people getting numb to the violence or are they just upset when they see sex and animal-deaths?

  429. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I finally got to watch the episode last night and WOW! I loved how Gemma pulled of the lines with Theon, serious and sarcastic at the same time, and I agree with another poster that she wouldn’t be snarky around her father.

    I was jumping up and down on the couch when Brienne was revealed! So excited to see more of her in the future.

    Natalie as Margeary totally nailed how smart I know Margeary to be when she revealed to a suprised Renly that she knows his secret, but will do anything neccessary to secure the throne, SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE PLAYER OF THE GAME!

    Can’t wait for next week!

  430. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Also wanted to say, that I like this Shae much better then book Shae. I mean to say, I don’t like her as in “she’s a great person” (far from it), but I think her exchanges with Tyrion show she has more vigor and a brain than book Shae. Book Shae was always sulking and pouting and simpering, yuck. This Shae is more fiery!

  431. Zmajevic76
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Since it seems that people who are showing some criticisms towards early episodes are called bitchers and whiners, let me just say this:
    First season was, despite some shortcomings, well done, but these first three episodes just left me flat…Sorry, I didn’t had any real wow moment so far, and found myself to be bored for the most of time…I’ve talked to several other friends, who are also fans of the books (and loved the first season too) and they told me the same…It’s just not clicking for me, and I’m really hoping that future episodes will be better…I’m not yet ready to cast stones towards GOT team, since I understand it’s not an easy task.
    Also, I’m really amused that some people here are trying to justified obvious poor casting/scripting decisions when it comes to Asha and Shae…Scene with Sansa and Shae was so ridiculous and bad acted by Sibil Kekilli, that all of us in the room (five of my friends) started to laugh…It was so out of place, like some C grade movie…I’m afraid that we will start to loose audience if the show doesn’t raise its quality soon…

  432. Aleenys
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m one of those upset by the Shae/Sansa scene as well.

    Sansa is one of my favourite character in the books (which I started reading after watching the first season of Game of Thrones) and it just upsets me that they’re taking her out of character this way. I didn’t like her in the first season, but after the books she just jumped all the way on my favourite characters list and is one of my top 3.

    Part of the reason is the way she acts from book 2 and onwards. During her captivity she matures quickly and stops seeing the world behind pink curtains. I know that in TV series its hard for people to understand her inner turmoil and suffering, but that Shae/Sansa scene in particular is out of character for her.

    Due to the suffering she goes through in King’s Landing, she starts empathizing with people and tries approaching people with more respect. She understands that because the way she’s mistreated and disrespected, she doesn’t want other people to be mistreated and disrespected as well.

    It is indeed understandable for her to react that way to Shae, but its not just something Sansa would do, with the change she’s going through. She suffers silently, but keeps her courteous and kind nature to other people around her even if she doesn’t trust them, and that’s what makes her likable to me.

    She was shown as a bit mean to her Septa as well in season 1, so non-book readers may see this reaction natural for her, since she wasn’t shown as kind to anyone (except Dontos but that’s for a reason) anyways, and while no one is forced to like a character, showing Sansa this way won’t make it any easier for her to be likable for TV-Viewers.

    That’s probably too much of a fuss over a short scene, but it upset me anyways. I just hope in the coming episodes we start to see Sansa’s changing nature, her kindness and courtesies as described in the book and not just see her sad about the whole situation and yelling at people for it. Because that’s just not the way her character develops.

  433. Leuf
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Aleenys,

    Sansa doesn’t have any POV chapters in the book between saving Dontos and getting the note from him, so quite frankly you have no idea how she is supposed to be acting at this point. I think you entirely missed the subtext of the scene that she WAS showing her inner turmoil and not just being bitchy to Shae for no reason, and that the viewer is supposed to sympathize with Sansa there.

  434. Adam Austin
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Her Kindness is Still there. She saved Ser Dontas from Joffreys vicious boredom… And with a bit of clever manipulation too. This girl is scared, drained and all her ideals are shattered, and then comes a new Handmaid who doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do or even have the slightest respect for her positon. Sansa’s 1st thought is suspicion and then anger, not at Shae but at all the injustices she’s had put upon her!
    As for Shae, she is Not the book Shae! But let’s just wait and see where HBO takes her. After the Truth or Drink game with Tyrion, I’m left with thought that she could well be a Sandsnake, placed by the Martells to spy on the Lannisters. Maybe she’s Littlefingers already. I also think her role will now incorporate that of Ser Dontas and we will nolonger see him. AND just to salt the wounds of Book Purists, What if she Never gets Strangled… and lives on…? Forgive my Blasphemy but I ain’t see a golden necklace on the Hand so I guess Tyrion’s just gonna have to Pin her to Death??? George loved his Ironic death-scenes
    Please tell me I’ve put the Spoiler blocks in the right place???

  435. Aleenys
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Leuf, I don’t disagree with you, I perfectly understand her reaction as I said but my concern is for the TV-Viewers, who probably still haven’t seen enough reasons to ‘like her’ as a character. They sympathize with her maybe, because its apparent that she’s suffering the loss of her father and has concerns for her family, but her personality which makes her admirable are still not shown. Her getting along with Tommen for one, and her kindness towards the Hound despite being afraid to look at his face which I hope will be shown.

  436. Titus Crow
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Lommy with the arrow to the knee!

  437. Gina
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Sansa’s first scene in ep 13 was phenomenal. I didn’t even recognize her at first. Last year she was this bubbly, air-headed dreamy little girl and now she’s been transformed into a defeated, hopelessly beautiful sad figure who has lost her family, her dreams, and certainly any hopes of finding her “prince”. It’s heartbreaking really. Sometimes I think that Sansa suffers most of all the Starks. She is completely alone through the entire series, surrounded by her family’s enemies.

    As far as acting, I’m completely impressed that she could convey so much angst and sadness with very few words. I didn’t much care for the scene with Shae, but afterwards I realized that Sansa has had to hold her tongue with EVERY single member of the castle and this is maybe the one time that she can let go of some aggression – by berating the inept serving girl.

    These two young girls – Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, are turning in some incredible material – can’t imagine what they will be like in a few years!

  438. fuelpagan
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    I do agree it is an annoying plot hole that could have been avoided. I don’t think any Gendry hiding his identity from everyone is needed though. The only change I see that would have needed to plug it would be having Gendry escape. Then when Arya claims Lommy was Gendry they would quit searching for him. Have Gendry captured offscreen by another group and Gendry and Arya meet back up in Harrenhall with Gendry using an alias. Then anyone who tried to betray Gendry would run the risk of punishment for not speaking up sooner when Arya lied. That part of it still plays, so I don’t see it as a hole that continues. But after Yoren telling Arya how quick this group would sell her out for a pardon, you would expect someone to take the bait with Gendry right there and Yoren dead.

    I can let it slide though. With such a complex story they are trying to condense, these will pop up now and then. From the interviews it sounds as though Cogman originally had them escape this episode, but they had to condense the capture to this scene for other reasons. The writers are doing a great job so far. Even with this plot hole and that horrid “baby in my belly” line, this really was a fantastic episode. For me it really was a work of art.

  439. fuelpagan
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Aleenys,

    Keep in mind that we have only had 3 scenes with Sansa so far. So we really are only seeing the starting position for the character. One that is isolated from friends and family and tormented by her captors. Sophie Turner is doing a great job of showing her torment while trying to project a brave front.

    Soon we will see her with Dontos and will watch her blossom into the character we love. *fingers crossed*

  440. andrea
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: gruesome death of Lommy

    you´re right. The question of accepting the series as it is also makes that things like Lommy´s murder, are accepted as well. This whole story is cruel. Maybe we´re prepared for that. Or we are really shallow. All excuses though, of course.

  441. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Winter Is Coming: And it is similar to what happened in the book, where no one fights until they get attacked. In this case, they were waiting to see if Yoren would get them out of it, then when he got attacked and killed, the recruits were angry and emotional and upset, so they responded by fighting back.

    No not really.

    I watched the Bryan Cogman interview where he explained some of the concessions they had to make due to child hours, time and choice of location. He also stated that even HE wasn’t sure that it worked. Of course the interviewing people on the show gave him a pat on the back and said they liked it but I disagree with you, there are still quite a few problems with the sequence.

    “No one fights until they are attacked”

    Yoren walks out with two of the ‘older boys’ at his heel and they are killed by the Lannister men. The stuff about the Night’s Watch takes no part has been cut from the script from both the scene with the Gold Cloaks earlier and this scene, which I don’t think was a good idea, as it makes the Lannister men’s actions seem less brutal.

    It appears that a large number of the recruits tried to escape through a postern gate, but in the sequence where Gendry, Hot Pie and a few others boys charge in to attack, most of them look quite young, I don’t see too many of the men fighting actually.

    It would have made more sense showing them running in to attack BEFORE Yoren died, to try and help, instead of waiting until afterwards. I don’t believe that seeing the best of them taken down lays any merit to rushing out out of hopelessness (I understand your claim of anger, but not courage, as Yoren starting to fight would have given them courage, not his death). As someone mentioned earlier, this scene is very much borrowing from Boromir’s death in The Fellowship of the Ring.

    Winter Is Coming: And they didn’t kill Gendry right away because they didn’t know which one was the bastard. Once they had subdued everyone and learned that they had already killed “Gendry” what would be the impetus for them to then decide to just kill the rest of their prisoners?

    Well they killed other recruits when they weren’t sure which one was the bastard. So that’s hardly an argument there. After watching the sequence again though, I am not actually sure whether Gendry did kill anyone, he just hit a guy in the face a few times.

    Winter Is Coming: The rest of your post relies on the assumption that Amory Lorch was told that Gendry was an armorer’s apprentice, and since we were never told that in the series, I don’t think the issues that you raise are valid.

    You are correct that I was assuming that Lorch has the full details. I’ve watched the episode again and I am still holding to my argument that the sequence doesn’t make as much sense and really hasn’t been thought through that well, for multiple reasons, including the fact that Bryan Cogman wasn’t sure whether the sequence worked himself.

    They haven’t really thought about any of the issues with the compression.

    The change as to the Gold Cloaks running into a bunch of Tywin Lannister’s men adds a bit of a geographical issue, in order to find Amory Lorch’s bunch, the Gold Cloaks would have had to ride INTO (or toward) the Riverlands, rather than back to the city. That doesn’t make any sense.

    So now we have Amory Lorch’s band coming upon the Night’s Watch recruits deliberately, not by accident. This kind of raises the question as to how they were able to find them, as the Riverlands were put to the torch, I doubt there’d be many people around, something I doubt they’ve thought about so if asked they’d have to invent an explanation.

    (etc etc, could go on for an hour about it).

    Now I realize that I’m making a big deal of a small issue here, but this was not a deftly handled part of the adaption.

    I would have been satisfied with the sequence if :

    A. The Gold Cloaks were left out of it.

    B. Lorch’s bunch showed up looking for Beric Dondarrion like in the books, or were simply foraging, and wanting to confiscate their supplies/equipment etc etc.

    C. No delayed running in to attack after the fight bullshit like Merry and Pippin did in the Fellowship of the Ring.

    D. Gendry was caught running away with Arya and Hot Pie.

    Tywin’s Bastard: It seems the worst part of the show is part of the fanbase.

    You’re receiving both of my middle fingers for that comment.

    In stark contrast, I am annoyed that people that think the show is amazing and not without it’s flaws. I’ve been disappointed every week this season, all I wanted some good adapting, rather than some blundering errors and inconsistencies.

  442. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: In stark contrast, I am annoyed that people that think the show is amazing and not without it’s flaws. I’ve been disappointed every week this season, all I wanted some good adapting, rather than some blundering errors and inconsistencies.

    People are allowed to have opinions just like you. I don’t see why you should be annoyed if someone else thinks the show is amazing and without flaw.

    I continue to believe that the condensing of Arya’s storyline was handled quite well and was not bothered by any minor plot inconsistencies that may have arisen from handling it this way. I’m sorry that it seems to bother you so much.

  443. Barthes
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Not to add to the smoldering coals but…( Regarding changes (again) ) I read the books and loved them; they were fantastic. And the HBO show is definitely ‘good’. I finally got to watch episode 1 of the new season… There’s so much to be taken for granted like the acting, costumes, sets, sound, editing, even directing… So all criticism goes to the chemistry, the final product. A comparison to the books… (again). And by the way, I’m no purist. I don’t remember most of the books which I read a long time ago.

    I don’t mind so much the plot and character changes. I don’t think the show would be much better or worse if they took out Ros, for example, or if they left in this or that character, etc. These examples are too minor a change to make a significant difference. It actually makes me wonder why they spent so much energy making the changes. I know why they are doing it, I’m just not sure if their goals are met by through the changes.

    The trouble for me, the difference between good and fantastic is the show doesn’t capture the feeling and pace of the books from the very beginning. Rarely, it feels like the books on hyperdrive which is interesting, but super-rare.

    The tone of the narrative, for example, which is so strong in the books is something like a kindly medieval storyteller with a healthy appetite for food and wine looking over the shoulder of his beloved characters. In the show, however, the narrative has been twisted through the lens of frat dudes on the ground level. Or if you prefer, the show drops “epic” “legendary” for quips and tits. Then again, everyone has a slightly different take on the books, so… Game of Thrones is what it is, and not for a lack of trying. To me the show is an HBO show before it’s anything else.

  444. Barthes
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    ..and having read some comments here, notably the question about sexy vs violence. (The idea that any decent fellow knows that sex should be more accepted over tv violence, right, right? Otherwise they are to be considered either desensitized or religiously against sex )

    I think that the tone of the narration in the books is the key to understanding why the violence of GoT from the perspective of book readers is okay. This is because as I said, the tone of the book narration is a kindly, older, proper storyteller lovingly following his characters, making the reader love or hate each person along the way. His violence comes as a shock which is partially why the books are so interesting, and they are always loaded with outrageous injustice, or righteous justice, or a touch of sadness as being the result of wartime. But when the narration describes sex, he does it from a sort of old fashioned point of view. He does not describe the sex with such precision (or artistry) as he does the violence.

    On the show the reverse; sex has a bigger, more detailed part than violence. Which makes sense on the marketing standpoint.

    And another issue I have seen on the show is that there is not nearly as much a feeling of justice/misery as the books, so the violence does not come with its emotional punch. I didn’t see Lommi’s death but it’s probably not much different from the two other people who died choking on blood from their throat in season 1. Who knows… I think I may be ranting at this point.

  445. Mormegil
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Adam Austin: but I ain’t see a golden necklace on the Hand so I guess Tyrion’s just gonna have to Pin her to Death???

    Tyrion is seen wearing the necklace in some of the trailers.

  446. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Hahah that was more having a go at Tywin’s Bastard for saying that disappointed book fans complaining about the show are the worst part of it.

  447. Slave to Truth
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Barthes: On the show the reverse; sex has a bigger, more detailed part than violence. Which makes sense on the marketing standpoint.

    It sounds like, between the lines, you are saying that the sex on the show is alienating the book fans. I don’t agree. For one thing, I live in a country that is not afraid of nudity. We are born nude, and sex is also natural. Prostitution is the oldest profession of the planet. We as a species only depend on food water and sex. Therefore I am glad that sex is emphasized in GoT. I don’t feel alienated at all. In fact I am empowered, as a man. I am 99% sure that GRRM stamped his seal of approval over added sex scenes because, not only is his world Westeros full of sex and brothels, and even incest, but also he doesn’t shy away from it, ever. Nudity DOES make the scenes work. And YES, all that right after Rango. So what? I’m so tired I have to apologize for eyes that can’t handle a little HBO smut. I’m talking family values. This is HBO, not a show for kids. Without HBO’s nudity policy, you’d be fantasizing over GoT dream casts coz guess what, there wouldn’t be GoT. THink about it this way: Network TV gets ads that pay the bills; well HBO puts a little nudity on their channel to pay its bills. Most people won’t admit it but they LIKE nudity and sex on tv, without it being totally void of meaning like porn. And besides, there’s plenty of sex in the books he just doesn’t describe it. It’s the show’s task to show not tell, down to the nitty, down to that minute (or rather large) areola. The merkins, the prosthetics, It’s all part of the Game. Get used to it or leave the ship! Seriously.

    On the other hand, I can not–I mean CANNOT–forgive HBO if they don’t put the Blackfish in it. I mean seriously, this has gone far enough! The joke is over and and him over. And the Reeds, and Jayaya, and all the rest. And stop messing with the original storylines; there’s a reason it was the way it is and you are messing it up–I’m talking HUGE plot gaps. Seriously guys, what gives? What’s it going to take?

  448. JTillyer
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    This probably has to do with the fact that Alfie Allen was given a false script in which he was written out of the show.

  1. [...] note: The discussion in this post is for non-book readers ONLY (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or [...]

  2. [...] note: The discussion in this post is for non-book readers ONLY (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or [...]

  3. [...] Bryan!Now let me detract from the chorus in talking about Shae (I’m looking squarely at you, WinterIsComing.net). Honestly, hearing all this talk about how Shae is nothing like the books, I feel like Toph [...]


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