Episode 14 – Garden of Bones – Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Woah. How’s that for an ending? Our full breakdown and thoughts on tonight’s exciting episode Game of Thrones is after the jump.

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 ACoK yet, the recap from our newbie will be along later. Thanks!


Summary

So let’s quickly recap what happened tonight. Arya was taken to Harrenhal, along with Gendry, Hot Pie and the others. We are reintroduced to the Mountain and meet the Tickler for the first time. Arya first begins reciting her “nightly prayer.” Gendry is chosen to be the Tickler’s next victim but Tywin Lannister arrives just in time. He scolds the Mountain and his men for not putting his captives to work. He orders them to find work for the prisoners and takes Arya as his cupbearer. This should be interesting…

Meanwhile, the Young Wolf wins a great victory against the Lannister forces. However, he gets a reality check from… Lissa Talisa? I think that is what Oona Chaplin’s character called herself. Talisa saves a Lannister soldier’s life by amputating his leg, while Robb holds him down. Later she challenges Robb on his plan after he wins the war, to which Robb replies, he doesn’t know. Before leaving she tells Robb where she is from: Volantis. Wha???

Back in King’s Landing, Joffrey is punishing Sansa for her brother’s victory. Thankfully, Tyrion arrives and puts a stop to it. Bronn suggests that maybe Joff might benefit from some womenly affection. Unfortunately, “affection” isn’t a word in Joffrey’s vocabulary as he forces Ros to beat the other prostitute at crossbow-point to send a message to his uncle. While we don’t see Tyrion receive Joff’s message, we do see him discover Lancel’s secret and use it turn him into an informer.

Across the Narrow Sea, Kovarro returns to Dany and the khalasar with news of a city only a few days ride away. The city is called Qarth and is apparently the “greatest city there ever was and ever will be.” After some deliberation outside of the city gates, Dany’s khalasar is finally allowed entrance to the city after Xaro Xhoan Daxos invokes ‘sumai’ whatever that means.

Lastly, Littlefinger arrived at Renly’s camp and did his usual verbal sparring with Renly and Margaery. He also has a message for Catelyn, Tyrion wishes to trade Jaime for Sansa and Arya. As a gesture of goodwill, Littlefinger delivers Ned’s bones to Cat. The next day Stannis arrives on the scene to treat with Renly (who is, sadly, sans peach). Stannis delivers the ultimatum, Renly has until that night to surrender and bend the knee. That night, after no word from Renly, Stannis sends Davos and Melisandre to the shore. There, in a cave beneath Renly’s camp, Melisandre disrobes, lies on the ground and gives birth to a shadow demon.

What I Liked

Cat and Petyr – This was a scene I was very curious about when we first caught glimpse of it in one of the season two trailers and it did not disappoint. An emotionally-charged scene that included some fantastic acting from Aidan Gillen and Michelle Fairley. Fairley especially was great in this scene as Catelyn runs a whole gamut of emotions here and you can see it all on Fairley’s face. And I’m curious to see if they are setting it up so that Cat releases Jaime prior to Bran and Rickon’s “death”?
Tyrion owns Lancel – I knew going into this season that Tyrion’s storyline was going to be a lot of fun and that Peter Dinklage was going to be great once again. But he is straight up on fire. This scene was hilarious and awesome, the way he turns Lancel from an arrogant man to a sniveling boy.
Westeros’ House of Horrors – Harrenhal was a grim and bleak place, wasn’t it? They did a great job on that set. And the digital matte looked impressive, as well. While the characters inhabiting the castle fit the surroundings. Anthony Morris as the Tickler brought me a twisted sense of satisfaction. His everyman looks and the matter-of-fact way he goes about his business is exactly how I imagined him. Oh, and Tywin riding in at the last minute and just taking care of business was badass.
The Shadow Baby – In the screener, the shadow demon effect was labeled as “TEMP” but what I saw was pretty impressive and pretty creeeepy. The whole scene was trippy, with the hugely-pregnant Mel and Davos freaking out. I wasn’t sure if David & Dan might tone down this scene a bit, as it is not only fantasy-heavy but a little bizarre, but they went for it. And, in this reviewer’s opinion, they nailed it.

What I Didn’t Like

Evil Joff – This scene was downright disturbing. The scene itself was well done with some incredibly brutal acting by Jack Gleeson. I’m just not sure it was entirely necessary. Most people already understand Joffrey is an evil and irredeemable character. And, really, did they need to make Joffrey this twisted? In the book, he was petulant and spoiled and had a bit of a cruel streak. But in the series, he is the embodiment of evil. It’s going to be downright depressing to non-book readers when Joffrey is still alive and kicking at the end of this season.

What did everyone else think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and rate the episode in our poll in the footer.


670 Comments

  1. Aziraphale
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m LOL’ing at all the “WTFs” on twitter over the ending! :)

  2. Klavonivs
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    awesome episode, favorite so far

  3. Carne
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Eh, liked episode 3 better. This one jumped back and forth too much.

  4. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    This episode was weird.

    I mean, it wasn’t bad, not at all — there were just some parts that seemed…out-of-tone, or something.

  5. spacepope
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    they confirmed what was unclear which is whether that character who killed lommy was polliver, raff, or some hybrid of them. i suspected he was polliver just given raff’s role in the show, because he looked more like him, and several characters called him by name polliver, so there you have it.

  6. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Well that was fucking awesome.

    As for the Joffrey scene…meh…I’ve seen HBO do worse. What made it effective is what it did not show. They seem to be really borrowing moments from the Caligula movie for Joffrey.

  7. Mimsy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    The only recap I can think of right now is..

    HOLY S&%T! and What the F@#K!!

    Woah! Wicked ending and bloody Joffrey!

  8. Russian FAN
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Where is my Ned?

  9. Solar
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Overall this was another amazing episode! I’m suprised it ended with the birth instead of renly’s death but that’s no big deal. Anways, the new mountain is awesome, the tickler is awesome, and the brotherhood got a shout out!

  10. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Geez, the hour goes so fast, I can barely stand it! So much story to tell and it just flies by! I’m a bit irritated at the ending…thought it was going to happen tonight.

  11. Danmire
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Yeeaaaah, Shadow baby. Love the torture and grimness of Harrenhal. The conversation between Stannis and Renly/Stannis and Davos/Davos and Mel made some really cool interactions and connections. Qarth looked beautiful. aaah, so much to talk about. Can’t wait for Jaqen to show some magic!

    but DAMN, that Shadow baby.

  12. HedgeWizard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    i actually loved Joffery having some weird sadist fetish. It will make it even better when he gets killed. I was kind of upset that they made Xaro Xhoan Daxos a Summer Islander but was gratefull the Summer Islands got a shout out. The whole Tywin to the rescue thing also didnt sit so well but more scenes with Charles Dance and Maise Williams should be pretty good.

  13. scott glennon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Alot of “TV” Game of Thrones, but I’ve decided I like that. Harrenhal, is a classic example. Different from the book, but I liked it. Does anyone ever get tired of the Tyrion scenes? I swear, I am NEVER disappointed by them. Lancel is between a rock and hard place! Then there’s Daenerys…Quarth is looking good!

  14. Carne
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Russian FAN,

    I was hoping they’d show his head, as a “sort of” Sean Bean cameo.

  15. Clob
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    She’s named TALISA.

    I thought the box Littlefinger presented Cat was a tad small, but mmm, there probably are some missing pieces. ;)

    I never really considered what Qarth looked like in the books for some reason. They made it look fantastic in that scene through the gates. I’m thinking they’ll do a really good job with the Meereen and the other Slaver’s Bay cities.

  16. oddlyotter
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    bahaha twitter is hilarious right now!

  17. JamesL
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s death would have made the ending so much better.

  18. Ronnie
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Okay was the scene with the tickler taken straight from the sword of truth series?

    Here’s hoping grrm doesn’t pull a fitz with jon in the next book.

  19. Lex
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t seen the episode yet, but man that’s an awesome pic of Tywin!

  20. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    The new Mountain is a fail. He looks like an anorexic ethiopian. I wouldn’t be scared of that dude. One rough tackle and I would be able to break him in half. What happened to the old Mountain? The new one is a joke. His arms look barley thick enough to left up a dagger.

    They took one of the most epic and legendary warriors in all of Westeros, that is most famous for his size and brute strength, and turned him into a skinny and weak looking NBA center. He looks about 7 feet tall and 80lbs.

    It is a stretch of the imagination to even think he would be able to move wearing that armor based on his . Old man Tywin, while standing next to the new Mountain had noticeably border shoulders and looks to be of a far greater physical stature, besides height.

    Oh well, the new Mountain is a big letdown to me personally…..

  21. Carne
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Solar,

    The new Mountain barely did or said anything though :/

    But I’m really liking the Tickler.

  22. The Others
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your thoughts on Joffrey. In the book his actions make a little more sense in terms of his character being an arrogant, spoiled, power-tripping douchebag, but the series has made him a little too twisted in my opinion. This I think is the first change from the books that I haven’t really been a fan of. Overall though, I thought this episode was great. Can’t wait to see more of Dany in Qarth!

  23. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    oddlyotter,

    Like, a good hilarious? I was afraid that people might get turned off by the out-and-out fantasy of the shadow baby.

    Ronnie,

    Hey, I think Hobb came up with warging at least concurrently with George, if not before he did. Could be wrong, though.

  24. Eric Fitch
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes the new Gregor looks like he needs to eat a sandwich.

  25. spacepope
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    i also liked that the BWB got mentioned by the tickler

  26. ravens20
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: The new Mountain is a fail. He looks like an anorexic ethiopian. I wouldn’t be scared of that dude. One rough tackle and I would be able to break him in half. What happened to the old Mountain? The new one is a joke. His arms look barley thick enough to left up a dagger.They took one of the most epic and legendary warriors in all of Westeros, that is most famous for his size and brute strength, and turned him into a skinny and weak looking NBA center. He looks about 7 feet tall and 80lbs.

    So you’re saying you could easily tackle an NBA center?

  27. Dennis
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Well those wanting Ned to come back got their wish

  28. oddlyotter
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Everyone is freaking out about the shadow.

    Andrea L Frederick ‏
    @GameOfThrones so THATS where the smoke monster came from! #Gameofthrones #lost #crazywhatjusthappened

    tons of that going on xD

  29. JohnnyBoy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Another great episode but Im kinda said there wasnt a peach shoutout! That Sansa scene was fairly twisted and Tyrion coming to save the day looked better then it did in my head! Id admit Joffery’s crossbow/belt/Antler Staff fetish scene was kinda unnecessary but atleast ppl get the idea that this kid is the devil. Shadow baby was pretty badass but i didnt really picture it as a actual figure but rather a shadow creeping along the wall without anything making it. Idk jus my ranting but this episode was great anyways

  30. Mike Chair
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Dinklage continues to own his role.

    Ditto for Liam Cunningham.

    Gregor II was okay — not enough to render an honest opinion.

    Joff. Okay, we get it. He’s evil. Move on. Jeez Louise, no wonder Gleeson wants to give up acting.

    Arya’s “prayer” worked. I liked it.

  31. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    oddlyotter,

    Ahhh, that kind of thing. I’m glad. Like I said, I was like “oh god, what if people think it’s stupid…”

    It’s the kind-of thing that had to have been pulled off really, really well on-screen, and it was, thankfully.

    All hail D&D! I wasn’t even really on board with this season until this episode, which naaaaailed iiiiiiit.

  32. Seraph78
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I read this website all the time but was too shy to post…

    until tonight.

    OMG THE SHADOW KID!!!!! 40 f***in shades of AWESOME!!! I was wondering if they were gonna do it and they didn’t disappoint!!!!

    Anybody else want Joffrey to die this season? Anybody?

    Tyrion owning Lancel made me LOL so hard, I scared my puppy.

    Catelyn made me feel her pain, her hope, and her anger in that awesome scene with Littlefinger. I was mad right along with her, hopeful with her, and sad with her.

    Best ep this season, in my opinion.

  33. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Lancel, by the way, continues to surprise me by way of how much he looks like me.

    For the record, I’m a girl.

    An eighteen-year-old girl.

  34. Clob
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so is Talisa a renamed Jeyne Westerling then? I suppose they could make her background whatever they want really. It’s not like the whole thing was all that detailed in the books to start.

  35. Dasein
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    HedgeWizard,

    I think you’re right re Tywin and Arya.

    The Joff scene seems to piss some off. I thought it was necessary to show Joff is indeed a Psychopath. He would rather, as a teen boy, see naked women tortured than have his junk touched. Chapeau to Jack Gleeson for having the courage to give himself to a truly evil role.

  36. rezze23
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I bet people who forgot this is also fantasy are scratching their heads.

  37. Dasein
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    I’m guessing she lied.

  38. Mike Chair
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    spacepope: i also liked that the BWB got mentioned by the tickler

    Hey, he only said “brotherhood.” So, he could have been talking about the BwP.

    In which case I’d say, hey tickler, “I’m right here! And I’m still not watching any previews.”

  39. JohnnyBoy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Clob, Im guessing that her name is Jeyne but shes giving a fake name and background for some reason Im to lazy to think about

  40. Langkard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Overall, I liked it. Some parts more than others.

    The Qarth scene came off as rather silly. I’m sure people who are much more insistent on no changes from the books than I am were nearly apopleptic about it. I just don’t think the Qarth scene was well-written when compared to the rest of the show.

    Tywin was not really a surprise; although his ability to spot Arya as a girl was a bit contrived. I see why they made the changes, however. It was necessary to condense several chapters down to a manageable size.

    We still don’t know who the hell Oona is, do we? “I’m from Volantis” just sort of makes me wince; but I’ll wait to see where they’re going with this.

    Peter Dinklage as Tyrion just gets better and better. And Eugene Simon did some nice work there as Lancel. He started that scene obnoxious and arrogant and ended it looking almost like he did when Robert terrorized him. My favorite scene of the episode.

    I hope the non-reader audience noticed that it was the Hound who removed his cloak and gave it to Sansa. The San/San shippers probably wet themselves at that point.

    Renly and Stannis actually worked rather well, in my opinion. Renly delivered some great lines. I do miss the peach, though.

    The last scene was damned interesting. How did they make Carice pregnant? Was that belly CGI? I suppose it had to be. I can’t wait to see the tweets for this week. That last scene must’ve really riled them all up.

    All in all, not a bad episode. Last week was definitely better written. I can see why FaBio ranked the first four episodes as he did. I agree. Of the four, last week was the best and this week was the weakest. But I’m still happy with the overall product, changes notwithstanding.

  41. Giselle Glasgow
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree with WIC…. the joffery scene was absolutely unnecessary… i think when the writers get accused of sexposition… having a scene like this kinda dwindles their defense a lil… if its one thing as a book reader i will bitch about is that scene… grrrr…

    anyway my favorite scene has to be the very last with the ‘smoke baby’…lol… i heard someone say that…. very awesome effects and i cant wait til next episode ….

  42. Beric
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. What a disappointment. Conan was THE MOUNTAIN. This guy is not fearsome at all and he looks Turkish or something. Did the Hound and the Mountain have different mothers?

    Arthur:
    The new Mountain is a fail.

  43. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    The Qarth scene came off as rather silly.I’m sure people who are much more insistent on no changes from the books than I am were nearly apopleptic about it.I just don’t think the Qarth scene was well-written when compared to the rest of the show.

    Yes! That was it, that was the weird scene. It came off as cutesy to me, along with the spooked horses & farts opening. Again, it wasn’t nearly enough to make me hate the episode — not in the slightest — but damn, it broke the flow a little.

  44. sedeyus
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Dasein: HedgeWizard, I think you’re right re Tywin and Arya. The Joff scene seems to piss some off. I thought it was necessary to show Joff is indeed a Psychopath. He would rather, as a teen boy, see naked women tortured than have his junk touched. Chapeau to Jack Gleeson for having the courage to give himself to a truly evil role.

    But hasn’t he already proven that? One major issue with D&D’s writing (okay, maybe the show’s writing as a whole since they didn’t write this episode) the tendency to repeat character information we’ve seen again and again. And one more scene that shows Littlefinger is a scheming bastard. Wow, we didn’t know that.

  45. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I don’t know. Renly is probably going to die within the first five or ten minutes of the episode. It will come out of nowhere too and chaos will ensue. We can savour the moment of Renly’s death instead of jumping straight to the end credits music. It will also propel the narrative momentum of the episode, especially if we have Loras’ famous reaction that follows.

  46. Ser Balon Swann
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    The joff scene was excessive, almost felt like HBO is just finding excuses to throw in Ros and her new friend in to scenes. It almost feels like they’re trying too hard to justify creating her as a character. Everything else in this episode was ON POINT though. That opening was fantastic, the twist they threw in with “Talisa” was odd, but like other characters, I think they are trying to add a little more depth to characters that didn’t have as much in the book. Doesn’t always work out (see: Shae) but i’m optimistic for this one, I think it will definitely add to the magnitude of Robb and Jeyne’s relationship and the emotional impact of the Red Wedding. Part of what makes this show so enjoyable even if you read the books is that they aren’t limited to GRRM’s viewpoint characters, and so far for the most part I have loved what D & D have done.

  47. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    This was another fantastic episode. So many great moments.

    Re: Joffrey. It wasn’t gratuitous. It was a message to his uncle. After Ros said she was sent by Tyrion, you could see on his face that he could reply to Tyrion ruining his fun with Sansa by messing with the prostitutes. It was absurdly evil, but it had a reason inside his cruel mind.

    Tyrion and Lancel was a great scene! So was the Baratheon meeting. And how great was Michelle Fairley in this episode?

    The Harrenhall segments were really tense and scary. Even though I knew Gendry would be safe, I was still worried when they chose him to torture next!

    Qarth was fun. I’ve read somewhere that some people thought it was overly comical, but I really enjoyed it.

    By the way, I LOVE TV Jeyne. In just one scene, she showed a lot of personality. Oona was great. Can’t wait to see more of her.

    And that ending… I was afraid it could be cheesy, but it was so well done.

  48. Clob
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    JohnnyBoy:
    Clob, Im guessing that her name is Jeynebut shes giving a fake name and background for some reason Im to lazy to think about

    Oh duh, I actually thought the same thing during the scene and forgot. Yeah, that actually makes sense.

    Maybe it’s just me, but this episode as a whole seemed to me to be the furthest from the books as any so far. I’m in no means saying that’s a bad thing or I disliked it. There just seemed to be more ‘unfamiliar’ stuff going on. The story remains essentially the same yet the way we get through it is slightly different.

  49. Jack Slap
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    TWO WORDS —– ROOSE BOLTON!!!!!!!

    the flayed man come

  50. Mrs. Wun
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Okay, in all fairness the casting of this show has been predominantly fantastic, and 5 seconds was about all they gave us of “the new Gregor” this week. Uh . . . he didn’t scare me. Tickler and Poliver, they scared me. Last year, Conan Stevans scared the crap out of me. Hell Joffrey scared the crap out of me this week. But I was unimpressed with our debut of the new Mountain. I didn’t even know that was him at first. Doesn’t everyone in westeros know when The Mountain is coming? I’ll wait and see, maybe next week he’ll keep me up at night. No nerd rage, still really like what I see so far. Just want to be as scared of Gregor as Hot Pie was.

  51. Beastling
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    I heard a theory from someone (on here, maybe?) that Robb will fall in love with “Talisa,” have some sexy fun-time with her thinking she’s just a commoner…and then, identity reveal! She’s Jeyne Westerling, and he feels obligated to marry her out of love/duty.

    Here’s my addition to the theory: in the book she tends to his wound, and we’ve seen here she has medical experience. I’m guessing Robb suffers an injury, Jeyne/Talisa takes him to the Crag to tend to him thus revealing her true identity.

  52. Adrian
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Lancel, by the way, continues to surprise me by way of how much he looks like me.

    For the record, I’m a girl.

    An eighteen-year-old girl.

    …Sup

  53. Langkard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention just how awesome they made Harrenhal. WiC is right about that. The matte-work was brilliant.

    I don’t get the hate for the new Mountain. Conan Stevens dumped the show., so they had no choice. Considering what they had to replace, I think they did a fine job. What did you people think they were going to do, clone Stevens? Go with some other actor as buff as Stevens but who looks entirely different? As long as Ian Whyte can act and sticks with the show, I’m fine with him in the role. He looked huge compared to Charles Dance. He’s taller than the Hound. No need to be pie-in-the-sky about the whole thing.

  54. Nicole
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Garden of Bones more like Garden of Torture tonight. After all is said and done tonight, I wish they wouldn’t have had the Joff scene with the whores. That was really awful, and I think that time would have been better used showing a little of Robb’s battle. This is like the 3rd or 4th they have skipped over and I know that a lot of people would like to see that stuff. Overall I really like how they aren’t afraid to get wicked with this. Could not believe the degree of craziness of the last scene. That was actually unexpected!

  55. George Delker
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I love most the changes they make but i really didn’t like the joffery change not because he seems more twisted. I got the vibe that he was sadistic from the books. More so because he said he was doing it to send tyrion a message and we get no reaction from tyrion it just happens and then no consequence or response. Which is makes it confusing.

  56. Carne
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Haha, the people who said “Does it matter if they recast Gregor? The new guy is skinny, yes, but, all the armor will make him look just as big as Conan!”.

    Hah,hah…

    That was not the Mountain.

  57. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Adrian,

    I totally forgot that comment comes off as openly trying to flirt on the internet or something. Whoops.

  58. Blaarg
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    WTF is up with Littlefinger, why does he tell everyone that he knows their secrets? He’s coming off as an ass.

  59. wargsareawesome
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    I don’t think it’s the height that people have problem with, I think it’s the muscle mass (or lack thereof)

  60. Dasein
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    I will be interested to hear from non readers re Joff. I reserve full judgement until the end of season 2. I trust B&W with the story going forward and I try to view this as only a tv show. Not easy, but less frustrating.
    Aside. Did the Qarth intro seem clunky and awkward?

  61. Adrian
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Adrian,

    I totally forgot that comment comes off as openly trying to flirt on the internet or something. Whoops.

    I didn’t mean anything by it, was just kidding.

    I’m kind of surprised at the reaction to Gregor. I must not have been paying close enough attention because I didn’t see the problem.

  62. Mrs. Wun
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Lol! and you are lovely dear.

  63. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Besides the new Mountain being a skinny looking dork, here are some other things off the top of my head…

    Stupid Ros, I was praying and my whole family was shouting for Jeff to kill her. That part was really funny. We were like “Kill Ros Kill her Kill her!”

    Putting a rat in a pale and burning the closed end was weak. Guess they couldn’t afford the costly special effects on cutting off some fingers or something. So thinking up a way to not need any special effects and to show a torture taking place was rather dull and easy to see through.

    Oh yeah, got to see a Direwolf for .3 seconds. Guess they needed to save on special effects there too.

    It was really funny to me when that Qarth soldier unit was marching. The camera shows like 2 soldiers with round shinny sheilds while the sound affects of soldiers marching makes it seem like there are 10,000 soldiers on the march, then the camera angle veers back and you see a whole 12 Qarth soldiers. Then Dany talks a lot of shit that was just funny. Weaksauce.

    The actress playing Mel, what’s her name? Carice? She sucks. She just talks with a monotone voice, every line sounds the same. It’s like she is reading a teleprompter. She is nether sexy or seductive. D&D took a hot and young “Sorceress/Priestess” type character and made her into a middle aged boring Witch-like hag. When she was telling Devos “You want to see what is under these robes”, I was thinking, don’t flatter yourself grandma…

    I did enjoy the Robb/Jeyne scene. There was nothing that bothered me about that. Robb looks awesoe and Jeyne looked beautiful. The scene with Littlefinger and Cat was good. When Eddards bones were brought forth I got a little lump in my throat. Tyrian was good in all his scenes. i loved how he came and put Jeff in check and how he used Bronn like his attack/guard dog.

  64. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Adrian,

    Yeah, I know. I’m just saying. lol

    I am really freaked out by the resemblance between myself and Lancel, though. Although for the record, he’s way prettier.

  65. John W
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    The fastest and bestest hour yet.

  66. Beastling
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Dasein,

    YES, the Qarth scene was just…off (though Pyat Pree looks perfect.) Emilia Clarke was phenomenal, as always, but Xaro and the Thirteen white-guy seemed clunky. Especially the introduction of Xaro. Why say his entire name? Just say Xaro, or something.

    I’m excited for Qarth. I don’t think it could get any worse.

  67. H, aka Vee
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m still thrumming from how utterly bad ass that final scene was. It took what was in my head and improved upon it a thousand percent. I was not expecting that shadow to look that effin’ cool. Holy shit.

    And “Talisa” is lyyyyyyyyyying.

    Also, a special shout-out to Sophie Turner. LADY STARK indeed.

  68. Gwalchmai
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Favorite episode so far. I didn’t like the LF/Catelyn scene so much, but I did like the evil Joffery scene. The Shadow Baby was as evil and twisted as it should have been and the effects were great.

  69. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Beric,

    Completely agree. What a disappointment. Conan was THE MOUNTAIN. This guy is not fearsome at all and he looks Turkish or something. Did the Hound and the Mountain have different mothers?

    Our household now refers to him and The Beanpole… No more The Mountain.

  70. Laura
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    The shadow birthing scene did not disappoint..Carice Van Houten is freakin’ perfect casting. Loved seeing Harrenhal and Qarth…both looked incredible. The Tyrion/Lancel scene was hilarious…loved it and loved Tywin riding into Harrenhal. The whole scene with Joff was one those scenes where the writers could just sneak in some more girl-on-girl action…over-it-already…the whores are bores. yawn.

  71. NytestrykerZ
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    My brother (who just started the books) referred to Lord Tywin as the ‘Darth Vader of the show’ tonight. I was going to protest until I realized how appropriate it was. Charles Dance commands such presence with that character. It’s kinda amazing.

  72. Eric Fitch
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    What a silly review.

  73. MeekyReekyRamsay
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Kind of upset with Roose Bolton not having a really soft voice. The idea of Joff’s scene with Ros should have been saved for Ramsay BoltonM in a later season. But Harrenhal was beautiful and Stephen Dillane is such a badass. Also, have to love the Tickler for taking a page out of Orwell’s 1984.

  74. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else think to themselves more than once while watching this show: “I’ve seen worse CGI in movies with higher budgets”?

    Because damn, we have some good special effects.

  75. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh man I think Mel’s shadowbaby just crashed Television Without Pity’s GoT forum! LOL!

    And the last five minutes proved to me beyond a doubt that Carice’s Melisandre is perfect.

  76. Laura
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh, almost forgot…I’m glad they are giving Robb a love story. I was disappointed that it wasn’t played out in the book so looking forward to seeing what they do with it!

  77. Jack Slap
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Beastling:
    Clob,

    I heard a theory from someone (on here, maybe?) that Robb will fall in love with “Talisa,” have some sexy fun-time with her thinking she’s just a commoner…and then, identity reveal! She’s Jeyne Westerling, and he feels obligated to marry her out of love/duty.

    Here’s my addition to the theory: in the book she tends to his wound, and we’ve seen hereshe has medical experience. I’m guessing Robb suffers an injury, Jeyne/Talisa takes him to the Crag to tend to him thus revealing her true identity.

    that sounds spot on.

  78. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    They gave Roose Bolton’s scene to Tywin? That….wha?

  79. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Eric Fitch,

    Yes the new Gregor looks like he needs to eat a sandwich.

    Q: How many mountains can you fit in a phonebooth?
    A: All of them.

    Q: What do you call a mountain with buck teeth?
    A: A rake

    Q: What do you call a mountain with an afro?
    A: A Q-Tip

  80. MeekyReekyRamsay
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me or does Charles Dance on horseback look like Ganondorf from Zelda?

  81. wargsareawesome
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Anyone else think to themselves more than once while watching this show: “I’ve seen worse CGI in movies with higher budgets”?

    Because damn, we have some good special effects.

    Hear, Hear!!!

  82. Gwalchmai
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    One small thing I also didn’t care for, more farting humor. Maybe if I was 13 repeated fart references would be funny tho. Not a big deal, just a little juvenile considering the target audience IMO.

  83. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Eric Fitch,

    What a silly review.

    Not a review… Just my personal thoughts.

  84. oracle86
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Does Renly die in the end?

  85. wargsareawesome
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamsay:
    Is it just me or does Charles Dance on horseback look like Ganondorf for Zelda?

    I never realized that, but now that you mention it, he totally does! (wait, which Zelda game were referring to? ‘Cause WW Ganondorf looks very different from, say, TP Ganondorf.)

  86. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Gwalchmai,

    I agree with you to an extent, but there were quite a bit of fart jokes in the source material. And here on Earth, medieval people loved fart jokes (see Shakespeare) so it makes sense that fake-medieval folk would, too.

  87. Link
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I think you all should consider this “gift” Tyrion gave to Joffrey as somethin that GRRM wanted to put in the book. I mean, in one chapter the Imp really consider doing it in a moment, but put it down because of other really complex “game playing” at King’s Landing.

    And yes, everybody hates Joffrey, he is bad as hell, people want him to die suffering, but this act can develop into some more Tyrion-being-awesome scenes, therefore just putting Joffrey into shame more times than we wish it happened in the books.

  88. CurbYourEnthusiasm
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    stop posting

  89. Andy Gavin
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    This week is pure tension and creep. Plus, lots of new developments. Torture seems a major theme of this episode. Things grow dark. Very dark. And I’m liking it. My full review here. Includes what exactly was going on with those rats!

  90. MeekyReekyRamsay
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    wargsareawesome,

    Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess

  91. Mimsy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m content with all of the humor. Dany’s story is such a debbie downer, I’m glad there was some humor to her today. It really is a humorous situation coming upon a great city with “blood riders” and expecting to be let in.. just because. I LOL’d when she mispronounced Qarth and got schooled.

    The Lannister soldiers were funny. It was like something out of that GOT Parody show we get every Saturday.

    I really hate that fade to black instead of showing battle scenes. I would have been happier if we at least got some Grey Wind snarls and clashing of swords in there. Damn that HBO budget and time constraint.

    Neds bones.. I cried. :( Can you imagine looking at your spouses white bones?! OMG

    Renly threw a lot of barbs at Stannis.. that was hilarious. Very brotherly, I thought.

    I’m okay with the Mountain. He looked huge and scary to me. I think his actions will speak volumes in the tv series and demonstrate what a monster he really is. I don’t think I’m gonna care if he looks like the Hound or not.

  92. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    How is forcing a rat to claw its way through a person’s stomach “weak” on the television torture scale? You would have preferred a shot from inside the pail?

    Honestly, I don’t know if I can imagine anything more gruesome or cringe-inducing than the thought of a small wild animal burrowing its way through my abdomen.

  93. CurbYourEnthusiasm
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard:
    Arthur,

    How is forcing a rat to claw its way through a person’s stomach “weak” on the television torture scale?You would have preferred a shot from inside the pail?

    Honestly, I don’t know if I can imagine anything more gruesome or cringe-inducing than the thought of a small wild animal burrowing its way through my abdomen.

    he’s a proven troll

    ignore him

    surprised his posts dont get deleted, tbh

  94. KG
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Joffrey is considerably older than in the books; it would be weird if he wasn’t “interested” in the opposite sex, so I think this is a reasonable change. And it’s entirely fitting that he’s a serial-killer in the making.

  95. Dragonshit Crazy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    This series just continues to amaze me….Tywin Lannister, unknowingly, comes to Arya & Gendry rescue (?), Stannis’s son doesn’t look at all like him yet, Tyrion is the most incredible character – So brave & bold to Joffrey – so calculating with Lancel, Robb’s got a pretty new friend – Not a Frey!, Khalessi stood up to the Thirteen of Qarth to save her Khalasar – without exposing her vulernable children, Lady Stark has back some of her husband and pulls a dagger on Baelish…….Next Sunday, Next Sunday, Next Sunday, Next Sunday……that is what I’ll be whispering ing the night before I fall asleep…..After watching this episode again!!!!!

  96. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Gwalchmai,

    “repeated” fart references? I saw just the one fart and then a wolf ripped his face off.

  97. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    CurbYourEnthusiasm,

    Is he this season’s “The Smiling Knight?”

  98. Dasein
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard,

    Right!
    I think that affected me more than Orwells room 101! Some disturbed minds at work. Cannot wait for more.
    Newbie thread should be fun next week!

  99. Clob
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Adrian: …Sup

    OMG! HA!!!
    “How YOU doin’?”

  100. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    So Roose gets no pink cloak, no leechings, liberally talks about flaying…and his lines are being taken by the other characters?

  101. Andrew
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    The fact that in a scene almost entirely about Joffreys psychology and his apparent degree of psychopathy that people are still complaining that Ros was present is more than a little depressing. I thought it was a good scene, because in the books, we get Joff’s cruelty a lot more often than the show would allow, because he basically does something cruel in every Sansa or Tyrion chapter, but they simply can’t show that much. Having scenes dedicated entirely to Joff’s cruelty gets the point across that he’s becoming worse and worse.

    I wish Jeyne or whatever she said her name was (I couldn’t hear it either) gets some more screen time next episode. I’m interested to see what her backstory is. But the Volantis thing…wasn’t her mother from House Spicer, which were upjumped merchants from the east? They might have just eliminated a generation or two, but who knows. She did well with her lines, regardless.

    Harrenhal was fantastic! The Tickler is suitably creepy, and Tywin at the end was really good as well. Tywin in the books was never evil; he was a bit brutal, but he wasn’t needlessly cruel or violent. It’s important that the TV show establish him as more than just “The dude from the family that killed Ned!”.

    As a book reader, I thought the Shadow Baby was really well done, but my friend who hasn’t read the books was more just confused. It was less “Holy crap, a shadow demon thing! What’s going to happen?!” and more “…So…she…birthed a…shadow? Okay…” Maybe that’s just him, but I don’t know. I liked it. I don’t know how effective killing Renly is going to be as an opening to an episode, though.

  102. Unsullied
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I picture the mountain being built more like Shaq, i.e. last year’s version of him. This year looks more like Manute Bol. Yeah the guy down the road may be able to act like the Mountain that Rides, but he’ll look more like a tall stick man to me. Remember this dude kills the friggin Viper with his bare hands, crushing his skull – not seeing it with Gregor 2.o.

  103. Mimsy
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Joffrey’s having himself a good time isn’t he? I like that he’s butting heads with Cersei and Tyrion. He’s coming into his own madness. I love Gleeson’s voice, so crisp and calm when he’s being a total BASTARD.

    Where did they film the city of Qarth?! That place looked awesome!

  104. tysnow
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    That was a very dark and disturbing ubersode, the best yet, but just by a LF.
    This episode had both girls here, squirming and closing their eyes. The baby scene ha one even freak out, while her feet were wearing a hole in the floor. Two others in the room let out a WTF, then “that was ^&%*g awesome”. So from the response her, they mailed it.
    One sick peson here said they blew the Joff/whore scene, they were expecting Joff to tell Ros, “No the other end, and ram it home”, Ros “It might rip her open”, Joff “Well it is a sure thing this (bolt) will do it”, so0000 (turning to other whore “which way do you want it” and the girl meekly lays back and opens her legs. This is quote, how he said the scene should have ended. The sick bastard.

  105. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    It looked like CGI to me, the inside of Qarth, but I could be 100% wrong.

  106. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Unsullied,

    Shouldn’t his ability to act the character be the most important factor?

  107. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Awe. Some.

  108. Strepsi
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I loved the line meant for all the book readers:

    Dany: “I heard that Quarth — ”
    Qarthian: “Qarth!”

    So yeah, I’ve been saying it wrong in my head for years, thanks TV show!

    I also loved the streamlining of the Davos / Melisandre scene from a later scene to this earlier point — it will make clear what was confusing in the books, and in less time.

    I also don’t mind the Littlefinger additions, when you hire such amazing and known TV actors the audience does want to see them.

    Gethin Anthony is also playing Renly perfectly, I have seen newbie recaps where the writers say Renly would be the best king — and he would. In the scene tonight, we totally believe that he is popular and Stannis is too grim and rigid to ever be loved by the people.

  109. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    That was absolutely CGI.
    Very good CGI, mind you, but definitely a huge green screen a few yards behind the front gate.

  110. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Unsullied,

    I picture the mountain being built more like Shaq, i.e. last year’s version of him. This year looks more like Manute Bol. Yeah the guy down the road may be able to act like the Mountain that Rides, but he’ll look more like a tall stick man to me.

    Relax… D&D are going to write some backstory with a Mountain/Ros scene flashback… Apparently, The Moutain caught a STD from Ros a while back and now that virus is fullblown. Hence the dramatic weightloss…

  111. Solar
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    why does everyone hate the new mountain? he was only on for about 5 seconds. not enough time to have an opinion of a character. he was cold and emotionless when he selected the next person to die and that seems like the mountain to me. conan stevens had the build and was a good mountain, but he was just like “AHHH MOUNTAIN SMASH” in his scenes. nothing really scary about him either.

  112. Baramos
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    It’s just his bones. They can fit in a box when they aren’t arranged like a skeleton.

  113. FlayedMenHaveNo...
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Grey Area,

    So sad about Roose. He looks and sounds nothing like the Roose described in the books. What the hell.

  114. tysnow
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Back to a more normal post.

    Awesome parts..
    1. Ending
    2. Tyrion (all his scenes)
    3. Opening (poor late night snacks for Grey Wind)

    Good…
    1. Dany (2nd scene)
    2. Tywin, the badass
    2. Arya and the boys

    Ehhh….
    1. Joff/Whore “had possibilies for really being a messed up scene and pushing the envelope”.

  115. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    I wonder if she saw his head, though, too. Obviously the bones would be plenty traumatic, but I thought the whole deal with the severed heads was that they were dipped in tar so they wouldn’t decompose as quickly and could be kept on display on spikes for longer.

  116. lena
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    This was, to this point, the very best episode of the season! you get everything you could have asked for and then some: Tyrion kicking everyones butt, great acting, amazing CGI and evil ghost babies!!

    The birth scene, aside from the dragons and direwolves, was one of the things I was really worried about , but they nailed it! it was bone chillingly creepy. And about extremely evil Joffrey: It doesn’t really bother me. I thinks it goes great with the direction the show has taken.

  117. Corn
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    George Delker:
    I love most the changes they make but i really didn’t like the joffery change not because he seems more twisted. I got the vibe that he was sadistic from the books. More so because he said he was doing it to send tyrion a message and we get no reaction from tyrion it just happens and then no consequence or response. Which is makes it confusing.

    I agree with you here, why didn’t they follow that up? Seems like an untied thread.

  118. Andrew
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    As a visual effects compositor myself, i’m 99% sure that they had a greenscreen behind the gate of the walls, and what you saw behind it was a Matte Painting, which is a collection of images basically “photoshopped” together. How many different images, or how much editing it required to get the final image, I don’t know.

  119. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    FlayedMenHaveNo…,

    They probably didn’t want someone to upstage Robb or “Jeyne” in that section of Westeros…or Tywin. Another character mangled because they wanted more of that whore.

  120. Eugene Toussaint
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    no peach or lightbringer? Why? I don’t get why they take things out that would be really simple to keep in. I love the show but they have know that every single book reader is waiting for that peach…right?

  121. Baramos
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Solar,

    My main problem with the new Gregor is he’s wearing Lannister armor and I didn’t even realize it was him at first. I really can’t figure out why he’s dressed like a Lannister man-at-arms when he’s his own dude with his own sigil and armor that make him more individual.

  122. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Joff’s sadism scene, by the way, doesn’t really bother me. In the books he was too young to get to the point where he’d be even glancing at prostitutes, I think — even his ‘lol I’ma put a baby in you’ quips to Sansa sounded mostly like garbled versions of what his mother had likely been putting in his head. Had book-Joffrey grown to a 15/16-year-old, yeah, then we would have started seeing shit like this, I guarantee you. Kid had issues to rival Viserys’, not helped by Joff’s wonderful twice-inbred genealogy.

    Besides, deep inside Joff we’ve already been shown a tiny glimpse of humanity: when his father was dying in episode 8(?), he did look highly concerned. That’s probably the last time he ever had a real and understandable emotion, though. Tragic, really.

  123. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Eugene Toussaint,

    Ros and Fart jokes, and mangling Asha, Gregor, Littlefinger and Roose. They’ve begun to disregard the book readers. They’ll piss on em now that they’ve got “mainstream” success.

  124. Clob
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    FlayedMenHaveNo…:
    Grey Area,

    So sad about Roose. He looks and sounds nothing like the Roose described in the books. What the hell.

    Yeah, I guess. I suppose I was thinking more of a decomposing body as opposed to just bones – but even so they could still stuff him in that box.

    If nothing else, the new Mountain’s voice is good and deep. I won’t worry about it anyway as he’s not THAT major of a character.

    The scene with the Lannister soldiers and “the fart” I was totally expecting to see Grey Wind leap over the horses with the way they had them lined up. He did in a way I guess. At any rate, it was pretty exciting knowing what was coming for that farting bastard. :P

  125. Skid Marx
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Scrolled down to the bottom of this page to avoid other posts… Watching the episode on HBO Go and had to stop after the Joff torture porn scene. Waaaaaay over the top and completely unnecessary. On a show that cuts out SO Much of the books, why PUT in shit like this? Is the non-reading audience so retarded or demented they are thought to NEED this kind of scene. Thoroughtly repulsed.

  126. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Eugene Toussaint,

    I actually had to google the peach thing to remind myself and I’ve read the series twice in the last four years, so I guess I will admit to being the one book reader who was not eagerly anticipating Renly’s peach offering to Stannis.

  127. WhereTheWildRickonsR
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Standing applause from the first minute to the last!

    I’m a book reader and everything they did from staying loyal to the books and making changes was pitch perfect!

    I didn’t mind the Joffre scene as it was entertaining and even added depth to his depravity..ros is terrible but finally she wasn’t given the chance to ruin a scene for me.

    I’m n the minority but I was let down with episode 3. While visually appealing, the episode was a little boring (not in story but in how they portrayed it) I was disappointed in what they did to Yoren band of misfits and how they defended their stronghold in the book.

    In fact, I personally ranked episode 3 as the worst of the first three episodes….but episode 4 just brought everything back!

    Harrenhal conveyed the perfect tone as a place of doom. The acting was intense and engrossing. Just wonderful all around.

    Just my two cents, folks, and I’m hope your enjoying this series as much as me. I’m off to do another rewatch!

  128. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a bad feeling that they’re not even going to send Roose to Harrenhal but to Winterfell to play the part of Ramsay…Tywin’s already taken Roose’ scenes, so what would be the point?

  129. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Not to say I didn’t think the Joff-sadism scene wasn’t necessary — because I don’t think it was, we get that he’s an evil cunt and have since day He’s A Right Prick one — but I didn’t mind it the way some people here seem to have.

    Like I said, this episode sold me on this season.

  130. FlayedMenHaveNo...
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Grey Area:
    I’ve got a bad feeling that they’re not even going to send Roose to Harrenhal but to Winterfell to play the part of Ramsay…Tywin’s already taken Roose’ scenes, so what would be the point?

    I’ll be really sad if they do that. That would REALLY change the storyline a lot. I’m not sure how they would handle stuff in later books either.

  131. andrea
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi: It wasn’t gratuitous. It was a message to his uncle.

    This. We´ll see what happens next (I can´t find an adjective to that scene though).

    Daenerys scene at Qarth was terrible. Bad writing and again some actor/actresses needs direction. Please.
    The scene of Arya´s prayer lacks drama and intimacy. A close up would have been nice. Pity. It was an easy one.
    Stannis stiffness makes me laugh. He looks so tired of having to explain himself to people.
    I like that Tywin realizes Arya is a girl.
    I think they are making Joffrey more hateful because they´re also making nicer other characters like Cersei. Even Tywin seemed friendly (well, efficient mostly ) in that scene at Harrenhal.
    Don´t like the episode so much but I love Talisa from Volantis so far. Whoever she is.

  132. Eugene Toussaint
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard,

    I mean the peach thing is such a big deal to me b/c it plays a huge part in Stannis’ self doubt about killing Renly, he brings it up later in the series and it makes for some real insight in Stannis’ psyche and lightbringer would of just been sick, especially since it really been down played up into this point =(

  133. Eugene Toussaint
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    don’t get me wrong, i think they are doing a great job with the show, it just hurts to have little things that are actually huge to book reader that would be really simple to keep in, taken out

  134. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Slightly disappointed about the absence of the peach. Perhaps it would be a Book Renly thing to do and to out of character for TV Renly?

  135. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    When Melisandre said Stannis was The Chosen One and it cut to his stern ugly little face, I laughed my ass off. Such a hilarious inversion of the trope.

  136. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Eugene Toussaint,

    Lightbringer might’ve scared all the horses and stole the scene away from Renly’s smarminess.

    FlayedMenHaveNo…,

    Aye, it’s a sad day for House Bolton fans…. :(

  137. Josh
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Another awesome episode.

    Emilia Clarke was amazing. Loved her totally kickass monologue. She is just brilliant. I’m not a fan of book Dany but I love show Dany. She is just brilliant beyond words.

    Speaking of brilliant beyond words..Michelle Fairley was perfection. What she could do with a facial expression..wooo…And fans were against her becoming Cat. Crazy to think. Loved the Littlefinger/Cat scene, much more so then the Littlefinger/Margery scene. I think the Margery was great in the scene but Littlefinger way too cocky and obvious.

    That last scene…creepy….I was disturbed throughout, haha

    Not sure I feel about Tansia or whatever they choose to name Robb’s love interest. The thing is, I like that in the book what brings Robb done is this sweet and innocent love with this sweet and innocent girl. Having her be this talky, badass sort of ruins that, because despite their love being sweet and innocent you wonder what outside forces are taking advantage of that(namely Jeyne’s family)…So yeah I’m not a fan of the change But Oona did well in the role and it gives Richard more to do, so I can accept the change even if I don’t love it.

  138. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Eugene Toussaint,

    Right, but we have seen Lightbringer so far (admittedly in episode one and not for very long), but we get a bit of the backstory of Lightbringer as the Westerosi-version of Excalibur. I’ll give you the peach as a very clever literary symbol, but I think there are any number of other ways that they can demonstrate the complexities in the Stannis/Renly relationship. The unfortunate consequence of rich symbols in literature is that as brilliant as many of them are on the page, they don’t always translate well to the screen, much of the time because they can be too subtle as visual symbols.

    We’ll see, it’s something missing to be sure, but editorial cuts are going to be the norm with this series. I haven’t agreed with all of them myself, but I think I’ve understood the reasoning behind them.

  139. JonSnow89
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    How about that ‘sexposition’ between the new Gregor and Tywin? Let’s have a debate about that. Here’s some common questions from 50-60 threads on the matter to get the ball rolling.

    1) Was it or was it not ACTUALLY sexposition?
    2) Did Gregors weight play a role in what you thought of the scene?
    3) Was the fact that there was no breasts involved a victory for the feminist movement?
    4) Is is accetable to say the new gregor has a strange looking codpiece compared to say Ryan Gosling wearing one, since we didn’t see his nipples?

    Does this sounds silly to anyone? Maybe consider this next time an off joke is made, or a brothel scene is shown.

  140. K
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Loved that they added Qarth and Harrenhall to the opening credit sequence but it made me wonder just how long will that sequence be by season 5?

    Loved Tyrion intervening on Sansa’s behalf, pretty book accurate – and the added conversation between him and Bronn “The boy is backed up” or something to that effect – priceless!

  141. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Trope Inversion? Was there ever a requisite for “Chosen Ones” to have big happy pretty faces?

  142. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    K,

    I was actually momentarily concerned that they would run out of song. I really liked the transition over to Quarth flashing behind the burning orb. I love the opening credits, but I will admit to being incredibly tired of seeing the comparatively dull Vaes Dothrak miniature week in and week out for the better part of two seasons.

  143. daev3
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard,

    I was…the killing of his brother stays with him..and the peach.

    JonSnow’sBastard: I actually had to google the peach thing to remind myself and I’ve read the series twice in the last four years, so I guess I will admit to being the one book reader who was not eagerly anticipating Renly’s peach offering to Stannis.

    So is Roose out? Tywin : so your a girl..from the north..I’m looking for a replacement cup…Hey…I need another replacement also..

  144. David the Grey
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Langkard: I don’t get the hate for the new Mountain. Conan Stevens dumped the show., so they had no choice. Considering what they had to replace, I think they did a fine job. What did you people think they were going to do, clone Stevens?

    If only! While I am not faulting the show, or the new actor – Conan Stevens was perfect for the role. I am bummed (and slightly miffed) that he left the show because of the greatness that could’ve been!

    Loved that they had Grey Wind in this ep, and that they’re showing us how Robb and Jeyne met (at least, that’s what I hope they’re doing!). I think it is neat how they can show different scenes than what was in the book, but the critical elements of the story are still communicated. It gives the book readers just a bit more, which is so cool.

    I did not like the Joffrey & Roz scene. I felt sorry for the girl getting beat (was it nuRoz?) – and thought she did a great job showing happiness to please her customer The King, and then terror as it dawned on her slowly what was about to happen. Meanwhile, I am feeling that Joff is starting to go from a believable spoiled twisted jerk of a prince to something that is slightly caricature. Not sure if I feel that way because of the script or because I feel that Jack Gleeson is hamming it up a bit. Or is it just me?

    Loved Littlefinger & Cat’s scene – and returning Ned’s remains. Darn that Littlefinger – lying through his teeth about the girls’ safety!

    Count me in as wanting more Sandor & Sansa! Loved that he gave her his cloak (and boy what a weathered and stiff cloak that was – props to the costume department)!

    Overall thought everything was mostly very good. Probably my least favorite of Season 2 so far, but still quite good. And yeah, nice cliffhanger! Davos & Mel did a great job!

  145. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Grey Area,

    They’re certainly never middle-aged, uninteresting, gruff men to whom you can’t really relate, that’s for sure.

    I didn’t say ‘ugly’ to make a point — I think I used that adjective a little bit rashly. Grimy, I think I mean. Unorthodox, at the very least. I’m actually one of the few folks who doesn’t really care how attractive the characters are (the hurr-hurr boobies talk on this forum and elsewhere surrounding Margaery’s first appearance made me cringe a little, in fact).

  146. J
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed the episode, though I think it was a slight step down from last weeks.

    I’m a little surprised by the negative comments about Roose Bolton – I thought he was great! And he looks more or less how I pictured him (I know most art has him with long black hair, but I’m fairly certain he’s never actually described as such in the book.)

    My favorite moment of the episode was probably Stannis correcting Davos’s grammar. I don’t know why.

  147. Eugene Toussaint
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard,

    when i talk about lightbringer i mean the shining version which it has not been shown if it will actually shine, i hope it does

    but like i said i am not trying to bash on the show, i understand there will be cuts, however some make sense more than other and some hurt more than others

  148. andrea
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Grey Area,
    I think she meant he just looks annoyed and bored by all those talks and troubles and… people?, not what one would expect from the Lord of Light. That´s makes him better for me.

    Edit: I like Roose Bolton´s voice very much. It´s weird.

  149. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have a problem with Roose. Granted, we only got a small sampling, but I don’t think he came off all that different from the books; soft-spoken, physically unimposing, sadistic, etc…

    I liked that they clarified that the TV show version of Xaro Xhoan Daxos is a Summer Islander. I think that was a little nod to book readers, right there, especially considering the controversy surrounding the casting choice. I also thought the shadow baby scene was well done. And I really liked Tywin’s scene with Arya, especially considering the bigger picture.

    The one problem I had (which has already been brought up by others), is that Gregor is inexplicably wearing Lannister armor, rather than his own. He’s supposed to be a bannerman, not a man-at-arms.

    From A Wiki of Ice & Fire: “In battle he wears the heaviest, thickest plate armor in the Seven Kingdoms. His armor is so heavy that no ordinary man would be able to move, let alone fight effectively while wearing it, making him nigh-invincible in combat. Below the plate he wears chainmail and boiled leather. He also wears a plate helm with only a narrow slit for vision, atop of which is a stone fist punching up toward the sky. Gregor carries an extremely thick oaken shield bearing the three black dogs of House Clegane on a yellow field”.

    So, whatever. That might be a small point of contention, but I thought the fist-helm would’ve looked pretty cool.

    As for the changes from the book, I think they’ve been quite reasonable so far. And, for that matter, some of the more drastic changes haven’t really been changes at all. Since ASOIAF is written in POV style, we don’t know what some of the peripheral characters are doing when they’re not in a primary character’s POV. The TV show must compensate for that. Hence, they must come up with scenes for characters like Joffrey, and Renly, and Little Finger to show that they have lives of their own, and are not solely dependent on another character’s POV. For example, since Davos isn’t a voyeur, we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors between Stannis and Mel in the books, but we do get to read Davos’ thoughts, and know what he thinks is going on. But since you can’t show what Davos is thinking on TV, you must spell it out for people and make it obvious (i.e. we can’t subtly hint at Stannis+Mel with Davos’ thoughts, so we’ll just blatantly show them fucking outright to hammer the point home). So, I’d say that’s more of an elaboration than a change from the books, if you catch my drift.

  150. Baramos
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard,

    They always time the opening in interesting ways to make it work, don’t they? Like for instance this week nothing happens at the Wall (for the firs time I believe) and thus no need for it to be shown, but it is still present probably to make the length of the sequence correct.

  151. ThePinkDragon
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Yeah, that’s it. He doesn’t look like Westerosi-Jesus, he looks like he’s explaining mathematics to a bunch of second graders.

    Which is fine and cool and totally in-character. Not bitching about that at all.

  152. Baramos
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Eugene Toussaint,

    I’d hope it had something to do with CGI budget and not cutting it totally, as it is interesting and somewhat integral to understanding the difference between Stannis’ and Melisandre’s false powers versus say, Thoros of Myr’s powers and Beric’s flaming sword.

  153. purplejilly
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Well, one thing we learned for sure tonight – Men around the world of ASOIAF may tolerate many different things, but they do NOT Tolerate errors in grammar or pronunciation, even if you are about to drop and die from hunger and exhaustion. Rules are there for a reason, young lady! Otherwise, what would we become?? And Stannis keeps the rule too, even when on a boat. ANd will cut you down right in front of the crew, and tell you how you’ve fucked up and now just ruined everything with your improper word.

    And Littlefinger hitting on Cat in the tent. Was that in character? Out of character? I don’t know, It felt off to me… It seemed awkwardly done. What he said seemed awkward. But maybe Lord Baelish feels awkward in the prescense of his one true love. He still lies to her, but does he tell anyone the truth?

    I felt a little let down by Arry’s prayer. I was hoping for a quiet moment in the cage with Gendry, when all the other prisoners had fallen asleep. Then I was hoping they would be in a corner by themselves, with hot pie asleep behind them, snoring loudly so they could talk in privacy. Then I wanted her to reveal to him more about what’s been happening to her, and name the people who did things, and then talk about Yoren, and then as her ‘list’ coincides with a flash of insight from Yoren, then she would make her prayer, and tell Gendry she is saying it every night until they are all dead. Gendry would laugh, thinking that’s never going to happen, but she goes to sleep saying her prayer anway. That’s how I wanted the prayer to start.

    And man, this the first time I felt glad to see Twyin Lannister show up anywhere! I almost cheered! I knew that man had enough common sense to put those prisoners to work!

    Jumping back to the beginning, I am not sure what I thought about Nurse Hacksaw, running around looking at day old wounds and already thinking the rot has set in and there’s no way to survive without amputation. And who made her that bone saw? I did like her interactions with Robb, and it was nice to see Robb’s interest piqued.

    I have to watch this episode again and think about it more before I can comment on the other stuff. Still not sure how I feel about Ros and Joff playing “50 Shades of Grey and a Gimp” in the royal bedchamber.

    And when Melisandre gave Renly the warning to ‘look to your sins, Lord Renly”, I felt like she was calling him out on being gay? Seemed a little homophobic, but maybe the Lord 0f light doesn’t smile on that sort of thing. But it seems like women who birth creepy shadow babies concieved out of wedlock with someone you are in a religion with and leading around on wars , should not be tossing the word ‘Sin’ around so glibly.

  154. digitals3rf
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Best episode of the season so far. And I’m a book reader. I was thrilled over and over, but one thing that was a brilliantly dark grace note was Roose Bolton. Dialogue, appearance, and delivery all blood-chilling. “A naked man holds few secrets, a flayed man none.” That was the best almost-hour of television I ever watched, and we’re not even halfway through the season. Kudos to the cast and crew!

  155. Daenarya
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Thought the Cat/Littlefinger scene was a nice way to move things around. Though I wonder what Littlefinger would have done had Cat agreed to it right away? “Uh, yeah, actually, I was just kidding about Arya. We have no idea where the hell she is. But at least you’ll get one of ‘em, right?”

    And oh, the line where he said maybe it was fate – I’m surprised she didn’t slice his throat right then and there.

  156. Andrew
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    FlayedMenHaveNo…,

    Purely speculation, but from what Charles Dance has said in interviews about his scenes with Maise, it’s to give Tywins character a little more backstory, and to make him seem a bit more human. Right now, we just have Tyrions story about his first wife, and Catelyn saying Tywin ordered Rhaegars children be slaughtered. We don’t have the internal stuff from Tyrion or Jamie talking about why Tywin is like he is, namely how much of a pushover his father Tytos had been. This way, we’ll get to see Tywins backstory sooner. As well, when Harrenhal does change hands from Lannister to Bolton, the fact that Roose would take a random servant from an unrelated area of the castle as his cupbearer solely because of the Weasel soup thing will be changed to “Oh, good going with the Weasel Soup, cupbearer. Now you’re my cupbearer, though.” which, in all honesty, makes a lot more sense.

  157. Baramos
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Melisandre’s a hypocritical, flawed character. And I never felt it was a reference to Renly being gay, simply a threat/foreshadowing. She has a similar conversation with Davos five seconds later, after all.

  158. Grey Area
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    We’re not really bothered with Roose’ appearance (he looks great there), we’re more concerned about his character and his role in HBOWesteros, and whether he’ll play his decisive roles as he does in the books. Granted there *is* still a chance for him to take Harrenhal and get to RW if he takes the Winterfell route (taking Winterfell back from Theon, then burning it, then torturing Theon in place of Ramsay) instead of his bastard…but with the absence of the Brave Companions TVRoose might just end up as composite character of both the book Boltons.

  159. Daenarya
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I LOVED that Stannis called out Davos’s grammar. Totally gives us more of a sense of his personality.

  160. purplejilly
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and what I saw, symbolically, in the Joffrey scene, was this was what he WANTED to do to Sansa, and since Tyrion stopped him, he did it on the Gimp girl instead. And just like he would have in court, someone else does it while he watches. And that’s why he wanted Tyrion to see the girl afterwards, because he wants him to see how angry he was at getting his weirdo time with Sansa pulled.

    Also, I wonder if Tywin knows that is the lost Arry right off? Does he know they’ve lost Arya? I think he knows who she is, but is keeping it low profile for his own personal piece in the game, and is keeping her around and out of harm’s way while he figures out what to do with her.

  161. Maester Blaster
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I need to remind myself not to expect the show to be perfect. Nothing is perfect and it is very good. I think the Qarth scene and farting sentries were put because people complained the show was to serious. I wasn’t a fan though. Lot’s of good scenes though.

    Do you guys think all of Jeyne lied about her name and heritage because they are going to make her Jeyne Lannister?

  162. Andrew
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Grey Area,

    Personally, I see them not showing Ramsay yet because we’re not supposed to see Ramsay yet. If we all knew who was cast as Ramsay, and he showed up as some dude named “Reek”, the entire mystery would be gone, and it would even distract non-readers who pay attention to casting, not just the book fans. If we do see Ramsay this season, it wont be before episode 7.

  163. Michelle
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Loved every bit of it. That shadowbaby was way creepier on screen than it was in my head. Well done!

  164. Arthur
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Oh, and what I saw, symbolically, in the Joffrey scene, was this was what he WANTED to do to Sansa, and since Tyrion stopped him, he did it on the Gimp girl instead. And just like he would have in court, someone else does it while he watches. And that’s why he wanted Tyrion to see the girl afterwards, because he wants him to see how angry he was at getting his weirdo time with Sansa pulled.

    Plus D&D wanted to give Ros a scene… This is their TV adaptation and she wasn’t even in last weeks episode. She is 3 out of 4 now. Go Ros!

  165. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Looking back at the scene (watching the HBOGO version now), I think what I really like is that the beaten prostitute gets sent back to Tyrion and even though this isn’t part of Joffrey’s motivation, there’s no way that Tyrion can avoid thinking about just how dangerous this place is for Shae, particularly now that he has put her right alongside Sansa.

  166. andrea
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon: Westerosi-Jesus

    lol, not at all!
    I sometimes think if there is something that Stannis enjoys doing in his life. He seems always anxious to leave but … Where? What for?

  167. purplejilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    One more comment then I have to go to bed. Have to be at work early tomorrow. Of the first four episodes, I still would vote Ep. 3 as my favorite so far. Bryan Cogman has an intuitive understanding of a proper narrative thread for a TV show like this. I think they should have him writing more episodes.

  168. J
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    I think he enjoys being alone and brooding.

  169. Meg
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    who cares about the stupid peach.

    Somewhat overlooked, but I thought Stephen Dillane’s acting was excellent throughout this entire episode.

    Tyrion was an idiot to think that Joffrey just needs to get laid. Joff took his anger out at Tyrion on the prostitutes. Do I blame Tyrion for it? Somewhat. And no one was there to save them.

  170. Paco
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    WiC, u forgot to mention the lack of peaches in the list of things u didnt like! so disappointed :(

    i understand it doesnt fit the non-trolly show!Renly but I was still sad to see no fruit in sight… other than Renly and Loras of course. Also, I found it interesting that they meet with Stannis without any mention whatsoever of him coming to Westeros from Dragonstone… I wonder if any new viewers wondered about that or if it was one of those things that non-book readers just accepted without questioning it

  171. DM
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Can I just say that I love Tywin Lannister? Charles Dance just absolutely owns this role. I’m not sure there is another character in the whole show who is more believable. And that is saying something, because I think the casting has been incredible all around.

  172. hellbender jim
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Regarding the Joffrey/whore scene. I think it’s important to get across that Joffrey isn’t just cruel, he is sadistic. We don’t see this in the books but we hear about it. We hear about how he tortured animals growing up for example. This was a way to demonstrate this while also allowing to build on his relationship with Tyrion. He fears Tyrion in his way, but here he could get back at him without having to to his face.

  173. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    The Qarth scene came off as rather silly. I’m sure people who are much more insistent on no changes from the books than I am were nearly apopleptic about it. I just don’t think the Qarth scene was well-written when compared to the rest of the show.

    Well I wouldnt say I’m apopoltic but yeah I didnt like it. Mostly because it’s out of character for dany. Why the f would she not show them her damn dragon? Felt honestly like an elaborate way to save CGI money. And, yeah, it made Dany look weaker and less good at politics than she actually is in the books. Me no likely.

  174. Chris
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    A.) I was expecting wayyyy worse from the torture scenes by the way people were talking about them. LotS showed the same rat torture on basic cable and it didn’t even seem shocking there. I will say, I loved the whole Harrenhal sequence though, was the first time I thought the show conveyed the grim, dark tone that I get from the books.

    B.) I don’t get the Gregor uproar here. Conan was good, but all he did was lift up his face mask and bow to the king, get pissed and yell “SWOOOORD!”, and have a pretty decent sword fight. I don’t think he made much of an impression(and neither did Not-Conan). I would’ve liked to see him get more of a chance with the role, but it is what it is.

  175. Tom
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I got a massive smile on my face when I saw the Shadow baby. My favorite episode so far (only downsides, no Ned Stark cameo in the box and the cringe worthy Joff BSDM scene)

  176. David
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Why did Tywin care if the prisoners were being tortured and killed again? Come on. He employs the Mountain and Lorch and the Brave Companions. Didn’t really make much sense.

  177. J
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    David,

    Well, he said he cared because they were killing able-bodied men that they could force to work for them instead, which is pretty practical.

  178. darquemode
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Not quite as strong as last week for me, but very good.
    Loved the Grey Wind sighting.
    Loved tthe added Summer Islander reference.
    Loved the look of Harrenhal.
    Loved the shadowbaby birth.

    Still not sold on CVH as Melisandre.
    Not sold on Ian Whyte as Gregor(voice was ok… shoulders not so much).

    I think I may have to quit reading others comments. As I was watching I actually thought to myself “I wonder how many people will bitch that this was a Ros the whore scene and terrible because of her?”

    Of course it was not a Ros scene (like most of the alleged sexposition scenes were not Ros scenes) and it was all about Joffrey. While we know he is tactless and cruel, I thought the scene was needed to show just what a psychopathic sadistic little monster he is. Not as many small scenes with him to illustrate the point so they make big statements in the limited scenes and I think it works in that respect.

    I also really liked the changes with Dany. I don’t recall her screaming at Qarth like that, but it perfectly fits her state of mind.

    I posted the interactive episode extras for the week here:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-season-2-episode-204.html

  179. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    daev3,

    Technically they could have her serve both of them, yeah.

    But probably they just reversed the order of things.

    Theres less need to use Arya to observe roose in the tv show, where we aren’t restricted to only pov chars.

  180. Chris
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Every time I think about the shadow baby, I picture that scene from the Peter Pan cartoon, so I am glad they went this route.

  181. Andrew
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    David,

    As he said himself, Terror has it’s uses. Men like Gregor and Amory inspire quite a lot of fear in their foes, and their brutal tactics often spur Lords into hasty decisions (As it did with Edmure sending most of the Riverlords back to defend their lands from him). However, at Harrenhal, it was just needless. Scaring the prisoners didn’t accomplish anything, nor would it make the high lords want to act any more than the fact that Lannisters are holding the castle would. Tywin is brutal, but not needlessly cruel. He’d get more use out of putting them to work.

  182. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Chris,

    I guess I am being very hypercritical here. My compliant isn’t the acting part of the new Mountain, it is his stature. In the books, The Mountain is the biggest, most badass warrior in all a Westeros in regards to sheer size and strength. He is a huge knight (huge in height and muscularity) It looks like D&D just cast a really tall guy and put him in armor. Just because your 7 feet doesn’t make you strong. When Tywin was standing near the Mountain, he was broader in the shoulders and looked more imposing then the Mountain did.

    It is just a big letdown for me personally. I doubt very many other fans even care as much as I do. I just was looking forward to the Mountain vs the Viper. Now that fight is going to look silly. The Beanpole vs the Viper…

  183. sedeyus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    hellbender jim: Regarding the Joffrey/whore scene. I think it’s important to get across that Joffrey isn’t just cruel, he is sadistic. We don’t see this in the books but we hear about it. We hear about how he tortured animals growing up for example. This was a way to demonstrate this while also allowing to build on his relationship with Tyrion. He fears Tyrion in his way, but here he could get back at him without having to to his face.

    But didn’t the Sansa beating scene and the near-killing of Dontos and the taking the tongue of the bard already prove these things to us? I see these same desperate attempts to defend sexposition and Ros scenes, they serve no purpose other than to shock and titillate the audience. It’s alright to admit that yes, the show does have some weaknesses.

  184. Ryan E
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Great episode. Harrenhall was perfect.

  185. james yar
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Worst episode of season 2, by far. The joff scene was just unnecessary. These newly invented, “shock factor” sex scenes are really starting to annoy me. Daenerys is starting to become boring/annoying, and I find it distracting that Dany has somehow GAINED weight since being in the desert…. Emilia Clarke is beautiful, but her portrayal is becoming one-note, and her delivery of all her threats is becoming old and tired. I hope they find a way to make her story more exciting and believable. And do they really have to write an entire scene around not having to show the dragons, just to save a buck? Though the shadow baby scene was well done, I find the cliffhanger to be a total copout. I was watching with a few non-readers, and their reaction was simple confusion. They should have definitely showed the rest of the scene, and I fear that when they do show it during the next episode, a lot of the intensity will be lost. Oh, well.

  186. LordDavos12
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    J:
    andrea,

    I think he enjoys being alone and brooding.

    Aha! This is the real reason that he goes to the Wall in ASoS! Him and Jon are emo bffs!

    I enjoyed tonight’s episode. I loved seeineg Harrenhal in the opening credits, along with Qarth…I geek out about whenever we see a new location.

    I agree with others who say they thought that Arya’s prayer worked…I thought that it could have been really awkward, but the show avoided that. Dude that played the Tickler was a great casting choice. I continue to love all the casting choices for team Stannis, especially Liam Cunningham. That dude just owns it.

    And congrats to D and D for pulling off what had to have been one of the biggest scenes of the season, that being the shadow baby. It could have ended up botched and seen as too cheesy/campy, but they did a wonderful job.

  187. purplejilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Meg: Tyrion was an idiot to think that Joffrey just needs to get laid. Joff took his anger out at Tyrion on the prostitutes. Do I blame Tyrion for it? Somewhat. And no one was there to save them.

    Yeah – I see it as Tyrion not really understanding the depths of disorder that he is dealing with in Joffrey, by thinking a few good women would fix him right up. Maybe if Joff was a Baratheon that might have worked (lol). If Sansa was smart, she’d start getting milk of the poppy or anything else she could into his food every day. Surely there are some westerosi mood stabilizing herbs they could be brewing into a tea for him.

  188. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    james yar,

    They should have definitely showed the rest of the scene, and I fear that when they do show it during the next episode, a lot of the intensity will be lost. Oh, well.

    I bet you they don’t even show it. Their budget can’t afford it. We will see chaos in Renly’s camp and the aftermath. They aren’t going to show s**t.

    But they will show Ros crying to Tyrion, guaranted… Poor whore.

  189. Corn
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Paco: take Harrenhal and get to RW if he takes the Winterfell route (taking Winterfell back from Theon, then burning it, then torturing Theon in place of Ramsay) instead of his bastard…but with the absence of the Brave Companions TVRoose might just end up as composite character of both the book Boltons.

    You must not have seen the apple Renly picks up while taking to LF in his tent, there was fruit in Cat’s tent too, on the table. I recall wondering where they would get grapes during wartime…lots of fruit in the fancier tents, but no peach. I guess the apple was supposed to take the place of the peach?

  190. TC
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    gave it a 7. Some really great scenes that were like watching the book come to life and some really poorly written scenes that made me cringe.

    I liked:
    Tyrion. They have kept his scenes very close to the book material and his character and scenes have flourished because of it. Lancel did a great job with his part as well.

    Tickler: Looked as I imagined, nice mention of the brotherhood, though it brings to question why they didn’t have Ser Amory looking for the brotherhood instead of Gendry last episode. As I suspected, we are asked to believe that Ser Amory personally went searching for Gendry by name with his patrol but didn’t even get the basic physical description that he was dark haired, and so they believed Arya’s lie. Harrenhal looked pretty cool, but one of my non-reader friends was confused on where all these other people came from and what village they were asking about during the torture since we never saw a village on the show or any captives being taken from them.

    Shadow baby: Awesome scene. I didn’t like some of the dialogue leading up to it, such as Mel suggesting that Davos wanted her, but the birthing looked about perfect. Apparently there is some confusion among non readers because it was more black smoke baby than shadow, but it worked for me.

    Dislikes:

    Joffrey and the whores. Not because it was poorly acted, it wasn’t, and not because Joffrey wouldn’t possibly do this, he might. It just was a REALLY long scene when you include Tyrion’s dialogue with the Hound setting it up, and it didn’t add anything of importance to the story. This is the type of original scene that I really dislike, not because it wasn’t in the book, but because so many great scenes from the book have to be cut due to time restrictions, but they find so much time for this rather pointless scene. If there was 20 episodes for this season it would be a minor foot note, but with only 10 time is precious and there are better things they could spend that time on.

    Qarth: This scene was really awkwardly written. Dany threatening that she is going to come back and burn the city down later, when she admits that if they don’t let her in, she and her group will die? In the context of TV game of thrones, why don’t the Thirteen just force her to give up her dragons? Her Kalisar in the books is weak, but still several hundred people even if many are women, elderly and Xaro comes to her in the dead city that Dany is camped at and recovering and invites her to come so that the 13 can pay homage and see her dragons. But in the show for her to threaten them when they are basicly her only hope for survival rather than just show them at least one of the dragons seemed silly.

    The fart joke leading up to the Stark attack. Two fart jokes in the first four episodes isn’t exactly what I would go with if your trying to get fantasy to be taken seriously and not as sophomoric entertainment. Disappointing that all the battles have to be cut due to budget. Nice to see the flash of Grey Wind though. I also think they are way over playing Renly and Loras’ relationship, it’s something that many readers miss on until it is pointed out, and never struck me as something that common men-at-arms would have any knowledge of.

    Other thoughts:

    Cat and Littlefinger was well acted, but I’m not sure I like where it is going if it results in Jamie being released before Rickon and Bran’s “death”.

    Missed not seeing Renly’s peach and seeing Lightbringer glowing for the first time.

    Reserving judgement on Talisa from Volantis and what appears to be a romantic story line for Robb.

    Reserving judgement on Arya being Tywin’s cup bearer. It seems like Arya not “thinking” about naming Tywin as one of her 3 is much more far fetched if she is interacting with him daily.

  191. Stacia
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    The Joff scene really pissed me off when I saw it since it seemed so pointless and as if only fulfilling a quota of nudity for HBO since the Sansa scene couldn’t play out on screen like it did in the book. The audience already hates Joff. Why does that need to be hammered home?

    But I think it does have a longer-term significance with the marriage to Margaery Tyrell. Viewers could believe that Joffrey only goes after Sansa because he’s angry about what Robb is doing and he can hurt her to get back at Robb. But does that mean he’s going to be a sadist to Margaery? Not necessarily. But that scene is going to stick in viewers minds when they hear about the wedding plans. Joff enjoys violence against women. He’s crossed a boundary for even Westeros.

  192. Bullman
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Please stop posting.

  193. Val
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Dasein,

    I’ve read all of the books twice, and watch the show with my husband who hasn’t read them. I can tell you that he’s going to be angry if Joff doesn’t die this season. He says he’s watching to see Joff get it, and to see Arya start kicking ass with Needle. Hmmmmm…

  194. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Bullman,

    Please stop posting.

    LOL!

  195. Ghost
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I think this episode rocked. Only disappointment was not actual seeing a battle in the beginning, also the hound just didn’t fit.

    The Joffrey scene was hard to watch, but they are trying to capture the magic of the books. If u read the books I’m sure there was a few times when you wanted to pull a Larry Williams and flip out.

  196. OldGran
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    They could have put in the peach, after all there was a bowl of fruit, how hard is it to include a peach. It is as if they omited the peach on purpose, just to rile up book readers.

    Joff scene with Ros and NuRos: Awful. Not needed. We already know he’s a cruel SOB.

    Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, Shadowbaby, Spot On!

    Robb and NuJeyne, hummmm interesting. We’ll see.

    Arya and company. Good.

    Dany and company. Good.

  197. Spryte
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamsay:
    Is it just me or does Charles Dance on horseback look like Ganondorf from Zelda?

    O.M.G. Mind ‘splosion. Thank you for that.

    Stacia:
    The Joff scene really pissed me off when I saw it since it seemed so pointless and as if only fulfilling a quota of nudity for HBO since the Sansa scene couldn’t play out on screen like it did in the book. The audience already hates Joff.Why does that need to be hammered home?

    You hit the nail on the head. The moment I saw Ros and the other whore, all I was thinking was… at this point, HBO must’ve given the writers a gratuitous sex quota to meet. I don’t get it! There are better characters to feature.

    And no Jon Snow this episode? :(

  198. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    The weak points in this episode were

    1). Ros. Need I say more? Another unnecessary sex scene trying to push boundaries in another epic fail.

    2). Arya night time prayer. They made it more like a background to a scene, rather then the point of the scene.

    3). The Mountain. Instead of giving us “The Mountain” from the books, we get “Lurch”, from ‘The Addams Family’.

    4). Dany Scenes. We get 12 soldiers with shinny shields (that while marching make the sound of 10,000 men) and Dany talking shit to an entire city with her band of 10 peasants.

  199. oh-bb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I think the Joff scene was necessary. I am pretty sure that D&D literally CANNOT do some of the things with Sansa that he did in the books because of Sophie Turner’s age, or at least, they don’t want to. She might be growing up fast, but she’s still very young. Of all the changes/additions to Joff’s storyline, I honestly think that tonight was the best. It might have gone on a little long, but we need to see the real depth of his psychosis. There’s a difference between a simply shitty king and one who is mad. I like, too, the continued references to Joff and Aerys.

  200. Robert
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Is there anything more depressing than book purists *whining* about a single piece of fruit?

  201. littlejanet
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    The scene with Joffrey and Ros was too much for my taste, but I think I see where they’re going with it. Ros will get word back to Tyrion about what Joffrey did, and Tyrion will make gestures to Ros to show how sorry he is that he enlisted her in that little scheme. The queen’s people will observe this coming and going between Ros and Tyrion, and will assume they have identified Tyrion’s personal whore. Cue Alayaya plot.

  202. Daniel
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    We’ll be able to tell in the 6th episode this season, but for now…

    Bryan Cogman > Vanessa Taylor scriptwise IMO

  203. sedeyus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    oh-bb:
    I think the Joff scene was necessary. I am pretty sure that D&D literally CANNOT do some of the things with Sansa that he did in the books because of Sophie Turner’s age, or at least, they don’t want to. She might be growing up fast, but she’s still very young. Of all the changes/additions to Joff’s storyline, I honestly think that tonight was the best. It might have gone on a little long, but we need to see the real depth of his psychosis. There’s a difference between a simply shitty king and one who is mad. I like, too, the continued references to Joff and Aerys.

    But we had the Sansa scene. And the Dontos scene. And the scene with Marillion’s tongue getting cut out. I could keep going on because every scene this point with Joffrey proves he’s a psychotic. The scene with Ros and the other whore isn’t needed if it’s telling the audience what they already know.

  204. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    I agree it may be a redundant message, but I think this scene has merit as it will probably set up a few things later regarding Tyrion and Shae. I would say too long, perhaps? Still, I really got a kick of of Jack Gleason in this scene. He really continues to impress me with each episode.

  205. quixote
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Such a depressing episode. Liked Tyrion beating down Lancel, Sansa was magnificent and Renly and Stannis were good. Dany was uncommonly stupid, took me completely out of the episode. Also thanks to someone’s clever guesses had nightmares about rat torture before I ever watched the episode. So that’s just great.

  206. Greatjon
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I almost laughed at the Evil Joffrey scene tonight, just because by now I’ve gotten pretty good at picking out what book readers are going to complain about, and that was a softball. As always, I’m glad I watch the show with non-book readers, who, by the way, freaked out majorly over the pregnant Mel reveal. I can’t wait to read this week’s tweets!

    IGN gave the episode a 9 in a pretty complimentary review. They also do a cool little recap video of the episode.

  207. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    purplejilly:

    And when Melisandre gave Renly the warning to ‘look to your sins, Lord Renly”, I felt like she was calling him out on being gay?Seemed a little homophobic, but maybe the Lord 0f light doesn’t smile on that sort of thing.But it seems like women who birth creepy shadow babies concieved out of wedlock with someone you are in a religion with and leading around on wars , should not be tossing the word ‘Sin’ around so glibly.

    *facepalm* People can sometimes be too eager to point their finger at homophobia. How would Stannis or Melisandre have any idea Renly is gay? Regardless of that, I view it much more as a threat, as well as the fact that Renly IS denying the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Not only is he styling himself as king, but he’s taken a hundred thousand banner-men and soldiers away from the rightful king.
    Anyway, while last week’s episode aimed for the sky and nailed it, this week’s dropped down a couple notches, Some AWESOME scenes (everything involving Tyrion as usual, Harrenhal, the Stannis/Renly/Davos/Melisandre scenes) there were also some clunky ones. The transition after Grey Wind felt a little awkward (not in a they-should-have-showed-the-battle sense, just that it could have been better), and the scene outside Qarth felt a little off as well. The writing and delivery weren’t on par with what this series usually delivers.
    Overall a solid episode, just didn’t continue the season’s trend of each episode being better than the last… but HOLY CRAP THE PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK.
    Also, Bronn and Tyrion have had some of the most entertaining exchanges of the series, like this week’s “There’s no cure for being a cunt.” and last season’s “What do you want, Bronn? Gold? Women? Goooolden women?” among many.
    And kinda 0ff-topic, but I just read the part in the book and I REAAAALLLLLLLLY hope we get to see Jon Snow’s wolf dream!!!!!!!!!!

  208. Carolina H
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    harrenhal and qarth were perfect- better than what i had imagined. the 13, roose, talisa, all great. tyrion as always made me laugh. LF and cat were great, and so was arya/tywin. stannis/renly/davos/melisandre, pretty well. shadow baby spooky and yet funny. can’t imagine what those who haven’t read the books were thinking when that came on. joff and ross and the otehr girl… i felt so bad for them, but jack was as always, brilliant.
    someone mentioned above that san/san shippers must have wet themselves when the white cloak moment came about. and he was RIGHT! even if sandor didn’t say enough, he did wrap the cloak around her, unlike in the book where he just throws it at her.. so as a san/san lvoer, that was the best scene of all. sophie and rory are doing just a perfect job with the few seconds we can have of them together.

  209. cranscape
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    The Others,

    Book version was younger and got his kicks killing cats. This Joffrey is older. So they went with older vices. Maybe it’s just because I’ve watched a lot of HBO stuff, but I’ve seen way more disturbing things than that.

  210. Mike
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Baramos:
    Solar,

    My main problem with the new Gregor is he’s wearing Lannister armor and I didn’t even realize it was him at first. I really can’t figure out why he’s dressed like a Lannister man-at-arms when he’s his own dude with his own sigil and armor that make him more individual.

    This kept me from even thinking the Mountain was even in the episode until someone spoke about him.

  211. TheBull
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Really liked the Arya scenes, although I agree that the reciting of the names wasn’t dramatic enough. The directing could have been better there.

    Enjoying Talisa/Jeyne/whoever she is. Her dynamic with Robb should be interesting to watch.

    Michelle is just so damn good as Cat, I can’t say this enough. Littlefinger coming on to her was difficult to buy. I know she’s his one weakness but even he, at his most emotional, wouldn’t be stupid enough to believe Cat would accept him just after she lost her husband. The scene would have been perfect had that been omitted.

    As much as I enjoy Jack Gleason’s acting, and obviously D&D do too, that Joffrey scene was gratuitous which is what makes it all the more disturbing. Why? No really, why? I’m also pretty sure Ros has gotten more screen time than Sansa at this point.

    The first 3 3pisodes have been fantastic but I have to say, this one left me feeling pretty meh. The ending was great though.

  212. J
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe,

    Ye Olde Wolfe: How would Stannis or Melisandre have any idea Renly is gay?

    Well, I don’t think Melisandre meant it like that (more in the way you described), but Stannis certainly seems to know Renly is gay in the books. And in TV-verse only, if two random Lannister soldiers know about it, I have to imagine Renly’s brother does as well.

  213. KG
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Grey Area,

    Ok then, go away. Shan’t be missed.

  214. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    littlejanet:
    The scene with Joffrey and Ros was too much for my taste, but I think I see where they’re going with it.Ros will get word back to Tyrion about what Joffrey did, and Tyrion will make gestures to Ros to show how sorry he is that he enlisted her in that little scheme.The queen’s people will observe this coming and going between Ros and Tyrion, and will assume they have identified Tyrion’s personal whore.Cue Alayaya plot.

    I think this is exactly what they are doing. And why are people complaining so much about that scene? It wasn’t overly sexual, and nor was it just another way of showing Joff’s mindless cruelty. Tyrion stopped Joff from torturing Sansa, so Joff is doing it to the whore’s that Tyrion sent, in a way to get back at Tyrion since he really has no opportunities to do so. It had a lot more to do with the power struggle between Tyrion and Joffrey than it did with just Joffrey’s cruelty.

  215. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Haven’t read through all these so maybe this has been brought up, but I thought the key to Joffrey’s scene was his getting back at Tyrion more than just showing even more what a psycho he is (although it was that too).

    And after the talk about that scene I was a little relieved, definitely could have been worse, especially when I saw her pick up that antlered staff, oy….

  216. Ed
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Thank you! Good post.

    Langkard:
    I forgot to mention just how awesome they made Harrenhal.WiC is right about that.The matte-work was brilliant.

    I don’t get the hate for the new Mountain.Conan Stevens dumped the show., so they had no choice.Considering what they had to replace, I think they did a fine job.What did you people think they were going to do, clone Stevens?Go with some other actor as buff as Stevens but who looks entirely different?As long as Ian Whyte can act and sticks with the show, I’m fine with him in the role.He looked huge compared to Charles Dance.He’s taller than the Hound.No need to be pie-in-the-sky about the whole thing.

  217. scott glennon
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    About the Joffrey/Whores scene: The point is not what he is, but what he is becoming. Worse! In the books Joffrey uses that crossbow to chase down cats in the castle and kill them for fun! (If I have to choose, I’ll take the scene that aired.) There are other instances but I won’t elaborate here. I am glad to see the emotional impact that scene had. It is supposed to. Believe it or not, this is actually toned down from the books. Yes, we know what Joffrey is, but it’s getting worse, and it will continue to get worse. As they say-Stay tuned…

  218. Nimble Dick
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    i cant sleep with my wife tonight in fear of making a shadow baby

  219. Ed
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    No, it happens next episode.

    oracle86:
    Does Renly die in the end?

  220. andrea
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Joffrey’s scene was his getting back at Tyrion more than just showing even more what a psycho he is

    it was exactly that for me too.

  221. Jorge
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Pretty good episode, though the last one was stronger overall. This one was a mix of some really strong scenes mixed with some of the weakest scenes of the season, and some scenes that I feel like would have been better with more set up.

    Good stuff

    –Tyrion dressing down Lancel, though I feel like they could have reminded the audience (at least in the previously on) that Lancel was sleeping Cersei.

    –Joffrey Sansa scene. Pretty much straight out of the books, and captured well. Glad they kept Bronn’s line to Ser Meryn (Boros in teh books) and Tyrion’s threat.

    –Harrenhal. Looks great, and the Tickler scenes were disturbing and very well captured.

    Stuff I didn’t care for

    –Dany’s scenes. Really, this was by far the weakest part of hte episode and the season to me. Qarth looks great, but that whole negotiating with the Thirteen came off as really silly. Honestly, it was just bad.

    –Joffrey and the whores. I didn’t dislike the scene, and it was acted very well; it just wasn’t necessary at all and I think the time could have been spent better with Stannis.

    –Stannis meeting Renly. For hte most part good, but should have been longer. The scene seemed to just happen with very little setup. DId the show ever even mention that Stannis was going to Renly’s camp?

  222. JamesL
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Easily my favorite episode of the season. It definitely had a different feel than other episodes and as much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t care for the directing style which I think is what made it seem a little off at times. I probably would have enjoyed the episode even more if they had chosen a different director for it. And that Joffrey scene I was worried about wasn’t as bad as I thought, I actually thought it was a really good scene.

  223. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    Yeah Dillane was amazing. The more we see of him, the more this comes out. I also think CVH has created her own Melisandre quite well. I loved how full of pride and joy she was after seeing her baby! Great nuance.

  224. Dragolf
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    The episodes keep getting better and better.

    Y’all have to remember this is a TV show, not the books being put word for word, image for image on screen, and they are doing a great job of summarizing and fleshing out the parts that make good TV. It is so well done.

    I think they added the Littlefinger/Cat scene so it would be the last straw before he goes stalker/kidnapper on Sansa. He tried to get Cat back one more time, he failed, and now his taste for Sansa will grow and help motivate the plot to get her out of Kings Landing. The writers are setting the stage.

    How amazing was Michelle Farley in that scene?! WOW.

    Moving up the shadow baby birth to first killing Renly was a great way to bypass subplots that have no meaning for a television audience. Fantastic CGI, exactly how I pictured the cave and “baby.”

    LOVED how they summarized Arya’s journey/introduction to Harrenhal by moving all the torture scenes there and having her immediately become Tywin’s cup-bearer without the unnecessary in-between. I was worried Gendry would be killed since he really doesn’t do anything important in the book series (yet), and the writers have been changing things and killing off people who are still alive in the books.

    That Joff scene was vile, way worse than anything in the books, but it worked in making my skin crawl. It was also hard to see Sansa get beat up even though I know she did in the books. Seeing it was different than reading. Did anyone else get chills when Tyrion said, “Lady Stark, you may survive us yet,”? She may take it all, you guys. She was so regal walking out of there despite being bruised and humiliated.

    Wow, there was so much suspense on my end since I know they’re changing things up! I thought Joff was going to kill the prostitute. I thought Gendry would die.

    Maybe it helps that I haven’t read book 2 since last year and am ignoring the lack of details being put in the show. The show writers have trimmed the fat (something GRRM’s editors refuse to do) to leave the stuff that works in a television medium. Great job!

  225. m3shwerks
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Paco,

    Hey, there was no peach scene, but there are definitely fruits. We did get an apple (Renly) and a pear (The Tickler).

    I’m surprised people are complaining about the Joffrey scene, PUH-lease, the LF brothel scenes are far worse. This episode did a very good job of blending several chapters from book 2 together. I liked it very much.

  226. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Finally some good ‘adaption’. The Harrenhal stuff was great!

    Birthing of the Shadow Baby was also great, but I agree that it would have been better if the episode ended with Renly’s death.

    However there were many casualties of this episode as well.

    Robb and Jeyne. Dear godddd lollll, I remember GRRM specifically calling out such relationships as a load of crap in an interview somewhere, like ‘the highborn lady and the stableboy’. Unless Oona Chaplin’s character is a highborn lady in disguise then I just have to facepalm at what they’ve done with that. Turned it into a massive cliche, poorly handled that goes against the author of the series view on the subject.

    Qarth. As much as the city walls and the landscape beyond looked nice. I was not a fan of the changes made to the city of Qarth at all. The complexity of the politics in the city is completely lost compressing the three guilds into one. I also would not believe that the rulers of ‘the greatest city in the world’ would walk out of the gates to greet a Dothraki horde (no matter how rag-tag) who supposedly has dragons, guarded by 12 warriors, LOL. This doesn’t make sense to their particular adaption of the city. Not to mention the walls above are empty.

    Not only that but after Daenerys pleaded to enter the city because her people (and dragons) will die in the ‘Garden of Bones’ if they are not permitted entry, she turns around and threatens them that she will raise Qarth when her dragons are grown … I noticed immediately and shook my head at the contradiction to the previous discussion :S If they don’t let her in she will die. Who edits these scripts? Dear me.

    No peach. I can understand that due to the changes in Renly’s character, but once again, they cut one of the fan favourite moments in the books.

    Catelyn :(, poor Catelyn. They continue to take away everything that makes her character interesting and complex, such as taking her idea of trying to trade Jaime to the Kingslayer and giving it to Littlefinger. Don’t get me started on Littlefinger. They are making his character seem like an idiot by continously being a verbal schemer blurting out the fact that he knows people’s secrets.

    I thought the Joffrey scene was pretty good, depending on which angle you’re viewing it from. It works in the sense that it’s a further exploration into Joffrey’s sadism which they’ve been building throughout the show. I do have a feeling that the intent behind the scene had something to do with trying to balance the ‘sexposition’ scales as it were. It seems a retarded criticism to focus on

    Was this the best episode so far? Umm, well I was still a bit disappointed by this one, but I was glad to see that some scenes were on the same level as the good ones from the first season. There aren’t many cases where deviation from the books has worked in their favor I have to say…

  227. MW
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    The Mountain had about 10 seconds of screen time in the first season and he has most likely completed his 10 seconds for this season as well. Find something else to complain about.

  228. mark
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Russian FAN,

    in the box

  229. Tywin25
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:16 am | Permalink
  230. WhereTheWildRickonsR
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    sedeyus: But we had the Sansa scene. And the Dontos scene. And the scene with Marillion’s tongue getting cut out. I could keep going on because every scene this point with Joffrey proves he’s a psychotic. The scene with Ros and the other whore isn’t needed if it’s telling the audience what they already know.

    I took a bit more from this Joffrey scene. As someone alluded to, this is not about him being a POS. This was a direct act in defiance to Tyrion the one character who has shown the ability to control him ( which if I’m not mistaken, he hasn’t done before).

    But for those who simply take it face value, I can’t blame you for being upset at another Joffrey is a dick moment.

  231. WhereTheWildRickonsR
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink
  232. David Scotton
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    I hated the new Joffrey scene. It was completely unnecessary – everyone has more than enough reason to hate Joffrey already, we saw him abusing Sansa in this very episode. And this episode already had plenty of other nastiness that WAS relevant to the plot. I’ve noticed a trend – when the show adds a new scene about whores, it’s usually bad. Otherwise the added scenes are often good.

  233. WhereTheWildRickonsR
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    I also think this episode got a big boost from the new characters harrenhal and qarth. Much has been made about the settings and locations and they have hit home on all points

  234. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Slight off topic but I find the Completely Unspoiled Speculation forum on Television Without a Pity is incredibly quiet tonight. Usually they have their thoughts on the board in the span of an hour. But so far, nothing at all….are they too flabbergasted to speculate.

    Even so Twitter is on fire with GoT right now, the episode was a success methinks. The opening of episode 5 is going to be awesome!

  235. Joh
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    That was BRUTAL.

    Battlefield amputations. Horrific abuse of women. Torture scenes. Littlefinger. Starvation in the red wastes. Shadow Babies. There wasn’t a bright moment in the whole damn thing.

    Seriously. That was, hands down, the darkest, bleakest hour of television I have ever witnessed.

  236. David
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I said I was going to boycott the series if there wasn’t a Renly peach. I know now thats not happening, but rewatching that scene will be bittersweet for the rest of my life. The little tiny details like that make the series so deep. I can’t even fathom how Stannis can keep on truckin without seeing his bro whip out dat peach. Uggghhh.

    The episode was one peach shy of perfect.

  237. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Overall, another really great episode. However, there were some silly bits, too:

    a) Robb wading through the aftermath of a gruesome battle with a dirty face, yet his armor is spic and spam. No cuts, no nicks, no dents, no spatters. Yeah, right.

    b) Carmen Miranda called and wants Margaery’s fruit bowl of a dress back.

    c) Catelyn angrily threatening the lying lowborn weasel for hitting on her yet again and yet naively accepting at face value that both her daughters are still alive and well in KL. Wouldn’t Tyrion have provided LF with some proof just in case, e.g. a letter from Sansa and some possession of Arya’s?

    d) The Tickler applying enhanced interrogation techniques to just one person per day. Did no-one bother to tell him there’s a war on? Was there a shortage of stunt rats?

    e) Dany refusing to show the dragons because they were taking a nap at the time. Also, Jorah prepping her so poorly for the parlay with the 13.

    f) Stannis doing the (romanes eunt domus) bit was in line with his character, but it obscured key plot points: did Stannis and Davos know of Mel’s pregnancy? Were they aware of the accelerated rate of gestation? Unless that baby bump grew that large in a matter of minutes, the answer should be yes on both counts (i.e. both already knew the spawn wasn’t human).

  238. David
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    After Ctrl+F’ing peach, I am surprised to learn how many viewers share my pain. Is there any chance there could still be a peach in 5?

  239. Joh
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    I was so upset by this episode that if they showed one more terrible thing, I couldn’t continue watching.

    When the Mountain’s crew came to pick out torture victims I almost had to leave the room.

    If they had tortured or killed off Hot Pie, I would have stopped watching the show, obsessive fandom membership card be damned.

    Of course, I get all emotional and upset and worried about these characters, but when they show Arya looking so sad and vulnerable and woobified I just laugh maniacally. Non book readers are going to be so surprised.

  240. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:

    Not only that but after Daenerys pleaded to enter the city because her people (and dragons) will die in the ‘Garden of Bones’ if they are not permitted entry, she turns around and threatens them that she will raise Qarth when her dragons are grown … I noticed immediately and shook my head at the contradiction to the previous discussion :SIf they don’t let her in she will die. Who edits these scripts? Dear me.

    Catelyn :(, poor Catelyn. They continue to take away everything that makes her character interesting and complex, such as taking her idea of trying to trade Jaime to the Kingslayer and giving it to Littlefinger. Don’t get me started on Littlefinger. They are making his character seem like an idiot by continously being a verbal schemer blurting out the fact that he knows people’s secrets.

    Re: Dany: Did you stop paying attention after she said that? The Spice King pointed out this flaw, so it wasn’t just a missed edit, it was a show of Dany’s political/bargaining inexperience.
    Re: Catelyn: Have you watched the first three episodes? The idea IS Catelyn’s in the show, but Robb won’t allow it. It’s just that now someone is giving her the offer that Robb won’t let her make.

  241. LordDavos12
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Somewhat random, and I forgot to mention it earlier…..but I thought I had to share that when the woman in Harrenhal cried out something along the lines of “I need food! Even a crust of bread!!!”….then one of the guards just punched her, I had to laugh.

  242. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe: Re: Dany: Did you stop paying attention after she said that? The Spice King pointed out this flaw, so it wasn’t just a missed edit, it was a show of Dany’s political/bargaining inexperience

    This was vastly out of character though. No one would be that stupid, let alone Dany who’s brilliant at this sort of negotiation.

  243. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Hunh TWOP update, a newbie watcher from the beginning on the Unspoiled Forum is threatening to quit the show! Well she said the same thing when Ned Stark died. LOL. Not a fan of the breakneck pace, of the many characters (alas the 1o episodes for budget may be its Achilles heel), the dark tone of the recent episodes and not a fan of the shadow baby at all.

    I think we are going to see many of these reactions, and the show will lose some viewers. But hopefully it will bring in more viewers as well and hold on to some of the mainstays.

  244. Grey Area
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    userj,

    Na, Dany’s only a young girl and knows little of the ways of war.

  245. Grey Area
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    It’s that damn peach! If only it was included people wouldn’t be bloody leaving this show! *andgryface*

  246. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe,

    I watched it via ‘other means’, as I am from Australia. There was a graphical glitch at 37:31 right after that scene that led me to believe that there was no dialogue that covered that. I will see if there is a repack.

    And yes you’re right, Catelyn did mention it in the first episode, however the fact that she needs littlefinger to convince her to do it is retarded, not to mention that moments ago in that scene he made a complete dick of himself.
    I honestly don’t know why needed to plant FURTHER seeds into the idea when it is the deaths of Bran and Rickon that send her over the edge and resolve her to do it. Unless they’ve fucked with the timelining.
    Not to mention that I doubt Littlefinger wants Jaime out … which is a weird creation, considering his actions in later books.

  247. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    I loved the Joffrey scenes tonight. That kid can freaking act. I think I hate tv Joffrey more than book Joffrey which I thought would be hard to do. I’m glad D&D put that scene in there where he has the whore tortured. It’s good to see Tyrion trying to help Joff and him just throwing it back into Tyrions face in a terribly brutal way. I love that even though I’ve read all the books these guys can write a scene that shocks and disturbs me just like if I was reading the books for the first time. That kid is such a great actor and I hope they continue to add more scenes for his psychotic character.

    The Mountain didn’t bother me. Nobody really looks remotely like they do in my head when I read the books so I don’t care about looks for the show. If I want the book version of Gregor I can just read the books again. As long as he can act I’ll be happy. I won’t get upset if someone looks different from how I imagined them or these small changes. Now if they change something major in the plot like have Rob survive the RW then I’ll join the sanctimonious book nerdom in outrage.

  248. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    userj: This was vastly out of character though.No one would be that stupid, let alone Dany who’s brilliant at this sort of negotiation.

    Is it though? Is she? I don’t recall anything up to his point that would lend to her being good at negotiation, or politics in general. The Mereneese Knot gets tied because she’s not good at politics, and it gets worse because she’s learning as she goes. As has been joked about here before, Dany does get fired up and lets her emotions get in the way. Before now, she was always able to pull the “I’m the Khaleesi, I get what I want.” and now she doesn’t have that, and her desperation shows in this negotiation.

  249. Dave Brownell
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    They have GOT to stop changing shit! There was a tiny little change in this episode, that fucks things up pretty badly. And that it was a minor change means bad news for any major changes we may get in the future.

    I’m talking of course of Ned’s Bones. Yes the scene between Littlefinger and Cat was tear jerking and sweet but… it never happened. Ned’s bones were sent to Winterfell via roadway through the warzone, yet miraculously Ned’s bones make it to Winterfell in the book. How is Littlefinger to know that Cat was treating with Renly? He would have to know this to bring Ned’s bones along for the ride to give her. And now that Cat has Ned’s bones, how are they going to get their way back to Winterfell when Cat never returns there personally?

    And Who the Heck is this broad that Robb is falling for? Wasn’t Jeyne Westerling his love? You know, the one that sparks the red wedding? This Volantis women doesnt seem to be high born at all, not even of a small castle/hold… Too many changes this episode, and too many new scenes like Joffrey’s scene. That was just HBO being HBO, and i hate it when those moments come up. “Oh, it’s HBO time. Game of Thrones will be back in 3 minutes after the unnecessary bondage”

  250. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Grey Area,

    Meh, I don’t care much for peaches anyway. Gives me the runs.

    Great episode.

  251. Baron Von Gilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Russian FAN,

    Neds dead baby, Neds dead.

  252. darquemode
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    I watched it live on HBO and I experienced the same audio glitch in the Dany scene. The HBO GO version did not have it… I have not caught a re-airing yet…..

  253. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    Quarth I agree with.
    edit: audio glitch here two.

    but

    Cat & Robb&girl

    I want to wait how that plays out.

  254. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    Yeah it stuffs up after he says “true Targaryen”, then Xaro comes and says, we need not fear her, let her in etc

  255. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    This episode was just peachy (ahem)

  256. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Dave Brownell:
    They have GOT to stop changing shit! There was a tiny little change in this episode, that fucks things up pretty badly.And that it was a minor change means bad news for any major changes we may get in the future.

    I’m talking of course of Ned’s Bones.Yes the scene between Littlefinger and Cat was tear jerking and sweet but… it never happened.Ned’s bones were sent to Winterfell via roadway through the warzone, yet miraculously Ned’s bones make it to Winterfell in the book.How is Littlefinger to know that Cat was treating with Renly? He would have to know this to bring Ned’s bones along for the ride to give her.And now that Cat has Ned’s bones, how are they going to get their way back to Winterfell when Cat never returns there personally?

    And Who the Heck is this broad that Robb is falling for? Wasn’t Jeyne Westerling his love? You know, the one that sparks the red wedding? This Volantis women doesnt seem to be high born at all, not even of a small castle/hold… Too many changes this episode, and too many new scenes like Joffrey’s scene.That was just HBO being HBO, and i hate it when those moments come up.“Oh, it’s HBO time.Game of Thrones will be back in 3 minutes after the unnecessary bondage”

    Ned’s bones were sent to Winterfell, BUT as of A Dance with Dragons, they still haven’t reached Winterfell. Catelyn receives his bones in Riverrun, and sends them on their way, so having her receive them elsewhere isn’t really a big deal. With LF and Varys having spies everywhere, I think it’s safe to assume they knew Catelyn had made her way south to meet with Renly.

  257. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Dave Brownell,

    Couldn’t Cat just send someone to Winterfell with the bones? I’m not even sure why it matters to begin with. I rather get a great scene with Cat like that one was than worry about whether Ned’s bones following the same path they did in he books. Did I miss the part in the books where Ned’s bones become integral to the plot?

  258. Rinso
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Overall, I liked it.

    Things I liked:
    - I still can’t believe they went so heavy on the CGI with the shadowbaby – I expected much less from that scene and I’m glad I was wrong.
    - the showoff between Renly and Stannis.
    - the scenes in Harrenhal. They even gave actual lines to Ser Gregor and his men :P And Tywin arriving on the white horse was badass. Him saving Arya and Gendry is a slight deviation from the book, but not from the essence of the character, IMO (Tywin often gets overly demonized from both characters and readers, and he’s not such a horrible monster).
    - Tyrion owning Lancel. This was the first time I actually found Tyrion to look menacing and sinister. Great acting from Dinklage, but Lancel was also good – that look of fearful desperation was the perfect stooge for the Imp’s soft growling.

    Things I didn’t like:
    - What’s with the chick in Robb’s host? Is that supposed to be Jeyne? What the fuck? How is this better than what it is in the book? How does it make for a smoother storytelling and adaptation?
    - Littlefinger meeting Catelyn. I dunno, it doesn’t sit right with me.
    - Daenerys seemed overly pathetic.

  259. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Ah there we go, he does point it out. That’s alright then. Nicholas Blane was good in this scene, however the scene was still a bit wrong in my opinion.

    Rinso,

    Agreed.

    I prefer the original scene where Xaro, Quaithe and Pyat Pree ride back to see the dragons.

    In fact I’m already a bit worried about the Qarth storyline.

  260. Violentos
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    In the book, Melisandre doesn’t give birth to shadow baby until nearer to the end. And it wasn’t to kill Renly, it was meant to kill someone else. We can THEN assume that a similar incident occurred back in Renly’s encampment.

    So I’m not sure if I like the change from the book here… I mean I guess it makes it less confusing for the viewers of the show, but I actually liked the complete randomness of Renly’s unexplained death in the book. The reader couldn’t have seen it coming!

  261. Zach
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    You’re not totally alone! I also thought episode three was the worst so far – Yoren was cool, but yes, the scene itself was a big disappointment.

    Roose was just phenomenal. What a creepy dude. I’m absolutely stunned there are people who’d come on here to say otherwise – because he doesn’t “talk softly?” You’re embarrassing yourself. Flay ‘em.

    And I’ve been saying for MONTHS that Roose would go to Winterfell to take over Ramsay’s spot. See what happens when you don’t listen to me? Well, nothing, I guess! But for the record I was on that shiz!

    WhereTheWildRickonsR:
    Standing applause from the first minute to the last!

    I’m a book reader and everything they did from staying loyal to the books and making changes was pitch perfect!

    I didn’t mind the Joffre scene as it was entertaining and even added depth to his depravity..ros is terrible but finally she wasn’t given the chance to ruin a scene for me.

    I’m n the minority but I was let down with episode 3. While visually appealing, the episode was a little boring (not in story but in how they portrayed it) I wasdisappointed in what they did to Yoren band of misfits and how they defended their stronghold in the book.

    In fact, I personally ranked episode 3 as the worst of the first three episodes….but episode 4 just brought everything back!

    Harrenhal conveyed the perfect tone as a place of doom. The acting was intense and engrossing. Just wonderful all around.

    Just my two cents, folks, and I’m hope your enjoying this series as much as me. I’m off to do another rewatch!

  262. Crispin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    NytestrykerZ,

    Actually, from the looks of it, I was thinking more along the lines of the Mountain being “Darth Vader”. ;)
    I mean, when Tywin enters Harrenhal and stands right next to the Mountain for a bit while the deep voice of the Mountain informs him of the prisoners… pure Vader.

    Which kind of sums up my mixed feelings about the new Mountain. He is very tall, impressive and muscular, but he isn’t really a “Mountain”. A big ass “Tower”, sure, but when I saw Conan Stevens with the girth given him by all that armour last season, that was a pitch-perfect rendition of a mountain that rides. The new Mountain, while definitely impressive, just is a bit too lean in my opinion.

  263. Zach
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Hahaha… what are you talking about? Are you trolling? This is exactly what happened in the book.

    Violentos,

  264. Flay Zach
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    HO! So it was *your* horrible idea to have Roose go to Winterfell is it? And you have the gall to say you “called it”? It’s to the Dreadfort with you, Zachary!

  265. Violentos
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    Nope, shadow baby in the book was meant to kill some Lord who refused to surrender to Stannis and was holding up in his tower. I forget which Lord it was at the moment… but I definitely remember that being the reason. And when Renly dies, the reader knew nothing of any cause. I loved that part of the book. It reminded me that anyone can die at any time without any warning!

    Are YOU trolling…?

  266. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Zach:
    Hahaha… what are you talking about? Are you trolling? This is exactly what happened in the book.

    Violentos,

    No it’s not. I JUST read the shadow baby chapter in the book, and read the other shadow chapter a week ago. Catelyn is in Renly’s tent as he gets armored up for battle, and without explanation, a shadow comes and kills Renly. About three hundred pages later, Davos sails out, under Storm’s End with Mel, and she births a shadow. It is later confirmed that the castellan of Storm’s End (Cortnay Penrose, not cast for the show) died under mysterious circumstances.

  267. longbow joe
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    I don’t wanna sound like a prude, but is it necessary for the amount of nudity? I just found that scene with mel a bit much, It was awesome, but almost spread eagled on the ground was a bit much for me.

    another worry is the amount of characters we have now, I’m worried that people will start to say “nothing happens” because we have so many characters.

  268. Syrio
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    This episode was very dark and disturbing, just like the books. But I fear it may be so disturbing that it will cause the show to lose viewers.

  269. Russian FAN
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Arya came to Nazi concentration camps!

  270. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Re: peachgate. Seems to me the writers decided that Renly whipping out a pristine peach after riding out to the coast to meet with Stannis would have looked ridiculous on TV. Instead, we got the apple in the tent plus the ham joke in the parlay.

    Re: sadismgate. In rescuing Sansa and threatening the kingsguard, Tyrion humiliates Joffrey yet again, this time in front of the whole court. Unable to retaliate directly, the boy-king decides to use his uncle’s trademark whoremongering to go off the deep end. However, Joffrey could have just walked into his chambers, discovered nuRos waiting for him, spontaneously shot her as ersatz-Sansa and ordered a guard to take the body to the Hand of the King. Instead, we got yet another scene with Ros that was overly long relative to its plot and character development.

    I guess we’ll find out next week if Tyrion decides Joffrey needs to have an accident so Tommen can succeed him or, if either Joffrey or Cersei find out about Shae first.

  271. Lex
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Pretty great episode! I think I liked last week a little more, but still good.

    -Shadow Baby looked WAYYY better than I was expecting!
    -Harrenhal looked much cooler than expected.
    -Renly/Stannis scene was great (loved the dialogue). But… no peach??
    -Tickler scenes were great.
    -Glad to see Arya’s death prayer, but wish they’d let it go a little longer. As usual, most of the scenes feel a little rushed. :/
    -Joffrey scene wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Seems like his real motivation was to get back at Tyrion, which is very true to the books.
    -Jeyne wasn’t as bad as I expected, although my friends and I couldn’t stop laughing (apparently Robb is turned on by the way Jeyne saws off a foot).
    -I was a little underwhelmed with the new Mountain (not bulky enough, and I hate his Lannister armour, he needs his regular Mountain armour!) but his voice was cool.

    I was sure this episode would contain Renly’s death, so I was surprised not to see it.

  272. Middlefinger
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Langkard: Conan Stevens dumped the show., so they had no choice. Considering what they had to replace, I think they did a fine job. What did you people think they were going to do, clone Stevens? Go with some other actor as buff as Stevens but who looks entirely different? As long as Ian Whyte can act and sticks with the show

    The following is a quote from Conan Stevens blog:

    I had a great time working on GoT season 01 and the response from viewers to my character and portrayal seemed very positive. I was looking forward to being able to reprise the role for season 02, but it seems like HBO decided to go in a different direction for the 2nd season and I will not be playing Ser Gregor this time around which is a pity.

    Of course, if I were asked to appear in season 03 I would be very excited to do so.

    I dont know why they chose to add a glaring inconsistency for seemingly no reason at all, but it pisses me off! Hopefully we can have C. Stevens back for Red Viper fight but somehow I doubt it.

    Aside from scheduling or contractual issues (and that does not seem to be the case) I see no valid reason for swapping C. Stevens for that other guy. Seems like a very poor decision to me.

  273. Lex
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    I should add, I was pleasantly surprised by the Lancel scenes! Somehow, I didn’t think he was returning this season!

  274. Johanna
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    I was rather dissapointed about the absence of peaches during the negotiations between Stannis and Renly.

  275. Zach
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Violentos and Ye Olde Wolfe, you are correct and I apologize! Can’t believe my brain failed me like that, on GOT of all things!

    Flay Zach:
    Zach,

    HO! So it was *your* horrible idea to have Roose go to Winterfell is it? And you have the gall to say you “called it”? It’s to the Dreadfort with you, Zachary!

    HAHA, oh man. Gold star to you!

    But for the record, this is a good decision. If they included that Reek subplot, you’d all be miserable. It just doesn’t work for TV, and that’s just as ironclad a promise as I can make it as a screenwriter.

    Consider how much of the whole Reek/Ramsay thing is off-camera. Bran just overhears these stories about how awful Ramsay is while being bored and entertaining guests (talk about a drag). It’s a ton of set-up that George is able to pull off in the books, but in the show? No one would remember that they overheard the name “Ramsay Snow” when the big reveal happened. It would just be a disaster. Imagine a room filled with silence and Ramsay standing there like “TA DAAA!!!” and all your non-reader friends being like “…who?” “…what?” “…why are we supposed to care?”

    then, next episode: “wait, he’s burning wintefell now? WHY DOES THIS RANDOM GET TO BURN WINTERFELL?”

    But okay, they could rejigger things massively and make Reek work. Sure they could. But also consider that even in the book, Reek’s wackiness came at the cost of the real heart of the Winterfell story. It’s a much, MUCH better story choice to focus on Theon’s betrayal over Reek’s random switcheroo.

    And now, hard truth time: the fall of Winterfell is considered disappointing, and it’s because no one cared about Ramsay at all until book five. So why smoosh him into season two at the cost of Theon? (Now granted, does anyone care about Roose yet? Prob not, but let’s see what they do with it – at the very least he’s 1) on-screen and 2) takes up less time and 3) his doublecross will probably be way less confusing.

    George should have done it this way. I’m a Ramsay lover, but let’s just bring him for season three in his full glory we will all be happier for it.

    And as for Roose, I’ve said it on here like a thousand times so I hate to repeat myself (because I feel like you’re sick of hearing it) but Roose does not need to be at Harrenhal or the RW. He just doesn’t. No, stop! He doesn’t! I daresay the Lannister guards and their World’s Worst Farting SFX do way more harm to the show than this ultra-minor change.

  276. bon
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Beastling,

    I thought about it to.

  277. Luana
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    J:

    My favorite moment of the episode was probably Stannis correcting Davos’s grammar.

    It was my favourite moment of the entire season.

  278. Icebird
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Renly’s peach did make an appearance… but I think it was while he was talking to Littlefinger. The absence of the peach in his conversation with Stannis is probably the biggest disappointment of the season so far for me. That change alone gets this episode a 4/5 for me instead of 5/5. I’m sure the fans would have loved to see Storms End but I can understand that absence for budget reasons. I don’t understand why they couldn’t include a simple yet key moment in the series for fans of Renly.

    I literally yelled at the tv when the episode ended. I thought this episode was going to end with Renly’s death. I would think that would be a prime episode finisher, and Renly deserves a good finish rather than getting killed off in the early moments of episode 5. The scene with Melisandre and Davos was great though I didn’t really like her sexual comments to Davos – I never even got a hint of that from the books.

    I loved Tyrion’s scenes. I was looking forward to seeing Tyrion stand up for Sansa and that scene was satisfying. The scene with Lancel was also very awesome – though I wish he would have warned him against getting Cersei pregnant as he does in the book.

    I have no problem with the Joffrey scene. It makes sense I think.

    I enjoyed the opening scene with the Lannister soldiers. I’m not sure what to think of where they’re going with Robb/Jeyne just yet. I like Oona Chaplin though.

    The Arya/Harrenhall scenes were excellent. The Tickler was also amazing. Apparently there will be no Weese – so I wonder who her first choice for Jaqen will be. Did anyone else notice in the opening intro that Harrenhall didn’t have the moving pieces like all of the other cities? Nice touch for the ruined castle I think.

    Also loved the scenes with Dany. Qarth looks beautiful. I’m glad Dany doesn’t give in to them and show off her dragons like some circus sideshow. I like the casting choice for Xaro Xhoan Daxos.

    Like I said 4/5 for no peach. Excellent episode IMO. I know FaB said it was his least favorite of the 1st four so I’ll look forward to his thoughts in the twitter post.

  279. Pepi
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I actually like the new Mountain. Just a random notion; doesn’t he sound a bit like sir Christopher Lee? :D

  280. Langkard
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Middlefinger: The following is a quote from Conan Stevens blog:

    I dont know why they chose to add a glaring inconsistency for seemingly no reason at all, but it pisses me off! Hopefully we can have C. Stevens back for Red Viper fight but somehow I doubt it.

    Aside from scheduling or contractual issues (and that does not seem to be the case) I see no valid reason for swapping C. Stevens for that other guy. Seems like a very poor decision to me.

    Conan Stevens’ blog post is pure crap. He actually posted on these very forums, after word got out that he wasn’t going to be playing The Mountain in season 2, that he left because he was offered a role in The Hobbit and the TV series Spartacus: The Vengeance and the scheduling wouldn’t work out. When some of us questioned the wisdom of that choice, he specifically stated that he thought it was the best career move for him to leave this show for bigger parts in those others. So don’t believe the crap he’s posting now, because the other stuff didn’t work out and he wants his old job back. Screw that. He left, he wasn’t written out of the show. It was his choice.

    “Chose to go in a different direction…” Yeah, in a direction with an actor who actually wanted to play the part of the Mountain and not run off to other projects whenever it suited him.

  281. Anvil
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Icebird:
    Renly’s peach did make an appearance… but I think it was while he was talking to Littlefinger.

    That was an apple.

  282. Juan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I missed having a proper shot of Robb’s cavalry charging into the Lannister Camp. I’m not asking for a whole battle but a slightly longer sequence of him starting the charge, rather than fading the image as soon as we get a glimpse of him.

  283. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    So this was my first 4 star episode this season (11 I gave 2 stars, 12 & 13 I gave 3 stars) which makes it my favourite ep of the season so far. That’s not to say I didn’t have issues with it, I did. But all in all, I found this the most entertaining well put together ep of the first 4.

    Pros:

    -The look on Robb’s face in his opening scene pre-battle.

    -The scenes in Harrenhal, and Arya’s amazing, can’t- praise–it-enough performance. Maisie brought tears to my eyes tonight.

    - Stannis & Renly’s scene. It was a beauty of a scene visually & tonally delivered with pitch perfect performances from Renly, Stannis and Mellisandre.

    - The Tickler – wonderful casting.

    -Qarth looked amazing.

    - I really liked the Spice King, even though he was a bit too home counties to be entirely credible.

    - The final shadow birth scene was awesome. Great bone chilling CGI.

    - The looks on Catelyn’s face when she sees Ned’s bones, and the way she says he final “get out” to Littlefinger. It broke my heart.

    - Jack Gleeson as Joffery. He is astoundingly good.

    -Some beautifully delivered chuckle worthy lines:
    “there’s no cure to being a cunt” – gotta love Bronne.
    “born amongst smoke & salt, is he a ham?”
    “I suppose if we all used the same the battle would be confusing”

    Cons:

    - After butchering book-Littlefinger’s characterization in the first 3 eps, today the show buried it. I shall mourn Book-Petyr, and hope his death doesn’t come back to bite the show in the ass come season 5. Aidan Gillen also delivered, imo, the worst performance I have ever seen him do, for which I can only blame the script and the director. After all I’ve seen this man play Platonov on stage, with beautiful nuance & humor (no easy feat), so I’m not about to start blaming him.

    - The Catelyn/ Petyr scene delivered some of the most awkward dialogue I’ve yet seen (or should I say heard?) on GOT.

    - Dinklage as Tyrion is wonderful as usual, but he’s starting to feel a bit monotone as a character to me (characterization, not line delivery). This is not Dinklage’s fault, the show seems a little resistant to showing the complexities of Tyrion’s character, it’s almost as if they fear losing an audience if Tyrion starts showing the shades of grey that vividly colour his character the books. His vulnerability, his misogyny, his visceral hatred of Cersie, his insecurity muddled in with Lannister vanity and overwhelming desire to be respected, loved and feared by those around him (Book Shae helps illustrates those bits effectively, unfortunately not show Shae). I just worry that show Tyrion might start to feel like a caricature rather than a real person soon.

    - Why did the shadow baby have to born in a cave? Renly is an open tent camp, not a castle or a fort surrounded by walls guarded by magic runes. surely Mel could have birthed the shadow on Stannis’ ship and let him fly/walk/run/whatever to Renly. This bit just doesn’t make sense to me, unless ofcourse it’s not Renly the Shadow is sent to kill. I guess I’ll find out next week.

    - Volanits? Really? Is that why she’s so spunky, outspoken and feels so modern that I half expected her to whip-out her iphone at the end of that scene and instagram a picture of the King of The North?

    Like I said, I do have issues with this episode, but despite them all, this still is the best ep of season 2 so far, for me. A well earned 4 stars for a worthy hour of TV entertainment.

  284. Carne
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Langkard: Conan Stevens’ blog post is pure crap.He actually posted on these very forums, after word got out that he wasn’t going to be playing The Mountain in season 2, that he left because he was offered a role in The Hobbit and the TV series Spartacus: The Vengeance and the scheduling wouldn’t work out.When some of us questioned the wisdom of that choice, he specifically stated that he thought it was the best career move for him to leave this show for bigger parts in those others.So don’t believe the crap he’s posting now, because the other stuff didn’t work out and he wants his old job back.Screw that.He left, he wasn’t written out of the show.It was his choice.

    “Chose to go in a different direction…”Yeah, in a direction with an actor who actually wanted to play the part of the Mountain and not run off to other projects whenever it suited him.

    He came here and said he left for other projects? I know he commented, but I can’t remember him saying that. Someone asked why he left and he said something like “Who said I decided to leave?”. And of course if someone is trying to move up in the industry and they get offered a bigger role (he’s playing the main goblin bad guy in The Hobbit, a quite big role) then they’re going to take it.

  285. I want my reeds!
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Okay! I’m not impressed anymore! we’re up to episode 4 AND STILL NO MENTION OF THE REEDS!!

    really hbo? really! REALLY!

    I’m done with the show!

  286. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    Strongly agree with all points in the Cons, I’m indifferent to the location of the shadow baby one, it just needed to be done out of sight I guess, so that no one would know.

    I think the line about the confusion of the banners is from the books.

  287. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I need to say this again in its own post because I just went back to watch that scene again and it made me cringe even more.
    This is what bugged me most about this episode, and I fear will bug me most in episodes to come. Robb’s encounter with Talytha (Jeyne from the books). It was so off, and incongruous with the world of GOT, that it felt like I was watching a scene from that awful Sandra Bullock movie In Love And War (the one where she plays a WWI nurse who falls in love with O’Donnell’s young Hemingway).

    Believe me when I tell you that to criticize any scene involving Robb is very hard for me, he’s my favourite character in the show and the sole object of all my fangirly heart flutters. But seriously, unless Talytha’s character takes a sharp right turn in the next episode, she has the makings of topping both Ros and Shae in my wutdafuq-do-u-think-ur-doing-HBO-O-meter.

    OK. That’s it with my gripes today, I think. “fingers crossed” :)

    ETA:

    Jordan Healey:
    Dee,

    I think the line about the confusion of the banners is from the books.

    Really? I couldn’t remember that one. Good to know. Thank you :)

  288. MattL86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Best episode of the season, one of my favourites ever actually. I’ve read all the books twice but I’m not anal, so I can role with the changes. For me what makes or breaks this show is the size of it, and tonight HBO finally delivered.

    Harrenhal was epic looking, and Qarth was sufficiently impressive. The meeting between kings felt grand even though there were only a dozen or so actors, and it all topped off with a seriously creepy ending that didn’t cop out. I figured they would do a silhouette or just show Davos freaking out, but damn if they didn’t show the whole thing.

    For the first time this season Game of Thrones felt big scale. True Epic fantasy. Way to go HBO.

  289. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    JonSnow’sBastard:
    Eugene Toussaint,

    I actually had to google the peach thing to remind myself and I’ve read the series twice in the last four years, so I guess I will admit to being the one book reader who was not eagerly anticipating Renly’s peach offering to Stannis.

    I’ve read the series twice. I have no idea what peach thing everyone is going on about.

  290. MattL86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Dee:
    So this was my first 4 star episode this season (11 I gave 2 stars, 12 & 13I gave 3 stars) which makes it my favourite ep of the season so far. That’s not to say I didn’t have issues with it, I did. But all in all, I found this the most entertaining well put together ep of the first 4.

    Pros:

    -The look on Robb’s face in his opening scene pre-battle.

    -The scenes in Harrenhal, and Arya’s amazing, can’t- praise–it-enough performance. Maisie brought tears to my eyes tonight.

    - Stannis & Renly’s scene. It was a beauty of a scene visually & tonally delivered with pitch perfect performances from Renly, Stannis and Mellisandre.

    - The Tickler – wonderful casting.

    -Qarth looked amazing.

    - I really liked the Spice King, even though he was a bit too home counties to be entirely credible.

    - The final shadow birth scene was awesome. Great bone chilling CGI.

    - The looks on Catelyn’s face when she sees Ned’s bones, and the way she says he final “get out” to Littlefinger. It broke my heart.

    - Jack Gleeson as Joffery. He is astoundingly good.

    -Some beautifully delivered chuckle worthy lines:
    “there’s no cure to being a cunt” – gotta love Bronne.
    “born amongst smoke & salt, is he a ham?”
    “I suppose if we all used the same the battle would be confusing”

    Cons:

    - After butchering book-Littlefinger’s characterization in the first 3 eps, today the show buried it. I shall mourn Book-Petyr, and hope his death doesn’t come back to bite the show in the ass come season 5.Aidan Gillen also delivered, imo, the worst performance I have ever seen him do, for which I can only blame the script and the director. After all I’ve seen this man play Platonov on stage, with beautiful nuance & humor (no easy feat), so I’m not about to start blaming him.

    - The Catelyn/ Petyr scene delivered some of the most awkward dialogue I’ve yet seen (or should I say heard?) on GOT.

    - Dinklage as Tyrion is wonderful as usual, but he’s starting to feel a bit monotone as a character to me (characterization, not line delivery). This is not Dinklage’s fault, the show seems a little resistant to showing the complexities of Tyrion’s character, it’s almost as if they fear losing an audience if Tyrion starts showing the shades of grey that vividly colour his character the books. His vulnerability, his misogyny, his visceral hatred of Cersie, his insecurity muddled in with Lannister vanity and overwhelming desire to be respected, loved and feared by those around him (Book Shae helps illustrates those bits effectively, unfortunately not show Shae). I just worry that show Tyrion might start to feel like a caricature rather than a real person soon.

    - Why did the shadow baby have to born in a cave? Renly is an open tent camp, not a castle or a fort surrounded by walls guarded by magic runes. surely Mel could have birthed the shadow on Stannis’ ship and let him fly/walk/run/whatever to Renly. This bit just doesn’t make sense to me, unless ofcourse it’s not Renly the Shadow is sent to kill. I guess I’ll find out next week.

    - Volanits? Really? Is that why she’s so spunky, outspoken and feels so modern that I half expected her to whip-out her iphone at the end of that scene and instagram a picture of the King of The North?

    Like I said, I do have issues with this episode, but despite themall, this still is the best ep of season 2 so far, for me.A well earned 4 stars for a worthy hour ofTV entertainment.

    Disagree on both Littlefinger and Tyrion. Tyrion is actually pretty one dementional in the first two books. It’s only after certain events in Storm of Swords that he gets darker. He’s basically sarcasm and only sarcasm early on. If Anything I like show Tyrion better (but then, I’m in the minority that doesn’t consider Tyrion one of my favorite characters).

    Littlefinger in the books did nothing, and then every so often you would get a big reveal and see what he had been up to. That doesn’t work on tv. It is much more entertaining to watch him actually play the game of thrones.

  291. Paco
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    m3shwerks,

    i noticed the fruits, yeah lol but I meant it as in there were no fruits in the scene where Renly and Stannis meet, which is where I really wanted it.

    Hollyoak,

    You are obviously just skimming them, then cuz Renly & his peach is a pretty big part of the whole Stannis/Renly scene. Not to mention that Stannis thinks of Renly and his peach at other points in the series.

  292. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    MattL86:
    Best episode of the season, one of my favourites ever actually.I’ve read all the books twice but I’m not anal, so I can role with the changes.For me what makes or breaks this show is the size of it, and tonight HBO finally delivered.

    Harrenhal was epic looking, and Qarth was sufficiently impressive.The meeting between kings felt grand even though there were only a dozen or so actors, and it all topped off with a seriously creepy ending that didn’t cop out.I figured they would do a silhouette or just show Davos freaking out, but damn if they didn’t show the whole thing.

    For the first time this season Game of Thrones felt big scale.True Epic fantasy.Way to go HBO.

    I agree. This was my favorite episode. Episode Three, the one that everyone was praising as the best, felt the weakest to me. But it just shows how subjective we all are. But you’re right. It felt big and epic. And that ending was a great WTF Thrones Moment. Sure it could have just been a fleeting shadow, but I think this was the right decision, to remind the viewers that this is not the Tudors, but fantasy, where magic does exist and anything can happen.

    Definitely the coolest episode yet.

    Oh, and one more thing. This is why I don’t watch previews or look at those posts here on WiC that shed light on episode titles and what will happen in each. I really don’t get why someone would read those and be spoiled. Some say they can’t be spoiled because they already know the story. True, but I don’t know the way D&D are going to present it. Which means I had no idea that Shadowbaby was coming last night.

    I don’t know. Just me, but I think that not knowing what transpires in each episode goes a long way in enjoying the show.

    I didn’t even notice the Mountain. Minor character to me.

  293. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Solar:
    why does everyone hate the new mountain? he was only on for about 5 seconds. not enough time to have an opinion of a character. he was cold and emotionless when he selected the next person to die and that seems like the mountain to me. conan stevens had the build and was a good mountain, but he was just like “AHHH MOUNTAIN SMASH” in his scenes. nothing really scary about him either.

    Hahaha. Totally agree, Solar.

    ARRHHHH! MOUNTAIN SMASH! JUST ABOUT SUMS IT UP.

    I love the way they have cast the show. The original Mountain is probably a fine actor, but the first thing you notice is his gigantic size. Going with someone not as huge, but just as crazed and hungry for violence, is a better decision in my opinion. A little more subtle. But not everyone goes for subtle in the world of fandom.

  294. Idaan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Joh,

    So you haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica’s “Sometimes a Great Notion”.

  295. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Paco:
    m3shwerks,

    i noticed the fruits, yeah lol but I meant it as in there were no fruits in the scene where Renly and Stannis meet, which is where I really wanted it.

    Hollyoak,

    You are obviously just skimming them, then cuz Renly & his peach is a pretty big part of the whole Stannis/Renly scene. Not to mention that Stannis thinks of Renly and his peach at other points in the series.

    Uh, yeah. Right. I have skimmed the books twice.
    Ask any Thrones fan what the peach scene is between Stannis and Renly and I’ll bet you some Valryian steel over fifty percent won’t know what you’re talking about.

  296. Jenny
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    MattL86: Disagree on both Littlefinger and Tyrion.Tyrion is actually pretty one dementional in the first two books.It’s only after certain events in Storm of Swords that he gets darker.He’s basically sarcasm and only sarcasm early on.If Anything I like show Tyrion better (but then,I’m in the minority that doesn’t consider Tyrion one of my favorite characters).

    Littlefinger in the books did nothing, and then every so often you would get a big reveal and see what he had been up to.That doesn’t work on tv.It is much more entertaining to watch him actually play the game of thrones.

    Sorry, I am not a native english speaker.
    What does “dementional” mean?
    Forgetful? Does it have to do with Dementors?

  297. MattL86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Uh, yeah. Right. I have skimmed the books twice.
    Ask any Thrones fan what the peach scene is between Stannis and Renly and I’ll bet you some Valryian steel over fifty percent won’t know what you’re talking about.

    I gotta back you, I’ve read this book twice and only remembered the peach when I saw others crying about it. Would have never missed it otherwise.

    Of course, I read 30-50 speculative fiction books a year so after a while they all blur together. Someone who just dedicates themselves to Thrones would have me at a disadvantage.

  298. Bellatorus Equus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    First, let me say hello as this is my first post, after being a loooong time (as in a couple years!) lurker.

    Just wanted to bring something up that I haven’t seen anyone else mention yet… Did anyone else notice the scrawny bald dude wearing purple in the scene with the 13 of Qarth? I swear, he was a drop-dead ringer for a Gentleman, if anybody knows what I’m talking about. (But I agree that the whole scene was a bit forced and awkward.)

  299. Butterbumps
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I’ve decided I love all the new scenes…I’ve read the books many times now and to get these little extras is a just like getting to watch the deleted scenes on the dvd of your favorite movie.

    I especially loved getting to see the relationship between Rob and Alisia (aka Jeyne), in the books I was angry at Rob and thought he was stupid and selfish for being with her (and the subsequent events because of it) because we never saw him ‘fall’ for her and we never got to know her…this way it will all make more sense, or at least make me more sympathetic.

    I’m totally besotted with Charles Dance, he is perfect as Tywin and loved the brief scene with him and Ayra, but my favorite scene was definitely the shadow baby birth..how awesomely creepy was that!

  300. MattL86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    Haha, very funny. Sorry for the typo, Stannis. :)

  301. Jenny
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    One gains a lot of watching pleasure by not having read the actual book for some time.
    With the first season I was fresh from my 4th re-read of Book 1 and every descrepancy hit me in the face. I have decided not to read CoK before Season 2 for that very reason and I find I can enjoy the show much more.
    I have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the books but things don’t feel as acute to me this time round.

  302. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I just read Rowan Kaiser’s review of the episode at Indie Wire and he makes very valid points, especially about the ambiguity of the Stannis/Renly meeting and how Catelyn’s character was underserved in the scene. I suppose that didn’t bother much because Catelyn’s character has been undermined since season one, and this season’s first 3 episodes have only added insult to injury when it comes to poor Cat, so I’m used to it by now. The ambiguity as to location I ignored because as a a book reader I allow my knowledge of the books to sometimes fill in gaps in the show, but the cave was a where? & why? moment for me.

    His review is definitely worth a read.

  303. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    MattL86:
    Littlefinger in the books did nothing, and then every so often you would get a big reveal and see what he had been up to.That doesn’t work on tv.It is much more entertaining to watch him actually play the game of thrones.

    Sure, I agree with that, but the interpretation of it is HORRIBLE. Seeing Book Petyr in those scenes would have been so much better.

    Dee,
    I’d like to know who’s idea that was, whether it was Vanessa Taylor or David and Dan …

  304. Jenny
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    MattL86:
    Jenny,

    Haha, very funny.Sorry for the typo, Stannis. :)

    Oh.. I had been rather serious.
    Did you mean dimensional then?
    I wasn’t sure, being an old Kraut.

  305. Magnus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I must say, Charles Dance as Tywin is getting ever more badass. He really owns that role and with all his reasonable behaviour here, it is quite too easy to forget that he still tolerates the torture and killings and is responsible for so many atrocities, like what happened to Tysha.

    Him coming into Harrenhal on his white horse looked very impressive.

  306. purplejilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    David: The episode was one peach shy of perfect.

    I hear people whining because the ‘book purists’ are upset about the lack of the peach. But if I remember in the books correctly, the peach was something Renly ate when meeting with Stannis, when they were talking ultimate war that’s going to end in life or death for one of them, and many of their men, and the sheer arrogance of Renly eating an extravagant, messy peach shows so much about his character – how sure he is of winning, how he feels this talk with Stannis is just a mere footnote for him, how he is flaunting in Stannis’ face how he has the power of HighGarden behind him, as I interpreted the peach to be from HighGarden, brought by the Tyrells to help feed Renly’s Army. Stannis has no peaches, for himself or his men. So the peach is so much more than ‘just a peach’. And what upsets the book purists is that they are messing with Renly’s character traits, and not just what fruit is in the background. Sure, eating a peach while sitting on a horse talking war treaties is awkward, messy, and somewhat rude to Stannis – but that’s exactly the point – Renly is SO sure of himself, that that’s what he does. He’s making a point with the peach.

    So watching Renly have an apple when MiddleFinger comes to talk to him isn’t the same thing. And if they were using a piece of fruit, why not get a peach? They can’t find a peach in Croatia? Maybe not, but you can’t tell me the artists couldn’t whip up something that looked like a peach, just like they did for the heart Dany had to eat?

  307. Drew
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I dont get what everyones saying about Gregor… Gregor 2.0 is:

    - Very Tall
    - Looks more like how I envisoned him in the book
    - and the only reason he looks slim, is because hes wearing standard lannister battle armour… not his melee armour, which made the giant look colossal

    …I think people are being quick to judge. Plus those that say he looks turkish! what? because he has a beard? get a life.

  308. Tenesmus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Just a comment on the “Evil Joff” dislike in the OP. I think it adds nicely to his vileness for the TV audience. As my wife was watching Joff’s two scenes in this episode, she was nearly apoplectic, and kept demanding that I tell her when/if, in her words, “that evil little f@(ker was going to DIE!!!” So I think we have to keep the non-book readers in mind when we look at the adaptation. It seems to be working. With reagrd to the shadow baby, maybe they didn’t need to show what it actually ends up doing, but they could have showed a little more of its purpose and intent. My wife was left a little confused the way the episode ended, and demaned I tell what the heck was going on. All I would tell her was that she gave birth to Stannis’ shadow, and she would have to tune in next week to see what it would do.

  309. Doughnut Hole
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Having an overtly evil Joff – and taking Cersai virtually out of the equation – makes the show less interesting than the novels, IMO. Book Joff is a spoiled kid who lashes out at people who he views disrespect him; TV Joff is just a twisted young man. Book Cersai is by Book Joff’s side almost all the time supporting his ‘crazy’; TV Cersai has gone virtually MIA. It’s disappointing to me. Book 2′s main (and highly sophisticated) theme of winning and holding onto power really seems minimized by these changes.

    On the good side, Mel is winning me over. It’s hard to do the ‘witchy’ thing and not have it be cliche, and I’ve found more depth in her portrayal as the season winds on. And Dinklage is, of course, amazing.

  310. Meg
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Dee: the show seems a little resistant to showing the complexities of Tyrion’s character, it’s almost as if they fear losing an audience if Tyrion starts showing the shades of grey that vividly colour his character the books. His vulnerability, his misogyny, his visceral hatred of Cersie, his insecurity muddled in with Lannister vanity and overwhelming desire to be respected, loved and feared by those around him

    Thank you thank you thank you!! If the writers are true to his character, they will start dropping hints that he isn’t a white knight like he was in this episode. I cringed when he freaking bowed before Sansa and offered her his hand. It actually made me gag, to think that Tyrion treats ladies like ladies but whores like whores, when if he were really chivalrous he wouldn’t have sent whores to Joffrey’s room, killed one prostitute, raped another, threatened to rape his sister, and only cared about Tysha after finding out she wasn’t a whore. One of my favorite criticisms of ADWD is “Why isn’t Tyrion being awesome like he used to be?” Well, its probably because he had some serious shades of gray that were there all along, people were just too blinded by his clever wit. And what’s so odd about Tyrion in this ep is that Tywin was doing the same thing – rescuing the vulnerable from torture. But I didn’t have problems with that scene because Tywin was every bit the feudal lord in that scene: you’re not humans, you’re work horses.

    Rinso: – Daenerys seemed overly pathetic.

    Yeah, I thought she was going to charm her way into the city. Guess I was wrong. She looks like a lunatic.

    Dee: it felt like I was watching a scene from that awful Sandra Bullock movie In Love And War (the one where she plays a WWI nurse who falls in love with O’Donnell’s young Hemingway).

    OMG Dee you are my favorite commenter now. That movie was sooooo bad, but this comparison is soooo right.

  311. oracle86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Dan: UT as of A Dance with Dragons, they still haven’t reached Winterfell. Catelyn receives his bones in Riverrun, and sends them on their way, so having her receive them elsewhere isn’t really a big deal. With LF and Varys having spies everywhere, I think it’s safe to assume they knew Catelyn had made her way south to meet with Renly.

    In the books, the bones go north on the road to Winterfell. Here, Littlefinger goes SOUTH to meet Renly and gives Catelyn the bones. How in the world did LF know that she would be there? Does not compute.

    The same shit happened in episode 2, IIRC. In the books, Theon’s plan was to attack Casterley Rock, which made sense cos it is on the west. But in the show, the plan is to attack King’s Landing, which is on the east coast of Westeros. Would it be feasible for the Greyjoys? I don’t think so.

  312. Obosi
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I was starting to feel really disappointed with the second series until this episode. I have read the books but am not a slave to them. However there have been some serious errors and missed opportunities in episodes 1-3. I thought some of the casting was off too. Not many, just one or two and some of the dialogue delivery is woeful.

    I was really beginning to miss the acting prowess of Bean, Addy and Momoa.

    Then Episode 4 gave me reason to hope again. Jack Gleeson is still as superb as ever with his role as Joffery, even though one scene did come across too much like ‘Westerosi Psycho’. Joffery is cruel in the way a spoilt child is cruel, but he never struck me as psychopathic. Sociopath yes, but not psychopath. Still it was a powerful scene.

    The meeting of Renly and Stannis was good as well. They’ve have had to compress events in the book and that is understandable (no it’s not – make more episodes!!!) but it was handled well and the dialogue exchange is very good.

    Even Quarth was well done. I’ve been a fan of Nonso Anozie since his brilliant performance in ‘Cass’ and I think he shone in the scene.

    The ending was good, although I have to agree that the location makes no sense if they have decided to ditch Storm’s End for the sake of time. I also, in a way, agree that sometimes less is more and that CGI is not always needed. However I also agree with the point that people needed to be reminded that this is indeed a fantasy tale and not some historic retelling.

    Episode 4 left me looking forward to episode 5 with relish!

    …unlike Episode 4, which just left me in mourning for the wasted opportunity of seeing Hot Pie scream “HOT PIE!” as he battles Amory Loach’s men. Why the hell didn’t they stay in the keep? That ending made no sense…

  313. Klavonivs
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Ummm, has no one congratulated Stannis on his first baby boy????:)

  314. darquemode
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Drew,

    I pretty much liked Ian Whyte as Gregor so far. I loved his voice and the fact he got some lines! XD
    I did find him too narrow in the shoulders, partly due to the Lannister armor as you rightly point out, but also I think Whyte is just rather narrow shouldered. Especially if compared to Conan Stevens.

    I also totally understand the looking different, but I did not think Turkish exactly. The beard did bother me some I guess. I thought he looked more like Goliath than like Gregor.

    All that said, if not for seeing Conan Stevens in the role last year I would have liked Whyte right away. Stevens just had that menacing presence physcially. Whyte did not give that same feeling to me the instant I saw him, but I think he will be good in the role and will win me over quickly.

  315. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Dee:
    [...] the cave was a where? & why? moment for me.

    The cave was part of an old smuggling route into Renly’s castle. Stannis told Davos to take Mel there so she could gain access and eliminate Renly in his sleep. Davos just didn’t know how she was going to accomplish that, which is why he thought the new iron bars blocking the mouth of the cave would be a problem. I guess she figured that place was as good as any to birth her abomination.

  316. MattL86
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    Yeah, I did mean that. Aaaand then I thought you were correcting my typo. The internet, it can be a confusing place to communicate. :)

  317. CHAOS_DP
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Am I mistaken, wasn’t the last scene completely out of sequence from the book?

  318. The Winter Rose
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    For the most part I liked everything, but I have to agree that the scene in Joff bedchambers had me feeling very uncomfortable. I just really don’t think it was neccesary at all. Especially after the scene with Sansa. It just came off as gratuatous and disturbing. And hey, sure, Joff is a jerk. But we get that already.

    Otherwise I was pleased with the episode in general.
    I’m finding it interesting that Arya’s scenes are becoming my favorite. I never liked Arya in the books, but I love her in the show. Funny how things change.

  319. CHAOS_DP
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t the last scene out of sequence from the book?

  320. Klavonivs
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    CHAOS_DP,

    yes it was out of sequence…and then again it wasn’t. I think, due to time constraints, they had to mix two parts of the book probably mostly for non readers, so they can understand the power that Mel has and Davos’ “fear” (probably not the right word but that’s what came to mind) of what Mel is and why she is with Stannis. At least that’s my take on it.

  321. Shock Me
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I did notice that no mention was made of Lord Beric even though the Brotherhood was mentioned repeatedly. So no Edric Storm, no Blackfish, no Riverun, and no Lord Hoster Tully.

    If the Reeds are out as well, I will be greatly disappointed.

  322. Strepsi
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    MattL86,

    I third that comment. The peach thing is for the same readers who think the whole series will be ruined because boy didn’t yell “Hot Pie!”

    I LOVE how they’re doing Renly though. You really get the feeling he would be loved as a King… even though his people joke about him and Loras. Gethin Anthony is a very charismatic actor, and the visual difference between him and grim Stannis is just right.

  323. Strepsi
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Shock Me,

    I will miss the Blackfish though if he’s not there, he’s the series other best gay character.

  324. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    It bothers me that they seem to be painting Tyrion as a typical hero this season, perhaps because they feel they need someone for the audience to unambiguously root for, a Ned equivalent if you will. Tyrion in the books is a sympathetic character but complicated. He’s intelligent, entertaining and engaging, but he is no hero. His motives at this point in the books, though generally good from his point of view, are tinged with self serving interest. His actions in Clash though brilliant in serving the Lannister agenda, were not taken without a certain sense of relish in making those who’ve dismissed him eat dirt. And his bravado and confidence all through Clash masked a vulnerability, a resentment, and an almost pathetic need for validation that his relationship with book Shae brilliantly highlighted. I loooove book Tyrion. I love him most of all for his complexity. I love him because he sometimes makes me hate him, and yet forgive him. I love him because he is as real a character as I have ever read and I understand him. He is a fully fledged person whose early life experiences designed, informed and educated his adult self. His misogyny, his insecurity, his pride, even his intellect and wit are firmly rooted in valid psychological reasoning. For the show to attempt, if that is what they’re doing, to paint him as the unlikely hero figure this season is to do Tyrion a disservice, imo.

    I hope the show proves me wrong and start making good use of the Tyrion scenes to show what lies beneath the facade.

  325. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin: Davos’ “fear” (probably not the right word but that’s what came to mind) of what Mel is and why she is with Stannis.

    But Show Renly is not in a castle. He’s in an open tent-camp somewhere in the Stormlands. So why the cave?

  326. dizzy_34
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I’m agreed on the Joff thing. I think they’re going a little overboard on him this season. Had a funny comment about the shadow baby from across the couch this week. “This better not be a smoke monster from Lost!”

  327. patchy face
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Did anyone notice the shout out to the fans on the pronunciation of “Qarth”? I thought that was totally in response to on-line discussions on how to pronounce…thought it was funny–

  328. Shinyteapot
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Good, but not as good as last week.

    I liked ‘Talisa’ (I think she’s concealing her real identity), she’s practical and not afraid to get dirty while genuinely trying to help people. That she talks to the King in the North as an equal and doesn’t hold back on the criticism suggests she’s really a noble (or just very bold).

    In general I liked the note that enemy soldiers aren’t necessarily bad people. They’re just on the other side. It should make us question the war- Ned’s death was awful and Joffrey is a terrible King. But thousands are dying for the sake of a bunch of lords they’ve probably never met.

    I also liked Arya’s prayer, though Sir Meryn is missing? Her storyline has been streamlined and changed a bit, not necessarily a bad thing, I’m interested to see how it goes. However I’m disappointed that the new Mountain is nowhere near as physically imposing as the old Mountain- haven’t seen enough of his acting to comment on that yet so I hope he impresses that way. Tywim was great- you understood he wasn’t being kind by reining in his torturers, just practical, even though he came across as being nice. Loved that Arya didn’t kneel for him. And the very subtle threat- he needs a new cupbearer, what happened to the old one?

    I really hope Xaro, Pyat Pree and the other Quartheen are good when we see more of them. Kovarro too- so far so good, let’s see more of him! But while I could watch Jorah all day, I’m really noticing the huge Viserys and Drogo shaped holes- and now Rakharo as well. The story is more flat without them.

    Catelyn was superb. I really wanted her to stab Littlefinger, book story be damned! At least give him a new scar to go with Brandon’s gift! He is slimy as ever.

    I liked Renly too, he’s much better in King mode. Shame about the peach! I was hoping Margaery’s dress would look less ridiculous on screen though- it didn’t. Stannis came across a bit stilted and utterly uncharismatic- exactly as he should be. Stannis reprimanded Davos for not using Melisandre’s name (I don’t think she’s been named in the show yet?) but did the same himself, nice touch.

    I kept rewatching the shadow to see if it was my imagination or it really looked like it had a Stannis shaped head for a moment- great if it did! That sequence was better than I anticipated. I hope we don’t go straight to what results next episode- have a few scenes elsewhere, let people forget, then we see the result.

    Joffrey is truly horrible. I don’t think he was torturing those whores to get off on it- it was a response to the insult (in his mind) from Tyrion. The King doesn’t need help from an Imp to get laid! Never try to do something nice for Joffrey, if it’s possible to take it badly he will. I noticed Ros was wearing a collar subtly suggesting slavery. She might not technially be a slave, but Littlefinger is very good at blurring boundaries.

    Sansa and Tyrion were both excellent today. I liked the Hound giving Sansa his cloak, some foreshadowing there. Lancel was absolutely perfect. I love that he’s wearing a more ornate version of Jaime’s coat- but doesn’t carry it anywhere near as well. It says so much about him.

    Very much looking forward to next week.

  329. CHAOS_DP
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Klavonivs,
    Ok, seems like the shadow is better played in the book when we were clueless of its origin.

  330. purplejilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Okay, this is just a little bitty nit-picking complaint – but I am really not liking the episode titles. They don’t seem to have much to do with the episode at all. For example “Garden Of Bones” – we didn’t even get to see the so-called Garden of Bones, which sounds like it would be macabre, grotesque, and a warning to people who piss off the Qartheens. What, they just let people die where they may, and that’s called a “Garden of Bones”? Even then, we didn’t see any bones. And Dany’s segment this episode was one of the weakest scenes. There wasn’t even any other sort of tie-in with the title to the other segments. Kind of the same argument with the Night Lands episode.

    At this point, FaB is better at naming his Twitter recaps than the writers are. (Exception to Bryan’s Ep., What is dead may never die) Maybe they are intentionally vague, to not spoil the episode, but I think they should be able to think up clever episode titles that can give us hints without giving too much away, and still be meaningful. Otherwise just start calling them by their numbers. Or hire FaB to write them clever and funny episode titles.

  331. J
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Dee,

    His camp appears to be near the sea, so I could see Davos and Melisandre going down beneath it to release the shadowbaby, but I don’t know why said cave on a random piece of shoreline in the Stormlands would have iron bars in it.

  332. Meg
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Dee: Tyrion as a typical hero this season, perhaps because they feel they need someone for the audience to unambiguously root for, a Ned equivalent if you will.

    I agree, even though I’m of the opposite opinion on book Tyrion (I despise him). I love show Tyrion, but that’s no surprise. They’ve made him lovable. Thus far, four episodes in, Tyrion seems like he’s just a smarter version of Ned. My reactions to him should be more like my reactions to Don Draper: his personal life is a mess, he’s a horrible husband and father, but he’s amazingly perceptive and his relationship with women is stunted because of a cruel upbringing.

  333. Paul
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Totally agree regarding Joffery. Overdoing sex scenes is one thing… overdoing rape scenes is another. I’d have preferred if they spent those 5 minutes on Arya’s plot (which is so freaking awesome right now).

  334. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Meg: I agree, even though I’m of the opposite opinion on book Tyrion (I despise him). I love show Tyrion, but that’s no surprise. They’ve made him lovable. Thus far, four episodes in, Tyrion seems like he’s just a smarter version of Ned. My reactions to him should be more like my reactions to Don Draper: his personal life is a mess, he’s a horrible husband and father, but he’s amazingly perceptive and his relationship with women is stunted because of a cruel upbringing.

    That’s a really good comparison, Tyrion as Don Draper. Yes, there’s definitely similarity there, and I agree with you, our reaction to Tyrion at this point should not be blind adoration. By now, given the 10 episode run, we should be starting to temper our love for him at this point with a healthy dose of unease.

  335. Steve
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    One good thing was that Littlefinger used his regular voice again as opposed to his super hoarse, too much emphasis on ‘s’ sounds voice. (See: ‘Keep me out of your next deception’ scene from Episode 13)

  336. VLaRousse
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I didn’t see the ep, but some reviews and comments on other sites have stated that the Tickler had a speech impediment, and some are wondering if Vargo Hoat’s character is going to be folded into his (which seems distinctly possible: now that we have been introduced to the Brave Companions, why wouldn’t they have cast their leader as well?). Did anyone here notice this?

  337. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t agree about the episode titles- they’ve all been great metaphors. Okay, pretty much all about death, but still.

    I loved the Joffrey scene. It was very hard to watch, yes, but it was well done and it was not filmed in an exploitative way. They cut away a lot, and much of it was implied, not shown. Yeah, we who read the books know that Joffrey executing Ned wasn’t a one-off moment of cruelty but the audience needs to know that Joff is a total psycho. He doesn’t just attack people connected to someone who has attacked him (meaning Robb and Sansa) – he’ll beat on anyone, with no provocation whatsoever. He isn’t simply cruel, but a true monster. This is a little boy who disemboweled a cat so he could see her babies inside.
    And it makes me eyeroll like mad to see people out on the internet refer to this as a sex scene. Oy vey.

  338. biliki
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This episode was my favourite yet!
    It missed some of my favourite characters (Jaime, Jon, and Theon, I adore all of them), but it was spectacular.

    I felt it had a theme, Harrenhal brought it all together, the sadness and the grief everyone was feeling.

    Sophie Turner’s acting was amazing once again, as was Jack Gleeson’s, Michelle Fairley’s, Oona Chaplin’s, everyone’s from Stannis’ camp, and Natalie Dormer’s.

    Daenerys’s scenes pleased me for the first time after last season’s finale, and Qarth looked AMAZING! Woah.

    The ending was very powerful.

    Another amazing scene was the battle in the beginning, Robb looked so badass. I hope ”Talisa” is lying about her name.

    5*

  339. Bielle
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how someone can say Dany is a great politician. Sure, she had somme witty remarks and swift decisions when she first arrived at slaver’s bay, but…MEEREEN, ANYONE? That made me loose all respect for her as a politician. Aaaand the scene was laughable, she came across as being arrogant and silly.
    On another topic…
    All these people saying Renly’s peach is a “fan favorite”, or a “key” moment for the plot have got to be trolling. For God’s sake, the red wedding is a fan favorite moment, the release of the unsullied is a fan favorite moment, ned’s death is a fan favorite moment, the shadow birth is a fan favorite moment, BUT RENLY’S PEACH???? GTFO.
    About Joffrey’s scene, I’m not discussing whether it was necessary or not, I just get baffled at the people complaining that the who is just making him “downright evil”, PLEASE, HE IS DOWNRIGHT EVIL. He opened a cat’s belly to get the kittens inside, WHEN HE WAS A CHILD. and really, people complaining about Ros are getting more tiresome than Ros herself. Dude, she’s on the show, just get over it. Unless one of these people kills or brainwashes D&D wez’re not gonna be able to change, complaining about just will make you get a heart attack and die young (before GRRM finishes the series, wht’s worse).

  340. Bielle
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    l make you get a heart attack and die young (before GRRM finishes the series, wht’s worse).

  341. lonas
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Tyrion owing Meryn and Lancel was epic.

    Now this was yet a great episode, clumsy only when they show Pyke on the opening credits if nothing happens there.

    The scene with Joffrey made totally sense. As he was sort of humiliated by Tyrion, he had to punish someone. Another trauma for Ros. I guess she will change work.
    Excelente intro for Mr Roose Bolton and Jeyne , Qarth and Harrenhall.
    Kudos!

    My only comment is to the shadow baby. It was a great scene , dont get me wrong. . I still like the “sugestion” of fantasy but sometimes you have to do absolutely more rather than just the necessary. But in the end I am just skeptic to anything else that isn´t dragons, white walkers or skin shifters .

  342. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Strepsi: I will miss the Blackfish though if he’s not there, he’s the series other best gay character.

    Sorry, but there is no confirmation whatsoever that Blackfish is gay. He could be gay, sure, but he could also be straight, bi, asexual, anything on the spectrum. We know nothing about his love or sex life except that he does not wish to let his brother arrange a marriage for him.

  343. Lina
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Pretty good episode. It felt a little jumpy, but overall it was pretty good.

    HARRENHAL
    The scenes with the Tickler were done well. For a minute I thought they were going to kill Hot Pie (and I’m still thinking this may happen this season). I got really nervous when Gendry was chosen and was actually relieved to see Tywin. I kind of like that he picked Arya out as a girl and assigned her as cupbearer; while it might not be congruent with what happens in the books (I think she only becomes cupbearer to Bolton?), it will hopefully allow for some brilliant exchanges between Charles Dance and Maisie Williams. Harrenhal didn’t look like what I imagined, but it looked pretty awesome nonetheless. Love how the ruins seem to still smoke.

    QARTH
    The Dany storyline has been pretty weak this season, but I think it will pick up now. Like Harrenhal, Qarth looked different than I imagined but still fantastic. I always imagined Qarth to look Indian, while this looked like Ancient Babylon, and I like that, because I think the connotation of Qarth as a Babylon-type city works very well. I guess the three merchant guilds and the Pureborn have all been condensed into the Thirteen, but I can’t fault D&D for that change. When you consider budgets and the amount of information new viewers have to process, I think it makes sense to change. I had always assumed Xaro would just be a black Qartheen, but he’s from the Summer Isles? This seems sort of arbitrary but maybe they’re trying to show Qarth as a city of immigrants. I also enjoyed the little pronunciation lesson outside the gates; that was pretty meta, because I, and others I’m sure, used to say KWARTH instead of KARTH. Cool shout-out to fans.

    ROBB
    Loved Grey Wind lunging at that guy. If we can’t get proper battles, I’m glad they’re at least finding clever ways to set them up. I have no idea what to think of Jeyne/”Talisa?” at this point (I honestly couldn’t hear what she said). My guess is that she is Jeyne Westerling and is lying about her name/heritage. What I hope they don’t do is make her a knowing and willing piece in the deception of Robb. Their interactions were pretty limited last night so I’ll wait to comment on chemistry between Chaplin and Madden, though it seems like we’re off to a good start.

    KING’S LANDING
    Every scene Peter Dinklage is in continues to steal the show. While a lot of this is Peter, a lot of it is also due to the fact that Tyrion is just such a well-written character. I loved the scene in which he saved Sansa, and I liked his line at the end: “Lady Stark, you may survive us yet.” This, to me, was a great line considering the fact these two end up married. His scene with Lancel was also really well-done; he broke Lancel so fast. A lot of people are complaining about the Joff scene, but despite how disturbing it was, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s a far better example of sexposition than the Littlefinger peepshow or the – I still cringe when I think of it – Littlefinger monologue from Season 1. We already get that Joff is sadistic, but this scene shows: (1) he’s fighting back against Tyrion; (2) he’s perhaps not as stupid as we expected; (3) not even Tyrion fully understood the depths of his depravity, as he would have never sent the whores if he had. I also wonder if this will take the place of the Chataya beating, not in terms of plot, but just in terms of causing Tyrion pain.

    BARATHEONS
    I just don’t know what Littlefinger is even doing there. It seems out-of-character. Petyr Baelish in the books would never be so stupid as to believe he can kill Ned Stark and then just walk back into Cat’s life. The fact that Littlefinger put the ideas of freeing Jaime into Cat’s head also kind of bothers me. I’m not up-in-arms about the changes made to Cat’s agency this season, but I do find it hard to believe she’d even receive Littlefinger, let alone put any trust in what he says after what happened to Ned. I’m guessing the talk with Margaery Tyrell was a set-up for the brokering of the Lannister-Tyrell alliance; outside of that context, it seemed unnecessary.

    The scene with Renly and Stannis could have perhaps been a little longer, but it was well-acted. The grand finale was fantastic: Shadow Baby looked awesome! I wasn’t really expecting that, but to be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting. It really did look great though, and the whole scene, from the time they were in the boat, was really creepy. Great job with that!

  344. Anonymous Web User
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Steve:
    One good thing was that Littlefinger used his regular voice again as opposed to his super hoarse, too much emphasis on ‘s’ sounds voice. (See: ‘Keep me out of your next deception’ scene from Episode 13)

    Maybe he had sore throat that day? I don’t know why people are making such big deal out of that.

  345. sjwenings
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I liked the Joffrey/Ros scene.

    When Tyrion just strolls in under the Sansa-beating, and humiliates the King in front of his court, I thought to myself – as I’m sure so did several others – how does Tyrion get away with this? Well, he didn’t – not totally. And it adds to the realism of the show. Joffrey is clearly a sadist in the books as well, and i can totally picture him doing something like this, so it didn’t really feel forced.

  346. Ed
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    PPpfffttttt!!! (there goes my coffee all over my keyboard!)

    Thanks Klav!

    Klavonivs:
    Ummm, has no one congratulated Stannis on his first baby boy????:)

  347. Tedd
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Anyone else starting to winder about Stephen Dillane’s performance as Stannis? The way Dillane is playing him is sort of uncertain and awkward, even Laconic. I’m really not getting the haughty, cold certainty that is Stannis’ defining character trait.

    Loving Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham though. I suppose 2/3 of the major Dragonstone characters ain’t bad.

    (also, was it just me or did Davos say something about teaching “his son” good lessons when he was talking to Stannis on the ship? Doesn’t he have like 6 sons in the books? Has this been changed or is he just talking about his oldest for some reason?)

  348. Stan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Arya left Meryn out! Syrio’s ghost must of been crying.

  349. Tedd
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Er, that’s “wonder”, not “winder”.

  350. Paco
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    purplejilly: I hear people whining because the ‘book purists’ are upset about the lack of the peach.But if I remember in the books correctly, the peach was something Renly ate when meeting with Stannis, when they were talking ultimate war that’s going to end in life or death for one of them, and many of their men, and the sheer arrogance of Renly eating an extravagant, messy peach shows so much about his character – how sure he is of winning, how he feels this talk with Stannis is just a mere footnote for him, how he is flaunting in Stannis’ face how he has the power of HighGarden behind him, as I interpreted the peach to be from HighGarden, brought by the Tyrells to help feed Renly’s Army.Stannis has no peaches, for himself or his men.So the peach is so much more than ‘just a peach’.And what upsets the book purists is that they are messing with Renly’s character traits, and not just what fruit is in the background.Sure, eating a peach while sitting on a horse talking war treaties is awkward, messy, and somewhat rude to Stannis – but that’s exactly the point – Renly is SO sure of himself, that that’s what he does.He’s making a point with the peach.

    So watching Renly have an apple when MiddleFinger comes to talk to him isn’t the same thing.And if they were using a piece of fruit, why not get a peach?They can’t find a peach in Croatia?Maybe not, but you can’t tell me the artists couldn’t whip up something that looked like a peach, just like they did for the heart Dany had to eat?

    P.R.E.A.C.H.

    Hollyoak: Uh, yeah. Right. I have skimmed the books twice.
    Ask any Thrones fan what the peach scene is between Stannis and Renly and I’ll bet you some Valryian steel over fifty percent won’t know what you’re talking about.

    Im part of a big ASOIAF community and thats one scene that most people remembered in relation to Renly so im far from being in the minority on this one.

  351. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    Maybe not to you, but I am sure many people who have read the books will agree that Roose DOES have to be at the Red Wedding. Even if he shows up at the right dramatic moment instead of being at the wedding itself he has to kill Robb Stark. Throw any logistics of narrative and adaptation at me if you will. But you will find yourself in the minority. And I have full faith that D and D will have Roose there at the pivotal moment.

  352. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Tedd,

    Disagree. In my opinion Dillane is nailing Stannis, there’s a lot of subtext and insecurity beneath his performance.

  353. heisindc
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs. Wun,

    from old mountain

    I really enjoyed working on the first season of Game of Thrones, it was such a journey to get there from having the original fan email suggesting I try to get noticed for the then rumoured pilot episode. The role of Gregor Clegane seemed almost custom built for me. Making it onto the GoT set was exactly like a 24 year old dream coming true.

    I had a great time working on GoT season 01 and the response from viewers to my character and portrayal seemed very positive. I was looking forward to being able to reprise the role for season 02, but it seems like HBO decided to go in a different direction for the 2nd season and I will not be playing Ser Gregor this time around which is a pity.

    Of course, if I were asked to appear in season 03 I would be very excited to do so.

    And if I remember correctly I still have to have that drink with Rory McCann.

    P.S. I wish Ian Whyte all the best in this role, the more big guys known to be working in movies, then the more roles that will be written for us – meaning more work for all of us.

  354. heisindc
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The New Mountain is an ex-Predator

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1613839/

  355. Paco
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Bielle: All these people saying Renly’s peach is a “fan favorite”, or a “key” moment for the plot have got to be trolling. For God’s sake, the red wedding is a fan favorite moment, the release of the unsullied is a fan favorite moment, ned’s death is a fan favorite moment, the shadow birth is a fan favorite moment, BUT RENLY’S PEACH???? GTFO.

    hmmm i wouldnt call it a key moment for the plot… but i def. would call it a fan favorite as far as Renly’s character is concerned. I find that when fans talk about the plot as a whole, the peach has no importance AT ALL (i mean… why would it? its a freaking fruit). but when you’re talking about Renly’s character, the peach is one of those moments that ppl remember the most. or thats what Ive found anyway from my discussions in fan communities so im surprised to hear that some people dont remember it at all.

  356. Meg
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    My view is they went with an apple to show that this is a different universe. In book universe, Renly has a peach. In this one he has an apple. It’s really very simple. Not to mention, they’ve made show-Renly way more memorable than he was in the books. I think he actually has a personality in the show. He doesn’t need fruit to help with characterization.

  357. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    heisindc,

    from old mountain

    I really enjoyed working on the first season of Game of Thrones, it was such a journey to get there from having the original fan email suggesting I try to get noticed for the then rumoured pilot episode. The role of Gregor Clegane seemed almost custom built for me. Making it onto the GoT set was exactly like a 24 year old dream coming true.

    I had a great time working on GoT season 01 and the response from viewers to my character and portrayal seemed very positive. I was looking forward to being able to reprise the role for season 02, but it seems like HBO decided to go in a different direction for the 2nd season and I will not be playing Ser Gregor this time around which is a pity.

    Of course, if I were asked to appear in season 03 I would be very excited to do so.

    And if I remember correctly I still have to have that drink with Rory McCann.

    P.S. I wish Ian Whyte all the best in this role, the more big guys known to be working in movies, then the more roles that will be written for us – meaning more work for all of us.

    To me it is pretty obvious what happened here with Conan Stevens as the original Mountain…

    “I was looking forward to being able to reprise the role for season 02, but it seems like HBO decided to go in a different direction for the 2nd season and I will not be playing Ser Gregor this time around which is a pity.”

    I think that is hollywood code for simply saying, “D&D were unwilling to renew my contract and pay me what I named as my price”.

    So now we get a less expensive, less Mountain like, cheaper Ser Gregor Clegane.

    Apparently D&D needed to make some budget cuts on certain things to save up for the important stuff like CGI and for Esme Bianco as Ros.

  358. Jen@House Stark
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Melisandre’s ladygarden is dark and full of terrors! It’s that monster from Fern Gully!

  359. Paco
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    I disagree. I love Renly in the show but I find book!Renly to be a far memorable character. He has more personality, hes sarcastic, hes witty, hes cocky bordering on arrogant. purplejilly explained the fruit’s importance to Renly’s character a thousand times better than I ever could. I will agree tho that it wouldve been out of character for tv!Renly to break out in peach-speech due to the difference in personalities between the two versions.

    Im a lover of small details so maybe thats why i am disappointed.

  360. purplejilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    heisindc,
    Are you in DC right now?

  361. Evenstar
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I just have to rant: I’m so sick of how much screen time Roz gets. There are already a ton of great characters in the books that I feel are getting short-changed in the show (the Hound for one). I realize the producers are using her to show the dark side of Westeros, but man, she gets SO much screen time. I don’t know why we saw a 5 minute scene of her crying over a baby and then watch her act out Joffery’s sick fantasies. It’s irritating me. I love the show and the casting is outstanding, but I literally roll my eyes when Roz is on. Had to get that out. Carry on.

  362. oh-bb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Violentos,

    I’m pretty sure they’re going to cut that whole storyline that involved the second shadowbaby, with the bastard and that castle, though I expect we’ll see it again later when Loras has his moment in the (burning) sun. There’s really no need for it in the show, so they gave us the shadow baby birthing now.

  363. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    More Hollywood code for I just got offered a chance to shoot a Peter Jackson film and the scheduling with HBO won’t allow me to do both roles.

  364. The DarkStar
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Best episode of the season.
    Started strong, ended strong. GREAT cliffhanger.
    I loved how Dany doubled down on her dragons. She is a true, confident, fearless leader and mother of dragons.
    Qarth and Harrenhal looked great.
    Loved Aryas prayer.
    No sex/sexposition seems to be a winning formula.

  365. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people think Petyr actually broached the idea of trading the Kingslayer for Arya and Sansa. Catelyn wanted to do that back in episode 1. All Petyr is doing in the scene in this episode is making sure that Catelyn knows Tyrion is on board for the deal so when she finally does release Jaime it won’t just be a hunch on her part, she actually has reason to believe Tyrion will honor his part of the bargain. Tyrion sends her Ned’s bones as a gesture of good faith for that reason. As for how Baelish knew Catelyn would be there, Tyrion told him in the last episode, which is precisely why he sent Baelish to Renly’s camp (it certainly wasn’t to talk treason with Renly!)

  366. Delta1212
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Paco,

    There’s no ‘R’

  367. RandyllTarlysMiniVan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    As a long-time book fan, I’ve been judging the awesomeness of each episode this season by my non-book-reader wife’s reactions. Therefore, last night’s episode was the pinnacle of the series so far for me. She was clutching my arm(when she didn’t have both hands over her mouth) and demanded to know what happens next once the end credits rolled.

    She was sadly dissapointed in her demands, but I was left nearly breathless by that hour of TV. Wow. Not much to say about Peter Dinklage t hat hasn’t already been said a million times, but he is carrying this show without a doubt. Michelle Fairley continues to amaze me, and I always want to give a big raspberry to the Harry Potter crew who cast her as Hermione’s mom but didn’ t give her a single line. Ha. Ha. Ha.

    Someone kill Ros. Please. Please? Esme Bianco is a beautiful woman and a good actress, but the horse is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. In case you hadn’t noticed, Joffrey is a prick, and the $$$ spent on that scene could have gone into craft services to get Renly a damn PEACH!

  368. Long Ball Larry
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    how people can complain about the Joff scene is beyond me, especially when there was that godawful scene at the gates of Qarth…

  369. lepape
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The scene with Joffrey was excellent, in a very twisted way. It shows how the character is totally unredeemable and really, there’s no bright side of him.

    But I was hoping to finally see a Sandor/Sansa scene, they really had put the table for it.

  370. Dragolf
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    Same! I didn’t remember a peach. Not a big deal, imho.

  371. Mrs. Wun
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    heisindc,

    I was scared of him just reading that letter. :-P

  372. Dickon Manwoody
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    New Gregor was terrible. I wish they would explain why they sacked Conan cos it makes absolutely no sense to any of us.

  373. Adam B.
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    No Renly taunting Stannis with the peach?! Come on!

  374. RabbitStew
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Just some things that came to me in my sleep…..
    Isn’t Jeyne Westerling related to someone from Volantis, remember a big lineage chapter or something from the book in which it was said that her grandmother is from there or something???
    Ros is going to replace Alayaya, maybe???

  375. KG
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    You don’t think that Renly saying “Gosh have a peach you never know when you MIGHT DIE AND NEVER HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE” and tip everyone off, do you?

  376. lonas
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Long Ball Larry,

    Damm you everyone, I keep reading all your comments despite being good or whining when what I want Is to watch another episode.

    By the way, George RR Martin was in Portugal signing books , presenting season 2 and The Hedge Knitght.
    Hundreds of ppl went with 2 books each and they had the chance of asking him one question while he was signing.

    Me – “Hei I love what you did with Jamie´s story arc.”
    George- “Is he your favorite character?”
    (my phone starts to ring loudly, i get nervous and shaky) Me- ….He ..he made me cry last summer…er ( seven hells! Instead of saying , I cried while reading AFFC.)
    George- ……

    Me- Are we gonna see Ashai?
    George- Maybe on a flashback.
    Me- How about Howland Reed?
    George- Yes. Havent decided if in the next or the last book.

  377. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    God, I am so sick of people thinking Ros is somehow taking other people’s screen time (well, other than another prostitute character like Chataya or Alayaya). That makes zero sense.

    lonas, that’s nice to have confirmation again about Howland Reed. My paranoid fear is that George will bring him in and then kill him before he can clear up any mysteries, lol.

  378. Deanna
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    But what will happen with Edric Storm?

  379. Buddy
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    They could have easily added some fake bulk to Gregor while the actor ate a few hundred bowls of Wheaties.

    They better get him good and massive by the time he has to fight Oberon.

  380. Deanna
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Buddy,

    agreed! to me he has to be a decent actor but with relatively few lines I think being physically imposing is the most important trait for the Mountain to have.

  381. Nico
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I was quite disappointed by this episode.. Felt like far too many new scenes were added by HBO and none of them were really necessary. They have thousands of pages of material to pull from as it is.

  382. Dolphineus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Joff’s S&M scene … wasn’t this completely off screen in the books?

    The TV writers seem to be pulling some of GRRM’s most subtle work, like the Renly/Loras relationship, and being much more up front with it.

    Same this with this scene of Joff’s brutality. The books only mentioned it in passing. Something like the exchange between Bronn & Tyrion, lets get the boy laid. Then a little later there is a reference to what Joff had done to those poor girls.

    All in all, last nights episode was disturbing. Lots of torture and gross stuff. But the ending with Mel was fabulous. I hope they give the shadow baby more form for next week.

  383. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Ros is impressive.

    She is becoming an expert at “assplay” with other whores. Can’t wait to see what D&D has Ros do next. I have a hunch, it will have to do with nudity and assplay.

    What do y’all think?

  384. gswelcome
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Lack of Renly’s peach was disappointing and I was scratching my head at the Robb+Jeyne? exchange but the episode overall was quite good especially the shadow baby scene. It was very well done, dispelled any concerns I had.

  385. From Chaos
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Amazing episode once again, seems to have gotten the best reaction of the season from non book reading viewers. I am glad I get to enjoy the show and not worry about every stupid detail from the book finding its way in. I love the books, I love the show.

  386. Buddy
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Deanna:
    Buddy,

    agreed! to me he has to be a decent actor but with relatively few lines I think being physically imposing is the most important trait for the Mountain to have.

    They could have hired any of a couple dozen pro-wrestlers and gotten the bulk, the imposing stance, and the acting ability to deliver half a dozen lines and sound really pissed off. :)

  387. AJ
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Uh, yeah. Right. I have skimmed the books twice.
    Ask any Thrones fan what the peach scene is between Stannis and Renly and I’ll bet you some Valryian steel over fifty percent won’t know what you’re talking about.

    I have no idea what it is either, and I’ve thoroughly read all the books… I looked it up after the comments here and it just seems insignificant to me. Memorable scenes to me are, for example, Loras’ quote of ‘When the sun sets no candle can replace it.’ (they’d better include that line in the episode!), not someone eating a peach lol… Although it’s quite an ironic sexual innuendo.

  388. TH
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Random musing here, but I wonder if the added scene with Joffrey & the two prostitutes has implications further down the line. When Tyrion threatens Cersei later in the book it’s because he’s so outraged at the fact that she’s had a whore (Alayaya) brought to the castle and viciously beaten, under the mistaken assumption that she’s the one Tyrion’s been seeing. But now we have Joffrey doing more or less the same thing — does that change the scene later on? Do *two* whores end up getting beaten to send a message to Tyrion, a few episodes apart? And only the second instance is enough for him to swear that he’ll destroy Cersei?

    Makes me wonder if Cersei has to up the ante a little bit in order to get that kind of reaction out of him…

  389. Mike
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:

    b) Carmen Miranda called and wants Margaery’s fruit bowl of a dress back.

    Okay, this is hilarious.

  390. Omitted
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Like with most things I become invested in, there were great moments and weak moments in the episode. The bottom line here though is, I’m invested. It’s not quite on par with the experience of the books, but for TV it’s pretty close, and that’s saying a lot for me.

    Anyway…

    I agree with those saying the Qarth scene was a bit strange. It was a little Narnia for me, which is not in line with the tone of the show. The acting was fine, but the dialogue and even the costuming somehow tore me away from the realism of the show a bit. I know it’s an exotic locale and should stand out from the 7 kingdoms feel, but still.

    Joffrey’s antler rape (maybe not but I mean, that’s where I went with it. Ugh.) was a little much. But I’ll say it’s a good and a bad thing. In the book, there was enough exposition that my hatred for Joffrey seethed to the boiling point. In the show, there’s just not enough time for that kind of build up, so bringing it sharply to the surface like that does have merit. The only thing I can say that might be a negative by-product is the effect Ramsay/Reek will have on our emotions once he is introduced and his acts portrayed. If we already attribute Reekness to Joffrey, will we care as much when another character takes up the mantle? Or will they show events even more depraved than this? Yikes. I guess we’ll see.

    Catelyn affected me more in the Ned’s Bones moment than she ever did at any point during my reading of the novels. Good on Michelle Fairley, and the writers. Such a great job.

    Show Littlefinger continues to run his mouth a bit too much, but I’ve accepted that he’s just not as closely guarded as Book Littlefinger. It would probably just be too difficult to write for the screen that way anyway. And his scene with Catelyn was very well done.

    Ros… oh Ros. I know a lot of my fellow fans are tired of people complaining about her character existing in general at this point, because really it’s a fruitless labor. But I will say this – I have yet to experience a story arc that shows me why she exists. I’m not annoyed that she was ‘added’ and not in the books, it’s more that I just don’t really see the point of her at all, books notwithstanding. Time will reveal this hopefully, so I continue to wait patiently.

    Stannis/Renly was particularly good for me, I really believed they had that brotherly history behind the exchange. Peach or no peach.

    Melisandre… I’m on the fence here. I really don’t mind that she’s not as sexy or enchanting as her character was in the books, because HBO makes sure to insert as much of that as possible anywhere it can fit in, so it’s not really missed for me. I’m just not fully on board with the actress. She’s a bit wooden. I know she is a mystery in the books as well, and I don’t feel like her character is written as a departure from that persay, but I don’t know. Something about the delivery, body language, and tone of the actress is just not doing it for me. No offense to Ms. Van Houten, I haven’t seen any of her other work so I have no basis for comparison.

    That said, the shadow baby was very well done. As could as good possibly be expected for something so unreal and abstract to be turned into something visual. It’s hard to pull something like that off and have it NOT stand out as corny.

    Overall, last week was still my favorite episode this season, but this was another solid episode. I will always have complaints because I’m cynical, but damn if this show isn’t better than I could have hoped. In some ways, MUCH better.

  391. Winterdark
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    My opinion/mini-review of ep14

    Robb: Aaahhhrr! We got cheated out of the battle! That’s so cheap! They could’ve done something very nice with just a few guys and perhaps a tent but no they had to not show at all. Very cheap and unnecesary if you aks me.
    Roose Bolton looks really good even though it seems strange to see him with Robb. Despite the fact off course that given the rest of the story it’s actually completely logical. And who is this Talissa and how does she fit tinto all this? I liked the Jeyne Westerling storyline and would’ve loved to have seen it so I’m not to happy with this development but truth be told it could possibly get interesting though at this point I’m not all that intrigued.
    Sansa: Now this scene is just brilliant. It’s not exactly the same as it is in the book but it’s well written and it works very well and I was really blown away by Sophie Turner’s performance.
    Joffrey: Now usually I don’t really have a problem with Ros scenes. Simply because they’re easilly skipable or you can use the time to make tea or visit the loo or something. But this scene I really didn’t like simply because it makes Tyrion look like a fool for giving his nephew these girls thinking that he won’t do something horrible to them.
    Littlefinger: The scene with Renly was a fun scene. It’s a bit of a deviation from the book but the idea of putting Renly and LF together for one last time is very good and it plays out wonderfully well in no small thanks to the great performances the actors gave away.
    The scene with Margeary on the other hand felt like too much. We already saw the scene with Renly and we didn’t really need another long teasing LF scene. I like Natalie Dormer as an actress but I don’t need scenes just to have her in the story.
    Daenerys: I don’t like Kovarro as much as Rakharro but otherwise this scene works just fine. You don’t really need the other guys from the book. It’s a small concession that doesn’t really hurt the narrative in any way and the scene actually works better for it imo.
    Arya: Harranhal looks great! Nothing like I imagined it reading the book but it looks fantastic, very dark and menacing and it really helps this scene along and makes it even more tense than it was in the book.
    The next scene with them watching the torture I’m not sure whether it was in the book or not but it worked fantastically and really gives a real sense of danger for the characters.
    And then there’s the scene with Arya reciting her prayer which is just great and very impressive.
    Catelyn: This is another great added scene. The dialogue between Cately and LF is really good imo and the actors do a fantastic job. Cat receiving the bones in this scene seems a bit too early but it really enhances the moment and makes for good end to that scene
    Arya: This is another very strong very impressive scene. It starts of all dark and thrilling as the Mountain starts picking one of them for torture and the acting here is once again really great and then the torture scene. The Tickler(it is the tickler right) is just fantastic and it’s such a powerful scene it almost made me wanna puke which especially says something since it’s not graphic at all. Just the screams and the idea was horrible enough for me
    and Arya’s prayer gets longer. Really great scene
    Catelyn: Another fantastic scene that is like the one in the book but not quite. But the changes to me make sense and Stephen Dillane is just amazing. Any doubt I had about him being Stannis is gone for good. Love the scene, great music to btw. Throughout the episode I must say.
    Daenerys: A new introduction to XXD that I suppose is okay and still mkaes it possible for the events to unravel as they do in the book. Otherwise the scene was alringht. It was well written and well developed.
    Arya: Now this was a nice scene. Tywin’s arrival is quite different as it is in the book but it serves more of a purpose here and the idea of Arya being Tywin’s cup bearer is one that I like even though it does make me wonder who the second victim of the ghost of Harrenhal will be.
    Tyrion: Another fine scene straight out of the book. Or if there were some changes I didn’t notice them. Simply fine writing and acting
    Davos: The scene with Stannis was good. A bit different from the book but again that’s understandable and the Black Bettha looks great. I’ve said this before but I really love Liam Cunningham as Davos.
    The scene with Melisandre is pretty much the same as it is in the bookexcept for Storm’s End which obviously is not gonna be in the tv-series. And it makes for a very good, very creepy ending which really makes you want to immediately see the next ep.

    So overall a pretty great episode. There were a few scenes I didn’t like but they were very few. This season really gets better with every episode. Very much looking forward to the next ep.

  392. AJ
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Uh, yeah. Right. I have skimmed the books twice.
    Ask any Thrones fan what the peach scene is between Stannis and Renly and I’ll bet you some Valryian steel over fifty percent won’t know what you’re talking about.

    I have no idea what it is either, and I’ve thoroughly read all the books… I looked it up after the comments here and it just seems insignificant to me. Memorable scenes to me are, for example, Loras’ quote of ‘When the sun has set no candle can replace it.’ (they’d better include that line in the episode!), not someone eating a peach lol… Although it’s quite an ironic sexual innuendo.

    SIDE-NOTE: Am I the only one who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Ned’s death? The execution, Catelyn looking at the bones, etc. I don’t feel a thing. :/
    Half of the scenes with Dany and Arya make me emotional though lol.

  393. sedeyus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: God, I am so sick of people thinking Ros is somehow taking other people’s screen time (well, other than another prostitute character like Chataya or Alayaya). That makes zero sense.

    How does it make zero sense? The writers are working with limited time here. If the character didn’t exist and didn’t take up about five-minutes of screentime every episode, then her time would be given to someone else in a different context. I’d much prefer five mintues of Tyrion, Cersei, Sansa, Jon, Dany, Arya, Twyin, EVERY OTHER CHARACTER IN THIS SHOW OTHER THAN ROS. Okay, except Littlefinger and Joffrey. As this point they have nothing interesting to say about those two, they haven’t said a dozen times before.

  394. Wyglaaf
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I am going to stop reading these book-reader comment threads. Many of you guys are just TOO hung up on the books to truly appreciate what a terrific ADAPTATION this is. Saying things like “would it have been SO hard to put an effing peach in there”? and shit like that just irks me to no end. I love these books. I love this adaptation.

    Book to film adaptations are always about the broad strokes, and these have all been nailed to a T.

  395. kodi47544
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone tell me if the smoke-baby-birth at the end combined some story lines from the book? It’s been awhile since I read Clash of Kings, but I thought Davos didn’t escort Melisandre until later in the story. Just wondering if someone could set it straight in my head…thanks!

  396. Kamer
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me,

    The fact they showed Beric in Season 1 and mentioned the Brotherhood in this episode, leads me to believe their story will play out as in the books. Here’s hoping, at least.

  397. Michelle
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    This episode was weird.

    I mean, it wasn’t bad, not at all — there were just some parts that seemed…out-of-tone, or something.

    I totally agree. I was telling someone that its way different reading the book, and then seeing it on tv. I didn’t really get that Joffrey was that evil out of the book, just spoiled and mean. They need to show more of daenerys and less sex. but all in all it wasn’t a bad episode.

  398. Paul Mac
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Great episode actually prompted me to comment on here for the first time

    suprised noone has mentioned the best line of the show by Bronn

    “there’s no cure for being a C**T” just loved the deadpan way he said it

    The Joffey scene was uncomfortable (guess that was the point) I could have lived without it but think they could have easily shown his despicability by extending the Sansa scene and saved a bit of time

  399. Wolf of Dorne
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    My $0.2 here:

    -I’ve read the books like one gazillon times. I know the peach’s meaning. And I didn’t care a d*mn about it during that scene. We already know Renly’s an arrogant pr*ck, so there’s no need for that peach. Of course, it would have been a nice detail for readers, but it’s not necessary for the plot.

    -The New Mountain. We have seen just… 1 minute of him? Yes, he’s leaner than I expected, but I prefer an actor who can play his role instead of someone who’s spot-on but terrible at acting. I want the Mountain to scare the hell out of me, and that “YOU.” at his new victim gave me the creeps. Let’s wait until he’s got some more lines to deliver in order to judge him properly.

    -Joff/Ros scene. I don’t like Ros, period. However, I think this scene it’s not about sexposition or painting Joff as the King of Psychos (even more), but to show his hatred about Tyrion: he couldn’t torture Sansa because Tyrion stopped him, and he knows Tyrion likes whores, so he takes his revenge in these poor girls. Now I’m eager to see Tyrion’s answer to his nephew next week.

    -Talisa/Jeyne/Whoever she is: It looked like she was lying about her name/origins. As some people have already said, I think she is a noble woman under the disguise of a peasant girl. Robb will do the nasty with her, she will reveal her true identity (a Westerling, a Lannister, who knows) and he will marry her because it’s the right thing to do. Then, they can follow the book’s story or they can change it. True must be said, she doesn’t look like “our” Jeyne Westerling at all. I still don’t know if I like the change or not.

    Overall, a good episode. Worse than the last one but absolutely not bad at all.

  400. Deanna
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    kodi47544,

    It’s unclear if the storylines are combined just yet, but in ACOK we dont know where the shadow figure comes from or what it even defnitely in when Renly is killed. Later we find out when Davos escorts Melisandre into a cavern described almost identically to the one from last night’s episode, under Storm’s End and Melisandre births/uses a shadow baby to kill Ser Cortnay Penrose and capture the castle for Stannis. I truly hope they don’t cut out this capture of Storm’s End and the capture/taking if you will of Edric Storm

  401. Michelle
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    kodi47544:
    Can anyone tell me if the smoke-baby-birth at the end combined some story lines from the book?It’s been awhile since I read Clash of Kings, but I thought Davos didn’t escort Melisandre until later in the story.Just wondering if someone could set it straight in my head…thanks!

    hmmm I don’t remember it actually saying he escorts her until later when they are in that boat. But it made sense for them to show him with her, it would have been a little more confusing if she just went by herself, there would have been no dialogue or anything.

  402. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I really liked the last bit of the exchange between Robb and Jeyne, when Robb says “He was lucky you were here”, and she replies, “He was unlucky you were here”. Right after she says that, Robb is kind of taken aback, but then cracks a slight smile, as if to say, “That’s right. I’m the Young Wolf”. Subtle, but awesome.

  403. MW
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Haven’t you quit the show yet? Or are you just here to remind us that you are still unhappy. Here’s a tissue.

  404. Ollie
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    And when Melisandre gave Renly the warning to ‘look to your sins, Lord Renly”, I felt like she was calling him out on being gay? Seemed a little homophobic, but maybe the Lord 0f light doesn’t smile on that sort of thing. But it seems like women who birth creepy shadow babies concieved out of wedlock with someone you are in a religion with and leading around on wars , should not be tossing the word ‘Sin’ around so glibly

    Made me crack up, I never thought about that before.

    Andrew: Weasel soup

    total forgot about that part, now i cant wait for it, probably one of the things im going to look forward to the most in the season

  405. Wolf of Dorne
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Wyglaaf:
    I am going to stop reading these book-reader comment threads. Many of you guys are just TOO hung up on the books to truly appreciate what a terrific ADAPTATION this is. Saying things like “would it have been SO hard to put an effing peach in there”? and shit like that just irks me to no end. I love these books. I love this adaptation.

    Book to film adaptations are always about the broad strokes, and these have all been nailed to a T.

    My thoughts in better words. Thank you, sir/lady.

    purplejilly

    Renly is a sinner in Melisandre’s eyes because he wants the Iron Throne, which rightly belongs to her God-Chosen Stannis. She may know he likes “praying” with Loras because she’s seen it in her flames, but there’s nothing homophobic in her words.

  406. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Also, I’d like to add, if I wasn’t already Varamyr Fourkins, I’d adopt “Joffrey Bowstring” as my screen name.

    I mean, it’s like, ok, fine, give the little shit a kingship, but a crossbow? Now you’re just asking for trouble.

  407. Michelle
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus: How does it make zero sense? The writers are working with limited time here. If the character didn’t exist and didn’t take up about five-minutes of screentime every episode, then her time would be given to someone else in a different context.I’d much prefer five mintues of Tyrion, Cersei, Sansa, Jon, Dany, Arya, Twyin, EVERY OTHER CHARACTER IN THIS SHOW OTHER THAN ROS. Okay, except Littlefinger and Joffrey. As this point they have nothing interesting to say about those two, they haven’t said a dozen times before.

    I totally agree!!! Why am I watching Ros when I could be watching Jon or Deanerys or Tyrion or ANY OF THE BIG characters, I couldn’t give two shits about some whore.

  408. Obsidian
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Coming in way late here..I never get to come here ’til the next day..So Much of what i did or didn’t like has seen mucho discussion. ;)

    I have to say I was not impressed with the writing, and if this is the best this woman can do…I’ll be looking at a lot of disappointment ahead. ( how many episodes does she have ?) The lack of subtlety and predictability in the dialogue really gets to me..

    Joffrey scene..completely unnecessary. I’m sure even the new viewers already knew how twisted Joffrey is. Who couldn’t figure out from the way Joff treats Sansa in public that what he’d be likely to do behind closed doors would be far worse..? There would be many other ways to drive home his more-than-mere resentment of Tyrion , and his refusal to take tempering advice. If this means Cersei won’t have her whore-snatching moment…Boo,Hiss.

    Again, really not liking the LF stuff..far too easy to read..We shouldn’t be seeing any outright moustache twirling from him for at least until next season.

  409. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Jack Gleeson is one fine actor! In the first season I was a bit concerned how someone would be able to play Joffrey and not “overact” or seem campy. I was pleasantly surprised and he is BRINGING it this season!

    Thanks Jack!!!!

  410. fuelpagan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s weird. But with all the hate towards Ros, I actually want to see more Ros now. Just knowing the torture of her being on the screen is causing so much pain, brings a smile to my face.

    That was probably my favorite scene. Not only to show Joffrey trying to send a message to his Uncle for interfering, but also because I knew there was a collective groan the moment Ros appeared. It was just awesome!

    Sad to see the peach wasn’t kept. More because with the previews I thought Renly was holding a peach, and was looking forward to it being included. If it wasn’t in the previews, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it missing.

    Also sad Conan couldn’t play Gregor this season. I chalk it up to weight loss from all the fighting.

    It was a solid episode.

  411. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Obsidian,

    That scene with Ros was to show and highlight her highly skilled and well polished assplay techniques. She is well diversified in all areas of assplay…

    Including but not limited to

    1). Ass playing
    2). Ass wiping
    3). Ass spanking

    Out of the 3 I think the wiping is the most important lesson. For those who missed Ros explaining it at the end of season 1 here is a link…

    http://howtowipeyourbutt.com/

    Ros is here for all our enjoyment and to teach us the fine art of assplay

  412. jkb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    2 things I wanna mention:
    – why in the blue fuck didn’t they just give shoulderpads to the new Mountain? every other Lannister soldier is wearing those. Would make him look so much bigger, I mean look at the pic of Tywin in this post, cover the face and he might as well be Dave Batista. I liked his voice tho ;p
    – the melisandre birth scene was fucking awesome. I could never get that scene quite right in my head, this was really satisfying for me.

  413. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    jkb,

    His shoulders were to narrow for the shoulder pads to fit. If you look at pictures of the new actor playing the mountain, he is very skinny and looks like Lurch for the Addams Family.

  414. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    What are you talking about? Every scene Ros is in has had a major character except the bastard killing scene but that was a fantastic scene anyways. Should they take out the scene she is in with Tyrion to give you more Tyrion? I only understand this complaint if she wasn’t in scenes with other major characters but since she is it makes no sense to me.

  415. Jillian
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    The one thought I have about the Joffrey scene is this: In the books he was like 13 and doing most of the stuff we see on the show. The addtion of last night’s whore-beating-whore scene to me, while incredibly hard to watch, was a way to show his sadistic progression given the increased character age. in the books, had he lived to the age he is in the show, I’d be terrified to see what he became. He might make Ramsay look pleasant.

  416. sukeyna
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Wyglaaf:
    I am going to stop reading these book-reader comment threads. Many of you guys are just TOO hung up on the books to truly appreciate what a terrific ADAPTATION this is. Saying things like “would it have been SO hard to put an effing peach in there”? and shit like that just irks me to no end. I love these books. I love this adaptation.

    Book to film adaptations are always about the broad strokes, and these have all been nailed to a T.

    Yes. I think it’s much more interesting to discuss the TV show as a TV show rather than an endless comparison to the books.

    Tyrion really didn’t “get” Joffrey or he wouldn’t have sent the whores to him. I’m sure he won’t make that kind of mistake again. It should now be crystal clear to him that Joffrey cannot be reasoned with or mollified. He can only be contained or put down.

    Charles Dance is truly majestic as Tywin Lannister. I never would have predicted that I’d be happy to see him show up and save the day on his white horse.

    I was very happy to see Hot Pie survive his close call!

  417. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Why not have major characters interact with other major characters? Why is there a need for Ros at all? All her scenes with major characters have, in fact, made her a major character.

    That’s what it boils down to. Unneeded and unnecessary whore scenes instead of having more creative ways of showing plot.

    Ros is the cheap way of telling a story that D&D turn to way to much. When I say “cheap” I mean the definition of that word in all aspects.

    It is very annoying and lowers the quality of the whole show.

  418. Virtus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s good that they confirmed that the show Xaro is originally from the Summer Islands, since some people had wondered why he’s black when the other Qartheen are white.

  419. Sharon Streger
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind comparing to the books, especially when you can see how they cut and reassemble what they need in order to move the story forward (like having Arya and Gendry get taken right to Harenhall rather than escaping with Weasel and wandering around first) or to create more screen tension (like setting up Arya to be Tywin’s cupbearer rather than just another “mouse” at Harenhall). But it is evident when a scene really works —like Tywin’s smackdown of Joffrey over Sansa’s humiliation—that it is dialogue directly from the book. Equally evident is when something veers far from the book—like Joffrey with the whores—that it is HBO putting on a T&A show, and not for any real character development or purpose. In fact it detracts, because Joff is a known creep, but now we see him getting the better of Tyrion with no resolution. Same with Robb meeting the girl in the battlefield — WTF is up with that?

  420. Del
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I thought the Joffrey scene was more to further Joffrey’s hatred for his uncle. A “you embarrass me in front of my subjects and I’ll make you pay” sort of thing. He was quivering with anger when he started talking about how he wanted them to show Tyrion what he made them do.

    It was sort of shown when Cersei slapped him how mindful he is of people seeing him being talked down to.

  421. KG
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Ros = Alalayayayalyalayylyaa. AKA, a major tertiary character. Why the tears when she shows up? There’s always something cooking at the whorehouse in the books, why wouldn’t it be the same on the show?

  422. Magog
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I have one issue with this episode which, if I didn’t miss, is not discusted yet.
    While I liked scene in throne room, I just can’t belive that ser Maryn will be so scared by Tyrions threats that Bronn will kill him. Who TF is Bronn for noble knights of Kingsguard? He is just a mercenary, good fighter but kingsguard members should be the best in whole kingdom. I understand that Meryn Trant is not the best knight in the Westeros but he shouldnt’t be scared by Bronn by any means.

    Expecially when there were other members of KG (behind Joffrey), and there was the Hound, one of the greatest warriors of the time. Are they all impressed by Bronn, almost annonimus to them? If there were Tyrions friends from mountain clans, I will maybe undestand, but like this…

    Only possible explanation that comes to my mind is that Joffrey, and all of them, see Tywin Lannister in Tyrion and are afraid of his reaction If something happens to his reserve Hand.

  423. The Rabbit
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    You can call me fangirl, you can call whatever name you want but I enjoyed the episode from start to the end.
    Even Littlefinger s Scarlett O Hara – moments :D
    On much serious note – it was Michelle Fairley who saved that scene – I almost started to cry over Ned s bones.
    Michelle is great actress.

    And to inform a bit in advance: while retweeting almost for more than 12 hours now – the Twitter can not stop talking about shadow-baby bussiness. ;)

  424. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Wyglaaf:
    I am going to stop reading these book-reader comment threads. Many of you guys are just TOO hung up on the books to truly appreciate what a terrific ADAPTATION this is. Saying things like “would it have been SO hard to put an effing peach in there”? and shit like that just irks me to no end. I love these books. I love this adaptation.

    Book to film adaptations are always about the broad strokes, and these have all been nailed to a T.

    This.

    It’s the best possible adaptation for this book series and I love every single second of it. Even those with Ros. In fact, Ros never bothered me and I really don’t understand the hate towards the character …

  425. jkb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Magog,
    ye i kinda noticed that too. the way I explained it to myself is that KG ain’t an elite force like it used to be. its heavily implied in the books and in the show too (-> ser barristans exit). besides bronn is a badass and well aware of it, he already killed one (that we know of) elite knight with ease, he ain’t taking no shit from no Ser, white cloak or not ;p

    so the way i see it, it makes perfect sense. but then again im a huge bronn fanboy so i might be biased ;p

  426. sedeyus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    sedeyus,

    What are you talking about? Every scene Ros is in has had a major character except the bastard killing scene but that was a fantastic scene anyways. Should they take out the scene she is in with Tyrion to give you more Tyrion? I only understand this complaint if she wasn’t in scenes with other major characters but since she is it makes no sense to me.

    Watch her scenes, they don’t add new or interesting information, they have a tendency to repeat things already told to the audience. Theon’s unhappy with his place with the Starks. Littlefinger’s a slimy bastard. Now, Joffrey’s a psycho. Because D&D are on the record talking about how much they liked Esme Bianco and how they gave her more scenes as a result, all of Ros scenes feel less that she’s a tool being used by the writers to flesh out other characters and more about the actress is a favorite of the writers. These are Ros scenes, not Littlefinger/Theon/Pycelle/Joffrey scenes.

    Like say episode two of this season, I really get a feeling the writers weren’t thinking about, “Let’s give Littlefinger a monogue about the time he sold some whore to prove to the audience he’s a vicious bastard.” It was more, “Let’s give Esme a crying scene so the audience will feel sympathy for Ros.”

    And let’s say I’m crazy and the writers’ motives aren’t about liking Esme so much but using Ros as a writing tool. If that’s true, it doesn’t get past the fact that she’s a bad tool. Her scenes are terrible and clunky.

  427. Ed
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I think you misspelled Alayaya.

    KG:
    Ros = Alalayayayalyalayylyaa. AKA, a major tertiary character. Why the tears when she shows up? There’s always something cooking at the whorehouse in the books, why wouldn’t it be the same on the show?

  428. Yellow Dog
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Dee: It bothers me that they seem to be painting Tyrion as a typical hero this season, perhaps because they feel they need someone for the audience to unambiguously root for, a Ned equivalent if you will. Tyrion in the books is a sympathetic character but complicated. He’s intelligent, entertaining and engaging, but he is no hero. His motives at this point in the books, though generally good from his point of view, are tinged with self serving interest. His actions in Clash though brilliant in serving the Lannister agenda, were not taken without a certain sense of relish in making those who’ve dismissed him eat dirt. And his bravado and confidence all through Clash masked a vulnerability, a resentment, and an almost pathetic need for validation that his relationship with book Shae brilliantly highlighted. I loooove book Tyrion. I love him most of all for his complexity. I love him because he sometimes makes me hate him, and yet forgive him. I love him because he is as real a character as I have ever read and I understand him. He is a fully fledged person whose early life experiences designed, informed and educated his adult self. His misogyny, his insecurity, his pride, even his intellect and wit are firmly rooted in valid psychological reasoning. For the show to attempt, if that is what they’re doing, to paint him as the unlikely hero figure this season is to do Tyrion a disservice, imo.

    Precisely and thank you. I had to leave the Westeros forums because I was so sick of trying to write what you just wrote in response to all the Tyrion-haters.

  429. Slynt
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Robb impresses me – trying to flirt with a girl who is sawing a guy’s foot off.

    I do feel that with the story sprawling so much more than the first season that “A Clash of Kings” doesn’t work near as well on the screen as “A Game of Thrones” did.

  430. feyrband
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    its unfortunate how the mountain is being portrayed, their attempts at mentioning him aren’t even worth the lines they throw in there. i hope this changes in time for the red viper fight

  431. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    sedeyus,

    Funny you would call them Ros scenes. Who in the world watches Joffrey in that scene and thinks, “wow, that was all about Ros”? I’ve watched all her scenes and I’ve enjoyed them. Not because of her but because of the other actors she is in the scene with. I don’t care if we don’t get a new piece of information about the character with each scene. I like to see great actors act and her scenes allow me to enjoy more Tyrion, Littlefinger, Pycelle, Joffrey, Theon, etc.

  432. Woman_On_The_Wall
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Like I told my husband–a non-reader–they’re leading up to the same main events but the players are different and they’re taking different ways to get there.

    What I liked:
    Tyrion and Lancel.
    The shadow baby.
    Grey Wind.
    Tyrion and Sansa.
    Qarth visuals.
    Margaery and Littlefinger. I’m loving HBO Margaery!

    What I didn’t like:
    Arrival in Qarth. Awk-ward. No dragons!? If Dany arrived with a dragon on her shoulder the scene could have been saved.
    Xaro. Hate the changes.
    Fart humor. Again. /sigh.
    Ros escapes death. Again. /sigh. Joffrey should have shot her.
    The ending. Shadow baby looked great but it should have ended with Renly’s death. Now it feels jilted and clumsy.
    Tywin replaces Roose. No good.

  433. LordEddardStark
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I hate reading people think that this show has to be strictly realistic in a medieval/fantasy world, and that if it’s not it’ll make everyone quit watching. I highly doubt just because magic is shown everyone’s gonna up and leave the series. If people are expecting this series to be real, then I don’t know what the hell they have been thinking. If they are already watching a geeky medieval world with knights and jousts, what the hell will a little magic do?

  434. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I guess your just a fan of the expert assplay Ros brings to the table with her scenes.

    To each their own, I personally would rather see more of Robb or Bran but I totally understand the need to satisfy all the assplay fanatics out there.

    Westeros is a place where every fetish is welcomed with open arms and brothel houses…

  435. Blackfish
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    my 2 favorite scenes from this episode are from the Lion and his son:

    Tyrion coming to Sansa’s rescue and showing why Imping Ain’t Easy. Loved how he tells Ser Meryn to STFU or ur dead, now thats a threat beotch!

    As Tyrion is the P.I.M.P then Tywin(Charles) is the daddy G, who commands respect with his presence. Can’t wait to see his scenes with Arya. So anybody shipping Tywin/Arya yet? Its very Romeo & Juliet (Opposing houses) and Craddle robbing (rich old man and young girl). She starts as cup bearer then slowly (as she comes of age) becomes lover! Just think Arya as Cersi’s stepmother lol. Forget San/San, Jon/Dany, Robb/Theon, this is thee most left field shipping. Shippers Mobilize!!!!!!! (BTW yes I have read all the books, just injecting some humor)

  436. Mike
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I can’t understand why they have the Mountain wearing Lannister armor. That part bothers me even more than the actor change.

  437. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Go ask GRRM why he had so many scenes with whores in his books. I feel like if they had called her Alayaya then there would be not near as much complaining. I also disagree that she lowers the quality of the show. That Joffrey scene was awesome. It’s a moment I love because I don’t get to experience many cringe worthy moments watching the show since I’ve read all the books. If they can make me despise Joffrey even more I’m impressed. I don’t need the plot moving forward every scene. Give me some great acting from that kid any chance you get even if it is just to make me hate his character more than I already do. If I want the same exact story from the books I can just read the books again. I want something different from the show as long as major plot points aren’t changed.

    It’s fine if you don’t like Ros. You don’t have to. But what bothers people is this sanctimonious attitude Ros haters have. You claim that the show is lessened because of her but that is just your opinion. Other people happen to really enjoy those scenes she has been in. I’m just tired of hearing the same whining about her ever episode she is in. Get over it. It’s always the same complaints over and over and over.

  438. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Mike,

    The old Mountain armor/gear was to big for him in the chest, shoulders and arms…

    They had to remake new gear for him and they overlooked the detail you just pointed out, that he is not a Lannister man-at-arms.

  439. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Well said…

    It’s always the same complaints because Ros is always used in the same kind of scene.

    I wish I could enjoy the scenes like you do but I don’t.

    I’m net picking. The TV series is awesome. 95% of it I love…

    I guess I come on here to vent and see who else is bothered by Ros or other minor details.

    There are so many who hate her, there are few that like her. I just think the backstories can be done in better ways then constantly using whore scenes.

    Also, GRRM doesn’t use whore scenes nearly as much in the whole book collection so far as D&D does. GRRM just uses the occasional brothel house scene with Tyrion, hardly ever any other time. And when he does it’s very, very minor…

  440. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Oh I didn’t see you latest comment to me. I guess you just loving being a sanctimonious nerd. To each their own. I would personally rather see less repetitive “I hate Ros” comments but I totally see the need to satisfy your sanctimonious nerd quota.

  441. Tomer Segal
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    My biggest complaint is that the episode was too short.

    New Gregor is disapointing. one does not simply replace Conan Stevens. Qarth was a little bit underwrited, but damn, I cant wait to see Pyat Pree! looks badass.

    I was suprised that the shadow baby stopped where it stopped. I was sure Renly was to be dead in the end of the episode. not sure how I feel about that.

    Oh, and Charles Dance was epic as Tywin. I mean, he takes the essence of Tywin Lannister and just makes him bigger.

  442. Bergen
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I were quite interested how they were going to pull off the shadow baby scene and I had convinced myself it was going to look stupid and just another excuse for boobs to be thrown at you but ah- somehow they pulled off some lady giving birth to a shadow baby … as real as they could make it at least lol :D
    Since episode one all I have been waiting for is Brienne to go beast mode in Renly’s tent after that scene but alas, I shall have to wait another week D:>

    What I didn’t care for was the addition of whoever this field medic lady is. At first, in the photos I saw before the season started I thought it was Jeyne but I didn’t quite catch her name last night but my husband groaned and said, “Oh great, another new character”. Hooray, some whore to flash her tits around for Rob.
    We all know Joff is a sick fuck so that scene with him and Ros showed the non-reader how demented he really is. So I guess I can’t really bitch too much about that, still waiting for Ros to fall off a cliff or something.
    Love love loved the Tyrion scene where he put out his hand for Sansa.
    Getting really annoyed with how Littlefinger speaks, almost like a snake, is that to show what kind of man he really is or ?
    Overall, not a terrible episode Hbo, at least there wasn’t any really awkward sex scenes or any wiping off ejaculation from someone’s face this week! That’s always a plus but that just means next week Ros will dance around with her whore friends for most of the episode (needs more BEWBS…BATHROOM BREAK!) and hopefully Brienne will be the savior of the episode and kick some ass.

  443. Blatz
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Blaarg,

    This…is my biggest problem with the TV show as a whole. Baelish is fantastic in the books, but they’re making him a twit in the show. Great acting from Gillian though.

    I thought this episode was great though. The Joff scene with Ros was unnecessary IMO. I guess the point was to send a message to Tyrion. If they expand on that, then I’ll maybe change my tune.

  444. Violentos
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify, I understand why they chose to move the shadow baby birth up to before the Renly scene (for the viewers understanding and because the baby birth in the book took place for a more minor event), but it still takes away from the complete surprise and shock of Renly’s sudden demise from out of nowhere in the book!

    That was probably my very favorite part of the book and now the surprise is quite ruined for the television audience. I almost feel bad for the people who watch this scene before reading A Clash of Kings because they’ll miss that amazing moment.

  445. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Violentos,

    Yeah, considering D&D budget problems I can almost guarantee that is all we will see of the shadow baby…

    Episode 5 will probably start by showing us the aftermath of what the shadow baby did. It did look awesome being born though. If we see it doing what it does, which I highly doubt, that would be epic…

  446. TheFacelessMan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    This is “Game of Thrones,” not “A Song of Ice and Fire”!!!!!

    I have to really keep telling myself that. I have to believe that all of these changes where I say, “why the hell wouldn’t you just keep it like in the book because it’s already brilliant,” are there for a grand purpose. There is an end in sight and every change is weighed and measured. NOT just made for time or budget constraints.

    I don’t know, last weeks episode was really tight. The pace was on the mark, we got some great weighty scenes, and some amazing performances. Then! Then! this episode comes along and just falls flat with me. Yes, the shadow baby scene was great and creepy. The back and forth with Renly and Stannis, fantastic. Everything Tyrion is always everything Tyrion. Quarth though? Yikes, lazy rambling weak writing. Also, I know there is a budget but come on, only twenty people come to the gate of a major city? For someone as interesting as Dany? And what the hell is Sumai? Stupid Xaro Xoan Dhaxos let’s say your full name to give an awkward nod to the readers. That whole scene, plus the time and budget they could have taken from Joffrey’s pleasure dome, could have been pulled straight from the books. Have Dany already in Quarth with Xaro fawning all over her. She uses her wit and cunning to play him while he makes some obvious plays for the dragons while warning her about the other 13 and taking a stroll through Quarth. Done!

    More on the Joffrey scene and how it relates to how this show has been but more importantly where it seems to be headed. I feel like they are taking the audience, reader and non-reader alike, for granted and think we’re all six year olds. Give us some credit to be able to follow a storyline with more then three main characters and to not get distracted unless we see some gratuitous nudity/violence. Now, hey, I’m all for nudity and violence in entertainment, but only when it lends to the story. All of these little scenes just completey pull me out of the fantasy of the show (not fantasy as in, there be dragons here, but just the world in general.) It all seems soooo staged now. Like after every serious scene that lasts for more then five minutes it’s, CUE EXPOSED WOMAN ANDDDD CUT HIS HEAD OFF!.

    I have to end this before I start to sour even more but weak. Just weak. Take your show a little more seriously and give the audience some credit.

  447. Virtus
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, considering D&D budget problems I can almost guarantee that is all we will see of the shadow baby…

    So why have we seen Brienne fighting with a sword inside Renly’s tent in the previews? What else can it be related to?

  448. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    Because the other white cloaks think she killed him?

    I hope I’m wrong but like I said, considering the very low usage of CGI so far I can’t see them showing what shadow baby does.

  449. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Violentos,

    I sorta agree with you because that moment in the books was so freaking awesome. A friend that I got to read the books after the first season was equally floored when he read that. On the other hand, I watch this show with my girlfriend, who hasn’t read the books, and she had a total WTF moment watching it. So she had a similar reaction from just watching the show that I did reading the books. Her reaction makes me feel like they did it justice and it did look very cool. So far her reactions to major events like Ned’s death, the dragons, and the shadow baby have been similar to mine from reading the books. I just can’t wait until she sees the RW. If they pull that off it will be fun watching her reaction. Ned’s death was fantastic because as that episode started she says to me that she just hopes they don’t kill him because he is her favorite. It was extremely difficult to not give anything away when she said that.

  450. The Bubonic Hague
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    If you’re bothered by a missing peach…
    Or a skinnier Mountain…
    Or maybe an overly sadistic and evil Joffrey…
    Perhaps you are offended by the darkness of an episode.

    You might as well watch another show. This one will not change to suit your privileged book-reader mentality.

    You get to watch the incarnation of a series that most of us have followed for years. This isn’t something that happens very often, especially for fantasy fans.

    This show has great acting, great dialogue, and great progression given the limited amount of screen time. If you’re going to bitch about something, maybe you could focus on the fact that episode #4 ended about 10 minutes short of the hour.

    This show is real. There’s death, torture, intrigue, bad treatment of women and characters in general. People are mean and they enjoy power. They like to get medieval on that ass…

    If the internet existed when Star Wars was released, how many idiots would’ve blogged about the details missing from the book? I would guess the ratio is about the same as there are here. We all know what kind of impact the movies had, and continue to have.

    You’re watching something very cool and all you can do is nitpick. Go purchase the Sex and the City series and give that a go.

  451. Tomer Segal
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    One thing I could not understand, would be nice if somone could explain-

    So Danny would rather die with all of Khallasar, than show her dragons? Is she that worried about CGI budget?

  452. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    The Bubonic Hague,

    There’s nothing wrong with expression what you didn’t like about a show your a fan of.

  453. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    The lady that plays Cat said there is a scene that was done in a tent where she had to react to a lot of CGI so they will be showing it. The way she talked about the scene in the interview made it clear what she was talking about for the book readers.

  454. Juanra Castiñeiras de Saa
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought: Michellle Fairley will make an excellent Lady Stoneheart

  455. hinka
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Dany: “My Name is Da…
    1_of_13: “Daenerys Stormborn of the house Targaryen”
    Dany: “You know me mylord?”
    1_of_13: “Only by reputation, khalise. And I’m no lord, only a humbled merchant… They call you the mother of dragons…”
    Dany: “And what should I call you?”
    1_of_13: “… I’m simply a trader of spices. And we are the 13. The protector of qarth – the greatest city that was and will be.”
    Dany: “The beaty of Qarth is legendary of cgi.”
    1_of_13: “As is your pronunciation of Qarth”
    Dany: “Cccccurve?” *Thinking: I always prefered skinny jeans*
    1_of_13: “May I see the dragons?”
    Dany turning back, seeing the horse with the closed baskets: “My friend… We have huge cgi costs already… white walkers, the wall, your city…we have no budget left… so please pretend its okay so that the audiance is not thinking this is a cheap production.” *Thinking: And the stupid Shadow cost too much and will anyway just result in viewerdrops!*
    1_of_13: “Forgive me, mother of baskets… but no HBO-viewer has seen a cgi dragon for episodes. Some of my more sceptical friends will turn soon to CBS if they don’t get to see them soon. All we ask is just a chance to see for ourselves the truth. Is D&D cutting your storyline?”
    Dany: “My storyline is not going to be cut! But if this season is finished and after Blackwater is more money there for my cgi dragons next season. I will personaly fly you to the RW!”

    ….
    sorry for my english… isn’t the best.

  456. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Tomer Segal,

    Lol yup!

  457. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Omg! You’re right I remember that! Okay good, so we will see the shadow baby do his deed. That is awesome!!!

  458. Mimsy
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad Renly’s demise was saved for next week. The book tent scene was a total nail biter and I can’t wait to see Brienne slash the place UP! I hope she gets a few good licks on that shadow baby and is responsible for killing it. I don’t care if it didn’t happen in the book. I hope TV Brienne can do the impossible just this one time, cuz I’m pretty sure some of her awesomeness is gonna be cut short later on in the series.

  459. Matthew Sherrick
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    J,

    Don’t forget Melisandre sees many things in the flames. I wonder if this will be brought up in the show or not.

  460. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Yeah that would’ve annoyed me if they didn’t show that scene. I don’t mind changes but I would mind if they left out one of the best scenes of the series or changed a major plot point.

  461. Mimsy
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Tomer Segal,

    Dany had her poker face going on. If she revealed her dragons, who’s to say that the 13 would let them into the city once their curiosity was met. It was more of a let me in and THEN I’ll show you my dragons.

  462. Bain
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone have a theory how that mothers boy died? You just heard a final scream and then some chains drops on the floor, what could that be?

  463. Lisa
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t had time to read all of the above comments so I’m not sure if someone has already touched on this already….as much as I disliked the Joff & Ros scene…perhaps it was a necessary thing. I’m guessing that this will take the place of Alayaya beating part of the book. Since Shea is already in the castle they don’t really have a need for Alayaya…and Joff did say he was going to send them to Tyrion after.

  464. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if we are going to get any talk of Nymeria now that they are in Harrenhal. I doubt they will show her, and there is really no need to, but it would be a cool nod to the readers if they had someone talk of stories of a band of wolves roaming around.

  465. The Bubonic Hague
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    The Bubonic Hague,

    There’s nothing wrong with expression what you didn’t like about a show your a fan of.

    Definitely nothing wrong with it… I’m merely expressing how annoying it is to constantly read about a missing peach or an overly abusive boy king. Carry on…

  466. Mimsy
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Bain,

    It sounded like a rack to me. Ugh!

  467. HouseLark
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    It feels like I’m in a minority in thinking it was the best episode of the series so far. Various plot threads felt like they moved on and it was nice to have a change of theme from power to leadership.

    The scenes with Renly were great, Stannis felt closer to the book than he has in any other episode, Jack Gleeson has nailed Joffrey and Peter Dinklage turned in his usual great performance.

    I thought Tywin’s short scene was interesting. The men around Tywin clearly fear him but I thought Charles Dance got across his frustration very well; he’s a highly able man surrounded by people who do not have one iota of his talent for command (e.g. his underlings inability to make good use of their prisoners). It also sheds a bit of light on the trust he placed in Tyrion by naming him acting Hand, yes the family name helped but he also saw that Tyrion was one of the most competent people in his retinue.

    I loved the Roose Bolton cameo, really chilling.

    Things really feel like they’re moving towards war right now after a couple of low-key weeks.

    Still, a few things bothered me:

    1. Where exactly is that cave that Melisandre and Davos are in at the end and why does it have a gate? It doesn’t seem to be near a castle or fort so I don’t understand why it would have been barred.

    2. Robb and Talisa – not necessarily bad, just I don’t buy that she is that comfortable speaking so frankly to the person who has just routed an army. She also seems to be a medic for the Lannister army who, I guess, will be conscripted by the Northern forces. It’s also a real cliche: the fiery woman who talks back to the powerful man without care for his position.

    3. The Hound’s passivity during the scene with Sansa was disappointing. I really think that they’re underplaying the Hound’s complexity. Right now he’s little more than Joffrey’s hired goon. Where’s his contempt for the trappings of court and the hypocritical nobility? Or his disdain for Joffrey and Meryn Trant’s treatment of Sansa?

  468. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I just was thinking it was beyond their budget. I understand that the cast is huge, the locations exotic and the demand for CGI must be carefully placed a few seconds in every episode. I never complained about that. I’d rather have a few seconds of awesome looking dire wolves and/or dragons then a few minutes of crappy looking ones. So that trade off is something I except.

    I rem the interview you were referencing with Cat and now I’m happy and really looking forward to seeing it.

    Hopefully, just like last season, the first 4-5 episodes they were just laying the groundwork. And now episodes 5-10 will really take off and leave us gasping for more…

    Even with stupid Ros/whore scenes… =]

  469. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I think they need to show how all the Stark children have a telepathic/emotional connection to their dire wolfs.

    I hope they show Arya dreaming at least once of this… After the RW, I’m sure you remember who drags Cat out of a river and prevents her from dieing, while guarding her and defending her from her pack…

    The dire wolfs are awesome. They even the playing-field for the Starks…

  470. MW
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Bain:
    Does anyone have a theory how that mothers boy died? You just heard a final scream and then some chains drops on the floor, what could that be?

    When I heard it, I thought it sounded like a rack. Just listened to it again: mechanical clicking, screaming, followed by a rip and the screaming stops, then loose chain sounds.

  471. PatD
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the nit-picking is really getting old… and boring. I’m not saying we should all be so thankful for this series that we can’t be critical. But be critical of the series as a TV show. NOT a literal reincarnation of the book. The visual medium is a completely different art form, not to mention the time/budgetary constrictions with which a TV series must struggle. On the whole, and judged within those limitations, this is really a terrific viewing experience. The pro’s so outweigh the con’s that I just can’t get all worked up over its few (and minor) missteps. I really don’t give a shit that Gregor2 has narrow shoulders, I don’t think Peach-Gate warrants a bazillion mourning posts, I think Dany was starting to pick up on how shady the 13 might be and was being protective of her babies (plus, it behooves her to keep the fact that they are still babies and, basically, powerless, a secret from those prying eyes), I didn’t find it odd that Cat would receive Baelish, as she’s so desperate for any word about her daughters, and I liked the tough, smart, and compassionate Talisa. I could see Robb falling for someone like that. Even on a battlefield.

    I really, really like the TV Renly. Hats off to Gethin for his astute portrayal. You totally understand why he is so popular with the people, and he’s said and done things that make you wonder whether he wouldn’t be the better king, after all. I f’king loved his scene with Baelish. He sees right through that slimeball and makes no bones about it. I don’t think this has been Gillen’s best acting (and that comes from a huge fan of The Wire).

    The Joffrey/Ros scene may not have been a favorite here, but I thought it was directed really well. Full of suspense and dread and horror. I also thought that Ros2 did some mighty fine acting in that scene. She went from carefree lark phase to OMG-This-Could-Be-My-Last-Night-On-Earth phase pretty damn convincingly. That scene was all about revenge and the pawns used to exact it. I hope like hell Tyrion shows Cersei the results of her demon seed.

    And I loved the way they depicted Arya’s prayer. Instead of making it some hokey leit-motif, they show her seeking its comfort amid stark desolation. Lying in that muddy, cold cage with only her dreams of vengeance to keep her warm was absolute pefection.

    I thought the birthing scene was fabulous except for Davos’ reaction, which seemed a bit, I dunno, too tame for the circumstances.

    I can’t wait for Mr. Three Wishes next week. Possibly one of my favorite things about Book 2.

  472. Hi-Fi
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Did you guys notice Sir Dontos dressed as fool in the Sansa scene? He was at the background, kinda makes me think some of that scene was cut down.

  473. Jeda
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Right, projecting these episodes on a 10 ft picture, this episode was one of the most cinematic of them all. The increase of production value is obvious and with Harrenhal and the level of details in Tywin’s arrival felt like a motion picture.
    They were also a lot of dramatic moments enhanced by the music. I actually liked the Joff scene getting back at Tyrion, with the music going crescendo. I know many didn’t like the scene but I think it was very much in character. Joff is not actually more psychotic than in the book imo, where he starts shooting people in the street from the top of his walls with that crossbow. Also, I seem to remember a moment where Tyrion discusses sending prostitutes to Joff (albeit later in the book), but the dialog is with Varys, so again not that big a change from the book for Tyrion.

    Grey Wind: The direwolf fx was not very good, but that’s minor. Now that we have some direwolf actions missing from season 1, can’t complain. Interesting that the change in size at the beginning of S02 concurs with that dialog in S01 episode 10 where Kevan mentions that the wolf has killed dozen of people
    . New viewers must have wondered ‘really, that dog against armored men? Or has it grown up to the dead’s mother size from the pilot’? Then comes the next episode, and yes Grey Wind has grown some more… Don’t know if the transition was done on purpose but it works. That’s continuity, makes you wonder if direwolves grow like reptiles do but hey, enough nitpicking…

    The mountain: Well, Gregor 1 looked the part but I remember also being a little disapointed by the cartoonish impersonation, he wasn’t very scary either. Gregor is a commander in the book, this one (or at least that scene) shows it more here but despite being taller (and leaner though) he’s even less scary than Gregor 1. So, I think I prefered Gregor 1 better. Oh well, after that, and the casting change that caused so many new viewers to not recognise the characters even after his name is mentionned 3 times or so before, I have to get a grip with the fact that Gregor is probably the biggest fail of all the characters, even Shae. Interestingly, with the beard and a similar nose (at least not that different), if he had worn his armor,he could have looked similar, so why the Lannister armor? To show he’s a commander maybe… Gregor was always going to be a difficult casting anyway.

    Qarth: The end of that scene seemed to come from a different story… don’t know if the blood thing was in the book but it felt cliché. Mostly if the 13 are so united, what stops them to open the door to Danny than take the dragons for themselves? The only explanation is that they thought about it but are not sure how to take care of them and wouldn’t want them to die, or that they are lying about the strength of their decisions (which is possible). The competion between the 13 makes more sense, no one wants their competitor to have the dragons.

    Jeyne Westerling: Why change the name?

    Melissandre: My wife had a big WTF moment… “That was completely silly…” To which I answered “Not to worry, it has this effect in the book too, where with Melissandre the fantasy is suddenly tuned up quite a lot. But at the end of the day, no more so than Others and undead, or Danny’s baby and the daemons… So it doesn’t stay tuned up for long and is very much part of the tale…”

    Once again, the amount of effort put in this TV show is nothing short of impressive.

  474. Rhaelia
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I can’t decide if this episode was horribly amazing or simply horrible. I mean, only half an hour passed from the show, and we were over three torture scenes. During the Joffrey scene I felt an urge to shut down my computer, because it was unwatchable… but then I felt sorry for Jack Gleeson. Poor guy, after this he can’t walk the streets alone. :O I was really depressed by the end of the ep. But then I realized I felt the same way reading ACoK, especially in Arya pov chapters. So I should be glad that they could perfectly show the atmosphere of the book.
    Conclusion: horribly amazing, but I don’t think I will rewatch it soon.

  475. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    I would imagine that they will just stick to Bran’s wolf dreams for now until that is fleshed out more. I’m betting they don’t have Arya or Jon have a dream this season.

  476. Gez
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the complaints (other than perhaps the Joff/Ros scene.) This was the best episode of the season easily. I like how the TV show is forming its own identity and not a blow by blow copy of the books. Sure not everything is perfect but its damn close.

  477. Ollie
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Just thinking with Sansa humiliation scene was a bit tame compared to the books it was one of my favorite Sansa pvos and such a huge probable the moment I really started to root for her and completely remove and dislike I had for the Hound.
    Considering this being a pretty dark episode I wish they extend Sansa scene (as she has bugger all any way). Then they can ditch the Ros scene as they can show Jofrey being a prick in one scene with character development of three main cast rather than adding another one which has only his (and I guess Ros since she so important to the story now)
    anyway just wondering if anyone else thought that

  478. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    And that’s fine… I just hope they cummicate that all the Stark children, not just Bran, have a connection with their Direwolf. Yes , Brans is 100s of times stronger but all the Stark kids have a strong connection to their babies…

    Dany isn’t the only one with babies…

    I guess they already did this with Robb and Greywind. How Jaime pissed Robb off and suddenly Greywind started prowling around. Then with a single touch Robb cumminicated to Greywind to pump down Jaime. I want to see that with Jon/Ghost too. I know it’ll happen eventually.

  479. Dee
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Slynt:

    I do feel that with the story sprawling so much more than the first season that “A Clash of Kings” doesn’t work near as well on the screen as “A Game of Thrones” did.

    I agree with this. And the main reason I think is that there are so many characters and events to cover that we don’t get a chance to know all the players as intimately as we did in the first season. I find myself missing those fine moments of characterization that brought the players to life and made me care about them.
    It’s a real shame that going forward we can’t have a 12 or 13 episode season like with Justified. I think it would really help explore the characters more and built a connection with them.

  480. Juanra Castiñeiras de Saa
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Jack Slap,

    I think it’s one of the better castings, Michael Mcelhatton just makes the picture I had in my mind about Roose true!

  481. TyrionFan57
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Lina: We already get that Joff is sadistic, but this scene shows: (1) he’s fighting back against Tyrion; (2) he’s perhaps not as stupid as we expected; (3) not even Tyrion fully understood the depths of his depravity, as he would have never sent the whores if he had

    Agree 100%! I think it is great that the show is demonstrating Joff’s descent into madness, rather than showing him as simply a spoiled brat. Imagine when he bites the dust later on…there will be cheers heard around the world.

  482. ANiceChianti
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    To those who are saying that Tywin is not deliberately cruel in the books, I have one word for you…

    Tysha.

  483. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    I agree.

  484. ANiceChianti
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a pretty good episode, with three potential weak parts:

    1) I agree that the Robb/whoever-that-was scene was extraordinarily cliche’.
    2) The way the Spice King overemphasized “Xaro Xhaon Daxos” elevated the acting in that scene to beyond cheesy.
    3) I think Lacel may have been overdoing it a bit in his scene with Tyrion as well (I know I’m in the minority here).

    I didn’t mind the scene with Ros and Joffrey. It brings home a point at a level not touched upon yet in the series. Joffrey is being indulged here. He’s being catered to in every way a boy his age can possibly dream, and THIS is his reaction. This absolute psychopath is in charge of the whole damned kingdom(s). It goes beyond the personal affront we feel as viewers after his behavior toward the favorite characters of Ned and his daughters. This is a level of “we’re fucked-itude” that can be felt on a global scale without ever leaving Joff’s bedchamber.

    As some have said before, Harrenhal was great (especially the Tickler – love his everyman quality). And yes, the new Mountain is not as scary by half. I hope they can fix this for subsequent seasons.

    For a split second, I almost thought Grey Wind was Nymeria, and I was all “YESSSSSSSSSS!!!”

    The shadow baby was way more sinister than I was expecting. When the credits came up, I actually yelled “Wait, it’s OVER?!” I was not expecting it to end there.

    I actually liked the scene between Cat and Littlefinger. Her reaction to being presented with Ned’s bones was my favorite moment of the night.

    My other favorite part about this episode? No Shea.

  485. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I know we have about 24 posts from non-book readers in the section for–well, non-book readers–but I wonder what the rest of America–the non-book-readin’ America–thinks of season two.

    I have to say, we all know the books pretty well, so we know what’s going on. But last night, I was wondering what the newbies must have been thinking.

    Harrenhal really wasn’t explained. I mean, I know they were at Harrenhal but I always try to look at the episodes through the eyes of a newbie.

    What was the audience thinking when everyone is suddenly being tortured. “Tell me about the Brotherhood?”
    What brotherhood, some people must have been thinking.
    “Is there gold in the village?” What village, as people scratch their heads.

    Who are these torturers? Why are people being tortured?

    Arya’s well know mantra of names was muddled, and I wonder if people got it. Someone over at TV without Pity thought it was her learning a lesson from dead Yoren, about how he kept repeating his brother’s killer’s name over and over. “William…Willliam…”
    Which I thought was a nice reaction.

    Don’t get me wrong, I lovedlast night’s episode, and was my favorite of season two.

    Davos’ knucklebones weren’t very well-explained either, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. The only reference we got was when Salaador (sp) San said something about it him being loyal to a man who chopped off his fingers. I think one needs to have subtitles on to catch everything on this show.

    Anyway, love this season. And last night’s was the best by far. I think the writer last night was a woman and there was also a new director, if I’m not mistaken.

  486. Rhaelia
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    In my great depression I totally forgot mention other things that annoyed me.

    They took away the SANDOR and SANSA scene and gave it to Tyrion!!!! I’m so furious! They made Tyrion to be her hero just to foreshadow Tyrion and Sansa. They will have two seasons for that, but Sansa and Sandor only has this season!
    I can see the problem here, it’s the age difference between Rory and Sophie. It wasn’t that bad in the book, but in the show it really seems weird and I get it. But I still can’t forgive how they treat their storyline.
    It’s like they forget about Sansa and Sandor as characters. There were almost more Ros-whore scenes this season than Sansa scenes.

  487. Dan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    My girlfriend hasn’t read the books and is not having trouble following the show. When something like the brotherhood is mentioned but not explained she just assumes they’ll get to it later.

  488. jkb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    ANiceChianti:
    3) I think Lacel may have been overdoing it a bit in his scene with Tyrion as well (I know I’m in the minority here).

    Yep, a bit over the top. Not by much, but still. If he toned it down just a little, it woulda been perfect.

  489. rorschach-
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, is it only me or was Davos not so epic this episode. Maybe I’m too fed with his epicness and expect too much everytime. Not that it matters so much, because epicness was well present in this episode. Tyrion vs. Joffrey, epic. Renly vs. Stannis, epic. LF vs. Cat, epic. Tywin vs. Harrenhall, epic. Jayne-or-what-ever vs. Rotten leg, epic. And many more.

    Starting to get bit hard to give criticism. Maybe Jayne-Robb was bit too youngboy-romance, but I can deal with it because it was that even in the books. Lancel was bit too farce-ish in his begs of mercy but it didn’t annoy me and it’s actually nice to see some stupid ones in the court. Not everyone can play the game.

  490. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Rhaelia: In my great depression I totally forgot mention other things that annoyed me.

    They took away the SANDOR and SANSA scene and gave it to Tyrion!!!! I’m so furious! They made Tyrion to be her hero …

    Not really sure what you mean? In the book, this scene played out pretty much the same for those two men. Sandor gave her his cloak, and Tyrion is the one who interrupted so that Sansa wasn’t hurt worse. Then later on Tyrion explains to Sansa why Joff is all bent out of shape that day. So the chapter had a lot of Tyrion to begin with.
    I think the only person who got shafted with this scene, to be honest, is Ser Dontos. This was originally the scene where he tries to divert some of the worst beating from her, and hits her with a melon.

  491. LordDavos12
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: Dan, I think they need to show how all the Stark children have a telepathic/emotional connection to their dire wolfs.I hope they show Arya dreaming at least once of this… After the RW, I’m sure you remember who drags Cat out of a river and prevents her from dieing, while guarding her and defending her from her pack…</P>The dire wolfs are awesome. They even the playing-field for the Starks…

    Not to be a dick, but you should probably have spoiler tags on this

  492. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Another week, another episode of GoT, another load of whining, bitching, whinging, moaning: “Whine whine bitch whine Gregor was too thin moan moan where was the peach?! moan moan whine piss bitch moan Ros! whine whine whinge…”

    Honestly, anybody who can watch a gripping, shocking, beautifully designed, produced, acted hour of television like that and take nothing away from it but wanky fanboy nitpicks…I kind of pity that person, really.

    Shadow-baby, btw, was awesome – reminded me of old Sinbad the Sailor films (well, with more nudity, I guess). Can’t wait for next week…!

    Also thought it was kind of cute/pathetic that Lancel was tooling about in a coat just like Jaime’s – he should know, though, there are no men like Jaime… ;)

    “Where’s the gold? Where’s the brotherhood? Who was helping them?” etc etc. Brrr.

  493. Conquistador
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I have seen the episode twice and the whole whore scene is disturbing. I think it was unnecessary. Also, I would love to have seen more of the dire wolf going crazy against the Lannister army. I think the new twist to Robb’s love interest is OK. She seemed to be able to handle the part. The scenes with Dany are going to get good. That world has a lot of the “fantastical” about it and I think the producers are doing a good job with that whole vibe. We need to some dragon activity too. I love this show.

  494. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the whore scene, it was brutal, but I’d agree with the others who’ve said that it illustrates that Joffrey is more than just a cruel, spoiled young tyrant – he’s a monster. This is something that needs to be got across without relying on the books’ interior monologues and character POVs. I also strongly suspect this is going to lead directly into the Tyrion-Cersei “when your joy has turned to ashes…” scene as featured in some of the pre-season trailers.

  495. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    Yeah my bad… I can’t do spoiler tag on my iPhone.

  496. Matt
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    Clon, I think that’s where they’re going w it. The Robb marriage in the books was senseless. And considering Robb’s appeal with the RL ladies, it makes sense they d want to keep his character on screen and why not give him a romance in between the posing and awesome dire wolf fatalities.

  497. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    I think even I have a bromance with Robb… He is such a stud! Hah… Then u have the blonde Jaime…. 2 Studs!

  498. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    i have to admit some of these criticisms i’ve seen are spot on. again i liked the episode but there were just some things that by changing lost their potency and the changes they made were not set up well enough to work entirely on their own in context of only the show alone (not taking issue with them being different from the book).

    A. so now Gendry has told Tywin he is a smith … i think we can now definitively say the whole change to Gendry/Arya being captured along with the Nightswatch recruits plus her piss poor (that scrawny blonde kid who we’ve all never seen with that helmet you’re looking for) ruse was just poorly handled and makes no coherent sense in terms of the show alone.

    B. the Stannis/Renly scene does lack a lot from the books. Stannis should be more angry/wounded pride. Stannis is not only taciturn (the actor has this down) but he is also prickly … and especially when his honour is involved or he isn’t getting what he “is due”. remember a lot of his antipathy he feels towards Renly stems from the fact that Renly was given Storms End to be lord of when Robert as the oldest brother and lord of Storm End was “promoted” to King and moved to King’s Landing … Stannis was olderr and felt Storms End should be his … and to be given Dragonstone which is basically a nothing land/area is just an added insult especially since he had to fight tooth and nail to win it over since it was the last stronghold of the Targaryens during Robert’s Rebellion. he essentially did Roberts dirtiest hardest work and got the ruined and hardly rich Dragonstone as his “reward” instead while Renly did nothing and was gifted the glorious Stormlands. so there isn’t enough hate and resentment in the TV Stannis. and the whole Catelyn thing was just weird and didn’t seem right.

    C. the TV Littlefinger is kind of a moron … the exact opposite of the books. now i can see playing up his “social outsider/awkwardness” for TV but some of his blunders are just stragetic stupidity beyond that and outward hubris which is the exact opposite of the book LF who is above all SUBTLE … the TV LF is about as subtle as a mack truck with his not so veiled comments to Cersei and now Margaery and even somebody as socially awkward as LF knows better than to hit on the widow of a man who he “betrayed” or “didn’t help protect” like said widow requested over the very remains of the dead husband … and especially not when he is trying to pull a scam on her (to get her to trade the Kingslayer for two girls, one of which he doesn’t have, behind Robb’s, her son and her king, back.

    D. the whole “shadow baby assassin” (yes you can thank me for coining that phrase oh so long ago) had almost no context or preamble and made very little sense. yes, you should definitely combined the SBAs from Storm’s End Edric and Renly into one story for TV. makes sense and is good streamlining. but you have to set up the whole “shadows are children of light, the lord of light gives birth to shadows … without light there is no shadows only darkness” thing much better … like say in some earlier episode or earlier in this episode (liker her summoning some shadows to help Davos smuggle her to shore and him questioning her use of “darkness/shadows” if she is “good and of light” and thus there is A. some visible display of her power of shadows and B. some subtle foreshadowing. it is also a problem that the “monster” looks more like smoke than shadow … and it is also a problem that it is not OBVIOUSLY looking like Stannis (tho this may change next episode) … thus making the need for the Stannis/Mel sex and his seed and the surrogate birth thing clearly necessary and understandable. again i am not wanting some long drawn out exposition here but about 2 added minutes of stuff could have added all of this context. and the whole why and where Davos is even smuggling her is just idiotically confusing in context of the show alone and really needed to be set up far far better.

    E. the dothraki continue to be an issue. and the dany and qarth scene has problems that grew out of their terrible handling from season 1. namely that we never got any real context of the size of Drogo’s “horde” … we needed to see that it was 40,000 fighting men strong. season 1 also did a terrible job of showing how Dany really got to know some of the dothraki people and their ways .. on a “personal” level even and really came to change her initial impression of them and grow to think of them as “her people” … had they done that properly they could have then shown that for some of the 40,000 the opposite was true too … that she truly became their Khalessi beyond being just some “whore” of Drogo’s. so that when Drogo dies and the Khalasar breaks up MORE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY HEALTHY FULL STRENGTH WARRIORS needed to say with Dany. sure her new “Khalasaar” should be “mostly” sick and old and young but she still should have had, and the show needed her to have in this Qarth scene, more than 5 healthy warriors (one of which is Mormont). because if the 13 merchants, pampered fat oafs that they were could themselves beat up your Khalasar then they would just kill Dany and her 20 sick old folks and steal her dragons. the temptation would be far to great given the prize would be the only 3 living dragons. but if the Khalasar was big enough to deter outright slaughter and theft … say 200-500 or so fully able warriors plus the 1-2k sick/old/young/women … but not big enough to be a serious threat like the normal 20-40K warriors of a normal “horde” that puts fear into even the strongest cities … the whole scene would have been far more believable and dramatic and made more sense.

  499. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe: Is it though? Is she? I don’t recall anything up to his point that would lend to her being good at negotiation, or politics in general. The Mereneese Knot gets tied because she’s not good at politics, and it gets worse because she’s learning as she goes. As has been joked about here before, Dany does get fired up and lets her emotions get in the way. Before now, she was always able to pull the “I’m the Khaleesi, I get what I want.” and now she doesn’t have that, and her desperation shows in this negotiation.

    HOW ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN A CLASH OF F-ING KINGS.

    Jesus christ.

    She NEGOTIATES her way into Qarth. She doesn’t scream at everyone. SHE SHOWS THEM THE DRAGONS. Because it’s fucking LOGICAL.

    I knew this goddamn scene was going to be flame bait for Dany haters.

  500. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    That whole scene, plus the time and budget they could have taken from Joffrey’s pleasure dome, could have been pulled straight from the books. Have Dany already in Quarth with Xaro fawning all over her. She uses her wit and cunning to play him while he makes some obvious plays for the dragons while warning her about the other 13 and taking a stroll through Quarth. Done!

    Exactly.

    People seem to forget Dany’s brilliant political wrangling in Qarth because it’s “boring”. Ever thought it might be “boring” because of how successful it was? And then say she has no political talent because of what happens a year later in Meereen.

    Making her one dimensional hot head is not going to disabuse the lazy readers of their opinions.

  501. Flow101
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Right now I’m thinking that they won’t show in the next episode the shadow killing Renly.

    I think if they wanted they would’ve done it this episode.

    Maybe they’ll just go and say that he’s dead and will never show how he died.

  502. userj
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Flow101:
    Right now I’m thinking that they won’t show in the next episode the shadow killing Renly.

    I think if they wanted they would’ve done it this episode.

    Maybe they’ll just go and say that he’s dead and will never show how he died.

    Unlikely. There are clips and stills that have been released that clearly show this scene in progress.

    Also Michelle mentioned it in an interview.

  503. bon
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    New ser Gregor has awesome cloak. Lannister red combined with Cleganes gold and three dogs on the other side of the cloak.

  504. Fran
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Worst episode of the season, one of the worst of the whole show (and I gave the last one a 9/10.

    So many awkward moments and dialogues. D&D are somehow managing to transform an awesome book in a tacky, cheap tv show.

    I don’t know who wrote and directed this episode and I don’t want to know, I felt embarrased thorughout the whole episode.
    Such bad taste, so much unnecesary sexposition, horrible dialogues, etc.

    Some negatives points…:

    1.- They are making littlefinger look dumb and a really bad person (opposite to the books), making him much more one dimensional and basic overall.
    2.- Joffrey is too one sided character, too evil. In the books he was evil but because of his foolishness and not THAT much. The scene with the two whores was DIGUSTING:
    3.- Almost every character is really simple and not fleshed out.
    4.- Arya was supposed to WHISPER those names with hate because she wants them dead. The show makes a really poor and clumsy attemp to show it… I don’t know if non readers got that…
    5.- The daenerys scene was ridiculous and embarrasing. There were like 15 dothrakis in the kalasaar. Is it really so expensive so hire a few more extras…? (I bet there are a lot of people even willing to work for free as long as they appear on the show…)
    6.-Are they going to skip all the battles from the books? I mean I know they have a really low budget (or it seems so) but this is starting to be ridiculous. Specially the mess they did with last episode “battle”.
    7.- Horrible last scene with Malisandre and Davos, I guess HBO love to be controversial just for the sake of being it. Bad use of CGI, it could have been much easier and cheaper with a camera focusing the cave wall and a shadow moving along it. We would be able to see the shadow thanks to the lantern, and finally the shadow dissapearing through the tunnel…
    8.- Please HBO STOP with the unnecessary GORE and SEXPOSITION all the time. If you had made a good adaptation you wouldn’t be needing it but alas this is not the case…
    9.- Where was Rob? and the meeting between Stannis and Renly? We as spectators never know unless we ‘ve read the books.
    10.-Why are the actors continously posing for the camera? This happens specially for Melisandre, Littlefinger, Margaery, Daenerys.
    11.- The dialogue between the “humble merchant” and Daenerys was HORRIBLE, written by kids for kids. And why does he speak perfect english (the language from westeros)? Wasn’t he from Qarth which is nearly on the other edge of the world?…

    I could go on and on, but this episode doesn’t deserve so much time…

    Score: 4/10.

  505. PWilly
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I think this was the first episode that actually set the tone correctly. Personally, I feel it has been dragging, but now we are getting in to the nitty gritty. The ending with Davos being scared witless is just freaking on the mark.

    ThePinkDragon,

  506. Lex
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this episode got WAY better on a re-watch! I’d now say it was one of the best – or at least most entertaining – episodes so far.

    Stuff that REALLY stands out to me:
    -All the Tyrion scenes were so good, especially the Lancel one. HILARIOUS.
    -All the Harrenhal stuff is awesome.
    -Stannis/Renly and Stannis/Davos were fantastic.

    The whole episode has an almost horror-movie feel to it.

  507. sandbun
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, first time poster, love the series, love the show but this episode was so bad I felt the need to just comment and get it off my chest. I just couldn’t help wonder what people not familiar with the series are thinking, because I’m sorry – this was not a good episode.

    People noisly screaming because of Grey Wind instead of him killing them before they make a sound (or because they’re too freaked out to make a sound which would’ve let us see Grey Wind and been at least as awesome) while the rest of the army waits until Grey Wind alerts everyone would seem to defeat the purpose of sneaking up on the enemy camp.

    The whole Joffery scene seemed contrived to get more tits on air. Which has always been the biggest complaint people have had about the show. I rarely agreed, but this time made the SNL skit seem true. I thought he seemed plenty evil enough with what he was doing to Sansa. Also if the point was to send a message to Tyrion, then we should at least see Tyrion get the message. It wasted precious time – time that could’ve been spent killing Renly.

    I’m trying to be ok with Littlefinger showing up at Renly’s camp and magically knowing that Catelyn would be there because having him interact with Cat was a cool idea and it sets up some future conversations that could happen between him and Margaery which could be fun, but I keep imagining his conversation with Renly actually going like

    Renly: How did you get here?
    Petyr: Horseback. I wanted to talk to you about you and your plans to attack King’s Landing and what happens after you win your throne.
    Renly: But aren’t they going to miss you on the small console meetings?
    Petyr: Well, probably.
    Renly: Are you saying you’re planning on sticking with me until my army reaches King’s Landing?
    Petyr: No, I’m going back ahead of you. To open the gates for you!
    Renly: But they’ll know you left, Varys will probably be able to tell them that you came here, so they won’t trust you, and they’ll probably kill you. Or did they send you to me? Did the Queen send you here? Are you a spy for them? Or what’s going on here?
    Petry: Err……

    Also, I understand Littlefinger has trouble controlling his emotions when it comes to Cat, but rather then trying to explain that he wasn’t trying to kill Ned, he thought Ned would just be sent to the Wall, he went straight into I love you? And hitting on her while having her husband’s bones waiting outside to be brought in?

    The new Mountain is fail, but that is what it is. Besides that though there were plenty of problems with Arya’s story as well. While I understand it having read the books, given the way that Arya and Gentry were captured it makes no sense that they might be questioned by the Tickler. Honestly I thought here was an easy chance to remove parts from the book. Have Arya focus on killing the man who kill Yoren. Skip the Tickler altogether. Also the two of them, and only them sneakily looking between the boards to watch the torture, and no one noticing, seemed weird. And Tywin coming just in the nic of time to save Gentry and specifically noticing Arya? Eh. It could set up some fun future conversations, but again it felt contrived.

    And finally, while the shadow baby was cool, I spent the whole time wondering how people who hadn’t read the books were supposed to know where Mel and Davos were sneaking into.

    There were many cool parts (specifically around Tyrion), and I did like seeing Robb and Tywin again, but a lot of the episode didn’t make sense and a lot of the rest felt contrived. A rare miss.

  508. Knurk
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t read any of the comments yet so don’t know what the rest thinks but I give this episode an 11 out of 10, wowzers!! Great writing, great cinematogrophy, great scenes. Fucking everything was phenomenal, even the bondage-scene was awkwardly good. The only reason I’m not giving this episode a 12 out of 10 is because of that strange Littlefinger: “Cat, now Ned is dead we can finally be together again, hurrah!”-scene, I’m sure it is nitpicked before me. Now, off to scan through the comments.

  509. Meg
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Lex: an almost horror-movie feel to it.

    I thought this episode captured the grimdark feeling of the entire series. It’s Westerauschwitz from here on out!

  510. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?:
    i have to admit some of these criticisms i’ve seen are spot on. again i liked the episode but there were just some things that by changing lost their potency and the changes they made were not set up well enough to work entirely on their own in context of only the show alone (not taking issue with them being different from the book).

    A. so now Gendry has told Tywin he is a smith … i think we can now definitively say the whole change to Gendry/Arya being captured along with the Nightswatch recruits plus her piss poor (that scrawny blonde kid who we’ve all never seen with that helmet you’re looking for) ruse was just poorly handled and makes no coherent sense in terms of the show alone.

    B. the Stannis/Renly scene does lack a lot from the books. Stannis should be more angry/wounded pride. Stannis is not only taciturn (the actor has this down) but he is also prickly … and especially when his honour is involved or he isn’t getting what he “is due”. remember a lot of his antipathy he feels towards Renly stems from the fact that Renly was given Storms End to be lord of when Robert as the oldest brother and lord of Storm End was “promoted” to King and moved to King’s Landing … Stannis was olderr and felt Storms End should be his … and to be given Dragonstone which is basically a nothing land/area is just an added insult especially since he had to fight tooth and nail to win it over since it was the last stronghold of the Targaryens during Robert’s Rebellion. he essentially did Roberts dirtiest hardest work and got the ruined and hardly rich Dragonstone as his “reward” instead while Renly did nothing and was gifted the glorious Stormlands. so there isn’t enough hate and resentment in the TV Stannis. and the whole Catelyn thing was just weird and didn’t seem right.

    C. the TV Littlefinger is kind of a moron … the exact opposite of the books. now i can see playing up his “social outsider/awkwardness” for TV but some of his blunders are just stragetic stupidity beyond that and outward hubris which is the exact opposite of the book LF who is above all SUBTLE … the TV LF is about as subtle as a mack truck with his not so veiled comments to Cersei and now Margaery and even somebody as socially awkward as LF knows better than to hit on the widow of a man who he “betrayed” or “didn’t help protect” like said widow requested over the very remains of the dead husband … and especially not when he is trying to pull a scam on her (to get her to trade the Kingslayer for two girls, one of which he doesn’t have, behind Robb’s, her son and her king, back.

    D. the whole “shadow baby assassin” (yes you can thank me for coining that phrase oh so long ago) had almost no context or preamble and made very little sense. yes, you should definitely combined the SBAs from Storm’s End Edric and Renly into one story for TV. makes sense and is good streamlining. but you have to set up the whole “shadows are children of light, the lord of light gives birth to shadows … without light there is no shadows only darkness” thing much better … like say in some earlier episode or earlier in this episode (liker her summoning some shadows to help Davos smuggle her to shore and him questioning her use of “darkness/shadows” if she is “good and of light” and thus there is A. some visible display of her power of shadows and B. some subtle foreshadowing. it is also a problem that the “monster” looks more like smoke than shadow … and it is also a problem that it is not OBVIOUSLY looking like Stannis (tho this may change next episode) … thus making the need for the Stannis/Mel sex and his seed and the surrogate birth thing clearly necessary and understandable. again i am not wanting some long drawn out exposition here but about 2 added minutes of stuff could have added all of this context. and the whole why and where Davos is even smuggling her is just idiotically confusing in context of the show alone and really needed to be set up far far better.

    E. the dothraki continue to be an issue. and the dany and qarth scene has problems that grew out of their terrible handling from season 1. namely that we never got any real context of the size of Drogo’s “horde” … we needed to see that it was 40,000 fighting men strong. season 1 also did a terrible job of showing how Dany really got to know some of the dothraki people and their ways .. on a “personal” level even and really came to change her initial impression of them and grow to think of them as “her people” … had they done that properly they could have then shown that for some of the 40,000 the opposite was true too … that she truly became their Khalessi beyond being just some “whore” of Drogo’s. so that when Drogo dies and the Khalasar breaks up MORE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY HEALTHY FULL STRENGTH WARRIORS needed to say with Dany. sure her new “Khalasaar” should be “mostly” sick and old and young but she still should have had, and the show needed her to have in this Qarth scene, more than 5 healthy warriors (one of which is Mormont). because if the 13 merchants, pampered fat oafs that they were could themselves beat up your Khalasar then they would just kill Dany and her 20 sick old folks and steal her dragons. the temptation would be far to great given the prize would be the only 3 living dragons. but if the Khalasar was big enough to deter outright slaughter and theft … say 200-500 or so fully able warriors plus the 1-2k sick/old/young/women … but not big enough to be a serious threat like the normal 20-40K warriors of a normal “horde” that puts fear into even the strongest cities … the whole scene would have been far more believable and dramatic and made more sense.

    Fortunately, you’ll always have the books. This is a TV show.

  511. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Great episode !!

    Qarth and Harrenhal looked amazing, especially Harrenhal which looked dark and Gothic almost like something from a Goya painting.

    Isn’t it funny how Tywin Lannister sort of came to save the day lol, who’d have thought that. BTW I demand the return of Conan Stevens as The Mountain !!! D & D should have just written The Mountain out of any scenes this season and waited for Conan to finish his Hobbit duties.

    BTW why was Pyke in the intro when there was no Greyjoy scenes ?

    Is anyone else beginning to feel underwhelmed by Stephen’s portrayal of Stannis ? He’s been pretty weak so far, it’s pity because we know Stephen can act as we all saw in John Adams.

    Carrice has won me over as Melisandre, at first I wasn’t sure but now I am sold.

  512. Flow101
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Can you put the the link for the video id love to see it! :P

  513. Hollyoak
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Fran:
    Worst episode of the season, one of the worst of the whole show (and I gave the last one a 9/10.

    So many awkward moments and dialogues. D&D are somehow managing to transform an awesome book in atacky, cheap tv show.

    I don’t know who wrote and directed this episode and I don’t want to know, I felt embarrased thorughout the whole episode.Such bad taste, so much unnecesary sexposition, horrible dialogues, etc.

    Some negatives points…:

    1.- They are making littlefinger look dumb and a really bad person (opposite to the books), making him much more one dimensional and basic overall.
    2.- Joffrey is too one sided character, too evil. In the books he was evil but because of his foolishness and not THAT much. The scene with the two whores was DIGUSTING:
    3.- Almost every character is really simple and not fleshed out.
    4.- Arya was supposed to WHISPER those names with hate because she wants them dead.The show makes a really poor and clumsy attemp to show it… I don’t know if non readers got that…
    5.- The daenerys scene was ridiculous and embarrasing. There were like 15 dothrakis in the kalasaar. Is it really so expensive so hire a few more extras…? (I bet there are a lot of people even willing to work for free as long as they appear on the show…)
    6.-Are they going to skip all the battles from the books? I mean I know they have a really low budget (or it seems so) but this is starting to be ridiculous. Specially the mess they did with last episode“battle”.
    7.- Horrible last scene with Malisandre and Davos,I guess HBO love to be controversial just for the sake of being it. Bad use of CGI, it could have been much easier and cheaper with a camera focusing the cave wall and ashadow moving along it. We would be able to see the shadow thanks to the lantern, and finally the shadow dissapearing through the tunnel…
    8.- Please HBO STOP with the unnecessary GORE and SEXPOSITION all the time. If you had made a good adaptation you wouldn’t be needing it but alas this is not the case…
    9.- Where was Rob? and the meeting between Stannis and Renly? We as spectators never know unless we ‘ve read the books.
    10.-Why are the actors continously posing for the camera? This happens specially for Melisandre, Littlefinger, Margaery, Daenerys.
    11.- The dialogue between the “humble merchant” and Daenerys was HORRIBLE, written by kids for kids. And why does he speak perfect english (the language from westeros)? Wasn’t he from Qarth which is nearly on the other edge of the world?…

    I could go on and on, but this episode doesn’t deserve so much time…

    Score:4/10.

    Your use of the word sexposition is wrong. Sexposition is a scene in which characters–usually having, um, sex–convey information to the audience. In other words, the sex scene is there to solely get an info-dump across.

    This was my favorite episode of Game of Thrones.

  514. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I know certain stuff won’t make it in because of budget constraints and timing issues but was it really necessary to leave out the peach scene ? I mean how expensive is it to purchase a peach in today’s Torrie run economy ?

  515. tysnow
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    OMG! Jacopopo needs to cross over to Westeros to make his nitpick gripes on the show, about how things change from the books.
    I repeat, this is not the books, this is a tv adaption, with creative license. You should not compare the two against each other, it is like apples and oranges.
    I threw out the books in my head while watching, the reason being, when reading a great series of books, you build up a mental image (a perfect image) on how each scene unfolds. Noone in show business can match any readers perfect image. Therefore they adapt the books mainly for the non-readers.
    I for one believe the birth scene was better than the book version, I like the shadowy, smokey, bloody demon, much scarier, and this business about not tying in the scene to what it’s purpose is, only an idiot couldn’t figure it out.

    1. Mel and Stannis on the table (I will give you a son).
    2. Stannis, “…You have until morning”
    3. Mel, “Look to your sins…”
    4. Stannis, “Sometimes the cleaner way is not the best way (or something to that affect)”
    5. Stannis to Davos about smuggling Mel
    6. Mel births demon.

    Anyone with half a brain can add all these scenes up and figure out what is going to happen next. They don’t need any more exposition.

    If anyone pays attention, they notice Renly’s camp is on a cliff but recessed from the cliffs higher up, and only a narrow path leads down. The cave with a gate indicates it leads from the sea to Renly’s personal tents above, bypassing the entire encampment. Again easy to comprehend if you have half a brain.

  516. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    The Kingslayer,

    They purposely left it out. Probably an inside joke amounst the writters/directors to piss off the book reader purists…

  517. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    That’s a cruel jape, that scene was one of my favorites from ACOK. D & D need to do a walk of shame through Kings Landing naked !

  518. Gary Vasut
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Loved the episode.

    1. I would have changed my opinion on Joffrey if he just shot Ros through the eye with the crossbow, I don’t think I am the only one who was hoping that might happen..

    2. Loved the Shadow Baby scene, alas it also implies that we wont have the scene at Storm’s End, but it was still great.

    3. I don’t think it matters to have this random girl instead of Jeyne Westerling as Robb’s love interest, as after RW, the Westerlings don’t do much, at least what’s been written, but still curious as to why they just did not leave the character the way they were.

    All in all great episode.

  519. Langkard
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Carne: He came here and said he left for other projects? I know he commented, but I can’t remember him saying that. Someone asked why he left and he said something like “Who said I decided to leave?”. And of course if someone is trying to move up in the industry and they get offered a bigger role (he’s playing the main goblin bad guy in The Hobbit, a quite big role) then they’re going to take it.

    Yes, he did. After it hit the fan that he was leaving. I’m not blaming him for leaving. He had a point, although I think a critically-acclaimed multi-season role, even if small, is better than a small role in a crap show like Spartacus. His role in The Hobbit wasn’t really at issue, as the scheduling didn’t seem to conflict. It was Spartacus which tipped the scales. My problem is that he then tried to blame Dan and Dave for “going in a different direction” as if they were at fault for him choosing to leave. I think it’s sad that he just can’t own up to it being his choice; because he didn’t start claiming it wasn’t his choice until he started taking a lot of heat for leaving the role – then it suddenly became the “different direction” thing. I certainly don’t want someone who has proven himself to be unreliable and dishonest to return to the role. Nor, I think, would the producers of GOT. They need reliable actors for a multi-season series, not people who leave at the drop of a hat and then blame others for making their own decision.

    So, the people at GOT had to make a choice of someone to replace Stevens; and from the viewer reactions, it seems that they succeeded. Only those like us, who are extremely interested in the casting and everything else about the show, noticed that the Mountain was being played by someone else. Reading the reviews, it seems that Ian Whyte was a good choice. People notice height and he certainly has that. To most people watching, it is simply the same Mountain.

  520. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of ditching Westerling for a lesser born girl, it’ll make the insult to Lord Frey seem more believable.

  521. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I think the books should be an outline for the TV series. The TV series should be expected to deviate from the books here and there but not become something different like apples and oranges type difference. I am not a book purist by any means and didn’t have any issues about book purity (just the use of Ros).

    I think this episode was good, I liked it. Just had a few disappointments IMO that I wanted to share with fellow fans.

    By sharing them I see many agree with me and many do not. This is a forum to do this and I think we shouldn’t put down anyone for whatever their opinion may be.

    I personally can not see how anyone can enjoy Ros scenes. But I bite my tongue again and again to try my hardest not to say something deeminging to the Ros defenders.

    Everyone has there own perspective. This site is a collection of strongly opinionated fans and of course there will be head bunts and personal attacks.

    But let’s try to remember we all love the books and show and just want to see it improve by voicing our view on what works and doesn’t work.

    I think that is a huge strength we have here as a collective group…

  522. Langkard
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I found the old post made by Stevens in the thread here on the casting of Amory Lorch and speculation that Stevens was leaving the show. The speculation was rampant at that point as to why he was leaving and then the man himself spoke up. Here is the link to Conan Steven’s post:

    http://winteriscoming.net/2011/09/amory-lorch-cast-gregor-recast/#comment-131915

    Note the bit where he talks about a speaking part being better and how auditions have opened up, etc. and then scroll down a bit to this next post he made which is enigmatic at best:

    http://winteriscoming.net/2011/09/amory-lorch-cast-gregor-recast/#comment-132113

    What? Someone later on pointed out that a post here on WiC had called Conan “the real Tyrion” for his cunning in getting the part of Gregor. So, that seems to imply that Conan himself thinks he was cunning in leaving the show after just using it as a spring board to bigger parts, as also implied in his first post. That was a weird experience back in September. It made me wonder if Stevens was under the influence of something when posting.

  523. Arthur
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Well I don’t think that was Conan burning any bridges with GoTs. Looks like he left because it was an honest better career move. I don’t see why he can’t return in future seasons.

    Again, if he left on good terms and still has a good relationship with D&D I think he should come back… He is a huge imposing musculare guy, just like the Mountain and IMO was a really cool looking Gregor…

    One can see Bilbo as being the original Tyrion. Bilbo was very clever and one can say Tyrion in a copy of this.

    I think “The real Tyrion” was just used as a reference for him moving on to be part of the hobbit? Hopefully…

  524. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode. I don’t know what you dorks are whining about. Only scene that made me cringe was the fart joke at the beginning, the rest was as good as past episodes.

  525. Langkard
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    The problem is that once the reaction turned negative to him leaving GOT for the reason he gave in his posts, he changed his story and started claiming that he didn’t choose to leave . He started claiming that it was because GOT chose to go in a different direction. The reason fans were upset was because we wholeheartedly supported his campaign to be Gregor. The fans pushed hard for him. And it sure seems like he only used GOT as a spring board to further his career. That rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way and he tried to gloss it all over as not being his choice. Fundamentally dishonest and unreliable.

    He has a burgeoning career in crap B-movies. (See IMDB – except for his part in The Hobbit). He traded a recurring role in multiple seasons on an award-winning, very popular show for that. His choice. He can’t blame Dan and Dave or GOT for that choice – but he does anyway. Different direction my ass. I’d rather have someone like Ian Whyte, even if he isn’t as perfect for the role physically. I’m willing to bet that Ian Whyte isn’t going to go show-hopping at the drop of a hat.

  526. Leuf
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Right now this season sort of feels like The Two Towers to me. The first season was like FOTR, in that while there were a couple of things that may have bugged me it was overall so awesome and I was so immersed in the story and everything at least looked and felt right that those things were so minor in comparison. So I have to skip over the Aragorn/Arwen scene, so what? Then the second movie comes out and I still like it, but it’s starting to become clear that they have a different idea of how to adapt the story than I do. Things like surfboarding Legolas are harder to ignore when you aren’t totally on board anymore. Hopefully I don’t get to the point where I feel about the series like I do about the third movie.

    People have flamed those complaining about changes to the story, saying they are getting the broad strokes right and that’s all that matters. But first of all it isn’t all that matters, and second of all no they are not getting all the broad strokes right.

    Let’s talk about King’s Landing. This city ought to be feeling like a pot that has been set to simmer, but it feels completely disconnected from the events going on around it. Other than a passing mention in the first episode about closing the city gates, there’s been no worry about the refugees flooding the city. Arya and company didn’t pass anyone heading south to get away from the fighting either to help set that up. Tyrion doesn’t have to ride through the city to get to Shae, so we lose the opportunity to see what’s going on in the city that way. We know in episode 6 that Myrcella is going to be sent off, and what happens after that. but there’s been no sense of rising tensions in the city leading up to anything and there is little time left to do anything about it.

    Also, does anyone in King’s Landing give a shit that there are armies all over the place that want to come and kill them? What about Cersei ordering Tywin to bring his army to KL and being defied? Stannis, who had been a mystery on Dragonstone all of season 1, is finally on screen and the Lannisters are supposed to be afraid of him teaming up with Renly against them. But he just magically appears at Renly’s camp, which we don’t actually know where that is, rather than sieging Storm’s End. Okay fine, we don’t need to see Storm’s End, but we completely lost the suspense over what Stannis was going to actually do. We also seem to have lost the ability for the writers to actually tell us Davos’ back story, since he’s not doing what he did for Stannis during the war, which they have been dancing around now for 4 episodes. Further, Tyrion ought to be juggling the political game in KL while at the same time trying to prepare the city for a siege and invasion but he only has dealt with the former.

    People say Storm’s End and Penrose need to be cut to simplify things and condense this part of the story. But it doesn’t really condense the story at all to do it the way they have, it just takes two huge scenes and reorders them in a way that removes the surprise from one of them. 1)Scene between Stannis and Davos, 2)Shadow baby, 3)Shadow baby result, instead of 1)Shadow baby result, 2)Scene between Stannis and Davos, 3)Shadow baby. We don’t see the second shadow baby actually do anything in the books, and you don’t have to show the parlay with Penrose either.

    I already mentioned Arya not passing refugees, and further the change to have Lorch come for Gendry instead of them just running into them takes away the reality that this huge war is affecting everything and you can’t just get from point a to point b unscathed if there’s a war going on in between the two places. The change didn’t really save any screen time. It made for a more neat and tidy mini arc. But you don’t want Arya to have a self contained arc there. It’s things like this that are making the series seem very disjointed.

    Where the fuck is Robb Stark and who is he fighting? At the end of season 1 Tywin retreated his army to Harrenhal and sent Gregor to burn and pillage the Riverlands. There has been no mention of any other Lannister force. And yet Robb continues to fight battle after battle against Lannisters, SOMEWHERE.

    There are still sequences in this second season that are sublime. Peter Dinklage owns, and he makes anyone in a scene with him better. Lena has benefited the most by getting to interact with him as much as she has. Maisie continues to be so awesome that even my spell checker is convinced that Maisie is a word. The Ironborn have been great, and I hate the Ironborn chapters in the book. But I can watch episodes from season 1 over and over again while I really feel no desire to watch any of these first 4 episodes again.

    Well, that was certainly a long rant.

  527. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I think it’s funny you’re comparing this episode to “The Two Towers” as if that’s a negative, when TTT was the best film in the trilogy. This episode was great. Not everyone’s opinion, of course. There’s a whole lot of nitpicking in there, and if they had done everything you want them to do, I honestly don’t think it would’ve been a good episode; it would be a mess.

    Langkard,

    Gregor had a tiny role in the first season and his role in this season wouldn’t have been much larger. I hardly think it’s fair to berate an actor for moving on to greener pastures. Game of Thrones‘s prestige won’t pay the man’s rent.

  528. Artacus
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    You know I just got home from work. And I guess they haven’t released the rating numbers for Sunday yet. But I found some interesting sites. If you put GoTs against similar shows, it is doing by far, the best as far as ratings go. Take a look at this.

    These sites list the USA viewers by the 1st airing per episode. Just scroll down a little and look to the right…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Game_of_Thrones_episodes

    VS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spartacus_episodes

    VS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Borgias_episodes

    It still hasn’t reached True Blood levels but it is on the right track…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_True_Blood_episodes

    If you just put GoTs toe to toe vs other sword and sandal pay for TV series, it beats them out by far…

  529. Arthur
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Opps, Don’t know why I put Artacus as my handle…

  530. Louisa
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I need subtitulos. I can’t understand what half of the characters are saying!

    Dasein:
    sedeyus,

    Aside. Did the Qarth intro seem clunky and awkward?

    I think it was well-done actually! I oohed and aahed once the camera panned back from the Wall and hovered over the northern Essos landscape.

    I agree with another poster up there where it’s a very nice touch not to include moving machinery to introduce the ruined castle of Harrenhal.

  531. Corn
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    hinka:
    Dany: “My Name is Da…
    1_of_13: “Daenerys Stormborn of the house Targaryen”
    Dany: “You know me mylord?”
    1_of_13: “Only by reputation, khalise. And I’m no lord, only a humbled merchant… They call you the mother of dragons…”
    Dany: “And what should I call you?”
    1_of_13: “… I’m simply a trader of spices. And we are the 13. The protector of qarth – the greatest city that was and will be.”
    Dany: “The beaty of Qarth is legendary of cgi.”
    1_of_13: “As is your pronunciation of Qarth”
    Dany: “Cccccurve?” *Thinking: I always prefered skinny jeans*
    1_of_13: “May I see the dragons?”
    Dany turning back, seeing the horse with the closed baskets: “My friend… We have huge cgi costs already… white walkers, the wall, your city…we have no budget left… so please pretend its okay so that the audiance is not thinking this is a cheap production.” *Thinking: And the stupid Shadow cost too much and will anyway just result in viewerdrops!*
    1_of_13: “Forgive me, mother of baskets… but no HBO-viewer has seen a cgi dragon for episodes. Some of my more sceptical friends will turn soon to CBS if they don’t get to see them soon. All we ask is just a chance to see for ourselves the truth. Is D&D cutting your storyline?”
    Dany: “My storyline is not going to be cut! But if this season is finished and after Blackwater is more money there for my cgi dragons next season. I will personaly fly you to the RW!”

    ….
    sorry for my english… isn’t the best.

    Bravo! Well done, I LMAO!

  532. Ed
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    The Kingslayer,

    They purposely left it out.Probably an inside joke amounst the writters/directors to piss off the book reader purists…

    Persecution complex much?

  533. Wyglaaf
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Leuf,

    I think it’s funny that the reasons you don’t agree that they are getting the “broad strokes” right are all about editorial details and book comparisons, and not about the broad strokes at all.

    “Broad strokes” clearly does not mean what you think it means.

    ;-P

    I’ll say it again, I have honestly come to the conclusion that you “bookies” have WAY too much invested in your sense of entitlement over the books to be able to divest from them to subjectively appreciate what a spectacular ADAPTATION this TV series really is. And that’s just sad I guess. Though it’s your problem, not mine. I, for one, am LOVING it!

  534. Morgan King
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    A Bear_A Bear,

    I love your post. Well said.

  535. Arya Dunyett
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I loved this ep and I have NO complaints! A few confusions, but I can deal with that.

    Before I watched the episode, I was wondering what excuse Little Finger would use for arriving at Renly’s camp.

    He’s on a secret mission from Tyrion that has nothing to do with Renly – to see and seduce Cat into exchanging Jaime for her daughters, but he can’t tell that to Renly. So he blatantly renders a personal but oily offering of peace – to open the gates when Renly shows up at King’s Landing. An interesting divergence from the books. Another smarmy calculation by the Slippery Eel of Westeros. Fortunately for him he never needs to make good on the offer.

    The Shadow Baby was PERFECT! In the book it looks familiar to Davos. He thinks to himself that he knows the person whose shadow it is. But the Game of Thrones shadow was even scarier, more demonic, and huge! And that birthing scene has to be one of the best CGI efforts on film or television! Hooray for Carice who must have quashed her natural modesty to throw herself so convincingly into it. She was fantastically sexy and brilliant and glowing and powerful and thereby dismissed her cred detractors, at least for now.

    Joffrey’s personal perve becomes more pronounced each week, and while I winced at the content of the scene with the whores, I agree with the need to show just how twisted this boy really is. He is convincingly afraid of Tyrion judging by his reactions in the throne room to his uncle’s interference, but he hates Tyrion’s power and welcomes the chance to throw his uncle’s “gift” back in his face in the most blood-curdling way. As a teenager who preens aloud about impregnating Sansa after she’s bled, and his general dismissal of women even as sexual objects, I suspect him of serious sexual malfunction. This fits my impression of TV Joffrey, His Creepiness.

    I agree with Meg that Tyrion and Bronn were idiots to think all Joffrey needed to clear his clogs was a couple of whores. That’s akin to leaving him alone in his room with a basket of puppies.

    I don’t understand, as others have stated, why some are upset over the replacement Mountain. Conan left for a better gig! Get over it! And a side note: it might have been difficult to hire a horse of the size to carry that giant plus his armor and one docile enough for film work.

    Oona Chaplin brings another interesting character to the series. She’s obviously a talented actress and looks exactly like a woman from Volantis should look, IMHO, but more beautiful. Good for her and Robb and great for us!! She’s playing an independent, assertive woman, obviously high born. Should be fun to see her character emerge.

    I was a bit confused by the repartee in front of the gates of Qarth, but the resulting beauty of the city made it worth it. Great CGI. I know it was green screened, but it looked so real, lush and vibrant. Can’t wait to see Dany and her bunch enjoy the pleasures of the city.

    I saw no point to the Margery/LF scene, but to prove again how metrosexual and loyal Margery is, and what a douche LF is. Inexpensive scene, but forgettable.

    Loved, loved, loved Grey Wind’s attack of the Lannister guardsmen! What a gorgeous animal! One of the bits of series background I covet is the details of the CGI merging what must be real wolf images into the filming. Absolutely phenomenal work!!!

    I appreciate the bits of humor scattered throughout the episodes this season, some sophomoric, but most of it witty.

    Charles Dance alone would make any series interesting, but add him to this fabulous mix and he seasons the stew just that much better! He dominates! His upcoming scene/scenes with Maisie are unexpected but highly anticipated changes from the book.

    (Must gush…..) Thanks D&D for all the wonderful scenes and all the fabulous work of the cast and crew!!! It’s a great season to watch!

  536. GrzebykK
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    + Harrenhall – black as hell
    + Tickler – ordinary evil
    + Melisandre with her baby and Davos – nice playing and effects
    + Stannis & Renly talking – “I’ll even name you my heir” – Stannis’ rightfulness strikes again
    + Margaery – cool and innocent as should be

    - Melisandre and Davos on the boat – effects like in some 60′s movie
    - Joffrey and his scepter – too much for me; and wasn’t the crossbow loaded when he entered the room?
    - Ser Gregor – Why, Conan, why?

  537. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Fran,

    For someone who uses the word “sexposition” so much, you sure don’t seem to know what the hell the term even means. There wasn’t an ounce of sexposition in this episode.
    Nudity =/= Sexposition

  538. HouseLark
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I knew the Joff and Ros scene would come in for a lot of criticism. Someone suggested it was just another way to get boobs on air but frankly, if you think that was meant to be titillating then you have a problem. It was a horrible scene that made me very uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective or a good scene. There were scenes in Battelstar Galactica and Homeland that made me just as uncomfortable but they were equally effective.

    Frankly, until now Joffrey has been a brat who postured for the crowds – most of his sadistic behaviour has come in front of a crowd. With the prostitutes though he was alone and able to fulfill his most intimate desires and it turned out that those were horrific.

    It is also worth mentioning that if you found this scene unfomfortable you are going to find it very hard to watch whenever Ramsey Bolton appears on screen in the future.

    I really do not get the hate being thrown at the new Gregor. Conan Stevens had a minor role, two lines maybe, last season. I know people who watch the series casually (meaning they don’t hit websites following casting decisions throughout the year) and they didn’t even notice Gregor had been recast. One of them just noted that he had a different helmet this series.

  539. GrzebykK
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    HouseLark: I really do not get the hate being thrown at the new Gregor. Conan Stevens had a minor role, two lines maybe, last season. I know people who watch the series casually (meaning they don’t hit websites following casting decisions throughout the year) and they didn’t even notice Gregor had been recast. One of them just noted that he had a different helmet this series.

    Gregor Clegane in one word is “Intimidation”. I saw this watching Conan Stevens in season one, I don’t see it now.

  540. Rhaelia
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    It was Sandor who said “Enough!” in the book. To be honest, I wouldn’t be so angry over this scene, even without the “enough”, if they were not trying to make Tyrion the hero, with that dramatic music while he helps Sansa up.
    They did the same in season 1 with Littlefinger telling the story of the hound. My only problem is that the Sansa/Sandor interaction remain unnoticed to the viewers. I know it because when I watched the first season without reading the book before I didn’t noticed a thing, and I was totally suprised later in the book when I read about Sandor and Sansa.
    So after this I don’t even know whether they’ll make that specific scene with them during the battle of Blackwater. It will seem out of blue if they don’t add Sandor/Sansa scenes in the next few episodes.
    It’s just really frustrating seeing that they use the screentime for stupid Ros and whores instead.

  541. ryra
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Rhaelia: They took away the SANDOR and SANSA scene and gave it to Tyrion!!!! I’m so furious! They made Tyrion to be her hero just to foreshadow Tyrion and Sansa. They will have two seasons for that, but Sansa and Sandor only has this season!I can see the problem here, it’s the age difference between Rory and Sophie..

    Actually, I believe Peter and Sophie age difference is the same and I really don’t see them cutting Tyrion and Sansa marriage in order of that ;)

    But I agree, give us more Hound D&D!

  542. Siham
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Clob,

    Her name is : useless unnecessary character. Either she’s suppose to be Jeyne but under disguise and claiming to be foreign despite having no accent.

  543. Louisa
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Anyone else think to themselves more than once while watching this show: “I’ve seen worse CGI in movies with higher budgets”?

    Because damn, we have some good special effects.

    I find that I’ve ‘noticed’ CGIs (a good CGI should not attract attention, I think) more often this season than the last: Pyke, Shae looking out at King’s Landing, Harrenhal just now. As for the ‘they’re obviously CGI’ bits – the direwolves and dragons – they are well done IMO.

    But that’s me nitpicking. Overall I think we have berry good special effects.

  544. Louisa
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Also, what’s up with Lancel’s acting? He wasn’t this… effeminate last season.

    He’s very pretty too. Prettier than most girls. Prettier than me :(

  545. DGIG
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    One quibble that is eating away at me – the setting/climate of Kings Landing in the show. It shouldn’t be that far away from Harrenhal, but remains a Meditteranean paradise whereas Harrenhal and everywhere else south of The Wall are muddy, rainy, windy gloomholes. It’s just not how I imagined it as a book reader. Has there ever been an explanation for it? It just seems more along the lines of how I imagined Dorne to be rather than the capital of Westeros.

  546. Ser Moller
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The biggest problem with this episode is having the Lannister guards at the beginning gossiping about Renly’s homosexuality… if this is common knowledge in Westeros, why on earth would Renly be such an appealing king to the public as he is in the books?? This is not an anti-gay rant, I just can’t imagine much tolerance for gay kings in this world. This, IMO, damages the whole glorious Renly campaign. Robert’s youngest brother and therefore with a weak claim… add to it the semi-public gay outing… not really buying it.

  547. Rhaelia
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    ryra: Actually, I believe Peter and Sophie age difference is the same and I really don’t see them cutting Tyrion and Sansa marriage in order of that ;)

    Then I don’t understand why would they leave the Sandor/Sansa scenes out, and make them seem irrelevant. But I really stop whining now. The show is amazing, the changes don’t bother me that much, and I hope they know what they are doing. And I still have hope for the crowd scene.

  548. you-know-nothing
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What a fantastic episode. I loved everything about it, even Joffrey being a proper sadist, although i felt really bad for the whores involved.

    Loved seeing Harrenhal for the first time, but my favourite scene was Mel and Davos at the end. It was even better than i’d imagined it to be. They didn’t shy away from this fantastical and terrifying scene and i think the show is better for it. Carice is doing so well as Mel and Liam did pretty well in this scene too. Loved it. Now i seriously can’t wait for next week. We all know what happens next!!!! :-D xxx

  549. Chris77
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The Joff scene wasn’t that bad. He is not simply spoiled, but a twisted little (Monkey) Demon in the books as well. I can’t say in which book it is, but I remember a story about Joffrey dissecting little kittens and his rabbit hunt is sadistic as well.

    I like the Jeyne/Talisa scene, we don’t know the circumstances under which they met, so D&D have the freedom to write it as they like.

    The Quarth dialogue was a bit weird. I liked Xaro explaining his skin color with his Summer Island heritage. I think his Sumai could be a formal marriage proposal;)

    I wonder why they couldn’t buff up Gregor a bit, but I am not crying for Conan, because he is such a profithungry actor…
    Tickler was great, same as Hot-Pie…

  550. userj
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Flow101,

    Hmm it’s the michelle fairley interview with “thronecast” posted here last week, I think.
    She says something like how she had one big scene with CGI and it was in a tent, and that was something different and interesting to do.

  551. userj
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Ser Moller: I just can’t imagine much tolerance for gay kings in this world.

    Why not? For whatever reason, there doesn’t appear to be any homophobia or stereotyping of gays in Westeros. Maybe different from real medeavil culture, I don’t know. But that seems to be the case.

    In the matter of an heir, gay men are totally capable of producing heirs. Thousands of married men with children are gay. They close their eyes and think of England and have male lovers (or become right-wing politictians lol).

    Anyway the Storm Lands follow Renly because he’s Lord of Storm’s End, simple as that. The Tyrells follow him because of the marraige alliance (Stannis is already married) and because the Storm Lands have more men.

  552. george stark!
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I love the way they established Bronn with Tyrion telling him to kill Meryn if he spoke. Also in the beginning with two Lannister guards talking about Mountain, Jamie and Loras as to who would win.

  553. ryra
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Rhaelia: Then I don’t understand why would they leave the Sandor/Sansa scenes out, and make them seem irrelevant.

    Yes, that’s what I meant. And I agree, the show remain great despite the little changes and I’m sure they do know what they’re doing :)

  554. Biscotti
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Her hoohaa is dark and full of terrors.

  555. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Magog:
    I have one issue with this episode which, if I didn’t miss, is not discusted yet.
    While I liked scene in throne room, I just can’t belive that ser Maryn will be so scared by Tyrions threats that Bronn will kill him. Who TF is Bronn for noble knights of Kingsguard? He is just a mercenary, good fighter but kingsguard members should be the best in whole kingdom. I understand that Meryn Trant is not the best knight in the Westeros but he shouldnt’t be scared by Bronn by any means.

    Expecially when there were other members of KG (behind Joffrey), and there was the Hound, one of the greatest warriors of the time. Are they all impressed by Bronn, almost annonimus to them? If there were Tyrions friends from mountain clans, I will maybe undestand, but like this…

    Only possible explanation that comes to my mind is that Joffrey, and all of them, see Tywin Lannister in Tyrion and are afraid of his reaction If something happens to his reserve Hand.

    Don’t forget, Bronn is captain of the Gold Cloaks now. I’m sure Bronn plus a handful of Gold Cloaks could take down Ser Meryn quite easily.

    DGIG:
    One quibble that is eating away at me – the setting/climate of Kings Landing in the show. It shouldn’t be that far away from Harrenhal, but remains a Meditteranean paradise whereas Harrenhal and everywhere else south of The Wall are muddy, rainy, windy gloomholes. It’s just not how I imagined it as a book reader. Has there ever been an explanation for it? It just seems more along the lines of how I imagined Dorne to be rather than the capital of Westeros.

    Yeah, I still wish they would have gone with a “London in the Middle Ages”-look for King’s Landing. The explanation is in season one they wanted it quite distinct from Winterfell, but as you say, the climate there makes no sense now. Storm’s End, Dragonstone and the Riverlands all have the climate and geography of Ireland and then King’s Landing, despite being just as far south, has the climate of Croatia.

  556. Hollyoak
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    ryra: Yes, that’s what I meant. And I agree, the show remain great despite the little changes and I’m sure they do know what they’re doing :)

    I would kindly disagree with the people who are saying the San/San (can’t believe I just wrote San/San) “relationship” is being left out. I think the non-book audience knows something is up.

    Think back to when Sansa was slapped by Merwyn on the little parapet where Ned’s head was. Sandor wiped her mouth with a handkerchief. And then when Sansa was being abused by Joffrey in this last episode, they cut to Sandor who had a look of disgust on his face. I think people are picking up on the fact that Sandor is disgusted by Joffrey’s treatment of her and might come to her aid in some way.

  557. Jake
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Arthur: The actress playing Mel, what’s her name? Carice? She sucks. She just talks with a monotone voice, every line sounds the same. It’s like she is reading a teleprompter. She is nether sexy or seductive. D&D took a hot and young “Sorceress/Priestess” type character and made her into a middle aged boring Witch-like hag. When she was telling Devos “You want to see what is under these robes”, I was thinking, don’t flatter yourself grandma…

    What is with her crappy attempt at an accent? She brings nothing to the table other than an apparent willingness to bare her breasts. Big deal.

  558. JJ
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I liked this episode. Not a big fan of the Joffrey torture, but they seem to be going the “mad king” route with this iteration.

    Did anyone notice that as the shadow baby clawed its way out of Melisandre, it left welts on her legs where its fingers touched her.

    As for Ian Whyte, the new Mountain, I agree that they should have just used the full armor we saw Conan Stevens wearing in the earlier tourney scenes. Keep in mind, for those who said he wasn’t that imposing next to Tywin, that Charles Dance is listed as being 6’3″.

  559. Deborah
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Nope, my husband and I totally thought the same thing. When he first handed her that large phallic symbol I cringed and my husband was praying they didn’t actually show it. When Ros went to hit her I was waiting for the little creep to calmly tell her he didn’t want Ros to hit her with it. As much as that scene grssed us out I figure they should just have gone for it. Eithe way this sets up a major battle with him and Tyrion. Also makes it more likely that people will belive Tyrion killed him.

  560. Rygar
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Um, not sure if this was addressed already but where the hell were Davos and Mel? Why did they need a boat to go into a cave under Renly’s camp? Wasn’t this a scene in the book when they were at Storm’s End? If they were in some random camp, then why would Davos say that th entrance was not barred previously?

  561. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Fran,

    Agree with most points, however I don’t think it’s HBO pushing the violence and the nudity, I think that’s the showrunners as they know that it sells.

    David Simon’s shows have limited violence and nudity. Not saying they don’t have it, it’s just used only when needed.

    Leuf,

    Bravo. I’m totally with you on I have no desire to watch the four episodes of season 2 again, I’ve only done so to lend credence to my criticism of the second season.

    Rhaelia,

    GRRM wrote the episode, he included the Sandor and Sansa scene in his draft, I asked him on his blog and he said yes. Whether they take a meat axe to it or not remains unknown.

    Bryan Cogman said the relationship plays out differently due to the change of giving The Hound’s dialogue to Littlefinger.

    I was pleased to find out after reading one of Ran’s post on Westeros.org that they did in fact have the original scene in the books (not sure if they had a feast though) but due to delays and bad weather, they were forced to make a compromise.

    I just found it weird that every time they’ve been asked about it in interviews they didn’t explain the reason they just said ‘they went a different direction’.

  562. george stark!
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Not necessary that Bronn would need the Cloaks in single combat. Noble knights usually are better warriors than most sellswords but the series and the books have made clear, and rightfully so, that sometimes this does not happen (remember Bronn vs. Ser Vardis of the Vale). Now, the kingsguard are supposedly the best knights in the realm but epecially as the story goes forward one will see that this is not always the case. Also,somewhere in the books Tyrion mentions in some way that Bronn might even trouble his brother in combat.
    I love Bronn!

  563. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I believe the current Kingsguard is meant to be a shadow of it’s former self.

    The show only recognizes Jaime, Sandor and Meryn. It will probably be Meryn that tries to murder Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater.

    In the books we also have Mandon Moore, who Jaime says is the most dangerous man in the Kingsguard. Ser Preston Greenfield who probably only existed to die to the King Bread Mob. Boros Blount who’s probably a middling to slightly above average swordsman at best, but past his peak; and Ser Arys Oakheart who turned out to be a bit of a gallant fool.

    Jaime, Sandor and Mandon would probably be the only ones I would think could beat Bronn.

    (later on we have others who are also capable, such as Loras Tyrell and Balon Swann).

  564. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    So overall, given your posts this season and last season as well, would you say that Game of Thrones the series is a colossal failure?

    Personally, I disagree. But I am just curious if your criticism is directed at individual episodes or directed at the entire series as a whole? Do you think it’s the classic battle of loyalty to source material versus commerce? Do you think D and D are afraid to adapt it outright because of commercial and artistic restraints?

    I’m not taking the piss out of you, I’m just wondering if you think the show in your opinion-not mine-can be salvaged?

  565. Chrysee
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Now hold on. Kings Landing is very Mediterranean in the novels. If anyone made the geography/climate/map nonsensical it was GRRM. I think a lot of people just expect it to look more like Ireland or England bc that’s the setting of choice for fantasy. But the books make it clear it is a warm coastal city. Just look at the food (not that they don’t import). My husband only read part of AGOT and isn’t so interested in the show, but if you asked what he thinks of Kings Landing base on what he’s read, he will say Mediterranean and that’s from reading only.

  566. Chrysee
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Not that bastards would be a threat unless legitimized , but the Tyrells would have the assurance that Renly’s extramaritals would not cause any threats to Marg or succession. In fact it’s probably one of the safer Westerosi royal marriages, if only Renly would grit his teeth and do her ;)

  567. dig
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The End Is Dumb And Full Of Errors.

    that is, unless they can explain that gated beach entrance in the next episode.

  568. purplejilly
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,
    I don’t think it’s fair to judge an actor for wanting to leave a role for better opportunities. Actors have a limited window to earn money that has to last them a lifetime. Everyone knows the emphasis that’s put on youth and beauty – and especially someone like Conan who is a ‘character’ actor, his size limits the types of roles he can get. It’s not likely he’s going to get an invite to audition as the lead for the next Jennifer Aniston Rom-Com. I don’t blame him for looking out for himself and his career first.

  569. Langkard
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:Gregor had a tiny role in the first season and his role in this season wouldn’t have been much larger. I hardly think it’s fair to berate an actor for moving on to greener pastures. Game of Thrones‘s prestige won’t pay the man’s rent.

    I’m not berating him for moving on to greener pastures, I’m berating him for lying about why he isn’t in the role of Gregor. He was honest… at first. He left to pursue other opportunities. It was a bit shady after all the cheerleading the fans did to help him get the role, but it was his choice to make. The problem isn’t that he left, it’s that he now claims he didn’t choose to leave and that the show chose to go “in a different direction” which is a load of crap. He was honest and then became dishonest. That is my problem with him, not with his leaving, and why I think he shouldn’t ever be allowed back on the show.

  570. Mimsy
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ser Moller,

    The biggest problem with this episode is having the Lannister guards at the beginning gossiping about Renly’s homosexuality… if this is common knowledge in Westeros

    Renly is a public figure and will be gossiped about by all ends of the realm, but there is no definitive proof of his sexual orientation. The general observation is if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.. well it must be a duck! I don’t think these guards or any other common folk are willing to place their life on the line for slandering Renly. It’s all rumor on the down low.

    My inference from the books, is that homosexuality isn’t tolerated in the Westeros culture. Renly obviously fears being found out because of the stigma it would bring him and it would certainly damage the character of Loras who upholds a suave, masculine appeal to the ladies and gents of the court.

    If being gay were acceptable in Westeros, there would be no need for beards.

  571. Dee
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Leuf,

    I agree with you that this season so far has seemed disjointed, and that I as a viewer, and those I know around me, have felt somewhat detached from the happenings. I also agree that so far the war of the 5 kings has been nothing more than a slogan as far as the tension, action and repercussions shown in the show.
    The battle of Blackwater was such a great moment in the book because there was this huge tense buildup for it all through the book. Most of this buildup was taking place in Kings Landing, a buildup that the show has so far chosen to eschew in favour of showing Tyrion’s political wrangling for the upper hand in court, which is an essential element, and whores, not an essential element. The result of which is that Kings Landing feels almost disconnected from everything else.
    The fact that we don’t know where the different factions are or what they are doing – where are the Lannister armies? What areas and roads do they have under their control? Where is Robb? Where are his bannerman? He keeps winning battles but what is he gaining? How is he holding the areas that he’s winning? Is he getting any closer to Kings Landing? Why was Stannis in the Stormlands? Was he there to attack Renly or to parlay? Where are his armies? Why is Renly taking so damn long to wage war? – leaves everything about this war, the central plot of this season, vague in my mind as a viewer. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s like trying to follow a chess game when you’re not allowed to see the board.

    As Rowan Kaiser mentioned in his review of this episode, one paragraph of dialogue from the books could have gone a long way into bringing this war into a little bit of focus for the audience. Instead of Cat threatening to bang 2 kingly heads together and lock them in a room (like the mother hen the show insists on making her), the show could have allowed Catelyn her words:

    “This is folly,” Catelyn said sharply. “Lord Tywin sits at Harrenhal with twenty thousand swords. The remnants of the Kingslayer’s army have regrouped at the Golden Tooth, another Lannister host gathers beneath the shadow of Casterly Rock, and Cersei and her son hold King’s Landing and your precious Iron Throne. You each name yourself king, yet the kingdom bleeds, and no one lifts a sword to defend it but my son.”

    Do I find what I have seen of this season so far flawed? Yes. Did I enjoy the 1st season more at this point? Yes. Do I think this season still has room to improve? Yes, most definitely. I keep hoping that at some point soon everything will come together, somehow, and GOT S2 will crystalize into an awesome season of TV.

    Having said all that, I’ll repeat that despite major flaws, episode 4 for me was by far the most enjoyable episode so far. So I live in hope.

  572. Jess
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I really loved pretty much every scene in this episode except the whole deal with Chaplin’s character. I was suspecious as soon as I heard that they’re focusing on Robb’s love story this season (what can I say, i’m not a robb fan even though Madden is a hottie), but I was going to reserve my judgement until I see her in action and learns about her background and whatnot. No that I’ve seen it? Yeah, I hate her and this storyline. All I can ask was “why is there a random woman in the middle of the battlefield?” It almost seem like she’s apprenticing with the Silent Sisters, that’s my only explanantion. I mean, yeah, there’ll be some high-born ladies like Cat and Marge, whores/camp-followers, and the Silent Sisters. Would there be anyone else? Also, I just didn’t feel any chemistry between her and Robb. If they’re aiming for the attraction to stem from Robb admiring the girl for her morals, compassion, and independence to be herself in this patriarchal world, I can’t see it. because unlike Jon who has a lovely understanding with Arya-who-wants-to-be-a-knight, Robb to me (like his father) is much more traditional/conservative in the way he treats/views women, so this is just out of nowhere imo.

    Okay, rant over.

    I was ambivalent about Joff’s bedroom scene. I agree with you, not sure why he’s turning out to be evil incarnate. Wait ’till they see RB. Speaking of whom, LOVED the intro of Roose Bolten in this episode.

    My favorites were the Tyrion/Lancel, Harrenhal, Dany, Marge/Littlefinger, shadow baby (that was CRAZY!! well done!) and Joff throneroom scenes. Lol, so I guess… everything else?! :D this is the first episode in this season that I felt really excited for. Can’t wait for next week!

  573. Jess
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Dee: Leuf, Instead of Cat threatening to bang 2 kingly heads together and lock them in a room (like the mother hen the show insists on making her), the show could have allowed Catelyn her words

    I agree with you 400%. I think the script this season has had a lot of misses in terms of adding small, non-time consuming tweaks (like the one you listed as an example) that would dramatically improve the feel of a scene and add depth to the story. I listed an example a couple of weeks ago. Anyhow, I wonder if it’s because D&D had a LOT more time to work on season 1 scripts.

  574. Stix Remix
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Conan Stevens leaving…

    Before people start accusing the actor of selfishness or greed, it’s possible that what he states on his blog is true. Some of you may be thinking that they are showing less of Gregor because of the actor change, but it’s also very probable that the actor left because of how little they intended to show Gregor.

    I mean, just look at how much they are downplaying the Hound!

  575. Stevron
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I have to say, I thought this was probably my least favorite episode of the series so far. So much non-book stuff, Greywind looked super hokey, the new Mountain is soul-crushingly terrible, Joffrey’s torture scene was weird and over the top, and Qarth looked completely fake (and Sumai?). I also thought the ending was completely botched. The shadow monster looked lame, and it would have been so much more impactful to see it actually do what it’s gonna do.

    I love the books, I love the series, and I like this season so far, but I just can’t find much I liked about this episode. Tyrion and Tywin. That’s about it. Very disappointing.

  576. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Don’t read this post if you don’t want to hear any negativity, just skip over it.

    Joshua Taylor:
    Jordan Healey,

    So overall, given your posts this season and last season as well, would you say that Game of Thrones the series is a colossal failure?

    Personally, I disagree. But I am just curious if your criticism is directed at individual episodes or directed at the entire series as a whole? Do you think it’s the classic battle of loyalty to source material versus commerce? Do you think D and D are afraid to adapt it outright because of commercial and artistic restraints?

    I’m not taking the piss out of you, I’m just wondering if you think the show in your opinion-not mine-can be salvaged?

    I must say I quite pleased with the civility of your post compared to others who have taken mine and several others from the negative camp as ‘affronting’ to the show.

    The TV series isn’t a commercial failure, it’s quite a big success and it is punching it’s way into popular culture (In my mind, this is generally not a good sign but YMMV). Neither is it a failure as a standalone TV series. I don’t think the series is as good as most others here do as a whole, for instance last season I found myself enjoying Treme far more than Game of Thrones; and this season I am finding Mad Men to be the best series of the competing weekly dramas that I watch.

    I thought the first season was pretty good as far as adaptions and TV series go. It didn’t become my favourite show, but after every episode I felt fantastic and I watched the episodes several times over. The things I didn’t like didn’t get in the way of my excitement that my favourite books had been made into a pretty good series.

    I deliberately did not watch any of the preview clips for the second season because I think that spoiled some of the enjoyment of the first series for me, and I was looking forward to the deviations from the book because they sounded alright.

    However I have not enjoyed any of the episodes of the second season. I have enjoyed select scenes, but for the most part I have been disappointed, sometimes angered or frustrated by the individual episodes and by the series as a whole.

    I think a lot of my disappointment and negativity comes from the fact that over the past four years I have read the books too many times since a friend recommended A Game of Thrones to me in late 2008, and I have not stopped re-reading (currently doing the audiobooks).
    I watched the first season too many times as well, as I have introduced it to many of my friends and sat down and watched the episodes with them. And due to this, my original excitement and giddiness has worn off, and I am now viewing the show in a more critical manner.

    I can totally understand why other people are enjoying it so much, if you watched the series in a very laid-back manner for the sake of enjoyment and avoided comparing the series to the text then I can totally see why you might give ‘Garden of Bones’ a 9/10. I am unable to do that. The only bad thing about that is that my enjoyment of the series is somewhat of a casualty.

    I do not know if I am viewing the second season with a fair critique (for a reader), but I don’t think the issues that I raise are based on deviations from the book alone, there are just so many problems with the adaption of the series for Season 2, not only from an adaption point of view, but from an episodical and screenwriting point of view, not to say that I am an expert of course, but I don’t find these issues with many of the other shows that I watch (then again they are also not adaptions).

    I won’t go into all the things I didn’t like about the episodes, just the things I think are errors.

    First of all, in the very first scene of episode 1, Ser Dontos kneels down for the Kingsguard, rather than them forcing or holding him down. A minor blooper, of course, but on top of Tony Way’s poor acting and terrible american flag breastplate this was not a good introduction to the season for me.
    Ser Dontos is made Joffrey’s fool, but we haven’t even seen him since the first scene, when he’s supposed to play a bit of an important role in Sansa’s storyline.
    Yes, the show only has 10 hours and the books are quite large, but it seems more useful to build upon the principle storylines of the season (some of which DESPERATELY needed more establishing: Renly and Stannis in particular) rather than add in many weightless scenes for Littlefinger just because he’s being played by Aidan Gillen (who to my surprise has been underperforming :/, the first time I’ve ever seen him do it).
    This may make sense in theory, but in practice, well, it’s not working.

    The first episode was used as a re-establishing episode, but it really lacked direction and none of the principal storylines advanced at all. Instead, an invented cliffhanger was made that played up Gendry’s importance which was FAILED ABYSMALLY in the course of the four episodes.

    I don’t think that David and Dan put much stock in the Prologue chapter of A Clash of Kings (which many hardcore fans regard as an amazing chapter, I for one didn’t think too much of it on my first read through, but I found it amazing on my second) and in the end it was detrimental to this season. It would have been riskier ratings-wise, but probably better television if they used this episode to establish Dragonstone and Stannis’ storyline, perhaps with Maester Cressen’s death as the end of the episode. My line of thinking here is influenced by The Wire’s Second season opener, Ebb Tide, which has a fairly prominent amount of the new storyline in the first episode.
    Stannis has only had a handful of short scenes in the series so far, and sure, most people think he’s doing a good job, but I don’t really think he’s been that good and I think that’s largely because he’s been given relatively little material to work with.

    I believe that the Game of Thrones showrunners, as much as they say don’t make concessions for the masses, they are actually making quite a lot of concessions in order to try and make Game of Thrones accessible to as wide of an audience as possible within the R18+/Adult cable series medium (and they have stated this as their aim). While I would have preferred that the show was aimed for fans of the book, rather than wide appeal, I can’t say I expected anything different.
    I also think it’s pretty obvious that David, Dan and Bryan are new to television writing. Otherwise they might have gone with a more sensible episode structure, instead of the ‘okay firstly we’ll just re-cap most of the principle locations first, quickly skim over one of the new storylines and have an ooh-aah cliffhanger for the end of the episode, as that seemed to be highly effective in the first season, where there were plenty of good cliffhangers’.

    I think the second episode is my favourite of the four (funnily enough, it’s the lowest rated on imdb). I enjoyed most of the scenes despite wishing more of the book scenes were handled as well as the Arya/Gendry one (also Hi, I’m Jaqen H’ghar, see you in the 5th episode). I even liked the changes to Sallador Saan, Lucian Msamati was WONDERFUL as him. My only major gripe with it is the ending in which Craster hits Jon in the face with his new axe, and then kicks the Night’s Watch out of his ‘Keep’ at the start of episode 3.
    This is a bit of a continuity issue for when the Night’s watch are retreating from The First of the First Men in the third season. I have little to no doubt that the fact that Craster expelled them from his keep will be completely overlooked (something which they have proven they’re not above) and they’ll simply just wind up back there like nothing happened last time.
    I think that, if the writers of the show need to invent a cliffhanger that doesn’t exist in the books (when the book is ~1000 pages), then there’s something wrong with the episode, especially one that creates cracks in the narrative that they either ignore or puddy over. This may be done on True Blood of course, but I think the circumstances are a bit different because of the difference in cast size and original material (very short books compared to GRRMs series) to work with among other reasons.

    Bryan Cogman’s episode isn’t a bad episode from a Television perspective if you disregard the ending. Not to say I enjoyed all of the liberties taken or the interpretations of many of the scenes and characters, but for the most part it is on par. The only scene I thought was fantastic was the one where Cersei finds out about Myrcella.
    I’ve already posted many times about how the ending sequence makes no sense. Winter is Coming doesn’t seem to agree, but there is no excuse for many of the blatant flaws in the scene in regards to the adaption of the book, to top off which Gendry reveals that he’s a smith in the fourth episode just like I thought he would.

    As Bryan stated in the live interview thingo a few days ago, the scene was a few scenes from the script (not the book) that had to be compressed together, and it fell on him to resolve it. I can see that he took a page from David and Dan’s first and second episode where they played up Gendry’s importance, and altered the reasons for Amory Lorch’s attack on Yoren’s band. But the whole sequence was a big disaster and the explaining away of Lommy as Gendry is really just a bandaid on the bullethole. A useless narrative thread that went nowhere, especially since in the fourth episode The Tickler is still questioning people about ‘The Brotherhood’….

    Now that torture bit makes little sense in context :/

    The fourth episode is a real mixed bag, and I guess this one just comes down purely to preference. I think it really fails to capture many of the pivotal scenes of this part of A Clash of Kings and the changes to the narrative are only working in negative manners here. The biggest problem here is Littlefinger. I didn’t originally disapprove of him going to Renly’s camp instead of Highgarden, but the scenes they have given him have been absolutely pointless in the overall scheme of things.

    Littlefinger successfully fails to treat with Renly and pisses him off, pisses off Margaery and then pisses off Catelyn for no reason, as she had already started in the first episode that she would like to exchange Jaime for Sansa (and Arya). Why does she need Tyrion and Littlefinger to prong her into further suggestion? Not to mention the fact that we may see Catelyn release Littlefinger before the news of Bran and Rickon reaches her.
    All they are doing is creating narrative issues, I don’t understand what was wrong with half of the other scenes from this part of the book that they could have used instead. A Good point someone made was, the effects of the war aren’t even apparent anywhere in the TV show really.

    They really aren’t doing a good job with this part of the adaption. I think this comes from a combination of lack of planning, time constraints (to write the episodes), inexperience and of course, the wankery of their own creative license. The writers seem to give the most screen time to their invented scenes, most of which are very long and with the 10 episode limit it really cripples many parts of the story overall. It seems to be a bigger problem this season than the last.

    I know a lot of people here won’t agree, but I hope this post made some sense, rather than me just looking like a rambling idiot.

  577. fuelpagan
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    It’s a matter of perspective. I imagine Conan wanted to continue with the role of Gregor and presented his schedule to the producers when he was available this year. When a conflict was noticed Conan could have chose GoT over the other project, or the producers could have adjusted their schedule to shoot the scenes needing Gregor when Stevens was available. Conan felt his career would be better served staying on the other project, the producers felt it would be better to recast than make adjustments needed to accommodate Conan.

    It’s just business. If the producers can get Conan back for the big fight in season 4, they should.

  578. Stevron
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  579. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    George’s episode will be good though.

  580. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey, good post. I don’t agree with all your points, but I appreciate you taking the time to lay out your criticisms in a thoughtful, detailed and respectful manner. Kudos!

  581. Harald Natvik
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Beastling,

    Here’s my theory. Ros the Whore will end up as Queen of the Westeros at the end of the series….

  582. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    This episode had some strong scenes (Dinklage ftw!) but otherwise it was one of the weakest of the show thus far. I agree with the poster who wrote that he/she had no desire to re-watch the s2 episodes over and over again, like he/she did with s1. Even if we look past all the details, good or bad, the overall feel of the show is somehow soulless. I feel that the writers must really have struggled with the scripts this seasons, because so far it is a mess. The best scenes are the ones that are directly derived from the books. The “invented material” on the other hand is often shockingly bad. This is so disappointing, because in s1 the invented scenes were almost always superb, like the one with Robert and Cersei, or the verbal sparring between LF and Varys. What happened here?

    These are just my feelings right now. I will continue to watch and hope and pray (David, Dan, Bryan, Vanessa…). You in the crowd of automatic defense drones who always attack anyone who says anything negative about the show, feel free to pounce. Sorry to ruin your happy happy joy joy.

  583. hinka
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    I loved the books, I like the TVserie alot. But i need to admit: All your points you bring up are from my opinion true. Nice written and some thoughts D&D should read.

    But I also need to say that for example the Yoren-Arya-scene was great. I also liked the Joffrey scences they put in. But, there were also a lot of new scences that were too long and not helping in getting connected with the characters or helping the plot.

  584. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    I wish I hade the patience and skill to write a comment like yours. Well written indeed, and I agree with most of your views. Hope you don’t get flamed.

  585. Frost Nocturne
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Jen@House Stark,

    That’s exactly what I was thinking during the scene – so that’s where Hexas came from! A great moment with the music, Davos freaking out, and the impressive cgi.

    I was surprised and disappointed the episode didn’t end with Renly’s death, however. What I so liked about his death scene in the book is how utterly unexpected it is. I realize they want to cut out the minor Cortnay Penrose character and show the shadow birth for a more important event, but they could at least have ended the episode with Renly’s assassination to make it somewhat shocking. Now the unsullied will already have Renly’s death by shadow as a likely possibility that they must wait a week to confirm.

  586. Maxwell James
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    That’s a very good critical analysis. Thanks for putting it together so thoughtfully.

    Here’s the one thing I fully agree with you on:

    I can totally understand why other people are enjoying it so much, if you watched the series in a very laid-back manner for the sake of enjoyment and avoided comparing the series to the text then I can totally see why you might give ‘Garden of Bones’ a 9/10.

    To me that’s the only way to watch this show. I tried the other way, the way you are taking, last year, and found watching it to be a miserable experience (albeit one I did not document as carefully as you). I saw continuity errors everywhere – even today, if I think about it, it enrages me that they never explain why Arya is sent south with Ned in “The Kingsroad.” Will making his way south, sans horse, after watching an Other decapitate his brother twenty yards away? Unfrickenbelievable. And don’t even get me started on how the entire North seemed to have one (very busy) prostitute.

    Then episode 5 came around, and it was pretty decent, albeit with some very clunky fight choreography. And I decided then and there to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Adaptation. It’ll never equal the books, for me, but it has its own pleasures.

    And what’s better, making that decision allowed me to see the strengths of the show that I had been blinded to previously. Especially when I rewatched it in preparation for season 2, I found that the episodes I remembered with misery (#1-4), really weren’t, and that even the added scenes had their own charms.

    I also learned to be more forgiving because I saw the competition. Battlestar Galactica, for instance – a wonderful show that I watched in its entirety last year. It has leaps of logic and clumsy, poorly choreographed scenes that make the worst stuff on GoT seem like stunning professionalism. And I think BSG is a great show (better than GoT in fact, at least so far). I also re-watched the Lord of the Rings, and was reminded how incredibly clunky huge chunks of that trilogy are, including crass racial stereotypes, thuddingly unpersuasive action scenes, moronic dwarf-tossing jokes, and poor writing decisions in general.

    But the rest makes it a delight to watch, warts and all.

    It’s hard to do this stuff, especially on limited resources and very limited time of a TV show. I give them credit for doing it as well as they have, for taking a huge risk, for casting the show almost perfectly, and for opening the door to other, future adaptions that might never have been tried otherwise.

    Who knows. Perhaps thirty years from now this version of ASOIAF will be remembered like the Ralph Bakshi LOTR is today.

  587. The Rabbit
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I just rewatched the episode. It is great episode, IMO. And some scenes seem brilliant to me.

    I wanna say a few words of different perspectives of approach to the show by fans.
    Every single individual is frFee to choose if it s gonna be approach overhelmed with the books, or more loose approach, with books in mind, but with awerness that show is another entity and “lives” its own life.
    Even before the first season started I promised my self to choose the latter, more laid back approach (perhaps because some painful experiences from the past).
    And I am sure now that I made a right choice and that I allowed my self to enjoy the show.
    And I really do!

    I am not going to jump at the throat of the people who choose the former. It is their choice.
    And when someone presents his opinion in a thoughtfull, inteligent and argumented way, I appreciate that.

    There is also scale of reaction to certain scenes which one does not llike.
    For example, I noticed as well, the lack of the visual signs of war across the realm..though maybe we ll get some of it later – but I did not think it was a big deal.

    Also, my opinion on first four episodes of this season is that they are much better than the first 4 episodes of S1.
    The plot runs much better, less expositions, less scenes that appeared to me pretty forced (Sansa and septa in the Throne room, Pycelle-sexposition, or so).

    I am enjoying the show – despite the changes from the books, but I do not want to suggest or to force someone to choose the same path, if he does not want.

  588. Frost Nocturne
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    What I liked:

    Lancel/Tyrion was the highlight of the episode, just as good as the book version. Started laughing when Tyrion closed the door while talking about lavender oil. However, I agree that D&D need to start showing the Tyrion’s grey sides soon or as previous posters have said, he will become a bit of a caricature.

    Enjoyed Hot Pie’s strategy of staring the Mountain in the face to avoid getting chosen. Right away I knew the guy he copied would be picked. I found the scene quite funny despite the severe circumstances. The look and mood of Harrenal and the scenes there were also good, as was the Tickler, who was spot on in portraying the banality of evil. I was glad the Brotherhood got a mention, but I was really hoping to hear “Where is Beric Dondarrien?” to remind the more astute audiences (like the TWOP forum members who have noticed his absence) of his presence for when he appears in S3. Asking if there was gold in “the village” was odd, however, since the interrogation is in Harrenhal and we were never shown any village.

    Tywin’s entrance was suitably grand, and the Ganandorf comparison is apt. Charles Dance is perfect, and gives him that strong presence that characterizes Tywin. I liked that he saw Arya for a girl and his comment to the soldier, but I cringed when he asked for Arya to be his cupbearer out of nowhere.

    Regarding Roose Bolton: The Leech Lord is one of my favorite characters in ASOIAF, so I was psyched to see him in this episode. The casting is perfect, and I don’t mind too much that he doesn’t have a whisper-like voice as Michael McElhatton has a suitably cold, subtly menacing, slightly unusual voice. I just hope they don’t change his storyline much. e.g. he will be take Harrenhal after weasel soup late this season, will interact with Jaime and Brienne in the next, and will stab Robb through the heart at the RW. Anyone saying he doesn’t need to be at the RW when he’s the one who kills the North’s greatest hope and what is set to become an even more major and fan-favorite character in the adaptation, is willing to sacrifice too much. I don’t know how you can be a fan of the character while being ok with cutting such a defining moment. If they have Roose burn Winterfell this season it will be a shame, even if they do include Ramsay later, as the contrast of the two Boltons is important. It will also make Roose’s part in the RW much less surprising. There are hints in the books – burning Winterfell is not a hint.

    What I didn’t like:

    Dany’s shouting at the 13 was ridiculous. The whole scene was awful, in all honesty probably the worst scene of the entire show. Xaro’s presence made it a little better, regarding the quality and presence of the actor, but the fact that he’s just been introduced and yet is going so out of his way to help this insane lady from the desert is weird.

    LF/Cat felt off, especially LF coming on to Cat after he betrayed Ned and she’s clearly furious. They’re making LF more blatant and tactless in every episode, it seems. Even if she somehow wasn’t angry at him, what’s he going to do about his gift? “It seems we’ve been given this chance! Oh, by the way, here’s your husbands bones.”

    The Renly/Stannis parley came out of nowhere, a simple mention of Stannis moving his forces toward Renly’s army earlier would have helped, along with some explanation of the location of the various players. The scene itself was decent, but Cat really didn’t help much compared to the voice of reason (specific reasons for an alliance, not saying “I would bang your heads together if you were my sons” in an exasperated voice).

    Overall episode 3 is still by far the best this season. My order would be 3>>>>1>4>2. Looking forward to Renly and the Ghost of Harrenhal next sunday.

  589. Lex
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:

    Who knows. Perhaps thirty years from now this version of ASOIAF will be remembered like the Ralph Bakshi LOTR is today.

    Hahaha… um, no.

  590. KG
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Fran,

    Well, I guess there’s always “Merlin” for delicate folks like you. Run along now; the streetlights are on and it’s bedtime!

  591. Leuf
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Dany’s shouting at the 13 was ridiculous. The whole scene was awful, in all honesty probably the worst scene of the entire show. Xaro’s presence made it a little better, regarding the quality and presence of the actor, but the fact that he’s just been introduced and yet is going so out of his way to help this insane lady from the desert is weird.

    While I agree that the scene is bad, I thought what Xaro did there was fine. He sees an opportunity to put Dany in debt to him. In fact, the whole scene would actually start to make sense if this whole sequence from the 13 is actually an act they put on for newbies. One plays the bad cop and one plays the good cop who then milks them for everything they are worth.

  592. Carol
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Frost Nocturne,

    I completely agree with you. Dany’s scene was just plain stupid. The characters of Qarth seemed like they were forgotten and then D&D scrambled to get something together at the last moment. Their garb is great but “sumai” was dumb. As was the fat white guy who presented himself first. I don’t think Dany screaming was that terrible, since it was well-acted yelling, at least. However, I’m sad they chose to kill off a blood rider and changing their names.

    Tywin’s arrival at Harrenhal was incomparable. Really excellent. I thought the same about Stannis’ out of the blue arrival but Stannis and Renly had superb dialogue, even sans peach.

    The only real complaints I have about this episode is Tallisa from Volantis and “sumai.” Unnecessary.

  593. andrea
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: if you watched the series in a very laid-back manner for the sake of enjoyment

    I agree with you on some of your criticisms. Episode 2 was the one I liked the most too but what I didn´t like of that episode and the word with which I referred to it, maybe should describe my attitude to the series. I´ve said that the battle with the Lannister soldiers was “messy” but what I actually thought as I watched that scene, was quite different. I’m usually much more concerned about the writing but what really drives me crazy now is that they are failing directing some of the actors (being that the quality of the actors, overall, is excellent). I´ve said in other post that I know some directors are shy when working with great actors. I´ve seen it before but still, it´s a pitty.
    What I’m trying to say is that at the end of season 1 I decided something similar to what Maxwell James said, the difference is I never cared if this tv adaptation is religiously respectful to the books or not. GoT is not as good as I thought it would be (for now) but I learned to appreciate it just as it is and enjoy it anyway (most of the time). Everything can be improved, of course, but I fear it must be hell to adapt these books and please fans, producers, etc. Hell.
    I get your dissapointment though.

  594. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    AJ: SIDE-NOTE: Am I the only one who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Ned’s death? The execution, Catelyn looking at the bones, etc. I don’t feel a thing. :/
    Half of the scenes with Dany and Arya make me emotional though lol.

    You’re not the only one. I hope you are comforted by this fact, AJ. I know it comforts me to know someone between the same big sky is also not caring about Ned.

    Regarding that magical, female energy emotion. I also feel it sometimes during nude scenes. I miss last years’ Dany scenes (I believe they was all naked) and I have no idea why they let that poor girl open her mouth to speak lines while she is constantly dressed. They should let one of her handmaidens do all the talking in that truly hideous made up language. I do think the Dothraki language is a fail. It is so ugly. But it is better than seeing Dany’s choppers ever again. I think that a mute Dany would be a great change in the show from the books. I think she would have to act with her eyes more and I would then feel more.

    Speaking of nudity and feeling, I have been praying that Episode 9 “Bayou Dannybrook” with be 48 minutes of pure HBO medieval style hoo’ers wrestling in puddin’ for dey king. I know many feel alienated by the nudity but, however, they matter as much as people who missed the juicy peach and other pointless BS from the book.

  595. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: And I think BSG is a great show (better than GoT in fact, at least so far).

    Every show is not perfect. The problem with GoT is it has to contend with the books and the hype (both are greater than the show). I wanted to hated BSG and could not, even though it is absolutely imperfect, it is very well written. GoT is not well balanced and it is simply lacking the parts of the books (which by the way are also not perfect) that gained its following. GoT is a good adaptation as far as adaptations go, but it is not a great show; it pales in comparison to its hype and the expectations of long term book fans. The show is in fact stuck in a gray area between genre favorites such as TB and Zombieville and something more cerebral and tasteful. My solution is hire Sam Raimi to direct the rest of the episodes and they’ll be fine.

  596. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Fran: 1.- They are making littlefinger look dumb and a really bad person (opposite to the books), making him much more one dimensional and basic overall.
    2.- Joffrey is too one sided character, too evil. In the books he was evil but because of his foolishness and not THAT much. The scene with the two whores was DIGUSTING:
    3.- Almost every character is really simple and not fleshed out.
    4.- Arya was supposed to WHISPER those names with hate because she wants them dead. The show makes a really poor and clumsy attemp to show it… I don’t know if non readers got that…
    5.- The daenerys scene was ridiculous and embarrasing. There were like 15 dothrakis in the kalasaar. Is it really so expensive so hire a few more extras…? (I bet there are a lot of people even willing to work for free as long as they appear on the show…)
    6.-Are they going to skip all the battles from the books? I mean I know they have a really low budget (or it seems so) but this is starting to be ridiculous. Specially the mess they did with last episode “battle”.
    7.- Horrible last scene with Malisandre and Davos, I guess HBO love to be controversial just for the sake of being it. Bad use of CGI, it could have been much easier and cheaper with a camera focusing the cave wall and a shadow moving along it. We would be able to see the shadow thanks to the lantern, and finally the shadow dissapearing through the tunnel…
    8.- Please HBO STOP with the unnecessary GORE and SEXPOSITION all the time. If you had made a good adaptation you wouldn’t be needing it but alas this is not the case…
    9.- Where was Rob? and the meeting between Stannis and Renly? We as spectators never know unless we ‘ve read the books.
    10.-Why are the actors continously posing for the camera? This happens specially for Melisandre, Littlefinger, Margaery, Daenerys.
    11.- The dialogue between the “humble merchant” and Daenerys was HORRIBLE, written by kids for kids. And why does he speak perfect english (the language from westeros)? Wasn’t he from Qarth which is nearly on the other edge of the world?…

    1. I kind of agree, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Littlefinger in this show is very different than the Littlefinger I see when reading the books.
    2. He’s older and his sadism is further along, it makes sense to me. And Jack Gleeson is just killing it, so I have no complaints, he’s already one of the most epic villains in television history. And yes, that scene was as disgusting as it was meant to be.
    3. It’s television and you’re used to the point-of-view perspective, and considering time constraints this is pretty much inevitable.
    4. If they didn’t then they weren’t paying attention. The show even added that scene with Yoren last episode to make it even clearer.
    5. Her khalasar is supposed to be a little embarrassing. “Horde?”
    6. The Oxcross battle doesn’t even appear in the books. They’re saving their jizz for Blackwater.
    7. I thought the CGI was fantastic, and better than I expected. I’m a little annoyed at everyone saying “Smoke monster!” but what can you do? And why do you blame HBO for showing a scene exactly as it was portrayed in the books? The appearance of the shadow baby was left open to interpretation.
    8. The books are full of gore. Do you self-censor when you read? And there was NO sexposition whatsoever in this episode. And they pretty much explained themselves in this regard through Doreah last season. “Men talk when they’re happy.”
    9. You’re kinda right here, wish they’d given some geographical reference, as neither site appears on the opening credits.
    10. Probably because they’re actors on a tv show.
    11. I thought it was a little clunky, but kind of funny. And I just assumed that they chose the one most familiar with the Westerosi tongue to speak for the group.

  597. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    Haven’t read any of the comments yet so don’t know what the rest thinks but I give this episode an 11 out of 10, wowzers!! Great writing, great cinematogrophy, great scenes. Fucking everything was phenomenal, even the bondage-scene was awkwardly good. The only reason I’m not giving this episode a 12 out of 10 is because of that strange Littlefinger: “Cat, now Ned is dead we can finally be together again, hurrah!”-scene,I’m sure it is nitpicked before me. Now, off to scan through the comments.

    I honestly wondered if he was just messing with her in that moment. I mean he did follow it up with a flat-out lie about Arya. I’ve often wondered while reading the books if he doesn’t play up his crush on Cat because it’s actually transformed into something completely different, a desire for revenge since she rejected him.

  598. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    I found the old post made by Stevens in the thread here on the casting of Amory Lorch and speculation that Stevens was leaving the show.The speculation was rampant at that point as to why he was leaving and then the man himself spoke up. Here is the link to Conan Steven’s post:

    http://winteriscoming.net/2011/09/amory-lorch-cast-gregor-recast/#comment-131915

    Note the bit where he talks about a speaking part being better and how auditions have opened up, etc.and then scroll down a bit to this next post he made which is enigmatic at best:

    http://winteriscoming.net/2011/09/amory-lorch-cast-gregor-recast/#comment-132113

    What?Someone later on pointed out that a post here on WiC had called Conan “the real Tyrion” for his cunning in getting the part of Gregor.So, that seems to imply that Conan himself thinks he was cunning in leaving the show after just using it as a spring board to bigger parts, as also implied in his first post.That was a weird experience back in September.It made me wonder if Stevens was under the influence of something when posting.

    I’ve actually wondered if they dropped him for being a blabbermouth. I mean I remember him coming on here last year and complaining about the way they’d edited his fight scene. And other people from the show definitely read this forum (Cogman for one), so I imagine it got back to the showrunners. You just don’t publicly criticize people working on your show, very bad form.

  599. Langkard
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I’ve actually wondered if they dropped him for being a blabbermouth. I mean I remember him coming on here last year and complaining about the way they’d edited his fight scene. And other people from the show definitely read this forum (Cogman for one), so I imagine it got back to the showrunners. You just don’t publicly criticize people working on your show, very bad form.

    It was a weird happening, in every way. Again, I’m not complaining that Conan chose to leave the show to further his career. I’m complaining that he only admitted to that once, here, and then changed his tune entirely, blaming the show instead for his leaving. That just doesn’t pass the smell test. I certainly wouldn’t rehire someone to a show who had falsely accused the show for his leaving the first time. Is it possible that his new story is true or partly true? Sure it is. I’m willing to accept that as possible, although unlikely in my opinion when the whole timeline of his admissions then denials is considered.

    I initially brought this all up, way back up there in the thread, to respond to people waxing nostalgic for the “good old times” of Conan as Gregor, and bemoaning the show recasting the part. I only wanted to point out that the producers of GOT didn’t have any choice in the matter, had to cast someone else and that Ian Whyte was a good choice in a bad situation. Whyte is going fine in a small part that wasn’t intended to be a major speaking role for someone’s career advancement. I’m pretty sure he understands that. I wonder if Conan Stevens understood it at all?

  600. andrea
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I’ve often wondered while reading the books if he doesn’t play up his crush on Cat because it’s actually transformed into something completely different, a desire for revenge since she rejected him.

    I think the same. What he feels is way darker than it seems. In the books I mean.

  601. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: You just don’t publicly criticize people working on your show, very bad form.

    Right… “Don’t mess with us”, even though you apparently can’t be replaced since you are the only one out of the UK who isn’t famous on the set. I don’t buy it. Actors shouldn’t be afraid to chat online. Being unprofessional is unprofessional but …. Anyway “failure Mountain that Rides” is just a tiny nothing compared to other glaring issues.

    Or if you are right, nice one Cogman, your credentials are weak, so don’t be a rat.

  602. Lord Of Lite
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I think the answer to how Tyrion knew Cat was at Renly’s camp is right there in the book. Tyrion was always worrying in the book that Littlefinger was taking too much time to get back to King’s Landing. He sent Littlefinger to Cat at Robb’s camp. Littlefinger took it upon himself to consort with Renly before going to offer Cat Ned’s bones and a deal for her children. He was at Renly’s to do Littlefinger’s business. He was surprised to find Cat there. But, relieved to kill two crows with one stone.

  603. Lord Of Lite
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I may be wrong, but I’m really hoping for a rewrite on the Poole/Westerling/Talisa character. Make her a bastard from Volantis by way of a Dornish prince. That will give Cat some real soul searching of her treatment of Jon. It would give depth to her and Robb’s relationship.

  604. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Lord Of Lite: I think the answer to how [enter anything meaningful] is right there in the book.

    Exactly. None could have said it better.

  605. andrea
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Lord Of Lite,

    it´s just a dream, but I share it with you.

  606. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Wow. Winter, Ours, FaB etc…there are some real classy characters invading this board and I am not talking about our resident contrarians who love or hate the show at this moment, I am talking straight out douchebags.

    Seriously this board is a cesspool right now. Someone’s attacking Bryan Cogman for chrissakes, calling Arthur a terrible slur. How does this reflect upon the website?

    Echoes of Ain’t It Cool News…:-(

  607. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Anyone follow the TWOP Unspoiled boards? They are really pissed off with the “smoke monster”. They feel that it is a cheap way of getting rid of Renly, and they are afraid that magic through deus ex machina is going to play a bigger role in the series. Some of them are threatening to quit the show. I wish I could tell them that it’s not really the case, that the Mel moment was basically the weapon used for an assassination and Mel doesn’t really do much more this season than piss Davos off near the end. I wish I could tell the the siege of Winterfell, Blackwater and of course the machiavellian madness of A Storm of Swords is to follow.

    I feel for them.

  608. andrea
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: and they are afraid that magic through deus ex machina is going to play a bigger role in the series.

    you can´t do anything for them if they don´t remember this is a fantasy series.

  609. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Sent from my iPhone: Or if you are right, nice one Cogman, your credentials are weak, so don’t be a rat.

    Wow, you really took that somewhere I never intended it to go.

  610. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Anyone follow the TWOP Unspoiled boards? They are really pissed off with the “smoke monster”. They feel that it is a cheap way of getting rid of Renly, and they are afraid that magic through deus ex machina is going to play a bigger role in the series. Some of them are threatening to quit the show. I wish I could tell them that it’s not really the case, that the Mel moment was basically the weapon used for an assassination and Mel doesn’t really do much more this season than piss Davos off near the end. I wish I could tell the the siege of Winterfell, Blackwater and of course the machiavellian madness of A Storm of Swords is to follow.

    I feel for them.

    Yeah, it’s kind of funny. It’s also happening on another board I follow with a newbie thread, some people are very hung up on the “smoke monster” and how cheesy it is/what it signifies/not in keeping with the tone of the show. Like the other supernatural stuff (and there has been a lot of it, if not always in your face) was okay, but this, this is just beyond the pale. It’s actually pretty surprising to me to see that reaction, because it actually could have been SO much cheesier. But then it reminds you why it was effective in the books, because Renly is offed first, very mysteriously and out of nowhere, then later we see details about where that thing came from.

  611. Jorge
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I agree. I felt they should have included the [spoiler] death of Renly before the birth of the shadow baby, and just kept Courtnay Penrose, even if it does seem like a logical place to condense. As of right now, the shadow baby seems to come out of nowhere, and now there’s almost zero suspense about Renly; everyone knows he’s a goner next episode. The show has really been rushing through the Stannis Renly plotline.[/spoiler]

  612. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I agree that Renly’s random death and the birth at Storm’s End for Penrose would have set it up a little better, but at the same time it may have had the same reaction as well.

    Who would have thought that the possibly most polarizing moment for the newbie fanbase would be the shadow baby and not Ned Stark’s death?

    I hope they tough out their prejudices until the RW.

    Speaking of season 3, I am looking forward to the expanded narrative. As much as I am enjoying this season, I am beginning to see how rushed it is compared to season 1. I am sure on a complete re-watch it will be fine, but I imagine it a frustrating to the newbies.

  613. KG
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I’ve actually wondered if they dropped him for being a blabbermouth. I mean I remember him coming on here last year and complaining about the way they’d edited his fight scene. And other people from the show definitely read this forum (Cogman for one), so I imagine it got back to the showrunners. You just don’t publicly criticize people working on your show, very bad form.

    I tend to agree with you. I thought it was a little ill-advised for him to slag the editing team in a fan forum.

  614. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Where did you want it to go? It’s speculation over real professional lives. It’s ugly and it’s gossip.

  615. The DarkStar
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: I think a lot of my disappointment and negativity comes from the fact that over the past four years I have read the books too many times since a friend recommended A Game of Thrones to me in late 2008, and I have not stopped re-reading (currently doing the audiobooks).
    I watched the first season too many times as well, as I have introduced it to many of my friends and sat down and watched the episodes with them. And due to this, my original excitement and giddiness has worn off, and I am now viewing the show in a more critical manner.

    I can totally understand why other people are enjoying it so much, if you watched the series in a very laid-back manner for the sake of enjoyment and avoided comparing the series to the text then I can totally see why you might give ‘Garden of Bones’ a 9/10. I am unable to do that. The only bad thing about that is that my enjoyment of the series is somewhat of a casualty.

    I disagree.
    I’ve read the first 3 books, 3 times, with the second re-read maybe being the best, but picking up details and nuances every time. I feel the same about the show, especially to new viewers. This isn’t a casual show. There is so much going on between the lines, just like the books, that on re-watches I see and understand more of the TV version of ASOIF. I don’t think there is anything like it on TV that has as many layers as it does, just like Martins books in literature.
    I think with more watches, this show truly displays more substance than any show out there.
    (That said, I believe to a casual viewer there are better things on TV written specifically for TV, like Spartacus, 24 or perhaps in your case, Mad Men.)

  616. Lex
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    In defense of the Qarth scene, my friends have all told me they really liked it.

  617. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    The Wire. Although it’s not on TV anymore.

    I don’t think Game of Thrones is in the same class, in terms of depth or nuance.

    The sheer amount of storylines combined with the added scenes that don’t enhance the narrative gives little room for it. Plus a piecemeal effort is made to weave it together, I suppose that’s due to the 10 hour cap as well.

    Game of Thrones also relies upon a lot of say-so, particularly involving Renly and Stannis.

    one example was pointed out by Larry Williams: The show tells us that Renly is a great and charismatic leader.
    Yet the character is not shown in this light at any stage at all during the series, like he is in the books. We never see him be particularly skilled at diplomacy or an inspiring person.
    He also has 40,000 ? Men that we never see and it’s never explained in the show how he got them.

    Whereas in The Wire, this is mostly used in reverse. We see an action by a person, and then someone else might explain the reason for it, “he’s like that because of X past event”. And generally if someone is described as anything, an example is given.

    Game of Thrones is also pretty much captain obvious with nearly everything, except Sansa and Sandor’s relationship, haha.

    The structure and volume of storylines in the series doesn’t make it a show for the casual viewer, but a lot of concessions are made for the casual audience to try and make up for it, whereas David Simon’s shows are completely devoid of deliberate compensation.
    (He’s also been known to diss people for liking the show for the wrong reasons which is part awesome and part dickhead).

  618. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    Thank you for the effort you put in your response. I appreciate your perspective and though I may disagree on it’s shortcomings as an adaptation, I will say that this is not my favourite television series (Wire, Buffy and X Files are my triumvirate). Mad Men has been increasingly stellar, as has Breaking Bad and GoT could reach that calibre given some tweaks and direction. Personally I have noticed the rushed manner that season 2 has been put together. I really feel that the show needs room to breathe and two seasons for A Storm of Swords and a bit of AFFC/ADWD may be the right recipe for excellence.

    Love that your a Wire fan. Have you seen Justified? Check it out, that and the cancelled Showtime series Brotherhood, an unsung masterpiece in my opinion.

    All that said Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister is a wonder to behold.

  619. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    For an adaption, the first season was quite good. This season just feels very rushed and mish-mash in comparison (more in the fact of ‘the domino effect’, not taking into account problems with changes and compressions). Not to say that some things haven’t improved (such as the cinematography).

    Maybe the show will improve as the season progresses, or maybe it will take until after The Battle of the Blackwater (which has every indication of being a good episode) to find a bit more stride, given that the third book has been cut in two, which should give them a bit more room to move.

    I haven’t watched Justified yet (it’s on my list), never heard of Brotherhood.

    One series I was really impressed with was the 1997 BBC mini-series Ivanhoe, that was a bloody fantastic adaption.

  620. Dee
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    Joshua Taylor,

    IMO, Justified is one of the best shows on TV right now (Mad Men, Spartacus and The Fades rounding up my top 4). The world is harsh yet credible, the performances stellar, the characters nuanced, and the storylines complex in a way that demonstrates the writers’ faith in the intelligence of the audience. In fact, in terms of writing alone, I can go so far as to call it the best show running at the moment.

  621. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    Ivanhoe, I will check it out.

    Brotherhood, starring Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke (Aussie Actor), Fionnula Flannagan and Annabeth Gish among others. It’s basically a Wire meets the Sopranos meets the Departed, involving the organized crime and politics in Providence, Rhode Island set between the friction of two brothers, Isaacs the criminal and Clarke, the politician. Absolutely fantastic. Jason Isaacs is brilliant in it. It’s only three seasons and unlike Deadwood was brought to a rich, satisfying conclusion. The series finale is one of the best I have ever seen, low key but so powerful at the same time.

    Regarding GoT, I don’t think it will ever match the quality and nuance of shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. While the potential is definitely there, it’s simply too popular and if it tries to be a bit more nuanced and less caring of the large audience’s short attention span it doesn’t have an average budget to fall back on like Justified or even Mad Men. It’s too expensive to be perfect. It clearly has no faith in it’s audiences despite many, many bright patches. Am I making sense?

  622. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    I think you’re right in regards to the four overall. However I think Winter is Coming and The Kingsroad were very good for what they had to do, cover quite a large chunk of the first book without straying too much from the actual book scenes.

    I think they were a lot stronger than ‘The North Remembers’, even if they were slower.

    Lord Snow and Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things contained a lot of long added scenes. Some of which I thought were good, and some which I thought were not so good, but a lot of the book scenes suffered because of this (and Game of Thrones most of the chapters advance the plot).

    I’m not sure it’s fair to compare them yet because the second season is still very fresh for most people. The satisfaction of finally seeing Balon Greyjoy, Brienne of Tarth or Davos Seaworth played with an amount of justice is probably going to hold sway over the scenes that Sean Bean nailed in the first season. But then again there does feel like a bit more ‘synergy’ between the cast this season, the scenes don’t feel quite as ‘staged’ as a lot of them did in the first season, but there are still quite a few in this season that do.

  623. The DarkStar
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey,

    The wire may be the standard barer in deep and nuanced drama, but GoT, at the very least, has been successful at bringing a deep, complicated drama into the mainstream and a MUCH broader audience than The Wire (which like the other shows I’ve mentioned was written specifically for TV.)

  624. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Sure, that’s pretty much what they were aiming to do, and they’ve succeeded at it.

    But I think a lot of people are attracted to the show because fantasy is in at the moment, because of the many hooks it has, the cliffhangers and the production values, rather than the writing/drama/adaption itself.

  625. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    LordDavos12,

    Yeah my bad… I can’t do spoiler tag on my iPhone.

    Of course you can, yo just don’t know how to. Just type the code. left arrow b right arrow space left arrow /b right arrow

    Jordan Healey:
    Don’t read this post if you don’t want to hear any negativity, just skip over it.

    I must say I quite pleased with the civility of your post compared to others who have taken mine and several others from the negative camp as ‘affronting’ to the show.

    The TV series isn’t a commercial failure, it’s quite a big success and it is punching it’s way into popular culture (In my mind, this is generally not a good sign but YMMV). Neither is it a failure as a standalone TV series. I don’t think the series is as good as most others here do as a whole, for instance last season I found myself enjoying Treme far more than Game of Thrones; and this season I am finding Mad Men to be the best series of the competing weekly dramas that I watch.

    I thought the first season was pretty good as far as adaptions and TV series go. It didn’t become my favourite show, but after every episode I felt fantastic and I watched the episodes several times over. The things I didn’t like didn’t get in the way of my excitement that my favourite books had been made into a pretty good series.

    I deliberately did not watch any of the preview clips for the second season because I think that spoiled some of the enjoyment of the first series for me, and I was looking forward to the deviations from the book because they sounded alright.

    However I have not enjoyed any of the episodes of the second season. I have enjoyed select scenes, but for the most part I have been disappointed, sometimes angered or frustrated by the individual episodes and by the series as a whole.

    I think a lot of my disappointment and negativity comes from the fact that over the past four years I have read the books too many times since a friend recommended A Game of Thrones to me in late 2008, and I have not stopped re-reading (currently doing the audiobooks).
    I watched the first season too many times as well, as I have introduced it to many of my friends and sat down and watched the episodes with them. And due to this, my original excitement and giddiness has worn off, and I am now viewing the show in a more critical manner.

    I can totally understand why other people are enjoying it so much, if you watched the series in a very laid-back manner for the sake of enjoyment and avoided comparing the series to the text then I can totally see why you might give ‘Garden of Bones’ a 9/10. I am unable to do that. The only bad thing about that is that my enjoyment of the series is somewhat of a casualty.

    I do not know if I am viewing the second season with a fair critique (for a reader), but I don’t think the issues that I raise are based on deviations from the book alone, there are just so many problems with the adaption of the series for Season 2, not only from an adaption point of view, but from an episodical and screenwriting point of view, not to say that I am an expert of course, but I don’t find these issues with many of the other shows that I watch (then again they are also not adaptions).

    I won’t go into all the things I didn’t like about the episodes, just the things I think are errors.

    First of all, in the very first scene of episode 1, Ser Dontos kneels down for the Kingsguard, rather than them forcing or holding him down. A minor blooper, of course, but on top of Tony Way’s poor acting and terrible american flag breastplate this was not a good introduction to the season for me.
    Ser Dontos is made Joffrey’s fool, but we haven’t even seen him since the first scene, when he’s supposed to play a bit of an important role in Sansa’s storyline.
    Yes, the show only has 10 hours and the books are quite large, but it seems more useful to build upon the principle storylines of the season (some of which DESPERATELY needed more establishing: Renly and Stannis in particular) rather than add in many weightless scenes for Littlefinger just because he’s being played by Aidan Gillen (who to my surprise has been underperforming :/, the first time I’ve ever seen him do it).
    This may make sense in theory, but in practice, well, it’s not working.

    The first episode was used as a re-establishing episode, but it really lacked direction and none of the principal storylines advanced at all. Instead, an invented cliffhanger was made that played up Gendry’s importance which was FAILED ABYSMALLY in the course of the four episodes.

    I don’t think that David and Dan put much stock in the Prologue chapter of A Clash of Kings (which many hardcore fans regard as an amazing chapter, I for one didn’t think too much of it on my first read through, but I found it amazing on my second) and in the end it was detrimental to this season. It would have been riskier ratings-wise, but probably better television if they used this episode to establish Dragonstone and Stannis’ storyline, perhaps with Maester Cressen’s death as the end of the episode. My line of thinking here is influenced by The Wire’s Second season opener, Ebb Tide, which has a fairly prominent amount of the new storyline in the first episode.
    Stannis has only had a handful of short scenes in the series so far, and sure, most people think he’s doing a good job, but I don’t really think he’s been that good and I think that’s largely because he’s been given relatively little material to work with.

    I believe that the Game of Thrones showrunners, as much as they say don’t make concessions for the masses, they are actually making quite a lot of concessions in order to try and make Game of Thrones accessible to as wide of an audience as possible within the R18+/Adult cable series medium (and they have stated this as their aim). While I would have preferred that the show was aimed for fans of the book, rather than wide appeal, I can’t say I expected anything different.I also think it’s pretty obvious that David, Dan and Bryan are new to television writing. Otherwise they might have gone with a more sensible episode structure, instead of the ‘okay firstly we’ll just re-cap most of the principle locations first, quickly skim over one of the new storylines and have an ooh-aah cliffhanger for the end of the episode, as that seemed to be highly effective in the first season, where there were plenty of good cliffhangers’.

    I think the second episode is my favourite of the four (funnily enough, it’s the lowest rated on imdb). I enjoyed most of the scenes despite wishing more of the book scenes were handled as well as the Arya/Gendry one (also Hi, I’m Jaqen H’ghar, see you in the 5th episode). I even liked the changes to Sallador Saan, Lucian Msamati was WONDERFUL as him. My only major gripe with it is the ending in which Craster hits Jon in the face with his new axe, and then kicks the Night’s Watch out of his ‘Keep’ at the start of episode 3.
    This is a bit of a continuity issue for when the Night’s watch are retreating from The First of the First Men in the third season. I have little to no doubt that the fact that Craster expelled them from his keep will be completely overlooked (something which they have proven they’re not above) and they’ll simply just wind up back there like nothing happened last time.
    I think that, if the writers of the show need to invent a cliffhanger that doesn’t exist in the books (when the book is ~1000 pages), then there’s something wrong with the episode, especially one that creates cracks in the narrative that they either ignore or puddy over. This may be done on True Blood of course, but I think the circumstances are a bit different because of the difference in cast size and original material (very short books compared to GRRMs series) to work with among other reasons.

    Bryan Cogman’s episode isn’t a bad episode from a Television perspective if you disregard the ending. Not to say I enjoyed all of the liberties taken or the interpretations of many of the scenes and characters, but for the most part it is on par. The only scene I thought was fantastic was the one where Cersei finds out about Myrcella.
    I’ve already posted many times about how the ending sequence makes no sense. Winter is Coming doesn’t seem to agree, but there is no excuse for many of the blatant flaws in the scene in regards to the adaption of the book, to top off which Gendry reveals that he’s a smith in the fourth episode just like I thought he would.

    As Bryan stated in the live interview thingo a few days ago, the scene was a few scenes from the script (not the book) that had to be compressed together, and it fell on him to resolve it. I can see that he took a page from David and Dan’s first and second episode where they played up Gendry’s importance, and altered the reasons for Amory Lorch’s attack on Yoren’s band. But the whole sequence was a big disaster and the explaining away of Lommy as Gendry is really just a bandaid on the bullethole. A useless narrative thread that went nowhere, especially since in the fourth episode The Tickler is still questioning people about ‘The Brotherhood’….

    Now that torture bit makes little sense in context :/

    The fourth episode is a real mixed bag, and I guess this one just comes down purely to preference. I think it really fails to capture many of the pivotal scenes of this part of A Clash of Kings and the changes to the narrative are only working in negative manners here. The biggest problem here is Littlefinger. I didn’t originally disapprove of him going to Renly’s camp instead of Highgarden, but the scenes they have given him have been absolutely pointless in the overall scheme of things.

    Littlefinger successfully fails to treat with Renly and pisses him off, pisses off Margaery and then pisses off Catelyn for no reason, as she had already started in the first episode that she would like to exchange Jaime for Sansa (and Arya). Why does she need Tyrion and Littlefinger to prong her into further suggestion? Not to mention the fact that we may see Catelyn release Littlefinger before the news of Bran and Rickon reaches her.
    All they are doing is creating narrative issues, I don’t understand what was wrong with half of the other scenes from this part of the book that they could have used instead. A Good point someone made was, the effects of the war aren’t even apparent anywhere in the TV show really.

    They really aren’t doing a good job with this part of the adaption. I think this comes from a combination of lack of planning, time constraints (to write the episodes), inexperience and of course, the wankery of their own creative license. The writers seem to give the most screen time to their invented scenes, most of which are very long and with the 10 episode limit it really cripples many parts of the story overall. It seems to be a bigger problem this season than the last.

    I know a lot of people here won’t agree, but I hope this post made some sense, rather than me just looking like a rambling idiot.

    You would be raising some valid points if you’d stop compairing the books to the show. The show has to be analized by itself, instead of constantly compairing it. We are also overanalyzing it…if every scene of The Wire was subject to the scrutiny we are submmiting every scene of GoT to, we’d find as many, or even more, gripes. Nevertheless, I also think that they are wasting an opportunity .. But maybe is for the better? Let me try to explain:

    They could be aiming for a 10. For a The Wire, Mad Men, The Sopranos kind of perfection. But is very very very hard to do that with a show like GoT (a genre show, with a huge budget etc..) Nine out of ten times it would end up in disaster (or with and awesome show with no followers that has to be cancelled becasue is to expensive..) So instead of that they are aiming for a 9, to do the best show possible without aiming for total perfection.

    Yes, we lose the subtlety, the “poetry”, that extra factor that would put GoT up there with the best…but we get an awesome show nonetheless. Maybe this is the best show possible that can be done in this day in age, in this network, with this budget? It may possibly be. I don’t like some things of the show (Yara, Shae, Littlefinger) but let’s not lose perspective here, remember The Legend Of The Seeker…overall I give it a 8.5/9.

    Joshua Taylor:
    Jordan Healey,

    I will say that this is not my favourite television series (Wire, Buffy and X Files are my triumvirate). Mad Men has been increasingly stellar, as has Breaking Bad and GoT could reach that calibre given some tweaks and direction.
    Love that your a Wire fan. Have you seen Justified? Check it out, that and the cancelled Showtime series Brotherhood, an unsung masterpiece in my opinion.

    I could never get into Buffy. I guess I was too old when it became “available” were I live ;) X-Files I was a fan off, but the show that really made an impact on me was Twin Peaks. That was a revolution. And close to The Wire I’d put The Sopranos. And Friends, in a totally different register.

    Never seen Brotherhood…cancelled? how come?

    Of the ones airing now I also love Justified (and Breaking Bad, ofc) but let me add The Good Wife and Sons of Anarchy (don’t get all the hate it gets).

    The Killing I love to hate and hate to love…could be so good, but has some big , big issues :S

  626. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    I don’t think that’s fair to chastize me for being a book reader. I could have left the comparisons to the books out of my post, and maybe you would have a different opinion, but it wouldn’t make the arguments any more valid, in fact there would be less context.

    My main problems with the series are the loopholes, continuity issues and errors that arise from changes from the text withour proper consideration to the consequences. One of the ‘challenges’ of adaption.

    I haven’t been very vocal about the cutting or combining of characters or locations, despite deeply mourning some of them, because it’s not really relevant to how good the show is.
    Mainly I have just been trying to highlight the unwise or unnessacery changes in the terms of what would have been better quality television.

    In the grand scheme of the show, I think a lot of the things I pointed out as sub-par or errors are pretty minor, so many people don’t seem to think that they are a problem.

    I wasn’t specifically saying in that post (but you’re right it’s rather obvious in undertone) that I wished Game of Thrones was the The Wire of Medieval Fantasy.
    It is true, but I wasn’t expecting the show to be like that, as there are not many people in the industry like David Simon who aim the show at the people he is portraying.
    In A Song of Ice and Fire’s sense, that would be George R R Martin and/or his readers rather than ‘a wider audience’.
    I think that George is very wise in his defense of the series, because even though it may not be exactly the way he wants it to be and he may not agree with some of the changes and cuts, he is benefitting immensely from the arrangement.

  627. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    Pau Soriano,

    I don’t think that’s fair to chastize me for being a book reader. I could have left the comparisons to the books out of my post, and maybe you would have a different opinion, but it wouldn’t make the arguments any more valid, in fact there would be less context.

    My main problems with the series are the loopholes, continuity issues and errors that arise from changes from the text withour proper consideration to the consequences. One of the ‘challenges’ of adaption.

    Yes but all this loopholes and continuity errors are much easier to spot being a book reader. But they’re not that important overall, imo. I find more disturbing some of the changes in the characters personalities and motivations, because that may cause some of them acting “out of character” further along (or even now).

    I haven’t been very vocal about the cutting or combining of characters or locations, despite deeply mourning some of them, because it’s not really relevant to how good the show is.
    Mainly I have just been trying to highlight the unwise or unnessacery changes in the terms of what would have been better quality television, rather than ‘popularity’.

    Here we can agree

    I wasn’t specifically saying in that post (but you’re right it’s rather obvious in undertone) that I wished Game of Thrones was the The Wire of Medieval Fantasy.
    It is true, but I wasn’t expecting the show to be like that, as there are not many people in the industry like David Simon who aim the show at the people he is portraying.
    In A Song of Ice and Fire’s sense, that would be George R R Martin and/or his readers rather than ‘a wider audience’.
    I think that George is very wise in his defense of the series, because even though it may not be exactly the way he wants it to be and he may not agree with some of the changes and cuts, he is benefitting immensely from the arrangement.

    Exactly!! 8 million books sold last year alone…if he makes 1$ per book…

    But even more, maybe he the show is just how he likes it to be: A really good, really succesful adaptation, that lacks that extra “thing” that it can be found on the books…if the show was “perfect”, if it was even better than the books, that I don’t think he would like ;)

  628. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Chrysee,

    I’ll be okay with the feel and the climate if somewhere down the line, say next season, autumn comes to KL, with some rain and less sunshine. Hope they manage to pay attention to that detail.

  629. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: Yes but all this loopholes and continuity errors are much easier to spot being a book reader. But they’re not that important overall, imo. I find more disturbing some of the changes in the characters personalities and motivations, because that may cause some of them acting “out of character” further along (or even now).

    Yeah but those are easy to spot being a book reader as well. I don’t like any of the changes to characters personalities or motivations that I believe you mean either, and some of them may breed continuity issues of their own (as you mentioned).

    I don’t know if skinning Catelyn or stuffing Littlefinger will prove detrimental to the TV show as a standalone as plot holes and continuity errors will if you’re viewing the show in a critical manner.

    I think your concerns here are just as from a book reader’s point of view as mine.

    Joshua Taylor,

    Re: Ivanhoe, probably some of the best acting I’ve seen from Ciaran Hinds as Brian de Bois-Guilbert. And it is a really gritty and “realistic” portrayal of medieval times (which I think is enhanced by that 90′s feel).

    And yeah agree with the last paragraph completely.

  630. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I think one of the mistakes the show runners have made is to try and cram too much into ten hours. The result is that most plot lines and characters get too little attention. Perhaps it would’ve been better not to have an on screen story line for each and every character. For instance, I think the story would have been better served if we could have spent more time with Stannis and crew before the shit hit the fan of awesomeness. The bulid up felt too weak and short for me. To compensate they could’ve taken “Middlefinger” (kudos to A Podcast of Ice and Fire for that jape) out of this season, except for a few key scenes (e.g. 1,2, 3). I think it would have been enough if the audience remembers that he is still around, and that he betrayed Ned, and only try to hint at his behind the scenes scheeming. And even if viewers forget about him for awhile, so what? We can get back to him next season (think of McNulty in s2 of the Wire). By focusing on fewer sub plots, locations and characters I beleive the series would have had a more cohesive feel, and we would get to know the focus characters better. I’m not saying it would be easy to makes theese cuts, but I think it would be worth it. They way it is now, it feels like everything has been decimated into shreds.

  631. purplejilly
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Ser Lurkalot,
    I named him Middlefinger last year, when my daughetr started calling him that! :)

  632. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Middlefinger, haha, that’s so true.

  633. World_Dancer
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    As someone who is waiting out the whole 7-10 seasons before buying, the snippets I see and the things I hear about this season is putting me off ever investing in it.

    Battle nurse sounds like an awful addition. Really, GRRM had strong women covered. We didn’t need another one. And this is why I was leery of this character previously. It’s unnecessary and even if this turns out to be “Jeyne” in disguise, I am not pleased at the rewrite of Robb’s romance.

    And the Joffery scene … if anything, it makes Tyrion weak, when the point was that though Joffery was king, he was also a petulant boy who didn’t know how to handle power. All it takes to thwart him is one dwarf, which made Tyrion awesome by knowing how to play things and Joffery mainly a spoiled child gone wrong due to bad parenting from Robert & Cersei. Joffery is the poster boy for what happens when a child is over coddled.And that is not what the torture and kill a whore scene did.

    HBO puts me off of investing in its shows by constantly pushing gore and sexual content when they’re unnecessary to the plot. Here they waste time on gore when they could have done character and plot development for the 1001 different plot lines. And no, this wasn’t character development for Joffery. Aside from being too extreme, everyone already knew Joffery was evil. Before the episode aired I was discussing the show with a non-book reader who told me he knew from the moment Joffery appeared on screen that something was wrong with that kid and he was going to be evil (Kudos to the actor for hitting things right from the beginning). Anyway, the point is that writing more scenes to prove that Joffery is evil is totally unnecessary. It’s obvious. And they sadly couldn’t even kill off the non-book whore so that we could get rid of excess naked plotlines.

    And it might also be worth noting that following some of the discussion of non-book readers, HBO is putting them off reading the books because of the gore content that they’re adding. :(

    Fucking tone it down, HBO! Sometimes all you need is a clean, simple stab wound or a kiss rather than a flying eagle vivisection or sexposition.

    I’m glad GRRM is writing the Blackwater episode. Hopefully that means it will maintain the correct level of background gore to upset people in as “This is what war is like” way while maintaining the focus on the drama: Tyrion, Sansa, Cersei, and Davos’s predicaments.

  634. tysnow
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I disagree concerning the Penrose matter, the way they introduced the baby was far more dramatic for newbies and casual viewers. To have you know who’s mysterious death, then add Storms End and finally explain the baby, woud be very anti-climatic to the viewer of a tv show or even a film. For a book series, it works, but for this median this needs to be more blunt for maximum effect. Also Penrose would have added another 10-15 min. to the show, or more.
    Another thing is I cannot fathom these massive posts for this string, looks to me like a frustrated scholarly reader, who wanted a more verbatim show, letting off some steam in an intellectual manner. Treme is good, but not nearly as entertaining and provocative as GoT, and Mad Men, well it just is too sophisticated for my tastes, definitely for the cocktail crowd from the financial districts of metropoles and primate cities. It seems to be written strictly for the Emmy peers, especially those would remember the times.
    I prefer my shows well written, acted, directed, produced, but most of all entertaining. Besides GoT, Justified, Revenge, Bad and Five-O (nostalgia 4 me) have my attention this season. I would attempt to watch more but school keeps me quite busy.
    I have said it before, book readers should purge their minds of the books while watching the show, they will enjoy it more. The reason being at 10 episodes a season, there is no way this show could match the perfection of the books, so this will eventually become a loose adaption, especially as the show progresses. George basically said as much last year, when to paraphrase, he said changes starting in the 2nd season would begin to have consequences later on. Obviously he was privy to the direction D&D were going to take the series.

  635. Jordan Healey
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    tysnow,

    I am the farthest thing from a scholarly reader as possible. I’m a 24 year old high-school dropout who’s now doing an IT degree at a mediocre university. The best mark I’ve ever got from an essay is a C.

    I don’t see how Treme is for the cocktail crowd either. It’s just a story about normal people trying to put the pieces back together after Hurracane Katrina. On top of that it’s got great music, a lot of fan-favourite HBO cast and while the first season was a bit loose in terms of ‘meaning’, the second season really hit home.
    One of my mates who’s a bartender/arts student loved the show so much he went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year and he came back saying how the show really captures what the city is like.

    With those shows that you mentioned though, perhaps it’s just not exciting enough for you. The shows you mentioned are all fairly blockbuster or soapy.

    Most of the David Simon stuff isn’t really that action packed.

  636. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:

    I think your concerns here are just as from a book reader’s point of view as mine.

    Of course, but I try to acknowledge that, so my overall opinion of the adaptation is more positive then yours. :) I may not like them, but when I talk about those things with my non-reader friends they don’t even know what I’m talking about.

    We have to realize that this show is not made for us, and it will never be. They make it for the non-readers. And it’s a pretty hard to follow show already, with so many characters and locations, I can understand why they are making some of them more “stereotypical”

    World_Dancer:
    As someone who is waiting out the whole 7-10 seasons before buying, the snippets I see and the things I hear about this season is putting me off ever investing in it.

    And it might also be worth noting that following some of the discussion of non-book readers, HBO is putting them off reading the books because of the gore content that they’re adding. :(

    Fucking tone it down, HBO! Sometimes all you need is a clean, simple stab wound or a kiss rather than a flying eagle vivisection or sexposition.

    How can you have an opinion like that if u still haven’t watch the show?? Unbelievable…let me tell you that the “Gore” you are talking about is not even as close as the books one.

    Those non-readers that are put off but they show’s gore would not enjoy the books anyway (or read them in the first place).

    Of course you can also tell Martin to tone down the gore and the sex of the books. Or even tell him to stop killing characters becasue that definitelly puts people off

    PS: And please, start using the word “sex-position”correctly. It’s embarrasing

  637. The DarkStar
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: We have to realize that this show is not made for us, and it will never be. They make it for the non-readers. And it’s a pretty hard to follow show already, with so many characters and locations, I can understand why they are making some of them more “stereotypical”

    One of the changes they made that I’ve seen lots of bitching about early last season, was the Lannister helmets being kinda Samurai like. Didn’t bother me, but In the first scene in this episode with the two soldiers, I knew right away they were Lannister men by those helmets, and the change Gemma made, totally clicked with me. You have to make things easier on the viewer, even as a book reader it helps.

  638. Leuf
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, we lose the subtlety, the “poetry”, that extra factor that would put GoT up there with the best…but we get an awesome show nonetheless.

    But what we’re losing is not subtlety, it’s basic storytelling. Who,What,Where, When,Why.

    Let me focus in on one example comparing how Robb’s battles are handled in the first season compared to this season. In the first season they change Robb’s plans around a little bit to simplify things, but they still manage to show Robb actually planning, explaining to the audience the context to what is happening. All we know at the end is that Robb won and captured Jaime. If you’re a book reader this doesn’t contradict what you know and you can fill in the blanks of the Whispering Wood and attacking the 3 separate encampments around Riverrun. It wasn’t perfect. Tyrion being knocked out was disorienting and it would have been nice to see a bit of actual fighting, but the audience understands that a major battle took place and that Robb the supposed green boy just schooled Tywin in a victory.

    Contrast this with Robb’s battle in episode 4. We have no idea where Robb is. We find out after the fact that he attacked Stafford Lannister, who we have never heard of before. Who is he? Is he an underling of Tywin’s in the riverlands with 500 men? Is he Tywin’s idiot nephew in charge of guarding a holdfast with 20 men? There is nothing to tell you that this was a major victory except that Joffrey is pissed off enough to abuse Sansa over it, but this isn’t a very good barometer since Joffrey would abuse Sansa just because it’s Thursday. If I use my book knowledge to say that Stafford had some 30,000 men, then I combine that with Roose’s statement that they killed 5:1, then Robb just lost 6,000 men and he’s fucked. So I can’t use my book knowledge on the scope of the battle, or the location which would put him in a completely different place than what a non-bookreader would be thinking at this point.

    If you haven’t read the books then this doesn’t jump out at you nearly as much, but it’s still got to feel wrong in a way that you can’t put your finger on. It contributes to an overall feeling of not really quite knowing what is going on, of not having your bearings in the story.

    Another example contrasting show to book, in the books Joffrey is actually firing his crossbow into throngs of people begging at his gates because they are starving, not pointing it at whores in private. Now the scene in the show is not entirely without merit. It does explore how Joffrey is answering Tyrion’s showing him up in court. This is a valid thing to explore. Tyrion vs Joffrey is part of the season arc, more so than in the books where it’s mostly Tyrion vs Cersei, so again, the scene is not without merit. But it’s not done economically with time at all, and it’s not a substitute for having Joffrey actually interacting with the common people in a negative way before the Myrcella scene coming soon. I don’t care if the way they do that is the same as in the books or not, but I feel like the story has to have him do that in some way.

  639. Aleenys
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Oh I see where they are going with this Robb/Talisa romance storyline. Too predictable. Robb is probably gonna end up wounded at some point, since Talisa is a medic/nurse she will tend to his wounds and they’re going to make out and make sweet sweet love. So original.

    The episode was awesome though, I’m quite pleased with this one and the last week’s.

  640. The DarkStar
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Leuf: Contrast this with Robb’s battle in episode 4. We have no idea where Robb is. We find out after the fact that he attacked Stafford Lannister, who we have never heard of before. Who is he? Is he an underling of Tywin’s in the riverlands with 500 men? Is he Tywin’s idiot nephew in charge of guarding a holdfast with 20 men? There is nothing to tell you that this was a major victory except that Joffrey is pissed off enough to abuse Sansa over it, but this isn’t a very good barometer since Joffrey would abuse Sansa just because it’s Thursday. If I use my book knowledge to say that Stafford had some 30,000 men, then I combine that with Roose’s statement that they killed 5:1, then Robb just lost 6,000 men and he’s fucked. So I can’t use my book knowledge on the scope of the battle, or the location which would put him in a completely different place than what a non-bookreader would be thinking at this point.

    I don’t think any of that matters. The viewer has trouble even knowing the names of characters that get screen time, let alone a character that never appears and then dies.
    Who cares who he was or how many men he had. We got the context.
    Big victory (we saw the aftermath) 5 to 1 death ratio. (I guarantee, only anal book readers are number crunching army sizes and losses)
    Joffrey pissed.
    We’ve already seen Robb battle planning, we got that he’s cunning. We don’t need to see it repeatedly.
    If you want all that info, they are going to have to dump it in scenes and this show is going to be slogging along to terrible ratings and boring episodes.

  641. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Leuf,

    Honestly, I don’t think most non-readers particularly care where Robb’s battle took place, it’s enough to know that it’s significant. And I remember seeing comments last year from newbies about their eyes glazing over during those “battle plan” scenes you mention.

    I mean in general I think you have a point (although I think the uncertainty about how much time is passing is an even bigger deal than the spatial issues), but I’m not sure what they could do to fix that without squeezing in some clunky exposition. I’ve directed some newbies to the spoiler-free maps on HBO’s page, and I know they at least have Storm’s End on that map so people can figure out where Renly is.

    As for Joffrey, we still might see the kind of scene you mention, but it’s not really comparable to the twistedness of the whore-beating scene (not to mention that it would be a lot more complicated and expensive to film). It’s not really worth passing judgment until we see how the Myrcella’s Bon Voyage Riot Scene plays out.

  642. Knurk
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Aleenys,

    I know it’s cheesy, but it’s basically the same story in the books. Can’t blame the show-writers there.

  643. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    To everyone saying they having built up to Joffrey being hated by the public, look no further than the premiere when he ordered the killing of his father’s bastards. The two minute montage displayed visible anger in the KL populace. My favourite moment: the shot of an infant held upside down by its ankles why a visibly angry and disturbed goldcloak holds back a very angry crowd.

  644. Mimsy
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    World_Dancer,

    And the Joffery scene … if anything, it makes Tyrion weak, when the point was that though Joffery was king… All it takes to thwart him is one dwarf, which made Tyrion awesome by knowing how to play things and Joffery…

    I’m taking it you’re comparing the book to the tv series? My understanding of the tv version and the Joffrey scenes were that Tyrion isn’t supposed to have “power.” He’s an advisor to the King.. that is all. The fact that Tyrion can chastise the King and have the King fear him, that is a special quality that Tyrion has.. and in that way.. he has some kind of power. I feel that upping the anty on Joffrey’s (tv) madness and comparing him to the Mad King is a way of explaining the history of the throne. Joff was always up to crazy shenanigans in the book, so it makes sense that D&D throw some of that into the series.

    I’m glad GRRM is writing the Blackwater episode. Hopefully that means it will maintain the correct level of background gore…

    I don’t think this episode is going to be all talk with body parts flying in the background. My take from interviews is that it’s going to be in your face, ground level war. I’m looking forward to the drama of the set up and Tyrion’s master plan, but once we get into the full swing of the battle.. it’s going to be all action and trying to stay alive.

    I can’t recall the last time a tv show or movie made me want to read the book series, but that is exactly what the GOT season 1 series did for me. I had no idea that the HBO version was the Mary Poppins version of the books, but that didn’t stop me from finishing the book series (released to date). The books in my opinion read like poetry and captivate the reader from word one. Nothing HBO puts on the screen will make me not want to read the series.

  645. purplejilly
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    What’s really bothering me now is that I feel like the non-book readers of the series are having a better time than me, and enjoying the show more than me. And it wasn’t supposed to be this way. There was all this hype about D&D; how they were book fans, how they met with GRRM and shared their vision, and he green-lit it, ONLY because they were such book purists, and really ‘got it’. I felt like the hype surrounding them and their selection meant they were going to do this fabulous, faithful translation that could ONLY be done with the help of HBO. And now as the second season stretches on, I get more and more discouraged. I could list all the gates, but anyone reading this already knows them. And I know the old, tired line that this is an ‘adaptation’, and ‘just enjoy it for what it is’, but I wasn’t supposed to have to settle! I was supposed to get something great, from book lovers who got GRRM’s personal blessing to make this series. And instead I get Ros beating NuRos with stag furniture, and Renly with no peach. Sigh. I know it gets to be a downer reading all these critical posts all the time, but each week I am expecting improvement, and when it doesn’t happen, or it gets worse, it just brings the negative bubbling back up in me.

  646. Lex
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    It’s simple: you’re a book purist… and being a purist always leads to disappointment.

    I’m not a purist. I’ve read the books 3 times, and I’m absolutely loving the show.

  647. Knurk
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    purplejilly: There was all this hype about D&D; how they were book fans, how they met with GRRM and shared their vision, and he green-lit it, ONLY because they were such book purists, and really ‘got it’.

    they didn’t get the greenlight from GRRM because they are bookpurists, they got it because they understood the sourcematerial and knew how to make a successful series of it . They are doing a fantastic job with it in my eyes, they are really capturing the magic of the first 3 books. If you’re feeling jealous that other people are liking the show more than you, you probably have a bit of entitlement-issues.

  648. fuelpagan
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I know it sucks, but that is just the way it is. I loved Lord of the Rings having watched the movie first before picking up the books, while all my friends who did read the book complained about all the parts that were changed. With Harry Potter I read the books first and was bothered by the characters and storylines missing in the movies. With Twilight, I only watched the movies and thought they were enjoyable, while my wife who read the books was really disappointed.

    The only book to screen adaptation where I read the book first and thought the show/movie was equal or better than the book was Dexter. Only because Jeff Lindsay just isn’t a very good writer. The book had a cool concept, but was just okay. Where the first 2 seasons of the show were really good.

  649. Shock Me
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Even though it is not explicit it seems plain to me from the context that Tywin is occupying Harrenhal to avoid facing Robb in the field. Just as obvious is that Robb is headed to Casterly Rock both to punish the Lannisters and to draw Tywin away from King’s Landing in order for the Iron Born to raid it.

    If it were me, once Ned died, I’d have fortified the North and attempted to draw Tywin into the Neck. Let Tywin attempt to break the Freys and then make a deal to rescue the bastards on Robb’s terms.

    But stuck as he is on the wrong side of the River, Robb has done the best thing possible: Strike at the heart of the Lannister’s power to reinforce Joffrey in King’s Landing.

  650. Mike
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    Um, not sure if this was addressed already but where the hell were Davos and Mel?Why did they need a boat to go into a cave under Renly’s camp?Wasn’t this a scene in the book when they were at Storm’s End?If they were in some random camp, then why would Davos say that th entrance was not barred previously?

    This puzzled me, as well. It will be interesting to see if it somehow gets cleared up in the next few episodes.

  651. World_Dancer
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: Of course, but I try to acknowledge that, so my overall opinion of the adaptation is more positive then yours. :) I may not like them, but when I talk about those things with my non-reader friends they don’t even know what I’m talking about.

    We have to realize that this show is not made for us, and it will never be. They make it for the non-readers. And it’s a pretty hard to follow show already, with so many characters and locations, I can understand why they are making some of them more “stereotypical”

    How can you have an opinion like thatif u still haven’t watch the show?? Unbelievable…let me tell you that the “Gore” you are talking about is not even as close as the books one.

    Those non-readers that are put off but they show’s gore would not enjoy the books anyway (or read them in the first place).

    Of course you can also tell Martin to tone down the gore and the sex of the books. Or even tell him to stop killing characters becasue that definitelly puts people off

    PS: And please, start using the word “sex-position”correctly.It’s embarrasing

    Sexposition is a combination of sex and exposition which many have used to describe far too many of the scenes HBO has added. BTW: embarrassing, definitely, because, you, and numerous other words are misspelled in your post. If you’re going to worry about spelling, you desperately need to check yourself.

    And somehow, I’m still not recalling Joffery ordering one whore to beat another to death. Mmmm… nope, doesn’t ring a bell. And really not anything anyone needed to see. It establishes nothing that wasn’t already established by the Sansa beating scene.

    It is possible to form opinions from what I have seen, which gives me an idea of the quality of the acting and various scenes, as well as multiple recaps covering what went on. And then I follow non-reader, uninvolved with the fandom threads to see how people with fresh eyes are reacting to it, since I know all of what is s supposed to happen and can never see the series with unspoiled eyes. It gives me a better idea of if scene changes are truly effective or not. Most of what I’ve seen for this episode has been that the shock factor was over the top (citing both the shadow birth and the Joffery torturing whore scenes, one of which was necessary from the book and one of which is completely unnecessary and not from the book). When I think a scene is unnecessary and people who have never read the books think a scene was unnecessary, then HBO is missing the mark by a wide margin. Additionally, the people who have never read the books are complaining of the pacing being too fast to follow, unlike the last season. To me, this just damns unnecessary scenes all the more.

    Every time I think I’ll order HBO to watch a series, I end up discovering that they’re unnecessarily graphic or unfaithful to the material. So I’ve learned to track things so that I don’t pay huge quantities of money to be angry and disappointed when drama is sacrificed for shock value. I still get somewhat disappointed when I really want something to be good. But at least I avoid the visceral anger when something doesn’t measure up.

    But if you would like to write up a whole thing on why we needed to watch Joffery (already established as evil) torture a whore to death through means of another whore (a character created for the TV show to give Littlefinger someone to talk to, which is a poor choice to make a whore rather than one of his serving men from the Fingers or someone who might actually be safely confided with even a few of his true motivations and thoughts), then go ahead and justify the torture scene. Thus far I haven’t seen anyone manage it.

  652. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me,

    The problem with holing up in the north is that the Lannisters were already burning their way through the Riverlands in retaliation for Cat’s abduction of Tyrion, and they probably would have continued to do so if Robb hadn’t come to their aid. Unfortunately the strong link between the North and the Riverlands hasn’t been emphasized in the show as of yet.

  653. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Lex: purplejilly, It’s simple: you’re a book purist… and being a purist always leads to disappointment.I’m not a purist. I’ve read the books 3 times, and I’m absolutely loving the show.

    Ditto. Certain things bug me, but most of them have to do with the time, budget, and logistical limitations. I’m actually just far more fascinated with the problem of adaptation than I thought I would be, and what a delicate dance they’re attempting by trying to be faithful but also make the story understandable to non-book-readers (and make no mistake, most people watching the show will never pick up the books).

  654. Lex
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Ditto. Certain things bug me, but most of them have to do with the time, budget, and logistical limitations. I’m actually just far more fascinated with the problem of adaptation than I thought I would be, and what a delicate dance they’re attempting by trying to be faithful but also make the story understandable to non-book-readers (and make no mistake, most people watching the show will never pick up the books).

    Exactly. My nitpicks/criticisms are mostly due to budgetary and time constraints.

    The fact that D&D really “understood” the books and had a passion for George’s story simply means that he trusted them with the adaptation, because he knew they were fans. In other words, it wouldn’t be completely butchered and destroyed (and it hasn’t been). Anyone who thought we were going to get a purist’s adaptation, primarily for the book readers, was fooling themself right from the beginning. I honestly feel sorry for those purists who cannot enjoy this fantastic TV show.

  655. Maxwell James
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Most things come back to “you can have the horses, or you can have Stonehenge, but not both.”

    (I am sympathetic about the peach, though).

  656. Lex
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    World_Dancer,

    You haven’t seen the show, and you are clearly misinformed. No whores are tortured to death. Nor is the scene gory. And yes, it is completely justifiable (in the context of Joffrey’s relationship with Tyrion).

    Maybe try watching the show first, before trying to express an opinion on it. Clearly, your ability to “track things” is not good enough.

  657. Lina
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: I would kindly disagree with the people who are saying the San/San (can’t believe I just wrote San/San) “relationship” is being left out. I think the non-book audience knows something is up.

    Think back to when Sansa was slapped by Merwyn on the little parapet where Ned’s head was. Sandor wiped her mouth with a handkerchief. And then when Sansa was being abused by Joffrey in this last episode, they cut to Sandor who had a look of disgust on his face. I think people are picking up on the fact that Sandor is disgusted by Joffrey’s treatment of her and might come to her aid in some way.

    Just wanted to say I agree with you. I watched the last episode with my dad, and he has no background other than what he’s seen on screen. Anyway, when the Hound covered Sansa in his cloak, my dad asked, “He likes her, doesn’t he?” I think it’s clear that there’s something between these two characters – a kind of mutual sympathy. While I would like a few more scenes between them, I’m glad this show isn’t getting turned into a San/San fanfiction.

  658. Mimsy
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    It’s rare that any book is equal to or better than any movie/tv show. Personally, I prefer the books to exceed anything I could ever watch on a screen simply because there are no budgets or poor acting in my imagination. :)

    fuelpagan,

    I read the Twilight books before watching any movies and the books are waaaay better than the movies. I suffer through Stewart’s performance (and many others) because I’m a fan of the books. I’m so thankful that the core cast of GOT is close to perfection.

  659. Titus Crow
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    From what I remember reading on Conan’s website he was not asked back. He was told the producers wanted to go in a different direction. Maybe our great site folks can track down more info on this and why they made the change….

  660. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Titus Crow: From what I remember reading on Conan’s website he was not asked back. He was told the producers wanted to go in a different direction. Maybe our great site folks can track down more info on this and why they made the change….

    “Wanting to go in a different direction” sounds like classic showbiz-speak to me, the kind of thing you tell somebody when you’re unwilling to tell them the truth.

  661. Lord Of Lite
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Mike
    I think Davos and Mel were using a discreet passage from the sea to the encampment above. Davos undoubtedly was familiar with this passage from his smuggler days. As he remembered it in the past, there were no bars blocking free use of the unguarded passage to the ground above. I know that this is a combination of two different scenes from the book. But, it works for me.