Recap

Episode 16 – The Old Gods and the New – Recap

Ygritte

Holy changes, Batman! This episode was the most exciting and tension-filled hour of Game of Thrones yet, simply because I had no idea what would happen next! My full reactions are after the jump.

Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read A Clash of Kings. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read ACoK yet, our non-book-reader recap will be up later. Thanks!


Summary

The episode opens on a frantic Luwin, attempting to send a raven. He just gets it off when the Greyjoys arrive. Theon tells Bran to assemble everyone in the courtyard, where he will yield the castle to him. Bran does as Theon requests. Ser Rodrik is captured by Theon’s men outside Winterfell, as he is returning from Torrhen’s Square. He spits in Theon’s face and Dagmer urges Theon to execute him or the men will lose respect for him. Theon thinks for a minute, then takes another step down his current dark path. He (quite messily) executes Rodrik. Later that night, Osha seduces Theon. When he is asleep she sneaks out of his room, casually kills one of the guards and then smuggles Bran, Rickon and Hodor to safety.

In King’s Landing, Tyrion, Cersei, Joffrey and Sansa are seeing Myrcella off to Dorne. On the way back to the Red Keep, the mob gets restless and some dung gets flung at Joffrey. He demands the head of whoever threw it and things get worse from there. Joffrey, Tyrion and Cersei make it back to the castle safely, but Sansa gets separated from the group. Tyrion slaps Joff around a bit and berates himfor causing this riot and potentially losing Sansa. Sansa has been dragged away from the mob by a group of angry men and is about to be raped when The Hound comes to her rescue.

To Robb’s camp now, where it looks like Talisa has stuck around. Robb and her banter playfully, when Catelyn arrives with Brienne. Catelyn is introduced to Talisa (whose last name is Maegyr, apparently). Cat and Robb then walk-and-talk until Roose arrives with some news. Robb is furious with Theon and is ready to march to Winterfell and take it back himself. Roose suggests he send his bastard son from the Dreadfort instead, that he would be happy to bring him Theon’s head on a spike. Robb says he wants him alive, so he can look him in the eye and ask him ‘Why?’ before executing him himself.

In Harrenhal, Arya continues to serve Tywin as cupbearer. Tywin is berating Amory Lorch for bungling a simple letter delivery because he can’t read. He dismisses his men and then chats with Arya, after he learns that she can read. Littlefinger arrives to meet with Tywin. Arya does her best to remain unnoticed. Littlefinger proposes an alliance with the Tyrells. After Littlefinger leaves, Arya spots a letter about Robb on the table and, while Tywin’s back is turned, snatches it. Later, as she is running through the castle, letter in hand, she runs into Amory Lorch. Amory notices the letter and gets suspicious, while grilling her about the letter, Arya fears she is in trouble so she takes off. Amory heads for Tywin while Arya desperately searches out Jaqen. She finds him, names Amory Lorch as her second name and just as Amory makes it to Tywin’s door, he falls down dead.

Beyond the Wall, Qhorin’s band treks through the mountains, looking for wildlings. They come upon a small scout camp and kill all but one of the wildlings. It is a girl, her name is Ygritte. Qhorin tells Jon to kill her and meet up with them at the top of the mountain. Jon chickens out though and Ygritte uses his moment of weakness to run for it. Jon chases and catches her, but they have lost Qhorin and the rest of his brothers. Jon realizes he will need her to find his brothers again, so he keeps her prisoner and they settle in for the long night together.

Lastly, over in Qarth, Dany is attempting to bargain with the Spice King for some ships. The Spice King isn’t interested in her proposal though. He doesn’t like to make risky investments. Dany and Xaro return to his mansion… to find his guards dead. Dany runs to her room, where she finds Irri lying on the floor, either dead or unconscious, and her dragons cages empty. The final shot shows a hooded figure walking the dragons up some steps to a foreboding looking tower.

What I Liked

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” – Lots of changes from the way things went down in the book in tonight’s episode. Arya almost runs into Littlefinger, then she kills off Amory Lorch. Theon executes Ser Rodrik then sleeps with Osha. Jon doesn’t let Ygritte go and instead chases her down then ends up getting separated from Qhorin. And, of course, Dany’s dragons get stolen. And yet, I think all of these changes work. They really added a lot of drama and tension to the episode, but maybe that is because most of them were unexpected. As a book reader, I’m not used to unexpected things happening.
Farewell, Ser Rodrik – This scene was hard to watch. But Ser Rodrik went out with class, despite Theon not giving him the clean execution he deserved. First, he calmied Bran and Rickon and then called out Theon one last time. “Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost.” Pouring one out for Ser Rodrik right now.
You Too, Amory Lorch – This had to be one of the funniest death scenes I’ve ever seen. And killing Lorch here was a smart change by David & Dan. Yeah, we lose the bear pit scene later, but that doesn’t bother me too much. And I guess this sets up Polliver as playing The Tickler’s role later on down the line…
The Bastard is In! – That mention of the Bastard of Bolton had me pretty stoked. That means we should eventually get “My name rhymes with meek…
The Hound Goes Into Beast-Mode – I’m not really a big SanSan guy, but seeing the Hound rescue Sansa was awesome. One of those things we only heard about in the books, so seeing it on screen was a fist-pump moment.

What I Didn’t Like

The Butterfly Effect – While I said above that I liked the changes, they mostly served the immediate story well. I do wonder though, if they continue down this path, that things don’t start to get too far removed from the source material. Not that I’m a book purist, far from it, but I would like them to remain true to the source, if they can. But as they continue to condense and trim and modify the story, each little change could have larger consequences down the line. So far, they’ve done a good job of making the prudent cuts and changes, but things could get dicey and it remains to be seen how much what they are changing now will effect the story later.
The Incredible Shrinking Westeros – They are really playing fast and loose with the geography in this show, aren’t they? Littlefinger jumps from King’s Landing to Storm’s End to Harrenhal in the blink of an eye. But how are they going to explain why it takes Ramsay Snow so long to get from the Dreadfort to Winterfell? I’m assuming, since we wasn’t cast, that he won’t show up this season. Four episodes is a long time for him to be amassing his men and marching over to Winterfell. Unless… they cast him and didn’t announce it!

What did everyone else think? Did you like most of the changes or dislike them? Do you think they will cause problems down the line? Share your thoughts in the comments below and rate the episode in our poll!

902 Comments

  • Whether he wasn’t cast, or he’s been cast and kept under wraps, the mere mention of Ramsay Snow makes me ecstatic. Glad that the character isn’t going to get cut. But a little sad we don’t have Reek manipulating Theon.

  • Yeah, Rodrik dying was hard to watch ;_;

    But we got the smallest glimpse of Shaggydog :0

  • That was an intense episode. The opening with Theon taking Winterfell was incredibly brutal. My wife thought I had lost my mind. I was screaming at the TV!

    I’m no book purist, but what’s up with the stolen dragons? Where are they going with that?

    Will be interesting to see the reactions to this.

    This epi was also written by, oh, I forget her name, but not D&D.

  • Fantastic! So many good things about this episode! Got to say, Emilia Clarke was brilliant!

  • I know the book reader purists will have their panties in a wad over this episode, but I have to say, that was easily my favorite of season two, and possibly one of my top three of the series so far. So many well done scenes… The opening with Theon and Rodrik in particular had me close to misting up. All in all, one of the more confident episodes of the series, and goddamned good.

  • What an episode!!!
    Arya-littlefinger-tywin scene… loved it!!
    Mostly i appreciated the series of events that led Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor to escape…
    The introduction of Yrgritte was so great and straight from the book… not sure where they’re going with it though…

    The shizz is about to go down ya’ll…. 4 more to go!!!

  • Danmire:
    Yeah, Rodrik dying was hard to watch ;_;

    I DID NOT expect that change. It made the whole “Fall of Winterfel” intense. And my God, if you don’t hate Theon now…

  • I loved the changes. Keep them coming. I’m glad to finally be shocked and surprised by this and get to watch it as a TV series, rather than be able to follow along with a book adaptation.

    Highlights:

    1) Ygritte. She was outstanding.
    2) The riot in King’s Landing. I loved Sansa getting pulled into it, and the Hound finally getting some action.
    3) Arya. Interesting twist to make her have to name Lorch instead of a bigger fish, ie Tywin. Plus, you’re starting to see that he’s a decent man, which may also make her hesitant.
    4) Dany. I like the twist to this storyline. When I read the books, I always thought, “Why doesn’t someone just take the damn dragons? She’s a girl.” Well, here we go. And now when spoilerish things happen later, they’re even more justified.
    5) Osha. She cuts a throat better than anyone.

  • Ed:
    Wow!!Nobody saw THAT coming!!!N-O-B-O-D-Y!!!!(I like it!)

    Queue up the whiners…

    and the ass kissers lol …

  • I’ll bet good money we’ll “see” Reek this season in the same way we saw Jaqen H’ghar last season…..he’ll come and kill Theon (though god knows how they’ll make it treacherous, it appears the whole Reek subplot is likely gone) but be in full armor –> So he’s present in the series but not cast.

  • AMAZING! This was by far my favorite episode so far this season. All the Theon stuff was AWESOME! I’m really digging Tywin and Arya. the riot was epic and the exchange between Tyrion and Joff was sooooo good.

    The only thing I wasn’t so happy about was “Tulisa of volantis, not sure if thats her real name or what, I don’t get whats going on there.

  • Towers Rice:
    I know the book reader purists will have their panties in a wad over this episode, but I have to say, that was easily my favorite of season two, and possibly one of my top three of the series so far. So many well done scenes… The opening with Theon and Rodrik in particular had me close to misting up. All in all, one of the more confident episodes of the series, and goddamned good.

    Damn people cutting onions in my house when this scene happened!!!! Almost had me misty-eyed as well!

  • Big face palm to any complainers. La, la, la, I can’t hear you. That was EPIC fucking television. I actually cheered out loud when Amory took his nosedive. They are making Jaqen even more stealthily lethal than the book. Loved every damn thing about this episode.

    Very, very psyched for the rest of the season now.

  • When Roose Bolton mentioned Ramsay I almost couldn’t contain my excitement. It was even harder because I don’t want to let my non-reader family pick up on the things I react to. My favorite thing in the books is Theon’s arc, and I can’t wait to see non-readers’ reaction to how sympathetic the show will (hopefully) make him. Ramsay is easily the most vile character in a world full of terrible, terrible people. His casting better be pitch-perfect.

  • They really don’t want to play up Jon Snow much do they?
    First Craster, then Qourin doesn’t ask for him because he’s Stark luck, now I guess we lose the Q Jon fight and the sacrifice.
    Nice job on naked Osha though….
    Theon was awesome.
    Also happy the Bastard of Bolton might be in!

    I keep telling myself this is an alternate universe.
    But still…

  • Everyone do the Ygritte wiggle ;) Jon’s gonna have a hard night.

    Best episode so far. I believe the dragons are to lure her to the house of the undying.

  • Elizabeth In Austin:
    LOOOVED it and I kind of wonder if Barristan has the dragons.

    Ser Barristan? Unlikely. Yes, he has the skill to cut through all those guards easily, but I still doubt it was him. I can just see it now Yeah, I stole your dragons. And I served under the man who deposed your father. Also, I served alongside the guy who betrayed and murdered your father.(whoa, unintentional Star Wars reference there)Oh, and did I mention that I would like to be your bodyguard? Yeah that would go over real well (not). My money is on the Undying.

  • Did anyone else think it quite unnecessary for Osha to sleep with Theon in order to sneak the kids out of Winterfell?

  • The most confusing change from the books went unmentioned: that Catelyn has returned to Robb’s army before he’s made a terrible mistake and broke his vow to the Freys. So instead of her being surprised by it, she’ll have been there to warn against it (as we saw happen immediately) and be there each step of the way? I don’t see how they’ll recover from that … I mean it only ever made sense to me that Robb did something so stupid because Catelyn hadn’t been there to stop him.

  • I’ve been saying all along that they need to make more changes and take more chances to make for a better television series. Tonight they delivered and proved why its important to deviate from the book. I vote for more of it.

  • The story seems to move too fast & too slow all at the same time for me!! Where are the frog people kids?? Stolen dragons??? They’ll have a 3 year break b4 winds of winter!!!

  • Need to watch the episode again. For me the highlights were:
    –Sandor rescues Sansa! I was fist-pumping too, go Sandor! Loved how he just lifted her up over his shoulder like she was light as a feather.
    –Osha seduces Theon! You go girl.
    –Lastly: Ygritte! Another perfect casting. Cannot wait to see more of her!
    — Farewell to Ser Rodrik! I could also feel Bran’s helplessness strongly.

  • Nah man – he’s way too honorable to steal. It’s not him. I’d bet my left nut it’s the warlocks.

    Elizabeth In Austin:
    LOOOVED it and I kind of wonder if Barristan has the dragons.

  • Great episode! Really like the changes. Was that the House of the Undying at the end? My man Ramsay is in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The changes have me worried about the butterfly effect as well, but the key points of the story are still there and the episode was really entertaining. Rose Leslie was great as Ygritte, the riot scene (while different) was well done, and the Ramsay shout-out made me happy.

    The whole Talisa(/Jeyne?) thing isn’t working for me still – it seems like a romance out of another story – but I’m going to see how it plays out.

  • I liked the episode. I won’t go into ‘omg, best yet’ mode though because I did enjoy the last episode more. Again though, it was still great. There were really great parts, but as a whole doesn’t top my list.
    Some basic comments after only one viewing:
    Rose’s intro as Ygritte was great. The books describe the character as not being particularily attractive, but I always imagined her so. Rose is of course and it makes sense for the storyline with Jon.
    I have to admit that of all the people I’d guess would go clothesless in the show, Natalia would have been very low. Good on her and she looked great, I just didn’t expect it. And Osha is a true badass – reminding us that she is a wildling.
    I’m ready to move on from the Spice King. His scenes pull the episodes down a bit for me for one reason or another.
    Arya great again. I’m really liking THIS change from the books with her scenes with Tywin.
    The scene of the guys attacking Sansa was particularily brutal. great

  • But as they continue to condense and trim and modify the story, each little change could have larger consequences down the line.

    If one of those consequences is a tighter story than the one GRR seems to be losing control of then good.

  • Man, when Rodrik told Bran and Rickon that he was going to see their father… totally got me.

  • Great episode, but is anyone else starting to really bemoan the Dany scenes? They’ve really bungled her so far this season, and if i hear a “fire and blood!” threat again, i might gag.

  • About Jon...so how are they going to do the fight scene with the halfhand? If Jon is captured by wildlings then I don’t see how it would work. Maybe the halfhand will find him before the wildings do. I hope so at least.

  • I am a book lover, but not a purist. really really liked the episode. was that a 1 second glimpse of Lollys during the riot????

  • I’m definitely a fan of most of the changes, most particularly the nabbing of dragons. I always felt like Quarth was one of the most boring stages of Dany’s story. And there was zero tension or drama in the invite she got to the House of the Undying in the book followed by a completely nonsensical attack by Pyat Pree as she exited. As I recall the guy just went into convulsions and then attacked her. It’s hu-way better to set the warlocks of the House of the Undying up as villains killing the guards and dragonnapping Dany into coming by for a visit. Ta da tension and drama and sense being inserted into the sudden book malevolence of Pyat Pree.

  • Eric Fitch: If one of those consequences is a tighter story than the one GRR seems to be losing control of then good.

    Too true. Anyone worried about the butterfly effect messing with minor characters who in the TV show are essentially extras needs to stop over-thinking it.

  • This episode was okay IMO.

    Nothing great, nothing to complain about. (except Dany).

    I never minded the TV adaptation making stuff up that wasn’t in the books as long as it seemed in character and made sense.

    The Theon scenes were good.

    The Jon meeting his wildling was good. (The spooning stuff was kind of cute).

    Only thing I can complain about, and many other posters also have mentioned, is the TV version of Dany.

    I am getting sick of her being so presumptuous. Hearing her constantly talking about “I will take what is mine”, to people in much greater standing then her is getting really old. I mean, I love Dany and all, but I am so sick of hearing her whine. She is being made into a beggar. I don’t mean the kind of beggar that says “please”, rather the kind of beggar that gets so angry and hot tempered that others just laugh off, and maybe give her something out of feeling sorry for her. She is in no standing to be making such threatening demands to people of much higher standing then her. I mean, in the world of Westeros I know, if she did this people would put her head on a spike.

    So besides that, I think everything was cool. Even the changes I thought were fine. Just Dany (The TV version of Dany) is really starting to get on my nerves.

  • First bravo to the three young Stark children…All of them were awesome this episode. Too poor Bran who broke my heart, to poor Sansa who can’t catch a break and too strong Arya…I loved the exchange: “What killed your father?” “Loyalty”. Perfection!

    THe riot scene was well done, as was the scene prior. Lena looked especially pretty as Cersei teetering on the edge of breaking down and loved that they kept Sansa standing up for Tomen.

    The Arya/Littlefinger scene was tense. Excellently played by…Someone give that girl an Emmy please?

    I like the changes to the Jon stuff. So little happens to him in book 2, it’s basically just a bridge to book 3…But now we’re laying the ground work for a very important character.

    Stolen dragons…awesome twist!

    The Robb/Catlynn stuff was great. Loved that a certain someone who rhymes with meek might be on his way(or already there…was this some plan all along?)…While I enjoy more Robb, I’m not sure I’m enjoying Talsia. She just doesn’t pop for me..This new/old character who might be this other character, who she is nothing like…

    I don’t know. I wish they would have just stuck with what they had her. In a lot of ways the character doesn’t make sense. “Oh I’m not on a side but I think I’ll stick around with your people…eat your feed…use your protection..whatevs…Oh and I might be a Lady..hehe…” I liked Jeyne’s innoence It just makes how the RW is played so much more tragic, that this poor innocent girl who loved Robb so much, was used to take him down. I don’t know…I don’t care about changes for the most part, but yeah I’m just not feeling it.

    This was a Stark heavy episode overall and that’s great, but Osha also had a chance to shine. Love how she manipulated Theon and then took out that guard. You go Osha! Luwin also had a great moment. Just win all around for Winterfell(okay not all around…they did get taken…that scene was sooo intense. Perfect)

  • I don’t normally post on here, though I have thought about it many times. I have been following this site since June/July of 2010 when I first heard they were going to turn my beloved series into a television experience. I first want to say you all do an amazing job here at WiC and I have been a loyal follower, checking for updates almost daily since the above mentioned timeline. With that said, I also want to say I loved season 1 and thought all the changes were just fine. After having read many great books over the years that get raped by directors and producers and writers when they get turned into a visual medium, D&D, HBO, and all those involved with this series have done GRRMs epic story so much justice and continue to do so all the way up to tonights episode. And I know they will continue to do so. In D&D we trust I have seen stated here before and I believe it.
    I loved tonights episode. I was shocked by the changes and it was the first episode that literally kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved it. It was what I was missing, already knowing what happenens up to book 5. I fist pumped myself when the Hound rescued Sansa, I was glad to see they explained what we don’t see in the books with the Bastard Bolton (whom I can’t wait until he gets his), and the kidnapping of the Dragons will make the House of the Undying all that more intense and also make more sense to the viewing audience methinks. Arya’s story changes don’t bother me at all since there are a lot of characters there that would definitely confuse the non-book readers for sure. I am watching this show with four non-book readers and they still have trouble keeping up with all the new characters that have been introduced, so it definitely works. Not sure how I feel about Robb and his love interest yet, the Westerlings would have made just as much sense(why the foreigner?) All I will say is I am so excited to see what is to come and see how this all plays out. By the seven this may be my favorite episode ever.
    Winter is Coming…the Starks will(better) rise again ;)
    And just as a side note(I’m sure I’m not the only one), but I threw the third book across the room during a certain wedding scene, just so everyone is sure of my loyalties. haha…don’t know if I’m ready or ever will be ready to see it onscreen. It was hard enough with Ned.

  • Eric Fitch: If one of those consequences is a tighter story than the one GRR seems to be losing control of then good.

    Strong words – and I agree with them!

  • 1. Ramsay! Assuming he hasn’t been cast yet (may have been kept secret), I am curious to see how (and if) he plays a roll in the takeover of Winterfell.
    2.) Rickon, and LOTS of him! I’m wondering if he will go to the wall with Bran Osha and Hodor. If so, I wonder how that will change the plot from the book. I had always assumed that Ludwin would take over book-Osha’s roll, and be the one to take Rickon south.
    3.) LOTS of direwolf this episode. We get good shots of Ghost in the snow, and even a shot of Summer and Shaggydog (Wasn’t Summer amber when he was on Bran’s bed? He looked grey during the moonlight escape).
    4.) Wow, Isaac is really coming into his own. That scene with Rodrick’s death was so sad, mostly because of him pleaing with Theon in the background. Theon losing it in and of itself was kind of sad.
    5.) I never expected Netalia Tena to ‘drop robe’ for this show. I’m glad show-Osha isn’t, what, a 50-year-old woman like book-Osha?
    6.) The whole episode felt… different. Not exactly bad different (for the most part), but something about the dialogue, writing and cinemetography didn’t feel like a GoT episode (ex. Theon and Bran scene, Danny and spice merchant scene, Jon and Ygritte scene).

  • andrew:
    I am a book lover, but not a purist. really really liked the episode. was that a 1 second glimpse of Lollys during the riot????

    That’s what I thought to!

  • I hate to be a downer on all of this, but I was underwhelmed by this episode. I loved Rodrick’s death scene, even if it diverged from the book. I also was excited to meet Ygritte, even if that sequence diverged from the book. But stealing the dragons?! That was just one step too far away from where the books were at.

    Without the dragons, Dany is nothing. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. If someone was willing and capable of slaughtering her entire guard and capturing the dragons, they would also be willing and capable of killing her, and no one in Qarth would bat an eyelash. This injected drama seems implausible to me, and unnecessary, given all the drama that is to come with the House of the Undying. Maybe the warlocks captured the dragons, and that’s why they (Drogon) burn the House of the Undying down, but I don’t see the need for the added drama.

    All that said, I loved the Jon/Ygritte scenes, even if they differed from the books. I’m guessing they’re compressing the storyline here, and moving the relationship beginnings up a bit. Not sure where Jon will have the opportunity to have Qorin give him his commands, but I’ll wait to see that.

    Also loved the scene with Lord Bolton, and particularly the embossing on his cloak. That’s some great costume work, there. And of course, the Bastard is mentioned .

    Peter Dinklage and Maisie Williams continue to steal every scene they’re in, although Charles Dance gives Maisie a run for her money – they play off each other in an amazing way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some more Emmy or Golden Globe nominations come out of these scenes.

    Overall, this was not my favorite episode. I still loved most of it, but some of the book divergences left me flat, and I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish. When you have such fantastic source material, why make these changes? I will watch and wait to see the answer to these questions, and maybe I’ll be amazed at what comes next. I’ll definitely be intrigued.

    Brian

  • Eric Fitch: If one of those consequences is a tighter story than the one GRR seems to be losing control of then good.

    Touché, good ser, touché.

  • Weirwood:
    Any thoughts on where Ser Jorah was during the dragon-napping?

    good catch..where the hell was he ? …oh well it was a pretty strong ep for the most part despite some stumbles…and boy can Littlefinger cover ground and he didn’t even look tired :)

  • Smushsmush: Did anyone else think it quite unnecessary for Osha to sleep with Theon in order to sneak the kids out of Winterfell?

    Maybe she slept with him because she wanted to sleep with him. Women do that too, you know. Good for her. Love ’em and leave ’em, I say.

  • That first scene was INTENSE. One of the most intense on the series so far! I hope Theon gets his heh, bastard of Bolton.Very impressed with Ygritte as well. She looks and acts exactly like I pictured.

  • I think they cast Reek but kept him under wraps so as not to spoil the twist. Especially after the Jeyne/Talisa confusion.

  • Why is George allowing HBO to make all these changes? it’s bad enough we have to suffer through the insignificant Roz scenes and gratuitous nudity which takes up too much of precious tv time, now they’re changing the stories. Stolen dragons? what’s up with that? where’s Meera and Jojen? Why has Littlefinger become such a ubiquitous character? i hope they allow Arya to continue her journey as written in the book instead of being captured by littlefinger. this is getting so frustrating!

  • Agree that Ygritte was far too pretty. She should be plain from the hard life in the north. Though I thought the same of Osha who I pictured as very rough as she was traveling with a rough group.
    I hope it doesn’t continue to stray so far from the story lines. They need to cut out big chunks but it has the potential to start spiraling out of control.
    Yeah I guess Petyr has a lot of airline miles saved up. Seems to be everywhere lately.

  • I bet u guys didn’t know that I was dyslexic. I did in fact hate when my Lord Father Tywin made me read 4 hours day

  • Maybe this is wrong but…

    I couldn’t help but laugh during the riot scene with then priest was taken down and the peasants raised his torn arm up in the air like a victory trophy hahahaha.

  • Ygritte’s too pretty. That’s the final straw. I’m out! Or wait…do I want to be in? Let me reconsider.

  • charles,

    Dude, GRRM is not just ‘allowing’ changes; he’s helping them do it. He wrote one of the episodes of this season in its entirety, if I’m not mistaken – I believe it’s supposed to be episode 9. It’s something I have to keep reminding myself, that GRRM not only approves of changing the story to fit the medium but is helping them do it …

  • I can’t stand live-action sequences that make no logistical sense.

    Qhorin and company LOST snow? Unbelievable. Everything with Ygritte made no sense. And Jon is really that soft that he not only doesn’t kill her but also has no logic as he does in the book for keeping her alive? I know that thought process is hard to bring to the screen but what they did makes no sense. Makes Jon look like a complete moron. Total flake.

    And the dragon-stealing… I can see how its all turning into a more TV-ish quarth story-line. But still I was kind of tuckered out with all the deaths by the end of the episode.

    Felt poorly directed in general, compared to other episodes. Lots of the action scenes just didn’t flow. Nice attempts, though.

  • Alright, season 1 was pretty spot on, as for these changes…excuse my language, but what the fuck? No Jojen and Meera? So is bran going to go north with Hodor the halfwit alone now? Or is Rickon going to come and fuck up all of Wyman Manderly’s plans in the 5th book? Also, no Riverrun? What about Jamie’s siege, also don’t forget about Hoster and Edmure and the red wedding. Last time I checked also Arya never so much as spoke with Tywin Lannister, she was BOLTON’s cupbearer. Stop fucking selling out, look what happened to Harry Potter and Twilight…the movie watchers deserve the same story and experience as the readers..keep all your sex scenes and such, but don’t fuck the story up. Props to season one, but so far from what I’ve seen of season 2 things are going a long way downhill.

  • Ed McDonell:
    charles,

    Dude, GRRM is not just ‘allowing’ changes; he’s helping them do it.He wrote one of the episodes of this season in its entirety, if I’m not mistaken – I believe it’s supposed to be episode 9.It’s something I have to keep reminding myself, that GRRM not only approves of changing the story to fit the medium but is helping them do it …

    I hope the episode GRRM wrote contains the most changes. Oh the sweet irony.

  • Ah, nothing like the post-viewing trip to Westeros’ recap to have any and all enjoyment sucked out of an episode, in 30 overly verbose paragraphs. Think I’m done with those.

    I loved this episode and thought it was one of the strongest episodes of both seasons. I’m fine with the changes… I already know the story from the books, and nothing the show does will change that. Once I accepted it as it’s own entity, I’ve been enjoying it so much more.

  • Arthur,

    I can see why Dany appears presumptuous but you have to remember she’s still a girl. Her entire life was spent living with Viserys. She was given everything by Illyrio. She’s been sheltered for years, being reinforced with the stories of the great Targaryen’s and how the world awaits their return. I thought Emilia conveyed all those things perfectly.

  • Coltaine777,

    Boy can Littlefinger cover ground and he didn’t even look tired.

    I don’t mind this kind of stuff. We were never told how much time lapse between this episode and the last episode. It could have been weeks. So who cares if Littelfinger shows up there right after the last episode.

    It reminds me of a poster who complained “What happenes to Ned’s bones? Cat wouldn’t have just left them at Renly’s camp”. Of course not, is it really necessary for D&D to explain what happened to Ned’s bones or the timeline of Littelfingers travels? Can’t we just assume Cat traveled with a few dozen men as her envoy and that they took care of bringing Ned’s bones back? Just like can’t we assume Littlefinger and his envoy were traveling a few weeks between episodes?

    I mean, we all have our nitpicks that bother us, lord knows you people know mine and some of you dislike what I have to say. But little things like the stuff I mentioned above are easy fixes if you just assume little things that arent explained on camera.

  • Nate:
    Alright, season 1 was pretty spot on, as for these changes…excuse my language, but what the fuck? No Jojen and Meera? So is bran going to go north with Hodor the halfwit alone now? Or is Rickon going to come and fuck up all of Wyman Manderly’s plans in the 5th book? Also, no Riverrun? What about Jamie’s siege, also don’t forget about Hoster and Edmure and the red wedding. Last time I checked also Arya never so much as spoke with Tywin Lannister, she was BOLTON’s cupbearer. Stop fucking selling out, look what happened to Harry Potter and Twilight…the movie watchers deserve the same story and experience as the readers..keep all your sex scenes and such, but don’t fuck the story up. Props to season one, but so far from what I’ve seen of season 2 things are going a long way downhill.

    You’re worried about the effect this will have on the storyline of Wyman Manderly? Seriously? He’ll be a glorified extra if he’s in the TV show (if he’s in it at all).

  • For example, they needed Arya to use up her second “kill” dramatically. But the pacing was absurd — Jaquen hears lorch needs to die and somehow catches up to him and throws a dart before the man can even reach Tywin? Nonsense… I guess if you assume Lorch kept wandering around looking for Arya but didn’t tell anyone he was looking for Arya? Meh. Show faIls when it tries for the slapstick plot-corrections like that.

  • Great episode. All the changes seem intelligent and workable. We’ll have to wait and see on the dragons, but I have no problem with it considering the adept handling of these sorts of changes the producers have shown thus far.

  • Ha! It was like D&D went all D&D and pulled out the random encounter table. Love it!

    41-49: A riot breaks out
    50-75: Party encounters a very rude courtier
    76-98: Party member must seduce a villain
    99-00: The party’s dragons are stolen!

  • Bean:
    For example, they needed Arya to use up her second “kill” dramatically.But the pacing was absurd — Jaquen hears lorch needs to die and somehow catches up to him and throws a dart before the man can even reach Tywin?Nonsense… I guess if you assume Lorch kept wandering around looking for Arya but didn’t tell anyone he was looking for Arya?Meh.Show faIls when it tries for the slapstick plot-corrections like that.

    Well, to be fair (and not that it means anything in the show so far), he is a “Faceless Man,” which gives him some sort of special powers and mystique. I think this gave an indication to viewers for the first time that he’s not just some guy with a sword killing people, but rather, someone really, really awesome at it.

  • I freaking loved this episode. Maybe my favorite so far of this season ( I say that every episode) but seriously soooo good. I think the fan reactions have caused me to learn something. If it’s a good episode/story meaning full of great moments, dramatic tension, and bereft of unnecessary scenes of sex and violence then fans will like it regardless of changes. They’re really making this story work for the medium and all in all the spirit of the series is why I like it so much. GRRM created an unrelenting and complex look at a system with smaller compelling components of family, love, betrayal, loyalty, and honor. D and D are taking us on a similar journey with characters we love rendered as faithful as possible and when not possible with paralleled brilliance and deftness.

    I’m totally find with loosing the Reeds if I can get the Bastard on screen. He’s much more interesting.

  • Bean,

    That the death happened so suddenly and impossibly as it did actually fit the book better than if it had been more reasonable. Don’t forget that one of the deaths in the book is somehow achieved by having the guy’s faithful dog turn on him. How Ja’qen does what he does is supposed to be mysterious and impossible :)

  • Mike Chair,

    yes, I agree. It was totally unnecessary but that’s HBO for you. always trying to find oppportunities for sex and nudity which only wastes time and getting quite boring. I hope they don’t corrupt Sansa . Please HBO, let at least Sansa keep her purity and keep her clothes on!

  • Solar:
    james yar,

    well…that is dany. she likes to make that threat a lot in the books as well.

    Well, she’s one of my least favorite POVs in the book as well… However, GRRM dany’s dialogue is leaps and bounds better than the show’s. Tonight’s boat-begging scene was terrible in that regard. The retelling of her fire birth sounded silly. I for one am glad for the twist with the dragon-stealing, because her storyline has been BORING this season, and its starting to seem like HOtU is gonna be left out. Why the hell is this show so scared to give some flashbacks? Do they really think we’re too stupid to follow?

  • starksrule:
    Mike Chair,

    yes, I agree.It wastotally unnecessary but that’s HBO for you.always trying to find oppportunities for sex and nudity which only wastes time and getting quite boring. I hope they don’t corrupt Sansa . Please HBO, let at least Sansa keep her purity and keep her clothes on!

    I don’t think you have to worry. She’s not even legal yet. Also, I doubt HBO would take her character there, and based on Sophie’s interviews, I’m not sure she’d agree to it anyway.

  • starksrule,

    Agree 110%, season one for the most part was pretty perfect, but this is getting a little ridiculous. No meera and jojen, no Podrick payne, No edmure or hoster or brynden, no jacelyn bywater, no wex. All of these are important characters if you have read the books, especially meera and jojen. I want to find a way to email the writers and ask what the hell they are thinking.

  • To the average viewer the names of characters like The Tickler and Raff the Sweetling and Ser Polliver are essentially interchangeable. They’re one step above featured extras. And they don’t really have any importance to the story apart from getting killed off.

    Without Arya’s constant internal monologue there’s no way a casual viewer is going to realize “Oh hey he’s that guy who was in that one scene torturing a guy two seasons ago!”

    We already know that George supervises on the show and has shared outlines and information on the series with the showrunners that nobody else has access to. There aren’t going to be any major changes that will alter the outcome of the show, and it’s pretty safe to assume that any minor changes are things that don’t really matter in the books.

    Hell, George wrote the episode in which Drogo killed off Mago.

  • Nate:
    Stop fucking selling out, look what happened to Harry Potter and Twilight…

    1. Uh, what exactly happened to Twilight? They took a terrible book and made it more Twilighty.

    2. If you are getting this worked up, it might be best just to just move on from the show instead of shitting all over a comment thread.

  • I think Tywin wants to adopt Arya and i’m trying not to like that idea. Those two are awesome together!

    Jaqen is flawless. Lol to him telling Arya he can’t snap his fingers and do her bidding..and she’s all NOW!!!

    The Hound gutting that rapist.. damn! Nobody got away from his wrath. Sansa’s true knight.

  • So many changes! My feelings are so hurt now that it’s not the books! Cancel the show and have them redo it from scratch! Make sure every single line of dialogue from the books is included, including inner monologues. I want scenes to play out EXACTLY like they did the books. Include all the characters, even those who aren’t really relevant within the context of the story, despite complications associated with the budget and the tv medium as a whole. I am unsatisfied until these hacks meet my demands, despite the fact that I only represent a fraction of the actual television audience. And because I’m a book purist, my opinion means more than anyone else who watches this show, and any other book reader who accepts these changes does not understand the books as I do because I say so.

  • Suzaku,

    Suzaku,

    Did George write the episode in which Drogo killed off Mago? I thought I read somewhere that he told them Mago would have a part to play later and they killed him off anyway. Though I also thought I recalled that he like the scene anyway heh.

  • Hahaha!! I thought the same thing! I said out loud: “Lolys!!!” LoL

    andrew:
    I am a book lover, but not a purist. really really liked the episode. was that a 1 second glimpse of Lollys during the riot????

  • Brandon Stark,

    Have you even read the books dumbshit? Wyman Manderly sends Wex and Robett Glover to find Rickon, because they find out he is still alive and he is the true heir to winterfell in place of the bastard of bolton. If they send Rickon north with bran, it could fuck the entire series up…no I’m not concerned about Wyman Manderly…I’m concerned for the series. And judging by a lot of these comments I’m not the only one…

  • Nate:
    starksrule,

    Agree 110%, season one for the most part was pretty perfect, but this is getting a little ridiculous. No meera and jojen, no Podrick payne, No edmure or hoster or brynden, no jacelyn bywater, no wex. All of these are important characters if you have read the books, especially meera and jojen. I want to find a way to email the writers and ask what the hell they are thinking.

    Read their interview with westeros.org regarding casting and budget.

    They literally can’t afford to hire a bunch of actors and wait around until their characters become more important to the plot.

    It’s simply not feasible to hire a bunch of people for the maybe 30 minutes worth of scenes they would have in Clash of Kings and then string them along and say “Well, you’ll be important in season 6. You just need to not take any other roles until then, because we don’t want to replace you with different actors.”

    They outright said they were moving the introductions of certain A Clash of Kings characters into season 3.

  • Darwin,

    I think Emilia is a beautiful and talented actress, and as Lena would say “She is fucking brilliant!”. You make a good point in that her brother is all she really has known. You would think after watching her brother and seeing what he really was, that she would not develop the same behavioral patterns as him.

    I mean, come on, seriously… Dany basically is acting like her brother did. Pouting and demanding shit from people while she is in a much weaker position. She comes off, to me, as a whiny little girl. In the books she was never this pouty and you started to really like her as a person because she would rise up above any obstacle put in her way. Not by pouting and demanding shit either. IDK man, I just really hope D&D ends this overblown pattern of Dany always begging people (with threats while still being allowed to live somehow) for things. It makes her look weak and dull-witted.

    In the books, didn’t she collect lots of money by letting people see her dragons? She didn’t just go to the thirteen and start begging for shit. Like I said, this episode was good, not great, but good. The only thing that I didn’t like was seeing Dany revert back to her angry, demanding, presumptuous self (acting like her brother, with his same temper). That whole act she does is getting really old and boring…

  • Butterfly effect? Like killing Ser Rodrik? Oh wait, he dies in the book too. Or killing Amory Lorch??? Oops, dead in the book. This ‘butterfly effect’ stuff isn’t really valid. There are no changes that will significantly affect future events in the books. They will still hit all of the major plot points.

  • Nate, seriously, calm down.

    First off, as a book purist, you should know Manderly is sending Davos and not Wex (who was the one who followed Osha/Rickon/Shaggydog) and Glover (who’s just raising men in White Harbor) and in any case the Reeds can easily (and, in my opinion, probably will) be cast next season

  • Chris,

    I agree completely. I also gave up trying to compare the two because I realized I just wasn’t enjoying the show when I was constantly comparing the two in my head. I loved tonight’s episode & I am a huge book geek but it’s just more fun when you don’t know exactly what to expect…..it’s like the first time I read the books.

  • Overall, very strong episode, and the changes at Harrenhall were all interesting and worked for me.

    In fact, I liked almost everything, though I’m having trouble understanding why they didn’t actually show Theon & co sneaking into Winterfell at night. Instead we got a bunch of Theon talking too much. Lots of parts of that worked out pretty well, so it’s not an outright complaint, but some strange choices I think.

    Ygritte was great, really great. Better than I’d hoped or expected.

    From the beginning, it’s been pretty clear that Robb was going to suffer more than anyone by being so much older during his story (though Jon probably had it worse in season 1). I don’t really have any objection in principle to him being reminded by Cat, but it feels a little bit like condescending to the audience. And it’s just gonna make him look like more of twat. A 15-16 year old boy making these mistakes is one thing; 20-something show-Robb making them over a present Cat’s objections is quite another.

    Sad about Irri. I’ll wait until I see where it’s going and why it’s going there before I pass judgment, but my initial read is pretty skeptical. I mean, I’m all for them making up stuff to happen in Qarth, but I hope she left for a bigger role somewhere. I thought she was a pretty positive presence on the show and her death didn’t seem to serve much purpose.

  • Chris,

    1. Twilight’s author probably made more money than you and your kids and your kids kids will ever make.
    2. Being worked up is the sign of a loyal fan to a great work of art that Goerge RR Marter created, and that HBO has decided to drastically alter. I do enjoy the show, but every watcher should get the same story as every reader. GRRM gave HBO a gold mine with his books and they choose to change the material? That’s like tearing up a 1,000 dollar bill.

  • Arthur,

    I think Dany received lots of gifts from those who came to view her dragons as opposed to charging a viewing fee or anything. And she did beg in the books but it happened ‘off screen’ as I recall. Like we only heard her telling someone that they denied her requests rather than having the scene itself play out in the book.

  • LoF:
    Nate,

    No Jacelyn Bywater? How will we go on?

    Yeah, I don’t even remember who he is from the books. And I’m so sad we didn’t get introduced to Lolly’s before the riot. Oh, these damn HBO writers! Where’s my Lollys and 876 other pretty unimportant characters?!

  • LoF,

    Actually, this is one area that is a problem for me, not missing Bywater, but if Bronn is now the new Cpt. of the Goldcloaks, why is he 1. never in a gold cloak & 2. always with Tyrion. Shouldn’t he have other matters to attend to other than being Tyrion’s personal guard. Where’s Shagga when you need him?

  • Nate:
    Chris,

    2. Being worked up is the sign of a loyal fan to a great work of art that Goerge RR Marter created, and that HBO has decided to drastically alter. I do enjoy the show, but every watcher should get the same story as every reader. GRRM gave HBO a gold mine with his books and they choose to change the material? That’s like tearing up a 1,000 dollar bill.

    Why does every viewer need the same experience as the book readers? If they want to read the books for that experience, they can. If they just want to watch a TV show, that should be fine and dandy, too.

  • Chris,

    hahaha….Jar Jar Binks…still cooler than Twilight ;) You are wise with your words ser

    Mike,
    hahahahaha yes yes, I agree completely…these changes are completely ludicrous. How dare they change the sacred texts that the divine George R. R. Martin bestowed upon us from heaven. They are changing the scripture of the GODS. CURSESSS. May all those at fault burn in the seven hells and HBO had better recall all thier blasphemies and remake the show to the purist standards. Just like all other sacred texts written by our most blessed and sacred authors. ;) sarcasm can be fun hahaha

  • Brandon Stark,

    Yeah I don’t mind if they make him bad-ass. It’s just the timing of action scenes… that said for that stuff I could suspend disbelief a bit because it was entertaining.

    Wish I could say the same for that Jon Snow nonsense.

  • Ed McDonell:
    Suzaku,

    Suzaku,

    Did George write the episode in which Drogo killed off Mago?I thought I read somewhere that he told them Mago would have a part to play later and they killed him off anyway.Though I also thought I recalled that he like the scene anyway heh.

    Yes, he wrote the episode (8, The Pointy End). Did you consider the possibility that he was being sarcastic when he said Mago would be important?

    Maybe it was a scene they created during filming or after he’d completed writing, I don’t know.

    If Mago does become important, does it even really matter? Even if he shows up in book 6, it’s not like anyone is going to remember a pretty minor character from a few episodes of the first season in another six or seven years when the show finally gets to adapting it. All they have to do is say “Oh this is Nago, brother of Mago, he wants revenge for his brother.”

  • moleman: If someone was willing and capable of slaughtering her entire guard and capturing the dragons, they would also be willing and capable of killing her, and no one in Qarth would bat an eyelash.

    She has the protection of her bloodriders (Kovarro et. al), people are rightfully afraid of the Dothraki, plus Xaro and whatever protection he can provide. I’m sure any of the Quartheen would be hesitant to move against Xaro due to his vast wealth.

  • Bean:
    Qhorin and company LOST snow?Unbelievable.Everything with Ygritte made no sense.And Jon is really that soft that he not only doesn’t kill her but also has no logic as he does in the book for keeping her alive?I know that thought process is hard to bring to the screen but what they did makes no sense.Makes Jon look like a complete moron.Total flake.

    Got to agree.

    I didn’t see the reason for this either. The book solution to Jon’s story arc in ACoK was far superior in my view.

    I might add that we STILL don’t have a black cloak or any Obsidian stuff and Benjen has not been mentioned once this season. Whatever. I’m just not happy with the changes up north – as they are for the worse, not the better.

    I was fine with Arya’s & Tywin story change. Hell – it’s BETTER than the books, tbh. (I think we were supposed to notice that Littlfinger recognized her).

    I’m even fine with Catelyn being back before the catastrophe with Jeyne — as it is clear that is now going to happen when she is imprisoned for treason (and so isn’t there to stop Robb).

    I’m okay with the stolen dragons hiccup, too. God know they need to give Dany something to do other than whine constantly about taking “what is hers” (nothing is “yours” sweetie). Was that Irri we saw dead in the room, btw?

    But the changes to Jon’s arc are completely unnecessary and the story arc seems inferior. I’m not happy about that at all.

  • best episode yet. all the changes made complete sense. explain to me how they don’t make sense.

  • Think if you had never read the books… and only had 10 hours to get the same story…could you really expect all the minute, trivial details that don’t affect the greater plot to make any kind of sense at all. It’s books to TV people….It’s better than three, four hour movies for the whole series…it’s 10 hours per book….and looking like it’s going to be 20 hours for a Storm of Swords…GET OVER YOURSELVES and your purist attitudes…accept the changes, forget the books for an hour and ENJOY the show! Seriously.

  • I mostly disliked the changes, but I understand why they’re making them.

    I too am worried about what’s going to happen down the road.

  • Yes, Irri’s dead according to this interview with Amrita Acharia.
    I loved the episode for everything, including the changes, until that. I figured she was just unconscious. I thought the rest of the changes made sense, but I have a huge problem with Doreah getting to live but not Irri. Dany has hardly any Dothraki left at this point. :(

  • Arthur,

    I would say give Dany screen time to develop. I didn’t care for her character much in the first two books cuz I saw her as an entitled little beggar.. just like she is on screen. Not until she started taking care of business later and showing what she had to offer did I change my mind about her. That’s why I say try and hang in there and give her time to grow on screen.

  • Brandon Stark,

    I suppose if you want to look at it that way. I understand certain changes the show has made, but I’m more concerned for the overall story rather than just this episode. If I’d never read the books I’d probaby love it, but unfortanately I have read the books and see a lot of descrepencies with events in the future. Whatever works for em’ though, so long as it sticks to the story in the end I’ll be just fine with it.

  • Brandon Stark: Jacelyn Bywater

    How can you not know him!?! He got arrowed in the throat at Battle of Blackwater.. He’s the most pivotal character in the whole series! And you call yourself a fan!

  • Nate:
    Chris,

    1. Twilight’s author probably made more money than you and your kids and your kids kids will ever make.
    2. Being worked up is the sign of a loyal fan to a great work of art that Goerge RR Marter created, and that HBO has decided to drastically alter. I do enjoy the show, but every watcher should get the same story as every reader. GRRM gave HBO a gold mine with his books and they choose to change the material? That’s like tearing up a 1,000 dollar bill.

    To use your own weird logic, HBO and D&D are making more off this show than you and your kids and your kid’s kids will ever make.

    In what world would it be normal for you to join a conversation and just start “fucking” this and “fucking” that and going borderline apeshit over what many could argue are minor, esoteric details? Just tone it down a notch because your (valid) points are lost and end up adding nothing to the conversation.

  • I guess the dragons are taken to the House of the Undying?

    This would make sense to me, to give higher dramatic stakes for Dany in what is a very abstract and hallucinogenic episode in the books…. also, if the warlocks stole the dragons, they will deserve their fate!

    But — Irri!!!

  • Well, it’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but WOW! I have no problem with HBO taking liberties with GRRM’s work. Hell, they have to. His books are waaaayyyy too complex with myriad characters to be translated to the small screen unless HBO ordered a budget-busting 30-episode seasons (ah, perhance to dream…). A lot of trimming needed to be done here and there to keep the plots tight enough to follow, and the narratives in this show is already straining at the seams. Remember folks, GRRM’s done TV before, and I suspect he knew full well what needed to be done if his work was to be brought to life. He even said himself that the books were meant to express his imagination with no constraints whatsoever as typically levied by Hollywood.

  • Suzaku:

    Hell, George wrote the episode in which Drogo killed off Mago.

    No, he did not. It appears in the episode George wrote, but the scene was originally written for another episode and was moved to GRMM’s after the fact.

  • I’m not happy with the changes. They help the episode move along but they hurt the story. I am very disappointed they are telegraphing so much, there are just no surprises in store. Littlefinger most of all is coming off much worse than in the books. Less would definitely have been more. I’d like to feel about him as I do about TV Varys, excited to see him and letting him make me wonder what he’s up to.

    Also, TV Danaerys sucks as a human being. My least favorite change, Irri appears to be dead, and all Dany does is shake her then shout for her dragons. She needs to remember where she came from, her sense of manifest destiny is overbearing. I am about out of patience with her. They gave her more to do but made her less someone to root for.

    There were moments that made me laugh in the episode but they were cheap laughs, like Ser Amory Lorch dying with a dart in his neck. It just seems sloppy, or at least sloppier.

    I also agree there was no need for Osha to sleep with Theon. It’s fine that she knows he’s asleep, but how is she able to move around much less get the kids out? It just would have made so much more sense for them to hide in the crypts, and I hope that is at least where they are going. Also, this way there’s the nagging question of where were the direwolves when Theon was pushing everyone around? I as a book reader might think: locked up in the kennels, but otherwise I’d be thinking there was no money for a direwolf fight. So plus drama by having Bran and Rickon on the scene, minus story by making it less plausible.

    Such wasted potential in this one. And yet I’m sure new viewers won’t know or care too much. I guess it hurts to know too much this time.

    ETA: I could add up all the changes I really didn’t like but I also have to agree with the people who thought Jon’s rationale for letting Ygritte live made no sense in the show. The only reason it went down like that was solely to have the scene with them lying together through the night to keep warm. I think it underestimates the audience. I know they want to use Rose Leslie since they have her but can’t they have come up with a better sequence of events? Jon Snow just totally jeopardized the whole mission. Ugh.

  • Brandon Stark,

    Jacelyn Bywater is put up as the new captain of the Gold Cloaks when Slynt is sent to the Wall. He tells Tyrion that the smallfolk hold him responsible for bad things happening. He stops Cersei’s men from taking Tommen to Rosby, and takes him there himself (under Tyrion’s control rather than Cersei’s). Tyrion makes him a lord. He dies during the Battle of the Blackwater. An interesting but utterly unimportant character in the grand scheme of things, whose late-season actions can be taken on by anyone else in Tyrion’s employ.

  • Chris,

    Okay I’ll tone it down and be sensible then. Call me a purist, call me whatever you want. Books will always be better than movies or TV representations, but when I watch a book series on TV I want to see the story brought to life as it was written. I don’t want to see it altered and changed. Certain changes must be made to compensate for time and such I understand, but the least a good show can do is stick with the story line. And yes, HBO will make more money than me and my kids and my kids kids and so on and so forth, idc about that. I’m just saying it’s obviously not that terrible if it’s sold so many copies.

  • Steel_Wind,

    I’m wondering if Jon and Ygritte will be found by wildlings who then find the rangers, resulting in you know what. If so, I agree that it seems like a weird move. The chase with Jon and Halfhand even seems better dramatically. The only thing I could think of, is they decided to spend that time with Ygritte on screen, at the expense of the Halfhand. Which, again, not sure I agree with. We’ll have to see I guess.

  • Shaggydog, I have a feeling we’re notin Kansas anymore… Then again, doesn’t seem like we’re in Westeros anymore either. While I found Book 2 to be a rambling mess, I quite enjoyed the rambling mess it was, and there are waaaaaaaaaaay too many things changed that needn’t be. That said…..

    Love Jaqen….. Perfect casting, best accent since Syrio. And love that Tywin has become all cuddly toward Arya… He is Arya’s new sensei… Woah Jaimie was dyslexic and Tywin was his tutor!

    Also, HBO is able to turn that dude on Boardwalk Empire into a dude with half a face… Why couldn’t Cleftjaw have been more accurately portrayed? Or the fingerless Smuggler? Also kinda funny they let Tyrion go more natural brown…. The series started with him using Miss Clairol dirty Blond… And they could have used contacts for his eyes.

    Theon is breaking my heart… Alfie Allen deserves an Emmy for this season….

    Whoda think Osha would have the most rockin’ body? Nice…. Love that the show uses natural women, how to explain fake boobery?

    The Dany stuff is rightfully causing fits among the readers, as it tlosses over huge chunks and reinvents huge chunks. KISS! People write of simplifying things for the non-readers… I think they are complicating things. Oh well…. Just wanted to vent a bit…. I wish the season was a few episodes longer… This is my favorite show in a long time…. Since Deadwood, actually…. Unlike Dany, beggars can’t be choosers, and I am grateful for every cinematic morsel!

  • Wow, what an episode! Epic in every way. I’m copying my post from the other thread since everybody has moved over to this one now (slow on the uptake this one is).

    This one has no problem with the changes, as they are moving the important players in the appropriate directions nonetheless. Jon Snow got played! Ygritte did not say her famous words yet, but that smirk she had at the end of her scene was priceless and spoke a thousand words. Yes, there were changes from the book, like Lorch getting his reward tonight…but we don’t even know if there will be a bear in the TV version. Remember the budget is a finite thing. Very exciting episode. Scary and bloody but exciting. Hoping Theon will pay big time, this one would hope.

    New questions to ask at the end of each episode:

    1. Who do you love MORE now?
    Osha, Jon Snow, Jaqen (of course), Catelyn, always Dany, Tyrion

    2. Who do you HATE MORE now?
    THEON
    Littlefinger
    Joffrey (stupid schmuck)

    3. Who said the most with no words?
    Catelyn (that look at Rob after meeting the new Lady was priceless)
    Ygritte (smirk)
    Theon (conflicted for a few moments, but the dark side won)
    Arya (little sneak)
    Tyrion (terror in his eyes was palpable at the riot and after)
    Jaqen (looks at Arya with the “Well OK then” resignation)

    Discuss.

  • Is anyone else distracted a little by all the metal guard rails(Harrenhal last ep) and bannisters(Spice King’s palace)?

  • Winter Is Coming,

    WIC – I agree, let’s keep it civil. We’re all fans of the books.

    But I would say that reading these posts, those who like the TV changes are much more uncivil than those of us who have some qualms. The sarcastic posts about us wanting every single detail held true, the defensive posts about prior changes being okay, but not the new ones, etc.

    I’m glad people are enjoying this show, I truly am. And guess what – SO AM I! But I do have some concerns with some of the changes from the text, and I’m not going to automatically sit back and say “change is good/that is awesome”. I raised my concerns earlier in the thread, and have read many posts (although, to be fair, none responding directly to me) that seemed to minimize those of us who are disturbed by some of the changes.

    So let’s commit to debate the show and it’s merits, and not speak ill of someone who holds a different opinion from us. There’s plenty of material there, and we can all be civil and thoughtful in our arguments.

    Anyone who disagrees with me is a poophead.

    Brian

  • Steel_Wind: No, he did not. It appears in the episode George wrote, but the scene was originally written for another episode and was moved to GRMM’s after the fact.

    Well, regardless, it was an excellent scene and, assuming Mago does become important in books six or seven, does it really make a difference if the show replaces him with a Nago or Jago or Kogo or whatever? Mago is only a shadow of a phantom of a character anyway. I wouldn’t have realized he even had a name if I didn’t look him up on a wiki.

  • Chris:
    Ah, nothing like the post-viewing trip to Westeros’ recap to have any and all enjoyment sucked out of an episode, in 30 overly verbose paragraphs. Think I’m done with those.

    I loved this episode and thought it was one of the strongest episodes of both seasons. I’m fine with the changes… I already know the story from the books, and nothing the show does will change that. Once I accepted it as it’s own entity, I’ve been enjoying it so much more.

    I came to that conclusion last week and am happier for it.

  • First off, I would say that this episode was GOOD. It was not my favorite out of all the episodes but still it was good.

    Bran, Arya, and Sansa were great. Also, the Winterfell scenes were awesome, and I don’t mind the Osha seducing Theon part because somehow there is a purpose behind that. (unlike some pointless prostitute scenes) Alfie Allen’s portrayal of Theon Greyjoy was also good, and I just hope that he’ll be fine with the rising Theon Greyjoy hate!

    Anyway, ON THE ISSUE REGARDING THE REEDS:
    I am personally a huge fan of Bran Stark both from the series and in the books, and I like his chapters a lot because they show how much he wants to escape the reality of him being eternally cripple through relentless search for the three-eyed crow.
    THE REED CHILDREN ARE MEANT TO SERVE AS A LINK TO HOWLAND REED, who was Ned Stark’s very close friend and the last known surviving person who witnessed what really happened in the Tower of Joy, about Lyanna Stark’s “pool of blood”. IF THE SHOW IS VEERING OFF TO THE DIRECTION OF FINDING OUT JON SNOW’S TRUE PARENTAGE, then I believe the Reeds are necessary so that the viewers won’t go, “Who the hell are the Reeds?? How do we know this Howland Reed dude was a friend to Ned??” And since D & D consult with GRRM, I think that if ever Jon Snow’s true parentage will be revealed, they will introduce at least one Reed.

    Also, D&D stated in an interview that they are saving up some key characters for the third season because they wouldn’t want the viewers to feel overwhelmed by several new characters, and also because of budgeting strains.

  • Brandon Stark:
    I’ve been saying all along that they need to make more changes and take more chances to make for a better television series. Tonight they delivered and proved why its important to deviate from the book. I vote for more of it.

    Here here!

  • Mrs. H’ghar:

    3. Who said the most with no words?
    Catelyn (that look at Rob after meeting the new Lady was priceless)

    Haha I thought I was the only one who caught that and I about died laughing. Now that’s the look of a PROUD MOM towards her eldest son.

    *Catelyn’s thoughts at that scene*: “That’s my boy!!!”

  • Chris:
    Steel_Wind,

    I’m wondering if Jon and Ygritte will be found by wildlings who then find the rangers, resulting in you know what. If so, I agree that it seems like a weird move. The chase with Jon and Halfhand even seems better dramatically. The only thing I could think of, is they decided to spend that time with Ygritte on screen, at the expense of the Halfhand. Which, again, not sure I agree with. We’ll have to see I guess.


    See, the thing with the Halfhand is that he asked for Jon Snow not because he was a Snow, but because he was a warg.

    Jon’s connection with Ghost has not been established. And it needs to be. The Halfhand leaving it up to Jon in terms of what to do with her was better — and Jon’s outright letting her go was better, too.

    I don’t see how this improves a single damned thing. We’ll have all next season with Jon and Ygritte — or as close enough as to make no difference. This direction makes no sense to me. If this is how they wrote themselves out of the trouble of trying to film at night in Iceland — then it’s a crappy solution to a practical problem that isn’t going to go away.

  • I thought it was telling that she’s sitting there next to her faithful companion’s murdered corpse and she’s still yelling about her dragons.

    No one believes me, but Dany is bad news.

  • Nate,

    The Twilight thing was definitely a low-blow on my part, so I apologize. Also, for attacking you and your views. I think the tone of some of the posts here(not you in particular) can just get exhausting at times. There is nothing wrong with your opinions, but it’s hard to actually find the opinion buried in the vitriol at times, which I guess was my point. I have to tell myself that the story of the books is permanent and the changes in the show will never change that, but it’s hard sometimes when you want to see the story you love, and some of your favorite things are missing.

  • Chris,

    My apologies as well, I can get a little over the top when I am passionate about something. I suppose I will just have to accept these changes as well and hope for the best.

  • Dogmayor,

    the words of the wise outweigh those that are only thinking about thier own personal book experiences. If anyone here has any doubts about the quality of this show….please feel free to read Timeline by Micheal Crichton and tell me which is the better ADAPTATION. Or how about Sphere. Another great example from the opposite end of the spectrum I can offer is the fact that I have never read the books that the showtime show Dexter is based off of and it is an awesome show. I’m sure it has book purists that are super pissed as well. In fact that show is in my top five. I like it for what it is. Think about it. I love A Song of Ice and Fire, but expecting a television show or movie to completely follow a book to the exact letter is completely ridiculous. I gave up on that idea a long time ago, about the time season 1 of Game of Thrones came out. Accept it or don’t watch it. I think if they introduced every character that GRRM introduced in the books the show would be a complete trainwreck an NO ONE would watch it because it would be way to confusing to follow… Think about what you are saying when you complain about a character that is completely sub-minor not making an appearance……..with that said I really do think that Lollys was shown in the riot scene…a great ode to the BOOK readers………………………………………………..

  • Naked Tonks was a Huge shocker! N.T. Is as bold as she is a brilliant actor. And I bet the stolen dragons is all about setting up the house of the undying visit. Would make sense. Solid solid episode, yet getting sad that we only have four left.

  • Could we maybe have a thread to discuss changes both in the story and the difference in the mediums? I don’t know that the episode thread is a good place for the discussion. I’m not just talking about the Butterfly Effect, I mean the mass appeal effect, aka dumbing things down for television. I really miss the feeling from the books of being flattered about being dropped into the deep end, and picking up lots of details here and there. Also I’d be intrigued by what’s going on everywhere and out of sight, but the show doesn’t seem to leave the viewer to wonder what anyone’s motivations are, save Varys.

    As for this episode I didn’t think I’d say this, much less so soon, but I’m tired of seeing people slap Joffrey. It doesn’t mean anything because he never learns, and no one really seems to be punished for it. And his own punishment should be far worse than the occasional physical and verbal upbraiding. What’s next, a spanking, a timeout in his room?

  • Steel_Wind,

    The one redeeming thing for me was I did hear a very obvious hawk during the Ygritte scene, so maybe that will still come into play after a little extracurricular wiggle time with Ygritte.

  • Prob going to be the last time I post in the reader thread…..all the complaining about changes is just ridiculos and just becoming old.

    Br happy with the fact that we have gotten close to 16 hours of screen time out of this, which is a hell of a lot better than 14 hours of a movie series or nothing at all. Enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. I havent seen one change that is going to screw up the story long term, not like Ned Stark is walking around as a reaminated headless zombie.

  • Eric Fitch:
    I just hope Nikolaj Coster Waldau was able to make valuable use of his considerable free time last year.

    I’m hoping we see a bit more of the Kingslayer in the forthcoming Season 2 episodes, especially since Brienne has just arrived at Robb’s camp.

    Now don’t quote me on this but I remember reading a Post Season 1 / Pre Season 2 interview with The Kingslayer and if I remember right, I recall him mentioning a notable scene in Season 2 (and I don’t think he was referring to his discussion with Robb).

  • Nate,

    Just as an FYI. Podrick has already appeared when Tyrion sent Janos Slynt to the Wall. He’s also in one of the first trailers following Tyrion who is wearing full armor.

    I didn’t mind the changes and actually like even as a book reader, I can be surprised by where the story is going. They are separate pieces of storytelling, just like Lord of the Rings, etc.

    Some general thoughts;
    1. I cried when Theon took Winterfell/killed Rodrick mostly because of Bran pleading with him and the look on Rickon’s face. Heartbreaking.
    2. The mention of Ramsay made my heart sing.
    3. Loved the scene with Tyrion and Joffrey after the riots.
    4. Ygritte is from Downton Abbey – I love her just for that. But seriously, they are going to continue to cast better looking and younger, prettier, more handsome people for some roles. it’s TV people. Even as awkward as Gwen Christie is as Brienne, Brienne in the books is much more horrific.
    5. I am OK with Cat reminding Robb of his oath to the Freys. It reminds us what importance it will have in the story further down the road.

    The preview for next week looks to be good – Brienne and Jamie meet (ZOMG!) and the House of the Undying.

    The only bad thing – we have only 4 episodes left. Boo!

  • Mike,

    You make me happy. ROFL. That is what I think, in that exact tone, every time I read comment sections.

    I -love- these books. And I am -loving- this seasons. I think it’s brilliant. I’m thrilled. I’m actually excited to see what happens next!

    For the Dany stuff, I’m pretty sure I know where they’re going — I’m pretty sure Xaro took them (as he said he’s done many reprehensible things to get where he is). Dany will find out, get them back, then she’ll have to leave in a hurry like she did in the books — so the end is the same, and a more TV-palatable way of getting there. I will kinda be disappointed if we don’t get a House of the Undying. But how the heck would they do that in budget? I’m ok with the scandal that drives Dany from Qarth being changed. I understand it. :) Just a little disappointed.

    Arya and Tywin’s scenes are phenomenal. Man. Maisie going up against Charles Dance? Seriously? And the scene -works- and works well? That girl is destined for greatness. Awesome. So thrilled.

    I don’t think the Jon/Ygritte stuff is a deal breaker. It’ll be interesting to see how they do that.

    I miss Jojen and Meera, but I’m loving Osha, so I’m ok with all of that too.

    In D&D we trust, yo. This is a fantastic season!

  • I’m enjoying the hell out of this SHOW just like I enjoyed the hell out of the BOOKS when I read them. I do not expect them to be identical. Nor will I be rending my garments at each and every departure from the novels. I thought that tonights episode was very entertaining — with the best scene being the Kings Landing riots (one of my favorite scenes in the books, but I shouldn’t be comparing them, now should I?). I’m not even a SanSan fan but that was great stuff…

  • I spent that whole episode saying “That didn’t happen in the book!” I like the changes as they make it fresh and new for me. If they are going to mess with things then they have to do it completly or not at all. VERY confused about Catlyn interfering in Robb’s love interest as that pretty much destroys the possibility of a red wedding. Do they plan to keep Robb alive? And a dead Irri is really upsetting me. I think Jojen and Meera will catch up with Bran and company next year and then everyone will go their separate ways. I also wonder how Bronn can go in the direction he takes without a Lolys to pave the way. This episode was a game changer because from now on all bets are off and we cannot be sure of anything.

  • Scotti has said before, and Scotti will say again. WiC.net needs a forum already!!!!!

  • Ed McDonell:
    The most confusing change from the books went unmentioned: that Catelyn has returned to Robb’s army before he’s made a terrible mistake and broke his vow to the Freys.So instead of her being surprised by it, she’ll have been there to warn against it (as we saw happen immediately) and be there each step of the way?I don’t see how they’ll recover from that … I mean it only ever made sense to me that Robb did something so stupid because Catelyn hadn’t been there to stop him.

      

    Yo Ed,
    Cat will probably go to Riverrun to see her father and the “love thing” will happen then?

    (don’t know what happened to the block quote thing?)

  • Chicago Chris,

    Yeah, going to be hard watching some of the Harry Potter movies now knowing Tonks has such a rockin’ body! I thought the dragons stealing twist is good, because in the books doesn’t Dany just go around and visit all the different factions in the city? The show now gives her a good reason to visit the warlocks.

  • Aziraphale:
    Well, it’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but WOW! I have no problem with HBO taking liberties with GRRM’s work. Hell, they have to. His books are waaaayyyy too complex with myriad characters to be translated to the small screen unless HBO ordered a budget-busting 30-episode seasons (ah, perhance to dream…). A lot of trimming needed to be done here andthere to keep the plots tight enough to follow, and the narratives in this show is already straining at the seams. Remember folks, GRRM’s done TV before, and I suspect he knew full well what needed to be done if his work was to be brought to life. He even said himself that the books were meant to express his imagination with no constraints whatsoever as typically levied by Hollywood.

    Well said. I wish the hand-wringers would just relax and watch the show and enjoy it for what it is.
    It’s not the book. Period. That’s not going to change – it will probably go further and further away each season.

    If you’re not okay with that, go away and go read your favorite book.

  • I mean it only ever made sense to me that Robb did something so stupid because Catelyn hadn’t been there to stop him.

    She still won’t “be there” if she is being held in prison for doing something she damn well knows she should not have done. And like in the book, by doing so, she loses the moral high ground, too.

  • BY FAR THE BEST EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES TO DATE!
    Baelor what.
    Changes were fantastic.
    The tension in the LF/Arya/Tywin scene was crazy.

  • This was my favorite episode so far this season, and I loved last week’s too. I’m fine with the changes. I actually really like a couple of them. Love, love, love Ygritte and Osha. Am thinking Talisa Maegyr is actually Nymeria Sand, or one of Oberyn’s daughters… and that she is a spy, and she is noble, and she does have ties to Volantis, and she probably was writing a letter about Robb’s army on the move.

  • Ser Jeremiah:
    I don’t normally post on here, though I have thought about it many times.I have been following this site since June/July of 2010 when I first heard they were going to turn my beloved series into a television experience.I first want to say you all do an amazing job here at WiC and I have been a loyal follower, checking for updates almost daily since the above mentioned timeline.With that said, I also want to say I loved season 1 and thought all the changes were just fine.After having read many great books over the years that get raped by directors and producers and writers when they get turned into a visual medium, D&D, HBO, and all those involved with this series have done GRRMs epic story so much justice and continue to do so all the way up to tonights episode.And I know they will continue to do so.In D&D we trust I have seen stated here before and I believe it.
    I loved tonights episode.I was shocked by the changes and it was the first episode that literally kept me on the edge of my seat.I loved it.It was what I was missing, already knowing what happenens up to book 5.I fist pumped myself when the Hound rescued Sansa, I was glad to see they explained what we don’t see in the books with the Bastard Bolton (whom I can’t wait until he gets his), and the kidnapping of the Dragons will make the House of the Undying all that more intense and also make more sense to the viewing audience methinks.Arya’s story changes don’t bother me at all since there are a lot of characters there that would definitely confuse the non-book readers for sure.I am watching this show with four non-book readers and they still have trouble keeping up with all the new characters that have been introduced, so it definitely works.Not sure how I feel about Robb and his love interest yet, the Westerlings would have made just as much sense(why the foreigner?)All I will say is I am so excited to see what is to come and see how this all plays out.By the seven this may be my favorite episode ever.
    Winter is Coming…the Starks will(better) rise again ;)
    And just as a side note(I’m sure I’m not the only one), but I threw the third book across the room during a certain wedding scene, just so everyone is sure of my loyalties. haha…don’t know if I’m ready or ever will be ready to see it onscreen.It was hard enough with Ned.

    As a new poster as well, this one welcomes you. Your thoughts are appreciated, and we are in agreement 100%. Especially re:the RW, I want the Freys TO PAY.

  • So many people claiming to not be SanSan people, come out from your hobbit holes already! That scene was fantastic, like molten gold. Thanks to Vanessa Taylor for the fantastic writing and keeping my “little bird.”

  • It’s funny. You can almost tell when all the WiC readers log off and the Westeros contingent logs in. I find Elio and Linda’s take on the series to be increasingly frustrating to read (and I feel it’s Linda even moreso than Elio). At the same time, their opinion becomes a sort of the groupthink view of the book purist.

    I’ll be the first to admit that a few scenes didn’t make sense from a plot perspective and felt slightly off. Why have Arya take the letter? It’s not like she can send word to Robb. If she could, then she could easily send word about where she is. The Jon Snow being left alone to kill Ygritte part seemed sillier in the show than the book. Irri’s death didn’t really seem to serve any plot purpose or have much significance. Certain scenes were oddly expository in such an action-packed episode: Theon’s explanation of how he took the castle, Xaro’s continued repetitions of how he came from nothing, Dany’s recitation of episode 10 of the first season and her repeated use of “take by fire and blood”.

    At the same time, though, those are all such minor niggles. Jon’s scenes, including the chase and the dialogue with Ygritte, added quite a bit of tension and interest to what has otherwise been a pretty uneventful storyline. Dany’s loss of the dragons makes complete sense as it provides her a real reason for Dany to go to the House of the Undying (clearly, that last shot of the tower the dragons were being taken to is a potential shot of the House of the Undying). Dany’s hallucinations and visions will seem less out-of-nowhere than in the books. Arya’s scenes added so much tension and emphasized how precarious her position is in Harrenhall.

    This episode was very good, and minor inconsistencies aside, they’re doing a very good job and I’m excited for the end of the season.

  • My favorite episode so far! I loved the changes, and thought that Theon’s execution of Roderick so very soon after arriving in Winterfell shows how easily manipulated he’s become by his strong will to prove himself. For a second, I really thought he might let him go, especially after Maester Luwin tried to talk him down.

    Oh how I LOVE being left with a cliffhanger! I’ve read the books twice-over, and the dragons’ disappearance made me shout at TV.

    Superb writing. This woman is a happy fan!

  • I was almost scared to come back on here after the episode. I could hear the purists wailing and beating their fists the moment the end credits started :P

    As for me, I am once again alright with Vanessa Taylor She did great this episode. Lorchs death was funny, but not crass, or stupid, so it worked. The rest of the episodes drama was great as well! I really can’t pick a favourite part of this episode, because I’d end up naming 90% of it. Shae was also not a bitch this episode, and Sansa seems to have taken to her as well, which means people can stop calling Sansa a bitch.

    I also am assuming that with the Dragons taken (Doreah best not be dead. I liked Doreah. I liked Irri, too, but damnit guys.) that they’ll basically just adapt the scene from Book three where Dany sells Drogon to the Ghiscari, and then claims dragons know no ownership and yells Dracarys and shit goes down. This’ll make her storyline a bit more streamlined, which will be nice.

    I also think the interaction between Sandor and Sansa was great. Not because I think they’re going to hook up and get married and all that, like the “shippers” from Tumblr and such. I just think he feels a bit protective of her, like a daughter almost. I can’t imagine how hard that near-rape scene was for Sophie to do. She did great. All in all, the Riot was probably one of the scenes they were a bit worried about shooting this season I think, but they pulled it off really well.

    I also really liked Brans “Did you hate us the whole time?” line. Isaac was incredibly during the entire Winterfell sequence, especially when Rodrik was about to be executed. Much like Sophie in the first season, he really hasn’t had a chance to display a lot of emotion up until now. Can’t wait to watch it again! :D

  • Mrs. H’ghar,

    A man is glad to be welcomed. A man will pledge to post more on his favorite book saga on his most favorite fan website. A man owes thanks. OH and may the seven destroy the Freys and all that they represent. The Boltons too. Gods do I HATE them.

  • Lady Stark:
    First off, I would say that this episode was GOOD. It was not my favorite out of all the episodes but still it was good.

    Bran, Arya, and Sansa were great. Also, the Winterfell scenes were awesome, and I don’t mind the Osha seducing Theon part because somehow there is a purpose behind that. (unlike some pointless prostitute scenes) Alfie Allen’s portrayal of Theon Greyjoy was also good, and I just hope that he’ll be fine with the rising Theon Greyjoy hate!

    Anyway, ON THE ISSUE REGARDING THE REEDS:
    I am personally a huge fan of Bran Stark both from the series and in the books, and I like his chapters a lot because they show how much he wants to escape the reality of him being eternally cripple through relentless search for the three-eyed crow.
    THE REED CHILDREN ARE MEANT TO SERVE AS A LINK TO HOWLAND REED, who was Ned Stark’s very close friend and the last known surviving person who witnessed what really happened in the Tower of Joy, about Lyanna Stark’s “pool of blood”. IF THE SHOW IS VEERING OFF TO THE DIRECTION OF FINDING OUT JON SNOW’S TRUE PARENTAGE, then I believe the Reeds are necessary so that the viewers won’t go, “Who the hell are the Reeds?? How do we know this Howland Reed dude was a friend to Ned??”And since D & D consult with GRRM, I think that if ever Jon Snow’s true parentage will be revealed, they will introduce at least one Reed.

    Also, D&D stated in an interview that they are saving up some key characters for the third season because they wouldn’t want the viewers to feel overwhelmed by several new characters, and also because of budgeting strains.

    Exactly Lady Stark.

    IF the Reeds are important in the regard you mention (and I think most of us believe this is the case), then I’m certainly D&D (with George’s assistance) will handle that. It’s not like they will all paint themselves into a corner with that.

  • The opening sequence of this episode was quite possibly my favorite of the series so far. That was just devastating on so many levels. Also, it was beautifully shot. It truly felt like Pyke had come to Winterfell. The mood was extraordinary. And when Ser Rodrik told Bran and Rickon he was going to meet their father – JESUS. Isaac and Art and Alfie shredded my bitter, black heart into a gazillion pieces.

    I feel like I have lots more to say, but I’m building a shrine to Rose Leslie in my backyard. You know how it goes…

  • I’ve loved every episode of this season. This one was good, but not one of my favorites. The first scenes in Winterfell were amazing and sad and intense. Rodrik’s death was like a punch in the stomach, especially with Bran crying like that. Theon’s arc is so great, I can’t wait for more of it.

    Loved Rose Leslie as Ygritte. While I agree that Jon didn’t really give an explanation as to why he didn’t kill her… C’mon, he never killed before (as far as I can remember). It’s OK for him to be hesitant. I was so relieved that Kit and Rose have great chemistry. The whole cuddling was very cute. Again, Rosie nailed Ygritte.

    The riot was pretty good as well. Loved the Hound rescuing Sansa.

    Roose mentioning his bastard. Awesome.

    And then Qarth. I really enjoyed the Qarth scenes last week. This week? Not so much. The whole Dany/Spice King sequence was weak. She needs to stop DEMANDING stuff and start acting like a smart woman. Where was Jorah?? Xaro is also very one-note so far. And that ending was so… what was that?! While I can see the potential of a good storyline coming from the dragons being robbed, why kill Irri? Just felt rushed and lame and unemotional. We had a great death in Rodrik and this afterthought with Irri.

    Other than that, pretty good episode. Now to rewatch! : )

  • While, I admit, some of the changes tripped me out a little bit, I thought this was a great episode overall, possibly the best so far.

    I’m a little bummed we might not be getting a Vargo Hoat next season (which isn’t at all a definitive statement, just a gut feeling… given the fact his bear food was sacrificed to the Faceless God), but boy am I relieved that we’re getting a Ramsay. I was really worried he was going to get the axe (but when you think about the butterfly effect that would cause, it would’ve been impossible), so I literally cheered out loud when Roose mentioned that he had a bastard son who could take care of Winterfell. He could end up being one of the greatest villains in TV history, IMO (if done right).

    But the change that does have me a little miffed was the one with Dany’s dragons. WTF? I’m assuming this means we’re not getting any visions or flashbacks at the House of the Undying (considering she was cordially invited to come there in the book, rather than robbed and provoked). Point being, if her sole purpose for going there is to retrieve her dragons, rather than to gain insight, or what have you, there won’t be much room for visions of her father and brother… which perplexes me a bit, given that it’s the perfect medium to explain the backstory a little bit (then again, maybe it would’ve come off looking cheesy on screen). In the books, GRRM can explain as much as he wants, with memories, and dreams, and visions, and what have you, but D&D are somewhat limited as to what they can believably pull off. They obviously can’t use a narrator, so the only they can properly explain any of the history is through conversation, dreams, or visions (making the HOTU a perfect medium to do that).

    But, whatever. I’m really enjoying this season nonetheless. And I could be wrong about that, you know. For all I know, Dany will start tripping out the moment she steps in the place, so we’ll have to see.

    What I really liked: Alfie Allen was awesome as shitbag-Theon. I wasn’t all that sold on him during season 1 (which was nothing against him as an actor, but had much more to do with the mental image I had of his character after reading the books), but he really came into the role tonight, as far as I’m concerned. Bravo.

    And of course, Joffrey getting hit in the face with pig shit is bound to become the next big internet meme. I can just see it now, on a continuous loop, playing over and over and over again. As for the SanSan storyline: I’d have to agree with Winter, I was never much of a fan, but I really loved seeing the Hound stomp and slash those peasants. Great scene, through and through, from Cersei snipping at Tyrion, to the Joff bomb, to the severed Septon, to SuperSandor, to the bitch slap part deux. It was a great scene in the books, but I think I got more out of seeing it play out on screen.

    Also, I thought the scene with Ygritte and Jon Snow was pretty funny, when they’re laying together and she keeps rubbing up against him. I was a little thrown off by the changes with Qhorin, but I assume it will all come together by the end.

    So all in all, great episode. It gets 5 stars from me.

  • Skid Marx:
    THEY FORGOT TO THROW THE WILDINGS OFF THE MOUNTAIN!

    LOL!

    I’m thinking they will get up and zombie-attack Jon and Ygritte. Then Qhorin will find them. They probably want to build the Jon/Ygrite combo before the fight with Qhorin.

  • Brandon Stark: I don’t think you have to worry. She’s not even legal yet. Also, I doubt HBO would take her character there, and based on Sophie’s interviews, I’m not sure she’d agree to it anyway.

    Sansa will not appear nude as she is a minor, as was mentioned in an earlier interview (don’t remember where), which is why she was not stripped to the waist in that scene where Joffrey humiliated her in the throne room, they had to adapt to the situation. It seems that she will probably be kept pure for her future prospects. LOVED the Hound’s saving her tonight! SANSAN FTW!

  • As usual, plot lines twist and knot, but now the setup is mostly accomplished, and things move very rapidly here in the middle of the season. Plus we meet Ygritte! I’m thinking the theme of this episode is trust and betrayal, and it sure is fun. My full episode review here.

  • I was feeling kind of off about the changes last week, but I guess I came to an understanding with myself over the course of the week since because there were more in this episode and… hardly any of them bothered me at all, with the exception of the death of Irri. Fantastic episode.

  • Steel_Wind: But the changes to Jon’s arc are completely unnecessary and the story arc seems inferior. I’m not happy about that at all.

    I think it’s too early to tell yet.
    Maybe opening scene in next episode, he wakes up and shes gone. Left in the night.
    He finds his ranger friends and said he chased her down and killed her.
    Only thing this sidequest did was establish more of a relationship/bond between the Jon and Ygritte, which makes more sense with her vouching for him later.

    In that scenario the show’s version is better, certainly for screen.

  • In trying to respond to the post..l I was able to see what was blacked out! Should I be able to? Was gonna say how cool it is that tuis is so closely monitored and censored, then I clicked reply and saw what was blacked out! Weird!

    Hi-Fi: LOL!

    I’m thinking they will get up and zombie-attack Jon and Ygritte. Then Qhorin will find them. They probably want to build the Jon/Ygrite combo before the fight with Qhorin.

  • by far the best game of thrones episode yet in my opinion.

    The hoarse, “I’m a prince” yell that Theon kept doing was pitch perfect. You could hear so much in the strain of his voice.

    and that red head girl is hot. that sex scene better happen this season… yum!

    During the riot scene, I yelled OH SHIT at least five times. especially with the arm, and the hound.

    the only part I thought was kind of off was during the wine spilling scene. the Littlefinger/Tywin dialogue seemed super contrived and they were saying it mad slow. I know they wanted to show Arya’s responding to it all, but still. the overt fakeness took me out of the world of the show for a bit.

    the changes were fantastic. I hope they continue. I like not knowing what happens next, and so far they have been so respectful to the source material that I trust D&D 100%.

  • This was one seriously uneven episode and my least favorite of the season.

    It had some brilliant moments like the new scenes in Winterfell, but the Riverlands and Qarth are just lost on me.

    In the books I felt Dany’s arc was slow and plodding, and I assumed the series would change that. I have been unimpressed by her scenes despite finding Qarth itself beautiful and enjoying most of the actors (outside of Thrones I mean). I don’t quite know what they are doing with the stolen dragons so I will reserve judgement for now, but I do not need to do so with how Daenerys is being portrayed this season. She is coming off as far more whiney and childlike than in the books where she was considerably younger! Irony.

    The Littlefinger scene was DREADFUL! Catelyn meeting Jeyne was unneeded and lackluster as was the Robb flirting while his troops rotted and bled around him.

    I did love Ygritte and her toying with Jon. The twist on his not killing her was interesting. I liked it, but I need to see how it plays out before I decide if it was worth changing in the first place.

    I understand changes need to be made, and I have liked 90% of the changes made in the series I think, but tonight felt like they changed things just for the sake of change and not to streamline storylines.

    Here are this week’s Episode Extras from HBO GO.
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/05/game-of-thrones-episode-207-old-gods.html

  • Mimsy:
    I think Tywin wants to adopt Arya and i’m trying not to like that idea.Those two are awesome together!

    Jaqen is flawless.Lol to him telling Arya he can’t snap his fingers and do her bidding..and she’s all NOW!!!

    The Hound gutting that rapist.. damn!Nobody got away from his wrath.Sansa’s true knight.

    Also some of my favorite moments! Did you catch Jaqen’s look when Arya was all “NOW”…Priceless. It was a visual “What What?”

  • Well after watching the second airing I must say I liked this episode alot. It wasn’t as good as last weeks IMO simply because so many of last weeks scenes were pulled right from the book and that fact gave me goosebumps because it was like my imagination came to life from reading the books.

    This episode there were so many scenes that weren’t from the book it just took me by surprise and my first thoughts were “this never happened in the books”. But everything flowed nice and all the scenes were good. I liked this episode, only the Dany scene bothered me because my previous stated reasons.

  • J,

    Irri’s death did seem unnecessary.
    She was a great character.
    My hope is that we shall soon meet a bearded man and his fat friend, and they will take over as Dany’s close advisers.

  • Mike:
    So many changes! My feelings are so hurt now that it’s not the books! Cancel the show and have them redo it from scratch! Make sure every single line of dialogue from the books is included, including inner monologues. I want scenes to play out EXACTLY like they did the books. Include all the characters, even those who aren’t really relevant within the context of the story, despite complications associated with the budget and the tv medium as a whole. I am unsatisfied until these hacks meet my demands, despite the fact that I only represent a fraction of the actual television audience. And because I’m a book purist, my opinion means more than anyone else who watches this show, and any other book reader who accepts these changes does not understand the books as I do because I say so.

    LOLz!

  • I figure it’s the warlocks who took the dragons because they showed Pyat Pree in the review and he didn’t appear in the episode. Also, this gives Dany a concrete reason to enter the house of the undying.

  • The DarkStar,

    I’m mostly sad we’re never going to get the “It is known you are a cow” exchange from ADWD, but I guess that ship sailed after Rakharo died (though Kovarro could have taken his place!!)

  • Blaarg:
    I figure it’s the warlocks who took the dragons because they showed Pyat Pree in the review and he didn’t appear in the episode. Also, this gives Dany a concrete reason to enter the house of the undying.

    Based on the episode summaries and the fact that we know Dany will be spending 1-2 episodes with HOTU, it seems definite that the warlocks stole the dragons.

  • I feel like the most pressing thing to discuss this episode is the great amount of change to the storyline, but before that, I just want to comment on how fabulously done the Winterfell and riot scenes were done. Watching Rodrik die was really emotional, especially with the line “I’m going to see your father.” The performances from Isaac and Art only made it more devastating. As for King’s Landing, Dinklage owned as usual (and I was just dying for that slap!) but Rory McCann really stepped it up this week too. Sophie as well. I’m no San/San fangirl, but I’ll admit that scene where he saves her was wonderful.

    Now on to the changes. The change excites me, because it injects an element of surprise into the show, which is something I don’t usually get to experience as a book reader. But I’m simultaneously worried about how some of these things will play out in the long run.

    1. The dragons getting captured doesn’t necessarily bother me all that much, as long as she gets them back quickly. Without the dragons, she is sadly not worth much, even to Xaro. The most likely thing seems that Pyat Pree took them to the House of the Undying. If dragons boost magic, it seems logical that a group of warlocks would want them. However, Dany kept yelling on and on about being the Mother of Dragons in the Spice King’s manse, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a hand in all of this. He’s also a character made up for the TV show, so his entire purpose is unknown to us. Perhaps after they burn down the HOTU, Dany will return, have her dragons kill the Spice King and then take his ships after all. Xaro did say that power and wealth don’t always come from a righteous path…

    2. Jon and Ygritte’s little game of tag raises interesting questions. First, why did the rangers just so easily wander off once Jon said he’d kill her. Second, in such an open, empty landscape, how would they lose each other so quickly? Third, will Ygritte lead him to the wildlings, or will Jon have some major explaining to do when he meets up with Qhorin again? As long as THE Jon-Qhorin scene is in there, I don’t really care, but I don’t think any change is worth losing that.

    3. Littlefinger saw Arya? And moreover, I’m pretty sure he recognized her, based on the way he smiled when talking about Catelyn. Does this really change anything? It’s too early for me to tell. On one hand, I think yes, because it’s Littlefinger that later arranges for Fake Arya. On the other, I think not, because Littlefinger is so manipulative that there’s really no reason for him to reveal Arya’s identity to the Lannisters. I’m not crazy about this change or the many changes to Littlefinger in general.

    4. The Winterfell breakout. I liked Osha sleeping with Theon, because it succeeded in doing two very important things: reinforcing Theon’s arrogance/weakness; and showing Osha’s loyalty/courage. You put yourself in a very vulnerable position having sex with someone. Theon doesn’t realize this, and Osha’s willing to risk it to save the kids. Her love of Bran and Rickon is really heart-warming. However, no Luwin with them for the escape? If he’s not there, I don’t know how they’re going to split up the Stark boys. I can’t see Rickon going north of the Wall…it puts too many kinks in the storyline down the road. It also seems really counterintuitive that Osha, who has been trying to get as far south as possible, would willingly take a six-year-old boy back to the very place she fled out of fear. Bran has a REASON to go, but Rickon? Also, as a loyal bannerwoman to House Reed, I will just say, short and sweet, I still miss those kids.

    5. This is minor, but Irri is dead?! No! Not fair. I loved her in the TV show. It seems wrong that they arbitrarily killed Irri and not Doreah, and in such a lousy way. Rakharo’s death was wrought with emotion. And Irri was just killed as one in a group of people who were slaughtered off-screen? It just seems unjust. :(

    6. Jaqen. He’s so so so so so right. Except one thing. Faceless Men don’t kill this way! A guy’s head being turned completely around? A poison dart? What happened to making everything look like an accident so as to not draw attention to the possibility of an assassin lurking around? Amory Lorch’s death was pretty comical, but uncharacteristic. Maybe I’m being really picky, but with the Faceless Men being woven throughout the story in various parts of the world at different times, I think it’s important there’s some consistent method among them.

    Nice mention of the Bastard of Bolton. I hope he’s cast! If not, maybe the Winterfell takeover will be off-screen, or perhaps he’ll just be an extra with some clever face-hiding techniques.

  • Hi-Fi: I’m thinking they will get up and zombie-attack Jon and Ygritte. Then Qhorin will find them. They probably want to build the Jon/Ygrite combo before the fight with Qhorin.

    great call.

  • Lina:
    4.The Winterfell breakout.I liked Osha sleeping with Theon, because it succeeded in doing two very important things:reinforcing Theon’s arrogance/weakness; and showing Osha’s loyalty/courage.You put yourself in a very vulnerable position having sex with someone.Theon doesn’t realize this, and Osha’s willing to risk it to save the kids.Her love of Bran and Rickon is really heart-warming.However, no Luwin with them for the escape?If he’s not there, I don’t know how they’re going to split up the Stark boys.I can’t see Rickon going north of the Wall…it puts too many kinks in the storyline down the road.It also seems really counterintuitive that Osha, who has been trying to get as far south as possible, would willingly take a six-year-old boy back to the very place she fled out of fear.Bran has a REASON to go, but Rickon?Also, as a loyal bannerwoman to House Reed, I will just say, short and sweet, I still miss those kids.

    If it’s something like the books, won’t they (possibly) hide back in the crypts at Winterfell, to be revealed after it is sacked? So it’s still not clear who will end up going with Bran and Rickon for next season. That said, after the episode 10 description, I don’t think Luwin will survive the season.

  • Ed:
    Hahaha!! I thought the same thing!I said out loud:“Lolys!!!” LoL

    This one also yelled out “Lollys”!

  • Another excellent outing! Loved it. Count me as one who is loving the changes from the book. If I wanted the story as it’s told in the book, I’d just read the book.

    This woman will be even happier when Jaime returns! (Finally)

  • The thing about GRRM is that, while he is very creative and a great storyteller, he really is just an average writer. As good as his ideas and characters are, it really makes no sense to hold up the text of the books as some kind of quasi-sacred document. The TV show takes place in the same world and tells the same story, but in a way suited to the medium. Making it accessible is a really impressive achievement for D&D.

    Now, that’s not to say GoT is perfect or something, because no show is. Truly judging it though won’t be possible for (hopefully) many years, until we have a series finale.

  • I need an animated gif of Ygritte wiggle-spooning with Jon. THAT WAS HOT!

    Also, impressed with the costume designer allowing us to see the womanly shape of this wilding girl South of her Wall… Instead of seeing her packed into fur…..

  • I mentioned this on westeros as well but one of my favorite moments was in that first scene when Theon says “I took it [Winterfell]” to Bran, in an almost-petulant voice that brought the essential neediness (if that’s the right word) of his character out perfectly for me, it was like he was looking for validation from Bran almost.

  • I liked the episode. Didn’t love it as much as 13 or 15.

    The Winterfell scenes were great, and the riot was terrifying – brilliantly done. I like the idea of having the dragons be stolen (by Pyat Pree, I’m assuming). That’s about half the episode right there, and all excellent.

    The Harrenhal scenes were a mixed bag. The scene with Littlefinger was a little silly, although I guess it left us in the dark as to whether he had identified her or not. For Arya to flaunt her reading in front of Tywin, though – as well as to actually steal one of his letters – struck me as head-scratchingly dumb. I did like the detail of Jaime being dyslexic, and Amory Lorch as death #2 worked well enough I suppose.

    Qarth was hokey as usual. I enjoy it as a breather from the relentlessness of the rest of the series. Dany’s imperiousness fits in fine in that atmosphere, but it really could have used some Jorah. That said I was quite irritated by Irri’s death. What the hell, man?

    The changes up north… well, I’m loving Rose Leslie as Ygritte, but otherwise this had me pretty annoyed. His showing her mercy was a strong scene in the book; the decision to mar it with a foot chase and some flirting was seriously unfortunate. They should have just used that time for the story of Bael the Bard.

    Robb’s camp – meh. Still not seeing where they’re going with Oona’s character, but I’ll wait till the decisions are clearer to judge.

  • Well, this fandom is certainly incredibly passionate! I’ll take that over indifference any day. When push comes to shove, it’s brilliant that we all love this story/ASOIAF world so much, however that passion manifests : )

    On Jon’s story–he’ll be meeting up with Quorin again, never fear. The New Character promotional video showed a few moments with them that haven’t aired yet. At the very least, we know that they’ll be featured together in episode 20 from the summary–“Jon proves himself to Qhorin.” At this point, I’m taking that to mean that Jon follows through with something he’ll promise Quorin in the next few episodes.

    Chris:
    Steel_Wind,

    I’m wondering if Jon and Ygritte will be found by wildlings who then find the rangers, resulting in you know what.

    This is a possibility, but I hope it doesn’t happen like this. The moment would be so much more meaningful/nuanced if it involved Quorin knowingly playing a guiding hand in his own death, with Jon having to make the decision to kill him and come to turns with the sacrifice.

    Skipjack:
    As for this episode I didn’t think I’d say this, much less so soon, but I’m tired of seeing people slap Joffrey.

    Of that I’ll never, ever tire. ; )

  • SkywalkerIsDead,

    i was also thinking along the same lines! hopefully he is now going to appear more cause he was just great this episode!! bravo rory and sophie!!

  • I liked the changes too. I thought this episode flowed very well and as a result, my husband (who hasn’t read the books) was able to enjoy it as much as I for once.

    Tena was awesome, as always, but Tyrion’s humour was sorely missed.

    Loved the near encounter with Arya and Littlefinger that kept me on the edge of my seat. Everything involving Arya was awesome.

    Tommen and Rickon had great presence both.

    Sansa’s attack and rescue scene was really well played.

    Robb’s a real eye candy. Theon is despicable, as should be. Jon’s story ark needs more action.

    Where was Jorah Mormont?

    I haven’t read the other comments, but I assume Dany’s eyebrow movement during her plea for ships to the spice lord is already talked about all over the board. hehe

  • I have been ok with most of the changes from the books. I just don’t want to see Dany weakened. She is such a strong character, wise and brave. Why steal the dragons? Must say that has been the only time I have yelled at the television. :)

  • Looks like we’ll need a double curtain call this coming week.

    Another great episode. It tied the purists’ panties in a wad, it gave the San/San shippers something to obsess about and we got to see Osha in all her feminine glory. Who knew?

    The opening scene was nicely done. Rickon sighting! The look Hodor was giving Theon. Bran being incredible.

    Theon: I sent my men over the walls with grappling hooks and took the castle.

    Bran: Why?

    Oh, man. I nearly lost it laughing. Bran was perfect! Theon was perfect. Poor Theon. He’s on the slippery slope and Ser Rodrick told him the price. Nice job on the taking multiple swings to behead him. I can’t remember if that was in the books. If not, then it should have been.

    And right after that we get a nice long shot of Ghost! Wow, this episode is amazing and it’s only just started.

    Arya and Tywin. At this point, I don’t care that it is different from the books. The chemistry between Arya and Tywin is fricking awesome. How is it even possible that a young, first-time actress like Maisie Williams can be so absolutely perfect in scenes with a veteran of the caliber of Charles Dance? We are so lucky to have Maisie in this part. Emmy or we storm the walls!

    The annoyed look on Jaqen’s face when Arya demands an immediate kill was perfect. And then the door opens and Lorch drops in dead. I laughed outloud. That was perfect, as well. I’m feeling like a giddy teenager ranting about some pop band at this point, but I am truly awed by this show now.

    Whomever called it last week that Baelish was the visitor and Lorch was #2 is a freaking psychic. Nice job.

    Anyone else want to strangle the Spice King? I’m not even on TeamDany and I want to strangle him. What an insufferable putz. Nicely-written snarky bastard, isn’t he?

    Ygritte. Yay. Just yay. Almost enough to make me switch to TeamYgritte; but not quite. Still TeamArya and there to stay. But wow. Especially the third scene when she called Jon, “brave… stupid but brave.” Hah. And then rubbing against him. She’s going to be wonderful in coming episodes.

    I do hope we aren’t going to miss out on more Jon and Qhorin. Tonight was great. Qhorin lecturing Jon Snow, really grabbing his attention and then basically saying, “everything I just told you is BS we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better.” Almost Qhorin telling Jon to stop being so damn serious, and then he walks off smiling with a chuckle and talking about finding the “goat fuckers.” I demand more Jon and Qhorin!

    Tyrion was perfect Tyrion. The look he gives Cersei after her little speech. Priceless. How soon before we can expect Tyrion slapping Joff gifs to appear? Probably already hundreds. High Septon Arm. There’s an image that might stick with some people. Along with attempted Sansa rapist entrails. The Hound. The Hound and Sansa. The Hound and Tyrion. “I didn’t do it for you.” Oh, nicely done, not-a-Ser! Sadly, the San/San people are going to go nuts now. I hope there is enough Thorazine in ready supply.

    I agree to a point that it wasn’t necessary for Osha to sleep with Theon to arrange their escape. Or something wasn’t explained properly via dialogue or Natalia Tena had a nudity clause in her contract with an expiration date that was approaching or someone just wanted to increase the boob count beyond the rather large woman being molested in the riot scene. But, uh… I’m not complaining. Nope.

    Irri is dead? Well, crap. Missing dragons? Er…

    And when did the House of the Undying become a tower? Inquiring minds want to know. That had to be the HotUD, right?

    Did I miss anything? Oh, yeah! Summer and Shaggydog together! Nice CGI. But not as nice as those shots of Ghost. I’m thinking of changing my desktop background from the initial shot of the Wall from Season 1 as Jon first sees it to the one of Ghost padding along above Jon and Qhorin and party.

  • First, I must say to FlayedManofBK (I think that’s his handle), here’s my knuckle. You can have it for me doubting you about the Ramsay Bolton. I shall never doubt you again!

    I thought this was the top episode so far of the season. I don’t have any issues with the changes that were made. People that are getting upset don’t seem to understand that GRRM has input on the show…whatever is fine by him is fine by me. He wrote the shit to begin with.

    Ygritte was great….fantastic casting job. Agree with earlier posters about Tonks…I had no idea she had such a smokin body. I also really enjoyed the almost/somewhat foreshadowing of the RW with that little chat between Cat and Robb.

    Is it really 7 more days until our next fix?

  • I won’t see the episode until tonight (England) but it seems obvious who took the dragons. Ser jorah! He isn’t around for much of danys scene apparently, he has the skill to take out guards and don’t forget he is the one in the books who finds out the marriage custom of qarth

  • Hi-Fi:

    I’m thinking they will get up and zombie-attack Jon and Ygritte. Then Qhorin will find them. They probably want to build the Jon/Ygrite combo before the fight with Qhorin.

    I second DarkStar in saying great call. That would be a sight to see. I would just hope for some further Jon-Quorin interaction to build up the fight scene.

  • Ash:
    I won’t see the episode until tonight (England) but it seems obvious who took the dragons. Ser jorah! He isn’t around for much of danys scene apparently, he has the skill to take out guards and don’t forget he is the one in the books who finds out the marriage custom of qarth

    Interesting theory! Thinking back, you may be right. I just sort of assumed it was someone stealing them as a plot device to introduce the House of the Undying. Or maybe it was Doreah? Did we get a little foreshadowing last week when Drogon was so eager to climb up on Doreah’s arm? More questions than I thought initially about the final scene.

  • darquemode,

    Thanks for posting these extras! Am glad they posted multiple videos discussing Theon’s actions in this episode. I imagine that there will be a lot of viewers who will have difficulty processing Theon’s scenes. These may help provide some further context.

  • holy s balls. loved it. everything about it. the fact that ive read every book and this episode was a complete surprise makes me love this show even more. Ramsay is in. BOOM. Theon/Roderik failed execution takes place of Robb/Karstark, BOOM!(great change D&D). Dragons are stolen. BOOM! (sets up burning of the House of the Undying as a rescue).im so impressed its sick.

    what a damn good show. even better than the books i think. and the books were fantastic.

  • Langkard: Interesting theory!Thinking back, you may be right.I just sort of assumed it was someone stealing them as a plot device to introduce the House of the Undying.Or maybe it was Doreah?Did we get a little foreshadowing last week when Drogon was so eager to climb up on Doreah’s arm?More questions than I thought initially about the final scene.

    I assumed Jorah was out finding a ship/captain Barristan

  • I have no idea how I feel about this episode. There was a lot of good, but also a lot of confusion.

    Think I’m gonna have to watch it again or something.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: Mrs. H’ghar
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
    Mimsy:
    I think Tywin wants to adopt Arya and i’m trying not to like that idea.Those two are awesome together!

    Jaqen is flawless.Lol to him telling Arya he can’t snap his fingers and do her bidding..and she’s all NOW!!!

    The Hound gutting that rapist.. damn!Nobody got away from his wrath.Sansa’s true knight.

    Also some of my favorite moments! Did you catch Jaqen’s look when Arya was all “NOW”…Priceless. It was a visual “What What?”

      

    Who knew Jaqen has killer humor? heh Jaqen’s double take at Arya’s insistence was priceless! It was like she was scolding a little kid to take out the trash before she takes the broom to his backside. It’s a shame we don’t get to see sneaky Jaqen stalking his target. I’d love to see that!

  • was i the only one waiting for “you know NOTHING jon snow”?????

    i felt like it was on the tip of her lips

  • Why anyone is bitching about the changes before they see why they’re occurring is beyond me, by the way. You can’t talk about the “uselessness” of a character or scene until the series is done and over with.

  • Langkard,

    Maybe jorah and doreah working together? Irri probably didn’t agree so they knock her out. Looking forward to tonight, gutted you lot get it before us!

  • winterfell:
    was i the only one waiting for “you know NOTHING jon snow”?????

    i felt like it was on the tip of her lips

    D and D were definitely trolling the book readers. All of us were waiting for it.

  • Why can we see peeps breath at Winterfell,
    but not when they are filming in Iceland on a Glacier?

  • The DarkStar: great call.

    Also I think they plan to make Jon’s “turn” some what real looking and doing it for Ygritte would add a bit of intrigue.

  • Ash,

    No way… Those dragons were crying like scared babies. It’s obvious that the person carrying them in their cage was someone totally foreign to them. It wasn’t anyone in Dany’s khalasar or the dragons wouldn’t have been screaming like that, IMO.

  • Think I’m gonna have to watch it again or something.

    I had to watch it twice before posting. So much going on in that episode.

  • Arthur,

    This is why I need to wait till tonight before going on this site!!! Can’t help myself! Maybe they are in the house of undying and dany has to go there when drogon gets out n does you know what!

  • The episode started so strong and fell off the tracks so hard, it’s a shame. It really is turning more and more into a story inspired by the books more so than trying to adapt them faithfully. I was hoping that season 2 would try to be at least as faithful as season 1 if not more so, but it seems the opposite is the case.

    Bran and Theon’s scenes were all great over all. A great adaptation that kept the spirit of the books even with it’s changes. Nitpicking, I did wonder why Rodrick returned alone to Winterfell when he left with 200 men. Osha’s changes worked overall and I am glad they are able to get the wolves more screen time.

    Likewise the riot scenes and all the Kings Landing scenes worked out well. There was a Kingsguard visable on the boat with Myrcella which was a nice touch even if he wasn’t named. It looks like that was supposed to be the high septon praying as she left, and I belive he was the one who lost his arm, though I saw no crown so maybe I am wrong. The tone, and overall action fit well and we got some more screen time for the Hound and Sansa. Even the Shae and Sansa scene worked out pretty well despite me not being a fan of TV Shae.

    Jon’s story started out well up to the point that he “missed” his swing and Ygritte escaped, rather than being let go. Now even that would have been acceptable, if she had actually escaped. But now she is his prisoner and one has to wonder what changes this is going to lead to. We already know that Qhorin wants to kill her, so waiting for the other Nights Watch to show only delays her death. They already made it clear they don’t have the food or manpower to guard her as a living prisoner. So what is Jon’s plan in keeping her tied up, and just as importantly why did the writers decide to change this?
    Is Jon going to join the wildlings now? It would be a huge change for him to join them under any other circumstances than Qhorin’s orders.

    Arya’s story line in Harrenhal is almost completely original at this point. The only real similarities are she is at Harrenhal which is under Lannister control, Gendry is a blacksmith and Jaqen has offered to kill 3 people for her. TV Tywin certainly is forgiving of lieing cupbearers. Littlefinger teleports to Harrenhal from Renly’s camp, and appears to recognize Arya, but that is up to interpretation. I have to say I expected Littlefinger to stay with the Tyrell’s and negotiate from there, maybe send a raven to Kings Landing or Harrenhal. Arya sees a piece of paper that mentions Robb and for some reason decides to take it, and doesn’t bother hiding it in a pocket or something, leading to the contrived death of Ser Amory by dart at Tywin’s door, very sloppy for Jaqen considering all his kills before weasel soup look like accidents, but he was rushed. Still he looks very much like a normal man who kills people rather than a mystical assasin at this point. We miss out on the “magical” nature of Weasel’s own dog killing him as well as Amory’s death by bear.

    As for Ser Amory mailing Tywin’s battleplans to the wrong lord.. Why would Amory personally be sending ravens and how did he get the idea to send it to the wrong one? To send it to ANY lord he would have to have some ability to read or interpret, or did he just pick a lord from a hat and mail it off and “hope” that was the right one? How does Tywin know that the wrong lord got it? Certainly one of Robb’s lords would not send a mail confirmation… At best Tywin would get news from the intended lord that he never recieved the letter which could be due to any number of reasons. Unless the letter was never sent, and some one caught the mistake before it left, which is not the impression I got watching it.

    Dany’s story is completely off the tracks now and many of the scenes play out like parodies of the book, with Dany throwing temper tantrums and while the Spice King’s general reply was both logical and convincing, Dany’s actions and attitude make her look like a moron more often than not, which is not the impression I got of her at this point in her story reading. Losing the dragons and what appears to be most of her people makes one wonder, if she can’t keep them safe even with Xaro’s guards (at least in the books), then how will she possibly do so with most of her people killed? Also they have completely dropped the whole part where people from all over the city were coming to visit Dany and give her gifts and tribute in exchange for seeing the dragons.

    The episode had some really outstanding scenes, some of them were among the best of the entire series. But the liberties they are taking with parts of the story, and in particular changes which will require even more changes in the future, are making this the least faithful adaptation of the books yet.

  • Langkard: Arya and Tywin. At this point, I don’t care that it is different from the books. The chemistry between Arya and Tywin is fricking awesome. How is it even possible that a young, first-time actress like Maisie Williams can be so absolutely perfect in scenes with a veteran of the caliber of Charles Dance? We are so lucky to have Maisie in this part. Emmy or we storm the walls!

    Kudos to the brilliant Mr. Dance, who knows full well the caveat about working with animals and children in film and is handing every scene to Maisie and her wonderful expression. His restraint is superb—he never dominates with too strong a delivery, or upstages her with menacing hand motions, or any other bits of theatrical business —he just serves up one home-run ball after another and lets her hit each one out of the park. They’ve become the Lunt and Fontaine of Harrenhal.

  • Coltaine777: good catch..where the hell was he ? …oh well it was a pretty strong ep for the most part despite some stumbles…and boy can Littlefinger cover ground and he didn’t even look tired :)

    Coltaine777,

    See Jorah was out looking for a ship which is exactly what he said he was going to do at the end of the last scene he had with Dany.

    Dogmayor:
    Whether he wasn’t cast, or he’s been cast and kept under wraps, the mere mention of Ramsay Snow makes me ecstatic. Glad that the character isn’t going to get cut. But a little sad we don’t have Reek manipulating Theon.

  • Ash,

    Yeah I know what you mean. Your guess is as good as mine. I am just saying those dragons were screaming with fear which would lead me to believe some stranger they did not know was carrying them. If it was anyone close to Dany they wouldn’t have acted like that, IMO.

  • moleman:
    Winter Is Coming,

    WIC – I agree, let’s keep it civil.We’re all fans of the books.

    But I would say that reading these posts, those who like the TV changes are much more uncivil than those of us who have some qualms.The sarcastic posts about us wanting every single detail held true, the defensive posts about prior changes being okay, but not the new ones, etc.

    I’m glad people are enjoying this show, …There’s plenty of material there, and we can all be civil and thoughtful in our arguments.

    Anyone who disagrees with me is a poophead.

    Brian

    The correct term is POOPIEHEAD. Get it right. That is all. (lolz)

  • They condensed The Hound’s badassness all into one episode….and this was it.
    A true hero.
    THE HOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DH87: Kudos to the brilliant Mr. Dance, who knows full well the caveat about working with animals and children in film and is handing every scene to Maisie and her wonderful expression. His restraint is superb—he never dominates with too strong a delivery, or upstages her with menacing hand motions, or any other bits of theatrical business —he just serves up one home-run ball after another and lets her hit each one out of the park. They’ve become the Lunt and Fontaine of Harrenhal.

    I like the way you’ve described it. Indeed, he doesn’t upstage Maisie. But neither does she upstage him. They really do work very well together. Imagine the things she’s learning about acting. She’s a natural; but she’s also doing her first work in an extremely well-written, well-cast and well-acted production. What a combination. I hope she can make use of all of it and not meet the curse of so many young actors. She certainly doesn’t seem at all overwhelmed or intimidated by any of it so far.

  • A_S00:
    Hot damn, Isaac was really, really good in this episode.

    Just re-watched and Isaac was soooo good sitting in the rain having to yield his home to the schmuck Theon and seeing his loyal castellan slain (and in such an incompetent manner). Heartbreaking indeed.

  • J,

    Aye, she’ll probably take them to the crypts, Theon will go out hunting, and come back with his two heads. They didn’t mention their plan, because they’re not supposed to mention the plan. It’ll be quite a shock to the non-book readers, I think.

  • Ash:
    Langkard,

    Maybe jorah and doreah working together? Irri probably didn’t agree so they knock her out. Looking forward to tonight, gutted you lot get it before us!

    Arthur:
    Ash,

    No way… Those dragons were crying like scared babies.It’s obvious that the person carrying them in their cage was someone totally foreign to them.It wasn’t anyone in Dany’s khalasar or the dragons wouldn’t have been screaming like that, IMO.

    Watched it for a 3rd time. I think that there is a very good reason why we don’t see who has the dragons. We’re teased. A very purposeful tease. That leads me to the conclusion that Ash is on the right track here. As for the sounds that they were making, it is a point. However. Who can possibly know what their vocalizations mean? Maybe they were missing Dany? Maybe they were upset by the violence? Maybe it was just the same sound editor who had Ghost barking last season? (Sorry, I had to go there!)

  • Just overcome with awesomeness.

    I don’t really care how much they stick to the books as long as they make a good show.

  • This makes matters a bit more clear!!! XD

    I rotated the screencap, flash filled it and lowered the saturation ab it to make it more clear….. and look who turned up!

    Note the long staff across his back:
    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/262/56/original.jpg

    Note the white beard under the cowl:
    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/262/57/original.jpg

    It may not be Whitebeard, but it is a “White beard” for sure!

    Could they have used the attack on Xaro’s residence instead of >the manticore assassination attempt on Dany?

  • Probably the best episode so far. Two things that I feel could have been better. Cersei agreeing with Tyrion when they are scrambling to find Sansa. That made her more empathetic in the books. The series is constantly attempting to make her more empathetic than the books did, and omitting that kind of confused me. The other thing would be the lack of Jaqen H’ghar apart from 2 seconds. It was slightly upsetting.

  • darquemode:
    This makes matters a bit more clear!!! XD

    I rotated the screencap, flash filled it and lowered the saturation ab it to make it more clear….. and look who turned up!

    Note the long staff across his back:
    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/262/56/original.jpg

    Note the white beard under the cowl:
    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/262/57/original.jpg

    Beard almost looks like a lens flare. I still can’t see a staff. Perhaps I’m blind.

  • Arthur,

    Maybe they cut Strong Belwas or they rearranged Arstan Whitebeard’s introduction because viewers would recognize the actor and it cannot be as shocking to discover Whitebeard’s true identity as when reading the books?

  • This episode was crazy…

    I agree that as a book reader this was hands down the most tense episode of the series thus far because there were parts where I had NO IDEA what would happen next. And the ending… the dragons getting stolen? WTF?

    Saying that… I loved this episode. My highlights:

    1) All of the interactions with Arya and Tywin were amazing. Those two have such great chemistry on screen! And when they added Littlefinger to the mix it was seriously intense. The Lorch death scene was a little silly IMO but overall Arya was the real gem in this episode!

    2) The Hound… wow… his rescue was brutal, visceral and just in time. Great scene. I was almost about to rage out because I thought they were going to make a drastic book change and have Sansa get raped. Not a huge Sansa fan, but would not have been happy with a change like that. So when The Hound stepped in and wasted those guys… hell yeah…

    3) R.I.P Rodrik Cassel… that scene was brutal. But he died strong, hard and defiant. Loved how he comforted Bran before the end.

    4) The Jon and Ygritte scene where Ygritte kept… “moving” was sweet and sexy. I know it was a departure from the books, but it made me smile. I wish sexuality in general was handled more like this in the series.

    5) Osha = badass.

    My low points:

    1) And I only have one. Dany is my favorite character in the books… maybe it’s just bad memory, but I recall her being regal and mature beyond her years. She wasn’t the smoothest talker in the world, but her diplomatic abilities were solid. In my opinion, this season she is starting to come off as a whiny, demanding little girl stamping her feet when she doesn’t get her way. A little girl that is completely out of her depth and is falling apart instead of stepping up. I feel like that is a huge character departure from the books…. I hope it changes.

    Otherwise… another amazing episode.

  • What part of the word “adaptation” do the book purists not understand? That was an absolutely riveting episode.

  • JA: The thing about GRRM is that, while he is very creative and a great storyteller, he really is just an average writer. As good as his ideas and characters are, it really makes no sense to hold up the text of the books as some kind of quasi-sacred document.

    I agree! On a similar note, Westeros’ review slammed this ep for being too “Hollywood,” but you know, the books have always had a “Hollywood” feel to them.

    I thought this was the BEST episode of the season. Dany is indeed starting to annoy, but it’s either Emilia Clark’s acting or the writing. I’m leaning toward the former, because she’s lacking charisma to pull off those lines.

    Ygritte and Osha need a spin-off, please. They can be the Thelma and Louise of Westeros.

  • darquemode,

    It is 100% lens flare, i am watching it on HBOGO, it is lens flare. The glimpse that we get of a portion of the face looks like Pyat Pree to me.

  • darquemode,

    Maybe we are over analyzing all of this.

    But that would be a cool twist. If Whitebeard kind of wanted to show Dany how vulnerable she was and did the dragon theft to prove it. Then he’d offer his service to prevent a scenario like that from ever happening again. Would be a cool twist!

  • I don’t know, guys. Why would Jorah or Barristan kill Irri and all those people? Does not compute.

  • Lady Stark,

    I don’t think the Reeds are necessary for the Jon parentage reveal. Remember Bran’s greensight lets him see back in time now

    Also, the Reeds could still be in next year. They needed to move up the sack of Winterfell to give Cat her motivation for …

  • Hi-Fi,

    Absolutely not Jorah or Whitebeard. It must have been the Warlocks to give Dany a reason to go after them.

  • What I think everyone needs to remember is whereas the books can be seen as a rich, continuous story, the tv series is planned out on a season by season basis, and therefore must be self contained to some extent. D&D have already explained that the central characters will all undergo some sort of change from the season’s opening to its close, and this is where some of the differences from the book stem from.

    Let me use the example of Dany. So far this season, all she has done is demand help to take back what she feels rightfully belongs to her. However, as Jorah, Xaro, and the Spice King have all made clear is that, to borrow a recurring phrase from the books, “words are wind”. In this sense, i feel the show WANTS us to be frustrated by her fire and blood/birth rite tirades because they don’t mean anything to the quartheens. The theft of the dragons will allow her to realize that she has to stop depending others for help, and instead actually do something on her own to prove her claims (which is why the spice king and Xaro keep referring to how they worked their way into power) . The realization that actions speak louder than words will turn into an understanding that she must first accumulate power before she can make threats/be a threat, which will (presumably) lead directly into her next arc, with her trying to amass some sort of army (unsullied) in order to prove she can be a force that westeros could actually fear.

    Now, look to CoK. If Dany’s story is adapted more closely, what happens? Xaro asks for her dragons nicely, she says no. Pyat asks not so nicely, and drogon burns down him and the warlocks after some drug induced  visions. Then, an old guy saves her and gives her ships. The End  

    I realize this is vastly oversimplifying her plot, and those moments in the book are actually enjoyable, but the show wants to clearly develop Dany as a girl with a claim and some dragons into a plausible contender to the iron throne, and the show will hopefully do that. But the truth is, the only people who truly know what direction the show will go are d&d, so I’m just going to enjoy the ride (as I hope everyone else does)

  • Raven,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Dany. She also is my fav character from the books and I am totally satisfied with Emilia playing her. Just she seems overly whinny and demanding and has a temper that is as childish and annoying as her brothers this season… Hope it ends and she grows past that real soon.

  • TC: The episode had some really outstanding scenes, some of them were among the best of the entire series. But the liberties they are taking with parts of the story, and in particular changes which will require even more changes in the future, are making this the least faithful adaptation of the books yet.

    There were no relevant changes at all except for the dragon-stealing. None.

  • Alright, before everyone starts busting out their tinfoil caps, how could a single knight and a Lyseni whore kill 30+ guards by themselves? Jorah and Doreah stealing the dragons is rediculous.

    Furthermore, how could one knight on his own, with nothing but a wooden staff, kill 30+ guards, and leave blood and slash wounds on their bodies? :P

    I’m all for speculation lads, but let’s think this through here…

  • Hi-Fi: Why would Jorah or Barristan kill Irri and all those people? Does not compute.

    I don’t get that either unless it was an assassination attempt on Dany and she happened to not be there. He would have to be apart from the raiding party…. lurking in the wings around Dany as an attempt to protect the true heir to the throne….

    It’s a stretch, but it is not entirely dissimilar to why he traveled to Essos in the books.

    Could easily be a warlock or mercenary hired by Pyat Pree though too. I do wonder if Pree himself could carry the box and dragons though….

    The thing that strikes me most as odd is that it is a solo figure carrying the dragons. To kill all those people I would expect a handful or people if not more. If it was the warlocks I would expect them to stay with their new treasures….. It does not compute…. yet.

  • Jorah being behind the theft of the dragons doesn’t make sense. He would have to have killed all the guards as well as Irri. Inconsistent. Same reason why Whitebeard wont make sense. Dany will not forgive whoever did this. Which is why Pyat Pree makes the most sense.

  • WrathofHodor:
    What part of the word “adaptation” do the book purists not understand?That was an absolutely riveting episode.

    Anything they throw up one the screen and name game of thrones would be considered an adaptation. The question becomes is it a good adaptation or not. I would say it is straying much more so than season 1, and the changes that would take roughly the same amount of time to keep true to the source material are frustrating to watch, and in most cases make the story worse in my eyes. Fortunately for HBO there are fans who will like it regardless of the changes, but not so fortunate for the fans who were hoping for a more faithful adaptation.

  • Wow. Just wow. The look Jaqen gives Arya had me rollin.

    And Alfie finally got to kick a head! Sorry Ron, you were awesome, and will be sorely missed. Best whiskers EVAR!

  • The DarkStar: I think it’s too early to tell yet.
    Maybe opening scene in next episode, he wakes up and shes gone. Left in the night.
    He finds his ranger friends and said he chased her down and killed her.
    Only thing this sidequest did was establish more of a relationship/bond between the Jon and Ygritte, which makes more sense with her vouching for him later.

    In that scenario the show’s version is better, certainly for screen.

    Exactly what this one was thinking…she’s outta there by dawn.Jon wakes to Ghost lying where Ygritte was the night before.

  • Maester Blaster,

    I think the Reeds will be in. In the book, by now Jojen and Meera have kind of taught Bran a little about his warging and how his emotions affect Summer’s actions.. Osha has offered Bran none of that insight. By the time Bran leaves Winterfell in the books he is consciously warging with Jojen and Meera’s help.

    So I think they are saving all Bran’s warging/greendream tutorials for either one or both the Reeds to teach in season 3

  • It may not be correct, but nicely done, Darquemode! Since we’re speculating rampantly here, I agree that it isn’t unreasonable to have a certain staff-wielder, maybe a ship captain (a captain Dany specifically stated she “looked forward to meeting” last week) sent by Jorah to see Dany, happen upon an attempted assassination or dragon-napping and save the day. Or Jorah and the Captain together. Or Jorah and Doreah and the Captain.

    Or… Pyat Pree sent someone.

    We’re going to find out, although the wait is going to be agonizing.

    For the book purists, try to remember one thing: CGI costs money. Lots of money. Money already spilling out for several wolves and some dragons. You want to add in a CGI manticore as well? HBO has deep pockets, but not that deep. I’ll choose adaptation and the possibility of 7-8 seasons over a couple of seasons and then cancelled because of cost overruns.

  • Ro,

    You are right. So yeah it isn’t anyone like Jorah or Whitebeard… Good point I, and others overlooked.

  • Yoshi: There were no relevant changes at all except for the dragon-stealing. None.

    Please list the similarites of Arya’s storyline in comparison to the books and then the changes. There are characters with the same name in the same location, but their story is completely different.

    Please remind me when Jon tied up Ygrette and took her prisoner again, and what his plan could possibly be for doing that? Or when Robb fell in love with the noble disguised as a nurse?

    And you say except the dragon stealing as if that is a minor nitpick on par with Syrio having hair rather than being bald.

  • TC: Anything they throw up one the screen and name game of thrones would be considered an adaptation.The question becomes is it a good adaptation or not.I would say it is straying much more so than season 1, and the changesthat would take roughly the same amount of time to keep true to the source material are frustrating to watch, and in most cases make the story worse in my eyes.Fortunately for HBO there are fans who will like it regardless of the changes, but not so fortunate for the fans who were hoping for a more faithful adaptation.

    AKA book purists of the nitpickiest varities. There have been no substantive changes.

  • Best. Episode.Ever.

    Even with the changes, minor in my opinion, A Song of Ice and Fire was brought to roaring, brutal life. This season to paraphrase the brilliant Nigel Tufnel is just amping it up all the way” to 11.”

    11 = Blackwater of course.

    And I love Rose Leslie….so much. Talisa who?

  • Is “where are the Reeds?” a rhetorical question? It has to be. Surely the people asking this stupid question looked at the casting page at least once in the last year. Moreover, can you imagine the Reeds just showing up in this episode? That would be a huge dose of WTF.

  • Smushsmush,

    Yeah, that was sort of unnecessary. My non-book reader roommate started asking me a lot of questions about what happened in this episode like ‘why did she sleep with Theon?’. The best I could come up with is that it tired Theon out and made the guard think she was the castle slut.

    Also when I said “I didn’t see that coming!” after the dragons got stolen he thought I was being snarky.

  • Meg,

    LOL. I know, right? It would be sum crazy shit indeed. The Reeds are now completely unecessary. It’s been proved by this season. They’re fun characters in the books, I guess (Meera, actually. Jojen is a pain) but they just wouldn’t work here. And if they appear next season and work out, I’ll gladly eat my words. Right now, I’m completely fine with their absence.

    Anyway, just finished rewatching it. What a devastating beginning for an episode. Isaac and Alfie are amazing. And so is Donald Sumpter. So sad.

    Jon and Ygritte are so adorable together.

    I miss Varys, though. He’s been away for far too long!

  • TC,

    Ok then. Point out the changes that are so drastically different from the books that it actually detracts your enjoyment of the show? Before you mention the kidnapping of Dany’s dragons, how was it even remotely logical that none of the Thirteen in Qarth thought to steal them in the books?

  • TC: Please list the…

    Please list some movies or TV shows which have been absolutely faithful to the book from which they were adapted. List just one, even. There aren’t any. The most faithful adaptation I’ve ever seen of a book was the 1972 BBC miniseries of War and Peace. It was 20 episodes totalling 15 hours for a book of approximately 1200-1300 pages (depending on paperback or hardcover). And they changed all manner of things from the book.

    The TV show isn’t made for just the fans of the books. It is being made by fans of the books for a wider audience. You won’t ever get a totally faithful transition from book to screen. Ever. I guarantee it. Expecting the show to be only for the book readers is rather naive.

  • Yoshi,

    Yoshi, are you here to express you likes, dislikes and/or concerns for this episode and the show in general?

    Or are you just here to comment on other peoples posts and refer to them as “book purists” in an attempt to try to downplay their opinions as “invalid” because of this?

  • The fact that Dany’s dragons got stolen in the show was a good change. It never made sense to me why nobody even made the attempt in ACoK.

  • TC: Please list the similarites of Arya’s storyline in comparison to the books and then the changes.There are characters with the same name in the same location, but their story is completely different.

    Please remind me when Jon tied up Ygrette and took her prisoner again, and what his plan could possibly be for doing that?Or when Robb fell in love with the noble disguised as a nurse?

    And you say except the dragon stealing as if that is a minor nitpick on par with Syrio having hair rather than being bald.

    None of those things you mentioned are changes that turn this into something at best-inspired by the books, as I’ve seen you argue on multiple site (with the same post no less). Nor are any of the three meaningful changes.

    Arya: She gets three kills, wastes two (both spur of the moment for the second, in the book as in this episode). The scenes with Tywin and Arya were a great way to explain Tywin’s motivations about his father, also true to the book. No relevant changes.

    Jon: In both book and novel he lets Ygritte go and ends up her lover. Looks like we’re right on track. No substantive change.

    Robb: In both cases he falls in love with someone completely inappropriate and betrays his vow to the Freys. Having him not get married? Big change. Having him marry someone other than in the book but which causes the exact same problems? Not a big change and certainly not a substantive change.

    And I gave you the dragons. I’m merely holding out for now to see where it goes. If it leads to the burning of the HOTU, then I will label it a non-important change, albeit a substantive one.

  • Arthur:
    Yoshi,

    Yoshi, are you here to express you likes, dislikes and/or concerns for this episode and the show in general?

    Or are you just here to comment on other peoples posts and refer to them as “book purists” in an attempt to try to downplay their opinions as “invalid” because of this?

    You almost got it. I’m here to point out that their opinions are invalid.

  • Mimsy: Who knew Jaqen has killer humor?hehJaqen’s double take at Arya’s insistence was priceless!It was like she was scolding a little kid to take out the trash before she takes the broom to his backside.It’s a shame we don’t get to see sneaky Jaqen stalking his target.I’d love to see that!

    As would this one!

  • Yoshi: You almost got it. I’m here to point out that their opinions are invalid.

    I have to disagree with you on this point. People are entitled to their own opinions, just not their own facts. Facts are immutable but rarely known so well that they aren’t open to interpretation. It’s the interpretation which leads to opinion and opinions are as varied as the people who express them. We can argue about various opinions without lowering ourselves to the absurd idea that it all boils down to “I’m right and you’re wrong and that’s the way it is!”

  • Langkard,

    Book fans do make valid points of the TV adaptation deviating drastically from the books. We shouldn’t belittle their views by tagging them as “book purists”. Not saying you do but some other posters have been doing this and it’s pretty arrogant for them to be so dismissive to anyone’s negative opinion on the TV adaptation changes because they MUST be a “book purist”. That’s just a foul attitude.

  • Darwin,

    I agree. Emilia did a great job of portraying Dany as the terrible brat and annoying character that she is.

    I don’t know why everyone loves the book version of her so much. I think having someone actually act out her character has made a lot of people see Dany for what she truly is. Of course they can’t handle it, so they say the tv version is terrible and is not doing the character justice, when hbo is actually nailing it. Sorry folks.

  • Langkard: I have to disagree with you on this point.People are entitled to their own opinions, just not their own facts.Facts are immutable but rarely known so well that they aren’t open to interpretation. It’s the interpretation which leads to opinion and opinions are as varied as the people who express them.We can argue about various opinions without lowering ourselves to the absurd idea that it all boils down to “I’m right and you’re wrong and that’s the way it is!”

    Well, of course. But preachy posters deserve a sarcastic response which is just what Arthur got.

  • the goat,

    I actually think I heard it very vaguely in the background of the riot a few times, but not nearly loud enough to have been obvious.

  • winterfell:
    was i the only one waiting for “you know NOTHING jon snow”?????

    i felt like it was on the tip of her lips

    I figured that she was going to wiggle her hips one last time and have Jon say, “I know what you’re trying to do!” so that she could answer with the line we’ve all been waiting for.

    DISAPPOINTED.

  • Andrew:
    Darwin,

    I agree. Emilia did a great job of portraying Dany as the terrible brat and annoying character that she is.

    I don’t know why everyone loves the book version of her so much. I think having someone actually act out her character has made a lot of people see Dany for what she truly is. Of course they can’t handle it, so they say the tv version is terrible and is not doing the character justice, when hbo is actually nailing it. Sorry folks.

    I agree with you. I enjoyed Dany’s arc at first…but later (especially after reading ADWD) she just grated on my nerves. I almost hope GRRM makes her a stronger character in the upcoming books…but once we hit Daario I grew more annoyed with her after each chapter.

  • Arthur:
    Langkard,

    Book fans do make valid points of the TV adaptation deviating drastically from the books.We shouldn’t belittle their views by tagging them as “book purists”.Not saying you do but some other posters have been doing this and it’s pretty arrogant for them to be so dismissive to anyone’s negative opinion on the TV adaptation changes because they MUST be a “book purist”.That’s just a foul attitude.

    I agree for the most part. I’m guilty of tweaking the “purists” too. But, on the other hand, there are people on both sides taking the disagreement far too seriously. I think for some using the expression “book purist” it’s just a too-easy shorthand for someone who wants less adaptation and more book adherence. Don’t judge them too harshly, unless the intent behind the usage is to belittle them for their opinions. At that point, it does become a foul attitude. As foul as those who insult people for being open to more adaptation and changes from the book. You know… using terms like “D&D fanboy.”

    Maybe we need a somewhat joking shorthand expression for those who aren’t deeply invested in book purity. Loosey Goosy?

    To anyone reading this and getting their shorts in an uproar: I’m not trying to belittle anyone. We need to back off a bit and remember that everyone views this series from a different perspective. I fall more on the Loosey Goosey side of things at the moment; but last season I want ballistic over Ghost barking. I once walked out of a movie theater in disgust at changes made to the book (Dune). I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the idea that too much change is a bad thing. Fewer (or less for the Davos fans) personal attacks and more thought-provoking discourse would be a good idea.

  • TC: Fortunately for HBO there are fans who will like it regardless of the changes, but not so fortunate for the fans who were hoping for a more faithful adaptation.

    Your tears taste delicious, btw. Just the right amount of salt to flavor my martini. Please continue crying.

  • Yoshi,

    Sorry you think that way…

    Their opinions are valid. I think they are even more valid then someone who just opens their mouth and blindly swallows shit being shoveled into it. It’s your choice to be a D&D fanboy and just go along with any changes they make and be totally content with it. That’s easy. And I’m sure you are not alone.

    I respect people who are able to think critically and have the courage to voice their dislikes and concerns with plot deviations from the books. It doesn’t make them any less of a fan of the TV series then you. They just come on here to voice their concerns.

  • All of these complaints about a character not being pretty enough or not being ugly enough are just trivial and silly. Is the part well acted is all we should care about. Tyrion is nowhere as ugly as he is in the books and I am fine with that because PD is kicking the shit out of the part. Ygritte was great and who cares if she is actually cute insteal of homely I mean really people it was well acted and she is interesting and you can see why John would come to like her, I already like her.

    As far as the changes go I loved the dragon snatching although my girlfriend, a non book reader, got mad at me when I couldn’t tell her who stole the dragons. Also the Arya and Tywin dynamic has been fantastic and if they would not have made that change we would have never seen it and although the actress playing Arya was really good last year this year she is beyond awesome. The reason I love the changes is because I like to be surprised sometimes and they have handled them all well.

    People we have ten hours for CLOK and so lots of minor to semi major characters will have to be cut. If the Reeds are not in I don’t have a big problem with it because I find the Bran storyline once he leaves Winterfell pretty dull so if it is just Osha and Hodor so be it and if they drop off Rikkon somewhere safe and Osha stays with them fine or if they bring Rikkon along fine.

    The show is still delivering at a 95 out of 100 level for me. Yeah there are some things I would like to see a little bit differently but what we are getting is so great that my minor complaints would seem like nitpicking, hmmm.

    Great epidsode, fun, exciting and as always riveting.

  • Eric Niewohner:

    As far as the changes go I loved the dragon snatching although my girlfriend, a non book reader, got mad at me when I couldn’t tell her who stole the dragons.

    This made my day. I’m sorry for your circumstances; but that is just so very funny. I can imagine that happening in multiple living rooms as the book readers were asked to explain what happened when they are as in the dark as the non-readers!

  • Eric Niewohner:
    All of these complaints about a character not being pretty enough or not being ugly enough are just trivial and silly. Is the part well acted is all we should care about. Tyrion is nowhere as ugly as he is in the books and I am fine with that because PD is kicking the shit out of the part. Ygritte was great and who cares if she is actually cute insteal of homely I mean really people it was well acted and she is interesting and you can see why John would come to like her, I already like her.

    As far as the changes go I loved the dragon snatching although my girlfriend, a non book reader, got mad at me when I couldn’t tell her who stole the dragons. Also the Arya and Tywin dynamic has been fantastic and if they would not have made that change we would have never seen it and although the actress playing Arya was really good last year this year she is beyond awesome. The reason I love the changes is because I like to be surprised sometimes and they have handled them all well.

    People we have ten hours for CLOK and so lots of minor to semi major characters will have to be cut. If the Reeds are not in I don’t have a big problem with it because I find the Bran storyline once he leaves Winterfell pretty dull so if it is just Osha and Hodor so be it and if they drop off Rikkon somewhere safe and Osha stays with them fine or if they bring Rikkon along fine.

    The show is still delivering at a 95 out of 100 level for me. Yeah there are some things I would like to see a little bit differently but what we are getting is so great that my minor complaints would seem like nitpicking, hmmm.

    Great epidsode, fun, exciting and as always riveting.

    Thank you Eric for putting that into words. I was trying to ignore people who said Ygritte was too pretty. Your comparison with Tyrion completely knocked it out of the park. People will always have their own ideas of what their favorite characters should look like…but whatever. I’m just happy that we have another form of media aside from the books that let us entertain our inner nerd self.

  • No Bronn or Ser Jorah, but almost EVERYONE ELSE is in this episode.

    We have Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran AND Rickon
    Joffrey, Myrcella AND Tommen

    THREE dire wolves, naked Tonks and a bonus Joffrey-slapping from Tyrion.

    As Dany talked longer and longer to the spice guy, she seemed younger and younger and less and less powerful/confident, even when yelling her standard Fire and Blood threat.

    Makes sense, though, that after hearing “I will take what is mine!” for the gazillionth time, somebody finally said, “No. WE will take what’s yours….”

  • It is an absolute fact that the books cannot be precisely adapted to TV. No opinion is involved in that statement at all. The only question is what to change.

    The problem with going on about minor plot changes is that it misses the entire point. Books and TV shows are not really about the exact path taken by each character. It is the development of those characters and the conflicts between them that are truly important. The plot is a means to an end, rather than the end in itself.

    No one can intelligently discuss any kind of story- theater, books, TV- without understanding that. If a character herself (e.g., Dany) is arguably weak on the show, then that is certainly a legitimate point of discussion. By contrast, complaining about Arya’s story-line in GoT is mindless and unwarranted book purism.

  • Ro,

    I thought she took the letter because it said where Robb’s army was/was going so she could try and escape and reach it.

  • So Martin is working closely with HBO on the series adaptation and apparently he even wrote one of the upcoming episodes.

    So does this mean that HBO is giving away some spoilers for the upcoming books(post ADWD)? HBO has to cut out certain characters, merge others, skip certain events, and rework others in order to make the story fit in 10 episodes. Right? So if characters are cut out, like the Reeds siblings, does that mean they won’t have any kind of real impact on the story later on? Is Martin basically telling them, “Yeah, you can cut them out. They won’t matter later on.”

    I know these are just minor characters, but if they can be eliminated from the series entirely, then I bet they don’t last long in the books or they have less and less of an impact. I know they already have less of an impact once Bran is situated beyond the wall, but you see what I’m getting at, right?

  • You can clearly see how all these plot changes can easily reconverge to the major storyline, so I’m not worried by the butterfly effect.

    If there are truly significant changes, it’ll be one of choice. There’s been no painting into corners yet.

    I thought it was an exciting and well done episode. Dany and Jon needed more spice in the story — notice Bran’s is pretty rote and that’s because there was enough to work with.

  • Dallavalamp:
    Nate,

    5.I am OK with Cat reminding Robb of his oath to the Freys.It reminds us what importance it will have in the story further down the road.

    Right. That reminder isn’t really for him, it’s for US (read: TV viewer) because the betrothal happened so long ago in tv-time.

  • Littlefinger’s last words in this ep: “…an interesting proposal concerning her daughters.” I think he recognized Arya, and he chose in that moment to lie to Tywin to let him think they still have Arya in KL for the purposes of trolling the Lannisters and the Starks at the same time.

  • Awesome episode.

    Theon taking Winterfell and executing Rodrik was hard to watch, especially with Isaac acting his guts out the whole time.

    Arya in Harrenhal continued to be great and I loved the tension in the scene with Littlefinger. Funniest moment of the episode was to see Amory Lorch in the doorway and wonder how Jaqen would manage to kill him, and then see him fall over :)

    The riot in King’s Landing was also a great scene, topped off by Tyrion dressing down Joffrey. I’m not a lover of SanSan, but I was sure hoping the Hound would turn up “Right now!” to shorten Sansa’s torment.

    The one change I’m not really on board with is what happened with Jon and Ygritte, because this way I’m not certain that we’re getting his last scene of the book. If we still get there I have no problem with this change though.

  • I need to see how things work out before judging the changes to Dany’s story. I actually liked the change in Jon’s story. It was made pretty clear that he wasn’t going to execute her when he intentionally missed. Judging by the synopsis of the last 4 episodes, we will still get the Jon/Quorin scenes.

    I loved the Winterfell stuff. Theon killing Rodrick was a change I can accept because it was so well done. The scene was probably the second most emotional in the series so far, after Ned’s execution. I didn’t have a problem with Osha sleeping with Theon so that he would grant her freedom. And the ‘escape’ was exactly how I pictured it.

    The riot was my second favorite part of the episode(Winterfell was my favorite), my only complaint is that Tyrion didn’t stomp and kick the shit out of Joffrey like he did in the book. Finally we got some Hound/Sansa action, and it was even better than in the book. I think we will definately see more of them this season.

    Charles Dance is perfection as Tywin and Maisie equally as stunning as Arya. This is perhaps my favorite deviation from the books. They can make Roose just as important without him interacting with Arya and taking over Harrenhaul this season. I thought the Jaqen scene was funny and it makes it more understandable why Arya once again chose an insignificant person to kill. I do wish they could have found a way to make Lorch’s death look like an accident. I think it will likely be brushed under the rug and they won’t bother to even have Tywin look for his killer.

    Why is everyone complaining about Littlefinger moving from place to place so quickly when this is something that happened regularly in season 1? There are time gaps between episodes. As far as him being at Harrenhal and bringing the idea of Tyrell alliance to Tywin, I am fine with it. In the book he is sent to treat with the Tyrells about the possibility of Maergary wedding Joffrey and forming an alliance. This doesn’t go any further than the book did. Now I will have a problem if he is in Highgarden next week and the agreement is shown. We shouldn’t hear of or see the Tyrells until the Battle of the Blackwater.

    Now to Dany. I wasn’t a fan of her in the books. And her story in “ACOK’ was really tedious and uneventful before going to the House of the Undying, so I am not upset with the new twist, so long as it is the Warlocks who took them. It actually gives her a reason to go into the HOTU and could add more drama to the event. As for her constant screaming about taking what is hers, this is the character I remember from the books. Maybe because she is not a favorite of mine I don’t care as much, but her scene in the Spice King’s palace seemed consistent with her character to me.

    Overall this episode was good, but not as good as episode 3 or 5. I am quite excited for the return of the Kingslayer next week!

  • Luwin not leaving with the group is the best thing that could happen for the reeds :)

  • Kyron:
    Ro,

    I thought she took the letter because it said where Robb’s army was/was going so she could try and escape and reach it.

    That’s how it seemed to me, as well.

  • Here is how I would eliminate the need for the Reeds. Since Osha takes Rickon to Skagos which is on the way to the wall, she, Hodor, Rickon, and Bran can all head to the wall together. Then just have Osha leave Bran when they run into Samwell Tarly and she and Rickon can head off to Skagos. Otherwise, if they keep the Reeds then I’m sure they will just have them run into each other on the way to the wall. I don’t see why these or numerous other options can’t be utilized. I’ve yet to read a convincing argument on why we absolutely need the Reeds based on the first 5 books.

    I did love this episode but that seems to happen every week for me. My biggest worry was addressed in bringing in the bastard Bolton so this was an extra fantastic episode in my opinion.

  • hi, first time posting.

    i just have a thought. if jamie is dyslexic, would that become a problem when he writes his autobiography on the white book? i guess they’ll just not include it then. i mean, it’s not that it would change anything with the plot.. i just noticed.

  • Mike: As Dany talked longer and longer to the spice guy, she seemed younger and younger and less and less powerful/confident, even when yelling her standard Fire and Blood threat.

    Makes sense, though, that after hearing “I will take what is mine!” for the gazillionth time, somebody finally said, “No. WE will take what’s yours….”

    I didn’t get that at all.
    Her “I’ll take what is mine by fire and blood” was mitigated by an “I will” after it, as to not be too declarative if you cut it off right there. And the whole thing with her burning herself and her dreams coming true, I felt, displayed her “I’m not lucky, I have the proper claim and I am the reason there are dragons in this world, I am special” quality about her perfectly.

  • Here is why book purists are so annoying and why their input is rarely valuable:

    1. A great many book purists seem to think that he or she is the only one to have noticed a certain character or plot point has changed, and so they take turns endlessly repeating the same complaint over and over ad nauseum. It has reached the point where complaining about changes has become little better than spamming. We don’t need hundreds of people chiming in with “OMG, what have they done with the Reeds?!”

    2. Expecting the level of faithfulness that many book purists expect is just not an expectation that is worthy of respect among those who have followed the minutiae of the show’s development. Westeros is one of the few purist opinions I can stomach because they actually consider the difficulties involved in turning these enormous books into less than ten hours of television. Even the bastion of reasoned purism that is Westeros sometimes advocates for even greater changes than the show has made.

    3. Most book purist criticism is downright terrible. There is often no attempt made at anything more than cursory consideration of the practical and artistic difficulties of this adaptation. Most of it is just reactionary, being motivated by personal disappointment more than logical analysis. Is it too much to ask that they do not immediately hop on their computers to vent their rage right after every episode ends?

    4. Negativity just sucks. Only on the Internet are complainers tolerated. In real life, those who participate in any social or communal activity are quickly ostracized for excessive negativity. There is a very good reason, and that is negativity brings everybody down. Book purists make it impossible for fans of the show to share what they enjoy because they are drowned out by the negative nancies. As a fan of the show, the thought of seeing the massive amount of negative whining after every episode on EVERY single discussion site makes me ill. I wouldn’t give two shits about what purists think if there was even one place on the Internet where I could escape them.

  • the stealing of the dragons isn’t a big deviation. It just makes the house of the undying more interesting. I am assuming she will still go through the house and be opening doors, and find the dragons. Then they will flock to her and she will burn them all…

  • Folks. Seems clear to me xaro was complicit in the theft of dragons. No way they break into his manse otherwise. The theme of quarth is no one is on dany’s side…

  • Arthur,

    Book fans do make valid points of the TV adaptation deviating drastically from the books.We shouldn’t belittle their views by tagging them as “book purists”

    And,

    Their opinions are valid. I think they are even more valid then someone who just opens their mouth and blindly swallows shit being shoveled into it. It’s your choice to be a D&D fanboy and just go along with any changes they make and be totally content with it. That’s easy. And I’m sure you are not alone.

    Ok, can we stop pretending that you are being the fair and an even handed guy here. You clearly hold the views of book purists in high regard and have no problem insulting others by
    calling them D&D fanboys. If you want to referee this comment section you shouldn’t so clearly take sides.

  • I don’t know why people are upset about Danys lines and such. The show is certainly extending her insecure and unsure period, but it’s not like it wasn’t in the books at all. She’s a 13 year old girl. When she walked out of that fire with her dragons, she didn’t suddenly become a wise queen. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, she’s been told since birth the Iron Throne is hers (Well, Targaryen at least) by rights, and yet she has few followers, no way to get home, no way to support the people or the dragons she has, and no experience with diplomacy. She starts to become a “true” Targaryen in book 3, but then in book 5 again she suffers from being a young girl. A bright and strong young girl, but a young girl none the less.

  • Did anyone else notice it looked like only TWO dragons tails hanging out of the basket, with quieter sounding squeaks coming from the basket and one LOUD SHREAK at the end? That sounded like Drogon to me… could it be he got loose and will come to the HOTU and breath fire to get Dany and the 2 smaller brothers/sisters out???? If D&D are changing some time lines and events, perhaps Drogon getting loose can happen quicker? Just a conjecture, but I watched the episode several times and only saw 2 tails.

  • bean,

    He didn’t look particularly surprised either ha.

    Overall good episode. I didn’t like the Arya stuff at all though. I find it utterly ridiculous that she could simply run through a military camp being chased by a commanding officer, and not a single soldier would stop her. Come on. Also, his death was straight up cheesy to me, and trivializes Hagar imo. Super secret ninja who kills him right before he can tell Tywin…? Come on x2

  • Mrs. H’ghar:
    Did anyone else notice it looked like only TWO dragons tails hanging out of the basket, with quieter sounding squeaks coming from the basket and one LOUD SHREAK at the end? That sounded like Drogon to me… could it be he got loose and will come to the HOTU and breath fire to get Dany and the 2 smaller brothers/sisters out???? If D&D are changing some time lines and events, perhaps Drogon getting loose can happen quicker? Just a conjecture, but I watched the episode several times and only saw 2 tails.

    Not trying to disrespect you Ms. H’ghar, but that sounds to me like some serious reaching. If you are correct, you’re welcome to one of my knuckles….FlayedManofBK already took one due to my disbelief :)

  • LordDavos12: Not trying to disrespect you Ms. H’ghar, but that sounds to me like some serious reaching.If you are correct, you’re welcome to one of my knuckles….FlayedManofBK already took one due to my disbelief :)

    No disrespect taken, but I even froze the screen and only saw 2 tails. Could mean nothing, could mean something. We shall see. BTW, I did predict Amory Lorch “got next” and that it would be LF visiting Harenhall…so I got it right THIS week anyway.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: No disrespect taken, but I even froze the screen and only saw 2 tails. Could mean nothing, could mean something. We shall see.

    “We shall see Renly…we shall see.” :)

  • Ugh, this thread is total cheerleading and no true criticism at all, I had a lot of hope for this series. For all of people who say the lost characters and plot misdirection are done to the altar of TV writing (which btw has been pretty weak imo, or perhaps the acting has just been subpar on many parts this season), wtf are we still wasting time with Ros? ‘Everyone dies’? Why is Doreah still alive?

    HBO kills a series like Rome with decent writing, acting and sets after the first season due to cost and yet with the cost of this series, why can’t they pull together a decent writing team? Armory Lorch’s death a friggin joke (I guess we likely won’t get to see Brienne face off with the bear either)? Jaime has dyslexia? Humanizing Tywin? I would hope if they asked GRRM to do more than one episode he would (I sure hope 8 is good, I really don’t want to eat crow on that, if they cheap out on the Blackwater I will puke). I gave this season 6 episodes and now I really can’t take anymore, the extra writing to keep the attention of the mob because they need the obvious thrown in their faces to figure out what is going on is making me sick.

    RIP The Tullys, Several of the Freys (especially the Walders), Lady Tanda and Lollys, Shireen and Patchface, The Florents, Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions, The Reeds, The Boltons as they should be, Pretty Pia :(, …. I could go on and likely will never get to stop the way the series is going, but the characters that made this series live on paper, even sometimes with just a mention, are gone leaving the series little better than a shell of what it should have been.

  • Um……

    This is the first time I couldn’t even get through the episode before commenting. I’m only halfway through…

    …but oh my god, the opening Theon scene was probably the craziest scene of the entire series, so far. Just so brutal, but so perfect. Maester Luwin’s eyes, Bran’s pleading, Rodrik’s words, Theon’s face at the end. Un-fucking-believable…

    And the intro of Jon/Ygritte was also awesome. The Icelandic scenery, the acting, the chemistry… Very well done.

    Well, back to the episode. I’m expecting the low points to be towards the end… but so far, I’m blown away.

  • Wulfhund:
    Ugh, this thread is total cheerleading and no true criticism at all, I had a lot of hope for this series. For all of people who say the lost characters and plot misdirection are done to the altar of TV writing (which btw has been pretty weak imo, or perhaps the acting has just been subpar on many parts this season), wtfare we still wasting time with Ros? ‘Everyone dies’? Why is Doreah still alive?

    HBO kills a series like Rome with decent writing, acting and sets after the first season due to cost and yet with the cost of this series, why can’t they pull together a decent writing team? Armory Lorch’s death a friggin joke (I guess we likely won’t get to see Brienne face off with the bear either)? Jaime has dyslexia? Humanizing Tywin? I would hope if they asked GRRM to do more than one episode he would (I sure hope 8 is good, I really don’t want to eat crow on that, if they cheap out on the Blackwater I will puke). I gave this season 6 episodes and now I really can’t take anymore, the extra writing to keep the attention of the mob because they need the obvious thrown in their faces to figure out what is going on is making me sick.

    RIP The Tullys, Several of the Freys (especially the Walders), Lady Tanda and Lollys, Shireen and Patchface, The Florents, Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions, The Reeds, The Boltons as they should be, Pretty Pia :(, …. I could go on and likely will never get to stop the way the series is going, but the characters that made this series live on paper, even sometimes with just a mention, are gone leaving the series little better than a shell of what it should have been.

    How are the Boltons not as they “should be” at this point? After watching tonight, everything seems lined up to be somewhat parallel to the books. Also, apparently they have been casting for Shireen.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: LOLz! So, I guess we have to wait for Weasel Soup for a few weeks?

    I wonder that as well my friend. I’m guessing not this week, but next.

  • Wulfhund,

    You forgot to write, “in your opinion”. Clearly the vast majority disagree wholeheartedly with you on this. My girlfriend, who has never read the books, thought this was the best episode so far. Plenty of people love the show. Clearly, this ain’t for you and nobody is forcing you to watch it. You can always just keep reading the books over and over again. Those haven’t been changed.

  • Wulfhund,

    You obviously didn’t read the books if you’re mad at HBO for “Humanizing” Tywin. It’s more obvious in the show, because we now have Arya with him, and in the books the only POV characters around him were people that hated him, but really, show-Tywin and book-Tywin are the same character. He hasn’t done anything on the show he wouldn’t have done in the books.

    Speaking as someone who knows how making movies and TV shows works, if they included all those minor characters you mentioned, the show would be a trainwreck. An absolute trainwreck.

  • Some backstory for Tytos Lannister!

    Amory Lorch’s death – Hahaha! An example of an excellent change. Emphasized Jaqen’s skills. So good.

  • I don’t mind some of the changes. I think the stolen dragons is just a quicker way of getting Dany into the House of the Undying, and gives a reasonable explanation for why the dragons are there, that was a bit weird in the book…Looks like Scotty’s working for Littlefinger now… He definitely recognized Arya, so I am now fearing for her story line. No God of Many Faces, Littlefinger knows where she is, whats next? Are they going to kill the Hound? Jon Snows chages arn’t that different, but they do change his character, which is the reason infiltrates so easily. Saving the Bastard for later makes sense to me, but Bran is officially out of Winterfell with no Reeds! What’s he gonna do now without Jojen? I completely disagree with everyone who’s hating on Theon. I think he’s MORE relatable than in the books because of Alfie Allen’s performance, you see the conflict in his eyes, you see him justifying his actions with every motion. Can you say Emmy?

  • I like how Quaith just recently told Barristan to protect her and look after the dragons, and then lo and behold, they get stolen at the end of this episode. I was ok with this change from the book though, as it really doesn’t effect the House of the Undying scene much. Daenaris will still enter and leave with her dragons. Hopefully they keep the Drogon scorching the place scene.

    I really want to feel comfortable with all of the changes from book to tv series, but I’m not yet. It just felt like too many changes this episode. I mean, if you want to make tons of changes for the A Feast For Crows portion, then by all means go for it. I think every book reader will generally agree that all changes are welcome at that point. But book 2 and 3 should not be tampered with too much. They were amazing! Especially ASOS!

    Trying not to nitpick though with the changes. I think I’ll be more accepting of them the 2nd viewing round.

  • Jay Arms,

    I think you’re forgetting that in the book, Bran and the rest leave Winterfell, but double-back and hide in the crypts, while Theon and his hunters chase their trail into the wolfswood.

  • This thread was so nice for about ten posts before the whiners crawled their way in. Too bad. I’m gonna have to stop reading these from now on.

    In parting, I am super excited to see what happens with Ramsay. Looks like they might have something clever in store.

    Love Ygritte.

    Also I’m kinda surprised Arya’s on her final kill with four episodes left!

    And that’s it. Great episode! Goodbye, recap threads.

  • The final scene wasn’t nearly as bad as expected, from what I’d read. Maybe I’d have been more annoyed if I hadn’t been expecting it. Yes, it sucks that Irri died. But I guess reading the comments prepared me for it, though. Eh, whatever.

    Overall, another amazing episode. Maybe my favourite so far.

    As mentioned above, my favourite scenes were:
    -Opening Theon scene (AMAZING)
    -Jon/Ygritte intro
    -Jon/Ygritte cuddle times
    -Arya/Tywin/Jaqen/Amory Lorch
    -Hound/Sansa

    I loved the entirety of this episode.

  • Mike:
    So many changes! My feelings are so hurt now that it’s not the books! Cancel the show and have them redo it from scratch! Make sure every single line of dialogue from the books is included, including inner monologues. I want scenes to play out EXACTLY like they did the books. Include all the characters, even those who aren’t really relevant within the context of the story, despite complications associated with the budget and the tv medium as a whole. I am unsatisfied until these hacks meet my demands, despite the fact that I only represent a fraction of the actual television audience. And because I’m a book purist, my opinion means more than anyone else who watches this show, and any other book reader who accepts these changes does not understand the books as I do because I say so.

    Not enough changes! My feelings are so hurt because it’s too true to the books! Cancel the show and start over and just make everything so different. Arya can join the Lannisters, I mean Tywin’s a cool bloke after all and he treats her kindly and confides in her. And I think Dany should sleep with Jorah and marry him, he’s so dreamy, it’s not believable that she’d refuse his advances I mean look at how hawt Jorah is. And Dagmer should actually be Ramsay in disguise (he’s actually really a Faceless Man, Roose sent him to Braavos as a child, and he was spying on the Ironmen and took the real Dagmer’s face lol), because, why not? It’s an adaptation, people! It doesn’t need to make sense, or be well written, or be well directed! Lazy writing and sloppy artificial cliffhangers to arbitrarily add tension is totally kewl because IT’S AN ADAPTATION LOL GET OVER IT YOU BUTTHURT PURIST. Also I think there should be more zombies in the show. I mean look at that riot scene, the snarling mob and the septon’s arm flying off, that’s not too far off. Come on HBO let’s put some real Romero-like Walkers in there. And why not, what are you, some sort of purist? Trololol.

    (So fun to be up the strawman. So easy too, see how I did it so effortlessly. Doesn’t require any wit or thought, just pettiness and stupidity.)

  • Oh, also…

    “Brother fucker!”

    I was hoping for it, and I heard it. Although it was pretty quiet, buried in the background noise of the riot.

  • Chris: wildlings who then find the rangers, resulting in you know what. If so, I agree that it seems like a weird move. The chase with Jon and Halfhand even seems better dramatically. The only thing I could think of, is they decided to spend that time with Ygritte on screen, at the expense of the Halfhand. Which, again, not sure I agree with. We’ll have to see I guess.

    My money is on them running into the Halfhand and Jon then having to ditch Ygritte for her safety. Basically, it will play out pretty much the same way, except for a bit more time between Jon and Ygritte first.

  • Elizabeth In Austin,

    It would be kind of awesome and an excellent plot twist. But only arriving in Qarth two episodes later than Dany sounds a bit forced timing-wise. (Qarth is at, arguably, the end of the world). Better to have him join her in the docks before she leaves for Slaver’s Bay.

  • Lex: Wow… Best episode yet, and you give it a triple face palm. I give THAT a quadruple face palm.

    I thought it was the worst episode yet, so I give this post a quintuple face palm! I win!

    (opinions lol)

  • I hate the stolen dragons twist. Also, Osha sleeping with Theon demeaned her character. I’m not a nazi-purist but they’re changing too much. I’m getting nervous. Also, the loss of Meera and Jojen is awful. They are very important characters and some of my favorites. I’m not happy with this episode. Sandor rescuing Sansa was awesome. Joffrey got slapped again and that was awesome too. Myrcella should NOT have been crying.

  • Morrigan: I thought it was the worst episode yet, so I give this post a quintuple face palm! I win!

    (opinions lol)

    You can’t win, as long as sextuple facepalms exist!

    #NoSeptupleFacepalms

  • Well now that I’ve have time to gather my thoughts. I just want to say what an amazing episode this was, and regardless of what anyone else says, I like the changes from the source material, and if other people don’t, perhaps they should look up the definition of “Adaptation” in a dictionary. Not to begrudge anyone their stance, I have nothing against the purists, but really guys, what did you expect? It’s an adaptation not a perfect copy. And i for one find the changes exciting, this is the first episode that had me guessing, and I loved that.

    Now for my little breakdown…. I loved the whole opening scene, though it made me feel a little sick to my stomach. Bran’s line “Theon, did you hate us the whole time?” just broke my heart. I’m glad Isaac got to show off his real acting chops finally, I am impressed. Now, Ron Donachie, you are awesome, and I am so glad that such great characters are getting such great sendoffs in the show (you guys better be planning a curtain call for him). Gods help you Theon Greyjoy, now you are truly lost, also you suck at beheading people.

    Ghost!, and Qhorin! Don’t have much to say about this except great acting and scenery.

    I love the intensity of the scene with Arya, Littlefinger, and Tywin. One of those scenes that just had me saying “will he recognize her!?” “ARGGGGG”

    Back to the night’s watch, I love the whole Navy SEAL hand signal thing, special forces indeed! And one of my favourite characters from the book has arrived. The one thing that could have completed this episode for me was a “You know nothing Jon Snow”, but I am much looking forward to the right moment with that. And again with that Iceland scenery, wow! Also want to say how perfect I think Ygritte is, I have a thing for redheads and that is always how I pictured her, whether she was described as a little homely or not. Way to go Rose Leslie!

    On to King’s Landing, Cersei doesn’t seem to know that a true love has already been taken from Tyrion, but no matter, he’s just an ugly little good for nothing isn’t he? We shall see. I am very impressed with the mob scene, a few parts of it could have been a little bit more, let’s say violent, theres a few parts where I was like, “OK the guards backs are turned, why aren’t the uprisers uprising?” but that being said, still very well done.

    Joffrey gets slapped, and I cant believe how good Peter’s acting was in this scene. And a shout out to Jack too, I loved it! I’ve always loved both of them in their roles, but wow. Incredible.

    Now I never understood the whole Sansan thing, and I still can’t really say I do but… This scene was incredible! I knew as soon as I saw those men chasing Sansa what was going to happen, but it was no less satisying.

    Now, on to a less satisying scene. I have to say, I DO like the Dany storyline, and this is the one scene that left me cold. It isn’t because of Dany, or Xaro Xhoan Ducksauce. It is because of the damned spice merchant, whose name is probably too ponderous for me to pronounce. How is this guy an actor? He has the opposite of charisma. I hope Dany burns him with Fire and Blood, yeah, I said it!

    The Arya/Tywin dynamic has me quite interested (What killed him?…. Loyalty, was perfect). And on to Jaqen, I really enjoy Tom Wlaschiha, his first moment of greatness for me was the “#1 signal”, and now I am thorougly convinced. The scene for me, was very much a foreshadowing of Arya’s little trick to come. (giggles)

    Robb and Talisa (Jeyne? wha?) was a good scene for me as well. I love the look on Oona’s face when Robb says “perhaps you’ll join me”. But, better yet is the face on Catelyn, she knows EXACTLY what is going on, and Michele portrays it perfectly, everything in that grin says (I’m so proud to have a son that has found love, and yet, his “love” has been promised to another). It’s a perfect portrayal of happiness and sadness combined.

    Back to Jon and Ygritte, I have to give props to Rose Leslie, I’m not sure how you can move that sexily with so much clothing on, but wow. And I love her grin at the end. You know nothing Jon Snow!

    “Let me send word to my bastard of the dreadfort” Just yes! This bodes well (or ill dependng how you look at it). I sense something that rhymes with seek. I was looking forward to Roose this week, and I got more than I bargained for.

    Now I’m not gonna lie, I always wondered what Natalia had under there too, and I was not dissapointed, she is gorgeous still in my books, inside and out! Props to you Natalia. You’ve got the moves like Jagger…..

    …. In more ways than one, that was one hell of a throat slit. I hope you make the rounds with a few more greyjoys!

    Oh Dany, you won’t whore yourself for a boat, but you’ll whore out your handmaiden for information? Shame on you! But I still love you.

    Irri looks dead to me :( I hope not but I fear It is so, also, where are Jorah and Doreah? much will come to pass that shall be interesting.

    Anyway for those who had read this thanks haha, sorry to turn it into a friggin essay but I had to voice my thoughts of this episode somewhere.

  • kit and rose were so perfect together from the first moment, i’m so shipping that business. i felt the humanity of this series more so than ever in their spooning scene, it was enchanting.
    the riot was perfect, it was something i was very much looking forward to in terms of showing the real grit of the political chaos, and i’m glad they didn’t play it down in the show or anything.
    it’ll be interesting to see if ‘talisa of volantis’ totally replaces jeyne westerling. it would make sense. in the end the frey’s still get blackballed and a rather dull character is replaced with someone intriguing, exciting and dare i say ‘different.’
    and this episode has gotten me closest to crying since episode 10. the dragon stealing was actually heart wrenching if you’re as in love with dany as i am.
    so in conclusion, a perfect episode. although i have to agree about that butterfly effect, we book readers just need to trust…

  • Stealing the dragons was a horrible change. The rest of the changes was great on the other hand. Seriously I wouldn’t have mind for Dany have a smaller story in s2 with only The House of the Undying and the Introduction of Arstan at the end of the season ( not to mention that some people think that he might not show up this season at all, or if he will not as Arstan… so sad )

    Still one of the best episodes of the season in my oppinion ( after the Garden of Bones ).

  • I didn’t mind much of the changes, but I do sense a change of tone which I’m not liking. The first half of the episode I loved, but then Dany’s scene happened. I understand that they are trying to make the viewers see that she is still a naive girl but her last scenes have come more like funny sequences. Jaquen and Arya exchange and the death of Amory Loch was way too comical. Robb playing the falling in love teenager annoys me a bit.
    Hope I don’t sound whiny, it’s just that I like the dark tone of the series, I’m not saying it can’t have humor cause I love the one liners thrown by Bronn and Tyrion here and there.
    This is my opinion, just wanted to know if someone else is seeing these changes or is it just me.

    Also, Rose Leslie is perfect as Ygritte

  • Lex: Wow… Best episode yet, and you give it a triple face palm. I give THAT a quadruple face palm.

    I need a bit more than cheap action, poorly/cheesily written drama and ‘humorous’ sexual tension to make a good episode for me.

    I’m also a bit annoyed that Twilight: Eclipse found it’s way into the series. A new low indeed.

  • While I found some of the dialogue a bit weak, I loved the material and flow so much this was definitely up there with my favorite episodes. This was one of the few times that I felt they truly understood how to structure the episode.

    Jon and his woman kissed by fire. I just, I love it so much. I couldn’t stop smiling. Same with Arya.

  • Scholesy:

    Jon and his woman kissed by fire. I just, I love it so much. I couldn’t stop smiling.

    Yeah, Ygritte was even better than I had hoped. Loved her.

  • Nomad,

    I definitely understand what you mean, about changes in tone. But I don’t feel like it’s THAT bad (at least, not yet). And the darkness is still there (episode 4, for example).

  • SergioCQH:
    Here is why book purists are so annoying and why their input is rarely valuable:

    1. A great many book purists seem to think that he or she is the only one to have noticed a certain character or plot point has changed, and so they take turns endlessly repeating the same complaint over and over ad nauseum. It has reached the point where complaining about changes has become little better than spamming. We don’t need hundreds of people chiming in with “OMG, what have they done with the Reeds?!”

    2. Expecting the level of faithfulness that many book purists expect is just not an expectation that is worthy of respect among those who have followed the minutiae of the show’s development. Westeros is one of the few purist opinions I can stomach because they actually consider the difficulties involved in turning these enormous books into less than ten hours of television. Even the bastion of reasoned purism that is Westeros sometimes advocates for even greater changes than the show has made.

    3. Most book purist criticism is downright terrible. There is often no attempt made at anything more than cursory consideration of the practical and artistic difficulties of this adaptation. Most of it is just reactionary, being motivated by personal disappointment more than logical analysis. Is it too much to ask that they do not immediately hop on their computers to vent their rage right after every episode ends?

    4. Negativity just sucks. Only on the Internet are complainers tolerated. In real life, those who participate in any social or communal activity are quickly ostracized for excessive negativity. There is a very good reason, and that is negativity brings everybody down. Book purists make it impossible for fans of the show to share what they enjoy because they are drowned out by the negative nancies. As a fan of the show, the thought of seeing the massive amount of negative whining after every episode on EVERY single discussion site makes me ill. I wouldn’t give two shits about what purists think if there was even one place on the Internet where I could escape them.

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • To those asking why Osha had to sleep with Theon, I interpreted it this way: Osha was under guard like the rest of the Winterfellians. From that position she could not sneak them out. So she told the Theon’s guards she had a proposition for him. That allowed her to get into his room. Once she convinced him she had something he valued, and subsequently wore him down, she was able to sneak into the courtyard under the cloak of night. From there, she could kill the guard watching over Bran, Rickon, and the Maester(?) and sneak them out…
    That’s how I saw it, anyways.

  • Would it

    Lex: LOL!!! You get my prize for most trivial nitpick ever! I’M about to cry, from laughing too hard! XD

    Lex: LOL!!! You get my prize for most trivial nitpick ever! I’M about to cry, from laughing too hard! XD
    I hope you.

  • Man, if you’d gone back in time two years and told me that mainstream audiences, critics, and awards groups would be eating Game of Thrones up with a spoon to huge ratings and acclaim while hardcore ASoIaF fans were up in furious revolt and borderline hatred for the show, I’d never, ever have believed it. Life can surprise you indeed.

  • I really enjoyed this episode… for the most part.

    I love Rose Leslie as Ygritte. I think they toned down her beauty a bit for the part actually. But damn, she’s gorgeous. I really hope they don’t overuse her in Season 2… I do think it is VERY important that Quorin is the one to suggest that Jon joins the wildlings. I also really like that in the book Ghost sees the wildling horde, and Jon sees them through Ghost. I hope this remains. I really see no reason to mess with Jon’s part in the book.

    The King’s Landing riot is a scene that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Especially since I reread that part in the book. It is as good as I had hoped though I think it could/should have been a little more brutal. As for Cersei’s cruel remarks to Tyrion, I think that would have been a wonderful time for Tyrion to say he’s been through what she wishes on him already. Lord Tywin put him through that when he abused Tysha. It could have been a solid, cutting remark that gave Tyrion a little more depth in this episode. I don’t think it would have been on the mind of someone who hadn’t read the books because Tysha is only briefly mentioned in the tv series.

    Loved the scene with Arya & Jaquen. Very funny and clever. It is a little aggrivating that Littlefinger apparently has his own private jet or something. Journeys that should take weeks seem to take only minutes. Same goes for Theon…

    Just last week Theon gets it in his mind to take Winterfell and by the time episode 6 starts he’s the Prince of Winterfell. I can’t complain about Alfie Allen’s portrayal of Theon. It’s very good actually. The scenes in Winterfell were very well done I just wish we could have seen Theon and the Iron Men in some kind of action or fighting. I really appreciate Maester Luwin in the show in ways that I can’t in the book. He is wonderfully done. I really enjoyed Osha’s scenes as well. Way to exploit Theon’s weakness – though I wonder why she couldn’t have just strangled him in his sleep. I don’t doubt she could kick Theon’s ass.

    I’m really disappointed with tv Dany. (My problem is not Emilia Clarke, love her, it’s the writing) She seems very weak and childish and the theft of her dragons only makes her appear weaker. I believe Dany is at her best in book 3 so I know there’s a lot to look forward to. Too bad her story lags again in book 5. I’ll withold judgement on this major change until I see how it plays out. But for this episode alone I don’t like it at all.

    I’ll give this episode a 4/5 – the theft of the dragons seriously annoys me.

  • I love how people are complaining about the little things,

    does it really matter if tywin and arya talk? does it matter if a minor character in the books story gets messed up because of the tv show? (im pretty sure the writers know how the books will end…hence the changes)

  • Mr. Wu:
    Man, if you’d gone back in time two years and told me that mainstream audiences, critics, and awards groups would be eating Game of Thrones up with a spoon to huge ratings and acclaim while hardcore ASoIaF fans were up in furious revolt and borderline hatred for the show, I’d never, ever have believed it. Life can surprise you indeed.

    So true.

  • I’m really disapointed with all the changes. I’m not saying that the tv series aren’t good, specially for non book readers, but I think they are making too many changes. Some are understandable: they have to cut some things, condense other… But there are many changes that weren’t necessary at all and that changed some meanings.

    I wonder if in the next episode we’ll see a ratings drop… Or maybe that will happen in the next season.

  • I don’t get the problem people have with the lack of the Reeds. They can easily be added in the third season (“intercepting” Bran and his merry band) since Bran doesn’t have a whole lot to do in Book 3 – 5 it’s good to bring some of his Book 2 stuff in Season 3 and onwards.

    Regarding Ros…I don’t understand why people don’t get that we’re looking at the future “Arya” Bolton…

  • What are these changes that are hurting the story? I continue to hear complaints without true explanations.

  • Mr. Wu:
    Man, if you’d gone back in time two years and told me that mainstream audiences, critics, and awards groups would be eating Game of Thrones up with a spoon to huge ratings and acclaim while hardcore ASoIaF fans were up in furious revolt and borderline hatred for the show, I’d never, ever have believed it. Life can surprise you indeed.

    Spot on

  • Angelo:
    I’m really disapointed with all the changes. I’m not saying that the tv series aren’t good, specially for non book readers, but I think they are making too many changes. Some are understandable: they have to cut some things, condense other… But there are many changes that weren’t necessary at all and that changed some meanings.

    I wonder if in the next episode we’ll see a ratings drop… Or maybe that will happen in the next season.

    Why would the ratings drop when the show is getting better and better?

  • I think they made it obvious that LF did recognize Arya. It’s just that he doesn’t want to exchange the sisters for Jaime. Because his current plan is to:

    1) Break the Joffrey-Sansa betrothal with the Tyrell pact.
    2) Keep Sansa for himself.

    If that’s the case, it’s good foreshadowing.

  • I’m a book reader and I liked the changes! It’s nice to get a surprise every now and then. How boring would it have been if they did everything like in the books, where’s the fun in that?! No complaints about stealing the dragons either, Dany’s storyline would’ve been a bit boring without some action. At least now there’s something for me to look forward to without knowing exactly how it’s going to go down! I find this very exciting! :D

  • Am I the only one who thought Doreah escaped with the Dragons rather than someone stealing the dragons?

  • I don’t have any problems with the changes. In fact if they had stuck closely to the books in for example Qarth it would have made the season much flatter. There’s not that much of an arch for Dany in Qarth in the books. She mainly just goes from group to group and then there’s the incidents at the House of the Undying. Giving the Qarth storyline more of an arch is needed in my opinion and stealing the dragons gives it a little more action as well rather than all talk which would have been the case following the books.

    Even the Harrenhal changes are needed since we don’t have the benefit of Arya’s inner monologue to make the scenes come alive. And having more of Tywin is just great.

    The Robb story is also there to give that part an arch as well. The other option would have been to cut him out like in the books but since they decided to still show him this season it makes sense to give some more drama to that story.

  • I think the stealing of the Dragons is the prelude to the House of the Undying. The Warlocks are trying to lure her into it.

  • I don’t mind changes so long as they make sense !!! the things i HATED about this episode have nothing to with me being a book reader. There was obviously a lot of mistakes this episodes.

    – Why would Osha sleep with Theon if she is going to need to seduce the guards to escape ?!!

    – It didn’t even take two minutes for Ygritte to run after Qhorin left. how come they didn’t see or hear Jon chasing here ?!! No, Jon even lost them !

    – Man, Dany sure know how to ask favors !!!

    – “I didn’t come here to argue GRAMMAR”. really ? you don’t say. some lines just do not fit ASOIAF English.

    – When did the dart/quarrel/arrow hit Amory Lorch ?

    – Ygritte is too beautiful for a wildling.

    best thing in this episode though, was when Sansa said: “I saw you cry.”

  • Andrew:
    Wulfhund,

    You obviously didn’t read the books if you’re mad at HBO for “Humanizing” Tywin. It’s more obvious in the show, because we now have Arya with him, and in the books the only POV characters around him were people that hated him, but really, show-Tywin and book-Tywin are the same character. He hasn’t done anything on the show he wouldn’t have done in the books.

    Speaking as someone who knows how making movies and TV shows works, if they included all those minor characters you mentioned, the show would be a trainwreck. An absolute trainwreck.

    True about Tywin. He was never written as a one-note villain. He’s a cold, calculating and a very practical man who respects people where respect is due (especially after his dismissal of Robb Stark backfired). He has no reason whatsoever to be cruel to his cupbearer, especially if this girl is clearly smarter than half of his men. Tywin on the show is just a great as in the books, with a bonus of being played by Charles Dance.

    I loved this episode. It was very refreshing to watch an episode and wonder where it is going and what will come next. There are lots of changes, but nothing that will make major alterations to the story. Rodrik Cassel dies in the books, Amory Lorch dies, Irri is alive but Doreah dies. Quarth is actually turned into an interesting subplot filled with interesting characters, instead of being the first of weird eastern cities on the path that sucked the life out of half of ADWD. Robb’s romance subplot is interesting too and I don’t really care if Talisa is Jayne Westerling from the books or not. I never cared about Reeds or Bran’s plot after the fall of Winterfell, so it’s not a big loss for me (I actually hope they are cut from the series, Jojen annoyed me to no end every time I’ve read the books).

    In short, this show is great and I enjoy it. I’ve read the books three times, I love them and I’m planning to re-read the whole series again when AWOW will get closer (though by Gods, reading evertyhing set in Essos, barring two Victarion’s chapters will be painful). The books are far from perfect and the show is just a different take on the same story.

    Bryan Cogman and Vanessa Taylor should write more episodes.

  • I wonder why Qhorin Halfhand is not mentioned
    for his acting?
    What do you think of the Actor posing as Qhorin Halfhand
    my favourite pick would be liam neeson.

    In the books he was almost legendary and of immense magnitude
    why oh why dont i feel his character not likeable and respectable
    as in the book?

  • 1. Ser Rodrik’s brutal beheading – broke my heart

    2. Arya’s reply to Tywin’s question of what killed her father (“loyalty”) – tore my soul

    3. “Lady” Talisa – yeah, I know, I don’t like it.

    4. Tyrion Imp-slapping Joffrey – best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten and it wasn’t even my birthday.

    5. Sansan – beauty and the beast, you just can’t miss.

    6. Summer and Shaggydog and Ghost, oh my! : )

    7. Fire and Blood, but where’s the fire gone (missing dragons)? Disturbingly intriguing, intriguingly disturbing.

    8. Ygritte and Jon (sort of) getting it on – best damn thing I have ever seen!

    Conclusion: The Old Gods and the New – BIG FAT WIN!

    P.S: And the Bastard of Bolton to boot!

  • I actually jumped off the couch and screamed in joy when Bolton mentioned his Bastard.

  • Jordan Healey:
    Ingemar Svensson,

    Nope.

    They’ve attempted to ‘liven up’ Qarth and made it utterly terrible.

    Nah, I think it now has some spice. I didn’t like how it started, and the first scene tonight was a little flat. But last week was beautifully weird and the Dragons going missing is something that not only makes good sense, it is actually enthralling.

  • Nate,

    I think they may keep Luwin alive to take Rickon away, leaving Osha with Bran. The moment to introduce the Reeds was this season. Meeting them on the road north would strike as too convenient. Besides, they have already given Bran Jojen’s dreams.

  • A couple of notes for the purists:

    When GRRM signed the contract with HBO he gave away all rights to the material. He does not “allow them to make changes”. They don’t even ask, because they don’t have to.

    This is (I would assume) ALWAYS the deal when you make a TV-show of a bookseries.

    They cannot afford to cast all the characters of ASOIAF, and even if they could, it would be a bad idea, because non-readers are already struggling to keep all the characters straight.

    Theres always changes made when adapting books into television and movies. Some of you have NO IDEA how lucky we are to have as few changes as there is. Yes. FEW changes.

  • I am a book reader, and this episode has accomplished something none of the previous ones have:

    Wonder what is going to happen next. The stolen dragons twist is something I expected in the book but never came.

  • Scholesy,

    I didn’t find it weird at all, seemed more like a peacock party version of King’s Landing. Pyat Pree was pretty cool though.

    Xaro’s new backstory is pretty much copied straight from Illyrio’s in a Dance with Dragons.

    The writing of many of the Qartheen scenes has been very sloppy and while I’m not a fan of the ‘stealing of the dragons’ idea (if it was indeed the Warlocks) it could have been written and executed with more deft, rather than Xaro & Dany wandering into his estate and going “oh noes, everyones dead!”. For the richest man in Qarth it seems TV Xaro’s security isn’t very good!

    It seems a bit pointless if they’re using it as a premise for Daenerys to visit The House of the Undying, because due to lack of help from other parties, she goes there anyway as a ‘last resort’. It just seems like cheap shock drama. It might excite some, but it doesn’t excite me. Give me a boring well written scene any day to a poorly written and conceptualized dramatic one.

  • The episode was fantastic!
    I agree with WiC, the Iceland shoot is worth every penny. North of the Wall is cinematic in scale.

    The episode was full of great acting moments
    – Osha’s wildling way of getting out of bed
    – Theon seeing how a prince is forced to be an asshole. He’s such a Shakespearian tragic figure, and his downfall is that he can never resist a good shag.
    – Arya trying not to be seen
    – Tywin being both incredibly menacing yet human

    but my favorite:
    – When Arya insists Jaqen kill someone NOW!!!, his look, like “Ah well, OK, whatever, chill”
    that made me LOL

  • After rethinking it, I think it makes more sense Xaro people turned on the Dothraki and killed them then someone, Doreah, Quaithe or Barristan managed to scape with the Dragons. To kill everybody at Xaro’s house you would need a large group if a large group attacked and took the dragons it would not make sense for a single person to be carrying all three dragons by him/herself

  • I don’t think that the Warlocks stole the dragons and took them to the House of the Undying. My reasons:

    1st: There hasn’t been much interaction between them and Dany. She hasn’t spurned them or done anything that wold warrant their action. The Wealthy Merchant on the other hand…
    2nd: The last shot of the episode shows someone taking the dragons to a tall tower. That’s not the House of the Undying: “The House of the Undying is a grey and ancient ruin. It is long and low, without towers or windows.

  • Andrew:
    I don’t know why people are upset about Danys lines and such. The show is certainly extending her insecure and unsure period, but it’s not like it wasn’t in the books at all. She’s a 13 year old girl. When she walked out of that fire with her dragons, she didn’t suddenly become a wise queen. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, she’s been told since birth the Iron Throne is hers (Well, Targaryen at least) by rights, and yet she has few followers, no way to get home, no way to support the people or the dragons she has, and no experience with diplomacy. She starts to become a “true” Targaryen in book 3, but then in book 5 again she suffers from being a young girl. A bright and strong young girl, but a young girl none the less.

    THIS.

    I think it’s more realistic that the show is portraying Dany as an uncertain little girl that she really is. People seem to forget that she’s supposed to be young, inexperienced with politics, and naive. She needs to learn, to grow into a capable leader and I think that’s what the show is trying to convey to the viewers. I think it’ll be a different ballgame for her in book 3.

    Btw, that Spice King had been nothing but condescending towards her. Dany’s obviously pissed with him.

  • Jordan Healey:
    Scholesy,

    I didn’t find it weird at all, seemed more like a peacock party version of King’s Landing. Pyat Pree was pretty cool though.

    Xaro’s new backstory is pretty much copied straight from Illyrio’s in a Dance with Dragons.

    The writing of many of the Qartheen scenes has been very sloppy and while I’m not a fan of the ‘stealing of the dragons’ idea (if it was indeed the Warlocks) it could have been written and executed with more deft, rather than Xaro & Dany wandering into his estate and going “oh noes, everyones dead!”. For the richest man in Qarth it seems TV Xaro’s security isn’t very good!

    It seems a bit pointless if they’re using it as a premise for Daenerys to visit The House of the Undying, because due to lack of help from other parties, she goes there anyway as a ‘last resort’. It just seems like cheap shock drama. It might excite some, but it doesn’t excite me. Give me a boring well written scene any day to a poorly written and conceptualized dramatic one.

    I agree most of the scenes have been poorly written, but then I feel the same about the majority of Dany’s chapters after GoT. So far I am enjoying the GoT take on Dany’s book 2 adventures more then the book. How they handle the House of the Undying will be the big moment for me in this regard.

    As to Xaro’s security, we are talking about the series where an assassin somehow got into Bran’s room when Winterfell was already on high alert. It is no more sloppy then that and easily acceptable imo.

    Finally, as to the dragon-napping in general. I think it is quite strong writing and a vast improvement over the book. It makes no sense that no one would try this, especially when the dragons are so young.

  • Carey Tran,

    LOL! I was a purist in season 1, but I’ve since tempered my fury. As my brother says: enjoy what you can and hold judgement on what you don’t, it might eventually surprise you and not necessarily in a bad way. I will say this, however (I am only human, after all): Dany’s scenes (and the actors in them – that’s right, Xaro and the Spice King, you’re both garishly-attired rubbish!) thus far have been worryingly weak, badly written and altogether jumbled. Hoping for betterment before long.

  • Great television!

    The taking of Winterfell was beautifully done! The perfect acting, scoring, pacing made for a most memorable start to the ep. I cried when Rodrik dies, and I saw with complete clarity what incompetent child Theon really is. It was, like I said, beautiful television that, to my mind, did complete justice to Winterfell’s taking in the books.

    The Kings landing riot scenes were very well done, I thought. Not gonna lie, I found it a very tense scene to watch, for a moment I thought they might give Sansa a taste of the Lollys treatment… thank god for the Hound!

    Any episode that has Joffrey pelted with cow pats and then slapped by Tyrion get top marks from me! That was such a nice slap too. Well done, Tyrion!

    I loooooved Ygritte. She was a perfect mix of feisty, common, and sexy. Most of the dialogue, thank heavens, was taken from the books, so that was great!
    The chase scenes in the snow looked amazing. Astoundingly beautiful.

    Amory Lorch’s death scene was an odd construct. It felt like it would have been more at home at an 80’s Pink Panther movie than GOT. More farce than fierce.

    Talisa’s character continues to bring on the worst written scenes in the entire season. Why are they doing this to poor Richard Madden and Oona Chaplin? I mean really! Their scene tonight reminded of a scene from the Drew Barrymore Cinderella film “Ever After“. I could swear that almost the same exact scene exists in that movie, and that Talisa’s character so far is just a slightly skewed variation of Danielle. It actually hurts to see them doing this to Robb.
    Thankfully she wasn’t on screen for long, and I could wince then forget about her as soon Catelyn and then Roose showed up.

    Changes in Dany’s story get a thumbs up from me. I find Dany’s arc insufferable in the books, so YAY for any improvements D&D can bring to it.

    I really really enjoyed this episode. I name it my fave so far. I found it moving, exciting, touching, engaging and visually spectacular. A solid 4 rating from me. :)

  • I’m truly not sure what to think.

    On one hand, the changes worked in the context of the show and if that was a series that stands on its own without any source material, I’d think that they are good storytelling decisions.

    On the other hand, this episode is past what I deem acceptable when it comes to changes of the source material. Yes, I’m a purist. I try to be open-minded and to cut the show slack, but at my core I’m a purist and I’m not ashamed of it.
    The truth is that I watch the show because I love GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. That’s what I want to watch – GRRM‘s A Song of Ice and Fire. I don’t want to watch David, Dan and Vanessa Taylor’s A Song of Ice and Fire.This is an adaptation, not a standalone project. If they want to do their own show, fine, I’m sure it will be cool and more power to them. But they are working with a story that is already out there and there is not much room for improvement. IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

    As it stands, right now whole storylines are being changed to the point where the only thing that they have in common with the books is the names of the characters. In some case, not even that. Some characters are not recognizable. Dany’s story is the worst offender here, but you can see it with Robb & Jey… sorry Talisa-or-whatever-she-was, with Arya and Tywin etc. Characters behave like they are not supposed to, storylines are being twisted and molded until they don’t make sense in the overall context of the series… Definately don’t like it.

    The worst thing is that this is actually a good episode if you haven’t read the books or if you’re not a purist, and so they will probably feel even bolder when it comes to changes in the future seasons. And sooner or later, they will drop the ball big time (so far, they have dropped it only on smaller things).

    As a regular viewer, the episode is 9/10 for me. As a die-hard ASoIaF fan, the changes lower it down to 5 or 6.

  • Wulfhund: Armory Lorch’s death a friggin joke (I guess we likely won’t get to see Brienne face off with the bear either)? Jaime has dyslexia? Humanizing Tywin?

    I don’t really see how Jaime having dyslexia is a problem, if anything it helps the character giving Jaime a reason to avoid the written side of life by focusing on fighting instead. it also show Tywin determination that all his children will be the best and that he took an active role in their upbringing.
    As to humanizing Tywin iv never seen Tywin as a cruel or evil person. to me he is hyper practical nothing gets in the way of his family, this includes killing the Targaren children to prove loyalty, having a monster like the mountain to scare the crap out of his enemies.
    I do agree with you on Lorch’s death that was a bit on the comical side rather than the sweet stealth kill of a master assassin.
    Brienne VS Bear to come, to be honnest I don’t see that as problem if they want to have the bear fight they bring that in later when Tywin leaves or swap it for something else.
    sorry if this comes off as a rant against you,
    I loved the episode best one yet the whole dragon theft leaves me curious for the first time in the series which is nice

  • Rinso:
    I’m truly not sure what to think.

    On one hand, the changes worked in the context of the show and if that was a series that stands on its own without any source material, I’d think that they are good storytelling decisions.

    On the other hand, this episode is past what I deem acceptable when it comes to changes of the source material. Yes, I’m a purist. I try to be open-minded and to cut the show slack, but at my core I’m a purist and I’m not ashamed of it.
    The truth is that I watch the show because I love GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. That’s what I want to watch – GRRM‘s A Song of Ice and Fire. I don’t want to watch David, Dan and Vanessa Taylor’s A Song of Ice and Fire.This is an adaptation, not a standalone project. If they want to do their own show, fine, I’m sure it will be cool and more power to them. But they are working with a story that is already out there and there is not much room for improvement. IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

    As it stands, right now whole storylines are being changed to the point where the only thing that they have in common with the books is the names of the characters. In some case, not even that. Some characters are not recognizable. Dany’s story is the worst offender here, but you can see it with Robb & Jey… sorry Talisa-or-whatever-she-was, with Arya and Tywin etc. Characters behave like they are not supposed to, storylines are being twisted and molded until they don’t make sense in the overall context of the series… Definately don’t like it.

    The worst thing is that this is actually a good episode if you haven’t read the books or if you’re not a purist, and so they will probably feel even bolder when it comes to changes in the future seasons. And sooner or later, they will drop the ball big time (so far, they have dropped it only on smaller things).

    As a regular viewer, the episode is 9/10 for me. As a die-hard ASoIaF fan, the changes lower it down to 5 or 6.

    Actually you are watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, an adaptation of GRRM’s ASOIAF.

    Also as much as I love he books, I am of the belief that there are plenty of things that are far from perfect in them that can be bettered in this adaptation.

  • Scholesy:
    As to Xaro’s security, we are talking about the series where an assassin somehow got into Bran’s room when Winterfell was already on high alert. It is no more sloppy then that and easily acceptable imo.

    Finally, as to the dragon-napping in general. I think it is quite strong writing and a vast improvement over the book. It makes no sense that no one would try this, especially when the dragons are so young.

    point 1: eh not really, I would assume there’s a difference between an assassin sneaking into a room in an undermanned Winterfell versus a bloody massacre in “the richest man in qarth’s” estate without him knowing about it until he set foot through the gates.

    It was the same with Amory Lorch’s death. Whether it was written to look unbelievable or not I am not sure. I think the attempt to cover it up with humor didn’t really work either.

    point 2: I disagree, and I think Westeros makes the best point on this subject matter in their analysis of the episode. That it was more about atmosphere, than action.

  • Nate:
    starksrule,

    Agree 110%, season one for the most part was pretty perfect, but this is getting a little ridiculous. No meera and jojen, no Podrick payne, No edmure or hoster or brynden, no jacelyn bywater, no wex. All of these are important characters if you have read the books, especially meera and jojen. I want to find a way to email the writers and ask what the hell they are thinking.

    Except that Podrick Payne is there. He was in episode 2.

  • sjwenings: Quote

    Well said. Once you sell the rights to a novel, a film company can do whatever the hell they want with the material.

  • Nate:
    Chris,

    1. Twilight’s author probably made more money than you and your kids and your kids kids will ever make.

    LOL, how is that related to the argument? Rich people are better than poor people, and the latter should know their place, is that what you’re saying? *Facepalm*

  • Regarding the dragon stealing; Frankly, I for one, found the fact that no one at any time during her stay in Qarth ever attempted to steal Dany’s dragons incredibly contrived, and hard to believe.

    Good on D&D for fixing it.

  • Jordan Healey: point 1: eh not really, I would assume there’s a difference between an assassin sneaking into a room in an undermanned Winterfell versus a bloody massacre in “the richest man in qarth’s” estate without him knowing about it until he set foot through the gates.

    It was the same with Amory Lorch’s death. Whether it was written to look unbelievable or not I am not sure. I think the attempt to cover it up with humor didn’t really work either.

    point 2: I disagree, and I think Westeros makes the best point on this subject matter in their analysis of the episode. That it was more about atmosphere, than action.

    I am going to stick my money on the beloved son, of the beloved Warden of the North being pretty well protected.

    I loved Loach’s death, so I just not going to be able to agree. The assassination was an after thought, as it should have been. The entire scene was about Jaqen and Arya. His attempt to look cool and mysterious, only to be thwarted by the necessity of the moment and still showed just how skilled he was in the end. Also enjoyed seeing some of her less desirable traits back on display. It was sharp and fun television that injected a nice bit of fun into a very tense episode.

    Not sure what you mean with point #2.

  • Deborah: ERY confused about Catlyn interfering in Robb’s love interest as that pretty much destroys the possibility of a red wedding. Do they plan to keep Robb alive?

    Uhm, why do you think Robb is going to take his mother’s advice? The writers merely wanted to remind the viewers of the existence of a marriage pact with the Freys, something that non-readers might not remember.

  • I liked the Ygritte casting, but was disappointed……I kept waiting for “You know nothing Jon Snow”!

  • I’m holding out hope for the Reeds at this point. I don’t think Bran, Rickon, Osha, and Hodor have escaped, yet. I think they were en-route to the crypt until the end of the Winterfell drama, which may not happen until the beginning of next season. I can see the Reeds arriving late to the party, and meeting the B,R,O, & H outside the gates of Winterfell, or even among its ashes.

    As far as this episode and the many changes – Nothing they’ve done is so drastic that there can be no recovery.

    Jon, at least, will end up back with the Halfhand at some point. He has to give Jon the instructions that will lead to his death and Snow to turn cloak.

    Dany will get her dragons back from the House of the Undying. It doesn’t really matter who took them, as it was implied that that is where they were headed.

    Littlefinger showing up everywhere is a matter of time translation from episode to episode. It didn’t happen overnight. It just seemed that way because they have to fit so much in each episode.

    Arya: IF she was recognized by LF, he will keep his mouth shut about it and use it as ammo against his cause to another side (maybe Robb’s?). LF is a master manipulator, and showing his cards isn’t in his nature. He’ll keep them hidden as long as he can so that he can get enough usage out of them.

  • Rinso,

    The truth is that I watch the show because I love GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. That’s what I want to watch – GRRM‘s A Song of Ice and Fire. I don’t want to watch David, Dan and Vanessa Taylor’s A Song of Ice and Fire. This is an adaptation, not a standalone project.

    I really do not like to engage myself in the debate like this – because I tend to appreciate every opinion – and so I do in your case Rinso, but your interpretation of the meaning of an adaption is often mistake by people complaining about changes.

    Every TV/feature adaptation of a book is a standalone project and that is a fact.
    There is no such a thing as GRRMs ASOIAF to watch, there is only GRRMs ASOIAF to read.
    Even if GRRM himself as one and only producer would adapt it – it would be changes.
    If you or I would adapt it – it would be changes.
    In one word: TV or theatre serve cruel Gods than paper as medium.

  • Why would Osha sleep with Theon if she is going to need to seduce the guards to escape ?!!

    Because she liked it? =O

  • Juan,

    I noticed that Spice guy had kept Dany waiting for their meeting, maybe he was creating time for the heist to occur in her absence. He may be in cahoots with the warlocks since they have an interest in her paying a visit. That gives good reason for her to take ships from him, if she somehow can, since he has taken from her.

    Tyrion is the only one who can hit Joffrey safely, and has been doing it since Episode 1. It seems this has been his role in the family, and is why he was sent to King’s Landing. Perhaps he is even partly to blame for the little so and so turning out like he has.

  • In the name of the seven and in the light of r’hollor I by now pray that the reeds have been cut from the show simply because i could not stand if the incessant wailing sounds of the purists scribbling incessantly on these forums were to be heard by the gods. I hope a faceless man took care of them before they were born. And I indeed hope that Bran’s weirwood paste consisted of sweet sweet Jojen so that in season 222 the complaining will simply stop because they are not in the books anymore. frey piemania!!!

  • Shouldn’t tyrion’s chain have shown up at this point? At least the construction should have been ordered right?

  • Alright, I wrote this last night but it seems to be missing. Mormont & I were discussing our theory that Jayne/Talisa is really a Lannister spy & the joke about writing a letter was in fact the truth (notice how she rolls it up as Catelyn approaches & Rob is distracted). I think she, like a few others, is a composite character. It is she who decieves Rob (not her mother) & if book readers recall Jeyne Westerling’s lineage was questionable, Lady Spicer (her mother) was the granddaughter to a spice merchant & her grandmother was a foreign maege (possibly even the woman who gave Cersei her “valonquar” profecy). Her grandmother came from somewhere across the Narrow Sea (maybe Volantis). You’ll remember that her hand was refused by the Lannisters because, though she seems sweet, her mother was a Spicer, a family notorously treacherous & lowborn (much like Littlefinger…never trust a social climber). Also, in Dany’s TV scene she refers to a merchant not helping her because the Lannister’s are his biggest customer. If I’ve learned anything from GOT it’s there are no coincidences. What do you think?

  • I’m a huge fan of the books, but I wouldn’t call myself a purist. A TV adaptation is just that – an adaptation, not a reading. It’s obvious that not all details can be fitted into 10 hours, and it’s understandable that the producer don’t want to hire an actor for only one or two scenes this season only to become important on later seasons (Edmure and Victarion being good examples; pretty sure they will be introduced on upcoming seasons).

    Some changes are necessary. While I liked the Reek/Ramsay storyline in ACOK, one has to admit that it’s literal interpretation would have taken a lot of time on TV screen and some viewers would still have been confused.

    I do have to say that I find it a bit odd that Tywin would be so friendly with a commoner girl. He’s one of the highest lords in Westeros. He would be treat his servants correctly as long as they don’t displease him, but I find it a bit “too modern” for a high lord to be so friendly to his help… That is, unless he suspects Arya is still lying about her background.

  • Laura T.,

    I think that is a fascinating theory and it includes the most plausible thing i heard about that character. The idea of composite characters has really taken off since Vanity Fair told us that that is what obama used to date :)

  • And I can’t see what Tywin has to gain by exposing Jaime’s dyslexia to his cupbearer. That might be viewed as a weakness and a servant might spread the rumour around. Although I do understand that the writers put that in to humanize Jaime a bit.

  • Angelo,

    No point in posting any disappointment / disagreement about GoT in this site anymore (with the exception about Ros :-) ). As you can read in the posts, anyone disagreed with the changes (with the exception about Ros) is automatically labeled as book purist by the majority of the posters and ridiculed.

    More changes are coming and the some of the major plotline will be different from the books. Don’t be surprise about big changes in HotU, Arya/Bwb/Hound/RW, RW itself, 3EC/CotF, Davos/Rickon, Reek/Ramsey, Jaime/Brienne. HBO/D&D want GoT to be different from ASoIaF.

    It is a business decision as well as a philosophical one. D&D simply do not agree with the motivation of some of GRRM’s main characters. That’s why Drogo/Dany Weddings is different. That’s why Shae is different. That’s why Arya/Tywin/Littlefinger happened. It is more a star driven show now and not a story driven show. Their show, their call. Still a good show (could be great but HBO’s tight schedule won’t allow it), just different.

    In the meanwhile, might as well post on other sites so that people like you and me won’t make WiC such a negative site in weekly post viewing celebrations.

    Peace.

  • ah, about time some crazy shit started to go down. awesome episode, i think is said ‘holy fuck!’ out loud at least 3 times. love the changes, makes me kinda feel like i’m reading the books again with all this new stuff ;p

  • Arthur,

    I dare say that Dani is starting to act like her long departed brother, I hate how she is being portrayed right now.

    Loved the surprises in this episode though! I’m so used to knowing every single step that it was nice to be caught unawares!

  • This show is doing a pretty good job on fixing some of GRRM’s plot holes. For example, Arya’s Idiotic decisions in the book have been removed. Killing Cheawyck? Really? Instead the show gives u a great reason why she hasn’t told jaqen to kill tywin. Also, the kidnapping of danys dragons makes it plausible why she would go into the house of the undying herself in the next few episodes

  • I agree that the changes are interesting. The only thing that worries me is that for some of them to happen, this dialogue must have taken place:

    Creators: “Can we take out xy [Jojen & Meera, Brynden Tully, …] without hurting the plot later on?”
    GRRM: “Sure.”

    As for the chain, I think the Battle of the Blackwater will happen during the last episode, with the chain possibly announced at the penultimate episode. Right now, Stannis is still too far away in the mind of the viewer.

    Also, travel times: A single man can easily ride ten times as fast as an army. So yeah, Littlefinger hopping between camps seems plausible, considering he doesn’t seem to be lugging around a host of sellswords or Lannister men.

  • Rinso: As a regular viewer, the episode is 9/10 for me. As a die-hard ASoIaF fan, the changes lower it down to 5 or 6.

    I’m really not trying to single out your post, Rinso, because I think you’re one of the few approaching this with at least an acknowledgement of the fact that despite the changes, it was a very gripping hour of television. I quoted the line from your post, though, because I just don’t understand how you can enjoy something (to the tune of 9/10, which is incredibly high) and then in the next breath knock it down to mediocre.

    Storytelling is a tricky thing. For thousands of years it was perfectly acceptable (and even expected) that a story would vary from one telling to another. With the advent of the written word (and later mass-production of the written word), we’ve now become obsessed with “definitive editions” and categorizing things into canon and non-canon. For whatever reason, we all need to believe that there is one way to unfold a plot and one way only.

    Look at it this way:
    Given the struggles that GRRM has had beginning with AFFC and continuing through (I assume) TWOW, does anyone honestly believe that he wound’t go back and change a single detail in the books so far? He’s admitted throughout the laborious writing of ADWD that he had written himself into a few corners (referencing the book as “Kong,” and across the Narrow Sea as “the Myreenese knot” on several occasions). Then when it comes to condensing the pivotal events of books many hundreds of pages long into 10 hours of television, he wouldn’t rethink things then?

    I’m grateful that George has an extensive television background, because he gets it. As brilliant a writer as he is, imagine if the author had been Alan Moore, and we’d read article after article about how “the author could not be reached for comment on the hugely popular HBO series, as he has completely disassociated himself from the project.” I like how George will often say “huh, that’s a change that will have repercussions down the line,” in a way that has a playfulness of “let’s see how they tackle that one” as opposed to “seven hells! What are they doing to my masterpiece!”

    Sorry for the long post, but it seemed like you genuinely did like the episode on its own merits. All I’m asking is, while you have the books as the “pure” form of the story, why isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t it be fine to just sit back and enjoy some of the best drama on television?

  • I consider myself a ‘book purist’, and I loved it! Vanessa has now redeemed herself with this episode! None of tonight’s changes bothered me, because they all seemed to suit the story well. It was fine with me that Dany’s dragons were stolen – her storyline so far this year has been boring. They had to do something to liven it up – and I like to see that Ser Jorah’s constant nagging of ‘they will kill you and take your dragons!’ comes true! It makes sense.

    I do agree that Dany’s constant blathering about “taking what is hers” in “fire and blood” is getting old. It’s like a mom that keeps threatening to spank you but never does, and you know she won’t, it’s just an empty threat.

    Dany can vow to ‘take what is hers with fire and blood’ as much as she wants, but with teeny-tiny dragons the size of a rabbit, she is only likely to take what is hers with a scratch and a flicker! I liked that the Spice King gave her some snarky reality checks about what is waiting for her in Westeros. Really, she doesn’t have a birthright to the throne anymore than anyone else. The Iron Throne obviously belongs to whoever the current ruling fighter is, and as soon as they are overthrown, then it becomes someone else’s. Her family stole it from someone to begin with, so if she thinks about it, it was never really hers. If she was smart, she would take Zora Zoran Ducksauce’s offer, marry him, stay in Qarth with her dragons, have cute little princes and princesses, and have a happy life there. Doesn’t she know by now her brother was a dork anyway? Shouldn’t she be questioning this whole ‘quest’ thought he put in her head, about having to go back to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne? That was HIS thing, and you know, she saw what became of him. Who cares. Stay in Qarth with Ducksauce and have a happy life!

    And across the narrow sea, I have to say I am LOVING Arya and Tywin together. Those two are great! Such chemistry. I am liking HBO Tywin more than book Tywin. He seems kinder and gentler. Don’t know if it will last, but right now his rapport with Arya is so cool. He seems impressed at her spunk, and her secrets, and how she handles herself under questioning.
    “Maybe you should make my next battle plan”.
    Ha! If Cersei could see them, she’d be fuming and boiling with jealousy. He seems to respect Arya in the way Cersei wishes SHE was respected, but because she is a knucklehead, he doesn’t. And who knew Jaime Lannister was dyslexic? LOL. But as far as character development goes, that was a great story to have Tywin tell Arya, because it makes him seem like a nicer, caring father. Him spending time with Jaime to make him learn to read when everyone said he would never be able to read, just deal with it, sounds like something Ned would have done, and this makes Arya feel more connected to Tywin as a caring father, and this makes it more plausible that she doesn’t put him on her “list”. This makes sense when Arya panics later, and instead of naming Tywin to just free herself and get it all over with, instead names Lorch to keep her secret.

    Did Littlefinger recognize her? I think of COURSE he did. But probably kept that information to himself. Or, even if he did tell Tywin that “Hey, did you realize you have the missing Stark girl right here?” I am sure he and Tywin would keep it secret, so that Arya doesn’t know THEY know, and therefore she won’t try to run. I don’t know. But knowing how on the ball LF is most of the time, I’d say he recognized her.

    And the quick Jaqen hit on Ser Armory was interesting, it added a little drama and tension to the scene, and made me have that much more respect for Jaqen, who obviously has cool spy and assassin tools hidden in his garments.

    And Alfie Allen, wow, he really blew me away as Desperate Theon. That look on his face, and how he had a combination of fear, pride, and panic after he did his embarrassingly clumsy job of killing Ser Roderick was so well done. What a highlight of the difference between Ned and Theon. I felt so invested in Theon this week!

    I never liked book Theon much, but I was rooting for show Theon to make some different decisions. The few minutes before he actually killed Ser Roderick were full of tension, with Bran crying, and everyone milling in the background & the two counselors pushing him: Dagmar the Devil on one shoulder and Luwin the Angel on the other – I was hollering at the TV “No, Theon, No! Listen to Angel Luwin!”

    And when Ser Roderick turns to the boys and tells them he is going to be with their father, I teared up. Bran did such a good job, going from being bored and nonchalant to Theon, barely speaking loud enough with Theon tells him to tell the people he’s yielding, to absolute panic and crying when he realizes Theon is actually going to kill Ser Roderick, and this shit is REAL, and not just Theon being a jerk.

    I thought Ygritte the Wiggling Wildling was hilarious. She knows what those crows need! My one little complaint here was the lack of the Ygritte catchphrase. When she was talking about the cold, and how to survive, that was a good place to put in a ‘you know nothing, Jon Snow!’

    My DH noticed it was a nice connect, to show YWW using her knowledge to distract Jon Snow, then it cuts straight to Osha putting the moves on Theon. I think it was an interesting way to show that the wildings are perhaps known for being more sexually open and ‘creative’. I saw that someone asked why Osha sleeping with Theon had anything to do with Bran and Rickon escaping, and I think the reason was: to tire Theon out, so he sleeps well and lets his guard down, and to keep Osha out in the open where she can freely move about. If she wasn’t ‘pleasuring’ Theon, she might have been locked up under guard, and unable to get the boys and Hodor out as easily.

    My one little complaint about Myrcella going off to Dorne was that we have seen so little of Myrcella, and yes, we’ve heard of the plan to send her off as marriage bait, but I feel like Amy Richardson was robbed of the chance to stand on the docks there with her mom and her family, and have a poignant, dramatic farewell, with some hugs, and crying, and such. It just started with her already in the boat, being rowed away, and I felt like it could have used a better starting point. I would have liked a few lines from Myrcella, a little more interaction between her and Cersei and Tommen, and even Joffrey, who could have continued being nonchalant and ‘who gives a flying f*ck?’. I felt she deserved a bit bigger of a farewell.

    On the riot scene – can a few people actually pull someone else’s limb off with their bare hands? I dunno, that just seemed a little silly to me. Tyrion looked suitably horrified, but it seemed a little comical to me. Just seeing the Septon go down was scary enough, I thought.

    Then I thought we got some standout ‘scream-acting’ after the riot, when Joffrey is inside the palace and is sitting on the chair, furious at what happened, and Tyrion is screaming at him, and that special comment about his ‘Uncle Jaime’, ooh, I got goosebumps, I am telling, you GOOSEBUMPS! That was some great dramatic acting! That scene was Emmy-worthy.

    When Sandor saved Sansa and tossed her over his shoulder, I imagined Twitter going wild with the joy of San-San fans. And then again, when Tyrion thanks him for saving Sansa, and he said “I didn’t do it for you.” Wooo, I could feel the San-San love exploding! I’m sure FaB will verify this later in the week : )

    The Robb and Talisa romance just isn’t working for me yet. I’m not feeling much chemistry, and not seeing any significant reason why Robb would be screwing up, esp. when Cat comes along and reminds him of his promise to the Freys before anything was done.

    In closing, I want to mention again that it’s so annoying to wade through so many posts where ppl just bitch at ppl who didn’t like the episode or were unhappy with changes. It’s tiring to see people being told to “shut up”, “stop watching”, be ‘grateful you get any adaptation at all” and “go post somewhere else” if they aren’t 100 percent “rah rah rah” for everything in an episode. I loved this particular episode, but there have been others I didn’t like, and I wish Winter could come up with some sort of way to make it easier for people to express their feelings about an episode they didn’t like, without being subjected to so much bashing. Half the threads have people saying they are not going to post anymore because of all the ‘negativity’. Since most of the time the issues are changes from the book vs show, my suggestion would be maybe a thread specifically FOR the discussion of the differences of the show vs book. I mean, if we can have a new viewer recap, and a pearson moore thesis every week, why not a thread that would be used by the majority of the ppl here to discuss a very valid aspect of the show? And this way separate the perceived ‘negativity’ from the regular recaps? Another option might be to post up two recaps, maybe a “what you like” & “what you didn’t like” one, or if you want to keep with just one episode recap, maybe start cracking down on the comments when all ppl do is bash someone for not liking an episode. Or some other thing someone can think of. Somehow, this problem needs to be dealt with.

  • Mr. Wu: while hardcore ASoIaF fans were up in furious revolt and borderline hatred for the show

    Correction – SOME hardcore ASoIaF fans are up in furious revolt. Not everyone who loves the books is expecting a 1:1 translation for the show.

  • Ser Jeremiah: Mrs. H’ghar, OH and may the seven destroy the Freys and all that they represent. The Boltons too. Gods do I HATE them.

    Freylor Morghulis (All Freys Must Die) (Shamelessly stolen from a Westeros forum)

  • I think that the discussion TV show vs. book is useless, because in no way HBO can do a faithful adaptation of AFFC/ADWD without shooting itself in the knee. Sooner or later they have to deviate strongly, if they want to bring AGOT to the end. They started sooner, and they have my full support, I want to see the end of this saga, and the only way that I’ll see it is the way that keeps non-readers interested and happy. I certainly don’t count on Martin to finish it in this decade, if at all.

    At the end everybody will be happy. Me who’ll get the conclusion of the story which I got interested in more than a decade ago. And the “book purists” who’ll enjoy the future installments in ADWD style of magnificent writing Martin provides with all the travelogues, detailed descriptions of eating, urinating, defecating and Essos flora and fauna and get their ending somewhere around 2030-2040. You can’t rush art, and it’s rightly so.

  • I just want to say this to the purists: going into the series, GRRM knew without a doubt that his work was inevitably going to be altered, sometimes drastically, so it’s a shame that you guys and gals assumed that the whole series wouldn’t have any plot changes. And I understand that you guys think that the books were pretty much perfect and didn’t need changes, and I agree with you 100%, but the truth of the matter is the books have far more time to fit in far more details, and the show only has ten -50ish minute episodes that are made on a season by season basis. This means that if the show can simplify the plot by replacing minor characters with already existing ones, they will. On top of that, the books shows characters internal thoughts, so that makes some things even harder to do, and for that reason alone they are going to need to change things.

    So purists, I’m sorry, but you’re fighting a losing battle. You can either stick to your guns and be disappointed everytime the show changes something, or you can join me and the rest of the viewers and enjoy the show for what it is: a phenomebal series that brings the ESSENCE of asoiaf to life

  • Scholesy: I agree most of the scenes have been poorly written, but then I feel the same about the majority of Dany’s chapters after GoT. So far I am enjoying the GoT take on Dany’s book 2 adventures more then the book. How they handle the House of the Undying will be the big moment for me in this regard.

    As to Xaro’s security, we are talking about the series where an assassin somehow got into Bran’s room when Winterfell was already on high alert. It is no more sloppy then that and easily acceptable imo.

    Finally, as to the dragon-napping in general. I think it is quite strong writing and a vast improvement over the book. It makes no sense that no one would try this, especially when the dragons are so young.

    I agree that Danaerys chapters after the ending of the first book are painfully tedious to read. I audibly groan every single time I see a new chapter with her name as the title. For everyone that complains about AFFC, ADWD was dreadfully painful for long stretches because of Daenerys dragging a whole bunch of characters down her terrible plot. Once Barristan came into his own chapters and began clearing house things began to improve.

    Qarth was laughable in the books. I find it much more engaging and compelling in the TV version. Part of it is the visual medium, the other is that while foreign it doesn’t seem half as absurd as most of Essos is. I felt at many times that George R.R. Martin tried too hard to describe Essos as being almost alien to counteract how similar Westeros was to Medieval Europe so as to appear original. After the last episode, a few people described Qarth as being similar to a Star Trek episode. I agree with that. The books though seem to come from the Twilight Zone.

  • I think that the purists moaning about changes are a) not seeing the big picture, or b) not using their imagination. Here are a few examples of how some of the changes can essentially come to the same point as they do in the books.

    1) Grand Theft Drogon – I think most folks figured where that dude was headed with the dragons. Her storyline will come to it’s head this season as she goes to the Tower and either alone or with help gets the dragons back and burns the damn thing to the ground. It will end with her meeting two interesting dudes and getting the hell out of Quarth. There, storyline matches up perfectly with book at season’s end.

    2) Osha & Reeds – As we see after reading A Dance With Dragons, who it is that gets Bran to his destination does not matter as they end up being bored and without purpose once he arrives. What they do can be done by Osha, which is where it seems to be headed. As for Rickon and his journey, why can’t Master Luwin get him there? Yeah I know he is supposed to die, but what does his death accomplish in the book? If he lives and takes the road to Skagos (rhymes with Davos) it allows them to continue using a character that has been handled brilliantly by the actor. Once again, both Starks end up in the right places, but with different people getting them there.

    3) The Running Jon – OK this one has a lot of possibilities. Book readers, like me, probably all want the Jon vs Halfhand scene. Just because he gets split up does not yet mean it can’t happen. Who knows, maybe he and Ygritte get found by wildings then get ambushed by the Halfhand who attacks Jon and “allows” Jon to kill him in self defense, showing the wildings that Jon is OK. Remember Halfhand has already filled Jon in on the grand plan. So once again a Stark will end up in the same place at season’s end as he does in the book, just with a slightly different path to get there.

    So there you go, the BIG stuff stays the same, but some of the minor stuff gets changed. Honestly all that matters is that the main characters get to their key checkpoints, which keeps the main plot the same.

  • Scholesy: I am going to stick my money on the beloved son, of the beloved Warden of the North being pretty well protected.

    I loved Loach’s death, so I just not going to be able to agree.The assassination was an after thought, as it should have been. The entire scene was about Jaqen and Arya. His attempt to look cool and mysterious, only to be thwarted by the necessity of the moment and still showed just how skilled he was in the end. Also enjoyed seeing some of her less desirable traits back on display. It was sharp and fun television that injected a nice bit of fun into a very tense episode.

    Re: Bran’s protection,

    But with the assassin already being inside the Castle walls and having set fire to the Library in order to draw the guards away, seemed like a much less plausible explanation than the one for assaulting the Estate of Xaro Xhoan Daxos.

    I don’t think Lorch’s death was written as an afterthought, if that’s what you mean. Bryan Cogman stated in his live interview thingo that they beated out the season, so Vanessa Taylor would have been assigned tying up Arya’s second “name” in this episode.
    She went with a ‘desperation’ approach to try and make it seem dramatic. Arya steals a letter to read about Robb, okay fair enough. Arya then runs into Amory Lorch who notices she has a letter and she makes up a bad reason for having it (fair enough, since Arya has more direct interaction with the officers in the show), then she tries to run. However as someone pointed out earlier, Lorch could have just called out to any of the Lannister guards to stop her, which is what pretty much anyone would do, but nope, she forgot to think of that. Oops. Lorch runs off to Tywin, Arya runs off to find Jaqen, and yes their exchange was good, then somehow, after a span of ‘minute’s Jaqen somehow hits Lorch with a homing missile poison dart.

    That’s just about as ridiculous as the bow and arrow that Arnold Schwarzenegger conjures up in the movie Predator towards the end.

    I suppose they weren’t worrying about it being realistic as long as it was ‘cool’ .. lol.

    Yes I realize that Jaqen H’ghar is ‘magical’ in the books, but this just seems silly.

    You might have been satisfied as long as the exchange between Arya and Jaqen was good, but I thought that the rest of it was a blunder.

    Scholesy:Not sure what you mean with point #2.

    Read this.

  • Yoshi,

    On the contrary, I just about ignore anyone blatantly fanboying the show.

    It’s not the changes that are the issue its the awful writing and the butterfly effect.

  • Yoshi,

    That’s funny, because most people have at least given me the credit of presenting a well thought out argument in previous posts.

    You just seem upset that I don’t agree with you *shrug*

  • Regarding the Jon/Ygritte stuff – I think next ep will have a little more flirtation between them…then Jon hears a noise and tells her to hide.

    It’s Ghost leading the Rangers back to Jon, when they ask him what happened he either lies and tells them he killed her or he let her go (which would be following the books).

    Only reason I think Ghost will lead the Rangers back to Jon is the conversation between Jon and Qhorin when he was telling Jon you can’t tame a wild thing, but of course we know that Jon and Ghost have a connection.

    They could also do a dream sequence with him as Ghost – being with the Rangers. And Jon wakes knowing that Ghost is leading them to him…and he sets her free. I dunno, but I like how these changes are keeping me guessing.

  • SugarVampire:
    Angelo,

    No point in posting any disappointment / disagreement about GoT in this site anymore (with the exception about Ros :-) ). As you can read in the posts, anyone disagreed with the changes (with the exception about Ros) is automatically labeled as book purist by the majority of the posters and ridiculed.

    More changes are coming and the some of the major plotline will be different from the books.Don’t be surprise about big changes in HotU, Arya/Bwb/Hound/RW, RW itself, 3EC/CotF, Davos/Rickon, Reek/Ramsey, Jaime/Brienne. HBO/D&D want GoT to be different from ASoIaF.

    It is a business decision as well as a philosophical one. D&D simply do not agree with the motivation of some of GRRM’s main characters. That’s why Drogo/Dany Weddings is different. That’s why Shae is different. That’s why Arya/Tywin/Littlefinger happened. It is more a star driven show now and not a story driven show. Their show, their call. Still a good show (could be great but HBO’s tight schedule won’t allow it), just different.

    In the meanwhile, might as well post on other sites so that people like you and me won’t make WiC such a negative site in weekly post viewing celebrations.

    Peace.

    There is a clear difference between criticism and whining.

    Losing your head because you don’t like that they changed something or claiming bad writing without any sort of explanation is simply whining. I had a problem with how they wrote and shot the Wight and the Shadowbaby attack scenes. They were awkward and artificial, and made the characters in those scenes feel a bit incapable.

    But claim they are ruining future seasons with their changes is ridiculous. First, we aren’t even guaranteed anything after season 3 and secondly, none of have any idea how they plan to adapt the other books.

  • Rinso: As it stands, right now whole storylines are being changed to the point where the only thing that they have in common with the books is the names of the characters. In some case, not even that. Some characters are not recognizable. Dany’s story is the worst offender here, but you can see it with Robb & Jey… sorry Talisa-or-whatever-she-was, with Arya and Tywin etc. Characters behave like they are not supposed to, storylines are being twisted and molded until they don’t make sense in the overall context of the series… Definately don’t like it.

    As usual, no explanation of what these so-called profound game-changing changes actually are.

  • Fer:
    I got it, the man carrying the Dragons is Jorah, how could I not see it before

    Gah!!! No way!! Now THAT would be a change I was NOT okay with! LOL Not gonna happen!

  • Kind of enjoyed Tywin talking about his father.
    I think it wasn’t until AFFC, after Tywin’s death, that we hear anything about that in the books but, yes, it was true. Tytos was apparently a pushover and, even as a young boy, Tywin was livid about it, hence his hardass reign once he became lord of The rock. “Rains of Castamere” and all….

  • I guess Osha becoming his bed-warmer would be known by Theon’s men, so lending her ruse with the guard authenticity. She does do the killing well!

  • The Sun of Winter:
    I just want to say this to the purists: going into the series, GRRM knew without a doubt that his work was inevitably going to be altered, sometimes drastically, so it’s a shame that you guys and gals assumed that the whole series wouldn’t have any plot changes. And I understand that you guys think that the books were pretty much perfect and didn’t need changes, and I agree with you 100%, but the truth of the matter is the books have far more time to fit in far more details,and the show only has ten -50ish minute episodes that are made on a season by season basis. This means that if the show can simplify the plot by replacing minor characters with already existing ones, they will.On top of that, the books shows characters internal thoughts, so that makes some things even harder to do, and for that reason alone they are going to need to change things.

    So purists, I’m sorry, but you’re fighting a losing battle. You can either stick to your guns and be disappointed everytime the show changes something, or you can join me and the rest of the viewers and enjoy the show for what it is: a phenomebal series that brings the ESSENCE of asoiaf to life

    It’s that simple.

    For some reason, they don’t want to do that. They’d rather spend their time find item after item of things that differ and make their little lists. “But they didn’t HAVE to change that name!!” Okay, fine – whatever.

    we have NO idea why D&D did some of the things they do – and they don’t have to tell us. Frankly, “Because we wanted to” is reason enough for them. It’s their show.

    I really think that viewers that get upset by changes need to stop watching and move on. Just go read your books folks. They’re awesome books, go enjoy them! No need to watch the series, it’ll be just fine without you.

    But one thing’s for sure, the changes are gonna keep coming, and you’re not gonna like them. No matter how much you whine and wring your hands and yell at the top of your lungs, they will KEEP changing things. It is what it is. Maybe it’s just not for you.

    Speaking for myself, I can do just fine appreciating each on it’s own merits, withOUT comparing and trying to pick apart the TV show.

  • Jordan Healey: Re: Bran’s protection,

    But with the assassin already being inside the Castle walls and having set fire to the Library in order to draw the guards away, seemed like a much less plausible explanation than the one for assaulting the Estate of Xaro Xhoan Daxos.

    I don’t think Lorch’s death was written as an afterthought, if that’s what you mean. Bryan Cogman stated in his live interview thingo that they beated out the season, so Vanessa Taylor would have been assigned tying up Arya’s second “name” in this episode.
    She went with a ‘desperation’ approach to try and make it seem dramatic. Arya steals a letter to read about Robb, okay fair enough. Arya then runs into Amory Lorch who notices she has a letter and she makes up a bad reason for having it (fair enough, since Arya has more direct interaction with the officers in the show), then she tries to run. However as someone pointed out earlier, Lorch could have just called out to any of the Lannister guards to stop her, which is what pretty much anyone would do, but nope, she forgot to think of that. Oops. Lorch runs off to Tywin, Arya runs off to find Jaqen, and yes their exchange was good, then somehow, after a span of ‘minute’s Jaqen somehow hits Lorch with a homing missile poison dart.

    That’s just about as ridiculous as the bow and arrow that Arnold Schwarzenegger conjures up in the movie Predator towards the end.

    I suppose they weren’t worrying about it being realistic as long as it was ‘cool’ .. lol.

    Yes I realize that Jaqen H’ghar is ‘magical’ in the books, but this just seems silly.

    You might have been satisfied as long as the exchange between Arya and Jaqen was good, but I thought that the rest of it was a blunder.

    Read this.

    We have no idea who was in on the dragon-napping. They could of been let in for all we know.

    You are entitled to feel the assassination is silly, but it fits the character on the show. It isn’t about it being an afterthought, but how irrelevant it is to what is happening. The only reason the assassination matters is that it takes Arya down to 1. The scene was about the relationship between Arya and Jaqen and it completely works on that level.

    As to Loach, I completely believe he wanted nothing more then to please his lord who so viciously berated him for being a complete idiot. Thus he lost his head and chased after her. Once he didn’t catch her, he wanted to make sure he was the first to tell Tywin what he discovered and get in his good graces. It isn’t like the little girl was going to be able to get that far and he most certainly didn’t know she had an assassin. And even if you ignore that, he just proved Tywin right in the end. He is an idiot.

    As to the link, I read it and can’t view the criticism all that seriously, at least from an episode quality point of view. Instead of critiquing the episode for what it is, for a lot of it the writer plays the comparison game between the book and the show, especially when talking about Qarth and the Jon/Ygritte. That just isn’t proper criticism of film imo.

  • Mr. Wu:
    Man, if you’d gone back in time two years and told me that mainstream audiences, critics, and awards groups would be eating Game of Thrones up with a spoon to huge ratings and acclaim while hardcore ASoIaF fans were up in furious revolt and borderline hatred for the show, I’d never, ever have believed it. Life can surprise you indeed.

    It really isn’t surprising at all. I mean, there were numerous fans of the original Battlestar Galactica that hated the remake, even though the new one was unquestionably a far superior show. People sometimes get attached to a particular show, book, etc. ,and react badly to anything new that doesn’t exactly fit their own preferences.

    That’s really the bottom line with book purists- it has nothing to do with GRRM, and everything to do with the fact they feel invested in the written version of the story and won’t accept anything else. There was nothing D&D could do to win over those people. They can only make a good show knowing that the purists only represent a tiny fraction of the potential audience (most not having read the books at all).

  • Nate,

    I don’t see any issue at all with this, in fact, I like this arc a bit better as they have an actor that plays Rickon and this will give that actor something to do (as we otherwise don’t see or hear about Rickon for many books) and be part of the story through Bran’s arc – they can go North together and split up once Bran reaches his destination – Manderly can just as well send his folks to find Bran & Rickon – only to find out that Rickon is the only one remaining.

    BTW I understand the whole “splitting up the heirs” argument – but I don’t think it works for television – you can’t hold on to the actor who plays Rickon for a couple seasons with nothing to do.

  • Stuff people didn’t notice:

    “Talisa” refers to her family name being Maegis (or something similar). It’s obviously made up, because she gives a pause, and we know that one of Jeyne Westerling’s ancestors was “Maggy the Frog”, a maegi from Essos who married one of the Spicers. So it’s pretty obvious that TV Jeyne = book Jeyne, more or less.

    The letter that “Talisa” jokingly says she’s writing calls Robb “The Young Wolf”. The letter on Tywin’s table that Arya steals uses the same moniker. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not.

    Jaime had problems with writing, and all the letters turned backwards in his mind, indicating dyslexia. It happens commonly with children who are left-handed, but their parents force them to use their right hand – in fact, in medieval times almost all left handed people were forced into using their right hand. This indicates that for Jaime, learning to use his “weaker” left hand after he loses the right might not be so hard.

  • Jordan Healey:

    point 2: I disagree, and I think Westeros makes the best point on this subject matter in their analysis of the episode. That it was more about atmosphere, than action.

    I’m afraid I strongly disagree with you there. The fact that on one in Qarth ever attempted to steal the oh-so-precious-haven’t-been-seen-in-centuries-magicky-worth-a-king’s-ransome-in-gold-but-still-helpless dragons from Dany and her rag tag, half starving, khalasar frankly beggars belief.

    A myriad of threads over at Westeros tackled the topic over the past few years – the last thread I saw was I think a few of months ago – and the best answer anyone could come up with as to why no one tried it was because these are merchants, and trust is their currency. The most convincing answers were because GRRM wanted it so, or plot armour.

    D&D noticed the same logical inconsistency and sought to remedy it, good for them. The fact that it also happens to add drama and excitement to a laborious Dany arc is also, I am sure, a consideration. One not to be scoffed at when making a very expensive TV show.

  • Rinso:

    The truth is that I watch the show because I love GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. That’s what I want to watch – GRRM‘s A Song of Ice and Fire. I don’t want to watch David, Dan and Vanessa Taylor’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

    You could have just stopped writing there. This IS D&D’s Song of Ice and Fire. That will only become more and more evident with each passing episode. Maybe it’s just not for you. And that’s okay.

    No need to torture yourself each week – just move on.

  • Best episode of the season for me. The changes benefit the medium and won’t severely impact the over-archings story. What’s everyone’s problem with Talisa? I assume she’s lying and is in fact Jeyne Westerling. In the books it seemed Tywin and Jeyne’s mother kind of concocted this plan. I don’t think they’re giving her a very different personality, since we really didn’t know Jeyne in the books

    Loved Ygritte, still believe Jon will fight the Halfhand. Theon’s arc was beautifully done, with Rodrik’s messy death as the start of his fall. Osha was pitch perfect and I assume that they will meet the Reeds next season on the road (maybe a hybrid between brother/sister). There was no way they kind have fitted them in this season (no, not even when Ros wasn’t in this show).

    Tywin+Arya = awesome. Fleshes out Tywin a bit better, certainly makes him a lot more sympathetic than in the books. The minor deaths of characters who die anyway, won’t have any impact at all.Polliver could return alone and they could use another random Lannister to let Vargo use the bear pit, since he takes the castle anyway and there simply wasn’t enough time to make Lorch too despicable. It also seems to be more logical for the elder Arya (in relation to the books) for killing these seemingly unimportant characters up until now.

    For those commenting on Dany’s personality, she’s also had that arrogant righteousness and bratty attitude in the books. Pyat Pree will atleast be a bit more interesting this time around. I do wonder what they will do with the House of the Undying though.

    The only thing I disliked about the episode was the actor playing the Spice King. Not the character as he’s been written (loved that he pinpointed Dany’s weak position), but the actual actor.

  • I have to agree with all the people who have problems with TV Dany. That’s why I loved the scene where the spice king put her in her place. At some point I started to cheer for him to troll her even harder.

  • Ed,

    Ed I meant it more like Jorah is hanguing at Xaro place minding his own businesses, Quaithe shows out of nowhere tell him to protect the Dragons, he hears the sound of swords clashing downstairs Quaithe says meet me at the house of the undying and vanishes. Jorah takes the dragon before the attackers get upstairs. The hooded figure carrying the Dragons is Jorah.

  • Great episode overall! Yeah, many changes have been introduced, but the pace of a 10 chapters per season TV show can’t be the same as the one of a 1000 pages book. The number of characters must be reduced too to keep the budget under control. So, we knew (or should have known) changer were coming, same as winter. But are those changes THAT important?

    Dragons’ve been robbed. So, Dany’s motivation for visiting the House of the Undiying will vary too. Who cares why does she decide to burn the whole place down to ashes?

    Then we’ve Theon. HBO must encourage the viewer to hate him in a 5 minutes scene. So they decide to have him kill Rodrick for a bigger effect. Poor Ramsay will only be able to onslaught Winterfell and capture Theon once he gets there. No battling with the Stark men, no arm chopping… so little fun. And Theon bedded Osha… so we won’t get Kyra, such a vital character.

    The only real change I blame them for is the absence of the Reeds. While not vital, Meera was an interesting character to add. Anyway, we must understand that for a better success and a cheaper production, changes must be introduced. We had them in season 1, have them in season 2 and will have them from now on. But I don’t think they’re really relevant and I’m sure HBO will stay true to the plots and will be able to avoid any “butterfly effect” (as long as they want to). Sure, I do preffer the books too, but I think the show is almost as good as it might be, and we can always reread the books to enjoy the original details once more.

    PS: Sorry if there are mistakes, my english is not as good as I’d like to :P

  • Idaan:
    Stuff people didn’t notice:

    “Talisa” refers to her family name being Maegis (or something similar). It’s obviously made up, because she gives a pause, and we know that one of Jeyne Westerling’s ancestors was “Maggy the Frog”, a maegi from Essos who married one of the Spicers. So it’s pretty obvious that TV Jeyne = book Jeyne, more or less.

    The letter that “Talisa” jokingly says she’s writing calls Robb “The Young Wolf”. The letter on Tywin’s table that Arya steals uses the same moniker. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not.

    Jaime had problems with writing, and all the letters turned backwards in his mind, indicating dyslexia. It happens commonly with children who are left-handed, but their parents force them to use their right hand – in fact, in medieval times almost all left handed people were forced into using their right hand. This indicates that for Jaime, learning to use his “weaker” left hand after he loses the right might not be so hard.

    Wow. VERY interesting post!!! Definitely food for thought, and certainly stuff I did not notice. Good post.

  • Surprisingly good episode considering all the changes. Somehow I don’t have a problem with any of that – the dragons being stolen doesn’t change a thing in the big picture yet, I’ll wait to see how it plays out to pass judgment on that. Tywin/Arya is a superb change, out of everything this is the one thing I find myself wishing I could have read in the books, great job there. Rickon and Bran leaving together – who knows yet how that will play out either, only time will tell how far it all TRULY strays from the source.

    My only complaints at all have already been mentioned. The ‘Walking Dead’ cannibalism of the septon was ridiculous, there’s no nicer way to put it. As soon as I saw him go down it was laughable, the feasting zombies sound effects turned my laughter into groans, and the limb being held up like it was made of tissue paper was just the last straw. This is not Commando. Let’s keep it slightly more real.

    And yeah, I hate to say it but the Dany storyline is a bit underwhelming. Emilia Clarke is doing a great job with the material, and so are most of the other actors. But mainly due to the Spice King of Narnia, it’s all a bit silly and not as real as it should feel. I was excited about the House of the Undying, but with the direction Qarth has gone in so far, I have reservations now. But, I’m confident that the possibility of being pleasantly surprised is there, so again, who knows?

  • <blockquote cite="comment-176183″>

    Lothario:
    Nate,

    …you can’t hold on to the actor who plays Rickon for a couple seasons with nothing to do.

    Sure they can! Hahahaha!! That’s EXACTLY what they’ve done with Rickon for one and a half seasons so far!

  • DB:
    So many people claiming to not be SanSan people, come out from your hobbit holes already! That scene was fantastic, like molten gold. Thanks to Vanessa Taylor for the fantastic writing and keeping my “little bird.”

    YESYESYESYES!!!!!!! I actually squealed when he called her ‘Little Bird’. And the look on his face when he realized what those thugs were planning to do his Little Bird… he was beyond furious!

  • 1. I think some people just behave like spoilt children. Seriously, saying you “WANT to see the story as was written”???? That’s beyond pathetic. Say you WISH and it will sound less selfish. These book purists should just understand that they have no CONTROL

  • Sorry but this episode I felt was overall quite bad. If I didn’t love the books and other episodes I would stop watching. Why? Because it doesnt make sense at all some of the changes they have made. The whole Jon chase scene? No shadow cats eating the dead? How winterfell fell? Littlefinger recognizing Arya? no Reeds? The whole Robb love buildup? dragons being stolen? Dothraki being killed?

    I am not a book purist. Up till this point I felt ok, I understand they have to change up. However so much in this episode I don’t understand why they made these changes. I’m very put off by this episode and I feel sorry for those who are watching the show instead of reading the books to get their dose of ASOIAF.

  • Idaan,

    The Letter we see doesn’t mention the words “Young wolf” as far as I can tell.
    Here’s what I could read off the letter:

    “Marching ten thousand men west …. to the Tooth. Estimate to reach you by week’s end…. Robb Stark moving troops south by coast. Alert… turn east at Silverhill”

    Idaan:
    Stuff people didn’t notice:

    Jaime had problems with writing, and all the letters turned backwards in his mind, indicating dyslexia. It happens commonly with children who are left-handed, but their parents force them to use their right hand – in fact, in medieval times almost all left handed people were forced into using their right hand. This indicates that for Jaime, learning to use his “weaker” left hand after he loses the right might not be so hard.

    That’s a very good point!! Nicely done.

  • Remaal: Great television! The taking of Winterfell was beautifully done! The perfect acting, scoring, pacing made for a most memorable start to the ep. I cried when Rodrik dies, and I saw with complete clarity what incompetent child Theon really is. It was, like I said, beautiful television that, to my mind, did complete justice to Winterfell’s taking in the books.

    Ah, I was wondering if anyone else caught that. Theon’s utter incompetence at beheading – especially in comparison with Ned’s single stroke – perfectly symbolized how weak he is physicially, mentally and psychologically. He is too weak to hold Winterfell, much less rule it.

    I am sure that Rodrik knew what a weakling Theon has always been, and how that weakness was likely to result in a prolonged, painful execution. Makes his courage that much more impressive.

    This was my favorite change from the books. I didn’t care for Rodrik’s off-screen death in the books, because I thought that tragic outcome (Ramsey able to massacre the Winterfell men beseiging Theon because they thought he was an ally) deserved better treatment.

  • Austin:
    Sorry but this episode I felt was overall quite bad. If I didn’t love the books and other episodes I would stop watching. Why? Because it doesnt make sense at all some of the changes they have made. The whole Jon chase scene? No shadow cats eating the dead? How winterfell fell? Littlefinger recognizing Arya? no Reeds? The whole Robb love buildup? dragons being stolen? Dothraki being killed?

    I am not a book purist. Up till this point I felt ok, I understand they have to change up. However so much in this episode I don’t understand why they made these changes. I’m very put off by this episode and I feel sorry for those who are watching the show instead of reading the books to get their dose of ASOIAF.

    So you hate the changes because they are changes. Can we think about that for one second.

    Lets take the Robb bit for a second. If we are going to spend time with him on the show, and there is every reason to because he is central to the plot, then we are going to see his relationship with that certain woman. Otherwise it is going to be pretty strange when she just appears out of thin air.

  • Why is everyone so scared that Jon and Qhorin aren’t going to have their fight scene? Jon still has another 4 bloody episodes to find his butt-buddy, Jesus Christ.

  • Dan,

    Not everyone that has criticism of D&D changes should be called “book purists”. It be like me calling anyone who liked a D&D changes “D&D conformists”.

    I am not on either side. I just get really annoyed at people dismissing other peoples opinions by painting them under such a broad sweeping label.

    That’s all that’s happening on this thread. Anyone who doesn’t like a D&D change is being labeled a book purist and being dismissed. It’s pretty sad actually,

  • james yar:
    Great episode, but is anyone else starting to really bemoan the Dany scenes? They’ve really bungled her so far this season, and if i hear a “fire and blood!” threat again, i might gag.

    I so agree. She seems so one dimensional this season. I did not truly enjoy her in the books, but now I too might gag.

  • Arthur:
    Dan,

    Not everyone that has criticism of D&D changes should be called “book purists”.It be like me calling anyone who liked a D&D changes “D&D conformists”.

    I am not on either side.I just get really annoyed at people dismissing other peoples opinions by painting them under such a broad sweeping label.

    That’s all that’s happening on this thread.Anyone who doesn’t like a D&D change is being labeled a book purist and being dismissed.It’s pretty sad actually,

    I can understand not liking changes, I haven’t loved all of them either. But what exactly do they have to do with the quality of an episode or the show as a whole?

  • Omitted: The ‘Walking Dead’ cannibalism of the septon was ridiculous, there’s no nicer way to put it. As soon as I saw him go down it was laughable, the feasting zombies sound effects turned my laughter into groans, and the limb being held up like it was made of tissue paper was just the last straw. This is not Commando. Let’s keep it slightly more real.

    As I recall, the book scene of the High Septon’s death was quite gory and disturbing and did specifically state he was literally torn to pieces. The HBO scene was pure book and very well done.

    Speaking of which, thanks to those who mentioned seeing Lollys – I missed that and will look for it on second viewing.

  • NotoriousPYG:
    Shouldn’t tyrion’s chain have shown up at this point? At least the construction should have been ordered right?

    BUMP, anyone!

  • 1. I think some people just behave like spoilt children. Seriously, saying you “WANT to see the story as was written”???? That’s beyond pathetic. Say you WISH and it will sound less stupid. These book purists should just understand that they have no CONTROL over the show, that they can either accept it or stop watching it. I’m not saying we, as an audience, are not entitled to our opinions and criticisms, only that yes, we are entitled to them, but we have no power to change the series. We CAN’T just travel up to Northern Ireland next year, walk into the set and start telling the actors what to do and rewrite the episodes, WE CAN’T. To complain about the changes is one thing, but to say that you WANT the show to be different, that they CAN’T do this or do that, is just silly, because THEY are in control of this adaptation and we’re not in a position to authorize or not any of these changes. I don’t think it’s wrong for people to complain, as I have complained a lot since this show has started, I just think it’s utterly stupid to say you WANT the show to be this way or that way, that you “won’t accept” something, because it’s not an option to us, the show is the way it is, and there’s NOTHING we can do to change it, so STOP. WHINNING.

    2. I fear I’m really prejudiced towards people who don’t visit fansites. Really, how can anyone not know by now that the Reeds haven’t been cast so they’re probably not appearing this season?????????? I love the Reeds, but dude, get over it, they’re not in this season, just keep hoping they show up in season three, because we all have more pressing matters to discuss, like THE BASTARD HAS BEEN MENTIONED.

    3. I think a lot of people use the excuse “the book-readers will be lost” to justify their silly complaints. If I read the books and I KNOW shaggy and summer are locked up in the kennels during that first scene, I couldn’t care less for people who don’t have this information. Selfish as that may sound, the books are available for everyone to read, so if they end up lacking information, it’s their fault, the series are absolutely complete in my head, and that’s enough for me (and if they can save money they would spend on direwolves now to make Blackwater even more epic, so be it).

    4. I hate that most book purists are the shoot-first-ask-questions-later type. Can’t they just WAIT a few more weeks to see if Jon’s arc has indeed been botched? Can’t we see the season as a whole first before we start screaming that they’ve ruined ACOK???? Honestly…

  • Arthur: Dan, Not everyone that has criticism of D&D changes should be called “book purists”. It be like me calling anyone who liked a D&D changes “D&D conformists”.I am not on either side. I just get really annoyed at people dismissing other peoples opinions by painting them under such a broad sweeping label.That’s all that’s happening on this thread. Anyone who doesn’t like a D&D change is being labeled a book purist and being dismissed. It’s pretty sad actually,

    I agree. It’s a serious issue that people with different opinions are labeled and bashed so much. I am happy to hear whatever anyone has to say, as long as they say it politely. I’m annoyed by the people who respond to someone’s opinion only to bash them and tell them how wrong they are for having their own point of view. It’s going to wind up with lots of interesting people leaving and just finding other places to post. There are several regulars I miss that I see only on FaB’s twitter post, who have said they don’t post in the regular recaps anymore because of the arguing and negativity. That’s a shame, because I used to enjoy hearing from them. Oh Well.

  • I’ve had to delete a few comments where people are just labeling people with criticisms as “whiners” or telling them to “go away” or worse. Let’s try to have a mature discussion here, and not just throw around pejorative labels. Thanks.

  • Solar,
    As far as Q and Jon’s future encounter…there are many possibilities to still have that epic scene…
    Maybe Jon gets captured and the Q gets captured and they have a moment to devise their plan so that Jon can continue to spy and collect info on Mance’s intent…

  • Changes smanges. That was an awesome episode. They have all the right beats to the story who cares if certain details are switched around. I kept expecting to see Ghost show up and stop Ygritte in her tracks during that chase scene.

  • Jordan Healey,

    I could not agree more with most of the analysis!
    Even if I liked the Jon/ Ygritte scenes for what they were, I did not understand why they changed it and still do not. Likewise with the dragon theft. Both could play out nicely and change my mind in the next week or two, but as of right now I do not understand what they acheived by chaging the scenes in the fashion they did.

    I also felt this was the most contrived and hollywood episode of the entire series. That is not a good thing at all to me. The Littlefinger scene was like some Three’s Company skit with Arya hiding from Littlefinger behind a wine decanter like Jack would have hidden from one of his lover’s husband behind a menu… just bad.

    I really didn’t like the flirting on a recent battlefield by Robb. It just felt all kinds of wrong to me. Mostly it felt out of place. If Robb was wounded (as in the books) I can see him fallign for his nurse or taking time to distract himself from pain and forgetting about the war and his troops for a minute, but not as others are tended mere feet away from him. I don’t care if Catelyn meets Jeyne earlier than the books honestly… although I do not see the point of changing it since the surprise and shock played well in the books.

    The worst was the Amory Lorch death scene though. I have to agree with you it was bad, it reminded me of a Tom and Jerry episode. Arya racing around and Lorch bumping into everything as he chases her clumsily. Then the contrived Hollywood “in the nick of time” blowdart was comically bad.

    I did like some of the new scenes a lot though. The Witnerfell scenes including Osha’s seduction of Theon, Rodrik’s death was brutal and intense and I loved the changes they made to the riot in King’s Landing. That is the one place I disagree with Westeros. I thought that scene felt bigger than I expected it to. They had over 200 extras, plus the featured players and stunt people…. that was a large scale scene and felt powerful to me. I can forgive the “Action” all happening in focus and in center frame. Yes, it was possibly over-choreographed, but it just does not bother me that they made each of the events of the rot a focal point so every viewer saw it.

    I do agree about Xaro’s home being too easily raided. In a city of corruption and gamesmanship like Qarth the richest man does not live long unless he has adequate security. I do wonder if the lone man carrying off the dragons was actually the person who did the killing or planned the attack….. or was he more a late arrival taking advantage of a hoice time to run off with the dragons? Possibly even not for his own (or his master’s) benefit, but to protect the dragons….

    For me it was not the fact that they changed the scenes… I expect change and have liked the large majority of the changes in the series. What bothered me was HOW they changed the scenes.

    Most of the bad scenes this week could all be better with some additional scenes in the coming weeks… well, to me at least. The exceptions of course are the Littlefinger scene and Lorch’s death scene

  • skrecycles:
    Maybe Jon gets captured and the Q gets captured and they have a moment to devise their plan so that Jon can continue to spy and collect info on Mance’s intent…

    That is quite possible, but I still think it will play out pretty much just like the book, just with this slight change to give Jon more screen time. His importance grows and grows as the series goes on, but a lot of what he does early on is very brief and introverted. So I think they are simply just trying to add a bit more meat to his story early on to avoid him suddenly having a lot more screentime. Same with the Craster scenes.

  • Woman_On_The_Wall,

    Demeaned her character??? A character that was going to kill the “little lord” when they found him in the woods? She’s a wilding, it perfectly exemplifies her character.

  • purplejilly,

    I agree. It’s a serious issue that people with different opinions are labeled and bashed so much. I am happy to hear whatever anyone has to say, as long as they say it politely. I’m annoyed by the people who respond to someone’s opinion only to bash them and tell them how wrong they are for having their own point of view. It’s going to wind up with lots of interesting people leaving and just finding other places to post. There are several regulars I miss that I see only on FaB’s twitter post, who have said they don’t post in the regular recaps anymore because of the arguing and negativity. That’s a shame, because I used to enjoy hearing from them. Oh Well

    .

    That is why this bothers me. Especially on this thread. This battle between “Book Purists” and “D&D Conformists” is silly.

    The argument hasn’t been about the subject matter of GoTs but more about personal attacks. It has been going a little something like this;

    Poster A. “I don’t like the changes D&D have made. The Dragons being stolen is silly and should have never happened.”

    Poster B. “You are just a book purist, you opinion doesn’t matter at all. You book purists should leave if you don’t like it”

    Is that kind of debating productive? Is it actually debating the GoTs TV series? No, its not, it is just someone being dismissive of someone else by labeling them “book purist”. I am not a book purist and I find most of the changes D&D have made to be fine. I like to argue points and debate issues of the TV series. For the most part, all I am seeing on this thread are some people saying they didn’t like some changes. Then some other people calling those people names and being dismissive. That is pretty lame.

  • Elizabeth In Austin:
    LOOOVED it and I kind of wonder if Barristan has the dragons.

    I didn’t thought about that posibility while watching the episode, but it makes sense… although I would bet for the warlocks taking the dragons to the House of Undying.

    And about Ygritte, I’m divided. I loved her, she was incredible, so badass and brave, (even thougth her hair isn’t red enough :P). And I was glad she was in scene longer than she should have been. But… I think that Jon running after her was an utter fail. I mean, where are they going? Jon couldn’t finish her, so he should have let her go, as in the books. Now I don’t see the light at the end of that tunnel.

  • I’m intrigued by the fact that Theon killed Rodrik. First off, I’ll feel a lot less bad for him when he loses Winterfell. Also, when the bastard of Bolton arrives at Winterfell he’s actually going to appear a hero without the double cross of Rodrik and the northmen. Gonna make for interesting television to see how they do it.

  • Juanra Castiñeiras de Saa: I didn’t thought about that posibility while watching the episode, but it makes sense… although I would bet for the warlocks taking the dragons to the House of Undying.

    And about Ygritte, I’m divided. I loved her, she was incredible, so badass and brave,(even thougth her hair isn’t red enough :P). And I was gladshe was in scene longer than she should have been. But… I think that Jon running after her was an utter fail. I mean, where are they going? Jon couldn’t finish her, so he should have let her go, as in the books. Now I don’t see the light at the end of that tunnel.

    I think it works. Jon clearly doesn’t want to kill her, but letting her go to warn her fellow Wildlings doesn’t work either. That is almost automatic death for him and his brothers.

    So when she tried to escape, Jon was slightly flustered and went into autopilot.

  • I’m OK with the changes. Except killing off Irri. :(

    How will we now find out whether something is known or not?

  • I didn’t read all of these comments so i apologize if this was already stated:

    I liked the changes. I think they will allow for the plots of the book to come to fruition quicker since (with only 4 hours left of season 2) there is simply not enough time for everything to play out like the books. I bet Jon and Qhorin don’t reunite until they meet Rattleshirt. I’m wondering if Ygritte is actually going to lead Jon to the Lord of Bones and vouch for him there, but he’ll be a captive until they meet Halfhand and he proves his “loyalty” to Mance. I bet Pyatt Pree or another warlock stole the dragons to get Dany into the house of the undying since she seemed reluctant to talk to him in episode 5 per Xaro’s council. And let’s hope Reek/Ramsay appears soon! i hope they kept his casting under wraps so he can show up this season, but (as mentioned above) there might not be enough time especially since the Blackwater will most likely (and hopefully!) dominate an entire episode.

  • LOVE that D&D are finally showing some balls when it comes to changing the story… It is just so much more exciting for me to watch this show if there are actual surprises.

  • I loved all the changes and how I find myself be stunned with suprise! Best ep yet! And I didn´t think Yggritte was too sexy. I loved how much fire actress coud bring to her eyes and move so daaamn hot with all that leather on. I so wait next ep! Whoa, soon it is again many months of agony, waiting season 3….

    I´ve been SanSan fan from the start (after reading books) and I´m sure people who have not read them can imagine lot of romantic twists ;) We´ll se how it turn out.

    Whoah, I need to watch this ep again. My boyfriend got very worried when I was screaming while watching Ser Rodrik getting killed. I knew it would happend, but still whole scene was so damn well made.
    Whoah.

  • Markers:
    Regarding Ros…I don’t understand why people don’t get that we’re looking at the future “Arya” Bolton…

    Whoa. Bookmark this prediction to look back on during Season N. That’s a great possibility.

  • Mike: Whoa.Bookmark this prediction to look back on during Season N.That’s a great possibility.

    That is a very interesting idea. After all, since Jeyne Poole wasn’t cast, they are going to need someone else to be ‘Arya’ Bolton, and, like Jeyne Poole and the real Arya, Ros grew up in (or near) Winterfell, so she would know the names that the real Arya would know. Plus, it is entirely plausible for Theon to recognize her, just as he recognized Jeyne Poole when she was pretending to be Arya in the books.Of course, Ros would need to dye her hair, but that is no big deal, Sansa dyes her hair in the books, after all. I really like this theory!

  • darquemode:
    For me it was not the fact that they changed the scenes… I expect change and have liked the large majority of the changes in the series. What bothered me was HOW they changed the scenes.

    That’s right.

    It seems a lot of the changes seemed like a good idea in theory but in practice or realization came out wanting.

    Remaal,

    I believe that you have mistaken that part of the comment as addressing the stealing the dragons part with the general qartheen changes and “qartheen politics”.

  • Liked:

    -They actually mentioned Ramsay Snow
    -Ygritte, she is so lovely. Wouldn’t mind sleeping next to her at all ;)
    -Alfie Allen did a hell of a job as Theon
    -Sansa almost getting raped. It was more dramatic than in the books, where nothing really happens to her.
    -Sandor to the rescue!
    -Natalie Tena looked quite pretty naked.

    Disliked:

    -Fire and Blood, yes yes Daenaerys. Enough already with your stupid threats. Didn’t really think stealing the dragons was necessary and I guess that means Dany has no Khalasar left at all seeing how many of her Dothraki were killed. Irri was killed as well? Butterflyyyy effect….

    -Rodrik had 200 men, but he kinda left them somewhere and came back alone? Also I think his death in the books was way more dramatic and more unexpected which is why it worked better. Now you could see it coming from a mile away. But I guess they kinda wrote themselves in a corner and didn’t have anyone else for Theon to kill that would actually get a reaction from the viewers. Don’t think anyone would have cared if the fat guy would have gotten killed instead of Rodrik. Shame.

    -Jon taking the iniative again. It should have been Qhorin’s call to have Jon kill his captive, not Jon asking for it. Why the change? Also where’s the weapon cache? Nice of Qhorin and his men to lose Jon like that. And what’s with the long chase, do we really need pointless action scenes? The book handled this scene so much better.

    -Littlefinger sure does travel a lot.

    -They’ve pretty much butchered Arya’s storyline. 2nd kill is Amory Lorch, seriously? The whole scene felt just stupid, the way Jaqen killed in the books was so he wouldn’t raise any alarms. Dogs killing the 1st guy and 2nd guy falling down during the night. Now we have him tossing one guy down in broad daylight and the other getting hit by poison dart again in daylight. Master Assassin has turned into a halfwit who apparently doesn’t care if people are aware that there’s someone amongst their midsts killing people left and right.
    Nice of Lorch not to alarm anyone about Arya. Just bad bad scene overall.

  • Meg: Ygritte and Osha need a spin-off, please. They can be the Thelma and Louise of Westeros.

    I’d be game for that. And for male supporting characters, I’d vote for Jaqen & The Hound, and the only equivalent I can think of is Starsky and Hutch.

  • Mike,

    Wrong. Jeyne Pool is like two years older than Arya & knows Winterfell but TV Ros is like 15 yrs older & a red head to boot. I think some of the Stark bannerman might notice this inconsistancy.

  • The Dragons being stolen is one of the bigger deviations from the book we have seen so far in GoT; but, I can see why they added that because Dany’s story is a bit of “snoozer” in Clash of Kings. That bit of added drama, suspense and feeling of danger are something I felt was missing from the second book; which really only served to pave the way to her imminent badassary in A Storm of Swords.

  • Winter Is Coming: I’ve had to delete a few comments where people are just labeling people with criticisms as “whiners” or telling them to “go away” or worse. Let’s try to have a mature discussion here, and not just throw around pejorative labels. Thanks.
    Winter Is Coming

    THANK YOU!!!!!!! : )

  • OMG why are ppl complainin about the reeds and ramsay bolton. like seriously ppl, should’nt we wory about BIG WALDER and LITTLE WALDER. we haven’t heard any castings from them. im getting worried yo.
    but seriously i’m all up for changes to the book like DAny’s dragons getting stolen, extra Jon and Ygritte scene. some changes makes sense because they have to fit a lot in 10 episodes and make it interesting. But some changes like Irri’s death is completely unnecessary. they could’ve just made her unconscious rather than killing her. even if they had to kill her, she desrved a better “goodbye scene”. BUT NOOO, D&D had to be dicks b/c now who is gonna say “It is known that you are a cow”. Dicks!

  • Laura T.:
    Mike,

    Wrong. Jeyne Pool is like two years older than Arya & knows Winterfell but TV Ros is like 15 yrs older & a red head to boot. I think some of the Stark bannerman might notice this inconsistancy.

    Well, Laura, there is this lovely invention called ‘hair dye’. It can make your hair a different color, you see. And if they can fail to notice that “Arya’s” eyes turned from grey to brown, and that she got an entirely different personality, they can fail to notice the age issue as well. Also, even if they do notice, you think they are going to confront Ramsay Snow — sorry, Ramsay Bolton — about it? I certainly don’t!

  • As a book reader I actually love the changes, because one, it makes for a better and easier flowing show for new viewers to follow and two, it really seems like the show has a lot of new content for book readers to enjoy. The meeting of little finger and Tywin; The Hound rescuing Sansa; Joffery’s brutality to his “birthday presents” were things we only had to infer from the book and would have liked to see! Fan of the changes.

  • Remember, Lorch can’t read, so he wasn’t going to get the whole castle involved in finding Arya when there was the chance that she might have been telling the truth! How stupid would he look then?

  • Azazelus:
    Littlefinger showing up everywhere is a matter of time translation from episode to episode. It didn’t happen overnight.

    This and Theon getting from dockside-at-Pyke all the way to “I just took Winterfell” are the kinds of things that tell you that a significant amount of time has passed between episodes.

  • Jordan Healey:
    Scholesy,

    Hahah, I highly doubt that Vanessa Taylor put that much thought into the scene. I don’t know whether to pity or envy you if you think that’s good television.

    Why even write something so insulting about me or the writer? Did it give you some sort of satisfaction?

    You don’t have to share my taste, but there is no need to be petty about it.

  • Juan,

    Somebody had written in an earlier episode review that they could see the Reeds coming to Winterfell after it burns. This might solve a lot of production problems (having to have cast members hang around while not a lot happens to them & having to pay actors for this time.) I see Winterfell falling as one of the last episodes of the season & Jojen or Meera has a vision of the fall & comes to find the Stark children & lead them to the north or they could encounter them on the road next season as when they meet the Liddle in the cave and seperate the Starks then. I think it unlikely they are completely written out because at some point we’ll need to find out about Jon’s mother/father & also Greywater (which in my head looks a lot the Greyskull from He-Man) has been discussed too frequently in the books for us to never go there (the same with Casterly Rock for that matter).

  • Did Littlefinger recognize Arya? At first I thought that he simply found her familiar, and then he moved on and forgot about it. But he did seem to give a slight smile of satisfaction, and he immediately started talking about the Stark girls. Though I might have waited until I was sure she left the room before bringing up the subject of the girls. BTW Arya was pretty dumb stealing the hand-written message (probably to serve the plot) but I can see a 10-year old girl being dumb once in awhile. She was also dumb to grab the book so quickly as to let Tywin know she could read, and she seemed to be aware of that when she gave him the book.

    The only thing odd about Arya’s TV character is that her life at Harrenhal seems much easier than it was in the book. Continued abuse by Weese and others seemed crucial in her character development into a hardened girl less concerned for people’s lives (though not without her own form of morality).

    Awesome characters in the spice king (“Greedy Spice”),Xaro, Jaqen as usual.

  • Am I the only one who actually liked the Spice King? I think it’s quite amusing and well acted.

    darquemode: Inconceivable!

    Laughed at this! :D

  • wargsareawesome,

    Yes hair dye will surely solve the 15 year age difference. The point is that in the book we’re not asked to utterly suspend disbelief. No, I think it more likely that Ros is whipped in place of Alayaya & they’ll cast (or maybe she’s already been shown but I didn’t notice) a more age appropriate Jeyne Poole.

  • We didn’t get to see Jon Snow finding something of importance, then giving some of it to Sam, which then becomes useful for an important event for Sam the Sl…

  • Maester Mullin,

    I had the same thought but maybe that is where Ghost is off to. Maybe he leads Sam to the dagger stash & that is how he aquires his weaponry….which is pretty significant for the “Slayer”

  • Sometimes I think people, who are generally too hung up on the books, forget this is a TELEVISION adaptation… had it been a MOVIE adaptation maybe we would see some of the scenes that were colossal within the book… maybe we would have endless members of a cast… but if so, we definitely would have less time with the characters we love (and we have the audacity to claim we don’t get another time with Bran and we don’t get enough of Dany… SHUT UP ALREADY)

    Alot of the changes have been made for particular purposes, unlike Martin, D&D cannot have Tywin or Jaime (the actors playing them have been signed under contract) appear sporadically, plus D&D also cant have random memebers of the cast hanging about… such as Irri (bugger off all of you chanting butterfly effect because a character who has still yet to do anything meaningful has been killed off prematurely)

    Take Rodrick Cassel for example, I love the stand off between him and Theon outside the gates of Winterfell with hundreds of Stark men behind him, followed by Ramsey making short work of them with his two thousand Dreadfort men but realistically, I and non of you could have hoped for that, HBO’s budget isnt endless, its on a much smaller scale that most hollywood films, but yet, i’ll give them their dues they strive as high as they can get

    I think D&D are loyal enough to the books that we wont see any HUGE divergence’s, somethings will be added to make things more entertaining, I welcome all the stuff happening in Qarth for example, because it was horrifically boring in the book

    Heres a few things I sense may happen in the next four episodes and in the general breakdown of season three, based upon some of the changes and D&D’s tendencies this season

    Firstly in season three, if the Reeds dont crop up, I see Osha either taking Bran and Rickon as far as the wall and then leaving Bran to go in the direction of Skagos, Or we will be saying goodbye to Osha this season and Bran will find other reason to go in that direction

    Secondly im not sure whether Ramsey will show up to burn Winterfell to the ground, infact I have a suspicion, Ramsey and Theon will be feature next season

    I really dont see Brans dreams being explained in detail until next season, perhaps when we are introduced to one or both of the Reeds

    Im still convinced Roose is going to end up at Harrenhal this season

    After this episode Im sure Talisa, is infact Jeyne Westeringly, going by a different name due to her families allegiance to House Lannister

  • Virtus,

    True but in the books I was able to pass it off as a young man in over his head. Now it will be a conscious choice.

  • Reading the comments one thing came up in my mind:

    I’ll be seriously, utterly and outrageously dissappointed and annoyed if they ruin the House of the Undying scane. I want to see Rhaegar and Elia or at least hear them, I want to see the man with the wolf’s head. I want to see Aerys II ( I am not sure but I might have see some rumors about the role of an extra as the Mad King ) I want to see the withered bodies of the Undying. Tell me, calm me, that they will no ruin that.

  • Maester Mullin:
    We didn’t get to see Jon Snow finding something of importance, then giving some ofit to Sam, which then becomes useful for an important event for Sam the Sl…

    So right. And the fact that Benjen Stark is still missing is not being noticed as well. I’m looking forward to see Coldhands and check some things out…

  • Laura T.,

    Ok, so the age might be an issue, but the hair won’t be. For the sake of the debate, let’s say someone does notice. Do you really think that they’ll say anything? Also, IIRC, Ramsay keeps her locked up in her rooms most of the time anyway, so it’s not like the bannermen will actually see her all that often, and they would see her close up even more rarely.

  • I know this is a bit far fetched What if Dagmer Cleftjaw is really Ramsay Bolton, he probably does not have the looks, but it would make for a really good twist to the book readers and ofc the viewers. For all we know Roose Bolton could have sent Ramsay there when Robb decided to send Theon to Pyke. .

  • Weirwood,

    I’m not saying she should rub soot on her face and do the I’m So Sad dance number, but she pretty much stumbled over her like a rumple in the carpet and completely ignored her.

    Mark my words, Dany is not as good as you fanboys think.

  • wargsareawesome,

    I suppose. I just think it’s more likely they’ll go with a youger actress. Plus, Cersei’s already foreshadowed the whipping scene (i want you to truly love someone before I take them away) & Ros is playing the part of all prostitutes. As to the bannerman objecting….well, I guess we’ll have to meet Ramsey Snow but as the novel stands yes, yes I do. After the whole thing with Lady Hornwood & his known hunting practices, I think his own bannermen love him little (plus he’s a bastard) Basically, it comes to the same argument Tywin uses for marrying off Tyrion…..let him be king for a winter, as soon as a new Stark is born the bannerman will swoon & down comes the Bolton reign.

  • Scholesy,

    Truth hurts sometimes.

    I think Vanessa Taylor has been a _awful_ addition to the writing team and perhaps if I had your taste I might enjoy more shows for what they are. But I don’t and I am glad for it.

  • Carey Tran:
    Is it bad that I love seeing changes partly because I love reading all the fury from purists?

    Not at all. Their tears are even tastier than Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts!

  • Ros can’t be Fake Arya. She’s way too old! If they don’t have Jeyne Poole, I’m expecting they’ll have an imposter girl who Theon will recognize as just not-Arya and save anyway because she’s being subjected to Ramsay. They still have time to introduce a very minor character to fill this role and they have a lot of options. She could be someone from King’s Landing found by Littlefinger, perhaps a friend/handmaiden to Sansa, or even someone picked up by Roose Bolton in the North.

    Also, random thought: Did anyone else think Dany’s mention of Drogo might be set up for a vision in the HOTU? Weren’t there rumors that Momoa was around set for Season 2? She’s still clearly attached to him, and I would love to see a manifestation of that. I’m doubtful but still holding out for the visions, and Drogo could replace Rhaego in that sense.

  • Staurflygar,

    They’ve established that Roose has a bastard son. Ralph Ineson who plays Dagmer is older than Michael McElhatton who plays Roose. Definitely not a son.

  • I have mixed feelings with these changes. I don’t mind that they changed Ygritte (who is absolutely perfect) and Jon’s meeting a little bit, but I worry we may now lose out on some of what Jon goes through with Qhorin, is your sword sharp Jon Snow and all that. That would be a shame.

    I don’t know how to feel about the Dragons being stolen since we only know of that fact, not who took them, why, how, or how they will be returned. However it does on the surface feel like TV busy work for Daenerys. I think the narrative suffers when the characters, in any TV show, are put into conflict just because.

    I did like the Arya Tywin scenes. Charles Dance is fantastic, and we certainly learned more of his character. I did not think Arya escaped Littlefinger’s notice. He knows who she is. I think the scene served to tell the audience that Littlefinger does not necessarily work with the Lannisters. I thought they would be a little more obvious that he recognized her, but he definitely did in my opinion.

    Sandor’s rescue was fantastic, I think they should have done more with his character before this, and I’m glad they’re finally using him.

    I too do not necessarily see why Osha had to sleep with Theon. One could surmise that this gave her easier access for escape, leaving from his bed chamber rather than from somewhere else. Only one guard to beat, but they did not establish that and without it I can see how some may feel it gratuitous. I did like the scene though. All of Theon’s scenes were well done.

    I do not think they’re shrinking things, you just have to accept that time is passing between episodes. You don’t need to show a succession of nightly camps to indicate time passing, and the seasonal issue messes with that other used metric as well. Though, perhaps, the dialogue could include a quip like “I’ve been on the road for weeks I’m famished.” to remind the audience.

  • Maester Mullin:
    We didn’t get to see Jon Snow finding something of importance, then giving some ofit to Sam, which then becomes useful for an important event for Sam the Sl…

    This concerns me as well. Since Sam has to have it, maybe Sam now finds it?

  • Holy shit this episode sucked!

    Wow what a way to waste the awesome story of “A song of ice and fire”.
    This episode was filled with lame dialogues, and directing.

    It reminds me of the episode “A Garden of Bones”, horrible too (which I rated with a 4/10).
    After reading a couple of recaps I found it was written by the same person: Vanessa Taylor.

    Pleasa Vanessa don’t ever direct/write anything else this season, perhaps the 4 episodes remaining will “fix” the damage you’ve already done to this show/books.

    Review: 6/10.

    PS: Why there are no trees beyond the wall? I don’t know why they chose to film in iceland but it’s a let down and it makes no sense they are travelling through that landscape. What the hell are they doing there, is it even remotely believable 100000 wildlings feed and live in those conditions? We have to believe there are thousands of caves and as much food (game) there to keep them alive?

    PS2: Ygritte is really cute, unfortunately she really doesn’t know how to run properly (despite being a wildling)…

  • hellfell:
    Where is Larry Williams?

    It wouldn’t shock me if he never watches another episode of the show. Good job fostering new viewers, folks.

  • They definitely took out the shock factor of Renly’s demise by introducing the shadow baby before the attack, and this episode they took out the shock factor in Bran and Rickon’s supposed death, and then being alive at the end of the book. In the book Theon has the heads of two boys whom we at first partly assume to be bran and rickon’s. So they also took away Theon’s scene in murdering two innocent children, which is a great reason to despise him even more!

  • Violentos:
    They definitely took out the shock factor of Renly’s demise by introducing the shadow baby before the attack, and this episode they took out the shock factor in Bran and Rickon’s supposed death, and then being alive at the end of the book. In the book Theon has the heads of two boys whom we at first partly assume to be bran and rickon’s. So they also took away Theon’s scene in murdering two innocent children, which is a great reason to despise him even more!

    we haven’t got there yet…patience people!

  • Does anyone know the name of the guy who has basically been telling Theon what to do for the past two episodes?

    I think that maybe… they might change it so that this guy is Ramsay in disguise. Maybe Ramsay found his way to Pyke and pretended to be ironborn, instead of pretending to be Reek.

  • Did anyone catch the homage to Russell Crowe in Gladiator?

    Perhaps the director and writer didn’t think of it, but that scene where Rob walks onto the field of battle, and greets his troops and they give him those “My Captain, My Captain,” looks, felt very much like that scene in Gladiator.

    Then again, it’s a very common scene in battle movies and films.

  • Flouride:
    Liked:

    -They actually mentioned Ramsay Snow
    -Ygritte, she is so lovely.Wouldn’t mind sleeping next to her at all ;)
    -Alfie Allen did a hell of a job as Theon
    -Sansa almost getting raped. It was more dramatic than in the books, where nothing really happens to her.
    -Sandor to the rescue!
    -Natalie Tena looked quite pretty naked.

    Disliked:

    -Fire and Blood, yes yes Daenaerys. Enough already with your stupid threats. Didn’t really think stealing the dragons was necessary and I guess that means Dany has no Khalasar left at all seeing how many of her Dothraki were killed. Irri was killed as well? Butterflyyyy effect….

    -Rodrik had 200 men, but he kinda left them somewhere and came back alone? Also I think his death in the books was way more dramatic and more unexpected which is why it worked better. Now you could see it coming from a mile away. But I guess they kinda wrote themselves in a corner and didn’t have anyone else for Theon to kill that would actually get a reaction from the viewers. Don’t think anyone would have cared if the fat guy would have gotten killed instead of Rodrik. Shame.

    -Jon taking the iniative again. It should have been Qhorin’s call to have Jon kill his captive, not Jon asking for it. Why the change? Also where’s the weapon cache? Nice of Qhorin and his men to lose Jon like that. And what’s with the long chase, do we really need pointless action scenes? The book handled this scene so much better.

    -Littlefinger sure does travel a lot.

    -They’ve pretty much butchered Arya’s storyline. 2nd kill is Amory Lorch, seriously? The whole scene felt just stupid, the way Jaqen killed in the books was so he wouldn’t raise any alarms. Dogs killing the 1st guy and 2nd guy falling down during the night. Now we have him tossing one guy down in broad daylight and the other getting hit by poison dart again in daylight. Master Assassin has turned into a halfwit who apparently doesn’t care if people are aware that there’s someone amongst their midsts killing people left and right.
    Nice of Lorch not to alarm anyone about Arya. Just bad bad scene overall.

    Please do not resort to name-calling…my beloved is no half-wit. Yes, now there will be suspicions, but war is like that anyway. Now we know that Tywin is not as omnipotent as he thinks he is, and that Arya has received a wake-up call to be more careful.

  • Chrono,

    It’s Dagmer Cleftjaw, without the cleft jaw he had in the books. But I guess it’s possible that he’s Roose Bolton’s son, if the Leech Lord fathered him at the age of, like, five.

  • Jordan Healey:
    Scholesy,

    Truth hurts sometimes.

    I think Vanessa Taylor has been a _awful_ addition to the writing team and perhaps if I had your taste I might enjoy more shows for what they are. But I don’t and I am glad for it.

    It isn’t truth. It is a lack of tact or perhaps even common decency when someone doesn’t agree with you.

    But I am curious how you enjoy something for what it isn’t. You enjoy potential or simply the ability to complain about it? That can’t be a lot of fun.

  • For everyone complaining about the dragon theft and Dany’s character, watch the inside the episode feature f0r this week. As I said in my earlier post, the arc they have set up for her is to go from just screaming at people to actually DOING something. Can’t wait for her to redeem herself.

  • The Sun of Winter:
    For everyone complaining about the dragon theft and Dany’s character, watch the inside the episode feature f0r this week. As I said in my earlier post, the arc they have set up for her is to go from just screaming at people to actually DOING something. Can’t wait for her to redeem herself.

    I honestly don’t know what I will do if she stops yelling at people. On one hand, it is getting kind of boring. Yet, she just looks so cute doing it.

  • Idaan,

    Ha, fair enough. I just finished watching the episode, which is the time when my mind is most vulnerable to crazy theories. Didn’t even cross my mind that it was Cleftjaw or that it would be physically impossible for him to be that old :)

  • Arthur,

    Their opinions are valid. I think they are even more valid then someone who just opens their mouth and blindly swallows shit being shoveled into it. It’s your choice to be a D&D fanboy and just go along with any changes they make and be totally content with it. That’s easy. And I’m sure you are not alone.

    And,

    That’s all that’s happening on this thread. Anyone who doesn’t like a D&D change is being labeled a book purist and being dismissed. It’s pretty sad actually,

    You really don’t see the hypocrisy? Your words would have a lot more weight if you didn’t lash out at someone saying they “blindly swallow shit” and calling them a D&D fanboy.

  • I felt this episode was one of the weaker ones this season thus far, along side episode 4. Both were written by Vanessa Taylor so I’m thankful she isn’t writing anymore for the remainder of the season. Episodes 2, 3 and 5 were superb, it’s been up and down this season.

    I really hope D&D will reconsider her position as part of the writing staff next year.

  • Dornishman:
    I felt this episode was one of the weaker ones this season thus far, along side episode 4. Both were written by Vanessa Taylor so I’m thankful she isn’t writing anymore for the remainder of the season. Episodes 2, 3 and 5 were superb, it’s been up and down this season.

    I really hope D&D will reconsider her position as part of the writing staff next year.

    I hope she writes all de episodes! :D

  • I too grow tired of Danys petulant nature and was never really that fond of her character personally ( mean my ex-husband is her right hand man the others take him!). I am hoping however that perhaps the kidnapping of the Dragons, her only real ‘power’ and her subsequent need to rescue them will empower her and we will witness the coming of a much stronger, more confident character. I think part of her whining is actually borderline panic because she knows that without her dragons she nothing.
    Also have to say the books dealing with the initial Ygritte/Jon encounter and escape made a lot more sense than the televised approach, and it also didn’t mess with the fabulous Qhorin/John travels. I personally love the Half-Hand character in the books and it would be a shame to sell him short by replacing it with stuff they could delay til next season or so.

  • I think it was Doreah who stole the dragons. My reasoning is as follows:

    1. The person carrying the dragons (presumably to the HOTU) was entirely robed, including the head. It seems likely that this is to conceal the identity from the viewers, who would otherwise recognise the thief.

    2. Irri is dead or unconscious; Doreah is not shown, yet logicially would have been in the same place as Irri if she wasn’t with Daenerys.

    3. We know the dragons like Doreah from the last episode. My feeling is that we were not shown that for nothing. She is able to move them safely, without risk of bites/burns.

    4. In the books, Doreah is dead by this point, having died on the journey to Qarth. Logically, the show writers would need a good reason to keep a minor supporting character alive in the show when she is written out of the books.

    5. Last episode, Dany basically pimped Doreah out at Xaro’s party. Doreah may not have cared for this, and perhaps the warlocks made her an offer she couldn’t resist.

    6. The household guard were apparently massacred; that makes it look like an inside job.

    My guess is that they are going to replace one of Dany’s three treacheries with Doreah stealing the dragons. I’ll be interested to see where they go with this.

    EDIT: I want to add that I don’t much care for Ygritte escaping Jon, rather than him letting her go. In the book, he explicitly shows mercy; it defines his character in a decisive way. The show Jon comes across as dithering and indecisive. Ygritte gets away, but only because she fights her way out. The theme becomes one of incompetence, rather than mercy.

    There was a potential for a lovely contrast to be set up between Jon and Theon with the executions. Theon was ruthless; Jon’s natural mirror would have been mercy, but instead he simply bungles it. The lack of a decision on Jon’s part is disappointing.

  • I think anyone who is upset and/or angry with the changes that have been made needs to seriously chill out…The show is not going to be the exact same as the book word for word, so if youre still expecting that then youre an idiot. All these changes are being made with the help and approval of GRRM.

    All the Winterfell scenes were amazing. Rodrick is badass, he acted the shit out of that scene. And how about Tonks (Osha) gettin naked, shes a cutie.

    I like the twist they threw in with the Dragons getting kidnapped.

    And Arya is just a freak of nature, amazing actress. I could watch her and Tywin all day.

  • What threw me off this episode was how the septim got ripped apart by the mob as if they were all flesh eating zombies. WTF was up with that? I’m guessing they were realllllly hungry.

    And I’m guessing Baelish is using his tricked out corvette to get from place to place so fast. Otherwise I really enjoy the changes. Clash was slow paced compared to Game, but this season hasn’t missed a beat and the tension is much higher. They compliment each other.

  • Arakel: Doreah

    I think it is likely Doreah had something to do with it, but I really don’t think it was willingly. Perhaps they are forcing her to “help” with the dragons. I think it would be tough for Dany to lose all her handmaidens and Roxanne McKee is somewhat of a deal in Britain.

  • Arakel: So is Sean Bean. :D

    Yeah but he kind of had to die. That and it is Sean Bean. He has like a 95% fatality rate in film.

  • O.K. Bannermen, help me here. Does Arya want Littlefinger to recognize her and get her out and not let on to Tywin? or Is Arya afraid Littlefinger will recognize her and the gig is up? Yes, I’ve read all the books, but I’m a little hazy here. What are the thoughts?

  • Idaan,

    Can’t wait to get home to do a second watch of this episode, because I did notice that “the young lion” was referenced by “Talisa” and on the letter and wondered if there was a connection. It’s rather obvious her story is a lie, I don’t know why everyone is so upset and thinks that she is not Jeyne. I don’t remember a connection between Jeyne and Tywin – but I read the books so fast last year that I may have missed it.

  • One funny thought I had while watching… When Robb orders Theon to be brought to him so he can personally take his head off, I was thinking, yeah, right, as if Lord Ramsay would ever surrender his “precious” to the likes of you. Keep dreaming.

  • Once again just pointing out how far we’re getting from the source material. But in all fairness I see where this going with the Dany situation and it makes sense. They are setting up the confrontation between her and the Warlocks. As far as the who? If I had to make an uneducated guess I’d say Mormont. This also makes sense, in the books the reason Dany sends him away always seemed a bit flimsy to me. You informed on me before you were loyal to me OMG! It definitely makes more sense to have him steal the dragons and sell them to the Warlocks now that is a transgression worthy of banishment. One last thing and I may be alone in this but the humanization of Tywin Lannister is starting to get on my nerves. In the books the vast majority of characters are really neither good nor evil so when a character is portrayed as all good or all evil its significant. Whats next Ser Barristan punching out an eight year old girl?

  • If for no other reason, I like the changes (from book to TV) because they add interest and tension for those who have read the book. Within broad limits, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Otherwise book readers would know exactly what happens before it happens.

  • Laura T.:
    Juan,

    Somebody had written in an earlier episode review that they could see the Reeds coming to Winterfell after it burns. This might solve a lot of production problems (having to have cast members hang around while not a lot happens to them & having to pay actors for this time.) I see Winterfell falling as one of the last episodes of the season & Jojen or Meera has a vision of the fall & comes to find the Stark children & lead them to the north or they could encounter them on the road next season as when they meet the Liddle in the cave and seperate the Starks then. I think it unlikely they are completely written out because at some point we’ll need to find out about Jon’s mother/father & also Greywater (which in my head looks a lot the Greyskull from He-Man) has been discussed too frequently in the books for us to never go there (the same with Casterly Rock for that matter).

    This one has thought much the same. Could work well.

  • Yellow Dog: As I recall, the book scene of the High Septon’s death was quite gory and disturbing and did specifically state he was literally torn to pieces.The HBO scene was pure book and very well done.

    Speaking of which, thanks to those who mentioned seeing Lollys – I missed that and will look for it on second viewing.

    You are so very welcome. This episode was watched by this one 3 times already! This one liked it very much! It is known.

  • Arakel: There was a potential for a lovely contrast to be set up between Jon and Theon with the executions. Theon was ruthless; Jon’s natural mirror would have been mercy, but instead he simply bungles it. The lack of a decision on Jon’s part is disappointing.

    I disagree with this. Strongly. I thought the contrast between Jon Snow and Theon was brilliantly done. Jon and Theon are similar characters in the sense that they were both raised among the Starks, but never one of them. Both of them desperately want acceptance — to be a part of something. With Theon it’s the Ironborn, with Jon, the Night’s Watch. Both characters are urged by their respective groups to execute someone when they don’t want to. Theon is of weak character and is willing to throw aside his own inhibitions for acceptance. Jon Snow on the other hand, is of strong character and cannot sacrifice his values despite his best efforts to do what is asked of him. It really highlighted the differences between Jon and Theon when put in a very similar position. I thought it was a brilliant way to show the varied ways people respond to peer pressure.

    On a side note, as much as Theon is hated by most fans.. I think most people would do what Theon did than what Jon Snow did. We all like to sit here and scorn Theon, but we forget how exceptional and rare it is to find an individual to stand up and not be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do by the people you want to be accepted by. This is why I love Theon’s arc in CoK. It’s so real and so believable.

  • why dont they exclude essos and instead just give us more sex scenes and then they do a cersei danaerys composite character if she ever makes across the narrow sea? :P

  • Mrs. H’ghar,

    Actually in the book, the party is on horseback but I thought it still worked well with everyone afoot. I was looking for Lollys – but you barely get a glimpse towards the end and that’s it.

  • TheBlackFlame:
    Once again just pointing out how far we’re getting from the source material. But in all fairness I see where this going with the Dany situation and it makes sense. They are setting up the confrontation between her and the Warlocks. As far as the who? If I had to make an uneducated guess I’d say Mormont. This also makes sense, in the books the reason Dany sends him away always seemed a bit flimsy to me. You informed on me before you were loyal to me OMG! It definitely makes more sense to have him steal the dragons and sell them to the Warlocks now that is a transgression worthy of banishment. One last thing and I may be alone in this but the humanization of Tywin Lannister is starting to get on my nerves. In the books the vast majority of characters are really neither good nor evil so when a character is portrayed as all good or all evil its significant. Whats next Ser Barristan punching out an eight year old girl?

    Tywin was written as all evil?

  • Jen@House Stark: O.K. Bannermen, help me here. Does Arya want Littlefinger to recognize her and get her out and not let on to Tywin? or Is Arya afraid Littlefinger will recognize her and the gig is up? Yes, I’ve read all the books, but I’m a little hazy here. What are the thoughts?

    I am not sure!! I think Arya wasn’t sure, either!

  • I know my comment will be at the bottom of this page and probably never read.
    As a book fan who read all 5 books back to back, I don’t mind the changes.
    It’s an adaptation, and please try and remember how many other book adaptations have been abominations of the original works.
    This TV show is exemplary in its faithfulness and also spirit of the books. Some things will change due to time and budget constraints. So what? If you really hate it, turn off the Tv and go re-read the books.

  • Lothario:
    Nate,

    I don’t see any issue at all with this, in fact, I like this arc a bit better as they have an actor that plays Rickon and this will give that actor something to do (as we otherwise don’t see or hear about Rickon for many books) and be part of the story through Bran’s arc – they can go North together and split up once Bran reaches his destination – Manderly can just as well send his folks to find Bran & Rickon – only to find out that Rickon is the only one remaining.

    BTW I understand the whole “splitting up the heirs” argument – but I don’t think it works for television – you can’t hold on to the actor who plays Rickon for a couple seasons with nothing to do.

    Actually, it could work to have Rickon go in a different direction as it would give D&D a chance to show his own journey a bit more. Rickon has disappeared for such a long time in the books that it would seem strange on a TV show for him to just reappear after a few seasons being absent.Bran and Rickon were so perfect in their acting this episode, LOVE THEM. And yes, this one is an unabashed fan-girl. So sue me.

  • It was great and belieavable how they managed to change Arya’s story! Ygritte was amazing. We finally saw some acting from Kit. Alfie was good as always, Emilia was OUTSTANDING, she makes Dany come alive.

  • TheBlackFlame: Yeah its just the little people they are moving around. I mean who cares about those do nothing jerks Like John Snow, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Arya Stark, Danerys Targaryen, Jaime Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Ser Jorah Mormont, Jeoffery Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Petyr Baleish, (are you getting the idea yet?) I don’t usually single people out but your comments are strongly apologist. You seem like one of those people who decided that this would be awesome before you even saw it and if anyone pokes a hole in your little bubble they get either you’re just looking for things to hate to seem “edgy” or outright LaLaLaLa I am not listening to you.

    Actually I’d say the same about you. I like to think of myself as pretty balanced, as I like some changes and don’t like others, but none of the changes so far have been story-breaking in my opinion. As I result, I can usually filter out the extreme comments from either end: apologist or purist. The guy you quote actually gave some pretty good points as to why the changes work. You on the otherhand have offered nothing but hyperbole and accusations of fanboyism in your post.

  • I’m just wondering with all this talk of how the book has been changed to fit the tv show….I wonder if the creation of the show will change the path of the last two books. GRRM has to be affected by his experience on the TV show and the changes that are made to the story, even though most of it is minor. Considering that he is such a heavily detailed writer, I’ve got to imagine that the show will influence the total story in the long run.

  • Damn, Dany sounds like a little girl who is pouting and is about to cry when she is threatening one of the 13…

    strange how some of my favorite characters from the books are not so good on tv while some i don’t care for in the books are great on tv…

    But thankfully Tyrion and Arya witch are my favorites both on tv and in the books

  • The Letter we see doesn’t mention the words “Young wolf” as far as I can tell.
    Here’s what I could read off the letter:

    “Marching ten thousand men west …. to the Tooth. Estimate to reach you by week’s end…. Robb Stark moving troops south by coast. Alert… turn east at Silverhill”
    Remaal: Idaan

    Hm, fair enough. I could have sworn it was there.

    Can’t wait to get home to do a second watch of this episode, because I did notice that “the young lion” was referenced by “Talisa” and on the letter and wondered if there was a connection. It’s rather obvious her story is a lie, I don’t know why everyone is so upset and thinks that she is not Jeyne. I don’t remember a connection between Jeyne and Tywin – but I read the books so fast last year that I may have missed it.
    Ginalee: Idaan

    Unfortunately, Remaal says it wasn’t there. I haven’t had the occasion to watch it for the second time – this would be a nice detail for them to include.

    The connection between Tywin and Jeyne is that as per AFFC, her mother, Sybell Westerling nee Spicer and her uncle, Rolph Spicer, were collaborating with Tywin. Spicers were raised to Lords of Castamere after the RW.

    (please, could a mod put a spoiler tag on the above paragraph? I can’t do that when editing.

  • Jen@House Stark,

    I’m pretty sure she was nervous of being recognized. She’s smart enough to know: (1) if Tywin found out who she was, she’d never escape; (2) Littlefinger is working with the Lannisters. Also, she seemed tense and nervous the whole time, the way you would if an enemy was around. If she’d trusted Littlefinger, she would have actively tried to make sure he saw her face. In King’s Landing, Ned told her “we’ve come to a dangerous place,” and basically tells her the Starks can only trust themselves. I think she took that very much to heart, and by this point, there are very few people who she trusts – her family, Gendry, and in a limited way, Jaqen. Maybe they’ll change this in the TV show, but remember that in the book she didn’t even trust Roose Bolton enough to reveal herself.

    And to everyone discussing this: Dagmer is not Ramsay. First, Dagmer is too old. Second, there’s no way someone from the mainland is going to waltz right into Pyke and gain the rank that Dagmer has. The Ironborn don’t treat strangers kindly; look at how Theon was received, and he was the lawful heir. Third, Dagmer is in the story basically to give Theon a push. Theon wouldn’t have had the gall to capture Winterfell, execute Ser Rodrik, etc. without Dagmer there to egg him on.

    If we see Ramsay this season, I think he’ll either be a featured extra with enough disguise to allow a proper casting for next season, or he’ll already have been cast and just not publicized so as to protect his identity as Reek.