Episode 17 – A Man Without Honor – New Viewer Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

The reactions to last night’s episode from non-book readers should be interesting. The recap from our own new viewer is up now. New viewers, feel free to use this thread to discuss the episode last night without fear of spoilers.

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

We Do Not Sow: No way… There is no way those two burnt corpses were Bran and Rickon. I am trying to convince myself that the two bodies Theon presented the townspeople of Winterfell are two children from that local farm… or there is a chance I am in denial, the first stage of grieving. I know that Martin, and the world of Westeros, hold no boundaries as far as who will be killed off; we learned that very early in season one. I am still refusing to believe that Bran and Rickon are dead. I do think Theon would stoop that low and I know they found the walnut shell, but wouldn’t Theon also show the villagers Hodor’s body too? I am holding steadfast to first gut instinct, that Theon took those bodies from the nearby farm and it is not the younger Stark boys. If I am wrong, I will be highly disappointed. I have been looking forward to Bran firing a bow and arrow on horseback or on Hodor’s back. One can only hope.

So the second shocking thing in the episode was Xaro, the king of Qarth, by mass execution. WOW. Who saw that coming? I mean, I guess if you are the richest man in the city you can buy enough people off to do whatever you want. Xaro proclaims himself the King of Qarth and has teamed up with Pyat Pree, the creepy multiple-man. I knew that guy Pyat Pree was up to no good; anyone who has a House of the Undying should never be trusted. It will be interesting, with two episodes left, if Dany, Xaro, Pyat Pree and Jorah can coexist and make a deal to get the dragons back and a ship to Westeros.

Two quick hits on Jon Snow and Sansa. Jon, how dumb can you be? Just kill the girl and be done with it. But nooo…. let her live, let her insult your virginity and then let her lead you right into a camp of other wildlings. Jon, you gotta be smarter out there, hopefully your brothers or maybe even Benjen can bail you out of this mess. I also just noticed Jon’s prisoner calling Jon and the rest of the Night’s Watch, crows. I really found that amusing and makes perfect sense… maybe the wildlings are smarter than I think. In King’s Landing, Sansa becomes a woman. I thought the actress has done a great job the last few episodes, fighting for her life from the riot and from Joffrey. It seems as everyone knows Joffrey is out of control and cannot be tamed, which means in my eyes it’s only a matter of time before Stannis or someone closer to Joffrey makes sure that Joffrey won’t be a problem anymore.

Over in Harrenhal, I think we can agree Arya has been found out by Tywin. He may not know she is a Stark yet, but he knows that she is lying about who she is. I really want her to get the heck outta there before it hits the fan and she is uncovered. Tywin is trying to find out who the assassin is and he mentions the Brotherhood again… hmmm the Brotherhood sounds intriguing!

We finally get to see Jaime again since being captured. I was pretty shocked by his actions against a distant relative, but at the same time, he might be a great solider and warrior but he is a man without honor. I thought he was actually going to escape from the camp but knowing how many men Robb has in his camp if he did get away, I would have thought it to be pretty cheesy. So I am glad in two different ways that he did not escape, but who knows if he will survive the next two episodes, if not the night.

New viewers, do you think Bran and Rickon are dead?

Book Readers, I envision you all reading the recap every week laughing at my wild guessing and conspiracy theories, thanks for the kind words from all of you reading the new viewers recap! (Is it too late to realign my house allegiance? How did I pick the house with only 3 people and they are all Bastards!)


116 Comments

  1. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m really looking forward to this recap! Such a stellar episode!

  2. Mike
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Nooooooooo. This post pushed Amrita off the front page!

  3. markazus
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to your recap, We Do Not Sow.

  4. nazgul
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    so many twists in one episode my head hurt…

  5. hellfell
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Hodor

  6. NotoriousPYG
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to this one especially.

    Exited to see the comments regarding the final scene.

  7. Vanderhook
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Definitely want to see WDNS reaction to Theon murdering Bran and Rickon

    Wonder how he feels about his moniker now

  8. Theon Rules!
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I thought last night’s episode was slow, but in a good way. I feel like there were some really good character interactions between a number of characters. The Tyrion/Cersei one was particularly great in my opinion. And as always, Arya/Tywin scenes were really enjoyable. I really can’t tell where that is going to lead. It seems Tywin is onto her, but I just really don’t know. The lack of Littlefinger was disappointing, as well as Stannis/Davos. I also really liked the Jamie scenes. Stemming from the previous point I made about the character interactions, there was some really good acting last night (which isn’t a surprise. There always is!). That scene where he killed his cousin was so badass. And I loved the last scene with him and Catelyn. He just doesn’t care about anything. It doesn’t appear like he cares about his own life, which doesn’t make him likeable, but it just makes him come off as cool. I don’t really know how to explain it.

    Some speculation here…..There is something not right about Lady Talysa (sp?). I think there is a little more to her background than she’s letting on.

  9. john
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    No way that was Bran and Rickon must’ve been the children from that farm.

    Vanderhook:
    Definitely want to see WDNS reaction to Theon murdering Bran and Rickon

    Wonder how he feels about his moniker now

  10. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Another great episode, a mix of interesting conversations and unexpected plot twists. Some of those raised new possibilities, others didn’t feel like they had been thought through.

    - Ygritte getting the better of Jon was telegraphed last week, but Rose Leslie continued to shine this week. Yes, she’s too pretty and her teeth are too straight and her skin and lips appear impervious to the cold, but the way she delivered her lines was just awesome. The scenery underlined just how lost Jon really is. I just wished that they had shown a remote camera angle after he found himself surrounded, suggesting that someone or something was secretly watching from a distance – even if that wasn’t actually the case. It’s cold beyond the wall, we need some tin foil hats!

    - Sansa discovered that the Hound will do his duty because it’s the only way he can remain close enough to protect her from Joffrey. Chivalry is a luxury in Westoros. She gets a similarly bleak lesson from Cersei after the Hound reports the girl has finally had her first period. The scene revealed how Cersei’s cold, bitter heart is equally rooted in the misogyny even highborn women are exposed to in Westeros and, in her own dynastic ambitions.

    Great acting from all three, especially Lena.

    - Tywin’s finally clarified that he knows more than he’s letting on. He discovered last week that Arya had fancied herself an amateur spy, but instead of locking her up or even executing her, he merely verified that she hadn’t poisoned his food and then turned his back to her, knowing she had a knife in her hand. He’s convinced she doesn’t have what it takes to actually kill him. In fact, he even cautioned Arya, telling her point blank that he knows she isn’t a commoner. Every time she tries to hide something, she only ends up inadvertently revealing it to him. He makes her believe he enjoys the game because it’s an effective means for him to extract information from a child. Chances are he has already figured out she is in fact Arya Stark.

    What he certainly know is that his too-clever-by-half cupbearer had something to do with Amory Lorch’s murder. He doesn’t suspect her of being the assassin herself, but rather, that she knows the assassin’s identity. After LF’s visit, we can also safely assume that Tywin knows Yoren’s motley crue included three criminals from the black cells under the Red Keep, including a certain Lorathi. Tywin’s been around the block, he was Hand of the King for 20 years. He knows a thing or two about who might resort to an unusual method (blow dart) and an unusual poison (wolfsbane).

    Tywin’s orders to the Mountain confirmed – as if we needed confirmation – that he himself does not shy away from violence. Note that the 20 men he had executed all wore red, the color of his own banner. Is Tywin using the episode to rid himself of suspected spies in his own ranks or, were those men killed merely to lull Arya into a false sense of security in the expectation she would accidentally betray the one person Tywin perceives as the real threat?

    In any event, Charles Dance and Maisie Williams continue to steal every episode with their scenes.

    - Robb is off to personally accept the surrender of the Crag, presumably a Lannister bannerman. I’m not sure if he picked up on Talisa’s reluctance to show up there in person, fearing her cover might be blown. Perhaps he’s just a smitten kitten.

    That might also explain why he decided to put Alton in Jamie’s pen for now. Robb has no way of knowing what the boy was told in King’s Landing. For all he knows, he might have been given information that would help Jamie escape or have had a poison secreted in his clothing so Jamie could off himself to help Tywin win the war. Militarily, putting the two in the same cell was a boneheaded move.

    - Jaimie’s murder of his distant cousin made little sense to me. He’s a fearsome warrior but his treatment of the soldier who speared Ned Stark in the leg suggested he behaves according to a person code of honor, even if no-one else can quite fathom what it is. Alton was such a Jamie fanboy he would not have objected to taking one for Team Lannister, so why did the writers have Jamie announce (like a cartoon villain) that he was going to kill the boy and then do it, instead of just having him strike unexpectedly as soon as he has lured him into reach?

    More seriously, why on earth is Robb Stark’s most valuable prisoner being guarded by just a single guard – a boy no less – in the first place? What possessed Jamie think he had a snowball’s chance in hell of escaping from the middle of that camp at all? Perhaps we’re supposed to conclude his trademark morose demeanor had developed into a full-blown mental illness that has made him both fratricidal and suicidal.

    - Dany’s meandering quest to return to Westeros finally got interesting last week. Unfortunately, Irri had in fact been killed rather than knocked unconscious or drugged. We had seen a grand total of one dead Dothraki soldier on the steps, plus a couple of live bloodriders that had accompanied Dany to the Spice King. Where’s the rest of Dany’s khalasaar?

    This week, Dany said Doreah may also be dead rather than just missing, but offered no reason for that claim. Jorah didn’t say that he had already found a ship, so my earlier speculation regarding the identity of the cloaked man who took away the dragons hasn’t panned out. Looking for them, Jorah turns to the mysterious woman with the face mask who appears to be applying body paint onto a man’s back. It looked like a sun to me, which together with the red cloth under the lady’s mask suggested to me she might be a priestess of the Red God, though obviously a mystic sect quite different from the one Melisandre is part of. After Jorah swears never to betray Dany again (he had earlier revealed her existence to Varys), she tells him Xaro was behind the dragon heist.

    Next, a meeting of the Thirteen. The Spice King and others reiterate their disdain for Dany’s brood when the über-creepy Pyat Pree simply volunteers that he had them taken to the HotU. Then the real kicker: Xaro had formed an alliance with the warlocks to proclaim himself king. It’s clear enough why Xaro would want them on board. It’s less clear how the alliance benefits the warlocks, perhaps it takes more than Xaro’s medaillon to get into his vault. Suddenly, the other warlocks appear and slit the throats of the other 11 grandees. A logical conclusion, but they managed to keep the element of surprise.

    Side note: first Xaro’s flimsy garden door, then the dragon heist and now this: does no-one know how to secure a location in Qarth?

    Dany finds out she’s about to become Xaro and Pyat’s slave, alive only because they need her to rear the dragons. At that moment, Kovarro (who was inexplicably allowed to keep his weapon) could have killed Xaro and attacked Pyat. But no, he and Dany try to escape only to be stopped by Pyat Pree’s body doubling parlor trick. Jorah’s surprise stabbing from behind proves ineffective and once again, Dany and her retinue are allowed to escape. If Xaro wanted to take Dany to the HotU, why didn’t he have his guards seize her? He can afford as many as he wants!

    - Links to my earlier comments re: Theon and Tyrion/Cersei.

  11. New Wolf
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    This was one of those quietly brilliant episodes of GoT because it had a lot of dialogue. And boy, was that dialogue great! The writing in this episode is really superb. And the acting as well.

    It’s lovely to see little Rickon say more than one sentence. And it’s great so see how much love there is between the four (Osha, Hodor, Rickon and Bran). You could just feel it in that one short scene.

    The way Theon got excited with the “hunting” was disturbing. He’s a really troubled young man. And it seems as though there’s no turning back for him. But I’m almost entierly certain that those burnt corpses weren’t Bran and Rickon. Those were probably the two orphan boys. Still, it was really sad to see Luwin’s face when he saw that. And Cat and Robb will probably think they’re dead. It will be devastating for them.
    Robb is bonding with that girl, Talisa. We know so little about her which makes her suspicious. It’s possible she lied about where she’s from. But even if she didn’t, she’s very secretive generally.

    We finally saw Jaime again! That’s the first time he appeared after the season 2 premiere. He is such an amazing character because I love him and I hate him at the same time. When he talked with his cousin he showed us humility and he was… normal. Human. And then he smashed his cousin’s head. His talk with Cat was probably my favorite scene of the episode. He is smart, but not smart enough to know when to stop talking. I don’t think Cat will kill him, but she can probably do all sorts of things with that sword. Jaime raised a lot of questions when talking about honor. Honor cannot be looked at from just one perspective. Right and wrong is never that simple.

    The scenes with Arya and Tywin are great as always. He really likes her, but knows how to put bounderies between them. He doesn’t like when people talk back to him, but Arya does it brilliantly. I love those two together.

    Qarth was exciting! Even though Xaro talked about his honorless rode to wealth, I didn’t know he had it in him to do that. The scene when the bald guy(s) killed the rest of the Thirteen was great. And I can’t wait to see the House of the Undying.
    It seems like Dany feels like she’s alone, like she has no one to back her up. And it’s normal that she feels that way, because it’s kinda true. I think she finally learned that she has to take the Iron Throne, and not re-take it (because she never really had any support in Westeros).

    The talk between Cersei and Tyrion was beautiful. And creepy. They made incest seem sweet. I loved that she opened up to him and expressed doubts about children born out of incest. She made some nice parallels with the Targaeryens. It was all very weird but touching as well. And it seems that both her and Jaime are open about their relationship. They know it’s the worst kept secret in the Seven Kingdoms so why not talk about it? And they both seem eager to express their feelings and talk openly about it. It’s creepy and cute. Confusing, mostly.

    I’m really loving the red wildling! Ygritte, is it? She’s funny and cute and smart and she makes me doubt all the stuff we learned about wildlings so far. Everyone says they are savages but the two wildlings we got to meet seem pretty smart. And it looks like all they want is freedom. Ygritte makes it look like the crows are the strange ones. And she makes a good case. It’s always nice to see that not everything is black and white. And that’s one of my favorite thing about the show.

  12. Tytos Blackwood
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    am i the only one who keeps reading the title as “a man without Hodor”

  13. PhilV
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Tytos Blackwood,

    Nope, that’ll be the title of bran autobiography down the line

  14. Jenny
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Tytos Blackwood,

    I read it all the time…

    Errrrm. I don’t want to sound nagging. But where IS the recap??

    EDIT: I gottit. Always read small print

  15. Unsullied
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    If Rickon would not be a walnut binge eater they would both be alive. And what did they do with Hodor? Theon if you touched Hodor you’ll pay!!!! This is HBO and payback is gonna be a bitch squid boy.

  16. sjwenings
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Certain people here are clearly book-readers posing as non-readers. Just too many correctly spelled names and general knowledge.

  17. Flow101
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this episode, and finally I’m interested in Daenery’s story, it’s been pretty boring throughout the season but this episode made her justice.

    The only thing that bothered me, and I HATE to say it but Jon Snow seemed pretty stupid and dull, I want to see him kick ass, not let a little woman trick him and escape easily, come on Jon, I hope you get some payback next episode!!!

  18. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings:
    Certain people here are clearly book-readers posing as non-readers. Just too many correctly spelled names and general knowledge.

    If you’re referring to me: I have not read the books. I just watch the episodes carefully, sometimes more than once, then participate in the discussions here where I learn how the names are spelled (among many other things). On rare occasions, I have peeked into the ASOIAF wiki on westeros.org, e.g. to understand where a certain town is located. I’ve also seen some of the bonus material on the BluRay disks for season 1 because I was interested in the back story of certain characters, religions etc.

    That’s it! The rest is comment, interpretation and conjecture. I try not to spoiler myself because that would take away the best parts of being a non-reader: trying to figure out if the story as told on TV makes sense on it own and, what might happen next week.

  19. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin: If you’re referring to me: I have not read the books. I just watch the episodes carefully, sometimes more than once, then participate in the discussions here where I learn how the names are spelled (among many other things). On rare occasions, I have peeked into the ASOIAF wiki on westeros.org, e.g. to understand where a certain town is located. I’ve also seen some of the bonus material on the BluRay disks for season 1 because I was interested in the back story of certain characters, religions etc.

    That’s it! The rest is comment, interpretation and conjecture. I try not to spoiler myself because that would take away the best parts of being a non-reader: trying to figure out if the story as told on TV makes sense on it own and, what might happen next week.

    Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta

  20. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta

    I wasn’t apologizing, I just don’t like it when someone makes a general accusation.

  21. Choukai
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I said last week I was a book reader living in the non reader section because I prefer the banter and overall general attitude of those who watch the show.
    Speaking of the show, I could happily watch an hour of just Arya and Tywin. Those added scenes are just fantastic.

  22. john
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Why would you comment that “[...]too pretty and her teeth are too straight[..]” in reference to Ygritte, then? Why is she too pretty?

    That comment is pretty much exactly what I’ve seen book readers write before when the pic of the actress leaked (unfortunately you can’t always avoid spoilers which I always try my hardest to do). I assume the character Ygritte is described in the books as not-that-attractive.

    No one I’ve talked to who hasn’t read the books have commented on her looks. Some have said she was cute, that’s it.

    On another note I am very happy that I haven’t read the books. Makes it easy to avoid the the general smugness and the nerd rage of the hardcore book readers when the tv-show has changed something.

    Nagga’s Kin: If you’re referring to me: I have not read the books. I just watch the episodes carefully, sometimes more than once, then participate in the discussions here where I learn how the names are spelled (among many other things). On rare occasions, I have peeked into the ASOIAF wiki on westeros.org, e.g. to understand where a certain town is located. I’ve also seen some of the bonus material on the BluRay disks for season 1 because I was interested in the back story of certain characters, religions etc.

    That’s it! The rest is comment, interpretation and conjecture. I try not to spoiler myself because that would take away the best parts of being a non-reader: trying to figure out if the story as told on TV makes sense on it own and, what might happen next week.

  23. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin: I wasn’t apologizing, I just don’t like it when someone makes a general accusation.

    You were exactly doing that…explaining yourself, without having been accused directly.

  24. oh-bb
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings:
    Certain people here are clearly book-readers posing as non-readers. Just too many correctly spelled names and general knowledge.

    Yeah, that monster post is obviously from a book-reader, considering the remarks about Ygritte’s teeth. I’m not sure why someone would come in here and start posting things that are perfectly appropriate in comments on the other post. Wasn’t spoilery, but it becomes easy enough for someone to slip once discussion starts.

    Sorry, I don’t buy the “explanation.” Do what you want, but….

  25. ace
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    A bit of unclear parentage on Alton Lannister.

    So if the Lannister in him is his mom Cinda(?), so by inference his father is not a Lannister. So should he not be taking in his father’s last name. And even if he is a bastard, his last name won’t be Lannister. But I am just splitting hair here.

  26. Ro
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t Nagga the first sea dragon in the ironborn mythology? Would seem kind of hard to get to that particular username without being a book reader (and even if you did get to it via wiki, it’s hard to see why anyone who hasn’t read the books would want to be associated with the Greyjoys).

    Anyway, doesn’t really matter since the post was not spoilery at all. Looking forward to reading the new reader recap.

  27. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    This episode was awesome, but Theon is still an idiot. How often has a woman left the bed before him? He should have noticed someone leaving the bed. Unless she really did “serve him well.” On a related note, Jon Snow is not an idiot even if he gets tricked by the exact same methods. Odd that the 2 not-quite-Stark-kids have the same weakness: women.

    But thankfully Jon wasn’t surrounded by women, so he should return to form shortly. Cersei should also return to form soon, because she seemed really out of it this whole episode. She was kind to Sansa, even offering advice, and didn’t insult Tyrion at all. Of course that might be because she has come to accept that Joffrey truly ain’t right…

    Moving on to a king who is vicious without being an idiot, Xaro will made a power play that blindsided me. He’d done such a good job denigrating the warlocks that I never expected they would work together and turn The Thirteen into The Two. I for one welcome our new upstart and charlatan overlords.

    I feel sorry for Peter Dinklage this season. He was all poised to be the number one star of this show, but he can’t steal scenes he isn’t in. If Tyrion can’t get to Harrenhal then he can’t stop Arya and Tywin from being the most awesome characters on the show. Charles Dance continues to magically make his character sympathetic; Tywin is like 2 different people when talking about his children and when talking about anything else.

    And did I mention that Theon is an idiot? This episode made a point of mentioning the orphan boys Bran sent to that farm, and if I noticed it Maester Lewin noticed it. In truth that’s who I thought Theon was going to kill to prove he means business, cause the old man knows too many things to not be a trouble maker.

  28. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    ace,

    The parentage seems pretty unclear to the Kingslayer as well. Based on idol worship I suspect Alton would take on the name of the family he relates to better.

  29. Nichole G
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Who is that guy that goes around with Stannis? I like him–the actor is so good–but I don’t understand what he is there for. I know he wasn’t there this week but when I tried asking my husband about him, I couldn’t remember his name.

    Liked this episode, except for the kids. I really hope you’re right! They might have even been fake bodies (but I can only hope…)

  30. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Nichole G,

    The guy who watched the shadow baby come from the woman in red? That is The Onion Knight, and Stannis saved him from a life of crime decades ago. Now he is a loyal member of the war council who helped raise a navy by calling on pirates from his old life.

  31. Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    You forgot my name, but that’s cool. I’m an easy going guy when I’m not watching shadow babies being birthed.

  32. cabrademarte
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings,

    i got that feeling too… though it wasnt spoilery, so it just seems outta place

  33. Theon Rules!
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    If I didn’t come here or read other various internet sources, I’d think Zaro’s last name was Ducksauce. Everyone who says it pronounces it so. Always makes me crave some Chinese food.

  34. Calla
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Great review!
    I don’t think that was Bran and Rickon either. Osha + Hodor + Bran + Rickon (individually and combined) are too clever to get bested by Theon.

    I think the Qarth storyline has been the least interesting this season, but now it might be picking up. Why is Dany being so mean to Jorrah, if this if what its like when he’s being all nice and loyal, I hate to see if she finds out he was a spy back in season 1.

    Glad we got to see Robb’s pretty face, Jon’s sexually frustrated face, and Jaime’s dirty face (no Gendry abs though).

    I. love. Ygritte. Her taunting of Jon was a highlight, since he is usually such a grump. Before, I got the image that the Wildings were kind just like tribe people, but after hearing Ygritte describe their life, sounds maybe like some kind of free love cult?

    Still not feeling the love for Robb and Talisa. She’s up to something and they just seem weirdly awkward to me. Even Sam was smoother with Gilly.

    Again poor Sansa, but why was the Hound there?!!? Just casually walking by to check on the sheets? Cersei being nice to her though? Enjoy it while it lasts, I think she’s just missing Myracella and doesn’t have a daughter to dote on at the moment.

    Oh the Lannisters, I was kind of worried for Tyrion since he was talking to Cersei in the bedroom with the candlelight. I know she hates him, but she does have a type and he might do in a pinch. Also, is the twincest common knowledge now? I thought they were trying to still keep it on the low, Jaime and Cersei were just like “yeah, I boinked my twin, had kids, and what?” Tyrion was nice enough to say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    Loved Arya and Tywin giving the grammar lesson for the episode!

  35. Ser Jon Falstaff
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Qui arguit in latina est a dolor-asinum irrumator. Nostra est furor!

  36. Maester Victor
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    I love reading these! Thank you, We Do Not Sow!!!

  37. Perkins
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Great write ups wdns. Don’t change the moniker, it gets better, well sort of. Maybe. Who knows.

  38. ShelbyD
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Aren’t there three episodes left? Not two.

  39. sjwenings
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    ShelbyD: Aren’t there three episodes left?

    yes

  40. John Juliano
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Awesome episode. Great recap we do not sow. I think you should keep the moniker, if only because I don’t reeally care for any stark but Arya. Preffer the greyjoys.

  41. ShelbyD
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    sjwenings,

    Good. I read two episodes left, and it almost broke my heart because I was set on three!

  42. nazgul
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    among the best scenes are:
    1. when cersei tell tyrion that joffrey look like jaime…then a little bit awkward silent with tyrion face trying to hold off some twincest joke (maybe?) just to quickly cut by cersei “in a certain light”…
    2. another one when jaime ask the bastard son name to cat and cat said “brienne”, jaime reply”no,that wasn’t it”…haha…

    tonite for the first time i felt for the lannister…

  43. Udi
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Love this thread. Since I am a book-reader it’s all I will say. I urge book readers to respect this thread and the posters and enjoy the show and speculation through the eyes and minds of non-readers. It’s not just about NOT posting spoilers (which shouldn’t be done in any thread without spoiler tags) but also about letting the non-readers have the majority (or all) of the thread. There are plenty of other threads for book-readers or mixed posts. Just enjoy this (hopefully as much as I do).

  44. Udi
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Edit: In the end everyone dies and the boar that killed King Robert sits on the iron throne!(sorry, couldn’t resist)
    :)

  45. Macha
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to say I’m also a book-reader that enjoys reading these reviews and the comments, and no, I’m certainly not laughing at your wild guessing, WDNS. :) So keep it going!
    Also – without giving too much away – after 5 books, I’m still a massive Greyjoy fan, so don’t give up hope just yet. Then again, prepare for the worst. Hah, that kinda sums up the show in general.

  46. Lord of Light
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I really like you observation about Joffrey. Everyone is noticing just how out of control he’s become, and it does seem quite clear that this can’t go on for too long. I’ve been wanting to discuss this with other non-book readers. I’m really wondering what everyone else thinks. Who will win the Iron Throne? I can’t imagine Joffrey retaining his claim. I really believe that Stannis will give Joffrey the boot. Not only that, but I really want him to, as I really like his character a lot. But who knows. Joffrey could retain his status if somehow Robb retreats or is defeated, thereby allowing Tywin to defend King’s Landing against Stannis. This could especially be true if the Lannisters ally with the Tyrells, which really seems stupid considering the Tyrells were on the Baratheon’s side fighting against the Lannisters. I hope they remain neutral for now. The one thing that I want most of all out of this season is a conclusion to what started with Ned Stark’s beheading and Joffrey’s rise to king last season. I can’t bear to wait a year to see how the War of the Five Kings ends.

  47. Magnus
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Theon Rules!,

    Though strangely you still thought his first name was Zaro :)

  48. Jenny
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Good Lord people, don’t get worked up about this.
    Maybe he has done all the HBO background reading and some Wiki stuff up to here?
    As long as he doesn’t spoil anything, let him write…
    Peace, Love and Harmony – makes you live longer.

  49. Theon Rules!
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Woops…Xaro. It was late, okay? haha

    Magnus:

    Though strangely you still thought his first name was Zaro :)

  50. Ditchdigger
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, we are very much enjoying your guesses and conspiracy theories. :) I can’t be too smug, though; they’re pretty close to what my hunches and assumptions were when I was at this point in the books. Of course, some things (especially in this past episode) have come right off the rails from what’s in the books so we book fans are in the dark just as much as you are in some ways. I look forward to your recap each week, thinking “I wonder what WdnS will have to say about THAT?” With the kind of shockers GRRM delivers, there are plenty of reactions to look forward to. I’m also sometimes worried that events from the books will just get too weird or unconventional for TV viewers… seeing your reaction I can often go “Phew, they’re not giving up on the show due to Shadow Baby or those tarred corpses…”

  51. Yellow Dog
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Calla: Still not feeling the love for Robb and Talisa. She’s up to something and they just seem weirdly awkward to me. Even Sam was smoother with Gilly.

    LOL! And Dead On. No chemistry there at all. You nailed it with Sam; he is absolutely the most romantic man in the entire show.

  52. dizzy_34
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hang in there WDNS.

  53. Valyrian
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I’m a book reader, but love this thread, it’s much more fun. Just wanted to say something about Alton Lannister’s name, at first I saw it as a continuity error, but it could be that he’s a Lannisport Lannister, whose mother probably married a Casterly Rock Lannister (or even another Lannisport one) who was her cousin or something, Tywin himself married Joanna, who was his cousin.

  54. ANiceChianti
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Tytos Blackwood:
    am i the only one who keeps reading the title as “a man without Hodor”

    I wasn’t doing that, but now I am!

  55. ANiceChianti
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Ro:
    Isn’t Nagga the first sea dragon in the ironborn mythology?Would seem kind of hard to get to that particular username without being a book reader (and even if you did get to it via wiki, it’s hard to see why anyone who hasn’t read the books would want to be associated with the Greyjoys).

    Anyway, doesn’t really matter since the post was not spoilery at all.Looking forward to reading the new reader recap.

    Thank you for saying what I had been thinking for weeks.

    “Unsullied” also seems like an odd user name for a non-book reader, but whatever.

  56. Daniel
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Jaime Lannister just became my favorite character overnight. I don’t care what he’s done in the past with Bran and all, that was amazing. Anyone else notice how he was grinning after the recaptured him and dragging him through the mud. Throughout the season we have seen very little of him, and these scenes were so worth the wait.

  57. Bad Dog
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    @ We Do Not Sow:
    Man, you haven’t even met the worst Greyjoys yet… :-D

  58. lonas
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    APART

    http://i.imgur.com/psVBH.jpg Latest post from Emilia Clark. she has a sense of humour :-)

  59. STAY OUT
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Can’t book readers just stay out of this thread?!?! I mean come on, you either post something about how you know everything and find our assumptions entertaining, or you inadvertantly spoil something. For example, I now know that [mod edit: spoiler removed]. Thanks for ruining that for me. I’d rather find out on my own as the story was meant to be told by D&D as adapted from GRRM. Seriously, just STAY OUT. Is it that hard to do?

  60. young stark
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I wish this season was ten episodes long I feel like I’m getting short changed,…….king of the north!!!!

  61. young stark
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Free Jon snow …….king of the north!!!!

  62. STAY OUT
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you to whatever Mod removed those spoilers. There are also some other spoilers peppered in this thread, but I might just be over-reacting and reading too deep, but I believe @Macha said something that pertains to the longevity of house Greyjoy, which in my opinion still spoils stuff. Like I said, I’m probally just being overly dramatic, but I will let the Mod’s decide, since they actually know what they’re doing. Thanks, and sorry if I’m coming off as annoying, I’m just nervous about getting spoiled about my favorite TV show in the history of life.

  63. Knurk
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    STAY OUT,

    you’re not annoying, bookreaders here posting stuff noone asked for are annoying. Keep up the good fight.

  64. Vanderhook
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    STAY OUT: Thank you to whatever Mod removed those spoilers. There are also some other spoilers peppered in this thread, but I might just be over-reacting and reading too deep, but I believe @Macha said something that pertains to the longevity of house Greyjoy, which in my opinion still spoils stuff. Like I said, I’m probally just being overly dramatic, but I will let the Mod’s decide, since they actually know what they’re doing. Thanks, and sorry if I’m coming off as annoying, I’m just nervous about getting spoiled about my favorite TV show in the history of life.

    At least you aren’t as bad as my friend who made a big hoopla when me and another friend were talking about Jaqen and casually mentioned that he worships R’hllor/The Lord of Light/The Fire God. He didn’t think (actually he did, he just wasn’t 100% sure) that the Red God and the Lord of Light were the same, even though its clearly implied and really obvious.

  65. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    I hadn’t made the connection that the Red God and Lord of Light were the same. Perhaps it is the way the actor says the name, but our assassin friend always sounds like he worships one member of a pantheon. Melisandre makes it clear that she is a priestess in a monotheist religion, so I’d been assuming Jaqen was as follower of the new gods.

    At least I’m pretty sure that the seven (as in “named in the light of the seven”) are the old gods. I know that the wildlings say that the old gods are the only gods beyond the wall, and that Jon Snow pointed out that the Starks are descendants of the First Men just like the wildlings. So would that mean that the “foreign woman” Melisandra is one of these “new people” that Ygritte resents? If Melisandre and Jaqen are exemplary of these new people I can see why everone has a problem with them.

  66. bigswerg
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Udi,

    no, the dire wolf eats them all and everyone turns into dog poop

  67. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    bigswerg,

    And then Jon was a zombie?

  68. ney
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    After reading the books, the comments posted here, and after watching the show, I get a better sense of the plot.
    that’s it! nothing else to share (for now). Thank you.

  69. Vanderhook
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I Know of Fear: Vanderhook, I hadn’t made the connection that the Red God and Lord of Light were the same. Perhaps it is the way the actor says the name, but our assassin friend always sounds like he worships one member of a pantheon. Melisandre makes it clear that she is a priestess in a monotheist religion, so I’d been assuming Jaqen was as follower of the new gods.At least I’m pretty sure that the seven (as in “named in the light of the seven”) are the old gods. I know that the wildlings say that the old gods are the only gods beyond the wall, and that Jon Snow pointed out that the Starks are descendants of the First Men just like the wildlings. So would that mean that the “foreign woman” Melisandra is one of these “new people” that Ygritte resents? If Melisandre and Jaqen are exemplary of these new people I can see why everone has a problem with them.

    Well, I’m sure most new viewers didn’t make the connection immediately as it’s not something thats explicitly stated outright, but thinking about it for a few moments will yield a fairly obvious conclusion: they are the same.

    Think about it. Melisandre is refered to as the “Red Woman”, with a big red theme going on. She mentions and uses fire all the time (burns the idols of The Seven, tells Matthos that “fire is the purest death”, the flames grew brighter during the shadow baby scene etc etc). Jaqen claims that he and Arya need to repay a debt to the “Red God” since she prevented three deaths by fire. It’s a pretty apparant connection and it’s certainly not a spoiler to acknowledge that connection, especially sinces its in an already aired episode.

  70. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    I don’t think the conversation is much spoiler-y at all. But I don’t think Jaqen mentioned 3 deaths by fire. He simply said 3 deaths were stolen from the Red God. If he had mentioned fire it would have been apparent immediately that he was talking about the Lord of Light.

  71. Vanderhook
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I Know of Fear: Vanderhook, I hadn’t made the connection that the Red God and Lord of Light were the same. Perhaps it is the way the actor says the name, but our assassin friend always sounds like he worships one member of a pantheon. Melisandre makes it clear that she is a priestess in a monotheist religion, so I’d been assuming Jaqen was as follower of the new gods.At least I’m pretty sure that the seven (as in “named in the light of the seven”) are the old gods. I know that the wildlings say that the old gods are the only gods beyond the wall, and that Jon Snow pointed out that the Starks are descendants of the First Men just like the wildlings. So would that mean that the “foreign woman” Melisandra is one of these “new people” that Ygritte resents? If Melisandre and Jaqen are exemplary of these new people I can see why everone has a problem with them.

    I apologize for double posting but I’m using a crappy computer at the moment, and my browser crashes if I attempt to edit a post.

    I’ll explain the whole religions thing to you, but I’m going to put it in spoiler text. Some people (like my friend I mentioned) think that anything that isnt EXPLICITLY and very clearly stated in the series is a spoiler, even if its just minor backstory or a connection that was supposed to be made but not figured out by the viewer. Anyways:

    Currently in the series there are 4 major religions. The Old Gods, which the North and the Wildlings follow; the Seven (also known as the New Gods), which most of Westeros follows; The Drowned God, which only the Iron Islands follow, and The Lord of Light (also known as the Red God, the Fire God, R’hllor) which is a religion that is popular in Essos (where Melisandre and Jaqen are from). There was a lot of confusion over the idol burning scene in episode 1, as the series did a very poor job of explaining what was going on. When Melisandre tells Stannis and his men to “forsake the old gods” she doesnt mean the “Old Gods” she just means all other gods. I.E, all of the other gods besides The Lord of Light are old — out with the old in with the new. In that scene she is burning idols of The Seven, or the New Gods. So though they are called the “New Gods” because they are newer than the “Old Gods”, to Melisandre they’re just “old gods” (not capitalized). It would have been much less confusing if the script just said “other gods” or something.

  72. Vanderhook
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I Know of Fear: Vanderhook, I don’t think the conversation is much spoiler-y at all. But I don’t think Jaqen mentioned 3 deaths by fire. He simply said 3 deaths were stolen from the Red God. If he had mentioned fire it would have been apparent immediately that he was talking about the Lord of Light.

    Like i said, its not something that is outright said, but it’s one of those logical connections that are supposed to be made by the viewer after some thinking.

  73. Lord Snark
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    ney,

    Well, I daresay you wouldn’t have a very good sense of the plot if you hadn’t read the books, or the comments here, or watched the show. Haa. ;)

  74. ney
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Lord Snark,
    hahaha! :-p

    It’s like a puzzle, the bigger pieces I get from the book, and the smaller pieces I get from posts and the show.
    Alright?

  75. Lord Snark
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    ney,

    Haha. I did in fact understand what you meant, but jumped at the opportunity to be true to my username and make a snarky comment. :D

  76. ney
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Lord Snark,

    You have lived up to your name, Lord Snark.
    And you have been forgiven.

  77. john
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Book readers: stay out.

    It’s not like we can’t read the books if we wanted t0. We’ve specifically opted NOT to do it because we want to watch the tv-show and remain unspoiled by the books.

  78. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s pretty damn rude to accuse someone of being a liar like that. What possible motive would I have for not telling the truth about where I get my information from?

    I thought Ygritte’s general appearance – including her teeth – didn’t convey the conceit that she’s a wildling who’s spent days if not weeks in bitter cold conditions, that’s all. British dentistry has obviously made great strides in recent decades, but still Ygritte’s whole combo reminded me of those 1940s Hollywood divas who always wore a fresh crisp blouse and a perfect hairdo, even though their characters had supposedly just spent several days in a jungle or desert or something. It’s a tiny detail, but note that the showrunners did deliberately make Yara less attractive than Gemma Wheelan is in real life.

    As for Talisa, her story is just not credible because there’s no evidence of any other foreign doctors or nurses tending neutrally to the wounded of both sides. She’s a one-woman doctors without borders team that doesn’t even appear to work in concert with the women that wear the frame with the symbol of the seven, whom we had earlier seen tending to John Arryn’s remains in King’s Landing. Talisa sticks out like a sore thumb, so I figure her story must be a cover for something – I just don’t know what yet. A straight-up professional spy would presumably make more of an effort to blend in. Her reluctance to accompany Robb for the formal surrender of an already defeated Lord suggests that someone at that location could expose her. It doesn’t mean she’s from there.

    Hopefully that’ll convince you where I’m coming from. Otherwise: good day, ser.

  79. Sergey
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Her reluctance to accompany Robb for the formal surrender of an already defeated Lord suggests that someone at that location could expose her. It doesn’t mean she’s from there.

    Where are you getting the whole accept surrender thing from? Maybe I missed it but I thought he just went to some Maester with her because he wanted to spend more time with her. She probably just looked confused/shocked because here’s a King trying to woo her despite being obviously busy with the war.

  80. Derp
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Morrigan,

    Well, thanks a lot for that spoiler about Talisa! Even though the show has clearly made her seem mysterious if not suspicious, those of us who haven’t read the books don’t appreciate you spilling the beans! I suppose I’m going to have to skip these threads from now on because you readers just can’t help ruining it for the rest of us. Lame.

    And for the record, I also thought thought Ygritte was just a little “too pretty” to be believable as a wildling. I have no idea what she’s like in the books. I just thought, “this beautiful woman with perfect skin, hair and teeth looks very out of place playing a ‘savage’ in such a harsh environment.” It’s a very minor quibble though–I know, I know, I’m willing to overlook the magic and dragons, but a little unrealistic detail like this throws me off. Go figure. At any rate, I think her acting has been great so far, and she makes a good foil for Jon’s naive stoicism. I also assume her good looks might have something to do with making her a believable potential love interest for Jon further down the road. After all, this show certainly seems to love a good forbidden romance.

  81. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Sergey: Where are you getting the whole accept surrender thing from?

    Episode 17 at the 22:45 mark:
    Talisa: You’re riding to the Crag to negotiate a surrender.
    Robb: Yes.

    Derp:
    Morrigan,

    Well, thanks a lot for that spoiler about Talisa!

    Just as a point of order: Should educated guesses from non-readers (a group that includes me) be put in spoiler tags on these new viewer recap threads?

    I thought their whole point was for those without book knowledge to share their thoughts and analysis to stimulate discussion. Are we not allowed to present theories that aren’t based on knowledge of the books? I really have no idea yet if I’m right about Talisa!

    For the record: In another thread, I found out I was wrong about an earlier hunch regarding the identity of the cloaked man who had carried off the dragons and later conceded that.

  82. Where's_The_Peach?
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with most of the above, book-readers need to refrain from posting the unintentional spoilers! By definition, to validate that someone is “close” or they’ve “almost got it” is a spoiler as you are essentially confirming something that hasn’t happened yet.

    Let’s let everyone else enjoy the show!

    /I’m a book reader.

  83. ANiceChianti
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    As far as wildlings go, am I the only one who thinks that Osha is way better looking than Ygritte? I mean, Ygritte is fine, but I find Osha to be much prettier.

    And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the nude scene. :p

  84. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Dear readers,
    Be respectful, and do not comment excessively in this thread. You see what happens: it’s not just about outright spoilers, but also veiled ones (intentional or not), providing help to non-readers, knowing grins, etc. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution and do not comment!

  85. Kael of the Lake
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    I am a book reader and I’m also a fan of the series. Probably more than I’m a fan of the books. I rarely comment on these threads although there’s a big distinction between these and those of readers, apart from owning the books: book purists can be a real pain. There are occasions that you can’t really discuss a scene just because it contradicts with the book story. Things like “Where did you read that” or “How can you say that real Ned can think of that” are not rare.
    And the whining, of course.

    Believe me, it’s much better here for people who really want to discuss the series, break down each scene and figure out plots and motives. There are many good, insightful and unbiased commentators who I like to read and discuss with them. After all, what I want to discover is the showrunners’ logic, not the author’s and, as everybody knows, the show deviates notably.

    I can feel for people who don’t want to be spoiled, as I can understand the deep meaning of ‘spoiler’, even if it is delivered unintentionally. But I also want to analyze the things I’ve seen in the last (or the previous) episode. As it turns out, many of those things are new to me too.
    It’s rather hard to want to write down that I do want to discover too what happens to X character while knowing that as a ‘marked’ book-reader one can immediately assume that said character is not in the books and therefore feel they’re spoiled…

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that there are viewers/readers like me and they’re not here to ruin the show for non-viewers, they’re here because it’s a nice place for discussion.

    Also, for people with fully developed psychic powers, the following sentence “Jon Arryn is dead by the beginning of the series” cannot, by any means, be a spoiler or proves that whoever wrote it has red the books. It’s just there.

    Thanks for the understanding.

  86. Sergey
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    ANiceChianti:
    As far as wildlings go, am I the only one who thinks that Osha is way better looking than Ygritte?I mean, Ygritte is fine, but I find Osha to be much prettier.

    And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the nude scene. :p

    No, I find Ygritte a lot more attractive. But then redheads seem to be my type.

    If we’re talking about which character is easier to identify with right now, then yeah definitely Osha. She’s saving the kids while Ygritte is just being manipulative and following her own agenda.

  87. Kerdain
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a book reader, but I am convinced the two burnt bodies were not Stark’s sons. I mean it is pretty obvious. The mere fact the bodies are burnt, gives it away, there was no reason to do so, waste of time, only useful to conceal the identities. And we saw children on the farm. A very transparent trick to put fear and vanquish hope in the people of Winterfell. Still that doesn’t excuse Theon for killing and burning innocent children, which makes him now equally evil as Joffrey in my book. Actually worse, since Joffrey is just a spoiled brat. :P

  88. RamsayIsComing:)
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    totally agree with Sansa, Sophie Turner is turning into a brilliant young actress & I love all interaction with her & Sandor. Though Shae turning into an ally… Hmmmmm….

  89. Derp
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Kerdain,

    Agreed. I just assumed that the two corpses were the orphans Bran sent to that farm last episode. At the time, it seemed like an awfully extraneous bit of information to include given the show’s time constraints, so I thought it might be foreshadowing something. Of course, I know that no one’s safe, but as a matter of simple television storytelling, it would make no sense to kill off Bran like this. The show wouldn’t have invested so much screen time building up nuances to these characters (Bran’s clairvoyant dreams, etc.) and then kill them off without ever exploring them at all. Not to mention the conspicuous absence of Hodor’s and Osha’s bodies. And besides, no way the dire wolves would have let this happen! Still hoping to see Theon’s head on a spike, but I get the feeling that won’t be happening any time soon…We’ll see.

    On another note, I thought Cersei stole this episode with her scenes with Tyrion–and particularly with Sansa. She seemed almost…human. I almost felt sorry for her. She knows her son is an uncontrollable monster that’s messing everything up, that it’s largely her fault, and that Sansa will have far worse marriage than she did. But I’m still waiting for the other shoe to fall–she’s going to do something awful soon, I’m sure. I’ve been afraid for Shae ever since Cersei’s speech to Tyrion when her daughter was sent away, and especially after Shae threatened the other handmaiden.

    Like last week, there was too much time wasted on Jon tramping aimlessly through the snow and being teased…we get the point. Loved the cliffhanger though. Wonder how he’ll get out of this one?

    Finally, glad to see Dany’s getting a reality check. When she was scolding Jorah, part of me wanted him to just laugh at her and tell her she’s really in no position to be bossing anyone around at the moment. Very excited to see the House of the Undying and how Dany & the Case of the Missing Dragons ends.

  90. Renly's Ghost
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been hooked since the first episode, but season 2 has me looking forward to every Sunday. I tried to get my wife to start watching, but it’s just not her cup of tea. This was a great episode.

    Theon has been a huge disappointment. He seems like nothing but a tool that strives for the acceptance of his “prince” status. He has definitely taken a turn for the worse. Basic management principles emulate the scene where he beheaded Ser Roddrik. When someone shows a lack of respect for a leader in front of their team you have to deal with it. I think his first mate or whatever he is ensues a lot of peer pressure. Theon was going to spare Roddrik until he was told to behead him. I think the first mate has a connection with Yara and this will come back to bite the self proclaimed prince, but Theon’s current actions have me rooting for the King of the North to carry out his sentence for seizing Winterfell.

    I agree with a previous poster regarding Bran and Rickon. My guess is that it is two of the children from the passing village. At least I hope it is seeing as Robb would be the last male Stark (but I count Jon as a Stark). Can’t wait for next week!

  91. Jaehaerys I
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Ok, everybody, take a DEEEEP breathe and exhale slowly…

    Perhaps I’m a little biased on this issue because I myself have read the books many times, but I find the general animosity towards “book readers” kind of alarming for a few reasons. My goal here is hopefully to convince people that the majority of book readers are not terrible smug jerks out to ruin your enjoyment of this excellent story.

    Short version:
    1) Not all information is a spoiler, but I agree that it should be treated as such by the poster
    2) Don’t turn on yourselves, non-book-readers
    3) Even book readers don’t know everything and want fresh perspectives

    Long version:
    1) There is definitely a difference between a spoiler and background information. For instance, in my personal view, someone providing information on the entire line of Targaryen royalty does not actually spoil anything, but provides richer detail of the overall world in which the show is set. This information, while not explicitly provided in the story text is provided in the books’ Appendices. It’s supplementary information that isn’t necessary, but is interesting to know so that when a character makes an offhand comment about the The Old King, you can say “Aha! I know who they’re talking about!”. Along the same lines, I do like the above post that cleanly outlines the different religious in Westeros in order to clarify some of the points that the show tried to convey, but was unable to due to time constraints. Although, I also agree with the practice of putting that information into spoiler text, even though it’s not strictly spoiling anything, in case people want to retain some level of uncertainty on the matter. This leads to my next point…

    2) Accusing certain people of being “book readers” because their ideas appear to be too developed seems perhaps a little asinine. There are definitely very well thought out puzzles and clues peppered throughout the show that some people seem to be good at picking up on (perhaps through offline discussions with family and friends), and I think it’s worth giving them the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming they’ve been cheating by looking up the answers in the books. Amongst some of the people that post on these threads, there seems to be such a sensitivity to anything that might constitute a spoiler such that people are accusing particularly insightful non-book readers as having read the books! It becomes a little dramatic when someone accuses someone else of spoiling a character or event that doesn’t even exist in the books (*gasp!* yes, television has need to deviate from the written word), so how can that thing even be spoiled?! Which brings me to my final point…

    3) In order to save time, money, and viewer confusion, certain changes need to be made when adapting a book to a motion picture. In some cases, this might involve combining characters and plot lines. Not-so-shockingly, this has happened with AGoT. In some cases, this has been so dramatic that completely new plot lines have developed and characters that book reader thought were safe are no longer alive! When events such as this unfold, the most vocal reaction on the book-readers thread is outrage and whining. So those of us that actually want to think about these implications in a positive way come here to those of you that have not been tainted by the ideal envisioning of how the books should play out on screen. Getting a new perspective is always nice.

    All that being said, if and when you decide to go out and read the books, you will get a very different experience. Not better, not worse, just different. I do however hope that you enjoy them just as much as the TV series. So, please be nice to us book reader with our burden of knowledge, because one day you might choose to be burdened as well. ;-)

    And please, those of you that have read the books, please please please refrain from any comments along the lines of “oh, just wait until xyz” and other like-minded comments. They’re not constructive in any way shape or form.

  92. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    The bodies definitely aren’t the Stark children – Theon just wants the Villagers to believe the Starks are dead and lose all hope and allegiance to them. If he had killed those boys he would show them. You can even see it on his face that he doesn’t want to.

    Other notes on this episode: I found the interaction between Jon Snow and Igritte not believable. How dumb can you be in such a dangerous place? I also found the convos between Arya and Tywin that everyone is raving about well written but not very believable. Remember his conversation with Jamie in season 1? That seems more like the real guy. I get it that the series is trying to show more complexity in the characters, but it’s not consistent with the way they’ve drawn him out previously. I don’t think he’d take that kind of time for those conversations, or show that kind of interest in anyone. I think he’s more ruthless. I also have a sneaking suspicion that he knows who she is.

    I don’t really understand why everyone keeps going on about how great Jamie is and how good it was to see him again. The way I see it, the sooner he’s dead the better. I don’t care about his complexities; I want justice for the Starks, that’s pretty much it. Same goes for Cersei.

    I worry that Sensa will end up like Cersei. Oh please, I hope this isn’t what happens. I fear that if the Starks are ever reunited they will be a completely broken family, like some of these others (the Lannisters, the Baratheons) because of what they have each separately had to endure and the alliances they’ve made in the meantime. Oh cruel cycle of life that separates, divides, disfigures. Am I so cheesy for wanting a happy ending? I guess I’m still hurting from Ned’s beheading and want that avenged and justice for his family. I’m still stuck on that believe it or not! And why do I keep reading in these discussions that people dislike Catelyn so strongly? To me Lady Stark is the image of a noble, courageous and just woman. Someone with heart strength and a moral center, who’s actually interested in the rule of law – more than I can say for most of the characters in this epic. She’s my favorite character. Thoughts anyone?

  93. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Daniel,

    why/how did that make him your favorite character? what exactly was so compelling? people like villains I guess. not me. I want his head.

  94. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Ditchdigger,

    Shadow Baby was freakin’ weird though ….

  95. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Sergey,

    Osha also seems more “wild.” I don’t buy Ygritte.

  96. ney
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    regarding: Bran and Rickon

    I watched this episode a second time and noticed:
    While Theon is talking to Master luwin, you can hear a woman yelling something like “children come inside!” and then you see two kids, about the same height, running towards the house (I presume), probably the two orphan boys.

  97. Carlo234
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Tytos Blackwood:
    am i the only one who keeps reading the title as “a man without Hodor”

    Yes. :P

  98. mags
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    it was an awesome episode, nuff said. Jon and Ygritte was laugh out loud. Kudo’s to both actors (:

  99. mags
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    vlyman

    The Starks will probably reunite a broken family. It makes the emotional experience of their story more real and authentic. You can’t show the light (their closeness) without the dark (their experiences).

    I think everyone responds to Jaime because of NCW’s acting.

    By showing different or unexpected sides of Tywin, we get to see a character developing as a whole and not one-dimensionally ( thank the gods). In S1 he is incredibly hard on Jaime. I thought it partially explained the Lannister dynamic.

    Arya is someone completely outside this dynamic. She surprises him, in more than one way, i think.

    Same with Jon. In his interaction with Ygritte, we get to see a different side of him. He is bewildered by her and she by him. You can see him considering her suggestions and, once or twice, actually enjoying her taunts. What wouldn’t have been believable, would be them falling down on the ice and doing it there and then. Instead, the innuendos and suggestiveness speaks volumes.

    Anyway, untill very recently she was his prisoner and he would have killed her. She’s trying to see what kind of man he is or throw him off balance by targeting him on his sexuality, poor Jon of all people. And you also have to remember, it’s his accidental hard-on that sets off all that dialogue, which also gives us important info on wildlings.

    The concept of freedom was also a nice add-on.

    Ygritte is described as a sort of a beauty amongst wildlings, so I don’t get the fuss over that. And i love Rose Leslie’s tough girl role.

    And Catelyn’s great, i’m with you there. Kudo’s to Michelle Fairley.

  100. Sergey
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    vlymanAnd why do I keep reading in these discussions that people dislike Catelyn so strongly?To me Lady Stark is the image of a noble, courageous and just woman.Someone with heart strength and a moral center, who’s actually interested in the rule of law – more than I can say for most of the characters in this epic.She’s my favorite character.Thoughts anyone?

    She’s oscillating between been a character that’s rubbing me the wrong way and a character that I can sympathize with. Sometimes she makes horrid decisions like the whole kidnapping of Tyrion event, sometimes she approaches certain tasks in a very strange way like when she first came to Renly’s camp to ask for an alliance and immediately tried to belittle him in front of his troops. And sometimes she shows good foresight like when she warned Rob against attempting to make an alliance with Lord Greyjoy or reminding Rob about his agreement to marry one of the many daughters of that weird lord on the river.

    The thing is: she’s one of the main reasons this war started in the first place. By kidnapping Tyrion on some flimsy evidence she’s put her family, all the Stark vassals and half the Realm in danger. The only reason she’s and the rest of her family is not in a lot more trouble right now is because Rob randomly turned out to be a tactical genius.

  101. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Sergey,

    I’m not sure about that Sergey. The war didn’t start because Lady Stark captured Tyrion, although there were some movements by the patriarch because of that. It started in earnest when Ned Stark, who had found out the truth about Joffrey and attempted to act on it, got his head cut off. That was the real catalyst, along with the fact that King Robert’s brothers had already learned that they had better claims to the throne than Joffrey. One could say war was coming no matter what happened – as even if their had been no fighting and Joffrey had kept the throne peacefully, Dany would be on her way soon enough with dragons and we shall probably likewise see some kind of army or whitewalkers from north of the wall. War was inevitable in one way or another from the moment King Robert refused Ned’s warning about trying to kill the Targaeryn girl, and certainly from the moment he “died.”

    I will concede that it was dubious of her to take the dwarf though – not sure what her reasoning was. Still, she treated him with respect and in accordance with the law – whatever the equivalent of the Geneva Conventions were for those times. Much better than I can say of the Lannisters.

    I didn’t think she tried to belittle Renly in front of his troops – she was very gracious, as was he and his wife. It was in the private conversation moments later that she gave the veiled insult – this was her play for an alliance, essentially saying “you need me – your men are knights of summer but my son’s northern banner men know the winter.” I agree she came on too strong, and so did he – he let her know who was boss by abruptly ending the conversation and making her wait. But I get what she was trying to do. And ultimately, it was successful – they sat down and had the strategic alliance conversation that she came for. Unfortunately, minutes before the evil shadow killed him. Still, I don’t know what respect he deserved. He had no valid claim to the thrown. From what I can see only two people have a valid claim to the thrown – Dany, and Stannis. Although there is the possibility of Robert’s bastard son and even Jon Snow, who I suspect is also a bastard son of Robert’s (with Ned’s sister). Is it so old fashioned that this actually matters to me?

    I think she is generally brave, wise, loving, and just, which is more than I can say for most of the characters. I guess I like an actually righteous person (not merely a self righteous one) – maybe this puts others off.

  102. Sergey
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    vlyman:

    I’m not sure about that Sergey.The war didn’t start because Lady Stark captured Tyrion, although there were some movements by the patriarch because of that.It started in earnest when Ned Stark, who had found out the truth about Joffrey and attempted to act on it, got his head cut off.That was the real catalyst, along with the fact that King Robert’s brothers had already learned that they had better claims to the throne than Joffrey.One could say war was coming no matter what happened – as even if their had been no fighting and Joffrey had kept the throne peacefully, Dany would be on her way soon enough with dragons and we shall probably likewise see some kind of army or whitewalkers from north of the wall.War was inevitable in one way or another from the moment King Robert refused Ned’s warning about trying to kill the Targaeryn girl, and certainly from the moment he “died.”

    Ok, let’s back up a bit. Before Catelyn did that to Tyrion she had Eddard (her liege as well as her husband) tell her not do anything like that and let him deal with the problem. After she ignored his request it immediately resulted in some of his men getting killed and him getting stabbed through the leg. It also resulted in Lannister men led by the Mountain raiding and pillaging the Tully lands. So right then and there the only reason it wasn’t a war yet was because Robert Boratheon was on the throne and he was a great friend of Eddard. Basically her action greatly disturbed the status quo. Sure you could say Jaime was the one that started it all by pushing Bran out the window, but that was done in secret so it wasn’t an open move towards conflict like her action.

    Also I don’t agree with your statement about “war was inevitable anyway”. First of all the events north of the Wall and across the sea aren’t really known to Catelyn so she can’t use those to justify her actions with “oh well, war’s going to start anyway”. Also just because there was a possibility of other conflicts, they did not necessarily need to involve the Starks and their vassals. Civil war isn’t something that everyone has to join in on so while the Boratheon brothers would likely have rebelled anyway, the Starks could have abstained from the fight had they not been pulled into direct conflict with the Lannisters by numerous events culminating with Eddard’s death.

    vlyman:

    I didn’t think she tried to belittle Renly in front of his troops – she was very gracious, as was he and his wife.It was in the private conversation moments later that she gave the veiled insult – this was her play for an alliance, essentially saying “you need me – your men are knights of summer but my son’s northern banner men know the winter.”I agree she came on too strong, and so did he – he let her know who was boss by abruptly ending the conversation and making her wait.But I get what she was trying to do.And ultimately, it was successful – they sat down and had the strategic alliance conversation that she came for.Unfortunately, minutes before the evil shadow killed him.Still, I don’t know what respect he deserved.He had no valid claim to the thrown.From what I can see only two people have a valid claim to the thrown – Dany, and Stannis.Although there is the possibility of Robert’s bastard son and even Jon Snow, who I suspect is also a bastard son of Robert’s (with Ned’s sister).Is it so old fashioned that this actually matters to me?

    I think she is generally brave, wise, loving, and just, which is more than I can say for most of the characters.I guess I like an actually righteous person (not merely a self righteous one) – maybe this puts others off.

    After she arrived at Renly’s camp and was graciously greeted by Renly and Maegery she immediately made smartass remarks about how Rob has been fighting the real war for a while now and Renly’s troops have been relaxing by holding tourneys instead. This is all true enough but you normally don’t want to ridicule a leader’s actions in front of his men like that, it’s the opposite from being diplomatic. Those comments could have been saved for later when they were one on one. It’s good that he was gracious and quick enough to respond in the way that he did and make the switch to a more private environment. I think the fact that they agreed on an alliance later had more to do with Renly seeing the fact that they were great “natural allies” and less with her diplomatic skills.

    The valid claim for the throne argument is not always for the best. Remember that the king that Robert “usurped” was on his throne according to all the laws, yet no one wanted him there and he was eventually killed by Jaime without anyone crying a single tear. Laws are only as powerful as people who are willing for follow them. In this case most of the Boratheon men and Tyrell men were following Renly, so he was the king that had the most public supported despite everyone knowing that Stannis had the legal claim. He probably would have been the king if the author of the books didn’t decide to include “and now there is dark magic” bit to get Renly killed off and make for a more suspenseful story.

    Not sure about Jon Snow being Robert’s son. Didn’t Robert chastise Eddard for being so hard on himself for siring a bastard in one of their conversations? So if Snow really is Robert’s son it means that Robert doesn’t know that and I just don’t see why Eddard would keep that information secret.

    Anyway, it’s fine to be righteous person, but when you’re a Lord or a Lady with subjects you need to consider how your actions will affect the said subjects. Are those subjects just pawns in a game you play, or do you care about the fact that they all have mothers of their own? When Catelyn disregarded Eddard’s request she put her personal desire for justice and desire to keep one of her sons safe above the lives of all the Stark banner-men. That put her on the same level as Tywinn Lannister in my opinion. Sure, most Lords in the series seem to be just as bad or even worse about caring for their subjects, but if Catelyn is supposed to really be the “good guy” here then she’s not quite up to par. Rob Stark is probably the only Lord so far to really consistently care for his men so far. Remember how conflicted he was when he had to sacrifice 2000 men to assure victory over one of the Lannister armies?

  103. vlyman
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Sergey,

    Wow, I admire your dedication and attention to every twist and turn. I too am highly addicted, and invested. However, I do not think it was Catelyn Stark’s actions that started this great war. I agree with you it was dumb, not logical, to take him as prisoner. But whether or not she took the dwarf prisoner, Eddard Stark still would have lost his head for finding and then attempting to reveal the truth of the succession to the throne. He could have nipped it all in the bud by just going to King Robert and telling him directly, instead of having mercy on Cersei by giving her a chance to flee. The dwarf had walked away as a free man before the major battles were even begun. Taking Tyrion prisoner did not give Jamie Lanister a defensible excuse to attack Eddard Stark. He was out for the Starks to begin with.

    Sorry but I just don’t buy your logic that Catelyn Stark started the war!

    And while it was ill-advised for her to take the dwarf prisoner, she did have some right to respond to the fact that the Lannisters tried to kill her son – she just didn’t know which ones. Certainly she had as much right to respond to that injury as Jamie did to the injury of his brother being taken prisoner. Only Lady Stark actually treated her prisoner with dignity, made sure that he was not harmed and released him when she felt ethically compelled to do so, unlike the Lannisters who ran down the Starks in broad daylight and torture or kill them without moral provocation.

  104. I Know of Fear
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    vlyman,

    Eddard gave Cersei a chance to flee because he’d already seen Robert abuse her. His honor compelled him to giver her a way out, because one can only imagine what orders Robert would have given if he found out on his deathbed that he had no legit heirs. But it was certainly Lord Stark’s compassion that caused the war.

    Lady Stark captured Tyrion, but she had a decent chance of him being found guilty. Of course it would be a wrongful conviction, but the only people who could prove it would have little interest in doing so. From her point of view it makes perfect sense to capture the dwarf. Even if the Lannisters would not honor the justice of his imprisonment, the war wouldn’t have been that bad: they would attack Lysa’s impregnable fortress, likely without bannermen who would also have to violate justice that had been proven in court. Cat had no information to suggest it was a bad idea to capture Tyrion.

  105. Jaehaerys I
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    vlyman,

    I would argue that Catelyn’s actions started the war, but she was not the reason behind it. Her actions were just an excuse. The situation was untenable. A weak and unhealthy king, an heir whose legitimacy is in doubt, multiple noble Houses with strong personality conflicts, etc, etc. It was only a matter of time before something set off the spark. Everyone was looking for an excuse to get an upper hand, and even though Robert was a terrible king, he was the only thing preventing the realm from falling into chaos. There have also been certain individuals that have expertly manipulated people into situations to produce conflict. For instance, Catelyn definitely erred in the decision to take matters into her own hands and abduct Tyrion, but then it was Littlefinger that gave her the tidbit of information about the dagger which inflamed her suspicions and prejudices of the Lannisters. Someone that took great pains to hide her from prying eyes certainly knows the value of well-placed information.

  106. ney
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Jaehaerys I,

    The war started when Cersei and Jamie pushed Bran from the window.

  107. vlyman
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Jaehaerys I,

    Exactly. Agreed on all points.

  108. vlyman
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I Know of Fear,

    Agreed – I think Catelyn did have some evidence suggesting the dwarf was involved (the knife) so while tenuous, it is understandable. And she pretty quickly did the right thing by releasing him (within a day?) I think it’s ridiculous to think that action started the war, as Sergey so vehemently proclaims and defends. I think the thinking is all off there. The war would have happened regardless, because Ned knew Joffrey was not the rightful heir, yet the Lannisters were determined to keep the throne. I think it’s ridiculous to blame that on Catelyn.

    I do however think Ned made a big error of judgement, albeit a merciful one (honorable motives), in telling Cersei of his discovery. Classic misjudgment. Robert’s “abuse” to Cersei was really not that bad – a slap as compared with the horror of Joffrey, Jamie, and her own murderous designs (likely poisoned the hand of the king before Ned, psychologically torturing Sensa, etc etc, there are many examples). Robert was not a cruel king and might have spared her. I see why Ned gave her the chance to flee, and I still love him for his noble courage in all matters, but it was a terrible misjudgment of her character that has brought a lot of bloodshed and misery to the realm and his children. He should have anticipated her vengeful response if he had any sense of her character at all. For all we know, she killed King Robert as well. Remember what the Munich said to Ned – “the pig and the wine slowed him down, but it was your mercy that killed him” – to me implying that Cersei had a hand in quickening the end (if not poisoning him to begin with, something in the wine that would make him bleed without clotting).

    Anyhow, I agree with Jaehaerys I that the war was inevitable with all the plotting that was going on, and the personality and power dynamics of the kingdom.

    My original ranting and long explanations on here was a response to one of the commenters suggesting that the war is somehow Lady Stark’s fault. Ridiculous assertion if I do say so.

  109. WompWomp
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Some insight from the book WITHOUT spoilers follows:

    I think as far as the noble houses are concerned, the Starks formally started the war while the Lannisters provoked them when Joffrey executed Ned. It was his brash decision that incited the North to take up arms. There was no other response left to them other then acknowledging the treason verdict lying down. To expound on this, the book (no spoilers, don’t worry) makes a bigger point of Cersei wanting to banish Ned to the Wall. They give that line to Varys in the show, and even in Conleth Hill’s delivery, it is presented as Varys’ speculation, not fact. The book makes it clear that Cersei honestly believes in Ned’s naive but honorable nature and wishes for him to take the black of the Night’s Watch, which would rule him out as a threat and keep relative peace with the North. Only Joffrey takes the life of an upstanding and prominent lord like Ned (who was basically the ruler of the Northern quarter of what is now the Seven Kingdoms, accountable only to King’s Landing) so lightly, to the frustration of his handlers.

  110. vlyman
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Hi Womp Womp, I do think that came through pretty clearly in the show – you could see Cersei pulling at Joffrey trying to make him reconsider when he made the surprise impulsive (sadistic?) decision. That was the first indication that he was going terribly off the rails of her designs.

    But jeez, with the way she raised him – “And if you want painted whores, you will have painted whores, for you will be the king” how did she think the kid was gonna turn out? How could it have been such a surprise to her? Bad judgement. And yes, she does say a line or two that lets you know she gives Ned credit for his character and motives.

    I also agree with you that was the real start of the war. Bad move, and she knew right away what it meant.

  111. WompWomp
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    EDITED VERSION OF PREVIOUS COMMENT:

    Some insight from the book WITHOUT spoilers follows:

    I think as far as the noble houses are concerned, the Starks formally started the war while the Lannisters provoked them when Joffrey executed Ned. It was his brash decision that incited the North to take up arms. There was no other response left to them other then acknowledging the treason verdict lying down. To expound on this, the book (no spoilers, don’t worry) makes a bigger point of Cersei wanting to banish Ned to the Wall. They give that line to Varys in the show, and even in Conleth Hill’s delivery, it is presented as Varys’ speculation, not fact. The book makes it clear that Cersei honestly believes in Ned’s naive but honorable nature and wishes for him to take the black of the Night’s Watch, which would rule him out as a threat and keep relative peace with the North. Only Joffrey takes the life of an upstanding and prominent lord like Ned (who was basically the ruler of the Northern quarter of what is now the Seven Kingdoms, accountable only to King’s Landing) so lightly, to the frustration of his handlers.

    So, all the other events leading up to eventual Ned’s fate aside, it’s really Joffrey’s defining act of vicious idiocy that really ignites the conflict, or at least the North-South conflict. Ned’s curiosity led to his revelation and letter to Stannis, and the vacancy of the throne was facilitated by a considerable quantity of wine, which led to Renly’s split. You really have to split up the factions in the war to effectively narrow down the events that led to the overall War of the Five Kings.

    I agree with you, Catelyn’s role simply fanned the fires. It didn’t actually start them. It’s fascinating. The roots of the evils that led to the war are so deep that they bear so much examination without leading to a definitive answer! It’s the timeless game played by men since the Iron Throne was forged, which is what makes “Game of Thrones” such a fitting title for the adaptation and an engaging show. I definitely recommend reading the series, the respective adapted book after each season is done. You’ll get a lot out of it!

  112. vlyman
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    That’s a good idea, to do it like that – after each season. Because I’m enjoying the series and don’t want to ruin it with spoilers. I almost think one needs to take films and books as separate works of art.

    Can you tell me, without giving anything away from the books, why everyone loves Jamie Lannister so much? He seems like a total dick to me.

  113. WompWomp
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    vlyman,

    I really feel you in terms of respecting both the books and the series on their own merits. If wrote quite a bit on that in the Daily Raven comments for the last episode. As a reader-before-viewer, I acclimated myself into a state of enjoying the show as a show by watching and discussing it with friends who were completely new to the series and unfamiliar with the novels. I have a healthy respect for both forms of the series. I respect your decision to save the books for later, but don’t wait too long! The show won’t be over for a good while, and I imagine watching first and reading the adapted book later would preserve your enjoyment of the show more than reading the book and watching the adaptation later.

    re: Jaime Lannister, here’s something to tide you over without actually spoiling anything. I’ll try to use things you’ve already seen in the show. For one thing, lines of his like “There are no men like me, only me” are not just an expression of his ego. In his own way, he does stand apart among the rest of the characters. Remember how a frustrated Cersei told Tyrion that he and Jaime never took the burden maintaining their family’s influence seriously? Jaime truly can’t be bothered by authority and vows, which the show communicates, especially in Episode 7. In a particular light, he is a purer creature than most, a man that does as he wills, unburdened by Ned’s sense of honor (which if you think about it, is admirable but not necessarily true to the nature of most human beings, it is a cultivated facet of his life) and not at all enamored with political power like the rest of his family. He even tells Alton that he’s only in his element with a sword in his hand. That’s who he is. The show even adds that little bit about him being dyslexic, cementing Jaime’s own claims that his swordsmanship is what defines him.

    Consider every awful thing you’ve heard characters say about the Mad King. What do you think of Jaime for killing King Aerys, the man who burned Ned Stark’s father and brother alive? In closing, please consider this fact as well: Jaime is a lot of things, but he is no liar. Few characters rival him and Ned Stark when it comes to being true to themselves, which makes them exceptional, sometimes in ways you don’t really expect.

    I really recommend picking up the blu-ray for the extra features, they provide a lot of lore and historical background from the first book that didn’t make it into the show, including a more detailed look at the characters’ relationships with the late Mad King.

  114. vlyman
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    WompWomp: “There are no men like me, only me”

    This was the only line of his so far that I liked. I’m fully willing to concede that killing the Mad King may have been doing the rest of the kingdom a favor, though the back story hasn’t been shown in the series yet so my judgement is out. But besides that, he’s a pure what – incestual killer? I just don’t find that kind of purity very likable, and not really that compelling either, honestly. What we’ve actually seen of him in the series so far (add italics) are: cold bloodedly trying to kill the Stark boy, wounding Ned Stark and killing his men, cold bloodedly killing his devoted cousin in an attempt to escape, say totally douchey things to Lady Stark every time he sees her, like “widowhood becomes you” and screwing his sister. Do I care that his father was mean to him and he was dyslexic? Not really, certainly not enough to account for all of the above. I’m fine with him not taking any loyalty vows – that’s interesting enough – but not as weighed against his actions which just seem heartless. I think there are a lot of characters in this story who are pure in one sense or another – look at Brienne, or Mountian, or you can even say Joffrey is a pure sadist. That doesn’t make him likable at all. So far Jamie’s only redeeming quality is loyalty to his sister in their incestual extramarital relationship. That’s just not very redeeming.

    And while I’ll look at the “extras,” I don’t think I should have to get my empathy for a character by going elsewhere, outside of the main story vehicle – in this case the show. I think people who profess their love for Jamie are getting their impression of him from elsewhere, books or DVD extras, not from the show. I just don’t see it.

  115. WompWomp
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    vlyman,

    Trust me, I don’t expect to win you over at this point. If I did, I’d have said too much about something somewhere. You may never like him, and that would be fair. Just let future events speak for themselves and take them as you will. For now, the best I can do is emphasize Jaime’s peculiar brand of integrity, which is at the core of his character. Also, just because I assert his motivations are pure (albeit unlikeable, I hear you), doesn’t mean his character isn’t dynamic. I don’t think anyone liked Jaime at this point in the series when they were reading through it. I’ll let the show speak for itself when the time comes. I hope you’re looking forward to making those discoveries yourself. That’s one of the best parts of reading or watching the series first, either one.

  116. vlyman
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    fair ’nuff.


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