Recap round-up: “The Prince of Winterfell”
By Ours is the Fury on in Press.

Here are some notable recaps and reviews of the eighth episode of season two of Game of Thrones:

Book Readers
Axechucker – TV Equals
James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly
Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings
Maureen Ryan – Huffington Post
James Poniewozik – Time
Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club
Alyssa Rosenberg – ThinkProgress
Rowan Kaiser – Press Play
Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone
Sarah Hughes – The Guardian
Jace Lacob – Televisionary
Scott Meslow – The Atlantic

New Viewers
David Sims – A.V. Club
Alan Sepinwall – HitFix
Jenifer D. Braun – NJ Star-Ledger
Matt Richenthal – TV Fanatic
John Kubicek – Buddy TV
Larry Williams – OtakuASSEMBLE

HBO also provides recap and “Inside the Episode” videos every week:


165 Comments

  1. sbj2k1
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Does the Larry Williams need to be on the list. It was neither a recap nor a review.
    of the 18 mins recorder, only 3 mins were related to episode 8.

  2. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Actually the video is largely about episode 8, and pinpoints a lot of the problems people are having with the season. So yes, it does belong on the list. You can choose not to watch it if you’re not a fan.

  3. Entropy
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    sbj2k1,

    There is no need to watch it, I would prefer to have him on the list though.

  4. Rogge
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    sbj2k1:
    Does the Larry Williams need to be on the list. It was neither a recap nor a review.
    of the 18 mins recorder, only 3 mins were related to episode 8.

    I like Larry more than most of the others for the very reasons you don’t think it should be on the list.

    Too much to ask for that you just don’t watch it if you don’t like it?

  5. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Anyone else having this site crash while viewing on safari on ipad? It may just be me, but I think it is ad-related. Not sure.

  6. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Small point, but important to the continuity: I was glad to see Kevan Lannister again. Thought he was going to be left out this season.

    On a related note: I wonder if Lena Headey will actually do the “perp walk”?

  7. Shagga son of Dolf
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Larry raises legitimate criticisms this week. Not everyone (and especially people unlike us who haven’t read the books, and are looking at it with a clean slate) needs to kiss D&D’s feet. I love the books, and I enjoy the show too, but I don’t think anyone can say it hasn’t had its shortcomings. And for people who haven’t read the books those must be even more magnified.

    Bottom line is, if people don’t like a review because they don’t like hearing the show criticized (or they’re just against Larry because they’re a closet Sansa lover) they have the option not to click on the link anymore. The most of us who like to watch him will, and that is why suggesting the link be removed needs to end, now.

  8. Evenstar
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    I am as well. Could not load some of the threads–they keep crashing.

  9. Stannis
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    No, Larry’s 100% right and they’ve really dropped the ball this season.

  10. sbj2k1
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    yeah, you’re probably right. I guess I just felt how Larry felt. a bit underwhelmed by his review. hehehe.

  11. Winter Is Coming
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Alan,
    Evenstar,

    I just enabled the mobile site as the default for iPad viewers. That should take care of the problem. Let me know if you have any other issues.

  12. Andy Gavin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Here on the eve of battle, things are moving fast. Ten hours can hardly retell 1040 pages, so this episode packs in a lot of story in a very rapid way. There are some great scenes, particularly with Tyrion (as usual), but the whole feels a little disjointed. My full episode review here.

  13. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve enjoyed Larry Williams’ reviews as much as anybody, and have actually been watching them since he posted his first review, and while I don’t really agree with his take on scenes being necessary and/or unnecessary, I see absolutely no reason why that review shouldn’t be posted here as it’s infinitely more interesting than many of the standard recaps.

    As to the content of his review, I’ll simply say this: every great show I’ve ever watched (The Wire, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, etc.) has put their audience in a place where they’re asking, “Is any of this really necessary for the story or the characters?” The reason for this is, in my opinion, great shows are often like great novels – they play a long game, and require things to be set up well before there will be any ramifications, or any pay-off. That can naturally lead an audience to feel disappointed or underwhelmed, but it’s ultimately in service of the larger tapestry. A non-reader might not be very engaged with the Robb & Talisa romance, for instance, but it’s necessary to show this because of a certain event that occurs in the third book.

    Compare this type of story-telling with many network shows and even some cable programming, where something is often introduced and resolved within the course of one or a few episodes. Current examples of this would be Grimm, Sons of Anarchy, and Homeland (although I thought Homeland was fantastic, I’m worried about how good the second season is going to be). Then there’s shows like The Walking Dead and The Killing, that seem to meander and have no true forward momentum. Each show has one or two episodes in a season (to this point, anyway) that truly advance the plot and/or develop the characters (however little actual development is provided). They’re easily digestible, uncomplicated, and almost always straight forward. I know which style I prefer, but I can see how a mass audience would become frustrated, as most mass media is built upon instant gratification.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that Game of Thrones is being held to a higher standard than nearly every other show on television at the moment (as it should), and those analyzing the show do it a disservice by looking at it from a episode-by-episode perspective. On that basis, I feel like the first season has been stronger than this second season, but once the season has ended and people have the option to watch the second season in quick succession, I think a lot of the complaints will be nullified (not for book purists, mind you, but that’s a different story).

    I personally believe that A Clash of Kings represents the most difficult job the writers and the production team will have had to face from the perspective of adapting the material, even moreso than A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I’m not saying they won’t face difficulties going forward, but the prospective of breaking down the storylines to fit within an hour of screen-time, while simultaneously making sure that audience is witness to events that don’t happen in the books but are integral to telling the story will be much easier going forward, I think. Both David & Dan will have learned a lot over the course of these past two seasons, and I couldn’t be happier that they’ll be going forward with the experience gained from working on this show for such a long time. It also comforts me that D&D are willing to give other writers more responsibilities (Bryan Cogman and Vanessa Taylor), so that they can more fully embrace their responsibilities as the captains of this ship, as I know from second-hand experience (I’ve never been involved in the writing aspect of a film or television production) that writing for episodic television sometimes has a casual effect of losing track, even if only momentarily, of the bigger picture. Regardless, we still have two episodes left this season and I’m confident that on a re-watch we’ll get a better idea of the overall picture (obviously, since we still have those two episodes left, as I said) that D&D were trying to convey.

  14. LordStarkington
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    One of the youtube reviews I watch every week from Think Hero TV (including someone from Zap2It): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kU78NLL5p0

  15. Shady_Grady
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind them changing things from the books provided they work. This season so far some of the changes haven’t worked out as well as they could have. I still enjoy it though, just not as much as last year’s.

    My recap.

  16. bigswerg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    they are still getting to the same place with the story, due to limited time it has to be compressed to fit in one season, but cant make an overall judgement untill the show has run its course

  17. Jace Lacob
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    My review of “The Prince of Winterfell” is *finally* live:

    http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2012/05/misdirection-prince-of-winterfell-on.html

    (Better late than never, I suppose.)

  18. Scholesy
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Stannis:
    No, Larry’s 100% right and they’ve really dropped the ball this season.

    That is funny, because I am loving this season.

  19. The Whole Picture
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The only criticism I have with Larry is that he sometimes doesn’t pay enough attention and prematurely interprets scenes as “unnecessary” that contain very important information. This episode surely wasn’t great but many scenes he dismisses as unimportant are very much needed for the next two episodes.
    Granted, as a non-reader that’s not as obvious to him as to readers but if he paid more attention he would realize not all of the episode was wasted time (like he makes it sound).

    Example: He says the scenes at Harenhall this week “served no purpose” and “didn’t contribute anything to the overall plot”. That’s blatantly wrong and even a non-reader should see that. Tywin marching for KL is a mayor event considering Stannis might be there any day. And it should be obvious that Arya leaving Harenhall* marks the beginning of a new story arc for her.

    *On that note: I was VERY dissapointed by her Harenhall exit. The way she forced Jaquen to help her and her reason to name him felt very rushed. The fact that the guards were killed by Jaquen also left a bitter taste in my mouth. That doesn’t line up with his “death must pay for life” reasoning AT ALL.

  20. Oi!
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Liked the episode but compared to the last two episodes it fell flat. Like last years ep8 just preparation for SHTF ep.
    Overall this season (for me) has been far better than last years (which again for me isn’t that surprising since i find AGOT boring as hell). The “changes” to the story from the books make the show much more watchable.

  21. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I think that’s the first “negative” review of GoT from Alan Sepinwall I’ve read. Lots of dissatisfaction in the comments as well. Have to admit the critics bring up good points about how stupidly the characters are acting. I wonder if GRRM originally wrote them to be this dumb or if it comes across in translation. It feels like most of the characters in this season have zero brain cells. Even in this episode the sharpest tools in the shed seem dull and slow-witted, as Varys is distracted by Dany and Tyrion crams for his seigecraft exam.

  22. Winnie
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! Thank you! I was having a problem loading the site on my iPad as well…..it was making me nuts!
    Problem solved :)
    Now I am back to reading all the comments I have enjoyed so much recently!

  23. unrobb
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    sbj2k1,

    Great, another Larry hater. If you don’t like him, don’t watch him and go to Tumbler to ship your OTP San/San.

    By the way, to those who feel the need to advertise their crappy blog review of the show: enough. Stop trying to ride the coattails of others.

  24. Eric
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I think Larry is kind of an idiot, but that’s why I don’t watch him. If people enjoy his stuff, I don’t hold it against them. No reason not to have him on the recap list.

  25. Clob
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    And as for Talisa, wow, if sawing off legs gets you a body like that, half the ladies in Westeros would sign up for medic classes. – Hibberd

    My thoughts exactly :)

  26. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind people sharing their reviews here, personally, as long as it’s just once a posting. Our list isn’t comprehensive, just a sampling. There’s lots of great bloggers out there. :)

  27. Ben Watson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    sbj2k1:
    Does the Larry Williams need to be on the list. It was neither a recap nor a review.
    of the 18 mins recorder, only 3 mins were related to episode 8.

    Nope. Larry is spot on re: 37 scenes of Jon and Ygritte flirting in the snow. :)

  28. That's Yo Garbage
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Check out our review. We are book readers, but it is spoiler free

    http://www.thatsyogarbage.com/review-game-of-thrones-season-2-the-prince-of-winterfell/

  29. rolle
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    There are many other reviewers on youtube and why include here only Larry. He sucks this season!

  30. David the Grey
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy Larry William’s reviews and feel they belong here. However, Larry’s review suffers from the same things he’s critiqing the show for: slowness and info that isn’t needed. Goodness, Larry, get on with it! That could easily have been a 6 minute review (3 minute explanation, 3 minute mini-review). I’m not even trying to complain about Larry’s review, just found it ironic!

    I agree that the pacing suffered, but because I love the books and the characters, I’m happy to get as much time with any of them as they are willing to show. I used to think I’d be happy with 13 episodes (or more) to give even more time to the characters that I love.

    But I’m now wondering if that would be a good idea after all for a fantasy television series trying to capture a mainstream audience. It doesn’t take much, evidently, for a show to lose an audience’s attention; the slightest slowing of pace might be enough to cause an exodus of viewers. So if the show was extended to 13 or more episodes to allow more time for character development, wouldn’t that slow the pace even further and cause even more of an exodus? I’m beginning to fear it would, and hence I’m now thinking 10 episodes might be the smart move.

    I don’t like it, because so much of the story has to be compressed, but it is better than having a show that only made it to Season 1.

  31. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I love the show but I agree that up until now this season is not living up to my expectations. I think it’s because of the Robb and Danny scenes, for some reason they just really annoy me. I love love love the rest(especially all things Arya and Greyjoy). Maybe we’ll see some redemption in the last 2 episodes.

  32. Kingthlayer
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I like your post. I agree with it entirely.

  33. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    I think that’s the first “negative” review of GoT from Alan Sepinwall I’ve read. Lots of dissatisfaction in the comments as well. Have to admit the critics bring up good points about how stupidly the characters are acting. I wonder if GRRM originally wrote them to be this dumb or if it comes across in translation. It feels like most of the characters in this season have zero brain cells. Even in this episode the sharpest tools in the shed seem dull and slow-witted, as Varys is distracted by Dany and Tyrion crams for his seigecraft exam.

    Everything that lead to RW is one giant pileup of epic idiocy from everyone on the northern side. Dany also had her moments, so did Tyrion (the whole Shae deal). And don’t forget Theon and Cercei. Yes, lots of people in the books do extremely stupid things, and what looked stupid on page, looks even more stupid on screen.

  34. Kels
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    The Whole Picture,

    I agree that her reasons weren’t necessarily clear, but having Jaqen kill the guards still fits with the book. She tricked him into breaking his three-deaths-for-life rule, just like she did with weasel soup in the book.

  35. Magnus
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    David the Grey:
    I enjoy Larry William’s reviews and feel they belong here.However, Larry’s review suffers from the same things he’s critiqing the show for: slowness and info that isn’t needed.Goodness, Larry, get on with it!That could easily have been a 6 minute review (3 minute explanation, 3 minute mini-review).I’m not even trying to complain about Larry’s review, just found it ironic!

    I agree that the pacing suffered, but because I love the books and the characters, I’m happy to get as much time with any of them as they are willing to show.I used to think I’d be happy with 13 episodes (or more) to give even more time to the characters that I love.

    But I’m now wondering if that would be a good idea after all for a fantasy television series trying to capture a mainstream audience.It doesn’t take much, evidently, for a show to lose an audience’s attention; the slightest slowing of pace might be enough to cause an exodus of viewers.So if the show was extended to 13 or more episodes to allow more time for character development, wouldn’t that slow the pace even further and cause even more of an exodus?I’m beginning to fear it would, and hence I’m now thinking 10 episodes might be the smart move.

    I don’t like it, because so much of the story has to be compressed, but it is better than having a show that only made it to Season 1.

    I think it rather goes the other way. If the story would not have been that compressed this season, we may have gotten a more faithful adaptation, with the added bits still being there. As it was, the writers had to take shortcuts, which, IMHO, impacted the show negatively.

  36. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Alan: Anyone else having this site crash while viewing on safari on ipad? It may just be me, but I think it is ad-related. Not sure.

    I did too, last night, more than once. Switched to my desktop after that.

  37. Langkard
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Please correct me if I’m wrong here, but did D&D drop a tiny little future book spoiler in the EW.com interview about next week’s episode? Read through page 2 of the interview and look for the part where Benioff is talking about why their sound design guy, Peter Brown, is their hero. It’s nothing major. Only one tiny little word; but has anyone read anything before about the White Walker language being called Skroth? Something perhaps that GRRM told them?

  38. Scholesy
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Ben Watson: Nope.Larry is spot on re: 37 scenes of Jon and Ygritte flirting in the snow. :)

    Did they even flirt this episode…

  39. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Meg: I think that’s the first “negative” review of GoT from Alan Sepinwall I’ve read. Lots of dissatisfaction in the comments as well. Have to admit the critics bring up good points about how stupidly the characters are acting. I wonder if GRRM originally wrote them to be this dumb or if it comes across in translation. It feels like most of the characters in this season have zero brain cells. Even in this episode the sharpest tools in the shed seem dull and slow-witted, as Varys is distracted by Dany and Tyrion crams for his seigecraft exam.

    I think some of that has to do with decisions being made at different times and thus the characters have different experiences and amounts of information to draw upon than in the books. I mean there’s a lot of suspect decision-making in the books as well (which I don’t mind, in real life people screw up, a lot), but some of it definitely looks worse on-screen. Cases in point: Catelyn freeing Jaime (without thinking Bran and Rickon are dead), Qhorin’s leaving Jon to do the deed with Ygritte (didn’t make it clear in the show that he thought he might free her, and his men wandered just a little too far off to be convincing). And there’ve been more, so the shuffling of storylines has definitely taken a toll.

  40. All_Men_Must_Post
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Review is up on the blog and below!

    Two more episodes left guys. And last night’s episode felt like the high quality bread you’re served while you wait for your meal at a nice restaurant. It’s probably fresh-baked and has nuts or whatnot in it. But for the people who know me, they know I rarely eat the bread they put on the table. It’s empty carbs, however tasty as it may be. That was last night’s episode… empty carbs but still tasty. Three out of five stars.

    What I liked:

    1. Stannis likes dogs. I always pictured him as a dog guy and he didn’t disappoint. We’re on the cusp of a siege and Stannis knows a thing about sieges. His little anecdote with Davos on how he held Storm’s End for Robert gives us some color on the origin of the Onion Knight (he smuggled food into Storm’s End), but also the measure of this man. Stannis is not a cruel or cold man; he is a just one. He obeyed his older brother and reaped none of the rewards when Robert awarded Storm’s End to Renly. He knighted Davos even though he was a smuggler and named him as his Hand. Justice is fair and doesn’t pull favors, even if it’s your younger brother or if your second-in-command’s father was a crabber.

    2. Throw the books. The other bookend (pun intended) of the siege is the preparations made by Tyrion, Bronn, and surprisingly, Varys. Bronn also knows a thing about sieges and his matter-of-fact explanation about food and thievery underscores the importance of Davos to Stannis, but also the cruel realities of war that seems lost on Joffrey. It seems that neither the king nor his mother seem to understand the severity of the upcoming siege. Is Cersei ignorant of her impending doom or has she deluded herself because of her spite for Tyrion?

    3. Please. Arya steals another scene again, but this time she has help with our favorite assassin. The exchange between Arya and Jaqen is exactly as portrayed in the books. Some of us may be upset with the divergence from the books on what Arya gets in return for taking back the name. I have to admit I missed “weasel soup” but this version was certainly shorter.

    What I didn’t like:

    1. Dany and her broken record. She wants her dragons… we get it. At this point, I almost would prefer they skip over Dany’s scenes until something substantive happens. It feels like unnecessary filler—empty carbs if you will—until the payoff at the House of the Undying. Are the showrunners so concerned that the audience will forget the Mother of Dragons that they have to pan to Qarth for five minutes every episode?

    2. A Bridge to Nowhere. I get why Robb Stark has a love interest. It’s an interesting character arc that was mostly glossed over in the books. Expanding the role of Jeyne to Lady Talisa gives Robb’s convictions and struggles more gravitas. And we got more Game of Thrones approved nudity. But I hope … hope this pays off. It’s a lot of time expanding a minor character in the books at the expense of some of the other (arguably more beloved) characters that have little to no screen time (I’m looking at you, Reeds).

    Three out of five stars isn’t a bad review. I grade on a curve here and Game of Thrones sets a high bar. I want to point out that while I don’t partake in the free bread at these fancy meals, they often bring out a juicy steak shortly after. The next episode, appropriately named Blackwater, is going to be epic. The teleplay is written by the man himself, George R.R. Martin, who started his career writing for television. Oh and one last thing: Jaime Lannister’s line “You’re much uglier in daylight” is worth an honorable mention.

  41. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Shagga son of Dolf:
    Larry raises legitimate criticisms this week. Not everyone (and especially people unlike us who haven’t read the books, and are looking at it with a clean slate) needs to kiss D&D’s feet. I love the books, and I enjoy the show too, but I don’t think anyone can say it hasn’t had its shortcomings. And for people who haven’t read the books those must be even more magnified.

    Bottom line is, if people don’t like a review because they don’t like hearing the show criticized (or they’re just against Larry because they’re a closet Sansa lover) they have the option not to click on the link anymore. The most of us who like to watch him will, and that is why suggesting the link be removed needs to end, now.

    I agree that’s there’s no reason not to link a review, but I’d think comments about which reviews people like or not are pretty valid, no?

    On a completely unrelated note, I’d disagree with your assertion about non-book readers having a harder time. With no comparison point, things like Arya’s escape go along just fine. Those who have read have something to compare it to.

  42. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets:
    I’ve enjoyed Larry Williams’ reviews as much as anybody, and have actually been watching them since he posted his first review, and while I don’t really agree with his take on scenes being necessary and/or unnecessary, I see absolutely no reason why that review shouldn’t be posted here as it’s infinitely more interesting than many of the standard recaps.

    As to the content of his review, I’ll simply say this: every great show I’ve ever watched (The Wire, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, etc.) has put their audience in a place where they’re asking, “Is any of this really necessary for the story or the characters?” The reason for this is, in my opinion, great shows are often like great novels – they play a long game, and require things to be set up well before there will be any ramifications, or any pay-off. That can naturally lead an audience to feel disappointed or underwhelmed, but it’s ultimately in service of the larger tapestry. A non-reader might not be very engaged with the Robb & Talisa romance, for instance, but it’s necessary to show this because of a certain event that occurs in the third book.

    Compare this type of story-telling with many network shows and even some cable programming, where something is often introduced and resolved within the course of one or a few episodes. Current examples of this would be Grimm, Sons of Anarchy, and Homeland (although I thought Homeland was fantastic, I’m worried about how good the second season is going to be). Then there’s shows like The Walking Dead and The Killing, that seem to meander and have no true forward momentum. Each show has one or two episodes in a season (to this point, anyway) that truly advance the plot and/or develop the characters (however little actual development is provided). They’re easily digestible, uncomplicated, and almost always straight forward. I know which style I prefer, but I can see how a mass audience would become frustrated, as most mass media is built upon instant gratification.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that Game of Thrones is being held to a higher standard than nearly every other show on television at the moment (as it should), and those analyzing the show do it a disservice by looking at it from a episode-by-episode perspective. On that basis, I feel like the first season has been stronger than this second season, but once the season has ended and people have the option to watch the second season in quick succession, I think a lot of the complaints will be nullified (not for book purists, mind you, but that’s a different story).

    I personally believe that A Clash of Kings represents the most difficult job the writers and the production team will have had to face from the perspective of adapting the material, even moreso than A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I’m not saying they won’t face difficulties going forward, but the prospective of breaking down the storylines to fit within an hour of screen-time, while simultaneously making sure that audience is witness to events that don’t happen in the books but are integral to telling the story will be much easier going forward, I think. Both David & Dan will have learned a lot over the course of these past two seasons, and I couldn’t be happier that they’ll be going forward with the experience gained from working on this show for such a long time. It also comforts me that D&D are willing to give other writers more responsibilities (Bryan Cogman and Vanessa Taylor), so that they can more fully embrace their responsibilities as the captains of this ship, as I know from second-hand experience (I’ve never been involved in the writing aspect of a film or television production) that writing for episodic television sometimes has a casual effect of losing track, even if only momentarily, of the bigger picture. Regardless, we still have two episodes left this season and I’m confident that on a re-watch we’ll get a better idea of the overall picture (obviously, since we still have those two episodes left, as I said) that D&D were trying to convey.

    Sean Collins said it best on his blog: The whole concept of asking about “is it necessary” with art is ridiculous in the sense that art itself is unnecessary. It’s a story — not a recap of plot points.

    The unnecessary scenes end up being my favorites.

  43. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky: did Tyrion (the whole Shae deal). And don’t forget Theon and Cercei. Yes, lots of peo

    More importantly, everyone in life does stupid things constantly, if we’re defining stupid things as “irrational.” Most people are emotionally-driven decision makers, and decisions are often avoided, or rushed, even though outside observers can clearly see it’s a mistake.

    I’ve never understood why in fiction the standard for many viewers or readers of realistic is that no characters make bad choices. That’s the most unrealistic thing of all!

  44. val
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I wish Larry would keep an open mind and see where everything goes. Most of the stuff he complained about leads somewhere big. Maybe it’s because AGOT stood more on its own, while ACOK has a lot more plotlines that go well into the next book. I no way saying he should be off the list, just my opinion on this paricular review.
    About Bran and Rickon, I think they made the right call doing it early. One big difference between books and show is that in the books a lot of important stuff happens off screen(?) and whatever we’re told is believable, but on the show something like that brings up questions. Keeping it a secret until episode 10 would have been pointless build-up to something everyone suspected (plus Isaac’s name was in the opening credits, so they didn’t try extra hard anyway).

  45. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Scholesy: Did they even flirt this episode…

    Larry’s reviews have gotten to be like a lot of criticism I’ve seen. In certain storylines, the person watching is no longer watching in good faith — there’s very little attempt to actual watch the scene and evaluate all that’s going on.

    That’s why we see so many criticisms where people have obviously missed something. Ygritte and Jon’s scenes weren’t just flirting — half the dialogue was setting up Jon’s struggle with his vows in season 3 — and I don’t mean the celibacy vow. The discussion of governmental differences and freedoms between the two cultures may not be fascinating if you’re looking for a swordfight or someone being “badass” but for people watching for thoughtful character development and strong themes, these scenes were good.

    I saw the same thing with initial reactions to Ros — how did Cersei think she was Tyrion’s! Apparently, they missed the line where Cersei explains it in the scene.

  46. Sean
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Ros, Tyrion, and the necklace that Cersei used to “catch” her:

    http://i.imgur.com/iApwi.jpg

  47. Arthur
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this episode. There was tons of great dialog taking right from the books.

    The Robb/Jeyne stuff was building up for like 4 episodes and we finally got the “payoff”.

    Yeah there wasn’t a lot of action but D&D brought the story back on track with the books.

    Like many have said this was the quiet before the storm. They laid down a lot of foundation here. It was done very nicely.

    We all have our opinions and it’s so crazy how so many of us can watch the same thing and get a completely different experience from it.

    Hell D&D even justified Ros’s screen time this episode for that payoff with Cersie vs Tyrion.

    I thought the Robb/Jeyne love scene was beautiful. I think we all nitpick to much including myself. But hey this is the right place to let all your frustration out.

    Vent away! I know I do when shit bothers me.

  48. Lex
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    It feels like Larry’s not “getting” a lot of stuff, this year. Last year he had many clever observations, but this year it feels like he’s missing the subtleties and complexities of the plot, IMO… but I’m not sure if this is his fault, or the fault of the show writers.

  49. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    All_Men_Must_Post:
    Review is up on the blog and below!

    Two more episodes left guys.And last night’s episode felt like the high quality bread you’re served while you wait for your meal at a nice restaurant.It’s probably fresh-baked and has nuts or whatnot in it.But for the people who know me, they know I rarely eat the bread they put on the table.It’s empty carbs, however tasty as it may be.That was last night’s episode… empty carbs but still tasty.Three out of five stars.

    What I liked:

    1. Stannis likes dogs.I always pictured him as a dog guy and he didn’t disappoint.We’re on the cusp of a siege and Stannis knows a thing about sieges.His little anecdote with Davos on how he held Storm’s End for Robert gives us some color on the origin of the Onion Knight (he smuggled food into Storm’s End), but also the measure of this man.Stannis is not a cruel or cold man; he is a just one.He obeyed his older brother and reaped none of the rewards when Robert awarded Storm’s End to Renly.He knighted Davos even though he was a smuggler and named him as his Hand.Justice is fair and doesn’t pull favors, even if it’s your younger brother or if your second-in-command’s father was a crabber.

    2. Throw the books.The other bookend (pun intended) of the siege is the preparations made by Tyrion, Bronn, and surprisingly, Varys.Bronn also knows a thing about sieges and his matter-of-fact explanation about food and thievery underscores the importance of Davos to Stannis, but also the cruel realities of war that seems lost on Joffrey.It seems that neither the king nor his mother seem to understand the severity of the upcoming siege.Is Cersei ignorant of her impending doom or has she deluded herself because of her spite for Tyrion?

    3. Please.Arya steals another scene again, but this time she has help with our favorite assassin.The exchange between Arya and Jaqen is exactly as portrayed in the books.Some of us may be upset with the divergence from the books on what Arya gets in return for taking back the name.I have to admit I missed “weasel soup” but this version was certainly shorter.

    What I didn’t like:

    1. Dany and her broken record. She wants her dragons… we get it.At this point, I almost would prefer they skip over Dany’s scenes until something substantive happens.It feels like unnecessary filler—empty carbs if you will—until the payoff at the House of the Undying.Are the showrunners so concerned that the audience will forget the Mother of Dragons that they have to pan to Qarth for five minutes every episode?

    2. A Bridge to Nowhere. I get why Robb Stark has a love interest.It’s an interesting character arc that was mostly glossed over in the books.Expanding the role of Jeyne to Lady Talisa gives Robb’s convictions and struggles more gravitas.And we got more Game of Thrones approved nudity.But I hope … hope this pays off.It’s a lot of time expanding a minor character in the books at the expense of some of the other (arguably more beloved) characters that have little to no screen time (I’m looking at you, Reeds).

    Three out of five stars isn’t a bad review.I grade on a curve here and Game of Thrones sets a high bar.I want to point out that while I don’t partake in the free bread at these fancy meals, they often bring out a juicy steak shortly after.The next episode, appropriately named Blackwater, is going to be epic.The teleplay is written by the man himself, George R.R. Martin, who started his career writing for television.Oh and one last thing: Jaime Lannister’s line “You’re much uglier in daylight” is worth an honorable mention.

    The Producers didn’t pick Talisa over the Reeds (or for that matter, Ros). They picked Robb over other choices. This is Robb’s arc — largely off screen in the books — and instead of filling in some minor but beloved characters, they decided to show Robb.

    I’d argue they didn’t have a choice in the matter, anyway. I would have done it because it’s interesting, BUT without the POV structure, cutting Robb out except for his interactions with Catelyn would be incredibly odd, no? Having Robb come back from the Crag with a wife would come out of nowhere, no?

    They added time to Robb because he’s an important character and because cutting him out like Martin would never work. They added to Littlefinger, Jaime and Dany because they did not want to leave such important characters for so long.

    So it’s not that the Reeds are out for Ros or Talisa or whomever. They’re out because they are less important than Robb or Littlefinger or Jaime or Dany. That seems about right to me.

  50. Laura Stone
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Alan: I’d disagree with your assertion about non-book readers having a harder time. With no comparison point, things like Arya’s escape go along just fine. Those who have read have something to compare it to.

    Hear, hear! (And I agree with the other points you’ve made, as well.) As a non-book reader, I have no expectations at all – I have no idea what “belongs” and what doesn’t, what’s to come and why it’s “taking so long to get there.” It’s all new, it’s all relevant, there are no unnecessary scenes.

    In fact, it feels too fast at times, where I wish things would slow down – or I at least have to pause things to figure out who’s who, who said what, what their connection is, and where they fit in the bestiary/cast of characters. An entire episode goes by and I can’t believe it’s come to an end, 9 times out of 10.

    I do wish there was more discussion about the show, plot points, etc. here instead of the constant rehashing of who likes Larry and who doesn’t. As a newbie to this fandom, it’s hard to want to participate when every discussion is what’s wrong, and who isn’t saying it correctly or in a way that matches (general you) your particular viewpoint. =/

    I just enjoy the show based on what’s given, truthfully. I don’t even hate anyone. :) love to hate, yes, but that’s not the same as wishing someone were gone from the show.

  51. Ed
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    The Whole Picture:
    The only criticism I have with Larry is that he sometimes doesn’t pay enough attention and prematurely interprets scenes as “unnecessary” that contain very important information. This episode surely wasn’t great but many scenes he dismisses as unimportant are very much needed for the next two episodes.
    Granted, as a non-reader that’s not as obvious to him as to readers but if he paid more attention he would realize not all of the episode was wasted time (like he makes it sound).

    Example: He says the scenes at Harenhall this week “served no purpose” and “didn’t contribute anything to the overall plot”. That’s blatantly wrong and even a non-reader should see that. Tywin marching for KL is a mayor event considering Stannis might be there any day. And it should be obvious that Arya leaving Harenhall* marks the beginning of a new story arc for her.

    *On that note: I was VERY dissapointed by her Harenhall exit. The way she forced Jaquen to help her and her reason to name him felt very rushed. The fact that the guards were killed by Jaquen also left a bitter taste in my mouth. That doesn’t line up with his “death must pay for life” reasoning AT ALL.

    Then you have a problem with the books, too – cause Arya did the same thing (tricked Jaqen into helping her with something as opposed to fullfilling that third death checkmark).

  52. Restore The Day
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Kingthlayer:
    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I like your post. I agree with it entirely.

    + 1

  53. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the disappointed book readers are complaining about when they say things like the episode was “slow,” or “there wasn’t any action?” What book series were you reading? The books are incredibly slow-paced and contain very little “action.” It’s almost all dialogue, setup and political maneuvering.

    Some people act like it’s all sword fights and battles. There is very little of that, and it’s all the other stuff that makes the books as good as they are. I thought this week’s episode was fantastic. There is a lot of wonderful setup for events to come both this season and next season and — guess what? — setting things up is really important. Besides, haven’t people ever watched The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, etc? This is how HBO series work. There are always slow-paced episodes that establish things so that there can be big and meaningful payoffs later. Kind of like how GRRM writes.

  54. Weirwood
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  55. Restore The Day
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I think some of that has to do with decisions being made at different times and thus the characters have different experiences and amounts of information to draw upon than in the books. I mean there’s a lot of suspect decision-making in the books as well (which I don’t mind, in real life people screw up, a lot), but some of it definitely looks worse on-screen. Cases in point: Catelyn freeing Jaime (without thinking Bran and Rickon are dead), Qhorin’s leaving Jon to do the deed with Ygritte (didn’t make it clear in the show that he thought he might free her, and his men wandered just a little too far off to be convincing). And there’ve been more, so the shuffling of storylines has definitely taken a toll.

    Completely agree. That would be the main issue(s) i have with this season’s changes. In the end, it’s not a big one, but some of these decisions don’t make as much sense in their new context.

  56. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Alan: Larry’s reviews have gotten to be like a lot of criticism I’ve seen. In certain storylines, the person watching is no longer watching in good faith — there’s very little attempt to actual watch the scene and evaluate all that’s going on.That’s why we see so many criticisms where people have obviously missed something. Ygritte and Jon’s scenes weren’t just flirting — half the dialogue was setting up Jon’s struggle with his vows in season 3 — and I don’t mean the celibacy vow. The discussion of governmental differences and freedoms between the two cultures may not be fascinating if you’re looking for a swordfight or someone being “badass” but for people watching for thoughtful character development and strong themes, these scenes were good.I saw the same thing with initial reactions to Ros — how did Cersei think she was Tyrion’s! Apparently, they missed the line where Cersei explains it in the scene.

    Well said.

  57. Hexonx
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Alan: That’s why we see so many criticisms where people have obviously missed something.

    This, thank you. This is why I always go back and watch an episode for a second time before I comment. The first time I am too caught up in it all and miss some of the dialogue. The second time I concentrate on the dialogue and how it relates to the overall story (of what I can remember anyway since it has been a long time since I read the books). There is also mis-remembering, like the criticism of Jaqen mentioning the red god when it was right out of the books.

  58. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Weirwood: Brian Juergens’ recap/review is up…… http://www.afterelton.com/content/2012/05/game-thrones-recap-power-boredoutofmyskull

    His least favorite episode this season and my least favorite recap by him. Not that I mind that he didn’t like it for being slow, but his reasoning (that all the conversation was boring and pointless) is, in my opinion, completely wrong. But then I get the impression he isn’t all that invested in the show, other recaps I’ve seen were generally happy to get important info like Davos and Stannis’s backstory in, whereas alterelton man thought it was dull.

    But I’ll give him Talisa’s monologue, I was okay with it on first watch because it was new, but on a rewatch that whole scene fell flat (although it was pretty sexy once they started removing clothing, particularly because she left her boots on).

  59. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    “afterelton”. What happened to the edit function?

  60. Restore The Day
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The Whole Picture:
    Example: He says the scenes at Harenhall this week “served no purpose” and “didn’t contribute anything to the overall plot”. That’s blatantly wrong and even a non-reader should see that. Tywin marching for KL is a mayor event considering Stannis might be there any day. And it should be obvious that Arya leaving Harenhall* marks the beginning of a new story arc for her.

    Surely you misheard, and should pay better attention as well, since that is your beef with Larry. Tywin clearly stated that they were riding against Robb’s army, which is why Arya wants to have him killed or to escape (and warn her brother?) and which is consistent with well thanks for the spoilers, dumbass! seriously do people have such a hard time separating the book from the show, 2h after it aired? Tywin clearly showing some clever chops here, misleading Arya and others in the room, don’t ruin the surprises for people.

    You are right that Larry sees scenes through the prism of his interests and expectations as a general otaku, and that makes for sometimes entertaining, sometimes boring/furstrating reviews. Not my thing, personally, but it does show how a newcomer would do it (as my sunday guests demonstrate as well).

  61. ThePinkDragon
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Restore The Day: +1

    +2

    I can’t stand network television for this exact reason. Shows like House, etc. feel like a series of standalone comic book arcs, to use a loose analogy, rather than an actual overarching story. And when network television DOES try to do an overarching story, they usually fail horrendously at it, because the format’s not built for that kind of thing.

    I definitely prefer the HBO/premium format. With the added bonus, of course, that you don’t have to worry about a good-but-slow show getting canceled after 3 episodes because our society’s so distracted.

  62. Macha
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    + 4

    This was an insightful, well thought post. My hat’s off to you!

    I’m sorry to say this, but knowing Larry’s expectations, it seemed pretty clear from early on that he was bound to be dissapointed. If not with the pacing of the show, then with the pacing of the story later on.
    However, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In my opinion this particular episode was one of the best in the series so far, and the only one from season two that I wanted to replay instantly. My boyfriend, a non-reader, really enjoyed Dany’s storyline this season, precisely because it was slower and it reminded him of how the characters and their motives were fleshed out in the first season. He’d probably enjoy the books all the more for that reason.
    In Bryan Cogman own words, you can’t please everyone. This season has been uneven, I don’t think anyone is arguing that. I definitely think it works best as a whole than as stand-alone episodes, and while I can understand where Larry is coming from, I sincerely hope that he and other new-viewers stick with the show, because otherwise they’d be missing one hell of a ride.

    PS: Arthur, so glad to hear you enjoyed this episode so much, and I say this without a tint of sarcasm. I hope that Blackwater will be a fine hour for you, knowing how much you long for battle sequences.

  63. Macha
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Usually I’m not that bad at math. *insert Arya shrugg here*

  64. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Restore The Day,

    Exactly! I expect that Tywin will get a line in episode 9 or 10 telling someone that his cupbearer was a Stark spy and left her with the Mountain, knowing that would not exactly be healthy for her. He certainly doesn’t think it’s Arya, or he would have taken her with him.

    Actually… would Tywin even know Arya is missing, or does he still assume at this point that she is in KL? Maybe that revelation will cause him to put two and two together, where he will be like, “Oh shit, that cupbearer! D’oh!”

  65. scott glennon
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    GrandMaester Chelvekaveltanghflafla

    Perhaps my favorite scene of the evening. :-)

  66. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Alan: More importantly, everyone in life does stupid things constantly, if we’re defining stupid things as “irrational.” Most people are emotionally-driven decision makers, and decisions are often avoided, or rushed, even though outside observers can clearly see it’s a mistake.I’ve never understood why in fiction the standard for many viewers or readers of realistic is that no characters make bad choices. That’s the most unrealistic thing of all!

    This isn’t what people are saying at all; the complaint isn’t that characters are acting irrationally, it’s that the story isn’t allowing the characters to explain the meaning behind their actions, or, even better, allowing the story to show this meaning without characters having to tell it to someone else. Their actions are allowed to be stupid yet understandable – with “understandable” = the rationals are MORE than just conventional wisdom like “Robb and Jon are thinking with their dicks,” or “Catelyn needs to be sent home to Winterfell.”

    Ideally you want to create a situation when the characters are confronted with impossible choices that the audience clearly observes, so any stupidity is immediately forgiven because its clear that hands are tied (I’m thinking of D in the Wire S1 here). With Ned we had much better characterization connected to his stupid actions, so the tragedy had a higher impact. If the audience thinks that characters “got what they deserved for their own stupidity,” instead of “wow, that’s tragic how they fucked themselves” or “they had no other choice,” then its a valid concern.

  67. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    If you are referring to Robb and Talisa, I think it’s fine that they (maybe just Robb) are being a bit stupid. It doesn’t make them any less sympathetic. Robb is basically just a kid who suddenly and unexpected has a bunch of responsibilities thrust on him, not the least of which is an arranged marriage. It’s easy to see how someone in his position would make the same mistake.

    I don’t see how anyone is going to think he “get’s what he deserves,” especially given what it is he gets.

  68. X
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Larry’s comments about Catelyn releasing Jaime was F’in Stupid.
    The adaption from book to TV show has far too many plot holes and inconsistencies.

  69. Mike Chair
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Lex: It feels like Larry’s not “getting” a lot of stuff, this year. Last year he had many clever observations, but this year it feels like he’s missing the subtleties and complexities of the plot, IMO… but I’m not sure if this is his fault, or the fault of the show writers.

    Larry is frustrated. But, he’s not alone. Brian Juergens at afterelton.com said, “Because the show’s favorite new cruelty is apparently BORING US TO DEATH.” The episode was pretty uneventful compared to what the show has done in the past. I suspect it was because D&D were saving certain stuff for the next episode which they knew would be written by GRRM. If this is the case, I have no complaints with that stuff being penned by GRRM. Heck, I’d watch an episode of my wife’s Days of Our Lives if GRRM wrote it.

  70. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: but some of it definitely looks worse on-screen. Cases in point: Catelyn freeing Jaime (without thinking Bran and Rickon are dead), Qhorin’s leaving Jon to do the deed with Ygritte (didn’t make it clear in the show that he thought he might free her, and his men wandered just a little too far off to be convincing). And there’ve been more, so the shuffling of storylines has definitely taken a toll.

    Yes, exactly my view. It probably does look worse on screen, especially for Jon and Cat. For book readers like me it seems telegraphed so that the end result or “plot alignment” is given more thought than the little decisions that get them there. I have to suspend my belief quite a bit to make it believable. For example, I kept having to suspend my belief that Talisa would be allowed to interrupt Robb’s meetings with his advisers at exactly the right moments. Or that Jon would get lost instantly and become so useless. Just little annoyances like this that make me feel like I don’t understand anyone in this story (except Bronn, of course).

  71. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    X,

    The same thing happened in the book. While the circumstances were slightly different and admittedly made Cat’s motives more clear, they didn’t make the act of releasing Jaime any less stupid. There really isn’t much inconsistency here.

  72. Hexonx
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    X:
    I agree with Larry’s comments about Catelyn releasing Jaime was F’in Stupid.
    The adaption from book to TV show has far too many plot holes and inconsistencies.

    uhm, how many is too many and have you read the books? Catelyn releases him in the books.

  73. SillyMammo
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    For those worried that Arya will not meet Jaqen H’ghar again, doesn’t Arya have to release Jaqen from killing himself since he helped the gang escape? So I can see one final meeting, wonder how HBO will handle it?

  74. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I think what Larry points out can turn out to be a problem in coming seasons. They are dragging out the events of SoS over 2 seasons which sort of makes sense based on the big events that happen in SoS but in doing so they are left with the same problem of dragging out the storyline to fill out the season before getting to the big events. For example Dany only has 6 chapters in SoS. That’s not nearly enough to fill out two seasons so either they need to invent a completely new arch for her or they will need to start looking at adding things from ADwD already in season 4. If not then there will be a lot of the same dragged out periods of nothing really happening in her storyline. Same thing with Bran that only has 4 chapters befor ADwD.

    Another problem is getting a good story arch for all characters in season 3. Since a lot of the payoffs happen late in SoS it seems like season 3 risks being one dragged out set up that doesn’t really go anywhere in the span of the season. And it’s not really easy to add things from AFfC either since a lot of those things clearly need to happen after the events at the end of SoS and I imagine they would want to keep the big events at the end of SoS for the final episodes of season 4.

    I also which they would clump more of a characters scenes into one episode. I think it’s better to have 3-4 scenes in one episode and then not see the character for a while rather than having one scene every episode for three episodes.

  75. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    SillyMammo,

    I think that a meeting between them is certain given that the name of the final episode is Valar Morghulis.

  76. Mike Chair
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Ingemar Svensson: … Dany only has 6 chapters in SoS. That’s not nearly enough to fill out two seasons so either they need to invent a completely new arch for her …

    Oh, don’t even get me started. Hey, Winter, OitF, FaBio, new post idea for post season 4! New Dany story arch!

  77. Mike Chair
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    edit — season 2 — sorry

  78. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx: uhm, how many is too many and have you read the books? Catelyn releases him in the books.

    But in the books she thinks both Bran and Rickon are dead at that point, so she’s attempting to save her only remaining children. It’s still pretty stupid but slightly more understandable.

    And I think it would’ve been more understandable here if Catelyn had been given a chance to defend herself to Robb just a little bit more than she had, at least bringing up the danger Jaime was in (particularly after Daddy Karstark was being a dick to her).

  79. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Ingemar Svensson,

    Some of the Unsullied stuff is interesting enough that it could be padded out, I would think.

  80. DH87
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Alan: I’ve never understood why in fiction the standard for many viewers or readers of realistic is that no characters make bad choices. That’s the most unrealistic thing of all!

    Readers are willing to let characters make bad choices so long as they seem organic, understandable, and consistent with what was previously established for the character. Readers are universally unforgiving of characters that are nothing more than two-dimensional plot devices, and understandably so. Arguably, Jeyne was such a character in GRRM’s world. Talisa could have been much more in GOT if she’d been given better lines and had Ms. Chaplin and Mr. Madden received better direction.

  81. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I think I would prefer no padding if the writers are clearly stalling (like the Dany/Jorah scene this week), or if they are repeating the same conversations over again (like the Dany/Jorah scene this week!). Just cut it out entirely. I would even be happy with an entire character cut for an entire season. It worked for LOST with stupid Claire.

  82. X
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx: X:
    I agree with Larry’s comments about Catelyn releasing Jaime was F’in Stupid.
    The adaption from book to TV show has far too many plot holes and inconsistencies.

    uhm, how many is too many and have you read the books? Catelyn releases him in the books.

    Uhm, She released him in the books because she was out of her mind with the knowledge that 2 of her children were killed. Yes it was stupid, but not as stupid as releasing him because people wanted to kill him. In the books she had nothing left, she had 2 supposedly dead, 1 she barely heard any word of and 1 in evil clutches. She was beyond desperate at that point. Which makes more sense than willy nilly attempting to tear down your son/king’s army.

    Thanks for playing.

  83. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    I agree that no padding is better if it’s not significantly better than this season’s Dany story. “My Dragons!” “My Dragons!” “My Dragons!” “My Dragons!”

  84. Dave
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx: uhm, how many is too many and have you read the books?Catelyn releases him in the books.

    In the book, she freed Jaime because she thinks the boys were dead, but the HBO series had Catelyn free Jaime before she heard the news. I think that’s the beef with most people with that scene.

  85. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Meg: This isn’t what people are saying at all; the complaint isn’t that characters are acting irrationally, it’s that the story isn’t allowing the characters to explain the meaning behind their actions, or, even better, allowing the story to show this meaning without characters having to tell it to someone else.Their actions are allowed to be stupid yet understandable – with “understandable” = the rationals are MORE than just conventional wisdom like “Robb and Jon are thinking with their dicks,” or “Catelyn needs to be sent home to Winterfell.”

    Ideally you want to create a situation when the characters are confronted with impossible choices that the audience clearly observes, so any stupidity is immediately forgiven because its clear that hands are tied (I’m thinking of D in the Wire S1 here). With Ned we had much better characterization connected to his stupid actions, so the tragedy had a higher impact. If the audience thinks that characters “got what they deserved for their own stupidity,” instead of “wow, that’s tragic how they fucked themselves” or “they had no other choice,” then its a valid concern.

    Disagree. You seem to be saying the justification for stupid actions should be they have no other choice.

    I’m saying I enjoy that Robb is thinking with his d*ck. It happens constantly in real life. If it can happen to Bill Clinton, an infinitely more experienced and capable politician than Robb Stark, it can happen to Robb.

    Robb is flustered, tired, and frankly in over his head. He’s young. He gets with sexy nurse. Some audience members may think this is an unsympathetic action — I don’t disagree. I think those people claim to want realism, but don’t really. I find that motivation incredibly sympathetic. Even if it is kinda dumb.

    I honestly haven’t seen a not understandable action yet. Honestly, Oona is hot and he’s sixteen — they gave him more context but in the real, that’s about all the context you need. To add the level of vulnerability he is feeling is more than enough.

    Catelyn? Her daughters are likely to be killed if Jaime is. And he’s about to be killed. They explained that motivation last week. Do people really need it reiterated now? Is that not really enough? Two of your children WILL die if you do not do something. Do you do it?

  86. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Readers are willing to let characters make bad choices so long as they seem organic, understandable, and consistent with what was previously established for the character. Readers are universally unforgiving of characters that are nothing more than two-dimensional plot devices, and understandably so. Arguably, Jeyne was such a character in GRRM’s world. Talisa could have been much more in GOT if she’d been given better lines and had Ms. Chaplin and Mr. Madden received better direction.

    I don’t necessarily disagree. But she’s less a plot device here than she was in the books. I don’t have near the problems with it that you do, but it’s much more believable than the books, where we don’t see any of it.

    The two things being cited here as “unbelievable because they are stupid” are in my mind both similarly motivated in the show than they are in the books. The Talisa storyline has built it up much better than in the books (and as cliche as people want to call it, the alternative was her nursing him back to health. I mean, really.

    As for Cat, the motivation is still the same. Her daughters are in more immediate danger. But she has more kids left. I’m not even going to dive into if that balances out, but there’s sufficient motivation.

    Unless you are obsessed with the books and can’t let it go. I frankly found this episode slow and subpar for Game of Thrones. But, that said, I think some of the criticisms are overblown, mostly because it’s book purism pretending to be something else.

    I didn’t find the Talisa-Robb scene either horribly moving or horribly… horrible. I can understand comments either way, I suppose. But I think the guy has enough motivation to realistically sleep with Talisa. Complaints about execution I get; complaints about motivation I don’t.

  87. Mean25
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Face it people, D&D dropped the ball with season 2. And it’s funny how even non book-readers see it and you can’t criticize them for being purist. Heads will explode :)

  88. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    @ Alan – I’m talking about the best way to evoke tragedy, not whether it’s “realistic.” “She’s totes hot” is how it came across. Instead, looking for comfort in a woman – esp. a woman who isn’t even worth losing a war over (problem: Talisa IS worth it) – after you’ve found out your brothers are dead, while cliche, seems much more tragic than wanting to jump into Talisa’s pants after she told that boring story.

  89. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    X: Uhm, She released him in the books because she was out of her mind with the knowledge that 2 ofher children were killed.Yes it was stupid, but not as stupid as releasing him because people wanted to kill him. In the books she had nothing left, she had 2 supposedly dead, 1 she barely heard any word of and 1 in evil clutches. She was beyond desperate at that point. Which makes more sense than willy nilly attempting to tear down your son/king’s army.

    Thanks for playing.

    You’re right. No mother would do something do get her two daughters back when, that very night, something would happen that would prohibit her from ever getting her two daughters back.

  90. Christmas is coming
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know who this Larry guy is….

    My father who is almost 70, read the books when they were released all those years ago, I read all the books last year, I was talking to him about the battle of blackwater and all the other stuff that goes on in the second book.

    He just looked at me and said “I don’t remember what happened in the second book, I read it so many years ago!”

    Just enjoy the show for what it is guys, the writers have done a fantastic job, as a writer myself who is working on a book adaptation, I can relate to how difficult it can be to write a show with so many characters and different plots.

    The vast number of characters this season is unheard of in television.

  91. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Mean25: Face it people, D&D dropped the ball with season 2. And it’s funny how even non book-readers see it and you can’t criticize them for being purist. Heads will explode :)

    Any of you ever met somebody who only sees things that bolster their own opinions and ignores things that contradict them? I present Exhibit A.

    There’s nothing for anybody to “face” here, as our opinions all differ significantly, including those of the non-readers who you seem to think universally dislike this season. Just a cursory look around the internet will disprove that notion.

    And it’s too early to say anything definitive about this season until episode 10 wraps up. Judging this show on a week-by-week basis is fun in the moment but not really relevant to how this show will be judged in the long run.

  92. Remaal
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Larry is right. The pacing and structure of this entire season is wonky. I would also add a disjointed story arc, a character narrative continuity problem, a erratically oscillating dramatic tension wave – instead of one consistently building to a satisfying crescendo. And most of all, too many moments of just plain bad writing (i.e. Talisa/Robb, most of Littlefinger… etc). These problems exist both within each episode, and over the season arc as a whole. I’m not sure why that is. It feels as though D7D were afraid to take a risk in the way they told the story, that is I mean, they tried to please everyone all of the time. Use conventional TV story telling means and structure, for an unconventional tale. They tried to manufacture moments of tension, romance, excitement, and to force these moments to fall at certain beats, instead of allowing them to develop and build organically from the telling of the story.

    I do understand that the scope and complexity of ASOIAF makes it an extraordinarily difficult story to adapt, and not least because it is as yet unfinished. However, that is not sufficient reason for me to give D&D a pass, after all they wouldn’t have attempted it if they didn’t think they could do it.
    This season has been a disappointment to me. I loved episodes 6 & 7, and liked episode 4 & 5. But as a whole, based on the 8 episodes we’ve seen so far, I would find it difficult to say GOT has delivered on its promise to follow up a splendid first season with an equal, or even better, second.

    Someone up-thread said “they dropped the ball”, I would concur with that statement.

  93. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    It feels like Larry’s not “getting” a lot of stuff, this year. Last year he had many clever observations, but this year it feels like he’s missing the subtleties and complexities of the plot, IMO… but I’m not sure if this is his fault, or the fault of the show writers.

    that’s because larry is a f**king idiot. he was an idiot last year and he is an even bigger idiot this year. because he is funny and over the top people seemed to just ignore that he got stuff wrong constantly.

    now he isn’t a professional reviewer so maybe he doesn’t need a team of fact checkers but if he is going to put his opinions out there about somebody elses work he should at least pay attention and it has been pretty clear from the very first review that he doesn’t pay very close attention to the show … he gets names wrong, he gets places wrong, he gets plot points wrong … he gets almost everything wrong.

    i attribute this to him not being very smart … rather he is simply very animated and opinionated … that plus ignorance isn’t interesting, it isn’t informative … it is simply annoying.

  94. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    @ Alan – I’m talking about the best way to evoke tragedy, not whether it’s “realistic.”“She’s totes hot” is how it came across. Instead, looking for comfort in a woman – esp. a woman who isn’t even worth losing a war over (problem: Talisa IS worth it) – after you’ve found out your brothers are dead, while cliche, seems much more tragic than wanting to jump into Talisa’s pants after she told that boring story.

    Maybe? I think in a lot of ways it becomes more tragic if you can believe Robb loves her. The book always read to me as you’ve said it — Robb doesn’t love Jeyne. She’s sweet, but he made a one time mistake, and his honor, like Ned’s, got in the way. So he made another mistake, which was actually marrying her. I can see why you like that progression and it has a certain… well, whatever the honor version of hubris is, to it.

    That said, I like where this is going. Regardless of execution, Talisa is a character I can believe Robb actually loves. I mean, it’s a bit anachronistic in the role of women in this world, but so is the book in general, and I’m okay with that. But Talisa is strong, smart, and she has real direction. And that direction is helping people. Robb wants to be a good king, and Talisa is attractive not only because she’s attractive, but because she is a lot of the things Robb wants to be. There’s the potential for real love here, and therefore real tragedy, if you know…

    It’s different. Not the plot has to change different, but different. But I guess this is where you say it hurts it in your eyes and I say, “I don’t care.” It works for me, and it’s going to bring something different, but it’s not so different it’s awful.

    It’s similar to me to another change D&D have made: Shae. I loved Tyrion’s storyline in the book because he’s so smart but he’s so damn lonely that he deludes himself that he loves this prostitute, who is OBVIOUSLY just a prostitute. She sees him as a steady income, and there’s little to see in her that doesn’t involve flattery and sex. She’s not smart, she’s not determined, she’s young and hot and tells him what he wants to here. I love that. It’s this huge weakness. It’s not that he loves Shae; it’s that he wants to think Shae loves him.

    It’s one of my favorite parts of the book.

    They’ve turned TV-Shae into someone, much like Jeyne -> Talisa, that I could really see Tyrion loving on a real level as opposed to “My Lion of Lannister.” It’s not a mistake that TV-Shae does not engage in idle flattery. She’s completely different. I don’t mind it for Shae’s sake, but I really had an issue with it initially, because it changes Tyrion. If he’s legitimately in love… that’s a universal weakness. It’s not one that feels so closely related to grotesque book-Tyrion (something we pay lip service to with TV-Tyrion, who lives in a time much kinder to little people and oh, Dinklage is a good looking man).

    But you know, I got over it. Tyrion can still make missteps because he’s legitimately in love (whether or not it is reciprocated in any way seems up in the air). It won’t likely have the impact with me it originally had (much more original motivation than love). And that may be true for Robb and Talisa as well.

    But it’s not unbelievable. It may even have MORE impact, once it’s all done.

  95. Siniša Grimjaur Šiško
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Why was the Westeros.org review first posted and then removed?

    Here it is:
    http://www.westeros.org/GoT/Episodes/Entry/The_Prince_of_Winterfell/Book_Spoilers/

  96. Hexonx
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Dave: In the book, she freed Jaime because she thinks the boys were dead, but the HBO series had Catelyn free Jaime before she heard the news. I think that’s the beef with most people with that scene.

    Right, and I understand that. So her motivation is lessened by a few degrees. It’s still because her children are in danger if Jaime is killed. Now I can see non-readers not wanting it to happen b/c they want Jaime dead. I’m not saying it was a good decision or a bad decision. If you (general you) don’t understand her motivation then its on you and not the writers or the show.

  97. Joop Stroop
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Not to bash Larry, but I don’t think his reviews are as fun to watch anymore. I switched to these guys for my weekly non-book reader recaps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLq10PJHFDc&list=UU38XnFL1XQ1vyBPcJXLS-oQ&index=1&feature=plcp

  98. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Siniša Grimjaur Šiško,
    Not sure what you mean. There was no recap/review from Westeros this morning, so it wasn’t in the round-up. Looks like they were behind a bit today, like they mentioned they would be, on Twitter I think it was.

  99. Dave
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Mean25:
    Face it people, D&D dropped the ball with season 2. And it’s funny how even non book-readers see it and you can’t criticize them for being purist. Heads will explode :)

    I would wait until the final two episodes before judging D&D dropped the ball for season 2, because Blackwater is the big payoff they are setting up. But I do I agree with you on one thing that it’s becoming so cliché to label someone a purist or a rabid book reader, just because they find something they didn’t like on the show.

  100. Awenger
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
  101. Meg
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    blockquote cite=”comment-182982″>Alan: But it’s not unbelievable. It may even have MORE impact, once it’s all done.

    Okay, I can see how it works for you; to me these slight differences gave the plot less internal consistecy, when in the books it had more . Maybe a good measure of that impact would be to ask, “are you invested in Robb and Telisa’s romance? Are you rooting for ‘those crazy kids’ to make it?” I’m laughing at the thought.

  102. Dave
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx: Right, and I understand that. So her motivation is lessened by a few degrees. It’s still because her children are in danger if Jaime is killed. Now I can see non-readers not wanting it to happen b/c they want Jaime dead. I’m not saying it was a good decision or a bad decision. If you (general you) don’t understand her motivation then its on you and not the writers or the show.

    Oh, I understand her motivation, but herstricken with grief after hearing the news of her two boys is more understandable on why she did that than what they did with the show. Yes, Jaime is in risk when staying the camps (though, putting more guards and putting him inside something better than a cage will probably lessen that), but isn’t sending him out with only one escort (two on the books) is more risker, especially in a middle of a war zone. If he was killed while travelling to King Landing than it won’t do much Catelyn any good as well. Personally, I don’t really have a major issue with it compared to some on what they did in the show, but just explaining why some people would have a problem with it and if you don’t understand that it’s on you.

  103. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Remaal,

    Couldn’t disagree with you more. Especially with regards to the writing, which I’ve found incredibly effective (even if it’s not always eloquent or subtle). Regardless, my question to you is this: Have you watched season two in quick succession (meaning over the course of a few days/a week)? Because part of the problem with any serialized narrative told over an extended period of time is that many of the things you mentioned (narrative momentum, undulating conflict) are a direct result of the way they’re viewed, which is why network television often avoids heavily serialized storytelling as I mentioned earlier. I’m not trying to change your mind one way or the other, just inquiring for the sake of discussion.

  104. Adam Whitehead
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    The name of the White Walker language has been known since last season. It was revealed in a press release about the languages made up for the show, IIRC.

  105. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Dave,

    I’m genuinely interested in what non-readers (like Larry Williams) expect from the show to the point they’ll claim D&D and Co. dropped the ball. I have a slight idea from some non-reader friends, and they seem to expect more action along the lines of Spartacus. It’s a fair expectation given how important conflict is to the story, but it’s also unrealistic given the face GoT is, in the end, an epic TV show, not an epic theatrical film. It doesn’t have the cash to burn on full-scale conflict like a war movie except once in a season. For fans who expect all-out medieval warfare, they’ll get a dose, but can’t expect it very often. Reality has spoken.

    Any other dashed non-reader expectations outside of the lack of elaborate battle sequences are of particular interest to me.

    “Purist” exemplifies an extreme and I’m looking for a better word to use for people whose expectations are skewed, sometimes unreasonably, given the constraints of producing a television adaptation of a series of this scope. Weasel Soup, for example, is the kind of event that would require more setup and reap less benefits for the overall production considering the effort that would be poured into realizing it. The same goes for the Tickler’s death. If they adapted that faithfully, it could be like Dany and Jon’s arcs this season: we’d see more of him, even when he has nothing to do, just so he can be involved in something of note later. Except he’s not nearly as important to the overall storyline as the other two. If they did preserve the Tickler for the upcoming seasons to be killed off, it’s not like the show can resort to flashbacks or hope people who first met him in S2 will remember him well enough to share in the book readers’ catharsis.

    Again, book purist is too strong a term to describe most discontent reader-viewers, but I need some name for those in-between who naysay the show for cutting corners that serve the greater good of producing this show for a largely non-reader audience.

  106. LordStarkington
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Joop Stroop:
    Not to bash Larry, but I don’t think his reviews are as fun to watch anymore. I switched to these guys for my weekly non-book reader recaps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLq10PJHFDc&list=UU38XnFL1XQ1vyBPcJXLS-oQ&index=1&feature=plcp

    I like these guys a lot.

  107. Turncloak
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Andy Greenwald from grantland.com has a great new viewer recap. With so few new viewer recaps I’m surprised he isn’t linked weekly. He also does a Hollywood prospectus podcast where he gives his take on game of thrones, mad men, and other top shows

  108. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    To add to an earlier point, I found Larry Williams’ observation that Dany and Jon’s arcs are being dragged out way too much this season to be more than fair, but painfully accurate. I did enjoy the Pree-Daxos coup immensely, but it’s Dany’s incessant screaming and constant dependence/vulnerability that has been undermining her character. Showing some of that is important, like before the gates of Qarth. The rest just undercuts her strength a measure too much.

    Even if I agree with him on that point, I still find Larry Williams’ delivery unrefined and most irritating than informative. I am happy to hear his two cents as a non-viewer, but his videos are ridiculously long because of his uncontrolled emoting. That was only fun after Ned died.

  109. Joop Stroop
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: I like these guys a lot.

    Yeah, you gotta love them speculating and predicting. This week they predicted Jaime to kill Brienne! Most of their thoughts are very well put and make sense, especially some of their ideas about show-only material.

  110. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    blockquote cite=”comment-182982″>Alan: But it’s not unbelievable. It may even have MORE impact, once it’s all done.

    Okay, I can see how it works for you; to me these slight differences gave the plot less internal consistecy, when in the books it had more . Maybe a good measure of that impact would be to ask, “are you invested in Robb and Telisa’s romance? Are you rooting for ‘those crazy kids’ to make it?” I’m laughing at the thought.

    I’m interested to see how it goes. I mean, it’s impossible for me to be really invested in where the show goes. I KNOW where it goes.

    But watching it? Yeah, I’d like to see it.

  111. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Because they generally come out too late. Today I posted later than usual, but if it’s not out by 10ish in the morning, it’s usually not going in the round-up.

  112. Weirwood
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    To add to an earlier point, I found Larry Williams’ observation that Dany and Jon’s arcs are being dragged out way too much this season to be more than fair, but painfully accurate.

    How would a non-bookreader know anything about Dany’s story arc? I find Larry’s insistence of not knowing any spoilers to be stretching into the realm of the ridiculous.

    Most people in my household have no idea what any of the characters story arcs will be until they see them on screen.

  113. Weirwood
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Weirwood,

    Or Jon’s story arc.

    (What happened to the ability to edit posts?)

  114. Macha
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    I did enjoy the Pree-Daxos coup immensely, but it’s Dany’s incessant screaming and constant dependence/vulnerability that has been undermining her character.

    You know, I wonder if this is a problem mostly for us book-readers. From what I could tell, Larry was more annoyed with the fact her story seemed really stretched out, and not her behavior in particular? Anyway, I haven’t been on many non-reader boards, but I’m frankly amazed by the fact that my non-reader friends who watch the show are all digging her storyline (and her character) so far. And here I am, rolling my eyes whenever she appears on-screen. Granted, I am a bit biased as I wasn’t her biggest fan while reading the books. I do find this discrepancy – IF there is one and I’m not simply generalizing too much (which is possible) – interesting.

  115. DH87
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Meg: Maybe a good measure of that impact would be to ask, “are you invested in Robb and Telisa’s romance? Are you rooting for ‘those crazy kids’ to make it?” I’m laughing at the thought.

    Good observation, yet part of the inherent tragedy of Jeyne Westerling is that we are led to believe she wasn’t worth it—or at least we had no information that she was. She seemed to have been drawn as a charming young noblewoman, no different from dozens of others in Westeros, and certainly not worth the crushing price Robb paid to obtain her. Talisa, on the other hand, is a combination of Clara Barton on the battlefield, Lady Chatterley in the bedroom, and Lady Stark in the presence of the king and his nobles. It’s hard not to believe that, if D&D are trying to make her seem worth the sacrifice, they are undermining an important and pitch-black element of ASoIaF: great sacrifice is not always expended in the pursuit of a worthy prize.

  116. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Dropped balls all over the place. Should have known that all was not well when D&D started to talk about the “season of romance” last year. I feel they have tried to shoe horn stuff into this season that wasn’t there to begin with, and this has caused a lot of problems. And much of it feels very rushed. There are even things in the the show that seems like great set ups for things to come, but then are apparently discarded or forgotten. Couple examples:

    The character of Amory Lorch. He kills Yoren. Arya should carry grudge. Would be great if Arya could avenge Yoren by causing Lorch’s demise. But no. Lorch is killed by Arya’s command, not to avenge Yoren, but to save Arya’s own skin (and in a humorous way to boot, which I found out of place). Yoren seems entirely forgotten, in spite of his awesome last scene. What an opportunity lost for good drama.

    Catelyn and her motivations for freeing Jaime. So poorly handled by the show. They even invented a contrived urgency in the shape of murderous Karstarks intent on ending Jaime’s life, but then failed to make use of this invention in the following episode. Of course, Cat’s actions would have been even more understandable had she first learned of the supposed death of her youngest sons, but for some reason D&D didn’t want to use the good stuff that was already there in the source material.

  117. Hexonx
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Dave: Oh, I understand her motivation, but herstricken with grief after hearing the news of her two boys is more understandable on why she did that than what they did with the show. Yes, Jaime is in risk when staying the camps (though, putting more guards and putting him inside something better than a cage will probably lessen that), but isn’t sending him out with only one escort (two on the books) is more risker, especially in a middle of a war zone. If he was killed while travelling to King Landing than it won’t do much Catelyn any good as well. Personally, I don’t really have a major issue with it compared to some on what they did in the show, but just explaining why some people would have a problem with it and if you don’t understand that it’s on you.

    I wasn’t referring to you specifically. I get that it’s more believable had she thought Bran and Rickon were dead. And I’m not saying it’s on you if you don’t agree with why she did it, only if you don’t understand why (some people apparently didn’t understand that Jaime was not going to last the night as Brienne put it).

  118. Weirwood
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I think some people are expecting GoT to be more like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy or Excalibur. More magic and/or big battles and/or faster pacing.

    Luckily for me, I love movies like The Lion in Winter (which GoT is very reminiscent of ) with great dialogue which needs to be paid close attention to and twisted Machiavellian political stratagem within royal families.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063227/

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I would highly recommend it to help fill up the painful wait between new seasons of GoT.

  119. Remaal
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I’m watching this season the same way you guys are watching it, week by week. I’m watching it the same way I watched my other favourite shows past and present – BSG, Deadwood, Justified, The Wire, The Fades. I very rarely re-watch shows. In Fact, I own the GOT S1 Blue-ray, but haven’t watched it yet, and am not likely to for a few years yet.

    It’s simply not good enough to say that GOT only works if the eps are watched in quick succession, because that’s not how it’s being delivered. The show should fit the delivery medium, if it doesn’t, then it has failed. But I really don’t think that’s the problem with this season.
    Like I said, I perceive major problems with structure and pacing, not only in individual episodes, but in the season arc as a whole. I completely accept that I may well be in the minority in this – in fact, I really hope I am, because I would sincerely like the show to continue – but I hardly think my problems with it could be explained away by faulty viewing habits.

  120. andrea
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Weirwood: More magic and/or big battles and/or faster pacing.

    so it seems.
    That movie (The lion…) probably has one of the best dialogues in cinema history but that couple is hard to beat. They were amazing.

  121. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    Well, look at it this way. Dany’s story was quite dynamic last season, as it was in book one. This season she spends most of her screen time shouting who she is at people hoping their balls will fall off after she’s done. I don’t think readers are the only ones who’ll observe that. Non-readers know when a character’s story doesn’t so anywhere notable. Dany’s main draw in the show at this point is her dragons, and the overall main draw of the season is the war. I’m not saying non-readers don’t appreciate subtleties and lavish characterization, but I’m fairly certain they too recognize the stagnation at certain points, particularly in Dany’s arc. I gather more non-readers are favorable towards Jon’s storyline. I do believe your guess applies better to Jon’s arc. Readers are more likely to be bored by his scenes than most of Dany’s.

  122. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Disregard that last sentence. I turned it around in my head and it didn’t click anymore.

    Where is the edit button? :O

  123. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, the last TWO sentences. Seriously, no edit button? :(

  124. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Remaal,

    Except I never said that the show needed to be watched in quick succession for it to work, but given some of your “perceived” criticisms, I figured my suggestion may be the way for you to go. Myself and many others are finding season two to be just as good – if not better, in some regards – than the first season. The fact that many of your complaints dealt with the pacing and the lack of a consistently rising narrative thread leading to the climax is why I asked if you’d re-visited them or thought about watching them how they are optimally viewed. Obviously you haven’t and don’t plan to, so that’s a moot point. I, however, spent the weekend watching through the first seven episodes of season two with my cousin who was in the U.S. on leave and hadn’t been able to catch any of those episodes. I found the entire experience much more rewarding and was more easily able to ascertain how and why D&D chose to do things the way they did.

  125. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    Is your cousin a reader? I say this a lot, but only because I think it helps readers get into the show more: it’s great to watch the show with a non-reader who only knows the show. Their excitement and shock and anticipation rubs off because social empathy is wonderful and contagious to open minds.

  126. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Remaal,

    I find people who watched LOST week to week suffered more from the ending than those who watched it later back-to-back-to-back. How episode are released is part of the industry’s model, and it’s practical. However, many shows, such as The Wire, BSG, Dexter, Breaking Bad, etc. benefit greatly from being consumed by the season or half-season. There is a difference and you’re a stubborn bitterpus if you let air schedules arbitrarily determine how you consume a show. Just because you’ve seen an episode once doesn’t mean you can enjoy an entirely different viewing experience from seeing them in succession, especially with more enthusiastic friends who can help dispel your cynicism. :D

    Trust me, that last bit’s why I enjoyed S1 as much as I ended up enjoying it. Otherwise, I’d be like thee in thy Dingy of Disappointment. [laughs]

  127. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Dammit, not edit button.

    *Dinghy of Disappointment

  128. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    No, he’s a non-reader. I’m particularly lucky, I guess, because I regularly watch with a group of four non-readers (not including my cousin), which doesn’t seem to be the norm for a lot of the people here. It’s crazy because some of the book-reader theories I’ve read are so asinine, but my friends are very easily able to digest the storylines as they’re presented in the show (granted we have a habit of re-watching the previous episode directly before the new episode airs). Thinking about the books while watching has never been an issue for me, in part because I watch with non-readers. I’m careful not to spoil anything, and I don’t often discuss the back-story because I don’t feel the need to.

  129. David Scotton
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Larry’s main argument. I don’t agree with him on all the specifics (I think there have to be some scenes that are about developing the characters rather than advancing the plot, and the Arya/Tywin scenes were one of the good additions). But in general I think the show has really gone off the rails. Like he says, the Catelyn releasing Jaime thing makes no sense in the context of the show (I had to explain it to my non-reader friend who thought exactly the same thing), whereas in the book it makes a lot more sense. The thing with Cersei thinking Tyrion was in love with Roz was also pretty inexplicable.

    Dany’s plot this season has also been pretty bad and has had some pretty pointless scenes (I’m also not impressed with Emilia’s performance this year, sad to say – I don’t know how much is her vs how much is the scripts/directors, but it seems like she spends a lot of her time ranting and complaining. What happened to the intelligent character from the books? What happened to “If I look back I am lost?” This version of Daenerys is lost and I’m not enjoying it. And Larry is completely right that they’ve padded her story with questionable material, at the expense of some of the absolute best stuff in season 2 – big swaths of Arya’s journey have been smashed together.

    Also, WTF was up with Jaime killing that guy (was that supposed to be Cleos Frey?) That was just stupid and out of character.

  130. Weirwood
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that so many people disliked this episode, remember it was directed by Alan Taylor who directed episodes 9 (Baelor) and 10 (Fire and Blood) last season. Plus the first two episodes this season (The North Remembers and The Night Lands).

    He has also directed the last episode this season (Valar Morghulis)- but will be less involved next season due to shooting Thor 2.

    BTW he has directed episodes of Rome, Deadwood, Carnivale, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Mad Men and Lost.

    And of course, I am really interested to see episode 9 directed by Neil Marshall since I really like Dog Soldiers and can’t wait to see Centurion once the season ends since I have heard great things about it.

    I found last nights episode to be a simple calm before the storm. A bit of a respite before the battle next week and the build up to the season climax the week after.

    And I have faith that all of that foreplay will be worth it….. ;)

  131. Remaal
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Well, fortunately, I’m too young, healthy, and busy to have the time, or the inclination, for a 10 hour veg-out TV marathons. I have a life. So, week by week is how I’ll watch my shows.
    I loved season 1 by watching it week by week. shocker!

    Oh, and by the way, I think Lost is rubbish. I knew it was rubbish when I realized the writers were winging it, and had absolutely no idea where they were going with the story. That was about half way through the second season, which is when I stopped watching it. :D

  132. Shaggydog
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Robb the one pump chump!!!

  133. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    It seems pretty facile to accuse D&D of having “dropped the ball”.

    D&D chose to devote most of episode 18 to character development and laying the groundwork for what is to come in the remaining two episodes and season 3. It seems like they wanted some calm before next week’s storm, but I think I’d prefer to see a mix of that and short-term plot development in each episode. Something to reflect on as well as something to get the adrenaline pumping.

    At the same time, I’d prefer that the three main storylines (Westeros, Beyond the Wall and Essos) be disentangled. I think it would be easier to follow the Beyond the Wall plot if it were presented in a single dedicated block of screen time. Same for Essos. This season, that would probably have meant about one full episode for each. Next season, the total screen time split might be different. My point is that there’s no pressing need to establish rough concurrency for the three main storylines just yet. The notion that the audience might forget about Jon and Dany is nonsense: if we can remember who’s who for the nine-month hiatus between seasons, then surely we can do the same for a full year.

    It would also be nice if they took more time to verify that each character’s actions – especially the boneheaded ones – have credible motivations in that character’s backstory, present knowledge, inferences/guesses and belief system. For example, Robb thinking about Talisa with his wedding tackle is credible. Even her idealism matches his own. However, she somehow opted out of the highborn life, while he’s been raised to believe that the flip side of privilege is the responsibility to lead.

    His mother reminded him of his pledge to the Freys, but he never really grappled with that at all. Even with all that testosterone in his body, Robb has his wits about him when it comes to military matters. It a stretch to believe he would risk his army’s supply lines immediately after hearing Talisa’s backstory. He had previously considered the possibility that she was a spy, she had lied to him about being highborn. How can he be sure he can trust her, even if she appears to have fallen for him as hard as he fell for her?

  134. David Scotton
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s similar to me to another change D&D have made:Shae.I loved Tyrion’s storyline in the book because he’s so smart but he’s so damn lonely that he deludes himself that he loves this prostitute, who is OBVIOUSLY just a prostitute.She sees him as a steady income, and there’s little to see in her that doesn’t involve flattery and sex.She’s not smart, she’s not determined, she’s young and hot and tells him what he wants to here.I love that.It’s this huge weakness.It’s not that he loves Shae; it’s that he wants to think Shae loves him.

    It’s one of my favorite parts of the book.

    They’ve turned TV-Shae into someone, much like Jeyne -> Talisa, that I could really see Tyrion loving on a real level as opposed to “My Lion of Lannister.”It’s not a mistake that TV-Shae does not engage in idle flattery.She’s completely different.I don’t mind it for Shae’s sake, but I really had an issue with it initially, because it changes Tyrion.If he’s legitimately in love… that’s a universal weakness.It’s not one that feels so closely related to grotesque book-Tyrion (something we pay lip service to with TV-Tyrion, who lives in a time much kinder to little people and oh, Dinklage is a good looking man).

    I mostly agree with your points, but I disagree with the conclusion that Tyrion wasn’t really in love with Shae. The important part was that Shae didn’t deserve his love and she wasn’t a good person. In real life people fall for people who don’t deserve it all the time – especially when they’re as lonely as Tyrion.

    But with that caveat I definitely agree that I don’t like the change to Shae’s character. When she tried to help Sansa (and threatened the other maid), I was like “WTF? Shae would never do that.” The fact that she wouldn’t is pretty much the essence of Shae’s character – she’d never risk herself for someone else. And it makes me wonder how they’re going to handle her betrayal down the road, since it really won’t have been set up believably.

  135. Blourd
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone:

    As a non-book reader, I have no expectations at all – I have no idea what“belongs” and what doesn’t, what’s to come and why it’s “taking so long to get there.”It’s all new, it’s all relevant, there are no unnecessary scenes.

    Been loving your recaps, btw. Keep ‘em comin’.

  136. daprosinik
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Joop Stroop,

    Indeed those guys are much better than Larry’s review. I enjoy his review but it seems that he doesn’t pay attention anymore.

  137. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    David Scotton,

    This Shae is a completely different character, and I thought her backing up Sansa was consistent enough for this version.

    I think it’s true to some extent for all the characters, but for some in particular the show version is so completely different that it really doesn’t make any sense to say “But X character would NEVER do that!” based on what’s in the books. Show Shae is a different person, show Littlefinger, even show Tywin. If you constantly compare to their book characters looking for consistency you’re going to end up disappointed.

  138. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Remaal,

    No one asked you to prove yourself, dear. Blech.

    Steven Swanson,

    Shae was a much stronger presence in the books, but I understand they can’t have a full-on blowjob sequence every other episode without alienating a few people.

    On a more serious note, we really do have an entirely different Shae here. I loved the book Shae because she revealed so much about Tyrion and they sort of relied on this week’s Tyrion-Shae scene to pull the weight of their sparse relationship this season. Even so, c’est la vie and the reality of time constraints. I’m still biting.

    I can’t imagine book-Shae helping a girl out like her TV self did. This one has seen lots of ugly things, but she has some compassion hiding under her survivor’s instinct.

  139. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    I know, right? A little defensive, that one.

  140. WompWomp
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Darth Valyria,

    Haha, just a bit, eh?

    Unrelated: I’m starting to feel pretty shitty about the Cogman situation. Do you know if it was a wave of negativity on Twitter or the comments on this site that drove him off? I don’t tweet so I wouldn’t have caught on if it was the former.

  141. daprosinik
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Darth Valyria,

    I really don’t understand his aggressiveness.

  142. Winter Is Coming
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp: Unrelated: I’m starting to feel pretty shitty about the Cogman situation. Do you know if it was a wave of negativity on Twitter or the comments on this site that drove him off? I don’t tweet so I wouldn’t have caught on if it was the former.

    Pretty sure it was mostly Twitter stuff.

  143. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Remaal: I’m watching this season the same way you guys are watching it, week by week. I’m watching it the same way I watched my other favourite shows past and present – BSG, Deadwood, Justified, The Wire, The Fades. I very rarely re-watch shows. In Fact, I own the GOT S1 Blue-ray, but haven’t watched it yet, and am not likely to for a few years yet.

    It’s simply not good enough to say that GOT only works if the eps are watched in quick succession, because that’s not how it’s being delivered. The show should fit the delivery medium, if it doesn’t, then it has failed. But I really don’t think that’s the problem with this season.

    I get that you don’t have the time or the inclination to rewatch a series either at once or in big chunks (the most I can manage is 2 a night, and even that’s pushing it). But your insistence that the original method of delivery is the intended one isn’t quite true. Yes, this show is produced knowing that they have to, to some extent, present it in weekly hour-long sections. But they’ve always had the DVD market in mind when producing this series, and ultimately it’s going to be remembered for how well it holds up in that format far more than its original presentation. And, like The Wire, it’s ideally suited to marathon viewings, and a lot of the people who got hooked on the show did just that (through hbogo or dvd/blu-ray).

    I’ve noticed there are a lot of preexisting expectations regarding how a television show should be judged. Like in your case you judge it primarily based on its appearance as a weekly series. Or a lot of committed newbies (like those on the TWOP forum) refuse to look at even spoiler-free wikis or other extra material. But this show (and others) are now coming at it from multiple directions, such that you can experience it at your chosen depth, whether as a show you watch once a week, one you watch multiple times while looking at the extras for background info, or by reading up on all the background information along with the show (and these are just options for non-readers). Ultimately the “right” way to watch the show might be to do it while taking advantage of all this extra material, but that seems to conflict with many people’s expectations that a show should always stand alone as presented on television. And I’d argue that that is now an outdated and limited opinion.

  144. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    Darth Valyria,

    Haha, just a bit, eh?

    Unrelated: I’m starting to feel pretty shitty about the Cogman situation. Do you know if it was a wave of negativity on Twitter or the comments on this site that drove him off? I don’t tweet so I wouldn’t have caught on if it was the former.

    I’m late to this party, what exactly is the “Cogman situation”?

  145. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    He deleted his Twitter. I have no idea why people think this is okay to do, but show fans constantly harangue him about the show. Like every week, people throw their complaining at Cogman because he writes for the show and is the story editor. I don’t blame him for leaving Twitter, when it can’t be any fun for him.

  146. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Hopefully it’s that he stopped giving a shit about what a bunch of people who have no idea about the reality of telling this story on HBO thought about the show. But that might be a bit optimistic.

  147. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    Thanks. And I like Pastor’s explanation.;-)

  148. DB
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    In addition to the tremendously disappointing changes in the Arya Stark story, another Stark is ill-served by the adaptation. Arya’s mother Cat Stark has had her agency largely removed as well, due to a couple of changes. When Littlefinger made the offer to exchange Jaime for her daughters, her decision to free Jaime was changed from one she made on her own to one she merely accepted. In the novels, Cat also made that decision after receiving the “news” of Bran and Rickon’s death; here, she’s pushed into it by the Karstarks demanding Jaime’s death after his failed escape last week. Cat Stark’s strength made her arguably my favorite character in the novels, but the show regularly weakens her.

    Rowan Kaiser hitting the nail on the head there. Melikes.

  149. Blourd
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    tough to believe someone in the entertainment industry would be that thin-skinned.

  150. David Scotton
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Agreed that this is obviously a different Shae, but my main point is that I don’t think this one works as well, given the way the story later develops. And if they decide to change the way that plays out, it has pretty significant repercussions on Tyrion’s development.

  151. Alan
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    David Scotton: I mostly agree with your points, but I disagree with the conclusion that Tyrion wasn’t really in love with Shae.The important part was that Shae didn’t deserve his love and she wasn’t a good person.In real life people fall for people who don’t deserve it all the time – especially when they’re as lonely as Tyrion.

    But with that caveat I definitely agree that I don’t like the change to Shae’s character.When she tried to help Sansa (and threatened the other maid), I was like “WTF? Shae would never do that.”The fact that she wouldn’t is pretty much the essence of Shae’s character – she’d never risk herself for someone else.And it makes me wonder how they’re going to handle her betrayal down the road, since it really won’t have been set up believably.

    I think at that point that we’re merely arguing the definition of love. Tyrion thought he was in love, for sure, but I don’t think he really ever bothered to know Shae.

    Regardless, they can still get to the same point. Just this episode, Shae once again reiterated that she can take care of herself. She told Sansa she could trust no one, and she certainly didn’t mean “except Tyrion.” Shae is very good at making sure she comes out alive.

    That’s book Shae’s motivations for her actions as well.

  152. DB
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Blourd:
    tough to believe someone in the entertainment industry would be that thin-skinned.

    precisely

  153. Ax0r
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Blourd:
    tough to believe someone in the entertainment industry would be that thin-skinned.

    Giving up after getting one failed audition would be thin skinned
    Quitting in a huff after one negative review would be thin skinned.

    Given the nature of the entertainment industry, giving up after 20 negative reviews might still be thin skinned.

    But when hundreds, if not thousands of people attack you directly, coming from positions of relative ignorance, and you find yourself unable to ignore them (as they would have all been @BCogman, as opposed to undirected rants on obscure blogs), then I think there is abundant justification for removing yourself from the unfiltered stream of vitriolic excrement that the greater internet has the propensity to produce.

  154. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Ax0r,

    Precisely.

  155. Leuf
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Mike Chair
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Ingemar Svensson: … Dany only has 6 chapters in SoS. That’s not nearly enough to fill out two seasons so either they need to invent a completely new arch for her …

    Oh, don’t even get me started. Hey, Winter, OitF, FaBio, new post idea for post season [2]! New Dany story arch!

    This has been my idea for what to do with Dany for a while now, and I’m kind of in love with it to the point where I’ll be sad when it doesn’t happen even though I know it never will. Spoilers for all the books:

    When Selmy shows up he tells Dany that she has allies in Dorne. They head there in secret. We then get to spend lots of time getting to know the Martells and trying to keep the dragons secret. The whole Dornish side story gets pulled into Dany’s arc. Cersei’s incompetence as Queen Regent gets illustrated by her ignoring it when she does start hearing about dragons in Dorne. Quentyn dies trying to prove himself to Dany by taming the dragons. Tyrion heads there when he makes his escape. It gets rid of all the obnoxious traveling that plagues the later books, gets Dany to Westeros quickly, and condenses the story. Things still need to be added to give it more meat, but I’d have Dany and the Dornish attacking King’s Landing much sooner than, well Dany may never even get there in the books.

  156. David Scotton
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Leuf: This has been my idea for what to do with Dany for a while now, and I’m kind of in love with it to the point where I’ll be sad when it doesn’t happen even though I know it never will.Spoilers for all the books:

    When Selmy shows up he tells Dany that she has allies in Dorne.They head there in secret.We then get to spend lots of time getting to know the Martells and trying to keep the dragons secret.The whole Dornish side story gets pulled into Dany’s arc.Cersei’s incompetence as Queen Regent gets illustrated by her ignoring it when she does start hearing about dragons in Dorne.Quentyn dies trying to prove himself to Dany by taming the dragons.Tyrion heads there when he makes his escape.It gets rid of all the obnoxious traveling that plagues the later books, gets Dany to Westeros quickly, and condenses the story.Things still need to be added to give it more meat, but I’d have Dany and the Dornish attacking King’s Landing much sooner than, well Dany may never even get there in the books.

    Sorry, but I think that sounds like a terrible idea. You’d be breaking from the story in the books beyond any possibility of recovery. At this point we don’t even know if Dany ever returns to Westeros, and sending her there in book 3 will completely change the Aegon plot that emerges in book 5.

  157. Harry
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I ABSOLUTELY AGREE TO WHAT YOU SAID. Wish everyone would see it that way.

  158. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Blourd:
    tough to believe someone in the entertainment industry would be that thin-skinned.

    It sounds less like thin-skinned and more like “Jesus, these people are annoying as shit, I really don’t need this in my life.” I mean it’s just freaking twitter, it’s not like he bailed on a project or anything. Personally the most I can stand of twitter is conveniently summarized by FaB here weekly.

  159. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    How many scripts has Cogman written in his life? 3?

    Did you guys know Vanessa Taylor didn’t read the books bfr writing hers?

    It’s to be expected writing is the weakest point of the show at this point, because this second season has forced the showrunners to derive more and more from the books, and with a source material like Martin’s every deviation, every new solution, has to be very very well thought, and it’s obvious than in some cases it hasn’t

  160. Pepi
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Even if I agree with him on that point, I still find Larry Williams’ delivery unrefined and most irritating than informative. I am happy to hear his two cents as a non-viewer, but his videos are ridiculously long because of his uncontrolled emoting. That was only fun after Ned died.

    I like Larry’s reviews and I watch them every week, but I’ll have to agree with you on this one. These days he’s spending like 50% of his review time telling us what he’s about to do. “What I’m about to do, I’m gonna do something I never did before and I’m gonna tackle this episode slightly different …”
    The fact, that he has a timer makes it even funnier, because … I dunno. From someone, who’s set himself a time limit, one would expect, that he would try to squeeze in as much content as possible.
    And for the record (or for the number — in case someone somewhere is counting, how many likes and how many dislikes did an episode get); I liked this week’s episode. More than the last one (for what it’s worth). It gave me, as a reader, a really nice feeling of all things coming together as they should … and had some really strong scenes (Tyrion-Bronn-Varys, Stannis-Davos, Cersei-Tyrion …).

  161. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: I like these guys a lot.

    Same, they’re really good

  162. Dave
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano:

    Did you guys know Vanessa Taylor didn’t read the books bfr writing hers?

    Really? She hasn’t read the books? If so, I need proof, she said that in an interview? Please provide the link someone, as I find it hard to believe that a writing staff hasn’t read the books when writing a series based on a novel.

  163. Dan
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I’d be curious how many times you have had to give this same exact response.

  164. Langkard
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead:
    Langkard,

    The name of the White Walker language has been known since last season. It was revealed in a press release about the languages made up for the show, IIRC.

    Thanks for the reply! I must have missed the press release. When I read the interview, the name for their language was entirely new to me.

  165. fuelpagan
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The problem I have with this episode is that it feels like a setup episode for all the storylines. The past few weeks have been really good because something tied the episode together while other storylines were moved forward. It looks like they were attempting to use the Winterfell storyline for this purpose, but it didn’t work for me. Too much time passed between the scenes to feel they were connecting the episode.

    Also the Tyrion storyline is bugging me a bit. They have talked about combat tactics in two episodes now and Tyrion and everyone else in Kings Landing is standing around with a finger up their nose. Are we supposed to believe he plans to use this dangerous substance as a last minute thought without any preparation or training on how to use it?

    The other storylines I’m ok with the changes, but Tyrion should be putting a plan in motion at this point and leaving everyone guessing what he is up too. Not thumbing through a book asking for help on the eve of battle.


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