Recap

Episode 19 – Blackwater – Recap

Boom. That was “Blackwater”. My recap and reactions to tonight’s epic episode are after the break.

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


Summary

Let’s start in King’s Landing (hehe). The episode opens with Stannis and his men sailing towards King’s Landing. Davos and his son Matthos share some words about the impending battle.

Back at the Red Keep, Tyrion lays in bed with Shae. He is scared and Shae comforts him. Cersei, meanwhile, gets a vial of poison from Pycelle. Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Bronn is looking to get some comfort of his own. The Hound shows up and him and Bronn exchange some words. Just when you think the story is going to deviate in a big way, the bells ring, signaling Stannis’ arrival. Back to Tyrion, who is donning his armor, while Varys talks to him about the supernatural. He then gives him a map of the underground passages in King’s Landing.

In the Throne Room, Joffrey is heading to battle. But before he does he wants Sansa to kiss his new blade, Hearteater. Up on the ramparts, Tyrion, Joffrey and the Hound wait for Stannis’ fleet. Joffrey is impatient, but Tyrion orders him to wait, he will give the signal. Davos is uneasy about the lack of any defense.

Cersei and the other women of the Red Keep, are holed up in Maegor’s Holdfast. Sansa asks why Ilyn Payne is there as well, Cersei says he is there to protect them. Cersei then shares with Sansa some tips on how to rule, when she orders the beheading of some maids who tried to run away with some stolen goods.

Back to the walls, Stannis’ fleet has come into view. Tyrion orders the archers to draw. As Stannis’ fleet approaches, one ship sails from the Blackwater out into the bay. Davos orders his archers to draw as well, but as the ship comes closer they realize it is empty. Tyrion gives the signal. Bronn notches a flaming arrow and shoots it at the empty ship. Davos sees the liquid green substance oozing out of the ship and into the river, he realizes what is about to happen. Bronn’s arrow flies overhead and lands in the trail of wildfire, igniting it with green flame. Davos screams at Matthos to get down. The ship of wildfire ignites. Ka-boom.

Back at Maegor’s Holdfast, where Cersei is well into her cups. She has another heart-to-heart with Sansa, talking about the mercy of the gods (or lack thereof). She then moves on to what would happen to the women if the city should fall.

Despite half of his fleet in flames, Stannis is not deterred. He leads his men out to storm the castle. They head for the Mud Gate, flaming arrows raining down on them. Tyrion orders the Hound and Lancel down to hold the gate. Lancel is wounded in the fight and scurries back into the castle.

Cersei is getting more and more drunk. She confronts Shae about her background (we learn she is from Lorath). She then reveals to Sansa the real reason Ser Ilyn is there, to kill them if Stannis should take the city. Lancel reports back to Cersei that the battle is lost. Cersei orders him to bring Joffrey back to the Red Keep.

Back to the fighting, where the Hound is straight cutting dudes in half. A flaming soldier comes storming towards him and he freezes in panic. The soldier gets an arrow through the eye, courtesy of Bronn. Sandor realizes all the fires burning around him. He gets spooked and heads back into the castle, the gates barred behind him. Tyrion and Joffrey order him back out there. Sandor curses them out and walks away. Stannis’ men bring in a battering ram and are smashing the gate. Lancel comes to tell Joffrey that the queen wants him back inside the Keep. Tyrion says he must stay, he needs to lead his men into battle. Joffrey looks scared, he tells Mandon Moore to fight in his stead and heads back to the safety of the Red Keep. Tyrion then decides to lead the men himself. He fires up the men with a speech. “Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!”

Lancel comes to Cersei, tells her he wants to bring Joffrey back out to the fighting, to inspire the men. Cersei pushes him down and storms out of Maegor’s Holdfast. Shae tells Sansa she should not stay, if the city falls Stannis will not kill her, but Ilyn would. Sansa heads back to her room. Sandor is there. He tells her he is going to runaway. He tells her she can come with him. She declines. He tells her just must get used to people like him protectin her. “You are not going to hurt me?” “No, little bird, I won’t hurt you.”

Tyrion and his men are sneaking out of a hidden passageway to take Stannis’ men from the rear. They rout Stannis’ forces and burn the battering ram. Just when it looks like the battle is won, more of Stannis’ men storm towards them. Tyrion fights for his life and finds himself face to face with Ser Mandon Moore. Moore swings his sword at Tyrion, cutting him across the face. Before he can finish him off, Pod sticks a spear through his throat.

In the final sequence, Cersei sits on the Iron Throne with Tommen on her lap. She tells him a story of all the animals bowing down to the lion. As she tells him the story, we see Tyrion, slowly losing consciousness on the battlefield. He sees men on horses, riding in and killing Stannis’ men. Stannis’ forces retreat, with Stannis screaming at them to stay and fight. Right before passing out, Tyrion sees Renly on horseback, he is leading the charge. Back in the Throne Room, Cersei is giving the vial of poison to Tommen, certain that the battle is lost. The doors burst open and Renly strides in. He removes his helm…. and it is Loras Tyrell, wearing Renly’s armor. Tywin enters behind him, Cersei drops the vial to the floor, as Tywin declares, “The battle is over. We have won.”

What I Liked

Ka-boom. – Holy (pig) shit. Th wildfire looked amazing. The whole sequence was staged so perfectly. The one ship eerily floating past Davos, the wildfire pouring out, Bronn’s arrow and then the explosion. Wow, that explosion. Huge props to the VFX team on that one. And I loved the reactions to the explosions: Joffrey looks away, Tyrion looks on in awe and horror, Pyromancer Hallyne looks positively giddy, while Sandor mouths ‘Oh my god’. That was pretty much my reaction too, Sandor.
The Hound Steps Up – They finally gave Rory McCann some screen time and, man, did he step up to the plate. His reactions to the fire, and then his moment when he realizes it isn’t worth it. And then the quiet intensity in his later scene with Sansa. Sandor fans had a lot to like in this episode.
Cersei Gets Drunk – Lena Headey didn’t just step up to the plate, she knocked this episode out of the park. Her drunken revelations were a revelation. And her final scene was so well done, with her telling the story to Tommen as the final battle scenes play out, and then her reaction to Tywin arriving. Perfection.
We got a battle! – Hey look, battle scenes! And it is exactly what you’d expect from Game of Thrones: intense, gory, brutal. Hats off to Neil Marshall for his fine direction and to all the extras, crew and stuntmen that toiled for months in the cold, rainy Belfast nights to create these amazing scenes.

What I Didn’t Like

Nothing – If this episode isn’t perfect, than it is pretty damn close. I got no nits to pick, although I’m sure some of you all can come up with a few.

So, only one episode left. But first, let’s revel in “Blackwater”. Share your thoughts in the comments and rate this episode in our poll below.

727 Comments

  • Daaaamn, I’m going to have to watch again to process everything, but that was suitably epic. I think Cersei was actually the absolute best part of the episode for me though.

  • Holy crap that was intense, I’m shaking, have to watch again! Pod is my hero, after Tyrion, Bronn, Sansa, the Hound…no chain but there was NOT A SECOND WASTED and all the important stuff is there my reader friends, you will plotz when you watch this!

  • Awesome episode….soooo, no chain….who gives a sh*t, didnt’ need one when ships are exploding!!!!

  • Pardon me while I pick up my jaw off the floor, clean it, and wire it back to my skull.

    HOLY. FUCK. BALLS.

  • Uh yeah so the best episode of the series so far was written by GRRM. Coincidence? I think not. Great episode.

  • Great episode, wish there were more battle scenes, but still happy we got it to begin with.

    Well done George if you are reading this.

  • Usually I understand “book purist” gripes, but I’d really be hard-pressed to find anything even remotely wrong with this episode.

  • No chain, shortended ship scene, awesome wildfire, not quite the dramatic effect of the book one could hope for. It’s more than forgiven though.

    That hour was awesome television! Thank you for the script GRRM.

  • Awesome! Wildfire, the hound, Tyrion, Davos, Stannis leading his men..I could go on and on! Fantastic episode!!

  • I think it was vital that GRRM wrote the dialogue for this ep….I think Autumn Storms in next season is code for Red Wedding.

  • Patrick:
    Great episode, wish there were more battle scenes, but still happy we got it to begin with.

    Well done George if you are reading this.

    Really? I was hoping for less battle scenes. Thought there were too many.

  • Awesome episode. Cersei was amazing, Das Hound was incredible. Such an epic feel. Bravo team Thrones!!!!

  • It’s a good sign when that trailer for next week is the least-intense part of the show.

    Holy crap.

  • Amazing episode!

    Wild Fire was the coolest ever. I think everyone got their battles that they wanted haha. And it still felt like the episode was too short!

    “Darth Vader Throwing Emperor Return of the Jedi moment” was when Pod killed Ser Mandon. I cheered! haha

  • The wait was well worth it, as this battle was epic. Loved the CGI for the wildfire. Also, the battle itself was intense—bloody, chaotic. I thought Stannis looked badass. Tyrion was quite good as well, and it was a surprise to see that he got his face slashed. It’ll leave folks wondering if he actually survived the battle.

    Poor Davos didn’t last very long, did he?

    I also really enjoyed Cersei’s scenes with Sansa and her scene on the throne with Tommen. I was almost unsure if she was going to poison Tommen. I know in the books he obviously survives, but for a moment there, I was nervous.

    I wish I could smack Sansa. Why exactly did she not go with The Hound? Oh, how different things could turn out.

  • Well…

    Can George R. R. Martin write an incredible screenplay? Oh, hell yeah.

    Remember how you felt when the title sequence and Diwadi’s music played for the first time, at the beginning of the first episode of them all? That almost dizzy, jaw-dropping wonder? That’s how I feel right now.

    So much awesome in that one hour.

    Holy green exploding nerdgasms of wonder, Batman!

    And some amazing standout performances from people we really don’t see often enough. Rory McCann rocked tonight. So did Dan Portman, even with no lines. I’m even beginning to like Shae! But Rory McCann was all awesome Hound tonight. The Hound and Bronn. The Hound and fire. The Hound and Sansa. Geez.

    One question:

    Who was that with the Hound at the table?

    No chain? Don’t care. Just don’t care. GRRM said, “chains? We don’ need no stinkin’ chains!”

    Only one complaint about the episode…

    Cersei’s breastplate didn’t have nipples.

  • Ehhhhhh looked like Xena.

    Seriously though, that explosion was simply incredible. It’s up there with Ned’s beheading as one of the handful of moments that people will remember and talk about for years to come on this show, even long after it’s over. That such a thing could be depicted on a television show, even on premium cable, is wonderous. And it was greeeeeeen!

    I’ve read all the way through Dance, and they have me half-believing that they killed Davos tonight. That’s how good that looked.

  • AHHHHHHHHHH!!! twas AWESOME SAUCE!!!! I couldn’t ask for more from a tv series… i cant wait to get behind the scenes stuff to see how they did all of that… especially the wildfire…. have to watch it again on west coast time… Solid TV writing by GRRM ….
    Solid acting by Lena…. neurotic Cersei was captured wonderfully… ugh.. so many things…
    Bottom line BEST EPISODE EVER!! (or at least so far…)

  • Wildfire was epic.

    Cersei’s dialogue was perfect.

    Jack Gleeson goes from pompous arrogant ass to tail between the legs coward with seamless perfection.

    And Dinklage deserves another Emmy.

  • Completely amazeballs.

    I didn’t even miss the chain. I liked the exploding-by-wildfire better. Tyrion still got to be amazing. Stannis was a badass. The Hound ruled. Sansa and Cersei were perfection.

    I defy an episode of television to be better than that. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

  • Holy crap. That was amazing. Best hour of television I’ve seen. GRRM outdid himself – that was so much better than his episode last season. Just perfect!

  • “I’ve seen you kill a man with a shield. You’ll be unstoppable with an ax.”

    Oh, Bronn. Best line of the night. Best naked whore. Best confrontation with Sandor. Best battle start – burning pig shit!

    Ser Bronn!

    Chain? What chain? Who needs a chain?

  • HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!! Go Hound (“Fuck the King”)! Did you see Joffrey’s face when he said that? PRICELESS! Gods be good, Rory McCann (Sandor) was FLAWLESS this episode, as were Peter Dinklage (though his acting is always flawless), Liam Cunningham (Davos), and Sophie Turner (Sansa). And the lighting for the scene in Sansa’s room was perfect, just the right amount of light for that scene!

  • Episode was amazing! The Rains of Castamere playing over the credits was a brilliant finish IMO!

  • andrea:
    please? Who sang at the end of the episode? It was great.

    That was The National. It’s on the Season 2 sound track CD which is supposed to be out next Tuesday, too! We got two versions of “The Rains of Castamere” tonight. More awesome on top of awesome.

  • That was a one hour film of great quality! George’s episodes are fantastic. To swap the sustained burn of the wildfire for an explosion was both visually stunning and a shrewd money-saving move. Plus, the explosion made the chain unnecessary. Well done! So smart!

  • andrea:
    please? Who sang at the end of the episode? It was great.

    Sounded like the singer from The National, but I doubt it. Maybe it was Wilko Johnson.

  • Mean25:
    first off the boat
    first up the ladders
    killing Lannisters left and right

    All hail Stannis the true King of Westeros

    he’s climbin’ yo castle
    snatchin’ yo traitors up

  • Amzing. Incredible. WILDFIRE! completely forgot the absence of the chain, dont even care. one of the best episodes of the series

  • Rygar,

    perfect hilarious comment. I lol’ed so hard I almost choked on my popcorn

    And blackwater was fucking batshit nuts awesome. Go big or go home

  • ReadJunk.com:
    Amazing episode!

    Wild Fire was the coolest ever. I think everyone got their battles that they wanted haha. And it still felt like the episode was too short!

    “Darth Vader Throwing Emperor Return of the Jedi moment” was when Pod killed Ser Mandon. I cheered! haha

    Me too! I scared the cats right off the couch with my shouting and clapping!

  • ThePinkDragon:
    That was fucking horribl…

    …y awesome. Fuck yeah.

    Oh you :p….haha

    That was amazing…Ergh OMG…Just…wow…From the King’s Landing cast all deserve an Emmy because they all did amazing. Shae the Funny whore has finally become Shae the Tolerable Slut.

    Those last five minutes wow…emotional rollcoaster and I knew what was going to happen!

    Peter, Lena and Sophie for Emmys!

  • [writhes in pleasure]

    Here’s to hoping the waves of hype generated by the inevitable word-of-mouth following this episode will encourage HBO to drop another pretty penny for a huge battle next season. The proof will be in the pudding of DVD/Blu-ray sales next year. See y’all at Target! :D

  • The Hound stole the show by a mile tonight. Rory McCann rocked!

    Also, was it Meryn or Moore that Podrick killed? It was so fast that I didn’t even know what the hell happened.

  • DavosDrivesTheBoat: Sounded like the singer from The National, but I doubt it. Maybe it was Wilko Johnson.

    Ah, it was The National. Very nice. Saw them live last year. Great band.

  • OK. GREAT episode. LOVED the song from the credits, looking to download it right now. Only thing i think wasn’t that good was the Sansa/Hound scene. It was really fast, and not at all as good as the book’s. And also the hole point of him calling her ‘little bird’ is that she’d get to sing a song for him in that scene, but there’s not even that. I wonder if there was some restriction to the scene due to the actress being underage.

  • Aziraphale:
    Pardon me while I pick up my jaw off the floor, clean it, and wire it back to my skull.

    HOLY. FUCK. BALLS.

    Two minutes in, and we have a Winner of the Thread.

  • I delurked just to say:

    TYWIN. FRICKIN. LANNISTER. LIKE A BOSS.

    The wildfire was awesome!!!!

    Bronn, ILU.

    Even though I’ve read the books 20 times, I still screamed when I saw Tyrion get hurt. Poor baby.

  • So while Joffrey was busy being a huge turd, Stannis was the first man over the wall, and kills a small army by himself. Yeah, I vote for Stannis.

  • Was anyone momentarily scared that Cersei was seriously gonna make Tommen suicide there?

    I know it’s stupid to be pulled in by something I know won’t happen, but I kept going “oh my god, what if that’s the one deviation from the book they end up doing.”

    That’s what makes this show great: you know what’s gonna happen and you fucking STILL fear for everyone.

  • For a TV series that was a amazing episode.

    The only thing that I think would have made it better would be if Stannis army broke the gate and started pouring into the city, then the audience would truly believe it was over. Then have Tywin arrive and piss everyone off.

  • That was the most epic hour of a television series I have ever seen. That was the kind of payoff only Game of Thrones can deliver. For all those complaining about “slow paced plot and storyline”, that is what was required to build up to this kind of 57min climatic payoff…

    No TV series can compare to what we just saw…

    So much to talk about…

  • J,

    That was a fantastic episode. And the song playing over the ending credits gave me chills.

  • they hit a home run and showed it was worth every penny of their budget for the battle. Here that HBO? don’t skip out on any more battles!

    Tyrion should have lost a nose but super Pod still came to the rescue!

  • maledicta:
    They bet the whole season on this episode and damn if it didn’t pay off.

    Damn straight. And the next time the HBO beancounters start whining about money, D&D will silence them with a single word:

    Blackwater.

  • OMG, that was EPIC!!!!!!! Tyrion for the win!!! Omg….one of the best hours of television EVER…and one of the best explosions I’ve ever seen in my entire life!!!!!!! Holy crap! I’ll probably end up watching this again tomorrow.

  • Loved it great! *throws coin and gems in the general direction of New Mexico*

    Interesting they made Lancel a bit of a bad ass. Eugene was great as ever. Very interested in how GRRM decided to take the Hound in a less rapey direction and that Sansa was not scared of him at all. There will be debate about this forever I think. Perhaps this is to make viewers more comfortable with his buddying up with Arya next season? Or to clarify some of the Hounds feelings? Hmm…

    Nice call to make Shae from Lorath like Jaqen as thet both have a German accent. More to ponder….

  • Fan-fucking-tastic!

    Just wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I knew it wouldn’t be Helm’s Deep, but they gave their best shot of it.

    High fives for Wildfire. D and D didn’t have the chain but damn they economized it well. Melisandre’s prophecy to Matthos came true afterwards.

    High fives for Stephen Dillane, I loved how he charged in. That’s what Stannis would do. He believes in his cause and in himself. I love his Stannis more and more.

    High fives for Jerome Flynn.

    High fives for Roy Dotrice. What a great insertion for his character. George was right on the money there.

    High fives for Rory McCann. He was brilliant. Yeah Sansa didn’t sing him the song, but it worked well anyway in my opinion.

    High fives for Sophie Turner.

    High fives for Pod!

    I knew Loras would be the one wearing Renly’s armour. And it makes perfect sense within the narrative.

    High fives for Peter Dinklage. He was brilliant as usual and George made him the tactical genius he should be without the chain.

    And the Emmy goes to….Lena Headey. Mark my words she is going up against Gretchen Mol next September. Her portrayal has been one of my favourite things about this season. And I agree, she stole the show.

    Loved the troops singing Rains of Castamere. I had a great big smile on my face the entire time. The audience will remember the song well in the future….

    This was great. I knew it wouldn’t be epic in the full sense of the words, but given the limited budget and the materials they had, they pulled this off well.

    I’m sure the Purists still hated it though.

  • Renaud Besse-Bourdier:
    I can’t believe it. One actor stole the show, and then another one did, and again and again. Tonight was the friggin Game of Thieves!!

    I know, it was just Rory McCann and Peter Dinklage stealing the show from each other for an hour straight! HELL YES!

  • Renaud Besse-Bourdier:
    … WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED???

    Seriously, how good was that??

    Yeah, I usually just lurk around here but because this episode was near perfect, I had to post. I often get let down when my expectations are high, but this was a 6 to midnight moment. Martin is a national (no pun intended) treasure, plain and simple.

  • Oh man, so bloody good!!!
    Will be rewatching at 11 to catch all the quieter bits but after the first viewing I loved it!!

  • That episode really put the 16-minute battle rumour to shame. There might actually have been something like 16 minutes of battle eventhough that was claimed to be a false rumour but since the whole episode centred all around King’s Landing rather than the other storiesit felt a like whole hour of battle.

  • Before they zoomed in, I also thought Cersei was sitting cradling Joffrey, and I was Pillars of the Earth’d right about then.

    Thank goodness it was Tommen.

  • Dreamlife:
    I also really enjoyed Cersei’s scenes with Sansa and her scene on the throne with Tommen.I was almost unsure if she was going to poison Tommen.I know in the books he obviously survives, but for a moment there, I was nervous.

    Ditto. My brain was saying “Calm down, stupid – you know she won’t” but my gut was screaming “Lookshe’sgoingtodoitohshitshe’sgoingtodoit.”

    Superbly acted by an actress I don’t care for in a character I hate.

  • Yes, and such an interesting contrast to his “nephew” who could only think about tucking his tail between his legs and running to his mommy….. I don’t enjoy Stannis, but at least he has some balls!

    Mean25:
    first off the boat
    first up the ladders
    killing Lannisters left and right

    All hail Stannis the true King of Westeros

  • Thank you, Dan, Dave, George and company. That was fabulous. I was on the edge of my seat.

    Rory McCann was fabulous. Loved Tyrion. Loved Lancel. Loved Bronn. Sansa. Joffrey. All terrific. Sooooo looking forward to next week, and so sad we only have one more!

  • Did they kill of davos…..? I just remembered he went over board and we didn’t see him come up.

  • Easily best show of the series. Best Part? Tyrion’s entrance to battle, he decided to make a halfman. and I believe that was merryn trant that betrayed tyrion. That was actually the best episode I have ever seen on any other show EVER

  • Isabela Brandi,

    Isabela Brandi:
    OK. GREAT episode. LOVED the song from the credits, looking to download it right now. Only thing i think wasn’t that good was the Sansa/Hound scene. It was really fast, and not at all as good as the book’s. And also the hole point of him calling her ‘little bird’ is that she’d get to sing a song for him in that scene, but there’s not even that. I wonder if there was some restriction to the scene due to the actress being underage.

    are you actually complaining? this entire episode was EPIC! and so what if the entire san-san wasn’t fully explored, he can still tell arya when he meets her than sansa refused him when he tried to help and save her

    i mean that wasn’t the point of the whole san-san thing? nothing ever went down other than the hound having a crush and trying to help her

  • As a red-green color-blind person, I was disappointed when I realized all those flames out there were probably green. Other than that, it was a very good episode—not quite Helm’s Deep, but with more bang for the buck.

  • So many Emmy-worthy performances tonight.

    Wasn’t Sansa playing Joffrey before battle perfect? Sophie Turner! Every scene she hit it perfectly. No, not every scene. Every frigging line.

    Lena Headey with Callum Wharry at the end. Wow. And young Mr. Wharry held his own in that scene with an awesome actress.

    When Cersei makes the Lorathi noble comment to Shae, and Sibel Kekilli nails the reaction with just a look. No words. Just little change from a slight smile to stone-faced, pure animosity. OK, I’m officially a fan of Sibel Kekilli now. Don’t care if she isn’t book Shae. She’s something more awesome. I don’t know what, but more awesome.

    Liam Cunningham didn’t get enough screen time. I wonder if we’ll see him at all next episode, or will have to wait until next season?

    Stephen Dillane at the end there. Nice. Did you see his eyes as saw what was happening to his victory? That was acting, folks. Wonderful, expressive acting.

    And Peter Dinklage. As I said once before in a post: at some point, they can just stop nominating him for Best Actor or Supporting Actor or whatever and just mail him the awards and statues. There is no other actor who can do what he is doing. Not one.

  • You know, did they ever explain the story behind “Rains of Castamere”? A few non-bookie friends are highly confused about the meaning of it, and the show made it seem important; I want to tell them it’ll be explained eventually, or that it has been, but I dunno.

  • GoT is setting a fearsome precedent of having incredible penultimate episodes. Talk about a good problem to have!

    I do believe they’re saving something special for last, though. I do hope Dany’s journey to the HotU ends up being her storyline’s equivalent of Blackwater. Some folks were hungry for redemption tonight and may get a second helping next week.

  • this episode was fucking awesome, think they should of played of the hole rnely ghost more but a cant really complain cause the episode rock the only doe a see them toping of this season last episode is if they blow the horn 3 times in the last part of the episode

  • Mike Chair:
    Wildfire was epic.

    Cersei’s dialogue was perfect.

    Jack Gleeson goes from pompous arrogant ass to tail between the legs coward with seamless perfection.

    And Dinklage deserves another Emmy.

    Dinklage deserves an Emmy per episode. I’m starting to think they might not give him one this year because he’s so damn good it would almost be an insult.

  • That was over WAAAAAY too fast!!!! Amazing!!!!! Waiting for dark here to watch it again….and again….and again….Glad they left “Renly” to the rescue. I was more concerned about that than the chain, honestly.

  • Anyone else cheer when Tyrion gave that epic line “They say I’m half a man. What does that make the lot of you?”

  • Headey was just amazing, I can’t believe there were ever debates about her as Cersei. Might have been the best performance by anyone the entire series.

  • Mean25,

    It was pretty brutal when he sliced off the top half of that guy’s head.

    Joshua Taylor,

    If the purists don’t like it, they can take it up with the guy who wrote this episode. This George R.R. Martin guy clearly has no respect for the source material.

  • OK, I need to watch again because I clearly missed some things. I blame Comcast for blinking in and out for the entire hour -_-

    1. I didn’t understand how Tywin and Loras ended up bursting into the throne room and definitely didn’t catch that Loras was wearing Renly’s armor. If this is true, BAD ASS!

    2. Stephen Dillane was so awesome. I love how the first half of the episode he’s just quietly smiling on his ship. Then he storms the castle and is completely believable as a formidable warrior. So cool. I’m not exactly sure how he got out, though.

    3. This was Rory’s episode and he owned it. My favorite is his scene with Sansa.

    4. Kudos to Lena for an Emmy worthy performance. I can’t decide which I liked better—her chats with Sansa or her advice to Sansa. Both were excellent.

  • I loved that Stannis got a chance to be a badass, though I’m not quite sure how he managed to escape.

  • I was afraid battle would not be how I imagined it would be when reading it. Boy was I wrong! Absolutely fantastic! I have to watch it again. Best episode so far. Great writing GRRM! The wildfire was great even without Tyrions chain. Can’t wait til next week.

  • Fuuuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkkkkkkkkiiiinnnngggg heeeeellllllll?!?!?!? Holly shitake mushrooms!!!! This is to much epic awesomnesss for my punny head to process….I wee–weee–wet myself!!!!

    This episode has warped my fragile little mind!!!!!!!! Where to begin….I’ll just bow down to Neil Marshall and implore him to come back and direct again!!!! I’ll be his fluffer for as long as the show lasts!!!!!! I got a good feeling when he was chosen to direct, and boy oh boy was it ever a good choice!!!!! We NEED this guy again!!!! And what a combination with George RR Martin’s brilliant script….oh man this episode was like taking Cyalis and having a 36 hour hard-on…I still can’t come of the high or hard-on…this is the kind of bonner only fantasy can give!!!!! Martin our father thou art!

    Peter Dinklage…wow…what is there to say…Tyrion is the fucking man!!!! LOL …just for saying “Oh fuck me!”, Dinklage should win every goddamn award there is!!!! They should give him the Oscar if they could, because just the acting he did in this episode is better than all the bloated, full-of-shit and hot-air so-called performances by all those Hollywood cretins!!!

    Dinklage…if you ever read this man….you fucking rule!!!!

    Oh and the rest of the cast, Davos, Varys, Sansa, Cercei, Joff, Stannis, Shay, hey even Sahara Knite had speaking lines, and The Hound..fucking brilliant, and the man, the myth, the legend, Bronn…he alone raised my spirits after a long and shitty week!

    This episode was like a buffet of awesome, very hard to pick what was my favourite moment!!!!!!! Ah and the end with Tywin to old lion and Ser Loras the Knight Of Flowers riding in to save the day…This episode alone could have served as the season finale…if this was it I would have been happy!

    And The National, interpreting the closing theme, what a strange and brilliant choice, if they continued longer they had me in fucking tears…

    “Game Of Thrones” really is a show in its own world…category…class…whatever and I fucking love it!!!! Bring on the rest!

    Sorry for this idiotic rant…too many thoughts coarsing through my mind right now…I’ll definitely go back tonight, for one or several more helpings of “Blackwater” so that I may better savour what I was lucky enough to see!

  • Loras!!! Also BAMF. Imagine non-book readers’ minds must be blown by him and Tywin busting in at the end. As was Tyrion’s. Great acting from all mains in this ep. Holy crap.

  • Who said there wasn’t a chain?
    There was definitely a chain sighting tonight.
    Only it wasn’t across Blackwater River.
    It was around Tyrion’s neck.
    The Chain of the Hand has finally made its appearance.
    He’s wearing it in his scene with Varys.
    Can’t wait to see what he does with it…

  • Very very nice!!! Fantastic episode. Little dark at times but just great entertainment. How lucky are we to see this story that we all love come to life this way??

  • Coltaine777:
    Director Neil Marshall deserves kudos too…nice job ..

    Yes! I think they should look into giving him more episodes to direct this coming filming season. The combination of Neil Marshall with GRRM’s episode script was definitely a winning one.

  • Once iTunes releases it, I”ll be listening to The Rains of Castamere, by The National on repeat for at least a week. Though I’d pay double for the Bronn-led version.

    That episode was freaking off-the-wall incredible. Thank you HBO, for ponying up. Thank you D&D, for perfectly capturing the essence of the battle. And thank you GRRM, for the vision that made it all possible.

  • Only 30 minutes until I can watch it again. Screw my cold! I ate an entire bag of Halls cough drops. I’m ready for the world!

  • Yellow Dog: Dinklage deserves an Emmy per episode. I’m starting to think they might not give him one this year because he’s so damn good it would almost be an insult.

    The man deserves a three-headed Emmy with twice as many balls to convey his gianthood.


    Joshua Taylor,
    If the purists don’t like it, they can take it up with the guy who wrote this episode.This George R.R. Martin guy clearly has no respect for the source material.

    Bahahahahahaha

  • This episode was so good. The music was used so well and the ending credits with Rains of Castamere gave me chills. All the actors did awesome. GRRM should write and direct every episode of this show and devot the rest of his life to ASOIAF. Haha Can’t wait for the House of the Undying and all of next week’s episode.

  • ThePinkDragon: did they ever explain the story behind “Rains of Castamere”?

    I don’t believe they did (in the TV show). For those who are wondering, it means if you eff with the Lannisters you (and you whole effing family) will die.

    Yellow Dog: Dinklage deserves an Emmy per episode. I’m starting to think they might not give him one this year because he’s so damn good it would almost be an insult.

    It’s almost like they’ve got to create a whole new category for Dinklage. They’ve got best, or, excuse me, “outstanding” actor, “supporting” actor; they need something like “Most Fantabulous Grand Exalted Power Thespian of the Highest Order of Magnificence.”

  • Coltaine777,

    Agreed. Not enough people are giving him credit. Sure, GRRM’s script was incredible, but it took some serious directing chops to perfectly nail the dread and awe of that Wildfire exploding. Wow. What a great buildup.

  • My jaw was literally dropped to the ground during the blackwater explosion and the entire episode. Thank you to all responsible for that episode! Seriously thought tommen was going to be poisoned! As a long time fan seeing this vvisually made it new for me again despite knowing what happens. THE best television i have ever seen of the best story probably to be ever told…

  • Unfuckingbelievable!! What an incredible hour of television.

    Every single one of them hit it out of the park – kudos all the way around.

    LOL @ Cersei saying all the ladies would get a good raping…

  • Jackie Gleeson is so good.
    I laughed a lot in this episode. Am I all wrong?
    The writing was brilliant. Cersei´s drunken speech was funny and scary at the same time.
    Speaking of father figures and psychological complexes with Greek names…Can you imagine your father popping at the gates of your castle, riding a white horse to save your life? :) daddy!

    Thanks to everyone who gave me hints about the singer!

    Langkard,
    Did you drink your wine? (for your cold)

  • They did a great job of making the Hound not seem like a pansy for hating fire. It is just the one chink in his armor. Also, I loved how Rory portrayed the “enough is enough” type of attitude upon returning from the Mud Gate.

  • There’s a brief moment during Dinklage’s speech just before he says “Let’s go kill them!” where his brow furrows, and his jaw clenches, and there’s so much emotion written on his face that it looks for a moment like he’s about to cry. And you know that he knows how important this moment is to the fans, and how much it took to make that scene and those words happen. Peter Dinklage, you are the man.

  • ThePinkDragon: You know, did they ever explain the story behind “Rains of Castamere”? A few non-bookie friends are highly confused about the meaning of it, and the show made it seem important; I want to tell them it’ll be explained eventually, or that it has been, but I dunno.

    My guess is they will reveal the story behind the song around the same time the song’s story becomes history repeating itself.

  • In a perfect world GMMR would right all of these for television. Everything was great especially The Hound! The writing up to this point has not truly given McCann his due, he fucking sold it! The three badass of the night are Stannis, Bronn and The Hound. Not to forget, the direction was awesome!

  • maledicta:
    There’s a brief moment during Dinklage’s speech just before he says “Let’s go kill them!” where his brow furrows, and his jaw clenches, and there’s so much emotion written on his face that it looks for a moment like he’s about to cry.And you know that he knows how important this moment is to the fans, and how much it took to make that scene and those words happen.Peter Dinklage, you are the man.

    I noticed that same moment and it was absolutely epic. It seriously looks like he’s about to break into tears. Peter Dinklage is the fucking man. Amazing episode, amazing show.

  • that episode was absolutely fantastic. was totally in awe of the wildfire and it made me forget about tyrion’s chain. i’m glad rains of castamere was introduced and specifically mentioned as the lannister song. hopefully when the red wedding comes along there will be some head scratching from my non reader friends as it plays right before it all goes down.

  • Mike Chair: I don’t believe they did (in the TV show).For those who are wondering, it means if you eff with the Lannisters you (and you whole effing family) will die.

    It’s almost like they’ve got to create a whole new category for Dinklage.They’ve got best, or, excuse me, “outstanding” actor, “supporting” actor; they need something like “Most Fantabulous Grand Exalted Power Thespian of the Highest Order of Magnificence.”

    LOL! Well done, ser, on all counts.

  • I’ve never had the problems with Lena Heady as Cersei that some people do, but she’s also not been my favorite actress on the show (though I do like her in other things). Tonight, though? Hoooooollllllyyyyyyy shit. She was jaw-droppingly amazing from start to finish.

    This episode was really quite good. Oh, and Rains of Castamere, possibly my most looked-forward-to thing of the season and it just completely delivered.

  • That was something different than I think anyone has ever seen on TV. Incredible writing by GRRM and stunning execution by all involved. This is what I expected to feel from a GoTs series. So satisfying!!

  • Hound-“You’re just like me, only smaller”
    Bronn-“And faster, too”
    I loved it.

  • This episode made my Star Wars & Lord of the Rings/Helms Deep loving big ole geeky heart sigh with sheer bliss.
    Thanks Neil & production crew so so well done. Visually a wonderful (albeit hugely gory but wonderfully staged and shot) episode!
    As usual…no wait not usual -ABOVE AND BEYOND the acting was superb; tweeted about Hound owning and he did GO RORY! Bravo!

    Now if only George & Bryan Cogman would write an episode together… This was stellar, but What is Dead May Never Die remains my favorite of the year.

  • “Did I ever tell you how I was cut?”
    “No, you didn’t”
    “A story I’ll tell you later”

    Thanks GRRM. ;)

  • J: Tywin does recount the story of the Reynes of Castamere on one of the Blu-Ray history videos.

    ohboy ohboy, I haven’t watched mine yet – can’t wait.

  • andrea:

    Langkard,
    Did you drink your wine? (for your cold)

    Can’t get good wine on Sundays in Texas. I ate a whole bag of Halls cough drops instead and loaded up on caffeine and then watched Peter Dinklage give an acting lesson to the world. Next best thing.

  • Quorin Halfhand:
    Isabela Brandi,

    are you actually complaining? this entire episode was EPIC! and so what if the entire san-san wasn’t fully explored, he can still tell arya when he meets her than sansa refused him when he tried to help and save her

    i mean that wasn’t the point of the whole san-san thing? nothing ever went down other than the hound having a crush and trying to help her

    It seemed to me that the Hound only wanted Sansa so he’d have entree to the lands of the north, he’d have someone to protect since that’s what he’s used to doing, and he’d also stick a pole in Joffrey’s eye by taking his betrothed. So, whether Sandor really cares for Sansa? It’s a matter of debate. Brutally EPIC episode, watching again.

    Irony? That only moments before the Hound wants to kill Bronn, and Bronn ends up saving the Hound as he starts to freak out with the burning men.

    That Biatch Cersei, punching Lancel like that.

    Sansa really stepped up, and so did Shae.

    GRRM, if you read this, YOU ARE A GENIUS! Not only do we love your books, but your episodes are masterful on a level the other writers need another 20 years to reach. Not that they’re bad, but they’re not you. Cogman is the closest.

  • Stunning, every writer, director, producer, crew and actor gave their all. We were there, wondering if Tywin would get there in time although we hoped we knew he would.

  • Langkard,

    yes, well, there you have it. Some Dinklage for your cold people! (and all others, because they were all great).

    Comments on “New viewers recap” are awesome.

  • After watching it again on HBOGo, that was not Ser Meryn who cut Tyrion. This Kingsguard didn’t have a goatee. So sure, it’s Ser Mandon Moore since we never saw his face last episode

  • AMAZEBALLS!

    Stannis can come into my castle any day.

    My brain isn’t working properly – what was up with bronn and the hound? I don’t think I liked that scene, but mostly because I didnt get it. Need a re-watch.

  • Sansa = PERFECTION
    Cersei = FLAWLESS
    Shae = I take back anything bad I ever said about you YOU ROCK

    THESE WOMEN WILL BE THE DEATH OF MEEEEE…

    P.S. The hound is even creepier than in the books, even without the attempted rape I was cringing that entire scene – mostly because he wasn’t sobbing like a wimp, I guess. SANSA IS MADE OF F*CKING STEEL! *shudder*

  • Langkard: this episode was fucking awesome, think they should of played of the hole rnely ghost more but a cant really complain cause the episode rock the only doe a see them toping of this season last episode is if they blow the horn 3 times in the last part of the episode

      

    So proud of you for toughing it out. Happy 2nd viewing!

  • The wildfire was great!! They should’ve had a special 2 hour battle episode for this. Too much Cersei & not enough everyone else. Too funny how Tyrion RAN onto the battlefield instead of rode a horse! Am I supposed to believe the men behind him ran & yet still stayed behind him? ha ha That part didn’t quite work out. Another unrealistic thing was how all the main characters went into battle without helmets on, and yet everyone else had them. Distinctive armor isn’t enough? Oh well. We can’t have it all. The ships were great! The acting was great! The archers were amazing. Those arrows were fast as bullets!! Next season, I want a special 2 hour battle at the end of the season.

  • I’ve read all the books and some how forgot about The Dog just quiting – absolutely epic scene with the king.

  • I think this episode broke our 5 star rating system!!!!

    Wow, that wildfire was just amazing. I loved the whole set up too – Joffrey saying “Where are all the ships, there’s just one ship!” about ready to shit his pants, while Davos is cautiously wondering the same thing, a bit too late though. LOVED IT.

    Everyone did an awesome job. Beyond awesome. I am not a Stannis fan, but I loved how he charged on in and acquitted himself well, while his soldiers were getting brained by falling rocks all around him.

    Yay Pod! And I loved the glee on the alchemist’s face as the wildfire went off – pyromancer or pyromaniac? :-) (I have loved Roy Dotrice since his days of Beauty & The Beast, and am currently enjoying taking my time getting listening to his wonderful reading of ASOIAF on CD. Yay for Roy!!!!)

    Sansa, Cersei, Shae (wow, love her character, she is so exotic – but shit, watch out for Cersei!), Tyrion, Joffrey, Varys, Lancel, Bronn, Loras & Tywin too – what an amazing episode with a lot of powerful moments.

    No complaints, not a one! Not even after my mind recovers from being blown away by the wildire explosion. That was just freakin’ awesome (and it looked & felt real!).

  • Excellent episode!

    Now hurry up showrunners and work on a whistle-able, hummable, catchy version of the Bear and the Maiden Fair so’s I don’t have something depressing stuck in my head that brings up horrible scenes!

  • Anybody else think Ja’quen saying “Come with me” to Arya in the preview indicates they are going to give the luscious Tom W. extra scenes as they have with Robb?

    Maybe even have him be her guide through the war zone? Big departure, but Sandor could cause lots of trouble by himself.

  • LionOfLannister: I noticed that same moment and it was absolutely epic. It seriously looks like he’s about to break into tears. Peter Dinklage is the fucking man. Amazing episode, amazing show.

    How about the split second when he realized a member of Joffrey’s guard is trying to kill him…shock, dismay, incompressible anxiety, all in a second, a big WTF moment and Pod the “funny little boy” comes to the rescue. Epic moments.

  • The very end of the battle was a little rushed. We really needed to see the armies clashing en masse at the end to understand what was happening. Otherwise, I knew exactly what was gonna happen from reading the books, and I was still pooping my pants for the first 50 minutes. So well done. A helluva buildup and that wildfire explosion was epic stuff.

  • That was just shy of EPIC for me!

    Things I loved:
    – The feeling of chaos conveyed by the shooting techniques and quick edits. It also help lend an epic scale to a TV serie budget.
    – EVERY actor was at their best – WOW! Truly awesome performances in the episode.
    – For the frst time al lseason I liked Sansa a lot and felt Sophie captured what I always read her as in the books.
    – Loved Ser Dontos the juggling fool! XD
    – Loved seeing a very menacing Sandor…. until he had his mental collapse.
    – Loved Loras wearing Renly’s armor. Changed from the book’s but I thought it was fitting.

    I did not love the “hero music” during Tyrion’s speech. IT felt like something Michael Bey would do and out of place in Game of Thrones.

    This was an awesome episode to be sure! It did make me realize how much more of Sandor I would have liked to see earlier in the season though… *sniff sniff*

    Here are this week’s episode extras:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/05/game-of-thrones-episode-209-blackwater_28.html

  • I was terrified when Bronn and the Hound started going at it before the battle. For a few moments I completely forgot the fact that I had seen promo pictures of Bronn from later in the episode, and I was sure The Hound was going to kill him. I’m glad he didn’t though.

    That was an amazing episode! The explosion was perfect, and all the scenes from inside the holdfast were absolutely fantastic as well. I loved Sansa talking to Joffrey, with the whole “You’re right, what a stupid question. Of course you’ll be in the vanguard.”

    Some of the deaths in the battle scene made one of my female friends who was here watching with me gasp repeatedly and cover her eyes. So, you know you’re doing something right then.

  • This was so good, really damn good! I was a complete schizo this episode. Such good fun!

    I was rooting for Davos and Stannis one minute, then for cheering Bronn and Tyrion the next. Can I just say Bronn is my hero, my absolute favorite! (he just might be replacing Jon for me, and that is saying a lot…..but Jon is out running amuck on the ice right now… sooo…but i digresss….)

    I actually even felt sorry for Joffrey for a brief moment.

    The Sansa and Cersei scenes were awesome, as well as Sansa and the Hound. I was moved when Sansa reached for the doll her father gave her….how things have changed, but stayed very much the same.

    Tywin riding in was epic! -Though my heart sank a bit because I am afraid Tyrion will go back to being just the “imp”…..

    Cannot wait for the season finale! Meanwhile, being fairly new to the books, I will keep reading and reading!

  • anyone think that in the next episode they’ll actually show some of the visions Dany sees in the House of the Undying? No spoilers just in case, just comments please. My money is unfortunately on no, unless they do it fast enough, since I’m pretty sure even the dullest of GoT fans who haven’t read the books might understand what HBO is hinting at if they show some of those visions.

  • Pfou… this evening was epic. Finishing shooting my student film, coming back to have my eyes explode out of sheer Game of AwesomeThrones, and then seeing one of the greatest basketball game I’ve seen in a long time…

    But still, Blackwater wins tonight’s trophy. Hell, the episode in itself should won the Emmy for best TV series

  • I am so…so happy with tonight.

    Thank you, HBO. GRRM.

    I hope the ratings for these last few episodes surprise everyone. This show deserves it.

    What a battle. What drama. Tyrion gets a scar! Pod! SanSan! Poor Davos! Sansa’s and Cersei’s best episode yet. Bronn, for fuck’s sake. Every moment Bronn was on screen. Absolutely thrilling.

    God I loved it.

  • John Connington:
    Did they kill of davos…..? I just remembered he went over board and we didn’t see him come up.

    In the book, they find him clinging to a rock way out in the mouth of the bay. That still fits what we saw tonight, and I’m sure it’ll unfold that way in season 3.

  • Incredible episode.

    Given that this is a GRRM written episode, one must wonder if Sandor Clegane has crossed paths with Bronn in the past…

  • Honestly fellas, there is no way for the show to top this episode in awesomeness. Its just to much. But in INTENSITY, they’ll be able to do it at the end of the next episode….with the correct angle, the right feel in the air, and the best of the actors…all D&D need are three simple horn blows. I just can’t imagine not having a heart attack at that moment.

  • stanvosftw:
    Meg,

    Stupid macho penis comparison.It was a stupid scene.

    No it was not, you must always look under the surface with this writer. The Hound and Bronn are surrogates for Joffrey and Tyrion. The Hound has no doubt heard a billion times from Joffrey what pricks his uncle and his uncle’s sellsword are, and the Hound would never be able to take on Tyrion and live by law. But if a fight broke out “among the men” then Sandor could get away with removing Tyrion’s only major physical protector in KL and Joffrey would reward him handsomely for weakening his uncle’s position. So no, it wasn’t stupid. Look deeper grasshopper.

  • Did anyone else notice that Sansa picked up the doll that Ned had given her last season that she was super bitchy about just before Sandor appeared. She smiled. I miss Lord Eddard Stark :(

  • Great episode.

    After this, I wonder what the visit to the House of the Undying will be like?

  • Meg:
    AMAZEBALLS!

    Stannis can come into my castle any day.

    My brain isn’t working properly – what was up with bronn and the hound? I don’t think I liked that scene, but mostly because I didnt get it. Need a re-watch.

    That scene is duscussed a bit in the episode extras I posted just above.

    I just took it as The Hound has always been the man in King’s Landing and with this new Bronn character in town he was feeling the need to show who was the true cock of the walk. Plus just their different temprements. Bronn is a bad ass, but likes to cavort and have fun while Sandor is all business and very serious.

  • Yellow Dog: hey are going to give the luscious Tom W. extra scenes as they have with Robb?

    Maybe even have him be her guide through the war zone? Big departure, but Sandor could cause lots of trouble by himself.

    She still has to get the coin from him. So he had to have one more scene. The bigger question is will he face change in front of her?!?

  • Flawless. This is the first time since the show’s inception that Lena became Cersei for me…most especially in her scenes with Sansa. D and D (and GRRM of course) hit all the points we wanted them to, except maybe the chain…but after that I don’t really care about the chain.

    Also, I laughed my ass off when Sandor was like “Keep those flaming fucking arrows away from me or I’ll choke you with your own guts.”

  • And Rains of Castamere just reminds me of things to come :'( AMAZING Frakking episode though seriously. I loved every moment of it. I think everyone in that episode knocked it out of the park.

  • John W,

    Immensely disappointing. They pushed too much into the last episode to do it all justice imo. I do hope I’m wrong.

  • Yellow Dog:
    Anybody else think Ja’quen saying “Come with me” to Arya in the preview indicates they are going to give the luscious Tom W. extra scenes as they have with Robb?


    Maybe even have him be her guide through the war zone?Big departure, but Sandor could cause lots of trouble by himself.

    Oooooh, a woman would looooooove that story line!

  • JohnnyBoy,

    you think they’ll put the prologue from ASoS at the end of Ep 10?
    Given D and D’s flair for the dramatic ending to every episode, I think I’ll agree with you. Might be tough to do though considering we haven’t seen much from Sam Tarly and co since Jon left.

  • Ser Jeremiah,

    I noticed that. I thought it was the perfect “come full circle” moment for her character this season. She has gone from wanting to play Princess and not understanding what that meant to understanding all too well what that meant.

    Now that she has some wisdom from her experiences she realizes that who the man is may matter less than how the man acts. Now she sees how truly good and awesome Ned was… the man she never appreciated while he was alive.

    Greeat small quiet touch to an action filled episode.

  • Best moment, the Hound mouthing a curse, or prayer, when the ships blow up with wildfire. Perfectly done Rory.

  • Really enjoyed the contrast of Kings, Joffrey leaving the battle to go to mother, while Stannis led his army in battle, it was awesome.

  • John W:
    Great episode.

    After this, I wonder what the visit to the House of the Undying will be like?

    In the book, the HotU was important for two big reasons. 1.) show the reader some teases about Jon possibly being a Targ. and 2.) give the reader the Dany Riddles…..3 mounts, 3 betrays, ect. With the stolen dragons being added, I’m curious to see if they get rid of one or both of the original reasons to go up there. In other words, Dany and Drogon still destroy the House, but for entirely different reasons.

  • This is crazy, I just didn’t like the episode, but everyone seemed to love it. I don’t have any problem with any of the changes (except maybe the paper cut that Tyrion got on his cheek), but the ending just felt super anti-climactic (maybe it’s because I knew Loras was coming). I was watching with a new viewer, and the second to last army showing up outside the gates (the Stannis Army) followed almost immediately by the Renly army confused them; i don’t think they were distinguished that well.

    I realize now that my gripes only have to do with how the last 10 minutes of the episode were handled – I loved Rains, Bronn, and all of Sandor’s scenes! anyone else?

    Edit* i was watching on HBOGO, and the stream stopped for 10 minutes a few times, that really interrupted the flow, and might have contributed to my blaise reception

  • Derek Wolff,

    Perhaps not the ENTIRE scene, just the horns being blown and the look of fright as the men of the nights watch prepare for whats to come. Next season we’ll see the actual battle. I only say this since the horn blows were in the trailer….giving them some sort of presence besides Sam’s story.

  • Rygar:
    Best moment, the Hound mouthing a curse, or prayer, when the ships blow up with wildfire. Perfectly done Rory.

    I agree, NICE. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the best quote of the episode:

    Hound: “Any one of you dies with a clean sword and I’ll rape your corpse.”

    LMAO!!!!!

  • darquemode,

    Agreed 100 percent. I almost teared up at that a bit there a bit myself lol. I remember feeling so bad for Ned when he gave it to her and she basically threw it in his face. GRRM is such a great writer and I’m glad he added that small quiet touch as you put it in there. That is a great way to put it about her character coming full circle. I didn’t think of it quite that way, definitely true though. Spot on.

  • Well… it wasn’t nearly as epic and huge as it was in the book, but given the limited budget, they have done their job greatly.

    Intense episode, full of action after a season full of teasing. We’ll see how they’re going handle the last one (I don’t expect much from Dany’s butchered storyline, to be honest, and in all probablity all the money had gone to the Blackwater so I wouldn’t hold my breath for visions, undead warlocks, hovering hearts and so on; at most we’ll see a bit of dragons setting Pyat Pree aflame or somesuch), I’m interested in seeing the aftermath in King’s Landing.

    Cersei’s scenes may indeed have been the best part of the episode. I absolutely loved the ending when she was just about to give the poison to Tommen. A change, of course, but very much in the spirit of the character (I’d expect so, since GRRM wrote it).
    The battles were… nice, considering that this is not a feature film with a 100 + million dollars worth of budget. A pity that they couldn’t afford to make a few establishing sweeping shots of the fighting – it would have helped with the scale. The wildfire was the best part here.
    I have a few complains, of course, I always have, but I’m learning how to be zen about it. I’m almost not mad of how lame the scene between Sandor and Sansa was when compared to the book.

    Overall, a very enjoyable episode, especially since the last few episodes were kind of mediocre. Rinso-approved.

  • JohnnyBoy,

    Well yeah I’d agree, especially bc that prologue only gives you the horns blowing, that’s the last thing you see. It’s much later in Sam’s POV chapter that you get an actual account of the battle. I agree though, it should be epic enough to just hear the horns.

  • Derek Wolff:
    JohnnyBoy,

    Well yeah I’d agree, especially bc that prologue only gives you the horns blowing, that’s the last thing you see. It’s much later in Sam’s POV chapter that you get an actual account of the battle. I agree though, it should be epic enough to just hear the horns.

    I tell you what…. There had BETTER be a giant, 9 foot tall, undead Bear amongst the assaulting forces. I’ve been waiting 6 years to see THAT.

  • Derek Wolff,

    I certainly hope so. Since they’ve turned her character into a ranting/raving caricature of itself (speaking of, isn’t it terribly convenient how every plot change they did makes her look like more of an idiot/to blame than the book version?), at least let her do something awesome in this last episode.

    Better be some goddamn badass chosen-one mother of dragons visions, is what I’m saying, to make up for the bs so far.

  • My eyeballs and brain cells are still recovering from being ^&$ed, thank you Neil Marshall and GRRM fo giving us the best battle to ever appear on a regular tv series. A special thanks to all the actors responsible for for giving among their finest performances ever. Lena, Peter, Rory, Sansa deserve Emmy’s for this episode alone. Also kudos to the production crew, extras and of course D&D, also a nod to HBO (for forking over the gold) for giving us the most intense, jawdropping and satisfying tv episode ever. HBO you really, really need to push awards for this, give out the episode to Emmy voters as screener material, please.
    Just so much info to process, have to watch it again. Dan and Dave, go request more gold from HBO for the other battle to come in the north next season.

  • Did anyone else chant “Grond, Grond” in their head as Stannis’ army rammed the Mud Gate?

  • Two things:

    1. The Book was better. But you know what? That’s totally okay….there’s NO WAY they could have did better than the book with the budget they had, and it was STILL AMAZING.

    2. My one minor-est of complaints is that while ending with the Rains of Castamere is AMAZINGLY powerful, it’s only so to BOOK Readers. Yeah they sort of introduced the song in an early scene as “The Lannister’s Song”, but you don’t understand how powerful it is without the backstory. They could easily have given the backstory to the song in a Tywin-Arya segment or something. So it’s awesome, but I know it’ll seem less awesome to others and that’s sad.

  • My recap and reactions to tonight’s epic episode are up now. Pretty sure my eyes are still bleeding.

  • Mike:
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
    So was that Moore or Meryn that Podrick killed? Looked like Meryn but wasn’t too sure.

    yep. It could only have been better had it be longer. More time for more wildfire, they might have had time to include Salladhor, and maybe have included the chain.

    Condensed to a mere hour, they kept the best of all of it.

  • Best quotes Part 1

    “You can’t Fuck your Way out of everything.” ” I have so far” – Tyrion and Shae I wonder if that’s any nod to her fucking Tywin and ultimately causing her death.

    “Oh, there’s women in the ground, I put some there myself, so have you.” – The Hound to Broon

    “You’re just like me. . . only smaller” – The Hound

    “I’m entirely sure you’re entirely sure what I’m suggesting” Tyrion to Varys. Yes! Is this map foreshadowing when “Rugen” helps Tyrion out of the dungeons later on?

  • why do all the episode reviews on this website just consist of a recap of what the viewer already saw and nothing more? i would really love a more nuanced analysis of the characters, especially for a book reader recap, that actually discusses the books in a relatively intelligent way other than telling me how “dudes are straight up getting chopped in half.” look to the av club at the onion for a “how to” on that topic.

  • FAN – effing – TAStic

    Rory McCann for an Emmy. And Lena. Her Cersei jumped up 50000 notches in my book tonight. Just unbelievably perfect.

    I’ve never felt this much excitement and emotion from a TV Show in my life. I almost want to cry tears of joy because it was ……just…….

    I’m gonna go watch it again, I’ll be back.

    Anyone who feels like complaining about this episode should either seek therapy take your own life, because nothing in this world is ever going to meet your ridiculous expectations, and you’re doomed to a life of un-fulfillment and unmet expectations. (I’m dead serious about this)

  • redmedicine, did you stop reading once you got to the What I Liked/What I Didn’t Like portion? That is where I give my opinions and analysis of the episode, and often times get into the ramifications of some of the adaptation’s changes.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: No it was not, you must always look under the surface with this writer. The Hound and Bronn are surrogates for Joffrey and Tyrion. The Hound has no doubt heard a billion times from Joffrey what pricks his uncle and his uncle’s sellsword are, and the Hound would never be able to take on Tyrion and live by law. But if a fight broke out “among the men” then Sandor could get away with removing Tyrion’s only major physical protector in KL and Joffrey would reward him handsomely for weakening his uncle’s position. So no, it wasn’t stupid. Look deeper grasshopper.

    Excellent points – a man is impressed.

  • you can tell george wrote this one, all of sandor’s lines were BOSS, aka if that fire gets anywhere near my face ill strangle you with your own guts, and if anyone dies without blood on their sword ill fuck their corpses, ha oh sandor

    also, peter dinklage is forever an amazing actor

  • stanvosftw,

    To be honest, I don’t think D and D have strayed too far from the books. Dany is a character who has grown on me as the series has gone on. In the early books, (GoT, CoK), I feel like she was sort of immature, even after the whole Drogo/Khalessi saga, and still thought that the world should just be given to her because it’s “rightfully hers”. I think what D and D have done with her this season is very effective because in essence I feel like they’re paving the way for her maturity process. It seems like they think, and I very much hope that they think, that this series will be allowed to run its course and that the audience will continue to grow, or at least stay at, a level sufficient enough to keep producing the show. That being said, I feel like they’ve done an excellent job with showing you Dany’s character this season, since they’ve set the stage for her maturity process through her experiences in SoS, FfC, DwD and beyond.

  • Some great pics up from tonight’s episode already on the Winter-is-Coming.net Tumblr section here. Excellent job, Winter and crew! Some nice finds there.

  • garik16,

    #2 totally agree. I mentioned to my dad that it was an awesome song..(paraphrasing here)and he went on about how I was really into this story and how did I know a song from the book. You can’t get music from the book. The lyrics are there I say…and I said that it has huge meaning for the story and he told me how can it have meaning if it’s from a book? I said exactly(maybe slightly choked up) “Oh it will have meaning eventually, just you wait” Don’t think that is a spoiler hahaha
    Those who haven’t read the books won’t and can’t really get it yet. But they will….yes they will(if they keep true, which I really think they will in this case).

  • Yellow Dog: Needs a strip-down to bathe in the river scene, for sure. Tom, of course, not Maise.

    We are of a mind on that idea, as I thought of that myself too…Tom, not Maise.

  • stevephoenix:
    Amazing episode. What song played during the end credits?

    Same song that Bronn and company were singing at the beginning of the episode. “The Rains of Castamere” performed by The National at the end there. Available in the Season 2 sound track (out on Tuesday, I think).

  • Derek Wolff: even after the whole Drogo/Khalessi saga, and still thought that the world should just be given to her because it’s “rightfully hers”.

    This is completely incorrect.

    The VERY FIRST chapter in Qarth, Dany thinks “there’s no way I can ever take Westeros. It’s too hard. Everyone has more troops, everyone has more people. Robert is too strong. Etc.” This is WHY she decides to get an army/let her dragons go before proceeding.

    Even the show version says (paraphrasing) “do You think I’m as blind as Viserys to assume the peopel are waiting for me?”

    So waht exactly are you talking about when you say
    “she still thought that the world should just be given to her because it’s “rightfully hers””

    Please, give me some book 2 evidence here. Please.

  • stevephoenix,

    The Rains of Castamere is the name of the song. It’s about some rebel lords that questioned Lord Tywin’s authority when he was a younger (I believe 20) head of his house. He quashed the rebellion and exterminated House Reyne, who resided in the castle Castamere, which is close to Casterly Rock. This isn’t a spoiler, and I’m pretty sure Tyrion has made mention of this to some characters in the show as well, though my knowledge of this comes from the books.

  • Lord’s Kiss: Loved the dichotomy between Stannis and Joff as leaders

    me too. that was perfect wasn’t it. however, the bravery doesn’t pay off.

  • Can’t be disappointed with that.

    Very good episode.

    Well done George, Neil Marshall, Sam McCurdy and 15% Budget increase.

    The pivotal Sansa/Sandor scene wasn’t as good with dour Hound though, ahhh, such a shame considering Rory could have played the real hound so well.

    I liked the bit where Shae was going to go into monologue and then she was interrupted by Lancel bursting through the door HAHAH, to me that seemed to be a joke about David and Dan’s mologue fetish.

  • Ah, second viewing just as good as the first.

    Stannis is my bro, so I naturally felt totally shitty as he started screaming “noooo!” when he lost. Dude almost had it. How must that feel?

  • Derek Wolff: and with my question on The House of The Undying, I meant more specifically of Dany’s visions of two important men to come, especially the one that occurs in SoS i.e. R.W.

    I hope we get RW one especially however it might prove too spoilery… The one with Aerys and Jaime would be my preference. Maybe they will put in the cut scene with Ned’s family and Aerys instead. Most of all I hope that they make it CREEPY AS HELL. I just reread this chapter and it’s some Ring-esque stuff…

    Re: Dany, I think they really need to build up of the “hero of prophecy” angle, if only to give any potential future debunking of that (still up in the air) some oomf. I hope that they at least give us some of the creepy prophecy, in particular the treasons “mother of dragons… daughter of three…”

  • Most badical GoT yet.

    “Your king rides off to battle. You should see him off with a kiss” –Joffrey Baratheon (Hero of the Battle of the Blackwater)

  • Watched the episode twice already and, yup, still near-flawless. Holy hell. Yes, we got to see shit blow up, but I was amazed at how much honest-to-goodness, hard-hitting character moments were embedded throughout – from the big focus moments such as Cersei’s conversation with Sansa to something as simple as Stannis being yanked back from the fray when “Renley’s ghost” appeared. Just a stunning hour of TV.

    Joshua Taylor:
    And the Emmy goes to….Lena Headey. Mark my words she is going up against Gretchen Mol next September. Her portrayal has been one of my favourite things about this season. And I agree, she stole the show.

    I’m not gonna toss around EMMY talk, but I absolutely agree that Lena Headey was astonishingly good tonight. And you appreciate it even more on a rewatch, believe me.

  • Meg:
    Favorite line of the night:

    Bronn: “that enhances it, really…”

    OMG dying!

    I liked the end of that exchange even better

    “Oh, enhances. fancy word for a sellsword”

    “been spending time with fancy folks!”

  • A Man:
    Ser Lemon Cakes,

    Maybe because this one isn’t from Sansa’s perspective?

    Good point. Ah Sansa and her memory! I think it might have more to do with not wanting to have another Sansa near rape scene.

    What a difference a week makes *bathes in the warmth of a happy fandom once more*

  • Derek Wolff:
    stevephoenix,

    The Rains of Castamere is the name of the song. It’s about some rebel lords that questioned Lord Tywin’s authority when he was a younger (I believe 20) head of his house. He quashed the rebellion and exterminated House Reyne, who resided in the castle Castamere, which is close to Casterly Rock. This isn’t a spoiler, and I’m pretty sure Tyrion has made mention of this to some characters in the show as well, though my knowledge of this comes from the books.

    Actually, Tywin told this story to Arya in an earlier episode. Tywin was 17 and his father did not want to take up arms against the Lord of Castamere, who was a Lannister bannerman and somehow rebelling against Tywin’s father. So Tywin took his men and killed them all, down to the last heir. Hence, the song. Tywin was not yet head of the house, but he didn’t want to appear weak.

  • stanvosftw,

    I agree.

    In the books Dany was prudent and knew she was not capable of regaining the Throne at present. She knew she would need adult dragons and a real army. Plus I think the book Daenrys had learned lessons from watching her clueless brother.

    In the series Dany is as clueless as Viserys was. Mine, mine mine! I deserve it since I am the Mother of Dragons and rightful heiress to the Iron Throne.

    She really has regressed from the end of last season to this season in my eyes. I did not see that regression in the books despite losing her husband, his army and being near starvation etc…. For me her story has changed by far the most of all the stories from the books. Some aspects maybe for the better (I liked the 13 being murdered), but most has changed for the worse (at least temporarily) in my mind.

  • Amazing episode. No one else seems to be mentioning the best line, though.

    Tyrion: “Fuck me.”

    Not in the book, but epic.

  • Awesome episode, and ending it with the National singing The Rains of Castamere pushed it to a 10/10

  • stanvosftw,

    Well that quote is merely suggesting how HBO has cemented those beliefs to make the archetype of her character as you already said. In the ACoK she’s much more calm and calculated when making plots or confiding with her advisers on the best courses of action, but at the same time still isn’t realistic enough at points. She’ll have talks with Jorah who will say that she still needs to acquire this or that and while she agrees, she sort of just shrugs those things off until the end of the book when she actually decides to take action. She’s calculated, but fails to act for a while. As I said, it’s a maturity process and the House of the Undying will certainly be a big step for her, both in the book and how HBO will portray it next week. I’m not saying that I like the version of Dany that they presented this season-again, they took one extreme archetype, same as they did with Renly-but I can certainly understand why they did it. Their entire season built up to tonight’s episode and they’ve got a knack for doing that, which in my opinion has let them build this version of Dany to pave the way for her maturity throughout the series, from Khalessi to Queen if you will.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    i did. and all it said was, i liked the job actor x did or actress y did, and how the hound stepped up, in a couple paragraphs. for instance, instead of just telling us that pod killed a member of the kingsguard, how unique and different and cool is that from the book’s version of events? rather than tyrion getting his nose chopped off, we have some great character development for everyone’s favorite squire and a really different twist and take on events.

    the best reviews i read on this series do the opposite; they spend most of the time on exposition and leave a couple paragraphs on the end for quotes, or “how cool was it when the hound chopped some guy in half?” i might come back to this site for the humor section, or the casting rumors, but certainly not for the reviews.

  • One interesting thing I remember George mentioning is this:

    George said he added an extra POV in his script from Stannis’ War Tent.

    Yet in the show he was the first man through the breach as it were. I wonder if the Stannis’ war tent POV was in the original script which didn’t contain too much action, or whether David and Dan decided to change it so that Stannis was in the battle.

  • Late to the party. I thought the dialogue in the first 15 minutes was stilted and some of the worst of the series (sorry, George). The next 45 minutes more than made up for it and kicked total ass. I loved drunk Cersei and Sansa bantering, and hey, the battle was beautifully shot. Best battle done on TV that I can remember.

    Hound, come back, I’ll go with you!

  • I’m really wondering about the House of the Undying and if it’ll show any visions of characters not cast. I expect some of the outlandish stuff — wolf’s head on a king’s body, etc — but wouldn’t we have heard about a Rhaegar, an Elia, et. al? I suppose they could be (non-)speaking extras, but I still think we would have heard about that, too. Rorge and Biter are kinda nothings this season and they got their own actors.

    Of course, there could be a HUGE surprise waiting for us that HBO has kept under wraps frighteningly well, so who knows.

  • Mrs. H’ghar,

    You’re right, thanks. Been a while since I read that bit. And yeah, forgot he told Arya about it this season as well, but what I meant is that I’m pretty sure Tyrion said something about it way earlier, maybe to Marillion or Jon or some of the hill clansmen in season one (not of the actual event, just if they’d heard the song). Do you remember what age Tywin was when he did the same thing to the Tarbeck’s of Tarbeck Hall?

  • ThePinkDragon: Of course, there could be a HUGE surprise waiting for us that HBO has kept under wraps frighteningly well, so who knows.

    The only thing that would surprise me in the HotU is a Tower of Joy vision featuring Sean Bean.

  • Sandor at the Mudgate “if any man dies with a clean sword I’ll rape his bloody corpse” hahaha The Hound FTW!!!!!

  • ThePinkDragon,

    If anything it’s interesting to see the choices they’ve made to tighten the story, in part out of necessity because of the transition from book to screen, but also in part because the books did tend to ramble in places and could benefit from some tightening.

  • andy,

    Why would Stannis go over the wall first? That’s the most vulnerable position and doesn’t any sense! I think in the books he was on the other side of the river even…

  • I found the episode disappointing, aside from the green wildfire explosion, which was spectacular, but over much too quickly. It was difficult to believe the Hound was truly scared by fire spread by the King’s Landing archers rather than, as in the book, the more dangerous and rare wildfire.

    Reaction to Tyrion’s speech also went so abruptly from disinterest to wild enthusiasm that it was almost comical, as were the graphic but unrealistic quick shots of skulls and legs being severed — had a low-budget haunted house feel to it. The addition of secret tunnels leading to somewhere behind the attacking force made little logistic sense and undermined Cersei’s decision to commit suicide if Stannis won — surely she would have escaped in the tunnels (or just walked out as the Hound seems capable of). But then Sansa was also able to stroll away at leisure from the suicide plan, wasn’t she?

    I don’t think Tyrion’s nose was cut at all, was it? Perhaps Dinklage has a non-disfigurement clause in his contract. And certainly the staging of the battle was so confused that you really had to read the book to have it make much sense in terms of the twists and turns.

    Stannis (sans helmet) could have taken the city all by himself it seems, although he obviously, for some reason, prefers to fight in a narrow pathway at the top of a battlement while the bulk of his forces are elsewhere.

    We did get a little gratuitous nudity in the Bron scene, which made up a bit for the otherwise unintelligible and wholly unjustified threats being made btw Bron and the Hound.

    Not horrible, but the best episode of the series? Certainly not. The plotting in particular was questionable — especially puzzling in that RR was the writer.

  • Amazing!! amazing! awesome! awesome!

    That has to be the best episode of any television show in recent years!

    it also shows how television is on par with movies!

  • Winter Is Coming:
    My recap and reactions to tonight’s epic episode are up now. Pretty sure my eyes are still bleeding.

    One correction, Bronn hits the guy in the eye with the arrow, saving the Hound. Just watched a 3rd time to verify. Otherwise well done summation! Agree 100%.

  • That was pretty much as close as one hour of TV can get to perfection. It was flawless, really. I think I could write forever about it, so I’ll just make a really short list with all the awesomeness implied.

    – Wildfire/casualties. The effects on GOT are the best on TV.
    – The Hound’s reaction to fire. Terrifying and heartbreaking.
    – Dinklage. Always unbelievably good. In every scene his eyes reveal everything.
    – Drunken Cersei. Lena just gets better and better.
    – Parallels between Cersei/Shae – they both believe in the same weapon.
    – Bronn. No more words needed.
    – Varys. Conleth Hill is perfection.
    – Sophie. Doesn’t get enough credit because people don’t like Sansa. Brilliant!
    – Score. Rains of Castamere! The GOT theme when Tywin arrives! SO SO GOOD.

    I’m sure someone will complain about the chain. They didn’t even need it, and it would have wasted too much time.

    Also, I know this has been/will be compared to Helm’s Deep, even though there is no real reason for GOT to have to strive to be like LOTR. However, for the sake of comparison, I’ll say that for me, the two shared a similar tone – an eerie intensity that kept me on edge the entire time.

  • That was pretty damn sweet, across the board. Special mention to the fellow who got his pate sheared clean off. That was epic.

    (What can I say? I’m a hockey fangirl from Detroit. Yay, violence!)

  • Why was Stannis first over the wall?

    Because he knows no man can resist his sword….or impeccable grammar and dictation.

  • Meg: The only thing that would surprise me in the HotU is a Tower of Joy vision featuring Sean Bean.

    I actually wouldn’t doubt that. Weren’t there rumors he was lurking around set? Or was that Jason Momoa? Anyway, I would love that. They really need to start dropping major hints towards Jonny-boy’s parentage so later seasons don’t end up like soap operas.

    Since there were a couple minor surprises this season we didn’t remotely expect — the specifics of the major storyline changes to Dany’s plot, for example — I think a full-fledged HotU might be possible. Not likely, but maybe, maybe.

  • The part with Tommen at the end before Loras and Tywin showed up reminded me of Kingdom of Heaven, extended edition where Sybilla kills her son after she finds out he has leprosy.

  • redmedicine, Fair enough. I’ll admit that my reviews aren’t as good as those at the AV Club. Of course, those guys are professional TV critics. I’m just a guy who started a blog about the show. I just give you my thoughts on the episode, you are free to take them or leave them. Most people leave them, I suspect, but they enjoy discussing the show in the comments.

    And, for the record, I didn’t find Pod killing Mandon in this way all that noteworthy. I did, however, really like the lighting of the wildfire and the final sequence, both different or altogether new sequences, and I highlighted both in my What I Liked section.

  • ok folks, kinda random but does anyone know if white walkers cast shadows? I’m really sorry but someone mentioned dany’s visions so I read the chapter again nd blah blah blah now Im in thinking mode.

  • Derek Wolff,

    She’ll have talks with Jorah who will say that she still needs to acquire this or that and while she agrees, she sort of just shrugs those things off until the end of the book when she actually decides to take action.

    You’re being influenced by the show I think. Dany does not reject Jorah’s ideas. He never comes up with any, rather he rejects all of her suggestions. For example, in the book, it’s Dany idea to get a ship, not Jorah’s, and he resists her command that he go find one on her behalf (for perfectly legitimate reasons).

    In fact, Dany suggests to Jorah various ways to build the army she needs, and Jorah does nothing more than say they won’t work (sell swords are too disloyal, Dornish are too unpredictable, Qartheen are too sneaky, etc). Dany gets no advice from him other than “It’s too dangerous, leave Qarth, run away, and trust no one but me!” And as such, she uses Xaro to formulate her own plan. Raise money and ask the pureborn for a few ships and sellswords to bear her to Pentos in exchange for future help should she gain her throne. Doesn’t work. But Jorah gave her no other plan to reject.

    The first positive idea Jorah comes up with is to buy the Unsullied, and Dany takes him up on it.

  • Derek Wolff:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    You’re right, thanks. Been a while since I read that bit. And yeah, forgot he told Arya about it this season as well, but what I meant is that I’m pretty sure Tyrion said something about it way earlier, maybe to Marillion or Jon or some of the hill clansmen in season one (not of the actual event, just if they’d heard the song). Do you remember what age Tywin was when he did the same thing to the Tarbeck’s of Tarbeck Hall?

    No, don’t remember the Tarbeck’s story as well, have to go back and read them all again this summer!

  • Unbelievable…

    When all this started at winter-is-coming.net in November 2008, who would have hoped ever to watch an actual Battle of the Blackwater? Hell, who would have thought that something like this could even be possible on television?

    What an hour of great drama! All hail GRRM and D&D! :)

  • Woah! Blackwater was WICKEDLY cool! Even though I’ve read the books, I had a ton of What the Hell! moments. Bronn and the Hound going toe to toe.. oh my heart! I thought the whole backstory on Bronn was a sure sign of Bronn’s demise during battle.

    Oh, the battle! Green fire explosion was like an atomic bomb. D.A.M.N. that was perfection. Well done HBO bankers.. well done! My thanks and praise to everyone who worked on the show.

    The battering ram was AWESOME! They should sell a little replica of that!

    I can’t even process this episode, it was so good.

  • stanvosftw,

    I didn’t say she rejects Jorah’s ideas-I merely said, and will again, that she just sort of shrugs them off and keeps saying the equivalent of “later, later, later” for a while because she is indecisive and still doesn’t know who, if anyone, she can trust. Read the chapter when she finds out that Robert is dead-Jorah’s first instinct is to tell her that just because Robert is dead, that doesn’t mean that her journey will be any easier. He tells her that she needs a fleet, gold, armies, alliances…her response is to briefly scold him for thinking that she already does not know this. The next time we see her she actually starts to take it more seriously, leading her to ask Xaro for ships/soldiers. I think Jorah certainly reinforced the idea and makes her take it more seriously for this to happen, and when she is rebuffed, she gives her cause for visiting Pyat Pree and the House of the Undying. Obviously the show gives a different context for how/why she goes there.

  • I got the chills, tears, knots in my belly. I wish they would have shown the soldiers sinking like stones in the water. Aside from that I would not change a single thing. Amazing. Amazing. Oh, so amazing.

  • One last random thing before I head off for a while, I think: no one can really hate on the special effects this show has. For television, they’re phenomenal. The dire wolves may look a little sketchy but they do in most movies, too (friend in the biz says it’s the fur that fucks most animators, and viewers, up).

    Point is, I was watching commercials for Falling Skies, and I have a question: where the hell does that show get the budget to show movie-level CGI all the time? Or is it truly only from time to time like GoT? Is it Spielberg or Dreamworks that helps them out there? Certainly they can only tack on so much more to TNT’s allotted budget for the show…but maybe not. What I would give for Spielberg to turn his eye to GoT, if only for the money! lol

  • Winter Is Coming,

    ignore the haters. I love your recaps (and the av clubs!) They may be professionals, but you have real passion for the material to have done what you’ve done for so long, and thus a different and vital viewpoint. Thanks!

  • LSAUFKGLFK NLEWUOWIECIUSN CICOI

    FUCKING AMAZING.

    PERFECT EPISODE

    129850385047508973420958730948752309845/10

    BEST THING IVE EVER SEEN ON A TV SCREEN

  • Winter Is Coming:
    redmedicine, Fair enough. I’ll admit that my reviews aren’t as good as those at the AV Club. Of course, those guys are professional TV critics. I’m just a guy who started a blog about the show. I just give you my thoughts on the episode, you are free to take them or leave them. Most people leave them, I suspect, but they enjoy discussing the show in the comments.

    And, for the record, I didn’t find Pod killing Mandon in this way all that noteworthy. I did, however, really like the lighting of the wildfire and the final sequence, both different or altogether new sequences, and I highlighted both in my What I Liked section.

    Oh noooooooes! Now we disagree about Pod ’cause I just watched it a 3rd time and I believe it was POD that tackled and trashed the guy that was trying to hack Tyrion with an axe and THEN POD got up and caught Ser Moore trying to kill his boyeee Tyrion and he was all “Oh No You Do’on’t” with the spear and shit. Sorry, sometimes this stuff makes me channel a 12 year-old boy or something.

  • Mean25: as one of the handful of moments that people will remember and talk about for years to come on this show, even long after it’s over. That such a thing could be depicted on a television show, even on premium cable, is wonderous. And it was greeeeeeen!

    I’ve read all the way through Dance, and they have me half-believing that they killed Davos tonight. That’s how good that looked.

    It was nice how they really tried to stress how much of a soldier Stannis is by showing him at the forefront and even calling out his men from the battlements to stand and fight. I particularly liked his “speech” when disembarking from his main ship: concise and to the point. It was very Stannis-like.

    For a while I thought they were really mis-handling Stannis as they cut out numerous scenes but now I think this episode made up a lot of lost ground.

  • darquemode: Undying and if it’ll show any visions of characters not cast. I expect some of the outlandish stuff — wolf’s head on a king’s body, etc — but wouldn’t we have heard about a Rhaegar, an Elia, et. al? I suppose they could be (non-)speaking extras, but I still think we would have heard about that, too. Rorge and Biter are kinda nothings this season and they got their own actors.

    Of course, there could be a HUGE surprise waiting for us that HBO has kept under wraps frighteningly well, so who knows.

    To be fair this Dany is more realistic. I hated Dany in most of the books. She was just so flawless and great. All her mistakes came from those around her, but she was so upright and virtuous and such a great leader. Why? Who’s example did she have to follow? This Dany makes more sense.

  • So I’m a little late, I read about half the comments..so many though! Also, I have already watched it 3 times…is that bad? lol

    Basically this was the greatest television episode I have ever witnessed and you all know what was awesome about it so I’m just going to write on things I didn’t see in the first half of the comments that I really really enjoyed and some ideas?

    -Bronn and The Hounds showdown…this was epic, obviously could of happened in the books but we had no POV characters to show it so brilliant. Not sure I understand why they wanted to fight though, just two alpha males all fired up for war? Anyways it was awesome
    -I wish Tyrions battle wound would of been a tiny bit more deep, I had already said once Dany came out of the fire in season 1 with her hair that Tyrion would keep his nose, and im fine with that, just wish the cut would of been a bit deeper or something it just didnt look bad enough to keep him in a death bed for a few weeks or however long in the books
    -The Hound: “Fuck the Kingsguard, Fuck The Kings City, Fuck the King” I dont remember if this exact line or anything like it was in the book? I thought he just left? But if not it should of been in brilliant! and Jofferys face..lol
    -I liked how Joffery asked Lancel if his mother had any important business and he was like “She didnt say”..Jofferys face was saying this (“damnit, just say yes so I dont have to look like a coward when I leave”)
    -People have commented on the acting, but one thing I have always noticed, and im not trying to take away from the acting because the acting on this show is some of the best in TV history, but if this isnt a saying it should be “good writing makes acting look easy”. One example, I thought Jonathan Reese Meyers was brilliant in the Tudors and the acting was good, good writing. Yet if you watch him in From Paris with Love everything him and Travolta say makes them look like terrible actors but really its just poor cheesy writing. Basically George RR killed this and his great writing combined with great acting made for every single second of every scene being great IMO
    -Finally, this is a HUGE guess as to upcoming events and I cant spoiler tag for some reason so the following could somewhat be considered spoiler for ASOS…When Cersie called out where Shea was from she also added that she knew a girl from there once, “but she was a high born”. I also noticed that a few episodes back when Arya stole the letter from tywin the part I read said, “Robbs troops moving south there within…” and Talisa? that episode had joked with Rob about how she was a spy for tywin. Well could it be that the high born Cersie knew from there was also Talisa who everyone calls a foreigner? Just an opinion and we know how that ends in ASOS so possible adaptation?
    -Oh and as i finished reading the 5th book i was still conflicted on if I liked Stannis or not…mostly I did like him, but after watching this season he has become one of my favorite character. He is brilliant and all the bad ass shit he did was just perfect. I was already leaning towards liking him, but I also have my own feelings on how I want the story to end and unfortunately I would rather have someone else on the Throne..but Stannis is legit and the Rightful heir (unless you count Dany…which I do)

    The one thing I dont like:
    -Wasnt from this episode it was the build up of the entire season. I feel as if they showed too little of Davos and Stannis. People need to realize (spoiler alert……..) that they are major players in the game and future books. However, out of all my shocked friends (none of which who have read the book) not one of them asked if Davos lived or died. In fact none of them seemed to notice or just thought he wasnt important. The show should of done a better job of hyping him up all season or just getting them a little more screen time because a lot of people still ask “Whos that again?” when him and even Stannis (for some friends) comes on…and did they ever even say that that guy was Davos son? He only was in two episodes but him dying was pretty much irrelevant as people had absolutely no idea or care who he was.

    But hey thats just one complaint and as the show continues and more seasons poor in people will realize who these two are, so its not that big of a deal but could have made this episode just a little more intense if you ask me! haha

    and I doubt anyone will read this because its so long =(…but I think my Cersie/Talisa idea is right on point..just saying

  • Well its seems 99% of people here like it but I have COMPLAINTS!

    GRRM only writes 1 episode per season? I want maor!
    Damn HBO for their 10 episode season format, imagine 13 or 24 episode seasons
    Damn HBO again for releasing S2 DVD March 2013, i want the blu-ray 1 week after season ends :)

  • Hot Dammmmm that was sick!!! So stoked that epp was fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Holy moly, this episode was great, but I daresay next episode will be even better! We’ve got Valar Morghulis, House of the Undying, Jon vs. Qhorin, Fist of the First men, Ramsay Bolton, plus we have to tie up the loose ends from tonight. It’s going to a crazy hour of television, folks!

  • No. It was a glorious mix of red fire in the riggings with green fire on the water. Visually stunning.

    nt:
    As a red-green color-blind person, I was disappointed when I realized all those flames out there were probably green. Other than that, it was a very good episode—not quite Helm’s Deep, but with more bang for the buck.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: stanvosftw:
    Meg,
    Stupid macho penis comparison.It was a stupid scene.

    No it was not, you must always look under the surface with this writer. The Hound and Bronn are surrogates for Joffrey and Tyrion. The Hound has no doubt heard a billion times from Joffrey what pricks his uncle and his uncle’s sellsword are, and the Hound would never be able to take on Tyrion and live by law. But if a fight broke out “among the men” then Sandor could get away with removing Tyrion’s only major physical protector in KL and Joffrey would reward him handsomely for weakening his uncle’s position. So no, it wasn’t stupid. Look deeper grasshopper

    I agree with Mrs. H’gar that the scene wasn’t stupid and was not just a pissing contest. It was actually speaking to The Hound’s character.

    My take on this scene is that Bronn is a sellsword having risen to Captain of the city watch, which you would think should require someone to acquit themselves honorably. However, Sandor comes into the tavern and sees Bronn drinking and wenching it up and it angers him. Sandor does have a sense of honor about him (although it is twisted – he obeys Joffrey’s twisted commands, like running down the butcher’s boy, out of a sense honor for having sworn to serve) and he is disgusted by how “knights” behave.

    I think the Hound & Tyrion are cut of the same cloth. Considered grotesque by most, these are the characters that have the most honor and nobility of all. Whereas the ones that are born into riches or power or physical beauty seem to be monsters on the inside (Joffrey, etc.).

  • Hey heres a cool thing I noticed:

    Cersei noticed Shae was from Lorath. Jaqen is also from Lorath. They both have German accents.

    Cool little bit of consistency there.

  • i had no less than 6 jaw drop moments in this episode. the song at the credits was the cherry on top. way to set a mood and leave me wanting more.

  • No chain = fail … SanSan scene was weak compared to the book. It could have been amazing with some Florian and Jonquil to foreshadow next season and a small pitiful kiss from Sansa. Other than that it was incredible, I absolutely loved the Cersei and Tommen scene at the end and her shame as she threw the poison down as soon as she saw her father.

  • ddd:
    I don’t think Tyrion’s nose was cut at all, was it? Perhaps Dinklage has a non-disfigurement clause in his contract

    I never expected them to have Tyrion’s nose chopped off. Think of all the episodes Tyrion will have to be in with no nose – and how much FX that would take? Too costly. I think they’ve established him as a grotesque enough already, would it really serve the TV series to keep that in?

  • Josh,

    I saw the book Dany differently I guess.

    I thought she amade msitakes quite often. Trusting Mirri Maz Durr which led to Drogo’s death as a prime example. Plus her view on how no one should be a slave or captives should be treated well leads her to a lot of trouble in the books. By not wanting to do harm she does more harm often times….

    Plus I think in all honestly some people do just have the abilty to seem like good leaders or royalty because of who they are, not who they were raised by.

    Personally, I would never follow someone that whined all the time saying she deserved things. The reason people flock to Dany in the books is because she is in fact worthy of people’s respect. In the books Daenerys is a relatively good person and good leader. Season 2 Dany is anyting but.

  • After watching it a second time, you know what stands out for me? Besides the obvious, of course.

    Stannis’s face when he sees Renly’s armor. For a split second, he looks like he’s seen a ghost. The grief he really hasn’t had the chance to really process passes across his face. Then he’s right back in Righteous!Stannis mode and they have to pull him away. Amazing work by Stephen Dillane.

    Loras’s face when he barges into the throne room. He’s obviously still grief stricken and now he’s been forced to wear his lover’s armor to cause chaos, confusion and fear among his former allies. All this in service of a house he hates and who hate him, for the sole purpose of avenging his beloved Renly’s death. Vengeance that is ultimately denied him because Stannis escaped. This is the LAST place he wants to be and he wasn’t shy about it. And he didn’t say a word. Well done, Finn Jones!

  • I was wondering how they would possibly pull off the entire Blackwater battle in one episode, but by gosh they did it! And they did it so well too! Absolutely amazing!

    My ONLY nitpick is of course the lack of a chain. I was waiting for it, but I ended up getting so lost in this magnificent episode that I forgot all about the chain midway through and didn’t even think “Oh ya! No chain!” until a few minutes after the credits!

    Oh and The Rains of Castamere playing in the credits? Awesome! That better be on the Soundtrack for Season 2!

  • The only way the ending of this episode could have been any better would have been if Hotpie led a charge while wearing Lommy’s shirt and kicked all the Lannister’s ’til they turned black and died. Then he climbed onto the Iron Throne, declared himself “King Hotpie,” and made Sansa sit next to him Princess Leia style.

    Wait, George, I think I just wrote the end of the series!

  • GRRM and D&D, thank you, and thanks to the entire production team, which recognized the opportunity to rise to the level of the script they were given and met every expectation.

    This is TV that dwarfs the accomplishment of virtually every other showrunner working today.

    Stupendous. The gold standard. I bow down.

  • Jay Arms: Why would Stannis go over the wall first? That’s the most vulnerable position and doesn’t any sense!

    I thought so too but I guess he’s just the sh##!

  • That episode was so awesome it was like 10 billion hot dogs. (For all the Eddie Izzard fans…)

  • wargsareawesome: Go Hound (“Fuck the King”)! Did you see Joffrey’s face when he said that?

    My favorite part of the episode by far, and as someone who hasn’t read the books, the only part that was truly surprising. The rest was pretty predictable – I mean we knew Stannis wasn’t gonna win, only the shitheads win in this series. Knew Cersei and Joffrey would survive. I wasn’t sure if she’d prematurely poison her son but I’m glad she didn’t.

  • Fuck.

    That was…awesome. After last episode, I said I had lowered my expectations for this battle. But the scale, the effects, the acting, it was all basically perfect. Even the little changes from the book worked for me.

    It’s funny then, that amidst all this great spectacle, my favorite part might have been hearing “The Rains of Castemere” sung out loud for the first time, and not just in my head. It was pretty similar to how I had imagined it. The whole meaning of the song probably went over a lot of heads but it was so cool for us book readers.

    Lena Headey might be my favorite person on this show. And the scenes she wasn’t killing it, Sandor was owning. And the few they didn’t steal, Stannis dominated. I haven’t even mentioned Dinklage yet!

    Probably my second favourite episode behind s01e09, and one of the very best hours of tv I’ve ever watched. Every time I get worried about this show they do something like this and I’m smiling and giddy like a moron.

  • HOLY CRAP THAT EXPLOSION WAS HORRIFYING! i’ll be dreaming about that tonight, as i’m sure Tyrion will in his unconsciousness.

    Sandor was fantastic. My heart goes out to Davos.

    George did an awesome job capturing the important parts of the book in this episode.

    Loved the Reynes of Castamere for the closing credits!!!

  • Wow wow wow wow wow to this episode! Everything was flawless! I’m so happy they decided to only show kl in this episode. Brilliant preformances from everyone (from the lowborn (shae and bronn) to cersei, tyrion, stannis, even tywin) the whole world takes it’s hat off to you :) but my favorite bits were the ones with either the hound, or with sansa or that special bit with them at the end. It was’t as stunningly personal as in the books, and I don’t like the lack of song and white cloak, but rory and sophie just acted so well that I was crying and actually thought for a second sana would indeed leave with sandor. George wrote pure gold with this, and as a huge san/san shipper I believe we will be seeing this two together before the end of the series again. One small thing: if sansa had cupped sandor’s cheek after he assures her he won’t harm her I believe I would be in heaven x) cause it would have atone the lack of fidelity to the books where thes
    e two are concerned. But otherwise this was the best hour of t.v. ever!!!!!!

  • can’t say it’s a surprise the general tone of the comments went from “they didn’t get such-and-such right!” to “best thing ever!!1111″ since GRRM wrote this episode, and saying it sucked would be essentially saying his writing sucks. even so, best episode this season (and not just because GRRM wrote it).

  • caro herrera:
    Wow wow wow wow wow to this episode! Everything was flawless! I’m so happy they decided to only show kl in this episode. Brilliant preformances from everyone (from the lowborn (shae and bronn) to cersei, tyrion, stannis, even tywin) the whole world takes it’s hat off to you :) but my favorite bits were the ones with either the hound, or with sansa or that special bit with them at the end. It was’t as stunningly personal as in the books, and I don’t like the lack of song and white cloak, but rory and sophie just acted so well that I was crying and actually thought for a second sana would indeed leave with sandor. George wrote pure gold with this, and as a huge san/san shipper I believe we will be seeing this two together before the end of the series again. One small thing: if sansa had cupped sandor’s cheek after he assures her he won’t harm her I believe I would be in heaven x) cause it would have atone the lack of fidelity to the books where thes
    e two are concerned. But otherwise this was the best hour of t.v. ever!!!!!!

    I was glad she didn’t. Sansa already comes off as a bit stupid at times, and if she had shown enough affection to cup his cheek and then not gone with him it would have seemed weird. Book Sansa had the luxury of more time to explain why she makes that decision. And I’m a Sansa fan but not a SanSan fan, so I’d rather they kept her character likable than worry about those classic shipper moments.

  • ddd: I don’t think Tyrion’s nose was cut at all, was it?

    I think it did get cut. It was bleeding in the last shot of him.

  • SEVEN HELLS!!!!!! I did not think I could love Martin more for his writing!!!!! I don’t think I have ever vibrated that much watching an episode of television and I do not mean that in the dirty kind of way! SANSAN!!!!!!

  • Seeing as nobody has mentioned this already as it was probably overlooked in the utter mind fucking epic awesome that was this episode but……

    Watch close around the half-way mark in a Cersie / Sansa scene and it’s MOONBOY!!! AWMAHGAWD!!

  • darquemode:
    Josh,

    I saw the book Dany differently I guess.

    I thought she amade msitakes quite often. Trusting Mirri Maz Durr which led to Drogo’s death as a prime example. Plus her view on how no one should be a slave or captives should be treated well leads her to a lot of trouble in the books. By not wanting to do harm she does more harm often times….

    Plus I think in all honestly some people do just have the abilty to seem like good leaders or royalty because of who they are, not who they were raised by.

    Personally, I would never follow someone that whined all the time saying she deserved things. The reason people flock to Dany in the books is because she is in fact worthy of people’s respect. In the books Daenerys is a relatively good person and good leader. Season 2 Dany is anyting but.

    Neither was book 2 danny. I don’t feel like they changed her character at all, they just stretched out the part before she realizes it’s all up to her and that her brother/husband/name/dragons won’t take her back

  • DoubleA012: but I think my Cersie/Talisa idea is right on point..just saying

    This might be true, but didn’t Talisa say she was from Volantis, not Lorath?

    And I don’t think long posts are bad :)

  • Kels,

    i think his whole face was almost sliced in half and it was Podrick who was keeping it from splitting open but the nose seemed intact.

  • Excellent episode. Lena Headey was a star tonight! Great performance. Dinklage, Dinklage, Dinklage! IS THE MAN! He was sooo good tonight. So so good! every glance, gesture and inflection from him tonight carried a wealth of emotion and communicated pages of meaning. If there’s an Emmy winning performance for the Lannister dynamic duo this season, tonight’s episode is it, imo.

    Bronn, and The Hound put up a very good show as well.

    Neil Marshal. I am not a fan, never was, and tonight’s battle scenes were standard Marshal fare. Looks good on the with the typical close up dispatch of limbs and half heads, but look a little closer at the more populated battle scenes, and you’ll see cracks. But, this is TV, not cinema, so what he delivered tonight was good enough.

    I laughed when the Wild Fire exploded taking… was it 5 or 6 ships? a few ship down in one great ball of green fire. I found that explosion hard to swallow, but it did look spectacular.

    For once this season, the pacing of the episode was perfect. Tension sustained through out, never once faltering, not even when the credits rolled up.

    So. Kudos to all involved in Blackwater, but tonight, for me, belonged to Headey and Dinklage, with the fireworks, both green and orange, an appropriate backdrop for their brilliance.

  • What an awesomely epic episode! I’ve seen it three times already, and it’s not even Monday yet here in California. lol

  • What was that burned body when Bronn and the boys were singing? Did Theon ship the bodies to KL?

  • David the Grey: I agree with Mrs. H’gar that the scene wasn’t stupid and was not just a pissing contest.It was actually speaking to The Hound’s character.

    My take on this scene is that Bronn is a sellsword having risen to Captain of the city watch, which you would think should require someone to acquit themselves honorably.However, Sandor comes into the tavern and sees Bronn drinking and wenching it up and it angers him.Sandor does have a sense of honor about him (although it is twisted – he obeys Joffrey’s twisted commands, like running down the butcher’s boy, out of a sense honor for having sworn to serve) and he is disgusted by how “knights” behave.

    Sworn to serve? I think that’s an odd interpretation when he just gave a huge middle finger to “the service” in this ep. I was confused because it’s hard for me to believe that Sandor would care about sellswords wenching it up before a battle – like Sandor, on a moral high horse about sex? More likely he doesn’t like men who brag about their battle scars. Sandor is dour about killing, Bronn is carefree about it. Seems like a silly personality clash. Or, maybe he just didn’t like Bronn’s sexposition. ;)

    I think the Hound & Tyrion are cut of the same cloth.Considered grotesque by most, these are the characters that have the most honor and nobility of all.

    Oh boy, we’re gonna need some more white paint for this whitewashing job…

  • Brandon Stark:
    The only way the ending of this episode could have been any better would have been if Hotpie led a charge while wearing Lommy’s shirt and kicked all the Lannister’s ’til they turned black and died. Then he climbed onto the Iron Throne, declared himself “King Hotpie,” and made Sansa sit next to him Princess Leia style.

    Wait, George, I think I just wrote the end of the series!

    Yeaaaaaaah, like the way you’re thinking! Was that a dream?

  • Remaal:
    I laughed when the Wild Fire exploded taking… was it 5 or 6 ships? a few ship down in one great ball of green fire. I found that explosion hard to swallow, but it did look spectacular.

    I think you’re forgetting what wildfire is. GRRM makes it very clear in the books that the stuff is off the charts. It’s hotter, more combustible, faster moving, and hungrier than normal fire. It’s also heavily implied that some vague magic is involved. The battle on the river is a burning green hell where everything/one is trapped behind the chain, literally everyone dies, and literally all the ships burn…both Lannister and Baratheon. The people who survive are all on land. So I found this explosion entirely plausible given the original writing.

  • Mean25:
    first off the boat
    first up the ladders
    killing Lannisters left and right
    All hail Stannis the true King of Westeros

    Say what you will about Stannis, that man knows how to lead.

  • caro herrera:
    Wow wow wow wow wow to this episode! Everything was flawless! I’m so happy they decided to only show kl in this episode. Brilliant preformances from everyone (from the lowborn (shae and bronn) to cersei, tyrion, stannis, even tywin) the whole world takes it’s hat off to you :) but my favorite bits were the ones with either the hound, or with sansa or that special bit with them at the end. It was’t as stunningly personal as in the books, and I don’t like the lack of song and white cloak, but rory and sophie just acted so well that I was crying and actually thought for a second sana would indeed leave with sandor. George wrote pure gold with this, and as a huge san/san shipper I believe we will be seeing this two together before the end of the series again. One small thing: if sansa had cupped sandor’s cheek after he assures her he won’t harm her I believe I would be in heaven x) cause it would have atone the lack of fidelity to the books where thes
    e two are concerned. But otherwise this was the best hour of t.v. ever!!!!!!

    Since there wasn’t really ever time for Sandor to tell Sansa he wanted a song from her, to throw that in wouldn’t have seemed right. Did anyone notice that the door was still open and the doll in Sansa’s hand? How do we know she didn’t go with him? Cliffhanger!

  • Jeremy: Say what you will about Stannis, that man knows how to lead.

    Stannis will make the trains in Westeros run on time!

    He’ll also invent trains!

    All hail King Stannis, Stationmaster.

  • Roy Dotrice who does an amazing job reading the audiobooks was credited starring in this episode. Does anyone know who he played?

  • Holy f*cking wildfire!

    Gotta give it 5/5 lemoncakes. That was pretty damn close to perfect.

    I missed the chain, and I had a couple tiny nitpicks here and there, but overall that was awesome. It definitely delivered, despite the hype. It felt like I was watching a movie. If only it could have been longer, like maybe 2 hours, I think it would have felt less uneven in parts (i.e. the somewhat rushed ending).

    Battle sequences were well directed and appropriately full of tension and chaos. Tyrion was great, Pod was great, drunk Cersei was perfect, the music was epic, the Hound/Bronn scene was really cool and unexpected (did GRRM invent that for the show?), and Stannis was THE MAN. Between ADWD and this episode, I’m becoming more and more of a Stannis fan.

  • J
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    denis,

    He was the pyromancer.

    –AWESOME,thanks for the response.

  • Beat my super high expectations. My wife (non-BR) was crying at the end over Tyrion. Actor playing Stanis killed it I thought along with Hound and Bronn. Just fantastic. Movie quality and ups the season to wayyyyy above season 1.

  • This ep made me wish that GRRM actually puts a sword in Cersei’s hand by the end of the series. Just stick ‘em with the pointy end, Cers, and make those religious nuts pay!

  • Only two comments: one minor dislike and a huge thumbs up. First is the cgi of the green fire. It looked incredibly fake, but the image lasted for only a moment. The good thing I found was the portrayal of Varys when he was talking to Tyrion about how he was cut. I wish he would have told the whole story, but the emotion that he showed was gripping. It is something small but something many could overlook.

  • NOC,

    I saw Varys’s “I’ll tell you one day” as GRRMs way of making sure the story stays in. Conleth Hill can’t be denied his backstory.

  • ThePinkDragon:
    You know, did they ever explain the story behind “Rains of Castamere”? A few non-bookie friends are highly confused about the meaning of it, and the show made it seem important; I want to tell them it’ll be explained eventually, or that it has been, but I dunno.

    The season 1 Blueray has a very good summary in the Lannister Family sequence. Luckily I played it to my guests just before the episode because we had some time to kill.

  • WompWomp:
    GoT is setting a fearsome precedent of having incredible penultimate episodes. Talk about a good problem to have!

    I do believe they’re saving something special for last, though. I do hope Dany’s journey to the HotU ends up being her storyline’s equivalent of Blackwater. Some folks were hungry for redemption tonight and may get a second helping next week.

    Precedent? Buffy did that (with varying success but usually quite well), Farscape did that handsomely. It makes sense really, narratively speaking, you’ve got the climax and then the denouement, crossed with setting up next season.

  • Two additional thoughts:

    -I love that GRRM writes the best episodes. It must be such a dream come true for him, to be writing the Battle of Blackwater Bay for TV, and to have it turn out so good.

    -They seriously picked the best actor ever, for Stannis.

  • One thing nobody mentioned yet, Bronn’s story about how many times he broke his nose. The first time he was protecting his little brother from his mother (or was it father, now getting tired), so that shows he has strong protective instincts…sort of like the guy in “The Blind Side.” That was probably one of Bronn’s sweetest moments, he’s usually a sarcastic hardass, but he allowed others to hear a story from his childhood before the battle. Bronn sharing…who knew?

    Also, does anybody know if it was Pod who tackled the first guy that was trying to hack Tyrion and THEN he gets up and stabs Ser Moore? Or was that somebody else who tackled attacker #1? I rewound it several times but couldn’t tell if it was Pod doing the tackle.

    GRRM, D&D, and Neil Marshall, along with the entire cast and crew should all be very proud of tonight’s episode. The pacing was like a symphony, with each of the main characters taking solos, crescendos and decrescendos to the final moment. “Blackwater” was an amazing achievement for television.
    Bravo! Take a bow all!

  • THAT PYROTECHNICS DISPLAY.

    damn, HBO.

    strangely, my favorite part was when Stannis had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the battlefield.

  • WOW! Congrats to Dan Weiss, David Benioff, GRRM and most of all Neil Marshall. Brought in last minute and you produced a masterpiece. Unbelievably impressed with what you did with your budget.

    Great episode and I expect next weeks to be just as fantastic. You all continue to exceed expectations and expectations are unbelievably high.

  • Stephen Dillane killed it as Stannis tonight…then again, so did everybody. There was not a single weak performance in this epsiode, everybody was beyond brilliant! But Stannis was unbelievable…I don’t know how anyone can not be sold on Dillane’s portrayal after this ep!

  • loved loved loved the battle. way to much cersi chattering, could have covered more interesting things or more battle. imho only.

  • You know Dany’s storyline will eventually call for some huge battle scenes…

    I would hope with the awesomeness of ‘Blackwater’ that D&D will reunite the combination of GRRM and the director Neil Marshall if possible.

    I honestly can’t think of a better battle sequence then this. I think of ‘Braveheart’, ‘Troy’, ‘Alexander’, ‘300’, the opening of ‘Gladiator’ and of course LotRs as some of my favorite “sword and sandal” type movie battle scenes.

    Considering GoTs is just a TV series and it was just as high quality and rewarding to watch as those movies I just mentioned above is truly remarkable.

    I say D&D let’s that winning combination of GRRM and Neil Marshall take the reins for all future episodes with a battle scene.

    “It’s not TV, it’s HBO” — So true!

  • Fabulous episode. Loved the dialogue .Thank you George.

    Loved the Bronn / Sandor interplay. They may have their similarities , but Bronn doesn’t hold on to a grudge..:D

    Had no complaints ( So there )Everybody did a great job..but when something is that well written, everybody has something to sink their teeth into.

  • That episode made this San/San fanboy a happy panda. Since this episode was written by Martin and there was no kiss I have an answer to THAT question! Still would have like a song though :)

  • lol….rewatching the tivo now. I keep backing up to the scene of Roy Dotrice’s face when the Blackwater catches fire.

    He has such wonderful, maniacal facial expressions as the pyromancer.

    I know the season isn’t over yet, but I am already psyched for the season 2 DVDs. I really hope there is a detailed “making of” feature for this episode.

  • I myself was totally blown away by the episode!

    But oh my God that was the last time I watched Otakuassemble’s review. The guy found around 20 things to complain about with this episode and just tries too hard to sound professional, there’s almost nothing left of the impressed, speculating new viewer I loved to watch last season. Either he just lost his touch, or he has actually read the books by now but pretends he hasn’t. I’ll be watching the Animerealtalktv instead, just look up one of their recent reviews and you’ll probably see what I mean and maybe even recognize some of Otaku’s enthusiasm from last season, which sadly is totally gone now.

  • 1) To my eyes the whole “Loras wearing Renly’s armor” is something fans of the books are seeing because they expected to see it. During the chaotic battle I couldn’t tell one man from another except some were on horses while others weren’t. The show itself never made a big deal wrt what armor Renly wore, and it wasn’t near distinctive enough to stand out during the battle, no matter who might be wearing it.

    2) The conversation between Tyrian and Varys where the Spider asks Tyrian if he trusts Pod. Is the implication that Varys had information that there would be an attempt on Tyrian’s life during the battle? If so, was that in the book and I just forgot?

  • ShoelesJoe,

    Loras did have an antler helm on… Clearly it was Renly’s armor. You have to look close and you will see the knight on the horse next to Tywin is slashing people down with an antler helm on.

  • For the love of the Red God Stannis, please next time just wear a helmet! It really isn’t safe, what with stones and arrows and things flying everywhere, and I don’t want to be spending half the episode terrified for the safety of your poor ugly skull – you just watched the next one along from your own implode! First up the ladders though, and damn me if all the rocks and shit don’t just sail past your sainted head.

    So it did feel kind of ironic later on, when you cut that guy’s unprotected head in half.

  • Excellent episode in all regards. The added scene with Cersei contemplating filicide-suicide was great. And I’m glad that the episode was faithful to the books with regard to Mandon Moore being the traitor, unlike some had speculated. My only regret is that they didn’t make it crystal clear that Stannis does get away from the city in the end.

  • Oh man… Tyrion looking at Ser Mandon Moore in relief, then bam Moore slicing Tyrions face so sudden. Pod killing Moore and Tyrion collapsing. That was pretty hard to watch, amazingly done. That is going to leave one nasty scar, you can just tell how sharp and clean that cut is, it didn’t look like much, but trust me it’s not gonna feel or look pleasant.

  • Whats that? The emmy for best drama series and for best supporting actor, and an oscar for best picture because lets face it, this episode was the best fucking movie of 2012? Damn straight hollywood people, way to get one right.

  • Perhaps my favorite line from this episode, on Stannis’s flagship:

    Guard: “But your Grace, hundreds will die.”
    Stannis: “Thousands.” (Proceeds)

  • I have to add my voice to everyone saying the Stephen Dillane tonight was incredible! Stannis was riveting to watch. His passion, courage, and determination to take the city made me forget the book, for a moment, and believe that he might actually win day. The sight of him screaming “keep fighting” in the end, when all was obviously lost, broke my heart in half. And this is coming from a book-Stannis hater.

    Staphen Dillane’s Stannis was awesome.

    Peter,

    No, I haven’t forgotten how it was described in the book. Based on the book description I’ve always imagined WF as a sort of cross between nitroglycerin and gasoline. But I’m not judging the show explosion based on book knowledge. I’m judging it based on show knowledge, and in the show, that’s not how Wildfire came across, to me anyway.

  • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha,

    wait one,
    (a man has to draw breath)

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Woot! Everything is Lannister and Cersei rules and nothing ever fucking hurts.

  • I am stunned. Flabbergasted. Awesome. My jaw was on the floor.

    Give me a “hell yes” for B&W;

    HELL YEAH!!!!!!!

  • darquemode,

    I think that what Derekwolf meant was that Dany thinks Westeros is hers by right, not that she thinks it’s easy to win it. And most of her lines in season 2 prove that thought: how many times has she said “I will take what is mine, with fire and blood”?
    In the books she is pretty much the same.

  • By how good this episode was, it made me forget the lame Robb/Talisa moment and the chain.

    This episode made me remember why I enjoy GoT. For sure the best thing on TV.

  • stanvosftw,

    Dany decides to get an army when Jorah suggests that to her on the ship, but in the end of ACOK she is trying to find captains who would transport her to Westeros. This is changed only, when she bumps into Arstan.

  • I’m speechless. That was the best hour of television I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

    I do hope all of the good opinions on this episode will go to everyone involved. They deserve to know how much amazing they had made it.

  • Perfect. The big revelations for me were real character development for both Sansa and the Hound. GRRM gets those characters in a way that the other writers do not. The fear on the Hound’s face during the melee, and the horror while watching the ships explode was just incredible – GRRM asks and Rory McCann delivers.

    And Sansa; Sophie Turner has been brilliant this series but her Sansa has been a bit of a one-note character. With Blackwater you see her starting to become part of the “Game”.

    The battle was just amazing, so well staged. Awards should flow freely to Neil Marshall and the VFX team. The value of a proper action film director was shown here; I hope he’s back for the battle at the Wall.

    Oh, and GRRM has to write the RW.

  • I know I’m the only person on earth who thinks this matters, but…

    that was the best dialogue of the whole season.

  • Alex:
    I know I’m the only person on earth who thinks this matters, but…

    that was the best dialogue of the whole season.

    You are def not the only person who thinks it matters…it’s critical! GRRM sure knows his stuff.

  • Mrs. H’ghar: Actually, Tywin told this story [of Castamere] to Arya in an earlier episode.

    What? In which episode does he tell her this? I totally can’t remember (from the series).

  • HouseLark,

    And the Hound’s cracking voice, when he said to Tyrion “the water’s on fire”. It was really really well done. Kudos to Rory and kudos to the whole crew!

  • Best episode of the season, followed by 3 and 5. In an hour full of amazing performances and set pieces that will be talked about for years, I was surprised that considering how much I had been craving battle scenes, and my comparative dislike of her performance in S1, Cersei was my favorite thing about this episode. Lena really became the character for me tonight, in all her vindictive, venomous, cynical, wine-drunk being. I loved how she laid the situation out straight and cruel to Sansa, cutting off her pretenses (something that was primarily the Hound’s job in the books).

    Even though I was for Stannis winning, when Tywin strides in like the boss he is, declaring victory after saving the city, with the main theme playing, I had to grin. Also loved the two uses of the Rains of Castamere. Hopefully they explain it’s backstory in-show sometime before it’s most famous performance.

    Minor nitpicks:
    Ser Mandon betraying Tyrion would have been more shocking if they had made Tyrion’s wound a little more gruesome. I don’t know why anyone would think his life would be in danger from that scratch.

    Though fittingly badass, it seemed a bit odd for Stannis to be the first up the ladder and without even a helmet.

    It will be hard to top this, but I’m hoping and thinking the finale will at least come close.

  • Ryno:
    Whats that? The emmy for best drama series and for best supporting actor, and an oscar for best picture because lets face it, this episode was the best fucking movie of 2012?Damn straight hollywood people, way to get one right.

    Ryno, your comment made me misty-eyed.

    God, we’re such geeks…

    (And I love it!)

  • The best episode of the lot. George showed those pretenders how to do it. Baelor is the second best, yes, the episode is not written by the George, but the writer of the X-Men Wolverine: Origins and the other one, didn’t do much of a hatchet like this season, because they followed the book more closely, you know before they got all cocky and think they can divert away from the books most of the time. Those people making snide comments towards book purists, I don’t think we are going to complain a lot with this episode, seeing as GRRM will less likely butcher his own books than those other writers. So your faces, shut it. Only complaints , no chains, but the HBO overlords probably put a stamp on that, “oh look, we made the Wire, we can do whatever we want” and Davos was taken out of the early like a bitch. Oh well, they probably want Stannis to get the center stage, as stupid as it was having the king fight on frontlines. Kudos again to George, don’t let HBO and those other writers, just because one of them wrote the “amazing” Troy, do a hatchet job on your books any further. I really hope George writes most of the episodes from now, but he’s got books to write. Also, great use of the Hound. George has a better sense than some people oo which characters to focus on than giving scene time to some hooker that’s not even on the books. Okay, I’m ready for your hate on, seeing as the word purist is just as bad as saying As…Yara’s favorite word around here.

  • Fantastic episode.

    I guess Dinklage isn’t enough of a method actor to get his nose sliced off. ;)

  • This episode was great, but the writing was not. Why did we have that Bronn-Hound exchange for five minutes, it was not in the books, and it was completely pointless. It lead nowhere. Why confront the two of them, why waste precious TV time? What was the point of it? They are ruining this series with all these unneeded changes.

    And then, Stannis leading the army in the first row, being the first on the wall? This is so ridiculous. GRRM would never write such crap, it just made me laugh, I just can’ t take such unrealistic stuff serious. If GRRM would want Stannis to lead the army on the walls, he would write it in the book, but GRRM is not that stupid, so why are you writers ruining ASOIAF with this cartoonish adaptation.

    I never considered myself book purist, I tolerated the changes until now, but this episode was too much to swallow for me. I hope GRRM would write all episodes like he did the books, and not these amateurs who just ruin everything they touch.

  • seb:
    *spoiler* where is the Chain?… it was the masterpiece in Tyrions plan….god damn

    No chain in the show. It is not missed by me.

  • There was one thing I didn’t like in this episode: Cersei’s silly boob-armour.

    Everything else was pretty freaking awesome. Amazing episode.

    The way this show’s been written, particularly when it comes to the Hound, makes me wonder why Sansa didn’t go with him. The book scene made me more glad that she just survived than wondering why she didn’t join him.

    It also gives the appearance of setting up a bunch of cliffhangers… I reckon new people will be wondering if Sansa did go with the Hound as well as what happened to Stannis, Tyrion, etc…

    One really great moment: Cersei hitting Lancel in his wound. I cannot remember at all if that happened in the book or not. Either way, [spoiler]it does rather suggest that his later frailty might not have been so severe if she hadn’t done that[/spoiler].

  • Fantastic episode!! Well done!! Cannot thank the cast and crew enough for their time & effort in those cold Irish nights, oh SO worth i
    Outstanding: Tyrion, Bronn, The Hound, Stannis, Cersei, Shea and Sansa (finally!).
    Surprises (for me anyway): The Hound, Renly’s armor leading a charge, Davos’ status and Tywin striding in with his announcement.
    I adore Tyrion and Shea together. And Bronn (please be alive!) and Arya and Jaqin H’Agar. Tywin is always impressive. And effective.
    What a thrilling episode! Probably the best battle scene filmed for TV ever produced. HBO = outstanding.

  • Noticing little things on rewatch like varys having nearly perceptible tears in his eyes when talking about being cut. Bravo.

    Folks on twitter are calling the Hounds drinking buddy Brad. Is Brad the new Ros?

  • Wildfire! It was magnificent — better than I could have imagined (and they didn’t spoil it in the trailers). The battle scenes were a little short but still epic for a TV show. Game of Thrones should be showered with SFX/costume/makeup awards for this episode alone.

    “F**k the King!”

  • RamsaySnow:
    This episode was great, but the writing was not. Why did we have that Bronn-Hound exchange for five minutes, it was not in the books, and it was completely pointless. It lead nowhere. Why confront the two of them, why waste precious TV time? What was the point of it? They are ruining this series with all these unneeded changes.

    And then, Stannis leading the army in the first row, being the first on the wall? This is so ridiculous. GRRM would never write such crap, it just made me laugh, I just can’ t take such unrealistic stuff serious. If GRRM would want Stannis to lead the army on the walls, he would write it in the book, but GRRM is not that stupid, so why are you writers ruining ASOIAF with this cartoonish adaptation.

    I never considered myself book purist, I tolerated the changes until now, but this episode was too much to swallow for me. I hope GRRM would write all episodes like he did the books, and not these amateurs who just ruin everything they touch.

    Well I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I thought Stannis’ “speech” and charge up the wall were very indicative of who he is as a person. He is to the point and no nonsense. He fancies himself as the rightful king so why wouldn’t he be the first up the wall to take back what is rightfully his? Strategically it’s not a great move but I think the books have shown that Stannis is a little bit coo coo at this point and isn’t that concerned with logic or playing it safe. Also George R R Martin wrote this episode and he probably would have been DIRECTLY responsible for these deviations from the book. So the author DID want it this way (at least on the show) so he wrote it that way. He’s not stupid and neither were the changes. In the book you could write a million words about how Stannis feels watching the siege from his ship, in the show it would look like he was just standing on a ship.

  • RamsaySnow: And then, Stannis leading the army in the first row, being the first on the wall? This is so ridiculous. GRRM would never write such crap, it just made me laugh, I just can’ t take such unrealistic stuff serious. If GRRM would want Stannis to lead the army on the walls, he would write it in the book, but GRRM is not that stupid, so why are you writers ruining ASOIAF with this cartoonish adaptation.

    Is that supposed to be sarcasm? You do realise that this episode was written by GRRM himself? The changes in this episode were made by GRRM.

  • I laughed. I cursed. I opened my mouth in shock. I cried. I shuddered. I had chils down my spine with “The Reynes of Castamere”.

    THIS WAS SO F****** EPIC!!!

    (yes no chain but honestly I was so immersed on the episode I didn’t even remember that… and how cool they included Renly’s armour (though with Loras instead of Garlan)

    Tyrion was great. Hound was great. Joff was great. Stannis was superb, and so was Davos (on his few minutes). Cersei, though, was IMMENSE.

    Now excuse me while I try to find my jaw somewhere in my room’s floor….

  • Also George R R Martin wrote this episode and he probably would have been DIRECTLY responsible for these deviations from the book.

    GRRM wrote the first version of the episode, sure, but subsequent rewrites were handled by Dan and Dave. In the case of this episode, where the budget was constantly being revised and where they had to change directors and the new director said he could give them much more bang for their buck and so on, there was probably more of Dan and Dave in the script than there was last year.

  • RamsaySnow,

    The Bronn & Sandor scene served at least two purposes: 1. introducing the song Rains of Castamere, 2. portraying Sandor as a tough non-fearing soldier, which provided the contrast for his later actions.

  • Winter Is Coming: I’ll admit that my reviews aren’t as good as those at the AV Club. Of course, those guys are professional TV critics. I’m just a guy who started a blog about the show.

    Ha! Winter is “only a young girl and know[s] little of the ways of war.”

  • Siobhán Mooney,

    The “silly boob-armour” has historical precedent: Elisabeth of England wore a breastplate at Tilbury when the Spanish Armada approached Great Britain’s shore. I thought that Cersei in armour was a nice nod by the costumes department (even though Cersei is never actually near the battle nor giving rousing speeches as did the Queen of England).

  • SUCH AMAZING EPISODE. Oh how I wish GRRM would write every episode. The characters were just like in the books, nothing washed out or changed <3 and rains of Castamere <3 aaaaaaaaah!!!!!

    And how we were teased by Varys almost telling us how he got cut.. brilliant!

    Also the green explosion… mindblowing, srsly. I thought I was watching a movie.

  • Fakkin hell…. GAD THAT WAS AWESOME! i serriously have no words in the world that can describe it! THE MUSIC,THE BATTLE,STANNIS FIGHTING,TYRION FIGHTIN OH MAY GHAAAAAD!

  • Virtus: Dany decides to get an army when Jorah suggests that to her on the ship, but in the end of ACOK she is trying to find captains who would transport her to Westeros. This is changed only, when she bumps into Arstan.

    No.

    She already decided she needed an army. She spent the middle two chapters in qarth attempting to raise an army.

    (people dont’ seem to have read these ISTG?)

    Jorah reminds her of the advantages of having some more troops with her in ASOS, and that is the first time he suggests an actionable plan to get one.

    By the end of acok Dany is looking for only a ship instead because she knows that half of Qarth (the scary warlock half, and Xaro) were now looking for ways to get rid of her. Thankfully Arstan saves the day.

  • Anthony Dellova: Well I’m sorry you didn’t like it.I thought Stannis’ “speech” and charge up the wall were very indicative of who he is as a person.He is to the point and no nonsense.He fancies himself as the rightful king so why wouldn’t he be the first up the wall to take back what is rightfully his? Strategically it’s not a great move but I think the books have shown that Stannis is a little bit coo coo at this point and isn’t that concerned with logic or playing it safe.

    He wouldn’t be first up the wall, because the man that’s first on the ladder, is the first to die. He could be there by the wall, surrounded by guards, shields over his helmless (sic!) head, and would at best climb the ladder after that part of the battlements are secured. Everything else is nonsense. You may say whatever you want about Stannis the Mannis, but he’s not that kind of an idiot to die in the first seconds of the assault on the wall.

    For the guy who said that Bronn/Hound huge deviation of Ros’ scale was done to introduce the song of castamere, I say, good work, so we needed this confrontation and singing which are not in the book, just to leave out Sansa’s song to the Hound. I refuse to believe Martin wrote it, the script for this episode is one of the worst regarding the deviations from the book. Either Martin didn’t write it, or he’s the biggest deviator of them all. I wish he would have a twitter account, I would hunt and hound him down!

  • They may have deviated from the book but damn, this is still an amazing episode!

    The wildfire scene was just amazing.

    My only question is: where did all the other Baratheon soldiers come from, though? When Tyrion thought it was all over and the Lannister soldiers were shouting “Halfman! Halfman!” the enemies suddenly came from nowhere.

  • What I liked….

    My initial reaction about the episode is that the acting was brilliant. They ‘main’ characters of this episode played their parts to perfection. It’s almost pointless at this point to say Peter Dinklage was outstanding. It’s like waking up every morning and declaring that ‘water is wet… the sun is hot..’. Rory, Lena, they all just nailed it.

    The explosion… boom… epic.

    What I didn’t like…
    Leaving the chain out was a bit disappointing (hater’s gonna hate). I think it was really a major part of the battle, and showed Tyrion’s brilliance and ‘tactics’ for ensuring his side won. Such is life..

    I was also a bit underwhelmed with battle scenes. They were great for a TV series, but fell short of the ‘epic’ battle I had visualized in my mind after reading the books. I got the impression it was a fight of 100’s instead of 1000’s. Yea, their were some visually stunning moments of heads being sliced off, but I would have given them up in a heartbeat for even some birdseye views of Stannis’s forces attacking. Just something to give you a better sense of the scope of the attack.

    That being said… this is an episode that I will continue the tradition of watching 4-5 times. Today is a day off, so I may rewatch it 4-5 times today!

  • Wow. Just WOW!

    This episode exceeded my expectations. It was really close to perfection.

    I cannot get over how Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage performed their scenes to perfection. Lena especially.
    I m amazed that she was able to fully capture the moment with Tommen, I mean I HATE Cersei almost as much as I hate Joffrey, and I have been a little annoyed with the inconsistencies in her character, but in that moment my heart broke. She really made me believe that loving her children really is her one redeeming quality.

    Also, been lurking for a while but just had to comment this time!

  • Just to say, I agree that it was a great episode, just that deviations were too much for me in this episode, the episode was mostly about battle, there’s not much to deviate, but elsewhere… I refuse to believe Martin ruining Martin’s masterpiece. Cersei trying to poison Tommen, OK, it’s a cool deviation, but still a huge one, and then Sansa-Shae scenes and Shae-Cersei scenes, Martin just couldn’t write those. What’s Shae now, Sansa’s confidant? Her ally in KL? That’s not Martin I know. That’s not Martin who wrote ACOK some decades ago.

    But, all in all, it was a great episode, in spite of huge Martin’s deviations on Martin.

  • I wish they had had some more horses, but I understand that would have made all the filming way more complicated. Otherwise it was a pretty good episode.

    GRRM should write all episodes. :)

  • According to all of my various theories, that dialog between Cersei and Tommen was super important. Jaime is Azor Ahai and Tommen is The Prince Who Was Promised. There’s a lot more to it than that involving hidden Targs, Dunk & Egg, Norse mythology and Ragnarok – i.e. “The Song of Ice & Fire” – Jaime is Tyr, obviously, even though Tyrion is TYRion but I’ll leave it at that… for now.

  • needed a night to process before commenting and I can still only come up with one word to describe what I saw: WOW!!!!! and a final thought: best show in tv history!!!!!

  • Where’s_The_Peach?: I was also a bit underwhelmed with battle scenes. They were great for a TV series, but fell short of the ‘epic’ battle I had visualized in my mind after reading the books.

    The problem lies in your expectations then, not the TV series. Your imagination has an unlimited budget, the producers of this show don’t. You say that the battle was great for a TV series, and that’s exactly what you should expect, nothing more.

    If you really thought that they would manage to pull off an epic scale battle that was only ‘limited’ by your imagination, then your expectations were quite unrealistic to begin with and you were bound to be a bit disappointed.

  • Holy crapster, this episode was beyond words. Tyrion, Cersei, Sansa, Joffrey and Davos were extremely good as usual. The Cersei and Sansa scenes in the hold were my favorite scenes in Clash of Kings, and they did not disappoint in this episode.

    But the hat really goes off to Stannis and Charles motha-fucking Dance as Tywin.Stannis was such a strong bamf that just epitomizes his character to the limit. However, I don’t think I’ve ever got such chills from such a simple line and delivery as I got from the final scene. The whole scene with Cersei and Tommen and the cuts to the battlefield and that final parade into the throne room, by the old gods and the new that was perfection.

    Gonna be a sad day next week after the credits roll…

  • Stephen Dillane is awesome! I was always sort of a book Stannis hater, but Dillane really has me rethinking that.

    Also – Ser George — I bow before your greatness! That was the best hour of TV I have ever seen and I watched the first moon walk!

  • 5 out of 5 stars (95%, 348 Votes)
    4 out of 5 stars (4%, 16 Votes)
    3 out of 5 stars (1%, 4 Votes)
    2 out of 5 stars (0%, 0 Votes)
    1 out of 5 stars (0%, 0 Votes)

    HELL YEAH!!! :)))

  • Lucky Luke: The problem lies in your expectations then, not the TV series. Your imagination has an unlimited budget, the producers of this show don’t. You say that the battle was great for a TV series, and that’s exactly what you should expect, nothing more.

    If you really thought that they would manage to pull off an epic scale battle that was only ‘limited’ by your imagination, then your expectations were quite unrealistic to begin with and you were bound to be a bit disappointed.

    Yes, I fully expected an epic scale battle, and there are certainly 20 different ways that they could have easily (and low cost) gave you a better sense for the size of the attacking force. I suspect that the non-book readers may get the impression that the majority of soldiers died in the explosion, and the few remaining (< 150) decided to storm the castle anyway. Admittedly it's been awhile since I read the books, that's not exactly how i remembered it going down.

    My reviews generally soften after rewatching, but this be my initial reaction.

  • Awesome episode. Too bad it’s the only great battle scene in the entire series lol (consider the red wedding slaughter ;) )

  • The Others:
    Episode was amazing! The Rains of Castamere playing over the credits was a brilliant finish IMO!

    Loved that! Actually punched my husband when he started talking over it during the credits.

  • It’s the morning of the rave reviews!

    Waiting for the recap roundup post.

    Can’t wait.

    Rolling Stone’s Sean T. Collins, “Set Fire to the Reign”:

    When Bronn shot that fire arrow and detonated Tyrion’s wildfire last night, he did more than blow Stannis Baratheon’s fleet to kingdom come. He, and “Blackwater” director Neil Marshall, showed me something I’d never seen before. Something even the pictures in my mind’s eye while reading about the Battle of the Blackwater in the book A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (who wrote the episode as well) never came close to adequately capturing. That’s right: A TV show went toe-to-toe with my goddamn imagination and won. Hail Game of Thrones.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/game-of-thrones-recap-set-fire-to-the-reign-20120528#ixzz1wAlhLZFO

  • Louisa,

    I don’t think it matters that we don’t know where Stannis’ reinforcements came from. The way the battle scenes were shot focused on individuals…so in a sense we were experiencing the battle as they were. In battles like Blackwater, there are so many distractions (enemies, arrows, wildfire etc)…so reinforcements emerging randomly from the fog, or Ser Mandon’s attack on Tyrion going relatively unnoticed makes perfect sense…unexpected things that are difficult to explain happen in the confusion of battle.

    It was brilliantly done!

  • RamsaySnow:

    But, all in all, it was a great episode, in spite of huge Martin’s deviations on Martin.

    And that right there is why book purists are so despised: superior and arrogant! You seem to believe that just because you read the books, the story now belongs to you.

    Guess what? It’s HBO’s story now and they can change it in any way they like. They’ve actually been extremely respectful of the source material and its creator, retaining him as co-executive producer (i.e. he gets a cut of the profits) and as a writer for one episode a year. The changes they agreed on together (e.g. omitting the chain in favor of a floating wildfire bomb) are generally the result of the adaptation process, which has to take stuff into account that someone writing a book simply doesn’t.

  • morbiczer:
    I wish they had had some more horses, but I understand that would have made all the filming way more complicated. Otherwise it was a pretty good episode.

    GRRM should write all episodes. :)

    He did a great job with his characters last night. However, if he wrote all the episodes, he’d never have time to finish the books.

  • Wildfire! Charging Stannis! Halfman!!! Just incredible to watch…the first time, the second time, and I’m sure every time in the future!!!

    I loved how I didn’t know whom to root for–in the books or here, where I experienced the emotions from CoK all over again. I desperately wanted Stannis and Davos to prevail, but arg, that would have meant that Tyrion and Sansa and yes, even Cersei in her twisted glory would have been at risk. These actors do such amazing work. I even felt the slightest bit of sympathy for Joffrey, who looked to be so out of his element the moment he stepped into the courtyard.

    Loved also how the writers capitalise on some great opportunities to get characters together for a chat–Bronn and the Hound! Cersei and Shae! Varys and Tyrion!!!! Every single person in this series is so ridiculously interesting that I want to watch them all!!!

    Can’t wait until next week! Is it next April yet??

  • Just watched! That was awesome! There are no words! I’m so glad Tyrion didn’t lose his nose!

  • Well, we never really saw how big Stannis fleet really was. I mean the sea was all mist and fog so we never saw the end of it. I just assume there were far more ships coming in from the sea and landing on the shore. Thats where the reinforcements came from.

  • DB:
    Awesome episode. Too bad it’s the only great battle scene in the entire series lol (consider the red wedding slaughter ;) )

    What about the Battle with the Wildlings in the Wall?

  • Davos being flung off the ship as it disintegrates in an explosion of wildfire might be my favorite single image of the series so far. Holy crap that looked amazing. I had high expectations for the episode in advance, even though I was worried the battle would look cheap. While it wasn’t quite movie quality stuff – which we have NO reason to expect, you just can’t compare the budgets – it looked really, really good. I sincerely hope they can bring Neil Marshall back for some choice future episodes, like for the battle of the Wall.

  • DB:
    Awesome episode. Too bad it’s the only great battle scene in the entire series lol (consider the red wedding slaughter ;) )

    What about the Wildling attack on the Wall when Stannis gets to play the Tywin role? Or the battle at the Fist of the First men?

  • Lívia: What about the Battle with the Wildlings in the Wall?

    THIS. As excited (and impressed!) as I was about Blackwater, THIS is the sequence I cannot wait to see.

  • I said that no TV production team could do this show better than the ones who are doing it–HBO, George RR Martin, David Benioff, Dan Weiss, the entire superstar cast and crew. Last night’s episode was more reason for me and so many of us to feel that way. Just awesome.

    I only hope that the finale is as soul-stirring, tense, baffling and triumphant as last year’s. I’m nervous in particular about how Dany’s and Theon’s storylines will be handled. I want the HOTU to be mighty impressive and I want absolute ambiguous dread upon Theon. The kind where non-readers watch and are unsure whether they really want the worst for him like they thought (and yet Ramsay Bolton will not be featured…yet…)

    This really is shaping up to be the best TV series of all time. It’s great to be a fan.

    VALAR MORGHULIS!

  • death to lannisters: me too.that was perfect wasn’t it.however, the bravery doesn’t pay off.

    And that is the part that is so Game of Thrones, GRRM awesome! The loyal, the faithful and the brave don’t win. In fact, they rarely even survive.

  • Lucky Luke,

    EXACTLY! Nail on the head. Given the budget constraints and time limitations, I really believe they did the best job they could, and the outcome was SPECTACULAR! I don’t get some of negative comments on this board

  • HouseLark:
    And Sansa; Sophie Turner has been brilliant this series but her Sansa has been a bit of a one-note character. With Blackwater you see her starting to become part of the “Game”.

    Loved the way she played Sansa with the other women after the Queen bolted. You can see her take a “I need to suck it up and do this.” breath and then wade right in to comforting/managing the other women with the hymn, basically taking over what Cersei was *supposed* to have been doing all along.

  • Better than Baelor? I think so. Better performances all around. Peter Dinklage, Rory McCann, the whole bloody cast, damn.

  • Great episode but I’m very worried about the pacing on next weeks episode. Ton of ground to cover . Dany rescuing her dragons in the HOTU, leaving Qarth thanks to the appearance of a special someone from season 1, Jon’s storyline with the wildlings and his fight with a special some1, exposition and rewards in kings landing, Jaime and Brienne, Arya and Jaqen. Damn this episode should really be 90 min long

  • Rob:
    ThePinkDragon,

    serum,

    Best tv show ever? Lol not by a long shot. Not even an all time top 5 hbo show.

    The Wire and deadwood shit all over GoT.

    Well, I wouldn’t say that they ‘shit all over’ Game of Thrones. But some people certainly lack perspective. ;)

    By now, the series does rank among the twenty to thirty best American television programmes in history (drama & comedy both), as far as I’m familiar with them. And it’s a great achievement of the fantasy genre, especially as far as television is concerned, where no other fantasy series can compare to it.
    Sure, there are programmes that are superior in some respects. But that doesn’t diminish Game of Thrones or its producers’ work in any way.

  • Not that it’s anything resembling a competition, but The Wire’s 5th season is largely awful, and Deadwood had a hell of a time resolving pretty much anything, even in the short term. Great shows, to be sure, but hardly untouchable archetypes of perfection – certainly not so much that Game of Thrones doesn’t easily sit at the apex of television achievement along with them.

  • Two things I am stoked to see:
    1) More Brienne and Jamie
    2). Can’t wait to meet Mance Rayder, King Beyond the Wall.
    Does anyone else feel like they identify more with the wildlings/free folk?. The crows are my boys as well.

  • RamsaySnow:
    Either Martin didn’t write it, or he’s the biggest deviator of them all. I wish he would have a twitter account, I would hunt and hound him down!

    Oh. You’re that guy. Gross.

  • Oh, has anybody noticed that on all the non-reader forums everybody thinks Sansa left King’s Landing with The Hound? I didn’t get that at all, but, of course, I know how it ends up.

  • Signed, sealed, delivered. Flawless entertainment.

    Glad Tyrion kept his nose, though not sure if the face slice was enough. However, checking Blackwater review sites, many non book readers are commenting with hope that he doesn’t die from the wound.

  • Perfection! So much drama and emotions. I was in tears when the credits started rolling. I don’t know if it was because of how good it was or because I was so moved. Probably both. Watch and learn, D&D. This is how it’s done. Easily the best episode yet. I just wish my favourite characters would get the same treatment but I want the next book more, so…

  • The one scene that perfectly illustrates the deep attention and care GRRM, D&D and the director paid to this episode is the close-up of the faces of the men in the hold of Davos’ ship at the beginning.

    Ten seconds to cover pages of Davos’ internal musings about warfare and the young men it devours.

    As a book reader, I choked up thinking “they’re going to die burning.” Newbies, I am sure, flashed back to those scared young faces when the wildfire blew up.

    Perfect image for Memorial Day.

  • Blackfish:
    Well its seems 99% of people here like it but I have COMPLAINTS!

    GRRM only writes 1 episode per season? I want maor!
    Damn HBO for their 10 episode season format, imagine 13 or 24 episode seasons
    Damn HBO again for releasing S2 DVD March 2013, i want the blu-ray 1 week after season ends :)

    Damn straight!

  • Question: Why did the Hound look for a fight with Bronn? Of course Clegane was pretty pathological in this episode so maybe no explanation is needed. But wow, what great acting when he finally got sick of it all. Not an easy transformation for an actor to portray.

  • Michelle:
    After watching it a second time, you know what stands out for me? Besides the obvious, of course.

    Stannis’s face when he sees Renly’s armor. For a split second, he looks like he’s seen a ghost. The grief he really hasn’t had the chance to really process passes across his face. Then he’s right back in Righteous!Stannis mode and they have to pull him away. Amazing work by Stephen Dillane.

    Loras’s face when he barges into the throne room. He’s obviously still grief stricken and now he’s been forced to wear his lover’s armor to cause chaos, confusion and fear among his former allies. All this in service of a house he hates and who hate him, for the sole purpose of avenging his beloved Renly’s death. Vengeance that is ultimately denied him because Stannis escaped. This is the LAST place he wants to be and he wasn’t shy about it. And he didn’t say a word. Well done, Finn Jones!

    Agreed. At Renly’s camp Loras seemed like a sulky teen – even in grief. This Spirit of Vengeance is the Loras I read in COK.

  • OMG! OMG! OMG! This was amazing. Beyond amazing. Knowing it’s TV I expected a very small scale battle with a light explosion. This was HUGE! This was Helms Deep size. This was absolutely perfect. The most impressive, most spactacular hour of television ever I dare say. Kudos to GRRM, Neill Marshall and all the amazing people who made this small wonder!

  • mikhail,

    They will…they will.
    The last tack on season 2 soundtrack is “three blasts” and the second teaser trailer for season 2 ended with the horn blasts

  • Peter: I think you’re forgetting what wildfire is.GRRM makes it very clear in the books that the stuff is off the charts.It’s hotter, more combustible, faster moving, and hungrier than normal fire.It’s also heavily implied that some vague magic is involved.The battle on the river is a burning green hell where everything/one is trapped behind the chain, literally everyone dies, and literally all the ships burn…both Lannister and Baratheon.The people who survive are all on land.So I found this explosion entirely plausible given the original writing.

    Wildfire appears to be napalm, or ancient Greek Fire – some combination of long-burning pitch plus a soap-like substance that makes it stick to flesh while it burns and difficult if not impossible to extinguish.

    When I read the book scenes of Tyrion ordering wildfire, all I could think was “napalm = war crime.”

    Closest I came to disliking Tyrion. Thank goodness none of it touched a non-combatant.

  • HouseLark: Oh, and GRRM has to write the RW.

    So now we know what episode 309 will be. Which means end of S3 should be the PW – only way to prevent non-BRs from attacking HBO with torches and pitchforks.

  • I realize why it took me three times through to find Loras in Renly’s armor. I assumed that it was Tywin on the white horse (the one he has been riding EVERY time they show him on a horse), so I was looking all around the guy on the white horse for someone that looked anything like Renly.

    Doh. Tywin must have lent Loras his mount.

  • E P I C

    I dont know what else to write right now because that was probably one of the greatest things I’ve witnessed in a long time. That scene where Loras came riding in slow-mo, I really hope it will be exactly like that when Stannis comes to save the Nights Watch…

  • I don’t like the changes on season 2, but what I do like is the opportunity to see the characters who don’t have chapters on the book, like Robb.
    On Blackwater I love how they show Stannis fighting, and being good at it…

  • TheNorseWolf,

    Thanks God I already read Book 3 and you didn’t spoiled me anything … But dude, I think you’re not supposed to say anything after book 2

  • i really missed the chain, but i think the whole episode was so amazing that i don’t see why i should complain. i cried my ass off. i think that was the best episode in the whole series so far.

  • El Beto,

    Oops i apologize :( I’ve only like commented on here once before and I didnt know how to put the black spoiler thingy over…

  • I was completely wrong in my speculation about Tyron’s attacker being someone other than Moore, and I’m glad I was. It played out pretty much perfectly.

  • LV,

    I am actually shocked that book-Cersei never had armor made for herself. It seems like it would be top on her list of Awesome Things to Do Because I’m a Lioness, Dammit!

  • Darth Valyria:
    I was completely wrong in my speculation about Tyron’s attacker being someone other than Moore, and I’m glad I was. It played out pretty much perfectly.

    Thankfully they took a few moments to set up Moore a little more before it happened.

    Restore The Day: Womp

    I meant a precedent the show set for itself.

  • Well now, that was a decent piece of TV.

    I still have to wonder why only Bronn seem to get good parts of action. Feels fast, full of action with good moves ja fine filmcuts. Chopping men half with onehand sword stroke isn’t good action. Also lot of parts with camera standing still don’t give the feeling of moving. Especially with not-so-familiar-at-fighting-extras. I can understand the idea behind giving different fight styles to different people like Bronn and Hound, but unless camera really takes the feeling of force and movement in huge blows that Hound should be dealing, they should give some fast action to Hound too. Only making people split around Hound doesn’t make it look strong.

    Though I have to admit that when I think how much action and fighting was in this episode, only a couple of times I thought that it didn’t work. Things like explosion and arrow volleys felt pretty good.

    And Stannis should have had a shield.

    Aaaand, I liked the focus on Kingslanding where we didn’t jump around all the time.

  • Meg: Sworn to serve? I think that’s an odd interpretation when he just gave a huge middle finger to “the service” in this ep. I was confused because it’s hard for me to believe that Sandor would care about sellswords wenching it up before a battle – like Sandor, on a moral high horse about sex? More likely he doesn’t like men who brag about their battle scars. Sandor is dour about killing, Bronn is carefree about it. Seems like a silly personality clash. Or, maybe he just didn’t like Bronn’s sexposition. ;)
    I think the Hound & Tyrion are cut of the same cloth.Considered grotesque by most, these are the characters that have the most honor and nobility of all.
    Oh boy, we’re gonna need some more white paint for this whitewashing job…

    Oh I’m not saying Sandor (or Tyrion) are saints – far from it. (Really, the closest to saints we’ve seen have been the Starks, and even they are not exactly perfect.) But it is no secret that the Hound thinks poorly of knights due to his own exeriences with “Ser” Gregor (and most of the Kingsguard as well). Most knights are vain idiots that want the glory but have the honor of a cowpie. When I re-watched the scene where Sandor enters the tavern and sees Bronn with the naked whore on his lap, it seemed that Sandor had a look of disgust. Bronn is not a knight, but he is a captain of the city watch.
    I don’t think Sandor would give a shit about pissing contests, truthfully. Now Jaime, on the other hand, he is the one who’d strut up to another warrior and start a fight just to prove how bad-ass he is.

    Not trying to whitewash Sandor & Tyrion, but I think GRRM does have a tendency to give the underdogs the more noble qualities while the “winners” in the world have all gotten there due to cheating or being thugs.

  • Turncloak: Great episode but I’m very worried about the pacing on next weeks episode. Ton of ground to cover . Dany rescuing her dragons in the HOTU, leaving Qarth thanks to the appearance of a special someone from season 1, Jon’s storyline with the wildlings and his fight with a special some1, exposition and rewards in kings landing, Jaime and Brienne, Arya and Jaqen. Damn this episode should really be 90 min long

    I’m worried about this, too.

    We’ll also see:
    1) Robb marrying (or planning to marry) Jeyne, and Cat’s reaction to that
    2) Tyrion recovering, and… discussion with Tywin (mirroring their convo in ep 10 last season)
    3) Sansa not having left with the hound, a scene with Littlef*cker
    4) THREE BLASTS (I firmly believe this will be the last shot of the season)
    5) People in KL getting promoted (Loras, Marg, LF, etc)
    7) Theon… something. Either getting captured by Ramsey in a surprise “stealth cast” or just becoming more stupid and paranoid.
    8) Luwin’s death and Bran’s escape. (probably)

    I think it’s going to be a mess…

    re: Dany – I think they will leave her last chapter for season 3. In hindsight, this isn’t a bad idea, because only 6 chapters in aSoS have to be stretched over two seasons, and considering how akward the pacing/storytelling has been for her and Jon this season, it’s a real concern. D&D have all but confirmed that her 3rd aSoS chapter will be the finale of Season 3 (Dracarys), so leaving aCoK ch 5 for Season 3 at least gives 4 chapters of material to work with for both S3 an S4.

  • ManyAndMore:
    Question: Why did the Hound look for a fight with Bronn?

    best possibility other than “its cool”: the Hound was sent to kill Bronn in the same way that Moore was Tyrion’s assassin

  • David the Grey,
    Sandor definitely has something to prove. He’s very insecure. He is trying to convince the world that he’s the baddest mo-fo around, but then he bursts into tears in front of little girls (like… 4 times???).

  • I can’t help but to share the concern about episode 0210. There is so much to wrap up (or “cliffhanger up”) that I am skeptical of this show’s ability to pull it off. This is coming from someone who has loved every episode of season 2 so far. I just think this season’s finale is going to be a stinker.

  • On Ep 10 concerns – not only will it be a cramped ep, but I think there has been a serious lack of drama and “high stakes” in both Jon and Dany’s storylines in S2, so I’m curious if they can make their finales as gripping as the one in King’s Landing this week.

  • Meg,

    Ok, I can buy that. The Hound did mention something about the Imp in that scene. I read the Hounds initial look at Bronn as one of disgust, but maybe it was just Sandor’s typical glare. :-)

  • At this point I’d be happy if they had little or no closure for some of the storylines in Ep10. The only must-haves next week are the House of the Undying , the three blasts on the Fist of the First Men, and the Faceless Man reveal. “Blackwater” proved a lingering focus on a single storyline can be utterly successful so long as the characters are convincingly interacting with each other. Of course, the scale of the battle itself enables this exception since it involves so many characters, but some of the strongest episodes of the series have mainly focused on as few as three of the main storylines while saving the others for later. I’d rather have less ground covered with more conviction than too much ground covered with less content (a complaint I’ve heard this season, though I’ve personally loved this season to death).

    Despite my enjoyment of the season leading up to Ep9, “Blackwater” has heightened my expectations of the show’s storytelling. It was better than great. I won’t care if we don’t see Robb or Jon or anyone in King’s Landing next week, though I’m sure we will. “Blackwater” was a payoff episode we’ve been dying for. More than anyone else at the moment, Dany needs a “Blackwater” of her own.

  • Meg:
    On Ep 10 concerns – not only will it be a cramped ep, but I think there has been a serious lack of drama and “high stakes” in both Jon and Dany’s storylines in S2, so I’m curious if they can make their finales as gripping as the one in King’s Landing this week.

    For the latter, I just hope it’s weird and gruesome and all-around trippy as all get-out. Even in the books, aside from the actual destruction of the Palace of Dust, the greatest part of the chapter was the wealth of implications concerning the past and future of the series.

  • The finale is supposed to be 70 minutes long, so let’s hope that Dany’s and Jon’s storylines get their due. I want a blue rose at the HOTU and Jon’s story to happen just as it did in the book. Please, don’t disappoint me D&D, at least not with this episode.

  • LV:
    Siobhán Mooney,

    The “silly boob-armour” has historical precedent: Elisabeth of England wore a breastplate at Tilbury when the Spanish Armada approached Great Britain’s shore. I thought that Cersei in armour was a nice nod by the costumes department (even though Cersei is never actually near the battle nor giving rousing speeches as did the Queen of England).

    It may well have historical precedent, but it still looked ridiculous. :-) I am not at all against a queen wearing armour. I just wanted it to look good.

  • Rob:
    ThePinkDragon,
    serum,
    Best tv show ever? Lol not by a long shot. Not even an all time top 5 hbo show.

    The Wire and deadwood shit all over GoT.

    Did I say something like that? If I did, I take it back, because I was drunk on the moment. Maybe you clicked the reply button by accident, I dunno, happens. But me, personally, I don’t even rate American/British television by “best” anymore — I rate it by “least idiotic.” Game of Thrones is up there.

    At any rate it’s really not fair to compare shows in different genres. Seriously, how can you even look at The Wire, Deadwood and Game of Thrones side-by-side? One’s a Western, one’s an urban drama, and one’s fantasy fiction. Not even remotely the same thing — it’s like comparing Nickelodeon cartoons to primetime comedies.

    In its genre, Game of Thrones is probably the best flat-out medieval fantasy television show ever made. Put it up against other HBO dramas and it drops; put it up against every drama ever and it drops way low. It’s still one of the only Western (civilization, not cowboys) television shows I can watch that hasn’t completely dropped the fucking ball after five episodes.

  • Also, I don’t know why the 70 minutes thing is surprising everyone. The episode guide right on this very website clearly states we at least had a 64-minute “Valar Morghulis” episode, and has since we got the description confirmation. We already knew it was super long, but looks like they tacked on an additional 6 minutes.

  • An extra 10-15 minutes? Heck yeah. The writers on this show are extremely efficient storytellers; they can do a lot with that amount of extra time. This does a lot to reassure me.

  • Aryaftw,

    ’cause they battlin’ errynoble out here.

    you don’t have to come and knee-bend,
    he lookin’ for you
    he gon find you
    he gon find you
    so you can run and tell that, run and tell that
    run and tell that, half-man
    half half half-man.

  • g.o.d,
    fantastic news.

    But that still gives less than 8 minutes on average if they do visit each of the major settings (nine by my counting: Qarth, KL, Stanvosandre, Robub-“Jeyne”-Cat, Jaime x Brienne, Jon, the night’s watch, Arya & co, Winterfell).

  • I remember feeling really worried last season heading into the final episode because I was thinking that Ned gets beheaded and there are still more than a hundred pages left to go… So, this season feels the same, they have a lot of ground to cover but I think they will end just like last time, wrapping up what can be wrapped up and leaving us desperately hungry for more so that we can hang around sites like this and either gush, complain or over analyze (depending on the individual) and lament how long we have to wait for season 3!

  • Seven Hells, my mind is blown away, there are no words good enough to describe this episode. Every single character was perfect and the battle scenes were executed superbly. The wildfire was beyond what I imagined. It was horrifically beautiful and the noise the explosion carried…wow….
    Also all Hail King Stannis!!! What a badass.
    …..and now, let me take a moment to revel in the awesomeness of Peter Dinklage. This man wins at life. Just give him every damn award there is to get….If he doesn’t win something for his portrayal this season, then there is no justice in this world.

    Honestly, I just can’t see the finale surpassing this episode, I don’t believe it can be done. I just hope it’s close to being as mind-blowing as this one was.

  • One small thing….. wouldn’t the sword Stannis was using be “Lightbringer”?

    It didn’t look like it, so is the sword not going to look special in the show?

  • David the Grey,

    Can definitely add Brienne to the list. She’s viewed as a grotesque absurdity, yet she’s chock-full of honor and loyalty, far more than the other knights of the series.

  • stilzkin,

    Honestly, I think they’re cutting out most of the magical prophecy stuff from the books. As it is, a decent contingent of non-bookies (not all, but a good sect) get pretty annoyed with shadow babies, blood magic, dragons, and dire wolves.

  • Just watched.

    My mind exploded – there are lots of green flames in my room right now. :D

    That was badass – I just can not compare what I just saw with any previous episode of GOT (S1 included).
    Everything and everybody was perfect.
    I even cheered when Loras showed his face in the end.

    The Rains of Castamere still ring in my head.

    back to preparing for UK retweets – I wonder how many people would notice that their pop-singer Jerome got entierly different song to sing. It was nice touch!

  • If any of those flaming fucking arrows comes near me, I’ll strangle you with your own entrails.

    Eat shit dwarf.

    The Hound had a real breakout episode this week.

  • I was ready to be disappointed, but I just sat there with an open mouth as the battle and the episode unfolded. That was perfection.

    What I loved best:
    – The lone ship moving in on Stannis’s fleet, Bronn firing the arrow, following the arrow over Davos and the horror on his face as he called his son’s name. BOOM…goosebumps
    – The Hound has been underused in the series, but this episode was his time to shine and Rory McCann just owned every scene he was in.
    – Varys’s promise to one day tell his story…GRRM I’ll hold you to that promise…just let it happen in the Winds of Winter.
    – The gore, brutal like a battle should be…guess a stone on your head is a bitch
    – Mandon Moore just as silent, anonymous as in the books. Looked as eery as I expected for that split second. They can expand on Podrick next season.
    – Bronn, a shame his story will soon be over

    There will be no antfucking after this amazing episode. Everyone who complains should just realise it’s not going to be better than this (regarding battles).

  • I believe Valar Morghulis’ running time (not including previously on) is listed at 64 minutes elsewhere. That’s still seven minutes longer than Blackwater.

    Jon, Winterfell and Dany will have big resolutions and more than one scene. But the rest? Arya’s scene will likely be a single one, since her escape was likely her “climax” (does the Hound grab her this episode? I don’t think so, but I could see so.. Sam and the Watch get 30 seconds, I think. King’s Landing and Stannis get a scene (or two, for KL) each. I could see Jaime and Brienne not in it at all, and Robb and Catelyn only in it when they hear of the result of the battle.

    But I don’t think many of the storylines need much resolution, here. KL & Robb need denouement; Arya has a check in, and three storylines have big endings. That’s not too big.

  • rorschach-:
    Well now, that was a decent piece of TV.

    I still have to wonder why only Bronn seem to get good parts of action. Feels fast, full of action with good moves ja fine filmcuts. Chopping men half with onehand sword stroke isn’t good action. Also lot of parts with camera standing still don’t give the feeling of moving. Especially with not-so-familiar-at-fighting-extras. I can understand the idea behind giving different fight styles to different people like Bronn and Hound, but unless camera really takes the feeling of force and movement in huge blows that Hound should be dealing, they should give some fast action to Hound too. Only making people split around Hound doesn’t make it look strong.

    Though I have to admit that when I think how much action and fighting was in this episode, only a couple of times I thought that it didn’t work. Things like explosion and arrow volleys felt pretty good.

    And Stannis should have had a shield.

    Aaaand, I liked the focus on Kingslanding where we didn’t jump around all the time.

    In battle, most warriors go with the moves that are most successful for them with the weapon at hand. For the Hound with a great sword, that would be slicing people in half or slicing major parts off to disable. Don’t see where that’s unacceptable.

  • stanvosftw:
    Yellow Dog,

    No, ep 10 will be Dracarys.

    Oh, shit that almost slipped my mind. Hmmm. Can they possibly get away with putting a whole year between RW and PW? Or would Dracarys make an even better S4 opener?

  • The episode was pretty ‘wow,’ but for me it wasn’t the epic scale, it was the strength of the actors. Every single actor in this episode nailed every little thing. People have already highlighted some of the amazing expressions of the episode, but I have to add a few I don’t think have been mentioned. Davos has this perfect look of ‘oh fuck’ that matched what I felt as a book reader while watching the wildfire spread on the water. And then Stannis, face twisted with grief after the explosion, but hardening up and acknowledging that thousands will die for him. Powerful stuff.

  • Amazing episode! The best of the entire series so far. To accomplish what they were able to on such a limited budget is remarkable. Thank you D&D,GRRM, and Neil Marshall. You guys brought to life what most didn’t believe was possible.

    I can’t wait to see the finale. I only need to see/hear 2 things in ‘The House of the Undying’, “He is the Prince who was Promised and his is the Song of Ice and Fire” and the winter rose at the Wall. The show has to introduce the “Prince who is Promised” prophecy. And also start to lay more hints about R+L=J being a possibility.

  • g.o.d: (does the Hound grab her this episode? I don’t think so, but I could see so.. Sam and the Watch get 30 seconds, I think. King’s Landing and Stannis get a scene (or two, for KL) each. I could

    I’m betting thats 70 minutes minus the 6 minutes we get in the episode recap/opening credits. which gives the 64 previously listed. Still way longer than what we have gotten so far, enough to add about 3 more scenes or so.

  • RamsaySnow:
    Kels
    May 28 – 2:08 am

    You do realize that GRRM wrote the episode?! If he wants to add/change something, who are we to complain?

  • A bit late to the party, but…what. in. the. name. of. R’hllor. was. THAT?! Fucking amazing. I was thinking of writing a coherent post, but you know what? Screw that! Let other people do it, I’m just gonna sit here and have one muthafucking fangirl moment because fuck, that shit was hardcore. *wheow*

    Peter Dinklage, good sir, you are huge. You really are.
    Lena Headey, fabulous. This episode was yours.
    Stephen Dillane, ladies and gentlemen. Stannis, you can lay siege to my castle any day. Now put on your Batman cloak and get your ass up North, your kingdom needs you.

    All hail, ye merry folk, let us rejoice and have some wine, Cersei demands it. Nitpicking resumes tomorrow, 7 am sharp.

  • What I expect to see in the finale:

    Dany – She visits the HOTU and her final scene is her leaving on the ship Jorah found. The captain of the ship is revealed to be ‘Arsten’.

    Jon – He “proves himself” to Quorin and joins forces with the Wildlings. His final scene will be him overlooking the enormous Wildling camp.

    Jaime/Brienne – We are going to see their sword fight.

    Arya – Jaqen will give her a coin and change his face.

    Kings Landing – Joffrey will name Loras to his Kingsguard and it will be revealed that he is now betrothed to Margaery to seal the Tyrell alliance. Tyrion will awaken to find that he is no longer hand of the king and realize that nobody is giving him any credit for defending the city and holding off Stannis long enough for Tywin and the Tyrells to arrive.

    Dragonstone – Davos will return after being rescued by Salladhor Saan. He will ty to do something to Melisandre that will result in him being arrested. Melisandre will make Stannis realize that he needs her.

    Robb/Catelyn – Robb reveals that he will not marry one of the Freys, and as a result their men flee Robb’s camp. Robb decides to march to RIverrun in order to regroup.

    Fist of the First Men – The 3 horn blasts will be the season 2 cliffhanger.

  • Just seen this episode. Twas great!

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this. But I thought the secret tunnel was the substitute for the chain plot point. So there shouldn’t be any complaining about that.

    So, he did still save the gate being smashed open and was the hero. I knew tyrion would keep his nose, would be way too much VFX work when they can just add a scar in make up. Great episode, though I’m nearing the end of aSoS now and that is on my mind a lot. Woah!

  • Awesome episode! My only complaint is that one hour of GOT is not enough! Imagine how this would play over 2 hours and how much more character development there would be. I’m actually starting to enjoy the small deviations from the books. It keeps me second guessing what may happen and makes the story fresh for me.

  • Hodorlorean,

    I was pretty ambivalent to his character, up until that point. Actually as I was reading each book I was at least 80% sure he’ll bite the dust by the end of it. After that moment in ASoS he grew on me really fast. I’d love to say more, but I don’t wanna spoil you. Enjoy ASoS, it really is one hell of a book. Quite literally. :)

  • Really good show, except after the initial naval part of the battle it started to be too similar to Jon´s big battle with wildlings at the end of book 3. The scale is bigger in North of course but the war tactics and defency tactics exactly the same. We even had the turtle a ram and stones thrown down at them.

    And they completely forgot Davos. Just show the guy floating dead/unconcious somewhere. It felt like he disappeared from the script in the middle and that´s sloppy.

    Sansa a Cersei were delicious and they stole the show for me. Just perfect acting and the show Sansa is so noble and regal you absolutely understand why Cersei hates her so much. Like Shae said, the queen is jealous. Speaking of Shae, the girl really has learn how to act humble. When she and Tyrion had that little moment near the iron throne anybody not deaf would question how ironic and sassy she is with him.

    Also, she and Sansa are best friends? I suspect we will not get any ser Dontos next season and instead some jealousy after Sansa has to marry Tyrion. There is a reason why they build their friendship that much.

    Hound is one of my favorite minor character in the books and I really liked how they did his little breakdown. It was more intensive in the book but I don´t think the attempted rape would work after he saved Sansa from the same fate just few episodes prior. He sort off already shown his cards so Sansa knew exactly the power she has over him. For a second I thought she will give him her doll or wish a good luck, but I quess it would be too much too soon as his redemption story just began.

    The end was little confusing but I felt the same reading the book. And Tywin has another triumphal enter? Seriously show, he is supposed to be a villain, not the hero. No way I see this Tywin taking over Tyrion´s leftover whore or dying on the privy shitting himself.

  • Alan: I could see Jaime and Brienne not in it at all

    They’re in the preview for the next episode. So they will definitely be in it! I think they are including the “lay with lions” hanged women and then it seems like Brienne is fighting fiercely but outnumbered, so I wonder whether their arc for the season will end with their capture by the as-yet-not-cast Brave Companions.

  • tws1978:
    Really good show, except after the initial naval part of the battle it started to be too similar to Jon´s big battle with wildlings at the end of book 3. The scale is bigger in North of course but the war tactics and defency tactics exactly the same. We even had the turtle a ram and stones thrown down at them.

    The end was little confusing but I felt the same reading the book. And Tywin has another triumphal enter? Seriously show, he is supposed to be a villain, not the hero. No way I see this Tywin taking over Tyrion´s leftover whore or dying on the privy shitting himself.

    Why would you expect the northerners to have different weapons than in Kings Landing? Except for the wildfire, the Wall would have all the military technology that is available at that time in civilization. So, the battles will have some similarities naturally. It’s how the weapons/materials are used tactically that will make a difference, not so much that weapons will be so different.

  • House Snow: I’m betting thats 70 minutes minus the 6 minutes we get in the episode recap/opening credits. which gives the 64 previously listed.Still way longer than what we have gotten so far, enough to add about 3 more scenes or so.

    the initial Sunday 9 pm showing list it as 70 minutes on my dvr, however the repeats afterwards list it for 60 minutes. I am not sure if it is just an error or as you mentioned the extra minutes might end up as a long season recap

  • wow what an episode. good choice to put it completely on kings landing. even then it could have been longer and it wouldnt have been boring. end was quite abrupt in a way, but nevertheless – a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

  • Mrs. H’ghar: In battle, most warriors go with the moves that are most successful for them with the weapon at hand. For the Hound with a great sword, that would be slicing people in half or slicing major parts off to disable. Don’t see where that’s unacceptable.

    True yes, but when it doesn’t look like it actually is strong hit then I think it isn’t worth being like that. I would give my another kidney if Hound would actually look like he hits with massive force with a huge ass sword and pieces of body fly around. But when it looks like he swings like playing golf and suddenly people just drop in half it doesn’t work for me. For that I would rather make him “go Bronn” with fast efficient attacks when it seems that they can make those kind of action scenes work. That wouldn’t be ofcourse the way how Hound would usually fight with that big body and huge strength but I wouldn’t mind it if that would make the fights look better.

    And just as a endnote. No, I don’t hate those fightscenes, they look pretty decent. They just could be bit better.

  • What an amazinge episode.
    I dont want to repeat whatever anyone has said but it broke my heart when Sandor asked Sansa if she wanted him to take her back to Winterfell..
    mmmmmmmmmm Heaven

  • In the words of Tyron “Oh fuck me”!!! Just watched it on sky Awesome!! Can’t wait to watch it again!!!!

  • Mrs. H’ghar: Did anyone notice that the door was still open and the doll in Sansa’s hand? How do we know she didn’t go with him? Cliffhanger!

    what? No way, I hope they won’t change the story that much, it would be a terrible choise imho

    Yellow Dog: Anybody else think Ja’quen saying “Come with me” to Arya in the preview indicates they are going to give the luscious Tom W. extra scenes as they have with Robb?
    Maybe even have him be her guide through the war zone? Big departure, but Sandor could cause lots of trouble by himself.

    Again, I hope they are not. Actually, I’m really waiting for Arya and the Hound’s scene from next season/s, I like Jaqen but I just cannot imagine they will change things so much

  • ryra,

    Sansa was in the preview for the finale talking with Littlefinger. She doesn’t leave with the Hound. And the title of next week’s finale is ‘Valar Morghulis’. Arya won’t leave with Jaqen.

  • Kels: This might be true, but didn’t Talisa say she was from Volantis, not Lorath?

    And I don’t think long posts are bad :)

    Ahhh I think your right I couldn’t remember, but if she is a spy then lying wouldnt be a problem! [possible ASOS spoiler] I forget how the lannisters used her and her family to kill rob, can anyone help remind me?

    But on my other theory as soon as she said to Robb “Your right you’ve caught me I’m a spy for the Lannisters” I was like she is! IMO. There was also a remark on them moving south toward tywin which was in the letter Arya stole…furthering my suspicion and the mention of knowing a high born girl from whatever that cuty wad by Cersie last night made me think she was definitely referring to her. I mean George RR did write the episode and we all know how much he loves foreshadowing! Lol

    Also, glad someone else appreciates long thought out post! =)

  • HOLY S*** THAT WAS EPIC !!!!!!!!!!

    Way better than I expected, the episode surpassed my expectations.

    They need to bring to bring back Neil Marshall to direct episodes for season 3 and 4, I can think of two particular episodes he’d be perfect for.

  • Macha,

    Just finished ASOS. WOW. LPB you schemer! And I so predicted cat would come back, though I thought they didn’t kill her, I wasn’t expecting Zombie Cat. What a roller coaster.

    I’m guessing you’ve read the others. I’ve heard bad things about AFFC about the chapters going back and forth in time. Is it as bad as what I’ve heard or is it still as epic?

  • Personally I very much enjoyed AFFC, the problem is it was released long after the best book in the series.

  • Just watched the episode a second time because it was so good the first. Loved how Varys almost casually whipped out that top secret map of the tunnels. Liked Bronn vs. the Hound at the tavern. Loved Sansa’s veiled barb at Joffrey. Loved Tyrion’s floating bomb strategem and other battle preparations. Loved Stannis’ determination to proceed regardless, with himself in the vanguard under a hail of flaming arrows. Loved Cersei’s increasingly tipsy and raunchy teachings. Loved seeing the Hound cajoling Lancel into battle, then butchering his enemies until his childhood fears about fire make him lose heart. Loved Cersei for ordering the boy-king, her source of power, off the ramparts and leaving Tyrion holding the bag. Loved seeing him step up to the plate with that speech to the defending troops and, his intelligent use of the escape tunnels to mount an ambush. Loved seeing the battering ram burn, immediately followed the tide of the battle turn again as Stannis’ army reaches the Mud Gate. Loved seeing Podrick kill the traitor “Ser” Mandon Moore and keeping Tyrion alive. Thumbs up for Shae packing heat and for Sansa not trusting the Hound blindly. Loved seeing Loras and Tywin saving the day, strange bedfellows allied only by their opposition to Stannis, who had fought tooth and nail until the final moments. Got chills when Cersei promised Tommen the throne just before almost poisoning him, only to discover she didn’t need to when her father burst into the room and declared victory.

    What a fantastically dense hour of edge-of-my-seat television! Fantastic script, fantastic special effects, fantastic direction and fantastic acting. This episode showed how to bring a large battle scene to the small screen: it redefined the space in-between theater and cinema in that regard.

    Amid all the large cogs of the battle moving and the memomarable lines like “Those are brave men knocking on our doors. Let’skill them!”, there were some small details I especially appreciated:

    — both Varys’ and Shae’s expositions get cut short, leaving us with more questions than answers

    — Tyrion telling Joffrey that he’d be a lousy quarter-man

    — Halleyne’s mad professor mien juxtaposed with Tyrion’s realization that he had just done to Stannis’ fleet what the Greyjoys had once done to the Lannister sailors (cp. his conversation with Theon in season 1 episode 1)

    — Sansa once again ditching the fancy/fugly southern hairstyle for a simpler northern one and looking all the more regal for it. This was juxtaposed with the doll, her last tangible reminder of her father.

    — Cersei’s armorer finally found the breastplate stretcher! More wine!

    — Loras wearing Renly’s Baratheon armor as a mark of respect

    — Last week, Tywin and his war council managed to fool Arya into believing that he would ride west from Harrenhal to defeat him before dealing with the situation in KL. Tywin wants this false information to reach Robb, hoping that will make the self-proclaimed King in the North hesitate just when both Harrenhal and Casterly Rock are at their most vulnerable. The Lannister patriarch needed some fog of war and, as usual, we viewers – except for the book readers among us – are the last to know he actually decided to force march his reserves down to KL first.

  • Hodorlorean:
    The Kingslayer,
    I heard it doesn’t follow a lot of the characters, Is that why people complained because they had to wait for the 5th book for their fave characters?

    It wasn’t just that, it’s a lot slower paced and many people just thought of not as high quality. I liked it myself but I like it much more since ADWD came out, as both are improved by reading them simultaneously. Splitting the characters into two different books was a huge mistake, IMO.

  • Hodorlorean,

    In AFFC there is no POV chapters from Bran, Jon and Dany Perhaps that’s the reason but I feel it’s just impossible to top ASOS, that was the peak of ASOIAF

  • I was wondering about the Vary’s story, since George wrote the episode does it mean we might be in for his origins in TWOW ??

  • RamsaySnow:
    This episode was great, but the writing was not. Why did we have that Bronn-Hound exchange for five minutes, it was not in the books, and it was completely pointless. It lead nowhere. Why confront the two of them, why waste precious TV time? What was the point of it? They are ruining this series with all these unneeded changes.

    And then, Stannis leading the army in the first row, being the first on the wall? This is so ridiculous. GRRM would never write such crap, it just made me laugh, I just can’ t take such unrealistic stuff serious. If GRRM would want Stannis to lead the army on the walls, he would write it in the book, but GRRM is not that stupid, so why are you writers ruining ASOIAF with this cartoonish adaptation.

    I never considered myself book purist, I tolerated the changes until now, but this episode was too much to swallow for me. I hope GRRM would write all episodes like he did the books, and not these amateurs who just ruin everything they touch.

    I seriously hope this post is a joke. If it is, I admire both its depth and length, brilliant way to stay in character.

    If it’s not…wow, just wow.

  • The Kingslayer:
    I was wondering about the Vary’s story, since George wrote the episode does it mean we might be in for his origins in TWOW ??

    We already got the full story, can’t remember which book but it’s there.

  • DoubleA012:
    I mean George RR did write the episode and we all know how much he loves foreshadowing!

    Just because Talisa has come clean and told Robb she is in fact the highborn lady he suspected all along does not mean she was once Cersei’s handmaiden. For one thing, Talisa doesn’t even have a hint of a Lorathi (i.e. German) accent. Even if she were a highly skilled spy, that sort of thing would hard to hide over an extended period of time. For another, consider why Shae is in Westeros to begin with. The TV show certainly hasn’t told us yet, but I suspect her backstory is not connected to Talisa’s at all.

  • Yellow Dog,

    It is in part magical aswell. The pyromancers don’t understand at the time why the wild-fire is burning even more vehemently than normal, and it is more alluded to that the presence of Dragons in the world has increased its potency.

  • Nagga’s Kin: Just because Talisa has come clean and told Robb she is in fact the highborn lady he suspected all along does not mean she was once Cersei’s handmaiden. For one thing, Talisa doesn’t even have a hint of a Lorathi (i.e. German) accent. Even if she were a highly skilled spy, that sort of thing would hard to hide over an extended period of time. For another, consider why Shae is in Westeros to begin with. The TV show certainly hasn’t told us yet, but I suspect her backstory is not connected to Talisa’s at all.

    I think you misread or I misswrote what I was trying to say. I never said that Talisa was once Cersie’s handmaiden, I just said that in last nights Episode Cersie said she once knew a HIGHBORN girl from Lothai which would mean that that girl from Lothai couldn’t have been a handmaiden unless a hostage like Theon I believe. Secondly, I never said her and Shae had anything in common or would ever meet or anything. The only thing I was possibly connecting is that Tywin is using her family (who then uses her, or Tywin uses her directly) to spy on Rob and that they hint at this by her admitting NOT that she was a highborn but admitting to Rob that she was a spy. When he meets her, right before his mom returns, they are talking and Talisa ask “Where are we going” or something like that. Robb responds saying he cant share strategy, and she Jokes that she is “a spy for Tywin lannister sending him information”. All I am saying is maybe she wasnt joking and is actually a spy. The note Arya stole did not have any real information that we could see but simply that Robb was moving toward Tywin and was this distance away. Something she could of sent. Then Cersie mentions she met a highborn girl from Lothai, whos to say that she wasnt extremely young then and their families met only to seperate with Talisa’s family moving to Volantis thus changing her accent over the years as she grew older, yet when Cersie knew her she may have had a Lothai accent. The whole thing was just an opinion but I think you misread it because most of what you said distorted what I actually said.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Sorry, Joshua, but I disagree with your recommendations of Benedict Cumberbatch
    or Michael Fassbender portraying Rhaegar. Neither actor is young enough for the role. And let’s face it – Rhaegar was so hot in the books that women were not the only ones who fell for him. You gents have been generously gifted with beautiful women and plenty of boobies. The role of Rhaegar needs to be played by someone who is equally satisfying for the ladies, or anyone else who appreciates a gorgeous man hunk.

  • No one talk about Jack Gleeson performance, man this will be one hell of an actor, amazing facial job (expressions and stuff), he really looked scared with Tyrion conversation.

    I only hope that Davos had more screen time this season, it was my favorite character in this book.
    This cast make the show.

  • Steven Swanson,

    The Kingslayer,

    We didn’t get the “why?” of it. Just that a sorcerer cut of his junk for a magic ritual. We didn’t hear what the ritual was, that it makes him shudder at the thought of sorcery.
    We also didn’t hear why it had to be Varys and not some random kid – my guess is that Varys has king’s blood, being a descendant of the female line of the Blackfyres

    Makes sense, doesn’t it?

  • What superlative can we use now that hasn’t been exhausted already?

    This episode is my official gold standard. It is Blackwater Good. Only Baelor comes close or equal, IMO.

    The actors really carried the action. Cersei and Sansa’s conversations broke things up but still kept the tension. I especially loved the moment where Shae is almost discovered. Kudos to Sansa, for showing the poise and demeanor of a lady at the absolute worst of times.

    The Hound. F—ing Wow! Book nerds finally got to see the famous scene between Sansa and Sandor, though the speech he gave her about knights being essentially butchers and chivalry being a sham was notably missing. Nevertheless, I loved it.

    The battle itself was utterly astounding, sans chain and all. GRRM made a good substitute using the wildfire. It was well shot and extremely well acted from the openning shot until Tywin walks into the throne room declaring the battle over. You really had to feel for Stannis. He was courageous and determined. He loses almost all his fleet and yet perserveres. The Tyrells coming to the rescue, although no surprise for book readers was still very powerful.

    Overall, this is exactly for what we’ve (book readers) been waiting. Bravo GRRM. Bravo HBO.

  • The Kingslayer:
    Steven Swanson,

    Did we really ? Remember Vary’s isn’t the most honest man in Westeros.

    Well, we got the full story that he seemed on the verge of telling in this episode, whether true or not (I’m skeptical myself, never forgot Illyrio referring to Varys as a wizard in their conversation, and always wondered if he wasn’t joking). I just don’t see why George partially including this bit is indicative of anything coming up in the next book.

  • Carlos Gonçalves,
    Its too bad Joffery is quitting. I believe many fans, including myself agree that he is a Great Actor.

    Idaan:
    Steven Swanson,

    The Kingslayer,

    We didn’t get the “why?” of it. Just that a sorcerer cut of his junk for a magic ritual. We didn’t hear what the ritual was, that it makes him shudder at the thought of sorcery.
    We also didn’t hear why it had to be Varys and not some random kid – my guess is that Varys has king’s blood, being a descendant of the female line of the Blackfyres

    Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Well you guys just blew my mind, that Idea is crazy. But if it were true, do you think Melisandra would know this and there for Stannis would know this? I dont know why this would matter other then it means Varys could be sacrafised at some point. I also think its interesting that in the show Varys seems to know a ton about the Red God Rhollar that Melissandra follows.

    Edit: its funny that one of you talked about Varys being a Wizard because I was just writing that but thought the idea might be too far fetched. I was wondering about it though, it could be. Also, the idea of George leaking a little info about Varys possibly a hint for the next book…I agree. I mean he knows all of his book readers are watching and its funny you hear of show watchers not reading the books (eventually they all do or will…) but you never hear of book readers not watching the show. Kind of a good idea by GRRM

  • By the time I get around to adding my two cents there are nearly 600 postings. I don’t even know if I’m being read. I just want to add that I appreciate the passion that Mr. Martin put into Stannis. He really breathed life into an already wonderful character. I had someone ask me how he escaped from the Castle. I’d say that after he came to his senses, he probably slipped to freedom by way of the secret passages Tyrion used. I would expect him of all people to have known about these well in advance. Great acting by all. Here’s to one more episode and hopes for a thrilling next season.

  • OK I was always skeptical about the chain & I did NOT miss it but did we really need more scenes of Cersei tormenting Sansa? While I was really pleased with the episode, I wanted more. This Season is based off of a Clash of Kings which means that there is a war with battles going on but due to budget constraints D&D can’t show them. I know they asked HBO for more $ just to shoot Blackwater but if you are going to put all your eggs in one basket, give us the whole hour of a mix of the actual battle & the two sides giving commands & executing strategy etc.

    I am NOT complaining about the action (I know some assholes only skim replies & might think that), I am just wishing we had more of it, or if you were going to add those Cersei torments Sansa again moments, make the episode two hours long. Very well done D&D. Of course this episode was the best, it was written by GRRM himself.

  • Gatorfisch,

    I’m not complaining about a scar. I like it. A badass scar beats a missing nose any day, and hacking the whole thing off might have been distracting. The changes in the series haven’t bothered me at all.

  • This episode really did come close to being flawless, two minor things did bug me though.

    1) Pycelle is suppose to be a shell of himself after Tyrion loosed the Mountain clansmen on his beard and was thrown in the dungeons. In the episode his beard has already grown back and he didn’t seem that damaged.

    2) Where is Tyrion’s Mountain Tribes ?

  • best shot in the episode was when Davos got blown off the boat and the wildfire tears through the ship. amazing visual effects.

  • Evacuated myself when the wildfire exploded! Who gives a damn about the chain? I forgot about it and focused on the bloody amazing battle!

  • Jaroth:
    OK I was always skeptical about the chain & I did NOT miss it but did we really need more scenes of Cersei tormenting Sansa?While I was really pleased with the episode, I wanted more. This Season is based off of a Clash of Kings which means that there is a war with battles going on but due to budget constraints D&D can’t show them. I know they asked HBO for more $ just to shoot Blackwater but if you are going to put all your eggs in one basket, give us the whole hour of a mix of the actual battle & the two sides giving commands & executing strategy etc.

    I am NOT complaining about the action (I know some assholes only skim replies & might think that), I am just wishing we had more of it, or if you were going to add those Cersei torments Sansa again moments, make the episode two hours long. Very well done D&D. Of course this episode was the best, it was written by GRRM himself.

    The problem is not everybody cares about the details of the battle like you do. In fact I’ve seen several reviews and comments that preferred the human drama to the action, and one in particular said they were actively bored by the battle and wished it would stick with what to them was the essence of the show, the drama.

    Personally I thought they struck a great balance between the all-out action, including enough of the tactical background to give those who care an idea as to what was going on, and the different human dramas going on simultaneously.

    And the scenes with “Cersei tormenting Sansa” were delicious (bravo to both actors, nearly flawless performances), and IMO can’t really be boiled down to such a pithy statement, as there was a lot going on beneath the surface, particularly Sansa’s education in how to comport oneself as a ruler (and how not to) in such a situation.

  • I give a damn about the chain because it showed Tyrion’s tactical genius. However I knew that it was a CGI logistical nightmare to create, and it would have eat up alot of the visual effects budget.

  • The Kingslayer:
    This episode really did come close to being flawless, two minor things did bug me though.

    1) Pycelle is suppose to be a shell of himself after Tyrion loosed the Mountain clansmen on his beard and was thrown in the dungeons. In the episode his beard has already grown back and he didn’t seem that damaged.

    2) Where is Tyrion’s Mountain Tribes ?

    I’m not surprised they’re downplaying Pycelle’s change, particularly since even his shaving scene was milder than in the books (no piss flying everywhere).

    And I was hoping we would’ve gotten at least a line about how Tyrion had unleashed the tribesman on the Kingswood to harass Stannis’ troops, but now that we see they only came by ship in the show version that wouldn’t make any sense. They definitely have gone pretty AWOL, unfortunately.

  • Amongst all the jaw dropping and soiled undies, we’ve given praises to the actors, to D&D, and to our god Martin for this splendid piece of entertainment. If it hasn’t already been noted, I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to all the hundreds of others who worked on this fantastic episode.

    In an interview D&D said Blackwater was the result of a month of tireless shooting at night in inclement Irish weather by far more people than we ever see on screen. And the perfect depiction of the battle with the sights and sounds owes most of its magnificence to people we will never hear of or know about. Truly a group effort.

    I just want to thank all of them for their incredible dedication and effort. We owe them so much.

    What can GoT do to top this? Or to even equal it? (Does it matter?)

    This week we had wildfire. Next week we’ll have dragon fire. The Guys (gods) in Charge are peerless. I’ll light a candle at their shrine. Or maybe a Klieg light.

  • Im rewatching now. And I have to say…Sansa right before the battle started was sassy. Tyrion said “Will you pray for me?” and Sansa responded, “I will pray for you, just like I will pray for my King” with a look of pure cold ness and Tyrions look back was like: “Damn.” haha Also, when she talks back to Joffery about how her brother always fights where the fighting is thickest. Jofferys face was priceless.

    And then the Explosion…Wow just every time I watch it im AMAZED! ITs epic, everyones reaction is perfect! Tyrions look once the screams start is what I imagine FDRs face was like when he dropped the two Nukes.

    On a side note. Bronn has been awesome and everything I imagined in the books. If you add the spoiler tags I’d like to hear some theories on what you think he will do in the future books or if he is done? I know he took over some castle or hold and killed the husband that cersie sent after him or something. Its been awhile I just remember thinking “epic” and “typical Bronn”. Also theories for the show what people think is going to happen with him.

  • Steven Swanson,

    I liked both those books as well. I think a lot of the complaints about them tend to be based on whether you are into world building or not. The more you like world building, the more you will like those books. The more you need the plot driving forward then the less you like those books.

  • Dan,

    Haha that’s what I meant just finished a class on the new deal got FDR on the brain, but I just meant his reaction was of horror or questioning his decision if that makes sense

  • Yellow Dog: Oh, shit that almost slipped my mind. Hmmm. Can they possibly get away with putting a whole year between RW and PW? Or would Dracarys make an even better S4 opener?

    Well, RW happens at about 55% of the way through asos (shortly after Dracarys, technically), whereas PW happens ~80% of the way through. Should put the PW at about… episode 5 or 6 of S4.

  • Michael Tschuertz,

    Stop what? I was correcting him on who dropped the bombs and simply described it as I see it. I’m not looking at getting into a debate over it on this site. Your second question is nonsense, by the way, and not in line with your request to stop it before it starts.

  • So I take it the finale now won’t feature Winterfell burning or the return of Selmy ?

  • The Kingslayer:
    So I take it the finale now won’t feature Winterfell burning or the return of Selmy ?

    I think the two big climaxes for the finale will be

    Dany reclaiming the dragons and burning the House of the Undying down and the Others attacking the Night’s Watch, moved up from ASOS (or at least the horn blasts)

    I *think* they will push the sack of Winterfell to next season

  • Dan:
    DoubleA102,

    Truman was the war criminal who dropped two atomic bombs on women and children.

    And ended a war that could have gone on for years, killing thousands of Americans. Game over – We won.

  • Dan:
    DoubleA102,

    Truman was the war criminal who dropped two atomic bombs on women and children.

    Just had to chime in on this. Not that I approve of the atomic legacy of his administration (I loved how The Avengers poked fun at the convoluted nature of nuclear politics), but the Japanese were glad to provide much slower hands-on deaths to the women and children of Korea and China in the span of the conflict. Firing squads and rapes and the stabbing of pregnant women are among the many crimes they have erased from their state-approved history books and records. War is screwed up from every side. The Japanese people (even the baby boomers) have grown up with a sanitized review of World War II, so even if you spoke to someone from the country, you are more than likely to hear a very different take on Japan’s role in it, but don’t let the victimizing rhetoric slant your view. There were monsters in every corner in the year of the bomb, just as there are now.

    Happy Memorial Day, before it’s over. Though I abhor most conflicts, our soldiers deserve our respect.

    On another note, looking into the future, I hope we get a leaner and meaner adaptation of AFFC/ADWD that cuts all the stringy gray bits and leaves us with something grade A. Lean and mean all over! YOW! :)

  • Great post NK, agree on all points!

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Just watched the episode a second time because it was so good the first. Loved how Varys almost casually whipped out that top secret map of the tunnels. Liked Bronn vs. the Hound at the tavern. Loved Sansa’s veiled barb at Joffrey. Loved Tyrion’s floating bomb strategem and other battle preparations. Loved Stannis’ determination to proceed regardless, with himself in the vanguard under a hail of flaming arrows. Loved Cersei’s increasingly tipsy and raunchy teachings. Loved seeing the Hound cajoling Lancel into battle, then butchering his enemies until his childhood fears about fire make him lose heart. Loved Cersei for ordering the boy-king, her source of power,off the ramparts and leaving Tyrion holding the bag. Loved seeing him step up to the plate with that speech to the defending troops and, his intelligent use of the escape tunnels to mount an ambush. Loved seeing the battering ram burn, immediately followed the tide of the battle turn again as Stannis’ army reaches the Mud Gate. Loved seeing Podrick kill the traitor “Ser” Mandon Moore and keeping Tyrion alive. Thumbs up for Shae packing heat and for Sansa not trusting the Hound blindly. Loved seeing Loras and Tywin saving the day, strange bedfellows allied only by their opposition to Stannis, who had fought tooth and nail until the final moments. Got chills when Cersei promised Tommen the throne just before almost poisoning him, only to discover she didn’t need to when her father burst into the room and declared victory.

    What a fantastically dense hour of edge-of-my-seat television! Fantastic script, fantastic special effects, fantastic direction and fantastic acting. This episode showed how to bring a large battle scene to the small screen: it redefined the space in-between theater and cinema in that regard.

    Amid all the large cogs of the battle moving and the memomarable lines like “Those are brave men knocking on our doors. Let’skill them!”, there were some small details I especially appreciated:

    – both Varys’ and Shae’s expositions get cut short, leaving us with more questions than answers

    – Tyrion telling Joffrey that he’d be a lousy quarter-man

    – Halleyne’s mad professor mien juxtaposed with Tyrion’s realization that he had just done to Stannis’ fleet what the Greyjoys had once done to the Lannister sailors (cp. his conversation with Theon in season 1 episode 1)

    – Sansa once again ditching the fancy/fugly southern hairstyle for a simpler northern one and looking all the more regal for it. This was juxtaposed with the doll, her last tangible reminder of her father.

    – Cersei’s armorer finally found the breastplate stretcher! More wine!

    – Loras wearing Renly’s Baratheon armor as a mark of respect

    – Last week, Tywin and his war council managed to fool Arya into believing that he would ride west from Harrenhal to defeat him before dealing with the situation in KL. Tywin wants this false information to reach Robb, hoping that will make the self-proclaimed King in the North hesitate just when both Harrenhal and Casterly Rock are at their most vulnerable. The Lannister patriarch needed some fog of war and, as usual, we viewers – except for the book readers among us – are the last to know he actually decided to force march his reserves down to KL first.

  • LordStarkington,

    The reason I expect ‘Arsten’ to appear in the finale is because in episode 8 Jorah tells Dany that he has found a ship with a good captain. She needs to leave Qarth in the finale to set up season 3.

    I also expect the razing of Winterfell to happen. It’s clear from the preview and the synopsis of the episode that Theon is preparing his men for battle.

  • I just saw the scene between Varys, Tyrion and Pod again and the other one with Tyrion, Bronn and Pod (the “enhances” joke). I must say there were both perfect even in detail. Yes, perfect, not a word I use without a tinge of shyness. Look Pod´s smile when Bronn says “I spent time with fancy people” and Tyrion´s face. It´s a pleasure. Detail. Perfect.

  • Jaroth: d there for Stannis would know this? I dont know why this would matter other then it

    I do not think the vast majority of viewers would have preferred that over what we saw. For most people, the action is not the key; it’s an emotional connection to the characters we care about.

    What you were looking for was not a budget decision, it was a pure writing decision. And it’s one consistent with Martin. Despite being free, most battles are off screen. Only Blackwater, Jon’s two at the Wall and the very beginning of Astapor are ever shown. The Whispering Wood, Edmure’s battle at the Mill (?), any of Theon or the Ironborn, Mereen and Yunkai, the Fist of the First Men. — none of these are “on screen” even in the books. There’s a reason for that. Martin prefers character to action. And the show does that.

  • The Kingslayer:
    This episode really did come close to being flawless, two minor things did bug me though.

    1) Pycelle is suppose to be a shell of himself after Tyrion loosed the Mountain clansmen on his beard and was thrown in the dungeons. In the episode his beard has already grown back and he didn’t seem that damaged.

    2) Where is Tyrion’s Mountain Tribes ?

    In the book, they were in the woods harrying Stannis’ men since they were not disciplined fighters and would be useless on the walls. I imagine that’s where they were.

  • The Kingslayer:
    I give a damn about the chain because it showed Tyrion’s tactical genius. However I knew that it was a CGI logistical nightmare to create, and it would have eat up alot of the visual effects budget.

    I think the Trojan boat and using the escape sewers to flank the enemy were genius enough?

    As for those calling for his nose to be off… good lord, how do you people want to spend your money? Hundred of hours of CGI work just to have his nose off? I’m shocked they seem to be committing to a scar — an hour of makeup a day for Dinklage for the rest of the series, plus time for scar continuity and rework.

  • Blourd: But he agreed with it ALL!!!

    hahahahaa!! Sorry guys – too late to edit. (wtf? Why are you only allowed to edit for a certain amount of time? This is the worst message board set up I know of on a modern website – for the love of Christ, PLEASE get a real message board!)

  • David,

    He was in the background of the scene where Sansa is beaten. In the book, he had a part in that scene so I wonder if they filmed something and cut it. I think we’ll see Dontos’ storyline pushed into the third season, not eliminated.

  • I personally feel like George does everything for a reason. What if the conflict and later battle respect between Bronn and The Hound meant (SPOILER AHEAD it doesn’t have the button on my phone I attempted to remember the code but might not of done it right)Bronn and the Hound chilling together in that castle Bronn took? I just find it hard to believe the hounds dead

  • Well, I admit to not having much objectivity re: this series, but I thought “Blackwater” was amazing television.

    You know, if there’s one criticism I’ve had of this show, it’s the one-hour, 10 episode format which I think has sold a lot of these characterizations short. I don’t think that’s ever been more evident than after Sunday’s GRRM penned episode which was one of the few that featured character development, especially those of: Davos, Cersei, the Hound, Bronn, and, finally, Shae (I’m actually liking Shae quite a lot, lately). Even more unexpected that it finally happened in an action heavy installment.

    Man, the look on Davos’ face when he realizes what that lone ship was leaking, and the look of naked horror on Tyrion’s face when he realized what he’d wrought with all that wildfire… hooboy. How easy would it have been for someone to Off Joff during all that mess? Such a missed opportunity.

    I really liked and appreciated the allusions to Homer’s Iliad: the Trojan ship, the reversed Patroclus/Achilles, Loras/Renly armor disguise, the omnipresent Gods, honor vs. vengeance themes, and the tragic expenditure of so many lives for the promotion of so few, or: War is Hell.

    Excellent job done. Everyone involved should be very proud of themselves.

  • If that wasn’t the best episode of Game of Thrones ever it was pretty damn close. Well done GRRM, Well done all.

  • As a big SanSan fan, I feel a bit cheated because Sansa did not sing the song to Hound and this was supposed to be the peak of season 2 for me.

    And I feel sorry for Stannis – instead of getting another shadow baby, he prefers climbing some stupid ladders.. lol ;-)

    But now seriously, this episode was BRILLIANT!

  • I’m excited for next week…dammit, why does it have to be a whole week?!

    I’m also somewhat apprehensive…I really hope D and D show some of the visions/prophecies from the House of the Undying…but they really, really, have to be careful about showing too much. Reading some of that stuff, it just gets your brain going to think about certain issues…but actually seeing it? It might be too heavy handed and possibly ruin future events. Regardless, I have faith in D and D as they haven’t let me down yet.

    Also…”eat shit, dwarf!”

  • Am I the only one who noticed some ancient greek references in this (amazing) episode?
    Cersei almost poisoning Tommen was such a Medea-like scene (althought yes, the myth is quite different, but the atmosphere was kind of similar), and Loras wearing Renly’s armor reminded me of Patroclus with Achilles’ one…
    (BTW, great ep; even my non-reader, usually nip-ticker boyfriend found it stunning)

    @PatD, I only read your comment now. So looks like I was not the only one to notice, after all :)

  • Lex:
    GRRM + Neil Marshall, for the battle at the Wall (Season 4?).

    Definitely need Marshall. He knows how to get the most bang for a buck. My preference is to have GRRM writing the episodes that centre on characters that the other writers don’t portray quite as well. I think Jon has been well served by all the writers, but Cersei and especially Sansa only really come alive in GRRM-written episodes. Basically, I think any of the writers could write a good battle at the Wall, I don’t think any of them will write a good Purple Wedding.

  • Valpur:
    Loras wearing Renly’s armor reminded me of Patroclus with Achilles’ one…

    Wow, nice one! Can’t believe I never realized that before!

  • And I noticed another thing that made me giggle: Stannis, while approaching on his ship before all the wildfire thing, was SMILING.
    God, TV Stannis is waaaay better than book one!

  • Wow, this makes you feel better.
    I was very angry after chapter 7 (I’m still quite angry for that) but this episode was very good.
    Well directed, well acted. I liked Sansa, I liked Joffrey very much. Lena Hadley was spectacular.
    The whole battle was so tense…
    Let’s go Podrik!!
    And the Hound shined. The whole point of him not being any worse than the hands that arm him and mens like him, is much clearer here on the TV show, with the underlined parallel between him and Bronn.
    I felt it so much for poor Davos! And how I hated Theon ‘s sister today!
    Very very good episode, both in short and in long term, I believe.

  • Hodorlorean,

    It’s true, AFfC lacks a lot of the things that made the first 3 books really stand out, especially ASoS. However, as a personal opinion, I’d rather re-read AFfC than AGoT, because I find the former to be richer in other ways; it’s much more character-oriented, however that may not be good news if you’re a big fan of some major characters (like the ones mentioned above in another reply). Also, IMHO, if you want to fully enjoy AFfC and ADwD, you’d better start getting used to the idea that GRRM seems to have developed a talent for delaying resolutions or taking certain storylines in a completely new direction. However, if you’re a reader that loves to theorize, both AFfC and ADwD provide A LOT of background information and interesting new bits, so in that aspect they’re a real goldmine for readers who like to speculate to death on forums and the like. Which, incidentally, I do. :)

  • Arya Dunyett: Amongst all the jaw dropping and soiled undies, we’ve given praises to the actors, to D&D, and to our god Martin for this splendid piece of entertainment. If it hasn’t already been noted, I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to all the hundreds of others who worked on this fantastic episode.In an interview D&D said Blackwater was the result of a month of tireless shooting at night in inclement Irish weather by far more people than we ever see on screen. And the perfect depiction of the battle with the sights and sounds owes most of its magnificence to people we will never hear of or know about. Truly a group effort.I just want to thank all of them for their incredible dedication and effort. We owe them so much.What can GoT do to top this? Or to even equal it? (Does it matter?) This week we had wildfire. Next week we’ll have dragon fire. The Guys (gods) in Charge are peerless. I’ll light a candle at their shrine. Or maybe a Klieg light.

    Well said. I know a number of extra friends who worked on this battle and it was one of the hardest jobs they have ever done. But they loved every minute!

  • Hodorlorean,

    If the absence of certain characters in AFFC would annoy you very much there is a consolidated reading order for the chapters of both AFFC and ADWD on westeros.org. Following that order you can read both novels at the same time, thereby following all the characters from start to finish.

    This is something I would normally recommaned only to those who already know both novels, because each novel – as a novel – is self-contained, follows its own narrative structure and builds its own themes as well as story arcs. And it is important to note that AFFC and ADWD are much more thematically self-contained than all of the three books before while, at the same time, not sharing those themes (they are very different in this regard).

    Yet, many readers were very disappointed by AFFC because they missed their ‘favourite characters’ or felt that ‘not enough happened’ (a criticism also levelled against ADWD). Thus, much of the negative criticism the forth book got from lay readers (see, for example, the amazon reviews) came from disappointed Jon or Daenerys fans. If you are one of those readers who judge the books not on their own merit but on the story arcs and characters you prefer to read about, then maybe you should use the reading order I mentioned above.

  • Loved evey single minute of it.
    only the exploding ships was a bit overdone. I would have preffered burning ships.
    but beside that, this episode rocked

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Michael Fassbender is a god among men, and there was a time when I really wanted him for Rhaegar. He and Harry Lloyd look a lot alike! Unfortunately, I always forget that Rhaegar died young, and Michael is just too old for the role I think. :( And realistically, he’s way too huge now anyway.

    Also-

    I rewatched the episode again yesterday, and it’s just as good/maybe better. The ending with Cersei’s story and Tywin’s arrival and the theme is really really great. Also, when you watch on HBO On Demand they attach this “Inside the Episode” thing afterwards. They talked about how Peter Dinklage deviated from the script in saying “I’ll lead the attack” twice, once to himself and then once to the men, and how that showed Tyrion was surprised by his own bravery. Just another example of how brilliant Dinklage is!

  • that was a truly amazing episode. so nice characters on both sides and a big boom in the middle. my favourite line of the episode was bronns “enhances it, really”
    really had to laugh. was that from the books? I dont remember it. I am really amazed at how good they bring the characters on screen and make them even better. I liked bronn in the book but that line and his fire arrow made me a real bronn fan. I am so glad they didnt let him betray and attack tyrion instead of mandon.
    the only thing I felt was a bit rushed was the ending when tywins army saved the day. I can imagine most people didnt realize what happened there, even I didnt and I am like tywin fan no.1

  • LV,
    My reading order for affc/adwd:

    Skip all Dornish PoV chapters (sometimes I read the Arys porn just for kicks)
    Skip all Iron Islands chapters except the kingsmoot, and Asha’s two after she’s captured by Stannis
    Skip 3/4 of the Tyrion chapters (I’ll reread the ones which include Jorah, the rest are either boring – PENNY, turtles – or awful – whore rape, etc)
    Skip all Cersei chapters
    Skip Brienne 2-6 (*yawn*)
    Skip Jaime 3-5 (GRRM HOW DID YOU MAKE JAIME BORING THAT TAKES SKILL)
    Skip Daenerys 3-8 (and I fucking love Daenerys so this says something)
    Skip Selmy 1 and 2.
    Skip all Jon chapters after Stannis leaves the wall, except the last one
    Skip the first two Davos chapters (prior to arriving at House Manderley)
    Skip all Sam chapters except the one where Aemon dies
    Skip the prologue and epilogue of affc, and the prologue of adwd.
    Skip all Arya chapters after the first
    Skip the first 3 Reek chapters, skim the rest (torture porn & rape? No thanks)
    I read the rest (Sansa’s, Bran’s, and the two Griff chapters are good)

    This leaves me with a nice slimmed down book! All together it’s even shorter than acok! IMO they absolutely must be ruthless in cutting these books for the TV series. I say no Dorne and no Ironborn besides Theon and Asha (if e.g. Victarion or Arianne ever actually become important they can show up then). Otherwise it’s going to end up being even more scattered than this season has been. We already have NINE major locations.

    And by the way, when I reread the other three books, I read all the chapters, even characters I don’t prefer.

  • I strongly believe they will rearrange, change, skip and add a lot of AFFC/ADWD for the tv show. it will probably be almost unrecognisable, but I have faith that it will be better than the books.
    euron/victarion will be in though, that I am very sure of, I can imagine they make house greyjoy more important thatn in the books, because of those two characters

  • LV: consolidated reading order for the chapters of both AFFC and ADWD on westeros.org

    WHERE IS THIS!!!^^^^

    I cant find it, link would be soooooooo much appreciated. I want to merge the audiobooks by Roy Dotrice.

  • Did anyone else get a Shrek falshback when Loras took of his helmet and tossed his hair around? Lol.

  • The next episode is 64 minutes according to HBO so that’s the time I’d accept as correct, not 70.
    I took the Bronn-Sandor standoff as symptomatic of tension rising before a fight. And yes, as proxies of Joff and Tyrion. They argue but ultimately stand together to win the battle.

  • Perfect episode

    I loved this!! That Wildfire explosion got the whole viewing party at my house to shout in joy/horror. I could mention a thousand things I loved about this episode, but I will just say: THIS IS GAME OF THRONES!
    Clearly the best episode till now. How will the season finale be after this enormous climax?
    All the actors are SOOOO good! I want to especially mention Rory McCann this time, he does a fabulous “Hound” and really owned this episode. Feels that he is forgotten sometimes, in among all the other great performances.
    Peter Dinklage – Clear you mantelpiece for another Emmy

  • Absolutely brilliant episode! Everything and more than I expected!
    10 out of 10 and well done everyone!

  • I am amazed at what D&D have done with the budgets, both time and money. But the acting, by everyone, was just superb. After rewatching, some of my favorites were:
    -Gleeson’s look of helplessness when the Hound leaves, punctuated by his inability to say anything.
    -Sophie Turner’s rolled eyes when Gleeson suggests she is stupid and she agrees. This is only outdone by her later physical transformation when she (finally) realizes the Hound will never hurt her. Watch her face and shoulders relax; it’s so well done.

    I have a couple of thoughts about Shae; could she possibly replace Dontos as the link to Littlefinger to facilitate Sansa’s escape? The TV Shae’s friendship with Sansa is not canon, but it could provide a nice bridge for LF’s scheme as well as allowing Shae to help both Tyrion and Sansa.

    Also, next week’s trailer mention’s Brienne silencing Jaime. I understand this is probably referencing the swordfight in which she bests him, but this occurs in Jaime III in ASoS, which means Jaime could be losing a bit more than the fight… another cliffhanger!

  • NotoriousPYG: WHERE IS THIS!!!^^^^

    I cant find it, link would be soooooooo much appreciated. I want to merge the audiobooks by Roy Dotrice.

    It’s here. WARNING: The chapter titles are, obviously, spoilers.

    As I wrote above, I wouldn’t recommend this to people who haven’t read AFFC and ADWD yet. But, hell, do as you please. ;)

    By the way, the reading order is based on Errant Bard’s standard timeline of all ASOIAF novels (of course, it is one huge spoiler, too)

  • The Hound’s abrupt refusal to fight is also very Homeric. His phobia might be what sets it off, but it’s pretty clear that he’s over being Joff’s dog. His heart was never into the Sansa cruelty, and his actions are more heroic than most of the knights. He may have had a different motivation than Achilles, but in almost every other way the allusion is a valid one.

    I’d like to send a personal, heartfelt “Thank You” to D&D for not including the naked town folk prisoners as catapult ammunition. I so didn’t need to see that.

  • Nagga’s Kin: And that right there is why book purists are so despised: superior and arrogant! You seem to believe that just because you read the books, the story now belongs to you.

    Well struck.

  • Ser Dontos:
    I am amazed at what D&D have done with the budgets, both time and money.But the acting, by everyone, was just superb.After rewatching, some of my favorites were:
    -Gleeson’s look of helplessness when the Hound leaves, punctuated by his inability to say anything.
    -Sophie Turner’s rolled eyes when Gleeson suggests she is stupid and she agrees.This is only outdone by her later physical transformation when she (finally) realizes the Hound will never hurt her.Watch her face and shoulders relax; it’s so well done.

    I have a couple of thoughts about Shae; could she possibly replace Dontos as the link to Littlefinger to facilitate Sansa’s escape?The TV Shae’s friendship with Sansa is not canon, but it could provide a nice bridge for LF’s scheme as well as allowing Shae to help both Tyrion and Sansa.

    Also, next week’s trailer mention’s Brienne silencing Jaime.I understand this is probably referencing the swordfight in which she bests him, but this occurs in Jaime III in ASoS, which means Jaime could be losing a bit more than the fight… another cliffhanger!

    I don’t really see either of those situations occurring. In the former, if that’s what they intended, then why have Ser Dontos at all?

    In the latter, there’s just not enough time — and since the Goat is cast for Season 3, I can’t see them doing it now just to cast him later when he can be there for Episode 1 of Season 3.

  • Re: Feast and Dance, how much you will like them really depends on what you like to read about. One of the issues that with their popularity is that stylistically there are a real shift from the first three books in style.

    I’m not judging on any of the below, I like all these things — but some more than other people:

    *If you prefer action-driven writing, with lots of overt plot points, Dance and especially Feast are going to be slow. The first three books had plot-driven character development through largely gigantic plot points.

    *Related, if you are waiting for the story to get on with certain things (Oh, this will be when so and so goes to so and so) — you may struggle. Some storylines go exactly where you expect. Some don’t. I’ve found that people who waited 11 years for some storylines have real issues with this and people who didn’t…don’t. After 11 years of theorizing, turning your expectations on your head is tougher to handle.

    *If you are looking for epic moments, or characters being “badass,” Dance and Feast are not going to be your thing.

    *If you like character development, and don’t mind if much of it is internal or through smaller, more personal plot points, you’ll likely enjoy a lot of the Feast and Dance plot points.

    *If you’re big into thematics — and the application of ASOIF to modern lives, I think you will really enjoy Dance and Feast.

    *If you’re big into world-building, prophecy and theories, Dance especially will hit the spot.

    Feast and Dance do have issues. One, they could be edited a bit — not nearly what critics of them would tell you. But the biggest issue is structural.

    Game, Clash and Storm were originally supposed to be one book. It’s still one big part of the story, climaxing in Storm, but the books worked to really be independently paced well.

    Feast and Dance and Winds — which really needs to be included as part of the climax of the storylines of Dance are in Winds — really is one segment of the story as well. But between publishing deadlines, physical size of the books, and the story being told… story arcs stretch across three books.

    At the end of the day, I expect reading them as a whole will make the whole thing more satisfying — even to plot folks.

    Despite all that, I’m a character and theme person who loves backstory: so Dance is my second-favorite after Storm, and if I read it again, it may become my favorite. It’s original and unique — these are not fantasy storylines, and I find them fascinating. Other people find them frustrating — the storyline goes places they don’t expect; the characters keep evolving. There’s a reason Dance was the best reviewed of the series. Feast less so across the board, but I still enjoy it. I love Dorne and Brienne’s story, though wildly unimportant, was really enjoyable to me.

    Either way, it’s largely based on what you happen to like and personal preference. The haters are very loud, but amongst my personal circle of friends, there’s been very little dislike of it.

    I wouldn’t read it out of order (it was written to be published this way), and I wouldn’t cut out any chapters. I really don’t like the Ironborn chapters, but skip them?

  • I can see why people would want to see how AFFC and ADWD chapters work out in one single timeline, but I don’t recommend reading the books that way if it’s your first time through. The books were written separately (for the most part) and each volume is one book with its own themes dominant, as in every book in the series.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    The next episode is 64 minutes according to HBO so that’s the time I’d accept as correct, not 70..

    It has a 70 minute timeslot (9-10:10) but there’s always 5-6 minutes at the start of the slot that’s ads/promos/whatever. So 64 is almost certainly the right number.

    Not that I’d complain about 70

  • LV: It’s here. WARNING: The chapter titles are, obviously, spoilers.

    As I wrote above, I wouldn’t recommend this to people who haven’t read AFFC and ADWD yet. But, hell, do as you please. ;)

    By the way, the reading order is based on Errant Bard’s standard timeline of all ASOIAF novels (of course, it is one huge spoiler, too)

    Understood, I just finished Feast, I’ll read Dragons next than maybe both together. As a new reader, having started at the beginning after season 1 aired, I truly enjoyed Feast. No doubt it is a slower pace, but it is still very rich. I wish I could find a map with each character’s journey dotted on it for individual books.

  • Michael Tschuertz,

    If you have a problem with my comment you can ignore it like virtually everyone else did. It was directed at one individual commenter and we managed ourselves just fine. Do we really need to debate whether my comment will start a debate?

  • Dan,

    No not really. My point was that you correcteded a mistake, but then judged said Person, Truman. Knowing that that may lead into an argument. I ask if thaT was necessary.
    Dont need to answer.

  • Brian Anderson: Autumn Storms

    Umh, I think I disagree. It was stated that this episode will be at the middle of the season, like episode 6. And we know that the RW will be at the end of season 3. So which episode is it? My guess? Meereen…

  • After my 4th watch, I’m still very impressed with Stannis. THIS is the man that won me over by A Dance with Dragons. I’m so glad the tv series didn’t make the viewer wait that long to “get” Stannis.

    Now, I can’t stop thinking about the snow march Stannis is going to embark on later in the series. I feel giddy just thinking about bull headed Stannis tunneling through snowdrifts to get to Winterfell. Stannis is such a joy to read. IF he does die, I hope GRRM takes him out like a BOSS. As of the last book, I think there’s some life left in good ‘ol Stannis. A bit of cold and cannibalism isn’t going to stop him.

  • The land battles seemed underwhelming to me. I know this is cable but it does not inspire confidence in their ability to project the correct scale of these conflicts.

  • Michael Tschuertz,

    Yes, I felt it necessary to correct that commenter and to describe Truman as I see him. If you have a problem with that then I don’t know what to tell you. Seems like everybody else managed to take it in stride. Next time someone makes a comment that you don’t approve of and don’t want it discussed then just ignore it.

  • Mimsy,

    I can’t wait for more of Stannis and the north as well. The chapters dealing with Winterfell, the Wall, and Stannis were by far my favorites in that book.

  • PatK: The land battles seemed underwhelming to me. I know this is cable but it does not inspire confidence in their ability to project the correct scale of these conflicts.

    Just think how it would look if they hadn’t begged for a higher budget for this episode.

    I think the problem here is not the battle but your expectations. Considering they had a director known for getting the most for his money where this type of battle is concerned plus the limited budget this was about as big as any reasonable person could expect it to be. It was never going to portray the same scale that takes place in the book.

  • Mimsy,

    Same here. One of the things I’m most looking forward to in The Winds of Winter is the ‘battle in the ice’, as GRRM phrased it. I’m a history geek and there was some speculations at some point that Stannis might go the Alexander Nevski route, so yeah, that would be one badass way to do it. Speaking of what happens up North, I’m wondering if the Battle on the Wall will get the same treatment as Blackwater. Either way, I hope they’ll find a way to bring Neil Marshall back, with GRRM writing the ep, this was such a winning combination.

  • Mimsy:
    After my 4th watch, I’m still very impressed with Stannis.THIS is the man that won me over by A Dance with Dragons.I’m so glad the tv series didn’t make the viewer wait that long to “get” Stannis.

    Now, I can’t stop thinking about the snow march Stannis is going to embark on later in the series.I feel giddy just thinking about bull headed Stannis tunneling through snowdrifts to get to Winterfell. Stannis is such a joy to read.IF he does die, I hope GRRM takes him out like a BOSS.As of the last book, I think there’s some life left in good ‘ol Stannis.A bit of cold and cannibalism isn’t going to stop him.

    I agree. I really didn’t think much of Stannis until ADwD, but his chapters in that book really made me a huge fan. The show definitely eliminated the slow burn to his awesomeness by how he was depicted and acted. Climbing the wall with no helm and scalping a dude was icing on the cake. Truth be told though I worry about him making it much longer. Melisandre’s visions where she see’s the face of king that was promised but Stannis is NOT that face.

  • Ben: Umh, I think I disagree. It was stated that this episode will be at the middle of the season, like episode 6. And we know that the RW will be at the end of season 3. So which episode is it? My guess? Meereen…

    Autumn Storms is Episode Seven, I believe. There’s been a lot of talk about where the even in question will occur, but no definitive answer. I wouldn’t expect it personally to be episode seven, though.

  • My favourite bit of the episode?
    “I’ve always hated the bells, they ring for horror, a dead king, a city under siege…”
    “A wedding.”
    Nice touch GRRM, nice bit of foreshadowing, LOL

  • Dan,

    I can’t wait for more of Stannis and the north as well. The chapters dealing with Winterfell, the Wall, and Stannis were by far my favorites in that book.

    We are soooo on the same page.

    Macha: Macha
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
    Mimsy,
    I’m wondering if the Battle on the Wall will get the same treatment as Blackwater. Either way, I hope they’ll find a way to bring Neil Marshall back, with GRRM writing the ep, this was such a winning combination.

    I hope they do this battle justice. The Battle on the Wall had me on pins and needles. I was literally counting arrows and barrels of hot oil and the number of times Jon got nicked by a stupid arrow. All I could think was Khal Drogo infection!! It was insane how perfect the little details were in bringing the scene to life!

    For some reason, a lot of the non book reading male viewers have grown crazy attached to the Wall. It’s like the Little Rascals “He-Man Woman Hater Club” bromance. Their grins come out when they talk about the Night’s Watch and how everyone else is playing at games, while the “real men” are preparing against true terrors.

    They’re itching for a real Night’s Watch skirmish. If non readers are looking forward to this, imagine us book readers?!

    Unsullied,

    Climbing the wall with no helm and scalping a dude was icing on the cake. Truth be told though I worry about him making it much longer. Melisandre’s visions where she see’s the face of king that was promised but Stannis is NOT that face.

    I KNOW. I’m kinda hoping Stannis will end up backing Jon when the time comes. I don’t know what’s going to become of Stannis, but it can’t end well if he doesn’t yield.

  • Alan,

    Speaking of the Red Wedding, I’ve always thought David&Dan will want to write that particular bit themselves, seing how they mentioned several times (hope I’m not remembering it all wrong) that that was the moment they wanted to re-create the most. GRRM, on the other hand, definitely mentioned he had a hard time writing that, so I’m not sure he’s too keen to do it again. And with the show being only renewed for another season instead of two, I could see them keeping the RW in season 3, if only to make sure they get to show it. I can’t see how HBO would not comission season 4, but you never know what might happen.

  • RamsaySnow: He wouldn’t be first up the wall, because the man that’s first on the ladder, is the first to die. He could be there by the wall, surrounded by guards, shields over his helmless (sic!) head, and would at best climb the ladder after that part of the battlements are secured. Everything else is nonsense. You may say whatever you want about Stannis the Mannis, but he’s not that kind of an idiot to die in the first seconds of the assault on the wall.

    For the guy who said that Bronn/Hound huge deviation of Ros’ scale was done to introduce the song of castamere, I say, good work,so we needed this confrontation and singing which are not in the book, just to leave out Sansa’s song to the Hound. I refuse to believe Martin wrote it, the script for this episode is one of the worst regarding the deviations from the book. Either Martin didn’t write it, or he’s the biggest deviator of them all. I wish he would have a twitter account, I would hunt and hound him down!

    You know, almost everyone likes this episode. This isn’t to say your opinions are wrong, but to claim it’s a terrible episode when everyone loves it makes me think that your criteria isn’t “how interesting is this hour of television”, but instead “how accurate is this to the books?” Those two aren’t connected. Even more then that is your complete refusal to accept that GRRM wrote this episode. GRRM wrote TV, he knows the difference between a written and visual medium. You can have great depth and richness in both, but not the same way. Film is a visual medium, if it’s not visually exciting then it’s not doing it’s job. You might as well go watch a play or read a book. I concur that I wouldn’t have imagined Stanni