Episode 20 – Valar Morghulis – Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

And that’s it for season two. My summary and thoughts on the finale are after the break. Read them and then leave your reactions in the comments. Valar Morghulis!

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

Quick summary this week, as I really want to get to my thoughts. Starting off in King’s Landing, where Joffrey hands out awards for the successful battle. His father becomes hand, Littlefinger becomes Lord of Harrenhal and Margaery becomes his new betrothed. Littlefinger promises to save Sansa. Meanwhile, Varys has found his own little bird. Tyrion is defaced and disgraced, although he still has a few supporters in the capital. Namely, Varys, Podrick and Shae. Most of all, Shae.

In Winterfell, Theon laments his situation while Luwin gives him some advice. Theon decides to ignore it at his own and, sadly, Luwin’s peril. After the Bastard has left his mark on Winterfell, Bran and Rickon and Hodor and Osha make their way top-side to discover Luwin. The maester urges them to travel north. He bids them farewell and then asks Osha to send him off. The little company heads north while Winterfell smolders in the background.

Jaime and Brienne are on their own journey and they come upon some Stark guards. After some interrogation, they finally realize the identity of Brienne’s captive. Unfortunately for them, they’ve messed with the wrong chick. Brienne quickly dispatches of the guards while Jaime looks on in admiration.

Also setting out on a journey is Arya, who is leaving Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie. Until they run into Jaqen, who tells Arya that one day she too can become a Faceless Man. He gives her a coin, teaches her the words “Valar Morghulis” and then changes his face.

Meanwhile, Robb confronts his mother over his new-found feelings for the lady from Volantis. Robb ignores his mother’s counsel and says his vows before the gods and men.

In the frozen north, Jon and Qhorin remain captive and they are headed to see Mance Rayder. Qhorin breaks free from his bindings and attacks Jon. Rattleshirt lets them fight it out and after a quick tussle in the snow, Jon runs him through. “We are the watchers on the Wall,” Qhorin whispers to Jon with his dying breath. Rattleshirt frees Snow and Ygritte escorts him to his new King.

Across the Narrow Sea, Dany enters the House of the Undying. She wanders through vision after vision, of the Throne Room covered in snow to Drogo craddling Rhaego in his arms. Eventually, she finds her dragons, in chains. Only to end up in chains herself, at the hands of Pyat Pree. With a word, she commands her dragons to breath fire and Pyat Pree is no more. Dany frees herself and heads to Xaro’s mansion, where she finds the King of Qarth in bed with Doreah. After stealing his key and opening Xaro’s vault, they discover it is empty. So they decide to fill it. Before leaving Qarth though, they manage to grab a few parting gifts. Enough to buy a small ship, at least.

Lastly, beyond the Wall once more, this time with Sam, Grenn and Dolorous Edd. As they bust each others balls, they hear a horn blast, and then another and then a third. Grenn and Edd flee, leaving Sam alone in an increasingly-building snowstorm. Emerging from the storm are wights… and then, riding a dead horse, a White Walker. The camera pulls back and reveals a whole army of wights and White Walkers, advancing on the Fist of the First Men and the Night’s Watch.

What I Liked

Three horn blasts – Wow at that ending, they really went for it! I thought we’d get the three blasts and then Sam’s reaction and maybe a far away shot of a bunch of walkers. Instead we got the Walking Dead all up in here. From the moment the third horn blast sounded and the snow started billowing and the music got louder, the whole scene took on an eery feeling, and then, the wights start shuffling in, and I thought that would be all, but no. The hooves of a horse, the camera pans up to reveal flesh and blood hanging from the horses neck and then further to the ancient-looking White Walker on his back, crystal sword in his hand. E-P-I-C!
Tyrion and Shae – That was a surprisingly touching scene. For a minute there, I thought they might have Tyrion actually head to the Free Cities! But no, he stays and Shae demonstrates her devotion by staying with him. It will be interesting to see how this relationship develops next season.
The House of the Undying – I really liked the House of the Undying. Yeah, it was changed from the book, but I knew going in there was no way they would show all the visions that they showed in the book. I was just hoping for something creepy and atmospheric. And that is what we got. First, the haunting scene in the destroyed throne room of the Red Keep. Just beautifully shot. Hats off to Alan Taylor on this and many other shots in the show. And then… Drogo! I knew Jason Momoa had been on-set to film a scene but totally forget about it when watching the episode. No lie, I started to tear up in that scene. And I don’t ever cry when watching movies or TV shows. And then Dany finds her dragons and we actually get a reason that the warlocks want the dragons and why they want Dany there with them. I don’t remember that from the books. And then the twist at the end, with Xaro and Doreah, was very well-done. Tied up all the loose ends in Qarth in a satisfactory way, that was fitting for a TV season finale. Great adaptation.
Jaqen says farewell – The face changing was creepy! Wish they could have had Jaqen actually wave his hand over his face, but I guess that would have cost too much. I’m just glad they kept it in, because there was a moment there where I thought he was just going to leave without changing his face.

What I Didn’t Like

Theon loses Winterfell - I really liked the scene between Luwin and Theon. I didn’t like the way Theon eventually lost Winterfell. Dagmer knocking him upside the head was not nearly as dramatic as Reek, who he assumed was his savior, betraying him and burning Winterfell to the ground. I really liked how they handled Theon’s storyline up to this point, but felt that the payoff here was not as good as it should have been.
Jon and Qhorin – I had been holding off on saying anything about this storyline, waiting to see where the writers were going with it, but damn if they didn’t completely mishandle this one. Now maybe my judgement is clouded by the fact that the Halfhand is my favorite minor character in the whole series, but I felt like the way this played out in the book was much more epic, more cinematic, more dramatic and, most of all, made sense to the reader. The show gives us Jon screwing up at every turn and then in the end somehow getting the best of Qhorin in a scene that I’m sure at least a few new viewers found totally confusing. Why not have Jon remain with Qhorin? Allow Qhorin to be the mentor he should be to Jon. Get the viewers invested in Qhorin as a character. And then, have the tension mount as Jon and Qhorin flee. We care about both of these characters and we don’t want either of them to die. But it looks like one will have to. “Is your sword sharp, Jon Snow?” And then, make it clear in their final showdown that Qhorin is sacrificing himself. In the show, we get Jon screwing up left and right, flirting with Ygritte for a couple episodes, and then killing Qhorin out of what seemed like nothing but self-defense. Seriously disappointed that this storyline wasn’t as epic and emotional as it could have been.

Those are my thoughts on this finale. Overall, I thought it was a great way to end this season and set-up season three. What did everyone else think? Share your thoughts and don’t forget to vote in our “rate the episode” poll!


1,099 Comments

  1. Aziraphale
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    They HAD to end it like that…BASTARDS!

  2. Hassan Madkour
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    WHITE WALKERS!

  3. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  4. AshStorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable!

    I LOVED the Drogo appearance.

  5. DanofhouseStark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, they blew it out of the park. If that ending didn’t get everyone pumped I don’t know what will! The others!!!!!!!

  6. Scholesy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    We don’t deserve this show. It is too good for us.

  7. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    FUCKING AWESOME!!!

  8. Rhaegar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry guys, D&D chose Drogo over me

  9. Mike Miller
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    MY GOD WHAT A SHOW….NEXT!

  10. Trollsbane
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I believe this episode will divide the readers from the non-readers with how much they liked it.

    I’ll be the first to get the hate I guess.

    I’m a reader. Yuck.

  11. David W.
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    That was…. amazing, especially the Zombie Horse!

  12. Rhaegar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Looks like th walking dead cast made it to the show ;). Pretty cool

  13. Hassan Madkour
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I dislike, or not really dislike is HOTU. not enough of the visions. Oh well, maybe they’ll bring Quaithe with the visions next seasson Overall : BEST EPISODE SO FAR! and that’s the definition of epic.

  14. Hilda
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Drogo!!! What a nice surprise!! That ending was crazy. It was like the walking dead met gameof thrones!! It was a great episode!

  15. DanofhouseStark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    I’m a reader and I loved it! Seriously you guys have to let go and enjoy the show for what it is

  16. wargsareawesome
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Scholesy:
    We don’t deserve this show. It is too good for us.

    No arguments here!

  17. Lyn Corbray
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    really? well i guess you cant please everyone

  18. LordStarkington
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader and really liked it.

    Bit disappointed they got rid of Doreah too but damn if that wasn’t cold of Dany.

  19. Kenneth
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    The highlights were Dany seeing Drogo again, the fact the dragons were featured way more, and the Whitewalkers!

    LOVED THE SEASON FINALE

  20. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    I believe this episode will divide the readers from the non-readers with how much they liked it.

    I’ll be the first to get the hate I guess.

    I’m a reader. Yuck.

    I’m not being an asshole, or gonna try to debate your opinion with you, but I would legitimately like to know why.

  21. spacepope
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    i like how they updated the others and their swords, much better. the drogo cameo was a nice surprise

  22. sockslol
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    THAT’S OKAY I DIDN’T NEED TO SLEEP TONIGHT ANYWAY

  23. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Good, not as awesome as last week, of course, but still very happy with it! I loved the scene with Shae and Tyrion.

  24. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    THREE BLASTS MEANS OTHEEEEEEERS O.O God! This was SO. AMAZING.

  25. TheBull
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Easily the best episode of the season. It got me on an emotional level. I cannot believe we have to wait till next year :(

  26. House Snow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    HOTU was dissapointing but everything else was pretty awesome. Although who knows what this means for the future, I expect some pretty big changes in the next couple of years. I think they were afraid of being bound to the prophecies.

  27. Scholesy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    I believe this episode will divide the readers from the non-readers with how much they liked it.

    I’ll be the first to get the hate I guess.

    I’m a reader. Yuck.

    I read. I love. I am also quite sane.

  28. Azazelus
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I loved it!

  29. Danmire
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m kinda disappointed that they didn’t show Rhaegar/Elia and dead Robb Stark. But I’m so fucking happy the showed more Dragons, more Dire Wolves(Shaggydog is BEAST!) That scene where Pyat dies is amazing. Much better in the books.

    Loved Bran’s scenes. Loved Tyrion’s scenes. Loved the first scene in the Throne room. Love how they gave the Halfhand a good night rest.

    and where Jaqen “died”…Vala Morghulis…

    Three Blasts….

  30. Jonathan Meyers
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    They should have shown Xaro in bed with perhaps a young Dothraki boy…after all, he’d be more interested in Loras than Doreah.

  31. mikeintexas
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington:

    The only thing I dislike, or not really dislike is HOTU. not enough of the visions. Oh well, maybe they’ll bring Quaithe with the visions next seasson Overall : BEST EPISODE SO FAR! and that’s the definition of epic.

    LordStarkington:
    I’m a reader and really liked it.

    Bit disappointed they got rid of Doreah too but damn if that wasn’t cold of Dany.

    LordStarkington:
    I’m a reader and really liked it.

    Bit disappointed they got rid of Doreah too but damn if that wasn’t cold of Dany.

    To be fair…Doreah died in the Red Waste. She was expendable.

  32. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Rhaegar:
    Sorry guys, D&D chose Drogo over me

    My heart goes out to you Rhaegar

  33. The Instrumentalist
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The ending was awesome, I must admit. The first half was a bit slow. The Tyrion/Shae stuff is confusing… is this all an act, or does this tell us that Shae really did love Tyrion before she betrayed him, and lied because she was threatened, or something? I always took it that it was an act.

    HOTU was very VERY disappointing. Just because the book version was so cool. I guess I’ll just be a “book purist” (even though I don’t get all these labels) but honestly… it was just meh for me.

  34. Brandon Stark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I felt underwhelmed, though that’s probably because I’ve always disliked the the magical aspects of GRRM’s work. Ice zombies? Yawn. I had way more chills last week with that brilliant ending.

    They had a lot of content to rush through this week, too. Still, I commend them for some stellar scenes. The Stannis scene blew it out of the park as far as acting goes.

    I just wish I had more time with Sansa, Ygritte, and a gazillion others.

  35. Stephanie
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The most effing fantastic final scene in the best ever season finale. Well done to the makers of this show, I actually felt emotions!

  36. tdraicer
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader and I loved it-but then I think the entire series has been far beyond what one could reasonably have expected. Though clearly not beyond what some could unreasonably have expected. :)

  37. Manish Man
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Remember when I said Doreah had a hand in stealing the dragons and everybody laughed in my face…well suck it.

  38. Scholesy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    House Snow:
    HOTU was dissapointing but everything else was pretty awesome.Although who knows what this means for the future, I expect some pretty big changes in the next couple of years.I think they were afraid of being bound to the prophecies.

    The prophecies aren’t a big problem. GRRM doesn’t even seem to know what they mean. :D

  39. scott glennon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I am sure book purists will have a thing or two to say about Hotu, but I find those changes….interesting. For a few reasons, as I am sure others do. Speaking of Others, was that the best face shot or what? We got a good close look at that guy! The detail was awesome! All in all.. Rockin! And now…..the long wait….

  40. Mike Miller
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    If we could all pitch in 250 million bucks apiece we could have the book brought to the screen, small or big but until then we ALL have to make do..

  41. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Again, just like Blackwater…

    Was that TV or a 200 million dollar Hollywood movie I just watched?

    The CGI was utterly amazing. Everything was perfect. I just was holding my breath the whole time.

    Dany > Warlocks… Breathe fire baby dragons! OMG, she was walking around with them on her arms as if they were falcons….. So amazing…

    God, I am teary-eyed… I am such a wuss…. I LOVE this show!

    Edit: Yeah I loved that the Khal made an appearance. I miss Drogo so much. I almost cried, again, when Dany and Drogo were reunited…

  42. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Was anyone legitimately in tears at the Khal Drogo appearance?

    I honestly went, “Just stay there Dany. Fuck the dragons, fuck the throne, stay there with your stupidly adorable husband and your stupidly adorable baby forever.”

    And if she did, and never appeared again, and that was the ending to her story, I totally would accept it. Fully.

  43. maia
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    awesome….it’s so sad….theon and maester luwin scene, maester luwin and the boys, tyrion and shae and of course jaqen and arya. but I’m disappointed..zombies….really!!!!!

  44. Ms.Stormborn
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    That was a heaping serving of AWESOME-SAUCE! I laughed, I cried, I loved every second! Now comes the long wait :(

  45. Scholesy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The only problem I had is that she was so hot and now she is gone.

  46. my watch begins
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    A little irked with some of the changes, but who cares overall EPIC!!!! THE OTHERS!!!!!!!

  47. Seraph78
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    One Word.

    DRACARYS!!!!

    Ahhhh I loved it!!!! Damn you for that ending!!!!

  48. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The only disappointement really was THOTU but wasn’t expecting much from it to begin with, so it’s cool

  49. maia
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    maia,

    forgot to add…. dany and khal drogo scene

  50. Lyn Corbray
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The Instrumentalist,

    Agree with you on the Shae stuff, I’m a bit confused there… but seriously, I thought the HOTU was awesome. Obviously they couldn’t do all the visions but I thought this was the next best thing.

  51. Brandon Stark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and the Theon speech and then getting decked…fantastic. More of that and less dragons and ice zombies.

  52. mikeintexas
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    House Snow:
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m kinda disappointed that they didn’t show Rhaegar/Elia and dead Robb Stark. But I’m so fucking happy the showed more Dragons, more Dire Wolves(Shaggydog is BEAST!) That scene where Pyat dies is amazing. Much better in the books.

    This. Quaithe intimates that Dany has to go to Asshai at one point in Book 2, but GRRM has publicly stated that he doesn’t have time for Dany to go to Asshai anymore. The writers are going to change a lot of Dany’s story.

  53. NightsGator
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Even though it was expected, Maester Luwin’s death scene was quite emotional. He was a great character and wonderfully portrayed by Donald Sumpter. And the reaction of the boys was well done also.

  54. Petearys
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Been awhile since I’ve read the book, I dwf don’t remember a Drogo flashback tho I loved seeing the Kgal again, and the Dany HOTU ending don’t think as the same -Xaro doesnt get shut in??? I liked It tho, looking forward to season 3!

  55. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    How they did the HOTU was totally fine. I don’t care what anyone says — there was enough to make it magical. The snowfall in the throne room was utter Narnia, and I teared up.

  56. Andrew
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Doreah betraying Dany and getting locked in that vault tore me up more than Neds death. I was a mess. She trusted you, Doreah!

    I loved when Jon stabbed Qhorin, and he said “We are the watchers on the wall.” That was really powerful. Dany walking into the Throne room was also amazing. The entire HotU was a really cool sequence. Oh wait, no, they ruined in, Viserion wasn’t white. Story Arc destroyed.

    My non-reader friend exclaimed “That wasn’t in the book!” as a joke when Tywins horse shit on the floor. He was very confused when I confirmed that it did, in fact, happen.

    Three Blasts was scary. I wish it would have happened at night, though. That would have been hard to show the whole “It get’s cold when the White Walkers come” thing though, so I understand why they did it in the day. Sam got sassy with Edd and I loved it.

  57. scott glennon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh.! OOOHHHHH! Maester Luwin! Tears on that one….
    Alas poor Luwin, I know him Horatio…..

  58. Josh
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Great episode. I loved the Dany parts. Badass with dragons,, boooyah!!! Tyrion and Shae I also loved. I mean it’s completely different from the books, but it works. I like Shae….

    That last scene was….wow….just…seriously…scary…and exhilarating…and WOW…

    So Osha will be traveling with Bran. I like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went their separate ways at the end of season 3.

    SHAPESHIFTING!

    I did dislike somethings:

    Robb worshiping the Seven…Umm it’s established that the Northern men, especially the Starks worship the Old Gods….It’s an important part of who they are. The Old Ones, the First Children, the Godswood, etc…I NEVER complain about changes..NEVER…But this one bothers me…

    I wonder how some things will mesh Shae and Tyrion for example down the line…but we’ll see! I can’t wait for more :)

  59. Michel
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    THIS EPISODE WAS FANTASTIC, ALL THE CHANGES TO, BUT THE HOTU WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHIT IN ALL GAME OF THRONES (RESPECT MY OPNION PLEASE)

  60. HedgeWizard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    The whole talisia and robb storyline makes me sick. besides that it was a pretty decent episode. Thought jaqen changing his face would of been alot cooler.

  61. my watch begins
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    O by the way, I LOVED Dany in the Throne room, all deserted and covered with Snow. definitively foreshadowing. Reminds me of how George RR Martin described the ending of the series. It will be like an empty graveyard, with snow slowly blowing threw.

  62. stile
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m already in withdrawl…how long until the next season starts?

  63. franklin
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The last scene was the beat part of the whole episode, so exciting. However, the only thing I didn’t like about the whole season was the absence of the two Reeds brothers.

    Also, the Valar Morgulis scene was cool.

  64. Clob
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said it before, but not for several weeks… “best episode so far.” Yes, yes, pretty much a cliche, I know. Every scene though for me pretty much hit the nail on the head. Every actor/actress was on the top of their game throughout. There wasn’t a single scene that I disliked, even the Ros + Varys one. Is Varys what it takes for Ros scenes to be enjoyable? Maybe. I think I had tears of “YES” in my eyes every five minutes. I can’t explain what those are, but perhaps others had them too. When Drogo showed up was one of those… yeah, now you know. :)

    For me, the final zombiesh scene didn’t quite equal s1 finale, but still great and didn’t diminish the episode for me. When Jon and Ygritte looked down on Mance’s camp I thought perhaps the final scene would include giants and whatnot so perhaps I was looking for that.

    Anyway, great finale and it’s going to be worthy of many more viewings from me!

  65. Lyn Corbray
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    You’re in the minority in that regard… the walkers were fantastically done.

  66. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexasbut GRRM has publicly stated that he doesn’t have time for Dany to go to Asshai anymore.

    Are you kidding me, George? Sigh.

    I think his way of doing the ‘east’ thing is having her meet up with Khal whoever, at the end of book 5. She went east into the Dothraki Sea, didn’t she?

  67. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    Nope. Reader here, and I LOVED it.

    Yes, lots of major deviations, but when you think about the overall arc of the show in terms of the overall arc of the books, what they’ve done IS. FUCKING. GENIUS.

  68. PetetheGreek
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The scene with Tyrion and Shae was brutal. Very well done. Going to make season 3-4 very tough to watch.

  69. Kaeth
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    It was a great episode. The only flaw with the episode or the show I”m seeing is that there’s just not enough time. It felt so condensed at times I just felt like I was being shortchanged as a book reader.

  70. Onion
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Loved: House of Undying, Sansa’s reaction walking away, Arya scene, Beyond the wall

    Liked : Ros and Varys scene

    Didnt like Robb and whatsherface tying the knot, nor did I like the Tyrion Shae scene.

  71. Jennifer Goodnite
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    WHITE WALKERS…..AWESOMENESS! When will Season 3 start is the main question I want to know!

  72. Reader
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, not a fan of the episode. HOTU was fine, but Winterfell was very anti-climactic and the white walkers were super cheesy.

    Also think its going to be really hard for Jon to rejoin the brotherhood later with the fight not being a staged thing.

  73. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Was anyone legitimately in tears at the Khal Drogo appearance?

    I honestly went, “Just stay there Dany. Fuck the dragons, fuck the throne, stay there with your stupidly adorable husband and your stupidly adorable baby forever.”

    And if she did, and never appeared again, and that was the ending to her story, I totally would accept it. Fully.

    I was most DEFINITELY in tears on that scene, I mean, just how cute can they be???

  74. stile
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh and before anyone gets butthurt about the House of the Undying…they’ve already established that TV Dany has prophetic dreams. Book Dany never did, as far as I remember. This means that instead of getting thirty pages of prophecies dumped on us all at once, they can spread them throughout her dreams over the next season or two…Jorah’s betrayals, Rhaegar…we will still get everything, we just didn’t get it right THEN. I also expect to see Qaithe popping up a lot more in the show than she did in the books.

  75. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    my watch begins,

    That’s one interperetation, my non-reader friends seem to think snow on the throne = Jon Snow on the throne.

  76. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    WOW. My jaw dropped on that last scene and it stayed that way thru the credits. O.M.G. Whoa!

    Ya know. I think this is the first episode where I felt like I was inside a book. Everything was spectacular! HOTU.. just wow! Sure there was a lot missing, but there was ENOUGH of the book to make this completely brilliant and amazing!

    Doreah?! What.the.hell?!

    Dragons… luv how they cuddle. They are going to be amazing.

    Robb!! I cried at your wedding dude… and I’ll cry at your reception even harder!

    Jon.. that look.. what line did you just cross?

    Jaqen.. AAAHHHH!!!!! Come back!

    Tyrion.. :’(

    MUSIC… beautiful perfection.

  77. Jennifer Goodnite
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Kaeth,

    I agree….wish the episode could have at least been two hours

  78. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I think Roz is being sent to Dany by Varys. Explains why they killed of Irri. Didn’t mind the of HOTU scenes from the book because it would’ve been hard to pull off but I really wish they could have done the Jon/Halfhand scene with a bit more depth. My non-reader husband was confused. He thought Halfhand liked Jon so I had to explain the reasoning.

  79. Renaud Besse-Bourdier
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m not going to comment on the episode, I friggin love it, but I just want to say one thing.

    Who else had multiple orgams when Drogo appeared? I’m a man and when Drogo appears when I don’t expect it, I get multiple orgasms.

  80. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    A woman LOVED THIS EPISODE! Perfect season finale. Incredible, epic, all major characters addressed so we know where they stand (sort of) with mysteries left to the imagination to chew on! Don’t care some things had to be simplified, that episode was complex, heartbreaking, heart-lifting, and more than I expected in some ways.

    Characters a woman wanted to see:

    Jaqen, Arya, et al – check
    Brienne & Slayer- check
    Tyrion, et al in KL- check
    Stannis & Mel – check
    Bran & posse – check
    Robb – check
    Dany & posse WITH DRAGONS – check
    Jon Snow – check
    Sam & 3 blasts & WOW walkers – check

    HOTU was a little abbreviated probably so they could get more CGI for other things but you got the idea of the wizardry and Dany’s own power emerging. Don’t want to say more for a few days so people can enjoy it that haven’t seen it yet!

  81. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Eyes,

    ALL THE CUTE FOREVER.

    My fucking god she better have a version of that at the end of the books/show. Fuck fuck fuck fuck.

  82. Hassan Madkour
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    i actually teared up in that moment, the sack of winterfell, and tyrion and shae’s scene

  83. LordStarkington
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas: To be fair…Doreah died in the Red Waste.She was expendable.

    Oh I know that. I meant more in the sense that Dany’s supporting cast is really thin. Although I guess they might fill it out quickly depending on how they approach her storyline going forward.

  84. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    sockslol,

    We have a winner!

  85. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Only disappointment was no Rhaegar in the HOTU. But I was happy to see her going beyond the Wall, and it was Snowing(yes I capitalized it) on the iron throne!

  86. SkywalkerIsDead
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader and it rocked, gotta get over it! Brienne fucking kicked ass, even with so many good scenes, that was my favorite!…and Theon and Tryion and Dragons and White Walkers!

  87. Tim
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I really hated some things about this episode…

    Highlight: The Dany scenes from Xaro on were great, the music made them.

    Disliked:

    I have a hard time believing that the TV viewers will have ANY idea whatsoever than Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him… Hell in the show version, Jon didn’t even know… What was the point of that? Qhorin says 1 line 2 episodes ago very fast and silently, and that was supposed to hint that Qhorin wanted Jon to defect and learn about th Wildling plans?

    They could’ve snuck in an escape to add that conversation this episode, but I guess it ‘s more important that they foreshadow Ros will be another main fixture in season 3 as Varys’ spy. Because he doesn’t have enough of those.

    Also, the White Walker on the horse looked just downright silly. Like a guy in a halloween costume silly. The original White walkers with flat noses and charred skin from the pilot were way superior to this new one.

    Lastly, what was up with the way they handled the ENTIRE Theon arc this episode? The TV viewers will have no idea who burned down Winterfell. Don’t understand that at all.

    Was underwhelmed with Theon/Beyond-the-Wall stories this episode immensely. Excluding the first Theon scene with Luwin.

  88. DanofhouseStark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    I agree with you, what they did do with the HOTU was incredible, packed real emotional punch. I don’t know how anyone could be disappointed with what they saw. Manage your expectations people we’ve got so much more from this show than we could ever have hoped for!

  89. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Renaud Besse-Bourdier:
    Okay, I’m not going to comment on the episode, I friggin love it, but I just want to say one thing.

    Who else had multiple orgams when Drogo appeared? I’m a man and when Drogo appears when I don’t expect it, I get multiple orgasms.

    Don’t want to make Jaqen jealous, but a woman got teary-eyed with the Khal.

    Rhaegar:
    Sorry guys, D&D chose Drogo over me

    Sorry, this woman would too! Drogo = dreamy sexy beast! Just looking Jaqen!

  90. top6
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I was a pretty underwhelmed. The ending just revealed something that any TV watcher already knew existed from the very first episode. I don’t understand that decision.

    But the biggest disappointment to me is the Jon killing Halfhand scene. It really didn’t set it up so that it was clear he was doing it on purpose to earn the Wildlings’ trust. It seemed like he just got into a fight, and was angered by his comments about Ned and his mom, and killed him. That needed more set up/build up to be as tense and awesome as it was in the book.

    Still, the show is better than I had any right to expect and I love it. But this particular episode didn’t do it for me.

  91. Coltaine777
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    This was an excellent finale…best ep of the season imo….but DAMN THE FINAL 10 MIN KICKED ASS….

  92. Hassan Madkour
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Lyn Corbray,

    in the show they’re going for genuine love. in the books I felt it was that way too. But it was too ambiguous

  93. David The Grey
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I got teary-eyed a couple of times – with Tyrion & Shae and again with Maester Luwin. Gonna miss him.

    I loved every scene – Brienne & Jamie, Sansa’s face of relief (though it didn’t last long), Jon’s battle with Halfhand, and yes I liked House of Undying and the ending too.

    But my favorite was the Valar Morghulis scene… I so so so wanted Jaqen to go with Arya, and loved the face-changing. Frickin’ awesome.

    There was so much to love. I have no complaints, but will be sad seeing a few less faces around next season. RIP Winterfell.

  94. . nathy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    NOOO! Please!!

    What about the Prince who was Promissed?! Rhaegar?? The 3 heads of the dragon?? The House of the Undying and a proper Dracarys??!!

    Can’t believe they put Drogo there!!

    I’m so disappointed.

  95. Carlos Luna
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Great Episode, great ending, I loved it, I am a reader, and I liked the changes, makes it more exciting and unpredictable.

  96. Michelle
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never really understood the HOTU in the book (despite reading it something like 6 times) so this version worked for me.

    I thought this one was just as epic as last week, just in a different way. Is it 2013 yet?

  97. Mike Chair
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon: I honestly went, “Just stay there Dany. Fuck the dragons, fuck the throne, stay there with your stupidly adorable husband and your stupidly adorable baby forever.”

    Yes. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they needed — her to stay with her dragons. My take on it was that they gave her the option to stay voluntarily — in an illusion of bliss. But, she’s too smart. They underestimated her. The fatal mistake of underestimating Dany is an ongoing theme.

  98. darquemode
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one that found the Halfhand’s death and theHouse of the Undying a bit of a let down? Really?

    A lot of brilliant moments with Jaime and Brienne, Varys and Ros, Luwin and the Stark kids, Tyrion and Shae to be sure, but I think the two weakest arcs of the season being the two primary focuses of the finale left me unmoved…. Especially compared to last week!

    Just a very good episode for me. Maester Luwin and Jaqen (well Tom Wlaschiha ) will be missed!

    I wish there was another episode after to be the real finale…. I will watych Blackwater again and pretend the season ends with Tywin saying we have won, and then watch the White Walker army end scene again and pretend that is my finale episode I think.

  99. Scholesy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas: Asshai

    Which bothers me to no end.

  100. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Hassan Madkour,

    Oh, Tyrion and Shae’s scene was crazy sad. When Pete Dink cries. WHEN PETE DINK CRIES, EVERYONE

  101. barb
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    WOW, just loved the whole show. loved seeing the dire wolves and dragons spitting fire. im also a book reader but im realist enough to know some things have to be changed for time sake. a little hard to put over 1000 pages into 10 hours. thank you HBO for this great series.

  102. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    David The Grey:
    I got teary-eyed a couple of times – with Tyrion & Shae and again with Maester Luwin.Gonna miss him.

    I loved every scene – Brienne & Jamie, Sansa’s face of relief (though it didn’t last long), Jon’s battle with Halfhand, and yes I liked House of Undying and the ending too.

    But my favorite was the Valar Morghulis scene… I so so so wanted Jaqen to go with Arya, and loved the face-changing.Frickin’ awesome.

    There was so much to love.I have no complaints, but will be sad seeing a few less faces around next season.RIP Winterfell.

    A woman agrees with you, hope Arya remembers the words!

  103. Jack
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Two questions
    1. HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE WITHOUT A GOT EPISODE TO LOOK FORWARD TO??
    2. Did that White Walker just look at Sam and shrug his shoulders?? How will he get out of that???? ( I’m a book reader btw)

  104. Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Loved it. I particularly loved the Shae- Tyrion scene, of all things, although I have no idea how they’re going to manage that relationship down the line. For the “season of romance,” that was the one that actually worked, and totally took me by surprise. That, Luwin’s death, and Drogo’s reapparance all got me misty-eyed, and I don’t tear up easily.

    The Theon scenes were also incredibly effective, and while I still think they should have cast Reek, they got around him in the best way possible.

    HOTU was good – better than I expected. Missed the prophesies but figured they’d be toast. What we got instead was beautifully atmospheric & effective, even if the dragon budget seemed to be fraying at the edges.

    Jon’s story remains the worst served, but they’ll have a chance to redeem themselves next year.

    The ending was like: HELLO, high fantasy! I’m guessing Sam’s not dead, but he really should be.

    Great season. Not better or worse than last year, but just as good. I look forward to seeing what they can do with 2/3 of ASOS.

  105. Adam
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I was sad not to see the prophesies, and equally sad not to see the house burn down (or maybe it did when my cable was being dumb). I guess they blew their special effects budget on the others and the wildfire explosion, but that was a pretty great part in the book.

    Pycelle looking down at Tyrrion and not putting on his old man act was fun to watch. Poor Tyrry.

  106. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I AM TURNING INTO A TUMBLR GIRL THAT IS HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS EPISODE

    Okay, I think I’m done.

    I think.

  107. Kisling1
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    That was amazing!! So many storylines. I love this show!!!

  108. reapy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Overall loved it, though I hated how they changed jon’s sequence, which played out the way I thought after I saw them deviate with how he handled ygritte. The problem was they didn’t provide the motivation for why they accepted them. I felt like they should have at least had jon and quarin break out so they could have their powwow in the cave. The sequence felt forced… however it’s a minor problem.

    White walkers were badass. I can take the whole sam’s down there to see them on screen because it looked so cool.

    Shae, am a little meh with it. I think she is missing the whole impetuous girl feel she had in the book, but considering how things play out, this sort of works out anyway.

    All in all though I’m still in shock I’m watching this book on screen, I really am. I read them almost 10 years ago and they’ve been a part of my life ever since, truly a great showing of the books.

  109. Default King
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m really going to miss Luwin. :(

    Overall a great episode, but I have a couple of small complaints. I thought that the burning of Winterfell seemed sort of random. How are non-viewers going to understand what happened, or who did the burning? Also, the Half-hand fight was very rushed. I wish they would have just put in one line that referenced Jon “doing what needs to be done.” I feel like if I hadn’t read the books I would have been so confused about why that was happening.

    Everything else was great though. I loved the show’s interpretation of the HOTU. The ruined throne room was haunting. The hoard of white walkers was spectacular. Not at ALL what I was expecting. No Barristan though!

  110. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    David The Grey,

    I got teary-eyed a couple of times – with Tyrion & Shae and again with Maester Luwin. Gonna miss him.

    Dude, I was on the verge of tears this whole episode…

    Tears and at the same time excitment…

    I don’t know how that is possible but it seemed like I wanted to cry of sadness then a minute later I wanted to cry of excitment.

    I never experienced those feelings before… I was holding my breath and I had to remind myself to breath…

    So amazing!

  111. Josh
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the viewers will be confused by the Jon thing and the Theon thing…I’m guessing we’ll see it next season. I bet we’ll see Theon tortured…so yay? hahaha

    I will say the Ros scene was pointless.. Couldn’t they save money by not bringing the actress in? Honestly, the character still hasn’t moved and the character does nothing…I just dislike showing her AGAIN in an episode that is overpacked.

  112. Kristen Weaver
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to be disappointed, and am again forced to wait another year for more, only without being able to fill some of the void with the next book (a-hem Geroge).

    I LOVED the HOTU in the book, but still really liked it in the show, and can understand why they could not do it the same. I wish we had gotten to see Sam kill an Other but I can’t complain as that was way intimidating. The John/Halfhand fight was a total win even if different, and getting to see the dragons in action and the wolves were great!

    Next year needs to get here soon!

  113. House Snow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    White Walkers kind of look trees no?

  114. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    I believe this episode will divide the readers from the non-readers with how much they liked it.

    I’ll be the first to get the hate I guess.

    I’m a reader. Yuck.

    A woman begs to differ, also a reader, LOVED it! Each main story was addressed, some briefly, but sets up next season quite well in a new way so there will still be surprises for the readers. Well done D&D!

  115. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus: cry at your reception even harder!

    My non-reader friend is convinced that Dany and Jon end up together. She says that every scene with Dany is followed by Jon scene. Can’t say that I have noticed but she is convinced.

  116. MrsWun
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Re: HOTU. If I just LET GO of R+L I can really relax and enjoy the show as much as everyone else. So I am, and I will. Thank you D&D, you did a great job, and I’ll be back next year. :-D

  117. Trollsbane
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    I love the series, I really do. I’m ok with most changes and do believe they’re mostly needed for the television medium to work. No need to list them all as they’re all over the site when they occur.

    They pumped up the House of the Undying for about a month. And that was just shameful. What happened? She saw a broken hall where winter had come and nearly touched the Iron Throne. She saw Drogo. Yes, Drogo is awesome, but why? Really? Why was that there other than to show it’s mystical and an illusion. We already knew that before she entered. Then dracarys. Cool, though I wasn’t a fan of the look of the flames, but that’s just a nitpicky thing and has no bearing on my reaction. What about EVERYTHING else she should have seen? Is that not key to her already boring character?

    Theon got to make a speech and get hit on the head. Oh exciting. =/

    Tyrion’s scene with Varys and Shae was good.

    Sansa and Joff’s scene was good.

    Winterfell Stark’s scenes were good.

    The wedding and way Rob was treating Cat were not good. I felt nothing but an urge to hit him.

    Brienne and Jamie, well, if you screw that up… lol It was good.

    The Half-hand and Jon fight was ok, but not nearly enough was done with hushed dialogue to really nail it home that Jon was doing it by the half-hands command. It was like one statement last episode about how useful it would be to have a brother in their ranks, and that was it. And Ghost, oh Ghost, where art thou?

    I knew the season would end with 3 horns, and that was awesome. I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the total zombie look of the wights, but no biggie. Capitalize on Walking Dead’s popularity if you can. ;)

    Overall, I am just not pleased with a few minor changes that make things not nearly as cool as the books. The House of the Undying should have been SO much more. All of my non-reader friends have been talking about it since it was first brought up. Perhaps they’ll see it differently as me, but it was the biggest letdown of the series for me thus far.

    I dunno. I’m not a purist, but there are times that I wish they’d stop straying and keep major parts of the story intact and actually told, instead of pretending they never happened.

  118. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Clob: I think I had tears of “YES” in my eyes every five minutes. I can’t explain what those are, but perhaps others had them too.

    I thought I was the only one crying throughout this whole darn episode. I think it’s my love of the characters and how D&D have brought them forward on screen.

    Drogo and the baby just about killed me. Holy cow!

    Brienne.. wow! She’s perfection.

  119. Ser Mos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Book reader (many-time) who loved it. Will agree that the HOTU was a lot less cool then described in the books, but I wasn’t expecting much after Blackwater drained the budget till it probably looked like Xaro’s so-called treasure room.

    Almost every time I see a fellow reader complain about the series it seems they don’t understand that the HBO version is all about minimizing the character count. Think about how vast the cast is. I believe they’ve said its the largest ever televised. Now think how much bigger it could have been if they were purely faithful to the book. Showing Rhaegar would have required additional casting and probably exposition to explain who he was, so he’s replaced by a character they already have (and were probably dying to have an excuse to bring back). Littlefinger is taking Dontos’ place to an extent. The Reeds and Tullys could be delayed, so they were. Etc.

    I am quite curious about how loyal and true Shae seems to be to Tyrion at this point. Either she’s the best deceiver in KL. Or something will turn her against him in S3/4. Or something very different from the book will have to go down at the end of the book 3 storyline.

  120. DS
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Loved it !!!! The ending was amazing :))

  121. trfhms
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Deborah Ambridge Fisher,

    didn’t think of that Ros theory… I like it!

    And Tyrion crying… I almost can’t stand how much I love Peter Dinklage’s acting.

  122. Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    House Snow,

    White Walkers kind of look trees no?

    That’s exactly what I was thinking! They’re un-Ents!

  123. DB
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    That was a horrible episode, you people should stop deluding yourselves.

  124. Stacia
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    My non-book-reader roommate’s response: “Dragons vs zombies!!!”

    Overall, from simply from a season finale standpoint, it lacked a little of the shock/wow factor, since it was just setting up what’s next in terms of point but that worked very well. It has that “I want to know what happens next” with the larger overall plot of the series. And things seem far more tied together (although, they aren’t necessarily going to end up that way), especially with what’s happening beyond the Wall and with Dany across the Narrow Sea.

    I loved the Drogo cameo. Dany’s plot this season has been lacking and that really helped bring it back to what worked in the first season, a nod to the viewers who like Drogo, rather than referencing more book-ish related plots.

    The only scene I didn’t particularly like was the Joffrey scene with the announcement of the marriage. The staging seemed awkward and Natalie Dormer was kind of annoying. It didn’t have the kind of impact that it should have.

  125. oddlyotter
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    The Wights started lumbering up and what was said among my family:

    CARL! GET IN THE F—ING HOUSE!

    It made the finale.

  126. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Didn’t really expect our hope to come true, but I still thought of you when Tom – or whoever that was – walked away. :-)

  127. maledicta
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    So are we taking this as gospel now that Cersei is in fact the one who ordered Ser Mandon to kill Tyrion?

    It’s never been resolved in the books, but the show came out pretty strongly in favor of it being Cersei tonight when Varys stated it very matter-of-factly. Varys could of course by lying to Tyrion, but since we haven’t heard the real answer to this question by the end of book 5, it seems like by the time anyone ever got around to revealing that Varys was lying in the show, so much time would have gone by that everyone will have forgotten the whole thing in the first place.

    I feel like the only way Varys lying would make sense is if Varys himself were the one who told Ser Mandon to kill Tyrion, and this is revealed at the same time as Varys kills another member of House Lannister around the ending of Season 5. It would be a nice double-twist.

  128. Chriswithatian
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Superbly done! Bravo!!!!!

  129. Lyanna Stark
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Rhaegar,

    That’s okay baby, I still want you…

  130. . nathy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    ThePinkDragon,

    I love the series, I really do.I’m ok with most changes and do believe they’re mostly needed for the television medium to work.No need to list them all as they’re all over the site when they occur.

    They pumped up the House of the Undying for about a month.And that was just shameful.What happened?She saw a broken hall where winter had come and nearly touched the Iron Throne.She saw Drogo. Yes, Drogo is awesome, but why?Really?Why was that there other than to show it’s mystical and an illusion.We already knew that before she entered.Then dracarys.Cool, though I wasn’t a fan of the look of the flames, but that’s just a nitpicky thing and has no bearing on my reaction. What about EVERYTHING else she should have seen?Is that not key to her already boring character?

    Theon got to make a speech and get hit on the head. Oh exciting. =/

    Tyrion’s scene with Varys and Shae was good.

    Sansa and Joff’s scene was good.

    Winterfell Stark’s scenes were good.

    The wedding and way Rob was treating Cat were not good.I felt nothing but an urge to hit him.

    Brienne and Jamie, well, if you screw that up… lolIt was good.

    The Half-hand and Jon fight was ok, but not nearly enough was done with hushed dialogue to really nail it home that Jon was doing it by the half-hands command.It was like one statement last episode about how useful it would be to have a brother in their ranks, and that was it.And Ghost, oh Ghost, where art thou?

    I knew the season would end with 3 horns, and that was awesome.I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the total zombie look of the wights, but no biggie.Capitalize on Walking Dead’s popularity if you can. ;)

    Overall, I am just not pleased with a few minor changes that make things not nearly as cool as the books.The House of the Undying should have been SO much more.All of my non-reader friends have been talking about it since it was first brought up. Perhaps they’ll see it differently as me, but it was the biggest letdown of the series for me thus far.

    I dunno.I’m not a purist, but there are times that I wish they’d stop straying and keep major parts of the story intact and actually told, instead of pretending they never happened.

    I totally agree with everything you said.

  131. darquemode
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    Agreed on all counts.

    I like most of the changes D&D make…. outside of the Jon and Dany story arcs. Every change was for the worse to me. And that made for a let down of a finale.

  132. Jamie
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    The Others on dead horses leading an army of White Walkers! Brilliant! But I wanted to see Sam slay a white walker so bad.

  133. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    I think I had tears of “YES” in my eyes every five minutes. I can’t explain what those are, but perhaps others had them too. When Drogo showed up was one of those… yeah, now you know. :)

    I know exactly what you mean… Every few minutes I was holding back tears of sorrow and then a few minutes later I was holing back tears of joy/excitment!

    At least i know I aint the only one that felt like this throughout the whole episode I was on the verge of tears…

  134. Andrew
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Embrace the feels, Pink Dragon. Embrace all the feels.

    Also, I think you’re selling a lot of non-readers short in regards to the Halfhand scenes. I don’t know how anyone could miss his intentions; it was really obvious.

  135. KG
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh LAWDY, LAWDY, that was a serious cup of awesomesauce!

  136. Mean25
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    meh

  137. Ruze789
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, that was so good!!! And Khal Drogo was my favorite character from S1, that really sealed the deal for me.

  138. franklin
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I have read evey book, and the season was espectacular, I didn’t care much about the HotU, it was well done considering the series’s time limitation. I wish they could have made the Jaqen face shifting a little bit cooler though. Shae’ scene was powerful.

  139. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    trfhms,

    Why thanks. Makes sense to me but who knows where they are taking her. I think we just got a major hint that Jaquen and Florel are the same guy. J.K. Rowling told told the guy who played Snape (damn I wish I could remember his name) some secrets before all the books came out so he knew how to play his character. I wonder if GRRM has had to do somthing similar.

  140. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    MrsWun:
    Re: HOTU. If I just LET GO of R+L I can really relax and enjoy the show as much as everyone else. So I am, and I will. Thank you D&D, you did a great job, and I’ll be back next year. :-D

    If you want to get that fix, look at it as symbolism that not only is Winter coming to King’s Landing, but there was SNOW on the iron throne! That is how this Jon fanboy is looking at that scene.

  141. Manish Man
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Dudes seriously, did anyone think that the house of the undying stuff would make it in…Ice and Fire is full of weird visions and dreams and whatnot, and every single one of them is super vague and left up to the reader to find meaning. No one had a problem with Bran’s crazy dreamscape adventure being left out of the first season. When it comes to shows that are on this scale its about the intent and how its delivered and the visions they included were very powerful and very appropriate for the show. I adore the books, I adore the show. To me they are two separate things springing from the same well. There are things that the show has done better than the books and vise versa.

    That being said, I am a little disappointed that Dany didn’t get to meet a certain older gentleman with a white beard.

    Also, Ice and Fire was doing zombies before zombies were cool. Suck on that Walking Dead…Bring on the wights.

  142. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    SkywalkerIsDead,

    OK, that’s maybe my one concern – does Brienne proving herself in front of Jaime mean that they will not fight? That would really disappoint me.

  143. SillyMammo
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone notice when Grand Maester Pycelle left Tyrion’s room that he walked a little straighter and much quicker? And then in the next scene in the throne room he is hunched over and his speech is rambling. A little continuation from the scene last season.

  144. Hassan Madkour
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    top6,

    yes, they might make it jon’s plan all along so that he seems a better leader later on, if you get my meaning

  145. Onion
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Did Iron Maiden’s Eddie inspire the new white walkers? Zombe Apocolypse!!!!

  146. JCourtKnowsNothing
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    The last two episodes rocket this show into the Stratosphere. The White Walker was incredible, been waiting since season 1 episode 1 for them to show up again! …George need that Book 6 now!!!

  147. Shock Me
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Would have liked more of the Halfhand, but nicely done. I haven’t yet read the comments but I’m sure they are screaming about the HOTU’s lack of visions. The shot of Khal Drogo had more dramatic power though.

  148. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not entirely sure that I liked the ending. I’m still working on that, I suppose. Cool CGI, though!

    Some really great stuff in this episode. Peter Dinklage nailed everything tonight. The almost panic in his voice as he calls for Pod after awakening to see a grinning Pycelle standing over him. His reaction to Shae. Tyrion cries! All great stuff.

    Brienne and Jaime. This pairing is going to be so much fun. Looking forward to more in… ack, 10 more months.

    Stannis and Mel and the fire. Non-canon and going to drive some folks nuts, but I think it worked!

    Robb and whatever-her-name-is… meh. I’m still not sold on the change from Jeyne to Talisa. Ah, well. Maybe it’ll get better next season.

    Love the walking around the tower and Dany disappearing. Worked better than having Dany make all right turns, I think. Nice to see Jason Momoa again. Gave us an opportunity to see more of the non-petulant, non-demanding Dany.

    Dracarys. Again, going to drive some folks nuts. Elio and Linda probably had a whole herd of cows. I liked it. Got some great shots of the 3 dragons together! The look of expectation on their faces, just waiting for her to say it. Beats burning a slaver in Astapor for an introduction to the fire-breathing as more than just a new way to cook food by Ron Popeil.

    I really missed hearing Qhorin ask Jon if his blade was sharp. I think they missed the mark on those scenes. Do they really want to invest that much in keeping the audience wondering if Jon is really a traitor, at the expense of having Jon come across in a more negative light? I worry that the audience being kept wondering is also going to sour them on Jon for later.

    Doreah. Well, crap. So much for that hope. Dany really is going to need a Missandei next season, now that Doreah and Irri are both gone.

    Nice scene with Luwin. Going to miss him. They managed to give him a more heroic ending than in the books. I like that.

    They are still missing so many opportunities to make Dolorous Ed actually dolorous. So many great lines just not happening. I’ll live, but I really wish they would work on giving Ed better Ed lines to go along with all the great Sam lines.

    Three blasts did not end like I expected. Hrmm… I’ll reserve judgment, I think. It rubbed me the wrong way to have Sam come face to face with the Other and not do as in the books. I don’t think I like the way it ended. It was cool and all. But I think zombie army somehow overcame good sense and they missed an opportunity to make the 3 horn blasts really stunning. I’ll get over it.

    All in all, a 4 out of 5 for tonight.

    We’ll need an extra large curtain call this week, for Luwin and Doreah and Ducksauce and Qhorin.
    Looks like

  149. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The non-bookies are confused as all fuck, though.

    I hope all their questions are answered ASAP next season. Really don’t want to lose them.

  150. Himilce Storbirn
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Im a reader but i think so far the arrangements are pretty good..,HOTU was Something,i Was lookinv,forward but seeing drogo was an excellent idea. Finally the Others are in town!!

  151. House Snow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see how non-readers take the episode. They up the fantasy element by quite a bit.

  152. DB
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Also, anyone love how the King in the north got married by the Seven instead of the Old Gods lolllllllll

  153. KG
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    The Instrumentalist,

    What works as a mystical hint of things to come in the written word are blatant giveaways when you show them right in front of people. Adjustments had to be made.

  154. Gonfaloniere
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Loved most of the episode – Dany’s vision of snow on the Iron Throne was both beautiful and terrifying for the future. But I really have a problem with their making Brienne a stone-cold killer – part of her book arc is how she loses her considerable innocence which she retains despite her prowess. It’s a really big deal when she makes her first kill, but THIS Brienne apparently slits people’s throats for breakfast. I love Gwendolyn Christie in the role, but … yeah, I wish Brienne paralleled Sansa more than she parallels Arya although Arya has only killed the stable boy so far.

    Also, I HATE that Robb married Talisa to spite his mother (and that Catelyn STILL hasn’t told him that Karstark was going to kill Jaime and that’s why she released him.)

    In contrast, the Stannis/Melisandre scene was BRILLIANT. Stephen Dillane is amazing and he and Carice are so great together.

  155. . nathy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    R+L is a fact! You can understand that by reading Cersei’s POV in AFFC.

  156. KG
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    DB:
    Also, anyone love how the King in the north got married by the Seven instead of the Old Gods lolllllllll

    Maybe Talisa worships the Seven. So there.

  157. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Then go watch True Blood. Bye!

    . nathy:
    NOOO! Please!!

    What about the Prince who was Promissed?! Rhaegar?? The 3 heads of the dragon?? The House of the Undying and a proper Dracarys??!!

    Can’t believe they put Drogo there!!

    I’m so disappointed.

  158. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I think that D&D left out that would have really satisfied me personally would be some awesome CGI of Ghost running in out of no-where and killing the Halfhand…

  159. katydid
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Ehh…wasn’t a huge fan of this one. My main gripes:

    1a. Robb and Talisa and the whole handling of the marriage. So really, Cat knows beforehand that Robb is going to break his vow?!? and she lets him get away with it? I mean, he is king, but damn, she knows how stupid it is. I don’t know how much she could have done, but her reaction wasn’t nearly strong enough, IMO. Forget giving him life lessons, she needed to smack him upside the head.

    1b. Robb deciding to marry Talisa. In the books, he marries Jeyne Westerling because they have sex and he feels guilty afterward. Basically, she’s ruined for marriage since she’s no longer a virgin, and worse, she slept with a rebel, and Tywin Lannister is not forgiving. It’s not smart, but it’s impulsive, not premeditated, and book Robb is a lot younger than his TV counterpart, so I cut him more slack. Whereas in the TV show, Robb seriously thinks about it before hand, and then decides, yep, true love is more important than my kingdom, sorry Walder. A stupid mistake in the spur of the moment is one thing, but thinking it through beforehand…ugh. He almost deserves what happens to him.

    2. Littlefinger telling Sansa he’d help her go home. I don’t like how obvious it is; book Petyr would never take a risk like that. He always acts through other people, so he can’t be connected to whatever happens. Honestly, this is more of the same; D&D haven’t done so well with writing his character, maybe because they don’t think the audience can handle subtlety or convoluted plots.

    3. Theon and Winterfell. Anticlimatic; I would have preferred Ramsay’s betrayal, and there are serious plot holes. We don’t really see how or why Winterfell got burned, or why the soldiers laying siege to it don’t just occupy the castle when they’ve kicked out the ironborn. Without meeting Ramsay and having that play out, it doesn’t really make sense that Bran and Rickon can just walk out of a deserted castle.

    What I did like:
    1. Shae and Tyrion’s conversation. I hated book Shae, but I actually like the TV version. Also, am I the only one who is speculating that she might be an agent of Ilyrio? She did tell Tyrion to go to Pentos, after all. Plus, with Varys trying to flip Ros, it seems like they want to use prostitutes as their spies.

    2. (Some) of the HOTU. Mostly, the parts where Dany walks around and sees visions. I’ve never been a huge fan of Emilia Clarke, but she was pretty good in this episode, and the cinematography was just gorgeous. Good job with the CGI dragons too, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the encounter with the warlocks. (It came off as forced.) Also, I thought Dany’s khalasar was killed? Why were there so many when she confronts Xaro?

    3. Ygritte. Love that girl, and Rose Leslie is doing an amazing job. Plus, Rattleshirt’s armor is awesome.

  160. Ritas Smith
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Loved the episode, especially that not all Starks are good guys, etc. Dany and her dragons have brought magic back into the world (and the White Walkers), doesn’t sound good to me.

  161. Hilda
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    OMG! The stuff at winterfell too. That stuff with the boys and maester luwin was so sad. That made me cry! Guess Hodor wont be carrying Bran around much anymore! LOL!

  162. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    darquemode: Am I the only one that found the Halfhand’s death and theHouse of the Undying a bit of a let down? Really?

    HOTU wasn’t a let down to me, because it FINALLY returned Dany to what she should be.. a strong player.. not a whiny little beotch. At least that’s how I saw it. I did enjoy the beautiful scenes even though some major prophecies were avoided, but that would have spoiled season 3 anyway.

  163. Dje Rock
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Really pulling for the Starks I mean CMON Rob shes hot but damn… White Walkers will crush the starks then crush kings landing and just before someone finally kills king Douche Joffrey; Danaris T and the Dragons swoop in and save the day and the Targareans take the Iron Throne again. Even the Mayans went in cycles.

  164. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Hassan Madkour,

    I still say they’re setting it up so Shae’s betrayal will be even more devastating than in the books.

    I never liked her …..

  165. Whitewalkingbitch
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, I think Danny’s throne room was very telling.

    When she looked up, kind of looked like dragon destruction. The snow?

    We already know Targaryens wed each other to keep the bloodline pure. This could cement value to the Jon Snow being a Targaryen via Nedd’s sister. Maybe they changed the prophecy to show the ruling of Snow and the Mother of Dragons… 2 Targaryens once again on the throne??

    Just a though. Otherwise… absolute best season finale in television history! Simply amazing!

  166. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    And imo dragons destroyed the throne room. Making way for Snow to land on it.

  167. Himilce Storbirn
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    DanofhouseStark,
    Agreed!

  168. Susan
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Was it snow or ashes in the HOTU when Dany walked into the throne room? I thought it was ash falling and maybe indicated that Kings Landing will be burned to ashes and she won’t want the iron throne in the end. GRRM has stated in interview that D & D know the eventual ending he has visioned just in case he croaks before he finishes writing the books. But I do like the idea of it being snow and that being symbolic of Jon Snow taking the throne in the end. I so want it to be him!

  169. Lauren
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Ok… I know they left the visions out of THOTU, but… Snow in the throne room? The wall? I’m going to go ahead and take that as more evidence that Jon is TPTWP. Thoughts?

  170. Default King
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    I agree with most of what you said. I love the series, and I have almost never been bothered by any of the changes made, but parts of this episode were sort of botched. Winterfell, Half-hand… not great. I did like the HOTU, but I feel like they should have done just a little something more given how much it was built up for half the season.

  171. sweetonsigmafilms
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Broke my heart in Winterfell
    Delighted me road-tripping w/ Brienne & Jamie
    Thrilled me with dragons & misty scary things in the snow
    Touched my heart with wishes only possible in the stars & moon
    A woman made sad with the departure of a great character
    A fan made happy with another season of superior superior excellent acting & production values, exquisite!
    Thanks D & D Bryan George and esp directors cinematographers cast crew for such brilliant work
    Can’t wait for Season 3!!!

  172. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    HOTU wasn’t a let down to me, because it FINALLY returned Dany to what she should be.. a strong player.. not a whiny little beotch. At least that’s how I saw it. I did enjoy the beautiful scenes even though some major prophecies were avoided, but that would have spoiled season 3 anyway.

    I agree with this..

    Dany was like “Thank you for teaching me this lesson” to Ducksauce…

    Now in season 3, we get to see “Dany the Conquerer” =)

  173. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Yep, I pointed that out to my girlfriend! He beebopped out of there like a teenager! Good catch.

    SillyMammo:
    Did anyone notice when Grand Maester Pycelle left Tyrion’s room that he walked a little straighter and much quicker?And then in the next scene in the throne room he is hunched over and his speech is rambling.A little continuation from the scene last season.

  174. SkywalkerIsDead
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    Yellow Dog,
    I would like to know your prediction, but it was blocked.

  175. skipdutch
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Tim:
    I really hated some things about this episode…

    Highlight: The Dany scenes from Xaro on were great, the music made them.

    Disliked:

    I have a hard time believing that the TV viewers will have ANY idea whatsoever than Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him… Hell in the show version, Jon didn’t even know… What was the point of that? Qhorin says 1 line 2 episodes ago very fast and silently, and that was supposed to hint that Qhorin wanted Jon to defect and learn about th Wildling plans?

    They could’ve snuck in an escape to add that conversation this episode, but I guess it ‘s more important that they foreshadow Ros will be another main fixture in season 3 as Varys’ spy. Because he doesn’t have enough of those.

    Also, the White Walker on the horse looked just downright silly. Like a guy in a halloween costume silly. The original White walkers with flat noses and charred skin from the pilot were way superior to this new one.

    Lastly, what was up with the way they handled the ENTIRE Theon arc this episode? The TV viewers will have no idea who burned down Winterfell. Don’t understand that at all.

    Was underwhelmed with Theon/Beyond-the-Wall stories this episode immensely. Excluding the first Theon scene with Luwin.

    I agree wholeheartedly (well, didn’t love the end, but not because of the special effects, I think the current WW look fine). I’m not a purist by any means, but the Winterfell thing really is confusing. Did they take Theon back with them? Did they give him away? Who sacked Winterfell? They didn’t have to show it, Luwin could have given it as exposition at the tree, unless pure exposition is to passe for HBO.

  176. val
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Josh,

    I hadn’t realized, that is really weird about Robb and the gods… wonder if they’re gonna have him kill Karstark under a weirwood after this.

  177. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    DB:
    Also, anyone love how the King in the north got married by the Seven instead of the Old Gods lolllllllll

    Well, he wasn’t in the North. There are no Weirwoods near by. His mother worships the Seven. Sansa does as well. Didn’t Ned marry Catelynn at Riverrun in the light of the seven?

  178. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    And then Daario kicks her right back down again. ;)

  179. The Greatsteve
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Those White Walkers scare the bejesus out of anyone else?
    Next Sunday is gonna be brutal… may be time to reread ASOS.

  180. . nathy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Ed:
    Then go watch True Blood.Bye!

    No thanks.

    Sorry if I’m saying what I think. It’s my opinion. I love the books and really enjoyed the series so far. But the HotU was a punch in the face. All that scream “where are my dragons?!” just to see Drogo again? Please…

  181. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Someone please tell me what TPTWP stands for.

  182. nymeria44
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I read the books, plan on reading again this summer but I also loved this episode! I missed the prophecies but enjoyed it anyway. I had tears in ky eyes as we said goodbye to Luwin.

  183. Baramos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m ambivalent towards the HOTU–knowing the amount of backstory that had been cut, I wasn’t too surprised they had changed the visions to things that neither comment on the backstory nor give away future events. BUT, I found myself wondering why the scenes of her walking through the Wall and so on were so drawn out, as they could have more than easily had shown multiple visions through the other doors, each one taking 15-20 seconds or whatever. An extra minute is too much to ask for a show such as this?

    BUT the new visions were pretty powerfully made and I liked them quite a bit, so there’s that.

    And the ending makes up for everything, besides. I give it an A. In combination with last week’s episode this has been easily the most exciting climax in television history.

  184. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    God…

    It was so awesome when Dany got chained her babies were all just looking at her as if saying;

    “Tell us mommy, tell us, we are ready!”

    And BAMM that Warlock was burning!

  185. surfKraken
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you David Benioff and D. B. Weiss:

    -for showing the White Walkers virtually naked. Not even George RR Martin described them so vividly.

    -for showing us plenty of footage of dragons in this episode…with their mother carrying them. Been waiting for that.

    -for keeping us guessing by not doing everything by the book. Over all, it looks good.

    Dear HBO:

    A Song Of Ice And Fire is as big now as Lord Of The Rings was back in the late 1960′s….probably bigger. George is rocking the New York Times Best sellers list. C’mon, it’s time to fund this show for longer seasons….or even back-to-back season production. It’s time.

    That is all.

  186. Jim
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Ewwww. That’s disgusting

    Renaud Besse-Bourdier,

  187. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I liked the scene with Arya and Jaqen, but I really wish they’d knock it off with the giving the kills to the Red God stuff. It followed the theology of the books the first time, because the 3 would have died in fire; but there is no way Jaqen would tell Arya that she could kill Joffrey and Cersei and the rest as more offerings to the Red God. That spoiled an otherwise great scene. I don’t understand why they felt the need to do that. Someone writing this episode doesn’t understand the Faceless Men and thinks they worship the Red God. /sigh

    To those who said that it is pronounced Val-ar mor-Gool-is, I bow to your superior wisdom.

  188. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    skipdutch: agree wholeheartedly (well, didn’t love the end, but not because of the special effects, I think the current WW look fine). I’m not a purist by any means, but the Winterfell thing really is confusing. Did they take Theon back with them? Did they give him away? Who sacked Winterfell? They didn’t have to show it, Luwin could have given it as exposition at the tree, unless pure exposition is to passe for HBO.

    Nah. Roz wasn’t there to have sex in the background. That seems to be the only way things got explained this season.

  189. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    trfhms,

    We need a new word for what Peter Dinklage does as Tyrion – “acting” just doesn’t cut it.

  190. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Hah!! Great catch there – hadn’t noticed that!

    Lauren:
    Ok… I know they left the visions out of THOTU, but… Snow in the throne room?

  191. Dennis
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow that Tyrion, Shae scene was the most powerful emotional moment in the series for me thus far. The cgi at the end was freaking movie quality.. Superb. Even tho he did not say much in this episode.. Tywin went from having become semi likeable to the complete prick that he is.. awesome. Weakest scenes I agree with most everybody else were the Robb and Ros scenes. I’m gonna miss Doreah for her looks but holy crap Dany and Ygritte once again got my testosterone flowing. I wasn’t impressed with Mel/Carice’s acting thus far but she nailed that scene with Stannis IMHO.

  192. Baramos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    . nathy,

    Well she repeated Mirri Maz Duur’s prophecy again, so it does serve something of a similar purpose to the book’s version, if with different prophecies. Also, how can you not love the emotional power behind the Drogo scene and her walking away from it? When something reminds me of a movie like the Last Temptation of Christ, they’re doing something right.

  193. franklin
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s horse doing its thing before going into the iron throne room…. What a hint.

  194. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Lauren,

    Yeah, I’m sure the dude is gonna rise right up from being dead, totally sane and whole, completely accept his destiny and be a good little princeling without any weird complexes or whatsoever. And not a single person will wonder why there’s an undead man on the throne.

    It is known.

    :p

  195. HumMis1349
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    katydid:
    Ehh…wasn’t a huge fan of this one. My main gripes:

    1a. Robb and Talisa and the whole handling of the marriage. So really, Cat knows beforehand that Robb is going to break his vow?!? and she lets him get away with it? I mean, he is king, but damn, she knows how stupid it is. I don’t know how much she could have done, but her reaction wasn’t nearly strong enough, IMO. Forget giving him life lessons, she needed to smack him upside the head.

    1b. Robb deciding to marry Talisa. In the books, he marries Jeyne Westerling because they have sex and he feels guilty afterward. Basically, she’s ruined for marriage since she’s no longer a virgin, and worse, she slept with a rebel, and Tywin Lannister is not forgiving. It’s not smart, but it’s impulsive, not premeditated, and book Robb is a lot younger than his TV counterpart, so I cut him more slack. Whereas in the TV show, Robb seriously thinks about it before hand, and then decides, yep, true love is more important than my kingdom, sorry Walder. A stupid mistake in the spur of the moment is one thing, but thinking it through beforehand…ugh. He almost deserves what happens to him.

    3. Theon and Winterfell. Anticlimatic; I would have preferred Ramsay’s betrayal, and there are serious plot holes. We don’t really see how or why Winterfell got burned, or why the soldiers laying siege to it don’t just occupy the castle when they’ve kicked out the ironborn.Without meeting Ramsay and having that play out, it doesn’t really make sense that Bran and Rickon can just walk out of a deserted castle.

    I agree on these counts. During that conversation between Robb and Cat I was hoping it would turn out that Robb had already tied the knot, that it was too late. And I was hoping that Luwin would explain what happened, not for my sake so much as for the new viewers.

    But otherwise, it was a great episode. I didn’t mind the changes to the HOTU.

  196. stanvosftw
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Very hit and miss epi. I am disappoint.

    Goods
    I liked the throne room scene, Marg being a bamf, Sansa being secretly overjoyed, yes plz. Also Sansa and LF’s scene was pretty good (he’s so grossssss but that’s a good thing to get across).

    Jaime and Brienne I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER. NCW AND GWEN PLEASE QUIT THIS STUPID SHOW AND GO MAKE A SPINOFF WHERE YOU NEVER MAKE IT BACK TO KL AND HAVE BIG, BADASS, SNARKY-YET-DEEPLY-HONORABLE WARRIOR BABIES ACROSS THE NARROW SEA. SPECIAL EPISODE ENDING SHORTS CAN BE VARYS AND LF SNARK.

    Cat talking fucking sense into Robb, but see below.

    Luwin death scene was great, very moving. I like how Osha said “Norths’ the wrong way.” :)

    Okay the scene with Drogo/Rhaego was sweet, I will give them that. Also the Red Keep in snow and the wall scene were awesome (the wall bit being THE ONE prophetic that they actually KEPT).

    Even though they made Stephen Dillane do OOC things I still would watch him paint a fucking wall, I love him as Stannis UGH. Melisandre was also good here.

    Yay they completed teh Winterfell plot! Love it. I’m glad that they wrapped it up Ramsey seige and with Theon getting captured (though BTW I wonder, how will Cat and Robb find out about Bran and Rickon since for some unfathomable reason they wrote out them finding out via Raven???)

    Arya / Jaqen scene was good. Nothing to say about it though, really. Just a solid job.

    Okays
    Jon’s stuff, whatever. He’s kind of more dense than the books but IDC. Mostly it was fine. Ygritte is fucking amazing in the TV series I want her babies.

    Theon stuff was okay though I think Alfie was overacting but maybe on purpose IDK.

    No Davos! Cliffhanger. :( Not sure how long that’s gonna stay secret! It’s okay, I just like TV!Davos and would like to see him!

    Bads
    Dany’s… um almost everything?
    What the hell was the house of the undying. They need to learn how to build fucking suspense, it was hamhanded all the way through. The dragons burning Pyat Pree looked really stupid. No prophecy AT ALL was unforgivable. And so what the fuck was the point of her entire arc this season if no prophecy, fail at development of Jorah relationship, failure at showing her trying to be a savvy negotiator but learning that approach doens’t always work despite best attempts (instead what, she “learned” from Xaro… not to trust people? she knew that already and said as much in ep 5), nope she’ll just steal half of Qarth’s shit, kill their king and run? What is she a fucking PIRATE? What is this shit? She also would not murder Doreah like that. That kind of shit is reserved for the truly unforgivable (slavers and murderers). Doreah didn’t kill anyone. In fact I do not understand her motives at all? Xaro was like, hey come sleep with me and I won’t murder you? Uh, I’d take that deal and Dany would understand. It seems very OOC for TV Doreah to abandon the dragons & Dany so easily. They should have just killed her in the Red Waste. What was the point? …Also, who is she going to have sexy times with if not her or Irri?!? Fucking pissed. FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK.

    Stannis would never strangle Melisandre nor should he. He should be cold, silent, brooding, not randomly and disgustingly abusive ala Robert. Gross HBO, just gross. And Fail. He doesn’t blame her for what happens, and again NOR SHOULD HE. Also yay making him look like a puppet and nothing more . Also, did they read the fucking 3rd book STANNIS DOES NOT KNOW HE KILLED RENLY, HBO, HE DOES NOT KNOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND??? HE. DOESN’T. KNOOOOOW.

    The white walkers looked completely stupid. HBO, you need to learn how to direct your CGI shots so you see FLASHES of the scary things, rather than long shots, so they don’t look COMPLETELY FAKE AND STUPID. Why not have this scene in the dark like it should be? The CGI would have worked WAY better in the dark. I suppose it was because there would be technical problems with filming in Iceland at night.

    Robb’s response to Cat re: Talisa was completely wrong in every way. He knows he’s being an idiot and that should be part of it. He’s OVERCOME BY HIS DICK AND HE KNOWS IT. Instead HBO’s like NO ROBB’S RIGHT HE SHOULD GET TO MARRY HER AND ITS NOT WRONG AT ALL NONONONO. Which is stupid. Robb IS wrong. Also if she’s really from fucking volantis why is she vowing by the seven? Does not fuckign compute.

  197. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I guess Ghost was truly a Ghost this season. Our albino direwolf just vanished into thin air. This episode was truly “meh”…nothing special.
    I feel kinda disappointed.

  198. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Stacia:
    The only scene I didn’t particularly like was the Joffrey scene with the announcement of the marriage. The staging seemed awkward and Natalie Dormer was kind of annoying.It didn’t have the kind of impact that it should have.

    In the book it was made clear that the scene was entirely staged, and the actors did a superb job of acting people who are acting.

  199. MeekyReekyRamasy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    That was a piece of shit! No way for Jon to explain why he killed Qorhin when he gets back to the wall. The White Walker scene was fucking cornballing all the way down the mountain. Special effects took precedence over storytelling in an episode that needed more dialogue and less CGI to set us up for next season. We had plenty of eye candy last week, and I think using action to progress the story forward in this episode was more confusing than satisfying. It reminded me of a bad episode of True Blood, and all episodes of True Blood are complete shit, so you can guess where I’m placing Valar Morghulis. A major disappointment which has nothing to do with them straying from the path of the novels, just all around bad television.

    Still love the show and I will wait in great anticipation to watch next season, but that was by far the worst episode of the series in my opinion.

  200. Dogmayor
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    surfKraken,

    George actually described the others as wearing armor.

  201. The Instrumentalist
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Gonfaloniere,

    People always paint Brienne as that pretty maiden in a big ugly woman costume, but they forget that she is a fierce warrior despite her innocence. You have to also keep in mind that in the show we cannot see behind Brienne’s eyes. Taking into account something that happens in the future, methinks she’s a pretty good liar – very straight-faced. She is tortured, but she had to do what she had to do – and she’s definitely not going to give Jaime the pleasure of seeing her struggle with the kills. I think she made her point, LOL.

  202. Baramos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Well, they worship the God of Many-Faces. If R’hllor is the only god in that religion, then he represents Death, similarly to the Stranger, and so he is the one the Faceless Men consider the aspect of the God of Many-Faces from that religion. So I don’t really see it as a contradiction for him to use the Red God as an analogy.

  203. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
    House Snow,

    White Walkers kind of look trees no?

    That’s exactly what I was thinking! They’re un-Ents!

    My first thought was that they resembled (in behavior) to the Pirates of the Caribbean undead. Maybe that’s why they left Sam alone. They’re too focused on their mission and Sam’s not an urgent target.

    Circular reasoning here. ;)

  204. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamasy:
    It reminded me of a bad episode of True Blood, and all episodes of True Blood are complete shit, so you can guess where I’m placing Valar Morghulis.

    I literally winced at this, because I totally get what you’re saying, lol. (The metaphor, I mean. I liked the episode. But OUCH.)

  205. Baramos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamasy,

    ? How can he not explain why he killed Qhorin? He knew it was all an act from the last episode we saw them in (episode 8), when Qhorin whispered to him “see it isn’t for nothing” and then immediately started screaming crazily at him and knocking him down the slope. How would he not understand that it was all part of a plan? Qhorin had to make it look real, that’s why he played on Jon’s emotions this episode. He actually got Jon angry so that when he let Jon knock the sword out of his hand and run him through, it would look real.

    Your other complaints seem reasonable, just I don’t share them…

  206. Deborah Ambridge Fisher
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Dany heard a baby cry when she first entered HOTU. As the scene went on it changed to the cry of a dragon. IMO.

  207. Skid Marx
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    franklin,

    Wasn’t one a girl?

  208. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Anybody know if that was ash or snow in the throne room? My TV was super dark :(

  209. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Was anyone legitimately in tears at the Khal Drogo appearance?

    I honestly went, “Just stay there Dany. Fuck the dragons, fuck the throne, stay there with your stupidly adorable husband and your stupidly adorable baby forever.”

    And if she did, and never appeared again, and that was the ending to her story, I totally would accept it. Fully.

    Yes, this woman also wanted that for Dany, the loves she lost. Surprising how often tears filled the eyes in this hour, so much intense stuff.

  210. . nathy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    I like Dany and Drogo. But I just love Rhaegar and I can’t understand why they decided to put Drogo there instead of the prophecies. I think they wanted to please the non-readers because the were really sad and disappointed when Drogo died. But still… they are changing too much. It doesn’t make much sense why Dany was so mad during 4 episodes looking for her children and it ended just like that. I was expecting too much, I admit.

  211. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    Snow, which pretty much gives away the ending of the series.

    I had hoped that George was going to avoid the whole rags-to-riches trope, buuuut…

  212. Onion
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow: shocked at all the love for Tyrion’s Shae scene: I thought that was his worst acting of the season/series. Seemed so fake. But hey, if everybody loves it, thats cool , just keep making the episodes!!! I can live with it!

  213. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Susan: But I do like the idea of it being snow and that being symbolic of Jon Snow taking the throne in the end. I so want it to be him!

    I KNOW!!! I want it to be Jon as well. That scene was gorgeous! How can people not like this? I don’t understand.

  214. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus:
    Anybody know if that was ash or snow in the throne room? My TV was super dark :(

    I think snow. As in the Endless Winter that would result from the Others winning. A glimpse of a possible future. Not sure what she was reaching for on the throne when she heard the dragons again. A sword hilt possibly?

  215. Carolyn
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Even though there were no Undying in the House of the Undying it was still a great episode.

  216. Anon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Tim,

    I’m not a reader (I just look here because I think that what readers have to say is more interesting and I try to avoid spoilers) but I definitely got that Jon was supposed to kill Qhorin, I think his final words affirmed that for anyone with lingering doubts anyway. And I think they included that line about infiltrating the wildlings in the “previously on GoT” thing at the beginning.

    As for Winterfell, I did feel like there was a lot left unexplained – I assumed that the men from the iron islands must have burned winterfell, but that doesn’t make any sense since they were going home anyway, although I have had a suspicious feeling about that tall guy that was always egging Theon on so maybe he had something to do with it? I was most confused by the lack of northerners there, though. Why would they all leave Winterfell when there were hundreds of northerners surrounding it in the first place? Hopefully there will be some more explanation of this next season, without it, that whole sequence will seem poorly thought-out for non-book-readers.

    Even as a non-reader, I have to agree with peoples’ disappointment with the HotU scenes, I understand that they were trying to fit a lot in this episode, but it just didn’t seem like the Warlock, after all they built him up to be, would have made it so easy for Dany to get through to the Dragons. I was definitely waiting for more temptations and obstacles to her escape.

  217. JohnnyBoy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    God Damn It! It went by too fast! The episode was fantastic! Yes the lack of prophesies was disappointing but guys, if i was a non reader, and I see a wolfs bloody head on a body, thats not a prophesy, thats a spoiler. I would have liked a blue flower at the wall however, thatd be nice Seeing Drogo and Jason again was fantastic, glad he came back for a bit. Jaquens sequence was cool too, the facechange was slickly done. I was a bit scared that theyd rush the Sansa Littlefinger thing but it was alright. The fight between Jon and Qhorin was good, its just that the reasoning behind the fight wasn’t entirely played out I thought. Maybe a whisper between the two while their swords are crossed closely or maybe something before idk but still I liked Qhorins last words, kinda filled in the gap I mentioned. AS for the white walkers, oh my god. I had no idea that theyd go into such detail as that close up. At first, I thought the face was quite, eh. But then when he screamed, I got chills (haha). Honestly George, cut us a break and give us some Lord of the Rings characters as back up for our boys. Hell we’ll take Gollum! All in all, it was a great episode, on the edge of my uncomfortable seat the whole time, and now comes the longgggggg wait.

  218. MeekyReekyRamasy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    I might have been a little too harsh with that statement

  219. Andrew
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad they didn’t really fully explain the sack of winterfell and such. It’s much better for the show to have the non-readers (Why readers are confused about it is beyond me) unsure of what took place over the next ten months, which will keep them talking about it, rather than just outright saying Oh yeah, The Boltons killed the ironmen and burned the castle. They’re kind of dicks. It would make for awful television to have them explain everything completely, right away.

  220. nightwolf
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Choose Your Own Adventure: Game of Thrones Edition!

  221. Baramos
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    stanvosftw,

    Well, he did blame her in the book, actually. Or at least listened to Davos when he blamed her and made him Hand to counteract her influence. In any case, he didn’t consider her to have been entirely forthright. You’re right that he didn’t strangle her but I don’t find it entirely out of keeping with this “version” of the character. It reminded me of when he had sex with her–he is very stolid and holds in all his emotions, but then they come bursting out violently.

  222. Howland Reed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    A great episode! One small gripe though: It is not made clear why Winterfell is burning. We get that the ironmen accepted Rob’s amnesty and handed over Theon to (presumably) Ramsey Bolton, who had besieged Wintefell. But why burn the place? If it’s the departing iromen who burned the castle you’d think the northmen would be unhappy and less likely to let them walk and if we are to assume that Bolton burned the castle then his motivation for doing so is entirely unclear.

    Any thoughts?

  223. Jack Slap
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    the white walkers looked 1000 times better than the ones in the pilot! awesome

  224. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    That was a big thought of mine as well…. either way is very meaningful, perhaps it was meant to be ambiguous?

  225. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamasy,

    Maybe, maybe not. It’s your opinion and I”m not attacking you for it at all.

  226. Uhpyurshbo
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Does Stannis Baratheon have’ta choke a bitch?

  227. andrea
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Many good scenes and great acting: Varys and Ross (the silence was perfect. I believe that there was no ambient noise in that scene and I really liked it), Varys, Tyrion and Pod, Tyrion and Shae, Ludwin and the kids, Luwin and Theon, Brienne and Jaime and Stannis of course (Dillane is a miracle as Stannis).
    HOTU: I think they simplified the prophecies and that´s fine. I mean, the throne room burned by dragons? and the ice on the throne). Love the dragons and the direwolves (shaggydog at last)
    I´m sorry for Irri (and for you Knurk) but that Doreah chick had to go: I want my Missandei

    Halfhand and Jon´s scene was no good. Halfhand´s reaction was messy and out of the blue. It lacked emotion, depth and the pace was just bad.
    The white walkers cgi I don´t like so much. But the idea of their faces like trees is great (and quite intriguing!).

    One more time, the acting was the best I think.

    Question: what happened with Dagmer? is “going home” going to the Iron Islands? I think FaB´s theory confused me. Roose/RAmsay is at Winterfell´s gates, no?

  228. stanvosftw
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    stile: they’ve already established that TV Dany has prophetic dreams. Book Dany never did, as far as I remember.

    Book Dany has TONS of prophetic dreams. In particular in Book 1. And the fact is, we’ve never seen a single one of them in the TV series (so I’m not sure what you are referring to with the above). This leads me to believe that we will continue not to see any prophecy from her, instead we’ll see random yelling, which is all D&D apparently choose to write for her.

  229. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed,

    I think we’ll get an explanation when Ramsay is introduced next season. Sadly, that means we have a 10 month wait to find out how they handled it. My guess is we’ll see Theon turned over to Bolton and then Bolton talking about his ordering the razing of Winterfell.

  230. bardard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Tim:
    I really hated some things about this episode…

    I have a hard time believing that the TV viewers will have ANY idea whatsoever than Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him… Hell in the show version, Jon didn’t even know… What was the point of that? Qhorin says 1 line 2 episodes ago very fast and silently, and that was supposed to hint that Qhorin wanted Jon to defect and learn about th Wildling plans?

    They could’ve snuck in an escape to add that conversation this episode, but I guess it ‘s more important that they foreshadow Ros will be another main fixture in season 3 as Varys’ spy. Because he doesn’t have enough of those.

    The Halfhand did suggest to Jon in the one private conversation they were able to have that his men’s deaths need to be made to mean something. He suggested too that having a man in good with Mance might make all the difference. I don’t think you’re giving non-readers enough credit – many may put two and two together.

    Whether or not they do, though, almost doesn’t matter. Right now, what are non-readers thinking about Jon’s storyline? “Did Jon really just become a wildling? He can’t have, no way! But Ygritte’s got the hots for him – she’s been laying it on pretty thick, and there almost seemed to be something there before she escaped. Maybe he wanted to? But no, he’s too much Ned’s son – honor and duty have been drilled into him. But on the other hand, he almost ran away once before. And this time his friends aren’t there to bring him back. I wonder what will happen next season!

    Just as GRRM doesn’t spell everything out in the books, leaving room for fan speculation – which by the way, helps generate buzz and interest – so too the TV show leaves viewers wondering what the next season will bring.

    I’d make a similar argument for leaving the identity of Winterfell’s arsons unrevealed. Speculating about the identity of the attackers will be a way to maintain interest among non-book reader viewers until season 3 picks the story back up. And aside from a purely narrative perspective, I’d argue that the current lack of resolution to the Winterfell story lends itself better to advertising season 3. “Who burned Winterfell!?” seems to me a better question for season 3 teaser ads to pose than “Why did Bolton’s Bastard burn Winterfell?”. If we knew Bolton men did it, we’d be waiting all of season 3 for Roose to betray Robb; the RW wouldn’t be as blindsiding as it was in the books.

    Just my two cents. I’d be happy to hear why you think things should’ve been handled differently, and why viewers should be forearmed with these extra bits of knowledge going into season 3.

  231. Default King
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed,

    That was the weakest part of the episode, which is a shame because I felt it took away from Luwin’s death scene.

  232. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    SkywalkerIsDead,

    SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!

    Jaime and Brienne are just non-stop awesomesauce throughout A Storm of Swords, but one scene I think everyone is looking forward to is Brienne and Jaime in an actual to-the-death sword fight. That’s what I hope D&D will keep next season.

  233. House Snow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed,

    Perhaps they don’t want to reveal the Boltons are bad guys yet. It would lessen the shock of RW a little if people already had a bead on them

  234. MeekyReekyRamasy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    Yeah ,I guess your right. I was just really wanting them to have a deep discussion about him turning his cloak. It would of built the sword fighting scene up and made it more dramatic.

  235. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    BTW, am I the only one who thinks that Luwin’s death was kind of stupid? He already knew that Osha had Bran and Rickon, so, why not hiding with them? Why trying to convince Theon’s sorry ass to take the black and escape? Maybe he didn’t really kill Bran and Rickon, but he still killed two innocent kids and Ser Rodrik.
    Blah. I didn’t like this episode.

  236. stile
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    stanvosftw: Book Dany has TONS of prophetic dreams.In particular in Book 1. And the fact is, we’ve never seen a single one of them in the TV series (so I’m not sure what you are referring to with the above).

    If you’re not watching the same show as the rest of us, I’m not sure how we’re going to have a meaningful discussion about it.

  237. Andrew
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed,

    How far into the books have you read? If you’ve just read the first two, then don’t highlight this spoiler: The Boltons wanted to usurp the Starks. Ramsay burned Winterfell in the books, and i’m 99% sure he did it in the show as well. The reveal is probably going to be that Roose is claiming the Ironmen resisted, and his bastard had to storm the walls. Of course, since we got to see what happened at Winterfell, we know the ironmen wanted to yeild, and so we’ll know Roose isn’t being honest.

  238. airjordanea18
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Craziness craziness craziness!!! The dragons got they flame on and finally the real reveal of what everyone will soon have to dread…WHITE WALKERS! Dany has the best chance of survival because they cant stand the fire

  239. DB
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,
    KG,

    He is the King in the north, stop deluding yourselves. D&D are too dimwitted and busy telling Ros to go full-frontal to give a shit.

  240. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Someone needs to make an animated gif of Ygritte thwacking Jon with his own sword over and over.

  241. Turncloak
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Yellow Dog: In the book it was made clear that the scene was entirely staged, and the actors did a superb job of acting people who are acting.

    This

  242. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm:
    BTW, am I the only one who thinks that Luwin’s death was kind of stupid? He already knew that Osha had Bran and Rickon, so, why not hiding with them?

    You didn’t see the giant gaping wound in the poor dude’s tummy?!

  243. Dekar
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I. Came.

  244. Piti
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m a non-reader too and I’m just like your husband! Didn’t understand the meaning of that dead at all! Would you mind explaining to me too?
    Deborah Ambridge Fisher,

  245. Lord Bennett
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Yea, wasn’t really feeling this episode.

    It was very subtle with Halfhand luring Jon into killing him to gain the trust of wildlings. The whole time they were fighting I was hoping they both meet face to face and halfhand would just whisper “For The Watch”

    HOTU was a letdown, the visions were ok, but I was hoping for more destruction.

    Winterfell burning is more a less a cliffhanger for next season, I do wonder though if they would of cast Ramsay for this season if him making a apperance would of made it a hell of a lot better.

    Also anyone think that the White Walker at the end was Coldhands. He was riding a Elk which made me immediately think it was him. Maybe just introducing him a little early.

  246. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    What I mean, is why he didn’t hide with them on episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”.
    Why the sudden interest in helping an asshole and then die?

  247. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Remember when Robb was talking to Roose? He said, “We will allow any ironborn man to return back to Pyke, that surrenders, except Theon Greyjoy.” ?

    Apparently he got word into Winterfell and the men took him up on it.

    andrea: .

    Question: what happened with Dagmer? is “going home” going to the Iron Islands? I think FaB´s theory confused me. Roose/RAmsay is at Winterfell´s gates, no?

  248. Jared
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I loved the entire finale, but I particularly enjoyed:

    The mother****ing White Walkers. When you hear three blasts, what the **** you gonna do?

    Brienne and Jaime. No further explanation needed. Watching these two is going to be the highlight of the third season for me.

    Arya and Jaqen. A fond farewell to Tom Wlaschiha and the incredible job he did in this role. Given how much they have to cover in the next few seasons and the tangential nature of the Oldtown scenes, I’m not hopeful that we’ll see Jaqen again, but you never know.

    Tyrion and Shae. Peter Dinklage continues to be an acting god and Sibel Kikelli actually did some damn fine work here. I totally buy It’s going to be very interesting to see how they handle Shae’s betrayal during (probably) Season 4. She’ll probably have to be coerced. Regardless, I imagine that it will be even more heart-wrenching for Tyrion than it was on the page.

    Dany, Drogo, and Rhaego in the House of the Undying. I understand that there’s going to be a large segment of the fanbase that is very disappointed with that sequence, specifically with the absence of all the prophecies. But if they weren’t going to go full-out freak fest, I was glad that they decided to go with a scene had some real emotional resonance.

    Luwin’s Death. Donald Sumpter has been a very underrated performer on this show. Sad to see him go. Glad they kept Osha’s mercy killing.

    Jon killing the Halfhand. They may have taken some liberties in setting it up, but that sequence ultimately played out very well. Curious to see when Ghost will show up again, though.

    And then, on a lighter note then there was the moment where Ros grabs Varys’ crotch, only to find nothing there, and the look that Varys gives her afterwards. The scene probably wasn’t necessary, but that drew a big laugh from me.

    Honestly, two things that bothered me. First was not making it clear who burned Winterfell. The way it was shot suggests that it was the Ironborn, though readers know it was supposed to be the Boltons. I get that they don’t want to tip their hands about the Bolton’s treacherous intentions too soon, but my knowledge of what’s to come meant this scene didn’t play quite as strongly as I would have liked.

    Second was Robb and Talisa getting married in the Light of the Seven (he worships the Old Gods, and if she’s from Volantis, she probably doesn’t worship the Seven either). Granted, there probably wasn’t a weirwood handy. I seem to be in the minority, however, in that I have no problem with the relationship itself. I actually think that it makes the whole story more interesting that Robb is marrying for love rather than a sense of honor or obligation, and with full knowledge of the consequences. It gives his character more agency, distinguishes him clearly from Ned, and makes his ultimate fate even more tragic.

  249. Arthur
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know a link to some HD pictures of Dany walking around with her dragons on her arms like falcons?

    I need need need a HD pic of that for my desktop!

  250. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm:
    ThePinkDragon,

    What I mean, is why he didn’t hide with them on episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”.
    Why the sudden interest in helping an asshole and then die?

    He’s an honorable maester. He is sworn to Winterfell not to the Starks, as he made plain while talking to Theon.

  251. andrea
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    . nathy: Prince who was Promissed?!

    the icy throne is not enough?

  252. Andrew
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Lord Bennett,

    Coldhands isn’t a White Walker. White Walkers are a race all their own, not former humans and such. Those are Wights, which is probably what Coldhands is.

  253. Strider
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    A question for non-book viewers: Are you at all confused by Jon’s killing of Qhorin? It seems to me pretty clear, at least to me, that Jon understood precisely what Qhorin was intimating in the previous episode; but I’m a book reader, so I already knew what was up.

    Personally, I’m delighted that they did not spell everything out. It’s hardly like Jon and Qhorin enjoyed much privacy. Whispering would have drawn too much suspicion, and they could easily have been overheard anyway. Qhorin knew what he was doing. He knew Jon would catch on and do what he had to do. Does everything need to be stated?

  254. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    Oh, I see. I think his training as a Maester just made him try to pull out the good in Theon. You’ve met those kinds of people, I’m sure — the unrelentingly optimistic, who try to help even the assholes, you know? It can be both a flaw and a virtue.

  255. winterfell
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    DanofhouseStark,

    Thank You.

    Reader. Loved it.

  256. SkywalkerIsDead
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    I see what your saying, but hey he is Jamie Lannister he loves a challenge. Always needing to prove himself, think about him wanting to best Ned Stark. Jamie is gushing with hubris. So hopefully they will keep that scene, plus that is how they are introduced to a certain goat.

  257. MrsWun
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Thank you Pimpslap, HOTU left me feeling stood up for the senior prom and here you are offering to take me to another dance and I still have a good time.

  258. Mimsy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Anon: but it just didn’t seem like the Warlock, after all they built him up to be, would have made it so easy for Dany to get through to the Dragons. I was definitely waiting for more temptations and obstacles to her escape.

    I thought the episode made it clear that Dany needed to be with her dragons, because the dragons were strongest when she was near them. In turn, the Warlocks power was stronger when the dragons magic was at it’s peak. The Warlock underestimated Dany’s overall power, which made him dead. Oopsie.

  259. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I thought Stannis’ scene was lame. I would have been okay with D&D leaving that out entirely, and letting the rest of the show breathe just a bit more.

    But that’s a minor criticism. – I loved it overall.

  260. skipdutch
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed,
    Ummm, I hadn’t gotten that, but it makes sense. That is likely how this plays out (I forgot the whole amnesty thing, but it was mentioned in the ‘previously on’). Still, Its not clear who burned Winterfell, and I don’t understand why no one asked the question. Every book-reader assumes Ramsay, every non-reader assumes the Iron Islanders.

    I think, and this goes back to LOTR movies, that its hard for me to watch and enjoy a show adapted from a book I have read and really enjoy it the first time. While I enjoyed this season, the only episode that I actually was able to initially watch with a huge grin on my face for the duration was Blackwater.

  261. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Langkard,

    I get it, but it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I would have been more comfortable with him dying by the hands of Ramsay’s men than by Dagmer’s spear. I felt it was kind of cheap and stupid. Just my opinion.

    Was it too hard to just show him bleeding and dying after Osha and the kids came out from the crypts?

  262. DTrojanette
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    I can not wait until next season!!! Sooooo awesome! And Benjen is leading the Whitewalkers wooooweee! I wonder if Manse Raider is going to take John under his wing? Would be so cool if he became king of the Wildlings, fought the Whitewalkers and joined Robb to fight the Lannisters.

    I need a new season tomorrow whimpers…

  263. Andy Gavin
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    The last two episodes gave us some seriously epic television. Sigh, now we wait again. And it’s a shame they had to squeeze so hard to get this story into only ten episodes. Still, they really tried really hard. For having 11 plot threads to wrap up, this was a pretty amazing hour. My full review here.

  264. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Exactly. They needed more than one cliffhanger to hold newbies over to next season. I was actually a little worried that too many storylines had acceptable wrap-ups: Joffrey, Sansa, Tyrion, Dany, Jon – even Ros.

  265. andrea
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    yes? it was a favor then? Thanks, I was completely confused. Ido remember Robb and Roose talk but I couldn´t relate it to Dagmer´s blow to Theon´s head.

  266. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    I agree completely; they really fucked that episode. I absolutely hated it. Here’s why.

    As a reader, I can sympathize and understand the need for smaller changes here and there or even bigger ones, like they’ve done all season, since it’s still kept the show rolling along and the overall plot in line. That being said, they didn’t accomplish any of the things I was hoping to see from this episode, not one.

    I got to about the 45 minute mark of watching and it felt like all of that had happened in 15 minutes…because literally NOTHING happened. I didn’t expect to see everything from the book in this one that they could do, but my main problem is that they didn’t even attempt to do any of the following.

    1.) Keep the Theon story as is-obviously since they already killed off Sir Rodrick that was fucked from the start but they still could have done a bit with the Bastard of Bolton arriving with some men, saying that they were from Pyke or something, then attacking Theon’s men.

    2.) Showing some of Dany’s ACTUAL visions-all they had to do was show her quickly peaking in to some rooms and just walking by-it didn’t have to be long, and it didn’t have to be ALL of the major ones, but at least one of them; i.e. Red Wedding, Prince Aegon, the Mad King saying “burn them all”, etc.

    3. The Others…I certainly wasn’t expecting to see them in this episode. I’d speculated with other fans and a lot of us thought that HBO would end tonight’s ep with JUST the epic hornblows, with a bunch of the Night’s Watch together in tow to see it. When we quickly realize that’s not the case and it’s just Sam, Grenn and Dolorous Ed, I was like, oh well that’s fine, as long as the horns are still epic. Then, the horns are super drawn out and there’s no sense of the danger they’re in, but even with that I was like, oh, shit they’re actually gonna show Sam kill the Other! But then that quickly faded too as we just see a ton of weights and a few Others, marching off as if they’re going to war. Nothing like the actual attack that the Night’s Watch as a force has to fend off. Why couldn’t we have seen them as a force? The viewer knows that Mormont and the rest are still supposed to be together and that only Jon, the Halfhand and a few others went ranging ahead. Just completely stupid scene that relies on being epic for people who haven’t read.

    4. Jon-Qhorin fight-The viewer has no idea why Qhorin is acting like that toward Jon. They briefly mentioned it in the one episode but they don’t actually have the conversation where the Halfhand tells Jon he needs to kill him when the time comes…why couldn’t they have had that? It takes 15 seconds of screen time and actually sets the stage for this. Instead, they’re playing off the idea that Jon was more indecisive about his true loyalty to the watch and does it just for his pure survival.

    Again, I didn’t expect all of these to follow the book in the episode. But I cannot for the life of me fathom how they completely managed to ruin every one of those storylines, and made this garbage finale after probably the best hour of television I’ve ever seen in last week’s “Blackwater”. Still love the show and it will be great to see the first half of Storm of Swords next year, just wish that tonight was more memorable than it will be.

  267. Lady forlorn
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    So epic. Religious book reader but I digg the changes, I like not knowing what’s going to happen. Mad no Ramsay, or LIGHTBRINGER. Need some lightbringer in season 3 or I will very upset

  268. DTrojanette
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    I agree, but he’s lame so makes sense

  269. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I concur!

    Turncloak: This

  270. Kalice
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I watch this every week with my husband a non reader and NEW this season. While I loved it. He said ” well I think it was weak for a season finale.” Also, he had no idea as to why “Jon killed that other crow.” He was super happy for Sansa. And he had no idea what those zombies were. That was weird, he said.

    I on the other hand loved it. I cried when Luwin died. I cried when I saw Drago and the baby. I was just a mess. But I loved it.

  271. stanvosftw
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    BaramosWell, he did blame her in the book, actually: Or at least listened to Davos when he blamed her and made him Hand to counteract her influence.

    That’s not why Stannis made Davos hand. He made Davos hand because he trusts Davos and values his council. He also trusts Melisandre and values her council, and he realizes he needs both of them. Also the situation where he made Davos hand, it was to show up that idiot Florent, had very little to do with Melisandre’s “influence”.

    Stannis, unlike Davos, knows that a good king listens to all his councilers.

    I don’t mind that Stannis fucked Melisandre like it was his last night on earth but abusing her was unacceptable and disgusting. Also in what way are the two things in any way similar? One is abuse, and one is passionate sex. These things couldn’t be more different.

  272. Howland Reed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    . nathy,

    Tru Dat!

  273. Zack
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t my favorite episode, that’s for sure, but it had its moments.

    The acting, as usual, was brilliant. Theon, Luwin, Tyrion, Varys, Ygritte…shit, even Shae. Shae’s last…like, three or so episodes, she’s finally let up on the bitchiness and I am so glad for that. They’ve finally let her be as in the books. And Tyrion certainly got a hell of a scar. That will definitely suffice. I’m surprised they went that far, truly, to have Dinklage commit however much extra makeup time per shoot for the remainder of the series. I think it was the right choice though.

    I cherish Stephen Dillane as Stannis and Carice van Houten as Mel. Could they have gotten more ideal actors? I can’t imagine. They KILLED it.

    And another Margaery appearance. <3 <3 <3

    The ending was good. The wights looked pretty great, right? And Sam right in the middle of them! How is he going to survive this??!! *excited*

    But I went into the episode expecting to be underwhelmed with HotU, but even I didn’t expect it to be that lousy. *That* was worth building up over the whole second half of the season? Meeeeehhhhh.

    And I wish they wouldn't have rushed Jon's fight with Qhorin. I'm glad to see non-readers in here saying they got it. But in this case, less isn't more. They could have been clearer.

    And R.I.P. Luwin. I'd been holding out hope he'd make it through, but no dice. Donald Sumpter was consistently a pleasure to watch in this role.

    Finally I have to mention, how awesome were my main man, Jaqen H’ghar, and Arya Stark?! Loved that resolution to that storyline. Can’t wait for more Arya next season :)

    All in all, a good finale. Not perfect, but it's what we have.

  274. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    Yeah, I kinda get what you mean. I thought it was fine, but to each his own.

  275. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Uhhhh, he was?

    DTrojanette: And Benjen is leading the Whitewalkers wooooweee!

  276. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Derpstradamus,

    Snow, which pretty much gives away the ending of the series.

    I had hoped that George was going to avoid the whole rags-to-riches trope, buuuut…

    I think the level to which the show version of the HotU may spoil the series is even greater than that.

    We see Dany turn from a S(?)now covered throne to walk out beyond the wall and find her family (death?). I mean if you take it for what it appears, it points to Jon and Dany ending up in the opposite roles that George thinks his readers think they will… I guess.

  277. Anonymous
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    That was a piece of shit! No way for Jon to explain why he killed Qorhin when he gets back to the wall.

    Ummm…since Jon will be the only one to make it back, he can explain it however he wants.

    Wow, I can’t believe some of the negativity on this board. That was as great an episode of television as I’ve seen in a while and yet people want to nitpick it to death. Look, I agree the show would have benefitted from some more time spent on the Qhorin/Jon plot (particularly a scene where they speak in private in more detail), and who could deny that we all would have benefitted from more HOTU visions like Rhaegar and Elia, but for everything I would have fixed, I’m sure I would have been forced to break something else due to time or budget contstraints. Seriously, a piece of shit? With all due respect, if folks think that episode was a PoS or as bad as a bad True Blood episode, I’m incredulous. Congrats to D&D for pulling off a great season and a two-episode finale that was as breathtaking as last year’s, despite having to work with material that was 10 times more complicated and less oriented towards a traditional end of season pay-off. Thanks!

  278. Strider
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Jared: I seem to be in the minority, however, in that I have no problem with the relationship itself. I actually think that it makes the whole story more interesting that Robb is marrying for love rather than a sense of honor or obligation, and with full knowledge of the consequences. It gives his character more agency, distinguishes him clearly from Ned, and makes his ultimate fate even more tragic.

    I agree. I think Robb’s marriage in the book was unconvincing and weak. A teenage boy decides, after one night of sex, to break his betrothal vows and save Jayne from “ruin”–not because he loves her but only because of a minor point of honor. I say “minor,” because this is not a *Christian* feudal society. There is little indication that Jeyne would in fact have suffered irreparable harm by the loss of her virginity. And besides, Robb is a king and everyone in this society knows that kings take liberties.

    I think with the HBO writers to make Robb a bit older and to have him break his promise to the Freys fully understanding the gravity of the situation and the consequences of his decision. It does add to the tragedy of it all.

  279. Madmage
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    Oh, and I liked the scene with Arya and Jaqen, but I really wish they’d knock it off with the giving the kills to the Red God stuff.It followed the theology of the books the first time, because the 3 would have died in fire; but there is no way Jaqen would tell Arya that she could kill Joffrey and Cersei and the rest as more offerings to the Red God.That spoiled an otherwise great scene.I don’t understand why they felt the need to do that.Someone writing this episode doesn’t understand the Faceless Men and thinks they worship the Red God./sigh

    To those who said that it is pronounced Val-ar mor-Gool-is, I bow to your superior wisdom.

    About the red god, Jaqen meant that Arya could have chosen her death list instead of the 3 she chose.

  280. Meg
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    stanvosftw,
    Oh my god are you in my brain?! Everything you said was so right on!! Dany’s big “Dracarys” moment was SO BAD!! Everyone in the room at my house was laughing like hyenas. A climax shouldn’t be that funny. Unintentional humor = cheese

    Deborah Ambridge Fisher: And imo dragons destroyed the throne room. Making way for Snow to land on it.

    If the scene is foreshadowing (which I hope it is – love Jon), he’ll probably rule over a hovel. Which is perfect because he’s had a lot of practice doing that at the Wall.

  281. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    I agree that could have been handled better.

    But frankly, with them having to write, script, cast, film, edit, CGi and produce 10 episodes in such a short amount of time (especially considering the incredibly deep books they’re adapting), they’re going to swing and miss sometimes. I make mistakes, I mess things up, so do you.

    Do does Arthur, or DB… Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes the producers do something that I bet they regret later, looking back. (shrug). I aint trippin’. It’s still the best show on TV.

    Derek Wolff: 4. Jon-Qhorin fight-The viewer has no idea why Qhorin is acting like that toward Jon. They briefly mentioned it in the one episode but they don’t actually have the conversation where the Halfhand tells Jon he needs to kill him when the time comes…why couldn’t they have had that?

  282. Shaggydog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    When is Jamie gonna start calling Brienne “wench”???

  283. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    I think much of how that played out with Luwin was also due to separating out the Bastard of Bolton and holding him off until next season. It made some things necessary which might be a bit confusing. However, having Ramsay appear in the final episode and do certain book things would confuse the viewers even more.

    I think we’re in for a few more changes regarding Theon. Keeping him out of the series for the next 2 entire seasons isn’t likely. So, I expect that we’re going to get some of Reek rhyming with Meek earlier than in the books. I don’t know how it will play out and it certainly lessens the impact of Theon’s reappearance; but I can see why they would do it like that.

  284. stanvosftw
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    stile: If you’re not watching the same show as the rest of us, I’m not sure how we’re going to have a meaningful discussion about it.

    Okay perhaps I forgot. What prophetic dreams did Dany have in the TV series?

    The closest thing I recall is her grabbing the dragon eggs when they were in the brazier, but she was wide awake for that.

  285. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    SkywalkerIsDead,

    LOL! Yes, he is still a shit and seeing Brienne take out three armed warriors probably just made him more sure he could beat her by himself.

  286. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Shaggydog,

    I think after he gets out of the “fucking with her” phase and gets into the “you’re actually kind of pissing me off” phase.

    Which will be soon.

    Sooooon.

  287. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Madmage: About the red god, Jaqen meant that Arya could have chosen her death list instead of the 3 she chose.

    That’s not what I got from that scene at all. He was telling her she should come away with him to Braavos, when she stated she wanted to be able to kill like him. He was explaining that she could kill those people on her list if she became like him, that it was what Faceless Men do.

  288. LordDavos12
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode overall but like many others, the lack of any visions in HoTU was disappointing. The Tyrion stuff was good, the Luwin/Bran/Rickon was good, and I really like seeing Stannis snap a bit…and especially then seeing him actually believe Mel.

    Jon though….come on. That was poorly done. Unless they show a flashback or have some other explanation it was simply not done well. Yes, I saw Halfhand whisper the one sentence to Jon. I still don’t think it works.

    To the person who said something about the Reed brothers….what are you smoking?

  289. Chris Beasley
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    HOTU was short shifted on the visions, that was something I was really looking forward to. Another person had it right, it could have been quick. The audience isn’t stupid, the Internet exists, you put some foreshadowing and symbolism and people start wondering. Remember all the stuff from LOST? If you freeze framed the show you could see clues that would have otherwise been missed. That “texture” for a lack of a better word would have been nice to see. It also lets the user know that there is more depth to this story and Dany is not just doing busy work. like again, on LOST, how stuff from season 1 you thought was irrelevant came back to be relevant in the last couple seasons (as horrible as the ultimate ending of that show was of course..).

    The Jon Qhorin relationship and fight was done very poorly. The books execute it so much better “Is your sword sharp Jon Snow?” Qhorin and Jon’s flight is a tremendous character building episode for Jon, he was going to have time with Ygritte later, it wasn’t necessary to do it this way.

    I don’t know what Varys is doing with Ros, it saddens me to think though that they are adding back to her character again, and taking time away from say, oh Jon. Imagine if we lost that scene and got a scene with Jon and Qhorin, maybe talking at night at camp? As much as I like Varys, and as much as I like looking at Ros, that wasn’t necessary for the story.

  290. Jared
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ll admit I am surprised that they didn’t give any hint that Davos is alive. Granted, it fits with what we know at the end of A Clash of Kings and where he starts in A Storm of Swords, but it’s going to be hard for them to conceal that Liam Cunningham will still be contracted as a series regular next year. Then again, most people probably don’t follow this kind of news as obsessively as I do, or at the very least, don’t go actively looking for it :)

  291. House Snow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    skipdutch:
    Howland Reed,
    Ummm,I hadn’t gotten that, but it makes sense.That is likely how this plays out (I forgot the whole amnesty thing, but it was mentioned in the ‘previously on’).Still, Its not clear who burned Winterfell, and I don’t understand why no one asked the question.Every book-reader assumes Ramsay, every non-reader assumes the Iron Islanders.

    I think, and this goes back to LOTR movies, that its hard for me to watch and enjoy a show adapted from a book I have read and really enjoy it the first time.While I enjoyed this season, the only episode that I actually was able to initiallywatch with a huge grin on my face for the duration was Blackwater.

    I don’t think that is a bad thing though, esp if they can keep the RW under wraps next year. Since they were going to bring in ramsey this year you might as well use it to mask the Boltons treachery

  292. Jason
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I am a book reader and really enjoyed this final episode. I agree that people have some seriously unrealistic expectations wanting every little detail they held dear when reading the series to make it into this adaptation. Most of the complaints people are having dont really bother me. I liked the HOTU treatment, Brianne was badass and the walkers and the others looked great in my opinion. As far as everyone wondering why the killing of Qhorin was not spelled out for the non-book readers. Has anyone considered maybe they are trying to make viewers question John’s motives whether or not he would defect to the wildings. Makes for a more interesting storyline than knowing his motives completely next season especially with the relationship John will be exploring with Yigrette. I love the books and enjoy the show as well. Is the show perfect no….but it is very high quality, it does the Ice and fire universe justice and will keep me coming back for more!

  293. Maxturnbull
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Yo Theon is the best character. So deep so scarred, just wanting to be loved. ” what is dead may never die!” a whole year we got to wait fck!

  294. andrea
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Strider: I think Robb’s marriage in the book was unconvincing and weak

    +1

    Jared,

    I forgot what happens with Davos later. I also wondered why they did not say anything about him.

  295. HumMis1349
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Langkard: That’s not what I got from that scene at all. He was telling her she should come away with him to Braavos, when she stated she wanted to be able to kill like him. He was explaining that she could kill those people on her list if she became like him, that it was what Faceless Men do.

    But that’s a lie. When shedoes start training with the Faceless Men, she finds out that she won’t get to use those skills to pursue personal vendettas. However, it makes sense that Jaqen would say that, because recruiters always lie.

  296. Strepsi
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a fantastic end to a fantastic season. Loved the double ending, where first they mirror the first season — 1) Dany becomes über fantasy goddess with dragons, 2) Dany becomes über fantasy goddess with dragons that breathe fire! But then there’s a SECOND ending, with full-on reveal of the White Walkers! Loved it.

    Let me be the devil’s advocate for the HotU scenes — the show creators gave it forward momentum, and did a great job in my opinion. George RR Martin is a fantasy god, but his writing is not infallible — Dany’s story was not all that great in book 2. To go from this reborn goddess end of Book 1, to basically hanging around all of Quarth in book 2 was fairly static; even with the trims and raised stakes on the TV version (“where’s my dragons??!!!”) it was still fairly static, as a lot of TV fans had noticed with frustration. This is going to be a problem again when the dragons are basically chained up or disappeared for another whole season! o.O

  297. Maxturnbull
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    And all the people hating on the show cause they read the book stop hating. They can’t make both exactly the same no book is the same as the tv. Just enjoy the show for what it is and stop crying.

  298. Dogmayor
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I liked the episode. I am fairly disappointed with the portrayal of Stannis and Jaime though. It seems D&D don’t really understand these characters.

  299. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Jason:

    Has anyone considered maybe they are trying to make viewers question John’s motives whether or not he would defect to the wildings. Makes for a more interesting storyline than knowing his motives completely next season especially with the relationship John will be exploring with Yigrette.

    That is exactly what I thought was the reason for the ambiguity with Jon and Qhorin, as I stated in my first post up above. But I also worry that by trying to manufacture uncertainty for the non-reader viewers about whether or not Jon is really a traitor to the Night’s Watch, they might go too far and lessen those same viewers’ empathy for Jon. Jon comes across as less heroic and less sympathetic in exchange for making the viewers wonder at his motives. We’ll see if it works.

  300. LordDavos12
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Strepsi:
    I thought it was a fantastic end to a fantastic season.Loved the double ending, where first they mirror the first season — 1) Dany becomes über fantasy goddess with dragons, 2) Dany becomes über fantasy goddess with dragons that breathe fire!But then there’s a SECOND ending, with full-on reveal of the White Walkers!Loved it.

    Let me be the devil’s advocate for the HotU scenes — the show creators gave it forward momentum, and did a great job in my opinion.George RR Martin is a fantasy god, but his writing is not infallible — Dany’s story was not all that great in book 2.To go from this reborn goddess end of Book 1, to basically hanging around all of Quarth in book 2 was fairly static; even with the trims and raised stakes on the TV version (“where’s my dragons??!!!”) it was still fairly static, as a lot of TV fans had noticed with frustration.This is going to be a problem again when the dragons are basically chained up or disappeared for another whole season! o.O

    Dany’s story isn’t all that great period after book one. It only goes downhill from here, except maybe when she gets the Unsullied.

  301. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Chris Beasley,

    Yes, thank you, that’s exactly what I was thinking for both Dany’s and Jon’s storylines. Just quick little things would have been enough to save them. I feel like you’re right on with the Ros bit as well…all it did was detract from the main storylines of the MAIN characters, valuable time that could have been used to accomplish something satisfying. Especially with the knowledge that Varys, as major of a player in the game as he is, really isn’t as open about his moves until ADwD, so why we’re getting little things like this this early, especially irrelevant things (Ros is a whore), I cannot say.

  302. Laura T.
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I cried twice. Tyrion & Shea….poor Tyrion & Drogo & Dany & their boy. I bawled like a baby. Oh, & even though I knew Luwin was a gonner, so sad.

  303. John W
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Loved half the finale. Hated the other half.

    They dropped the ball in the House of the Undying imo. Same goes for Winterfell.

    The first time I’ve been disappointed with the show.

  304. Ed
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahaha!! Max, that’s been true for two years now and every single episode, we go through the same crap, hear from the same whiners, and every week, sensible people like you tell them the show’s gonna be different. Sigh.

    and we’ll do it all again next year… LOL

    Maxturnbull:
    And all the people hating on the show cause they read the book stop hating.They can’t make both exactly the same no book is the same as the tv.Just enjoy the show for what it is and stop crying.

  305. PeterD
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Sorry folks, flame all you want, but this one didn’t do it for me.

    I’m a book reader but not a complete purist. I understand when things need to be changed for adaptation to the screen or for brevity.

    The HotU left me completely hollow; I’d been looking forward to seeing their interpretation of the ACoK visions all season. Instead we get what I’m sure is a massive spoiler for events not yet revealed in the novels; that’s something I don’t relish–seeing any part of this story on screen before reading the books.

    On the other hand, maybe it also prophesizes Dany not making it out of the story alive and joining Drogo and Rhaego in the Night Lands before the last page turns and personally that wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. To my eyes, she stopped being interesting after her first stop in book 3 (sorry, I don’t know how to post spoiler bars so I’m being as circumspect as I can).

    The Ducksauce/Doreah bit didn’t bother me and, in fact, it made sense. The sacking of Winterfell wasn’t made completely clear…were the Iron Islanders taking rhymes-with-Pee-on back to Daddy or handing him over to a horn-blowing bastard? I vehemently disliked how they handled that whole bit and was seriously hoping that event would have at least vaguely followed the book.

    Glad to see they got a cart for a growing Isaac Hempstead-Wright! I had weird images of a bean-pole Isaac being almost as tall as Hodor by season 7 yet still being carried! Luwin’s final exit was beautiful and sad. The Jaime/Brienne roadshow works wonders and I’m seriously looking forward to their scenes together next season and beyond. Liked Arya and Jaquen/FM. Small peeve, though: I was sure the word was pronounced as “Vaylar” not “Vahlor.”

  306. Gonfaloniere
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    The Instrumentalist:
    Gonfaloniere,

    People always paint Brienne as that pretty maiden in a big ugly woman costume, but they forget that she is a fierce warrior despite her innocence. You have to also keep in mind that in the show we cannot see behind Brienne’s eyes. Taking into account something that happens in the future, methinks she’s a pretty good liar – very straight-faced. She is tortured, but she had to do what she had to do – and she’s definitely not going to give Jaime the pleasure of seeing her struggle with the kills. I think she made her point, LOL.

    Yes, but in the books, it’s a HUGE deal when she finally kills someone (as I imagine it should be.) And it’s significant that the first person she kills and the second and third people she kills are responsible for the maiming of Jaime. It’s much more significant, IMO, but on the show, she killed Renly’s guards (which she also didn’t do – that was Loras!) and now she kills Stark men like it doesn’t mean anything.

    It’s a very different version of Brienne, IMO. Plus, now I feel like they won’t include the swordfight between Brienne and Jaime because he didn’t know at all how good she was in the books until he started fighting her. On the show, he knows perfectly well how great she is as a swordsperson – he’d be an utter fool to take her on while wearing chains!

    ETA: Snow on the Iron Throne – I didn’t take that vision as a sign that Jon Snow will be King of Westeros (also, please note that the roof was off the throne room so if he IS King, it isn’t for any happy fun times!) I thought the entire vision – the Iron Throne covered in snow, the complete absence of humans on either side of the Wall, was all “Road Not Taken” for Dany because it ends in the tent with Drogo and Rhaego – if she HAD had that baby then there would have been no dragons. And no dragons = the long winter that never ends. So because Dany turns back, away from the people she loves/woul have loved and returns to her dragons, I took that to mean that she chose a different path. She renounced what she loved (in contrast to both Joffrey and Robb “following their hearts”) in order to be the savior (in that super-Christlike pose with the dragons.)

    Then she buried two people alive. So she might just be crazy and revenge obsessed.

  307. stanvosftw
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    stanvosftw,
    Oh my god are you in my brain?! Everything you said was so right on!! Dany’s big “Dracarys” moment was SO BAD!! Everyone in the room at my house was laughing like hyenas. A climax shouldn’t be that funny. Unintentional humor = cheese

    Ugh I don’t know if I’m in your brain I just wish the episode had been better! :(
    The only thing more hilarious than the dragon burning was the White Walkers. Laughable.

    If the scene is foreshadowing (which I hope it is – love Jon), he’ll probably rule over a hovel. Which is perfect because he’s had a lot of practice doing that at the Wall.

    So I know a lot of people are talking about how that scene in the throne room is about Jon, but Dany’s conquest of Westeros (if it happens) would happen in winter, so that could be all it means. The winter’s snows falling through the roof of the ruined keep.

    Her going to the wall, I thought, was more of a clue about Jon and how they will interact in the future. :)

    What I really missed in HOTU was “THREE HEADS HAS THE DRAGON, THREE TREASONS WILL YOU KNOW, THREE MOUNTS WILL YOU RIDE , etc”

    They could have just had Pyat SAY it for the love of god. Dany needs this. This is what she obsesses over, what she uses to justify her persona of the destined queen (whether that is becomes true or not, and sometimes for worse, rather than for better, the role of prophecy is what causes her character to make sense).

  308. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Dogmayor,

    I hear you bro.
    They are making Stannis look like a puppet of Melisandre. And Jaime…I don’t know, I’m starting to get bored of his sexual banter.
    I only liked Tyrion’s scenes and Tywin’s horse. And the White Walkers, which were awesome. Daenerys and Jon had the weakest storylines in my opinion.

  309. HumMis1349
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    I think we need to keep in mind that the first Reek hasn’t been killed yet in the show. I would expect them to have him appear in season 3 and kill him off in a different way from the books, because otherwise it won’t make sense why Ramsay is forcing Theon into becoming Reek.

  310. Darren Mason
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    ThePinkDragon,

    I knew the season would end with 3 horns, and that was awesome.I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the total zombie look of the wights, but no biggie.Capitalize on Walking Dead’s popularity if you can. ;)

    Wights are dead things brought back to life, how would you expect them to look? I’m just bummed we didn’t see any bear wights.

  311. tysnow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    OMFG! That ending was epic, hit the viewers just like last seasons. The cinematography and visuals/fx were seemless, and the white walkers were better than expected. That last walker on a white horse was armored in black w/helmet. and panning out to show the thousands of zombies left me speechless. I thought to myself…….Game of Thrones, Wrath of the Liche..err….White Walkers.
    Everything was near perfect, 3rd best of all with a 9.5/10, not a 10 because…..
    A) I wanted Doreah to live (she may yet, first rule of film fiction, if u don’t see the death, anything goes)
    B) I wanted Luwin’s part to be changed, where he lived.

    After the ending, it was HotU, I liked the changes and kept me guessing, especially Drogo, I cried I was so happy for them both. Did any of you notice when Dany walked out from the wall, her skin turned icy white, her hair more brittle white and her eyes took on a icy/blue color (prophetic?). Dracyres! my god, did you see what those babies can do at that size, geez those flames were terrifying, even for me, just thinking what they will do in a few years.
    I loved how they looked at her, and would cuddle with mommy.

    Based on what was showed, we are in for some surprises. No QH and Jon scheming, it looked like he sided with them (but maybe its part of his evolving character). Varys and Ros; Bran going to Castle Black with Rickon; Dagmer and the men taking Theon with them (unless instead of escaping, they were handing him over).

    Sooo much awesome to process atm, time for another look see, and time for those to start screen capturing all the brilliant images. Warlock bbq, White Walker apocyalpse, Dany/Drogo, Sansa smiling (finally!).

    Oh, one more thing, Theon’s speech was really choice, one of the best motivational ones before a fight I have heard (even Dag’s loved it).

  312. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I agree with both of you guys, that “Dracarys” moment was sooooooooo unbelievably weak…as Stan already knows they made Dany’s character so weak this season as well, and she goes in there without a clue of what’s going on, and then suddenly just says a word after being chained up by Pyat Pree and all of her problems are solved. Plus it sort of detracts from how awesome the actual Dracarys moment is supposed to be with the Unsullied down the road. Am I mistaken or is that scene actually supposed to be the first time that she commands her dragons to breath fire? I thought that in the HOTU Drogon just did it…of course he’s with her the whole time and she’s not there to rescue her dragons in the first place, but that’s a different story.

    Meg: stanvosftw,
    Oh my god are you in my brain?! Everything you said was so right on!! Dany’s big “Dracarys” moment was SO BAD!! Everyone in the room at my house was laughing like hyenas. A climax shouldn’t be that funny. Unintentional humor = cheese

  313. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    HumMis1349: But that’s a lie.When shedoes start training with the Faceless Men, she finds out that she won’t get to use those skills to pursue personal vendettas.However, it makes sense that Jaqen would say that, because recruiters always lie.

    True. Having been in the military, I can vouch for that.

    Arya’s story in the later books is something I worry might not translate well to the screen. So much of it is internal dialogue and narrative and slowly developing understanding with only short bits of action. The lessons she learns at the House of Black and White take multiple chapters to develop. It is such a slow progression that I wonder if it can be made into good TV. It is my favorite part of the books, but still I worry.

  314. Melitto
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a book purist. I’ve been defending most of the changes from early casting announcements through episode 19.

    And I felt that this episode was garbage. Hot, stinking garbage. I’m embarassed I went out of my way to watch it. Winterfell was an incoherent mess, Rhaegar and prophecies that are central to the entire arc were traded for a Drogo fantasy that means nothing to the rest of the story, pacing was terrible, and white walkers were NOT SCARY.

    It was Tywin’s horse more than anyone else who really set the tone tonight.

  315. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    HumMis1349:
    Langkard,

    I think we need to keep in mind that the first Reek hasn’t been killed yet in the show.I would expect them to have him appear in season 3 and kill him off in a different way from the books, because otherwise it won’t make sense why Ramsay is forcing Theon into becoming Reek.

    I don’t think we’re going to see the first Reek. I think they’ve removed that entire bit entirely, as a byproduct of not having Ramsay pretend to be Reek while with Theon at Winterfell. They skipped it. Which means they can skip Reek and just have Theon be Reek. Non-canon but more likely, it seems to me, now that they have changed the Ramsay/Reek storyline already.

  316. darquemode
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    That was the one good point of Dany tonight!
    For me though the House of the Undying was not hte moment she changed so much as seeing that Daxos had nothing but was seen as the most powerful man in Qarth. So here’s to hoping she doesn’t whine as much next season now!!

  317. Madmage
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Langkard: o certain book things would confuse the viewers even more.

    I think we’re in for a few more changes regarding Theon. Keeping him out of the series for the next 2 entire seasons isn’t likely. So, I expect that we’re going to get some of Reek rhyming with Meek earlier than in the books. I don’t know how it will play out and it certainly lessens the impact of Theon’s reappearance; but I can see why they would do it like that.

    I took those as two separate statements. i.e.: 1) you could have picked that list of people instead of the 3 you chose to honour the red god.

    2) So now come with me to Braavos and learn how to do it yourself.

  318. Stark Bannerman
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    So…Dagmer and crew are just Iron Islanders who somehow heard about Robb’s offer and decided to take him up on it? No Dagmar=You-Know-Who? If that’s the case, wouldn’t torching Winterfell make Robb’s deal null and void?

  319. James Mason
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I hate that they ruined Jon’s arc (my favorite part of COK).

    I didn’t expect them to get HOD right so that’s whatever.

  320. Jason
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    I see where you might be concerned but for me John is a boyscout for the most part until having to Kill Qhorin and his relationship with Yigritte does make him question things. Giving his character questionable motives would not bother me in the adaptation as we will find out what his true intentions are. As I remember it in the books many of the nightswatch think he is a traitor anyways when he gets back to the wall in the book before all the events that lead to him becoming the commander. He is torn and obviously has to make a tough choice down the line. They could possibly reveal more of John and Qhorin’s conversation early next season as well so i guess we will have to just wait and see. Looking forward to it.

  321. Renaud Besse-Bourdier
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    So many people complaining… again. Oh well.

  322. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Welp. I’ve already seen people nearly come to blows arguing over whether it was ash or snow in the throne room, lol.

  323. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    sums up my feelings exactly. I thought it appropriate that Tywin’s horse set the stage accordingly, and totally forgot that they didn’t even get that part completely right. The banter between Cersei and Joffrey was spot on about the new marriage to Margery, but I don’t understand why they couldn’t have just had Loras ask for his kingsguard membership, then have some guy come up and introduce himself as Garlan or even Mace Tyrell, you wouldn’t even need both of them at this point, and ask for Joff to marry Margery. Would have taken the same amount of screen time.

    Melitto: And I felt that this episode was garbage. Hot, stinking garbage. I’m embarassed I went out of my way to watch it. Winterfell was an incoherent mess, Rhaegar and prophecies that are central to the entire arc were traded for a Drogo fantasy that means nothing to the rest of the story, pacing was terrible, and white walkers were NOT SCARY.

    It was Tywin’s horse more than anyone else who really set the tone tonight.

      

  324. Bean
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    For the most part the episode was very enjoyable.

    But the Dany resolution was SO BAD. And the Jon resolution was SO BAD. And the Sam being ignored?? by an army of white walkers kind of beggars belief.

    Wow. So pretty much Dany’s plot sucked all season and the way they wrap it up is… she and her little band of know-nothings somehow surprise and then kill the King of Qarth?? Her and what army? In what universe did it make sense that she could just waltz in and rob one of the thirteen of Qarth? Is that a city or a road show? I don’t even mind the house of the undying didn’t make sense either -it didn’t make sense in the book. But if they’re going to change everything they might as well have made some aspect of Dany’s book two adventures make sense. Total crap.

    Jon snow? Looked like a total ass the whole season then kills Quorin in an illogical and strangely staged fight which even the viewer doesn’t understand the stakes.

    And finally, Sam somehow is going to survive his march-by of the army of the undead? That’s just stupid directing. Show us an overhead shot of the undead army if you want to, no need to put your character incongruously in the middle of it.

    As I said at the top, Tyrion + Theon + plus most of the rest was good TV as its been all season. But Dany and Jon snow they essentially ruined their storylines, and the payoff is… stupid endings which either don’t make any sense or completely fail to bring any real climax to their season.

    I think I had to just not watch the last 15 minutes, the rest was a great episode.

  325. Laura T.
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    What is the deal with Marg. Tyrell’s dresses? Is she auditioning for Littlefinger or what? I love me some Natalie Dormer(sp?) but wtf, seriously her breasts are a distraction & I haven’t noticed a single other non prostitute character dress in such slutty clothes.

  326. Chrissy
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Robb, you have no idea what you just got yourself into. That is one marriage that it not going to end well…. Valar Morghulis

  327. Meg
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    stanvosftw: Her going to the wall, I thought, was more of a clue about Jon and how they will interact in the future. :)

    Oooh, yes please! I thought some clues were there, just in a grander visual form. And walking from the throne room, to the Wall, to Drogo in that order is interesting; maybe you are right that she finds love at the Wall. The throne and Drogo were definitely temptations for her and she figured out it was a trick, so I didn’t mind the visions as much because I think they were somewhat prophetic. I just wish there was more suspense!

  328. tysnow
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    That’s just in case 12-21-12 is prophetic.

  329. Langkard
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Jason,

    I agree. I don’t think of it as a big deal. I just worry how non-readers will react to things. I have trouble wrapping my mind around how they react to some of the scenes. I can imagine that the writers are just as uncertain about such reactions. How can those of us who have read the books, which includes Dan and Dave, really predict the reactions of those who haven’t read the books? It’s a bit of a throw of the dice. It’s like wondering what colors a colorblind person is actually seeing.

    It’s still the best show on TV, has had some of the best scenes I’ve ever watched on TV and has some of the best acting I’ve seen on TV. We’re lucky to have the quality we have. I’m quite happy with it, even if I do wish they’d make Ed more Dolorous.

  330. Juan
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Personally I would have added the Halfhand’s voice in the background, after Jon kills him, instructing him to spy for them and never forget who he is.

    And why would Robb and Talisa marry in the Light of the seven. Neither one of them worships the seven!

    Though it was beautifully done and executed… those are not the visions we were hoping for!!! HOTU semi fail

  331. Farsidexx
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I’m a TV viewer only. I picked up right away that Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him.

    There were 2 things as a TV viewer I didn’t get at all:

    1. Who burned Winterfell?
    2. How did Stannis get out of Kings Landing?

  332. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Dogmayor,

    George actually described the others as wearing armor.

    The last WW in the shot was donned in black armor, even a helmet. He was the one on a white horse.

  333. Augie Hatton
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    This series has the worst fans

  334. Dennis
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I attribute a lot of the purist angered responses to the general frustration this season is over. It’s okay, soon you’ll have the Hobbit movie to talk about. Group hug!

  335. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    Actually it was definitely snow, there were icicles on the pillars. The rerun just showed it.

  336. LordStarkington
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Farsidexx:
    I’m a TV viewer only. I picked up right away that Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him.

    There were 2 things as a TV viewer I didn’t get at all:

    1. Who burned Winterfell?
    2. How did Stannis get out of Kings Landing?

    1. Not revealed for story purposes. I can spoil it if you want.

    2. He was dragged off by his own soldiers at the end of Blackwater

  337. Laura T.
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Derpstradamus: Derpstradamus

    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I had not thought of that. I assumed it was snow but ash makes more sense obviously because of the burned ceiling, though I don’t believe these were true visions but really just wishful thinking (same with Drogo & son) ….a trap to keep Dany willingly in the HOUD.

    Welp. I’ve already seen people nearly come to blows arguing over whether it was ash or snow in the throne room, lol.

  338. winterfell
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling a lot of book readers are going to be turned off the show b/c of this ep. But they will probably tune in next year just to complain on the internet.

    Also, I think a lot of non-readers are going to be MORE infatuated with the show now, and will tell their friends and more people will watch next year.

    Ultimately a Win-Win

  339. Gatorfisch
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Josh:
    Great episode. I loved the Dany parts. Badass with dragons,, boooyah!!! Tyrion and Shae I also loved. I mean it’s completely different from the books, but it works. I like Shae….

    That last scene was….wow….just…seriously…scary…and exhilarating…and WOW…

    So Osha will be traveling with Bran. I like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went their separate ways at the end of season 3.

    SHAPESHIFTING!

    I did dislike somethings:

    Robb worshiping the Seven…Umm it’s established that the Northern men, especially the Starks worship the Old Gods….It’s an important part of who they are. The Old Ones, the First Children, the Godswood, etc…I NEVER complain about changes..NEVER…But this one bothers me…

    I wonder how some things will mesh Shae and Tyrion for example down the line…but we’ll see! I can’t wait for more :)

    Me, too! I thought, “why are they marrying in a Sept/Seven ceremony?” And, I thought that Qhorin told Jon, “we know who you are on the wall”…guess I was wrong on that one. It would have made up for HOTU visions being missing.

  340. J
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    There were a lot of parts I liked, but ultimately I was pretty disappointed by this episode.

    I actually liked how they handled Winterfell – I felt like it replicates the confusion, of sorts, from the books pretty well given the changes made to the overall storyline. I really liked the two scenes with Sansa and Arya (and loved that Arya said she wants to help her sister too!). The scenes with Tyrion were fantastic. And I actually liked the Varys/Ros scene, though I sure hope he’s not sending her after Dany or something like that.

    On the other hand, while Stephen Dillane acted the shit out of the Stannis/Mel scene, I agree with those who think him choking her was OOC. I liked the scene other than that, more or less, and it is a scene that is implied based on Stannis’s dialogue in ASOS. (Surprised they kept Davos’s life/death a cliffhanger between seasons, especially given what Liam Cunningham said in interviews early on).

    House of the Undying was ultimately pretty underwhelming. I don’t mind losing Rhaegar / RW foreshadowing, and I actually like the addition of Drogo and Rhaego, but I would have liked the “Threes” prophecy, and a mention (in some way) of PTWP.

    And I hate how they handled Jon and Qhorin. I agree that the way it goes down in the books would have ultimately made for better, more dramatic television.

    I sort of wish they’d ended the last scene right after the third horn blast.

  341. Laura T.
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Farsidexx:
    I’m a TV viewer only. I picked up right away that Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him.

    There were 2 things as a TV viewer I didn’t get at all:

    1. Who burned Winterfell?
    2. How did Stannis get out of Kings Landing?

    My husband, a non book reader, had the same question about Stannis. Actually, it was more like where the fuck is Stannis & how did he get there. Sometimes the little details are important.

  342. Jason
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Dennis,

    Lol……very true! I remember back when we were all just hoping this series would get made, wouldn’t be crap and would last for more than one season. How time flies.

  343. stanvosftw
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Bean: So pretty much Dany’s plot sucked all season and the way they wrap it up is… she and her little band of know-nothings somehow surprise and then kill the King of Qarth?? Her and what army? In what universe did it make sense that she could just waltz in and rob one of the thirteen of Qarth? Is that a city or a road show?

    I know right?!? Especially because for the last three episodes we have been led to believe that Dany quite literally has only two followers left (Jorah and… um cute bloodrider #2). Jorah heavily implies that she has no khalasaar left when he suggests that they cut and run. …And then suddenly she has like her entire Khalasaar back and has somehow managed to walk unopposed into Xaro’s bedroom?

    I don’t understand. They need to hire more and better writers for S3/4 to avoid things like this this the other strange and bad decisions which happened in S2. Unfortunately ti’s probably too late by this point. The fact that they are already casting makes it likely that they already have a pretty detailed outline of what’s going to happen (Daario’s casting means changes are coming… please please give us Missandei, too please!)

  344. don draper
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I thought the entire episode was incredible. I really loved the final scene, really epic. The CGI was great, the Zombie Horse & Other were super cool. I thought the HOTU was awesome. I think that one of the problems with the prophecies is that they would be a bit too heavy-handed and obvious in a visual form. You really don’t want to give away the biggest twist of the entire series. I also thought it was neat to see Dany take action at the end.

    There are a few minor things (Robb and Talissa marrying under the seven instead of the northern tree, others that I can’t think of now) that made me shake my head, but those are really minor and I can see why the tv show did that to keep confusion down.

    I personally thought Qhorin and Jon was done fine, you can see Jon’s face at the end that he was torn up by his killing of Qhorin. They could have used some changes to that storyline to make it more clear, but Qhorin did talk to Jon ahead of time about being a spy. So it’s not like it was totally ignored.

    So many other good scenes! Jaime and Brienne was great, so was Arya and Jaqen. All the CGI was really well done.

    I am interested to see where they take Theon being betrayed by his men. Is Dagmar playing the long con? Is Dagmar=Reek? Who burned Winterfell? It’s neat that even as a book reader I have questions going into next year.

  345. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Laura T.: My husband, a non book reader, had the same question about Stannis. Actually, it was more like where the fuck is Stannis & how did he get there. Sometimes the little details are important.

    Should’ve been pretty clear from the map table that they were back in the room in Dragonstone where they’d created little Shadow Baby.

    Since so many non-readers seem to be confused they must not’ve done a good job conveying that, yes, Stannis escaped, and those were his men pulling him away from the battle at the end of last episode.

  346. Laura T.
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Biggest beef of the season….when are we going to find out the Stark children are wargs & where the FUCK is Ghost?

  347. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Melitto,

    Rhaegar and prophecies that are central to the entire arc were traded for a Drogo fantasy that means nothing to the rest of the story,

    For the book series yes, but where have they even mentioned these in the show. The GoT tv series is an alternate reality ASoIaF, they have removed most of these items because, they are too costly, add more complexity, more subplots=more sets/actors, and so forth.

    Besides, HBO has such a critical money machine, they are saving the past for a 10 part mini-series to be shown between seasons 7 and 8.

  348. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I guess another thing that really bugged me is the speculation by D&D that they did in this episode. I feel like they shouldn’t show the speculation on things to come since no one besides GRRM and maybe Parris really knows how things will turn out. I felt like they started to change things that didn’t need to be changed, they didn’t even have to do much of anything to keep them the way they were. We know that the series is ASO ice and fire and it’s pretty evident that the fire means the dragons and the ice would be the White Walkers…problem is we still have no evidence of Dany being anywhere close to the Wall at the end of ADwD. Given the fact that we know ASoS is being broken up into two seasons on HBO, and that since AFfC and ADwD were super long as well, it’s easy to see that both of those books could become two seasons apiece, or combined as Martin does, with both books combining to form two more seasons. Speculation of course, but that means that we would be at the end of season 6 with Dany still across the narrow sea, and not much happening to the dragons or white walkers. Anyone really believe these amazing actors are gonna be around for 10 seasons to complete TWoW and ADoS?
    I understand that they’ll have to speed things up for the tv show, but who’s to say that GRRM will even be done with ADoS by the time it’s due to air on HBO? And quite honestly, I’d much rather have the book than the show at that point. I just don’t think D&D should detract non-readers away from things actually important to the storyline if they’re not going to make their new version pay off down the road, and it’s hard to see how they’re going to be able to do that.

  349. Jason
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Laura T.,

    My wife had the same reaction when Littlefinger was teleporting all over Westeros. You have to assume some time has passed and at the end of Blackwater Stannis was pulled away by his soldiers.

  350. Dee McDowell
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Justice @ sword point, Justice @ the turn of a key… Your take was accurate & succinct . Though I wonder if 65 minutes enough time for all those threads to be woven into something comprehensible for non-readers ?

  351. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    don draper: I am interested to see where they take Theon being betrayed by his men. Is Dagmar playing the long con? Is Dagmar=Reek? Who burned Winterfell? It’s neat that even as a book reader I have questions going into next year

    My guess is that “Reek” doesn’t exist (yet), and that Dagmer was exactly what he appeared to be, a savvy Ironborn who decided to give Theon up to the northerners in exchange for freedom just like Robb had talked about a couple episodes ago.

    Whether or not the Dreadforters actually let them live remains to be seen.

  352. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Derek Wolff: I guess another thing that really bugged me is the speculation by D&D that they did in this episode. I feel like they shouldn’t show the speculation on things to come since no one besides GRRM and maybe Parris really knows how things will turn out

    They’ve said in interviews that GRRM has clued them in to how things will end, and one could probably assume that they didn’t put anything in the HOTU scene that didn’t somehow fit with that.

    It was all pretty vague anyway, and I took it as more symbolic than actual.

  353. maledicta
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Farsidexx: I’m a TV viewer only. I picked up right away that Qhorin wanted Jon to kill him. There were 2 things as a TV viewer I didn’t get at all: 1. Who burned Winterfell?

    I don’t think you’re supposed to know from that episode what happened. You’ll find out what happened with Theon and that whole storyline eventually.

    2. How did Stannis get out of Kings Landing?

    At the end of the last episode (“Blackwater”), as he yells out “Stand and fight, damn you!” to the retreating Baratheon troops, you see a couple of his men grab him from behind and begin to pull him back. He retreated along with the rest of his army. This is somewhat questionable, as Stannis was actually inside the city walls and would have had to climb down the ladders onto the narrow beach that was controlled by Tywin’s army at that time. I suppose in the chaos of battle it would have been possible for him to slip away. But that’s all the explanation we’re going to get.

    It wasn’t an issue in the books, because Stannis commands from the rear and does not participate personally in any of the fighting.

  354. Bean
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    stanvosftw,

    Eggxactly. And I don’t count myself among the supposed “purists” who give a darn about what details are or aren’t from the books. The Qarth stuff MAD ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. It hurts my head. Total waste of screen time.

    I had real hopes for them too. Initially, you saw Dany bargaining for a ship, trying to negotiate or plead from a place of weakness, etc… They could’ve built some character and had a modest little plot line in Qarth. Instead they had to somehow turn her into a badass out of nowhere who just takes what she wants whenever she wants (but she sill has to buy a ship… ?). Painfully bad TV. All they needed to do was have her learn something about herself and then go get on a ship. Really dissapointing runaround.

  355. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    And also…I suppose Bronn’s not getting a promotion? No Ser Bronn of the Blackwater? He just got dumped from the Gold cloaks.

  356. Kels
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    I’m kind of worried about Arya’s later story arc too, but it could be really cool as well. Maybe they’ll do something like a lesson an episode, or move up when she starts having her first official kills.

  357. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Laura T.:
    Biggest beef of the season….when are we going to find out the Stark children are wargs & where the FUCK is Ghost?

    They haven’t said it outright but they’ve hinted strongly at it with Bran and a little bit with Robb as well (when Grey Wind attacked the Lannister guards). I imagine they’ll kick that up a notch as the story proceeds.

    And where Ghost is, your guess is as good as mine.

  358. tlsmith63
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Hassan Madkour,

    The show should be called Game of the Walking Dead now…heh.

    Loved seeing Drogo again. His death was so sad in Season 1. This time, I felt sad for Tyrion. Last week we cheered for Tywin, but this week, he’s a jerk for humiliating Tyrion.

  359. stanvosftw
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    don draper: I am interested to see where they take Theon being betrayed by his men. Is Dagmar playing the long con? Is Dagmar=Reek? Who burned Winterfell? It’s neat that even as a book reader I have questions going into next year.

    It seems pretty likely to me that what happened/will happen is similar to the books, and teh same as what happens in aDwD when Theon assists in the Ironborn surrender of that one castle. AKA, Ramsey kills everyone, then lies, saying that they resisted/it was self-defense.

    Also I don’t understand all the people saying nonbook raqders will be confused about who’s taking Winterfell. They will all assume it’s Roose “boy” – this was even shown in the recap of last episode to remind everyone: Robb sent Roose’s “boy” to pardon the Ironborn and capture Theon.

  360. Langkard
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson:
    Since so many non-readers seem to be confused they must not’ve done a good job conveying that, yes, Stannis escaped, and those were his men pulling him away from the battle at the end of last episode.

    That’s a minor complaint I have with the costume designs. Readers of the books can figure out which soldiers go with which main characters, although it sometimes takes some effort on our part. Non-readers can be entirely confused by the minimalist costume designs. At times it is almost impossible to tell who is a gold cloak and who is a Lannister man-at-arms and so on. Last week, some of the bigger battle scenes were a complete wash when it came to figuring out who was who. Small wonder that some people thought Stannis was dragged away by someone other than his own soldiers. Likewise it seemed that many people thought the charging soldiers who elicited Tyrion’s “oh, fuck me” reaction were actually Tywin’s troops, rather than Stannis’ troops as the really were. The only soldiers with a definitive look are the Iron Islanders. It’s been a small problem for two seasons now.

    Edit: And yes, before someone points it out, battles are naturally confusing and chaotic. And that is exactly the reason why they figured out centuries ago that making your soldiers easily identifiable is a must on the battlefield. It’s why Byzantine emperor Leo VI in his military treatise, Tactica, stressed the importance of each unit type having its own distinct colors on uniforms and shields. It’s why medieval soldiers wore their lords’ colors and heraldry. It’s the reason for heraldry in the first place.

  361. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    My recap and reactions to tonight’s finale are now up.

  362. House Snow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    By the way, while I was dissapointed in the HOTU I think some of the blame goes on GRRM here, I think its a pretty tough pickle to put the writers in the put in some prophecies that mostly haven’t occurred yet with 2 books to go. The writers know they are probably going to be in a situation where stuff has to get cut, so putting in the prophecies now kind of binds them in a way they would rather not. Would I want them to take the chance sure, but they are in a bind.

  363. Caitlin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    I just want to correct you.. Tywin is hand and he is not Joffery’s father, as you said he was.

    “Quick summary this week, as I really want to get to my thoughts. Starting off in King’s Landing, where Joffrey hands out awards for the successful battle. His father becomes hand, Littlefinger becomes Lord of Harrenhal and Margaery becomes his new betrothed.”

  364. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    DB:
    Also, anyone love how the King in the north got married by the Seven instead of the Old Gods lolllllllll

    That’s the trouble with Robb though. He has too much of the Trout in him.

  365. stanvosftw
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Bean: I had real hopes for them too. Initially, you saw Dany bargaining for a ship, trying to negotiate or plead from a place of weakness, etc… They could’ve built some character and had a modest little plot line in Qarth.

    I know!! Me too. I actually really loved her scenes in Episode 5 (the first Qarth episode). Great drama there, great character interactions, excellent writing and plotting. From there, it began to go on a slow but steepining downward slide. Culminating in this complete hamhanded nonsense. Ugh.

    I think I will pretend that dany was in only three scenes this season:
    1) The crazy Qarth garden party (omg! so awesome!)
    2) The scene where accidentally Jorah say he luuurvs her and she’s like shiiiit and then they decide to get a ship.
    3) The three visions scenes in HOTU (but not the complete lack of setup and not the embarrassing fire and nonsensical Xaro scene after thanks very much).

  366. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    After the second watching…

    Still love it!

    The only thing that bothered me that i didn’t like was D&D’s little scene with Varys and Ros… The fact D&D are going out of their way to try to justify Ros’s existence by making her one of Varys “important spies” is pretty annoying.

    Oh well, looks like a lot more Ros for season 3… Oh boy!

    But seriously, besides that everything was really awesome…

    Can’t wait for season 3.

    Until then all the fun casting news is going to hold me through!!!

  367. death to lannisters
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Completely mediocre. For me the least compelling episode of the series for sure.

  368. Michelle
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    OH GODS MAESTER LUWIN NO IT HURTS SO MUCH I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN BUT IT HURTS. NED, PLEASE, MAKE IT STOP

  369. Michael
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I fully expect that after a few more viewings I’ll grow to love this finale. But watching with my wife (a non-book reader who explicitly forbids me from giving her any info from the books), we were both mostly disappointed by this finale (only Mad Men saved our night). All season long we’d felt as if the story had been rushed, the finale only increased this.

    There was a lot that was good. Sansa’s scene, Tyrion and Shae, Brienne & Jaime, Arya and Jaqen. HOTU was well done, interesting inclusion of a burned down KL and seeing Khal Drogo again with their baby was nice. But I’m not too happy about “Dracarys” being overused this season, to me at least it actually cheapens the coolness of the scene where Dany frees the unsullied Also did not like at all how Doreah just so easily betrayed Dany like that. It leaves her without any trusted female companions and despite Doreah’s background it all seemed very rushed and very out of character.

    Also, I really feel like Robb’s wedding was handled poorly. in the books it seems like he feels a sense of duty, here it just seems like he’s a spoiled bot hurt by his mother and forgetful of his duties. It all but secures that the RW will be in season 3 and I have to admit that I’m not at all troubled by TV Robb dying the way it hurt to have Robb die in the books, it almost seems like he’s asking for it now.

    The “three blasts” scene was handled well, but instead of GOT influencing other shows, it really felt like Walking Dead had stepped onto the GOT set.

    I’m also surprised that we didn’t see Davos at all in this finale. the scene between Stannis and Mel was cool, but why introduce Sallador Saan without him picking up Davos at the end. With all the time devoted to Tyrion and KL in this episode, I really don’t understand why they couldn’t have given us 45 seconds of Davos being picked up.

    High expectations are often difficult to match, but GOT has exceeded all expectations before tonight. I hope for better out of Season 3, and I really hope D&D don’t feel quite as rushed as it clearly seems they felt this season.

  370. robb17
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    maester luwin and the kids teared me up. so did shae and tyrion. i really like how they changed Shae from book Shae. the show Shae loves Tyrion, which leads me to believe that Tywin hangs Shae. then Tyrion finishes him off.

  371. Mirax
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Jack: 2. Did that White Walker just look at Sam and shrug his shoulders?? How will he get out of that???? ( I’m a book reader btw)

    So much this!!! ^^^ I hate it when a dramatic/serious show puts a character in an impossible situation and we’re just supposed to believe they made it. I didn’t like it in the pilot with Will, I don’t like it now.

    stanvosftw: Dany needs this. This is what she obsesses over, what she uses to justify her persona of the destined queen (whether that is becomes true or not, and sometimes for worse, rather than for better, the role of prophecy is what causes her character to make sense).

    And this! Even leaving out Rhaegar and the TPWWP, Dany really could have used her “3′s” prophecies. Pyat Pree could have just spoken a little longer with a segue of “And now you will never fulfill your destiny…” Then a different Pyat says “3 betrayals” etc. I assume she’ll just go the Viserys-I’m-Entitled route that she’s been spouting so far anyway. I do like what we saw, it was beautifully done, but it just wasn’t enough. Maybe nothing would have been, I don’t know.

    I really enjoyed the rest of the episode. Theon’s even more pathetic now. I cried for Luwin. I wish Catelyn had reacted more strongly to Robb’s decision, but I’m assuming the decision to do the ceremony of the Seven had to do with the fact that they couldn’t find anyone other than a septon. I’m interested to see how this change in the time line affects his character’s reaction to the Bran and Rickon news.

    Going to watch the episode again tomorrow. The second time around I’m usually more able to enjoy it, whereas the first viewing I always notice the differences.

  372. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised no one brought this up yet – maybe its something I simply don’t remember from the HoU sequence of visions in the book… But… That first vision of the iron throne room in shambles with snow falling on it… Isn’t that a brand new prophecy that wasn’t given to us before?? The iron throne in ruins during the dead of winter couldn’t possibly happen until the last 2 books due to geography and climate… Winter hasn’t reached kings landing that heavily yet.

    Could it be that the red keep gets completely leveled by dragons or some other catastrophe (like the Others) and winds up abandoned in the dead of winter, while other battles rage on elsewhere? When else would we see that type of extreme weather in Kings Landing except for likely the last 2 books? And from what I understand the red keep has never been leveled to that degree.
    (tWoW spoiler or aDoS spoiler perhaps? Just for the book fans who wanted more out of the HoU prophecies… Maybe they threw us a bone after all)

    That’s what it seemed like to me anyway, and it was very exciting if that’s the case! Unless I missed something.

    Also – I thought the Others looked badass. With their pure ice swords and barely held together zombie army? Awesome!!

    The fire shooting perfectly straight under her arm was corny but…. Beyond that… awesome ep!

    Was totally wrong about Barristan Selmy coming along but…. the ep passed my expectations!

    Can’t believe Dagmer stabbed Luwin. Bastard.

  373. Trappingsofpower
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Mindblown. What an episode. Snow falling in the Throne Room??? Anyone???

  374. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Michael,

    KL wasn’t burned down. Ruined, but not burned down. If you watch the scene again you can see there are no burn marks and there are icicles hanging off of the metal fixtures around the pillars. You can also see snow melting on Dany’s hand when she reaches towards the throne.

  375. darquemode
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry for posting thse a little late, I was watching the NBA Game…

    This week’s Episode Extras:
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/06/game-of-thrones-episode-210-valar.html

  376. defiant117x
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    I think by now the book purists have discovered that this series is not the exact same as the books, and wont be. Try not to fret or get too worked up over changes… just sit back and enjoy, because its a great show.

  377. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    How bout that ending? Holy shit!

    Great episode. My only concern was the Ramsay Question, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a surprise in store for non-book readers for next season, or the season after that, when they finally learn of Theon’s fate. If you thought Robb Stark was cool, just wait until you meet Theon’s new friend. He’s a real swell guy!

    The House of the Undying was really well done, IMO. I was a little worried about how the visions would play out on screen, but they nailed it with Drogo (and yes, they left out a lot of stuff from the book, but I expected it, so I didn’t concern me too much).

    I’m sure people will be pissed off about the lack of Ghost in the Halfhand fight, but I thought the scene was pretty intense regardless.

    And also, I’ve got to say, the actress who plays Margaery is super hot. I never saw The Tudors, so I had no idea (I’d always been meaning to watch it, because I’m really into history and all, but I don’t have Showtime, and have never gotten around to getting it on DVD, etc., etc.,). She’s perfect for the role, and already seems to have good chemistry with Jack Gleeson, so I’m looking forward to seeing all that drama play out.

    And lastly, that Zarozan Ducksauce thing was quite a twist, wasn’t it? Wow. Dany’s one hard ass chick. Doreah should’ve known; you betray the Khaleesi, you get entombed alive.

    5 out of 5 from me. Great finale.

  378. Dio Xtozcanox
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Idk, I think having it play out like it did with Dany makes a pretty clear point. She is a bratty, naive and self-entitled brat basically that has some innate magical ability. Fact is the reason it happened like it did with her is because she is only powerful with her dragons. Without them she is, in essence, powerless. Thats why all of a sudden when she has her dragons she can kick ass and take over: because its the dragons doing everything…. shes just their mother that gets to kick back and watch her kids destroy everything on her command and say “ahhhh thats my boys”.

  379. garik16
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Robb Stark in the Books: Too Honorable for his own good (like his own father), dooms his chances.
    Robb Stark in the Show: Too Stupid for his own good.

    Qhorin Halfhand in the Books: Badass.
    Qhorin Halfhand in the Show: Asshole, who gets Jon in the situation in the first place.

    Littlefinger in the books: Master of Subtlety, Chessmaster, etc.
    Littlefinger in the show: Unsubtle, Telling his intentions in plain view/hearing of characters who have opposing interests.

    Don’t get me wrong, the show works. But god, some characters go from good to idiots.

  380. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    As much as I loved Blackwater, this was even better. It’s the best episode of everything I’ve seen on TV, bar probably the 4th season finale of Breaking Bad. This is how you do a great art without throwing 250 million $. It was art, plain and simple. Every actor there should get an Emmy. I honestly can’t name anyone who wasn’t perfect in this episode. The writing was superb and Alan Taylor proved that he is the best director this show can possibly get. Too bad he will be busy with Thor 2 next year.

    I’ve read the books 3 times and will probably read them again, but I don’t care about the changes. D&D have clearly shown that they do care for the big picture and that it will remain the same. The details in between can change as much as they like.

    Given how the third book is my favorite, for me the next two seasons will be the best TV ever created.

    Damn, it was emotional. I should watch it again.

  381. Bean
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    and not the embarrassing fire and nonsensical Xaro scene after thanks very much).

    Yeah. I had very low expectations for the house of the undying “escape” so I wasn’t too dissapointed. But they could’ve made that better so much more easily.

    For example, have Dany futiley strike out with her torch at a host of duplicate Pree’s (who are hanging around because they’re villians and mocking her). She keeps missing because they’re not real, or just dissapear.

    Then show the dragons see she’s struggling, turn their heads in unison, and blow fire at the “real” copy of Pree, killing him.

    Still a little hamhanded, but at least shows some degree of surprise/twist. The dialogue at least was ok in that final Pree scene, they could’ve kept the same dialogue but had that more interesting “fight” scene and resolution.

  382. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    I did like that part, and if KL gets fucked by the Others as that scene would seem to suggest it would be a really fitting end to Martin’s series. Kind of insanely bleak/depressing to have to agree that that’s an easy possibility with what we know about GRRM, that everyone could die and it would make total sense. Could you imagine that with any other series?
    Also, that would suggest a really hard, true notion about real life as well, one that the characters in ASOIAF bring up all the time as well; everyone dies, it’s just a matter of how and when.
    Totally fucking bleak, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that was the outcome.

    Lord Castamere: Could it be that the red keep gets completely leveled by dragons or some other catastrophe (like the Others) and winds up abandoned in the dead of winter a horrible winter? When else would we see that weather in Kings Landing except for likely the last 2 books?
    (tWoW spoiler or aDoS spoiler perhaps? Just for the book fans who wanted more out of the HoU prophecies… Maybe they threw us a bone after all)

    That’s what it seemed like to me anyway, and it was very exciting if that’s the case! Unless I missed something.

  383. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters:
    Completely mediocre.For me the least compelling episode of the series for sure.

    Wow. There were some mind-blowing things in this episode, but nothing compared to reading these post-show comments.

  384. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Trappingsofpower:
    Mindblown. What an episode. Snow falling in the Throne Room??? Anyone???

    Exactly! Posted my thoughts ab that right above your post. What was your take on it?

  385. Adam Roberts
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing that the dragons can now incinerate people from 30ft so that explains danys new power

  386. Rinso
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    To be honest, as much as they butchered Dany’s story in Qarth (by the way, did I call it when I said that it will all end with the dragons burning Pyat Pree or what ;P), it made TOTAL sense for her to just plunder Ducksauce’s palace. She’s nothing more than a theiving warlord and I’m kind of glad they are keeping that aspect of the character.

    The Other was… badass, actually. I like this design much better than the brownish blur from Season 1. I have the feeling that non-book fans will have no idea what this is, though.

    Littlefinger stole yet another of the Hound’s scenes with Sansa XD It’s almost funny.

    Tyrion’s scene with Shae was beautiful, though I’m not sure where are they going with this. Considering what will happen to them what is this show of seemingly sincere devotion from her supposed to mean now?

    So Jeyne Westerling isn’t Jeyne Westerling after all! I love how some fans wondered wether this whole “Talisa from Volantis” thing isn’t just a ruse. I guess it’s not XD The overall result will be the same, so no big deal. The only thing they really lose with this change is the subtle hint how some of the Westerlings (Jeyne’s mother, IIRC) have been in Tywin’s pocket and jumped at the opportunity to backstab Robb. But it’s not a big deal. Little strange how they made him discuss this with Catelyn and didn’t mention his grief for Bran and Rickon’s deaths, but oh well.

    Jon is a joke this season. His endless blunders with Ygritte were more comical than dramatic.

    Theon’s story was good up until the end. I don’t mind the supposed mystery of who burned down Winterfell (it’s actually cool, and kind of canon-friendly if you consider we see the thing not from Theon’s POV as it was in the book but by Bran and Rickon’s who were pretty clueless), but I’m not sure I like the idea of the Ironmen betraying him.

    Jaqen’s big revelation was lackluster, sorry.

    Stannis chocking Melisandre struck me as very much out of character. He’s awkward and stiff around women, but he’s not one to abuse them, even out of spite and anger; and Melisandre is the only woman he trusts and feels kind of comfortable with. And they could have shown Davos surviving. I know that in the books we learned that in ASOS, but here it would have been better to show it, I think.

    Overall, a good finale and an adequate season. Season 1 was better, though. I hope they will pick up the dropped balls in Season 3. My biggest hope is that they turn back and become as faithful to the books as they were in the beginning of this whole merry adventure, but the chances are rather slim.

    ETA:

    Forgot a few things!

    I’m not sure I like Brienne as being so cold-blooded. I don’t think we really needed that fight scene with the northeners.

    And Ros is becoming even more important! Oh, what joy. First she was simply Tyrion’s whore for the afternoon, then she became the most promminent whore in Wintertown, then she went to King’s Landing where she immediately found her way into the bed of Pycelle, then she became the manager of Littlefinger’s brothel and now she’s apparently among Varys’ little birds. What’s next, a seat in the Small Council?

  387. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    garik16,

    Perfect depiction of how the characters are changed in the series. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great and probably the best show on tv, but you’re right, it’s ridiculous and comical with how open they’ve made some characters about their true intent. I almost thought they were going to make Littlefinger tell Sansa he was going to kill a certain someone sometime soon during the episode tonight, when he says that he’ll help take her home.

    Also, you or anyone who’s noticed the obv character changes/nonsensical natures of some scenes should check out this youtube channel for Seanzoz, who does these absolutely hilarious parodies of every GoT ep, and has read the books.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/seanzoz

  388. Gatorfisch
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Deborah Ambridge Fisher:
    trfhms,

    Why thanks.Makes sense to me but who knows where they are taking her.I think we just got a major hint that Jaquen and Florel are the same guy.J.K. Rowling told told the guy who played Snape (damn I wish I could remember his name) some secrets before all the books came out so he knew how to play his character.I wonder if GRRM has had to do somthing similar.

    Wow…you just blew my mind! That TOTALLY MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!!!! Can you tell I love that theory?

  389. Darren Mason
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    HOTU was supremely disappointing, where are the undying ones?

    Theon getting knocked out was lame and Witnerfell burning made no sense in the show context, I wouldn’t be surprised if non-readers are confused as to why that happened.

    Robb stuff sucked but I gave up on that “love story” plotline a long time ago, so it didn’t bother me as much.

    One complaint about the White Walker that Sam saw was that it wasn’t wearing the ice-like armor.

  390. Renaud Besse-Bourdier
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    WiC: the Halfhand was my only true disappointment this season. However, I thought that it didn’t make any sense but my non-reader girlfriend immediately understood why he was doing that, so… at least it can be understood, so that’s good ;-)

  391. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Derek Wolff,

    Would be bleak indeed for an ending. As much as I don’t want to believe Martin would do that to us, just because of the name of the last book he has planned… Murder by the Others was the prologue chapter to the entire series… And they’re been rarely revisited. Martin did says we’d see much more of them next book…

  392. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Mirax: So much this!!! ^^^ I hate it when a dramatic/serious show puts a character in an impossible situation and we’re just supposed to believe they made it. I didn’t like it in the pilot with Will, I don’t like it now.

    As far as Will goes, I just assumed they were sending a message, and left him alive to send it (didn’t work, but hey…).

    And Sam? Who knows, but I’m reminded of the scene in Saving Private Ryan when the dorky American soldier has a panic attack and freezes during the battle, and the German soldier just looks at him and walks past as if he isn’t there, because he obviously isn’t a threat.

    Although it might be like my theory with Will, and the White Walker wants to leave one person alive, so just scares the shit out of Sam and keeps going.

    I know the voice was completely different than the ice cracking, but thought it was a nice touch to have the White Walkers’ war cry ending the season sounding very similar to the dragons’ cries last season.

  393. S money
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    MeekyReekyRamasy,

    Totally agree. The white walkers looked like a bad left over costume from clash of the titans. I’m still a fan, but I think they dropped the ball on this season. They are trying too hard to go to big with not enough time or money.

    BRING BACK THE SUBTLETIES OF SEASON 1

  394. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    garik16:
    Robb Stark in the Books:Too Honorable for his own good (like his own father), dooms his chances.
    Robb Stark in the Show: Too Stupid for his own good.

    Qhorin Halfhand in the Books: Badass.
    Qhorin Halfhand in the Show: Asshole, who gets Jon in the situation in the first place.

    Littlefinger in the books: Master of Subtlety, Chessmaster, etc.
    Littlefinger in the show: Unsubtle, Telling his intentions in plain view/hearing of characters who have opposing interests.

    Don’t get me wrong, the show works.But god, some characters go from good to idiots.

    PLAY WITH HER ASS!

  395. christmas is coming
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    I loved it!!

    The ending left me speechless! I dropped my drink when” I saw what I saw”….mind blowing!

    I do have to stand up and clap for a fantastic season! acting, writing, sets, costume, score.

    If they don’t win a emmy and madmen wins again, I’m going to be very upset!

  396. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Lord Castamere,

    Yep, def agree there given the name for TWoW. And yeah, maybe he’ll just end it by having Dany and her dragons finally land in Westeros in ADoS, burn off all of the Others who have ravaged the entire continent by that point, then have Dany just walk out beyond the wall after realizing no one is alive in all of the seven kingdoms any more. Would still be totally bleak, lol. But I guess her and whoever becomes the other two heads of the dragon hook up and repopulate Westeros haha

  397. ALexKdiz
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Who burnt down winter fell. I’m a tv viewer and completely confused since there 20 guys in there and 500 men outside trying to kill them for streaks….. I’m confused

  398. Dio Xtozcanox
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Adam Roberts,

    Was there a ruler there I didnt see? Is there a known statistic on average baby dragon fireshooting distance? Fantasy = Suspension of Disbelief. People come on now lol must we really sit here and call certain things unrealistic. Everything is unrealistic thats why its fantasy. We have warlocks splitting into 10 different bodies.. people changing faces.. shadow babies being born and then the mothers body becoming skinny again the second the birth is complete (a feat Im sure most real life moms wish they could experience).. and we are gonna sit here and say heyyy wait a second those dragons are shooting fire at someone so unrealistically far away!!

    This isnt like the movie Eurotrip where the main guy goes to Berlin to meet this sexy foreign exchange student because she blocked his email address so he couldnt email her anymore. All he had to do was make another email address and email her there but noooo he tries once then departs for Europe. Thats something thats silliness and done because… it is a movie. This is a tv show. Suspend your disbelief.

  399. From Chaos
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I think these last 2 episodes have been my favorites of the series.

  400. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson:
    I know the voice was completely different than the ice cracking, but thought it was a nice touch to have the White Walkers’ war cry ending the season sounding very similar to the dragons’ cries last season.

    That’s a good point – I definitely appreciate it more from that perspective. At first the lack of ice crackling pissed me off. But the way the chose illustrates their connection as servants of opposing Gods…

  401. Michael
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    I’ll take another look when I rewatch the finale, but you’d think if the red keep has been through at least a couple hundred years, it’s been through a few winters. If Dragons didn’t burn down the roof, what did? It’s clearly winter in the scene, so it’s not surprising there are icicles, there’s no roof!

    Since all we get at the HOTU is the KL scene and Dhrogo in the tent with the baby, that would lead me to believe that we’re seeing a potential future. If Dany and her Dragons go to KL, they’re very likely to burn it all down. As much as she may want the Iron Throne, she’s got Dragons, when they are grown she can put her throne wherever she wants it.

  402. tdraicer
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Mark Twain wrote, “In matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

    I loved the entire episode, and for those who disagree…

  403. Fran Folic
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Onion,

    I was so thinking the same thing…”Eddie.” Cover of “Killers.”

  404. Dio Xtozcanox
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    And btw I agree in understanding why the White Walker just walked right past Sam. He is weak and pitiful in a lot of ways. He was no threat to them or their cause to attack the wall. And now we have people complaining about how the White Walker language sounded lol. Does somebody here speak WhiteWalker to tell us if their dialogue we saw tonight is correct? Its a made up language, like make believe language. There is no proper/actual way to do it on screen.

  405. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Josh: I wonder how some things will mesh Shae and Tyrion for example down the line…but we’ll see! I can’t wait for more :)

    Josh – seems like your comment about not liking Robb getting married by the Seven didn’t survive the “Quote” button, but this was in response to that comment.

    The second time watching this woman paid attention to this scene especially, did you notice they were in a godswood by a weirwood tree? So, perhaps this was the compromise solution to honor both old gods and new. Remember, Catelyn worshipped the Seven so Robb probably learned about both growing up. It worked OK, there was really no time in the series to go specifically into what the Stark children really believed, if anything.

  406. Tim
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Do David and Dan know information about future storylines from GRRM? If so, that whole you must go backward to go forward etc etc……

    She went from the Iron Throne to North of the Wall to the khalasar (Dothraki Sea/red Waste?)

    Does this perhaps mean in future books she will first arrive in Westeros North of the wall and then eventually end up on the throne? The showrunners know in the book HOTU was foreshadowing… are they telling us readers something o.o?

  407. ducksauce
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Loved the season finale. Can’t wait for more Jon/Ygritte next year… “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” Ygritte is an absolute smokeshow. I’m not looking forward to their “breakup.” I’m predicting some tears

  408. Eli Friedman
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    The reeds are confirmed for season 3.
    franklin,

  409. Raven
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Wow. And so ends another season…

    I absolutely loved everything in this episode except for the scene with Qhorin. In the books I feel like this was a huge turning point for Jon. He was taking on this momentous task of infiltrating the wildlings and it all started with killing someone he looked up to as a hero. I don’t think that came off in this episode at all… as a matter of fact, I’m guessing most non book readers will be a little confused of Jon’s intentions.

    Dany was (finally) amazing this episode. My only frustration here was that she’s been portrayed as whiny little princess all season and in this last episode she all of a sudden redeems herself as a badass. I would have liked her in this season as a whole if they had portrayed her as the more level headed (if naive) leader that deserved to be Queen. Other than that, I had no issues with the changes to HOTU.

    Everything else… bloody fantastic.

    Raven

  410. ghost
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    near perfect episode but I would have done 1 thing differently.

    In season 8 they telegraphed what John and the Halfand where going to do so when John killed the Halfhand it wasn’t as big as a surprise as it could of been.

    I’m not a big fan of dying characters coming back but I’ll let it stand for Mr. Momoa since it just made sense.

    The others looked spot on. Overall this season was better than the last one. I hope in next season they continue to focus on making a great show rather than just follow the books.

  411. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    little things that made this episode worthwhile:
    “Thought he’d never shut up”/ “It was a good speech. Didn’t want to interrupt him”
    Varys turning Ros (very interesting!)
    Pycell tossing a coin to Tyrion (ouch)
    Theon’s “confession”
    Snow on the throne and Dany at the Wall
    Dany disappearing around the curve
    The khalisar looting Quarth (yeah, it was illogical because Jorah said they were killed, but I still loved how they got to return to their Dothraki nature and pillage again).
    the dragon babies and their adorable little chains
    Brienne’s kills and Jaime’ LIKE WHOA reaction
    Luwin getting speared – I yelled “NOOOOOO”
    Shae. Loved her lines to Tyrion – fuck this stupid war, indeed.
    the white walker dude and his zombie horse – looked amazing!

    Things that didn’t work for me:
    The throne room scene. You would think that such bombastic political theater like that would act and write itself. Instead I thought it was awkward.
    Agree with everything WiC said about Jon/Qhorin. The worst storyline of the Season, when it didn’t have to be.
    Robb being EXTRA douchy to Cat, and marrying out of spite (?). I actually WELCOME the RW now and root for Roose. How the hell did it come to this?
    Dany and Drogo – it was a nice scene but I can’t explain why I yawned through it. I think their “eternal love” is just lame.
    Tyrion’s lines to Shae about staying in KL – his reason for staying is he likes his job (that he just got fired from)? I thought that was kinda weak.
    Ygritte wacking Jon with his own sword – like he needed additional humiliations.
    Stannis choking Mel – this actually pissed me off. I understand that he’s mad but JESUS.

  412. Clabog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    zombies were around before the Walking Dead, guys…

    Really really good finale. Could have spent a little more time developing the Jon and Qhorin relationship. Maybe they could’ve had a scene earlier in the episode where the wildings stop to rest so him and Jon have time to talk. Would’ve made the fight scene a bit more powerful than relying on another quick scene’s worth of dialogue from two weeks ago.

    And I too was sad by the lack of TPWWP prophecy, but the icy and destroyed throne room was a good enough replacement. Could be interpreted in a few ways, which is cool.

    Also thought for sure they would’ve started the Ser Dontos and Sansa plotline tonight, but instead they made Littlefinger really obvious. Oh well.

    It’s gonna be a longggg wait…

  413. andrea
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    seriously, Arthur, there were errors in this episode, but that scene was not one of them. I think you’ll like Ross the most in service of Varys. It would not be better for Ross to become a spy and not longer a prostitute?I would say yes to Varys without thinking…
    well, we´ll see.

  414. KG
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    top6: . It really didn’t set it up so that it was clear he was doing it on purpose to earn the Wildlings’ trust

    THAT”S THE IDEA. Jeez o’pete folks.

  415. Ryan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    i can haz rhaegar?

    :(

  416. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Tim:
    Do David and Dan know information about future storylines from GRRM? If so, that whole you must go backward to go forward etc etc……

    She went from the Iron Throne to North of the Wall to the khalasar (Dothraki Sea/red Waste?)

    Does this perhaps mean in future books she will first arrive in Westeros North of the wall and then eventually end up on the throne? The showrunners know in the book HOTU was foreshadowing… are they telling us readers something o.o?

    I’m pretty sure D and D know the upcoming key points…not sure if they know what weaves those points together yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. GRRM probably gave them a rundown of what to expect so they could plan accordingly and submit budgets and all that jazz.

  417. Maral
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Tim:
    I really hated some things about this episode…

    …..

    Also, the White Walker on the horse looked just downright silly. Like a guy in a halloween costume silly. The original White walkers with flat noses and charred skin from the pilot were way superior to this new one.

    Agreed, although I didn’t really like the pilot WW either. I’m suspecting that shooting in Iceland has some technical/practical limitations because all the scenes we’ve seen so far are in daytime, and it’s really affecting the storytelling in a negative way IMO. The Others were not even remotely scary. It should have been horror-movie levels of scary, and it wasn’t scary at ALL.

    Plus…..the Other/”White Walker”. They still cannot get this right, and I don’t get it. IMO they should be kind of like the Ringwraiths were in Ringspace, kind of vaguely humanoid and ethereal but clearly not solid flesh, and instead we get some dude in a latex appliance, who looks sort of vaguely undead. What? They’re supposed to be completely inhuman spirits of cold. NOTHING human-like at all. If they can’t afford to make them look right, blur it with snow or something and don’t show them clearly. But the clear, long shot of what’s obviously just a guy in a mask is not scary. Why is Sam so afraid of them? NOT SCARY.

    And having them just march past him, in broad daylight, ignoring him, lessens their danger so much. They’re the ULTIMATE threat in this world, all else is secondary, but we really did not feel that here.

    I really liked the episode up until the House of the Undying…I agree with many here that it was seriously mishandled and had very little impact. And Jon/Qhorin made no sense.

  418. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    ALexKdiz,

    Who burnt down winter fell. I’m a tv viewer and completely confused since there 20 guys in there and 500 men outside trying to kill them for streaks….. I’m confused

    This will all be revealed for you in season 3…

    If you can’t wait that long, pick up the books. =)

  419. darquemode
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    ALexKdiz,

    In the books it was Roose Bolton’s bastard son leading some of Bolton’s troops. He has offered to send him to winterfell to reclaim it for Robb twice in the series, but they really never mentioned that Robb okay’d it or Roose told Ramsay to go to Winterfell. Plus, who knows what D&D will write into the series next year so it may not be safe to assume it is Bolton’s bastard…..

  420. Carolina H
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    well, it was quite nice for the season’s finale!! that final shot was great! poor sam, wonder whow he’ll get out of that one!
    i liked the KL stuff and the witerfell moments.stanni/mel, tyrion/shae, sansa/LF (i hate lf but they both acted pretty good)!!
    joff/marge, jon, arya/jaqen, danny, brienne/jaime were awesome.
    but cat/robb & robb/talisa weren’t to my liking that much.

    but overall, i liked the episoe a lot and it’s so sad that now the waiting begins for next season!! ;( hope times goes by quickly cause there are so many great stuff in the next book besides Sandor’s comeback! <3

  421. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Larry Williams is effing spot on with this recap

  422. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    seriously, Arthur, there were errors in this episode, but that scene was not one of them. I think you’ll like Ross the most in service of Varys. It would not be better for Ross to become a spy and not longer a prostitute?I would say yes to Varys without thinking…
    well, we´ll see.

    I didn’t find any “errors” in this episode besides that one…

    Ros serving as Varys “spy” doesn’t mean she is going to stop being a whore that works at a brothel… She will continue to be a whore at a brothel and report back to Verys any important info she discovers…. What do you think she is going to go to spy academy now or something?

    As far as the “other more imprtant errors”, yeah there are changes from the books if that is what you mean. I didn’t not mind any of them.

    What is important to you or considered an “error” may not be important to someone else. Just like my opinnion on the Ros scene is different then your own…

  423. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    S money: BRING BACK THE SUBTLETIES OF SEASON 1

    Hear hear.

  424. darquemode
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    That scene with Ros and Varys was one of the better scenes of the night for me, better than any of the Jon scenes or the Dany scenes.

    This season has shown that D&D were not wrong to give more scenes to Ros. She has been very good to great in each of her scenes this season even if at least one of “her” scenes ran way too long thanks to Petyr “Snidely Whiplash” Baelish liking to hear his own voice a little too much.

  425. KG
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    stanvosftw,

    (takes a deep breath in order to yell like a noob)

    BOOK STANNIS DIDN’T KNOW TV STANNIS DOES BOOK IS NOT TV SHOW. IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT, GO FIND A FRIENDLY ADULT TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

  426. Victarion's Grief
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    I’m a reader and I was dreading the first half of the episode but the 2nd half more than made up for the episode. I overall did like the episode but some scenes were just cringe worthy.

    What I liked about the episode:

    Tyrion’s scene with Shae was touching

    Dany walking into her father’s destroyed throne room and also seeing Drogo and her child. Beautiful cinematography and well shot.

    The Dothraki getting that Turkey at the end. Hahaha! busted out laughing in that scene

    The most disappointing story line was Jon’s.

    Jon was made a complete fool the whole way. We had no emotional investment in Qhorin and him dying felt like nothing. If Qhorin had been schooling Jon along the way it would have made a bigger payoff for the finale that he killed him. I do understand that they may have done this to give Jon and Ygritte more screen time which is a more important relationship.

    I didn’t like the scene where Stannis was choking Melissandre. It just felt wrong and out of character.

  427. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    Robb being EXTRA douchy to Cat, and marrying out of spite (?). I actually WELCOME the RW now and root for Roose. How the hell did it come to this?

    Only thing that bothered me about the Robb wedding scene…

    Can someone explain why Robb would be giving his marriage vows with the use of the “seven” in his oath instead of the Old Gods? Robb is a Stark, he doesn’t believe in the new gods. he worships the old gods… Maybe I am just confused?

  428. Nyahs
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Tim,

    I didn’t think about that, that’s interesting. I was kinda confused why they showed her walking through the Wall to the tent after being in the thrown room. That was never shown like that in the books so wasn’t sure where they were going or trying to tell us with that.

  429. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    That scene with Ros and Varys was one of the better scenes of the night for me, better than any of the Jon scenes or the Dany scenes.

    This season has shown that D&D were not wrong to give more scenes to Ros. She has been very good to great in each of her scenes this season even if at least one of “her” scenes ran way too long thanks to Petyr “Snidely Whiplash” Baelish liking to hear his own voice a little too much.

    You liked the Ros scene better then Dany’s?

    Hey man, to each their own. I just have to totally disagree with you.

    No problem…

  430. Derek Wolff
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    surely you’re joking about welcoming the red wedding/rooting for Roose. I don’t think Robb was being douchy to Cat either, he just told her that she shouldn’t scold him for his marriage and that she has no reason to talk since she released Jamie without his consent on one of the dumbest missions/quests ever. Robb’s just reminding her he’s the King, something HBO’s version has done on multiple occasions now.

    Meg:
    little things that made this episode worthwhile:
    “Thought he’d never shut up”/ “It was a good speech. Didn’t want to interrupt him”
    Varys turning Ros (very interesting!)
    Pycell tossing a coin to Tyrion (ouch)
    Theon’s “confession”
    Snow on the throne and Dany at the Wall
    Dany disappearing around the curve
    The khalisar looting Quarth (yeah, it was illogical because Jorah said they were killed, but I still loved how they got to return to their Dothraki nature and pillage again).
    the dragon babies and their adorable little chains
    Brienne’s kills and Jaime’ LIKE WHOA reaction
    Luwin getting speared – I yelled “NOOOOOO”
    Shae. Loved her lines to Tyrion – fuck this stupid war, indeed.
    the white walker dude and his zombie horse – looked amazing!

    Things that didn’t work for me:
    The throne room scene. You would think that such bombastic political theater like that would act and write itself. Instead I thought it was awkward.
    Agree with everything WiC said about Jon/Qhorin. The worst storyline of the Season, when it didn’t have to be.
    Robb being EXTRA douchy to Cat, and marrying out of spite (?). I actually WELCOME the RW now and root for Roose. How the hell did it come to this?
    Dany and Drogo – it was a nice scene but I can’t explain why I yawned through it. I think their “eternal love” is just lame.
    Tyrion’s lines to Shae about staying in KL – his reason for staying is he likes his job (that he just got fired from)? I thought that was kinda weak.
    Ygritte wacking Jon with his own sword – like he needed additional humiliations.
    Stannis choking Mel – this actually pissed me off. I understand that he’s mad but JESUS.

    Meg,

  431. LordStarkington
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I thought the Jon/Halfhand scene in this episode was fine. It was everything leading up to it that was the problem – I mean I really like Rose Leslie’s Ygritte but in the big picture I think the show would have been better served sticking closer to the book there.

    I, too, was underwhelmed with the actual payoff to Theon’s story but I get that they want to keep that shrouded in mystery a bit. I hated, hated the Robb/Cat storyline overall and especially in this episode. I actually thought writing the “Jaime will not last the night” was potentially a clever addition but they didn’t go anywhere with it.

    Still, good episode, obvious step down from Blackwater but still largely on track apart from Robb/Cat.

  432. KG
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    DB,

    So respecting the “love of his life”s religion would be out of character? Ned built an entire sept for Catelyn, and they weren’t even in love.

    Maybe you’re just a jackass.

  433. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Clabog: Also thought for sure they would’ve started the Ser Dontos and Sansa plotline tonight, but instead they made Littlefinger really obvious. Oh well.

    I think they did start that plot, but they did it by Littlefinger being really obvious (compared to the books), basically foreshadowing that he’s going to be the one behind Dontos’ efforts.

  434. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Yes.That’s what they wanted.That’s what they needed — her to stay with her dragons.My take on it was that they gave her the option to stay voluntarily — in an illusion of bliss.But, she’s too smart.They underestimated her.The fatal mistake of underestimating Dany is an ongoing theme.

    Yes, Mike, this woman also felt they were trying to tempt her to stay with Drogo, see the empty promise of a cold and broken Iron Throne, all to encourage her to stay in the HOTU and help them make their own magic stronger. Nice how you pointed out the recurring theme of people underestimating Dany and being taken by surprise by her cleverness. Bravo!

  435. The Red Viper
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t share your hatred for how they handled Halfhand. If you paid attention to the dialogue between Qhorin and Jon, it was made quite clear Qhorin was planning this.

    Remember the episode when Qhorin asks Ygritte if the wildlings will take him captive and she said the only mercy would be a quick death. It did two things; it showed that Qhorin is a (in)famous member of the Night Watch among the wildlings and it showed that Mance would never keep Halfhand as a captive.

  436. Nyahs
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Tim:
    Do David and Dan know information about future storylines from GRRM? If so, that whole you must go backward to go forward etc etc……

    She went from the Iron Throne to North of the Wall to the khalasar (Dothraki Sea/red Waste?)

    Does this perhaps mean in future books she will first arrive in Westeros North of the wall and then eventually end up on the throne? The showrunners know in the book HOTU was foreshadowing… are they telling us readers something o.o?

    I didn’t think about that, that’s interesting. I was kinda confused why they showed her walking through the Wall to the tent after being in the thrown room. That was never shown like that in the books so wasn’t sure where they were going or trying to tell us with that.

  437. WildSeed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Damm all of you for NOT inviting me to the party and Fire Sale held at
    Xaro Xhon Daxos’s place. I just heard at 9 pm PST in the San Francisco
    Bay Area. Those Dothraki took all the good stuff. How come all these
    comments when I only saw the episode 15 minutes ago ?

  438. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Hassan Madkour,

    Oh, Tyrion and Shae’s scene was crazy sad. When Pete Dink cries. WHEN PETE DINK CRIES, EVERYONE

    Where you going for “When Pete Dink cries, everybody cries” ??? I think that was a paraphrase of a DeLaurentis quote about his King Kong remake in the 1970s? “When my Kong die, everybody cry.”

  439. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    tdraicer:
    Mark Twain wrote, “In matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

    I loved the entire episode, and for those who disagree…

    Well said. Fortunately I loved it too. ;-)

  440. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    ALexKdiz:
    Who burnt down winter fell. I’m a tv viewer and completely confused since there 20 guys in there and 500 men outside trying to kill them for streaks….. I’m confused

    You should be, they haven’t told us yet what happened there. So you’re basically in the same boat as Bran and buddies, they don’t know either.

  441. Andrew
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    This is probably just my weird and unsettling concern over Doreahs wellbeing obscuring my judgement, but do you think it’s possible her and Ducksauce don’t die? I’m not a locksmith, but I imagine it’s entirely possible that there’s a way to open that vault door from the inside. That could mean an even more strained confrontation between Dany and Xaro when he comes as an envoy to Meereen.

  442. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    My take on the snow in the throne room is probably different from what you would expect, but it plays into my overall theory that the ultimate battle is between magic and science.

    Most people probably interpret it as “Winter is Coming” to the Lannisters. But I see it as an allusion to the final scene with the Others (there’s even a big blue eye in the stained glass above the throne). Much like the Others, Dany brought the winter with her as she walked through the throne room, and Drogo just so happened to pitch his tent beyond the Wall, in White Walker territory (“this is dark magic” –Dany). I don’t know, but that seems pretty darn symbolic to me.

    In Norse mythology, Ragnarok begins when the magical worlds of Ice and Fire mix together. And as Varys mentioned in the Blackwater episode, magic is a very dark and sinister force in the world of Westeros. Dany, Bran, Melisandre and the Others (the sons of Craster) are all tapped into that magic. They are the ones who pose the biggest threat to the world, not the Lannisters (which is another topic entirely, because I don’t think all the Lannisters are even Lannisters –Jaime & Cersei– if you know what I mean). The Maesters, agnostics, and adherents to the Seven (the “normal” religion) are the true champions of mankind – the Æsir -, whereas those who have harnessed magic are in league with darker, non-human forces – the Jotunn – (think dragons, children of the forest, shadow babies, wights, etc..).

    Dany, Bran and Mel represent the 3 children of Loki. Loki is Bloodraven, aka Lord Brynden (in Norse mythology, Loki is a shapeshifter who was cursed and bound inside of a cave, under the life tree Yggdrasil, much like Bloodraven is a shapeshifter who was bound in a cave under a weirwood tree). Dany is the sea serpent, Jormundgandr, who circles the world (she’s already a serpent, and will become a sea serpent when she marries Victarion and finally gets her ships). Bran is Fenrir, the monstrous wolf who is also bound in a cave (he’s also, quite literally a “warg”, which is an Old Norse word for Fenrir). And Mel is Hel, conveniently, who reigns over the dead (red priests and priestesses bring the dead back to life, burn people, and have shadow babies). Jon Snow is Surtr, the black, who guards the border of the realm of the Æsir, and wields a fiery sword. He will lead the Sons of Muspell (the Others) across the Bifrost Bridge (the Wall) at the onset of Ragnarok and set the world ablaze with his fiery sword (Lightbringer). Jaime is Tyr, the one handed god of single combat, who will champion the Æsir. Tyrion is Fafnir, the dwarf who slays his wealthy father and flees to the protection of a dragon in a far away land. Etc… It goes on and on and on. The connections to Ragnarok, the symbolism, and even the words (i.e. warg, Hodur, TYRion, etc..) are all there.

    Anyway, that’s what I think snow falling on Dany in the throne room means. Call me crazy, but I’ve done my homework on this (I’m not kidding… I’ve been thinking about all of this stuff for years, and let’s just say, the show hasn’t debunked my theories yet).

  443. Madmage
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    I think this episode had a very tough act to follow after Blackwater and because of it came off somewhat flat.

    I enjoyed the Winterfell story as I continue to be impressed with the child actors and absolutely adored Maester Luwin in the TV show. Since most of the interaction with Luwin comes through the eyes of Bran in the books, he comes off as lecturing. In the TV show adaptation, I felt we saw more of Maester Cressen’s feelings for Stannis from the books between Luwin and Bran than we did in the first episode on Dragonstone.

    Dany’s storyline was mostly fine but failed in two respects: Where the hell did all those other dothraki come from? Secondly, I found Emilia Clarke’s delivery of Dracaris very weak. The director should have tried to get more intensity out of her. We know Emilia can do tbe intense just fine from previous episodes. Here she was too quiet and subdued in both body language and facial expression. The other changes I don’t mind. Xaro is hard to take seriously throughout the books and if this was his end, well I give credit for a great job by the actor on a very lame character. I for one don’t mind missing out on the prophecies. If they can introduce them later via Quaithe in later seasons instead of some of Daenerys’ other Essos wandering will better serve to keep her story more focused rather than meandering and slow.

    The Stannis-Melisandre part was interesting. I guess the merging of Pentrose and Renly’s death is really complete here with Stannis acknowledging his hand in the murder. I prefer his ignorance of that fact in the books. But the scene failed to address why Stannis does not call upon Mel to use more shadows in the future. He was left weak after the 2nd murder in the books but here he’s quite hale and hearty. I wonder if the 3 leeches will join the Peach and the Chain as the next omission people will complain about and whether a shadow might be used to kill Balon Greyjoy.

    I’m not a huge fan of the adaptation of Littlefinger. He’s portrayed too much on the nose and without the subtelty of a master player of the game. The joke about needing sons and grandsons didn’t quite resonate as it takes the court too long to react to it. The actor’s voice comes off as far too slimy than amiable. While it worked well for his dealing with Ned following Robert’s death, it didn’t work here with Sansa. I’m questioning why they even bothered hiring an actor for Sir Dontos.

    Roz… well if it leads to more Varys and Littlefinger spymaster vs spymaster plot, colour me intrigued. Otherwise, bleh.

    North of the Wall had several glaring things to pick apart: 1) Why didn’t the Wights or the Other not just kill Sam right then and there? 2) Jon’s plot has felt as rushed as that of Dragonstone in that the major points are addressed, but not enough time is devoted to the nuance that makes those stories more poignant. 3) There wasn’t enough build-up for the Quorin vs Jon Snow fight. Red Letter Media in its review of the Phantom Menace describes how the Darth Maul vs Jedi fights pale so much in comparison to the original trilogy’s jedi battles because they lacked sufficient emotion behind them. Again, this is due to a time constraint.

    The Robb-Catelyn-Talisa parts really suffered as the characters were without the knowledge of the the Stark boys’ death. I think it would have strengthened Catelyn’s motivation for releasing Jaime. Robb could have acted upon his feelings for Talisa and gone the distance in his grief as she tried to comfort him. The actors did a fine job with what they were given. You can see the attraction between Talisa and Robb but it’s the scenarios they are placed in that makes it fall through. I didn’t have any issue with their marriage being performed by a Septon for lack of a Weirwood tree.

    As many posters said, those responsible for the burning of Winterfell is left somewhat ambiguous to keep Bolton’s eventual betrayal more of a surprise. I almost prefer the way the series dealt with Theon’s capture. The speech was well-delivered, and seeing Theon get betrayed by his own men had me roaring in laughter because it came off as unexpected. I have a feeling Robb will be told in season 3 that Theon and his men were all slaughtered to the last. Might be Dagmer and the other Ironborn that had lines will be kept as captives and suffer under Ramsay. It will give Theon some more characters to continue interacting with. Alfie really did a great job with a character that didn’t really resonate until book 5.

    Arya + Jaqen were great as expected.

    Nothing else really comes to mind except that I was glad to see Margaery not wearing that silly dress. I wonder why they didn’t have Loras also receive the Hound’s old spot on the Kingsguard. Will he be taking his father’s place as the bumbling male Tyrell to the far more canny Margaery and the currently in casting Queen of Thorns?

  444. WildSeed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    House Snow:
    White Walkers kind of look trees no?

    To quote the Drowned God ” What is dead may never die but rises
    harder and stronger ”

  445. Nyahs
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    I’m really kind of hating what they’ve done with Littlefinger this season and how they’ve ruined two major plot points/story lines with him. The first one was with Catelyn and basically giving her the idea of releasing Jaime to get her girls back. In the book he never even discussed this with her and it was all her idea to release Jaime all on her own. The book version was so much more dramatic and ended in a cliffhanger with her waving a sword in his face, so you didn’t even know until book 3 that she actually released him. The second was his little conversation tonight with Sansa. It was big surprise in the book (for me anyway) when it was revealed what a big part Littlefinger played in Sansa’s escape from King’s Landing. But now with tonight’s conversation it won’t be such a shocker when it happens. And I’m also surprised we didn’t see more of Ser Dontos this season, Sansa’s ‘savior’.

  446. stanvosftw
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    KG: (takes a deep breath in order to yell like a noob)

    BOOK STANNIS DIDN’T KNOW TV STANNIS DOES BOOK IS NOT TV SHOW. IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT, GO FIND A FRIENDLY ADULT TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    The only changes that really bother me are those which change a character fundamentally. Stannis abusing Melisandre is completely disgusting and absolutely out of character. It’s like something Robert would do, not Stannis. Stannis would reject this if for no other reason than that it’s something Robert would do. Hence why this change (along the changes to Dany’s characterization) upsets me.

    I don’t care about adding entire scenes or characters, or even cutting characters or reducing screentime. As long as the people in those scenes are the people I know and not some 1-dimensional parody.

    It’s actually why I’m not too upset about the Jon plot. Who cares if Jon has a longer conversation with Qhorin or not? He clearly got the message about the spy mission or he wouldn’t have killed Qhorin. He’s still Jon, nothing he did or said has changed his fundamental nature. Unlike Stannis. Unlike Dany.

    If this is how HBO are going to roll, changing beloved character’s personalities completely then I’ve had enough.

  447. Andrew
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    That’s some really impressive and well thought out theories, mate. All the stuff about the character parallels was really crazy. Thanks for sharing! Very interesting stuff.

  448. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Derek,
    Well, in the books he was just “meh” to me, but in the show? What an ass. He marries even after he has time to RATIONALLY consider it and think about the repercussions. What would be better is if he said “You know what, this war is already lost. Let’s go home, and I’m going to marry whomever I want.” But I’m sure he’s still going to continue asking men to die for him.

  449. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Yellow Dog:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Didn’t really expect our hope to come true, but I still thought of you when Tom – or whoever that was – walked away.:-)

    Hey, we can always hope for a return to his character someday? They brought back Drogo briefly due to popular demand…

  450. freypie
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Ok episode. They really dropped the ball setting up the Jon/Qhorin duel and the sack of Winterfell (Theon’s scenes were great though(I hope he kills that hornblower XD)).HOTU was underwhelming, but I was prepared for that.

  451. Damián Erro
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    just one complain… i tought the others and the wights appeared only at night

    oh and also the fx of the dragon flame were a bit cheesy in my opinion

  452. andrea
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Arthur: . What do you think she is going to go to spy academy now or something?

    I said “we´ll see” and I never said a thing about changes from the books, you´re confusing me with someone else… but if you want to be a douche, be a douche.
    And I´m sorry but you add quotation marks to the word “error” insistently. Is not the right word? You seem offended by it.

  453. Jorge
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    freypie,

    Agree. I dont how anyone who didn’t read the book could make any sense of the burning of Winterfell. Hell, I’m not even sure who burned it on teh show.

    Jon’s entire storyline has been bungled badly this season, and the finale didn’t help matters. Do the writers really expect people to remember one comment Qhorin made two episodes ago and draw the link that he wanted Jon to kill him? That was just handled really poorly, and I had to laugh at Ygritte exclaiming “this is the man who killed the Halfhand!”. Qhorin was already captured and they could have killed him at any time, so I don’t see how that was so special. All Jon did this whole season was move around from one area to another, the whole time looking like a total boob: gets knocked out by Craster, ridiculed by Qhorin and Mormont, and then outwitted by Ygritte. Really, really bad character arc for the season, which is especially disappoitning since last season his wall scenes were usually among the strongest.

  454. winterfell
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Arthur: Can someone explain why Robb would be giving his marriage vows with the use of the “seven” in his oath instead of the Old Gods? Robb is a Stark, he doesn’t believe in the new gods. he worships the old gods… Maybe I am just confused?

    I would think they did this because of where they are, geographically. In the south there are no weir wood trees, and there is no one to marry them besides a Septon who worships the Seven. IF they were in the North, that’s a different story, and a complete blunder on the writers’ part. but considering that the Robb-Jeyne wedding is never described in the books, its pure speculation as to how the ceremony went down.

    I was confused at first, but really, ultimately, DOES IT MATTER? For the sake of the TV show, the point to get across is that Robb got married when he was betrothed to a Frey. This sets up the RW.

    And, for those of you out there who are up in arms about this, and no visions in the HotU, and bloah blah blah….

    If you are THAT horrified by such a minor, minor detail, you need to ask yourself if you are simply looking for reasons to say the show doesn’t do the books justice. Because, truthfully, coming from someone who LOVES the show:

    The show does NOT do the books justice. Wanna know why? Because THERE IS NO WAY TO DO THE BOOKS JUSTICE ON FILM!!!!! its just not possible. period, end of story. I think the producers and writers have done a remarkable job, changes and all, of bringing this story to life on screen.

    Changes i don’t agree with? Yes. Could they have done things differently to be more loyal to the source material? Sure. A fantastic television show, in a class by itself, when judged fairly, in the proper context, against other television shows? ABOSO-effing-LUTELY.

    If you compare the show to the books, the show always loses. Every time. The books are just THAT GOOD!

    When you remember that the books are SOURCE MATERIAL for the show, and that the opening credits say “BASED on a Song of Ice and Fire” and not “Adapted page-by-page from ASoIaF”, it becomes a lot easier to understand and appreciate the show for what it really is: A fantastic Television show, based on an amazing series of books.

    I, for one, am incredibly grateful and happy to be a fan of BOTH. Looking forward to next season? Yes. Looking forward to Winds of Winter more? You bet your ass.

    Thanks to George R.R. Martin. Thanks to D&D. Thanks to HBO. For me, becoming a fan of this series and this show has brought me nothing but pure entertainment and unbridled joy (except when it makes me cry. but even then, I’m happy i can even care so much about a story.)

    I truly feel sorry for the people who don’t enjoy the show, to the point of being angry at the show and calling it horse shit,simply because they expect it to live up to the books. You’re never going to get that satisfaction.

    Hold out hope that Winds of Winter comes quickly. I, for one, will be re-reading, re-watching, and counting the days until Season 3.

    Until then……

  455. Vee
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Ugh, so many thoughts, but just a few (and I’m gonna eat a bit of crow here – ba-dum): I really thought they’d come through in the clutch with Jon’s story, but then the half hour mark rolled around, then the 40 minute mark, and I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been fine with the changes to Jon’s story line for the most part because I suppose I thought it seemed simple to swing it back ’round again to what mattered. (And I think it’s unfair to dismiss the Jon/Ygritte interaction this season as a bunch of flirting when it was quite literally the ONLY insight we’ve really had into Wildlings AT ALL, aside from Mormont’s serve-crueler-gods-than-you-or-I spiel. We learned information from those interactions, so there was a purpose. And that Jon letting slip he was Ned Stark’s bastard most likely saved his life.) The lead-up to the Qhorin and Jon fight was incredibly rushed and I think what saves me from being completely disappointed was that the fight itself was pretty good and the performances from Kit and Rose. There was some remarkably subtle work going on there, during the fight and afterwards.

    At this point, in regards to Jon’s arc, I’m just happy we’re moving into A Storm of Swords territory next season. Let’s give Kit something to really do. And I am very much looking forward to more Rose. Oh, and hey, maybe Ghost, too? (Seriously, where the eff is Ghost?)

    That being said, I thought the scene with Dany in the snow-covered Throne Room/at the Wall was absolutely gorgeous.

  456. WildSeed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    I was completely overwhelmed but enjoyed the GoT finale. I was hoping that the
    Qhorin Halfhand/ Jon scenes would continue into next season where a likely
    conversation would ensue and Jon repeat the Brother’s pledge, 3 minutes +
    the sword fight would’ve done it. It felt like this needed to be an extended
    episode ( $$$$), the rushed bits detracted some from the meaningful
    plot and dialog. I was completely confused by the White Walker and Wight
    Army making their way to the Fist of the First Men with Samwell hiding
    behind a rock. It would be implausible for him to survive an army of Wights
    with a shard of Dragon Glass. The White Walker that sat upon a horse
    reminded me of Coldhands and his elk. Oh and who torched Winterfell ?
    you mentioned Ramsay but there was no sign of him, only Ironborn dudes.

  457. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    I said “we´ll see” and I never said a thing about changes from the books, you´re confusing me with someone else… but if you want to be a douche, be a douche.
    And I´m sorry but you add quotation marks to the word “error” insistently. Is not the right word? You seem offended by it.

    Sorry if I seemed like a douche… I was under the impression you thought that since Vary was trying to make Ros his spy that she would no longer be a whore that works at a brothel… Maybe she will leave the brothel but usally a spy just does what they normally do and report things of interest to whoever they are spying for.

    Yeah I think the word “error” is the wrong word to use when you disagree with a direction or change D&D are making from the books or when you don’t like something they have done. It isn’t an error just because you don’t agree with it. But if you want to continue to use error as your word that is fine with me…

    Sorry if I came off like an a$$hole… Didn’t mean to.

  458. winterfell
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    tdraicer: Mark Twain wrote, “In matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

    I loved the entire episode, and for those who disagree…

    spot on.

  459. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    DB: Doreah. Well, crap. So much for that hope. Dany really is going to need a Missandei next season, now that Doreah and Irri are both gone.

    In front of a weir wood tree, raised by 2 parents with old and new gods.

  460. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    MaralThey’re supposed to be completely inhuman spirits of cold.NOTHING human-like at all.

    That’s not what the Others are described in the books. Read the prologue of AGOT again. The Other have a humanoid appearance and they even seem to be wearing armour.

  461. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    winterfell,

    I would think they did this because of where they are, geographically. In the south there are no weir wood trees, and there is no one to marry them besides a Septon who worships the Seven. IF they were in the North, that’s a different story, and a complete blunder on the writers’ part. but considering that the Robb-Jeyne wedding is never described in the books, its pure speculation as to how the ceremony went down.

    That is what I was thinking as well… I never get to caught up in minor details. Just try to see if anyone else caught them or if I am missing something. There was another minor detail that bothers me…

    If Ducksauce is the “king” of Quarth then how did Dany and her dozen men sack his mansion? What, he had no guards, no soldiers… The KING of the powerful city of Quarth just let a girl with 12 men capture his mansion? The entire city population is going to let Dany just leave with its riches?

    But again, little details like that don’t bother me. I can make stuff up in my head to answer stuff like that. Like maybe the city didn’t like Ducksauce and were happy to let Dany come in and kill him… Who knows…

  462. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    The only thing I think that D&D left out that would have really satisfied me personally would be some awesome CGI of Ghost running in out of no-where and killing the Halfhand…

    They’re saving some fun for later?

  463. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    That’s not what the Others are described in the books. Read the prologue of AGOT again. The Other have a humanoid appearance and they even seem to be wearing armour.

    The Others looked pretty awesome to me… They are wraith-like humaniods. Magical and evil creatures that bring cold and blizzards with them…

    The White Walkers are basically zombies come back from the dead.

    I know we have argued about this in the past but thats my opinion and I am sticking to it! =)

  464. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    The Red Viper:
    I don’t share your hatred for how they handled Halfhand. If you paid attention to the dialogue between Qhorin and Jon, it was made quite clear Qhorin was planning this.

    Remember the episode when Qhorin asks Ygritte if the wildlings will take him captive and she said the only mercy would be a quick death. It did two things; it showed that Qhorin is a (in)famous member of the Night Watch among the wildlings and it showed that Mance would never keep Halfhand as a captive.

    Maybe it was made clear that Quorin was planning it…but it was never clear that he let Jon in on what he was planning. That’s the issue…Jon seems oblivious to what happened and only fought out of self defense. Of course, if there is some sort of exposition next season about it, then I will be ok with it. As it stands now, it was poorly done. Halfhand just insults Jon and gets him to kill him and says “Remember our words” or whatever? It was poorly done.

  465. Blourd
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    I’m mad that I now have to wait for more.

    I didn’t like how poorly they set up the Quorin/Jon fight

    I never much liked the whole Qarth part of the books so the wrap up in the HotU went just fine, for me. Loved seeing Drogo again.

    I had pretty well talked my way around to believing that they were going to let Maester Luwin live so it was hard to see him die.

    Loved Luwin’s talk with Theon but didn’t much like how they handled Winterfell’s fall. The viewer has NO idea why the folks surrounding it aren’t there anymore.

    The performances by the cast continue to be fantastic. Tyrion, Shae, Baelish, Sansa, Joffrey, Varys, even Roz was better than normal.

    I think they put too much of the walkers and wights at the end and would rather have had it cut to black either at the end of the three blasts or just after the pan up the horse to the blue-eyed face.

    Loved the interchange between Joffrey and Maergary. He has NO idea that she can scheme circles around him while he’s trying to talk all cool and smoove.

    Littlefinger was ALL KINDS OF CREEPY while talking to Sansa.

    Nice to see Brienne get some respect from Jaime in the bad-ass dept.

    Stannis/Mel were meh but they needed to close the loop with them, and did. Similarly, Robb/Jeyne/Talisa.

    That’s all for now. Further updates as events warrant.

  466. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    They’re saving some fun for later?

    I feel I was lead on by D&D… I remember them saying “We get to see what an almost fullgrown Direwolf does to a man”.

    I thought the Ghost vs Halfhand was what they were talking about. We never saw a Direwolf attack a man (and see what it does to him) Unless they are talking about that weak .5 second scene of Greywind jumping in the air at a Lannister soldier (probably what they were talking about)….

    Oh well…..

  467. Daniel
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Didn’t like this episode much. Many great moments from the books weren’t handled well:
    Burning of Winterfell (they skipped Bran’s line at the end too >< )
    Theon's arc ( No Reek)
    Qhorin and Jon (wtf?)
    3 Horns (Should have been slower, more dramatic.)
    End of HOTU

    In addition, there was a lot of confusion. Watching with my non-reader friends, they had no idea what was happening in the scenes at winterfell or beyond the wall.

  468. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    Virtus,

    The Others looked pretty awesome to me…They are wraith-like humaniods.Magical and evil creatures that bring cold and blizzards with them…

    The White Walkers are basically zombies come back from the dead.

    I know we have argued about this in the past but thats my opinion and I am sticking to it! =)

    I know it’s been said, but the Others and the White Walkers are the same. Wights are the zombies; white walkers/others are the wraith like things

  469. David Marcenaro DeBernardis
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Poor Meera, as Arya would say “Im a girl!” Dont know how any reader would describe the Reeds as “brothers”
    franklin,

  470. WildSeed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Vee,

    I agree whole heartedly to your comments, all of them. There were many small
    but poignant moments ( ie. m Luwin and the boys, Tyrion and Shae, even
    seeing the Khaleesi’s Khalasar again. I miss Ghost and Summer and Shaggy
    terribly but next season may prove a time to develop Warg connections. GoT
    got it partially right with Danerys and the dragon kids. What did you think
    of the Theon in the episode? Alfie did a great job, while conversing with
    maester Luwin I got a great sense of accuracy there. Poor Reek, it rhymes
    with ….weak. Also Jaqhen H’hgar is super mysterious.

  471. Hoot
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    I know Brienne isn’t the most popular character but her double-handed swordplay was impressive.

  472. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Susan: When she looked up, kind of looked like dragon destruction. The snow?

    We already know Targaryens wed each other to keep the bloodline pure. This could cement value to the Jon Snow being a Targaryen via Nedd’s sister. Maybe they changed the prophecy to show the ruling of Snow and the Mother of Dragons… 2 Targaryens once again on the throne??

    Just a though. Otherwise… absolute best season finale in television history! Simply amazing!

    A woman gets where people want then snow on the throne to mean Jon, but couldn’t it also mean the long, harsh winter that’s beginning and will endanger the kingdom?

  473. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah…

    Was it really necessary to watch a horse shit for the opening of the throne room scene?

    What was that all about? Strange…

  474. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Hoot:
    I know Brienne isn’t the most popular character but her double-handed swordplay was impressive.

    Silly rabbit, everyone loves Brienne! :)

  475. LordStarkington
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Arthur:
    Oh yeah…

    Was it really necessary to watch a horse shit for the opening of the throne room scene?

    What was that all about?Strange…

    It’s from the books so it’s the best part of the episode!

  476. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    wow, this is the best explanation of the problems in the Robb storyline I’ve seen thus far.

    Madmage, great post!

  477. Blourd
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    I also like how Dany and Jora had spent all season having to keep their Dothraki from stealing everything in sight while they were guests and now that they’ve locked Mr. Ducksauce in his own vault, they’re cleaning the place out.

  478. evilclosetmonkey
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Few minor quibbles but overall loved this episode. Wish the horn blasts would’ve been drawn out a bit more. Even another second between each one would’ve been great.

    I completely agree with Winter on Jon-Qhorin. I was skeptical when they changed this from the book because I thought the book version would work well on screen. What really irritates me though is that what they chose to go with instead just didn’t work. It was confusing and lost all of the emotional power. A friend of mine who hasn’t read the books turned to me when Jon killed Qhorin and asked, “Why’d he kill him? Why were they fighting? Why are the wildlings letting him go now?” She definitely didn’t understand what had happened in that arc and really didn’t much care.

    I’ve been critical of some of the characterization of Dany this season (too much whining about how special she is) but in the end they really brought her arc home and I liked a lot of the changes that they made in Qarth this season. HotU I thought was well done, wasn’t disappointed cuz didn’t expect them to be faithful to the book there. Anyone else think that might’ve been ash in the throne room? I couldn’t decide but with the way the roof was destroyed made me think of dragons.

  479. Evil erik
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    This episode definately had highs and lows for me as a book reader. About an hour removed from it and I am more on the positive side about the episode. Dont get me wrong I love every episode, they could just show a still shot of tywin lannisters horse shit for an hour and id have several poignant points to glean from the visual.

    With all that said,
    Tyrion opening was great, seeing certain characters display strong emotion in the show is very refreshing for me(briennes scene when renly dies comes to mind). Shea is much more likeable in the show, and i believe her when she declares her love for tyrion(fuck your money).

    Alfie Allen has portrayed Theon this season with such a fervor. The discussion with Luwin was what i have been waiting for. The admission that Theon has gone way too far, even so much as to call himself a pretender, was definately thought provoking.
    They kind of rushed through the razing of winterfell but i loved Theons speech prior to the ironborn betraying him. Wouldve loved to see reek, it rhymes with james van der beek, but i wouldve loved to see him all season alas and alay.

    Ramin Djawadi straight murders me every time. Brans scenes with the cello in the background just take me out of myself. We all knew Luwin wasnt going to make it but damn if i didnt shed a single solitary tear when he requests Osha to finish him off. This has been a strong storyline for me. The show has done a great job at with handling the traumas that these young men have endured. I feel the deep sorrow and despair that I should have felt in the books more. And its not a bad thing.

    Stannis you dog you. Outstanding acting by Peter Dillane. The whole season was played out with such a quiet intensity and rage that replaced my head stannis with this new person King Stannis. I disliked him in the book but found myself itching for more scenes with him throughout the show. Major power play with Melly Melle in the finale. Choking her violently with both hands, ohhh yeah Ive been waiting for this since maester cressen was still alive. She seemed at stannis’ mercy and i liked to see that kind of role reversal play out on screen.

    Robbs marriage and discussion with Catelyn, ehhhhhh. It was not great for me. They have both had amazing season 2′s and I know this stuff has to be included, but meh. At least it was quick. (love oona chaplins butt tho)

    House of the Undying, where to begin. Was definately expecting more with this, but I am happy with how it was portrayed. The haunting visual of a destroyed throne room was breathtaking. Liked how she jumped from there to the wall. And then drogos tent. Alot of emotion in the Drogo scene. Emilia Clarke did well with what she was given. Three thing I would have liked to see and was disappointed that were left out:
    1.) she didnt drink shade of the evening
    2.) They left out a very important prophecy. This was borderline unforgivable in my eyes.
    Once for gold and so on and so forth.
    3.) the scene with pyat pree was anticlimactic, I was really hoping to see some SERIOUS drogon action. Instead it was just kind of way too easy, ‘dracarys’. Flame. Dead. Over.
    Seeing her back with her dragons/swag back was definately cool tho and I saw the fire in her eyes again(dragonfire)!!

    Jon snow and qhorin… I would have maybe split this storyline up between now and the premiere of season 3. I agree with the recap that it seemed choppy and out of juncture with the storyline from the book. The positive for me was that when Jon Snow kills Qhorin I hated him for a few minutes. I screamed out ‘bastard’. This effect left me reeling. The show left out the real importance of why jon snow had to kill qhorin, and the show could have done a better job of explaining this, even if it was 2 minutes of side dialouge between the two.

    Arya and Jaqen was just right. Valar morghulis is all i have to say. Well not all… Jaqens face change was totally sweet as i have been waiting to see this face since i read clash. Tom wlashciahckowskiovitz(sp?) was great in the role. ‘unname me’ ‘NO’ ‘please…’

    Brienne, Brienne, Brienne, how I love thee. Had to play this one close and I dont mind the change from the book here, it served its purpose well. While I would have liked to see her sink a ship with a huge boulder, the scene still conveyed her duty bound code of honor in protecting what is most important, her oath to Catelyn. She would go to any lengths to fulfil her vow even if it means dying. And it was refreshing to see Jaimes facial expression as he comes to realize that brienne is no ordinary woman, but bound by her word to do whatever it takes to ensure his safe return.

    Im going Crazy about the sequence at the fist of the first men. I must have gotten 10 texts about it before I even had a chance to watch(i didnt look at them. White walkers- wow! Wight army, holy crap. Horde of undead monsters, scary. Its going to be gut wrenching opening next season. Better get ur dragonglass ready men.

    I know im leaving stuff out big time but its a long post already so ill quit it. Cant wait to reread the books in the long winter ahead…

    Valar morghulis

    P.s. samuel l jackson for mance rayder! Lol

  480. Hoot
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    I’m definitely a fan. I hope to see much more of her in the seasons to come.

  481. shelley
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Deborah Ambridge Fisher,

    I have decided they will end up together as well. 2 of the three headed dragon. Part of the fire and ice theme. Just unsure who is the third, Tyrion is a candidate but as a book reader there are a few other possibilities.

  482. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    skipdutch: I agree wholeheartedly (well, didn’t love the end, but not because of the special effects, I think the current WW look fine).I’m not a purist by any means, but the Winterfell thing really is confusing.Did they take Theon back with them?Did they give him away?Who sacked Winterfell? They didn’t have to show it, Luwin could have given it as exposition at the tree, unless pure exposition is to passe for HBO.

    Since it was established that Luwin had some contact with Osha in the crypts, a woman would guess that Luwin previously told Osha that 500 northmen were outside the walls ready to take over the castle. What they (Luwin, Osha) did NOT know was that the northmen outside the walls were led by the insane Ramsay Snow/Bolton, who might already be turning his allegiance to the Lannister side, and in any case has no love for anybody really, he’s chaos personified. Hence the sacking, burning, moving on.

  483. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Hoot:
    LordDavos12,

    I’m definitely a fan.I hope to see much more of her in the seasons to come.

    Don’t worry, we will! :)

  484. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    shelley:
    Deborah Ambridge Fisher,

    I have decided they will end up together as well.2 of the three headed dragon.Part of the fire and ice theme. Just unsure who is the third,Tyrion is a candidate but as a book reader there are a few other possibilities.

    Not to be an a hole but you should probably have spoiler tags on that

  485. evilclosetmonkey
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Re: Ramsay Bolton

    Some men just want to watch the world burn

  486. TheNed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed it overall, but I wouldn’t be a fan if I didn’t have nit picks:

    - Ros scene in the finale? Are you fucking joking? Not only a Ros scene, but Ros SET-UP. As if the audience is biting their nails in anticipation for a riveting return of Ros next season.

    -Can someone explain to me how Dany and her paltry band of Dothraki were able to waltz into the palace of the fucking king (who after having just risen to power would probably be extra paranoid with security) and kill his ass? That was some weak writing man. Perhaps some of Ros’ time could have been better spent accounting for that. On top of that, leaving out Illyrio’s ships suggests that Dany has completely severed her connection with the Magister, and by extension that she isn’t linked to some vast Targaryan conspiracy with him and Varys.

    -It might not be the best idea to depict the rangers gathering fuel, as attempting to explain this issue just draws attention to the fact that there is no way anyone would be lighting any fires up there.

    -Generally sick of Margery’s ridiculous attire. The dissonance between her claims of innocence and her groundbreaking innovations in cleavage exposure is bizarre.

    - Robb marrying in the light of the seven. I thought you had people for this D&D.

    -Everything Theon was fantastic this episode until the knock out. That whole sequence, including the burning of Winterfell couldn’t have been anything but confusing to a non-reader.

    -

  487. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Well, the Davos storyline ends where it does in ACOK as well, leaving the viewer unaware of his fate. In an interview with Carice van Houten she said that she gets to throw Cunningham i.e. Davos to a cell, so it’s possible that they shot that scene, but decided to push it into season 3′s beginning.

    I liked Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying: they weren’t the same as in the books , but especially the destroyed snowed-in throne room in King’s Landing was impressive and might provide some clues far into the future? On the other hand it might have been only one possibility of many futures, like the tent with Drogo and Rhaego. It’s understandable that not everything Dany saw in the books could be adapted to TV well: for example it would have been hard to show the vision of the Red Wedding without revealing who it concerns. But it’s a shame we didn’t see Rhaegar. The final set-up to the warlock’s demise could have used more time. It’s a shame they didn’t mention the three betrayals and the three mounts, considering how much speculation is related to them among book readers. But I think the last scenes of the Dany storyline were quite good.

    I agree with many others in that Jon’s storyline is currently much worse than in the books. I still don’t see why the show runners didn’t want to follow the book storyline with him and Qhorin. I understand changes if they make the story better, but this change had the opposite effect. The ranging and retreat of Jon and Qhorin in the book is much more exciting than this version. And it’s not like it would have even been more costly on special effects or anything. The show made Jon seem like a bumbling fool, almost like Dontos…

    Didn’t like Stannis choking Melisandre. No complaints on Arya and Jaqen. The scenes with Tyrion were solid and the scene in the throne room was good as well. But it’s a shame that they wasted valuable minutes into a Ros scene once again… Regarding Varys by the way, considering the events in ADWD some readers have speculated that Varys isn’t really a eunuch but is merely playing a role. But in this scene Ros seems to have confirmed that he is in fact a eunuch. I hope the writers OK’d this with GRRM, otherwise it could be a nasty butterfly effect.

  488. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    Regarding the last scene by the Fist: I think it’s made pretty clear in the books that the Others attack only at night, not during daylight. Besides I think the scene would have been more dramatic if it were set during night in general as well.

  489. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    TheNed,

    - Ros scene in the finale? Are you fucking joking? Not only a Ros scene, but Ros SET-UP. As if the audience is biting their nails in anticipation for a riveting return of Ros next season.

    Hah! My thoughts exactly… D&D’s weak attempt at trying to justify Ros…

    D&D’s convenient portal to whore/brothel scenes so they can satisfy some co-execs need for naked females being used and abused…

    It is known.

  490. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    TheNed: On top of that, leaving out Illyrio’s ships suggests that Dany has completely severed her connection with the Magister, and by extension that she isn’t linked to some vast Targaryan conspiracy with him and Varys.

    They could still introduce those ships in the first episode of season 3 when Dany goes to the docks.

  491. Jeremy
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    I loved it. I loved that it was teary – Tyrion and Shae, when she professes that she will stay and he breaks down, I nearly lost it. When Dany went into the tent and found Drogo – I admit, I blubbered.

    There were only two things I wasn’t crazy about: the Jon/Qhorin fight I would have liked more explanation about Qhorin sacrificing himself to get Jon on the “inside”. That would have made the character much more epic like he was in the book. And the sacking of Winterfell, where I think non-book readers will not understand why the place was destroyed. A few words of explanation from Luwin would have helped.

    The ending was suitably epic and left me pumped for next season.

  492. Galen Firestone
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I’m a reader, let’s get that out of the way first and foremost.

    I came away with mixed feelings about this episode. Some was good, some… not so much.

    There are two mitigating factors here. One: I’m sick. That puts me in a bad mood and less likely to like something. Two: I don’t know how in the hell anyone thought topping Blackwater was a possibility, with the sheer awesome of that episode still fresh in my mind. Also, for the record, reader or no, I don’t give two Tywin’s Horse Shits about the chain, I thought Blackwater was masterfully handled from beginning to end.

    Here are the things that I liked, in no particular order:

    Pycelle getting one back on Tyrion. Don’t get me wrong, Tyrion’s my favorite character, but Pycelle with the coin, that was awesome. Hell, pretty much every little thing with Tyrion this episode was solid, and some masterful acting from all around.

    Theon. While the VERY end was a letdown, up to that point, this episode gave us some very interesting insights into the character. And I have to give a lot to Alfie Allen here, he has enough talent to make me feel sorry for even a vile piece of crap like Theon Greyjoy. I wish the payoff was better, but I won’t argue with what I did get.

    The Fist of the First Men (Prelude). The most epic scene in the whole episode. Let the medieval fantasy zombie apocalypse begin. Now Sam, don’t forget your dragon glass. *Insert evil laugh here*

    The House of the Undying Part 1. Drogo. I was a big Stargate Atlantis fan, and the return of Jason Momoa made me quite happy (not to mention surprised). I didn’t get Rhaegar, but I at least got an often underestimated character actor who deserves better work than a crappy Conan remake.

    I’m gonna catch hell for this one: Ros. Okay, I need to clarify this. When they actually give her a halfway decent script to work with, Esme Bianco is not a bad actress in the slightest. This season has gone a long way in giving her a character, and even let her keep her clothes on throughout. Yes she’s not in the books, and yes most of her scenes in season 1 were obnoxious, but her work this season I felt was positively heartbreaking. The look on her face when she was taken as a hostage by Cersei was devastating. And in this episode, she gets some time with another real great of the cast, Conleth Hill, and you know what? She kept up. She had a rough start, but I genuinely believe this girl deserves more respect than she’s getting.

    Stuff I didn’t like:

    The House of the Undying – Part 2. Not ’cause I didn’t like the imagery, I found it stunning. My biggest problem with it is that they didn’t get the prophesy out there. That was the big part of that scene in the books, Rhaegar’s prophesy, and that was cut. They didn’t even find another way to get it back in there. Yes, it’s a fairly small detail to cut, but to me, it was an important part of the scene, and I’ll be kinda surprised if they can get it back in there.

    The stuff with Qhorin. In all honesty, I’m a bit torn on this one. really liked Rose Leslie’s performance as Ygritte, which I felt injected new life into a character I never really liked in the books. But with the new slant on Ygritte, we’re left with a big hole in the Qhorin storyline, which didn’t feel nearly as dramatic as it did in the books. I really missed the scene in the cave where the pair recited their Night’s Watch Oath again. That felt powerful to me, and it was cut in this version of events. With budget constraints being what they are, I guess they couldn’t do both. But there’s a big part of me that wished they could.

    Doreah turning Traitor. This one made me sad. I really liked Doreah. Roxanne McKee’s performance had this innate girlishness which I felt was really endearing. I was quite pleased when she survived the Red Wastes… then this happened. Boo.

  493. Violentos
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    There’s just no way I can wait for Season 3! Or for Season 2 to come out on blu-ray! Crazy episode tonight! The white walker scene just blew me away! I was also glad to see so much of the dragons in this episode! It still didn’t beat the Blackwater episode last week in pure amazing-ness, but it was a fantastic finale!

  494. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I liked the fact that they kept Tywin’s horse dropping a massive dung at the entrance to the Throne Room. The Exec Prod’s are a fan of the vulgar stuff so I’m not surprised it made it. I didn’t like the fact that the scene was so short and that Loras wasn’t admitted into the Kingsguard.

    I liked the scene between Ros and Varys, surprisingly.

    I’m indifferent to the changes to Brienne. They’ve made her a bit more of a killer, which is different from the books, it’s hard to say whether it will play out as well though. I have a feeling that the Season 3 Harrenhal stuff will be a bit hit and miss because of it.

    I liked Tyrion’s scar. They celebrated Tyrion a bit too much over the first two seasons, not really giving much screentime (if any) to his flaws or faults or his ‘bad side’ besides the drinking. It will be good to see his descent in future seasons. Wonderfully acted by Dinklage this episode as well. I’m probably a bit more critical of him than most people here, he’s not always ‘on key’ but when he is he really nails it.

    I wasn’t a fan of the changes to the Winterfell/Theon Storyline ending for the season. I understand that due to budget they probably had to do away with showing the Boltons or a battle altogether. However unlike most people here, the Theon storyline has always been off for me, ranging from juust a little bit to very off in some places. Alfie’s performance has been really good, butI just haven’t been able to get into it all season despite that.
    The final Maester Luwin scene didn’t come off as strongly because of their decision to have him learn of Bran and Rickon’s fake deaths in episode 8. It was way more emotional in the books when he cried of happiness and sorrow combined.

    Glad they kept Jaqen’s face changing.

    Haven’t liked the Daenerys storyline at all this season. It’s my least favourite storyline in the books and in the show they ruined it. Oddly enough though, they won’t come off any worse for future seasons minus the lack of Irri.
    House of the Undying wasn’t as good as the books, expected as much, however the dragon CGI was cool, and kudos to them giving Jason Momoa a cameo, I’m sure he was pleased with that.

    Seeing the Red Keep if she should fail (a cold darkness) was a good touch as well.

    It’s a shame that we didn’t get to see any events from the past, I expected as much though.

    What I was really disappointed about was the lack of Arstan Whitebeard and Strong Belwas, however I suppose that scene will be early in season 3, but it would have made more sense to end her storyline with her taking a ship from Qarth.
    I am unsure whether they wrote that out or not, it’s possible that a dock scene was undoable for some reason.

    Another large casualty has been Jon Snow’s storyline, dear god they butchered that. Yes they went to Iceland, yes it looked cool, Rose Leslie does a good Ygritte and Rattleshirt was cool.
    But wow, starting with Vanessa Taylor they absolutely ruined the storyline with the writing, it just doesn’t come off anywhere near as good as the books … and I just can’t understand how they think that it was any good at all.
    I recall they said they were filming in a cave at night. Yet I don’t recall ever seeing a cave shot in the show ?
    If anything it has been completely detrimental to Jon’s character. That said though, I thought the way George finished Jon’s chapters up in A Dance with Dragons was a bit off (his decision in particular) … but that’s just me.

    The final scene looked fantastic, it was a good way to end season 2, as yes the White Walkers probably did need to be seen on the show.
    However they’ve done another ‘Will’ like episode 1 of Season 1. How exactly is Sam supposed to survive that?
    I was actually a big fan of the chapter where he recalls the attack on the fist of the first men, but I can see they’ve already come in early and thrown that one on the chopping block.

    As a book fan, this season has been a real mixed bag for me. For the most part I was disappointed. I am really at odds with a lot of decisions and trends that the writers of the show are making, for instance every time a character is about to go into a ‘D&D Monologue’ I roll my eyes.
    Blackwater was the only episode that was very good, every other episode either hit and miss, disappointing or downright awful.

    I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy this season on DVD like I did with the first season, I’ll probably just wait for the show to finish and buy it in a box set.

  495. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this season. I liked it better than the first and I thought that was phenomenal. This episode wasn’t one of my favorites of the season but I still liked it a lot. I’m just glad we are now ready to immerse ourselves in the glory that is ASOS. That is probably my favorite book of all time and there is so much fantastic material for them to use for the next two seasons. Too bad they don’t come out with the Blu Ray’s until just before the new season. Oh well, I guess after I finish reading The Wise Man’s Fear again I can start another re-read of ASOIAF to hold me over.

  496. Arthur
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Galen Firestone,

    Hmmm…

    I don’t dislike the actress that plays Ros at all. I just dislike everything that the character Ros brings with her (whore scenes). Not that I’m a prude or offended by sex scenes. I enjoy them when they are part of the story and not forced into the script…

    The Doreah thing was well done… It goes to show that Doreah was the traitor and her other handmaiden (the one who was Dothraki) died trying to save Dany’s dragons… This really opened Dany’s eyes and now she knows who she is. She may be a Targaryen but she is a Khaleesi. She will now stay true to this…

  497. Alan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Mike Miller:
    Trollsbane,

    If we could all pitch in 250 million bucks apiece we could have the book brought to the screen, small or big but until then we ALL have to make do..

    “There are no goats, half man.”

    “Make do.”

  498. Leland's Axe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Amazing.

    One quick comment on House of the Undying, Tower of Joy, and our other future prophecy scenes that will almost undoubtedly be cut:

    The problem with these scenes is they either make everything too obvious and spoil impending developments, or they make no sense at all and confuse everyone. It’s much easier to hit the “sweet spot” of ambiguity with text, but even in the books all of Martin’s prophecies have essentially been cracked word by word. Can you imagine how fast astute viewers would figure stuff out if they had full scenes of Lyanna’s “Promise me” and Rhaegar’s “Prince who was Promised, the Dragon Must Have Three Heads”?

    So I really liked what they did with the House of the Undying – they focused on Dany, her journey, her loss, and her destiny, all without being too heavy handed about it. The look in her eyes when she repeated the maegi’s words….damn. Emilia Clarke was on fire tonight.

  499. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: Yet I don’t recall ever seeing a cave shot in the show ?

    That was the scene with Davos, Mel and the shadow baby in episode 4.

  500. MattL86
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    I thought this was a good episode, maybe a bit anticlimactic as last week was more of a true finale. Not unlike last season in that regard.

    Awesome stuff:
    -Whites and Walkers
    -Sansa’s scene. Looks like we are skipping over the Sir Dontos plotline maybe? I’d be okay with that.
    -Arya’s scene

    Good stuff:
    -Tyrion and Shae-still not understanding Shae’s motivations, but they are starting to make me actually believe she cares about Tyrion. Her character is growing on me, still somewhat of a work in progress.
    -Dany’s storyline-it was decent and well written if a bit anticlimactic.

    Average Stuff:
    -The Marriage. Whatever, I have no idea why Robb is doing what he does. This marriage is supposed to happen because he has honor, not because he’s shortsighted. A lot of people complain about Talissa. My problem is actually with the character and motivations of Robb.

    Stuff I didn’t like at all:
    Jon’s story. I am missing Ghost if only so this story will make sense. Like, why hasn’t Ghost done anything? And he really could have showed up for that final fight. But more importantly, Jon Snow gutting the Halfhand for no real reason just felt badly out of character for both of them. Hopefully they do some exposition and retconn in a reason for that.

    All in all, a good episode and an okay season. We survived ACOK, which was always going to be rough to adapt well. There was only really two iconic moments this year, Blackwater and the White attack on the Fist. Both were done well, so I can’t complain. Next book is full of one great moment after the other, and should really make better television.

  501. andrea
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    It´s ok. I´m glad you´re not a douche. I thought maybe I used the wrong word (error instead of something else) because I’m often wrong with English you know.
    Anyway, I don´t think it’s all a matter of taste, I think one can always appeal to certain objectivity or perhaps a measure on things. We all make mistakes. D&D too, of course. It´s not just my opinion (sometimes). Is not a matter of: “I don´t like it”. Sometimes is just bad. That´s all. But I really like that scene (and many others) and I´m intrigued by it (and yes, at first I was naive but then I realized and for that I wrote “we´ll see”).

  502. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    One way they could still get Dany to hear the prophecies is through Quaithe. We know that she has prophetic powers (she didn’t get to deliver her “go east to go west” prophecy yet, but I’m certain we’ll hear it on season 3, as she appears to Dany. She could give her other prophecies at the same time). After all we do know that the writers have a habit of shuffling things around: Edmure and Brynden Tully being introduced to the viewers in season 3 instead of the first season is a good example. And if they were willing to replace Bolton with Tywin in the Harrenhal scenes, they might be willing to expand Quaithe’s role in this regard too, especially since I’m fairly certain she still has a major role to play in the upcoming two books as well.

  503. JA
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    The Qhorin/Jon fight rationale was telegraphed very clearly, and several times at that. I thought it was maybe too obvious even. Ygritte recognizes it to an extent, knowing Jon better than her comrades. The long, pained look Jon gives her after the fight reinforces both aspects. Ygritte though probably sees it as a simple matter of survival, whereas in truth Jon would only kill Qhorin to serve a greater purpose.

    Overall the episode did well considering the amount of territory to cover, though the ending with Sam did seem off. I never took them to mean that literally Dany’s entire Khalasar had been wiped out, so I don’t follow that complaint. The HOTU scene was fine but I wonder if the visions involve some foreshadowing or just symbolism; the former would be better in my opinion.

    The TV Stannis is not a completely stable guy, that much is apparent. Dillane can certainly handle the range, and so far it’s made sense given what’s happened with the character. Book Stannis is steadier but would probably seem too wooden on screen.

  504. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm:
    ThePinkDragon,

    What I mean, is why he didn’t hide with them on episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”.
    Why the sudden interest in helping an asshole and then die?

    If a woman may try to help, M. Luwin knew he was too old to make an escape and would slow the boys down, so tried to stay with Winterfell as he had vowed to serve there. Also, Luwin shows a distinct contrast to Pycelle in this episode – bad Maester vs. good Maester.

  505. Leland's Axe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Also: I was a little underwhelmed with the look of the White Walkers at first, but I actually like it a lot more now. I especially enjoy that they look like withered elm trees, which makes sense given their association with winter and their opposition to the Children of the Forest For some reason, I always imagined them without mouths or pupils, which would have been an absolutely insane look, but probably wouldn’t make too much practical sense – especially since they speak.

  506. Peppe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I was wondering why one of the white walkers in the last scene had a shield with the Stark’s sigil…anyway, one of the best episodes so far!!

    -10 months to season 3 premiere, LoL!

  507. Alan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    ThePinkDragon,

    I love the series, I really do.I’m ok with most changes and do believe they’re mostly needed for the television medium to work.No need to list them all as they’re all over the site when they occur.

    They pumped up the House of the Undying for about a month.And that was just shameful.What happened?She saw a broken hall where winter had come and nearly touched the Iron Throne.She saw Drogo. Yes, Drogo is awesome, but why?Really?Why was that there other than to show it’s mystical and an illusion.We already knew that before she entered.Then dracarys.Cool, though I wasn’t a fan of the look of the flames, but that’s just a nitpicky thing and has no bearing on my reaction. What about EVERYTHING else she should have seen?Is that not key to her already boring character?

    Theon got to make a speech and get hit on the head. Oh exciting. =/

    Tyrion’s scene with Varys and Shae was good.

    Sansa and Joff’s scene was good.

    Winterfell Stark’s scenes were good.

    The wedding and way Rob was treating Cat were not good.I felt nothing but an urge to hit him.

    Brienne and Jamie, well, if you screw that up… lolIt was good.

    The Half-hand and Jon fight was ok, but not nearly enough was done with hushed dialogue to really nail it home that Jon was doing it by the half-hands command.It was like one statement last episode about how useful it would be to have a brother in their ranks, and that was it.And Ghost, oh Ghost, where art thou?

    I knew the season would end with 3 horns, and that was awesome.I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the total zombie look of the wights, but no biggie.Capitalize on Walking Dead’s popularity if you can. ;)

    Overall, I am just not pleased with a few minor changes that make things not nearly as cool as the books.The House of the Undying should have been SO much more.All of my non-reader friends have been talking about it since it was first brought up. Perhaps they’ll see it differently as me, but it was the biggest letdown of the series for me thus far.

    I dunno.I’m not a purist, but there are times that I wish they’d stop straying and keep major parts of the story intact and actually told, instead of pretending they never happened.

    Dany’s sequence was about her having to choose between other things she wants- the Iron Throne, Draogo and Rhaego – and her dragons. There’s a sense of this in the book as well, but different.

    I though it was well done, and the ening of the scene, unlike the book, made it more her taking control than Drogo saving. Oddly, what I missed more was the whispers in her head.

  508. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Virtus: One way they could still get Dany to hear the prophecies

    You’re right, Quaite, totally. I don’t have a problem with the missing prophecies. But I was expecting more of a visual jolt to the senses – like the person who started it all, Aerys, sitting on the Iron Throne or something. I wanted more creepy/surreal images.

  509. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Oh man, these posts are fantastic. Some of the things people get upset about never even occur to me that it will even be an issue as I’m watching it. I laughed my ass off when I saw someone get pissed about Robb getting married under the new gods. Life is hard enough as it is without wasting time fretting over fictional characters not getting married by the fictional gods you think they should have. That’s really flipping the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff” on its head.

  510. Grant Gould
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you, HBO, for a great second season.
    Loved the finale! (Mostly.)

    I thought the cliffhanger was great. I thought the white walkers looked awesome. Loved the little wisps of cold mist coming off their crystal weapons and all that jazz.

    I know people are moaning and complaining that the House of the Undying scene was different than the book. Honestly, I liked it better. The book version was kind of confusing to me, not super memorable. I thought the way the TV show handled it was VERY memorable. The visuals and the music — the destroyed throne room, the surprise appearance of you-know-who and the wee widdle baby = totally emotional and perfect. I loved it.

    *Minor* complaint:
    I think they could’ve done a much better job of showing that Stannis actually escaped. My wife and several friends of mine were confused and wondered how he’d escaped – they though he was captured at the end of Blackwater. I had to explain that his own men pulled him away. The fault lies with last week’s episode. They should’ve done a better job of showing what was happening — all that Stannis escaping/Loras riding in to save the day stuff wasn’t clear to a lot of people.

    And finally –
    My *MAJOR* complaint:
    By far, my biggest disappointment is how they handled the Jon Snow and Qhorin scene (and its lead-up). It was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I think it was completely mishandled, and it ended up being confusing and completely unemotional. And all the scenes with Ghost, Jon discovering his “tie” to Ghost, I wanted to see that. (I couldn’t believe we didn’t see Ghost AT ALL in the finale!) I feel like they really denied the TV show of some amazing Jon Snow material. Very bummed about that.

    But… honestly, aside from the Jon storyline, I would say everything else in season 2 was done as well as it’s done in the book, if not better. I liked almost all the new scenes & changes. They took a few different paths to get from point A to point B, but I think it all ended up working. It made for a more entertaining season of TV and I ended up caring for characters who I never gave a crap about in the book (Theon is one example).

    Needless to say, I’m excited for season 3. Very very very excited. Book 3 is my favorite of the series. Let’s hope HBO bumps up the budget a bit… They’re gonna have to. :)

  511. Joh
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    just a note on Robb’s wedding – it was a clandestine event.

    There are fighting in the South, where the custom is to be married in the Faith of the Seven. No doubt a septon was all they could get on short notice.

  512. spacechampion
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Great episode. I’m glad they redid how the White Walkers look. Making them actually white as opposed to that dark blue whatever it was suppose to be, makes better sense.

    FYI: Wights are the European name for undead corpses. Zombie is the African name for the same thing. People complaining that wights look like zombies are insane. What else is an undead corpse suppose to look like?

    Valar Morghulis! Dracarys! Three horns! Woo-hoo!

  513. Laura T.
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    DB: DB

    Posted June 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Since very little is done by accident…..perhaps changing his Gods for the woman he loves is Robb’s downfall

    Also, anyone love how the King in the north got married by the Seven instead of the Old Gods lolllllllll

  514. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    DB,

    You’re adorable.

  515. Daniel Lin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    OK! AMAZING EPISODE!

    Theon’s speech was amazing, and the bump he got to the head was just too funny. Brienne finally kicked some serious ass, showing how truly badass she is. Every single time Varys speaks, even if Ros is in the scene, is worth while. Tyrion breaking into tears made me cry (probably cos I know this is only the beginning). Robb’s secret wedding, changes and all, was beautiful. Lewin asking for a quick death was great. When Jequen was walking away I almost though they ran out of money to hire an extra face for him, but they delivered (better late, and not exact then never!). And finally, the undead horse, the screeching wights, and the horde marching on the fist of the first man… *STILL SHIVERING* please freeze me over until next April :)

    On a different note… House of the Undying, probably what I anticipated more then the Blackwater, was just freakin lame. Was it that hard to add one more minute with Rhaegar and “He is the Prince that was Promised, and his is the Song of Ice and Fire”?
    I don’t even mind all the prophecies… Just that small, “insignificant” part :/

    Pstscpt.
    Jon’s scenes were also lame, forgot about those… So dumb… I doubt anyone understands he did it for the good of the watch, and not just out of self defense. Qhorin seems to actually have spite for Jon… Misleading. And of course, no explanation as to where Ghost might be… I can already see Larry’s rant in my head

  516. HumMis1349
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    But ‘wight’ has only recently come to mean a type of undead creature, in following Tolkien’s ‘barrow-wights.’ Just FYI ;)

  517. Jay Arms
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    The worst part about this episode is that I have wait a year for the next one.

  518. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Last season’s ending was an epic one, but Season Two’s ending was just so chilling and haunting and that it will be with me for time to come. I got goosebumps watching the closing scenes! The Others are coming, and they care not for any game of thrones, nor for kings and queens, knights and ladies or anything else! That White Walker’s face (nice reveal by the way) just spelled Appocalypse!

    I won’t forget this for a long time, nor the fact that they managed to do such a fittin ending after the high-point that was last week’s epic episode! Outstanding work from all involved!

    PS I wanted to pay a small tribute to the scene with Theon and his “heroic” speech. Not only did serve as the comic relief of the episode, but it also underscored what an amazing thing “A Song Of Ice And Fire” is! In any other book, tv show or movie, once the heroic discourse takes place the reason follows that the characters go out in a blaze of glory, not in GoT and ASOIF! Survival is more prescious than a heroic death, and it’s small things like these which infuses both the books and the series with soo much spirit and humanity!

  519. Syrio
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    I think some of you are selling the HOTU scenes short.

    I think the scene with the snow over a broken down thrones room is supposed to be a vision of the future, and I don’t think it’s an accident that she was at the Wall either, and notice the way the blinding snow came as she stepped beyond the Wall was the same effect as when the WW showed up at the end with Sam.

  520. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    That wasn’t in Iceland.

  521. negar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    that was amazing… and to think this is how Jon is going to end up … you mean he’s gonna lead the attack on Westoros ?( wrong spelling!)
    he’ll be reborn and he’ll be like a white walker ?

  522. TheNed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I think the main problem book readers have with Ros is that she is AT BEST an inconsequential character. Because she is non-canon, we can be 99% sure that she will never do anything of significance, other than acting as a window into the lives of legitimately interesting people Areo Hotah style. At worst, she is a walking deviation bomb that could go off at any point. The attempt to set-up her character for next season via the conversation with Varys is an unsettling bit of evidence for the latter case. I have to admit, I am losing faith in D&D a little because of it. They’ve done a great job in many ways, but there have also been a number of just plain careless mistakes, and this new “confidence” they have with adaptation may prove to be its downfall. (*scary music*)

  523. LordStarkington
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Finchy: not just an office-based jerk!

  524. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    So many bad decisions in this episode (and the entire season that this episode only made concrete) that I walked away sorely disappointed – and I’m no book purist, just someone who likes and understands clear, strongly written drama. Such a shame.

    Hope they spend more time on the scripts next season.

    Good to see Drogo, though, right?

  525. Vallos
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    TheNed:
    The attempt to set-up her character for next season via the conversation with Varys is an unsettling bit of evidence for the latter case.

    For this very reason, I found the Varys & Ros scene to be the most frightening bit in the finale!

    The dragons, white-walkers & shifting political alliances are not nearly as scary as the promise of many more Ros scenes in the coming seasons.

  526. Daniel Lin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    negar,

    Since I believe Coldhands is actually Benjen, and seeing that Cat is already Stoneheart, we see that undead have free choice and can actually have good intentions. I think that Jon is gonna come back looking something like Coldhands

  527. HyacinthGirl
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Just copying and pasting my post from Westeros.org, because it’s the pinnacle of all summaries and is my message to all close minded book extremists.

    I find it unacceptable, and frankly insulting, that Tywin’s horse did not shit at the foot of the Iron Throne, instead taking his dump before entering the hall. Why change this defining moment? The infernal writers have now ruined the character arc of everyone in the Throne room. There are so many layers and, dare I say, foreshadowing, as well as HINDshadowing to this striking moment in the books, and yet, the diabolical D & D ruined the entire series with the premature poop. Why, I ask you? I still retained hope for this travesty of an adaptation but this, fellow book purists, THIS felt like molten gold being poured over my head! I fell to the floor, wailing, cursing the old gods and the new! Where was Joffrey, “gingerly” stepping around the dung? I feel betrayed and sickened.

    Wow. Felt blasphemous writing that. That was an awesome episode. Stop playing spot the difference. It’s fantastic television.

  528. Magnus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Loved:

    - The Dany/Drogo scene in the House of the Undying
    - The emotion of Maester Luwins death scene
    - The ending with the Others
    - Aryas and Jaqens parting scene. Valar Morghulis correctly pronounced!

    Disliked:

    - No Bastard of Bolton

    Thoughts:

    - Jon killing Quoren could have been handled better, but it was explained last episode and in the intro teaser.
    - Maester Pycelle got a double strikeback this week, first with the coin. Then with the scar. Because, given the wound we were shown last episode, I personally don’t think it would have been as gruesome if he hadn’t botched the treatment on purpose.
    - How exactly is Sam going to survive this situation he finds himself in? Do the White Walkers have a sense of humor and let him go, because he’d make too fat a Wight?

    All in all, a great finale and I can’t wait to see next season. One year to go. :(

  529. Lyonel the Red
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    What I liked:

    1. Valar Morghulis
    2. The Throne room covered in ash.
    3. Jon & Ygrette
    3. The White Walker looked epic.
    4. Brienne
    5. Horsepoop and the whole ceremony in the Throne room, not to mention Littlefingers promise.

    What I didn’t like ( which is quite a lot ):

    1. Robb and Talisa ( JEYNE for R’hllors sake ) were married by a SEPTON…
    2. The complete lack of visions in the HotU. Drogo… I couldn’t care less, that scene was completely useless. All the time I was like “oh come on don’t waste screen time on this”
    3. Even though the ending was pretty badass, I expected the 3rd blast to be in the last second of the episode, I suppose the thought it isn’t set up that good.
    4. Robb and Cat aren’t mentioning going to Riverrun… It would have been a great was to set that up.
    5. No Davos.
    6. And worst of all, which not only makes me sad, but enrages me, and leaves my pretty angry in waiting for the next season is: No Ser Barristan Selmy! Really, after reading the last book I have grown so fond of him and I was waiting for him to appear all season…

    As for the Stannis&Melisandre scene I might need to rewatch it. My feelings are mixed.

    All in all:
    It was a fairly good episode, but from a Finale I expected much more.
    A weak 4.

    Blackwater all the way.

  530. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    I’m no book purist, just someone who likes and understands clear, strongly written drama. Such a shame.

    That gave me a chuckle. I would imagine that all the people who have said they loved the episode and the season also like and understand clear, strongly written drama.

  531. MEXICA
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    sam the slayer

  532. Jon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    I agree 100% It was probably my second least favorite episode of the series, least favorite being season 2 episode 8.

  533. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    That was awesome. While I am sad the season is over I am glad because these recap threads can burn in all Seven Hells.

  534. Vallos
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    Zach:
    So many bad decisions in this episode (and the entire season that this episode only made concrete) that I walked away sorely disappointed

    Hate to agree… but yeah. I enjoyed the season and even this finale… but they might need better writers for the next season. Had season 2 ended with the Blackwater episode, i would be gushing about how brilliant the whole season turned out to be. But after this season’s finale, I was reminded how this second season has struck me. Very entertaining.. but very uneven. So many brilliant scenes mixed in with a few very poorly written scenes.

    I think splitting book 3 up into seasons 3 and seasons 4 will greatly benefit the pacing and scene selection. So here’s to the future… :)

  535. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Hahaha

  536. MRR
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    top6: It really didn’t set it up so that it was clear he was doing it on purpose to earn the Wildlings’ trust.

    How much more clear can you get than “One brother inside his army’d be worth a thousand fighting against him”?

  537. T-Good
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    HyacinthGirl,

    lmao!

    Message to book purists…read the book again! I began reading again and the words haven’t changed in the novel.

    Enjoy the show, enjoy the novel. I love them both

  538. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    Virtus,

    That wasn’t in Iceland.

    So where did they say they filmed something in a cave in Iceland? Link?

  539. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    T-Good,

    That’s not necessarily true. I tried re-reading the books while holding them upside down and that changed everything. Really, it made no sense and I had to stop.

  540. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Dan: That gave me a chuckle. I would imagine that all the people who have said they loved the episode and the season also like and understand clear, strongly written drama.

    I’m glad you imagine that. I’d love to agree with you! Alas, this weird, muddled mess speaks for itself. Here’s hoping for better scripts in the future.

    Oh well. Taylor can direct a hell of an episode.

  541. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Personally I thought she would enjoy this episode as the “c” word wasn’t used once during the entire program!

  542. pleonasm
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    As a book fan, this season has been a real mixed bag for me. For the most part I was disappointed. I am really at odds with a lot of decisions and trends that the writers of the show are making, for instance every time a character is about to go into a ‘D&D Monologue’ I roll my eyes.
    Blackwater was the only episode that was very good, every other episode either hit and miss, disappointing or downright awful.

    Agreed. I’d also add, I just don’t think Beninoff and Weiss are particulary talented show runners. They have their moments of inspiration, but this season clearly articulated some major weaknesses:

    1. Episode Pacing – Sometimes it was dreadful
    2. Inability to fully leverage the source material to maximize the drama of a scene – This season’s cliffhanger had me in hysterics, when it should be fear and dread. The cartoon looking White Walkers and Zombies were horrible. Why not set the scene at night? Lets just see the eyes and hear them if you can’t do it properly.
    3. Poor characterization – Shae and Tyrion finally got interesting and ‘real’ to me in this episode, why didn’t this occur earlier? More than enough has been said about Talisa already, but she is hardly the only poorly developed character.
    4. The complete lack of tension and threats in a large numbers of scenes this year. Arya’s vacation at Harrenhal, Jon and the Wildlings, etc…
    5. Inability to effectively address weakspots in the book — Qarth
    6. The inability to leverage the fact they aren’t tied to the POV structure… Jamie still dissapeared for the most of the season, Robb’s arc was dreadful, Littlefinger teleporting around Westeros.

    But the bottom line, is that while it has its moments, this isn’t great television. Sometimes good, often mediocre, but sometimes just dreadful. And that’s the most damning indictment.

  543. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    The prophecies aren’t a big problem. GRRM doesn’t even seem to know what they mean. :D

    By the end of ADWD we know what pretty much all of them means:

    The wolf’s head on a human body foreshadowed the Red Wedding. The mummer’s dragon foreshadowed the fact that Aegon VI had survived. The scene with Rhaegar and Elia revealed that Rhaegar believed his son would be the Prince Who Was Promised and needed three children to repeat the triumvirate of Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys. This, combined with the revelation of Elia’s ill health in Book 3, made it clear that Rhaegar needed to find another wife (Lyanna) to have a third child. It backs up the R+L=J theory and also hints that Melisandre may not be as nuts as it first appears.

  544. KG
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    They actually looked like animated weirwoods.

  545. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You read the books didn’t you?

  546. Damián Erro
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Season 1 is SOOOO much better!

  547. KG
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Virtus,

    You know that that far North it could very well be daylight at 1130 at night, right?

  548. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    I have not yet read past the first book of ASOIF, but are the White Walkers perhaps what the Chilren Of The Forest have turned into? Are they related?…Is whatever they (Grenn and Sam) found in the snow a few episodes back significant?

    I am also guessing that what Danny saw in her vision was a glimpse of the future, should another Long Night happen again…any general thoughts or words of wisdom on that?

  549. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    I’d also add, I just don’t think Beninoff and Weiss are particulary talented show runners.

    I disagree. I think they’re talented showrunners – I just don’t think they are particularly talented writers.

    I give them a lot of props for staying as close to the show as they have. (Attention, book purists… do you have any idea how much “WORSE” it could be? Holy gravy people.) Actually, there are a lot of times when I wish they’d be more bold and make MORE decisions to strengthen their adaptation for TV…

    The problem is, they keep showing a very tenuous grasp on what makes for strong storytelling. Usually, when they get it right, it’s because they are smart enough to just take what George has written and put it on screen.

    Other times, well… we just saw them have Arya and Jaqen’s final meeting take place at some random location on the road instead of amidst the chaos and confusion caused by her final name… and then have Arya escape Harrenhal without her first cold blooded murder. That’s a character defining moment that is deeply crucial to the girl she becomes – and more than that? It’s just powerful storytelling.

    To give credit where it’s due, sometimes they do some great nuanced work. I hope they hit their stride in season three. All my best, gents.

  550. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Ha! I had completely forgot about that. There are so many gates that I lose track of them. She really did not like me in that thread.

  551. sedeyus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    pleonasm: Agreed. I’d also add, I just don’t think Beninoff and Weiss are particulary talented show runners. They have their moments of inspiration, but this season clearly articulated some major weaknesses:

    I was coming on here just to say something similar. As the show goes on, I think you can tell D&D just can’t match GRRM’s complexity or talent. Just about every time this season they’ve wandered off GRRM’s story it usually hasn’t worked (Robb, Jon, Dany). And the instances where it has, generally more to do with great acting than anything else. Thank God for Nina Gold.

  552. Eleanor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t often say this about GoT, but that was a disappointment.

    I agree – the visions weren’t going to happen, but House of the Undying just wasn’t as creepy and ungeometric as it should have been. And Doreah! WTF. That doesn’t serve her character well at all.

    Jon and the Halfhand was a total screw-up. Rather than Jon betraying the NW, we’ve just had Qhorin go uncharacteristically mad and Jon defend himself.

    The way Theon’s played out was a disappointment as Winter describes, but I suppose if they didn’t want to cast an extra as Reek/Ramsey, that was an OK way to go about it. “It was a good speech. I didn’t want to interrupt” was line of the episode.

    Edited to add: But I really liked Varys and Ros! Not being sarcastic. It was well-played and gave us a payoff for Ros’ arc this season.

  553. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    And Doreah! WTF. That doesn’t serve her character well at all.

    Yeah. How did she betray Dany exactly? This is and the complete lack of explanation for who burned Winterfell and why Bran can’t just go to the nearest lord (wasn’t Winterfell just SURROUNDED by loyal northmen?) were absolute game breakers for me.

    The wildling watching Jon kill Halfhand out of self-defense alone, and then being like “ok, he’s cool now!” was a close, close third.

    House of the Undying was what I expected. A bummer with the lack of visions, but it was cool seeing her in the throne room and at the Wall.

    Tyrion’s stuff was truly great. Enjoyed Pycelle.

  554. dany T
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    I totally disagree. I think we need MORE dragons and MORE white walkers and less theon complaining.

  555. darquemode
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    sedeyus: I was coming on here just to say something similar. As the show goes on, I think you can tell D&D just can’t match GRRM’s complexity or talent. Just about every time this season they’ve wandered off GRRM’s story it usually hasn’t worked (Robb, Jon, Dany). And the instances where it has, generally more to do with great acting than anything else. Thank God for Nina Gold.

    Well said, both of you.

  556. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Sigh…well it was only a matter of time…Let the trolls and numbnuts begin spewing their venom….welcome to opinions are like assholes, but my asshole is bigger, plus my shit don’t stink!

  557. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    KG:
    Virtus,

    You know that that far North it could very well be daylight at 1130 at night, right?

    Yes, I live in such a region. But in the books the Others/White Walkers come only at dark (which made the Long Night so terrible).

  558. Lex
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    First impressions…

    Loved most of it… Jaqen was awesome, Tyrion/Shae were great. But can’t deny, kinda disappointed by Jon and Dany.

    My big hope for tonight was that they’d redeem those two story lines, with a killer ending. But I don’t think they did. Dany’s HoTU wasn’t bad, but a little underwhelming. The ‘dracarys’ scene just felt downplayed. I expected a lot more carnage. Not sure what to think about Xaro and Doreah… o_O …But the three dragons looked great!

    The Jon/Qhorin scene was, well… weak. Pretty good fight, but… wtf. I just can’t understand how the producers would allow such a weak resolution to Jon’s story arc, this year. Qhorin had barely any screen time all season, and his fight with Jon was poorly explained. My non-reader friend did say he understood it, but to me it seemed confusing and rushed. It definitely could have been better.

    Otherwise, I was pretty happy. Some great scenes, and the final shot was epic. The wights and Others were insanely creepy and awesome. Wish the horn blasts were more drawn out and suspensful, though… They were much scarier in the books…

    4 out of 5… But I hope to like it more on a re-watch.

  559. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Zach,

    Why is it a gamebreaker that a character who in the book dies in Dany’s first chapter just dies in a different way a bit later?

  560. plakjecake
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I never liked the HOTU or even the Qarth storyarc in the book.
    I haven’t seen the episode yet. (TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT)
    After reading all this I’m getting really excited!
    I’m starting to think that maybe I’ll like this HOTU better, never cared much for the visions anyway. I still don’t like the Qarth storyarc in the show either tho.
    I’m thinkin about FF-ing the Jon part tho.
    Now give me an Undead host.

  561. darquemode
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Lyn Corbray:
    Brandon Stark,

    You’re in the minority in that regard… the walkers were fantastically done.

    The two points are not mutually exclusive.

    I thought the White Walkers and dragons were well done AND I want to see LESS of them. I like the less fantastical aspects of GRRM’s story so much more than the VFX.

  562. sedeyus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Virtus:
    Zach,

    Why is it a gamebreaker that a character who in the book dies in Dany’s first chapter just dies in a different way a bit later?

    Then the question becomes why keep her alive in the first place? Why not let her die in the desert? And besides that, it’s more of a question about Dany’s character. Doreah’s been with Dany since the beginning and followed her through the Red Waste. That shows a certain amount of loyalty. Dany decides to kill her in a pretty brutal manner without Doreah ever actually doing anything to betray her. All she did was sleep with Xaros. We didn’t see her kill Irri or help in the dragonnapping. She didn’t do anything to deserve being buried alive. And the show treats this like a HEROIC moment for Dany.

  563. KaMrAnAhMeD
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    clearly dissapointed a lot by the finale episode. After such a great episode of Blackwater. I think they wasted too much time in the king’s landing scenes. They should have covered more of the House of The Undying. The scenes that I was looking too much forward to the entire season. They didn’t show most of the visions and most of the dialogues were cut like … ‘“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire., mother of dragons…child of three…three heads has the dragon…mother of dragons…child of storm, three fires must you light…one for life and one for death and one to love, three mounts must you ride…one to bed and one to dread and one to love, three treasons will you know…once for blood and once for gold and once for love.., etc…

    A glimpse of the Red Wedding was a must in this episode. If they could have added the scene where in the a naked woman is being ravaged by little men then i would have been more than happy. Something that I was sooo looking forward to and in the end got hugely dissapointed. Above all the effect of the the whole house of the undying falling down to pieces would have been just EPIC like the blackwater explosion.

  564. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Virtus:
    Zach,

    Why is it a gamebreaker that a character who in the book dies in Dany’s first chapter just dies in a different way a bit later?

    Haha, maybe gamebreaker was a bit harsh… but what can I say, I like Dany and her lady entourage. This wasn’t coming from any loyalty to Doreah the Negligible but just as frustration at an example of the show’s nonsensical writing.

    Dany told Doreah to go fuck men and get information for her. When we see Doreah in Xaro’s bed… are we supposed to think she betrayed Dany somehow? …how?! what!? Xaro knew where the dragons were, they were HIS guests! Or were we supposed to be like “man, Dany’s acting all cold now!” or like… just… what? And why? Huh?!

    If it had just been clear, I woulda loved her being a boss and locking them in the vault. Loved it!

  565. DeadAngel
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    This episode ranks as the worst one in the series for me so far. i would give it a two out of 5 and only because of a few redeeming scenes.

    I hated The john and corin half hand scene, made no sense so much worse than the books, no idea why they decided to cut out the chase, have ghost disapear for half the season and basicly make jon an idiot who goes from blunder to blunder.

    Hated the house of the undying though i thought the drogo scene was awesome(it is one of the only scenes i liked), this scene is one of my personal favorites from the series and it could have been used so much to explain about the backstory and other prophesies and cool things, instead it was strange, oh and apparently only one man lives in the house of the undying WTF!!!

    It is not valur murgolis it is Valaar morghulis(sorry i listened to the audio books so many times this annoyed me, though i know this is me being nitpicky)

    Why did one of Dany’s handmaidens suddenly betray her? no logic no sense no explanation?

    While you continue killing Robs “choosing her honor over his own” with i like her, she pretty me no want to marry frey, and making him marry under the seven to someone from volantis… This whole thing makes so much less sense to me than the book version and makes him a very dishonorable and different character. I no longer love Rob as the true heir to the honorable beyond all else Ned Stark… He is showing a complete lack of honor.

    I was so excited about the final scene i knew what it was, why couldn’t they have it like in the books where it was epic and made sense, you did not need to show a battle just them starting to walk up the hill, or the brothers all being together. instead sam is apparently invisible to white walkers when not moving or hiding behind a rock. WTF!!!!!

    I cannot understand how some book readers could stand this episode. it had too many things that did not make sense or ruin plot or kill characters.

  566. Zach
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    sedeyus: Then the question becomes why keep her alive in the first place? Why not let her die in the desert? And besides that, it’s more of a question about Dany’s character. Doreah’s been with Dany since the beginning and followed her through the Red Waste. That shows a certain amount of loyalty. Dany decides to kill her in a pretty brutal manner without Doreah ever actually doing anything to betray her. All she did was sleep with Xaros. We didn’t see her kill Irri or help in the dragonnapping. She didn’t do anything to deserve being buried alive. And the show treats this like a HEROIC moment for Dany.

    …and everything this smart gent just said.

  567. dany T
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Why couldn’t they give us a 2 hour finale like so many other shows??? I feel short changed. Also, when is season 3 coming out? Anyone know?

  568. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Zach:Dany told Doreah to go fuck men and get information for her. When we see Doreah in Xaro’s bed… are we supposed to think she betrayed Dany somehow? …how?! what!? Xaro knew where the dragons were, they were HIS guests! Or were we supposed to be like “man, Dany’s acting all cold now!” or like… just… what? And why? Huh?!

    When Pyat Pree killed the other Thirteen except Xaro, the latter revealed that he was conspiring with the warlock. Thus the killing of Dany’s people in Xaro’s house had been ordered or at least condoned by Xaro himself. After show Doreah chose to be with Xaro after this as well, she betrayed Dany (even though she might have thought that Dany was never coming back).

  569. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    some of you who are moaning about what was in or wasnt, especially for things like visions and other costly parts of the story, you need to realise ther IS A FUCKING BUDGET! be gratefull that the series is being made in the first place. a series that it the most complex maybe ever written.

    im not saying dont have your own opinion but ranting and raving because there was a lack of dragons/direwolves or fewer visions in HOTU is just stupid.

    FUCK OFF and dont watch any more if its not good enough!!!

  570. sedeyus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Virtus: When Pyat Pree killed the other Thirteen except Xaro, the latter revealed that he was conspiring with the warlock. Thus the killing of Dany’s people in Xaro’s house had been ordered or at least condoned by Xaro himself. After show Doreah chose to be with Xaro after this as well, she betrayed Dany (even though she might have thought that Dany was never coming back).

    Look at it this way, if it had been a random whore in bed with Xaros instead of Doreah, do you think Dany would have killed her? Or in such a brutal manner? All she’s guilty of is sleeping with Xaro. And considering how long Dany or Doreah go back, you think that might lead Dany to be more conflicted on whether or not to kill Doreah. If the writers wanted the audience to feel Dany was justified, they should have shown a scene of Doreah betraying Dany more throughly. We (and Dany by extension) don’t know how Doreah ended up in his bed. It could have been by knifepoint or because she thought Dany had already left the city and needed a new job. They should have spent an extra minute or two explaining why this previously loyal handmaiden was now being carted off for brutal execution. It’s bad writing and/or horrible character development.

    And once again, why in the hell did they let her get out of the Red Waste if this was the plan for the character? I wonder if Roxanne McKee decided to leave the series and they had to get rid of her quick.

  571. The Red Wedding
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    A bit of a disappointment ,specially with Rob,Jon ,half hand scenes .only best past of the episode was the end when the white walkers showed up

  572. Alex Also
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Bags Brienne gets her own series.

  573. maia
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    it looks like Jon Snow’s sword hilt

  574. Michael
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    The white walkers made me think of the wraiths on stargate atlantis.

  575. Michael W.
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    An understated finale but still all sorts of awesome. Everything with Dany had me giggling like a little girl. Jaquen and Brienne scenes, too. The supernatural ending was pretty cool. 2nd best episode of the season after last week’s.

  576. Pepi
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    DeadAngel,

    I’m sure John, Corin and Rob are glad, you at least got “Valaar morghulis” right. Except you didn’t. :P

  577. Lexyvil
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Dear god I hope we see Arstan Whitebeard in Season 3.

  578. PhantomSoul
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Ash:
    some of you who are moaning about what was in or wasnt, especially for things like visions and other costly parts of the story, you need to realise ther IS A FUCKING BUDGET! be gratefull that the series is being made in the first place. a series that it the most complex maybe ever written.

    im not saying dont have your own opinion but ranting and raving because there was a lack of dragons/direwolves or fewer visions in HOTU is just stupid.

    FUCK OFF and dont watch any more if its not good enough!!!

    Word. I’d like to see those nitpickers trying their hand at this adapation, would love to see what they would come up with…it’s easy to criticise but do they really think they’d have done a better job? It’s funny to see ‘fans’ trying to school pros. Considering the budget, time constraints, the sheer volume and complexity of the source material, I say the show makers have done a terrific job, especially comparing to most of the other book adaptations out there. We should consider ourselves lucky.

    Honestly, this fandom, I can’t even….the prejudice, the laughable nitpicks, the overanalysis of every single second of every episode, the obsession with comparisons, the overreaction….what a joke. As if there aren’t any bigger problems in life than a few changes made here or there in a book adaptation…why get so worked up over it? I say view the show and the books as two different entities, separate them and you might enjoy the adaptation a little more, if not, just stick to the books.

    I don’t get some people. They whine that the show is too confusing in parts that may have non-readers scratching their heads as to wtf is going on, but then they complain about the lack of visions….erm as if that would not complicate things and confuse non-readers even more…They cry for subtlety but then whine that Jon/Qhorin fight should have been made clearer (imo it was pretty clear)…..you can’t have it both ways. The tv show needs to be simplified for obvious reasons, but it’s good that not everything is blatantly stated. I’m glad this show is not a mindless entertainment and that it requires some thinking. If people don’t think and pay attention then they might find themselves confused more often than not, but it’s mostly their fault.

    I’ve read the books, and apart from making Jon/Dany’s characters weaker than in the books, I didn’t mind any of the changes this season. (some I loved, some I liked less mind you) I thought this fandom would be different than many others, considering that the books (and the show) are not some silly YA/soap-opera crap. But I don’t see much difference between this fandom and say, Twilight fandom. People just like to complain for the sake of complaining, and the explanation for most of the nitpicks is beyond laughable. I don’t mind constructive, reasonable criticism but I rarely see it here. And the bias against anything non-canon….I bet that if the ep 9 had been written by anyone else, people would have been foaming at the mouth over the changes/non-canon scenes in it, no matter what they included. Because for them any alteration=bad, no matter what, well unless it comes from the author.

    So many people say that HOTU was a letdown…well as it was apparent we wouldn’t be getting an exact adaptation of those pages from the book, for it would have been impossible to accomplish given all the obvious factors, what we saw in the episode doesn’t come as a surprise, so why the disappoinment?…people should have been expecting that. Many have and they still can’t help but voice their disappoinment. Ridiculous.

  579. Ivan Jurić
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    lol, i’ve never seen so many ungrateful, spoiled, vile attention whores/book purists in my life. constructive criticism is one thing but this ”look at me, i read the books, the show sucks, LOOK AT ME!” attidute is something else. if you don’t get the concept of budget, time restrictions and costs, then something is seriously wrong with you. that being said, i LOVED IT. was a bit dissapointed with the lack of prophecies but i think most of the changes worked really well. better than the last season’s finale imo.

  580. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Ash,

    Amen brother…word up!

  581. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Thank you for your posting! Well put!

  582. loco73
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Ivan Jurić,

    Keep up the good fight, LOL!

  583. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    PhantomSoul,

    Your very right, too many visions on tv will give story away as its more visual. In the books you sort of glance over it at times. I remember reading the HOTU scene yrs ago and thinking a particular vision was eddard stark having his head chopped off and because of his sigil he had a wolf head. If it would have been on screen that scene I’d have recognised the clothes, location etc and put two and two together. D and D doing great job.

  584. Samuray
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Hi there, quick question. I have not yet read the books but I feel I have to ask this here because non-readers wouldn’t be able to answer me this: I have heard numerous times that the White Walkers don’t reappear after the beginning of AGoT, or in my case, the pilot episode. Several people were seemingly annoyed that the Walkers don’t show up again until and including ADWD. However, yesterday’s amazing finale suggests otherwise. :)

    I am wondering: Will the storyline from the last scenes be addressed at all? Or will it not be mentioned again until maybe Season 6? Maybe those people I heard had no idea what they were talking about…..I hope so, ‘cuz I love those Walkers. :)

  585. Lana
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Did that ending really just happen? I am having an anxiety attack, crying, hyperventilating, shuddering like Sam Tarly behind that rock. What 7 hells? It’s going to be 300 hells and more until this show comes back!

  586. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Ivan Jurić,

    Some of them need to shut it. Some have 20-30 posts here all the time, silly little tosserd who sit in front of the computer all day because they have nothing better to do. I’m on my iPhone in case any of you want to reply with something witty and it’s a bank holiday here so everyone is off work !!

  587. Dogmayor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Samuray,

    Those people are wrong and the storyline in question is addressed.

  588. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Samuray,

    The walkers appeared at the right time in ep 20. There will also be a further appearance next season. Basically not a lot but one every season until season 6ish is probably what we will get. Read the books and see for yourself

  589. rolle
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Meh. I didn’t like this episode at all or rather the low points weigh it down too much.
    HotU and the ending mostly is what ruined this for me. This season had many good thing too though but I’m not happy with deviations.

  590. Mean25
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Pretty much totally ruined the Halfhand as a character. They didn’t need to give Qhorin any more screentime that they did. Just give him his lines from the book that give him a different personality from Yorren.

    White Walker letting Sam live what the fuck?

    Robb though, oh Robb, what have they done to you child. Bryan Cogman said they forgot that Rickard Karstark should be worshipping the Old Gods, but how can they forget that about Robb? Catelyn and Ned’s scene in the first season clearly made a distinction between the Old Gods of the Stark and the New Gods of the Tully. Is that what he is now? Robb Tully? Did the writers even try? Though that didn’t bother me half as much as Robb marrying her for seemingly no good reason than the fact that he wants to fuck her. Honestly, the RW will have less of impact on the show by making him seem like a horny douche instead of a mythical hero like the books.

    Jaqen namedropping Faceless Men.

    It’s like the writers didn’t understand that Dany’s character arc is through all books instead of book by book. Her’s story-ending was fucking cringeworthy. Jesus fuck, all you had to do was copypaste shit from the books and it would’ve been fine. The death of the warlock was disgracefully.
    Ducksaouse, isn’t this asshole the king of Qarth now? Doesn’t that mean he has a fucking army? How did they even get in there, where were his guards? It was just so empty-headed a chain of events. Fucking unbelievable.

    These are changes that cheapen the world and characters. Hence why I don’t like them. I bet GRRM was throwing a mad hissy fight at home when he saw that.
    I’m kinda glad the finale was so shitty. Makes the 10 month wait easier. Someone really needs to get fired for this.

  591. rolle
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Agree with above.

    Most of the changes don’t make sense in the long run or even at the time they are happening. Some of them are so poorly done.

  592. Mike
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    mikeintexas: This.Quaithe intimates that Dany has to go to Asshai at one point in Book 2, but GRRM has publicly stated that he doesn’t have time for Dany to go to Asshai anymore. The writers are going to change a lot of Dany’s story.

    When did GGRM say this? Source please?

  593. The Purist
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    People mentioned how D&D aren’t good writers. Well one of them did write the abomination known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so I can see how people are starting to believe they aren’t as good as writers as a lot of people believe they are.

    This episode was a disappointment, especially compared to the fantastic Blackwater episode. Another proof that D&D and the others are nothing but pretenders to GRRM. They didn’t screw up on season one that much, though that’s probably because they followed the book like any sensible ASOIAF reader would, but cracks are starting to appear for this season. Hell, I’m not going to buy seasons two blu-ray boxset as quickly as I did for season one. I just hope that they don’t screw up on season three as much as season two, but seeing as D&D got cocky with the success of season one, they think they can disregard the books and think they can add parts and make changes that’s either doesn’t make sense or poorly done. Okay, I’m ready for my hate-on, just not on the face.

    Mean25,
    Mean25, are you my long lost twin? As I agree with everything you wrote.

  594. Hollyoak
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Mean25:
    Pretty much totally ruined the Halfhand as a character. They didn’t need to give Qhorin any more screentime that they did. Just give him his lines from the book that give him a different personality from Yorren.

    White Walker letting Sam live what the fuck?

    Robb though, oh Robb, what have they done to you child. Bryan Cogman said they forgot that Rickard Karstark should be worshipping the Old Gods, but how can they forget that about Robb? Catelyn and Ned’s scene in the first season clearly made a distinction between the Old Gods of the Stark and the New Gods of the Tully. Is that what he is now? Robb Tully? Did the writers even try? Though that didn’t bother me half as much as Robb marrying her for seemingly no good reason than the fact that he wants to fuck her. Honestly, the RW will have less of impact on the show by making him seem like a horny douche instead of a mythical hero like the books.

    Jaqen namedropping Faceless Men.

    It’s like the writers didn’t understand that Dany’s character arc is through all books instead of book by book. Her’s story-ending was fucking cringeworthy. Jesus fuck, all you had to do was copypaste shit from the books and it would’ve been fine. The death of the warlock was disgracefully.
    Ducksaouse, isn’t this asshole the king of Qarth now? Doesn’t that mean he has a fucking army? How did they even get in there, where were his guards? It was just so empty-headed a chain of events. Fucking unbelievable.

    These are changes that cheapen the world and characters. Hence why I don’t like them.I bet GRRM was throwing a mad hissy fight at home when he saw that.
    I’m kinda glad the finale was so shitty. Makes the 10 month wait easier. Someone really needs to get fired for this.

    Lol. This dude is funny. all you had to do was copypaste shit from the books and it would’ve been fine.

    I think we all know you’re only trying to get people riled up.

    LOL…copy and paste…

  595. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Totally agree with how they mishandled the Q. Halfhand/J. Snow angle… Viewers never got to see or feel the depth of that storyline. The Halfhand’s sacrifice and advice to Jon was key and that scene could’ve been more emotional but it ended up being just one of those fight scenes.

  596. Jaime Lannister
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Theon loses Winterfell – I really liked the scene between Luwin and Theon. I didn’t like the way Theon eventually lost Winterfell. Dagmer knocking him upside the head was not nearly as dramatic as Reek, who he assumed was his savior, betraying him and burning Winterfell to the ground. I really liked how they handled Theon’s storyline up to this point, but felt that the payoff here was not as good as it should have been.

    THIS. That felt like a copout. A large one.

    A grey cloud over an otherwise decent finale.

  597. HugeFloppyGut
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane:
    I believe this episode will divide the readers from the non-readers with how much they liked it.

    I’ll be the first to get the hate I guess.

    I’m a reader. Yuck.

    Us readers have to accept that the show is gonna be different from the books…the sooner u accept that like i did, then the more u will enjoy the show

  598. Critical Geek
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Mods need to go get to work over in the new viewer thread. The bookwalkers have breached the spitwall.

  599. Jeda
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Good episode, many good things… a few not so good.
    One thing in particular really bothers me. After what they’ve done with Doreah here, what happens with Shae is going to feel etremely repetitive. They’re both prositutes who betray the one you didn’t expect, with their trichery discovered in a very similiar manner (in bed), although with Shae you know before hand during the trial, just not the whole story. No doubt this great scene with Tyrion will have a ‘meh’ effect on many because of that change. Unless of course they decide not to do it…

  600. Tar Kidho
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I stayed half a day at home just because I couldn’t wait until the evening anymore :)

    And despite my unreasonably high expectations I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Loved almost every scene!!! My only nitpicking comment would be that the fist of the first men looks very cartoony in the final scene (unlike other CGI landscaping) but then again I guess the budget was mostly used up on a whole bunch of awesomeness by the time they got to it ;-)

    Truly brilliant finale, and now the long wait is coming…

    [edit: I agree about the unjustice to the Halfhand-Jon story arc, but that started several episodes ago already... Still, even with Jon getting separated from Qhorin back then, they could have included more of a back story as to why Jon killed Qhorin. It would have been easy to show some scenes around a camp fire at night where they whisper to each other for instance]

  601. Dreamlife
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Likes:
    1. The white walkers — I wasn’t expecting to see them up close, and man did they look good (i.e., scary)

    2. Dany’s visions inside the throne room, beyond the wall, and finally entering Drogo’s tent. It was great to see her with Drogo again and get a glimpse of their baby.

    3. Tyrion and Shae. This brought me to tears, particularly when Shae held Tyrion and he was overwhelmed by her loyalty and love for him.

    4. Sansa. Everything about her scenes, from worry over whether or not Joffrey will be allowed to set her aside for Margaery, temporary glee at being free of Joffrey, terror at realizing she is not free of his abuse, and confusion over Petyr’s offer to help her. Sophie Turner has been amazing this season.

    5. Bran, Rickon, and Lewin together one last time. So sad. The kids gave great performances. I’ll miss Maester Lewin.

    6. Brienne, Jaime—their banter, their shared lie, and Brienne dispatching those men like the bad ass she is^^ I think even Jaime was impressed.
    6. Theon getting knocked out after his battle speech. Loved it.

    Dislikes:
    1. House of the Undying. I guess I’m mostly disappointed in Dany’s journey, which has seemed wasted. I was hoping HOTU would make up for it. I wasn’t expecting to see the visions from the books, but at least hoped to see her seeing other characters to give us a little glimpse of what is to come.

    2. Jon overtaking Qorin. I agree, this didn’t make much sense, I’m sure non-readers were very confused and didn’t understand Qorin was sacrificing himself. Also, what were we supposed to glimpse when Ygritte took him to look over the cliff into the valley. I didn’t see tents or anything, just landscape.

    3. Robb marrying Talissa. Too soon, too much.

  602. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Mean25,

    Why don’t you write a script and show us all how easy it is?

  603. bc
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The whitewalkers spoiled an otherwise very good episode. They struck me as silly, like a bad halloween costume party; shoulda left more to the imagination. I almost laughed but didn’t want to spoil my son’s experience.

  604. Silmarien
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Gonfaloniere: nne, IMO. Plus, now I feel like they won’t include the swordfight between Brienne and Jaime because he didn’t know at all how good she was in the books until he started fighting her. On the show, he knows perfectly well how great she is as a swordsperson – he’d be an utter fool to take her on while wearing chains!

    People whining about Brienne and how she’s NEVER kill Stark men is kind of silly. Those men had just killed prostitutes for no reason except that they supposedly slept with Lannister men at arms. She thinks of herself as a knight – the kind that protects the weak. The men even tell her that they let one die slowly.

    Brienne was meting out justice, not just brutally killing random men. They had committed murder.

    And it’s a bit silly to whine about things you’re ASSUMING won’t happen ie the Brienne/Jaime swordfight. Give Season 3 a chance, geez.

  605. Tar Kidho
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Dreamlife: Also, what were we supposed to glimpse when Ygritte took him to look over the cliff into the valley. I didn’t see tents or anything, just landscape.

    I don’t know what quality you watched but on 720p you could clearly make out a huge camp spreading across the valley floor…

  606. Chris
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Absolutely. Whatever minor bits they may leave out in favor of narrative, they display Martin’s “well it’s between the lines” subtext (redundant) in perfect fashion. Best Show EVER
    DanofhouseStark,

  607. Raoul Duke
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    “Pan up” is an incorrect camera movement term…. a camera can “tilt up”, or in the case of the white walker on the horse, it can “pedestal up”.

  608. Read_a_book_people
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane,
    I totally agree with you and then some! They TOTALLY blew the House of the Undying scene! No blue rose in the ice wall, no Rhaegar, no R + L = J allusions… to all the readers out there that condone this mess of a “season finale” let me ask you this: assuming R + L = J is true, how is that going to be the least bit shocking if D&D don’t set it up for the viewers beforehand?! Instead we get that lame ass Drogo scene, what a waste. “Dracerys” was also a huge let down. Might as well light Pyatt up with a bunch of Zippo lighters. Also: way to exclude Ramsay Snow: nothing like setting Winterfell to flame without so much as a reason to why. Oh, and let’s also forget about leaving with the Reed twins. The only upside to this debacle of an episode is how they did the Others… not too bad. And to all the people who say “oh they have a budget to stick to.” GET REAL! This is HBO people! They have about as much money as the goddamn Lannisters!

  609. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Read_a_book_people,

    Thank god your not in charge of HBO

  610. Tar Kidho
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Ok, for the first time this season I made the mistake of going through some of the comments – I will stop right away before it spoils my appreciation of the mostly terrific way the makers of the show have translated the books into the tv series.

  611. OtherJon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Read_a_book_people,

    Couldn’t they set it up through the Reeds? Been awhile since I’ve listened to the books but I thought they told Bran a story that could set it up.

  612. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    KG: Maybe Talisa worships the Seven. So there.

    I’m just going to assume the Septon was the closest clergy available to officiate at the ceremony.

  613. Read_a_book_people
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Ash,

    If I was, you’d get a hell of alot better book-to-screen conversion as befits the story.

  614. Rhieth
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I can’t imagine using a few featured extras for the HotU visions would so badly effect the budget. Paying Jason Mamoa for his cameo cost much more imo.

    Don’t mistake me the scene was great. But at a too high cost: Having a HotU which has pretty much nothing in common with the book original.

    Unlike many others I have some ideas about how the Dany scanes in the finale should have been. They contain aCoK and aSoS spoilers so I spoiler tag it all.

    I. Some visions, with as least CGI as possible. How? 1) Grab some extras. 2) Rhaegar+Elia is easy. A wigh for the actor and that’s it. 3)RW vision. Come on CGIing a wolfhead on a human body is THAT costly? Really?
    II. Enter the room of the actual undying. No need for the corrupted heart or the blue glow, just have some shrouded extras sitting there while she hears the prophecies. Have a shot where the world seems to be spinning around her and we are all good with that. Drogon comes and saves the day.
    III. She leaves the HotU, gets attacked by Pyat Pree, and boomSer Barristan for the rescue. He introduces himself and invites her to the ships he brought. CUT.

    Please do share your thoughts and tell me why I am wrong. It’d calm me if what I was saying were total bullsh*t

  615. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Deborah Ambridge Fisher:
    Someone please tellme what TPTWP stands for.

    The Prince that was promised. It is a prophesy from the religion of the Red Priestess.

  616. Read_a_book_people
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    OtherJon,

    The Reed twins, Jojen and Meera, have no knowledge of the truth of Jon’s lineage as far as the books let on. Only their father, Howland Reed, was there at the House of Joy with Ned when that whole thing went down. They better introduce them soon in season 3 though, otherwise how are they going to know to go to Bloodraven?

  617. Read_a_book_people
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Rhieth,

    I agree with just about all of your suggestions which would of made the House of the Undying a lot more meaningful, and at the same time it would have given the non-reading viewer some food for thought as to what the prophecies meant and how they would come to pass.

  618. Tomer Segal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Great episode, was disapointed not to see Rhaegar and I’m not sure I like what happend with Xaro and Doreah, and obviously the Jon/Halfhand didn’t play out very well, but damn, I had fun. Can’t wait to see the faces on my non-reader friends.

    Am I the only one that is bothered about how Ed and Gren left Sam alone? I mean, I didn’t think they would just run off so quickly and leave him alone.

  619. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that the only kind of adaptation certain purists would approve of would be in the form of a camera filming a man sitting on a chair reading straight from the book for 60 minutes per episode.

  620. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Jack Slap:
    the white walkers looked 1000 times better than the ones in the pilot! awesome

    Although I didn’t like the design of the White Walkers faces I loved how it looked as if their torsos were thawing out as if the bitter cold was warm to them.

  621. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    DB,

    There are very few Weirwoods south of the neck so it would have been hard to find one for a Northern ceremony. The book Jeyne certainly was a follower of the Seven. Don’t know about “Talisa”.

  622. Read_a_book_people
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Ash,

    Read Rieth’s suggestions. He/she easily and affordably sets up alternative suggestion on how they should have played the whole House of the Undying thing out. Even if it is an “adaptation” it should still adhere to the primary plot devices which make the books so good. I mean, up until this point, do any of the viewers even know who the hell Rhaegar is and/or his importance to the story? I think Robert mentions him once or twice in the first season in passing, and viewpoint is skewed if you understand his relationship to him in the books. Oh, and your “dimwit” comment… get a life pal. name calling over the internet is so ridiculous and not even worth getting into.

  623. Christoffer
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    i loved this episode but i was mostly bothered with 3 things! jon snow and theon storylines and the missing of whitebeard! the third one kinda saddened me cuz know there is a chance i think they will cast a different actor for the part and i dont like that idea cuz the actor from season 1 played his role to perfection!

  624. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm:
    ThePinkDragon,

    What I mean, is why he didn’t hide with them on episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”.
    Why the sudden interest in helping an asshole and then die?

    Perhaps he takes his oath seriously? I think perhaps he serves them best by remaining above ground ensure no one thinks to enter the Crypts.

  625. Idaan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I was 100% positive about all the episodes this year, and didn’t complain about anything, aside from needlessly uglifying the (pretty cute) actress playing Asha/Yara. But the finale was just disappointing, and

    Why didn’t they have Luwin explain who burned Winterfell? At least to Osha, while the kids can’t hear? He just had to say one thing to her, was it that hard?As it stands, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t just go to one of Robb’s bannermen.

    Also Jon killing Qhorin makes no sense now. Again, could have been explained in one sentence.

    Also no visions. I understand budget and everything, but they could have done at least some foreshadowing, like mentioning that Dany’s child is the Stallion that Mounts the World, and how this prophecy was broken when Mirri Maz Duur intervened.

  626. freoduwebbe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane: They pumped up the House of the Undying for about a month. And that was just shameful. What happened? She saw a broken hall where winter had come and nearly touched the Iron Throne. She saw Drogo. Yes, Drogo is awesome, but why? Really? Why was that there other than to show it’s mystical and an illusion. We already knew that before she entered. Then dracarys. Cool, though I wasn’t a fan of the look of the flames, but that’s just a nitpicky thing and has no bearing on my reaction. What about EVERYTHING else she should have seen? Is that not key to her already boring character?

    I think Mike Chair got it – I didnt see it that way til I read his message but each of her visions was something to tempt her – the Iron throne, Drogo and Raego(sp) – each one would be a way for her to follow a dream and stay voluntarily. She was better than both (and I LOVED her walking thru the Wall corridor) so they had to chain her up – only to have her break free from that as well… They searched both her motivations, power and family – and found that her baby dragons were needed FIRST.
    It was different, but still very compelling.

  627. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    mikeintexas,

    where did he say that?

    HOTU was alright, but no other visions? mhhh
    Dany or somebody else can always have them later…

    Daxos thing.
    Where were his guards? why wasnt there anything in the vault?
    and no arstan whitebeard! :-(

    Rest of it was fine by me.

  628. Steve
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The White Walker let Sam live because he is craven.

  629. Hollyoak
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins:
    My take on the snow in the throne room is probably different from what you would expect, but it plays into my overall theory that the ultimate battle is between magic and science.

    Most people probably interpret it as “Winter is Coming” to the Lannisters. But I see it as an allusion to the final scene with the Others (there’s even a big blue eye in the stained glass above the throne). Much like the Others, Dany brought the winter with her as she walked through the throne room, and Drogo just so happened to pitch his tent beyond the Wall, in White Walker territory (“this is dark magic” –Dany). I don’t know, but that seems pretty darn symbolic to me.

    In Norse mythology, Ragnarok begins when the magical worlds of Ice and Fire mix together. And as Varys mentioned in the Blackwater episode, magic is a very dark and sinister force in the world of Westeros. Dany, Bran, Melisandre and the Others (the sons of Craster) are all tapped into that magic. They are the ones who pose the biggest threat to the world, not the Lannisters (which is another topic entirely, because I don’t think all the Lannisters are even Lannisters –Jaime & Cersei– if you know what I mean). The Maesters, agnostics, and adherents to the Seven (the “normal” religion) are the true champions of mankind – the Æsir -, whereas those who have harnessed magic are in league with darker, non-human forces – the Jotunn – (think dragons, children of the forest, shadow babies, wights, etc..).

    Dany, Bran and Mel represent the 3 children of Loki. Loki is Bloodraven, aka Lord Brynden (in Norse mythology, Loki is a shapeshifter who was cursed and bound inside of a cave, under the life tree Yggdrasil, much like Bloodraven is a shapeshifter who was bound in a cave under a weirwood tree). Dany is the sea serpent, Jormundgandr, who circles the world (she’s already a serpent, and will become a sea serpent when she marries Victarion and finally gets her ships). Bran is Fenrir, the monstrous wolf who is also bound in a cave (he’s also, quite literally a “warg”, which is an Old Norse word for Fenrir). And Mel is Hel, conveniently, who reigns over the dead (red priests and priestesses bring the dead back to life, burn people, and have shadow babies). Jon Snow is Surtr, the black, who guards the border of the realm of the Æsir, and wields a fiery sword. He will lead the Sons of Muspell (the Others) across the Bifrost Bridge (the Wall) at the onset of Ragnarok and set the world ablaze with his fiery sword (Lightbringer). Jaime is Tyr, the one handed god of single combat, who will champion the Æsir. Tyrion is Fafnir, the dwarf who slays his wealthy father and flees to the protection of a dragon in a far away land. Etc… It goes on and on and on. The connections to Ragnarok, the symbolism, and even the words (i.e. warg, Hodur, TYRion, etc..) are all there.

    Anyway, that’s what I think snow falling on Dany in the throne room means. Call me crazy, but I’ve done my homework on this (I’m not kidding… I’ve been thinking about all of this stuff for years, and let’s just say, the show hasn’t debunked my theories yet).

    Very insightful theory and it looks like you did your homework. We all know that stories are the same ones told over and over, and it makes sense that GRRM would use this Norse mythology as a spine to his story. We shall have to wait and see if your theory is correct. I have to say it feels very spot-on.

  630. Vince
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    So basically the parts of this episode that didn’t work quite as dramatic as the book are the parts that didn’t follow the book? i.e. Reek and the burning of Winterfell, Jon and Qhorin etc. Apart from this, I loved the ep.

  631. Here Be Dragons
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    I cried like a baby during that scene, and wanted her to stay too. What is the mantra Dany thinks to herself a lot in the books whenever she thinks of Drogo and Rhaego? Something like Not looking back. I was waiting for her to say that then, because that is what I was thinking for her. I think I cried even more though when those baby dragons responded to her command, and after a little puff of smoke, we got a glimpse into how sinister they are going to be as they get older. I know a lot of people feel Dany’s story drags on and is boring, but I love her! And…Dragons!!

  632. freoduwebbe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    DB: Missandei next season, now that Doreah and Irri are both gone.

    As someone who has had two mixed religion marriages in their family, its not a surprise they marry in the BRIDES ‘church’. Even if its a glade…
    I’m thinking next year Robb’s wedding nite surprise will be a change of his brides name….I’m still thinking she IS Jeyne…

  633. trolollo
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Scholesy: f

    it is know

  634. Darkwing
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I’m wondering was Ros was back in Littlefinger’s brothel… The last we saw of her, she was Cersei’s prisoner. After Blackwater, I can see Cersei doing any number of things (e.g. kill her, throw her in a cell and just forget about her), but the last thing I would have expected was for Ros to be simply freed to return to work at LF’s brothel.

  635. Steve
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The Instrumentalist,

    Shae’s a pro…

  636. aaron
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon: I’m not being an asshole, or gonna try to debate your opinion with you, but I would legitimately like to know why.

    i personally (my wife thinks i’m nuts) don’t like how the show has changed the core of characters. brienne would NEVER kill people the way she’s done on the show. she barely kills anyone in the books, and when she finally does, it more or less crushes her spirit. stanis is portrayed completely wrong as well. he’s honorable to a fault. he’d never strangle melisandre like that. also, how did he get out of kings landing during the fighting (which he wasn’t part of)? he was on the walls when renly’s ghost came a-fighting so how did he get out? i’m also a bit upset about not showing any of the good stuff from the house of the undying.

    but hey, the show is done well, it’s just not the books.

  637. Butterbumps
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Oh my, I loved this episode so much, what i especially loved:

    - brienne being kickass
    - the HOTU scene with Drogo, that was a nice surprise as I had no idea he would show up
    - the HOTU scene with the snow in the throne room, i just whispered ‘winter is coming’ to myself and grinned like an idiot
    - dracarys! I need me a baby dragon
    - the tyrion and shae scene made me tear up, oh tyrion :(
    - arya and jaq’s scene, i was scared his face changing would be left out so I audibly cheered when it did
    - the final 5 mins were amazing, when that 3rd horn blow came up it literally gave me chills and what followed was awesome

    what i didn’t like:
    that’s its all over for another year

    thank you to D&D for a great season, looking forward to next year!

  638. ...
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    House of the Undying was underwhelming. I mean, I liked the Wall and seeing Drogo again, and it was amazing while it lasted, but I’m just going to cry now for all the lost potential. Where was the wolf’s head? Where was the naked woman? Where was Rhaegar and Elia? Where were the doors, where was Mother of Fire, Bride of Fire, three fires must you light, etc…? They could’ve taken the time Ros had and give it to Dany.

    The final scene was awesome though. But there’s still the bitter aftertaste because of the HotU.

  639. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Bean,

    I think the scenes of Sam and the army of Walkers was to avoid having to show the battle at the fist. Now, when the next Night’s Watch scene is the survivors regrouping, it will make sense.

  640. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12: Dany’s story isn’t all that great period after book one.It only goes downhill from here, except maybe when she gets the Unsullied.

    I think GRRM handled Jon’s holding pattern much better than he handled Daeny’s. In the book, Jon was learning and doing interesting things. Daeny, apart from the Unsullied, wasted a great deal of time presumably to get every member of her future party delivered to Essos in dribs and drabs. While she clearly DOES need seasoning as a leader, it didn’t make for thrilling reading. Even though the HOTU was a rather low-rent solution, I did enjoy her few moments of agency when she and her brood of wee dragons toasted the Warlock. His look seemed to say “Gee those Dragons seem to know which one of these is actually me. Should I be worried?”

    Only now, at the end of ADWD is she in any jeopardy at all. Although the dragons are a bit close to Deus Ex machina for my tastes, I still enjoyed her smile and smirk she had as the looted Ducksauce’s palace.

  641. ...
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink


    some of you who are moaning about what was in or wasnt, especially for things like visions and other costly parts of the story, you need to realise ther IS A FUCKING BUDGET! be gratefull that the series is being made in the first place. a series that it the most complex maybe ever written.

    im not saying dont have your own opinion but ranting and raving because there was a lack of dragons/direwolves or fewer visions in HOTU is just stupid.

    FUCK OFF and dont watch any more if its not good enough!!!

    You, sir, need to understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to criticising the show however we want to.
    Besides, would adding a scene with a blonde man, and a scene where Pyat Pree says “three mounts must you ride..” REALLY stretch over budget? Stop talking nonsense. And stop insulting people just because they have an opinion.

  642. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Read_a_book_people,

    I don’t think the HOTU changes were purely a budget thing. As you pointed out, they could have done the prophecies without it costing a fortune. Therefore I have to assume that it was a conscious decision on the part of the writers to take that scene in a very different direction than the book. Better? Worse? That’s going to come down to personal taste. I thought it was interesting and effective (though a bit lacking), but not in the same way as the book. Not even close.

    And yes, HBO has a ton of money, but it’s not unlimited. The network also has a lot more shows to fund than GoT, and even if the show’s producers wanted to do a spectacular book-accurate HOTU, there is a budget to stick to and it’s set by executives who are more concerned about money than an accurate adaptation. And that’s ok; that’s their job. Keeping the series profitable ensures more seasons.

  643. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I believe hey are changing Jon’s motivation for next season, he probably is willing to follow the wildlings, believing he failed everyone. He changes is mind about being part of them when he learned Mance has that particular weapon that can do that certain demise to a very large thing. So you see, it all works out in the end just different from the books, concernng Jon’s character development. It is better for him as a person to develop is own way than to go along with someone eles’s plans.

  644. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    stanvosftw: I know right?!?Especially because for the last three episodes we have been led to believe that Dany quite literally has only two followers left (Jorah and… um cute bloodrider #2).Jorah heavily implies that she has no khalasaar left when he suggests that they cut and run.…And then suddenly she has like her entire Khalasaar back and has somehow managed to walk unopposed into Xaro’s bedroom?

    I don’t understand.They need to hire more and better writers for S3/4 to avoid things like this this the other strange and bad decisions which happened in S2.Unfortunately ti’s probably too late by this point.The fact that they are already casting makes it likely that they already have a pretty detailed outline of what’s going to happen (Daario’s casting means changes are coming…please please give us Missandei, too please!)

    Given how large her party was outside the gates of Qarth in the Garden of Bones, it made sense that the dragons got stolen. So no the question is where the hell were all these guys when the shit went down and Irri got killed? I don’t mind them changing things up but things should make sense.

    OTOH, Daxos might have let down his guard when he heard she went to the HOTU voluntarily. And, if the Dragons can roast Pyatt Pree a few hired guards would must likely throw down their weapons and run. They could have left a few crisper critters and fire in the hallways to provide a clue as to how they gained entry.

  645. The Winter Rose
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    What I liked:
    + The Tyrion stuff was so touching and heartfelt. I don’t like the casting of Shae at all, but I liked this scene.
    + Varys’s scenes with Tyrion and Ros (the only scene with Ros to date that I didn’t mind) were good.
    + Brienne and Jaime scene was great.
    + Arya and Jaq – so much love for that scene <3
    + Maester Luwin's death. All the tears.

    What I didn't like:
    - The White Walkers. Not at all how I imgained them. I always thought them to be tall, lith fey-like creatures in crystaline armour. I thought they looked a bit sillyand fake here.
    - Now that we know that the Queen of Thorns is being cast, I don't understand why they cast Natalie Dormer as Margery. I really wish they would have been truer to book Margery, so now I get annoyed when she's onscreen.
    - Doreah betraying Dany. Made me sad :(
    - Dany's Visions. So pissed we didn't get to see Rhaegar, the three headed dragon and Robbs death. Instead we got Drogo? WTF? That annoyed me so much. I didn't give two figs about Drogo! Where is my Rhaegar? ;_;
    - I agree that it wasn't entirely clear what was going on with Jon and Qhorin. That needed to be expanded upon.

  646. raegenhere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    kinda unrelated, but worth sharing:
    http://youtu.be/kL7RWUva7ak

  647. Jillian
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Almost bawled my eyes out with Luwin, made it through and then bam, drogo, waterowks city. Although the HOTU was different in that it was less prophetic and more about Dany resisiting the comforts of a life she could have in favor of the life she’s destined for, it was emotional and beautiful and packed a big punch. I enjoyed Theon’s scene, if only for Alfie getting that rousing speech. It broke my heart a bit. He finally tries to at least die in a way that wouldn’t bring shame or dishonor to his family, and he can’t even do that right. Arya’s ending was great, the only complaint I’ll ever have about Arya scenes is that there aren’t enough. I liked the subtle way they changed the language in Jaqen’s goodbye/coin giving speech referencing her finding him specifically in Bravos, as I believe he will take the place of the kindly man later on, probably late next season or early season 4.

    I really don’t care for excessive CGI, and kind of subscribe to the jaws theory of what you can’t see is more terrifying than what you can, so I really found the last bit a let down. Honestly, the “Dracarys” scene was bordering on cheesy CGI for me, so the ending just went over the top. I know others enjoyed it, and don’t mean to take anything away form them, but I thought the pilot episode with the little girl and the bright blue eyes was waaaaay creepier than what we saw last night. I wish they would have ended it with Sam seeing the hoards of white walkers coming at him. Up until that moment, I was fully engrossed by an otherwise completelyentertaining episode.

  648. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Jason:
    Laura T.,

    My wife had the same reaction when Littlefinger was teleporting all over Westeros. You have to assume some time has passed and at the end of Blackwater Stannis was pulled away by his soldiers.

    At least with Stannis we know that Dragonstone is closer to King’s Landing than nearly any other place in Westeros.

  649. T
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Overall, a strong season, but I think they really mishandled Jon’s story in pretty much every episode, and to a lesser extent, Dany’s – the house of the Undying was good, but I would imagine a bit of a letdown to many book readers. If nothing else, it should have been at least longer (running into many similar rooms).

  650. val
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    My family was watching with me (new viewers) and they got Qhorin’s plan, that he was sacrificing himself. Even so, I agree about Jon, I don’t get why they made him screw up so much. I don’t know. And it’s true, while Qhorin’s plan was noticed, it wasn’t nearly as emotional or tense as the book was, partly because we hardly got to know the character. I’m not a purist, not even close (I loved all things Qarth), but this could have been done easily. I just don’t understand what the point was, that’s all.
    THOTU was awesome! I figured all the prophecies from the book wouldn’t be there, not for budget reasons, but bringing in a dead man with a wolf’s head and a crown would have been hilariously obvious on screen. The blue rose is way too cryptic on the other hand, plus pointless because Lyanna was hardly mentioned and her flowers not at all. The viewers know Rhaegar carried her off, so if R+L=J comes to pass it will be plausible. Plus there’s plenty of time to hear Rhaegar stories from Ser Barristan, Griff, maybe a little from the Reeds. I’m adding spoiler tags just in case, but should I in this post? I’m just asking cause everyone’s using them.

  651. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Piti,

    Ah! I wrote that last night so now I forget. If we were refering to Jon killing the Halfhand then it was as et up devised byu Qhorin. He knew they would never be allowed to live so he had to make sure one of them could be accepted into Mance Rayder’s camp. That way he could gather info and then high tail it back to the wall and give the brothers some much needed info on the wildlings. Did I get the right one?

  652. Frost Nocturne
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    They really screwed up this episode. I’ve been forgiving all season with the changes they’ve made, waiting to see where they go with them by the season’s end. I don’t mind minor changes that serve a purpose, but the changes in this episode were almost uniformly unnecessary, unrelated to budget issues, cheapened the story, and were weaker than the book version. Several also caused plot holes and likely confused non-readers.

    The Kings Landing scenes were a mixed bag for me, which in this episode is a compliment.
    Liked the Tyrion/Pycelle/Pod interaction as well as Varys, but I’m not sure how they are going to make Shae’s betrayal believable. She seems very sincere. Thankfully they have two seasons to set that up properly. I also wasn’t convinced of Tyrion crying.
    The throne room scene was fine except for the fact that they left out Loras joining the kingsguard (which needs to have more importance, and a known character now that the Hound and Moore are gone) and Bronn getting knighted. This is a major moment for both characters in terms of their position. They still have time to do this next season fortunately.
    LF/Sansa: I think LF blatantly telling Sansa he’s going to help her escape pissed me off more than anything else this episode, or even the season. It may seem like a minor thing, but in the books there is this incredibly long build up of Ser Dontos promising Sansa he will help her escape while the reader is wondering who’s really behind it. So that when Sansa boards that ship and escapes at last to come face to face with LF who kills Dontos after he served his purpose it was a major reveal.
    Ros/Varys: Near pointless scene that wasted precious screentime, even though any scene with Conleth Hill is enjoyable. Varys has plenty of spies already, what’s so special about Ros?

    I also had a mixed reaction to the final scene. I was predicting they would draw out the horn blasts more, that it would be at night, and the show would end within a few seconds after the third blast. Maybe they show a glimpse of a WW army as the camera zooms out, maybe the screen just darkens. I would have been fine with that. I would have preferred the blasts to be louder and longer, and for it to be night. But they decided to go all out, and while I did love the detail of the wights, dead horse, and the Other, why, WHY did they have Sam be right in the middle of it? I hate that sort of thing where a dramatic moment calls for the audience to suspend their disbelief and assume a character will make it out of an apparently hopeless situation. So the WW knows Sam isn’t a threat (which turns out to be a mistake, ironically), but it’s still ridiculous to expect him to make it back totally fine from the center of the undead forces. Also annoying was the sudden shift in mood from Sam cracking jokes with Dolourous Edd to what is supposed to be the most horrific thing any of the NW men have experienced in their lives. The scene should have been serious and foreboding from the start. As for the look of the WW itself, I thought it was awesome. The comparison of it’s skin to a tree is apt. The only thing I think would give it more menace (which it needs. It looks otherworldly, certainly, but not menacing enough) is to do away with it’s pupils and have the eyes be pure blue. Yes, the ending was *slightly* cheesy, but not nearly as bad as Dany’s stuff this episode, and it was exciting to finally see an Other up close in such a dramatic season ending scene.

  653. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    That comment doesn’t make you an ahole at all. We all want to keep spoilers out but I am pretty sure that was all discussed already in the series. As matter of fact my husband picked up on that too. As we discussed the D+J possibility he said “Oh, then they need one more”.

  654. Kharn9
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Quite agree with the review.

    Loved the episode but some parts felt weird as a book reader.
    Quorin is a bit too cryptic and I think many non book reader will probably have troubles understanding that he is sacrificing himself so that Jon can learn everything about the wildling and then go back to the Watch. The scene just felt like Jon screwed it up one more time, killing a brother and thus being forced to join the wildlings for good.
    Theon’s ending was a bit cheap. I hope we will see some of him next season cause I have no idea what the ironborns did with him (exchanged him for safe travel, smuggled him back to the Iron Isles or to Asha). The ‘Dagmer being Ramsay’ twist would have been way more brilliant.

    I have mixed feelings about Dany’s part.
    The House of the Undying is different, but it was to be expected and Drogo’s appearance was awesome.
    BTW, if Momoa could make it back this season, why not recast him in another role next one ? :D
    The twist with Doreah was a nice way to wrap it up but I am kind of disappointed that of the four main companions of Dany (Jorah, Irri, Doreah and Rakharo), three of them are dead. It’s a bit too much… but it makes space for Arstan and Belwas.
    I was also afraid that with Rakharo and Irri gone, Dany would start losing her ‘Dothraki’ side, but she remembered in time that one should always plunder before one leaves.

    Now, onto the casting. And may this cycle of series, casting and shooting never ends.

  655. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Langkard: That’s a minor complaint I have with the costume designs.Readers of the books can figure out which soldiers go with which main characters, although it sometimes takes some effort on our part. Non-readers can be entirely confused by the minimalist costume designs. At times it is almost impossible to tell who is a gold cloak and who is a Lannister man-at-arms and so on.Last week, some of the bigger battle scenes were a complete wash when it came to figuring out who was who.Small wonder that some people thought Stannis was dragged away by someone other than his own soldiers.Likewise it seemed that many people thought the charging soldiers who elicited Tyrion’s “oh, fuck me” reaction were actually Tywin’s troops, rather than Stannis’ troops as the really were.The only soldiers with a definitive look are the Iron Islanders.It’s been a small problem for two seasons now.

    Edit: And yes, before someone points it out, battles are naturally confusing and chaotic.And that is exactly the reason why they figured out centuries ago that making your soldiers easily identifiable is a must on the battlefield.It’s why Byzantine emperor Leo VI in his military treatise, Tactica, stressed the importance of each unit type having its own distinct colors on uniforms and shields.It’s why medieval soldiers wore their lords’ colors and heraldry.It’s the reason for heraldry in the first place.

    Hmmm when I watched it I thought it was pretty clear that Stannis and his reinforcements were attacking north toward the Mud gate and another force was attacking southward toward the same destination. At first glance it looked like they were taking Tyrion from both sides, but then I though where would they have landed if they couldn’t sail past the wildfire. That left someone coming to Stannis’s aid (like Robb, the Eyrie, or Highgarden, all very unlikely, or an army we already saw on the move, Tywin’s force from Harrenhal).

  656. Sanette
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The HOTU changes have nothing to do with the budget for god’s sake. How expensive do you think it is to show a simple blue rose? Or a guy with a silver wig holding a baby? They could just show his back, I don’t care. Mamoa’s salary for the cameo would pay for all the visions. Stop apologising for the writers. It was their decision and no one else’s. The prophecies are hugely important to the whole story otherwise people wouldn’t complain about it.

  657. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    About HOTU – those of you wanted to see the book flashbacks, do you really think that putting Rhaegar, Elia and other assorted characters and images into the episode would make it better? Rhaegar was mentioned maybe once on the show, and his appearance was never discussed, unlike in the book. Showing images from future events or various abstract things would only confuse the non-reader viewers, who would sit and think “who is this guy? what’s going on? why do we need to see something that looks like it was taken from David Lynch’s movie?”.

    The purpose of scenes in the episode was to lure Dany into staying in the house, so that the warlocks could maximize their magic (Pyat Pree explained it to her plain and simple). The purpose of this scene in the books was to confuse the fuck out of her and the reader. The entire Qarth plot in the books was boring, so I welcomed any change to it.

  658. Frost Nocturne
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    What I didn’t like:
    Robb acting like a fool, and a jerk to his mother. His “romance” with “Talisa” has been one of the weakest threads of the season, and this in no way improved it. I’m of the opinion that had the news of Bran and Rickon’s deaths affecting Robb and Catelyn’s mistakes would help make it all more believable, and more tragic. I guess next season Roose will tell Robb Theon burnt down WF along with his brothers before being captured? I’m also not sure I like Cat reminding Robb how dangerous Walder Frey is for the second time. Just because I don’t want the RW to be too obvious.

    Stannis choking Mel was completely and *infuriatingly* out of character. Unlike many, I haven’t had a problem with Stannis’ portrayal this season, until that moment. Stannis is cold and distant, NOT abusive. The rest of their dialogue was fine, except for Stannis admitting to murdering Renly, which he likely did not know the details of in the book. Also annoying that they left non-readers hanging on Davos’ fate. I was expecting him to be picked up by Saan (who only got one scene the whole season, really?) before getting thrown in jail by Mel. I’m actually glad they’re saving his return to Dragonstone and attempt to kill Mel for next season since Stannis and co. won’t have much to do, but they should have at least shown everyone he was alive, but with the knowledge his son was dead.

    Jon: They’ve fucked up his character so badly this season already that I wasn’t at all surprised when one of the best moments of CoK fell completely flat. Yes, the casual viewers will be confused about why he killed Qhorin, and for show-runners who normally seem concerned about confusing the average non-reader that’s puzzling, but that’s not even the worst part. What’s unforgivable is that they significantly changed Jon’s storyline and decisions this season, and in every case (except him seeing the WW taking the infant at Craster’s), the book version would have made for better television. They cut out the intense chase scenes where the NW members get picked off one by one or stay back to slow the Wildlings down in favor of Jon wandering around with a “captive” Ygritte talking about genitals. They cut out the (admittedly hard to film) wolf dream of Jon glimpsing the mammoths, giants, and wildling army through ghost (which they didn’t even show in the establishing shot this episode). This is important to hinting at Jon’s abilities as a warg and Qhorin acknowledging that skill. They butchered the Halfhand’s character entirely, going from a legend among the NW to a guy who lets the new recruit predictably botch an execution of a girl he already hesitated to kill and then get himself captured. They could have at least had him explain his motives when he meets up with Jon again as him wanting to see what Jon was made of, but not expecting him to get lost. And of course, they cut out the famous campfire scene that was such a powerful moment that built up to Qhorin’s duel with Jon naturally instead of here where it came out of nowhere, and had no emotion. Qhorin’s final line wasn’t enough to salvage such a missed opportunity for what should have been a dramatic scene. Jon should have built up a mentor-like relationship with Qhorin over the course of the season. Instead the showrunners chose to show him with Ygritte, who they have all of next season to flesh out.

    Dany’s scenes: I knew the HOTU wouldn’t live up to expectations, but it was still disappointing to not even get the “three heads, riders, betrayals” prophecy. I thought we would at least get that. As others have said, it affects her decisions in the future, re: Jorah and her “right” to rule in particular. That said, what we did get, especially the snowy ruined throne room, was appropriately atmospheric and chilling. Bringing Drogo and Rhaego back as a temptation made sense, but I was honestly just waiting for it to be over. Her interaction with Pyat Pree was great until “Dracarys” was delivered so flatly. The huge spears of flames coming out of those tiny dragons was really cheesy, and this scene weakens the next big moment when she speaks dracarys. After that it just got worse. How exactly did she get to the new king of Qarth’s bedchamber with her suddenly reappeared ragtag group of Dothraki? That scene where she locked he and Doreah in the vault felt like it was from a cheap adolescent film. Disappointing that we have to wait a whole 10 months until Arstan’s reappearance, though I actually didn’t mind her raiding Xaro’s palace and Jorah’s final line was great. Nice way to tie up her plotline this season. It’s just sad that what should have been her strongest moments this episode (dealing with the “villians” in her arc, Pyat Pree and XXD) came off really cheesy and unearned.

    The sack of Winterfell: Alfie did great work as usual, especially in his scene with Maester Luwin, but Dagmer’s sudden betrayal felt, well, sudden. It came off as a comedic moment, and I’m not sure it should have. I really think they should have stuck with the Reek subplot from the book here. Also, I don’t think it was a good idea to build sympathy for Theon right before smacking him in a rather unsatisfactory way. Viewers have been waiting for Theon and Joffrey to get what they deserve all season, so doing those things in tandem was a mistake, imo. Also, why was Luwin killed defending Theon, of all things? Instead of during the sack? I guess he really did care about Theon.. More important perhaps, is WHY would they not clarify who burnt Winterfell? It’s rather important, and I’m betting alot of non-readers were confused about why Bran & Rickon had to flee if the castle was taken by Northmen, since they don’t know what an evil bastard Ramsay is. The Reeds were not needed this season, but they really, really should have kept Reek. Luwin’s death scene lacked the impact of the book because he already knew Bran and Rickon were alive. Still a good scene, thankfully, but I wish Bran had gotten his final “Broken, not dead” line from CoK.

    What I did like:
    Arya/Jaqen. Her scene was the one part of this episode that I thought was perfect. Helps that she, Gendry, Hot Pie, and Jaqen are all played by the ideal actors for their characters. They did a great job setting up the Faceless men, Valar Morghulis was cool, and the face change gave me chills. I was so looking forward to that moment, and it delivered for me. Sad to see Tom Wlaschiha leave. Jaqen H’ghar is one of my favorite characters, and he was everything I hoped Jaqen would be, and more.

  659. Genevosey
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Some of you folks are crazy. It’s a tv show. Then there are books. Two different things. Also Martin is heavily involved in this show. If he is ok with the changes then you all should be fine with it. I read the series twice through and half the shit you all bitch about I don’t even remember. Lol. Take it easy and enjoy the best show on tv. Cause it is by far.

  660. Amanda
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Is no one a little bummed about Sansa’a storyline? Why did they give up the Littlefinger plot this early. Should be in season three.

    Also Tyrion shouldn’t have woken up yet. They should have kept people thinking he was either seriously injured or dead…and then surprised them in season three with the reveal. and they should have taken his nose off.

  661. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Rinso:
    To be honest, as much as they butchered Dany’s story in Qarth (by the way, did I call it when I said that it will all end with the dragons burning Pyat Pree or what ;P), it made TOTAL sense for her to just plunder Ducksauce’s palace. She’s nothing more than a theiving warlord and I’m kind of glad they are keeping that aspect of the character.

    The Other was… badass, actually. I like this design much better than the brownish blur from Season 1. I have the feeling that non-book fans will have no idea what this is, though.

    Littlefinger stole yet another of the Hound’s scenes with Sansa XD It’s almost funny.

    And Ros is becoming even more important! Oh, what joy. First she was simply Tyrion’s whore for the afternoon, then she became the most promminent whore in Wintertown, then she went to King’s Landing where she immediately found her way into the bed of Pycelle, then she became the manager of Littlefinger’s brothel and now she’s apparently among Varys’ little birds. What’s next, a seat in the Small Council?

    Yeah I was a bit PO’d that they stole the Hound’s line from the serpentine stairs.

    With respect to Ros, clearly one of the D’s is banging her like a drum in IRL in exchange for more screen time. That said, Ros and Varys had a nice scene together. Like how she was layering the happy whore stuff over her real feelings.

  662. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Dio Xtozcanox:
    And btw I agree in understanding why the White Walker just walked right past Sam.He is weak and pitiful in a lot of ways.He was no threat to them or their cause to attack the wall.And now we have people complaining about how the White Walker language sounded lol.Does somebody here speak WhiteWalker to tell us if their dialogue we saw tonight is correct? Its a made up language, like make believe language.There is no proper/actual way to do it on screen.

    Translated roughly the WW said “Forward all you dead bitches!

  663. ...
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Oh, I forgot – I also agree that this season (on the whole), Jon’s story wasn’t done justice. They made him “the butt of all jokes”, basically, and this him killing Qhorin also came out of nowhere. I really hope that next season, we’ll be able to spend more time with him (and less with the likes of Ros, who was almost pointless this season), and that Jon will finally grow out of his “stupid phase”.

    I also forgot to mention that I LOVED Theon’s scenes, that actor is extraodinary, and also loved Bran in the cart.

  664. stanvosftw
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Sanette:
    The HOTU changes have nothing to do with the budget for god’s sake. How expensive do you think it is to show a simple blue rose? Or a guy with a silver wig holding a baby? They could just show his back, I don’t care. Mamoa’s salary for the cameo would pay for all the visions. Stop apologising for the writers. It was their decision and no one else’s. The prophecies are hugely important to the whole story otherwise people wouldn’t complain about it.

    Yes, and IMO the most important prophecies to Dany’s characterization (three heads has the dragon… etc) are just a bunch of people sitting at a table chanting them. Total cost? 8 extras in robes for a day.

  665. Sanette
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    Rheagar wasn’t the most important thing in that vision though. It’s the Prince that was promised and the dragon that has three heads prophecies. Funny that you mention Lynch. Why do you think Twin Peaks is such a cult? Or Lost for that matter. It’s not a straightforward story. It is confusing and weird but that’s what is so great about it. This is HBO we’re talking about. It’s for grown ups. Its viewers don’t need to be spoonfed the story but this is exactly what the writers are doing.

    Besides, the HOTU scene is the best thing about Dany’s storyline in the second book. I was ok with the changes considereing Qarth but only on the condition that they would do justice to that one scene and they didn’t.

  666. Mo
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Augie Hatton,

    So true ,I’am a book reader and for me the only turnoff in this series are the Book fans and their non stop whining and complaining.

    Heck my favorite scene in the entire novels is the Qhorin/Jon fight ,for me it’s my all time favorite reading experience and I can honestly say that I don’t mind how it went down in the show. People have got to stop comparing the two mediums, It’s idiotic it ruins your enjoyment of the show and the constant complaining is a major turnoff .

  667. Darkwing
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    There’s an interesting parallel between the murderous Stark men that Brienne killed. The Stark men killed the three women and strung them up for “laying with Lions”. Dany kills Doreah for laying with Xaro. Arguably all of the women were “sleeping with the enemy” simply to stay alive.

  668. The Greatsteve
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Moon of my life!

    Drogo’s appearance was a more personal for a TV audience. If Rhaegar showed up anyone who hadn’t read the books would be all ‘Who in seven hells was that?’

  669. Pel
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I thought it was great. I agree there were some deviations to the story but it worked. Job well done. Tyrion was great. Loved the Dany Story…thumbs up for bringing Drogo back!

  670. The Greatsteve
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Also anyone else think it was cool that season one ended with fire and season two ended with ice?

  671. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The Greatsteve:
    If Rhaegar showed up anyone who hadn’t read the books would be all ‘Who in seven hells was that?’

    Exactly. It’s sometimes hard as a reader to put yourself in the mind of someone who is only experiencing this story through the TV show. Assume that certain pet theories turn out to be correct, and assume that this TV series gets to take the story to its conclusion. Even then, the prophecies from the book version of the HOTU wouldn’t bare fruit for years. The way it was done made sense for the TV series and was interesting it its own right.

  672. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Hello all!

    I haven’t read the OP, or any of the comments yet. I wanted to give my 2 cents uninfluenced by outside opinion.

    I’ll keep it short; for the first 45.30 sec the episode was great. It made laugh and it made me cry, twice – I cried for Tyrion in his scene with Shae, and I cried for Winterfell. From then on, and for the last 18 or so minutes, the show went completely to pot. It was awful, imho. The HotU sequence, Dany’s escape from it, ridiculous. Also, what happened to XXD’s guards? did the king of Qarth not have any?
    The White Walkers and the Zombie apocalypse ending was a cheese fest, we actually laughed out loud in my house (I’m the only book reader in my group).

    So, because I loved 45 out of 64 minutes, I gave the episode a 3.

    One more thing, Loved Stannis in this episode. I really enjoy Dillane, and love what he’s doing with the character.

    OK. Now I’ll scroll up and start reading.

  673. serum
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    loved it, the series as a whole has exceeded my expectations, dont mind the changes!!!! and now the long wait begins…..

  674. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Sanette,

    It’s the Prince that was promised and the dragon that has three heads prophecy.

    Are those prophecies clear to book-readers as of the end of ADWD? Who is PTWP or dragon’s three heads?

    Why do you think Twin Peaks is such a cult? Or Lost for that matter. It’s not a straightforward story. It is confusing and weird but that’s what is so great about it.

    People loved Twin Peaks, at least up to the point where Lora Palmer’s murderer was revealed, because it was new, exciting and clever. People loved Lost because the cast was strong and because the producers produced new mysteries at very high rates, promising exciting answers. Then came the series finale and it became clear that all the six seasons contained random crap that was never intended to be resolved in any reasonable way. I can write pages and pages about how much I hated the series finale and how much I lament all the time I wasted on this stupid nonsense.

    This type of storytelling shouldn’t be even attempted by anyone who has no clear picture of the endgame, up to the smallest details. It has nothing to do with TV for adults or HBO, it has to do only with the ability of the writers to make something coherent out of the mess they are creating. That’s why I’m very wary of the TV series that go this way and I refuse to watch them until they are ended.

    In conclusion to my rant, I think that putting scenes that will only confuse the viewer, without payoff in sight (meaning at least the next 2-3 seasons), is a waste of time.

  675. Luke
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    This one actually left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Jon/Halfhand was completely ruined. For anyone who hasn’t read the book it seems like Qhorin was actually trying to kill Jon for messing up. Jon’s mission was never clearly set out, now it seems like he’s joining the Wildlings for real. Rubbish!

    Also, sealing the hottest actress in a vault pissed me off. :[

  676. Thiago Waldhelm
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Khal fugging Drogo, bitches!
    awesome season finale.
    the only thing I didn’t like was the handling of the Jon/Qorin situation. that was poor, in my opinion, compared to everything else that happened.

  677. The DarkStar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Remaal: The White Walkers and the Zombie apocalypse was a cheese fest, we actually laughed out loud in my house (I’m the only book reader in my group).

    Martin is the one who wrote snow zombies and white walkers, and I think his stuff is as far from cheese as possible…All the show did was show them on screen in a scene written in the books. I thought they looked great and a million times better from the opening in last season.

    Remaal: The HotU sequence, Dany’s escape from it, ridiculous

    Again, very similar to the books. Her dragons burn her way out…..not sure what the problem is here.

    These scenes were fantastic adaptations.

  678. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Jillian: the subtle way they changed the language in Jaqen’s goodbye/coin giving speech referencing her finding him specifically in Bravos, as I believe he will take the place of the kindly man later on, probably late next season or early season 4.

    Mrs. H’ghar! Did you see this? So great … except … it wouldn’t be Tom. :-(

  679. The Greatsteve
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The Halfhand alluded to it in Episode 8. I don’t remember the exact line but he tells Jon one man on the inside is worth a thousand men fighting. Then he called him a traitor’s bastard and kicked him down the hill. It was a quick scene but it was there.

  680. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    LOL I know they’re close to the book. But just because it’s canon, does not mean it came off well in the show. Which, in both these cases, it did not in my opinion,

  681. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    val: I’m adding spoiler tags just in case, but should I in this post? I’m just asking cause everyone’s using them.

    It’s courtesy – a lot of non-readers scan this thread for insight but don’t want to be spoiled. Can’t blame them. And where would we be without them? So we hide the spoilers.

  682. franny_bee
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Sansa laughing made me squeal with delight! It was good to see her glee at something that other people cosidered to be ‘humiliating’. The actress nailed it!

    Drogo and baby-Drogo were perfect. Rhaego was like a little white Drogo! How many babies did they audition to find that child? Or perhaps he was specifically bred, lol? I told my hubby that I woulda stayed there in fantasy-land, dragons be damned! The snow in the destroyed Throne room was DEEP on so many levels…

    Props for an epic episode.

    I got the feeling that the Other saw Sam as kinda a liability (too fat to fight lol) so he didn’t want to recruit him as an undead soldier. (Either that or they are like the Borg – Sam is neither the primary objective nor a threat so IGNORE him.) I imagine he’ll show them!

    I laughed out loud at Theon and Dagmer. “It was a good speech!” Ah Theon, you fail at life.

  683. The DarkStar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Luke: Jon/Halfhand was completely ruined. For anyone who hasn’t read the book it seems like Qhorin was actually trying to kill Jon for messing up. Jon’s mission was never clearly set out, now it seems like he’s joining the Wildlings for real. Rubbish!

    All my non-reader viewers would disagree, and it wouldn’t even matter if someone did think that. When reading the books, I completely bought in to Jon being a wildling, and it didn’t ruin his story, it made it better.

  684. B
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    RE: Jon & Qhorin. I thought it was pretty clear from the previous episode where Quorin tells Jon that the Wildlings will trust him if he does what needs to be done (ie: kill Qhorin) that the Halfhand was willing to make the sacrifice and all the bickering thereafter about Jon being a traitor’s son was clearly a show for their captors. Definitely not mishandled, IMO. Abridged for TV? Sure. Mishandled? Hyperbole, much?

  685. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The Greatsteve: Also anyone else think it was cool that season one ended with fire and season two ended with ice?

    Excellent catch!

  686. B
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    It could be Tom. You can do some great stuff with makeup effects these days. Lord of the Rings, anyone? ;)

  687. Salty Sea Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    you can definitely tell where the plot strays from the books, making things a little messier than they should be, but all in all a pretty good season. i completely agree with the snow/halfhand plot critique, that was my favorite part of ACoK, but i think the show managed to get the idea across.

  688. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Did anyone notice that the second White Walker, the one riding a white horse in the very last shot, was riding a living horse, not a dead one?

  689. Hoya Karsa Orlong
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or is this second time they have skipped or modified the maz prophecy?
    In Season 1 – Maz says when sun rises in the west and sets in the east etc but leaves out, when your womb quickens and you can bear a living child
    In Season 2- Dany in the tent with Drogo repeats it and gets the sun part right, but then says when “rivers” run dry and mountains blow away like leaves, and again leaves out the womb and bearing a living child
    The book its – “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.”

    This seems like a siginificant change for a not a lot of purpose. Espcially when its arguable that most if not all of the prophecy is fulfilled by the end of Dance (Quentin is sun, Dorthraki sea is drying and pyramids are destroyed by dragons, and dany has miscarriage). Which would mean Dany will have another child – the only unfilled part.

    Anyone have any idea for the change? To be clear I am fine with most of the changes from the book. Just seems like this is one of the few prophecys they kept, and maybe its not prophecy just a clever way to say Drogo is never coming back, but why keep it if you leave out significant portions of it.

  690. slave2thewage
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Anyone else notice Stannis’ sigil in the throne room vision in HOTU?

  691. Sanette
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    I agree about Twin Peaks. It lost its drive after they revealed her murderer but that finale is one of the most memorable and fucked up things I saw in television and it certainly made up for the bad episodes before it. And I prefer memorable to coherent. I don’t thing the HOTU scene was that coherent in the books either. I wouldn’t get any of it if I didn’t go online and read the theories. So it’s not really an issue of different mediums. Martin wrote it like this because he wanted us to be confused and curious. The show is just dumbing down the whole story without even trying.

  692. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I would like it to be known that my prediction for next season is that Roz ends up being sent to Dany by Varys. Can’t believe I have to wait so long to see if I am right.

  693. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage:
    Anyone else notice Stannis’ sigil in the throne room vision in HOTU?

    Wow. No. I wonder how much GRRM has revealed to D&D….

  694. Salty Sea Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage,

    am i the only book reader that is afraid that the show may contain spoilers for the future books?

  695. J
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage,

    where was it?!

  696. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Deborah,

    That is a good prediction. It would fit in well with the whole “Ros the Traveling Whore” thing they’ve got going on. I’m a reader who actually likes Ros quite a bit, so having her infiltrate Dany’s entourage would please me greatly.

    Salty Sea Dog,

    No! I was thinking the same thing during the throne room vision. Knowing how important prophecy can be in this series I could help but wonder if we were seeing the end. Like, THE end.

  697. B
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Remaal,

    You could tell from that far away? Try again, nitpicker.

  698. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Default King,

    Me too.

  699. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Remaal,

    I wondered about that too. I haven’t had a chance to rewatch but I assume it is dead and we just didn’t get a close enough shot to see all the gory details.

  700. J
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The throne room vision could give away the entire end. It could also just be symbolizing that the real battle isn’t for the Throne, but against the Others.

  701. slave2thewage
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    http://i.imgur.com/vwwGB.png – above Dany. Well, it LOOKS a bit like it. I’m still not 100%.

  702. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    true true…

  703. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage:
    Anyone else notice Stannis’ sigil in the throne room vision in HOTU?

    No I didn’t. But if you mean the stained glass window with the sun emblem opposite the door, and the iron grating with the same emblem behind the Iron throne, then that’s not Stannis’ sigil. You can see both in the Throne room scene with Jeoff and Tywin at the beginning of the episode.

    ETA:

    slave2thewage: http://i.imgur.com/vwwGB.png

    Oh I see. No, that doesn’t look to me like Stannis’ sigil either really.

  704. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage,

    Holy crap I can’t believe you caught that. I don’t know. Could very well be his sigil or could be they are playing with us.

  705. Deborah
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Remaal,

    Bummer.

  706. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage:
    Anyone else notice Stannis’ sigil in the throne room vision in HOTU?

    I could be wrong, but to me that just looks like a broken chandelier. From that angle it does sort of resemble Stannis’ sigil, but I don’t think that is what it is.

  707. Salty Sea Dog
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    slave2thewage,

    i’m not sure if that is the sigil or not, but when mellisandre was talking to stannis telling him that he will betray his men, his family, and what not, that hasn’t happened in any of the books yet.

  708. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Deborah,

    I rewatched the scene, and that horse looks pretty alive to me.

    B,

    Yes, I had my binoculars aimed at the screen, fanboy. :)

  709. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Salty Sea Dog,

    Oh man, I forgot about that line! See, look at all the potential new prophecy we readers are getting! Who needs some tired old visions of Rhaegar and blue roses. ;)

  710. BericRises
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Trollsbane,

    I concur full on. Quorin and Jon should have been handled differently as Quorin was a pretty detrimental part of the story in the north.

    The storyline with Theon has also been chewed up and spit out.

    ALAS, I still love the show, not as much as I love the books, but… it is excellent.

  711. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Salty Sea Dog,

    I’m not afraid of it; I’m intrigued.

    I’m one of those people who fully believes that Dany’s show-HOTU showed us AT THE VERY LEAST how the show is going to end, if not a clearer picture of the books’ ending. (As it was, book-HOTU laid out pretty well what’s going to happen if you read between the lines.) I’m also completely behind the idea that anyone who dies in the show but not in the books is 100% expendable and not important in the long run, as well as the opposite — anyone who was cast has endgame value.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it all, but I’ll change my opinion (and eat my hat) if this isn’t at least mostly true.

  712. Shock Me
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    TheNed:
    I think the main problem book readers have with Ros is that she is AT BEST an inconsequential character. Because she is non-canon, we can be 99% sure that she will never do anything of significance, other than acting as a window into the lives of legitimately interesting people Areo Hotah style. At worst, she is a walking deviation bomb that could go off at any point. The attempt to set-up her character for next season via the conversation with Varys is an unsettling bit of evidence for the latter case. I have to admit, I am losing faith in D&D a little because of it. They’ve done a great job in many ways, but there have also been a number of just plain careless mistakes, and this new “confidence” they have with adaptation may prove to be its downfall. (*scary music*)

    Hey don’t be busting on my Axe wielding bud Areo Hotah! He was one of my favorite characters in the Dornish chapters!

  713. Huck
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    The Greatsteve:
    Also anyone else think it was cool that season one ended with fire and season two ended with ice?

    Also, both ended with a blood-curdling shriek — the dragon’s, in one, and the white walker’s, in two.

  714. Ice&Fire
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Amazing episode. I thought the House of the Undying was great, the Throne room scene was definitely a prophecy. The Drogo and her child scene was a temptation for her to stay in the house of the undying like Pyat Pree wanted. The Dragons burning Pree was awesome, thought I would have preferred it to be the undying as in the book, but oh well still great stuff.

    My guess is we’ll still get to hear about those important prophecies left out next season, so I wouldn’t worry much about it not being shown, even though it could have been cool to see.

    My biggest surprise is that people are turned off by The White Walkers at the end (The same goes for the shadow baby), which I don’t understand at all. They have been there since the very first episode and at no point has the series tried to hide it from being anything else but a fantasy world.

  715. Hoya Karsa Orlong
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Salty Sea Dog,

    yes i though the exact same when she spouted off those lines. But at least with her I feel there is enough evidence that she is very hit and miss when it comes to prophecy – so grain of salt with her

  716. Obosi
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’m not a slave to any book.

    However, when the best parts of a book are missed out and humdrum takes its place that is just not right.

    I would have much rather seen Reek than Ros. It would have made the northern storyline so much more interesting and emotionally potent. Flaying, betrayl and the ironmen dying well! That would have been worthy of a song.

    Really going for the House of the Undying would have made Dany’s storyline remotely interesting this season. A few more of the visions and more of the worlocks would have cost how much more in terms of budget hmm?

    Honestly I think the failings of this season boil down to one main thing: The budget.

    Watching Lord of the Rings recently reminded me of what ‘TRULY EPIC’ actually means. Geroge RR Martin’s work is brilliant, but it needs a bigger budget to really do it justice. Yoren and his recruits Vs Amory Loach could have been done so much better. The battle of Blackwater Bay was good but could have been great. Even the House of the Undying could have been a real triumph with many flashes of what was and what will be.

    I am dissapointed with the second series partly because it did not live up to the books. However, had I not read them and I had to place it somewhere between ‘Xena – Warrior Princess’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’…..

    ….well, lets just say it needs to buck up it’s ideas for season 3. ‘A Storm of Swords’ is the best of the saga, in my opinion and they need to get it right.

    Being a TV program, as opposed to a movie, is no excuse. If Hanks and Spielberg can produce ‘EPIC’ on TV (Band of Brothers’ then so can Benoiff and Weiss!

  717. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    People loved Twin Peaks, at least up to the point where Lora Palmer’s murderer was revealed, because it was new, exciting and clever. People loved Lost because the cast was strong and because the producers produced new mysteries at very high rates, promising exciting answers. Then came the series finale and it became clear that all the six seasons contained random crap that was never intended to be resolved in any reasonable way. I can write pages and pages about how much I hated the series finale and how much I lament all the time I wasted on this stupid nonsense.

    This type of storytelling shouldn’t be even attempted by anyone who has no clear picture of the endgame, up to the smallest details. It has nothing to do with TV for adults or HBO, it has to do only with the ability of the writers to make something coherent out of the mess they are creating. That’s why I’m very wary of the TV series that go this way and I refuse to watch them until they are ended.

    There are no words in any earthly language nor Dothraki nor White Walker nor A Man for how hard I agree with this post.

    I can’t even believe some people when they call LOST ‘good television.’ No goddamn way, IMO. I really feel like it (plus a few other popular shows that began in that era with a similar inability to tell a coherent story: here’s looking at you, Heroes) caused a fad of dramas and dramedies that don’t know what the fuck they’re doing or where they’re going, and that’s why I tend not to watch television anymore.

    (On the side, ASoIaF burned me on unfinished book series, lol!)

  718. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Hoya Karsa Orlong,

    I think Mel’s prophecies will turn out to be accurate, I just think she think’s they are about Stannis when actually they are about Jon.

  719. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Also, I keep meaning to say this on most threads but I’m gonna throw it out randomly now: I think most people who have a problem with Ros don’t like her because she’s really two-dimensional. I don’t mind her, but I would really enjoy learning even the tiniest bit about her — even if it’s something stupid and inconsequential, like she has a soft-spot for chocolates or likes dogs or something. I don’t need a monologue about how her father drank and her mother beat her and then she put an axe in a dude’s head or whatever, but a few little traits so that we can say “this is Ros” would truly help, I think. Make it happen, D&D?

  720. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Remaal:
    Did anyone notice that the second White Walker, the one riding a white horse in the very last shot, was riding a living horse, not a dead one?

    No surprise there. They replaced prosthetic-and-wobbly dead one with a live one for the walking shot.

    loco73:
    Sigh…well it was only a matter of time…Let the trolls and numbnuts begin spewing their venom….welcome to opinions are like assholes, but my asshole is bigger, plus my shit don’t stink!

    Hear hear. I’m kind of looking forward to not coming on here as often to observe one of the online epicenters of GoT indifference/disappointment. It’s only a few fans that make it that way, but it’s still stunning to see.

    B:
    RE: Jon & Qhorin. I thought it was pretty clear from the previous episode where Quorin tells Jon that the Wildlings will trust him if he does what needs to be done (ie: kill Qhorin) that the Halfhand was willing to make the sacrifice and all the bickering thereafter about Jon being a traitor’s son was clearly a show for their captors. Definitely not mishandled, IMO. Abridged for TV? Sure. Mishandled? Hyperbole, much?

    I think you’re spot-on regarding a lot of the “criticism” nega-bookers level at the show. There are clearly reasons and overarching circumstances surrounding the way the show is handled. As much as I am intrigued by the what-if-GRRM-had-no-life-and-wrote-every-episode scenario in the wake of “Blackwater,” it’s not a feasible arrangement, and thus beyond consideration. The writers-that-be cover every storyline not simply to the best of their ability, but the best of their ability within their means, which includes the constraints of time and the material aspect of production. Some scenes beg some sharpening while others are tight as teenagers, but for people to call this episode a flop is just the peak of entitlement.

    That said, Jon and Dany’s arcs were the weakest of the season, and I don’t think that was unavoidable. But Pyat Pree’s coup was excellent.

  721. fuelpagan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I loved this episode. There were several powerful and emotional scenes. The “dracarys” scene was beautiful. While I would have liked more of the prophesy stuff, I thought they did a good job explaining why the dragons were stolen and how they are important to magic.

    The Tyrion scenes were great. Peter knocked those out of the park.

    I liked the Ros scene. It subverts the theory that Varys is only pretending to be a eunuch. Curious to see where they are taking this character after substituting for Alayaya.

    I was fine with the way Theon lost Winterfell. I interpret the scene as the Iron Men saying we have no problem dying for glory, but to hell with dying for Theon’s glory. It drives home the idea that he is truly lost. He has now forsaken those he grew up with, and been rejected by those of his homeland.

    The final scene with Sam. Wow. Chills ran down my spine. That particular plot hole doesn’t bother me. It could be they don’t see him as a threat and they really don’t want him on their team either.

    The Robb/Talisa I have mixed feelings on. Him following his heart is a young man’s mistake and I’m ok with that. But I feel the way the book had him choosing her honor over his own was more powerful.

    Then there is Jon. *sigh* Like WIC I’ve been holding off waiting to see where they ended up with this character. They completely dropped the ball on this storyline. The fact that Qorin never actually gives Jon orders totally changes the future. Why anyone would vote for Jon to be Lord Commander? There are couple small hints as to what Qorin wanted Jon to do. But it will take Jon’s reasoning skills to bring them to light. And with his bonehead moves so far, why would any character trust his reasoning ability? I don’t see the audience trusting it.

    If they would have found a reason for Qorin and Jon to have the quiet conversation to clarify Jon was given orders, it would have saved the storyline. Such a shame.

  722. Khal Dorko
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    For the most part, a spectacular ending. Luwin’s demise and Drogo’s return were emotional highlights for me. I was a bit befuddled by the whole Winterfell ending. Theon being betrayed is fine and dandy but it seemed to leave it way too murky in how Winterfell was burned and what was their intention regarding Theon. Let’s hope they don’t stray too far from the books on this.

  723. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    Also, I keep meaning to say this on most threads but I’m gonna throw it out randomly now: I think most people who have a problem with Ros don’t like her because she’s really two-dimensional. I don’t mind her, but I would really enjoy learning even the tiniest bit about her — even if it’s something stupid and inconsequential, like she has a soft-spot for chocolates or likes dogs or something. I don’t need a monologue about how her father drank and her mother beat her and then she put an axe in a dude’s head or whatever, but a few little traits so that we can say “this is Ros” would truly help, I think. Make it happen, D&D?

    I’m not in the Ros hate camp, but I think I’d be a bit bothered to see them lend her character those telling little moments instead of expounding on someone of more import.

    I think her great scene with Varys is Ros at her best. She should be a bystander to the greater Game and serve to accentuate the qualities of the players. She showed us Littlefinger’s crueler side and she served to familiarize us with Joffrey’s deep-seated sadism and how Varys conducts his operations. She even exposed Pycelle’s bit of theatre last season. I believe she has a wonderful function in the show. In fact, you could sort of say she is the vehicle for the “This is ____” scenes for more significant characters.

  724. Hodorlorean
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Loved the episode!

    I liked the visions of HOTU. If you think about it, whoever they cast as Rhaegar for a very small scene would mean that person would be forever Rhaegar, and if they are planning on doing a season from the past showing Roberts Rebellion or something, that person will have to come back and that actor may be busy etc so it’s not plausible in TV terms.

    They ruined Jon’s scenes pretty early on I thought. Not giving much time for the audience to see more interaction between Half-Hand and Jon. But all that came from the problems they chose for the location. As it seems like they couldn’t do any night shoots over there. But they could have shot scenes around a camp fire for Jon and Ygrittes first meeting somewhere else as they could have had it in a cave or somewhere else that didnt require you to see the full landscape of Iceland.

    Loved the end scene also, NOT loving people all calling it The Walking Dead like the walking dead was the first thing to include zombies.

    EDIT: forgot to mention Luwin! Even more heart wrenching than the book. I was hoping as they changed him finding that they’re alive that he might actually survive. But no :(

  725. funlight
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Brandon Stark:
    I felt underwhelmed, though that’s probably because I’ve always disliked the the magical aspects of GRRM’s work. Ice zombies? Yawn. I had way more chills last week with that brilliant ending.

    Agreed. The White Walkers were an absolute embarrassment.

  726. Default King
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    fuelpagan:
    Then there is Jon. *sigh* Like WIC I’ve been holding off waiting to see where they ended up with this character. They completely dropped the ball on this storyline. The fact that Qorin never actually gives Jon orders totally changes the future. Why anyone would vote for Jon to be Lord Commander? There are couple small hints as to what Qorin wanted Jon to do. But it will take Jon’s reasoning skills to bring them to light. And with his bonehead moves so far, why would any character trust his reasoning ability? I don’t see the audience trusting it.

    If they would have found a reason for Qorin and Jon to have the quiet conversation to clarify Jon was given orders, it would have saved the storyline. Such a shame.

    Yes, yes and yes. The Jon storyline is the only part of this episode that I can say without reservation was straight up bungled. It would have taken literally a 45 second conversation to have salvaged it. I don’t understand how the writers/producers didn’t see how badly this got screwed up.

  727. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    To the person who mentioned Band Of Brothers (in my opinion, the BEST thing HBO has ever produced) as a guideline on how to make a 10 episode budget work…the budget for that series was $125. Million!

    I WISH GOT had that kind of money!

  728. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    I don’t think he actually chose her honor over his in the book. I thought it was young love, pure and simple. That’s the impression I got. She was playing doctor and he got very fond of her.

    …Ah, now I’m seeing where the Florence-Nightingale-Jeyne idea came from.

  729. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Remaal,

    Did anyone notice that the second White Walker, the one riding a white horse in the very last shot, was riding a living horse, not a dead one?

    Did anyone notice that WW had black armor and was wearing a helmet. Apparently WW are not at all that different from us, they have their own tastes in wardrobe, or lack thereof and maybe they have differing looks that can tell them apart, like humans.

  730. DarenBRens
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Awesome stuff. Can’t wait till next week! …

  731. serum
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    B,

    agree 100%, very obvious and handled well in my opinion!

  732. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    I get what you’re saying. I suppose it’s the fledgling writer in me not quite liking utilizing characters as tools, although even the best authors do that sometimes. On my part, I suppose I would just like Ros to feel like a person and not a set of eyes/profitable holes. I understand that’s not always possible, though, especially when far more important characters haven’t even gotten the same treatment in this series yet.

    Hodorlorean:
    Loved the end scene also, NOT loving people all calling it The Walking Dead like the walking dead was the first thing to include zombies.

    Or like that show didn’t turn into a total mess after the first few episodes and is any good now, sigh.

  733. Ed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I did NOT notice that, and you should be lauded for your keen observation! Great catch Greatsteve!

    The Greatsteve:
    Also anyone else think it was cool that season one ended with fire and season two ended with ice?

  734. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    MetalgoddessAMB,

    That makes sense. It was definitely riding the filmgoer high that Saving Private Ryan set off too. That, and fantasy is a much harder sell than WWII was at the time.

  735. Ed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Or better yet, how bout the s7#t they complain about that aren’t actually changes. They ARE in the books, and they still whine that it’s been changed!! (Cersei crying in front of Tyrion, anyone?) LOL!!!

    Idiots.

    Genevosey:
    Some of you folks are crazy. It’s a tv show. Then there are books. Two different things. Also Martin is heavily involved in this show. If he is ok with the changes then you all should be fine with it. I read the series twice through and half the shit you all bitch about I don’t even remember. Lol. Take it easy and enjoy the best show on tv. Cause it is by far.

  736. Bean
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    Yeah I understand the motivation to show he zombie army on a budget. Just weak directorial decision to have Sam be sitting in the middle of it, dressed in black, totally ignored. There are plenty of other ways to film a threatening undead horde.

    Separately,

    Would all the apologists for this episode please stop trashing their straw man “purists”? yes, there’s plenty of people who are nitpicking about details from the book. But what you can’t ignore is the parts of this season that were bad TV, book-derived or not.

    Dany randomly and unbelievably sneaking up on and capturing Xaro was a profoundly weak piece of writing. It was action-movie marvel comics stupid. It was in direct contrast to all of the intelligent politicking going on everywhere else this season.

    It wouldn’t have been that hard to write a better Qarth plotline. In fact it’s hard to imagine a worse one. They gave more than an hour of screen time to the character this season. All they needed to do was build her character a little and then get her on a ship. they could completely change the book story for all I care, but just make it intelligent TV for gods sake.

  737. Jen@House Stark
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Was hoping for the Prince who was Promised, but knew that Rhaegar had not been cast, so wasn’t sure what they would do for the HOTU. Knew Drogo would appear sooner or later, but still surprised and awed to see him and the beautiful boy. Love/will miss Jaqen/Tom how-in-7-hells-do-you-pronounce-his-last-name. Hope to see him next season. Others were awesome, did not see Benjen as some say they did. WIC, can we do a curtain call from Luwin please? Also think Peter Dinklage and Alfie were wonderful, superb acting sers.

  738. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon:
    WompWomp,

    I get what you’re saying. I suppose it’s the fledgling writer in me not quite liking utilizing characters as tools, although even the best authors do that sometimes. On my part, I suppose I would just like Ros to feel like a person and not a set of eyes/profitable holes. I understand that’s not always possible, though, especially when far more important characters haven’t even gotten the same treatment in this series yet.

    Or like that show didn’t turn into a total mess after the first few episodes and is any good now, sigh.

    I thought her scenes were tasteful and shrewdly crafted this season. The only Ros scenes I have had trouble buying were the Theon-banging (I looked at that too close, you see Alfie Allen is clearly flaccid RIGHT after the moneyshot and that also ruined it for me… I didn’t want to see an erection, but seeing him dangling after his angling was unconvincing) and the “play-with-her-ass” scene where Littlefinger Explains It All. I think being a reader takes me out of the show when I see her (even now I get a bit of that feeling seeing her on-screen), but I do like what she brings out of everyone (ha, pun) and I imagine those scenes serve new viewers well as organic exposition native to the show.

  739. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Maral,

    Actually I prefer the new WW, it looked way cooler and more frightening than that other Morlock version. The second one was wearing armor and a helmet, not a mask, which means they have fashion sense. See it’s all a matter of tastes, I loved PJ version and look for LOTR, though many hated it, same with new Trek movie and Avatar. So this means my viewpoint is in the majority, and thats why this series is a critical and viewer smash, it is geared toward the masses and not a select group.

  740. B
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Remaal,

    So you also could see the other side of the horse as well to confirm that it wasn’t all rotten, etc? Glad to know since all I could see was it’s left side.. the side that was facing the camera.. Also glad to know that anything that is dead must be covered in gore and blood in order to indicate that. Thanks for pointing it out. I’m so thankful for nitpicky viewers like you who have nothing better to do than to comb every last bit of footage for something that looks out of place to them. Good job!

  741. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’m personally kind-of wondering why a POV character has to be present at something important happening, anyway? I’m thinking about Sam being there among the Walkers. Why can’t we just show it happening without him around?

    It’s a weird thing this show sticks to in a fashion I’ve never seen in other television. Many shows will just drag/flash the camera away and display what’s occurring if it’s important, regardless of whether or not there’s a main character involved. Guess it’s a directorial thing, so you don’t have fans asking why such-and-such an event was important.

  742. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    tysnow:
    Maral,

    Actually I prefer the new WW, it looked way cooler and more frightening than that other Morlock version. The second one was wearing armor and a helmet, not a mask, which means they have fashion sense. See it’s all a matter of tastes, I loved PJ version and look for LOTR, though many hated it, same with new Trek movie and Avatar.So this means my viewpoint is in the majority, and thats why this series is a critical and viewer smash, it is geared toward the masses and not a select group.

    I actually liked how the first one glanced at Sam and carried on. The scene hinted at its intelligence, and it clearly wrote Sam off. …perhaps to its peril. SAM THE SLAYER, BABY!

    I clearly got a “I don’t want him on MY team” vibe from that Other. [laughs] Last draft pick. :(

  743. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    WompWomp: I thought her scenes were tasteful and shrewdly crafted this season.

    Oh, they were. Like I said, I don’t mind her — the only scene that I truly had a problem with thus far in the whole show was Littlefinger’s monologue in S1, and that was for an entirely separate set of reasons I won’t get into so we don’t start that whole sexism debate that happened in the How To Blackwater post. At any rate, that scene just HAPPENED to have her in it — it wasn’t her presence itself that ruined it.

  744. Melitto
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    People, repeat this out loud if you need to in order to internalize it:

    Not Every Reader Who Criticizes The Show is a Book Purist.

    No, really.

    Not Every Reader Who Criticizes The Show is a Book Purist.

    I LIKE that they took the opportunity to make the cast less lily-white. I don’t care about an actor’s hair color. I LIKE the changes they made to Cersei especially. I thought A LOT of the “economic” changes were CLEVER and UNDERSTANDABLE. The chain would have been a waste of screen time in Blackwater, a fantastic episode.

    And on the other hand I still think they shafted the hell out of Catelyn and turned Dany into bad fanfiction, and just deflated the hell out of her character arc for the sake of Drogo fanservice.

    See?

    Yes, I get it – it’s an ADAPTATION. But many of these changes were NOT made out of economic or time constraints, or so they’d be less confusing to the viewer. And considering GRRM’s rationale for being anti-fanfiction (“they’re my babies!”), well…

  745. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    B,

    LOL So I take it from your reply that you didn’t notice, and you’r really pissed about it. OK, good to know.

  746. Ed
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Wow… I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone criticizing Peter’s performance.

    This is either proof that the nitpicking here has gone WAY overboard, or one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

    I disagree by the way, I think he’s been incredible.

    Frost Nocturne: I also wasn’t convinced of Tyrion crying.

  747. tysnow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Bean,

    Dany randomly and unbelievably sneaking up on and capturing Xaro was a profoundly weak piece of writing. It was action-movie marvel comics stupid. It was in direct contrast to all of the intelligent politicking going on everywhere else this season

    How is that weak, do we need to see them dispatch the guards? A cognitive person doesn’t need to see all the action, they can make conclusions on their own. This show is geared for intelligent persons. Dany has Jorah and still a lot of Dothraki warriors (who are far better at sneaking up) and dispatching ordinary house guards. The writers are making an allowance for the demographic of the viewer (we are smart and can figure thinds out). Therefore we are caught off guard like Daxos (see how well trained and sneaky the Dothraki are).

  748. Icy Fingers
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    They need more than ten episodes per season. It’s as simple as that.

    My boyfriend hasn’t read that far into the books (He started book one last week) and he was completely confused that Winterfell was burned down with no explanation and I had to explain both it and the whole Reek subplot so that it made any sense at all. I wasn’t too impressed with the HOTU either because it just felt too rushed.

    Other than that what they got right they got RIGHT. Jaqen was perfect and the Others were chillingly good

  749. WompWomp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    Haha, I didn’t say I liked her this season as a counterpoint. I think we agree on the value of her presence.

    Yeah, just like how my dislike of the Theon scene is for an entirely different set of raisins- er, reasons.

  750. Christopher Ruocchio
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Maral,

    You sir, are hilarious. Martin’s description of the Others couldn’t be vaguer. They aren’t “supposed” to look like anything, short of general impressions of white, blue eye