Recap round-up: “Valar Morghulis”
By Ours is the Fury on in Press.

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

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

New Viewers
Alan Sepinwall – HitFix
Jenifer D. Braun – The Star-Ledger
David Sims – A.V. Club
Larry Williams – OtakuAssemble
John Kubicek – Buddy TV

HBO’s “Inside the Episode- Valar Morghulis”


142 Comments

  1. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    First baby!!!!

  2. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Game of thrones is now walking dead?

  3. Lars
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Rob:
    Game of thrones is now walking dead?

    And the books were not?

  4. CM
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    The white walkers were written before the Walking Dead.

  5. Darren Mason
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Rob:
    Game of thrones is now walking dead?

    Did you not see the undead kid in the first scene of season 1 episode 1 this isn’t something new.

  6. ThePinkDragon
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Why is there this pervading belief that The Walking Dead was the first media to include (the very overrated concept of, IMO) zombies, anyway?

  7. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, but it’s very silly. ASOIAF pre-dates The Walking Dead (comics and show) easily.

  8. patryn0
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I would think an Other is more akin to a lich, who raise the dead to fight for them.

  9. Lady forlorn
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought sam was about to become sam the slayer

  10. SillyMammo
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Lady forlorn:
    I thought sam was about to become sam the slayer

    Really?!? To me, it looked like Sam was about to become sam the pants soiler! :0P

  11. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Sepinwall’s review gets to the heart of the problems in the structural integrity of the show. GRRM suggested that S3 focus on Westeros and S4 focus on Essos, so perhaps even he knows that the jumpy “5 minutes with each character” isn’t working so well. I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

  12. Zack
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    Sepinwall’s review gets to the heart of the problems in the structural integrity of the show. GRRM suggested that S3 focus on Westeros and S4 focus on Essos, so perhaps even he knows that the jumpy “5 minutes with each character” isn’t working so well. I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

    I do too. Considering how many people have opined that “Blackwater” is their favorite episode to date, hopefully they go back to its structure for the occasional big event later on.

  13. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Game of thrones is now walking dead?

    Are all the people saying this like 5 years old or something? Jeez louise people, it’s not like Walking Dead invented the concept of shuffling zombies.

  14. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    How the hell is Sam going to get away from the walkers and their wights? They looked miles away from the fist!

  15. Derpstradamus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    I don’t think splitting seasons by locations or characters would be a good idea, it would lead to the same issues that were had with the 4th and 5th books. People would get upset about a lack of their favorite characters.

  16. Zack
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus:
    Meg,

    I don’t think splitting seasons by locations or characters would be a good idea, it would lead to the same issues that were had with the 4th and 5th books. People would get upset about a lack of their favorite characters.

    I’m not sure. Perhaps the reason this issue stands out so much to us as book readers, has less to do with the split characters than it does with the huge delay between the books. It will be a lot easier for viewers to handle knowing for a fact that the next season is only a year out.

  17. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Meg: Sepinwall’s review gets to the heart of the problems in the structural integrity of the show. GRRM suggested that S3 focus on Westeros and S4 focus on Essos, so perhaps even he knows that the jumpy “5 minutes with each character” isn’t working so well. I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

    I think a complete split like that would be a huge mistake (and not realistic when considering actors’ contracts). A better idea is to focus on fewer stories per episode (which they tried this year but I think they could go further with) but continuing to tell all relevant stories within each season. They need to find the confidence to let certain characters drop away for a few episodes if necessary; anybody willing to follow a show as intricate as this one is not going to forget them.

    And they need to back off on inventing stories whole cloth. I loved some of the added scenes/stories (Arya/Tywin was great), but some just didn’t come off in the end, particularly those in Qarth and Robb’s sexy adventures. The dragon-napping/King of Qarth storyline in particular was pretty cheesy and dumb. I did like that it gave Dany added incentive to go to HOTU but the whole thing with Xaro was just stupid from beginning to end.

  18. WinterComing
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I just love Larry Williams’ reaction after finding out Daxos is broke :)

  19. Thiago Waldhelm
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    patryn0:
    I would think an Other is more akin to a lich, who raise the dead to fight for them.

    nerd! hahaha yeah, it’s more like that, I guess. except that the WW aren’t dead ^^

  20. negar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I’d rather have some characters only half of the season , but have 15 minutes with them each time.
    I think it’s better than not seeing for example Jon for 2 years.

  21. Impi
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Rob,

    Rob:
    Game of thrones is now walking dead?

    Icy Dead People

  22. Andy Gavin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:33 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.

  23. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Thiago Waldhelm: nerd! hahaha yeah, it’s more like that, I guess. except that the WW aren’t dead ^^

    Actually we don’t know what they are. At all.

  24. Lex
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t re-watched yet… I’m sure it’ll be better when I do, and the initial disappointments will have faded…

    But this morning, the only feeling that really sticks with me is how underwhelmed I was by Dany and Jon’s resolution. Both were really weak.

    Dany’s wasn’t that bad (I didn’t miss the visions/prophecies at all), but just a little udnerwhelming. But the Jon/Qhorin scene… man, it pains me to say it, but that was probably the biggest fail of the season. And it all could have been salvaged with just ONE single scene of Jon and Qhorin talking quietly together for a couple minutes. (They could still salvage it, IMO, by adding that scene to the DVDs… but that won’t happen).

    Anyways, looking forward to a re-watch tonight.

  25. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    WinterComing:
    I just love Larry Williams’ reaction after finding out Daxos is broke :)

    Lol loved that as well!

  26. Maxwell James
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

    I hope so too – but at the same time, it’s worth noting that Blackwater’s tight focus necessitated the spread of Valar Morghulis. Which is a problem in general for the show – when you tighten in on one storyline, there’s a lot of catch-up needed for the other 8. With only 10 episodes, and a lot of events that need to be happening at the same time, they can’t move to a LOST-like approach, so their ability to create episodes like ‘Blackwater’ is inherently limited.

    I do think that the Dany and Jon storylines are especially problematic because of how isolated they are from the other threads. It might be worth thinking about reconceiving both of their stories as almost mini-movies that would be concentrated over a smaller number of episodes.

    As in: so far Dany and Jon have both appeared in about 8 episodes per season. I would seriously consider reducing that number to 5 each, but with more content per episode. Possibly alternating so they’re rarely if ever in the same episode.

    If the actors’ contracts permit it of course – definitely a limiting factor.

  27. Maxwell James
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I prefer to think of Jon’s storyline as some unfortunate, alternate reality we entered when he chose to chase Ygritte rather than dutifully reporting back to Qhorin. Now that Qhorin’s dead everything is thankfully in its right place again – and will hopefully stay that way.

  28. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Lex: Dany’s wasn’t that bad (I didn’t miss the visions/prophecies at all), but just a little udnerwhelming. But the Jon/Qhorin scene… man, it pains me to say it, but that was probably the biggest fail of the season. And it all could have been salvaged with just ONE single scene of Jon and Qhorin talking quietly together for a couple minutes. (They could still salvage it, IMO, by adding that scene to the DVDs… but that won’t happen).

    There’s an interesting take on that scene in the “experts” AV Club article, where he says he liked it better this way because of the ambiguity involved. We’re not as sure as we are in the books that Jon isn’t just pissed off and defecting or that this was a Dumbledore/Snape affair. There was no way for ambiguity in the books because of the first-person perspective, but it’s actually an interesting twist in the show that they didn’t spell it out as clearly (although they did definitely spell it out, particularly with Qhorin’s dying reminder to Jon).

  29. Felt Pelt
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s a pleasant surprise to see Larry W’s enthusiasm for the resolutions of some of the storylines.

    Maxwell James:
    As in: so far Dany and Jon have both appeared in about 8 episodes per season. I would seriously consider reducing that number to 5 each, but with more content per episode. Possibly alternating so they’re rarely if ever in the same episode.

    I agree with this, and as other people said above, in the future I hope they don’t make up things to give J and D something to do. This shouldn’t be a problem moving forward, I hope. I feel the structure the show could land on is these short narrative check-ins like the first, stronger 30 minutes of Valar Morghulis, and rounding out the episode with longer stays at 1-3 of the locations in the second half. They probably need to add another ten minutes to the run time, or if possible, although I know they repeatedly say they couldn’t do it, add one or two more episodes. Hopefully 2 seasons for Storm of Swords will be a good fit.

    It’s interesting how much talk about this show conditions us all to be television script writers. It distances us from the action at times but it is like extremely nerdy baseball.

  30. milk
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink


    Steven SwansonThere’s an interesting take on that scene in the “experts” AV Club article, where he says he liked it better this way because of the ambiguity involved. We’re not as sure as we are in the books that Jon isn’t just pissed off and defecting or that this was a Dumbledore/Snape affair. There was no way for ambiguity in the books because of the first-person perspective, but it’s actually an interesting twist in the show that they didn’t spell it out as clearly (although they did definitely spell it out, particularly with Qhorin’s dying reminder to Jon).,

    totally agree with this. i like the ambiguity about jon’s fate and the potential that he might actually break his vows for good. i also like the ambiguity about who sacked and burnt winterfell because it leaves out the traitorous intentions of the boltons

  31. Darren Mason
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    Sepinwall’s review gets to the heart of the problems in the structural integrity of the show. GRRM suggested that S3 focus on Westeros and S4 focus on Essos, so perhaps even he knows that the jumpy “5 minutes with each character” isn’t working so well. I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

    Well, book3 will be split between 2 seasons so they should be able to take their time with the content and not have to jump around so often.

  32. Thiago Waldhelm
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Actually we don’t know what they are. At all.

    but we know they’re not dead (like wights). they may even be some kind of personification of death itself, but they’re not dead

  33. Hexonx
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Even non book readers are on the syrio = jaqen bandwagon now

    per Jenifer Braun’s review:

    And ….it’s not Jaqen. His face is totally different, even though everything else is the same. It’s seamless, the best special effect the series has featured yet, all the more creepy because it’s so low-key. Not-Jaqen marches away.
    (Hey, wait, wait: This is all true, right? 1. Jaqen left King’s Landing just after the slaughter of the Stark retinue. 2. And he can change his face, totally, at will. 3. And he’s from Braavos. 4. And he likes Arya. 5. And Arya’s doting dancing master from Braavos was never spotted with his head on a spike like everyone else who worked for Ned Stark. I’m just saying — could Jaqen and Syrio be the same person? No? Am I way over-thinking this? It is very late at night as I type…)

  34. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Thiago Waldhelm: but we know they’re not dead (like wights). they may even be some kind of personification of death itself, but they’re not dead

    How exactly do we know that? I don’t personally think they are undead, but going strictly by either books or show we actually don’t know a damn thing about them.

  35. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I think the idea of tightening the focus more isn’t a good one. I’m of the belief that an extra five minutes or so every episode would do more to help alleviate the jumping around than attempting the former. Either way, though, the jumping around doesn’t bother me and I actually liked Jon and Dany’s stories this season. “Valar Morghulis” is a top five episode for me, along with Baelor, Blackwater, What Is Dead May Never Die, and The Wolf & the Lion. I also found season two, overall, to be slightly better than the first season, but I have a tendency to judge things for what they are and not for what they aren’t.

  36. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Felt Pelt: It’s interesting how much talk about this show conditions us all to be television script writers. It distances us from the action at times but it is like extremely nerdy baseball.

    Well said, I never thought before this series that I’d become so fascinated with the process of adaptaion itself. And we are kind of like nerdy baseball fans a la George Will.

  37. All_Men_Must_Post
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to everyone for reading my blog reviews. Preview below (click for the rest):

    All men must die. That’s what valar morghulis means in High Valyrian. Much like the first season, the penultimate episode may be the best episode (and certainly most talked about) because of its cliffhanger-like implications (Ned Stark’s beheading was a bigger twist than Stannis’ defeat at Blackwater, though less grand). Rather, both finales seem to have set the table for next season. We know Tyrion is alive but cast aside. We know Stannis is alive but broken. We know Dany is alive and sea-bound. We know Jon is alive and about to meet the King Beyond the Wall. We know Jaime is alive and coming to terms with Brienne’s sense of honor. We know Robb is alive and breaking vows in the woods. We know Joffrey is alive and in a bit of pageantry, being excused from his. We don’t know if Theon is alive but who’s rooting for this tragic figure?

    For an episode entitled valar morghulis, there is a lot of living. So if all men must die, then we should assume that many of the aforementioned characters have been given a momentary respite. As Jaqen tells us, the Red God of Death can come to us in a few minutes, months, or years. But All Men Must Die and so in Season 3, we anxiously await to see who will survive another ten episodes of the Game of Thrones. Four out of five stars.

    What I liked…

  38. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets: I think the idea of tightening the focus more isn’t a good one. I’m of the belief that an extra five minutes or so every episode would do more to help alleviate the jumping around than attempting the former. Either way, though, the jumping around doesn’t bother me and I actually liked Jon and Dany’s stories this season. “Valar Morghulis” is a top five episode for me, along with Baelor, Blackwater, What Is Dead May Never Die, and The Wolf & the Lion. I also found season two, overall, to be slightly better than the first season, but I have a tendency to judge things for what they are and not for what they aren’t.

    I think season 2 is overall a better adapted show, but I think season 1 had stronger material to work with, or at least material that adapted better to a season of television (the gradually ramping up madness of the latter half of the first season was pretty amazing to watch).

    And as far as judging things for what they are, I’m the same way, but I judge some of the added storylines to have very much missed the mark, particularly the one in Qarth. I was giving it the benefit of the doubt until the final episode but I think it completely fell flat.

    But note I’m not including the HOTU scene, I was hoping for something a bit more wacked out and trippy but I was pretty happy with the way they handled it.

  39. House Snow
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Hoping the rating won’t be too bad. ECF Boston vs Miami apparently got record ratings.

  40. Jillian
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Zack: I do too. Considering how many people have opined that “Blackwater” is their favorite episode to date, hopefully they go back to its structure for the occasional big event later on.

    While I can see each episode devoted to particular regions, (I could have had several alone of just Arya and Tywin in a room this season) I think a season in westeros vs. a season in essos would become extremely problematic when you conisder actor contracts, sets, etc. Plus, we all know how well it worked when the books were split up by region.

  41. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Yeah dropping a character in one season would definitively make the timelines screwy for everyone, except Dany’s character up until Book 5. I would be fine with them skipping Dany for a season. Like Omar in Season 2, the story was so tightly focused on the new guys that you really didn’t miss him. And then he came back with a vengeance in S3 and 4.

    I would still love to see more “day in the life” type of episodes, if possible. These create the feeling of “one long take” without cuts to radically different storylines. Mad Men’s “The Suitcase” and the episode in Enlightened that focused on Amy’s mother were similar in style, and were absolute stand-outs. As much as I complain about LOST, you did get to explore character depth instead of breadth. I think that’s what I miss most from the adaptation.

  42. Eoooooor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I think us book readers underestimate new viewers. We got our information from the way they show us in the books, so when we don’t see that in the show we think the information is gone, but generally it’s just done in a different way. I watched the last episode with a buddy who never read the books and he had no problem seeing what Jon was doing, that Qhorin was basically forcing Jon into being a double agent and that Jon didn’t want to but was out of choices.

    But what I do miss is their conversation about honor. I wished they had brought that up again, since one of the things I loved most about Jon’s storyline was how he went to the night’s watch for honor, found none but decided to make his own, but then had to destroy his own honor to defend the place that has no real honor because it’s the honorable thing to do. Jon’s confused as shit and not sure what’s what, and I’m just a little worried about how they’ll do it in the third season, since it’s not like they’ll really have a confidant Jon can talk to. Maybe they’ll just have him talk to his wolf.
    t
    One other thing: One thing cut out and that my buddy didn’t get was how Sansa believes everyone is fucking with her. When Tyrion offered to break the marriage, when Petyr offers to take her home, that she views them all as Lannister loyalists who are trying to make her speak treason so they can cut her head off like they did her father. I’d have liked a small line where she speaks to Shae as says something like “They keep trying to get me to speak treason they want to kill me i know it” or something like that. But, a small point overall.

  43. feyrband
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    the problem with this for me was that i couldn’t stand 3/4 or more of the characters and that on a character’s episode they were overly dramatic and made even worse decisions.

  44. Andrew
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I find it kind of hilarious how Larry can miss some of the most obvious things ever, but then immediately picks up on these super subtle details.

    As for splitting S3 and S4 Geographically, I don’t know how that would really work. In book five, there are enough characters in Essos that when added to Jon at the wall, it was enough, but for S4, There will really only be Dany (Unless they push up Tyrions entire storyline, which would mean Red and Purple weddings in one season), and I don’t think people will like a single-character season. I dunno though.

  45. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s not the fact that there are zombies in ASOIAF, ofcourse there are – and to be honest, I hate them in the books too. It’s that the show took the generic zombie route in the way they showed them on screen, a mass slow moving hord of deformed undead. It brought to mind not only the Walking Dead, but all those Zombie B-movies of the 80s and early 90s. It just felt cheesy.
    A little more mystery, visual obfuscation would have gone a long way in making them, and the White Walker, the terrifying specter they ought to have been.

  46. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Remaal: It’s not the fact that there are zombies in ASOIAF, ofcourse there are – and to be honest, I hate them in the books too. It’s that the show took the generic zombie route in the way they showed them on screen, a mass slow moving hord of deformed undead. It brought to mind not only the Walking Dead, but all those Zombie B-movies of the 80s and early 90s. It just felt cheesy.A little more mystery, visual obfuscation would have gone a long way in making them, and the White Walker, the terrifying specter they ought to have been.

    But that’s exactly what they are in the books, a shuffling horde of rotting flesh. There’s nothing really mysterious about the wights, save for their eyes. The problem is that viewers have become incredibly jaded and there’s almost no way to make that original. And why should it be? It’s no less original than winged fire-breathing dragons or sword-swinging knights.

    And they had a tough task with the white walkers, especially considering the vague description in the books. I thought it looked pretty cool myself, and liked it more than the one in the pilot episode.

    In the graphic novel of Game of Thrones that just came out they include a discussion on the creative process behind how they chose to show the Others/White Walkers. They had a lot of difficulty coming up with an image for the same reasons, extreme vagueness in the source material, and it’s worth a read.

  47. negar
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    here’s an interview with Kit Harrington on the finale . and … it’s like it was obvious that he killed halfhand to gain the wildling ‘s trust.
    read the comments.it’s nice to read how the non book readers react.they seem to have loved it.

    http://www.tvguide.com/News/Game-Thrones-Finale-Postmortem-Harington-1048423.aspx?rss=newsletter&partnerid=newsletter&profileid=whatshot

  48. Lex
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    If they were trying to make Jon/Qhorin more ambiguous, I guess that makes sense… but I thought it could have had SO much more emotional impact if they had given Qhorin a nice, long scene with Jon, explaining his duty to him. Qhorin had so little screen time, no chance to build up his character or forge a connection with Jon, and now he’s gone. I just didn’t feel much of anything when he died, which IMO is a big shame… Oh well, I’ll get used to it.

    I actually kind of like the ambiguity over who burned Winterfell. I remember being pretty confused at the end of the book, too. I think it’s definitely confusing, but a pretty good cliffhanger for Season 3.

  49. AshleyA
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    SillyMammo: Really?!?To me, it looked like Sam was about to become sam the pants soiler!:0P

    Same here! Sam doesn’t become the “Slayer” until after the big Others vs. Night’s Watch fight.

    And I wasn’t impressed with how they portrayed Dany’s trip to the House of the Undying.

  50. TheBull
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason: Well, book3 will be split between 2 seasons so they should be able to take their time with the content and not have to jump around so often.

    Exactly. The problem this season is that they had to fit a huge book into 10 episodes. That shouldn’t be a problem with ASOS.

  51. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Just because that’s how they were portrayed in the books, doesn’t mean it worked as well in the show. A little atmosphere surrounding the attackers adds a lot of tension, leaving room for the imagination. This is especially necessary when you’re dealing with such a trite concept and, as you so rightly point out, such a jaded audience.

    Because they filmed in Iceland, night shoots are difficult, I understand, though night cover would have added a lot to that sequence. So why not add fog or haze? I don’t know. That final sequence garnered loud laughs in my house, from a group consisting almost entirely of non-readers, myself being the only book-reader amongst them.

  52. Nagga's Kin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus:
    Meg,

    I don’t think splitting seasons by locations or characters would be a good idea, it would lead to the same issues that were had with the 4th and 5th books. People would get upset about a lack of their favorite characters.

    Steven Swanson: I think a complete split like that would be a huge mistake (and not realistic when considering actors’ contracts). A better idea is to focus on fewer stories per episode (which they tried this year but I think they could go further with) but continuing to tell all relevant stories within each season. They need to find the confidence to let certain characters drop away for a few episodes if necessary; anybody willing to follow a show as intricate as this one is not going to forget them.

    In retrospect, I would have preferred the entire first and last episodes dedicated to Jon and Dany to bookend the season with the characters representing ice and fire, respectively. The eight in-between should have been dedicated to events in Westeros, preferably with ~5 storylines getting an average of 10 minutes of screentime each per episode (instead of 10 storylines getting 5 minutes each).

  53. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Remaal,

    I also watch with a group of non-readers (six of them, to be exact), and they were all ecstatic after the episode ended. When I watch with my mom and siblings later we’ll see what their reaction is like, but I’m willing to bet no one will be laughing out loud. Anecdotal evidence for the… Tie?

  54. Eoooooor
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure exactly what would be wanted with the wight attack. I thought they did a great job of keeping the horror instead of just having an army of cannon fodder like zombies normally are.

  55. Remaal
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    Go for it. Is there a trophy in it for the winner? Cause if so, I’m gonna start gathering every zombie aficionado I know (I know quite a few, grew up with 5 brothers) for multiple viewing parties. I take trophies very seriously (blame growing up with 5 brother). ;D

  56. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Lex: If they were trying to make Jon/Qhorin more ambiguous, I guess that makes sense… but I thought it could have had SO much more emotional impact if they had given Qhorin a nice, long scene with Jon, explaining his duty to him. Qhorin had so little screen time, no chance to build up his character or forge a connection with Jon, and now he’s gone. I just didn’t feel much of anything when he died, which IMO is a big shame… Oh well, I’ll get used to it.

    My biggest problem with the Qhorin storyline wasn’t anything specific that happened but the way he was portrayed in general. In the book he’s a regal and mysterious man, almost like an American Indian warrior with the heart of a shaman. This Qhorin was a crusty old warrior, somewhat cynical and not really conveying his sense of quiet dignity. It works well enough but I’m just bummed I didn’t really get to see one of my favorite characters come to life.

    And having Jon choose to go on the mission instead of Qhorin choosing him after a soulful stare detracted from the character as well. I suppose they were trying to give Jon more agency (KG, is it you who hates that word? tough), but I don’t think it worked.

  57. Isabelle
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    “Do y’all smell that? [dramatically sniffs the air] Smells like mutiny, doesn’t it?”

    Oh Larry. How I adore thee. I felt that sh*t as well.

  58. Langkard
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Some good reviews again this week. I like how Jenifer Braun of the Star-Ledger has stumbled onto the whole Jaqen = Syrio possibility without having read the books. That was a surprise. It took the addition of Pate’s death to bring that idea up for many of the book readers who think it.

    James Hibberd’s wedding reference made me laugh. It’s also worth checking out the additional article he did about Drogo’s cameo and more info from Dan and Dave. Good read, there. Sounds like D&D are really hyped for Season 3. Damn shame that we have to wait 10 frigging months!

  59. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I love that Dany’s visions were converted into a visual metaphor in the House of the Undying. It’s the sort of sequence that is perfect for this medium- they didn’t have to spell it out with prophecies that sound a little hokey spoken out loud. I would have liked to see Rhaegar and Elia but there would be confusion and time wasted in reexplaining who they are. Showing the banquet in the HOTU that foreshadows RW is a bad idea- non-reading people are already suspicious and think Robb will die soon. I loved the scene with Dany and Drogo, and her in the throne room and the Wall. It was so fluid and dreamy. I had some problems with several earlier scenes last night but nothing from HOTU or the White Walkers & wights scenes.

  60. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: I love that Dany’s visions were converted into a visual metaphor in the House of the Undying.

    Exactly. A lot of commenters are taking that scene way too literally, even those who aren’t comparing it unfavorably with how it occurs in the books.

    I did miss the “door on the right” aspect, and the sense that Dany was in some magical mad funhouse. And the fact that she imbibed some acid-spiked electric blue koolaid before entering….

  61. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason,

    Yes I did see that part. However I don’t remember a zombie horde wandering about the land. Not to mention, the zombie/white walker just looks at Sam and “thinks hey look at this fat guy he looks tasty.” (The CGI was awesome though.)

    Instead it gives some form of a zombies “walk this way” shout and keeps it moving?

    weak.

    Jon Snow killing the Half Hand was a big deal. That scene was very underwhelming.

    Why was Robb reciting his vows to the Seven? The Starks follow the old Gods not the new. Seems like a glaring oversight. His bride is from Volantis, they don’t worship the seven.

    I could go on with the inconsistencies displayed through out the season however i don’t have the time to keep going. Not saying Dan and Dave have to the follow the books verbatim, but missing the mark on something as obvious as Robb Starks religion?

    I know I will take a barrage of attacks for not saying everything was great and it couldn’t be better. These are my opinions. I do find it funny how everyone jumps on you when you don’t tote the party line and lavish praise on Dave and Dan. I’m not saying the effort wasn’t great and I do appreciate everything HBO etc do to make this show. For me though, S2 was underwhelming.

  62. LordStarkington
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: on and time wasted in reexplaining who they are. Showing the banquet in the HOTU that foreshadows RW is a bad idea- non-reading people are already suspicious and think Robb will die soon. I loved the scene with Dany and Drogo, and her in the throne room and the Wall. It w

    Just wanted to say I agree 100% with this. The book’s HotU sequence works great for that medium, while I think the show’s version worked great for TV. A literal adaption would have been a combination of spoilery, confusing and over-long. It’ll be pretty easy to incorporate some of the relevant missing prophetic material later, anyway, especially since they’ll have more room to work with (having 2ish seasons for ASOS I mean).

  63. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Yes I did see that part. However I don’t remember a zombie horde wandering about the land.

    So you haven’t read ASOS?

  64. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    No, they weren’t

  65. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    Are we watchin ASOS of ACOK?

  66. spacechampion
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Jaqen is Lorathi. People keep saying he’s from Braavos, because he mentioned training with the Faceless Men in Braavos, but he is not Braavosi. Seriously folks, if Arya trained with the Faceless Men in Braavos, would you call her Braavosi? What, do Americans think all foreign accents are from foreign-land?

    Shae is Lorathi too. The actress is German. Jaqun is Lorathi. The actor is German.
    Syrio is Braavosi, the actor used a Greek-like accent.

  67. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Darren Mason, Yes I did see that part. However I don’t remember a zombie horde wandering about the land. Not to mention, the zombie/white walker just looks at Sam and “thinks hey look at this fat guy he looks tasty.” (The CGI was awesome though.) Instead it gives some form of a zombies “walk this way” shout and keeps it moving? weak. Jon Snow killing the Half Hand was a big deal. That scene was very underwhelming.Why was Robb reciting his vows to the Seven? The Starks follow the old Gods not the new. Seems like a glaring oversight. His bride is from Volantis, they don’t worship the seven. I could go on with the inconsistencies displayed through out the season however i don’t have the time to keep going. Not saying Dan and Dave have to the follow the books verbatim, but missing the mark on something as obvious as Robb Starks religion? I know I will take a barrage of attacks for not saying everything was great and it couldn’t be better. These are my opinions. I do find it funny how everyone jumps on you when you don’t tote the party line and lavish praise on Dave and Dan. I’m not saying the effort wasn’t great and I do appreciate everything HBO etc do to make this show. For me though, S2 was underwhelming.

    There was absolutely a zombie horde in the books attacking the fist, including a giant rotting bear. And the way the white walker (not a zombie) looks at Sam reminds me of the opening scene in the pilot where the white walker tosses the head to Will and lets him go. They’re intelligent and they like to fuck with people, that’s what I take from it.

    I didn’t like the Jon/Qhorin scene as much as in the books, but part of the difference in impact may be that we were inside Jon’s head when it happened, whereas here we had to go by the relatively unexpressive Kit Harrington’s expressions.

    Robb’s ceremony was an odd choice, it was almost like he was forsaking the north and going with the Tully side of his family. Hard to tell if that was a screw-up or a deliberate choice.

  68. Virtus
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Rob:
    Virtus,

    Are we watchin ASOS of ACOK?

    Both, since D&D have themselves said that they are adapting the series as a whole, not by book=season.

  69. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion: Jaqen is Lorathi. People keep saying he’s from Braavos, because he mentioned training with the Faceless Men in Braavos, but he is not Braavosi. Seriously folks, if Arya trained with the Faceless Men in Braavos, would you call her Braavosi? What, do Americans think all foreign accents are from foreign-land?Shae is Lorathi too. The actress is German. Jaqun is Lorathi. The actor is German.Syrio is Braavosi, the actor used a Greek-like accent.

    Jaqen was Lorathi, but Jaqen is dead. We don’t know who that man really is or where he’s actually from.

  70. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Virtus, Are we watchin ASOS of ACOK?

    You haven’t realized by now they’re juggling events between books? Remember that the last we see (and almost all we see) of Jaime in Clash is Catelyn asking for Brienne’s sword.

  71. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    On that point, I stand corrected

  72. Kalasin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Darren Mason, Why was Robb reciting his vows to the Seven? The Starks follow the old Gods not the new. Seems like a glaring oversight. His bride is from Volantis, they don’t worship the seven.

    The Stark kids follow both the old gods and the new, because they’re basically from a mixed religion family. They’ve always said that. In fact Arya said it just a few episodes ago. Plus, Robb and Sansa always took after their mother more anyway. I liked the combo of vows to the seven and heart tree. It was similar to what a lot of people do now with weddings that combine different religious beliefs. Of course, the vows themselves sounded kind of goofy, but that’s a different issue.

  73. Josh
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    Sepinwall’s review gets to the heart of the problems in the structural integrity of the show. GRRM suggested that S3 focus on Westeros and S4 focus on Essos, so perhaps even he knows that the jumpy “5 minutes with each character” isn’t working so well. I hope they to do more singular location focused episodes like Blackwater.

    That didn’t work in the books. Yes the jumpy quality is a problem but what else can they do? Leaving a main character out for a season at a time is a bad choice…So what else is left?

  74. Kalasin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I didn’t like the Jon/Qhorin scene as much as in the books, but part of the difference in impact may be that we were inside Jon’s head when it happened, whereas here we had to go by the relatively unexpressive Kit Harrington’s expressions.

    I think the major issues with Jon/Qhorin were story related, and not Kit. If you kept Kit’s expressiveness at the same level but had built a story where he and Qhorin had a relationship, and Qhorin made his plans clear instead of barking them out quickly and then taunting Kit like a madman, it would have had much greater emotional impact. If they had taken the time to explain the relationship and Qhorin had been more stoic and clear about it, they could have given us more of an emotional beat with the death, and it would have read much closer to the way it did in the books. I think that story just wasn’t told well, hands down.

  75. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Kalasin,

    That’s plausible. However as King in the North its more logical that he follows the religion of his subjects and ancestors who used to be Kings in the North

  76. Kalasin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Josh: That didn’t work in the books. Yes the jumpy quality is a problem but what else can they do? Leaving a main character out for a season at a time is a bad choice…So what else is left?

    I actually (and unexpectedly) liked what they did in this episode where they grouped scenes by storyline. They went back and forth to a couple (Tyrion, Dany), but for the most part we got all of Kings Landing more or less at once, all of Dany more or less at once and all north of the wall more or less at once, sometimes with only a scene or two between them. It seems odd to make an episode unbalanced like that, but for some reason it worked for me.

  77. Kalasin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Rob,

    I would hazard that through intermarriage, the north is actually a pretty mixed bag of religions. People up there probably marry people from the south all the time. I know the old gods are the official religion of the main houses and the ancestoral line, but I bet there are a lot of seven worshipers up there.

    Besides – it was a private wedding. No one was there to see, so who cares which gods it’s before? He’s not making a political statement.

  78. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Kalasin,

    It may have not been a political statement. However it was a testament to his youth and ignorance.

    Viva House Frey. The Starks are losers and total noobs when it comes to politics. Starks play checkers, their enemies play chess.

    Side note, Theon getting knocked out. Rofl

  79. Kalasin
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Kalasin, It may have not been a political statement. However it was a testament to his youth and ignorance. Viva House Frey. The Starks are losers and total noobs when it comes to politics calculating decisions. Side note, Theon getting knocked out. Rofl

    That’s what I don’t get. How can this be a failed political decision when no one was there to see it? If it was a public wedding, maybe. But it wasn’t, so who cares? Marrying her in and of itself was stupid, but how he married her is irrelevant, imo.

  80. Rob
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Kalasin,

    Marrying her was a bad move. My thoughts on the marriage itself were based why he was reciting the vows to the 7. Others on the site have given valid reasons as to why he did.

    I still feel it was fumbled. He his a stark, the top stark at that. His family is old school and I figured since he is following in the steps of his ancestors as King in the North he should/would worship the old gods. Not really buying the whole homage to the Tully side of the family. Especially considering we have only had 2 on screen and one of them was bat shit crazy.

  81. Khal_Waldo
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    If anyone is interested in reading my character by character recap of this season, please visit http://www.wallyworldblog.wordpress.com

    I appreciate every hit. Thank you.

  82. Stephen
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Another problem with the tv story line…why did Dagmer spur him on and try so hard to help Theon…only to betray him in the end. Would have been better to just have the Boltons kill them all.

  83. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Stephen: Another problem with the tv story line…why did Dagmer spur him on and try so hard to help Theon…only to betray him in the end. Would have been better to just have the Boltons kill them all.

    Because he realized Theon was beyond help? Because urging him to pillage a legendary castle is a far cry from fighting a guaranteed losing battle against vastly superior forces? Made perfect sense to me. And the Boltons might’ve killed them all anyway, we don’t really know at this point.

  84. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Larry Williams is on fire with his predictions

  85. Trappingsofpower
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I love the episodes where they hit all of the characters. It’s amazing. Best episode to date.

  86. Meg
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin: In retrospect, I would have preferred the entire first and last episodes dedicated to Jon and Dany to bookend the season with the characters representing ice and fire, respectively.

    I like this idea instead of the dribble of information we get each episode. Now I want to edit all the NW and Dany scenes together to see if the story is improved (although I’m not too hopeful, pacing is one thing but a flimsy story is another). I do get the feeling that Jon/Dany, more than any other character were plotted in a very functionary way. It’s like they were being “put in position.” I was thinking too much about how the writers were setting them up instead of how they were living in the story. But that’s probably just me being overly-analytic.

  87. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Good to see Larry back on his game. :)

  88. LionOfLannister
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    If we get to a season 5 and 6, I guarantee they will take books 4 and 5 and mash them together over 2 seasons instead of treating them separate.

  89. KG
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    In the book he’s a regal and mysterious man, almost like an American Indian warrior with the heart of a shaman.–

    lol for the what … four total pages he fills up? Wow, project much?

  90. Weirwood
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    WinterComing:
    I just love Larry Williams’ reaction after finding out Daxos is broke :)

    Um, he was not broke. Just not as rich as he claimed he was…. kinda like Donald Trump.

  91. Weirwood
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Rob:
    Darren Mason,

    Yes I did see that part. However I don’t remember a zombie horde wandering about the land. Not to mention, the zombie/white walker just looks at Sam and “thinks hey look at this fat guy he looks tasty.” (The CGI was awesome though.)

    Instead it gives some form of a zombies “walk this way” shout and keeps it moving?

    weak.

    The White Walkers purposefully leave witnesses. Remember the first season started with them allowing one witness to escape to warn people of what he saw, and what was coming. He was beheaded by Ned for being a deserter.

  92. Weirwood
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    Larry Williams is on fire with his predictions

    You STILL honestly believe Larry has been completely spoiler-free??? LOL!

  93. Lex
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Larry’s best review this season. :)

    Loved his take on Daxos, Qhorin, and the White Walkers.

  94. Isabelle
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Weirwood,

    I thought the exact same thing!! It reminded me of when Trump sued someone for questioning his net worth, arguing that statements made in this vein were damaging to his brand. It’s only damaging if your vault is empty I suppose : )

    On a different note, I loved what Jace Lacob had to say about Maester Luwin’s death:

    “In a series overflowing with death and destruction, Maester Luwin’s passing is a true tragedy, reminding us that the death of a good man is always a crime, always felt, and always grievous.”

    For all of the bells and whistles, this episode gave us plenty of–for lack of a better word–human moments. Am really pleased that Alan Taylor gave us a chance to mourn Luwin, and to a lesser extent Quorin because these are characters we care about, and they’re in dreadful situations that have horrible consequences*. It doesn’t really hit home until the camera focuses on the corpse or the crying children/devastated brother left behind to face the aftermath.

    *And yes, as many have said far more eloquently than I, that’s basically the entire premise of ASOIAF in a nutshell!

  95. paylor
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Derpstradamus,

    I think they could do kind of a modified version of Blackwater. Focus on three locations instead of 6 per episode. It was easier to do Season 1 because there weren’t as many characters. I think in order to make the show have more cohesive they need to be willing to put people on the backburner for longer periods of time. Jamie wasn’t in ACOK, and while I love the character, maybe his scenes shouldn’t have been in this season. Jon’s story may have had more impact if we were able to spend 20 minutes with him in 3 or 4 episodes instead of 5 minutes in 8.

  96. Pau Soriano
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    D

    Steven Swanson: I think a complete split like that would be a huge mistake (and not realistic when considering actors’ contracts). A better idea is to focus on fewer stories per episode (which they tried this year but I think they could go further with) but continuing to tell all relevant stories within each season. They need to find the confidence to let certain characters drop away for a few episodes if necessary; anybody willing to follow a show as intricate as this one is not going to forget them.

    And they need to back off on inventing stories whole cloth. I loved some of the added scenes/stories (Arya/Tywin was great), but some just didn’t come off in the end, particularly those in Qarth and Robb’s sexy adventures. The dragon-napping/King of Qarth storyline in particular was pretty cheesy and dumb. I did like that it gave Dany added incentive to go to HOTU but the whole thing with Xaro was just stupid from beginning to end.

    I agree with Steven. I’d add the stupid Jon changes in there too, for me were the hardest to forgive

  97. Vy
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Rob,

    about the old gods/new gods thing, in the books I always saw it this way: the Seven are the “official” religion of Westeros and the old gods are just a cult that used to be followed by many, but now only exists in those regions where it’s connected to some ancient, powerful institution (the Stark family, the Night’s Watch, etc). Mainly in the North, since it’s far from KL and the authority of the High Septon.

    There are other cults and legends in Westeros which appear to be native, every region has a lot of particular traditions, but we’re more familiar with the old gods because they’re from a large region (the North is bigger than most of the others) and they’re the gods of some of the major characters in the story. If GOT had been about Arianne Martell’s youth and family, probabily we wouldn’t know much about the old gods.

    I just mean that, even if Robb is a Stark, all these factors (him being a Tully on his mother’s part, the fact that the Seven are still official) explain why he would feel ok to say those vows. It could even be a choice in order to give total authenticity to the vows themselves (what if Walder Frey didn’t accept the authority of the old gods?) Plus: have you considered that it could be difficult to find someone able to celebrate an “old ways” marriage in the Riverlands, at night, in a hurry and near an army’s camp? My thought was that they wanted to emphasize how quick and sudden the whole thing was.

  98. morbiczer
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Rob: Kalasin, That’s plausible. However as King in the North its more logical that he follows the religion of his subjects and ancestors who used to be Kings in the North

    Note that in the books Eddard married Catelyn in the sept in Riverrun, and Eddard certainly followed the old gods. I don’t think we get any details of Robb’s marriage ceremony in the books, but logic dictates it also would have been following the southern ritual.

    As someone pointed out earlier, unlike Jeyne Westerling Talisa does not follow the Seven, so it was really a little strange that they said their vows in front of a septon.

    But then again, the whole Robb-Talisa story line was not really the highlight of the series so far, to put it mildly, so this strange detail fit in very well. :)

  99. paylor
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    morbiczer,

    How do you know she doesn’t follow the Seven? The Seven are not exclusively a Westorosi religion. Besides, she was hanging out with the Silent Sisters. It’s very possible that she follows the Seven.

  100. Maxwell James
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Just read Andy Greenwald’s recap – delayed, but awesome as usual.

    It’s one thing to send someone else to defend your brothers, but it’s another to delay an entire war just to hold some sort of slam poetry wedding underneath a sycamore tree. (“Father! Warrior! Maiden! Stranger!” Was this a ceremony or the end of Chinatown?)

    He, Hibberd, and Laura Stone are the Targaryen siblings of GoT recapping.

  101. ASOIAF Fan
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Vy,

    It’s not really that, the old gods is the religion of Westeros, before the andals conquered Westeros, everyone on the whole continent worshipped the old gods, there were weirwoods everywhere that were cut down except in some places.
    It’s the gods of the children of the forest, if all the gods are real, then the old gods are stronger than the seven in westeros (not in worshipers but in actual power) because it’s their home while the seven are strangers.
    You’re right when you say cultures and religions are native but historically the religion of all Westeros is the old gods and the seven was the religion of Andalos.
    If you don’t believe in the power of religions other than in controlling people by beliefs then i see your point, the seven have become more prominent in Westeros, but if you consider that maybe some of those beliefs are true and that there is a higher power, then westeros higher-power is still the old gods.
    You then unluckily chose the worst example, Dorne is the only place with the north where the blood of the first men is still very strong so they would worship the old gods a lot more than any other families except the northmen.

  102. LordStarkington
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  103. andrea
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: Laura Stone

    Do you know where is her recap?

  104. Melitto
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Larry’s recaps need recaps. 30 minutes? Ugh.

  105. Melitto
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    ASOIAF Fan,

    Where do you get that Dorne has stronger First Men blood than other Southrons? There are some parallels between the North and Dorne, but I’m quite sure that’s incorrect. Dornish are mixed Rhoynar and Andalish.

    Mild spoiler: The one Southron family we know keeps the Old Gods is the Blackwoods in the Riverlands. I don’t know of any others.

    When we have these discussions, it’s important to keep in mind the degree of ecumenicism and syncretism that has been practiced in Westeros. “The Old Gods and The New” is a common phrase for a reason. As far as we know, the faith of R’hllor (Red God) is unique in asserting that there are no other gods and that other faiths are demon worshippers.

    Re: Robb’s wedding – I’m pretty sure the Old Gods have no human religious authority and wouldn’t require one for a marriage. It might be as simple as not having access to a Heart Tree in the Westerlands (?).

  106. Laura Stone
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Allow me. :) (Right here.) <3

  107. andrea
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    aw, thank you, there I go.

  108. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    KG: Steven Swanson, In the book he’s a regal and mysterious man, almost like an American Indian warrior with the heart of a shaman.–lol for the what … four total pages he fills up? Wow, project much?

    You discovered my secret, underneath it all I am an American Indian warrior with the heart of a shaman, but as I cannot face this truth must project it onto appropriate fictional characters.

  109. Two Feathers
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Rob: Viva House Frey. The Starks are losers

    So your the guy who buys the House Frey merchandise…..:)

  110. andrea
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone,
    Thank you, you made me laugh and giggle (I hope they are not the same)
    Is no lie, I transcribe to you what was about to comment regarding Cersei and Sansa: “Is it possible that I have seen in that last look Cersei devotes to Sansa something like: “Baby, I just made you a huge favor, go ahead and enjoy it … (elsewhere, faaaaaar far from here)”???
    Good Cersei is good? I mean, after all those “wise counsels” Queen Wino gave to that flock of chickens during the previous episode?” (yours “Cersei’s Slumber Party”).
    Oh yes Varys, I feel exactly the same about him (and the actor is a genius).
    Glad that you liked Qhorin/jon scene because I´m pissed.
    As for the rest of your recap, I can´t quote everything you wrote that makes me laugh but here´s some:
    Sansa´s hindsight, twenty-twenty? (if I understand correctly… and if not, I laughed anyway)
    Jaime has an “… actual sister to pester”. Is that an obligation or a vocation for big brothers? I hate how they enjoy it. Bastards.
    “And you know, fuck you guys” says Brienne in her twits.
    Who´s at Winterfell´s gates? Where they take poor Theon? “(remember that)” wisely you say … and I read the books but didn´t quite understand.
    “God, Cheney is a dick.” Rip Luwin.
    “KHALEESI! and all of the birds in the sky instantly become pregnant.” I know. Same thing happened when Brando cried out for his Stella
    “And he has their baby – who is wearing a toupee”. That´s mean ;)
    “baddest mofo that ever died of tetanus” (i´m still laughing)

    Last thing and I think you´ll agree with me: Who needs dragons? unleash Cartman over Westeros I say. (poor Hot Pie, that comparison you did is unfair).

  111. KG
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    You’re assigning a weatlth of background and mystery to a walking talking cardboard plot device. It’s hilarious.

  112. Langkard
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: You discovered my secret, underneath it all I am an American Indian warrior with the heart of a shaman, but as I cannot face this truth must project it onto appropriate fictional characters.

    You made me snicker. Your reply was pure gold.

  113. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    KG: You’re assigning a weatlth of background and mystery to a walking talking cardboard plot device. It’s hilarious.

    That’s your take, mine is that he’s an interesting and badass character, and judging by the number of people who’d been looking forward to his appearance (and were disappointed with the character’s execution) I’m not alone in that. But, as always, YMMV.

  114. MaryS
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Kalasin,

    When I watched it the second time I noted a couple of people standing around while Robb and Talisa exchanged vows as the camera zooms in. The actual up close vows were just Robb Talisa and the Septon (who looked a lot like Wisdom Hallyne without the funny hat).

  115. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    Best re-caps by a mile.

  116. Maxwell James
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    andrea: Who needs dragons? unleash Cartman over Westeros I say. (poor Hot Pie, that comparison you did is unfair).

    “Because Hot Pies are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

  117. Richard
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    ThePinkDragon,

    ThePinkDragon: Why is there this pervading belief that The Walking Dead was the first media to include (the very overrated concept of, IMO) zombies, anyway?

    People younger than 30? George Romero would be spinning in his grave, well, if he were dead. Undead undead undead….

  118. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    A woman is working her way through the reviews, and has noticed a few constants so far.

    Though the Jon/Qorin fight was well done generally, some reviewers were uncertain that the audience understood Jon had to kill Qorin in order to be accepted by the wildlings (as a spy for the Night’s Watch). My understanding was that Qorin KNEW he’d be killed in a painful way by the wildlings whose camp was just over the next ridge (as payback for the many he’d probably killed over the years of ranging for the NW) and if Jon gave him a quick, clean death it would be a win/win in that situation. Clean/quick death for him, method to get a little trust/respect amongst the wildlings for Jon as a means to help the NW. Perhaps a few more whispered or muttered comments from Qorin to Jon during the fight (including the iconic “is your blade sharp?”) could have given clarity to those who didn’t understand the purpose for this manipulated action. I understood it, but non-readers may not have.

    The other was the HOTU. With very little extra effort, this could have been a slam dunk. It was beautiful, but left out so many aspects that were mentioned in the book that it left many readers unsatisfied. Though I enjoyed what they presented and understood the quandary Dany was in, it’s easy to see how some would not understand this scene. Where were the Undying who lived there? The part of the scene where Dany came back in from the tent (with Drogo) to an empty room with the dragons tied up on the table could have been slightly different and it would have answered many questions. If they had placed a small table in front of the pedestal table with the dragons on it, that could have been a place to seat some of the Undying (call it a small council if you will, a few vampiric skinny characters with Pyat Pree at the center). With them between Dany and her dragons, they could have quizzed her, given a few prognostications, admonished her for not staying with Drogo & Rhaego, told her she was their prisoner forever…which is when she would say the magic “dracarys” and burn them all to hell to escape and get the kids back. Instead, we never saw the Undying and she only killed Pyat Pree. The whole reason she had to leave Qarth in the books is that she burned the HOTU down, killing all the resident warlocks, so she had to flee the wrath of those that believed in their magic. This would have only taken another minute or so, but would have had much more impact. That time could have been taken from Ros/Varys scene, since that setup could have waited for the next season. Which takes me to the last major complaint so far.

    The white walker attack was mishandled IMO. Hearing the horns and seeing the 3 guys running away from shadowy figures approaching in the falling darkness then fade to black and roll credits. That would have left a super-cool cliffhanger for the next season. While they may indeed start the next season with that attack on the Fist, they’ve already given the punchline away by showing the creatures up close. The unseen is always scarier than the revealed. That minute would have been better used at the HOTU, imo.

    This woman’s initial impressions were that the episode was a great one, but it could have been just that one notch better if those issues had been a little different. The many great moments saved the day, particularly: Tyrion and Shae (the heartbreak as he realizes that his whole family has turned on him despite his monumental heroism), the Throne Room award ceremony with Sansa & LF postscript (where we see one king find a “legal” way to wiggle out of an inconvenient betrothal), Theon’s attempt to inspire the Ironborn into action (not knowing they’ve already made up their minds to betray him), Robb’s wedding (where we see the supposedly more honorable king defy his own inconvenient betrothal oath), Bran & Rickon emerging from the crypts to a destroyed Winterfell and a failing Maester Luwin (and leaving with Hodor and the ever-surprisng Osha), Brienne’s amazing sword fight with 3 Stark guards as Jamie finally sees her prowess and character, Stannis losing his cool while trying to lay the blame for his defeat on Melissandre (showing cracks in his shiny armor), Jaqen changing/leaving Arya with a coin and a path to a different future if she wants it, Sam yapping away with Grenn and the always Dolorous Ed before the horn blasts.

    A beautifully crafted episode overall, with excellent performances and very few flaws. Many have said it was not as perfect as “Blackwater” and I have to agree, but it was damn good!

  119. Zigzag7
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink
  120. Remaal
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar:

    The white walker attack was mishandled IMO. Hearing the horns and seeing the 3 guys running away from shadowy figures approaching in the falling darkness then fade to black and roll credits. That would have left a super-cool cliffhanger for the next season. While they may indeed start the next season with that attack on the Fist, they’ve already given the punchline away by showing the creatures up close. The unseen is always scarier than the revealed. That minute would have been better used at the HOTU, imo.

    I agree with this, and have said it myself. This show, to its detriment, does not do subtlety. The way they filmed the WW zombie scene was banal, where in fact it could, and should have been terrifying. They chose to impact using cliche gimmicky visuals, instead of powerful visceral and emotional triggers. It’s a shame.

  121. andrea
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I never read anything at Westeros because I’m not interested in this type of analysis but today I did and if this last episode would have been as their “analysis”, I would have killed myself. I don´t even finished the damn thing.

  122. KG
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: That’s your take, mine is that he’s an interesting and badass character, and judging by the number of people who’d been looking forward to his appearance (and were disappointed with the character’s execution) I’m not alone in that. But, as always, YMMV.

    Yeah but some people get their panties in a bunch over the Blackfish, and he’s just as useless. I guess what I’m saying is that some people need to accept the concept of “minor character” and get on with their lives.

  123. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Same deal with Oberyn Martell to be honest, but you don’t see many people bashing him.

    It’s not that hard to give an exhaulted tertiary character some play. Take Brother Mouzone on The Wire for instance.

  124. Dan
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Ok, but why are you bringing this up to Steven? He is not one of the people who gets all worked up over changes. He simply didn’t like, or at least didn’t love, their take on Halfhand.

  125. Turncloak
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    KG: Yeah but some people get their panties in a bunch over the Blackfish, and he’s just as useless. I guess what I’m saying is that some people need to accept the concept of “minor character” and get on with their lives.

    This

  126. Turncloak
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    KG: Yeah but some people get their panties in a bunch over the Blackfish, and he’s just as useless. I guess what I’m saying is that some people need to accept the concept of “minor character” and get on with their lives.

    This

    Remaal: I agree with this, and have said it myself. This show, to its detriment, does not do subtlety. The way they filmed the WW zombie scene was banal, where in fact it could, and should have been terrifying. They chose to impact using cliche gimmicky visuals, instead of powerful visceral and emotional triggers. It’s a shame.

    If the show handled it the way u wanted it too, it would have been a really lame cliffhanger. I believe at least 99% of viewers would disagree with u if this was on a poll

  127. Maxwell James
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    If I may commend one more recap: Dan Drezner on the political machinations of season two. Helped me see Theon’s speech, among other scenes, in a whole new light.

  128. andrea
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,
    “the Throne Room scene in which much political kabuki theater transpired was a powerful reminder of how the victors write the history. “
    “Dany was whining more, but it was also because she was largely operating in a political vacuum and therefore less interesting”

    Yes, that was good. Thanks.

  129. Vanderhook
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree that seasons should be split up via characters/locations, but I do agree that individual episodes should be. They did it a bit this season, but I think they can take it a step forward. It’s just unsatisfying when they try and cram a little bit of each character in each episode. We just start to get scenes where nothing really happens, like Dany in episode 8.

    Have it something like this:

    Episode 1 – Kings Landing: Tyrion, Sansa, Joffrey, Cersei, Littlefinger, Varys

    Episode 2 – Iron Islands and The North: Jon Snow, Nights Watch, Bran, Greyjoys

    Episode 3 – Riverlands: Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Tullys, Robb

    Episode 4 – Dragonstone and Essos – Dany, Stannis, Davos, Melisandre

    etc etc, something along those lines. Less jumping around. It’s okay if we don’t see Jon Snow, or Tyrion or Dany etc for 1-3 episodes at a time, as long as the episodes they are in have lots of content with them.

  130. Isabella
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I”m not crazy about the splitting up seasons by characters/ locations, however I think it would be cool if they took Dany’s story out and just made a movie out of her story in ASOS. It could tide us over between Seasons 3 & 4.

  131. Thiago Waldhelm
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/lists/new-to-the-game-the-best-and-worst-new-characters-from-game-of-thrones-season-two-20120604

    this is one of the reason why I didn’t like what they did with the Jon/Qhorin storyline T.T

  132. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    KG: Yeah but some people get their panties in a bunch over the Blackfish, and he’s just as useless. I guess what I’m saying is that some people need to accept the concept of “minor character” and get on with their lives.

    Actually we’re not sure how “useless” Blackfish is yet, my guess is he still has a major role to play.

    And he’s another character who’s just a badass, so I’m not surprised people were upset at his apparent absence, particularly if he really is a stereotype-busting homosexual like is insinuated. Sometimes it’s not about the role a character fulfills in the plot but thinking that particular character really would have added to the show by their presence alone.

  133. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Dan: KG, Ok, but why are you bringing this up to Steven? He is not one of the people who gets all worked up over changes. He simply didn’t like, or at least didn’t love, their take on Halfhand.

    Exactly, just thought his portrayal missed the mark slightly. Others I think are improved on in the show (Sam, Theon, Luwin, maybe Bronn).

  134. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak: ThisIf the show handled it the way u wanted it too, it would have been a really lame cliffhanger. I believe at least 99% of viewers would disagree with u if this was on a poll

    My wife, who’s watched barely any of the show and read none of the books, gave this take on the final scene: “Oh good, that was well done, that kind of ending really could have been cheesy.”

    And I’ve seen plenty of other people say it WAS cheesy, but most of them seem to have negative zombie connotations or just thought the WW effects weren’t very good.

  135. Stephen
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    Anyone ever consider that Robb using the southern marriage vows as opposed to the old gods is reflecting his betrayal of the North by marrying Talisia, leading to RW?

  136. eudaimonean
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I think there’s definitely a consensus emerging that they’re trying too hard to “check in” with each storyline in every episode. Given the reaction to Blackwater and how many critics have raised the same issue, I hope that next season D & D have the confidence to just follow 2 storylines per episode, instead of 4-6. It won’t line up perfectly chronologically and it’ll take more work when they block out the episodes, but I think the show will definitely be stronger for it.

  137. ieiazel
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Meg: b

    I hope not! If that’s true imagine how boring season 4 will be!!

  138. Zack
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Actually we’re not sure how “useless” Blackfish is yet, my guess is he still has a major role to play.

    Given the fact that his S1 scenes were written out of the show, there was good reason to expect the rumored merging of his character with his brother’s to actually happen. But if they are now bringing him in for S3…

    Perhaps it’s fanservice, but I believe these guys wouldn’t waste that kind of budget on fanservice without cause. GRRM has likely informed them of his plans for the Blackfish’s re-entry into the story, and that the character is going to be pretty important. Otherwise why revisit a decision that you made 2 years previous?

  139. plakjecake
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Stephen:
    Anyone ever consider that Robb using the southern marriage vows as opposed to the old gods is reflecting his betrayal of the North by marrying Talisia, leading to RW?

    Except that he didn’t betray the North by marrying Talisa. The Freys are Riverlanders and thus southren.

  140. Dan
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    eudaimonean,

    I don’t see how you follow just 2 storylines an episode. The characters are getting further and further apart from each other in the world and they only have 10 episodes a season to cover everything. Just coming up you have to follow, Arya, Gwen and Jaime, King’s landing, Bran, Jon and the wildlings, Sam and the nightswatch, I assume they’ll cover Theon and Ramsey, Dany, Robb and Cat, and Stannis. There are 10 storylines right there, more if you don’t count King’s Landing as one storyline. How do you tell at least 10 seperate storylines if you only cover a total of 20 (2 per episode) for the season? I think we just have to accept that GRRM gave us a tale that is one of the most insanely difficult stories to present on television. I mean they are going to be adding around 15 or more new cast members for season 3 alone. That is why I appreciate the show as much as I do. It amazes me how awesome the show is despite being probably the most difficult tale ever to be told on a tv series.

  141. Dan
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Sometimes it’s not about the role a character fulfills in the plot but thinking that particular character really would have added to the show by their presence alone.

    Agreed, perhaps you’ve heard of the soup nazi? Or man hands?

  142. Stephen
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    plakjecake: Except that he didn’t betray the North by marrying Talisa. The Freys are Riverlanders and thus southren.

    Well I didnt mean betray as theon betrayed him. but he has betrayed everything he was raised as a northerner to do (be honourable, keep his promises, his vows, do as Ned would have expected him to do) and he does the opposite. So in that respect, he’s acted a little like Joffrey would and cast aside his principles. So he has, in essence, as the show has set it up (Starks and North good, Lannisters and south bad) betrayed the north. Just a thought.

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