Episode 21 – Valar Dohaeris – Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Tyrion Bronn and Pod

It’s back! After a wait that seemed liable to never end, Game of Thrones has finally returned to our television screens. And what a return it was! Read my thoughts on tonight’s season 3 premiere episode after the break.

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

Let’s kick it off with a quick summary of the action in this episode. It opens on Sam running through the snow only to be set up by an ax-wielding wight. Just when it seems like we’ve seen the end of Sam, he gets help from an unlikely source. Namely Ghost and Commander Mormont. What is left of the Night’s Watch is there, Mormont gives them a cheerful pep talk. “If we don’t make it back to the Wall, everyone you ever know will be dead!”

Staying beyond the Wall, Jon Snow meets his first giant and Giantsbane. But more importantly, he is introduced to the King beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder. Mance tests Jon to find out if he really has turned cloak and seems to be satisfied with his answer.

To the Riverlands now, Robb and his army arrive in Harrenhal where things have gone from worse to horrendous. After surveying the damage, Robb manages to find a survivor in the carnage, a maester named Qyburn.

In King’s Landing, Tyrion is trying to get accustomed to his new position while Cersei seems to be enjoying it. Tyrion hopes to earn some respect and favor from his father, but is cruelly rebuffed. Maybe if he was a spunky cup bearer Tywin would like him a bit better? Down at the docks, Sansa and Shae pass the time until Littlefinger arrives to creepily offer to help Sansa escape. Elsewhere in the city, Margaery is showing herself to be quite the charitable queen-to-be. The Queen Regent, however, is not impressed.

Meanwhile, a stranded smuggler is saved by Salladhor Saan. Davos convinces the pirate to take him back to Dragonstone, where he hopes to talk some sense into Stannis and/or kill the Red Woman. He manages to do neither and gets himself thrown into the dungeon for his efforts.

Lastly, across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys’s dragons have grown and apparently have become experts at fishing. Dany and Jorah end up in Astapor, where they hope to acquire an army of Unsullied. After some deliberation and nipple-cutting, Dany decides to sleep on it. But before she can get any shut-eye, she finds herself staring into the face of a manticore, courtesy of the warlocks of Qarth. Lucky for her, she has a family friend nearby, auditioning to be in her Queensguard. It is none other than Barristan Selmy.

What I Liked

Thrones is back! – I don’t know about you, but just being back in Westeros with these characters, made watching this premiere episode so enjoyable.
Dinner time with the King – I loved the dinner table scene with Margaery, Loras, Joffrey and Cersei. It reminded me of Downton Abbey, the way the conversation remains polite yet there are obvious moves being made behind the forced smiles and empty compliments. I especially love the rivalry that is already building between Marg and Cersei.
A Giant! – How cool was that? Loved getting our first glimpse at a giant.
Tyrion has Daddy Issues – Wow, what a scene. You could feel the contempt oozing off of Tywin and see Tyrion’s bitterness grow. Just some superb acting by Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage.
No Arstan, No Problem – Loved that final scene. Some good action and the warlock was sufficiently creepy. Also, I thought having Barristan reveal his identity right away was a good change. There was just no way to conceal it for a season or more, perceptive viewers would have picked up on it and the fact that it wouldn’t be acknowledged at all on screen would just have been confusing. Plus his reveal was epic.

What I Didn’t Like

The Cold Open Leaves Me Cold – Ok, I get that budget constraints means they couldn’t show a full-on battle. But did anyone else think just having the Night’s Watch stand around with no Walkers or wights in sight was a little cheesy? Last we saw there were hundreds and hundreds of undead descending on the Watch. Did they defeat them all? Did they decide to leave them alone for a bit? I don’t know. Oh, and there had better be some slaying going on later this season…

Overall, I thought it was a great episode. Probably the best premiere episode yet. What did everyone else think?


485 Comments

  1. rukie44
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    What a return!

  2. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh man… that was good. Second Hodor?

  3. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    That was horrific.

    …I almost died of epic :’(

  4. Arthur
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    D&D delivered!

    That was amazing, I have to watch it again. Holy cow and critics said this episode was the weakest? This episode was amazing!

  5. Carne
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    While I liked the giant, his face looked rather “Halloween mask”ish.

  6. Friend of Fire
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I liked it

  7. Tyler
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was brilliant. It was a bit slow at some parts, but that’s fine considering a crap-ton of story arcs have to be set up (and they didn’t even get to all of them). This episode totally restored my faith in the adaptation of Dany’s storyline, and cannot wait for the coming episodes knowing what’s in store. All in all, a great episode. Also, QUEEN OF THORNS NEXT WEEK!

  8. David
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Strange that Valar Dohaeris doesn’t contain an Arya scene. No big deal, I think only focusing on certain characters in episodes is the right way to go. Can’t wait to see Bran next episode.

  9. jon connington
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    The first ten minutes or so left me disenchanted. But I was sucked back in by the end.

    I also felt like the flow from POV to POV was choppy. When we switched POV’s I was reminded that this is a tv show and not the westeros I imagined while reading. Seems every season this effect gets worse for me.

  10. robb17
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    good epi but slightly disappointed with the introduction of Whitebeard

  11. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad they’re keeping the whole Missandei santizes Kraznys’ explanations thing. Valyrian sounds amazing. I think the highlight of the episode for me was dinner with the Lannisters. Marg and Loras shot each other the BEST look at one point!

  12. Shock Me
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed it. Although what happened on the Fist could have been better explained.

  13. Maxwell James
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the open was jarring – reminded me of Will’s unbelievable survival in the first episode. But the rest was gold.

    And some really gorgeous compositions in this episode. Even when I’m not totally sold by the writing, the series wins me over visually.

  14. Jéssica De Freitas Maciel
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Amazing premiere…i’m quite speachless at the moment…think i need a little time to process but overall i agree with you wic.

  15. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Aw, man … it’s weird, b/c SO MUCH happened, but it feels like it went by so quickly and now it’s over and I have to wait a whole week omg!!

  16. Rui
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The revelation of Barristan Selmy was a bit rushed, albeit a great way to end the 1st episode.

    Would’ve preferred as it is in the books, but I guess we’ll have to wait how Daenerys knows about Jorah’s treason.

  17. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Winterfell on fire in the credits.

    *sad face*

  18. Clambake
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I thought the manticore looked awesome. Other than that I thought the episode was a little slow but I expected that so they could get the ball rolling. Also Astapor looked good in the opening credits.

  19. Knightly Sellsword
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I felt very underwhelmed by the whole thing. Especially the beginning (Sam and Jon scenes) and ending. Worst first episode yet, but supposedly the next ones are a lot better. Hope so.

  20. Davidw
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I loved this episode. Barristan the Bold’s offering his services to Dany at the end was brilliant one of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

  21. jon connington
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Jon snows reason for turning a crow come over was a let down. The book version was much much more convincing. Also, no red patched cloak for mance? Or his story behind it? Epic miss for the show. So disappointed.

  22. soaponapope
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    - not showing the battle at the Fist was a big let down
    + overall had that same “feel” of season 1 episodes, with the focus on the small moments
    + bringing selmy back early was pretty cool
    + i liked the tyrion/tywin scene
    + the unsullied was pretty cool
    - the way they did davos was kind of weak, i know that he gets the shaft in the book but stannis just looks completely pussy whipped rather than creepily mind controlled by this woman whispering in his ear

  23. Mike Chair
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Winter that the cold open could have been abridged more artfully. On the other hand … GHOST!!

    My favorite scenes were the Margaery scenes (did I say “Highgarden!” yet today?) and the Dany scenes. The dragons were done really well and so were the unsullied.

  24. Lexyvil
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Best premiere yet! Giants, hell yeah! Unsullied, hell yeah! Barristan, hell yeah! White walker, hell yeah! Dragons, hell yeah! Other tid bits of CGI, hell yeah!

  25. Bruce Tyrell
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree with most of the likes/dislikes though I think that Barristan appearing as himself (not his “secret identity” from the books) will complicate things long term. In any case, LOVE having Barristan back and that will certainly add intensity to Jorah-Barristan relationship. While I enjoyed opening episode overall, I thought that the dragons and Unsullied scene by far the most compelling. Loved it.

  26. Michel
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    The episode was excellent! My notes:

    - No words for the giant, perfect!
    - The plot in KL is going to be amazing this season with so great actors and actress like Natalie Dormer and Aidan Gillen.
    - Nice to see the mentions about Dorne and the House Mallister.
    - Please, more Roose Bolton!
    - Didn’t like the open scene
    - I didn’t expect the Littlefinger plot explained so fast, I wanted to see the non readers confused about who killed Joffrey in the PW
    - No pyramids at Astapor? :(
    - 3 bests scenes of the episodes (in order): Dinner with Loras, Margaery, Joffrey and Cersei / Selmy and the Warlock / Tywin and Tyrion
    - Who was that guy in the tent with Tormund and Mance? Styr
    - Tormund, Missandei and Mance are okay so far. Nothing execptional. Can’t say about Qyburn

  27. Shock Me
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    robb17,

    Agreed, the whole scene with the girl would have had me crying set up job. But, he’s there and we’ll have to accept it.

  28. zaprowsdower
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I thought the Whitebeard change was smart for the reasons stated. Disappointed with none of the younger Starks in this episode. :-/

  29. Jamb0
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    So many great scenes tonight, really enjoyed it.

    Highlights had to be Tyrion/Tywin and Dany checking out the Unsullied + Whitebeard. I was grinning all the way through those last scenes.

  30. Carne
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    As mentioned, Margaery and Dany scenes were my favorite.

  31. MisterGravy
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Love how different it all felt, really sets a new tone. All signs point the right direction for Season 3.

  32. HalfWarg
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    jon connington,

    Totally agree, hopefully the scenes beyond the wall don’t feel as jarringly misplaced as they did last season.

  33. natehilk
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Charles Dance wins. Period.

    And I don’t have any problem with Ser Barristan forgoing the Arstan Whitebeard schtick. Hard to keep his identity a secret with the viewers on a visual format.

  34. TrentonMartell
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    For the first episode of a season, this was good, although not as amazing as I was expecting. It probably has something to do with the fact that my favorite story arc of this book (Arya/The Hound) isn’t until next week’s episode. Oh well, still excellent television.
    I also found myself enjoying the Kings Landing scenes a lot more than I expected to.

  35. Sareeta
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Perfect! I am completely fine with them saving Arya, Jaime, Bran and Theon for another episode since it meant extra time with Dany, Tyrion, and Margaery, as well as Jon Snow. I wouldn’t have minded putting Robb off until next week, but not biggie. Dany’s story looks like it going to really rock this season, as her scenes were all sizzling. Loved the scenes with Tyrion and Tywin, Margaery and Cersei, and Dany and the unsullied. Very good episode, no complaints at all.

    PS: I smiled when the intro map showed Winterfell burning. Nice touch!

  36. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Ha! TWoP and Westeros.org appear to have crashed. Let’s check Twitter!

  37. McActaeon
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I was grinning ear to ear during the dragon scene. The music was great with the drums pounding, it was thrilling!

  38. Clob
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    10% of the season over with. :( – Mr. Glass Half Empty
    watching the second airing now. I’m actually a little surprised yet pleased that we got a giant right away.

    I certainly enjoyed the episode, but if the critics did say this was the weakest of the first four than I’m glad. Knowing what’s to come I expect it to kick upwards quickly. So pumped for Daenerys’ storyline!

    * they need to quit having episodes without Arya!!

  39. Jared
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    qyburn was a surprise for me. Looking at opening map seems to show only 2 cities in slavers bay so perhaps cutting yunkai? Trying to see name under further city but can’t make it out. The manticore was cool.

  40. Michelle
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Loved it! I think watching Jorah squirm wondering if Barristan is gonna out his treason can be a fun plot. I missed Jaime and Brienne though. Next week!

  41. Michel
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Is Loras ever going to be a member of the Kingsguard in the series?

  42. Carne
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979,

    Looks like the GoT IMDb board crashed as well.

  43. I know nothing!
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    thoroughly enjoyed just being back in westeros.. wish we could have seen more on the fist of first men and i hope Sam gets to redeem himself with some slaying later on, also I’m suprised at how fast they are pacing Dany’s story (not a complaint), the CG stuff looks great giants, dragons, and direwolves… wasn’t overwhelmed by the ending but I know where just getting started… D&D were justified in pretty much everything that they added IMO… oh and I can’t forget to mention how much dinklage and dance nailed that scene & you gotta love Bron hope they keep him around

  44. Dark Star
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    While I love Bronn, his little scene with a whore was time that could have been better spent elsewhere. For instance…….ARYA, or BRIENNE & JAIME, or BRAN CLAN.

    They better bring it next week.

  45. jon connington
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I know joff’s path. But seeing his face when Margery went into the orphanage, gave me hope that he is seeing the errors of his way. That was a solid job there.

  46. zaprowsdower
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh shit and no Jamie and Brienne! AHHH Qyburn! Nightmare inducer.

  47. Andrew
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Aside from the opening, that was great! I really liked the scene with Margaery, because even if her compassion for the poor is just an act, it still shows a level of understanding so different from Cersei’s blatant disregard for the smallfolk. It’s like with the Kingswood Brotherhood, you have to win the people. It’s cool they’re touching on that.

    Dany is also a badass. Really glad they left the translation stuff with Kraznys in, it’s one of my favourite parts.

    As far as the opening is concerned, I see why they’d have Sam not send the Ravens and not kill a White Walker, as having him do it later on will allow for a bit more gradual development of his courageous side, but I wish they would have taken the time to shoot at night, or at least make the opening a little more tense. It just really wasn’t that suspensful.

    The Tyrion/Tywin scene was amazing! Sansa didn’t really have much to do, but I was happy I got to see her anyways. Made up for no Jamie/Arya.

  48. CIB
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Where can I download episode?

  49. bryon
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    There better be a slaying that earns someone a nickname

  50. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I also thought that, for a first episode with barely any Robb/Cat, Roose Bolton was pretty sufficiently prominent and featured.

  51. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Carne,

    I can’t even keep up with #gameofthrones on twitter… it’s nuts. Mixed reaction from there, so far. Looking forward to FaB’s recap ;-)

  52. bryon
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Charles Dance is genius..amazing acting with Peter D

  53. Ghost of Harrenhal
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Way better premier than last season. I really like that they limited the amount of characters in the episode. As with others I was disappointed with the battle with the nights watch, everything else was great. I love the dinner scene and so far they are earning my faith back with dany’s story.

  54. Jake
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    A little let down about not seeing more White Walkers, and was hoping to see Sam the Slayer in action, but it was still awesome nonetheless. Seeing the giant was awesome! Definitely a 9/10 or 9.5/10 for me, this season is going to be so good.

  55. Iron Born
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I was looking forward to the battle at the fist..and was truly disappointed to not see it but to adapt the book completely is impossible but there are a few things that cannot be skimped on …

  56. Utiz4321
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I thought the opening work well. They’ll probably fill in what happen latter. But it leaves you disorientated and curious which is what I think they where going for. Poor show Sam not getting those ravens off!

  57. Confused
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I feel so lost. Qyburn? Wasn’t he at King’s Landing? Roose Bolton? How did you know who he was? Mance is not working for me and the opening did not mesh with last year’s finale. Way too much that I loved to discuss here though.

  58. Josla
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    What about THE kiss. Haven’t watch the episode yet but need to know opinions about it please…

  59. Amanda
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I really loved it, but I wasn’t a fan of where they left it off. I liked the Ser Barristan reveal, but it felt like a strange place to end the episode.

    Other than that though… Wow! I loved it. I can tell that this season will be amazing, just like ASOS :D

  60. David The Grey
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed the entire episode.
    I was very happy to see a giant, and loved seeing Jon & Ygritte together.
    My favorite scene was the Tyrion & Tywin meeting, I was really moved by Tyrion’s meeting with Tywin – Peter Dinklage perfectly portrayed a wounded son’s ego, where even a request for a simple “thanks son, you did great” turns into such a hurtful rebuke.
    Did I see a glimmer of hope for redemption in Joffrey while he watched upon Margarey Tyrell’s charity? It almost looked like he was in awe of his soon-to-be-queen. Maybe he might learn something different from someone other than Cersei? (One can be hopeful!)
    I was even happy with Ros in this episode. Nice little warning for Shae to pass on to Sansa.

    After watching the preview for next week, I find myself really missing Arya and Bran’s story. It would’ve been too crammed for one episode though. Looking forward to next week’s show already.

  61. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    WiC, are you going to watch the second episode now? I’m so jealous … If I had the first 4 eps in my hand, I would be watching right now ;)

  62. David The Grey
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    zaprowsdower,

    Dang, I was all sad about no Bran and no Arya – forgot about no Jamie & Brienne! Now I’m looking foward to next week even more!!!!!

  63. David The Grey
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979,

    Yeah, that was sad. I reckon that might be the last time we see Winterfell in the opening sequence for a while?

  64. TheNightFort
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t the Dany/ Jorah kiss meant to be in this episode??

  65. Hi-Fi
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    lol that Lannister/Tyrell dinner! So. Much. Fun.

    I LOVE show Margaery. And I’m glad they’re keeping Loras as a regular character.

    Also adored Dany’s scene with Missandei and Sir Barristan.

    Great episode.

  66. awerasdfsadf
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    What the giddyfuck was supposed to have happened at Harrenhal?

  67. Patrick
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone think the disdain being shown for Robb by Bolton and Karstark was a bit early for the season?

    Great first episode though. The scenes in Astapor were fantastic as was the stuff in King’s Landing.

  68. Unbent
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    great episode; biggest concern is that new viewers might be able to see Roose Boltons treasonous side from a mile away which might take some of the sting out of RW ( i might just have read into his convo with lord Karastark too much) hope they give ample time to the missing storylines next week bran, jamie, arya etc & I hope the Davos storyline gets a good amount of screen time going forward i feel like we were a little shortchanged last year

  69. GregoftheNorth
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    liked
    -the cgi for the dragons seems better and the fire looks far better than the house of the undying dragon breath.
    -a giant gives me hope for a giant song
    -margery at the orphanage, and the dinner following it.
    -cersei’s face when joffery talks about her getting older.
    -bronn, i’m glad he is staying involved, and the line about “i don’t even know what im paying you now. thats just means you can afford it”
    the wildling camp
    tyrion and tywin, tyrion and cersei
    qyburn

    disliked
    the lack of a battle at the fist. Also, Ghost being there, worries me that they might change the sam the slayer
    sam not getting a raven off i thought he did get one off, i know one gets to KL and Dragonstone at somepoint, i may be remembering wrong
    no belwas and whitebeard, but i’m learning to be ok with that
    i just wished they mentioned mance’s bard background and that he’d been across the wall and to winterfell when robert was there. that might be important later
    that i can’t watch the whole season right now

    i was also touched by winterfell in the credits as someone mentioned.
    and i was also concerned about roose seeming a little trecherous as a few mentioned

  70. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really mind revealing Barristan but I don’t like that the assassin was a warlock instead of a sorrowful man. I hope they do feature the sorrowful men at some point.

  71. daev3
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Do they have to change it SO much? Poor Sam. Wish they would keep most of the dialog the same anyway.
    Mance/Jon would have been good the way it was written…taken no extra time.
    Way to make him kneel.
    Good scenery, Good Cgi.
    To much Vanilla.

    When do the aliens come?

  72. Brandon Stark
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not convinced this works as a show anymore. It’s simply too big. It plays out like a montage of five minute scenes that “check in” with each character, but there’s little to hold it altogether. And it’s only going to get worse. The books eventually become too big for books (see book 5…), so I can only imagine how that will play out on screen.

    With that said, I could watch Charles Dance act for an hour straight. He’s an on-screen genius.

  73. robb17
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    jon connington,

    totally agree. i thought his reasoning with the red patched cloak was quite beautiful. hopefully they include it in later episodes.

  74. Darquemode
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I liked the longer scenes mixed with cut-away short scenes. It made it flow better to me.

    I missed the battle at The Fist too.

    I loved the Tyrion v Tywin scene, Cersei v Tyrion, and Selmy’s re-intorduction!

    I found a few inside jokes at Cerei commenting on Tyrion’s nose not being cut off as she had heard (like in te books). Also Bronn not knowing any Kingsgaurd name other than Meryn Trant since I have been wondering when they will intro the other Kingsguard! XD

    I did not mind either the brothel scene with Bronn or Ros at the docks. Both scenes were short and kept the characers in people’s minds as well as added a little as well!

    Overall this was a really nioce set up to the new season!

  75. Greg
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Hope we get some Theon/”Boy” stuff next week.

  76. Dark Star
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t Stannis look ALOT grayer than he did last season? That Red Priestess sex must be brutal.

  77. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Greg,

    God, yes, I need that torture porn in my life (and to see my second favorite character!!)

  78. The Usurper
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    eye opening experience to watch an episode after already reading the book. I was a newb for the first two seasons and can’t see myself watching the show like that again except for maybe the final season if GRRM isn’t done by then. Thought episode was good.. .really loved all of the dialogue driven scences like Tywin & Tyrion and family dinner with the Tyrells

  79. thewalkingDEADowns16
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Shit tier episode 3.5/10

    No arya, no bran, no jaime or tyrion. dragons and giants looked terrible horrible cgi. ruining all the storylines like littlefinger and ros with sansa and shae. introducing qyburn earlier is retarded. awful episode will watch next week but if it it sucks im never watching this shit show again

  80. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    A woman also missed Arya & co., and Bran, Brienne, and wanted so to see the Queen of Thorns. Oh well, have to save some for later, overall a good episode. Loved Ghost!

  81. GregoftheNorth
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I forgot about cersei’s comment about tyrion’s nose….that really made me smile

  82. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Aside from the cold open (some poor editing, transitory effects and writing with budget restraints at work there) I thought it was fabulous.
    Mance scene: great. Was he holding a flute there in the background? Tormund wasn’t as jovial on the first impression but I’m going to give them a few eps to develop a full impression.
    Cersei/Tyrion. Any scene with these two is a pleasure.
    Tyrion/Tywin. Masterful. Charles Dance is a god.
    Bronn!
    Oh and sweet Margaery. Dormer is killing it.
    Davos/Stannis stuff. Well done. So glad to see Saan back! Carice owns this role. Dillane is effortless.
    As for Dany? Dragon fishing. Dothraki on the poison water, the sunset arrival, Kraznys, the beautiful TV Missandei (wow at Nathalie Emmanuel) and our favorite Knight’s return. It’s so obvious that they wouldn’t play out his identity. It wouldn’t have worked out visually.

    Best opening episode thus far. Pity about the Fist of the North Men. Iceland was a perfect spot to capture the Frostfangs but it appears it was also a hindrance to filming. I think the North storyline will benefit with the return to Northern Ireland.

  83. Johan Sporre
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    There were about 30k tweets with #GameOfThrones posted in that one hour. Crazy.

    I got the impression from the cold open that they had retreated and run (were they 20 left?), but it would have been nice with a view of the Fist as well. Didn’t need a battle, but a scene of all the dead there.

    I loved the scene between Tywin and Tyrion. One of the strongest and most piercing scenes in the series to date.

  84. arden
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Loved Tormund!!

  85. JamesL
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Considering so many people thought the episode was slow/dull it would have been much better for them to include the battle at the fist. It would have added some much needed excitement.

  86. JamesL
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    Yeah there were a lot of tweets but a very mixed reaction.

  87. House Snow
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    On roose I’d have to watch it again but I thought he was appropriately ambiguous. I thought it was Karstark who was saying the bad stuff. I am worried though since I think FABs review said they gave something away too early

  88. JamesL
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    I guess we got to wait until everybody torrents the episode before we see more reactions to it….

  89. Meraxes
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was an amazing episode! I was really invested the entire way through. Don’t have anything to complain about except that we have week to wait for the next episode :( I don’t mind if we don’t check in with ALL the characters in an episode, because last year I felt as if each week we were given short clips from all the characters.. This episode reminded me alot of seeing season 1 for the first time, only a little better

  90. AshStorm
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Just finished the second viewing. Ya the Selmy scene was a bit rushed but I don’t think they could have pulled off the “disguised Arstan” in visual storytelling without morphing him completely compared to how they played it off in the books.

    Regardless, I was grinning like a freaking school boy when he bent the knee and declared to Daeny.

  91. Monica
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Tywin/Tyrian, Davos, Dany, dinner, all amazing!
    Not so much – Jon’s explanation for leaving the Night’s Watch didn’t ring true – the bastard explanation was better. Everyone standing around after the battle at the Fist… shouldn’t they all be running for their lives?
    Very good overall!

  92. House Snow
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:

    Best opening episode thus far. Pity about the Fist of the North Men. Iceland was a perfect spot to capture the Frostfangs butit appears it was also a hindrance to filming. I think the North storyline will benefit with the return to Northern Ireland.

    I wonder about that too. MAybe I was reading in b/t the lines too much but I got the sense that the shooting in Iceland was kind of troublesome this year, that it snowed more then they would have liked.

  93. TheForgottenWolf
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    So, just 6 months to go until we see it in australia! Heh…

  94. daev3
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Tywin/Tyrion was AWESOME…I love lines spoken from the book. Gave me chills.

  95. Robin
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I liked it, but I’m not happy about how they did Sam’s scenes. It better come later. I’m afraid I may be more of a book purist about this season because I love this book so much

  96. JamesL
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Robin,

    There are not going to leave out Sam the Slayer this season trust me. I think it happens in GRRMs episode.

  97. House Snow
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Also on the battle, I think an underrated reason they hold off on them besides money is they can make exposition a little hard. I think the opener could be done better, but it was going to be kind of hard to show the battle and explain how they got away.

  98. kingthlayer
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I quite liked it, and I feel that complaints about the show being fragmented are too overblown. The creators intentionally left out some major characters, allowing us to spend a longer amount of time with the characters we visited. The overall flow felt fine to me.

    However, I do agree that the beginning was awkward and disappointing. Overall though, a strong episode – and its just going to get better!

  99. Josh
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a slow start…but so was last season, as was the first so I think people now the pattern by now. Come episode 3 though, things are said to kick into gear and once it starts going I don’t see it stopping!

  100. Pyrrhus
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I liked it! I was underwhelmed by the action in the Barristan scene, and the open was a little flat, but I thought that on the whole the atmosphere of the episode was great! The acting in the Tywin-Tyrion scene was fantastic, and I enjoyed Davos and Melisandre’s scene too.

  101. b1narys3rf
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    This could end up being my favorite of the three season premieres.

    Everyone was most comfortable in their own skin, yet what was happening on screen was compelling and new. Just take Kit’s Jon Snow – he’s got a quiet determination that’s more convincing than ever. Even our acting G-d Charles Dance and Tyrion/Dinklage found new subtle notes and depth. And Dany’s fire is showing.

    Acting, photography, sets and effects are better than ever. I allowed it its slowness as I know season openers will be that way, yet it got me hungry for more and seemed over in minutes. Mission accomplished, changes are noticeable but I accept almost all. Only nitpick was as others said, I wanted more of a traditional approach to the Night’s Watch battle of the Fist – but it looks like Sam and I might have both missed it. :-(

  102. redqueen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    The telling of a great premier is that one doesn’t want it to end. This one felt like it was about 10 minutes long and then it was over. Sets up a lot for the season. Loved the Tyrells and the interaction with Cersei and Jeoffrey.

    Wanted more of Mance but guess that’s coming.

    Davos scene really left us hating Stannis and Mel. Tywin and Tyrion interaction setting them up well for the future.

    Now just need Brienne and Jaime to get the story rolling.

  103. Malcatraz
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Furious about the lack of any representation of the amazing battle at the Fist of the First Men. I get that you can’t afford the full-on “Blackwater” treatment, but they ended the last season on a HUGE cliffhanger for that battle, and to represent it with sound effects over a black screen is BULLSHIT.

    A cheaper option would have been to show one corner of it, or cut in to the end with a couple brothers fighting some wights off in their struggle to escape, but what they did there was unacceptable in my opinion. Sorry it’s just what I honestly feel, especially after the cliffhanger of last season.

  104. James Williams
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Show being fragmented complaints…aren’t the books the EXACT same way?? Tyrion chapter…Sansa Chapter…Cat Chapter, etc etc etc then 6 chapters after that…BACK TO TYRION…the show is following the book format almost to the letter

  105. KingJon
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Great episode. Tyrion/Tywin scene was truly epic. The pain in Peter Dinklage’s face was like a punch to the gut. Great acting. That scene further convinced me that Shae will be taking on Tysha’s role and there will be no betrayal. Tywin will hang her and Ros will be the one testifying at Tyrion’s trial. Or Shae will testify and Tywin will still hang her.

  106. Josla
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Someone take pity on a fan girl who desperately needs to know something (anything!) about a certain kiss. Please someone I wont be able to sleep until I know something!
    (I’ve been waiting for that scene for three seasons!)

  107. Phil
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Fav scenes:

    Margaery, Loras, Cersei, and Joffrey
    Tyrion and Tywin
    Dany at Slaver’s Bay and Kraznys

    I wish they put Jons explanation in the book of how he had to sit at the side during the feast.

  108. John
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Malcatraz,

    maybe we’ll get a flashback?

  109. ebevan91
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Malcatraz:
    Furious about the lack of any representation of the amazing battle at the Fist of the First Men. I get that you can’t afford the full-on “Blackwater” treatment, but they ended the last season on a HUGE cliffhanger for that battle, and to represent it with sound effects over a black screen is BULLSHIT.

    A cheaper option would have been to show one corner of it, or cut in to the end with a couple brothers fighting some wights off in their struggle to escape, but what they did there was unacceptable in my opinion. Sorry it’s just what I honestly feel, especially after the cliffhanger of last season.

    I don’t think they could’ve pulled it off without shoving one of the arcs to the next episode, then it becomes a domino effect of pushing scenes back.

  110. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    If you’re talking about Jorah/Dany it did not happen in this first episode.

  111. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    Margaery smooches an orphan on the cheek but that’s the only “kiss” I recall.

  112. freoduwebbe
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I think the scene you are looking for was NOT in the prologue. According to my kindle its in chapter 18.. a bit further in.
    this was a fast hour… hate having to wait a week.. but too soon it will be June and we’ll be waiting 9 months agsin

    Robin:
    I liked it, but I’m not happy about how they did Sam’s scenes.It better come later.I’m afraid I may be more of a book purist about this season because I love this book so much

  113. Chuck88
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Loved every minute. It almost felt surreal watching after looking forward to it literally every day since I finished the second season. Just wish it was next week already :(

  114. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if Theon is going to be in the next episode for real? I just want to know so I’m not anxiously waiting and then disappointed. I’m pretty sure he shows up in the 3rd episode, right? RIGHT?!

  115. Andy Gavin (@asgavin
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed the new slower pacing allowed by the splitting of ACOK into two seasons. My detailed episode review can be found on my blog, but while there wasn’t a ton of action in this opener, there was some good characterization and the production seems to have upped the ante yet again with CGI (giants!) and particularly establishing shots.

  116. Josla
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Jen,

    Oh… but… FAB mentioned in his review I think…
    Well, just hope is not skipped from the series.
    Being awake just to know that! And having a midterm tomorrow!

  117. Jen
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    I thought it was going to happen, too, but he must have been confused and meant a different of the first 4 episodes … lol

  118. Haymaker
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Having just re-read ASOS this past month, my anticipation was high and what a great first episode! Only weak part for me was the opening (how could he send for ravens, when we last saw him, he was surrounded by white-walkers?). I like how they delivered how the Tyrell’s are gaining the love of the small folk, which I believe was told to us by Tyrion’s pov in the book.

    I knew during the opening recap, when they showed a long portion of the Selmy scene from season 1, the reveal was coming. I thought it was handled pretty well. My wife, a non-book reader, loved it. I’ll be interested to see how they play out the Jorah v. Selmy bit now with this early reveal.

  119. Matt S
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    TheForgottenWolf,

    Um, no. It will be up on iTunes tomorrow sometime.

  120. Jern
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    How I would’ve opened the episode

    Starts directly where s2 left of, the WW screeching and Sam quietly weeping. He is scared shitless, when he sees Edd, Grenn and Jeor shouting and running in, then he faints. Mormont wakes him by yelling at him, said his job was to be with the ravens, not sleep during a battle. They don’t spend time in the actual battle, but we get to see a huge force come in, and only 20 survive with small fires everywhere, and no need to resort to Ghost

  121. Dogmayor
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking Shae is going to take the part of Jeyne Poole which is unfortunate. Her betrayal of Tyrion and subsequent murder are important character developments.

  122. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Josla:
    Someone take pity on a fan girl who desperately needs to know something (anything!) about a certain kiss. Please someone I wont be able to sleep until I know something!
    (I’ve been waiting for that scene for three seasons!)

    No, not this episode.

  123. Isabelle
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979: Ha! TWoP and Westeros.org appear to have crashed. Let’s check Twitter!

    Carne: Looks like the GoT IMDb board crashed as well.

    And HBO Go apparently. Mine was working, but the first ten minutes were a bit pixelated. The picture quality returned to normal after that.

    I enjoyed the episode–great to return to Westeros/Essos and see our favourite characters again. Some of the scenes fell a little flat, and others I’ll be re-watching over-and-over. The standout was the conversation between Tywin and Tyrion…or should I say Tywin’s painful take-down of Tyrion. I was wincing on Tyrion’s behalf, and sitting sort of in awe of Charles Dance. Also, Margaery Tyrell is the best damn politician ever.

    And I was not a fan of Dany’s scenes in Season Two, but my goodness is Emilia Clarke carrying herself differently this season. Really strong presence there. Barristan the Bold!

    ETA: I would give Stannis a hug if he wasn’t so bloody unhuggable.

  124. Visenya
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Agree with all the comments about the Fist of the First Men stuff. After the season 2 finale build-up, I couldn’t help but wonder: where did all the white walkers go?

    This episode was owned by Charles Dance, the Davos bits, and the Slavers’ Bay scenes.

  125. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Very nice opener. In keeping with the last 2 seasons, in that it works its way through a number of different stories to check in with a handful of people and remind us who we’re dealing with, and I imagine the next several episodes will see the pace pick up.

    The best moments were pretty key and strong, though:

    –Tyrion/Tywin meeting was superb, and we see Tywin’s ongoing animosity for the son he does not want to acknowledge, even going so far as to use Cersei’s construction of what happened to his mother, that he “murdered” her.
    –All of the Davos stuff was well-handled; I liked seeing Salladhor Saan again to tell him of the danger in what he was to do, and his waking up washed ashore on a rock was well-done, also. He really had 2 of the strongest scenes in the episode, with that and with Melisandre.
    –Clever how they used a young girl as the assassin sent by the warlocks. And the Selmy reveal – even though I saw it coming – was really nicely done.
    –Enjoyed the tense dinner with the Lannister/Tyrell families. Cersei’s baiting of Margaery, and Margaery’s unwillingness to take that bait, will stand as a really nice foundation for what should be 3-4 seasons of that rivalry. Also the invented orphanage scene worked out nicely as well; again, it showcases her good nature and political cunning, and it’s an interesting way to open up the character, and show how separated Joffrey is from his people.
    –Ciaran Hinds is cool. Am I to assume that the 3rd man in the room – with the ax – is perhaps the Magnar of Thenn, albeit in a reduced/nonexistent role?
    –Nice conversation between Ros and Shae. “Watch over her. Watch over her around him.”

    Also….

    –Drogon. For all of your fishing and BBQing needs at once!
    –I like how they referenced Tyrion’s losing his nose in the book.
    –Robb. Oy.
    –Dan Hildebrand, who played such an obvious Scot on Deadwood, does well as an Astaporian. I like it.
    –Lots of missing people this week! Arya, Jaime, Brienne, the Hound, Lady Olenna. Tis fine. Better this way than overstuff lots of new people and have to see everyone.

  126. Spryte
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Best Game of Thrones season 3 premiere everrr

    Who was the “in memory of” dedicated to?

  127. Christopher Ruocchio
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    thewalkingDEADowns16,

    Really? …Really?

  128. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Why on Earth are they introducing Qyburn this early? Seriously.
    I loved Dany’s scenes, which is saying something…!! Last season they sucked. Especially the Warlock part, that was awesome.
    Charles Dance and Tyrion…excellent. Powerful scene.

    The way they skipped the fight on the Fist was lame.
    And I’m afraid they’ll botch Jon’s storyline for the second time.

  129. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    The White Walker is going to be in a later episode so I’d guess we’ll see Sam the Slayer then. We’d better. Otherwise I can handle the change. I didn’t expect to see the battle since we didn’t in the book, either.
    Loved lots of things about it. I didn’t mind the slower pacing at all. Sure I like seeing all the characters every week, but the downside of that is that the scenes are too fast. This way, the scenes were longer, deeper and just better than the pacing last season.
    I loved the episode. Will process more and nitpick later. For now, I’m happy.

  130. Bean
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Given that they had to reintroduce everyone for the new-er viewers, I was really happy with the premiere. They had plenty of quality scenes and the dialogue didn’t feel rushed. Bravo.

  131. Zack
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Finally got to see it. I agree with you. The only questionable decision of the episode for me was in the way Sam was saved. Rather weak. Other than that and perhaps Mance’s intro (I KNEW they’d grim him all up, was prepared for it, but still disappointing), I enjoyed all the scenes. I was shocked that an hour had passed when the credits hit. I think my favorite part was Dany negotiating the Unsullied. Just knowing she’s aware of everything he’s saying, god. It was perfect. I’m also…I could have a full hour of just Margaery doing things. I am smitten so entirely with Natalie Dormer.

    Glad to have the show back. I think 8.5 is about right.

  132. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    b1narys3rf,

    Just take Kit’s Jon Snow – he’s got a quiet determination that’s more convincing than ever. Even our acting G-d Charles Dance and Tyrion/Dinklage found new subtle notes and depth. And Dany’s fire is showing.

    Yep. For sure on Kit, who looks older and smarter. And Dance/Dinklage was great.

  133. Jen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    I’m also super pleased that they established that Tywin is a horrible person … that scene was brilliant. He always seemed to clever / not so bad in season 2, so yeah for the awesomeness in tonight’s episode.

  134. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Spryte:
    Best Game of Thrones season 3 premiere everrr

    Who was the “in memory of” dedicated to?

    It was mentioned in an interview (don’t remember which one) that a crew member had passed away recently, so that was probably the one.

  135. Dennis
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    I liked the pacing of this year’s first episode waaay more than last season’s. It didn’t feel nearly as rushed yet they still got a lot in to set up the narrative for the rest of the season.

    P. S. Was I the only guy in awe of the once again stunning costume design? Especially those worn in the Kings Landing scenes.

  136. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Lastly – I was happy to see that many of the fun moments from the trailers – “Still makes me more clever than you” were all in the first episode. Means the trailers didn’t ruin much.

  137. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Now that was a great premiere episode.

    I’ll admit I was a big detractor of the second season; really didn’t like the direction a lot of characters went and they way they chose to play out some character arcs, particularly Dany and Jon.

    All that above crap aside, I’m no longer worried about this season. D & D nailed the first episode. I didn’t love every scene, but there wasn’t a single scene I disliked or found boring or pointless; it felt like everything was in there for a good reason.

    Standout scenes for me:

    Tywin vs Tyrion: absolutely loved this scene. Tyrion and Tywin’s shared scenes in ASOS are some of my favorite interactions in the whole series, and they captured this first one perfectly. Obviously it couldn’t include every line from teh book, but they kept all the great lines I was hoping to see and Charles Dance and Dinklage were fantastic.

    Dany: Back to liking her storyline. Loved the Barristan reveal, and don’t mind a bit that it had to change from the novels.

    Davos and Salladhor: Great to see Salladhor again; I believe he was only in the one scene in season 2; really like how they incorporated him in here.

    I liked Mance’s introduction, even though I preferred the book version. Still, this scene with Jon, Mance, and Tormund was miles above last Season’s beyond the wall scenes.

    Not sure what to think about how they’re handling Davos returning to Stannis–I’m a little bummed they already revealed Stannis’ plans to make Davos hand last season–but I’ll withhold more judgement until I see where it’s going. I did like Melisandre’s last message to Davos about what she told Mathos early last season about fire and death (from I believe episode 2).

    Really strong opening, and I’m really excited to hear that from most critics’ perspectives it gets stronger each episode. No Jaime or Arya this episode and I hardly even noticed; can’t wait for next week.

  138. Supergoblin
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    b1narys3rf,

    Alright now you are just being a fanboy. The actual series premiere was on a level this episode didn’t even approach.

  139. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Loved the Tyrion/Tywin scene, the Unsullied stuff, and Barristan the Bold! Missing Strong Belwas, but I’m intrigued by the early reveal. Disappointed with the Jon/Mance scene, much better in the books. And I’m sure we’ll see Sam the Slayer after he rescues Gilly from Craster’s. Grenn or Edd will be with him and then they get separated.

  140. Jen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I was quite surprised that SO MUCH of the trailers was in just this first episode … that can only mean that so many more frickin’ awesome things are coming!!

  141. JamesL
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Finally got HBOGO to work and watched it. Considering how many people said it was dull I was surprised by how much I loved it. The best premiere yet imo. Much better than the S2 premiere at least. Am I the only one who thinks David and Dans own material and writing has gotten substantially better since S1. I honestly was not a fan of most of their own stuff in S1, I thought most of it was very weak but I loved their stuff in this episode. Their dialogue writing in particular has gotten so much better. Now I am counting down the days until next sunday.

  142. Jen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Supergoblin,

    I think the series premiere and this episode can’t even be compared … in many ways, the series premiere was EASY b/c it has one setting (minus the prologue/cold open). Considering how complicated the story has gotten with so many characters and all the reminders and build-up they have to incorporate, this premiere was VERY good.

  143. Phil
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I understand that the budget didn’t allow for a major battle in the first episode, and the night’s watch guys looked pretty beat up so you can infer that things didn’t go well there. I really hope everyone’s right about a certain Sam scene happening later. And I’m not a fan of the change where he didn’t send the ravens. Also Ghost should be with Jon, but oh well.

    Great first episode, otherwise though.

  144. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I thought it was a good episode overall. Of course, the 1st few in the season set things up for later on down the road, so I wasn’t expecting too much action.

    With that being said — I agree, the Night’s Watch thing came off pretty contrived (does anyone else think Samwell is starting to look like Chumlee from the show Pawn Stars?). If they were going to do it like that, they should’ve started with Davos on the Spear of the Merling King and come back to the Watch later on.

    At first I thought they were going to mix it up and do the “Sam the Slayer” scene straight off, and was surprised when what I thought was an Other turned out to be a wight… and was then burned by Mormont… who seemingly came out of nowhere… and then gave a speech to what was left of the Watch… who had somehow coalesced around him. So yeah. That didn’t seem right.

    But that Jon Snow scene was AWESOME! Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg was better than I could’ve hoped for. And Ciaran Hinds is perfect as Mance (to hell with book-readers’ imaginations — he IS Mance, goddammit). He owned that scene (and that crazy dude they got to play Tormund wasn’t too bad either).

    Also, Dinklage & Dance were amazing. Natalie Dormer is a goddess. And I found Kraznys mo Nakloz to be strangely persuasive. Plus, Stannis came off especially dickish in this episode, which was excellent.

    As for Arstan Whitebeard — I didn’t really care about his name/hidden identity. But the obvious lack of a certain “tanned eunuch colossus” was troubling. I suppose they’ve already got enough characters to deal with, so cutting out one giant babyman pit brawler won’t matter (and they’re probably right about that), but I’m holding out hope that they’ll cast him for S4. Because someone’s got to eat those crickets, and it sure as hell isn’t going to be Dany. She already ate the horse heart.

  145. T
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    I tried searching for this, but I can’t seem to find anything. In the books, is it ever confirmed who actually sent the Sorrowful Man after Dany? She assumes it’s from Quarth, but is that ever verified? I have friends who believe this crazy theory going around the internet that Varys and Illyrio are really mermen trying to flood the world. They think (maybe jokingly) that tonight’s episode supports that theory because the assassin was a child without a tongue—like one of Varys’ birds—who disappeared when they jumped into the water. They also said that at some point in the books, Varys confirms he sent the assassin. However, I don’t remember Varys admitting any such thing. Maybe they are getting it confused with the first attempt on Dany’s life.

  146. The Kingplaya
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Good episode, loving Dany’s storyline his season, the Kings Landing scenes were great aswell. Not convinved by TV Mance Rayder at all, though. Maybe its because book’s introduction to him was so great, but it fell flat big time to me. Still not bitching, if that’s the worst episode of the first 4 we are in for some good shit! ))

  147. Suzaku
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I imagine we might see the Night’s Watch have repeated encounters with wights and White Walkers as they make their way back towards the Wall. The Sam the Slayer scene is too important to not include, but also too dramatic a moment to waste in the opening scenes of the first episode. The longer they drag it out, the more dramatic it will be when it finally happens. Especially if we see pursuing White Walkers picking off Night’s Watch members as they make their way south.

    I liked how much more focused this episode was, as a season premier. It’s nice to linger on each of these characters a bit longer, rather than trying to catch us up on everyone’s situation all in 55 minutes.

  148. KatyR
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    “Maybe if he was a spunky cup bearer Tywin would like him a bit better?”

    I had the exact same thought while watching that scene. XD

    Poor Tyrion…the hurt look on his face felt like a punch to the gut. I think I may have actually teared up a bit. That was absolutely brutal, and word for word from the book. Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage are phenomenal – easily my favorite scene in the entire episode.

    I missed Arya tonight, but I’m glad we’ll get to see her next week.

  149. Arthur
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Okay so after watching the fist episode twice and letting it all sink in…

    I can’t really find anything to complain about.. For people who say things “felt a little rushed”, come on man, this is TV with time restraints… It be like stating after seeing that giant “It was good but I wish there were 5 giants”. Be happy with what you got! There is time and budget restraints and I really don’t think you can use things that obviously full under those categories as a reason to give a negative opinion.

    Dany looks fierce this season! You guys see the looks on her face throughout this episode? She looks like a woman on a mission that I would not mess with! When Barristan bent the knee and the camera went to Dany’s face… God she looked so beautifully evil to me for some reason. She was breathing heavy and giving that look, the same look she gives when she commands her dragons to breath fire…

    All the dialog in KL was epic! The Tyrells are going to really abuse Cersei and Joff and play them like the fools they are. Tywin and Tyrion was good too, although Tyrion can’t really fight back against his father.

    Geez and we still haven’t seen many of the storylines. Brienne and Jamie, Bran and the Reeds, Arya and The Hound, Theon Greyjoy and many more…

    Well IMHO this was the best first episode of GoT to date… I can’t find anything about it I didn’t like.

    EDIT: One last thing, I have NEVER seen a TV show with this kind of quality and CGI special effects. If the rest of the show is this good and the special effects team doesn’t win awards then that would be robbery. They are as good as any big budget hollywood movie out there.

  150. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    T,

    You can clearly see a warlock’s face in this pic . At least that was how I took it. I guess it could be a Sorrowful Man face too.

    In the books I thoughtthey made itclear. *shrug*

  151. b1narys3rf
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Supergoblin:
    b1narys3rf,

    Alright now you are just being a fanboy. The actual series premiere was on a level this episode didn’t even approach.

    The inarticulate personal attack isn’t necessary, and I disagree. The pilot is the 2nd weakest of ALL the episodes – the 1st is S02E01, “The North Remembers.” So if I see the emperor as naked, I damn well say so. Just rewatched this one and my opinion is cemented: much more entertaining than either of those.

  152. WompWomp
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I loved how gently paced this episode was, and how it gave us more than one quick scene with each character. It was great to have some continuity between Tyrell charity and the dinner.

    Wholeheartedly agreed with the post’s final thoughts. Everyone instantly standing around Sam and the wight was silly, as were the inexplicably similar bloodstains on Mormont’s and the others’ faces. They could have suggested conflict in subtler ways.

    The cinematography is a lot more flattering and artful this episode, above the series average. A few hiccups and missed opps, but not many.

  153. Prince of Pentos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Malcatraz: Best premiere yet! Giants, hell yeah! Unsullied, hell yeah! Barristan, hell yeah! White walker, hell yeah! Dragons, hell yeah! Other tid bits of CGI, hell yeah!

    Agreed.
    CIB,

    http://megashare.info/watch-game-of-thrones-season-3-episode-1-online-TmpNd05BPT0

  154. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    b1narys3rf,

    The pilot was one of my top 3 episodes of Season 1 and arguably the best in my opinion too.

    I thought this was weaker than the pilot, but better tan 2×01.

  155. Prince of Pentos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink
  156. KG
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    thewalkingDEADowns16,

    Still a little bitter about how quickly TWD fell into the toilet, eh? Well … here’s a cookie for you. Now go away. Go on … shoo. Run along; the grownups are talking.

  157. Starkgaryen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I had my reservations about the episode..too much hype…but i am so relieved they deliver! What an enjoyable opening episode!

    There was literally nothing I could find fault with. The characters, the scenery, just amazing

  158. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    KG,

    If you give a mouse a cookie…he’s gonna want a glass of milk.

    Just sayin’.

  159. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    cool giant

  160. Starkgaryen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Oh and if this type of episode is what some critics find slow.. Imagine what an exciting episode will be like

  161. Spryte
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with people praising Dany’s scenes in this episode. Such a difference from last season, it is really refreshing to see her on her epic journey.

    And Charles Dance.. gosh, just give him every award available RIGHT NOW. He is fantastic with Peter Dinklage. If this is considered “slow-paced” and only a taste of more fantastic scenes to come, then I’d say we’re in a for a real treat this season. Even my mother, a non-book reader, was disappointed when the episode ended. She wanted more!

  162. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed it very much and I had no problem with the in media res opening.

    Tyrion and Tywin’s scene was brilliant. Any grudging respect for Tywin Lannister that most viewers had as a consequence of his scenes with Arya last year were doused by a firehose of Charles Dance being a brilliant pricklish sonobabitch. And yes, the dialog tracked GRRM’s almost word for word through much of it. If it ain’t broke — don’t fix it.

    I was not enchanted by Ciaran Hinds, but that it no fault of that actor or the writers. I am not only a book reader, but a book *listener*. For some reason, Roy Dotrice’s take on Mance clearly left a strong impression on me and it is one of those characterizations I can’t let go. As the audio book version of Mance seemed *so different* from GoT’s Mance, the discordance seemed the most profound difference of all the actors so far on the show. This Mance does not seem to be GRRM’s Mance. Still, I’m open to this new interpretation and I’ll try and burn through my preconceptions and enjoy it.

    I thought the decisions to “age up” the younger characters through casting older actors was now quite telling and on centre stage in this episode — and will doubtless be in the next episode as well as we see a visibly older Arya and Bran, too. In Joffrey, in particular, Jack Gleeson’s on-screen presence, especially at dinner, seemed markedly older. He’s just not a young kid anymore.

    Of course, the choice to choose Natalie Dormer as Margaery produced an entirely different dynamic to her interaction with Cersei. I think I am going to enjoy this version of Margaery far more in the long run. Her interaction with Joffrey is necessarily very different than it was in the book (not that there was much of it given the POV structure) but Margaery’s interaction with Cersei is the FAR more important relationship in the long run and this is going to work VERY well indeed. This will be a joy to watch unfold in Season 5 and 6. Good call D&D.

  163. b1narys3rf
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Also a couple of interesting sidebars: the HBO GO screen for tablets is tiled with nothing but the GoT publicity ‘faces’ poster. Yeah, they know which side the bread is buttered on.

    And, besides the burning Winterfell, did anyone notice the credits change which now says “Written for Television” instead of just “Written by”? Seems a bit more respectful of the source material and GRRM. Wonder who decided that and why – hope it wasn’t overly political in any behind the scenes stuff.

  164. Coltaine777
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I thought this ep was extremely slow but I was prepared for it by most of the reviews who said he same thing…bring on ep 2…

  165. Ser Bug
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I didn’t read all the comments yet but I have a theory that instead of getting Jeyne Pool as Fake Arya, we’re gonna get a Ros as Fake Talisa after the Red Wedding (who will go on to marry Theon).

  166. Josh
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    KG:
    thewalkingDEADowns16,

    Still a little bitter about how quickly TWD fell into the toilet, eh?Well … here’s a cookie for you. Now go away. Go on … shoo. Run along; the grownups are talking.

    Bravo KG! I watched TWD but I just can’t stand it. Yes it’s an exciting show where anything can happen but beneath that it’s so incredibly shallow. The characters are HORRIBLY written and as much as people complain about how exploitative of the female body this show can be(and it is…I mean so many boobs and so little guy parts), it has also has some of the strongest, most complex female characters on TV, unlike the Walking Dead which has some of the worst. The Walking Dead is basically about how in the zombie Apocalypse you better be an Alpha Male or stick with an Alpha Male or you are screwed. And if you’re a female, you’re most likely going to be weak and whiny, save for one or two of you(and even then, you’ll end up being weak and whiny come the next season).

    So yeah…I just don’t see how anyone can compare the shows…GoT is changing television for the better, giving us scoop and character…TWD is changing TV in that we’re going to get grittier, scarier shows…but it’s doing nothing for CHARACTER. It’s sad that in a world where female characters are SUPPOSED to be less then men(but rarely ever are), the women have more power then in the modern world overrun by zombies(and ruled over by Alpha Males).

  167. Spryte
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:

    I was not enchanted by Ciaran Hinds, but that it no fault of that actor or the writers. I am not only a book reader, but a book *listener*. For some reason, Roy Dotrice’s take on Mance clearly left a strong impression on me and it is one of those characterizations I can’t let go. As the audio book version of Mance seemed *so different* from GoT’s Mance, the discordance seemed the most profound difference of all the actors so far on the show. This Mance does not seem to be GRRM’s Mance. Still, I’m open to this new interpretation and I’ll try and burn through my preconceptions and enjoy it.

    I know what you mean, I kind of expected to be introduced to a Mance playing an instrument… someone generally more laid-back and not as.. military. But it’s only the first episode and there’s still time to flesh out his character!

  168. Jared
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Loved the premiere. For me, Tyrion and Tywin scene was the highlight, but I thought that the re-introduction of Ser Barristan Selmy (one of my favorite characters from the books) was excellent as well. Count me among those who have zero problems with them ditching the Arstan Whitebeard arc – I just don’t think it would have played well on TV.

    The opening credits flew by so quickly that I almost didn’t catch it, but it appears as though Oona Chaplin is receiving series regular billing this year (so is Rose Leslie, and most likely Gwendoline Christie starting with next week’s episode). Ciaran Hinds, interestingly, isn’t (though he got a guest star line all to himself). Guess that means we’ll be getting quite a lot of Lady Talisa this year. Personally, I’m happy with this (I may be one of the few). I want to see her character get some more depth and context before the end of the season, and the fact that she’s a very beautiful woman certainly won’t be a detriment during that increased screentime. Beautiful enough to lose a kingdom over? Maybe not. But hey, it’s not my kingdom

  169. GeekFurious
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I started yesterday early evening rewatching the series and finished 20 episodes 3-hours before the season premiere.

    It exceeded my expectations. I thought the episode looked gorgeous. The writing was excellent. And the acting was top notch.

    Could I complain about some changed elements or things left out due to the budget? Of course. But why bother when the things that worked did so on such a high level.

    Can’t wait for the next 9 episodes. And of course the season 4 (and 5?) renewal that has to be inbound this week.

  170. Ren Snow
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Clambake:
    I thought the manticore looked awesome. Other than that I thought the episode was a little slow but I expected that so they could get the ball rolling. Also Astapor looked good in the opening credits.

    Though no pyramid :(

  171. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    T,

    I just double checked in the book. They do make it clear.

    First Martin writes a Qartheen stepped in front of Dany, then after handing her the box he whispers “I am so sorry.”

    Which when paired with Daxos’ chat with Dany…
    ““Suppose a Sorrowful Man came to my palace one night and killed you as you slept,” said Xaro. The Sorrowful Men were an ancient sacred guild of assassins, so named because they always whispered, “I am so sorry,” to their victims before they killed them.”

    I will have to re-watch, but I did not hear the girl speak. She had no tongue I thought (implying one of Littlefinger’s birds maybe?). My guess is the series may leave The Sorrowful Men out of the equation.

  172. MX
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    How strange…I ***loved*** Jon’s explanation, because it showed more depth to him and because it was both true to his feelings and a good way to slip in. That was one of the best of Jon’s scenes in my view!!!

    Sansa’s lines when they were playing the game of ships were a bit weak, and at times other actors (even our beloved Dinklage) seemed to just declare their lines rather than act them. That’s too bad but the second scene was occasionally also uneven like that. But I watch the show for the acting more than anything else and I expect it will improve.

    Danaerys’ scenes were great, and the ending was effective.

    Valyrian sounded like a mixture of Arabic and French, no surprise there since this was Morocco, but it was a bit jarring since I am familiar with both. Usually it’s enough to throw in a guttural kh and English speakers are mesmerized, it’s oh-so-alien (never mind the Loch Ness)….

    Oh yes, if Sam the Slayer gets eliminated I’ll be really sad…I root for Sam, his eyes are so endearing…

  173. Mariamb18
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I love Charles Dance. That scene with Tyrion was perfection – two pros that know exactly what they are doing.

    I actually enjoyed Dany’s scenes. Iain Glenn looks better than ever. Kraznys was exactly as I imagined. Looking forward to seeing more of Missandei. Glad that they skipped the Arstan pretense. Gotta move some subplots ahead quicker.

    Were we told why Robb is at Harrenhal? If so, I missed it.

    Still not sure about Mance…

  174. Skipjack
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I liked it, and am really sorry we only get ten episodes per year, I feel like after waiting so long I am ticking off the episodes on my fingers. I didn’t love it, to my surprise, but I think that’s mostly due to my own hyped expectations.

    It is hard not to compare my expectations from the book to the show, but I’m with everyone when I say they should have given us something with the fight on the Fist of the First Men, it’s crucial to the plot. I don’t mind their changing Jon’s “motivation” for joining the wildlings, that scene shows that Mance can read people. But I hope they still have the “did you see where they sat the bastard?” conversation, it’s important to know that it still eats at Jon.

    I was disappointed with the Tywin-Tyrion scene. Powerfully acted, and the dialogue was fine, I just don’t like how unmotivated Tywin’s malice is. Sure Tyrion can come off as a buffoon, but there’s no mention of his work at all. At least do something like give the credit for the wildfire to Cersei- since it was her idea. This all just makes Tywin look peculiarly shortsighted and ungrateful. Or maybe they should have had Tyrion mess up a time or two last season so Tywin could seize on that as an excuse to reject Tyrion.

  175. From Chaos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Wow, overall a pretty positive response on here, nice to see because it is well deserved. A great start to what should be the best season.

    Loved Tyrion just nodding and walking away mid sentence of Tywin’s, “Oh and one more thing…”

  176. GeekFurious
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    MX:
    How strange…I ***loved*** Jon’s explanation, because it showed more depth to him and because it was both true to his feelings and a good way to slip in. That was one of the best of Jon’s scenes in my view!!!

    Agreed.

    I haven’t bothered reading any other comments here since I know they will likely consist of people who can’t let go of their expectations… but if anyone had a problem with that scene, then I can only imagine they are going to be discovering new and exciting ways to be disappointed by this season.

  177. Direhound
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Ratings projections? 5.1 I’m guessing.

  178. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    MX,

    I really liked that change too!
    Thank you for reminding me because I forgot to! mention it!

    It felt “real” and like ome thing Jon could actually believe. A way to not lie and be discovered unlike the book explination which was a partial turth at best.

  179. Kenneth
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    It was a really good premiere! I wanted to see jamie and arya but its best not to have all characters in one episode.

    Highlights:

    1. Tywin and Tyrion – strong performance and sad to watch. Makes you really pissed off at Tywin.

    2. Margaery – I’m loving how smart she is. And how joeffery just looks at her in awe

    3. Dany – She’s always been my favorite character. Last season she was slacking but she has come back strong. And I love how the dragons look and the Unsullied scene.

    4. Jon – I liked his interaction with Mance. And we got to see a giant, which looked awesome.

    Things I could do without:

    1. Roz – She is just pointless to me

  180. Caro H
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    finally saw the episode and of course i loved it!! it had many storylines and yet they were better fleshed out that in S2′s premiere. the changes that they made with cutting arstan and robb in harrenhal can be overseen.
    they made me like ross for the first time for warning shae about sansa & LF, so kudos for that too!
    sure, missed the whole “cloak” talk and what it means between mance and jon, but what they invented like the tyrell’s dinner or the way they are portraying margaery were quite well done. it was so weird to see this side of joff though!
    the only two things that i had a problem with were what they are doing with cat and robb’s relationship and sansa’s trusting LF.
    but terrific acting from everyone. can’t wait for next week with arya and jaime and brienne and the queen of thorn’s breakfast with sansa! :)

  181. kingthlayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Dogmayor,

    I don’t see that, I could see Ros taking the place of Sansa though. Sansa is looking more mature, for one thing, making the age difference less important, and Ros would know Winterfell the best. I know its supposed to be “Arya” that is sent off to marry Ramsay , that Sansa is in a commitment to Tyrion, etc. But the marriage never gets consummated, and I don’t see why that can’t become common knowledge. So I think its going to be Ros. It will add extra depth to when Theon rescues her.

  182. MX
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Thank God someone else liked it! It was starting to feel lonely…but Jon said what I would have said!

  183. Greg
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    The Good
    -Tyrion/Tywin. I was pleasantly surprised at how close it stayed to the novel, and the way Dance and Dinklage played off of each other was amazing.
    -Ghost is back!
    -Tormund=everything I want from life. I had my concerns about him being too grim but I think they’ve pretty much nailed his character so far.
    -Mance! Again, I had my concerns, but Ciaran Hinds pretty much swept them all away in that scene. And again, I was pleasantly surprised at how close it was to the book!
    -Bronn being Bronn.
    -Pod being Pod.
    -I don’t know, I really enjoyed the Davos stuff in this episode. I liked the war-weary shell of a Stannis, and Liam Cunningham’s portrayal or Davos’s grief, confusion, and anger all at the same time. And it was nice to see Salla again.
    -Ugh, Kraznys is just as gross as he is in the novel. I love it.
    -In fact, the entire Unsullied sequence was just as unsettling as I had hoped.
    -Roose/Rickard conversation. I think Roose is just as quietly captivating here as he is in the books, and I liked the mention of Locke/Vargo/whoeverthehell.
    -Qyburn’s introduction was different, but I liked it.
    -Sansa being sassy and awesome. Dare I say she sounded a bit like the Hound with her mini-rant about the lords and ladies of KL?
    -Margaery’s orphanage scene and her interaction with Cersei. I love the expanded role she’s gotten.
    -The manticore!
    -BARRISTAN MOTHERF***ING SELMY, EVERYBODY.

    The Not-As Good
    -Ros and Shae’s conversation was kind of weird? I mean, I know Ros is from Winterfell but she and Sansa weren’t like best buddies or anything, right? So why is she being so protective?
    -I would’ve liked to have seen a bit of Jaime, Arya, Theon, or Bran, but I can wait until next week. Same with some of the new characters, like Olenna and Jojen and “Boy”.
    -Ugh, Littlefinger is so grating. It’s a shame, because Aidan Gillen is a great actor and I desperately want to like this version of LF, but I can’t entirely. It’s mainly the writers’ fault, though.
    -SAM, Y U NO SLAY. I mean, I’m sure he will at some point. Hopefully soon.

    Overall, very strong episode and has (for now) sated my GoT addiction.

  184. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I’ve really enjoyed TV Davos much more than the books. Maybe I need to reread his chapters, but I think Liam Cunningham has done an amazing job of bringing this guy to life. He’s now one of my favorite characters.

  185. GeekFurious
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Direhound:
    Ratings projections? 5.1 I’m guessing.

    5.1 what? If you mean millions of viewers, that’s not a rating. That’s just viewers. And as I have expressed countless times now, HBO doesn’t care about ratings and doesn’t care when you watch the episodes, just that you watch them.

    So, I predict around 9 million viewers for the night (via all hours shown). And 15 million total viewers for the episode when those numbers are crunched way down the line.

  186. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    There was a frickin GIANT in this episode! I was really happy seeing this. I thought that would be something they def cut because of budget. But it will make the battle at the wall super duper awesome.

  187. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Skipjack:

    I was disappointed with the Tywin-Tyrion scene.Powerfully acted, and the dialogue was fine, I just don’t like how unmotivated Tywin’s malice is. Sure Tyrion can come off as a buffoon, but there’s no mention of his work at all.At least do something like give the credit for the wildfire to Cersei- since it was her idea.This all just makes Tywin look peculiarly shortsighted and ungrateful.Or maybe they should have had Tyrion mess up a time or two last season so Tywin could seize on that as an excuse to reject Tyrion.

    Tywin tells us what his motivation is: he cannot prove that Tyrion isn’t his son, but he still treats Tyrion like a bastard because he fears he isn’t his son. Tyrion said the same thing about his relationship with his father in the first scene we see him in — both in the book and in the series.

    And I dare say that Tywin’s last words to Tyrion will be the same in the series as it was in the book, too. The motivation is exactly what Tyrion says it is at the beginning — in the pivotal scene last night — and in their final scene, too. It hides in plain sight. Tyrion is not a true-born Lannister.

  188. Brian
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    What was the deal with the slaughtered Northmen at Harrenhal?

  189. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Greg,

    I took Ros warning Shae as more of a mutual respect sisterhood thing, a warning from one whore to another that Littlefinger is dangerous. Ros could tell Sansa herself, but it would be coming from a stranger and mean less than coming from the handmaiden she trusts.

  190. jaa
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    other than Tyrion scenes and Margery in the orphanage it was pretty week for a season premiere. I am kinda disappointed or maybe I should not expect it to be like the books at all.

  191. HodorsaysHodor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Tywin and Tyrion scene was my favorite by far

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7who4CaKl14

  192. argilac's antler
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Michel:
    Is Loras ever going to be a member of the Kingsguard in the series?

    It probably wouldn’t make sense at this point if they’re going with the Loras/Willas switch for Sansa. Kingsguard’s cant marry. I trust, he’ll probably join later once Sansa gets married.

  193. El Beto
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Didn’t like… well, maybe a few scenes were ok =/

  194. AshStorm
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Lmao I can’t stop laughing at this…

    Sam…
    http://i.imgur.com/X75Vszv.jpg

  195. Maester Blaster
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Michel,

    I speculate Loras will be put on the Kingsguard to prevent him eloping with Sansa (Garlan = cut). We all know the Lanisters have plans for her and her claim to Winterfell.

  196. Jay
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Leaving out the whole Arstan thing was a great idea. I never liked that part in the books.

    As they point out in the show, Jorah would recognize him immediately. I mean, how would Jorah, a knight himself, not recognize the most famous knight in the kingdom? I don’t care if he had a beard to conceal his identity, it was ill thought out. the fact that Jorah somehow couldn’t recognize this guy who is the same age as Barristan, sounds like Barristan, looks like Barristan with a beard … somewhat suspect.

    Probably the best change they made, so far.

  197. Zack
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    Nice summation. You and I are on the same page for the episode, it appears. You’re exactly right about the Margaery/Cersei relationship and tonight’s intro in that regard was especially mesmerizing. The subtext to everything was executed flawlessly from the writers and actors.

    Just watched the episode again and that scene really stuck out.

  198. saluk
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Tyrion/Tywin scene has to be one of the best scenes in the show so far. Kind of hard to watch to be honest, Tyrion’s normal wisecracking role is swallowed in Tywin’s looming shadow.

  199. Toast
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    I dont get everyone’s love for Sam the Slayer, and wanting to see him be a “bad ass”. When does that ever happen?

    It has not been that long since I reread the books and he never does anything even remotely heroic. In the retreat from the fist he lays down to die and is only saved because Small Paul picks him up and carries him. He is to big of a waste to even carry his own fat ass. When he is called the slayer it is to mock him. When he kills the other its only because he trips and accidentally stabs him with a dragonglass dagger after he watches Small Paul get killed by the other. If tripping and accidentally stabbing someone is badass then sure, he is a badass.

    I think John Bradley does a great job portraying Sam but I feel like people are forgetting that he is always a coward and a fuck up.

  200. Eric Niewohner
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I was shocked when the episode was over because I thought it had been about ten minutes. When it went to black I grabbed my phone to look at the time as I just could not believe it was already over, sigh.

    Loved the Barristan scene and the only way you could do it as there was no way to disguise him so let’s make it happen. Very cool and I practically had tears in my eyes when he knelt to swear fealty, awesome!

    Even though I know the level of acting is high I am always amazed at how good it is for every part and every player. The Tywin/Tyrion scene was fantastic and watching Tyrion get beat down by Tywin’s verbal assault was astounding, such great acting and passion.

    If this is the slow episode of the first four then we are in for great things.

  201. the mighty hodor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t impressed with the opening black screen with the sound of swords and yelling, I understand they are working with time and budget constraints…but the black scene with swords clanging in my opinion is just cheap.

    In all honesty I didn’t want a battle, the question I was left with at the end of season 2 was “is Sam going to live?” I was glad they opened with Sam and not a battle.

    But just leave the black screen battle scenes out.

  202. Mimsy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Tywin was an ass in … 3… 2… 1 …. welcome back ‘ol boy! Grrr!!! It’s like Joffrey was spawned directly from Tywin. Dayum!!

    Margie made me chuckle with her Snow White persona. I was half expecting birds to circle and tweet around her head. I always loved her butting heads with Cersei. I think I’m gonna like her a lot this season.

    The Unsullied is awesome and that freaky scorpion demon was crazy awesome!

    Why did critics think this episode was slow? Are you kidding?! By the time it came to the dragon ship bit.. my heart was beating faster and my mind was reeling with the stories. By the time the episode I ended.. it felt like 10 minutes had passed. Beautiful flow… GREAT stories… I am more than pleased.

    …and the GIANT… are you kidding me?!! He was freaking amazing and well put together. I want to see the making of the giant!

    …oh and is STANNIS looking hot or what?! It was quite disturbing. lol

  203. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    I decided to post the HBO Spring 2013 promo that aired right before the premiere….
    It has some previously unseen footage from Thrones including a certain cave scene…..

    http://youtu.be/4gGggaQ0fu0

  204. Starkgaryen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Another plus for this episode was that they gave the whores a purpose and one perspective. While I’d rather not have Shae (this version) or Ros, it was interesting to see commoners involved in their own “game”

  205. Starkgaryen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Starkgaryen,

    i.e. Ros showing some loyalty to the Starks!

  206. spacechampion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Jake:
    A little let down about not seeing more White Walkers

    Dude, we didn’t see ANY white walkers. Just a wight.

  207. Fish
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Ok episode, bit of a bore tho

    Danny / Jon were the best parts

  208. Uncle B
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    rukie44,

    Lin Beifunk,

    Beginning too fast.
    Where are the zombies?
    Lord commander arrives too soon.
    Not enough drama.

    Camp too small.
    Every episode should be a full motion picture with 90 minutes.
    Then they would have the money for special effects.

    Hair too clean.

    Ygritte not sexy enough. She is hotter in the books.

    Why black cloak for the Night’s Watch? Makes no sense in snow country.

    Tits!
    Should be bigger.
    Shaved pussy?
    No!
    Fucking Tyrion! Wait a little for God’s sake!
    We should see pussy!
    More sex!
    Fucking Tyrion!
    Why can’t he wait?!

    Scar not cool enough.
    Cool books.
    Queen nice dress.
    Nice walking away from her.

    Bronn!
    Knights are worth double!
    Gets funnier every season.

    Davos standing on tit.
    Whe should see more tits!
    Where are the big boobs from season 1?

    Clothes too clean.
    Nice pirat

    Horses! Finally!. Fucking Robb yeah!
    Robb’s beard too clean.

    Tywin!
    Nice lighting!
    Great lion!
    The badge looks good on you! Ha!
    Great actor!
    Both!
    Waddle about!
    Go! Now!
    Damn!
    Great scene!
    Fuck!. That’s a great scene!
    That scene alone is worth all the others.
    Fucking great!
    Wow! Congratulations!

    Littlefinger!
    He was great in the Wire. Great here.
    Love Littlefinger.

    Nice whore talk.

    Dragons!
    Should be bigger!
    Show us Balerion!

    Why is Daenerys not nude?
    We should see her boobs all the time!
    Doesn’t she have a dress in the books where one booby is exposed?
    Why not here? What the fuck?
    And they should be bigger!
    Get here a boob job for God’s sake!

    Ha ha fucking Dothraki on the ship! Great idea to show them seasick!
    Great!

    Dragonstone great!
    Who is the architect?

    Melisandre should be nude, too. Why isn’t she nude?
    There is not enough sex in this series. There should be a porn version of Game of Thrones?
    Not enough violence. Nobody died. Why not?

    Ha! Fucking Joffrey!
    One day someone will take a swing at him in a bar.
    Poor actor!
    He should go on talkshows and be nice and shit.
    Or do something for charity.

    Oh no, the Tyrell chick! What’s her name? Margaery.
    She was ok last season.
    Why now children? Who wrote that? Not good scene. Feels fake.
    Please show everything to George RR Martin before filming it.
    Awful scene!
    Like soap opera.

    Horrible scene

    No? Horrible talk with queen.
    From the book? Can’t be.

    Horrible!
    Impossible to watch.

    Fucking soap opera.

    Get better writers. Let George RR Martin write all the episodes.
    Fuck!
    Horrible scene!

    Daenerys needs bigger boobs!
    Ha, fucking slave master!
    Interpreter boobs great!
    Who is actress?
    Are there nude pictures of her? Why isn’t she on imdb?

    Damn! Why isn’t she nude?

    Ha, fucking bug!

    One oft he greatest fighter the kingdom has ever seen!
    Yes!
    What was his name? Damn.
    Barriston Selmy! Yes!

    What? That’s it? That’s too short! Where are all the others? That sucks! For real!

    And just ten episodes? Are you crazy. You cannot do that to me!
    And when ist he next book coming out? Why are you inviting George to all those premieres and events? That sucks!

  209. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Although I really enjoyed the episode, I hate what they’re doing with Littlefinger and Sansa.

    Anyone else disappointed that they’ve decided to reveal what I thought was a major reveal/surprise so early?

  210. Strepsi
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    It is a testament to how fantastic this show is as a TV adaptation, writing and acting, that consensus is that the 2 best scenes were AT TABLES: The dinner at King’s Landing and the Tywin / Tyrion scene. This in a show with dragons, wights, and a giant!

    Brilliant adaptation, brilliant show.

    I also love the on-location feel. I really like Spartacus: War of the Damned, but it is great to see people walking in real castles and real buildings: the CGI and location is very very well integrated.

  211. js
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Great episode! Only two problems: Robb @ Harrenhall seemed out of place (and Qyburn, w/o the rest of the BC) and the lack of Strong Belwas was a disapointment.

    Otherwise, exellent!

  212. Drunken Fool
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Toast,

    I agree with you 100%, in the books Sam doesn’t really do a damn thing except screw up with the Ravens during the battle of the fist hahah.

    I thought this was the best premier by far. Somebody said it earlier, S01E01 had by far the easiest plot line of any of the episodes to date, the S02E01 was good but didn’t blow me away, but this year’s premier was pretty spectacular in my opinion. People seem luke warm in regards to Mance and I think they should just suck it up. They are making the free folk out to be a much tougher breed of people and TV-Mance is a very believable badass yet intelligent King. Remember there is still 9 episodes, THIS SEASON, to develop his character.

    I understand completely that some people aren’t thrilled that one small part or another is changed, but come on, take things with a grain of salt. Does it make a difference that it wasn’t a sorrowful man trying to kill Dany, no. Look at the Sorrowful Men’s A Wiki of Ice and Fire page, they get a whole two sentences summing them up, they are really minor in the grand scheme.. A warlock assassin makes plenty of sense. My only real complaint, that could easily be resolved once Qyburn is healthy enough to tell us, is what happened at Harrenhal/where is the Mountain that Rides?

    Remember people, this is GOT being brought to life, how lucky are we?!?!?

  213. BlackTalon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    A good episode. I was a bit disappointed with the opening, but I understand budget is limited.

    Tywin and Tyrion scene was brutal.

    Emilia Clarke has so far been one of the weakest actors but getting better, and it seems like she has really got her sh*t together for this season. Pretty much flawless. I loved her expression when she heard about the murdered infants.

    Missandei is breathtakingly gorgeous …

  214. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Arrogant Bastard,

    I actually disliked the Dontos scenes from the books, so I’m not upset Littlefinger is working Sansa directly in the series. Not at all honestly.

    It manages to streamline things quite nicely by getting rid of Dontos and the Kettleblacks as his inside men. Telling her that he will be leaving and may be able to take her with him makes little difference to me I guess. He did not say why he will be leaving. Now that would have been a huge reveal too early.

    Honestly I am just happy that Littlefinger is NOT using Ros to work Sansa. I would have hated to hear all the Ros-hate over that story tweak! XD

  215. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    good episode :)

  216. Drunken Fool
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Arrogant Bastard,

    Please spoiler tag it or whatever when you respond, but I don’t know what you’re talking about, could you explain? I didn’t think they gave away anything.

  217. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Good start to the season. Not a great episode, but it is just setting the groundwork, as every premier does. The show is similar to the book in this regard. The third book did not pick up steam until around the 20th chapter. What I did love, is that there were no bad scenes, except for the cold open, and I wouldn’t call it bad, just poorly executed.

    Favorite Parts:

    Tywin and Tyrion – this was perfection. Charles Dance’s delivery was great. Dinklage played a wounded Tyrion really well. Loved that they kept a lot of the dialogue straight from the book.

    Daenerys – Wow. She had the best episode. There was not a single issue I had with her scenes. Kraznyz was perfect. Aged up Missendei was perfect. Unsullied were perfect. And Barristan, well, what more can I say? Bout’ time! Barristan ‘The Bold’! He was my favorite part of Dany’s chapters in the books and the only way I was able to get through her ADWD chapters. The manticore looked pretty cool. I liked the the contention in Jorah’s voice when he said Barristan was a “member of ROBERT BARATHEON’S kingsguard.” Somebody is worried that his jig may be up.

    Margaery vs Cersei – They really did a good job of setting up this rivalry, which should last for quite a while.

    Jon and the Wildlings – I did not like how they handled Jon’s S2 story, but this was a good start to S3 for him. Ciarin seemed fine as Mance. No, he wasn’t playing a flute, and we didn’t get his story about his cape or how he was at Winterfell for the feast for Robert, but I understand why they left out the latter story. It wouldn’t make much sense, because Jon wasn’t even at the feast in the show. Which is why we also didn’t get Jon’s reasoning about wanting to join the wildlings. Oh, and the giant looked great.

  218. Lea
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    You are awesome! Thank you for posting these vids. :)

  219. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Drunken Fool,

    I’ll spoiler tag it, but I don’t think I need to since this is the book thread.

    I’m referring to Littlefinger already revealing to Sansa that he’ll take her home. In the books, Dontos is the one telling Sansa this from early ACOK all the way to the Purple Wedding, and it came as a shock to me at least when it turned out to be Littlefigner behind it the entire time. Here, it’s already spelled out.

  220. Zychotous
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one that was utterly confused by the Harrenhal scene? Why does he suddenly decide that its time to arrest his mother for releasing Jaime? Releasing Jamie had nothing to do with Harrenhal.

    Besides that one scene, I thought it was a fantastic episode.

  221. man from the north
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    why so many people whant sam the slyer so erly in the season when he comes after the craster keep
    ( sorry on the spelling non english speaker)

  222. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Zychotous,

    She was already arrested last season. He was just asking them to find somewhere to keep her confined. He did so after seeing soldiers looking down on him as Catelyn was standing beside him. I don’t see what was so confusing about the Harrenhal scene. At the very beginning Robb says he is trying to engage the Lannisters in battle, but they keep running. The Mountain left Harrenhal and slaughtered all of the North/Riverland men that he had captured.

  223. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Sam the Slayer will happen when he and Gilly are fleeing from the mutiny at Craster’s.

  224. Zychotous
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Zychotous,

    She was already arrested last season. He was just asking them to find somewhere to keep her confined. He did so after seeing soldiers looking down on him as Catelyn was standing beside him.I don’t see what was so confusing about the Harrenhal scene. At the very beginning Robb says he is trying to engage the Lannisters in battle, but they keep running. The Mountain left Harrenhal and slaughtered all of the North/Riverland men that he had captured.

    The way the scene is played out it makes it seem like they are blaming catelyn for this massacre for releasing Jaime. Her releasing Jaime didn’t have anything to do with harrenhal hence the confusion.

  225. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    shit i was really expecting Battle at the Fist

  226. Drunken Fool
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Arrogant Bastard,

    Ohhhh got’cha. Yeah that is true, I forgot about that and it is a big twist in the books, thanks for responding. I’m hoping that it will still be Littlefinger that tells the Lannisters about the Tyrell plot to marry Sansa and the viewers will see him screwing her over by, in a way, setting her up to marry Tyrion. That way when he “goes to the Vale” it will look like he is abandoning her and people will probably forget about that conversation. Then after the PW, he can carry her away and still shock the viewers. That would be just about the only way to overcome the spoiler in my opinion. Thanks again for responding!

  227. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Drunken Fool,

    Hmmm, I like your scenario; hopefully they carry it out that way. I’m looking forward to the Tyrion Sansa marriage, just because that’s also a pretty big surprise that makes sense, and one that I’m looking forward to seeng the reaction of non book readers.

    I think Tywin telling Tyrion “You will marry Sansa Stark, adn soon” would be a great ending to an episode.

  228. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Zychotous,

    I didn’t see it that way at all. They saw her walking around freely when Robb had already ordered her to be arrested is all.

  229. Hexonx
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Zychotous,

    I didn’t see it that way at all. They saw her walking around freely when Robb had already ordered her to be arrested is all.

    Agreed, Robb says “Lannisters robbed them of their sons, she robbed them of their justice.”

  230. Summer Is Coming
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Very good episode, not great, but very good! I wont criticise changes, since I don’t know yet where they lead. Shifting between storylines feeled a bit rough, but the overall appearance of the episode was good.
    The opening with Sam felt sloopy a bit.. I mean the guy was surrounded by WW at the end of last season.. Next, the credits: Loved it, Smoking Winterfell, and Astapor was awesome with its harpy.. and I could see another city in the background, wether is Yunkay or Meereen we should see! Plus, a pleasant surprise when I saw Oona Chaplin’s name in the credits.. I don’t want to be a smartass, but months ago I posted a comment when I argued about who will appear in the intro this season: Talisa, Ygritte and Brienne are for sure now!
    Loved the Tyrion-Cersei, Tyrion-Tywin, and Margaery-everyone else scenes. Also the Jon-Mance was too short! And speaking of short, the Robb and co. was to damn short! But I was very intrigued by Qyburn’s “lucky?”… I guess that due to his… “powers” he kept himself… from dying? Do you think they are going in that direction?
    Who’s left? Ah Sansa and LF.. good scene, but show LF is not one of my favs… and about favs… Where was VARYS? I totally miss him :( my absolut favourite in the show! I also liked the Ros-Shae scene.. about Ros, I don’t get what you people have with that poor girl. Yes, she’s not canon, but she has her purpose, ok? geez.
    And now Dany: Liked it! Barristan seem a bit stiff, but nice rescue! I also felt was a bit rushed, but future episodes will resolve that! The one thing that bugged me was that the Valyrian-Common Tongue switch was very confusing. Missandei’s voice is similar to Dany’s and I had problems distinguishing who’s who, when the camera was far from them.

    Anyway, I enjoyed it very much, and I can’t wait till next week when Arya, Jaime and Bran will make their S3 debut!

  231. Lex
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    Haven’t read any comments.

    Loved it. 9/10.

    Tywin/Tyrion scene stood out as the best scene, on the first viewing. Margaery stuff was okay, but a bit weird (Joffrey was funny). I actually liked the cold open with Ghost. Awesome episode, can’t wait for more.

  232. Scotsh
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    I dont have much to add to the episode itself, i mostly agree with WiCs impressions (tho i am intested what was the big deviation to the books he was talking about after he saw the press release, that first scene?)

    One thing i was missing is that they did not show that Dany actually understood everything Kraznys was saying in Valyrian :(

    My main concern however lies with the progression of Dany storyline in general. As it seems there are only 2 cities at Slavers Bay (as seen in the opening credits). Considering that Meereen plays the much bigger role in the books its safe to assume that Yunkai will be cut entirely. While i agree thats Yunkai can be cut in terms of storytelling, i am much more sceptical if they got enough material for Danys Storyline then.
    If the last episode is titeled “Mhysa” and with all that fighting we have seen in the trailers it seems that Dany will capture Meereen at the end of the season.

    But that actually is her entire story in Book 3. If Season 3 is supposed to be roughly half of that book (or a bit more) what are they doing with her in Season 4? In that case they have to use material from ADWD which is not too much either and rather unpopular also.

  233. JamesL
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    man from the north,

    In the books it happens before Crasters but in the show it will be after.

  234. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming,

    I was wondering what direction they will go with Qyburn also….
    The story Littlefinger told Ros last year made me think they may keep all the book traits in the series, but who knows.

    As a disgraced maester he fit right in with the Mummers, but as some random survivor it feels odd to me I guess. Maybe time will make his being at Harrenhal make more sense to me.
    *shrug*

  235. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Scotsh,

    Maybe the two cities in Slaver’s Bay seen in the credits are Astapor and Yunkai?

    I don’t recall seeing cities (at least not every city) that were not actually in the epiode or the season in credits last year. If we only see Astapor and Yunkai this year it would make sense to only have those two on the map for now. Next year they can add Meereen.

    It would worry me a bit if they do cut Yunkai and go directly to Meereen. I trust the writers to add arcs o tweak arcs, but getting to Meereen early and needing to stay there even longer than in the books may not sit well with some people.
    Personally I liked the Meereen chapters.

  236. argilac's antler
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Maester Blaster,

    Thanks for correcting me. I said Willas, duh I meant Garlan. =)

  237. Caelra
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    I loved the Dany stuff most of all. The dragons gave me chills for a full minute even though I’ve seen them in the trailer. Already I feel like this will be the best season yet!

  238. Ryan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    i loved this episode. dany’s storyline was the best. checking out the army, the dragons, barristan returning, missandei, awesome!

  239. Dany
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Dany rules!

  240. vic sage
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Great ep,Didn’t mind the cold opening we will see Sam the slayer soon enough.Tywin has elevated being a bastard to an artform.Just seeing the pain in Tyrion’s face was hard Margaery is gonna be clashing with Cersei it’s gonna be fun watching all of this come to a head.

  241. Phil
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    HAHA they actually confirmed Littlefinger recognized Arya at Harrenhal!
    Tywin/Tyrion scene was the best. And i love how the Unsullied scene was exactly like in the book

  242. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Ryan:
    i loved this episode. dany’s storyline was the best. checking out the army, the dragons, barristan returning, missandei, awesome!

    yes Missandei is so hot!

  243. Summer Is Coming
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    OT: At Eastern Europe Comic-Con, Finn Jones, as a special guest, was asked to describe S3 in one word. He said: “Weddings“! … all 3 I wonder?

  244. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Darquemode:
    Scotsh,

    Personally I liked the Meereen chapters.

    Meereen chapters are the worst in the books for me, but before Meereen Dany have some great moments

  245. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming: OT: At Eastern Europe Comic-Con, Finn Jones, as a special guest, was asked to describe S3 in one word. He said: “Weddings“! … all 3 I wonder?

    i hope not. there is no cast for dornishmen and without Oberyn it doesn’t make sense

  246. Shady_Grady
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I really liked the confrontation between Tyrion and Tywin. Very well acted. And much of that dialog was from the book.

  247. Crispin
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Liked most of it, but I also thought that the beginning and the end were both a bit rushed.

    The Watch could at least have stood around in some kind of defensive, fearful circle in the snow-storm, looking in all directions as more walkers could have struck any minute. This way it truly looks like most of the Watch still lives while they beat back that entire host of undead, which kinda makes you wonder what the big deal is: they didn’t even have the wall on their side and still prevailed, so these undead can’t be all that tough. Kinda makes Mormont seem like a drama queen.

    The Barristan reveal also kinda left me underwhelmed. Let’s face it: to the show viewer who hasn’t read the books, it is rather unlikely that they will remember a minor character from the first season that well that they would have recognized him here, especially since he grew a beard and wore different clothes. Yes, the visual medium works different from books, but the visual medium also works over… well, visuals. Arstan looked different enough to Barristan and enough time has passed that I’m pretty sure most non-readers wouldn’t have recognized him at all. And as for the readers… well, they already knew it anyway. I think they should have held back on his reveal for a few more episodes.

  248. zambi76
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    No, argilac antler’s, you were right. Sansa was supposed to marry Willas the heir. Garlan is already married. Something everbody seems to forget also when they cast him for their dream Kingsguard. Kind of hilarious that people can’t get the Tyrell boys straight (harharr). Probably a reason why D&D will stick with Loras only for now.

  249. purplejilly
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I was happy with the one sex scene – it seemed like James Cameron must have raced through Westeros and raised the bar – nudity, without wince-inducing perviness! That was much better than last year – allthough for a second, when she said to Bronn “YOU take it off,” I had a brief moment of joy, thinking she meant Bronn needed to take his pants off. I thought “Finally! Some nude equality right away!” but oh the disappointment when she just meant she wanted him to take her pants off. Maybe next year.

    The cold open did seem like a cop-out – it just screamed ‘we are saving money here by letting you use your imagination!’ – hey, that’s what the BOOKS are for, not the show!

    I had forgotten that Shae was Sansa’s handmaiden, and at first thought Sansa was just slumming down by the water with Shae. I’m glad they had that reminder in the dialogue about her being her handmaiden. And Ros, hey, Ros was perfectly appropriate today too! A scene that made sense, covered up, and dialogue that made sense. Finally a scene where Ros seemed like part of the show for real, and not a chance for upping the perv ante.

    That Tywin speech to Tyrion, oh, it was brutal and stung. I was wincing for Tyrion. They are such good actors you could feel the real sting in those words.

    When that guy said his name was Qyburn, I told Oona “Noo, don’t treat his wounds! Let him die!”

    The only thing I hated was that it seemed like a plate of nice appetizers, and no main course. We have to jump around so much, and spend just one snippet of time here, one there, etc etc, and no one’s story ever really gets rolling. It feels like each scene is one of those scenes before a commercial break in a regular show, where they give you three minutes of something hot or cliff hanger-y to make sure you stay tuned. There’s no fixing that with the 10 episodes and one hour per episode format. That’s the only thing I hate about the show so far this year. Not enough time with the characters.

  250. Lannister Accountant
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Still reading this far? Well then congratulations! You’ve made it to the Lannister Accountant review! I wish I could tell you that I’m going to break new ground, but sadly I’m going to echo much of the consensus here. Bear with me.

    The Good

    Tywin and Tyrion – Dinklage and Dance trade blows like a boss! We’re reminded that Tywin is a real tool, when it comes to his son and that Tyrion’s birthright is the only thing that really saves him from being cast aside. This exchange, if I recall from my reading was pretty close to the one in ASOS.

    Dany – Her scenes are excellent. Loved the dragons, but The Unsullied scenes are what killed it for me.

    Ser Barristan Selmy – Arstan who? That reveal took out a whole lot of unnecessary sheenanigans. Yes, like many purists, I too want Strong Belwas but don’t be surprised if you find him introduced in say Season 5, in Mereen’s fighting pits perhaps?

    Honorable acting mention to Natalie Dormer who is killing it as Margaery Tyrell. From the subtle exchange of glances with Loras, to the oh-so-diplomatic wooing of Flea Bottom, to the entire dinner scene with the royal family, she’s really firing on all cylinders.

    The Not-So-Good

    While I understand there’s this urge to give Aidan Gillen’s Littlefinger screen time, to show his machinations, some of his choices don’t sit well with me, including once more telegraphing his intentions to Sansa. However, as we’ve watched Sansa grow, she may yet learn not to entirely trust Littlefinger, perhaps to the point where she will not need Shae to tell her to watch out.

    Speaking of Shae I think whoever has posited the theory that she will in fact not betray Tyrion at his trial may very well be right. The character here is much too strong willed to do that. I’m not certain I like the change.

  251. Juego de tronos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I liked so much this first episode!

  252. Kalamies
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    No Arya or Bran. Also the ending felt like it was cut off. But still, one of the best GoT episodes. Can’t wait for Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr in next episode!

  253. JTillyer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Personally think this was the weakest episode of the series so far. Still enjoyable, but this is the first season I am watching after having read the books, so I’m probably a little more critical than I was in the past. That being said, there were things unrelated to staying loyal to the books that bugged me:

    The cold open with the sound effects over the black screen confused me. I didn’t actually get that we were supposed to be hearing the Battle at the Fist at first, probably because I didn’t expect them to skip it, which was a huge bummer. I would have taken a few moonlit horrified faces and glimpses of a walker and been much happier, wouldn’t cost much either. I’m about 99.9% sure we will see Sam the Slayer, and think that Ghost jumping in to rescue Sam was done to surprise/frustrate the book readers (c’mon, we were all waiting for it). The sending the ravens thing was kinda weird because it hadn’t been mentioned previously on the show.

    Giant was well done, didn’t care for the close up on the face as it WAS a little “Halloween mask” as someone said, but pretty cool. Ciaran Hinds is a little too old, jowly, and unique-looking to be Mance IMO. I pictured him thinner and certainly more ordinary. Thought Jon’s kneeling bit seemed more awkward than it was meant to.

    The whole scene with Bronn and Cersei visiting Tyrion was really dragged out, and I don’t think it was solely because I’d seen it previewed. Probably the first time I didn’t feel Headey and Dinklage’s chemistry in a scene and it made me think “did we need to see another scene where Cersei mocks Tyrion?” The jape about Tyrion’s nose made me giggle, nice little tease/middle finger to those complaining online.

    REALLY disappointed with the Davos scene as well. One of my favorite characters and I think they made him look just a TAD over the top in terms of how “mad man” he was, especially because he was still wearing tatters when presentes to Stannis, like a pirate wouldnt have some clothes he could borrow. Cool to see his knuckles though. Stannis was also distracting because I just watched Zero Dark Thirty and there was something about his hair that made him look exactly like he did in that film. Think it’s more grey and a little more close-cropped or something, anyways, didn’t look like he did last season. Also didn’t buy Cunningham’s dialogue with Stannis, which is a pity since he was fantastic in season 2. It was weird that he seemed so angry at Melisandre, and he’s visually desperate (made to look super haggard) yet he yells “your grace!” kind of feebly a few times. Was expecting some pained and prolonged cries from him.

    Tywin-Tyrion stole the eppy. Dance is just leagues above everyone else on the show and boy did he hold up the dialogue from the book. Kept turning that knife, felt great. Dinklage’s face-acting was great, and it was powerful to see him cut down in a way that really affected him (as opposed to discussions in season one in the tent in which he counters his father’s barbs with japes). Made me look at Tyrion as if he were a lot younger and really felt like he had suffered YEARS of such abuse, and Dance piling it on was unreal. Tyrion’s face oozed “why did I ask/knew this was coming” and his turning around then back again before Tywin could finish saying he would hang his whore was phenomenal.

    That entire Sansa on the dock scene was pretty brutal. Bad dialogue (can’t remember if it’s mostly from the book) and bad acting. First time I’ve been disappointed in Gillen’s Baelish as well, something about his accent fading in and out, and the skunk stripes on the sides of his head looked so much more prominent outdoors. Distracting. Not enjoying the cutting out of Dontos, wasn’t my favorite storyline in the book but it was a good twist when we found out LF was pulling the strings. Didn’t get the sisterly love/us girls gotta stick together thing either, felt really hacky.

    No pyramids sucked, but the Unsullied scene was decent. Wish the nipple thing had been a tiny bit more graphic, but perhaps that’s because I had people saying it was really cringeworthy and because I had also scene a compound fracture during that Louisville basketball game on TV earlier today (desensitization lol). Was REALLY interested to see how they dealt with Arstan Whitebeard being kept under wraps, because it’s just one of those things you can’t do with him being on screen. Not surprised they scrapped it and not that disappointed, but I thought they would have Selmy’s beard and hair a little longer/thicker. Dragons look good, but I just saw an advanced screening of Jurassic Park 3D and how the hell is it that those dinosaurs from 1993 look better than these dragons 20 years later…I guess that’s budget stuff, but anyways, they look better than seasons one and two.

    The Margaery stuff was pretty good in the orphanage, loved Joffrey’s face through the litter’s screen, kind of like “wtf is she doing” mixed with fear and also embarrassment that he was hiding and she wasn’t. The dinner scene was decent too, loved Gleason’s face after he delivered the aging line about Cersei, it was a perfect “I know what I just said was a lie and she knows I know I’m in trouble.” Thought the look between Loras and Margaery like “well this is awkward” was totally unnecessary. Would they really do that in front of Joffrey and Cersei? Felt cartoonish. Feel like the liberties they’re taking with Margaery this season will pay off, even if they differ considerably from the book.

    The Harrenhal scene was all kinds of weird. I’ve only read the books once but I was like “Harrenhal…wait what happened here?” thinking of Arya’s storyline there and trying to get the timeline sorted out with it changing hands so many times, throwing Qyburn in threw me for a loop. Also didn’t like how Rob out of nowhere (to me at least) said to lock Catelyn up. Good face acting by Madden when surveying the dead though.

    All-in-all, good to see the show back, but acting felt like a bit of a let down other than a few bright spots. Also, was kind of thinking with the synopsis we got ahead of time that we might see a good distance shot of all the ships choked up in Blackwater Bay, but that’s budget for ya.

    My favorite story lines in ASOS really are Brienne, Jamie and Arya, and I love me some Theon, so I’m looking forward to next week. Like I said, weakest episode thus far in the series, but quite confident they will make this season the best yet and episode 2 will yield some rave reviews.

  254. keenan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones is back, and is bigger than ever. This season, they just got it. The productión rises truly to real high standards. This is the real maccoy. This is the production level of LOTR and the like, not season 1-2. Everything is colorful, bigger, amusing. Each scene is marvellous to watch (the costumes, the setting, the furniture, the white plains north of the wall). Gorgeus. The changes are reasonable, while the pivotal scenes are quite a lot like in the books (like the conversation Tyrion had with his father, or the unsullied being shown to Dany). I’m pretty happy whit the ep.

  255. JTillyer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Phil,

    They did? If he really did know that was Arya, why would he let her (or let the Lannisters let her) get away? I don’t necessarily think it meant that, I think it’s more of a bluff, personally.

  256. Knightly Sellsword
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Jay:
    I mean, how would Jorah, a knight himself, not recognize the most famous knight in the kingdom? I don’t care if he had a beard to conceal his identity, it was ill thought out.the fact that Jorah somehow couldn’t recognize this guy who is the same age as Barristan, sounds like Barristan, looks like Barristan with a beard … somewhat suspect.

    Although Barristan was a great knight, Jorah never knew him personally. He only ever saw him from afar at a few tourneys (and probably in full armor), and it was years ago.

  257. Ashley B.
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I really can’t wait to see more of Alfie Allen this season, even if it’s going to be hard to watch. I must be the only one who genuinely liked/felt sympathetic for Theon even before his blood-curdling fate. Opposite Iwan Rheon, Theon’s story should be really compelling – especially in the seasons that directly adapt ADWD stuff.

    As mentioned, the opening left me a bit cold after how amazing the Fist was in the books, but I can understand why they did it. Sam certainly looked suitably terrified and shell-shocked.

    Joffrey’s little armored cart with the eye-slits had me cracking up out loud. This episode has given me a lot of hope for Margaery, she was amazing.

  258. Artem russia
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    HBO i love you.Please make DarkTower series!Its my dream!Please!

  259. Phil
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    JTillyer,

    If you look at it from the perspective of the writers though, they wouldn’t have put that dialogue in there if he hadn’t actually recognized her before. Having Littlefinger “lie” about seeing Arya when coincidentally he actually had caught a glimpse of her, is too confusing and makes no sense.

    And he didn’t expose Arya because he’s not a Lannister-lackey like Pycelle. He gathers knowledge and uses it in his best interest, when the time is right

  260. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Best scenes of this episode:

    1. Jon/Mance/Tormund
    2. Tyrion/Tywin
    3. Margaery/Cersei/Loras/Joffrey dinner
    4. Davos/Mel/Stannis
    5. Dany/Barristan

    Worst scene:

    1. Sansa/Shae/LF/Ros

  261. Oi
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Definitely the best premiere episode of the three seasons so far. The first scene was a cop out i guess, i mean i didn’t expect a battle (similar to Jaime capture) but i hopped for a Sam rescue by the nights watch while on a hectic retreat back to the wall, with a few Wights getting their heads caved in Walking dead style.

  262. Josla
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Phil,

    Did they? Huh?

  263. Shock Me
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    As a book reader, I was rather disappointed by the lack of the Chet subplot that I saw coming when Edd, Grenn, and Sam were set to digging at what looked like base of the Fist of the First Men last season. I knew the distance would be a problem with respect to his job with the ravens.

    I couldn’t see how the logistics of the battle would work with Sam essentially abandoned and no scenes of their preparations for what was supposed by all the Watch to be a confrontation with an overwhelming Wildling force or the introduction of obsidian once it was clear it was NOT Wildlings.

    Even so, I was hoping for something more believable after that huge cliff hanger during last season’s finale.

    I really enjoyed how Chet’s plan was upset by the White Walkers and Wights in the book. Perhaps we will see Chet later?

  264. steel_wind_is_stupid
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES
    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES
    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES
    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES
    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES
    MAKE THE GODDAMN POLL YOU PROSTITUTES

  265. David The Grey
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Phil,

    My strongest hunch is that I’d have to agree with JTillyer… Littlefinger has used Arya as a bluff before, to give false hope to Catelyn. I definitely see him doing it again with Sansa for the same reason. I’ve only seen last night’s episode once, though – I really need to watch it again after reading every’s astute observations and catch all the things I missed!

  266. David The Grey
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    JTillyer: Made me look at Tyrion as if he were a lot younger and really felt like he had suffered YEARS of such abuse, and Dance piling it on was unreal. Tyrion’s face oozed “why did I ask/knew this was coming” and his turning around then back again before Tywin could finish saying he would hang his whore was phenomenal.

    Agree 100%, loved this scene!

  267. Ser Orchard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I loved the confrontation between Bronn and the kingsguard. Hilarious scene!

    The Fist of the First Men scene dissappointed. Mormont is angry that Sam didn’t send the ravens, but in the HBO-series nobody ever mentioned the bloody ravens, so that doesn’t make sense (even though in the book they’re an important aspect). When the scene started, I actually suspected this was when Sam would find out about the dragonglass, so I was dissappointed but the lack of slaying ;)

    I loved the Shae/Ross scene. Shows Ross’ conflict between her employer (LF), her other employer (Varys) and her own interest. Makes me wonder though: what happened to Ross after Cersei captured her?

    Overall, the episode was awesome! New locations were awesome, Salador Saan was awesome. :)

  268. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Lannister Accountant:
    Speaking of Shae I think whoever has posited the theory that she will in fact not betray Tyrion at his trial may very well be right.The character here is much too strong willed to do that. I’m not certain I like the change.

    I agree.
    I don’t know how they’re planning to handle her. But certainly it won’t be believable to see her exchanging Tyrion for some jewelry and dresses and a marriage with a knight. PERHAPS they could make it work that way, but I doubt it.
    Also, with the white-washing of Tyrion, to see him killing Shae will probably be out-of-character, hahaha. I think that… Tywin will kill Shae, and that will probably be a part of Tyrion’s motivations to shoot him with the crossbow.

  269. David The Grey
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    purplejilly: I had forgotten that Shae was Sansa’s handmaiden, and at first thought Sansa was just slumming down by the water with Shae. I’m glad they had that reminder in the dialogue about her being her handmaiden. And Ros, hey, Ros was perfectly appropriate today too! A scene that made sense, covered up, and dialogue that made sense. Finally a scene where Ros seemed like part of the show for real, and not a chance for upping the perv ante.

    Yeah, I was thinking this too about the Ros/Shae scene. And I liked how Ros put up her mask again as she followed after LF. Nice bit.

    I will give props to Shae too. I like how her character is a bit off – either from being a foreigner or just being Shae. She’s got her own way of thinking and she can be quite obstinate, I liked how she doesn’t play Sansa’s game the way Sansa wants her to. Little touch, but it feels right for how they’ve been presenting her all along.

  270. MyBFFTheHound
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Did anyone catch Davos’s fingerless hand when holding it up against the light? :)

  271. Muspelheim
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Lannister/Tyrell dinner was amazing, great stuff. Probably on my list of favorite scenes across seasons as well. It is always very nice to see non-book scenes come off seamlessly. Lena has become better and better in my opinion and that seems to continue and Margary and Joff are great too. It is also good that they keep Loras in sight, though he of course does not have that much to work with compared to the others.

    Dany in Astapor is off to an awesome start as well, I really liked all her scenes a lot in this episode.

    Davos’ scenes were very good as well, I liked how visible his doubts were when the rescuing sailors asked for his allegiance, and then deciding just to be true to his loyal self.

    Slightly dissappointed by the missing Night’s Watch battle (I would have liked to just see a few flashes or something) , but given the limitations, it is an omission I can forgive.

    In conclusion: Very solid start to the season.

  272. Eos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    LOVED it! Surely, the pacing was a bit slow at first, but the flow was nice nonetheless. I absolutely loved a few things; the Unsullied were sufficiently epic (as was Astapor in general). Loved the look on Robb’s face before he sentences Cat to a chamber/prison and everything to do with Roose Bolton (and also the introduction to Qyburn was a really welcome sight). I’m absolutely thrilled about Dany’s arc this season. Hopefully she will stop stomping her feet indeed and become the person she is in the books – and the person thousands would follow into war. I really liked interaction between Ros and Shae (where I absolutely love the former, her role and the actress’ performance, whereas Shae … well, not so much). The Wildlings territory was awesome and so was Mance in my opinion (I did imagine him a bit more sly but that could have something to do with that Joe Campo video depicting Mance :D ).

    There were some things I didn’t really like – the little warlock girl was completely unnecessary in my opinion, I really REALLY wish they had kept Irri around and Missandei being just a precocious little girl (her maturity and independence being her main characteristics). I’m not a big fan of the battles but seeing as the tension has been building up for the White Walkers – Night’s Watch confrontation, it was a bit of a let down to only hear clanking of swords where we should be seeing something really spectacular (especially since the chances were pretty thin for Men in Black :D ). I’m still not a fan of Sansa’s portrayal, but others blew me away (Tywin, Cersei, Mance, Jon, Tyrion, even Dany!).

    I also suspect Loras will sadly never make it to the Kingsguard (seeing that his role will probably blend with Willas’ regarding Sansa).

    All in all, a thrilling start f the season, can’t wait for next week!

  273. Wun Weg Wun Fun Fun
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    As for everyone complaining about Roose being too treacherous, do you remember him not being that way in the book? How was he at Harrenhal? Arya was afraid of him, his sigil is a flayed man, and his use of leaches is creepy as well. I thought the episode was a 8.5/10 and set up the tone of the season in King’s Landing as well as Dany’s story. I actually liked the Jon Snow scene because they actually made Jon Snow act like the book Jon Snow and not the bumbling idiot they have made him the past season and a half.

    The Giant was awesome and was about the size I thought it would be in the book. I feel like they should’ve had Mance be the bard he is in the books. It sets up future Mance in the books and it was clear he knew Jon Snow when he entered the tent. I also thought the Qyburn reveal was odd. I understand that they went away from the bloody mummer story but why would he have been w/ all the Northmen that were killed?

    Fav Scenes:

    Jon Snow meets Giant/Tormund/Mance
    Dany w/ Kraznus and Missandei (what a gorgeous women)
    Tyrion & Tywin
    Kings Landing Dinner w/ Joff, Marg, Loras, & Cersei
    Ser Barristan Reveal

    Worst Scenes (there werent any bad scenes but they might have been better)

    Harrenhal w/ Rob, Catelyn, Roose, and Karstark. (Qyburn, WTF?)
    Fist of the first men (not only the battle, but the Mormont seemed out of character)
    Davos w/ Stannis and Melisandre
    Bronn w/ Prostitute

  274. valyrian
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    And this probably the recap thread with the less amount of ros hate since s01e07. What a miracle.

  275. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Loved the whole thing, it was excellent.

    The cast is really top-notch, if anyone had any doubts, but Jack Gleeson and Charles Dance really stood out in this episode. It’s a pity Jack Gleeson doesn’t want to act anymore, he’s a great actor.

    P.S. I approve of Margaery’s and Missandei’s dresses.

  276. Ghost
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Charles Dance is amazing.

    LOVED the Barristan scene and the creepy little warlock girl. Why do so many prople care about the Sorrowful Men? We see them once in the book.

  277. WompWomp
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Christopher Ruocchio,

    Judging by the username, I smell a helluva troll.

  278. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Mance has a lute beside him.

  279. Baihu1983
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I wish they hadn’t changed the sansa storyline

    It was simply a great moment in the book when you found out Littlefinger had been behind it all

  280. Nancy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Jen,

    Agreed. They are definitely showing that Robb’s alliance (in the show) is very weak. I guess because I hate Roose so much since I read the books, I was like, yeah I am sure your super scouts are looking so hard for Jaime right now.

    I thought the premiere was very good overall. The effects-wolf, dragons, giant, manticore, faceless girl-were all top notch. It went by fast and I did not miss the characters that were not shown last night. I thought Jaime was name dropped sufficiently that no one could miss him.
    I do wish Kit Harington had more then one expression as Jon. As much as I complain to my husband about Emilia Clarke’s acting at least she managed to look touched and surprised by Ser Barristan, where as, when Mance says “You’re Ned Stark’s bastard!” Jon does not show surprise, concern or a questioning look-just the same “I really do know nothing look.” I don’t know if it’s Kit or the direction..or me.
    I am glad the show is ditching the Arstan Whitebeard ruse. It’s nice to see Margarey have more of a personality this season. Joffrey definitely looks older. The Tywin and Tyrion scene was excellent. Of course, I am thinking it’s not like Jaime, Cersei and Joffrey are winners Tywin. Other then Ned Stark’s bastard scene, I thought all the scenes were really good and managed to pack a lot of info in a short time. And the acting, for the most part was top notch (again Jon and Littlefinger just don’t resonate with me. Hopefully that will change for me over time). I would rate this one a 9/10.

  281. James Bliss
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I was disappointed that Sam played no part in the Battle at the Fist of the First Men since in the book he is present and does do some supporting tasks during it despite his extreme fear. The way the show played out really made Sam look more cowardly than I think he really is.

  282. voicareason
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    James Bliss,

    Like what? Releasing the ravens without tying any messages to them?

  283. Carne
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Shock Me,

    Burn Gorman is probably playing a combined Chett/Dirk. He shows up in episode 3 (IIRC).

  284. Dornishman
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The second Slaver’s Bay city on the map is Yunkai, NOT Meereen. Dany will not reach Meereen this season. The map adds all the new locations per season, hence why you do not see Harrenhal in season 1 as we fly from Kings Landing to Winterfell.

    Season 4 covers ASoS part 2, and portions of AFfC and ADwD. Dany will be in Meereen for the entire season. I highly doubt thy will make her reach Meereen so early.

  285. my god do a POLL
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I REQUEST A MOTHEREFFING POLL!

  286. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Really good opening episode. I liked how they maintained a low pace with all the set up but still managed to create interest and tension everywhere due to good acting. It’s amazing how they manage to get everything so natural across the board in a fantasy setting. The production values were very high as well and the show just looks gorgeous. Especially the costume department were showing off some amazing things.

    I didn’t really have any problems with them not showing the battle at the fist, perhaps because I felt it fairly obvious that it was going to go this way. There’s not really any need to show what the White Walkers do in battle yet and whenever they show it it will inevitably not be as horrible as our imaginations as nothing ever is in film/shows (which is why most horror movies have far better first halves than second ones). It seems better to spend the money and effort on that when it matters more.

  287. loco73
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    It wasan excellent episode to say the least. I’ve already seen it thre times and still discover some little gems here and there. I think it was very clever from D&D to start low-key (that is low-key for GoT) and not explode right out of the gate, considering what is to come! They did with us what doctors do with starving people. You don’t stuff them full of food right away, you feed them gradually a little bit at the time.
    I LOVED the exchange between Tyrion and Tywin…it was watching two masters at work Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage, outstanding! Bronn was excellent as usual…nobody gets between a man and his…ahem meal…but Pod did! Poor Sam, running, was quite sight…and seeing the ragged leftovers of the rangers and hearing them scream as the screen went black was eerie and weird! Good stuff! Actually the eeriest scenes were the ones at Dragonstone, Stannis is a broken man, Melissandre in charge and Ser Davos finding out that surviving was just the beginning of his struggle! Danny is looking good as ever, tougher and more seasoned…the Unsullied were excellent and I rather liked ser Barristan’s re-introduction…ahh and the dragons and the damn warlocks…Charlie Sheen eat you heart out, you ain’t a warlock! And the beyond The Wall stuff was excellent! The giant ( I’m guessing that was not Wun Wun) was soo cute! Apart from the fact that he could rip even Thormund into pieces without trying too hard! All in all a very good season opener!

  288. Matt
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I really loved the episode. I’m glad it focussed on a small sub-set of the characters to get the story going.

    8/10

    My only problem: Daniel Minahan really struggles to direct action sequences.

    Remember Arya and the stable boy in ‘The Pointy End’? *Rolls eyes*

    I think that this was the major problem with the cold open – it was moody and atmospheric and then the action started. Then it chops around like crazy – like a row boat in a tsunami!

    He nearly throws us out of the scene during Dany’s assassination – again because of this choppy direction. I really hope there isn’t much action in the next episode!

  289. Jillian
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the episode and am excited for the show to be back, but I really hate when they delve too far into the CGI. The giant didn’t bother me, and the dragons look great, but the maticore looked ridiculous and would have worked so much better if it had looked more realistic (like a scorpion perhaps?). I felt the same way about the White Walker face close up at the end of last season, these shots of over the top CGI just take me right out of what is normally a very real and engrossing story.

  290. Flouride
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Sansa on the docks scene was just plain stupid and pretty pointless. Makes Littlefinger look like a fool once again with his open intentions. And please get rid off Ros already.

    Really disappointed that they cut the battle at the Fist of the First Men. That’s a scene I had been waiting anxiously and we get a black screen with few noises? C’mon. It would not have blown their budget to come up with a 2-5 minute scene showing glimpses of the battle in the dark with most of the focus on the traitors from the prologue. After the huge cliffhanger from S2 this decision was beyond lame and stupid. Shame on you D&D.

    And Ghost is just chilling with Mormont now, leaving Jon all alone? Then again it does not surprise me after how they handled Jon’s storyline through out S2. While I like Ciaran Hinds, he still does not fit my image of Mance Rayder at all.

    Robb at Harrenhal was a bit confusing. Who were those killed men? Prisoners from the earlier battle? What was a Mallister doing there?

    I did like the added scenes for Margaery and Barristan being Barristan instead of Arstan worked out, though I do miss Strong Belwas.

  291. Macejko
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’ll go against the majority saying that this was a really, really weak episode. First, they cheated us with not showing the battle teased so greatly at the end of the last season, and then it was just downhill. Yes, it had some good and entertaining moments (giant, dragons, dialogue between Tywin and Tyrion), but overall it lacked passion in directing. It felt like Daniel Minahan just doesn’t give a damn.

  292. loco73
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    …And yes, Lena…wow she is soo beautiful! And equal parts mad, borred and full of venom for Natalie Dormer as radiant as ever! Good god Ser Loras does clean up good! As for Geoff…still a giant, despicable asshole! Jack Gleeson still as effortlessly good as ever! Damn I really hate that little douche Geoff!
    I see that the show has barelly started and so has the bitching and moaning, I for one got no complaints, yesterday I got two hours of excellent television, GoT season premiere and “The Walking Dead” season finale! Could not have asked for more!

  293. Ghost
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I wasnt thrilled with the opening scene and not seeing the battle. I still dont understand how Sam made it? And why is Ghost not with Jon?

    I HATE how they changed Mance and Jons intro and cut the stories. Fucking LOVE the Giants though. That had to be the Magnar with them with the axe right?

  294. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Jen,

    Totally! This way so little is ruined for us!

  295. Joshua Taylor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Jillian,

    The Whitewalker in the finale was all makeup not CGI.

  296. EddieDigital
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Great episode!Is it me or did Sir Barristan remind anyone of Obi Wan Kenobi?I thought he was gonna draw a lightsaber!

  297. iRaven
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The Tyrion/Tywin scene was one of the best of the series. The ONLY thing I wish it had included was when Tywin tells Tyrion, “Some wars are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.” which later comes to show how much of a strategic mastermind Tywin is, when we find out a certain event he was behind.

  298. jaison.biagini@faceb
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Rui,

    I thought baristan’s return was very poorly handled knowing what I know from the book. It changes so much that I have know clue how they can reconcile this. I think this episode shows why so many has called the series unfilmable!! They need more episodes per season and a bigger budget. HBO is seeing big ratings. Fork out a bit more cash. Sell it to another network to repair the sanitized the first season.

  299. Carne
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Jillian,

    The giant was Ian Whyte in costume,
    just digitally scaled up (like they do with the wolves). The WW in season 2 was all prosthetic make-up.

  300. Jillian
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    It was special effects make up combined with CGI, right? I have seen the pics of the completed make up and he looked pretty awesome but on screen there were bright blue CGI eyes and a few other enhancements that, to me, took away from the overall effect and made him scooby-doo villain looking rather than really terrifying. It’s just me though, I know many are incredibly happy with the effects, and by and large I am too.

  301. Rui
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    jaison.biagini@faceb,

    It will definitely imply a new approach to Jorah and Barristan’s relationship until they get toMeereen.

    What I really liked was the quips between Cersei and Joffrey, those little veiled insults. Didn’t really expected it sincem in the books, IMO she admires her son too much to insult or say anything bad to him.

  302. Meg
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Jay:
    Leaving out the whole Arstan thing was a great idea.I never liked that part in the books. As they point out in the show, Jorah would recognize him immediately.

    I’m glad they left it out too, but I think it somewhat makes sense that in the books they were both playing a game of it. Jorah had his identity as a Baratheon spy to lose. If he exposed Barristan, Barristan might expose Jorah to Dany.

    People talking about the pyramids – I dont remember them being in Astapor. I thought that was just Meerreen?

    One mind complaint about the premier – Tywin being so cruel to Tyrion doesn’t make a lot of sense since Tyrion isn’t at all as detestable as he was in the books (I absolutely despised Book Tyrion but have the exact opposite feelings for Show Tyrion)

    Other than that, I thought the premier was smashingly great!! I was in awe of it, actually.

  303. loco73
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    It was good to see Ros back, I really liked her scene with Shae, by the way I really like how Sibel Kekili interprets her, it was a good change from the books! Poor Sansa, she trully is a survivor…and Littlefinger got that “creepy uncle” thing down to perfection! I really don’t like Peter Baelish anymore and Aidan Gillen has brought him to life in the best way possible! As others have mentioned good to see less Ros hating! Esme Bianco has been a wonderful addition to the cast and she did right by the show and all of us! Jorah, wown he looks regal and impossing…and soo good with Danny! I always thought that he should have figured amongst her lovers! Danny could have done worse…and she did with that pussy whipped Dario! Ciaran Hinds did a tremendous job introducing Mance and I love his version so far, more pragmatic and realistic and better suited for the show than if they had tried to replicate the book version on screen! Poor Ygritte she was getting worried that Jon would have a rather short shelf life as a Wildling newbbie! Quick Jon Snow! She needs “the lord’s kiss”! Love Rose Leslie…btw!

  304. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Carne:
    Jillian,

    The giant was Ian Whyte in costume,
    just digitally scaled up (like they do with the wolves). The WW in season 2 was all prosthetic make-up.

    Which makes it his 3rd or 4th role on the show :)

  305. TrappingsOfPower
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Scene of the week goes to Dinklage and Dance.
    Just damn.

  306. TheWoodOfTheMorning
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The Tywin/Tyrion scene made the ep for me. When Tyrion turned his back on Tywin before he was done talking was defiant and awesome. That little act screamed “I know what you’re going to say, father and go fuck yourself.” Missed Strong Belwas–they can’t cut his character fully, can they? I also missed Arstan’s staff! Why a dagger? A staff would’ve been more badass. [but the rest of that scene/early reveal (especially after re-introducing his dismissal from Season 1 in the "Previously On") was good]

  307. Isabelle
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Had a nice early-morning re-watch. I must say, am coming round to the scene between Jon/Mance/Tormund! I think I had heaped so many expectations upon it that nothing was going to measure up the first time I watched it–basically sat waiting to tick off lines from the book as they happened, precisely what I told myself I wouldn’t do. I loved the staging, how Mance was over in the corner at first but completely aware of what was going on in his tent, and how his head turned, attention drawn at Jon’s mention of his father/father’s philosophy. Kristofer Hivju was brilliant as Tormund (“plllenty of littttle skeletons…), though I wish he was more jovial (perhaps we’ll see it come out later as he gets to know Jon), and Ciarán Hinds caught my attention immediately. You want this man to like and approve of you. And as some others have mentioned up-thread, Jon’s reasoning of why he wants to join the Wildlings was great–it fits how he’s been developed in the show thusfar. Kit did a fine job.

    Do you think Mance knew that Mormont wasn’t entirely ignorant of the White Walkers? Hinds’ eyes widened marginally, but I couldn’t decide if that was from surprise or simple disgust.

    And just how does Rose Leslie manage to insert so much licentiousness into a threat against someone’s life (“and if he don’t…” *saucy ginger drawl*)? Poor Jon doesn’t stand a chance against her.

    TheWoodOfTheMorning: When Tyrion turned his back on Tywin before he was done talking was defiant and awesome. That little act screamed “I know what you’re going to say, father and go fuck yourself.”

    Yes yes yes!!! This was awesome.

  308. loco73
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    “I realize they’re working with time and budgetary constraints but…” Can we stop with that shit please its getting old and tiresome…

  309. Dan Spicer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    A table setting episode with minor quibbles. One thing I haven’t noticed in these comments is a discussion of the letter Tywin was writing. All I saw were the words “…ripe for the picking.” And then they showed a close up of his wax seal. I can only imagine when they will show where the letter ends up. From a strictly TV viewer perspective, it was a nice bit of foreshadowing.

  310. Caesar
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    thewalkingDEADowns16,
    You have to be kdding…

  311. Caesar
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    This episode was amazing! Couldnt have asked for anything more from the first episode.

  312. Mark YZ
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    My opinion of Qyburn. He is a plant from Tywin Lannister. They cut out the BMs, but Qyburn could still be part of the Mountain’s “entourage”, who was left behind, alive, to infiltrate Robb’s camp. As a maester, he can get access that a normal soldier couldn’t. Eventually, he will make his way to KL to be Cersei’s Dr. Frankenstein.

  313. Zack
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    David The Grey,

    Agreed. I thought that scene played out pretty well, and it was nice to let Ros do a scene where nobody was naked. Hopefully there’s more of that.

    The nudity in the episode (Bronn’s first scene only?) seemed in character and was funny and well-written. The writers are getting better at putting in those scenes. Similarly enjoyed Bronn in the brothel for Blackwater.

  314. Nick_Scryer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Have to say, it really hit me as I watched, I realized that I am watching Game of Thrones. NOT A song of ice and fire on screen. And I’m totally fine with it.

    In fact, I’m happier for it. Now I have two variations of my favourite story of all time. I will not expect to see certain scenes or complain about little changes, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of the show.

    I loved pretty much every scene, sure I would have liked to have seen Arya, Jaime etc… but the extended scenes made it much more interesting. Loved the Tywin/Tyrion scene, also I loved Davos/Mel and Stannis. My least favourite scene was the Sansa/Littlefinger scene, the Dialogue was not very good in my opinion.

    Can I just say the visuals are stunning, and THANK YOU for making the Giant look so amazing. I was worried they would be 50ft tall after seeing one of the making of videos earlier this year.

    All in all, great opening episode and I’m so excited for what’s to come.

  315. superdeluxe
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  316. Nick_Scryer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Also is the first episode where not a single (Living) person dies on screen?

    The only casualties were a undead wight and a nipple. :P

  317. Grace
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    thewalkingDEADowns16,

    No one will miss you. BYE :)

  318. Mike Chair
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Nick_Scryer: Have to say, it really hit me as I watched, I realized that I am watching Game of Thrones. NOT A song of ice and fire on screen. And I’m totally fine with it. … THANK YOU for making the Giant look so amazing. I was worried they would be 50ft tall …

    Just so. Hibberd of EW.com has this to say about the giant in his recap:

    Snow sees an army camp and a — giant … a giant giant. Big giant! Big-but-not-too big. Just-the-right-size giant. Big enough so you think “Giant!” but not so big you think “CGI!” or worse, “Jack the Giant Slayer.”

    I totally agree.

    WiC.net will probably put up a “recap roundup” post later today citing Hibberd and others.

  319. RT3
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It seemed pretty obvious to me that Qyburn is a plant – not actually part of the group of prisoners slaughtered by the Mountain.

  320. NewJeffCT
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I think the opening could have been better, but in the book it was the 3 blasts of the horn sounding at the end of Chett’s prologue chapter. Then, several chapters later, it’s Samwell fleeing with the Black Brothers and flashing back to the battle. I think he did get some ravens off, but he kept changing the message as the Brothers threw off the first wave of wights, but were soon overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of attackers…

    Some gorgeous sets – Dragonstone, King’s Landing, Astapor, all looked beautiful. Maybe we’ll see the pyramind next episode? Or, maybe they’re saving it for Meereen so as not to confuse people with too many pyramids?

    I really really really hope we get Jorah’s line – “Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably, Rhaegar fought valiantly. And, Rhaegar died.”

  321. Matt
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Where were arya, bran and jaime? I thought the first episode was meant to introduce all the characters again

  322. umuckurlife
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I strongly disagree with the folks discussing Shae not betraying Tyrion. Shae is a whore, plain and simple. She will betray anyone when the money runs out, especially if it saves her skin…and the money is about to run out for Tyrion. I really feel that Tywin fucking Shae shows an important contradiction of character, to which Martin deals swift justice.

  323. Meg
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    umuckurlife, careful there. Shae defenders (yes even of the Shae in the book) lurk around here. I seriously hope you would say the same thing about “swift justice” for Bronn if he betrayed Tyrion “when the money runs out.”

  324. Listen 2 Ghost!
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I’m really concerned that the lack of White Walker action may disenchant some TV fans. I mean the Battle of the Fists is our only large scale interaction with these things through 5 books and they just skipped right over it

  325. Doug
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I thought it was a flat episode to be honest. I just don’t understand D&D’s insistence on whore house scenes. Bronn and the whore scene lasted 4 minutes. That’s 4 minutes too much. I mean is there a quota of naked women scenes that they must hit each year or something?

    Overall the visualizations are insanely good. The giant was insanely good. The episode itself though? I don’t now, kind of flat. But it was the first episode, and first episodes are probably the hardest to write. So I do understand that. Also to be fair, I think the first 10-15 chapters of ASOS are pretty flat too. So there’s that.

  326. Khaleesi in Training
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    Lastly – I was happy to see that many of the fun moments from the trailers – “Still makes me more clever than you” were all in the first episode. Means the trailers didn’t ruin much.

    Exactly what I was thinking last night, too. :) I really liked this episode & look forward to the next one.

  327. dizzy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I really liked the Davos stuff. And I even liked the opening scene. I’m sure they’ll get around to Slaying.

  328. CoronelTigh
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    David,

    totally agree! why in seven hells is the episode named valar dohaeris???

  329. Scott
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    My question is what happened at Harrenhall prior to Robb getting there. Who killed all those men and why was Robb so shocked? It was a bit unclear and this is from someone who has read all the books (albeit a few years ago). Can someone explain that one for me?Missed Selmy’s fat friend from the book though.

  330. Michael Ashcraft
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    David,

    I thought the same thing

  331. zod
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Scott,

    The Mountain probably killed all the Northmen prisoners before fleeing the castle.

  332. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well, it’s not for everybody. Seeya.

    Brandon Stark:
    I’m not convinced this works as a show anymore. It’s simply too big. It plays out like a montage of five minute scenes that “check in” with each character, but there’s little to hold it altogether. And it’s only going to get worse. The books eventually become too big for books (see book 5…), so I can only imagine how that will play out on screen.

  333. Brendan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The opening and ending aside this episode was nearly flawless. The manticore looked ridiculous and out of place, a scorpion would have been sufficient. Last season there was a lot of time wasting with Ros and Littlefinger on screen. Littlefinger’s meeting with Sansa was brief and straight to the point and I liked the mention of Dorne by Sansa. A lot of necessary pieces were moved into place. I really hope D&D have learned from season 2 and they don’t show long monologues from Ros, Littlefinger, or Talisa. If there was no intent from GRRM to have Lady Jeyne be pregnant with Robb’s son in TWOW then I hope Talisa gets whacked at the RW.

  334. Boojam
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    All in a good primer , maybe as good as season 1.
    Almost all lifted in selected bits from the novel with the exception of Catelyn’s story I didn’t see the diversion from her chapters as was done, but it didn’t hurt anything.
    They kept the Twyin – Tryion encounter almost exactly in tact , Peter and Dance together are just stunning.
    It was already known that Arya’s and Bran’s would not appear until next episode.
    Whew! they whipped through Daenerys I , II and III in a lightning flash, I can not figure out if they will go back and use material from those three chapters in these initial episodes.
    They did cover Dany’s initial story , from the novel, almost as it is in the book.

    One glaring goof, to me, is introducing Low Valyrian without identifying it. It was clear in Episode 1 of season 1 that Dothraki was being spoken.
    Unless I missed it, no identifying subtitle, or better yet the advice from Ser Jorah advising Dany , who understands and speaks both High and Low Valyrian to not let on that she understands what Kraznys is saying That was a strategic ploy by Dany. Maye they will bring it up later?

  335. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I loved it. 9/10 easy. AMAZING composition throughout. There were some scenes that looked like they were ripped right out of a master’s painting from the renaissance (dinner w Margaery especially). Great pacing throughout as well – it never felt rushed. Bravo HBO, home run.

  336. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Nick_Scryer:
    Have to say, it really hit me as I watched, I realized that I am watching Game of Thrones. NOT A song of ice and fire on screen. And I’m totally fine with it.

    In fact, I’m happier for it. Now I have two variations of my favourite story of all time. I will not expect to see certain scenes or complain about little changes, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of the show.

    Can I just say the visuals are stunning, and THANK YOU for making the Giant look so amazing. I was worried they would be 50ft tall after seeing one of the making of videos earlier this year.

    Well said. And yes to the giant – he appeared to probably be about 20 feet tall, and it was just like, there. “Random tall guy walking through, pay no mind.”

  337. Naten53
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    While I like that they revealed Barristan Selmy right away, I kinda wish the scene was more like in the book, with him fighting with a staff and not having a sword until his queen gave him one.

  338. Lord Varys
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    umuckurlife,

    I’m completely with you on that. The whole thing about putting a whore in my bed has to be a setup for Shae in Tywin’s bed with Tywin.

    Tywin’s threat to kill Tyrion’s next whore was a red herring in the books, it should be the same in the show.

    Honestly, I can’t see how they would fuck up the Tyrion-Tywin-relationship in the show. It’s perfect in the book, it does not need to be changed. And both Shae and Tyrion will suffer in the episodes to come. After Joffrey’s death Shae has to look out for herself. She does not betray Tyrion, she tries to save her skin.

  339. kevin1989
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Scott,

    BIG SPOILERS FOR NON-BOOK READERS, DON’T READ, it’s only for Scott.

    Somebody knew about the plan to take over Harrenhal, that’s why there are so many deaths. And as book reader you know who I’m talking about.

    If this is still to spoilerly can WiC edit the comment in some way that he know what I’m talking about and that non-book readers don’t.

  340. Ser Endrew Tarth
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    A great ep all in all…

    My only complaints about changes are when they make the characters look different than they are portrayed in the book (usually in a negative light)

    ie IIRC doesn’t Sam get one raven off in the book? Something to the effect: The watch decimated at the fist, retreating to the wall. from the Tower of the Hand:

    Sam thinks back to the attack. When he heard the horns, he woke to see Chett near him. He knew he had to get off birds saying they were attacked and asked Chett to help, but the steward ran off. He got a raven off to both Castle Black and the Shadow Tower as the men loosed a volley. He then drew his sword and went in search of others.

    quite a different picture from the incompetent coward the show is making him out to be…

    AND LF… Why would he risk being seen talking to Sansa twice in public (cersei would obv have questions) and in places where LF knows Varys “little birds” can hear him. Once in the throne room, and then out by the water which we are later told when Sansa is escaping “sound travels over water” and that the little birds hear everything that happens out there.Between that and him calling Cersei out on her incestuous relationship (lst season) they are making LF look like an idiot… :(

  341. Unsullied
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I didn’t like the fact that Roose Bolton showed some concerned emotion while Robb was looking at the dead Northman. The man is straight up ruthless, why show him with that pity look on his face?

  342. gswelcome
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I agree that the opening scene was a letdown, not just the lack of a battle on the Fist but the fact that the huge army of wights and walkers just seemed to vanish… okay, its tv so one can’t think too much. Also the meeting with Mance could have been better, I think the story Jon came up with in the book to explain his “treason” was much better than the tv change… wouldn’t have taken any longer to use either. Bitterness over being a bastard would have worked sooooo well given everyone sneering at him over it.

    The ending also worries me a tad, is Selmy going to keep Jorah’s treason to himself for awhile or expose him earlier than in the book? Curious to see how D&D will deal with that. Also agree with an above poster that a few seconds taken to have Jorah advise Dany not to let on that he understands what the slaver was saying would have added another dimension to the conversation. Perhaps next episode she’ll reveal “hey I speak high and low Valyrian too?”

    The rest was pure win, the Tywin/Tyion scene was excellent along with the dinner scene. For an episode laying the groundwork for the rest of the season, I see a great job done.

  343. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    This was a slowly paced but strong episode. Near every moment felt like it was directed and acted with extreme care.

  344. Big Bad Wolf
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Dull? This episode… dull? Boring? BAD???

    *Sigh* Well, guess you can’t please everyone. I myself enjoyed everything but the Ghost-ex-Machina from the cold opening, but I guess they’re saving Sam’s moment of glory for another episode. I can live with it.

    By the way, if axing the FOTFM battle means we’ll be having more Tywin/Tyrion-like scenes, I’d take the axe and cut that freaking battle myself. Awesome, I’m speechless.

  345. Crozier
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I feel empathy for all those who are dissapointed by the beginning. The way the second season ended you’d expect something more. Not just that Sam all of a sudden made it out of the walker army but also Mormonts question: “Have you send the ravens?”

    At first I was: Has there been a timeskip? Had Sam been up at the Fist again so that he could even have had a chance to send the ravens?
    Because the way it looks to me, Mormont blames Sam for something ridicilous. He is sorrounded by an undead army, by some miracle gets out of it alive, finds some random headless body and a single wight follows him for what ever reason.
    And the first thing that comes to mind is to go all “YOU HAD ONE JOB” on him? :D

    Colour me confused.

    The rest of the episode was awesome, I pretty much liked everything. Tormund seemed a little grimm, though. The Giant was awesome! also loved the Manticore and Selmy.

  346. sansa
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Liked:
    - Margaery! Highgarden! How epic are the Tyrells! I love that they’re going to flesh her out, the orphanage scene was so great, and the dinner, omg!
    - Tyrion/Tywin, requires no explanation
    - Astapor! After season 2 I was dissapointed by Dany’s storyline, but now I’m all in again. I loved the unsullied.
    - Barristan, I don’t really mind the reveal
    - the little conversation between Roose and Lord Karstark

    Disliked
    - The battle at the fist, or lack thereof
    - Robb being so hard on Cat. In the books he forgave her for releasing Jamie for love because he had just married Jeyne for love, so he understood. On the show… well, I wasn’t a fan of the Talisa story last year, because it made show!Robb look retarded… now he looks like a hypocrite, too
    - Ross/Shae scene and Bronn in the brothel, there was nothing wrong with those scenes but the time could have been spent on other, better things. I love Bronn, but why is Tyrion’s sidekick getting more screen time than some POV characters.

  347. Drew
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    A very strong episode. Much like the books the series is gonna have to cut characters from episodes as they get more and more spread out across the world. The season premier had to focus on the Power centers and the aftermath of the final few episodes. So you get Kings Landing, Beyond the wall, and Astipore (sp?) for the most part this week. With a check in with Robb and his campaign along with Stannis and his campaign. It sets a good base for the power players and kingdoms. Next week we will get the sugar and spice and all that is Arya.

    Drew

  348. KG
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    That’s true. Well too bad for him!

  349. Mimsy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I was kind going … what? at the opening scene simply because all of the white walkers and dead horses were gone, but I suppose they had bigger fish to fry than a small pack of crows. Maybe they were on their way to a white walker convention.

    I’m okay with that theory. Sam running in the blizzardy snow was sooo good though. You can taste the cold and feel the low visibility. Location, location, location!

    I’m still beyond pleased with the first episode.

  350. Isabelle
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    loco73: Charlie Sheen eat you heart out, you ain’t a warlock!

    This made me laugh : )

  351. Braincandy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with you WiC! The only scene/change that I wasn’t a fan of was the first. Mormont and the gang seemed to come out of nowhere. It was unnatural. The rest was pure bliss!

  352. Dark Star
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: But that actually is her entire story in Book 3. If Season 3 is supposed to be roughly half of that book (or a bit more) what are they doing with her in Season 4? In that case they have to use material from ADWD which is not too much either and rather unpopular also.

    Jack Gleeson is, what, only about 20, right? Maybe he will go to University, and then change his mind about acting. It has happened many times before. Plus, I would make a bet that his collective salaries from acting are covering most of his University costs. He may need more moolah later.

  353. Ghost
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Them changing Jon and Mance’s stories is terrible. There was no need. Hearing Mance tell his story of himself lets you get to know and understand him. He instantly became one of my favorites after reading it.

    I think the whole Davos and Stannis scene made them both look bad.

    And again, how the hell did Sam escape!?

  354. Toast
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    After reading all the comments I agree with the opening scene being a bit of a cop out and probably confusing to non-book readers, but wanted to mention a few things I didnt see discussed yet.

    Having Winterfell burning in the opening sequence was a nice touch but why was it there in the first place? The map changes every episode based on the story for that episode but no where in Ep1 did we ever go near Winterfell. I like the change but feel like it should have been left for next week when we pick up with Bran and co.

    I like the change of revealing Barristan immediately, but if Jorah recognizes him and remembers him as the commander of Robert’s kingsguard then what the hell is he doing standing behind Dany?!? They both know that Robert will send assassins to kill Dany, and have no idea of the dismissal of Barristan by the Queen and Joff. Would this not come across as a very dangerous man to Ser Jorah? He should have been standing in front of Dany with his sword drawn, not behind her with his hands on his hips.

    I don’t mean to come off as negative as these are two small problems with an otherwise outstanding episode (Tywin (Dance) is a boss.) But they did strike me as odd, especially the way Jorah acted. Am I the only one?

  355. Robbb
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I liked this episode a lot…better then last seasons opener where they tried to cram every story line in 52 minutes. It was fine with me to let things play out with a few story lines and we’ll catch up with Arya, etc next week.

    The open was a tad week (with Cat’s behind the scenes blog about the fire, I had images of Wights and white walkers all aflame throughout some huge battle). But I think the details of the scene will play out as the wildlings potentially stumble upon the camp in future episodes. Having said that I was still yelling “Ghost!”. So not a huge let down.

    Loved everything else – the giants were bad ass, for the first time I actually liked Margery;’s character, Cersei’s looks were hilarious, Barristan fucking Selmy – yes! And how about the way they introed Dany and the dragons – thats how you do it. I was dissapointed last season in the opener when they didnt intro Tyrion’s arrival to kings landing in a more grandiose way – the character is a pimp, Dinklage won the emmy, I wanted to see a visually interesting stylized badass walk into the city – and it was kind of blah. Not last night with Dany – drangons gone fishing, hells yeah.

    Overall things seemed to move without feeling rushed. Great start!

  356. klee
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Big Bad Wolf:
    Dull? This episode… dull? Boring? BAD???

    *Sigh* Well, guess you can’t please everyone. I myself enjoyed everything but the Ghost-ex-Machina from the cold opening, but I guess they’re saving Sam’s moment of glory for another episode. I can live with it.

    By the way, if axing the FOTFM battle means we’ll be having more Tywin/Tyrion-like scenes, I’d take the axe and cut that freaking battle myself. Awesome, I’m speechless.

    Amen. I loved the slow pacing, it was a nice change for GoT to have some slow time. I think, with 2 seasons for SoS, we can expect more of the character development episodes (and I’m good with that!).

    I didn’t mind the fist battle being left out and I don’t mind Sam’s story (he IS a coward, and he’ll tell ya that ;-)). I love Roose, and I think when he gets more time onscreen, he’s gonna nail the role.

    My only *minor* complains (I’m a book purist, so I basically have complained for 2 seasons–but not this time)… I wish Mance were more Mance-ish (but I trust Ciarán Hinds to make this role great, 100%), I wish Littlefinger was written better (grr!) and I wish Ghost were with Jon. I’m a believer that the viewers need to see Jon’s bond with him much more (and more expose on warging in general).

    Overall, I loved it. I think if this episode is indicative of what we’ll see this season — I will be delighted. Much improved, imo.

  357. Shock Me
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    gswelcome,

    I prefer to believe that the Wight army had different quarry in mind when they attacked the fist and left the Night Watch survivors when they didn’t find what they were looking for. Otherwise the NW would have been defeated in great detail.

  358. Naten53
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts on the episode vs. book.

    I understand the limitations on TV and take that into consideration.

    Sam: I just don’t like this. First too many questions for viewers and book readers, mainly “HOW DOES SAM LIVE?” Secondly, for non book readers, “Whats up with the ravens?” Sam was in charge of the ravens was revealed last season but, in the book, Sam wasn’t separated from the group like at the end of season 2. Since he was scared he wasn’t able to get a message on the ravens and they all got away. A good response could have been that he got stuck off the mountain. Also, WTF is Ghost doing with them and not with Jon, if they don’t fix this soon, it will bother me.

    Jon: I was pumped by the scene walking through the camp, and through his mistaking Thurmond for Mance. But his interaction with Mance was a miss for me. What was wrong with the reason for joining in the book? Mance told Jon about seeing him twice before, once when he visited the wall with his father and Rob, and another time at the feast for the king in Winterfell. Jon’s reason for staying that as a bustard he was put at a table in the back. This could easily be adapted to the TV version, he wasn’t even allowed in the feast. Even though it was a miss, I did like how he referenced what he saw from Craster’s Keep, even though him seeing Craster do that with the baby wasn’t in the book

    Rob: I think this is an acceptable change from the book without confusing the non readers. Harrenhall was established last season and with the change in Arya’s story, how Bolton gets in charge of the castle needed to be made up in not a lot of air time. Also, a quick snippet of house Tulley, something that was totally missed last season.

    Sansa/Little Finger: I liked the scheming here. I understand what they did for TV, need to reduce characters for the show, but they already introduced Dontos last season in the first episode, it may come back to see him but we will see. I think it can be done well either way.

    Tryion/Cersi: I liked this also, Tryion knows that Cersi tried to have him killed, Cersi wants to know what Tryion is going to say to their father, very good set up for the coming scenes with Tryion/Cersi/Tywin.

    Tryion/Bronn: This was good, non viewers might think that it didn’t have much meaning other then Bronn is a knight, but with Bronn showing that he is still out for himself and wanting more money, it shows how far their friendship truly goes. It plays out well enough for me to be reminded of a future showdown between you know who. Also, I will be interested how true to Bronn’s story line they stay after that showdown.

    Tryion/Tywin: Best scene of the night. (it could be that Peter Dinklage is my favorite actor on the show). The tension in the air is obvious, the contempt that they have for each other is laid out in the open for the non book readers. This follows the book fairly well, not too surprising that it is one of my favorite scenes of the episode.

    Joffry/Margery/Cersi: I like how they showed Margery connecting with the people and Joffry stewing in contempt. I don’t think that they say in the books what Joffry’s reaction to Margery is. But they nailed the beginning of Cersi and Margery’s relationship with each other. I also liked the scheming at the diner scene, (again not in the books, but easy to set up future events without much air time).

    Davos/Stanis/Red Women: I think there was some lacking in how Davos survived. While in the books it explains how he ended up on those rocks and why Saan would have been nearby to be able to pick him up, the later scene between the three did a good job.

    Daenerys/Unsullied: This was good. The interaction of the Slave trader and Daenerys was very similar to the book, again one of my favorite scenes of the night. I like how you can almost see Daenerys turning her ear towards the Slave trader when he talks because she knows Valerian.

    Daenerys/Selmy: While I like that they revealed Barristan Selmy right away, I kinda wish the scene was more like in the book, with him fighting with a staff and not having a sword until his queen gave him one. Also how does he not say the thing about Jorah spying when he reveals himself, this will be an interesting set up for the future.

  359. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Quit talking in riddles and just say what you have to say, then cover it with a spoiler bar. Why is that difficult?

    kevin1989:
    Scott,

    BIG SPOILERS FOR NON-BOOK READERS, DON’T READ, it’s only for Scott.

    Somebody knew about the plan to take over Harrenhal, that’s why there are so many deaths. And as book reader you know who I’m talking about.

    If this is still to spoilerly can WiC edit the comment in some way that he know what I’m talking about and that non-book readers don’t.

  360. Alan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Overall, very well done, but still a table-setting episode.

    Dany’s scenes were great across the board, with the biggest surprise being how gorgeous Missandei is. When you are stealing eye time from Emilia Clarke, you might actually be doing too much in the good looks department. The dragons, Krasnyz, unsullied, etc were all great. I actually think getting rid of the Sorrowful Man (which was sent by the warlocks, or at least Dany & Co think so in the books) and going straight to the source was ideal simplification. The only hiccup was the bit of cheese over Barristan.

    Robb’s scene was good. I still stumble on Jon, mostly because of the mope that he is. I don’t think Kit Harrington is screwing it up; it’s just Jon isn’t so interesting on screen. I don’t get the unrest over changing his story; I liked the other one better but this one makes sense.

    Tywin and Tyrion worked. Same with the rest of KL – Margaery is going to be a high point and we still haven’t seen Diana Rigg. Waiting to evaluate on Littlefinger and Sansa but I enjoyed the little chit chat Shae and Sansa have.

    The other fury seems to be the start. I never expected the battle, so I was just happy to see Direwolves in action. That was cool. And you shouldn’t have expected the Slayer — that’s later in the books.

    Lots of fuss over changes that mean little. Well done episode that wasn’t great mostly because it really is just part of a greater whole. Needed strong endings, and it wasn’t going to get that.

    I might have put the segments in a different order.

  361. Zack
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Alan: Robb’s scene was good. I still stumble on Jon, mostly because of the mope that he is. I don’t think Kit Harrington is screwing it up; it’s just Jon isn’t so interesting on screen. I don’t get the unrest over changing his story; I liked the other one better but this one makes sense.

    I liked his story too, it was really believable the way he sold it, plus we know he’s genuinely bothered by Mormont’s reaction from the other episode. Not that there was anything wrong with his explanation from the book, but people would more easily remember something that happened less than a full season ago versus something that happened in the series premiere, and the book explanation would have you think he’s turning his back on the Stark family rather than the show’s version which is clearly just selling a disgust with the Night’s Watch itself. Slightly more believable, no?

  362. Baihu1983
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Has it been confirmed the battles between the NW/Walkers wont simply take place later in a smaller scene?

    What about Coldhands? Is he confirmed for S3?

  363. klee
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I have no issue with Jon’s scenes either… I’ve never understood the Jon-bashing. I chuckled last night, at his face when Ygritte asks him if that’s the first giant he’s seen. I thought it was priceless.

  364. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    OMG THIS!! Isn’t she supposed to be very young? Cause, uh… her, um… parts are not those of a young girl.

    Alan:

    Dany’s scenes were great across the board, with the biggest surprise being how gorgeous Missandei is.

  365. Jillian
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Brendan,

    Thank you! I said the same thing about the manticore. Glad someone agrees.

  366. rorschach-
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Have to give my “Best of the Episode” ofcourse to Tywin and Tyrion. Made me cringe a bit in my seat.

    So for the criticism. I agree with that action wasn’t so good in this episode. The black screen and battlesounds was really bad idea for start, but they could have just skipped it if there was no money. Start it with Sam running, now it felt that “ok they did this because they didn’t have money”. Self-combusting Walker and “suddenly everybody” made me laugh but not in a good way. Something like shooting a blazing arrow maybe? Or at least smack it with axes and swords like mad. But they just walk there like a boss and set it on fire. “Yo Sam, he is now on fire, take care.” Also the ending with Jedi and the manticore ball when the little girl jumps from the pier. This is suppose to be THE GUY, best of the best with blades and he wobbles with a dagger pointed downwards from palm and his hand far above his shoulder into the side. Nobody who knows how to handle a blade wouldn’t do that. Made it look like some old school black-and-white murderflick where you had to point out really hard that the murderer has a dagger. “See the dagger. Look at it. Look. Dangerous.”

    But I liked the episode. Lot of good drama and setting up the pieces for coming events. Lot to book readers to spot. Mance had a lute, Davos didn’t have anymore his fingers, comment about Tyrions nose. Made me chuckle.

  367. Suzaku
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    While I’m thinking of it, there was a little costume design detail I really liked with Roose Bolton.

    He wears his wolf pelt cloak with the fur side down and the tanned side out. It gives the appearance of flayed skin, and also distinguishes him from pretty much all the other Northerners, who wear their cloaks fur side out.

  368. Jillybean
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I feel like I should have figured it out, being a book reader, but what was up with Harrenhal? In the books, so many different people occupied it at different times, and I thought last we saw in the series was Tywin leaving (and Arya and her group) and the Mountain being in charge. So where did all the dead Northerners come from? What did I miss?

  369. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I have to wonder what they will do with Stannis’ arc this season. Unless they do some shifting around of events or add new content, we won’t see his arc go anywhere until season 4, which is the latter half of Storm of Swords.

  370. Jillybean
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Suzaku,

    nice catch! I missed it. I’ll watch the episode again (oh, darn) and watch for it. I love it when they do small details like that. Shows they have pros at every level.

  371. Darquemode
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Did not ee this commented on anywhere.
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/04/01/game-of-thrones-premiere-ratings-3/

    From InsideTV James Hibberd,

    Thrones delivered 4.4 million viewers for its premiere at 9 p.m. and racked up 6.7 million viewers for the evening after its two repeats were tallied. That’s up 13 percent from its premiere last year.

    Did not think TWD finale woud lower ratings much, but glad to know it had no noticeable effect in the end!

    Renewal is coming.

  372. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Jillybean:
    Ours is the Fury,

    I feel like I should have figured it out, being a book reader, but what was up with Harrenhal?In the books, so many different people occupied it at different times, and I thought last we saw in the series was Tywin leaving (and Arya and her group) and the Mountain being in charge. So where did all the dead Northerners come from? What did I miss?

    Well, I’m not Ours is the Fury, but I think we just have to accept that they were prisoners taken in battles and kept at Harrenhal. When Gregor abandoned the castle, he slaughtered all the prisoners there rather than taking them with him.

  373. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes, good stuff there!

    rorschach-:

    Lot to book readers to spot. Mance had a lute, Davos didn’t have anymore his fingers, comment about Tyrions nose. Made me chuckle.

  374. Jillybean
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    telobsidion,

    okay, yes, I can see that conclusion. My hubby hadn’t read the books, and he was confused. Then I started over-thinking it. Thank you!

  375. Jayne Poole
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    Nope.

  376. Dan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure why people are confused about Qyburn already being in Harrenhal. We already know the Bloody Mummers are out. Locke, a member of Bolton’s crew, is going to take the place of Vargo Hoat. So unless Qyburn was going to be a Bolton man, as well, they needed to have him get to Harrenhal some other way.

    Also, did anyone else notice that Bolton was referring to Locke when he said something about having their best men hunting for Jaime to Karstark.

  377. rorschach-
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Suzaku,

    I also love the little metal piece in Boltons leatherstraps that keep his cloack on. Skinned man nailed to a cross upside down. Reeks like some anticipation for what is coming.

    See what I did there?!

  378. Isabelle
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    http://saidtobekissedbyfire.tumblr.com/post/46815544706

    I think there’s a fair chance we’ll be quite happy ; )

  379. Landis
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Loved:
    - Natalie Dormer owned this entire episode, and I invite her to do so in all subsequent ones.
    - Margarey/Cersei dynamic is looking very compelling.
    - Tywin and Tyrion scene was a heart-wrenching return to reality in the father-son relationship.

    Liked:
    - Early intro to the Bolton and Karstark malcontent, which helped to establish Roose as a player in the eyes of viewers; I also felt it wasn’t overdone, but rather an ominous reminder of the fallout from Catelyn’s actions last season and how that reflects on Robb himself
    - Ros and Shae
    - Lost in Translation sequence
    - Forgoing the mystery surrounding Whitebeard was a logical move

    Disliked:
    - Joffrey. I did not like the way they wrote Joffrey in this episode, and this is directly related to how they “rewrote” the character last season. This version is much more faithful to the book, but I feel that it is a direct contradiction of the sadist psychotic of season 2, which I am still up-in-arms over. Joffrey’s school boyish puppy love for Margarey is infuriating in light of the graphic divergences they have already made, though I will not criticize Jack Gleeson, who is superb.
    - Not impressed with the lack wildling “princesses” in Mance Rayder’s tent. I understand the need to cut down on characters, but the absence of Dalla and Val was exacerbated by the failure to play up Mance’s bardic calling. I expect this will be amended in the coming episodes, but it would be a real shame if the only wildling woman we see this season is Ygritte: as fantastic as Rose Leslie is, it is foolish to place that burden solely on her.
    - Superficial, but bad title to use for an episode that lacks pocket-rocket, Maisie Williams or the Faceless Men. “All men must serve” is relevant to the content of the episode, perhaps, but the Valyrian phrase is far too particular to be used out of context.

    Hated:
    - Continuing to film in Iceland. Sure, it’s a great landscape, but the environment is simply not eerie enough for the plot. The overriding fear of a return of the Long Night needs to be communicated, and this was done to perfection in the first scene of the series, but has steadily gone downhill. Filming “scary” scenes in broad daylight in a landscape that is white and desolate means there is no real opportunity for suspense. Filming in a snowy forest allows for creepiness day and night by providing a claustrophobic atmosphere in which you fear both getting lost and being found. Sidestepping the necessity of suspense, didn’t Osha already establish that the Old Gods can’t see in the south because they have no eyes? How can they possibly hold sway beyond the Wall, in a world where there are no trees at all?

  380. Ed
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    God I hate Ygritte.

    Can you PLEASE just one-time answer my fucking question without a smart-ass remark!!?? Listen here bit$%, you don’t need to be “on” all the time!

  381. Andrew
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Ghost,

    There are still nine episodes in which Mance can tell Jon why he decided to fly down off the wall. No need to despair yet.

  382. Gregory Kelton
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Jon Snow’s “Why I’m turning my cloak” response to Mance fell COMPLETELY flat for me. I just don’t get what D&D are doing with Jon’s character. I’m by NO means a book purist, but between the change with Qhorin and now this “Because I want to join those who’ll fight the WWs”, I’m baffled. What was wrong with “Because I’ve been an outcast bastard all my life, sent to the wall to shiver and freeze to death, and I’m sick of it”? It’s an argument that makes at least SOME sense. I still don’t understand what Jon said on the TV show that made Mance go “ok, I buy that”.

  383. Deborah
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    Are you talking about the Dany/Jorah kiss or the John/Ygrette kiss? I am looking forward to the latter.

  384. The Rabbit
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to interrupt the great discussion..but I am fresh from seeing it for the first time:
    I am impressed! A great step further been made by the whole production, not to mention the visuals, which was pretty obvious – but in the structure of the episode, building, and most of all writing.
    I adored the scenes with Dany, dynamics in KL (Tywin – Tyrion, Tyrion – Cersei, Tyrell – Lannister dinner, LF – Sansa, even Ros and Shae) – My first impression they succesfully added the depth in all KL relations – something I missed a lot last season – despite some great acting from Dinklage – something was still missing all along).
    I am not even disappointed as many of you with Sam intro. I though it was enough.The beyond the wall was solid – and I am pretty content with (despite the fact that Mance from my head is miles away from Ciaran Hinds authorative figure – but not big deal really).
    Only bit of complaint is to seeing the bit of Robb s story in ep1, I would push this later on S2 – would be fine, I think it would make more room for showing Davos suffering on that island – an excellent chapter in the books.
    Despite this small complaint I am quite impressed with the season opening – the best opening so far!
    (I ll jump of joy when the odious Kraznys got what he deserves!!! Dracarys!!)

  385. Huge Floppy Gut
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    This has probably been covered already, but why was this episode titled “Valar Dohaeris” when arryas storyline wasnt even covered? strange

  386. The Bear
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    I respectfully disagree. The “I feel an outsider because I’m a bastard” reasoning was the same reason he joined the Night’s Watch in the first place. I much prefer the “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living” reasoning. That whole thing with the baby boys at Craster’s was downright appalling, and I think it strengthens Jon’s moral character that he’s still concerned with what happened there.

  387. Darren Mason
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be 100% honest, I felt disappointed and cheated by the opening.

    They left season 2 off with this huge cliff hanger of an army of undead advancing on the watch with the inclination that there would be a battle.

    Now we get to season 3 and they just completely skipped over it as if it never happened, not even bothering to explain what is going on, how did they escape? How did Sam get away from the huge army of undead that surrounded him? If I was a non-book reader watching this episode I would have no idea what is going on, I would be completely confused by this scene which (in my opinion) made no sense at all.

    The rest of the episode was pretty good but there were no real stand out moments and overall it was pretty lackluster for a season premiere.

  388. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    I agree with The Bear comment. I like how they changed Jon’s reasoning for turning his cloak. “I’m bastard so I cant find place in Seven Kingdoms” is a false reason because the Night Watch is supposed to be the place where bastardy, crimes and everything is pardoned and a man can become something more despite being accused by society for whatever reason.

    Mance whould’ve said “Yeah, right. And Cotter Pyke, the Bastard of Iron Islands, is a commander of the Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, off with your head”

  389. Gregory Kelton
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    The Bear:
    Gregory Kelton,

    I respectfully disagree. The “I feel an outsider because I’m a bastard” reasoning was the same reason he joined the Night’s Watch in the first place. I much prefer the “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living” reasoning. That whole thing with the baby boys at Craster’s was downright appalling, and I think it strengthens Jon’s moral character that he’s still concerned with what happened there.

    1) Why does it matter if it’s the same reason he had for joining the Night’s Watch? The purpose is to get Mance/Wildlings to trust him, so he should give a reason that actually makes sense, and the one he gave just didn’t work for me.
    2) He’s supposed to be LYING! Is he really appalled by the Lord Commander? If so, is this really a spy mission, or is he actually defecting? If they’re making THAT major of a character change, then I guess I can follow along for the ride, but that is a MAJOR difference, and not at all conveyed up till now in the story. If they aren’t intending that change, then if he’s going to lie, why not do it with a much more convincing story.

    If he’s trying to give a reason that gives him the best chance of being accepted by the Wildlings, this one doesn’t seem to play nearly as well as the book one, and is just baffling to me. It also puts a completely different spin on the Wildlings? Are they trying to get south of the wall, or are they some sort of “frozen north freedom fighters”? If they’re just trying to get south of the wall, then how is Jon’s “reason” for turning his cloak at all relevant? I just don’t see it.

  390. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason,

    Why would it be so hard to make up a scenario for what happened? We hear how people get slaughtered and when we see a group of watchmen on their own the natural conclusion to draw is that they managed to get away in the snow (which actually happens in the books, which makes it even easier to get). As for Sam, you could just easily assume that they left him for the time being. Easily based on the cruel humor they seem to have in the books, or how they actually let Will go in the prologue of the show. Why is a different question and we don’t need to know anything about why the white walkers do anything yet.

    I think people that have read the books often make things harder for themselves than they need to be. When you just look at the available information it’s usually not that hard to find a possible scenario that explains something.

  391. Gregory Kelton
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    HellFell:
    Gregory Kelton,

    I agree with The Bear comment. I like how they changed Jon’s reasoning for turning his cloak. “I’m bastard so I cant find place in Seven Kingdoms” is a false reason because the Night Watch is supposed to be the place where bastardy, crimes and everything is pardoned and a man can become something more despite being accused by society for whatever reason.

    Mance whould’ve said “Yeah, right. And Cotter Pyke,the Bastard of Iron Islands, is a commander of the Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, off with your head”

    No, the reason isn’t “I’m a bastard so I can’t find a place in the seven kingdom’s”, that’s obviously not true. The reason he gives in the books is “Everyone told me that I could make something of myself on the wall. That it was noble, and virtuous, and good. But since I’ve been there, I’ve come to realize the truth: They just wanted me gone. The “noble” brotherhood is full of rapists and thieves and cowards and all sorts of disgusting men. And that’s what my family thought of me. My family doesn’t love me, they never have. I’m just a bastard, sent to the wall to freeze to death. Well, I’ve seen there’s something better out there, and I mean to have it.”

  392. The Bear
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    I guess the whining about being a bastard just gets a little old for me. Half of the Night’s Watch are bastards, so who cares?

    I don’t see how this changes the way the Wildlings are portrayed either. They are depicted as people who value freedom of choice more than anything. Jon being forbidden to defend the life of an innocent baby seems like a good reason to want to be “free” to me. Maybe he understands and accepts Mormont’s decision and maybe he doesn’t, but I think it’s a perfectly valid and logical story to tell to gain the trust of a man that values freedom about all else.

  393. The Bear
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    He doesn’t say that till later on though…

  394. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    About Jon lying, why is that important? If anything I think that’s a statement is the one that doesn’t make any sense. If the show can actually make the viewers wonder if Jon joins the wildlings for good then it’s a far better story for the show than if it’s clear where his allegiance lies all along. Since we don’t get to see into Jon’s head in this medium they have the opportunity to play on that to a different degree.

    That’s of course without stating the obvious fact that there’s nothing saying that Jon isn’t lying in the show. The best lies are close to the truth.

  395. Andrew
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    He just finished telling Mance that Mormont intended him to lead the Watch someday. It wouldn’t make sense to then turn around and complain about how he gets no respect.

  396. The Bear
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    In the book all he does is mention how he wasn’t allowed at his father’s table during the feast in Winterfell. He doesn’t mention the stuff about getting no respect until later. It worked in the book, but I feel like in the show it would just come across as more whining from a character that already does quite a bit of whining…

    The change that I was more disappointed with was no singing from Mance! I wanted to hear Dornishman’s Wife, dammit!

  397. Red Helm
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Qyburn’s introduction puzzles me. Is he a Lannister agent? Knowing what kind of man he is, it would fit for him to be one of Clegane’s men. Maybe he is there to bring a message from Tywin to Roose? And – once we’re at Harenhal – will we get Rorge back? I really enjoyed Andy Beckwith’s performance (as much as one can enjoy watching a man threatening to violate a child) and I want to see more of him.

  398. Selmy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton: 1) Why does it matter if it’s the same reason he had for joining the Night’s Watch?The purpose is to get Mance/Wildlings to trust him, so he should give a reason that actually makes sense, and the one he gave just didn’t work for me.
    2) He’s supposed to be LYING!Is he really appalled by the Lord Commander?If so, is this really a spy mission, or is he actually defecting?If they’re making THAT major of a character change, then I guess I can follow along for the ride, but that is a MAJOR difference, and not at all conveyed up till now in the story.If they aren’t intending that change, then if he’s going to lie, why not do it with a much more convincing story.

    If he’s trying to give a reason that gives him the best chance of being accepted by the Wildlings, this one doesn’t seem to play nearly as well as the book one, and is just baffling to me.It also puts a completely different spin on the Wildlings?Are they trying to get south of the wall, or are they some sort of “frozen north freedom fighters”?If they’re just trying to get south of the wall, then how is Jon’s “reason” for turning his cloak at all relevant?I just don’t see it.

    I don’t get you. You say you weren’t happy of Jon’s explanation, that it wasn’t convincing and that it doesn’t make sense. But then you wonder whether Jon is really betraying the Night’s Watch. Was he convincig or was he not?

    BARRISTAN SELMY!!!!
    MANTICORE!!!
    UNSULLIED AND NIPPLE!!!!!
    VALYRIAN!!!!

    Definetly the best I’ve seen of Daenerys since the beginning of season 1.

  399. MX
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    My last comment on this.

    Jon’s reason is much more plausible in the series because:

    1. The book reason would make him seem whiny and in search of entitlement. Why would the Wildlings care about him being ignored by the lords? Most likely they would make fun of him.

    2. When Mance knew who he was and he correctly said that Jon wanted to be a hero rather than to be free, you could sense Jon going: “Oh crap. Maybe this guy can read my thoughts. So perhaps I should be honest and…”

    3. …admit that Jon admired the Night’s Watch before the Craster encounter and felt at home with them. But after the encounter, he realized that the Night’s Watch didn’t give a damn about abandoned and killed baby boys, bastards or not.

    Jon’s main reason for not having sex is that he doesn’t want to produce sons who would grow up fatherless. He finds the treatment of baby boys appalling because he identifies with them, and he feels that Night’s Watch betrayed his trust in that respect.

    Ergo, his reasoning in the show is completely in line with his character. Jon wants to be loved and protected much more than he wants to be feasting with aristocracy. So, Gregory Kelton nailed it already, enough said.

  400. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Landis:

    Hated:
    - Continuing to film in Iceland. Sure, it’s a great landscape, but the environment is simply not eerie enough for the plot. The overriding fear of a return of the Long Night needs to be communicated, and this was done to perfection in the first scene of the series, but has steadily gone downhill. Filming “scary” scenes in broad daylight in a landscape that is white and desolate means there is no real opportunity for suspense. Filming in a snowy forest allows for creepiness day and night by providing a claustrophobic atmosphere in which you fear both getting lost and being found. Sidestepping the necessity of suspense, didn’t Osha already establish that the Old Gods can’t see in the south because they have no eyes? How can they possibly hold sway beyond the Wall, in a world where there are no trees at all?

    That always bothered me too…

  401. Gregory Kelton
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Selmy: I don’t get you. You say you weren’t happy of Jon’s explanation, that it wasn’t convincingand that it doesn’t make sense. But then you wonder whether Jon is really betraying the Night’s Watch. Was he convincig or was he not?

    BARRISTAN SELMY!!!!
    MANTICORE!!!
    UNSULLIED AND NIPPLE!!!!!
    VALYRIAN!!!!

    Definetly the best I’ve seen of Daenerys since the beginning of season 1.

    No, I don’t “wonder” that, I’m saying that if D&D’s intent is to make Jon actually defect (as opposed to just pretending) then I think this works, but the way it has been presented so far doesn’t gel with that notion.

    To those saying “Mance just said he wants to be a hero, so he can’t go with the book line”, obviously they would have changed Mance’s line too. Yes, the book argument doesn’t work after Mance says “I think you want to be a hero”, but there is no reason he had to say that, the writers can change that on a whim.

    He just finished telling Mance that Mormont intended him to lead the Watch someday. It wouldn’t make sense to then turn around and complain about how he gets no respect.

    Once again, the writers went with a more inline with the book’s method, they didn’t have to make him say that, so your point doesn’t make sense.

    I guess the whining about being a bastard just gets a little old for me. Half of the Night’s Watch are bastards, so who cares?

    1) Hardly any of them are noble bastards, and there is a large difference.
    2) This only further makes it an argument that would work well with Mance, since he’s seen what it’s like for bastards in Westeros.

    I don’t see how this changes the way the Wildlings are portrayed either. They are depicted as people who value freedom of choice more than anything. Jon being forbidden to defend the life of an innocent baby seems like a good reason to want to be “free” to me. Maybe he understands and accepts Mormont’s decision and maybe he doesn’t, but I think it’s a perfectly valid and logical story to tell to gain the trust of a man that values freedom about all else.

    It doesn’t make sense though? Are the wildlings terrified of the WW’s and trying to flee south of the wall, or are they there to “be heroes”? If they’re terrified of the WW’s and trying to flee south of the wall, then how does Jon’s argument have any sway with them? If they’re trying to “be heroes”, then that’s a major change to the books, but could make for an interesting change that is worth watching. But they’ll have to pay that off later in the show, or I’m just going to be baffled by Mance’s acceptance of Jon this whole season.

    Look, if it worked for you all, then great, I’m glad for you. It didn’t work for me. At the end of that scene all I could think was “Why did Mance buy that?”

  402. The Bear
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. To each his own I guess. In all honesty, I was a little baffled at how book Mance bought the “I didn’t get to sit at the big boy table” story. Doesn’t seem like a convincing argument at all to me…

  403. MX
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Oops, I mean the bear nailed it rather than Gregory of course. Should have realized immediately since the bear is my own companion…

  404. rorschach-
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Jons reason being now better. It puts Jon even more into the deep end with who his loyalty belongs. The bastard thing was bit meh and the only link that made Jon think of truly betraying the Crows was Ygritte. Now the NW really is bit more repulsive when even the high and mighty commander sacrifices kids to zombies, or at least looks into another way. It should make Jons decision to stay true to his vows or give up and live in cave as free man bit harder.

  405. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton,

    Easy there. I don’t think they’re going to make Jon actually defect. However, I do think they’re going to amp up the tension and put people, especially show only watchers, on the edge. Jon is going to ultimately get a reality check on all the stuff he’s heard, and he’s going to question more than he did in the books. In the end, they’ll probably still have Jon choose to be loyal to the watch.

  406. Selmy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton: No, I don’t “wonder” that, I’m saying that if D&D’s intent is to make Jon actually defect (as opposed to just pretending) then I think this works, but the way it has been presented so far doesn’t gel with that notion.

    To those saying “Mance just said he wants to be a hero, so he can’t go with the book line”, obviously they would have changed Mance’s line too.Yes, the book argument doesn’t work after Mance says “I think you want to be a hero”, but there is no reason he had to say that, the writers can change that on a whim.

    Once again, the writers went with a more inline with the book’s method, they didn’t have to make him say that, so your point doesn’t make sense.

    1) Hardly any of them are noble bastards, and there is a large difference.
    2) This only further makes it an argument that would work well with Mance, since he’s seen what it’s like for bastards in Westeros.

    It doesn’t make sense though?Are the wildlings terrified of the WW’s and trying to flee south of the wall, or are they there to “be heroes”?If they’re terrified of the WW’s and trying to flee south of the wall, then how does Jon’s argument have any sway with them?If they’re trying to “be heroes”, then that’s a major change to the books, but could make for an interesting change that is worth watching.But they’ll have to pay that off later in the show, or I’m just going to be baffled by Mance’s acceptance of Jon this whole season.

    Look, if it worked for you all, then great, I’m glad for you.It didn’t work for me.At the end of that scene all I could think was “Why did Mance buy that?”

    Yes you are wondering. If you think D&D could make Jon ”defect”, (which is really stupid), then you are wondering what they will do with this storyline. Use another word if you want, but you are wondering.

  407. Al Swearengen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Loved every minute of it and I was pleasantly surprised to see the giant :-)

  408. Al Swearengen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    If I was to nitpick I’d say they should have done the opening with Ghost distracting the Wight and then having Sam stab him with a dragon glass dagger.

  409. Hassan Madkour
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who noticed in the Tyrion/ Tywin scene that Tywin is writing “… should be murdered…”? has the foreshadowing started already?

  410. sunaeryn
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Hassan Madkour:
    Am I the only one who noticed in the Tyrion/ Tywin scene that Tywin is writing “… should be murdered…”? has the foreshadowing started already?

    Nice catch. I completely missed that.

  411. Tom Erdenay
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m ecstatic that GoT is back – but I have to say this felt like the weakest episode in the series as of now. I realize I may be more judgmental now that I’ve finished reading the books, but some of the things in the show just do not make any sense or have been poorly done:
    - The whole Sam and Night’s Watch scene with ghost was one HUGE disappointment.
    - Battle of the Fist? :(
    - Jon’s introduction to the wildlings left quite a bit to be desired as well, although both Giant and Tormund has looked great and I believe Mance’s character has promise. Still, the changes were not that good.
    - Davos scene?… I love that they brought back Salladhor, but the whole handling of him with Stannis was very disappointing.
    - Littlefinger and Roose also both seemed less deceptive as usual where it seems that they’d rather be making unnecessary risks…

    However, there were some brilliant scenes as well:
    - Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage’s dialogue and scene may just be one of the best in the series so far: beautifully done and very moving… Both actors outdone themselves.
    - All the scenes with Natalie have been absolutely amazing. So many small references and she’s such a great intriguer and schemer… This will be good.
    - The whole Unsullied sequence was also done with near perfection

    All in all, I have very high hopes and I have no doubts that show will just go on running, especially when the more intriguing storylines develop through out the season, yet the 1st episode left a lot to be desired (7/10). Still, Winter IS coming. *shivers*

  412. Al Swearengen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Also I have to say I thought Stannis looked rather dashing with his rough facial hair.

  413. ATCZERO
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    umuckurlife,

    A million times yes! I with you on where how Shae’s story plays out.

  414. ebevan91
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979:
    Ha! TWoP and Westeros.org appear to have crashed. Let’s check Twitter!

    I’ve only been able to get on westeros.org maybe 3 times since last night.

  415. Nic
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark:
    I’m not convinced this works as a show anymore. It’s simply too big. It plays out like a montage of five minute scenes that “check in” with each character, but there’s little to hold it altogether. And it’s only going to get worse. The books eventually become too big for books (see book 5…), so I can only imagine how that will play out on screen.

    I don’t want to agree with you but you do make a valid point. I fear the show is becoming too labyrinthine. I love the books but in a 50 minute episode there is not enough time to develop multiple story arcs. Perhaps it would have worked better as a double episode opener, i.e. two back to back episodes, but as it is we are merely dipping into various scenes.

    Overall I like the show but at the moment it feels like a wild animal that D&D are having difficulty taming.

  416. JamesL
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Landis,
    “Continuing to film in Iceland. Sure, it’s a great landscape, but the environment is simply not eerie enough for the plot. The overriding fear of a return of the Long Night needs to be communicated, and this was done to perfection in the first scene of the series, but has steadily gone downhill. Filming “scary” scenes in broad daylight in a landscape that is white and desolate means there is no real opportunity for suspense. Filming in a snowy forest allows for creepiness day and night by providing a claustrophobic atmosphere in which you fear both getting lost and being found. Sidestepping the necessity of suspense, didn’t Osha already establish that the Old Gods can’t see in the south because they have no eyes? How can they possibly hold sway beyond the Wall, in a world where there are no trees at all”

    Thank you! I’ve posted about this a few times but have never seen anyone else complain about how wrong Iceland has been for these beyond the Wall scenes. There is nothing creepy about being able to see for miles all around you. Yea it can be pretty but it is also really dull and plain. The fact that they never shoot at night makes it even worse. Imagine having the opening scene with all the nights watch retreating though a dark creepy wintery forest. I really hope they film some of the beyond the Wall stuff in some forests this year. Beyond the Wall needs an eerie mysterious vibe to it and the Iceland landscape does not do it.

  417. kevin1989
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    Because, it was first in the newbie discusion part, so to make sure nobody got what I meant I said it in that way.

  418. JamesL
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Tom Erdenay,

    Weakest episode in the series??? I don’t know how anyone could think that. There was a bunch of mediocre episodes in the beginning of S1 and some really crappy ones in S2(epi.7&8). I thought this was the best premiere yet.

  419. Nic
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    KingJon:
    I’ve really enjoyed TV Davos much more than the books. Maybe I need to reread his chapters, but I think Liam Cunningham has done an amazing job of bringing this guy to life. He’s now one of my favorite characters.

    Agree. Terrific actor.

  420. Double-D
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Been lurking here from near the beginning of this site…great community of folks and a great website as well!! But am I the only one that was very underwhelmed by the giant? It was much too human looking…correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t they described as looking like a Sasquatch in books…I definitely don’t remember them wearing clothes!

  421. natehilk
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Double-D</stron

    I assume for budget reasons. Taking an actor and blowing him up is alot cheaper in the VFX department than creating something from scratch.

    Also, off the topic, I got a weird boner when I saw Missandei. She was 11 in my heart, and now she is WAY too sexy for her own good. I feel exceptionally dirty.

  422. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Surely Littlefinger must know that Ros was taken by the Queen and accused of being Tyrion’s whore. And we know Littlefinger hates the Imp. Therefore, LF has a new card to play against Tyrion. Shae will hang or be sent away to where whores go and take the place of Tysha and Ros will be the one forced into testifying at Tyrion’s trial by LF and perhaps be the girl found in Tywin’s bed. There’s a reason they intially put her with Littlefinger, had her taken by the Queen, and safely returned to LF. Ros will be the pawn that gets played at trial and killed by Tyrion. Sad but true, TV Shae will not betray Tyrion.

  423. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    The more I think of it, the more it makes sense. Ros will be called on by the Queen at Tyrions trial, Cersei already believes her to be Tyrion’s whore, not Shae. And we’ve already established that Ros will do what must be done (Joffrey scene) to protect herself. Perhaps the ‘meeting of the whores’ on the dock was meant to show Ros knows that Shae is a whore, and in future episodes she will see her with Tyrion and know who she is to him (the woman she took a beating for.) And she will sell her out to the Queen or Tywin. Shae will be sent away or killed by Tywin while Tyrion is in prison, thus taking the place of Tysha.

  424. Lisa
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I got confused when I read that someone would rather have less Bronn and more Bran, then I realized what day it was. You got me;)

  425. KingJon
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Where does Ros’s storyline go? Introduced with Tyrion in S1E01 , mistakenly taken by the Queen for being Tyrion’s ‘girl’ and has ‘meeting of the whores’ scene with Shae. Her fate is clearly tied to Tyrion’s.

  426. The DarkStar
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Uncle B:
    rukie44,

    Lin Beifunk,

    Beginning too fast.
    Where are the zombies?
    Lord commander arrives too soon.
    Not enough drama.

    Camp too small.
    Every episode should be a full motion picture with 90 minutes.
    Then they would have the money for special effects.

    Hair too clean.

    Ygritte not sexy enough. She is hotter in the books.

    Why black cloak for the Night’s Watch? Makes no sense in snow country.

    Tits!
    Should be bigger.
    Shaved pussy?
    No!
    Fucking Tyrion! Wait a little for God’s sake!
    We should see pussy!
    More sex!
    Fucking Tyrion!
    Why can’t he wait?!

    Scar not cool enough.
    Cool books.
    Queen nice dress.
    Nice walking away from her.

    Bronn!
    Knights are worth double!
    Gets funnier every season.

    Davos standing on tit.
    Whe should see more tits!
    Where are the big boobs from season 1?

    Clothes too clean.
    Nice pirat

    Horses! Finally!. Fucking Robb yeah!
    Robb’s beard too clean.

    Tywin!
    Nice lighting!
    Great lion!
    The badge looks good on you! Ha!
    Great actor!
    Both!
    Waddle about!
    Go! Now!
    Damn!
    Great scene!
    Fuck!. That’s a great scene!
    That scene alone is worth all the others.
    Fucking great!
    Wow! Congratulations!

    Littlefinger!
    He was great in the Wire. Great here.
    Love Littlefinger.

    Nice whore talk.

    Dragons!
    Should be bigger!
    Show us Balerion!

    Why is Daenerys not nude?
    We should see her boobs all the time!
    Doesn’t she have a dress in the books where one booby is exposed?
    Why not here? What the fuck?
    And they should be bigger!
    Get here a boob job for God’s sake!

    Ha ha fucking Dothraki on the ship! Great idea to show them seasick!
    Great!

    Dragonstone great!
    Who is the architect?

    Melisandre should be nude, too. Why isn’t she nude?
    There is not enough sex in this series. There should be a porn version of Game of Thrones?
    Not enough violence. Nobody died. Why not?

    Ha! Fucking Joffrey!
    One day someone will take a swing at him in a bar.
    Poor actor!
    He should go on talkshows and be nice and shit.
    Or do something for charity.

    Oh no, the Tyrell chick! What’s her name? Margaery.
    She was ok last season.
    Why now children? Who wrote that? Not good scene. Feels fake.
    Please show everything to George RR Martin before filming it.
    Awful scene!
    Like soap opera.

    Horrible scene

    No? Horrible talk with queen.
    From the book? Can’t be.

    Horrible!
    Impossible to watch.

    Fucking soap opera.

    Get better writers. Let George RR Martin write all the episodes.
    Fuck!
    Horrible scene!

    Daenerys needs bigger boobs!
    Ha, fucking slave master!
    Interpreter boobs great!
    Who is actress?
    Are there nude pictures of her? Why isn’t she on imdb?

    Damn! Why isn’t she nude?

    Ha, fucking bug!

    One oft he greatest fighter the kingdom has ever seen!
    Yes!
    What was his name? Damn.
    Barriston Selmy! Yes!

    What? That’s it? That’s too short! Where are all the others? That sucks! For real!

    And just ten episodes? Are you crazy. You cannot do that to me!
    And when ist he next book coming out? Why are you inviting George to all those premieres and events? That sucks!

    This was a pleasure to read

  427. Bill Volk
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    So Littlefinger is now bragging to Sansa that he knows that Arya is alive. Does that mean he recognized Arya when their paths crossed in season 2? If so, I want to see his face when he finds out about the slaughter at Harrenhal.

  428. David The Grey
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Nic: Nic

    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    KingJon:
    I’ve really enjoyed TV Davos much more than the books. Maybe I need to reread his chapters, but I think Liam Cunningham has done an amazing job of bringing this guy to life. He’s now one of my favorite characters.

    Agree. Terrific actor.

    Count me in as a Liam Cunningham as Davos fan, too. I just watched the episode for the second time, and I noticed this time the difference of how Davos carries himself compared to last season. Last season he seemed strong, physically and mentally – but now he seems tired and ragged. Good acting!

    I also loved to hate Dillane’s Stannis in this scene, and Mellisandre too. I sort of liked Stannis last season, where I evidently was wowwed by his courage and battle abilities. Dillane’s done a great job as Stannis. (I liked his animated histories in Season 2′s blu-ray as well, which I just watched today. Those animated histories are a joy to watch, it is amazing what actors can do with their voice-acting. Oops getting off topic here.) I wasn’t wowwed with CvH’s first few scenes last year, but she really grew into the role (I think) and she continues that here. Like the actress if not her character.

  429. Alan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Zack: I liked his story too, it was really believable the way he sold it, plus we know he’s genuinely bothered by Mormont’s reaction from the other episode. Not that there was anything wrong with his explanation from the book, but people would more easily remember something that happened less than a full season ago versus something that happened in the series premiere, and the book explanation would have you think he’s turning his back on the Stark family rather than the show’sversion which is clearly just selling a disgust with the Night’s Watch itself. Slightly more believable, no?

    Yep. Frankly, once this was introduced, it makes a lot of sense to address it.

  430. Dan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Nic,

    That’s a weird complaint considering the episode spent more time with the individual stories than they did last year by leaving out a lot of the other characters. I mean, if you had been complaining about this all last season, and you didn’t like last season for that reason, then I get why the show doesn’t work for you. But if you liked last season, and you just now are complaining about the story jumping around, then your complaint makes no sense.

  431. Caro H
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Bill Volk,

    I want to see LF’s face after hehears of the RW

  432. Alan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    So, I’m a bit weirded out that there’s someone out there that doesn’t think finding out your boss is okay with sacrificing newborn children is a reason for quitting your job.

  433. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    One more thing — the scene with Joffrey in his box was great. He reminded me of a cat in a cat carrier, warily peeking out from behind the bars, nervously anticipating his inescapable destiny — a trip to the vet’s office.

  434. Lord Selwyn
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    The Bear:
    Hmmm. To each his own I guess. In all honesty, I was a little baffled at how book Mance bought the “I didn’t get to sit at the big boy table” story. Doesn’t seem like a convincing argument at all to me…

    Agree with you and others who have posted, saying that Show Jon’s explanation made far more sense. Wasn’t Mance Rayder once a NW ranger himself? So Mance would need something much more than a ‘they didn’t understand /appreciate me in the NW’ bleat from Jon in order to accept him as a defector from the NW. Jon’s story about the effect of Craster’s keep etc was far more powerful and believable in the context of explaining his decision to someone who had also left the NW.

  435. saluk
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton: Why did Mance buy that?

    The way I saw it, Jon was more expressing his disgust with the way the nights watch seem to carry themselves – which really did come from his heart – and that’s enough to make Mance believe that he wants to defect. “Fights for the living” is less about “lets go kill white walkers” and more about “I don’t want to let true bastards like craster kill babies”.

    Landis: Joffrey’s school boyish puppy love for Margarey is infuriating in light of the graphic divergences they have already made, though I will not criticize Jack Gleeson, who is superb.

    Joffrey played with being a tyrant before, but tyrants are perfectly capable of being taken in by a woman. Unlike the whores he plays with who are of a low social status, or Sansa who is a traitor (and still a girl), here he meets a real woman. And not only that, but she carries herself in a way that defies his expectations. I think he just doesn’t know what to make of her: we’ll see how it progresses.

    It also must be said, this is the Joffrey who for all his blustering eventually fled the battle and his duty. He has lost a lot of his misplaced confidence.

  436. Zack
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    saluk,

    Why are people convinced Joffrey’s all aflutter for Margaery just because of how he’s behaving? Do people not remember how he acted toward Sansa for most of episodes 1-9?

    I thought it was pretty clear he was performing for Marg just as he was for Sansa.

  437. Dan
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Jack Gleason said Joffrey was taken in by Margaery in one of the videos that plays with the show on HBO GO.

  438. Zack
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Hm. If you say so! Wouldn’t have thought he had the capacity for that emotion. Natalie Dormer is so hot she tamed Joffrey. If any woman could…

  439. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Dan:
    Nic,

    That’s a weird complaint considering the episode spent more time with the individual stories than they did last year by leaving out a lot of the other characters. I mean, if you had been complaining about this all last season, and you didn’t like last season for that reason, then I get why the show doesn’t work for you. But if you liked last season, and you just now are complaining about the story jumping around, then your complaint makes no sense.

    Sure, I realise my complaint sounds contradictory. I did notice the jumping around last season, but it didn’t bother me as much. I think that’s because in this new season, we are seeing new scenarios – Jon in the wildling camp for the first time, Dany in Slaver’s Bay for the first time, Joff/Margery/Cersei properly interacting for the first time. I’ve read ASOS and count it as one of my favourite books. However in a 50 minute episode it seems to me there is not enough time to introduce and properly explore these new threads. Compare GoT to other great TV shows – The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome, Breaking Bad – these were/are successful because their characters and mileus were streamlined. Even The Wire which which was sociological in its exploration of an entire society nevertheless concentrated on a handful of characters.

    My fear with GoT is that it’s too ambitious, too massive in scope. Of course we are only at episode 1 of the new season, so my fears will probably evaporate as we, the audience, grow more accustomed to the new story arcs. That’s why I said previously that the opener would’ve worked better as a double episode – although realise that’s not the way HBO rolls. But I can’t help but feel worried that GRRM has created a mammoth that on TV seems uncontrollable.

  440. Lexyvil
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Bill Volk,

    Either he did recognize her, or he just likes lying.

  441. Adam
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    As for why the episode was called “Valar Dohaeris”…

    1) It doesn’t really matter whether or not Arya was in it since that part of her storyline is ages away.

    2) It made for a nice mirroring with the previous season’s finale, of course. It could have also worked very well as a Season 4 finale title, which I’m assuming is when Arya catches the boat, but I guess they preferred it this way. Fine by me.

    3) Given what it means (All men must serve), I’m sure you could work it into quite a few of the characters’ storylines from this episode – Jon, Tyrion, Barristan, Margaery, Qyburn, Davos, and the Unsullied all spring to mind.

  442. zod
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Nic: The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome, Breaking Bad – these were/are successful because their characters and mileus were streamlined.

    GOT is way more successful than “The Wire” and “Breakind Bad”.. So, what’s your point?

    The only reason why you complain about the show “jumping around” all of a sudden is because you’ve read some reviews that criticized it this year.

    But the fact is that it has always been the case. This is what GOT is at its core. They won’t change that, and they really don’t need to.

  443. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Nic,

    There were plenty of new story lines in the second season as well (including Dragonstone, where every single character was completely new), not to mention that all story lines in the first season were new. I see absolutely nothing in this episode that creates a less focused narrative than before. I actually find it to be the contrary, that they’ve managed it much better since the first season where the jumps were much more rushed than they are now.

  444. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    zod: GOT is way more successful than “The Wire” and “Breakind Bad”.. So, what’s your point?

    The only reason why you complain about the show “jumping around” all of a sudden is because you’ve read some reviews that criticized it this year.

    But the fact is that it has always been the case. This is what GOT is at its core. They won’t change that, and they really don’t need to.

    How do you define “successful”? In terms of ratings/viewers? In that case, shows such as True Blood and NCIS are more successful than GoT. However I think those shows are mediocre. GoT is markedly better. Judging a TV show by the number of viewers it attracts is wrong IMO. The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos (and yes, GoT if it doesn’t veer completely out of control) will have more of long lasting cultural impact than other mass market type shows.

    On your second point – I didn’t read any reviews prior to watching the first episode of the 3rd season.

  445. MARTA(BCN)
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    It was a great episode, I hoped to see more white walkers I hope to see Jon Snow with more attitude. Can’t wait to see direwolfs, Bran and the Reeds :) Dany’s storyline was perfect!!

  446. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard:
    Nic,

    There were plenty of new story lines in the second season as well (including Dragonstone, where every single character was completely new), not to mention that all story lines in the first season were new. I see absolutely nothing in this episode that creates a less focused narrative than before. I actually find it to be the contrary, that they’ve managed it much better since the first season where the jumps were much more rushed than they are now.

    Yep, maybe you’re right. Perhaps it’s just me feeling too protective about one of my favourite novels A Storm of Swords. When I read that book it was a totally immersive experience. Jon’s encounter with Mance was nerve-racking, suspenseful. The battle at the Fist was scary. I ‘felt’ Davos’ pain and suffering after being shipwrecked. The detail GRRM put into those chapters alone was mind-blowing. However seeing those scenes truncated into 2 or 3 minutes on the show in S3-01 was slightly dispiriting. In seasons 1 and 2 this feeling of dislocation was nowhere near as pronounced. Sure many scenes in seasons 1 and 2 were abbreviated or cut out completely but I wasn’t disappointed. I just went with it. In this latest season however, I found myself questioning the narrative.

    I guess it’s partly because I loved the book of ASOS so much, and also because I had hyped this season in my head to a ridiculous, unsustainable degree. The feeling of disappointment was inevitable. Hopefully my criticisms will prove unfounded, and by the time we get to episodes 3 and 4 I will be happy once again :-)

  447. Biscotti
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Bolton said his best hunter is after Jaime… is it “Locke”?

    And are they going to change Qyburn? Don’t think he thinks he is “lucky”. But is he already a Maester that has been thrown out from the Citadel, or are they changing it so that his more.. nasty.. side comes out as a result of the horrors of wars?

    I liked the bit between Ros and Shae.. I hope they are going to continue to change Shae from the book. I think I prefer this version. But is Ros genuinely trying to warm Shae about Littlefinger for Sansa’s benefit, or playing a little game of her own?

    Really enjoyed the episode overall.. don’t have any complaints at all really. I understand why the battle was cut, and it means we have some more awesome action scenes and CGI coming up instead.

    Favorite parts – Tyrion/Tywin, and the ending with Ser Knight. Lena Headey is still killing it as Cersei, so good! Everyone’s so good!

  448. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Nic,

    It’s hard to say as I’m of course biased in my own ways as well but it does sound like you might have amped up your expectations a bit too high for your favorite of the books. Personally I don’t really have any clear favorites of the books that have come out this far so I haven’t really looked forward to this season any more, or less, than the previous ones. I tend to love the story as a whole, from the biggest battles to Daenarys’ slow lessons.

    The show will inevitably always have a pretty fractured narrative compared to normal shows because the only way to avoid that is to remove story lines, and through that get further away from telling George’s story. Of course a single episode can steer away from that as well, like they did with Blackwater, but they can very seldom afford that since they need to tell so much else in the limited amount of time that they have.

    As long as you can keep your expectations on a reasonable level I don’t think you need to worry that much though. Both the previous seasons grew stronger and stronger with time in my view.

  449. zod
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Nic,

    “Successful” has a lot of meanings, it was up to you to be more specific.

    That being said… Ratings and viewers aside, GOT has a better metascore than Breaking Bad. And it has won nearly as much awards, with only two seasons.

    So I guess my question is: how do you define successful?

  450. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard:
    Nic,

    It’s hard to say as I’m of course biased in my own ways as well but it does sound like you might have amped up your expectations a bit too high for your favorite of the books. Personally I don’t really have any clear favorites of the books that have come out this far so I haven’t really looked forward to this season any more, or less, than the previous ones. I tend to love the story as a whole, from the biggest battles to Daenarys’ slow lessons.

    The show will inevitably always have a pretty fractured narrative compared to normal shows because the only way to avoid that is to remove story lines, and through that get further away from telling George’s story. Of course a single episode can steer away from that as well, like they did with Blackwater, but they can very seldom afford that since they need to tell so much else in the limited amount of time that they have.

    As long as you can keep your expectations on a reasonable level I don’t think you need to worry that much though. Both the previous seasons grew stronger and stronger with time in my view.

    yes I agree with that.

  451. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    zod:
    Nic,

    “Successful” has a lot of meanings, it was up to you to be more specific.

    That being said… Ratings and viewers aside, GOT has a better metascore than Breaking Bad. And it has won nearly as much awards, with only two seasons.

    So I guess my question is: how do you define successful?

    As I said, long lasting cultural impact, or legacy is more important than ratings, although of course those things are impossible to measure. But if we’re referring to metacritic, BB season 5 has a score of 99, GoT season 2 has a score of 88. The Wire season 4, which is my personal favourite single season of any TV show, is 2nd in the list with a score of 98.

  452. zod
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Nic,

    You compare a Season 2 with a Season 5? LOL. Right.

    Breaking Bad S1: 74.
    Game of Thrones S1: 79.

    Breaking Bad S2: 85.
    Game of Thrones S2: 88.

    “The Wire” has a better metascore.. but then GOT beat it in terms of ratings, sellings, awards and cultural impact.. So..

  453. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    zod:
    Nic,

    You compare a Season 2 with a Season 5? LOL. Right.

    Breaking Bad S1: 74.
    Game of Thrones S1: 79.

    Breaking Bad S2: 85.
    Game of Thrones S2: 88.

    “The Wire” has a better metascore.. but then GOT beat it in terms of ratings, sellings, awards and cultural impact.. So..

    I don’t see the issue with comparing across seasons. Will GoT make it to a season 5? Probably, but we don’t know so at the moment in terms of metacritic ‘success’ (which you brought up, not me) BB and The Wire rate higher.

    Anyway I don’t know why you are arguing? I was originally discussing the multiple story arcs and characters of GoT compared to the more streamlined stories of other shows and said I was worried that GoT would become too ambitious and too complicated.

    It’s a fact that GoT is more complex and more episodic in its narrative structure and has a a greater cast of characters than other successful shows. It remains to be seen whether GoT can sustain this level of complexity through 5, 6, 7 or 8 seasons and keep the audience interested. I hope it does, because I love the show and want it to succeed in the long term, as well as the short term.

  454. zod
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Compare GoT to other great TV shows – The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome, Breaking Bad – these were/are successful because their characters and mileus were streamlined.

    This is why I was arguing.

    You said that for a show to be successful, it needed to have its characters and milieus streamlined.

    By all accounts, GOT is already successful, and it has never been that streamlined to begin with. Hence why I think you are wrong.

    GOT doesn’t need to look at what other shows did in the past. GOT can continue to be its own thing: its uniqueness is what attracted viewers and praise in the first place.

    I don’t see the issue with comparing across seasons.

    Really? You don’t think that a finale season is bound to attract more praise than a second one?

  455. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Nic,

    When comparing GoT to those other shows you also need to take another thing into account, namely that the fantasy genre is in itself a direct negative when it comes to some critics.

    That GoT can compare to other great shows, despite that we’ve seen several reviews crap on it for really nothing else but being fantasy, is pretty impressive. Having a show based in reality makes it so much easier to please all types of critics.

  456. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    zod: This is why I was arguing.

    You said that for a show to be successful, it needed to have its characters and milieus streamlined.

    By all accounts, GOT is already successful, and it has never been that streamlined to begin with. Hence why I think you are wrong.

    GOT doesn’t need to look at what other shows did in the past. GOT can continue to be its own thing: its uniqueness is what attracted viewers and praise in the first place.

    Really? You don’t think that a finale season is bound to attract more praise than a second one?

    A later or finale season will only attract praise if it’s actually good. Breaking Bad season 5, so far, has been terrific hence its high metacritic score. In contrast, the finale season of Battlestar Galactica (I loved the show but loathed the ending) scores lower than the previous season because it was disappointing. I get your point though – that a show will gain momentum as it progresses and therefore pick up higher ratings – but only if it’s good.

    If we choose your preferred method and make season to season comparisons, then GoT season 2, for example, is still outscored by seven other shows. Are those shows actually better? Probably not, which makes this entire metacritic reference a waste of time :-)

    On your first point regarding streamlining, I think I addressed this in my previous comment. If GoT reaches season 5 and 6 and is still maintaining/growing audience interest then it will indeed be unique. Most other shows that get that far have simpler storylines and fewer characters. I will therefore take my hat off to D&D for creating something so complex that maintains audience interest for 50/60+ hours.

    But please spare us hours of Dany sitting around in Meereen eating figs and screwing Daario ;-)

  457. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard:
    Nic,

    When comparing GoT to those other shows you also need to take another thing into account, namely that the fantasy genre is in itself a direct negative when it comes to some critics.

    That GoT can compare to other great shows, despite that we’ve seen several reviews crap on it for really nothing else but being fantasy, is pretty impressive. Having a show based in reality makes it so much easier to please all types of critics.

    You’re right. Some people just don’t ‘get’ fantasy and therefore GoT is fighting an uphill battle. Taking this into account the show has been an incredible success. I just hope that in the long term (Benioff/Weiss said recently they wanted GoT to last for 80 hours) they can maintain this success.

  458. QueenofThorns
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    telobsidion: Well, I’m not Ours is the Fury, but I think we just have to accept that they were prisoners taken in battles and kept at Harrenhal. When Gregor abandoned the castle, he slaughtered all the prisoners there rather than taking them with him.

    That’s what my husband argued, but if they were supposed to be slaughtered Northern Prisoners (rather than an army) why were they all wearing armor and holding weapons?

  459. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen:
    If I was to nitpick I’d say they should have done the opening with Ghost distracting the Wight and then having Sam stab him with a dragon glass dagger.

    Except that dragonglass does nothing to Wights. It only affects White Walkers. Wights need to be burned.

  460. Targaryen
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Hello everyone quick question i wanted to ask regarding Game of Thrones A Storm of Swords. As season 3 started yesterday in the UK 1st April, my concern is that i have recently finished the first half of a storm of swords which was brilliant btw but the problem is i want to get a clear insight if i should start on the second half of a storm of swords which is title “Blood and Gold”, for some reason in the Uk we only the books in spilt version. and if season 4 of the Tv series will cover the second book or some parts of the season part will be in the season finale of season 3 of the tv series.

  461. Nic
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Targaryen:
    Hello everyone quick question i wanted to ask regarding Game of Thrones A Storm of Swords. As season 3 started yesterday in the UK 1st April, my concern isthat i have recently finished the first half of a storm of swords which was brilliant btw but the problem is i want to get a clear insight if i should start on the second half ofa storm of swords which is title “Blood and Gold”, for some reason in the Uk we only the books in spilt version. and if season 4 of the Tv series will cover the second book or some parts of the season part will be in the season finale of season 3 of the tv series.

    I think you’re safe. There might be a slight overlap at the end of this current season but nothing major. Go ahead and read! Awesome book.

  462. Double-D
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    natehilk,

    That was my first thought as well…but it just doesn’t add up for me. Can’t see it being that much more expensive to blow up an actor who’s wearing a costume that makes him look more like a Sasquatch or something along those lines. The fact that they weren’t human looking at all was one of my favourite things about the giants in the books…guess I was the only one that found that disappointing.

    Lol I agree about missandei!!

  463. Targaryen
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    perfect then let me start reading!!!

  464. Adam
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Targaryen:
    Hello everyone quick question i wanted to ask regarding Game of Thrones A Storm of Swords. As season 3 started yesterday in the UK 1st April, my concern isthat i have recently finished the first half of a storm of swords which was brilliant btw but the problem is i want to get a clear insight if i should start on the second half ofa storm of swords which is title “Blood and Gold”, for some reason in the Uk we only the books in spilt version. and if season 4 of the Tv series will cover the second book or some parts of the season part will be in the season finale of season 3 of the tv series.

    Just flipped through my copy of “Blood and Gold” (I’m a UK reader as well), there are at least two MAJOR events from the last couple of episodes of the season which are in that volume, so if you want to read things before you see them on the show, definitely read the second paperback in the next couple of months.

  465. Lina
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I really liked it. It wasn’t one of the best episodes and it’s still very much an exposition episode, but they did a good job punctuating it with action and very emotional scenes. I have no doubt this will be the best season to date, and I think it’s just needs a little bit of set up.

    These are the things I loved:
    - Dany’s arc. The dragons looked great, and Drogon flying over the sea and the ship was very cinematic. The Unsullied’s introduction was just as unsettling as I imagined while reading the book. The manticore looked really cool (I like how they incorporated the face without it being cheesy).
    - Barristan’s reveal. This deserves its own note. I like that they didn’t try to hide him, and I think it will make perfect sense for him to try to build faith with Dany before he tells her that she’s been betrayed by her only remaining friend/protector. I also really enjoyed that they had him wearing a black cloak – the total opposite of a Kingsguard uniform.
    - Tyrion/Tywin scene. Perfectly acted (love Peter’s look and hand gesture when Tywin mentions whores at the end of the speech). This scene made me genuinely sad.
    - Margaery and the dinner scene. I was very skeptical at first, but I like this change. She’s totally trying to be the Princess Di of King’s Landing, and it’s working, and it terrifies Cersei. I love it. As a note, Natalie looked gorgeous in this episode, and both of her gowns were to die for.
    - Shae protecting Sansa. This Shae has been growing on me, and she seems like someone who may be genuinely okay. I don’t know how they’re going to handle what comes later, but if they adapt faithfully, I’ll be heartbroken when she betrays Tyrion.
    - The Giant. Obviously.
    - Tormund. Wildly different from what I imagined, but I think it’s going to work. He looks good on screen and seems to have a crude sense of humor.

    Did not like:
    - The Battle at the Fist. I get that we can’t seen the battle due to budget constraints, but I’m still confused how Sam just ran away from hundreds of white walkers/wights, and how the NW defeated them all so quickly. Hoping the budget was saved for the Slayer (that better be awesome).
    - Littlefinger. I find it hugely out of character for him to reveal his plans to Sansa, especially if he admitted that she’s a bad liar. It’s weird that Ser Dontos was in last year and then cut. I don’t miss him, I just find that Littlefinger is consistently adapted out of character. Still really creepy, but nothing else matches up.

    I’m a big Ciaran Hinds fan, but the verdict is still out for Mance (due more so to the writing than acting). I don’t know what they will be doing at Harrenhal or why Qyburn is there. I hope they don’t go too heavy-handed with Roose being a douche too early on.

  466. Landis
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the success of Game of Thrones vs “streamlined” shows like The Wire and Breaking Bad, I think the argument is ignoring a major advantage that Thrones has, in that it is a book series that began 22 years ago, and a popular book series at that. As a result, having complicated plots and details can be smoothed over by the fact that there is an enormous segment of viewers who read the books, and the other segment is able to pick up the books for more info if they would like to. In addition, HBO has been very diligent in providing viewers with BTS videos and character sketches so people can get to know the world. Game of Thrones is markedly different from most other fantasy television endeavors in this sense, because it has become a franchise that is accessible to a mass audience (as we saw with LOTR and Harry Potter), as opposed to other manifestations that are often deemed “failures” due to a lack of viewership and complaints of being “too complicated” (these, if they are actually interesting to fantasy-goers, end up as cult-classics).

    I don’t know if it’s really possible to compare Game of Thrones to much else that’s on tv right now, or has been on tv in the past, because it is ground breaking in a lot of ways. It’s genre, the amount of money that’s been poured into it, the number of characters… It also differs from what is usually true of book adaptations for tv in that it follows the book quite strictly, while the success of shows like True Blood or Rizzoli & Isles are the result of the writing talent on the show as opposed to the author of the books.

    Having said all this, I think that show-runners and critics have underestimated the capacity of audiences (in North America, in particular) to understand and enjoy complicated storylines, and this has perhaps fed a vicious circle in television and film production. But the popularity of fantasy and to a lesser extent, historical dramas, is something I think will bring about a change in this respect. People still enjoy simplistic frameworks, but we are being exposed to more and more complex stories on the big and small screen now, of which Game of Thrones is a good example.

  467. PhantomSoul
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It was an ok episode, nothing special. Have to say everyone’s acting (but Charles and Dinklage’s) was very poor imo, something seemed off with all of them.

  468. queenofthorns
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    PhantomSoul: It was an ok episode, nothing special. Have to say everyone’s acting (but Charles and Dinklage’s) was very poor imo, something seemed off with all of them.

    That kind of thing (all actors seeming weirdly worse than usual) is typically a result of poor directing. I agree with you, it was just… off, the whole episode.

  469. Peter
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to have the show back, although a few of the changes made me miss the books. This is fine with me because I like that the books are better. They’re almost sacred and I don’t want the show trumping them.

    But it was really jarring when Ghost appeared. He’s supposed to be with Jon at the wilding camp. Why isn’t he?

    I’ll definitely miss Strong Belwas — one of the most lovable minor characters — and his partnership with Arstan Whitebeard. Oh well.

  470. Pepi
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    IIRC Ghost was away from Jon for days in the books. Hunting and other dog stuff. Helping NW in this particular case was hunting of sorts. Wight meat is meat.

  471. Peter
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Pepi,

    True Ghost was out hunting on his own but he was not with the Night’s Watch, and he returned to Jon periodically. He’s with Jon at the wilding camp and they don’t part ways until Jon scales the wall and tells Ghost to meet him at Castle Black.

  472. dandeliondancer
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    i noticed that book-readers worry a lot about whether show only viewers will understand the story but actually they do and they even came up with the same theories as book-readers came up with like the parentage of jon snow – they came up with r+l=j as well! i got all this from reading the television without pity forum for the truly unspoiled show only viewers
    and i was so surprised that someone actually came up with exactly what dany did to the slaver in the books ^_^

  473. Pepi
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Peter,

    He might be more aware in the show and be with the night’s watch because they needed him. It’s not like he’s a normal animal, he could meet them while hunting, or something. And he’s pretty mobile aswell (at least more so than humans) so he might return to Jon. I think we saw him with the wildlings (ans Jon) in one of the trailers. But ye, in any case it’s a weird choice they included him … It makes us doubt their ability and it’s expensive. They should dedicate the anatomy of a scene video to stuff like that.

  474. tysnow
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone realize Shae mentioned to Ros she was from Volantis? I don’t believe she ever mentioned that fact before. If she hadn’t and if you notice the resemblance with Talisa, could D&D be pulling some Sand Snake skullduggery. I know the idea has surfaced before and if Talisa is, and something happens to her, you know who will be venomously pissed.
    I can see him sending them into Westeros to spy, one to Lannisters, another to Robb, we know of one in Oldtown.
    The fact both said Volantis would work as a cover, and the Kingdom so far away, no one would consider to even verify. Perhaps that is why Tywin is so paranoid concerning these types, hard to determine whore they are.

    Shae was with Lannister camp first, when she snuggled up to Tyrion and left Talisa was sent into Lannister camp to replace her and then she snuggled up with Robb. Wonder who is with Lannister army now?

  475. Astonished
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    With marginal difficulty due to HBO & crew’s anti-piracy DMCA takedown censorship notices, a dear friend downloaded s03e01 from the internet and I watched the show on Monday.

    I was astonished. Because it was one of the best episodes of GoT I have ever watched. The show has matured on several levels.

    With the exception of the opening scene: Featuring a displaced Sam McGee, the extremely flammable white walker, and the bloody scalped small army of crows , the opening scene is a testament to the show’s inconsistency and failures.

    But after this inadequate moment ended, I have absolutely no complaints. Nay, I have sincere praise.

    GoT has almost finally arrived, after all this time. And unfortunately, my expectation for the remainder of the season has been raised more than a notch. Which means my heart will most likely be broke again before spring is done.

  476. Darquemode
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    I know I mentioned it last year, maybe a few others too.

    From Volantis, good with knives, played in water gardens with younger siblings etc.

    I thought it sounded a lot like Lady Nym when combined with her look, long braid down her back.

  477. Zack
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I love this theory!

  478. Darquemode
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I’m not sure I believe she IS Nymeria, but there were a handful of similarities that jumped out at me. It would make me interested in Talisa for the first time if she is a Sand Snake! XD

    One ofthe worst changes in the series Talisa is.

  479. Pepi
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t think this confirms she is actually from Volantis … She just got on a ship there. Because Cersei (although drunk) last year guessed Shae was from Lorath.

  480. serum
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    and the trend continues (as it should) as ned starks name was dropped again in this episode! there hasnt been one episode since he died where his name hasnt been mentioned!

  481. afartherroom
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Astonished,

    Agreed! The direction and cinematography, in particular, showed a new confidence, I thought. The show looks great, and with the exception of the cold open, which made no damned sense, the episode was sparkling.

    I find that often, book readers are more confused by the plot of this show than the Unsullied are, mainly because they’re so caught up in What Happened In The Books that they fail to pay attention to plot points as presented on the show.

    Case in point: Ghost’s departure from Jon, back when he was traveling with the Halfhand, was a plot point that happened last season. There was even an on-screen discussion about it. Apparently, in the show version of events, Ghost never goes with Jon to the wildlings at all. I have no idea why the show runners decided to make this change, but they did stick a lampshade right on top of it for us.

  482. Lisa
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Agree with all the points you made above about your likes. Two scenes stood out for me…the Margery and Cersei interaction was great! And Tywin / Tyrion scene was spot on.

    However there were a couple of points that still nag at me a week later. First is the burning question of why is Robb Stark at Harrenhall and with Qyburn? Not quite sure how they’re going to bring Qyburn’s character into the Jamie Lannister, Vargo Hoat & bloody mummers storyline. Guess I’m just not envisioning how they will play that out. Trying to give some surprises to book readers as well I guess…

    Then there’s the Ghost saving Sam scene. Yes I get that Ghost goes off to hunt alone at times, but really he should be with Jon at the Wildling camp.

  483. Toms Outlet
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

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