Recap round-up: “The Rains of Castamere”
By Ours is the Fury on in Recap.

Here are some notable recaps and reviews of episode 29 of Game of Thrones:

Book Readers
Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone
Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings
James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly
Alyssa Rosenberg – ThinkProgress
Scott Meslow – The Week
Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club
Sarah Hughes – The Guardian
James Poniewozik – Time
Charlie Jane Anders – io9
Elio Garcia – Westeros.org
Sandrine Sahakians & Axechucker- TVEquals

New Viewers
Alan Sepinwall – HitFix
Andy Greenwald – Grantland
David Sims – A.V. Club
Brian Juergens – The Backlot
Jordan Yerman – Vancouver Observer


164 Comments

  1. suppy
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    HODOR

  2. HellFell
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    If you think this is going to have a happy ending then you haven’t been paying attention

  3. Thomas
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I have read a ton of Sepinwall’s reviews of shows from the Wire to Chuck and now to GoT. I stayed up late just to read his review, and I must say, I was severely disappointed by what he wrote.

  4. Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    The people who keep spoiling Sepinwall are complete and utter asshats.

  5. Werd
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The Atlantic’s roundup — the newbie liked it, the two book readers were a little disappointed. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/06/was-i-game-of-thrones-i-crazy-bloody-showdown-underwhelming/276445/

  6. Alex
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thought people might be in need of some cheering up, after last night, so I made
    “How To Throw a Game of Thrones Wedding” (contains scenes from 309):
    http://youtu.be/sJiRKnsI9JA
    Enjoy :D

  7. Tim
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Because he’s a New Viewer and a great critic with a very specific and consistent take on things, here’s Robin Pierson’s review: http://www.thetvcritic.org/reviews/dramas/game-of-thrones/season-3/the-rains-of-castamere/

  8. Andy Gavin
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    This is a dark dark episode, probably the darkest yet. The Jon/Bran and Robb/Cat segments were largely successful, brilliant even, particularly the Red Wedding, but Dany’s didn’t do it for me. It just felt truncated and offscreen. Still, that doesn’t matter so much, because it’s the wedding we came for. Really well done, perhaps even more emotionally wrenching than in the books as the show went to considerable (and successful) effort to build up Robb and Talisa’s character’s. As always, my detailed thoughts on the episode can be found on my blog.

  9. James
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Love this, from the AVClub comments:

    Don’t hate the flaya, hate the game (of thrones)

  10. Andy
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Sad to hear that Larry Williams plans to stop with the Game of Thrones reviews after this season, but I can’t say as it comes as a surprise. He was considering stopping last season IIRC, he didn’t post last week, and his combined review of 8 & 9 was only about 12 minutes – mostly due to having ep 9 spoiled for him way back when. I’ll miss his in-depth analysis. When he was on fire for the series, his reviews were what I looked forward to come Monday morning.

  11. Lady of Highgarden
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m usually pretty critical of the show and enjoy the Westeros.org recaps, but this episode was INCREDIBLE! Seriously, what is there to whine about? The Westeros recap looks too critical to me. Now I wonder if that is how it always looks to people who aren’t so critical =/

    Also, excuse my shameless self promoting, but I made a fan video thingy to let out all my emotions, and I’d be honoured if you watched it :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGBpUqPteRQ

    Alex:
    Thought people might be in need of some cheering up, after last night, so I made
    “How To Throw a Game of Thrones Wedding” (contains scenes from 309):
    http://youtu.be/sJiRKnsI9JA
    Enjoy :D

    HILARIOUS! :D

  12. Michael274
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Andy,

    I say good riddance to him. He was good in season 1 but it’s clear the show isn’t for him. I didn’t watch his reviews from the season 3 premiere where he bitched about the whole episode because it wasn’t what he expected .

  13. Delta1212
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    “It’s like ‘Rains’ on your wedding day” is officially my favorite review sub-title to come out of this.

  14. Daniel
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Andy Greenwald always has the best reviews.

    Westeros.org on the other hand, just gets me frustrated, ALL THE TIME. It’s really a shame that new viewers generally like this series more than the book readers just because they changed a few things.

  15. Fakefaux
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  16. Delta1212
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Daniel,

    I’ve come to appreciate Andy more as the series winds on.

  17. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Just read Collins’ review in Rolling Stones and I gotta say I’m bit annoyed. He says after the RW the Lannisters have won and the Starks will never win. My question is do any of you believe that too? Why can’t Arya end up taking revenge? And let’s not forget Jon, Bran, Rickon and even Sansa…..My viewpoint is, so long as one of them is alive, there is hope.

    What do you all think?

  18. john
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Stop posting westeros.org’s reviews here. It’s always the same negativity from them. There’s no nuance in their criticism. Sick of it.

  19. NoOne
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    The review from Westeros is very snobbish, if you edit all the George RR Martin praise you end with a 100 word review.

  20. Charles
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    john,

    And you just want someone who parrots positive comments without pointing out personal issues with the adaptation.

  21. Huck
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Alex,

    This is a great video:)

  22. Virtus
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Daniel:
    Andy Greenwald always has the best reviews.

    Westeros.org on the other hand, just gets me frustrated, ALL THE TIME. It’s really a shame that new viewers generally like this series more than the book readers just because they changed a few things.

    Most of the Westeros.org users did like it. Last time I looked, the majority of the voters in the rating thread gave it a 10.

  23. Hexonx
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:
    The people who keep spoiling Sepinwall are complete and utter asshats.

    He already took down the comment section. What was spoiled? Lady Stoneheart?

  24. Helen Tran
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t matter how many times I read recaps or rewatch clips. The Red Wedding still makes me cry. :(

    I am concerned though, with the amount of non-book-readers who are vowing to never watch the show again. Hopefully they will calm down… I mean, what happened with Ned ultimately didn’t hurt the series!

    http://tiny-tran.blogspot.ca/2013/06/crystal-clay-game-of-thrones-part-5.html

  25. Delta1212
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Charles,

    I don’t mind criticizing the show. I read reviewers who take issue with parts of the show, and sometimes I agree. I stopped reading Westeros around the time that I realized I knew what they were going to say before it was even posted because it was always the same thing.

    I don’t mind criticism, but that gets tedious to read (unless you agree with it and are looking for some commiseration, but I usually don’t).

  26. King Tommen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Ellio’s review at Westeros is why some people absolutely can’t stand the book purist take on the show. That’s a completely unfair review and I don’t even get what he’s accusing the show of doing.

    It appears he not only wanted them to be even more dogmatic with their adherence to the text (he scolded them for not having Cat rake her face, for the band not being terrible and for the one time that Cat smiled during the reception because she didn’t do that in the books) but he also wanted them to somehow go above and beyond what was in the text and create something even more memorable.

    According to him, the only reason the wedding was good was because Martin wrote it that way and they just copied him without improving on anything. Aside from that not being true (Talisa and her unborn child getting stabbed was an inspired choice to start the massacre as was Cat grabbing Walder’s wife instead of a fool), it’s a ridiculous complaint. He said he wished that they could impart the atmosphere of the book where 99% of that atmosphere is based on stuff that Cat’s thinking about and there sense of impending doom was certainly there in the preamble if you were paying attention. I invite a rewatch to take a look at how many times we see Frey conspirators whispering to each other or looking uneasy in the background of dialogue scenes well before the doors are shut and the music starts.

    The guy has mostly been fair with the show historically but this is just a tone deaf review.

  27. The Greatjon
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I feel bad for Sepinwall too. Makes it all the way to last week without knowing what’s going to happen, gets spoiled, and then gets re-spoiled in the comments after last night’s episode. I don’t understand why people can’t just keep their traps shut and let others experience it for themselves.

  28. Thais
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Where is Game of Owns??? :(

  29. john
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Charles,

    Not at all. Lot’s of the other reviewers are critical of lot’s of things about the show. Westeros.org are just so insanely predictable that it just becomes tiring to read. Well, to be fair, I stopped reading their reviews a long time ago. I just go back to check if they’re still doing the same thing once in a while, and yup, they’re still at it.

    They’re preaching to the choir, i.e. to the even more rabid posters on their forums.

  30. zaprowsdower
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    I seriously do not understand people who spoil.

  31. JR
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Thomas,

    i don’t think much of him at all. He’s beloved by the AV club but I think he’s pretty mediocre. He’s well known because he’s been reviewing shows since the 80′s. I read some excerpts from his book and that too was disappointing. Guys like Septinwell act like they somehow made some sort of contribution to great shows like the Sopranos, Deadwood, & the Wire

  32. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    For the love of all that’s holy, someone get that Kenny dude on TVEquals a comb.

  33. Set Dingleberry
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s sad that Elio’s crappy GRRM fellating “why the book is better than the show” articles get to occupy the same space that Greenwald’s witty, intelligent, and often critical reviews do.

  34. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    A nice blink and you miss it bit on the preview for next week’s episode:

    Samwell is hanging with Pypar, so I guess Sam (and Jon?) make it back to Castle Black. Good to see Josef Altin back in the mix.

    Also:

    The Hound fights some guys flying the Frey banner. Surely they’re not moving up his injury and Arya going off solo to next week’s episode, and have Arya going off to Braavos at the start of Season 4? Actually, I kind of like that idea.

  35. Hawk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    john,

    don’t read it…sometimes life is that simple…

  36. Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    I was wondering about the latter point as well. Earlier this season Rory McCann said that he had a really intense fight scene towards the end of the season, and I thought “more intense than the one with Beric? That’s crazy.” While it feels a bit rushed to have him and Arya part ways so soon, from a story arc perspective I can see the logic in it.

  37. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I think Elio and Linda’s reviews are useful when they identify an area where the show does worse than the books for no discernible reason (the mishandling of Qhorin, for example, which I think most people agree with), but their reviews are less measured even when following the book religiously is simply impractical. The lack of an internal monologue for Catelyn and the impracticality of casting half a dozen actors as minor Northern characters (Dacey Mormont, the Smalljon, etc) means that the RW on screen can’t be true to the books. The solutions that Dan and Dave came up with to offset that – using Joyeuse rather than Jingelbell, taking out Talisa and so forth – seemed fairly logical and effective.

    My biggest complaint about the RW is probably the timing: having it in Episode 9 was too tempting for the producers, but I think speeding things up a bit earlier, getting it in Episode 6 or 7 and then putting the PW in Ep 9 or 10 would have resulted in a much more carthartically satisfying and better-structured season. As it stands we’re going out on a monumental downer without at least some of the events in the book which offset it.

  38. Maxwell James
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Also, another interesting preview tidbit: Ygritte nocking an arrow. I wondered why they didn’t have her shoot Jon, but perhaps that is forthcoming.

  39. JM
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    This might sound far fetched, but Elio’s opinions to me seem to mirror the opinions of the ultra-conservative nutters I see sometimes on Fox News. They hold a ridiculous view on how the world should be, and complain endlessly if it deviates even slightly from the path that they want.

    Now I realize that their reviews are informative as they sort of represent the book fanatics, but god… Do those people REALLY want to see a word for word adaption? I certainly don’t.

  40. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy Greenwald’s reviews a lot.

    As a book reader, nothing can live up to my imagination of the Red Wedding. So whilst I thought the show did a very good job, it was inevitable for me that there would be a little disappointment. I think Elio feels that feeling even moreso, leading to a highly biased review. He also seems to be unable to separate the emotions he has from nostalgia from the genuinely emotional scenes. All in all, it makes for weak analysis.

  41. Daniel
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    Oh, I meant Elio and Linda, not the westeros community. Should have been more clear.

  42. Delta1212
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    I agree to an extent, but I’m trying to withhold judgement until I actually see how the finale plays out.

  43. The Lightning Lord
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    What makes Elio and his ilk’s claims all the more absurd is their failure to realize that Cat’s indescribable grief at the end, rather than indescribable madness is a better choice for the show because it heralds and foreshadows the rise of Lady Stoneheart, who because of her indescribable grief, does not speak out or show much emotion. They have no understanding of how a TV show should work; they should go back to watching Hercules or Xena.

  44. Hawk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Elio’s had the same review for 3 seasons and 29 episodes now…perhaps it’s time for him to pass the torch to somebody else over there that can bring a fresh take to the reviews from that site…

  45. Lex
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Remember, Linda has NEVER even read the RW chapter in the books (she refuses). So her opinion on the episode is already completely irrelevant.

    As for Elio, well… I like his book-knowledge, but his show reviews have become pretty useless too.

  46. Katsuragi
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    The Lightning Lord,

    100% agree with everything you said. I enjoy the wealth of information over there regarding the books but they come off as totally impractical in their reviews.

  47. PetetheGreek
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Larry Williams isn’t doing reviews anymore. One of the reasons given- his Game of Thrones reviews received more views and overshadowed his other reviews. I don’t think I understand how YouTube works.

  48. Virtus
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I do get the feeling that Elio and Linda want every single comma and semicolon from the book to be literally present in the adaptation… If they were to get their way, they’d probably film AFFC and ADWD as separate seasons in order to be über-faithful to the source material…

  49. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Remember, Linda has NEVER even read the RW chapter in the books (she refuses).

    Really? That’s pathetic.

  50. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s likely now that Coldhands isn’t going to show up. I think this makes sense: hold back his casting until Season 4 to save money and time this year, have Team Sam and Team Bran pass each other as in the books, and Bran bumps into Coldhands in the woods beyond the Wall in Ep 1 or 2 of Season 4.

  51. Hawk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Virtus,

    you are wrong on that account…Elio’s reviews are always a critique on storytelling…

  52. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Virtus:
    I do get the feeling that Elio and Linda want every single comma and semicolon from the book to be literally present in the adaptation… If they were to get their way, they’d probably film AFFC and ADWD as separate seasons in order to be über-faithful to the source material…

    Elio’s review is laughable.
    “They rendered the Red Wedding the easiest way possible”. Hah. Like if he could do something better. What is he expecting? That D&D include every single line and every single thing GRRM describe in the books?
    His unrealistic expectations makes me think he has no clue of how adaptations work.

  53. novichaso
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Lady Stoneheart is coming!

  54. Zack
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Dammit I’m madly refreshing the WhattheFlick YouTube channel waiting for them to post it because I want to see Cenk’s reaction so bad. lol. Post it already!

  55. thisone
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Remember, Linda has NEVER even read the RW chapter in the books (she refuses).

    Wow. When did she say/write that?

    Zack:
    Dammit I’m madly refreshing the WhattheFlick YouTube channel waiting for them to post it because I want to see Cenk’s reaction so bad. lol. Post it already!

    Me too! They usually appear about 4 hours from now.

  56. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    thisone,

    In this article. But since she helps write those reviews for Westeros, I wouldn’t be surprised if she went ahead and subjected herself to rest the last third of ASOS finally.

  57. Skipjack
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m no book purist but I have a hard time believing any book reader thought that episode exceeded or equalled the achievement in the book. Elio’s asking too much to hope it would measure up, but that’s not his fault. I give fair credit to D&D for executing a well conceived episode, but I too had played the scene in my head many times in many ways detailing how it might be delivered and I too prefer the version in my head to what we got on the screen. Proper respects to the magnificent performances, which naturally did exceed my imagination.

    As far as the critiques of story-telling go, I think it says it all that even non-book readers and reviewers are pointing to the episode as an example of GRRM’s brilliance rather than the show’s. It brought it to life without capturing the imagination. I’m still glad that it’s on my TV, but this season, and particularly this episode, I’m really just glad that I read it first.

  58. Zack
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    thisone: Me too! They usually appear about 4 hours from now.

    Thank you! Saves me a lot of time and anxiousness. I should use this time to watch the episode a second time since I couldn’t bear it last night.

  59. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack:
    I’m no book purist but I have a hard time believing any book reader thought that episode exceeded or equalled the achievement in the book.Elio’s asking too much to hope it would measure up, but that’s not his fault.I give fair credit to D&D for executing a well conceived episode, but I too had played the scene in my head many times in many ways detailing how it might be delivered and I too prefer the version in my head to what we got on the screen.Proper respects to the magnificent performances, which naturally did exceed my imagination.

    As far as the critiques of story-telling go, I think it says it all that even non-book readers and reviewers are pointing to the episode as an example of GRRM’s brilliance rather than the show’s.It brought it to life without capturing the imagination.I’m still glad that it’s on my TV, but this season, and particularly this episode, I’m really just glad that I read it first.

    Yeah, well, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is better in my head than Peter Jackson’s version, and of course, everyone here could say the same about the Battle of the Blackwater, but hey. You can’t make everyone happy. I’d say that, while it may not be a flawless scene, it was really good.
    And look at all the reactions. The show really delivered the goods.

  60. Eleanor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead:
    I think Elio and Linda’s reviews are useful when they identify an area where the show does worse than the books for no discernible reason (the mishandling of Qhorin, for example, which I think most people agree with), but their reviews are less measured even when following the book religiously is simply impractical.

    Spot on. Their reviews definitely can be of interest.

    On a different note, WHY DO ALL THE NEWBIES THINK THE DEAD WIFE IS ‘ONE OF FREY’S WIVES’? We have had every sign that in Westeros, marriage is monogamous. Walder Frey is a noble who aspires to have his kids marry nobility! Of course they’re legitimate.

    Is it just because he treats his family without respect and so does Craster? Which would also explain the ‘inbred’ jokes.

  61. Al Swearengen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ll admit Elio’s review is way too snobbish this week.

  62. Addie
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Ok I’ve been a long time lurker on the posts and today’s the first time I’ve started to post.
    I don’t know if it’ll get read by those in charge of WiC.net.
    2.5 years ago is when I started reading both this an westeros.org, I shortly thereafter used this as my daily “thrones” check in. And I’m thankful for the WiC community.

    After spending a bit of time on westeros.org today I can’t say I like that crowd, and the reviews are far from objective and unbiased in my opinion. Nitpicking comes to mind.
    Keep it up WiC, hope to be reading this website for years to come.

  63. Beth
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    You shouldn’t be so quick to hate on Elio and Linda for their GRRM asskissing (let’s not dress the act up); it’s no different than the incredibly positive relationship WiC reaps from HBO/D&D. I’ve never seen an even slightly critical review of the show here, and I wouldn’t expect to; WiC’s livelihood rests with the show’s success. Elio and Linda’s is tied to GRRM’s.

    They’re treated to a wealth of info and direct connections with GRRM, so it’s only natural they’d play his genius up, and decry anything short of a carbon copied adaption as subpar to their sacred novels.

    I generally enjoy their reviews (and certainly respect their opinions as ASoIaF fans), but I think I’m done with them now. They embody Unpleasable Fanbase syndrome at its finest, and it’s frankly getting boring to trudge through the same thinly-veiled disdain and GRRM hero worship they treat us to every Monday.

  64. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Westeros.org reviews can be summarized in 3 words – books are better. It’s the same in every review. There is no real criticism, just endless string of comparisons to the books and stuff like “it would’ve been better if scene X was like in the books”. Every faint praise is followed by saying that it’s because GRRMs source material is the best thing ever created. And Linda absolute hatred of the show is known to the fandom, so take it into account too when you read the reviews on that site.

  65. Addie
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I should clarify I was t trying to drag down the other community, there is some pretty good insight and information on those boards, but it also seems the first place people seem to gripe the most. So didnt mean to disrespect, just an observation.

  66. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Just read Collins’ review in Rolling Stones and I gotta say I’m bit annoyed.He says after the RW the Lannisters have won and the Starks will never win.My question is do any of you believe that too?Why can’t Arya end up taking revenge?And let’s not forget Jon,Bran, Rickon and even Sansa…..My viewpoint is, so long as one of them is alive, there is hope.

    What do you all think?

    I saw some comments on the Rolling Stone site make the same complaint. I agree with him though. Even though there are still Starks, and maybe one of them will get vengeance on a Lannister, I think the central “Lanister v Stark” conflict is essentially over, or at least postponed to make room for other storylines to take center stage. I don’t think he’s saying that you won’t see any more animosity between the remaining Lannisters and the remaining Starks. He’s just saying that the war between Stark and Lannister, which was preceded by Ned’s investigating and execution in Season 1, continued in Season 2…has now ended in the climax of season 3. The remaining Starks have their own storylines to go through, outside of the war with the Lannisters. New conflicts will now take center stage, probably ones involving the wildlings or maybe Dany eventually coming to Westeros, or the Tyrell/Lannister rivalry. Maybe Arya will eventually kill Joffrey or something, but for the time being a Stark going after a Lannister is not the central conflict anymore.

  67. Falcon
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Here’s Dino and Byran’s Analysis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DggW-BRrqXE&feature=player_detailpage#t=3s

    Easily the best reviews/analysis on the internet, especially because they’re non readers. They talk about the RW at length and it’s fantastic! Very smart and fun to see them put the pieces together.

    The real RW talk starts at 22 minutes if you want to skip to, but I don’t recommend it! :P

  68. barak
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Beth:
    You shouldn’t be so quick to hate on Elio and Linda for their GRRM asskissing (let’s not dress the act up); it’s no different than the incredibly positive relationship WiC reaps from HBO/D&D. I’ve never seen an even slightly critical review of the show here, and I wouldn’t expect to; WiC’s livelihood rests with the show’s success. Elio and Linda’s is tied to GRRM’s.

    Seriously? Are we on the same website? While WiC reviews tend to be overall positive, I don’t remember many that were free of criticism. Except WiC reviews show a lot more understanding of the nature of the show (an adaptation of difficult material to a completely different medium), which reflects in their criticism: it’s more intelligent and fair than the insufferably close-minded “analyses” at Westeros.org that nowadays can be summed up with “GRRM is God, the books are perfect, and the show is a disgrace because it doesn’t follow the books letter-by-letter.”

    (Which is why I’m still not quite over Linda and Elio being special guests at the semi-official Thronecast.)

    And frankly, their worship of GRRM gives me second-hand embarrassment.

  69. zaprowsdower
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Andy,

    Good riddance.

  70. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Falcon:
    Here’s Dino and Byran’s Analysis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DggW-BRrqXE&feature=player_detailpage#t=3s

    Easily the best reviews/analysis on the internet, especially because they’re non readers. They talk about the RW at length and it’s fantastic! Very smart and fun to see them put the pieces together.

    The real RW talk starts at 22 minutes if you want to skip to, but I don’t recommend it! :P

    Yeah, love these guys so much.

  71. Eleanor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/box-seat/got-recap-its-a-nice-day-for-a-red-wedding-20130603-2nmfa.html

    Wow, Natalie Bochenski of the Sydney Morning Herald (non-reader, obviously) had her heart ripped out here.

    I can’t… I just can’t… just…

    I don’t even know how to be funny. I’m supposed to write something here that’s funny. I’m supposed to provide a humorous insight into a hugely popular television program using wit and words and things and I DON’T KNOW HOW I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN BECAUSE I’M CRYING AND SOBBING AND WEEPING.

  72. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Beth:
    You shouldn’t be so quick to hate on Elio and Linda for their GRRM asskissing (let’s not dress the act up); it’s no different than the incredibly positive relationship WiC reaps from HBO/D&D. I’ve never seen an even slightly critical review of the show here, and I wouldn’t expect to; WiC’s livelihood rests with the show’s success. Elio and Linda’s is tied to GRRM’s.

    They’re treated to a wealth of info and direct connections with GRRM, so it’s only natural they’d play his genius up, and decry anything short of a carbon copied adaption as subpar to their sacred novels.

    I generally enjoy their reviews (and certainly respect their opinions as ASoIaF fans), but I think I’m done with them now. They embody Unpleasable Fanbase syndrome at its finest, and it’s frankly getting boring to trudge through the same thinly-veiled disdain and GRRM hero worship they treat us to every Monday.

    It’s true that I am much more positive about the show than Elio and Linda, but to say I haven’t been even slightly critical is disingenuous. I have been critical of things I didn’t like. Most of the time it is minor stuff, but sometimes my criticisms are more broad. My biggest complaint has been the handling of the Jon/Qhorin storyline from last season. That one was completely botched, in my opinion, and I’ve made that clear many times.

    I always give my honest opinion and my relationship with HBO doesn’t factor into it at all. They certainly aren’t going to deny me access to press materials just because I give negative reviews, so I have nothing to fear in that regard.

    Thankfully, my opinion is that I really, really like the show. Maybe I am just easy to please, I don’t know. But when recapping each episode, and in my post-season review, I’m giving you my honest opinions, it’s not at all colored by thoughts about what HBO or the show runners might think.

  73. Syrio
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Just read Collins’ review in Rolling Stones and I gotta say I’m bit annoyed.He says after the RW the Lannisters have won and the Starks will never win.My question is do any of you believe that too?Why can’t Arya end up taking revenge?And let’s not forget Jon,Bran, Rickon and even Sansa…..My viewpoint is, so long as one of them is alive, there is hope.

    What do you all think?

    RW is supposed to make the audience feel that way. If the audience isn’t in despair over the hopelessness of the Starks after that, then they didn’t do it right.

    But the wolves will come back again to Winterfell, and when they do it will be even more awesome.

  74. Lex
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s time like this that I’m extra thankful WiC started this site 4 or 5 years ago (despite of people at westeros.org wondering whether another ASOIAF site was really necessary!). Just imagine if westeros was the only place to discuss the show… yikes.

  75. Lord_Grimjaur
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    FaBio Axechucker is back in reviewing bussiness! Yay!

  76. WhiteWalker#6
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen:
    Ellio’s review at Westeros is why some people absolutely can’t stand the book purist take on the show.That’s a completely unfair review and I don’t even get what he’s accusing the show of doing.

    It appears he not only wanted them to be even more dogmatic with their adherence to the text (he scolded them for not having Cat rake her face, for the band not being terrible and for the one time that Cat smiled during the reception because she didn’t do that in the books) but he also wanted them to somehow go above and beyond what was in the text and create something even more memorable.

    According to him, the only reason the wedding was good was because Martin wrote it that way and they just copied him without improving on anything.Aside from that not being true (Talisa and her unborn child getting stabbed was an inspired choice to start the massacre as was Cat grabbing Walder’s wife instead of a fool), it’s a ridiculous complaint.He said he wished that they could impart the atmosphere of the book where 99% of that atmosphere is based on stuff that Cat’s thinking about and there sense of impending doom was certainly there in the preamble if you were paying attention.I invite a rewatch to take a look at how many times we see Frey conspirators whispering to each other or looking uneasy in the background of dialogue scenes well before the doors are shut and the music starts.

    The guy has mostly been fair with the show historically but this is just a tone deaf review.

    I can’t stand their reviews, they hate the TV show. They basically want an audiobook visualized, which would get the TV show cancelled. They are two different mediums as to what can be done and can’t be done. The show is not perfect, no TV show is perfect, but the are haters plain and simple.

    Their reviews mean nothing really, the show is pulling down ratings, that means dollars, and in TV, that is all that matters really. GRRM was TV guy originally, he knows the business and how adaptations work, as long as his checks he is getting are good, he likely is fine with what Dan and Dave do mostly.

  77. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    That recap is priceless. Roose Bolton is called “a demonic anal fissure of a man” and Lord Frey a “smug, gurning, foul genital wart of a man”. I am not worthy of her cussing ability. /not worthy bowing

  78. Ace
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I say this every week but once again Andy Greenwald had the most enjoyable review. Maybe it’s because he’s a non-reader who simply the judges the show as a show and not on how well it adapts the books. Maybe it’s the fact that he had never been a fan of the fantasy genre before the show, so his gradually growing admiration for the show is meaingul. Maybe it’s because he uses clever GOT-related humor in his writing. But I think more than anything, it’s that he has never been afraid to be critical – so when he praises the show, it feels well-earned. He’s easily been my favorite inclusion onto the weekly review list.

  79. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking Beth has also missed my occasional diatribes on the handling of several female characters by D&D, including a rather lengthy and harsh essay on the subject, and other rants. WiC is much more positive than Westeros, but to say Winter never criticizes is very incorrect. The past reviews speak for themselves.

  80. Conor
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    So many comments above regarding the (unsurprisingly) negative review from GRRM’s self appointed #1 fans Elio and Linda. Seriously please can WiC.net stop linking in their reviews.

    I’m not going to start praising every episode saying the show is completely perfect but for the budget it has and the 10 episode seasons it does an excellent job – the show is the best on television right now (maybe ever).

    BUT every week, westeros.org spend 80% of their reviews complaining that the show is not scene for scene, word for word from the books. Name me one TV show or film that has done that and has been successful? Elio was probably upset when Tom Bombadil was cut from LOTR!

    Finally, I will cheer for joy when the show will overtake the books in 2-3yrs (and they most certainly will)! What will they write about then?

  81. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Ace:
    I feel like I say this every week but once again Andy Greenwald had the most enjoyable review. Maybe it’s because he’s a non-reader who simply the judges the show as a show and not on how well it adapts the books. Maybe it’s the fact that he had never been a fan of the fantasy genre before the show. Maybe it’s because he uses clever GOT-related humor in his writing. But I think more than anything, it’s that he has never been afraid to be critical – so when he praises the show, it feels well-earned. He’s easily been my favorite inclusion onto the weekly review list.

    Agreed. And I’m not just saying that because he is a Philadelphia sports fan!

  82. Steven Watson
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    So, maybe I only think this way because I tend to think people who read books are awesome, but I have a theory that most of the people posting spoilers in inappropriate places, like Sepinwall’s comments, probably haven’t even read the books. They are probably just trying to ruin it for others because *they* were spoiled by Wikipedia or an unwise Google search or something.

    Wishful thinking on my part, maybe ;).

  83. Badger16
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely despise Elio’s reviews. This is the last one I read. Every week it’s the same cynical, nit picky, purist, elitist bullshit. What a miserable fuck you must be to not be able to enjoy something this fantastic without trying so hard to reach for straws for shit to complain about. Fuck that dude and his reviews…

  84. WompWomp
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Agreed. And I’m not just saying that because he is a Philadelphia sports fan!

    Et tu, Phil? Being a Philadelphia sports fan almost packs as much general disappointment as being a Stark fan. [still not over the Bullpen That Was Promised]

  85. The Bloodraven
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Badger16,

    I don’t like his reviews either, but that might be going a little too far.

  86. Mike
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Still enjoying Laura Stone’s recaps.

  87. Badger16
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, probably too far and vulgar. It’s just frustrating. It’s a disservice to the entirety of the work that is the show’s adaptation. It’s not even a review, it’s literally, “what can I find to bitch about in this week’s episode?”

  88. King Tommen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    All you need to know about how insanely puritanical the people who run Westeros are is contained in Linda’s rant after last season’s finale where she reacted to the way the show portrayed the House of the Undying by saying that she doesn’t consider the show to be an adaptation, just fanfiction set in the ASOIAF universe.

  89. MyBFFTheHound
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  90. Yago
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    MyBFFTheHound,

    but it’s over an hour long :o

  91. Drfunk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen:
    Ellio’s review at Westeros is why some people absolutely can’t stand the book purist take on the show.That’s a completely unfair review and I don’t even get what he’s accusing the show of doing.

    It appears he not only wanted them to be even more dogmatic with their adherence to the text (he scolded them for not having Cat rake her face, for the band not being terrible and for the one time that Cat smiled during the reception because she didn’t do that in the books) but he also wanted them to somehow go above and beyond what was in the text and create something even more memorable.

    According to him, the only reason the wedding was good was because Martin wrote it that way and they just copied him without improving on anything.Aside from that not being true (Talisa and her unborn child getting stabbed was an inspired choice to start the massacre as was Cat grabbing Walder’s wife instead of a fool), it’s a ridiculous complaint.He said he wished that they could impart the atmosphere of the book where 99% of that atmosphere is based on stuff that Cat’s thinking about and there sense of impending doom was certainly there in the preamble if you were paying attention.I invite a rewatch to take a look at how many times we see Frey conspirators whispering to each other or looking uneasy in the background of dialogue scenes well before the doors are shut and the music starts.

    The guy has mostly been fair with the show historically but this is just a tone deaf review.

    As much hate as Elio is getting here sometimes, he does bring up the reasons behind his critcism. You may not agree with his assessments but it’s hardly what some of you call blind hate. The main problem Elio suffers is that he’s an arm chair coach. Unlike most GoT fans, heck unlike even book fans, Elio is THE NERD of westeros. Even Martin needs him to keep all his fact straight from the 982934829 characters he writes about in his books. So all that knowledge is what gives off the snobbish attitude. That said, what Elio fails to understand is that he doesn’t understand how a Tv show works. At times he feels like the superfan yelling from the stands at the coaches for calling the wrong plays, when he doesn’t have all of the facts to begin with.

    D&D work 90~95% of the year around this show. If they aren’t shooting it, or editing it, they’re writing or casting or promoting it. They have hundreds of people waiting for guidance and direction. The problem is not that D&D are terrible writers trying to adapt GRRM, it’s that D&D are the show runners. They are illiterately juggling every ball in this whole process, and it’s this kind of micro management which leads to some failures during the adaptation. It’s obvious they won’t relinquish control of the show to anyone, so perhaps it’s time for them to delegate even more and hire more creative talent to work at adapting the series. Not because they’re terrible at it, but because it can be even better.

    So in that regard, Elio is right to point out now and again like a negative Nancy what “could have been”. I just don’t think he appreciates how much D&D are pouring into this project or the scale of the production. If he ran the show for a year, he’d understand his own limitations and learn to respect D&D.

    On the same tone, I honestly feel some book readers are being persecuted whenever we disagree on an aspect of this show. It seems if you go with the flow and just blindly praise w/e is going on (as much as Elio blindly hates), you get labelled as one of the “cool book readers”. The moment you show any kind of criticism (even the ones that are thoroughly explained), you’re labelled as a hater and a “purist”.

    So yeah, as much as some of you complain about Elio’s nagging on Westeros.org, WiC is just as guilty of being full of too many yes men. Andy and Myles probably offers the most measured voices out there from a non reader/reader perspective. So let’s stop with the Elio bashing, and actually discuss the episode at hand~

  92. Al Swearengen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I must say it’s really frustrating how this site doesn’t have a forum, seriously give us one already !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Badger16
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    If it was the occasional legitimate complaint, that’s one thing. I’m a book reader and I have definitely had my complaints. But as you point out DrFunk he is being an armchair coach without thinking for one moment about the big picture and what is possible or convenient or financially obtainable to put onto screen with a budget and time constraints. As intelligent as this person most likely is, it can only be described as blind hate, because its the same negative tone week in and week out. It seems as though he doesn’t even enjoy the show as a whole. I get the feeling he only watches at this point to dissect it and bitch about it. It’s absurd. I agree that both ends of the spectrum are equally bad, but c’mon, this guy is obviously an absolute douche with no pleasures in this world whatsoever.

  94. King Tommen
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk: As much hate as Elio is getting here sometimes, he does bring up the reasons behind his critcism. You may not agree with his assessments but it’s hardly what some of you call blind hate. The main problem Elio suffers is that he’s an arm chair coach. Unlike most GoT fans, heck unlike even book fans, Elio is THE NERD of westeros. Even Martin needs him to keep all his fact straight from the 982934829 characters he writes about in his books. So all that knowledge is what gives off the snobbish attitude. That said, what Elio fails to understand is that he doesn’t understand how a Tv show works. At times he feels like the superfan yelling from the stands at the coaches for calling the wrong plays, when he doesn’t have all of the facts to begin with.

    D&D work 90~95% of the year around this show. If they aren’t shooting it, or editing it, they’re writing or casting or promoting it. They have hundreds of people waiting for guidance and direction. The problem is not that D&D are terrible writers trying to adapt GRRM, it’s that D&D are the show runners. They are illiterately juggling every ball in this whole process, and it’s this kind of micro management which leads to some failures during the adaptation. It’s obvious they won’t relinquish control of the show to anyone, so perhaps it’s time for them to delegate even more and hire more creative talent to work at adapting the series. Not because they’re terrible at it, but because it can be even better.

    So in that regard, Elio is right to point out now and again like a negative Nancy what “could have been”. I just don’t think he appreciates how much D&D are pouring into this project or the scale of the production. If he ran the show for a year, he’d understand his own limitations and learn to respect D&D.

    On the same tone, I honestly feel some book readers are being persecuted whenever we disagree on an aspect of this show. It seems if you go with the flow and just blindly praise w/e is going on (as much as Elio blindly hates), you get labelled as one of the “cool book readers”. The moment you show any kind of criticism (even the ones that are thoroughly explained), you’re labelled as a hater and a “purist”.

    So yeah, as much as some of you complain about Elio’s nagging on Westeros.org, WiC is just as guilty of being full of too many yes men. Andy and Myles probably offers the most measured voices out there from a non reader/reader perspective.So let’s stop with the Elio bashing, and actually discuss the episode at hand~

    I am certainly for criticism and analysis. I definitely have no interest in reading a fawning article that does nothing but state how great the show is with no reservations. That would be pointless.

    And I respect the wealth of information that Elio has and that is packed into the site, it’s an incredible resource that has been fostered lovingly. Also, they have forums so that automatically puts it a step up on pretty much every other ASOIAF site.

    I think he’s been on the money from time to time with his criticisms and are legitimate in pointing out issues with not just the adaptations but how the story is executed on television. I don’t agree with every one of them but fair comments exist within.

    The problem that I see is that when they are comparing the show to the book and analyzing it as an adaptation (which is what I would expect from a book-heavy site such as Westeros), they start with the assumption that the books are unassailable masterpieces and that every word written by Martin is essential and necessary to the story of ASOIAF. I have never heard one negative thing uttered about one line from any of Martin’s books on that site.

    And if you’re coming at the analysis with this perception, it’s going to color your reaction to the show. The effect of any change or omission is going to be exaggerated to the nth degree and in many ways, looked upon as an affront to Martin himself as it’s portrayed as the writers either not understanding this masterpiece or worse yet, being arrogant in thinking that they know how to do it better. How can you fairly evaluate the adaptation when you so fervently are devoted to the source material? There’s no perspective and there is no leash for the alterations that are being done. I can feel the personal insult that Elio is taking on every time he discusses a change and how this is diametrically opposed to Martin’s vision.

    In short, I’d be able to take these reviews a little more seriously if the same level of critical analysis was applied to Martin’s books as opposed to receiving them as if they were the gospel delivered from on high.

    Finally, I’m most perturbed that because Martin doesn’t offer up criticism for public consumption on the television show, that Westeros often takes it upon themselves to assume things that Martin would probably be upset or disagree with on the show. They back these notions up with the standard “he’s getting paid by HBO, he has no control over what goes on screen so he can’t say that they’re doing a poor job.” Almost as if Martin’s being held prisoner with his true opinions behind lock and key and Westeros is there to voice them to us on his behalf.

  95. fuelpagan
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    It’s time like this that I’m extra thankful WiC started this site 4 or 5 years ago (despite of people at westeros.org wondering whether another ASOIAF site was really necessary!). Just imagine if westeros was the only place to discuss the show… yikes.

    I second this opinion.

  96. Patchface
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I really like the Rolling Stone take on the episode, very well written.

    My one quarrel with the episode it the pacing of the season. Was it necessary to push Queensqrown and Yunkai/Mereen into the same epsiode as the Red Wedding? Now no one remembers The Jon/Ygritte scenes in this episode. It feels a waste and uneconomical.

  97. WompWomp
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    It’s time like this that I’m extra thankful WiC started this site 4 or 5 years ago (despite of people at westeros.org wondering whether another ASOIAF site was really necessary!). Just imagine if westeros was the only place to discuss the show… yikes.

    I never thought of it that way. The very notion gave me chills.

    Thank you for being here for us, WiC & Friends. And the same to anyone else who comes by.

  98. Drfunk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Badger16,

    D&D needs the Elio’s of the world though to keep improving the show. GoT has succeeded mainly because it stuck to its source as much as possible (unlike other fantasy series that just tried to wing it). It may not translate 100% towards the screen but they have a strong foundation on the story (unlike the writers of Lost who just made shit up as they went along). I feel every voice in the community is needed, sites like WiC provides D&D with the kind of moral support they need when they feel the grind of their jobs. Seriously, flying through 3 different time zones, promoting, writing, casting, directing, being under Elio’s scrutiny (ok that was a low blow :D).

    Sites like Westeros offers them the kind of brutal nick picking honesty they’ll never get anywhere else. They may not agree with what Elio says, but believe me they’ll do their best to improve some aspect of the show one step at a time. Any writers/artist won’t remember the thousands of praise/accolades they receive but they’ll always remember the critic who disagreed with them. For that reason alone, people need to appreciate what Westeros really offers, a place to really discuss and have serious discussions over this show.

    As a reader, I like to experience all the reviews after watching a show. If I need humor, I’ll read Hibbert and Yerman and Juergens. To get great insights I’ll go to Mcnutt and Greenwald.. To get hyped or revel in the awesomeness of this show I’ll come here and join the chorus. That said, even I need a place to vent my frustrations over some of the liberties being taken. Westeros is there precisely for that.

    As for Elio personally, I don’t know why you’d call him a douche. A bit pretentious? Sure, kind of like a male Gwyneth Paltrow. To saying he’s got no pleasures in this world whatsoever is clearly reaching though. HE DOES LOVE TO HECKLE D&D FROM THE STANDS does he not? :D

  99. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to address the reason why Talisa was killed on the TV show, when Jeyne was spared in the books. It was undoubtedly brutal, but it wasn’t “pointless”, as some have been saying — it all comes back to the “Game of Thrones”, and, unfortunately, Talisa wasn’t a player in it.

    Why did the Lannisters spare Jeyne? Because she wasn’t their enemy. She was one of them. But Talisa wasn’t a Westerling. She wasn’t a spy. And she wasn’t even Westerosi. She was a foreigner, who neither the Lannisters nor the Freys had any influence over. And that was a bit of a change from the books, being that Robb’s bannermen seemed to dislike her for that very reason — because she was from Essos. And, since Jeyne was a Westerling in the books, and the Westerlings were Lannister bannermen, that gave the Lannisters claim to the North by way of her child with Robb. But, a half-Stark half-Maegyr would’ve been worthless to them. If he had been a boy, he would’ve actually posed a threat to them (because, even if the Lannisters had raised him, there would’ve still been a chance he’d find out the truth eventually). So, to hold Talisa hostage wouldn’t have served a purpose (other than to spare Robb’s unborn child — which Walder Frey had no interest in doing. He’s far too ruthless for that).

    But that’s medieval/ancient history for you. Babies and children were routinely put to the sword if they just so happened to be the heir of something important. If anything, GoT didn’t even show the worst of it, being that the baby hadn’t been born yet. It would’ve been way worse if they’d smashed an infant against a wall, or something like that (which, according to the histories, seems to have been the preferred method of execution for child-heirs).

    In relation to Norse mythology, Cersei put it best when she said, “The gods have no mercy. That’s why they’re gods”. See: Freyr.

  100. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen: I am certainly for criticism and analysis.I definitely have no interest in reading a fawning article that does nothing but state how great the show is with no reservations.That would be pointless.

    And I respect the wealth of information that Elio has and that is packed into the site, it’s an incredible resource that has been fostered lovingly.Also, they have forums so that automatically puts it a step up on pretty much every other ASOIAF site.

    I think he’s been on the money from time to time with his criticisms and are legitimate in pointing out issues with not just the adaptations but how the story is executed on television.I don’t agree with every one of them but fair comments exist within.

    The problem that I see is that when they are comparing the show to the book and analyzing it as an adaptation (which is what I would expect from a book-heavy site such as Westeros), they start with the assumption that the books are unassailable masterpieces and that every word written by Martin is essential and necessary to the story of ASOIAF. I have never heard one negative thing uttered about one line from any of Martin’s books on that site.

    And if you’re coming at the analysis with this perception, it’s going to color your reaction to the show.The effect of any change or omission is going to be exaggerated to the nth degree and in many ways, looked upon as an affront to Martin himself as it’s portrayed as the writers either not understanding this masterpiece or worse yet, being arrogant in thinking that they know how to do it better.How can you fairly evaluate the adaptation when you so fervently are devoted to the source material?There’s no perspective and there is no leash for the alterations that are being done.I can feel the personal insult that Elio is taking on every time he discusses a change and how this is diametrically opposed to Martin’s vision.

    In short, I’d be able to take these reviews a little more seriously if the same level of critical analysis was applied to Martin’s books as opposed to receiving them as if they were the gospel delivered from on high.

    Finally, I’m most perturbed that because Martin doesn’t offer up criticism for public consumption on the television show, that Westeros often takes it upon themselves to assume things that Martin would probably be upset or disagree with on the show.They back these notions up with the standard “he’s getting paid by HBO, he has no control over what goes on screen so he can’t say that they’re doing a poor job.”Almost as if Martin’s being held prisoner with his true opinions behind lock and key and Westeros is there to voice them to us on his behalf.

    *slow clap*
    I couldn’t have said it better.

  101. Yago
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    What the flick review’s up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6EZoeQz2o

  102. Drfunk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    That’s a fair opinion I can respect. I also agree that Elio is as guilty as WiC when it comes to pandering the source at times. If you listened to his Dance review however, you’ll notice that he did not give it a glowing endorsement either. So yeah, he still has some integrity left. Things get complicated when you’re involved with the author in other projects and this hobby turned into a life long obsession. This is why you need to take him with a grain of salt as well.

    Lastly, your theory behind Martin wanting to passive aggressively criticize might be correct. Or are you suggesting Elio is too full of himself and defending Martin without being asked to? Who knows where the truth really lies.. maybe somewhere in the middle.

  103. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

  104. fuelpagan
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen: In short, I’d be able to take these reviews a little more seriously if the same level of critical analysis was applied to Martin’s books as opposed to receiving them as if they were the gospel delivered from on high.

    Finally, I’m most perturbed that because Martin doesn’t offer up criticism for public consumption on the television show, that Westeros often takes it upon themselves to assume things that Martin would probably be upset or disagree with on the show.They back these notions up with the standard “he’s getting paid by HBO, he has no control over what goes on screen so he can’t say that they’re doing a poor job.”Almost as if Martin’s being held prisoner with his true opinions behind lock and key and Westeros is there to voice them to us on his behalf.

    Well stated. That’s exactly why I’ve stopped reading his reviews. I’m all for criticism that takes into account the challenges the show runners are dealing with adapting books that were written to be unfilmable. Too often we criticize a change before we fully understand how the arc has changed as well.

    I really wasn’t digging the whole Talisa change, but now that I see her die with Robb during the wedding I think it worked pretty well at simplifying the story. That can’t happen unless you’re willing to keep an open mind and give the show a fair chance. Something that appears Elio and Linda are incapable of.

  105. zaprowsdower
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Wow. Well put. I completely agree. The point about acting like they are George’s voice is the most frustrating for me.

  106. mpn1010
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    Kudos on your very insightful and eloquent analysis of the reasoning behind Talisa’s death, Varamyr. I understand people’s temptation to label her death as “pointless” given the fact that its graphic brutality made it inherently gratuitous — the word “overkill” comes to mind, though I am not trying to be funny (punny?) about it. However, as you pointed out, from a storyline context there are a lot of reasons for her death (her status as foreigner, her lack of “value” as a potential hostage, etc.)

    At the risk of sounding pretentious, I would add that there is a great deal of symbolic significance to her death as well; if you re-watch the 3×07 INSIDE THE EPISODE commentary when Dan and Dave discuss Robb and Talisa’s conception of a child, they frame it as a sign that Robb’s war has a new purpose and a new sense of hope. If the Red Wedding marks the death of Robb and his hopes, it must likewise mark the death of his wife and child. As Richard Madden pointed out in several of the interviews that were published today, Talisa’ death effectively destroys any lingering hopes we might have for Robb’s legacy. Perhaps even more significantly, it brings Robb’s story arc full circle — just as Robb could not avenge Ned and the North, there will be no son to avenge Robb. The very fact that Lothar stabs Talisa where he does reinforces that symbolism. I know that some reviewers complained that having Robb and Talisa discuss their unborn child just before the massacre felt contrived, but again, the notion of that child being called Eddard seems to bring everything full circle regarding fathers/sons/legacies/tragedies re: the Starks.

    That said, I truly feel that Talisa’s death was the most horrific part of the episode, at least from a physical standpoint (though I was more heartbroken with Michelle Fairley’s performance, it did not affect me physically in the way that Talisa’s death did; as the EW reviewer stated, I cannot get the horrific image of Lothar stabbing her out of my mind.) I know that fans were really divided over the character, but I thought Oona Chaplin was wonderful in the role, and the two scenes in “Prince of Winterfell” (her walking with Robb and discussing Eddard, and later, the monologue about her decision to leave Volantis) were incredibly effective. I cared about Talisa (who seemed more like a character) more than I ever cared about Jeyne (who seemed more like a plot device). As such, I certainly would have loved to see her fulfill the “fake Arya” role and be rescued by Theon from the Boltons, though for the reasons you noted, Varamyr, it never would have made sense for the Boltons to take her as a hostage.

  107. Hawk
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen: I am certainly for criticism and analysis.I definitely have no interest in reading a fawning article that does nothing but state how great the show is with no reservations.That would be pointless.

    And I respect the wealth of information that Elio has and that is packed into the site, it’s an incredible resource that has been fostered lovingly.Also, they have forums so that automatically puts it a step up on pretty much every other ASOIAF site.

    I think he’s been on the money from time to time with his criticisms and are legitimate in pointing out issues with not just the adaptations but how the story is executed on television.I don’t agree with every one of them but fair comments exist within.

    The problem that I see is that when they are comparing the show to the book and analyzing it as an adaptation (which is what I would expect from a book-heavy site such as Westeros), they start with the assumption that the books are unassailable masterpieces and that every word written by Martin is essential and necessary to the story of ASOIAF. I have never heard one negative thing uttered about one line from any of Martin’s books on that site.

    And if you’re coming at the analysis with this perception, it’s going to color your reaction to the show.The effect of any change or omission is going to be exaggerated to the nth degree and in many ways, looked upon as an affront to Martin himself as it’s portrayed as the writers either not understanding this masterpiece or worse yet, being arrogant in thinking that they know how to do it better.How can you fairly evaluate the adaptation when you so fervently are devoted to the source material?There’s no perspective and there is no leash for the alterations that are being done.I can feel the personal insult that Elio is taking on every time he discusses a change and how this is diametrically opposed to Martin’s vision.

    In short, I’d be able to take these reviews a little more seriously if the same level of critical analysis was applied to Martin’s books as opposed to receiving them as if they were the gospel delivered from on high.

    Finally, I’m most perturbed that because Martin doesn’t offer up criticism for public consumption on the television show, that Westeros often takes it upon themselves to assume things that Martin would probably be upset or disagree with on the show.They back these notions up with the standard “he’s getting paid by HBO, he has no control over what goes on screen so he can’t say that they’re doing a poor job.”Almost as if Martin’s being held prisoner with his true opinions behind lock and key and Westeros is there to voice them to us on his behalf.

    Good post…I agree with most of this, but want to address one thing you said…

    Westeros isn’t geared towards the kind of critical analysis of the books I gather you are talking about…it is largely a collection of fans who have accepted the books for what they are, and are in it for the long haul…they think and have great faith that GRRM knows what he’s doing and aren’t concerned with analyzing the text beyond giving it the critical reading it deserves to decipher where the author might be going with the story…they see it as a mystery, as much as a fantasy, seeded with clues, and red herrings, in every chapter, and don’t get bogged down or overly concerned with things like Meereenese knots…it is, in a sense, a gospel, not just b/c of the story GRRM is telling, but the way in which he is telling it…there is nothing else like it…

    Why waste time on discussing the critical literary merits of how well GRRM does or does not tell a story, when you see him as giving you something to think about with every page? every thread is important, and there are no minor, unconnected subplots thrown in just for flavor…you can find this kind of critical analysis on every chapter, and can find a thread devoted to discussion of each chapter individually…this is the way those folks read the story, b/c they believe it’s been written to be read that way…

    Obviously, you can’t translate something like that 100% to the TV screen…if you expect that, you set yourself up for disappointment…

  108. Abyss
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Whattheflick is up.

  109. Isabelle
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    From Wired:

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/06/game-of-thrones-recap-red-wedding/

    Check out the wicked song at the top of the article, a new one from Adam WarRock, who does some great Thrones-inspired music.

  110. NoOne
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to comment that there is not enough love for the Jorah, Grey Worm and Daario fight scene, the best in the show; three different fighting styles at once, it was awesome.

  111. The Greatjon
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    https://vine.co/v/b3XZMHmxzxh

    Maisie Williams’ reaction to the Red Wedding on Vine. She is adorable AND hilarious.

  112. The Purist
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how surprising, people here are bitching about Elio’s review… So predictable that GoT fanboys can’t take any criticism, it’s like they expect everyone to like the show, if not they treat them like they are subhuman.

  113. Shock Me Sane
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Dino and Byron and Whattheflick do the best reviews, hands down. It’s nice to see people that are super enthusiastic about the show that haven’t read the books.

  114. Lex
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    The Purist:
    Oh, how surprising, people here are bitching about Elio’s review… So predictable that GoT fanboys can’t take any criticism, it’s like they expect everyone to like the show, if not they treat them like they are subhuman.

    Oh hi Linda!

  115. The Purist
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I’m actually a guy, but if you want me to be a lady named Linda cause it floats your boat than who am I to tell you to stop. I have known people who are into kinky stuff.

  116. fuelpagan
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how surprising. People here criticizing others for offering criticisms against there criticism. It’s like they expect everyone to understand they themselves are above criticism, if not they resort to calling them fanboys when they themselves are GRRM fanboys.

  117. WhoIsJacopoBelbo
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    does anybody get the impression that people, even critics … even critics who like the show, aren’t paying that close of attention.

    everybody that i’ve read has concluded that Rooses actions are cold and calculating and all an effort of self-preservation to end up on the winning side but that Walder Frey was some how petty and cruel and doing it all out of spite for a broken promise and wounded pride.

    now we know that Walder Frey is prickly and his wounded pride had something to do with it but didn’t the show thru Kat point out he was called “the Late Lord Walder Frey” as in he was always “late” to the battle, as in he showed up after he would need to pick a side? i don’t think that Frey’s decision was any less one of political saavy than Roose’s … he just had the added satisfaction of revenge but his main motivation, in my mind even from just the show, was one of making sure he was on the winning side.

  118. jasonw
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    The Purist,

    I am a huge book fan, read them all multiple times. The idea that GoT fans cant take criticism is crazy, and not what anyone here is saying. People are just fed up with book “Purists” who only want to see the book filmed, which was not what was ever going to happen. Reviews that basically sum up what was not in the text get very old. I will admit that i was not a Talisa fan in the show… UNTIL she died, that crap was amazing the way Rob was focused on her dying and not anyone else was wonderful. What would he have done if she was not there. just die?

    Being mad about a change in the book just because it is a change is not critizing storytelling. it’s just bitching. Now i along with most people here thing the Qhorin stuff was not handled well at all, not because it was a change from the book but because i think they missed Jon’s almost direct order. Now that has been kind of handled this season with everyone around him and himself knowing that he is still a crow.

    “Purists” have to realize that somethings are going to be cut. you cannot have every family in the show. Everyone cannot wear their sigil. Show watchers cannot keep up.

    People on this site hated the Dany stuff last season and have had problems with episodes this year too. So the idea that they worship D/D is false. We just cant stand blind bookwalkers rage.

  119. Delta1212
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    WhoIsJacopoBelbo,

    Nah, I know you’re technically right about Walder, but that summary of how people feel sums up my own gut reaction to that situation, so I don’t really blame them for feeling that way.

    Roose does what he does because he’s a ruthless sociopath. Walder does what he does because he’s a ruthless asshole.

  120. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Konstaninos and Byron’s awesome newbie analysis is up. Quality stuff
    http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCin5mJGhyXPe7eUnsX0EucQ

  121. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    The Purist,

    Your so obviously Linda lol

  122. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    Yes! Fantastic! And way more insight than Larry Williams

  123. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    I’m waiting for your next blog post man! Excellent work

  124. Syrio
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead: My biggest complaint about the RW is probably the timing: having it in Episode 9 was too tempting for the producers, but I think speeding things up a bit earlier, getting it in Episode 6 or 7 and then putting the PW in Ep 9 or 10 would have resulted in a much more carthartically satisfying and better-structured season. As it stands we’re going out on a monumental downer without at least some of the events in the book which offset it.

    Yup, they delayed it to episode 9 and inserted a bunch of filler in KL to do it. They should have had it in episode 8, with the Sansa/Tyrion wedding in episode 6 as a shocking event, instead of introducing 2 episodes of talking about the Tyrion/Sansa wedding.

  125. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    The Purist:
    Oh, how surprising, people here are bitching about Elio’s review… So predictable that GoT fanboys can’t take any criticism, it’s like they expect everyone to like the show, if not they treat them like they are subhuman.

    Have you read the comments here? There have been several long and well articulated arguments for why they find Elio’s reviews frustrating. It’s not just “How can he not like it?” It is HOW he reviews the show, not his final opinion that’s so frustrating.

  126. Mark
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    WhoIsJacopoBelbo:
    does anybody get the impression that people, even critics … even critics who like the show, aren’t paying that close of attention.

    everybody that i’ve read has concluded that Rooses actions are cold and calculating and all an effort of self-preservation to end up on the winning side but that Walder Frey was some how petty and cruel and doing it all out of spite for a broken promise and wounded pride.

    now we know that Walder Frey is prickly and his wounded pride had something to do with it but didn’t the show thru Kat point out he was called “the Late Lord Walder Frey” as in he was always “late” to the battle, as in he showed up after he would need to pick a side?i don’t think that Frey’s decision was any less one of political saavy than Roose’s … he just had the added satisfaction of revenge but his main motivation, in my mind even from just the show, was one of making sure he was on the winning side.

    This is true, but there will be more opportunities to illuminate this down the road. Presumably, they still have Edmure hostage, and they will be raised to high lordship, as will Bolton. People will figure it out when this happens.

    It’ll be interesting to see if we have any direct interaction with Walder that we don’t get in the books after this point. We get a lot of House Frey after this, but it’s all his sons, grandsons, daughters, and granddaughters. They’re obviously going to have to consolidate some of the characters. Really, the only male Frey we’ve got any significant picture of besides Walder so far in the show is Lame Lothar, and he’s actually one of the more minor Frey offspring in the books. Hosteen, Aenys, Ryman, Emmon and Black Walder are all much more prominently figured, not to mention Big and Little Walders, and even Merrett, who though he doesn’t get much scene-time in the books does serve a rather important role in introducing Stoneheart, and Rhaegar, Jared and Symond, who are the contents of the Frey Pie. Lame Lothar was just infamous for his role in planning the details of the RW, but I imagine since he’s been cast in the show already some of the other Freys will be rolled into him. Maybe Black Walder, Emmon and/or Ryman, or something like that. It’d be tough to give him more direct combat roles with the limp, so Hosteen, Aenys, and Merrett will probably be separate and introduced later (I imagine Hosteen and Aenys will be rolled together as the prominent Frey at the Winterfell wedding). Rhaegar, Jared, and Symond can also probably consolidated, but my guess is there’s at least two of them to make the pie thing a bit more….meaty (sorry, couldn’t help it).

  127. GeekFurious
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    My buddy and I podcasted about this episode where we tackled some of the responses. One of my biggest issues with what many people said is that the ambush came “out of nowhere”.

    http://geekfurious.blogspot.com/2013/06/cfbwmr-5-game-of-thrones-309-or-rw.html

  128. Zack
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    I’ve been on board with Talisa from the beginning because I felt Jeyne was a non-entity and was grateful to get a personality, even a cliched personality because you can’t have a blank slate in such a prominent role. So this post isn’t really directed at me I guess but I still know exactly where you’re coming from. Critiques are just…going to happen. Things will bother you. I try to embrace that while simultaneously being mindful that these are meant to be viewed as a complete saga, each hour building on what has come before.

    That understanding often means initial qualms give way to deeper appreciation upon rewatching the episode in its context of the full season arcs. But I still prefer to read the critiques “in the moment,” right? It’s honest.

    I hope other people are like this too. Because the showrunners of Game of Thrones need to understand that we’re passionate and opinionated and we know we’re only seeing part of the story at a time and our opinions will likely shift with time.

    Sorry for talking too much.

  129. Steven Swanson
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Just one thing, they have cast Black Walder, he was the “bad cop” to Lame Lothar’s “good cop” in the negotiation scene at Riverrun. And I honestly didn’t notice and don’t remember what they looked like anyway, but I’m guessing that was Black Walder that stabbed Talisa.

    Actually, just looked it up and Black Walder’s the one that slits Catelyn’s throat, and Lothar took out Talisa.

  130. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    I stopped reading the Westeros review when Elio complained about the show omitting Jacelyn Bywater (sp?) and making Bronn commander of the gold cloaks. What keeping in that character would have added to the show is beyond me. That was a minor character who died at Blackwater anyway. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the show, but that was just clearly just complaining for the sake of complaining.

  131. Mark
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson:
    Mark,

    Just one thing, they have cast Black Walder, he was the “bad cop” to Lame Lothar’s “good cop” in the negotiation scene at Riverrun. And I honestly didn’t notice and don’t remember what they looked like anyway, but I’m guessing that was Black Walder that stabbed Talisa.

    Actually, just looked it up and Black Walder’s the one that slits Catelyn’s throat, and Lothar took out Talisa.

    Oh wow, I didn’t even notice that. I guess the only reason I noticed Lothar was because of the limp, and then his face kind of stuck out so I was able to track him a bit. It never even occurred to me that the other guy was Black Walder.

  132. LordDavos12
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love the wealth of information that Elio provides on his site, but yes, the episode reviews are tough to read. I mentioned it in the recap thread, but he comes across as bitter that the show even exists, or that he isn’t one of the showrunners.

  133. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Check out this Moral Compass created by a new viewer on NeoGAF. Interesting

    Eddard Stark – Lawful Good
    Catelyn Stark – Lawful/Chaotic Good
    Robb Stark – Lawful Good
    Sansa Stark – Lawful Good
    Arya Stark – Chaotic Good
    Bran Stark – Chaotic Good
    Jon Snow – Lawful Good
    Theon Greyjoy – Chaotic Neutral

    Tywin Lannister – Lawful Evil
    Tyrion Lannister – Chaotic Good
    Cersei Lannister – Neutral Evil
    Jaime Lannister – Chaotic Neutral
    Joffrey Baratheon – Chaotic Evil

    Daenerys Targaryen – Neutral Good
    Jorah Mormont – Lawful Neutral?

    Bronn – Chaotic Neutral
    The Hound – Chaotic Neutral/Evil
    Varys – True Neutral
    Peter Baelish – Neutral Evil
    Stannis Baratheon – Lawful Neutral
    Melisandre – Lawful Evil
    Ygritte – Chaotic Neutral
    Sam – Neutral Good
    Brienne – Lawful Good
    Margaery Tyrell – Chaotic Neutral
    Lady Olenna Tyrell – Chaotic Good?
    Thoros of Myr – Chaotic Good

  134. Aagaard
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Murder at the Feast: Game of Thrones and Medieval history:
    http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/06/04/murder-at-the-feast-game-of-thrones-and-medieval-history/

    A Blog about GoT and the historical traditions on feasting… (and Red feastings)
    Witten by a Lecturer in Medieval History at Cambridge. Who wrote his Phd about the role of generosity, gift exchange and feasting in aristocratic society in medieval England and Scandinavia.

  135. Elio M. García, Jr.
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I don’t recall complaining about the change at all, so I dug back through the episode reivews. Here’s what I wrote regarding the change of Bywater, in the book-to-screen section:

    Tyrion II: Ser Jacelyn Bywater was not cast for the show, and instead the role of commander of the City Watch is given to Bronn, who in the novel was appointed an officer of the Watch by Tyrion but no more. Realistically… well, it probably isn’t “realistic”, but it’s a neat way to solve the lack of a City Watch commander for Tyrion to interact with.

    Emphasis mine.

    The book-to-screen section is where we try to note all notable changes, to catalog them. The fact that there is a changed detail noted does not mean I disapprove by default — I do not — but rather it’s the purpose of that section.

  136. Ludwig
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Hawk: Good post…I agree with most of this, but want to address one thing you said…

    Westeros isn’t geared towards the kind of critical analysis of the books I gather you are talking about…it is largely a collection of fans who have accepted the books for what they are, and are in it for the long haul…

    Some people here are hilarious.
    You will not find more informed, in-depth criticism of Martin’s choices concerning characters, plots, or culture anywhere than you find on westeros.org’s Forum of Ice and Fire. All significant theories about the story originated there. All severe criticism of – at times – questionable worldbuilding or (pseudo)historical appropriation were first presented there. As were issues from feminist and post-colonial literary criticism to problems with the novels’ chronology and certain failed plot elements pertaining to the split of AFFC and ADWD. If something critical has been written about ASOIAF, it most probably was written first on that forum.
    Now go back to your fantasy world…

  137. barak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12:
    I absolutely love the wealth of information that Elio provides on his site, but yes, the episode reviews are tough to read.I mentioned it in the recap thread, but he comes across as bitter that the show even exists, or that he isn’t one of the showrunners.

    Bingo. I have a feeling that if he and Linda, or their site would be involved in even a marginal way, their tune would be different.

  138. thisone
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Oh, get over your whining about Westeros.org, people. If you don’t like their reviews, don’t read them. It’s very easy. Unless you have to scroll through the same 100 cranky comments in this thread every week.

    (FWIW, I sporadically read the Westeros.org reviews because I enjoy the opinions and insights of a guy who’s clearly thought a lot about this series. I don’t have to agree to get something out of it.)

    What really baffles me is that some people have actually created blogs and Tumbl accounts for the sole purpose of picking on Linda. She must either have hurt their feelings beyond repair, or they belong to a an exceptionally pathetic breed of internet trolls who are in dire need of a more constructive hobby.

  139. Shady_Grady
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I was impressed with the episode. It gave me the same emotions I had when reading it. Other people who hadn’t read the books have taken a more Stark-centric view and are very upset that the Starks are seemingly out of it. They think that the political struggle is the only story element worth thinking about.

  140. barak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    “Look at me. Now look at Jorah, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he was twenty years younger, he might smell like me. Look down, now back up, where are you? In a tent with a victory. Here’s a flag to that city you love. Look again, now it’s a THRONE.”

    From Hey, Don’t Judge Me. :D

  141. caoimay
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    thanks!

  142. Jake Umber
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Sorry to be off topic, but I really, really think that this past episode is going to boost Game of Thrones going forward tremendously. The amount of hype, media coverage, and overall exposure the show received because of it is incredible. I personally know at least 10 people that have become interested in the show because of all the outrage. Can’t wait to see what happens. Hopefully a boosted CGI budget at least :)

  143. wycoff
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    For some people, the term book “purist” isn’t strong enough- maybe they should be called “book funadamentalists” or “book zealots” instead. They’ll never be happpy with the show, and they only watch it / comment about it in order to gripe about it and anger those who do enjoy the show.

    I don’t understand the mentality. I enjoy the show and the books. The books are generally better, but the show is outstanding and, in some ways, improves on the books.

  144. icekhione
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    This episode was way too overhyped, everyone’s acting seemed off and the red wedding was disappointing, it didn’t do the book justice. Am not a book purist but even on their own those scenes weren’t as moving and dramatic as I thought they could and should be. Seems like the viewers’ reactions are more about the shock value than the acting/writing and direction of those scenes.

  145. Blaat
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Black Walder (you also see him sulking, refusing to drink beside the Blackfish and he’s the one who closes the doors) slit Cat’s throat and Lame Lothar killed Talisa (you see him conversing with Talisa about the band’s price and limping before he goes Amory Lorch on her belly).

    So who takes Merret’s role of the two?

  146. Roger König
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I dont like the summaries of Elio Garcia. All I read is:

    “Meh. GRRM’s work is better.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of GRRM myself and I LOVE the books, but its not possible to convince someone like EG.

    Oops, i should have read some of the other comments, before i commented. Didnt know, that i wasnt the only one feeling like that.

  147. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Roger König:
    I dont like the summaries of Elio Garcia. All I read is:

    “Meh. GRRM’s work is better.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of GRRM myself and I LOVE the books, but its not possible to convince someone like EG.

    GRRM can do no wrong. It is known.

  148. Turri
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,
    He looks reeaaally uncomfortable in front of a camera, like somebody is gonna stab him every second. Mayhaps he should write twitter recaps instead, heh.

  149. Huck
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    MyBFFTheHound:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DggW-BRrqXE&feature=g-subs-u

    These guys are really, really good.

    Seconded. The best video/podcast review out there on GoT, in my opinion.

  150. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    People are actively tweeting spoilers to Alan Sepinwall. Any idea why they are targeting him? Why are some book readers being so smug?

  151. Christicle
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The thing that irks me about Elio and Linda is that they clearly don’t like the show but they are riding its coat tails as hard as they can for traffic to their site. Elio comes off with restrained contempt for the show and Linda is downright hateful towards it on her personal Tumblr. Yet, they continue to write their reviews, continue to do the throne cast and other appearances, and and continue to whore out Westeros with like 6 tweets every time an episode airs. It just rubs me as opportunistic in the least genuine way.

    That said, I often find the reviews funny in their absurdity. You get gems like “The scene with Joffrey and Tywin was actually quite good, but I personally would not have had Tywin grin as he walked away.” (Paraphrasing)

  152. Maxwell James
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Seriously?? WTF. Far from being fans, these people are downright enemies of the show.

  153. Delta1212
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    It’s probably because he finally turned comments off on his reviews because of spoilers and some people are either upset or see it as an opportunity to be a “hilarious” asshole.

  154. Turncloak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    I think they may have some Vendetta against Sepinwall because they are not posting spoilers on other comment boards or orher peoples twitter feeds. Ridiculous .

  155. Mark
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Blaat:
    Mark,

    Black Walder (you also see him sulking, refusing to drink beside the Blackfish and he’s the one who closes the doors) slit Cat’s throat and Lame Lothar killed Talisa (you see him conversing with Talisa about the band’s price and limping before he goes Amory Lorch on her belly).

    So who takes Merret’s role of the two?

    I don’t know that either of them do. The way I figure, you need at least four Freys, though possibly three. One to serve Merrett’s role, one to serve Rhaegar/Jared/Symond (I think this will be at least two, it’ll just be more one that does the talking), one to serve Hosteen/Aenys role and one to serve Emmon/Ryman. The only one I’m not sure about is the last one, since the Blackfish’s presence at the RW might suggest they won’t do the Second Siege or Riverrun. That would be cutting a lot of Jaime’s story though.

    My guess is Lothar=Emmon/Ryman
    Black Walder=Hosteen/Aenys

    Those are the two most prominent roles for Frey offspring, since at least one of them survives through ADwD. With Merrett and Rhaegar/Symond/Jared they all die pretty quickly.

    Neither Lothar or Black Walder actually appear after ASoS so they could really fill any role, though my guess is they’ll need Black Walder to survive, since he’s more frequently mentioned and he’s higher up in the inheritance order, so he’s more likely to figure in the story later.

  156. The Pain Yak
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    People are actively tweeting spoilers to Alan Sepinwall. Any idea why they are targeting him? Why are some book readers being so smug?

    The GIFT that keeps on giving.

  157. Monstadon
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    What the flick was awesome! So glad they brought back Cenk and the girl (forget her name)…. it was hilarious watching Cenk fantasize about someone killing Joffrey and yelling “The Starks send their regards!!”

    Haven’t seen an upload by animerealtalktv yet. Would love to hear their “wtfs” and their signature detailed play-by-plays of every scene/significant moment… but they’re probably just traumatized and trying to recover lol.


    As for Larry Williams… well I had to go and see for myself on his channel once I saw the posts here saying he quit.. and all I have to say is THANK GOD.

    The fact that this kid was whining that his other videos for other shows were being, quote “shafted”, implying unfairness in the lack of views for uploads on other random shows… well I’d imagine it made a lot of GoT viewers just roll their eyes. Puh-lease. That strange connection he made in his head between the two make no sense at all.

    And it seems pretty ungrateful towards a community that promoted him, and a show whose producers sent him autographed posters that are probably worth a decent amount of cash for a college student.

    The kid won’t be missed.

    /rant

    “THE STARKS SEND THEIR REGARDS! RAAHHHH!!”

  158. Susan
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  159. Jordan Yerman
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    The truly big moment in S03E09 is the formal establishment of “Hodor” as a verb.
    I mean, we all knew, but still.

  160. Chickenduck
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Christicle:
    The thing that irks me about Elio and Linda is that they clearly don’t like the show but they are riding its coat tails as hard as they can for traffic to their site. Elio comes off with restrained contempt for the show and Linda is downright hateful towards it on her personal Tumblr. Yet, they continue to writetheir reviews, continue to do the throne cast and other appearances, and and continue to whore out Westeros with like 6 tweets every time an episode airs. It just rubs me as opportunistic in the least genuine way.

    That said, I often find the reviews funny in their absurdity. You get gems like “The scene with Joffrey and Tywin was actually quite good, but I personally would not have had Tywin grin as he walked away.” (Paraphrasing)

    They can hold whatever opinions they want, but their attitude that “this is all sh*t and anyone who likes it is a retard” gets a bit much, and honestly sometimes is downright insulting to read. So I just don’t read their reviews.

    I’m not sure why their reviews are linked here (well, I understand why in theory, but…) the others are all professional journalists, whereas Elio and Linda are just amateur fans who happened to live the dream, make friends with their hero and get profile in the fan community… But still at the end of the day they are just amateur fans, and they write like amateur fans. I have no idea why they even watch the show.

  161. oracle86
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Pajiba.com’s episode review is also pretty dam good – http://www.pajiba.com/tv_reviews/game-of-thrones-the-rains-of-castamere-there-is-nothing-fair-in-this-world-there-is-nothing-safe-in-this-world.php

    At last, we find ourselves at The Twins, home of the despicable and slighted Freys. There is almost no way to describe this scene other than to say that it was brilliant and devastating and tragic. It was one of the most perfectly executed scenes I’ve seen, and that’s in large part due to the buildup. To be sure, we’ve been building up to this point for weeks now, and even had a minor red herring in the form of poor Lady — no, Queen Talisa. And in that dank, grim, cave of a castle, you knew something was going wrong, just as everything seemed to be going right. The bitter and unpleasant Walder Frey (so spectacularly portrayed by David Bradley) as he subtly castigated Robb and company, his nastily flippant listing of his own kin, and his disgusting treatment of Talisa — all of this was yet another misdirect. Perhaps, we thought, he just had to get his final barbs in before the two houses join. Yet at the unveiling of his surprisingly lovely daughter Rosalyn and his hateful and knowing nod at Robb — that was when a true sense of dread set in, even for one who knew what was to come. In the thick of it, the disturbing and haughtily smarmy creepiness of Roose Bolton as he simply waits and watches like a snake. And when after all the joyous festivities are done, and Robb and Talisa have their tender moment about the child as a hopeful Catelyn looks on…

    … the Red Wedding begins in earnest. And it was everything that the books promised. A betrayal would have been one thing. A betrayal would have been stunning, but not unprecedented. Yet this, this savagery, this butchery, was on an immeasurable scale. An entire army slaughtered in moments, a pregnant queen stabbed to death, a king brought to his knees and then so nonchalantly murdered by a man once thought an ally. All of this, because of a single slight over a spurned daughter. It was cruel and brutal and awful and most of all, it was amazing. It was one of the most stomach-churning, heart-rending scenes you may well ever see on television, and all the more so because everything that built up to it was crafted as meticulously and as lushly and vividly as the moment itself. And that final minute — as a desolate, broken, desperate Catelyn still tried to save her family only to see her son, her child, her king killed in front of her — that final moment was equally perfect. Praises are due to Michelle Fairley for the thankless task of portraying Catelyn Stark, who was often a source of frustration for so many viewers. In the end, as she howled in fury and despair, as she butchered an innocent young woman because she simply had nothing left inside of her, as her own throat was slit and as that arterial spray was the last thing we saw or heard, she showed us how truly great that character was.

    Like the death of Ned Stark, I knew. I knew it was coming, and I knew it was coming tonight. And like the death of Ned Stark, I still wasn’t ready. “The Rains Of Castamere” likely shocked many a viewer. Everyone knew something was coming. Everyone was probably even expecting a major character to die. But no one could have expected such wholesale slaughter. Such is the world of “Game of Thrones,” my friends, You thought you knew. But now, as the Starks are broken and butchered and scattered to the winds, you realize — more than ever before — that you were wrong.

    And this article by Tasha Robinson on GRRM and the RW is excellent –
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/why-game-of-thrones-red-wedding-packs-such-an-emot,98566/

    I have a long-brewing theory that Martin is the world’s most cynical romantic. I’ve never yet read a Martin novel or story that ended in utter despair for any character who hadn’t thoroughly earned it—and I’ve read him extensively, from his 1977 debut novel, Dying Of The Light, to his many short-story collections and the entire Song Of Ice And Fire series. His work has always embraced bleakness, loneliness, and hardship, with tough-minded people muddling through traumas that perpetually threaten to break them. His protagonists rarely get exactly what they want; often, they can consider themselves lucky if they become wise enough to realize they wanted the wrong thing. His characters often make hard, ugly choices to survive, but those choices make them stronger and fiercer, and more capable of protecting themselves from the hatefulness of the predatory worlds they live in.

    Martin’s cynical side can be overpowering: Characters who start his stories with naïve faith in honor, loyalty, or love—especially their own one-sided, demanding love, as opposed to a mutual bond—are commonly punished for their beliefs. But his romantic side holds just as steady, with the most steadfast and worthy characters prevailing. As I put it in that Gateways, “For a man whose writing is so often ruthless and uncompromising, he has a hell of a sentimental streak when it comes to questions of injustice, honor, nobility, personal dignity against long odds, and wrongs that need to be righted at any cost.”

    I’ve said this over and over when writing about Martin’s work. What he does better than any author I’ve ever encountered—what defines his writing for me—is his masterful skill at exploiting the tension between the desire for justice and the availability of that justice. But that doesn’t mean there is no justice, just that it’s always hard-won and thoroughly earned. Robb and Catelyn’s grotesque ends complicate the search for justice considerably, and move it far into the future. But it doesn’t make the quest impossible. It just means it’ll be that much sweeter and that much more satisfying when it finally arrives.

  162. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    If your a fan of the ASOIAF novels Westeros is a great site. Just don’t go looking for much love for the tv show there. They have the right to be critical as they want about the show, but in no way are they reviewing the show as an individual entity from the books. It’s purely a comparison review, not a tv review. Just compare it to any of the reader reviewers and you will see the distinction.

    I’m sorry that they can’t enjoy the show but that is their prerogative whether its collected from their own critical observations or their want of fidelity to book canon. And to be honest despite Linda’s tumblr comments last season and her deprecating tweet of “Valar Morghulis” they haven’t outright spoken against the series from other pulpits. But I do have the sense that they feel they could do it better. The bitter part of me wishes to see what they would do with the production. But then again I believe they famously said that they would rather have the show be loyal to the books and cancelled after one season. So you know then and there before the first season aired they were raising the bar maybe TOO high. But to each their own. I admire them for their honesty.

  163. Planetary
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    One thing to keep in mind is that millions of people, like me, were first exposed to ASOIAF via Game of Thrones and went on to read the books after watching season one. Whether book purists like it or not, the simple truth is that the TV show and HBO have enormous reach, much more than the novels will ever have.

    Regardless, this idea that we’re supposed to genuflect to so-called “book readers” is absurd. I was very intentionally spoiled on the RW by malicious book readers who are grown men and women, yet find it funny or satisfying to ruin the narrative for others, simply for the crime of being late to the party. Aside from being a #@$% move, it shows enormous disrespect for the narrative and for people who deserve to experience the plot twists and revelations the way the author intended.

    In regard to Elio Garcia, I think it’s pretty clear to even casual observers that the guy has a chip on his shoulder and is on an enormous power trip in his little corner of the internet. All you have to do is look at the way he responds to some of the loathed “TV watchers” who happen to have the “wrong” opinion about a character or dare say they enjoyed how Benioff & Weiss deviated from the source material.

    And finally, let’s not sit here and pretend George R.R. Martin is Iain Banks or David Mitchell, or that getting through his horribly-paced books is some sort of intellectual accomplishment. The man is fantastic with characterization and dialogue, and he knows how to draw an extremely effective character arc so that readers can come to love characters they’ve previously loathed. The TV show wouldn’t exist if Martin didn’t have those enormous talents. But the books are also deeply flawed, and it’s clear to any impartial observer that Martin lost interest after the third volume.

    tl;dr version: “Book readers” should chill out and let people enjoy the TV show for what it is, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll find they can even enjoy the show themselves.

  1. [...] Via WinterIsComing.net by Ours is the Fury: The Recap round-up: “The Rains of Castamere” [...]


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