Mon
Apr 2 2012 11:00am

Game of Thrones, Season 2, Ep. 1: “The North Remembers”

My how those direwolves have grown.

I won’t say it’s good to be the king, but it’s good to be watching a new episode of Game of Thrones. The premiere episode did a fantastic job of taking stock of the large cast of characters and introducing a few new ones. Some people are much as we left them (which in Joffrey’s case is a sadistic little jerk) and some find themselves in precarious new positions (Tyrion) but this episode seemed to belong to Robb Stark and it’s his actions that will set in motion the events to come.

Be warned: episode and book spoilers ahead.

Did you miss Joffrey? Yeah, I didn’t think so. 

Were you expecting Ser Dontos’ armor to look so... patriotic? Me neither. I don’t know who the actor is, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for him. He seemed more of a drunk in the books, here he just seemed unlucky. Or very lucky, I suppose, since he could’ve been executed. Poor Sansa. I know it’s easy to call her stupid and even a traitor for her unwitting hand in her father’s imprisonment and subsequent execution, but you’ve got to feel sympathy for her. It takes a quiet strength to suffer Joffrey’s torment.

Tyrion has the least enviable job in the Seven Kingdoms as Joffrey’s Hand. I missed Peter Dinklage’s Emmy-winning portrayal of the most clever Lannister. His first appearance at the Small Council was hilarious. I can’t wait to see him and his sister Cersei butt heads. He at least has some empathy. That twinge of sadness in his voice when he told Cersei how it wasn’t easy being “the disappointing one” was just so perfectly delivered.

I can’t entirely hate Cersei in this episode. She slapped Joffery. I hope that becomes a thing each season. When Cersei had her little run-in with Littlefinger, it was different from the events of the books, but that’s what I love about the show. Mostly these new scenes work. “Power is power,” she said and in that moment I thought, “Now here’s the Sarah Connor I knew and loved.” But I wouldn’t be so smug if I were here. She can barely control her son and controlling Tyrion is impossible. But at least she has those cheekbones.

Another moment that played differently in the show was the culling of Robert’s bastards. First: Ros is the madam of Littlefinger’s brothel now? Good on her. Not bad for a Northern whore. Second: it’s one thing to read about the culling of Robert Baratheon’s bastards, but it’s quite another to see babies snatched from their mothers’ arms. Wow. That’s an extreme way to tie up loose ends.

Most of the new characters we met were at Dragonstone. Stannis was very much as I pictured him. Severe, unyielding, definitely not likable at first glance. (He doesn’t ever become likable.) He has no time for niceties. By the way he composes letters, you can at least say that he’s direct. Silly Stannis, you don’t win the game of thrones by being direct. We got the barest glimpse of his wife, but his daughter and her jester Patchface seem to have been left on the cutting room floor. At least for this episode.

One wonders if Stannis and his red priestess Melisandre will be moving on to face Renly straight away. It’s what Catelyn’s off to do next, as per King Robb’s orders. In an episode titled “The North Remembers,” Robb seemed to get the most scenes. Like more than one. I loved, loved loved his Good Cop/Bad Cop routine with the captive Jamie. I admit, I didn’t really catch much of what Jamie said in that scene, possibly because some of the people I was watching with were more distracted by the notion of a handcuffed Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. But, much like the Kingslayer, seeing the fully grown Grey Wind made us quiet down. Wow, that wolf got humongous. 

I also didn’t notice Ghost with Jon Snow beyond the Wall. I was too busy being grossed out by Craster and his daughter-wives. Just typing that made me feel a bit queasy. Craster is about as unpleasant as I imagined and he really hates pretty boys like Jon Snow. Sorry, but I’m siding with Jon on this one and saying it’s totally cool to judge Craster as a disgusting human being who’s clearly killing his sons in a pact to keep his... keep.

Across the Narrow Sea, in a very brief scene, Dany and the ragged remnants of her khalasar wandered the desert looking for shelter. She sent her most foppish bloodrider off to find a nearby city. Dany doesn’t really get much to do in A Clash of Kings, so I hope they don’t have too many episodes of her wandering in a row. But this is Game of Thrones, not The Walking Dead.

Bran has the boring job of keeping Winterfell afloat. Rickon is... not in this episode. Maybe he just never left the crypt.

Lastly, we finally got a peek at Arya, heading north along the Kingsroad with Gendry, Robert’s sole remaining bastard. I was impatient to see my favorite character again, but with so much to set up in this episode, I get why they couldn’t spend time with her.

All in all, a tight start, great for easing viewers back into the world, refreshing our memories, and hinting at where things will go next. (Like Cat meeting Renly.) I loved how the red comet tied all of the locations together.

Was Melisandre as sultry as you might have imagined? Will Robb keep Jamie tied up for another few episodes? Was Davos as you imagined him? Please sound off with your thoughts in the comments below

 

Game of Thrones airs 9pm E/PT on HBO.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com. She covers True Blood, Game of Thrones, and is also an avid gamer. Follower her on Twitter @tdelucci

47 comments
David Thomson
1. ZetaStriker
I wonder if Ros is taking up the roles of both Chataya and Alayaya for the HBO series, given where they've placed her.
Theresa DeLucci
2. theresa_delucci
That makes sense. People already know and like Ros. May as well keep her around for familiarity's sake.

Speaking of prostitutes: Shae's scene with Tyrion was fantastic. I like this Shae. She's different from the books in a good way, more cunning.
Lsana
3. Lsana
I'll admit that I was rather disappointed by Tyrion's introduction to the Small Council here. It would have been a great scene if I had been coming to it cold, but the way it was written in the book was perfect, from Cersei's initial "You!" to the whole "I gave him a royal command--" "--and he ignored you. He has a large army, and he can do that" to Cersei's slaps and Tyrion's taunting responses. I was annoyed at them for changing that, especially since I can't see any reason they had to.

All in all, I think that sums up my response to this episode: a bunch of scenes that were really very good, but all just slightly inferior to the way they were in the book.
Ian B
4. Greyfalconway
heading north along the Kingsroad with Gendry, Robert’s sole remaining bastard.
I thought he had at least two left, a girl in the vale and a boy at storms end? Or do you mean presented in the show? Thanks for the great review =]
Lsana
5. cheem
The cull only extends to King's Landing.
Herb Schaltegger
6. LameLefty
Edric Storm is still alive in Storm's End, and Mya Stone is still leading the mules up to the Eyrie in the Vale. So Gendry's not the last.

Otherwise, great recap of the episode.
Theresa DeLucci
7. theresa_delucci
I did mean the ones presented in the show, sorry to not clarify. Will we see Edric? I wonder.

@3 I wonder if they were more short on time establishing everyone. I wouldn't be surprised if we get something more along the lines you're thinking of next week. Maybe they wanted to let him gloat a bit. I can't picture anyone slapping Dinklage, but you're right that it would be extremely dramatic.

That scene between Joffrey and Cersei wasn't in the books, was it? What I love about the show is that we aren't limited to certain POV characters. We get to see where everyone's at.
Lsana
8. Boscogn
I have to say the addition of the Littlefinger & Cersei was very awkward and really off track. Why would Littlefinger do the samething that just got Ed Stark's head chopped off by confronting her about the whole Jamie deal.
Pritpaul Bains
9. Kickpuncher
@7 No, I don't believe the Joffrey/Cersei scene was in the books but I thought it was a fantastic touch. Entirely in-line with Joffrey's character and I wondered why that dynamic never became more prominent in the book.

I never grew to "like" Stannis in the books, but I certainly grew to respect him. There's something to be said for his simple "right and wrong" approach in Westeros - I think it's a trait that puts him closer to Ned than any other character, save Robb. Certainly the closest of those vying for King's Landing.

Liked Davos. Though they didn't show his fingers this episode. Or maybe I didn't notice. I don't think they did. I had pictured him initially as being more haggard, gaunt, somewhat more world-weary than he was in the epi though.
Richard Fife
10. R.Fife
Surprised no one has talked about Melisandre yet. The group I watched with as well as a few tweeps have all agreed there was something off about her, and not just the lack of red contacts. Her way-leaped-forward burning of the 7 ceremony just felt forced. I guess they were trying to give her a bit of a pagan/aloof/mystical thing, but it just came off as bored and flat. It also really clashes with my head-image of Melisandre as being a rabid fanatical, more of a crazy Evangelical tent-preacher than a polite and aloof Southern Baptist.

BUT, I am still giving this Melisandre a benefit of the doubt, because I think she pulled it off perfect with the poisoned wine. I loved how they changed to order to the meister drinking first, showing signs of the poison, and then Melisandre just staring at him and chugging the wine.
Lsana
11. Hammerlock
@10 : I think they were fairly pitch perfect in the presentation of the 7 burning--that of a hollow, forced ceremony to prop up Stannis as the Red God's chosen. Of course, just because some firey tart throws a sword at you is no reason to assume you can wield supreme regal power.

Mel's actress seems to go towards understating the character as opposed to the firebrand evangelical approach, which will probably translate better to the screen--she can be just as fanatical, but by implication and not reducing herself to a caricature.
Richard Fife
12. R.Fife
@11 If I didn't feel so certain that Mel (at least in the books) had very much in fact downed all of her own Kool-Aid, I could see that, but we get several things, including a PoV from Mel herself, in later books that says she very much honestly believes all those Red Prophecies that are actually talking about Dany (whom she doesn't know exists) are instead pointing to Stanis. She is blindly sure that he is Azor Azzai reborn (or whatever the Jesus figure was named).

So, yeah, I just wanted a bit more wide-eyed fervor, not a "I'm just doing this for politics" motivation. Just my read on the character, I suppose.
Pritpaul Bains
13. Kickpuncher
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT

@12 Given the uneasy (at least, uneasy on Jon's part) relationship that develops between Melisandre and Jon in the later books, as well as her actions with Mance, I would hesitate to say that she is blindly certain of Stannis's destiny. Her later actions/mindset blur cast doubt on her faith in Stannis and almost reveal him as moreso her tool than anything, IMO. She definitely has a plan to orchestrate which is why I'm okay with how she's come across so far.
Lsana
14. Hammerlock
Oh, I agree. Just because the ceremony was forced and hollow doesn't mean she sees it as such. She definitely could have amped up the performance there some, and been afforded the space to do so.

That said, since she has two scenes in this episode it probably would have left viewers with a really whiplash reaction to her--one scene being fire and brimstone (literally) and the next a muted encounter at the table.

So I'm chalking it up to a modification to fit the medium--perhaps not for the better overall, but certainly better for the constrained presentation. I mean, if they tried to compress Mel as written into the series she'd be reduced to a wild-eyed female Beavis chanting "fire! fire!"

Much like GRRM's magic system, I think they're taking the smart move by starting her relatively muted and giving her room to play out. I wouldn't be surprised if this move wasn't advanced by George himself--she was kinda one-dimentional in Clash, but really got better in later books.
Lsana
15. liontime
The scene with Littlefinger and Cersei just doesn't play. In the books Littlefinger is just way too smart for that sort of thing. So that scene really undercuts him and makes not believable. Not good considering what he does in the future.
Pritpaul Bains
16. Kickpuncher
Agree with the critique of the Littlefinger/Cersei scene. Lord Baelish is too clever by half to let his temper get the better of him. He's more the type to file away slights and exact revenge at an opportune time, a la Tyrion. Odd choice.
Lsana
17. esmereldes
I thought Mel here was great. I never got the impression from the books she was a wide-eyed fanatic: she seemed too cool of a customer for that. She may be sincere about her belief that Stannis is chosen, but I didn't get the impression she was blindly sincere. I always thought there was a touch of the con man about her.
I also liked all of the added scenes, with the exception of the one with Dany and her horse. I don't think that happened in the books (er, did it??) . But I only care because I liked her horse. I suppose for the viewing public tho a horse is a horse and it does spell out just how dire the circumstances are for her...
Possibly I agree the Littlefinger scene was out of character, but it was fun, so I forgive it.
Lsana
18. Annie Lucci
Great review! Makes me that much more excited for next weeks episode. The hour passes much too quickly... especially since they cut 10 minutes from the hour (it started at 9:05 and ended at (9:55). My favorite scene was the full grown Wolf. Visually, it was awesome. I was not disappointed and happy Season 2 fineally arrived!
Tricia Irish
19. Tektonica
So nice to have Westeros back on TV!

I loved the look on Cersei's face after she slapped Joff, and he said it was punishable by death, and to never do it again. She looked horrified at what she hath wroth. Indeed. He is out of her control! Good luck Tyrion!

The destruction of Robert's bastards was very hard to watch.

All in all...the jumping around was a bit off putting to me....so many story lines now! I had to pause the TV and explain Stannis and Melissandre to my husband (who obviously hasn't read the books, but still likes the show.) And, I must say, Stannis and Mel really are my least favorite parts of GoT. He's so dreadfully dull. Absolutley no charisma. (As he was in the books too.)

It will be interesting to see how they compress the material. If I remember correctly, some of these plots were in different books? Maybe we'll pick up some hints of resolutions to come?
Lsana
20. The SmilingKnight
Well, ...

This first episode turned out to be better than i expected. It seems that having very bad expectations tends to increase positivity input/output in most cases.

But i also think that the changes from the book are done in much smoother manner, at least in this episode, then they were is first season. As much as transitions between different regions and principal characters are.

Even Littlefinger clash with Cersei seemed alright to me, since we are not really seeing the real Petyr Baelish in the tv show - since season one. You can kind of believe that "this guy" would be so revealing and it was a nice trick Cersei performed. That little minueto she made her guard do to show Baleish she can make them not only kill him but dance while doing it. :)

Of course if real Baelish actually spoke even a hint of this he would be killed outright, not just threatened, as a traitor and conspirator of traitors.

Lena Headey looks even more beautiful as Cersei this season... doesnt she?

Sophie Turner did amazingly well too in her little opening. She seems to be ramping up the ante quite a bit now. :)
Very happy about that. This "newer role" fits her even better than inexperienced naive Sansa from the start of the story.
A man could maybe drown in those striking blue eyes, when she does things deeper like that, couldn't he? :)


I just like seeing a good actress channeling from the deep so brightly, like she can, instead of giving the superficial "look" and acting on surface and outlook of things, like that some other actresses in the first season tended to do sometimes.

Although, if you think about it all of them were going through beginnings of each character and fitting into it all...

Thats why i also love seeing scenes with young Isaac Hampstead Wright. He does it in the same way, he has that great sense of depth in him as Bran, from the very start.
He does it so good that i wish i could find other actors and say to them "Hey, you see that? You should do it more often too, y`know? Just sayinn`..."

So him and Nicholai C.W. are my favorite two guys to watch in the show i didnt particularly like, in first season and this new one.
Nicholai does just perfect Jaime so much (despite the differences to the exact book) that i enjoy just watching it. :D
Cant wait for further events in that story line.
Snooty brat became something didnt he? I mean, something it really pays off to give some asswhopin` to some of these young green
upstarts isnt it? That badassnes? Never would have reached these leves if i didnt kick his butt thoroughly when he was at tender age. Yeap... owes it all to me, the snot ... >:)

Love the Wolfie too... ah, finally! :)
"Sick him boy! Ha! bite his face off hehe...! No Wait! Its Jaime, its Jaime...we like him...noo... breeaaak..! - *Snap* " :)
And then vanishes like a ninja wolf. Ah ... great!
After all that torture and f`ing barking with the dogs in the first season.... THIS WAS BLOODY REFRESHING!

(note to producers - Summer? Tends to be a bit more... summery in the color of his fur... like Summer, geti it, get it?)

Also, Theresa, thats not the full grown Direwolf.
Thats a young one. I think they grow to be bigger then their mom was.
:happy Direwolf smile:

Anyway... Hopefully they haven't forgotten Jojen and Meera. I mean someone has to go with someone somewhere and someone else with someone else, somewhere else? You know? If you ...catch my drift? :)



Stannis and Melisandre haven't been as bad as i thought, based on all the short snips of them we have seen before. Though the worst seems to be waiting at the meeting with Renly. That looked really awful in the previews. For all included.
And its not the problem that Carice Van Houten isnt as "babe looking", as such, and she did reasonably well here - but that other scene really looked weak and uninspired for all in it. Especially Stannis.

Liam Cunningham as Davos is great right off the bat isnt he?
Certainly another highlight in all of this. Even if those two fail, he will be holding a candle, inst he? :)
How apt. :D

I really wish they put him to play Stannis, despite the age. I mean Robert and everyone look much older then in the books anyway.



North... no Ghost again... i guess it must be the fur eh? White as snow much?
Well... better that then bloody barking... i swear... IF THEY MAKE that CGI Direwolf bark like a dog this season again i will kick someone ass!

I mean it!

They could have stayed in Croatia and film the North there too, there was record snow fall this winter. Elders say we had something like this in 1956 but, even that was a bit smaller and lasted only three four days - instead of three weaks like this one. And we have enough forests and crual mountain peaks to make a Wildling cry.
:)
(Yup..... oh yes... you got it, hehe....indeed it came)




CGI looked good or excellent as a whole.
In all parts.

Dubrovnik looked great transformed into Kingslanding. You guys probably cannot tell what was all changed and added but there is a heap of deatils added to the Old Town in that panoramic shot. Great stuff.
Cant reveal too much but that peak of land you see striking into sea in the distance in the upper part of the shot as camera moves to the left over the city? Isnt there... thats sea and some low but forested islands and the coast is more to the right.

Also... Bad Shae! :spank, spank:
Dubrovnik doesnt stink at all! Its one of the cleanest and nicest cities! Ah, ok... Kingslanding does stinks...thats true.

I dont think they made the panorama opening shot for Daenerys here though, we dont have anything like that. Must be Turkey or something.
(yeah i know the gates of Quarth, inside of it and the rest was filmed in Dubrovnik and close to it, like.. hello?)

Dinklage is ok... but that accent kinda grates me even more now... i thought he will drop it...
oh fudge it - I would call him by name master Tyrion if i ever met him.
Just... that accent... hmpf...!
Lsana
21. The SmilingKnight
dang it... some spelling errors got through in few words.
cant edit...
Lsana
22. The Sword of the Morning
I was disappointed in the removal of Chataya and Alayaya and the inclusion of Roslin. I cannot find one good reason why. If you read the books, you were obviously able to keep up with the story line. The excuse that it's about familiarity is irrelevant, unless of course one takes into consideration that Hollywood has long explained that certain audiences don't like to see people of color. Hunger Games is a perfect example of that. Very disappointed and tired of the whitewashing.
Theresa DeLucci
23. theresa_delucci
@22 My friend author (and Tor.com contributor) Saladin Ahmed had a great post about race in Game of Thrones on Salon.com yesterday. Everyone should read it.

I don't think my opinion was irrelevant. I'm not an apologist for Hollywood, but I can understand the practical concerns one might voice when faced with casting such a huge number of characters.

But I can see why you'd be upset because I often feel similarly about the way women of any color are portrayed in media.

I have to wonder why Ros became a character to begin with. (Got nothing against the actress. I think she's lovely.) She was just a one-off red-headed whore in the books, who's been given a little story. I've enjoyed all of her scenes, even though they weren't in the books. She should have a spinoff. It should be on Starz though. They really, really like nudity on Starz.
Theresa DeLucci
24. theresa_delucci
@12 I agree with you re: Melisandre. I always pictured her a bit more of a fanatic. Like, she looks like Christina Hendricks but she has the personality of that born-again Christian mom from Donnie Darko. ("I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!") There's a certain mad look in the eyes that's missing.

Maybe they're having her play things mild now so that when we really see her power, it's that much more shocking. I was very cool towards the actress playing Dany at first til about 6 episodes in.

@20 Smiling Knight, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but your comment did indeed make me smile in parts. So, thanks.

@8 The more I think of that Littlefinger scene, the less I like it. Littlefinger would never be so dumb. Just like he wouldn't be so dumb to tell his plans to a couple of prostitutes, like he did in the first season. He's not Al Swearengen. He's more subtle and he doesn't have as much status to begin with.
Lsana
25. AlBrown
I loved this episode. Did an amazing job of juggling a lot of stories. For some reason, I have always liked the character of Davos, and was pleased at seeing who they cast to play him. Like a lot of others, I was surprised at how low key Melisandre was--although that could change over time.
I saw the first series before I read any of the books (I have always been more of an SF than fantasy guy), but this time, I am seeing the show with all of the books under my belt. For myself, I don't mind a little playing with the story here and there. Makes it more interesting, and what works on the page often doesn't work well on screen. There is so much I want to see as the season unfolds!
Lsana
26. build6
Littlefinger v. Cersei is different from Ned v Cersei, because by then EVERYBODY had heard about Cersei + Jaime, so Littlefinger wasn't really saying something new... not to mention that something like this coming from littlefinger doesn't mean as much as if Ned Stark. Even if Stannis had not spread the news far and wide, if Littlefinger had stood up and proclaimed it to the world, what kind of credibility does he have? Whereas Cersei had to absolutely stop Ned because if Ned stood up and said Jofferey was not Robert's son, people would believe him.
Lsana
27. The SmilingKnight
26. build6
youre a funny guy...
Nope, whther anyone would actually believe him is a side issue. The fact that he is one of her closer confidants, servants and allies - who would suddenly threaten her with the very thing she usually kills people for, the very thing her enemies slander against her and her son, and other two children lives... literally.

Its not only that he is close to her and such an act of treason would be somewhat significant on its own, but just him showing he would turn directly against her and even threaten her...

I mean... hello?
The adder in the boossom, ...?



24. theresa_delucci

"@12 I agree with you re: Melisandre. I always pictured her a bit more of a fanatic. Like, she looks like Christina Hendricks but she has the
personality of that born-again Christian mom from Donnie Darko."

Hah, Christina was always my first choice, not only because of the looks as babe factor, but that Melisandre is such a woman and uses that as much her power and scheming, all fueled by her religious-doomsady is coming fanaticsm. Melisandre is definitely not shy about her female charms. Seems they sent a different acolyte on tv here too.


"@20 Smiling Knight, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but
your comment did indeed make me smile in parts. So, thanks."

Why,...my lady, from the Kingswood of course, where me and a merry botherhood of live life of leasuire, far away from dreary boredom.
I do like to make people smile, as many can attest.
Some more than others :)

And im quite known for my own smile asswell.


"@8 The more I think of that Littlefinger scene, the less I like it.
Littlefinger would never be so dumb. - "
I think its just that we got another Baelish on tv... this guy is much more open about his feelings :)


And of course... :
22. The Sword of the Morning
"something prudish"

:rolls eyes:
Lsana
28. build6
@27

having Ned Stark say something like that is a threat, when few people knew what he had to say, and especially not any with the kind of authority Ned has (even his foes know he is an honourable man - in fact, his foes rely on it)

having Littlefinger say something like that isn't - especially when it's already no longer an "earthshattering revelation", since Stannis has said it to everybody

and don't forget, just before Littlefinger shot his mouth off, Cersei was needling him about his own past with Catelyn - something that still hurts him:


when you're angry, you make mistakes/say what you really feel
Lsana
29. Yenvious
I'll have to watch it again, but my first impression was that either the director or the editor was overwhelmed by the scope of the production. Time and again, scenes ended on the wrong beats, and important shots on characters reactions were left out in service to showing off the sets or costumes.

In the first scene, there's should have been a stronger indication of the inner calculation Sansa makes when she offers to save Dontos. Instead, the scene just plays out like a play on stage, with no indication that we should be rooting for Sansa (other than moral sensibilities and last season's well done episodes).

When the wolf is drooling at Jaime, and he closes his eyes, the audience already knew the wolf was gone, and the last shot was far away from Jaime, not even showing if he was relieved or scared or anything.

And the scene with Melissandre and Cressen was flat and boring. They avoided showing off the table, even though they built it, which is a strong metaphor for Stannis's take on the whole thing. And they avoided a close up on Melissandre that could have shown off the necklace glowing and her red eyes, giving us a bit of that fevered confidence she's famous for.

And at the very end, we're shown Gendry getting onto the cart, so we feel bad for him and understand that the goldcloaks are coming for him soon. But what ups the stakes is that Arya is there too. Only then we're shown that they're in a large group on the road... Which one are we supposed to care about again?

What makes this show great (and the books) is that it is character driven. But this first episode is losing our sympathies for those characters in its hurry to show all the important bits of plot and expensive sets. All it takes is a few well placed closeups. Lets hope they settle in for the next one.

Sorry for the rant, I just wonder which it was, an intimidated director, or a heavy-handed producer in the edit bay.
Rob Munnelly
30. RobMRobM
Smiling Knight - don't expect Jojen and Meera this season. Pray that they are included and cast next season. Natalie Teena's a good actress but she can't do everything.

I too disliked the Littlefinger scene. He is far too subtle to taunt Cersei that directly.

Actually, the dumbest book deviation was Theon telling Robb that they should use his father's ships to attack Kings Landing. They are on the wrong side of freakin Westeros. Should have the proper book role - attacking Lannisport as part of a coordinated plan to crush the Lannisters.

They've written a Ros storyline because they like the actress. If they are going to have her, glad that they gave her a substative scene in the babykilling thing. Note that it looks like Shae is going to have a different hiding place than in the book, so Chataya/Alayaya should not necessarily be as important.

I liked the episode in general. Very strong start, even with all the changes from the book. They are getting to the action faster than I expected going in. (Theon visit next week.)
Lsana
31. The SmilingKnight
29. Yenvious

I think the Sansa scene was excellent, precisely because they didnt play it too obviously. All that is needed to know is there.
It was short, but i really hope she continues in same manner.

Jaime is shown to be relieved. In a very appropriate subdued way.
It would have been totally wrong if they played it in any other way.
Its Jaime. cmonn..

Melisandre necklasse and ruby glowing were shown...
Only after Cressen fell down already. I dont perticularly like their take on the two in this part (stannis and mel) but at least in the first episode
they didnt seem so bad as i expected....

I dont get that bit about Arya and Gendry... "Why are we supposed to care for?"
I thought that snippet was well done and generally the connections between the different characters and story lines were done much better then the previous season.


Also, in previous post this line was supposed to go:

"Why,...my lady, from the Kingswood of course, where me and a merry
brotherhood live life of jolly leisure, far away from dreary boredom."

- Its hard typing in these gauntlets... ahem... cough...
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
@29. I had the 100% opposite response. I thought Alan Taylor's direction was masterful. And I loved the Stannis/Mel/Davos introductions.
Lsana
33. The SmilingKnight
30. RobMRobM

Yeah, well, its not like im especially hoping or something, just saying that they should be there - logistically.

whited out spoiler:

Although i had an idea it would be cool if they pulled a surprise twist and let Luwin survive and travel with Bran, he knows some magic, knows some lore,... it would do him well to go for a walk wouldnt it :)
But i doubt they are actually capable for such cool chagnges to the book)

- spoiler end.


"Actually, the dumbest book deviation was Theon telling Robb that they should use his father's ships to attack Kings Landing."

-nah, that was just the usual silly tv effect.
:)

The dumbest thing was that murder of the baby infornt of so many witnesses and people in generally. And Slynt doing it... pff..
You dont do that in plain sight like that, especially not if youre just a guard - city watch type. And no, not even the lowborn and rif-raf thtas been admited into Golden Cloaks would do that so easily.
That was just overblown attempt at frontal gore-violence, which couldnt work with not actually showing the murder explicitly at all.

but, whatever... thats the scope of the show here...

I was wondering would this role actually damage the actress playing Ros... really, it might turn out to be a bad move for the actress.
It probably will if they dont give her an actually role to play.
So yeah, if she must be there at least have her do something more substantial and less obviously out of place completely.

I hear she has more screen time than Daenerys in first two eps... i mean... really...?
Theresa DeLucci
34. theresa_delucci
I can't wait to get to the Iron Islands next week. I don't care what anyone says, the Greyjoy family is super interesting. I actually didn't mind A Feast for Crows as much as other people.
Lsana
35. Black Dread
Glad they went the CGI route with the wolves. The wolf pups and 80 lb dogs from last season weren't going to cut it for long. Technically, actual direwoles weren't all that much bigger than regular grey wolves, just much heavier boned, but it was fun to see that monster.
Ian B
36. Greyfalconway
Man this sucks, episode 2 is available online and I couldn't hold back from watching it, so now I have to wait TWO weeks instead of just until sunday for a new episode lol :( it was awesome though so :) but still, :(
Theresa DeLucci
37. theresa_delucci
@36 That's tempting. If I could get my review done early, before Easter...

I mean, NO. Plus the extra waiting sucks. I watched the first two episodes of Spartacus with an early press screener, then I had to wait a whole month for a new episode.
Lsana
38. sofrina
@29 - And at the very end, we're shown Gendry getting onto the cart, so we feel bad for him and understand that the goldcloaks are coming for him soon. But what ups the stakes is that Arya is there too. Only then we're shown that they're in a large group on the road... Which one are we supposed to care about again?

that was rather well done. the whole episode people are talking about the missing arya and her relative value. then we get to see cersei - and janos slynt's - cruelty in action as they slaughter robert's bastards. where's that boy ned found? on the road with the night's watch, along with the highly-sought arya stark. it was a wonderful way to have arya in the episode without having to give any time to her journey, especially as it's in a boring phase right now. we already know she's masquerading as boy and in the care of yoren.
Theresa DeLucci
39. theresa_delucci
@38 Agreed. I liked the way it was handled. They saved the best for last. After Tyrion, I think Arya's most people's favorite character.

And if she's not, she should be. *shakes fist*
Lsana
40. The SmilingKnight
35. Black Dread " Technically, actual direwoles weren't all that much bigger than regular grey wolves, just much heavier boned, but it was fun to see that monster."

- technically these ones are. :)
This is not earth direwolf. These ones havent been seen below the Wall in... generations (irc). Song of Ice and Fire Dire wolves.


- Watched the second... ill keep off spoilers. Ill just say there is much more to ... discuss. And someone we havent seen for a long time... :)
Lsana
41. AlBrown
Theresa, I agree completely--Tyrion is my favorite, with Arya a close second!
Lsana
42. Yenvious
I watched it again, and on second pass the directing wasn't always the issue. Its a personal thing but I don't like the scenes with Jon and Sansa where they're shot almost entirely from the side or from behind someone else's shoulder. The bit with the direwolf wasn't editing or directing, those were both fine, it was that the music stopped too soon, releasing the tension.

And the last shot works fine, but on a smaller tv screen faces become important, and I would have preferred to see the scene end on the Arya reveal.

Anyway, some missteps in the episode, but all around its excellent and I'm just nitpicking.

Also, Arya is my favorite, cause she's made of awesome. That is all.
Theresa DeLucci
43. theresa_delucci
I broke down and watched the second episode. Arya fans will be pleased.
Lsana
44. The SmilingKnight
I have to say Dolorous Edd had the strongest opening af all characters so far. I was worried there... but...man... that was so Dolorous Edd Tollet.
We got another keeper here! :D

Scene stealer! :lol:

Him and Hot Pie and Lommy really hold this second episode.
Really, they are just great. I was especially surprised how great Hot Pie and Lommy were. Theyre just milking what ever small time they got for all its worth.

:thumbs up: guys
Dawn Boyall
45. deebee
Smilingknight@20

Kings Landing is Dubrovnik? I didn`t recognise it.

I was there in September on holiday, and it was being changed into a middle-ages street scene, all wooden carts and market stalls and a film crew. And I wondered what they were filming...

Guess I feel a bit stupid now!
Lsana
46. The SmilingKnight
45. deebee

Hah, really? You managed to miss it? Youve must have been the only one that didnt know that.

They have added lots of Westeros-Kingslanding details, houses, roofs, buildings, temples, towers and so on, to the panoramic shot of it. Its all CGI. Stuff you had seen was set up just for live filming and acting and smaller scenes.

Hopefully there will be more. And at least one from the sea so a bigger part and Red Keep is visible.

Oh yeah, they will be there for season three, so... you can make up for your miss.
Dawn Boyall
47. deebee
@ The Smiling Knight

I`d love to go back for season 3, Dubrovnik was lovely. Bit changed since I was there in 1975 though...and the repairs/rebuild are so well done.

It didn`t occur to me that it could be A Game of Thrones because all the hunky guys in T shirts shifting the props round were all English.
I didn`t see them actually filming, they were mostly setting up the props and covering up the modern stuff. But the props were very good, they looked genuinely old even close up, they looked like they came from a museum. Old carts full of tools and wooden barrels.

I still can`t believe I might have seen them filming...

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