Wow, I didn't realize they were including legolas in the movies. I guess Thranduil's son makes sense but I imagine he'll have a larger part to play just because he's a recognizable character for non-readers. I really hope these movies are done well because it seems, at least to me, that they are losing the atmosphere of the actual book with all these additions...
Inger Edelfeldt's painting of Gollum is great. My biggest problem with the trilogy was that I couldn't imagine Gollum as ever being something normal, Edelfeldt's painting makes him seem more realistic with a more humanoid face and body. Also, Peter Konig's drawing of Smaug is downright disturbing, haha.
I thought the episode was good but I have to agree with you on the Michonne stuff. She gave me the impression of being one of the most logical people on the show to date and then she just does something irrational and frankly stupid. I just don't understand why, I feel like the writers should have made it more clear. Also, if she really wanted to kill the Governor she could have! Instead of choking him with the handle of your sword, maybe you should stab him, Michonne. That being said, it was necessary for that encounter for the continuation of the storyline. With his daughter being put down, the Governor has now gone full revenge mode and the attack on the prison seems imminent (using Merle as a scapegoat, which was obviously going to happen sooner of later). Merles decision to give up his weapons shows a lot about his character development. Realistically, there's no way he could do anything against the armed guards surrounding him and his best option is to wait it out. If he started fighting he would have been killed. In contrast, I have a hard time believing that the Merle from season 1 (although we only saw a little bit of him) would have given up in that way. I might just be reading to much into it but it seems to me that Merle has a different attitude and that was what the writers were attempting to convey with his actions. The development of Carl is sad, he was the most effected by all of this. Even though he is a full fledged badass now, I can't help but feel sorry for him.
I can't wait for this finale. I love the series and I know Brandon Sanderson is going to end it well.