Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:17 PM
Fucking amazing episode. Easily my favorite so far, perhaps because all of the plotlines are picking up speed as we barrel towards the season's climax and the war.
The writing was superb. This is exactly how I wanted it adapted -- a lot of the best bits made it from the book to the screen, especially juicy chunks of dialogue. We expected no less, of course, this being George's season one episode, but I was very impressed with the pacing, the scene transitions, everything. I'm sure he had assistance -- he's been out of the screenwriting biz for decades -- but despite who polished it, you can see George in there very clearly. Moreso than the other episodes, despite the fact that every episode has a lot of George in it, considering it's adapted from his work.
The Tyrion/Bronn scenes were great, and the introduction of the mountain clans. Shagga was wonderful and I like how they introduced Timmett and Chella. That scene in Tywin's tent was very satisfying; pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. The scene where Barristan is "decloaked" hit me in all the right spots, too -- Littlefinger's "naked knight" quip endeared me, perhaps for the first time, to the actor's portrayal of Petyr. The Syrio fight, the Greatjon's introduction, Jon dispatching Othor, the mention of the Late Lord Frey. Some bits were left out or changed around, but as with most of the other abridgments, it's done with good reason and with good results. We got a lot of Robb, and I thought his acting was great; the "Call the banners" line was an adrenaline surge. Peter Dinklage and Maisie Williams continue to steal the show. Drogo was a complete bad ass, and the chest wound/Mirri Maz Duur plotline all lined up (perhaps not exactly as it was in the books, but it hit all the requisite points).
My personal favorite line of the episode (and one of my favorite exchanges from the first book): "Who do you truly serve, Varys?" "The realm. Someone must."