They are taking a lot of liberties, but I still think the episode works overall. Honestly, the only change that worries me is why Jon will kill the Halfhand... they can't change something so fundamental to his character, right? Other Changes: The timing (and therefore reason) of Cat freeing Jaime. In the books, she learns that two of her sons (Bran and Rickon) are "Dead" and in a fit of motherly rage(?), she frees Jaime in order to broker a deal with the imp to free her daughters. In the show, she does it before learning of Bran and Rickon, and does so because she knows Jaime will be killed (Which would spell the deaths her daughters, without a doubt). So, I don't have a problem with it. Both choices were fueled by motherly tendencies, and so the basis is intact. It just makes her a little worse, cause she doesn't have the excuse of grief. Jaime killing his cousin - Don't really have any issue with it, because it will make his redemption that much more important to viewers, which I'm sure is what they were going for. Also, he's been in like, 2 episodes, they needed to give him an extended scene so the audience didn't forget about him. The Dragon storyline continues to change. Again, I have no issue with this. Her story in the book is, imo, kinda uninteresting until the house of the undying, and by then it's almost "what's the point?" Now there is a point! The whole thing with Xaro betraying her to be king, that's weird, but it certainly fits in with the character they've made him into, so consistency. And, as I mentioned, Jon Snow. Captured by Wildlings, somewhat early and without the Halfhand. It looked in the scenes from next week like he might attempt an escape, which would then allow him to get back to the halfhand, and then would lead everything up as it should be. If he stays with the Wildlings, though, then it becomes another issue. It'll be interesting to see where they go with it, but I do hope they don't drastically change his character. Things I liked: The Arya/Tywin scene was spectacular, as always. It does require some suspension of disbelief that Tywin would simply strike up conversations with his serving girl, but once you get past that, it's a wonderful scene, with not a little bit of snark. I will be disappointed when the opportunity for them to be together ends. Theon's scenes - He's really a great actor, though I imagine everyone who haven't read the books are really going to be calling for his blood after this episode. One thing I will say is that it could have been slightly more obvious who the hanging bodies were supposed to be — Both my father and my friend, who haven't read the books, asked me who the hanging, charred bodies were, because he never really says their names. I had to deadpan and say Bran and Rickon without giving up any spoilers. That was REALLY difficult, I'm not the best at poker. Jaime/Cat scene - While for one reason or another, Jaime's first scene didn't do it for me (probably because he's one of my favorite characters and I prefer "Redeemed Jaime," his scene with Cat was perfect. The quips about Brienne were especially funny and I can't wait for them to get more screen time together. Sansa/Shae - I'm well aware how much of a hated character Shae is by many of the book readers, but I thought this scene was pretty damn good. Sansa's horror at having her first "flowering" was a stronger reason than in the books (coming from a male, so please don't kill me if I'm a bit off) And Shae is become more of a 'real' character in my mind, which will make her betrayal in the end so much more important (although also slightly strange, because why protect sansa but betray tyron? This will have to be adressed) Ygritte - Favorite part of the show right now. She's just really outstanding, and while I am worried about what's going on with Jon's story, I can't say that I don't enjoy the extra time she is getting to spend with him. Imo, she's rivaling Peter Dinklage in humor (who strangely didn't get a lot of screen time today) Honestly, nothing stood out to me as something I didn't like. Except maybe Dany's scene with Mormont. I know she's in grieving, but honestly, to me she sounds like a spoiled brat. This probably has to do with me not really liking her character in general. I'd love to hear other opinions on this, because maybe I'm not being fair to her? I have a few worries of where the show will end up, but they're minor. I'm loving the show and I can't wait to see where it goes from here!