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Arya The Assassin

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  1. A bit disappointed, since I was hoping for a bit more in the finale. The episode felt a bit uneven and slightly anticlimactic compared to Blackwater (which was one of the best -- if not the best -- episodes this season). But overall I found the episode to be entertaining, just not as engrossing as I'd hoped for. Good: Arya and Jaqen. I'm glad they had one last scene together, and Jaqen giving Arya the coin is quite significant, so I'm glad they included it. The scene also makes it clear that Arya won't travel to Bravoos immediately, so we'll get to see her 'road show' with The Hound next season (as I'd hoped for). Jaime and Brienne. Very close to how I envisioned the characters in the book. Looking forward to more scenes with these two in season 3. Luwin's 'farewell' scene. Sumpter did a great job as Luwin. A memorable part, despite having only a few scenes in season 2. House of the Undying: The dragon fire was cool, but I wish the dragons were flying around when they put the guy on fire. I don't remember the details from the book, but the sequence was interesting, although not as exciting as it could've been. The whitewalkers. I don't remember how they looked like in the books, but I think the rider and his undead horse looked rather cool. Bad: The scenes with Jon Snow was a bit confusing and didn't have the same impact as in the books. I like Jon as a character, but his plotline this season hasn't been that interesting, unfortunately. Robb's marriage: His choices this season hasn't been entirely convincing. I think the show should've provided better reasons for him to abandon his marriage to the Frey girl. The tone was a bit too low-key, especially for a season finale. The last scene with the whitewalkers did help a bit, but compared to the finale in season one, it didn't have the same impact.
  2. The tag blackwater is trending on Twitter, it looks like GoT viewers on Twitter were amazed by the episode: Realtime results for #Blackwater
  3. Positive review from Rolling Stones: 'Game of Thrones' Recap: Set Fire to the Reign: Redefining TV combat and spectacle, ‘Blackwater’ is the show’s best episode yet
  4. This is the most thrilling and exciting episode so far! Some episodes in season 2 had better (or more memorable) dialogue scenes, but overall I think this episode ranks as the best so far this season. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, because the episode had been hyped up so much, and I wanted to keep my feet on the ground. But I knew that GRRM had written the episode, and I'd seen all of Neil Marshall's action films, so I felt pretty confident that I wouldn't be disappointed, and I wasn't. I did miss Arya, but it's perfectly understandable that she doesn't appear in this episode, since all the action is centered around the Battle of the Blackwater (I realized early on that Arya wouldn't appear, because Maisie's name wasn't mentioned during the opening credits). Good: More Sansa scenes. I particularly liked the scene with Sansa and Sandor. Sansa looked pretty wearing her new dress (which looked much better than her old dress). The wildfire explosion. The explosion exceeded my expectations by far, it was really well done. You could see the ships being ripped apart by the blast. There were some great shots there as well. The entire sequence (including the build-up) was well directed. Lots of carnage. People being cut in half, skulls being sliced off, etc. The battle scenes were well directed and even though they had to work with a limited budget and limited resources, they still managed to add a sense of scale to the shots. It's definitely one of the best (if not the best) battle I've seen in a TV show. They focused not only on the battle, but on Sansa's and the queen's situation as well. It gave the viewer (particularly people who've never read the books) a better understanding of what would happen if they lost the battle. Bad: My only nitpick is that a couple of scenes seemed a bit hurried. For example, when Tyrion and his men attack the enemy at the city gates, the fight is over almost before it begins.
  5. One of the best episodes so far! Looking forward to Blackwater! Good: The first scene with Theon and his sister. Nice dialogue. Arya asks Jaqen to kill Tywin, but it turns out to be too late. This makes more sense than in the book, where she never asks him to kill Tywin (IIRC, she asks him to kill someone else of lesser importance, and she basically wastes her opportunity). A pity I don't get to see more scenes with Arya and Tywin, their scenes have been one of the biggest highlights of the series so far. The scene with Tyrion and Bronn was a bit funny. Tyrion and Cersei. Well acted and written scene. Nice touch to introduce Ros as Tyrion's whore (but perhaps not that surprising). Bad: A was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see the 'weasel soup' (or at least some kind of action), but I didn't really expect it to happen anyway because of the other (positive) changes that had been made. And it also makes more sense to me that they manage to escape in this 'stealthy' manner, given the circumstances.
  6. A dialogue-heavy episode, but the dialogue was for the most part quite interesting. Episode 6 was more exciting though. Good: Maisie's best scene so far with Charles Dance. The interesting thing is that Arya didn't actually meet Tywin like this in the novel, IIRC, but it still works. And it makes sense that she feels tempted to kill Tywin. This scene not only represents an opportunity for the writers to make their own (minor) changes to the screen adaptation, but it also gives Maisie some screentime and an opportunity to show her acting skills. The scene with Tyrion and Cersei. Another scene that I don't remember from the novel, but still fits in with the rest of the story. It was a nice, interesting touch to let Tyrion show a hint of sympathy for her sobbing sister, and see Cersei's reaction (as if she was saying "I'm crying and need some comfort, but not from you"). Bad: The scene with the Kingslayer and the other guy in the pen. This scene dragged on for too long, especially when considering the relative unimportance of the scene (they could have cut to the 'climax' of the scene much earlier, without all the filler dialogue). It's the first time in this season that I feel that a scene is way too long.
  7. The best episode so far, IMO! Good: The sack of Winterfell and Rodrik's 'demise'. Intense stuff and very convincing performance by Isaac, he seemed truly desperate and horrified. The street riots at King's Landing and particularly Sansa's rape scene. In some ways the 'scene' was more impactful in the book (especially the aftermath), but the scene was exciting nonetheless and I really felt pity for Sansa, although Sandor came to her rescue before she was violated. Charles Dance and Maisie, particularly the scene where she tries to hide her identity. It must be great for a young, talented actress to get so much screentime with an experienced actor of Dance's caliber. Jon Snow meets Ygritte. The actress who plays Ygritte was surprisingly good. I really look forward to seeing more of her. And she was also much more attractive than suggested in the books, but I'm not complaining :) Bad: The scenes with Dany seems a bit 'detached'.This is also how I felt when reading the books as well, but on the other hand her story gets a lot more interesting in book 3. Overall, this episode had a nice blend of excitement, action and dialogue scenes. When compared to the best episodes of season one, it's still not quite there, I think, but there are four episodes left, and the Darkwater episode in particular has great potential. EDIT: I rated this episode 9/10, BTW. Why not 10/10? Because a ) a few episodes from season one was slightly better (the first and ninth episodes from season one were excellent) b ) I wouldn't be surprised if some of the last episodes (Blackwater perhaps?) turn out to be even better than this one. EDIT 2: One more thing: I can't recall that the dragons were stolen (in the books), but I don't think it's too dramatic. For all I know, the sequence just serves as a cliffhanger for the next episode, and then the dragons will be brought back.
  8. I think this episode was on par with episode 4. I liked the following scenes: Good: Arya's scenes with Jaqen and Lord Tywin. Solid acting and nice dialogue. Maisie looks as cute as ever. The scene where Dany's baby dragon 'prepares' his food. Excellent job on the dragon. Even better than the one in season one. The assassination of Lord Renly: Exactly (or very close to) how I envisioned the scene after reading the book. I wasn't too excited by Gethin Anthony as Renly either. Bad: Nothing in particular The last two episodes have been relatively well written and well directed, but the sense of excitement and enthusiasm isn't quite there, compared to the best episodes of season one. The series is still going strong though, and based on what I remember from the books, things should get a lot more exciting in the next few episodes.
  9. The best episode so far, alongside with episode 1! Good: The opening title: I never get tired of watching the opening sequence. Opening titles are usually quite boring, but GoT is one of the very few exceptions I know of. It's also the only title I know of that changes dynamically, based on the content of the episode (this time we saw Harrenhal). Some of Tyrion's best lines survived the transition from the book to the screen. Liked his line about 'educating' his nephew and how he threatened Ser Meryn. Robb's battle: This time they faded to black instead of coming up with a silly excuse (Tyrion being accidentally knocked unconscious by his own men just before the battle...) for not showing the battle onscreen. Joffrey's bedroom scene. Nice showcase for Joffrey's sadistic tendencies. Arya and Gendry's scenes. I remember these parts of the book, and the TV series do them justice. Harrenhal was better than I imagined from the book. Very decadent and scary looking. Excellent design. Cat and Baelish: Nice dialogue driven scene where Baelish tries to win Cat's trust. Qarth: Beautiful city. My only small complaint here is that the military escort/city guard seemed a bit small (a bit of cloning would've helped). The end sequence: I wasn't sure if they'd manage to pull this off, because in the book the 'scene' was well written and had some scary, supernatural overtones. But they did an excellent job here, conveying the horror of the scene and adding a bit of eroticism as well. Bad: Why does Margaery wear such silly clothes? I wasn't aware that she was so radical when it came to wardrobes. For some reason it felt like this episode lasted for 90 minutes, and I mean that in a positive sense. Lots of interesting things were happening and the pacing was good. I remember that in the first season, things really started to heat up around episode 5-6. I hope we'll see the same trend in this season as well.
  10. Good acting overall and several good scenes, just like in the previous episodes. I have mixed feelings about Natalie Dormer, though. In terms of performance, she seems to be at least a decent choice (based on the few scenes she appeared in), but her scenes didn't work too well, IMO. In fact, I'd have preferred a bit less nudity, because the focus is shifted away from the performance and the core of the scene. I think a less direct approach would've worked better. This episode was slightly better written than the first two episodes, although it wasn't as exciting as the second one. Good: Brienne! Her size, mannerisms and her looks is spot on. The character seems a bit stiff and dry, but I think that's deliberate, because that's the impression I got from the character in the book as well. It remains to be seen if the actor can manage to bring out some of the edginess and sadness of the character, though. The scene with Bran Stark and Luwin. Well written and good acting from these guys, as usual. Nice subjective shooting. The sequence in which Tyrion outwits Pycelle. Interesting editing work there. The scene with Theon and Balon Greyjoy. Malahide is without doubt (at least IMO), one of the best additions to the cast in season 2. The last sequence. A short, but well-acted scene by Maisie and the leader of the group (don't remember his name). Cool fighting scenes and a nice cliffhanger. Bad: Not too enthusiastic about the love scene with Renly and Loras. The scene with Renly and Margaery wasn't too 'erotic' or sexy either, as mentioned earlier. But to be fair, I find 'love' scenes in general to be rather boring and too direct. Shae's scenes. It's hard to come up with a rational explanation here, but I simply don't like the attitude of the character. Although the acting isn't terrible, it's not particularly good either, IMO. In many ways, I feel Sibel is miscast in her role. I'd rate this episode 7 out of 10. I still think the second episode has been the best so far. But the show was never boring (my interest dropped just a bit in some of the weaker scenes). So far the beginning of season one has been a bit stronger than season two, but I hope this season will improve as the 'expository/introductory' stuff starts to give way to more conflicts and intrigue. Last year, I seem to remember that after a strong beginning, it dropped a little bit, but by mid-season it got better and better again, and they managed to keep up the quality all the way to the last episode.
  11. Wow, I finally managed to access the forum (I tried to post here after the second episode aired, but the site has been offline or inaccessible due to heavy traffic). Anyway, Good: Tyrion's scenes are very good, even better than the ones in the first season. The guy who plays Davos Seaworth (sorry, don't remember his name) has been well cast. The actor is good and his persona (or rather the persona he projects onscreen) reminds me of the character from the book. A nice addition to the series. The scene with Balon and Theon. Casting Patrick Malahide as Balon was an excellent choice. Gleeson gets a lot of credit for his role as the despicable Joffrey (and rightly so), but I also think Alfie Allen deserves credit for his role as Theon Greyjoy, a character that I find highly unsympathetic. I was delighted to see Maisie again :) I liked her brief scene with Jaqen (that actor was spot on) and I look forward to seeing Arya with the Hound and Jaqen later in the season. Kit Harington continues to deliver a consistent and solid performance as Jon Snow. Bad: I don't mind sex scenes per se, but some of them felt a bit 'uninspired'. This is, at least in my opinion, a tough challenge for movies/TV-series in general: Sex scenes are rarely erotic or 'sexy'. Instead the viewers are just waiting for the scene to end so that the plot can make any progress. The writers are trying to do their best to cram several basic plot elements into one episode, and I think they're doing a good job overall. However, the pacing still feels a bit off, and the setting changes a bit to often perhaps. The first episodes in season one faced the same problem (they had to introduce a lot of characters and basic plot elements, exposition, etc.), although I felt that the pacing in those first episodes were handled a bit better. Ros's scene: I really like Ros and the actress who plays her. I don't mind that the writers devote screentime to Ros, but I wish they had written a scene that felt more 'substantial' or important (unless I'm missing something about the scene that makes it more important than it appears to be). This is even more important when pacing and limited running time comes into play. Overall I think this episode was good, although not quite as good as the first one. Nonetheless, I wasn't bored for a second and I think some of the pacing problems will go away after the first episodes. As in the first season, it looks like the second season will need a few episodes before things really start to get exciting (I feel the same way about the books, for that matter, they're slow starters). I think it bodes well that the acting so far (for both new and established characters) in this season has been very solid.
  12. Yes, onscreen/dramatized fighting is often more or less stylized, but for a good reason: A highly 'realistic' fight scene might actually not look that cool, or it might not fit within the alloted screentime for the scene. There are also security concerns, of course. My response towards Valacirca has more to do with his statements about the fight scene being "totally implausible" (there's a big difference between "totally/highly" realistic and "totally" implausible).
  13. You don't need to severely injure a person in order to make that person fall to the ground (or become disoriented). Depending on where you hit a person, only a small(er) amount of force might be necessary (in the TV show, two guards went down because they were hit under the knees from behind). Besides, I've not said that they were severely injured: I said that they went down and were only temporarily taken out. The exception was the guard who was hit in the throat with a wooden sword. This would cause minor, if not major or lethal injuries. And I hardly think the guy who was hit in the head with the longsword (by one of his own men) felt too eager to continue the fight either. If Syrio really wanted to severely injure the guards or kill them, he would have to do more than just make them fall, slow them down and keep them off-balance. But that was not his primary objective: Since he faced multiple foes, he had to constantly be in motion and be prepared for the next attack. He couldn't afford to spend too much time on a single opponent (as he would've done in one-to-one combat). Try this experiment: Wear a helmet and let someone hit you in the head with a bat when you're not prepared (actually, I don't recommend this at all...). What do you think is more likely: That you'll stand upright or that you'll become disoriented, lose your balance and fall to the ground? The helmet will save your life and probably prevent injuries, but you'll still feel the force of the blow. Besides, the guards were not (permanently) disabled. In fact, most of them got up before the fight was finished, and all of them (except the guy who had his throat whacked) was moving around when Syrio faced the commander. I guess we could discuss this until the Wall melts, and I don't mind that we see things differently. However, I do think it's less constructive, so to speak, when people make rather bombastic conclusions and speak their opinions as if they were facts ("totally implausible", "totally unconvincing", etc.)
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