I really liked the episode. It went by really fast, so much so that I was genuinely surprised when it ended. There seems to be a lot of discussion and controversy, rightly so, about the Joffrey and the whores scene. It was certainly disturbing but if you think about it it wasn't really graphic. Most is left up to the imagination of the viewer to fill in the blanks after the cut away. I've kind of been of two minds myself about it as well. One, it did seem overly long. But, it also showed the viewers (again without any blood or gore) what a psychopath Joffrey is. Even though we all knew he was a bit of a sick puppy, but his reaction to the women in his room was completely different from what any of us, and certainly Tyrion (who would not send whores in if he knew what would go down) expected. Maureen Ryan at Huffpost TV broke down the scene brilliantly and explained why it was so disturbing. She says it better than I can: As for Joffrey, we already knew he was a sick sadist, but the scene with the prostitutes gave us yet another reason to store up our own hatred for this murderous brat. "Game of Thrones" has gotten a lot of crap for its "sexposition" and its affinity for boobs, but I'd like to point out that this scene was not exploitative of the female characters in the least. In fact, it did what some other scenes in the show haven't done: It took us inside the experience the women were having, and it made us feel their emotions and reactions. The women weren't mere objects in the scene, they were human beings for whom I felt sympathy and pity. This scene wasn't about sex or nudity (and there was very little of either); this was about Joffrey's despicable need to exercise the very worst kind of power over others, and one can only begin, like other characters in this tale, to pray for the day that his head is separated from his body. What bothers us so much is that these women are not just boobs and a vagina with a head stuck on, they are people. Despite the fact that Ros is somewhat unpopular, she is a character that we know a lot about and even care a bit about (at least when something like this happens to her). We know she used to schtup Theon, she came to KL to make it big as a back-alley-Sally, she was extremely upset about the baby killing. And now what she, and the other girl who we last saw with Pycell, thought was an easy job deflowering a teenager turns into a nightmare. This episode was about the little people in the realm and how all this war, upheaval, and general shittiness is affecting them. Contrast Sansa sweeping out of the throne room with her ladies after being saved by Tyrion with the whores; no one was coming the save them. Even Littlefinger, who was away, would only be upset at the loss of revenue. The big players planned battles, or set in their castles while the peasants were being tortured and murdered at Harrenhal. The scene with Robb and SassyNurse! (standing in for Jeyne Westerling) was heavy handed but she was right. Most of the soldiers in this war aren't valiantly fighting to see their sisters released while seeking vengence for the murder of their father. Some of them are knights but a lot of them are just fishermen, farmers or tradesman who don't have anything to do with the aristocracy and the game of thrones. Its been awhile since I read ACOK but I really remember getting the feeling from the book that war is just bad, it doesn't matter who is fighting it or why, it is just bad. Not to say that there aren't reasons that sometimes we have to fight. Joffrey is a sadistic psychopath who shouldn't be in any position of power. He gets out from under his mother's thumb and him torturing a couple whores is going to be the least of everyone's problems. Oh and Melisandre's shadowbaby was awesome. The whole Renly/Stannis/Davos/Melisandre plotline was great this week. "Is he a ham?"