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King Cheops

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  1. I gave it a 6. Even my non-book reading wife didn't seem too impressed. "Ugh the whole episode is really at the Wall?". Her reaction to Thorne's speech in the courtyard: "Is this really all there's going to be?". She didn't cry like I thought she would when Ygritte died. She was wondering what the fuck was going on with the mammoths and giants: "What's the point of those barrels? Why aren't they shooting? Is that it?" I am not a fan of Stannis, Jon bloody Snow, or any of the Night's Watch stuff. But if there is anything good in the books in regards to that storyline it is these battles. There are 3 important beats in the books and they messed them all up: Ygritte's death, Noye and the Giant, and Stannis's arrival. They cut the last one and the first two had no build ups. They made Ygritte a villain this whole season and thought the Thenns mocking her would make people give a flying hoop about her still loving Jon. They didn't show the giant fighting in the tunnels, didn't build up any of the "these are the last giants left on the planet so this is tragic" (although they did randomly show the king freaking out when the other one died -- wife didn't care), and didn't impress how heroic the sacrifice of the NW men was. Then they focus so much on that cliff hanger with that loser Snow and totally gloss over Grenn's death. This episode was billed as being bigger than Blackwater. Sure maybe it cost more and was more technically challenging but it had no emotion or scale. The fight in the courtyard is a perfect 1 for 1 analog to Jarl Borg's attack on Kattegat -- just a bunch of dudes (and dudettes) skirmishing in a dark ages looking set. But even Vikings seemed to have more extras in that fight than GoT did. Sure the climactic fight between the Vikings and the Saxons only lasted 3 minutes but it featured 2 cavalry charges and well over 300 men and women fighting. If we have to give up the sense of scale for 1 shot of Ghost ripping a guy's throat out and the lamest Giant attack in the history of cinema then I'd take Vikings any day. Worst episode of the season and worst 9th episode of the series.
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