First, we all know he's going to, but Sam's survival is Absurd with a capital A. Loved the visuals, but the context of it removed me from the show. My inner bullshit alarm trumped my absorption into the story. Never a good thing. Second, I go back and forth with Jon/Qhorin. On one hand they set up Qhorin so well with Jeor saying he spent all of last winter north of the wall alone. Jon says "so it is possible." Jeor: "possible for the Halfhand." Badass! Then you meet him and he looks the part. But that's where they left it. We were only told he was badass, we didn't see it. Doing it the way they did muddled Jon's motivation, which a part of me likes. Did he kill him out of anger? Was he taking him up on the offer to infiltrate Wildling ranks? Or is he genuinely intrigued by Wildling life, Ygritte's speeches and the knowledge he can't go back to the NW getting the better of him? I think the writers are going for irony in that Jon is going to learn a lot from the Wildlings (that he's a warg), these people he's been told to hate. Also, Robb being married in the light of the Seven irked me. Let's face it, the show isn't made for us, despite what someone posted earlier about at least a 30% overlap. If I'm an exec at HBO, I don't see 30% of a reason to make the show more literal, I see 70% of a reason not to. It isn't made for those that have the books memorized and post on forums when they should be studying, working, or paying attention to their children. The show is made for people with no knowledge of the story. No one (at least that I know) read the Red Wedding and got pissed because it was totally spoiled in the House of the Undying. But that's exactly what would have happened if they showed a corpse with a wolfs head, especially after Arya explicitly gave us Robb's nickname maybe three episodes earlier. Ok, not the Red Wedding, but certainly Robb's death. I've even read certain people getting angry because they think D&D are spoiling things in upcoming books with images in the show, and in their next (digital) breath complain that the HotU visions were missing. Do they not realize the gigantic "fuck you" they are giving to non book readers (70% of the viewership following the estimate above). Who cares if it completely spoils season 3 for you? It was in the book and I want to see it! To me, that's pretty selfish. Someone a few pages back said that the burning of Winterfell wasn't a cliffhanger. That no one is going to be anxiously awaiting next season to find that out. But of the three friends I have that haven't read the books, it was a cliffhanger for every one of them. They were asking (via email) who did it, was it the Greyjoys, or did, and I'm quoting directly, "the son of that creepy deputy of Robb's go rogue!?" I think we need to give the viewers a little more credit. Yes, it's a complex story, but the Game of Thrones viewership probably isn't the Keeping up with the Kardashian's crowd. After LOST, The Wire, Sopranos, etc. I think tv audiences are indoctrinated into intricate storytelling.