I really enjoyed the episode and would give it a B+ / A-. I understand why people think that these first two episodes have been poorly paced, but I think that perspective is a result of watching the show week to week. In terms of HBO's programming I've always felt that GoT is closest to The Wire in terms of pacing and story structure. Both series are detrimented when watched with such large gaps between episodes and the pacing / story structure really smooths out into a cohesive whole when watched sequentially (as so many people are watching TV series' these days). I think that at the end of this season that these two episodes will be much more highly regarded when looked at as portions as a whole rather than in a vacuum. Substantively I loved the Jaime / Brienne scenes and Olenna Tyrell. She is the Dowager Countess of Westeros and Diana Rigg simply owned the part. Obviously the most controversial scene of the night was Cat's monologue to Talisa regarding Jon Snow. I added a much longer description of my thoughts in the thread dedicated to this topic, but I think that those claiming the scene was "Character Assassination" are being somewhat bombastic. At the end of the scene it came back to Cat ultimately being unable to love Jon and musing on the absurdly horrible circumstances that have befallen her family. We all think and say bizarre things in moments of extreme emotion, and I think that this scene brought that to life. I always found it hard to believe when I read the books that Cat didn't have more conflicted feelings about Jon There had to have been moments when she questioned whether her internal thoughts about him were justified and I think that this scene merely brought those to the surface. I really enjoyed the fight between Jaime and Brienne despite it being truncated from the version presented in the books. However, this decision made complete sense to me. This show isn't The Matrix or Kill Bill and cannot afford to spend eight to ten minutes presenting an absurdly unrealistic, albeit visiaully stimulating, fight scene. I think that one of the great strengths of ASOIAF is the unflattering depiction of battle and war that Martin presents and this fight was a good representation of that. Swordfights aren't beautiful dances, they are brutal and occasionally plodding. I honestly thought that this was realistic and Jaime's apparent incompetence was a result of his shackling / imprisonment / rust. We also got a Howland Reed shout out, which was awesome.