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[Book Spoilers] EP201 Discussion

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New Characters-

Davos-too early to tell.

Stannis-good, not great, not much to go on yet.

Mel-due to constriction I know, but taking out her compassion/trying to dissuade Cressen really lessens her.One intersting thing is that the actress looked a different age every minute..sometimes very young, sometimes middle aged, etc. Dunno if that s intentional or just lucky.

New Direwolf-Definite improvement. I expected letdown when it entered Jaime's cage; was pleasantly surprised.

Craster: As I mentioned above, hi performance stood out to me. Especially as the setting was so distracted/ing, he managed to be petty,vulgar, intimidating, crude conniving and brutal all in a brief glimpse.

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By the way... Book-wise, I know the what-we-actually-know about Sandor is that he died on the side of the road. Wasn't there some allusion to him being on the monk island where Brienne, et al., visited in aFfC?

Yup, a description fitting Clegane's horse is used to describe a horse that the monks (?) are dealing with. And the description of the grave digger also fits for Clegane. I believe the guy Brienne speaks to is also careful to only say "The Hound is dead," as in that persona is gone because Clegane is now becoming a good person.

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Yeah, I think they're already too far past a couple of key scenes if they were wanting to set up the San/San thing. I don't think it's that huge a deal though. It basically just culminated in him showing up drunk in her bedroom near the end of the Battle of Blackwater, no?

yes, but the build up to that point makes that scene very interesting in the books imo. that's one of the things that i fear most about the series, is that they're going to skip too many of the story lines that aren't 100% crucial to the main story. so much of what makes the books so great is that you never know which threads are going to lead you to key events and which threads are not.

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Things that bothered me:

1. Cersei/Petyr scene--no way would Petyr ever be that stupid

2. Craster was too clean and clean-shaven; Craster's Keep not nearly as chaotic with animals and women everywhere as it should have been, and it didn't look that dirty

3. What was with Craster being focused on just Jon staying away from his wives? Are they leading up to Jon saving Gilly, rather than Sam?

4. Cersei smacking Joffrey, and his confronting her about the incest

5. The Robb/Jaime scene--the only cool thing here was Grey Wind, and I wish they had not had Catelyn And Jaime have their confrontation last season, but had stuck more to the original confrontation occurring at the end of ACoK, which was a very powerful scene, IMO.

6. The Maester Cressen/ Melisandre poison scene--details all wrong. Cressen does not seem old, feeble, or sympathetic, and Melisandre was not disturbing enough.

7. Are we now to expect a tangential love story between Dany and Rakharo? Why add another pointless story line, when there are so many good ones to choose from?

8. Ros is now Alayaya, WTF?

9. Janos Slynt, as opposed to Allar Deem, kills the baby. It would have been easy to have Janos order him to do it and be present at the time.

10. Alon Lannister-- why not just stick with Ser Cleos? We really needed to have yet another non-book character added?!!!

Positive notes:

1. Jack Gleeson owned the episode. He will make us all hate Joffrey more than before. He did a fantastic job.

2. Richard Madden did well showing he was coming into his own as a leader.

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So a few commnets on a strong start to Clash of Kings:

Here is what I liked

1. Tyrion Lannister: Hand of the King

Tyrion is the moral center of Clash of Kings and Clash is Tyrion's greatest triumph (Everyone shits on him in Storm; he's abscent in Feast; uitterly forgettable in Dance). Tyrion plays the game, neuters Cersei, immunizes the kingdom from Joff, saves a realm, rules a kingdom and defeats Stannis. The start of this episode has to make you believe that that Tyrion is growing into the end. THis episode was a phenominal start: tremendous writing as Tyrion shows equal parts politician, power broker, military strategist and jester (... and high cheek bones...). Dinklage is tremendou, and his interplay with Joff and especially Cersei was very well done. Its good to see that the Tyrion we last saw with Tywin is the same Tyrion who will now be "the man." I like characters that pick up right wheer we left them.

2. Robb Stark: Rebel King

I thought that Robb's overall character was equal parts rebel and equal parts King; he's a very layered character and its starting to show here in the build up over Ned's death. Martin has staed that the closest thing he has come to a regret in the series is not giving Robb a POV. The series has done that. You see that Robb is balancing several different motivations- he wants to do right by the North; he wants to lead a Kingdom, but he also wants venegence. I thought his scenes with Cat were very good; the actor playing Robb swings between hard-line King to deeply wounded son. I like that Robb admits that his peace terms to Tyrion are designed to be rejected. and that he wants to treat with Renly because he knows he cannot march on King's Landing. Another really good rise of an otherwise muted character in the books.

3. Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the Roynar...

Stannis' chapters look like they need to build. Stannis is being portrayed in the same ebb and flow as the books- a prickly and proud monster who means what he says and says what he means. And would make any man wonder how ANYONE could love this man. He's the newest thing on our plate so the show will introduce him slowly. NOt sure how I feel that the undercurrent of Stannis is that he COULD be in Mel's thrawl. Well see.

4. Jaime Lannister: an Enemy Worth Keeping.

I don't quite know what they will do with Jaime but I like that Jaime still demands our attention. I like that he mocks Robb and that Robb can play back. And FINALLY: A CGI Direwolf! Was that so hard?

5. Craster:

LIked it. I think they captured Craster is father, husband, ruler, monster. And I really liked that in just a few glimpses he and Mormont were able to convey that they have a deep and tense past. Strong stuff.

6. Maester Lewin + Bran:

I like intelligence and kindness together in one place and I get that in Lewin. Lewin is ultra practical and wise and gives Bran the understanding he deserves. With Bran I find humanity. I love that Bran insists at looking at his reflection to remind himself he's a boy.

7 Cerse and Joff: Babykillers

I think that Joff's power-hunger is well on its way to burning out of control and with great reason: the spoiled child without boundries will now be the out of control ruler without boundries. His desire to kill Robert's bastards is the actions of a monster. Cersei seems not only powerless to stop him, but is compelled to assist. And I like that their own men don't love this.

On the Fence

1. Hey look- Roz:

Yeah... ah... we ... we get it ... she's ... still here. In many ways, Roz is fine but also overexposed and seems to be in too much. She's the new "Much and More"; the same way "Much and More" was used ADMOSIUM iin Dance, Roz is suddely everywhere in the series. It kinda makes sense that she's here, but we feel we are hearing more of her than we really should.

2. Shea:

Oh... so they didn't wise up and fx this? Is it season 4 yet?

3. Danny

We promise that very soon we will have something for you to do. Or burn. Until then how about another scene with you and Irri?

4. We swear it was the only breast plate around:

Either Evel KIneval was a house in Westeros or Ser Dontos' house colors bear a striking resemblance to the US Flag. It wasn't good or bad, just ... interesting. Like George W Bush's head alongside Septa Mordane's and Ned's in the last episode.

What I did not like:

1. In Case You Forgot....

So, everytime somebody mentions Robb's name the guys around him have to repeat, "The King in the North." Really? THat doesn't seem the slightest bit ... lame? I mean, if he is shagging some farmer's daughter out there and she yells out, "Oh Robb..." do the guards outside his door start saying, "The King in the North"?

Overall a very dense and fulfilling episode that did much of what it needed to do, but not a whole lot more.

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Wow...wow! For me, it lived up to all the anticipation since season 1 ended. Acting was flawless from every character, old and new.

Some highlights for me:

  • GREY WIND. Holy shit. So awesome.
  • Bran's wolf dream was very well done, looking forward to that more.
  • Robb will definitely be a new fan-favorite, up there with Tyrion and how Ned was regarded last year. Madden is selling his character extremely well.
  • Tyrion/Cersei was everything I pictured from the books. Great exchanges there.
  • The Hound fighting! Fun to watch!
  • Dany and Jorah have a bit of chemistry going early on. Curious to see how they handle that whole "relationship".
  • Theon's betrayal is being set up well so far, he still seems like he's really for Robb at this point.
  • Stannis, Mel, and Davos are all perfect. I've seen some complaints of CVH seeming flat in her delivery, but I think it goes well with her character. And even though I didn't connect emotionally with TV-Cressen, I don't think that was much of a loss. It still showed Mel's power in a good way. Nice touch with the flashing ruby, too.
  • Lena Headey is a lot better this season already, and is it just me or does she look hotter too? A lot more like Cersei than she was before IMO.
  • Jack Gleeson deserves a nod as well for continuing to be such a vile little shit. Love that kid.
  • Dinklage continues to steal the show with his portrayal of Tyrion, I love when he's on-screen.
  • I think Sophie did remarkably well as Sansa. She's supposed to sound very wooden at this stage, and normally that can be seen as bad acting but in this case it fits Sansa's situation.
  • Craster did seem a bit too fat and clean, but his personality and the Keep as a whole was spot-on. It felt dirty, cramped, and icky. I'm assuming the wife of his that talked was Gilly? If so, excellent casting for that part.
  • DOLOROUS EDD! WOOOOO!
  • Glad that they talked about the comet and used it as sort of a central piece which everything is revolving around.
  • As a long-time book fan before the show, I must say, I've grown somewhat fond of Ros despite her being not in the books at all. She was annoying at first but I feel like they've found a place for her now as the "matron" of LF's whorehouse. It works for the character.
  • I didn't terribly mind the LF/Cersei scene like some of you did, it showed more about Cersei than LF which was the goal I think.
  • And finally...the ending was PERFECT! I'm glad HBO isn't pulling any punches on some of the more gruesome stuff that the book describes. Some might call it "shock value", but it's a pretty important piece of story and characterization (for several characters). And the transition to Gendry, and then to Arya, was a great tease, since we all want more Arya.

I WANT NEXT WEEK HERE NOW!!!

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My only complaints:

1. Littlefinger knows how the game is played, and in fact can play Cersei from as far away as the Vale, he would not be as foolish as he was here

2. We already hate Joffrey, you don't need to make it so that he ordered the killing of babies, leave that to Cersei, who will eventually be a bigger villain anyway

3. Not enough explanation on Dragonstone, at least 1 more scene would have been enough

4. Craster is less creepy than most of us imagined it seems, but his keep is much like I imagined it

5. Shea is in the Tower of the Hand, and nobody questions that?

I can't decide whether I even care about Roz and her role in the episode, so I`ll reserve judgement for later

Other than that I was quite pleased.

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Did I misunderstand this or did Tyrion say Shae had to remain unseen, and it turns out she was in the tower of the hand?!

Did Dany's Silver die in the books. I'm pretty sure, no.

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It can't be over stated how amazing Peter Dinklage is. His small council scene with Cersei was perfectly portrayed. I laughed at the "and you cheekbones" comment and genuinely believed his frustration that they has three Starks and now have one. He owns his scenes and deserves that top billing.

On a different note: and I'm surprised no one has said it yet but no Rickon, really? When he disappears for three seasons and reappears no one will remember who this obscure boy was.

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That scene between Cercei and Littlefinger was really shocking - I didn't think there was ever any conflict like that between them. I did love that after she'd done that to LF, she walked right into a confrontation with Joffrey and was pretty 'roughed up', so to speak, herself. Looks like they'll show Cercei starting to unravel pretty early on.

Loved Robb's conversation with Jaime and LOVED Grey Wind. I know they're computer-animated for TV, but gosh, it's good to see those huge animals and know they're dedicated to protecting the Stark kids. I think Ghost just wasn't allowed inside Craster's Keep.

Why did Craster keep focusing on Jon as a "pretty boy"? And Craster was too well groomed. Was that Gilly that he asked to tell the NW how happy she was there?

I didn't realize we were given a brief glimpse of Rattleshirt - I'll have to replay that.

So sad to see Silver bite the dust. I love the casting of Dany's 'tribe', especially her blood riders. And I wanted to yell out, char the meat, char the meat!

Wondered how they would treat the beginning of warging. I thought they did a good job.

I love Osha.

They're really showing Theon as a devious sycophant right from the start.

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*bawls* My HBO Go account (technically my mom's, I'm in college) won't work right. It's Comcast screwing up but this sucks. This was totally supposed to be the highlight of my weekend!

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And...was it just me, or did Ser Dontos' armor look a little Captain America-ish?

Well, you'll have to blame that one on George.

eta: and now that I looked it up on the heraldry page, the stripes are different, so maybe not. Um, yeah. <_<

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am i the only one who loved davos?

No, Liam did amazing. I wasn't nearly as happy with the Dragonstone segment as a whole, but the individual pieces were all there for that to have been an awesome pair of scenes. Maester Cressen was a total disappointment, a lifeless shell. His poisoning attempt was seriously so see-through that Mel didn't even need to have seen it in her flames.

I really really really really really hope they don't fuck Stannis up as a character. They can fuck anything else up that they want to, but if they make Stannis into "the bad guy"...

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Overall, a very solid episode and a good start to the season. I have some quibbles and nitpicks, but considering all that the show not only had to rehash from last year--Ned's death, who's king, Robert's brothers, etc.--but introduce new stuff like Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, I thought they did a good job of making everything known.

Stuff I liked

Dinklage is still awesome as Tyrion, and his small council entrance and talk with Cersei was great. They left out my one of my favoirte exchanges--slap, slap, slap--but it might show up later I hope.

Thought Robb was very strong in the episode, and I really enjoyed his scenes with Catelyn, Jaime, Theon, and Alton (Cleos) Lannister. Grey Wind looked great too.

Dilane is great as Stannis, and I think both Davos and Melisandre look good as well.

Thought they did a good job with the killing of the bastards, even if it did feel sort of like a manufactured cliffhanger.

Craster is suitably nasty and creepy, and that whole sequence was very well done.

Things that felt rushed

Maester Cressen. Didn't really have any sort of backstory or apparent motivation aside from liking the Seven. Really, I think his story would have worked as a prologue or perhaps even his poisoning as the end of the episode, but it seemed to happen too quickly. Plus, it seemed weird that he drank first, especially since he started bleeding before Melisandre even drank. But ultimately, they got the point across about Melisandre's mysterious powers well enough.

Nitpicks

Littlefinger Cersei scene was rather odd. Littlefinger is very arrogant and Cersei had just basically insulted him, but it still seemed brash for him to tell her that story, considering how calculating he's supposed to be.

Robb knowing about Joffrey, Jaime, and Cersei already. At least in the books, I always felt if RObb knew this off the bat, he would have joined with Stannis as the rightful heir and have up the king in the North.

Not enough Arya.

Not to compare Game of Thrones and the WIre, but when Ros was basically echoing Littlefinger's lesson from last year in that infamous scene, I thought of the end of season one of the Wire when Poot is giving the same speech that D'angelo gave in the premiere about dealing drugs so the cops don't see.

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Mel-due to constriction I know, but taking out her compassion/trying to dissuade Cressen really lessens her.One intersting thing is that the actress looked a different age every minute..sometimes very young, sometimes middle aged, etc. Dunno if that s intentional or just lucky.

I never saw this, but agreed. Mel is a piece of work, but she does have redeeming qualities. It's so weird how the show that went out of its way to make Cersei so whitewashed isn't even willing to give Mel a break.

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;I can't believe how many of you didn't like the awesome Cersei vs. Littlefinger scene. First, it's definitely NOT about Littlefinger and all about showing how clumsy Cersei is at playing the game. She finally has a little bit of Regency power and she is all to quick to wield it. She knows she can't really exercise it over her asshole son so she takes it out on Baelish. Yes, Book!Littlefinger would never show his cards like that but I like that the producers added a little chink in Show!Littlefinger's armor. His weak spot is Catelyn. Good to know. It also connects the dots for the audience more on why he's going to turn against the Lannisters later on. We as book readers know what he is, but the show audience needs more motive.

I also like how more tempestuous Cersei is this season. Feels much more like the book character to me. She is impulsive and slap happy. Lena is fully invested in this wonderfully wicked character now and it shows.

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Everyone seems to know about the incest at this point.

That being considered I really don't think the Littlefinger scene is as bad and out of character as it has been made out to be.

He was just being the smartass. If it was still as hush-hush as it was last season he would never had dared but now that it isn't useful knowledge anymore it could be dispensed, perhaps to test limits.

The show was pretty awesome, anyways I'd just be repeating what I mentioned in the rate the show thread. In all honesty things are a bit redundant in this forum as all three topics are basically the same, two are anything goes but one has a poll and the third is the same yet safer for those who haven't read the other books I suppose.

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