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Seems I'm in the minority, but I quite like Renly in the show. For me, the book Renly was…forgettable. I also like that Theon is a bit less extreme.

Yara's just not doing it for me, she projects neither the charisma nor the strength that I think is needed.

Edit: I think Shae's main fault in the show is that we've not been shown any reason why Tyrion keeps her around recently. In the books she was, by and large, quite attentive and good company excepting that one time when she was demanding jewelry or something.

Edit2: Also, extremely glad they're cutting down on Arya's wanderings. As much as I like her, it took a looooong time for her to get anywhere, most of it pointless.

Edited by Auska

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I guess I'm not up to date with all the info. It's surprising given the general tendencies of the show so far.

Edited by ace

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Was I the only one who cheered when Pycelle's whore WASN'T Ros? HBO actually skipped an opportunity to include her, which made me feel a little better about the future.

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Did Summer seems smaller (normal size) than Grey' and Ghost have appeared? Not a huge issue but when I saw the face was really hoping to see them pan back to a behemoth on Brans bed and she looked normal size.

Edited by White Harbors Wrath

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Well, dont have time to read all the nineteen pages, so I'll just say what stands out for me in this episode, and from what I saw, I am not the only one:

Theon's storyline is just amazing ! The scenes at Pyke are just amazing ! The music theme for the Iron Island / Greyjoys is purely amazing, the actings of all the actors are perfect, the lights, the scenics, the dialogs... just perfect, everyting !

Otherwise, yeah, loved the Tyrion marriages proposals, as I did in the books, and glad to see the Martells arent cut from the show!

Loved the dinner scene with Myrcella, Tommen, Cersei and Sansa.

Really liked the Stormlands scene, even if I would have reduce the time accorded to Renly, Loras and Margaery in the tents, but I guess we need to see them well now, since I dont think we will see them again after episode 4 until season 3... well, at least for two of them! ^^

And then, there is Arya: great choices when it comes to modify the novels: guess cuting the roaming through the Riverlands is a great choice: passing Lommy as Gendry was a clever choice, and glad to see Armory Lorch... and Yoren's death was amazing!

Glad they cut some characters from the episode: Red Waste, Dragonstone and, in a way, North of the Wall, so they could have focused more on other storylines. It's a mistake to want to show all the characters in an episode, hope they will keep this way for the rest of the show!

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It was also nice to see they kept a lot of Bran and Maester Luwin's talk about dreams and magic. That's a detail I wouldn't have expected to make it into the series.

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Quick thoughts before I read others' opinions on this ep.

Easily the best episode of season 3 so far for me. It was almost note perfect, maybe the fight at the end was a little underwhelming. It had so many great emotional moments - Mormont with Jon Snow, Theon burning the letter, the whole scene with Balon and Theon, Sansa, Ayra's chat with Yoren, Cersei's scene with Tyrion. Speaking of Tyrion, I think this was his best ep yet. The way he dealt with the councillors was dealt with amusingly and cleverly without being too complex for the casual viewer to follow.

Good to see Renly & co. I love Natalie Dormer. Cracked up when she started talking about bringing her brother in. "Or you can turn me over, pretend I'm him". Also, Brienne was pretty spot on (and looked hella rank which is correct). Also loved Cat's facial expressions during her palaver with Renly. I prefer show-Cat to book-Cat.

Best scene: Theon's baptism. When the priest says "...but rises again, harder and stronger" I had goosebumps.

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I thought Episode 3 was the best episode yet this season. I think Bryan Cogman does some of the best scripts for the show; you really get a feel for his love of the books in those episodes.

On the downsides, I wish Pycelle would've been naked and urinating as in the book, but I can understand why they didn't! But without it, I thought the scene felt a little flat. In the episode, it's a good sequence, but it's one of the funniest bits of the book. I agree with those who say Yara doesn't have any of Asha's charisma. And Aidan Gillen's voice continues to be raspy and strangely worded? Did something happen to him in the last year? Has he been ill?

On the upsides, Tyrion's three deceptions was excellent, as I expected it to be. I was rolling my eyes at some of the Tyrion/Shae argument, but it led to the wonderful Sansa/Shae scene, which I grew to love in its comical bizarreness and then even more when it changes and Sansa suddenly broke down at the end. I don't recall it in the book (if it was, I don't remember it happening like this), so it's probably my favorite original scene of the show just in its uniqueness of tone. Gods, there were so much good stuff in this one. Maester Luwin's scene, Brienne of Tarth (!!!), what started out as an HBO Sex Scene ™ with Margaery but turned into an actually brilliant scene with a Queen of Thorns in training, Theon burning the letter and being drowned by who looks to be Damphair (!!!), Yoren's monologue which is great in its own right and foreshadowing one of the most iconic aspects of Arya's character, the final attack, which was generally well done although I very, very much missed "WINTERFELL!" "HOT PIE!"...

After having mixed feelings to some aspects in the first two, I loved this a whole lot more.

One other question: why was Dragonstone (which isn't in the episode) in the opening credits and not the Stormlands (which is)? Not a big deal, but the locations usually match with where it takes place, so that's just a tad bit disappointing too.

Edited by Nagisa Furukawa

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A Few More Points:

On the Sex Scene:

I know a few people lost their poop over watching (as opposed to hearing) two men smooch and I can understand that there are people in the world who don't want to see that sort of thing (I can do without it myself). But, on the "Game of Thrones Gratoitious Sex Scene Meter (with 10 being the LIttlefinger "he's just .... so ... .good!" scene and 0 being "Any Scene with Varys"), watching Loras and Renly play kissy-face was probably a 1.5, and I am being liberal. Look, people in this universe have sex. And the women are hot (why make a universe that was not like this? What a waste) and the men built like junior-league Atlases. Hence, straight people have sex. So, if straight people are "knocking boots" then why not gay men?

And also? Unlike other sex scenes this added a huge layer to the story; most notably that Loras- who loves Renly (we think) - is playing the Game. And he wants it for his family and his sister. He is willing to cock-tease Renly and get cock-blocked by his own sister in order to see this all fulfilled. That is a hugely compelling story line. Its then brought deeper by Lady McBeth/Margaery Tyrell and her quest to be the hottest power-hungry woman in Westeros (field is still open and awaiting the arrival of a smoking hot blonde and her three dragons). That's legit story-telling right there.

Here's the funny part- what is more cringe worthy: watching two men make out and clearly enjoy one another or waching Renly try to fake interest in his wife? Renly's wooden recieving of Margery was far more "Ugh... that's rough to watch" than anything Loras was doing to him.

This is not to say that Loras and Renly does not avoid "Ik-ville." I mean ... shaving him? Really? And in both straight and gay scenes if I have to hear another man's cock get sucked and the slurping- is she sucking his dick or is somebody cleaning pudding out of the bottom of a purse? Just gross. But... but that's my problem, I'll deal with it. Let's continue...

Apparently two men kissing for 10 seconds with their clothes on freaks people out but 5 minutes of seeing women writhing all over each other completely naked is A. Ok....

Except, of course, that very few people were okay with it. The scene you refer to is the "He's Just So ... Good" scene and its the cornerstone of the "I Like Boobs But Come on Guys, This Is Pretty Silly" camp. Its one of the most reviled scenes in the series and with compelling reasons (I was okay with it because I thought it artistically drew LF out).

See, I find that whenever we talk about certain issues there is a "Richteous Indignation" quotient and I think its over-the-top. Sure, the guy who kept calling it "homoism" (what are you, twelve?) is lame. But does that mean we all have to just describe how anyone who has any problem with anything immediately gets a label and then everyone else must bend over backwards (haha... excuse me, sorry; I'm twelve) to show just how open and "awesomly" richeous they are in areas?

Just seems forced to me.

On the Death of Yoren

I am of two minds on this subject. For one, as stated above, I thought Yoren was tremendous. At the same time, I felt that th estory is missing a major element, namely that when you die, its not always on a "Blaze of Glory." So far we have had AT LEAST two characters die while taking out half of the Lannister Household in the process- Syrio (and he's dead, folks) and now Yoren both die while doing their best impersonation of Jackie Chan if he were a sword fighter. Slashing and killing and being, well, amazing.

But that's not the trope of GoT and ASoIaF. In Martin's universe the hero does not die on a blaze of glory. Sometimes he is killed by a flux; sometimes its when his horse falls and crushes his leg under him; soemtimes he dies before getting his sword out. But with "Arya's Teachers" they always seem to die right after unleashing a can of whop-ass on others. And that rings hollow to me. I know why they are doing it but I cannot say is as emotionally interesting and complex as finding Yoren after the battle and just knowing that he's dead.

I think that death, sometimes, is a lot more like Jory's than it is Yoren's. Sometimes? Sometimes a fucking asshole stabs you in the eye. And you're dead.

Edited by Rockroi

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It was also nice to see they kept a lot of Bran and Maester Luwin's talk about dreams and magic. That's a detail I wouldn't have expected to make it into the series.

Forgot to mention this scene but yes, it was really good. I'm glad they've keeping some focus on Bran - he's been in more eps than Robb so far this season - while managing to keep it interesting despite the lack of stuff currently going on at Winterfell. Tremendous job on the warging.

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They only show set locations, like castles and cities and such, generally speaking. That's why there was never a Red Waste shot as well. Renly's camp is on the coast of the stormlands, apparently near but not actually Storm's End. So that's why it's not shown. I guess Dragonstone... well, I guess they figure it wasn't necessary to remove it. It may be a sign that originally they had intended to have a scene with Stannis there, though, which they dropped.

His presence in episode 4 is very abrupt and entirely unheralded, I should say, so I suppose that's the likeliest explanation: they did some sort of scene to set up Stannis's presence for episode 4, but didn't like it or it didn't work or they decided it wasn't necessary and dropped it.

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Natalie Dormer is spectacular. She was amazing in the Tudors. She exemplifies the Tyrell quest for power. It shows her love for her family as a whole and her brother in particular. As smart as she is (thanks to the Queen of Thorns) I always suspected that she knew about Renly and Loras but was content to play her role.

However, this version of Renly is all wrong. He shows no signs of manliness as opposed to the books. Aside from his sexual proclivity the book portrays him as Robert come again. I think book Renly would have found himself capable of doing the deed.

Theon is being handled beautifully.

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I have to say that the budget restraints sometimes bother me. I liked the scene between Yoren and Arya but I woiuld have liked that they showed that the men fought the Lannisters plus Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie kind of shine in that moment.

Yeah I noted that on the other thread. I think the money budget could have handled it, after all it's not even a mini Blackwater. Seemed it was the 'time squeeze' that got it. I can think of a couple of scenes at KL shortened or eliminated would have given them more time at the battle at the holdfast.

Wise contraction there, clever deflection of the Gendry problem!

The whole trek and capture after the fight gone, straight to Harrenhal now.

Weasel gone, just a well, I guess Arya can pick up that name naturally anyway.

Kind of missed the harrowing suspense and bravery of Arya in the freeing of Jaqen H'ghar... and time crunch of fitting everything into 10 episodes.

Beginning to wonder how much of CoK will be pushed into season 3?

Edited by boojam

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But with "Arya's Teachers" they always seem to die right after unleashing a can of whop-ass on others. And that rings hollow to me. I know why they are doing it but I cannot say is as emotionally interesting and complex as finding Yoren after the battle and just knowing that he's dead.

The way i remember that moment from the books, Arya finds Yoren's corpse with quite a few dead Lannister soldiers sprawled out around him.

They didn't make this up for the show.

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Re: Yoren,

In the novel he did kind of go out in a blaze of glory -- there's four dead Lannister men-at-arms heaped about his body, and Arya wonders how many more were needed to kill him.

Francis Magee will be missed. He was fantastic as Yoren.

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But that's not the trope of GoT and ASoIaF. In Martin's universe the hero does not die on a blaze of glory. Sometimes he is killed by a flux; sometimes its when his horse falls and crushes his leg under him; soemtimes he dies before getting his sword out. But with "Arya's Teachers" they always seem to die right after unleashing a can of whop-ass on others. And that rings hollow to me. I know why they are doing it but I cannot say is as emotionally interesting and complex as finding Yoren after the battle and just knowing that he's dead.

I think that death, sometimes, is a lot more like Jory's than it is Yoren's. Sometimes? Sometimes a fucking asshole stabs you in the eye. And you're dead.

Yeah I like George's version better. He dies off screen... but only after the battle is elaborated. Like I have said I don't think it's budget problems, just time problems. That contraction in E3 seemed rushed and well a bit awkward, not that it didn't work.

Wonder what non readers are going to think, just where did Jaqen and his buddies go?

O well their appearance at Harrenhal later in the book didn't ever seemed explained to my satisfaction.

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Arya's changes were mostly awesome, I loved that we actually saw Yoren's epic end. I would have preferred Arya to have just thrown the axe to them and actually killed a couple of people, and wasn't this the battle that featured Hot Pie's "HOT PIE!"?

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