Game of Thrones: Congratulations! It's a... Whatever That Is!

Game of Thrones S02E04: "Garden of Bones"

Last week I used up a lot of breath and internet ink talking about how Game of Thrones' second season, particularly last week's episode "What Is Dead May Never Die," had strayed from its source material in ways I thought unnecessary, lingering on non-vital scenes and moving with all the urgency of a Lannister looking to get laid somewhere that wasn't a family reunion. My biggest concern was how much time remained in the season, as I was concerned with how all of the book's stories would be told. That's not exactly a fun way to watch a show.

Well, thankfully for both you and me, I can shut up now. It's clear that Season 2 will depart from the books a lot more than Season 1 did, which is inevitable if it's going to be confined to 10 hours. Because Season 1 did such a great job of transforming the first book into a visual Cliff's Notes, the deviations we've seen so far in Season 2 have seemed extra pronounced, which caused people like me to squirm upon realizing that Ser Meryn's armor wasn't exactly how it was described in print. But now it's time to look at Game of Thrones as a TV show instead of book adaptation. Maybe I'm late to the party, probably I'm stubborn, but definitely it just took this week's incredible episode to make me almost forget the book existed at all.

"Garden of Bones" was amazing, period. The hour was filled with fantastic shots and settings, outstanding character moments, and delightfully uncomfortable scenes. It was Game of Thrones at its best, and proof for HBO that the series is worth signing such big checks. Plus, it was capped off by what I think were the best minutes of the series thus far. Of all the television scenes in history featuring hot, naked, MILF-y redheads birthing demonic shadow monsters from their nether regions, that one was definitely the best. #Firecrotch better trend tonight.

"Garden of Bones" was the opposite of last week's "What Is Dead May Never Die," and took advantage of its place in the storytelling process. "What Is Dead..." was still setting things up and took its time, causing some worry about the pacing of the season as a whole. But tonight the show grabbed us by the nape and carried us headfirst through multiple chapters like a battering ram, the tops of our heads still reeling from the previous scene as we broke through the next. If the rest of the season moves half as fast as "Garden of Bones" did, Game of Thrones will have no problems doing "A Clash of Kings" justice and I'll be able to look back on last week's worries as nothing more than knee-jerk overreactions.

Now let's talk about what happened in "Garden of Bones," the fourth episode of the second season of Game of Thrones: The TV Show.


"You're fighting to overthrow a king and yet you have no plans for what comes after?"

Yet another reason why Game of Thrones treats the fantasy genre right. Rather than settle on faceless Lannister soldiers getting ambushed, the episode opened with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum having a debate that any two guys, regardless of genre or time period, might have: Who is the biggest ass-kicker in the world? We have Chuck Norris, Kimbo Slice, and Superman. They have Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, Jaime Lannister, and Ser Loras "The Knight of Flowers" Tyrell. Umm guys, Brienne "The Beauty (tongue in cheek)" of Tarth just whooped Loras's ass; you'd better get her on that list somewhere.

But these guys weren't just making Top 10 lists during guy chat, they were prankin' each other, laughing like Ricky Gervais, and letting loose some massive farts. I'd say let's see a spin-off starring these two clowns if Greywind, Robb Stark's direwolf, hadn't ripped their faces off. Loved that "King of the North!" battle cry that followed! I'm going to scream that every morning before I brush my teeth to start the day off right.

Thus began another of Robb's victories, as the young wolf continues to be a pain in the neck for Lannister forces. Five Lannisters dead for every one supporter of Robb's? This wasn't just a fight, it was the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals. And how great did the battlefield look? Bodies everywhere, loads of extras wandering the grounds...we didn't need to see the actual battle because we could imagine it from the wreckage. Game of Thrones avoided the costly battle scene because it knows to put its money where it counts.

Trying to convince Robb to torture the surviving Lannisters for info was Roose Bolton, one of Robb's bannermen who's sworn loyalty to Winterfell. Robb isn't like that, and with his sisters in the clutches of Joffrey (he thinks), he'd rather round up bargaining chips to get Arya and Sansa back.

In addition the smell of blood, gangrene, and horseshit in the air, did we get a waft of romance too? There she was... what a vision! A filthy woman sawing the foot off a captured enemy! Hubba hubba! I think she said her name was Telissa (not sure on spelling) from Volantis. She's feisty, underneath all that caked on blood and grime she's hot, and she questions everything that Robb is doing. Of course Robb is going to drool over her. You would too. Too bad Robb is already claimed. If you'll recall, towards the end of Season 1, Catelyn promised Robb would marry one of Walder Frey's fugly daughters in exchange for his help. I'm sure this will all go over very smoothly and everyone will be happy. (Book people: Is Telissa replacing Jeyne?)


"The King can do as he likes."

If you ever take one of those "Which Game of Thrones character are you?" quizzes and your results say "Joffrey," go put your head in an oven (I got Eddard Stark). And the next two scenes were perfect examples of why. Looking for a way to vent his frustration over Robb's crushing defeat of his forces, the boy-king had Sansa beaten and embarrassed before his court. Not gonna lie, that was a pretty uncomfortable scene. Joffrey couldn't even do his own wife-beating, he had his sniveling right-hand-man-of-backhands Ser Meryn do it.

I have such a hate/not-so-hate relationship with Sansa. On her own she's a spoiled brat who once lied to protect Joffrey, which got Arya in trouble and resulted in Sansa's direwolf being killed. But Sansa does not deserve the torture of being betrothed to Joffrey. So I'm constantly going back and forth between, "Awww poor Sansa!" and "Ugh, shut up, Sansa." She's the Paris Hilton of Westeros if Paris Hilton was ever engaged to Chris Brown. But in this episode, she was definitely deserving of pity.

Good old Tyrion saved Sansa from further humiliation, but he knew he couldn't be around to keep his eye on Joffrey all the time. Dr. Bronn's diagnosis, in his professional opinion: "The little king's backed up. Clogged from balls to brain." Translation: It's time to get the kid laid.

Tyrion ordered a few working women to milk Joffrey like a cow, but the little lad was having none of it. And that's when we realized that this kid is REALLY messed up. A teen with two willing women in his bed and he'd rather watch one beat the other? Joffrey's goal was to show Tyrion that he can't be controlled, but surely he could have taken a little slice for himself before he packed off the disfigured whore to his uncle. This kid is sick, I tell you. Apparently he carries all the recessive Lannister genes. And let's recognize Jack Gleeson for his great performance as Joffrey. The kid has truly embodied a character who is universally despised, and done it very well. I feel sorry for Gleeson trying to land his next role, he'll need a week's worth of steel-wool scrubbing to get the stink of Joffrey off of him. I don't think we'll see him playing a romantic lead opposite Miley Cyrus anytime soon.

Later, Tyrion continued to turn King's Landing into Tyrion's Landing, blackmailing pretty boy Lancel Lannister with his knowledge that Lancel was lancing Cersei. You know Cersei is twisted when having sex with her cousin is the least sexually deviant thing she's doing. Gross! If you're keeping score of Tyrion's actions at home, that's one ousted head of the City Guard in Janos Slynt, one fired Grand Maester and undug mole for Cersei in Pycelle, and one man on the inside in Lancel. Tyrion 3, everyone else 0.


"When my dragons are grown we will take back what was stolen from me."

Hey look! It's Dany! She's back after taking last week off, and four episodes into Season 2 she's still wandering the desert with a band of disheveled hobos—hardly a crew appropriate for a princess. At least put a few sequins on those burlap sacks, people! Dany's desperate for supplies, so when a rider returned with news that Qarth (there's no "u," Dany) was a mere three days' ride away and would have an all-you-can-eat buffet waiting for her, she made a beeline for it.

The press screener for this episode was full of temporary visual effects, so I don't really know what Qarth looks like yet, but from the outside it resembles a giant sand castle in a sea of dirt. Once you get inside the gates, however, it's an oasis run by The Thirteen, a group of merchants with funny names that double as Tic Tac Toe games. Xaro Xhoan Daxos said he'd vouch for Dany after one of his prickly fellows demanded to see her dragons first, and Dany and her barely-a-horde entered Qarth. Let's now recap what Dany's done so far this season: She's been really thirsty and found a sand castle. I guess this isn't really her year. At least she has dragons!


"Does anyone live?"

At least Dany's biggest problem is finding a glass of water. Arya, who as the youngest girl in this story and arguably the most frail, is having the worst couple of weeks. Dad? Dead. Yoren? Dead. Direwolf? Ran away. Now she's been taken prisoner by some mercenaries to some sort of haunted castle. It's unclear why these Lannister men have captured all these people, other than torturing them for info on some hidden treasure or the location of the Brotherhood. Don't know who the Brotherhood is? Don't worry, neither do Arya and her pals (unless they read the books). (Semi-spoiler: But if you must know, I believe he's referring to the Brotherhood Without Banners, a group of rebels who fight under Robert Baratheon's name and generally cause trouble. We'll probably meet them later.)

Now Arya spends her nights sleeping in mud and muttering the same thing over and over: "Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound." That's not her Christmas list, that's her sh*tlist, just like Yoren taught her. SHE WILL KILL THEM ALL AND WE WILL ENJOY IT!

How about that interrogation technique? Every day, the jerks grabbed one prisoner, strapped him to a rack, and asked them questions he didn't know the answers to. But before he could be ripped in two, one of the torturers would put a rat in a bucket and press it up against the victim's bare flesh. Then they'd use a torch to cook one end of the bucket, and I'm guessing that sent the rat scrambling to the other side, where it would claw at the flesh of the victim until it found a place that was a bit more comfortable, like a spleen. It was a convoluted method of torture, but it at least made use of all the rats.

Gendry got chosen for the rack and was about to have his insides explored by rodents when the early arrival of Tywin Lannister saved his hide. Tywin whipped Harrenhal into shape and told his men to put the captives to work instead of killing them, because Harrenhal was looking like a total dump. But Arya would probably have preferred death to her new job: She's been named cup-bearer to Tywin, to make sure no one tries to poison him. Nothing sucks more than accidentally saving the life of someone you want dead by killing yourself.


"Well, if it isn't my favorite whore-monger."

At Camp Renly, Westeros's number-one destination for fantasy war re-enacters, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish showed up to negotiate Jaime's release with Catelyn and wasn't exactly warmly received by anyone. But because he's a lecherous, two-faced, self-interested rat, Littlefinger's used to that sort of thing. Remember that riddle Varys told about power, the one with the rich man, the priest, and the king with the army all having equal shares of power? He forgot one: the scheming worm who'll do an about-face faster than Cee Lo. That's Littlefinger. He told Renly that if Renly would hear him out, Littlefinger might leave the gates open for him. Littlefinger only pledges allegiance to one man: whoever can benefit him the most. I love this little weasel.

Littlefinger later ran into Margaery, and basically confirmed that he knew her little secret about Renly and Loras—but she was all whatevs, tell me something I don't know. Then Littlefinger visited Catelyn in her tent and said, "OMG, sorry I betrayed your husband and he's dead but that means we can be together now!" Cat responded with a knife. Littlefinger also lied about the Lannisters having Arya, but in the end he did have one thing Catelyn wanted: Ned's bones, to be laid to rest at Winterfell where they belong. It was a touching scene, but when you get down to it, Ned's still dead. We can't exactly say everything is all right. If you ate my Snickers and I got mad so you gave me the wrapper, I'm still out a Snickers.

Meanwhile, Renly and Stannis saw each other for the first time in years. Meeting your brother's girlfriend for the first time is always awkward, especially when she's a crystal-wearing hippies and he's already married. But then again, meeting your brother's boyfriend when he's supposedly already married to a woman is a bit odd, too. And things tend to be even more complicated when both are ready to kill each other over a chair made out of swords. Stannis offered Renly one last chance to take his side, Renly pointed to his massive army, Melisandre babbled on about her terrors and the dark and the night, and no one could agree on anything. So I guess it's war, then?

And that was it for the episode. Oh, except for...


THE COOLEST THING EVER

Stannis and Davos were chatting on the deck of a ship, talking about how the ends of Davos's fingers were in a pouch around his neck instead of, you know, on the ends of his fingers. In case you missed it, when Stannis caught Davos, he punished him for being a smuggler by chopping off the last digits of the fingers on one hand. Then Stannis made Davos his right-hand (except for parts of his fingers) man. Talk about mixed messages! Anyhoo, Stannis asked Davos to be a smuggler again and sneak Melisandre to shore for some sneaking about.

And what happened next was the most awesome thing that has ever happened in the history of things happening.

Words cannot...I don't even...AHHHHHHH! Our Red Priestess stripped naked, showed off her baby bump, did some Lamaze breathing, sat on the ground, and squeezed out a monster. Holy shit. You can keep your dragons and direwolves, I'm all about shadow babies.

I love the way magic is being introduced into this story. And no, I don't mean via vagina—I mean slowly and surprisingly. This world becomes much more interesting when even the people who populate it are all, "Holy Harrenhal! That woman just queefed out a demon baby!" Ditto for dragons and the White Walkers. Westeros was at a point in time when it was just medieval and not fantastical, but now something is happening to the world where things of legend—magic, dragons, unknown entities from the North—are coming back, and the citizens are just as shocked as we are. Contrast that with most fantasy worlds where the magic stuff already exists, and it's much more powerful this way. In Game of Thrones, the main character is the world, and we're witnessing a critical time in its history.



Game of Thrones Season 2 Power Rankings

I'll be ordering the 10 episodes of Game of Thrones' second season from first to worst in terms of quality. But remember, these rankings are just, like, my opinion, man.

This Week: The table's been set, and now it's time to feast. "Garden of Bones" was an exhilarating episode of Game of Thrones, and one of the series' best in terms of pure happenings. Jon was the odd man out this week, but we were welcomed to two new places (Harrenhal and Qarth), saw Joffrey at his worst/best, and witnessed Melisandre casting some magic with her coochie.

1. "Garden of Bones" (Episode 4)
Joffrey entertains a few ladies by having them beat each other; Melisandre gives birth to the Smoke Monster from Lost; Dany meets a bunch of salesmen from Qarth.

2. "The North Remembers" (Episode 1)
Annnnd we're back! Joffrey orders death for Robert's bastards; Melisandre, Davos, and Stannis make their grand entrance; Robb sends an all tomato ultimatum to the Lannisters.

3. "The Night Lands" (Episode 2)
The Goldcloaks set out to find Gendry (and Arya); Theon gropes his sister and disappoints his dad; Jon sees something strange in the forest.

4. "What Is Dead May Never Die" (Episode 3)
Theon suits up for Team Greyjoy; Tyrion gives Pycelle the boot; Cat arrives to see Renly assembling a circus; Arya and Gendry get captured.

Comments (201)
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that dark shadow thingie was so freaky.. totally unexpected . i thought it was going to be one of those weird sex scenes.
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I must admit I'm a little surprised. I also saw myself as a Ser Duncan the Tall kinda guy.



You Scored as Eddard Stark

You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.





Eddard Stark

80%

Tyrion Lannister

75%

Jaimie Lannister

70%

John Snow

65%

Daenerys Targaryen

60%

Petyr Baelish

55%

Robert Baratheon

40%

Joffrey Lannister

35%

Khal Drogo

30%
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You Scored as John Snow



You are John Snow. The bastard son of Eddard Stark, you were brought up in his household and treated as his son, however, you soon swore an oath to serve on the wall and defend your country.



John Snow

95%

Eddard Stark

90%

Khal Drogo

85%

Daenerys Targaryen

75%

Tyrion Lannister

50%

Jaimie Lannister

40%

Petyr Baelish

25%

Robert Baratheon

20%

Joffrey Lannister

5%



Eww... I think being 5% Joffrey Lannister is roughly equivalent to being a combination of Hitler and Stalin.
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Excellent episode overall! I love the scenes with Rob! I like that he is much more prominent than in the books. I wonder why they are swapping Telissa for Jeyne? Even though it's a parting from the books, I am very curious to find out!



You are Daenerys Targaryen. The last of the Targaryen line, you are the true heir to the iron throne. Your life has been full of struggle, but you have emerged a powerful figure, the master of dragons.

Daenerys Targaryen 85%

Tyrion Lannister 75%

Eddard Stark 65%

Jaimie Lannister 60%

John Snow 55%

Khal Drogo 55%

Petyr Baelish 40%

Joffrey Lannister 30%

Robert Baratheon 25%



Yikes! 30% Joffrey is surprisingly high!!!
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i have to say i most enjoy every scence with Tyrion Lannister

he is the greatest character in the series
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i scored as Eddard Stark 100%



You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.



Eddard Stark

100%

Robert Baratheon

65%

Tyrion Lannister

60%

John Snow

55%

Daenerys Targaryen

50%

Jaimie Lannister

35%

Joffrey Lannister

35%

Petyr Baelish

30%

Khal Drogo
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They haven't shown Lollys Stokeworth. She's supposed to have a horrific scene when Myrcella leaves King's Landing right?
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I actually saw a clip showing Cersei crying while Myrcella sails away on a ship. and then a mob of peasants are rioting all around the Lannister family entourage.
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If you consider that Shae has been already placed as Sansa's maid, then it's likely that Myrcella's sending off has been scrapped from the TV script. I was actually looking forward to see Joff's face covered in dung.
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i dont think lolly will make it into the tv serie coz shae is the handmaid from sansa in the tv serie but lolly s handmaid in teh book
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clue to the clueless: the so-called "weak" episodes or "boring" episodes (not my personal adjectives) support and make better the other episodes. If you want non stop action and magic, go watch Merlin or The Seeker or something.
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*sigh* I'm going to be the mean one and say what a lot of people are thinking: I don't care which character you pegged out as on the quiz. Put it on your Facebook page.



(You know you were thinking this...)
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The Quiz said 100% Daenerys Targaryen
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You Scored as Eddard Stark

You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.







Eddard Stark

80%

Jaimie Lannister

60%

Daenerys Targaryen

55%

Tyrion Lannister

55%

John Snow

50%

Khal Drogo

45%

Robert Baratheon

45%

Joffrey Lannister

45%

Petyr Baelish

45%

Reply
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You Scored as Eddard Stark

You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.





Eddard Stark

85%

Khal Drogo

70%

Daenerys Targaryen

65%

Tyrion Lannister

55%

John Snow

50%

Joffrey Lannister

35%

Jaimie Lannister

30%

Petyr Baelish

25%

Robert Baratheon

20%
Reply
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You Scored as Eddard Stark



Eddard Stark 75%

Khal Drogo 65%

John Snow 45%

Tyrion Lannister 45%

Daenerys Targaryen 45%

Jaimie Lannister 40%

Petyr Baelish 20%

Robert Baratheon 15%

Joffrey Lannister 0% <------ I'm not surprised!
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You Scored as Jaimie Lannister

You are Jaimie Lannister. A great warrior, you are both skilled and mocking. You look out for your family, and are no coward, but you are also vain and cruel.

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Still can't get over Asha Greyjoy, renaming her and having her that ugly (despite in the books having her looking quite attractive) I just can't relate to her at all. Everytime I see her I want to turn it all off.



Other than that I like it, kind of glad that they shut things short with Arya. Her escape from the tower, then going off with pie and gendry and getting caught again, etc ... was nice that they made that part shorter.



The last scene with Melisandre was kind of spooky, was expecting that to happen a while back though :D and the aftermath. 4 episodes already gone and so much that is going to happen, wonder if they make the whole book into this season.
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You are Daenerys Targaryen. The last of the Targaryen line, you are the true heir to the iron throne. Your life has been full of struggle, but you have emerged a powerful figure, the master of dragons. Joffrey was last on the list, Tyrion was second. :)
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"You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run."



Really? You think?
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You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.



Eddard Stark 90%

Tyrion Lannister 75%

Daenerys Targaryen 65%

John Snow 60%

Jaimie Lannister 60%

Khal Drogo 50%

Petyr Baelish 40%

Robert Baratheon 30%

Joffrey Lannister 20%

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"Loras Tyrell? How good could he be? He's been stabbing Renly Baratheon for years, and Renly ain't dead!"



Burn!
1
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" Joffrey's goal was to show Tyrion that he can't be controlled, but surely he could have taken a little slice for himself before he packed off the disfigured whore to his uncle. This kid is sick, I tell you."



The implication being that if he had used the whores more conventionally first he would be less sick? haha, not saying I disagree necessarily but funnily put.
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Now, I haven't read the books, but a big reason why the first season spoke to me so much is because it wasn't your typical fantasy genre fare. There wasn't really any magic or anything like that until the end. And I mean, dragons? Sure, why now? Fire resistance- fine, I'll buy it. Black magic to keep Drogo alive? A little bit out there, but whatever, I'll buy it. Giving birth to a demon smoke baby? Now that's a little too out there for me. Hopefully this show won't devolve into Dungeons and Dragons/LOTR. That would be unfortunate.
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I understand your concerns, as I had them myself reading in the beginning. But I can assure you that even though fantasy elements will always play a role in the series, it won't take over completely and end up in some way like LOTR/DAD. So imo you don't need to worry because it will stay more historical fiction than fantasy (again, this is my opinion and I'm comparing to "typical" fantasy. Compared to Borgias it's of course plain fantasy).
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There has always been magic in the world of GoT. The show only presented the folk as "modernized" that they don't believe in such things anymore. But in the first scene of the first episode of the first season, wasn't it obvious enough when the Whitewalkers appeared?



And the Seven kingdoms was conquered by the first Aegon and her sister-wives. Each of them were riding dragons. This has been mentioned since the first season.



Thankfully there are no elves, orcs or goblins in GoT.



Although there are dwarves, and one of them is particularly awesome.
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I love LOTR. I mean, Bilbo Baggins was my childhood hero (I know he was a more prominent in character The Hobbit. Whatever). But trust me when I write this, GoT will NEVER become LOTR. And thank god for that.
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No, don't get me wrong, I loved LOTR too. GoT just didn't present itself to be a land with active magic and witchcraft. I approach it with a different state of mind than I would a Harry Potter, for example. It's just a little weird seeing all these elements bleed into this show... unexpected, like.
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I admit, it is a little jarring. But Tim's correct when he writes the magical elements of GoT are so much more powerful when being introduced into a world that has just been medieval for a long time.



I've read all five books, and I promise it doesn't detract from the gritty realism of merciless warfare and political power struggles. At the end of the day the human interactions are so damn authentic the magical elements of GoT become like a natural background. GRRM is like the Stephen King of fantasy. Making the impossible seem possible.
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I wish Joffrey would hurry up and get married.
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What an episode. Could be the best of the entire series so far, and it wasn't just because of all the awesome moments but as you said Tim, because of its differences from the books.



As one of those who was comparing the show constantly to the books I find myself wondering one thing; why did I want them to stay so perfect to the original story? Watching the opening scene and not knowing what was going to happen felt like watching season 1 again (as I watched season 1 and then read the books since). However I assumed it was to be the only moment I would not be able to predict, how wrong I was.





As the episode went on, dipping in and out of scenes from the books, scenes altered quite a bit and brand new scenes never given time in the books, I realised this was far better.



Those of us talking about differences and bits chopped from the books were probably worried that by divulging from the source material potential fans would not get all the incredible moments and impact that is delivered in the books. It is clear now that we will, but not only that perhaps we will get different incredible moments now, with different scenes and more prominence from some characters otherwise 'quiet' in the book.





Also Tim, as I disagreed last week I think its only fair to say how much I agree with your review this week. Its as if the TV show heard your dilemma of how to write a review for both those that have read the books and those that haven't. I really enjoyed the review of the episode as good TV but mainly as you balanced it off with good book background knowledge and little nods to the book. ex. " Tyrion 3, everyone else 0." Very nicely done.





Robb: Enjoyed the new scene, interesting new interest in Tellisa, can kind of see why they are giving more to Robb's character though. He's never a point of view character in the books so remains somewhat mysterious, although obviously awesome.

Tyrion and Bron: Always awesome and didn't disappoint.

Sansa: Great scene for her, last line to Tyrion as she leaves shows how shes adapting to the game. Not sure why theres such Sansa discussion. She's kinda stupidly naive in season one, but is fast learning what it takes to survive King's Landing.

Joffrey: Wow, they really upped the hate for his character even more. Im starting to worry that some nutcase fan is gonna attack Jack Gleeson (who plays him so well). They somehow made him more evil than in the books.

Littlefinger: Yes, always more Littlefinger, good that they are fleshing his character out earlier than in the books.

Arya and Co.: Harrenhal didn't disappoint, loved seeing it, rat torture was supremely messed up and The Tickler (the interrogating guy) was well done. Also making Arya cup bearer to Tywin was a new twist from the books, but so far everything about her story has been handled greatly. Scene with Hot Pie starring at the Mountain was hilarious and brilliant.

Barratheon Brothers: Thought both were great and the script was perfect.

Dany and Qarth: Again loved the new direction and thought it was all done really well, truly thought they were gonna have her show the dragons and loved being proven wrong with her Targaryen-esque badass speech. Don't remember if something similar happens in the books at some point. Thankfully no dead city of boredom.

Lancel: Great casting and greatly schooled by Tyrion.



Only one tiny complaint: The night is dark a full of ninjas!

Ok I seem to be greatly in the minortiy here but I didn't like the way they did the Shadow birthing. I know, I know, Im a fool and whatever but when I first read this game changing scene I always imagined the produced shadow to be exactly that, a shadow. As in it was only visible on the walls or on other things. Not a condensation of black smoke ala the Lost monster. Not really a big deal I know, especially as this is probably just me.



Anyway aside from the minor itch of mine, this episode was pretty much perfect.

And now I also feel excited that in next weeks episode I might know the overall story but not what scenes we will see or how we will get there, which for watching Game of Thrones sounds pretty much perfect.
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I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen. I am the Dragon's Daughter. I will take back what is mine!
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I will breathe through my nose and close my mouth when I'm not talking. I will stop looking confused in every scene.
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You are John Snow. The bastard son of Eddard Stark, you were brought up in his household and treated as his son, however, you soon swore an oath to serve on the wall and defend your country.



John Snow 95%

Eddard Stark 95%

Daenerys Targaryen 90%

Khal Drogo 85%

Tyrion Lannister 70%

Petyr Baelish 65%

Jaimie Lannister 60%

Robert Baratheon 60%

Joffrey Lannister 40%
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Hahaha. Not sure what to make of that, but I'll take it:



You Scored as Petyr Baelish

You are Petyr Baelish. A slimy creep if ever there was one, you use lies and deciet to take advantage of your foes. You are out for vengance, and will do whatever it takes to quench that thirst.





Petyr Baelish - 90%

Khal Drogo - 85%

Daenerys Targaryen - 85%

Jaimie Lannister - 70%

Tyrion Lannister - 60%

Robert Baratheon - 55%

Joffrey Lannister - 45%

John Snow - 45%

Eddard Stark - 35%
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Brilliant episode and a likewise brilliant article!



'If you ate my Snickers and I got mad so you gave me the wrapper, I'm still out a Snickers'



'Loved that "King of the North!" battle cry that followed! I'm going to scream that every morning before I brush my teeth to start the day off right. '



HILAROUS TIM!
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You Scored as Daenerys Targaryen

You are Daenerys Targaryen. The last of the Targaryen line, you are the true heir to the iron throne. Your life has been full of struggle, but you have emerged a powerful figure, the master of dragons



Daenerys Targaryen 70%

Khal Drogo 60%

Tyrion Lannister 55%

Eddard Stark 55%

Petyr Baelish 50%

John Snow 40%

Jaimie Lannister 35%

Robert Baratheon 30%

Joffrey Lannister 15%





Yeah for Dany, Tyrion, John, Ned and even littlefinger. (specially Dany, love her)

But the rest mhhhhh

And 15% Joffrey .. NOOOOOOOOOO (really, what does that say about me....)
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Man every scene with Bronn always delivers.
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Joffrey and Tyrion are really devouring their roles and are picking up a lot of the slack left by the departure of Ned's gravitas. Character strength will carry us until business really picks up...
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Mercifully no Bran and no Theon this week.
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Garden of Bones was the best episode yet, and restored my faith in the series. I'm especially glad that the series creators are taking liberties with George R.R. Martin's narrative, since otherwise the story becomes increasingly unwieldy and meandering as time goes on. It also makes the series more surprising and entertaining for those of us who have read all five books. There is definitely hope that Game of Thrones will finish up, perhaps 5-6 years from now, the way it should, with an apocalyptic confrontation of Fire and Ice, and a satisfying conclusion to a great story. The one major criticism I have of Garden of Bones is that we don't see enough of the story in the East -- Danaerys and her dragons are pretty much an afterthought. Hopefully, this will be rectified in future episodes. Also, I would like to see more of the Direwolves, and to have the CGI versions portrayed in a more lifelike fashion. And as long as we are departing from the books, Nymeria and Arya really do need to meet up again, and the Arya/Gendry storyline needs to be expanded. And, of course, the more Tyrion the better.
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When I read that part in the book about Melisandre birthing evil incarnate, I could not wait to see how the tv series was going to do it and I applaud the guys who work on GOT and how they delivered that part. Douche bag Joffrey was at it again. Felt sorry for the girl who got hit with that scepter, well I think its a scepter. Tim it's actually Talisa and yes she will be the character of Jeyne Westerling that's in the books. The actress is cute though, can give the the lady who plays Margaery Tyrell a run for her money.
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Loved the episode! WTF came out of Melisandre??? Bran on that picture made me LMAO!!! Tyrion was awesome as usual! and Joffrey's gaining even more points as the character I wanna watch die the most! The promo for next week's episode looks sick!!! As usual I can't wait for next Sunday!!!
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Here's my points list for the character I want to watch die the most:



1. The perennial champion, Westeros very own douchey boy-King sadist. - JOFFREY! - 19765 points (He got 10,000 points for ordering the decapitation of Ned)



2. Coming in at number two is the Queen-Bitch heself. - Cersei! - 8110 points



3. The character in the three-spot is someone certainly deserving of a slow, painful death, and I would absolutely love to see it. - Gregor Clegane a.k.a. The Mountain That Rides! - 3005 points



4. Number four is a new character, but he's just so reprehensibly disgusting, he's been piling up the points in no time at all. - Craster! - 2785 points



5. Rounding out the list is a character I'm sure we'd all like to see get his righteous comeuppance, because pushing 10 year-old kids out windows is NOT COOL. - Jaime Lannister! - 2450 points





SEMI-SPOILER!



Note to book readers: I know, I know. But he's not awesome, *YET*.
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Good list. Though I would make a small addendum and place Walder Frey at number three.
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Great episode. I loved seeing Tyrion prove what a threat really was. But I still miss battle scenes. I mean, it's OK, battle scenes are costly and we can imagine how the battle went, just as Tim suggests, but sometimes we like to see the actual battle for a change. This reminds me of another HBO production, Rome, which had plenty of those scenes.



By the way, so THAT'S where Lost's Smoke Monster came from...
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Battle of the Blackwater!



Trust me, this battle is going to be epic enough for 5 seasons COMBINED!
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I'm trying to have really low expectations for that episode so that in the worst case I won't be disappointed ^^

It will be very hard to portray it so that every reader will be pleased.
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Agreed. All battles would be blown out of the water by Blackwater---so why waste the money on sub-par battles. Plus, and this is part of what I love about the TV show, they are doing what the books did. If they didn't show a battle in the book, they aren't showing it on TV. We only see or hear of the aftermath. And from whichever view we see something in the book, we see it from the view in the show---A prime example being Catelyn watching The Whispering Wood action.



Everyone seemed to hate it, but I thought it was spot on.
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Quote of the week:



"There's no cure for being a c*nt."`



Nope, truer words have never being said.



... By the way, Tim, we all love them and all, but did you really just compare Ned Stark to a Snickers?
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Last week he compared sacrificing new born babies to drowning french fries in gravy, so I'd say this is about par for the course.
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Telisa and Robb's dialogue was my fav scene!
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You Scored as Daenerys Targaryen

You are Daenerys Targaryen. The last of the Targaryen line, you are the true heir to the iron throne. Your life has been full of struggle, but you have emerged a powerful figure, the master of dragons.



90%. My favorite character. And, I look GREAT naked!
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I'm Tyrion... and the description fits like a glove...and I got goosebumps from the intro after seeing Richard Madden's name on the credits!!! I am in love with Robb&Greywind!!!
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The Brotherhood that Gregor Clegane's men are asking about is the one led by Beric Dondarion and Thoros of Myr. Remember they were charged by Eddard to hunt down the Mountain and his men back in season 1.



Anyone notice that Gregor Clegane is thinner?



They may be changing a lot of things but so far all of them are of small relevance in the long run.



They did not kill off Doreah (Dany's sex tutor) which is very much ok because she's the hottest among Dany's girls. I expect she'd have a very big responsibility to Dany in the future seasons (wink wink!)



Whoever Rob Stark fancies is irrelevant. He's promised to a Frey girl and that's not going to change anytime soon.





PS



You Scored as Eddard Stark

You are Eddard Stark. King of the North, you are very honorable and a loyal friend. However, this kindness and nobility, although admirable qualities, may end up hurting you in the long run.





Eddard Stark 90%

Khal Drogo 90%

Jaimie Lannister 70%

Daenerys Targaryen 60%

Tyrion Lannister 50%

Petyr Baelish 40%

John Snow 40%

Robert Baratheon 10%

Joffrey Lannister 10%

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I think there is a new actor playing Gregor Clegane this season.
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"Whoever Rob Stark fancies is irrelevant. He's promised to a Frey girl and that's not going to change anytime soon."



That's the problem, dude. And this problem isn't black and white. It's RED!
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Nicely done....! Hahaha.
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I read that some people say the shadow baby is the Smoke from Lost.
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I also didn't like GoT straying from the books in the last episode but man, this one made it really hard to stay mad at Weiss and Benioff ^^

While I didn't like the pointless additions in the last episode (Renly's Lancing Session, Shani & Sansa, etc) I kinda liked the new things in this one. Robb's new crush, Littlefingers talk with Cat, Joffreys sick pastimes, very intriguing stuff.



Kepp it coming Game of Thrones!



PS: I got a tie between Eddard Stark and Khal Drogo. The tie breaker was choosing responsibility over being a good fighter. Long live the King of the North!! ^^
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The last scene was amazing! I've heard of actors being able to cry on cue, but giving birth to a demon shadow on cue? The actress playing the Red Priestess did a fantastic job, I didn't know women were capable of doing that! One more reason to admire the female body.



There is just one tiny thing that has bothered me during this season.

I read somewhere that before George R. R. Martin began writing A Song of Ice and Fire, he did some work writing for TV. During that time he became disappointed by the fact that everyone said it would be too complicated and expensive to create a story for TV with a large amount of characters and plot lines. That's when he decided that if he wanted to create a massive story with hundreds of characters and dozens of story lines he would have to do it in book form. So basically A Song of Ice and Fire was created because it was a story not fit for TV, and now they are making a TV show out of it! Now I'm not complaining, I love the show, and I'm happy that someone had the guts to create this series for us. But the little thing that has been apparent during this season is that the story wasn't initially intended for TV. It has clearly been a massive task to turn the story into screenplays. All characters get pretty much only one scene per episode, and still some characters have to be left out from each episode. And this has happened despite the fact that they have compressed the story as much as they can, and are not following the books that religiously any more. In this episode Cersei, Bran and Theon Greyjoy were missing, and they didn't show the Night's Watch at all. Again, I'm not complaining about the show, it's just a bit of a shame that characters have to be left out just because of time and budgetary constraints. I don't remember that they would have left this many characters out of episodes last season.
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I understand your frustration. I remember Tim quipped on his last review that some poor girl who took the time to dress up in a Dany costume must be devastated because she wasn't shown once in that episode. The irony of George.R.R.Martin's reason for creating his story in written form does not escape me. But I believe the problems you speak of are singular to this season.



A Clash of Kings is an immense book. I mean, it's really a beast. A big, beautiful beast. I had my doubts if it could be translated to the screen. But I've been very impressed so far. Almost all the deviations from the books have been logical and sometimes even more nuanced. A Game of Thrones was a much smaller book and less sprawling in scope, which made it easier to write into 10 screenplays. The third book in the series, A Storm of Swords, is just as spectacularly monstrous as ACoK, but is being split up into two seasons. This will allow the writers to truly do the book justice. The fourth book, A Feast for Crows, is widely regarded as the worst book in the series because several characters are omitted and compared to the last two books, not much happens. And the first half of the fifth books takes place during the events of the fourth book, but with different characters perspectives. I'm positive the writers will combine books 4 and 5 and will present the events chronologically.



So, I believe it's really only this season that will give the screenplay writers nightmares of shadow babies coming after them because of the material lost in translation.



But the character I'm most like is Arya Stark. Ever the optimist.
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GRRM writes an amazing world that gets way too bogged down and self-indulgent by books 4 and 5...but so far this season, I think that HBO are making the right compromises without sacrificing the story or character development (too much - hope we get to see more Mountain bad-assery). Glad to hear that book 3 will be over 2 seasons as well. As for books 4 and 5, and maybe I'm alone in saying this, but I feel it could honestly be condensed to 1 season or LESS.
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I tested mostly Dany but also was close to Jaimie, Littlefinger, Tyrion AND JOFFREY. Goddamn, this was a tough moment for me. :D
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LMAO at Davos' face in the photo above :D



Awesome episode!
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It looks like he is coming with a vengeance to swat the Bran-fly away from her nippular area.
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of all the unholy births from movie and TV histories and there are quite a few only the Xenomorph chest burster tops this one.



actually this whole episode was bloody gruesome heads on pikes, death by rat, amputation and the insinuation (my fantasy) that the royal scepter was gonna be used somewhat differently then they end up using it, which was bad enough.



Harrenhall was awesome everyone would be proud being called the lord of Harenhall.

I wander if we get to hear the story of the tourney of the false spring at Harrenhall.
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We won't, there's no reason for them to include it. Is it interesting? Yes, definitely, but it has no place in the tv show, that's why I recommend reading the books to everyone I know, just the wealth of background knowledge you'll uncover in the books is GREAT.
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You funny, man! And I do agree with (almost) every of your argument, and believe me, that happens very rarely. Just, LOL to everything you write and keep up :) LOOOOL why Bran's head as a censure? (And he was not it the epi, you could have mentioned him, like Jon. He deserves credit as well ;) ( Oh, and I got Drogo, nah..)
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But you're forgetting one important thing, Jon is a badass, Bran is a cripple that can't stop complaining about everything
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Just did one of them 'which game of thrones character are you' quizzes. Ayra Stark. What the what?! I'm a 30 year old man! Lets try again...



That last scene was bonkers brilliant
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Me, I'm with 90% Daenerys and with 85% Khal Drogo.

I guess I was a little bit unforgiving with the childhood-questions ...
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I took the quiz and I'm apparently an Arya Stark, as well.



I'm a 23 year-old man, but Arya is so kick-ass, I'm proud to be the most like her.



Arya, FTW!
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Arya's been one of my favorites from the beginning; I feel that I would probably be her if I were one of the characters. However, I took a quiz and got Khal Drogo. xD Okay, I won't argue with that one....although I would've predicted a mix of mainly Arya and Daenerys, with bits of others in there.
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She is kickass. Guess my pride took a hit at first!
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"There's no cure for being a c**t"
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Forgot about that, Bronn is another bad ass.
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Was anyone else a bit disappointed by the actor portraying Roose Bolton?

I expected him to have a somewhat more cold and evil aura (and also more hair...). He didn't make a big impression visually, kind of easy to forget.
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I'm sorry, who? ...



Kidding! I was disappointed, as well. I expected a more menacing presence from The Leech Lord. I also thought he was described as having long hair. A rare miscast for GoT.
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Really? This kind of is how I pictured him, I don't see how you find it disappointing. He definitely had the cold aura, especially combined with his voice, which I thought was spot on.
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I was, for the reasons above and because it's obvious that they are going to not going to introduce his son, Ramsay, and write it that everything he did is now going to be committed by Roose instead.
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Yeah, he was not casted yet. But I'd be pretty disappointed anyway if they totally skip Ramsay's character. Or maybe this is the line which even HBO won't cross.
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ramsay makes joffrey look like a saint. :P
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Exactly, which was part of the reason I was really hoping to see him. See how they conveyed it, but I'm guessing they don't want to have ***** suffer that brutal a comeuppance.
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