Game of Thrones: Pre-War Jitters

Game of Thrones S02E08: "The Prince of Winterfell"

Shoot, I'll just come out and say it since it's what we're all thinking. "The Prince of Winterfell" was probably the least exciting episode of Game of Thrones we've seen in a long, long time. Certainly of this season, right? This was a big-time talky-talky episode, and as was the case last week, sharp words spat at others can sometimes serve as a fantastic replacement for actual bloodletting. But "The Prince of Winterfell" felt more like the calm before the storm, with the purpose of continuing stories that will play out through the oncoming war, positioning characters throughout the land, and saying goodbyes before Blackwater Bay turns red with the blood of a million men.

But these not-as-thrilling (boring isn't the right word, boring is never the right word with Game of Thrones) episodes are necessary to beef up other episodes. Next week is the big George R.R. Martin-penned "Blackwater" episode, and I don't want to give too much away for those who want to go in blind, but let's just say it's supposedly going to kick your ass in all sorts of ways. That wouldn't be possible without tightening the wallet on "The Prince of Winterfell," a set-up episode that set things in motion for "Blackwater" and the finale not just with story but with production resources as well.

Whereas last week's dialogue was punctuated with verbal backhands and words as weapons, "The Prince of Winterfell" showed off a gentler side of Game of Thrones as the show took several relationships to new heights, probably with the intent of crushing them somewhere down the line and making us all the more sad. Robb and Talisa finally went where we all knew they would go (which was bow-chicka-wow-wow right on the floor), Ygritte came to Jon's defense instead of making fun of his swollen testicles, Yara laid off commenting on Theon's skirt and shared some loving sisterly words with him, and Tyrion got all puppy-eyed on his whore girlfriend Shae. (What!? She's literally a whore, I can say that! Shae's a whore Shae's a whore Shae's a whore!)

This is classic pre-war behavior. The days and hours before the big clash are surprisingly boring, and anticipation turns to reflection when death is around the corner. "The Prince of Winterfell" accurately relayed that feeling, which means one thing: Things are going to be awfully bloody next week and the week after that. I hope.

Now let's review what happened in "The Prince of Winterfell."


"Don't die so far from the sea."

Once again we started off with Theon and his half-hatched plan to take over Winterfell so his daddy will love him more. Yara finally arrived with the long-awaited reinforcements to hold Winterfell from the inevitable counter-attack by Robb's bannermen, but Theon must have accidentally written down, "Sister, need men to field softball team for epic tournament in the North" because Yara only brought an outfield, an infield, and a small bullpen. That's because she had no interest in holding Winterfell. She was only passing through to bring Theon the Conqueror back home so Balon could give him an A for effort.

Theon's plan was doomed from the start, more of a desperate cry for help rather than anything of tactical use to his people. The Greyjoys are sea-farers: Theon taking over a landlocked castle was like a bunch of snails squatting on a salt lick. But hey, great job Theon!

Before Yara left, she told Theon a sweet little story about how she almost killed him as a baby, but didn't. It doesn't sound as good in that sentence, but trust me, it was actually pretty sweet.

Later, and I suppose this was the episode's big reveal, Maester Llewyn noticed Osha sneaking bread into Winterfell's crypts, where Bran and Rickon (and sleeping Hodor) have been hiding out. See!? They're not dead! Those two pieces of jerky hanging from the walls were the farmer's new orphan kids. Not that anyone thought Bran and Rickon were really dead. (You didn't think they were really dead, did you?)


"We're even now, Jon Snow."

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, Jon Snow was being held prisoner by Wildlings after his unfortunate mishap while handling his own sexy prisoner, Ygritte. For Wildlings, extra prisoners just mean more mouths to feed, so a really cool Wildling with a really cool skull mask and a scarf made out of bones said to gut Jon because the group already had one captured crow (that's Wildling slang for "Night's Watch guy"). Say what!? Who? Qhorin Halfhand? No way! How did they catch him? Unfortunately, the only answer to that last question is, "Off camera." I bet it was a pretty good fight, though.

Ygritte stepped in to tell Bone Clothes that Jon was a valuable asset because he was Ned Stark's son, thus saving Jon's life. Probably because she has a crush on him and for once it might be nice to kiss someone without the mandible of a dead guy's skull getting in the way. That's the way to a Wildling woman's heart: Keep the bones off the face and in the pants.

Jon did that, "Hee hee, oops" thing to Qhorin and realized that it was his fault that all of Qhorin's homies had been killed. But Qhorin was pretty okay with it and opted to focus on their current situation: "Make sure it wasn't for nothing," he said. Later, he called Jon some bad names in front of the Wildlings right after telling Jon that one man on the inside of Mance Rayder's army would be worth more than one thousand fighting against him. Qhorin has a plan to get Jon undercover in Mance's army, but what is it?

And in South Dakota, Grenn was digging toilets in the snow when his shovel found a secret package left by someone from the Night's Watch a long, long time ago. It was a cloak full of dragon glass, known to us as obsidian. But instead of being just some stupid rocks people bring back from Hawaii as souvenirs, this dragon glass was crafted into sharp weapons. That should come in handy should something be extremely susceptible to dragon glass stabbing!


"I don't want you to marry her. But you needed that bridge."

At Camp Robb, Robb and Talisa were cracking nervous jokes about Robb getting married because it's always helpful to bring up someone's arranged marriage when you need to ease the thick sexual tension between two people who are certain to bone down. These two have come a long way since Robb first gazed upon the goddess sawing off a man's foot. And just as the flirting was getting hot and heavy, word came to Robb that Jaime had escaped. And that Catelyn was the one that let him go. Doh!

Naturally, Robb was pretty peeved about this. Jaime was the single best bargaining chip that Robb had, and Catelyn made the decision to cash it in because a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. With Bran and Rickon captives of Theon's (she thinks), Sansa held by the Lannisters, and Arya who knows where, Catelyn felt like she needed to retrieve whatever kids she had left. Her plan was to send Jaime back to King's Landing with Brienne in hopes that the Lannisters might free Sansa or Arya. Silly woman! I know you're grieving, but use your head next time. The Lannisters are more likely to shoot Sansa out of a catapult in a general northward direction than they are to hand her over once Jaime knocks on Cersei's door. Let's think before we release the greatest prisoner in the history of war, okay?

But we should be thanking Cat for doing this because now we have Brienne and Jaime on a road trip to King's Landing! How amazing is this pairing? Brienne's appearance gives Jaime so much insult material to work with that his head is going to explode. I'm looking forward to Brienne smacking his face in almost as much as I'm anticipating Jaime asking her about her completely absent love life.

He won't be able to make such claims about Robb and Talisa, however! The two kids were in Robb's tent when Talisa told some story about CPR and then BAM! They just went at it like it was National Go At It Day. Right there on the floor! Robb seemed to hesitate for a moment when Talisa was on top of him, as if he knew his arranged marriage with the Frey Fugly was doomed, but c'mon, super fine Talisa was right there and ready, man! *High five Robb*


"Fine. Jaqen H'ghar."

Over at Castle Rubblestein, Tywin decided to march on Robb's forces to keep him from attacking Casterly Rock, which is the Lannisters' home. He left the Mountain That Rides, Mr. Gregor Clegane, in charge of Harrenhal and tasked him to squash the Brotherhood Without Banners. Leaving that guy in charge of a rock is crazy enough; what was Tywin thinking leaving him in charge of a castle?

Arya overheard Tywin's plan and decided to cash in her last death wish with Jaqen, but she didn't find him until it was too late. Hey Arya, the guy has a job to do! He's not your personal assassin! When she did finally find him, she named "Jaqen H'ghar" and the look on his face was priceless. Nice move, Arya! He wasn't too keen on killing himself so she said that he could help her and her friends escape instead. He did, and Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry walked out of the gates of Harrenhal.


"I can't make promises for the wind, your grace."

Off in the sea, Stannis and Davos were chatting it up about Davos's past, explaining how he got the nickname the Onion Knight. Stannis and his men had been holding Storm's End for his brother, Robert, when the castle ended up surrounded and he and his buddies were forced to eat the horses, the cats, the dogs, and then the rats. I probably would have eaten cats last because cats rule. But Davos managed to sneak in with a bunch of onions, potatoes, and stewed beef, making all the men inside fall in love with him.

Stannis has always been thankful to Davos and knows Davos is a smart dude, so he asked Davos to be Hand of the King when the Iron Throne becomes his. Congratulations on the promotion, Stannis. I'm sure that Melisandre-Stannis-Davos situation will work out fine! Is it just me, or has there been a severe lack of Stannis, Davos, and Melisandre on this show lately? And when we do see them, it's awfully dark. Kind of ironic for Lord of the Light freaks.


"They have my dragons, a mother does not flee without her children."

After some interesting progress last week with Dany's stolen-dragons storyline, Dany got about 90 seconds of screen time in this episode. And it was pretty unsubstantial. Essentially she just confirmed what we always knew she was going to do: Check out the House of the Undying. Seriously, not much else happened with Dany except more conflict between her and Jorah. Will those two just go at it on the floor already?


"Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where is the god of tits and wine?"

Tyrion and Cersei went back to being bickering siblings after showing some sympathy toward one another last week. And Cersei brought out the big guns, telling Tyrion that she found his whore girlfriend and beat the snot out of her. Only Cersei thought Tyrion's woman was Ros, who continues to have a really lame life in King's Landing. She witnessed some baby-murdering, was forced to beat up a co-worker at Joffrey's twisted request, and now she's been mistaken for a common whore instead of the high-class madame she actually is. Poor girl! Someone needs to get her an all-inclusive vacation package to Sandals Resort when this thing is over.

Tyrion was relieved Cersei's big discovery wasn't actually Shae and went to her to tell her how much he loved her. Normally I'd be behind this and say things like, "Awwwww," but you all know how I feel about Shae. She's really insufferable, you know that, right?

Later Joffrey once again showed how inept he is at combat strategy by ordering a strike on the Starks just days before Stannis was attacking King's Landing. But the best part of this scene (and maybe the episode) was hearing Joffrey try to make a joke and totally bomb. "They say Stannis never smiles. I'll give him a red smile, from ear to ear." *crickets* BWAHHHAHHAHA. Nice try, Joffrey. That piece of writing was fantastic. Thank you, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. That made my week.

Varys and Tyrion spent a little more time talking about the future, and Varys mentioned that Daenerys Targaryen is still alive, and that she has three dragons. Tyrion was like, "whatever dude." And that let director Alan Taylor put together a neat shot with fire in the foreground and Tyrion and Varys chatting in the background. I can't wait to see Dany's lizards torch that place to the ground.



Game of Thrones Season 2 Power Rankings

I'll be ranking the ten 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 Prince of Winterfell" dragged its feet a bit as the series prepared for war. This was probably the least re-watchable episode of the season so far, except for checking out Talisa's butt in slow motion. I'll put it at the bottom of the list since it was Season 2's least eventful episode.

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 Ghost of Harrenhal" (Episode 5)
Shadow Baby gives Renly a big hug, wildfire wildfire wildfire!, Theon sets out for the North, and Arya's new friend does her bidding.

3. "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.

4. "The Old Gods and The New" (Episode 6)
Jon Snow meets a hot redhead in the snow, the people of King's Landing rebel, and Winterfell falls to Theon.

5. "A Man Without Honor" (Episode 7)
Theon takes drastic measures to hold Winterfell, revolution in Qarth means tough times for Dany, and Jaime Lannister returns to make fun of Brienne.

6. "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.

7. "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.

8. "The Prince of Winterfell" (Episode 8)
Talisa and Robb finally let their loins do the talking, Jon and Qhorin Halfhand are in the clutches of Wildlings, and Tyrion fears for Shae's safety.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I have not yet seen the Battle of the Blackwater episode yet, but it seems as if they won't include Tyrion's chain in the episode. So disappointing. It was quite brilliant and it plays a big part in the battle in the books.

I need more Davos in my life.

Ygritte is awesome.
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I did not agree with the difference between the book & TV show on how Cat & Robb does not know about the 2 boys' death. The devastation & grief from the 2 boys' death are a reasonable reason for Cat to let Jamie go & Robb to forego his promise. Otherwise, it is really out of character for Cat not to follow her duty & for Robb not to honor his promise. That's why Robb was not so mad at his mom, since he understands why she makes a poor decision since he did too given the same circumstances.
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Read the books and flip through a couple of chapters where in it feels like almost "nothing happens" and this episode fits right in with the entire series as a whole. Side note: Tom Wlaschiha is one of the most well cast actors as he nails every bit of what i envisioned when reading Jaqen's character.
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He sure improved Jaqen H'ghar at least 10 times from the source material, the lorathi must be the only character who can make the audience laugh, gasp and felt moved all in the same scene. And, the look on his face when Arya gave him his own name? Priceless!
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I concur. I was unsure when he was in the cage, but he is owning the role completely.
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This was one of my favourite episodes ever, actually. Fantastic acting and one of the best scripts for a TV show episode I've seen in a long, long time. Also there was a lot more emotion in this episode than usual. I'm surprised to hear people say they didn't like it, but then I guess most people are sticking around for the action.
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lol people don't like it cause they lack any and all logic...GoT has never been an action show...to be honest I cant think of an episode thats had more than a combined 5-7 minutes of actual action for the most part it is infact a lot and a lot of dialog (which is what I absolutely love)....but every episode always ended with some sort of cliffhanger...this one did not have any sort of cliffhanger so everyones bitching and complaining saying there was no action...or "nothing happened"
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"Un-name me!!'



"No!"



"Please?"



Best moment of the entire episode, by the way. I know they cut a little of Arya's story, i.e the Soup, but I think her scenes with Tywin and Jaqen and Gendry have made up for all that was cut. Especially as some of the coolest moments are still to come and I have no doubt that they will happen.
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I've got to be honest: I think Arya's story is all the more intriguing in the show. A Man and Gendry story too. The three of them never interacted together before and I can't wait to see the two of them compete for "Arry"'s attention.
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For me it was a great episode, even more drama than action-based. It was obvious we wouldn't be able to keep the notable increasing level of the last episodes (from 4 on).



-Tim Surette said: What!? She's literally a whore, I can say that! Shae's a whore Shae's a whore Shae's a whore!



In more ways than one. And she's insufferable, even more in the Show than in the books, if that's possible.



-Tim Surette said: You didn't think they were really dead, did you?



In the series, I don't think anyone thought that. In the book however, I did, even if it was only for a few pages. Not smoothly handled HBO, but you'll get an A nevertheless because the show still rocks.



Qhorin Halfhand does not look so badass in the screen as I imagined him in the books. And BTW, the new guy cast as The Mountain that Rides is nowhere near as scary as the former.



Catelyn is a great mother, no doubt, but sometimes mothers do stupid things trying to save their children (take a look at Cersei if you want to know more).



About Robb and Talisa, I understand Robb breaking his vow, because as I said in my native language, in a very colloquial sort of way: "Talisa ta'fuerte!" (Talisa 's hot).



-Tim Surette said: I probably would have eaten cats last because cats rule.



I probably would have eaten cats firts, just not to give them time to plot anything evil against the humans.



I also agree about the low-exposition given to Stannis, Melisandre and Davos lately, specially the latter. One would think they would have tried to make the audience more involved with the Onion Knight (those of us who read the books probably still are anyway, but the TV-viewers were not given the same involvement).



Joffrey is just the lamest, most pathetic fool on King's Landing and probably all Westeros.



-Tim Surette said: I can't wait to see Dany's lizards torch that place to the ground.



ME NEITHER! Let's be friends.
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***! you have done it again mr reviewer. Yes you have read the books but stop hinting(which is pretty much telling cos you know whats going to happen) about what is going to happen. I have read the first two books and half of part one of the third book and you've even spoiled things ahead for me having just finished a particular chapter around the page 200 mark.
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GENERAL BITCHING ALERT!



Okay guys, get ready for a rant. Are you ready? Here I go!



What the f**k are they doing to GoT's greatest character?! Tyrion would never, NEVER mispronounce the author of a book. I'd wager there isn't a soul in all of Westeros who has a greater knowledge of book-lore than him. In GRRM's tale he didn't have as pretty a face, but the dwarf could always count on being the most intelligent person in whatever room he entered. I can't believe there was actually a scene where Bronn and Tyrion are on the same intellectual plane. There is nothing right about that.



They're also making it seem like Tyrion has no idea what he's doing while preparing the defense for King's Landing. The man is a genius who always has a plan. In the lead-up to the Battle of the Blackwater, there were several tactical positions he had prepared and the show is making him look like a bumbling fool without a clue.



I won't give away any spoilers, but if they don't explicitly show how it was done, I just want every non-book-reader to know that every stratagem and maneuver that comes out of King's Landing is orchestrated by Tyrion Lannister.
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I signed up to TV.com simply to say that I agree wholeheartedly with you.

The shows lead up to the battle of blackwater has been abysmal. Tyrion near single-handedly plans king's landing's defence strategy, and bar some pig shit, we haven't seen any of it in the show. Likewise the battle planning of all the major players has been shunned and poorly tied together. Viewers would be forgiven for not knowing that much of the story told so far in S2 is actually leading to something big.

This has done a huge injustice to Tyrion and the incredible pacing of ACOK. Hopefully they attempt to address these major flaws next episode.

With that said, I am a big fan of the story changes and additions for Arya, Jon, Dany and Robb. The book -> tv narrative translation have been very deftly handled, with most too-complicated-for-tv storylines replaced with character defining scenes and dialogues that at least equal or in some cases (Dany) better the book.
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Ok, so after watching the battle of blackwater episode (9), I completely retract any negative statements. Tyrion's character has been fully redeemed. Ok, well mostly. His scheming still could have been covered in greater detail, but the character is granted ample amounts of awesome in episode 9. Shame on me for doubting!
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I really wanted to see the chain. The reason I think they might not show it is that they wont be showing much of the navy as it costs too much and will instead focus on the land battle.



I think the bigger issue of season 2 is how much they've butchered Arya's character development. ACOK was pretty important for her.. and while I loved the Tywin/Arya scenes, I'm not sure its worth all the Harrenhal stuff they cut out.
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I agree with Arya. They really cut a lot of important character development. However, there's still time for it next season with slightly changed storylines.
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And how do you know how to pronounce a proper noun just by reading it?
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The books talk about the vast amount reading knowledge Tyrion has accrued from a very young age. I believe he even memorized entire scripts of famous poems to entertain his fathers men. If the show was being true to his character, he would have read 'An History of The Great Sieges of Westeros' before he was thirteen, and learned how to pronounce Archmaester Ch'vyalthan by fourteen.
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But it was a badly written book, so why is he expected to have read it and know who the writer is?
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Never try to convince a fanatic or obsessed
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Because he's Tyrion Lannister.
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FF, I love reading you comments week after week, they are clever and funny; but I'm starting to feel a little bummed about them, since all of them are a sort of "spoiler" related comments and feel like I need to avoid you like the plague, and I', NOT cool with that. I realize you are not a reviewer, but a mere commenter here, but forgive me, I love you sense of humor and I'm kinda missing out. Anyways, what about posting twice? Spoiler for book readers and another one for the rest of us?

Just sayin'... A man is VERY very funny!!!
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Damn, that cut deep.



Right down to how unbelievably nice you were about calling me out. It's true. Most of my comments are unintentionally directed towards the book readers. I get a little caught up in comparisons and I suppose I've been TV prejudiced. I never actually considered anyone would get upset for not being able to read my comments. That's just about the nicest way to be pissed off at somebody. I promise to write a comment next week completely bereft of any spoilers that focuses solely on the show. But I'm still going to feel guilty every time I write a spoiler-y comment from now on. Thanks for that! *playful laughter*



Anyway, a man will do what he can.
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Just to provide a different perspective: I actually appreciate these posts that compare the events of the book(-s) to the events of the series. I don't feel particularly spoiled, because the focus is on what has already come to pass. All in all, it gives me a better understanding of what's going on (or "should" be going on).



I would only object if FF and others were openly talking about the future and downright spoiling what happens in book 3, 4 or 5. But, I don't think we are at the risk of that.
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Wow. Even TV show review comment writers have groupies these days! I need to start doing it more.
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I feel your pain.



Stannis is two days from King's Landing and he's only just now settling into the books and trying to use advice from them on how to defend the place. Seems very un-Tyrion-like, especially when compared to the books, though not exclusive to. He was already meant to be ready to roll.......



....although, having watched the episode twice, I am hoping and going to assume that it was only defence regarding the gates he had yet to finalize and arrange---should Stannis and his Army get there. Rather that the sea attack, which I am again, hoping and assuming, has already been planned and established via the wildfire scene.



This is probably wishful thinking on my part, as I think going by that light, it seems as though Tyrion is doing more in defence than he did in the book--I don't recall him planning Mud Gate protection until the battering rams came. I don't know where the pig-shit came from though, or how that will feature. New developments.



I am a little worried about the chain, myself now.....especially after hearing a line in next week's promo.
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Yeah, it's pain many of us are sharing. My two fave characters are Arya and Tyrion, and I think they've been shorting us on both. (The Weasel Soup event was instrumental to Arya's choices coming up in S02E10 Valar Morghulis.) The portrayal of Tyrion's lack of planning and lack of historical knowledge is criminal. Considering that the next episode is told so much from Davos' viewpoint, no foreshadowing of the sea events (the chain) is epically stupid. And one of the great ironies of this part of the story is that Tyrion has done so freakin much to save both King's Landing and his family's hold on power, and he will get credit for none of it, from the populace or from his family. And the show has largely lost that so they can show Joffrey telling a stupid joke, or add 90 seconds of Dany doing nothing.
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I couldn't possibly agree more with everything you wrote here.



We can only hope they do Tyrion justice in the next episode. Because for my money, The Battle of the Blackwater is one of his greatest moments in the entire ASoIaF series so far.

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@JayAtkinson & martintab



Thank you!



I realize momentarily fumbling the pronunciation of an author might not seem like such a big deal to some people, but for Tyrion Lannister, it represents the absolute antithesis of his book character. I've always loved the TV adaptation, but there is something lacking. We don't see it, but Tyrion is much more insecure in the books. Do you guys remember his inner-turmoil about Shae?



"Fool, she's a whore, she doesn't love you. Cersei was right, you think with your cock, fool, fool."



He loves her deeply but always doubts if she truly returns his affections. He is uglier but smarter, more insecure but has more courage, but at least in both versions he's still the cleverest bastard in the seven kingdoms.



AND



I'm REALLY starting to worry about the chain. I've been writing for weeks my apprehension about this subject. But I never actually believed they would leave it out. Now I'm starting to wonder ...
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WE feel your pain. I couldn't believe when Tyrion wasn't sure about the spelling (even though Varys later confirmed he was right all along, I really doubt Book-Tyrion would have had any doubts, even less think for an instant that Bronn got it right and he was wrong).



And I am too worried about the chain. Pretty worried.
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I wasn't worried about the chain until this week. That would have been the perfect time to hint at it, and I thought they were going to, until Tyrion said 'Pig Shit!". Especially as they dropped Podrick Payne in briefly to establish him as around for when his moment comes.



I remain hopeful that they will do it how I said before, but a little twinge of doubt has crept in. I got a feeling the Bridge of Blackwater won't happen either.
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Podrick's role looks more like an extra right now to me. No non-book reader will recognize him, so I doubt that he will play any role in the battle (as opposed to the book).



And seeing this episode, I'm quite certain there won't be any chain. I can't see any reason why they would make it so that Tyrion would get the genious idea last minute and be able to actually get it done in time.



They way he was shown here, he will probably lead some men into battle next episode and gain some confidence but will definitely not be the mastermind of the battle.
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Dislike button please!



I don't know what you are talking about, I have only read first book, but I can see that he is intelligent and winning most tactical battles and mind games. If anyone is preparing properly for the war. Just because they added some fun to the show by mispronouncing something doesn't mean they are making him look clueless. That's like saying Robert Downey in ironman is a lucky idiot and has no idea what he is doing just because of the added humor. I see him, littlefinger and Vaerys as the most intelligent characters just by watching the show.
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First of all, RDJ as Iron Man is hilarious, but intelligently hilarious. There's never a joke when he gets something wrong and everybody laughs at his stupidity. He's always cuttingly clever. Secondly, your opinion on the matter is a moot point by your own admission. You will have no idea what I'm talking about if you haven't read A Clash of Kings.
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ok i'll go read the ACoK lol



you were ranting tooo much last week tooo ff, just saying, take a chill pill and enjoy the show





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I think that was Fringe's point, CyberFairy, Tyrion should not be making the same mistakes as Bronn. It's been established from the start that Tyrion is a book-worm; that he stays up all night reading and that it's how he keeps himself sharp. "A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone."



A line that's from both book and show.



I'm not trying to rant about it, but I do think Fringe has a point. I'm all for Tyrion/Bronn humour, I'm all for the banter and the laughter their conversation cause me. But I don't believe in diminishing a character, lessening their established intelligence for the sake of a funny moment or line.
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I wrote a lot of comments last week but I didn't really have a rant. And what's the point of these forums if not to have critical discussions about the show? Not every comment can just be, "I liked this and that, and this and that ..."
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Did you miss the part where even Bronn pronounced it wrong? Varys got it right and Tyrion made a jest to Bronn. It was just a funny scene.
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You got it worng the episode before this one was boring as hell

this one was quite good every episode with Tyrion is good

I just loved it how he acted like Cersei won

Not to mention allot of Rob scences are good

I also like Jaqen H'ghar and I hope it is not the last we see of him

I think the less we see Jon Snow And Dany

the better the episode



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We should see Jaqen again before the end of the season. HBO will burn if we don't :P
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It wouldn't be a season finale without "A Man..."
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A man will lose his shit if we don't.
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I don't measure episode's quality by the number of events taking or not taking place. And I do enjoy dialogue in GoT. As such, I can't say that I was let down by the pacing of the latest offering.





However, it doesn't mean that every scene was good. Dany's appearance certainly felt forced and of no consequence, Cersei's and Tyrion's was just the same old we know all too well by now, and Tyrion's and Shae's didn't reward us with any new insight, either.





I liked seeing Robb and Talisa together - the following nakedness felt more like a natural extension, given the situation, rather than being added just for the sake of it - something I couldn't say about a few other similar scenes this season.

Arya and Jaqen are plain awesome, I wish they had more interactions.

And much to my surprise, I might've noticed a faint glimmer of a likeable trait in Stannis, when he was talking about Storm's End.

I also fear that Jon having to do "whatever it takes" to gain Mance Rayder's trust will mean not so good news for Qhorin Halfhand.



In any case, it's a grave crime that these seasons are only 10 episodes long...
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We need a spinoff, with just Varys Littlefinger and Tyrion. How great would that be, those 3 trading jabs and talking circles around each other.
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one game at a time
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Yes, this episode was definitely a bit slow, but GOT is really never not awesome. Jaqen H'ghar, I love you man. You are so mysterious and cool. I am still hoping for Dany and Jorah to go at it on the floor. Also, the quote of the episode totally belonged to Tyrion. I will froever remember his epic philosophical take on religion.
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I enjoyed the episode but I feel like there is a lot of time wasted on nonsensical things. I want more awesomeness!
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haha, i can't stop laughing every time i think of "Meanwhile, in North Dakota,"
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qbe_64, shut the f*ck up. There are enough people on here who haven't read the books and don't want to be spoilered. This is not a discussion board about the GoT-Genre, it's the comments section for an episode OF THE TV SHOW.
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My bad, difficult episode to comment on as nothing happen.

But you're right. Posts are gone. I don't think they were very spoilery for anyone who hasn't read the books though.
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If you read the books, it is interesting to see how some events are changed for the tv series. Robb and his girlfriend do get together, but not at all like that. That talk about Davos becoming hand doesn't happen until the end of book 3. Jon Snow (and the whole gang from the wall) and Dany with her dragons are getting their stories butchered for tv, they don't get any screen time at all.
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Dany and Jon barely got any time or action in the second book, either. Seems more like they have been given padding on the show, to have more scenes, rather than having their stories butchered.
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dany's story movies a lot faster in the book than on the show.
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I have a totally different feeling. For me Dany stories move a lot slower and quite less eventful in the book. But hey, I read it last year, and have already consumed over 4,000 pages of the saga, so I sometimes forgot exactly how things went down.
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@EdPeixoto



The GoT showrunners agree with you. A Storm of Swords is being split up into two seasons.
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I understand the budget issue and all, but the books 1 and 2 are more or less the same size and they did a much better job with season 1 capturing the core points of the story. Although book 2 is more complex (many new characters), they are either changing the story or skipping too many parts altogether. The show is awesome, but I do get a bit concerned about season 3. Book 3 is gigantic, there is no way to fit that into 10h.
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What really impacts this season is the minimalization of Arya's appearances and the amount of her actions that have been removed in the series. I find it surprising that the producers cut out completely her part, or that of the bloody mummers, in Roose Bolton taking over Harrenhal before her departure. Also, too, the revelation of Jaqen as a facechanger to Arya!
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SPOILER ABOVE
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I think the revelation will come in the last episode, which is conveniently title "Valar Morghulis". You are spoiling people who haven't read the books.
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A man changes face? :) see, it spoils
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What makes you think they cut that Jaqen revelation? I don't see any indication that they have at all, or that they will. I think you, though, will have just spoiled it for a few people.
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Can't see how I can spoil something noone outside the knowledge has a clue about, except having told that most of Arya's character script in season 2 was shamelessly rewritten taking her from one place to another and then out of it, without telling the juicy parts of the story. What happens now to Jaqar in the remaining part of Season 2 (if it happens at all) is completely irrelevant, or another different tale whatsoever.
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Although I am disappointed that they dropped the whole Weasel soup and The Bloody Mummers and such, I can see why they did it. That's a lot of budget going into scenes and characters that are most superfluous to the story. I much preferred seeing her with Tywin that I would have with Roose Bolton.



But amid all that missing, Jaqen needs to be seen again, as Fringe said, for the coin and those two famous words----and with that coin, the moment she should have had escaping, will come later too.
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Sorry, MoRestrepo, I'm with Jay on this one. Arya absolutely must see Jaqen again. I've been looking forward to the thing you mentioned all season. And I could be wrong, but I don't remember him giving her the coin or how to use it. Without that, her entire storyline would be fundamentally altered. So, you probably should have put some sort of spoiler alert in there.
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Sorry, but labelling his a Face-Changer is a spoiler to non-book readers, no matter how you try and over-verbosely try and spin it. And of course it will still happen. It has to for the sake of Arya story to come! She can't get where she needs to go without seeing him again!
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Pretty much any scene with Robb this season is my least favorite scene in any given episode. He's seriously the most boring character on that show right now and last night that protracted seduction scene between him and Talisa just solidified that feeling. About halfway into her telling that story, my husband looked over at me and said "I stopped listening. What's going on?" and I had to tell him I didn't know and didn't care. I don't mind dialogue - hell, most of Mad Men is this type of scene - but I found that part almost painful to watch. Dany's scenes this season have almost been equally as yawn-worthy, but I'm sure that's just temporary as she is at least an interesting character. Arya's scenes have been the best this season!
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If you don't like the dialogue, then this is not your kind of show. Better switch the channel.
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U mad, bro?
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If you don't like reading, then clearly this isn't your kind of comment lol. I already stated that I don't mind dialogue. I didn't like that PARTICULAR exchange and I don't get any entertainment or satisfaction out of Robb Stark's scenes.



I swear GoT has more defensive fans than apple. Just because something is generally great doesn't mean it is ALWAYS great or above criticism.
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I must admit, Arya and Jaqen , in addition to Tyrions scenes with Varys and Joffrey was the only thing i found interesting about this episode.

So i have to agree its probably the worst episode of the 2 seasons of Game of Thrones we've had.
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I watched season 1 without reading any of the books. While waiting for season 2, I've read books 1, 2,3 and 4. It changed my whole perspective on the show. All dialogues on season 2 will make much more sense if you know the background stories from the books. Without that it does feel kind of too much talk and not enough action.
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Yes, this ep. was a little too "talky talky", but Arya's scene with A man made up for all, it was AMAZING!! The look exchange, Arya shruggin' at his pleads, everything beautifully done.

I <3 Jaqen H'ghar!!!



A man is misteriously sexy! (and is making a woman want to speak in third person)

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Jaqen & Arya are one of the hottest dynamic of GoT in my opinion, even though they haven't had a single "hot scene" on the show.

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a man is incredible sexy! but it is actually kind of creepy that he and arya talk to each other like an old married couple, but still, the hottest man in GOT
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This was the first time I wasn't too pleased with the episode.. I figured since they have so much to do next ep, and the aftermath + north/arya to deal with in ep10 they could hopefully get most of Danys plot out of the way but they stalled for that some reason...

Hoping the battle + HotU are atleast close to being as good as they were in the books.. gonna be two good episodes coming up!
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WTF??? I really really like Shae!!! She is awesome...and I love her interaction with Sansa!!! The only one I find insufferable is the what's-her-face-nurse...but I do admit that was a hot boning session!!! Oh...and I absolutely despise Catelyn...worst character from the show!!! I hate her with passion and I hope she dies in pain!!!
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I agree, Shae character is great. The nurse is acting too pretty and noble, maybe that's why most people don't like her, but hey she is so hot. And Catelyn must be bipolar lol. First she won't leave Bran's room even to take number 2, then she leaves him in winterfell and goes to kingslanding in season 1; and this season she releases jaime, wtf, does jofrrey looks like he gives a shit about doing the right thing?
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I thought so that they won't do any battles or real bloody depiction of clash of kings till the end of season. And it's a bummer. I'm tired of waiting. It is so cliche of doing things like that. Why not show some actions (I'm not asking huge panorama like battles I'm aware of GoT tight budget) in this episode? These conversational scenes were unnecessary at all. I don't want to know anything about Stannis and his pal. I know enough for now. And I got tired of Jon Snow antics. His story is boring. And he is boring. I was so irritated when they show three losers friends of Snow shoveling some snow. Why? I don't care about their doings. They found some obsidian. Or great! So what? It will be better if they show Dany saving her dragons in House of Dying. Why we need this unnecessary scene of her that we had in this episode? Another waste of time. If you have so many characters and stories you need to be careful with them.

Only exciting action was Talisa Rob getting on. And it is kinda strange.

If we not gonna have any real action in next episode It will be a disaster.
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Seriously the Jon Snow story is boring?



When I first watched Game Of Thrones last year I had never read the books and after the first 15 mins I was hooked. I watched the entire 1st series before I read any of the books (in fact I did not read the first book until a couple of weeks before season 2 started and so far have only read books 1 & 2 and half of part 1 of the third book).



Although I loved everything about it in that first season there were 2 things I most looked forward to.



The first of them I have been anticipating since the prologue of the first episode. That being the White Walkers (Others). I could not wait for these beings to make their move for south of the wall.



The second was the eggs. I prayed for them to hatch from the moment Dany was giving them. Finally at the end of the first season my wish came true on this matter.



However still not much on the White Walker side of things. When the nights watch marched north at the end of the first season I believed that the White Walker vs Man battle was imminent alas I read the book so excited to read about this epic battle and unfortunatly still no white walkers marching south... but at least the wildlings are making plans to do so.



Despite my disappointment so far about this I have still found Jon and Aryas chapters the ones I anticipate while reading the book and always the ones that progress their characters storylines the most. At least I still have the white walkers involvement to look forward to.



SPOILER ALERT!

After the Jon Snow chapter I read last night where he and the wildling come upon the Fist of The First Men I feel I don't have much longer to wait... but then again it is Game Of Thrones and it could still be a while before I get to read any actual White Walker action.
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Well the obsidian WILL have its uses, so they had to show it. I'd think that people would know by now that if GoT shows something like that it is important. I agree with the Dany scene that it was a bit pointless, but I guess they felt like they had to show even a little bit of her, otherwise people would have moaned "why no dany WTF?!" after last week's episode. Dany's storyline has been the weakest by far this season, but I reckon that's because not much happens to her in the book either so there wasn't as much to go on as with other characters.



It wasn't the best episode ever, but if every single episode would have battles, blood, kinky brothel sex and dragon heists, the viewers would just probably get numb to it that much sooner. I like GoT's style of having a couple seemingly mellow episodes in between and then shock the audience with some incredible turns of event. They are truly, truly making justice to the awesomeness that is the Song of Ice and Fire.
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Whatever happened to Arya's soup scene? That was one of the most awesome scenes in the book! :'(

But yeah, it was a pretty good episode. Not much actually happened, but it was good.
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I don't have too much problem with it as tbh I suspected as soon as they started changing her death wishes and added the Tywin/Arya scenes that the weasel soup scenario would be cut. I am suprised however at the omission of Aryas second kill. Thus far in the show she now only has one kill to her name and that was more of a panic self defense kill.
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I guess they will right that wrong next season. Right now the Arya in the books and in the show are very different as they skipped a LOT of character development.
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Actually, they just reduced Arya's story to the strictly minimum. All of her errands at Harrenhal were eliminated and replaced with her dialogue lines with Tywin Lanister and an interaction with Jaqen that wasn't much as it was written. Two awesome chapters of Arya in action, the ambush of Yoren's caravan and especially her third wish and the weasel soup, which in terms of action was one of the biiggest events in book 2 were avoided. That is particularly sad because the bloody mummers are also out of the action in Game of Thrones.

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what frustrates me most about Arya's story is there is no sense of her wanting to go home/ safety. For me that was such a part of her motivation of everything she did, but I don't get it. I'm sure they could have written it as a scene between Arya and Tywin as a hypothetical how far would you go scenario.
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Please, give us more Dany. Everytime she comes on screen I light up because I adore her so. The dragons are by far the coolest thing in GoT and either their small special FX budget or something is making us NEVER SEE THEM. However...Dany's white wig cannot cost that much so can we at LEAST see more of her?
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Sure, aside from the bits of nookie (and NICE WORK, Rob!) there wasn't a whole lot of action in this episode, but I agree with Tim that it's the "calm before the storm", and even then they are chopping up the book into an incredibly abridged script to work from.



Not the greatest episode, but I don't know that I'd call it the worst (thanks to the nookie).
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I did enjoy the episode quite a lot but Dany's storyline is getting sooo boring!
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Lol , it's funny how you try to defend shittiness of the series. "Yeah, in any other series I would say its freaking boring as hell, but it's Game of thrones, so it's calm before the storm" YAWN.
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seriously though shittiness? What do you watch? Unless it's Breaking Bad, Sons Of Anarchy or Game Of Thrones I seriously consider you to have poor taste. And don't give me that "it's a matter of opinion" crap. Game of Thrones is clearly the best quality show on TV right now and anything else is dwarved in comparison. That is as far as sheer tv/film making quality is concerned... you know acting, scripting, casting, location finding, production quality. I personally loved this episode and prefer it to some of the previous ones of this season. The scene between Tyrion and Varys talking about the sixteen teated goddess in the East awesome, "we must sail there at once". Just before that... "I can imagine Stannis' terror". The Arya scenes best of Harrenhal so far (maybe with exception of the Tywin/Arya dialogue that doesn't occur in the book).
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THE GOOD: Rattleshirt !!

THE BAD: no Weasel soup !!!

THE PUZZLING: no explanation as to how Cersei managed to snatch the wrong whore...

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Tyrion gave her a necklace in the first episode. She then followed him all the way to Kingslanding 1+1=2 except it wasn't
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okay... I heard the mention of a necklace of Lannister lions, just didn't recall him actually giving such a gift.
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Well I bet she found out Tyrion was with Ros in Winterfell once. Also she was one of the whores he gave Joffrey. So I can see how she could have confused her with Shae. Tyrion and Shaes realationship is not that much a whore.client relationship so that why she was confused or she never found out. I also believe Varys misguided Cersei's spies without her even knowing.
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Probly right about Varys. I guess we'll hear it in the next ep.
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im in love with the actor who plays Jaqen, that man needs no words to act, just the way he looks to Arya is the only thing you need to get what he is thinking... jaqen is by far my favorite character, follow by arya, jamie and robb. Granted this was a kind of weak episode but still a great hour of television!
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No wonder Gendry sounds so jealous - "You need him?" - A Man is awesome!
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Knew that Ros was there to fill in for Alalaya from the books, that's why we where submitted to her "character"
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BOOK SPOILER ALERT!



It looks the TV show producers didn't like to script a weasel soup providing a lame shortcut to Arya's story instead...

OUCH!!!
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yup and in the show the Lannisters still hold Harrenhal.
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Any episode of Game of Thrones is always good somehow, and I understand the idea of slow burning, the calm before the storm. It's just that with a season only 10 episodes long, a show cannot take the luxury of having episodes in which little happens. Another thing that bugs me is that some characters simply disappear for several episodes, which means practically the entire season. For instance, Jaime Lannister was a prisoner and did nothing most of the season, Melisandre had some fantastic scenes, then was gone, Dany has done practically nothing this season, and where's Ghost, Jon's direwolf? Oh, and Bram's direwolf and dream raven? Game of Thrones makes such an excellent characterization that even the animals are cool, but then it deprives us of their company for most of the season.
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and Ghost wanders off a lot in the books also. Melissandre does little after the shadow demon birthing also as Davos convinces Stannis to leave her behind (which I believe we saw in a previous episode) for the upcoming war.
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Robb and Jamie aren't even in the second book barring tales of Robbs conquests and at the end where Catelyn and Jamie had a long talk before she released him, I was gutted they changed this for the show. Ok it would have been a long scene to include the whole convosation from the book that occurs in this chapter but it would have been worth it to give Jamie more screen time.
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The guy playing Jaqen H'ghar was terrific last night. I loved his reaction to Arya saying his name and hope we get to see more of him in the future. Speaking of Arya, the people who cast her did an amazing job. Her interactions with various characters, especially Tywin, have been some of the best moments of the season. Oh, and Dany is getting very annoying, I'm glad she hasn't had much screen time this season.
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Well, as has already been pointed out, this episode was pretty much all set-up. What was the point of the brief Dany/Ser Jorah scene, though? We need to get on with the House of the Undying - and I want to see Arstan and Strong Belwas. At least we were introduced to old Rattleshirt this week, although he didn't look as cool as I'd imagined he would.



I did like the fact that Talisa left her boots on. Kinky. :P
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Ya I mentioned earlier how they could have had Dany at least enter the House of the Undying and leave a cliffhanger in there. Oh and rattleshirt was ok, bit bummed that the fighting scene that happens in front of rattleshirt wasn't shown. It would be cool if they introduce Mance and have that fight scene in front of him instead.
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its clearly coming...
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The line Talisa said before she got it on with Robb made me laugh, something along the lines of "I'm sure it is a beautiful bridge," as if Robb is torn between a woman and a bridge.
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Robb: I don't wanna marry her

Talissa: But you needed that bridge, I hope it was a beautiful bridge



Tim: "High five Robb!!!"
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"A man has patrol duty!" must have been one of the greatest lines ever!
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I know the character development is important and all but I feel like the 8 episodes we have seen so far could be shrunk to 6-7.



Danny story is starting to get in my nerves



Talisa makes me drool



Hodor still alive...Hodor!
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Crap episode, at least we get some war action next week...I think? No dragons or direwolves and no Theon Lovejoy didn't fool me with his mis-direct.
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excuse me sir but no man may call any episode of GoT a "crap episode" GTFO
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Your right sorry, I should have used the more appropriate "c" word to describe this episode.
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I know I saw a 55 minute episode but I am wondering where those 55 minutes went for this one. Nothing substantial happened, I would have at least thought they would have got part of the Dany storyline going - at least show her in the house of undying and leave it with a cliffhanger for next week (there are several points in the book where they could leave it as a cliffhanger for that chapter). I wonder if they have ended the north of the wall storyline for the season, I dont remember anything else from the books that the show hasn't covered.
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Jon's, robb's and Cateyln's story lines are a head of the second book. Dany's story line is behind the books. They've got a lot to show for her story line to catch up with the books and I really hope they do catch up. I want to see her two visitors before this season ends.
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They left a lot for the final 2.



Blackwater is next week, and everything else is for the finale.
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Maybe I just like whores, but I find nothing wrong with Shae.
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A friend argued that Shae isn't Tyrion's girlfriend, she's his whore. I say if you care about the whore, she's your girlfriend.
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And if you give money to your girlfriend?
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It's called "marriage", illegal though, but u get the idea ;)
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Me neither, in fact I kind of like her... One of my favourites supporting characters.
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Shae is just ugh so annoying next episode looks epic
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Seriously, Talisa's fine ass made that episode.



Man, "Blackwater" has been so hyped by 'the readers' thus far, it better make me piss myself from its supposed awesomeness.



But, hey, if it delivers half the astonishment I got from Ned losing his head, it will have got the job done.
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It is something completely different from Ned losing it's head. That episode rocked only because Ned died. This entire episode is going to rock because we know the very real possibility that one of the characters we have come to know and love (mainly Tyrion) will very possibly die. It's gonna ROCK!
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*High five Robb* LOL!!!! I've been biting my nails waiting for your recap!!!! I think I'm in love with Jaqen H'ghar, his reaction was superb!!!! and thank God Gendry appeared again!!



When Talisa was telling the CPR story, I was thinking "ok, he's totally gonna jump on her.right.now"



Also, I can't wait to see the upcoming scenes between Brienne and Jaime XD



PS. I also think cats rule!!!! I got a bit sad when Stannis said they ate them!!!! :'(
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I'm shocked you breezed over the Arya/Jaqen exchange so quickly. That's my vote for best scene of the season thus far! Jaqen asking politely to be unnamed... The line, "Please" was delivered masterfully.



Gold, I tell ya... Gold!
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Agreed I cant stand Shae



and god damn Talisa is hot...probably the prettiest girl casted on the show
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Yeah, nobody gonna disagree with you on that.

Hot-hot-hot.
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she is hot indeed but personally i prefer margaery and dany.
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The "calm before the storm" mood was exactly what I thought when this episode ended. I agree that there has been too little Davos, Stannis and Melisandre. I love Dany, but I'm not even sure if she was necessary to even appear in this episode. I know you don't like Shae Tim, but I like that Tyrion has a soft spot. I love it when scheming badasses like Tyrion show a vulnerable side. Not my favorite episode, but as I said, the worst this show offers is better than the best most other shows have to offer. Can't fucking wait for next week!
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I'm a the only one who likes the talking in Game of Thrones? The dialogues are so well written in this show! It's a pleasure just to hear two characters talk.
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no your not alone...heavy WELL DONE dialog is what makes good shows...great shows



I'll take a Tyrion and Bron conversation over a Jamie Lanister vs Ned Stark sword fight any day of the week
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The talking is what makes the show.
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