Game of Thrones "Second Sons" Review: Mixing and Matching

Game of Thrones S03E08: "Second Sons"

Remember square dancing? In fourth grade, your entire class would pile into a gym and you'd pair off with the one member of the opposite sex that didn't have Cooties. The two of you would swing each other around and play Pattycake or whatever, and things weren't that bad because at least you had a partner that you felt reasonably comfortable with. But at some point the caller would bark instructions to move down to the left one spot and then everyone ended up with someone new and you ended up dancing with Bucktoothed Becky Winklestein!

So what does this have to do with Game of Thrones? The series has now do-se-do'd enough times so that everyone featured in "Second Sons" was dancing with their version of Becky Winklestein. The characters in focus were paired up with new partners we never imagined seeing them with, while the long developing relationships we've gotten used to (Jon and Ygritte, Robb and Talisa, and Brienne and Jaime, to name the most obvious) took the week off.

The result was a fantastic look at characters we've known as they dealt with new circumstances we didn't expect. Arya and The Hound shared a horse's back, Melisandre and Gendry shared a bed, and Sansa and Tyrion shared one very uncomfortable wedding in "Second Sons," an episode that benefitted from quieter moments with fewer characters rather than spazzing out over several. 

So take that leech of your groin, and let's talk about it!


"Sulk all you want... truth is, you're lucky." —The Hound

The game of Hot Pot-Arya-to (you say pot-AryAY-to) continued with the Hound now in possession of the Stark girl after last week's harmless kidnapping in the forest. And once again, we've got a grizzled old dude carting her around, trying to make an easy buck. For all the talk of rapists and murderers plaguing the countryside, Arya has gotten off rather easy. Sure, from her viewpoint, it's been a series of unfortunate imprisonments, but as the Hound told her, it could be a lot worse.

For my money, the Hound is one of the most interesting characters in the series. There's a weird consistency with his inconsistency. He's loyal to Joffrey and obeying his every word, then he's a traitor and joining our chorus of "Fuck Joffrey." He's a savage monster who killed Arya's friend, then he's plucking Sansa out of the clutches of rapists. He's a bad doggy, but he's also a good doggy. But he's really not inconsistent at all. Everything comes down to what really motivates him, which is unwavering selfishness. the Hound is out for the Hound, and the Hound only. Sometimes his self-motivated acts intersect with our sense of what's good and right, and that's what happened when he told Arya that he was taking her to the Twins to return her to Catelyn and Robb. We see a man doing a good deed, he sees an easy payday. 

And it looks like he and Arya may actually make it to the Twins without Arya caving in the Hound's skull with a rock. Despite being on Arya's shortlist of People to Savagely Murder, Arya recognized that the Hound is her new best shot at being reunited with her family, and the hope that popped up in her eyes when the Hound told her where they were going was touching. Micah's revenge will just have to wait for another day. But then again, how many times has she been told, "Oh we'll get you back to your mum real soon"?

The Hound announcing his plans for her defused a ton of potential conflict between the two that would've been fun to watch given their brief-but-troubled history. I love these two together because of their history and because I'd love to see The Hound try to win Arya over. Maybe there it'll be a long-enough haul to the Twins to see some of this, maybe the series will glaze over it in favor of moving things along faster.


"My sword is yours, my life is yours, my heart is yours." —Daario

Dany played The Dating Game while snooping out Yunkai's special friends, a soldiers-for-hire group known as the Second Sons. Bachelor Number One, the Titan's Bastard, was a real charmer, all ass-slapping and tongue-lapping and "my cock this" and "your cunt that." Bachelor Number Two was stoic, boring, and not really worth talking about, considering what would happen to him later that night. And let's face it, he never stood a chance with Dany.

But Bachelor Number Three, what a cake of beef made out of dreamboats! Daario Naharis and Dany clicked instantly, mentally undressing each other while everyone else talked money for blood. So was it any surprise that Daario would declare himself winner of the game by default when he showed up with the heads of Bachelor Numero Uno and Bachelor Numero Dos in a bag? And was it any surprise that Dany let her nipples peek up from under the bathwater to get a good look at him, then let her entire naked body get a good look at him (and vice versa)? If these two aren't howling like fornicating alley cats in the next few episodes, they need to go back to Flirting School because there are green lights all over the place. 

I'm very skeptical, though, and worried for Dany. What kind of man decapitates his co-workers and changes an entire army's allegiance just for a shot at some booty? A man who can't be trusted, that's who. Daario may be all high cheekbones and luscious locks, but keep your eyes on the prize, Dany, and not Daario's loincloth. And poor Jorah Mormont! Now he has this underwear model to contend with for Dany's attention in addition to cranky old Ser Barristan? Dany didn't even ask him to kill the Titan's Bastard first, she asked Barristan.

Despite really only accomplishing a switch of loyalty for the Second Sons from Yunkai to Dany (which is pretty darn important), the story here was well served, and that again goes toward this episode's focus on telling fewer stories but spending more time with each of them. 


"And none have seen the blade..." —Melisandre

Stannis learned exactly what it takes to be a king when your path to the Iron Throne leads through some insane woman's voodoo. Eggs will be broken, omelets will be made, and Uncle of the Year Awards will have to wait. But deep down he knew that sacrificing Gendry because some fire told his girlfriend to do so was a heavy price to pay for power. And since he didn't have the spine to tell his woman himself, he went to his imprisoned BFF Davos so Davos would be the goat for his discontent.

So it was Davos who took the blame for the leeching of Gendry, which Melisandre did to prove to Davos that King's Blood really is as powerful as she claims. There was recognition here from Stannis that Melisandre is totally loony-toons, but he couldn't help but look at the evidence in favor of the Lord of Light's power. Melisandre said it was Davos who wanted proof, but Davos had already seen her squeeze out a shadow baby. It was Stannis who needed the convincing that his First Lady's withcraft was worth killing Gendry. Or maybe Stannis was hoping that the spell—cast against usurpers Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon—would fail so he could get off the crazy train. 

At least Davos is out of jail now. But let's hope he keeps up with his Hooked on Phonics reading lessons.


"I won't share your bed, not until you want me to." —Tyrion Lannister

With Edmure set to marry the Frey girl, Joffrey set to marry Margaery, and Cersei set to marry Loras, it's wedding season in Westeros! And what a way to kick off the tying of knots than with the frayed threads of Tyrion and Sansa, the series' most unlikely couple. The entire situation was uncomfortable for the both the bride and the groom, and I loved how Tyrion handled it. First, he was earnest with Sansa, trying to win her trust and ease her nerves and plead his case as an honest man and not a monster. When that didn't work, it was time for some wine.

As for Sansa, in many ways her marriage to Tyrion mirrored Arya's situation with the Hound. In her mind, there's no worse person to end up with. She's reached the end of the dream that she's held tightly since she was a girl, and the beginning of the nightmare that will haunt her for the rest of her life. While I've enjoyed Sansa's misery in the past, there wasn't much to enjoy here. She wasn't even fighting it anymore; she's been beaten down to a chess piece as the "key to the North."

And delivering the final kick was Joffrey, the only person to get any enjoyment out of this union. He stole Tyrion's footstool to make a mockery of the cloaking tradition and he promised to bed Sansa on her wedding night because Tyrion was too hammered to perform. There was no reason for this other than to reiterate that Joffrey is a little shit.

That's what I liked most about this entire wedding scene. Everyone was true to their characters and we saw the good in Tyrion, the evil in Joffrey, and the newfound resignation from Sansa. And we saw how everyone was a prisoner to this system despite knowing how morally wrong everything was. "This isn't about your wedding," Tywin told Tyrion, which pretty much summed up the whole thing.

It also made for one heck of an entertaining reception with Tyrion taking his vows with wine and getting in a few great shots at Joffrey before receding back to his place in court through self-deprecation and over-playing his inebriation. It was the kindest thing Tyrion did for Sansa all night, taking her away from the ridicule of a bedding ceremony emceed by a buzzed Joffrey by drawing all the attention to himself.

And his respect for Sansa continued in the bedroom in a fantastic scene, where he cracked wise about starting his Night's Watch vow of celibacy until Sansa wanted to have sex with him, even though Sansa was willing to go through with it. Of all the mismatched pairings that came to fruition in this episode full of them, it was Sansa and Tyrion's that worked best.


"Please don't name him Randall." —Samwell Tarly

There wasn't a lot of action in "Second Sons," but the episode did conclude with one big moment for Sam. After a lot of idle chit-chat between Sam and Gilly in a ramshackle safe house, a White Walker came for its baby tax. But Samwell manned up and backstabbed it with his dragonglass dagger, shattering the White Walker to smithereens! It may not be scientifically researched, but Samwell's accidental discovery just became the most important bit of information in the war against the White Walkers. Dragonglass is their kryptonite, their Achilles' heel, their Snickers bar (I'm allergic to peanuts). Hey, I'm just proud of Sam for not throwing the baby at the White Walker and running away like a little girl. Way to go, Sam!



WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS

Each week, I'll rank the episodes of Season 3 from best to worst. But remember, these are just my opinions! Feel free to post your own in the comments!

This week:
The strength of "Second Sons" was its focus on three main stories—Tyrion and Sansa's wedding, Dany and Daario, and how Gendry can be of use to Melisandre—as they were all allowed to fully realize themselves, rather than show up in bits and pieces that episodes that touch on many characters do. Even though there was no Jon, Jaime, or Robb, the episode was better for it. But as good as it was, it doesn't make "Second Sons" better than some of the season's excellent episodes. I'd like to see more episodes with smaller focus, and when an episode does that with more compelling stories, it will be a winner. "Second Sons" wasn't as good as "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and it didn't have the standout scenes of "Kissed By Fire."

1. "And Now His Watch Is Ended" (Episode 4)

Jaime vomited horse pee-pee, Varys crafted a plot to derail Littlefinger's plan to marry Sansa, the Brotherhood Without Banners brought the Hound to trial, Dany got her army with a little trickery, and anarchy took over the Night's Watch. 

2. "Walk of Punishment" (Episode 3)

Dany concocted a plan to buy the Unsullied from their slave master and offered a dragon as payment. Jaime and Brienne found out that being untrue will cost them a lot more than their honor. Tyrion got a new job as Master of Coin, Catelyn attended her father's funeral, Hot Pie said goodbye to Arya, and Jon was headed to the Wall.


3. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (Episode 7)

Jon and Ygritte looked at a windmill, Dany brought her dragons to Yunkai and laid down some terms, Robb learned that he's going to be a father, and Jaime Lannister became Brienne's knight in shining armor. George R.R. Martin wrote this one.


4. "Kissed By Fire" (Episode 5)

Themes of loyalty and oaths were explored with the help of Bryan Cogman's excellent script, creating an episode unlike most. Jon and Ygritte went hot-tubbing in a cave, Jaime and Brienne went hot-tubbing in custody, and Stannis's dead babies went hot-tubbing in jars. 


4. "Second Sons" (Episode 8)

Tyrion and Sansa got married in one of the kingdom's most awkward unions, Dany and Daario showed each other what they have to offer, and Gendry got sucked on by Melisandre's leeches. 


5. "Valar Dohaeris" (Episode 1)

The season premiere found Tyrion wondering why he wasn't getting dap for saving King's Landing, Jon getting pledged into the Wildling fraternity, Davos pissing off his friend's girlfriend, and Dany shopping for an army.

6. "Dark Wings, Dark Words" (Episode 2)

We saw Arya, Jaime, and Bran for the first time in this season. But the most exciting parts of the episode were the introductions of the Queen of Thorns, Thoros of Myr, and the Reed super siblings. And we may as well mention that Joffrey got a boner from imagining Margaery killing things, that pervert.

7. "The Climb" (Episode 6)

Jon and Ygritte climbed a big ice cube, and Tywin got his way with the King's Landings marriages. Sansa cried, Edmure was betrothed to one of Walder Frey's daughters, and Gendry was taken away from Melisandre.




NOTES FROM THE RAVENS

– Titan's Bastard, you are one disgusting human being. No one does air-cunnilingus on my Khaleesi! One thing theis episode could have used was a scene of him getting killed very slowly and painfully.

– Arya's smiles are worth 100 times any other characters' smiles because they're so rare.

– "Second Sons" not only referred to the friends of Yunkai, but also to the many forgotten sons in the series. The Hound, living in the shadow of his brother. Gendry, the bastard son cast aside. Stannis, the other Baratheon.

– Somewhere, some weirdo with a leech fetish really enjoyed this episode. 

– That's two weeks in a row where a man's nether regions betrayed him. Last week, Theon's member grew only to become a bigger target, and this week Gendry was ridden to engorgement for a bigger leech lunch. Frankly, I'm scared to get a boner now. Thanks a lot, Game of Thrones.

– Lots of educating going on in this episode. Missandei, Essos's C3PO, corrected Dany on her terrible Dothraki pronunciations; Samwell taught Gilly about names and surnames; and Davos learned how to read from a "Know Your Kings" coloring book. See, it's not too late to go back and get your GED!

– Tyrion pointing out Sansa's "astoundingly long neck" was a highlight of the episode for me. I think she might be half giraffe.

– Thanks to Twitter user seven_hells for giving me a Westerosi geography lesson and reasoning why Melisandre and Gendry could have been sailing north past King's Landing in last week's episode.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Really looking forward to the next instalment now.
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Pretty poor outing this time by the reviewer. It all started off well, the mixing and matching theme was an interesting entrée, but the rest seemed pretty paint by numbers. I've enjoyed some of Tim's reviews in the past, and I don't mind the raunchiness at all if there's something clever lying behind it, but this time I was disappointed. I mean, in the Raven's notes he doesn't even recognize that of all the show's characters, it is Tyrion who is the ultimate unwanted "Second Son". Huge opportunity missed.
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I pretty much just love all the episodes these days, so I'll just say that my favorite moment was, as always, Cercei related. "No one cares what your father once told you" and then just walks away. Cercei is just so sick of everyones shit. Special shout to Olenna Tyrell trying to figure out their future family relations.
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Stupid Sam! After finally doing something epic and heroic and whatnot, he LEFT BEHIND THE DRAGONGLASS DAGGER! That's not the only White Walker, Dum Dum!
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Inorite? I was screaming at the TV, too. I mean, how hard was it to just bloody grab the ONLY thing that can kill the otherwise unkillable?!
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..so.. no robb and lady stark, no snow and ygritte, no jaime and brianne, no bran, no theon ... is naked danny supposed to make up for all that? :)

once again, my fav, the queen was epic! "if you ever call me sister again i'll have you strangled in your sleep" + "no one cares what your father once told you..." EPIC x 9000
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I think nothing can make up for lack of Brienne & Jaime at this point of the season, but Arya and the Hound were a close second.
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"And so my Watch begins.." hahaha Tyrion was so epic
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Daario's teeth distracted me. such a shame, he was so close to being gorge..
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Is it just me or did someone else notice that Samwell did not grab the dragonsblade before running away! Damn ... now what?

Oh and I totally called it when I first saw Daario! What a hunk! =P

Great episode! I have 2.5 weeks now before I get to see the next episode b/c I'm not even going to be in town! Eeeeeeks! Going to stay spoiler free!
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I know! I was like YOU IDIOT GRAB THE BLOODY MAGIC BLADE! Fool. If he suddenly appears with it in next weeks episode I'm crying foul.
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Yes I noticed, I was like uhh Sam why not take the friggin blade..
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I found out of place that Lanister father insisted so much on Tyrion having to make a baby with Sansa as soon as posible because he was drunk. I suppose it is just to add more drama to the bedroom scene afterwards, but that bit feels forced. Awesome episode, in any case. I think my favourite piece was Sam "speaking fancy" :)
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I just hope Tywin will give Loras a break on Cersei's wedding.
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Can Joffrey get any creepier? With so many nasty characters (inc. the psycho torturing Greyjoy), he is still the worst ever but manages to get even worse by the minute... That stunt with the stool... And then to threaten Samsa with rape??? And let's not forget his fascination with bows and arrows...

I wonder what the newly reformed (to a point I guess) Jaime will think of his offspring...
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Well after the 'off with his head!' with Ned Stark and what he did to Ros.. it doesn't really get worse than that does it, I was quite shocked about Ros, must've been a horrible death...
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I also liked the scene between Cersei and Loras: She is definitely wearing the pants in their arranged engagement.
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She longs for Jaime. It would appear that poor Lancel has been completely discarded as the royal booty call! Alas.... Of course, Tywin is gonna have a grand old time keeping the twins out of each others budoirs when the lion lovers finally re-unite. Or do they? HBO, I do NOT want this Sunday night off. I want to be Rained on! Now!
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I dubt Cersei longs for anyone myself, but you point out a really good question: Where is Lancel?!
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The last time we have seen him. He lied screaming on the floor after Cersei punched his arrow wound.
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Exactly, we haven't seen him since season 2.
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I enjoyed the scene between Cersi and Margary. The story behind the "Rains of Castamere" is a recurring theme in this entire season which should come to an amazing climax in the next episode, which is titled "The Rains of Castamere."
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I kind of want Joffery to rape Sansa. ONLY because that way no one would know she's not doing it w her husband, and her baby would be from the same family... Also, it WOULD be less gross for her. They are at least the same age, and neither would know what to do.
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sure, it's "less gross" being raped than have a short man respect you
rolling my eyes
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How d f*** is rape Better? than an arranged marriage? Less age difference makes it so?
Next, I suppose you'll be saying that Joffrey's 'better looks' also 'help'
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Also, Joffrey has tons of ideas on what to do. And we all saw what they are couple of weeks ago.
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I think Sansa is going to discover that Tyrion is WAY more fun in the sack than Joffrey and Loras could EVER even hope to be. And maybe she would get really lucky, and get Bronn in the mix as well! But for now, she must wrestle with that nasty case of Impophobia. Tsk, Tsk......
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I don't know why I even vote on the "what did you think of" thing because it's game of thrones, of course it was great! There are things they could do to make me hate an episode, but it would have to be some pretty shitty things, like playing loud music over a speaking scene and drowning out the dialog or something like that, an editing issue. I'm not sure there's anything that they haven't already done subject matter wise that could make me dislike the show at this point, they already cut off Ned's head, honestly they couldn't wound me anymore than that.
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the entire scene between Stannis and Davos was utter gold. Here you have two men, two men who have been/are friends, who respect one another, trading precious psychological insights of depth and accuracy with each other......another example of the overall excellence involved in the interactions that glue all these stories and scenes together. For Davos to NAIL Stannis in terms of informing him that it's no coincidence that they're chatting when they are.....only to have Stannis retort with one strength....the strength of his mystic vision......extremely well done with both. And now, with melisandre's leechiness to ensue, the drama at Dragonstone is now on a par with all others....fantastic. it is not difficult to make the case for Melisandre to be the most charismatic witch woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She never waffles, no matter who she encounters. and she gets naked with an otherworldly confidence that never fails to be exuded and sprayed around the room.
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Sadly, perhaps because without some of the additional context in the books, I think you have misread The Hound.
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" – Tyrion pointing out Sansa's "astoundingly long neck" was a highlight of the episode for me. I think she might be half giraffe."

She does have an incredibly long neck, I think it says a lot that her husband is the first to point that out.
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(Disclaimer: Yep, I've read all the books too)

Man.... All you ppl that want to mention the books- just shut up! Yes, the books are ALWAYS better, if only cuz there's just so much more to love. That said, you're not cute or cool, or any stretch of "worthwhile" just cuz you know what's coming up, and all the veiled intimations and ambiguous observations do nothing positive for the folks that just want to watch the show at its own pace.

All of us among the blessed literati already know that Joffery gets abducted by aliens (the Greys), and that Jon Snow's mother is a dragon...or a white walker, and that Melisandre is really the first Scientologist--- let everyone else get there when they get there.

Honestly: SHU-HUSH! After all, there were few moments as satisfying as watching my friends' faces, during Season 1, when I was the only one that knew Ned was about to lose his head.
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Just something that got on my nerves (it's important to me, okay?). Randyll. Randyll Tarly is Sam's dad. With a 'y'. I grind my teeth silently when someone in the comments spells something wrong, but you have zero excuses. Sorry.
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Anyone else upset with Daario's casting?

He should be darker, better looking, and should have better teeth. IMO
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He looks like he fell out of Lord of the Rings (one of the riders of Rohan) or a Garnier Fructis commercial. I get them thinking the blue beard and all that would have been too ridiculous looking, but he should at least look believably like he's from Essos.
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Not having read the books, Im not hung up on his lack of weird beard. I thought he was dandy! I mean, he steals into your bath, drops off the heads of a couple of royal jerks, takes a knee, pledges instant allegiance, and does so without making one offensive remark about how hot your bod is What's not to lke with this guy????
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I was hoping he would be better looking. I think he looks weird too, strange jaw. Drogo was wayyy better looking even with all that beard and eyeliner.
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Even though he was creepy and .. well .. I really like the Titan's Bastard. He had this perfectly disgusting quality that was really entertaining.

Also, Daario 8D
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Agree. I'm also slightly disturbed that I found him more attractive than Daario. I know he was ridiculously crude and vulgar, but he also had a cheeky arrogance.
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I found him more attractive as well! Wasn't going to mention it cause, well..haha! Maybe it's his eyes..
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Once again, proof. Girls just LOVE those bad boys!!!! and protestations to the contrary will no longer be entertained.
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Great episode. I really enjoy few, but longer stories. I don't need to see all of Westeros every week. Three, maybe four settings are fine as long as the stories are interessting, which, this week they were.
I get that Sansa isn't particularly happy with being wed to Tyrion, but she definitely could have gotten it a lot worse. My biggest problem with her is that she is in a position of power and does not even realize it. The other women around her, Cercei, Margaery, Olenna are all strong and tend to get what they want. Sansa being around them so much, you would think she picked up a few things, but she still sees herself as this poor girl waiting on her white knight.
I think i screemed at my TV when Samwell and Gilly ran away without picking up the very thing that saved their lives before. C'mon! You just made a hughe mistake! I am so excited for 26th.
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No episode next week.. Sorry to dissapoint you!
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""Second Sons" not only referred to the friends of Yunkai, but also to the many forgotten sons in the series. The Hound, living in the shadow of his brother. Gendry, the bastard son cast aside. Stannis, the other Baratheon. "

Arya, second to her older sister. The late Ned, second to Brandon Stark. Tyrion, second to Jaime. Daenerys, second to Viserys, etc. The most awesome characters on this show are second sons and daughters.
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Great review, but what irritated me was this: "...even though Sansa was willing to go through with it." - She was NOT willing. How could she? She had to do it, it was forced on her, like the whole wedding. In Westerosi terms Tyrion might have been nice or decent, but from our point of view, that would have been rape. Just saying.
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Right on. A child being held captive and forced to marry is exactly what some 3rd world countries are trying to change. Sansa is not in any better position. Tyrion, progressive for his time.
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I have a very negative view of people in general and I am positively surprised that people aren't saying that Sansa should be glad and willing to have sex with Tyrion just because he has been kind towards her. Faith in TV-viewers restored. I think Tim had a bad choice of words in the review. He probably didn't mean Sansa was "willing".
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'resigned' seems to describe it better
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Lesson for Dany: Bathing with dragons can drastically reduce the chances of attracting underwear model assassins.
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Gotta give Stannis props for naming a c**ksucking leech "Joffrey Baratheon"!
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naked khaleesi... yes yes yes... lol. Dnt trust that Daario guy at all
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Oh man, I HATE that punk Daario. They're trying to make him more likable on the show...and that's only gonna make me loathe him even more!
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Wish this Daario be dead soon . Leave khaleesi alone !!!!!!
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I think he looks a lot cuter than in the books, he's a modern day hunk rather than what Westerosi would consider attractive in that little corner of the world.
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Personally, I think he's weird looking...but I see that girls would find him attractive. Dani obviously does, so Seven help us all!
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Trust me, the Daario on the books was weird looking. This one looks more plausible to me.
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I totally resented Dany in the books for being attracted to Daaros. Now I kinda see her point.
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I am the God of tits and wine - Tyrion
My father once told me .....nobody cares about what your father once told ya - Cersei
>>LMFAO<<
The stabbing Scene at the end was fantastic but why leaving the dagger behind ?!
Please , I don't want Khaleesi to fall in love with this guy . Better to leave her single for ever , She is MORE BADASS like this !
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Joe Dempsey's first older woman for one of his characters was a lot more fun than this one. (See 'Skins') Religion is really really stupid - Priestess put leeches in his pants and two guys just sat there and watched him get bled that way. Where was Davos's buddy that's teaching him to read?

Sam finally isn't completely incompetent... and then he leaves his weapon behind???? His cluelessness gets less charming each episode. Gilly must really wonder why Mormont died and this is what she was left with.

Loved the smile on Arya's face when she came to the realization that this monster might just get her back to mom. Hope. Hopefully mom will be there but I'm starting to worry about that because Catelyn to me seems like a character whose story is done and Robb's dumb decisions have to hurt someone at some point. His dad must be spinning in his grave at some of Robb's ignorant decisions. Him bringing a pregnant lowborn bride to this wedding and thinking it is not going to have dire consequences is pure hubris. It seems odd that he would be that stupid.

He didn't have a line in the episode but look of death of the episode came from the Grand Maester Pycelle. Why would he have a front row seat for a wedding between the two people he despises the most in King's Landing? He was just sitting there growling. Poor, poor Margery. We've seen her in complete control of every situation from the moment she was introduced as Renly's bride and this is the first time she's been completely silenced. The conversation between Lady Tyrell, Margery, and Loras was the funniest bit of the episode. Your brother is going to be your father in law, that's the one thing I'm sure of. That was funny then followed by Cersei's 'I don't care what your father said.' She is the best when she is mad.

The other surprising smile of the episode came from Ms. Selfish, Shae after the petty girl got through checking the sheets. Her petiness is starting to get boring and making her unlikeable. Jeffrey should have used her for target practice as opposed to Ros. Ok that was horrible thought but Ros knew what she was. She's lucky she is alive yet she still pokes and prods and gives shit to her benefactor. Why so little Varys this season? Did they cut a scene with Conleth Hill and Sophie Turner to turn this episode in on time? She is engaged in conversation with him at a point at the reception. Would have loved to hear that converation. Conleth Hill didn't get a single line that episode.

You really notice the dragons are missing when they're gone from scenes they would seem to be required in. Really, the Queen is meeting these three sell swords, one who can't keep his foul tongue in check, and she doesn't have her children present? She uses them to illuminate her power. I hope Grey Worm bashes Fabio's skull in at some point. Daario just screams 'Don't Trust Me'. Problem with a sell sword, unless you're a Lannister, someone else is always available to pay more. Not buying his 'doing it for beauty' but loved her giving him a glimpse of all that beauty. How long before the people of Westeros are all clamoring for the Targareyn Queen?

Great episode, anxious to see what's next.
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Sorry to be "that guy" but I was a little disappointed with how they portrayed the Danaerys scene since in the book it turned out that she was the clever little schemer (although i won't say more because who knows, they may pull bits of it into later battles) but in this she seems to just keep getting really lucky.
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Really? Havent read the book but that makes her sound even more awesome!
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Yeah it's sort of like everything she says, she seems to always have a sneaky ulterior motive behind it and plays up the little girl act (in the book she's 14 at this point) so that no one suspects her ;)
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Samwell!! You fat idiot!!! Why did you drop the dragonglass shard and left it behind?
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Until the next episode airs, I'll believe he left it behind because it was too dark for Sam to even remembrer its was dragonglass what he was holding (I just hope he doesn't believe regular knives could do the trick or they are in troubles).
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Is it me or did Sam leave the dragonglass dagger in the snow after the White Walker vanished? Sorry if this question has already been asked and answered..
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can anyone explain to me how the leeches prove that Gendry has royal blood etc? Didn't quite get it.....
OMGGG...Daario is even worse than Fabio....just saying...
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Witch-lady called out a different enemy name, as she threw the leech, one by one, into the fire. So my guess is that she was casting battle-win spells for him.
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I don't think they do, even Stannis saw Robert's face the first time he saw Gendry (I'll skip the commen't he made on his mother though).

The leeches were for Davos' shock value, a "this lad wouldn't have to suffer this if you only believe in me" from Melisandre.
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The leeches weren't to prove that he had royal blood, they already know that. Melisandre said that there is power in a King's blood and so she was using his blood for magical purposes. I think the proof they were talking about is that the Lord of the Light has true powers.
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okay i think i get it now...thanks for that :)
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It's interesting how everyone comments on how bad Robb Stark is. It seems to me instead that the problems for him started when Catelyn freed Jaime - even Robb's betrayal to the Freys for the wedding seems to have relatively low consequences with the new wedding, and in season 1 and 2 Robb won basically every battle against the Lannisters. So at the end the person that messed up team Stark was Catelyn, not Robb.
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But Robb Stark wasn't even in this episode, neither was Jaime nor the Frey to comment on it.
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Yeah Catelyn is dumb, I grant you that....but thinking with your penis is never a good long term game plan...
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Yeah, low consequences.. Right.
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well, let's say for now :D
(mind you, I agree that Robb was an idiot, but the cracks and the doubts in the Stark field were spread by Catelyn's act)
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i was disappointed because Sam didn't take the dragonglass dagger, cause i want to see him do that again :( ,but i liked when Tyrion pissed of joffery it felt sooo right :))))
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Tyrion was forced to marry against his will, betraying his real girlfriend, to someone his best friend couldn't get and, for those of us who remember season 1, in direct conflict to the bond Tyrion established with Jon Snow.

He had every right to be pissed at Joffrey.
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what was the bond, you must be paying more attention its gone to me now
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The bastards bond; Tyrion taught Jon that all dwarves are bastards in their fathers's eyes, they need to wear their identities like an armor so no one could hurt them. They parted as friends when Tyrion left the Wall two seasons ago.
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Melisandre's boobs.
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danys boobs
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This deserves more thumbs up!
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Oh, we have a competition...a boob-off if you will. May the best breasts win.
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Annie's boobs. Sorry, wrong show..
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lol really what ep
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...and it was renewed!!
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what are these boobs you speak of?
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Watch Community.
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Having read the books (yes, I'm one of those), I often wondered why the writers of the tv show messed about with the timelines of characters. Some sped up, others were slowed down. It bugged me throughout season two up till this episode.
I think I finally understand ! They didn't just re-configurated timelines for the fun of it, they were actually improving the dramatic impact of the whole story !
In my opinion they also successfully simplified a few stories together to make it less of a labyrinth for us while still keeping more than enough mystery for next season as well.
If I'm right, and it surely looks like multiple rivers coming together in one big delta, next two episodes will rock the GoT world fundamentally !
It was quite a big gamble of the writers to actually scramble this all up the way they did, especially in delaying some crucial action, there are those that already lost interest...

I can't wait till next episode !!
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I was really pleased with the fewer stories, more complete storytelling episode too. I thought we would only have 1 Dany scene as usual and was really surprised they went back to it.

(Purple?) Wedding
Did anyone else wonder why Cersi grabbed Joffreys hand when he got up to antagonize Sansa? I wonder why she did that, did she feel bad for Sansa? She had always kind of liked the girl, as much as Cersi can like anyone who isnt an extension of herself. It has always been weird to me how little control she has over her inbred brat. Id like the character a lot less if she werent played by the amazing Lena Hedy.

Poor poor Sansa... Dont like her, but dont like seeing her will completely beaten down.
Love Grandmas commentary. I wish we saw more of Margerys reaction during the wedding. If there is anyone that is going to challenge Joffrey it is the Tyrells. I feel so bad for Tyrion as well. I was already thinking about how wrong it is watching a supposedly 14 year old character stripping down, fantasy story or not fantasy story, this should not give any sick pervs in the world any ideas, and was real glad Tyrion handled it well. I wish Sansa told Tyrion about Joffs threats.

Arya and the Hound - I had a sense where this relationship was heading when he took a bite of his fruit and offered it to Arya. That was so cute, it was like a big dog offering a small puppy food.

Glad Gendry is alive. There is a japanese variety show featuring a guy reading English and guest stars are supposed to hold in their laughter. Whoever laughs first loses. Davos totally reminded me of that.

Any episode with plenty of Dany time is a good episode. I was a little bit let down by this one.
Dany is confident, cool and calm, with a propensity to tolerate crap until the time comes for payback. But come on, the way that titan bastard verbally abused her, sat his dirty ass next to her and spank her girl just made my blood boil. Men who hurt Dany die a painful death usually. Viscery had that hot golden pot poured on him, the Qarth demon was burnt to death by the dragons, the astaphor slaver who called Dany bad names was burnt by Drogo.. I feel like the bastard got off easy. He needed to be defeated by Dany or her people.
And then barring herself for this Daario guy. How did 3rd rate underwear model get near the mother of dragons so easily? And if he can do so, anyone can! So one minute Dany was having this great moment with her translator/handmaid and talking about Khal Drogo, impressing the girl with her late husbands obvious soft spot for her and the next she bares herself for 2nd rate fabio?
*grumble*
Viscery was her gateway to her self and her heritage, Drogo was her husband and her first taste of power but ... fabio is just a mercenary. Low point, Dany, low point. Wish she went to westeros instead. I guess we will have to see how this all plays out for her.




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Great episode, great review.

Small typo that would be nice if it was corrected: Sam's father is called Randyll Tarly, not Randall Tarly.
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I can't wait to see Sam's father onscreen, he sounds as tough as Tywin!
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God,HBO can't deliver. This season is fail,same as 2nd season,though it has it's moments at times. I don't write on every episode,because all it would seem I do is bitch and moan,which is true in some way,but in other is,that I am sad and disappointed,because books are awsome. Yes,I know books are always better,but what 1st season of GoT did and brought,I thought it was awsome and in some ways ground breaking.
Their thinking is,this is HBo,let's show dry humping in and out of episode,people will go crazy about this,but let's ignore direwolfs and things that matter. We doing dry humping people,this is HBO!!!! And we showing tits,c*nts and c*cks.

In this episode,camera work felt "stiff" and amateur-ish. Some characters have too short scenes,while others have too long and non important ones.You can't even get into character here,because they get 1min and then it already moves to another character. And f*ck me,if Martin wrote that 7th episode. I don't believe it.
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The lack of direwolves has been truly dissapointing, especially now that they're CG and there's no excuse... BUT

You have to keep in mind just how difficult it would be to adapt to tv with zero changes. It's just impossible.

I'm not a fan of many changes, but I tolerate them, cuz ASOIAF is so awesome, it's worth it to see brought to life. Yes, Jon snow could be written A LOT better. and Littlefinger is too out in the open compared to the books, but it's mostly due to time and budget constraints imo... some creative changes are ok, some not, but its always gonna be like that...

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Though I generally agree that they switch characters way too much, especially in this season, this episode definitely got it right. We basically got three main plots, with a little Arya at the start and a little Samwell at the end. They stuck with certain characters for a long time and completely left out others - you pretty much picked the one episode this season where your argument really doesn't apply.

And agree that the nudity and sex is overdone. It's boring and unnecessary, but I guess the horny teens like it ... or something ...

Do remember, though, that adapting a book for a movie or TV isn't just a straightforward case of acting out what is described and reading out what is being said. Some things just do not work well that way. Example - in Lord of the Rings, you have one entire book focussing on Sam and Frodo, and then one book focussing entirely on the other characters and the battles at Helm's Deep / Minas Tirith. That would have been hellishly boring in the movies.
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Camera thing was meant purely for this episode,while rest was back to general thing about episodes in general,since my intent was/is that is my last comment on GoT,because I feel I keep repating myself with how I would like it vs. how they do it.
Must admit,that these responses are pretty mature,I thought I would get people,who would hate on what I wrote.
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Great episode.

Arya & The Hound's Excellent Adventure - I hope we get to see more of their road trip. I'm also hoping it's chock full of LOLs. Don't forget the snacks :D.

Dany & The Underwear Model (lol) - Ooooh. Dany's about to get some. Get it girl! Ser Jorah won't be pleased though.
"Dany didn't even ask him to kill the Titan's Bastard first, she asked Barristan." <<< This surprised me too. Maybe there's a reason why she asked Barristan and not Jorah. IDK what it is but there's got to be one......right?! I guess we'll see.

I'm so over Melisandre and it looks like Stannis is too. Well, probably not but he does seem to be waking up where she's concerned.
"At least Davos is out of jail now. But let's hope he keeps up with his Hooked on Phonics reading lessons." <<< This. Also, I missed his little friend this week.

The Shotgun Wedding of the Century - I LOVED these Tyrion/Sansa scenes. I missed Jaimie/Brienne this week, but these two more than made up for it.
I hated season 1 Sansa so bad (lol) but she's become one of my faves and Tyrion is just pure awesomeness. More please.
Was I the only one rolling my eyes at Joffrey? Has he even ever had sex? Boy sit your ass down somewhere <_<.

SuperSam - Um, wouldn't a great idea have been to PICK UP THE DAMN DAGGER?! *smh*

My rankings:

1) "Kissed By Fire" (Episode 5)
2) "Walk of Punishment" (Episode 3)
3) "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (Episode 7)
4) "Second Sons" (Episode 8)
5) "And Now His Watch Is Ended" (Episode 4)

Other notes from the ravens:

Tim, I'm shocked - how could you for get to mention the always fantastic Queen Olenna? Her rundown of the NEW family tree was an instant classic LOL.

Also, was I the only one laughing when Loras tried to talk to Cersei. She cut his ass off real quick. How rude! LOL

Her little history lesson with Margaery was something else though. But I wouldn't mess with Marge, that chick might have a crazy streak too. Watch your own back Cersei.
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Agree with most of your comment. Especially the notes from the ravens.
I can't really give my episode rankings, because I love every episode. But episode 4 "And Now His Watch Is Ended" had the most epic ending of the season imo. Damnn you Dany, you are so awesome!
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You are so right about "And Now His Watch Is Ended". I forgot that's the one that ends with Dany's awesomeness. Thanks for the reminder :D

New rankings:

1) "Kissed By Fire" (Episode 5)
2) "And Now His Watch Is Ended" (Episode 4)
3) "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (Episode 7)
4) "Second Sons" (Episode 8)
5) "Walk of Punishment" (Episode 3)
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Note to friends and relatives; THAT's the kind of wedding I want to be invited to.
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There were even more second sons than Gendry and that army: The Tyrells were mentioned as "second" to the Lannisters, it seemed like Melissandre was gonna try to make a second son with Gendry for a while, Tyrion is a second son behind Jaime, and that new Daario guy was a Lieutenant in the company of Captains -- a rank that;s second best to theirs.
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That Daario guy probably killed at least one unsullied to get that uniform.
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Great minds think alike
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Baby tax, LOL!
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Joffrey's biological father is his uncle. his mother will be his sister-in-law. his brother-in-law will be his step-father. his wife will be his mother's sister-in-law. his wife's brother will also be her father-in-law. And to cap it all off, he suggested to Sansa that he wants to father his uncle's son.

That's not a family tree, it's a family jungle. With snakes in it.
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I'm confused anyway in which direction all the houses might go, from status quo on, with all this fighting going on between them. There is hardly any chance to not interbreed or marry below status and everybody being happy as a starfish.
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I'm actually glad we didn't get to see Theon being tortured this week. Or, seeing Theon at all.
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guess they only have room for one guy to be tied up half naked and tormented in an episode.
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If you call me sister again I will have you strangled in your sleep...Oh Cersei you are such a f ing bad ass.....
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But she only threaten younger women (Margaery this season, Ros on season 2, Sansa on season 1). Cersei has never faced someone her own size like Lady Olenna or a bear like Brienne of Tarth. It makes her look as coward as Joffrey.
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Oh she is a big fat coward...I should have said she thinks she is a bad ass....No Lady Olenna would chew her up and spit her out..Brienne would chop her head off with that big sword of hers...Liked Ros...but Margaery is a little conniving shit...but I just can't hardly wait to see her head and her phyco son's head on a pike....
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I loved Cersei sniping at Loras and maergary, she didn't have many lines but she was positively eating up the screne when she did. Tyrion is the most noble leacher in the seven kingdoms. And the Hound at least tried to explain his view of the world to Arya, didn't ask for forgiveness because he doesn't feel its needed, but at least he makes an effort. He may have scared Sansa, but he was the only one who went back for her.

And of course the Khalessi was magnificent in her beauty and demeanor.

But the scene with Mellisandre and Gentry looked like it was shot for one of the late night soft core porns on Showtime.
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