Game of Thrones: The Wide World of Westeros

Game of Thrones S02E10: "Valar Morghulis"

Has it been 10 episodes already? The second season of Game of Thrones flew by, concluding with the excellent season finale, "Valar Morghulis." Thank the Seven that this episode was super-sized, because for the first time this season, I believe no one was passed over and everyone had at least one scene. Given how big this story has gotten, that's no small feat.

"Valar Morghulis" was all about tying up loose ends and putting things in place for Season 3, and because so much is going on, every single scene was a big one. Game of Thrones is like 10 shows in one, but the cool thing about the finale was that even though the world we know is still growing, with new characters being introduced and other characters diverging into their own storylines, the plots are beginning to bleed into each other. We're seeing the series less as a bunch of characters occupying the same world and more as a story about that world as told through the eyes of the characters within it. What's important now is Westeros—not the Starks, not the Lannisters, not Dany. All these storylines are pieces of a mosaic that makes more sense as the picture gets bigger.

And while we see the individual struggles of Dany trying to buy a boat or Arya having a face-changing buddy who kills whoever she asks him to or Jon getting verbally abused by Ygritte, they serve to add depth to a very layered and textured world. Because right now, the big thing to know is that there are bigger things going on than Theon's insecurity issues. We've got snow zombies and fire-happy dragons and an army of Wildlings, people! We've already seen so much, but Game of Thrones is just getting started.


"The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will never forget."

Things started off with a close-up on an eye, because I think every TV series is required by law to start or end with a close-up of an eye at some point during its life. It was Tyrion's peeper; his mug is still in one piece after taking a sword to the face at the Battle of Blackwater. That's the good news. The bad news is that he's no longer Hand of the King and no longer gets to live in the pimp pad that comes with the job. Maester Pycelle took a little too much joy in telling Tyrion that, methinks.

As if the whole being-a-dwarf disadvantage wasn't enough in battle, Tyrion had members of his own team looking to cut him down to a Quarter Man. Yes, the armored man who gave Tyrion his new face zipper was Ser Mandon Moore, a goldcloak ordered by Cersei to kill Tyrion during all the confusion of the battle. That bitch! Bronn is no longer in charge of the City Watch, Tyrion is no longer Hand of the King, and gone are Tyrion's chances of being a male model. Bummer day for Tyrion, and he threw himself one heck of a pity party. But at least Shae is still on his side, and the two shared a pretty emotional scene in which Tyrion told Shae he couldn't run off to Pentos with her because he liked making fools out of everyone in King's Landing too much. Well, Tyrion, I'm sure drinking Pina Coladas on the beach with your hot-ass foreign girlfriend is pretty fun, too. Can't you just picture Tyrion as an ex-pat in a tropical land with dreadlocks and a "One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor" t-shirt? It's a much better option than hanging around King's Landing where al your family wants you dead and doesn't appreciate how you saved the city. But dammit, Peter Dinklage acted his ass off in this scene and convinced me that he can't quit being a smartass and foil to Cersei.

Did you see the greatest transition and intro to a new scene ever? Horse apples! It would have been a nice touch to have included a really loud vaudevillian fart noise with the horse shit falling to the ground, but we'll still give you a thumbs up, director Alan Taylor, for your scatological scene-transition genius. That brought us to an even bigger pile of horse shit, Joffrey Baratheon. He was doing that obnoxious leaning thing on his throne, all proud of holding King's Landing even though the city would have been a pile of dust if he was in charge of battle strategy. He'd have trouble keeping a den of Girl Scouts from sacking King's Landing, powerless against their Thin Mints.

Joffrey gave his grandpa Tywin Lannister his old job of Hand back, and gave Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish the ghetto-est castle in the land, Harrenhal, as reward for orchestrating the Lannister-Tyrell merger which ultimately saved King's Landing from falling. All the Tyrells wanted in return was for Margaery Tyrell and her J-Lo dress to marry Joffrey to really, really, really unite their houses, if you know what I'm saying. Margaery expressed her interest in proper highborn slutty fashion, and I'm going to take her dialogue and replace every time she says, "Your grace" with "Tim" and just play that on loop and never leave my house. Joffrey was all like, "I'd like to hit that, but I'm supposed to marry whatsherface, the daughter of that guy whose head I cut off." Everyone made up lies to get Joffrey to accept Margaery's proposal, and that's when Joffrey dumped Sansa, right in front of everyone HOW EMBARRASSING!

Except that was like the best news ever for Sansa because now she can go after Justin Bieber like she wants to. Littlefinger reminded her that she's not out of the weeds yet, and also reminded her that she looks a lot like her mother and that got a little creepy, didn't it? He offered to take her away in his scary van with blacked out windows, but she declined. This was one of those times when the kid should have accepted the candy and ran off with the strange man, but instead she's keeping her head in the Lion's mouth. The Lannisters have no reason to keep her around, and when they have someone around who doesn't need to be around, that person's head usually ends up on the sharp side of a stick.

Varys also made a stop to Ros' pad, and we saw her boobs. Will someone figure out how much time Ros spends topless compared to how much time she's clothed? It's got to be 50/50. Varys had a great line here while trying to convince Ros to work for him: "Littlefinger looks at you and sees a collection of profitable holes. I see a potential partner." And I see your incredible boobs. It wouldn't be a finale without Ros' boobs, and I think that was the only point of this scene and we should all be okay with that.

King's Landing and the Lannisters (except Tyrion) end Season 2 looking pretty strong. The walls are still up, Tywin is back as Hand of the King, and everything Tyrion did to make the city his was undone. Stannis is squashed for now, Robb still isn't ready to siege the city, and the Tyrells will be moving in soon and bringing their huge army with them. It's good to be a Lannister!


You're a virgin I take it?

Brienne and Jaime continued their secret roadtrip ("Riverrun or bust!"), and I love that everyone looks at Brienne is like "GAH! Get a load of this freakshow!" It reminds me of that part in Deuce Bigalow with that really tall chick. Really waiting for someone to say, "That's a huge bitch!" in the background. Anyway, some Northerners crossed their path, and I'm pretty sure Brienne stabbed one of them in the taint.

Not a lot of resolution with these two in Season 2, but we did get to see them become a pretty good team when a third party threatened them. The road trip will continue in Season 3 for this odd couple, and who knows, maybe weird, awkward romance will be in the air.

You will betray everything you once held dear and it will all be worth it."

Fresh off getting his ass handed to him, Stannis was chatting with Melisandre wondering how he lost when he fought in the name of the Lord of Light. Not one to correctly identify a butt-kicking when she sees one, Melisandre tried to convince Stannis that this was just a bump and that she looked in some flames and saw him win and it's coming. But Stannis had heard enough crazy religious talk and figured he'd shut her up the old-fashioned way: by choking her! "Where is your god now?" is typically dialogue that's way overused, but in this case it was spot on and it turned their relationship from p-whipped man takes orders from his hot redhead wife to p.o.'d husband beats his hot redhead wife, which to my understanding are the only two options when you have a hot-ass redhead wife.

Can someone tell me where they were? Because they looked like they were back at Dragonstone and Stannis' awesome table that makes all other tables super jealous. Did Joffrey just beat Stannis and then call a cab for him to go home? Why wasn't Stannis kneeling over a chopping block?

Anyway, this relationship is bonkers wacko. Melisandre, moments after getting her neck shrunk, crawled back to Stannis and cooed about how amazing he is. This is classic behavior in an abusive relationship. Or she's into erotic asphyxiation (probably that). She told him to look into the flames and see his victory, and he said he did see it, but I didn't see squat.

We'll see how much juice Stannis has left in the tank, but for now he looks like he isn't much of a threat unless you believe fire-fortune tellers. You had your chance in Season 2, Stannis. But don't worry, everything is about to go insane with dragons and zombie armies and wildlings, and who wants to be king when that happens?

"You may be right, but I've gone too far to pretend to be anything else."

Theon Greyjoy was one horn toot from blowing his own brains out as Robb's men used annoying siege tactics to drive the Greyjoys crazy. Next time try blasting "It's a Small World" on repeat. It's always funny to watch Theon's plan crumble before our eyes, and his rants about the hornblower were hilarious. But then I actually felt sorry for the kid when he admitted that he had gone too far with his plan to make his daddy happy, and it was too far to go back to being your average arrogant, horny jerk.

Maester Luwin told him to join the Night's Watch but that's the exact polar opposite of what Theon wants, so instead Theon finally manned up and gave a great speech about fighting the Northerners and dying like heroes. I loved his crazy person scream at the end there almost as much as I loved Dagmer Cleftjaw bonking him on the head and knocking him out. Oh the iron(born)y! Theon was finally ready to lead, and his men decided they'd rather go home. Oh Theon Greyjoy, will you ever get it right? I should also mention that Cleftjaw put a spear in Luwin's gut, which I did not approve of.

Osha, Bran, Rickon, and Hodor came out of hiding to see Winterfell abandoned and smoldering. The gang came upon Luwin, who was dying in the Godswood and told them to head North to The Wall, just as he had told Theon. What is he, some undercover Night's Watch recruiter? Hey Luwin, my back is sore. "Go join the Night's Watch." Hey Luwin, these guys just burned my house down. "Go join the Night's Watch." Hey Luwin, I hate the Night's Watch. "Go join the Night's Watch." Well he won't be telling anyone to join the Night's Watch anymore, because he had Osha put him out of his suffering. R.I.P. Luwin, I liked you.

Theon, hopefully they hit you over the head hard enough to give you amnesia because you are not going to want to remember your Season 2. I guess we'll assume that he's being taken back to Pyke, where his dad and sister can call him a Nancyboy until he cries his eyes out. But that's probably better than what Bran and his group is doing, which is walking North until they hit a wall.

"Walder Frey is a dangerous man to cross."

Despite Catelyn's protests and warnings about going back on the oath he made with Walder Frey, Robb put a ring on Talisa's finger. That was quick! Shouldn't they at least live together for a week first? They need to make sure they're a good fit for each other. What if Talisa leaves severed feet all over the house? What if Greywind doesn't like her sleeping in his master's bed? You gotta iron these things out before you break your oath and get hitched.

However, this was probably the most important scene for hardcore Game of Thrones fans, because we got the official words of a Westeros wedding, and superfans will be reciting them at their own Game of Thrones-themed real-life weddings. Here they are: "Father, Smith, Warrior, Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger, I am hers and she is mine from this day until the end of my days." Now go out and embarrass yourself on the most important day of your life!

This was a good season for Robb. He killed a bunch of Lannisters and got the hottest girl. Can't say the same for Catelyn, who still doesn't know where four of her kids are and let Jaime Lannister escape.

"Thank you Xaro Xhaon Daxos, thank you for teaching me this lesson."

Dany continued on her hunt for dragons and ships, which led her straight to The House of the Undying. There was a lot of baby dragon screaming and a lot of Dany opening doors. Like, a lot. One of the doors opened up into a snowy version of the King's Landing throne room, but it was the next room that provided one of the episode's better scenes. Khal Drogo! He's back, sort of! And he had a kid! Was that baby nursing off a baby bottle of Rogaine? Because he had an awesome head of hair. Dany and Drogo exchanged some really romantic stuff in Dothraki, but Dany knew it was just a dream and moved on. We'll always take more Drogo, even if it's just in dream form or a peyote trip.

Finally she came to her dragons, all captive in adorable little chains. Pyat Pree popped out of the shadows to tell her that the birth of her dragons brought their magic back, and that the magic was strongest when the dragons were around, and the dragons were strongest when she was around, so he was going to keep her chained up in the House of the Dying so he could have +5 damage added to his Destruction spells with the dragon power-up.

Dany had other ideas though, and told her dragons to light that sucker up like a Christmas Tree, and this great wizard went up in flames and that was easy, wasn't it? Not a very good plan there, Pyat Pree. If the dragons can do that at this age, I can't wait to see those lizards burn Joffrey to a crisp when they get older.

But Pyat Pree and rescuing her dragons weren't the last of her business in Qarth, so Dany went into Xaro's (not typing out his whole name, sorry) bedroom to rob him. And wouldn't you know it!? There was Doreah, the slutty handmaiden, shacking up with Xaro. Not cool. Dany grabbed the key to Xaro's master safe and opened it up to reveal... nothing. But it didn't stay empty for long, because Dany got all tough and locked both Xaro and Doreah in there, where Xaro will probably eat her in a few days. With all that out of the way, Dany looted the city for everything it had, just like the Dothraki were trying to do in the first place, and was planning to use the profits from pillaging to FINALLY buy a ship.

That's it, Qarth? Essentially Pyat and Xaro killed the other guys, then Dany killed them, and that was that? Hmmmph, okay. At least Dany has a ship. I hope she doesn't spend all of Season 3 in some random city trying to find a captain, then all of Season 4 trying to get her ship registered with the DMV, then all of Season 5 finding a good parking spot in Westeros, then all of Season 6...

"If the day comes when you must find me again, just give that coin to any man from Braavos and say these words to him: Valar Morghulis."

Not much to wrap up with Arya's storyline. She escaped from the castle and said goodbye to Jaqen H'ghar, who gave her a special coin and muttered the words above. Oh and he CHANGED HIS FACE! I think it would have been cool if he turned around and it was Nicolas Cage's or John Travolta's face, though, but that's why I don't write episodes of Game of Thrones. It was just be an hour of people wearing Nic Cage's face and Ros' boobs. Instead, Jaqen chose to try out life as a much less attractive man, much to the ladies' chagrin.

Now Arya's with Gendry and Hot Pie walking who knows where, and we still didn't find out how Jaqen killed all those guys or changed his face and I'm not sure we ever will. It was not an easy year for Arya, but her talks with Tywin were some of the best scenes of the season.

"We are the watchers on the wall." *Fall down and die.*

The scenes up beyond The Wall were short, but man were they sweet! Jon was still a wildling captive and Ygritte was still yappin' away and giving him a hard time. She's lucky she's so cute. Qhorin Halfhand, however, isn't that cute so when he threw insults at Jon, the bastard didn't take too kindly to them. And he didn't take too kindly to him trying to kill him, either. Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones, figured some entertainment was in order and said, "I'll allow this," while Jon and Qhorin scrapped. But you stupid wildlings didn't realize that this was Qhorin's plan all along! Suckers! Jon killed Qhorin, which became a really good way to get on the wildlings' good side. And it was just in time, too, because they came to Mance Rayder's wildling camp, which was HUGE. Now Jon gets to meet the boss.

But the scene everyone will be talking about until next spring came at the very end (duh). Sam, Edd, and Grenn were digging more holes to poop in, when the Night's Watch horn blew. Once. Which meant rangers were coming back. Not so fast! It blew again, which meant wildlings were coming! But that wasn’t all. It blew a third time, which we learned a few weeks ago meant that an army of zombie snowmen were coming, so the guys did the right thing and ran as fast as they could. Of course Sam fell down, and he came face-to-face with one of the White Walkers riding a zombie horse, and it was awesome. Maybe it wasn't perfect CGI, but finally getting a solid look at one of these guys was great. But why does he scream like a girl?

Dragons-in-training to the south, a zombie army to the north, a huge wildling presence also in the north, Lannisters in the center, and magic coming back in a big way. We thought we'd seen everything Game of Thrones had to offer, but the world continues to grow bigger and bigger. The question is, how much bigger can it get?

Season 2 went by FAST, but it ended strong just like Season 1 did. The ninth episode was a game changer and the finale did a fantastic job of wrapping things up in the season while also offering a peek into what's in store for Season 3. Now let's all put our heads together and work on a time machine so we don't have to wait all these months between seasons.



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: "Valar Morghulis" had the difficult task of following "Blackwater," and thanks to its extended time, gave every character important screen time as we said goodbye to them until next spring. Though some storylines just had some mopping up to do, several left in perfect spots for us to get excited about between seasons. And that final scene! Great episode all around.

1. "Blackwater" (Episode 9)
War! Giant green explosions! Multiple people getting sliced in half! The epic battle of Blackwater Bay unfolds.

2. "Valar Morghulis" (Episode 10)
The season finale! Dany entered the (Fun)House of the Undying, Winterfell was left abandoned, and there be zombies north of The Wall!

3. "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.

4. "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.

5. "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.

6. "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.

7. "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.

8. "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.

9. "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.

10. "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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You know that thing where you're drinking something and abruptly spit it out due to something funny you've read/heard/seen? I honestly and very much unintentionally just had that while reading the part in which you said that Jaqen H'ghar's new face should've been Nic Cage or John Travolta.
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What I found interesting about Robb's wedding was not the vows, but the fact he might be the first Stark, Heck! the first man in the whole Westeros who married out of love!
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I actually found the wedding words interesting because they refer to the southern gods and yet Robb is King in the North and definitely followed the gods of the north not the south.
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So... Jaqen is The Doctor!!! but I LOVED Tom Wlaschiha!!!!!! I can't believe he is not appearing anymore :'( btw, the comment Arya said about the Braavosi and Syrio, the first thing I thought when he changed his face was "OMG!! then maybe he IS Syrio!!!! he is from Braavos, and we didn't see him die after all!!!"it could be like her BAMF version of a guardian angel :D



PS. *Fall down and die.* LOL (well actually it gave me goosebumps...) Here's to Jon Snow losing his V-Card in season 3!!!!
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Actually, the Doctor is Jaqen. The lorathi is THAT awesome
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Have you read the books?Because you write as though you haven't. Or is it a conscious effort not to offer even the slightest hint of what's to come? Either way i absolutely loved your recaps/reviews throughout the season.
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my most favorite show of all time
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I can definitely see Viggo Mortensen as Mance Rayder for season 3
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Common, the white walkers is a way better term then zombies!
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At least now we know why did The Walking Dead characters kept calling them "walkers"
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I'm still wondering how they will deal in the series with Theon Greyjoy and the burning of Winterfell. In book 3, planned as seasons 3 and 4 of GoT, he's only a reference for his actions in book 2, which were mostly untold in Season 2. Amazingly, he should only be returning when A Dance With Dragons is scripted.
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I think that is how they will do it then. If they can exclude Jamie Lannister from series two in exactly the way he was featured less in the book two, even though he was a main draw and huge part of series/book one.....I think Theon will be but a reference for a while. Maybe one scene at most, to establish where exactly he has gone. But nothing more, or else they bring a whole storyline forward.
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Hold your GoT wedding-themed horses, Tim...everybody. When the wedding vows were exchanged, I was like WHAAAAAAAT? Robb prays to old gods, the trees and faces and whatnot. The girl is not even from Westros. Why oh why would you say your vows to Seven Gods?! It's like a Christian and a Buddhist get married and perform Orthodox Jewish ceremony? GRRM is very precise about the gods stuff. What happened there?!
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Actually, Robb was raised with both faiths, the Old Gods and the Faith Of The Seven.

Considering he was closer to his mom than his dad, him leaning to the Faith Of The Seven is no surprise.

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I don't remember anywhere in the books to mention that. Sansa was raised with both faiths but Robb was heir to become the Lord of the Winterfell so it's unlikely that he is closer to Seven Gods. Moreover, notwithstanding the past, he is now the King in the North and most of his bannermen are worshipping the Old Gods. It would be an insult to them. He is the symbol of the North. If he was marrying Jeyne Westerling like in the books, it was reasonable for him to respect his wife's faith as Ned did with Catelyn marrying in a Sept. But this way it just shows he is more committed to the Seven and wouldn't sit well with Northerners.



This actually has boiled up anger among many in ASOIF forums. ;)
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I already read the books, its no biggie. The show is good in its own right.
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I read all five books and can tell you this - YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET! Third book is brilliant and has several important events for future. I read it 2 or 3 moths ago and still give me chills when I remember some parts of it. GRRM is genious.



For all of you who love the series my advice is that you reed the books. Nothing can change the fact that you first read books and then watch episodes. Money and time is limited in making the series. In your head you are director, producer and editor and easily you create your own episodes :)



Can not wait for book six. Hope it will come out soon. Mayber filming of the series will make GRRM to publish it earlier.

If anybody wants to know anything about some characters and events, write to me :)) Just kidding. I would not want to spoil the series beacuse it is huge and 2 book are still missing. :)
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I wish I hadn't read the 3rd book before the series ... the RW would have been totally shocking for me on TV. Loved the books .. but I would suggest to only read them after the next season comes out. If you can wait that long ... (Big IF) :-)
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I don't agree with you. When you first watch series and then read books images from series are automatically in your head. If opposite, you imagine world described in books and that is the best part. There are lot's of times in first two seasons that something is shorten, solved in different (easy) way beacuse of time and money: Tyrion's role in battle in first season, second season solution of Theon's case in the end, stolen dragons. All that is different in books. It's better in books. As far as I can remember, dragon's in second book were never stolen. Nobles in desert city offered Dany fortunes for dragons but she never agreed.

Cases like this are reason why is better to read books and AFTER that watch series.

Like I said before, solution of Theon's case is different in series then in book. In book is more complexed and that will effect in the future in a way that some characters will have to appear in different way. I am sure that screenwriters and GRRM will solve this in a good way :)



Nothing can change books. NOTHING. First read then watch :)
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I think it depends. If you are willing to accept that books and TV shows are different ways to tell a story, than you can read the books before watching the series; but if you're going to be a nit pick and complain about every single detail of the book that wasn't in the show than it's probably best to wait for the show to end (if you can).

I doubt that the RW will be next season, probably on Season 4.
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i agree and think that my way is better :) who is RW?
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where is stanis' awesome shadow son....?????
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Good question, one would think he went back home with mamma, but he didn't defend Melisandre when Stannis tried to choke her.
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Don't the Shadow Assassins disappear once they finish their job?
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"+5 damage added to his Destruction spells with the dragon power-up."

Ha!
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Its a gamer private Joke, a very good one
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I was disappointed with the 'wights'... in the premiere and when they attacked Mormont you got a sense of foreboding and danger, but at the end of this episode they just looked like an homage to The Walking Dead -- not all that fearsome, save maybe the dude on the horse. Pretty unconvincing.



Still, excellent end to a season, and now I have to stop thinking about the show for close to a year.
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From what I understand, there are wights, and whitewalkers. Wights are the more mindless zombie-like creatures. Whitewalkers are more autonomous, have glowing blue eyes and are calculative and much more intimidating.



Of course that's just how I expect it is. I don't think they are the same thing. We've seen the whitewalkers in action, and it wasn't like the shambling masses of the wights they showed. It looks to me like they're the footmen and the WhiteWalkers are the leaders.
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That scene where the Rattleshirt dude was like "I'll allow this" gave me serious flashes to Mortal Kombat and Shao Khan saying "Fight"



Then "Finish Him"



Dude looks like Shao Khan, is what I'm trying to say. Awesome episode. Can someone borrow me a time machine so I can dart 5 years into the future and bring back all GoT episodes?
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Better call Michael J. Fox and see if he has the Delorean lying around somewhere.
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He doesn't have it he pawned it to Rick Harrison
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Tyrion's going to have one badass scar.
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He was a badass in Blackwater bay!
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at least he didn't lose his nose

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in book he did - half of it :)
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Someone who had read the books can tell me if Davos died at Blackwater, keep spoilers to minimum please, just his status, i expected this to be answered on the finale but didnt and i just cant wait a year to know.
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If you really wanna know.....google it, is my advice. Saves other people seeing.
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How about you go an read the books, then you'll know and we don't have to ruin it for people who don't want to find out this way.
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It's what I did, read them after the first season. Now, no one can spoil me
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Mild spoiler...

I guess you should wait for season 3... ;)
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This is random, but I was just watching one of the MacGyver TV movies, Trail to Doomsday, and I totally just found Cersei Lannister as a geeky, frumpy, slightly plump mid-20s scientist's niece. Lena Headey seems to have come a long way since then, lol.
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I noticed that when they zoomed out from the White Walker, he wasn't beside the rock where Sam was hiding at all. Can't believe we have to wait 10 months for the next season.. When I finish my exams I am just going to spend all summer reading the whole A Song og Ice and Fire series. Halfway through A Clash of Kings now.
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Someone attempted to dispel it before but Melisandre isn't Stannis' wife OR mistress. She is his preistess, the Shadowbaby is a ritual but Stannis, like she says near the end of the episode is too "noble" of a man, he's too much of a rule-follower to cheat on his wife in that sense.
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Ha! true, but he didn't skip a beat in taking her on the table!

very honorable ;)
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In the final scene .. were they implying that Sam is a goner? Wasn't very clear why white walker zombie dude left him alone.
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I agree, they let go this one guy in the pilot episode so White Walkers like to leave witness behind. There's is no reason to believe they won't let Sam go as well.
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i hope they eat him, or better kill him and bring it back as a white walker so Jon can cut him in half and set him on fire, hated the fat chicken since day one
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Sam is an important character, so his dead would be on-screen. We will be seeing more from him.
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are you sure?
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If XY isn't, I am. Sam is Jon's best friend. His story isn't anywhere near over.
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I took from it that he sensed him as no threat as he was almost peeing himself in fear. Maybe...
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The Whitewalker was superawesome, much better than in the pilot. But I totally agree with TS on the scream - I was expecting a "Fus Ro Dah" with the voice of the droughts ...

Everybody praises Peter Dinklage(deservedly) so I want give a special tip 'o the hat to the actors Tom Wlashia, Stephen Dillaine, Clarice vanHouten, Charles Dance, Maisie Williams,Liam Cunnigham, Lena Headey and Rory McCann. Thank you, outstanding.

Absolutely brilliant was the empty vault of Xaros. Not in the books, it was a genius move to show the richest man's true wealth: only existing in the heads of the others, made out nothing than air. A true and a good lesson indeed, Khaleesi.
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Lena Heady... ah. so bad but oh so good :)
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"Now Arya's with Gendry and Hot Pie walking who knows where, and we still didn't find out how Jaqen killed all those guys or changed his face and I'm not sure we ever will."



Jaqen outright told her how he did it: He said he's a Faceless man.
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And he heavily implied he wanted to recruit her as well.
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ehmm .. still doesn't explain HOW he did it?!?
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Wait long enough, the answers are coming. Just think like Lost, waiting 6 years for an answer. Only this time the answers are actually there.



Or you could go read the books.
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By being a Faceless Man.
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^^ Umm, what they said.



He outright stated that the training for being as Faceless Man is what Arya would need to learn if she wanted to kill like he did. Then he changed his face, to show what being a Faceless Man truly meant.



I don't know about anyone else, being being able to change your face has got to be a good way to sneak up, catch people unaware, and kill them!.
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Now, if Arya had done the killing herself it would have been nicer!
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I like it better this way. It was utter unbelievable when Arya was a 9 year old "Nikita", it's good that the TV show remember she's only a 13 year old amateur, at best. She can't kill 3 guards all by herself.
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I agree; it's disappointing Arya never got her badass moment from the books. I guess they are trying to keep her a victim.
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I really think they need to go back to doing effects like they did in season 1 (ie not much CGI at all). The White Walker that we saw at the beginning of episode 1, season1 was very imposing and scary. These enemies at the end of this episode though? Not scary looking in the least and incredibly fake. I had the same problem with the direwolves the whole season - I know they are supposed to be bigger than regular wolves, but because they were done in CG this time, they lost any connection that they had with anything - especially the Stark children and if you don't have that, then what's the point?
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Just use extras and real wolves!! There are enough out of work actors out there I'm sure.
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agree and disagree ... i think they need to spend more money and give us proper CGI direwolves, that dont look fake .. of course, it's not my money though :-P
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Very smart observation concerning the wolves.
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"I guess we'll assume that he's being taken back to Pyke, where his dad and sister can call him a Nancyboy until he cries his eyes out."



Really? I think the show made it pretty clear that Pyke is the last place Theon is going to be heading. The offer from Robb was, that the Iron-Born could all go home if they surrendered and offered over Theon to face justice. By comparison of the 'justice', I think he'd rather have preferred the crying, name-calling option.



I think the writing and the acting of Alfie Allen was spot-on and, it actually served, in my eyes, to actually make me feel quite sympathetic for the character. He was driven to all this to impress his Father and his people; a lot of the decisions he made and acts he committed were thought up by those said people and he felt, through their plots and ideas, it was the best way to please them.....



....only for them to betray him the first chance they got. Even more potentially sad, because he was finally living up to his true-self and showing that he did have the potential to be a true and rousing Leader, almost to Robb's speech-giving level, and perhaps coming to see that maybe he was of a Stark-ish nature after all and that is what he should have stuck to.



I know most despise him, but, without comparing to the books anymore, I feel a manner of pity for him in the show.
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My complaint for this season would be that it was too good (and therefore felt too short).



Can't we just have seasons of 24 episodes and lasting 5 hours each? Or am I asking too much?
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I would settle for 12 to 13 episodes that last an hour, myself.
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hehehe. now that would b awesome :D

Prob need every network crew working on it and a doppleganger for each actor. But hey- Push the boundaries!! ;)
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Well as pointed out, other US series which have 20+ episodes end up having quite a few filler episodes which have nothing to do with the main storyline. Remove those and you'd probably only have 15 episodes max.



There is also the cost of each episode being more than an average series.
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I can't believe the season is over already but a superb final episode. Can't wait for it to come out on Blu-ray so I can watch season 1 and 2 back to back before next April.



And great news too seeing that Tyrion, one of my favorite characters brilliantly played by Peter Dinklage had survived.
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It was an awesome episode (and an epicly funny review, lol) and I will have the nerve to say I liked it even more than Blackwater. I am glad Theon is going through crap, he deserves much more. Brienne was perfect and I am loving the road trip of aweomeness. I tought the CGI was pretty good, the last scene creeped me out. Also, I continue to swoon over Jorah, thank you very much.
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I concur- Blackwater was good but this was epic!
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Great finale altogether, it's gonna be a long hiatus.
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I have grown to enjoy your articles that you have written for this series. The fact that you haven't read the books I think allows for a much better analysis for what is actually going on in the episodes, and not get bogged down by what us readers are over-reacting about. But I've noticed some errors in the past, and this one in particular seems littered with them.



1. Mandon Moore was Kingsguard, not Gold Cloak.. Gold Cloaks are like security officers, Kingsguard are like Secret Service. Huge difference in job, as well in the importance of what that means... Cersei sent one of the most "honorable and skilled" swordsman in Westeros to try and kill Tyrion, not just some sellsword off the street.



2. "Riverrun or bust" might be a joke off of what Brienne said to the northerners, but the two of them are actually heading to King's Landing, not Riverrun.



3. Melisandre is not Stannis' wife... Mistress isn't even an appropriate term.. she is a female priest that he brings around with him because she thinks he is chosen, and part of him likes to believe in it, despite feeling it as an obligation. To my knowledge they only banged that once (or maybe a couple other times) to make the shadow baby. Stannis does have a real wife, and she was reportedly set to be a character in Season 3.



4. Joff did not "send" Stannis home. At the end of "Blackwater" it shows Stannis' men pulling him back telling him to give up, they've lost. It was a full fledged retreat. much diminished, but Stannis still has a small (very small) army.



5. Sam, Edd and Grenn were not digging more holes. They were scavenging for crap (literally) to burn. "People Shouldn't live anywhere you need to burn Shit to keep warm." This fact is not important story wise, but it does add to the meagerness that is beyond the wall. (I don't believe that was in the books though).



6. "Of course Sam fell down, and he came face-to-face with one of the White Walkers riding a zombie horse" --- I could be wrong on this, but I do not think he was too close to the wight. It really made it seem like the horse was mere feet from him, but after it showed the wight scream, it panned, and the two rocks in sight of the wight were not big enough to harbor Sam. So I think he was actually further away, and was looking at a slight distance.. If not I do not know how they will work hundreds of others and wights parading past Sam.
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I think the 'digging holes' was just a quip- last episode thy unearthed a hidden cache, this episode it was dung. Of course, you're right that it hilights the mundane life beyond the wall but a wee bit harsh me thinks.

Also, I do think that it was an almost face to face encounter- but as he was almost crying with fear the Wight leader signalled to carry on. It reminded me of the scene in Saving Private Ryan when they had their last stand in the bombed village and the reporter was sniffling on the stairs and the German soldier passed him by as he posed no threat.

May just be me tho :)
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The difference in the two scenes is that in this later one they were actually "collecting" dung, and the last one they were digging. I don't think it was meant just as a joke, but more of a satirical comment on their actual situation.
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Just to be sure: Was it stated in the series that Cersei sent Ser Mandon Moore to kill Tyrion?
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Yes, Lord Varys told Tyrion himself before he told him about Bronn and the gold cloaks.
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Cersei doesn't have personal written perspective until book 3, and since the fight is very different in the book than the show.....it is shown that in the book when Ser Mandon acts as if he is reaching across the ship to help Tyrion, Tyrion realizes Mandon is using the wrong hand to help him, and in a second Tyrion realizes something is wrong..too late.
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Tim has read the books, at least the first three, I'm not sure of the rest.
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I really wish I had the strength to just watch 1 episode a month so that when I finished I would only have a month until the new season. Now I must wait in agony for 10 months. Ughh
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Is it just me or did the old white walker on the horse look just like Woody Harrelson?
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Great end to an epic 2nd season...why must we another year for the next season, here's where the other shows are in some ways better, with 22-24 episodes, you only wait another 4 months for the return
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I'm sure it's been covered, but Melisandre is Stannis' mistress, he has another wife. Also, not to give away too much, but I certainly wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Dany to get to Westeros anytime in the next three or four seasons without a drastic departure from the books.
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I know you wrote "wouldn't want to give too much away" but you really should have written SPOILERS - I did not want to know that, and assumed any major plot giveaways would be properly labelled.
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If you haven't learned not to assume while watching GoT, you haven't been paying attention.
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I have watched all of Game of Thrones. The season 2 finale was great. I do have to say that I absolutely love your article about the finale. I laughed out loud reading it to my husband !!
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Add your comment...In reference to how Stannis got out, I too agree that was poorly explained and handled, just like a few narrative progressions this season.



I'm assuming that because he was a former resident of King's Landing, he knew of the secret tunnel ways that Varys mentioned to Tyrion at the beginning of that episode which were built by the Targaryions (I can't spell) in case they ever needed to escape. What he did once he got out of King's Landing, and how he got back to Dragon Stone, is anyone's guess since you'd think his fleet would have taken off pretty quick during the retreat.
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Ser Mandon Moore is a member of the kingsguard not a goldcloack, which are the soldiers of the city watch.

Dany didn't loot the entire city, just Xaro's house.

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I know there are Dany fanbois out there, but I'll continue to say that Dany is only interesting when there are flaming CGI reptiles in the frame. Her storyline reminds me of LOTR's The Two Towers...lots of walking.
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True- it's not her fault she's stuck out in the desert tho.

and by comparison- Arya was 'walking' for just as much of the season and then was stuck in Harrenhal for most of the rest.

An interesting switch of scenery too- murky and gritty to sunny and sexy :)
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Let's add Jon's walking..and walking.....Jon's only interesting when Sam's around LOL!
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The difference being that nearly every line Arya has is golden, while Dany just looks stoned most of the time.
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I'll give ya that Arya is spunky and hanging out with cool folks, but Sansa has the real juicy story.
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Tim said it right: Game of Thrones is about 10 shows in one. With so much going on I doubted they'd be able to cover all storylines in a satisfying way, but they did!



So many people can claim the throne and take revenge against the Lannisters. The story could go now in so many directions, I have no idea what will happen.



Best of all it ended as "The Walking Dead on Ice," a combination of two of my favorite shows. By thew way, if a White Walker bites you, do you turn into one of them too?



Just one thing. Theon Greyjoy was surrounded by 500 Stark men. I assumed Theon's men would give him as a hostage and the Stark men would occupy and secure Winterfell, but they left. I don't get that. And what happened to those Winterfell men that Bran sent to protect that other city nearby (which in turn left Winterfell defenseless). Didn't they ever come back? Whatever happened to them?
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Ha! yeah I loved that as a fellow walking dead fan :D

All will be explained - the end of the second book fills in some more details with regard to winterfell but I guess they left that for the beginning of next season- a good tale always leaves you asking questions so you're ready for the next installment. Albeit 10 months away!!!!!
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Where the show departs from the books they do it to minimize the length of the story by sacrificing making sense. You' re right, the way this happened on the show, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Neither did Dany's storyline make a lot of sense (the richest city in the world apparantly had a population of like five people - even thae warlocks were supposed to be more than one). But show's great, and if you want the longer more sensible version read the books.
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Thanks.
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I think a good portion of the men outside the gates were those Winterfell men... It's really hard to say since the book goes very different in regards to what happens in Winterfell. The leader of the Winterfell men was Rodrik whom was captured on his return from Torrhen's Square.. so I assume many of his men were killed then, and perhaps the rest amassed outside with the Bolton's and other Northmen.
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Thank you too.
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Man, I am just gonna have to buy the books!



Am pretty sure a lot has been missed out, as is usual for when a movie is made based on a book. Only problem is that there are currently 5 books, with 2 of the books being split into 2 volumes, giving a total of 7 volumes! Not to mention the author is currently working on the next 2 books which are rumored to be 1500 pages each!

But I guess by the time I've read the first 5 books the 6th one will be released (in 2014ish!!)



To think the first book was written back in 1996, glad it hasnt been adapted into a series until now to benefit from the latest special effects.
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Season 1 is pretty spot on, with only a few divergent parts... Season 2 gets to the same points, but my very different means
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Ah the end to an awesome season of an awesome show based on a series of awesome books.





Awesome.



The rest of my comments shall be omitted as they have (I'm assuming) already been covered by those below.
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best quote: And if this is a dream I will kill the man who tries to wake me
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1. How about the siege of Winterfell? Did Theon Greyjoy's men called a cab too and returned to Pyke? :)



2. Where was the siege and all his 500 men when Osha, Bran, Rickon, and Hodor came out of their hiding place?

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1&2 - All will be revealed!!
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That reminds me - we continued to see Pyke in the opening every week although Pyke hardly showed up during the season. Yeah, the Ironborn were visible, but Pyke hardly mattered. So why not show Storm's End, or Riverrun, or the Fist?
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Also I forgot to add: I keep seeing a lot of hate for the Whitewalkers CGI, I think they look really great...I'm sad everyone seems to hate them.
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Agreed, I really enjoyed them too. Don't quite get some of the hate going out here. Loved the blue air smoking off their skin as a contrast to how you can see hot air rising from heated objects. They're so cold the air around them freezes (or something to that effect anyways. Nice little touch. Plus the spear/swords were pretty close to how I imagined them in the first book.
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I guess that's the biggest thing for me, I haven't read the books, so it's good to hear at least one person who read the books like the look of them.
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"I believe no one was passed over and everyone had at least one scene"

Bronn, sadly, only mentioned in dialog...but the fact that no one corrected Tyrion when he asked for him it seems clear that at least (thankfully) he's alive.

Davos not mentioned (I was hoping for confirmation one way or the other on his death).



"It reminds me of that part in Deuce Bigalow with that really tall chick. Really waiting for someone to say, "That's a huge bitch!""

I lolled!



"Can someone tell me where they were? Because they looked like they were back at Dragonstone and Stannis' awesome table that makes all other tables super jealous. Did Joffrey just beat Stannis and then call a cab for him to go home? Why wasn't Stannis kneeling over a chopping block?"

I'm sure someone covered this, but on the off chance they didn't, I had to rewatch the end of last week after that scene, because I believed as you did...instead it turns out his own mean dragged him away kicking and screaming. This is one of the biggest problems I had with season 2 and why I didn't feel it worked as well as season 1: The narrative was more confusing and muddled. Here are some examples:

- In episode 1 - after discussing Robert's Bastards and finding Arya it was unclear whether the men were headed after the group set for the Wall because of trying to find which character.

- In episode 4 - it's unclear why the recruits for the wall are taken to Harrenhall instead of continuing on since they think they got the bastard.

- In episode 5 - it's really unclear (unnecessarily so) whether or not Littlefinger recognizes Arya.

- episode 9 - the forementioned confusion on what happened to Stannis. I thought for sure he was captured.

- In the finale - It's really confusing what happened to Winterfell. At first I thought the crew of the sea bitch lit the place on fire as they left...but on the second viewing it was clear they didn't. Also, I didn't like that Varys approached Ros for no known reason. She hasn't doesn't anything that seems worthy of notice. It really felt like it only happened because it happened (and was better explained in the book) the writers just needed to maneuver the characters where they needed to be, not because the story earned that alliance



...and that's just off the top of my head...
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Every issue you have are parts where they changed what happened in the books..



Ep. 1: In the books they were looking for Gendry. But in the books it's told through Arya's third person POV, so you understand that she is worried they are coming for her. I think they tried to fix it by adding that they could be looking for either.



Ep. 4: In the books, I don't believe the second fight was with gold cloaks, but instead it was a group headed by Amory Lorch.... Also Gendry, Arya, Hot Pie and a few others actually escaped the battle, but came upon the group later by mistake, in which they did not realize they were night watch recruits. In the show they blurred two events and it made for confusing plot points.



Ep 5: In the books Tywin does not stay at Harrenhal NEARLY as long.. and Arya was never his servant. Littlefinger never appears there that I recall. (Also Arya's third name was not used to escape, but rather to spur a revolution in which won Harrenhal for the North. Roose Bolton then took over, and she became HIS servant. Then she decided to escape because she didn't trust him.)



Ep. 9: In the books I do not believe he ever made it over the walls. They didn't describe his escape until Book 3 though..



Ep. 10: Ros is not in the books. At least not that I remember. She is really a blend of a few other characters that they just made into one. Alayana, was the main one that she is portraying, but that connection with Varys and Alayana was made waaaay before this point in the books.



As for what happened at Winterfell... They changed that part so much, I can only assume that they want to leave that as a cliff hanger. So I don't want to ruin that if so.. but if you still want to know what happened (at least in the books) Read below



In the books, Theon's right hand man at Winterfell was a man found in the Winterfell dungeons. His name was "Reek". Reek was the one that talked Theon into burning the little boys and a bunch of other things. Reek was thought to be the servant or friend to Roose Bolton's Bastard son (whom was recently "murdered" for forcing a marriage on a lady, then killing her for her land). Ser Rodrik never was captured by the ironborn, instead it was his men (the Winterfell men) who had the siege on Winterfell. Reek then promised Theon that he would gather a small army to come back and fight with Theon, if he let him go, which he did. Eventually just when it appeared that Rodrik was about to storm the castle and kill the Ironborn, Reek returned with a load of Northern men.. those men belong to House Bolton... they met with Rodrik and Theon thought it was more northmen coming to join, but instead Bolton's men turned on Rodrik and slaughtered them all. Then Reek came to the gates, and told Theon he was actually Roose's bastard son and not Reek. He was pretending to be Reek to avoid death, since he, Ramsay Snow, was wanted for his crimes. He then slaughters the ironborn (i think) and takes Theon captive. Then he burns Winterfell to the ground and leaves.



Hope this helped a little?
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I didn't read below the warning, and I thank you for the warning. I guess that was my assumption and my point...I hear season 1 stuck closer to the book so it didn't have these problems. I don't mind straying from the books, so long as you make it work. I was really disappointed that there were these question marks.
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this was actually my favorite of the entire series!!
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Great season finale, love the TV's take on the books however I was disappointed to see the Reeds (season 3 shoe-ins) and Barristan Selmy missing from their respective storylines.
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I agree about the Reeds.. but there really isn't anything missing about Selmy yet... He was only in a couple pages of Book 2, and at the VERY end at that. He didn't appear until Dany was leaving Qarth
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In the House of the Undying Dany saw a burned out throne room (or more correct: the roof was burned) in Kings Landing in winter, which kind of indicates a dragon attack on Kings Landing. At least that's what I'm hoping it means.
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Don't assume that. All of the visions in the house of the undying are different from the book so there is probably not much to them, unless the writers plan with a completely different ending.
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I read somewhere that GRRM has the series producers in the know regarding the full span of the saga, so it isn't too far fetched to think of the vision of a devastated throne room at King's Landng as a plausible scenario (even when it hasn't yet been written.)
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This was a great episode really manage to compress everyone in

They should do more episode like that in the future

A few thing bother me



Tyron - those ungratefull bastereds how could they throw the real saver of the city ???

As I see it he the rightfull king of the Iron throne (with Robb as king of the north)



Stannies - How the hell is he back at home ? we saw him forsaken by his man

he should be captured or dead ? or was he dreaming in his cell ? maybe he is in Awake :)

in a red universe with the red priest :)



Dany - How stupied was the Warlock to be so easly killed that was so lame !!!

Isnt she suppose to be a good person locking two people alive in a safe

seems very cruel

Where are all the other people in the city ? Are they all dead ?

is Dany going to leave them penniless (again cruel) ?

the all Dany plot (also John Snow) was painfully boring !!!

maybe they should join the cast of Touch :) (the characters not the actors)



Arya - I just wish she went with Jaqen and we spend all season 3 watching her become

a killer assasin :) (maybe with a Rocky like montage :) )



White Walker -

Just find it funny that the White Walker on the horse remind me of

Achmed the dead terrorist

I thought he was going to say

"Silence I kill you" :)





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