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Game of Thrones S04E05: "First of His Name"

"First of His Name" was another remarkably consistent episode of Game of Thrones' remarkably consistent fourth season (with one big Purple Wedding spike), equal parts action and secret-spiller to satisfy our bloodlust and soap-opera thirsts and continuing the season's penchant for going off the page. It's a winning combination and the strongest the show has been over the first five episodes of a season. Nothing seems like filler here, and even the stories that are dragging from no clear goal (like Arya and The Hound) are enthralling because of character chemistry. What I'm trying to say is David Benioff and D.B. Weiss appear to have found their groove with the Mountain-sized task of adapting Game of Thrones into a television show, staggering high points in parallel stories so no hour seems wasted. I don't think I've left an episode this season feeling let down, something I can't say about the other seasons.

And part of achieving that consistency is knowing what we want as viewers. In "First of His Name" it's the reveal of Littlefinger as the source for all of Westeros' recent upheaval and Jon Snow putting Longclaw through the back of Karl's head. Knowing what we want also allows the show to tease us a bit. Remember how excited we were last week about the prospect of Jon and Bran reuniting? We were so close! And how long have I been urging Dany to get on a boat and cruise over to Westeros? Damn you Dany and your obsession with a slavery-free society! But it's all part of the fun of watching Game of Thrones and keeping us on our toes. 

Grab some ear plugs to drown out Lady Lysa's humping moans, and let's discuss what happened in "Firs of His Name."



"I will do what queens do. I will rule." —Daenerys Targaryen, possibly afraid of water

Was there anything better in Dany's story this week than her wry little smile when news reached her that Joffrey had died? She barely knew the extent of the little terror's atrocities but she couldn't help crack a grin because Joffrey was the worst. It's like the opposite of a disturbance in the force that the powerful can feel no matter where they are in the galaxy. Okay, it's probably more the fact that any weakening of the crown that she plans on taking eventually—she will get around to taking it, right?—is a good sign for her goals, but I like to think she smiled as a proxy for us.

The knowledge that Joffrey is dead opened up an opportunity for Dany to put her heiny on the Throne of Swords, and Daario's announcement that The Second Sons had taken control of the Meereenese navy meant that now was the time for Dany to charge on over to Westeros and kick some usurper butt. Except Ser Jorah had to spoil the fun by telling Dany that Yunkai was now back to its slaving ways and Astopor was under the rule of some guy named Cleon (spelling?), who sounds like he could be a pimp and someone you don't want to run into in a dark alley. It was a lesson in Middle Eastern liberation missions for Dany, because overthrowing governments to install your own is a lot easier on paper than it is in practice, right Bush/Obama!?!?!? 

And as much as it pains me to see Dany's quest for the Iron Throne derailed again, I think she's actually being kind of smart here. It's like how gang bangers can't let a slight against them go unpunished. If word gets out that Dany let Yunkai and Astopor fall back into the hands of opportunists, she'll be seen as soft when fear is the tool she should wield as her empire grows. However, there's also the chance that Dany doesn't feel like she's ready for Westeros (and more importantly, that the writers don't think Westeros is ready for Dany), or maybe she adopted the Dothraki fear of water, so she's running in place until she has the courage to lead a siege on King's Landing. I'm just scared that Dany deciding to rule over Slaver's Bay sets up another round of Dany wandering around a desert throwing things at slave masters again, and not even new towns, but towns she already freed. Game of Thrones could literally show the exact same scenes again in reverse order if they wanted to. 



"Know your strengths and use them wisely, and one man can be worth 10,000." —Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish

Ahhhh, the things Littlefinger will do for a taste of power. Chief among them, Lysa Arryn, the looniest of loons. The quote above is Littlefinger at his Littlefingerest, a man so driven to be somebody that he's willing to *barf* sleep with Lysa and allow her to have her way with his body. Didn't he remember? "Like it was yesterday," he said in veiled agony, the bile stinging the back of his throat. But a few bruises on the groin and ringing ears from sex shrieks is worth it in his mind, as we found out that Littlefinger is responsible for everything. Like, EVERYTHING. 

It was Littlefinger who told took advantage of a lonely Lysa, herself jealous of her prettier and saner sister. He ordered her to poison her husband Jon Arryn. He told her to write Catelyn to tell her that the Lannisters were responsible for the murder. He essentially fired off the starting gun for this game of thrones, pouring a can of gasoline over the flames of the family feud between the Starks and the Lannisters because the ladder is easier for him to climb when it's chaotic. This guy! He's responsible for it all; the deaths, the power shifts, the constant state of unrest in the Seven Kingdoms. Maybe if Catelyn had agreed to marry him we'd be looking at a Disney fairytale instead of the rape and slaughter of Game of Thrones, but where's the fun in that? You want that, go see Frozen

Now Littlefinger's long game becomes more clear and his quick ascendency to Lord of the Vale hit another milestone when he spontaneously married Lysa the night he arrived in the Eyrie, thanks to Lysa's on-call priest and witnesses. Now he's in control of the Vale, which has the universe's most impregnable castle, and because of the Vale's neutral stance on the War of the Five Kings, one of the kingdom's most intact armies and economies. However, he can't progress with Loony Lysa at his side, so we're probably looking at the season's second-shortest marriage. And now that Sansa is also at the Eyrie, he has a backup wife that could help him move even further up the ladder. All he has to do is wait for Tyrion to be executed to end her marriage, of course. This guy is damn genius, but we should have known that from his mustache.

And riding that mustache was Lysa, who lived up to her promise of screaming so loud that Dany would be able to hear it as her husband made love to her on their wedding night. That was gross. 



"The Hound." —Arya Stark

More bickering from Westeros' oddest couple. Arya's nightly ritual of planning homocides disturbed The Hound's slumber, so Arya added his name to her list of people she will murder. It's hard to tell how serious Arya was about this, because one could sneeze without apologizing and Arya would vow to kill them later. As cute as she is, Arya is a rageaholic and a vengeful little psychopath. She would definitely be targeted as a possible school shooter in today's age after the first name crossed her lips before kindergarten nap time. Yet here we celebrate her and she's one of the show's most popular characters. What is wrong with us? 

We did see Arya practice her water dancing, and it appears to be coming along well, and more importantly, realistically. Any other show would have made Arya a total badass by now, but Game of Thrones played off Arya's practice like she was performing a regimented routine instead of the free-flowing fighting style characteristic of the Braavosi. She looked good out there, but if she brought that technique to a bar fight she'd get her ass kicked. The Hound laughed her practice off and told her to take her best shot, so she went for a tummy puncture and was rebuffed by his armor. 

Sayeth The Hound: "Your friend's dead. And Meryn Trant's not. Because Trant had armor, and a big fucking sword." Though it comes off as cold and heartless, this actually is the way The Hound is nice to people. The Hound is Westeros' grumpiest misanthrope. If The Hound doesn't like you, he won't acknowledge you at all. But I see all of his brutal life lessons as tough love for Arya. Though he'll never admit it, he admires Arya's moxie. 



"Mostly I poured wine." —Podrick Payne

Not too much to report from Pod and Brienne's first adventure other than Pod was a much better butler than he was an actual squire. For all her noble intentions, has anyone else noticed that Brienne can be a total mean girl to anyone not her superior? She so business like, sucking up to royalty (Jaime aside, but that was his doing until he proved himself) but brushing off the help. Meanwhile, Pod continues to be the most selfless character in the show. If only Brienne could see that there's a lot of her in him—commitment, sense of duty, oath keeping—maybe she'd cut him some slack. It wasn't until Brienne had trouble with her armor straps and heard Pod killed a Kingsguard that she acquiesced to Pod's want to squire.

 


"Long may he reign." —People who don't know how this show works

Tommen is king! Long may he reign, until he gets married or is murdered, which could very well happen on the same day. The wheels are turning for Margaery to marry Tommen and for Cersei to marry Loras, and when that comes to pass, I hope I get invited to Thanksgiving dinner because that would be the most awkward family dinner ever. A trophy wife and her boy king hubby, a venomous shrew and her gay knight while her brother-lover looks on sneering, another brother accused of murdering the shrew's son, a grandmother-in-law who actually murdered the shrew's son, and a grandfather who is doing everything he can just to keep the kingdom from revolting. That feast would definitely end up with the walls smeared with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.  

But what is Tommen king of? Tywin admitted that the Lannisters are hurting for money, and while the Tyrells are great sugar daddies to have around, it's still their money. This is like seeing those TMZ reports of Lindsay Lohan at the height of her popularity filing for bankruptcy. Each contender for the crown has their strengths and weaknesses, and finally the Lannisters' weakness is exposed. They're in the red having spent all their gold to ascend to power, and without any money, they're in danger of losing that power. The Tyrells, on the other hand, have the money and not the power, so these two families are coming together to exploit each other's weaknesses using a handshake with their fingers crossed behind their backs. There's a lot of back-scratching between rivals going on in Westeros, but it's only treading water until the next problem arises. Maybe Jaime and Cersei weren't so crazy when they decided to keep it in the family, eh? Power can only be spread and diminished when you marry outside of your bloodline. Now Tywin must reach out to the Iron Bank, proving that like our society, it's rich assholes who really hold the power. 



*Spit* "Burn it to the ground. And all the dead with it." —One of Craster's sister wives

Last week, Jon said he was going to kill all the mutineers at Craster's Keep, this week Jon killed all the mutineers at Craster's Keep. This is the kind of pacing I enjoy! And this whole sequence, which, aside from "Blackwater," stayed on one story for the longest time. But because it had been built up richly with a multitude of moving parts—Jon vs. the mutineers, Bran also at Craster's, Locke sneaking into Jon's company to get Bran—it unfolded spectacularly with overlapping stories. 

Jon and the Night's Watch hacked their way through Karl's 11 men and lost four five men, a satisfactory performance given that they had the element of surprise and Craster's men were hammered and weak in the knees from their rape-athon. Locke managed to grab Bran, but Bran warged into Hodor's simple mind and snapped Locke's neck, which was tres cool. And Bran could only watch Jon from afar as Jojen reminded him that Jon would never let Bran continue on his quest north of the Wall because crippled boys should be in bed sipping tea and not go extreme camping in monster-infested woods. Our Stark family reunion will have to wait another day, but at least Bran got to see Jon, and saw him being a true badass. I loved how Craster's sister-wives were like, "Thanks but no thanks" to Jon's invitation to return to Castle Black since every man they've ever known has only punched them in the faced and forced themselves sexually on them, so they decided the best thing to do was burn the place to the ground. If only they'd flipped the bird at the keep like Beth and Daryl did in The Walking Dead

Of most importance, to me, in this lengthy scene was a defined goal for Bran: the giant weirwood tree that Jojen saw during his totally radical vision quest. It's the same tree that popped up in Bran's visions, and now that Jojen has pinned it as Bran's objective, Bran's story at least has the feel of more focus, something that up to this point was incredibly broad and formless. Go find that tree, Bran! 



WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS

Each week, I'll rank the episodes of Season 4 from best to worst. But remember, these are just my opinions! Feel free to post your own in the comments!

This week: "First of His Name" made great strides with two of the season's most interesting stories. Littlefinger and Sansa arrived at the Eyrie, where we learned that Littlefinger was behind everything, and Jon made it to Craster's Keep and put a sword through Karl's mouth while Bran mind-melded with Hodor to take down Locke. And as a midpoint-of-the-season episode, that's more than we can ask for. However, I'm concerned about Dany repeating everything she's been doing since Season 2. I'll slide this into the #2 slot, though, because Ghost killed a man. 

1. "The Lion and the Rose" (Episode 2)

2. "First of His Name" (Episode 5)

3. "Breaker of Chains" (Episode 3)

4. "Oathkeeper" (Episode 4)

5. "Two Swords" (Episode 1)



NOTES FROM THE RAVENS


– The look on Sansa's face when Lysa told her that she would be marrying Robin was AMAZING. Someone start a Sansa Faces Tumblr!

– I barely even noticed that Tyrion wasn't in the episode. That's how great this ensemble has become. 

– Cersei is giving her daughter a boat. What's that all about?

– At least we got one reunion, Ghost and Jon!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/26/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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third place in the "best look of the week" contest goes to Tommen, for the blatant leer he flashes at Margaery, a leer that roughly translates to, "you ARE still going to fuck me pretty soon, right? Right????!!!!
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the award for "best look of the week" has to go to the ever regal, ever dour Cersei, for the look she shot at Margaery as Marge was waxing half lamely about not really giving a poop about being Queen. Cersei's look--"shit, girl, you are strokin' The Queen here. Don't you know about ne'er trying to bullshite a bullshiter?"

second place goes to Sansa, for her "Wait a sec. Hold on here. I'm gonna marry WHO?" look, being abused and nuzzled by the ever lively Lysa.
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She might just be giving her daughter a boat because..or maybe she's doing her best Littlefinger impression and sending a boat as a "gift", but it is in fact her escape plan?

Also it's fun to look at this picture side by side with the .gif of "Karl" getting his face run through :P

https://sarahtherebel.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/pacific-rim-burn-gorman-as-dr-hermann-gottlieb.jpg
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Clap clap clap for RR Martin amazing writing skills. What he did with Baelish shocked me even more than the red wedding.Peter deserves the Throne and a painful death afterwards
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* This was the best episode of GoT S4.

* I consider that Baelish was working with Cersei to kill the Hand of the King but then also tried to get Cat to not want Ned to be the new Hand of the King. Baelish probably was trying to be the new Hand.

* Dany figures if she can't control and rule over a few slave cities, what hope does she currently have to rule over Westeros. Plus, she decided to get some Queen experience.

- Dany's dragons are still growing and she perhaps doesn't yet have a strong enough force to put all of Westeros into submission. Mormont tells her the Lannisters have a bigger navy.

* It's interesting that Tywin says that essentially the Lannisters have ran out of gold.

- Why haven't the Lannisters ever established a bank?

* It's interesting that essentially Tywin tells Cersei that the Iron Bank of Bravvos is actually the most powerful entity in the world.

* It'll be interesting if Dany ultimately decides to conquer Bravvos and therefore take over the Iron Bank. She'll then have dragons, an army, and tons of money.

________________________________

Regarding the review:

* Dany was happy because Kings keep dying in Westeros and that's good news for Dany. Her father was far worse than Joffrey.

* Cat had no choice in who to marry. And certainly she shouldn't have married Baelish.

* Litterfinger currently has zero chance against the Lannisters. And he currently has zero chance in being able to marry Sansa Stark. The Lannisters and the Tyrells aren't going to allow that. Tywin can easily take Litterfinger's tittles away, Litterfinger doesn't have the money, Litterfinger won't have the army. The best Litterfinger could do would be to stay in the Eyrie.

* Cersei probably assumes that Tommen is going to be killed and she wants Marcella safe from King's Landing and safe from Dorne.

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Jon needed some help to win his battle, let's see if he fights dirty next time, whatever it takes as Bronn points out.
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I'm still waiting on Jaime to learn to fight dirty, Jon definitely needs to learn as well.

I can't believe how two grown men can't learn as fast as Arya does. The Hound is nowhere near as good teacher as Karl or Bronn.
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Ghost is back, yeah! This whole episode was great, again. Can they ever fail?
But can someone give Sansa a break already, jeez. She's getting screwed over and over again. Feeling sorry for her...

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If only Lady were still alive, she'd sort those people out.
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And where is Nymeria, Arya's wolf?
Time for them to unite again!
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In the very least the direwolves should meet up for the inaugural annual direwolf conference.
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I loved Ghost and Jon's reunion.

...and Ghost and Rater "reunion" was indeed satisfying muahahahaha
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Awesome episode.. Got rid of a few loose ends..
No Tryion is always a loss - but still pretty epic.
I do have a question though - has anyone got any idea where the little Stark boy (rickon?) is? I mean we have neither heard nor seen him for a while...
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last i remember rickon was heading off with osha and shaggydog, i think for one of the bannermans keeps, but i cant remember wich one
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They went for the Umbers
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Was "homocides" intentional?
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The Hound had the best line. "I bet his hair is greasier than Joffrey's (C Word)"
I believe Cleon's full name is Cleon Van Dam.
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hmmm. It's interesting that nobody talks about the dagger that was supposed to kill Bran. Littlefinger lied to Cat that it was Tyrion's and that caused Cat to take Tyrion hostage and start the war. I find that a bolder move than poisoning Jon Arryn. Killing Arryn was gathering of the twigs while accusing Tyrion was putting twigs on fire! I wonder when the show is going to close that arc and tell us who actually ordered the hit! (I know who, I just don't want to spoil it.)
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Bran is finally cool,yea! Took him long enough! Him going into warg mode and squeezing the life out of locke with Hodors huge hands ... awesome! My favourite part of this season (other than the obvious one of course)
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AryaAryaArya
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Sansa's answer to Lysa about how she couldn't be sleeping with Littlefinger was her using everything she had learned at Kings landing to her advantage. It was like she was finally finished boot camp and was ready to be sent to war. Littlefinger has had her trained well.
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Not unless his name is Margaery, he hasn't.

And Sansa still hasn't pass "the Tommen" test, like the actual widow in King's Landing is doing right now.
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Sansa just can't catch a break. Talk about out of the frying pan into the crazy house. Ah well at least she's among family.
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OMG Was Aunt Lysa Crazy or what... Woah that girl cannot catch a break... and marrying the weird boy cousin - hell no!!!
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only one thing to say: Hodor!
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It never gets old!

(neither does "You know nothing Jon Snow")
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Jon snow had one of the best sword fights on game of thrones this episode.. snow lost because he learned how to fight in a castle with honor. The guy spit in his face and snow didnt stand a chance the other guys ways way better.. he had two short daggers too... that made it more epic! Best episode this season..
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Yea thank the gods for Craster's daughter-wife right? Lol
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They know what to do to survive, I'll givethem that.

It good they got their wish to see Craster's to be burned to the ground.
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Oooh, Littlefinger is soooo conniving!!! Everything was his plan all along, not that it really shocked me, c'mon it's Littlefinger we're talking about!!
As for Jon and Bran, I didn't get that disappointed when they didn't reunite after all, because every single moment while I was watching their scene I was thinking with fear "now Bran might get killed, now Jon might get killed", after everything we've seen in this show I worry when there is an upcoming good event, because somehow it will get screwed! So, since neither of them died, for me, everything was great!!! After all, as Tim said, there was a reunion in the end, Ghost is back!!!!
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Tim You didn't mention how the writers how the show keep on digressing from the book
Cerci is suppose to hate Margery up to an obsession but in this episode it is almost like they made peace
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Nah .. just more of cersei's attempted manipulations. She doesnt make peace with anyone
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Maybe so but the tv show fail to show just how much Cerci hate the Tyrail and Margery and how she becomes obssesed in destroying them
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I think this episode was very Cersei and her children children type stuff so there was no room for hardcore hatred even though I did think that when Cersei stepped into the shot and walked over to Marg it was on lol. But Marg and Tommen aren't even married yet and I think they were more feeling each other out. Im almost sure next season will be all Cersei vs Margaery hardcore!
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I agree and she was a little too - oh ok for the family i will marry my only son to the crone who may have had a hand in my son's death and yep no probs i will marry loras..
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Im not really sure but have we seen Cersei daughter yet ?
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You may remember when Tyrion was first hand of the king he told Varys, Littlefinger and Grand Maester Pycelle three different versions of plans to marry off Myrcella (Cersei's daughter) to various people of significance in major houses. This was in order to reveal who was Cersei's loyal man and Pycelle duly showed that he reports to Cersei as that is the story she confronts Tyrion with in anger.

The story he told Pycelle was that he was planning to send Myrcella off to Dorne to grow up with and marry the 3rd heir to Dorne; Trystane Martell (not shown), he is the nephew of Oberyn (Oberyn's brother Doran is head of house Martell and has two elder children ahead of Trystane, although the eldest is female she is heir to Dorne as they allow women to inherit).

Tyrion completes on this plan and the royal family all go down to see Myrcella off to Dorne by boat and on their return the (bread) riots begin, Joffrey gets hit in the face with some dung and then orders the guards to kill everyone, then it all kicks off. Sansa nearly got raped before The Hound saved her and the high septon (head of the church of the seven) got torn limb from limb with Tyrion looking on.

Other than that the only times we have seen Myrcella are the occasional dinner with her, Tommen, Sansa and Cersei. Most notably talking about how she will have a lovely new dress for Sansa's proposed wedding to Joffrey (a while ago) with childish ignorance of how much Sansa was dreading/hating life.
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Actually, this is the first season we haven't seen Myrcella. She's been here since the pilot episode.
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and we saw when Tyrion sent her away.
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In Season's one and two, we saw her about as much as we saw Tommen.
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really okaay ... oh well thx
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It was a nice moment when Cersei was telling Margaery about just how evil her son was and how bad that marriage would have been for her. It's a level of awareness I don't recall seeing from her. Sure, she ate it from time to time from that lil bastard, but she spoke as if she genuinely disliked him. So much so that when asked if she really believed that Tyrion really killed him, I expected her to say no.

Littlefinger, Lysa, Sansa and Robin...oie. I get the feeling this is gonna be a hard story line to watch...but not because it's bad.
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Oh and Cersei sending a ship to Oberyn's town... A pretty big ship too... Is this a metaphor or a Trojan Horse? I can't believe Cersei would do anything that doesn't ultimately benefit her own agenda. And she was far too conciliatory with Margery IMO... That was off
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Well...it ain't a metaphor...
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As a book reader, I am not usually too nitpicky about when they change things from the books. I mean, the whole Crastor's Keep thing was a departure and plotwise not necessary, but it was still well done. Likewise, I love the scenes they add for character interaction (Tywin/Arya, and Cersei/Oberyn tonight). But I am so super super pissed about the Littlefinger reveal. That was done eighty MILLION times better in the book, and it was perfect for a movie/TV show adaptation just as written. That scene was the thing I was most anticipating for this season (yes, even more than Joff's death), and they've already cut its impact in half by having Lysa just spell out the plan for every idiot in the audience as soon as she sees Littlefinger. NOT GREAT, BOB!
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AGREED. They really fucked up with that one. If they spew out "big reveals" every week they wont be so special anymore now will they...
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I agree, was looking forward to it as well she wasn't suppose to reveal that until the end along w/ 'Only Cat' we'll just see how they do it.
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I like the Mad Men reference. That expression is almost like the password to a secret club.
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Good fight scene at Crasters - did Jon recognise Locke's neck fatal injury as Hodor's handicraft or was that a red herring?
Lysa, Littlefinger & Robin (+lucky Sansa) are just another dysfunctional family... Geez can't wait for Robin & Sansa's wedding... Lysa's jealousy sure is a ticking bomb...
Dany keeping Slaves Bay free of slavers - perhaps not great drama but it does seem queen-like & it makes sense to cover your backside as you advance towards Westeros right?
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Jon probably did not think of Hodor as he is a gentle giant and has never hurt, let alone killed, anyone before. There's a story in the books about when he was younger being cornered and bullied by a couple of boys much much smaller than him but he just whimpers and cowers much as he did from the Night's Watch traitors as he simply doesn't have an aggressive thought in him.
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I just love that Snowdid fall on Karl and will burn his bones.

Literally. (Go Jojen!)
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The look on Sansa's face when Lysa told her that she would be marrying Robin was AMAZING. Someone start a Sansa Faces Tumblr!

She would rather be with Tyrion.

– I barely even noticed that Tyrion wasn't in the episode. That's how great this ensemble has become.

True, they can't cover everything in one episode..

– Cersei is giving her daughter a boat. What's that all about?

Her daughter is given to someone else.. Maybe.


At least we got one reunion, Ghost and Jon!

Brandon is so close to see Jon
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I just thought Cersei was trying to bond with Oberyn over their daughters and how they miss them.

To press a little on Elia to put him on her side when it comes to avenge their love ones and presto she won one of Tyrion's judges!
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Yeah, Cersei was lobbying him hard to ensure a guilty verdict against Tyrion, the same as she attempted with her father. I suspect she'll have a chat with Mace as well
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She already had it: that first "girl talk" she had with Margaery? That was Cersei manipulating Mace Tyrell though his daughter.

The last time Margaery called her sister, Cersei threaten to strangle her in her sleep. This time, Cersei embraces every word she says and even asks her help with Tommen after she complemente her mourning for Joffrey.

The implication is clear: Margaery will have the kindest mother-in-law if Tyrion is found guilty. Remember: the most dangerous women in this show, aren't carrying a weapon.
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I love this show!!! And I love Littlefinger. In addition to all his other crimes, he was obviously also the one ordering the attempted murder on Bran in S1, straight up lying to Cat, pointing the finger at Tyrion. No wonder Lysa would deny support of Cat's request to have the Vale support Robb's army. The Starks and the Lannisters were all played by Littlefinger, and Lysa, betrayed her entire extended family - the Starks, Tullys, and Arryns. She might be looney, but she ain't stupid. Enjoy the kamasutra games with you new hubby, Lysa, you've deserved it.

And, yeepers!, I'm startink to LOVE Sansa too.

And I totally support Dany's descision to stay in Essos. But the show needs to tie the Dany's story to Westeros. Dare I hope that Tyrion will escape the death sentence by being deported to the East?
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I thought it was revealed by Tyrion that it was Joff. who put the hit on Bran after he fell/pushed.
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Bran's attempted murder was one of the few things that LF isn't guilty of, he wouldn't have known about the 'fall'. But he absolutely took advantage of it by lying to Cat about the knife.
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as it turns out; the knife attack was not connected to the Jamie's push - it was ordered by Littefinger who framed Tyrion in order to make the Starks go... well... stark raving mad. Cat's arrest of Tyrion led to, the Lannister's arresting Ned, led to Robb proclaiming him self King, led to 3 years of war, and LF's rise.
or am i missing something - who DID send the assassin, if not LF?
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Possible SPOILER: the person who ordered Bran to be assassinated was Joffrey. I know this was revealed in the books before this point, I really can't remember whether it has been in the show. (Highlight the black bit if you want to know. It's sort of irrelevant now.
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I am pretty sure this is was in show. Anyways the way the current season is playing out, what happened to Bran won't be discussed.
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ohhhhhhh... hm. i'll stay unknowig for some time more - thx though :)
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Still, he could've told Ned the Lannisters didn't kill Jon Arryn and he would still be in Winterfell, helping The Night's Watch defend the Kingdoms from The White Walkers.

Now, Ned's bastard son is all that's left to defend the Wall from the wildlings, and they have no idea idea the kind of monsters that are coming behind them.
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Well, in theory. But I'm not sure that "I arranged for your foster father to be killed, so don't worry about that Lannister lot" would have gone down particularly well with Ned.
I'd have said the main reason that he's dead was because he realised Joff etc weren't very related to Robert. Not because he thought they killed Jon.
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The pilot episode was clear: Ned wouldn't have left Winterfell if it weren't becuse they told him the Lannisters poisoned Jon.

Even then Ned quit, Jaime's bastards notwithstanding, the moment he knew things weren't okay back home and Robert was forced to put him back at his job. Finding out who killed Jon killed Ned.
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Did anyone notice how dark the last two episodes often were? Literally, I mean.
Some scenes were so dark that I could hardly see anything. Seriously, I had curtains closed, shutters down, lights out in the house and it was still hard to see anything (and it's not because of my tv settings).Especially the Craster's Keep scenes were very dark this week.
It is all good and well to bring something as realistic as possible, meaning it is night, so it is dark, but they should'nt forget this is a tv series people need to be able to watch...
And I can't help but wondering if putting something in such very dark scenes is maybe a way to hide something from us (like bad swordfighting choreo perhaps) ?
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It's your TV
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Really good episode and now we know what started the Stark,Lannister war although I feel Littlefinger has more power then he letting on. Dany now at a dilemma now go back east and free the slaves or set sail for Westeros. I do think that sought out the cities that she freed is the better choice as she have a even bigger army to take Kings Landing.

Littlefinger new family has got to be the most f****ed up family in the show , the Mum is crazy , son is marrying Sansa plus with Littlefinger pulling the strings this lot should be on Jeremy Kyle! At least order was restored at Caster Keep, glad Hordor got rid of Locke but I do think Bolton will be wondering what happened to his right hand man. I knew that Jon and bran reunion wasn't happening they are following different paths. I do think that Cersei knows that Tyroin didn't kill joffrey but she trying to find more about Tyrells and Oberyan . Next Episode court showdown and Ramsay does his villainous turn
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Things are going so well ... Joffrey's dead, an apparently good person is on the throne, Jon killed those raping murdering defectors, Bran's lot got kidnapped, but freed the next episode without a single one of them dying or even really getting hurt ...

Something terrible is about to happen, isn't it?
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GAME OF THRONES: SANSA EDITION

Winter is Coming...
to a TV near you

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Her eyes were closed, and then she opened them and was like, "wait what was that last part??"
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Exactly, she realised the truth of it, everyone only cares for her claim and not for her herself.
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I almost laughed - because of the delayed reaction - but then i just felt sad for her - the poor girl is just getting the sharp end of a stick, where ever she goes.
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Danearys had the opportunity to capitalize on the throne but instead of heading to Westeros she prefers the rule the east. The reveal that Littlefinger was responsible for Jon Caryn death was out of the blue & inconsistent with the major premise that the Lannister’s poisoned him which led to Ned Starks death.

The battle at Craster’s keep was the highlight of the episode with Jon succeeding though it was heartbreaking they couldn’t reunite the brothers.

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How was that reveal "out of the blue and inconsistent" lol its what happens! The Lannisters had nothing to do w/ Jon Arryn's death or the 2nd assasination attempt of Bran. But because of the seeds Littlefinger planted w/ the Starks and the things he coerced Lysa Arryn to do, it ultimately led to the war which is exactly what Littlefinger wanted in order to engineer his endgame goals. That at least is still shrouded in mystery.
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Fun fact:
Littlefinger's wedding was the fifth on-screen wedding in GoT - and only the second one where no-one dies. ^^
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Robb, Dani, Joffrey, Sansa, Littlefinger, Edmure

"A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair"
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Yet.
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dam Hodor unleashed!!! glad Jon reunited with Ghost at least and Pod riding his horse was hilarious!
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My ranking :
1. The Lion and the Rose
2. First of his name
3. Oathkeeper
4. Breaker of Chains
5. Two Swords

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Ok, how come no one has mentioned my favorite line of this episode? I mean the Tywin/Cersei dialogue about the weddings and mourning...

C: We need to allow appropriate time for the mother to mourn her son, and for the wife to mourn her husband. T: A fortnight? C: A fortnight.

If that is not Lannister gold I don't know what is.
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Agreed... It was funny and the way Tywin and Cersei delivered the lines was just perfect. They are both so good at playing truly awful people and still not making look like cardboard villains
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Slightly O/T, but is 'fortnight' now generally understood in the US? It didn't used to be.
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It isn't used often in the US, but anyone who's read a book has seen the word. Oh, wait, I guess most of the US doesn't know 'fortnight' after all.
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Unfortunately they can't turn that Lannister gold into power...
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Thank you! Finally a critic that appreciated how amazing this episode was. Others keep talking about the rape pffff.
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Just wanted to mention that there is a Sansa's faces tumblr. Oh, there is
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I love Jon Snow.
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I don't think Brienne was being a mean girl. I think she was trying to protect Pod by pretending to be mean so he would leave her service. She knows it's going to be a difficult journey, and someone like Pod, with his eagerness to be helpful plus his total lack of combat experience, would probably end up dead.
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Definitely! Brienne was just a tad unimpressed with Pod's skills... He can barely ride a horse and that rabbit roast... Pod needs a training bootcamp and Brienne is kind to provide it so hopefully he's up to speed by the time they face any foes...
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To be fair, Brienne didn't care much about Jaime's safety beyond her oath to Lady Stark at first. Podrick is harder because she actually cared for him - beyond her oath to Lady Stark and/or Jaime - since the first time they met.
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I really enjoy your reviews. Yes, that's all I have to say.
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"one could sneeze without apologizing and Arya would vow to kill them later. As cute as she is, Arya is a rageaholic and a vengeful little psychopath. Yet here we celebrate her and she's one of the show's most popular characters. What is wrong with us?""

As EIRob said, The hound has been on Aryas list since he killed the butcher boy. rageaholic maybe (wouldn't you be if you were in her situation) but how is she a psychopath? Every single person on her list either murdered tortured someone or was responsible for the murder or torturing of someone. She doesn't just put someone on her kill list because they pissed her off, they all deserve it.

We celebrate her because like so little people in GOT universe, she not only see's the wrong, she wants to end people who cause the wrongs. GO ARYA

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To be fair, its not rageaholic if people cripple your brother, murder your friends, behead your father, stab your mentor, slit your mother's throat, murder your brother, shot arrows to his direwolf, torture the guy you like and make you watch.

Looking at this from Arya's perspective, her rage is perfectly reasonable all things considered.
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Yo, the Hound has been on Arya's death list since he killed the butcher boy. No sudden addition, there, and if it weren't for his ill-kept armor she would've struck him a mortal wound. Best sleep with one eye open, Sandor...
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The reunion of jon and ghost was the highlight for me. And what happened to Cersei ? She was almost kind. That bit with Oberyn was weird. She was lobbying for Tyrion's death but even Oberyn was left clueless what gifting a ship to her daughter was about.
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She was showing him how much she cares for her children - Joffrey included. She made herself seem more sympathetic towards Oberyn, including drawing parallels between what happened to both their children so he would be swayed to her cause. The ship, I think, was just a gift. A gift that will probably mean something later, but not at the moment.
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This episode was excellent! I became almost irrationally happy at Bran and Jon being so close (AGAIN) before I remembered a) this is Game of Thrones and b) they're Starks. Starks don't seem to get too many happy endings :( It was worth it to see Ghost and Jon reunited, however.

I feel so bad for Sansa... her entire life is essentially 'out of the frying pan and into the fire', with each change bringing more misery. Littlefinger is right up there as one of the worst (and also most devious and cunning) and I would love now more than ever for him to get all of his comeuppance. One thing I was pleasantly surprised at was the conversation between Margaery and Cersei. I liked that Cersei recognized Margaery as someone who is good and would be good to rule alongside Tommen. I'm assuming that camaraderie won't last, but it's nice for now.

As much of an asshat as he can be, I am still really enjoying the Hound and Arya journeying together. This season just keeps getting better and better! My only complaints are that I wish we would see a brief clip of what is going on with Gendry and Rickon.

Lastly - Podrick is the best.
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Yeah, where the fuck are Osha and Rickon? Weren't they going to Castle Black?
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They were supposed to be heading to Karhold, home of the Karstarks.
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Where is Gendry?!

And why on earth did he never learn to swin, his boating skills are driving me crazy!
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Gendry is still rowing! I wouldn't question it if he appeared in Meereen the next episode.
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Just a small correction but "The Hound" has always been a part of Arya's nightly ritual of naming the people she wants to kill. He's the reason she hasn't been saying it so much lately.
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Yeah, I doubt it's because he's annoying. She's still bitter about the butcher's son.
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Arya was restless for months until she avenged Lommy, and she didn't even know him as well as Mycah.

The Hound is right there with the Red Woman when it comes to her list.
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Sansa is looking more and more beautiful every episode! Her eyes told her whole story tonight. You couldn't help but what to give her a hug.

Ghost is looking so awesome! The finally got the CGi right! And it was an epic little sequence above the wall… they handled the story diversion really well. You are right, the episode moved so well, I didn't even notice Tyrion wasn't in the episode and he is definitely on my top 3 characters! I think the Hound was always in Arya's kill List… they just made him aware of it in this episode.

I found the scene between Cersei and Margaery quite powerful. I think they are painting the character of Cersei very well, she is very complicated, and even though it's easiest to hate her, you also start to realize that she has experienced so many horrors which formed the way she is. Maybe the Boat is some elaborate plan to attempt to get her daughter back.

I don't think we will be seeing Danaery's desert wandering anymore, I think now we will begin to see her face real challenges and struggles of the day to day reality of being a ruler, something she has never really had to do in one place before.
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not much really happened, let's be honest. For those who read the books, it was inevitable that Jon and Bran weren't going to meet up, which makes sense cus if people know Bran is alive, he's technically the King of Winterfell and people would be trying to kill him.

My review: http://mikeydislikesit.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/game-of-thrones-first-of-his-name-review/
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Bran isn't technically the king of Winterfell, because Sansa is the first heir of Winterfell. Arya would be next. So they both need to be dead for Bran to be king.
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Succession would be "male preference cognatic primogeniture", meaning the first born child would inherit, with preference given to males. Females would only inherit if no eligible brothers were living, AND no deceased brothers had living male children.

After Robb, it's Bran, then Rickon. If they are all declared dead (which is possible, since Bran and Rickon are in hiding) THEN Sansa becomes the heir.

In some European societies, in this example, if Arya had a male child and Sansa did not, ARYA would jump the line. But there's nothing in Game of Thrones to suggest that is the case in Westeros

As a modern example, the English Throne has been male preference cognatic primogeniture for most of its existence until the last 5 or so years, when Queen Elizabeth II declared the succession to be Absolute primogeniture, so the first born child would be the heir, regardless of gender.
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Does it work like that in the North? Women can take the throne? Not so sure of that...I think Sansa is the heir right now only because everyone thinks Bran is dead, but I could be wrong.
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Nope, its males first. Only Dorne has it by birth order, regardless of gender
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I thought it did, but maybe I'm wrong. I know in the south it goes boys first but I thought the north was in birth order.
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No, only Dorne has birth order. Every other place in Westeros, including Winterfell, has males first. Right now, Bran would inherit Winterfell, then Rickon, then Sansa (or technically speaking, Sansa's husband would be Lord of Winterfell).
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I know in the books it is the Dornish who go by birth order...not sure about Winterfell.
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I'm actually shocked they wrapped up Jon and the mutineers (aka Mr Guppy) so quickly, and I'm very glad because Jon has enough to do as it is. This ended up being quite a successful deviation from the books, Bran was a big beneficiary. The only issue is that Sam should not have told Jon about Bran, but at least they didn't meet.

Sansa's story is interesting at the moment, she's burned through the book so quickly I'm not sure what we can expect from her for the rest of the season.

Maisie must have been looking forward to this episode, finally she got to showcase all her swordfighting training! And she even did a fair chunk of the moves left-handed. Excellent job for a right-handed actress. Water Dancing is still borderline useless in battle but at least it looks pretty. Did you notice in that scene there were heaps of long shots. It's like the director said hey we actually have a location that will allow establishing shots, let's do that to death. Arya's story is dragging a little, I hope it picks up soon.
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Second time I reply to this comment but regarding Sansa. Daenerys has now officially reached the end of her A Storm of Swords material and I doubt that D&D are going to let her disappear for the rest of the season. The same goes for everyone else I think. Sansa might run out of book 3 but she will have her 4th book material!
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Well not necessarily (I don't want to spoil anything) but there is still a revelation Dany hasn't found out about which happened in Book 3. I'm sure D&D are going to incorporate her book 5 material and I don't think they can really change this certain plot point cause it plays a huge part in Dance.
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Thanks for the double reply. There's still one important thing that hasn't happened from Dany's aSoS chapters, they'll have to do it out of sequence but surely they'll cover it this season. But you're right, Dany will have to jump into the next book too. It's going to get pretty confusing.
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HA I didn't even notice your reply, sorry! Yeah it's a pretty big one and it's going to happen pretty soon I would think.
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All writers must serve TV adaptation integrity.

Now if only I could translate that into High Valyrian.
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Excactly the same thing happened that happened in the books. Sansa's story keep getting more interesting as the time goes by and Arya's starts to drag a little. I figured D&D would add some action filler for Arya since she is a fan favorite.
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I'm actually worried that we're going through the last interesting Sansa parts too fast - I thought the last couple of chapters we got from her were pretty boring. Arya's storyline should pick up once she's in Braavos. I don't know why they're dragging it out so long.
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I think that Sansa's AFFC chapters were one of that book's best chapters with Cersei's and Arianne's (I love the Dornish people!). The show is obviously going to go into the AFFC/ADWD material in this season as Dany chose to stay in Meereen which happened at the end of the third book. And I seriously doubt that D&D are going to let their poster girl to be absent for episodes 6-10. Sansa is most likely going to venture to her AFFC material as well.

I'm one of the weirdos who think that Arya's storyline in the fourth and fifth book will serve a purpose but I still find it hard to be interested in it. Luckily the sample chapter GRRM released from the next book has me anticipating Arya's chapters once more!
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We still have quite a bit of Sansa stuff left this season from Storm of Swords and they might even move a little into her book 4 threads.
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As usual I was upset when this episode ended, seemed over too fast
I thought it had great pacing and the reveals were great . ( and well deserved)
Great job of touching on so many stories and each moving forward.
The Hound and Arya are for sure the best "odd couple"
And I hate to agree with you Tim but it took me a while to realize we didn't see Tyrion or Jamie this episode. nicely done GOT
Next week will be another "must see"
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Sansa swore to her aunt that she's still a virgin ,That means Joffrey was an impotent .Well that explains his sadistic vile barbaric actions
The poor bastard was just trying to feel like a real man may he rest in pieces (preferably little ones)
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Well, technically it would mean Tyrion never slept with her. He was Sansa's husband, not Joffrey.
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Not sleeping with Tyrion is not the definition of a virgin!
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Sansa is too much of a Lady to sleep with someone other than her husband! She's a Stark..

If her husband didn't sleep with her, then she's a virgin.
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You're missing the point of my statement and the other comments in the thread. See @Copioli below. Also, considering this has already aired, everybody else seems to know Tyrion did'nt sleep with Sansa!
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Maybe this isn't want you meant to say, but saying Joffery trying to 'feel like a real man' by committing murder and abuse equates murder and abuse to being 'manly' actions.

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Sansa and Joffrey were never married and Joffrey seemd more interested in torturing women than eeuuhh 'bedding' with them
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Where do you get the conclusion that he was impotent?
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What it actually means is that Sansa has'nt had sex.
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He didn't exactly get much opportunity.
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