10 Things We Learned From This Week's Cutting Episode Of "Game Of Thrones": Spoiler Whore and Book Reader Edition
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10 Things We Learned From This Week's Cutting Episode Of "Game Of Thrones": Spoiler Whore and Book Reader Edition

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | April 17, 2013 | Comments ()


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Author's Note: Hey folks! Since you dug it so much last week, we're back with the book spoiler-heavy "Game Of Thrones" rundown. If you're looking for eloquent or sophisticated analysis, I suggest you head on over to TK's superlative Monday recap. This post serves mainly as an outlet for all your pent-up frustrations at having to tip-toe around your book knowledge lest you spoil a "Game Of Thrones" newbie. So, in case it isn't clear, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED BY BOOK KNOWLEDGE OR SOME INSIDER SHOW INFO, GET OUT OF HERE. SERIOUSLY, WHAT IN THE SEVEN 'ELLS ARE YOU DOING HERE? LEAVE!

Are they gone? Phew. Anything goes in the comments, folks. We're hoping this will help curb some of your urges to spoil in the regular recap. Have at it!--JR

1. They're Trying Awfully Hard To Get Us To Love Robb : Robb Stark has been a bit of a cipher so far in the series. I don't think that's Richard Madden's fault. He's just not been given much to do. But in this episode we had both this very human, young-seeming moment at Hoster Tully's funeral...
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...and this later, fiercer scene. I loved this dressing down of Edmure so very much because it showed Robb's strength as a leader and a strategist. That's something that's been sorely lacking. I think we all know why they're trying to endear Robb to us. More on that in just a second.
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2. They're Trying Awfully Hard To Get Us To Love Cat : Cat has been even harder to love. In the "Game Of Thrones" podcast I do, my co-host likened Catelyn Stark to Skyler White from "Breaking Bad," implying that our dislike for Cat is similar to our dislike for all "nagging" wives from TV dramas. (What Dustin once called "The Rita Bennett Problem.") I don't think that's quite accurate. Book Cat is both awfully stern and tragically foolish. That being said, her distress here over losing her father (and probably her sons) was moving. So love up on Robb and Cat while you can, folks. It'll only make Episode 9 that much harder to watch.
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3. There Is Another Baratheon: I loved this exchange between Melisandre and Stannis mostly because of Carice van Houten's pitying "bitch please" look. That being said, she dropped this vague, Yoda-esque promise that there are others with Baratheon blood in their veins. We book readers know that she means Edric Storm. My prediction? They'll put Gendry in Edric's place, keeping the popular Joe Dempsie around for awhile longer and putting someone we already care about in peril rather than introducing a new character. DON'T HURT THE ABS, MELISANDRE.
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4. Hey! They're Laying The Groundwork For The Iron Bank Of Braavos Plot!: This was a little throwaway line. (Dany had one last season as well.) But it lays the groundwork for conflicts to come and I think that's very smart.
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5. The Hunting Of Theon Greyjoy : How are we feeling about Theon's plot being integrated into "Book 3"? I'm for it. I thought this was an absolute thrill ride and provided some much-needed action. He almost got beaned by that tree.
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Also, book readers, you know this was just for you.
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6. SHAMELESS GRATUITOUS NUDITY ALERT: We haven't yet talked about the non-book-related nudity HBO is so very fond of. This scene with Pod, invented out of whole (scraps of) cloth was pretty unnecessary, yes. The post-game wrap up with Bronn, Tyrion and (tri) Pod? Priceless.
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7. It's A Boy : But there is some nudity I can get behind. For example, the camera's lingering shot on Gilly's newborn son. That's an unfortunate penis right there.
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8. Crop Circles : Speaking of North Of The Wall, I don't recall the "artistry" of The Others from the book. It certainly made for a stunning shot but I couldn't suppress my snickers at the thought of the ice zombies working methodically in the snow to get their horse hash crop circle *just* right.
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9. The Lannisters Really Brought The Laughs : This is an instance of perfect adaptation work. There is a throwaway line in the book about what Cersei and Tyrion do here with the chairs that the writers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to play for laughs. Kudos, of course, to Dinklage and Headey (and the great Conleth Hill who kills it every single week as Varys).
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And if this isn't your new favorite "Game Of Thrones" gif, well, I just don't know what to say.
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10. The Bear And The Maiden Fair : I think this song would have been poorly received had it been sung last week during the Sansa/Oleanna scene, but as a traveling song for the Brave Companions Roose Bolton's men? It was perfection. I may be in the minority, but I actually preferred the sung version to the end credits version. Tidbit of useless trivia via the lovely Josh Kurp: that was Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody singing Westeros's favorite tavern song. He can be seen here on the left.
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But, to be fair, I liked the Hold Steady version more than most. I think those who weren't expecting The Kingslayer to lose his hand were still reeling from shock when the punk-ish music kicked in. The scene was shot so beautifully, though, that even those of us who knew it was coming felt gutted by the violence of it. Kudos, of course, to Noah Taylor for his Count Rugen-ish looking thug, Locke. How did you feel about smash cutting from this...
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...to that?

New Character Rundown: I'm going to include a few of the people we met in episode 1 because Western whores neglect Master Kraznys at your peril.

Brynden "Blackfish" Tully: Delightful. Clive Russell was everything I could have hoped for. Excellent wordless introduction to both of these characters.
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Edmure Tully: And Edmure, of course, (who played a similarly useless character on "Doctor Who" this week) was magnificently inept. I really loved this whole sequence.
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Missandei: We met her in episode 1, but it's worth noting that Missandei has been significantly aged up from the book. I cannot possibly fathom why. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the revealing Astaporian garb.
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Master Kraznys: This guy is killing it. I sort of love that they're keeping the audience in suspense as to whether or not Dany (or Jorah) understands his High Valyrian vulgarities.
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The Harpy Of Astapor: Not my favorite. Not a fan at all.
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Martin and Willem Lannister: This plot line is one of my favorites in the book and a very important moment for Robb. They've been laying the groundwork with Lord Karstark for awhile now so I shouldn't have worried that they would leave it out, but I was. It doesn't much matter that, for simplicity's sake, they changed Tion Frey to Martin Lannister. We've got two little princes in a tower and that's what's most important. This was also a nice Talisa scene.
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Rando Member Of The Night's Watch: Burn Gorman showed up for the first time as a member of the Night's Watch. The geeks among you may recognize him as Owen from "Torchwood." There was a queer, ominous shot when The Watch first showed up at Craster's Keep panning down Gorman's body to land on his fist. It was either reaching for a weapon or clenching in...anger? ...hunger? I swear to you I've watched that scene five times and I can't figure out what they were going for. The point, however, is that these boys are both hungry and angry and Rast is going to need some shifty-looking help when sh*t goes south at The Keep. I can't, for the life of me, find out what his character's name is supposed to be, but I don't think you cast Gorman just to glower in the background.
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