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

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | April 24, 2013 | Comments ()


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Author's Note: Hey folks! We're back with a 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 LEST I SIC MY DRAGON ON YOU!

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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. Why Do You Think They're Giving Sam The Short Shrift?: Yeah, no, Samwell Tarly is not the most impressive or dashing figure in the book, but I feel like George RR Martin did a far better job of showing his worth (map reader, critical thinker). The show has reduced him to a walking fat joke and a whinger. I understand the impulse, show, but at least give the man his obsidian knife moment. Will they work that in later, do you think? Perhaps he'll cut down an Other in defense of Gilly and her baby and they'll leave out the bit where he gets a fellow Ranger killed. I hope so.
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2. Step Into My Revenge Crate Said The Spider To That Guy: So, correct me if I'm wrong, but Lord Varys does not, in fact, have his former tormenter shipped to King's Landing. Nonetheless, it made for a stunning set piece during his scene with Tyrion. There was some confusion among non-book readers as to who this fellow was. (Some thought it was Pyat Pree.) This is likely because Varys mentions both Myr and fire (Red Priest territory) and a blue light (the sign of a Qarthian warlock). Either way, I'm not sure what purpose this particular aberration is going to serve other than as a reminder that Varys is a slippery individual and Tyrion shouldn't be quite so chummy with him. P.S. Dinklage's face.
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3. You Come At The Bear, You Best Not Miss: I thought the mutiny at Craster's Keep was beautifully done. Burn Gorman (playing Dirk, I guess) and Rast did their damage. I'm glad they gave the Lord Commander a badass end, though I did miss him mentioning Jorah as he died. I feel like the show has done a terrible job reminding us the two are related. Nonetheless, George RR Martin has a tendency to go for gusto when killing off father figures and, at least, this all went off a good deal better than The Halfhand's death.
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4. Gwendoline Christie Is Killing It As Brienne: The more disheveled she gets, the more I love her. Both Christie and Coster-Waldau were fantastic. To see the golden Kingslayer brought so low is one thing, but to watch Brienne upbraid him for his self-pity is fully another. Other than swapping out the fictional "Locke" for Vargo Hoat, this is one of the story lines that's remained truest to the books and it's working so damn well. You can absolutely see the tight bond forming between these two.
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4. The Problem With Theon: For the most part, the non-book readers haaaaaaate this plot. Mostly, I think, they're frustrated that they don't know who Theon's captor is or where he is or what in the hell is going on. I don't think it was a bad choice to insert this plot into Season 3. I'd miss Alfie Allen if he disappeared for several seasons. I'm not sure it was wise to make Ramsay's identity a secret, however. Hopefully they'll rectify that soon. Regardless, Alfie Allen's crushing confession in the tunnels was lovely.
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And if you had any doubts about Iwan Rheon's ability to play the sadist, well, put them to rest.
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6. Maybe The Most Heartbreaking Moment For Those Of Us With Foreknowledge: Sansa smiling and giggling with Margaery. Ack. We know she's about to be married off to The Imp and then turned over to the evil clutches of Lord Baelish. So this scene of her just being a happy young girl for maybe the last time? Ugh, it hurts. I wonder who is going to sell Sansa out to the Lannisters? Without Dontos here it would have to be...Varys? Baelish via some spy work? Not sure. Also, I must say, of all the preposterous "ships" I've seen come out of the "Game Of Thrones" universe, the Margaery/Sansa shippers are my favorite.
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Do we care at all that Willis has been swapped out for Loras? I don't suppose we should other than the fact that it means Sansa's going to go from unspeakably happy to absolutely crushed in the span of an episode or two. Also, someone pointed out that this stump of a Weirwood tree is the closest Sansa gets to having a Godswood in King's Landing. It hurts, guys.
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7. Foreshadowing Cersei's Fall From Grace: I've admired how, all along, the show has done a great job of showing Cersei's fondness for wine. She's rarely seen without a goblet in her hand. I also enjoyed this scene (as I do any scene with Charles Dance). No, Cersei, you're not as smart as you think you are and you're *this* close to losing everything.
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8. The Sept Of Baelor: Round of applause for the amazing set piece that was the Sept of Baelor. Not so fast, Kingslayer.
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8. Lady Olenna: Meta Critic: How meta of Olenna to slam the Tyrell words. (Those words that have always made me think of a Flintstones Vitamins commercial.)
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10. F*CK YES, DAENERYS: Weiss and Benioff told Entertainment Weekly that this scene, the freeing of Astapor, is basically what convinced them they had to make this show. Well, that and The Red Wedding, I'm guessing. Did they do it justice? You're damn right they did.
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What are some of the key differences? I think the fact that in the book we're inside Dany's head and she a) doesn't reveal her plan and b) worries about what's going to happen to her dragon makes the Kraznys bait and switch much more of a surprise. Between last week's episode and this one, I think even the dimmest viewer had it figured out. The scene in the book is also a bit more violent with Dany tearing open Kraznys face with the harpy scepter followed by a detailed description of his eyeballs melting from the dragon fire. But I think this shot did the job quite nicely.
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In short, this more than makes up for Dany's boring plotline last season. Much like Jorah, I think we're all hopelessly in love with the Khaleesi now. Her Valyrian pronunciation alone was enough to give you shivers.
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New Character Rundown:

1. Beric Dondarrion: There's only one new character this week, but it's a doozy. The Lightning Lord. The Lord Of Corpses. The Man With A Plan: Beric Dondarrion.
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Do you remember seeing Beric Dondarrian briefly in Season One? Like Gregor Clegane, he was recast. I guess, uh, time and the ravages of war/dying a bunch really have changed him.
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Though his backstory will eventually be explained, I have to agree with some non-book readers that without any of that knowledge, his importance is a bit lost on the viewers. He had that badass moment where he told the Hound "no, you're going to fight me." But as far as the casual show watcher is concerned, he's just another grubby knight with an eyepatch.
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But all questions will be put to rest next week, I imagine, with this BAD ASS looking fight. It's like they turned a lightsaber up to eleven.
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But what in the heck is Melisandre doing there? In last week's post, I wondered if she would use Gendry as a substitute for Edric Storm. If that's the case it would make sense that she would find her way to the Brotherhood. But many of you (reasonably) countered that the likelier substitute with Baratheon blood would be Shireen, Stannis's daughter. Using a cute young girl would, of course, be more tragic than putting Joe Dempsie's abs in danger...of course it would.
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Best Line
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