Commentary on “The Wolf and the Lion”

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I think I deserved a CMOA for hooking my mom on a song of Ice and fire. Even got her to go out and read the books.

OH man...that episode was damn good.

Although I disagree with one thing; you said that Theon Greyjoy gets a 'lukewarm' reception from his sister Asha when he gets back?

Personally, I was a bit upset with how the mountain raiders were depicted, they looked a little bit less like a bunch of well, bloodthirsty raiders out to kill and pillage what they could, and more like some random soldiers who had happened upon the group. I know my sister, who was watching with me, needed it explained to her that the men who had just attacked weren't run of the mill soldiers.

BRONN!!!!! (I wish one word post was allowed, definitely my favorite character next to Lady B of T, and Jaime).

Another funny thing I just remembered was how some people were complaining about the lack of male nudity in TV Shows, hope Theon provided them a good time. :p

The Diabolical Biz:
OH man...that episode was damn good.

Although I disagree with one thing; you said that Theon Greyjoy gets a 'lukewarm' reception from his sister Asha when he gets back?

I think most people probably understood the "I want to see him fly, mother!" line-- the keep is called The Eyrie after all.

In regards to how the production staff has taken what might be considered 'liberties' with some of the scenes, I think that was an intentional decision. It strikes me that they anticipated an audience much wider than just the fans of the book, and feared that if everything was subtle and nuanced, many of that segment of the audience would miss out, and subsequently become frustrated. That's why you see stuff like the incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei, the explicit encounter between Loras and Renly. It spells out what is only hinted at in the books.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that sometimes an explicit presentation saves time.

I do have to say that I'm... uncomfortably enjoying the series. It's far more intense than the books (which I felt were rather dry).

Having read the series I can't help feeling that A Game of Thrones is mostly just a first act. Its all leading up to the later books. It is still superb, but it doesn't have half the intrigue violence and importance of later on.

Yeah, the "I want to see him fly, mother!" was bloody obvious if you have half a brain. No need to wait for the third season to see someone fly out of the cockoo's nest.

Alas, having never read the book, I can only hope that the next casualties will be on the other side.

The nudity & sex scenes still seem to be "forced" instead of being integral parts. In a "HAH! We can show this, choke on the manly parts, censors!" way.

They had the perfect opportunity to reintroduce Rickon Stark and failed to take it, so either he is no longer going to be a character ever in the series, or confuse a whole lot of people if he is ever reintroduced.

Is it just me, or is the combat really slow? Whenever I watch them fight, I always wonder why they bother to parry. It would seem like a better strategy would be to step to the side slowly and behead them... slowly. Then it makes me think about them having to do it for actor safety, totally ruins the immersion.

Rationalization:
Is it just me, or is the combat really slow? Whenever I watch them fight, I always wonder why they bother to parry. It would seem like a better strategy would be to step to the side slowly and behead them... slowly. Then it makes me think about them having to do it for actor safety, totally ruins the immersion.

to be fair, sean bean is getting on a bit, and well yeah, actor safety and all that.
I have to say though, this was a darn good episode. The best yet i think.

Rationalization:
Is it just me, or is the combat really slow? Whenever I watch them fight, I always wonder why they bother to parry. It would seem like a better strategy would be to step to the side slowly and behead them... slowly. Then it makes me think about them having to do it for actor safety, totally ruins the immersion.

I'm no expert on medieval warfare, but you have to realise just how heavy these weapons are. It's not like a video game, where speed is determined by animations and numbers - and lets not forget that a single hit will ruin your day. Also, the whole combat style is very different from Eastern martial arts - Chinese styles with their light flexible blades and rapid movements that turns combat into a dance or Japanese Katana swordplay that works with relatively light, extremely sharp blades (slicing and dicing through padded armour and flesh) that are very different to the big, heavy western broadswords (designed to cleave through mail and plate armour, and then through flesh and bone, in one decent swing).

All that aside, most of the fights in the show I've felt have had an impressive physicality to them, especially the ones at the North gate with punches and elbows being thrown in - a lot more real and physical than, say, some of Kill Bill's scenes.

But yeah, I can see your point that it's easy to say 'just do that and you win instantly' - in the duel at the end, Ned over-reached and stumbled, but Lannister didn't or couldn't capitalise on it. Things like that kind of add to it for me, though, because it just shows that these guys are human and not artificially awesome war machines.

OT, Jory catching an eye-full of knife was surprising and shocking - he was the kickass reliable dude in the back! How dare he get slaughtered so easily! Loving the show, it's pleasantly unpredictable and seems to be developing beautifully in a way that so very few shows do. I guess it just goes to show how solid the writing of the books is! I wonder if a Wheel of Time adaptation would be anything like as good... god knows that there would be plenty of chaff to trim out.

Wicky_42:
I'm no expert on medieval warfare, but you have to realise just how heavy these weapons are. It's not like a video game, where speed is determined by animations and numbers - and lets not forget that a single hit will ruin your day. Also, the whole combat style is very different from Eastern martial arts - Chinese styles with their light flexible blades and rapid movements that turns combat into a dance or Japanese Katana swordplay that works with relatively light, extremely sharp blades (slicing and dicing through padded armour and flesh) that are very different to the big, heavy western broadswords (designed to cleave through mail and plate armour, and then through flesh and bone, in one decent swing).

All that aside, most of the fights in the show I've felt have had an impressive physicality to them, especially the ones at the North gate with punches and elbows being thrown in - a lot more real and physical than, say, some of Kill Bill's scenes.

But yeah, I can see your point that it's easy to say 'just do that and you win instantly' - in the duel at the end, Ned over-reached and stumbled, but Lannister didn't or couldn't capitalise on it. Things like that kind of add to it for me, though, because it just shows that these guys are human and not artificially awesome war machines.

OT, Jory catching an eye-full of knife was surprising and shocking - he was the kickass reliable dude in the back! How dare he get slaughtered so easily! Loving the show, it's pleasantly unpredictable and seems to be developing beautifully in a way that so very few shows do. I guess it just goes to show how solid the writing of the books is! I wonder if a Wheel of Time adaptation would be anything like as good... god knows that there would be plenty of chaff to trim out.

the average longsword weighs between 3 and 4lbs, whils some are as light as 2.8 lbs. my hand and a half sword is 3&1/2 lbs. A katana should be somewhere between 2'5 and 3lbs you can use both with very similar speed and fluidity with proper training. Its also impossible for a sword to even pierce plate armour from a slashing attack, and even still its unlikely for a good strong thrust to pierce it either. a thrust will quite easily penetrate maille, which is why you aim for the weak spots such as the armpit and throat.
And real combat is far less certain than the choreographed stuff you usually see, making it slower.

EMFCRACKSHOT:

the average longsword weighs between 3 and 4lbs, whils some are as light as 2.8 lbs. my hand and a half sword is 3&1/2 lbs. A katana should be somewhere between 2'5 and 3lbs you can use both with very similar speed and fluidity with proper training. Its also impossible for a sword to even pierce plate armour from a slashing attack, and even still its unlikely for a good strong thrust to pierce it either. a thrust will quite easily penetrate maille, which is why you aim for the weak spots such as the armpit and throat.
And real combat is far less certain than the choreographed stuff you usually see, making it slower.

I always like it when someone who sounds like they know what they're talking about responds :] I was under the impression that heavy longswords could break plate? You know what the difference in metal forging between katanas and longswords means in terms of weapon use? Is there a difference, or is the difference in fighting style more down to other aspects?

This show for me is currently like a drug, I just can't wait for each episode. Now of course that's a clear sign I should read the book but thus far I might as well stick to what I currently know.

Wicky_42:
I'm no expert on medieval warfare, but you have to realise just how heavy these weapons are. It's not like a video game, where speed is determined by animations and numbers - and lets not forget that a single hit will ruin your day. Also, the whole combat style is very different from Eastern martial arts - Chinese styles with their light flexible blades and rapid movements that turns combat into a dance or Japanese Katana swordplay that works with relatively light, extremely sharp blades (slicing and dicing through padded armour and flesh) that are very different to the big, heavy western broadswords (designed to cleave through mail and plate armour, and then through flesh and bone, in one decent swing).

Exactly, but the swords that are shown arn't always the mountain that rides sword, or the sword Ned used for beheading in the first episode.

Some although 2h swords, are noticably thinner or even 1h swords. No matter the size or weight they all move slow in certain scenes. The training scenes at the wall all moved fairly fast but other more hectic scenes seemed to all move slowly. I also notice, idk, like they are moving as if it is a scene instead of an actual fight. I notice the hesitance and brings me out. I also have no idea how medieval fights were fought, I do notice that something is off when I watch it though.

Wicky_42:

I always like it when someone who sounds like they know what they're talking about responds :] I was under the impression that heavy longswords could break plate? You know what the difference in metal forging between katanas and longswords means in terms of weapon use? Is there a difference, or is the difference in fighting style more down to other aspects?

properly tempered plate was pretty much impenetrable by swords. it had its weak spots, especially at the joints where they were only protected by maille, but these were more easily exploited with weapons such as halberds. You could bend, and cave it in with a heavy blow, but not cut it open. It was more preferable to grappling with your oppenet and pierce weak points with a good dagger
Of course, plate armour was expensive and not as common as is often portrayed with maille being the norm. And the longsword was often used for defence in civilian life, leading to many fights between unarmoured opponents. There is a considerable difference in fighting styles depending upon if armour is involved or not.
As for the forging process, it is indeed different, due to the poor quality and scarcity of metal ores in japan. This is only really of importance in determining the strength of the blade however. Its the actual shape of the blades that have a greatest effect on fighting style though as does culture to a lesser degree. The chinese hsing straight sword uses many similar techniques to those found in european fighting styles for example. There is some small variation in the footwork and stuff but most of the basics are the same.

As someone who took almost a minor's worth of classes in 'Ancient Warfare' in college, I can tell you that EMFCRACKSHOT generally has it right.

Once the lines of footmen collided Medieval combat was usually what amounted to a barroom brawl with sharp objects. (Surprisingly, this is true of both Eastern and Western combat.) Knights would in essence be the tanks in the scenario (at least until bec-de-corbins, lucern hammers, picks and the like became widespread enough to negate the armor advantage). In a general melee, the footmen would try to pull knights off their horses, overpower them, and then stab at their joints and other chinks in their armor until they stopped moving. Knights' duels, while rare, usually involved just trading blows, beating the crap out each other until one person tired out and dropped their guard-- it was very much a hammer-and-tongs sort of affair.

In fact, swords were commonly used by knights only against foes with inferior armor (like footmen or archers). When facing someone who also sported plate mail or full plate armor, a knight would often prefer hammers, maces, or morning stars, as plate will not keep your arm from getting broken if hit hard enough with a blunt object.

In a pitched battle, eastern style combat wasn't very much different, except that the samurai didn't use blunt weapons. Also, their duels were far more ritualized.

I guess you could argue that the combat is a mix of kendo style with western weapons, but you shouldn't read that far into it, I think: just sit back and enjoy the ride.

EDIT:

EMFCRACKSHOT:

As for the forging process, it is indeed different, due to the poor quality and scarcity of metal ores in japan.

Okay, I have to ask what is your source for this statement? Nothing I read in my studies, nor anything I have seen on the Internet has suggested that the ore in Japan was either terribly scarce or of lesser quality-- quite the opposite in fact: the Japanese pioneered several forging techniques which are still in use today.

My big beef with this episode is that I don't really like how Renly is being portrayed. He's supposed to be a young guy who wishes he was Robert.I understand that some liberties need to be taken, but it was rather central to Renly's character that he really wished he could be his big brother, but in the series it's not. Like showing Ned his locket and saying that Margaery Tyrell was his Lyanna Stark, and feeling devastated when Ned didn't immediately think they looked alike.

Tyrion, though, is still making this show worth watching.

solidstatemind:
*SNIP
Okay, I have to ask what is your source for this statement? Nothing I read in my studies, nor anything I have seen on the Internet has suggested that the ore in Japan was either terribly scarce or of lesser quality-- quite the opposite in fact: the Japanese pioneered several forging techniques which are still in use today.

I remember watching something on the history channel about the development of the katana saying that Japanese iron wasn't as high quality as it was in other places in the world, which spurred the pioneering of the more modern techniques. They also had help from Okinawa in crafting and smelting.

But the history channel sometimes plays it fast and loose with truth, so who knows.

I absolutely love Petyr Baelish and the actor portraying him. He's already becoming a fast favorite among my circle of friends who watch the show and I can't wait to see their reactions during the later seasons.

Additionally, I really like Jaime. I feel he really grows as a character and this will only become more pronounced as the show goes on.

solidstatemind:

EMFCRACKSHOT:

As for the forging process, it is indeed different, due to the poor quality and scarcity of metal ores in japan.

Okay, I have to ask what is your source for this statement? Nothing I read in my studies, nor anything I have seen on the Internet has suggested that the ore in Japan was either terribly scarce or of lesser quality-- quite the opposite in fact: the Japanese pioneered several forging techniques which are still in use today.

The japanese forging techniques were incredibly advanced, but japan is incredibly lacking in most forms of natural resources, especially coal and iron. I thought this was well known, and its detailed in a number of texts dealing with the japanese empire.
The lengthy forging process and numerous foldings of the blade were designed to remove the impurities from the metal, producing steel that was comparable in quality to european steel.
lack of coal, iron ore etc was a key factor in the japanese expansion into china.

I'm embarrassed that I missed the Varys-Illyrio plotting when I read the series years back. Thank you for this clarification. Don't know how such a major element was opaque to me, must have been blasting through reading too fast. I thought the references to 'Lys' was an attempt to smear Varys, not realizing how major the connection really was.

Love The Escapist coverage of Game of Thrones.

Greg, you'll have to pause when you look at the skycell. I was specifically watching to see if it was sloped, and if you look carefully, you'll see there is a gentle gradient.

This part caught my eye because I've been waiting to see reactions to it:

"For the show to throw it out there so early seems to miss the opportunity to investigate how such a homosexual relationship was so scandalous back then. Plus, the scene went on about 30 seconds too long for me. Were the slurping sound effects absolutely necessary?"

First, "Back then"? This isn't historical fiction. And it's relatively clear that homosexuality isn't particularly uncommon or even necessarily frowned upon given Littlefinger's speech about the predilections of other nobles in the same episode. And it's not like they've been subtle with any of the straight romances. Also, how does showing the audience prevent them from making good on the opportunity? It's not like the other characters can see what we're seeing.

Second, I know it may be hard to believe, but gay people exist and sometimes we like seeing gay relationships in media. Hiding it or making it "subtle" can be interesting in some cases, but hiding it from the viewer also means we just don't see as much of it. And it seems like it would have been a little silly in this case. Audiences pick up on the knowing glances and little hints pretty quickly, so avoiding coming out and showing the relationship to the audience is mostly just an excuse to avoid focusing on gay characters.

Third, really? You're really going to complain about a few seconds of gay sex noises in a show where we've seen the tits of every adult woman in the cast in the first handfull of episodes? Was it too much for you when they went into the brothel and there were half a dozen many boobs bouncing around in a single scene? Given the context of the show, that bit about it going on "too long" for you is downright offensive.

Does it really bother you so deeply that a show took a few minutes out of catering to straight men to acknowledge that other kinds of people exist too?

Best episode yet. The Eyrie is beautiful. Lysa is more than a few twists short of a slinky. Bronn is deadly and delightfully droll. In addition to the scene between Baelish and Varys, I really liked the interplay between Cersei and Robert. It served to help flesh out her character and provide justification for her later actions. IMHO most of the added (not in the book) scenes are doing just that, fleshing out the characters in ways that the book would explain by way of interior monologue. Which is how exposition should be handled in film.

I'm hesitant to say this, because last week I wondered about where Renly was, and this week got entirely too much Renly (slurp, slurp), but I hope the Blackfish is in the next episode.

I have to admit, I forgot about the whole "breastfeeding" scene from the novel until they showed it, and while I was disgusted (and also a bit concerned about the actor playing the kid) the scene perfectly, if not horrifically, portrayed just how mad Lysa is.

One thing I'm still a bit annoyed with is the overabundance of extra sex and nudity that adds nothing to the plot. There was already the right amount of it in the books; throwing more of it in there for no reason just takes me out of my suspension of disbelief and makes me feel like I'm watching bad medieval themed porn and reminds me that the series has certainly been "HBO'd up."

That said I absolutely loved the action sequences; the fight between The Mountain and The Hound was pure AWESOME; you could almost feel lightning in the air when their greatswords met. I also really enjoyed the scene where the mountain men attacked Catelyn's party (though it should have lasted longer) and the ending duel between Ned and Jaime.

Each man in his life has seen so many films and read so many books that he thinks he has seen everything and nothing will surprise him, and I must admit that while experiencing the story through the books there was more than one occasion where I thought "and here is where X comes to save the day" only to have George R R Martin slap me upside the head and throw a twist on the story that left me speechless.

The first book has great memorable ones, but the whole saga is full of moments where I just had to say "No he didn't!".

Episode 5 was awesome, I especially liked the scene with Fat Bob and Hot Cersei having a polite conversation about how much they hated each other (since it was never in the books).

Also the scene with Loras and Renly was a bit too early in my opinion:

And in closing, I want to see more Arya and Jon Snow dammit!

This is question for people that read the books

1. Varys-Illyrio scene.

In the book Arya sees two dark figures walking trough secret passages. You can vaguely guess one is Varys. But I dont think you can guess second one is Illyrio. Even more - its a key event that is shadowing a secret hand leading the problems in Westeros. And you never really know who these two people are (in the book)

2. Renly - knight of flowers scene

In book there are hints on Renly being homosexual. But there is not even a letter on knight of flowers. Especially not on him having relationship with Renly

3. Varys-Littlefinger scene

The exchange of threats didnt happen in book. Again its hinted that they hate each other.
But here clearly Littlefinger have dominance over Varys , while in book this never happens.

What do you think about these changes ?

This is question for people that read the books

1. Varys-Illyrio scene.

In the book Arya sees two dark figures walking trough secret passages. You can vaguely guess one is Varys. But I dont think you can guess second one is Illyrio. Even more - its a key event that is shadowing a secret hand leading the problems in Westeros. And you never really know who these two people are (in the book)

2. Renly - knight of flowers scene

In book there are hints on Renly being homosexual. But there is not even a letter on knight of flowers. Especially not on him having relationship with Renly

3. Varys-Littlefinger scene

The exchange of threats didnt happen in book. Again its hinted that they hate each other.
But here clearly Littlefinger have dominance over Varys , while in book this never happens.

What do you think about these changes ?

Twotricks:
This is question for people that read the books

1. Varys-Illyrio scene.

In the book Arya sees two dark figures walking trough secret passages. You can vaguely guess one is Varys. But I dont think you can guess second one is Illyrio. Even more - its a key event that is shadowing a secret hand leading the problems in Westeros. And you never really know who these two people are (in the book)

2. Renly - knight of flowers scene

In book there are hints on Renly being homosexual. But there is not even a letter on knight of flowers. Especially not on him having relationship with Renly

3. Varys-Littlefinger scene

The exchange of threats didnt happen in book. Again its hinted that they hate each other.
But here clearly Littlefinger have dominance over Varys , while in book this never happens.

What do you think about these changes ?

1. I always suspected Illyrio was the second figure in that scene. It's nice to have it confirmed.

2. True but... "Sure, the books strongly suggest something between Loras and Renly, and even then there isn't a firm (heh) confirmation that they were lovers, even though Martin himself said that was his intention." -Greg Tito
My guess is that this shows writers and GRRM wanted the Renly Loras relationship was crystal clear to the audience.

3. Very good scene.

Plus one more scene:(4.) Cersei and King Robert: I liked that it gave us an inside look into the royal pairs relationship, even if it did seem warmer then they were in the book.

Overall the HBO series seems to be adding material to the world not taking it away which is what I feared a filmed adaptation of the series. Thank you David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, GRRM and HBO for not screwing this up.

What I have been wondering is: For people that haven't read the books are you able to follow what is going on easily?

Mannhammer:

Twotricks:
This is question for people that read the books

1. Varys-Illyrio scene.

In the book Arya sees two dark figures walking trough secret passages. You can vaguely guess one is Varys. But I dont think you can guess second one is Illyrio. Even more - its a key event that is shadowing a secret hand leading the problems in Westeros. And you never really know who these two people are (in the book)

2. Renly - knight of flowers scene

In book there are hints on Renly being homosexual. But there is not even a letter on knight of flowers. Especially not on him having relationship with Renly

3. Varys-Littlefinger scene

The exchange of threats didnt happen in book. Again its hinted that they hate each other.
But here clearly Littlefinger have dominance over Varys , while in book this never happens.

What do you think about these changes ?

1. I always suspected Illyrio was the second figure in that scene. It's nice to have it confirmed.

2. True but... "Sure, the books strongly suggest something between Loras and Renly, and even then there isn't a firm (heh) confirmation that they were lovers, even though Martin himself said that was his intention." -Greg Tito
My guess is that this shows writers and GRRM wanted the Renly Loras relationship was crystal clear to the audience.

3. Very good scene.

Plus one more scene:(4.) Cersei and King Robert: I liked that it gave us an inside look into the royal pairs relationship, even if it did seem warmer then they were in the book.

Overall the HBO series seems to be adding material to the world not taking it away which is what I feared a filmed adaptation of the series. Thank you David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, GRRM and HBO for not screwing this up.

What I have been wondering is: For people that haven't read the books are you able to follow what is going on easily?

I must agree that series is developing really good.
And even is a small bonus for people that read the book , since it gives slightly adjusted angles on many characters. Making it surprising and fresh even for us.

Cersei and King Robert scene is great.
In books their relationship (and even fact that Cersei really wanted the relationship to work) i sonly hinted trough Jamie's dialogues.

Still revealing Illriyo so bluntly. It takes a lot off the mystery.
(It was never revealed in books - Only on fan forums by RR Martin himself.)
I am reading third book now ,
and only now i was starting to suspect the dark figure was Illryo

EMFCRACKSHOT:

solidstatemind:

EMFCRACKSHOT:

As for the forging process, it is indeed different, due to the poor quality and scarcity of metal ores in japan.

Okay, I have to ask what is your source for this statement? Nothing I read in my studies, nor anything I have seen on the Internet has suggested that the ore in Japan was either terribly scarce or of lesser quality-- quite the opposite in fact: the Japanese pioneered several forging techniques which are still in use today.

The japanese forging techniques were incredibly advanced, but japan is incredibly lacking in most forms of natural resources, especially coal and iron. I thought this was well known, and its detailed in a number of texts dealing with the japanese empire.
The lengthy forging process and numerous foldings of the blade were designed to remove the impurities from the metal, producing steel that was comparable in quality to european steel.
lack of coal, iron ore etc was a key factor in the japanese expansion into china.

Though this has strayed a bit from the OT i will say this:

This is true, when talking about how different technologies evolved, this kind of situation is usually referred to as a selective lack of resources. It leads to either abandoning that technology, which just isnt possible when it comes to implements of warfare. Or else it leads to technologies working around that selective lack. In the case of japan they found a way to forge their swords that is generally regarded as superior to midieval european techniques.
Selective lack of resources also usually result in early expansion, either trade or conquest.

Twotricks:

Mannhammer:

Twotricks:
This is question for people that read the books

1. Varys-Illyrio scene.

In the book Arya sees two dark figures walking trough secret passages. You can vaguely guess one is Varys. But I dont think you can guess second one is Illyrio. Even more - its a key event that is shadowing a secret hand leading the problems in Westeros. And you never really know who these two people are (in the book)

2. Renly - knight of flowers scene

In book there are hints on Renly being homosexual. But there is not even a letter on knight of flowers. Especially not on him having relationship with Renly

3. Varys-Littlefinger scene

The exchange of threats didnt happen in book. Again its hinted that they hate each other.
But here clearly Littlefinger have dominance over Varys , while in book this never happens.

What do you think about these changes ?

1. I always suspected Illyrio was the second figure in that scene. It's nice to have it confirmed.

2. True but... "Sure, the books strongly suggest something between Loras and Renly, and even then there isn't a firm (heh) confirmation that they were lovers, even though Martin himself said that was his intention." -Greg Tito
My guess is that this shows writers and GRRM wanted the Renly Loras relationship was crystal clear to the audience.

3. Very good scene.

Plus one more scene:(4.) Cersei and King Robert: I liked that it gave us an inside look into the royal pairs relationship, even if it did seem warmer then they were in the book.

Overall the HBO series seems to be adding material to the world not taking it away which is what I feared a filmed adaptation of the series. Thank you David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, GRRM and HBO for not screwing this up.

What I have been wondering is: For people that haven't read the books are you able to follow what is going on easily?

I must agree that series is developing really good.
And even is a small bonus for people that read the book , since it gives slightly adjusted angles on many characters. Making it surprising and fresh even for us.

Cersei and King Robert scene is great.
In books their relationship (and even fact that Cersei really wanted the relationship to work) i sonly hinted trough Jamie's dialogues.

Still revealing Illriyo so bluntly. It takes a lot off the mystery.
(It was never revealed in books - Only on fan forums by RR Martin himself.)
I am reading third book now ,
and only now i was starting to suspect the dark figure was Illryo

Nah, I'm with you on this one, revealing the second figure to be Illyrio was jumping the gun and takes away the mystery from the 'grand' conspiracy that Varys is part of. Also, in the books it's difficult to see Illyrio as a strict ally of the Targaryens as much as someone trying to profit off of them. To see him conspiring on their behalf is a little out of character.

Personally, I thought the Loras Tyrell + Renly scene made a lot of sense since it explains the nature of the Tyrells' loyalty to Renly later on. What I'm not particularly fond of is the actor playing Renly, who is just way too soft here. He's downright pathetic actually, which is not the way you're supposed to see Renly until very very late in the game (*snerk*, 'game').

The Cersei and Robert scene seemed totally off, I don't remember in the books Cersei ever trying to make it work as long as they suggest (up to her miscarriage). I got the impression that she went from loving the Targaryen prince (Rhaeger, was it?), to very briefly hoping Robert was similar, to going back to Jaime.

Also, a few more pet peeves:

What happened to Catelyn's uncle Edmund Blackfish?

I can understand them largely writing out the symbolism with the direwolves, but they do have to feature a little more if the Bran based shenanigans in books two and three are to make any sense.

I've enjoyed reading these commentaries; and this one was no exception. I'd have to say that the only thing I'm missing from the series is that the portrayal of the timing of events seems shortened. In the series it seems like Ned has only been in Kings Landing about a week or two. However, I noticed the same issues with Martin's books. You have to recall a single comment to know that the journey from Winterfell to King's Landing took two months. So the sense of scale to the seven kingdoms is lost... In the last episode it seemed to only be a journey of a few days from King's Landing to the Eyrie.

However, there is one minor thing you got wrong. The meaning of "Make him fly!" is made readily apparent in the first book, and we should see that explained bluntly enough in the next episode, I'm guessing. However, I don't want to include any spoilers.

But you know what I'm enjoying most about the series? Just the potential of it - should it succeed and run the multiple seasons for all the books - to kick Martin in the butt to finish the novels. The delays between books have been ridiculously long. In fact, I'd have never bothered to come back to the series if not for the HBO adaptation; so perhaps Martin should have licensed his work for free, as it's undoubtedly brought back a lot of his fan base.

I think that Varys loyalty is still vague and obscure. If he truly wanted the Targaryens to rule then why did he tell the council about Daernys unborn child.

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