It's official: I'm quitting reviewing Game of Thrones. I simply don't like doing it because writing about the one hour chunks feels unnatural. I'm experiencing the show through the lens of having read the books, and there's no way for me to watch episodes out of that mindset. It sometimes takes me two or three rewatches to really just get into the groove of the EPISODE, and not see everything as part of the larger story. And I don't want to run reviews that are just for people who have read the books, because that shit is boooring.
So instead we'll do these open discussion articles, and I'll toss out some thoughts and you guys can go nuts from there.
Tywin and Arya is probably my favorite pairing on the show. The chemistry between Charles Dance and Maisie Williams is incredible; a couple of weeks ago everybody was clamoring for a Roger Sterling and Sally Draper team-up show, but I'd rather see Tywin and Arya. What's fascinating is that this stuff isn't even from the books, and it shows just how great exploring new ground can be.
It's refreshing to see Jaime again, and his stuff in this episode is great. Poor Alton had 'doomed' written all over him and he had simply no idea at all. I also liked the way Cersei was very open with Tyrion about her relationship with her brother; she's too smart to bother lying anymore, and this sort of confessional - combined with her clearheaded, if not wildly warm, advice for Sansa makes Cersei more likable at this point than she was in the novels.
The biggest change from the books is happening in Qarth - Daenerys' dragons were never kidnapped in the novels. This is part of where I can't quite write a proper review for the episode, as I strongly dislike the way that Dany has been changed from the books in these scenes, making her much more petulant. I'm assuming that this is to give her an arc this season (she's barely in A Clash of Kings), but it rubs me all wrong.
Finally I'm loving sleazy Theon. Again, this is a character where the show improved upon the book, giving him a little more humanity in action than George RR Martin did in print. He's still a total fuck, but at least you can understand his point of view a bit better. He's really trying to be a good son but he just has no idea how to do it.