Game of Thrones Review: “Baelor”

Alright people, can those of you claiming that Game of Thrones moves at a glacial pace and doesn’t go anywhere please shut the hell up now?

This was in fact the most eventful episode to date with major events happening across every corner of the map. Speaking of a map, if someone could point me in the direction of one relating to this series, it would be much appreciated, as I think it would help me process the world better.

So yes, this will be a hotly debated episode I’m sure, one that had a major event happen that’s unprecedented in almost any TV show. Unfortunately, it had already been ruined for me by malicious readers posting spoilers, so please, continue in the trend of last week, and people who have read the books kindly keep any key information to yourselves. Hopefully the vast majority of you got to be surprised, and I’m sad I’ll never get to know how that moment might have felt. Now let’s begin.

The kingdom is on the brink of war as Ned is held hostage in the tower dungeon under the watch of King Smallmouth and his party of ass kissers. His only friend appears to be Varys, the eunuch, whose name I accidentally spelled right on the first try. He tells Ned to play the game, to admit his crimes so that his daughter’s may be safe and he can live the rest of his days in exile. And throw away his honor? Not so! says a forever proud Ned. The best line of the night by far was his:

“You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honor for a few more years of…what? Of what?”

Funny how things work out.

Further north, Rob is planning on how best to assault the Lannisters, but comes across an obstacle in the form of what I believe is a bridge that he needs to cross to further advance. It’s run by a pervy old lord who only lets them through if Lady Stark promises that Arya and Rob will marry one of his sons and daughters respectively. Rob agrees with a grimace on his face, and I wonder how soon that new plotline will spring up.

Even further north, Jon Snow is currently getting pats on the back for his zombie killing abilities. His commander even gives him his family sword as a gesture of thanks and a symbol of how he views the boy. But his newfound acclaim fades quickly from his mind as he learns his brother marches to war. But before he runs off to join him, he’s stopped by an old man, one he learns is a relative of the Mad King, and once in line for the throne himself. A Targaryan that slipped through the cracks, and one that knows the pain of losing a family.

Across the sea, the other remaining Targaryan is dealing with problems of her own. Khal Drogo has fallen sick with an infection due to the scratch he received defending his Khaleesi’s honor. I found this pretty suspicious as even though this is something resembling the Middle Ages, if the wound was being specifically cared for, I have a hunch the witch doctor woman might be to blame. But no, Daenyrs turns to her once more, and she says that he’s so far gone that he can only be saved through dangerous blood magic, and finally we get our first real taste of “spells” in this series. This ritual apparently involves slitting a horse’s throat and summoning demons into a tent where no one is supposed to enter, so when Daenyrs waltzes in to have her baby when she goes into labor, I have a feeling some bad things are about to go down. Will we see a cursed Khal Drogo? A cursed baby? A cursed entire family? I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the Dothraki threat probably just got even more dangerous.

Apparently blood magic is…bloody.

Back to the present day battle, we finally learn what the limit is on how far this show can take things. I always marvel at how insane the production value is on Game of Thrones, and the pilot alone was rumored to cost HBO $20 million. But unfortunately, despite all the costumes and landscapes, we can NOT afford to have an epic Lord of the Rings style battle that takes place onscreen. 50,000 men fighting just isn’t something in the budget, so we only get to see the lead up and aftermath to these big battles, and I can’t really blame HBO for that.

So we learned that Rob is a better strategist than we gave him credit for. He was indeed misinforming the scout that he was marching south with 20,000 men to go after Tywin, though I wonder if the scout saying he was captured and released should have raised a few red flags. Rather, Rob sent 2,000 men to their deaths (ouch), and attacked Jaime’s army instead, decimating them and taking Jaime prisoner. A perfect trade for his father, yes?

Welllll, in an era with no cell phones, it might turn out to be unfortunate the Lannisters in King’s Landing didn’t get that news. Ned is brought before Joffrey, and since I knew what was about to happen, the most shocking part of the scene to me was that Ned finally abandoned his honor and lied his ass off in order to attain mercy.

But mercy he did not receive. Because when you give a teenage idiot control over the entire kingdom, he’s prone to make stupid decisions. He shrugs off the “soft-hearted womanly” advice of Sansa and his mother to banish Ned, and instead orders him to be beheaded on the spot. And then it actually happens. No one swoops in to save him at the last minute, he pulls off no miraculous escape. He simply puts his head down and accepts his fate, and so Game of Thrones killed off their main protagonist.

I’ve very rarely seen any show do this (I’m struggling to think of even one example offhand), and I’m sure it would have been a pretty jaw dropping moment had I not known it was coming. It was incredibly sad to see him go, and it’s even worse knowing that in his final moments he abandoned his core principles that were the cause of his predicament in the first place.

But what I’ve come to realize over the past few episodes is that this show is such an ensemble, Ned’s death doesn’t really even matter that much. It does in terms of plot, as I’m sure that a full-on war will be declared and Joffrey and his contingent are not long for this world. But in terms of the show, these past two episodes where Ned has been all but nonexistent have actually been some of the best there have been so far, and between Rob, Jon, Arya, Daenyrs and of course Tyrion (whose plotline was incredibly well written this episode, though I didn’t get a chance to really touch on it), I think the show will be just fine without him, and his death will propel it into an even greater frenzy now that “it’s on” between the Starks and Lannisters, and the White Walker and newly demonic Drogo threat still lurks.

A great episode, but again, I’m sad I’m not as shocked as I know I would have been. Please don’t post spoilers in the comments, and I’ll be able to start enjoying myself again, not knowing what’s ahead.


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  1. I had that bit spoiled too, but I’d actually started watching game of thrones under the assumption that he was going to die. Initially I thought he’d die fairly early, like when he travelled to the capital to be the Hand.

    I don’t know if it’s just because Saun Bean tends to die a lot, or because I felt he was too big a name for a tv series, but whatever the reason, his death didn’t surprise me all too much.

  2. Maps, enjoy:

    this is from the hbo site map:

    this is very handy political map (e.i. look at the different regions):

    this is geographical (linked twice already):

    this is created by some fan, it is not canon but I think it is mostly accurate map of the whole World (or so I am told):

  3. Can pretty much just assume Sean Bean will die somewhere along the line…..

    If i had energy I would go through his whole IMBD and point out all his deaths 😛

  4. I feel I should apologize. I didn’t write spoilers or anything but I have read 3 of the books. I am sorry that people had ruined it for you. It was a moment that when reading I was like surely something will happen, and the shock and anger just hits you in the stomach. I haven’t been able to watch the show but your reviews have been shockingly accurate to where things go at times, and sometimes I just want to scream that you are wrong. But I am sorry that that moment was ruined for you.

  5. well, thankfully I had NO clue what was coming. my wife sat on the couch and yelled for 5 minutes straight, “OH MY F*ING GOD!! oh my f*ing god! I can’t believe they did that. WTF?!?!” pretty funny.

  6. I have to say, I really really really liked how that final scene turned out — they avoided any of the “hands in stalks of wheat” that 300 & Gladiator mind raped us with.
    I’ve somehow gotten my wife to watch every episode with me, and it appears we will be naming our next baby “Khalessi”, although I would have preferred “Horse who mounts the world”

  7. When it happened I looked at my friend next to me and sincerely said “well maybe he missed?”.

    One of the most tragic and profound scenes I’ve ever seen, TV or movie. But then again, if you look at the title of Book 2, you knew shit was gonna hit the fan eventually.

    Next season can’t come soon enough, although I’ll probably be done with all of the books by then.

    Good review once again Sir Tassi.

  8. Good review.

    Shae is presented a little differently than in the books. She seems more cunning on the show where in the books she is more like a young woman who gets lucky hooking up with Tyroin.

    Tyroin actually gets to fight in the battle and does quite well in the books but even in the books a majority of the fightiing takes place off screen with a few notable exceptions (The Battle of By-Water being one). It follows the Shakespearian road of telling about battles instead of showing the fighting most of the time.

    My wife had the fate of Ned accidently spoiled for her by a friend who didn’t know she hadn’t read the books. I’m sure the end of this episode was not as impactful as it should have been but like others she still enjoyed the story and the risks it takes messing with peoples pre-conceived notions of what fantasy can be.

    Just keep in mind that no character is safe and that death can come at any time and you might not be quite so surprised.

    However, unless you live in a cave, avoid anything on the net, and don’t write web blog reviews, then chances are high that you will come across spoilers. To complain about it afterwards sound like crying over spilled milk. If you really want to avoid spoilers there is a simple thing you can do—pick up the books and read it before it is made into a show.


    Ned’s dead baby. Ned’s dead.

  9. A small detail that they mentioned during the episode that wasn’t very clear was when the Lord Commander gave Jon his new sword, he mentioned Jorah is his son. This is the same Jorah who’s the knight that protects the Khaleesi. My sister didn’t catch that the first time and so I wanted to point that out to anyone who missed it too.

  10. With the maps in mind, here is some further information about characters already mentioned in the show.

    In interviews, George R. R. Martin has compared the size of Westeros to that of South America. So, these are big territories.

    *The Umbers (such as now fingerless Greatjon Umber) are from Last Hearth, northeast of Winterfell. When Ned began reading the genealogical book a few episodes ago, he glanced over the Umber entry.

    *The Glovers (Greatjon Umber objected to unseen Galbart Glover leading the vanguard) are from Deepwood Motte, northwest of Winterfell.

    *The Mormonts (such as Jeor of the Night’s Watch and his exiled son Jorah) are from Bear Island, north of Deepwood Motte.

    *The Freys (such as lecherous Walder Frey) are lords of the Twins, the dual river castles near the Riverlands’ border with the North.

    *The Tyrells (such as the tourney Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell) are lords of Highgarden, the seat of The Reach in southwestern Westeros.

    *The Tarlys (such as Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow’s friend) are from Horn Hill, south of Highgarden.

    *Renly Baratheon (Robert’s youngest brother, the one whose offer of assistance Ned declined) is Lord of Storm’s End, seat of the Stormlands in the southeast of Westeros. Storm’s End is the ancestral seat of House Baratheon.

    *Stannis Baratheon (Robert’s mentioned but unseen middle brother) is Lord of Dragonstone, an island near King’s Landing. Dragonstone is the traditional seat for the heir to the throne.

    *The Tullys (such as Cately and Lysa) are lords of Riverrun, the seat of the Riverlands. Jaime Lannister was besieging Riverrun until his defeat by Robb.

  11. Just remember that this was NOT the season finale, and we had such a huge event take place an episode before the season finale. I’m sure we are all very excited for sunday!

  12. Great note illumina0. That whole sword exchange was explained in much greater (and needed) detail in the book. It sucks that there isn’t enough time in the show to really include all of the details to make everything make more sense. For example, back when Ned killed the direwolf I remember being so damn confused. I remember Paul touching on it in his review and mentioning how Ned’s loyalty allowed him to do that…. regardless of the billion other ways he could have handled it. But once I read the book and got to that scene… it does talk about how Ned felt like a complete idiot afterwards and realized that he may have &^*^5$ up. However, the show is doing a great job.

    I’m loving this show… I hate to see it end. I’m ready for season 2.

    But yea… I would still suggest to read the books. They are long, but they are worth it. :o)

  13. @Paul yea, there is only 10 this season. Maybe more next season. Hopefully. That explains why this last episode was so action packed… They still have like 200 pages to cover next week lol

  14. I just googled Game of Thrones season 2 to find out when it might start. Looks like it might be next spring…

    As for avoiding spoilers, you have to be diligent to the point of obsession.

    One of the search results was this:
    Sean Bean Discusses Ned Stark’s Self-Betrayal In ‘Game Of Thrones’
    1 day ago
    “It’s a tragic way to end, but as an actor playing a part, it’s a good death as it were, if that makes any sense.” The Season 1 finale of “Game of Thrones” … AccessHollywood

    I’m sure many people haven’t even begun catching up on their Tivo watching for the week and we already get spoilers right there in the headlines. Did they really have to make that the title of their story and include that quote like that?

  15. Those who have not read the books have just arrived at the point where the action really starts to pick up dramatically. A lot of the first book is setting the stage for what is going to happen, and now that the past has been established, you’re ready to experience events as they happen.

    One of the things that I’ve been very impressed with in this translation from book to series is how well they’ve handled all of the relationships. They are complicated enough that each book ends with a few chapters worth of pages on each of the noble families, and they figured out ways to work the information that you need into the story fairly effectively.

  16. More non-spoilery supplementary info since revealed by this point in the book:

    Jon’s new sword Longclaw, formerly owned by Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, was mentioned as being Valyrian steel. The civilization of Valyria was dominant in the continent east of Westeros, but eventually collapsed. I personally associate it with the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing Dark Ages.

    The Valyrians crafted incredibly sharp blades which are now rare and coveted by nobility. Along with Longclaw, the knife used by the assassin against Bran was Valyrian steel. Also Valyrian is the Stark family’s greatsword Ice, used to behead the deserter in the prologue. Ilyn Payne, the royal executioner, then used Ice to behead Ned…

  17. Long post begins:
    Every character was aged up by at least 3 years. In the book Dany was 13 and turned 14 the day that she married Drogo. It is hard to imagine that in the books Ned and Jaime were only 3-5 years apart

    @Paul Tassi
    One quick question: when do you watch the show? I sent a few tweets towards you last night then quickly deleted them when you tweeted that Ned Stark quote. Forgive me if I unintentionally spoiled anything via twitter.

    I read the books already knowing what had happened to Ned and it still hurt to read and see it. It should be known that not all the book readers are spoiling things for people. People could easily look up the fates of people on a wiki somewhere.

    With regards to Ned, he gave up his honor to save his daughters. Vary’s made a passing comment to him about Sansa before leaving the cell. In the book, he had a much longer and much better speech. This is the speech found on a random website:
    “Rhaenys was a child too. Prince Rhaegar’s daughter. A precious little thing, younger than your girls. She had a small black kitten she called Balerion, did you know? I always wondered what happened to him. Rhaenys liked to pretend he was the true Balerion, the Black Dread of old, but I imagine the Lannisters taught her the difference between a kitten and a dragon quick enough, the day they broke down her door.” Varys gave a long weary sigh, the sigh of a man who carried all the sadness of the world in a sack upon his shoulders. “The High Septon once told me that as we sin, so do we suffer. If that’s true, Lord Eddard, tell me . . . why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones? Ponder it, if you would, while you wait upon the queen. And spare a thought for this as well: The next visitor who calls on you could bring you bread and cheese and the milk of the poppy for your pain . . . or he could bring you Sansa’s head.

    “The choice, my dear lord Hand, is entirely yours.”

  18. First of, I have kind of a Man-crush on Sean Bean. The moment I saw him in GoldenEye (“For England, James”) I know that was one freaking great character actor. And so far, every movie/series he’s been in has been top notch, and his characters were always extremly interesting.

    I always thought Ned was what this show/book pictured as the main protagonist. So my thought process upon seeing those final minutes of this episode where kinda like this:

    “YES! Finally, for once, Ned chooses reason instead of honor, tells the lie that the Lannisters want to hear, to save his life, and probably his daughters, so that he can move against them some other, very later time.”

    “WHAT? Fuck you Joffrey, you little son of a goddamn bitch, I hated you the moment you interrupted Arya’s sparring with the Butcher’s boy, and now this?! You mad!”

    “Gut the boy, make him suffer!”

    “This can’t be happening. This is Sean Bean. Lead actor and most well known face of this series. That’s freaking Ned Stark, leader of the north. Someone, somewhere has to come, save him! There’s Jorah of the Watch in the crowd, he’s gotta do SOMETHING! COME ON!”

    “No no no no no!”


    “REVENGE! Gut all the Lannisters, make them suffer as they have never suffered before! Death to all of them!”

    “Besides Tyrion, he’s funny as hell and really likeable :D”

    That was about it. Never before have I seen what appeared to be the main character treated like this. I felt violated. I felt all the more reason to read up on the books because I now know there was no way in hell I could wait ~1 year until the second season will start.

    Also, the Tyrion/Bronn/Shae(that girl?) scenes were incredible. Tyrion is such a lovable, pityable, little dude. Even for a Lannister. The story of his “marriage” was really, really touching. Damn Jamie.

  19. I’ve seen some disapproval toward Sibel Kekilli’s Shae, but I like her performance so far. She seems more self-assured and intriguing than the other prostitutes Tyrion has been with, and she’s quite the looker.

  20. I do have to say, killing Ned was NOT THE PLAN. The look of surprise on Cersei’s face was genuine. Now she has a new problem: The North. Previously, she only had to worry about the two Baratheon brothers, Stannis and Renly. With Ned dead and Jaime captured, she has no bargaining chips to use.
    Lord Varys also wanted to keep Ned alive. It might have been hard to see, but he rushed over to the Queen when Joffery announced his decision.

  21. I wonder where that d-bag from last week is now? The one who kept talking about how predictable and slow things were progressing. What a maroon!

    Excellent review and comments. I have to admit my favorite story to follow with be that of Arya. I think she’ll be the medieval equivalent of Hit Girl before its all said and done.

  22. @kj

    I’m right here. I predicted he’d be the Lannister’s bitch, and I was right. So “unpredictable” doesn’t really wash. That wasn’t my point anyway…
    I’ll complain again about character arcs, but now that there’s not a protagonist it’s a moot point. Paul summed it up perfectly, it’s never been done. It’s a show with no protagonists. In a sense it begs the question, who are you rooting for? If the answer is no one, why do you care? I suppose with no protagonist it makes sense to have no character arc, but let’s recap… So the Lannisters went from most running the place to running the place. Ned went from being their bitch to being killed and being their bitch. Have I missed something? Khaleesi continued her acceptance of being Khaleesi, I just don’t like her or find her plotline particularly wonderful and hence I don’t care. Ned continued to be hanging around the Knight’s Watch headquarters. Whether or not you find that compelling should have something to do with whether or not you find him compelling, but this show disagrees. I like him better than Khaleesi, but the show thinks you should care because you are watching, which is a tautology.
    Some of the comments seem to indicate that this whole season is something of a prologue in the books, with more people to ostensibly root for which will probably make me watch Season 2 against my better judgment. But if you have a show where not one character has what could be described as an arc, with a resolution, I suppose I have to ask on what metric you call that good. Oh well, I guess I should shut up because I’ve been told to, like I should care because I’ve been told to.

  23. also @ kj – you should probably never use the word “maroon” like that. I know that you are probably quoting Bugs Bunny, but the origins are horrifically racist. You can look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me.

  24. @negative 1:

    Who are we rooting for now that Ned is dead? Plently of people, at least IMHO:

    Robb & Jon Snow, both great characters with great (while unknown) actors
    Tyrion Lannister, (at least until now) the most decent of the Lannisters and all around likeable guy
    Dany/Drogo if you’re more into them, or even the westeros knight that is with them

    Point is, this show/book has LOTS of great characters, and while Sean Bean’s might have been the MAIN one, others will surely take over that role.

    On a sidenot, I still have my hopes up that Arya’s fencing trainer survived last episode. That dude was both funny and freaking badass.

  25. You said, “if the wound was being specifically cared for, I have a hunch the witch doctor woman might be to blame.” I dont think the wound was ever cared for at all, that’s why he got sick. They still might blame her anyway, but I don’t think it was in any way her fault.

  26. Oof.
    Just remembered something kind of important. If you have not seen the preview for the next episode, do not watch it. If you have watched it, wait until next week to discuss it.

  27. Did anyone else catch that the woman Tyrion was with was immune to fire? Maybe she has dragons blood? Just a thought, maybe she’ll be a reoccurring character.

  28. I watched this episode twice, both times with people who werent expecting the ending (I have read the first book so knew it was coming). The reactions were priceless. Both sat stunned for minutes afterwards, shocked that it had happened.

    Great review. Can’t wait to see it all wrap up next week.

  29. There’s a BBC show called Spooks (here in the States it’s called MI:5) currently available on Netflix. The show has no problems killing off beloved characters.

  30. @negative1,

    Look, you clearly either don’t get it, or you don’t like it. Either way, JUST STOP WATCHING! When I come here to read the review and reactions, I don’t mind criticisms, but yours make no sense to me because you go on and on about predictability and whatnot and really, I don’t get why you’re watching if you don’t like it. Stop watching, and stop coming here making obscure criticisms that don’t even sound genuine. Stick to what you like.

    Damn, I usually don’t feed trolls, but I had to say that.

  31. I effing knew that Robb stark was gonna pull that off! Read the comments of last episode xD

    As for the Death of Ned… that little bastard Joffrey is going to pay HARD. I hope Sansa or Arya wisen up, get tough and kill the little guy, I can’t wait for the finale and the next season!

    In fact, I won’t wait. I’m off to read the books, see ya in a week xD

  32. To all those who haven’t read the books–sit back, relax, and just experience the story as it is being told. The story structure is not traditional, at least not in terms of what is expected for Fantasy. It is more like Science Fiction, in that the themes are more important than character. Rethink the last nine episodes in terms of power politics, honor, family, sacrifice, and culture, and you may enjoy the experience more.

    This is not an easy series to like. I have read all four books, and at times it has been frustrating. However, I keep coming back, not necessarily because I like a given character, but because of the storytelling. Win or lose, live or die, the characters suffer for the themes that are being explored. This is not a classic good vs. evil story.

  33. …character arcs are still developing. I mean, do you really need numerous resolutions by the eighth or ninth episode of the first season? Really? Going into this show, a story with a tremendous scope given its (historical) fantasy genre, you should have already expected that things take time.

    Or I don’t know, maybe this just isn’t your cup of tea.

  34. @ducky:
    thanks for feeding the troll. i was about to, but you pretty much said everything for me. his little follow-up about the use of the word ‘maroon’ was also entirely unnecessary and unrelated to GoT. hopefully he doesn’t come back after the season’s over.

    moving on… i was definitely one of those people who sat dumbstruck at the end, hoping against hope that what i watched didn’t just happen. thank god i’m reading the books. in most cases i’d probably just give up on the show in grief.

  35. This show does not have one main character.It has more than one. If you ever expected a story where all revolves around only one character who with his magical sword and capable friends and a lot of luck defeats all enemies at the end to win.Then this is not the show for you. The protagonists are Robb (who has to grow from the young boy to a leader of his people in the absence of his father, this is his arc in the book), Bran, Arya Stark, Jon Snow (his arc would be again growing up, the very theme of the last episode honor or family, where does Jon Snow’s duty lies and what will he choose, I suppose we will find out soon), Tyrion, Sansa (who realizes that the world is not the fairy place she imagine it to be), Renly, Dany (who grows from a scared girl to a leader and Queen/Khaleesi) and so on. Here are characters to root for.

    Here is one part of a review of the episode that sums it very well.

    In a way, the big twist here isn’t that Ned Stark dies, but who the true protagonists of Game of Thrones are. During the first few episodes, we’re tricked into thinking noble Ned Stark is our hero, he’s got all these kids to teach and protect, and Robert is his buddy king, and they are the central decision makers. That’s not the focus. With a couple of major exceptions like Tyrion, the kids are the real stars of Thrones, not the adults. This story is about Arya and Robb and Sansa and Jon and Joffrey — the new generation of Westeros leadership, and how they both fight and, sometimes partner with, a supporting cast of adult players in a struggle for survival and power. Same story across the Narrow Sea, where we’ve seen Dany rise from being submissive girl in the shadow of her older brother to becoming a strong queen.

    Ned Stark doesn’t die in vain. He dies for the same reason Obi Wan Kenobi, Dumbledore and Gandalf had to die (OK, so Gandalf didn’t die, but LOTR would have been a stronger story if he stayed dead after falling in the Mines of Moria, if you really think about it): It takes the Stark kids — who are all too young to face these responsibilities — and thrusts them into a struggle where they’re forced to quickly grow as characters. Martin busts many cliches in his writing, but this move is traditional Heroes Journey stuff if you consider the kids to be the true protagonists of this story — only by sacrificing the fatherly mentor figure can our heroes come into their own.

  36. Lost never kills Jack Shephard, who from the first minutes of the first episode, running around saving people, is established as the main protagonist of the show.

    Jack Gleeson, who portraits Joffrey should win some award because I’ve never before wanted to kick any villain’s scrawny ass as much I as want to kick Joffrey’s

  37. negative 1 is not necessary a troll. He(She?) has the right to his believes. And he has the right to say them, if he really believes it then it is not trolling. It’s a public forum. The only one who can tell him to shut up is Paul Tassi because it is his blog.

  38. @tozka:
    yeah, you’re right. he/she’s just playing devil’s advocate (a ‘classy’ troll). not too convincingly, though, as i don’t understand his points about how the character arcs are static… but who am i to judge?

  39. As someone who read the books I always kind of thought that John Snow was the main character, dunno why, maybe because I like his arc the best, but I agree with tozka that the show has no main character. I must say that the show is doing an excellent job so far and even though I know what is going to happen, I can’t wait for each new episode. Things just got more interesting and I’m looking forward to reading everyones comments for the season finale. The only thing that bothers me is that they didn’t involve the dire wolves so much as in the books, they use them only for the important scenes, but I was suprised to see that Grey Wind wasn’t by Robb’s side as he captured Jaime. In the book they fight side by side. The same goes for Ghost (John’s direwolf). He is one of the coolest pets (if you can call them that) ever and he was in only 2 scenes I think this season. But as you said that some things they have to let out like the battle this episode.
    My compliments to Jeremy for the usefull information without spoiling the show for the people who didn’t read the books. I forgot some detail and u reminded me. Thanks!!
    @tozka: Technically Jack Shephard was killed in ep 1 of Lost 🙂

  40. @tozka, james, henry (and heen)

    Thank you very much. I am not trolling, I appreciate the benefit of the doubt, and actually wasn’t going to bother posting until kj called me an idiot (not his word, you can read his). I really am wondering if this is worth sticking around for. Tozka your post seems to indicate that this is really kind of a prologue where the mostly secondary characters this season (Robb, Arya etc.) are the protagonists of the series. Because of that it seems to me that the second season will be good and I will probably tune in. I think if anything then it seems like this is really like a 50 (or 60, or 70…) episode season that gets broken down into 10 at a time because of the constraints of television programming. If so, that’s fantastic and I can’t wait, but it’s hard to know that if you’ve never read the books and don’t know anyone else who has. Good fiction is good fiction regardless of the genre, but that being said I don’t tend to read fantasy and am very unfamiliar with most of it, even in passing. Thanks for the clarification.
    @ ducky,
    By the by, I wouldn’t stop watching because of the time I’ve put in. It may not make sense, but i’ve seen one critic have a weekly article about how disappointing The Killing is. For better or for worse you probably have watched more than one bad movie just because you started watching it and wanted to see how it ended.
    If you were unwittingly using a racist term as a synonym for idiot, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? The more you know…

  41. I wont post any spoilers, but if anyone thought Ned Stark’s death was a twist and had it ruined by forum trolls, well lets just say that you are in for some major shocks. If you really want to enjoy those shocks, stop reading any and all forum posts now. Starting NOW. The next episode is a kicker and the next two books (series I think) will make you cry.

    Since Id read the books I knew Ned was going to die. And that gave a twisted insight into the minds of the producers. Get the most recognizable fantasy actor possible so people think he is the main character. Then do this to make people shit their pants. Glad to see it worked

  42. @ negative 1

    I guess all the high schools using “Maroon” as a mascot are also being indirectly racist? Maybe I meant it to be short for implying you are “a man marooned on an island”, would that perchance be racist?

    Words are words, and some words grow beyond their etymology. I also do not think you to be an idiot, simply expecting too much too soon from a story as voluminous as this one.

  43. negative1,
    Are you invested in any of the characters? Arya? Tyrion? Jon? Dany? (or some of the more minor ones, like Littlefinger, Varys, Jorah, Bran)?

    If you like them, keep watching. This is one HELL of a wild ride, but it does have arcs.

    In fact, you’ve just finished Ned’s.

    Dany’s arc of this season has been to grow from a frightened teen to a powerful woman in love.

    Robert had an arc, but you see it from the future, looking back to what Ned really saw in his brother-but-not-by-blood.

    Odd Thinking:
    so… not racist? but interesting! And glad to look at things from a new perspective.

  44. I had no clue Ned was to die… and the impact it had on me was… well… still lingering. I sat there unable to do anything. Thinking how unreal it was… yes! it can’t be real… but knowing it was… and then thinking of what events could of been changed in order to save Ned’s life.
    Doesn’t help I happened to watch it on Father’s day with my Father.

    ALSO, who was the guy who grabbed Arya in the crowd… is he a good guy or bad?

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