Summary: Jon meets with Mance who offers him peace. Jon prepares to kill Mance but it unsure. Stannis suddenly arrives with his troops and defeats the wildling army. Mance is taken prisoner. Dany has to lock away her dragons after Drogon kills an innocent child. Cersei tells Tywin about her relationship with Jaime. Bran reaches the three-eyed raven. Jojen is killed by wights on the way there. Brienne encounters Arya and The Hound. Brienne battles The Hound for custody of Arya and defeats him. Arya evades her sight and leaves The Hound for dead. She takes a ship to Braavos. Tyrion is released by Jaime. He goes to Tywin's chambers and kills Shae who is with Tywin now. He then kills Tywin and leaves King's Landing, across the Narrow Sea.
The Good: This was an explosive finale with a number of great scenes.
I really enjoyed Stannis' arrival in The North. Before that, Jon's confrontation with Mance was tense and I was interested to see where things would go. I had expected the wildling story to be stretched into next season which I wasn't looking forward to as this has been happening for 2 seasons already. However, we had a surprise arrival as Stannis makes his presence known and becomes a major factor again after being dormant for two entire seasons. The moment felt significant and I'm excited to see Stannis attempt to gain his rightful crown. The attack on Mance's army was a welcome surprise and shakes up both Jon and Stannis' storylines in a good way, making me excited to see where each storyline goes next season.
Dany's story was good too. I was extremely happy to see her face the cold reality that slavery will never be fully erased as her showing kindness to slaves who want to remain slaves will lead into masters growing in power once more. It's a hard lesson for her which I'm sure will leave her somewhat shaken at least. But also, she will certainly be shook by having to lock up her dragons, her children, in a cell because they are dangerous. She received two huge wake up calls in this episode which will hopefully lead to some major changes in her morals and views.
I thought the Cersei/Tywin scene was outstanding. Cersei is so vile and petty, so having her reveal her secret just to make Tywin feel awful was really fitting of the character we have come to know for four seasons. The reveal was a big moment for Tywin and let us know that Tywin truly doesn't want to believe that his family is as foul as people say. But in this scene he is forced to face a cold, hard truth which made for impactful storytelling.
Tyrion's murders of Shae and Tywin were extremely powerful and effective. While I had issues with how we got there (see: The Bad), the actual moments were some of the show's best emotional moments so far, and Peter Dinklage knocked it out of the park again with terrific acting. His murder of Shae felt tragic as it was spurred on by what was likely a number of misunderstandings between two lovers, and both of them paid the price for it in heartbreaking fashion. And then Tyrion extracts his vengeance on Tywin, finally gaining some control over him and repaying him for a life full of hell. The moment delivered on shock, satisfaction and emotion as Tyrion kills his father without hesitation and the show made yet another massive change to its structure with the single most powerful man in Westeros dying. Also, I enjoy the irony of the most powerful man in Westeros dying on a toilet.
But despite all of the good stuff in other stories, the best storyline was Arya's. Her confrontation with Brienne was stellar and it featured some fantastic dialogue. I thought that Arya's lack of trust for Brienne was fitting, and Brienne's inability to convince Arya that she was her ally was well executed with The Hound exposing her Lannister-made armour. It was an organic way to get two characters who have no quarrel in each other to duel in a deathmatch. This is one of my favourite fights in "Game of Thrones" so far because it features two characters who I deeply care about, and I don't want either of them to die. I was properly conflicted throughout as the fight went on and became even more intense. I really love how by the end both fighters were just slugging it out until one of them overpowered the other. It was brutal, dramatic and vicious, a perfect climax to a crazy fight. I know some will have problems with Brienne outfighting The Hound, but I think it makes sense considering that The Hound had been weakened by his time on the road. Furthermore, the poor guy was interrupted before he could take a shit, so I can't imagine it was easy for him to fight like that.
This all leads to a fantastic final scene with Arya and The Hound. The Hound is dying, and he looks to Arya to kill him, calling back to the dying man from "The Mountain and the Viper" that The Hound mercy kills. But Arya doesn't go for the kill. She is conflicted. The Hound is on her kill list, but he has done so much for her that she no longer wants to kill him. So this leads to Arya ultimately leaving The Hound, begging for death, in her own twisted way of showing gratitude for the man that took care of her. This is tragic and affecting, as if The Hound hadn't been so kind to her, she wouldn't have hesitated to put him out of his misery. This was just wonderful storytelling and it featured a fantastic set of callbacks to their previous interactions, showing how far Arya has come.
Then Arya decided to go to Braavos in what I thought was an exciting and fresh development. Arya has been on the road for what feels like forever, under the care of somebody else. Now she is finally taking her fate into her own hands and I'm excited to see where it takes her character.
The Bad: Not everything was great unfortunately and there were some really bad moments.
Bran's story was really weak in this episode. While I's intrigued by the ending (see: The Unknown), the road to get there was shaky at best. The group runs into a bunch of wights (perhaps they were something else, but I'm not sure) in what is very clearly just a pointless action scene to provide an obstacle for Bran. Furthermore, the presence of these wights is ridiculous as they are apparently just hanging out under the snow for some reason. That's just dumb and nonsensical. Furthermore, Jojen dies and I felt nothing because I couldn't care less for his character. It's bad that a character who has been around for two seasons can just die and it has no impact. Furthermore, his death scene is incredibly poor as the scene comes off as awkward and poorly shot.
Tyrion's escape was ridiculously easy and I couldn't believe that he somehow managed to not only escape his confinement, but also go all the way to Tywin's chambers without any trouble. Are there no guards anymore? It's a blatant oversight and I was confused to see such a weak bit of writing in a show which is usually very well put together. Furthermore, if this was so easy, why didn't Jaime just free Tyrion earlier? Did he have to wait until his execution day? It all feels like way too convenient of a way for Tyrion to get out of his predicament.
Shae's arc confuses me and takes away from the drama of her death. I'm really confused by why she is with Tywin and why she is working against Tyrion. Are we supposed to believe that she actually just wanted to get vengeance on Tyrion for telling her to go? That is not consistent with the character of Shae that we had come to know. Or are we supposed to believe that Shae never loved him? I really hope that isn't the case because it makes no sense, and removes all of the actual impact that the scene had. I wish that Shae's motives were clearer so the drama and tragedy could have been understood better. All I can do is speculate, which is problematic for such a major catharsis.
The Unknown: What will Qyburn do to The Mountain? Will he survive it? I presume he will, so I guess the bigger question is how will it change him? He hardly has a character anyways, so how will this change him in a big way?
Melisandre took an uncanny interest in Jon. What does she see for him? Does she have a desire to burn him?
What does the raven mean when he says Bran will fly? What significance do the children hold? What is the cave they live in? Why can't the wights come inside?
What will Arya find in Braavos? Will she reconnect with Jaqen? Also, what does the coin mean? Why do people just accept anyone who has that coin? Whose coin is it? How is it well known by everyone?
With Tywin dead, what comes next? Who will replace him as Hand of the King? Will Cersei be able to maintain Lannister control? Will Olenna seize this opening and return to control King's Landing?
What does Tyrion do in Essos? Where does his story go now that he's been removed from all of the characters that he has formed a bond with?
Best Moment: The Hound and Arya's final scene. Outstanding storytelling.
Character of the Episode: Arya.
Conclusion: This was a strong, eventful and exciting finale which capped off the show's best season in dramatic fashion. There were some major flaws which took away from this but as a whole I loved it. Bring on season 5.
As mentioned above, I think this is easily the show's best season. There were certainly flaws, but for every flaw there were two or three outstanding scenes or moments which more than make up for it. I thought there wasn't a single weak episode this season and there were a number of great ones which provided genuinely powerful and exhilarating moments including Tyrion's speech, Joffrey's death, Littlefinger's reveal, the Battle of Castle Black and more. This season felt like a major climax for the entire series and every episode had important developments to offer to the story. The show has never been so effective and so consistent and I think the sheer quality of this season is a terrific sign for the show to come. I always thought this show was great from the first season, but this fourth season has shown us that "Game of Thrones" is must-watch television.
Summary: Gilly returns to Castle Black and Sam promises to help her. The wildling attack is signalled and Sam takes Gilly to safety. They kiss. The attack begins. Alliser goes down to the south side to fight, leaving Jon in charge of The Wall. Sam fights with Pyp until Pyp is killed by Ygritte. Giants start smashing down the gates so Jon sends Grenn to stop them. Grenn dies but is successful. Jon eventually goes down to join the battle. Tormund defeats Alliser but isn't able to kill him. Ygritte finds Jon but before she can kill him, Olly kills her. The battle is won as the wildlings retreat. Jon knows that they can never win as they will attack again the next night. Jon goes north in an attempt to assassinate Mance.
The Good: This episode was a total spectacle and it was brilliant because of it. The battles in the show are fantastic to watch, and I thought this was a definite improvement over the Battle of Blackwater in terms of action and spectacle.
The set-up wasn't as engaging as the extreme tension and foreboding from "Blackwater" isn't present here, but we did get some solid storytelling. I liked Jon and Sam's brief conversation as Sam is desperate to get an idea of what love is like before he dies. Then there's his nice conversation with Aemon about love which I thought was effective at making us understand what Gilly means to Sam. Then, Gilly returns and Sam's desperation to have her back feels earned and I thought the kiss was a nice moment. There isn't anything fantastic here, but everything is solid and I enjoyed it.
I really like that Sam's arc continued in the battle too. Now that he has something to fight for he is more confident in himself and his abilities as he gets in battle, leading to several great moment for his character as he is finally able to shake off his cowardice and "become nothing" as he puts it. I really liked Pyp's death as it was handled in the best possible way. He wasn't a significant character, but the scene was effective due to him finally gaining some confidence in himself after getting a kill, only to die moments later. It was a great moment to show the horrors of battle.
Jon had good moments too as he got to become a proper leader here. He took charge of the Night's Watch and he helped them defend The Wall before joining the battle afterwards. The stand-out for him was certainly his final moments with Ygritte which were suitably sad and gave the battle a proper sense of consequence (see: Best Moment).
The rest of the battle was spectacular to behold. I am a massive fan of "The Lord of the Rings", so I love battles like this one. The action here was relentless and exciting, and the state of the battle was much clearer than in "Blackwater". I particularly loved the one sequence where a single shot covered all of the carnage which was happening in Castle Black, a spectacular feat of cinematography. The effects and sound editing were perfect as well, adding to the immersion and effect of the battle. It's stunning to see something like this in a TV show.
I also really liked Grenn's final stand, as it was a touching moment to see him rally his five men to stand guard and prevent the giant from entering. It was a fitting death for him, adding to the body count coming from this battle.
The Bad: There was one particularly weak moment in the battle. Jon had his head bashed hard against an anvil, but it leaves no mark and hardly fazes him. The very thought of that is ridiculous and it was a surprisingly weak moment for an episode with such good action.
This battle also didn't feel as significant as "Blackwater" as the characters involved weren't as important or engaging. In this battle, the notable characters are Jon, Sam and Ygritte but that's it. It's a far cry from the amount of important characters whose lives were at stake in "Blackwater".
The ending hurts the episode overall. It feels like the episode is incomplete as we have had a massive battle, yet the story is still more or less in the same place as before the battle, just several characters have died. I would have liked a proper ending to this battle, especially since an entire episode was dedicated to it.
The Unknown: What will come of Jon going to kill Mance? Will he succeed? Will he make a deal? What is going to happen?
Best Moment: Olly kills Ygritte, avenging his parents, but sadly it isn't a moment to cheer as Jon has to say goodbye to his lover. Ygritte's wishes that they could go back to the cave were very sad, capping off this love story in tragic fashion.
Character of the Episode: Sam.
Conclusion: This was a spectacular episode. A massive action spectacle with enough human drama to remain engaging and riveting. This was executed better than the last battle, and while it doesn't have the same impact on the story and characters, I enjoyed it more. Another great episode in a season which has been full of them.
Summary: The wildlings attack Molestown. Grey Worm and Missandei grow closer. Dany discovers Jorah was spying on her when he first entered her service and she exiles him. Ramsay sends Theon to Moat Cailin and convinces the Ironborn to leave. Roose legitimizes Ramsay. Arya and The Hound reach the Eyrie, only to discover Lysa is dead. The Lords of the Vale investigate into Lysa's death. Sansa sides with Littlefinger to prove him to be innocent. Oberyn and The Mountain fight. Oberyn almost wins but gets overconfident and is brutally killed.
The Good: Man, this is a weird episode. Somehow this has me even more conflicted than "The Rains of Castamere" and I remain unsure about how I feel about the ending of the episode and by extension about the episode as a whole. After collecting my thoughts for a while, I think the good outweighs the bad here and I feel like I did enjoy what I watched.
There were a lot of terrific scenes too. I enjoyed everything in Meereen and I thought that there were a number of powerful moments. First and foremost, I like this new Missandei and Grey Worm romance story. The show has so much misery going on, and a simple yet sweet romantic story feels like a much needed emotional break for us, giving us something to be happy about. It was especially needed in this episode. Then of course there was what may have been a big turning point for Dany's story as she exiles Jorah, her most trusted advisor, from her presence. This felt like a huge moment, and was emotionally powerful as we have seen these two together from the beginning of the series and care about their relationship. Jorah has nowhere to go now, and nowhere to turn which is a sad, but unpredictable direction for his character to go (see: The Unknown).
I really liked all of the scenes with Ramsay, Roose and Theon. Alfie Allen has been terrific at portraying Theon/Reek and the horrific, tormented state that the character is in. Seeing Theon struggle to keep his composure at Moat Cailin was shockingly affecting, and was a great scene. Then of course there was the glorious and gruesome cut from the man being promised freedom to his flayed corpse. This is the way to establish Ramsay's character, not by subjecting us to needless torture for so long. I also liked the brief scene with Roose legitimizing Ramsay to reward him for his work. The two of them have an interesting dynamic and are probably the two most despicable villains in the series right now.
Arya and The Hound arriving at the Eyrie was a great moment as Arya just laughed as she once more discovered that she didn't have anywhere to go and The Hound just isn't able to get rid of her. It's a sad moment, but an earned one, highlighting the change in Arya's character. I also enjoyed that Sansa is now starting to take control of her life with the help of Littlefinger, but the path to get there wasn't as good as Arya's (see: The Bad).
Tyrion's beetle speech was outstanding. I've always praised this show for its scenes of dialogue, and this must be one of the best ones so far. Tyrion is staring at his own death in the near future, so it makes sense that he would just talk about whatever he wants to Jaime, who likely just wants to be with his brother while he is still alive. The scene is brilliant as we see Tyrion just talking to Jaime about something he never had a chance to before, getting to enjoy his voice a little longer. But the speech also does a great job of highlighting Tyrion's innocence and thoughtfulness. A man who cares so much about a moron killing beetles proves to be a good man who won't go for meaningless bloodshed like so many other characters in this show would go for. It's a great metaphor for the show as a whole.
This finally takes us to the ending fight. I will give credit where it is due, as the fight was fantastic. The choreography was great and the fight itself was tense as any possibility felt likely from the fight. This show's unpredictability paid off very well here to make the fight tense and exciting. I do think the result is interesting and I'm curious to see where the story will go from here, and if Tyrion can somehow find a way out of certain death.
The Bad: The ending scene was horrific. Seeing Oberyn's head popped like a pimple was a terrible sight and it wasn't one that I appreciated. The red wedding was bad enough, but this was worse, so much worse that I don't think I like it. I understand that the point is for me to be grossed out and hopeless, but I don't understand why the show feels it is necessary for me to feel this way all the time. This time it feels like the show is embracing a repetitive cycle of just making the worst possible thing happen to its characters, instead of it aiding the story. Oberyn was interesting and had a lot of story potential, so his death came right out of left field which is a big difference from Ned, Robb, and Catelyn's deaths which felt like a punishment for their many mistakes. With Oberyn's death being so sudden, it was just deflating and it was too much for me. I need some hope to keep enjoying the show, and scenes like this take me one step closer to just dropping the show because of its relentlessness.
I wasn't happy with Littlefinger's plan once more. I understand the idea behind him killing Lysa and it does make sense to me, but his story still feels too convenient even with Sansa on his side. If I were a Lord of the Vale, I still wouldn't trust Littlefinger, so the story doesn't work overall. Furthermore, I was annoyed by the fact that Littlefinger's plan hinged on Sansa lying for him. What if she had just told the truth? Littlefinger would be screwed! Not a great plan for such a mastermind. Furthermore, couldn't he have just explained to Sansa to lie for him? Seems like a better plan than to tell her nothing and leave the decision up to her.
One small thing that annoyed me was Tywin waving off Pycelle's speech. Surely a trial by combat would appreciate the gods more than any other event.
The Unknown: Where does Jorah go now? Who does he follow? What is his next role in the story?
Is Tyrion going to die? Will somebody save him somehow? How can they?
What will The Hound do with Arya now? Where will they go?
Best Moment: Tyrion's beetle speech is great.
Character of the Episode: Tyrion.
Conclusion: This episode has left me conflicted because of its ending scene. However, just about everything else before the final two minutes was terrific so I think this episode deserves a very good score. But it doesn't remove the fact that I feel uneasy after this episode and I'm now feeling a little unsure about this show's future.
Summary: Tyrion tries to find somebody to fight for him in his trial by combat but both Jaime and Bronn refuse because Cersei has chosen The Mountain as her representative. Eventually he is approached by Oberyn who wants his shot at The Mountain. Arya and The Hound continue on their journey. The Hound is attacked by men who want to kill him for the bounty on his head but he survives. Dany enjoys Daario's company before making a crucial decision about what to do with Yunkai and Astapor. The Night's Watch debate on whether it is necessary to seal off the tunnel for the wildling attack. Littlefinger kisses Sansa and Lysa sees. Lysa confronts Sansa and threatens to kill her but Littlefinger arrives and shoves Lysa out the moon door.
The Good: I liked most of this. The set-up was pretty strong and I'm definitely excited to see what comes next.
The main focus was of course the follow-up on Tyrion's huge declaration in the last episode. Logically, Cersei has assigned The Mountain as Tyrion's opponent which is a big threat and I love that this decision has cost Tyrion the chance of his two main options fighting for him. Jaime is still weak with his left hand and stands no chance. Bronn doesn't see enough value in risking his life in such a bug way for Tyrion. These developments did lead to two terrific conversations as well, providing quality dialogue and a great description of the bonds that Tyrion has formed with these men. The scenes were good and they also did a good job of showing that Tyrion is grappling with the fact that he may not have much time left.
Then we got the big reveal that Oberyn will step in for Tyrion and fight The Mountain. While this was pretty predictable (see: The Bad), it does set up a really exciting duel, likely for next episode. While it seems likely that Oberyn kills The Mountain and frees Tyrion, this is one show I'm not confident on predicting, and I feel like there has to be at least one twist that happens, but I'm not sure what. Either way, I'm excited to watch this as I think there is a ton of potential for great drama.
I also want to mention the conversation between Oberyn and Tyrion because I thought it was stellar. I loved the backstory we got from Oberyn about the Lannisters as children and how the rumours were about Tyrion's birth. The story was sad as Oberyn mentions that Tyrion clearly wasn't anything bad but he has paid the price throughout his entire life for something which really isn't a big deal. This show excels because of conversation scenes like this and I continue to enjoy them.
Arya and The Hound were given a great story in this episode as well. I liked seeing them come across the dying man, giving him some peace and mercy. The scene was sad and it was a good moment which allowed the characters to breathe and show who they really are. This pairing with Arya and The Hound has worked surprisingly well and I really enjoy their dynamic. I thought the later scene with The Hound nursing his wounds and Arya trying to help him to be pretty poignant. I enjoyed hearing The Hound open up a little bit as he is forced to face the fact that he is alone and may not have much longer to live with a bounty on his head. Hearing him open up to Arya, the only other person who can understand the loneliness he feels was powerful and sad, another terrific moment of interaction.
I liked the other scenes with the outlier plotlines. Dany enjoying Daario's company made sense, after all why wouldn't she indulge herself a little? I also enjoyed Dany having to take a look at how she rules when Jorah tries to convince her to not kill every master in Yunkai and Astapor. The scene had good drama and it was nice to see Dany learning a little about showing pure hate for her enemies. At Castle Black, I liked that the Night's Watch grappled with the idea of sealing the tunnel, further highlighting their preparation for an impending attack. I am enjoying the story a fair amount and I look forward to the actual battle which is coming.
The Bad: This show's gratuitous nudity has always annoyed me. Did we really need Melisandre to be naked throughout majority of her scene? What does that accomplish? We are invested in the show so we don't need to see nudity to maintain our interests.
While I like the development of Oberyn vs The Mountain, there are issues with it. For one, I immediately connected the dots to Oberyn fighting for Tyrion, and that did detract from the thought of Tyrion being helpless because I had a sense that Oberyn would come in to save him. But the biggest issue for me is the fact that Oberyn stepped in at all. Just a few episodes ago Tywin promised Oberyn that he would get justice, and Tywin even offered The Mountain specifically. Yet Oberyn somehow feels that fighting for Tyrion and risking his life is the best way to get this justice, which felt odd.
The fight scene with Arya and The Hound was lacking. It felt awkward that the man just bit The Hound instead of just killing him with one blow. Did the man have a death wish? Furthermore, it seemed mighty convenient that Arya encountered the criminal from before, and while I did enjoy her quick and ruthless kill, it felt like too convenient of a moment to be believable.
The Eyrie scenes were unfortunately quite bad and made Littlefinger look like a fool. I imagine him kissing Sansa was intentional to piss off Lysa, but it still felt quite dumb. I thought Littlefinger's end-game was to get Sansa's affections and just kissing her is way too creepy and awkward to help him accomplish his goal. Furthermore, he left Sansa's life in the hands of the unhinged Lysa. What if she just tossed Sansa out the moon door immediately? What would Littlefinger do then? I like the idea that Littlefinger would kill Lysa to gain power, but the way it was executed was really stupid. There were no witnesses, so Littlefigner should obviously be the prime suspect. How is he supposed to ascend when the Lords of the Vale would immediately suspect him and not trust him? It felt like far too foolish of a move from a man who has been so careful in his plotting thus far. Additionally, I hated Sansa snapping at Robin. She can put up with Joffrey but some little child is enough to piss her off instantly and even make her hit him? That was bad.
The Unknown: Does Melisandre plan to burn Shireen too? That would be unpleasant.
What will happen in Tyrion's trial by combat? Who will die and what will happen as a result? This event is set up as such a pivotal moment int his season, so I'm really excited to see what will happen as a result. If Oeryn wins, Tywin will likely be angry and it could lead to some hot blood. But if Oberyn were to die, I don't imagine Dorne would be pleased, and I imagine that they could become major players. And what happens to Tyrion? I don't know. So many questions, and so much intrigue.
Best Moment: The scene between Arya and The Hound where The Hound opened up was the most touching moment and it resonated the most with me.
Character of the Episode: Oberyn.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode overall. The set-up was extremely strong and the episode was looking like it could hit a high level, but the ending Eyrie scenes were downright poor and were some of my least favourite scenes in the show so far. They drag down the overall score a fair amount, but I'm still left with an overall positive outlook.
Summary: Davos convinces the Iron Bank to support Stannis. Dany is confronted by a man who wants to bury his father, a master who was crucified. The small council discusses Dany's impending threat. Varys sends his little birds to Meereen. Yara assaults the Dreadfort and tries to break Theon out, but he refuses and Yara leaves. Tyrion's trial occurs and it is heavily biased against him. Jaime bargains with Tywin and the come to a deal where Tyrion will be allowed to live in the Night's Watch if Jaime resigns from the Kingsguard to further the Lannister line. Shae is brought into the trial and Jaime's deal isn't fulfillef when Tyrion angrily calls for a trial by combat.
The Good: Another episode goes by, and "Game of Thrones" continues to over-deliver in what has easily been its best season so far. This episode had a number of solid plot lines and also a few pleasingly powerful moments.
Davos remains one of the best overall people in Westeros. He is genuine in his loyalty to Stannis, so much so that he singlehandedly makes everything involving Stannis a lot more interesting. Thankfully, this episode had a good story as well to aid this. The Iron Bank's introduction was really great, complemented by characetrs who feel out of place from everything going on in Westeros, making them feel more special. Furthermore, the visuals of Braavos were brilliant and I was breathless seeing the beauty of the special effects. But things like this enhance stories, they don't make them good. What does make them good is providing genuine conflict for main characters who are forced to find a way out of it, which is exactly what we get here with Davos. The Iron Bank puts down Stannis' cause entirely, proving to only be interested in numbers, not caring at all about honour. But Davos uses his wit to play into their game and defeat them, managing to give Stannis a huge bonus, making him a threat once again. It has been a season and a half since Stannis was defeated, and now it looks like he is finally ready to get back into things, and I am pretty excited as I care much more about Stannis' cause than I did back in "Blackwater".
Dany's story has expanded in a nice way too. It seems like she will be in Meereen for the next while, and so far I am enjoying it. I liked that we were shown somebody who wasn't pleased by what Dany did to the masters, which is both realistic and compelling. It was good to see Dany forced to look through the eyes of the non-slaves living in Meereen, teaching her a little more. Furthermore, I also love the scenes when Dany is discussed back in Westeros, as it is nice to get the reminder that she is still a threat for all of the characters in King's Landing. The small council scene was really well done (as usual), and I like the development that Varys will be sending his spies across the Narrow Sea. Presumably this will mean that Dany will be discussed more often in Westeros, and perhaps her story can start blending more into the main plot of the show.
Also, I have to take a moment to mention the electric Oberyn/Varys scene. I love seeing this show create these interaction scenes carried by charisma and character. It's fascinating to watch and gives us so many fascinating little details about these characters who remain mostly a mystery to us.
Then this takes us to Tyrion's trial, which delivered for the most part. The most fascinating part of this all was Tywin's involvement. He and Jaime had an important discussion (long overdue Jaime) about Tyrion's fate and there were a lot of great surprises. First and foremost was the heavy implication that Tywin manipulated the entire situation to get what he wants. The moment when Tywin rapidly accepts Jaime's offer was a fantastic moment because it was when everything about this situation made sense. Tywin never wanted to kill Tyrion, rather he was using him as leverage to get Jaime to do his bidding to continue the family line. Not only was this a great moment, but it also made the biased nature of the trial much more clear as it was intentional on Tywin's part to oust Tyrion as a villain.
Tyrion was outstanding in this episode. It was extremely easy to sympathize with him as he is essentially attacked for every little thing he has done with everyone despising him for it instead of sympathizing with the fact that he was trying to just help Westeros as a whole. However the emotion was lacking at first (see: The Bad), and I was worried that the trial would be a boring dud. But then, Shae was introduced and as she lies through her teeth about Tyrion, the trial becomes much more tense and emotional. Then this leads to an explosive final scene where Tyrion erupts and unleashes all of his anger upon the ungrateful swine who are attempting to sentence him to death for no reason. The final speech is a massive moment which is not only satisfying, but powerful and understandable. Then we get hit with the huge twist at the end as Tyrion refuses to take Tywin's deal and demands a trial by combat, shaking things up once more, and adding a ton of possibilities (see: The Unknown).
The Bad: Yara's assault on the Dreadfort didn't work. I find it tough to buy into the fact that Yara got inside a fortified castle so easily and managed to make it all the way to Theon without any difficulty at all. Then Ramsay comes in to fight shirtless to make him even more psychotic. Ramsay doesn't interest me at all because his character is receiving every single cliché in the book to make him seem evil. But then it suddenly awkwardly cuts to Yara outside of the Dreadfort having escaped off-screen. It felt awkward and I find it difficult to believe that she got away after being cornered by Ramsay and his men.
The first part of the trial was pretty flawed. It was biased and I was aware that Tyrion had no chance to prove his innocence. But then the scene kept going on with many, many characters coming up on the stand to make their points. It felt aimless and the scene was lacking in drama as Tyrion was unable to defend himself. Because of the time period, and the style, this never had the chance to be one of the classic courtroom scenes, and that's a bit of a shame as I am a sucker for some quality courtroom drama.
Shae testifying against Tyrion is intriguing (see: The Unknown), but it could have some terrible effects on her character if she just wanted to get back at Tyrion as her only motive. Shae was introduced as an intelligent character, and there is nothing dumber than what Shae did if she wasn't paid off or something by Tywin.
The Unknown: What does Ramsay have in plan for Theon? Is he going to try to fulfill his father's wishes by using Theon for a trade?
Who steps in to fight for Tyrion? I don't imagine it will be Jaime. Will Bronn be back once more to help Tyrion? Also who will fight for Tywin? The Mountain?
What were Shae's motives? Was she paid or something else by Tywin to testify? What happens to her now?
Best Moment: Tyrion's speech was an outstanding moment.
Character of the Episode: Tyrion.
Conclusion: This was another great episode with some stellar moments. There were flaws for sure, but the good absolutely outweighs the bad and it made for another impactful and memorable episode.
Summary: Dany is told that Yunkai and Astapor have already been overthrown. She decides to stay in Meereen and rule as a Queen. Tommen is officially crowned as a king. Cersei and Tywin discuss the trial. Sansa arrives in the Eyrie with Littlefinger. She is pressured by the jealous Lysa. It is revealed that Littlefinger instigated Jon Arryn's death. Arya gets more advice from The Hound. Brienne and Pod bond on the road. Jon's group attacks the mutineers and all of them are slaughtered. Locke finds Bran and tries to capture him but Bran wargs into Hodor and kills him. Bran decides to leave Jon as he realizes Jon won't let him go north.
The Good: This was another strong episode with more good developments. This season has been extremely consistent so far and I'm enjoying it.
The action at Craster's Keep was really good and a fitting climax for this episode. I enjoyed the action and I thought it was choreographed really well. What worked best though was how we got to see two awful men die, something we rarely get treated to in this show. It's so much more satisfying to see the bad guys die after good guys have died so many times in this show, and I think this episode did a great job of paying off of the show's gruelling nature. I cheered when Jon killed Karl in a brutal way and I was even more overjoyed when Hodor snapped Locke's neck before he was able to do any real damage to Bran or his friends. Everything was done really well and I felt satisfied by the end of the episode.
The other moment which particularly pleased me was the reveal that Littlefinger instigated the entire War of Five Kings. This was a massive moment for the show as it answered one of the big long-running mysteries in a way where it meant a lot. Littlefinger was a nobody before everything, and he has orchestrated pretty much the entire show, and it has given him so much more power. After being told many times how dangerous Littlefinger is, this proves his credibility with a great moment and makes him much more interesting to me, which is saying something considering how much I already liked him.
I like that Dany had to deal with the fact that Yunkai and Astapor fell back into chaos. Her story has lacked real character development so far, so this feels like a fresh step in the right direction by having her combat these conflicts, showing who she is as a ruler. I love her decision to rule as a Queen as it shakes up her story and also sets up several possibilities for where her character goes next.
I really liked Cersei and Tywin's conversation. I thought the reveal that the mines in the Westerlands being empty was handled well and was a great way to demonstrate why the Tyrells are so important to the Lannisters as they very well may be the most rich and powerful family in all of Westeros at the moment. I have already been very open in my love for the Tyrells, so I think this is a great development to make them even more central to the story and it also gives a logical reason for Cersei to be unable to take care of Margaery whenever she wants since she is far too important to kill.
There were several other character interactions I enjoyed. Lysa's unhinged jealousy towards Sansa was great and I can't help but still feel sorry for Sansa who just can't ever catch a break as she is now betrothed to Robin and has to put up with her insane aunt. I also liked the interactions on the road between Brienne and Pod as well as Arya and The Hound. The show has been notably good at developing characters by sending them on the road in pairs and I think it has made for some of the best character development and relationship building in the show. Arya got some good advice from The Hound in this episode as she continued her vengeful quest. Brienne slowly beginning to accept the desperate-to-be-useful Pod was decently sweet as well.
The Bad: There's nothing I would call bad about this. A solid episode all-around.
The Unknown: What is the huge weirwood tree that Bran and Jojen saw? What is the significance of his hands being on fire?
Best Moment: The death of Locke was a spectacular moment. It was a huge shift for Bran who got his first big kill and it was also a big moment to Hodor who looks appropriately horrified by what he did. It's a good look at just how horrific Bran's powers really are. Of course this was followed up with a great scene where Bran has to choose to leave Jon which was genuinely touching.
Character of the Episode: Littlefinger.
Conclusion: This was another really strong episode with a few standout moments. This show is doing some tremendous set-up this season and I'm excited for what comes next.
Summary: Dany gets control over Meereen after a slave uprising. She cruelly punishes all the masters despite Barristan's advice. Littlefinger reveals his role in Joffrey's death to Sansa. Olenna tells Margaery she killed Joffrey. Margaery visits Tommen. Jaime visits Tyrion and believes he is innocent. Cersei isn't pleased by this. Brienne goes to hunt for Sansa and Jaime gives her his sword, armor and Podrick as gifts. In the North, Jon befriends Locke. Jon's wishes are granted and he takes a group of men to kill the mutineers. Bran continues north but is captured by the mutineers.
The Good: There was a lot of set-up here and I enjoyed it. The best stuff happened in the north as things have moved to an exciting stage where there is potential for a lot to happen. Jon is on a collision course with the mutineers, but there are the outliers in the form of Bran, the wildlings, the white walkers and Locke who all pose a threat. All of these threats were established in this episode and it helped raise the drama as well as my interest in the Night's Watch storyline. I enjoyed most of the individual scenes of set-up. I really liked the escalation of Jon and Alliser's conflict as there is now added drama of Jon possibly being picked as the new Lord Commander since the role is chosen via vote. I also liked the scenes at Craster's Keep as they made the mutineers into full-on nasty villains who we want to see die. Their capture of Bran was dramatic too and I'm excited to see where this development leads.
I liked getting the reveal of Joffrey's killer too. Littlefinger comes off as very smart to do this, but it does feel awkward that he just spills all of this to Sansa. I was ready to dump this in The Bad, but then I realized that Littlefinger wants to be with Sansa due to her resemblance to Catelyn, so he needs her to trust him. And he succeeded in doing that by telling her everything. I love that he worked with Olenna, who is quickly becoming another huge powerful figure in the series. The reveal that she killed Joffrey was great, and it only makes me enjoy her character more. I'm sad that she is going back to Highgarden for now, but hopefully she comes back later on.
Jaime's story continues to be very good. He had great scenes with Cersei and Tyrion, making it easy to understand his conflict. He loves his siblings, but they both despise each other, putting him in a position where he needs to pick a side to fight for. It's an engaging story and it also allows for more of the great dialogue that this series is known for. Jaime's best moments were at the end though as he bids Brienne a very sweet farewell. The work done on their relationship pays off here since I care greatly about these characters. Seeing Jaime give Brienne his Valyrian steel sword was touching, and Brienne naming it "Oathkeeper" was even better. I also loved Brienne getting Pod as a squire, which was both funny and nice.
Of course I have to discuss that terrific final sequence. The appearances of the White Walkers have been few and far in between, so I wasn't expecting a look at them again. I was totally caught off guard by this scene, but I was really pleased by it. The visuals were great as we got a glimpse at the White Walkers' home-world. I also love the reveal that the entire time Craster was living in his keep, he was essentially just growing the numbers of the White Walkers.
There were a few other really good parts to this episode too. Dany punishing the masters was an interesting development and you can't help but feel that her cruelty to her enemies will come back to hurt her at some point. I also enjoyed Margaery visiting Tommen. She puts on her charm once more and does a great job of gaining control of Tommen in the same way she did with Joffrey. Finally, I loved Olenna's story about Luthor. Her character is just so charismatic.
The Bad: Meereen was too easy to capture. The slave uprising went way too smoothly and I'm still annoyed by Dany getting by so easily. It's disappointing because this is the third time Dany has just waltzed through a major conflict.
I was bothered by the fact that Tyrion didn't ask Jaime to talk to Tywin about his situation. He is aware that Tywin is incriminating him, so shouldn't he at least try to ask Jaime to change Tywin's mind? I would have liked this to be addressed in some way.
I didn't like that there was no follow-up on the rape in the last episode. I guess it wasn't intended to be a rape which somehow makes the scene even worse. The lack of self-awareness in that scene got worse due to the fact that both Cersei and Jaime didn't even address what had just happened.
The Unknown: Ramsay sent Locke to find Bran and Rickon. What about Jon though? He befriends Jon, so does he plan to kill him? Or is he just using him as a connection?
What is going to happen to Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen? Will they be discovered by Jon?
Is there a sort of hierarchy or belief system for the White Walkers? The final scene made it clear that they have some sort of system and a leader that they follow. I'm very intrigued and I want more information.
Best Moment: The final sequence was great.
Character of the Episode: Jaime.
Conclusion: This was a good set-up episode which continues the story organically. I enjoyed this and I'm ready for more.
Summary: Sansa escapes King's Landing with Littlefinger. Tywin preps Tommen for his new role as king. Jaime rapes Cersei next to Joffrey's dead body. Tyrion is imprisoned for Joffrey's murder. He tells Pod to leave King's Landing for his safety. Tywin assigns himself, Mace Tyrell and Oberyn as the judges for Tyrion's trial. The Hound robs an innocent man who decided to let him and Arya stay the night. Arya is angered. Sam takes Gilly to Molestown. The wildlings attack and slaughter a village. Davos comes up with a way to pay for troops. Dany arrives outside Meereen.
The Good: This was a solid episode with several good developments. Nothing stood out too much, but as a whole, I thought it was an effective follow-up to the chaos in the last episode.
The return of Littlefinger was a terrific moment which managed to be both surprising and unsurprising. Of course Littlefinger would have something to do with Joffrey's death, and I'm interested to find out exactly how involved he is. I also liked the way that Littlefinger manipulated Sansa in this episode. He is an untrustworthy man, but he makes Sansa trust him by painting everyone else as worse than him. It's brilliant to see, and I always thought that Littlefinger was written better in small scenes like this.
Tywin was great in this episode. He got over Joffrey's death extremely quickly, suspiciously quickly, which makes me believe that he may have had a role in Joffrey's death. I really liked the way he prepped Tommen for a kingly role while coldly saying how bad of a king Joffrey was, as it showed how straightforward this character is, and how he takes advantage of every situation to better his position. Tywin is fascinating, and this entire situation has been shockingly favourable for him. He even goes to Oberyn in an attempt to befriend Dorne, knowing that he needs them as allies. And now Tyrion is in prison too, and you would have to believe that Tywin would be happy to have the public believe that Tyrion is guilty. Everything is working out for Tywin and it is engaging to watch him do his job.
Tyrion's final conversation with Pod was great. The scene did a great job of illustrating exactly how much trouble Tyrion is due to certain circumstances. Sansa's disappearance only worsens his situation and brings up even more questions about who was responsible for this (see: The Unknown). Of course it's easy to sympathize with Tyrion and I'm excited to see how he will try to get out of this situation. Furthermore, the goodbye to Pod was a genuinely touching moment. Even though we don't know Pod very well, we understand his relationship with Tyrion, making the scene meaningful and emotional.
Tyrion's isn't the only situation that feels dire. Everything involving the Night's Watch feels like a big deal since the battle against the wildlings will be 100 vs 10,000. Their desperation is believable and I enjoyed seeing them strategize to prepare for battle. I also love that the mutineers have come back into the story in an organic way. The reasoning to go kill them makes perfect sense and it should make for some more exciting storytelling before what I can only assume will be a huge battle between the wildlings and the Night's Watch.
A few other scenes were quite good. I want to get more attention on Oberyn and Tywin's scene. There were great tensions throughout the scene due to Oberyn's hatred towards Tywin, but I love how Tywin did everything he could to befriend Oberyn. It's an interesting development but I definitely don't see it sticking. Also, I enjoyed the brief scene of Daario killing the Meereen representative. It was appropriately quick and Daario did get to show more of his personality which is good for his character. I also enjoyed Cersei and Jaime's scene for the most part. Cersei was appropriately resentful towards Tyrion and I love the callback to when Tyrion told Cersei he will take her happiness away when she least suspects it. It felt very real and I liked it.
The Bad: But the Jaime/Cersei scene was totally ruined by the end. Cersei was hateful and relenting while Jaime was fair and relatable. Evidently, Jaime was more of a hero and Cersei was more of a villain. But then these character arcs were destroyed when Jaime raped Cersei. Jaime gets a major setback after all of the terrific character work and Cersei for whatever reason is meant to garner sympathy, despite her having been called a "hateful woman" a second ago. This reversal of roles is awkward and doesn't benefit either character, damaging all of the storylines involved. It's frustrating to see something so poor in what was otherwise a very good episode.
Dany's storyline is lacking once more. I can't help but fear that Dany is about to reach another easy victory and that is rather annoying. I want something more interesting for her. Additionally, the storyline about Jorah, Barristan, Daario and Grey worm all fighting for Dany's affections feels extremely dull and pointless. I have no reason to care and it's already getting repetitive and annoying.
The Unknown: What does Littlefinger have planned for Sansa? I can't imagine it's anything good. Furthermore, what was his exact involvement with Joffrey's murder? Could he have orchestrated the whole thing to create chaos? Could Littlefinger have been in cohorts with Tywin about this to help set up a more ideal king for a reign? This all seems to have worked remarkably well for both Tywin and Littlefinger, so I have my suspicions. It also worked well for Olenna, who never liked the idea of Joffrey marrying Margaery. Could she have been involved too?
How does Davos plan to get the iron bank to fund Stannis? That should be an engaging storyline.
How does Tyrion plan to get out of his situation?
Best Moment: I'll pick Tyrion and Pod's last conversation. A genuinely touching scene.
Character of the Episode: Tywin.
Conclusion: This was a strong episode, following up on one of the biggest moments of the show. I enjoyed this a lot, but the poor Jaime/Cersei rape scene drags the score down because of how detrimental it was.
Summary: Roose arrives in Winterfell, which Ramsay has occupied. Theon completely obeys Ramsay now. Roose is upset that Theon is so mutilated since Roose had hoped to use Theon as a hostage. Varys informs Tyrion that Shae has been discovered. Tyrion forces her to leave by pretending he doesn't want her anymore. Shae leaves. At Joffrey's wedding, tensions rise between many of the guests. Joffrey continues to be an asshole. Tyrion subtly insults Joffrey, so Joffrey takes it upon himself to terrorize Tyrion to everyone's displeasure. Margaery tries to direct attention elsewhere but it doesn't work. Joffrey drinks wine but suddenly starts choking and eventually dies. Cersei has her guard arrest Tyrion as the prime suspect.
The Good: This was a fantastic episode with so much executed well. This episode delivered way past my expectations, and was one of the best episodes of the show with ease.
The wedding was a masterclass in tension. After the red wedding, this wedding had me on the edge of my seat, as I was expecting something crazy to happen at any second. I thought perhaps something would happen to Tyrion, Oberyn may cause some major trouble, or something else which is just as crazy. I was scared all the way through, and by the end, that crazy event happened, and it still managed to shock and impress me on a huge level (see: Best Moment).
Joffrey was awful in this episode, and I say that in the best possible way. He was such a sociopathic prick in this episode and was horrendous to just about everyone. From his rude dismissal of the talented singers to him slicing up Tyrion's book with his new sword, he managed to offend just about everyone. The midgets demonstrating the War of Five Kings is pretty good because it's so tasteless and yet Joffrey finds it to be the funniest thing ever. Seeing him laughing so hard as everyone else sits uncomfortably was terrific storytelling, and even Margaery seemed to be miserable in this episode as she couldn't even rein Joffrey in and prevent him from harassing Tyrion.
But by making Joffrey worse than ever made the final scene a thing of beauty to anyone watching this show. I don't think I've ever been so elated after watching a character die, but I couldn't stop smiling during that final scene as Joffrey finally got what was coming to him as he died a painful death at his own wedding. Furthermore, the scene works on an even bigger level as Joffrey's death has thrown the show into chaos and it seems that the dynamic of the show will be changing drastically, and all of this has happened just three episodes after the red wedding, an event just as massive as this one. It's great to see the plot taking such daring and satisfying moves, and it makes for some terrific pay-off for all of us who have gone through the patient pace that this show operates at.
Joffrey's death has propelled the story in an extremely interesting direction. Now there is a tempting mystery of who killed him, and the best part is that I don't know the answer. It seems like everyone in the Seven Kingdoms wants Joffrey's head on a spike, so pretty much every character barring Cersei and Jaime seem likely to be responsible for his death. Could it have actually been Tyrion? Sansa? Margaery? Tywin? Oberyn? Melisandre? Dontos? Varys? Littlefinger? Olenna? All of these characters do have legitimate reasons to kill Joffrey, and it should be excited to see who is actually responsible. But for now Tyrion is taking the fall for Joffrey's death, and I think that is a great idea for a story as Tyrion is the character we sympathize most with, so it should be compelling to see him try to get out of this pickle.
The other scenes at the wedding were very good as well and I thought there were some terrific character moments. Cersei is on her final day with power so she is appropriately glum, but she also decides to prey on the weak to try to assert dominance somehow by threatening Pycelle and Brienne and also screwing over Tyrion by telling Tywin about Shae. Loras and Jaime sparring about Cersei was great too and I loved some of the dialogue they shared. I also loved seeing Loras and Oberyn making eyes at each other, a lovely little bit of character.
The other major storyline in this episode was Tyrion being forced to get rid of Shae so she isn't killed. Their scene together was really sad and powerful as Tyrion has to lie through his teeth to make Shae hate him just so she can escape King's Landing alive. The scene is so tragic and it's genuinely heartbreaking seeing Shae cry and Tyrion being forced to keep his cold demeanor.
I liked Roose and Ramsay's scenes too. It was good to get an idea of what their relationship is as both of them are key villains in the story now. I like that Ramsay's sadism doesn't exactly impress Roose, as Roose is just angry that Theon has been defiled and is no longer useful as a hostage. I also appreciate that Ramsay was smart enough to try to use Theon to make a deal with the Greyjoys but simply didn't value an agreement as much as Roose did. It's a good contrast between the two characters. As an aside, it was good to see Theon react to Robb's death as it was both heartbreaking and painful to see him lose all hope and continue to serve Ramsay.
There were a few other scenes which I liked. Jaime training his left hand with Bronn was fun, and I really like the idea behind that pairing. I hope we get to see them together again. I was also very happy to learn more about Selyse and her relationship with Shireen compared to how Stannis deals with her.
The Bad: Nothing was bad. This was a consistent episode.
The Unknown: Who was the woman that Ramsay was torturing early in the episode? Was she anyone significant, or just somebody random to entertain Ramsay?
What was Bran's vision about? It seemed much more significant than his previous visions. What awaits him when he goes north?
Does Brienne actually love Jaime? I don't think so, but it is possible.
Who killed Joffrey then? Clearly Dontos played a role in this, but I don't think he was the killer. Who did it then? This question will likely drive the next few episodes.
Also, I can't stop thinking about Melisandre's blood magic now. Robb and Joffrey have already been killed. Is Balon next? Did Melisandre actually cause this? Or is it just dumb coincidence? What would have happened if Gendry was actually burned?
Best Moment: Joffrey's death was nothing short of incredible. Not only was it an emotionally satisfying moment, but it genuinely shocked me and opens up the story to a ton of new possibilities which really excite me. This is a great way to shake up the show, and has me really excited to see what season 4 has in store for us.
Character of the Episode: Joffrey. He's a jerk, but this was his send-off episode. I would also like to take a moment and mention how good Jack Gleeson played the character. A terrific performance.
Conclusion: This was an outstanding episode. This is how to shock your audience and make unexpectedly huge changes to a story without losing the emotional focus and character development. This episode was executed perfectly and is one of "Game of Thrones" best episodes so far.
Summary: Tywin creates two Valyrion steel swords by reforging Ice. Tywin gives one to Jaime with hopes that Jaime will become the heir to Casterly Rock but Jaime refuses to resign from the Kingsguard. Cersei is angry that Jaime took so long to arrive. Tyrion welcomes Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne to King's Landing. Oberyn expresses a heavy distaste for Lannisters because The Mountain murdered his sister and her children on orders from Tywin. Brienne intends to protect Sansa who is still grieving her family. Arya and The Hound arrive at a tavern. Arya sees Polliver and goes inside with The Hound. They kill everyone inside and Arya gets Needle back, getting a revenge kill on Polliver. Jon is tried for breaking his oaths but he is spared. He relays information about Mance's impending attack. Dany heads to Meereen but discovers that they have crucified slaves on every mile to the city.
The Good: I appreciated that we finally got a cold open for "Game of Thrones". I liked the intro with Tywin reforging Ned's sword Ice, establishing before the credits roll that Tywin is in control of pretty much all of Westeros.
Aside from that new development, the rest of this episode felt like a recap of where every character currently is, but the content we got was really solid.
Arya and The Hound stole the show during the climactic scene of the episode. Their interactions are really good and we can easily understand why they are still sticking together forming a sort of alliance. The dialogue between them is really good and there are lots of funny lines throughout. I really enjoyed the final action sequence as it was pretty exciting and well-choreographed. It also featured the extremely satisfying moment when Arya stepped into the fight, ruthlessly knocking out and killing the Lannister soldiers before she exacted some vengeance on Polliver by killing him the same way he killed Lommy.
Jaime had a very good story in this episode as he's forced to deal with the changes in his life now that he has returned to King's Landing. Not only has he lost a hand but his life appears to be falling apart. His father despises him for not being a true heir, Cersei is unreasonably angry because he took so long to get back, and now he's being shamed by Joffrey and Meryn Trant for not being good enough in the Kingsguard. His struggles are compelling because of how much I sympathize with Jaime now, and I look forward to seeing what more will be done with his character this season.
I adored the introduction of Oberyn. His introduction tells us everything we need to know about him in a few minutes. He is introduced with great charisma and a strong presence, making him immediately memorable which is necessary for him to stand out amongst the many, many other characters in this show. I really appreciated that we got his backstory and motives as well as he spoke with Tyrion, revealing his resentment of the Lannisters, which will likely lead to some bigger pay-off later on.
The other scenes in King's Landing were good too. Tyrion's scene with Sansa was pretty good. Tyrion was genuine as he tried to help her but Sansa has been through a lot and it's understandable that she wants to be alone. Olenna was terrific as ever as she respects and adores Brienne for being a true woman. I liked the conversation between Brienne and Margaery, as well as Brienne's talk with a frustrated Jaime. Bronn continues to be hilarious and every other line of dialogue he says has me laughing.
I enjoyed Jon's scene as he answered to Alliser and Maester Aemon about breaking his vows by infiltrating a wildling camp. I appreciated his honesty and I like that he was rewarded for it my Aemon. I was pleased to see Janos return as well as he logically will have made it to Castle Black by now after Tyrion sent him away.
Dany's story is fine. There isn't much of note happening in her storyline this episode, but it's easy to watch and the characters are getting more defined. I do appreciate that Grey Worm and Daario are getting more screen time. The new actor playing Daario has a much better presence than the last, so I certainly like it.
The Bad: It would have been nice if the show could have found a similar actor to the previous one playing Daario, or at least explain his change in appearance somehow.
The Unknown: Has Shae just been found by Cersei? That's certainly not good.
What are the Thenns? Are they cannibals? Also, what has happened to Mance? He doesn't seem to be making any movements to assault at the moment. Did something happen in his camp?
Meereen seems like a more threatening place. Can the people in Meereen provide some actual conflict for Dany?
I don't trust Dontos. His appearance seems genuine, but I can't imagine he is working alone.
Best Moment: Arya killing Polliver was satisfying. That's two episodes in a row that Arya killing somebody has been the best moment.
Character of the Episode: Arya.
Conclusion: This was a really good premiere. Not a whole lot happened, but the content was very enjoyable and storylines were introduced in an entertaining way.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.