Game of Thrones Memory Lane 102: The Kingsroad

Kingsroad

Living up to the powerful premiere of Game of Thrones was a tall order. The first episode established countless characters in a variety of colorful places, and made us feel just a little bit comfortable in the world we were seeing. We had a handle on things, at least. Then “The Kingsroad” aired, and so many characters were on the move, shaking up the foundation that had just been laid.

In the series’ second episode, Eddard Stark and his daughters travel south on the Kingsroad to King’s Landing, with a royal host of troubles growing. Jon Snow journeys north to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch, accompanied by his uncle Benjen and Tyrion Lannister.

Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, Daenerys departs the city of Pentos and travels with with Khal Drogo, her brother Viserys and the khalasar on an exhausting journey through the grassy Dothraki Sea. With the help of her new handmaiden, Daenerys learns how to deal with her new husband.

Sansa and LadyLike “Winter is Coming,” this episode was written by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, and directed by Timothy Van Patten. In “The Kingsroad,” a simple fight between children becomes part of an escalating war between family factions, and as usual, the ones who pay the price are the most innocent- a blameless animal and a common butcher’s child.

Despite being one of the children, Joffrey rises to the occasion as a despicable character, even before the event with Mycah and the direwolf bite. Refusing to pay his respects to the Starks while Bran lies in a coma, Tyrion delivers the Slaps Heard ‘Round the World. And it was good. Unfortunately for those ruled by him, Joffrey was already rotten by this point. But in Jack Gleeson’s hands, he was always compelling.

Weiss shares Sansa and Arya’s points of view on the incident in this bonus video from HBO.

Other major moments of the episode include Jon presenting Arya with her trusty Needle, an iconic scene from the books. The scene was actually the first reward on the Maester’s Path, the interactive promotional campaign used for season 1. Because of this, it’s one of the handful of scenes we saw in advance of the episode airing, with the puzzle being released on February 28th, 2011.

The fifth reward from the Maester’s Path was a clip also from this episode, the scene in which Robert and Ned discuss their past. Teasing viewers with a possible new mystery, Ned refers to a woman named Wylla as Jon’s mother. When Jon and his father say farewell in “The Kingsroad,” Ned promises to tell the bastard about his mother the next time they meet.

I think we all know how that worked out. And the questions about Jon’s parentage remain.

Things ended better for the Northern Inuit dog that played Lady. Sophie Turner adopted the dog Zunni after her stint on the show, so in our world at least, Lady and Sansa were never parted.

“The Kingsroad” finishes with Ned carrying out the execution of Lady, as Bran awakes from his coma, his direwolf Summer curled at his side.


Introductions: The handmaidens Doreah, Irri, and Jhiqui (our only sighting of her to date); Rast of the Night’s Watch who will be annoying Jon Snow well into the fourth season; Ser Ilyn Payne, played by Wilko Johnson, who later left the show after being diagnosed with cancer. Johnson has since recovered and fans are hopeful he’ll return to GoT- he is after all a member of Arya’s special list.

Deaths:  The catspaw assassin is taken out by Summer, with an assist from Catelyn. Since Arya’s direwolf Nymeria is missing, Lady is killed in her place. The butcher’s son Mycah is run down by the Hound.

Shockers: The Hound kills the child Mycah. Drogo actually likes it when Daenerys goes for a ride and forces him to look her in the eye. The assassin who tries to kill Bran literally gets his throat ripped out for his trouble. Ned executes Lady himself because she belongs to the North.


Game of Thrones became a cultural phenomenon almost immediately, popular with more than just us fans of ASOIAF. Moments from the show turned into memes very quickly. When Catelyn went sleuthing in “The Kingsroad” and found a lone incriminating blond hair in the tower Bran fell from, “CSI: Winterfell” was born.

csi winterfell

Photo: kurozukin.tumblr.com

Windowfell

Photo: reddit.com/r/gameofthrones

When Tyrion slapped the hell out of Joffrey, the internet seized on the moment. Because it only took two episodes for everyone to hate Joffrey almost as much as book-readers had been hating him for years.

Dany’s seduction education scene with Doreah also inspired artists:

FinishHim

Photo: dardarness.tumblr.com

Here is Mycah’s death, as shown in the Beautiful Death artwork by Robert M. Ball:

Mycah's death

And finally, a painting of Arya Stark with her Needle, by SebastianKowoll on DeviantArt:

Arya Needle

Tomorrow: In “Lord Snow,” the Kingsroad leads to the Wall and King’s Landing, as Jon becomes a recruit of the Watch and Ned meets new players in the game in the capital.

Yesterday: Game of Thrones Memory Lane 101: Winter Is Coming

106 responses

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    1. Stick them with the pointy end.

      Aww! One of the best moments in the series.

      Teasing viewers with a possible new mystery, Ned refers to a woman named Wylla as Jon’s mother.

      You know what would be awesome? If Wylla was a family childhood nickname for Lyanna that Robert didn’t know about.

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    2. I believe this episode also contains the one and only reference to Theon’s ‘uncles’ in the show to date.

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    3. Whoa, I’d never seen the Beautiful Death of Mycah. That’s hauntingly gorgeous. Poor Mycah, no one ever remembers him but Arya. Her fierce loyalty to the memory of a common servant boy made me love her all the more.

      The pilot was a tough act to follow, but the Kingsroad did an excellent job in keeping up the high standards. By the end of the episode, I knew there was no way I could ever stop watching this show. I mean, Sean Bean killed a poor wolf. If that didn’t turn me off nothing ever would.

      I love all of Jon’s goodbyes. I love the obvious love between him & Arya and him & Bran. And his farewells to Robb and Ned still cut me deep knowing that would be it for all 3 of them. 🙁

      I remember being surprised that the episode didn’t pick up immediately after Bran’s fall. I was expecting to see commotion in the courtyard as his body was discovered and was thrown for a loop when the first we see of Winterfell again is the Lannisters talking about Bran, indicating a time jump. Right then I knew GoT was a totally different beast and I better keep up because there would be no hand holding.

      Cersei’s smug insistence that a direwolf must be killed cemented my hate for her. She can never ever suffer enough in my eyes.

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    4. Ginevra: You know what would be awesome? If Wylla was a family childhood nickname for Lyanna that Robert didn’t know about.

      Heh, except that we run into someone who knew Wyalla in the books. (I think that it was some Dayne who had Wyalla as a wet-nurse: which, of course, “confirmed” that Jon was Ashara’s son!)

      My “sad but true” Episode 2 moment involved this. When Ned tells Jon that they will have a long talk about Jon’s mother the next time that they meet, a little lightbulb went off in the back of my head. I suddenly blurted out something like: “Wait! Isn’t Jon Ned’s nephew, not his son!?!?!” My wife stared at me and replied with something like: “Crap! I had forgotten that. [pause] Wait: did we ever actually read that? Or is it in the books that came out after I quit reading the books?” (She had read the first few chapters of Crows and tossed it aside in disgust, and she only knew that I was ordering the subsequent books: I hadn’t told her that there were no subsequent books!) I had to look it up online and was again both amused and unamused to learn that, no, 15 years later and GRRM still had not published who Jon’s mother was! (I did manage to slog through Crows, but I could not remember if we’d learned the answer there.)

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    5. Fancy word for a sellsword: I believe this episode also contains the one and only reference to Theon’s ‘uncles’ in the show to date.

      And that is important, because we all know that the viewers have been waiting on the edge of their seats to find out more about Theon’s uncles ever since this episode! 😉

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    6. It’s odd to think that Jon and Arya only had one scene together on the show. It’s a fantastic scene, mind you, one that people remember, so that helps. In one of the early drafts of the pilot script floating around their interactions in Arya’s first AGOT chapter were retained, but that got dropped in revisions.

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    7. This makes me realize Jon and Sansa never had a scene together.

      Hope Jaime enjoys that hand while it lasts :P. Loved the foreshadowing there.

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    8. When I watch The Kingsroad these days, amongst all the great scenes between characters, I can’t help but wonder about the significance and the foreshadowing in the interaction between Jaime and Jon.

      That handshake between them (with Jaime’s now missing hand) and the way Jaime belittled Jon, the Night’s Watch and their duty to protect the realm.

      Surely they are destined to meet again on a more even footing, or even with their roles reversed.

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    9. #BeautifulDeath pictures only for the eventual dead characters. Stannis got a #BD picture after S05E10. His death was confirmed right after that episode.

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    10. Jon Snow’s Curling Iron,

      Sansa has never interacted with any of her brothers, books or show. In Arya’s case, only Jon (cut down somewhat in the show). Neither of the girls interacts with their mother in the books either, which GRRM has, I believe, said he regrets (the show invented two quick bits between Catelyn and Sansa in the pilot to give her some lines; Arya is still out of luck in both media).

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    11. I got into Game of Thrones when season 3 was about midway through. I had heard people talk about it and seen some videos, but I had limited knowledge. All I knew was that it was supposedly very violent, Sean Bean’s character died, Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, and Tonks from Harry Potter were in it, there was a young king named Joffrey who everyone hated, and that Dinklage’s character had a sister who hated him.

      Eventually, I decided to check it out… and was hooked the second Jaime pushed Bran from the window. Now, I cant get enough of it. I remember when I actually caught up with the show, I was horrified – “I’m going to have to wait a whole week to see more?!” 😛

      I started reading the books after episode 6 or 7 of season 4 had aired (got them for my birthday), and it took me about 2 weeks to get through them all.

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    12. That music when Jon and Arya said goodbye killed me when they reused it for Jon’s stabbing. I want very few things from this series, but to see the two of them reunited is at the top of my list.

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    13. Ah, and so my screen name came to be. Had I been more clever, I would have simply went with ‘Impslap’, but the ink was already dry(not really).

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    14. My most enduring memory of “The Kingsroad” during its initial airing is just how angry non-book readers were when Ned killed Lady. People were piiiiiiiiiiiisssssssseeeeeed off when that happened – far more so than they were at the Hound riding down Mycah. This, of course, speaks to a timeless truth about movies and television: you can kill as many people as you want in as bloody fashion as you like … but if you kill the dog, there will be blood in the streets and hell to pay.

      That incident was the first time I remember people making angry proclamations in comment sections that “I’m never watching this show again!” That bold and predictable pattern of people screaming their defiant intentions into the Internet void (and then promptly tuning in the next week) continues to this very day.

      Some time ago, I made a personal ranking every Game of Thrones episode from 1 to 50. Somehow, “The Kingsroad” wound up as my lowest-ranked episode from Season 1 (something had to be, obviously) and one of the lowest of the series. That wasn’t because I disliked it (quite the contrary – I love every episode of this wonderful show), but it is a slower episode from early in the season. Maybe that’s why it didn’t quite stand out as much in my memory.

      Rewatching the episode recently, however, I was reminded of just how many great scenes it contains. Jon presenting Arya with Needle. Cersei telling Catelyn about losing her first son, utilizing her genuine pain to mask her true intentions. Ned telling Jon that he has his blood and promising Jon they’ll talk about his mother when he returns. Ned and Robert in the field, reminiscing about the Rebellion and its consequences. Catelyn fending off the assassin until Summer can tear out his throat. And then there’s the final scene, which is relatively subdued, but powerful – one of the first signs that magic might be alive south of the Wall.

      Early-season installments of GOT tend to bear the burden of exposition and set-up, resulting in a slower pace. But “The Kingsroad” bears that burden well, and features some sublime character work to boot.

      “The Kingsroad” also gave us two of the most enduring memes from the first season. One is the famous “Tyrion slaps Joffrey for 10 minutes” video that’s linked in the post above. The other is the famous call-and-response of ASOIAF fans, one that got quoted so often it may have burned out its welcome.

      “It is known.”
      “It is known!”

      Whatever happened to Jhiqui, anyway? 😉

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    15. I miss the direwolves. It was so sad when Arya threw rocks at Nymeria to make her leave, and as for Lady…., poor Lady.

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    16. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      When I watch The Kingsroad these days, amongst all the great scenes between characters, I can’t help but wonder about the significance and the foreshadowing in the interaction between Jaime and Jon.

      That handshake between them (with Jaime’s now missing hand) and the way Jaime belittled Jon, the Night’s Watch and their duty to protect the realm.

      Surely they are destined to meet again on a more even footing, or even with their roles reversed.

      Yeah, I’ve got the same feeling about Jaime & Jon crossing paths again. I don’t remember a scene like that in the book. I’ve fanwanked it that Jaime’s mocking of Jon and the Night’s Watch was put in there so that it’ll mean something when they eventually fight together against the WW.

      Akash Singh:
      That music when Jon and Arya said goodbye killed me when they reused it for Jon’s stabbing. I want very few things from this series, but to see the two of them reunited is at the top of my list.

      I want a lot of things from the series, and a Jon & Arya reunion is in my top 3. I didn’t endure reading all those countless “Arya missed Jon most of all”, and “Jon wished he could muss up her hair again”, and how they longed to “finish each other’s sentences” to not get a damn sappy tear-filled reunion. I don’t expect them to stay happily reunited but I do demand a reunion.

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    17. Well, this memory lane thing works as a countdown for the premiere. It’s all right. Appreciate the effort, Sue the Fury.

      (Still could watch a … you know.. trailer! HBO?)

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    18. Jared,

      I remember discussing Game of Thrones with my friend and she said the reason she never got into it was that “that bitch got the wolf killed” and I reminded her of Bran being chucked out the window but the wolf bothered her more. Odd…! I am not much of animal person so maybe just don’t get it!

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    19. Jared: just how angry non-book readers were when Ned killed Lady. People were piiiiiiiiiiiisssssssseeeeeed off when that happened – far more so than they were at the Hound riding down Mycah.

      *raises hand*
      I was included in that group. Visually, it had quite an impact even though I knew it was coming. Poor honorable Ned did what was expected of him …killing his daughter’s innocent “pet” … rather than simply “getting rid” of Lady in a similar fashion that savvy Arya did with Nymeria.

      Furthermore, didn’t Ned know the parents of the butcher’s boy well and share their anger and grief? Wtf, Ned? You’re the fucking Hand!

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    20. Aryamad,

      That has to be one of the greatest GoT videos I’ve ever seen (I happen to be a huge Zeppelin fan, so, of course, the choice of music doesn’t hurt).

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    21. Is NiceQueenCersei their official #GoT50 ambassador? They keep promoting her in Twitter, but her bio says she isn’t affiliated with HBO.

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    22. The first year GoT came out I was visiting friends out of town and they were watching the show. At first I was like wtf? It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen but was really intrigued. I think I had watched maybe two or three of the shows. Then my son was killed in a car accident and I kinda lost all interest in TV and life for that matter. It took me four years to even care about what was on TV again and GoT was ending it’s 5th season. I decided to swith to Direct TV and part of the package gave me HBO and of course GOT was first thing I decided to get reacquainted with. Needless to say that I was hooked and binged watched the first 5 seasons in 2 weeks. I still like the first show of S1 as my fav bc it was just so fantastical. Seeing the wall for the first time and getting that scared out of your shizit pants feeling when the WW decimated those two NW men. It was just the clincher for me. To me it just set up the series to be the most awesome TV series I have ever liked. I scoured the internet after watching all five seasons. Bought the first three books and am now just reading book four. (yes my reading has been slower than my watching). I love both books and the show and don’t give a hoot that they are separate entities.. that is for me what makes each piece of work unique and awesome. I love this site bc it has really helped us all get through the long dark winter…. and now our time is almost here. Im am super psyched. Thanks to WoTW so much for all the hard work and time you guys spend on this site to inform, entertain and educate. Sometimes the bickering on here gets annoying but most of the time I have loved coming here and participating. And thanks to all of you fans for making such great comments, rants, speculations, and conspiracy theories… it has been a great blast reading them all. How much longer do we have….. ??

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    23. Jack Bauer 24,

      Haven’t they all been hyping up this season? I don’t even want to get my hopes up about how well this season is going to be for fear of being disappointed. My only thought is how are they going to bring JS/JT back? There is no way on God’s green earth they can say that his character’s arc has been fulfilled.. and that he doesn’t hold some sort of key to this whole ending of the game.. I just don’t buy it.

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    24. Ice Spider,

      It feels incredibly trite to say I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, but nevertheless I am. I couldn’t even imagine. Thank you for telling your story.

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    25. BunBunStark,

      How can Jaime fight with his left hand? It was shown that he can’t beat even some random Dornish fighter and not to mention some mindless zombies running at him.

      I never shared this belief that they will meet at some point. It was put there to throw perspective on vows and what that means. Jaime basically told Jon: don’t do this kid, those pesky vows suck. Jaime is tied to Brienne and Cersei.

      So doubt these will ever meet and sadly same goes for Jon and Arya. Some character will simply never meet or be reunited.

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    26. Abyss,

      You definitely get a hazzaaa for the link! Seriously, I can watch this ten times over and still totally crack up the eleventh. It’s incredibly well done.

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    27. Jon Snow’s Curling Iron: foresha

      I never picked up on the foreshadowing till you mentioned it. Always felt that scene was kind of forced and one of the weaker ones in the first season. Must have been one of the ones that D & D had to write in when they realized the first season had come in short of time.

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    28. Knowing what’s to come it makes me sad realizing they’ll never see each other again. Ned and Jon’s goodbye breaks my heart every time. And omg the last scene… Ned and Lady ugh… The moment I started hating Cersei forever!! I still want her dead just for Lady’s sake.
      As great and amazing this series is, it’s definitely been depressing and heartbreaking many, many times too. I hope for some revenge to come. The Starks have suffered enough

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    29. r-hard: poster

      Robert Ball is just an artist contracted by HBO to do these Beautiful Death posters. I seriously doubt D & D or any producers consult with him about which characters to include / not include based on what is happening in the future. If Stannis were indeed still alive, I seriously doubt he would know about it.

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    30. Dame of Mercia,

      Thank you. I know now what it is like to be in the depths of hell while on this earth. I am thankfully getting to the point where I can live again. The pain is still there – it NEVER goes away but time has made me able to heal some and try to get back into this life. Your words are greatly appreciated.

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    31. Geralt of Rivia:
      BunBunStark,

      How can Jaime fight with his left hand? It was shown that he can’t beat even some random Dornish fighter and not to mention some mindless zombies running at him.

      I never shared this belief that they will meet at some point. It was put there to throw perspective on vows and what that means. Jaime basically told Jon: don’t do this kid, those pesky vows suck. Jaime is tied to Brienne and Cersei.

      So doubt these will ever meet and sadly same goes for Jon and Arya. Some character will simply never meet or be reunited.

      That scene with Jaime and Jon was written into the show- it was NOT in the books

      so the writers are known for bringing two characters together that otherwise hadn’t met in the book for the sake of their own storyline… so I wouldn’t agree altogether that they would never meet again. IMHO.. ijs

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    32. Rygar: Hootie?

      Hah! Hadn’t heard that version. I knew I wouldn’t get that B-side reference past you and NWQ. Fun rock trivia as my dog and I watch Vinyl.

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    33. Lena was probably doing ADR and saw footage then. I’ve seen other GoT actors mention doing ADR in the last couple weeks.

      Ravyn,

      They have literally taken one tweet of Lena’s and turned it into an entire article. Impressive. Good to know we aren’t the only ones hard up for news these days.

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    34. Sue the Fury:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      She’s a fan who roleplays as Cersei on her twitter. They’re having different fans livetweet episodes over the next 50 days. That’s the deal.

      Thanks for the info. Are they having one fan per season? NiceQueenCersei has done episodes 1 and 2 and she’s live tweeting episode 3.

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    35. Rygar,

      Cmon Ry. We all know you are more of an “in through the out door” guy. 🙂

      Here’s to The Song Remains the Same video. Does that qualify as an album? I stole it from blockbuster when I was 13.

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    36. lp: I’d like to give you serious props for this incredibly well disguised and clever, camouflaged bashing of the source material.

      I’m sorry: did I camouflage it? I’m losing my touch, then….

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    37. Sean C.,

      This scene made me a fan. After the pilot, there were so many characters and so many questions in the air, that I was not sure if I would continue to watch. Gave the second episode a try, and as soon as I saw Jon and Arya’s interaction I realized that I found who to care for: both of them.

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    38. Ice Spider: so I wouldn’t agree altogether that they would never meet again. IMHO..

      Even if the two characters in question never meet again, then that scene was important on its own. Not long before we had seen members of the Night Watch slaughtered by wights and White Walkers; now we learn that the idea that the Night Watch was defending the Realm from anything dangerous was laughable to at least some people. That “gun” has been rehung a few times since, but that scene stands out as the first time we saw it.

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    39. Sean C.:
      It’s odd to think that Jon and Arya only had one scene together on the show.It’s a fantastic scene, mind you, one that people remember, so that helps.In one of the early drafts of the pilot script floating around their interactions in Arya’s first AGOT chapter were retained, but that got dropped in revisions.

      This is my one grouse with the show. The relationship that these two share in the books is completely missing on the show. In fact, many of the casual fans I know were under the impression that it was Ned who had gifted Needle to Arya, forgetting that it was Jon. Of course, I realize that it’s easier to show this in the books as we have access to their thoughts and harder for the show to portray the relationship as there is no actual interaction between the two. Still I wish they find a way to show us the bond that the two share.

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    40. Im remembering the Jon/Tyrion scene in the woods on way to the Wall. Enjoyed the few scenes they had together. In that one, Jon is still a naive boy and Tyrion is educating him on what he’s really about to get himself into. Whats the line he said? “Everything looks better with a little whisky in the belly.” That scene was when i started liking him.

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    41. Definitely an episode that gets better in retrospect. I remember when I first watched the first season, I thought after a flying start, the show sagged a bit in 102 and 103 before picking up in 104 and having me utterly hooked from 105 onwards.

      Obviously that’s due to all the necessary exposition and character introductions, but now I love re-watching these episodes in the knowledge of what is to come. They have some of the finest ‘quiet moments’. I will be interested to see the initial responses to 103 as that was the weakest of the series in my mind on first watch.

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    42. I think one of the reasons Cersei wanted to kill Sansa’s wolf was because she thought she was “the younger and more beautiful queen who will cast her down and take everything she holds dear”.

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    43. Ice Spider,

      I know.

      Maybe they just invented it for this purpose and that was vows. Jaime knew about them a lot more than Jon at that time and was mocking him for throwing away his life for something he knows, it sucks. I just can’t see how they can meet in the future since Jaime is tied with Brienne and most of all Cersei. Jon future after his resurrection is with White Walkers and I don’t think Jaime or Cersei will play a role in war against them. Consider the fact that Jaime could be Valonqar.

      r-hard,

      Why is that there is no poster for Myrcella, Myranda or Shireen?

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    44. Tywin of the Hill:

      I think one of the reasons Cersei wanted to kill Sansa’s wolf was because she thought she was “the younger and more beautiful queen who will cast her down and take everything she holds dear”.

      In Cersei’s mind, every young female in the world who crosses her path (with the exception of Myrcella) is out to get her.

      What stayed with me about 102 is the ending scenes – when Lady was killed, Bran woke up. Such great editing, really powerful.

      At the end of S1 when Miri Maz Duur told Dany “Only death pays for life” I remembered that ending in 102. I think Lady’s death was the sacrifice that brought Bran back from his coma.

      Perhaps at the end of the series, Bran might sacrifice himself to save Sansa? Or Sansa will save Bran a second time by sacrificing her life? And I wonder if Ghost will have a role in Jon’s resurrection after all.

      Of course, this is all just my opinion. 🙂

      Thank you for these memory lane posts, only 48 days to go. 🙂

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    45. Mihnea,
      112, i think.

      But there are two things that make me wish I had the gift of foresight this year: the potential of seeing this season unfold before anything momentous happens on the book front, and this year’s US presidential elections. Both give me an undue amount of anxiety, and I want them resolved. ?

      Well, maybe the primaries will be over soon (nb.: I don’t want to talk politics, I’m just noting the anxiety thing).

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    46. Flora Linden: In Cersei’s mind, every young female in the world who crosses her path (with the exception of Myrcella) is out to get her.

      heh, true. On a related no, during our annual rewatch, both my wife and our (female) friend who watches it with us both have noted that TV Cersei seems much more inconsistent than book. What we have concluded is that the problem stems from Book!Cersei basically being a classic Dunning–Kruger individual: she’s not just stupid, but she’s too stupid to recognize that there are lots (and lots) of people smarter than her. Show!Cersei does not seem to be anywhere near as dumb: for example, she seems able to recognize that her son is a sociopath (or however people in such a society would deem sociopaths: the concept obviously is anachronistic), and they have edited out some of her IQ nadirs. However, Show!Cersei still does a lot of the same things that Book!Cersei does.

      But that did lead us to debate: to what extent is Cersei a sociopath herself, and to what extent is she just a self-centered bitch? That is, is she incapable of empathy, or has she just been raised to lack it?

      I suspect that this will be relevant for her ending. Still, just in case you could not tell that Cersei is the Homecoming Queen from Hell in Episode 1, then this episode makes that abundantly clear.

      ghost of winterfell: Still I wish they find a way to show us the bond that the two share.

      Ah, but as you note, the book does it with their thoughts. This is the strength of books over film: books do not show things well, but we can read thoughts. Of course, a cinema maven would decry this as “lazy”: film & TV must find ways to show.

      That written, I am not sure how it could have been done on TV. It would just be weird and creepy for Jon to be talking about one little sister all of the time. (Of course, GRRM originally intended it to be weird and creepy.) It would seem like arbitrary non-sequitors for Arya to be talking about Jon too much. Moreover, the dialog would be cumbersome. In real speech, Arya would refer to “my brother” or “one of my brothers” without naming him: most of the people she knows don’t know her brothers, so specifying “Jon” would not mean much. That creates the Catch-22: if Arya keeps saying “My brother Jon” then the dialog sounds clunky; if she keeps saying “My brother,” then we do not know to which brother she is referring.

      But it also comes down to payoff. What is the point in emphasizing that Jon was Arya’s favorite sibling in Seasons 3 or 4? It never amounted to anything, and it is not as if the audience would remember that trivial detail when it finally paid off IF it finally pays off in Season 7 or 8.

      To that end, if the “Favorite Sibling” gun is going to be fired and not just an artifact of the original plot, then the time to re-hang that gun is the season in which it becomes important. Until then, it would not serve any purpose and might actually clutter the show.

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    47. Deesensfan:
      I already rewatched seasons 1 – 5.
      Ugh, I want to watch again!

      I’m in the middle of my yearly rewatch. Just started Season 3! While Season 2 is still fresh in my mind, I want to say that I feel it was unfairly maligned from a big chuck of fandom. Yes, it had its weak spots — Jon Snow’s storyline in particular, and Dany’s is also nothing special, though I found it adequate and fun to watch — but for the most part it was really, really good. King’s Landing, Renly/Stannis, Arya (and Jaqen, Yoren, Gendry, Tywin…), Theon/Winterfell were PHENOMENAL! Simply brilliant. When I take all this into perspective, I can’t think ill of the season. Is it weaker than S1? Yeah, a bit. But the gap isn’t all that large, truth be told. In the meantime, production values have skyrocketed and the show started to look breathtakingly good in S2. That has to count for something, right?

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    48. Geralt of Rivia:
      r-hard,

      Why is that there is no poster for Myrcella, Myranda or Shireen?

      It looks like there’s only one poster per episode, so obviously there is much competition in the final episode of the season: Myrcella, Myranda, Meryn Trant, Stannis, and Jon – among other minor characters. Wow, it must have sucked to have a name that started with an M followed closely by a Y in that episode!

      You’d think that each time they’d go with the most controversial or most poignant death, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps the artist chooses the one he’s most inspired by.

      I’m not surprised they skipped Myrcella or Myranda in favor of Stannis, but Jon? It seems that he may have skipped Jon since Jon’s story is not finished, despite his death. Or maybe not.

      Why not pick Shireen for Episode 9? Is the Episode 9 poster of Hizdar zo Loraq’s death or some unnamed Harpy? Either way, that death has nowhere near the power of Shireen’s. Shireen was a golden opportunity. Think of how powerful that poster could have been.

      P.S. There is also a small reason to speculate that we’ve not seen the last of Myrcella.

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    49. Ginevra:

      Why not pick Shireen for Episode 9?Is the Episode 9 poster of Hizdar zo Loraq’s death or some unnamed Harpy?Either way, that death has nowhere near the power of Shireen’s.Shireen was a golden opportunity.Think of how powerful that poster could have been.

      At a guess, I would say it’s because Daznak’s Pit is supposed to be the big moment of the episode, which whoever is in change of poster designs wanted to convey in the poster. But I agree with you, I think a poster with Shireen would have been haunting. Although, wasn’t she represented by a doe in Stannis’ poster?

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    50. Name *,

      Perhaps she is in Stannis’s poster. And perhaps two Baratheon posters in a row seemed too much. But still. Of the entire season, her death hit me the most. Maybe the Stanninites feel differently.

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    51. Mr Fixit,

      Ah so lucky.

      Oh and I totally agree. I felt the same when I did the season 2 rewatch, and I appreciated it so much more than ever. Much like season 5 (I loved it), there is a lot of dialogue scenes that I just loved, many of the ones you mentioned.

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    52. Ser Creighton Longbough: Damn, she could have been a perfect Val, or similar… So much potential

      Yeah, many were wondering about that when her casting was announced. Although she was wonderful (and WotW award-winning!) as Karsi, I initially hoped she would escape with Jon & Co from Hardhome and accompany them back to CB as the next strong wildling woman. But with the Thenns as crazy cannibals and with Tormund hanging around CB, there wasn’t really a need for Val. 🙁

      For some reason, I found her daunting, off-page journey to retrieve Tormund and his wildling support for Jon quite fascinating, almost heroic.

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    53. Ice Spider,

      Well I’m not a parent and won’t be now but in my working life some of the typing I’ve done has been of the aftermath of road traffic accidents. I was involved in an accident myself (I thought a car driver had waved me on to cross [on foot] and he hadn’t) but fortunately he was only going 5 mph so no real harm was done. My late mother was involved in a train accident and when she saw a boy caught under a carriage and thought it was my brother – and then her first reaction realising it was not him was ‘TG it’s not my son’ and then her next reaction was ‘But it’s another woman’s son’. The boy survived (he was a tough little lad) albeit he lost part of his arm. I am glad that you have managed to come out of the darkness of your terrible experience.

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    54. Mr Fixit,

      Yes, Tyrion’s plotline as Hand and strategizing the Blackwater Battle is one of my favorite pieces of the continuing story. Loved how it was portrayed in S2 – thought Dinklage was brilliant!

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    55. Guess I’m a veteran….

      Started reading the books in…2003-2004 I believe, can’t remember right.
      Then AFFC happened and I preaty much lost interest in the series. Especially when ADWD 2006! slowly turned into 2007, then 2008…etc.

      Found about GOT just couple of weeks before S1 started, read something on the internet or perhaps saw a teaser on HBO, I honestly can’t remember correctly..

      After S1 finished, witch I loved mostly due too Sean Bean and Mark Addy, I decided too buy ADWD, giving the series another chance.
      It wasn’t AFFC level of bad, but there was nothing in it, that made me love the first 3 books.

      Even taught of giving up on the show. Especially after reading ADWD. I just didn’t want to be let down again. But after S3, when I started thinking they will make some cuts and changes, I decided too keep watching. Witch is one of my best decisions.

      After cutting LSH, witch made me excited again, came Tysha’s omission, witch convinced me too continue watching, confident that the writers where doing, for me at least, a very good job.

      EDIT:LOL! Didn’t saw this is the EP2 thread… Oh well.. Not writting all of it again. 😛

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    56. Deesensfan:
      Mr Fixit,

      Ah so lucky.

      Oh and I totally agree. I felt the same when I did the season 2 rewatch, and I appreciated it so much more than ever. Much like season 5 (I loved it), there is a lot of dialogue scenes that I just loved, many of the ones you mentioned.

      Same. I’m currently at the end of Season 4 of my rewatch and I really enjoyed Season 2.

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    57. Ice Spider,

      *tears* It is unspeakable when someone loses a child. There will be light again and yes, there is no forgetting. You do have friends like us here, though. And we have our beloved GoT’s to share. I send you some belated {{hugs}} for your loss.

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    58. It was kind of rich for Tyrion to react that way right after he, himself, crawled out of the kennels with the dogs. I suppose that’s why he did it – he was probably humiliated.

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    59. Excellent idea… I’m going to try and get caught up tonight then re-watch with your countdown. 🙂

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    60. Wimsey,
      The line that stood out to me in the scene about the NW vows was (paraphrasing because I left my notes at home) Jaime joking that it was not so bad because “It is only until you’re dead!”

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    61. Lonely Cat,

      I love that you took notes!

      Sue the Fury,

      Thanks. I still wonder why HBO decided not Shireen, although they might even be more concerned about avoiding multiple Baratheon posters in a row and about giving Stannis the higher priority.

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    62. Big Mac,

      I started reading the books after episode 6 or 7 of season 4 had aired (got them for my birthday), and it took me about 2 weeks to get through them all.

      That’s impressive.

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    63. Ginevra,

      Thanks for your reply. I blew Jaime’s line. It was, “It’s only for life!” I am treating the re-watch as an exercise in finding all of the show clues to Jon’s origins and fate. I used blue post-it notes in my books!!!

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    64. Ice Spider,

      I have just read your post and I hope it’s not too late to express my condolences for your loss. I don’t have children, so I’ll never know how a mother feels for her child, but I firmly believe that good thoughts and heartfelt words can help, even if only for a second. I am glad that you have rediscovered the pleasure to enjoy beautiful things, real art must have the power to eleviate pain. May the Old Gods and the New protect you!

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    65. Lonely Cat,

      Wow. Colored Post-Its. I don’t think I can compete with that. I did take notes on yesterday’s episode, and I hope to today, as well. We’ll see. But I didn’t colorcode anything. And I never take physical notes: I’m much more of a digital girl. I do often search through the digital books – goodness, I love Kindle for researching – and the digital transcripts for the first five seasons.

      When I reread the books, which probably needs to wait until May, I hope to colorcode with the Kindle highlighter for various theories, but I wouldn’t be able to find a unique color for each theory.

        Quote  Reply

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