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I-I have so many feelings about Game of Thrones, and I can't talk about most of them because they're spoilers. ;A; FFFFFUUUUUU--

--Okay. Okay. So. As spoilerless for the books as humanly possible.

I loved the first episode last week, but my reaction was actually more like 8Da/8Db than the \o/!!!!! I was hoping for. But I was a-okay with that, because it was the pilot - awesomely faithful to the book as it was, magnificent gutpunch ending as it had, it did have to introduce a crap-ton of characters and quickly sketch out their relationships with each other and try to set up some of the backstory and history of the world all in an hour, which was inevitably going to be some degree of clunky. I thought they did a great job with what they had to accomplish, though.

Anyway, as someone who's read and obsessed over the books, I also spent a lot of that first hour kind of going 'hmmmm' and just adjusting to the characters as they're portrayed on screen rather than the mental picture I've had of them all for almost a decade. I think the casting is utterly fantastic on all counts - I'm kind of astonished and delighted by how good everyone is, really – but I was still preoccupied by the 'transition' of the world and its people from the misty depths of my imagination to the 'real-life' vision...

NOT SO WITH EPISODE 2. ♥__♥ I've pretty well adjusted, and now that HBO has laid out where the characters are at the beginning of the story, it can start to play with them, and ugh, ugh, I'm just disgusted by how good it was. The plot is only just starting to shift - people who've been excited by what's happened so far have no idea how real it's going to get – so what I mostly loved so hard about this hour was that they took their time with all the gorgeous character moments, really did them justice. I mean, the beginning with the goodbyes, and all the conversations—okay, I was trying to avoid the urge to comment on each scene individually, but I am losing that fight because god, the actors killed it, I was just. In awe.

>.> Brb watching the episode again for commentary purposes, will pause periodically to type like a madwoman.

Can I just say how hardcore I love the opening credits? This song has been stuck in my head all week, I swear, and watching it again more closely on my computer, my head just explodes with the awesome that is all the mythology woven in. The embossed rings around the sun depicting the history of the Seven Kingdoms, three different scenes in three different close-ups: the dragon conquering Westeros; the stag, the direwolf, and the lion rising up and savaging the dragon; then finally all of the other sigil animals bowing their heads before the crowned stag, ♥alksjdfklsjdf♥

“In the Shadowlands beyond Asshai, they say there are fields of ghostgrass with stalks as pale as milk that glow in the night, that murders all other grass. The Dothraki believe that one day it will cover everything, and that's the way the world will end.” Goddamn, I love that they kept that in there; an interesting cultural tidbit about the Dothraki, and it's just hella cool world and atmosphere building. This world and its peoples have unique legends, unique prophecies.

On that note, I'm surprised by how much I'm liking Ser Jorah Mormont in the show; that's not to say I didn't find him fascinating in the books, because I did, but weirdly I think he's one of the few characters I didn't have a solid mental image for, so when – what's his name, the guy who's playing him - Iain Glen brought him to life, he really kind of...brought him to life for me. :D I'm like, oh shit, so that's Ser Jorah, wowww he's going to be awesome \o/!

Poor Dany, not used to riding all day every day... >_> Or being ridden. I've seen a lot of reactions to Dany's portrayal in the show, both by newcomers to the series and book veterans. (I'm not even going to go into the Dothraki racism thing.) Some things I agree with, others I don't. Dany herself is one of my favorite characters in the whole shebang, so I'm not inclined to give the time of day to people who don't like her, but I have been keeping up with concerns. The way Dany and Drogo's wedding night was changed was somewhat problematic, the depth we lose from not being in her POV and seeing all of her impressions of the culture and adjustments and her internal life that made her viewpoint chapters fascinating, okay, I can see all that. But honestly, it hasn't bugged me, and I still love her and her segments. I think Emilia Clarke is doing a wonderful job bringing her character facets to life without excessive exposition. In the first episode, when so many people were like 'blah, cardboard cutout, can't act, boring, exploitative of women, blah blah' - um, that was excellent acting of a young girl rendered helpless and passive through circumstances, thrown into a situation utterly out of her depth and used by everyone around her, kthx. She was nearly a child, and a victim, and it's fucking awful. Awful things happen in Game of Thrones. The sex scenes before Dany asserts herself are harsh, not titillating.

And now in this episode, I've seen both reactions: 'blah, nothing's happening, blah, everything with this character revolves around sex, blah blah offensive blah,' and on the other hand '8D character development through porn! Awesome, fucking right!' I'm sure you can guess which camp I fall into. >> Which is to say, the sex isn't there to be sexy, it is plot. Dany has so few avenues to power in her situation, I love that we get to see her just make a decision to not be passive, it's one step on the road of her ultimate journey – HBIC, BE MY QUEEN - and even if in this ep it's just the beginning (hurr hurr talking her husband into a different sexual position, victoli, whatever), the trajectory is clear and by all accounts her character arc in the show gets awesome in short order. As it should, and I'm happy with it. :)a

Moving on. TYRION WITH THE TRIPLE BITCHSLAP FTW. \o/ \o/ \o/ Teach that repulsive nephew some manners, hells yeah. Also, the Hound's burn scars are a lot more extensive than they looked in the promo pics; I'm pleased, I didn't like the idea of them being toned down.

“Well, even if the boy lives he'd be a cripple, a grotesque. Give me a good, clean death any day.”
“Speaking for the grotesques, I'd have to disagree. Death is so final, while life, ah, life is full of possibilities. I hope the boy does wake – I'd be very interested to hear what he has to say.”
“...My dear brother. There are times when you make me wonder whose side you're on.”
My dear brother, you wound me. You know how much I love my family.”

God, this whole Lannister conversation is lifted nearly verbatim from the books – I LOVE IT. Everyone is so perfect in this scene, wow, the undercurrents. Cersei's disdain for her vulgar dwarf brother, the innocent children, Cersei and Jaime's Look, Tyrion's ambiguity and great lines.

Cersei and Catelyn's conversation...I don't think this was in the books, actually, but it slots in seamlessly. What a wonderful little scene; sometimes I can't help but step back and say damn woman, you're evil but you sure do have cajones. I mean, when you and your twin put that adorable kid in that bed and possibly crippled him for life, when you obviously still want him dead, you have the balls to stand there and sell this sobstory to his grieving mother. Just. Wow, woman. I don't even care if it's true or not (3+ years since I last re-read the books, I just don't remember), although I think it's probably some truth shaded with lies to serve her own ends, because that's how Cersei operates.

Jaime and Jon in the courtyard, FFFFF FANFIC OF MY DREAMS. *__* Another bit that wasn't in the book, but holy god I wish it was, that's how perfect it was. Oh Jon, stubbornly clinging to the honor in the old stories, because if a Stark bastard wants to make something of himself, what else can he cling to and remain true to the Stark ideals? And oh Jaime, you're such a horrible ass; but tell us how you really feel about inexperienced boys swearing oaths about honor and signing the rest of their lives away when they have no idea what they're getting into...?

I was fangasming pretty hard over that segment, ngl. Part of it is that, of everyone in the series, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister is the only one I haven't had to make the slightest mental adjustment for. It's like he wandered onto the screen right out of my head, he's so perfect in every nuance. I'm a bit gape-jawed to be honest, and I cannot wait to see if keeps it up and plays everything later just as well. In the meantime it's unspeakable fun to see the new fanbase reacting to everything for the first time, knowing what will come later...

Jon, Arya, Nymeria, Needle, slkjdfls ♥♥♥ I seriously want to keyboard smash over this entire scene. Sibliiiings ;A; They are so cute together, god, and they just nailed it. I've still been just a bit sad that they didn't tweak the Stark family's coloring to match the books more closely - the fact that Jon and Arya are the only two kids with Ned's dark Stark features (pure North blood coming through) while Robb, Sansa, Bran, and Rickon are reddish-brunnette and fair and resemble the Tullys of the South through their mother – I think it's a neat detail that both underpins a possible plotpoint, and illuminates some character points, such as Jon and Arya's close bond, and the fact that Catelyn can't seem to give Ned a trueborn son that looks like him while his bastard is his spitting image in both form and personality grates at her and makes her hate Jon Snow even more. ...Plus, seeing Ned with light brown hair is still just weird, and also it makes him look like Boromir. 8|a

...Speaking of Catelyn resenting Jon. Wow, the scene with Bran. >_< Okay, so honestly, Cat is a really strong, interesting character, she's got a lot of depth and makes mistakes but she's consistent in her values and she's pretty admirable, really; I've read a lot of analyses of her and her behavior, bastard son raised alongside the trueborn kids is pretty outrageous for the times, and it's all perfectly understandable. Badass mama bear is fairly likeable to me in the early books, actually, in all her flaws.

...Except I still want to flip a table whenever she's mean to Jon. D8< SCREW U WOMAN, JON'S MAH BOI, LOOKIT DEM WOUNDED PUPPY EYES - IMMA CUT YOU FOR HURTING HIM. I...may be a little irrational when it comes to Jon Snow. @__@ He loves your family, would've loved you if you ever gave him the chance, he'd die for his siblings, he is awesome and none if it means anything to you because he's your husband's infidelity flaunted in your face every day for seventeen years, he's a threat, he's not your son. Aaaargh, I get it, I get it, it makes sense, I don't hate her for it at all, but FFFFF Jon Snow is closest to my heart, okay?! orz

Awww, Jon and Robb. ;^; They're such good brothers – I wish that we'd had the opportunity to see that more explicitly in the show before this farewell, but hopefully stuff later will highlight their bond. Manly heartfelt huggggss ♥♥♥

Ned and Jon parting ways - ;A; oh ffs, there's nothing I can say here. “You might not have my name, but you have my blood.” Jon's not only a bastard, but he doesn't even know anything about his mother~~ Man, Ned got emotional there. Sean Bean ♥♥♥

I actually really really like this scene with Ned and Robert. One of my favorite in the episode, there's so much great character stuff here, but also a helluva lot of interesting backstory...More Ned being touchy about the subject of Jon's mother, this time icily touchy - “I swear, if I weren't your king you'd have hit me already.” “The worst the about your coronation...I'll never be able to hit you again.” And the ominous entrance of the Targaryens, yet again, into the awareness of those playing the Game of Thrones. So well acted, dammit, and so goddamn faithful to the books I just \o/ \o/ \o/

...Can I just quote this entire scene with Jon and Tyrion? Such an unexpected pair, but I've always loved their weird, tentative, prickly comradery, and this scene was wonderful for it.

HELLS YEAH TO THE ASSASSIN ATTACK. Perfectly played, Catelyn's a bamf momma, and SUMMER TO THE RESCUE, w00t!! So awesome, it's about time we saw more of the direwolf pups and their importance, because they're damn important. Summer ripping that guy's throat out, then hopping up on the bed to nuzzle his comatose boy with a bloody muzzle and then lie docile next to him...hahaha you better believe you don't want to mess with the Stark kids as long as they've got their protectors around. 8| And they still are puppies, though the Inuit dogs playing them by this point are full-grown, I think - I can't wait until they get to full monstrous size, I wonder how they're going to do handle that on the show?

...The last fifteen minutes. TT_TT I'm burning out on this review, but the last fifteen minutes was fantastic. Sansa's been raised by good, decent people to be a good, decent lady who believes in other people's decency, but she's very naive and she just doesn't want her fairytale ruined, that's all, and nothing goes the way she wants or expects – I think I hated her until the end of the first book. Should've backed up her sister, gdit. But oh, Lady. ;__; That wasn't called for at all. Of course she deserves better than a butcher. I was so sure that Ned wasn't going to kill her when I read the book, because Summer and Nymeria had just done their miracle save thing, how can you kill off one of the magical wolves? D8 BUT HE DID, aaaaagh, he had to, but. ;__; I think that's when I started viewing Robert with narrow eyes, too, because he let it happen. Queen Bitch Cersei and her spawn Joffrey were orchestrating it, but Robert is the king. He can have his sensible moments of 'dammit, kids fight, that's the end of it (and also my son is a snivelling little puke anyway, I want to side with Ned but my damn wife won't let me), but he caves, and his best friend has to execute his daughter's beloved, well-behaved pet and protector.

Arya, fierce little wolf, whose wolf is no longer with her, either. In hindsight, she should've just let Prince Prick cut Mycah's cheek, at least he would have lived instead of being hunted down like an animal, but of course she can't stand aside and not defend her friend. She's a Stark. And now both Stark girls are headed into the heart of the viper's nest in the treacherous South without their protectors – not so good. :(a

IN CONCLUSION, I'll be hopping into my time machine and skipping forward to next Sunday, mmkay? ♥_♥ See y'all later.
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