I'm both a book and TV show fan, I have read the books all to date and so am coming to the table with some foreknowledge. However the wonder of the show is not just that they are not just retelling the book instead they are putting their own stamp on events. As such watching the show has actually spoiled the book in certain plot lines. I will try my hardest not to spoil any future events but as far as I'm concerned events in this and past episodes are fair game.
Is this the day the show spoilt the book?
The ending of tonight's episode caused more than a few raised eyebrows among book readers. The taking of the Babies by the White Walkers has been established but what is done with them has never been revealed in the books.
This is mainly due to the way A Song of Ice and Fire is crafted, the story is told from a POV perspective meaning some of the story is told off page. With no witnesses to the Walkers actions we never knew until tonight what happens to the children who are taken.
Although this may may seem like a small point this change cements certain aspects of the coming story while breaking others.
For me there is now a divide between the Show and the Book, they are both headed for the same destination but look like they will taking different paths to get there. This is the genius of the show and I'm very happy to be going along for the ride.
It takes two to parley.
Grey Worm opens up tonight's episode in his bid to learn the common tongue with the help of the translator Missandei. Their relationship seems to be growing but to what end? It is however his entry into Meereen that really puts the captain of the Unsullied into the spotlight. His infiltration into the city is the spark for a slave revolt and in typical fashion a very quick siege is ended off screen. We are spared the brutality of the revolt but we do get to see justice being paid on the masters by Daenerys. I can see a problem for the Mother of Dragons as she is beginning to put her desire for justice in-front of her humanity. To be a leader you need to know when to fight and when to make peace. So far Dany has not yet reached this point but something tells me though that an awakening can not be far away.
The next meeting between Sansa and Little finger is perhaps one of the most revealing conversations in the whole of the Game of Thrones lore. It is however also one of the most infuriating. Together with Margaery's chat with the lady Olena the audience is spoon fed the way the Purple wedding played out. It is one thing to treat the audience with contempt but both Sansa and Margarey are shown to be pretty naive and this makes them both appear weaker. However of the two the Lady of High Garden has the most to lose, she has shown herself to be a great player in the Game of Thrones but comes off as something of a naive girl on the realisation that the Queen of Thorns was in fact Joffreys killer.
Later in the episode though she takes the lead from her Grandmother and seduces the young King Tommen. It may seem a little creepy with the older lady seducing a young boy but it works. You can see form the young man's face he is enthralled with the beauty that is within his grasp. It seems that everyone is desperate to win the King to their side, all except Cersei. With the death of Joffrey all she seems concerned with is taking revenge on her younger brother. The trouble is once she comes round to he senses she may find that the Game has moved on and left her behind.
The North will rise again.
In a series filled with disturbing images tonight was the first time that I actually felt really moved by a scene. Watching a newborn baby left in the snow naked except for a fur was harrowing television. I'm not sure if it was because I knew what was coming or because it was a defenceless child left in the wild to freeze.
The leaving of the baby is just one of the vile acts of the mutineers at Crastor's keep, from rape to torture it seems once a villain always a villain. But is justice coming in the form of a party from the wall headed by Snow?
Jon though has a problem that he does not yet understand in the form of Locke. A soldier of the Bolton's he has been tasked with disposing of Lord Snow and now he seems to have the perfect opportunity to fulfil his duty.
Knowing the way the game is played I'm pretty sure they will.
Images courtesy of BSkyB