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Game of Thrones Review: "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things"

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Finally, an episode where we begin to see the direwolves, and understand their kinship with the Stark children. We actually saw Summer with Bran, Grey Wind with Robb and Ghost, in good form, with Jon. Please let there be more to come!

Jon came into this own during "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things", and we can imagine what an extraordinary man he will be. Is there anything more endearing than knowing he wouldn't pass his bastard-hood on by having sex without marriage?

Samwell Tarly Picture

Between that and his burgeoning friendship with Sam, he makes it seem quite honorable to be a bastard. A theme of Game of Thrones seems to be outcasts finding each other and joining in friendship. I like it. 

As if I needed something else to make Tyrion engaging, he had special plans drawn up for Bran so he could ride a saddle again.

I'm curious, do any of you dislike Tyrion? I know he was always a favorite among readers of the books, but I am wondering if he is carrying the same weight on the screen. To me, he is. Even when he tries to mean, you can feel the heart inside of him.

Ned Stark, Arya and Sansa have made no friends since they arrived at King's Landing. Can Lord Stark delving into the death of former Hand Jon Arryn really be a good idea? If Arryn was murdered, as the news came from Catelyn's sister, it seemed foolish for Ned to be so forthright in asking questions. Even when the men he asked were supposed to hold allegiance to him.

Ned found one of Robert's bastard sons. He welcomed his own bastard into his home, and it made me smile to hear him make a similar offer to Robert's to join the King's army.
King Robert Picture

Does Robert know he has bastards, or have his people kept it from him? We haven't learned enough about his character to know how he treats anyone in his family, and scenes between them have been few and far between. The actor who portrayed Robert's bastard looked very familiar, but I was unable to find any information on him. Anyone?

Daenerys is growing so strong. I would like nothing more than to see her take out Viserys. It took a lot for her to tell Jorah that she knew Viserys would never lead an army, let alone lead them home.

I hope we're treated to an episode where her point of view is more up front than secondary. Emilia Clarke (as so many of the actors in the series) has brought Daenerys alive, and she deserves more scenes in which to shine.

Although there has never been any indication other than his similarity in personality to Prince Joffrey, I was left wondering whether Viserys might me soft in the head. That one person could be so vain and assuming is hard enough to believe, but that two are so similar is just eerie.

If they met, Joffrey and Viserys would either be the best of friends or rip each others heads off in an attempt keep their rightful place as the most annoying creature on the planet.

While this week's title had more meaning within the episode, if it had been titled "Lord Snow" as was last week's it would have also been fitting. I'm finding that an hour just isn't enough each week and wish they had taken the approach of the recent "Mildred Pierce."

All in all, the pacing was much better in this episode. It seemed they tried to focus of fewer points of view, so I have hope the series will continue to grow in this direction. It makes it much easier to get really involved during the hour when you can focus on fewer stories.

I felt this was the most solid episode to date, as we have come to know most of the major players. The less introductions, the better. It's time to settle in on what happens between the characters. What are your thoughts after the latest airing? Sound off in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Madhuresh: I dare say I am completely lovable. Piecar: While I understand your point of view. BE PATIENT. Are we so bloodthirsty that we can't sit back and watch this mind blowing game of chess? Not every moment needs to be action packed for it to be entertaining. And I'm not saying that's what you want. But... SPOILERS EP 1-4 I think incest, forced marriage, attempted murder, wolf rippings of throats, wolf euthanasia, death by jousting, gang bangs, and Tyrion in general is PLENTY to make up for all the talking. But, all the talking is what got me hooked in the first place.

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@piecar - Trust me, this series is full of action. I've never read anything with such a high main-character body count. And you'll be happy to know that people start killing people next episode.
And let us not forget: regal incest, two attempts at infanticide, several savagings by wolves, the bitch-slapping of princes, and the realization that the main character's best friend is just about the worst king ever. And this is the part of the story that's all about court intrigue.
It'll curl your toes. Trust me.

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I love you Annabella.

Piecar

Hey, does anyone ever DO anything in the books? There has been nothing but talking for four episodes now. Is the book series just a soap opera with swords like this is? I mean, we are given a purported Warrior King, and the most violent thing he's done is to enjoy doggystyle a little too much. There's a ton of talk about this battle and that battle, but no battles. It really seems like a political thriller with bucklers and corsets. Now, don't get me wrong. I like a lot of the characters here. Ned is my go-to upstanding Kentish type. Roguish Tyrion is played to perfection by Pete Dinklage (he's just killin' the role! Liked him since The Station Agent). And it's not that I don't like me a little intrigue, but this is shmaltzy so far. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Spartacus series, intrigue but people DOING something.

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I am a huge fan of HBO shows so I saw the Ads for this particular one and being a huge fantasy nerd, I decided to give it a shot. Ho, man am I glad I did. After the first episode I ran out and got the book and I have been reading along with watching. I had never even heard of this series before and I am completely hooked. So, being new to the series I can give my first impressions.
My favorites. Jon Snow: Lovable, kind, and somewhat tortured. He lets himself go every once and a while and can be happy. but, I feel him tugging at my heartstrings quite often. (can one be in love with a fictional character? meh who cares :P )
Tyrion: While I LOVE his snarky comments (and the unceremonious bitch slapping of Joffery)I find myself unwilling to trust him completely. I know how horribly he was treated and that he SEEMS to be siding with the Starks over his... ahem... "family" but I still am reserving judgment on his loyalties.
Arya: Spitfire, strong, and smart. She reminds me most of myself.
And my FAVORITE above all else is dear Dany. I just love her. there is nothing else I can say. She is growing right before our eyes and I fear that she will be a formidable opponent when she does return to Westeros (which I believe she will eventually) The fact that she may be against the Starks tears me apart. WHY do i have to like her so much?! Overall I'm becoming addicted. I pray for happy endings but I do believe that Winter is Coming and that things will only get harder for these wonderfully vivid characters.

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Re: "I was left wondering whether Viserys might me soft in the head" I don't think this is a spoiler, as I think the show has given us enough info to know this at this point, but Viserys is the product of a long history of inbreeding amongst the Targaryens. His father was "the mad king," after all. Possible Spoiler: In the books someone (possibly Master Aemon) indicates that the Targaryen line at this point produces equal parts exceptional men/women (Rhaegar, Dany) and captains crazypants (Aerys, Viserys).

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I'm a viewer who has never read the books and Tyrion, along with Jon Snow and Ayra, is my favourite character. Peter Dinklage is fantastic. From what I've read, he's coming across so strongly, he's considered the series' best hope for an Emmy nod.

Hochberger

@Brittanie - The book series is "A Song of Fire and Ice" by George R. R. Martin. The first book is "A Game of Thrones."

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Tyrion has come across as a nice guy in a horrible family and he gets his good deeds in under the radar. I was bummed to find out that he seems to be framed with the dagger storyline. I really hope the Mother Stark comes around cause i really do like his storyline. I have not read the books(would like to) and have not missed an episode.

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Are the books titled the same as the show? I have not missed any of the episodes and would like to get more "intouch" with the story line.

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