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Game of Thrones Round Table: "You Win or You Die"

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If you read our Game of Thrones critic's review this week, you know Carissa loved the episode and its ridiculous character development.  But how did our other Round Table panelists, Jim and myself feel? 

Well that's up for you to decide after reading our answers to such important questions as Ser Barristan's loyalties and the introduction of the Direwolf score.

1. Favorite Game of Thrones quotes from the episode?

Jim G: "I warned you not to trust me" With that one sentence Little Finger changed the board that the Game of Thrones is being played on.

Carissa P:  I have to agree with Jim''s choice. Never trust a man named Littlefinger, especially when he was in love with your wife!

Eric H: Without my boy Tyrion, I so want to agree with the closing quote by Littlefinger.  But to give us a little variety, I'll give it up to Samwell's unintentionally hilarious response to Jon, "I always wanted to be a wizard.."

Game of Thrones Round Table

2. Do you feel Robert's death was sped-through as if it was a road-bump and not the game changing event it is shaping up to be?

Carissa P: It seemed such a non event. Between that and the Stark children being so seriously underdeveloped, I think we really needed a longer season to get it right.

Jim G: I was disappointed with how "off camera" it all happened. We barely got to see Robert when he was hurt and all he wanted to talk about was the giant boar that killed him. Talk about giant bores!

Eric H: I felt Robert's death was handled just the same as it was in the book.  Early and mostly "off camera."  In fact, be glad they even showed us the hunting party we weren't privy to in the pages.

3. If you were Ned Stark, would you have taken Little Finger's or Renly's council of how to deal with becoming "Protector of the Realm?"

Carissa P: I  wish I could say yes, but honor and integrity are all I have. I would have been a dumbass and written to Stannis and threatened Joffrey and Cersei with imprisonment as well. He wouldn't be so awe inspiring without his strict sense of honor.

Jim G: Hindsight is 20/20 right? Though I think both Renly and Little Finger knew what was coming and was trying to use Ned to their own end. While Renly said "F-it all!" and took off, we see that Little Finger decided it was easier to steer the ship without Ned at the wheel.

Eric H: I unfortunately am too trusting and "honorable" like our good friend Ned and would have been tricked just the same.

4. Do you think Ser Barristan did the right thing backing Cercei/Joffrey instead of the "Protector of the Realm" as named by Robert?

Carissa P: Of course not. Not one of the characters believes in them, they are all just afraid of losing their roles should others take over. Selfishness will get them nowhere.

Jim G: He was in a tough spot.. I think "Protector of the Realm" might be better described as "Patsy of the Realm" -- the moment Cersei started tearing up the letter and nobody moved, I knew things were about to get ugly.

Eric H: Given how loyal this man is supposed to be to whoever sits in the Iron Throne, I'm a little disappointed he did not follow Robert's last words and honor Ned.  But how much can you trust a man who was so quick to switch loyalties before..

5. So Ser Mormont already received his pardon, yet still saved Dany's life... where do you think this knight's loyalty lies?

Carissa P:  Just like us, he has fallen for Daenerys. When it came down to it, he knew backing her and her continuous kindness and good intentions would be the best route.

Jim G: Right where they should.. With Dany of course! He is no dummy, he switched over to be her loyal servant a few episodes back :)

Eric H: In the book, I don't recall him ever receiving his pardon before the assassination.  But, yes, even despite feeding information back to the spider, I do believe Ser Mormont's loyalties are exactly where they should be: with Dany.

Bonus Question: Give the episode a 1-10 on my newly formed Direwolf Score.  Yes, it's completely arbitrary, but rank the episode and give your Direwolf comments!

Carissa P:  Fine! Just when I start grading on Cersei slaps, you're going to bring in the direwolves? Hmpf. Lady comes back from the grave and rips Joffrey's throat out, while her beautiful sister, the missing Nymeria takes care of Cersei for ordering Lady's death. That's about a ten out of ten from them, or nearly five out of five Cersei slaps for the episode overall. :P.

Jim G: I am going to give it 4 barking and 1 whimpering dire wolves.. (4.5 for you non-direwolf fans). I am glad we got to see Ghost even if it was just him hauling his fuzzy butt out of the tunnel. It felt like the rushed a lot of the stuff around Ned/Cersei and Kings Landing..

Eric H: I'm going with with a 2.  Like Jim said, at least we saw a little Ghost running ahead.  Carissa, I'm not going to lie, I have no clue what you're rambling about.

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.

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Casting for Renly is the worst. As described in the book, he is big, good looking, a young Robert. I don't get any of the gay interaction between him and the Knight of Flowers in the book either. Hollywood had to throw some in, I guess.

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One thing I don't understand if Ned is so honor why he asks Littlefinger to bribe the city watch. Yes he needs army to support him so why not take Littlefinger or Renly's advice to get the control first, then go anyway he wanted.

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Ser Barristan's duty is to protect the King, not the Protector of the Realm (and he had no reason to believe Joffery wasn't the King other than Ned saying so much without presenting any evidence). Also in terms of dire wolf ratings Shaggy Dog is the only real one, the rest are trained sell-outs (team Rickon!)

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I liked Robert's death just the way it was.. understated and taking Ned off guard. It parallels the death of the butcher's boy and the greatest act of violence and cruelty yet in the show, which took place off screen in the Riverlands. It is perfectly in keeping with the theme of the book, and I don't think they should shirk from that just to add an extra "dramatic" scene.