Game of Thrones: A Novel Approach to "A Man Without Honor"

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Game of Thrones aired an episode last night light on action, but heavy on character introspection.

It focused on the concept of who we are and who we want to be, as analyzed by Matt Richenthal in his review of "A Man Without Honor."

Now, I'm back with the latest edition of A Novel Approach, in which I take a different tact toward the installment from the point of view of an avid George R.R. Martin reader. Read on. React. And be warned: Spoilers are ahead...

Maybe Tywin will adopt Arya!
My single favorite moment of the season thus far was the meaningful and uninterrupted conversation between Arya and Tywin, although their relationship never came to pass in the novels. They're both so cunning, both holding their cards close to the vest. I don't care how much everyone wants to sway me from my belief that his discovering her true identity is a possibility, but I still think it will come to pass. He doesn't believe her story that she is a stone mason's daughter at all. Everything she knew of the Targaryens and women riding dragons to flatten Harrenhal piqued his interest.  

Tywin is anything but an idiot. While he did give birth to questionable incestual twins, he also gave birth to the wonderful and witty Tyrion. When he corrected her usage of my lady to milady, there was no doubt he knew something was amiss. But he doesn't care. She's good company, smart as a whip and reminds him of the children he once loved, now grown and on to their own fights in the world.

GoT Novel Approach

Sympathy for Theon?
Theon has remained true to his novel character inasmuch as he cannot stand the thought that he is weak and unworthy. Truly, he is both, which makes you feel kind of sorry for him. His father sent him to live with a great man and the things he could have learned he didn't. The look on Theon's face as he raised the two dead children revealed just a hint of who he could have become if fear, pride and lack of confidence didn't get in his way. He had to be comparing himself to Robb at that moment, don't you think? 

Let's not get ahead of ourselves Jon Snow!
Jon's story seems to be moving swiftly into A Storm of Swords, unless it comes to a grinding halt before the season ends. Actually, this seems likely as we are down to three episodes. Suffice it to say the beginning of his relationship with Ygritte was not all sex talk when they first met in Clash of Kings, but it has been enjoyable to watch their banter on screen.

Kinslayer, come undone
Is it just me or do you think the powers that be found Jaime was liked just a tad too much in season one? The scenes with Jaime have been few and far between and he's not come off as someone you love to hate as much as you might just dislike. Jaime had more honor in the novels than to kill one of his own in such a horrendous manner, which gave way for readers to allow him his other shortcomings. But bludgeoning someone obviously so in awe of you is difficult to get over.

The scene between he, Catelyn and Brienne came very close to a conversation they shared in the books, although the circumstances were not the same. I just hope they don't take him too far down the path that redemption becomes impossible. Oh, who am I kidding. If he were ugly and without wit, he'd be irredeemable. But he's Jaime.

Enough Qarth already...
Let's just cut the story of Dany for the season right now and call it good. It's already been damaged beyond repair. Xaros calling himself king? That was a new one to me. They sure as hell love killing people in Qarth a lot more than I recall. There were a lot of lies and costumes to cover their true nature, sure, but dozens of people being killed every other day is bordering on the side of ridiculous.

Finally, a mention of the House of the Undying. With as long as it has taken them to chop the crap out of Dany's story, they'll never have enough time before the end of the series to do justice to it. Just her walk though it could visually take up the entire hour. Maybe she'll walk into a door, we'll see Drogon save her and it will be over. Wooo.

There is a lot of the show to enjoy. Ygritte telling Jon Snow the women would want to eat him up was exceptionally fun to watch... because we do! Robb getting a little romance of his own and learning more about him in the first person rather than through news to Catelyn feels right, although rushed. Tywin and Arya are pure magic on screen. Then we have Dany, whose character and story are unrecognizable. 

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

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for the brilliance of how they handled the arya/tywin and tyrion/cersei side of the story, i guess the mess in Qarth is forgivable. i do admit that the only thing remotely interesting about Dany's story in the novel was the house of the undying part, but seeing as how they cant just suddenly warp her there, i suppose this is their way of paving the story and along the road add some fights and (slight unnecessary) twists. i just would have preferred these twists to be in bite sizes rather than the size of a half pounder.


Dany's storyline in the second book was incredibly dull, but I think this might be a case where they took it too far in the opposite direction. The Westeros storylines are forgivable because they never stray too far from the source material. Personally, I could do without Catelyn's story (the whole Riverrun dying father situation) anyway. Maybe they were afraid of having Dany just walk around a weird city for a whole season, but Jon Snow did that in season one and HBO didn't seem to mind.


i really look forward to the novel approach reviews! i really like both sides of the reviews actually i have been trying to read the series but it is a little hard for me to get into. i just don't see how HBO is going to be able to tell all of the stories in the future with just an hour.


Are you kidding me?? Dany (and Qarth) are one of the best parts of this season! Honestly, just because it's different from the book, doesn't mean it's bad! Dany had a pretty dull storyline in the second book, and the show is doing a great job of spicing it up, and foreshadowing some of the turmoil that she'll face in the future. Please, TV Fanatic, either find someone else to write these "novel approach" reviews or just scrap the idea altogether, because as a huge fan of the book series, these reviews are extremely frustrating to read...


Other than the house of the undying, what great moments were there in Dany's storyline in Clash? I mean she just rides around in her litter waving at people while Xaro proposes to her over and over again until she decides one day, out of the blue, to go visit the house of the undying. I'm not a fan of the Qarth scenes either, but i do think it's better than Dany's journey in the books.