Wow, this was an awesome episode. I'm so stressed out about what's coming!!
I will admit that I'm less concerned about getting the books finished now, as the show seems to have taken quite the detour. I don't really mind that, since it means less is ruined in both versions for me, although I have to admit I'm a bit of a purist and it does drive me insane to some degree as well. I guess I'm less upset since I am behind in my reading, but I can imagine fans must be displeased.
Either way, things have really been intensified.
Can I just say how much I hate Margaery Tyrell? I have hated her since the beginning and I am glad she's being shown to be as manipulative and conniving as she really is. Maybe now people will have a bit more sympathy for Cersei, too, who is also manipulative, but if she's a villain, how can anyone like Margaery? Goodness, she should marry Baelish and they can be the most evil couple ever.
Speaking of Baelish, ugh. What is he doing? I know this is a variation from the books, but Ramsay?! This episode should have been called, "A Bunch of Liars." Ramsay's little sweet and kind act is ridiculous (I love the actor, but he is a pure sociopath.).
I enjoyed learning more about Brienne (and Renly as a result), and I love how the show is starting to make Theon sympathetic. I HATE Theon and even I feel bad for him, so good job all around there.
So much happened this week - with Arya's transformation starting (and her inability to fully leave herself behind), the introduction of the High Sparrow and the humiliation of the High Septon, our introduction to Volantis and the crazy thing that happened with Jorah and Tyrion, and of course, Jon Snow's first big move as Lord Commander. I don't know how to feel about all of this - it feels like so much happened in an hour. It was a longer episode by a few minutes, but this is one of those major ones with a lot of changes for the characters and their arcs.
I am very curious to see where the show is taking us, since clearly the Sansa storyline is different, and there are significant changes with Margaery and Tommen. Since George RR Martin talks with the writers, I figure the rationale is to get us to the same place in a different and quicker way, which is also going to be an interesting insight into what happens in the sixth book (in 2045 or whenever it is released).
This episode was fantastic overall, focusing on some of my favorite characters and giving them a lot of depth as well. I feel like this is an episode that really highlights the amazing acting and writing of the show, as well as provides true insight into the kind of show it is. Nothing is ever simple, because every character has his or her limits and we are seeing these being tested all across Westeros (and Essos).
I know I could go online and find the fourth episode, but I refuse to do that. One, I am really not a fan of stealing art, and two, part of the joy is in waiting and watching it live.