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I am – Hercules!!

Stannis finds his way to King's Landing before season’s end? Is Robb betrayed by a woman?

The “mysterious secret weapon,” if I don’t miss my guess, will be unveiled at the end of this weekend’s episode.

These episodes take us almost all the way to the season finale:

Episode #14: “Garden of Bones”
Joffrey punishes Sansa for Robb’s victories, while Tyrion and Bronn scramble to temper the king’s cruelty. Catelyn entreats Stannis and Renly to forego their ambitions and unite against the Lannisters. Dany and her exhausted khalasar arrive at the gates of Qarth, a prosperous city with strong walls and rulers who greet her outside them. Tyrion coerces a queen’s man into being his eyes and ears. Arya and Gendry are taken to Harrenhal, where their lives rest in the hands of “The Mountain,” Gregor Clegane. Davos must revert to his old ways and smuggle Melisandre into a secret cove. Written by Vanessa Taylor; directed by David Petrarca.

Episode #15: “The Ghost of Harrenhal”
The end of the Baratheon rivalry drives Catelyn to flee and Littlefinger to act. At King’s Landing, Tyrion’s source alerts him to Joffrey’s flawed defense plan and a mysterious secret weapon. Theon sails to the Stony Shore to prove he’s worthy to be called Ironborn. In Harrenhal, Arya receives a promise from Jaqen H’ghar, one of three prisoners she saved from the Gold Cloaks. The Night’s Watch arrive at the Fist of the First Men, an ancient fortress where they hope to stem the advance of the wildling army. Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; directed by David Petrarca.

Episode #16: “The Old Gods and the New”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 6
Theon (Alfie Allen) completes his master stroke. In King’s Landing, the Lannisters send Myrcella (Aimee Richardson) from harm’s way in the nick of time. Arya (Maisie Williams) comes face to face with a surprise visitor; Dany (Emilia Clarke) vows to take what is hers; Robb (Richard Madden) and Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) receive crucial news; Qhorin (Simon Armstrong) gives Jon (Kit Harington) a chance to prove himself. Written by Vanessa Taylor; directed by David Nutter.

Episode #17: “A Man Without Honor”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 13
Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) meets a distant relative; Dany receives an invitation to the House of the Undying; Theon leads a search party; Jon loses his way in the wilderness; Cersei (Lena Headey) counsels Sansa (Sophie Turner). Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by David Nutter.

Episode #18: “The Prince of Winterfell”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 20
At Winterfell, Theon receives a visitor and holds down the fort. Arya calls in her final debt with Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) in a way that displeases him. Robb is betrayed. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) find common ground. Dany ignores Jorah's (Iain Glen) advice. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Davos (Liam Cunningham) approach their destination, and Davos is offered a reward. Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Alan Taylor.

Episode #19: “Blackwater”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 27
Tyrion and the Lannisters fight for their lives as Stannis’ fleet assaults King’s Landing. Written by George R.R. Martin; directed by Neil Marshall.

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Readers Talkback
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  • April 19, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST


    by fain88

    having read the books, so many mundane statements in those synopses elicit an immediate, "Ohhhh, I know what THAT is" from me. GRRM writing Blackwater. Let's do this!

  • April 19, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Stannis in Winterfell?

    by lowman

    Where does it say that?

  • First time she shows how much of a little cunt she can be.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    NEIL MARSHALL is directing the Blackwater episode?

    by Robert Evans


  • April 19, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Arya's debt

    by Comedian

    Mckenzie, true, but a SMART little cunt.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    So next episode (spoilers)...

    by ImperialMarchFace

    We're getting Renly's death, shadow birth, and a possibly naked Sansa? Nice...

  • April 19, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    My prediction...

    by ATARI

    Lots of boobies!!

  • April 19, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    imperialmarchface *SPOILERS*

    by fain88

    Don't forget Dany getting to Qarth. Am I the only one who thinks the Garden of Bones in the title is the dead city where she'll rest her Khalisar in the Red Waste before she gets there?

  • April 19, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST


    by Hercules

    Renly is in perfect health at the end of the next episode.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Oh. Actually Watched the Trailer

    by fain88

    soooo...nevermind on my last comment.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Stannis in King's Landing

    by lowman

    That makes more sense... but makes me look like an idiot. Thanks!

  • April 19, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    can't wait for Arya's

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • April 19, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST


    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Recall her 'vision quest' showed her glimpses of events / people as diverse as a wolf-headed king on a throne (foreshadowing the Red Wedding), her Father the Mad King, as well as her eldest brother Rhaegar, naming his son Aegon V the 'prince who was promised'...

  • April 19, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Supposedly the title of episode #10 is ...

    by Gene Cowan

    Valar Morghulis! That should be a fantastic scene with you-know-who!

  • House of the Undying is, in my opinion, basically one of the most important scenes in the series to date. So much stuff to talk about with that.

  • April 19, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    And where the heck are the danged Pyromancers already?

    by obijuanmartinez

    Want to see Dotrice as Hallyne!

  • April 19, 2012, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Nope, nope, noooooope. Not gonna do it.

    by Jaka

    I've come to the realization that the talkbacks will be filled with spoilers for all of us who haven't read the books. But the spoilers are in the abstract, often about even and characters that don't even make sense yet. And the 'so-and-so dies' stuff - who cares? We still don't know what, when, how, what or why. So as long as these spoilers stay in the abstract, I dig the talkbacks. Actually reading a synopsis of what is going to happen in each episode SIX WEEKS ahead of time. No way! I have more than enough willpower to ignore that mess.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    So tempting. But not worth it.

    by happybunni

    Also as soon as this seasons is done, I'm re-watching both seasons all at once. The first season played fantastically well when I did that, much better than they did waiting in between

  • April 20, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST

    the fucking mountain?????

    by jsfithaca

    oh shit, get da wata

  • April 20, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Dany vows to take what is hers

    by Frisco

    Hah ha ha, I don't know why but that is cracking me up. I'm kind of surprised that they left out the "With FIRE. And BLOOD." Okay, we got that the first time, Dany. Can you imagine growing up with her as your little sister? Her Terrible Twos must have been the absolute worst! Kidding aside, I'm loving this show.

  • April 20, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST

    "lots of boobies" is a safe bet. Cool George is writing one but

    by textual

    Get to work on those damned books man! Procrastinating is fun but if we have to wait for years of a hiatus to finish the series, there'll have to be recastings and such which would suck.

  • In fact, after I finished GoT halfway through season 1, the show is still great but very predictable. Except for the soft porn parts.

  • April 20, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Neil Marshall

    by Johnboy40

    is that *the* neil marshall? as in dog soldiers, the descent, manages to get batshit crazy onto the screen, for not much money?

  • April 20, 2012, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Neil Marshall

    by Comedian

    Holy fuck. Neil Marshall directing the Martin written episode that is the single most badass battle in the entire series? Hell fucking yes.

  • April 20, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    They're Doing The House of The Undying

    by Crow3711

    Hurray! I thought that would get removed for being far too strange. That chapter confused the shit out of me, that's one place where I hope the show can actually make things clearer and more interesting. I loved the chapter but it felt so clipped, or rushed or something. Can't wait to see it happen.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    I Hope The Fist of The First Men Gets A Credits Introduction

    by Crow3711

    And I also hope they FINALLY change Dany's from "Vaes Dothrak" which is so generic and boring and way too broad, to the more specific cities she visits. if Qarth doesn't get its own i'll be disappointed. But really I hope the first gets one past the wall, that would look badass.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    been a while since I read the books

    by Himbo

    But it seems they aren't being slaves to the timeline, which is a good thing, since 3,4 (ugh) and 5 are a tad plodding/and/or/jumbled. Again, I think the series is better TV than the books are books. Had my hair cut yesterday by cute book-nerd-girl. She is watching the series, and reading book1. It was hard to NOT discuss. But I'm not a spoiler-douche. I'm glad they mention Dany getting to Qarth. I think they are going to have to accelerate her timeline just to have her DOING something this season. Ep3 was the best of the season so far, but I missed Dany. Might go back and see season1 again soon just for more of her.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Dogmatic, Are You Kidding?

    by Crow3711

    You really think this show hasn't been "big budget" so far? I don't think you can imagine how much this show costs to make a "normal" episode with nothing exciting. There is absolutely no way to film the battle of the backwater as written. no way, it would cost beyond millions. This show, in its blandest episode, is insanely big budget. Insane. Educate yourself.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Crow3711, what are the SPENDING it on??

    by Dogmatic

    There are hardly any special effects shots other than backgrounds and the tiny bit with the dragons. Sean Bean was their highest paid actor, and he's gone and now it would be Peter Dinklage and I'm sure he isn't THAT high dollar. Is it really that expensive just for the costuming, make-up and location shooting??

  • April 20, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    On Set at Blackwater

    by Eamonn Finn

    I was an extra for the Neil Marshall episode. some great stuff in there. Wont give away many spoilers, but you find out what happens when a rock lands on a mans head, a Saving-private-ryan style landing via rowboats and the look on Tyrions face when he sees on oncoming army is priceless ("F**K me!"). Could say more but wont

  • April 20, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Re: Crow3711, what are the SPENDING it on??

    by Eamonn Finn

    They are spending it on the sets and lots went on episode 9! You will enjoy it

  • April 20, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Just watched episode 3 last night (spoiler)

    by frank

    Easily the best episode of season 2 so far. Hopefully they can keep up that level of quality for the rest of the season. Arya’s scene at the end was my favorite part, but I hope it doesn’t mean they are going to skip over the part where she is captured by the Mountain and his men. I had qualms about the actresses playing Brienne and Margaery, but after seeing the episode, I think they are both perfect. Tyrion’s stuff was classic Tyrion’s stuff. So glad that they included Vary’s riddle! Not sure why they decided to make Yara into a completely different character from Asha, but whatever. Theon’s ‘drowning’ was pathetic. The Prophet would scoff at that farcical aquatic ceremony. Can’t wait for the rest of Theon’s story this season. Some of the most compelling stuff in the book, I thought. Although there is so much awesomeness in that book that it is hard to say.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:26 a.m. CST


    by angry kitty

    So what is the deal with not posting the episodes ahead of the air-date? Last season, I really looked foward to getting that early view of coming episodes. It made the long wait to Sundays more bearable. Have they officially stopped this service? And more importantly. WHY????

  • April 20, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Belfastsupernerd! That's all I was wanting to hear!

    by Dogmatic

  • It can be. One of the reasons "John Carter" cost so much - shooting exteriors on location in Utah instead of all in a green-screened studio (and later having to digitally replace some of the actors with their non-human characters against a real background). I believe a lot of what we'll be seeing of Jon's story for the rest of the season (the exteriors) was shot on location in Iceland. When the weather doesn't co-operate you can spend 16 hours on set praying for a few minutes here and there where the conditions are right to shoot. Also, they may be saving the on-screen money shots for later episodes. I may be wrong, but I would think HBO gave them a budget for the season and the producers determined how much each episode gets (more for some, less for others). But again, that's just my assumption.

  • That's just as it happens in the book (although it occurs when he first arrives on Pyke, not later). Page 175 in my copy.

  • It's just as it was in the book, except that it comes when he first arrives on Pyke. Page 175 in my copy.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    that's weird. I write it, "post" it, but it's not there

    by jim

    I hit refresh twice, still not there. I close the page, reopen it, still not there. I write it again; when done open a new page to check - still not there, refresh that page, not there. So I post again. And now both appear.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:58 a.m. CST

    ISo I guess they added another writer to the roster.

    by baronweazle

    I allready noticed Vanessa (related to Alan?)Taylor's name in the credits. Judging by last's weeks episode I think they could let Bryan Cogman write more episodes as well. Am a bit disappointed to see David Nutter's name amongst the directors. Every time he directs an episode of a good series, they tend to be the worst episodes and I think it's his fault. Take for example his Band of Brothers episode, which has a good script, but is still directed very blandly. Perhaps he has learned though. I'm also slightly hesitant for Neill Marshall. I love the Descent and Dog Soldiers is a lot of fun too. But I hated Doomsday, Centurion was all right, but not great either and I don't think Marshall has ever worked with HBO or any of the GOT cast and crew before. I'm very interested to see what he's done with it, but I would actually have preferred one of the proven HBO directors like Alan Taylor, Timothy van Patten or Steve Shill. Hell I think those three are amongst the best directors working today anyway. They do tv mostly, but I bet they could knock a feature film out of the park as well.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    ok jim

    by frank

    I’m sure you are right, though I don’t remember that. I was thinking of the stuff from Feast For Crows, where they literally drown the participants. Also, in that same chapter, Aeron does in fact scoff at the fake version of the drowning ceremony undergone by some followers of the drowned god, which sounds just like what was done to Theon in the show.

  • It does happen like that in the book. !!!!!MINOR SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!(not plot specific though) Only the actual priests get truly drowned I believe.

  • Go look up one of the videos of all the special effects shots they used in season one. You'd be shocked how much if it was touched or greenscreened. Every episode contained significant usage of CGI, you just don't notice.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Fair enough, baronweazle.

    by frank

    I yield.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Herc re: Renly

    by ImperialMarchFace

  • April 20, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Herc re: Renly (spoilers)

    by ImperialMarchFace

    That's weird that the shadow birth happens before Renly's death, but I guess it makes sense. That shadow has to come from somewhere. I'm just interested to see how the show handles a weird, very magic-oriented scene.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    shadow baby (spoilers)

    by the barking dog

    So is the shadow baby going to kill Renly, not the guy at Storm's End? Also, they must be getting in both of Jaqen H’ghar's kills in the one episode - thought those would be spaced out more, but I suppose they don't want to waste too much time with Arya being a house slave. And, hope they actually show Tyrion fighting this time.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    I wish the Iron Men worshipped Cthuhlu, they're already pretty close.

    by some dude

    Maybe they could even have a... fishy appearance... *wink wink*

  • April 20, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Spoilers Regarding Renly

    by Patrick

    If Renly is in "perfect health" by the end of this weekend's episode, then what are Davos and Mel doing in the cave? They would not show the death of the steward of Storm's End before Renly, would they? I would have figured he writers would cut that out. I guess they could have a birthing scene cliffhanger and show Renly's death near the beginning of episode 5. According to the episode synopsis, the Baratheon rivalry ends at that time. Does anyone else picture a black, smoky Stannis do the deed? I am really curious to see how they handle the assassination.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Renly Spoilers.

    by some dude

    Im curious how they do it to since its pretty quick in the book and for the most part you dont see too much. Its basically Renly looking at himself in the mirror with I believe just Brienne and Cat in his huge tent. Then I believe they get a hint of a shadow moving in ways a shadow shouldnt and then suddenly Renly's chest plate is sliced in half like a hot knife through butter.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    RE: Blackwater/budget

    by heylookoverthere

    I read in an interview that they got a 15% budget increase for season two, and all of it went to the blackwater episode. The same article mentioned they wanted to build 9 ships for the battle, and could only end up affording 1.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    hell no. spoilers.

    by palewook

    no thanx u

  • April 20, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    They should worship Dagon, hawaiian_stallion

    by frank

    That would be perfect! I think Yara is already halfway to looking like a Deep One anyway.

  • April 20, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    shadow (spoiler)

    by frank

    I was guessing they would just cut out the part about the second shadow killing and instead have Davos smuggle Melisandre to where Renly is, have her birth the shadow thing there and later show it killing Renly.

  • April 20, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by Mostholy

    Just to be pedantic, Neil Marshall directed Davos (Liam Cunningham) in Centurion.

  • April 20, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST


    by Mostholy

    To be pedantic, Neil Marshall directed Davos (Liam Cunningham) in Centurion. Also, I thought I already posted this once. Why in the Gods hasn't this talkback code been updated since 1998?

  • April 20, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    OH yes please

    by Boxcutter

    This is going to be great, just fucking great. I wish I could trill out a more considered, academic discussion of the merits of this extraordinary series, but it reduces me to expletives and childish enthusiasm. And I'm not that much of a fantasy fan. Wickedly good stuff. Might even start reading the books.

  • April 20, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    I, Claudius - GoT borrows liberally

    by radii See the chart

  • April 20, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Still optimistic for Blackwater even with the budget constraints

    by angry kitty

    With a quality script. (Martin), A quality cast (Dinklage, etc), and a competent director (Marshall). There is no reason to expect mediocrity. Yes a bigger budget spectacle would be nice, but it isn't a show stopper, and wont lead to a "shit" episode A gourmet meal served on a paper plate and not your grandma's china might not be perfect, is still a GOURMET meal. Relax and have faith

  • April 20, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I'm still optimistic about Blackwater as well.

    by heylookoverthere

    I mean it's not the battle for helms deep or something. All they really need is a big chain, some CGI ships to augment the one they built, and to show tyrion/the hound's part of the battle. Hopefully they make the wildfire green, but if not it's not a huge deal.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    No building of the boom? So Davos becomes Davos Rowboatsworth?

    by Dr_PepperSpray

    Yeah, I didn't except much given what their budget happens to be. It's simply impossible to do what the book calls for on the budget and production time the show has. It won't be equal, but it'll just be something. <P> With that said, a few friends of mine who haven't read the books are really glued this season, so I guess it's better when you don't know what it's supposed to look like.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:08 p.m. CST

    heylookoverthere [MILD SPOILER]

    by Mostholy

    The "Season 2 will return" card that ended Season 1 was preceded by a flash of green fire, so they're probably on the case.

  • April 20, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST

    C'mon..don't know the Dune Sci fi series....

    by Flyswatta

    Children of Dune and Heretics of Dune were actually really good. I didn't agree with the visualizations (on that front I'm more of a fan of the Laurentis movie), but the conveyance of the story was pretty good. Know if they would just let them all fight with swords, like the books...

  • April 20, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Don't Knock...meant to say

    by Flyswatta

  • April 20, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    We Won't See The Blackwater Properly Filmed Until

    by Crow3711

    They decide to make Pirates 6 and 7 or something, and the writers on that decide to blatantly rip off the Battle of the Blackwater scene from the books, and do it word for word with their own shitty characters because they it would take a movie with a 250 million dollar budget to do it properly, and even then it'd be a pain in the ass. But that's what I do if I were hired to a new Pirates movie. That's exactly what I would do. Either way, some day, sooner or later, there will be a film with a huge water battle, and some clever director will rip off this battle and do it proper. Until then, whatever Neil Marshall comes up with, I imagine, is going to be more than fine for tv. As long as there is some green fire, a giant chain, and a ship or two, I think I'll be satisfied. The Fire is important. The sky needs to glow.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    **SPOILER** Is Tyrion....

    by Flyswatta

    going to be shown hacked nearly to pieces in the battle? CG without a nose? While reading the books, that's one of the things I've wondered about most....

  • April 21, 2012, 4:25 a.m. CST


    by baronweazle

    Good catch! So I guess I was just talking crap yesterday. Hope this is a sign the Marshal directed episode is actually the best one yet!

  • I also have never felt that the appeal of the Song of Ice and Fire books is the epic battles. To me it's always more about the family dynamics and political maneuvers, so I'm fine with a scaled down blackwater sequence provided all the essential character stuff in that sequence is handled properly Just like the battle/escape/recapture scene at the end of 2x03 was greatly scaled down from the book, but it got all the essentials across and was executed well so that doesn't bother me.

  • April 21, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    flyswatta (spoilers)

    by Rebel Scumb

    I think they'll give him a scar, or something that can be done with some basic make-up, but I have trouble believing they'll go the 'no-nose' route of the book. That kind of cgi-makeup like with Voldemort, or Harvey-Twoface just seems like it would be cost prohibitive to GoT. And again, I think the idea is really just that Tyrion gets hurt/scarred that matters.

  • April 21, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    scifi dune miniseries

    by Rebel Scumb

    The part that really bothered me in that is when they show a montage of the rebels bursting out of the sand, and you can clearly see that the 'epic landscape' behind them is a painting/model that is 5 feet behind the actors they're supposed to be outside and it is clearly a wall that they are casting their shadows onto. Otherwise though production values were pretty decent on it from what I remember

  • April 21, 2012, 3:24 p.m. CST

    ** SPOILERS**The House of the Undying**SPOILERS**

    by misterk360

    It's a great scene in the book. It's both real creepy and a real life-or-dearth moment for Dany of a kind that she's never experienced before. It also give some insight into things from the present,past, and future, but I would imagine it's going to coast a pretty penny to do it justice. Defiantly looking forward to see how they pull it off.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    The house of the undying

    by Rebel Scumb

    I always pictured that sequence in sort of a very David Lynch-esque moment, I think they can pull it off for relatively reasonable cost, to me it's more about HOW they shoot it, as opposed to WHAT they shoot.

  • April 21, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    re: THOTU **Spoiler**

    by Flyswatta

    I think this is one part that the TV version can make up some ground. The house of the Undying was confusing as hell in the book.....Would be good to see the visuals. I'm only halfway into "A Feast for Crows" so don't spoil anything if it is critical for much later in the series...