For the first time ever, my co-host Stefan Sasse I focus exclusively on the show rather than the books, for an in-depth discussion of Game of Thrones Season Two. In large part we’re discussing the show as an adaptation, weighing it against the source material in A Song of Ice and Fire. This, too, is a first-time-ever deal for me, given that I tried to keep my Rolling Stone reviews focused primarily on what was on screen versus the pages whence it sprung, so even if you’ve read all my reviews so far this season, you’ll still be hearing some new perspectives from both me and Stefan alike. But we’re not letting “it’s different” stand as its own critique, positive or negative, I promise. I think that in every case, we understand why the show chose to make the changes it made, so we’re not questioning the a priori legitimacy of such changes; rather, it still comes down to the quality of the show as a show.
We pay particularly close attention to Jon, Qhorin, and the material north of the Wall; Robb, Talisa, and the Jeyne Westerling that wasn’t; Daenerys, Qarth, and the House of the Undying (lots and lots on that issue); and lastly, Littlefinger. Unfortunately my impassioned plea to the filmmakers to show Richard Madden’s ass, aka the Ass in the North, next season had to be cut for space, but hopefully you’ll enjoy the episode anyway.