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Game of Thrones episode review: "You Win or You Die"
Tor.com, May 30, 2011

This week on Game of Thrones, Dany learns about the evils of alcohol, Ned is the most naive person in the Seven Kingdoms, and Robert loses the game of thrones. Episode spoilers ahead.

Sometimes, as I'm watching Game of Thrones, I like to imagine a conversation going on at GoT HQ that sounds something like this:
     "We have some information that needs getting across. We've got to have two characters talk to each other about stuff."
     "But this is HBO. The characters can't just talk. We've got to put either a sex scene or something gross in the background."
     "How about a chest-shaving scene? A corpse's neck being sewn up?"
     "No, no, we already used those two. How about a dead deer being skinned?"
     "Perfect! And then we'll have two whores perform oral sex on each other while another character monologues."
     "DONE."

I'll admit that Tywin skinning the deer is actually kind of badass, and I did laugh about it, which is more than I can say about the Littlefinger-monologuing scene. (An aside: I get that everyone likes the actress who plays Ros, but does she really need this much of a storyline? She's now slept with half the male characters on the show and traveled as far as anyone. If she has a POV in A Dance with Dragons, I'm filing a complaint.) Now those of you who weren't already acquainted with him have gotten to see how much influence Papa Lannister had on the three paragons he raised. Tywin must be one of the last major characters to be introduced this season, and Charles Dance is pitch-perfect as he chews Jaime out for having any honor at all. What a strange concept to a Lannister! Also, he knows his way around a carving knife, apparently.

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