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Is there ever going to be an episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones that lets us down? Is there every going to be a moment when the writers and directors and cast all just have a completely off episode? When I heard this saga was being made into a series I was thrilled that HBO was doing it, but terrified that they wouldn’t be able to do it right. This season has been a little off for me since I am a huge fan of the books and there is a bit that has changed and added in. Yet, the story stays true at it’s core and we have to respect that. Last night’s episode, “The Climb”, pushes us past the halfway marker for this season. It is an exciting, though sad time. We know there are only four more episodes until we have to wait until next year, but at the same time we are excited to see events unfold. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

We open with Sam and the woman he helped escape from Craster’s Keep as they trudge their way through the wild north beyond the wall for the safety of castle black. In the scene, Sam shows the woman a dagger made out of dragon glass (obsidian) and she shows him how to build a proper fire. Arya trains with members of the Brotherhood without Banners, all chummy, until King Renly’s red woman shows up and takes poor Gendry, her friend hostage. Rob Stark meanwhile is busy trying to make amends with they Frey family after he broke an oath to marry one of their “homely” daughters. Bran continues his trek north to the wall hoping to find his bastard brother Jon Snow. He must contend with his companions getting up in arms against each other and with the news that Jon is not at the wall. So where is he? Jon is currently joined with a band of Wildings, climbing the face of the wall in order to attack his former members of the Night’s Watch. Sansa, down in King’s Landing, is overly excited to be engaged to “the Knight of Flowers” only to have those hopes dashed with the news that she will be marrying Tyrion. Also in King’s Landing, Verys and Petyr engage in a battle of words in which Littlefinger reveals that he intends to sit the Iron Throne himself. But it is poor Theon Greyjoy who gets the worst of it this episode as he is held captive, starved, and then forced to play a guessing game while his pinky finger is being skinned little by little. Holy crap! That’s a ton of story for one episode!

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As it stands, we do not think the people at HBO can go wrong with this show. It’s as if each episode is composed instead of filmed. The photography, the acting, the plot, the special effects, and even the amazing title sequence all work together like some master symphony. Every episode drives us forward, tests our own alliances, and challenges us to return in seven excruciatingly long days. Yes, I do indeed fear the time when the end credits roll on episode ten. This episode, “The Climb”, is rewarded 

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