“The Night Lands” focuses on the foray of the Black Watch’s expedition to the beyond, and with Arya’s continuing journey north, while the scheming in King’s Landing continues, with Varys finding out about Tyrion’s lover, and Tyrion getting rid of Janos Slynt by sending him to the Wall. Sam meets one of Craster’s daughters, who begs him to take her and her unbord child with them. Later on Jon is involved in this, but does not react well. Later on he gets a chance to change his mind… Theon, in the meantime, finds that he is not so welcome back at his father keep on the Iron Islands, with his sister, Yara, being the favourite. While all this is going on, Stannis finally gets seduced by Melisandre, while the Onion knight, Davos Seaworth, is trying to muster as large a fleet as he can.
Of course this all follows the book quite closely, but of course some cuts and changes were necessary to fit into the time and casting limitations. I noticed especially that:
Janos Slynt does not look the way I expected him the look. He looks more…’civilised’. That said, the actor manages to exude a slithery sleaziness which really makes this character stand out.
The whole bit about Theon not realizing that he was flirting with his sister was really not given any prominence (though he does look quite shocked when he finds out). A little more comic effect could have been dragged out of this part!
Jon follows Craster into the woods and finds out what is going on. I expect that this part was somewhat accelerated to fit into the episode. Of course the identity of the creatures is not yet revealed, but we all know who or what picked up the little baby, right?
Yara’s casting was somewhat unexpected, but still fits the book’s character rather well. She is still hot after all, even if not particularly cute. Rather, she is a little bit ‘boyish’, which goes rather well with the fact that she’s her father’s favourite, and a replacement for Theon.
Finally, Rorge has a nose!!!