Can I express enough how much I loved this episode???????? It was the best episode of the show for me, and by far. I guess for me this episode highlighted the main shortcomings of the previous episodes, namely: gratuitous sex, general underuse of direwolves ( for they are not an accessory, but one of the most essential elements of the story, and it was finally revealed why - they are amongst few things that can successfully fight the Wights), and unbalanced focus , where some characters can have some arbitrary scenes added and some other equally interesting characters are sometimes forgotten. I guess for me as a viewer it seems as if the GoT screen writers like to sit down and think 'Ok, LET'S IMPROVE THIS BOOK" or "this is MY favourite character, there should be more of him/her", but really "improving" something that is already good can be a tricky business.
- The finger-biting scene that made it into the show, against all odds
- Barristan Selmy being absolutely full of awesome. I am so glad this scene was done well, because it is really important to the future story. Did you see how all the guards stepped back when he drew his sword? This was the best scene in the episode.
- No whores in sight. Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss!
- Just enough Littlefinger to make his every scene and his every gesture and his every word into pure gold
- Varys talking to Ned. This was the second best scene
- And we finally saw Rickon (aka the forgotten boy) for the first time since the episode 1!!!
- Personally, I am also glad that Hodor scene made it into the show as well