As HBO's wonderfully intricate Game of Thrones gets further and further into the dense and expansive world that George R.R. Martin has created, it's inevitably going to become harder to follow. Much like any great HBO series can get a bit tricky and knotty — The Wire took little time for exposition, so we just had to keep up as best we could; The Sopranos asked that we be able to differentiate between hundreds of characters with very similar names — the price of Game of Thrones' satisfyingly complex storytelling is that we might get a bit lost on occasion. Of course everything's a little easier to follow if you've already read Martin's books; single mention of a character name on the show brings to mind that character's entire arc in the book series, so you've some notion of where things are heading. But now, as the second season crosses the midway point and the story grows ever bigger, even those of us who have read the books are maybe starting to feel a little asea.
Meaning, some things happened last night that really did not happen in the books! Or at least they happened out of sequence or to the wrong characters. And while this was initially a little frustrating and confusing last night — there had been some smug, nerdy satisfaction in nodding our heads knowningly as things unfolded on screen — it now seems, well, almost exciting. We don't know what will happen on the show next week! Particularly: as far as we remember, Daernerys' dragons don't get stolen in the books, so we've no idea what's going to become of that plotline. And over at Harrenhall (that's where Arya's currently hanging out) the timelines and characters have all been swapped and rearranged so much that we're totally turned around. Again, this can be frustrating in relation to our knowledge of, and love for, the books, but as simply viewers of a TV show, it's beginning to feel pretty fun.