"Game of Thrones" You Win or You Die (TV Episode 2011) Poster

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Nest of Snakes
Claudio Carvalho16 April 2014
While hunting, King Robert is lethally wounded by a boar and designates Ned as Lord Regent until Joffre comes of age. Ned knows that Joffre is not son of Robert and believes that Robert's brother Stannis should be his successor. Meanwhile Jon Snow is assigned as steward of Alliser Thorne and not a ranger, and he is near to quit the Night's Watch; however Sam convinces him that he will be probably trained to be the next commander and Jon takes his vows. A wine merchant tries to poison Daenerys but Jorah saves her life. In gratitude, Drogo gives a horse to Jorah and promises the Iron Throne to his wife. Immediately after the death of Robert, Ned is summoned by King Joffrey and is surprisingly betrayed and hears from Littlefinger: "I did warn you not to trust me".

"You Win or You Die" is another episode with twists and betrayals. Now Ned is alone King's Landing that is a nest of snakes and the Machiavellian Lannisters have assumed the Seven Kingdoms. But the greatest confrontation will certainly be when Grogo reaches the King's Landing. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "You Win or You Die"
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Modern and smart medieval fantasy
igoatabase30 May 2011
Is Game of Thrones just an other Good versus Evil battle ? I doubt it because I don't think George R. R. Martin is that naive and titling his work A Song of Ice and Fire was just a way to appeal our Manichaean reptilian brain. After all there's a reason why J. R. R. Tolkien set his fantasy writings in Middle-earth. Smoking dragons wouldn't be able to burn villages if they weren't able to fly. That's for the air. Is there a common ground for all these families ? And what if the Gods were only toying their creation from deep down the sea ? Atlantis, Greek and Norse mythologies… The perfect number for the most pivotal episode so far. Se7en wicked steps to lose it and feel alive : 1. Digest the recap to freshen up your dry memory and dive in the most wonderful opening of all title sequences. 2. Chop up an animal corpse from beginning to end in front of the camera and give a visceral lecture on family values to Jaime Lannister. 3. Let the Littlefinger talk while teaching an exotic prostitute how to please the curvy nature of a Caucasian beauty. 4. Alert Jon Snow, hint at a possible beginning of the end and unveil an intriguing destiny. Bonus : Dungeons & Dragons joke. 5. Forge A Golden Crown for Daenerys dear brother then melt Ned's fate in the most unpredictable shapes. 6. Learn Dothraki to make sure you understand what Khal Drogo says because Jason Momoa's performance was both gentle and furious ! The 7th is obvious, it's yours.
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The King Is Shortsighted, Even in Death
Hitchcoc23 April 2015
Ned is going to pay a price for the King's odd lack of foresight. He has been badly wounded by a wild boar he was hunting. He knows he has little time left. Two things come in to play in this episode. First of all, it is the king just signing a piece of paper giving Ned dominion over his kingdom until his son is of age. The other is a man, trying to poison the queen of the horse people. The first sets up Ned as a traitor, and the queen responds with a vengeance. The second incites Drogo to cross the water and gain control of the Seven Kingdoms. Before this, he was happy to maintain his own kingdom and stay put on one side of the water. Now he is a force to be reckoned with. More complications. Ned's daughters' lives become more complicated. The one who would be queen is now seen as a traitor's daughter. The little one gets her first taste of blood. The last we see, her "dancing instructor" (teacher of swordsmanship) stands with a wooden stump to face a knight with a sword. She rushes away at his advising.. Things are now split wide open, with Ned no longer useful to the monarchy.
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Ned plays his hand too soon
Tweekums16 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Having realised that Joffrey is the son of the Queen's twin brother Jaime Lannister rather than the king he confronts Queen Cersei and warns her to take her family and flee before the king returns from his hunting trip. This is an act of kindness he could pay dearly for as when the king returns he is mortally wounded, having been gored by a boar. His final decree is that Ned should rule as regent till his heir becomes of age but it doesn't seem likely that Cersei and Joffrey will honour that 'scrap of paper. The king also tells Ned that he was wrong to order Daenerys' death but it is too late to countermand the order. Across the Narrow Sea the would-be assassin offers Daenerys wine from a cask fit for somebody of her standing; Jorah Mormont sees through the man and saves Daenerys. When Khal Drogo learns of the plot to kill his wife he swears that he will take his army across the Narrow Sea and put her on the Iron Throne. Meanwhile on the wall it is time for Jon Snow and the other recruits to take their vows and become members of the Night's Watch; he anticipates that he will become a ranger, patrolling north of the wall but is disappointed when he learns that he is to be a steward; a mere servant to a senior officer in his eyes.

After the action of the previous episode some may consider this episode a little quiet; that it may be but it does serve to raise the tension as the political dynamics change. King Robert's demise puts Ned in the most perilous position he has been; his enemy's now rule King's Landing and he and his daughters are in grave danger. The fact that he told the queen what he'd learnt about Joffrey may have been a mistake but it served to show that Ned isn't without compassion even when dealing with his enemies. The events on the wall weren't exciting but it was good to see Jon Snow taking his vows but not becoming a ranger; having him get what he wanted would have been a bit cliché. Of interest this episode introduces us to the much mentioned Tywin Lannister; patriarch of the house. We first see him skinning a stag as he addresses his son Jaime; Charles Dance does a great job in this small scene; I'm sure he will impress even more as we get to know his characters. Overall this was another solid episode with a twist in the final scene.
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Snakes revealed as pace quickens as we get to the business end of the season
slightlymad224 September 2014
Finally we go back to the wall after two episodes away, we see our young hero, Jon Snow, take his vows. After being mentioned so much, Charles Dance finally appears on screen as Lord Tywin Lannister and we get some more good scenes with Daenerys (not sure if it's me, but Emilia Clarke seems to be getting more attractive with each episode. She has a gorgeous smile) and Drogo (Jason Momoa) then there is the noble Ned Stark.... Oh Ned....

For me this episode suffers from it's a complete lack of Tyrion and Arya. (Two of my favourite characters) but it's still gripping TV none the less.

And of course once again.... What an ending. I seem to say that after every episode, buy this show just makes you need to watch the next episode.
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Smart show
AffeL4 April 2017
This is such a smart show. Great writing and acting.

The score is great. So is the crew. This episode is really good at setting up the episodes to come later this season. It does it in a really good way. No wonder this show called the best show ever.

10 out of 10. Just amazing.
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GOT binge...
jcbsn19 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Things are rolling now! Terrible king dies, but his order to kill Daenerys lived on, only long enough to get Drogo mad enough to cross the water and kill everyone in his way. That will be epic. And the dragon rumors are increasing by the minute!

Stark sure has his hands full, and it looks like things are about to get ugly as the people of the North are set to kill each other while Drogo comes from the South and the winter people are rolling down from the North. (maybe a little wrong in my geography, but that shiz is coming)

Speaking of protecting from the winter people, Jon Snow gets hosed, then Sam convinces him its a chance to be trained as the future leader of the Night Watch (which would be awesome) and hopefully it is true, because Jon Snow is about the only good thing these people have going for them right now and nobody has any idea.
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"When you play the game of thrones you win, or you die. There is no middle ground."
You Win or You Die is another great episode so far and has gotten progressively better. The conversations continue to be interesting with some great tension especially the scene where Cersei Lannister and Ned Stark having a conversation about before she said this line.

"When you play the game of thrones you win, or you die. There is no middle ground." Lena Headley, the actress who plays Cersei Lannister in this episode, delivered that line in the most quiet and epic way possible. Kudos to the writers for creating that scene so great.

The story is still good, the rest of the performances are still great, the script is terrific, the pacing, while a bit slower, is still fine, and the music score is still great and suited the scene between Cersei and Ned really well with a sense of eerie and subtlety. So, overall, another great episode and this season might get progressively better once I review the last three episodes.
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A winner
TheLittleSongbird24 November 2017
Came to 'Game of Thrones' fairly late in the game and due to being so busy the binge-watching was gradual. Have found myself truly loving the show, very quickly becoming one of my favourites. It totally lives up to the hype and not only does it do the brilliant source material justice (a rarity in television) it is on its own merits one of the finest, most addictive and consistently compelling shows in recent years and quality-wise it puts a lot of films in recent years to shame.

'Game of Thrones' first season continues to keep going from strength to strength. There is not a bad episode for me in the first season and, while not quite one of the season's very best episodes like "Winter is Coming" and the previous two episodes, "You Win Or You Die" doesn't disappoint. The overlong, repetitive and gratuitous expositional sex/prostitute scene with Littlefinger is the one drawback to a wonderful episode.

"You Win or You Die" has many scenes that work very well indeed. The final showdown with the Lannisters, the confrontation between Ned and Cersei, Drogo's rant regarding his son and the Iron Throne and Ned's moral dilemma between stubbornness and honourable intentions are particularly good, and Robert's final scene is very movingly written and acted. It was good to see the villainous characters given the spotlight, as it was to see the Dothraki at their most interesting and Khal Drogo emerging as an interesting character.

Visually, "You Win or You Die" looks amazing. The scenery is throughout spectacular, the sets are hugely atmospheric and beautiful on the eyes with a real meticulous eye for detail and the costumes suit the characters to a tee. The make-up is beautifully done. The visual effects are some of the best of any television programme and are not overused or abused, the scale, the detail and how they actually have character and soul are better than those in a lot of the big-budget blockbusters. As well the cinematography and editing, which are cinematic quality as well.

One cannot talk about "You Win or You Die" without mentioning the thematically, orchestrally and atmospherically multi-layered music scoring and the unforgettable main theme. Again, worthy of a high-budget fantasy/action/drama film.

It is hard not to be bowled over by the quality of the writing, outstanding isn't a strong enough adjective to describe how good the writing is once again. It always has a natural flow, is layered and thought-provoking and demonstrates a wide range of emotions such as suspenseful tension, poignant pathos and witty humour. As well as being one of the most thematically rich ones of Season 1, the story is paced beautifully, structured with such nuance and attention to coherence, a high emotional level and is done with intelligence, passion and sensitivity.

Helped by the superb character and multi-layered writing throughout, the acting is hard to find fault. There couldn't have been a more perfect choice for Lord Tywin than Charles Dance, while Sean Bean's dignity, Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau's ability to convey so much of the tension between him and Tywin with few lines, Mark Addy's poignancy, Emilia Clarke's expressive understatement, Jason Momoa's steely-eyed intensity and Aidan Gillen's broodiness also stand out greatly.

Overall, with the exception of one scene this is wonderful. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Win or Die!
g-bodyl13 June 2015
This is the seventh episode of the first season of the Game of Thrones. It's a very good episode, and it one of the better episodes to have appear so far in the first season. The stakes are higher, the feelings are more emotional, and now we have Kings Landing in danger from an enemy across the seas. Also, stay tuned for a great ending. It's an ending that you may or may not have seen coming.

In this episode, "You Win or You Die," King Robert is back from the boar hunt, but he lays dying after a grave injury. Ned Stark confronts Cersei and tells her who her son really is. Jon Snow makes his Night Watch vows, despite feeling unhappy for his new role as steward and the disappearance of his Uncle Benji. Finally, after Vaenarys is nearly poisoned by a man sent by Robert, Drogo calls for war against King Robert.

Overall, this is a great episode. It's one that kind of sad to for various reasons. Once again, we get fantastic acting all around. The final few episodes are going to be something to keep an eye on.

My Grade: A
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One thing ruins an otherwise great episode
ipoweri2 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is overall great with a lot of interesting development. But the notion that the dying king would write down who should inherit the throne temporary until Joffrey "comes of age" with only the man who will inherit it temporary (Ned) as witness and then tell him to tell the others is so stupid it's unbelievable.. And is "comes of age" regarded as a clear term for that matter, I am not sure? When you see it you instantly understand that these factors will cause a massive conflict and claims that the paper is not genuine and yadda yadda yadda.

This is a lame excuse to justify a conflict (which the episode end with). Couldn't they come up with something slightly more plausible? Really?

Had it not been for that I would have rated the episode a strong 8 or even 9, but it ruined the entire episode and frankly quite a bit of the entire show...
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