I hope Amazon publishes it at 2100 EDT (UTC -0500) like they did last year. Gotta love those WEB-DLs before the episode even finishes airing on HBO. And Amazon is pretty close to Blu-ray quality in terms of video to my eyes.
Anyway, for anyone in the U.S. with cable, IPTV, and/or satellite TV HBO has a free weekend for this weekend including Sunday if the WEB-DL isn’t up that night so if you’re really impatient you can just watch it through your set top box. I am unsure which TV providers are participating besides my own (Cincinnati Bell).
I’d recommend waiting though because U.S. TV is bitrate starved trash. Either decades old MPEG2 or worse MPEG2 transcoded in the most shitty way possible to H.264 by some IPTV or sat providers.
HBO has now revealed the exact length of all six episodes.
The network has updated its TV schedule to reveal that the opening episode, which airs on April 14, will be 54 minutes long, while the second instalment, airing on April 21, will be 58 minutes long.
It’s also confirmed that episode three is a whopping 82 minutes, contrary to previous information taken from its online schedule that had it down at a measly 60 minutes.
Episode four is 78 minutes, and the final two episodes are a hefty 80 minutes each.
Benioff and Weiss have written almost every episode for the entire show themselves. They don’t seem to be interested in getting too many other people on board (which is a shame, because Bryan Cogman, one of the few other writers on the show, has fairly consistently shown a respect for the source material which D&D have increasingly lacked).
Episode 1 showed that they’re capable of strong, competent writing when they stick closely to what GRRM has laid out, but with every passing season since, they’ve shown that they really struggle whenever they go off on their own (whether the deviation is by necessity (as with recently, where they only have the endgame, but not the actual path there, and have to invent the path from scratch, more or less) or by choice (where they decide they just don’t give a shit about the books and want to write their own fan-fiction; too many examples of that to bother listing)).
I did still enjoy this episode though (except, as I mentioned, for the stupid shit they’re doing with Sansa and Arya), but I do agree that this episode has really highlighted something which D&D have struggled with continuously over the course of the show, which is: the existence of geography and the passage of time. Which is kind of ironic; they chose to make the opening credits of the show a map of Westeros which they then proceed to ignore. (It’s baffling that it took them as long as it did to get where they were, but then Gendry seemed to make it back to Castle Black in a relatively short amount of time (although, again!, it’s almost impossible to measure time in this show); also, while I know little and less of the speed of ravens, it seems the raven made it from Castle Black to Dragonstone pretty fast; but that particular point is one that would probably take more calculation to work out than it’s worth, so eh)