WHAT IS DEAD CAN NEVER DIE: But (SPOILER ALERT for last night's Game of Thrones) the living should beware of giving speeches about their childhood in the last quarter of TV episodes.
To my recollection, this was the episode of GoT that departed the most from the books. And yet much of the new stuff -- the interplay between King Prince Renly, Loras Tyrell, and Margaery Tyrell; Yoren's speech (I think, but can't remember exactly, that that wasn't in the book) -- was true to the characters in the books. Margaery's exposition (accompanied, per HBO rules, by breasts) set her character up a lot more quickly than it is done in the books. Meanwhile, some of the stuff that was true to the book felt different, either because it was so truncated (we only saw three scenes with Arya and the criminals in the cage, and their capture did in five minutes what must have been 100 pages of flight and battle in the books) or so well played (Lena Headey made Cersei's anger at Tyrion's plan for Myrcella a lot more vivid than did Martin in the books).
Where we are now: Brienne is tall and powerful; Cersei is a surprisingly loving mother; Renly is beloved and unrushed; Margaery is pragmatic and knowing (and hopefully older than the 15 that she is in the books, because: naked); Tyrion is calculating and funny; Grand Maester Pycelle is incautious and newly-shorn; Theon is reborn a Greyjoy; Sansa is an awkward houseguest.
Missing in action: Robb, Jaime, Danaerys, Jorah, Stannis, Red Priestess Tori Amos.