"The sex was almost uniformly gratuitous"
I mean, it never seemed pointless or to get in the way of the story so not sure I really agree with you there, even if that's a pretty common criticism of the show. And hey, *everyone* agrees that The Red Wedding was the best scene but IMO it was more the shock of so many central characters being butchered at once than anything else. Yes, the brutality made it more powerful but I still think you're making some pretty sweeping statements about how the show used violence. I never thought it was excessive or manipulative and complaining about it seems like missing the point, like complaining about the violence in every new Tarantino film (okay, he may have gone too far in that last one but that was a special case)
'"Had to Google Aragorn"- oh puh LEEZE.'
Ha wasn't trying to be "too cool for school" if that's what you're implying. I've just made it a point of mentioning it every time I have to Google something referenced on this board.