To be honest, I'm a completely newcomer to Game of Thrones. I just recently started and already finished watching the show. I never read the books, I'm not really a fan of books, especially really long ones, I think I just don't have the patience to commit myself to read a book, but considering how much fun I had watching the series and how much people praise the books, even more so than the show, I'm seriously considering buying them, or at least just the first one for now, in order to see if I can finally get into it.
So yeah, pardon me for some ignorance that I may display regarding certain topics of the saga. I'm sure the books go into much much more detail than the show regarding everything. That's one of the main reasons why I'm really considering buying them too.
No worries, I'm the same way, believe me. I don't enjoy reading, but I loved the series so much I promptly rushed out to get the books. I have all 5 books and am at the tail end of book 4, approaching book 5.
They are indeed MUCH more detailed. You cannot imagine the amount of characters, detail and volume of these books, they're monsters, but they're worth it.
EDIT: Shit, forgot the question. It's the wildfire explosion, it was just spectacular, epic, just like that whole episode, culminating with that superb song in the end called "The Rains of Castamere". I actually liked the character of Viserys, really appreciated how ambitious and determined he was, how he was ready to do literally everything to achieve his goals. I was really expecting much more from him, therefore I was really disappointed when I watched his demise.
Hodor or Sam?
Well, if you like The Rains of Castamere, you'll hear it in episode 9, titled "The Rains of Castamere".
A Song Of Ice And Fire history lesson for you on The Rains Of Castamere. This is NOT a spoiler as everything I'm about to talk about takes place before the story opens.
House Reyne (ironic name, the Reynes of Castamere. See how clever George is? ~_~) was the second most powerful House in the Westerlands behind House Lannister. Their sigil was the same lion as House Lannister, only with reversed colors (hence the line "only a cat of a different coat"). The head of House Lannister, Tywin's father, Tytos was a weak man. So weak he almost brought House Lannister to ruin. Side note, he was nearly killed by, ironically enough, a lion, but the Clegane's, who were kennel masters for the Lannisters, saved him by bringing in dogs to chase the lion away, and were given land and titles by Tytos, which is why they have 3 dogs as their sigil. But anyways, back to the point, the Lord of Castamere, the head of House Reyne, figured that Tytos was too weak to stand against a rebellion, and he thought that he could rebel so that House Reyne could replace House Lannister as the principal House of the Westerlands and Wardens Of The West (hence the lines "and who are you, the proud Lord said, that I must bow so low?" and "in a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws, and mine are long and sharp my Lord, as long as sharp as yours" ). Tywin then took control of the Lannister armies and put House Reyne to the torch, burned Castamere to the ground and murdered all members of House Reyne, making their House extinct. Hence the lines "But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear. Yes, now the rains weep o'er his hall, and not a soul to hear."
The message of the song is don't cross the Lannisters, and particularly Tywin, because they're dangerous. It has become a favourite of Westerland soldiers to tribute their liege House.
Oh, and Viserys was awesome. Wish he got the throne instead of Joffrey. I know they're both shitheads, but Viserys was cool to me for some reason. Not long for the world of ASOIAF, though, too stupid, too impulsive to survive and unlike Joffrey, has no powerful people backing him up. But if he'd gotten the Throne then Dany's story would mean nothing. Oh well.
Samwell Tarly. I love Hodor from a pure comedic standpoint but when all you ever say is Hodor, it's one dimensional, which really is the point, but still, he only says one word.
Tywin or Cersei?