I love this line of thinking, from the AV Club's newbie review of the most recent Game of Thrones (minor spoilers):
"Episodes like “The Laws Of Gods And Men” make me realize that there are increasingly two Game Of Thrones airing every Sunday night. There’s the first 30 minutes of the show, which collects short vignettes from throughout Westeros and parts beyond, followed by a half-hour of meatier, more concentrated storytelling from King’s Landing. By crafting episodes along this divide, the show runs the risk of bisecting itself, of doing more to isolate its teeming droves of character than geography ever could. But Game Of Thrones is smarter than that, and as “The Laws Of Gods And Men” demonstrates, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and crew are working hard to find the threads that connect the many disparate elements of their show.
"It’s a very savvy, very modern way of structuring a television show. It plays to the binge-viewers as well as the week-by-week audience: The threads that play out across the season, but are only a small fraction of any given hour of Game Of Thrones, flow together more coherently in a binge. For us residents of the Stone Age who still enjoy gathering around the TV set at a predetermined date and time, we get the compelling, self-contained drama of storylines like The Purple Wedding or the trial of Tyrion Lannister. Nether’s the better “show,” per se—they combine to make a satisfying whole. Speaking personally, I might prefer the show-within-the-show that’s taking place in King’s Landing, but only because it sends larger, more palpable shockwaves to be felt across the Seven Kingdoms.
"Even so, “The Laws Of Gods And Men” is a neat reminder that neither half of the episode has to be one show or the other. The lengthy trial sequences demonstrate the advantages of both approaches, drawing upon details that occurred weeks, sometimes years ago in the production timeline of Game Of Thrones. "