Monday, 2 April 2012

Game of Thrones | Season 2, Episode 1: The North Remembers

This post is about the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones, which won't air in the UK until tonight, so MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT

Spring has arrived, but Winter is coming. What else is there to blog about today except for the return to the small screen of HBO's Game of Thrones, the epic historical fantasy series from the pen of George R. R. Martin, adapted for television by David Benioff and DB Weiss. If you thought the titanic struggle for the Iron Throne, currently taking place between nine houses, five kings, and seven kingdoms, was as complicated as it could get, you were wrong; it's about to become hugely, vastly, incredibly complicated.

A bright red comet in the sky is interpreted as an omen of the coming bloodshed (or possibly, the birth of dragons). Stannis Baratheon, played by Stephen Dillane, is the new big thing. Younger brother of Robert and older brother of Renly, Stannis is the man Ned Stark believed to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, after it was revealed that due to Jaime and Cersei Lannister's incestuous dealings, Robert had no trueborn heirs. Stannis was one of the few people Ned chose to let in on the secret before Joffrey had his head lopped off. The first act we see Stannis perform is sending out letters to every Tom Dick and Harry to tell them that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are the inbred bastards of the Lannister Twins (a pretty smart move).

Meanwhile, Jon Snow is on his way into the real North with his brothers in black, searching for his missing uncle Benjen.Tyrion Lannister, now the Hand of the King in his father's stead, turns up in King's Landing. He is understandably very chuffed with himself, relishing his new found power and taking immense pleasure in the look on his sister's face when she finds out she now has to obey the orders of her diminutive sibling.

The Wolves are starting to get big; like, as big as a rather large Shetland pony big. Robb Stark, who is struggling a little bit to get everybody to call him 'Your Grace' after being styled the King in the North in the final episode of the first series, uses his wolf Grey Wind to intimidate Jaime Lannister, who is still his prisoner (and looking decidedly worse for wear). Bran is still stuck at Winterfell, performing the Lord's duties, speculating about the comet, and having even more prophetic dreams, this time involving direwolves and the Godswood.

On the other side of the narrow sea, Dany is struggling to keep her tiny Khalasar together in the face of the Red Waste. Plus she can't work out what to feed her three baby dragons, who are apparently turning their fiery noses up at everything she offers them (is it my imagination, or was she breastfeeding them in the last episode? She must be trying to wean them, I suppose - there must be all sorts of bother involved in breastfeeding a dragon).

That horrible munchkin Joffrey has let Kinging go to his head a little, having people killed left right and centre, tormenting Sansa (who seems to have gone a bit catatonic, although she is learning how to manipulate Joffrey), and even starting to disobey his mother, who makes the mistake of slapping him in the face. He also goes Biblical on us by ordering the murder of all of Robert Baratheon's bastards, including the newborn babies, in a King Herod style massacre. They are all wiped out except, of course, for that dashing young armourer who is currently on his way to the wall, accompanied by a cross-dressing Arya Stark.

While this epsode was mostly setting the scene for the bigger events to come, it was still pretty riveting - the writers are doing amazingly well to keep so many different strands of the story in check. And so begins another ten weeks of magical medieval madness in the world of Westeros - if nothing else, it'll distract from the hellish soul-crushing boredom of your own existence for an hour a week.

If you need any more motivation than that, check out my Ten Good Reasons to watch Game of Thrones article.

Episode 1 Best Moment: Robb sets Grey Wind on Jaime

Episode 1 Best Line: Tyrion to Cersei: "You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones."

Game of Thrones | Episode 2: The Night Lands

No comments:

Post a Comment