Catching Up With Game of Thrones Season 2

For those of you who were hoping to just jump into season two without having read the books or seen season one, you’re out of luck, because things just started going. There was no recapping per se. I did find that the episode was less about important plot points happening than it was about reminding viewers where all the characters currently stand. Those we saw anyway; and when the cast of characters is this large and growing, not everyone makes it in every episode, just like not everyone made an appearance in each book. If you’d like a recap, such as it is, click here to read my review of the first book; that should give you some background anyway. Keep reading for a review of what happened in the first three episodes and my thoughts on each.

Episode #1

For example, we don’t see much of Daenerys. Just a quick glimpse of her with her depleted khalsar, wandering the red waste with a dragon on her shoulder.

Every time I see Joffrey, I just want to snicker. Jack Gleeson – who some might recognize from having played Gordon’s son in the blockbuster Batman Begins – plays petulant quite well. Robb is waging his war, Jaime is terrified of Robb’s wolf and Catelyn seems superfluous despite being sent on a mission for her son. Bran is trying to act a proper lord of Winterfell at the advanced age of what is he…eight I think? North of the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch have arrived at Craster’s – Where does Martin get his characters from? I’m hoping not from true life examples in this case because Craster is a poor excuse for a human being. In King’s Landing a purge of Robert Baratheon’s bastards (suspected and actual) is occurring at the order of Joffrey (although many believe it’s at the word of Cersei until Tyrion revels to viewers that she really has lost control of her son completely). No doubt the slayings are the result, at least in part, of Stannis’ letter declaring to all and sundry that Joffrey and his siblings are in fact the children of Cersei and Jaime and therefore not Lannisters at all. A fact that viewers have known for a while, but the general public of the Seven Kingdoms is just now learning. As of this time, the only child of Robert to escape the purge is Gendry, who was a blacksmith’s apprentice and now travels north with Yoren and Arya. For his part, Stannis has thrown in with Lady Melisandre and her Lord of Light, a new religion that bears rather obvious similarities to Christianity and how it was first received in a largely polytheistic world.

Episode #2

In this episode, Arya meets Jaquen H’agar (yes I’m sure I spelled that wrong but I don’t care). He doesn’t appear to be important now, but trust me when I tell you that he will be of some importance to Arya later on down the road. For anyone who didn’t catch the implications in the first episode, they practically spell out for you the fact that while he lives, Gendry is the oldest child of Robert Baratheon and therefore, it could be argued is technically his heir and rightful King. I love the scene with Tyrion and Varys. The innuendo and intrigue is obvious to anyone with a brain, and so much the more so for the fact that Tyrion’s whore Shae seems so oblivious to the undercurrents. I enjoy their repartee very much. In the north, Sam saves one of Craster’s daughter-wives from Jon’s wolf Ghost, although he didn’t look particularly threatening to me, and now he wants Jon to help him save her and her child. His innocence should make him appealing, but it just makes the character even more pathetic. You’d expect him to get killed early on in his appearance in the cast, but Martin combines his naiveté with dumb luck and so Samwell Tarly is around for a long time. In the red waste Rakharo returns to his khaleesi…well his head anyway. It is so disheartening to us regular people that even bedraggled and with an unnatural, almost white head of hair, Emilia Clarke should look so gorgeous. Grr. Lord Baelish is a character that I came to dislike more and more as I read book after book and I can’t say that’s changing any when I watch the show. He’s cunning, cruel, slimy and has, so far as I can tell, absolutely no redeeming qualities. He actually makes Jaime Lannister look like one of the good guys. Ha! I was waiting for this. Janos Slynt gets his just desserts: he’s sent to the Wall by Tyrion. I wonder if Gendry and Arya both survive to the end of the story, will they end up together, ruling perhaps from Winterfell or King’s Landing? What? It could happen! I’m not looking to turn the series into a love story, but in the end, someone has to win the Game of Thrones. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for anything that happens to Theon. I really feel like he brings it on himself for being an entitled, whiney little brat. In the grand scheme, I think the House of the Kraken is pretty inconsequential. The TV Davos (loyal servant of Stannis Baratheon) is much more courtier than the book version of him. Not sure if I like it but I do love the actor playing him. His name is…Liam Cunningham. Hmm, I wonder how that might affect his character’s fate, if at all. Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) does well with easy emotions like haughtiness and cruelty, but I can’t help wondering how she’ll do later on when – SPOILER ALERT! – she is brought low and must emote shame, regret etc. Guess we’ll find out. Although I will say, this is perhaps her best showing since The Jungle Book. Jon Snow you idiot! Have you learned nothing from your father’s death? Don’t try to save the boy! Honour will only get you killed….and there it is, the hit on the head. Isn’t it funny how even when we know it’s coming we root for the characters we want to succeed? Lucky for Jon, Martin has more for him to do before he’s done with him. Lucky for us.

Episode #3

Bran is green dreaming (yes that’s a thing; I took it directly from the books) inside his wolf Summer again. They seem to be going through the books rather quickly; I wonder what this means for the publication schedule for the final two books and for the series. Does this mean we’ll get the books sooner or will Martin’s concentration on the TV series set us back? I’m definitely crossing my fingers it’s the former.

Ah yes, Brienne. Nobly born lady and a knight besides. But what’s with the Renly-Margaery-Loras triangle? Why do they need to beat us over the head with it? Some subtlety would be a welcome sop to the viewer’s intelligence. We don’t need everything spelled out for us. And with the rampant nudity in the series it’s not as if we’d miss one or two less bodies in their birthday suits. But back to Brienne. Do you suppose she’s actually that tall or is it a bit of technical trickery (a la Hagrid in the Harry Potter series)? This week’s intrigue, find out who to trust, or rather who not to. To that end, Tyrion tells three different people three different stories about an alliance he intends to make with his niece Myrcella’s future marriage. To Grand Maester Pycelle he says he’ll send the girl to House Martell of Dorne, to Varys he says it will be Theon Greyjoy and to Peter Baelish he declares Myrcella shall marry Robin Arryn, Lord of the Vale (whose father was Hand of the King before Ned Stark). It seemed a rather obvious ploy when I first read the book and came across no less so in the show, so I was surprised that it worked because each of these men consider themselves the height of intelligence. But I guess that old adage about con men being the easiest to con is, in this case at least, true. It is Pycelle who faces Tyrion’s judgement before the episode is up and finds himself in a black cell. And before the episode is up, Yoren is dead and Arya and Gendry, identities still unknown to captors and friends alike, are prisoners marching toward Harrenhall.

And that is the first three episodes of Game of Thrones season two. When you’re next watching an episode of Game of Thrones, I want you to really take a good look at the sets. They are spectacular. This is what sets HBO productions above those of other networks, it’s also what makes them so prohibitively expensive that the series typically have both fewer episodes per season and fewer seasons overall. For us viewers, it just means we’d better appreciate every minute of every episode.

I can’t finish this long post without a quick shout out to a friend in the Media Services department at work. Without him, I would still be in the dark about this season of Game of Thrones thus far and so wouldn’t have the opportunity to share with you my thoughts. Hopefully he’ll keep me in episodes and so I’ll keep you as updated as I can. Have you been watching? I want to know your thoughts on season two, so drop me a comment.

And that’s my 2¢ for today.

Advertisements

~ by leslies2cents on April 23, 2012.

5 Responses to “Catching Up With Game of Thrones Season 2”

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

  2. I appreciate, result in I found just what I used to be taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    • Thanks very much. Glad I could help. I’ll be updating with episode 4 as soon as I get a chance to download and watch it so keep checking back. How do you like the new season?

  3. Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website.
    Continue the good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: