Musing Review: Game of Thrones – The North Remembers (S2, Ep1)
A red comet heralded the coming of Game of Thrones Season 2. It was a glorious episode and a wonderful way to premier the season. It was engaging right from the get go starting with the opening credits (they’re updated btw). The story started right where the last season left off and we got to see all of our favorite characters all over the different parts of Westeros and beyond. They weaved the storyline together really well. The visuals were spectacular and the acting was top notch. It lived up to all the expectations I had and I hope it lived up to yours too. Here’s how it all went down.
I’m not sure if I can dislike a particular character more. I never liked him in the books but seeing his character come to life on screen for a second season just made it even worse. Hats off to Jack Gleeson for playing such a hate-able character. It’s Joffrey’s name day and we got a glimpse of how terrible a ruler he is. We see the Hound knock someone to their death in a pretty great scene. Ser Dontos is introduced as the drunk fat knight turned into a fool at Joff’s hand. Thankfully Sansa was there to bring a little order to the chaos. She’s really got the obedient act down now.
She is certainly the mother of dragons and is starting to learn how to be one. Her story starts with her khalasar wandering through the desert looking for food and refuge with no end in sight. Ser Jorah is there to help and provide her advice. When her horse dies, the one from Khal Drogo (sad scene), she sends her bloodriders out to different east directions to find refuge. There was a decently long interchange in Dothraki and I was impressed with how much they’ve developed the language. Will there be courses taught in the language soon. The baby dragons looked cool. One was sitting on her shoulder for a while though they’re not quite so big … not yet. She’s going to have to learn what type of meat the like to eat. Viserys didn’t know.
The King in the North is growing up quickly. So is his direwolf, which looks downright scary. He has Jamie Lannister held captive and tries to make a deal for the emancipation of the north. He’s coming into his own as king as he commands his mother to try and make peace with King Renly.
Beyond the wall is white and bleak just like you’d expect it. Jon and the brothers of the Night’s Watch find themselves at Crastor’s house looking for answers and shelter. Why have the wildlings abandoned their camps? Is anyone going to touch Crastor’s daughters? They better hope not. Lord Command Mormont said so and totally scolded Jon for speaking out of turn. Castor was cast as one cruel looking dude and played that part really well. I liked the brief scene when Sam says that he hasn’t seen a girl in six months. Foreshadowing …
King Stannis and Dragonstone are new additions to season 2 and they’re not the only ones. We also see a beautifully sexy / scary red Melisandre (the red priestess) and we get our first glimpse at Ser Davos (the onion knight) as well as other new characters. They’re burning the seven gods on the shore as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light (R’hillor – although I don’t remember them using its name). They really made the visuals work in every scene with Stannis. The gods burning and Stannis pulling the flaming sword out looked quite surreal. When the Maester tried to poison Melisandre and it backfired the visuals looked exactly like how I pictured from the books. Stannis was cast really well. He has a strong aura but is not particularly likeable (just like in the books). We’ll see how he works out for the rest of the season.
Bran is lord of Winterfell now though he does not like his duties. He doesn’t like to hear is brother talked about negatively and would much rather be out climbing or walking but he can’t. You can see how much of a toll it’s taking on him. He’s starting to have the wolf dreams (skin shifting) and it was really well done. Looking down onto the water and seeing the wolf’s face was perfect.
Cersei is becoming quite a ruthless character. Yes, more than she was before. She slapped Joffrey and threatened Littlefinger. She even went as far as to have all of Robert’s bastards hunted and killed. It was almost a little bit too much when they killed a baby bastard child but GoT does not skimp out on the reality. She’s only going to get more cruel as they come but all she wants to do is protect her children.
I’ll say it right now that Tyrion is my favorite character. He was may favorite character out of book 2 and was one of my favorites from season one. For a little person he just has so much presence. He’s well written and well acted. He command’s every scene he’s in. Tyrion shows up at King’s Landing to become Hand of the King in his father’s absence and is certainly making waves. He is smart and cunning and I believe really just wants to do the right thing because he’s been scorned all his life. He does, however, bring his whore Shae to court. I don’t blame him for rebelling against his father plus who doesn’t want a little somethin’ somethin’ all the time. Hats off to Peter Dinklage, you certainly earned those awards and I can see you in the running again.
So some characters were absent in this episode or we just haven’t had them introduced yet. There we did not see King Renly or Brienne. We won’t see Ygritte for a while nor Mance Rayder (the King beyond the Wall). It was a really great start to the season and I can’t wait for next week. I’m not really going to recap a lot of storyline because I’m going to assume that you all generally know the story. I’m just going to continue to tell you what I liked and didn’t like in context.
Watch Game of Thrones at 9:00PM ET on HBO. You can catch up On Demand or on HBO GO if you have it.
Tags: game of thrones, HBO, review, season 2 episode 1