Musing Review: Game Of Thrones – The Prince of Winterfell (S2, Ep8)
HBO brought us another whirlwind episode of Game of Thrones this week. A lot of little stories happened that are setting us up for the final two episodes of the season and we got to see just about everyone. It was all about the reality that is setting in across the seven kingdoms and the impending battle for the throne we keep hearing about. It was very well done on the whole. Some of the little stories seemed rushed (i.e., Jon) though it all worked really well. I’m going to focus on the Stark children this week and the reality that they’re facing. I’m going to be light on the recap except if it pertains to the Starks.
Even though he’s the bastard of Winterfell Jon Snow is still the son of Ned Stark. He faces a bleak reality north of the wall. Last episode he started to question what his vows to the Night’s Watch meant when he was dealing with feelings from Ygritte. That led to him getting captured, his feeling betrayed him. Now he has to face his captors when he meets the Lord of Bones (Old Rattleshirt – who I thought would have been much scarier). He’s never had to fight for survival before. He also has Ygritte vouching for him. He’s just so conflicted, what are those feelings he has. He knows he’s going to have to do hard things to survive and I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know what happens in the book. He’s growing up and he’s doing it fast. The hardest thing Jon will have to do is still be himself, maintain his Stark honor while doing what needs to do to survive.
King Robb has been learning that being a king is hard. Nobody ever said it’s easy. It’s not just all battles, its about caring for your people like they’re your children. He is really good at heart and has lots of Ned in him. He finally admits that he doesn’t want to fight this war in a touching scene walking with Lady Talisa. He has a sense of justice just like his father. He has to confront another reality as well. His mother is responsible for releasing the Kingslayer (Jamie) and he has to deal with her. No son wants to discipline his mother but he’s not just any son, he’s the King. He’s forced to put her under lock and key. If that wasn’t enough he had to come to terms with his feelings for Lady Talisa.
He doesn’t want to marry the Frey daughter. He wants love. Who can blame him. He’s a young boy who’s never been with a woman. He tries to keep his sense of duty like his father did but he gave into his impulses and he sleeps with Lady Talisa. That scene was so well done. You can see how much Robb cares about her and bonded with her over her brother’s tragedy. When he lays her down he has a look on his face of pure love. He’ll have to face a harsher reality after slighting the Freys but more to come on that later on in the story.
Bran and Rickon are definitely a pair. Oh by the way they’re still alive. Theon put up the burned bodies of the two orphan boys from the farm. A good rouse for the townfolk of Winterfell but not Maester Luemon. He caught a glimpse of Osha (the Wildling) and followed her back to their hiding place in the crypts of Winterfell. It’s the last place Theon would think to look. Osha is trying to protect them from the harsh reality that they’re being hunted to death. They’re both children and should not have to deal with the harsh world out there. They are going to have to face it and fight for their lives at every turn to come.
Last but certainly not least is Arya. She’s been facing reality for quite some time posing as a boy and then a girl commoner. Now she’s running out of time to exact revenge on Lord Tywin because he’s about to leave for the next battle. She can’t find Jaquen Hagar soon enough to give Lord Tywin as the final name. She’s upset and takes it out on him. The final name she gives Jaquen is his own name. ”A girl cannot give a man his own name” he pleads. In return for un-naming him he helps she, Gendry and Hot Pie (I may be confusing his character) escape. Now she has to face the next reality of being back on the road trying to find Robb to warn him about Lord Tywin. She’s become quite ruthless. She was able to negotiate up from on kill to many kills. That’s not such an easy task. She’s seemingly becoming less of a Stark, but you have to adapt to survive. Especially in the harsh realities.
Every other character faced their own realities but I’m not going to focus on them. It was another great episode. I can’t wait for the final two. Part of me wants to wait and watch the last two together (as far as I know they’re not two parters) but I also can’t wait two more weeks.
Watch Game of Thrones Sundays at 9:00PM on HBO. Catch up On Demand or on HBO Go if you’ve got it.Tags: game of thrones, HBO, review, season 2