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May 28 2012

Review: Game of Thrones Season 2 – Blackwater

TYG breaks down the 9th episode of Game of Thrones Season 2. This is the first GoT episode that we have seen that focused on one area of Westeros the whole time, and boy was it amazing! Hit the Jump to read the reviews of G, Mike and Lorenzo, who are all readers of the books.

Mike: 

This battle was very much Tyrion’s victory, and he was the pillar that kept the walls of King’s Landing, and the episode standing. Let’s start with this scene.

What a fantastic maneuver that was to knock off a large amount of Stannis’ forces. I especially love how they kept it as green fire like the books. Did it play out exactly like the books, no definitely not, but it was still amazing television. Ser Davos is currently MIA, he was a character that I was beginning to really like. (Remember a few episodes back when Melisandre told Davos’ son that “Death by fire is the purest death”. maybe she knew?) Which brings me to the point I want to make about this whole series, be it the books or the TV show. Who am I rooting for?

This is a tough question to ask, because I really wouldn’t be able to answer it. Obviously, I would rather have Stannis sitting the Iron Throne, I would want nothing more then to have Joffrey’s head on a spike. Stannis was the first man up that ladder breaching the walls. That’s a King that you can rally and fight behind. I wanted Stannis to win this fight quite badly, and boy did he deserve it. That moment when Ser Loras rode in wearing Renly’s armor even caught Stannis off guard. Stannis was yelling for them to stand and fight, and had to be dragged away from the battle against his own will. Call him stupid, but he was willing to stand there and fight to his death if he had to. He would have been an amazing king.

Then there is the flip side. While I hate Joffrey and kind of despise Cersei, I like Bron, Tyrion, the Hound, Sansa, and Podrick Payne. If Stannis would have won this battle, they would have all been dead, or be facing fates worse then death. Basically, I read the ending of the second book in awe as to what would transpire, but never once while reading it was I rooting for a certain victor. I am sure many of you felt the same way while watching the episode, it’s a strange feeling, but really attests to the greatness of the series.

Let’s talk about the highlights of the episode. The first was definitely the acting of Lena Headey (Cersei), watching and listening to her mood dampen as she got increasingly drunk was spot on. Also, listening to the way she was getting more angry with Sansa as the night went on. Everyone knows that Sansa hates Joffrey, and her little dove act really gets under Cersei’s skin. It’s no surprise she was in a terrible mood, considering the fact that she was in a suicide room. Cooped-up with all the other little ‘hens’ in there, who if they so choose could be killed before Stannis’ men broke through the door. It’s no secret that Cersei wishes she was a man. I loved the tragic irony of how Cersei was about to kill herself, and the only decent son she has at the end of the episode.

This episode did wonders for Sansa as well. She is really maturing into a woman. She showed bravery, and tried to calm down the woman, even after Cersei scared the piss out of all of them. Speaking of bravery, how much further can she go talking back to Joffrey. I especially liked how she taunted him by saying, my brother Robb fights in the front lines, and he is only a pretender. It’s a nice twist of her trying to be the perfect little princess, while still insulting his pride. After the Hound told the King to go F*** himself (news flash, the Hound hates fire), he ended up in Sansa’s room. He offered her a way back to Winterfell, which would have been a perfect escape plan. She denied it, while holding the doll her father gave her in season 1, it was a nice way to close off her scenes.

Lastly, and certainly not least Tyrion. As i have stated before this was his victory. Had Tywin and the Tyrells have shown up after the castle was taken, this battle would have not been so easily won. He destroyed a ton of ships, and stopped Stannis’ men from breaking down the door. He rallied the troops, and led a tactical strike, that even had men yelling Half-man- half-man! This was all done, after the King, and the biggest man in the army, Sandor Clegane ran like babies. In the end how was he thanked? with a sword cross the face from Ser Mandon. Podrick Payne gave him a nice spear to the back of the head in return. but Tyrion….

A small man can cast a very large shadow

9.5/10

Best Quotes of the Episode:

“Fuck the kingsguard, fuck the city, and fuck the king” – The Hound

“Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!” – Tyrion

“The Gods have no mercy, that’s why they’re Gods.” – Cersei

“If any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse!” – The Hound

“I will pray for your safe return my lord” “You will?” “Just as I pray for the King’s” Sansa Stark

G:

Finally a review that wont require me to jump around Westeros. This episode took place entirely in King’s Landing and did away with the all the dragging setup we saw in previous episodes and replaced it with in your face action. So lets talk about the Characters we know in King’s Landing and the different stuff that happened to them.

First we’ll start with Davos. I like Davos in the books albeit not as much as Mike. He started the episode speaking to his son about Gods, about Stannis and about how it probably wouldn’t be all to easy to sack King’s Landing. Turn’s out he was right and when Tyrion’s Napalm Barge of Wildfire explodes were left to wonder what happens to him as his ship, and pretty much the rest of Stannis’s Vanguard gets turned into so much kindling.

Stannis just can’t seem to catch a break. First His eldest brother forced him to hold a beleaguered stronghold on the southern most tip of Westeros during Robbert’s Rebellion. Upon accomplishing that he’s sent to live like a pariah on Dragonstone while his younger brother is given control of the aforementioned castle. He find’s out that he’s the rightful heir to the throne because Cersei’s been doing the horizontal lambada with her brother only to have his younger brother attempt to usurp the throne dividing his banner-men. He uses ancient samurai fire goddess voodoo to kill said brother and rally his troops for one last push at King’s Landing. Once at the castle he so longs for everything goes wrong, Wildfire, Imps, The Ghost of his pissed off brother at the head of a Lannister Vanguard led by Tywin. All that way only to fail to sack the city and retreat back to Dragonstone… This guys life sucks more than Cersei.

Tywin decided not to go after Robb Stark. Which begs the question why did he say he was going to do just that in the last episode. It’s strange for him to suddenly appear at the head of a Tyrell/Lannister charge when he was supposed to be launching a sneak attack on Robb Stark…

That’s pretty much it for the attackers so on to the defenders.

First I think I need to talk about Cersei. Lena Headey is the closest thing to God possible. All her scenes played out like the books. I mean it was beautiful. The misery, the contempt, the bluntness, the rage at being born a woman. Lena Headey channeled my imaginings of Cersei to the letter this episode. Everything she said was delivered with a perfect balance of misery and regret. You really got the feeling that Cersei felt that everything was really going to fall crashing to the ground in this episode.

Sansa and Shae also bonded a bit more and you could see that Shae actually cared for Sansa safety. Also for a minute there I thought Cersei was going to find out about Shae. Sansa has some good quips in this episode but Mike has basically pointed them out and I don’t like the character enough to go over them again. I do think she should have gone with the hound. In the chaos after the attack it would be unlikely that the Lannister’s would send men after her, especially with Robb still out there. Then again she would’nt be a Stark if she has common sense.

Honest to god Joffery, I know the world already hates you, but then you went and named your sword Hearteater. I love these pretenders and their cocky nick-names for their swords. Your not the Sword of the Morning kid, settle down. Anyway it was funny to see the “King” desert the walls at the first sign of danger and run for his mothers skirt tails. That kid needs to die… he needs to die now I can’t abide him any longer.

The Hound has some great lines in this episode. I really liked the dialogue near the beginning when he talked to Bronn. It was also funny watching him charge out of the gates like a badass and then run whimpering back inside at the first sign of fire. I can’t blame him for his fear in this case but still. Bronn also did all kinds of work during the siege and his scene with Tyrion discussing the benefits of their friendship was awesome bro-mance.

Last bust certainly not least. Tyrion… You know what I’m not even going to talk about it. Peter Dinklage is a god amongst men. All you’re getting from me is Half-Man! you want more you can watch the damn episode because it was a biblical performance. Seriously… why are you reading this, go watch/re-watch the episode.

9.5/10…. So close to perfect it hurt.

 

About the author

Mike

2 comments

  1. Magnus

    Great review.

    It was definitely the best episode of the season.

    I enjoyed that the episode solely focused on the battle, as it really helped to develop the characters, particularly Cersei and the Hound. They both had some great scenes, showing a new side to the characters that the audience was not exposed to previously. But you would obviously expect that since George R.R. Martin wrote the screenplay for this episode.

    1. Mike

      well said!

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