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May 07 2012

Review: Game of Thrones Season 2 – The Old Gods and the New

TYG Breaks down Episode 6 of GoT Season 2: Joffrey gets slapped

Mike

Last week I ended my review by saying “We are now half way done this season, and I am looking forward to writing the next few reviews. So many good things are going to happen, I am just itching to write about it.” This sentence assumed that I knew everything that was going to happen, well a week later I could not be more wrong. Who the F*ck stole Daenerys Stormborn, The Mother of dragons, dragons!!!! I DID NOT see this happening…. for the first few episodes there were some minor changes here or there. Nothing really to write home about, and nothing that made me go, wait, what is going to happen next? Honestly, nothing really happens in Qarth, so I guess something needed to happen. Dany keep up that yelling skit you do so well, it has worked out fantastically so far.

The scene at King’s Landing definitely taught us three things: 1) Cersei officially has it in for Tyrion, and she will stop at nothing to see him suffer the first chance she gets. Realistically, Tyrion is only trying to help, and Myrcella is much better off in a place where the common folk do not throw mud pies at their kings. 2) The part with Sansa and the mob made my stomach turn, how much more does this poor little girl have to suffer? Her reaction at the ending when speaking with Shae kind of seemed a little off. Considering what was about to happen to her, she was more concerned about making sure Shae was her friend. The lesson to be learned here is that the Clegane’s are not to be messed with. The Hound absolutely destroyed those guys, and remember he has an older brother. 3) “We’ve had vicious kings and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know that we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot.” Joffrey made a usually calm and collected Tyrion snap and become erratic. It does not need to be said, but fantastic acting once again, and that slap to the face, I cannot wait for those gifs. The lesson to be learned here is that it is official, the people of King’s Landing hate Joffrey as their King, and there is a war about to be fought. How can you win a war when the people inside your walls want your head?

The happenings at Harrenhal for me was more about the  realization that the lannister’s are not all bad people, and in reality there are no real villains in war. Tywin is really just looking out for his house’s (kids) best interests, like anyone else would if they were in his position. His overall kindness to Arya, and the candid moments they shared really bring this idea full circle. The only real Lannister’s that deserve the chopping block are Cersei and Joffrey, but that’s just my opinion. The death of Ser Amory Lorch opens up that his death wasn’t an accident, and that there is actually an assassin in Harrenhal. One minor thing that caught my attention was that Tywin was too damn calm considering a guy just died at his door step. We all know he is a “speak softly but carry a big stick” type of leader, but umm that guy just died, take out your sword a defend yourself?

I can finally talk about it, Theon Greyjoy, you sir are a d**k. I love how he tried to capture Winterfell and then thought it would be ‘ok’ with the people of Winterfell. Soo many rash decisions this episode, it really shows the impetuous minds of human beings. Since the start of season 2, Theon’s story has been a rollercoster ride. First you think he is a cocky jerk who expects a big home coming, then his father pretty much tells him to stop wearing dresses, and your sister is more of a man then you are. This leads to that moment when we see that he’s going to send a letter to Robb, but ultimately decides he should follow his family. He gets shafted by having a crew that doesn’t respect him, and only getting one measly boat. Well now, he’s the Lord of Winterfell, and is rivaling Joffrey in the amount of hate people might have for him. Watching him chop off Ser Rodrick’s head was a punch in the gut for me, and I feel was the turning point for who he has to become now (this does not happen in the book). Listening to the pleas of the people, seeing poor little Rickon Stark cry, and especially the elevated voice of Bran crying for Theon to stop really made this scene stand out in the episode. With the help of Osha, Bran, Rickon, Hodor, Summer and Shaggy Dog escape Winterfell. But where are they going to go?

Theon, the Lord of the Dreadfort’s bastard son Ramsey Bolton is coming for you…. This is not a spoiler, for those of you who think it is, please re-watch the episode and listen to what Roose Bolton says to Robb and Catelyn Stark. The bastard of Bolton is on the move, four episodes left, and soo much more fun is going to be had.

Quick hit:The scene with Robb Stark and mommy really put the 4-0 (win record) King in the North back into perspective. Robb is just a boy, and has a lot to learn about being the Lord of Winterfell; sometimes that means not following your heart. I loved the scene with Ygritte and Jon Snow, and how she was trying to snuggle up with him. It really reveals who she is as a character and sets up what is to come nicely. She speaks as annoyingly as I thought she would from the books. She is a little bit prettier then I thought she would be, but this makes me like like her even more then I did in the book. I have a soft spot for red heads, its no secret, kissed by fire!

Lastly, if you are not a book reader and you only watching the show, please take a few moments to look at a map of Westeros. I know it feels like the scenes happen one after another, but looking at the map will make you realize that a lot of time is passing between encounters. What I mean by this is: Littlefinger is traveling around a lot, and if things were happening back to back, he would need to have a teleportation device of some kind to cover soo much ground that fast. Same with Theon, in the book it explains his journey to Winterfell. Last we see Theon he was getting on a boat, and now he is the Lord of Winterfell. Please take my advice and look at a map, a lot of time is passing.

9/10

G:

Yup this is the return to form episode I knew was lurking somewhere. All the setup and slow parts are finally done and its going to be one ridiculous ride of unbridled badassitude from here to the finale. Before we jump into the review I just need to get this out-of-the-way. YGRITTE! WHOO! Moving on!

This episode hit the ground running. All hell breaks loose in Winterfell as Theon goes all Benedict Arnold and sacks his former home. Parading around like some kind of badass insisting that the people who raised him call him Prince Theon. Suffice to say I wanted to hit him through my TV. Also props to Ron Donachie who plays Rodrick Cassel because that was a stirring performance. For a secondary character on a TV show he kicked ass and takes names in his few scenes here and I think it deserves to be mentioned. This scene ends with Theon killing Rodrick which is kind of ironic as he just killed the man who taught him how to kill. It was also a sad scene because unlike Eddard Stark and Ser Ilyn who can chop your head clean off like a boss in one swing, Theon had to hack it off like he was wielding a rusty axe. I’m operating on the assumption that his ineptitude at being a Human being also makes him horrible at everything else.

Lets go even further North. Jon Snow is still walking with Qhorin on his first ranging and has some wisdom imparted to him. Eventually they stumble on that group of wildlings camped out on the ridge and battle ensues. Jon Snow promptly attacks the women in the group who very nearly gives him a shave with an axe. We also get our first look at  Rose Leslie who play’s Ygritte. Ygriite if you have not noticed is a beast. Woman gets taken by Crow’s and her main thought is that they burn her after they kill her. Jon Snow eventually chokes on killing her and Ygritte almost escape. Jon Snow is forced to chase her down and tie her up to stop her from running again. separated from the rest of the ranging with the night approaching Jon and Ygritte cuddle in the snow. Where Ygriite immediately starts coming on to him. With Jon clearly missing the point.

In Kings Landing Joffery’s stupidity and basic disregard for the people earns him a cow-pie (It’s as nasty as it sounds) in the face. This provokes the totally *rational* response of him telling the guards to kill everyone. Which of course only causes the crowd to react even more violently. Chaos ensues. The High Septon gets quite litterally ripped apart, random women get forcibly entered and then it gets really good. Sansa almost gets raped. But then just as it was about to go down The Hound jumps in and creates confetti out of the innards of all present, picks Sansa up and wins the triple crown of bad-assery for this episode.

Once inside the walls Tyrion basically goes off on Joffery. It’s hard to fault the man as he is totally right. Joffery is probably the worst king ever and his complete disregard for his subjects is not getting the royal family any respect. Cersei’s shortsighted mommy knows best crap is enough for Tyrion to deal with. He doesn’t need some moronic king running around causing riots. King’s Landing is ripe for the sacking and Joffery being a complete idiot only makes that worse. Hell at this rate the people will probably open the gates for Stannis themselves.

Accross the narrow sea I was reminded of how much I hate Qarth. Ok maybe it’s just my hatred of fat cats but really. Dani’s is having a real hard time being taken serious by anyone with the power to transport her to Westeros.  Qarth is a shady place which becomes quite obvious at the end of the episode. I wish I could say I knew what was going on at the end there with the Dragons being stolen but It never happens in the book so I’m kind of at a loss. It will be interesting to see how HBO ties this in with what occurs in the books. My assumption was that this completely new event was done to expedite a lot of the time where Dani’s story in the books spins its wheels. Regardless we will have to wait for next weeks episode to see what happens.

There was a couple good scenes with Robb Stark. First he was hitting on the Volantin girl, and then he got reprimanded for it from Cat who reminds him that he already has a betrothed and that any insolence in this matter will be met with extreme consequences. Robb also learns that his bestest buddy in the seven kingdoms flipped him the bird and sacked his castle. Robb debates turning back, and in a crazy turn of events Roose Bolton gives him some sage advice which almost made me respect him a little bit, almost. As it is Roose’s bastard is the one who is going to re-take Winterfell.

Finally there was some interesting scenes in Harrenhal with Tywin and Arya. I don’t believe for a moment Littlefinger didn’t know that was Arya in the room. Littlefinger knows way too much to not know that it was the missing Stark girl serving Tywin. There was also an interesting moment where Tywin tells Arya that he basically beat dyslexia out of Jamie Lannister through sheer force of will. This guy does not play dice with the universe.Arya also stole some of Lord Tywin’s plans but had them removed from her possession by Ser Amory Lorch. Which forced Arya to use her second kill. Which was delivered quite quickly through the use of a poisoned arrow.

Oh and I almost forgot. Osha basically gamed all the Greyjoy troops by sleeping with Theon and then performing one of the best jailbreaks I’ve ever seen. Really though Starks are hard to kill if nothing else. This kind of made up for Bran’s crying in the earlier scenes when Rodrick bought it. You’re a Lord, sack up and act like one… jeez.

Overall this was the best episode of the season. It wasn’t perfect as I felt a bit rushed, but I can’t really complain too much as it was non-stop in your face Game of Thrones. This episode deserves a…

9.5/10

About the author

Mike