Game of Thrones S02 E07 & E08

As we know, things went sideways for me last week, so I didn’t have a chance to watch Game of Thrones until this evening, and watched both eps back to back again.

To be honest, I almost prefer it this way, getting two hours of solid entertainment.

Theon Greyjoy, having installed himself into Winterfell, wakes to find that Osha, who bedded the night before, has escaped with Bran Stark, Rickon and Hodor.

He calls for a search, in an effort to hunt them down. Let’s just say if I didn’t know what was coming the last shot of the episode would’ve made me furious, it does make me want Theon to get his comeuppance sooner rather than later.

In Harenhal, Arya Stark, serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer, get to know one another better. Though Tywin realizes she may not be common bred as she pretends, he does not realize she’s a Stark. In fact, in his own way, he takes quite a shine to her. Who can blame him? She’s one of my favorite characters!

At King’s Landing, Sansa Stark is living in fear, frightened by The Hound, she’s still thankful that he saved her life during the riots. She has nightmares about it, and she also realizes, when she wakes, that she’s begun to menstruate. A terrifying though, because now, Cersei Lannister, knows she can bear Joffrey Lannister, the masochistic young king a child.

In a great scene, Tyrion Lannister and Cersei discuss Joffrey, his brother and sister. Cersei wonders if Joffrey is the payment for her sins of his heritage, born as he was from an incestuous relationship.

You can see that both Tyrion and Cersei are shocked to realize that they are revealing so much to one another, and share a common moment of sympathy.

Meanwhile, in Robb Stark’s camp, Jaime Lannister makes his move, and escapes from his confinement but is recaptured. While some people demand his death right away, Catelyn Stark realizes he is still a bargaining chip, and demands that he be kept alive. Jaime however keeps pushing at her, delivering jibes about the late Ned Stark and his bastard son Jon Snow.

Far to the North, beyond the Wall, Ygritte and Jon continue traveling the snowy wastelands, with the Wildling woman taunting and teasing Jon Snow with her sexuality, until she finally leads him to be captured by her people.

Finally across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen is looking for her dragons, after the slaughter that was revealed at the end of episode 6. Xaro Xhaon Daxos tries to aid her, and Jorah Mormont forgets his place with her. Finally in the council of The Thirteen, Xaro and the sorcerer Pyat Pree reveal they have the dragons in the House of the Undying, as the warlock gleefully kills the rest of the council.

Then I dived right into the next episode, knowing that it’s not happening yet, but knowing that the Battle of Blackwater is coming…

Ygritte brings the captured Jon Snow before the Lord of Bones, and I love this character’s costume design, it’s awesome and frightening. We also see that Qhorin Halfhand was captured as well. Jon and he scheme together as they are lead further north. Qhorin believes that Jon can make the Wildlings believe he wants to join them.

Wondering where Qhorin and Jon are, Samwell and the rest of the Night’s Watch discover a cache of dragon glass weapons, which believe me, will be of  great importance and use.

At Winterfell, Yara Greyjoy shows up to chastise Theon, and tells him their father is calling him home. She reminds him that Winterfell is landlocked and they are island people. She belittles him for killing a the Stark boys Bran and Rickon. Luwin, the maester of Winterfell sees Osha though, and learns that the boys are still alive, and safe in hiding.

At King’s Landing, Tyrion and Bronn are scouring history books for a key and clue to defending King’s Landing against the inevitable attack they both know is coming. They begin to develop a plan to use the stockpiles of wildfire they have on hand.

Cersei, anxious that Tyrion may orchestrate some harm to befall Joffrey, seizes a prostitute that she believes is involved with Tyrion. He’s relieved to learn it isn’t Shae, who he has safely hidden in plain sight as Sansa’s handmaiden, but Ros, another prostitute. Pretending to be bested by Cersei, he swears to Ros she will be safe, and to be brave.

Robb learns that Catelyn has set Jaime Lannister free and sent him off with Brienne. Her plan is to have him returned to King’s Landing, and have her daughters returned to her.

Seeking solace, Robb turns to Talisa, and they finally, though coyly, admit their feelings for one another, and then tumble to the ground passionately.

But back at Harenhal, Arya Stark names her third name to the assassin Jaqen H’ghar. That of Tywin Lannister, but when she learns Tywin has already left, she names Jaqen himself. Stunned, he pleads with Arya to un-name him. She agrees if  he will help her and her friends escape.

He unhappily agrees.

I am a huge fan of the way this book series has been adapted for the small screen. I know some people have complained and whined that there are things missing from the show that are in the book, but I find it incredibly faithful to the spirit of the book. The costumes, locations, sets, effects (both practical and CG), the performances, the writing and the music, the show entrances and entertains…

And like I said, I cannot wait to see the battle of Blackwater!

I can’t believe the season is almost over already!

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Game of Thrones S02E02 – The Night Lands

The Song of Fire & Ice continued this week, with the incomparable fantasy series Game of Thrones.

And you know you’re addicted, and a geek, when you notice and pick out new locations that you’ve read about and imagined appear in what may well be my favorite opening credits for a television series ever.

This week, the much missed Arya, is seen on her way along the King’s Road with the intention of returning to Winterfell. However, when soldiers from King’s Landing stumble upon the convoy, she’s afraid they are seeking her.

She’s surprised to learn that they are looking for Gendry, both of whom have no idea that he is the sole remaining bastard of Robert Baratheon’s womanizing ways.

It does give them something to talk about though, and you can see the beginning of what will be a great friendship.

Gendry, in his time, reveals that he knows Arya is a girl masquerading as a boy, but won’t let her secret out.

They also have one of the best lines of dialogue this week.

Gendry: You shouldn’t insult people taller than you.

Arya: Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone.

The Lannisters, Tyrion and Cersei, back in King’s Landing spar with one another, attempting to solidify positions of power over one another, planning, scheming and being treacherous with one another, through the course of their banter, and towards the end, Cersei actually hurts Tyrion, though he hides it well. Tyrion cements some of his own power by exiling Janos to the wall for his part in the betrayal of Ned Stark.

Tyrion cements some of his own power by exiling Lord Janus to the wall for his part in the betrayal of Ned Stark. He also verbally jousts with Varys, The Spider, possibly one of the most treacherous and conniving characters in King’s Landing, letting him know that, unlike Ned, he doesn’t see himself as an honorable man, and will destroy Varys if he moves against him.

Cersei destroys the first list of demands that Robb Stark sends her, and they also receive word, while in council, that there are rumors of White Walkers afoot north of the Wall. A threat that Cersei promptly laughs at, and discards despite Tyrion’s words of warning.

North of The Wall, the men of the Night’s Watch are still encamped at Craster’s home. Sam and Jon meet Gilly, one of his wives/daughters (eww), who is pregnant. Sam wants to help her get away, and Jon while against it, may well be on his way to changing his mind when he sees what becomes of the children born to the wives that are not female. No sooner does Jon discover this secret, when he is rendered unconscious by Craster who catches him spying.

Theon Greyjoy, who was kept at Winterfell as a ward of Ned Stark’s, to keep the Iron Islands in check, specifically the rulers at Pyke, returns home after 9 years, as an emissary from Robb Stark, and hopes to reclaim his role as heir to the throne there.

He arrives, not to the throngs he expected to greet him but an old man, and an attractive woman who agrees to escort him to the keep. Unfortunately for those of us who read the book, we know her identity already, and watching him fondle and caress her is troubling, especially once the audience and the story catches up and we learn that this woman, is his sister Yara.

Yara has taken the role meant for him, proving herself to their father Balon, who seems almost to despise his returned son, thinking him Stark’s man instead of his son.

An uncomfortable family reunion all around.

Stannis Baratheon’s man Davos, is out attempting to recruit men, armies, navies, and finally meets the likeable and fun character of Salladhor Saan, who agrees to serve Stannis in return for certain promises.

Melisandre, meanwhile, seduces Stannis with the promise of a son, something his sickly wife cannot give him, and in a highly symbolic moment, they copulate atop a table-top map of Westeros.

We are given brief glimpses of Little-finger, and an equally brief moment with Dany and Jorah, as they await the return of the Dothraki riders she sent out. When of the horses returns riderless, with a severed head in its saddlebag. Dany comforts the mourning wife, but you know she will have revenge on those who killed the blood of her blood.

But that’s at least a week off…

Hurry up Sunday!

Until then, I’m just going to sit and marvel at the gorgeous production values of this show. The acting continues to be top-notch, the story is being masterfully adapted, the locations are lovely, and the sets look like anything but. Everything I’ve seen on this show is trying to convince my brain that Westeros is a real place, and that is one of the highest compliments I can pay this show. It’s amazing to watch and look at, and although I’ve read the books, I still get excited seeing what makes it to the screen, what does it, and how it’ll be interpreted for television, and so far it has not disappointed!

Game of Thrones airs Sunday evenings on HBO.

Game of Thrones S02E01 – The North Remembers

I have been looking forward to returning to Westeros since the end of the first season of Game of Thrones, not to mention when I finished the books (still haven’t read Dance of Dragons yet – paperback please).

The novels, and now the series it has spawned is epic in nature, there are tons of locations, a plethora of characters, and layer upon layer of politics and betrayals.

The first episode throws us right back into it. The harbinger that is the comet continues to hang in the sky, a sword of Damocles, and gives us moments with all of our favorite characters, well those ones that are still alive at this point.

That was the sad part, but it’s the same in the books, because the story is so huge, you only get to spend bits of time with each and every character. One of my favorites, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is talked about through the entire episode, as the Lannisters are hoping to use the late Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) daughters to keep the rest of the family in line, or at least to broker a form of peace between them.

It was nice when she showed at the end of the episode , accompanied by one of the late King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) bastards Gendry, making his way along the King’s Road away from King’s Landing where all of Baratheon’s ill begotten offspring are being slaughtered to make sure they can’t lay claim to the throne.

Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), the new king, born of the incestuous relations between Cersei (Lena Headey) and the captured Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), is still a completely spoiled ass, and he’s gonna be like that for a long time, at the cost of far too many lives.

Tyrion (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage), by far one of my favorite characters, is always fun to watch, especially when he reveals that he has been made the new Hand of the King in the absence of his father. Cersei fumes at that, and I delight in seeing her thwarted.

The youngest son of the Stark household, Bran (Isaac Wright), is attempting to rule and maintain Winterfell, the Stark estate, while his mother and oldest son, Robb, who has laid claim to become King of the North.

I like that we’re getting to see some of Bran’s dreams, as he starts to realize he’s connected to his dire wolf.

The dire wolves themselves look great! Robb’s (Richard Madden), Grey Wind, is huge, and there’s a pretty sweet moment between him and the chained Jaime Lannister.

Petyr “Little Finger” Baelish (Aiden Gillen) is still trying to play his own political games, but coming up against Cersei Lannister almost proves to be his end.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and the members of the Night’s Watch have left The Wall, heading into the frozen north to investigate the barren villages, and the rumors of an army massing there.

We get a quick scene with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), her still-growing dragons, and her loyal aide Sir Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen).

Baratheon, had two brothers, both of whom are attempting to lay claim to the Iron Throne in Kings Landing, Renly and Stannis.

Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is advised by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), a sorceress sheathed all in red, who is going to be a lot of trouble…

The entire world is going to be torn apart in the war that is beginning to rage.

The production value of this series, and the level of detail in the costumes, weapons, locations, and all the props continues to stun and amaze. It is a completely realized world.

It’s hard not to get attached to a lot of these characters, even the ones you love to hate, especially when you know the body count the series is going to have.

Game of Thrones is back!