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.

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