From the moment I reached this point in Clash of Kings, I have been waiting to see the adaptation of it in the television series on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
I was further delighted to see that George R.R. Martin, the author of the series, the man who can kill your favorite characters indiscriminately, wrote this episode.
It got even better, in my opinion, when Neil Marshall got behind the camera to direct it. He’s done a number of movies that I consider fun (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday, Centurion), and one of my favorite horror films (The Descent).
Once the battle is engaged, I had no doubt that Neil Marshall was directing it… there was blood and gore aplenty.
All the political maneuvering, all the scheming, all the back-stabbing has led us to this moment, the penultimate moments of season 2, and when Tyrion unleashes the wildfire attack on Stannis’ fleet… AWESOME!
The explosion practically wipes out the entire Baratheon fleet in one fell swoop, and it’s green flame lights up the night! WOW!
All of this while Joffrey is whining and trying to be boss, and then using the summons from his mother to flee the battlefield all while Tyrion proves himself a better tactician than his father believed.
I also like the byplay between Bronn and The Hound as the battle rages around them.
He also gets to deliver a speech to urge the people of King’s Landing to fight, ending with the line… “Those are brave men knocking at your door… Let’s go kill them!”
Cersei spends most of the episode terrifying Sansa with stories of what will happen to them, should Stannis take the Red Keep (where they have sequestered themselves), but at Shae’s urging she flees, only to come across “The Hound” Clegane in her rooms, offering to take her with him, his fear of fire outweighing his commitment to Joffrey.
The entire episode takes place in and around King’s Landing, no other characters are dealt with this week, though I’m sure we’ll catch up with them next week, and then be left hanging until Season 3.
But for now, this is by far my favorite episode, Tyrion has some wonderful moments, which will be a launching off point for next season, though he’s now scarred after barely surviving an attack by a duplicitous King’s Guard, under orders of course.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the machinations that go on in all the families, and all the schemes, all the maneuvering, but this episode shows that they can do the action sequences on a grand scale as well.
This show just gets better and better, and even knowing what’s coming doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of it, which is weird, cause I’m not a big fan of spoilers…
Game of Thrones continues to entertain, and Season 2 comes to a close next week on HBO!