Game of Thrones—Season 2

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Epic show with great story, characters, and visuals

Fantasy aspect might scare some viewers off

 
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Whose side are you on?

War has broken out all over the kingdom and the danger is growing!  As Robb Stark (Richard Madden) fights at the forefront, his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) tries to gain allies and befriends a warrior woman named Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)…but is forced to betray her son for her family.  Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) finds herself along with the bastard son of King Robert named Gendry (Joe Dempsie) secretly in the service of Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) and finds an unlikely ally Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha).  Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) continues to undermine her sister Cersei (Lena Headey) as her son Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) rules upon the Iron Throne with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) as his betrothed prisoner.  At Winterfell, a new danger threatens Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the form of Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen).  Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) continues to fight to raise an army across the sea to reclaim her family’s land and finds her dragons are attracting unwanted attention.  A journey by the Night’s Watch and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to the wild lands north of the Wall reveals a danger that could threaten them all!

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Nothing is more beautiful than the birth of a child…

Game of Thrones—Season 2 aired from April 1, 2012 to June 3, 2012 on HBO and continued to receive huge numbers and critical acclaim.  The season largely adapts the 1998 novel A Song of Ice and Fire Book 2:  A Clash of Kings by creator and author George R. R. Martin.  The season received Primetime Emmy wins for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series (“Garden of Bones”, “The Ghost of Harrenhal”, “A Man Without Honor” and shared the award with Boardwalk Empire), Outstanding Costumes for a Series (“The Prince of Winterfell”), Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) (“The Old Gods and the New”), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (“Blackwater”), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour) (“Blackwater”), Outstanding Special Visual Effects (“Valar Morghulis) with nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Dinklage), Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series (“The Old Gods and the New”), Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special (“Valar Morghulis”), and Outstanding Drama Series.

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Great character in a great show!

Game of Thrones is possibly one of the most dense shows on TV.  There are tons of plotlines and characters to keep straight and it keeps expanding (though the bloodshed of cast off characters is also huge).  With season 1 was sometimes hard to follow as you got adjusted to all the characters, season 2 ups the ante by adding even more groups and leaders…it is a real tribute to the makers of the show that all the storylines come out so concise.

The show is full of great characters that are still developing, but also plays no punches by killing characters you think are permanent fixtures.  Peter Dinklage continues to be a scene stealer as Tyrion and his performance as the unwanted member of the Lannisters is great.  Dinklage bringing the character who knows how to use his intelligence instead of brawn to life in a show based on fighting.  However, it should be noted that Dinklage is just an example because everyone in the cast is smart and adeptly played.  This season also adds the fascinating Brienne of Tarth played by Gwendoline Christie whose role has still not fully developed, but also commands the scenes she’s in.

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Hey, I made a smoke ring guys!

This season begins to dip more into fantasy.  The end of season 2 introduced the dragons (which were mythology for most of the first season).  This season shows the appearance of wizards and the big premiere of the creepy White Walkers.  It is smart that the series slowly adds these fantasy aspects because it could turn off some viewers with the negative “nerd” connotations that go with fantasy.

Game of Thrones really feels epic.  The series is beautiful, vast, and loaded with characters that are all quite developed.  As the series progresses, the expanding cast manages to form more and more.  It sometimes is unfortunate when characters and storylines have to be sacrificed (like “Blackwater” which just focuses on King’s Landing), and the series leave you yearning for more episodes…but as long as they keep the quality up, I’ll be happy.

Game of Thrones—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

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“The North Remembers”

2.1       The North Remembers Airdate:  04/01/12

It is the Name Day of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Joffrey is celebrating by forcing those to fight for him.  Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is held under Joffrey’s control and tricks Joffrey into taking Ser Dontos Hollard (Tony Way) as a fool to save his life.  Robb Stark (Richard Madden) continues the battles against the crown with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as his prisoner.  Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) returns to King’s Landing and is named the King’s Hand against the wishes of Cersei (Lena Headey).  Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) finds himself in charge of Winterfell and deals with unrest among the people.  The appearance of a comet in the sky brings warnings and rumors of the return of dragons.  Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) tries to deal with the new dragons and tries to lead her people through the Red Waste.  Jon Snow (Kit Harington) continues his search for his uncle to the North with a stop at the home of Craster (Robert Pugh) and his wives and finds the Wildlings are amassing with Mance Rayder to raid the South.  Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) declares Joffrey and his family’s rule is not just due to the fact they are the product of incest and makes his bid for the Iron Throne under the watchful eye of his priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten).  Cersei goes to Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillan) about the missing Arya (Maisie Williams), and Baelish is reminded what will happen if he reveals the truth about Cersei and her relationship with Jaime.  Robb debates joining forces with Lord Balon Greyjoy for a costal assault of King’s Landing and argues with his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) about his plans to send her to King Renly to make an alliance.  With questions about his parenthood, Joffrey orders the other bastard children of King Robert killed.

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“The Night Lands”

2.2       The Night Lands Airdate:  04/08/12

Arya travels out of King’s Landing with a caravan and doesn’t know that she’s travelling with one of King Robert’s bastard children Gendry (Joe Dempsie) until Joffrey’s men come for Gendry.  Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) learns of Tyrion having Shae (Sibel Kekilli) at King’s Landing with him, and Tyrion threatens to kill him if he exposes him.  News of Mance Rayder reaches King’s Landing, but Cersei refuses to believe the stories of the Wildlings.  Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) catches the eye of one of Craster’s daughters named Gilly (Hannah Murray) and tries to help her against Jon’s orders.  Daenerys learns that the other khal don’t respect a woman leading a khalasar and vows vengeance for the loss of her man.  Tyrion begins to take control as the King’s Hand and orders the Commander of the Guard to be sent to the Wall.  Lord Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) returns home with Jon’s proposal but finds his father isn’t accepting of him since his past with Stark and instead favors his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan).  Stannis’ man Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and his son Matthos (Kerr Logan) try to woo the pirate Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati) to fight the Lannisters, and Stannis worries about trying to bring down his brother…but receives an offer from Melisandre.  Tyrion warns Cersei that they are losing the people and finds that Joffrey is acting independent of her.  Snow sneaks out of the camp at night and finds what happens to boys born to Craster’s wives.

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“What Is Dead May Never Die”

2.3       What Is Dead May Never Die Airdate:  04/15/12

Jon Snow learns that Craster might get away with his crimes due to his aid to the Night’s Guards and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) finds he’s falling for Gilly. Catelyn meets with King Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) and his wife Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) with as he makes Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) a member of his royal guard, and Renly vows to bring down the Lannisters…as his wife and her brother Loras (Finn Jones) work to keep Renly happy.  Theon finds himself shut out of planning by his father and sister and debates if his loyalties lie with the Starks or his father.  Tyrion debates what to do with Shae and uses a ploy to discover who is feeding information to his sister while forming an alliance with Baelish.  Yoren and Arya’s caravan to the Wall is intercepted by Lannister’s agent Lorch (Fintan McKeown), and Arya finds she has to think fast on her feet to keep herself and Yoren safe.

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“Garden of Bones”

2.4       Garden of Bones Airdate:  04/22/12

Robb finds himself struggling to feed his army and meets a nurse name Talisa (Oona Chaplin) who is critical of his war.  Daenerys tries to find shelter for her army and confronts problems at the city of Qarth…which could lead to the end of her campaign.  Baelish is sent by Tyrion on a secret mission to Catelyn to negotiate a trade for Arya and Sansa, and Catelyn tries to get Stannis and Renly to make peace to battle the Lannisters.  Joffrey’s attempt to publicly shame Sansa is thwarted by Tyrion, but Joffrey has his revenge with prostitutes sent by Tyrion.  Tyrion finds himself an unwilling spy in his cousin Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) who agrees to spy on Cersei in exchange for Tyrion’s silence about his affair with Cersei.  Arya and Gendry are held at Harrenhal where men are being tortured for information…as both Arya and Gendry try to evade selection, a lucky intervention might arise.  Davos is forced to secretly take Melisandre to shore for a horrible delivery.

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“The Ghost of Harrenhal”

2.5       The Ghost of Harrenhal Airdate:  04/29/12

Melisandre’s demon spawn slays Renly…leaving Brienne and Catelyn on the run framed for the murder.  Without Renly, Margaery and her brother Loras find them siding with Baelish to make an escape from Stannis’ oncoming army.  Tyrion learns about a secret cache of weapons meant for the upcoming battle, but also that the rumor around King’s Landing is that he’s responsible for Joffrey’s actions.  Theon finds no respect as a leader and decides to make a rash attack on Winterfell’s domain leading Bran forced to make a decision about battle.  The party headed into the North reaches the Fist of the First Men and learns a preemptive strike against the wildings might be necessary.  Daenerys and her people adjust to life in Qarth, and Xaro (Nonso Anozie) makes Daenerys an offer she might not be able to refuse.  Arya finds herself as a servant for Lord Tywin Lannister at Harrenhal and learns that her freeing of a prisoner named Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) during a raid could have benefits.

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“The Old Gods and the New”

2.6       The Old Gods and the New Airdate:  05/06/12

Theon has taken Winterfell with Bran as his hostage and this leads Osha (Natalia Tena) to show where her true loyalties lie.  Catelyn returns to Robb’s camp as Robb learns of the situation at Winterfell, and Robb swears to kill Theon.  The ambush of a Wildings’ outpost leads Jon Snow to be trapped with a Wilding named Ygritte (Rose Leslie) as his prisoner.  Arya fears that Baelish has recognized her as she serves Tywin Lannister and is forced to ask for her second killing from Jaqen when she tries to steal information.  Myrcella (Aimee Richardson) is sent to Dorne in an arrange marriage and Cersei vows to destroy Tyrion for it.  When Joffrey incites a riot, Sansa almost pays the price for his actions.  Daenerys tries secure ships for an attempt to reclaim her kingdom but finds her failed attempts have allowed time for a devastating theft.

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“A Man Without Honor”

2.7       A Man Without Honor Airdate:  05/13/12

Sansa suffers flashbacks from the attempted rape and discovers that she can now bear Joffrey’s children.  Cersei admits to having lost control of Joffrey to Tyrion and questions what she should do.  Jon searches for his party with Ygritte and learns he’s been led into a trap.  Arya hopes Lord Lannister will not uncover that she is responsible for the death of his guard and continues to hide her true origin.  Alton Lannister (Karl Davies) is imprisoned with his relative Jaime due to overcrowded prisons, and Jaime sees it as a means to escape.  When Jaime is recaptured, Catelyn decides she might have to make Jaime pay for his deeds.  Daenerys searches for her lost dragons among the Thirteen of Qarth…only to find betrayal within.  Theon searches for the escaped Osha, Bran, Rickon (Art Parkinson), and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and decides he has to prove his strength as a ruler.

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“The Prince of Winterfell”

2.8       The Prince of Winterfell Airdate:  05/20/12

Tyrion prepares King’s Landing for a siege against Stannis and realizes Shae could be in danger when Cersei accidentally captures Ros (Esme Blanco) to try to blackmail him into keeping Joffrey off the front lines.  Arya realizes it is time to try to escape Harrenhal and Lord Tywin as Lord Tywin heads off to battle her brother…and it means her final request from Jaqen H’ghar.  Robb learns that his mother has freed Jaime Lannister to get her daughters back and orders her under confinement as he finds himself falling in love with Lady Talisa.  Brienne finds herself on the run with Jaime Stark and finds Stark challenging abilities as a warrior.  Jon is held prisoner by Ygritte and learns that he is to be presented to Mance Rayder.  Mormont fears for Daenerys life and Daenerys refuses to leave her dragons.  Theon finds his sister critical of his handling of the situation in Winterfell but Theon doesn’t reveal that the burned bodies aren’t that of Bran and his allies who have snuck back into Winterfell.  Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) questions Tyrion about his ultimate goals and reveals he’s heard that Daenerys has dragons to Tyrion.

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“Blackwater”

2.9       Blackwater Airdate:  05/27/12

Stannis is making his move on King’s Landing and all appears to be lost.  As the ships move in Tyrion tries to rally the people as Joffrey flounders in battle.  A close call for the Hound (Rory McCann) brings back memories of his burning, and the Hound attempts to strike a deal with Sansa.  As King’s Landing prepares to fall, Shae strikes out on her own to have a meeting and Queen Cersei considers the ultimate sacrifice to protect her children from the invading forces…but in the tides of battle things can change quickly.

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“Valar Morghulis”

2.10     Valar Morghulis Airdate:  06/03/12

Tyrion finds himself scarred after the Battle of Blackwater and finds his father has relieved him of his duty as the King’s Hand. With a new offer of marriage from Lady Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), Joffrey changes his mind about a future with Sansa.  The Battle of Blackwater leaves Stannis licking his wounds and questioning the power of the Red Priestess.  Brienne shows her loyalty to Catelyn in her quest to escort Jaime to King’s Landing while Robb decides he cannot go through with his arranged marriage to Lord Walder Frey’s daughter.  Greyjoy finds Winterfell under siege and finds his own people turning against him.  Daenerys voyages to the House of the Undying in a quest to free her dragons and seeks her revenge on those who have wronged her.  Arya decides she must escape Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) and debates her next move.  As Jon is held prisoner by the Wildings, Sam sees firsthand the danger that winter brings.

Related Links:

Game of Thrones—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

A Game of Thrones:  The Graphic Novel—Volume 1

A Game of Thrones:  The Graphic Novel—Volume 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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