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“Game of Thrones” Season 2 Roundup Recap Review (Part 2)

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Entertainment, TV
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THIS BLOG IS FOR TV VIEWERS ONLY. IT CONTAINS NO SPOILERS FOR ANY BOOKS OR ANYTHING PAST SEASON 2 OF THE “GAME OF THRONES” TV SERIES.

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Here goes part 2 of my “Game of Thrones” Season 2 Recap Roundup Review

Jon Snow

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Although a huge fan of Jon Snow, I have to say I was underwhelmed by the journey his character took in season 2. Out of all the Stark children, it seemed like he was the only one that didn’t do anything. Yes, towards the end of the season Jon was captured by the Wildlings and in the finale he was on his way to meet The King Beyond The Wall Mance Rayder, but that was about it. What Jon’s problem was this whole season was character arc, and the problem was that he didn’t have one. Jon didn’t go through a journey in the season, he didn’t learn anything new and he was pretty much the exact same person he was at the beginning of the season. In the beginning of the series, Jon changed from who he was at the start, he learned a lesson. When he first came to The Nights Watch he was a spoiled, over privileged, whiny wanna-be prince, but through the whole season he left all his insecurities behind. He became a man of The Nights Watch no longer afraid of who he really was, freely admitting that he was a bastard and not taking any offense when he was pointed out as one. In season 2, he pretty much spent the whole season walking without developing at all as a character, killing Halfhand in the season finale was a step in the right direction, but it was all for nothing because we didn’t see the effects it had on Jon. At the end of the day, Jon is still one of my favorite characters and I’ll like him no matter what, but if they don’t make his story more interesting I doubt I’ll be invested in his character as much as I used to be.

Theon Greyjoy

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I think the series tried to do all it could to make Theon a sympathetic character, they gave him a reasoning to betray the Starks, but try as they may I still hated him with all my heart. They tired to give him daddy issues, tried to make us feel like he was abandoned by his father and make us feel sorry for him, but none of that worked for me. When you’re a hostage to Ned Stark you have nothing to complain about, and Theon had the sweetest life any hostage could ever ask for. Most of the time the Starks treated him as an equal, even in the first season it took me a few episodes to realize that Theon is a Greyjoy and not one of the Stark children because of how good he was treated. I wish Theon could spend a day with Sansa to see how it truly is to be a hostage because even though she is a girl, Sansa has it much worse then Theon ever had. If Theon reminds me of anything, it’s one of those girls on “My Sweet 16” bitching that they got a BMW instead of a Mercedes. I can’t write anymore about him because I am actually getting upset, but I’ll just say that I cheered when he was betrayed by his men and I hope they bring him to Robb to get eaten alive by Grey Wind.

Tyrion Lannister

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Tyrion is my second favorite character in the series, right there behind Arya and the only reason for that is because she has to fight for what she needs where as Tyrion already has it. Never the less, that does not make Tyrions story any more interesting. Arriving in Kings Landing at the beginning of the season as the appointed Hand of the Kings in Tywins absence, Tyrion had quite a task ahead of him. The crown was in debt, the people were starving and the kingdom was at war, it would have not been easy for anyone to face these problems but Tyrion valiantly stepped up to the plate. Of course, he couldn’t fix all the problem that were put on his doorstep, but he tried as much as he could. There was nothing he could do to stop Joffreys tyrannical rule, but Tyrion thrived in this environment. He even said it himself in the finale, how he loved dealing with bad people and talking his way out of problems, a true diplomat at heart. Thanks to Tyrion alliances with the Martells were made through marrige, and even though Cersei hated him for shipping Mycella away she must have know it was the right call. If that wasn’t enough, he devised a plan to save Kings Landing from Stannis using the wildfire, making him not only an amazing diplomat but also an very good military strategist. In the end, Stannis would have sacked Kings Landing if it wasn’t for the arrival of Tywin and Loras, but if it wasn’t for Tyrions weakening of the Baratheon forces I don’t think the arrival of the Lion and Renly’s Ghost would have made a difference. In the season finale, we leave Tyrion beaten and bruised, tossed from the position of The Hand like yesterday’s garbage and left scarred in what’s almost a dungeon. The imp does not get any credit for all the good he did for the people of Kings Landing, nor does he get thanks from any of his family members for keeping their family on the throne. He is utterly alone and under appreciated, a complete 180 from where he was at the end of last season when he was complimented by his father and put into the second most powerful position in the Realm. Where we he will go of here is unknown, but in my opinion, his story was by far the most interesting this season. (take note, Jon Snow!)

Daenerys Targaryen

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Dany’s story was absolutely exceptional last season, from what she went through to the characters she was involved with, her story could be a stand alone show. This season? I’m afraid that it was almost as bad as Jon Snows. A sure sign of a boring story is a simple test and its pretty easy, all it asks you is to summarize the story in as little sentences as possible while being as detailed as possible. With Jon is pretty shocking how easy it it: Jon gets captured by the Wildlings….yeah, One sentence, pretty bad. When it come to Dany it’s a little better, but not much: Dany gets to Quarth. Her dragons are stolen. She gets them back…..so yeah, it’s two more then the Jon plot line but try the same thing with Tyrion or Arya. Im not going to do that here because I already wrote whole paragraphs on them, but you see my point. Danny’s story wasn’t much better then Jon’s, but it did improve quite a bit towards the end of the season unlike Jon’s which just remained stagnant. Although one of my favorites on the show, Dany was really getting on my nerves by episode 6, her over privileged way of thinking and talking about herself made her sound like a clone of Viserys. She kept calling herself “The Mother of Dragon” and threatening people with “Fire and Blood” but it was like she forgot how weak she really was and absolutely in no position to threaten anyone. Did she not realize that just a little while ago she was starving out in the desert? She was at the complete mercy of the people of Quarth yet she still demanded ships and an army. It was another of those “My Sweet 16” moments, but luckily she was put in her place when her dragons were stolen. It made her realize how weak she really was and gave her story an interesting twist, wrapping up her storyline quite nicely by the end of the season.

Everybody Else

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Yes, there are quite a bit of other characters in the series that I didint mention specifically by name. A few of them simply didint play a big enough role to deserve their own paragraph and others just didint strike me as that interesting so I figured I’ll mash them all up. Robb and Catelyn played a fairly big part, but neither did anything that worth while. Catelyn was simply there and her biggest accomplishment was to free Jamie, and Robb did all he could to show us that while he is great at fighting battles he is terrible at winning the war. Brianne and Jamie didint really have much to do this whole season aside from showing what badasses they both are and how much of a great chemistry both actors have with each other. Their scenes together is something im really looking forward to next season. Tywins scenes with Arya were the highlights of any episode they showed up in, further cementing Tywin and a master of military tactics. With him in Kings Landing and allied with the Tyrells the war is looking like its already won. Characters like Asha, Shea, Joffrey, Osha and Jaqen were great, (Jaqen being the stand out) but they didint play a big enough part in the season to have their own storyarcs.

FINAL THOUGHT

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How did I feel about this season? It was good, close to great, but not quite there. I enjoyed the first season much more because it seemed like it was constantly movin forward. When I look back at season 1 I have a hard time coming up with slow episodes because there really were none. Every episode of season 1 was moving the storyline forward, and every episode had something worth remembering be it an action set piece, a revelation or a cliffhanger. Season 2 had none of that, and although I understand that this season was pretty much a set up for the next one it just didint draw me in as much as season 1. Listen, I’m a huge fan of slow burn type of TV shows, when watching something like “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire” I get completely drawn in, but the true satisfaction of a slow burn TV series is the pay off and this season of “Game of Thrones” didint have that. Season 1 was sort of like a build up as well, , but then in episodes 9 and 10 we got the pay off, the storylines we wanted to see end did so, and although not all the questions we had were answered it was enough to keep us satisfied. This past season of “Game of Thrones” was seriously lacking that pay off with only Danys storyline really being concluded and ready to move forward into something else. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed with this whole run and I would give it a 7 out of 10 when I gave season 1 a 10 out of 10. Now before you stone me for blasphemy, allow me to say that I still belive “Game of Thrones” is better then 90% of what’s currently on TV, even including this season, but it’s because I hold “Game of Thrones” to such a high standard that I’m less then pleased when the shows quality dips below my expectations.


***PLEASE READ BELOW BEFORE YOU CONTINUE***

I HAVE MADE SURE TO AVOID ALL SPOILERS IN THIS TRAILER BREAKDOWN. THAT SAID, THERE ARE PLACES AND PEOPLE MENTIONED THAT VIEWERS WILL NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH. REST ASSURED, THEY ARE NOT SPOILERS AND WILL NOT AFFECT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SERIES. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT I HAVE INCLUDED A LOT OF LINKS HERE. THEY WILL BRING YOU TO THE WIKI PAGE OF SAID PLACE/PERSON/EVENT. THE WIKI PAGES HAVE THE EVENTS OF EACH BOOK SEPARATED BY A COUPLE SPACES BUT THAT IS ALL. FEEL FREE TO CLICK ON A LINK IF YOU WISH TO READ/CATCH UP ON A SUBJECT BUT BE WARNED, THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS ON THOSE WIKI PAGES

You all should know by now that I tend to over analyze every bit of information that comes out about season two of “Game of Thrones”. Especially with how disappointed I am with the way a few of my favorite TV dramas ended this year (I’m looking at you “Sons of Anarchy” and “Boardwalk Empire”), I cannot wait for the new TV season to start.

Thankfully, I have HBO, and since their seasons run shorter then cable TV, I don’t have to wait a whole year for my Sunday night to filled with quality programming. Unfortunately, I missed the sneak peek of “Luck” last night so I’m not sure if that will keep me glued to my idiot box every Sunday, but that’s inconsequential. I only have to wait four more months for one half of my favorite TV shows to come back on air (“Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” tied for the number one spot).

Many of you know, or should know, that a new “Game of Thrones” teaser trailer aired last night before “Boardwalk Empire” and while I have viewed it countless times since then, I decided not to do an in-depth review like I did last time. The reason mainly being that it looks like there was not much actual footage used and it was mostly promo stuff. I still felt like I needed to, or wanted to, write a breakdown of it.

Since there is a voice over in this teaser, I’ll do a slightly different format then I did before. I’ll try to match the screen caps as close to the narration as possible. Anything written in quotes and in bold is a direct quote from the narration.

We start of the trailer with a shot of a knight on a horse

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If you look closely, he’s holding a green banner which tells me he’s one of Renly’s men. This looks like one of the few shots from the teaser that’s actual footage in the show. This is when we hear the first voice of dialogue from the show, and if you’re wondering it’s Stannis Baratheon speaking.

“My brother left no true born heirs.”

If you remember, both Jon Arryn and Stannis knew that all of Robert’s kids were actually Jaime’s. Now that Jon Arryn and Ned Stark are both dead, Stannis is the only on who knows.

Next, we see a quick shot of Renly Baratheon

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I said it before and I’ll say it again: Renly looks so much better and more badass then he did in season one.

As the next picture comes up, which is of Stannis and his wife at the burning of the seven, we hear the next line of the voice over.

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“By right and birth and blood I do this day lay claim to the Iron Throne of Westeros”

I literally got chills hearing Stannis say this line but before he’s done, we see a shot of Jon (looks like a promo so there’s no point in discussing it).

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Then we see a rider crossing what I belive is The Red Waste. Since the rider seems to be by himself, it’s most likely one of Dany’s bloodriders scouting ahead.

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Following that, a shot of Dany and Jorah possibly seeing Qarth or Vaes Tolorro. (What’s kind of sad is I’m banging out all these names from memory).

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I love the fact that Jorah is rocking his full plate mail armor. Even though he is a dishonored knight and a traitor to Dany he’s still on of my favorite characters.

As Stannis continues his badassery, we see a shot of Jaime

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It’s kind of dark, but you can see he’s still in chains looking scruffy with a beard and dirt all over his face. I guess being the best swordsman in Westeros doesnt help much when you’re locked up in the dungeons of Riverrun. We also see Cersei looking like she’s plotting something as she always does.

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“That all true men declare their loyalty.”

A quick promo shot of Tyrion

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…and even a quicker one of Arya (so quick in fact, that I wasn’t able to get a clear screenshot), although this one doesn’t seem to be a promo but actual footage.

20111212-153107.jpg I have to say, I love what Maise Williams is doing with Arya. She plays her exactly as she is in the books and has to be one of the best actors in the series.

Next we get a shot of Catelyn and Robb

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There’s nothing really special about either of these shots, but I did want to mention that Michelle Fairley is doing a good job of making Catelyn more likable in the TV show.

The way Stephen Dillane delivers the next line as Stannis chills my bones.

“The Iron Throne is mine by right.”

We see a shot of Joffrey and Sansa, which seems to be actual footage, as Stannis delivers his final threat.

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“They will bend the knee or I will destroy them.”

I love how as Stannis says “…destroy them.”, the shot of Joffrey crumbles and blows away in the wind, which brings us to the last shot of the teaser

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“The Cold Winds Are Rising.”

Stannis finishes up as the trailer comes to an end, giving us an air date (April 2012)

FINAL THOUGHTS
Overall, a great teaser. It gave the viewers just enough information without giving too much away. I rather like the promo look of the trailer, but I wish we got more landscape shots as opposed to close ups of the actors, but that’s a minor issue. I do have a slight problem with the fact they didn’t show any of the new faces we’ll see in season two (aside from Stannis). I would have loved to see Brienne of Tarth, Davos Seaworth, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Jaquen H’ghar or even Craster. I’m also not a huge fan of the tag line “The Cold Winds are Rising”, I would have much preferred what was originally planned which was “The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors”. It simply sounded cooler, but maybe since season one had “Winter is Coming” they want to stick to the whole winter theme.