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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.


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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Originally I wanted to review every episode of this seasons “Game of Thrones”, but there are many more sites out there that do that better then I. Also, writing a review for every episode is really a lot of work when you include editing and posting it up.
Around the midpoint of the season I decided to do a blog at the very end, to give you my thoughts on season 2, how I feel about the main characters as well as their journeys and express my expectations for season 3. Now just to let you guys know, I am a book reader but I’ll keep this review/recap absolutely spoiler free as far as the next books go.

In this review/recap, I’ll use a technique very similar to what Larry Williams does, but instead of doing locations like him, I’ll do it character by character

FYI: If you don’t know who Larry Williams is, allow me to explain. Larry does weekly YouTube “Game of Thrones” reviews [among many other videos]. You can find him under the channel OtakuAssemble and he is also only a TV viewer so if you haven’t read the books, his channel is the best option for you. He is extremely entertaining and articulate, I watch everyone of his reviews and I couldn’t recommend him more. You can find his channel right here.

Stannis Baratheon/Melissandre

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In the books, Stannis is portrayed as a man with no charisma, a man unwilling to bend, as someone who sees the world in black and white without a spot of grey. That truly is Stannis Baratheon, a man who follows his own code and doesn’t break it for anybody, but then again, Stannis is also a man living in George R R Martins world and here everyone has flaws. The only man truly honorable and honest in the show lost his head last season, and the only way to survive is to break even your own rules, much like Stannis did. See, as much as Stannis talks a big game, he is still a survivor and in order to survive he does what he must and that is to get himself involved with some black magic. Just having Melissandre there to help him is one thing, forcing people to convert to his (but mostly her) god is pushing it, but to break your marriage vows with her in order to spawn a shadow demon that kills your brother in secret? Stannis had gone to far, I think he knew it and thankfully and all he needed was a little push from Davos to put some distance between himself and The Red Witch during The Battle of Blackwater. Unfortunately that didin’t work out so well as Stannis lost most of his force and the defeat rushed him right back into Melissandre’s arms. I fear that now he will not be able to, nor be willing to, separate himself from her even for a moment. Especially with the fire vision (?) she showed him in the finale, he’s going to become a fanatical follower of the Lord of Light and be complete under the Red Gods control.

Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell/ Margaery Tyrell

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Unfortunately, the youngest of the Baratheon brothers didin’t even get to see the halfway point of this season and ended up joining his brother in the afterlife. It was really too bad since Renly seemed to be a better choice for a King then his brother. He had the charisma, as well as the political savvy; after all, he did get the Tyrells to join his side although that might have been more because Loras was his lover and the Tyrells hated the Lannisters for quite some time. Following his untimely death most of his men joined Stannis and the Tyrells bailed on the whole thing until their alliance to the Lannisters came to light. Honestly, that was their only choice if you look at the situation logically: Stannis, being the unbending follower of rules, would have proclaimed them traitors and have them executed. They couldn’t really team up with Robb since all he wants is the North and the Tyrells are from the South. What would happen to them once the war was won and Robb went back to Winterfell? I know that the Tyrells are very wealthy, but I doubt they can hold the South by themselves. In the end, there are two simple reasons why they switched over to the Lannister side. One is that Loras wants revenge for Renly’s death and I’m sure he somehow knows that Stannis is responsible, the chance to destroy Stannis at Blackwater was too good to pass up. The other reason is power, as Margaery said it herself even before Renlys body was cold, “I don’t want to be a queen. I want to be the queen”. Those are some powerful words, and she is getting what she wants judging from the season finale. I love having Margaery in Kings Landing as Joffrey’s bride to be because it seems like she is the opposite of Sansa which I think is great. Margaery looks like she is on Cersei’s level of playing the game, she knows how the world really works and knows how and when to move the pieces. I’m really hoping that in season 3, Cersei and Margaery will go head to head to see who will become the true queen.

Davos Seaworth

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Poor, poor, poor Davos Seaworth…..words cannot express how sorry I feel for you. Whether Davos is alive or dead, you have to admit one thing: he was loyal to the very end, be it either of the end of his life or of the end of the season. It’s true that nothing can replace Ned Stark, but if anyone can come close it’s most defiantly Davos. In the few scenes he had this season, just from his conversations with Stannis and anyone else, you could tell that Davos was a man of honor, willing to die for his king if he had to. Such loyalty didin’t always win him favors with Stannis since Davos was quick to share his opinion about Melissandre and the Red God, but that was one of the things that made him great. You could tell that Davos and Stannis had a very honest relationship with each other, one was the king and the other the subject, but Davos was never afraid to tell Stannis how he felt. It was a good thing that Stannis had Davos to balance out Melissandre and I truly hope we’ll get to see Davos next year.

Cersei Lannister/Joffrey Baratheon/Sansa Stark

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This season has shown us that even though Robert is gone and Joffrey is the King, the Queen Regent still hold most of the power in Kings Landing. It’s true that she has no real power and whatever Joffrey says goes, but to a certain extent Cersei has him under control. If that’s actually a good thing is a completely different matter. I’m going on a limb here but I would say Cersei is almost as crazy as Joffrey, although not as sadistic. She’s not having whores beat each other with wooden clubs under the watch of a crossbow, but I do sense a tad of crazy in her. Throughout the season, it looked like she was getting more and more paranoid, and even though Tyrion never actually went out of his way to hurt or kill her she was constantly accusing him of it. Imprisoning what she thought was Tyrion’s whore and preparing all the women of the court to get executed if the city was taken turned my assumptions into fact, but what really cemented my option of Cersei being insane is the last scene of episode 8. The woman was seconds away from poisoning her child! Of course you could say that she didin’t want Tommen to get taken captive or executed by Stannis but how could a mother do that to her kid? I don’t think that Catelyn would ever be able to to that to her children, and speaking of the Stark kids, let me mention the most pathetic one AKA Sansa. While every other Stark is out there, be it fighting the Lannisters or their own battles, Sansa gets pushed around and pretty much spit on in Kings Landing. It was only last episode where Sansa became “brave” enough to make a quip at Joffrey and it was a very underhanded, tongue in cheek quip at that. I hope she becomes more in touch with the Stark blood in her veins next season and starts to fight back. Sansa has the best access to all the Lannisters, just imagine what Arya would do in her position.

Arya Stark

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Out of all the Stark children it’s obvious that Arya has it the hardest, which at the end of the day makes her the toughest. Jon has it bad beyond the wall, but at least he has his brothers. Robb is fighting a war, but at least he has his army. Sansa is stuck in Kings Landing, and although she gets knocked around, as long as she plays nice she has a bed to sleep in, food on the table, someone to comb her hair and every other luxury that comes with living in a castle. Bran and Rickon had a pretty sweet life most of this season, and even after Theon took Winterfell, it’s not like the Stark boys were being hurt. Now ask yourself, who does Arya have? She had Yoren for a bit until he was killed in front of her, after that she was taken prisoner which I’m sure wasn’t a walk in the park. She became a servant once in Harrenhall, and even though she served Tywin, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Every other scene we saw her carrying buckets of water and cleaning up after people, as well as being mistreated by the Lannister guards. There was bright spot in Jaquen but he’s gone now, so who does she have? Now keep in mind that besides Bran and Rickon, she is the youngest one. She most definitely has is the toughest, but thank god she’s Arya because it makes her strong. It was in this season that we saw Arya turn into a survivor and the conversation she had with Jaquen in episode 7 regarding the third name proved that. She loved her father, but she’s nothing like Ned. Arya will lie, cheat and steal to get out of a situation and as long as she’s alive at the end of the day she’ll be happy with herself. What proves this the most is when she names Jaquen as the third name he tells her that she has no honor and Arya, without missing a beat, shrugs her shoulders. You can see it in her eyes, they way she sees the situation is “Who cares if I have no honor? At least I’ll be alive.” it’s as simple as that. At the end of the season out of all the Stark children, with all their honor, bravery, love and courtesy it is only Arya who’s not up shits creek without a paddle.

It’s 2 am as I’m writing this, I still have to edit and post it. I won’t be done until at least 3 am. I really didint want to do this but I’ll have to split this into 2 separate blog. I’ll have the second part up tomorrow.