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Game of Thrones: Inside The Episode “The North Remembers” (S02E01)

“The North Remembers” lays the foundation to what promises to be an epic and riveting second season for the award winning medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones. The settings are incredibly diverse and spread over different continents from the desert of the Red Waste to the cold Haunted Forest beyond the Wall. As a red comet blazes overhead, each character’s journey and narrative, no matter where they are in the world are interconnected like strands on a spider web or ripples on a pond. The aftermath of King Robert’s death and Lord Ned Stark’s execution continues to unravel as Tyrion Lannister arrives in King’s Landing to assume the position of the new Hand of the King, Robb Stark sends him mother to forge an alliance with King Renly Baratheon and Stannis Baratheon declares his right to the Iron Throne after receiving Ned’s letter that King Joffrey is the inbred spawn of Queen Cersei and her brother, Jamie the Kingslayer.

Watch the Game of Thrones Season 2 – Inside The Episode with series executive producers providing insight on Robb Stark, Jon Snow and much more.

The fictional geography, religions, history, family lineage and cultures make Game of Thrones a richly complex, engrossing and fully realized world. Seven hells, I might even do the next review completely in Dothraki! (Just kidding). One of the challenges of adapting a 1000 page book into a 10 episode season is hiding the exposition usually disguised while characters are playing a drinking game, gutting a steer, taking a bath, shaving a chest or plainly having sex. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, gloss over a detail or forget what previously happened whether your new to the TV series or finished reading the book a long time ago. After watching the TV episode, check out some interesting tidbits and brief thoughts below to enrich your viewing experience. (These are intended to be spoiler-free up to the latest aired episode).

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Review: Spartacus Vengeance: “Wrath of the Gods”, Season 2 Finale, Episode 10

Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead.

The thirst for vengeance is an appetite that can never truly be sated. The desire for retribution or the balancing of a wrong, cannot undo the initial harmful act or make the perpetrator feel the loss or agony of the original suffering. In history, religion, society, literature and in life, acts of vengeance often beget a cycle of retaliation where the original intent, whether it be for social justice or simply “an eye for an eye”, is lost and the victims seeking punishment become the very thing they want to destroy.

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Game of Thrones: The North Remembers, Episode 1 Preview; New Characters of Season 2

If there’s one thing we learned from the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is that the quest for power is dangerous and unforgiving.  A simple error in judgement, strategy, or character flaw such as gluttony, impatience, arrogance, pride, or even nobility can be fatal.   So with the passing of King Robert Baratheon, Viserys Targaryen, Khal Drogo, Lord Eddard Stark and many more into the afterlife we welcome and introduce new characters of Season 2.  Know your enemies, know yourself, know you have no allies or die with your head upon a spike!  Minor Spoilers ahead:

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Review: Spartacus Vengeance: “Monsters”, Season 2 Episode 9

Glaber discovers the location of the rebel camp in the latest episode of Spartacus Vengeance!

All That Remains

Spartacus, Gannicus, and Crixus desguise themselves as Roman soldiers and infilitrate their own camp to test how prepared the rebels are in the event of an actual attack.In Season Two, Spartacus, played by actor Liam McIntyre, hasn’t had the emotional resonance of the first season when he tragically lost his wife, killed his best friend Varro as commanded and fought each day for his survival.  Spartacus’ journey this season of becoming a leader of the rebellion that could possibly bring down the Roman Empire has progressed slower than expected.  Although the rebels have freed Naevia from the mines, rescued Crixus and Oenomaus and burnt down the arena in Capua there hasn’t been much in a way of a strategic plan of action other than recruiting German slaves to their cause.  On the other hand, Spartacus’ philosophical and moral beliefs have been well-defined this season but some of his actions are questionable.  His belief that every life has its worth is underscored by the fact that hundreds of people died in the destruction of the arena although one could argue that the citizens of Capua who cheered for the execution of rebels Crixus and Oenomaus are not innocent bystanders.

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Review: Spartacus Vengeance: “Libertus”, Season 2 Episode 5

Gannicus returns in the latest episode of Spartacus Vengeance!

Burn It To The Ground

Tales of Spartacus’ defeat at the mines have spread across the region and imprisoned rebels Oenomaus, Crixus and Rhaskos are to be executed in the arena as a message that Rome will smother any flame that burns against its rule. Spartacus sends his own message: one that would ignite the hearts of all enslaved by attempting a daring rescue at the arena.

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Recap: Spartacus Vengeance: “Empty Hands”, Season 2 Episode 4

Lots of blood, death, foul language, and full frontal nudity – must be the latest episode of Spartacus Vengeance!

Trail of Blood

Spartacus has paid a big price in rescuing Naevia from the mines. Many of his rebels died in the rescue and a few were captured including Crixus and bald gladiator Rhaskos. Rather than making an unwise decision to mount another rescue attempt so soon, Spartacus leads his followers to Vesuvius to rejoin Agron’s group. In the woods, Glaber’s men, led by Marcus, have split up into smaller squads to cover more ground in their hunt for Spartacus. As pointed out by Ashur, Marcus makes a crucial error in strategy. Instead of keeping his soldiers together in one large force that would easily outnumber the rebels in a battle, they give Spartacus’ group a fighting chance in each encounter. Marcus, arrogant in his belief in the superiority of Romans, has underestimated the rebels because he does not understand that they were once gladiators that spent their lives training to kill and are more than a match for common soldiers. Despite the rebels’ tenacity and fighting abilities, many have fallen and Spartacus feels he is to blame. Mira tries to ease his burden by telling him, “It is because of you … that we are free.”

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Recap: Spartacus Vengeance: The Greater Good, Season 2 Episode 3

Lots of blood, death, foul language, and full frontal nudity – must be the latest episode of Spartacus Vengeance!

An Empty Hand Can Yet Become A Fist

Spartacus, Crixus, Agron, Nasir and the rest of the rebels brutally attack guards escorting a caravan of slaves headed for the mines. Just before Agron is about to get killed, Nasir drives his sword into the attacking guard’s back. Agron compliments Nasir, “You favor clever strategy, f*ck the man from behind”. Addressing the freed slaves, Crixus tells them he searches for a women named Naevia from the House of Batiatus. While searching the bodies for valuables, Agron and Nasir come across a slaver laying on the ground that is still alive. The slaver pleads to spare his life and a horse in exchange for information on Naevia. The sound of Agron yelling as he thrusts his sword into the slaver’s throat draws the attention of Spartacus and Crixus. Before Nasir can find the words to tell Crixus what the slaver said about Naevia, Agron simply says, “Dead … Naevia is dead.”

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