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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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Game of Thrones: You Win Or You Die – Inside the HBO Series

Watch the 22 minute special on HBO’s Game of Thrones featuring exclusive interviews with series executive producers and cast members including Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) & Emilia Clarke (Daenarys Targaryen) as they give insight on the hit television show, highlight key moments from Season 1 and give teasers for Season 2.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Review: The Walking Dead: “Beside the Dying Fire” Season 2 Finale, Episode 13

The Walking Dead delivered the ultimate season finale. The first half hour was non-stop action as the survivors killed as many of the walkers as possible before leaving Hershel’s farm and later regrouping on the highway.

Who’s flying that helicopter? Hopefully we’ll get some answers or least some hints in the next season. The first scene answered the question of where did the herd of walkers come from since they couldn’t have been near the farm the whole time.  When the walkers come across a wooden fence, instead of climbing over it they just keep pushing against it until the force of numerous walkers causes it to break. Where are they migrating to? Is this some sort of herd mentality or primal instinct? When Carl’s gun shot alerts the herd, there’s a cool view of the walkers creeping up behind Rick and Carl, unbeknownst to them.

Darryl would make for a great detective to be able to deduce exactly what happened with Randall and Shane by just looking at some tracks on the ground and examining the body in the dark of night. Lori needs to brush up on her Parenting 101 skills. With Dale getting attacked by a walker the night before you’d think she keep a more watchful eye on her son. How could she let Carl sneak out of the house without her knowledge? The scene with Rick and Carl in the barn was really suspenseful and I liked how Rick used his quick thinking and worked with his son to set fire to the walkers and try to draw attention away from the house. It’s a call back to “Pretty Much Dead Already” when the walkers were released from the barn and gunned down. Except now, the walkers are trying to get into the barn. Luckily, the lighter didn’t flicker out before it hit the ground. Gotta love flaming zombies, even if the fire is CGI.

The gun training earlier in the season sure paid off. Hey, if Carl can get a perfect headshot on Shane, they why not everyone else … on a motorcycle, or hanging out the window of a speeding truck? I guess with so many walkers around they really can’t miss ; ). They could have used the truck to run over the herd before realizing how much ammo they were using up. It may not kill them, but if they don’t mind the mess, it would definitely cripple them. Thanks to Jimmy driving the RV to the barn, Carl and Rick were able to get off the roof. Kinda funny how Jimmy was so surprised to find walkers at his door. Maybe he missed the bulletin: the farm is being invaded by walkers … for the last ten minutes! Great seeing his blood spurt on the RV’s windshield, the walkers must have already gnawed their way to an artery.

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Game of Thrones: Best and Bloodiest Kills – Video -IGN

If you are not already pumped up about Season 2 of HBO’s Game Of Thrones returning April 1st, check out the nastiest, bloodiest and most gruesome moments from the first season in the video below. Warning: The video contains major spoilers, so if you haven’t watched Season 1 yet … hurry up, what are you waiting for? ;) When I first saw Viserys get his “crown of gold”, I had to cover my eyes and look away … it’s that gross.

Based on the best-selling book series called A Song of Ice and Fire from author George R.R. Martin, Game Of Thrones is a dark, gritty medieval television drama with fantasy elements about many families and people vying for control of the Iron Throne which rules the seven kingdoms in the fictional continent of Westeros.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

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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Review: The Walking Dead: “Triggerfinger” Season 2, Episode 9

Suspense, gore, characters’ on the brink of death: one would think these would be common elements in a television show set in the zombie apocalypse but for much of Season 2, The Walking Dead has focused on character development and drama with varying degrees of success. In “Triggerfinger”, the show returned to emphasizing the inherent dangers of living in a world infested with flesh eating corpses and characters defining their own moral code when they are no longer bound by law or social norms. After Rick shoots two strangers, named Dave and Tony, the sound of the gunshots draw the attention of the strangers’ companions to the bar. From the outside of the bar, the companions question Rick, Glenn and Hershel if they know the whereabouts of their friends. Rather than telling a lie that might have prevented further violence, Rick confesses Dave and Tony are dead which results in the strangers firing at them. The expression on Hershel’s face is priceless as he reacts to Rick telling the truth to the strangers. When Glenn exits from the back of the bar a bullet nearly kills him and without hesitation Hershel shoots the gunman in the chest. Walkers descend upon the downed gunman who is still alive, gruesomely bitting of his nose and devouring his flesh. The gunman yells out while Hershel looks on with gun in hand, unable to end the life and suffering of the man he just shot.

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Review: The Walking Dead: “Nebraska” Season 2, Episode 8

In a zombie apocalypse the most dangerous thing in the world are the survivors. Young Carl was accidently shot by Otis in the season premiere “What Lies Ahead”; Shane used Otis as zombie bait in “Save the Last One”, and in the first season’s finale Dr. Jenner locked the entire group in the CDC that was going to self-destruct. At the end of “Nebraska”, two strangers named Dave and Tony walk into the bar, nonchalantly show off their guns, take a piss on the floor, joke about getting laid and demand to be taken to the farm. When Dave reaches for his pistol, Rick makes the right decision to kill them without hesitation. This a pivotal scene and most likely sets up the next several episodes. Dave and Tony are part of a larger group of survivors that will come looking for their companions which will lead to a confrontation between the two groups. Also, Hershel should now realize he needs Rick to survive in this world and it would be a bit surprising if he still wants Rick and company to leave his farm (with the exception of Shane). Further, it establishes that Rick will do whatever it takes to protect his people and that’s he’s not naive or “delusional” as Shane said earlier in the episode. If Rick was the person Shane says he is, Rick would have wanted to help out the strangers and invite them back to the farm. This season is leading to a ultimate show down between Rick and Shane. Shane will eventually push Rick too far and force Rick to make a tough decision ; a decision we now know he is capable of making.

If I recall from the first season, being infected does not result in an immediate transformation into a zombie, it actually takes some time. So the time line of Sophie being infected, captured by Otis, brought to the barn, then Otis goes out hunting the deer and shoots Carl does not seem plausible. If Otis discovered a newly infected Sophia that quickly, she should have still have been able to communicate to Otis and would not appear “dead”. It’s hard to imagine he’d throw this girl into a barn filled with walkers and not mention this to anyone. To stretch out the fate of Sophia over seven episodes was a bit much, especially since I cannot recall one scene that gave the audience any reason to care about her. At least, Shane was asking Hershel a lot of the same questions the audience were asking or thinking.

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