Game of Thrones Review/Reaction: “What is Dead May Never Die” Season 2 Episode 3
If there’s one character in Game of Thrones you would want to have as a friend it would be Sam. In a world of back stabbing, hidden motives and deception, he’s compassionate, caring, honest and means what he says. His crush on Gilly is endearing and played with such glee by actor John Bradley. It was a bit silly offering his mother’s thimble to Gilly but that’s what makes Sam so likeable. I believe it when he promises to come back and rescue her. After taking the oath of the Night’s Watch, including celibacy, it will be interesting to so how far their relationship will develop.
Meanwhile, Theon has chosen family over his friendship with Robb Stark. To Balon, Theon symbolizes his failed rebellion, something he can never come to terms with. In a culture that prides itself on pirating and taking from others, his only surviving son was taken from him and held as a hostage by the Starks. That’s got to hurt! What makes Theon so intriguing to watch is despite his character flaws and the despicable way he treats women, we understand his need for acceptance, belonging and recognition. His sister Yara may not directly say she cares for Theon, but when she warns him of the fisherman’s nets it shows that beneath the her stern, cold exterior she’s not without a heart.
“The Night Lands” is another highly entertaining installment of Game of Thrones. Much like “The Kingsroad”, the second episode of the first season, “The Night Lands” set up characters on their journey, establishing their motivation, the conflict they must overcome and what’s at stake. Every scene is designed to help the audience understand the inner monologue of each character and to build towards the major events of the season to come.
If there is a quibble in how Game of Thrones episodes are structured, is that very little of note actually happens until the final scenes. Although the story moves from location to location touching base with characters, one never gets the feeling that the episode itself is moving towards a revelation, turning point or resolution. Something important does happen (more on this later) but it serves as a cliffhanger to give the viewer a reason to watch what happens in the next episode rather than something the character has overcome or confronted. Unlike a procedural crime show where the episodes are self-contained and have an immediate resolution, Game of Thrones is incredibly ambitious, challenging viewers to invest in the journey and in hopes that the endgame will payoff.
“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).
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.
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:
Glaber discovers the location of the rebel camp in the latest episode of Spartacus Vengeance!
All That Remains
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.
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.
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.