TV Discussion: ‘Game of Thrones’ S2: Ep1 ‘The North Remembers’

It’s finally that time, Game of Thrones has returned to make our Sunday evenings a little more exciting, especially with great seasons of Shameless and Californication coming to an end, HBO is primed to take back the Sunday night spotlight after a disappointing season of Luck sputtered out and crashed in flames.  I liked the show, but it has everything going against it, like all of David Milch‘s projects seemingly do, so we can wipe that taste from our mouths with a fresh helping of the glorious, baby killing, war-ridden, dragon-having scoundrels that fight for the throne in King’s Landing.  If you haven’t seen the first season, don’t bother reading this, as it’s spoiler ridden, and if you haven’t seen it, you won’t understand what you’re missing.

We left Daenerys Targaryan (Emilia Clarke) in a bad place, her warrior king husband died, and she was left with really only her dragon eggs.  After years of extinction, she has her dragon that her family is known for, but they are much in the same position as when we left them, without much aim, and trying to figure out a way to survive while still following Daenerys and her dragon.  I have a feeling this season will be all about her finding a way to earn her claim to the throne, without her warrior king husband, and without her sneaky brother.  I’m not sure where she and her army will end up, but I’m assuming it will ultimately be in a massive war with the Lannisters, the Starks, and the Baratheons.

We pick up with the Stark family, flung across the 7 kingdoms in a bid for war against their arch rivals, the Lannisters.  Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) has dispatched his son Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to be the new Hand to the King, to keep his nephew, the boy King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), and more importantly, his mother Cersei (Lena Headey) in line while Tywin makes his move toward the throne.  Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and her son Robb (Richard Madden) are making strategic plans in the North, while holding Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) hostage while they try to get Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and her little sister Arya (Maisie Williams) returned to their custody.  Not much actual story takes place, just a lot of catching up with where we left off last year.  War is still brewing, but inner family politics have come to rear their head for the Lannisters, who have enemies forming on all sides.

One of the characters we never got much of a look at last season was Stannis Baratheon (Stephane Dillane), who was often mentioned following his brother Robert’s death, but this is the first real look we get at his approach to the claim for the throne, and his move, outing Jaime and Cersei as Joffrey’s real parents, nullifying his claim to the throne, but Stannis is no friend to the Stark family either, believing Eddard Stark to be a weak pawn in his brother’s claim of the throne, and Stannis displays the lengths he is willing to go

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) minds his duty as a guardian of the wall, even if he’s slow to learn the subtleties of the profession. Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) overplays his hand to Cersei, but it soon won’t matter as she will have bigger problems soon to follow. While not a ton of plot moved forward in this episode, it did a great job of reminding us where all these stories are coming from last season, and does a great job of planting seeds of where this season will go.  David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the main creative forces behind the show, have done a great job reminding us all why we love the show, and give us plenty of great scenes to tease us with what will come of the second season.  Remember, winter’s coming…

9.3/10

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