Season 2 of Game of Thrones is just over a week away but we are all ready to see it now. HBO released a new 21 minute video recaping season 1. To say we are excited is an understatement. Along with the video HBO also released a Q and A with the shows creators and 21 new character images from the second season.
In a press release from HBO, they describe the second season:
War is coming to Westeros. As the cold winds rise and five kings vie for power, bonds are forged and broken, identities are challenged and romance blossoms. With the stakes higher than ever before, who will survive the chaos to claim the Iron Throne?
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years. The Emmy®– and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series begins its second season SUNDAY, APRIL 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.
Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the ten-episode second season of GAME OF THRONES plays out against the backdrop of a fast-approaching winter – the season of the white raven. In King’s Landing, the coveted Iron Throne is occupied by cruel young Joffrey, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and his uncle Tyrion, who has been appointed Hand of the King.
But the Lannister hold on the Throne is under assault on many fronts. Robb Stark, son of Ned Stark, the slain Lord of Winterfell, seeks autonomy in the North and has taken Cersei’s brother Jaime prisoner in battle. Daenerys Targaryen looks to shore up her depleted power in the East with her three newborn dragons. Stannis Baratheon, brother of the late King Robert, rejects Joffrey’s legitimacy and aligns with a powerful priestess to raise a naval attack. And Renly, Stannis’ charismatic brother, has maintained his own claim since fleeing King’s Landing.
In the meantime, a new leader is rising among the wildlings North of the Wall, adding fresh perils for Jon Snow and the order of the Night’s Watch. With tensions and treaties, animosity and alliances, the second season of GAME OF THRONES will be a thrilling journey through an unforgettable landscape.
Returning cast members include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane).
Also returning for the second season are: Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), James Cosmo (Commander Mormont), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Donald Sumpter (Maester Luwin), Ron Donachie (Rodrik Cassel) and Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon).
New cast members in the second season include: Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte).
The first episode which airs on April 1st, is titled The North Remembers and is summed up with this:
As Robb Stark and his northern army continue the war against the Lannisters, Tyrion arrives in King’s Landing to counsel Joffrey and temper the young king’s excesses. On the island of Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon plots an invasion to claim his late brother’s throne, allying himself with the fiery Melisandre, a strange priestess of a stranger god. Across the sea, Daenerys, her three young dragons and khalasar trek through the Red Waste in search of allies, or water. In the North, Bran presides over a threadbare Winterfell, while beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch must shelter with a devious wildling.
In a Q and A with the shows creators, they were asked where the show is going and what we can expect:
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years. Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, GAME OF THRONES plays out against the backdrop of a fast-approaching winter – the season of the white raven. The Emmy®– and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series begins its ten-episode second season SUNDAY, APRIL 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.
Q: GAME OF THRONES found an enthusiastic following in its first season. What would you say to would-be viewers who are curious about the series, but don’t consider themselves fantasy fans?
D.B. WEISS: Give it a shot. GAME OF THRONES is not aimed at a niche audience. We’re proud of the fact that it’s a fantasy show – it’s set in a world that never existed and never will, there are fabulous buildings, sets, costumes and creatures you won’t see anywhere else – but our aim has always been for the show to speak to universal human themes of power, love, family, betrayal…all the things that have made so many kinds of storytelling so compelling for so many centuries.
Q: Season one featured the surprising execution of principal character Ned Stark. How did that event upset Westeros?
DBW: This season is largely about how Ned Stark’s death leads to a series of events that ultimately culminate in a war, pulling all the different factions in this world into open-armed conflict with each other. Almost every character is directly affected by the war in some way or another – even Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, who are on far different corners of the world, feel the effects of the events that spring from Ned’s death.
Ned Stark’s death had a profound effect – he was the moral center of the first season and he lingers on as that moral presence. For his son Robb, especially, Ned’s death is really a driving force. King Joffrey killed his father, and Robb isn’t going to stop until he has avenged his father’s death. This vengeance motive feeds into Robb’s larger desire to see the North rule itself, to see it freed and lifted out from the under the thumb of a person who’s sure to be one of the worst kings in recorded memory. As the second season will make abundantly clear, Joffrey is not the guy you want sitting in the big chair.
DAVID BENIOFF: Ned tried to instill in his son the same moral values he was brought up with, a strong Northern code: Always do the honorable thing, no matter how hard that might be. But being the most honorable man in the room means you’re the most vulnerable man in the room. An honorable man is a predictable man, and predictability is weakness in war and politics. Robb understands that and he’s trying to navigate a path somewhere between pure honor and pragmatism.
Q: What are the major themes this season, other than the ongoing struggle for the Iron Throne?
DBW: Fundamentally, it’s about the universal human themes of power and family. It’s about the ways the personal can influence the political, and how the motivations of people in power are driven by very human, understandable motives like revenge and love, which are things we all have experience with. Put in the right place, those motivations and feelings can change the face of countries and worlds.
Q: Does season two follow book two, or have you taken greater creative liberties than you did in the first season?
DBW: I think fans of the show can expect to be surprised by some of what happens. Fans of the books will obviously have more of a line into events, but we’re taking approaches that might surprise them as well. A lot of the characters that George created are so rich and so wonderful that you often find yourself wondering what would happen if this one met that one: When Robb finds himself alone with Jaime, for instance, what do they say? And we’ve been blessed with such fabulous, talented actors that you really find yourself just wanting to write more and more for them, to explore the characters that they’re making their own. So there will definitely be some nice surprises. I think there’ll be excitement for both longtime readers and newcomers to the material.
Q: Did you have any specific concerns while filming the sophomore season?
DB: I was concerned about falling into a crevasse in Iceland. One of the perils of shooting on a glacier.
DBW: I was concerned that four hours’ sleep a night might not be enough for a person in the long term.
Q: If GAME OF THRONES continues with additional seasons, will you adapt one book per season, or try something different? Do you have an entire series arc in mind?
DBW: Well… “A Storm of Swords” is too long to fit in a single season. And as readers know, “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons” take place during roughly the same time frame, so we’ll have to fold those together. The plan, if we’re lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see it through, is to use as many seasons as we need to tell the story as a whole, to do justice to George’s entire opus.
DB: We’re not looking at our series as a book-by-book adaptation so much as an adaptation of George’s entire saga. In other words, in our minds season two is not “A Clash of Kings.” It is the second season of our adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Checkout this new video from HBO which recaps season 1 and little more about whats inside.
“Game of Thrones: You Win or You Die,” provides a rare opportunity for viewers who haven’t seen the series to get fully caught up on Season 1 and offers a taste of the action and treachery to come in Season 2 through insightful commentary from cast and crew and video clips from both seasons. Throughout the promo film, Game of Thrones creators/executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and actors Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) provide first-hand accounts about the creation of the show, the world of Westeros and the people who inhabit it.
The four segments of the piece include: “Inside the HBO Series,” featuring essential background on the series–introducing viewers to the fantasy kingdom of Westeros and its characters; “Winter Is Coming,” a recap of Season 1 featuring great scenes and performances by main characters; “Fear and Blood,” which lays out the stakes for the Iron Throne in Season 2; and “The War of the Kings,” which takes you on location to the show’s exotic settings and talks more about the twists and surprises in store throughout the new season.