We’ve waited all year for the return of HBO’s hit new series based on the ‘A Song Of Ice and Fire’ books. The tag lines for the second season have been ‘war is coming’ and ‘winter is coming’. The first episode of season 2 didn’t disappoint as it began to form for us the outline of season 2 and what we can expect.
Our first episode starts with King Joffreys name day celibration. The hound is kicking ass and Joffrey seems to be enjoying himself emensley. Everyone of course agrees with him. He turns to Sansa for her thoughts and she repeats his exact words about the event, making Joffrey angry. The next member to fight against a knight arrives late and drunk. The king orders he be given a keg of wine to drink until he drowns, when Sansa interjects stating it is bad luck to kill someone on your Name Day, to which the Hound agreed. Joffrey is ever the little shit this episode and much to my enjoyment, you love to hate him. Sansa is learning slowly how to play her role, being stuck with Joffrey for a long while. Just as the Name Day celebration is to continue Tyrion shows up and gives the king a good old fashion PR nightmare infront of his peers by joking about the fact that he was no place to be found on the battlefield of war. The kings quick response was that he was ‘ruling the kingdoms’.
At the small counsel the queen regent is told that winter is here and summer was coming to an end. Littlefinger explains they have enough grain for 5 winters but worry about the influx of refugees entering the city. Tyrion enters much to the queens dismay and she repeatedly asks him why he is there and he shows a letter to Varys that Tywin has named Tyrion hand of the king in his stead. The queen orders everyone out and asks how Tyrion ticked their father into naming him hand of the king. That’s when one of the top lines of the night came out, ‘If I could trick father, I would be emperor of the world by now’. Tyrion scolds the queen for doing nothing to prevent Ned Starks death. A move that will haunt their family for a generation. The war isn’t going well for them and as Tyrion put it, ‘our enemies almost hate eachother as much as they hate us’, pointing out that, they still hate the Lannisters more.
At Winterfell Bran and Maester Luwin sit and listen to complaints from countrymen about mason problems and a lack of bodies to help with repairs because of Robbs war. Bran takes offense to the notion and isn’t much of a fan listening to people he doesn’t want to listen to. But Maester Luwin explains that is part of being a lord of Winterfell. Bran had another direwolf dream, this time finding himself running with his direwolf Summer, to a pond where he not only sees the wolds reflection but a red comet blazing through the sky. There is more then one opinion on the meaning of the comet, but the wildling slave says its a sign that dragons are coming. She may not be far off.
Still wandering the desert, Danaerys and her people are still attempting to find a safe place to go, along with her 3 new dragons. She decides to send out 4 riders, each going in a different direction to see what they can find, a place for them to go with food and shelter. She tries feeding her dragon but with no luck. She doesn’t know a lot about dragons, and her brother knew even less.
It seems that incest is a huge theme in the series and we don’t have to wait long for a new version, unrelated to the Lannisters to show up. North of the wall Jon and Lord Commander stop at a village where the father marries his daughters in order to father more children. Jon jokingly asks what happens to all the sons. The Lord Commander just listens to Craster and offers him good southern wine and assurances that Jon wont touch any of his daughters/wives. A army is being formed by the wildlings, lead by a man who calls himself King Beyond the Wall.
We visit a new location today, Dragonstone, the home of Stannis Baratheon, the true heir to the throne. They are on a beach where they are burning ephogies of the old gods and pray to a new god. A priestess by the name of Melisandre is leading the event and has convinced Stannis that he path will lead him to the crown. At the council meeting, a letter is drafted to the queen and to all other lords that reveals the secret that Ned Stark only told the queen and Stannis that he knew. Stannis says it was a mistake for Ned to tell only him and he would not make that mistake. The letter is sent to all ends of the 7 kingdoms letting all know of the truth. Stannis had little love for his now dead brother Robert and no love for his other brother Renly. The house of Baratheon are getting ready to war eachother over the throne while the Lannisters and the Starks war it out over Neds death.
Littlefinger finds himself cornered in Kings landing when the queen mocks him for his love of Catelyn and littlefinger mocks the queen for the newly spreading rumor of her relationship with her brother, to which littlefinger finished ‘knowledge is power”. The queen orders him seized and his throat cut, but just before that happens she laughs and tells them to stop. They take a step back and she says ‘power is power’. Littlefinger gets the picture now, he may have helped her when Ned went all noble, but now he is in no better position then Ned. The queen also understands that her power is slipping. She can no longer control her son and after a little outburst and slapping him after he hinted about the dirty rumor about Uncle Jamie and her, he threatened to have her killed. She is trying to gain what little influence she can before its all gone.
The episode ends with a rather unsettling tone. It seems someone knows about King Roberts bastard children and orders them all killed, babies, teens and young adults alike. We watch as the city guard go from house to house and into the brothal to kill all the children of King Robert. One has escaped though, the blacksmiths apprentice. I knew from season 1 he would be important and who is he traveling with? Arya Stark, whose famous tag for season 2 was “anyone can be killed”.
A lot happen in this episode but it was paced just right to help setup the new season and prepare us for the war of 7 kingdoms.