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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
(Warning: It will be difficult to talk about this without significant spoilers … Read at your own risk!)
When we last left the world of Westeros, young Robb Stark began a war to avenge his father, the prestigious Lannister family held the throne courtesy of the cruel young king Joffrey, Jon Snow prepared to go beyond the ice wall, and Daenyrus’ dragon eggs finally hatched (Chekov’s eggs?). Season 2 picks right back up where we left off. Only days have seemingly passed, perhaps only a few weeks at most.
Robb Stark has continued winning victories against the Lannister’s banner-men, leading the Lannister family to begin pondering a peace treaty. This seemed the most compelling of the intertwining plots, and the most time was spent on it as well. Stark reckons that maybe he can build an allegiance with the Barristers, and plans to send his mother to broker and alliance. He also plans terms with King Joffrey, demanding the north be considered a separate kingdom (of which Robb will rule, as Lord of Winterfell). He lastly demands the return of his sisters Sansa and Arya, though Arya has gone missing (unbeknownst to the Stark family).
Meanwhile, back at King’s Landing, Joffrey continues his cruel reign, forcing soldiers to face off against each other in a death’s duel. Sansa intervenes at one point, suggesting a sentence as a court jester for a drunken knight rather than death. Her words entice Joffrey, who agrees. Sansa’s morality, fueled by the unnecessary death of her father, seems to give her a sense of strength and purpose as she’s basically held captive in King’s Landing. Cersei also has an encounter with Lord Baelish, reminding him of who really holds the power in King’s Landing. Meanwhile, the King’s Guard tracks down and kills all the bastard children of the dead king Barrister, eliminating anyone with a more legitimate claim to the thrown than young Joffrey.
Unfortunately not much time was spent with either Daenyrus or Jon Snow. Both of their story lines are fantastic and I hope to see episodes focusing on each in the near future. Dany’s dragons have hatched, but they’re far too young and weak to wreak havoc upon her enemies. She leads her people through the dangerous, unforgiving terrain of a great desert, hopefully to a better place as soon as possible. Her people are weary and starving, and horses are dying off quickly. Jon Snow makes an unfortunate comment to a warlord wildling, and is quickly reminded of his place in the Night’s Watch. The men of the Night’s Watch quickly learn that the wildlings have gathered an army of thousands, but do not know for what purpose. This plot has been building since the first episode of season one and I cannot wait for the payoff.
All in all, this was a great episode to introduce the second season of Game of Thrones. Though nothing earth-shattering happened, it helped ease the viewer back into the world of Westeros and continued the intrigue and suspense set up by the fantastic first season. I’m hoping a few more of these story lines end up crossing together during season two. I can’t wait to see what Daenyrus does with her dragons, and I can’t wait to see what Robb Stark’s next action against the villainous Lannisters will be.
Hope everyone out there enjoyed the premiere!