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Game of Thrones – Season 2 (2012)

Game of Thrones is an ongoing series of books written by George R.R. Martin. In 2011, HBO decided to make a series out of this material and in retrospect, a very succesful one at that.

Game of Thrones takes place in a country called Westeros. Comprised of seven different kingdoms which are ruled by a king which sits on the aptly named ‘Iron Throne’.

After the events that happened in the first season we pick up where we left off. Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) has been murdered by King Joffrey (A brilliantly hateable Jack Gleeson) and a new hand has been appointed, which is the fan favourite imp called Tyrion.
The story really takes off in this season and lays down a plethora of storylines for us to get involved in. Even though we now know most of the characters by heart, it can feel a bit overwhelming at times.
As is the case with most shows that feature lots of characters, the main thing to avoid is giving everyone insufficient screentime.

And that’s a hit or miss with Game of Thrones in this particular season (which ended last sunday).
Giving this a quick count there are well over 10 major storylines which need our attention, and whichever one is your favourite, within a time span of 60 minutes per episode that gives you roughly 6 minutes to move it forward. Therefore you get the feeling that the creators of the show have collapsed under the weight of it all.
It’s still a very good show, probably the best on tv at this moment, but it tends to shift focus one time too many every episode.

On top of that, the events happening this season aren’t all that different from the first.
There are added dynamics, but Daenerys is still stuck in the other side of the world, the stark family is still shredded into different camps, the winter has yet to come and the king is still Joffrey.
Ofcourse: following the line of the original books, this is all part of a much larger story that will unfold in the upcoming seasons, yet it does feel a bit ‘The Two Towers’ to me. Where we have to go through all this in order to move forward towards bigger things that are coming.

With a sturdy fanbase already supporting this with all their hearts, it’s easy to let the ambitious plans (and quality) fare a bit, in order to set up the larger story arcs.
However, most obvious point in this case is when the big battle commences between Stannis Baratheon and King’s Landing. Not only do we as a viewer know much about Stannis, the entire battle lasts roughly 15 minutes before it’s ended (off-screen) by Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance).
Before we reach that anti climax we also see the painful limitations of a tv-show, though it’s still HBO and has a huge budget, the battle we get to see is definitely undermined by its financial limitations.

However, what remains by the end of the day is a huge cast of interesting characters who are all, in some way or another, on their way to much bigger things. Whether you’ll invest even more time into the third season is up to you, looking back on what we’ve gotten so far, I’d say it warrants your attention for at least 10 more hours.
Besides, to stay in Lord Of The Rings terms: ‘The Two Towers’ has led us to ‘The Return of the King’ and I for one can’t wait to see where they’ll take their story too next.

All in all, even though it’s sometimes cracking under the weight of its ambition, this is still the best show on television right now, and you’ll regret not giving this your attention.

8/10 stars!

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Game of Thrones – Season 2 (2012)

  1. Couldn’t read it all coz I was afraid of spoilers! Am in the middle of the third book right now, and as soon as I’m finished I’ll be watching the TV series. Can’t get enough of GoT at the moment!

    Posted by Kelly O'Brien | June 4, 2012, 19:05

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