Friday, April 29, 2011

Game of Thrones Episode 2 "The Kingsroad"

Something wicked this way comes, is what I can most likely say for every single episode of this entire show. There is a lot of sadness in this episode, but not comparatively to the rest of the series. I have read all of the books so forgive me if I hint at future events that are guaranteed to happen based on their importance in the books, but I will not spoil anything. Although I will spoil things for Episode 2.

*Spoiler Warning*
My favorite scene from the series so far was in this episode with Tyrion and Joffrey. Tyrion wakes up in the stables and Joffrey refuses to gives his condolences to the Starks about Bran being injured. So, Tyrion promptly smacks Joffrey around which is greatly satisfying, love it. We all know arrogant children like Joffrey, but he shows it is much more than just arrogance later on, and it's a bit of a guilty pleasure to watch someone give him what he's due.
So far this series is doing a great job of representing the characters, while also moving the story along at a decent rate without leaving out much substance. There were only a few times where I felt like they should have added one of the scenes from the books. For instance when Bran in this episode, is almost murdered, they never explain that his direwolf has been outside for a long time howling and waiting to come see him. So, when the direwolf breaks in and saves Bran and Catelyn Stark, it felt like it would of been a little confusing for anyone without knowledge from the books. In the books they spend a little while explaining the bond between all the children and their direwolves, which would have made the moment later with Sansa and Lady, her direwolf, all the more painful.
The episode starts out with Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, the King, and their entourage, all heading to King's Landing, the Capital. It also quickly shoots back to the world of Daenerys and her experience so far with her new husband Khal Drogo. They manage to do a good job switching between all the characters in this episode, while also choosing important scenes to show of them. I am grateful that they decided to include the scene between Tyrion and Jon Snow. The banter between them shows off a great deal about the two characters. It also shows Tyrions intelligence and that he does care a little about others, but he is used to be looked down upon by so many that he has little sympathy for the world. Tyrion explains to Jon that he uses reading and intelligence as armor against the outside world and Jon should do similar. It also shows Jon's anguish about his place in the world and how he is more than a little worried about taking the black.

One of the biggest moments of this episode had to do with Arya, Joffrey and Sansa. This is the first time in the series, other than Bran's attempted murder, that it show's off the true brutality of the world they are living in. It has to do with Arya’s direwolf injuring Joffrey because he was threatening her because she was practicing with swords with her friend, the butcher’s boy. Anyways, this all ends with Joffrey being a whiney little girl and Arya and her friend running for their lives. This all ends with Sansa losing her direwolf and Arya having to send her direwolf off into the woods to escape the wrath of the Lannisters. Before all of this Queen Cersei had often shown restraint and kindness to everyone, except Bran, but now she shows her true maliciousness when it comes to this situation. She cares nothing for the Stark’s feelings on the matter and demands pain and suffering upon Sansa and Arya, while also having the butcher’s boy murdered by the hound.

They cannot find Arya's direwolf so Cersei demands Ned kills any direwolf available, which means Lady, Sansa's direwolf. Sansa and Arya scream and cry in refusal with Ned alongside them arguing with every card he has but the Queen wins in the end, as she often does. Ned is the one who always bears the responsibility of whatever horrible things fate decrees upon his family. He sadly must kill Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, in order to appease the Lannisters and the King.

All of this is only the beginning of the long hard road for everyone in the Stark family. Ned will find it harder and harder to be a good friend to the King and fulfill his job as the King's Hand. Jon will find that joining the Black is not a easy life. Catelyn at the end of this episode seems intent to travel to King's Landing to talk to Ned about her sister and the Lannisters. While all of this is going on there is still Daernerys in the east struggling to become a true Khalessi. She also trying her best to enjoy her situation, while getting out of the role of being Khal Drogo's servant instead of wife.
So far the series is going on smoothly. I am pleased with the acting and scenes that they have chosen to include into their limited scope of time. At this point it is still going slowly and no one should expect to be too attached to any character yet, but if it's anything like the book's it won't be long till you are rooting for many of the characters, while greatly despising others. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out. I enjoyed this episode and can't wait to see the rest of the season play out. My only complaint is that the Dothraki are far too clean looking, I mean come on..they are supposed to be incredibly dirty and vile barbarians. For anyone confused about characters and how they are tied together there is a great compilation of information on the houses and characters on!/guide/houses/stark/. I welcome comments.

Violent Score: 8.5

Side Note: For any readers of the series, the new book, A Dance with Dragons, is finally coming out on July 12th according to Amazon. The wait finally seems to be over.

Written by Sean Cargle


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