Game of Thrones returned last night, a date that was long awaited by fans of the series. If you read my reviews last season, you’ll already know a few things:
- I started watching the series late and had to catch up – it took me at least five episodes to get into it last season, and I only reviewed it sporadically.
- My reviews could easily be nicknamed “Confused Girl Talks Game of Thrones”. I have trouble keeping track of characters sometimes, I haven’t read the books, and sometimes I have NO IDEA what’s going on. So yeah, there are more in-depth analyses of the show out there. If I get a detail wrong (it’s bound to happen) please let me know in the comments so I can fix it!
- My favorite characters are Arya Stark and Khaleesi/Dany, so I suppose I like strong women. I think Robb Stark and Jon Snow look too much alike.
So, I’m going to try really hard to review GoT every week this season, but it might not always be up on Mondays. Where I live, Game of Thrones comes on at 10:00 p.m. and Mad Men at 11:00 p.m., so it can be tough sometimes to stay up that late. Now, let’s talk about the show!
The North Remembers
I was a little worried that I’d have trouble becoming absorbed in the Game of Thrones world again after such a long hiatus. Luckily, there was such a mix of old and new characters that I was immediately enthralled. I recognized Joffrey (ugh) and Sansa immediately, and I waited with bated breath for a glimpse of Arya.
We began with King’s Landing and Joffrey, who was celebrating his Name Day by watching people fight to the death. I liked seeing how quickly Sansa is adjusting to pleasing her fiancée while trying to prevent him from as much evil as possible. She convinced him not to have a man killed by telling Joffrey it would be bad luck on his Name Day (birthday?), and then spared the man’s life by making Joffrey think it had been his own idea to make the man his official fool. I didn’t care for Sansa last season, but she is no longer a silly, love struck girl.
Tyrion showed up quickly, adding a much needed dose of sensitivity and humor. He offered Sansa some words of comfort for the death of her father, threw a few jabs Cersei’s way, and took his place at the Small Council as the acting Hand of the King.
Cersei also knows that they’ve screwed up, and she didn’t need Tyrion to point that out. They had three Starks to trade, but now they have only one – Joffrey insisted on chopping Ned Stark’s head off, and Aria escaped. The Baratheon/Lannister contingent no longer has the strength they once did. Though, she still has some power and was quick to put it on display when she was threatened by Little Finger.
Things are falling apart for Cersei – word is getting out that Joffrey is not a true Baratheon, but a bastard born of incest. Even the sniveling little twat himself has gotten wind of the rumors, and he’s not happy. Joffrey clearly has the upper hand over his mother, and it terrifies her. After she slapped him, I truly believed he’d have her killed if it happened again. After Joffrey questioned how many bastard sons of the late Kind Robert might be out there, they were all rounded up and killed – including an infant being housed in Littlefinger’s brothel.
Meanwhile Robb is winning battles and using his wolf to intimidate Jaime Lannister, while trying to balance all his duties. His mother just wants her daughters back, but Robb knows the war is more complicated than that – independence for the North is what they’re truly fighting for. Meanwhile, little Bran is running Winterfell and Jon and the Watch are staying with a man who enjoys marrying his own daughters.
Some of the new characters we met in the premiere were Stannis Baratheon (the elder of the late King Robert’s brothers) and Melisandre, a totally nut-so fire priestess with red hair. The other big players in the war are Stannis’s younger brother Renly Baratheon and Tywin Lannister, the father of Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion but we didn’t see them in this episode.
If Joffrey’s lineage can be proven, Stannis would be the rightful King. Stannis is an interesting, rather cold and calculating character and I’m interesting to learn more about him. Melisandre seems incredibly powerful – so much so that one man was willing to drink poison just to try and off her. We don’t know why yet, but she was immune to the poison that killed him.
The Red Waste
We didn’t see a lot of Dany this week, but she’s struggling to keep her people alive. She has three dragons but is quickly losing people and horses. They’re wandering the desert and looking for refuge, but they cannot go anywhere where they’d be defeated and Dany’s dragons would be taken from her. We didn’t see much of them in this episode.
The ending of the episode was pretty epic – as I mentioned before, all of Robert’s bastard children were found and killed. All but one – Gendry, who was travelling to the wall with Arya. It was definitely a moment that left me eager for episode two. What did you guys think?