Spoiler Heavy Reviews: Game of Thrones- “The North Remembers”

by Joe on April 1, 2012

Game of Thrones S2E1: “The North Remembers”- Joe’s Rating~”B”

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How mad the boy king has grown. The Hounds words to Sansa regarding how she reacts to Joffrey grow more and more pertinent as we see the excesses of his rule. Joffrey seeks reaction, and Sansa refuses to give in. However, now Tyrion has arrived. As Joffrey reveled in excess, his mother Cersei rules the small council, at least until now. Tyrion is now the hand of the king, and things are about to change. The interesting thing about TV show titles is it is easy to forget that they have just as much meaning as the show itself. The Game of Thrones is just as much played by those surrounding the throne as those seeking it. It is clear to everyone that Joffrey is a foolish boy, and can be controlled, but the question remains, who gets to control him?

Meanwhile, in the north, 10 year old Bran rules while his brother, Robb wages war. At night he dreams he is a wolf. A mysterious comet flies overhead and the common people argue over its symbolism. Is it for the Starks or the Lannisters? Osha, the captive wildling states that it could only be a sign of dragons. Symbols and signs seem to be deeply connected in Bran’s story, as we saw last season with the three eyed crow. It will be interesting to see how his dreams portend upcoming events.

Speaking of Dragons, Daenerys leads what remains of her tribe into the Red Wasteland. She states she can protect them from their enemies, but the only enemy around is hunger, and that is much harder to kill with dragons, unless you eat the dragons. Even the horse Drogo gave her dies. As a last desperate act she sends out riders to find any sign of civilization. However as Jorah Mormont says, most people will just kill her and take her dragons.

Above the wall,  the Night’s Watch on their journey to find what happened to the wildlings, stop at the home of Crastor. Crastor’s home is a den of incest, where Crastor himself weds and beds each of his daughters, and it is implied he kills his sons. Here we learn that Mance Rayder is gathering the wildlings. Apparently Mance was once a member of the Night’s Watch, and is now gathering an army to fight his former brothers. Jon Snow is not outside this meeting, and has a few choice words with Crastor. Luckily this is almost beat out of him by Lord Mormont as he tells Jon a few choice words about being able to follow. Apparently Sam was right in that Jon is being bred for command.

At Dragonstone, an island off the coast of Westeros, a pyre burns on the beach. Statues of the seven gods burn while a woman in red declares a chosen leader in Stannis Baratheon, the forgotten brother of Robert. Stannis is a harsh son of a bitch, just from his choice of words while writing a letter describing how he is the real heir to the Iron Throne. His maester and loyal subject Davos speak at how Stannis cannot win the war, but his subjects loyalty wins out. The Red Woman, Melisandre appears to have magical abilities as she survives a poisoning attack by the maester.

At a war camp somewhere in the field, Robb and Jamie meet, and we find that Robb now knows everything thanks to Stannis’ letter regarding the illegitimacy of Joffrey’s reign, including Jamie’s role in Bran’s fall. Robb has gradually become used to his role as the King in the North. He sends his demand out to Joffrey including the return of his father’s bones, and freedom of the north. Theon, wanting to gain Robb’s favor asks to go back to the Iron Islands to get ships from his father, who himself had tried to rebel. Catelyn doesn’t trust Theon’s father, as Ned had put down the rebellion and taken Theon hostage. Catelyn recognizes that Balon Greyjoy would not be the most helpful person in this situation. She personally wants to negotiate for Sansa and Arya’s release, but Robb sees the folly in trading Jamie, a tactical leader for two girls. Instead, Robb sends his mother to negotiate with Renly, who we haven’t seen this season yet, to help get him on his side.

Back at King’s Landing, we find that Shae has followed Tyrion, against Tyrion’s father’s expressed wishes. While Tyrion wallows in his own pleasures, we find that Cersei is busy doing damage control. Losing Arya and killing Ned have put the Lannisters in a weak position, and she asks Littlefinger to find Arya. Littlefinger, in an attempt at a power play mentions her and Jamie’s little secret stating knowledge is power.  However Cersei counters with power is power as she commands her guard to put his knife at Baelish’s throat. This is directly countered by a scene with her and Joffrey, as the boy king brings up the same secret. Instead of threatening him, she slaps him. Here she finds that her power is not enough.

The episode ends with the hunt for all of Robert’s bastards, each being slaughtered. However one has escaped, Gendry, who is sitting next to Arya on their way north to the Wall.

The Good:

  • What a great way to start the season. I was deeply engrossed in each element of the story, and found myself wanting more.
  • I loved seeing Dragonstone in the opening.
  • I think the producers have found their replacement for Sean Bean in Peter Dinklage.
  • More Joffrey slapping!

The Bad:

  • I counted 7 separate story lines, not counting Renly who we haven’t seen and Theon who will be going to the Iron Islands.
  • I still hate Shae’s acting.

The Weird:

  • The baby killing scene was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve felt since Lori peed on screen in The Walking Dead.

Read some other stuff from Joe or hear him on the podcast

Other Spoiler Heavy Reviews

Previously on Game of Thrones S1E1, S1E2, S1E3, S1E4,S1E5, S1E6, S1E7, S1E8, S1E9, S2E10


 

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