Game of Thrones: Season 2 Review

channel: HBO

creators: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

starring: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen, Maisie Williams, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harrington and Iain Glenn

genre: Fantasy | Medieval

number of episodes: 10

first aired: April 1, 2012 (U.S.)

based upon the book series: "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin

If this show goes on and continues to have the same level of quality, continuity and originality. Then not only will it be the best show to ever be on TV, but a true testament to the medium of television compared to cinema.

Season 2 continues "Game of Thrones" storyline of betrayal, conquest and honor. Everyone is after the throne and for the chance to rule the "Westeros". Some will fail, others will die, but most importantly. No show has had so many sides to one story and been able to keep it all knitted together in combination with fantasy, location change and time continuity.

story:

We follow once again the fortunes of the ruling houses of the Westeros. The Lannisters, Baratheons, Starks and Targaryens. All are after the throne with rightful claims and motives. Stannis Baratheon with rightful claim to throne. Marches his army against Geoffrey Lannister young ruler of Kings Landing. Its up to Geoffrey's uncle Tyrion Lannister as hand of the king to prepare for battle and be the unlikely hero.

To the the North, Rob Stark King of Winterfell. Rides on to Kings Landings to avenge his father death and give freedom to the North. His brother John Snow and the Nights Watchmen of the Wall. Travel beyond the wall, in search of the potential threat of White Walkers and Wildlings.

Further down south, across the Narrow Sea. Khalessi of House Targaryen is still trying find a way home with her dragons. It wont be easy as her dragons have become a target and her ambition might be proved to be too big.

thoughts:

Having never read the books, I can only comment on how the story continues in its TV format. The juggling of so many characters, locations and timeliness is masterfully done. Sometimes some characters are sidelined and other times episodes like "Blackwater" have the full focus of the audience. Both work and most undoubtedly "Game of Thrones" is a show like no other, having not even one boring or mediocre episode in midst.

Many things happen within this season. Most noticeably is the change of sides and the balance of all the players to the throne. Without spoiling much, more sides come into play and the tables have turned with strong and devious foes. The introduction of the new throne families and characters are done very well. We never find any of the new characters to be ill fit to the rest of the cast or to the overall purpose of the story. 

If I had to name a couple complaints, which could only be minor to the greatness of the show. Is the necessary sidelining of characters and the prostitute Ros. I think Blackwater's episode showed best, how the focus on specific bunch and location can prove ultimately beneficial to the story. Not only that, but also that a television show can have the thrills and chills of a film with the right budget, cast and crew. If they can manage with the third season to play around with this idea. I think the episodes could feel much more fulfilling.

Then we come to the prostitute Ros. I still fail to understand why she was created and her purpose. As I've read, this character does not exist in the books and until now hasn't had any particular arc or sub plot within the show. She was a prostitute in Winterfell and then a prostitute in Kings Landing and nothing but bad things have succumbed to her. So why not have random characters play the generic prostitute part, instead of one specific characterized prostitute. Supposedly with the final episode, something might happen for this character. We don't know what might happen, hopefully again not a waste of time.

Game of Thrones wouldn't have been possible, if HBO didn't exist. This private network has been the reason why, we are ultimately caring more for TV, than we ever did with cinema. We used to crave for films and now that is slowly fading away with quality of TV productions from private networks such as HBO, Showtime and AMC. To name a few shows you will understand what I mean: Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Treme, Mad Men, Dexter and Sopranos, Six Feet Under of past.

These shows are pushing the lines of storytelling to new heights. Production value now can reach film heights and with the final episode of Game of Thrones indicated maybe  yet to surpass it. We are all feeling the need of continued serialized storytelling, to the opposite of short hyper intense effects shows on the big screen. TV may yet be the true form of serious in depth entertainment for the masses.

verdict:

In its second season, Game of Thrones not only pleased, but enthralled audiences. It showed that big name actors are not needed, production value and effects can be done in TV format and true creators and writers can unleash their real potential in the right environment. Game of Thrones is the best show on television and may yet be the best show of all time.

Personal Rating:

Transient

review by Paul Katsaros

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