Game of Thrones (Season 2) follows the dramatic death of Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (Sean Bean), with all of the Starks being separated across Westeros. Season two mainly centres around the war of the five kings; all five kings in Westeros believe to have a claim to the Iron Throne, besides Robb Stark (Richard Madden), who seeks vengeance for the death of his father.
At the end of Season 1 we see that Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) has died and that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has taken up the mantle as the leader of Khal Drogo’s Dothraki who are now wandering and slowly dying in the Red Waste. Unfortunately the Red Waste is a rather harsh environment with no vegetation or water. Even Daenerys’ efforts at seeking aid are useless as one of her rider’s horse returns with the guy’s head in a pouch. Thumbs up to Jorah (Iain Glen) for sticking with her. However, though a long journey Daenerys’ and crew arrive at the gates of Qarth, where she is seemingly granted aid by Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie), a member of the Council of Thirteen. Daxos is pretty crafty as he proposes marriage in exchange for his wealth to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, though she rejects the offer due to Jorah’s influence. Soon after her dragons are stolen and many of her servants killed (and when I say killed I mean straight up butchered; the things people do for power).
It is revealed that the warlock Pyat Pree (Ian Hanmore) stole her dragons and that he and Daxos are working together. Pree slaughters the Council of Thirteen (which was pretty cool with his summoning all those clones of himself), before establishing Daxos as king of Qarth. It is revealed that her dragons are in the House of the Undying (pretty cool name). After a confrontation with the weirdo Pree (who looks like an older Victor Zsaas) in which he attempts to capture by her and her dragons who are the source of his magic, the jackass gets incinerated by the young dragons (which was completely hilarious). Afterwards, she confronts Daxos and her handmaiden Doreah (Roxanne McKee) who’ve both betrayed her and locks them in his Valyrian stone vault to die. Daenerys and the Dothraki straight up jack this fool for everything he has.
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) then appoints Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) who is granted status as the acting Hand at King’s Landing due to Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) lack of control of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), whose actions are responsible for the rebellion. Kind of feel sorry for Cersei as Joffrey is just as big a dick to her as he is to everyone else. Due to her narcissistic ways Cersei rejects Robb’s terms for peace which is even more bolstered by her power struggle with Tyrion, who is systematically replacing Cersei’s support system. She is thrown for a loop after she sends her daughter Myrcella Baratheon (Aimee Richardson) away from King’s Landing for her safety. This is one of those few times where her humanity shines through as she is actually emotionally hurt. She is again thrown for a loop when Joffrey’s actions incite a riot that nearly gets them killed.
She has this interesting conversation with Sansa Lannister (Sophie Turner), after she gets her first menstruation, in which she warns her to love no one but her children, not even Joffrey. Later on, when Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) army comes in full force Cersei takes shelter offering the ladies of the court safety. Ironically enough Sansa is with the group and we get another moment where Cersei shows how caring yet hateful she can be. She takes her son Tommen Baratheon (Callum Wharry), who’s a complete marshmallow, and plans to poison both of them with some Essence of Nightshade to avoid capture. However, before she can, Tywin shows up like the beast he is announcing their victory. Later on, Cersei helps convince Joffrey to set aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark and marry Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) instead.
Robb Stark and the houses loyal to Winterfell have waged war against the Lannisters in the wake of Eddard’s execution. Robb has shown himself to be an accomplished general as he has won three victories. One of his victories include the capture of Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who he plans to use as a bargaining chip in exchange for the North’s independence as well as Sansa and Arya’s ( Maisie Williams) safe return. Robb sends his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) to gain alliance with Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) brother, while sending Theon (Alfie Allen) to gain support of Balon. Unfortunately things go wrong with his support when Renly is killed by a shadowy spectre cooked up by his other brother Stannis and his sorceress advisory, Melisandre (Carice van Houten). Things go even further south when Theon betrays Robb by re-joining the Greyjoys.
Robb hits it off with this healer name Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin) who is pretty hot. In Robb’s camp, Jaime leaves a guard dead after a failed escape attempt. This causes a rift in Robb’s ranks as some soldiers seek retribution. An even bigger rift forms when Robb learns that Catelyn has secretly freed Jaime, now escorted by Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) formerly Renly’s bodyguard, to ransom for Sansa and Arya. Robb discovers Theon’s betrayal and apparent murder of Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson) and plans to take back Winterfell. Robb later on plans to marry Talisa though he is promised to his betrothal to House Frey. This doesn’t sit well with his mother however, he weds Talisa anyway.
A group of the Night’s Watch have been dispatched to venture beyond the Wall to investigate First Ranger Benjen Stark’s (Joseph Mawle) disappearance. The Night’s Watch end up taking up shelter with a hermit named Craster (Robert Pugh) and his daughter/wives. Craster is another one of the many exceptionally unlikable characters. Even more so when Jon Snow (Kit Harington) discovers that Craster is sacrificing his sons to the White Walkers (pretty intense scene). This forces Craster to evict the Night’s Watch. At the Fist of the First Men, Snow captures a Wildling named Ygritte(Rose Leslie) (love her accent) but gets separated from his patrol when she tries to escape.
Unfortunately she leads him into a trap where he is captured by a group of Wildings led by Rattleshirt (Edward Dogliani). Rattleshirt, having captured the leader of the Night’s Watch patrol Qhorin Halfhand (Simon Armstrong), escorts them to the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds). Rattleshirt plans to kill Jon however, he is saved by Ygritte (gosh I love her accent). Qhorin sacrfices himself by allowing Jon to kill him in a duel, but only to him his chance of infiltrating the Wildlings’ camp to learn more about them. That’s really ballsy and I gotta admit, I probably wouldn’t have played it that way. The ruse works with the Wildlings thinking Jon has betrayed his vows. Upon making it to the camp, which is huge, Ygritte takes Jon to meet their king.
The Verdict: In the end, Game of Thrones (Season 2) is bigger and better than its predecessor. There are other storylines going on that I didn’t mention in this post. Such as Arya’s journey and her meeting the awesome Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) and Tywin Lannister, Tyrion’s struggles as the Hand, Sansa and her relationship with the Hound (Rory McCann), Stannis’ claim to the Iron Throne, Jaime and Brienne’s travels, and also, the adventures of Bran, Rickon, Osha (Natalie Tena), and Hodor (Kristian Nairn). The story gets more complex with the battle of the Five Kings and the climax is just epic. Game of Thrones (Season 2) gets 5 out of 5.