Game of Thrones: 2.02 Review
“The Night Lands” (Season 2 | Episode 2)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
Continuing its triumphant return to our screens this week, Game of Thrones decided to tone down the action and concentrated on more character building and introductions. A good choice for a story that is filled with so many people – by focusing on establishing their individual personalities and relationships with each other, it’s going to make it far more engaging when they’ll all know doubt get slaughtered.
Speaking of new characters and environments…Welcome to Pyke. That’s right, this is the land of Pyke, where the Pykeys live and in true “Pykey” style all they do is steal things and grope their own sister. Isn’t it strange how fantasy shows reflect real life?
Anywho, this was Theon’s homecoming and it didn’t go quite as well as expected. It’s great to discover this area and finally meet his father who we’ve heard a lot about for Ned Stark and co. Balon is very stubborn and negative yet he appreciates the potential of his daughter, Yara and is willing to give her responsibility, ultimately seeing her as “Heir to the Iron Islands”. Theon on the other hand has got a lot to prove it seems, prancing in dressed up in leathers like that doesn’t score points with your old man. Next time pay the “iron price” lad.
Meanwhile back at King’s Landing, Tyrion is kicking some serious ass, “Threaten me again and I’ll have you thrown into the sea.” At some point when Joffrey gets his comeuppance I hope Tyrion is the one to deliver it, his way with words is brilliant and he’s such an amazing element in this show. Thankfully we didn’t have to look at the horrendously ugly face of Joffrey this week, but he still managed to have an impact on the episode. Cersei found out about his order to kill Robert’s infant, it seems she’s completely lost control of her diabolical son and after slapping him last week it’s doubtful she’ll be able to manipulate him again.
Daenery’s is having a quiet season so far. For such an important character in the first outing of the show we’ve barely had more than 10mins of screen time since. Still, she is out in the sticks with only a dozen followers and now a decapitated head for company. I just hope she finds something within the next couple of episodes so we can see more of her and those dragons’.
Seeing more of Arya was nice after she was, just about, missed out in the first episode. Her and Gendry shared some great dialogue, especially when discussing their urinating habits. Now that he knows her true identity this could make their relationship a lot more dynamic and eventful.
Finally we get to see a white walker again, albeit very briefly. These creatures were dangled in front of the audience like a prize carrot in front of a donkey in the first episode and we hadn’t seen them since. Now, after so long we see that they’re deep behind the wall with Craster and seem to be collecting the father-of-the-year’s cast offs. This was a decent way to end an episode that didn’t have much physical action (well there’s always physical action in GoT, eh Stannis?) but there wasn’t much fighting going on so this was a nice bit of drama to finish things off.
Scene of the Episode | “I’m not questioning your honour. I’m denying its’ existence.” An intelligent insult from an insulting intelligent, having Tyrion in King’s Landing has been a great move for the show, now he can finally do linguistic battles with characters on a similar playing field.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.