The masterful cult series for geeks, Game of Thrones, ended its second season on Sunday night. And what a season it was, full of blood, guts, sex, medieval battles, dragons, and even zombies. A nerd paradise of sorts. For me, the best characters are the dwarf Tyrion and Jaqen H’ghar that helps Arya escape. Tyrion is really the character who holds the whole show together particularly in Season Two when he is the Hand of King Joffrey. He is funny, witty, sinister, and incredibly realistic as a character, full of depth and nuance. His role is a bit diminished at the end of S02, but I won’t spoil anything, I promise, and I expect that S03 will feature him once again if the writers are smart. As for Jaqen, he is a super cool assassin character who just sort of appears and surprises us each time, particular at the end of S02E10. The plot is quite complex and I’ll be the first to say that sometimes, I didn’t quite follow all the intrigue. The war between the 7 pretenders to the Iron Throne is alluded to often, but the only battle we actually experience completely is in E09 in Blackwater. It was written by the author of the original book series, A Story of Fire and Ice, and was masterful in every way. The medieval weapons, the siege of the castle, the hand-to-hand combat, the sea-bourne battle, the intrigue of the Red Tower where the ladies of the court are hidden away – all was perfectly shot and orchestrated. It was truly extraordinary television.
One of the truly great things about this show in fact is the complexity of the story and how well the various cities and literally hundreds of characters are woven together both from a script point of view but also in the camerawork, costumes, and landscapes. Visually, it is always strikingly original and thought-provoking. There are really no “good” characters here – except perhaps Daenerys Targaryen – because all are either outright evil (Cersei and Petyr Baelish), or evil but forgivingly humorous (Jaime Lannister) but none are really carved in stone or too stereotyped. Perhaps there are too many British accents which I imagine intentionally try to give the show the feel of being in medieval Europe (although throwing in a pseudo-French or pseudo-German rather than having everyone speak more or less the same may have been more realistic), but the texts themselves are well-written. We are always on our toes during the entire season as the intrigue and suspense really doesn’t let up at all. Even in the last episode, almost nothing is really resolved (other than the Daenerys subplot in some ways) and so the doors are left wide open for S03 to blow us away again. Having not read the books (I know, shame on me, any self-respecting nerd and all that), I am not sure whether there will be a 4th season as well, but surely I will be riveted to the screen in 2013 for the next installment.
Another great S02 review here: http://nerdapproved.com/approved-products/game-of-thrones-season-two-review-features/