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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I first saw Game of Thrones a little over a year ago, I didn't not
read any of the books. But when Ned's head was chopped off, Joffery
wasn't the true heir and Robb has crowned himself as The King in the
North, I couldn't wait any longer. So I decided to read the books. Now
I'm watching this show from a different perspective and I am still
amazed how well this episode was played out.
"The North Remembers" shows us how much this show will now jump around. With Ned Stark dead, there is no real center role to keep everything together. Even though Tyrion (played by Peter Dinklage who won an Emmy and Golden Globe for Supporting Actor last year) is now considered the overall fan favorite, he still fits in the supporting actor role; and it's better that way. The season will jump around a lot from Daenerys and her dragons to Robb Stark and his ongoing war against the Lannisters. For those who had problems remembering plot and characters from Season 1 might want a note pad handy - because it doesn't get any easier in Season 2.
The season premiere was all about showing where everyone is. I loved how it opened; they show King Joffery and much of a monster he has become by nearly drowning a knight in wine. I also loved that Tyrion is finally in King's Landing serving as Hand of the King that his sister, Queen Cersei, is not too happy about. Across the Narrow Sea, the episode showed Daenerys and her dragons heading east for shelter or civilization. While we were only able to see on dragon, it looked beautifully made. Robb Stark, the King in the North, sends his peace terms to King's Landing and wants the North to be separate from the Kingdom forever. We also see his wolf, that has grown since we have last seen it, test the imprisoned Jamie Lannister. The episode also shows Jon Snow north of the wall and we are told that a new king has also risen beyond the wall.
The episode shows some new faces. Stannis Baratheon, only mentioned in Season 1, finally comes on screen during a ritual that dealt with burning the old gods for the new God of Light that a sorceress, Melisandre, is performing. Stannis has declared himself the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and declares war on King Joffery.
Yes, the episode is full of information. They throw a lot at you and since this is only a ten episode season, it's required to show so much information. Having said that, they did a marvelous job of bringing the book to the TV screen. The little game between Cersi and Littlefinger (also known as Lord Baelish) was tremendous and shows what power really is. The ending with all of King Robert's bastard sons was beautifully done. Though I wish we could have seen more Arya (who only appears before the credits role), everything else about it was fantastic.
"The North Remembers" was about bringing everyone up to speed again and now the show should continue with great pace. This is a 1000 page book they are trying to squeeze into ten episodes. So far, the show is doing beautifully. I can't wait to see how everything else is played out. Even though I have read the book, I am still eager to "see" what happens next.
The Lord Commander Mormont is tracking down Benjen Stark with the
Night's Watch. Tyrion arrives in King's Landing to assume his position
of Hand of the King making Cersei furious and he strikes back telling
that she allowed the execution of Ned and the escape of Arya. Stannis
has received the letter sent by Ned to him telling that he should be
the heir of the throne and he sends copies of the letter to all Lords
in the realm claiming that he is the legitimate successor. Cersei
forces Littlefinger to find Arya threatening his life. Joffrey orders a
massacre of Robert's bastards in King's Landing. Daenerys and her small
group face starvation and she tries to feed her dragons anyway.
"The North Remembers" is another violent episode of "Game of Thrones". Now Stannis claims the Iron Throne and will fight the War. Littlefinger believes that knowledge is power but Cersei shows him that power is power actually. The slaughter of babies and children is impressive to keep the throne for Joffrey. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "The North Remembers"
The second season's first episode takes us right back to George R. R.
Martin's fantastic creation Westeros and as soon as the HBO logo has
left the screen and the legendary opening credits start, it feels as if
we have never left this amazing fantasy world. In the very first scene,
underage asshole king Joffrey reminds us why we all hate him so much
while also delivering an immensely entertaining scene that directly
merges into another one involving the only two characters that are even
more entertaining than Joffrey: his mother and his uncle, Cersei and
Tyrion Lannister. The two have a heated debate during the Small Council
that has Tyrion delivering this episode's most rememberable one-liner,
"It must be hard for you to be the disappointing child." This marks as
the first real confrontation between those two and it is awesome. The
fierce chemistry between the mutually abhorring brother and sister is
magnificent and shows the enormous acting qualities of Peter Dinklage
and Lena Headey.
Because of this scene, the episode has already had its top point in the first ten minutes, but that isn't really bothering since the simple comeback of all those great characters that we learned to love or hate (sometimes both) in the first season is absolutely great. Some scenes admittedly lack the tension and fantastic screen writing that the one with Cersei and Tyrion had, yet the further evolving of the different characters is enough to keep anyone who liked Game of Thrones in its primal season delighted. Additional intensity comes from a new setting that involves Stannis Baratheon, rightful claimant for the Iron Throne, and television's hottest redhead since Christina Hendricks in Mad Men. It's hard to grasp what is exactly going on in where are those scenes set, for Christ's sake? -, but future episodes will surely give more insight into Stannis, Melisandre (a.k.a. "Hot Redhead"), and the other characters involved. The introduction to this location was definitely very well-done, however, I remember to have been way more swept away by how they presented us all the settings in season one.
All the other basic locations of the series return as well, with the Night Watch part going into a whole new direction that seems utterly appealing to me. The scenes at the Stark camp are quite good, especially the argument between Robb Stark and his captive Jaime Lannister; while the five minutes in which we travel across the Narrow Sea to find neo-dragon mother Daenerys and her extremely exhausted 'khalasar' are a bit unfulfilling. It's sad that not even dragons can help those scenes get any more interesting, they still are the weakest fraction of the series, like we were used to it previously.
All in all, we shouldn't forget that this is one of the visually best TV series of all time and the whole look ranging from cinematography and editing to make-up, costumes, and set design is absolutely grand. And though creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss start to deviate from the novels more remarkably at this point, it's still a fantastic adaption. I believe my high rating for this episode is warrantable since the weaker parts really don't carry weight that much and it's just tremendously entertaining to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a reader, and I think it is a remarkable adaptation. I would go so
far as to say that we owe it to the author himself being part of the
production. He is not letting anyone butcher his baby and that's why it
is so awesome.
The casting is wonderful. So many new faces mixed with a bunch of well known celebrities make the characters really come to life and I imagine their faces when I read. The wardrobe and make up are stunning, the locations are beautiful and really seem Westeros and Essos, the FX, the plot is genius, the dialog too, and the small changes from the book are a success.
In this episode, we take up exactly where we left. It is amazing how everything is so real, even when it's fantasy. Good guys do bad things, bad guys have hard times, good ones too, sometimes it is not even clear who the bad guys are. Some facts that are clearly explained in the books have to be conveyed by images and voices that's why we see:
.Joffrey taking off his boy-mask to show the ruthless ambitious sadistic psychopath he is. Even to his own mother. Can a king like this really rule? Great scene with Cersei.
.Cersei carries on her plans, like eliminating the bastards and showing Petyr who's the boss. But she knows she raised a monster, she has to deal with Tyrion and Jaime is missing. She is actually reaping what she sew. I really like the actress, I think she is doing a great job.
.I totally love what they did to Robb Stak. Totally worth seeing. In the book he is much younger but here it is a really strong character and the huge direwolf gives him such a halo of power that he is even better than Eddard. We all want to see him rip off Joffrey's head right now! Will life be so just?
.Tyrion becomes Hand, and we all think "Gee, look at Tywin making a good decision..." Let's all hope he brings some wits into King's Landing. Nice man Tyrion, you have to be a dwarf to be a little bit of a humble Lannister. He always steals the scene.
.Sansa is living the real nightmare having to comply with the king's every whim. Will destiny smile at her and she'll escape? Or will life be a bitc* and Joff might kill her (or worse)?
.Jon Snow and the brothers reach Craster's. And like they say "there are no laws beyond the wall". Nice scene too with the Old Bear.
.Arya follows Yoren north as an orphan boy, that continues to show the incredible strength in this young and female character.
.We were all hoping to see Daenerys conquer half of Essos, but the truth is that the dragons are babies, the Red Waste is an awful desert and she is the queen of a bunch of homeless starving dirty souls. Also great female character that steals the scenes when she appears.
With this set forward it is clear to the viewers that we can expect anything in this season. Pretty much like life itself, unpredictable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Game of Thrones: The North Remembers is a about a power grab. The series creates the impression of ruthless people and the results of ruthless actions. The Kings death created a power vacuum. The new boy king is a sadistic tyrant. Each sadistic act creates new enemies for the king. The King's biggest mistake was beheading Stark, which resulted in war with the North. The question is will the North alliance create a new tyrant if the boy king is unseated, or will the Dragon queen create a surprise coup? All the above mentioned plot elements, and sub plots creates a boiling stew of controversy! The controversy make the viewer wanting more? Lets see who will win the Game of Thrones? Eight out of Ten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Dinklage(Tyrion) was awesome as usual, Lena Headey(Cersei) and
Jack Gleeson(Joffrey) was remarkable. Scene changes with using comet
was a great idea. Some acting looked stiff but other than that, it was
a good start for season 2.
Good, but not great like first season. Because there is buts...
There is little screen time so we can understand why creators of this series, put some great things out of the show. My concern is what is "in" the show.
The writers seems to getting bolder this season so they decided to make the show little different than the books. I'm okay with that, but there is things you shouldn't change. Like character profiles.
1- Littlefinger not so dumb to threaten Cersei to her face. He doesn't play like that.
2- Joffrey not so bold to threaten his mother. Actually he is afraid of her. (now i wonder, how he will react on Tyrion's ass kicking.)
3- Stannis would not be so arrogant to deny north alliance if he really did learn the truth about Joffrey from Ned's letter.
4- Robb would not be so eager to become King in the North or keep the crown if he really knew that Stannis is the rightful heir.
5- And please, stop making Jaime Lannister look like a coward for your audience. Man doesn't fear death, he proved it countless times in the books.
My concerns not for present, but the future of this show. If you play character's profiles this way, soon people will start saying "this doesn't make sense. why he would do this, or why he wouldn't do that." This is not a comic book series, there is no whites and blacks, rights and wrongs. Line between good and bad is very thin in these books. So please, keep it that way.
Sorry, English is not my native language.
This is the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. We
pick up right where the first season left off amidst the turmoil
occurring in the land of Westeros. As like it was in the first season,
we seem to be getting plenty of strong performances and there are some
new characters introduced such as the brothers of the late Robert
Baratheon. The production design looks very sharp, sharper than your
average television show.
In this episode, "The North Remembers," Tyrion Lannister arrives in Kings Landing where he is to act as the new King of the Hand. Meanwhile, Robb Stark ponders what to do next in the war, The Night Watch decide to trek north to figure out what is happening beyond the wall. Stannis Baratheon decides he is the rightful heir of the Iron Throne. Finally, Daenarys is out in the desert with what's left of her people struggling to survive.
Overall, this is a solid start to the second season. It's an episode that is pretty much the aftermath of the last episode of the first season, but it introduces a path in which this season will take. Great acting is the key to the success of this show. I have a feeling that this will be Peter Dinklage's time to shine.
My Grade: A-
There are so many plot elements going on here that to try to go through them is quite fruitless. Suffice it to say there are some incredibly stunning scenes. For one, Joffrey is taking it to new limits. He is so heartless and so cold. He decides a drunken man needs to drown in alcohol, forced down his throat. He confronts his mother calling her out for her responsibility in driving his father to produce bastards all over the kingdom, then sending out assassins to kill them, including a small child and a baby. Of course, the most dangerous of these would be Jon Snow. We see Tyrion gaining the position of Hand to the King, showing little if any respect for his master. Once again, the smallest person in the series, dominates the screen. He is the survivor, the intellectual, the true predictor of actions. There are other aspects of the wars going on with the multiple kings. Once again, there are so many irons in the fire and it is becoming difficult to interpret the alliances.
In the last episode of the first season, we saw the aftermath of Ned
Stark's execution, we saw Jon accompany Lord Commander Mormont on a
mission beyond the Wall and, most of all, we saw the birth of dragons.
Plot In A Paragraph: As Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his northern army continue the war against the Lannisters, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) arrives in King's Landing to counsel Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and control the young king. Stannis Baratheon plots an invasion to claim his late brother's throne, whilst Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), her three young dragons and khalasar trek through the Red Waste in search of allies, or water.
The opening of the episode starts strongly but at times scenes feel slightly rushed. the sparkling presence of Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage (Who deservedly won an Emmy for his work in the first season) is a breath of fresh air whenever he's in a scene, easily dancing around Joffrey's and Cersi'z jibes. I particular liked the scene where he offers his condolences to, and is assessing (you can see it in his eyes) how Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has found a way to survive, by saying the words they expect. And when he discusses getting Jamie back form the Stark's "you had three Starks to trade. You chopped ones head off, you let another escape.... Father would be disappointed."
Another scene I liked, was one with Robb, Jaime a very large direwolf in Grey Wind. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldauand Richard Madden both do a fine job.
My big complaint with this episode would be the absence of Arya (played Maisie Williams, who I was a big fan of last season) except for the very last shot of the episode. All in all, this episode has some of the same problems that the show had in its premiere last year: a lot of ground to cover, and not enough time. And that's why I suspect I quick shot of Arya was just tacked on the end.
After Timothy Van Patten from introduced us to this epic series with
the two captivating initial episodes, episodes 3-8 were engaging but
slightly less convincing. Timothy Van Patten is an HBO veteran since
"Sex and the City" and from "Sopranos" and "The Pacific" fame and was
the right choice fine-tuning the take on this seductive and succulent
source material. Having tackled two episodes of the perfect pitch
period piece "Rome" and giving directorial birth to "Game of Thrones"
he is now largely involved in "Boardwalk Empire", the other current HBO
blockbuster and critically-acclaimed show.
Alan Taylor, also involved in "Sex and the City", "Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire" too some lesser degree, worked on my all-time favourite series "Six Feet Under" and also on remarkable and more relevant "Rome". He arrives for Episodes 9 and 10 of season 1 of "Game of Thrones" and ups the game in almost all levels of storytelling. Now in season two he is in charge of the first two episodes including this one who is the best episode this series has seen thus far. Watching episode 3 of this second season, it became apparent that the show is not the same without Alan Taylor! Thankfully he directs two other episodes I have yet to see, later in this season. However, he is not slated to direct in season 3 as he is now involved with a Marvel feature film for Thor...
All that said, this "The North Remembers" episode is to be remembered. From the beginning with King Joffrey's birthday celebration and sadistic humour interrupted by submissive Sansa Stark and new appointed Hand uncle Tyrion Lannister with a crisp arrival to King's Landing to the final murderous scenes, including brutal infanticide, that end the episode, every shot, dialogue and the specific and overall tones are on point. This is a strong episode on its own and also perfect resolution of last season's remaining questions as well as setting up the story lines for a potential exciting season 2. The next episode "The Night Lands" is also top notch, so here hoping other directors will follow Alan Taylor's lead and elevate the series with better scenes, acting, tension and pace.
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