Game of Thrones: Season 2, Episode 9

Blackwater (27 May 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
9.3
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 12,656 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 17 critic

Stannis Baratheon's fleet and army arrive at King's Landing and the battle for the city begins. Cersei plans for her and her children's future.

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("A Song of Ice and Fire" by), (creator), 2 more credits »
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Title: Blackwater (27 May 2012)

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Storyline

Confident of victory, Stannis Baratheon's fleet and army arrive at King's Landing and the battle for the city begins. The Lannisters are badly outnumbered but Tyrion has make sensible preparations and strikes a blow. When no one else will lead the troops beyond the city wall, Tyrion decides he will do so himself. Cersei plans for her and her children's future. It appears they are all headed for certain death but help suddenly arrives. Written by garykmcd

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27 May 2012 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

This is the first episode of the series to take place in a single location (King's Landing) and at the time of its airing, featured the smallest number of main/recurring cast members. See more »

Goofs

When Sandor "the Hound" Clegane returns to the city after fleeing the battle, he calls for a drink, throws away the water and calls for wine. By the time he reaches Sansa's chamber, he is carrying a water skin. See more »

Quotes

Stannis Baratheon: [to his soldiers outside King's Landing] Come with me and take this city!
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Crazy Credits

Song "The Rains of Castamere" is sung during the end credits See more »

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Main Title
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Ramin Djawadi
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User Reviews

 
Not as good as so many people claim it to be, but definitely a stand-out episode
31 August 2013 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

In "Blackwater", Game of Thrones' typical style is radically changed, which starts with the fact that the usual handful of locations are narrowed down to only one, King's Landing. This is, of course, serving the purpose of the huge battle at Blackwater bay, which gives the episode its title. The main cast contracts pertinently and only 11 of the usual 25 are left – something that on the other hand enhances the focus on those particular characters. Especially Tyrion, Cersei, and Sansa have more screen time than usual and guest writer George R. R. Martin, author of the show's source material, the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, includes a multitude of important character information into the cleverly written and grandly acted dialogs. However, it's unlikely the awkward conversations between Queen Regent Cersei and Queen to-be Sansa about the possibility of the latter getting raped by Stannis' troops, nor the entertaining "F—k everything" attitude of our canine friend in the King's Guard, Sandor Clegane, that audiences will remember about this episode. What happens in the last five scene of "Blackwater", with an absolutely stunning twist that will leave your mouth wide open during the whole ending credits, makes it a fan- favorite.

But first things first: it actually takes the episode quite some time to gain momentum and not one scene in the first quarter of an hour was really something special. The looming fleets of Stannis Baratheon excited me and looked really good, yet I knew that this wasn't nearly the full potential of the show. Slowly but surely, one-time Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall manages to get the right mood on the screen and once Tyrion's sellsword Bronn lets loose of his fiery arrow in the direction of Stannis, the episode's mood varies dramatically. The following wildfire explosion is unbelievable, but the battle isn't over, it has just begun. Before we get to massive bloodshed in front of the Mud Gate, however, there's a cut to Cersei and Sansa, fifty-fifty voluntarily getting drunk in Maegor's Holdfast, where they are separated from the martial outside world.

And then, in the second half of "Blackwater", an unforgettable battle commences, that is understandably small scale in comparison to cinema blockbusters, but includes umpteen awesome close-combat killings, fantastically realized by director Marshall. Much of the gore scenes, that made the show quite notorious for TV circumstances, are there as well and they are so artistically done that it's impossible to not have fun with it. But it wouldn't be Game of Thrones if the final scene weren't a jaw-dropping surprise. Lena Headey as Cersei is amazing in an extremely emotional finale that alternately shows her and her son Tommen in the Throne Room and Tyrion and Stannis on the battle field. All of this is almost too enthralling to watch and culminates in the arrival of Loras Tyrell. Remember, the audience doesn't know on which side he and his family are on at this point and that makes the scene with him entering the Red Keep one of the best moments in the whole show.

"Blackwater" is undeniably one of the most rememberable Game of Thrones episodes, even though I personally found the first third to be too slow and also found several inaccuracies and logical flaws (How does Stannis now that Tyrion is responsible for the Wildfire? How can Stannis climb up the latter to King's Landing first of all without anyone of the Lannister's attacking him?). I do think that the hype about this episode is a bit disproportionate, but "Blackwater" is nevertheless one of the show's highlights.


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