Game of Thrones: Season 2, Episode 8

The Prince of Winterfell (20 May 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 7,997 users  
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Stannis is just days from King's Landing. Tyrion prepares for his arrival. Jon and Qhorin are taken prisoner by the wildlings. Catelyn is arrested for releasing Jamie. Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie plan to escape from Harrenhal.

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Theon's sister Yara arrives at Winterfell with reinforcements but he still can't seem to earn her respect. She tells him he was stupid to kill the Stark boys as they were valuable prisoners. Theon learns that his father wants him to return home. North of the Wall, Jon had been taken prisoner by wildlings. At Harrenhal, Arya identifies the last of the three lives Jaqen H'ghar promised her for saving him. Robb is dismayed at the deal his mother has made with Jaime Lannister and places her under arrest. Danerys refuses to leave Qarth without her dragons and decides to retrieve them from the House of the Undying. Stannis and his army approach King's Landing from the sea. Tyrion plans for the defense of the city but Cersei wants him to keep her son King Joffre out of the fighting. He realizes that he must take steps to protect Shae. Written by garykmcd

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20 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Jaime told Brienne that there are three men in the kingdom who might have a chance against him in battle. He was presumably referring to Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane, Sandor "the Hound" Clegane and Ser Barristan Selmy. See more »

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Tyrion Lannister: [to Cersei] I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you're safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.
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User Reviews

 
Only preparing us for the season finale, but still filled with rememberable conversations.
23 August 2013 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

"The Prince of Winterfell" doesn't include any action scenes at all, but you feel that it serves as the preparation for what happens in the next episode and as that, I found it to do a very good job. However, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the creators of the show, don't desist from including outstanding drama moments. Most of those happen in King's Landing where people seem to be in direct preparation for war (the whole setting just looked a little too calm for me considering the looming battle) while Harrenhal also gets its deserved attention. Not really in the fore anymore (rhyme alert!) are the story parts with Jon Snow and Daenerys, but I sense huge surprises waiting for them nevertheless in the final two episodes of season two. Winterfell and the Stark camp receive a fair amount of screen time as well, Stannis and Davos return after a short absence with a rather forgettable conversation that only includes one important sentence in two minutes of talk. Alrighty then, lots of stuff to talk about!

Perpetually entertaining, but notably great in this episode were the several scenes at King's Landing, every single one involving Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. The only Emmy-winning cast member of the show never disappoints with his acting, yet in this episode, I honestly found more joy in the actors sharing the scenes with him. Lena Headey went back to being bitchy, the solitary thing she does better than having sex with her brother. Then there's Jerome Flynn as Bronn, spitting out hilarious one-liners pretty much every time he opens his mouth, Conleth Hill as Varys, whose only job seems to be having interesting conversations with all sorts of royal family members in the city, and Sibel Kekilli as Shae, the German actress who always failed to impress me until this episode and the ones before it, in which she mostly overcomes the unnaturalness she's had until that point.

Maisie Williams once again did a terrific job as Arya - her conversation with Jaqen H'ghar may have been the best moment of "The Prince of Winterfell" – but I found the group conversation in Tywin Lannister's dining room to be unnecessarily prolonged. Another scene overstaying its welcome happened in the tent of King Robb. Lady Talisa telling him a story of her childhood was definitely unneeded, yet it resulted in her taking her clothes off, which relativizes my criticism. I mean, as objective as I try to be in my reviews, that girl got a helluva booty. In a completely different matter, Brienne of Tarth got to spend time with Jaime Lannister, arguably the funniest scene this episode had to offer.

Rose Leslie didn't lose her charm, only her screen time in this episode while seeing Qhorin Halfhand again made for some nice dialogue. Sam, Grenn, and that other nameless Night's Watch fellow who's never gotten an introduction, but is somehow there since the beginning of this season, use their time to dig comfort stations, during which Sam discovers a rotten Night's Watch cloak. Well, that was thrilling.

Across the Narrow Sea, more specifically in Qarth, Daenerys is spending way too much time on whether or not to rescue her stolen dragons from Pyat Pree, thus the one scene there, her discussion with Jorah Mormont, was virtually useless. Now, to finally come to the episode's title, "The Prince of Winterfell", there's Theon Greyjoy, the douchebag with daddy issues who recently killed Bran and Rickon. But, why is Isaac Hempstead- Wright's name included in the opening credits, then? An interesting solution comes at the end of the episode.

All in all, I enjoyed "The Prince of Winterfell" quite a lot and best of all was the way the tension for the following episode was built. Practically every story part in this episode was a set-up for the big season finale starting with "Blackwater" and left me wondering about all the things that could possibly happen. Way to go!


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