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I was beginning to feel that somehow the Season 2 of Game of Thrones
may not be able to live up to the expectations of the viewers, partly
because of a couple of weak episodes in later half of the series and
due to lack of the awe-factor which TV viewers had experienced during
magnificent events of Season 1. But the Blackwater episode more than
made-up for those inadequacies and Valar Morghulis brought about a
thrilling conclusion to a very solid season.
This episode is specially remarkable given the fact that many plot arcs depicted here are distinctly different than the books and yet somehow, despite being a loyal book reader, I felt that those changes have made the story lines even more interesting. There are subtle hints which give a glimpse of what is about to come in this epic saga, which all culminate into a spectacular climax (that is all I can do not to give away any spoilers).
I really don't know how anyone can stop themselves from picking up the 3rd book of the series after watching this episode.
This is Game of Thrones, always setting high standards..and after a jaw-breaking episode of last week, this week's episode provided enough spine chilling scenes to fill our appetite... Season Finale which actually gathered 4.2 Million Viewers on its initial airing broke another record as its now 2nd most watched TV show on HBO ever.. The only thing bad about GoT is, that it has 10 episodes a year, i would prefer a regular 13 episodes a year.. now we have to wait another 10 months probably, for Season 3...its a good idea to start reading the books in the hiatus... and one last thing " Winter is Coming ".. it may come earlier than anyone thinks as we saw a sign of it in the Finale
I don't know what the disapproving reviewers were watching but it must
not have been this, or they just wouldn't know good TV if it smacked
them in the face... with a hammer...
This is another wonderful season ending, leaving me wanting for more, the graphics are spectacular, on par with any major Hollywood Blockbuster. The scrip is superb, after each sequence and scene change I wanted to go back and find out what happens next, but would as quickly become immersed in what was happening now. The acting is wonderful as ever, each character makes you hate them, love them, feel sympathy as the director chooses. The Mise-en-scene is also excellent, everything from the decor to the costumes, lighting and so on make you believe this world is there and these events are unfolding before your eyes. And the cliff-hanger I feel is more interesting than last seasons, we are getting closer to the really big events! I want the third season now! But I guess reading the books will have to do.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a review for both the season and finale.
First, the latter. This episode, was spectacular. Dropping the single event style of last weeks - battle of blackwater, the show returns to its many storyline style. Season 2 story arks such as Jon's, theon's, Dany's, Tyrion's and Arya's are completed and the stage is set for story's such as Sansa's, Jaime's, Robb's and Bran's to become more interesting in season 3.
Individual scenes; well of course the final cliffhanger (zombie apocalypse scene) was amazing, I loved the scene between littlefinger and Sansa in the throne room (both Aidan and Sophie are incredible at acting), Alfie Allen's scenes were as always fantastic and also the scene between Tyrion and Shae, which almost made me cry. Scenes that they could have done better were the surrounding and burning of Winterfell; which they didn't explain well at all. That it was actually Ramsay Bolton who burned in and not the Greyjoys. The house of the undying, could have been better though it was better than i thought. Should have had more foreshadowing - as it did in the book.
Stand out performances include, Alfie Allen and his amazing speech, John Bradley's fear in the white walker scene and Emilia Clarke for finally showing her true awesomeness that we haven't seen such the season 1 finale - when she locked her traitor handmaid in that room, I got chills.
Rightio! Season 2 has been all in all, a slightly weaker season than the first, though this probably should have been predicted as its based upon Clash of Kings which is basically the build up to book 3, book, and is widely considered to be the second weakest after Feast. That said, it was still awesome. Tyrion's kings landing scenes were brilliant, As well as Theon's greyjoy scenes and finally Arya and jaqen, Arya and Tywin...well Arya and everyone. :P
Stand out scenes, include that awesome scene at the end of Blackwater - flashing between Cersei telling Tommen the story and Tyrion blacking out as his father rides in...actually scrap that, the whole of Blackwater! Also Theon being rejected by his father, burning the letter and then getting baptised and Jaime's amazing Honour and vows conversation with Catelyn.
Stand out acting this season from Alfie Allen as Theon, Sophie turner as Sansa, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey and Maisey Williams as Arya. The only reasons this season fell down compared to the last is occasions of not giving all the info in the writing which confused the new viewers, less action, minus Blackwater of course and occasions where Dan and Dave deviated from the source material and it didn't pay off. The prime example of this is Jon Snow's story which I think is stronger in the books.
In conclusion though, these are only little niggles, this season is fantastic. Fantastic writing, storytelling, acting, scenery, cgi, battles and character development. A must watch for those who haven't. Season 1 - 10/10 season 2 - 9/10 season 3 - will undoubtedly rise back to 10 as it is based upon the strongest book in the series - storm of swords. Thanks for reading, hope this is useful. x
As I have said before, I am not a particular fan of swords and sorcery
style stories, full of long names and even longer genealogy charts to
help you keep track of who is who; it isn't a genre that ever has me
searching for more even if I have enjoyed it in some instances. That
said, I am a fan of well told stories that engage me and surprise me in
equal measure, and it is for this reason that I came to the second
season of Game of Thrones and is also the reason why I will feel every
month until I get to watch the third season and continue all these
With the first season I felt it took me a minute or two to get into the tone of the show and also understand the basic characters enough to be able to get caught up in what was happening; with the second I had no such time and I was keen to get back into the battle as various armies marched across the land while small threats build overseas and political betrayal is embedded in every conversation of those seeking power for themselves. The war means that the second season has a much larger and perhaps simpler agenda but at the same time there are plenty of smaller moments and manoeuvring of characters that I continued to find as enjoyable as I did unpredictable. Not having read the book and being keen to avoid spoilers, all the various twists and turns of the plot was news to me, whether it be the turn of the war or the specifics of an individual character, and each story arch held me easily with no one thread being of more interest than another. The only obvious downside of having so much to squeeze in is that occasionally there are gaps in threads that are just left to save time this is best seen in the final episode where several characters go from one situation to a different location without it really being clear how they did this. I imagine this "squeeze" effect is much harder for those coming from the books to the show.
That said, the season is impressive in how well it does this with relatively little time on each thread. Every second and every line of dialogue is important and are therefore mostly used very well to deliver character, motivation and also plot. The cast respond to this well and even the smaller characters are played in such a way that you are interested in them, which helps the nature of the telling where one cannot be sure who will live and who will die considering that characters who appear to be "main" can quickly be dispatched and forgotten within a few episodes if the plot turns in that direction. Generally I was impressed a lot more this season as characters grew and developed. Dinklage continues to give a great performance and is my favourite in terms of colour, although only marginally more than Gleeson, who delivers a monstrous c*** who is as arrogant as he is ill-suited for this role as King. Headey has grown on me more this season, as has Coleraine-girl Fairley. Likewise Allen, Harington, Gillen, Madden, Glen, Clarke and others all do strong work across their characters too many to mention in fact, it is a real boon of the show that there are so many characters and yet I am interested in all of them and all of their threads.
The production looks great as well. I'm sure those who know the books inside out will complain about the presentation of some of the larger battles but for me nothing here felt limited by budget it all felt like they did it that way because this was the way that worked best. Costumes, sets and locations all continue to be great and I got a nice kick out of this season being the first time I recognised somewhere they had used (Pyke being the nearby Ballintoy harbour in Northern Ireland). The gore and the nudity are excessive but they work because they fit with the excessive and colourful nature of the telling and the grand, gaudy sweep of the bloody tales.
Season 2 of this show doesn't disappoint. It delivers an engaging overall story with loads of threads and seeds for future threads and does it in a way that makes it all look easy. So much going on could easily have seen the show have weaker threads that annoy for taking up time but this doesn't happen and even though some characters and threads have lesser time, I was interested in all of them and in their threads. Not knowing the books really helps as well since no character are pushed to the fore or seem immune to the bloody and cruel twists of fate that are common here. Great show a year will be a very long wait for the third season.
Tyrion is not rewarded but ostracized instead. Joffrey rewards Lord
Tywin, Littlefinger and Loras Tyrell that asks Joffrey to marry his
sister Margaery and he puts Sansa aside. Sansa is happy for his
decision, but Littlefinger advises her that Joffrey will not stop
bothering her and offers to help her to escape from Ling's Landing.
Robb marries Talisa despite the advice of Catelyn that is against.
Brienne saves Jaime from three Stark men that have recognized him on
the road. Theon and his men are under siege in Winterfell and Dagmer
stabs Luwin with a spear; hits Theon and they flee, burning Winterfell
to the ground. Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie cross paths with Jaqen. He
tells to Arya that he is going to Braavos and invites her to go with
him. The say farewell to each other and Jaqen calls Arya Stark by her
name and changes his face. Daenerys enters in the House of the Undying
and is tempted by the Iron Throne; by Drago and her son; and she
finally finds her three dragons that burn Pyat Pree to ashes. Then
Daenerys finds that Xaro is a liar and does not have a fortune and she
locks him and his lover Doreah in the safe. Jon and Halfhand have a
sword fight provoked by Halfhand and Jon kills him, earning the
confidence of the Lord of Bones. Sam is left behind and sees an army of
wights and White Walkers heading to the Fist.
"Valar Morghulis" is the grand finale of Season Two or a great beginning of the next season? Tyrion's fate is a great deception since he was the responsible for defending King's Landing. The journey of Brienne and Jaime is promising. Will Theon succeed to escape from Stark lands? Jaqen is the great mystery for the next season. Daenerys's dragons are really a great menace for the Seven Kingdoms. Jon now is close to the Wildings and we will see how he will be affected. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Valar Morghulis"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In season two's last episode, King's Landing gets a thorough update
that includes a new Hand of the King, a new Queen for Joffrey, and a
new alliance for Sansa. On much bigger scale, however, are Daenerys'
dragons making for fiery tumult in the city of Qarth, Samwell Tarly
encountering well-disposed white walkers on his little nature hike, and
just by the way, Winterfell burning down. Now that explains the
additional ten minutes for "Valar Morghulis".
Things are quickly back to normal for most of King's Landing's residents and Joffrey is all love, peace and harmony when naming his gramps Tywin the new Hand of the King who is as cool about that as his horse is about defecating right in the Red Keep. Right afterwards, Ser Loras Tyrell had the impudence to propose his ambitious sister Margaery to the King and that unpredictable tike just dropped Sansa and decided to wed Renly's widow. You know, that reckless "whatever" attitude young people have nowadays. Sansa, apparently not that overwhelmed by The Hound's offer to take her back to Winterfell in "Blackwater", now has the next guy volunteering for a ride to her home Petyr Baelish, new Lord of Harrenhal (oh right, Joffrey disposed that as well). I'm not entirely sure how the girl is going to decide since Littlefinger does seem a bit creepy when he's subliminally incorporating his lusting for her mother every time he talks to Sansa.
In less splendid chambers, Tyrion wakes up with nah, you didn't expect that Grand Maester Pycelle standing in front of his bed. That mendacious old fellow whose talking pace is about one word every five seconds is feeling really great when fooling Tyrion in the same way Tyrion fooled him earlier this season. Varys and Shae too get to spend time with the scarred imp, who is understandably not too happy about his current situation. I'm still not sure if I should buy the emotions between Peter Dinklage and Sibel Kekilli though, that just doesn't really seem genuine to me.
In entirely unrelated business, the episode's gibberish title is thankfully defined it's a phrase that the faceless joker Jaqen H'ghar made up just for kicks so Arya could find him. I've loved every single interaction between Maisie Williams and Tom Wlaschiha and their farewell in this episode (or is it?) is outstanding. That's not applicable for Jaqen's new face, however. Couldn't that guy find anything more attractive in Harrenhal's second-face-shop? It was definitely a great effect, though.
Now to the absolutely stunning stuff "Valar Morghulis" had in store: at first there's little Theon getting angry about his unwinnable position, but then he regains his self-confidence in a war speech that I actually found not bad, only to be betrayed by his own men. Well, that really wasn't the best season for Theon. Same goes for Bran and Rickon who relinquish their hideout, only to discover that their actual home is not really there anymore. So are the Greyjoy troops, miraculously gone with the wind, and Maester Luwin, suffering from a fatal wound in the Godswood. And even though he was never a very big character, Luwin's passing is extraordinarily touching and I feel that I'll miss his wise monologues in future seasons.
The best parts are saved up for the final quarter of an hour, namely the Daenerys and Jon Snow story lines. Say what you will about their scenes in season two so far (I personally reckon them to be outstanding), but how everything turns out for them in this episode is undeniably perfect. Daenerys gets more screen time than ever as she is put into a dream-like state in Pyat Pree's House of the Undying and enters three jaw-dropping venues. As Jason Momoa returns with their son, a new apex is reached in terms of how awesome a scene can be while still having subtitles, and her reconnoitering a snowy version of the Throne Room had visuals too amazing to describe in words. But no, best part of the episode is still not reached and the Khaleesi is back to the real world and meets the aforementioned scary warlock who is, to his detriment, unaware of the fact that dragons can spit fire and dies one off the greatest deaths in the series. You go, Daenerys' dragons! Not enough of them still, and after the bogus King of Qarth whose name is clearly too long to write out gets locked up for death in his own, sadly empty, treasury together with Doreah (her dishonesty is only a surprise if you haven't watched the Blu-Ray Easter Eggs), the Mother of Dragons walks off with her three children (her words, not mine) on her shoulders, which is almost too cool to watch, seriously.
But no, the episode's apex is still not reached and it also isn't Jon Snow killing Qhorin Halfhand (say wat) in the show's most touching, yet also most flawless swordfight. The first view of Mance Rayder's abode comes quite close to the top on my "The 50 best things in Valar Morghulis" list, but it really is the final shot that makes "Valar Morghulis" the second best Game of Thrones episode until that point (I ultimately prefer "Winter Is Coming" even though not a single person on Earth agrees with me). The White Walkers approaching the Fist of the First Men is mind-blowingly good and one of the best zombie scenes in TV and also movie history. Left-alone Sam (he is quite a klutz, admittedly) seeing all of this in indescribable awe enhances the intensity additionally and then he sees him: the White Walker on a dead horse (a White Warmblood, right?), which is the shot that spread all over the internet. Understandably, considering it's just freaking awesome. So is most of the rest of this episode. It's not perfect, but it's damn close to it and it deserves a 10 since you'll never forget it.
What a masterful bit of writing. I am in awe of writers who can keep such a ship afloat. What do they do? First, they develop fascinating, multi-dimensional characters. Next, with all the different kingdoms somehow engaged, they create a balancing act that is believable and carefully crafted within the world Martin gave to us. Thirdly, the dialogue is excellently crafted, with wit on the one hand and mayhem on the other. We have the beauty of a series where the bad guys often get away with things, where retribution doesn't always work. Where people die, even though they seem to be principles in the show. I cannot wait to see how things play out in Season 3.
I couldn't see anyway that Season 2 was going to live up to the 1st
Season, for me, Season 1 was faultless. Game Of Thrones: Season 2 did a
solid job in continuing the fantasy epic, it built on the characters
very well, moved along at a pleasant pace and stayed true to its roots
with its impeccable dialogue and story-telling.
As a whole, the season is quite slowly paced, dedicating much more time to character building. The introduction of new characters is always a tricky task, especially introducing several in a short space of time. Within the first 3 episodes we are shown 6 or 7 new characters, many of which go on to have very important roles in the up and coming seasons. Existing characters which got little screen time in season 1 are also given larger roles whilst also focusing heavily on the already established characters from the previous series. Tyrion is featured heavily in this season building on his likable reputation even more while other characters are given more screen time and you really start to despise them. John Snow, Arya, Theon and Joffrey all especially stand out for me with solid performances and important story lines. A TV show has never had the ability to make me dislike certain people as much as Game of Thrones and Season 2 goes a long way to making this happen. Even the small-time characters which have little screen time have a remarkable knack of being interesting and intriguing nobody feels out of place or unnecessary.
The production from start to finish looks great, the sets, CGI, costumes and locations are all perfect again. Watching this show in HD with a decent surround sound system is quite the experience! Season 2 is gruesome and explicitly violent, contains strong nudity, strong language and delves deeper into the fantasy realms than its previous series. It isn't as strong as season 1 but it is a strong second season, offering everything that you would want. The story is told perfectly and the introduction of many more characters is implemented faultlessly.
The pacing is spot on and scenarios start to unravel very nicely, tension is built and many questions are left unanswered making you want to keep on watching! Daenerys scenes can get a little tiring and repetitive but this part of the show is very important for future episodes and when looking back, the character development you see of her is very significant.Season 2 ends on a strong note, exploding in episode 9. Previous episodes build up to this perfectly and the climax doesn't disappoint. With an estimated budget of $8,000,000 for episode 9, it shows off its power with an incredible battle scene, you forget that you are watching a TV drama, with a budget like that, it's an easy mistake. Episode 10, gets back to normal and ends the season on a strong note, a real cliff-hanger, giving you a small taste of what is to come!
My only real negative from the whole season was the Daenerys storyline, I felt that it started to drag a little towards the end and the climax felt a little flat. However as I said before, looking back on this storyline, you really get to see significant progression in her character which is very important for future seasons.
Overall, Season 2 is weaker than Season 1 but that was hardly a surprise for me as the first Season is one of the strongest I have ever seen out of any TV show. Season 2 does however build characters very strongly with many characters stepping up with much more screen time and fascinating stories. It includes various, very strong plots and answers questions from the previous season, contains some very solid stories and leaves key questions unanswered for future episodes.
Season ratings so far: Season 1 10/10. Season 2 9/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Apparently Sansa didn't take up The Hound on his offer, which makes me
feel significantly less bad for her. Now she is just a piece to get
Littlefinger laid by her mom. Joffrey has a massive army now, and
Tyrion has been pushed back out of the main picture.
Daenyrus finds her dragons, who may be small, but have learned how to pack a punch, and suddenly she becomes a real contender to be the real winner at the end of all this.
Jon Snow proves his awesomeness as he kills one of the greatest rangers alive, after said ranger tried to back stab him, literally, like a jerk. Now the wildlings understand his level of awesome and it seems him taking over their massive army is inevitable.
Speaking of massive army, the winter people have also make their appearance and could seriously hurt Jon Snow's chances. It's too bad it looks like they're about to fight each other instead of bonding together against the inbred rat, like they should. Hopefully Daenyrus falls in love with Jon Snow and then he can have the dragons behind him (which would come in handy for people who only die with fire...).
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