"Game of Thrones" The Night Lands (TV Episode 2012) Poster

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The Saga Goes on
Claudio Carvalho22 April 2014
Arya is traveling with Yoren and the Night's Watch recruits when two Golden Cloaks arrive at their camping requesting Gendry, but Yoren uses his sword to send them back. However they promise to return with more guards. Cersei does not accept the peace terms proposed by Robb. Tyrion arrests Janos Stynt and names Bronn as the new Commander of the City Watch. Theon Greyjoy travels to the Iron Islands to meet his father Balon and deliver Robb's proposal of alliance that is immediately rejected by Balon. He also meets his sister Yara that is the pride and joy of Balon. Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow sees Craster leaving a baby in the woods during the night. He follows him but Craster hits him on the face.

"The Night Lands" shows Arya disclosing to Yoren who she is. The cunning Tyrion is against the babies slaughtering and Janos is the first one to pay for his action. Then has the coldest reception he could imagine from his father. Jon Snow snoops around Craster and gets in trouble. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "The Night Lands"
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Theon returns home to talk about Robb's offer, but his father has other plans
kkoller06939 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"The Night Lands" was another strong episode. It's funny that throughout its twelve episodes that have aired, every single one has been very strong. I don't think I ever given an episode under an 8 before. The creators should be proud of that.

Season 2's second episode, while showed a lot of characters, was mainly about Theon sailing to his homeland of Pyke to talk to his father about joining Robb in his fight against the Lannisters. And after a (cough, cough) reunion with his sister, Theon's father decides to reject Robb's offer by tossing it into the fire. Even though his reward would that he would rule the Iron Islands as King, Theon's father wants to earn his reward by declaring war even though the father does not want to attack the Lannisters.

If you don't remember, Ned Stark destroyed Theon's father's revolt to become King of the Iron Islands years before. And when he lost, Ned took Theon to Winterfell.

Even though Theon was the main plot line, there were still great scenes to be shown. The episode first starts off by showing Arya on the road to the Wall. It was also great for Yoren (the leader of their group) threaten to kill a Gold Cloak who is looking for Gendry, King Robert's final bastard son, and kill him. It was also a great scene when Gendry tells Arya that she's a girl. Those lines is remembered right from the book. Again, the writers stick with the book's dialog and that's a good thing.

The other strong point was Tyrion. He had some great scenes this episode especially with Varys and a later scene with Cersei. The Cersei scene alone was tremendous. Not only we found out that Joffery was the one who ordered the attack on Robert's bastard sons but that she knew about it. You could see that she was getting very emotional. She now knows that she has created a monster for a King.

We also see Jon Snow and the ending was basically another plot twist. It seems that where they are staying, the husband is giving babies (probably sons) to the White Walkers (we haven't seen these guys sine the pilot). While it was a good twist, I wish there was more of him.

Oh and Stannis screws his sorceress Melisandre . . . . moving on.

While "The Night Lands" was a great episode, it still lacked. Daenery's one scene was way too short and we didn't see any Robb or his mother. We are now beginning to see that one episode isn't enough to show every character because there is way too much to cover. But the episode was strong though - it hasn't lost it's interest. The hour long episode went by pretty fast. I wanted more but I know I have to wait until next Sunday to see more of this season to unfold.

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Mixed feelings
CharWoman11 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I started reading the books after the first season hooked me so thoroughly. That may make it harder for me to consider the series on its own, but I'm getting worried about how much gratuitous sex HBO is stuffing (npi) in, and the liberties with the story lines and dialogue. There are some alterations that, after a little thought, do serve to drive home a point more quickly and show the viewer what the books show in a very roundabout way. Those who have read the books will probably struggle with some of that.

This episode was particularly bad regarding the overdose of softcore porn, but hopefully they all won't be like this going forward. When you've got as many characters and as much to tell as Martin's world contains, a lot of daylight is burned on excess bootknocking. ***spoiler*** And some of it goes against character, too. We are shown Melisandre seducing Stannis with a very particular purpose in mind, in part to explain something we'll see in a later broadcast. In the book, we know it happens, but we are not shown, and this hot and heavy scene misleads us about what was likely a pretty clinical interlude, and also about Stannis' personality.***end spoiler***

Nevertheless, a lot of the acting is still very good, and I got an excellent dose of Tyrion, so it's not as if I won't keep watching. I'm pleased they chose to keep Dolorous Edd, knowing that many characters have to be streamlined out to fit the adaptation. But I do feel the tone of this episode was below the first season's, and below the books. Hopefully next one won't disappoint.
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Did you pay the iron price or the gold?
Tweekums27 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This, the second episode of the second season once again offers us an insight into what is going on in various parts of the world its characters inhabit. On the road north we see Arya Stark showing that she is just as spirited when she is away from the protection of her family; she easily matches the boys with her sharp tongue and with her short hair she passes for a boy; at least to most of her fellow travellers; Gendry realises she is a girl and ultimately learns her true identity and they become friends. Back in King's Landing Joffrey's actions in having any of the late king's potential illegitimate offspring killed are having consequences; Tyrion has the Commander of the Guard replaced with Bronn and informs the queen that such actions will only help fuel an uprising amongst the poorest in society. On the Iron Islands Theon Greyjoy returns to his father for the first time in nine years and finds only contempt for what he has become… as well as having a rather embarrassing meeting with his sister. Elsewhere Davos Seaworth is working to recruit an army to fight alongside Stannis Baratheon. North of the Wall Jon learns what happens to Craster's sons. Across the Narrow Sea things still aren't going well for Daenerys.

After an episode that barely featured Arya it was great to see quite a bit more of her this time; Maisie Williams is a brilliant young actress, her performance and roughly cut hair make it believable that many of those around her might mistake her for a boy. Peter Dinklage is also on top form as Tyrion Lannister; he knows just how to deliver a particularly cutting line… the scene where he deals with the soon to be ex-commander of the King's Guard was great in this regard. As well as updating us on those we know this episode gave us a great introduction to Theon's father, Balon Greyjoy, a few short lines as he lectured his son told us what we needed to know about this character. These scenes also provided some amusement when Theon, and the viewer, learn that the woman he was flirting with was his sister! It wasn't until after the episode ended that I realised it had featured no real action, unless you count the sex scenes! This didn't matter though as the story was always interesting and all of the cast did a fine job; equally it didn't matter that several major characters didn't feature. Overall another really good episode.
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"The Night Lands", a.k.a. "The Incest Episode"
axel-koch3 August 2013
The Night Lands is an episode that has a lot of great stuff, but also more than just a few disappointing aspects that mitigated my general view on it. Most of all, they decided to focus on sex even more than usual, especially increasing the incestuous content to an unsurpassed high. The inbreeding parts don't get really explicit, but just the mentioning of it, together with the baby-slaughtering in the previous episode, leads me to believe that this season of Game of Thrones is going to be a lot more unsuitable for children than before. That's not to say that I disliked seeing Carice van Houten nude, I'm solely questioning its necessity, especially since that particular scene wasn't even included in the novels. Anyway, as long as you don't watch it with your kids, the episode is still really nice entertainment.

First of all, we have scenes with Arya again and they are some of the funniest moments the show has had up to that point. The conversation between her and Gendry, bastard son of the late King Robert, was absolutely natural and uplifting and definitely one of the most enjoyable scenes in The Night Lands, whose best part was undoubtedly Peter Dinklage's Tyrion who was present in two scenes and nailed it each time. The first one, him having dinner with Janos Slynt, the Commander of the City Watch, is hilarious and so well acted; the second one is another debate between him and Cersei that made me laugh my arse off (to stay in Game of Thrones British English) while also giving important background information. Another very good part of this episode was Littlefinger solacing Ros, which soon turned out to be a bit more than that and showed off Littlefinger's attitude so perfectly well. What happened when Theon Greyjoy visited his family is one of the incest facets the episode has to offer while actually being very entertaining and interesting since it gives us a lot of character insight.

So much for the good parts about The Night Lands; the not bad, but not really good scenes were basically everything I didn't mention in the previous paragraph. Dragonstone, the freshly introduced new setting, already got a bit boring in this episode, however, if you haven't read the source material, it will definitely help you to understand all the new characters better. The attribute 'boring' can also be given to the scenes across the Narrow Sea where Daenerys and her khalasar of some two dozen people and most of them women are planning to attack the rest of Westeros. I'm utterly convinced that this plan will work.

While not boring, the Night's Watch scenes were unappealing to me right from the start as unfunny fart jokes were made, while Kit Harrington did a really fine acting job and proved that he can be just a tiny bit amusing as well. The Night Lands ended in a scene with him that is bringing up the question: Is every Game of Thrones episode now going to end with a baby being killed?

My conclusion: I did enjoy this episode, yet I found it to be one of the weakest episodes of the show yet. There were too much things happening that I didn't like and if it weren't for the numerous and circumstantial sex scenes, this would've easily been the most boring Game of Thrones episode yet. Keep in mind that my rating always augments a bit because of the show's visuals that never fail to impress me.
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Grimm Reviews: Game of Thrones 2x02 'The Night Lands'
GrimmRa9 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS - Whole episode discussed! - SPOILERS

After a fantastic premier, season 2 stays strong with another great episode.

I think this episode we really notice Ned Stark's absence from the show. There no longer seems to be a lead character leading us through the show and connecting the different story lines as season 1 did. Hopefully this doesn't result in the story lines collapsing under the weight of each other.

Tyrion rocked this episode (as usual). From his threats to Varys declaring he won't be manipulated, to his removing of Janos as leader of the City Watch (I cheered for him after Janos had made insulting comments towards him) and promoting of Bronn which (quite funny) to his conversation with Cerser. Here we realise it was Joffery who ordered last episode's killings, and we see Cersei realising more and more that she has created a monster of a King.

It was great seeing the Night's Watch storyline making its way to King's Landing too. Tyrion seems to be more understanding of their situation, while everyone else is still in denial. I'm looking forward to when the White Walkers finally come to the kingdom's, and seeing how all these people who have laughed at such creatures will react.

The Arya crew was also part of this weeks highlights. Yoren kicked ass in the beginning, and I'm glad as I've loved this character from the beginning. The relationship between Arya and Genji was very convincing, I think and hope they become very close over the season.

Lack of Daenerys was annoying this week. Last week we see little of her too, but afterwards I felt it helped emphasise the feelings of isolation and hopelessness that her people feel. Now however it was a disappointment. Her scene was still great though.

The Iron Islands makes an appearance, and they do look very good from what we see. Theon has been one of my least favourite characters on the show, partly because of the actor who I don't think has a great performance, so this whole section was less interesting than the rest of the episode. However his sister has me very interested, and I'm anxious to see her play a very strong role in the show. And yes her introduction was very creepy but I never felt uncomfortable, was quite humours.

Beyond the wall, Sam was great this episode. His innocence and child- like qualities made me really want him to 'get the girl' as they say. Jon Snow appeared much harder and tougher, after his encounter with Craster and Mormont last week. Till this point I'd just assumed the male babies were killed, as the show hints at, but in the final scene we get another sighting of the White Walkers!!!. This is great as they are very cool and intriguing, and especially since we haven't seen them since the very first scene of the show, making the ending a great way to finish the episode off.

And in Dragonstone, Davos continues to be a very interesting character and I wanna know more about who he is and his relationship with Stannis. Melisandre seems to be making progress in controlling Stannis, I'm interested into seeing how this plays out but so far it hasn't caught my attention too much.

Catalyn and her journey to see Renly was also missed. Renly has always been one of my favourites, so I was really hoping to see more of him here.

Another strong episode overall. A few story lines yet to have me hooked and some scenes were dearly missed, but a lot of strong content. 8/10!

PS: This is my first IMDb review so my writing might be a bit messy. 
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GOT Binge...
jcbsn20 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
King beyond the wall, Stannis is a king, Robb is a king, winter people have a king I'm guessing, Gentry should be the king, Daenerys wants to mix it up and be the queen, Joffrey sucks at being a king and they all want him dead.

Craster is giving a Cersie a run for the worst person alive not named Joffrey. Daenerys really needs these dragons to grow up fast. And we see a new land we have not seen yet, probably with more crazies.

Tyrion at least plays by his own rules. It's refreshing while everything is falling apart. Greyjoy definitely checks out as a crazy. I'm sure things will go under once he gets involved. And omg he's into incest too. At least he didn't know about it at the time.

At least Jon Snow is deep in the know for when he eventually becomes king. At least if there is anything good in this world.
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Often Enjoyable!
g-bodyl5 July 2015
This is the second episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. For the most part, the episode is enjoyable. I particularly loved the acting of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. He has two key scenes that will invoke laughter. His scenes regarding the dinner and with his sister are very memorable. I also liked the acting of Maisie Williams as Arya, who also provided some amusement. But one thing that may worth keeping an eye on is the use of gratuitous sex and incest. This episode uses those a little more than usual, and it's growing a bit weary.

In this episode, "The Night Lands," Arya becomes friends with Gendry, a child heading to the Night Watch. Tyrion tries to add balance to the king's affairs as he pleas with Cersei to set things right. Theon Greyjoy heads home to the Iron Lands where he sees his father for the first time in nine years. Vaenarys gets news back from her messengers as she and her people lay in the wasteland. Finally, Jon Snow investigates the actions of Craster.

Overall, this is a really good episode that is fun and often entertaining. The use of sex is getting a little too much though, and it's clearly not a show to watch with your children. It's a slow episode in a manner of speaking, but still a good one.

My Grade: B+/A-
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Fathers and Sons--The Continuing Saga of Arya
Hitchcoc29 April 2015
Arya makes an alliance. She is in constant danger and if found to be a girl, it will cost her her life. Finally she admits who she is to a man who shows her kindness (and knows she is not a boy). Tyrion confronts the queen and tells her that she is now known throughout the seven kingdoms as a baby killer. Of course, it was Joffrey behind this but that doesn't seem to matter. The desert wanderers get back a horse with a man's head. It leads to great distress, showing where the danger lies. One day these dragons will be mature and out. Something to look forward to as our young blonde warrior will flex her muscles at some point. We have a couple of father son meetings. We have those fighting for glory and stability, and we have the force of religion being tested.
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'Game of Thrones' gets dark
TheLittleSongbird7 December 2017
Came to 'Game of Thrones' fairly late in the game and due to being so busy the binge-watching was gradual. Have found myself truly loving the show, very quickly becoming one of my favourites. It totally lives up to the hype and not only does it do the brilliant source material justice (a rarity in television) it is on its own merits one of the finest, most addictive and consistently compelling shows in recent years and quality-wise it puts a lot of films in recent years to shame.

After a great Season 2 premiere in "The North Remembers", "The Night Lands" continues the high standard. It doesn't introduce as many plot lines or characters while still being exposition-heavy. Despite how that sounds this proved to be a good move due to much of the exposition being interesting and well-written, adding a lot to the characterisation. "The Night Lands" is moodier and darker than most episodes before it, certainly more so than "The Night Remembers" but no less intriguing.

Will admit to have done without the sexual elements, they seemed gratuitous and could easily have been left out due to adding nothing to the characters or the story. That way, some of the pace could have been tightened. That is my sole complaint of an otherwise great episode.

Visually, "The Night Lands" looks amazing. The scenery is throughout spectacular, the sets are hugely atmospheric and beautiful on the eyes with a real meticulous eye for detail and the costumes suit the characters to a tee. The make-up is beautifully done. The visual effects are some of the best of any television programme and are not overused or abused, the scale, the detail and how they actually have character and soul are better than those in a lot of the big-budget blockbusters. As well the cinematography and editing, which are cinematic quality as well.

One cannot talk about "The Night Lands" without mentioning the thematically, orchestrally and atmospherically multi-layered music scoring and the unforgettable main theme. Again, worthy of a high-budget fantasy/action/drama film.

It is hard not to be bowled over by the quality of the writing, outstanding isn't a strong enough adjective to describe how good the writing is once again. It always has a natural flow, is layered and thought-provoking and demonstrates a wide range of emotions such as suspenseful tension, poignant pathos and witty humour. The story is paced beautifully, structured with such nuance and attention to coherence, a high emotional level and is done with intelligence, passion and sensitivity.

All the characters are wonderfully written and layered, liked the expansion of Arya, and the acting from especially Peter Dinklage and Kit Harrington is superb all round.

To conclude, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Nothing is happening
sjensenstrad13 May 2012
I know it is based on a book, but couldn't they have done something to make it just a little bit interesting? Nothing is really happening.

First season was awesome but now it is just a lot of blablabla. The only good and positive thing with some excitement is Tyron Lannister. He is an awesome character that keeps it all from falling down.

I really hope it gets better.

Stark family where are youuuu? King Slayer where are youuuu????

Have to write a few more lines to get this review published. But I cant really come up with more to tell. It has so far been a big disappointment
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Exotic Westeros, welcomed feminism, vivid darkness but editing seams, unbalanced writing, thirsty creativity
igoatabase9 April 2012
One week was at least what I needed to recover considering the premiere propelled my spirit beyond the stars. However despite its cosmic qualities I have to admit that it wasn't as jaw dropping as Winter Is Coming. It featured many stellar scenes, like Daenerys taking care of her baby dragon or Jaime's hallucination, but it lacked a knocking out ending. This second episode delivered the cliffhanger we were hoping for but sadly I have to admit that it lacked some of the elements that made The North Remembers so outstanding.

My first complain would be about the editing. I really missed how the parts were linked using the burning comet in the past installment. The mistake had already flawed the epic A Golden Crown in my opinion because it's inappropriate to cut sharp from one point of the kingdom to an other. So let's hope the upcoming episodes will surprise us with their creativity and fantastic metaphoras because a top notch production isn't enough. It leads us to the exotic sets because from Arya's lost woods to Theon's cliffs it felt like flying above Ireland, England and Scotland !

My second major complain would go to the unbalanced development of some arcs. For instance Daenerys' one was way too short. Of course it wouldn't have been entertaining to witness their slow descent toward the river of thirst but her seeing a mirage or having a daynightmare about her precious creature could have been thrilling. In fact it seems this time the dream team behind the show decided to focus more on sexuality. The red-hot Melisandre (Carice van Houten) was back and she actually reminds me of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series. Such a feminist reference is inevitable considering the number of female characters that are now moving across the board. Theon's filthy rides were controversial and The Adventures of Lady Arya were promising. A charismatic sister, not a boy wanted by Cersei… George R. R. Martin knows his classics and Littlefinger's cheering up one of his protégés was well staged.

The fat guy's naive attitude seemed slightly misplaced but when it comes to Snow shivers are sent down my spine every time ! It feels like Martin was possessed by Stephen King while writing it and that Frank Darabont (The Mist, The Walking Dead) was hired to adapt it. Last but not least Tyrion's candles lighted face off with Cersei was wicked, one second you laugh the next you cry, and of course all the challenging mind games were exciting to follow.

Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.
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Good episode.
AffeL4 April 2017
Good episode, slower but still really good. Really is a good build up to the season and episodes to come.

Great music by Ramin and acting by Peter Dinklage.

10 out of 10.

Just amazing..
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More Arya Improves This Episode
slightlymad229 November 2014
Plot In A Paragraph: Tyrion (the awesome Peter Dinklage) sets about sorting out the goings on at Kings Landing. On the road north, Arya (the brilliant Maisie Williams) shares a secret with Gendry, a Night's Watch recruit. Theon Greyjoy reunites with his father Balon, and sister Yara and asks them to join forces with Robb Stark.

The scenes between Arya and Gendry are excellent, and Tyrion's cleaning house in King's Landing is superb. Bronn continues to be one of my favourite characters. I felt a great deal of sympathy for Theon Greyjoy as his return home to Pyke doesn't go as he planned. And Davos and Melisandre are both given more to do here, and both do the job very well.

Of the new characters introduced, I have no complaints over Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy, Gemma Whelan plays Yara Greyjoy well and Tom Wlaschiha is enjoyably quirky as Jaqen H'ghar, who is travelling with Arya and Gendry.

This is a better episode than the last, mainly because it pays more attention to Arya's story. I became a massive fan of Maisie Williams portrayal of Arya Stark last season, and she continues to impress me this season.
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Another great episode that continues Arya's story arc
Remember when we didn't see Arya in the first episode of Season 2? Well, no need to worry because her story arc has some plot advancement here as she makes a friend at the outskirts of the King's Landing named Gendry before he learns that she the daughter of Ned Stark as it turns out he met him before his execution. Also, the plot lines from the previous episode have been continued here including the City Watch guards searching for Gendry and Robb Stark, King of the North giving the Small Council terms (etc., etc.).

The writing's still good, the performances are still great, the pacing is really good, the scenery is still gorgeous, and Ramin Djawadi continues to make more beautiful music here. My only quibble is the sex scene. Now, I heard that the first season had some sex moments but they were downplayed because it focused more on politics and character development. I won't spoil it to those who haven't seen the episode and the scene's not terrible, but I just didn't expect to have more of that here.

So, overall, aside from the sex scene, The Night Lands is another great episode and continues the story lines from the first episode perfectly while advancing Arya's story arc where the last two episodes of Season 1 left off.
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