Games of Thrones: The North Remembers Review - Mania.com



Games of Thrones: The North Remembers Review

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  • TV Series: Game of Thrones
  • Episode: The North Remembers
  • Starring: Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey and Kit Harington, Richard Madden
  • Written By: David Benioff (creator)
  • Directed By: Alan Taylor
  • Network: HBO
  • Series:

Games of Thrones: The North Remembers Review

Season 2 Begins

By Jarrett Kruse     April 01, 2012
Source: Mania.com

 

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

Although I was late to the Game of Thrones after hearing raves about it at Comic-Con, I am now officially hooked on HBO’s epic series. I was engulfed in the intrigue and all-encompassing adventure of the seven kingdoms and was counting down for the Season 2 premiere hoping that my expectations after a stellar first season were met. I was not disappointed.

We were promised that “winter is coming” all season long last year and it seems that the chill is now most definitely in the air. The premiere episode titled “The North Remembers” is fashioned into somewhat of an update of what has transpired thus far and the tumultuous future that the season promises to hold. Westeros is on the cusp of erupting into a full scale country wide war with little monster King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) holding court on his name day ceremony at King’s Landing. For a seventeen year old actor, Gleeson is that rare thespian who commands the bravado and cruelty of his character with aplomb. Joffrey relishes his ceremony by watching contestants beat the piss out of each other for his entertainment. When one of the competitors arrives late for his match, King Joffrey commands his men to force a vat of wine down his throat. His childlike sensibility of his entitlement to the throne and that to him, this is indeed all a game is astonishing. Soon after, the “Notorious I-M-P” as I like to call him takes his place as the hand of the king. Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister as if he were a ten foot tall giant, not the “half-man” he is considered and owns every scene he is in, continually winning us over as the only likable Lannister.

Back in Winterfell, ten year old Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), the catalyst for the series when he was pushed off the wall in last season’s premiere is now the ranking Stark and Lord to which his people must bring their concerns. Although now a “cripple,” the wear on the young Lord’s face is unmistakable and his continued dreams clearly are foreshadowing of something very dark that is to fall upon his house. No doubt, winter is coming. Ironically the loss of the use of his legs has made Bran hardened and tough; far from the little boy who loved to climb last season. 

After finally getting to see some dragons, albeit tiny ones last season, we get a brief overview of how Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has fared since losing Khal Drogo. The small dragon hatchlings that debuted late last year have not grown much yet but the recurring comet motif throughout the episode reminds us that there will definitely be some supernatural D&D dragon goodness later this season. And fire. I demand that these little flying Godzilla’s wreak fiery havoc! Fans of the series will remember how Lord Eddard Stark’s son, Robb, rose to become King of the North in last year’s final episodes. Thus far, his spoils include the capture of the sinister Jaime Lannister and three battlefield victories. Played with subdued confidence by Richard Madden, Robb is clearly his father’s son trying to skillfully move his pieces across the board by using action as well as diplomacy. His newfound role as the peoples King of the North has been swift and he is clearly still adjusting to his role as a leader. 

Some of the new players include the introduction of Stannis (Stephen Dillane), the late King Baratheon’s brother and true heir to the Iron Throne. Stannis presents us with his own bid for the crown and his inner circle including the witching holy woman Melisandre (Carice van Houten) who clearly has the ear of the rightful heir. The episode concludes with the unseen order by King Joffrey to round up and murder his late father’s bastards of which there are plenty. In a bloody display of power, Joffrey is cleaning house Corleone-style to have a fresh start to his reign. However there is one bastard he missed and that is one that we are sure to hear more from.

The Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere has set the bar high for an epic sophomore season. I think that the die-hard book fans as well as the TV fanboys & girls will be ecstatic at the effort that was made in the opening episode to establish what is set to be a season to remember. Five Kings, one throne-let the Games begin… 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Ryodin 4/2/2012 5:47:59 AM

People need to seriously not place so much importance on the dragons. They won't really come into their own until several seasons from now, if the show lasts that long. I have friends who have not read the books and who keep proclaiming how happy they are to see dragons causing mayhem this season, and all I can do is shake me head sadly and wish they'd chose some other aspect of the show to get excited over. The story has way better things going for it than dragons. Especially this early on . . .

Still, I love this show! Last night's episode had me glued to the screen for the entire run. It barely missed a beat from last season.

jackwagon 4/2/2012 6:53:07 AM

I finished season 1 of the show last week in time for season 2's start, and I'm happy to have caught up.  It's an excellent series, but it's still difficult for me to keep up with all the faces on the show.  I know the various families and their connections, but half the time I have to figure out if I'm watching Robb Stark or Jon Snow on screen (usually if I see Lady Stark nearby I know it's Robb).  Still, I'm hooked on the show and hope somebody whacks the s*** outta Joffrey with a metal shovel this season.

troopershades 4/2/2012 7:36:57 AM

 Where the deuce was Patchface?!!?!?

 

Hobbs 4/2/2012 7:39:42 AM

Possible spoilers:

I have to agree with Ryodin...you need to curb your expectations on the dragons.  Just like people who were expecting a full out assault by the white walkers in season 1 that didn't happen, I want to prepare you it isn't happening with the dragons in season 2 either.  In fact, in the 1200 page monster of the 3rd book Storm Of Swords the Dragons are not full grown either.

The epic tale is more than about the supernatural and dragons and this is going to disappoint some.  I have some friends who hate the show because they seem to think it promised walking dead to show up more with the way it started.

All those things will come but not for a while.  Hopefully it will get 8 or 9 seasons in order to tell the whole tale.

wish 4/2/2012 7:51:18 AM

Yeah, after 5 books it hasn't progressed much at all in terms of the white walkers or dragons, but that's not what it's about really, it's about the struggle amongst the mortal men who are driven by greed and the hunger for power.  The dragons and demons north of the wall are just salt and pepper on a delicous feast!

Be patient y'all...........unless this takes drastic turns from the book series, we are in for a long haul!!!

wish 4/2/2012 7:52:12 AM

and don't get attached to any characters or the actors who play them...............

Wiseguy 4/2/2012 9:20:06 AM

This show completes me.

OMG this series just does not disappoint. I swear I hang on every word.
 
wish I learned that lesson the hard way last year. I thought Eddard was in this for the long run last year only to have the shock of the year

I love fantasy as much if not more than most but that isn't the major attraction here. I do love that it hangs over the show and the small elements thus far. But it is the actual "game of thrones" that is so fascinating when the characters are so well portrayed/written and acted.

Joffrey threatening his mother and his mother scaring the shit out of that back stabbing pos Baelish were priceless. Joffrey is just too damn tyrannical, having even babies killed because they're bastards who may have a blood claim to the throne is just ruthless.
 
 

isgrimner 4/2/2012 9:24:53 AM

I've saw a review for for the first four episodes and it said the first ep was the busiest because they wanted to introduce a lot of things that are upcoming.  The next three eps aren't supposed to jump quite as much and be a little tighter paced,  the reviewer liked them even better.

One of the things I really liked seeing was that they finally started using effects to make the Dire Wolves appear larger.  Grey Wind looked pretty good next to Robb and Jamie.  I know in the first season they could fall back on the fact the wolves were still growing so I didn't mind then.  Was kind of hoping to get a good look of a huge Ghost with his red eyes.

I couldn't tell if Davos had his little pouch necklace and thus what he keeps in it.  I am hoping they don't cut that aspect out to save money on effects.

I'm guessing next episode will spend more time with Arya since she was barely in the first.  Looking forward to seeing the three prisoners in the wagon.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 4/2/2012 9:29:59 AM

I'm only halfway through Crows - I've stopped reading it because I couldn't find it - and I've started again.

Does anybody have the feeling - using an analogy here - that the whole series - which is great - is going to be like a huge superhero versus superhero fight? Meaning that we have all these people fighting each other and in the end they will all of the sudden band together to go against a much bigger threat that threatens them all? And I'm not talking about the stuff that happened in the third book.

aegrant 4/2/2012 10:53:39 AM

Geez wish I had HBO but hey, I'm on the waiting list at the public Library for the season one box set. hopefully I can get to see this by the end of summer

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