‘Game of Thrones’ Episode 2 Review – ‘The Night Lands’

Written by Guest April 09, 2012

Finally Theon “Who’s That Guy?” Greyjoy shines

After an information-packed season premier, the season’s second episode ‘The Night Lands’ moves the plot forward nicely and sheds a fair bit of light upon previously underrepresented characters. In “Game of Thrones” first season there was a very heavy emphasis on the Starks and this is the first episode of the series that does not focus heavily on their plotlines. This allows other characters to become more well-rounded and the world to grow, while others are left in a dull stasis.

The bastard hunt set into place in the first episode allows two extremely satisfying scenes to take place. The guards catch up to Arya’s caravan looking for her companion Gendry, eventually leading Arya to reveal who she is to him when she panics and hides. Back in King’s Landing, Tyrion lays justice down on Janos Slynt for issuing the immoral deaths of the bastards by sending him to The Wall. The show has done a very effective job of making Tyrion a very appealing character amongst the political instability around him. He remains to be one of the most watchable characters on television. Here is a classic Tyrion moment to relish in:

The Dragonstone storyline progresses nicely with Davos securing a pirate fleet for his King. Stannis in the meantime gives into Melisandre’s seduction, a scene that is unique to the series but adapts the two characters personalities perfectly.  The combination of gaining military and spiritual power makes Stannis a formidable player in this war.

The most satisfying point in this episode has to be Theon’s return home to the Iron Islands. Theon always sat on the sidelines in the first season and it is nice to see him finally get some meaningful screen time. His disappointment and frustration expresses itself clearly through his underwhelming welcome by his people, his father’s disapproval and through the shame of accidentally feeling up his sister Yara. The show has done a great job of illustrating the thoughts and emotions of the quieter characters like Theon and Davos through new dialog and visual and audio cues.

A whole new level of awkward.

Beyond the Wall, Jon struggles with a moral dilemma to help Sam aid a wildling woman named Gilly whose father-husband Crastor is going to kill her baby boy. Jon knows his place is not to help and understands things are only going to get harsher as they progress north. His sense of honour kicks in as he investigates Crastor. It is interesting to see some of Ned Stark’s characteristics flowing through Jon, including his poor investigation skills.

A weak point to the episode is Daenerys’ plot in the desert. She is still just sitting there. When one of her companions breaks down in tears when one of the bloodriders horses returns, she tries to support them. All of the other plots have been more interesting so far. Hopefully they will add in some new scenes and dialog to make her plot balanced with the quality of the rest.

Please get more interesting, Daenerys.

 

Despite the Daenerys plot being dull, the rest of the episode was riveting. The cast of characters within “Game of Thrones” has grown and it is excellent to see them all having a well-deserved role to play. It is difficult to get the audience to care about a new set of characters after becoming so acquainted with the original set but “Game of Thrones” has done an excellent job so far. ‘The Night Lands’ is a step up from the very engaging season premier and it moves the series into new territories to explore.

 

 

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