Game of Thrones S02E01 Recap & Review: "The North Remembers"
While the kingdom prepares for the coming winter, they are also preparing for war.
The show opens at King’s Landing with Joffrey enjoying his name day by watching a series of combats for his own amusement with Sansa Stark at his side. It’s clear by now that Sansa is disgusted by the mere sight of Joffrey these days ever since he had her father, Ned Stark beheaded for treason. But seriously, who wouldn’t want to punch Joffrey in the face?
On the bright side, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has now arrived in King’s Landing to serve as the right hand of the King, a position last held by the now headless Ned Stark.
Over at Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon has learned from Ned Stark that Joffrey is not the true heir to the throne, as he is the by-product of Queen Cersei’s incestuous affair with her brother Jamie and not the son of the late King Robert. Stannis now prepares for war as he will attempt to take the throne from Joffrey. In his first strike on King’s Landing, Stannis sends word across the four corners of the kingdom that Joffrey is the son of Jamie Lannister, not Robert Baratheon.
King Stannis is also a scary thought considering he is now under the influence of some redheaded witch with magic powers who can drink a cup of poison without any affects. I could have sworn it was Poison Ivy, but I don’t think George R. R. Martin has written Batman characters into his story.
As if one war wasn’t enough, over in the North Robb Stark is planning a war of his own. After learning the truth about Joffrey from Stannis, Robb approaches his prisoner Jamie Lannister about it, but he denies the validity of the story. Robb then orders his other prisoner, Alton Lannister to go to King’s Landing with a peace offering with his conditions. One of Robb’s conditions is the release of his two younger sisters, Sansa and Arya. (The Starks are unaware that Arya has escaped King’s Landing)
That condition seems like a fair proposition for peace; there should be no problems there. Oh wait, Robb Stark also wants King’s Landing to denounce their dominion over the North as he has now proclaimed himself to be King of the North. I’m no expert on this king stuff, but I’m thinking that one there might be a problem.
Claims to the throne are not done there. Beyond the wall, John Snow and the Night’s Watch have traveled north of the wall and come across probably the weirdest character yet, a guy named Craster. Craster seems like a normal fellow though, except for the part where he married all of his daughters. Besides warning the Night’s Watch not to touch any of his wife daughters, Craster warned them about Mance Rayder, a Night’s Watch deserter that is rounding up his own army in an attempt to make a claim to the throne.
It’s not all about the guys though. Traveling through a desert is Daenerys Targaryen with probably the deadliest weapons in the entire kingdom, her baby dragons. Dragons were believed to be extinct for centuries, but now Daenerys has herself three of them.
Across the kingdom, a red comet is visible in the sky, a symbol that many believe signals the return of dragons.
It’s not all good news for the lovely Daenerys though. As she travels through the desert with the rest of what’s left of Drogo’s group, horses are dying and food is scarce, making the trip all the more difficult.
The episode eventually comes full circle and ends up back in King’s Landing. Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly hate Joffrey any more he threatens his own mother with death and has kids across the kingdom slaughtered, including infants.
Yes, you read that right.
By now Joffrey has heard the rumour that he is not the son of King Robert, but rather Jamie Lannister. Troubled by the rumour, he approaches his mother about it. After suggesting to her that King Robert was no longer interested in a sexual relationship with his mother Cersei, she slaps him. He warns her that her offence is punishable by death and basically tells her that it will never happen again.
Troubled that King Robert was sleeping with many other women, he orders the death of all of King Robert’s bastards in fear that they may one day claim themselves to be the rightful heir. In a scene right out of The Ten Commandments, Joffrey’s soldiers move throughout the kingdom and slaughter all of King Robert’s bastards, including the infants.
They are however unable to locate Gendry. The episode closes with Gendry taking off with a group. On the back of the cart with him is the missing Arya.
The episode really put all the pieces in place for what should be a great season. It was slow at times, but in the end it still delivered everything we’ve come to love about this show.
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