Thursday, 7 June 2012

Game of Thrones 2 finale review


So Game of Thrones has ended for another series and overall it has been a great success. 

Game of Thrones is fantasy on an epic scale. There are so many individual characters and different families that it can be difficult to keep track of them all.  During the first series GOT novices (like me) were just finding their feet and trying to learn the family names.  In series two I was hoping for more development and action, now that I could spend less time staring at characters wondering who the hell they were.

Series two was indeed full of action; battles and frays, deaths and new loves.  When considering episodes as a whole I particularly enjoyed the penultimate episode.  For once, the viewer stayed in Kings Landing for the entirety watching the battle as Stannis Baratheon attacks Kings Landing and the Lannisters.  We saw King Joffrey’s cowardice and Tyrion’s endless courage.  Cersei showed perhaps a more honest side as she worried for her sons,dismissing the safety of her fellow women and the Hound betrayed his king (finally) and offered refuge to Sansa Stark.  We were left with Tyrion lying wounded and in shock on the battlefield, cut down by his father’s men as they rode to the rescue.  King Joffrey was no where to be seen, Cersei was close to killing her youngest and, presumably, herself, and Sansa was staring after the Hound on the edge of deciding whether to join him.
While this episode gave no closure to the other characters outside of Kings Landing, it was a perfect ending for the Lannisters and it is a shame that they appeared in the finale. 

The appearance of Tywin Lannister riding in on his horse to be made the Hand of the King was predictable enough to have waited for series 3.  Although Joffrey’s change in marital proposals was interesting, this too could have waited.  Viewers could have been left on the edge of their seats wondering whether Sansa had finally escaped.  I felt it a great let down to find that she remained and there was no mention of the Hound or his betrayal.  While it was lovely and moving to see Tyrion, that too could have waited until series 3, again leaving it on a cliffhanger.

I was glad to see Ayra and Jaqen again in the finale.  I have high hopes for her and it was wonderful to have some closure from the man who helped her escape.  I have always felt that Ayra will have a large part to play in the future and I now feel that this man may become a part of that.

While it was nice to see Brienne escorting Jaime Lannister to Kings Landing and her fighting skills, again I did not see much point in this.  I don't see where this is going and it just feels like it's being drawn out, although this scene did remind the viewer and confirm where Brienne was taking Jaime, setting the scene for the third series.  

Seeing Jon Snow reach the dwellings of the Wildlings king was a necessity, although briskly done.  I’m afraid I’ve gotten a bit lost on Jon Snow’s story.  Where exactly has his wolf Ghost gone?  And why is it taking so long for this story to move forward?  The former question may be answered when Jon Snow reaches the king and the latter question plagues the entire series.

Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy has disappeared – an excellent ending as it leaves a cliffhanger over his future, where is he?  And is he alive or dead?  While little Bran escapes into the wilderness, another piece of good closure as they begin the next stage of their story.

The highlights of the episode for me were the scenes with Khaleesi/Daenerys Targaryen.  I loved her screentime in the first series and while I still love her in the second series, she too has been plodding along until this point.  She is a wonderful, head strong, stubborn and powerful character and I want more of her and her dragons.  What a shame the majority of the dragon budget seems to be saved until the final episode but it was good to see them properly.  I am very excited about Khaleesi’s story for series 3 and have high hopes of her finally making her way across the ocean.

My only other highlight of the episode was the very end and the appearance of a seemingly intelligent army of White Walkers; basically the zombies behind the wall.  I want to see more of these and hope that their presence means that they will feature heavily in the next series, perhaps as another threat to the throne.

In my view only three characters in this epic castlist are written fully; KhaleesiDaenerys, Ayra and Tyrion.  I always perk up when a scene showing one of these characters comes on screen.  These are the only characters, in my opinin, that are well rounded; they have weaknesses, strengths and potent ambition.  In my mind, these are the ones to watch.  What a shame more of the characters couldn't be as complete as these three.

The worst part of this series?  Robb Stark.  Is there any point to this character?  He’s supposed to be marching to Kings Landing, defeating Joffrey, getting revenge for his father and rescuing his sisters and instead he goes for walks in the woods, falls in love and gets married.  Oh, and sends men running after Jaime Lannister.  Who cares?  He obviously doesn’t.  Ayra has more chance of rescuing Sansa than Robb Stark does.  He has yet to prove himself as a King of the North and I have quickly lost all empathy and patience for him. 

This seems to be the general feeling throughout Game of Thrones.  Every episode we see various characters who do only a little.  They are never given enough screentime for anything deep and meaningful to happen which means that each storyline is painfully dragged out.  Give us more episodes like the penultimate and give Robb Stark a good kick up the bum.

 Game of Thrones returns in 2013.

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