After a long and brutal winter filled with White Walker attacks (okay fine, I was watching The Walking Dead), Game of Thrones is finally back! When we last checked in with the competing houses of Westeros, the Starks were at war with the Lannisters, with Robb Stark graduating from "supporting background character" to "conquering bad-ass" while capturing that paragon of family values, Jaime Lannister.
Meanwhile, Draco Malfoy—I mean, Joffrey—is King, and what do you know, when you give a spoiled bullying brat unlimited power, he turns full-on psycho. The old king Robert's siblings, the Bouncing Baratheon Brothers (you think of a better "B" adjective), are raising armies to support their own competing claims to the throne, while across the sea Daenerys Targaryen is giving literal meaning to the term "dragon lady." And Jon Snow and the Night's Watch have gone north of The Wall to see what's up with these zombies and wildlings, Arya's disguised as a boy and is heading north too in the caravan of orphans, and my personal hero Tyrion Lannister is heading over to King's Landing to slap some more sense into his nephew.
And just for the record, no, I haven't read any of the books yet. I've been holding off so I can enjoy how the story unfolds onscreen, without getting caught up in what's missing or changed or different from how I might have imagined it.
So what happened in last night's Season 2 premiere?
Hey, we finally get to meet Stannis! Ned was all about how this guy was the rightful king after Robert's death last year, even if Renly was more popular with the people. And now that we get to meet him, he's... well, maybe he's not the warmest guy in the Seven Kingdoms. Except, of course, for when he's pulling flaming swords out of burning effigies during his girlfriend Melisandre's strange religious ritual. That might have been the last thing I was expecting from the soldier Ned and company were describing last season. But hey, if a woman like that wanted me to be the fire king or whatever, yeah, I'd probably do what she wanted, too. But now there's an obvious question: when are we going to get out Melisandre vs. Daenerys battle of the fire-ladies? (People who've already read all the books and know: la la la la I'm not listening.)
Joffrey got his face slapped! I love, love, love when this happens. It doesn't seem like Cersei's going to get a chance to do it again, though. I almost feel bad for her: with Joffrey, she's created a monster she's unable to control. But Tyrion is right about her cheekbones.
Robb's direwolf has gotten ginormous. Seriously, that thing is a beast. Remember last year when they were all cute widdle wolf puppies? Though a puppy probably would have changed the whole feeling of that scene in the Stark camp. I don't think Jaime would have been as worried about having his face eaten off. Giant, special-effect-enhanced wolves: when you're looking to intimidate, they just can't be beat. But going back to cute baby animals...
What do you feed a baby dragon? I think they're on the right track with "meat," but I would suggest Daenerys try very spicy meat. I bet dragons love vindaloo.
People north of The Wall are creepy and weird. "Don't mind me, I'm just going to marry all my daughters and kill all my sons. Ain't no thing." Here's a tip, Jon Snow: when you're in the house of a crazy person, it's probably best to just not say anything at all and get out of there as quick as you can.
Cersei vs. Littlefinger is awesome. Unlike Varys, Cersei prefers to skip the dance of who-knows-what-about-whom and goes straight to "look how easily I can have you killed." Though I wonder if any of the palace guards, as they put on their armor that morning, could have predicted their boss would have them playing Simon Says that day. I guess when your job description is "do whatever this person says," you have to be ready for anything.
There's a royally-decreed baby massacre, and a long trek through a desert. So who's ready for Passover?
Congrats to Peter Dinklage on his promotion to being listed first in the opening credits. Here's hoping you last a bit longer than Headless Ned!
What did you think of the Game of Thrones Season 2 Premiere?