Hello fellow SpoilerTVtonians! It has been an incredibly long time since I posted much of anything to the site (be it content or comment), but the return Game of Thrones has gotten me enormously excited about writing again (despite no time at all for anything ever). As such, without further fanfare, here are my initial thoughts about Sunday's season premiere entitled "The North Remembers".
Sadly, while the majority of the individual scenes were excellent, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the episode overall.
So, although I understand the need for any season premiere to get bogged down in all of the stories at once, I also hope that this season will be able to handle the huge number of disparate plot threads as it progresses.
Obviously, I don't need every episode of all shows ever to end with some sort of major revelation, but I was hoping that an episode filled with this much setup would pay off within the context of the episode itself. I would imagine that the entire purpose of that last sequence was to remind the viewers that Gendry is Robert's bastard. Sure, if you had forgotten that fact, you get to revel in the notion that the Lannisters are after Gendry and that, should they find him, they'll also find Arya. I just didn't think it was a hugely necessary display within the context of everything else we know. Maybe that's just the book reader in me talking, I don't know. I'm sure that watching all 10 episodes of this season in a row will make it appear much stronger in the context of the whole season, but on an episodic and even whole series level, it wasn't all that it could have been.
The strength of the cast and the writers shone through in a number of different scenes. Robb and Catelyn arguing simultaneously as King/Subject and Son/Mother was just so subtle. The burning of the Seven on Dragonstone was intensely disturbing. Tyrion's arrogance in the Small Council chambers as he simply gloated at Cersei while producing the letter proving that he is the Acting Hand of the King was hilarious. Finally, direction-wise, the imagery of the red comet connected all of the many plot lines and locations beautifully. I have more thoughts, but this is getting wordy. As such, here is a list of other stuff!
- Tyrion/Peter Dinklage was the episode's MVP proving that (for once) the Academy chose wisely Emmywise. Dinklage just gives off a huge range of emotions at once.
- I love how they've written Stannis. The scene in which he nitpicks certain details of his letter shows us exactly who he is. Honest, but tactless and stubborn to a fault.
- I also particularly loved Cersei's scene with Littlefinger. Littlefinger isn't wrong... knowledge IS power... but Cersei also has a great point. There is only so much knowledge can do without the ability to act on said knowledge.
- Melisandre was a huge letdown. As pointed out to me by Darque, she was underplaying the part to the extent that she was mostly just bland. I was unimpressed, especially by her would be poisoning. The whole glowing amulet thing was somewhat unclear and her cold/distant gaze was more awkward than unsettling.
- Bran is a huge boss. He's all BITCH PLEASE, DON'T GO DISRESPECTING MY BROTHER *verbally skewers men decades older than him and has wolf dreams*.
- Speaking of wolf dreams, MOAR DIREWOLVES!
- Speaking of people the direwolves might want to eat, less Ros: The Whore.
- Speaking of sexual deviants, is it just me, or was Cersei suddenly a LOT more compelling than in Season 1? At first, I thought that she just had a prettier wig on... but methinks that the character has been slightly retooled at both the level of acting AND writing. She's less cold and calculating and more of a kettle about to boil over with all of the subtlety of MY USE OF THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON!
As such, on the empirically proven "things-people-should-be-okay-with-in-the-world" scale ranging from "Murdering Babies in Brothels" to "GAME OF THRONES GOT 4 MILLION VIEWERS :D," I'm going to have to give this episode a "functionally important but less impressive than hoped". Or a 7.50. Whichever.
You can follow me on Twitter @LostCadence and listen to me rant about television shows and culture or else check out my Blog: cadencegtv.
Season 01:Episode 1: Initial Thoughts
Episode 1: Full Review - 7.75/10.0
Episode 2: (Darq's) Recap/Review - 8.25/10.0
Episode 3: 8.75/10.0
Episode 4: 8.50/10.0
Episode 5: 9.00/10.0
Episode 6: 9.25/10.0
Episode 7: 9.00/10.0
Episode 8: 8.75/10.0