Knowledge is Power? Power is Power.

Game of Thrones is back! Yays! Easily the best programme to debut last year, I’ve blogged about all of it’s machinations, gruesome murders, sexy sex, and, OF COURSE, incest before, but that was more of an introductory “everyone should watch this thing” post. This is an out-and-out review of the first episode of season two. If you’ve watched season one, you’re safe, I’ll keep things nice and vague, if not and you want to keep things unspoiled, GO WATCH SEASON ONE RIGHT NOW, IT’S AMAZING, and I’ll see you back here in ten hours.

With the start of a new season, obviously getting things all set up again is order of the day. The recap at the beginning manages to go on for THREE WHOLE MINUTES, and manages times to squeeze in the famed molten gold death scene. Good work. The rest of the episode is basically spent wandering through all the different storylines, reminding us all where everyone is and what they’re doing, and setting things up for the season ahead.

Obviously, the big scenes tend to happen in King’s Landing, as with last year. Joffrey is still being a grade-A wanker in dire need of a slap (which he receives), but much more entertaining than his dick-baggery is the way Cersei reacts to him, as she realises she’s rapidly losing control of the little shit. It also helps that Peter Dinklage is involved with this whole thing, generally being as amazing (although his accent is still utterly bizarre) as last year. There is one scene involving himself and Lena Headley as Cersei that just involves them having a chat that is UTTERLY gripping through sheer force of their acting alone. Oh, poor old Sansa is still stuck with them too, and the death of Ned seems to have both matured her greatly, and made her slightly dead inside. I really hope she’s the one to kill Joffrey, when the inevitable time comes.

Oop in’t north, Robb Stark is wandering around with army being sexy if a little bit dull, God love ‘im. There’s a scene involving him, Jaime and a Direwolf that’s pretty cool, and I very much enjoyed Michelle Fairley’s new, exhausted, fed-up Catelyn but tbh, the Stark Army storyline is the one the interests me the least. The way things have been set up though, I reckon the Catelyn might be able to spark things up a bit next week, fingers crossed.

Over at the wall, everyone seems to have joined me in noticing that Jon Snow is entirely gorgeous, but nothing really seemed to happen, save yet more revelations of incest. I think this is more of a lull than anything else, I’ve got big hopes that as they venture further past the wall, shit is going to go down big style.

Then, of course, there’s over the sea with Daenerys and her newborn dragons. Only the one scene of her this week as she tries to lead her band of stragglers through the Red Waste and to safety. You’d think this would have been a bit dull too, but through the combination of dragons and Emilia Clarke being fucking amazing, it’s actually riveting.

There’s a brand new storyline set up too. The dead king’s brother, Stannis, seems to be after the crown and he’s brought along what at first seems to be a ridiculous, mental witch type to convince him that he has magic and God on his side, and therefore doesn’t need anything else. Just when you’ve put him firmly in the already fairly extensive bracket of “Crazy Game of Thrones Character”, things take a bit of a turn, which leads me to believe that this is going to get pretty interesting as this season passes. I’ll say no more, just that it involves wine. OOH, CRYPTIC.

All the production values remain amazing. Considering this is only a TV show, it’s incredible that they are able to portray such different places across the Seven Kingdoms whilst keeping each one absolutely incredible. Even the CGI creations like the dragons and the direwolves are surprisingly convincing, which was my major worry when I saw what had hatched at the end of last year.

If you’re wondering whether all the gratuitous sex/swearing/violence has returned from last year, then worry no more! We get mentions of “piss”, “cum”, “fucking”,  many many “bastards” and the entirely too graphic “nice wet twat”. That last one was aimed at Jon Snow too. Obviously with the line of succession and Joffrey’s place on it being a big talking point, Cersei and Jaime’s incest is a recurring theme, but we also add in some father/daughter sexing. Always nice to mix things up, eh? (Also, I’d be very surprised if Jon Snow and Cassie from Skins didn’t get it on by the end of the series. It makes sense once you’ve watched the episode).

If you were in any doubt that Game of Thrones is just as good this year, if not better. Then wait for the final sequence. At first what seems like a fairly standard sexposition scene set in, where else, a brothel, things become very dark, very quickly and it’s actually quite shocking how far they went with it.

Above all, this is just fantastic television and if you’re not already watching then BLOODY WATCH IT. Even if you don’t normally like this sort of fantasy stuff, I really cannot recommend enough. Truly, amazing.

Game of Thrones returns tonight, Monday 2nd April on Sky Atlantic at 9pm

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About rmdbutler

2007 Brit Award nominee for Best International Female
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