A Clash Of Opinions

So I’m back again to bring you another Season review for Game of Thrones, as that was my first real blog near a year ago.  I’ve broken my New year’s resolution to write at least a blog a month, but I didn’t really have anything to say for May. Season two was based off of A Clash Of Kings, which to be honest; is my 2nd least favourite of the 5 books in the series that have been released. If you’re curious I’d rate them 3>1>5>2>4. I’m going to try and keep my book-walker knowledge out of this review for the most part, at least when it comes to the storyline. If you haven’t finished the 2nd season yet I suggest you bookmark this blog, and then come back once you have.

Where as in the first season Benioff, Weiss and the team treated the source material virtually sacrosanct, with only a few added scenes and while there were some changes the main storylines were pretty much untouched. Not so this year, which had a far greater number of scenes which had no book equivalent. Some of them worked, like the scenes between Arya Stark and Tywin Lannister, and others didn’t.

I understand why they wanted to increase Jon and Daenerys’s plot lines, they are two of the most loved characters, and it wouldn’t be far to have them sitting around so much, plus their parts in the second book are really just Travelogues of North of the Wall, and the Red Wastes. I felt the additions to Robb Stark dragged a bit aswell, and compared to the books portrayed him a less positive light. But particularly with Dany, it didn’t work as Emilia was just mostly reducing to going on about her dragons and how she will take what is hers, blah, blah blah. Of course on of her detractors from the fandom may say that’s how she is in the books, which I will respectfully disagree with. In the Finale especially in the scene with Khal Drogo/Jason Momoa she showed last season was not a fluke, and the ending, the Khaleesi is back. Though it probably says something about me that I think one of her best scenes is where she’s looking people up in an empty vault. I was quite disappointed by the House of the Undying scenes compared t the book, but I suppose HBO spent their budget on Blackwater (Best episode) and the last scene of the finale so couldn’t go al crazy

Despite loosing Sean bean’s Ned Stark, King Robert and a few other characters the cast list grew quite a bit this year. The team as always did a pretty excellent job with finding people, but I think by far the biggest coup was casting Gwendoline Christie as the warrior-woman Brienne of Tarth. Rose Leslie as Ygritte, and Tom Wlasachia were two more of the standouts. I’ve seen a few complaints about Oona Chaplin as Talisa/Jeyne, and I just find her average. Gemma Whelan eventually won me over, hopefully she can handle some of the tougher “Yara” Greyjoy scenes that make her the only good Greyjoy until Dance.

Continuing with the new members for a moment, let’s move on to the Dragonstone Trio, Stannis Baratheon, Davos Seaworth, and Melisandre of Asshai. Liam Cunningworth brought the Ned-lite character of Davos to life, and Carice VanHouten brought a self-assuredness of belief to Mel, fighting with her character in the novels. Now Stannis is one of my favourite non-PoV characters in the Books, and Stephane Dillane brought the goods hard uncharismatic man, but I felt the three were handled somewhat clumsily by the show. While Dillane’s reading of the line regarding the Siege of Storm’s End were one of the best of the season, I feel it should’ve been before Episode 8, and was a bit too little, too late. The three could’ve used more focus over the season, as without my book knowledge I would’ve been a bit confused about Stannis and why we has so against his brother Renly, some other scenes should’ve been cut to make room for this, such as the one with King Joffrey, Ros and other unfortunate whore, perhaps replacing it withe the Proudwing story. I mean they didn’t even explain the Aegon “The Conquerer” Targaryen’s Fucking Painted Table.

Peter Dinklage deserves another Emmy, though it is rare for the same person to win 2 Supporting Actor Emmies for the same role, I think he has a great chance to do it. Lena Headey definitely stepped up as Queen Cersei this year and in my opinion is a leading candidate for the Supporting Actress Emmy. Alfie Allen also took his increased screen time and ran with it as the torn assholish Theon Greyjoy. The Stark kids also continued your growth, I’ve mentioned Maisie holding her own against the great Charles Dance, but Sophie and Isaac where superb as Sansa and Bran, again this year. I’ve mentioned Kit and Emilia’s seeming regression, but I’ll put that at least partially to writing.

The team seemed to listen to complaints from the critics and fans about the amount of  “sexposition”. There was a fair bit in the first 4, but in back six there was even a couple of episodes with no sex what-so-ever and the few sex scenes were more character and plot orientated then a ham-fisted way of bringing some of the book’s story and background to the show, which I greatly appreciated.

Though they didn’t film In Malta this season due to an issue, Dubrovnik, Croatia served ably as both Qarth and King’s Land, in fact a few times inspiring a desire to go in visit in me. Northern Ireland was beautiful as ever. Iceland was perfect as the cold desolate wastelands and mountainous Frostfangs north of the Wall.

A have to jump on a critique I’ve seen several other places. The pacing this season seem off and some of the editing wasn’t as crisp as it was last year, some of the transition were a bit jerky.  It liked momentum in some parts, and some attempts to drum up drama fell flat, of course I had some of the same problem with the source book. It was just an up-and-down road over the ten episodes this season in my opinion.

With all that said it was still an enjoyable season, just not as much as the first. As I said the third book is my favourite, and since there would be no way to fit everything into one 10 or even a 12 episode season, so they split it into 2, so I’ll have a couple of very enjoyable years.

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