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'Game of Thrones' goes out with a bang
June 4, 2012 - April Diodato
“Game of Thrones” solidified its status as one of the most exciting, well-crafted shows on television with its spectacular season two finale last night. Don't read any further if you have yet to view it, because there will be some spoilers.
I must admit, it took some coaxing before I initially got into “Thrones.” It was after season one concluded and buzz was starting to spread from loyal viewers, but I still wasn't convinced. The few details I heard about the plot weren't very compelling: a fictional, medieval world, kings, queens, mystical powers. It sounded like a “Renaissance faire” -- not exactly my cup of tea.
Before season two premiered in April, my boyfriend and I devoured the entire first season within a matter of days. It took me a few episodes before I was hooked, but once I fell in love with the characters and the action built to a crescendo, I could not wait to watch the next one. The second half of the season in particular was mind-blowing. Every aspect of this show is incredible -- the acting, the writing, the production values, the attention to detail. I ended up getting HBO just in time for the season two premiere.
This season, there were so many new story lines and new characters that arose in the aftermath of Ned Stark's beheading. The Stark children were dispersed, each following a very different path across lands near to and distant from Winterfell. I have to admit that after the first episode, I struggled to keep it all straight. At around episode five, I felt like I needed a guide in order to understand who everyone was, what their allegiances were and where everything was in relation to each other. (The series is based on novels by George R. R. Martin, about which I've heard rave reviews, but I love the show and did not want to spoil the story). It seemed like the hour-long episodes were straining to contain all of the action; I wish they would have either expanded each to 90 minutes or made the season longer than 10 episodes. There were some pieces of the plot I was more interested in than others – particularly Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister – and the scenes involving Daenarys were especially few and far between.
Finally, just like in season one, it picked up, making for a very exciting final few episodes. I did not know how they were possibly going to wrap it up successfully last night and was concerned that I would be left dissatisfied with the conclusion, but I think it was done extremely well. The break-up of Joffrey and Sansa was a long time coming; I was not surprised that they callously cast her aside for a better opportunity, and I could say the same for the Lannisters' treatment of Tyrion (I can't wait to see what he does next). The wedding of Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr was a sweet, welcome development, although I'm sure there will be consequences to come for breaking his previous marriage contract. And how awesome was it when Brienne showed what she could really do with that sword? She is quickly becoming another one of my favorite characters.
There are three things that happened in the finale, however, that I cannot contain my excitement about.
First, Arya's inevitable next encounter with Jaqen H'ghar. I didn't notice this until now, but the phrase that will help her locate him is the title of the episode, “Valar Morghulis.” How did he change faces?! I think that Arya is going to grow up to be a very powerful warrior and key player in the future (but I'm just guessing, since I haven't read the books).
Second, the expansive legion of White Walkers that appeared at the end of the episode, heading south. Winter is indeed coming. How will the living stand a chance once it arrives?
Third, Daenarys and her swift deliverance of justice to that creep at the House of the Undying and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, the fraud. Nobody will dissuade Daenarys and her dragons from getting what they want. I want to see her take the throne.
What did you think of the season two finale of “Thrones” -- and how are we possibly going to wait until April 2013 for season three?