Game of Thrones – The Night Lands Review

Thank god for HBO Go is all I can say, after our first taste of Game of Thrones season 2 last night, we have episode 2 already.

‘The Night Lands’ is a much smoother flowing episode than “The North Remembers”, focusing on a smaller group of characters and not jumping around as much as there is no need to introduce all the new player in the Game of Thrones this episode.

We kick off this episode on the Kingsroad with Arya as she and we are first introduced to Jaqan H’Ghar, one of the 3 prisoners locked up in Yoren’s cart. I won’t spoil his identity or role in the story for those who haven’t read the book but it is good to finally see the man who will be very important in Arya’s life in the future. We also see a pair of Gold Cloaks arrive at the camp searching for Gendry, however they are sent packing by some quick thinking on Yoren’s part.

Peter Dinklage is once again great as Tyrion in this episode, his back and fourth with Varys is a nice touch, as he warns him that he is not Ned Stark and knows how to play the game. As we move to a small council meeting, Cersei once again shows her simplemindedness as she disregards a request from the Night’s Watch for more men, despite Tyrion’s claim that Mormont is no liar.

Beyond the wall we see Sam beginning his quest to rescue one of Craster’s wives, Gilly, who pleads with him for help as she is pregnant, Sam takes her to Jon for help, but Jon tells Sam that they cannot take her with them, it is to dangerous, wise words from Jon here. It’s a short scene but always good to see Jon and Sam together, they work well on-screen. Also good to see Ghost grown up, once again a good use of CGI and I hope we get to see more of the direwolves this season.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys receives a message from an unknown Khal, one of her bloodriders’ horse returns, with its riders head in the saddlebag, this just get looking worse and worse for Dany, a bleak situation for her to learn how to lead.

Littlefinger shows his uncaring nature in this episode, as one of his whore’s is to upset to work, he tells her of a whore he bought from Lys that didn’t live up to his investment, basically a round about way to tell this woman if she doesn’t work she will end up dead, just told in that creepy Littlefinger way.

One of my favourite part of the books is when Tyrion sends Janos Slynt to the wall, and the scene is just as rewarding on the small screen. Slynt thinks that he is a lord now but is quickly shown the door by Tyrion, putting him on a boat for the wall. It’s a satisfying scene to see this man who killed babies last episode get the beginning of what he deserves.

Arya’s secret didn’t last long with Gendry, telling her that he knows that she is a girl and Arya comes clean pretty quickly with the fact she is a Stark, this scene is quite funny I thought, and shows the relationship that Arya and Gendry already have. It’s also funny to see Hot Pie talking about battles and Knights, I liked Hot Pie in the books, I just hope they keep his battle cry when the time comes.

I really despise Theon Greyjoy, he is just a horrible person, who seems to think he has honour. Theon returns home to The Iron Islands with the message from Robb, only to have a disturbingly sexual run in with his sister. Once he gets to his father, he is made a fool of, not thought of as a Greyjoy but as a Stark. I enjoyed the fact that Theon got taken down a few pegs here. Balon Greyjoy hints at his plan of attack here when Theon tells him he doesn’t stand a chance against the Lannisters, he says “Who said anything about the Lannisters”? Where is one place that is left undefended right now?

Salladhor Saan is casted great in this episode, playing the greedy pirate well against his friend, the honorable Ser Davos. After Davos secures Salladhor’s fleet of ships for Stannis’ army, Melisandre comes up with a plan for how Stannis can defeat his brother Renly’s superior numbers, telling him he must give himself to the Lord of Light in order to win, she then proceeds to have sex with Stannis. Speaking of which, there is a lot of sex in this episode, I would venture a guess to say the most in a single episode so far.

To conclude the episode, the story returns to Jon Snow as he follows Craster out into the woods when he sees him carrying a baby into the wild. When Jon finds where Craster has left the baby he stops and waits as a shadowy figure takes the baby, as the person turns we get a glimpse of its glowing blue eyes. Why would Craster be giving his babies away to the White Walkers, and why would the White Walkers want his children? Before anything can be answered though, Jon is knocked unconscious by Craster when the episode fades to black.

As I said in the beginning, I thought this episode flowed much better than the premiere episode as there was no need to jump around to so many different characters. It also laid the groundwork for future storylines well, setting the characters on their paths and making us want to see what happens next, a good thing for a TV show to do.

9/10

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Comments

  1. Awesome review, I hope you do more of these.

  2. The review feels more like synopsis that an actual analysis of the episode, it would also be safer to not include speculation about future episodes as it seems quite obvious that you have read the books someone who has not may learn a little more than they want from reading this review. Otherwise it’s not too bad i would have just enjoyed a little more analysis and less description.

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