Sunday, June 19, 2011

'Game of Thrones' finishes with new beginnings

After last week's heart-stopping episode, "Game of Thrones" finished its first season with the crowning of a new king and queen.

As news of Ned's execution spread through the kingdom, the full effect of his death became clear. Catelynn and Robb comforted each other and continued on to King's Landing hoping to rescue Arya and Sansa. The men of the north also decided to fight for independence and declared Robb king of the north.

However, Arya was already headed north with men bound for the Night's Watch, among them Robert's oldest illegitimate son. Meanwhile, Sansa was stuck in the castle living under the cruel rulings of Joffrey.

For a moment it seemed like the show would go its own way and have Sansa kill Joffrey, but that would have been too easy. Not to be too mean, but I was kind of hoping Sansa would throw herself off that bridge and end the audience's suffering.

Perhaps the most exciting development of season two is the prospect of seeing Tyrion as Joffrey's Hand of the King. Tyrion is the only one who stands up to Joffrey and calls him out on his shortcomings. Judging by the way Joffrey treated that poor minstrel, Tyrion has his work cut out for him.

At the Wall, Jon found out about his father and like any good son rode off to put his sword through Joffrey's head. Fortunately for him, his fellow Night's Watchmen tracked him down and dragged him back.

For me, Jon's story has been the weak link of season one. The setup finally paid off when Jon spoke with the Lord Commander about war at the Wall being more important than Robb's war with the Lannisters. Apparently, the Lord Commander is the only one who understands what's at stake in the north.

Across the Narrow Sea, Dany awakes to discover her child dead and Drogo in a catatonic state. This is the doing of the creepy witch, who all but screamed at her that she was going to kill her child. The witch explains that she had no life after the Dothraki sacked her village and she saved all the villages her son would never burn.

In the most heart-breaking moment of the episode, Dany realizes Drogo is gone and suffocates him. She honors him with a funeral pyre surrounded by her dragon eggs, straps the evil witch to the fire and then purposefully walks in.

Her resolve was stirring and provided Emilia Clarke with one of her best scenes of the season. The next day she became a true Khal when she appeared unharmed and naked, surrounded by her newly hatched dragons.

Though it was clear all along that Dany was the true dragon, it was game-changing to see it finally happen.

After a jam packed first season, it's seems cruel for HBO to make fans wait a full year for what is sure to be an equally mesmerizing second season. At least the show's comic-con panel will help dull the pain.

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