Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Game of Thrones, Season 2.

I love Game of Thrones.  It's a bit of a problem actually as I've gotten a full back tattoo of the map of Westeros despite crying like a baby while getting it done, I've looked into changing my first name to Tyrion while also looking into if height reduction is a thing, and I've slapped a 12-year old blond kid cause he sorta looked like a sadistic monster crawling out of that McDonalds ball pit.  (That reminds me.  I need to send that kid a gift to apologize.  Maybe a fruit basket or the severed heads of his enemies).  And I love this show despite thinking it was just alright until that fateful 9th episode, "Baelor", in the 1st season.  That episode made my balls explode.  I now have a sperm count of zero.

 Raise the banners to my fallen balls.

That episode led to something unique for the second season since it's something that I'm not sure has ever really been tried.  It was a ballsy move for a TV show, but also a big risk for HBO who had to force their executives into prostitution to help pay for the shows gargantuan budget.   It led to a season 2 that would take a direction not a lot of shows take.  To avoid spoilers, see what I mean after the jump.

(So yeah.  If you are behind on this show and need to catch up, or if you want to watch this show and haven't gotten around to it, stop reading here.  The rest of this post includes spoilers, including season one which I wouldn't normally consider a spoiler at this point except that this show is on a subscription channel.  Plus, I really want to stop talking about the "Baelor" event so cryptically.)

I can't think of another TV show that killed off it's main character in the first season.  Actually, another HBO show, Rome killed off its main character at the end of the first season, but I can't say I was all that surprised that Julius Ceasar became a human pincushion.  However, Rome took on a new main character with Octavian the next season, which makes sense because he would become the first real Roman Emperor and change his name to Augustus "Look at how cool my name is guys" Ceasar.

This is emperor "We All Have the Same Haircut" Trajan.  Via Freefoto.

There is no main character in Game of Thrones and it's one of the shows strengths by making every character not totally a good guy or totally a bad guy.  It's a bunch of shades of grey, except for King Joffrey who is so evil even Sauron thinks he should tone it down.  Who has a hooker beat the shit out of another hooker instead of have sex with them?  Not to mention, he's like what, 14 years old?  That's the point in a boys life when boobs boobs boobs, eh, sorry, what was I talking - boobs boobs, yay boobs!  Well, maybe we never grow out of boobs, uh, I mean boobs.  Damnit! 

Theon Greyjoy is a massive twat but an interesting twat.  More and more it's becoming apparent that he doesn't have the slightest idea what he's doing, his own men treat him like an idiot, and, well actually he is an idiot so I guess that makes sense.  Even as a moron, he isn't completely evil.  Just mostly.  Like the Catholic Church.  

Even Arya Stark, the most obvious good guy (girl), has a goddamn assassin helping her out.  A man is still helping the girl even after the girl gave a man his own name as a target.  Many A man would be a little hesitant to help after that.  Especially when THE girl's debt has already been paid by THE man.  It's really hard to talk like that too.  It's like talking in the third person only nobody has a name.  Also, he is apparently Mystique.

I guess you could make the argument that Tyrion Lannister took over as the main character.  Peter Dinklage is getting top billing in the opening credits now that another Sean Benn character found yet another way to die (be at peace, son of Gondor).  Tyrion also seemed to have the most scenes since the Hand of the King job gave him plenty of opportunities to insult his sister Cersei for the terrible job she is....hey, what is she doing anyway?  She's not controlling Joffrey, thus ruling from behind the scenes like Eleanor Roosevelt (allegedly).  She did nothing to help plan the defense of Kings Landing unless talking about menstruation cycles to Sansa counts. Is she just getting drunk and screwing with Tyrion's love life?  Is she a character from the movie Mean Girls?

 Maybe she just wants the king to shine?  What?  I don't even.

Tyrion really is the only choice for a main character anyway, especially if you poll the fans who are not blinded by their raging vagina boners for Jon Snow (who is a Wildling now maybe?  Whaaaaaat?).  Nobody else seems like main character material.  Rob Stark?  Maybe when he isn't busy questioning himself about everything and wondering if he's a man of honor while killing Lannister soldiers in the middle of the night.  Daenerys MY DRAGONS Targaryen?  She may have a chance later if she ever decides to join the rest of the party but then people might have to start taking her seriously with all those FIRE and BLOOD threats about what is RIGHTFULLY MINE.  I swear she makes more threats she can't possibly carry out than Al Gore.

But Game of Thrones isn't the Tyrion Lannister show, it's a show about the whole character ensemble and their individual stories that kind of intertwine.  No character on their own can carry this show.  The best example might be the Arya and Tywin story arc this season.  Those were often the best scenes in an episode with the constant tension of, "Will Tywin figure out who Arya really is?", "Will Arya do something stupid like murder Tywin in the middle of a castle crawling with his soldiers?", and "Please don't let Tywin creep on Arya.  It would make the Lannister incest seem okay in comparison."  Those scenes were great, yet when those characters are on their own, they just don't seem to matter all that much.  Kind of like alcohol and wheat.


I think season 2 has done a great job adjusting to the post-Ned Stark era.  The lingering question from this season for me will be what impact "Blackwater" had in the overall stories.   Ned Stark's execution was felt throughout Westeros but the Battle of the Blackwater didn't really change anything.  The Lannisters still control Kings Landing and Stannis Baratheon is no longer an immediate threat.  Oh sorry, Tyrion has a wicked face scar now and The Hound decided to fuck off.  I guess that's something.  It's about as interesting as micro-economics but it's something. 

Game of Thrones isn't perfect, but it certainly has a case for "Best Show on Television".  It would be my personal pick and season 2 improved on what the first season got rolling in almost every area even if Dany's and Jon Snow's stories were plodding at times.  Some people might argue that Mad Men is the best show on TV, but Game of Thrones has something Mad Men doesn't.  A shit ton of nudity!  Yay boobs!

Disclaimer:  This article is satirical and I have not read the books.  Fucking White Walkers.  Hell yeah.

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