Television Review: Game Of Thrones 1X02 (The Kingsroad) Revisited
Writer – David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.
Director – Tim Van Patten
You might not have my name, but you have my blood.
After the utterly brilliant ending from the pilot episode things take a slow turn here. That’s not a bad thing and it works for this episode since we’re still learning more about this world and it’s characters.
This episode was mainly about building on the character traits we witnessed last time, Arya’s tomboy nature, Sansa’s dream of knight’s and princes, Joffrey being a twat – he actually reminded of the pompous rich kid from 80s high school movies – Tyrion being awesome with always having the right thing to say or do, just watching him slap Joffrey makes me want to cheer, and Ned and Robert’s friendship, they have a great scene together when it’s just the two of them and they’re discussing the old times, they laugh and joke like old friends instead of a King and his second-in-command. The conversation takes an angry turn when news of Daenerys arrives but you can tell it’s an argument they’ve had a thousand times over with only the names changing, they’ll get over it pretty soon.
Along with the already established points growing we got some new stuff to enjoy, we got to understand a little more about Jon Snow and his relationship with the Stark family, whether it’s strong like it is with Arya given the fact that they both feel like outsiders, weak like it is with Catelyn because he is a constant reminder of when Ned’s honour fell, or if it’s friendly like it is with Robb, neither of them admit they’re brothers just yet – calling each other ‘Stark’ and ‘Snow’ – but you can tell they’re brothers on a different level, their friendship runs deep.
We see Daenerys start to grow, she’s slowly becoming less like the scared little girl she was last episode and more like the Queen she is. Enlisting the help of a former whore turned handmaiden, Dany turns sex with Drogo from animalistic, emotionless f**king into something special and you can almost feel the love start to grow between these two, it makes for an interesting juxtaposition when you compare the two sex scenes these two have in this episode. Truthfully though, Dany’s growth into a confident woman happened a little fast for my liking but with only 10 episodes a season I can understand.
The plot is brought along a little bit further, not much, like I said this episode is a slow one, but enough to keep you interested. The main plot point that’s explored is Bran, now in a coma following his ‘fall’ but not dead yet. Fearing that they’re incestuous relationship will be found out Cersei and Jaime hire an assassin to kill Bran but a grieving Cat, who has refused to leave Bran’s side, manages to prevent this just long enough for Bran’s direwolf to kill the assassin. I didn’t care much for this, it did move the plot forward but that’s all it did, it was just a device to arouse Cat’s suspicions and have her find the blonde hair on the floor near where Bran fell – how she knew that room I’ll never know. It seems a dumb move on the Lannister’s part to trust an assassin, even if he succeeded the suspicion would increase, surely they could wait and see if Bran ever woke up and if he did they can deny anything he says because the dude fell from a tower, he’s messed up.
I’m only nit-picking here, it’s built to move the story forward and it does that very well. On a side note about the plot you get the feeling that Tyrion knows more about Cersei and Jaime than he’s letting on, little things he says make you think.
Finally we learn just a little more about the backstory, Dany’s new friend Jorah Mormont was wanted by Ned Stark for charges of slavery but he fled, Ned Stark’s sister was kidnapped by one of Daenery’s relatives and killed and apparently Jaime killed the last king, a man they’ve come to call ‘The Mad King';. It’s all just little details, nothing concrete yet but the picture in your head is getting clearer.
Overall, a pretty good episode, nothing as exciting as the pilot but it lets you learn more about the characters and it sets up a lot for the coming episodes, Bran’s attempted murder, Jon at The Wall, Ned already having to choose between loyalty to his friend and king and loyalty to his family. Things are about to get a lot colder.
Best scene – While Tyrion slapping Joffery is brilliant I have to give this to when Sansa and Joffery find Arya and the butcher’s boy. That moment when Arya gets the upper hand and threatens Joffrey with his own sword, just for a second you can see it in her eyes and you believe that she’s going to kill him.