The Battle continues in Westeros with feuding families and power hungry rulers. Five Kings vie for a single, all-powerful throne in the all-new season of Game of Thrones - an epic story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honour, conquest and triumph. Season 2 plays out against the backdrop of a fast-approaching winter. In King's Landing, the coveted Iron Throne is occupied by cruel young Joffrey, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and uncle Tyrion. But the Lannister hold on the Throne is under assault on many fronts. There's Robb Stark, son of the slain... Lord of Winterfell, Ned Stark; Daenerys Targaryen, who looks to shore up her depleted power through three newborn dragons; Stannis Baratheon, eldest brother of the late King Robert; and Stannis' brother Renly, who has maintained his own claim since fleeing King's Landing. In the meantime, a new leader is rising among the wildlings North of the Wall, adding new perils for Jon Snow and the Night's Watch. With tensions and treaties, animosity and alliances, Season 2 of Game of Thrones promises to be a thrilling journey through a riveting, unforgettable landscape. [show more]
'Game of Thrones' has become something of a phenomenon in the US. A complex story of inter-family conflict revolving around various factions - all of whom want their respective leaders to rule the fictional medieval realm of Westeros - it somehow hasn't caught on in quite the same way in the UK. Perhaps that's because it's only accessible through the Sky Atlantic channel, which has a limited audience - or perhaps it's because it just hasn't been marketed in a way that catches the public's imagination. After having watched this second season, however, I'm struggling to think of why anyone *wouldn't* enjoy this excellent show.
Picking up from the aftermath of season one - in which one major character lost his life (no spoilers here!) and many others were left in very changed circumstances - this season immediately throws us back into the build-up to a great war involving the Stark family, the Lannisters, and various other players who all have designs on the Iron Throne. If you were confused by the large cast of season one, then you'll probably be even more intimidated by this follow-up, as the number of characters continues to expand exponentially, adding a real sense of scale to proceedings but occasionally making it difficult to keep track of exactly who everyone is and where their loyalties lie.
Still, the show manages to anchor things by giving each faction just one or two lead characters around which most of the action revolves. And even if the early episodes of this second season require a bit of concentration and a good memory from the audience to be followed, there's never a sense that the unfolding action is unclear - just that it's so epic and wide-ranging that it's sometimes difficult to hold it all in your head at once.
As the war between the various families begins to heat up, we see all sorts of interesting political manoeuvering and horse-trading, reminding us of one thing and one thing only: everyone in Game of Thrones has their own interests at heart. And it's watching how these interests clash - and how the various conflicts are resolved - that makes for the most interesting parts of the show.
In this second season, everyone becomes a little bit more closely interlinked, with lots of characters travelling between different locations and meeting up with other groups, reinforcing the idea that Westeros is one big web of personalities that's getting more and more tangled as time goes on. The only exception to this increasingly incestuous network of relationships is Daenerys Targaryen, the widowed white-witch who also has a claim to the throne, but who spends most of the season traipsing around the desert with her baby dragons, completely separate from the rest of the action.
Still, that's not the end of the world, because Game of Thrones is definitely a series that's playing the long game, and I fully expect Daenerys to become a more important player in future seasons. And the same goes for some of the other slow-moving subplots, too, like the Night's Watch group in the North - who, by the end of this season, are only just beginning to pay off ideas that have been in play since the very first scene of season one. This big-picture approach only serves to make the show feel all the more epic, coupling the intimate Shakespearean family drama of the Starks and Lannisters with grander, more impressive ideas (including the increasing prominence of magic and fantasy elements).
It seems mean to single out one actor for special praise among such a great ensemble cast, but it's difficult to ignore the wonderful performance of Peter Dinklage as the diminutive yet razor-sharp Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion started off as something of a comic character at the beginning of the first season, but he has gradually grown in stature (figuratively, if not literally) to become one of the most important and likeable characters on the show. Yes, there are other fine performances - Jack Gleeson as the enormously unpleasant young king Joffrey Baratheon is particularly watchable, in a love-to-hate way - but it's Dinklage who really anchors the show in this second season, and provides something approaching the moral compass that the series lost when it offed one of its key players at the end of season one.
By the time you finish watching season two of Game of Thrones, you'll find yourself anxiously awaiting the third - because the last few episodes of this boxset set up some even more intriguing circumstances for the characters next year, as well as providing some of the most dazzling action sequences that the show has yet seen: for example, the penultimate episode, 'Blackwater', provides a sea-battle and a castle siege that can stand comparison with the likes of 'Lord of the Rings', despite the limitations of the show's TV budget. Hopefully that's a sign that things are only going to get bigger and better for Game of Thrones - and my only complaint about the show is that I'm going to have to wait another year now until I can devour the season three boxset.
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The Battle continues in Westeros with feuding families and power hungry rulers. Five Kings vie for a single, all-powerful throne in the all-new season of Game of Thrones--an epic story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honour, conquest and triumph. Season 2 plays out against the backdrop of a fast-approaching winter. In King's Landing, the coveted Iron Throne is occupied by cruel young Joffrey, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and uncle Tyrion. But the Lannister hold on the Throne is under assault on many fronts. There's Robb Stark, son of the slain Lord of Winterfell, Ned Stark; Daenerys Targaryen, who looks to shore up her depleted power through three newborn dragons; Stannis Baratheon, eldest brother of the late King Robert; and Stannis' brother Renly, who has maintained his own claim since fleeing King's Landing. In the meantime, a new leader is rising among the wildlings North of the Wall, adding new perils for Jon Snow and the Night's Watch. With tensions and treaties, animosity and alliances, season 2 of Game of Thrones promises to be a thrilling journey through a riveting, unforgettable landscape. Special Features • War of the Five Kings - Track the claims, strategies and key players involved in the battle for the Iron Throne with this interactive guide that follows the movements of various armies detailing their victories and defeats. • Histories & Lore - 19 animated histories detailing the mythology of Westeros and Essos as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves and featuring, in-part, illustrations from Game of Thrones storyboard artist Will Simpson. • In-Episode Guide - In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories. • Hidden Dragon Eggs - Find the hidden dragon eggs to uncover even more never-before-seen content. • Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay - See how the epic Battle of Blackwater Bay was brought to life in this exclusive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the climatic episode. The 30 minute feature showcases never-before-seen interviews with cast and crew. • Game of Thrones: Inner Circle - Actors Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley and Liam Cunningham talk in detail about their experiences shooting season two in this roundtable discussion moderated by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. • The Religions of Westeros - Hear author George R.R. Martin, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss the competing religions in the series and how they influence the various characters in Westeros and beyond. • Character Profiles - Profiles of seven major characters as described by the actors portraying them including Renly Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark, Theon Greyjoy and more. • Audio Commentaries - 12 commentaries with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington and more. Audio Commentary Participants Episode 1 - "The North Remembers" with commentary by executive producers/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Episode 2 "The Night Lands" with commentary by Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy) Episode 3 "What Is Dead May Never Die" with commentary by Writer Bryan Cogman and director Alik Sakharov. Plus commentary by Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) Episode 4 "Garden of Bones" with commentary by Carice Van Houten (Melisandre) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) Episode 6 "The Old Gods and the New" with commentary by Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and writer Vanessa Taylor Episode 7 "A Man Without Honor" with commentary by executive producers/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Episode 8 with commentary by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) Episode 9 with commentary by co-executive producer/author of A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin. Plus commentary by Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), and director Neil Marshall Episode 10 with commentary by Rainer Gombos and Steve Kullback of the visual effects team. Plus commentary by Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and co-executive producer Alan Taylor
The complete second season of the HBO medieval fantasy drama based on the bestselling novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R.R. Martin. The programme follows the battle between the Starks and the other noble families of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros to gain control of the Iron Throne. The episodes are: 'The North Remembers', 'The Night Lands', 'What Is Dead May Never Die', 'Garden of Bones', 'The Ghost of Harrenhal', 'The Old Gods and the New', 'A Man Without Honor', 'The Prince of Winterfell', 'Blackwater' and 'Valar Morghulis'.